Chapter 1: Routine Maintenance
“All done. I bet your body feels much better now that I've given it a good cleaning, huh?” the self-proclaimed ‘gorgeous girl genius’ asked as she lifted her goggles and began to stow her candy-pink tool set.
“Yes, thank you. I feel quite refreshed now. You are definitely my go-to person for maintenance.” Her android companion sat up on the table before stretching his arms, taking a moment to get a careful look at his dearest friend. “Thank you for taking such good care of me...these past three years.”
“Hah-hahaha! Damn right! It's about time you showed me some appreciation!”
K1-B0 shifted his gaze to the frigid scene outside. Though he loved the winter with all of its wonderful human festivities, something was nagging at the back of his brain—harddrive. “I do appreciate you. That's why I'm sad I won't be able to ask you for your services anymore.”
The inventor’s stomach clenched as panic began to set in. “Huh? Why the hell not? You sayin' there's someone out there better than me!?”
“N-No, that's not it... It's just...we're all graduating soon.”
Panic turned to frustration. “Fuck graduation! Are you sayin' you don't want me to service you anymore!?”
“I mean...I would love it if someone as skilled as you could perform maintenance on me.” He frowned. Though he didn’t have the words at the time, he knew his feelings for his friend extended beyond the platonic fondness he felt towards many of his other classmates.
Miu raised a finger half-covered by her fingerless gloves. “Then why don't you move in with me!?”
“I mean, I'll help you, but I'm not gonna bust my ass comin' to you to do it, y'know?”
The android stopped to admire the deep, open-mouth smile on the girl’s face. Her smile was among his favorite things in the world. “Yes, of course. I am the one who requires your services, after all.”
“Good! If I'm gettin' my hands dirty, then you gotta make damn sure you know your place!” She produced a hearty, whole-body laugh.
“Then...is it alright of me to ask you to continue servicing me?”
Iruma’s countenance became stern. “You think I'd reject you? I'm the one who likes to be toyed with and rejected, after all!”
Though her tone was harsh, he was deeply touched by her response. “Miu... Thank you so much. I look forward to your care and service in the years to come.”
The ramifications of her offer suddenly dawned on the gorgeous girl genius as she turned bright red. “Y-Yeah, thanks...I'm lookin' forward to it, too.”
She began to panic as she exited the room and headed down the hall. She had just invited her best friend—and not-so-secret crush—to live with her. Not only that, but she had offered a place that didn’t exist! Though she had a bedroom now, her parents were rather non-traditional and subscribed to the philosophy of ‘kick the baby bird out of the nest and hope it flies’. Thus, on her nineteenth birthday they demanded she find her own residence once she finished school.
Her thoughts drifted to that day in November. After a morning of fighting with her parents over having to leave home, she spent most of the day in bitter silence, opening her mouth only to utter a near-silent “Thanks.” to her classmate Kaede who had made her a birthday cupcake. She skipped out on her last class—physical education—and opted instead to stew in her emotions out by one of the many fountains in the courtyard. While sitting there, arms crossed and pouting at the ground, she spotted a familiar metallic figure waltzing over in her direction.
“Good afternoon, Miu! I understand that you wish to be left alone, but Kaede encouraged me to offer you this birthday gift I purchased for you. I can leave it with you and head back inside should you prefer to be without company for now.”
Wordlessly, Miu tore into the laser-precise folded pastel wrapping paper and opened the lid of the cardboard box within. She withdrew a maroon cloth garment of enormous size and gazed at it, tears welling in her eyes.
“It’s a blanket you can wear! Kokichi tells me this is called a ‘Snuggie’ in certain parts of the world. I just observed how you often get cold during these months and I—”
Miu embraced the android with all her might, tears rolling down her face. “You dweeb.”
“My apologies if you do not like the gift. I included the receipt should you—”
“No, you dork! I fuckin’ love it!” she yelled, wiping her eyes with a gloved hand before wrapping it around Keebo once again. He returned the hug in kind and turned on his warming function, hoping to keep her insulated from the little flurries that were just then beginning to fall.
The waving of hands in her face jolted Miu back to reality.
“Earth to perv girl! Anyone there? You’re blocking the stairwell!”
Miu’s eyes darted downward to find the formerly-pint-sized menace that was Hiyoko Saionji standing before her. Slowly reigning in her train of thought, Miu began to prepare an insult towards the girl, but lost interest. She instead pushed the girl aside she spoke, “Sorry, short stuff, I’ve got bigger fish to fry!” With Hiyoko glaring daggers, Miu darted peppily down the stairs.
“I hit my growth spurt last year, you bitch!”
Miu Iruma sat strewn about her ‘inventor’s chair’—a specially-modified office chair with four mechanical arms extending from the sides. At that moment, the two lower arms each carried pints of ice cream—one caramel and one cotton candy. The upper set held spoons and took turns shoveling ice cream into their creator’s mouth. In her lap sat a small tablet, its screen overflowing with tabs of apartment hunting websites. Reruns of old cartoons played idly on several small screens in the back of the room.
“Ah, fuck!” Miu shrieked as she threw her face into her hands. Still haven’t figured out the right rhythm to avoid brain freeze. Pushing away the ice cream-bearing hands, she sat up properly in the chair—a rarity for miss Iruma. Her thoughts began to race. Apartment hunting is bullshit! Everything is either too damn small or costs a fuckin’ arm and a tit! How the hell am I supposed to find something in time?!
As if fate itself had heard her words, Miu’s email tone chimed from at least five devices. Huh ? She sat up and checked the message.
Our board has thoroughly reviewed your patents for the Sleep N’ Serve and Sit N’ Rally devices and we wish to purchase the rights! In this email, we have enclosed our offer for the patents. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.
Worldwide Ping Pong Corp.”
Miu eagerly tapped the ‘attached file’ link. Her eyes stretched painfully wide as she counted the zeroes on the number offered.
Hot damn! I’m the fuckin’ greatest!
She reviewed the offer once more and realized it wasn’t quite enough to fulfill her fantasy of swimming in a pool full of gold coins—a fantasy courtesy of her repeated viewings of Duck Tales—but she reasoned it was still enough for about a year’s rent in a spacious apartment in the city.
Oh ho ho, Keebs, looks like we won’t be sharing a cardboard box after all!
Reinvigorated, she cracked her knuckles and leaned forward towards her desktop computer.
Chapter 2: Good Riddance
Graduation day arrives! Ibuki plays an acoustic set! Miu must make good on a promise!
The remaining months of the school year zipped by in a blur of research papers and final examinations. Graduation day had arrived before any of the students had a chance to look up from their studies.
The day of their graduation was a pleasant one; the sun lounged lazily in the sky as a gentle breeze carried birdsongs through the courtyard full of eager soon-to-be-graduates. Long, fashionable black gowns and flat academic caps adorned the bodies and heads of each student as they sat restlessly in their folding metal chairs awaiting the valedictorian’s speech.
“Welcome, families, friends, and esteemed guests. I speak to you today on behalf of the graduating class of Hope’s Peak Academy.” The speaker paused, fingers moving to adjust a nose pad. “This afternoon marks a momentous occasion for each of us in this class. For some here, it will be the height of their careers, and I invite them to savor this moment.” Byakuya smirked, pleased that he was allowed one more chance to put the plebeians in their place. “Others will go on to become the leaders of science, politics, and industry—and I have nothing but the utmost respect for them.”
Miu Iruma rolled her eyes and shifted in her seat.
For fuck’s sake, Daddy’s Money, get it over with. I’ve got shit to do.
She turned her head to survey the rest of her class, who all seemed to have similarly tuned out. Of course, this was with the exception of one Toko Fukawa, who was practically salivating over each derogatory syllable uttered by the object of her affection. Miu had a deep masochistic streak, sure, but even she found the whole display to be a bit much.
After the Togami heir had finished his lengthy oration, the graduates filed across the stage, each briefly shaking the hands of Headmaster Kirigiri and Assistant Headmaster Monokuma. At the end of the stage, Ms. Monomi handed each student their diploma accompanied by a loving “Congratulations!”
As Miu vacated the stage and headed for the reception area, she heard a familiar voice call out to her.
“Hey! Miu! We’re having a little get together after the ceremonies are over. Would you like to join us?”
The gorgeous girl genius began to load up a heinous remark about Kaede’s figure.
No, Miu, remember what you’ve been practicing.
“I...uh...could do that. Besides, it’d be boring without me! It’ll be a favor for ya!” The inventor twirled a lock of her hair with her index finger. “C-Can Keebo come with us?”
The pianist smiled a warm, closed mouth smile. “I figured you would ask that.” Miu turned beet red. “I had Shuichi ask him before the ceremony started. He said he would be happy to join but wanted to make sure that you were coming as well.” Miu’s beet red upgraded to full-blown bell pepper red.
“He...he said that?”
“Yep!” She grinned, knowingly. “Shuichi seemed to think you had something to say to him.”
“U-uh...that’s none of your business, flat ti—” Miu stopped herself and frowned through gritted teeth. “What I meant to say is that it’s kind of a secret right now.” She shook off her frown, scanning the crowd for her android. “But I can tell you it’s the best fuckin’ surprise of all time!”
Kaede chuckled with pleasant astonishment at Miu’s self-control. “Well, whatever it is, I’m sure he’ll love it. He’s crazy about you!”
“Hell yeah he is! Who wouldn’t be? Have you seen these tits?!”
Kaede laughed once more and started to walk off towards the gathering crowd near the catering tables. “I’ll see you tonight Miu. Meet at my house whenever you’ve finished up here!”
The afternoon passed rather uneventfully as Miu procured a heaping plate of food and a place to sit.
Food tastes so much fuckin’ better when it’s free.
Once she had finished her meal and changed out of the cumbersome gown, she resumed her search for K1-B0. To her good fortune, it only took a few minutes to find him. Unfortunately, he was busy talking to Gundham Tanaka and Hifumi Yamada about some sort of fantasy nonsense. Both guys creeped Miu out immensely; Gundham for not wearing underwear, and Hifumi for reportedly stealing several pairs that did not belong to him.
Fuckin’ fine. Guess I’ll just meet up with him at Kaede’s.
After a long train ride to the outskirts of the city, Miu found herself on the front steps of the Akamatsu residence. It was a lavish building supported by intricate-looking columns; it radiated an air of prestige and good taste. Before she could reach up to use the knocker, the door swung open.
“Hey! Glad you made it!” A casually-dressed Kaede stood in the doorway, ushering Miu inwards.
When the two reached the basement, they were greeted with a lively social scene. Shuichi, Keebo, Kaito Momota, and Maki Hurukawa had all squished themselves upon a long leather sofa. The ever-enthused Ibuki Mioda sat tuning an acoustic guitar on the adjacent loveseat, a jittery Mikan Tsumiki huddled close beside her.
“Just in time, voluptulicious! Ibuki just finished tuning up for the big graduation medley she’s prepared.”
I don’t think I’ll ever get used to her talking in the third-person.
“Woah, woah, woah.” Kaede interrupted. “Wait ‘till we’re outside. I’d prefer if my parents didn’t come down here and kill us all.”
“Alright, alright. Ibuki understands. There are at least ten buildings in town she’s banned from due to noise violations.” The musician put her hands on her hips, as if her rap sheet were one of her highest honors.
“Alright! Let’s get hiking! The stars are gonna be so bright this far out of the city!” Maki smiled at Kaito’s childlike glee.
As her friends marched towards the backdoor of the basement, Miu used the time as an opportunity to smoothly slide next to Keebo.
“Keebs!” Miu slung her arms around the android, resting her chin on his left shoulder.
“Miu! It is good to see you! I missed you at the ceremony.” Miu dismounted and the two joined the others on the short, moonlit jaunt.
“Missed you too, Keebs. Hopefully that rich prick’s speech didn’t get ya too down.”
Keebo’s face became rigid. “No, but it was quite shameful—though unsurprising—for Byakuya to behave that way. It was deeply unnecessary!”
“Preaching to the choir, Keebs.”
Minutes later, the group found themselves on a grassy outcropping overlooking a small pond. Several small stumps were arranged in a circle around a cast-iron fire pit, light from the distant celestial bodies dancing around the whole space.
“Alright! Now this is how you watch the stars!” Kaito roared.
“So, I set the fire pit up before you all got to my house, but finding an actual firestarter completely slipped my mind. Anyone have a lighter?”
With frightening quickness, Ibuki reached into her soft guitar case and retrieved a propane torch. “Will this do?” she asked, igniting the flame.
“Gah!” Mikan fell onto the soft grass underfoot. “What’d you bring that for!?”
“I figured that if the setlist was a flop, we could at least have some killer pyrotechnics!”
“Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about!” Maki glared at Kaito with a wicked “Don’t encourage her.” stare.
“Thanks, Ibuki. I can take it from here.” Kaede slipped the torch from her hands and lit the pre-prepared kindling. Soon, the fire pit was beginning to fill with a beautiful orange glow.
Ibuki put a single foot on her stump and began to strum an all-too-familiar tune. “Today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you!”
The group collectively groaned, and Ibuki rapidly picked up the tempo to a break-neck pace.
“Cause maybeeeeee! You’re gonna be the one that saves meeeeee!” She bellowed at a terrified Mikan. “And after all! You’re my wonderwaaaaaaaalll!“
Her soon strumming came to an abrupt halt. “Okay, okay. I admit that wasn’t the strongest on the list. Just give me a minute.”
The silence was broken a moment later by the grinning guitarist’s cheesy fingerpicking. “Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road. Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go.”
The group groaned once more but stayed quiet as their serenader played her way through the tired graduation classic.
“I hope you had the time of your life…” Ibuki stood silently in what appeared to be a moment of emotional sincerity. Her audience sat dumbfounded, torn between clapping or asking her if she was feeling alright. They seemed to have all decided upon the former just as the musician’s frame jerked into action.
“THANK YOU GOODNIGHT!” Guitar shrapnel flew in all directions as Ibuki smashed the flimsy wooden instrument against the metal of the fire pit. Her friends all dove for cover on the ground behind their stumps as the musician swung the guitar several more times before tossing the remaining chunks in the fire pit.
“You crazy bitch! What the fuck was that?!” Miu yelped, picking splinters out of her sweater.
The girl retaliated with a wink and finger-guns. “Art!”
“That was certainly...something. Is everyone alright?”
They all nodded their heads in the affirmative to Shuichi’s question.
“There is still something I do not understand.” All eyes turned to Keebo. “Does it not seem like the narrator is glad to be free of the subject of the song? Or have I been misunderstanding the meaning of the title?”
“No, you’re right. I guess the song has just kind of taken on its own meaning after being played to death.” Kaede looked at the pale-lit blades of grass at her feet, a thought running through her mind. “Hey, we’ll all stay friends after this, right?”
“Of course! I’ve gotta have some adoring fans cheering me on when I go to space, after all!”
The new graduates laughed and reminisced about their time together at the academy. To Miu’s surprise, all of their respective plans for the future involved residing within the city, with the exception of Kaito who was going to be spending the next year at a secret government training facility.
Well, I guess our city is the country’s hub for culture and shit.
As the fire and conversation died down, the friends moved to a session of stargazing narrated by the Luminary of the Stars himself.
This is my chance!
“Hey, uh, I’ve gotta adjust Keebo’s vision for low-light so he can see the stars better.”
“Thank you for the kind offer! Actually, though, I believe I can see well enou—“
“It’ll just take a little bit! Be right back!”
The inventor pulled her friend to his feet and towards a secluded clearing.
“Okay, Miu, if you insist on modifying my vision I will prepare myself.”
“Um...about that.” She fidgeted with her hair. “I might have told a tiny lie.”
“Miu! It was wrong for you to make me doubt my visual capacity!”
“Why did you want me to follow you out here, then?” The android’s features widened. “Wait! Those terrible movies Sonia and Gundham made me watch lead me to believe we are out here so that you may disembowel me with a hook or some similarly gruesome instrument!”
“If that is your intention, Miu, I must warn you that I do not have bowels!”
The unexpected turn of events made a cold sweat run down Miu’s face. “N-No! It’s nothing fucked up like that! I just...need to make good on a promise I made ya.”
The girl fished a brochure out of her sweater. The words “Mirai Apartments” stretched across the top of the fancy eggshell paper.
“You and me, Keebs. Ya girl ended up scoring a sweet deal with some ping-pong losers and managed to snag us a sweet-ass apartment!” She flipped through the pamphlet. “Look! It’s got a spa, a gym, pools, hot tubs, a coffee shop, and an arcade! Plus, I paid a lil extra for a ground floor place with a private garage so I can invent from home!” She took a deep breath. “So, whadda ya say?”
“Of course!” He looked downwards with a sentimental smile. “Miu...this is the nicest thing anyone’s ever done for me. You truly are an incredible person. You have my deepest gratitude for all of your compassion.”
Oh fuck. I think I’m gonna cry.
The pair embraced for quite some time, neither wanting to be the one to let go first.
“Miu?” He asked from the comfort of the inventor’s arms. “I had a question earlier but was too embarrassed to ask it in front of everyone. May I ask it now?”
“What’s a Wonderwall?”
Hey everyone! Hope you're enjoying the story so far. I'd love to hear your comments or suggestions if you have any!
As for updating, I can't promise I'll be this quick to update each chapter, but I will do my best to stay on task! (Of course, this is what I work on when I'm trying to procrastinate from less exciting writing I need to do ;3 )
Chapter 3: Homecoming
Miu and Keebo move in together! Keebo asks for a confession! Chiaki, Hajime, and Nagito meet their new downstairs neighbors!
Moving day brought with it a torrential rainstorm.
Ugh. The weather decides to flip its shit every time I move.
Miu stood on the train platform, all of her worldly possessions packed into four rolling trunks—each one carried by a robotic arm jutting out of the girl’s backpack.
“Ah, Miu!” the android waved to her from the far end of the platform.
“Keebs!” She squeed, trotting over towards the android and throwing herself around him.
“Please be careful! I am not that strong!”
“That a slight about my weight?!”
Keebo stepped back, flustered. “No! I simply mean that my strength is—“
“Just fuckin’ with ya.” Miu giggled and ran a hand through his hair. “So, the complex is just a couple blocks over!”
Rain buffeted the metal surface of the station’s roof. “Excellent! I foresee that being convenient for us in the future!”
“Hell yeah! Your gorgeous girl genius thought of everything!” She looked down at the singular trunk her companion carried. “Only one?”
“I do not need many things! I hope it wasn’t too presumptuous of me, but I assumed any tools I needed would be provided by my,” he grinned, “ gorgeous girl genius .”
Oh fuck ! Who’s been teaching him how to flirt!?
She jolted out of her pleasantly dazed state. “Uh...yeah! I should have all the tools you’d ever need. I can show ‘em to ya once we’re at the apartment.”
They strolled down the street, taking care to stick close to the overhangs of buildings along the way. Within a few minutes, they found themselves standing in the lobby of a bright, new future.
“I grabbed our keys and shit earlier, so all we have to do is head down the hall to our unit!”
Upon arriving at their door, Miu’s roommate turned to her. “I forgot to ask—will we need to purchase our own furniture?”
The door opened to reveal a living room decked out almost entirely in pink. A rosy marble coffee table sat before two plushy, peach couches. A chandelier hung in the center of the room, pink bulbs twinkling as Miu flicked the light switch.
“I...uh...might have paid to have it furnished beforehand.”
Both studied the decor as they made their way deeper into the dwelling—K1-B0 in confused amusement, and Miu in pure delight.
“I must say that while the color scheme is unorthodox, it does seem to match nicely!”
“Doy! Did ya think my golden brain was capable of having bad taste?!” Miu placed her hands on her hips, basking in pride. “Anyway, kitchen’s over there,” she pointed at a small nook at the edge of the living room, “bathroom's over there, bedroom is the last door in the corner.”
Keebo turned the knob to the corner door.
“Uh, also...about the bedroom…”
The android pushed open the bedroom door to find a gargantuan, pink bed in the shape of a heart, complete with a matching lacy canopy and headboard.
She held her breath, hoping for the best.
“This is impressive! I thought these sorts of mattresses only existed in movies!”
Miu breathed a sigh of relief. “That’s whatcha get when you’ve got a goddess like me as a roommate!”
“I can’t wait to see what my bed looks like!”
Keebo’s internal temperature increased, turning his face a slight scarlet. “Miu...will we be sharing this bed?”
“I...got them to include a charging port on your side…”
“That is very kind of you, but isn’t it a bit odd for us to be sharing a bed if we aren’t romantic partners?” As soon as the words had left his lips, his temperature spiked once more. “Wait...do you want me to be your partner?!”
Miu’s life flashed before her eyes. She tried to speak, but her throat could only produce vague sounds of fear.
“WHICH ONE OF YOU DRANK THE ENTIRE CARTON OF JUICE?!”
The friends— perhaps soon-to-be lovers—looked towards the ceiling for the source of the sudden noise.
“I SWEAR TO GOD!”
A muffled speaker responded, but wasn’t loud enough for the bedroom’s occupants to make out what was being said.
“I DON’T WANT A LESSON ON THE FICKLE NATURE OF HOPE! I WANT A GLASS OF JUICE !”
“Hold that thought, Keebs.” She snipped, relieved to be out of her predicament. “SHUT THE FUCK UP! WE’RE TRYING TO HAVE A CONVERSATION HERE!”
“FOOL!” a different voice carried through the ceiling. “HOPE CANNOT BE SILENCED!”
“That’s it! You fuckers asked for this!” Miu popped open one of her suitcases and retrieved a metallic pink hammer.
“Please wait, Miu! Violence is not the answer here!”
“Don’t worry, Keebs, I’m not gonna hurt those shitwads.” She powered on the hammer, LEDs illuminating her devilish smirk. “I’m just gonna teach ‘em a lil lesson about respecting their intellectual superiors.”
Miu pounded on the upstairs neighbors’ door, weapon in hand. Keebo hid behind her, not wanting to encourage her rage, but also not wanting to leave her alone in case things went poorly.
As the solid metal door opened, Miu’s eyes scanned downwards before locking in a stare.
“Oh, Miu! I should have recognized your voice.” Chiaki tilted her head to get a look behind the inventor. “Oh, hey Keebo!” The android waved politely in return.
“Anyway, I’m here to put a stop to that fuckin’ shrieking I heard earlier.”
Chiaki peeked back into her apartment. “I’m really sorry about that...Hajime and Nagito got into a bit of an argument.” She grabbed her own elbow. “Hey, why don’t you two come inside and join us for dinner? It’ll be our way of saying sorry for the noise.”
Miu looked back at her companion as if to ask for his opinion.
“We would love to! Please forgive me in advance, though, as I cannot actually eat any of the food.”
Chiaki giggled at his endearing politeness. “I think it’ll be okay.”
The five Hope’s Peak graduates sat at a large table passing around a heaping serving bowl of stir-fried noodles.
“So, you’re all fuckin’ each other? Like, at the same time? Or does one of you have to sit and jerk it in the corner while they wait to get tagged in?”
“Miu!” Keebo could tell her question was meant in genuine curiosity, but it did little to quell his embarrassment.
“Well, sometimes we—”
“Don’t answer that.” Hajime shot at his boyfriend.
“Yep,” Chiaki began, “we’re all dating each other.”
“Fuckin’ hot! How’d that happen?”
“Well, Hajime and I got together a little while ago and I guess Nagito had the hots for both of us. Then, this year, we all started hanging out together a lot more and things just sorta happened from there...I think.”
Nagito looked up from his meal. “I’m just lucky they let trash like me hang around.”
“Nagito! What did I say about negative self-talk at the dinner table?”
“Ugh, fine, ma'am.” He returned, sarcastically.
Miu chomped eagerly at her food, having only eaten a muffin from the train station earlier that day.
“How’d a buncha plebs like you afford a place like this, anyay?”
Chiaki piped up once again. “It’s actually kind of a funny story! The website we were using to look for apartments had a sweepstakes, and of course RNG boy here won us free rent for a year.”
“Well, we can’t give all the credit to my luck; we also have our sugar momma here.”
“What is a ‘sugar momma’? Is that some kind of cooking device?”
“He’s referring to me.” the gamer chuckled. “I make a little money streaming video games online.”
“Oh! So, that would make Miu my sugar momma?”
The triad laughed; Miu almost drooled.
“Keebs...do me a favor and remember to call me that again in the future.”
Keebo pieced together that he’d made a social faux pas, but decided it would be better if he left it alone.
“Props to the chef, by the way. They really cooked the shit outta these noodles!”
Hajime smiled. “Thanks! I’ve been getting a lot of practice as the only chef in the group”
“Huh?” the android interjected. “Don’t the others help you at all?”
“We considered that at first, but he’s a walking fire hazard and she’s liable to fall asleep with the stove on.” He paused to slurp down several noodles. “On the bright side, I get out of doing the rest of the chores, so it evens out pretty nicely.”
After dinner, the neighbors all plopped onto the couches in the living room to digest. Within moments, Chiaki had fallen asleep stretched out across her boyfriends’ laps.
“Well,” Keebo whispered, “we should probably get going now. Thank you very much for your hospitality!”
The boys gently waved goodbye to the robot and his companion, making sure not to accidentally wake their girlfriend. Miu grabbed her hammer from the coat closet and the couple was soon on the way back to their new home to take care of unfinished business.
Hey! Hope you all enjoyed this chapter. Special thanks to tumblr user Gloomybluebella for the Komahinanami inspo! I am thoroughly on the triad train!
Chapter 4: Important Things
Miu and Keebo have the dreaded "What are we?" talk. Things get lewd.
The sweat on Miu’s hands glistened under the lights of the apartment stairwell as she and her roommate wordlessly descended the single flight of steps. Her mind raced, running through each possible line of questioning her beloved android might have in store for her. When they finally arrived at the door, she allowed him to be the first to enter, not wanting her palm to slip on the knob and reveal her anxiety.
“So, Miu...regarding our earlier conversation…”
“I...uh...we still have lots to unpack tonight!”
Kiibo sighed as best he could, given he had no lungs. “Miu, as much as it frightens us, it’s important we have this conversation. It would be irresponsible for us to begin our relationship as roommates without clarifying our feelings.”
As much as Miu hated to admit it, she knew he was right—dragging it out would just make things worse.
“C-Can we sit down somewhere to talk? I’m kinda shaky…”
“Of course. Perhaps moving to the bedroom would be best, in case you feel the need to lie down?”
The pair inched over to the bedroom before settling down upon either side of the large bed.
“Where should we begin? I’m unfamiliar with these sorts of conversations.”
You and me both, Keebs.
“Well, uh...you asked if I wanted to date ya.”
“Ah, yes.” Keebo nodded. “Perhaps my choice of words wasn’t optimal. Maybe I should ask it like this: Is there a possibility that our relationship will ever be more than that of platonic friends?”
The last three years of memories flooded Miu’s mind, soaking every crevice of her golden brain. From the day they’d met, she’d known there was no one like him. No one tried to see the good in her quite like he did. Try as she might, she could never drive him away— no matter how much she put up her defenses. He was the only one who truly saw past it all. He was the only one who really knew the true Miu Iruma and accepted her, flaws and all.
“I’d...I’d really like that.”
Warm, reddish light painted the inventor’s shaking frame as she attempted to steady herself. Rain tapped steadily on the bedroom window, underscoring the fragile scene.
“While I cannot say that I truly understand love, I am willing to learn if it’s with you.”
The android frantically moved his hands. “Ah—! I’m sorry if I said something presumptuous. I understand that relationships take time to mature. Perhaps it would be better if I—”
“No,” she took the stammering boy’s hands in hers, “it’s alright. Y-You can use that word.”
“In that case,” Keebo gazed into her pale blue eyes, “I think...I think that I love you.”
It began as a single quake felt throughout her entire body. In seconds, it was as though every molecule of her being was vibrating wildly, her very existence coming apart at the seams. Her arms wrapped themselves around Keebo—her anchor, her beacon of constancy in a chaotic world.
When the world finally settled down, the inventor sat back slightly, unsure of just how much time had passed. “I don’t know what I’d do without you, Keebs...You’re the only person who’s ever made me feel like...ugh it’s so fuckin’ cliche. But...I feel like I don’t have to pretend when it’s just you and me...and I...I’m just so fuckin’ scared of losing you.”
The robot leaned towards his sobbing partner, doing his best to envelop her body within his. “I’m not going anywhere, Miu. I promise.”
“Yes, I promise. I will devote my life to you, should you so desire.” His body welled with heat and something he did not yet recognize.
Miu brought her face up to his, pressing her lips against the soft, warm silicon of his. “I-I love you.” She whispered into his mouth, breaking the kiss. “I-I want to give my body to you.”
Keebo held his back up straight, attempting to remain brave in the face of waves of unfamiliar feelings. “I-I don’t think I know what I’m doing—or if I even have adequate modifications to perform such a duty!”
Miu smiled, her defenses completely down for the first time in memory. “Here,” she murmured, slowly undoing her shirt before placing his hands upon the exposed skin of her breasts. “I bet you’ve wanted to do this ever since you first got a look these titties.” She giggled slightly as she unfastened her bra, letting it fall to the soft surface of the bed. Miu then began undoing her plethora of straps and buckles before lowering her skirt. “I’m gonna move your hands down a little lower now. Is that alright?”
He nodded, lips shaky with silent anticipation.
“Good,” she purred, pausing momentarily to suckle his earlobe, “I think it’s about time you paid me back for all the work I’ve done on your body.”
Miu woke several hours later to a darkened bedroom, only illuminated by the occasional flash of lightning and Keebo’s charging light. The android, himself, lay half-sprawled on top of her, his head nestled in her chest. For once, everything was calm. Tomorrow would bring more conversations and hurdles, but for now, everything was simple.
The girl cuddled up closer to her lover and stroked his hair gently, the rain slowly lulling her back to sleep.
“Gooood morning, cutie!”
“Ah! Good morning, Miu! Did you sleep restfully?”
Miu stretched herself, her back and shoulders popping like automatic gunfire. “Hell yeah, I did! How’s the sleep mode mod treatin’ ya?”
“It is surprisingly comforting! Having a normal day and night cycle makes me feel much more in touch with human society!”
Miu grinned, helping her lover out of bed. “Of course it does! It was invented by yours truly!” She ogled Keebo’s ass before giving it a sharp spank. “Alright, kid! Time to hit the showers!”
“Do I smell?!”
“Fuck yeah, you smell! You smell like you just spent the night with a sweaty, nude, gorgeous girl genius!”
Keebo’s face reddened as he returned Miu’s offer of a high-five.
“Now, come on! I’ll get ya nice and clean.”
After retrieving their packed toiletries, the couple made their way into the bathroom. Once in the shower, Miu made a spectacle of lathering her partner as slowly and suggestively as possible.
“So, what’s it like to be bangin’ the hottest girl on earth, hot stuff?”
Keebo smiled, looking deeply into his girlfriend’s eyes as she rubbed conditioner into his long, thick hair.
“If you’re asking what it’s like to be your pair-bonded partner, I would say that it’s incredible! I’ve never felt such emotions before! I think I’m finally starting to finally understand why humans are so infatuated with the concept of love.”
Oh my god! Why is he so fuckin’ cute!?
“Time to rinse!” Miu shrieked, swooping up from behind him to run water through his hair. Her heart felt as though it was near bursting as she held his shorter frame, coating his hair with conditioner.
They giggled their way through the rest of their shower, eventually emerging free from the scent of last night’s activities.
“Now, hand me my drying gun! We’ve got shit to unpack!”
Thanks for reading this far! Short chapter today since I've been really busy with some other projects. This was kind of a tricky one to write but I like how it turned out. I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Chapter 5: Warming Up
Miu and Keebo unpack! Chiaki's gaming PC gets a virus!
“Miu, do we have to display all of your pornographic comic books in the living room? It seems like a rather strange place to put them.”
“No, Keebs—it’s perfect! If some prude comes to our place and gets their panties in a knot about ‘em, it’ll save us the trouble of hanging out with some loser!”
“Very well, then. I suppose that makes sense.” Keebo looked at the remaining pink luggage on the living room floor. “In that case, unpacking your last two suitcases is all we have left to do today!” He knelt down to examine the labels upon them. “What is the difference between ‘tools’ and ‘bedroom tools’? Are you planning on storing an extra set of wrenches and screwdrivers in the bedroom in case of an emergency?”
“Hah-hahaha. Not quite, Keebs.” She flipped open the lock on the case of ‘bedroom tools’. Implements and instruments of all sizes and shapes poured out, all awash in a sea of pink rope.
Keebo bent down, examining the spilled contents of his girlfriend’s bag with great curiosity. Before long, he’d fished out a long pink appendage attached to a leather harness. “Were you planning on attaching this to my body!?”
Miu giggled, blushing wildly and twirling a bit of hair between her nimble fingers. “Uh, not quite, Keebs…”
The android examined the object once again, realization blooming upon his face. “Miu!”
“Don’t worry, babe, whatever I attach to you is gonna be much bigger!” She winked, taking the harness from her partner. “I’ll just put all this in the bedroom for now.” Miu remarked as she dropped to her knees and started scooping her tools back into the suitcase. “I can teach ya what each one is for later!”
Keebo inspected the massive pile yet again. “Perhaps those candles could be a nice accent for the kitchen!”
“Aww, Keebs. My sweet, innocent robot boy. I’m gonna corrupt you so badly.” The inventor’s lips met her love’s cheek as she lifted the suitcase and carried it over to the bedroom.
The pair spent the remainder of the morning setting up Miu’s new laboratory. The garage itself was impressively large for a downtown space, and conveniently accessible via a backdoor next to the kitchen nook—perfect in the inevitable event of late-night inspiration! And though it lacked all the expensive machines of her Hope’s Peak lab, Miu was certain she could make do with the supplies she had access to—including the 3-D printer and waterjet cnc machine she’d ordered earlier in the week with some of her unallocated ping-pong funds. She was optimistic, despite her usual tendency to warm up slowly to new things.
While putting the last few touches on the lab, Miu felt her a sharp vibration from her chest. Her hand probed around inside her top, eventually returning with a small pink cell phone.
From: Maybe: Chiaki Nanami
Hey Miu! (✿◠‿◠) It’s Chiaki Nanami!!! (I got ur number from Nagito—not sure how he got it!!) Anyway, I was wondering if u could help me out with my computer! I was trying to...um...acquire a game that’s not in our region yet and now my PC won’t boot up right o(╥﹏╥)o I could pay u back for ur help!! (●´ω｀●)
Miu sighed, nervously considering her response. “Hey, Keebs, would it be alright if I maybe spend some time helping Chiaki with computer shit?”
“Of course! I’m sure she’d be grateful.” Keebo declared, proud of his partner for making an effort to be social. “She’s lucky to have a friend like you!”
“Uh, I don’t think she wants me as a friend...she probably only wants me for my golden brain. Of course, I can’t blame her ‘cause my brain is incredible, but—”
“Miu, I don’t think Nanami is the type of person to use people like that.”
“I guess that’s true. But I’m also not the type of person people just go and fuckin’ make friends with. I’m...intimidating.” She pouted slightly. “Maybe I shouldn’t go—I’ll tell her I got the shits or something. ”
“You became my friend, did you not? I’m certainly no expert on human friendships, but I think it’s important that you give it a try.”
“I don’t know…”
Keebo wracked his hard drive for some way to coax his girlfriend into socializing. “Miu, would you please go, just for me?” He did his best to mimic the puppy dog eyes he’d seen humans make countless times. “Oh, that’s not fuckin’ fair!”
Keebo’s bottom lip began to quiver, his eyes growing slightly wider.
“Fine, fine. I’ll fuckin’ do it—but I’m just in it for the cash. I’m not going to make friends and shit.” she conceded, preparing to leave the garage. “Oh, also, I know we don’t have wifi up yet, but I’ve got tons of shit on my laptop if you want to watch something while I’m out. It’s mostly animated shit, porn, and animated porn, but I’ve got a pretty good collection of all three!” she beamed, returning to her device.
“I will make sure to peruse it. Have a good time with your friend!”
To: Chiaki Nanami
I could fix that shit in my sleep! But ur gonna have to beg me real fuckin’ hard. Bring some padding 4 ur knees! >:)
From: Chiaki Nanami
Yay! Tytyty so much! ヾ(＠⌒▽⌒＠)ﾉ
To: Chiaki Nanami
And can u cut the fuckn dweeb emojis!!??
From: Chiaki Nanami
Fuck me, that girl is sickeningly sweet.
Chiaki thrust open the door to her office, uncovering a small room filled to the brim with gaming accessories, consoles, and miscellaneous pop-culture merchandise. A sizeable desk with a mint-green racing chair sat in the center of the far wall, the whole ensemble pulled together with a cute mix of pink and green accessories and lit by vibrant strings of fairy lights.
“Ho-ho-holy shit!” Miu walked over to one of the shelves adjacent to the desk, her eyes soon fixing upon a bulky grey glove sitting upon a small display pedestal. “A fuckin’ PowerGlove!?” Chiaki nodded proudly. “You ever, ya know, ‘flick the scroll wheel’ with this thing!?”
“Your loss, nerd girl!”
Chiaki shuffled over to her computer tower, running her hand across the metal casing as Miu further inspected the shelves. “So, um, I have some kind of virus...I think.”
Miu leaped into the gaming chair, cracking her knuckles. “Step aside, pleb! Let my genius brain do its job!” Dexterous fingers clacked away at the gamer’s LED-lit keyboard. “Talk to me while I work. Gotta multitask here.”
The purple-haired girl brought a finger up to her lips, pensively. “Hmm. What do you want to talk about?”
“I dunno. What kinda shit do friends normally talk about?”
As a former class rep, Chiaki was pleased to see that she might’ve been making progress on getting miu out of her shell. “Well...hmm...Did I tell you about Maki and Kaito?”
“What, did he finally say something that got his ass kicked?”
“No! Well, maybe. But what I meant is that Maki moved to be with Kaito!”
A flurry of mouse clicks accompanied Miu’s continued efforts to repair the computer. “No fuckin’ way. You still talk to her much?”
“Sorta! We play Counter Strike sometimes when I can pressure her into it.” A slow yawn punctuated her speaking. “So, anyway, we were playing the other night and she mentioned that she wasn’t gonna be able to get online for a while because she got hired for a job in a new city! I pressed her on it a bit and she’s totally moving to the city Kaito’s in!” The gamer clenched her hands in excitement.
“No shit?! Wasn’t he supposed to be at some kind of ‘super secret training facility’?”
Chiaki giggled. “I guess he couldn’t keep it a secret from his Maki Roll.”
“Well, good for them, I guess. Sucks for the brats who’ll have to avoid her wrath now!” She stood up from the extravagant chair with a start. “Already done! I’m the fuckin’ best!”
“Yay! Thank you so much, Miu. How can I pay you back?”
The inventor paused. “Well...uh, it was way too easy so payin’ me would be kinda pathetic on your part. How about ya just ask me to hang out again sometime—in front of Keebo. And use the word friend when you do it!”
“I think I could do that!”
Miu pulled at her hair lightly. “Oh, and you better not fuckin’ ghost on me or anything!”
“I won’t, Miu.” Chiaki put a hand over her heart. “I promise!”
“Miu! Welcome home! How was socializing?”
The door swung shut behind the inventor as she entered the apartment. “Hey Keebs. It was alright—her computer problem was fuckin’ laughable, though. Then again, not everyone has an eye for technology like I do!”
“I am glad to hear that! I’m very proud of you!”
Miu leapt prone onto the couch, stretching herself over the android’s lap. “Yeah, yeah. How was bein’ without me? Ya have enough time to rub one out?”
Kiibo looked at her, puzzled. “I do not know what that means, but I did watch an animated program that was very upsetting! These sea creatures were suspicious that their employer was a robot and proceeded to commit terrible crimes against him! It was incredibly robophobic!”
“Aww, babe!” she curled around her distraught robot, thrusting her chest into his face. “Oh fuck, you’re burnin’ up! Glad to know you like these tits that much!”
He paused to regulate his internal heat. “Your choice to call me by a romantic pet name fills me with emotion! I have not experienced it before.”
She shifted until the android was squarely in her lap, her arms crossing around his chest plate. “You’re a fuckin’ dork, babe.”
Chapter 6: A New Invention and a Bad Idea
A run-in at the grocery store! Smoothies! A new invention!
“Ugh. My fuckin’ crap factory needs a refuel.” the inventor complained, lifting her shirt to rub her midriff.
“Perhaps it would be best if we stock up on food today?”
“Yeah, you’re probably right.” She paused. “Obviously ya won’t need anything, but do you wanna come with? Y’know, just to keep me company or whatever.”
“Of course!” Keebo’s gaze lingered bashfully upon the shaggy pink floor. “Since it is our first outing as a romantic couple, could we perhaps hold hands?”
“Hell fuckin’ yeah we can! I’m gonna hold the living shit outta your hand!” she bellowed, lacing her fingers with her partner’s.
Miu made sure their hands remained intertwined for the entirety of the train ride to the market, eagerly showing off the display of affection to all passersby. Upon finally arriving at the shop, she scooped up a basket, still not breaking her grip on her lover’s hand.
The couple wandered the aisles, picking up a wide assortment of foods for Miu. Soon, the basket was loaded with all sorts of ingredients—bell peppers, chocolate chips, beef stock, creatine powder, spinach, fish oil, and turmeric powder, among others. Though there seemed to be no reasoning behind her choices, she assured Keebo that everything was specially selected for making “hyper-efficient brain fuel”.
To finish off the haul, they ventured to the frozen desert section, where Miu filled the remainder of the basket with a variety of confections.
“Oh, fuck me.” Miu groaned, surveilling the other end of the aisle.
Across the long hall of freezers stood two familiar women. One wore an elegant baby blue coat, her hair tied into a single blonde ponytail behind her head; the other sported a green jacket and tweed pants, a camera bag hanging from her side. The former was, at that moment, jumping excitedly as she held up a brightly colored box of mochi ice cream.
“But don’t eat them all tonight! You remember what happened last time, don’t you?”
“Fiiiiiiine! But since I’m paying you have to feed them to meeee!”
The shorter girl turned, revealing her red hair to be shaved on one side. “Alright,” she poked the blonde girl’s midsection with a single finger, “but I’m gonna have to take a shot of that cute face you make when you get brain freeze!”
A moment later, the two parties locked eyes, both mortified that the girls’ intimate moment hadn’t been entirely private.
“Oh look, it’s Perv Girl and Robo-Twink!”
Keebo and Miu stammered, trying desperately to defuse the palpable awkwardness.
Hiyoko Saionji put her arms tight around her girlfriend, “What, haven’t seen a couple of lesbians buying ice cream before?”
“I’m sorry! We didn’t mean to overhear your conversation!” Keebo exclaimed.
The dancer grinned, her nose in the air. “You’re lucky I’m in such a good mood tonight—I’m gonna let you off with a warning.” She giggled under hear breath. “But, that’s only if you apologize to Mahiru!”
The photographer, blushing, grabbed her right arm as Miu and Keebo stuttered out an apology to her. Her girlfriend smiled devilishly the entire time, clearly amused.
“Good job! Now, get lost!”
Still stricken by discomfort, the offending couple stumbled away, making their way to the register and out of the market.
After a short return trip during which Miu had to explain the meaning of the word ‘twink’, the couple began unpacking their bounty in the kitchen. Miu walked over to their heavy-duty chrome blender, loading its glass pitcher with a combination of her newly-purchased ingredients.
“Miu, I know I don’t understand the human sense of taste, but that looks...disgusting.”
“It doesn’t taste all that fuckin’ great, but it does save me a shitload of time that I’d normally waste on cooking, eating, and doing dishes!”
The blender roared to life, churning the yellowish mess.
“Is this absolutely necessary? I’m afraid you might become ill if this is all you consume.”
“Relax.” The woman shot as the blender whirred to a stop. “I’ve got plenty o’ ice cream and sweet shit to supplement the smoothies!” She removed the pitcher’s lid, bringing the glass rim up to her lips. “Well, here’s to you, Keebs.” Miu tilted the glass, allowing the nutritional sludge to slide down her throat.
Keebo watched in horror as his girlfriend’s throat constricted and relaxed as she chugged the beverage. The aroma of fish and turmeric permeated the kitchen air. “I...I think I’m gonna be sick.”
Miu smiled, setting down an empty pitcher and wiping a smoothie mustache from her upper lip. “Chill, babe. I wouldn’t fuckin’ dream of giving you a gag reflex modification; it’s all in your head!” She chased her concoction with several gulps of water from the faucet. “Speaking of modifications—I have a new invention and a bad idea!”
“It’ll be safe! Promise!”
Keebo pondered the implied offer. “Hmm...I am nervous about what this could entail, but...the internet told me trust is important in romantic relationships, so I’m going to put my trust in you!”
“Fuck yeah! It’s gonna be so much fun! I mean, hangin’ out with you is always fun, but this’ll be extra crazy fun! Just give me a minute to grab my shit!”
A little while later, Miu exited the bedroom adorned by a soft pink robe, her hands cradling a little grey box. “C’mon!” Her face beamed as she took her partner’s hand. Soon, the pair was tip-toeing down the hallway, their stealth thwarted by the flip-flopping of Miu’s sandals.
“Where are we—?”
Miu put a single finger in front of her lips as they rounded the corner. The little grey box soon came out of her robe, her fingers adjusting a set of dials on the device. Once it seemed like she’d completed the setup process, she placed the box onto the card reader of the door nearest to them.
The electronic lock’s indicator light blinked green and the inventor smuggled both herself and her lover inside the door.
Warm, wet air and the scent of chlorine wafted all around the inside of the darkened room.
“Miu…I really appreciate the gesture, but you know I cannot swim.” He frowned.
“Shh.” Miu snipped, pulling him deeper into the room. They ventured further until they turned a corner to a steam-filled back area. The girl flipped a small switch on the adjacent wall and a warm greenish glow lit up a spacious hot tub before them. Another button press and a bubbling maelstrom of jets filled the tub.
“Voila! Romance!” Miu stood with her hands on her hips, proud as ever. “Aaaaand one more thing.” her hands slowly slipped off her robe, revealing a lacy black two-piece swimsuit. “Betcha thought I was naked, ya pervert!”
Keebo averted his eyes, trying desperately to regulate his internal temperature in the face the heat from both the hot tub and his scantily-clad genius.
Miu’s speech quickened, her eyes growing with panic. “What? Y-You don’t like it? I could get naked if you’d prefer! That was sorta the plan anyway!!”
“No...It’s...I think you look really beautiful like this.” He stammered.
“Admittedly, I don't quite understand human standards of—Miu!”
A flash of splashes and flailing limbs filled the android’s field of view. Immediately, rushed into action, braving the chest-deep water for the sake of his beloved. Seconds later, his hands were under his partner, holding her head above the water. “Miu! Are you alright?!”
The girl pulled her wet hair from her eyes and looked up at her lover. “Oh fuck!” she laughed. “Guess I wasn’t ready for that.”
“Miu, I’m so sorry! You could’ve hit your head!”
“Relax! It’s gonna take way more than that to take out a goddess like me!” She pressed her lips against the robot’s. “Besides, it was really sweet of you...I could tell you really meant it.”
After a quick adjustment into a more comfortable position, the couple laid together in the warm water, silently appreciating each other’s presence. Miu studied each beautiful angle and precisely-cut edge of Keebo’s metallic frame. He, in turn, examined the natural curves and valleys of her body; though he still didn’t quite grasp human ideals of attractiveness, he knew he genuinely found Miu to be beautiful. Eventually, their gazes crossed paths and they relaxed into each other’s eyes. Neither knew how much time had passed, but neither really cared.
“See! Can you believe it?!” A voice echoed from the doorway.
“Babe, do you remember that upgrade I installed for that class trip to the beach last year?”
Realising her mind was actively forming a plan, he nodded.
She quietly flipped off the lights and jets, stowing her robe and sandals on a nearby table. She whispered to him, “Good. I’m gonna use it now, okay?”
Komaeda crept through the dimly-lit space, his partners trailing closely behind.
“So, Nagito, you were just walking by and this place was unlocked?” Chiaki asked.
“Yeah! It’s so lucky! We have the entire place to ourselves!”
The three bathing suit-clad trespassers stepped carefully upon the shiny blue and white tiles of the pool area.
“Well, I can’t say that I think this is a great idea,” Hajime began, “but it should be fine as long as we don’t do anything stupid.” He glared at his boyfriend. “Right, Nagito?”
“Of course! Nothing stupid.” He looked around the dampened space. “So, what’s first? The pool? Maybe we could get the sauna working!”
Chiaki piped up. “How about we use one of the jacuzzis? Saunas make me dizzy and I don’t have a good feeling about swimming around in the dark.”
After quiet agreements from the two male members, the triad set a course for the rear hot tub area.
“If I remember correctly, they should be back here...I think.” Chiaki led them around the corner to the back of the pool area. Steam glistened as it turned to droplets upon their skin.“I think there should be a light here somewhere! Hajime, can you try over by that wall?”
Hinata nodded and walked over to the aforementioned wall. “How strange. Someone left a really nice looking robe out here.” He paused to inspect the rest of the area. “Ah! Here’s the light!”
The bulbs came on, revealing to the trio a baffling sight. Through the chlorine green tint of the water, they could see their two downstairs neighbors embracing beneath the surface. The woman’s mouth was placed squarely over her partner’s as though performing a needlessly-showy open mouth kiss.
The five sets of eyes all darted back and forth, everyone trying to make sense of the scene. The submersed lovers soon surfaced, Miu removing her lips from Keebo.
“Thank fuck! I forgot how small that air tank is.”
The trio examined the scene, dumbfounded.
“What?! Can’t suck face in a hot tub after hours anymore?”
“How did you two get in here?” Chiaki asked.
“Oh, I bypassed the lock on the door with a new gadget I put together! Pretty genius, huh?” Miu looked over the confused, bikini-clad gamer. “Y’know, those are WAY bigger than I thought they’d be!”
Nagito—the one seemingly the least fazed by the whole ordeal—jumped casually into the hot tub. “Mind if we join you?”
Hey! Did you enjoy the chapter? Feel free to send me questions and comments at ask.fm/snowy_fish !
Chapter 7: Strange Powers
Hajime, Nagito, and Chiaki join Miu and Keebo in their after-hours shenanigans. Nagito talks about hope.
“So this little device can open any door in the building?” Nagito queried, rotating the device in his hands.
“Any electronic door! So, as long as it’s not an apartment door, this bad boy’s got it covered!”
“How incredible! Your talent for invention is so deeply inspiring!”
Miu shot a half-creeped-out look at Chiaki. “Does he always fuckin’ talk like this?”
The gamer smiled. “He means well!”
“I getcha.” Miu pointed at Keebo, who was now lounging at her side. “This one’s sweet as shit but speaks like he’s got a fuckin’ dictionary crammed up his ass!”
Keebo sat upright. “Hey! That’s ignorant! You, of all people, should know that my language modulation center is located in my head!”
While Miu explained the joke to the android, Hajime lifted his arms from his partners’ shoulders and examined his hands. “Hey, not to complain, but I’m getting pretty pruned. Maybe we should get out soon.”
Miu looked at her own hands. “Ah fuck! My fingers haven’t been this wrinkled since that summer my parents sent me to an all-girl engineering camp!”
A collective groan emerged from the other bathers.
“Hajime’s right; we should get out. However, that doesn’t mean the night has to be over…” Nagito paused to look longingly at nothing in particular. “Miu, would you be willing to unlock the roof lounge?”
Miu jumped up from the tub. “Hell yeah, I would! Let’s do some fuckin’ crimes!”
The five friends stepped off the elevator, having just arrived on the Twentieth floor. They stood on the balls of their feet, sneaking past the maintenance office and towards the rooftop door.
“So, how does this work?” Chiaki asked in a hushed tone. “Do you have to play some kind of tedious little minigame or something?”
Miu shook her head, pressing her device against the door.
The inventor carefully pushed open the door and motioned for the rest of her friends to follow. After two more hallways of stealthy tiptoeing, the crew found themselves standing on an empty rooftop terrace.
“Oh man! I’m the fuckin’ coolest! Did you all see that?! That was some Mission Impossible shit!” Miu beamed.
“A regular Sam Fisher!” Chiaki laughed.
“I don’t know who the fuck that is, but I’m gonna take it as a compliment, Nerd Girl!”
Keebo gazed out over the railing, taking in the sight of the nightscape. Muted neons of blue, pink, and purple graced the foggy evening streets below. Ahead of him, the skyline continued out seemingly into infinity—though Keebo knew it met the mountains somewhere in the vast darkness.
“Incredible. I’ve...never seen the city like this before.”
The other trespassers turned to acknowledge the android’s comment, and were likewise taken captive by the beauty of the slumbering metropolis. Miu, not usually the type to care about something of the sort, found herself lost in admiration while resting in the crook of her lover’s neck.
“I wanted to ask you all,” Nagito began after several silent minutes, “what was the hope that brought you here? What drive led you to this place at this very moment?”
Through some combination of the skyline’s beauty, soaking in the hot water, and that mystical sensation of being awake in the deepest hours of the night, the party was swayed to ponder his question rather than dismiss the lofty language.
Keebo was the first to break the contemplative silence. “I suppose I hope to learn what love is—not in an academic sense, but in the way that humans write about it. I want to know it in the way that all the humans who have lived, toiled, fought, and died in its name have known it.”
Miu, moved by her lover’s words, opened her mouth almost reflexively. “I guess...I guess I also hope that I can learn what love is—and not just fucking or whatever...I want to know what it’s like to have someone actually want to spend time with me…”
Did I really just fuckin’ say that out loud?! Maybe that lucky freak does have some kind of strange powers.
A few moments later, Hajime began to speak. “I hope to make a future worth fighting for.” He turned to the other members of the triad. “For you two. For my friends. For everyone.”
Chiaki gripped his hand tightly. “That’s my hope, as well. I think...I want to make a happier world for every one of us, even if it’s just on a small scale for now.” The girl paused for a little while, taking in the night air. “What about you, Nagito? What’s the hope that led you here?”
Komaeda smiled, fully expecting the question. “My hope is to help you all realize your hopes.” He laughed. “But, if we’re referring to the hope that brought me here specifically…” His voice trailed off into a whisper as he murmured something in his partners’ ears.
“Really?” Hajime questioned.
Chiaki giggled. “C’mon, it’ll be cute.”
Nagito, still wrapped in a towel, stepped upon the rungs of the railing. In tandem, Hajime and Chiaki brought their hands around either side of his waist, steadying him as he climbed.
With his balance secured, Komaeda took a deep breath and straightened his body. “I’M THE KING OF THE WORLD!”
“Fuck!” Miu snapped.
Chiaki pulled Nagito from the railing. “I didn’t know he was actually gonna yell!”
“Come on!” the inventor snipped. “We need to get out of here before security comes by!”
After a giggle-filled escape and exchange of goodnights, Miu found herself once again surrounded by silence. She lay curled up against her love, twisting her body around his smaller frame. Though it had been less than a week, she was quickly realizing there was no other way she wanted to end each day.
That realization both comforted and terrified her. It was comforting in that, for once, she had a vision of what a happy future for herself could actually look like. It was horrifying in that, if this was truly her happiness, she believed it could all be undone if she screwed up badly enough.
Her mind wandered to Keebo’s words from that night. Did he really mean what he’d said? If he had, would she really be able to show him that kind of love? She wondered if she was even capable of it.
Fingers shaking, she deactivated Keebo’s sleep mode.
“Miu! Did my timer malfunction?” His eyes opened to the tear-covered face of his lover. “What’s wrong?! Did something happen?!”
She buried her face in his neck.
“Are you alright?!”
“P-please don’t leave me…” she stammered.
“P-please don’t leave me.” She sniffed, wiping her tears on his surface. “I...can’t lose this…this is the only time I’ve ever really been happy with my life.”
Keebo began to rub his hand in a circular motion on her back. “I’m not going anywhere, ever—remember? I made a promise to you.”
“B-but...what if I can’t give you the love you need? Do you even think I can really love anyone?”
“I know you can, my love. I know because of all the love you’ve shown me ever since we first met...even though you didn’t have the words to tell me how you felt.”
Keebo continued holding Miu as she cried out her nerves. Eventually, the girl’s sobbing tired her out and she drifted to sleep, still in his arms. He opted to neglect his sleep function and instead stayed on watch through the night, just in case his love woke up once again.