REPRESSED MEMORIES AU
There was chatter in the changing room as everyone, from Procellarum and Six Gravity, mixed and chatted with each other; laughter resounding in the room as everyone changed and helped each other when they got stuck.
After all, the outfits they were trying out today was for their next play - ORIGIN. Though they looked simple, they actually weren't. Even Shun, who was the Maou-sama was having difficulty and had asked Kai to help him.
"Really, you should know how to put these clothes on yourself."
"But, it's been a while since I've worn these and it is difficult you know!"
"Don't act so spoiled Shun!" You exclaimed as his leader only laughed.
But Hajime could hear none of that as he stood in front of the mirror; fixing his clothes before the dress artists came inside to see if any adjustments needed to be made.
Hajime didn't know why but he had no problem with wearing these clothes, unlike the rest, as if they were an extension of himself, as if he had worn them so many years ago.
Looking down at his hands, or claws now, Hajime felt something crack and the noises behind him seemed to disappear as he floated alone... always, so alone.
"Hmm? Hajime?" Haru's concerned voice called out, but even that wasn't enough to bring Hajime out of his stupor. "Is something the matter?"
But Hajime didn't respond and the chatter died down, eleven pairs of worried eyes looking at the Black King.
"Hajime-san?" Koi asked worriedly.
This time, Hajime glanced at the group who were standing, all looking worried but none of it registered as he went back to stare at his hands.
"...Before," Hajime finally said slowly, as if he wasn't actually there.
"Before?" Haru asked furrowing his eyebrows.
"Worn?" Kai asked this time, wondering what Hajime was getting at, but even after waiting for a minute, Hajime didn't reply anything.
Sighing, Shun smiled lightly albeit a bit strained at Hajime's uncharacteristic behaviour.
"Hajime," he began, Hajime glancing at him from the corner of his eyes. "I know you are a man of few words but it's rare for you to say one word sentences only."
"We wore these clothes before?" Hajime finally said after a few seconds passed by, the first whole sentence ever said since he had fallen into his trance
Blinking, Shun explained confused, "No, only I have. Just a few days ago because I was here in the building and they had the dress ready but it was a size too big. Why?"
Tilting his head, Hajime replied, "...Nostalgic."
"Remember," Hajime blinked as if having difficulty explaining himself. "wearing these... clothes before. Remember wearing..."
Throughout this whole time, Hajime didn't notice the eleven members tensing and staring at him with wide eyes.
"H-haha, h-how can that be possible Hajime?" Haru asked shaken because he hadn't had expected Hajime to suddenly remember. In fact, none of them there wanted Hajime to remember because it was not worth it.
"T-that's right Hajime-san," Kakeru began nervously. "Y-you haven't had any calls to try on outfits and these clothes just came too, so you couldn't have worn these clothes before."
"And I know that your family hasn't had anything similar to this either," Shun continued with a strained smile on his face. "After all, your mother showed me all the pictures and the clothes~"
But none of that reached Hajime, who continued to stare at his hands with half-lidded eyes.
". . .in danger. . .s-seraph. . . Sh-SHUN?" here Shun's smile completely dropped and he flinched back. "D-daath. . . kether. . . Hajime- no. . . Ha-HA-HAJIM...ARI NO KI..MI. . . sword. . . vines. . . . . . injured. . . too much power. . . save the worlds. . . need to, need to. . ."
"H-Hajime," Haru called out to stop the man before flinching at the next question uttered.
". . . alive? How am I. . . alive? He died. . . connected to . . . s-se- sephi. . ." Hajime furrowed his eyebrows as if not understanding why he couldn't remember the name. "Se-phi. . . se-phi-r-"
"Hajime," Shun murmured in Hajime's ear as he quickly hugged the man in two strides before he could call that name; that name that had destroyed their lives - no Hajime's life. "Hajime, Hajime."
"Ha-ji-me?" Hajime repeated like a child, his eyes blank, something similar to SHUN centuries ago when he'd been first born. "Ha-ji-m... Ha-ji-ma-ri. . . Hajimari no-"
"Ha-ji-me," Shun interrupted once more as he saw that he wasn't getting through Hajime's trance, tightening his hold.
"Hajime," Hajime repeated "Name. . . gi-given by . . .SH-SHUN?"
"Non non," Shun shook his head slightly, smiling bitterly. "Shun, Hajime. It's Shun."
When Hajime merely blinked and said nothing, Shun's grip on the man became tighter, enough to bruise.
"Ha-ji-me, I'm right here," Shun whispered in the man's ear. "We're right here. Don't worry. The worlds are all safe, thanks to you. Please, we're all here. Don't remember please."
"That's right, it's Shun... Shun," Shun encouraged, one hand patting the back of Hajime's head, while the other pulled the other closer. "It's fine Hajime, you don't need to remember. It's fine."
"S-Shun," Hajime said, the blankness slightly fading but was mostly still there. His arms slowly moving to hug the white haired man back; legs giving out from under him in the next moment. "Shun, Shun, Shun."
"That's right," Shun said soothingly, dropping to the floor with Hajime, holding him tight. "It's Shun."
"Shun. . . Shun. . . s-se. . . sephi-"
"Hush Hajime," Shun gently hushed the man, pushing their foreheads together, staring straight into clouded purple eyes. "You don't need to remember. There is no need to. Now, forget that name and don't worry about this ever again."
"Forget," Hajime repeated, his eyes closing as if the words hypnotized him. "Name... forget... remember... SHUN."
At the last name, Hajime collapsed, Shun holding him close; his hands slightly trembling.
"Hajime," Shun whispered shakily in the silence as one of his hands pushed aside the locks of hair on Hajime's face. "Hajime."
"Shun," Kai started, fear settling in his eyes. "W-Why did he start to remember?"
"That's right," Haru asked, everyone else shuffling behind with the same questioning and fear filled faces. "You made sure he couldn't remember, so why?"
"I don't know," Shun whispered frustrated and even though he couldn't see, he could tell that the others face fell upon his answer. "I don't know."
He could, as he pressed his other half closer to him, hear light footsteps coming closer before Rui, Kakeru and Koi sat in front of him.
"Will he remember?" Rui asked as he extended his hand cautiously to touch Hajime's face, his eyes trained on the black haired man.
Tightening his grip, Shun replied fiercely, "Never."
Slowly, the other members came around and sat in a half circle, watching Hajime with sad but fond eyes.
"He'll be so mad," Aoi said chuckling lightly.
"And mad at himself," Yoru said bitterly. "Even though we chose to do this ourselves."
"Even though he encouraged us to be free, to do what we want," Haru added, smiling softly at the memory.
"He never wanted this," Shun responded softly to the unspoken question. "Even though he wanted to be free himself, he didn't want us to pay the price."
"You mean you," Kai corrected. "We barely did anything, except support you both when that happened. Otherwise, you took most of the burden."
Shun merely closed his eyes and hugged Hajime tighter, not wanting to part, remembering the brief conversation they'd once had, not understanding the meaning behind those words until tragedy had struck.
"Hajime-san, do you not wish for anything? I mean, all you do is sit here and watch." YOU asked curiously, as he looked at the ancient being with curious eyes.
Chuckling, HAJIME looked into the distance; his eyes taking on that mysterious shine as it always did when he was remembering something from eons ago, making it impossible to reach him.
"I do," he said simply. "But I also wish for it to never be granted."
At that everyone paused, SHUN's eyes taking on a more calculating gaze than his usual blank ones.
Looking at his other half, SHUN tilted his head to the side and wondered if it had anything to do with the day he was held closely to HAJIME. As if he was afraid that he would disappear.
"Why?" he finally voiced out and though HAJIME looked proud at him for voicing his thoughts, he also looked tired and resigned.
"It is not worth it to pay the price - a price which is too great."
"At that time we couldn't understand what he meant by that," Aoi said wistfully. "Now, it makes sense."
"Hajime-san has always been selfless," Arata said, looking at his leader with fond eyes, even if it looked like there were no emotions in them.
Iku smiled at that before voicing the question Kai had asked once again, "But why did he suddenly remember? Could it be related to the play?"
"I think so," Shun replied after a moment of deliberation. "Probably, the clothes struck up a memory... but it could also be related to the other plays we have been in."
"What do you mean?" Kai asked
"For example," Shun said. "The Rabbits Kingdom. Even then, Hajime had felt like he had seen the handwriting of that kingdom."
"But didn't you say that it was a parallel universe?" Haru asked
"It is. But you are forgetting that Hajime is the reason why any of the universes are even happening. Hajime is inexplicably still connected to them, so there would be instances where he could feel nostalgic but wouldn't remember."
"I see," Aoi said. "Then, this time?"
"Like Iku said, it was probably the clothes," Shun said hesitantly. "But even then, he shouldn't have remembered that person or the names so quickly."
"Maybe the spell you put on for Hajime to not remember is waning?" Koi suggested
"That shouldn't be possible," Shun said with a frown. "But it wouldn't hurt to check and renew it."
"Will you be able to do it now?" Kai asked
"I think it might be best to wait," Haru said before explaining. "If Hajime remembered just because of the clothes then it's possible that he might react to Shun's magic. Remember, Shun also mentioned that if Hajime doesn't wishes to then his powers won't work on him."
"..But since he already remembered a little, he might subconsciously want to remember the rest," Rui continued lowly to which Haru nodded.
"Then I'll do it later," Shun said after a moment. "But even then, I would like to have his permission. It feels a bit wrong to..."
"We know it does," Kakeru consoled the demon lord. "But, Hajime-san would then start asking questions - answers to which we don't want to give."
Shun merely frowned but didn't refute what Kakeru said. It was true asking him would just make him more suspicious.
"Yosh," Kai said stretching. "Then let's get him to the dorms quickly, check the spell, and then wait to see what happens next."
As he said that, Kai moved to pick Hajime up when they all paused as they saw him clutching Shun tightly.
"It's fine Kai," Shun said softly, extending his hands out and pulling Hajime back to him. "I'll take him home."
"I really wonder why you suddenly remembered," Shun said softly as he laid his other half on his bed.
After changing out of their costumes, the middle and younger groups had quickly went ahead and made way for Shun and Hajime, while Kai and Haru stayed behind to talk to the dress artists.
Though Dai and Tsukishiro had looked surprised and worried over Hajime being unconscious, Shun had merely waved them off and instead pulled the other closer to him. The others had assured them that it was merely fatigue and that Hajime needed some time off from his work.
When they reached back at the dorms, Shun didn't even bother with the elevator and had just used his magic to transport himself to Hajime's room. He knew that the others would be fine and could take care of things themselves since Kai and Haru were around.
He also knew that they wouldn't dare to Hajime's room without his permission; only to give him time with his black counterpart.
"Let this just be a fluke," Shun said as he brushed some hair out of Hajime's face. "Otherwise, everything would just go to waste... because you'd want it back to relieve me of the burden."
Sighing, Shun stood up and began to leave before being stopped by a hand.
"Hajime," Shun whispered as he saw how Hajime hadn't really woken up but was still holding him tight. He considered his options for a moment before giving up and slipping in beside Hajime.
"You really are unpredictable," he said with a small content smile. "I'm glad I could make your wish come true because this life really suits you more than our previous."
With that said, Shun pressed his forehead against Hajime's for a moment and had one arm bring Hajime closer to him.
"I promise you Hajime," he said as he buried his face in Hajime's hair. "That no matter what happens I will not let you remember."
And with that, Shun closed his eyes, falling asleep next to his counterpart, unaware of the glowing purple eyes that opened the moment after.