Encounters with Some Honorary Phantom Thieves
a Persona 5 fanfiction by The Overlord Bear
Summary: For better or worse, Goro Akechi doesn’t get any jail time despite his attempts to turn himself in for his crimes as Black Mask, but he does get a strange officer (and his daughter) watching over him. And then they hang out at Leblanc.
WARNING: SPOILERS ALL OVER THE FREAKING PLACE!
“Let me tell you this: I believe you, but as much as I hate to admit it, not even the courts can’t.”
Goro Akechi had just told yet another hopefully reality-compliant version of his criminal confession to an interrogating police officer. He was sure that all those cops didn’t have a bad enough trace of a link to Shido, but he was really insistent on getting himself some jail time without lying so much. He really hated admitting it, but he felt indebted to those Phantom Thieves…though speaking of which…
“Wait, what do you mean?”
With that question, Goro took another look at the officer. He forgot the man’s name, or maybe the man hadn’t introduced himself in the first place, but now that he saw that bespectacled scruffy head…He looked familiar.
“You know about the Metaverse, right?”
“Are you one of Shido’s cronies?”
Goro’s alarmed question was dropped like a lightning bolt against the officer’s matter-of-fact question. Nobody aside from those personally involved with the Phantom Thieves and the Shido Conspiracy knew about that, and as far as Goro knew from being stuck in Tokyo Police custody, his…odd associates wouldn’t have been likely to be in cahoots with a police officer unless the situation was dire enough.
Had the Conspiracy remnants caught up to them, then?
The officer fixed his glasses and sighed. “Trust me, I’m not. If I were, then I’d be doing something worse to you. Or maybe quivering in fear, if I didn’t have enough guts to sit in front of you for more than three seconds. Actually, I think I can do the former, but for different reasons, considering what one of your former superiors ordered you to do to my wife…”
And then Goro remembered who the man was: Inspector Zenkichi Hasegawa of the Public Security Bureau. Goro had also taken orders from a certain Owada, who once asked him to kill the Inspector’s wife.
“My apologies,” Goro bowed from his seat, not really sure about how to properly school his demeanor with all these revelations. And he hadn’t even gotten a single answer to one of his main questions yet. “Still, how do you know about the Metaverse?”
“I didn’t believe it ’til your friends showed me.”
At that, Goro’s eyes widened. The Phantom Thieves themselves worked with an adult police officer?
“What fools…” Goro wryly scoffed to the side. “They didn’t learn that much from me, it seems.”
“Wait, you worked with them before?” the Inspector asked with surprise, giving Goro more mixed feelings. “They never mentioned you…or maybe I forgot if they ever did…”
“It seems that I made my mark on them a little too well…” Goro groaned. “I also underestimated their teenage angst.”
“But really, the infamous Black Mask working with the Phantom Thieves?” the Inspector asked again, a smile now on his face. “I can imagine how you got in before and why they wouldn’t mention you now, then.”
“Yet somehow, they care for me,” Goro spat to another side. “They don’t know how much that stings my pride.”
“They got to you, huh?” the Inspector smiled even wider. “Maybe we should have a reunion or something.”
“God, no,” Goro gagged, but he could feels his cheeks heating up at the idea. “Though why are you talking like that? Don’t tell me you also…”
“Yeah, I did. My codename’s Wolf, and my Persona’s Valjean. What’s yours?”
Goro then felt a headache coming on.
“Old man, is that the Second Detective Prince?”
“Yeah, Akane. He’s keeping a low profile, though, and I’m watching over him for work, but I don’t mind watching over him like he’s your new older brother as well. You’re also free to kick his ass ’cause he helped kill your mother.”
Goro quietly groaned again, though he appreciated the little fortune he had in being on the front passenger seat. Still, there was that rude announcement and the Inspector’s infuriating smile. Understandable and deserved, but still rude and infuriating.
“Come on, old man, the stupid sexy Second Detective Prince being Mom’s killer? Wasn’t it that dirty politician who ordered a driver to do a hit-and-run on Mom? Didn’t that guy use the Metaverse and Persona like the Phantom Thieves but worse, too? And if the courts can’t take that, then is there any decisive evidence of Goro Akechi killing Mom?”
Goro and the Inspector exchanged some disbelieving looks, but then they closed their mouths and nodded in silent agreement.
“Well, maybe, maybe not!” the Inspector replied to his daughter, letting out an awkwardly affected laugh that made Goro even more uncomfortable. “Still, Akechi here’s been working closely under Shido, so he might have been involved, you know? And if he did do something, then I’d love to kick his ass along with Shido’s and his other cohorts’, but right now, we don’t have anything solid enough, unfortunately.” The Inspector’s countenance had become more serious now, and he sighed. “At the very least, there’s a lot of other crimes we can charge those shits with, especially considering how long they’ve been at it.”
“Old man, I can’t believe you’re taking this so seriously,” Akane continued to admonish. “Sure, he was a jerk about the Phantom Thieves before, but he learned the error of his ways, and come on, I can’t deny that I missed him when it was announced that he was missing! I mean, what’s up with that when he was with you Tokyo officers the whole time?”
“Again, Masayoshi Shido is a very dangerous man, Akane-san,” Goro decided to try to ease the discomfort. “Even after confessing his crimes, he still has overly zealous followers and power-hungry fair-weather leeches who would pick up where he left off and take it wherever worse place they want. As for why my presence under police custody wasn’t reported, wouldn’t you go out to protest if news broke out that I was arrested?” At this point, Goro had to consciously hold himself back from saying too much, especially as he found that last sentence sounding like the usual pompous self he put up as a mask for the general public.
“What he said,” the Inspector added. “Now he can go out again, though I’ve been assigned to watch over him. He’s on probation, basically, and I’m his parole officer.”
Silence from the back. The Inspector couldn’t look back, so Goro did just that for the older man, and then…
“Now this is a juicy secret…” Akane looked at him with an unnerving look of excitement that slowly added a blush as well. “Please keep it well, ’cause…I think you’re…stupid sexy Akechi…”
The two males on the front seats were struck speechless to the point of feeling haunted. While the Inspector sped the car up a bit, Goro tried to sink himself back into the insides of his seat.
“You know, how about we go to a cafe?” the Inspector asked out loud. “We need to have a more serious talk.”
“Old man, please don’t beat Akechi up,” Akane admonished.
“Yes, please don’t,” Goro could only parrot as he felt a dark aura from the Inspector.
And then there was an even more awkward time. Goro had agreed to go to a cafe, but terror prevented him from being more specific about it. And on second thought, if the Inspector had worked with the Phantom Thieves even in the Metaverse, then perhaps this choice of meeting place should be less a surprise and more an inevitability. Thus, he now expected all of them to appear at any second now.
“Your most popular order, please.”
With that order to Sojiro Sakura, Goro decided to prepare to face the music. Hopefully, his instruments wouldn’t ruin the sounds that badly.
“We thought you died, Akechi-san,” whispered the once lone customer, one ponytailed redhead, who then became red-faced with widened eyes. “Oh no, wait, that you was probably a cognition!”
“What are you talking about?” Looking at the girl, Goro also found her strangely familiar yet unfamiliar at the same time. “Have we met before?”
“I’m Sumire Yoshizawa,” she replied. “Uh, codename…Violet? You’re Crow, if I remember correctly. And my dad’s a talk show host you worked with before.”
Goro felt another headache come on, but not just from annoyance. He could feel some strangely fuzzy spots in his memory…
“I feel like we’ve fought together before, yet strangely, I have a hard time remembering it…” Goro expressed as he pressed a hand to his forehead. “Though I do remember working with a Shinichi Yoshizawa…”
“Really…?” Sumire tilted her head to the side, and then she looked down. “I’m sorry, then. And yes, that’s my father you just named.”
“In any case, you’re a Phantom Thief too?” Goro decided to ask next.
“W-Well, honorary, I guess?” she answered, blinking back up. “I’m not really that into their methods unless it’s a last resort or something like that. Though I don’t mind being their friend. They helped me learn that I need to rely on others as much as I rely on myself, see.”
Goro slowly nodded and then widely smiled at that. “You seem like someone I can get along with, then. I quite agree with your sentiments, although somewhat begrudgingly.”
And then Sumire blushed, which Goro chuckled and also blushed at.
“Aw man, I have a rival?” entered one middle school girl. “And you’re both Phantom Thieves?”
“Don’t be alarmed, lady,” the Inspector followed up, looking at the shocked Sumire first. “We’re friendly. You can kick that guy’s ass, though. He’s a bad influence on my daughter.”
“Old man, he’s a fellow Phantom Thief!” said Inspector’s daughter fired back.
“And I’ve never worked with him before.”
Sumire giggled, while Goro groaned again.
And then the cafe entrance banged open.
“Right on time,” Crow then went after some silence and just as his face met Ryuji Sakamoto’s fist.
Fortunately, they didn’t offer Goro any ice packs, but…
“He helped kill Mom…” Akane repeated with a lower voice as she glared at Goro. “You should beat him up some more sometime, old man.”
Goro felt a shiver go up his spine, terror overriding the frustration he had about that girl believing his claims just because of the Phantom Thieves recklessly corroborating them. Again, he tried to appreciate the small fortunes that didn’t try to beat his ego up any further, but they felt more and more like hollow things.
“Still, how can we be sure that this is not another one of Mr. Maruki’s creations?” asked Yusuke Kitagawa.
“Who’s Mr. Maruki?” Goro couldn’t help asking.
“He is…a very strange friend,” the one codenamed Joker admitted. “You sure you don’t remember him? He was warping reality as a Palace Ruler after and because of the whole Shido mess and more, basically, and even though he really was trying to be nice, we had to stop him.”
“If you want it in nerdier language,” Futaba Sakura chipped in, “Then he was an anti-villain trying to force a fake happy ending onto us thanks to a really heartbreaking past and some really bad luck.”
“I…don’t remember that quite well,” Goro honestly replied, feeling a headache again as he tried to remember those things.
“So you remember our last meeting inside Shido’s Palace, then?” voiced the cat named Morgana.
“Oh yeah, how did you survive that?” asked Ann Takamaki. “We thought you were dead ’cause Futaba checked and said so back then.”
At that, Goro let out a hoarse sigh. That, he still clearly remembered.
“Idiots, the lot of you,” the fake detective told them as he facepalmed. “Did you think that I forgot about that trick you did to me when I tried to…you know?” he asked, making a finger gun aimed at Joker.
“Wait, for real?” Ryuji wondered, to which he looked up and then blinked in realization. “Ah, damn it, so we were just crying around about you like dumbasses! You bastard!”
“But we can’t deny that we missed him one way or another, no?” smiled one Haru Okumura. “Welcome back, then, Akechi. Or perhaps we should call you Goro now?”
“I’m still not saying sorry for that black eye I gave him, though,” Ryuji responded with a blush and crossed arms as he looked away. “And that’s not even everything we have to settle yet!” he added, giving Haru a look.
“We understand, and we allow it, Ryuji,” Joker leaned back with a smirk. “Still a lot more punishments to come, then, Goro. Just rest assured that we’d like to have you as a friend now.”
“Don’t forget about me, you guys,” the Inspector cut in, smirking as well. “I didn’t expect it to go this well, but I feel really vindicated now. How’s those just desserts, then, Goro Akechi?”
“Same here!” Akane yelled, pumping a fist. “Though I still have to purge some icky fangirl feelings out of my system…Curse you, stupid sexy Goro Akechi!”
“Don’t go too hard, everyone!” Sumire reminded, standing in the Hasegawas’ way as well.
“And now I have your curry and coffee, you brats and a fellow old man!” Sojiro entered.
“I’m not that old, you old man!” the Inspector shouted back.
And then everyone other than Inspector laughed, all while the Inspector formed a rivalry with Leblanc’s owner.
Though Goro’s surroundings quieted quite quickly as he laughed his heart out.
“Okay, I think those icky crush feelings are gone now,” Akane announced as the first to break that surrounding silence. “They’re now replaced by spine-chilling creep feelings.”
Still, Goro kept on laughing for a bit longer.
Author’s Note: And now, another Persona 5 fanfic from this guy with little first-hand experience with the games and many gripes about the canon material I managed to research.