Chapter 1: Introduction
I've seen this done a couple of times on A03 so I wanted to try my own hand at it. This is a collection of one-shots based off the Danganronpa V3 cast prior to the events of the game. While most of these are just going to be one-shots of some shape and size, I've scattered a couple secrets inside and a lot of them might end starting to look related closer to the end. There will be an overarching mystery throughout the whole piece, an actual plot line that some of the one-shots will follow.
That being said, not every one-shot will contribute to the overall mystery/story, meaning I'm still plenty open to reader requests. It'll be the job of the readers to connect which one-shots actually fit together and which are just one-shots that I decided to write. Some are going to be more obvious than others, but all the shots that are related will have at least one common thread. If you don't actually want to try and figure out my little 'mystery' then it's easy enough to ignore and you can just focus on reading about the characters you like.
Now of course, the fun part. Head canons. This list might be added to as this fic gets longer, but for now this is our baseline.
Angie was raised in a very strict religious environment that was borderline cult. While she did believe in her family's god she never really believed in how her family presented that god. It was too cruel for her taste, too unreasonable. Everything was an extreme form of worship from blood letting to strange diets that left her feeling light heady and queasy. Of course, she could never outright disagree with her family since that would get her disowned or worse. It was a situation that didn't seem to have an escape for a long time. Eventually all the creativity and individuality was pushed out of her, one way or another.
At school life was never much better. Her skin tone often left her bullied for looking like a foreigner despite having been born in a hospital just a couple miles away from her school. Her parents often used her education and access to public schooling as a way to control her, reminding her often that they would withdraw her and 'home school' her if she didn't behave. Her uniforms never fit because of this, always being too large or too small depending on how many years she'd been attending the school in question, perpetually ratty and acting as more bullying fodder. She dreams of one day being good at art, but her family has destroyed her own sense of self so much that creativity is a long gone fever dream.
Gonta's family is one he never met until much later into his lift. When he was very young circumstances caused his family to lose him for a certain extent of time. He lived in the woods, becoming a forest child and learning from all the creatures around him. Unfortunately one day he was found and returned to his original family who looked upon him with disdain. They had already replaced him with two younger, more educated siblings. Gonta's weird speech patterns and animal like tendency caused his actual family to hate him. Despite being allowed to live with them, he still feels like he's actively being abandoned more than when he was originally lost.
School is a bit better as long as he doesn't speak. His aura is intimidating due to his size and his words often give off the implication that he's a poorly educated mad man. These two facts make him respected and feared by most others at his school. He hates this though, and wants nothing more than a friend. He's slow to trust, but once someone has earned the moniker he'll defend them to the ends of the earth and back with a naive trust. He likes protecting those who are smaller than him, weaker than him, it's a large facet of his interest in bugs and the like. Of course, few ever see past the terrifying exterior to the gentle giant underneath, so he can't really say he has many friends.
A victim of a 'weak constitution' and an over protective mother, Himiko is always that one sick kid. Not for her body's own failings, but the failings of a mother who's gone mad. Munchausen by proxy is the name of the condition her mother suffers from, and Himiko suffers for it. Trapped in a house she can't leave and having serious doubts about her mother, she's very confined in her life. The only times she's ever gotten a trace of freedom are the times she's been able to fake taking her medicine and the times where her mother's gotten too occupied with work to personally take care of her.
Himiko's one joy in life is magic and magic shows. She's only gotten to go to a few, but in her free time they're the only thing she likes to watch. The idea that someone could wave a wand and make her well is appealing, but it's not what's always drawn her in. It's the idea that someone could dedicate their life to making others happy. The idea that there's some little spark of actual magic in every act, maybe a little spark she herself could harness. She enjoys practicing small amounts of magic whenever she can and she always enjoys making people at school smile. It takes her from being the one sick kid to the class magician, a far more satisfying and self earned title.
Also known as Kiibo, the living robot is the pride and joy of Idabashi robotics. A sentient learning robot that progresses just as a human child might! Despite being their proudest achievement, he's anything but cared for. Kiibo, much like some children, was the product of an accident. His original creator was someone who was on the chopping block for getting fired, but truly loved technology with all of their heart. They day they left they'd created Kiibo, leaving behind one last strand of hope. Kiibo was slotted to be destroyed before one of the other scientists realized just what he was. From there is was a slippery slope downwards of experimentation, trying to figure out how the little robot works, poking around inside of his head at his processors and circuits.
Kiibo has the mind of a human in just about all aspects, so he deeply craves affection and actual contact. He puts up with a lot of the experiments for the simple fact most of the scientists offer up praise afterwards. The pain is worth enduring just for the small amount of joy that comes later. He wants nothing more than to find his original creator, learn of his actual purpose and maybe... maybe just have a family. If he could have a family, there would be nothing else in the world that could make him happier.
Kaede's parents only wanted one child, a perfect little girl who was good at everything and always happy. They got her, it just wasn't Kaede. The younger of the two twins often grew up with a complex regarding her older twin. They were completely identical, but the elder was perfect in every way. Happy go lucky, sweet, warm, quick to learn and quick to lead. Kaede was quickly tossed aside by her family since she turned out to be the exact opposite. Sour in temperament and pessimistic about humanity as a whole, her family ignored her. Well, her parents did. Her twin genuinely loved her. Deep down, Kaede loved her back, but wouldn't admit it.
The neglect of her parents often led to Kaede being quick to act out in classes. She wasn't quite a delinquent, but she was a trouble kid. Fierce and with a certain disregard for others. Her parents didn't support her, they refused to, so she took care of herself with part time jobs. All they ever offered her was a roof and bed, mostly at the behest of her twin. School supplies, food, and everything required to be a good child she supplied for herself. That being said, she always managed to get startlingly high scores in class without the need to even cheat. Her true passion is piano and for being self taught a couple hours a week on the music class's piano once classes are let out for the day, she's pretty talented.
Kaito had no parents, instead being raised by his grandparents who never explained what happened to them. He never hurt for money growing up thought, and his grandparents were quick to remind him that he was loved. That being said, he was quickly harassed by other kids for not having any parents. It caused him to build up a shell of sorts and he started to become a bit more venomous towards others. The disposition he showed his grandparents and those he truly trusted was buried under layers of stereotypical jock persona and lots of bitterness.
For those who know the actual Kaito, they'll be quick to realize how much of that persona is actually an act. He enjoys physical activity and has actual aspirations of becoming an astronaut. Despite his persona he does well in school so his grandparents don't worry and he's always on the look out for leads about his parents. He wants to be a leader, someone that others can rely on, but currently he doesn't really even know how to rely on himself. He desperately craves someone that'll rely on him, be his 'side kick' of sorts, but he knows there are few who would ever put their fate and trust in his hands. He knows he could be a good hero if given the chance, he just doesn't think he'll ever get one.
Well off is one way to describe the Tojo family, but most would simply opt for filthy rich. Descending from old money and power, the family has a lot of prestige attached to its name. Their standards are very high because of this fact, the family being entirely made up of politicians and powerful business tycoons. Kirumi grew up with these expectations on her back, despising them her entire life long. She never wanted power and would never agree with how her family used theirs, but it didn't seem there was any kind of way to escape these expectations. Her name was always too well known.
At school she was always the rich, popular girl. She does possess a natural charisma that allows her to charm others, but the hates they way that they treat her. She'd call school a beehive, but bees are too cohesive a community, she'd sooner describe her school as some kind of awful clusterfuck. Back stabbings, lies, rumors, and here she was sitting at the peak of it all with a fake chip on her shoulder just to appease her overbearing parents. She didn't want power, didn't want to be the one in control. She always wanted to help others, to foster their own unique talents and in a way serve them.
Kokichi is a sad creature. Growing up in a poor and abusive home, food wasn't always a daily thing. What money his parents did have was often spent on pleasures for themselves if they could manage it without killing their child due to starvation. Sometimes even if they couldn't. Kokichi because of this fact grew up mostly begging for his meals and subjugating himself to his parents wrath for the slightest ounce of food. He remained perpetually miserable and desperate for any human contact. Even bad attention was still attention, so he lived off what small scraps of negative attention such a small ghost like boy could manage to get.
Weak beyond compare, skittish from constant abuse, and somehow still craving more, Kokichi is the punching bag of his school. Most of the bullies use him as an easy outlet of sorts, beating him senseless and occasionally feeding him if he begs hard enough and brings himself low enough. It's amusing to most of the school, like watching a pathetic dog slowly creep towards death, wanting to feed it just enough so it stays alive a little longer for the sake of the show. Some have tried showing him small kindnesses in the past out of guilt of pity, but kindness is a good way to make him clingy and his nature can come off as greatly annoying if you aren't prepared for it.
Korekiyo and his sister were always close, not of his own volition mind you. His older sister was a toxic creature who would often draw others into her web for her own devices. Her dear younger brother was the easiest due to their proximity. She abused him for her own gain and quietly deceived their parents into thinking their relationship was normal. When she was old enough to move out, she made Korekiyo move out with her. That's when things started to get especially dark. She was never physically abusive, but mentally and sexually was painful enough after so many years. She convinced him that their emotions for each other were true love, so they couldn't betray one another. He could never betray her.
This constant abuse made Korekiyo very distant from his classmates, thinking none could ever love him. He was monstrous in his own eyes. He envied those who could live and laugh and love one another so easily. He wanted to be like them. But he was constantly trapped under the thumb of his sister. Desperate for escape and entirely without one. He's hesitant to trust others but when he does he always tries to keep them a secret from his sister who will personally try to drive them away through any means necessary. Those that don't run more often than not get dragged into her web themselves.
A gentle girl who had the misfortune of growing up in the worst orphanage on the face of the planet. Those who weren't left to fend for themselves became the pets of the staff. Pet being a term no one wanted applied to them considering what the staff did to their pets. Maki was a very gentle girl growing up, soft hearted towards all but the staff who she hated with a bitter almost murderous hatred. She has an extreme distrust of adults due to the staff, but a severe soft spot for younger children. It was tradition of sorts for the older to take care of the younger who'd been abandoned by the staff. It was a tradition that kept Maki alive when she got abandoned there as a baby and it was a tradition that she proudly kept up, protecting as many younger kids as she could.
She tries her best to put on a cool and secretive disposition around others. Most just see her as the quiet and slightly scary kid in the back of the class. Those who actually break through to get closer to her real persona will often got caught up in a series of secrets and well placed lies to throw them off the trail of who she really is. She keeps the fact she lives in an orphanage very secret on top of the way that the orphanage in question treats her. Few people besides those who live in the orphanage know the full extent of who she really is and the secrets she's keeping.
Miu was an unwanted child, born out of wedlock to a mother who was too young and stupid to care for her. She was tossed around between relatives for years before she finally ended up with a distant aunt who couldn't have children but wanted to raise one. It was a wonder why she wanted to raise one as it was fairly obvious she hated them. Over the course of this child tossing game of hot potato Miu was abused in multiple manners and slowly started to grow into a meek creature who could barely hold a conversation or eye contact by the time she got to this aunt. This aunt was fairly vicious and made Miu fear intimacy by using Miu's own mother as an example.
The abuse unfortunately didn't stop with her family as her weak disposition made her the perfect punching bag for a lot of the clique around school. Because of this she's taken on a very quiet demeanor. She barely speaks and when she does it's a train wreak of apologies and the constant question of if she did something wrong. She jumps at loud noises and pick up on the smallest and most insignificant looking details. Once she gets past all of that though, she's actually a fairly genius person. She likes to make up inventions and learn about engineering, she can also read those she trusts fairly easily. Occasionally she still craves affirmation.
Happy but poor. Rantaro grew up with a lot of younger sisters in a house that couldn't really support all of them. His parents loved him and all of his younger sisters dearly, but they both worked endlessly to try and support the large brood. Rantaro himself loved all of his sisters without remorse, doting on them whenever possible and reminding them that they're all loved. He encourages them often, tutoring them personally and helping them fill out scholarships and applications for good schools. He's the epitome of an older brother. He himself suffers for this though, getting good grades but lower than his brilliance could have provided.
Rantaro doesn't have many friends because he can't really keep a social life. What free time he has he either dedicates to his sisters or part time jobs to fund his family. He's jumping around constantly, never taking the time to rest. He wants nothing more than to stop worrying, get good grades, and maybe become a professional traveler one day if such a job exists. He wants nothing more than to explore the world and learn about every interesting culture, but his sisters are always his top priority and always will be.
In the words of himself and his parents, Ryoma has no future. Not for a lack of education or skills, he has a couple that he could go big time with, but just because he's so plain. His only notable feature is his diminutive size. Other than that, he's always been the plainest and most forgettable member of his family. He doesn't mind the rest of his family getting the spotlight, but he does crave more recognition for his skills. In spite of his stature, he's a brilliant tennis player who could go big time if given the actual attention and training. But he's so plain and his family doesn't have any extra money for teachers or lessons.
School is the thing that annoys Ryoma the most. A constant drawl of sitting in one spot, memorizing things, and throwing it all back up on a piece of paper come test time. He'd rather be out on the court but for the sake of his family he maintains average grades. He at least has to be average, he supposes. He doesn't want to stand out because he's a failure, he wants to stand out for doing something memorable. Even in classes no one pays much attention to him. Ryoma Hoshi has no future because he never had a past and doesn't have a present. He's just a phantom of a person going through the motions of average.
Shuichi, the self proclaimed Dangan Ronpa aficionado, lives with just his Uncle. His parents could care less about him. They both have successful jobs and love each other dearly, but they never meant to make Shuichi. That being said they didn't have the heart to just get rid of him. So his mother carried him and then dumped him on her older brother the moment Shuichi was born, returning right back to her line of work as soon a her body was back into enough shape that it could handle it. Shuichi loved his Uncle who took wonderful care of him, but his mental state suffered. He found Dangan Ronpa and it wasn't long before he fell down that rabbit hole so far he couldn't see the light.
He became a masochistic fanboy who wanted nothing more than to be a detective. He wanted to get picked for the game and then one day get executed in a memorable fashion that he would be remembered forever. Maybe then his parents would pay attention to him. They weren't neglectful, they loved him to an extent, but they didn't have the attention or time. Shuichi only became a masochist out of his desire for more attention and time. Only clung to Dangan Ronpa because everyone loved the people who ended up on it. He couldn't even get the attention of bullies. His reactions made him no fun to beat up.
Tenko shamefully comes from a line of sexual assault. She was born from the assault of her mother, the likes of which was born from assault against her grandmother. None ever grew up with fathers, none of them grew out of a fear of men, and none of them ever became strong enough to stand up for themselves. It came to the point where Tenko's own fears were so deeply ingrained into her that they were almost a part of her blood. She didn't end up with a child out of the experience, luckily things never went that far for her, but she seemed to follow in the steps of her mother and grandmother in a messed up kind of way.
Tenko mostly keeps to herself and because of her fears only ever befriends other women. Even then she's always meek around others, reserved and pulled into herself. She wants to one day get stronger, strong enough that she can stand up for herself without fear. Strong enough that she can protect herself against those who surely want to hurt her again. Everyday she just seems to grow a little weaker.
Copy cat, mimic, ghost, these are all titles that Tsumugi's family have ascribed to her at one point or another. Judgmental and cruel, Tsumugi's interests were always something to be scorned in her family. They didn't understand, so she pulled inwards and started to keep her thoughts and interests a secret. She made herself look plain, almost painfully so. She didn't talk about the things she liked around others and always made sure to listen, adopting whatever their interests were and reflecting it back at them. In some ways she became a master of mimicry, a pretender, using her own family as her first tests to try and figure things out. She started to get... fairly advanced.
Those she actually wanted to get close to she was especially careful about revealing her likes and personality quirks, thinking that if she reflected back their own interests they'd like her more. It actually worked. She managed to get most people to like her fairly quickly. Her mental health ended up suffering though, as the relationships always felt fake and to an extent strained because she was always putting on a different act for different people. It was hard to hang out with more than one person and it was too late to go back. the closer you get to her, the harder it gets to see her genuine person. Though, not impossible.
Chapter 2: Question Counting (Shuichi)
After stumbling upon a certain detective wannabe, the reader takes an interest in Shuichi and attempts to crack the mystery that is Shuichi Saihara.
Chapter Posted: February 21st, 2019
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Don't try to befriend him! He's dangerous! You'll regret it if you get involved.
You never really paid attention to the words and warnings of other people. You were a creature with a very burning kind of curiosity. One that oft led you to ignore all semblance of reasonable thought in your quest for more information. On top of that, you had a burning sense of empathy. Neither of these being traits you inherited from either parent. They were both equally apathetic and intelligent to a point they no longer needed curiosity. Kind towards you, but very condescending towards others. They understood humanity well enough to be disgusted by it and no longer question it or individuals within its numbers.
No, really, you never listened to the advice of others if you could help it. Baring truly life-threatening circumstance you enjoyed figuring things out for yourself. Learning what the world had to offer on your own. That included learning about people. That's more or less how your found yourself curiously starring at a boy 20 or so feet away while everyone around you warned you just how no good he was to be looking at and how he should be avoided at all mortal costs.
You were absolutely going to go over and annoying.
Aside from that though, you didn't really have many reasons to be afraid. As long as he couldn't kill you instantly you didn't really care. It wasn't like you had a reputation to protect. That in and of itself was an interesting story.
You got into the school you were currently attending due to your outstanding abilities in your particular line of work. That line of work, however, required a lot of travel. For an 18-year-old that was typically no issue, but there was still the question of school itself. On the one condition you were able to keep good grades you were allowed to miss as much school as you pleased without penalty since it would be counted a bit like work study. A bit of an odd thing for a high school to offer up but you went to an odd high school. So, that was the deal as it stood for 3 years.
It often left you feeling unattached to most areas, hence why you didn't really seem to poses any sense of 'fear' so to speak unless there was direct physical bodily harm involved. Emotional troubles were a bit hard to inflict on you, due to your own understanding of psychology. Under normal circumstances, you lacked shame and knowing you were unlikely to ever see most of the people you encountered left you with even less. They likely wouldn't even recognize you in a week even if they did see you again, all things considered.
It led to... quite a few odder encounters than most people would have in their life.
Your favorite thing to do in new places was to find a group of other high schoolers and convince them to show you around. People your age who knew the area and could act as temp friends while you were miles away from the people you grew up around. It was never hard to find a group. You had stunning charisma, one of the few things you did inherit from your mother. Whenever you were in an area for more than a week you'd find a group and just wiggle your way into it temporarily until it was time to move on or go back home. Sometimes you ended up with some really cool friends for the effort! It didn't happen often, but there were still some you kept in touch with.
Now though, now you were starting to question what to do.
This group that you'd managed to wiggle your way into continued to warn you against association with this boy. As much as you appreciated the warnings, curiosity burned at the back of your mind. "Why? Who is he?" You asked as you continue to watch the boy. He was sitting on a bench reading what seemed to be a book, or perhaps some type of manga. It wasn't until you saw the black and white mascot that those stirrings of curiosity shifted to become more intense.
You knew that mascot. Pieces absent-mindedly clicked together as you started to build a mental image, only half listening to the continued warnings and the poor explanation this little group gave as to why a couple stranger need be ostracised. It was always amusing to hear people try and explain away their complete negligence towards another human being. Amusing, and also confusing. There didn't seem to be anything wrong with him. Not from a distance anyhow.
"His name is Shuichi Saihara. He's an absolute freak, and definitely crazy. He's obsessed with Dangan Ronpa. I mean, everyone likes it, but he's the kind of guy who'd actually have a Junko body pillow that he makes out with every night! Just stay away from him. Honestly, when the new season of Dangan Ronpa gets announced I hope they pick him just so he'll be out of our hair. Maybe then we'll finally get some peace and quiet to enjoy the show," one of the group said. You didn't pay much attention to who, already emotionally unattaching yourself from these people.
They didn't interest you anymore and their personalities had suddenly become all the more grating in a matter of moments. Yes, you believed them to be rather unappealing creatures in the span of seconds as the entire group gave its consensus to their 'leader's' words. Wishing for someone to get picked for Dangan Ronpa was the same as wishing for someone to die in your eyes, even though the process was a bit different. It still left you feeling agitated and sick all the same, wanting to cut ties with these people immediately. Maybe they were still good people, but they'd tripped up on something of a pet peeve of yours. One not easily forgiven if found in strangers.
"We're gonna get out of here and go somewhere else, you coming?" A different member said. It was obvious by the way she continually looked towards the boy their intention was to escape him. Another wash of irritation fell over you as you put on a fake smile and grin at them, trying to end the conversation before your thoughts got any darker. You didn't want to be the judgmental one, after all. It already ran in the family.
"No, I think I'll hang around a little longer. The sunlight is rather enjoyable," you say as you close your eyes and tilt your head back. Sunlight brushes against your skin as the hints of a frown start to form at the corner of your lips. The group eventually leaves you be, at which point you turn your attention to the lone boy sitting on his bench reading. You wait a couple moments longer before standing up and striding towards the boy.
He doesn't notice you until you sit down on the bench next to him, at which point he jumps as he glances towards you. His eyes are wild with panic for only a moment before that gaze is taken over by curiosity. "What'cha reading?" You ask casually as you glance towards the book. You, sad to say, know the exact season and novel just by glancing at the page he's currently on. It's a rendition of the second game ever. Well, official second game. He really must be a hardcore fan if he has his hands on a copy. Those things are incredibly rare nowadays. Even old, beat up copies could go for a fortune. If you had a vintage shrinkwrapped copy, you were practically already rich.
"Seriously? Do you actually not know?" He asks in a quiet voice. You could cut that disbelief with a knife it feels so physical as it slams into you in waves. You'd need to have lived under a rock to not know what Dangan Ronpa is, though most parents try to hide it from their kids until they're a reasonable age. Your own parents would have hidden it from you all your life if one of your friends hadn't introduced it to you.
"No, of course I know, but I figured it would make a good conversation starter since most people enjoy talking about their passions." You shrug, crossing your legs as you recline on the bench and make it quite clear you have very little intention of leaving any time soon. Your smile is lopsided as you grin at him. If you're being honest, you really don't care how this conversation turns out. It's rare you enter a conversation you can't in some way control. Be that as it may, you're curious, so you act carelessly compared to your normal disposition and let the conversation wander in whichever way Shuichi pleases. He gives you a confused look for a long moment before speaking once more.
"Why would someone like you want to talk with me. People like you usually only ever want money. Or to, uhm, to beat, ah, beat me up," the boy shivered quite visibly, a slight stutter to his tone as he spoke. It wasn't one of fear though. If anything his gaze turned anticipatory and hopeful. You felt the puzzle pieces clicking together once more. His body movements, the way he spoke, that glint in his eyes. He wanted to be hit!?
You blinked a couple times, trying to gather up your thoughts. That certainly took you a little off guard, but besides two extra blinks, it didn't really show on your expression. You tried to make your expression mask like and plain while you gathered your thoughts and tried to formulate the response. Just as expected, he was none the wiser. "People like me? I'm sorry, but I don't necessarily follow. I also have no intention of beating you up," you hesitate for just a moment before you speak, trying to measure his expression as the words leave your mouth. He's fairly easy to read
His face instantly falls, his expression turning to one of deep disappointment as he shakes his head with a very heavy sigh. There's almost a mournful longing to the way he sighs, almost like all the joy had instantly been robbed from his life in a matter. "Pretty people. Pretty people like you usually don't want anything to do with people like me."
The curiosity you'd felt before was like a candle compared to the inferno it blazed at now. This boy, who was this boy? There were so many things about him that made you curious. You were smart like your mother and your father, but you didn't have the experience of either. You wanted to meet all kinds of different people from all walks of life in part to gain that experience. This boy, his psyche, it was a tempting experience. More than that though, you kind of felt a little bad for him. Deriving joy from what you can only assume is the abuse of his classmates, being ostracised for reasons you didn't yet know, there was a small pang in your chest that endeared you to him. That's it, you were keeping him.
"I'm genuinely curious though! You looked interesting, so I wanted to come over and chat with you for a bit," you say with a warm expression. It's the honest truth and that's quite obvious in your expression. There was the same amount of carefully guarded plainness that was evident when you were trying to tell a lie. The boy, however, seemingly remained unconvinced as he only gave you a look of total disbelief. Talk about a tough crowd.
"There's a new episode on in half an hour," he mutters more so to himself than to you. Ah, that's right. Dangan Ronpa usually airs new episodes on Sundays. Always an odd choice but people usually bend over backward to watch it anyway so it's not like they're losing views. "I'm going home," he announces more to you as he stands up. You frown at his abrupt exit but remain undeterred. You've dealt with people sourer on a daily basis, often times for fun, without breaking a sweat. Dealing with your parents could prepare you to deal with anything! You love them both dearly but they're absolutely mad, no two ways about it.
Compared to some people you've met, this boy is already shaping up to be a cakewalk. You don't shy away from a small insult, especially not one as small as being brushed off. It's not really much of an insult as it is a normal reaction to a random girl wandering up to you and starting a conversation. You couldn't even really fault him for that hasty escape.
"I'm not giving up," you tell him as he starts to walk away, keeping your smile brilliantly placed on your face. When he glances towards you one last time he almost seems to flinch, confusion dancing across his features.
"Yeah, sure," he says dismissively as he walks away. He obviously doesn't believe you, but you wouldn't be the person you are if you gave up so easily. You did have work tomorrow, but you were sure you could squeeze in a little free time. If anyone asked, it was for a noble cause!
With your new goal in mind, you set to work trying to mentally unwrap what little you've already been given. A fanboy of Dangan Ronpa who seems to be a masochist at heart, that's the deepest your knowledge goes now. But it intrigues you. Most fanboys seem dangerous in a way that he just doesn't. A certain kind of toothlessness that few people in general possessed. You didn't think he could kill someone if he wanted to. Even if he had to. It made you want to keep trying all the more, peering at a creature you couldn't quite fully understand. Why? So many different whys to answer!
You giggle quietly to yourself as you start plotting. How to best go about destroying that beautifully crafted outer layer. Cutting down the mask, carving through his walls and making them cave against your force of will. It was like a puzzle. How fast can you make him crack, spill his secrets? It might be hard work, but this was going to be fun. All the more fun if you robbed Dangan Ronpa of yet another fan and victim. Your true end goal.
You doubted that he actually expected you to show up the next day, but you were as determined as you were curious. You were only on your lunch break and technically weren't supposed to be wandering around as you pleased, but the next day you beat Shuichi to the bench you'd seen him on yesterday. You were usually a very good girl kind of person, you did what your bosses told you and got your work done nice and early. For that, you were usually rewarded with more free time than most of the others you worked with. Of course, that usually meant you had to go back to school sooner, but usually your bosses were kind and allowed you to stay until everyone finished, buying you a couple extra days of sweet freedom.
You got straight As so honestly who gave a fuck?
When he arrived and discovered you there was a lot in that expression to unpack. It was confused and worried and entirely too amusing. There was obvious disbelief in his expression. He definitely didn't expect you to show up again and that felt deeply satisfying to you. You try not to let it show on your face, but it's hard not to. "Don't you go to school? Are you a bum or something? Did you sleep here?" The confusion you just put on a large grin.
"I'll only answer your questions if you promise to answer mine. We'll make it a game of 20 questions! We can go back and forth, but I'll only give you 3 passes so use them wisely," you tell him as you continue to grin at him. His expression shifts once more to one that's more rooted in curiosity. You see him internally go back and forth for a couple moments before sighing, apparently deciding to humor you by the resigned expression on his face.
"Fine. I'll go first. What do you actually want with me," he sits down next you after deciding that you're not a serial killer and don't have any ill intent towards him, which is a good assessment since you don't. You're probably more harmless than him, and for all his Dangan Ronpa fanboy energy you doubt he could injure a fly. He starts off with a fairly easy question but one you've technically already answered, so you just elaborate on what you've said before. It's almost disappointing how softball he starts out, but there's plenty of time to up the ante. If there's anything you have, it's time.
"Honestly, I'm curious about you. Some people told me not to go near you, and I have a bad habit of doing anything I'm not supposed to. Honest and true, I'm just bored and you were the first interesting thing I saw!" You say as you cross your legs at your ankles and swing them back and forth slightly. You stop yourself seconds later, remembering that it's a bad habit you've gotten scolded for before. You wonder what kind of question you should ask him and eventually decide you should start out small too so as not to scare him off. "Alright! My turn! Hmm. Why do you seem to like Dangan Ronpa so much? More than the average person anyway."
He pauses at this question for a bit, trying to decide the best way to answer that question. You swear you'll give up if he uses a pass this early, but fortunately for you, he coughs up an answer. "Because I really look up to the detectives. They're always so cool and they protect the class, figuring out who the killer is every time. Everyone always loves them. One day I wanna go on the show and be the detective! It would be really cool if I could actually be a killer or maybe even the mastermind! It would be such a twist, and then I'd get my own personalized execution. It would hurt so much and while I'm suffering everyone would love me. They'd all remember me..." He trails off, a dreamy expression on his face as he gets lost in his thoughts.
That was more telling than anything you thought you'd be able to tease out of him that quickly. You were starting to pick up on the personality of this boy, a lot faster than you'd intended actually. Though, that in and of itself was to be expected. This was still surface level stuff, something everyone in his school apparently knew given how his classmates were acting. The real question was the deep down things, the kind of stuff you wouldn't learn from a game of 20 questions. Though, you'd be lying if you said you weren't getting more interested by the moment.
Then there was the part where he expressed desires to join the show. You'd have to see what you could do about that. Your goal was irrational, insane, but it started with sowing seeds of discourse into the fandom. Convert a fanboy into hating sometime and you quickly found yourself with one of the most deadly weapons imaginable for the lifespan of a fandom. A loyal fanboy like Shuichi would be perfect for your cause. More than that though, you didn't want someone like this going through something like Dangan Ronpa. For all his wistful expressions, he seemed too gentle. Deeper down you were sure he was gentle and hurt and you didn't want to see a person like that throw themselves at a game like that.
Shuichi snapped himself out of his daydream, apparently only remembering your game after extensive daydreaming. You weren't bothered, you'd kind of gotten off track too. "Oh, right. My turn. Do you actually go to school or are you some kind of bum who slept on the park bench?" His expression turns accusatory with worry for a moment as he glances at you. You don't have the energy to feel insulted. A couple of years ago, you might have felt insulted for the simple fact he couldn't even recognize you. But your mother had put in some serious effort to make sure no one would in spite of your job, and honestly, looking back you appreciated that. You were a different person when you were working, and the additive and looking different allowed for a freedom she didn't have at your age. Wouldn't keep you for being petty over the bum comment.
"Do I really look like the type?" You drawl sarcastically and his expression loosens up a bit. "Well, first of all, I'm not just some bum. Quite the opposite in fact. I do go to school but not in this area. I work in a job field that requires me to travel often. As long as I keep my grades up my school counts it as a type of work study and I can travel around as I please," you say. Shuichi wrinkles up his nose almost like he's disgusted. You're baffled as to why until his next two words hit you.
"Weird school," he says dismissively like he doesn't believe you. That, or he assumes it's some rich kid school and that's where the disgust came from. You try to hold back a laugh. You haven't done anything but tell the truth since you'd started this little game so it was interesting to see how much he doubted you.
You find it doubly amusing that he's so firmly entrenched in his disbelief he doesn't even ask about your job.
"Believe me or not, it's the truth! Anyway. Who's your favorite DR character? Besides Kyoko," you ask. The moment you say besides Kyoko you see a sudden vexation crease his features. It seems you were correct in her being his favorite. Kyoko is a favorite for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. Some like her just for the Naegiri ship, others like her for her personality. Following what Shuichi was talking about earlier, he probably likes her because she's a detective. Admiring the detectives. Not every season has a detective, but they're always a hit. Maybe because some people feel like they're the true heroes. It would make Shuichi's little turn about all the more impactful if he got in and got his wish.
Shuichi remains silent for a worryingly long time while he ponders your question. Surely he had to have a second favorite though. Dangan Ronpa was currently in its 52nd season. Of course, no one ever really talked about the first 2 games, only 3 and upwards. 3 was the first game with willing participants and the first game that was more broadcasted as a reality tv show than a threat. Few fans ever seemed to care about Dangan Ronpa's dark history. Fewer knew it. Thinking about it realistically, if he actually is a big fanboy he probably knows almost every character, in which case it would make sense for him to take a long time thinking. He has hundreds of characters to mentally sort through.
"If I had a pick a second favorite... well, I really like the main character for this season. Rantaro? It would be great if they pick hope and he ends up being one of the ones to be in the next season. Especially if I get picked for the next season. I'd love to meet him!" His eyes are once more dreamy, his voice coming out as a gentle purr. The fanboy doesn't see your reaction to his words, the way that your breath catches or your stomach churns. Getting stuck in that game for not one season but two? You'd pity the man.
When he looks back towards you, you nod quietly before your phone starts to ring. "One sec," you tell the boy next to you as you answer the phone. A scowl begins to form on your face as you listen to the nagging on the other end. You hung up, muttering under your breath after taking your verbal lashings. You understand the sentiment, you really do, but five minutes late and already getting chewed out? It feels a bit ridiculous. "I'm sorry, but this is gonna have to be your last question. Work is calling and apparently, I'm needed back on set. A shame," you shake your head and shrug.
Shuichi nods in return, placing a finger against his chin. "What's your name?" He finally asks. A small smile slips onto your features. An interesting question to ask indeed. You've already figured out his name, but he doesn't have an inkling as to yours. You decide to just give him a first name, it's better that way.
"You can call me ____. Same time tomorrow?" You say as you stand up. You're gone before you give him a chance to answer your own final question. You have the full intention of making sure there's plenty of time to ask more.
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