AN: Like I said before, this is a story using my characters, Kate's characters, and my take on some of the characters from Persona. Thanks go out again to Kate for letting me use her characters! Please, e-mail all comments to FrankMayn@comcast.net
The streets of the city, corner of 7th and Finley
The Persona Users and their friends were on their way back to St. Hermelin High School when they were attacked... again.
This time, however, the demons that attacked the group of adventurers looked like a couple of weretigers. The demons were about to charge at the party, when a startled cry made both of them cease up in their attacks.
Kate was sobbing uncontrollably. The woren dropped to both knees on the sidewalk and just stayed there, unable to stop crying. In a moment, Frank was beside her, trying to comfort her, despite the fact that he and his friends were in imminent danger.
Both demons were taken aback. The first one decided to speak to the group. He was going to address Frank, but when he noticed that the Persona User was busy trying to comfort the girl beside him, the demon scanned the rest of the group for an aura of a leader. The tiger demon decided to talk to Tellka, since she was radiating an aura of confidence about her.
Before the demon could speak, Tellka lashed at it with her staff. The tiger demon hopped back and landed in a defensive position as it eyed the woren and the others around her.
"Don't even try it, pussycat..." Tellka said as her tail whipped around violently. "I am definitely NOT in the mood to play around... Especially after what you just did to Kate!"
Now normally, Tellka knew that weretigers would just attack others on the spot. She was thoroughly surprised when the tiger in front of her sat, licked its paw, then began talking to her in a civilized manner.
"Now... tell me this. Why did you attack me? All I was trying to do was to approach you and ask about the young one over there."
Surprised, but unfazed, Tellka boldly answered the demon. "I'm attacking you because you scared Kate! Do I need any other reason?"
Yuki was beside the angry woren in an instant.
"Tellka... don't get him mad... If you do that, he'll do one of two things... One, he'll charge you and attack in fury. Two, he'll try and stare you down to intimidate you..."
The Woren Warrior turned to look at the Japanese teenager with a look of fire in her eyes.
"Yeah... well, only one thing happens when something threatens or scares Kate like that... And I'll tell you this much... It isn't pretty!!!" Tellka punctuated the sentence with a low hiss.
The Tiger demon continued to watch the warrior wearily. He did not like how this was going, but he could sense something about Tellka... That something was a burning need to protect.
"I sense something about you, warrior... You have a passion to protect those around you... especially the girl that is being comforted by the Persona User..."
Tellka held her staff ready. "You've got that right... If you try anything, then may Ladon help you..."
The tiger demon merely shook its head before wrapping his tail around himself.
"Warrior... I will not try anything. I can tell already that my presence alone makes the young one uneasy... I will leave your group alone, and warn the others of my kind to stay away. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience that we may have caused... I will give you my spell card, then leave."
The tiger demon let out a low growl. Instantly, there was a spell card floating above Tellka's head. The woren looked up, and plucked it out of mid-air before looking at it curiously. She was going to ask the demon something, but as soon as she looked up, both tiger demons could be seen running off in the foggy streets of Lunarvale.
Janet just raised an eyebrow. "Well... that certainly was odd... Who would have ever thought..."
Diane was pouting. "Aw man... I wanted ta use Storm Caller again..."
Everyone who could at the moment turned to look at the gun crazy woren.
"Diane... is that all you can think about?"
Diane turned to the source of the voice, which turned out to be her older brother. Despite the fact that the older woren was covered in fur, he was shivering like anything. His uniform was torn and tattered, revealing his golden fur beneath.
Diane just gave her brother a look before shaking her head. "Sorry bro... yer right... Let's jes get back ta th' school before ya freeze ta death..."
Frank nodded. The Persona User was now carrying his girlfriend, who was still sobbing uncontrollably due to what happened in SEBEC and just now in the streets.
"Diane's right... We'd better get a move on... It's beginning to snow again... Come on... let's hurry!" Frank said as he felt Kate lean her head against his chest. The Persona User noticed that her sobs were dying down now.
Frank looked down at Kate as he began to walk toward the school.
"Kate... It's okay... I know you've been through a lot... We'll rest when we get to the school...
Kate didn't answer. The woren girl continued to sob before trying to get closer to Frank. The Persona User noticed that Kate had wrapped her tail around his waist, sort of like to reassure herself that he wasn't going to let her down.
The group of teenagers plus a catgirl demoness and a warrior continued down Finley Street until they came to the front of St. Hermelin High school. Alex looked up at the clock tower as he pulled what was left of his uniform jacket tighter around his body.
"Ladon... The clock says it's two... but it doesn't even look like that... It's so dark here..." Alex said quietly as his tail waved in interest. Before anyone could reply to what he said, the woren began running past the iron gates and toward the sets of double doors that led to the school's lobby. Soon after the rest of the group was hot on his heels.
Brad was the last one into the school. Immediately, the Persona User pulled the glass doors shut behind him.
"Heat! Oh thank you..." Alex said to no one in particular. Ellen merely chuckled at her boyfriend.
Yuki spoke up. "Frank... Ellen and I will take Janet and Alex to see Dr. Kotter... why don't you guys unwind in the cafeteria?"
Frank nodded at Yuki before looking down at Kate again. Apparently, she had cried herself to sleep in his arms. The Persona User noticed that her tail was still curled around his waist.
"All right... Guess we'll head upstairs then... Ellen... I'll get your jacket for you when Kate wakes up, okay?" Frank said in a hushed tone.
Ellen only nodded. "All right... I mean, this vest is now making me nervous... like it's got a target on it." She punctuated her sentence by gently touching the flattened bullet that was imbedded in the back.
"Ellie... I'm just glad you're alive... I mean... if it wasn't for that vest... I know Nike couldn't have saved you that time..." Frank replied to his friend.
"Please Frank... don't remind me... I'm just happy to be alive now... Look... Just take the others upstairs... I know that all of us need to rest." Ellen said quietly.
Frank only nodded. He then left the lobby to take Tellka, Diane, Neko-Chan, and Brad upstairs to the school's cafeteria. Ellen followed suit with Yuki, taking Alex and Janet to see Dr. Kotter.
Dr. Kotter was seated at her desk with a frown adorning her face.
"Tad... Tammy... I hope..." She said quietly.
"Ma'am... Frank and the others are strong... I'm sure that they're okay..." Tammy said reassuringly.
"Meow! That's right! He's a good person, purr... Frank wouldn't let his friends down, myah..." The Nekomata demoness said as both of her tails waved.
Dr. Kotter smiled at the demoness briefly. "I suppose you're right... Tad... why don't you try calling them again?"
Tad only nodded in reply. He pushed his glasses up on his face and was about to try calling Frank on his radio again when a knock on the door interrupted his task.
"Come in!" Dr. Kotter yelled from her desk. The door opened, and Dr. Kotter's face turned from a frown to a smile when she saw Yuki and Ellen enter her office.
"Ellen! Yuki! Oh thank God... you're both okay... Where are the others? Are they..."
Yuki interrupted her principal. At that point, Janet and Alex had wandered into the office. Alex was staring at the flags behind the principal's desk while Janet was looking at some bonsai trees that Dr. Kotter herself had cared for.
"Dr. Kotter... they're okay. Frank took the others upstairs to the cafeteria. Um... ma'am? Can you do us a favor?" Yuki asked Dr. Kotter before leaning back and lightly crossing her arms.
The Principal of St. Hermelin High regarded her student for a little bit before answering. Dr. Kotter was about to answer when the Nekomata that was with Tammy spoke out.
"Myah!!! What happened to you?" She said to Alex while she curiously checked his clothing. The woren turned to look at the Nekomata, and noticed that both of her tails were waving around oddly.
Everyone in the room, save Janet, Yuki, and Ellen turned to look at Alex. One of Tammy's eyebrows shot up before she turned to look at Ellen again.
"Wow, Ellen... Nice... I think I'm jealous...." The Devil Summoner said as she eyed the Woren. Tammy then let out a low whistle.
"Sorry Tammy... he's taken. But I'm sure he doesn't mind the looks you're giving him..." The Persona User said before giggling.
At this point, Alex was beginning to blush furiously as he tried to pull what was left of his uniform around himself. Ellen and Tammy began to laugh, and even Janet began to giggle. Tad and the Nekomata just looked around in confusion.
Yuki chuckled lightly before turning back to Dr. Kotter. "That's what we need... can you spare Alex and Janet some uniforms?"
Dr. Kotter finally noticed both students. Janet had removed her varsity jacket, showing her dress with one missing sleeve. If one was to look closely, blood spots could be seen on various places of her clothing.
Alex, however, was worse off. His jacket and shirt were ripped down the middle. The jacket had burst along the seams in the back, making what was left of the torn sleeves hang off by just a few threads. The t-shirt that the Woren was wearing was now split completely down the middle. If Alex tried to stretch, his fur covered stomach and chest would be exposed.
Dr. Kotter was about to say something when she noticed the bullet in the back of Ellen's Kevlar vest.
"Ellen! Oh my... Are you okay??? Who... who did..." Dr. Kotter stammered.
Ellen shook her head before finally removing her vest. For the first time since the events that had occurred in SEBEC, she was finally able to get a look at the bullet that Tiny had shot her with. The Persona User gingerly touched the edge of the flattened nine millimeter round.
I could have been dead... but I'm not... Alex was right... I've got to stop thinking that I can do everything myself... But still...
"I'm fine, Dr. Kotter. A little shaken, but I'm okay... That, and I'm extremely tired right now..."
Dr. Kotter just looked at her former student before giving her a slight nod. "If you say so Ellen... but if anything ever happened to any of you... Anyway... Yes. I can give them each a uniform. I'll measure him first, since he seems to be in dire need of a change of clothing."
Alex breathed a sigh of relief.
"Now, all of you will have to leave so I can do this. When I'm done measuring him and such, I'll send him out. Then you can send the other one in."
"Thank you Dr. Kotter! Shall we get going?" Yuki said to the rest of the group.
Tad nodded. "Well... first we need to get her away from Alex... she won't stop staring at him." The Persona User jerked a thumb at the Nekomata who was still ogling Alex.
"Myah... What a hunk! I like!!! Purr..."
Everyone turned to look at the Nekomata demoness, who at that moment had a starry look in her eyes as well as that lovelorn look.
Tammy sighed. "All right... Let's go..."
"Myah! No! Please! Just a few more looks! And maybe a hug and a kiss, purr..."
By now, Alex Brandshire was backing away from the demoness, who was giving him the fangirl look. Luckily, Ellen and Tammy were able to drag her out, making the woren sigh in relief. As soon as the door closed, both Dr. Kotter and Alex could still hear the demoness out in the hallway.
"Meow! Please!!! Just one more look! Purr... He's soooo handsome, meow..."
"Hush you... Alex is Ellen's boyfriend... off limits!" Tammy's voice said from outside the room.
"Meow... just one more peek... He's so cute!!! Purr..."
"Be quiet already!" Tammy's voice rang out.
This time, Janet's voice rang out from outside the office.
"Tammy, right? Has she been like this since we found her?"
"I'll have to admit... she's a bit obsessive..."
"Ladon... Another one...at least she's not like Candice..."
Dr. Kotter just chuckled. "So, Alex... shall we begin?"
"Please! I don't know if I can stand anymore of this!" Alex said as his tail whipped around.
The Principal of St. Hermelin High just laughed before taking Alex Brandshire's measurements.
Frank was carrying a sleeping Kate up the stairs to the second floor of St. Hermelin High school. Following right behind him was Tellka, who was then followed by Brad, Diane, and Neko-Chan.
"Where are we going anyway?" Tellka said as she glanced at a flyer for the school's boxing club that was pinned on a bulletin board.
"The cafeteria, Tellka. Normally, students would be out on the grounds, but it's kinda dangerous outside at the moment. Usually, when it's raining, the students come here to relax. We had a student lounge, but Dr. Kotter is still trying to get the room repaired." Frank said quietly, so he wouldn't wake a sleeping Kate.
Diane's eyes just widened. "A student lounge? Man... y'all have everythin' here! A pool... new gym... differen' fields, a fencin' club, an archery club... y'all have it made!"
Brad noticed the purr coming from the woren. "Man...you must really like our school! What's your school like anyhow?"
Diane turned to look at Brad. "It's smaller than this... Only two floors high, an' we dun have as many things as y'all do... Like our cafeteria ain't on th' second floor... it's on th' ground floor, and it's not as big as this one..."
Brad smiled at the woren. "You know, I might have to see your school sometime... I doubt that will happen, unless we can figure out a way to go between our world and yours..."
Diane just shrugged. "Who knows? Maybe it'll happen... maybe it won't."
Tellka opened a set of double doors and let the others in. Immediately upon entering, Frank took a seat on one of the benches facing away from the table, since he was still carrying a sleeping woren, who was now fidgeting in his arms. Frank looked down at Kate with a worried look on his face.
She must be having nightmares... I know she's afraid of weretigers...after what we went through for the Diamond of Truth... This must have been hard on her... I don't think we'll be going anywhere for awhile...
Frank regarded his girlfriend for a moment before glancing around the room. Oddly, the cafeteria was quite empty, save for a couple of students who weren't in his class. Diane was staring at a vending machine which had various snacks in it. Brad was right beside her, trying to explain what the machine was for. Neko-Chan decided to sprawl out on another bench and try to catch a nap, while Tellka was looking at some pictures posted on a bulletin board.
"Frank..." A sleepy voice said from his lap.
The Persona User looked down and noticed that Kate had finally woken up. However, her eyes were still red from all the crying that she had done earlier.
"Frank... where...where..." Kate started. The Persona User put a finger to her lips to silence her.
"We're safe... There's nothing to worry about..." Frank said quietly. Kate just looked up at him again before leaning her head against his chest to cry once more. The Persona User noticed that both of Kate's ears were drooped, so he held her close to him and ran a hand through her hair to try and comfort her.
"It's... it's just... The nightmares, Frank... the nightmares... they won't stop..." Kate said quietly. As it was, she couldn't stop crying anymore.
"Kate... If there's anything I can do..." Frank said soothingly. His girlfriend looked up at him with those sad eyes of hers.
"Could... could you sing to me? When I was little, mom used to sing to me when I was scared..."
Frank smoothed out his girlfriend's hair before offering her a smile. "Of course, Kate. Anything for you..."
Okay... Something slow and soothing... I have just the song...
The Persona User cleared his throat lightly before beginning to hum a tune. Tellka stopped pacing for a moment to look at Frank and Kate. On the other hand, Kate flicked her ears in interest at the tune and curled up closer to Frank. Brad and Diane turned slowly to look at the pair.
Frank began to sing softly after humming part of the tune.
"Would you dance,"
"If I asked you to dance?"
"Would you run,"
"And never look back?"
"Would you cry,"
"If you saw me cryin'?"
"Would you save my soul tonight?"
Diane flicked her ears in interest.
"He's singin' ta her... she musta had a nightmare or something..." The younger Brandshire said quietly.
"He picked a great song to sing, then... Man... Frank's great... almost as good as Alex... Not your brother, but a friend of mine..." Brad replied to Diane in a hushed tone. Neko-Chan just regarded Frank with a curious sounding meow.
Kate looked up at her boyfriend and let out a light sigh that faded into a purr toward the end. "That's really pretty..."
Frank looked back at Kate and offered her a slight smile before he began to smooth out her long dirty blonde hair. The Persona User continued to sing as he gently ran a hand along Kate's hair.
"Would you tremble,"
"If I touched your lips?"
"Would you laugh?"
"Oh please tell me this..."
"Now would you die,"
"For the one you love?"
"Hold me in your arms, tonight."
As Neko-Chan listed to the song, both her tails began to wave slowly.
"Myah... Wow... that song... it's so beautiful, purr... it's so soothing, meow..."
Brad looked at the demoness before speaking quietly. "He's talented, Neko-Chan. It always seems to come natural to him... Only Ellen and Alex can do the same thing."
Diane ignored Brad altogether and just interjected with her comment.
"Man... I tell ya..." Diane said as her tail began to wave slightly. "It doesn' matter how bad a day it's been so far, Frank really does have a way of makin' ya feel better with those songs of his..."
Tellka, however, watched Frank and Kate quietly. Soon, she was lost in thought, her tail flicking lightly.
Frank and Kate... I didn't trust him at first... but now... I do... He's proven himself... He does seem to take care of her... and she feels so safe and comfortable with him...
By now, everyone in the cafeteria was watching the couple. The two students, a plump, Japanese teenager and a pale looking frail teenager turned their attention to the Persona User and his girlfriend.
Frank didn't notice, however. All that was on his mind was Kate. He smiled at her before singing again.
"I can be your hero, baby."
"I can kiss away the pain."
"I will stand by you forever."
"You can take, my breath away..."
The Persona User looked down at his girlfriend and noticed that she was falling into a calm sleep. As she did so, the woren began to purr happily as the sound of Frank's calm, serene voice rang through her ears.
Once more, Frank began to smooth out Kate's dirty blonde hair as he began to sing softly again.
"Would you swear,"
"That you'll always be mine?"
"Would you lie?"
"Would you rub in my mind?"
"Have I lost my mind?"
"Have I gone too deep?"
"Well, I don't care you're here, tonight."
Neko-Chan plopped down on her back and stared at the ceiling as her tails lashed around her.
"Myah... this song...it's so beautiful..." The Nekomata demoness said quietly as a tear ran down her face.
Diane's tail was waving around as she listened to the song and watched the couple. She let out a light chuckle.
"Man..." The woren said as she stretched. "Now he's gettin' me all comfortable with tha' song..."
Brad smiled at the couple, but did not say anything at all. He did now want to ruin the mood in the room with one of his usual wise-ass remarks.
The two students, one of which was holding a newspaper, watched Frank as he sang to his girlfriend. Both were moved by the way he expressed his care toward Kate.
Frank looked at Kate and noticed that she was sound asleep, though a light purr could be heard from her. He finally noticed that she was smiling again. The Persona User continued to sing, but now his tone was quieter and lighter.
"I can be your hero baby."
"I can kiss away the pain."
"I will stand by you forever"
"You can take, my breath away."
Frank looked at Kate once more and was sure of it. She was no longer haunted by nightmares. What he wondered now was what she was dreaming about. He leaned over, and sang the last lyric into one of her sensitive ears very lightly.
"I can take... your breath away..."
Frank smiled as he continued to smooth out Kate's long, dirty blonde hair. The Persona User noticed that her tail was still wrapped around him, and that she was now purring happily in her sleep.
"Pleasant dreams, Kate..." Frank said quietly. Everyone in the cafeteria was watching both of them. The two students that were there before Frank's group arrived approached the Persona User and his girlfriend.