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"Perfect"

Chapter Text

 

 

It was another late night. Her sister had stayed at work due to a big case, which meant that Makoto hadn't known how late it already was when she had gotten done studying. She let out a small gasp at the time and went to get ready for bed when she noticed an app on her phone that she hadn’t installed.
“What the…” Makoto tried to open it, but no to avail. The red and black eye icon just got bigger on her phone. ‘Creppy…’ she thought as she deleted it, praying it wasn’t a virus.

She sighed. "I hope I'm not late because of this..." She let the lids of her eyes close, falling into a restless sleep.

When she went to open her eyes again she heard the sounds of chains rattle, water dripping, and felt a cold chill run through her body. 'Where am I..?' She wondered as she sat up.

"About time, Inmate!" Makoto heard the voice of a child. She looked over to see a young girl with silver hair in twin buns, one piercing yellow eye, the other covered with an eyepatch, and in a warden's outfit. Confused, Makoto began to sit up, stopping as she saw another girl set out from the side and in front of the bar. She was identical to the other. This one, however, had her eyepatch on her right eye, and braids on the sides of her head meeting to make a braided ponytail.

She sat up and began to walk, feeling a weight on her leg. She looked behind herself to see a ball and chain. "What is this?!" Makoto asked, panicked slightly. The twin buns smiled, and both moved out of the way to reveal a man with an overly large nose and ears.

"Welcome, Trickster, to my Velvet Room." He extended his hand, palm facing upward. His voice seemed too deep for his face.

"Where am I?" Makoto demanded as she grabbed the bars. The man chuckled.

"Mind your voice, Inmate!" The girl to her left slammed the bars with her baton, causing Makoto to jump.

"This place exists between mind and matter. Dream and reality." He answered as the braided girl turned to her.

"You are experiencing this all as a dream. However, this is all actually happening." Her voice (unlike the other girls), was calming.

"Ah forgive me,"  he said once again. "To your left is Caroline, and to your right, Justine. They are the wardens of this place."

"And you?" Makoto shot him a glare, to which the girl--Caroline-- slammed her baton in her hands, glaring right back.

"I am Igor. You'd best remember that."  He chuckled. "I will be assisting you throughout your 'rehabilitation'..."

Makoto gave him a bemused look. "My ‘rehabilitation’..?"

"It is alright to be confused about all of this…” He paused, “for now. You shall learn about it all in due time."

"You shall soon awaken to your true potential," The girl with the clipboard, Justine, explained. "But for now, it appears as though you need to return to your world." She said as a drill alarm went off, and Makoto fell back asleep only to wake up again.

 

 

~*~

 

 

What was that weird dream all about? Makoto wondered, running her way to the train station. I even woke up late… She sighed feeling the first few raindrops. And forgot my umbrella…

She rushed under an awning to save herself from the rain and sighed. I'm going to be late...
A girl in a modified uniform joined her side, and after brushing a few raindrops off of her she dropped her hood. Makoto felt as though she recognized thought twin-tails...
"Takamaki-san?" She heard herself saying before she realized she had. Takamaki looked over at her with a surprised look but managed a small smile and gave her a small wave.

Makoto smiled back.

"Good morning, Takamaki-san."

It wasn't long until a car pulled up in front of them; the window being rolled down.

"Mornin' ladies! Need a ride?" Mr. Kamoshida smiled at both of them.

"Oh, um, sure." Takamaki kept her smile as she opened the door to his car. His smile grew wider.

The gym coach turned to Makoto. "And what about you?"

"Thank you for the offer, Kamoshida-Sensei. I am fine though."

Kamoshida shrugged and turned back to the wheel. Takamaki's face did not go unnoticed as her window was rolled up.

...What was that about..? She worried.

Not too long after, a boy with fake blond hair ran up, kicking the water as the car left. "Damn pervert teacher!" He hissed.

"...'Pervert teacher'?" She echoed, not noticing the buzz from her phone.

He turned to look at her. "Shit..." He hissed under his breath, slumping down and putting his hands in his pockets. "What, you gonna rat me out to Mr. Kamoshida?"

"Is there anything I should 'rat you out' for?" She asked, crossing her arms. Ah. This was Sakamoto-kun.

Sakamoto clicked his tongue. "'Course you'd side with 'im! You're 'lil miss perfect' after all! No wonder you'd go n' turn a blind eye to 'im walkin' around like Shujin's his own freaking castle!"

Makoto blinked at him, needing to restrain herself from lashing out. "...Excuse me?"

"Well ain't 'cha the Vice Student Prez? You should've noticed somethin' 'bout 'im by now! Like all those volleyball members covered in bruises!" The blond yelled.

And she had noticed. She was just too afraid to say anything about it. Makoto looked at the ground, closing her eyes and taking a breath to calm herself before looking back up at Sakamoto. "I know...I am sorry that it has taken as long as it has, but I assure you, the Student Council President and I are looking into - "

"Bullshit..." Sakamoto said, kicking the ground again.

Makoto sighed. There was no way Sakamoto was going to listen to her, so she just decided to drop the conversation and try to get to class before school started. "We should hurry to the school now. At this rate, we're going to be late." She began to walk, gesturing Sakamoto to follow her which he did with a hefty sigh.

They both felt a horrible pain in their heads.

"Agh... My damn head hurts..." The faux blond complained.

They continued forward but stopped. They saw something that they should never have seen.


A castle in the middle of Tokyo...

 

 

Chapter Text

 ~

 

It was a rainy day. His fellow classmates hurried out of the rain under awnings or running to school muttering complaints of ‘this sucks’ and ‘the news didn’t say anything about rain!’
Well, they still should have expected it. That’s why he brought his black umbrella. Honestly, he could smell the rain when he woke up. Why was this news to anyone?

Akira sighed at his fellow students' misfortune. Someone was going to have to mop up the water they were tracking into school. He hoped none of them went into the library like that…

He closed his book and got out some of his homework. There was still thirty minutes until class - he might as well get ahead. Once the bell rang and he got prepared for class, however, Akira noticed something - or well, that someone was missing from class.

Where is Nijima-San..?

 


~

 


“What the effing..?” Ryuji couldn’t understand it. This was the way to school! ...Right? Now he couldn’t remember. He looked over at Nijima-senpai to see an equally confused and surprised face. “Why the hell is there a castle? This is the way to school, right..?”

Nijima stood there for a second, then turned to Ryuji. “Yes, no doubt about it. However, that doesn’t explain why it appears as a castle…” She seemed dumbfounded.

“Wanna check it out -” Ryuji began before being interrupted by the class Vice President.

“-Do you really think it’s a good idea to just go walking into a strange castle that we know nothing about?” She scolded. Damn, she can still do that in a situation like that? She shook her head, pinching the bridge of her nose.

Ryuji made a low sound in his throat, frustrated. "I just wanna know why the eff there’s a castle in the middle of freaking Tokyo!” He sighed.

Nijima nodded. “As do I.” She put her hands behind her back. “However we should focus on getting to school for now.”

“But-” Just as Ryuji was about to say something, he was interrupted by an oddly distorted voice.

“You there! Why are you loitering around his Majesty’s castle?!” A guard in old-timey looking armor walked out of the castle holding an unsheathed sword.

“Shit..!” The faux blond took a step back, holding an arm in front of himself subconsciously for protection.

Nijima looked at the armored knight with wide eyes. “Oh wow…” She said in a wincing tone. “This can’t be happening… How…” Before she could finish was she was going to say (if she was going to), the knight called for support. Two more armored knights appeared before them, shooting out of the ground with a wet sound.

Ryuji’s heart was beating fast. This had to be a dream, nothing like this could actually happen! Damnit what the hell is going on?!

Before he could proses anything else happening, the blunt end of a sword met his head, and his eyes faded to darkness...

 

 

Chapter Text

 

~

 

It had been an hour and Nijima-san still wasn’t there.

 

Where could she be..? Akira wondered, roaming the halls halfheartedly reading his book as he passed by a few lower classmen gossiping.

 

“Have you seen Nijima-senpai today?” That piqued his interest. His book suddenly became fascinating as he leaned up against the window near the girls.

 

“Nuh uh.” Damn… “But I heard some of my classmates saw her walking to school with that Sakamoto-kun!” ...What?

 

“Oh really? Do you think he did something to her? Or do you think they’re doing the deed~?”

 

“Oh c’mon, Ryo, you know that Senpai would never do something like that with someone like him!”

 

Akira had heard enough. He didn’t like to think of his classmates in an ill manner, but if Sakamoto really had done something to her…

What the hell am I thinking? I wouldn’t be able to do much anyway. I can’t do anything about Ru-chan or Suzui-san… Hah, I really am worthless.

He let out an ever so slightly shaky sigh and continued walking.

Perhaps I can get him expelled if he really did do anything to her.

 

 

--~*~--

 

 

Makoto awoke to the sound of yelling, who she quickly realized was Sakamoto’s, along with the sound of metal being hit. Wait, what?

She opened her eyes with a groan, only just now realizing just how much her head hurt. Sakamoto immediately stopped and rushed over to her.

 

“Yo, you okay?” He sounded oddly concerned.

 

Makoto nodded only to wince. She looked around. “Where…” The memories flooded back. “How is this…”

 

“I dunno!” The delinquent exclaimed, throwing his hands up. “I have no effing clue what’s goin’ on here! You got any ideas to escape? Maybe we can jet before the guards come back!”

 

Makoto nodded and stood up, Sakamoto helping her. “Alright, you check the left side of the cell and I’ll examine the right.” He nodded and began looking for any possible way to escape.

 

There are shackles chained onto the wall… I don’t like the looks of that.

 

A scream.

 

“Shit!” Sakamoto cursed, looking over at the bars.

 

Makoto let out a shaky breath. “W-we need to speed this up!”

 

He nodded, wide-eyed, and continued.

 

She looked at the wall, noticing a steady stream of water leaking from the ceiling above them.

 

There’s nothing around here for us to get out!

 

That’s when the cell door was opened…

 

--~*~--

 

 

Akira had just gotten done with his fourth class when his homeroom teacher approached him.

“Kurusu, I need to talk to you for a moment.” He nodded and followed her to a more privet area.

 

“Yes, Sensei?”

 

“Do you have any idea as to where Nijima might be?” She looked slightly worried, but there was a hint of irritation in her voice.

 

Akira ignored that.

 

Instead, worry was blooming even more in his stomach. “She still isn’t here..?” Not like he let that show.

 

Ms. Ira shook her head. “No, I haven’t even gotten a call about her.”

 

Akira nodded thoughtfully. “Neither have I… I’ll let you know when I do.” To that, his teacher nodded and walked off to the teacher’s lounge.

 

It’s lunch so I have time to study… The ravenette grimmest, turning on his heel and clutching his schoolbag in one hand while he held a book open in another, reading to distract himself as he approached the library.

 

I really am worthless…

 

--~*~--

 

 

At the sound of the cell door being opened, both Ryuji and Nijima snapped their attention to the opening of the prison they were being held in. They saw three of the same type of guards, all with eerily blue, hollow eyes.

 

“You should be thankful you’re punishment has been decided upon.” The guard in the front said, turning to the ex-runner, he said: “For you, your punishment is execution!”

 

Both the teens jumped in alarm.

 

“Th-the effing hell...” Ryuji took a step back, not wanting to believe this. Wishing this to be a dream. “This… You can’t be serious…”

 

“And as for you,” He said, turning to Makoto. “Your punishment shall be pleasure. You’re coming with me.” Oh no. No, no, no NO NO ! This is not what it sounds like! As he saw the knight approach a frozen Nijima, he rushed in front of her, acting as a shield between her and the guard.

 

“Don’t you dare touch her!” He practically screamed. Nijima had her hands to her chest and body pressed against the wall.

 

“Hmpf. Are you really going to deny my wishes?” An all too familiar voice asked, sounding too distorted to recognize off the batt.

 

“Screw you’re wishes! You ain’t layin’ a finger on her!” Ryuji shouts to the voice, only yo get a snicker in return.

 

Two guards stepped aside from the cell door to reveal a man in nothing but a heart covered cape, house slippers, a pink speedo, and a crown, along with glowing golden eyes.

But his face. That was a man he knew too well.

 

“Kamo...shida..?” Ryuji asked in disbelief.


The man frowned. “That’s ‘King Kamoshida’ to you, scum."

 

 

Chapter Text

~

 

“Wait… Mr. Kamoshida..?” Makoto repeated breathlessly. But the closer she looked at him, the more she noticed this wasn’t Kamoshida. Not really. His eyes. The crown. That outfit… It was disgusting.

 

Again, that’s King Kamoshida to you. ” He glared at the two of them, eyeing Makoto before shaking his head with a finger on his chin. “Tch, tch, tch… Makoto Nijima. You’re the VP of the school. You’re a smart girl, yet you still decided to hang out with this scum,” he nodded towards Sakamoto. “Shame. Here I thought you weren’t just looks, but I guess all women are just good for that.” He actually sounded sad.

 

“The hell you just say?!” Sakamoto growled at him, getting a smirk in response from the false Kamoshida.

 

“You heard me.” He waved a hand in dismissal. “Bring me the girl. You know how I like them~” He added with a sickly lustful expression on his face.

 

As a silver knight approached her, two others came to restrain Sakamoto, who was attempting to fight them off. “Get offa me!”

 

The knight went to grab her by her arm, but Makoto was waiting for this. She attempted to punch, kick, bite, run, but it only worked for so long until he pinned her to the wall. Guess aikido does work well against a knight in armor… The knight’s hands moved to her vest, and it was then when Makoto realized what this ‘Kamoshida’ wanted.

 

NIJIMA” Sakamoto all but screeched.

 

Makoto froze. She was in shock.

 

'Kamoshida' laughed. “This is all you’re good for, you know.”

 

That’s right… She couldn’t do anything. Nothing she ever did was good enough.

 

But this…

 

This was wrong. This was so wrong.

 

“Let me go…” She muttered, her voice shaking with anger.

 

“What was that?”

 

“I said to let. Me. Go.” 

 

" My… Have you decided to tread the path of strife...? " A voice within her asked. It sounded oddly familiar, oddly calming and normal to hear in her head.

 

“Yes.” She said with determination. 

 

" Very well. Let us proceed with our contract at once. "

 

A sharp, head-splitting pain wracked her vision. It was behind her eyes, her head, her face. She cried out in agony.

 

“I am thou. Thou art I… Thou hast finally awakened to thine own justice.”

 

Makoto was crying at this point. She thrashed around in the guard's grip, her eyes closed the whole time.”

 

“Please... never lose sight of it again.”  

 

She screamed, but this time in anger. Blue clouded her vision as she stomped on the ground, and her face itched - burned - stung - get it off get itoffgetitoff--

 

"This memorable day marks your graduation from your false self..."

 

She lifted a hand to her face, right where her eyes were and found something cold to the touch on it. With one hand, screaming in pain, she pulled it off.

 

--~*~--

 

Another hour had passed and neither Nijima-san nor Sakamoto-kun had been seen that day.

To say the least, it worried him. So he called her again, only for it to go straight to voicemail.

 

Again.

 

Akira let out a sigh, talking to the other council members and asking them if any of them had seen or heard from her. Which they hadn't. Great.

 

He lifted a shaky hand to comb through his raven hair. He couldn’t stand the gnawing anxiety that was building up in him for his absent classmate.

 

“Aki-kun?” A high pitched, sweet voice says from behind. Akira looks towards the source and barely manages out a smile over his stress.

 

“Good afternoon, senpai. How are you?” He asks politely.

 

Okumura smiles and nods her head once, hands behind her back. “Very well, thank you!” She looks down and her smile suddenly disappears.

 

Akira frowns. “Is something the matter, Okumura-san?”

 

She seems to look a tad sadder for a moment, then shakes her head before nodding. “I had heard that Nijima-senpai has been absent all day…” Ah. “Do you think she’s alright?”

 

After a moment of thinking, he answers with a, “I’m hopeful…” Damn that came out worse then intended…

 

Okumura looks more worried.

 

You made her look like that, you fool.

 

I am a fool…

 

You’re not helping, you’re making it worse, you always manage to do that, you should stop trying -

 

“She should come back soon.” He faked a smile. An oddly comfortable mask.

 

Okumura smiled back. “I hope so!” She looked at the time. “Oh! I’m so sorry, you probably had stuff to do and now it’s almost time for class!”

 

Akira shook his head. “No, I had nothing to do, really. We should get to our classes though,” He stood up from the wall he was leaning on.

 

Okumura nodded in smile. “Yes!”

 

Chapter Text

 

~

 

It was horrifying, really.

 

One second Nijima was being manhandled by this creepy ass knight, Kamoshit-stain was trying to get her - and then the next second she’s screaming. But it wasn’t a normal scream. It wasn’t of fear, or anger, but of pain. She was squirming in the guard's grasp, her eyes closed tight, tears still finding a way through.

 

Ryuji didn’t know what was going on. What was happening to her? Did that asshole do something? Still processing, he looked at Kamoshida, who looked as bewildered as he felt. It was almost impossible to tell what the knights were thinking, though. He looked back at the brunette, still looking as though she was in immense pain.

 

Then she screamed.

 

This time of anger. She stomped her foot down on the dungeon floor, so hard the stone tiles broke . Her eyes were the same yellow as that Kamoshida’s.

 

Wait what the hell?!

 

She was panting, and in blue flame, a metal mask appeared on her face. She didn’t hesitate to put a hand up to it and start pulling. When one wasn’t enough she brought the other up, and in another pained scream, she ripped the object from her face in a shower of blood.

 

Ryuji was still in complete shock. Nijima was still just standing there, looking tired. Just as he was about to ask her if she was okay, she looked up at Kamoshida, anger visible under her blood-soaked face. Her eyes were still yellow, and then suddenly, blue flames crept up her figure. Engulfing her entirely.

 

The sound of chains and a running engine filled the cell, the flames dying down to revile Nijima wearing a skin-tight leather biker outfit, that weird mask now gone, and her eyes back to normal. She was sitting on a motorcycle with a woman's face in the windshield.

 

She turned the handle twice and skidded the back wheel towards the knights, a flash of cyan following. The knights were all pushed back to the wall; armor and swords clashing together.

 

One of the last standing knights looked over at Kamoshida, who gave a short: “What are you doing?! Hurry up and kill her! ” Panic clear in his voice.

 

The knight nodded and turned into black goo sinking into the floor. Soon, though, it sprung back up with a “He ho he~!” as it turned into three floating pumpkin things.

 

As his upper-classmen fought them using the same cyan flame like things, he found that he was unable to pull his eyes from her. The weirdness of everything happening around him keeping him in some sort of odd trance.

 

Shit, this is crazy! What the hell is going on?! Am I dreaming? I gotta be dreaming…

 

He watched as Nijima blasted the rest of the pumpkin’s away. As soon as she did he bolted up before Kamoshida could coward out of the cell he ran into him, causing the bastard to fall to the ground with a hard ‘ thump’ “Y-You like that, you son of a bitch?!” Ryuji was out of breath, his heart thumping in his chest.

 

“Get the keys!” He heard Nijima call from behind him.

 

Looking around, he found a small keychain laying on the ground next to him. “You mean these?” Of course, she does, idiot! He cursed himself as he snagged the keys, pulled Nijima out of the cell and locked it.

 

She stumbled a bit, but before Ryuji was able to apologize and catch her, Kamoshita stood up and banged on the cell door. “How dare you imprison your king, you worthless scum!

 

“Hurry, let's get out of here!” Nijima urged Ryuji. He nodded, following her down a path.

 

~

 

Morgana couldn’t remember exactly how long he had been kept in this cell. Was it a week? A month? Time was hard to tell in the Metaverse, after all, so it could have been a year or a day for all he knew.

 

Sulking, the once-human slumped in the corner of his cell. He already knew the Shadow wasn’t going to let him go, and he was pretty useless behind the bars. The best he could do was wait and hope that something -

 

And then there was. Morgana felt a surge of power being emitted from another cell, and he heard screaming - pained, angry --

 

An awakening! He thought to himself with hope. He snapped his head towards the power, unable to see anything. Makes sense, she sounded far away enough.

 

His guard also turned to the noise, and after a few Shadows passed him, he followed to the yelling. A faint Hurry up and kill her ” echoing off the damp stone walls. Morgana had his paws pressed to the bars, straining himself to hear anything more, see something, feel something more. He felt the Shadows being taken out, and he couldn’t help but feel relief. He swore he heard the sound of an engine, but he wasn’t quite sure.

 

After a small while, he heard running towards him.

 

“D-Damit they’re gonna catch us!” A worried male voice.

 

“Calm down! We need to think rationally if we’re to get out of here!” An equally worried female voice, this time. Although it was panicked, it still had a sense of calm, order to it.

 

Morgana took his chance. “Hey! Over here!” He waved his paw out the cell hoping they’d see.

 

“Where’d that -”



“Please help me out of here!” He pleaded.

 

“Damnit! That bastard has more people locked up ‘n here?!”

 

Clashing armor.

 

“We need to hurry!” The once human than heard their footsteps coming closer, his hopes rising in his chest. “H-hello?” The female voice from before called out. They were right in front of him!

 

The male had blond air - he looked like a punk, actually… While the girl was in costume - She was the one who awakened..! She was in tight leather, a metal mask obscuring her face. She wore a crown braid in her short brown hair.

 

“Hey! Blondie! Braid! Down here!”

 

At the same time, the two of them looked down at Morgana, both flinching away from him.

 

“Wh-what the shit-!” Blondie said, putting an arm above his chest in a seemingly defensive manner. Sheesh, men are supposed to be gentlemen, not scaredy cats!

 

“Relax, I’m not gonna hurt you! Now hurry up and help me out of here!” He was getting desperate.

 

“But you obviously look like an enemy!” The girl said, sounding surprised.

 

“I’m not, I swear! If I were, why’d you think I’d be locked up in here?!”

 

She just blinked at him. “...Good point.”

 

Clatter clatter.

 

“Please!”

 

The blond looked conflicted. “How’re we supposed to know you ain’t lyin’?”

 

I think they went this way!”

 

They were running out of time and Morgana was looing his chance. “Look, if you help me out of here, I’ll show you the way out!”

 

The armor grew ever closer.

 

“Hurry! There’s no time! You’re just going to have to trust me on this!”

 

With a sigh, she unlocked the cell door, freeing Morgana. He hoped out with a sigh and a smile on his face. “Ah! Freedom~!”

 

“Now show us the way out, you monster cat!” Blondie ordered, stressed and bitter.

 

Morgana huffed. “I am not a cat!”

 

“We don’t have time to argue! Please, just show us the way out of here!”

 

Morgana nodded. He liked her. “Quick, over here!”

 

Pretty soon, and after lots of sneaking, they were lead to what looked like a draw bridge. As they ran across, a Shadow in silver armor ambushed them from around the corner...

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

The knight blocked their way through, causing Blondie to skid to the floor with a look of terror on his face. “A-AH shit it’s them!” His voice quivering.

 

“Ptf, amateur. Come, Zorro!” He called his Persona, and in a flash of blue flame (Blondie screaming again), the Persona appeared behind him, doing his signature ‘z’ swipe with his blade. “Hey, you,” Morgana nodded at the girl. “You look like you can fight.”

 

“I-I think so -” She started before he interrupted her.

“Then c’mon, now! Show me what you got!” As he said this, the Shadow turned to goo before revealing itself to be two Pixies. He quickly used a gust of wind to take out the first, feeling pretty cocky.

 

“Johanna!” She called, waving a hand in the air before jumping up and landing perfectly on the motorcycle that materialized from the blue flames behind her.

 

“Whoa! A motorcycle?!” Morgana had never seen anything like it before. Had never heard of something like this before, either!

 

Braid turned the back wheel to the Shadow, a nuclear burst hitting it and causing it to perish immediately.

 

“Whoa!” He gasped. This was impressive… “Impressive!”

 

“What the hell was that?” Blondie said. “The hell’s goin’ on?!” He said, running both his hands in his hair. Before Braid could speak, however, he continued. “And what the hell is up with your outfit?”

 

At that, Braid looked down at her hands, appearing startled. She then looked over her person. “I-” She started. “What is going on with my appearance?”

 

“Oh, that’s simple! That’s your idea of rebellion.

 

“My what?”

 

“Your inner will to fight!” Morgana continued.

 

“Uhh… still not followin’” Blondie said, toeing the floor. Morgana sighed.

 

“So what you’re saying is that because my perception of a rebel is… Well, this,” She gestured to herself, “and that’s why I am in this outfit?” Morgana nodded.

 

“Exactly!”

 

“Ugh, this still makes no effing sense! It still doesn’t explain why her clothes changed in the first place.” Blondie groaned, running his hands through his hair.

 

Braid’s ruby eyes met Blondie's “Does it truly matter right now?”  

 

“Aaarrrg… I guess not…” He frowned, before perking up again looking at her. “Y’know, it is a pretty bitching outfit!”

 

“Excuse me?” She bemused.

 

Still smiling, the blond pointed to her shoulders. “Your spikes! You look like a total biker!”

 

She battered her eyes under her mask, flustered. “Don’t -” She sighed. “Don’t say that again, please.”

 

He frowned. “I’m just trying to compliment you, jeez.”

 

They really needed to start moving. “Hey, if you guys are done yet, we need to move!” At that, the two of them looked at Morgana wide-eyed.

 

“R-right,” Blondie said, rubbing the back of his neck.

 

They continued on their way out of the Palace.



~



They managed their way through the dungeon, and eventually found a vent that she and Sakamoto could fit through.

 

“This is where we split up,” Said the monster-cat.

 

“What? Aren’t you going to leave with us?” She asked, getting a shake of the head in response.

 

“I still have business to do here.”

 

“Fine with me,” Sakamoto said, heading into the vent.

Makoto looked towards her classmate, then to the monster-thing. “Well alright. Hopefully, if we find ourselves here again we’ll meet each other once more.”

 

“Hah, maybe.” He said with a grin. “Now hurry up and go!”

 

With a nod, Makoto followed Sakamoto into the vent, finding their way out of the castle, the world began to distort again.

 

Chapter Text

 

~

 

After the distortions vanished, the two teenagers found themselves in an alleyway near the school. “Okay,” Ryuji started. “What the shit happened? That was real, right?” 

“I-” Nijima began, but cut herself off when she glanced at her watch. “We need to get to school immediately!” That was all the warning she gave Ryuji before dashing out of the alley and into school. 

“What? We can’t be all that late, it just felt like a few minutes…” He mumbled taking out his phone from his pocket. “F-for real?” They had missed most the day, and lunch! He sped walked to school, not wanting to aggravate his leg more than he needed to.

~

During break, Akira checked his phone again. Still no response - where is she?  His anxiety was just getting worse. He felt light-headed. She’s probably dead or kidnapped - “Shuttup she’s fine -” How do you know that? And he didn’t. Goddamn that voice in his head it was just making things worse.
And now he felt like he couldn’t breathe. Like there was a knife in his chest and his hands were cold - his mouth was dry and the only thing he could hear was the sound of his heart beating - loud way too loud - and then there was a hand on his shoulder, the touch poison and he flinched away, into a wall. 

“It’s okay. Breathe with me, Kurusu-san.” Who was that talking? He couldn’t see anything past the blurriness in his eyes. But why, why is she telling him to breathe he can’t breathe - something is trapped in his throat and he’s choking God I’m dying - I’m dying -
And then there were hands on his wrists, away from his neck. Did she want him to choke? 
“Kurusu-kun, please match my breathing. You’re okay. You’re having a hard time catching your breath because you’re breathing too fast. Slow down. You’re going to be okay.”

Was he? No no no she’s lying she’s lying - he decided to match her breath anyway, seeing if that helped. He was still in her vice grasp that did nothing to ease his panic. He was trapped. 

“Good! You’re doing good, Kurusu-kun. We’re in Shujin Academy, in the Student Council Room.” Her voice was calm and soothing. Her grasp was getting looser the less he struggled. 

She kept telling him meaningless things like: ‘You’re fine, you’re going to be okay,’ Which was bullshit because he felt like he was dying. He hates it. His body felt all tingly and he was exhausted. It was now that he realized he was sitting on the floor, and by the wetness on his cheeks, he knew he had been crying. 

 

Pathetic. 

 

He was pathetic. 

 

“It’s okay. You’re doing great!” It was then that Akira managed to look at the face that had helped him through his attack. It was Kawakami-Sensei. She gave him a big smile, but he could tell there was pity hiding there. 

Akira looked back down at the floor, wiping his eyes. “S-sorry…” He said in a tired voice. 

After a moment, the homeroom teacher responded with masked pity. “You have nothing to be sorry for, Kurusu-kun. … Are you okay?”

Akira looked to the side with tired eyes. “F-fine…” He wasn’t.

“Here, let me help you to the nurse's office.” Akira didn’t protest, and before he knew it he was lying on a bed, his shaking noticeable.

“K-Kawakami-sensei…” She turned about to look at him. Akira just barely managed to talk to her before she left. “Can you… Not tell anyone?” This time Kawakami-sensei didn’t even try to hide the pity in her smile.

“Sure thing, kid. Feel better soon, yeah?” And with that, she left the nurse's office. 


...Weak. You’re fucking weak and now your image is ruined you worthless piece of shit.

 

“Shut up…”