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The Liars Club

Chapter Text

That morning, the sun was shining for the first time in a while. Rainy days were not so unusual in April, but Chihiro couldn't wait to see at last the bright sunshine light up the green of the leaves and the beautiful colors of the new born flowers.


Chihiro thougth that day would be a good day. Not only the weather was wonderful; a new school year had just started and the headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy, Mister Kirigiri, had deceided to make some changes in the classes' organisation and to introduce new activities that would make students combine their talents together and externate their creative minds. That morning in Chihiro's class, 78-A, their teacher, Mister Kizakura, had discussed about new themes they would be going to work on in that new school year and introduced a first class project that immediately cought the Programmer's attention: to create something - an idea, a new invention, or even an event - that could be useful - heck, fun is allowed too! - to all students of the Hope's Peak Academy. Let's start with this school before we do something good for the rest of the world, Mister Kizakura said with a bright smile.


It was Chihiro's dream to create something that could be useful to humanity, so she was enthusiastic about this project. As the teacher said they had to work with a partner, she panicked at first - she didn't actually want to work with someone like Ikusaba or, even worse, Togami. Her heart stopped as Mister Kizakura took a list of names out of his pocket and started to say that he'd thougth about potential partners for each of the students and begun to read their names, and blood rushed on her cheeks as she heard her name and the name of his project-partner for the next months.


"Fujisaki and... Oowada. You could actually do great things working together, think about it."


What exactly could come out from a project of a Programmer and a Motorbike Gang Leader?, Chihiro had thought, trying to hide in every way possible the bright red on her cheeks and to calm down her fast heartbeat. The Biker was sitting some desks away from her and as they looked at each other, Mondo had tried to smile.


And there Chihiro was, walking in the hallway, heading thowards the computer-room to continue on the program she was working on and thinking about the project with Mondo Oowada. They'd become friends in the previous school year - together with Ishimaru -, and the admiration Chihiro had towards Mondo had started to become something else - she felt like she was crushing on him, and that wasn't a good thing because of a very important reason.


If I just had the strength to tell..., she thougth, looking at herself in the reflection of a nearby window. To explain to others how she felt about herself wasn't easy, and Chihiro couldn't stand judging people spreadig rumors about her.


But she didn't have time to think about those things. She didn't want her day to be ruined by self-loathing and problems - she was so happy to work on the project with Mondo, because they could have plenty of time to be together and to know better each other - even better than now. Chihiro's cheeks turned bright red at the thougth of it.
Chihiro thought that day would be a good day.


Until she heard that voice.


"Hey, Fujisaki-chan!"


Chihiro stopped, blood freezing in her veins. She couldn't not recognize his voice.


"Long time no seen, huh?"


She knew he wouldn't go away, and she knew running would have been useless - he would have found her again anyway. Beseides, there was no way she could avoid a student of class 78-B forever.


Chihiro slowly turned around, trying to stay calm, and faced him at last. Just looking at his fake smiling face made her feel sick.


"Ouma-san..." she said, while the purple-haired boy got closer to her. "I-Is there something you want from me?"


"Yep! I just wanted to know how an old friend of mine was doing!"


Chihiro lowered her eyes before answering to him.


"That's not true."

"Oh, damn, you caught me!" the boy said, his smile never fading from his face.


You could never tell if Kokichi Ouma was lying or not - and he was famous for it at school, but Chihiro wasn't a fool. Kokichi never spoke to you if he didn't have a good reason. She knew something was going on, and she was scared to know what.


"So..." she said, looking back again at Kokichi. "W-what do you actually want?"


"You know about the Headmaster's idea to introduce clubs in our school, right?"


"Yeah..."


Now Chihiro was genuinely really scared to know what Kokichi had in his head.


"Well, I want you to join my club!"


Chihiro stopped breathing for a second. What on heart is he saying?, she tougth, while memories - really bad, horrific memories - came back into her mind like a flow. They made her sicker than before.


She looked around her and slowly got closer to Kokichi. She couldn't risk somebody to hear their conversation - nobody had to find out that secret.


"We can't!" she whispered, fighting against the panic and anxiety that were growing inside her, torturing her heart and putting a weight on her chest. "W-we promised to be never seen together, never ever!"


"Yup, but that's only until this school year started."


"What about--"


"Celestia-san and Saionji-chan agreed to join the club" Kokichi said, interrupting Chihiro with a kind smile - no, it looked kind, but it actually wasn't.


"W-what...? It can't be..."


"I know I lie a lot, but I swear, Fujisaki-chan, this time I'm saying the truth! We need a fourth student to get the approval of Mister Kirigiri."


"S-so why are you not asking someone else...?"


Chihiro swallowed. She perfectly knew the answer, but she didn't want to believe it. She couldn't.


Kokichi's smile changed a bit - his face was the face of an angel and in those eyes you could only see kindness and naivety, and Chihiro wondered how he could be that good at hiding himself under the facade of a little, innocent, cute boy. Maybe his real title was Ultimate Liar.


"Wow, Fujisaki-chan," he said, while slightly laughing, "you really are terrible at pretending not to know things!"


Tears started growing in Chihiro's eyes, while she gave another look at the hallway to see if someone was hiding there. Then she remembered that if someone was there, Kokichi would have seen them - and Kokichi was a terrible, horrible person, but he was smart. But if he's smart, why did he decide to break that promise?


"I-I don't understand w-why Celestia-san and Saionji-san agreed to t-this idea" Chihiro said, bringing her hands to her chest. "But I can't. All four of us can't."


"Ahw, Chihiro-chan doesn't like to break promises! How cute!" Kokichi's eyes seemed surprised, but he sure was not.


"I-It's not like that" Chihiro felt unconfortable by Ouma calling her by her first name, but there was a more important matter to discuss. She lowered her voice again. "She has not stopped. She never did. She is looking for the truth and if she finds out, she will kill us. She knows that the police is wrong."


"I'm not scared of that classmate of yours, and the police knows they're wrong too" Kokichi said. He lowered his voice. "And I want to know the truth. That's it, and that's why I need the club."


"W-what do you mean...?"


"Don't you want to know why what happened that night, happened?"


"I'm trying to forget what happened!" Chihiro busted, tears flowing down her cheeks. The never-fading smile on Kokichi's face made her sick and mad and terrified at the same time, and she just wished Kokichi could disappear, together with the memories in her head - with the intense smell of blood that she managed to chase away from her nose weeks after that night and that now just came back and couldn't go away again.


"But there's no fun in it! I thougth you were funnier than this!"


"I-I'm sorry, I can't. If Celestia-san and Saionji-san want t-to help you with this, t-that's their choice, b-but please, I can't. I d-don't want to be involved in t-that story again... P-Please..."


Chihiro lowered her head, trying to wipe away the tears from her face, but a lot more came out of her eyes. She didn't care if Kokichi thougth it was pityful to see her like that, or if it was embarrassing. She just wanted to go home and never come out of her room again.


"...Alright."


She heard Kokichi take some steps back from her, but she didn't want to look at him. She wanted him to go away forever from her life.


"Didn't want to bother you like that. I'll leave you alone, you poor little girl..." he paused, but what came next hit Chihiro - no, it pierced Chihiro's heart like a bullet. "Oh, wait, my bad... You're not a girl, right?"


She suddenly stopped sobbing. She froze on the spot. What did he say...?


"Sorry, I said that wrong. It's just that I know what's under that skirt."


Chihiro finally looked at him and what she saw made her want to run away: the kind smile of Kokichi had faded, replaced by another one - a wicked smile that reminded her of a picture of a man she saw once on a documentary about psycopaths. His piercing eyes were full of evil and for a second she thougth that the person in front of her wasn't actually a person - it was a monster, a demon.

 

"But don't worry!" Kokichi said, putting back the kind smile on his face in less than a second. "Friends keep secrets. But wouldn't a good friend join the school club of their friend? Please?"


Did he blackmail the others too?


Chihiro didn't say a word, tears weren't even growing in her eyes anymore. She didn't know what to say - how to defend herself. She was paralized, and nobody could save her from that little, evil boy - no, monster in front of her. He may have saved Chihiro's life that damned night, but now he was taking it back, like Mephistopheles tried to take Faust's soul after he gave him what he wanted.


"Well, I'll see you at the club meeting at Friday then! It will be in the classroom B1. We will discuss about what we want to do this school year. It will be sooo much fun, I promise!" 


Those kind, enthusiastic words sounded creepy to Chihiro - but what wasn't creepy about him? The Programmer saw him go away, never turning his back, until he disappeared behind the corner of the hallway.


Chihiro couldn't feel her legs, so she slowly fell on the ground, her eyes looking at something in front of her that wasn't actually there. She'd tried to forget, she really had tried, but now she understood it was impossible to actually get rid of the memories and the guilt she'd felt that night.


The night Junko Enoshima died.

Chapter Text

The last Friday lesson had just finished, which for many student meant that the weekend had just began. But for Chihiro it wasn't like that.


After the school bell rang, she'd slowly stood up from the chair and started to put her things in her bag. Normally, she would be happy for lessons to finish, but she still had to go to classroom B1 for Kokichi's meeting and she'd kinda hoped for the whole time since the day the boy spoke to her that such a moment would never come.


Chihiro silently sighed. She tried to prepare herself to whatever Kokichi had in mind for her and the other two girls.


"Hey Fujisaki-chan, is everything alright?"


The sudden clear voice made her gulp in surprise. As she turned to face the person who spoke, she saw Aoi Asahina looking at her with a concerned face. Next to Ultimate Swimmer was her best friend Sakura Oogami.


"You look worried" the second girl said. To people who didn't know her, Sakura seemed scaring and ready to hit you if she wanted, but this first impression was totally wrong and said quite the opposite of how actually her personality was. She was caring, just, ready to help people in need and loyal to her friends, always giving the best advices. She'd never use her talent - Ultimate Martial Artist - to physically fight against someone aside of the matches in the gym.


Chihiro looked at the two girls and was ready to answer, but then, something - no, someone behind them cought her attention.


The girl with pitch black hair was at the other end of the classroom and she was watching the scene with a slight, relaxed smile on her face. It was Celestia Ludenberg.


Chihiro would meet her too later, in classroom B1, alongside with Kokichi and Hiyoko Saionji. Celestia was one of Kokichi's kind - a liar, and everyone of their class knew it.

After all, she was the Ultimate Gambler, and lying was a consistent part of her job. She used to lie in a different way than Kokichi's - she didn't use to make jokes that much, but she definitely worked on giving herself a mysterious aurea that would confuse everyone she would speak to. Besides, she liked to play along in order to make her lies convincing.


Her red, intense eyes creeped Chihiro out. She could likely sense Chihiro's fears.


"Fujisaki-chan...?"


Aoi's face was worried now. Sakura slightly turned around to see what Chihiro was watching, but Celestia was now minding her own business, already heading thowards the classroom door. She was going there.


Chihiro tried to make the bad thoughts go away and looked at the two girls. She took all the strenght she could find to put on her face a nice, seemingly-sincere smile.


"Hi... I'm sorry, I didn't sleep very much tonight." Well, that was true. "I've been working on a program which is giving me problems." That was not true. Her program was doing fine. "But everything's alright. I-I'm sorry you worried for me."


"Don't say that!" Aoi said with a kind smile, relieved to know that the little Programmer was doing fine. "Friends worry about each other!"


Friends keep secrets!


"I'm glad that everything is okay!"


"Me too" Sakura added smiling.


"T-Thank you" Chihiro blushed. One year ago she couldn't even consider the idea that someone aside her dad would be worried about her, but now it was different. She thougth she was lucky that she made friends with such nice people like Aoi and Sakura. "I hope you're doing good as well. Now I have to go, I have some sort of", she suppressed the urge to swallow "meeting for the club I'm joining."


"Wow, you already found one! We're still searching, but maybe you can tell us later if the club you're joining would be interesting for us!"


Trust me, you don't want to join that club.


"Sure, I will."


Right after she waved at the two girls and left, Chihiro went out of the classroom and headed to the hallway to find classroom B1, but someone interrupted her.


"Wait, Fujisaki-san!"


Chihiro turned around to face Ishimaru, who quickly walked thowards her - "running in the hallway is prohibited", he usually said. Her heart started to beat faster as she saw that Mondo Oowada was following him, with a slightly annoyed look on his face. For a second she whished that Mondo could take her on his motorbike and bring her far, far away from there, but then she blushed, thinking that those were just childish fantasies.


"H-Hello, Ishimaru-kun" she said, tightening her grip on her bag. "Is something wrong?"


"Did you and Mondo already decide when you're going to meet to start working on your project?" he blasted out, his eyes remaining hard, although Chihiro was a good friend of him.


Chihiro gave a glimpse to Mondo, who was gesturing her to say "yes". She let out a little smile - it was genuine, now - because she perfectly knew how Ishimaru tended to overreact if something wasn't going the way he considered things better go. The Ultimate Moral Compass was probably checking out if Mondo - his "bro" - was having a productive start in the new school year so that he could avoid complications with grades and other things at the end of it. She remembered that Mondo had some little difficulties to pass some exams the previous year and Ishimaru made a lot of efforts to help him graduate. Maybe he looked a bit tough, but it was his way to care for his friends.


"W-Well, of course!" Chihiro said, looking at Ishimaru. "We will meet..."


"At Sunday!" Mondo interrupted her, putting his hands back in his pockets as Ishimaru turned around to look at him.

 

"Yes, at Sunday."


"At Fujisaki's."


Taking advantage of the fact that Ishimaru was again looking back at Chihiro, Mondo blinked at her, silently asking her to agree to that statement. She didn't have time to think, so she just silently nodded with a kind smile on her face.


"I told you, bro" Mondo said, putting a hand on Ishimaru's shoulder. "I'm organising my stuff! You don't have to check things out for me this year too."


Ishimaru switched in a second that slight-frowned expression into a bright, happy smile and he put his hand on Mondo's shoulder as well.


"I'm really glad you learned from your last year's mistakes, bro!" he said, busting out a cheered laughter. "That's the good spirit!" After that, he looked at Chihiro. "I'm very sorry I interrupted you."


"It's not a problem" she answered smiling kindly.


She and Mondo had not spoken about the project until that moment, and Mondo had made that up to make Ishimaru worry less. It was just a white lie, it wouldn't kill anyone, right?


It was a lie who killed Enoshima-san.


Chihiro's smile faded instantly, remembering where she was heading to. She noticed how Mondo slightly changed his expression by looking at her.

 

I probably look nervous right now.


"I'm sorry, but I have to go" she said, before Mondo could notice that something was off. She didn't want him to worry about her - she would never let him get involved in the secrets she found herself forced to hold after that terrible night.


"Alright. I will text you later for Sunday" he said.


Chihiro waved at them and then headed to classroom B1.


Wait a second.


Mondo Oowada at Sunday at her house?!


She didn't realize until now and she felt the blood rush on her cheeks. Now the things that made her anxious were two.

 


III

 

 

Chihiro stood in front of the door of classroom B1, beads of sweat forming on her forehead. She wasn't sure if she should just enter the classroom or knock first - she was expecting to see at least Kokichi and Celestia in there. Well, unless Kokichi had lied to her about their meeting, and that would have been the only time Chihiro would have been glad to know that it was just one of Kokichi's jokes.


At the end, she decided to knock and then she slowly pulled the door and entered the classroom.


She saw Celestia sitting on a chair, with her hands on her lap, silentlying listening to the conversation between Kokichi and a blonde little girl with pigtails and an orange kimono. She was Hiyoko Saionji. That meant Chihiro was the last to arrive.


"--and then she fell on the ground, with legs wide spread! Isn't that disgusting?"


"Jeez, that sounds like somethin' a dumb pig would do!"


"I know, right?!"


"Speaking of dumb pigs, have I ever told you about that time my classmate Miu Iruma--"


Before he could complete the sentence, Kokichi noticed that Chihiro was standing in the classroom, looking at them with a kinda embarassed face. She'd wondered a lot about this meeting, but she didn't expect them to start it by badmouthing their classmates. She should have, tho. It was Kokichi Ouma and Hiyoko Saionji, after all, and she was one of the most mean persons in the school - probably on the whole earth.


"Hello, Fujisaki-chan!" Kokichi said cheeringly smiling. "You're finally here! Take a seat next to us, please!"


Chihiro reluctantly walked over them and took place on a chair after Kokichi gestured her to sit down. The chairs were set in a sort of circle, so she was sitting between Celestia and Hiyoko. In front of her, Kokichi was looking at her with curiosity.


"Soooo" he said, putting his elbows on his legs and resting his head on his hands. "Now that everyone's here, we can start talking about the club!"


"Huhm... I-I have a question"


Chihiro's voice was heard for the first time from the rest of the group, catching their attention on her. She didn't like very much when people were staring at her, but she tried to ignore that feeling of insecuirity.


"Yes, Fujisaki-chan?"


"I didn't understand a lot of what you have in mind to do with this club, but what did you tell the Principal to get his approval about it? You surely couldn't say the truth about the thing that..." she paused, taking a deep breath. "...That connects us four together."


"Wait a minute" Hiyoko interrupted, looking at her with confusion. "You don't know what the club is about?"


Did they agree with Ouma-san's idea of the club on their own free will...?


"W-Well, I only know that Ouma-san--"


"I didn't tell her yet" the Ultimate Supreme Leader's voice drowned out Chihiro's, making her feel very uncomfortable. She didn't like to get interrupted either.


"Oh, that's surprising!" asked Celestia, putting a hand over her lips; she acted surprised, but Chihiro had a feeling she was actually not. "And why is that?"


"She had many... insecurities about joining and I didn't have the occasion to explain her the details. But at the end she understood that she had to join. Right, Fujisaki-chan?"


Chihiro could swear that for a second she saw a wicked blink in his purple eyes. While looking away from him, she nodded.


"But you asked a very interesting question. You see, nobody should know the truth about this club."


"W-well, yes, it would be odd to create a club just to investigate about the life of a dead girl-"


"Sure, but it's not only about that, or else that would be soooo boring!"


"What do you mean?"


"This is gonna be a liars' club!"


"...Huh... E-Excuse me?"


Kokichi stared at her, while he sat back in the chair. As his smile went from kind to mischievous in no time, Chihiro felt a cold shiver running down her spine. She didn't know what he was up to, but she could imagine it.


Is he going to tell about my secret?


"Every one of us in here is a liar. Just think about what we're hiding."


Is he speaking about that night or is this about something else?


"I have soooo much fun with lying, like, I can't stop telling lies, and I know I'm pretty good at it, so good that even the Ultimate Detective of my class can't understand if I'm lying or not. Ludenberg-san is the Queen of lies and she enjoys it. And Saionji-chan is just so mean she has potential to become a perfect liar, in her own way."


"I lie a lot to people I hate. And I hate pretty much everyone" the Ultimate Traditional Dancer said, crossing her arms on her chest. Chihiro had the feeling that more than telling lies to other people, Hiyoko was likely better at lying to herself about the "I-hate-everyone" part, but she kept that thoughts for herself. It was better not to mess with the pure evil.


"I'm gonna teach her, if that's what concernes you" Kokichi added, while staring at Chihiro, and she felt like he'd just taken a look into her mind to read what she was thinking.

 

"And you. You may not seem like that, but you're a very good liar."


"I... I am not." Chihiro said. She wasn't lying - she was just not telling a part of the truth. Her identity wasn't a lie.


"That's what I'm talking about. You sound so convincing when you speak, but you're lying!"


"I-It's not like that...!"


"What is she lying about?" asked Saionji, sincere curiosity showing on her face.


Chihiro's heart stopped for a second, as she feared Kokichi would tell everyone about her secret. She knew she had to tell it one day, but she wasn't ready yet; she needed time, she wasn't a liar. The Programmer started to sweat nervously, panic taking her and filling her head with the possible scenarios of what would have happened if Kokichi told Celestia and Hiyoko about it - because there was no way Hiyoko would shut up about it and not tell her friends, or even her classmates.


If Oowada-kun finds out the truth like that he's gonna stop being my friend. 


The mischievous smile on Kokichi's face was still there, but the wickness in it became stronger has he looked at her, and she knew she had sensed her fears, her insecurities, everything in just a matter of seconds. She was also sure that Celestia had probably sensed her anxiety too, but she didn't say anything. She was just watching with very much attention.


"Oh, nothing in particular!" Kokichi said, with a cheerful smile on his lips. "I was just telling she's good at lying. If you wanna know more about how she does it, maybe she will tell us someday!"


Kokichi diverted his eyes from Chihiro and then looked at Hiyoko. Chihiro was glad that he didn't actually tell anything in particular - he kept her secret -, but she also knew that she couldn't trust him forever with it. She didn't particularly get to learn all Kokichi's lying-tricks, but she had a feeling that he would use her secret for his own porpuses, one day.


Before someone else could say anything, the Ultimate Supreme Leader started to talk, getting all serious at once - the creepy smile was gone, and it looked like he'd finally settled himself to speak about more important matters.


"I guess now it's time to discuss about two very, very important things" he said. "The first one..."


Suddenly, trepidation rushed all over his face, while his eyes were sparkling with apparent joy.


"How are we gonna name our secret club?"


"Pretty Little Liars!" Hiyoko said, putting her hands up with excitement.


"Oh, I like that show" Celestia spoke, joining her hands. You couldn't tell if she actually liked the show or if she said that just to get along with the Ultimate Traditional Dancer.


"Ahw, crap, I like the show too" Kokichi said, but then he put his hands together, as though he wanted to beg the two girls to agree to what he would say next. Did he want to tell them that you couldn't name a club after a famous american TV-show? "But please, please, can we name our club Doki Doki Liars Club? That would be so cool!"


Chihiro sighed. Of course he wanted to tell them that they couldn't name a club after a famous american TV-show, because they just had to name it after a creepy horror videogame.


Am I the only one who's trying to take things seriously?


"Why should we name it Doki Doki Liars Club?" asked Hiyoko. Of course she would not know about the existence of that game.


"Why don't you ask that Ultimate Gamer in your class if she played a game named Doki Doki Literature Club? Oh, wait, we can play that together one day!"


Poor Saionji-san.


Before Hiyoko could answer "yes" for what she didn't know could be a very traumatic experience, Celestia cleared her troath, drawing the attention of the other members to herself.


"What do you think about a simple name?" she said with a soft, nice voice. "I would propose to use The Liars Club."


Is it possible that Saionji-san and Ouma-san can't grasp the reference she's making to The Breakfast Club?


"It is, indeed, simple" Kokichi said, putting a finger on his chin, as though he was considering Celestia's idea. "But it's effective. I like it. Do you agree, Saionji-chan?"


"If nobody wants to name the club Pretty Little Liars..." she said sulking, with crossed arms. "I guess it's fine for me."


She actually looked offended and Chihiro believed that what was shown on her face recalled her real feelings. She wasn't a pro with lying like Kokichi or Celestia and somehow the Programmer couldn't convince herself that Hiyoko could learn to properly lie. She was already mean, and if she actually learned how to fake her emotions she could very likely become like a malicious demon.


Chihiro noticed that everyone was now looking at her, waiting for her agreement, so she quickly nodded - she didn't actually put the task "choose a name for the club who will lead to the end of my life" on the first place of her priorities list.


"Then it's confirmed!" Kokichi took a pen and a sheet of paper from his bag and started to write something on it - probably the name they had decided to use for the club -, then he put everything on the desk behind him and started to discuss the second "important topic" of the day - and Chihiro was surprised to hear that it was actually an important thing.


"Now, to answer the previous question of Fujisaki-chan" he said, shortly looking at her "we should find an excuse for this club - I mean, we have to come up with a cover for the real subject of our club."


"For that" Celestia spoke, interrupting the boy "I was thinking we could tell the Principal that we want to open a Theater Club. I already checked the list of the existent clubs in our school and there's a club about Film productions, but not one about theater acting yet."


"Ohhh, that's a cool idea!" Kokichi said. "To act is somehow like lying, if you think about it. I'd like to suggest Ludenberg-san goes to the Principal and directly tells him that she wants to create a Theater Club and that she would like to be the president of the club."


"Of course, I can do that. I'm very good at convincing people." Celestia lightly laughed - in some way that reminded Chihiro of a child, and that sounded really creepy if heard from a sinister girl that used to wear Gothic Lolita and fake her real japanese name with an occidental one.


"Okay!"


The Ultimate Supreme Leader stood up, putting his hands on his hips and looking at the other girls. "I guess we're done for today. We'll meet next Friday so we can start to work for our club!"


What kind of "work" is he talking about?


"I'll speak to the Principal about the club at Monday. Leave it to me." Celestia said, standing up in turn and heading thowards the door. "See you next week."


"Have a nice weekend!"


Chihiro didn't say a word, but she couldn't wait to get out there and go home. She saw how Kokichi and Hiyoko were already done with packing their things in their bags and after telling goodbye to Chihiro they started to talk about whatever they were discussing before the meeting started - something about "dumb pigs in their classes", while walking out of the classroom.


Now she was alone - she'd waited a moment before heading thowards the door, because she didn't want to walk next to Kokichi and Hiyoko. She took a final look on the classroom and that's when she noticed it: Kokichi had left the paper he'd written the name of the real club on on the desk, and Chihiro gulped. How could he be so distracted to leave such big evidence of what they actually were going to do in that club?


She quickly walked thowards the desk - if I wouldn't have seen that we'd be in so much trouble! - and then took the paper. She read what Kokichi had written on it.


"Whoever reads this is dumb!"


She sighed. She should have seen that coming.

Chapter Text

She was sitting on the picnic blanket she'd brought from home, looking at the grass, the flowers and the trees of one of the courtyards of Hope's Peak Academy. Everything was calm, relaxing, the only noises being the leaves rustling with the wind and the chirping of the birds. It was the end of summer. 


Next to her was Mondo, lying on the blanket. Ishimaru had given him his uniform coat, so that the Biker could "protect his stomach from the eventual cold of the wind". He had eaten a lot of onigiris and his best friend would "not allow him to get sick because of gluttony".


While Ishimaru was putting the plates back in the picnic basket, Mondo was looking at the blue sky and at the white clouds. He pointed at one of them.


"That looks like my dog" he said, and Chihiro looked up where his finger was pointing to. It was a small cloud, with the vague resemblance of a furry, little dog. You could recognize the ears and the tail, if you had enough imagination. 


The tree of them had just started becoming friends and that was one of the first times they had lunch together outside of the mensa of the school. They'd had some difficulties with Mondo's attitude of getting nervous around girls who would spend time with him, but after some time his unintentional yelling at Chihiro had stopped and he'd learned how to control the issue. 


Chihiro smiled. She didn't know that Mondo had a dog and decided to ask him about it - because she liked dogs a lot. She opened her mouth, but nothing came out, after she found herself staring at the face of the young Biker. 


His eyes were shut - he had some sort of pacific smile on his lips. It looked like he was sleeping.


Chihiro felt for the first time butterflies in her stomach. 

 

 

 

She opened her eyes; lying on her bed, she was staring at the ceiling of her bedroom. 


It was Sunday afternoon and she felt tired. So many things had happened in the first school week and stress and emotions had won over rationality. 


That day, Mondo would come over to her house to work on the first school project of the year - and anxiety hadn't let her sleep in peace. She sighed. Even if he'd not come over, she had enough things to be anxious and worried about and that would haunt her nights.


She had try to take a nap, but the only thing she had in her mind in that moment was Mondo and her crush on him. She hadn't dreamt - that was a memory of the previous year, when Chihiro had realized that she had feelings for him and that she actually saw him like more than a friend. She wondered if that would have happened if she hadn't look at his face in that very moment. 


Chihiro gave a glimpse to the clock and noticed that it was a matter of moments before Mondo would arrive. Her dad was at home, like every Sunday, and she'd told him about the project and the fact that she was waiting for a friend to come home to start working about it. Her dad was very happy to hear that Chihiro would invite friends home, but he'd never seen Mondo before - and the little Programmer didn't want her dad to be intimidated from his look, so she'd told him about his talent too. 


The sudden ringing of the doorbell made her flinch and jump out of the bed. Her heart started beating faster and faster as she went downstairs and saw that her father was going to open the door of the house. He gave her a short look; Chihiro could see an excited smile on his face. He was probably very curious about her friend, since she rarely invited someone home.


And then, Taichi Fujisaki opened the door. 

 


III

 


Mondo Oowada was standing on the doorstep, with his hands in his pockets and a slight nervous expression on his face. He wasn't wearing the school uniform - he hated to have that on when he didn't have to go to school, so, instead, he decided to wear his usual biker clothes, with the big dark coat of his Biker Gang, the Crazy Diamonds. He would meet the gang later in the day anyway.


He'd parked his motorbike on the side of the road, next to Chihiro's house, and he'd waited some minutes before ringing the doorbell. Sure, Chihiro had become a very good friend of him with the time and they used to spend time together with Kiyotaka at school, but he'd never met her alone outside of Hope's Peak, and he'd especially never gone to her house. 


It's your friend, but it's still a chick.


The thought made Mondo more nervous for a moment, but he tried to get a hold of himself and look chill as he pressed the button to ring the doorbell. After some seconds, someone opened the door.


At first, Mondo thought that it was Chihiro, but then he noticed that the person in front of him was too tall and too old to be her - and it was a guy. The resamblance between him and Chihiro was striking, tho. 


Mondo saw the genuine smile on the man's lips fade a little after he looked at the biker, and for a second he seemed quite intimidated by his presence. Typical reaction to me, Mondo thougth. 


"You must be Oowada-kun, right?" he said. It had to be Chihiro's father.


"Yeah" Mondo answered, spotting the little Programmer behind her dad, next to the stairs. She smiled and waved to him, and the Biker felt a bit more relaxed to see that she was there too. He tried to smile too, but he wasn't sure that it didn't look awkward.


"Please, come in!" 


Taichi Fujisaki invited him to go inside the house, giving him space to pass through the door. After mumbling a "thank you" to him, he took off his shoes, while Chihiro got next to him. 


"Hi" she said, bringing her hands to her chest. She wasn't wearing the school uniform too, of course, but she did wear some kind of sailor fuku - the one of her previous high school, with the puffy skirt and the green jacket that she liked a lot. "Do you want to take off your coat too?" 


"Hey - uhm, no, thanks, I'm fine"


He'd thought about it and didn't know if it was a good idea to chill in his friend's house with just a tank top on while her father was there too. Not that Mondo was scared or anything, but he considered if "that would be appropriate", like Kiyotaka would normally say. 


He saw Chihiro nod and smile and after he stood up she signaled him to follow her. While walking through a corridor, Mondo looked around him and noticed how everything was at its place, perfectly neat. The floor shined for how clean it was. 


Chihiro's house, with its forniture and its general harmony was the total opposite of Mondo's apartment, where before he lived with his mother, his brother and their dog. His father had left them years before, while he was still a child. He couldn't stop the thougth that it felt a bit unusual that he and Chihiro had become friends, although they were completely different - not only their personalities and their attitude thowards life and society, but also the way they lived. And she had a dad who cared for her. 


For just a second, Mondo felt jealous of her, and the next second he felt ashamed of himself for feeling like that. 


I don't need dad.


"I was thinking that working here would be a good idea..." 


The Programmer's words brought him back to reality; the room they were in looked like a living room, with a table, a big couch and a television being the prevalent objects in it. There was also something like a dressing table, with pictures on it, as like a floor lamp. 


"Here looks pretty nice" Mondo said, crossing his arms. 


"Thank you!" Chihiro answered, smiling brighlty. 


While the Programmer sat on a chair next to the table, Mondo decided to sit on the couch - the chairs looked a little too fragile for him, and he didn't want to break anything in that perfect house. He wasn't sure what to start working on for the school project, and he didn't even have an idea. He had hope Chihiro had thought about something, with her being the most creative one out of them. 


"Soooo..." she started, looking at her feet. Somehow she looked nervous, but Mondo guessed it was because she too, probably, had some difficulties thinking about something that could come out of the two of them. "Do you have an idea of what we could submit to Mister Kizakura?"


"I don't. Ya know, I'm terrible at thinking, and even more at being creative."


"I understand..." 


An awkward silence filled the room, with Chihiro distractly doodling on a paper in front of her and Mondo ritmically and nervously tapping his foot. Normally, it was Kiyotaka who used to be loud and say things that would open a discussion - he always started a conversation. But now, Kiyotaka wasn't there, and for the first time Mondo found himself in difficulty and he wasn't sure of how to talk to Chihiro and what to tell her. She was so shy and so silent, and he wasn't a guy who used to talk first. 


He felt sorry for this. They were friends and he cared for friends, to the point he would beat the shit out of someone who just dared to talk bad about them. He tried to justify himself by thinking that Chihiro was the only female friend he ever had, and that he wasn't good at being around girls - but that was just bullshit. He should treat her as a friend, and not as just a girl. Besides, he knew how insecure she was, and he was sure that in those moments she was blaming herself for being so shy, or thinking about the things she did, wondering if she made him mad ore something - because he wasn't talking. Probably, in her mind, she was doing both things. 


And so, he decided to speak.


"Like, I'm good at riding motorbikes, and you're good at programming."


It was an obvious statement, and therefore it sounded really stupid, according to Mondo himself, but he saw how Chihiro suddenly raised her head to look at him and how her face lightened up as he was speaking. She reminded him of a puppy, and he tought she was cute. 


But then, he felt really nervous for thinking that, so he lowered his eyes and looked at his shoes - for fuck's sake, I bet I look pathetic right now - and tried to control himself, so that he wouldn't blush and, most importantly, wouldn't start to yell. He hated that reaction of him when he was nervous for thinking something embarrassing.

 
"I-I mean" he said, blurting out the words, "can't we, like, create a program about riding motorbikes in it - well, wait, you make the program, I tell you things about motorbikes." 


Mondo didn't know how he came up to that - he didn't think much, he put two things together in the most easy way and that was it. It probably was a stupid idea anyway.

 
As he directed his eyes back to Chihiro's face, he saw with surprise that she was smiling and her eyes were sparkling, as though she realized something important and came up to something brilliant. He wondered what was going on in that little head of hers, but before he could ask she started to speak. 


"That's a really good idea!" she said, enthusiasm in her high-pitched voice. "We can create a program that teaches the students how to ride a motorbike!" 


"Really?" Mondo was surprised at Chihiro's reaction to what he'd suggested, so at first he just responded to the "good-idea" statement. Then he focused on the program-thing, and he actually thought what he said next. "Oh- damn, that'd be fucking awesome!" 


Chihiro giggled, and Mondo smiled. Somehow, he felt proud of himself. It wasn't the most original idea - he was sure as hell Chihiro would have come up with it soon, if she actually hadn't already without saying anything about it -, but it was him thinking about that and saying it out loud, and so it was the first time he felt like caring about a school project. He was already imagining it - how he could help teach kids how to ride a motorbike, like his big brother did with him. 


"If you give me all the informations we need, I can put them in Alter Ego's memory" the little Programmer said, bringing a finger on her low lip. 


"Alter-Who?" Mondo asked, curious about what she was talking about.


"Oh- well, it's something I'm working on. Alter Ego is an AI I created."


Mondo searched in his memories the time Chihiro had explained to him what an AI was. It stands for Artificial Intelligence. Like a clever robot. Okay, he remembered it. 


"If I give Alter Ego all the necessary informations you give me, they can learn and therefore teach in the program how to ride a motorbike." She kept explaining, enthusiasm showing in her big eyes. "Let's start to think how we want to structure the program and... everything else."


So they started to talk, and think, and be creative together, and Mondo felt like he really was having fun. If someone would tell him that an hour before the meeting with Chihiro, he surely wouldn't believe it. 

 

III

 

An half a hour after Mondo'd left, Chihiro was sitting on the couch, completely focused on what she was doing on her laptop. Of course the Biker didn't give her yet the informations she needed to create the program - he needed time and had to collect a lot of informations -, but she decided to start building the basis for it anyways. She'd informed Alter Ego about their role in the project and they told their Master they were willing to cooperate. 


So she was there, tipping code after code on the terminal on her laptop, when her father, silently, entered the room. As he started to speak, she almost jumped for the surprise. 


"Hey, Chichi" he said, timidly smiling."How was it?"

 
Chihiro was used to her dad calling her by that nickname since she was a little child. Although she thought it would be a little embarrassing if her friends found out about it, she admitted to find it cute, because it was a sign of how much her dad loved her. She didn't - or at least she'd tried not to care anymore about the bullies who used to make fun of her when she was a child, telling her that was a "girl's nickname" and that wasn't meant for "though boys". She shrugged those memories away. That was before she found her true self. 


She looked up to her dad and smiled back at him.


"Everything was fine. We had fun." 


"I'm glad for it." 


Chihiro noticed how her father looked away from her, as though he was going to ask her a delicate question. She waited for it, suspecting what that was about. 


"So..." he started, distractly touching his hair. "This friend of yours... You know, I'm not that person who judges another person for their appearence, but he kinda looks... intimidating. You know?" 


"Yes. I understand what you mean." 


She didn't want to, but that conversation made her remember the bullies from her middle school, which were much worse than the children who used to mock her in kindergarten. They all were rough boys, spending their time making fun of Chihiro for "being so feminine and weak" - boys with cold hearts and wicked minds, that after some time got tired of the mere words and started to use their physical strength to punch and kick her in the bathroom of the school. Mondo seemed aggressive to Chihiro's father's eyes, exactly like those bullies from middle school, and so the connection with the worst years of her entire life came automatically in both her father's and her mind. 


"Look, I only want to make sure you stay safe and don't get hurt." 


The words of her father made Chihiro feel what was left of the pain she'd so long endured before she understood to be a girl, but that sufference got replaced by a sense of affection - like she was really loved and would never be left alone, no matter what. And she appreciated every word her father told her - because he cared. 


But, on the other hand, she wanted to reassure her father that Mondo wasn't a bully, and neither a horrible person. You couldn't say - for obvious reasons - that he wasn't the typical "bad boy" who rides motorbikes and gets into fights, but he was caring, strong, and simple, and he was also nice, in his own personal way. Everything that Chihiro ever wanted in the man of her dreams. 


"Thank you for worrying, dad" she said, with blushing cheeks, "but you don't have to. Oowada-kun is a good person and I believe he would never hurt me. I'm scared, but I want to trust him and, some day, I will tell him the truth about myself." 


She looked at her father, and in that moment she knew he'd understood. He smiled at her and nodded; he trusted his daughter, and therefore her choices and opinions about the people she wanted to keep as friends, so he left her alone to let her keep going on with her work. 


While typing, Chihiro gave a distracted look at the window, but then, as though she'd seen something strange, she narrowed her eyes and focused on it.


That's weird.


She could swear she'd seen something moving outside the window, but now everything was at its place. She didn't give much importance to it, thinking that it may've been the wind, or maybe she'd imagined things. After spending some time watching at the screen of a computer, your mind could play mean tricks to your eyes. 


Chihiro shrugged and went back to typing. Her mind was focused on other things anyway. 

 

III

 

Just in time.


Kokichi was crouched down under one of the windows of Chihiro Fujisaki's house. She probably didn't see him, but that was close. 


He took out of his pocket a pencil and a paper - some sort of to-do-list, and signed as "done" one of the tasks he'd decided to do on that Sunday. 


"Well well," he whispered, with a malicious smile on his lips "apparently Chichi has a crush on the brainless gorilla of her class. How interesting." 


He put the tip of the pencil between his lips and read out loud what he still had to do. 


"Sooo... I already stalked Harukawa-chan today. And I stalked Saihara-kun too... Now now, I just finished spying on Chichi's personal life... I'm left with one task." 


He slowly and silently got away from Chihiro's garden and then he took his phone. He saw there was an unread message on the display, so he opened it. It was sent from one of the members of D.I.C.E. - his evil organisation. 


"That's perfect!" he exclaimed, with an evil grin on his lips. "Exactly what I was waiting for. Now, without that bitch in the way, it seems like I can pay an undisturbed visit to that place."


Kokichi gave a last look at Chihiro's house and saw her little figure through the window, while she was still working on her laptop. He grinned again. 


After that, he got on his way to visit the apartment where months before still lived Junko Enoshima.