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Motive Gone Wrong

Chapter Text

“Number 184, my name is #&£€¥§$.

I’ve always been a huge fan of Danganronpa.... And always wanted to be in one...

If I were a contestant, I would want to be... An Ultimate Detective.

I know there’s been a few in the past, and I’ve always loved those characters. So I would want to be one of them.

Ah but I don’t *have* to be a detective. I’d be anything just to be part of the show.

And I mean that, anything. I’d do... anything to be part of Danganronpa.

I promise, if I get selected, I will work as hard as I can!

I’ll come up with the best, most gruesome murders, I promise! Everyone will love it!

And an Ultimate Detective hasn’t been the blackened yet, so I’m sure I could do that!

I’m also thinking about... The perfect punishment for an Ultimate Detective...

I want to get all the characters to trust me. And once they do... that is when I’ll commit my murder. I’ll use the motives. Nobody will ever know it was me.

I swear, if I become a contestant, I won’t let you down.”

~~~~

Number 366, my name is #&@%£#@...

I’ve come to this interview from... a recommendation. I know those who graduated are highly admired and can get into just about anywhere.

If I got accepted, I guess I’d be a Leader. An Ultimate Leader. And add supreme to that too.

I run an evil organisation with a few of my friends, they don’t know that I’m taking part in this.

If they did, well I’d guess they’d try to stop me.

Right now, they are all held behind bars with a life sentence... Which comes to the reason why I need to be on this show.

If I graduate, I would be able to get them out of prison forever, they’re all I have left after all.

I’ve always been good at lying, and being good at lying automatically makes you good at acting. I know this gives me a good chance of staying alive.

I know how I can graduate from Danganronpa. So if I become a contestant, you will find out.

Chapter Text

A motive, a single motive is all it took for the situation to get out of hand. Even Monokuma hadn’t expected it to turn out like this. But in the end, he did nothing at all to help the matter.

“This just got a whole lot more interesting!” Are the exact words which came out of his mouth.

Interesting.

Interesting was one word for it. The killing game had certainly changed. Everyone’s lives were still on the line, however... Zombies were never a problem beforehand.

Maybe ‘zombie’ wasn’t the right word. In truth, it was more like a disease with spread with intimate contact, that’s what Shuichi had concluded. Whether it was biting, scratching, kissing; all left the same results.

The victim's eyes would become eerily cloudy as if it were a foggy morning. Their nails and teeth would grow considerably longer. Attitude towards the uninfected would be extremely violent.

Shuichi still hadn’t worked out if they craved for blood and meat, similar to the cravings a normal vampire would face. This is because there had only been one victim which had fallen so far. Angie.

This occurred right when the disease started, right when everyone was caught off guard. It really could have been anyone, it was just unfortunate that it had to be Angie.

The remaining 9 of them there at the time were lucky they had quick thinkers in the group. After the incident, they had all rushed for cover. Led by Kaito, they had reached the dining room.

As soon as they got there, Shuichi, Kaito, Tenko and Kiibo and pulled up various chairs and tables to barricade the doors with. At the time, everyone was too preoccupied with the fear of the situation to remember their classmates who weren’t present.

The second trial had recently ended, leaving only 12 people left in the killing game. With Angie no longer with them, it left 11.

The last two who were absent were Kokichi and Gonta. They were most likely together too. Shuichi had noticed that both of them had begun growing some sort of friendship between them. A healthy friendship? Well, that was still not clear. However, Shuichi was glad Kokichi wasn’t distancing himself from absolutely everyone anymore.

The fact that Gonta was alone with Kokichi was still worrying... The small leader had always known something everyone else didn’t, that seemed obvious. He was always distant from everyone, well, besides Gonta. He and Rantaro were friends, however, this didn’t last very long. Kaede didn’t like him too much, nor does Kiibo. Shuichi could go on and on about who didn’t like him, but that wouldn’t get him anywhere.

The real problem is where they could be. After all, they might both be in different places.

“Listen up!” Kaito had already taken his place as leader of the group. “Gonta and Kokichi are both missing. I’m saying that we need to organise a search party to go find them.”

“Nyeh... I get that we should look for Gonta, but Kokichi....” Himiko drifted off. She was still in shock from what had happened, especially to Angie. Although the two hadn’t yet grown that close, she was still apparently devastated.

“I agree! Out of all of us, that degenerate is most likely to be the mastermind!” Tenko shouted from next to her.

”Yeah, yeah, I know. But Kokichi was still dragged into this like the rest of us. As much as he's a nuisance, we still must make an effort to find him.” Kaito replied while sounding reluctant.

”Kaito’s right. We still have no evidence that Kokichi is the mastermind. He may act suspicious, however that could just be a lie.” Shuichi added.

”Yeah, that stupid turd is nowhere near smart enough to be the mastermind.” Mui agreed.

The group eventually came to the decision that they should make two separate search parties. One group consisted of Tenko, Kiibo and Shinguji. The other was Shuichi, Kaito and Maki.

“Hey.” Kaito glanced at Maki who had managed to find the cutlery draws. “Are you sure you want to some too? I mean, Shuichi and I should be fine and we don’t want you to get hurt out there...”

Maki sent him a glare and she retrieved a sharp kitchen knife. “I’m perfectly capable of handling myself.”

Shuichi was surprised that an Ultimate Childcare Giver would be happy to help with something like this; then again, he was a detective.

“We should allocate areas each team will search. I say we look in the dorms, library and gym.” Shuichi suggested as he surveyed the area for some sort of weapon.

“Good idea!” Kaito gave him a massive grin.

Eventually, Shuichi found himself a frying pan, which should be a good enough item to protect himself. Kaito on the other hand, had found himself a fire extinguisher, which he equipped onto his back.

Himiko, Miu and Shirogane decided to stay behind. Himiko and Shirogane had started on building some sort of shrine, probably for Angie. Meanwhile, Miu was occupied with making something in the corner of the cafeteria.

“Um Miu?” Kiibo spoke up, “mind I ask what is it that you are building?”

Miu glanced up with a grunt. “What do you think, you virg?! Obviously, I’m trying to create something that will knock those crap-eating zombies all the way back to wherever they came from!!”

It soon became apparent to all of them that cafeteria was going to act like a base for them all to take refuge. Not a bad idea, Shuichi thought. The area had enough food in there to last them at least a couple of weeks. Although there were no beds or their own belongings with them, no doubt it was the best place to be at a time like this.

Shuichi turned back to the exit. All had gone quiet.

“This is our chance guys.” Kaito spoke up. “It’s now or never.”

Chapter Text

Kaito swiftly turned a corner, holding up his fire extinguisher as if he were about to beat the living shit out of the next zombie they see. Shuichi had noted that their surroundings were eerily quiet. Right now, he couldn't hear a single groan.

"GONTA! KOKICHI YOU BASTARD! WHERE ARE YOU?!" Kaito screeched at the top of his lungs, causing both Shuichi and Maki to wince at the same time.

"Do you want to die?" Maki growled, her demeanour drastically changing. The atmosphere around her had suddenly darkened as her eyes glowed all the more vibrant and red. This girl could slit your throat in a second if you weren't careful, Shuichi quickly assumed; there was no way she could be a child caregiver.

Well, at least it shut Kaito up. For the next few minutes, they searched in silence, giving Shuichi some time to absorb the setting, trying to pick up on any clues Gonta and Kokichi could have left. Kokichi was smart, it's very likely that he decided to stay with Gonta when he found out what was going down. Kokichi wasn't physically strong (that's what he gathered anyway), while Gonta had the build of a bull. He had already proven his strength back before the first trial when they went the underground tunnels to and escape. And knowing Kokichi, he possibly left some sort of trick or clue.

"Where do you think the zombies are?" Maki asked in a quiet low tone. Kaito shrugged, afraid to make a sound while Shuichi put his hand over his mouth, a regular gesture he did while thinking.

"Hmm... it's hard to tell at the moment. However, by looking at the fresh debris around these corridors; it's safe to say that something pretty large has passed through here." Shuichi replied.

The school had always looked torn down and abandoned, right now was no exception. Shuichi had wondered where all these zombies had actually come from. Stereotypical stories featuring an apocalypse usually started out with only one which had somehow gotten infected. Were these people from the world he used to live in?

"Let's go check the dorms first!" Kaito stated as he kicked a piece of rubble out of his way. The rubble collided with the nearest wall created a loud bang is it dispersed into multiple pieces.

Maki immediately turned in Kaito's direction, wearing a death glare which could send even the scariest of creatures flying in the other direction. "Could you be any louder?" She almost hissed. Shuichi could practically see her launch herself onto Kaito, bearing that knife which he couldn't feel he could trust her with.

During the last class trial, she seemed suspicious and defensive about her identity, and he still couldn't figure out why. It was also clear that Kokichi was aware of this too. Just another mystery added to Shuichi's list of things he had to figure out. Right at the top of this list, was the identity of the mastermind. After all, if he figures this out, the killing game will end. Next is the secret of the outside world followed by how they all got into this killing game.

Shuichi couldn't help his curiosity to solve a certain case, however. And this case was Kokichi, the Ultimate supreme leader. To Shuichi, he acted to the opposite of a leader; distancing himself from them all, lying so that nobody would trust him. Well, that was just a theory. Shuichi had a feeling Kokichi wasn't who everyone thought he was...

They made their way to the dorms. It was currently dark, which automatically put the three of them on edge, however, they still hadn't encountered a single zombie.

"I wonder how the others are doing... I can't help but think that we should have got Miu to create some sort of walkie-talkie so that we could contact them if we found anything." Shuichi said as they approached the dorm's entrance. Maki was the first to enter, not even bothering to check for zombies as she fearlessly made her way across the room.

"No point now," Kaito shrugged, "our top priority right now is to find Gonta and the gremlin as soon as possible."

Shuichi nodded, they could always ask her once they get back to their base in the cafeteria. Despite Miu's vulgar attitude and dirty mind, she was seriously talented. He had seen it back when he and Kaede asked her to create the cameras to expose the mastermind. After being persuaded, she made created them in record time.

"Okay," Kaito said. "I think we should gather some stuff while we're searching. Anything you think is going to be useful, take with you."

"That's a pretty smart idea for someone like you," Maki commented as she headed to Gonta's room. Once she entered, Kaito turned towards Shuichi.

"I'll go with her. You'll be fine on your own for a bit, right sidekick?" He winked and Shuichi decided it was a rhetorical question and just nodded. After he had done so, Kaito quickly hurried after Maki. Shuichi didn't need to be a detective to sense that the two of them cared for each other, even if they tried to hide it.

He cautiously crept up the stairs to Kokichi's dorm. To be honest, he didn't actually feel confident alone like this. And who would? They were in the middle of an apocalypse.

He knocked on the door from pure habit, before opening it to behold Kokichi's room. He didn't really know what to expect, but he definitely hadn't of expected this. The room was full of random junk. Multiple boxes of papers and documents were scattered in the room's corner. In the centre of the room was a whiteboard, which had everyone's picture pinned onto it. Shuichi felt his heart temporarily stopped when he caught sight of Kaede's picture, which was linked to Amami's. Underneath was Kirumi's photo which was linked to Hoshi's. On the other side to the whiteboard were everyone else's photos, including the monocubs who's images had been singled out into the corner labelled as annoying.

Their photos weren't the only ones singled out though. In the corner above, lay a picture of himself labelled 'responsible?' This confirmed that Kokichi also was himself as an unsolved puzzle too, which was remotely reassuring. Finally was Maki's picture which was labelled 'suspicious.' This was hardly surprising, Shuichi already knows that Kokichi doubted Maki's talent.

Shuichi walked over to the desk covered in papers by the wall. What interested him was the open book atop of all of this, a pen right next to it. It seemed that Kokichi really has been busy. Shuichi picked up the book, eyes glued to the last thing that had been written:

'The heart-racing excitement as the blackened and the spotless fight off!'

Shuichi had no words. He had no idea what Kokichi was trying to do here, he really didn't. So he flicked towards another page.

'I'm gonna live, till I die. I'm gonna laugh, 'stead of cry.'

Shuichi put the book down, he sure had a lot to think about later on, right now he needed to look for clues. It was then he noticed the KubsPad rested on the bed. That couldn't be... Shuichi quickly grabbed it and turned it on.

"Nooow then, back by popular demand, it's time to show another "motive video." Who, oh who, could be your "most important loved ones," I wooonder? Let's begin, let's begiiin.

The "Super High School Level Supreme Leader," Kokichi Ouma..."

The image displayed a picture of Kokichi wearing a big cape and hat which was too big for him as he held a clown mask. His appearance almost looked comical. He was surrounded by ten others, all different shapes and sizes. They were all wearing the same clothes Shuichi was so used to seeing Kokichi wear, it seemed strange for anyone else to wear it too.

"As the Supreme Leader of a secret organization called "DICE," he and his organization went wild throughout the world. In accordance with their two main mottos, "do not kill people," and "commit amusing crimes," this fun-loving band of jokers kept committing their prank-like crimes, and were known as "DICE"... These ten excellent followers worked together with Kokichi, to form a group of eleven people. To Kokichi, these people were friends bordering on family... They were his everything, the absolute most important people in his life, but..."

The image changed to the same people on the image before, but they were held behind bars. Shuichi was slightly shaken by the fact that Kokichi actually hadn't lied about himself being a leader. However, this was all definitely new to Shuichi. Even Kokichi had people he really cared about, despite acting heartless and fake. This was beginning to look like a huge misunderstanding.

"How could this be?! It certainly seems as if they met with an unbearable outcome of some sort, but... Upupu. What happened to them is a secret. Please feel free to try and check what it was with your own two eyes, okay?"

Shuichi shallowed the bail that had managed to build up in his mouth. He didn't know how to feel about all this new information which had been bombarded on him.

He needed to find Kokichi. He had to figure what all of this was about.

Chapter Text

"Kokochi sure hordes a lot of useless junk." Maki had suddenly appeared in the doorway, examining a rubber horse head which Shuichi had somehow not noticed.

He quickly shoved the CubsPad underneath Kokichi's pillow, even though he was sure Maki had already seen it. He didn't really know why he did it.

"Kaito and I have collected some blankets from the other rooms to bring back to the cafeteria. Do you think anything here is going to be of use?" Maki asked with a raised eyebrow. Yep, she had definitely seen it.

Shuichi hesitantly grabbed the Panta, conveniently coming in a pack of four, as well as the 'tear-to-share' pack of sweets which rested on one of the boxes. Maki's eyebrow raised even higher.

"Do you really consider that as useful?" Maki said in a slightly mocking tone. Nevertheless, Shuichi shoved the items in a bag while holding his fryingpan under his arm.

"Everyone's in a pretty bad mood at the moment. I just thought that it could cheer some people up..." the detective drifted off but Maki seemed pretty happy with the answer, as she dropped the horse head and headed to exit.

"Let's get out of here, this place stinks of him..." She grumbled as she walked out, followed by Shuichi. He hadn't really noticed the smell until she had pointed it out, and to be honest, it didn't smell bad at all. He shook the thought away as he left and closed the door behind him.

"Hey, Sidekick!!" Kaito yelled good-naturedly, "Good to see you're doing ok!" Shuichi sweatdropped. "So, you get anything good? Knowing that guy, I bet he had some pretty weird stuff in there..."

Shuichi opened the bag to reveal the sugary items inside. As soon as he did, a wide grin spread over Kaito's face.

"Smart move there man, I think you might have hit jackpot!" Kaito smiled, harshly patting Shuichi on the back as Maki let out a loud, overdramatic sigh. "I don't know about you but something about raiding that gnome's secret stash of sweets makes me feel like we've really accomplished something here." At this point, Shuichi didn't know if this was sarcasm or not, even though that would be pretty out of character for someone like Kaito.

"I don't know where he gets all of it," Maki grumbles. "I bet Monokuma has been giving him special treatment. They seem pretty buddy-buddy to me..."

Somehow, Shuichi doubted that. "What are bringing with you?" He then asked, looking at the large sack Kaito was holding.

"Oh, this?" Kaito pointed out. "It's just I few blankets. There's also a first aid kit from Kirumi's room as well as a toolbox from Miu's. I have a feeling that Miu's gonna be a big help to us during this, so we better make sure she has all she needs."

Shuichi replied with a nod as they retreated to their next destination, the gym. It was getting colder, he noted as they briskly walked down the stone path. All the stars were out, but they had no time to admire them. He wondered if the other group had already found Kokichi or Gonta, and if they were now just walking around in circles. What were they going to do if they did think them? No doubt it would be one of the biggest challenges they've faced at Hopes Peak academy so far. Even though the cafeteria was pretty large, he didn't know if everyone would be able to put up with each other for too long. He's already noted the big personalities in the group and how Kaito and Kokichi were the ones to usually cause a stir. The main thing is preventing these 'petty arguments' from turning into fights and potentially murder. He's seen Kaito become violent before, even if he had good intentions.

He clung to his frying-pan-like a lifeline; something was definitely wrong here. No doubt the zombies would have turned up by now, but they were still greeted with silence every turn they made.

The trio continued walking down the eerie corridor, each of them on edge, waiting for something to happen. Kaito carefully led the small group, hands gripped tightly to his fire extinguisher while Maki kept a firm hold onto her knife. She almost seemed comfortable holding such a deadly weapon. Her movements were easy and calm as if she had been in this situation a hundred times before. No doubt she would be the one leading the group if it wasn't for Kaito's massive ego.

As they approached each turn, Kaito would walk ahead and check the situation around the corner. If it was clear, which it had been every time so far, he would make a quick hand signal, gesturing the others to follow. And every time, Maki would roll her eyes dramatically, muttering something about 'cliche tv shows' an being 'influenced by movies'.

There was only one corner left to turn until they reached the gym. Kaito began his same routine of pacing ahead of the two of them to approach the incoming turn. It was only until he checked what was actually ahead of them when he let out the most earsplitting, excruciating scream Shuichi has ever heard. No doubt it was about 3 octaves higher than his normal voice.

"AAHHHHHHH!!!!" Kaito screeched, flying backwards as if he'd been bitten by a snake, before taking refuge behind Maki. Shuichi felt slightly offended however there was no way he was going to vocalise it, there were bigger problems at hand.

"W-What's wrong? What did you see?" Shuichi stuttered, too afraid to move.

As if on cue, a polyphony of groans spewed out in their direction and Shuichi felt every hair on his body raise to point the ceiling. Maki, on the other hand, had stayed perfectly still and calm, a neutral expression written on her face as Kaito hyperventilated behind her, on the verge of a full-blown panic attack.

Shuichi knew exactly what had caused such a dramatic reaction and his thoughts were confirmed as a horde of zombies turned the corner to face them directly. Shuichi instantly bit down his lame, half-assed yelp he always made when he was surprised and decided to hold up his frying pan in defence.

Kaito was still too scared to properly grasp onto his weapon, apparently, he had actually dropped it and instead had grasped onto Maki who angrily tried to shake him off her.

"What are you d-doing!? Get off of me!" She was obviously flustered but managed to remove the man from her as she pointed her knife in the direction of the zombies.

Shuichi couldn't recognise any of the zombies thankfully, however, it still made him wonder where all these people had come from. Their eyes were completely fogged up; no emotion, no life was present at all. Their hair was matted and greasy, many of the longer haired hosts looked as though someone had backcombed their hair for three days straight. They were all making the most alien of noises. A strange, tormented gurgle erupted from many of their voices.

"Ok." Maki finally said, taking two steps towards the zombies. "I think it's time they get out of our way."

Before Shuichi could even reply to that statement, Maki was gone. Suddenly, she reappeared next to the nearest zombie, slitting it's throat instantly. The creature fell down, defeated.

"Shuichi, you go ahead. I'll handle it from here." Maki stated before killing of another zombie with a flick of her wrist. Shuichi was too shocked to move.

"B-but w-what about Kaito?" Shuichi hesitated, taking a small step towards the zombies.

"Don't worry about him, I said I'll handle this."

Shuichi cursed before running up to the nearest zombie. This was to find Gonta and Kokichi. No doubt they had to face this too, so he has to find them so they will be safe. The zombie lurched towards him but was quickly battered back by his frying pan.

And so the routine continued. Shuichi sped through the zombies, bashing them out his way. Maki was slaying zombies as if she had been doing it her whole life. Every time too many zombies surrounded Shuichi; she would come in like a night in shining armour, defeating every zombie she crossed.

Eventually, Shuichi broke out of the thick of the horde before breaking into a sprint towards the gym.

"We'll catch up with you Shuichi!" The yell of Kaito broke out from across the corridor, reassuring Shuichi that he was still ok.

The gym was just up ahead. Shuichi rushed down the corridor and the groans became fainter and fainter. The Ultimate Detective was no athlete, but the speed he raced down those corridors was definitely commendable. It was a speed which would get you screeched at by a teacher to slow down, and maybe threatened with detention. Nevertheless, Shuichi burst through the gym doors, as if life depended on it, which in this case, it did.

He searched the room hurriedly but there was nobody there. Shuichi swore aloud. What had he expected? I had hurriedly came to the conclusion that Gonta and Kokichi must be in the gym, but he had no evidence to support it. He had built his expectations up so high, that when they came crashing down, he felt utterly defeated.

Shuichi turned back towards the doors, all pace in his step had been completely eliminated, as well as this hopes. Where else was there to look now? There was always Gonta's Ultimate lab, but with all the windows in there, it wouldn't be a very sensible place to take refuge. Kokichi would definitely be aware of this, he wasn't dumb.

There was always the library. A room which had no windows, and there were plenty of hiding pla-

Bang!

The gym doors flew open to reveal not Maki or Kaito, but a new horde of zombies. Shuichi was done cursing today. It seems that today he was utterly out of luck. To his dismay, this horde seemed around double the size of the last and this time, he had nobody to help back him up. He was completely alone.

In this situation, Shuichi had two options: fight or flight. And right now, fight would definitely end in his own demise, unless he somehow managed to gain superpowers or Maki's skill. So really, flight was his only option, but where?

The exit was blocked, he would have to fight to get through them. Shuichi's eyes scanned to the rest of the room. The only door which remained free was the one in the back right corner, which led to a small storeroom. Shuichi had been there only once before while exploring the school. Right now, that was his only option.

He raced to the door, the zombies followed picking up the sharp spike of movement. They growled and hissed at him. As if they were yelling at him to come back and face them. But Shuichi knew what a fight he couldn't win looked like.

He grabbed the door handle, tugging at it with so much force that he was lucky it didn't break off right there. The door to the dark room opened and the detective sped in, turned to close to the door. To took one last glance at the horrifying sight of the zombies rampaging after him before he slammed to door shut and locked it.

Chapter Text

The storeroom was dark. Cramped. A strange stuffy musty smell hung heavily in the air around him. The same sort of aroma that greeted you upon walking into an old people's home. Shuichi had to get out of here as soon as possible so he could meet up with Kaito and Maki and make sure they're ok. But he had no chance of escaping alive if those creatures were still anywhere near the exit. Which meant right now his only choice of action was to stay in the storeroom and wait for the zombies to move on.

Shuichi could see the metal-barred shelves which lined the right wall. Each holding stacks of disarrayed bottles which would send anyone OCD into a state of unease. He peered through the darkness to catch a glimpse of what they contained but only managed to catch the washed out, half ripped labels. He could only guess they were something dangerous, something which definitely not should be on the shelves in a school for the gifted.

The other side of the storeroom was filled with equipment for various sports. Tennis rackets, basketballs and hockey sticks lent against the wall unevenly. Shuichi gulped down all the emotions he had buried away inside of him when he saw the small, half empty bag of shot puts. He also caught sight of a strange looking invention next to this; a baseball bat, one which had old, rusty nails sticking from it and was covered in... blood.

Strangely, the blood was still fresh. Still bright without a hint of drying up anytime soon.

Shuichi turned on his heel to the other corner of the room to see the 'thing' in the corner. A bed of some sorts. More like something a young inexperienced bird when making its first nest. Parcel fillings like bubble wrap and polystyrene lined the floor creating a matrice. The pillow was a plastic bag which had been filled with.... was that book pages? And finally, a dirty, manky towel was twisted right at the end of the 'bed', confirming it had been used. But by who?

There was a sound of something smashing behind him. He jumped and whipped around, finding that one of the many bottles had slipped and shattered across the dusty floor. It's neon pink contents guaranteed to stain. He made a dash for the door but stopped when touching the lock. There was no chance he would be able to leave with the current situation outside. Even if there was a poltergeist or demon in the room which him, it would still beat being out there.

Suddenly, he felt two clammy hands gripped onto his neck in one swift motion. Next came the eerie sensation as every hair on his body stood up on end. Shuichi didn't dare turn around, he didn't dare move. All he could do was freeze in place while gulping down the saliva which had built up in his mouth.

"Guess whooooo?" Came the over-enthusiastic, unforgettable voice behind him. Shuichi swiftly turned around to become face to face with the Ultimate Supreme Leader himself.

"K-Kokichi?"

"What? Did you think I was going to kill you??? Well, too bad! But... I might consider it later." He smirked.

Kokichi wasn't exactly who he had been looking for, but he was glad to see a familiar face again, even if it was one of someone who couldn't yet be trusted.

"We've been looking for you."

"Awwwww, a detective like you really went out of his way to find little ol' me??" Kokichi was wearing a big grin which covered practically half his face, way too big of a grin to be wearing during a zombie apocalypse. "I'm flattered!"

"Have you seen Gonta? I know he was with you when we all got separated." Shuichi changed the subject matter to the person which everyone back at base really wanted to see. He knew for a fact that almost everyone loved the big bug catcher and were worried about his safety.

"Oh, Gonta?" Shuichi wasn't the type to miss the fact that Kokichi's grin had cleanly been wiped off his face for a split second before returning. Was that a look of 'grief'? Nevertheless, it didn't last for long. "He was killed off by some zombie, but never mind!!"

Shuichi stilled, unable to recall any form of vocabulary in which he could reply to that statement.

Dead? As in he's really gone? This was nevertheless a horrible surprise since Gonta was the heart and muscle of the group. Now that he was gone... Nobody was going to take this lightly at all, especially Kaito.

"Oh, Shuichi! I was sooo devastated! You have no idea what it felt like to watch such a beloved friend die right before my eyes!!" Shuichi instantly knew where Kokichi was going with that. "Ohh wait! I totally forgot about Kaede, I guess we share something in common now!"

"Why are you bringing this up Kokichi..? It has nothing to do with what's going on..." Shuichi had his eyes pinned to the ground, fists clenched by his sides.

"Well, we all know you're still not over her! C'mon Mr detective, it's time to move on!" Kaede's trial had been some time ago. However now that Kirumi had faced the punishment too, Shuichi wondered if there was any way of really winning at this game. Another thing also seemed clear, and that was Kokichi quite obviously knew about something everyone else didn't. As a detective, Shuichi had tasked himself to find out what it was.

"Kokichi?" Said person had already flopped back down onto his makeshift bed and had begun fiddling with the bubble wrap, individually popping each air socket. Even so, he gave a cheery hum of acknowledgement as a response. "How long have you been in here?"

Kokichi looked at his bare wrist, miming as though he wore some invisible watch. "Well I don't know, Mr Detective. Maybe a couple of decades?"

That was a lie, clearly. The apocalypse had only started early this morning. When Shuichi looked back on it, a whole lot had actually happened. It seemed like days since Angie was killed. Kokichi had probably been in the storeroom for ten hours at most, considering it must be really late now by how exhausted he felt. Or maybe it was just the events from today taking its toll on him.

"Well, during that time, I've clearly made myself useful." Kokichi smugly stated, patting down his bed. "And I've been thinking on drinking one of those potions over there to satisfy my appetite. What do you think, Shumai??"

"That isn't necessary." Shuichi said quickly before holding out the plastic at he'd been carrying the whole time. Kokichi's eyes sparkled like a kid who had just seen Santa.

"You brought presents too!?!?" He squealed, pouncing onto the bag. Immediately, the goods were stolen from his hands as Kokichi fell back on his bed and opened the bag.

Shuichi couldn't deny that he felt bad for not saving these treats for everyone back at the cafeteria, but the contents of the bag were taken from Kokichi's room, so it made sense to let him have it.

Once Kokichi had take the sweets and Panta from the bag, Shuichi was sure the boy was going to burst over enthusiastically into fake tears. But no, instead, Shuichi received something far better. Kokichi flashed a grin up at him, and for once; it seemed as though it was completely genuine. No signs of lying or acting.

Kokichi twisted open the lid of one of one of the Panta bottles, watching as the fizz overflowed out the top like an active volcano. The drink must of gotten shaken up by all the running Shuichi had done. Once the fizz died down, Kokichi took a swig of the drink before holding it up to Shuichi.

"Try it." He motioned, as Shuichi hesitantly took the bottle. "It's wayyy better then the silly water and coffee you always drink."

Shuichi would be lying if he said he wasn't thirsty. The only time he had drank anything today was the small cup of water he had in the morning. His mouth was dry as a desert, it almost seemed as though he had lost all moisture in his mouth.

Shuichi slowly put his lips on the rim of the the bottle and tipped it. The lukewarm liquid passed his lips as he took a small gulp and cringed. Surely, this drink had to be 95% sugar judging from how sweet it was.

"You likey or you likey???" Kokichi just laughed as Shuichi coughed up some of the grape flavoured liquid and handed it back to him. "Well, I guess we should move on to dessert!" Then, Kokochi tore open the big packet of sweets, grabbing a handful before shoving it in his mouth. Again, he held it out the Shuichi.

"Why are you sharing? They're yours." Shuichi asked, unsure of where this kindness had come from. Were the sweets and drink secretly drugged? Had Kokochi planned this? But that wouldn't make any sense, he had seen with his own eyes that Kokichi had already tried some of the sweets, there was to way he could have poisoned them.

"God, stop thinking so hard! Read the label." Shuichi was then greeted by the packet being shoved into his face. "It says: 'tear and share', see? You can't argue with the packaging, Shuichi-san."

Shuichi sweat dropped but took a few sweets anyway.

"Thank you." He replied, grateful. Kokichi Just sank back into his bed and stared at the dark ceiling.

"Hey Shuichi-san?" Kokochi suddenly spoke up after a couple minutes of silence.

"Yes?"

Kokichi suddenly turned to look at him straight in the eyes.

"Have you seen Train to Busan?"

"Um, no..." Shuichi replied, at this point having no idea what this guy was talking about.

"Of course you haven't, but you should." Kokichi said. "Anyyy way, it's about a zombie apocalypse too. There's this one scene, where the train goes under a tunnel and all the zombies aboard can't see a thing! Soon, the protagonists realise that they actually can't see in the dark!"

Shuichi was glad he was probably never going to see this movie, because he would have just got spoiled.

"So you're thinking that the same might be the case for these zombies..?" He asked.

"Duh." He yawned. "Shuichi-san?"

"What is is now?" Shuichi asked, getting slightly annoyed by all the questions since he was tired and now, just wanted to sleep.

"Wanna join me?" Kokichi patted a space next to him on his makeshift bed, wearing a massive, catlike smirk.

Shuichi felt his face grow a little hotter, suddenly thankful for the absence of light.

"Um, I'm okay with sleeping here."

Kokichi let out a small huff of annoyance.

"Are you really though? Man, what a bummer..." Almost as soon as he said that, Shuichi heard the soft snoring of the small buy, before making himself as comfortable as he could manage on the floor.

He quickly fell asleep.

Chapter Text

BANG!

Shuichi woke up with a start. He was tired, his limbs refused to move to mean the time must have been crazily early. Shuichi was normally an early riser, getting out of bed wasn't really a chore. But right now, it seemed like the most difficult thing in the world.

The noise had come from the door.

BANG!!!

The sound was followed by a few straggled groans and chokes, signifying that the zombies were still outside their door. Shuichi hesitantly got up, looking straight to Kokichi to see if he had been woken up by the noise.

No, apparently he hadn't been since he was curled up, half on his bed while straddling a large sheet of bubble wrap. Shuichi wondered if that would have been him if he had agreed with Kokichi's offer beforehand.

Even so, the detective found himself debating on whether or not he should wake him up. He decided to do the latter and slowly approached the door, resting his ear against the rough wood. Growls and snarls echoed through the door until a sudden bang on it knocked him off onto his bum.

This wasn't good. He wasn't sure on how strong the door was or how old, but to be safe, he really should create some sort of small barricade.

Shuichi's eyes scanned the room. As this eyes caught on Kokichi, he quickly tore his eyes away to the shelf opposite him. He began to remove each bottle which was rested on it and placed them on the floor. After 5 minutes of continuous banging of doors and removing bottles, pushed the shelf toward the door. It had a horrible screeching sound as he did so; Shuichi was genuinely surprised that Kokichi hadn't woken up yet.

Finally, he managed to push the shelf against the door. It wasn't going to stop the banging, however, it would make Shuichi feel safer and more secure.

He realised that the new position of the shelf meant he would have to change where he slept, which now meant he would have to sleep beside Kokichi instead of on the other side of the room. Not that that was a problem or anything...

He quietly laid down a couple of feet away from the sleeping boy, well aware of his own personal space. When he really thought about it, this was the first time he had slept next to someone in a long time. And strangely, he felt some comfort in it, even if the boy was a gremlin and a liar.

Since the killing game, has nights had always been restless. Sleeping consisted of constant tossing and turning. Randomly waking up by a nightmare which once he came into consciousness, he would instantly forget. While Kaede was alive, she was his own source of comfort. Her upbeat, optimistic attitude made Shuichi feel extremely calm even if it was a situation where you shouldn't be. She had instantly become what he lived for, which made her death all the more upsetting.

He shuffled around a bit, trying to get comfortable on the cold, stone floor. He had taken off his blazer sometime in the night, not because of the temperature but because it wasn't exactly comfortable to sleep in. Now, he could feel the freezing floor right through his shirt.

Shuichi shivered. Kokichi had been clever to make his mattress, right now he doubted he could get back to sleep like this. The Ultimate Supreme Leader looked perfectly happy and comfortable though, in stark contrast to him.

Shuichi wasn't one for lying, so there was no point saying that he didn't want to climb in next to the boy. Not because it was Kokichi, no, not at all. Because it was cold, and the floor was horrible compared to the soft mattress in his dorm.

He sighed quietly in the silence. It was at this time he realised that it actually was silent, no groans, no strangled noises or bangs came from outside.

He cautiously approached the door once again and moved the shelf to the side. Once he'd done that, he leaned against the door, ear pressed against the rough wood.

Silence.

Shuichi smiled for the first time in a while. Did this mean that the zombies had gone into a different room? It certainly seemed like it, now they would be able to get out of this cramped storeroom.

Shuichi turned for Kokichi, rushing up to him as the small boy slept soundly on his polystyrene and bubble wrap. Shuichi reached out his hand and gently nudged the leader's shoulder.

"Kokichi." After no response, he nudged the boy a bit harder. "Hey, wake up!"

Kokichi shuffled around, letting go of the chuck of bubble wrap he had wrapped himself around and let out a small 'stooop it.."

Shuichi sighed. Kokichi is always a pain, and it's still no exception even when he's sleeping. He was like a teenager when they have to wake up early on a Monday morning to go to school.

Shuichi nudged him again, firmer this time. This could be their only opportunity to escape, and right now, Kokichi was sleeping through it as if he really didn't give a shit about getting out of here. Then again, Kokichi has had that attitude throughout the killing game so far. He acts as though he's enjoying this horrible situation, even Shuichi has a feeling he hates it as much as the others do.

Suddenly, Kokichi's hand shot out in his direction. Shuichi reeled back, almost like a spooked horse, surprised by the sudden spurt of movement. Kokichi's fingers suddenly curled around his wrist provoking one of Shuichi's lame straggled yelps.

Next, he was tugged towards the jumbled heap of packaging. Toppling over and face-planting the sheet of bubble wrap. Shuichi was genuinely shocked that Kokichi was either in fact stronger than he looked, or he himself was just pretty weak, despite his training with Kaito.

Kokichi was on him in seconds, sensing this new opportunity. Unsurprisingly, he wasn't that heavy, however, it still made Shuichi uncomfortable as he was being practically straddled by someone he couldn't really consider a friend.

"You could have just asked Shuichiii..." The room was dimly lit, however, he could still make out Kokichi's evil smirk evoking fear in the back of his mind.

Shuichi really did not like that expression, nobody did. It was twisted, the type of face some psycho would wear while repetitively stabbing an innocent person. Shuichi suddenly questioned if it was actually safe in the storeroom with someone like this.

"Get o-off of me." Shuichi grimaced out, wriggling around to escape but to no avail.

"I knew you wanted to sleep with me the moment I asked you!" Kokichi called out, apparently unaffected by the struggling detective underneath him. Shuichi wince at the wrong way he phrased that.

"That's wrong!" He yelled back, but this just made Kokichi's hair-raising grin deepen.

"I'm a liar, Shuichi. This means I know when others lie too."

"I just wanted to wake you up so we could escape... I think the zombies aren't in the gym anymore. This might mean we have an opening to ge-"

As if on cue, a loud gurgling groan was heard from the other side of the door, eliminating all Shuichi's hopes of escaping.

"So much for that idea." Kokichi laughed, turning away from the door and fixing his eyes back on him. "Guess you're stuck here with me!"

Shuichi would of happily consider slamming his head through the brick wall to get away from here now. He was hungry, tired and worried about his friends. He wondered if they had safety got away from the horde of zombies, or if they were looking for him. Anyhow, it would be impossible for them to find him in here.

Shuichi shrunk into the packaging and stopped struggling.  Kokichi noticed the defeated look on the detective and frowned.

"Really Mr Detective? Have you given up already?" Shuichi closed his eyes, trying to block out the gremlin perched atop of him.

He was done, utterly done. This seemed like an impossible situation. It was most likely early in the morning now and the zombies still hadn't moved.

"God, stop it with that boring look Shuichi," Kokichi muttered, finally getting off of him and sitting close by his right arm. "Look on the bright side, we still have 1 bottle of Panta left!"

Shuichi sighed, exhausted. "You spilt it all over the floor, remember?"

"Oh. Yeah."

The next half an hour was spent in silence. Shuichi was trying to rest, suddenly much more comfortable now that he wasn't lying on the stone cold floor. Kokichi was suspiciously quiet, Shuichi assumed he was thinking about something. They were laying next to each other at this point, about a foot apart.

The thought of Kokichi's motive video suddenly popped into his head and he debated whether or not he should ask him about it. Shuichi knew it would be a personal subject, and he wouldn't want someone to ask him about someone he loved either. The memories with Kaede were still difficult to think about.

However, it reassured him that Kokichi had people he cared about in his life. Maybe he was different outside the killing game. He could just be making up his own character because he feels as though he has to. Why Shuichi still can't figure out.

"What really happened to Gonta?.." Shuichi hesitantly asked.

Kokichi was silent for a moment.

"He's dead alright.." Kokichi answered. "I guess I overestimated him, or I just underestimated the zombies."

Shuichi's heart pounded in his chest, stricken with grief.

"How...?"

Kokichi shrugged next to him. The atmosphere had certainly changed. It had almost turned uncomfortable as if Shuichi was waiting to be jump-scared.

"We heard a load of noises coming from the library. I said we should go investigate, it could have been something interesting, you know? It was. As soon as we saw these weird humanlike creatures, Gonta rushed in front of me." Kokichi rolled over, his back facing to Shuichi. "He's... a good bodyguard. That much is not a lie."

Shuichi can't recall the last time Kokichi had sounded this genuine. Gratitude was definitely clear in the last sentence he said.

"It's not like his death meant anything in the end though. We're all probably going to die soon. I think we should consider it a mercy killing."

Shuichi frowned. There he goes again.

"Shuichi?"

Kokichi had turned back to face him.

"Yes?"

"You'll do what I tell you to, won't you?" Kokichi asked, innocently gazing at him.

"Um... It depends?" Shuichi really didn't know where he was going with this.

"I'll take that as a yes." Kokichi grinned. "Which is good, because I have a plan."

Chapter Text

Shuichi had a bad feeling that Kokichi having an idea wasn't going to be a good thing. But he also knew that the small leader was smarter than he looked, cunning even. And what other choice did he have?

 

"So, let me show you what we're going to do..." Kokichi began searching around something, rummaging through random bits of gym equipment.

 

"What are you doing?" Shuichi asked, becoming inquisitive on what exactly Kokichi had up his sleeve.

 

"I'm looking for a pen and paper so I can show you, obviously!" Kokichi rolled his eyes.

 

Shuichi thought for a moment. "I have a pen and a notebook if that will work?"

 

Kokichi stopped rummaging and turned on his heel to face Shuichi, grinning.

 

"Wow, you're so useful Shuichi!"

 

"Thanks... I guess." Shuichi shrugged and handed him the notebook and pen. "It's so I can list the evidence I have found for different cases. It comes in handy when I'm stuck on who could be the murderer, it always gives me some sort of clue."

 

"I expected nothing less from a detective like you Shuichi!" Kokichi grinned again and began drawing in the notebook.

 

Shuichi could make out that he was, in fact, drawing the gym and storeroom they were currently in, as well as the zombies outside.

 

"So we know that those braindead zombies are probably all scattered about across the gym. If we decided to suddenly make a run for it, they would be upon us pretty quickly from all angles. This is why we need to gather them up into one place!!" Kokichi said while pointing to various parts of his map.

 

"And how are you planning to do that?..."

 

"By making lots of noise, see? Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy."

 

Shuichi sweatdropped, leaving Kokichi to add to his map.

 

"So you're saying..." Shuichi began. "That you're going to use a frying pan and baseball bat to act as a distraction so you can gather up the zombies?"

 

"Yuppers! And once they are all gathered up, we're going to crush them all at once!"

 

"Er... How exactly are we going to do that? I'm not that heavy, and I don't think you are either..."

 

"Actually, I'm exactly 140 pounds! So don't just assume my weight!"

 

"Really?" Shuichi was quite surprised. 140 pounds is over ten pounds heavier than himself last time he checked. And considering Kokichi's height and frame, it sounded like a lie.

 

"Anyways, we aren't going to crush them using just our weight, we're going to use the door and shelf!"

 

Kokichi drew out what he meant.

 

"Why are you wearing a crown?" Shuichi questioned provoking a snort from Kokichi.

 

"Don't ask dumbass questions!" Kokichi stated. "Especially when the answer is sooo obvious."

 

The drawing was comical, generally unfitting to the situation they were currently in as Kokichi had draw himself to be posing on top of the now, fallen shelf. However, so far, Kokichi's plan seemed to be worth a try. I mean, their other option would be to wait and see if the others managed to find them, and if they ever did, it would be by pure luck. Also, even though Shuichi was intriguing by the small boy he was stuck with, it didn't mean he wanted to stay with him alone.

 

"As you can see," Kokichi pointed to the small, badly drawn picture of himself lying picturesquely on the shelf. "I'll be holding down the horde of zombies, while yoooou...." He began to draw once again.

 

"Um... What exactly am I doing there?" Shuichi question, sweatdropping.

 

"Look closer!!!" Shuichi was then greeted by the notebook getting shoved right into his face. "See now?? You're spilling Carbamate all over the floor!"

 

"Why?" Shuichi knew that Carbamate was a highly toxic and flammable substance. But he couldn't say that it alone would affect the zombies unless it got into their mouth or eyes.

 

"Carbamate is a class 3 flammable pesticide Mr Detective! So you should already know what that means..."

 

Kokichi pulled out a lighter from his pocket. "This place is full of all sorts of things we could use as a weapon! While I was in here alone, I already raided out all the goodies." He said, hinted towards the lighter.

 

"You've already seen all those chemicals that were stacked up on the shelf," He began. "And I've already identified that some of these chemicals are highly flammable." Who would have thought; Kokichi, a chemist. 

 

"So you're saying, you're going to set the zombies on fire..." Shuichi sighed. Of course, of course, Kokichi's plan would go something like this.

 

"Ding ding ding! Correct you are, Shuichi!"

 

"So were are we at this point? I assume you're not still posing on that shelf."

 

"Nishi Nishi... What do you think? I'll be throwing the lighter onto the pile while you hold them down." Kokichi turned to smirk menacingly at Shuichi, who immediately shrivelled back like a dead little plant. By the way, his creepy smile had broadened after this made it clear that the supreme leader found this hilarious.

 

"W-What??!" Shuichi managed to stutter out, an utterly betrayed look plastered on his face. A face which made Kokichi laugh aloud.

 

"Kidding Shuichi! God, you're sooo gullible!" He sniggered and began fiddling around with the lighter. Switching it on and off, on and off. The action made Shuichi uneasy. You shouldn't ever trust kids with fire; Kokichi was no exception.

 

"But then how are we going to keep the zombies to stay in one place?" Shuichi asked hesitantly, tempted to snatch the lighter away, and hid it in a high place where Kokichi will be unable to reach it.

 

"I don't know, hope that the shelf and door are enough to pin them down? I mean, we don't even know how strong these retards are." Kokichi shrugged. "Just be quick, kay?"

 

Shuichi reluctantly nodded. I mean, he didn't really have a choice. Unless he could think of a better idea, this was the plan, and they had to stick to it.

 

"Sooo..." Kokichi picked up a large, white canister which was labelled 'Carbamate NH4CO2NH' and handed it to Shuichi. 'Guess you'll be needing this!"

 

"Kokichi, I don't know if this i-" He was immediately interrupted and shoved off the bed.

 

"Live a little, Shumai! I mean, you won't know until you try!"

 

"But we might end up burning down the school!" Shuichi countered. Really, this idea is absurd.

 

"Fine safe kid! Seriously, you shouldn't get so paranoid. You'll end up getting a heart attack early if you keep it up." Kokichi sniggered, now searching around the small room for something else. "But if you reallllly insist..." Shuichi was then handed another large canister, this time labelled 'Sodium Bicarbonate NaHCO3'. Shuichi was already aware that this was, in fact, the chemical used in fire extinguishers.

 

It was evident that they were going to begin the plan right away. Maybe it was because Kokichi also didn't want to spend any more time with him, or he was just thirsty for some action.  Shuichi himself was mostly hoping that he would be able to make it out of this unscathed, so he would be able to see his friends again.

 

As Shuichi looked at Kokichi, he took in every detail. How his hair was almost ombré; beginning as a dark purple at the roots but ending with more of a violet, and how it stuck out in almost every direction. How as the boy began picking up equipment and moving things around, there was a clear sign of struggle as he did so. Shuichi wondered why. It was possible Kokichi really was not very strong or maybe, he just wasn't sleeping or eating well. He violet eyes still flickered in the dim light, sparkling with excitement and possibly anticipation. He wondered if they would ever really be friends.

 

Sure, they were acquaintances. Kokochi had helped him with trying to come up with who the murderer was. When he looked back at it, trial 2 had been practically led by the small leader, yet still, nobody trusted him. Shuichi knew that if Kokichi was properly on their side, they might have a chance of escaping this place alive. But right now, Kokichi was lying to everyone, including himself.

 

"Take a picture, Shuichi-san! It lasts waaay longer then staring." Kokichi grinned across from the other side of the room.

 

Shuichi blinked, once, twice, then again.

 

"Uh-hhh sorry! I didn't mean t-" Shuichi began, clearly embarrassed and flustered.

 

"It's fineee, I mean, it's a detective's job to analyse things!"

 

"I wasn't tr-" Once again, Shuichi was cut off.

 

"Don't lie! I'm just glad you find me so interesting..."

 

Shuichi had nothing to reply back with to that statement, that and he didn't want to be cut off once again. Kokichi had now stopped collecting the things he needed and looked at Shuichi straight in the eye.

 

"Are you ready?" It sounded like a genuine question, which edged Shuichi to reply sincerely.

 

"I... I think so." 

 

"You sure aren't very confident for a detective! Detectives are the ones always going out and confronting the bad guys. You would have to be preeetty confident to confront an evil organisation like mine. We could hold you for ransom, or maybe feed you to the bloodthirsty hounds we keep locked up in the torture chamber!"

 

There he goes again with the talk about his organisation. Shuichi bit down every urge he had to question the leader about his motive video. Kokichi had already moved on from the topic and grabbed onto the frying pan, as well as a battered looking baseball bat.

 

Shuichi knew this was it. From now, the situation could only go two ways: surprising well, or terribly wrong.

Chapter Text

CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG CLANG!!

Shuichi grimaced as Kokichi cheerfully whacked the frying pan with the bat as hard as he could. The sound was ear-splitting, a sound which was sure to leave a headache. Kokichi, however, seemed immune to the sound and continued making as much noise as he could.

Once he stopped, Shuichi's ears were left ringing. For a couple of seconds, all was silent outside the door, no groaning, no gurgled choking. But the sound quickly occurred once more, this time closer and more fighting.

"Looks like that riled them up! Let's start, Shuichi!" Kokichi grinned and Shuichi nodded. The leader had a talent of getting on people's nerves, he couldn't blame the zombies for sounding so annoyed. Shuichi didn't want to see what they looked like right now, surely they would be climbing all over each other, biting at anything in their way.

Both Kokichi and Shuichi picked up the metal shelf and he noticed it was only slightly easier than when he tried moving it alone. Nevertheless, they dragged it towards the door.

"Okay, Mr detective! You keep the shelf in place while I break the door, we don't want any unwanted visitors coming in without our permission!" Kokichi sounded strangely happy which I by now was unsurprising. Shuichi nodded again and firmly gripped the shelf.

Kokichi had swiftly made his way to the side of the door and pulled out some sort of weird multi-tool from a hidden pocket. It looked like the sort of tool a robber would use while breaking into someone's home. He then began to fiddle around with the door hinges, unscrewing the bolts and screws which kept it in place. Kokichi looked like he knew what he was doing, which was slightly worrisome.

By now, Shuichi was sure that the small boy had done a detailed analysis of the room either while Kokichi was alone, or while Shuichi was asleep. It was impressive, to say the least.

The boy successfully dismantled the door and aided Shuichi in pushing the shelf forward, now that he was much help. Shuichi wished Kaito or Gonta was here, they would have been so much help. Then again, Kokichi made himself useful in his own ways.

Together, they managed to knock the shelf and door down in the direction of the zombies. They heard the strangled gasps, the angry chokes as they were flattened under the thick wooden plank of a door and the metallic barred shelf. Kokichi had quickly positioned himself on top of the shelf as soon as it fell, locking the creatures in place.

Shuichi was hurried to realise that a couple of the monsters hadn't been caught under, and he quickly grabbed onto his frying pan. It took a rapid whack on the head with it to stun the zombies. He used this time to grab ahold of the Carbamate and began to drench it over the zombies and shelf.

"I would hurry Shuichi! These things regain conscious quickly than normal people..." Kokichi explained, jabbing any zombie that moved with his makeshift bat of nails.

Shuichi was far too concerned with the task at hand to answer. He had sure to get the liquid everywhere. It slashed into the mouths and eyes of a couple of the creatures, provoking an angry hiss in his direction. Shuichi felt no remorse and he grabbed Kokichi with the sodium bicarbonate and ran to create distance from the explosion waiting to happen. While he did this, Kokichi pulled out his lighter, thumbing it to switch it on.

Once he did, he motioned for Shuichi to drop him and aimed at the pile of zombies. Swiftly, he chucked the lighter.

It exploded upon impact.

Neither Shuichi nor Kokichi were expecting some of the remains of the explosion of come flying at them like fireballs. Kokichi used his lithe body to avoid any incoming pieces of burning flesh and wood. The same couldn't be said for Shuichi. I scorching piece of what looked like rubble struck him in the leg making him cry out in pain.

"Shit!"

Kokichi jerked around to see the detective on the ground, tightly gripping onto his leg in agony.

"Shuichi? Ar-" He could only speak briefly before he was interrupted.

"Put out the fire... Hurry!" Shuichi yelled at him. Kokichi surprisingly obeyed without hesitation, grabbed hold of the extinguisher. He rushed up to the fire began trying to put out the roaring flames. The whole gym was aglow with ambers and indigos. Shuichi could feel the intense heat from where he was sitting. But nothing burned harsher than the new wound on his leg.

Kokichi was managing to put out parts of the fire, however struggling. Shuichi tried to lift himself up and realised he could, however, the pain which shot down his leg was close to unbearable. He grimaced, biting down a whimper. He had to be of some help.

Shuichi managed to stagger up onto his feet after a couple to tries. Next, he limped his way to the nearest wall which, to his luck, held a bright red fire extinguisher. He yanked it off the wall with all of his strength and hauled it over to the fire. By thumbing the button, sharp burst of sodium bicarbonate erupted out towards the fire like a pyroclastic wave from an active volcano.

The fire hissed and slowly began to die down; the angry, indigo flames simmered down until they disappeared altogether. All Shuichi could do was let out the breath he was unconsciously holding and lean against the cracked wall, sliding down it to reach the floor. He held his head in his sweaty hands as he recalled what had actually just happened. More importantly, the plan had mostly worked, however, they weren't out of the woods yet. Shuichi's new injury could conjure up to be a problem...

His attention was then drawn towards Kokichi, who was wearing an emotionless expression that even a detective couldn't read. He had already dropped the chemicals, which had now spilt over the floor, and was staring at the scorched gym floor. Suddenly, his expression flicked into a grin.

"I guess that worked out pretty well Shuichi!" His grin was then directed at the detective who instinctively sighed.

"I think we should get out of here before we attract any unwanted attention..." Shuichi stated, testing out his newly injured leg. The rumble had hit his leg pretty hard. He was sure it wasn't broken, and it was highly unlikely that it had been fractured on impact. However, there was a possibility that the rubble had damaged his ligaments or tendons. The wound had been completely burned, now a throbbing bright crimson. Shuichi was lucky the burning had prevented the wound from bleeding out too much.

Kokichi had approached Shuichi without him noticing and was now standing over him, gazing down at the injury.

"Guess that the rubble hit pretty hard. You can walk, right? Cause if not, I might have to leave here and escape alone!" Kokichi beamed as if everything was absolutely fine as if nothing had happened.

"It's f-fine, I can walk." Shuichi supported himself against the wall and hesitated to stand up. This hesitation was easily picked up by Kokichi, however, the small boy decided to keep quiet. It was only until he saw Shuichi's failed attempt to properly stand when he decided to step in.

"You're such a liar, Shuichi. At least try to make yourself look believable." With that, he grabbed onto Shuichi's arm. Shuichi was shocked by the sudden movement and struggled to get the boy off of him.

"I'm just trying to help you, stop acting like I'm about to rip off your arm!" Kokichi said melodramatically, as he hooked the detective's arm around his shoulders as he tried to support most of his weight. It was a challenge. Shuichi knew he wasn't exactly heavy at all, but he was still quite a few inches taller than Kokichi, making it harder for him to be properly supported.

Shuichi gingerly began taking some steps forward towards the door with the newfound support.

"We need to head to the cafeteria," he stated to Kokichi. "That's where everyone else is right now."

This cause the small leader next to him to let out a prolonged, over exaggerated sigh. "Do we really have to go see those losers?? We are more likely to get found in a large number like that you know. I say we ditch them altogether!"

Shuichi was about to oppose that statement when he heard loud footsteps rushing in their direction from behind the door. It took only a few more seconds until the door forcefully swung open with a loud bang, revealing who had found them.

Chapter Text

As soon as two figures entered the gym, Kokichi let go of all support for Shuichi, causing him to painfully fall onto the wooden floorboards of the gym. Shuichi failed to prevent himself from yelping as his leg made contact with the hard surface.

A grin laced the leader's lip when the two shadows revealed themselves to be Kaito and Maki. He took a couple of steps forward away from the struggling detective on the ground.

"Well, what a lovely surprise!" Kokichi sneered. However, both Kaito and Maki ran right past him, completely ignoring his remark.

"Shuichi! Are you ok, sidekick?" Kaito asked, concern tracing his words.

Shuichi nodded. "Y-yeah. I'm glad to see you guys seem ok too."

"Lair," Maki remarked. "What happened to your leg?"

"Was it from the explosion we heard?" Kaito questioned. "We got pretty held up back there by those zombies. Once we managed to get free from them, we tried searching around but couldn't find you anywhere! After a couple more hours of looking, we decided to head back for some rest and continue searching for you and the others in the morning. That's when we heard some loud explosion, causing us to both investigate. Where even were you?"

Shuichi pointed to the door which led to the gym storeroom. "I ran into some trouble once I began searching in here. That storeroom was the only option I had at the time to hide. Lucky I did go there in the end though, or else I never would have found him."

Three sets of eyes landed on said person, who was still grinning away.

"Kokichi!" Kaito bellowed, which was highly unnecessary considering the distance between them. "Where is Gonta?!"

"He was with you last time I saw him..." Maki commented.

Kokichi's smirk didn't even falter. All he did was shrug. "That naive idiot? I left him for the zombies to chow on. He was an excellent bodyguard up to then though! I guess I just got bored..."

The reaction was instantaneous.

"How dare you!!" Kaito seethed aggressively in Kokichi's directed. Kokichi just remained smirking, holding his hands up in an 'I don't give a shit' gesture.

"Let's be honest though, Gonta wasn't going to last 5 minutes in this killing game!! Good thing he got killed off before things got really ugly..."

Kaito didn't even have time to knock some sense into the boy before getting beaten to the mark. Maki had appeared next to Kokichi quicker than Shuichi thought possible. So fast it was as though she'd teleported over there. Could humans even move that fast?

Suddenly, she firmly grabbed the leader's small in a death grip, hoisting him up so his tiptoes barely even scratched the ground. Maki's whole demeanour had darkened dramatically. Her crimson eyes were almost glowing under the dark shadows of her hair while she singlehandedly begun choking the boy.

"Ack... W-well, I hardly e-expected someone like you to do s-something like this.." Shuichi could clearly see that Kokichi was finding it increasingly difficult to grin now, even though he was still putting in the effort just to piss Maki off.

"Shut up." She instantly backfired. "Now, tell us what really happened to Gonta. No more lies."

"Sureee... Gonta is still alive! I bet he's out in the courtyard somewhere look- ack! Looking for bugs!"

"Now that's obviously a lie," Kaito growled. "Why would he be doing something like that while all this is going on?!"

Kokichi tried to shrug once more however couldn't quite manage it because of the position he was in. "Gonta sure loves bugs!"

Shuichi decided that this was the time to step in before things got any worse. "I..." he hesitated as the three pairs of eyes landed on him, all expressing different emotions. "I think he's telling the truth. About Gonta not making it..."

"What!!?" Kaito looked perplexed. "Why the hell would you believe what this gremlin has to say, sidekick?"

Shuichi flinched a little at the harsh tone. "I mean... Surely he would have turned up by now, knowing Gonta. And when Kokichi explained to me what happened, I felt as though he was being sincere."

"Really?" Maki glared. "Kokichi being sincere?" Her grip tightens slightly around the neck of the boy who was still being suspended in the air by her arm. Kokichi gripped onto her wrist as if it would get her to allow more oxygen to enter his lungs,

"Will you quit it with your casual child abuse?!" Kokichi seethed, to the point Shuichi wondered if she was genuinely furious, even though his wording sounded like a joke. "It's really not very fitting for an Ultimate Childcare giver. Wait, no..."

Kokichi's strained expression suddenly morphed into something more sinister. A grin of revenge and satisfaction was stretched across his face for ear to ear. His expression wasn't the only thing which had changed; Maki had already begun to tighten her grip further as if to prevent the small liar from saying anything else by cutting off his air supply.

"Argh... I-I mean, Ultimate Assassin."

Apparently, it hadn't worked, as Kokichi still managed to cough out one last statement from going quiet. From the floor, Shuichi couldn't clearly Maki's expression, but he could only imagine what emotions it would show. No wonder she had kept something like that a secret when in a killing game. Nobody would trust her, everyone would be terrified to even be in the presence of an assassin.

Shuichi wasn't too shocked by this new revelation. Maki's child caregiver talent had always been debatable. She had also refused to let anybody into her Ultimate lab, which had confirmed is suspicions a while ago. Having to said aloud was still surprising, however, and Kaito was already showing signs of not taking the news well.

"Assassin?! What the hell are you trying to say Kokichi!?" Kaito snarled at the boy who was currently being throttled while struggling to breathe. Shuichi was beginning to get concerned on how long Kokichi was actually going to stay conscious at this point; the colour of his face was already turning a pale blue, while his grip around Maki's wrist had grown considerably weaker.

"W-what I'm... trying to s-say is-" he choked abruptly. Kokichi was beginning to show signs of passing out without coming to his conclusion, an Maki wasn't giving her grip any slack.

"Maki, I think you should let go of him. I don't think he'll do anything anyway..." Shuichi sighed. Their group really couldn't have another dead body on their hands while the moral was so low. It wasn't like Kokichi was the 'most loved' member of the group, however, his death wouldn't make anyone feel less uneasy.

Maki reluctantly dropped Kokichi and he fell onto the floor, his body seemed to shaken to support itself. One of his hands clutched his neck as if there was a chance of it being broken.

Shuichi stayed sitting on the floor, knowing he was at this stay also to support himself. I watched as Kokichi's breathing finally settled and the colour begins to filter back into his face.

"You're all just scared to see the truth." Kokichi coughed as he steadily got back to his feet. "So you hide behind the word 'trust'. That's not going to help in a killing game y'know."

Maki seemed beyond the stage on replying to that comment. Kaito one the other hand held up his fist angrily. 'That doesn't give you a reason to act like a jerk to everyone! You're the one who's scared Kokichi!"

"Scared, really?" Kokichi raised an eyebrow. "I just know that acting like a naive moron isn't going to win this game. Believing every word someone says just because they're a 'friend' is just going to get you killed. Do you really expect to make real friends in a place li-"

"ARGH SHUT UP!!" Kaito roared, obviously, he'd had enough. "Enough with your pessimistic nonsense."

There were a few loud bangs which came from outside the door. Everyone's heads turned.

"I think we should get going." Shichi reminded. "It's almost a matter of time before those creatures find us again. This really isn't the time to be arguing..."

"Fine," Kaito growled. "But I haven't finished talking to you, Kokichi. And I'll finish what I started back at base."

"Base?" Kokichi questioned even though Shuichi knew he already knew what he meant by that. "Ohhh, you mean the cafeteria? Well, that's nice and all but I wasn't planning on going there."

"What the heck do you mean by that? Where else do you have to go!?"

Kokichi just shrugged. "Who knows?? I was hoping to have some company," he shot a wink down at Shuichi. "But I know he's in high demand so I guess I'll let it slide.."

"Screw that idea," Kaito yelled as he yanked up Shuichi by the arm and hoisted it around his shoulder. "You're coming with us. I don't think anyone wants some small maniac boy running around this place doing who knows what. Besides, I'll send Maki-roll after you if you try to resist."

There was dead silence.

"Maki... Roll...?" Maki almost sounded perplexed.

"Yeah! That's your new nickname, and it suits you!" Kaito sent a grin her way before heading to the door.

"Don't call me that." Maki threatened and followed close behind him.

Before heading out the gym doors to see Kokichi, who hadn't budged since the last time he spoke. Kaito seemed to notice Shuichi's growing concern.

"No need to worry, sidekick. He'll follow on behind us soon enough." And with that, Shuichi was finally able to leave the gym and head back to see the others.

Chapter Text

After about 15 minutes of walking in silence, Shuichi, Kaito and Maki made it to the door of the cafeteria. Sure enough, Kokichi trailed a short distance behind them.

Shuichi moved to open the door with his one free hand however Kaito was quick to stop him.

"Wait a moment, sidekick. I've got to show you the secret knock." Kaito stated. He heard an irritated groan which came from behind him.

"Seriously, a secret knock? What are you, five?" Kokichi laughed, holding his hands behind his head.

"You're one to talk," Maki spat in his direction. "I'm still trying to convince myself that you're in high school, considering you're height."

Kokichi just pouted as Kaito knocked on the door five times, the last three knocks faster than the others. Voices came from inside the room and it took a good minute before the door opened to reveal Tenko.

"You sure took your time, degenerate." She said to Kaito as her eyes then landed on Shuichi. "Well, I'm glad you found your male friend, he isn't so bad." And finally, she caught sight of Kokichi. "You, on the other hand, need to learn some respect. What were you even doing?"

"Looking for clues." Kokichi shrugged as he walked past Tenko and into the room. Kaito supported Shuichi as they also made their way into the room, followed by Maki.

"Shuichi!" Kiibo gasped as soon as he saw that he was limping. "What happened?"

"Um.." Shuichi hesitated, "it's kind of a long story."

"Well, congrats on finding the gremlin. Now we have even more f*cking problems!" Miu snorted obscenely. It's looked as though she was still working on her invention.

"Shuichi," Maki commented from behind him as Kokichi disappeared from sight into the kitchen. "I think we need to sort out your injury, it looks pretty bad."

"Does anyone have any medical experience?" Tsumugi spoke up; it was the first time Shuichi had heard her speak in a while.

"Well, I would be able to help with my magic..." Himiko started. "But I'm all out of MP. Sorry.."

"You have no reason to be sorry Himiko! He's just a degenerate male!"

"Hmmm... I have experience with many things, but not anything to do with medicine." Korekiyo stated.

"I don't think stand up comedy will have any use in this situation..." Kiibo sighed, disappointed.

"Well don't look at me, you freaks!!" Miu shouted and turned back to her invention.

"I mean," Kaito said, "we get taught about treating things like headaches and colds in my astronaut training, but nothing like this."

Maki sighed. "You're all useless. I guess I'll have to do it then."

Everyone turned to her, surprised.

"Wow! You've had medical training Maki-roll??" Kaito asked, surprise spreading over his face.

"I guess it makes sense if you're a childcare giver," Tsumugi replied thoughtfully.

Maki signalled Kaito to place Shuichi on the floor and he silently obeyed, carefully placing the detective onto the floor. Shuichi winced as stabbing pains shot his leg through his body.

"Ok." Maki began, grabbing onto a chair. She carefully lifted Shuichi's leg, placing it to rest on the chair as Shuichi himself lay down and rest his head on the hard flooring. "It's important to keep the wound over your heart to reduce swelling."

There was a large apparent hole which had burnt through the detective's trouser leg, and Maki had decided the rest of the material up to his knee was just going to get in the way. Abruptly, she grabbed her kitchen knife and sliced off the material. Shuichi couldn't stop himself from flinching back as soon as she did so, genuinely afraid she was going to do something. Maki noticed yet said nothing.

Now, she could properly examine the wound. "Well, it's not a third-degree burn luckily. Still, it's pretty bad for a second-degree burn. You better explain what happened while Kaito gets some water."

Kaito raised an eyebrow. "I guess that's my cue to go then?" And disappeared into the kitchen.

Sure enough, Shuichi began to slowly explain what had happened. How he had found Kokichi in the storeroom cupboard and had no choice to stay there. Miu took it as an opportunity to make a crude joke yet it went ignored.

Kaito eventually came back with a medium bowl of water and allowed Maki to cool down the wound. As it was left to soak, Shuichi carried on with the story. How in the end, they were both getting restless and Kokichi came up with a crazy plan to get them out of there. Even though the plan worked, there were consequences which came in the form of Shuichi's injury.

"So what you're saying is," Kaito growled, "Kokichi is the cause of that burn?!"

"No, I don't mean that at all..." Shuichi just sighed. "I mean if it wasn't for him, we would probably still be in there. Sometimes things just go wrong and you don't have any control over it."

After 10 minutes, Maki began to dry off the burn while Shuichi gritted is teeth into his hand.

"All we have is that basic first aid box..." Himiko pointed to the bright green box which was sitting on Miu's desk. "Is that really going to be enough?"

"I'm used to healing my own wounds without any form of real first aid at all. It's more than enough." Maki bluntly replied before walking into the kitchen without another word.

"Um..." Tsumugi drifted off. "Should I be worried...?"

Maki reappeared with a bag of lemons. Every eyebrow in the room raised.

"What the f*ck are you gonna do with with a bag of fruit? Don't tell me you like to suck lemons in your spare time. Explains your sour personality." Miu sneered.

"Stop," Maki growled in return. "We didn't anything else which will serve as a natural remedy. Right now, we just need to make sure the burn isn't going to get infected, especially since it's an open wound. Vitamin C is commonly used to treat burns and since we don't have any proper ointment, it's all we have."

(P.S Even though lemon juice is a way of helping burns and infections; I DO NOT recommend using it on second-degree burns. If you ever suffer from a second-degree burn or worse, it's best to seek medical attention immediately.)

Maki left again to wash her hands thoroughly once more and began to squeeze the juice out of a couple of the lemons. Shuichi just watched in mild horror, well aware of what was to come.

Once Maki had finished, Shuichi gulped as Maki approached him with the lemon juice and sterile towel.

"Shuichi!" Kiibo started. "I can hold your hand if you want! If it will make you feel any more at ease."

"That's.. that's alright. Thanks anyway Kiibo." Shuichi stuttered, embarrassed.

"Yeah, I'd rather not have you virgins make out in front of me, thanks," Miu added.

"That's not what I meant!"

"Will you all just shut up?" Maki growled. "I don't have time for this."

The pain was instantaneous. Absolute, unimaginable pain seared up and throughout his body, causing him to cry out in pure agony. Shuichi couldn't even hear the noise he made, yet he knew it wasn't the least bit flattering but he couldn't care less. Even when Maki had stopped dabbing the lemon juice into the wound, the pain didn't fade. His eyes watered as his hands searched for something, anything to grip on to. Eventually, his hand caught hold of the jacket which belonged to Kaito, who perched next to him.

"You're doing great sidekick! It's practically over!" Kaito reassured, patting his shoulder. Maki just nodded and grabbed the first aid kit, unzipping the bag and removing clean bandages.

She began wrapping the wound as she talked about how you should usually wrap up a burn, you should let it breathe. Yet for the next few hours, it should be covered to avoid infection. Shuichi still wasn't able to pay any attention.

It wasn't until Kokichi appeared in the kitchen doorway when he began to pay more attention to what people were saying.

"Maki! Are you trying to assassinate my beloved detective?" Kokichi snorted as he approached Shuichi. "I couldn't ignore his cries of pain which is why I've come to show my support!"

He crouched down next to Shuichi who had already started sweating; from pain or anxiety, he didn't know. Despite this, Kokichi smiled down at him. This time, it wasn't his usual smirk which was either full of malice or cheek. It actually looked like a genuine smile.

"There, there Mr Detective. It's all over now." It seemed that Kokichi was also having a sort at reassuring Shuichi. He could hear a quiet, almost unnoticeable giggle coming from Tsumugi's corner and the then the comment from Miu.

"Ughhhh, GET A ROOM, HOMOS."

Shuichi ignored the comment as the pain in his leg began to die down slightly.

"Thanks, Maki," Shuichi said. "I really appreciate it."

Maki just nodded; no words were needed.

Korekiyo was the next to speak up. "Well, it seems that it's now dark outside... It would be wise to get some sleep." He gazed through the chained up window.

"I guess it's time to address the problem which has been bothering me for a long time now." Tenko began. "I refuse to allow Himiko to sleep around all you degenerate males!"

Shuichi has expected her to say something like that at some point. It was true that the sleeping plan was another plan which people like Tenko would want to be dealt with.

"Fine, fine." Kaito sighed. "I guess it's time to decide where everyone wants to sleep."

Chapter Text

Shuichi shifted uncomfortably on his blanket. The kitchen floor was certainly not very comfortable and was beginning to cause him a backache. The whole area was completely overgrown, even more so than the rest of the school. How could a school get like this? How long did it have to abandoned to end up like this?

Weeds and grass-covered every crack in the floor. Moss and mould climbed up the walls and up to the ceiling as small vines hung from above them. Kiibo had insisted that he should pull out all the nettles and brambles to avoid anyone getting hurt in the night. The wallpaper was now almost nonexistent as nature had reclaimed its rightful place. Bindweed had wrapped its way around all the kitchen's work surfaces to the extent where they could never be freed. Small deep pink and white wildflowers peeked through various creaks and corners. A damp, musty smell hung in the air, reminding Shuichi of the storeroom closet. Even though the room probably hadn't been exposed to rain in a long time, everything was slightly moist. Shuichi just shivered. The atmosphere wasn't nice, to say the least.

Two other blankets lay next to him; to his right was Kiibo's, and to his left was Kaito's. The boys had been situated in the kitchen, unfortunately, while the girls got to stay in the dining hall. Korekiyo's blanket was right in front of his, while Kokichi's had been crammed between two narrow work surfaces.

The room was cramped compared to the luxury of the cafeteria. 5 boys and one small kitchen weren't going to work out too well, especially when all of them didn't get along.

In the girls' corner, Tenko had insisted to be next to Himiko, while Tsumugi also decided to sleep near them too.

Maki had chosen a spot well away from everyone and Miu slept close to her desk. The outsiders of the group were clear.

"I guess we can't train tonight..." Kaito sighed. Lately, both he and Kaito started a regime where they would train every night in the courtyard. It never was Shuichi's choice to start; he wasn't a fan of fitness. But in the end, he was glad that he did, because now Kaito was quite possibly his closest friend.

Shuichi never even saw the training as something to help improve his body and fitness, that was just an added bonus. It's real purpose served as a distraction to what was going on around him. He knew that when people feel anxious or depressed, it becomes harder for them to do exercise or hobbies, but in reality, that could be the thing which could help. His training with Kaito was a perfect example of taking his mind off of the situation at hand.

"You know..." Kaito began, leaning against the grimy wall in an attempt of getting comfortable. "I've been thinking about inviting Maki-Roll to come train with us too, I think she could really benefit from it."

"Huh, really?" Shuichi asked, surprised. "But why?"

"Well, I just think it would help her if she could open up to some people. If she keeps locking all of her thoughts and feelings away behind her stoic attitude, she'll end up going into overload. I don't want her to isolate herself."

Shuichi nodded. Everything Kaito said had made perfect sense. He couldn't help but feel the same for the small lair who purposely liked to distance himself from everyone else. But there was no chance that Kaito would allow Kokichi to join their training, not now. It was a shame, Shuichi still had no idea how he could help the boy at this stage.

Suddenly, a high pitched voice pierced through his thoughts.

"Everyone! Gather round!" Unmistakably, it was the voice of the headmaster of the school. The creature which had caused this mess in the first place.

Shuichi could almost see the hatred which emitted from his classmates as the robotic bear came into view.

"So you finally decided to show up," Maki growled as everyone filtered into the cafeteria, inquisitive to find out what the bear had to say.

"I'm sure you are all concerned about how this new motive has... Well, got out of hand." He laughed. "But don't fear! Since this is a very special occasion, I won't be holding any class trials even if there is a murder!"

"WHAT?!" Kaito shouted. "Why would you even assume that anyone is going to commit a murder in a situation like this?"

"Aren't the trials meant to be a part of your 'killing game'?" Korekiyo asked, suspiciously.

"Well, yes... However, in a situation like this, you guys are gonna get killed off much quicker! So I may as well just let nature take its course.." Monokuma compromised. "Ohhh! But I have a present for you all." The bear revealed the last thing which Shuichi had expected; a flashback light.

The class erupted into murmurs of anxiety as Kaito took the light and tightly held onto it.

"Before I leave, I just have a few more things to explain to you guys!" Monokuma pauses for the dramatic effect which nobody appreciated. "I'll be introducing a few more 'mini-motives' over time. This is purely to make the game more interesting! So yeah, if any of you experience anything 'out of the ordinary' then you know why!"

"...What do you mean by that?" Himiko questioned.

"Upupupu... You'll have to wait and see! Toodles!" The bear quickly fled, leaving the ultimates to question what just went down. Each pair of eyes were suddenly drawn to the flashback light.

Anticipation.

"Welll?" Kokichi grimaced. "What are you waiting for?" The boy then slumped down onto the nearest chair.

"What do you guys think..?" Kaito questioned, staring down at the ominous flashlight in his hands.

"It could give us a clue on how to stop the motive," Shuichi suggested. So far, the flashback light had mostly shown memories. Right now, nobody really had much of an option but to just listen to Monokuma and use the flashback light.

"We might miss something important if we don't..." Kiibo mentioned from next to him.

"Is this really a good idea?" Maki growled from where she had distanced herself from the rest of the group. "This is exactly what Monokuma wants."

"You got a better idea?!" Miu seethed aggressively. Shuichi wouldn't have been surprised if she snatched the light from Kaito's hand and switched it on before anyone else had a chance to complain.

To his surprise, his prediction almost came true, as the flashback light was indeed suddenly grabbed from the Ultimate Astronaut's grip. However, Miu wasn't the culprit. Kokichi was now the one who possessed the light, and the atmosphere instantly turned even more uncomfortable than it was before. The first unease radiated off his classmates in waves; Kaito was the only one to move as he lunged out to snatch it back. Kokichi evenly dodged, using his lithe body to his advantage. Kaito let out a hiss of annoyance when he missed.

"We're never gonna get anywhere if you guys just argue all day!" Kokichi laughed as he repeatedly dodged Kaito's lunges as if toying with him. "Let's just get this over and done with!" Kokichi thumbed the switch in one swift motion.

Shuichi's vision was enveloped in with bright golden lights. Words, information and memories whirl-pooled around his body as he struggled to focus on one single thing. The abundance of new information was overwhelming. It laid in every corner of his sight and his eyes darted around, searching, searching for something to focus on. Something which might be a clue on how to stop this motive, and maybe the killing game altogether.

Then, everything turned black.

Chapter Text

Shuichi's vision was enveloped in with bright golden lights. Words, information and memories whirl-pooled around his body as he struggled to focus on one single thing. The abundance of new information was overwhelming. It laid in every corner of his sight and his eyes darted around, searching, searching for something to focus on. Something which might be a clue on how to stop this motive, and maybe the killing game altogether.

Then, everything turned back.

——
"Number 184, my name is #&£€¥§$.

I've always been a huge fan of Danganronpa... And always wanted to be in one..."

Was that... him? Shuichi was standing in the middle of a lowly lit room with wooden floorboards. His hat obscured what his expression would have looked like at the time. And what is... Danganronpa?

"If I were a contestant, I would want to be... An Ultimate Detective.

...What?

I know there's been a few in the past, and I've always loved those characters. So I would want to be one of them.

Characters?

Ah but I don't *have* to be a detective. I'd be anything just to be part of the show."

Show? Shuichi felt so lost. This person's personality just seemed different from his own. Were they really meant to be the same person?

"And I mean that, anything. I'd do... anything to be part of Danganronpa.

I promise, if I get selected, I will work as hard as I can!

I'll come up with the best, most gruesome murders, I promise! Everyone will love it!"

Shuichi choked. He felt as though he wanted to be sick. This... this was horrible. This couldn't be him. He was unsure about it, to begin with, however now he was sure that this 'Danganronpa' was the killing game they were all being forced to participate in. Was this really trying to make him believe he 'volunteered' to participate? The Shuichi from his memory had obviously grown eager now, he could hear the excitement dripping from his words.

"And an Ultimate Detective hasn't been the blackened yet, so I'm sure I could do that!

I'm also thinking about... The perfect punishment for an Ultimate Detective..."

He was looking into the eyes of someone who was mentally ill. Is someone so devoid of any natural feelings that he was fine about all this?

"I want to get all the characters to trust me. And once they do... that is when I'll commit my murder. I'll use the motives. Nobody will ever know it was me."

Shuichi felt as though he was going to cry. This couldn't be him. There was no way. He wasn't the type who would just use his friends like that. He would never take advantage of them for his own benefit.

"I swear, if I become a contestant, I won't let you down."

It was almost too much. The prospect of being a completely different person from how he thought he was... It was just overwhelming. Can someone link that really ever change? The memory faded to black yet Shuichi had a sinking feeling in his chest that the memories were far from over.

Next came a few images which flashed quickly before his eyes. The first showing a large bedroom. The room undeniable belonged to an obsessive fan. Posters of a light pink haired girl wearing a tie littered the walls. The room was strangely dark, depressing almost. Merchandise of unfamiliar characters filled the shelves however Shuichi didn't miss the black and white bed sheets, the shades separated down the middle. He sucked in a breath as he noticed the Monokuma figurine, then the poster, then the pill- The imagine switched once more.

Shuichi was shown in full school uniforms walking down a busy sidewalk. It looked as though it was early morning. The weather was grey was various businessmen and women bustled about around him, in a hurry to get to their workplaces. Shuichi wasn't focused on any of them. Instead, he was staring down at his phone with a Monokuma case, completely ignoring the world around him.

Lastly, Shuichi found himself walking down the same sidewalk yet this time, just about everyone was gone. The sun was setting deep below the earth, painting the sky an angry red. The colours reflected off the windows of the tall skyscrapers, but still, Shuichi was on his phone. It was only until a few loud bangs were heard from the alleyway he just walked past when he finally looked up from his phone. There was a shout from down the dark path, causing Shuichi to carefully approach the area to find out what was going on. He hid behind the nearest trash can as he saw a figure of a boy.

"L-let go o-of me!" The small boy begged hurriedly. Shuichi could see the shadowed silhouette of him thrashing about in a panic. "Please..." he whimpered out the last part; it seemed as if he had already lost all hope to leave unscathed.

Apparently, he was being harassed by another shadowy figure, however, it was clear that this person saw much taller, broader and stronger. The frame was well built, much more so compared to how Shuichi's body could ever be. This was in stark contrast to the other boy, who's frame was lithe and dare he say it, scrawny.

Seeing that this person had a clear disadvantage, Shuichi wanted to help, despite his meek personality. However, he knew that this was impossible since he was just recalling a memory. He wondered how this really had anything to do with the killing game and why he was being shown this.

But the voice he heard next confirmed a clear reason for why.

"Quit your squirming already! It makes you look even more pathetic than you already are."

The voice was unmistakable. A voice nobody could mimic. A voice which had always been one that motivated him. A voice he had befriended and trusted now with all his heart. The voice of Kaito Momota is what Shuichi heard, and never before had it left him feeling so utterly confused.

Shuichi knew Kaito could be violent. He, himself, had been a victim to one of Kaito's punches. However, he always had good intentions. Shuichi didn't fully understand what was going on right now. But he deduced that this wasn't normal Kaito behaviour.

The kid, however, had already surrendered, so Shuichi couldn't understand why Kaito was trying to prolong his suffering. He had stopped wriggling about and stayed deadly still; apparently listening to his command. Kaito had taken this as an opportunity to grasp the boy around the neck singlehandedly. The Ultimate Astronaut then shoved him against the wall and pushed him up slightly, so the boy was nearly standing on his tiptoes.

"I-I'm sorry... Please, just l'let me go!" Shuichi could almost hear the tears as the boy spoke. This wasn't the same Kaito he knew. The Kaito he knew would have thrown a punch to teach you a lesson, but not hurt you physically any more than that. Currently, Kaito was choking the boy who had a clear height disadvantage, in a secluded alleyway where nobody could help him.

Shuichi heard the muffled sounds of the buy being asphyxiated and felt utterly helpless. Even though it was just a memory, he could help but think this scene was actually happening before him, right here, right now.

Seeing his best friend act so violent and frenzied towards another person had instantly made him question their friendship. Maybe this wasn't really Kaito at all? It could be his twin... But surely he would have mentioned this at some point.

So Shuichi just watched.

Kaito aggressively flung the boy to the ground, seemingly done with trying to suffocate him. He instead landed a rough kick at the boy's stomach causing a loud, painful cough to echo against the narrow, alley walls. Shuichi winced at the sight. He had already seen two people die in front of his eyes, as well as Ryoma being eaten my pirañas. But violence was never something he could ever get used to.

Shuichi told himself if this Shuichi watching was like him now, he would have the courage to interfere. Yet, the Shuichi from the memory just hid and kept watching. It wasn't until now Shuichi noticed the expression he was wearing. It wasn't guilt, sadness, disbelief. No, it almost looked as though he was getting a sense of enjoyment from it.

Shuichi looked at this version of himself, absolutely disgusted by himself. He just wanted all these memories to stop completely. He wished he had never seen himself like this because now he'll never unsee it. And Kaito, the person who he considered his 'closest friend', previously bullied those who were weaker than him.

But he's changed too, right? It was true that Kaito could be violent, but this wasn't him at all. Shuichi was nothing like this Shuichi either. The pain when he saw his classmates killed was real. He had never ever felt any satisfaction from seeing anyone hurt. Right?

Kaito was done with kicking the boy seemingly until he could no longer stand. He wore a bored expression as he turned his back to the mess he had caused.

"Consider yourself grateful." He sneered and proceeded to exit out of the alleyway, leaving the boy silent and motionless on the floor. Memory Shuichi sunk deeper into the shadows of the walls and the trash can, aware that if he was caught, he would most likely be beaten to a pulp.

Shuichi wondered if the small boy was unconscious, it certainly looked like it. If only he could have thrown some bottle at Kaito or tried to distract him. He sighed, not everyone is like that.

The next couple of minutes was spent in eerie silence. The small boy sprawled out on the ground, unmoving. Memory Shuichi had also decided to remain motionless, still perching behind the grimy dumpsters, waiting for something to happen.

Something did.

Shuichi was sharp enough to notice the faint moment of the boy's head as he suddenly let out a desperate cry for help.

The Shuichi from the memory had finally decided to make a move. Carefully approaching the injured boy as if he would flee as soon as he was him. Shuichi then knelt down slightly, observing.

"Are you alright?" He tried to get a better glimpse of what the boy actually looked like, but the tall skyscrapers shadowing the whole area weren't helping him with that.

The boy tried to talk, yet it ended in a painful splutter. Sore coughs coming from deep inside his lungs.

"Should I call an ambulance?" Memory Shuichi then asked. If this was current Shuichi; he would have known right away that this boy needed some professional medical help. Though his old self still decided to question the matter...

"N-no!" He quickly choked. "I-I just.... need to get home a-as soon as possible...." The drifted off further into his little bubble of unease. "Do y-you think you c-c-could help me?"

The Shuichi in the memory hesitated, evidently taken back from the question. But the boy seemed desperate, was desperate. He needed help in some shape or form. Shuichi offered a hand down at the boy who carefully took it. His hand was pale and oddly clammy.

He stumbled as he stood, leaning a shoulder against Shuichi for some extra support. Shuichi just regarded the contact uncomfortably, not entirely used to these types of situations. The boy uttered a feeble thanks as he limped out of the alley, propped up by Shuichi. Once they finally exited the alleyway, Shuichi was able to get a good look at the person who he was helping.

A face was all too familiar, all too recognisable. How Shuichi hadn't managed to distinguish his voice, he didn't know.

There, injured and trembling all over, was Kokichi Ouma.

Chapter Text

The memory faded and Shuichi was brought back to reality.

"Arghhh!!" The detective screeched as he crashed off his chair and landed painfully onto the floor. Yet nobody around him even dared to turn to ask if he was ok; it looked as though they were going through the same sort of dilemma he was.

Everything hurt and Shuichi picked himself back up and limped back onto the chair. Once he had settled back down, his eyes scanned the room for Kokichi. The leader had apparently disappeared, but he couldn't have gone too far. He was most likely in the kitchen...

His eyes then landed on Kaito, who, bluntly put it, looked horrified. His face had turned a whole new unnatural colour. Beads of sweat lay on his forehead and around his eyebrows. Shuichi wondered if they had both seen something similar.

"W-was I really like that...?" Tsumugi murmured, trembling all over. This confirmed Shuichi's theory.

"Did you guys see yourselves in your memory?" He hesitantly asked. Each ultimate nodded while looking shaken up. Their expressions ranged from anxious to distraught.

"Is this what it's like to go through menopause!?" Miu cried as she dramatically gripped onto her hair.

"That remark was highly unnecessary..." Korekiyo grumbled, even though Shuichi was sure he was one of the more uncomfortable ones out of all of them. He kept clutching onto himself, curling inward while faintly muttering something about his 'sister'.

"Ugh SHUT UP!!! Get me outta here!" Miu screamed.

Maki looked stoic as usual. Clearly, whatever she had seen hadn't affected her much. That, or she was having a hard time showing it. Shuichi wondered what the backstory of an assassin would be. Most likely, she'd lived a life full of hardships and tribulations, almost a completely different world to the one he was in, yet it was clear he had his own problems.

"Everyone calm down!" Kaito yelled over the confused mumbles and murmurs of the groups. "It's just a memory! We shouldn't get hung up on the past!"

Can people really change? Shuichi knew Kaito now. He was impulsive, sometimes overconfident, but not a bully. To take advantage of someone else's physical state; that wasn't his best friend.

And Kokichi. Was his existence really just one big lie? The boy from his memory lacked all the confidence Kokichi had. He lacked the harsh humour and the lies the leader constantly came up with. It also looked as though he lacked the self-esteem to stand up for himself, and instead, cowered in the face of danger. Not a known trait of Kokichi. Then again, there was a lot he didn't know about the boy, and he was slowly beginning to realise that.

"Kaito's right." Shuichi agreed. "Whatever you just saw; it all happened in the past. Right now, we should be paying attention to what's happening in the present." He shook away the nauseous dizzy feeling which had been hanging over him.

"That's pretty inspirational!" Kaito beamed at him. "I expected nothing less from my sidekick!"

The rest of the evening progressed relatively smoothly. Most of the girls spoke amongst themselves in the dining room, excluding Maki who had sat alone and Miu who had carried on with her invention. She was being helped by Kiibo, who frequently passed her various tools and occasionally food after she had crudely ordered him to fetch it.

Korekiyo was writing in some sort of ancient book. Surprisingly, Kokichi wasn't in the kitchen either, which meant the only place he could be was the storeroom. He really had no reason in there apart from to be alone so Shuichi resisted the urge to check up on him. Shuichi and Kaito chatted most of the evening, and eventually, Kaito forced Maki to join in with them.

"Soo Maki-roll, what's your favourite colour?" Kaito awkwardly asked, clearly having nothing better to ask.

Maki raised an eyebrow. "Is that really all you called me over for? And I told you not to call me that."

"Aww C' mon! Lighten up a little!" Kaito smiled at her.

The girl quickly averted her gaze. "I don't understand you at all."

Kaito's expression then morphed into one of someone who was deep in thought.

"Well... if you're not gonna answer that question then... What's your favourite planet?"

"You really aren't good at this Kaito." Shuichi sweatdropped.

"Then why don't you try asking her something sidekick!" Kaito gasped, exasperated.

"What am I, your guinea pig?" Maki muttered sarcastically. "It's like you guys have never spoken to a girl before."

"There has been something I've wanted to ask you, Maki.." Shuichi drifted off, lacing his hand through his hair. "How did you end up becoming an assassin?"

"Hey!" Kaito screeched. "Don ask her that! It's way too personal!"

"I don't care," Maki commented, before going into her back story. It was interesting, to say the least. The fact she grew up in an orphanage and had to look after all the children who were younger than her. She had to ruthlessly train to be an assassin of else her orphanage would no longer receive funding. The training was hard at first, yet when she got used to it, she felt nothing. Killing people just felt like a normal thing.

After her story, everyone decided to go to sleep. Shuichi found it strange sleeping with people like Korekiyo in the room. He guessed that murder was less likely to occur when they were all sleeping in the same room.

Shuichi couldn't sleep. He didn't know if it was because of his active mind or the whirring noise Kiibo was making in his sleep. He sure had a lot to think about though. His mind had recently drifted back to a certain memory he had. It looked as though he was having an interview of some kind, and he kept mentioning 'Danganronpa'? No doubt, Danganronpa was this killing game, so does that mean they are is some sort of game show? Does this mean they are being watched by an audience?

His mind then wondered onto Kokichi, who still occupied the storeroom. What was he doing in there? He hadn't heard a peep from him all evening, which was concerning. Did he manage to get past the barricade? Was he even in there? That thought made him even more concerned. There was a possibility that Kokichi could have snuck past them all once his memory had finished.

He could be anywhere.

The thought made Shuichi slowly get to his feet. A wave of dizziness rushed over him once again but he decided to ignore it. Kaito had begun snoring pretty loudly. That combined with the mechanical sound Kiibo was making created a whole orchestra of noises which Shuichi knew he wouldn't be able to sleep through. At least Kokichi had been relatively quiet when he had been around,

Careful not to wake the people in the room with him, he limped his way to the storeroom door, stopping once he reached the handle.

Should he knock? In all honesty, he didn't think that was needed.

"Kokichi." He asked, a little loud to be a whisper. "Are you in there?"

No reply.

Shuichi couldn't stop the dread which had begun seeping into his body. If Kokichi really had managed to escape, he knew that nobody would want to go look for him. And this meant Kokichi would be stranded out alone with creatures that none of them properly understood.

Shuichi reached out for the handle, silently gripping it. His palm grew uncomfortably sweaty as it clenched onto the mossy, metal handle.

He twisted it and the door slowly creaked open. Shuichi found himself frantically look around the room in search of a sign of the small boy.

His eyes landed onto the floor.

Sure enough, there lay the boy he had been looking for, asleep on the ground.

Shuichi breathed out all the air he had imprisoned in his lungs and just stood there, staring at the leader who was currently oblivious of the eyes on him. Shuichi would have to find time to ask Kokichi what he had been doing in here once he had woken up, but right now, he thought it would be best to just leave the boy be.

Shuichi crept back into the kitchen while trying to keep his weight off of his bad leg. Dizziness washed over him like an angry shadow, yet he dismissed it since it was probably due to tiredness. He walked over to Kokichi's bed and picked up his unused blanket. Folding it under one arm, he made his way back to Kokichi.

He stretched the blanket to each of its corners and settled it on top of the resting body before climbing over Kiyo to his bed.

His skin felt clammy against his clothes as he covered himself with his own blanket. He felt unusually cold, yet his skin was sweaty and moist. Had he somehow caught a cold?

Finally managing to block out the sounds of snoring around him, he fell into a restless sleep.

Chapter Text

Kokichi awoke to the sound of his classmates bustling around in the kitchen while chattering loudly. He turned over onto his other side on the grass, reluctant to get up. This was when he noticed the smooth blanket which lay up to his waist. Was that there before?

The commotion in the kitchen continued. Kokichi couldn't decipher if this was just the usual routine of the other students, or if something had actually happened. Even so, he remained on the ground, his back slightly aching from the lack of mattress. It wasn't until he heard the loud obscene voice of Miu when he decided to check out what was really going on.

"Hey, Pooichi! You alive, there?!" The sentence hit his heart like a hammer to a china plate. Another murder already? And Shuichi?

He quickly got to his feet and twisted the door handle, revealing the scene which had been hidden.

Everyone had surrounded Shuichi's bedding, so much so that the detective was no longer visible.

"Sidekick! Can you hear me?" A remark from Kaito, who was seemingly kneeling over the detective who Kokichi still hadn't managed to catch sight of.

"He's out cold!" Tsumugi cried, clearly afraid of what might become of Shuichi's future.

Kokichi decided to observe from afar; something he was used to doing by now, as much as he wanted to run up and check the current state of the detective, he also couldn't be bothered to get in the way, yet.

"This must be from the infection." Maki sighed. "I knew it. Simple home remedies were never going to be enough for something like that. We need antibiotics, now."

The noises of concern grew louder.

"Himiko! Do you think your magic could help?" Tenko asked hopefully. "You're so incredible after all."

"Neh... In normal circumstances, yes... But it's too late for my magic to work on the infection now." Himiko stated.

Kokichi tilted his head to the side the finally get a view of Shuichi.

There was clearly something wrong. The detective was sweating profusely, so much so that it looked like he'd just showered. His hair was wet and clung limply to his forehead. His skin was much paler than usual, while dark bags lay under his eyes. He seemed unconscious, although he was breathing unevenly. It was safe to say Shuichi looked pretty ill, and Kokichi wasn't at all pleased.

He took it as the moment to swiftly saunter over to Shuichi while the groups' backs were turned.

"My beloved detective~!" Kokichi sang, as he shoved Kaito into Maki and knelt the Shuichi's side. "What happened to you!!?"

"Hey!" Kaito growled, pushing himself forward once again. "Get away from him Kokichi; you'll just make things worse than they already are!"

"Do you want to die?"

Kokichi pouted yet remained where he was. Kaito be bigger and Maki might be more skilled, but right now, Shuichi was the problem which they had to deal with.

Kokichi turned back to the detective upon hearing the surprised gasps which had echoed through the group. Shuichi had apparently opened his eyes a fraction, his gaze flickering between Kokichi, Kaito and Maki.

"This... isn't the time for f-fighting.." He gasped out, sounding extremely pained.

"Are you alright Shuichi?" Kiibo questioned, sounding genuinely concerned.

"Is this going to turn into a sick fic which nobody asked for?" Tsumugi asked.

"I think the infection has become... worse..." Shuichi winced, ignoring the last question, along with everyone else.

"You think?!" Miu screeched out. "What are you, senile? You look as though you've been jacking off without any release since you were in the womb."

"Another uncalled for remark," Korekiyo sighed. "Is there no medication Shuichi can take? Perhaps we can perform a spiritual ritual on him..."

"Is that really a good idea?" Tenko said. "I think using Himiko's magic is a wayyy safer option."

"I already told you!" Himiko huffed. "It's too late for my magic to have any effect!"

"Hmm... Too bad..." Tenko finished, not really sounding disappointed at all. "I guess we should just try and find a way of getting our hands on some medicine then."

Silence reigned throughout the kitchen as each ultimate stood lost in thought, or just pretend to be. The only sound which was heard was the heavy breathing from Shuichi the ominous crashing sounds which randomly occurred from outside the base.

"Why not ask Monokuma?"  Kokichi spoke up. Nine sets of eyes landed on him in a mixture of pure surprise and horror.

"You called??" And as if by magic, the mechanical bear was behind them all, smirking up at them.

"Wow, perfect timing!" Kokichi glowered. "Is there any way we can save our Ultimate Detective here? It wouldn't be very interesting to have him just die off in the middle of this killing game..."

"Hmm..." the bear drifted off, "I guess it would be a shame. Maybe we could arrange something; wait one moment!" Suddenly he disappeared.

Kokichi turned back to the detective and smirked. "Well look at that, I might have just saved your ass Shuichi!"

But Shuichi was no longer listening. The boy in black had his eyes screwed shut once again, expression set in a sweaty, harrowing grimace. Kokichi had to tear his eyes any from the sight; something about it didn't make him feel good at all.

"What are you up to?" Maki snarled. Kokichi felt grateful that the assassin didn't have the kitchen knife on her, because if she did it was likely she could have slit his throat right then and there.

"Hmm?" He hummed back obviously. "Oh right! I forgot you didn't care about people's lives being an assassin and all."

"Umm... What is he talking about?" Tsumugi asked innocently.

"Kokichi's just spouting nonsense again!" Kiibo stated, glaring daggers into the boy who kneeled opposite him.

"Don't butt in Kii-boy, the people are talking."

"Argh!" Was Kiibo's strangled response as he failed to come up with a suitable comeback.

"Everyone stop it!" Kaito yelled; evidently, he'd had enough. "We're getting off-topic here. Shuichi is our main concern right now, we need him to get better or else-" he was suddenly cut off by the mechanical bear who reappeared in front of them.

"I'm back~" he grinned, "The Monocubs and I have arranged something pretty special just for you guys! I hope you're grateful!"

"Get on with it." Maki hissed.

"That's no way of speaking to your headmaster, missy!" Monokuma growled in return, "Anyways, there is a way to save your dear detective. And that is with the 'true test of courage and friendship!' An antidote will be hidden somewhere in the academy, and four of you will have to go search for it.  We recommend that you search in two teams of two since it might be quicker for you to help your friend. I'm giving you 2 hours to complete this challenge; pretty generous I'd say... if you break any rules or don't complete the task within the allocated time then..." The bear paused and the everyone gazed on at him expectantly.

"Then?"

"Shuichi Saihara will be executed, so you better hurry!" He finished, completely ignoring the gasps which erupted from the students around him.

"Hey, that's not fair! Just give us the damn medi-" Kaito roared But was abruptly interrupted.

"What are the rules?" Kokichi asked, wearing a blank expression.

"I'm glad you asked! Only four of you are allowed to leave here and once the time begins, nobody is allowed to return until the time ends. There will be traps, so you guys are allowed weapons and of course, the zombies are still on the loose. I'll put a timer on the monitors so you all know how much you have left and once you find the antidote, the timer automatically stops. However, be warned that the traps will still be around even after the timer has ended. Well, that's about it, the timer starts as soon as you step foot outside here. Good luck~" With that, Monokuma disappeared leaving the students with many unanswered questions.

"I'm going," Kaito confirmed. "There's no way I'm just gonna leave my sidekick to die!"

"I'm coming with you." Maki agreed. "There's no point having anyone else die in this game."

"Good... We already have two volunteers..." Korekiyo stated, "Now we just need two more..."

There was a brief silence.

"Don't look at me!! I actually have a future unlike you turds, so I'm staying. Sorry, Pooichi!" Shuichi wasn't listening. He hadn't been listening throughout the whole conversation.

"I don't think my magic is strong enough for this... But I don't want Shuichi to die..." Himiko mumbled which caused Tenko to look down at her in pity.

"Oh, Himiko..." Tenko sighed. Her expression morphed from pity to determination as she stared Kaito in the eyes. "I volunteer as tribute!"

"Huh?" Kaito looked surprised. "Well, that's unexpected..."

"Shuichi's not bad for a male. And I don't mind replacing Himiko when it comes down to it. It can take down any zombie with my Neo-Aikido after all!"

"It makes sense." Maki agreed. "You are potentially one of our strongest fighters."

"That leaves one more!" Tsumugi said.

"Going once, going twice...." Kokichi began but was greeted with pure silence. "Wow! You really are just all cowards..." He sighed; a gesture which was exaggerated and prolonged. "Fineee, I'll go. Just don't pair me up with Maki-roll or Astroboy."

"You're not lying right?" Kaito growled, concerned. "You better not break any rules on purpose."

"Geez, I won't!! I care about Shuichi as much as you do, and that's the truth~" Kokichi smirked.

"Now that's a lie..." Kiibo breathed. "But at least we have four people now. You guys should all get ready and be quick, Shuichi isn't looking too good."

Kokichi spared a glance for the detective and instantly regretted it after. The boy had somehow grown even paler, his breathing more disjointed and rapid.  He still doesn't really understand he volunteered to search for the antidote. Maybe it was something to do with the state Shuichi was in, how looking at him had Kokichi's stomach churn and hands go clammy, not in a good way.

He brushed the thoughts away. Soon he would be on a timer. If they failed this challenge, Shuichi would most definitely die. This wasn't just any old timer; this was the countdown of Shuichi's last moments alive.

Chapter Text

There was an unsettled atmosphere in the base that morning as Kokichi, Kaito, Maki and Tenko prepared themselves for their challenge.

Miu presented each one of them with an anti-zombie weapon.

"Listen up rejects!" She bellowed, standing up onto her seat. "Feel blessed that a prodigy like me made you virgins these. I'm not just a pretty face you know!"

"What are they?" A voice questioned her, and she replied with a loud snort.

"Are you thick? They're only the latest invention of the beautiful girl genius Miu Iruma! Each one of these suckers is equipped to quickly and completely immobilize any zombie you come across!"

Each weapon was bright pink in colour, occasionally with sections of turquoise, and each possessed a blue logo of a bear. Kaito was given a large shotgun which looked good for long-range, however useless for close combat.

Maki was given a sword but she ended up sticking with her kitchen knife as her main weapon, however, she had made sure it was properly sharpened beforehand. Kokichi had also caught her hide various other sharp gizmos under her skirt and in her sleeves.

Tenko had insisted that she didn't need a weapon, that she was powerful enough without one. Nobody fully believed her.

"Are you sure?" Kaito asked her uncertainly.

"Nothing can defeat Neo-Aikido!" Was her only reply.

Finally came the weapon given to Kokichi. Three bright pink anti-zombie grenades which had been strapped securely onto a belt. Kaito has immediately taken one of the grenades for him and Maki in case of 'emergencies'.

They had decided to split into two groups of two since they were against the clock. Even though sticking in a group of four might be the safer option, it was a gamble and one which they couldn't afford to take.

Kaito and Maki paired together which Kokichi was thankful for. Frankly, he wouldn't know what would kill him first, the zombies or Maki. Kaito would never have the balls to actually kill him, but oh boy was his optimistic and trusting attitude irritating.

So Kokichi had paired up with Tenko, an unusual duo he must add. The girl was at pleased at all at first and begged to be paired up with Maki. It wasn't until Maki's true Ultimate talent as an assassin was revealed that she changed her mind.

"Degenerate males..." Kokichi heard her quietly huff from where he was standing. "It's about time they all just die off..."

The group was lucky to have access to quite a lot of food in the kitchen, although it didn't mean they didn't have to ration. Himiko was constantly complaining about her empty stomach, while a Tenko took pity on her and gave her her own rations. However, the four who were about the leave were given just a bit extra this time. It was nothing special really. Nobody there was exactly a great cook now that Kirumi was no longer around...

Preparations were all set. The four Ultimates had gathered their weapons and eaten and judging by Shuichi's current appearance, it was time to go.

"Shuichi's temperature is really high..." Tsumugi sighed. "I think it's time you guys should get going..."

"WAIT!" Miu loudly protested as the four of them began moving pieces of the barricade away from the door. "Before you, abortions leave; I have one more thing to give you."

She handed Tenko and Kaito a walkie talkie each while keeping the third one on her. "You better tell us if something happens out there or if you run into any swarms of those shitheads. And if you find a clue which might lead towards Pooichi's antidote then you can also direct the other pair whereabouts you are."

"Woooow!" Kokichi mused. "I'm impressed... You actually have your uses after all!"

"Of course I do," Miu sneered back. "I'm not just a pretty face y'know!"

"Right." Kaito interrupted. "It's time we got going. The sooner the better!"

Maki nodded from next to him. Both her and Kaito had decided that they were going to be the ones who searched the school building, while Tenko and Kokichi searched the courtyard, dorms and other buildings which were located outside.

"We'll be back soon Shuichi~" Kokichi chimed as he picked up the baseball bat he had taken back with him from the gym storeroom. He had modified the item himself to deal maximum damage to any passing zombie by hammering various sharp nails into its tough wood. With that as well as the grenade belt he had strapped around his shoulder; he just about felt ready to do this.

Tenko finished what looked like a deep conversation with Himiko and followed Kokochi as he skipped out the doors of the dining hall.

"Good luck!" Kiibo said as Kaito and Maki closed the door behind Tenko. Most of their classmates remained silent, unsure. Scared maybe. Shuichi was still unconscious and hadn't moved in a while. Each one then knew that this was now his only chance of getting through. He needed that medicine, or he would surely die.

-~-

"Soooo... Where are we gonna look first?" Kokichi asked Tenko after they had separated from Kaito and Maki and were left in awkward silence.

Tenko had walked on ahead of him. They were currently in the courtyard, feet tapping against the stone slabs as they swiftly walked.

"Let's go to the dorms. It might be hidden somewhere in Shuichi's room..." Tenno steadily replied, not facing him. Instead, she headed straight ahead.

"Isn't that way too obvious??" Kokichi muttered. "If anything, we should look around for clues leading to a new area or something."

"Fine degenerate!" She spluttered angrily. "God, you males are so picky. Just stay alert for zombies will you?!"

The two spent the next 15 minutes searching around in the long grass. They found nothing, not even a single bug. Kokichi was growing increasingly frustrated. He needed some sort of clue which could give him some idea where he can find this medicine. That's all.

Eventually, they quit rustling through the grass and searched the dorms for a clue just in case. He and Tenko both agreed it was fine to split up once they were in the dorm building since it was unlikely there would be any zombies there.

Kokichi instantly headed to Shuichi's room. Being in the presence of his living space was no real surprise to him since he had already entered the detective
's room on multiple occasions, but he couldn't help but help the change as soon as he stepped through the door. Maybe it was just nostalgia, he didn't know, however, he found himself inhaling deeply as his hand lingered on the doorknob. The room smelled like Shuichi.

Kokichi stayed in the room longer than he should have down before he returned to search the rest of the rooms.

The dorms were empty, just as Kokichi had expected. He and Tenko had to force themselves to search a different area. They were beginning to waste too much time.

Suddenly, the walkie talkie Tenko had been carrying around with her began to make a strange crackling sound before Kaito's voice was heard through the speaker. Tenko hurriedly picked up the device in hope and held it up to her face.

"Any luck on your end?" Kaito's gruff voice spoke out causing both Kokich and Tenko to sign in unison even though it was clear Kokichi's was just exaggerated.

"If that's all you had to say when we'll be going." Kokichi muttering into the speaker before shutting it off. Tenko grabbed off him and switched it back on.

"You Degenerate! We said to use the walkie talkies only if we found clues or were danger! Not for measly check-ins!" Tenko complained.

"Huh? Oh yeah!" Kaito acknowledged. "Well, at least we know now!"

The speaker cut off from their end leaving the duo in silence before Kokochi let out a short snicker.

"God, what a Larry letdown..."

-~-

"Hey male," Tenko suddenly asked as they continued talking towards the underground tunnel, their latest destination.

"Hmm?" Kokichi hummed, walking behind her while not really listening. He was more focused on figuring out any clues Monokuma may have slipped in while he was talking to them back in the dining room.

"Why even bother volunteering to help find this antidote anyway? I thought you didn't care about what happened." Tenko stated which led Kokichi to raise an eyebrow.

"Yikes, what led you to believe that? I just want the game to be more interesting!" He hastily replied. "That's all."

"Is making the game more interesting really worth risk no your life though? The only reason I volunteered was t-"

"To protect Himiko, yes, we already knew. You know, it's pretty dumb to get so attached to someone in a killing game... She could get killed off at any moment." Kokichi cut her off then smirked at Tenko's enraged expression.

"Take that back you, degenerate male!" Tenko had stopped walking and turned to face Kokichi in the eyes. Kokichi wasn't too afraid though; he knew Tenko wouldn't attack him unless he attacked her.

"Keep walking Karate girl, we have places to be!" Tenko just growled at him and turned back around. Even she knew that they didn't have time to be squabbling.

"It's Neo-Aikido. Karate is a completely different form of martial art." She hissed as they reached the manhole which led to the underground tunnel.

"Yeah, yeah, I don't care~" Kokichi sung as he was about down the ladder to the underground passage.  He was abruptly stopped by Tenko.

"Hey! What do you think you're doing?!" She snapped pulling him by the neck scarf away from the ladder.

"Umm? Climbing down the ladder?" Kokichi retorted as he made his way back to climbing down the ladder.

"Oh no, you don't! I'm not giving you the chance to looking up while I'm above you so I'm going first. Such typical male behaviour!" With that, Tenko climbed down the ladder first, followed by Kokichi. He didn't know why she always made stuff like that into such a big deal, it wasn't like he was that interested in that sort of thing anyway.

The two were left in silence once again once they reached the end of the ladder. Kokichi grimaced at the new and off-putting atmosphere.

Something was definitely wrong about this place.

"...Can you sense that?" Tenko hesitated. Kokichi didn't fail to miss the sound of her voice wavering a little.

It was then when they noticed the monitor (was that always there?) which had been situated unnaturally in the middle of the room.

"Huuuh?? I wonder what's that doing there..." Kokichi chuckled, as he began to approach the monitor in the room's centre. Tenko gave him an uneasy look.

"I don't think Shuichi's antidote is in here. We should get going before something bad happens..." Tenko was probably right for trusting her instincts, but he couldn't help but think this might be the clue he'd been longing for.

Suddenly, as Kokichi took his final step forward; the screen lit up a bright, neon pink. They were then greeted by the sound of clashing metal and their previous source of natural light from the manhole being completely cut off.

"Get away from it!" Tenko screamed at him, and this time Kokichi decided to obey without any argument. He stepped away from the glowing pink screen back to Tenko who had her gaze fixed up at the manhole in horror.

"The manhole's been shut off. We're trapped."

Chapter Text

The only sound Kokichi could hear was Tenko swearing under her breath. The ear-piercing screech of jarring metal came to a halt, leaving the tunnel in ominous silence.

Kokichi stood besides Tenko, violet eyes fixed onto the monitor screen. It had changed.

WELCOME

"A trap created by Monokuma..." Kokichi murmured, hand hovering over his belt of grenades. He only had two; he had to make them last.

IF YOU WANT TO PROCEED, YOU MUST ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION

Kokichi raised a single eyebrow. 'Questions?'

"Wow~ Monokuma must really be desperate if he thinks a pop quiz is gonna st-" He was suddenly interrupted by the sound of Tenko speaking urgently into the walkie talkie, updating the assassin and the astronaut on their current situation.

"Yes, we're in the underground tunnel..." She stammered as she looked at her whereabouts wildly. Similar to a cornered animal, Kokichi mused from the sidelines.

Kaito's loud voice sharply broke the silence, confirming the duo that they would be there as soon as possible. 'Soon' wasn't good enough in circumstances like these. In fact, they needed to get out of there now.

FAIL TO ANSWER A QUESTION TRUTHFULLY AND THERE WILL BE PUNISHMENT

There was the catch Kokichi was looking for.

"Punishment?!" Tenko cried. Kokichi looked back at her for a split moment. He almost felt bad for her that she was paired with him to complete a task which involved 'telling the truth'.

He felt himself unclamp one of the two grenades he had strapped to his belt and place it in Tenko's palm. He didn't look at her face but he could guess what sort of expression she was wearing on her face.

"What... What is this for?" She asked, taking the grenade while still staring at him in the eyes. "I have my Neo-Aikido!"

"They're for emergencies, remember?" Kokichi turned back to the monitor. "Sure, you have your karate or whatever, but it's not gonna really help you if you find yourself surrounded or something."

Tenko narrowed her eyes, but her expression didn't show any spite or aggression to the boy, just confusion.

They turned their heads back to the monitor; the screen had changed once again.

QUESTION:

WHO IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?

That was... a highly unexpected question. Then again it's one which had meant to have been answered in their motive videos. Kokichi couldn't remember DICE as well as he had hoped. Their names were all blurry, unfamiliar. The memories they spent together felt like a puzzle which still needed to be pieced together.

"That's easy!" Tenko bellowed, "My answer is Himiko of course! Who else could it be?!"

Kokichi waited for something to happen and take them by surprise if by some miracle that wasn't the right answer. Luckily, their surroundings remained silent which led Kokichi to believe Tenko had said the truth.

The screen briefly screen, flashing green while reading the word 'TRUTH' before it reverted back to the original question. The manhole hadn't opened. They were still trapped down in the underground tunnel. This could only mean that they both had to answer the question truthfully before they could leave.

Suddenly, the walkie talkie began making static noises causing Tenko to jump. She tentatively picked the device up.

"I'm just updating you freaks," Miu's obscene voice yelled loudly through the speaker. "That you have, like, half an hour left to complete this."

Tenko gasped. "That's it?!"

"Haven't you been keeping an eye on the time? What the hell are you doing right now then?!"

Tenko quickly explained their current situation while Kokichi kept quiet. Why was there a trap all the way down here? Was it possible they were close to the antidote?

"Well," Miu replied, "may as well start diggin' Pooichi's grave. Don't see how you're going to get out of this one." She then cut off. Thanks, Miu.

"I do." Tenko spat, even if it was only to herself at this point, but she turned to Kokichi to look him dead in the eyes. "All you need to do is tell the truth for once."

"Hmmm?" Kokichi looked at her in feigned innocence. "Well, the only important person in the life of a supreme leader is themselves!"

The room instantly glowed a dark, angry red. Both pairs of eyes shot back to meet the screen, realising that it had changed once again.

FALSE

Kokichi didn't actually think the monitor would even count that as an answer. But apparently, it did.

The ominous sound of metal was heard once again as one of their previously blocked escape routes began opening.

"Get ready," Kokichi stated, positioning his bat in front of him.

IT'S PUNISHMENT TIME!

A group of around 10 zombies scrambled out of the opening towards them. Kokichi noticed the difference with these zombies compared to the other ones he'd fought instantly. These may have been only a bit bigger, though they were clearly faster and knew that working in a group would be a more effective killing strategy.

Kokichi took the opportunity as they were still running them when he could. He quickly unclipped his only grenade from his belt.

"Stand back if you don't wanna get blown up along with these guys~," He told Tenko while wearing a smirk which even he didn't feel was necessary right now. However, Tenko ran some distance back like she was told.

Surprised she had actually listened, Kokichi pulled out the pin and threw the grenade with as much direction and force that he could manage. To his luck, the bomb landed near enough to the zombies, and Kokichi swiftly made some distance between himself and the grenade which was about to detonate.

BAM!

The explosion was greater than Kokichi had expected. A sudden burst of oranges painted the metal walls before the fire quickly dissolved into smoke, having nothing to catch alight on. Kokichi found the angry cries of the zombies almost funny, as a couple of them were tossed through the air from the force, while others were completely destroyed where they once stood.

The once which had been flung through the air were sprawled out on the ground for a split second before slowly getting up again, dazed.

Tenko fought the one which came attacking in her direction, while Kokichi used his bat to defend himself from the other two which were currently trying to get to him. He was glad that he was smaller than most people; his lithe body was definitely something he could use to his advantage in situations like this.

He managed to dodge most of the incoming attacks and used the bat to swat away any incoming attacks. After a minute of evading and only hitting limbs, Kokichi saw the opening he was looking for. The zombie had left its head unguarded while the other was still dazed from his previous attack. That opportunity was all he needed to smash the zombie's skull with a single, fatal blow.

The practically decapitated body fell on top of the other dazed zombie which snarled in response. Kokichi grinned at it. Even though he wasn't at all that pleased to get blood all over his white clothes and most likely face too. The moisture on his face was definitely foreign.

As the zombie struggled to get up, Kokichi took this as a chance to eliminate the threat before him, smashing its head into the ground with a deafening crack. He tucked the bat under his arm and wiped to move the strands of hair which had plastered itself to the spatters of blood on his face. As he did so, Kokichi noticed Tenko fighting off the zombie. She seemed to be doing an okay job of defending herself, but without an actual weapon, the fight wasn't going anywhere.

He silently agreed with himself to lend her a hand just this once as he picked up the bat once again and struck the zombie while its head was turned. Tenko gave Kokichi a nod, the most gratitude he was going to get, and straightened her hair. She looked worn out.

"Well, that was interesting! I wonder what else Monokuma has in store for us..." Kokichi smirked and Tenko just sighed.

"I don't want to find out... We need to hurry this up, our time is almost up!" They turned back to the monitor as the screen flashed back to its original neon pink.

WHO IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?

"Really?" Kokichi raised an eyebrow. "This again? Can't we move on now?!" He complained.

"Just answer the question truthfully! It's not that hard." Tenko said impatiently. Kokichi stole a glance at her and noticed she was growing increasingly concerned.

'Not that hard' is an understatement. At this stage, Kokichi honestly didn't know the answer to this question. His motive video had shown that the people who meant the most to him were the members of DICE. But would that still be the same if he could hardly remember any personal memories with them? Well, it could either be them or-

"Just say the name of the person who was on your motive video!" Tenko yelled at him, so Kokichi, caving in from the pressure, answered.

"Then, I guess DICE is most important to me..." He confirmed quietly and watched as Tenko instantly looked towards the screen. He didn't even need to look at the monitor to know the answer. He saw Tenko's expression morph into one of pure horror as crimson reflected off the metal walls of the tunnel all over again. Kokichi hardly felt shocked about that answer; something didn't feel right about it. Not anymore.

ĮT'S PÛÑIŠHMEÑT TĮMĒ¡

This time was different from the last. That was clear to Kokichi right from the start. Where he had counted around 10 zombies before, now there were 20 at least.

"You lied again?!" Tenko screamed as the zombies swarmed towards them.

"I didn't think that was a lie," Kokichi stated, standing perfectly still. He would have probably deserved it if he had died right there and then.

That that point, after only a second of analysis, Kokichi realised the swarm was heading for Tenko, not him at all. Maybe it was because she was slightly closer to them or because she didn't carry a weapon, he didn't know.

"Tenko!" Kokichi hastily barked, seeing where this was going. "Move out their way and throw the grenade; this is our last chance to use it!"

Tenko started running but suddenly stopped. Kokichi was about to scream at her to keep moving until his eyes drifted down to her feet. A zombie had latched its hands around her ankles, anchoring her down. Kokichi began running towards her when he noticed the zombies now getting dangerously close.

Tenko had thrown the zombie off of her when the swarm hit. Kokichi watched the horde throw themselves on her like a swarm of savage dogs. Tenko shrieked from inside the swarm as Kokichi began attempting to bat his way in to help her by knocking out the ones on the outside.

"Get back!" She shrieked, her voice muffled and hoarse. "Move out the way, degenerate!" Kokichi caught sight of Tenko's face briefly. Her eyes were wide and full of dread.

Kokichi ran a good few meters before he stopped to turn to see why Tenko wanted him to stand away.

BANG!

The room lit up and the ground shook beneath him. His eyes widened as the whole horde of zombies blew up into flames. As the flames began to dissipate, he ran up to the wreckage. She couldn't have...

Tenko was gone, and she'd taken out all 20 zombies in one go. Kokichi knelt on the ground which was now covered with ash and dust. The smell was horrendous.

"Shit." He spat to the ground, "Shit, Shit!" He repetitively combed his hand through his hair, trying to calm himself down. This one was on him.

He slowly got up again to view the screen.

WHO IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?

"That's enough." He whispered. "No more games Monokuma. You got your sacrifice, now let me through." He sauntered up to the monitor and swung his bat once, crushing the screen completely.

Next, he moved towards the 'Death Road to Despair' which was currently shut off. He struck the shutters, once, twice, denting it slightly. He focused on the same spot near the bottom of the shutter, eventually denting it enough to create a  small gap.

He managed to squeeze past after a couple of attempts and bashing the shutter to dent it to create a larger gap. Part of him feared that he would possibly have to complete the 'Death Road' by himself, something he didn't have the right equipment for right now.

Those fears vanished once he saw the white bag in front of him. He picked it up, turning it over. There was a large green cross on it which meant it could only mean one thing. This must be it. The antidote.