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Danganronpa's Hope

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This is a list of all of the prompt ideas that I have receieved. Just a place to put all of the potential chapters. If you are one of the people who left a suggestion, and want to remain anonymous, please PM me. Prompts will be removed if I actually write about them and post a chapter.


Guest: Ok how about this one the class is having a trip to the beach ( cliche beach scene in all anime) and makoto is going fishing with mukuro and something pulled the line so strong that it takes makoto with him and mukuro goes after him

Raregroove: How about Sayaka being tired of Makoto failing to pick up on any of her flirting. Slight yandere antics ensue when she tries to get that dense protagonist to take the hint.

GrantMK2: Set before Despair really started (and presumably no relationship with Matsuda), Junko/Naegi. Junko finds Naegi's unpredictable luck to be impossible to reliably analyze, leading to her finding excuses to drag him around so she can experiment with his luck, not realizing until she's done relating everything to Mukuro that she's basically dating him.

GrantMK2: Set during the DR1 killing game, Celeste/Naegi. Naegi's maxed his relationship with her, and Celeste's about to carry out her plan, only to realize even her dream isn't worth betraying and endangering him and she has to call it off. Maybe the plan and her feelings get revealed, maybe it's all her secret.

TheAmbitiousOne: In Leon's Free Time Events, we find out he wanted to be a musician (to date a girl, cough), but realized he wanted to play baseball because he hadn't been away from it for so long.

But in this story, he wouldn't have been away from it, right? So he still wants to be a musician. I'd see him asking for help from the musically talented Ultimates- Sayaka, Ibuki, and Kaede, maybe Hiyoko could even make an appearance, since she's a dancer. Then, he realizes how difficult music can be, and he decides to focus on his passions instead of girls.

Not sure if this fits your style, but hey, it's something. Hope to see an update soon.

Gears112: -Something involving Toko and Hifumi and their "creative differences" while the rest of the class tries to stop/deal with it

DarkDesperado25: Also maybe for another naekusaba one something like some of the class at the beach and Muku being cute and nervous about being in front of Makoto in a bikini and a bit of teenage awkwardness with the two of them, maybe with some supportive/teasing classmates.

Anonymous: The class (or just some of them, whatever works best for you) watching and/or setting off fireworks. Instead of (or perhaps in addition to) regular fireworks, Junko would be setting off actual explosives (like dynamite, for example), lighting them off of a big fat cigar in her mouth. She'd also fire her sister out of a cannon for the "grand finale". (or at least try to, up to you what happens)

TheDarkOne121: The members of the 78th class are having a Halloween party and someone suggests they play the Ouija board. Things start off well and good until Makoto gets possessed by the entity they were communicating with. After exorcising the entity, Makoto is left shaken from being violated of his own body, making the rest of the class comfort him in their own unique way in order to cheer him up.

1995hzq:Request prompt idea, got it from an old Spongebob episode called Scaredy Pants.

Holloween is here, everyone wears a costume to a Holloween party for all Hope's Peak Students. Makoto has a secret trick to his. Attends the party in a classic ghost costume. Near the end of the party, Junko scare pranks everyone and lastly took of Makoto's ghost sheet but got scared witless by whats underneath. Makoto's head is a skeleton with his brain out in plain sight which left everyone running away in terror. Its all just all done by the Ultimate Make-up artist.

MrAwesomeMatty: LeonxSakura: A romance, the two go to the beach, despite Leon's hate of being in hot weather. Sakura decides to mess with him by putting him in a headlock and messing up his hair? Just some fluff between the two?

MrAwesomeMatty: Leon and Hifumi: Leon comes to Hifumi, despite thinking he's creepy and annoying in the past, apologizing for how shitty he's treated and tries to find something to connect with him. (Your choice on what it is), but the two end up being good friends afterwards

Chapter Text

“M-Mukuro, that’s really not necessary… I’m sure that it was just a joke or something.”

Shaking her head firmly, Mukuro stubbornly stayed completely still. She was standing right next to Makoto’s bed, a loaded pistol cocked and aimed at the door. It was almost 10:00 PM, and Mukuro was refusing to leave his dorm. He had invited her over to hang out, but something had convinced her to stay over the night.

That something was a threat that Makoto had gotten over the internet. He had thought that since Mukuro was a soldier, she might enjoy first person shooter games. While showing her how to play Counter Spike: Local Defensive , he had gotten a kill during a multiplayer game. As a result, that person had sent an angry message in chat directed to Makoto.

*DEAD* csnezgod: you play like a fuckin bitch. watch me ddos ur ass and find ur address. ur dead, fucker.

As soon as Mukuro had read this, she immediately took out a gun from a concealed pocket and quickly scanned the room. Despite the fact that there was obviously no one here, she still double checked and triple checked the entire dorm room. 

“Mukuro, what are you doing?” Makoto asks worriedly.

“Scanning the area for any potential threats.” Mukuro replies nonchalantly. Despite her calm expression, she was gripping her pistol so tightly that her knuckles were turning white. There was only one goal in her mind - Keep Makoto safe.

“Is this about that chat message?” Makoto stands up from his chair and quickly exits the game. “Look, that kind of stuff is said a lot online. Most of the time, they’re empty threats.”

Mukuro snaps her gaze to Naegi. “ Most of the time?”

If Mukuro wasn’t convinced before, she was convinced now. Makoto was in some sort of danger, and she would stay the night at his dorm as to ensure his safety.

“Mukuro…” Makoto says in a pleading tone. “You’re just gonna get really tired if you stand there for the whole night. Really, I’m going to be fine.”

Mukuro tilts her head slightly as she considers this. She had incredible stamina, but even she had limits. “... I suppose you’re right. Standing here all night would render me exhausted after a couple of hours.”

Makoto breathes a sigh of relief. “Yeah, so there’s really no need to defend me like this, okay? I would just feel guilty if you stayed awake through the whole night on my behalf.”

“And if I’m exhausted, then I would do a terrible job of defending you from anything. We don’t know who csnezgod is - he could have a plethora of available resources at his disposable.” Mukuro nods to herself, completely ignorant of Makoto’s pleas.

“What?”

Mukuro walks over to the foot of Makoto’s bed and sits on it, legs crossed. “Sitting down is a much more efficient stance. In fact, I have a better angle of the door from this position. Thanks for pointing that out, Makoto.”

Sighing, Makoto lays down and tries to close his eyes. He clearly wasn’t going to convince Mukuro that this was unnecessary, so he should probably just go to sleep.

Nope.

Naegi felt that it was nearly impossible to go to sleep. He did feel tired, but he was painfully aware of Mukuro’s presence. The fact that Mukuro was watching over him while he slept plagued his mind whenever he tried to close his eyes.

So he couldn’t sleep, and he couldn’t convince Mukuro to leave.

“Ah, screw it.” Makoto mutters to himself.

Pulling himself into a sitting position, Naegi scoots over next to where Mukuro was sitting. She had been in the same stance for thirty minutes, and had barely moved a single inch. But when Naegi plopped himself next to Mukuro, she flinches and looks over at him.

“W-What are you doing?” Mukuro hisses. “You can go to sleep.”

Makoto grins sheepishly. Mukuro could barely see it in the dark room, but even so it was enough to make her blush slightly. “I told you - I would just feel guilty if I let you stay awake for me. So I’ll stay on guard with you. Sounds good?”

Mukuro shakes her head vehemently. “I’m doing this so that you can sleep peacefully. It’s fine, Makoto. I don’t need you to help me keep watch.”

“Come on, Mukuro. I insist.” Makoto says, stifling a yawn. “Just pretend like I’m not here, okay?”

“... Fine.” Mukruo reluctantly concedes, rolling her eyes as she does. “But if you feel tired, don’t hesitate to go to sleep. You will be safe under my protection.”

“Sure.”

An hour passes, and nothing happens.

Two hours passes, and nothing happens.

Three hours pass, and…

Mukuro instantly goes rigid as she feels something fall onto her shoulder. It was heavy, but not uncomfortably so. Warmth starts to seep throughout her body as she hears a few content mutters come from next to her.

Mukuro turns her head to Makoto at a painstakingly slow rate. Sure enough, he had fallen asleep… right on her shoulder. His head was nuzzled comfortably next to her neck, and she could feel his soft yet spiky hair tickling her cheek. Makoto’s light breaths came at a slow pattern. Every time he exhaled, Mukuro could feel a jolt went through her chest.

Instantly, her face erupts into a deep blush. She couldn’t help but notice how… content Makoto looked, sleeping on her arm. She could make out a small smile on his face as he slept peacefully. If she moved him, then she could risk making him uncomfortable, or worse… she could wake him up.

No, that wasn’t an option.

Mukuro flicks her eyes to the door. So far, it had remained completely silent… there was no hint of any intruders. But still, she would not rest until she was sure that Makoto was not in harm's way. She would stay on guard for the rest of the night - his safety couldn’t be guaranteed otherwise.

But with Makoto sleeping on her shoulder, looking so impossibly cute…

This is going to be a long night, isn’t it?

Chapter Text

For some reason. Makoto just couldn't stop staring at her.

This 'her' was Junko Enoshima. Right now, Makoto was at a christmas party - he, along with everyone else in his class was invited by Leon. Though everyone was invited, in the end a few people didn't show up. Makoto hadn't seen Kyoko, Mukuro, Toko, or Byakuya but everyone else was there. Most of them were just having fun, talking to each other and goofing around.

Junko was acting as hyper as she usually was, but there was something different about her behavior. Her words seemed a bit slurred and there was a constant tinge of red on her cheeks. She even broke off into tangents at times, ranting about completely random subjects like current wars and the details of how night vision goggles work. Why she felt the need to talk about that stuff, Makoto had no idea.

Not only was her behavior weird, but something about her appearance seemed off too. Despite the cold weather outside, she had arrived in her usual outfit, consisting of a short red skirt and a short sleeved black dress shirt that fit her figure snugly. The top of her shirt was opened up a bit, exposing a fair amount of cleavage. Her clothes were the same, but everything else seemed just a little different. Her hair didn't have its usual luster, and her face seemed to be shaped slightly different.

"Huh. Didn't know that Junko was your type of chick."

Makoto jumps up as a loud voice suddenly breaks up his thoughts. He turns his head and finds himself face to face with Mondo Owada, the Ultimate Bike Gang Leader. He was nodding and had been following Makoto's gaze. "Can't say I blame you for staring though."

"What?" Makoto blinks. "No, it's nothing like that. It's just that… doesn't she seem different to you, somehow?'

Mondo snorts and rolls his eyes. "Oh, come on. You don't need to pull any excuses like that. You think she's cute, just admit it."

Blushing slightly, Makoto frantically shakes his head. "Really! She just looks kind of… odd."

"Then get over there and ask her about it or something instead of staring at her like a creep, eh?" Mondo grins and roughly smacks Makoto on the back. "Go on, say somethin' to her."

"I'm not a creep…" Makoto mutters.

Still though, he has a point. Maybe I should just try talking to Junko.

Slowly, Makoto goes over to where Junko was. She had an arm over Sayaka's shoulder and was grinning delightfully, completely oblivious to how uncomfortable Sayaka looked. In one hand, she held a red plastic cup that was filled with punch. For some reason, the cup was stacked on top of three other empty ones.

"Ohhhh, Makotoooo~!" Junko squeals happily as she notices Makoto approaching them. Taking her arm off of Sayaka, she ran over to him and pulls the luckster into a sudden hug, much to his surprise. "I've been *hic* looking all over for you!"

Makoto laughs nervously and pulls away from Junko, causing her to pout slightly. "You were? I was just standing around, so I didn't think that I would be hard to miss…"

Sayaka quickly goes up to Makoto and pulls on his arm.

"Makoto!" Sayaka whispers with a panicked look in her eyes. "I think Junko's drunk. Somebody might have spiked the punch bowl!"

"W-What?!" Makoto stammers. Junko being drunk would definitely explain her behavior. Mixing someone like Junko with alcohol would be sure to cause trouble. But who would spike the drinks? And how would they have spiked the drinks? They were all underaged (except for Yasuhiro), so it's not like anyone could have bought alcohol.

Oh. Damn it, Hiro!

"Oh, move over Sayaka!" Junko rudely pushes Sayaka away from Makoto and grabs his hand. "Come onnn, hope boy. Let's sit down!"

Before Makoto could respond, Junko forcefully pulls him away from an irritated Sayaka. She speed-walks over to where the couches were, grinning all the while. Junko collapses onto an empty couch and gestures next to her.

Reluctantly, Makoto sits down next to her.

"So, Junko… what's up?" Makoto asks nervously.

"Oh, nothing's really *hic* up with me these days." Junko waves her hand around as she took another drink from her cup. "Man, this drink is good."

"Um, Junko… someone spiked it with alcohol." Makoto comments nervously. He didn't know if Junko knew this, but he thought that he should warn her anyway. If she ended up overdrinking, she might actually get sick or something.

"Ah, I see. Cool." Junko says simply, shrugging her shoulders. She either didn't understand Makoto, or just didn't care. Honestly, it could have been both. "Want some?"

"No thanks!" Makoto says quickly. He had absolutely no intention of drinking alcohol here, or anywhere else.

"Awh, boring!" Junko whines. "But that's kind of why I like you, Makoto… you're just too pure." As Junko said this, she scooted in closer to Makoto and rested her cheek on his shoulder.

"W-What?" Makoto stammers, face breaking into a blush.

"You look so cute when you get embarrassed!" Junko giggles and wraps her arms around Makoto. The red on her cheeks had spread considerably, lighting up her whole face. She was extremely warm to the touch, and Makoto could have sworn that there was literal steam rushing out of her ears. "Actually, you look cute no matter what you're doing… it's so *hic* unfair!"

While Makoto was trying to formulate a response, he notices something strange about Junko. Was there something on her face…?

"Um, Junko? Can you sit up and look at me for a sec?" Makoto asks.

Sighing heavily, Junko reluctantly unwraps her arms from Makoto. She turns in her seat so that she was face to face with Makoto. "Okayyyyy, what is it?"

Makoto leans in until their faces were only half a foot apart. As he does this, Junko's eyes widen and her face somehow turns even more red. They stay like that for a few seconds, but to Junko it must have felt like an eternity.

"Junko?" Makoto finally says. "Have you always had freckles on your fa-"

Makoto never got the chance to finish that sentence. Before he could, Junko leans in and closes the gap, pressing her lips up against Makoto's. In pure shock, Makoto recoils back. Junko, not skipping a beat, moves forward at the same time so that their kiss isn't broken.

In that kiss, Makoto could taste the lingering punch that she was drinking. He could taste how sweet it was. He could taste the hints of tang in the drink.

He couldn't taste any alcohol.


Anonymous: How about Mukuro accidentally getting blitzed off of spiked punch when Junko forces her to go to a party in her stead while disguised?

Except… the punch wasn't actually spiked?

Weird. Maybe she just got drunk off of the atmosphere. That's my guess, anyway.

¯\_( )_/¯

Chapter Text

Makoto was hiding something from her.

A conscious, concentrated effort to hide something.

From her.

For once in her life, Kyoko found herself unable to concentrate on her work. She had been reading the same couple of lines of a case file for the past thirty minutes now. It was something about an ‘impossible’ robbery, where a couple thousand dollars had been stolen from a safe that had remained unbroken. Apparently, only the owner knew the password. That was all Kyoko gathered from the file - she was sure that she could have solved it if she could concentrate.

Key word, could.

It had happened yesterday. She and Makoto had been eating lunch together at school when she noticed that Makoto was acting… strangely. He refused to make eye contact with her and seemed uncomfortable whenever she tried to talk to him.

The most rational explanation was that he was hiding something from her.

In order to confirm it, she had decided to straight up just ask him, face to face.

“Naegi…” Kyoko sighs as she pokes at her salad with a fork. “Can I ask you something?”

“Um… Yeah?” Naegi says nervously.

“What are you hiding from me?” Kyoko deadpans.

“W-What?!” Naegi’s face turns red as he flinched backwards from Kyoko. At the same time, a drop of sweat drips down his forehead as he gives Kyoko a nervous smile. “I’m not hiding anything! R-Really!”

Yup. He was definitely hiding something. But the question was what was he hiding? Kyoko wasn’t a huge fan of secrets. If she knew that someone was hiding something from her, she usually made some sort of effort to find out what it was.

 This was a special case, however. Makoto was one of the few people that Kyoko had really trusted. If she had a delicate issue that she needed help with, Kyoko wouldn’t hesitate to go to Makoto. In fact, he had actually helped Kyoko mend her relationship with her father. That was one thing that Kyoko could have never repaid him for.

So to learn that Makoto didn’t trust her enough for something… well, it hurt her more than she would like to admit.

Kyoko carelessly throws the case file in her hands onto her bed and starts to pace around her dorm room. That could wait for later. If Makoto wouldn’t tell her his secret, then she would have to find out on her own. She needed to know what was so important that he wouldn’t even tell her

Scowling to herself, Kyoko walks out of her dorm and makes a bee-line for the dining hall. The first step would be to interrogate Makoto’s classmates. While she doubted that Makoto would have trusted anyone else with his secret, it didn’t hurt to make sure. Besides, even if no one knew about his secret, they could at least provide some possible hints.

On her way there, she runs into Yasuhiro… Literally. As she rounds a corner, she collides with the clairvoyant, causing her to stumble backwards. At the same time, dozens of cards fly up into the air. For whatever reason, Yaushiro had been shuffling his tarot cards while walking around.

“Ahh!” Yasuhiro drops to the floor and scrambles around, picking up his cards. “I literally just unboxed these!”

Kyoko blinks. “Why is that relevant?”

Yasuhiro snaps his head up to look at Kyoko. “They’re going to lose that new card smell! The chi-aura of these cards are tainted by the dirty floor now! I hope you’re happy!”

“...” Kyoko says nothing, instead option to glare coldly at the clairvoyant. Whenever he was acting like this, simply giving him a nasty look tended to shut him up pretty well.

“Eep!” Yasuhiro quickly stands up before laughing nervously. “Ah, sorry dude but I gotta run. Y’know, fortune telling business to do!”

“Wait.” Kyoko says. “I need to ask you something.”

“Huh?” Yasuhiro scratches his head. “Alright, what is it?”

“I have noticed that Makoto has been acting strange lately.” Kyoko says, putting a hand up to her chin. “As you are his classmate, I was hoping that you would know why this is. But if you don’t know, then maybe you could provide a guess as to…” The detective pauses mid-sentence as she notices that Yasuhiro was smirking at her, for some absurd reason.

“Oh, sorry. It’s just that… ahahahahah!” Yasuhiro laughs loudly, voice echoing throughout the hallways. “You’re really investigating that? That’s hilarious! It’s just that I thought that someone like you would be able to find out what he’s hiding. I mean, it’s pretty obvious.”

“... Elaborate.” Kyoko says.

“No, it’s just that… I guessed right, and well… Naegs told me not to tell anyone.” Yasuhiro shrugs, an apologetic look on his face. “Still though, good luck! See you later, Kirigiri!”

Before Kyoko could muster up a response, Yasuhiro leaves, still laughing to himself. She couldn’t believe it. Yasuohiro Hagakure of all people, knew Makoto’s secret. And Makoto had trusted him enough not to tell anyone. To be frank, she felt sort of insulted. Sure - judging by what Yasuhiro had said, the clairvoyant had managed to guess his secret. Whether that was through divination or pure luck, Kyoko didn’t know.

But still.

Yasuhiro, the guy who was practically class clown, knew something that she didn’t.

That’s it.

“Makoto, whether you like it or not, you will tell me what you’re hiding.” Kyoko mutters to herself as she begins to speed-walk to Makoto’s dorm. He spent most of his time there nowadays, so she was confident that he would be there. Normally, she would make an effort to try and find out on her own, but that encounter with Yasuhiro really rubbed her the wrong way.

When she reaches, his room, she knocks on the door three times.

*knock knock knock*

No more than ten second later, Makoto opens the door. He was wearing a school uniform over his usual green hoodie. When he saw her, his face breaks into a wide smile. “Oh, hey Kyoko! What’s up?”

Kyoko walks into his room and motions for him to follow with her hand, not bothering to respond to his question.

After a small delay, she hears him close the door and walk up to her. 

“Um, Kyoko? Is there something wrong?”

She turns around and gives him the most withering glare that she could muster. “Tell me. What are you hiding from me?”

“H-Huh?” Makoto stammers and backs up from her. “What do you mean?”

Kyoko rolls her eyes. “Don’t play dumb, Makoto. It’s insulting. I know that you’re hiding something from me. I even have testimony from Yasuhiro to back me up.”

Makoto’s face flushes. “D-Did he tell you?”

“... No. But he said that you had a secret. And I won’t leave your room until I find out what that is.” Kyoko says sharply. She walks over to the luckster and gazes into his eyes fiercely, as if daring him to look away.. “Is it just that I can’t be trusted? Am I not worthy of your trust anymore?”

“No! Of course not!” Makoto says quickly.

“Then tell me.” Kyoko crosses her arms. “We’re friends, right? That’s what you always say.”

After a long silence, Makoto exhales. “F-Fine. The truth is, Kyoko…” 

Makoto’s face turns completely red as his voice drops to a low whisper. He was so quiet that Kyoko could barely hear what he said next. “ I-I’ve actually kind of developed a crush on you… I think.”

“Oh.” Kyoko says simply.

“Oh?” Makoto echoes. He was still blushing furiously. “Is that… erm, is that all you have to say?”

Kyoko gives him a soft smile and nods. “I was worried that the secret was something more serious. If this was all it was, then… I’m relieved. To be honest, I was even a little bit worried.”

“And besides - I’ve known that you had a crush on me for a while now.”

Chapter Text

"Come on, Chihiro! I've done it a billion times, you've got nothin' to worry about."

Chihiro bites the bottom of his lip and looks down nervously. He was clenching his fists so hard that his knuckles had turned white. Anxiety filled practically every single part of his body as he looks once more over Mondo's motorcycle. It was a weekend, so they were free from school. In order to pass some time, Mondo had suggested that they go for a joyride on his motorcycle. At first, Chihiro had vehemently agreed. He had never ridden a motorcycle before, but the way that Mondo had described it made it sound like the best thing you could experience.

"It's like flying, you know?" Mondo said, with a far away look in his eyes. His face looked uncharacteristically calm as he recollected to Chihiro what riding felt like. "You just feel kind of free and light. It's almost like you can do whatever the hell you want and no one can stop you."

Chihiro didn't really get it - he had flown in airplanes before, and it didn't feel too amazing. But if Mondo was saying that it was great, then it must be… right? Besides, it seemed like something a tough person would do, something a strong person would do.

But now that he was standing in front of Mondo's bike, right next to narrow road populated with speeding cars… well, he was starting to get cold feet. Mondo had given him a helmet, but there were no seatbelts on his motorcycle! Not only that, but there wasn't even an airbag in case they crashed or something.

"B-But," Chihiro stammers. "Is it really safe?"

Mondo laughs heartily and gently pats him on the back. "Nothing to worry about, bro. I'm the Ultimate Bike Gang Leader, remember? You think that I could lead any gangs if I wasn't a good rider?"

"Well, I g-guess not."

"Then let's go!" Mondo motions to Chihiro with his hand as he gets on his bike. It was pretty large, as far as motorcycles went, and sported a fresh coat of obsidian black paint, matching the color of Mondo's coat.

Nodding hesitantly, Chihiro puts on his helmet and sits behind Mondo. He couldn't help but go pale as Mondo revved his bike - the engine was so loud that it made Chihiro body vibrate. Jaw clenched, he cautiously wraps his arms around Mondo's stomach and holds on.

"Ready, bro?" Mondo grins over his shoulder.

"Y-Yes…"

Not a moment afterwards, Mondo takes off into the street, whooping loudly as he does so, completely oblivious to the pale programmer hanging on for dear life behind him.

The experience, to say the least, defied all of his expectations.

Despite Mondo's reassuring words, he couldn't help but brace himself for some sort of catastrophic accident. If they crashed, Chihiro thought that he would undoubtedly fly off the bike like a piece of paper and then skid across the road, ending up as little more than roadkill. At the very least, he would scrape a large amount of his skin off or break a few bones.

After a minute of riding though, these paranoid thoughts went away. They weren't crashing - in fact, Mondo's bike wasn't even wavering. His heart was pumping fiercely, but not from fear or dread - instead, he had begun to feel excited. Looking around, he could see them pass other vehicles and buildings. They were little more then blurs. Mondo was going so fast that Chihiro couldn't even read the speed limit signs as they passed them - though he had no doubts that they were breaking them. Strangely enough, the knowledge that they were breaking the law didn't unease Chihiro. In fact, it just caused more adrenaline to start pumping through his veins.

Even from behind Mondo, Chihiro could still feel the air rushing through them, blowing onto his body and causing his clothes to flutter. He wasn't wearing his usual skirt - for the occasion, he had decided to wear a simple T-shirt and jeans. At first, Chihiro felt kind of restricted by them - he was too used to wearing a skirt. But now, those feelings of restrictions had completely disappeared.

The pure energy coursing through Chihiro nearly doubles as Mondo suddenly does a back wheelie. Unexpectedly, Chihiro lets out a loose laugh of pure delight as he tightens his grip on Mondo. He could almost touch the ground - not that he would, of course. He wasn't wearing any gloves. But it still felt exhilarating to know that he could.

"How long are we going to ride?!" Chihiro yells over the roaring wind.

"Do you want to stop?" Mondo shouts back.

"Of course not! This is amazing!"

"Then we'll go as long as you want!" Chihiro could practically hear the smile on his voice as he says this. "We have the whole day to ourselves!"

"You just feel kind of free and light. It's almost like you can do whatever the hell you want and no one can stop you."

Yes, that was one way to describe it. Chihiro felt free. For once in his life, he almost felt unstoppable.

One thing was for sure - they weren't going to stop anytime soon.

Chapter Text

An arm wrestling competition.

Probably the dumbest, and most popular competition of strength out there. The rules were simple - two contestants go up against each other and each player places one arm on a surface with their elbows bent and touching the surface, and they grip each other's hand. On the count of three, both players attempt to pin the other person's arm down on the table. The person to do this wins.

Simple, yes. Some people even think that it's a pointless sport. This opinion was shared by quite a few people among the 78th class, including Byakuya, Mukuro, Kyoko, Toko, and Celeste. So when Junko of all people, decided to host an arm wrestling competition for the entire class, those five naturally declined to participate.

Well, those four - Mukuro couldn't find it in herself to refuse Junko's request. Besides, she figured that she would have an easy path to the finals where she would undoubtedly face off against Sakura. Mukuro wasn't delusional - she knew that she couldn't win against Sakura's overwhelming power. Still though, she would like to get the opportunity to gauge exactly how powerful Sakura was.

And sure enough, the first round goes by with little issues. The tournament was seeded randomly, so she actually ended up facing Mondo in the first round. Despite this however, she won with no trouble. In Fenrir, arm wrestling was a semi-popular way to pass the time. Despite the fact that she didn't really care for such competitions, she still ended up getting roped into them anyway. Mukuro had come out on top against much bigger men then Mondo.

The second round goes by easily too - she was faced against Yamada. When she walked up to the table to face him, he started shying away from her on account of Mukuro's cold glare. As soon as she put her arm up on the table, he immediately squealed and said that he surrendered.

"Man, what a disappointment." Junko smirks at the sweating otaku. "Oh well. Muku, this round should be easy too! You're playin' against the ahoge boy!"

Makoto had gotten lucky with this bracket seeding. In the first round, he was matched up against Chihiro and in the second, he was matched up against Toko. Both weren't exactly the strongest people in the class, so Makoto had been able to get by them pretty easily. But that's all he had with him - luck. Now, he had to face Mukuro, the Ultimate Soldier. There was little doubt in both player's minds that Mukuro would easily win this.

Calmly, Mukuro walks over to Makoto's desk and nods at him. "Are you ready?"

Makoto laughs sheepishly and scratches his head. "I guess so. Oh well, I still made it two rounders further than I thought I would. That counts for something, I guess."

Still smiling brightly, Makoto puts his elbow on his desk and holds out his hand to Mukuro. She mirrored his actions, but as soon as they started gripping each other's hands…

Mukuro immediately clocks out. Her eyes seemed to cloud over and she became slack-jawed. Makoto's hand… was extremely soft. Not to mention warm, too. Heat rushes to Mukuro's cheeks as her mind becomes sluggish. This wasn't what she expected at all. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she remembers the time where she was being trained to resist drugs. There had been this one particular drug which caused her mind to become extremely fuzzy, while causing slight paralysis to her entire body. It was a mild sedative, used mainly on animals. For whatever reason, holding Makoto's hand seemed to give her the exact same effects.

"Alright! Remember, ON three, not after!" Junko's voice seemed far away as she began their match. It was almost as if she was hearing a dream. "Let's get started! One!"

Ah, Junko's beginning the countdown. I should focus.

"Two!"

It was no use. Mukuro was fully aware of how she was acting right now, but she couldn't help it. Makoto's hand was just so… soft. It didn't exactly help that Makoto was still smiling, even now. His smile seemed to be the only thing she could focus on, besides the fact that she was holding his hand.

"Three!"

Some far away part of her registered that Makoto had slammed her hand down onto the table. Not that it mattered to her - in fact, having Makoto's hand over hers only seemed to be more intimate. She could have stayed like this forever, mind buzzing pleasantly as she held on to Makoto.

"Wha… The hell?! Makoto won?!"

Mukuro had held hands with people before. She had done it plenty of times during Fenrir, for one reason or another. But those hands were always rough, and full of calluses. More often than not, there was even dried blood on their hands that they had not bothered to scrape away. She held hands with Junko before, but she had always squeezed her hand so tightly that it pained her. Sometimes, Junko even dug her nails into her. Mukuro had held hands with Mondo in the first round, but Mondo's hand almost like the hands that she had felt in Fenrir.

But holding on to Makoto… It felt so bizarrely different, that she couldn't even comprehend it. Who knew that doing something as simple as holding his hand could make her feel so -

*BANG*

Mukuro jumps up, train of thought completely broken. In a single fluid motion, she brings out a concealed handgun and looks throughout the entire room for where the gunshot came from. It didn't take long to find the source though - Junko was standing right next to her, holding the remains of a red balloon. Apparently, she had popped it.

"J-Junko?" Mukuro stares at her strangely.

"You lost." Junko deadpans.

"Oh." Mukuro blinks and puts her gun away.

Right. The arm wrestling thing.

Sighing, Junko shakes her head in disappointment. "Well, that was dumb. You didn't even try to fight back against him. You just let him crush your hand onto the table while you drooled like an idiot."

Mukuro's face reddens slightly. "Did I really drool?" The way had been, she wouldn't have doubted it.

Junko smirks at her smugly. "No, but you might as well have! Like holy fuck sis. I know you're madly in love with Makoto, but seriously? God, I can only imagine how you would react if he actually kisses you or something."

Once again, Mukuro's mind glazes over. Makoto kissing her, huh? That doesn't sound too bad… his lips were probably as soft as his hands w-

"HEY!" Junko snaps, slamming her palm on Mukuro's shoulder. "No! Bad Muku! No dirty thoughts!"

"I-I wasn't-"

"Bad!"

Coughing awkwardly, Mukuro turns her attention back to Makoto. For some reason, he looked extremely anxious. He was just sitting there, fidgeting in his seat. Why did he look so nervous?

Three seconds later, she gets an answer.

Sakura sits in front of him.

"I did not expect you to beat Mukuro… Perhaps you are stronger than you look. In that case, I will not hold back!"

...

"Ah, well this should be interesting!" Junko says happily, skipping over to their table.

Chapter Text

How did I get into this mess?

Makoto shifts around uncomfortably as the person in front of him stares at him menacingly. The person in question was wearing a pair of sunglasses and was huge . In fact, he was even bigger than his classmate, Sakura. His arms were as big as tree trunks and heavily decorated with tattoos. Even though Makoto couldn’t see his eyes, he could still feel his piercing gaze burning through him.

“Don’t worry, Makoto.” Celeste, who was sitting next to him, smiles sweetly. “I have dealt with Midge before. He is not particularly lucky or good at poker.”

“When I heard that you were the Ultimate Lucky Student… well, I couldn’t help but feel curious.” Midge says gruffly as he looks at his hands. In them, there were five cards. Makoto had five cards as well, though they were laying face down on the table in front of him. In the middle of the two, there were two face up cards. “Just one round. If you win, I’ll replace your girlfriends metal rings.”

“She isn’t my girlfriend!” Makoto says quickly. “We’re just friends.”

Midge gives him a toothy grin. All of his teeth were blindingly white. In fact, Makoto could have sworn that they were literally glowing. “You’re risking your finger for a friend? Either you’re confident in your luck, or you two are pretty damn close.”

A few hours ago, Makoto had accidentally spilled a small amount of soda on Celeste’s finger, and by extension, spilled soda on the overlapping metal-plated rings that she was wearing. While it hadn’t been a huge mess, Celeste had insisted that Makoto had irreversibly tainted her rings, and that he had to replace them as soon as possible.

Celeste had her rings custom made in a place called ‘Midge’s Armory.’ While the shop itself was located in a wealthy district, the place was extremely unkept and dirty. There was dirt all over the floor and spiderwebs at each corner. The only light source was a small lightbulb in the main room. Every other room depend on a window for light. Makoto couldn’t believe that someone like Celeste was a regular at this place, but she seemed to be unbothered by how dirty everything was.

When Celeste introduced Makoto to Midge, he agreed to replace Celeste’s rings.... For 30,000,000,000 yen. Obviously, Makoto didn’t have that kind of money. So instead, Midge challenged Makoto to a single hand of poker. If he won, then Midge would replace her rings free of charge. If he lost, then he would pay.

Pay by losing one of his fingers.

Makoto didn't know if he was just joking around or not, but he certaintly seemed serious when he said it. His tone was enough to send a chill running down his spine. Makoto didn't know why he accepted his ridiculous offer, but he did. And now, he was deeply regretting that decision.

“Alright, enough stalling.” Midge says, placing his cards down face up on the table.. “Show your hand, Makoto Naegi.”

Makoto gulps and turns over his cards with shaky hands. As he does, Midge leans forwards slightly and stares at them. Celeste does as well. A long moment of silence passes. Makoto was admittedly terrible at poker - he didn’t even know what the hands were, or their ranks. So he had no idea who won.

Suddenly, Midge breaks into an abrupt fit of laughter. He takes off his sunglasses and bangs on the table with his fist, bellowing all the while. “You really are lucky! God damn!”

Makoto blinks owlishly. “S-So, did I win?”

“Course ya fuckin won!” Midge shouts. “I would have thought you were cheating if I didn’t shuffle the deck myself!”

Celeste giggles softly, putting a hand up to her mouth. “You drew an ace, king, queen, jack, and a ten, all of which were spades. Makoto, you won with a Royal Flush. The odds of getting this hand are roughly 650,000 to one.”

“W-Wow...” Makoto scratches the back of his head and sighs in relief. He had been really nervous that he might have lost, but thankfully, his luck pulled through in the end. Even though it was bad luck most of the time, there were some moments where he got extremely good luck. “Well, what did Midge get?”

“Son, it doesn’t fuckin matter what I got.” Midge snorts as he cleans up the cards. “You can’t beat a Royal Flush. I’ll make your rings, Celestia. Come back in about three days. Should be ready by then.”

Celeste gives him a smile before turning to Makoto. “Interesting… your luck has clearly shown itself during this game. However, you had bad luck whenever we played together. Perhaps the pressure of losing one of your digits had to do with your luck? I look forward to experimenting this further.”

Makoto’s blood runs cold. “E-Experiment?”

The gambler nods and presses her hands together. “I am curious about your luck, Makoto. I wish to study it, find any patterns within your talent. We shall be playing more games, but for some higher stakes. I hope that your luck proves effective.”

Makoto gulps nervously. He had dodged one bad outcome, but it seemed like he was still in some trouble.

I should probably learn how to actually play Poker soon...

Chapter Text

“Come ON , Makoto!” Aoi says as she literally drags Makoto over to the school pool. She was dressed in her swimming suit, and Makoto was as well. There was no one else in the pool room besides them.

“H-Hina, I don’t see what the big deal is!” Makoto stammers, almost slipping on a puddle of water. He would have probably fallen and cracked his head on the floor if Aoi hadn’t been holding his arm. She was grasping it so tightly that his hand felt a little numb, as if his blood circulation was being cut off. Aoi had an unusually serious expression on her face, one that looked completely out of place.

“The big deal?!” Aoi whips around to face Makoto, still holding on to his arm as if he might have tried to run away (which wasn’t entirely out of the picture). “How can you be in high school and still not know how to swim?! That’s crazy! Swimming is a natural life skill, like walking and reading!”

Makoto grins sheepishly. “I mean, I guess it’s true that know how to swim. It’s just that I was never taught though. My family never really went to the pool or beach, so-”

“Exactly!” Aoi exclaims. “Since they didn’t teach you, I will! Once I’m done with you, you’re going to be the fastest swimmer in the school!” Aoi pauses and puts a finger on her chin. “Well, I guess second fastest. I think that I would still be able to swim faster. Oh, maybe third - Sakura is really good at swimming too… No wait, fourth fastest. Mukuro is probably pretty fast too.”

“Uh-”

“Hmmmm, no.” Aoi continues, interrupting Makoto before he could comment. “Sixth fastest. I’ve seen Taka and Mondo race each other in the pool, and they’re good at swimming. You couldn’t be the seventh fastest either, because I know that Leon is fast too.”

Aoi suddenly breaks out into a bright smile and gives Makoto a reassuring nod. “But eight fastest, definitely. I’ll make you the eight fastest swimmer in the class!”

Makoto laughs nervously and scratches his head. “I mean, wouldn’t that mean I would just be average at swimming?”

Aoi pouts. “Hey! It’s still better than just not knowing how to swim. I’ll teach you how to swim and after that, we’ll be even.”

Makoto blinks owlishly. “Even?”

“Yeah, even.” Aoi blushes and looks away. “I mean, you did act as my practice boyfriend a few weeks ago. I guess you could consider this as me repaying the favor.”

“Hina…” Makoto smiles at her. “Thanks for thinking about me, but in the future, you don’t need to repay me for anything I do. You’re my friend, so I would gladly help you out any time. Really.”

“Awh, now you’re making me feel guilty.” Aoi says in a whining tone as she inches towards the pool. “Oh well. Gotta do what I gotta do.”

“Guilty?”

Aoi grips onto Makoto’s arm with both hands and falls backwards into the pool, laughing cheerfully as she did so. Makoto yelps and tries to step back, but Aoi’s weight was too much. He falls face first into the pool, and is greeted with a bunch of water shooting straight up his nose.

...

For the next half an hour, Aoi does her best to teach Makoto how to float. After he got used to floating, she immediately moved on to dog paddling. By that point, Makoto was completely exhausted. He hadn’t actually done much, but trying to learn how to swim exhausted him regardless. Still though, he definitely made progress. He could at the very least move around in water now, which is a definite step up from just drowning.

“Ah, I’m so tired… Who knew that swimming would be so exhausting?” Makoto blinks sluggishly as he wraps a towel around him. He and Aoi had just gotten up from the pool and were standing near the ledge.

Aoi giggles. “It’s a really intense exercise, even if it doesn’t look like it!”

“Yeah.” Makoto nods. “It was tiring, but I can sort of swim now. Thanks, Hina! I really appreciate you teaching me.”

“Your welcome…” Aoi begins to frown as she began to stare intensely at Makoto. She noticed that his usually fluffy hair was pressed down from the weight of the water. A few stray strands were plastered across his forehead. Even so, his ahoge was still somehow staying up, albeit in a slightly slanted position. Aoi knew that your hair could get very heavy when soaked in water, but his ahoge seemed to defy that weight. It was perplexing, to say the least.

“Um, Hina?”

Slowly, Aoi reaches over and presses down on his ahoge with two fingers. It went down to his head without any resistance, but when she removed her fingers, it sprung right back up.

“H-Huh?!” Makoto blushes and leans away from her. “What are you doing?!”

“Do you just use a bunch of hair gel or something? How does that even work?” Aoi asks, frown slowly turning into a goofy grin. She leans over to Makoto, closing their distance. At the same time, she tries to put her hand back on Makoto’s ahoge, but Makoto begins to defend it with his own hands and leans further back. 

Laughing delightfully, Aoi steps forward and reaches even further. As she does so, she accidentally slips on the still wet floor and collides with Makoto, pushing him backwards. 

As a result, Makoto falls into the pool for the second time that day… 

… Though at least water didn’t go up his nose this time.

Chapter Text

"Hina, pace yourself." Sakura sighs, placing a heavy hand on Aoi's shoulder. "If you eat too fast, then you may choke.

"Mmph!" Aoi lets out a non commital grunt, stuffing a chocolate frosted donut into her mouth so quickly that you would think her life depended on it. From across the table, Sayaka was happily munching on a blueberry muffin. They weren't the only ones eating though - the table they were sitting at was jam packed with other people from her class, and all of them were eating from a pile of baked goods. Even Byakuya was there, nibbling on buttered croissants and drinking dark coffee.

It was a strange sight - several high schoolers packed around a single table, eating a bunch of different pastries in the middle of the day. For some reason, there was an oversized platter completely full of various pastries. When the students of the 78th class first gathered around the dining hall to eat breakfast, they at first had cautiously avoided it. After only a few minutes though, Aoi had cracked and took a donut. From there, more and more people started to eat from the platter and eventually, everyone was trying to eat the mysterious pastries.

"Do you think that Teruteru guy made this stuff?" Yasuhiro asks, heartily eating a chocolate filled bun. "He's supposed to be a chef, right?"

"Their class has a field trip today." Kyoko says. She was nibbling on a piece of plain toast. Unlike everyone else, she had gotten her breakfast from the kitchen - she hadn't opted to eat anything from the plate of pastries. "It is unlikely that he would have made these."

"So, who then?" Yamada asks. "Who could have made such delectable pastries?"

As he asks this, Chihiro walks in the dining hall, stifling a yawn with his hand. The programmer looked exhausted, as if he hadn't gotten a single minute of sleep last night. Dark rings decorated the spots under his eyes, and his hair was a complete mess of brown tangles. But as soon as he saw what his classmates were eating, his eyes shot wide open and loudly gasped in surprise. "W-What are you guys doing?!"

"Oh, hey Chihiro." Leon raises a hand up in greeting, completely oblivious to his panic-stricken face. "Want some? We just found these things layin' around this morning. Cool, eh?"

Chihiro groans and does a literal facepalm. "I knew that I forgot something last night… I was just so tired, that I couldn't concentrate. I-If only If I remembered to put this stuff away!"

"Ah, so Chihiro made it, huh?" Yasuhiro smiles wryly as he waved a donut in the air. "That makes sense! I bet Chihiro is a natural at cooking!"

Sakura raises a brow. "So these pastries… They were your doing?"

"W-Well, kind of." Chihiro looks around nervously. "Um, Mondo isn't up yet?"

"No, I'm up." A low, growling voice suddenly comes from behind Chihrio, causing him to jump up in shock. Slowly, he turns around and finds himself face to face with the biker himself. Mondo looked about as tired as Chihiro did, but that didn't stop him from emitting an aura of rage. His face was completely red and angry veins pulsed out from his forehead. "And I'm fuckin pissed, let me tell ya."

"M-Mondo, I-"

"THE FUCK ARE ALL OF YOU DOING?!" Mondo roars, drawing the attention of everyone in the dining hall. "I needed that food! You know how long it took for me to make those things?! We had to stay up all night to make those!"

"B-Bro?" Kiyotaka stands up from the table and stares at him with a look of awe on his face. "It was you who made these delectable pastries? You should have told me that you have picked up baking as a hobby!"

"Wow dude!" Yasuhiro beings to slowly clap, nodding approvingly as he did so. "These are seriously good! I woulda never guessed that you would make pastries. I'm impressed, seriously."

Mondo blinks owlishly as his rage starts to slowly dissipate. With a mixed expression of confusion and slight embarrassment, Mondo clears his throat and scratches the back of his head. "Uh, thanks I guess. But still, why are you all eating them? There was a note on the plate saying -"

"U-Um, Mondo?" Chihiro says weakly, raising his hand up in the air timidly. Despite his voice being quiet, he was able to instantly become the center of attention as every eye in the dining hall turned to look at him. "I w-was so tired last night, that I actually forgot to put the food away, and forgot to leave that note. I'm sorry, I really am…"

"Oh." Mondo shrugs his shoulders nonchalantly. "Well, I guess everyone makes mistakes. Don't beat yourself up over it, yeah?"

"Uh, if I may interject here…" Yamada says hesitantly. "Mr. Owada, why do you need these pastries anyway?"

"Well, I was going to give them to everyone in the diamond dogs." Mondo says, crossing his arms and looking over to the large platter. There was not much left on it. Aside from a few croissants and scones, the platter had been left completely barren. "Chihiro had suggested it so that we could raise morale or something, y'know? But I guess that's out of the window now."

"W-We could still rebake them." Chihiro suggests. The very idea of making all of those things over again made him feel even more exhausted. But he didn't like the idea of cancelling the plan just because of a mistake that he made. He would fight through the fatigue if he needed to.

I need to be stronger… I can't keep making mistakes like this.

Mondo sighs and scowls at the floor. "I mean, baking is surprisingly tiring. I dunno if I can go through that ordeal again."

"If that's the case, then can I help?" Suddenly, Makoto raises his hands up in the air, grinning sheepishly as he did so. "I would feel a bit guilty for just mooching off of your hard work, so I would be happy to help you guys."

"YES!" Kiyotaka shouts, bringing up a clenched fist into the air. "I would like nothing more than to help my bro out! Please, let me assist you in your work!"

Aoi perks up suddenly, and stares at Mondo with wide, sparkling eyes. There were still sprinkles and frosting stuck to the outside of her lips."Wait, if I help too… Then can we get more donuts?! Are we making more donuts?! Sakura, let's help bake!"

Chihiro smiles timidly as he watches his classmates volunteer to assist them with their baking. If they had this many people helping out, then maybe it wouldn't be so tiring this time around. Yes, it would definitely be more manageable.

Chapter Text

“So, your friend hasn’t replied to our message yet.” A thug paces in a circle around Makoto while waving a dangerously sharp machete around. The thug in question was almost as short as Makoto himself, and was wearing a black leather jacket. He seemed to be completely devoid of hair, not even having any eyelashes.  “Maybe we should send him another for some encouragement? Perhaps sending an ear or finger would help motivate him.”

Makoto chuckles nervously as sweat pours down his face like a waterfall. He was used to getting into bad situations due to his luck, but this was taking it to another level. While walking back home from school, he had been pulled into an alleyway and roughly restrained and gagged. After being tossed into the trunk of a car, driven off to some sort of warehouse, and tied up to a metal chair, he had learned that apparently, he was being kept hostage… by the Yakuza.

And what did they want in return for his safety? Why, the tens of millions of yen that Yasuhiro owed to them, of course. Since Makoto was a friend of Yasuhiro, they assumed that this would be a good incentive to make him pay them back faster.

Of course, Yasuhiro hadn’t shown a single hint that he had even seen the message. Knowing him, he probably hadn’t checked his mail in months.

Makoto involuntarily yelps as the thug suddenly brings the tip of the machete up to his right eye. One sudden movement, and Makoto’s eye would have been lacerated. “An eyeball would certainly be good too. What do you think, Makoto Naegi?”

“I… erm.” Makoto leans back in his chair as far away as possible before offering a nervously crooked smile. His wrists, which were bound behind the chair with scratchy ropes, felt raw and red. The luckster had been pulling on them in a desperate attempt to escape, but unfortunately had no success.  “Would really prefer to not have anything chopped off or anything. P-Please?”

The thug chuckles and removes the machete point away from Makoto. “Unfortunately, I’m going to have to do that.” Leaning forward so that their noses were almost touching, the thug smiles softly. “Now, would you rather have your left ring finger cut off, or your right?”

Before Makoto could formulate a response, a series of loud bangs and yelling suddenly fills the warehouse. The thug jumps back and looks behind him, a look of irritation spreading across his face. “What the hell was that?!”

*BANG BANG BANG BANG*

“Shit.” The thug curses and brings out a pistol from underneath his jacket but before he could even raise it, another loud crack fills the air and he topples backwards onto the floor, unmoving.

“Help!” Makoto shouts frantically, wobbling around in his chair. He had no idea what was happening, but panic was quickly filling his mind. The last thing that he wanted to do was to get shot at. Thankfully, the shooting had seemed to stop, and dead air replaced the loud commotion.

“There. You see? No trouble at all. I told you, I’m good at this kind of stuff.” From far away, Naegi hears a familiar voice echo through the now silent warehouse, paired with two sets of footsteps.“I could have done it by myself.”

“Oh, really?” Another familiar voice, dripping with icy sarcasm responds. “Were you going to systematically raid every single building in Japan and just hope that Makoto was in one of them? To be frank, you couldn’t have possibly done it without me.”

“K-Kyoko?!” Makoto shouts, both confusion and relief replacing the panic that had been in his mind. “Mukuro?!”

The footsteps pause for a second, before returning at at least twice the speed. Sure enough Naegi soon sees both Mukuro and Kyoko approaching him, relief evidently on their faces.

“Makoto!” Both girls say at the same time. Running up to him, they also both move to untie him at the same time before stopping to give each other annoyed glares. Suddenly, the air in the room seemed to drop a few notches as Makoto quickly found himself in the middle of a stand-off.

“Well, Ms. Soldier…” Kyoko says coldly. “I think that I am capable of untying some knots by myself, so why don’t you stand guard somewhere? I’m sure that it’s possible that someone here was able to call for backup before you could ‘dispose’ of them.”

“Oh, please.” Mukuro snarls and forcefully brushes Kyoko’s hand off of the ropes on Makoto’s hands, earning an annoyed tsk in response. “All of them were taken by surprise. No one here could have called for any sort of backup.

“You-”

Before Kyoko could utter a response, Mukuro’s hands suddenly start moving at a lightning fast speed. No more than five seconds later, both of Makoto’s hands were free.

“There.” Mukuro smirks and tosses the coil of ropes onto the floor. “Makoto, let’s get you out of here.”

“O-Okay then…” Makoto slowly rises from the chair, joints popping in his legs as he does. Hesitantly, he steps back and looks at his two saviors who were still glaring daggers at each other. “Um, is there something going on between you two?”

“Nothing you need to concern yourself about, Makoto.” Kyoko says pointedly. “It’s just that I was about you rescue you from these thugs, but then a certain someone insisted on tagging along. Really, everything would have been much simpler if I came here alone.”

“Right, real simple.” Mukuro says sarcastically. “First, you would have been caught sneaking around in the warehouse. Then, you would have been captured and then I would have two people to rescue. You think someone like you would be able to fight your way through the Yakuza?”

Kyoko rolls her eyes and sighs heavily. “I would be perfectly capable. Need I remind you that I had to save you from being shot when you neglected to notice the guy sneaking up behind us with a knife near the entrance? You would have tripped on the first hurdle.”

“I told you, I knew he was there! I just needed to focus my fire on the people who posed a more serious threat at the moment, like the one that was holding a literal shotgun in his hands!”

“A shotgun that wasn’t even loaded. Did you even notice the shells that were piled up on the table next to him?”

A small groan emanating from the floor suddenly interrupts their bickering. To Makoto’s surprise, the thug that had held the machete up to Makoto seemed to be somewhat uninjured, despite the fact that Makoto saw him get shot.

“W-What…” The thug groans and rubs his head. “What hap-”

“Shut up.” Mukuro says flatly. In a single fluid motion, she brings up a sleek black pistol with one hand and shoots him in the head, causing him to fall backwards again.

“Ah!” Makoto yelps. “Did you just-”

“Oh, no.” Mukuro quickly shakes her head. “Don’t worry, no one died here today. We were using rubber bullets, so we just knocked them out. Nothing serious.”

“Well, they could wake up any minute now.” Kyoko says in a matter of fact manner, gesturing to the thug Mukuro just shot. Turning to Makoto, she gives him an uncharacteristically soft smile before grabbing onto his hand. “Let’s go, Makoto. We should hurry.”

“Yes Makoto, we should hurry.” Mukuro jumps in between Kyoko and Makoto, forcefully breaking their linked hands before grasping Makoto’s hand in her own. 

“Excuse me, but I believe that I should be the one to escort Makoto out.” Kyoko says, pulling Mukuro backwards by the shoulder and breaking her contact with Makoto. “After all, I did do most of the work here today.”

“In your dreams.”

“Uh, girls?” Makoto says feebly. He was starting to feel like a rope in a game of tug-a-war. Why Kyoko and Mukruo were arguing about something like this, he had no idea. “L-Look, I’m sure that both of you did a great job at rescuing me and stuff. Really, I’m grateful to both of you for helping me out. We don’t really need to argue about this.”

“Makoto.” Mukuro looks at him with a fierce determination. “Who do you think did a better job and rescuing you? Me or Kyoko?”

“W-What?” Makoto asks in disbelief. Did she even hear what he said?

“I suppose that this would be a fair way to determine it.” Kyoko nods in approval before turning her attention to Makoto. “Alright Makoto, answer the question. Which one of us did the best? Me, the one who actually found out where you were being held, or Mukuro, the one who provided a minimal amount of assistance?”

Mukuro grits her teeth. “Kyoko I swear to-”

Suddenly, Makoto grabs Mukuro’s hand with his left. At the same time, he grabs Kyoko’s hand with his right, forming a semi-triangle between all of them. “Look, you’re both amazing, wonderful people. Both of you are super talented and really helped me out today, which I appreciate! I think both of you did an equally good job, so let’s just leave it at that, okay?”

“Y-You’re right.” Mukuro mumbles. Her face was turning a bright shade of red from both Makoto’s compliments and the warmth of his hand on hers. “Sorry for dragging you into this argument, Makoto. I guess I just got carried away.

“That’s fair.” Kyoko admits before turning away, so that none of them could see how flustered she was becoming. “I apologize as well. All of this was unnecessary.”

“RIght.” Makoto smiles, relief flooding his face. Somehow, he had managed to defuse the situation. “Then let’s go. I don’t want to be around for when these guys wake up.”

I wonder why they were arguing over that… Makoto thinks to himself as they walk out of the warehouse.

… And why are they still holding onto my hands so tightly?

Chapter Text

 

When Makoto found out that his classmates were holding a Halloween party, he found himself unable to resist. While he was bad at pretty much everything in the horror genre, it was just a party. Even if his classmates had scary costumes, or if the decorations were creepy, he knew that it was just in the spirit of Halloween and that there was nothing to be afraid of.

But as the party began to come to a close, Leon had suggested that they all watch a scary movie together to finish off the night. Leon was the one hosting the party, and the whole thing was taking place in his house. Makoto was terrible at horror movies, but literally everyone else thought it would be a good idea. Even Toko and Yasuhiro agreed to it. 

The movie showing was taking place in Leon’s basement, which had a large projector rig. While it was Leon who actually organized the party, Yamada was the one who set up the movie screening and decorations. At first, Makoto thought that the Otaku would have put up anime-themed decorations, but he actually went all out. He even somehow managed to get his hands on an extremely realistic corpse prop that had been used in movie sets before (Makoto wasn’t proud to admit that he practically had a heart attack when he first saw it). He had decorated the entire house, but the basement probably had the scariest props, having real spiderwebs, unsettling masks hanging from the ceiling, and more.

The corpse that Yamada brought was definitely the worst though. With life-like skin that was a ghoulish shade of pale, and were flaking off on some spots on its arm, it seemed to even disturb the more stoic ones in the class, like Byakuya and Mukuro. It had no eyes, instead having two deep pits of torn flesh, colored a nauseating shade of red. It had dry, scattered black hair that were stained in dried blood. It was completely naked, save for a pair of torn navy shorts.

The worst part about the corpse was that it was placed in the back of the room. If anyone happened to look back while the movie was playing, they would see nothing but dim flashing lights and a dead man facing them.

There were two fairly large couches facing the projector screen, as well as some wooden chairs. A long, glass table with bowls of snacks separated the screen and seats. There was buttered popcorn, golden nachos, and even a platter of chocolate donuts that Aoi had brought all for herself. Makoto ended up sitting on one of the ends of a couch, with Kyoko and Sayaka on his left, with Kyoko being right next to him.

Before the movie started, Makoto felt like everything would be fine. Sure he was pretty much a pansy when it came to scary stuff, but he had all of his friends around him here. But the bowls of snacks and good-humored banter from his friends made the atmosphere feel comforting, in spite of the halloween decorations. He felt like that they could all just have a good laugh at the jumpscares and that it would all be in good fun.

Then, the movie started. They were watching The Shining , by Stanley Kubrick. Soon after it started playing, Leon turned out all of the lights. Except for a few gloomy glows coming off from some decorations, the only source of light was coming from the movie projector. Despite the glaring blue light burning into his retinas, Makoto quickly found himself unable to tear his eyes away from the projector screen as the chatter from his classmates began to die down.


 

If you would like to watch along, search up “The Shining *Insert Scene Name Here*” on Youtube.

Scene 1: Come Play With Us

As the young Danny rounds a corner, he abruptly comes to a stop as he finds himself staring at two twins, wearing sky blue dresses. Their pale faces seemed ghastly. As Danny and the twins continue to stare at each other for a tense moment, the hairs on the back of Naegi’s neck begin to stand up. On his left, he hears Sayaka let out a small gasp.

“Hello, Danny.”

“Come play with us. Come play with us, Danny.”

Out of seemingly nowhere, the screen cuts to a quick shot of both of the twins laying on the floor, dead. There were various slash wounds decorating their small bodies, and in front of them, lay a tall bloodied axe. The hallways, floors, and the twins themselves were drenched in a dark, gloomy shade of pink. Reflexively, Makoto leans back on his sofa and lets out a small yelp. He wasn’t the only one, thankfully - most of his other friends seemed to be as distrubed as Makoto was.

“Forever, and ever, and ever.”

The movie beings to flash back from the apparition of the twins to their mutilated corpses, searing the gruesome scene into Makoto’s mind. On screen, Danny quickly brings forth both of his hands in front of his eyes, blocking the twins from his sight. Coincidentally, Makoto did the same thing at the exact same time. The luckster had already gotten his fill of dead bodies from Hifumi’s prop.

As he was covering his eyes, Makoto failed to notice that Kyoko had stopped watching the movie. Instead, she had turned her attention towards Makoto, an amused smile dancing upon her lips. The detective couldn’t help but notice how Makoto flinched at every little thing that happened. He was coiled like a spring, seemingly waiting for a jumpscare at any moment. Kyoko had never seen The Shining before, but she had heard quite a bit about -  there was little to no jumpscares in it. Apparently, Makoto hadn’t gotten the memo though.

Kyoko briefly looked back at the projector screen - Danny had opened his eyes, and the twins had vanished. Turning back to Makoto, she leans towards him and gently taps on his hands, which were still covering his eyes. “Makoto, the dead twins are gone. You can look now.”

After a pause of hesitation, Makoto uncovers his eyes and peeks at the projector screen. Then, he glances back at Kyoko with an embarrassed grin on his face. “Ah, erm… Thanks for telling me.”

“No problem. Though I wonder why you decided to cover your eyes?” Kyoko asks with the slightest hint of teasing in her tone. “Do you not like the movie?”

“I don’t think the movie is bad or anything, it’s just that…” A light blush suddenly appears on Makoto’s cheeks as he quickly averts his gaze. He hopes to himself that Kyoko couldn’t see it in the dimly lit room. “I guess I’m just not the best at horror movies.”

“Well, you aren’t the only one.” Kyoko says, turning her gaze to the other students. Makoto follows it, and sees that Chihiro and Yasuhiro seemed equally as shaken up as he was. Yasuhiro had both of his hands clasped above his head and was muttering some sort of strange chant. Chihiro was holding both of his hands to his mouth in horror. It was hard to see, but Makoto could also see small drops of tears on Chihiro’s eyes, glistening in the sharp projector light. ”You shouldn’t feel too bad.”

“Ah… I wasn’t really paying attention to everyone else’s reaction.” Makoto admits.

“Toko left the room only fifteen minutes into the movie.” Kyoko points out. “Feeling frightened in this scenario isn’t all that unusual.”

“Well, what about you?” Makoto asks curiously. Unlike him, Kyoko seemed to be virtually unaffected by the gory scene they had just witnessed. Her calm, neutral expression remained on her face with no disturbance.

Kyoko puts a finger on her chin thoughtfully. “I do admit that the movie is somewhat unsettling, but I’ve seen some gruesome things in my line of work. It would take more then blood and corpses to scare me.”

“Wow…” Makoto stares at the detective, dumbfounded. “You really are amazing, Kyoko.”

Kyoko allows herself a content smile. “I appreciate the compliment. Now then, shall we return to the movie? We may miss something important at this rate.”

“Oh! You’re right.” Makoto smiles sheepishly before turning his attention back to the projector screen. After a few seconds, Kyoko suddenly feels a light tug on her right sleeve. It was Sayaka - evidently, she had been looking at the both of them while they talked.

“Um, Kyoko?” Sayaka asks nervously, eyes darting around. “Can we… switch seats?”

“Why do you want to do that?” Kyoko asks.

‘Well, I…” Sayaka brushes a lock of hair away from her eyes, cheeks quickly turning a pleasant shade of pink. “I would like to sit next to Makoto. It would make me feel better about the movie, I think. So can we switch? Please?”

“No.”


 

Scene 2: Redrum

“Redrum… Redrum… Redrum…”

Danny begins to chant Redrum in a sort of trance with a knife in his hands as a high pitched noise joins the eerie chorus of background music, sending cold tremors down Makoto’s spine. For a single, terror filled moment, Makoto thought that Danny would use the knife on his mother, who was right in front of him. Thankfully, he turned away from her and started walking away.

“Redrum… Redrum… Redrum…”

Danny slowly walks to the door, chanting ‘Redrum’ all the while. Then, using lipstick that he picked up from the dresser, he begins to slowly write on the door, in long deliberate strokes. Naegi involuntarily shivers as he sees that Danny wrote ‘Redrum’ on the door. He couldn’t help but notice that the lipstick looked very much like blood.

As Danny finishes his writing, he turns to face his sleeping mother. His croaking chants of ‘Redrum’ begin to get louder and faster as a tone of urgency fills his voice. Wendy (Danny’s mother) suddenly wakes up, confused panic in her eyes. For a tense-filled moment, she could only stare at her son as he stared back with empty eyes, holding a large knife up in the air as he continued to chant ‘Redrum’.

Oh my god, he’s really going to stab her. Makoto thinks as undeniable terror fills his mind. A slight spell of nausea is cast over Naegi’s stomach as he stares at the projector screen in shock. Now, he’s going to stab her. 

In a half-blind panic, Makoto unconsciously grabs one of Kyoko’s hands, which were resting on her lap, and squeezes it as he braces himself for the inevitable murder that was about to happen right in front of his eyes.

“Danny! Danny, stop it!”

Suddenly breaking out of her shock, Wendy grabs the knife out from Danny’s hand. Makoto expected for the boy to resist, but he didn’t - instead, he just stood there, unmoving as his chants of ‘Redrum’ grew even louder. Wendy quickly pulls Danny into a protective hug. Then, as she looks up at the mirror, she sees the reflection of the door as well as what was written on it.

Danny had written Redrum on the door - when seen in reverse, it translated to…

Murder

“Damn.” Leon says mildly as he throws a piece of popcorn into his mouth. “That Danny guy wrote ‘Murder’ backwards with blood? The whole trance thing was kind of freaky, but this Redrum thing is just cliche. I mean, a message written backwards in blood?“ 

“He didn’t write it with blood, he wrote it with lipstick.” Mukuro points out. The soldier was one of the few students in the room who didn’t seem very bothered by the movie. She, along with Kyoko, Celeste, and Byakuya, had kept composed poker faces throughout the entire screening, barely reacting to any of the unsettling scenes. 

Makoto lets out a sigh of relief before nervously laughing. “I thought for a second there that Danny would stab his own mom or something… I’m really glad nothing like that happened! It was so nerve-wracking seeing Danny walk around like that.”

“Ah.” Kyoko says, voice filled with understanding. “So that’s why you grabbed my hand. I suppose that if that was your line of thought, things would feel a bit tense.”

“Huh?” Makoto blinks and looks down at his hand. Finally, he realized that he had been grasping one of Kyoko’s hands in his own. Even now, he had been subconsciously squeezing it for comfort. His eyes widen in surprise as his cheeks flush with burning embarrassment. He lets go of Kyoko’s hand and draws back from her as if she were on fire.“A-Ah, sorry Kyoko! I really don’t know why I did that.”

“It’s fine.” Kyoko says nonchalantly. Makoto couldn’t see it in the dark lighting, but her cheeks were glowing a slight tint of red. She looked down at her hand, already missing the soft warmth that Makoto had shared with her. Even through her leather gloves, she could feel how soft his hand was. “If you feel like holding my hand would make you feel better, then I won’t stop you.”

“W-Wait, what?” Makoto gapes at her as he tried to process what she just said. For the years Makoto had known her, she had always acted aloof. He would have thought that she would hate physical contact… but here she was, telling Makoto that she was fine with it. “Really?”

“Of course.” Kyoko couldn’t help but smile as she saw the look of utter disbelief on the luckster’s face.

“Oh, um… Okay.” Makoto takes a single glance at the projector screen. Then, he looks back at Kyoko. After a few awkward seconds, Makoto hesitantly brings his hand forward and regrips Kyoko’s hand. Now that he was aware of what he was doing, the gesture felt a lot more surreal. Makoto was suddenly aware that his heart was racing at a million miles an hour, even though he wasn’t even looking at the movie. The luckster felt more nervous then when he was watching Danny prance around with the knife. 

Kyoko’s smile widens an inch. She was always attracted to how pure Makoto was - when your job revolves around chasing down the scum of the earth, it’s always refreshing to see someone like Makoto. Positive, and always unassuming. The fact that he acted like a shy puppy at times was also unusually charming

“Don’t worry, Makoto.” Kyoko says, finally breaking eye contact as she turns back to the projector screen. “The movie is more than half-way over. We can make it.”

Makoto let out a small sigh of relief at this. But at the same time, his anxiety began to grow even more. Since they were reaching the ending, that would mean that the climax of the movie would come up soon. Makoto sweatdropped as he thought about what that would look like - the tension was already palpable. 

I hope that I can sleep tonight...


 

Scene 3: Here’s Johnny!

“Run! Danny run, quick!”

“Oh, this isn’t good.” Makoto gulps and tightens his grip on Kyoko’s hand.

In the movie, Wendy had trapped herself in the restroom with nothing but a knife to defend herself. Jack, who had been driven completely insane by the hotel, was chasing them with a giant axe. She had opened the window far enough so that Danny could crawl out, but she herself was too large. 

“Little pigs, little pigs… Let me come in!”

“Not by the hair of your chinny chin chin? Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house in!”

*BANG*

“AUGH!”

Wendy screams in horror as Jack slams the head of the axe into the locked bathroom door. At the same time, several of Makoto’s classmates, including himself, had let out similar shouts of terror. Even Byakuya, who had barely reacted to any of the scenes in the movie, seemed perturbed by what was unfolding in front of him. 

Jack slams the axe into the door again and again, eliciting more screams from both Wendy, and the spectators. Splinters of wood fly everywhere while Wendy could only watch in horror. She hugs the wall adjacent to the door, tightly gripping onto her knife as if it was her last hope for survival - which it was.

Finally, after a couple more swings, Jack finally stops. He walks up to the wide gap on the door and presses his face into it. His hair and forehead was soaked in sweat, and his eyes clearly told everyone that he was completely deranged. Jack looks to his left, initiating eye contact with her terrified wife, who was on the edge of a nervous breakdown. His mouth quickly contorts into a psychotic grin.

“HERE’S JOHNNY!”

Makoto, along with practically everybody else in the room flinches backward as the camera cuts to a zoomed in shot of Jack’s crazed face. Even Kyoko was taken off guard. Unconsciously, both Makoto and Kyoko scoot closer, taking comfort in each other’s warmth.

Jack backs up and shoves his hand through the gap in the door. Snaking his hand downwards, he begins to unlock the door from the inside. Letting out a strangled yelp, Wendy grasps her knife with both hands and strikes at his hand with as much force as she could muster. Dark pink blood shoots out from his hand as Jack quickly pulls his arm back, letting loose a surprised shout of pain.

“Yeah!” Leon shouts, pumping his fists up in the air. He had become so invested into the movie that he had pushed his chair behind him and had opted to stand up as he stared unblinkingly at the projector screen, eyes blazing. “Get that psycho!”

“I have no idea how Wendy is finding the strength to pull through this.” Sayaka comments. She wasn’t as invested as the movie as Leon (she couldn’t help but glance sideways at Makoto and Kyoko every few seconds), but she still felt a blanket of dread settle over her heart as she looked into Jack Torrance’s deranged eyes. “If I got trapped inside of a bathroom like that with no way out, then I would probably just panic…”

“Jeez!” Junko scoffs and rolls her eyes. “Ya know, If I were her, I woulda just stabbed him in the face instead of his hand. I mean, he literally had his face right up there! This movie could have ended like so much earlier.”

“Junko?” Mukuro turns to her sister with a concerned look on her face. “Are you not enjoying the movie?”

Junko laughs and points to Kyoko and Makoto with a mischievous glint in her eyes. They were so close together that they were practically leaning on each other. “I think the movie’s fine, but I bet those two lovebirds would want to get out of here as soon as possible! They would probably want to be somewhere more private, am I right?”

Instantly, Makoto feels the heavy gaze of the other thirteen of his classmates settle on him. Silently, Makoto turns to look at Kyoko and was shocked to find that she had turned to look at him as well - and that there was less than six inches of space between their faces.

Makoto gives off a small yelp of shock and scoots away from Kyoko, face quickly turning a bright shade of red. The detective herself didn’t move, but there was a look of mild surprise in her face as she gazed at Makoto distantly. She hadn’t even realised how close they had gotten - how was that possible? It was only when she asked herself this that she noticed that her head had been buzzing pleasantly and that her cheeks seemed extremely warm. 

What’s happening to me? Kyoko blinks and shakes her head once. All of the sudden, she found it extremely hard to think straight. Her usual keen mind seemed to have dulled and she had no idea why. For a moment, a single question crossed her mind - had she been drugged?

It had only taken a second for her to dismiss that possibility - she hadn’t eaten anything for the past few hours and she had only been drinking out of a bottle of water that she brought herself. So, why was she feeling like this?

It only took one more second for her to realise.

Makoto.


 

Scene 4: Ending

Jack lets out a terrible howl of agony as he hap-hazardly stumbles through the hedge maze, one hand still grasping his axe. As the light begins to darken, Jack finally sits down near one of the walls of the maze, delirious from the cold, pain, and his own insanity. A sharp thrill in the music plays out as the screen suddenly cuts to a close up of Jack’s face. Powdery white snow was spread across his messily tangled hair and nearly covered his clothes. His face was deathly pale, with bits of ice and frost spreading on his forehead.

Jack Torrance had died.

The screen cuts once more to a closing shot of the Overlook Hotel’s Gold Room. The camera slowly zooms in to a wall covered in black and white photos as calming ballroom music plays in the background. At the very middle of the wall of photos was a wide-angled shot of a crowd of people, all wearing suits. At the very head of the crowd was Jack Torrance with a wide grin plastered on his face.

Overlook Hotel

July 4th Ball

1921

“That’s… the end, huh?” Yasuhiro asks, stretching his limbs forward. The clairvoyant yawns loudly, covering his mouth with one hand before blinking sleepily. At this point, it was well past midnight and most of the students were only able to stay awake because of the movie. “Man, that was one heck of a movie.”

“Perhaps to the general public.” Byakuya sneers, standing up from his chair. “Something so vulgar couldn’t possibly be considered passable to the upper echelon of society, however.”

“I do disagree with the extreme threats of violence used within the movie!” Kiyotaka sharply retorts. “Such displays of violence is not welcome in a school environment!”

“Chill, bro.” Mondo says, patting Kiyotaka on the back. “We aren’t in school right now.”

Makoto tilts his head towards Kyoko and whispers to her. After separating due to Junko’s taunts, it took no more than fifteen minutes until they gradually inched back together. The pair were practically in each other’s embrace. “I kind of wish that they would stop criticizing the movie so much. I mean, it’s just a movie in the end, right? Just let everyone else enjoy it.”

Kyoko whispers back to Makoto, eyes still glued to the projector screen. “I do admit that their chatter is ruining the atmosphere of the movie. Perhaps we should try watching another movie, but this time just you and me?”

For the first time in her life, Kyoko said something without even thinking about it for a single second. Her mouth just seemed to work faster than her mind. She instantly became painfully aware of how her cheeks started to heat up. 

Makoto’s eyes widen slightly in alarm. “J-Just… you and me?” 

Too late to turn back now. “... Yes.”

For a moment, Makoto didn’t say anything - instead, he just gaped at her with a sort of shocked awe. Then, his face split into a wide grin. His countenance seemed to literally glow. “I would really like that, Kyoko.” He says, still in a hushed whisper so that none of his other classmates could hear.

Kyoko couldn’t help but return his smile. She hated how Makoto could make her act like this. It was unbecoming of a Kirigiri detective.

But at the same time, she loved it.

 

Chapter Text

“Are you sure that this is the right place dude?” Yasuhiro asks, wrapping his leather jacket around him with one hand and lighting the ground with a phone on his other. The clairvoyant couldn’t even see five feet in front of him. The only source of light they had was the crescent moon above his head, and two phones.

“Come on! Just look at that building!” Kaito says with a confident smile that seemed to be made out of cheap plastic. Ignoring the icy drops of sweat that was forming on the back of his neck, he shines the light from his phone at the building in front of them - a massive, pure white warehouse that looked like almost exactly like a brick. “It’s gotta be the place!”

“Let’s just get this over with! I wanna get home soon.” Akane says, crossing her arms. “Not cuz I’m scared of this place or anything, it’s just that I’m hungry!”

“Dudes, I don’t like this, I’m gonna be honest.” Yasuhiro mutters, hesitantly stepping up to the warehouse. He put his phone in his pocket and brings his hand out to knock on the large doors. 

*knock knock knock*

After a few seconds, the doors to the warehouse sluggishly creak open inwards. It revealed a room that did not fit its outside at all. It was box shaped, dimly lit, and had a stone interior.. On the end of the room, there was a single door made out of dark wood with a gloomy handheld lamp hanging off of its doorknob. Other than the lamp and various pebbles littering the floor, the room was completely empty.

“They even got one of those self opening door things?” Yasuhiro cries, putting a hand up to his head. “Nope, nope, nope. Come on guys, let’s just leave. I’m sure that the others will understand. We can call it a tie!”

The trio had been selected by each of their respective classes from Hope’s Peak to participate in a ‘Haunted House Tour’. All three classes would select someone from their class to go through a haunted house that everyone would contribute in preparing (except for the selected individuals). The person who showed the most courage through the ordeal would win the competition for their class.

At first, the contest was supposed to be for fun - there was no prize offered up for whichever class won. But within a few hours, it quickly devolved into a threeway clash for pride and became way more serious than it was supposed to be. Everyone was sure that each of their own respective classes were braver than the others.

“Well… this place does look really well decorated.” Kaito admits, casually strolling into the middle of the room. “But we were the ones voted to go through this, you know? We can’t let our friends down!”

“Oh, sweet Buddha Christ in all of his holiness, save me from this fate.” Yasuhiro says dramatically as he takes a shaky step forwards. “This place looks seriously haunted, y’know? I don’t wanna be possessed by an evil spirit!”

“E-Evil spirit?!” Kaito jumps and looks around. Once he confirmed that there were no spirits within the area, he turned back to Yasuhiro with a slight scowl. “L-Look, don’t joke about stuff like that! There’s definitely no s-spirit here, cuz our friends were the one who made this!”

“I-If there’s really a ghost in here, I’m gonna kick their asses!” Akane declares, marching into the warehouse with a fiery look in her eyes. She shoves past Katio and snatches the lamp off from the doorknob with gusto. But even her vigor couldn’t hide the slight tremors shooting up her arms. “So we just gotta go through this door, right? Then let’s go!”

“Sure, you lead the way…” Yasuhiro mumbles, kicking his feet at the air to loosen some of the pebbles that had gotten stuck in his sandals. 

“Alright!” Akane shouts, pulling the door open with her free hand. The hinges screeched loudly, causing the trio to simultaneously cringe as the noise grated their ears. Beyond the door, there was a single thin hallway that was completely dark. 

After a few seconds of silence, Akane turned to her companions and glared at them. Her eyes seemed to have lost the blazing spirit that had been illuminating them. “Well? Whaddya waiting for? The sooner we get this over with, the sooner I can eat!”

“Yeah, let’s go Hiro!” Kaito says, trailing after Akane who had begun to descend down the dark hallway.

Yasuhiro grits his teeth and walks through the doorway. 

When the group had gotten only a few meters down the hallway, the door behind them had started creaking. They turned around just in time to see the door close on them. Suddenly, the air seemed to have gotten extremely thick. The fact that their lamp was only casting a dim light became painfully obvious.

“AHHHH!” Yasuhiro screams, pressing both of his hands up to his head. “I knew it! The ghosts trapped us in here dudes! We’re totally dead! Oh Buddha, sweet baby Jesus, King Neptune, Ares, I’m begging you! Free us from this torment!”

“H-Hey!” Kaito shouts, roughly patting the clairvoyant on the back. “I told you, stop kidding around about ghosts! I bet some guys just closed the door on us to make the whole thing scarier! I’m telling you, there aren’t any g-ghosts in here! Don’t act so scared!”

“Y-Y-Yeah!” Akane says, nervously looking around. “If you show fear, it means you’re weak!”

Yasuhiro presses both of his palms together and starts mumbling in prayer, ignoring the protests of his companions.

“Ah, maybe a little bit more light would help...” Kaito says, digging out his phone from his jacket pocket. He turns it on and shines the light in front of him. It did brighten the area a bit, but only by barely.

“How long do you think this hallway is?” Akane gulps and brings her arm forward, illuminating the hallway as far as she could. They couldn’t even see the end of the hall, though that wasn’t that surprising considering their meager light source.

“I dunno, but it can’t be that long, right?” Kaito says. “That would make for a pretty boring haunted house… I mean, our classes spent a week on this, y’know? Anyway, come on, Hiro! The longer we stay here, the worst it’ll be!”

Yasuhiro unclasps his hand and brings his head up, adam’s apple bobbing up and down. He only looked up for one second before his eyes widened and he started panicking again. The clairvoyant starts walking backwards while pointing above them. “L-Look! I told you guys, I told you all! The g-ghost is right there! Save yourselves!”

Akane’s head tilts up. Suddenly, she screams loudly, eyes turning as wide as dinner plates. She practically collapses onto the ground, covering her head with her hands. In the process, she dropped the lamp onto the ground. It smashes onto the ground, shooting glass shards everyone and extinguishing the weak flame it was holding.

Finding himself enveloped in almost pitch black darkness, Kaito starts screaming in a panic too. He turns around and tries to make a break for the entrance they had come from, but ends up running into Yasuhiro from behind. They both end up in a messy tangle of limbs and fall onto the ground, joining Akane.

“T-The ghost got me!” Yasuhiro cries. “It got me! Help!”

“O-Oh man, it grabbed me too!” Kaito shouts, trying to pull himself away from Yasuhiro. All thoughts of this place being a haunted house fled from his mind. “I-It’s a real g-ghost! It’s a GHOOOOOOOOO-”

*click*

“Hey, what’s going on in here?”

A bright, white light abruptly fills the room. Yasuhiro and Kaito both pause their struggling and squint as the light unpleasantly enters their eyes. Akane sluggishly brings her head up, blinking rapidly.

“AH!” Yasuhiro shouts once more as he finally notices that he was face to face with Kaito. With a strangled yelp, he untangles himself from the astronaut and quickly stands up, brushing himself off. “W-What in Guatauma’s name is happening?! Is this heaven?! Did I get killed by the ghost?!”

“Wait, I think we’re in the same place. Why is it so bright all of the sudden?” Kaito stands up as well and rubs his head, looking around with a confused look on his face.. “And where did the ghost go?”

“Ghost?”

The trio jumps at the sound of a voice coming from the start of the hallway. They all snap their gazes and find themselves facing…

“Shuichi?!” Kaito yelps.

“Uh, what are you guys doing here? I heard a lot of screaming.” Shuichi asks, eyes flitting towards Akane and Yasuhiro. Both still had dazed, uncomprehending looks on their faces. They stared at the detective as if he were an angel sent from heaven. “And what do you mean by ghost?”

“Bro!” Kaito runs up to him and grabs his arm tightly. “Let’s get out of here! There was a real, genuine ghost here!”

Shuichi winces and pulls away from Kaito’s tight grip. “Where?”

“R-Right!” Akane’s vacant eyes suddenly fill with panic and fear. She points up to the ceiling with a trembling hand. “It looked like a glowing white blob thing! It was up there on the roof!”

Shuichi’s eyes follow her hands. She was pointing at a white mass that certainly looked like a blob, but it wasn’t glowing. “Akane, that’s a tangled spider web.”

“Huh?” Akane blinks and looks up. Sure enough, there was a large, tangled spider web being stretched across the ceiling. “Wait, but it was g-glowing! Do spider webs do that?”

“Well, no…” Shuichi admits, placing a hand on his chin. “But spider webs do reflect light. And it was really dark in here when I found you guys. So maybe you were just shining a light on it and made it look like it was glowing?”

“Hold on a second here!” Kaito protests. “How did you make it get so bright?”

“I turned on the lights.” Shuichi deadpans, pointing at a lightswitch near the entrance.”

“Oh.”

“So, uh…” Yasuhiro gulps and scratches the back of his head. “Look man, can we just call it a draw? I-I mean, we failed at the first hurdle! There’s no way that we can go through the rest of this, ya know?”

Shuichi stares at him questioningly. “I’m afraid that I don’t follow.”

Yasuhiro spreads his arms and gestures at the hallway. “I’m talking about this! Your haunted house is way too scary!”

“Y-Yasuhiro, this isn’t our haunted house. I was actually out looking for you guys because you three never showed up at the place.”

“Damn.” Kaito mutters under his breath. “I knew that we should have taken a left instead of a right back there..."

Chapter Text

“This can’t be happening.” Aoi whispers, staring down at the floor with a face that was as white as a sheet. On the floor, there were two things next to her feet. One was a white paper plate with nothing more than a few crumbs and sprinkles on it. The second thing was Mukuro Ikusaba, the Ultimate Soldier of the 78th class.

She was dead.

Mukuro was sprawled across the bathroom floor, face up and unmoving. A lake of pink blood spread from around her body, being spewed out from a gaping hole in her stomach. Some of it was being absorbed by the paper plate Aoi had dropped. Next to her head, a large kitchen knife lay, also covered in blood. The sink in the restroom was left on.

Aoi clenches her eyes shut and counts to three. Then, she opens them up again. Nothing had changed. Mukruo was still in front of her, dead as a doornail. There was still an unpleasant coppery smell wafting up from her body.

Calm down. Maybe it’s just a prop. You don’t know if it’s really Mukuro or not! Aoi tells herself as she kneels down to Mukuro. She was immediately aware of the fact that her blood was still disgustingly warm. With a trembling arm, she grabs hold of the mask Mukuro was wearing - it was black and had two giant gray eyes along with a face-splitting grin. The grin and the eyes were highlighted with gold, and there was a red lightning shape across the mask’s forehead. The mask was part of the costume that Mukuro wore for the halloween party, pairing with a long, white lab coat that reached low enough to touch her feet.

Aoi didn’t really know what it was supposed to be, and when she asked Mukuro, she just shrugged and told her: “I didn’t have a costume planned out, so Junko just gave me these clothes to wear.”

Taking a deep breath, Aoi practically rips the mask off of the body, hoping with all of her might that it wasn’t Mukuro (or anyone else) under it.

It was Mukuro.

“Nononononono…” Aoi mutters. Tears began to prickle the side of her eyes as she threw the mask onto the floor. It splashed in the pool of blood. Slowly, Aoi puts an open palmed hand over Mukuro’s nose and mouth. A couple of seconds passed, yet she didn’t feel anything. “Oh, no… nononono…”

Horror dawns upon Aoi as she realizes that Mukuro was dead. Really, truly dead and probably murdered. So she did the most logical thing that she could have done in that situation.

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

After an excruciatingly long moment, she hears the thundering rampage of footsteps coming from the school gym. A Halloween party was being held there - everyone in the 78th class had came. Aoi had screamed loud enough for everyone to hear it, even through the loud atmosphere that came with a party filled with high school students.

“Hina!” The booming voice of Sakura comes from behind her. “What’s wr-...”

With unsteady legs, Aoi stands up and turns around. It felt like that at any moment, she could collapse. Sakura was at the front of mob that had rushed here. Behind her, there were several of her other classmates - Sayaka, Chihiro, Makoto, and Mondo. They all looked at her, shock etched into their faces. For a few seconds, no one said anything - Aoi just stared at them, on the verge of tears. They just stared past her, where Mukuro’s body was in view.

“M-Mukuro.” Aoi takes a shuddering breath and turns back to the soldier’s body. The pink blood looked almost like pain against the white tiles of the bathroom floor. “I-I think she’s dead. Oh my god, I think Mukuro is dead.”

“Are you okay?” Sakura asks with a steady voice, stepping forwards to Aoi. Her eyes stared at the blood staining her knees from when she kneeled down on the floor.  “Hina, are you hurt?”

Aoi shakes her head. “No, I’m f-fine. It’s just that… Mukuro…”

Suddenly, Aoi couldn’t hold it in anymore. The floodgates opened and tears began to stream down her eyes as Aoi starts sobbing. Already, the image of Mukuro’s lifeless body was being branded into her mind. She was certain that no matter how long she lived for, she would never forget that image. It was the most horrible thing that she had ever seen.

Sakura envelopes her in a tight hug, rubbing her back comfortingly. “We will find out how this happened. This, I promise you, Hina.”


 

Sakura had volunteered to move Mukuro’s body to the infirmary. Meanwhile, Aoi and the others had gone back to the gym to alert the rest of the class. Within five minutes, everyone was crammed into the infirmary and crowding around the bed that her corpse was resting on.. The Halloween spirit and party atmosphere had vanished without a trace. Other than a few quiet murmurs, the room was deadly quiet. 

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Junko steps up to the bed and places a hand on her sister’s cheek. Then, she looked up at the crowd with a frown. “Who killed my sister?”

“J-Junko.” Makoto says nervously, fiddling with a white bedsheet. Other than two large black ovals, it was completely blank. The luckster had gone with the classic ghost costume for Halloween, though had started to regret it when he realised how hard it was to actually see when he was in it. Of course, he wasn’t wearing it now - it was being crumpled between both of his hands. “I’m sure that no one here would want to murder anyo-”

“So you’re saying that my sister killed herself then?” Junko asks, crossing her arms. The fashionista looked more irritated rather than upset over Mukuro’s death. “Or maybe there was a knife hanging from the ceiling and it fell on her?”

“Well, no but-”

“Then that means someone killed her!” Junko shouts, throwing her red pitchfork at Makoto, who yelped and jumped out of the way, barely dodging the projectile. Junko had dressed as a demon for the party, and had a pair of red horns fit snugly on her head, matching with a dark red dress she had on. “Come on! Who did it?!”

“Hey, even if she was killed, that doesn’t mean it was one of us!” Leon protests. “Maybe it was some complete stranger who killed her!”

“I’m afraid that’s not possible.” Kyoko interjects, shaking her head. “The Halloween party was only open to students and faculty, remember? We even needed to show our student e-handbooks at the entrance. At the very least, it was someone who attends or works at this school.”

“You know what?” Junko puts her hands on her hips.  Surprisingly, she had broken out in a wide grin. “I know how to settle this. Everyone, follow me! If you don’t, then you’re the killer!”

“M-Mrs. Enoshima?” Yamada hesitantly raises a hand up, as if he wanted to ask a teacher a question. Sweat dripped down his pale face in rivers. “Where are you ta-”

“No questions, fatty!” Junko sharply retorts. Without turning around to check if anyone was following her, she walked out of the infirmary.

For a few seconds, everyone just stood there in silence, unsure of themselves. But amazingly, a few people broke off from the crowd around Mukuro’s bed and began to reluctantly trail after Junko. Eventually, more and more people began to follow her, until Kyoko was the only one left in the room.

The detective glances down at Mukuro’s lifeless body. Then, her hand snakes towards Mukuro’s chest wound.


 

“Alright!” Junko stops in front of a room.. She tried to open the door, but it was locked. Not deterred in the slightest, she takes a bobby pin out of her hair and puts it in the door’s lock. With movements that looked almost magical, she smoothly turns it a few times and a clicking noise is heard. The fashionista opens the door and turns around to meet everyone who had followed her. 

The now unlocked room was practically empty. Dust bunnies littered the entire floor and there were even a few spider webs spread across the walls. There wasn’t a single light source - if it weren’t for the light coming from the hallway, it would have been pitch black. A rusty elevator was located at the back of the room.

“Is everyone here?” She asks giddily.

“No. Kyoko stayed behind, and Toko is currently in the infirmary with her, passed out.” Byakuya says, looking around the room with a vague sort of interest. “Now, why have you brought us here? I could think of thousands of things that I would prefer doing, such as dealing with your dead sister. I hope that you’re not so air headed as to have forgotten about that already.”

“Oh, come on! Give me some credit!” Junko whines. She walks up to the elevator and swings open the door. It clangs against the wall, giving off an eerie echo. “I am dealing with Muku’s death! We’re going to find out who killed my dear sister… with a class trial!”

“Erm, are we gonna have to go in there for whatever this class trial thing is?” Yasuhiro asks nervously. “Cuz if that’s the case, I’m gonna sit this one out. There’s probably a ton of ghosts in this place!”

“Oh, that’s fine.” Junko says nonchalantly. “In that case, you’ll just be the prime suspect along with that detective girl. I hope you like being indicted for murder.”

“W-What?!” Yasuhiro yells indignantly. “Okay, fine! Jeez!”

“Puhuhuhu!” Junko grins mischievously. For someone who just had their sister brutally murdered, she seemed awfully excited. “A trial for life, and a judgement of death. Deception in life and treachery in death! It’s class trial time! Who killed my sister? Who will face the consequences? Find out in the next episode of Danganr-”

“Junko, I’m not dead.”

A familiar sounding voice draws the attention of everyone in the room to the entrance. There, two people were standing. One was Kyoko Kirigiri. In one hand, she held a small bottle, completely white aside from the pink stains that came from her gloves, which were covered in blood.

Next to her, Mukuro Ikusaba stood, clearly alive. In fact, other than her unusually pale face, and a giant pink blotch on her stomach, she seemed completely fine. There was a mixture of confusion, surprise, and pure exasperation on her face as she stared at her sister. The white coat and mask she had been wearing for the halloween party was nowhere to be seen - instead, Mukuro just had her school uniform on.

“Ah.” Junko scowls and crosses her arms. “I would have hoped to at least get to the trial room before you two showed up.”

“GHOST!” Yasuhiro squeals and points a shaking finger at Mukuro.

“She isn’t a ghost.” Kyoko says, pointing a cold glare at Junko. “Junko drugged Mukuro with several subtances and used the blood packs from the infirmary to stage her murder.”

Kyoko holds up the small bottle she was holding. She turns it so that the label was visible; it read Smelling Salts .  “Mukuro probably would have stayed unconscious for the next few hours if I didn’t wake her up with this.” 

“Mukuro was just unconscious?” Aoi asks pensively. “But I checked to see if she was breathing and didn’t feel anything!”

“There was an empty bottle of codeine in the infirmary.” Kyoko says. “I think that it would be reasonable to say that it was one of the drugs that Junko used. Codeine, when used in larger doses, can slow down breathing. It can also cause a wide variety of other side effects… Thankfully, Mukuro doesn’t seem to be in any immediate danger from the overdose.”

Sayaka exhales and puts a hand on her chest. “I’m relieved that nothing bad actually happened… But drugged? Junko drugged her own sister? I’m not sure how I should respond to that.”

“Junko!” Kiyotaka snaps his attention to her, eyes burning like hellfire. “Drugging your fellow classmates is not appropriate! Neither is faking a murder! I will see that you are heavily reprimanded for this incident!”

Murmurs of ascent rise from the other students. Junko was known to pull pranks on the class in the name of ‘despair’, but they were only misdemeanors at worst.

Junko puts both of her hands up in an innocent gesture, contradicting the mischievous smirk on her face. “Hey, it’s Halloween! I just wanted to give you guys a lil’ scare with my joke. It’s all in the festive spirit, y’know? Besides, it worked! You guys looked like funeral mourners back there! It was hilarious!”

“Unbelievable.” Byakuya shakes his head in disgust. 

“T-This wasn’t a very funny joke, Junko.” Chihiro says. There were still tears visible on her cheeks from when they first discovered the body. “I don’t think anyone should joke about death, e-especially with something like this.”

“I… agree. Junko, you took it too far this time.” Mukuro says softly. She puts her hand over her fake wound and pulls it back to stare at the blood dripping from her hands. The last thing she remembered before passing out was being in the girls restroom with Junko. Junko had brought a red party cup with her, filled with fruit punch from the party. Everything past that was a blur; Junko must have drugged the punch, and somehow convinced her to drink it.

Mukuro was used to Junko doing mean things to her. For years, the fashionista had tormented her with a plethora of ‘pranks’, such as stealing her things and hiding them around the house, or tearing up her dorm room. Junko had even thrown deadly objects at her from time to time, though Mukuro was never caught off guard. But this was the first time that she was actually harmed by Junko.

It was a strange feeling. She felt confused, but mostly hurt and betrayed, with a deep pit forming in her stomach. Kyoko had explained to her that the overdose of codeine, combined with other drugs, could have been fatal. She hadn’t been seriously injured, but even now, she was still having trouble breathing. For the first time in years, her instincts felt dull and cloudy. 

She had always believed that Junko just wanted her to feel despair. Junko herself had always described despair in such a beautiful light… she must have just wanted to share her despair with her.

But what Junko just did could have been classified as attempted murder. To make it worse, there wasn’t any way that Mukuro could have defended herself, like when Junko tried to physically hurt her.

Do I feel despair? Mukuro asks herself. Am I despairing?

The answer was no. She felt confusion and hurt, but not despair.

“Yes. She took it too far.” Kyoko agrees coldly.

As Junko gets cornered by her classmates, her grin only splits further. She had spent years making relationships and bonds (albeit somewhat brittle ones) with these people, and now she had betrayed them! To make matters worse, she even made her doormat sister upset. She could feel their looks . They were betrayed. They were angry.

To watch herself do this to her only friends…

So much despair! Junko thinks. Her heart felt as heavy as lead, but her mind was as light as a feather. It was buzzing pleasantly, as if she had taken a few shots of alcohol. What if she got kicked out of Hope’s Peak for this? What if her entire career was ruined because of her actions? 

Whatever happened to her, one thing was for sure. There was going to be despa-

“I forgive her.” Makoto deadpans.

“You…” Junko blinks and shakes her head. The insane grin that was on her face faded and was replaced with a look of slight confusion. “You what?

“Well, nothing too bad happened, right?” Makoto says. “I know that what she did was wrong, but people can learn from their mistakes! Junko is our friend, and we’re her friend. I’m sure that she never meant to do any real harm.”

Kyoko looks at Makoto doubtfully. “Makoto, I think that you’re being too forgiving here. What Junko did is reprehensible. She could have really killed Mukuro. Do you understand? Mukuro could have really died.”

“I know.” Makoto says, training his gaze on Mukuro. He gives her a small, wary smile. “Mukuro is one of my closest friends. When I saw her lying on the floor, in a pool of blood… It was horrible, a living nightmare. I can’t put into words how I really felt. And then when you guys came in and the whole thing was revealed as just some prank by Junko, I did feel mad. I mean, I still feel angry at her for doing this. But I still forgive Junko, because she’s my friend. I know that she didn’t want to hurt Mukuro. If anything, all she did was show me how important you guys are to me and that I shouldn’t take our friendship for granted.”

“She didn’t want to hurt me?” Mukuro asks. Slowly, the deep pit in her stomach began to fill in. She wanted - She needed to believe what Naegi had said. Junko was one of the only people she loved. Junko was the only person that loved her ; that was what she thought, anyway. If Junko really did risk her life just to pull off a silly prank, then… wouldn’t that mean that Junko didn’t really love her?

“You know…” Aoi says. “Makoto’s right. Junko really did show me how important you guys are to me. I know it’s kind of silly, but I always had this thought in the back of my head saying that we would always be together as friends.”

Aoi smiles sadly and sniffs. She looked peaceful, as if she were reminiscing about something. “I guess that’s kind of dumb, huh? I guess Junko showed me today that some things can’t last forever… and I’m okay with that.”

“Huh? What?” Junko blinks rapidly and shakes her head. For the first time in her life, things seemed to be moving a bit too quickly for her. She wished that she could slow down time and get ahold of her footing. “What?!”

“Junko… I forgive you too.” Mukuro says quietly. Even though she knew that this might have been a bad decision, all she really wanted to do was forget that this ever happened. If it suddenly became obvious that she couldn’t trust Junko anymore, then she wouldn’t know what she would do. “I forgive you because I love you. Please, just don’t do something like this again.”

“... I suppose that if the victim in this case doesn’t show any resentment, then it would be fine to let things go.” Kyoko says reluctantly. She, like Aoi, agreed with Makoto’s sentiments. Doing something drastic such as arresting Junko may have caused disastrous consequences to their circle of friends.

“I-I’m just glad that Mukuro’s okay.” Chihiro says, wiping away a few stray tears from his eyes. 

“Yeah!” Yasuhiro says, suddenly placing his hand on Mukuro’s shoulder. She whirled her head around and glared at Yasuhiro, who gladly ignored her. “I mean, what would have we done if our soldier buddy decided to haunt us? A super-soldier ghost? Noooooo thank you!”

“So!” Leon says, looking around the room. The vigor that had left him when Mukuro’s body was discovered had quickly returned. He had a big smile on his face that seemed to announce to the world that nothing was wrong. “We still got a bunch of candy in the gym and plenty of hours in the night! You guys wanna keep going?”

“Why the hell not?” Mondo returns his grin and gestures to Chihiro and Kiyotaka. “Let’s have some fun, huh? This bullshit’s wrapped up, so we can party, right?”

“Though I am reluctant to do so after such an event, I suppose that doing so may take our minds off of such grave matters.” Kiyotaka admits stepping up to Mondo’s side. Chihiro followed the moral compass wordlessly, looking back at Mukuro as he did.

Soon, each of Junko’s classmates filed out of the room, talking to each other as if nothing had happened. The only ones left behind were Mukuro and Junko.

“Junko.” Mukuro says, casting her eyes down at the floor. To her, the tension in the room was palpable. She wouldn’t have been surprised if she spontaneously combusted right then and there. “I-”

“I’m going to my dorm. Later, sis.” Junko says tonelessly, walking past her. Her eyes looked as dull as marbles. The glowing spunk that had been filling her body no longer than a few minutes ago had vanished completely, leaving nothing but a husk behind. 

She moved sluggishly, seemingly drained of energy. Nothing had happened here, today. She had spent days coming up with a good prank for halloween, and finally settled on this one when she thought that it would bring the best despair. But nothing happened. There wasn’t any despair. Hell, there wasn’t even any hope. It was just nothing.

Nothing at all.

 

Chapter Text

“O-Oh, Master Byakuya...” Toko swoons blissfully. She presses both of her hands together as a line of drool running down the side of her mouth. “You’re just so p-perfect!”

Summer - along with the long vacation from school, a heat wave had spread across Japan. The temperature measured at 43 degrees Celsius, making it hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk. Normally, summers didn’t even reach 38 degrees in Japan.

Much to Toko’s pleasure, Byakuya had changed from his usual attire in response to the weather. He was sporting a short sleeved white dress shirt with a single button undone, along with black flat-front dress pants. She had been staring at Byakuya for the past fifteen minutes, taking in every single detail of his figure. When Toko had first seen Byakuya, she had gotten so light-headed that she almost passed out. Thankfully, she got ahold of herself at the last moment - if Genocider Shou had seen Byakuya like that, then her lust would have probably spilled out of control.

Despite the extremely hot weather, Byakuya seemed to be practically unaffected. Except for the small change in attire, there was no sign that he was bothered by the heat. Sitting comfortably on the terrace of a cafe, he seemed as cool as one could be, sipping from a cup of tea in one hand and reading a thick book in the other.

Nervously, Toko wipes the string of drool away from her mouth and rights the brown sun hat on her head. For the millionth time that day, she asks herself:

Why am I actually doing this?!

Komaru had physically dragged Toko to the mall where they had done some shopping together. Despite Toko’s insistence that she didn’t need any new clothes, Komaru had bought a summer outfit for her anyway - a flowery white blouse that exposed her shoulders, a knee-length pink skirt, and a wide summer hat. At first, Toko had completely refused to even try them on.

“Aw, come on!” Komaru pouts and holds the blouse out to her. “Why not? It would look so cute on you! I’m even buying it for you, as a gift!”

“I w-would prefer a box of pens or something…” Toko grumbles. She takes a step back and points a crooked finger at the dress with an accusatory glare. The light colors were so bright that she was practically blinded by them. “You know that t-thing literally contrasts with my usual outfit, r-right?!”

“Hey, you never know!” Komaru smiles happily, completely unaffected by Toko’s comments. “Maybe Byakuya would pay more attention to you if you got a fresh look!”

“D-Don’t be so naive!” Toko snaps. Still, some of the disgust in her eyes had vanished. In its place, was the slightest hint of intrigue. “T-The only reason why he hasn’t been t-talking to me is because he’s busy! O-Of course he would be, running a multi-trillion y-yen company! I’m p-perfectly fine with wearing my school uniform!”

“Look, I’m just worried! It’s going to be too hot outside for you to wear your usual outfit.” Komaru says with a concerned look. “I don’t want you to get a heatstroke or anything.”

“...” Silently, Toko takes another reluctant look at the blouse and skirt Komaru was holding. As much as she hated to admit it, Komaru was right - she probably would suffer a heatstroke or something, eventually. She had taken only a fifteen minute walk to get to the mall, and that was enough to make her light-headed. Maybe she really should try to wear it, if only so that she wouldn’t die.

And if she were to be completely honest, the clothes didn’t look completely horrible.

On the way back from the mall, Komaru’s eyes were practically sparkling with excitement. She seemed really happy that Toko had decided to take the summer clothes she had picked out, even if only grudgingly so. While they were walking, Komaru had made a passing, seemingly thoughtless comment.

“I bet Byakuya really would take notice of you with that outfit.” Komaru smiles. “You should try surprising him!”

She never brought it up again afterwards, but her words still stuck to Toko’s mind like glue. When Toko first woke up that morning, she would have never even thought of trying to do something like surprising Byakuya with a new outfit. In fact, the very thought almost made her wretch - such things were only fit for sickeningly sweet ‘match-made-in-heaven’ couples.

But now, here she was, about to do the unthinkable.

Taking a few deep breaths, Toko steps out from behind her hiding spot - a nondescript tree. With trembling hands, she timidly walks over to Byakuya, all to aware of how she looked. After what seemed like an eternity, Toko finally finds herself standing across from Byakuya, who seemed to have not taken any notice of her.

“M-Master B-Byakuya?” Toko asks with a scratchy voice. “I-I… um….”

Toko’s eyes widen as she realized that she actually had no idea what she was going to say to him. She hadn’t even given it a second of thought. How would Byakuya react once he realizes that Toko was wasting his time? Why did she think that doing this was a good idea? Already, she could see a scene play out in her head.

Master is going to renounce his love for me out of pure disgust. We’re going to part ways, our bond shattered into pieces. All because of me. I’m going to be so heart-broken that I’m going to pick up some stupid habit like alcohol. Then, one day, I’m going to be walking home from a bar, completely shitfaced, and be dragged into an alleyway by some homeless guy. The next morning, I’m going to be found dead. Poor Master is going to find my corpse in the news and be devastated, because deep down, he still loved me. He will be too distracted to run his corporation, and his net worth will plummet. We will both be ruined!

But none of that happened. Instead of a dramatic breakup like she envisioned, Byakuya just asked: “Toko. Why are you here?” He didn’t even look up from his book, like he wasn’t even in the least bit surprised that Toko had appeared in front of him.

As expected of Master! To remain so cool, even in this weather! 

“I… I w-would like to spend some time with you, M-Master!” Toko says, nodding to herself. “L-Like a date! Just us, to-together!”

“Are you still having these delusional fantasies of yours?” Byakuya sighs and takes a sip of his tea. From just once glance, Toko could tell it was rose hip tea - Byakuya’s favorite. She had practiced brewing it herself, but eventually had to give up after thousands of failed attempts at making anything drinkable. “I won’t even question how you managed to find me. Just leave my presence, at once. You are souring the atmosphere for me, as well as every other person within a hundred meter radius.”

“S-Such malevolence!” Toko breathes out and presses a hand to her chest. She could feel her cheeks heat up considerably. “M-Master, you are showing so much c-care for such unworthy s-scum?? Y-You’re amazing!”

“I’ve told you once already, didn’t I?” Byakuya sighs and glances up at Toko. “Get out of he…”

Unexpectedly, Byakuya’s words dry up as he looks at Toko. The look of disgust and disdain on his face slowly faded and was replaced with something indescribable. The silence that spanned following this seemed to last an eternity. Slowly, Byakuya picks up a bookmark and sticks it in his book - it was something about mercantilism. He closes it and lays it flat on the table, next to his cup of tea. 

Toko could feel her heartbeat spike up to quadruple digits - why was he staring at her like that? Was there something on her face? Then, she remembered - her new outfit.

No way. Was Komaru actually right?

Finally, after a long moment, Byakuya rolls his eyes and gets up from his chair. He leaves a few bills under his empty tea cup and tucks his book under his arm. Then, he looks at Toko with a strange sort of contempt. “Astonishing. You actually look presentable, and it only took the hottest summer that Japan has ever seen. I’m not sure whether I should be disgusted or impressed.”

A jolt of electricity suddenly shot through Toko. The blazing summer heat suddenly seemed to amplify ten-fold as her face turned completely red. Did she just hear that right? She stared at Byakuya, unable to speak as he turned around and walked away from her. It was only when he was nothing but a small speck in the distance did her brain begin to work again.

“You actually look presentable,”

Toko’s knees began to tremble as her vision dimmed. She only managed one more thought before she fainted, dead to the world.

I hope that Shou doesn’t find him…

 

Chapter Text

 

Mikan stares up at the ceiling as her chest steadily rises and falls. The AC was on at full blast, and she was wearing nothing but a plain T-shirt and a pair of black dolphin shorts; But even so, beads of sweat kept dripping down her forehead. It felt like she was inside of an oven. With what little function of mind she had, Mikan was able to diagnose herself. She had influenza.

Or in other words, the flu.

She let out a small groan as she sat up from her bed. Immediately, the room went vertigo as a wave of dizziness overtook her. She collapsed back onto her bed and brought a fist up to her mouth as she let loose a few rough coughs. It was unfair. Just the other day, Mikan had been completely fine, exhibiting zero symptoms. Then this morning, as soon as she woke up, she immediately began to feel light-headed. Then, no more than an hour later, she became bed-ridden. The worst part was that she was perfectly capable of treating herself, being the Ultimate Nurse and all.

Treating the flu was actually relatively simple - most of the time, bed rest and plenty of fluids did the trick. But this knowledge was next to useless when you couldn’t even move without feeling nauseous.

Despite how hot she felt, Mikan began to shiver. She listlessly drapes her blanket over her body, only to take it back off a few seconds later. Her eyes became wet with tears as guilt starts spreading through her. What business did she have, being sick? She should have known better. She didn’t know how exactly she got the flu, but she could guess - She had volunteered to work at the infirmary for the rest of the week, to treat sick reserve course students. They always showed flu symptoms, and yet, Mikan never put on a face mask while treating them.

I’m so stupid. They all hate me now. Right now, those reserve course students are probably feeling what I’m feeling, but ten times as worse. But they can still go to school and function. So why am I so weak? Why am I so terrible?

A cloud of despair clouds her mind as her eyes shoot around her room. She was alone. Completely alone, and with no way to treat herself. She stifled a sob and squeezed her eyes shut. The only thing she could do was go to sleep and hope that she wouldn’t feel as terrible when she woke up.

*bzzt*

“H-Huh?” Mikan’s eyes flew open. A buzzing noise had come from her left. When she looked, she saw her phone, laying on top of her dresser by her bedside. It was lit up - apparently, she had just received some sort of notification.

“Oh… I f-forgot.” Mikan muttered. She almost never used her phone, unless it was to call or text someone, which she rarely did. Slowly, she pulled herself over to her dresser and grabbed her phone with one hand. When she looked at the screen, a small jolt went through her heart.

Hajime: Hey, Mikan. Everything okay? They said at the infirmary that you had volunteered to work there today, but no one’s there. Just checking up on you.

Hajime Hinata. He was a reserve course student, yet always hung out with the Ultimates, for some reason. Mikan didn’t exactly know why, but Hajime always treated her nicely. It felt good, having someone that she could talk to, but she knew that he was just a kind person. She could tell . She could tell that he was just pretending to not be repulsed by her. He always insisted that she wasn’t bothering him, but… how could that be? Of course she was bothering him. She was a burden on everyone.

I can’t let him worry about me . Mikan thinks as she starts to text a reply back to him, wincing at the harsh glare of the phone light. He’s a student. He must be busy.

She sent him a message and shut her phone down. She didn’t even bother to put it back on the dresser - instead, she just let it drop to her pillow. It almost smacked her in the face. Once more, she breaks into a coughing fit. She doesn’t bother to cover her mouth this time.

Once it was over, Mikan took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She didn’t feel thirsty, but she knew that she must have been dehydrated - she had barely drank any water since waking up. She had tried to force herself to walk to the sink several times, but couldn’t even take a single step without nearly falling over.

Just go to sleep… Worry about that later.


 

*creeeeak*

“Mikan? Are you in there?”

Mikan wakes up with a gasp as a loud voice suddenly fills the room. Her confused and muddled brain somehow manages to recognize the owner of the voice - Hajime. What was he doing here? She had sent him a text to assure him that she was fine. 

She opens her mouth to respond, but ends up being caught into another coughing fit. The sound of her own coughs sent dull waves of pain through her head.

“Mikan?”

“F-Fine.” Mikan coughs. “I’m f-fine.”

“... You don’t sound fine. I’m coming in, okay?”

“W-What?” Mikan sat up in alarm. Somehow, she managed to keep sitting up despite the intensified wave of nausea.

In the blink of an eye, Hajime appeared in the doorway to her room. On top of his normal school uniform, he was wearing a light brown parka that matched his hair. He looked at her for a second before sighing and shaking his head. “Yeah, you’re not fine. Is it the flu?”

“Hajime, w-what-” Mikan pauses as she coughed again. This time, she covered her mouth - there was someone else in the room, after all. “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t y-you be at school?”

Hajime shrugged and entered her room. “They just sent everyone home. Too many people with the flu, and the infirmary was understaffed… because the other nurses also had the flu. Somehow, I managed to stay healthy.”

“I’m… I’m sorry.” Mikan sniffed and wraps her blanket around her. She suddenly felt very vulnerable - and very guilty. “I-I shouldn’t have gotten sick. Oh, this is my fault… Now, there are so many other sick people that I can’t take care of.”

“Mikan, how is getting sick your fault?” Hajime frowns. “The other nurses got sick too, you know.”

“I-I mean, I should have worn a face mask! That’s probably why I got sick!” Mikan cries. “P-Please forgive me! It just… I just forgot!”

Hajime grabs a chair that was next to her desk and pulls it over to her bed. “Alright, can you tell me what I should do?”

“... Huh?” Mikan stares at him with big, uncomprehending eyes. They were wet and wavering with unshed tears - at any moment, they could spill over. “I-I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”

“What should I do to help you? I know the basics, but you probably know the best ways to remedy the flu, right?” Hajime asks.

“No!” Mikan shouts hoarsely. She coughed and cleared her throat before her face reddened even further with embarrassment. “I-I mean, no. I’m sorry for shouting, I didn’t mean it. P-Please don’t hate me! I really didn’t mean to shout at-”

“Mikan, really. You don’t need to apologize. Just tell me what’s the matter.” Hajime says calmly.

“I’m fine, really. D-Didn’t you read my text?” Mikan asks meekly.

Hajime frowned and pulled out his phone. After a few seconds, he showed her the screen.“This text?”

Mikan: Dub;t wirry i sn ok/.

“...” Mikan stared at her text, dumbfounded. Did she really not notice the spelling mistakes she had made? She really must be sick.

Hajime pulled his phone away and stuffed it in the pocket of his parka. “I sent you a few more messages after that, but didn’t get a response. I got worried, so I decided to visit your dorm. And good thing I did, because to be honest, you look pretty bad.”

“H-Hajime, you don’t need to bother with m-me.” Mikan says. “R-Really, you could be doing anything else. I-I know that I’m just a nuisance, so p-please don’t hate me!”

Hajime’s shakes his head. “Come on Mikan, aren’t we past that? You’re not a nuisance, to me or anyone else. No one hates you either. I’m doing this because I want to help you.”

“... R-Really?” Mikan asks softly.

“Yeah. So why don’t you help me help you?” Hajime asks. His frown slowly curved upward until it turned into a small smile. “You’re the Ultimate Nurse, so you would definitely know more about this stuff than me.”

“Ok…” Mikan blushes and hesitantly returns his smile. Indescribable joy fills her - Hajime was actually choosing to take care of her? That kind of attention was more than she could have ever wished for. 

“T-Thank you, Hajime. Thank you very much.”