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# 12 ; facades, part 1
team awesome
title: facades.
chapter: 1/?
fandom: Persona 3.
rating: PG.
summary: The characters and the Personas they wield. Part 1: Yukari. The girl can't see anything while chained down.

author's notes: I won't lie, this was hard to write. Didn't really turn out the way I thought it would, either.

She doesn't want to hate the shape her Persona takes -- a girl, chained to a bovine skull, praying to any god that will listen -- but it's hard not to.

Penthesilea stands tall, Yukari notices. She stands upright with dual swords, cold enough to burn.

She never means to compare herself to Mitsuru Kirijo, but the comparisons seem to point themselves out when they're next to one another. Mitsuru is tall, Yukari is short. Mitsuru is commanding and intelligent, everything a leader needs to be. Yukari is a follower, someone who struggles with the orders they were given in the vain hope that one day they'll be recognised. Mitsuru needs no one, able to get by on sheer willpower and the strength of the mission. Yukari barely gets from day to day without Minato supporting her silently, and Junpei giving her something trivial to focus on.

Mitsuru isn't chained to anything, Yukari thinks. (Later, she'll realise how wrong she was, and try to make up for it -- but this isn't later, and the girl can't see anything while she's chained down.)

She takes up archery because Io insists, and quite vehemently at that. She joins the archery club for the sake of practice, so that when they do begin fighting, she can be useful and not fall behind. It's difficult at first; the bow is heavy and she can never quite get the right hold. When the drawstring quivers beneath her fingers, the arrow jerks and soars far past its target. The club adviser takes her aside and gives her a book on the sport -- Yukari tries not to feel embarrassed, but can't help the hot flush rising up her neck. She doesn't cry, though. The girl never cries.

"Do you want my help?" Io whispers, gentle - it's her mother's voice, she notices, but not like her mother; kind and understanding, the mother she should have been.

She nods, miserable.

The next time she cocks the arrow and takes aim, wind whips at her fingers. The arrow sinks into the bullseye.

Eventually, she doesn't need the assistance.

It's only after Yakushima that Yukari begins to think, maybe it's okay to be chained down. (This is after she breaks her one rule - the girl never cries.) Mitsuru might be untethered, but it only means that when disaster finally finds her -- and it will, it finds everyone -- she'll fall headlong into her own horror, picking up speed until the collision makes her unrecognisable.

After that, Yukari no longer hates looking at her Persona, and uses it in battle more. Wind leaps out of Io's hair, cutting at the shadows, and the girl is proud.


Io's prayers are rewarded -- someone does listen after all -- and she evolves into Isis.

The girl is no longer tied down. Wind ties itself around the orb, faster and faster until it would bleed everything it touched. The girl knows strength, but she knows life, too. She's the one that picks up her fallen comrades from the floor, putting the life back in their eyes.

It's why she's able to smile -- a true smile -- and say, "You know, I've been meaning to talk to you."

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