Chapter 1: We'd Never Forgive Ourselves
Warnings: Major Characters Death. Nothing Explicit, but Read at your own risk.
Shun woke up with a groan, eyes slowly opening to see… withered grey walls, cobwebs in the corner and mice crawling around.
Looking around briefly, he wondered where he was before the previous events memories flooded him. That’s right, they all had decided to invade Phantom’s headquarters without Gravi, who had only been caught up in their events.
He cringed, remembering how Gravi had looked so betrayed when they’d accused them of lying to them, of being accomplices to enemies. But they had no choice— they needed to get Gravi away from them so that they could be safe.
Everyone in Procella knew just how loyal they would be. Just like how loyal they are to them.
He struggled slightly against the chains holding him against the wall. His hands not capable of moving one bit and he also knew that these chains were magic resistant, considering he couldn’t actually use his magic right now.
“Have you woken up, now?”
A familiar voice had him look up, glaring as his emerald eyes clashed with brown ones.
“Suzuki Leiko,” Shun hissed out as the leader of Phantom stepped in his cell.
“Shimotsuki Shun,” Leiko said, greeting him as though nothing was wrong. “How nice of you to drop in.”
Shun could growl at the other as she stepped forward, laughing at his futile attempts of escaping.
“I must say I didn’t expect to catch all of you this easily, not after all the hardships you and your friends gave us.”
Shun hissed at the reminder. It was true, when they’d told Gravi to leave, they’d infiltrated Phantom’s headquarters, only to be caught up in their guilt at what they’d said to Gravi. It’s what made it easier for this group to capture them.
“Where are they?”
“Oh they’re fine. Scared but fine. See.”
Multiple screen popped up, illuminating the dim lit room. Shun could only let out a sigh of relief when he saw his family safe and sound. They were safe right now… though Shun wondered why the rest had been placed together in one room? They were only chained by the foot right now, a chain that only extended a few meters in front of them, but they were fine.
Shun wondered if they would be able to escape before feeling a sense of doom run up his spine. What was about to happen?
He couldn’t help but further relax when he heard their voices; it seemed that they could listen to each other based on how they bombarded him with questions.
“See, like I said, they’re fine,” Leiko says as though she has done a big favour for him. “The only thing that we even did would be drug them with a little bit of sedative— so that you don’t escape easily.”
“What do you want?”
“Ara, haven’t I made it clear already?” Leiko taunts the other, before extending her hand out invitingly. “Join me, Shimotsuki Shun. With your powers, we can even take over the world.”
Procella stared at the other maliciously as Leiko extended her hand, caressing Shun’s cheek almost fondly.
“Just imagine,” she said. “being the most powerful person in the world. Not having to bend to anyone’s will and doing whatever you wanted.”
Here she paused and looked at the glaring man.
“And for making you the most powerful person, even stronger than Mutsuki Hajime, all we need is to see how your powers work and if we can get them too.”
Suzuki Leiko smiled as she once again extended her hand out, beckoning the other to take her hand. “So what do you say, Shimotsuki Shun? It’s not a bad deal right? So join me.”
Shun stared at the other incredulously. If he had been avoiding her this long, why would he ever join them? Why would this monologue that every villain has even convince him?
“I refuse,” Shun said firmly, enjoying the look of surprise flash through the female’s eyes before immediately shuddering as the face were cleansed of all emotions.
“Maybe this would convince you then,” the leader says and waves towards the screen in front of him, Shun fearfully turning around.
Eyes widening, he trashed against his confines as he saw a group of 12 enter the room, all armed with fully loaded guns.
“Since you’re not willing to work with us,” Leiko said languidly, pushing her glasses up. “We’ll just have to break you.”
A hoarse and desperate scream escaped his lips as he stared how the soldiers cocked their guns towards his family; wanting anyone— just anyone to save the—
“Do you really think we’d let you do that?”
A painfully familiar voice called out, making everyone in Procella snap their heads up in surprise, just in time to see five of the members turn to fire towards their enemies, all of them down for the count.
“H-Haru…” Kai croaks out, from where he had pulled Iku and Rui in, hoping for the bullets to only hit him. “W-Why…”
Scoffing, the man and the four others threw their caps down, revealing the younger and middle plus the mother of Gravi in all their glory.
“As if we’d be fooled with your act,” he said, pointing his gun towards the cautious four that just entered the room.
“It was very desperate,” Koi added. “Very fake.”
“And you didn’t meet our eyes,” Aoi tacked on, as he and Kakeru slowly but surely moved backwards towards the captivated group. “It was obvious what you were trying to do.”
“Honestly, I’m more offended than anything,” Haru said. “Thinking that we would easily leave you like this.”
Shun had never felt so relieved and guilty in his life before.
“What are you all doing?!” Leiko cracks out irritatedly. “They’re just five people! Get them!”
And just like that, the door opened to admit more soldiers, all armed up.
Procella gulped at seeing the army of soldiers but Gravi could only stand firm; already coming terms to what would happen next. It was either they died there or they survived. And they’d never let these people ever get their hands on Procella… not even over their dead bodies.
Shun stared blankly as the fight progressed in front of his eyes and he could do nothing except watch helplessly as Gravi fought to keep his family alive.
They couldn’t do much, not with the drugs still circulating within their blood. All everyone could do was just sit there and watch, be helpless as Gravi fought for them— got injured for them.
They’d never forgive themselves… never.
Gravi panted, they were almost at their limits now too, having been fighting for a while now. But they only had to take down two more people now, who also had gotten their fair share of injuries now.
They weren’t holding back— not when their sibling unit’s members were in danger if they were to.
Ever since this group had gotten in their heads that Shun’s magic was real
(well, they weren’t wrong, but they were basing it off of very vague reactions), they hadn’t stopped to bring their world to chaos. By getting other countries to believe them, a full world war started with this group only laughing at the idiocy of the rest. And when only a few countries were left standing, they swept in— taking control of everything.
Haru could only scoff, these people just wanted to experiment on Shun; to see the extent of his powers.
They were despicable.
Lunging at once, they took down their final two enemies, getting injured in the process. Collapsing on their knees momentarily, they could hear Procella’s worried calls and they could only laugh at the irony.
They had claimed that they were the ones feeding information to the enemies
(obviously, they were lying through their teeth; the day before they had kept saying how guilty they felt for dragging them into this fight when it had nothing to do with them) and now they were worried about them.
Regardless, they were happy because unconsciously they had believed them. And seeing them worried about them, seeing the guilty look in their eyes when they’d said they were lying, had them all relaxing. Even if they were to die now, they wouldn’t mind, because they had done their jobs protecting them.
But they couldn’t die.. not now. Not until Hajime finally—
The five looked up as a small tremor (it was so small that wouldn’t really be noticeable, not until you were looking for it) suddenly invaded the enemies headquarters. It seems that it was finally time for them all to leave.
“A-Aoi? A-Are you okay?” Yoru asked fearfully, Aoi merely smiling at the other calmly.
“I’m fine, but if we don’t leave now, we’d be squashed to pieces. Come on, Hajime-san will bring Shun-san. We need to—”
Collectively, everyone’s eyes turned upwards when they heard something whirring close. Confused, they all watched something like a machine gun, although way smaller, coming closer and closer. Their eyes widened in shock when the gun began to fire uncontrollably, getting closer and closer to—
Shun stared in shock at the screen in front of him; his brains not computing what had just happened. What had— What had just—?
“H-Haru!” Kai’s shocked voice called out, Rui and Iku croaking Kakeru’s and Koi’s name in the exact tone. You and Yoru weren’t too different, calling Arata and Aoi to wake, to stop playing pranks on them and that this wasn’t funny anymore— to stop pretending and j-just wake up!
“HAHAHA!” Leiko laughed maniacally. “It seems that I didn’t even need to do anything! Ahh~ I really should have done this long ago!”
Shun couldn’t make sense of what Leiko was saying, nor could he register how the obnoxious voice was suddenly cut off, his hands suddenly being freed from the chains. He couldn’t react to any of these, not even to the presence beside him.
All he could do was stare at the five lifeless bodies, bleeding out on the floor. The remaining members of Procella holding them in their arms as they cried out in tears once it sank all in.
Why… why had this happened… Why?!
They should have been safe… they shouldn’t have come back…
T-they shouldn’t have—
Shun placed a hand on his throbbing cheek, eyes slowly trailing up to meet pained amethyst eyes.
“H-Hajime,” he croaked out silently, his other hand trembling as he placed it on the other’s cheek, wanting to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. “H-Hajime… Hajime.. hajime!”
Soon he was weeping in the other’s chest; too many emotions for him to comprehend, a hand merely patting him soothingly as another brought him close.
“H-hajime,” he croaked out, wanting to say something, anything, but couldn’t get himself to do it. Hajime seemed to understand him because he only whispered soothing murmurs in his ears.
He doesn’t knows how long he stayed that way, maybe it was just a few minutes, maybe seconds, but he eventually looked up when Hajime pulled him away and to look at him.
“Shun, we need to leave.”
“B-Bu…! H-Haru… the rest… they…!”
Hajime’s eyes hardened before he gripped Shun tighter, “We need to leave now Shun!”
Shun stared at Hajime who had just screamed at him; his eyes wide because he’d never heard Hajime be this loud before. It was odd enough for the rest of Procella to stare at Hajime too.
Slowly standing up, Hajime stared down at Shun before looking at the screen behind.
“We are leaving right now,” he said coldly, keeping his voice void of any emotion at seeing the lifeless bodies of his family. He needed to get them out of here. “Or are you going to waste their sacrifice?”
It was that, that got them moving. Quickly using the weapons laying besides their friends
(they were dead… DeAd dEaD DeAd because of them), the five quickly freed themselves using the shots that were left in those guns.
“W-Where should we—” Kai croaked out before Hajime immediately told them to head towards the dock, on the top floor. To hurry there and wait for inside the capsule, buckled up while he gets Shun to them.
Hajime stared as the five quickly left the room, knowing that they would realize why it had taken them so long to actually get there, and why Hajime came even later. But he chose to ignore that right now and only looked at Shun whose eyes were back at staring the screen behind him.
Knowing what his counterpart was thinking, he grabbed the other’s hand and tugged him towards the entrance, knowing that the longer they delayed, the longer they would suffer.
They needed to leave right now.
“Let’s go Shun,” he said, pulling the unresponsive man with him.
“And where do you think you are going?”
Hajime turned around slowly with anger burning in his eyes as they clashed with maniac brown ones. It seemed Leiko had woken up despite Hajime knowing he had knocked her out with no mercy.
It looked like it wasn’t enough… it would never be enough… the woman deserved to die.
“We will be leaving,” Hajime said cooly, pulling Shun behind him who seemed to attach himself to him as though afraid. Understandable considering what he went through. He couldn’t even imagine what it was like just sitting there and watching them die.
“Without Shun~” the other asked but it came out more like a statement.
Hajime only stared at the other bemusedly. “With Shun.”
“And you think you can escape?” The other snarled at him and Hajime could only laugh brokenly.
Of course they’d escape, Hajime would make sure of it. Haru’s plan would always come true… and they will escape.
“Oh, we will,” he said before smiling at the other tauntingly. “You see, my family and I didn’t really mindlessly enter this place. We had a plan to see it burn to the ground.”
Just as he said it, sirens began to flare, startling the two in the room, Hajime only smirking as the other realized what they had just done.
“System Alert: Self-Destruction Activated. Repeat Self-Destruction Activated. Time until Self-Destruction: 2 minute and 30 seconds. Repeat Time until Self-Destruction…”
“You…!” Leiko snarled out ferociously. “I won’t let you escape… Get them, soldiers! Make sure they won’t escape!”
“Do you really think a few soldiers will stop us?” Hajime taunted.
Growling, the other stepped forward unsteadily, looking like an outraged animal. “You… I won’t… let you get aw—BANG!
Hajime ignored the gasp from behind him, instead he chose to savour the feel of finally getting the chance to kill the woman; the one that took away his family.
“Repeat Time until Self-Destruction: 1 minute and 55 seconds. Repeat Time until Self-Destruction…”
Dropping the gun on the ground, Hajime immediately turned around, dragging Shun along with him as they raced to get to the top. They didn’t have much time left, not when Phantom’s leader took too much time away from it… but Hajime would manage.
They were actually closer to the top floor than the others were, thankfully. Everyone in Gravi had thought every possible scenario out— covered every base they could think off and now, it was up to Hajime to get them to safety.
“Hajime…” Shun called out softly, as he they ran up the stairs.
“It’s not your fault,” Hajime immediately interrupted. “None of this. Not yours, not Procella’s. Nobody’s except for Phantom’s.”
“Shun, don’t give up,” Hajime suddenly said, as he pushed open a door, Shun realizing that they’d made it to the top floor. It’s where all the escape pods were kept.
They were currently in Phantom’s building; their headquarters. It was some 100-floored storied building so it’d make sense that this place would have escape pods.
Shun couldn’t help but notice that all of them, except two where in one he could see the rest of his family, the other right beside it empty, were deactivated. He wondered just how long had Gravi planned for this? There’s no way it could have been a last minute plan.
“You can’t give up; you can’t. Promise me you won’t,” Hajime once again said, pulling Shun to the pod. Said male couldn’t help but tighten his grip on Hajime; why—why was Hajime speaking like this?
“Repeat Time until Self-Destruction: 55 seconds, 54 seconds…”
“Hajime…” was all Shun could croak out before loud, thumping sounds were heard coming closer and closer.
Widening his eyes, Shun wondered just how far would they go? Why were they still chasing them, when they knew that this would eventually blow up—
“Shun, you need to live! All of you need to!”
The white haired let out a hoarse scream when he was suddenly and harshly pushed inside the capsule, the door suddenly closing on them… Hajime— Hajime was still outside!
Immediately leaping to his feet, Shun raced forward to the entrance, the others quickly detaching themselves from their seats as they realized what Hajime planned to do.
“Time until Self-Destruction: 10 seconds, 9 seconds…”
They all let out a hoarse scream when their pod was suddenly evacuated from their dock, eyes wide with terror as their last sight of Hajime was being shot down by their enemies.
Shun fell down to his knees, wailing loudly, continuously calling for Hajime’s name. Everyone else could only slowly sit down, tears streaming down their faces and trying to understand what just happened. Why didn’t Hajime— why didn’t he…?
They could do nothing except cry harder when the tower erupted in flames in front of them, finally understanding that their friends— no their family had, had—
“WHY?!” Shun cried out, sobs wrecking his body as his arms circled around himself. “WHY THEM?!”
No-one could respond to that, Kai only managing to get closer to his leader before eventually breaking down himself. And soon, the others migrated closer to the duo, all ending up in a big pile.
They’d never forgive themselves… never. Gravi died because of them… they died because of them!
When they’d finally landed on the ground; Procella couldn’t find it within themselves to move. They couldn’t find any reason to actually live.
Why were they even alive? Why couldn’t they have just died?
So many people died because of them… so why, why were they still alive? They should be dead, damn it!
“What do we do now?” Iku whispered quietly, head leaning against Rui’s, both of them holding each other’s hands tightly.
“What can we do now?” You said maliciously. “We did all the damage we could do…”
The mood was sombre after that; nobody even had the heart to deny it. Rather they couldn’t deny it, it was true after all.
Everyone tensed when they heard the leaves rustling in the far distance, indicating that somebody was coming close. And the only one who would be out at this time were—
“Shit, it’s them,” You hissed as they all immediately stood up, knowing that they needed to escape right now. They were still far away from them, considering the distant voices and foot steps but they still needed to leave.
They all paused when Kai called out Shun confusedly, who was still looking down on the ground.
“Shun?” Kai pulled on the other’s hand insistently. “We need to go now.”
But Shun continued to look at the ground before he said, “…Hajime’s… bracelet…”
“This is…” Shun said, as he picked something from the ground. “Hajime’s bracelet. Why is this… why is this here?”
They were all quiet for a while before Kai closed his eyes, recounting what had happened before getting the answers they were looking for.
“He wants us to live,” he said quietly, finally voicing what they didn’t want to believe in. “They want us to live; to not give up.”
Gulping at the answer, everyone looked at each other before nodding, deciding to talk later and get away first.
Rui was the one to stop this time.
“Rui?” Iku asked quietly, coming to a halt behind him. Everyone else looking at the turquoise haired worriedly.
The June born, however, only raised his hand up, pointing to something in front of him. They could only choke at what they saw next.
A big sign that said ‘Maximum 6 people’ and the bracelets/necklaces of the other Gravi’s members hanging onto the side.
They could only cry harder when he realized that even Gravi had hoped to survive but because of them, because of them, they were now—
“Let’s go,” Kai said numbly and the others could only follow. “We need to leave.. we need to fulfil their wishes… It’s the least we can do."
They’d make sure to avenge them… they’d make sure that these Phantoms wouldn’t even survive… they’d make sure of it.
And they’d try their best to live, even though it would be hard. Because the only reason why they were even alive right now was because of them.
They all closed their eyes momentarily to re-affirm themselves of their resolutions before re-opening them again… this time however, the scene slightly different but very familiar to them.
“Would you like to become idols?”