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In the Hands of a Trickster [G] [Akechi/Fem!Akira] [Persona 5 One-Shot]


Tis the Hour to Reload
Synopsis: Joker falling in love, from the perspective of the Pillager of Twllight.

Inspired and written with the setting of the fanfics, Unfiltered and Wings of Rebellion, written by aiyumi, in mind. So spoilers for those fics (that you should totally read if you want a more sympathetic Akechi and how he might join the Phantom Thieves as a result) and spoilers for Persona 5 (of course).

Fanfiction.net version here.

He was fake. Arséne knew that the instant his little master and the brunette boy met eyes, his smile polite but plastered as opposed to his master's own, more cheerful and genuine smile. And, thank everything, the little miss knew as well. Maybe not exactly why a fake smile was a problem, but she did notice it. It wasn't until the interview took place did she realize why Arséne was suspicious of a fake smile. The brown haired boy with the fair face opposed the Phantom Thieves.

But, bless her heart, his little master didn't take it as an insult. No, she understood his point of view, on how it could be formed with what little was known about the Phantom Thieves, but not only that, she wanted to know why. She wanted to see why was he hiding behind a mask, one that didn't seem to quite fit him, made it easy for her to realize he's trying too hard to be polite, almost as if he was trying too hard to fit in.

It was especially irritating, for both him and the little miss, whenever he spoke to her and her friends, always smug and always a show-off, as he told them of his speculations. It was getting clear that he was starting to suspect them, even when they had very few meetings. How, even Arsene was unsure, but he and his master knew he did.

That irritation, however, from his master was gone when one day, he came by Leblanc and he told a little of his past, of how his mother died. The pain of the past, though still veiled behind his mask, still seeped through, letting her see the boy behind it. Though the boy wouldn't elaborate beyond that, his little master's concern and curiosity were now sparked. She wanted to know more about the boy who lost his mother, not the teen who flaunted his celebrity status.

And Fate, this time, gave her a chance.

His master had left to attend a course to help with her goal to start a business and after the first day, she arrived at the lobby of the hotel she stayed to find a familiar brunette boy at the reception desk. She heard that all the rooms were filled and the only possible way the boy could get one would be if he shared it with another. Whether the receptionist was being sarcastic was moot as the little miss took the opportunity and had her reservation changed from one occupant to two. Though, to their surprise, their was some resistance to the change, the boy uncomfortable at the thought of sharing a room with the girl and its implications.

When they were actually in their shared space, Arséne wasn't surprised to find his master friendly but the detective wary. At least until, with her usual natural charms, his master coaxed out a little of the boy behind the mask: a hurt, cynical person with little faith in other people. And that made his master's heart ache for him.

What he and the little miss hadn't expected on the second day when they returned was to find that mask completely broken, the boy acting more like one, defiant but exhausted, childish but adorable, caring but broken. In those moments as his master tended to him as he cried, to her confusion, Arséne could sense it, though he knew that his master wouldn't realize for some time, if at all.

She was starting to fall for Akechi.

She did not fall in love completely, nor immediately, but he knew that if she kept following her heart that ached for the boy's pain, and if said boy continued to show more of himself, both his darkness and his light, she would fall for him. There was no question. The ember was there and it would be stoked if it went on.

In truth, Arséne would've been worried. The boy, Akechi, after all was, for all intents and purposes, still an enemy even if they did manage to become friends after she took care of him. But as everything he had thought would happen did happen, from her constant drive to have Akechi be friends with her friends to the boy opening up more and more and showing, as his little miss put it, his cute side that was equal parts adorable, shy and gentle, and he watched the little ember of affections turn less into a blazing flame and more like the warm sun, those concerns were gone.

Even when his master insisted he steal the power of loosing inhibitions from "Crow" only for him to realize that the murderer turned double agent was one and the same with the boy she fell in love with, his concerns didn't return, because he already knew Akira's answer to the boy's greatest fear.

So, he granted her wish.

Using the bond she had made through her Confidant with the boy and the strength of her wish fueling him, Arséne changed the connection from a chain to a tunnel and when his master's consciousness slipped into the realm of the subconscious from the feedback and the power of the boy's pain, he beckoned and led her through it, to the dreams and memories of the boy she had come to love.

It was there, while awaiting for the time he would have to return her to her own mind, he finally met the boy's Personas face-to-face.

"Who are you?!" the tall black and white striped one said, brandishing his blade.

"Hold, Loki," the one that reminded him of superheroes with his cape and color scheme said to the other. "I believe it is Akira's Persona."

He smiled and took a bow, regretting he could not tip his hat. "Indeed I am. I am Arséne," he said before straightening. "I assume you are the boy's Personas, yes?"

"How did you get here?!" the Persona that he assumed was Loki said, pointing his iron red blade at his face.

"The little miss wished to connect with your master," he said, ignoring the weapon. "Do not worry. She hasn't come to steal any treasures..." Here, he smirked and chuckled. "Unless you count his heart as one."

"Why you!" Loki said and reared to strike.

But then the heroic Persona raised his hand and said, "I said halt, Loki! We should speak to him!"

"And why would I speak with this smug little intruder?! How is it even possible he's here?!"

The white-and-blue caped Persona shook his head and chuckled. "Well, it's Akira, is it not? She's always full of surprises. And connecting with our master isn't much of a hurdle as, well..."

The white-and-black striped Persona just laughed and lowered his weapon. "Of course she can," he said. "You're right. But still..." Loki turned back to him. Arséne was sure he would glare if he had eyes. "...why's she here? She doesn't know it's him."

"She is here because she loves him."

That made them both tense. But while the white Persona merely looked shocked and disbelieving, the long haired trickster soon laughed, long, hard and sounding as if he had lost his mind.

"Love him? Ha! How could she love him?" he said. "He is not worth any of her affections. And not only that, he will die before any of it can bear any fruit."

"I-I'm sorry but...yes, I am wondering the same," the white Persona said, now looking saddened along with his disbelief. "True, our master, under normal circumstances, would be overjoyed to know his affections are returned, but these are not normal circumstances."

Arséne, however, merely raised a brow, or rather as close as he possibly could.

"Oh? He loves her as well?" he said, though he could guess such considering his behavior towards his master but it always was a balm to have such confirmation. He smiled, wide and with teeth, as he continued. "Then all the more reason for her to try to break the chains of his self-made prison. We are their will of rebellion, are we not? What better reason to rebel against the forces of fate than love?"

"Ha! As if that were possible," Loki said.

"But she has made him cease his plan for revenge, did she not? All because she cared for him," the heroic Persona said to the trickster. "And doesn't he still wish to be closer to her? And tell her the truth of his feelings? Perhaps this way can make it easier for him to do so."

The long haired striped Persona hummed in thought, crossing his arms, before huffing in annoyance. "Very well... I agree to this."

"Then we will keep his heart open to hers so that she may see it."

Here, Loki laughed once again. "I doubt that will be difficult, considering how open it is to her already."

Arséne couldn't help but chuckle in agreement. Indeed, the boy was a lot more open about his affections than Akira thought he was, not that she knew the signs. He, after all, was Arséne Lupin, master thief and disguise, merely answering her call and manifesting her rebellion. While Akira, as impressive as she was in being a Phantom Thief, was inexperienced in the matters of romance, despite how well she dealt with matters of the heart. She had to be outright told to ponder on her feelings by Boss before she even noticed them.

Still, Arséne watched with amusement and calm as Akechi comforted Akira with gentle care and affection after being hit by his power to make one berserk. And as he continued to care for her throughout the days they spent together, however brief and sparse they may be, and as he reacted with embarrassment and freedom whenever his little master visited him in the land of dreams.

But he also watched with sadness, much like his little miss when she heard of his miserable situation. It was clear with every visit to Akechi's dreams that he did, indeed, love her. In fact, Loki and Robin Hood, the heroic white Persona he had met at the same time as the former, had told him to just outright tell her his feelings, that he was grateful for her to be in his life, how she meant so much to him, and how he only wished to see her happy, regardless of whether he was the cause of that happiness or not.

Arséne didn't know whether to be impressed by the depth of Akechi's love that formed despite the fact that they were supposed to be enemies...or strangle him for not realizing how much it hurt Akira to be unable to help him, not being allowed closer to do so. But, Arséne was nothing if not a romantic. Why else did he answer Akira's call? If the little miss was able to lead Akechi to a better path than the one he had been treading before, then he was sure she could find a way to convince him to allow her to be by his side, for as long as they could.

And if all else failed, well...that was what friends were for, wasn't it?

First fanfic in forever...and it's only a sort-of shipping fic involving Akechi and Female Akira set in another fanfic that I absolutely love. Go figure. Hopefully it was still enjoyable either way for those who don't know about Persona 5.

Anyways...Happy Valentine's Day!
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