Jezika's head was pounding. Her welcome was anything but warm, but she really didn't expect it would be. When she reached her room, she shut the door behind her and flopped onto her bed and stared at the ceiling. Booted feet crossed at the ankles and she flailed her arms out to the side and sighed. It was eerily quiet, and Jezika loved it.
The room was bigger than her one at her house, and that was a pleasant surprise. It had a television, a desk, and a sink with a mirror. Not bad, not bad at tall. Jezika turned her head from the room and looked back up.
Quite a bit of time must have passed because she heard a knock at the door.
"Yeah?" Jezika didn't make any move to get up and actually go to the door.
"Hey. It's Akihiko
Can I come in?"
Groaning, Jezika rolled her eyes and sighed. "Sure. It should be open
" The sound of the doorknob turning, and then nothing, "Whoops. Hold on." She swung her legs over the edge and made her way to the door. Along the way, she grabbed an elastic band for her hair and shrugged the jacket she wore over the corset. Clicking over the lock, she opened the door for him and soon turned away to head back to her bed.
"I didn't think guys were allowed up here after hours." Jezika pulled up her hair, still giving Akihiko her back as well as a clear view of the rather large tattoo of angel wings that spanned from her shoulder to the curve of her rear. However, the corset hid the lower half.
"They're not. But, I wanted to apologize."
"Gee golly, how lucky am I?" Sarcastly, Jezika sneered but kept her back to Akihiko.
He wasn't prepared for her attitude, granted, many people wouldn't be. "So, uh
Jezika turned around and flopped down on the edge of her bed. She motioned Akihiko to the chair at the desk. Her brows rose as she looked at him, and she watched him closely. "Hm?"
"I wanted to apologize. I know it's not your fault; it just took me by surprise. I'm happy to have another person on the team." Akihiko sat in the chair and looked at Jezika.
Seeming less than enthused, she looked at him. With her hair pulled back away from her face, the scar that slashed down over her left eye. It was more visible when her hair wasn't down. Black eyeliner rimmed her cat-shaped eyes, and she watched Akihiko like a hawk. "Are you doing this of your own accord, or did Mitsuru put you up to this?" She crossed her legs and leaned forward a bit. "I won't be mad if she did, I mean
" Shrugging, Jezika shook her head.
"No, I'm doing this on my own. I didn't mean to come off so strongly toward you." He couldn't help but stare at the scar.
"If you take a picture, it'll last longer I assure you." Jezika's voice sounded heavily annoyed.
Sorry. I didn't mean to stare." Akihiko ran his hands through his shadowy hair.
"I'm sure." Standing up abruptly, Jezika walked toward the door. "Was there anything else you needed?" She was dismissing her. Her scar was one of the only things about herself that made her self conscious, and it wasn't as if she could hide it; it trailed over her left brow and down through the center of her eye and ended at the apple of her cheek.
A shadow had attacked her and she wasn't quick enough to defend herself. Phoenix didn't have healing skills yet, so she was stuck with the aftermath.
Akihiko nearly jumped to his feet as he watched Jezika open the door and lean on it as if waiting for him to leave. "Yeah, I was wondering if you wanted to go out during the Dark Hour with me. I can show you the ropes around here. There's not enough of us yet to explore Tartaurus, but that doesn't mean we don't patrol for trouble."
A sigh escaped her lips as Akihiko stopped next to her; he was close enough that she could feel him brush against her hip. "Sure." She said, putting aside her annoyance and anger. "I'll meet you downstairs at midnight then." Jezika gave a small smile and shut the door, pushing him the rest of the way out of her room.
When the door shut in his face, Akihiko rubbed his hands over his face and shook his head. "Boy, I know how to make first impressions." It was kind of obvious that he was no good with the ladies, even though they flocked around him. Sighing, he turned and headed for his room. It was eleven, and the Dark Hour would approach in an hour. Mitsuru never went with him, being that she thought he was just treating it all as a game.
Though, it would be nice to have the company sometimes.
In her room, Jezika clenched her fists and took a deep breath. Grabbing up a towel and some clothes from her bag, she headed for the bathroom and the shower. She had an hour.
Letting the scalding water pound on her head helped clear her mind. She rested her forearms against the tile and hung her head. The water ran down over the skin of her back and the trickling of scars. They looked like hot wax was dribbled down between her shoulder blades. The scars continued over her right shoulder where they disappeared down her side.
When she first manifested Phoenix, she wasn't able to fully control her, and she got out of hand. Having Phoenix came naturally, but she was stronger than Jezika at the time. It caused permanent scarring. Though, they didn't bother Jezika for the most part. It was one of the reasons she decided to get the tattoo, to distract from the scars. The tip of her tongue flicked over the silver rings that pierced the corner of her lower lip.
Taking a deep breath, she quickly washed her hair and stepped from the shower. Wrapping a towel around herself, she walked down the hall and back to her room. After drying her hair and running some goo through her fiery curls, she re-applied some makeup and pulled on a pair of black opaque tights and a tight gray tank top stopped just at the curve of her rear. The sleeveless top bared the tattoos across the inside of her wrists. On her left wrist was "Just Breathe
" in a fancy script and the right was "Pull The Trigger
" in the same script. She held her Evoker in her right hand.
The tattoos were very simple and weren't especially attention drawing, and Jezika wanted it to stay that way.
Tousling up her curls, she took a look at herself in the mirror and slipped some lip gloss on before grabbing her Evoker and strapping the holster to the outside of her right thigh and the glaive and its sheath on her left.
Stepping into her knee-high black suede boots, she zipped them up the sides and made sure she had everything she needed before heading down the stairs. She could already see that Akihiko was ready to go. Jezika checked her phone before tucking it back down between her breasts, which were amply pushed up higher than normal. She was already well endowed, but the tank top helped even more.
They had about twenty minutes or less left before midnight.
"You ready, or should we wait here until it starts?" Jezika asked and she blinked at Akihiko, as he seemed to stare at her with a gaped expression.
Furrowing her brows, Jezika shook her head and made her way across the lounge. "We could go now, if you wanted. I suppose you already know what the world looks like when the Dark Hour hits." He regained his composure.
"Yeah, I'm pretty well versed in watching everyone turn into huge coffins."
"I figured as much. You ready?"
"As I'll ever be." She looked around, "Where is everyone else?"
"They're both in the command room, probably. Mitsuru hardly goes out during the Dark Hour unless she has to, and Yukari just joined us, she's not ready."
Nodding her head, Jezika pushed the door to the dorm open and stepped outside. It was early April and the air still had a bite to it, but it was nice and refreshing. There was no one around, which was also good. As much as Jezika was used to the transition, she hated to see it happen.
Heading down the steps, she waited for Akihiko. "So, what's the drill? I mean, I've never really worked with others when it came to the Dark Hour or anything. There were less than a half-dozen in the States, and most of them died because they couldn't control it."
"Well, I suppose that the Chairman will explain it further for you when he arrives tomorrow. But, our goal is to hunt down the shadows and find some way to rid the world of the Dark Hour completely."
"But, if it were that easy
Wouldn't the Kijiro Group have found a way to do that already?"
"I suppose, but then again. We don't know much of what goes on in that aspect. At least Mitsuru doesn't really share anything with me. We know it has something to do with Tartaurus, but as I said before we don't have enough people to safely explore it. Even with the addition of you, it's not quite enough for us to feel secure."
"Understandable. I don't feel quite ready for that yet. I mean, I'm experienced enough. My Persona is stronger than it was even a month or two ago."
"What is your Persona?" Akihiko asked as they approached Iwatodai Station.
Akihiko furrowed his brows. Between himself, Mitsuru, and Shinji, they all had personas based on mythology of some sort. "That's different than ours."
"Well, I'm different than you. So that could be the reason." Jezika folded her arms over her chest. "I bet it gets lonely for you in an almost empty dorm. Where your only dorm mates are girls."
"It wasn't always that way. My best friend Shinjiro used to live in the dorms with us. But, sadly he left." Akihiko hated talking about it, but Jezika had asked. And she deserved to know.
"He lost control of his Persona and accidentally killed someone." He paused. "Someone's mother."
That hit a little close to home for Jezika. That was the very reason she had the scars that she did. But, it was only because she was still young and didn't know how to control her. "That's too bad. And he quit because of it?"
By then, they had wandered through Iwatodai Station and it's dark storefronts. They were heading into the back alley. All seemed to be as quiet as can be, a scattering of black coffins and blood oozing from all surfaces. The moon's glow in the green sky was eerily chilling as Jezika watched the ground as she walked.
Something caught Jezika's attention, and her head snapped up as she looked around. "Did you hear that?"
"Yeah. Stay here." Akihiko put his hand on Jezika's arms as if to keep her behind.
Shaking her head, Jezika lightly shoved at Akihiko. "No way. I don't need you protecting me." Anger flared in her eyes as she started in the direction of the sound. Rounding the corner, she nearly ran headlong into a small group of three people.
Managing to skid to a stop, Jezika hopped back as they turned around to look at the intruder. Jezika raised her gaze to each of them, taking in their appearance before she noticed that the man who looked like
Jesus was taking a bottle of pills from a blue-haired boy with a briefcase.
A third person stood away from the two, wearing a scarlet overcoat and a gray beanie. Jezika could see the gun at the Jesus-looking one's side and that caused her to be wary. Was it an Evoker or a real gun?
Akihiko came around the corner, "Jezika, what are you do" His words were cut off as he noticed the trio. "What? What are you doing here?" Jezika was momentarily forgotten as Akihiko's attention was on the one with the beanie.
"I could ask you the same thing, actually."
"We're patrolling the area. Like we used to do."
"Tch. We never came here. What are you doing here?"
"Showing someone the area."
"Because she's new?"
He laughed and shook his head at Akihiko and looked at Jezika with distaste. "So you managed to brain wash another one to join your cause?"
"It's your cause too, Shinji."
"Not anymore it isn't."
"You keep lying to yourself
"No, I leave that up to you." Shinjiro paused and looked at Jezika. "Who is she, anyway?"
"None of your business, actually." Jezika sneered, and turned her honey eyes to the other two. "I'm more curious as to why Jesus is standing in a dark alley in jeans
" Her comment took the trio by surprise and Akihiko yanked on her arm as to warn her.
"Get off of me." Snapping over her shoulder, she pulled her arm away from him. "Who the fuck do you think you are to pull me anywhere?" She had a short fuse and Akihiko seemed to already know her buttons.
"Fiesty one you have there." Takaya Sakaki stated with a low chuckle as he looked at Jezika. "Your members don't respect you."
"I would say that would be a problem, but it's too amusing for us to watch." The blue haired one said before blatantly eyeing Jezika up and down behind his glasses. "That and she's not too bad on the eyes."
That earned a perk of her brows at the one speaking. "Who are you two, anyway?"
"We're no one of consequence, girl." Takaya stated and Jezika started snickering. Akihiko elbowed her and she busted up laughing.
" Biting her lip, she tried not to laugh too hard. "You kinda look like Jesus."
Akihiko looked at Jezika as if she grew another head and Jezika reigned herself in and calmed the laughs. But, she gave an innocent look toward Akihiko. "What?"
She could hear Shinjiro chuckling, and even the blue haired kid chimed in.
"Oh, I like her. Where did you find her?" Shinjiro pocketed whatever it was that Takaya handed him earlier.
"She arrived from America earlier today."
"Ouch, not even a full day and she's already talking back. You're in for a handful." Jin chimed in.
"What's your name?" Shinjiro looked at Jezika.
"Jezika." The grin still curled her pierced lips as she folded her arms below her chest.
"And I take it you're one of them?" Takaya asked.
"That's what they tell me."
"So you don't know?"
"Hell, I don't know anything yet. I don't know why I'm here or who they are or what the fuck is even wrong with me."
"You sound like us."
"She's nothing like you two." Akihiko cut in and tugged on Jezika's arm once more. "Come on, let's go."
"No. You're being rude."
"You heard me." Jezika wrenched her arm away again. "Who are you three?"
"Strega." Takaya stated.
"And that is who?"
"We're not like you." Jin picked up the briefcase.
"Did I ask that?" Jezika could almost hear Akihiko's palm hit his face. "And who are you?" She looked at Shinjiro.
The look that crossed Jezika's face was definitely not amused.
"That's Shinjiro." Akihiko helped.
"Oh. So that's the coward, hm?" Jezika asked over her shoulder and the shocked look that was given from Akihiko was all the answer she needed.
"You little b
"Hey, hey. Lay off the new girl, she doesn't know any better." Jin stopped Shinjiro. "I'm Jin and that's Takaya. You'll be seeing us around."
"Not that you should look forward to that." Takaya added.
"I don't know. Seeing Jesus wandering around might be comforting." Jezika grinned and turned. "You should come by sometime, Shinjiro. I could answer more of your questions." That sly look crossed Jezika's features as she began to walk back the way they came. Taking the elastic band from her wrist, she pulled up her hair, which bared the tattoo and the scars to the four guys behind her.
"Coming, Akihiko?" Jezika didn't stop to ask the question. Akihiko gave a final look to Shinjiro before following. He had some explaining to do the next time he saw him.
Hell, Jezika had some explaining to do.
That was the most fun that Jezika had in some time. Her hips swayed a bit as she walked, and Akihiko's voice was low but aggressive in her ear as he chided her on what just happened. She wasn't listening to him, of course. Too amused with herself to really care. Glancing over her shoulder one last time, she caught Shinjiro and Jin's attention.
Jin stared after Jezika as Takaya nudged him with his elbow. "Why are you staring?"
"No reason." He paused, smirking slightly. "No reason at all."