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We Made It (But Not Unscathed)

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It was almost scary, seeing the E class come to graduation so different.

They looked exactly the same, except all of them had lost some of the light that had been in their eyes.

Gakushuu noticed this and shared a look with his friends, but said nothing.

They looked as if they'd just lost everything they held dear.

Nagisa looked over when he heard a sniffle from one of the girls and gave them a calm smile, not as open as it used to be.

"No more tears," he whispered to her - Hayami. The last one he thought would ever cry so publicly. "He wouldn't want us to be sad. It's a happy day."

Karma looked down when he heard this. While Nagisa wasn't being loud, everyone in E class heard. They'd long since learned how to pinpoint their classmates' voices in a crowded area, no matter how quiet. He glanced back to see the others sharing looks. When he saw the calm smiles take over the sorrowful looks, Karma looked over to meet Nagisa's eyes with a smile of his own.

He threw up a hand signal, one the entire class had perfected on their own.

Nagisa smiled faintly in response and nodded.

Thank you, exactly what we needed.

Karma caught Gakushuu's gaze when he turned his attention forward again. He nodded in response to the questioning gaze.

But no matter how happy their expressions said they were, Karma could feel the hurt rolling off his classmates and friends. Not only had they lost the best teacher any of them had had to their own hands, but now they were losing one another to different high schools.

Once Karma didn't have to worry about going in front of everyone else in the school anymore, he sunk down in his seat and let a few tears fall, starting slightly when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

He looked up to see Isogai smiling softly at him, tears of his own hiding behind the bright eyes.

He pretended not to notice anyone else shed any tears during the assembly, and was proud that they were all perfectly fine come time to leave.

Gakushuu seemed to know, though, and Karma smiled warmly when the other boy and his friends shielded them against the unwanted attention of the media.

Karasuma watched this as his students passed and looked down with a smile of his own.

He headed out to meet them and those from A class that had stuck around. "We're all proud of you," he told his students.

Nagisa gave a small smile in response, but it just didn't reach his eyes.

Karma seemed to notice his friend was coming undone, because he spoke up. "Thank you, sir. We could never have done it without you and miss Bitch."

"I don't know about that," Karasuma remarked. Then he sighed. "But what Nagisa said before the ceremony was right. No more tears, it's a happy occasion. You did your job, and you did it well. Let Korosensei's lessons serve you well in the rest of your life,"

Karasuma walked away after that, and Nagisa watched him go before he looked down to hide the tears that were hiding in his eyes.

Karma took a deep breath before turning to face his classmates, his own eyes filled to the brim with an emotion they hadn't seen before.

Gakushuu and Ren watched this exchange curiously.

"Alright, guys. This is it," Karma said, voice brimming with emotion. "Our job is done. Time to move on."

Nagisa looked up at Karma just as a tear fell, and Karma caught sight of it and shook his head, moving to wipe it away.

"No crying." Karma said stubbornly, making everyone else laugh quietly.

Isogai spoke up then. "Besides, we'll stay in touch even if we aren't going to the same school!" he said, his voice much warmer than Karma's was. "We aren't losing one another,"

Ren glanced at Gakushuu as this scene happened and spoke softly. "Is it true that they had to kill that...thing? That it was actually teaching them?"

Gakushuu nodded in agreement - once it had all been said and done, he'd gotten the truth from his father. He almost felt bad for the E class students, but he couldn't bring himself to. Because he knew despite the pain they were in, they were stronger for it.

Karma looked over at him just then and spoke. "Thank you,"

"Of course. What sort of person would I be if I'd left you to flounder in front of the media in the state you're in?" Gakushuu remarked, his tone soft. "You need time to heal."

Karma shook his head in response. "There is no healing from this. The part of us that we had before this year is dead. But we'll be better for it,"

Nobody argued this fact, and it took a moment for them all to get themselves back together correctly, but once they had, Gakushuu shook his head at the image they made.

They may have lost something important, but they were fighters. They'd be just fine.