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Fanfic / Marigolds

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Art by xpressoart.
"Hey, Goro. Want a second chance?"

Marigolds is a Persona 5 Fix Fic by Colbub that sees Goro Akechi being sent back in time to a couple of years before the events of Persona 5 with his memories of the previous timeline intact. Akechi uses his knowledge of the future to change events for the better, which includes opening up enough to make social links of his own and meeting Joker several years earlier than he did before, though the former happens entirely by chance.

Meanwhile, Joker, here called Akira Kurusu, appears to also be affected by the new timeline as he has dreams of his fellow Phantom Thieves in the future. Elements from Persona 5 Royal also find their way into the altered timeline, with Maruki being appointed as school counselor and Jose appearing in Mementos.

The main cast of Persona 3 and Persona 4 also make an appearance as they work together to discover more about the Metaverse and the mysterious coma incidents happening throughout the city.


Currently updating weekly on Sundays. Expect unmarked spoilers for Persona 3, Persona 4 and both Persona 5 and Persona 5 Royal.

This Fan Fic contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Despite his protests to the contrary, Akechi is a lot nicer in the new timeline. This becomes more evident with the more bonds he makes this time around.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Once again, Akechi. He's determined to do the right thing no matter what, even if he sometimes has questionable methods.
  • Adult Fear: Both Atsuzawa and Saito are distressed on learning that Akechi is tangled up in shady happenings that no high school student should have to deal with.
  • Afterlife Antechamber: After his death, Akechi ends up finding the sea of souls and he's instinctively aware of the fact that touching it would mean he would be lost to it. Unable to let go of his regrets and dissatisfaction, Akechi finds himself able to resist the pull and ends up walking around the edge of it instead until he meets Minato.
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  • The Atoner: Akechi is making the most of his second chance to right the wrongs that he caused in the original timeline. This includes putting the people that Shido asks him to assassinate into comas instead of killing them and by trying to generally be a nicer person to those around him.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: After awakening to Raguel, Akechi discovers it changed his Metaverse costume from Morrigan's black armor to a sharp white suit.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Akechi discovers that Futaba is living in an abusive situation before Sojiro takes her in and does everything he can to free her from it. Until he's able to get her to Sojiro, Akechi brings her food and snacks and even toys to tide her over.
  • Big Good: Minato as the Great Seal. He's the one who orchestrates events so Akechi gets another chance to put things right.
  • Blackmail Backfire: Makoto's attempt to blackmail the Phantom Thieves doesn't go according to plan as Futaba has already joined the team in this timeline. She's able to hack Makoto's phone and replace the evidence.
  • Black Knight: Whenever using Morrigan, Akechi's Metaverse costume shifts into a suit of black armor.
  • Blood Knight: Akechi's new second Persona, Morrigan, manifests as one of these.
  • Body Horror: The Shadow that rules Hinata's Palace is a rotting corpse. The closer it gets to her deadline, the more flesh is shown to have rotted away. By the time Akechi returns to her Palace in chapter 38, the only untouched part of the body is her face.
  • Brainy Brunette:
    • Akechi is somehow able to balance getting perfect grades as a high school student alongside working as a detective. Then there's all the work he's doing to maintain his confidants and carrying out Shido's orders. While Akechi does remember some of his school work and exams from the original timeline, he still studies to keep up appearances.
    • Makoto is able to discuss theories with Akechi at great length and is also quick to catch on about his subtle hints about her finding the Phantom Thieves. Akira's dream about her in the future implies that it's her incredible intelligence that has gotten her so far in the police force, even when sexism is holding her back.
  • Butterfly of Doom: Akechi is savvy enough to know that even changing minor things could have an effect on the future. That's why he's careful not to change anything related to Akira and the Phantom Thieves, and even steps in when it looks as if things are going too differently. Despite his best efforts, though, every member of the Thieves has gotten involved in the Metaverse one way or another by the middle of June, when Okumura's Palace didn't even come up until October in the original timeline.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: As her recovery progresses, Shiho is showing some elements of this. During rank 4 of their confidant, she asks Akechi if he thinks snot gets stuck on nose piercings when people with them blow their noses.
  • Cool Old Lady: Ise Saito is Akechi's landlord and is nothing but kind and patient with him. That said, she isn't afraid to speak her mind and spends her free time helping those less fortunate than herself, despite the fact she's getting on in years. It's revealed that her grandson shot and killed his abusive father while trying to protect his mother, so Saito immediately took the blame for it to protect him.
  • Cop Killer: Fusa's subordinate is found chopped into pieces by the human trafficking gang he's looking into. He doesn't take it well, and even Akechi is horrified at what he's witnessed.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: While Akechi is far more heroic this time around, he notes that he still favours Curse skills over Bless skills and that using the latter actually tires him out quicker due to their incompatibility.
  • Ditzy Genius:
    • Hikaru is an incredibly talented musician but he's also delightfully ditzy with it.
    • The highly intelligent and accomplished Wakaba is very ditzy for a renowned scientist.
    • Yusuke is as eccentric as ever, but he's able to figure out that Akechi is GA before anybody but Akira.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: After moving to Tokyo, Akira starts having dreams about his future teammates. In a smaller example, Minato sends Akechi a warning during Wakaba's confidant that he's running out of time to ensure her safety.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: As he gets closer to Akechi, and subsequently learns a little more about what it means to be human, Jose changes his infamous bowl cut hairstyle to look more like his, complete with individual strands.
  • Heel Realization: In Sae’s penultimate Confident Event, She has one when she nearly presents the false evidence on her trial, forcing her to concede. Fortunately, this ranks her social link to nine.
  • Human Resources: One of the cases that Fusa is working on involves human trafficking where the victims are killed and dissected so that their organs can be sold on the black market. Most of the unwilling donors are children.
  • If I Do Not Return: Wakaba leaves a folder for Akechi on her laptop containing all their Metaverse research in case the Conspiracy manages to kill her despite his intervention.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: When Akechi shoots the gangster Shibusawa during the hostage situation that forms the climax of Atsuzawa's confidant, Atsuzawa is understandably very surprised and more than a little suspicious that his intern managed to land an academy-perfect shoulder shot while sprinting across a rooftop. It's what leads Akechi to tell him the truth about his involvement with the Conspiracy.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Yu, of course. When Aigis gives Futaba a thumb drive to put her in contact with the Investigation Team, she's thrown off by the fact that one folder is devoted entirely to Yu's very meticulous collection of cat photos.
  • Knight in Sour Armour: Especially fitting as Akechi's new Metaverse outfit is made of black armour and a cape of black feathers. Akechi does try to be kinder and more optimistic the second time around but ultimately struggles with his own bitter outlook on the world. He does get better about this thanks to having friends and confidants in this timeline.
  • Laughing Mad: Akechi, when he realizes he can no longer summon Loki because his hatred of Shido isn't the all-consuming force it was in the original timeline.
  • Mad Scientist: Wakaba is an accomplished scientist and quite manic about it, though she's a good and honest person at heart. She even uses the nickname 'MadPscientist' on the messenger app she uses to keep in touch with Akechi.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: Towards the end of chapter 40 (which Colbub says is roughly the halfway point of the story in the author notes), Akechi awakens to a third Persona: Raguel, the avenging angel of justice in Judaic traditions.
  • Missing Mom:
    • Fortunately in the current timeline, Wakaba is in a coma instead of having been killed.
    • Akechi isn't sent back far enough to save his own mother, however, and it's her death that still drives him to take down Shido.
  • The Mole: Fusa is a high-ranking operative in Shido's Conspiracy, but he's been funneling information to Atsuzawa behind his back, and he looks after Akechi after Atsuzawa is shot.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Joker is called Akira Kurusu here. The protagonists of Persona 3 and Persona 4 are called Minato Arisato and Yu Narukami respectively.
  • Not a Morning Person: While he does a pretty good job at pretending otherwise, Akechi really isn't one for early mornings.
  • No Indoor Voice:
    • Ryuji is still as loud-mouthed as ever but Akira has a knack for getting him to shut up most of the time.
    • Hikaru keeps shouting out Akechi's name whenever he gets to see him, which inevitably draws attention to him.
  • Oblivious to Love: As he's on the verge of fainting after Akechi saves him in Okumura's Palace, Morgana mentions, among other things, that Akira is "totally into" Akechi. Akechi doesn't register anything the cat says except that he's about to pass out.
  • Odd Friendship: Akechi ends up making more friends than he did during the original timeline. The more unusual of these include an older detective who he works under, the Cool Old Lady who runs the off-campus dorm building where he lives, an aspiring musician and perhaps most surprisingly of all, Ryuji.
  • Official Couple: While it has yet to happen, Goro Akechi/Akira Kurusu.
  • Oh, Crap!: While explaining the mastermind’s plans on how the Metaverse is affecting the population of Tokyo when he also reminds them that they live in Tokyo, Makoto is shocked when she realizes that the Phansites’ Polls are affected as well, the rest follows up with this reaction.
  • Peggy Sue: Subverted with Akechi, since he didn't travel to the past, he was sent to a different timeline.
  • Personalized Afterlife: Minato spends at least some of his afterlife on a replica of the Gekkoukan High School rooftop, which happens to be the place where he died.
  • The Pollyanna: Hikaru Kondo, Akechi's Star confidant.
  • Power Nullifier: It turns out there was something blocking Akechi's true potential, as when Minato removes it, Akechi is able to see the very few bonds he made with people in the first timeline. In the new timeline, he's now able to recognise when a relationship becomes a confidant and what their arcana and current rank is.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Atsuzawa is a detective who Akechi briefly works under. He's more than aware of the shady stuff going on behind the scenes and immediately places Akechi under his protection once he realises that he's caught up in it. He also reminds Akechi that he's still a high school student and that he needs to take time to be just a kid. When he's forced to step down for his own safety, Atsuzawa assigns his cousin to look out for Akechi instead.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Akechi gives one to Morgana in Okumura's Palace, calling him out for the hypocrisy of calling Ryuji stupid and useless when he had run away over thinking he was those things.
  • Redemption Demotion: Of sorts. Because Akechi no longer idolises Shido in the new timeline, Loki doesn't manifest from the resulting darkness. This means that Akechi can no longer induce mental shutdowns, as that was a skill exclusive to Loki. Fortunately, Akechi never intended on using that skill again.
  • The Reveal: Akechi reveals his identity as the Black Mask to the Thieves in chapter 39.
  • Sadistic Choice: At the Conspiracy's meeting with the Cleaner, Shido tells Akechi to shoot a hostage to prove his loyalty, with the penalty for not doing so being his own death. Fusa shoots the hostage instead to save Akechi when he hesitates.
  • Shipper on Deck: Both Haru and Futaba have been shown shipping Akira and Akechi. Akira is clearly aware of his own feelings on the matter, but as of chapter 51 Akechi is still oblivious.
  • Single Mom Stripper:
    • Akechi's mother was a sex worker in order to support herself and her son. It's implied her work is how she met Shido in the first place.
    • Hinata Osumi, Akechi's Tower confidant, is one as well.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • So far Akechi has been able to save Wakaba, Takaki and Atsuzawa, whom all ended up dying in the original timeline. He's able to avoid killing people or sending them berserk in this timeline by instead putting them into comas that can be reversed when the time is right.
    • Akechi himself, as in the previous timeline, he died after facing Shido's cognition of him in the engine room.
  • Sword Cane: Akechi gains one of these as a weapon when he awakens to Raguel.
  • Take a Third Option: When awakening to Morrigan, her voice asks Akechi which it'll be: savior of the world, or savior of himself? His answer that he wants both is what seals the contract.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Invoked by Futaba to disguise her true identity from the Investigation Team. She uses pitch-shifting software when on voice calls with Yu to sound like a fifty-year-old "macho black guy with chiseled muscles and an eight-pack."
  • Wham Shot: The end of chapter 45 reveals that Shido has the Metaverse app, which he proclaims is a gift from God.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years:
    • Jose but that's mostly because he only has the looks and enthusiasm of a child.
    • Some of Akechi's adult confidants mention that he's mature for his age, though that's because his mind and memories are a few years older than his body.
  • You Are Not Alone: Hinata's Shadow decides to let Akechi save her because he convinces her that he won't abandon her, even after her betrayal.

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