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Rediscovery

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12/28?/19

Heyo
I guess this is a usual for me then
Okay so this may be updated in like 2020
I’m not sure
buuuuut I am taking a few pointers from WEBTOON and doing this; writing a few ahead and writing quickly so that I don’t get discouraged!
when I say 2020 i mean I may start uploading the chapters in 2020. Maybe weekly, maybe bi-weekly, but I know I will be uploading it then
I’m trying to write this as fast as I can because I realized something
when I’m on a break from school i have, like, a shit ton more time to write and the muse to do it too
so I’m doing that now and i may slow down as high school comes back up again
I can’t make promises i end up breaking them
I will publish an excerpt of this so you guys have something to wait for, but unfortunately as of writing this i have 3 chapters done (almost starting a fourth one) so i don't have a lot to choose from yet
but hopefully the summary is enough to hook you in nonetheless

12/30/19
Kay
so no stray kids
after thinking about it for awhile i decided against writing them any more in this book because i feel like a Stan writing about real people please respect my decision
but i did add some danganronpa characters from the third game
i dont know much about it so I’m doing more research on them but i know who i want in it because the’re generally funny characters
plus honestly i think kaede’s strong personality is good for makoto so expect some bonding between them
i have five chapters written but the chapters are not long in my opinion
the longest chapter is 1.6K and that was on a good day the shortest is the fifth one which isn’t even 1K
it’s been awhile since I’ve written so i understand but it still upsets me
i do have a solid plot for this book though so i think I’ll finish it

12/31/19
i have my story laid out in beats and so far im 4.5 of the way through (there are sixteen)
if you have no idea what i am referring to please visit Alexa Donne ‘Save the Cat’ (also because she’s a great author and had great writing advice.)
so with that in mind i have about 28% of the book done
when you compare 4.5 to 28% then 28% sounds a lot further than 4.5
so far i have 6 chapters done and a 7th on the way

1/3/20
Happy Late New Year!
So far I’m in Act II and I’m really enjoying it. I’m still configuring on how to go about some points, mostly the midpoint part, but I’m really happy with how things are turning out. It’s not my best piece of writing, I believe, but it’s the best plot I’ve come up with. (I mean plot that I’ve gone through with.)
There’s thirteen weeks from the time my school starts to spring break and I only have 8 full chapters done. I’m starting on the ninth one right now. By the time my school starts up I should have 11 done. Whether or not that get’s accomplished I’m not sure.
Also (light TROS spoilers)

 

Was everyone satisfied with how TROS ended? I liked the round-about way it went but everything before that (from the 60-70% range and on) I wasn’t satisfied with. I did cry though because it’s the last movie.

 

 

1/8/20

i have kept my promise for awhile and an update will happen this Friday. I have nine chapters done so as of right now there won’t be a new chapter every week.

i do want to start a new book with Danganronpa but a different AU and a different protagonist. Similar with Makoto and his rediscovery as a person but the protagonist was severely fucked up previously.

 

1/21/20

So far I have a total of ten chapters done with 12,162 words and counting. Since the midpoint is, well, where it is I expected it to be double that. Like if the midpoint was 11 then it would be 22 chapters done in total. Instead around 11K is the midpoint word count and the word count should be double that. I’m worried that I won’t be able to reach that because then I’ll feel like I rushed the ending of Act II and on.

I’m really thinking about Makoto’s character and whether he’s grown or not. I really haven’t thought about his character as much because I’m mostly thinking/writing on autopilot. I’ve never gotten this far in a book before and I’m really proud of myself. I hope I’ve done a good job and that you all enjoy it.

 

2/1/20

guess what

I have three left until the entire book is finished

I am currently at 15K which is a huge milestone for me

I can write longer but as I said I am just coming out of a long hiatus

The book itself isn't very long. 15K words with just 13 chapters. For some that's easy, for others it's not. I'm somewhere in the middle

I made another plot for an arcana fanfic and still haven't even thought of something for that connor fanfic

oh

I just forgot I was doing a nagito one

shit

I swear I have my shit together

 

In more comprehensible terms: Hi, Hello, I've been sick for two days. I have some issues with my body to sort out so that's why I didn't update Chapter III on time. I am a bit loopy and tired for some reason as of writing this at 4 in the afternoon. I woke up at 10, why am I tired. Anyway, a lot of shit with my head has happened since I last updated. Nothing bad just daydreaming stuff. I've been playing the routes of The Arcana with Lucio's route, and now Muriel's, and I wanted to start a fanfic on Asra/OC and Lucio/OC but love triangle. That's gonna be a doozy. I haven't thought of the other books if I'm being honest but remembering what I had planned for them I definitely do want to continue them. I don't know how long it's going to be until I get to them or when I write a comprehensible plot for them but I will get to them. I planned it in this order: Makoto, Nagito, Connor, The Arcana. So I may go in that order.

Like I said I am almost done with this book. I have three chapters to go and then I'm done. I will still post them weekly since I have enough to go through until May 1st. Each chapter is relatively short and therefore this book is short. The current chapter countage is 13 with 15K words. By the end of it I suspect either 17 or 18K words. I try for each book I write to be enough for a Novellette because it makes me feel somewhat professional. Of course this plot isn't the most structured but I made sure to put my all into it because I'm the one that thought of it. There will be a total of 16 chapters.

I need to make a structured plot for Nagito Komeda and what his story is going to be. I have a general idea but no structured plot. I have good and well thought out characters for each writing, including original characters, so that it adds more spice than having general characters like this one. It's not going to be as long as this one but it will still be relatively long. Not 16 chapters, no, just a short plot with a beginning, middle, and end. The Arcana has a full fledged plot that is all over the place and Connor, is well, Connor.

2/14/20

Happy double Valentines Day!! Friday is the day of love and is the planet of Venus. Venus is a Roman Goddess in their mythology but Venus’ counterpart is Aphrodite!

I have made a full and great plot for the Nagito fanfic. It’s going to be called For Better or For Worse. I like the plot since I structured it better than I did for Rediscovery. I decided not to include one chapter so it’s now 15 chapters and at 16.8K. So the last chapter will be on April 24th.

 

2/26/20

Hey guys, I’ll keep updating this as I am done but I am going through some serious family issues. I’m not...happy to say the least. It’s nothing bad like having shitty parents but it is significant enough to make me saddened and depressed. I am so happy for my senior year but I am almost afraid for the future to come. I feel like you guys don’t care about that but I know you do. As a fanfic reader when an author gives a personal update I care about them, so I know the same is for you guys. I’m just not in a good mental place right now.

Chapter Text

Makoto’s cheek felt cold as his head felt stiff. The last time he had felt like this was when he was waking up on the desk in Hope’s Peak Academy. The solid wood underneath his arm as a slight drop of drool dripped down his mouth. He could only remember that day as it was the fateful day that made him have to question every motive and everyone.

So that’s what woke him up from the cold tile floor.

Remembering those few weeks in his head threw him off. His chest felt heavy and his eyesight became blurry. His body drooped and hung as he tried walking but all he could do was fall to his knees.

He didn’t know why it affected him so much when Byakuya could walk off without batting an eye. Maybe he was pathetic? Maybe he couldn’t deal with the trauma as the others did?

He looked down to his hands which strained and shook as he sat there. He felt wet? He shook his head with he noticed that salty tears streamed down his face and onto his hands. He swallowed thickly and tried getting up once again but felt back down. His hands and arms started shaking violently as if he didn’t have control.

No! He couldn’t let her have control! Not again! He couldn’t bear another killing game…

Someone was in front of him holding his hands but he didn’t notice as it was drowned out of the sobs came out. He didn’t know what caused him to cry like this. He was better than this! Or so he thought…all he knew was that he was tired.

“Hey, it’s okay.”

Soft hands rested on Makoto’s as he sat there pathetically crying. He didn’t care how people viewed him because all he could think of was those few weeks. He gritted his teeth and squeezed the person’s hand.

“Is it happening again?”

“Is what happening again?” their voice was soft as they spoke to him, which he guessed was good since he felt too sensitive.

“Are you talking about the killing game, Naegi?”

He knew that bastard's voice. As much as he wanted to punch the guts out of him he knew he was too weak to even lay a hand on him. Makoto found the strength in him to stand up and with some profound force, he yelled at him.

“Well is it? Do we have to go through another? I can’t...I just can’t…” Makoto found himself falling again and the mysterious person holding him.

“Don’t worry about that. We’re not locked in,” Byakuya said unconcerned, “Junko Enoshima said herself she didn’t have another one planned.”

Wiping the snot and tears off Makoto finally looked at Byakuya in the eyes. He never liked looking pathetic in Byakuya’s prescience but he couldn’t help it. “Isn’t she dead?”

“Well I’m not!” she, Junko herself, stomped into the room. “I was supposed to be dead but I’m here!”

“Mondo Owada, Chihiro Fujisaki, Sayaka Moizono, Leon Kuwata, Celestia Ludenberg, and Kiyotaka Ishimaru are all alive as well. We couldn’t find Sakura Ogami, Yasuhiro Hagakure, or Hifumi Yamada.”

Makoto couldn’t move his feet or even breath. He realized this when the mysterious person told him to breathe. It was like he had eaten a weight and his stomach couldn’t pick itself up. He just felt so sick and unresponsive. All he could do was look at the very alive Junko Enoshima in front of him.

“We should get him to a place he can sit down,” the person spoke to Byakuya, “he’s going through some type of shock.”

Byakuya crossed his arms and walked away while sneering at Makoto. “I’m not carrying him.”

The mysterious person scoffed at Byakuya. “He’s been like that since we all woke up. Is he always like that?”

Makoto weakly laughed as his head hung down. His legs couldn’t carry him but he used that last ounce of strength to walk. Makoto nodded grunting to keep up with the speed the stranger was at.

“Yeah, he’s usually like that.” Makoto wheezed, “I’m Makoto Naegi.”

“Saihara Shuichi.”


“Makoto!”

It felt like a dream. Here he was standing and the arms of Sayaka wrapped around him. His mind fell blank as he looked at the victims that had died before his very eyes. He could feel himself shake again as he remembered the lifeless eyes of those who sat before him. He couldn’t bring himself to hug Sayaka. She was the one who tried to frame him of murder after all.

“Makoto?”

“Don’t touch me,” he muttered. “How are you alive?”

Sayaka looked at her hands. “I—I don’t know. I just woke up.”

“Junko is this your doing?” Makoto looked to Junko who looked unbothered.

“No, I don’t know a damn thing about it if I’m being honest.”

A familiar black and white bear popped its from behind the couch. “Heyo! I know something you don’t!”

“Then, Monokuma, tell us,” Junko sighed. “I’m surprised you’re still working.”

Ignoring the Fashionista Monokuma continued, “Someone said that we’re all supposed to live in this dorm? I don’t know why but I know that’s what they said.”

Mukuro grabbed the bear and shook him. “Tell us who, you stupid bear!”

“Ah ah, remember Mukuro I explode.”

Mukuro seethed in anger and threw the bear to Junko. Makoto couldn’t understand how everyone was so at ease in this situation. They didn’t have to go through the killings again? They weren’t locked up? So were they free to go as they please?

“You’re as transparent as a glass closet, Makoto,” Byakuya rolled his eyes, “we were told to come to this town, stay in this dorm, all while we have a free ride in college.”

“Wait,” Makoto closed his eyes and gripped his hair as his head started hammering, “what happened on the plane?”

“You got drunk,” Aoi told him softly, “Are you okay?”

Makoto groaned and held his head in pain. His panic attack wasn’t needed? It was like time had doubled back and it was all a cruel joke put on Makoto. He had just witnessed the deaths of his friends and now they were on their way to college? Junko didn’t seem to have a clue on how she was alive.

“I’m fine, Aoi. How are you alive though, Junko and the others I mean.”

“Like I said,” Junko rolled her eyes and snapped, “I don’t know. The moment you guys arrived everyone sorta passed out from alcohol and the dean came by.”

“We didn’t come in until later,” another voice spoke up, “not drunk but sleep deprived that we didn’t notice everyone else.”

“And who are you?” Makoto groaned holding his head.

“Miu.”

Shuichi helped Makoto sit down on the chair and stayed by his side as Makoto let everything sink in. Makoto put his head between his legs and gripped at his hair in pain from the alcohol. He couldn’t wrap his head around the sudden timing he was brought into. His head hurt from the thinking and the hangover he had. It was like a pounding in his head and one that he couldn’t stop.

“I’ll get him water,” another voice said, “I’m Kaede, by the way.”

Makoto nodded while looking at Kaede who walked away. “Okay, so, we’re in this dorm. People I knew who had died are now alive. Now we have other people that are living with us.”

Leon nodded. “Yup. Thanks for the punishment, Junko.”

“Anytime, Baseball Player.”

Chapter Text

Makoto still found it hard to believe that he had to look at a very alive Sayaka every day. They all said they didn’t know how they came back, so it was very strange for him to believe. Were they dead at all? He saw Leon get beat with a thousand blows and Sayaka with a knife in her chest. He couldn’t believe that they were alive all this time.

“Calm down,” Shuichi had put a hand on Makoto’s shoulder as they walked to the college together, “you’re shaking really bad.”

Makoto looked at his hands to see that he indeed was shaking. It was like last time; he had no control over his body. He swallowed the spit he didn’t know he was holding, and let out a shaky sigh. His eyesight became blurry again and he laughed.

“Why are you laughing?”

The voice this time was Kaede, a girl from the other group. Both looked at Makoto with a concerned look but he didn’t mind at all. He was just weak, right? He was going to take pride in that fact and go through with it.

“I think I should sit down,” Makoto spoke, his voice raspy.

The two followed Makoto over to a bench sitting on both sides of him. Kaede dug in her bag for something while Shuichi rubbed the boy’s shoulder. Makoto didn’t know what was wrong, but he knew after the many deaths he had witnessed this feeling was normal.

“You want to tell us what’s wrong?” Shuichi asked him, “You don’t have to tell us.”

Makoto let out another shaky sigh mixed in with a laugh. “I don't know?” he questioned himself more than he did Shuichi. “It just happens sometimes. Maybe it’s because I’m weak—“

“You’re not weak,” Kaede told him handing him a bottle of water, “they’re called panic attacks. Those are usually caused by triggers.”

“Triggers?”

“Yeah,” Kaede continued, “like a stressful job or a phobia or something. They’re completely normal. If we can find out what’s causing yours then we can stop them before they happen.”

“That’s a little harder than you think,” Makoto said absorbing the information given to him. “It’s caused by overthinking, seeing those people…”

“Hey, I didn’t say we’d help you directly,” Kaede stressed. “We can help, but you have to help yourself first.”

Help himself? He didn’t even know where to start. Would anyone even understand what he wanted to say? Damn, he didn’t even know what he wanted to say. He just knew there was constant oblivion inside of him and he couldn’t find a way out. It was like something was eating him whole.

“Drink,” Kaede urged Makoto to take the bottle out of her hands. “You’re shaking again.”

Makoto took the drink, again, out of Kaede’s hand and started drinking it. He didn’t know why, his mouth wasn’t dry, but he just needed to get that disgusting taste out of his mouth. Every time he goes into another fit of panic it’s like this; there’s this off-tasting spit in his mouth and he has the sudden urge to throw up.

The three sat in silence for a moment while Makoto got the strength to get up. His legs felt slow but he had the stability to hold his own ground now.

“Don’t worry about me, okay?” Makoto said with a weak smile not looking at either of them. “I’ll be fine.”


Makoto can’t remember why he signed up for this class, but he knew that it would help with getting extra hours in. His academic counselor told him that he had to have another class or else. He didn’t want to know what that ‘else’ was.

He didn’t mind the professor. They were fine enough. Not anything extra about them, as in personality or strictness, but nothing boring about them either. Was this what it was like to be average?

When he looked at Junko, who was also in class somewhat paying attention, he felt that sudden sense of dread again. That nasty taste back in his mouth and seeing his vision start to shake.

He didn’t realize how calloused his hands were until he was brought back to the classroom. Right, he was in the classroom and he was rubbing his hands together to the point they felt rough. He was sitting down, he could feel the cold surface of the desk on his hands as he flattened them. He swallowed thickly taking a drink of the water Kaede had given him.

It went away; the shaking, the dread, everything. He had calmed down. So this was how he was supposed to care for himself?

“Get out you rugrats,” the professor waved them off as the clock hit one-thirty.

It was strange but walking down the university corridors felt comforting. Actually seeing a normal school for once instead of a vacant hallway passing by someone who might murder you. He still looks over his shoulder every-so-often, but not much anymore. It was as if the more people the better. He didn’t want to be alone.

“How are ya, Ultimate Hope!” Junko, being taller than Makoto, put an arm around his neck and started to squeeze little by little. “Enjoying freedom?”

“Junko leave me alone.” he pushed himself off of her. “Besides if you think I forgive you for all of that…stuff…you pulled on us at Hope’s Peak then you can put a sock in it.”

“I know, I know,” she waved it off as if it was nothing, “I don’t care about your forgiveness. I’m here now so it’s not like I can leave or anything.”

“Didn’t you kill yourself though? So you could do that again.”

Junko pouted and hit Makoto’s arm. “That’s so mean!”

“You killed my friends.”

He ignored what Junko said next when he saw someone waving them down from a few feet away. Sayaka was standing on a bench and waving Junko and Makoto down. Rolling his eyes at Junko he followed, walking over to the group.

Sayaka jumped down from the bench and approached them. “Hey! We thought that we could go to a cafe and get a snack before our next classes start.”

“Shouldn’t we wait for the others?” Makoto looked back at the university not to see students coming out but the ones going in. “Or would that be too many?”

“Too many,” Leon spoke, “so it’s just the ones who are free now.”

Makoto scanned the group which only consisted of him, Junko, Leon, Sayaka, Kaede, and Shuichi. Kaede seemed as bubbly as Sayaka but who knew if that was just a facade? He didn’t want to look too much into it. Shuichi…was Shuichi. He seemed nice enough but still awkward around people.

“I tried finding the one with the least amount of people,” Sayaka told them as they walked up to one of the many small cafes.

“Aw, come on Sayaka!” Junko drawled slinging an arm around Sayaka. “The more people the better!”

“We don’t trust you around people,” Leon, Makoto, and Sayaka all said in unison.

Junko huffed and flipped them off as she walked ahead. It was weird to Makoto how the once dead could take stride in the living. If Makoto had died, which he nearly did, then if he came back to life he would be more than a little freaked out. Maybe they were and he didn’t see it. His mind was what was on his rather than the bigger picture.

The fewer people he saw the more he became worried.

He knew Junko wouldn’t try anything especially with no plan in mind, but he never knew. A plan could be made up on the fly and he would never know. Junko was capable of many things and that was one of them.

After they ordered they began talking like it was any other day. This, for some reason, hit Makoto hard. He couldn’t bring himself to mention it because why would he? He had already made a fool out of himself by having a complete breakdown last night, in front of Byakuya no less, and nearly had another one earlier in the day.

“Makoto, you alright?” this time it was Leon who asked. When he looked up he noticed everyone staring at him with a look of concern, except for Junko who stared at him with a devious smile. He didn’t know how long they had been asking him that question because the drinks had already been passed out. “Makoto?”

Makoto snapped out of it and showed a small smile. “It’s alright! I just had a moment there.”

Everyone shared looked and glances at each other. Kaede was the one who spoke up, her voice clearly showing some concern. “If it’s about last night—“

“It’s...not,” Makoto shook his head, more for himself than the others, “It’s not. You don’t have to worry about me, really.”

Shuichi, who had been awkwardly talking the entire time reached out and held one of Makoto’s hands. “Look, I understand if you don’t want to talk about it, whatever it is, but it’s affecting you greatly.”

“And?” Makoto dropped his voice a few octaves. He jerked back from his grasp and looked at him with dead eyes. “What does it matter to you?”

“Because I care? If I didn’t I wouldn’t be here right now with you five.” Shuichi snapped, “Look like I said, I get that you don’t want help but there’s going to be a time where you need help.”

Makoto didn’t want to admit he needed help. This was completely normal like Kaede said, so couldn’t he get over it like it was a sickness? That’s what this was, right? It was just something wrong with him that people normally have and he could get over it like any other.

How?

People knew what to do with a stomach bug.

People knew what to do with a pulled muscle.

People knew what to do with a broken nose.

How could he possibly know what to do when the illness wasn’t anything foreign but himself?

Chapter Text

“Makoto?”

He jumped spastically as Kyoko called his name. He was getting annoyed with his own name, but it wasn’t as if it could do anything about it; it was his name after all. It was the tone of everyone. Everyone was suddenly concerned for him and he didn’t know how to respond.

“Kyoko?” he questioned back.

“Yeah?”

“Why do you care?”

The question had taken her by surprise. He could see the corners of her mouth frown for just a second and her eyebrows raise up. Her eyes were widened and her mouth was slightly agape. This only lasted for a second though. After spending much time around her he started to see what she alone could see.

“We all do,” her shoulder shrugged back while she looked straight into his eyes, “Makoto…”

“You’re lying.”

“I… think ,” she stressed, “we all care. Byakuya is so particular about what he shows that I’m not sure.”

She was right. Byakuya doesn’t show much expression unless he is taken off guard, even then he didn’t show a varying degree of emotions. The man never showed a positive emotion (Makoto speculated he never has) and showed a perpetual smug expression.

Makoto made a note to observe Byakuya more closely.

“Hey, Makoto!” Kaede peeked her head around the corner. “Wanna take a walk with us? Aoi and Kokichi are going with us.”

“I’d rather—“

“He’d love to,” Kyoko answered for him.

Was…Kyoko acting like his mother?

Makoto didn’t really want to go outside. The comfort of the dorms had become is usual now and it wasn’t so foreign anymore. He’d rather say instead with himself contemplating the meaning of life and over-analyzing.

Maybe a walk wouldn’t be so bad.

“Yeah, sure, I’ll go.”



The park wasn’t crowded but it wasn’t vacant either. Some were walking dogs, some other cats, and the jingle of their collars as they pitter-pattered. The tree leaves coming off one by one into the autumn weather. Most of the trees were full of green leaves despite the season, but it wouldn’t be long until they would turn into a dying tree.

The cement walls that laid the border of the park finally met in the middle, where a beautifully designed metal arch stood, and a sign that read ‘Williams Park’* on it. There, as you go in and out of the park, read a plaque that everyone passed by.

Makoto threw his head back and closed his eyes taking in the scenery. “I still feel like shit.”

“That was fast,” Kaede commented, “but don’t worry. Walking helps. Whether it be at night or early in the day it helps.”

Makoto hesitated before he asked. “How?”

“Oh, it helps with endorphins which is a happy neurotransmitter—“

Makoto raised his hand to stop the boy from speaking further. “I mean, how do you know these things?”

“Well,” Kaede hesitated, “although the reasons for having a mental illness are different, the symptoms are still the same. Having a mental illness is noticeable if you know what you’re looking for.”

“How do you know what you’re looking for? Everyone seems to see what’s wrong but me.”

Kaede looked down holding her hands together. Her eyebrows drooped down, and a slight downward tug showed on her lips. Makoto knew that sign even if he never knew what it meant before he met Kyoko.

“Either they’ve looked it up on the internet, a professional, or…” Kaede hesitated again, “or they’ve experienced it themselves.”

Ah, so he wasn’t alone.

Aoi and Kokichi had walked ahead, smiling carrying on, so he paid attention to them. While walking silently alongside Kaede he noticed some things.

Their conversation seemed to be genuine. He could see the wrinkles in her eyes as the duo walked. Her eyes crinkled and her nose scrunched up as she talked to him. Her cheek muscles moved in fluidity with her mouth and showed a mirrored expression on both sides.

“What are you thinking?” Kaede asked him.

“I think your buddy and Aoi have warmed up to each other,” Makoto pointed to them while leaning to Kaede.

“Yeah, you noticed it too then.” Kaede laughed. “It’s a bit worrisome since Kokichi is a manipulative psychopath.”

“Oh,” Makoto sighed, “another Toko in the group then.”

Kaede chuckled in response to Makoto’s joke. The walk from then was quiet, observing the two in front of them giggling and laughing away. It was nice to see others enjoying themselves even if Makoto was feeling like garbage. It felt as if he wasn’t just existing but living for some reason. Of course, he felt hollow inside but it was as if he felt something fill in that void just a little further.

Was this what it was like to come out of despair?

Aoi was walking and talking with Kokichi until she noticed Kaede and Makoto walking behind. She took one glance and her eyebrows raised, mouth slightly agape, and eyes widened; the same expression Kyoko showed. “Oh! I forgot you two were here.”

“It’s alright,” Kaede grinned, “you two seemed like you were enjoying yourselves.”

Aoi looked down and away from embarrassment rubbing the back of her neck and smiling shyly. “It’s not like that…”

Kokichi didn’t seem to react at that at all. Instead, his grin turned into something of a Cheshire Cat; devious and deceitful. Maybe Kaede was right, after all, Kokichi was a manipulative psychopath.

“Well, whatever it was, it’s over now,” Kaede slapped a hand on Kokichi’s shoulder. “Taking a stroll wasn’t such a bad idea after all.”

“Yeah,” Makoto threw his head back once again and looked up to the sky, “it wasn’t.”

“Says you!” Aoi punched Makoto in the shoulder causing him to stumble back. The girl had more strength than she let on. “You said it was shit as soon as we came in.”

“Well, opinions can change , Aoi.”

“So why did it change?” Aoi asked. He could tell in her tone she wanted him to say something that wasn’t complete bullshit.

”I just realized a few things, that’s all.”

Chapter Text

What did Edgar Allan Poe say to the man? Let’s go down to my wine cellar!*

What a load of shit; the characters of Harry Potter had more common sense.

Makoto hated his English class with every fiber of his being. Despite what others thought of math; he’d rather be there, learning other strategic ways to approach a problem, than overanalyze why the curtains in Shakespeare’s play are blue. His professor, Professor Yamazaki, was an eccentric man. He overanalyzed but occasionally was too vague.

Makoto had nothing against the man, even if he did hand out too much homework, but he did have a bone to pick with a class called English.

As the professor continued on with his lecture, he passed by Makoto’s desk, a piece of paper was given to him. He didn’t know if it was by the professor or by another student, but as they say, curiosity killed the cat.

There was nothing written on the paper.

“After class, Makoto Naegi.”

What?

Makoto stiffed his back, his eyes widened, his mouth agape, and his hands strained in a lock position. He looked at the professor who continued on with his lecture and the other students giving Makoto a sideways glare. He crumpled the piece of paper in his tight grip and looked at the professor angry at himself.

“Read pages thirty-nine through fifty-eight,” Professor Yamazaki announced, “due by next class.”

As the students piled out Toko was the only one who held back, waiting for Makoto. He knew all she cared about was Byakuya, even if the man was gay, but there was something about her look that caused him to double-take. Was that a look of solemn?

So the murderous fiend did have a soft side after all.

“Who gave you that paper?”

Makoto sighed, shrugging, “I don’t know. It was just thrown on my desk. There isn’t even anything on it.”

Yamazaki shook his head and sighed deeply. “I’m sorry, Mr. Naegi, but I cannot allow disruptions in my class—“

“I understand, sir.” Makoto nodded.

“and that has also caused your grades to drop in my class.”

Drop? The last time he looked at his grade he had average grades in his class, even if he did despise the class. He had turned everything in on time, worked well with others on projects and his own, and wasn’t disruptive as the professor says. Was he?

“Look.” the professor turned his computer to the boy and there it was, bright as day. Low D’s and a few failing assignments. “I can give you extra work to balance it out?”

Makoto was caught in a trance. Had he really done that bad in his class? He didn’t want to retake the class again because he hated it that much. So Makoto snapped out of his trance, taking the papers out of Yamazaki’s hands, and left the room.

“Makoto,” Toko began, “I can help you if you’re failing, y’know?”

Makoto shook his head. “No, Toko, it’s fine. I just...I thought I was doing good. I mean, I am average, not good or bad, so I knew I was getting a basic understanding of the concepts.”

“But it turned out you didn’t.” in an instant Toko changed. “If you don't want my help fine. Fail the class; I could care less.”

There was the Toko Fukawa he had come to hate.

Toko walked off, her face beat red and head down. Makoto shrugged it off and continued walking. He couldn’t help but feel the sense of someone watching him though. The sense that someone was watching his every move waiting for a moment to pounce…

“Makoto?”

“Will you stop saying my name like that?” Makoto snapped. Kiyotaka walked beside him, Mondo too, with an expression of shock. Eyebrows raised and eye muscles in action. “Sorry.”

“Is something bothering you?”

“No,” Makoto drawled sarcastically, “I’m peachy.”

“We’re just askin’ is all,” Mondo told him, “No need to be a bitch.”

“Mondo!” Kiyotaka hit Mondo’s arm.

“Taka.”

That seemed to shut him up.

“Look, if ya need anything just come to us,” Mondo reassured Makoto. “Understand?”

Makoto rubbed the back of his neck shrugging a shoulder back. “Yeah, I guess—“

Understand ?” Mondo again with more authority.

“Yeah, okay! Understand!” Makoto threw his hands up. “Don’t hurt me!”

Mondo let out a laugh that sounded like a scoff and dragged Kiyotaka off. After they got together Mondo’s been…less violent. He still cursed like a sailor no less, even if Kiyotaka hated it, but his actions became more subtle. He was nicer in a way, like a cat. He does things that are generally nice but doesn’t like to take credit for him.

The breeze was nice around this time. Not too harsh and not too cold. It went through his hair getting it out of his face. He started to enjoy life a little more after his eureka moment at Williams Park with Kaede. He smiled more, lived more, and appreciated the little things more. He learned to live with himself more.

“What’s with that smile?”

Celestia and Miu walked beside him. Celestia was still as reserved as she was and still gambled. That was probably the reason she didn’t have any student debt. Miu, on the other hand, looked like she hadn’t had a proper night’s rest in two months. Her shoulders slouched and her eyes had bags. It was unusual for Miu from what he heard from Shuichi; she was normally an oddball and nicely dressed. Both of them spent a lot of time around each other.

Neither of them bothered her with her emotions though.

“Nothing. Just trying to smile, that’s all.” Makoto held the straps of his backpack. “How were your classes?”

“Tiring,” both of them answered.


That was the end of it. The rest of the day went as normal with the exception one Makoto ignoring social interaction to work on his homework for English class. It kept him working throughout his time at the cafe (one-thirty pm) with his friends, spending his time at the library (four o’clock pm) with Toko, and even way past twelve in the morning.

When he woke up he felt he had one too many drinks and was pushed off of a cliff afterward.

He groaned rolling over grabbing his phone and turning it off. His eyes narrowed from the strain, and his head felt like someone was playing whack-a-mole on it. He sat up in his bed looking out the window to see it was still pitch dark. He grabbed his computer and opened it to see that he still had unfinished homework.

And to see that he had slept for an entire day.

His homework was due today and apparently, he had only done half of it. He swore he had done all of it yesterday. He had worked nearly thirteen hours straight to finish the work he had due and even with that he still had more. Maybe he wasn’t working hard enough.

There he sat, from three-twenty am to ten am, finishing his homework. He felt as if he was going to puke with how bad his head hurt. Instead of a wooden plastic hammer to hit the moles; he felt like Thor’s hammer was hitting him instead. His shoulders slouched and felt like a thousand weights were on his back. His body started to fall forward until he caught himself.

He finally looked at the clock, which showed eleven-fifteen AM. That also meant he had fifteen minutes to get to class.

His body shuddered and shook with the lack of sleep he had. If he was right then he only had three or four hours of sleep, which differed from his usual healthy eight. His backpack hung from his shoulders as he felt like he hadn’t moved in ages. As he went on his way out he saw Byakuya making his way to the dorms.

Even he noticed Makoto had a bad night.

Getting there was harder than actually sitting down. With how much homework he had done he almost forgot how to actually sit. Professor Yamazaki sat there on his computer as the students had piled in, a few after Makoto, and waited for it to hit eleven-thirty. Yamazaki was finicky like that but taught well in the given time he was allotted. Makoto knew Yamazaki meant well, so he couldn’t blame his tiredness on him.

Taking even more notes than normal, and paying close attention to what the man was saying, Makoto felt as if he was at least above average in knowledge now. He never paid much attention and got by with B’s and C’s but he had to focus. He had even read a little more than what the professor had assigned them.

When Makoto had gotten back his assignment later in the class, that he had to finish in class, he was more than happy. Not only had he understood it but he made a somewhat decent grade on it. All of his hard work had paid off in the end after all.

Even if it meant he had to sacrifice a lot of his free time.

Chapter Text

His body ached. He started shaking again. It felt as if he was losing control of himself again and there was nothing he could do about it. His hands strained and shook as he tried to write his notes but to no avail, he couldn’t write them neatly. He knew that he hurt all over.

How’d he let things spiral out of control?

A hand waved in front of him. “Have you been listening?”

Makoto rubbed his eyes trying to remember where he was. Right, he was walking to Johansson Cafe* with Miu and Chihiro. Kaede and Byakuya were waiting for them.

“I’m sorry,” Makoto apologized, “I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep.”

Chihiro put a hand on his shoulder. “It’s almost break you’ll be able to rest then.”

Right, yeah, he’d be able to rest. Would he though?

“What’s causing you to lose so much sleep?” Miu asked.

“I dunno,” Makoto shrugged, “I’ve been doing a lot for my English class because I’m failing.”

“Professor Yamazaki? He’ll help you y’know.”

“I know,” Makoto groaned in pain, “but he’s been hounding me. Sort of. He’s been giving me assignment after assignment so that I can get my grade up, but the most I can get is a low D.”

“At least it’s passing!” Miu cheered. “As long as you can pass it’s fine.”

Ha, easy enough for her to say she wasn’t the one failing left and right.

“It’s normal to have trouble with a certain subject,” Chihiro told him, “but that’s why if you have trouble with that subject you have to put more effort into it.”

“I am, Chihiro!” Makoto snapped. “Why would you think that?”

“I’m not saying you weren’t!” she jumped back hiding behind Miu. “I’m just saying average isn’t going to work if you don’t averagely excel in a subject. You have been working hard I can tell. Just take a break from college for a little bit and try a different way.”

Chihiro was right. He did his best average in classes all the time and most of the time it worked. Now that he was failing a class he had to work harder than he had done before. Doing homework was great and all but it was teaching him things he already knew. He’d have to work the extra mile just to pass.

The cafe was bustling; people coming and going and cafe workers working their best. There in the far back sat Kaede and Byakuya who seemed to be bickering with each other.

“At least I don’t have a stick up my ass.”

Without looking up Byakuya drinks the black coffee. “Says the peasant.”

Makoto sat in between Byakuya and Kaede so that there isn’t a brawl in the shop. The tension between the two had risen which resulted in complete silence. Even when the waitress came over to the group their answers were short but polite.

Even when Chihiro, ever the pacifist, started a conversation the two never acknowledged each other. “How are everyone’s classes?”

Everyone groaned and chugged their coffee. Makoto found himself not feeling anything. His body froze and his head stayed in place. He could see but he couldn’t feel; he felt there but not at the same time; he could hear but not process. His mind was blank and he felt like he was running on autopilot. He drank his coffee and nodded along, but never understanding what they were saying.

“He’s dissociating.”

Huh?

“You all are annoying me with the medical talk.” Byakuya rubbed his temples. “We all know you are just as weak as the others. If you can not handle that then—“

“Byakuya say one more damn word and I’m shoving my scalding hot coffee down your throat,” Kaede growled, “he’s showing his symptoms of the trauma we all seem to have.”

No , dissociation is completely normal,” Byakuya fought back, “as long as it does not happen for long periods at a time, and is not frequent, it is completely normal. Pay attention, Naegi.”

Byakuya snapped in front of Makoto’s face as he said the last part. Byakuya may have been an arrogant prick but he was right. There wasn’t any reason for Makoto to really dissociate out of the blue. Yeah, he does it, but he can come back bright and happy the next time.

“I’m not weak,” Makoto commented, “but you’re right I should’ve been paying attention.”

“No wonder you’re failing your class.”

This, for some unknown reason, tipped Makoto over the edge. He could feel the unresting raging emotion of anger overcome his entire physique. His eyebrows knitted together, his eyes becoming dark with hatred, and his lips tugging down. He sat straight, sipped his coffee, and kept quiet for the remainder of the time there.

He didn’t yell or snap at anyone. His voice was calm and his composure collected. He knew once he had looked back at Byakuya a microexpression appeared. His eyebrows raised and drawn together, his eyes widened only the top white showing, and his lips slightly stretched back.

That expression was fear.

Chapter Text

The moment they made it back to their dorm Makoto fell back on his bed sighing loudly. His body ached from anger and from working for a straight day. He started to dissociate again; his eyes glazed and his mind going blank. He was staring at something but nothing at the same time. He pressed his lips together in a thin line and rubbed his hands through his hair.

He found his sight becoming blurry and his body shaking again. It was different but the same emotions he felt last time. He was scared, fearful of the unknown. He didn’t know what that unknown was and it bothered him. Why was he getting so worked up over something he didn’t even know? He covered his eyes and cried into his jacket sleeves for what felt like hours.

His body ached and his mind numbed; he felt tired.

His muscles loosened and his tears lessened. He sat up in bed, still feeling awful, and sat there. He swallowed thickly and closed his eyes trying to take in his surroundings. He was sitting on his bed in his dorm room where he heard the trees and Aoi and Leon having fight. He could still smell the coffee that he had at the coffee shop earlier and remembering the savory taste in his mouth.

Although all of this helped his body felt incredibly weak.

“Oh—ho! What have we got here?”

Monokuma, the little shit.

Makoto groaned rubbing his face as he opened his eyes and saw Monokuma staring at him. His red eyes glowed in the night. How long had he been sitting there?

“You’ve been sitting there for quite awhile, Naegi.” Mukuro said who was sitting in his desk chair.

Makoto shut his eyes and blinked a few times to see Mukuro clearly and surprisingly to see Junko in the closet, literally.

“Aw,” Junko cooed, “he’s baby.”

“No! I’m baby!” Monokuma said in a baby voice.

Makoto blinked some more, looking at the three in front of him, picked up Monokuma and threw him at Junko. Junko, who squealed as Monokuma started to beep, flailed around and threw him to Mukuro. This proceeded to turn into a game of hot potato in the background as Makoto grabbed his jacket.

He made it halfway out the door before he heard Junko’s high-pitched yelling. “Hey wait you started this get back here!”

He sped up, walking down the hallway trying to avoid bumping into Aoi, Leon, Kokichi, Chihiro, and a very angry Miu. This, in the end, didn’t work as his adrenaline sped up he became more stupid. Forgetting that the push door was a pull door he smacked into it causing his head to hurt even worse.

“Wait for us!” Monokuma waved as he was being toted by Junko.

Makoto groaned and waited for them. He couldn’t get away from them they’d only follow. Junko put an arm around his neck, squeezing him just like last time, and Mukuro not far behind.

Makoto put his hood up as it was now raining in the night. Junko groaned and continued to walk with them; her hair now getting wet. Mukuro seemed to be the responsible twin and brought her own jacket.

“What’s wrong, Makoto?” Mukuro asked him as Junko was humming to a tone. “You haven’t been as hopeful as you usually are.”

Makoto sighed as they walked a few minutes into the night. The stars were clouded by the clouds but despite that it felt euphoric to walk in the rain. He kept quiet, not knowing what to say, but they continued to walk further away from the dorms reaching the outer limits of the campus. There at the edge was a bridge that lead into a dense forest. There on the brick wall entrance of the bridge was “Beckham Bridge*.”

As they got to the bridge he stopped, leaned against the brick wall, and looked to see the rain hitting the water that was flowing underneath them.

“I don’t know,” he answered her question, “I’ve been feeling tired, too caught up in the real world. It wasn’t as relaxed as it was back in the killing games as weird as that sounds.”

Mukuro stood next to him looking out at well. “Why do you think Junko made them?”

“The games?” Makoto shrugged, “Because she was bored I guess. She always says she hates boredom.”

That statement later revealed itself to Junko walking along the brick wall of the bridge, Monokuma trying to trip her as she did so, and humming to herself. It also reminded him of the time Junko told the others of when she first brought Monokuma to class. The teacher didn’t know he was hers and so there was a fun debate back and forth between the teacher and Monokuma.

Despite being a lunatic bitch and a homicidal bear Junko and Monokuma were interesting people to be around.

“Correct,” Mukuro nodded closing her eyes thinking of what to say. She opened them looking at Makoto again with an unwavering expression she always held. “But she knew of the atrocities of the outside world. She knew of the stress people had during school, college, and everywhere else. That was despair to what normal people saw, but she wanted to take it to a new level. Unfortunately it didn’t last.

Now do you see why we wanted you all to stay at Hope’s Peak Academy?”

“I’d rather kill myself than go back there,” his eyes narrowed, eyebrows scrunched together, and his lips tugged down. That only lasted for a second until he thought of something else. This time his lips were still drawn down but pouted a little, his eyebrows drawn together and up.

“What did it feel like? To die then come back?”

Mukuro looked down, the same expression he held, and looked up to the sky. “Death is a personal experience for everyone. Junko endured all the punishments and finally died of being crushed to death; Leon was hit with one thousand baseballs; Sayaka stabbed; Mondo electrocuted; Kiyotaka with head trauma; Chihiro with head trauma; Kokichi crushed; Kaede hung; Miu asphyxiated.

The punishment is meant to prolong the pain for the ones who were punished. Mine, although wasn’t a punishment, was like a rush of adrenaline. I didn’t feel it at first but when I did I was already dead.

And when I was dead? I…I don’t remember. I remember a void but when I woke up it was like a coma. Waking up was like a reverse phantom pain all over. I knew I shouldn’t be alive but here I was prodding and poking all over my body. I could feel.

The only noticeable difference is when I touch people. I can feel you but it’s not physical. It’s like a transparency-physical aspect. You feel transparent but it feels physical at the same time.”

Makoto nodded trying to make sense of her words. “Yeah. Still don’t get it.”

“It’s a hard concept to grasp,” Mukuro put a hand on his shoulder. He could feel the transparency-physicality she was talking about once he paid attention to it. “Unless you’ve experienced it for yourself.”

He felt as real as he could. Feeling your own body and saying it’s like a reverse phantom pain? It’s there but you don’t feel it? He wondered how hard it must be for the rest of them then. Living like that, knowing that you’re not supposed to be alive, then remembering your own death and how it felt? God, he felt bad for everyone there.

Thunder rolled through the grounds as they stood there. The rain started to get heavier and forceful. If he wasn’t holding onto the brick wall he would’ve fallen over. Trees started to shake and the water began to rattle.

Makoto looked up to the sky again, seeing a streak of lightning hit somewhere far off. “We should head back to the dorms.”

Mukuro silently agreed and waved for Junko to come with them. Junko held onto the now soaking Monokuma and followed them. She hummed like always and walked next to Makoto. “What makes the rain so peaceful? I mean, it’s nice and all but the despair behind it makes it shine. It’s like it’s not despair but it is.”

“It has something to do with depression,” Mukuro told him. “I’m not sure what but it does.”

“Ah, depression,” Junko sighed like a love struck girl, “that sounds nice.”

After getting inside Makoto shucked off his jacket and hung it up to dry in his room. He set out new clothes and took a quick shower. He remembered something about how it’s not good to take a shower during a thunderstorm but he couldn’t help it; he needed a shower.

He couldn’t have been in there for thirty minutes before he saw a letter sitting on his bed. It was sealed with red wax and the signature was neatly written. He tore it open delicately reading what was inside.

Dear Makoto Naegi,

Due to the negative comments of your behavior, and the distinctive conclusion that the existence you possess is utterly wasted, you will be put on warning until further notice. If you do not get your priorities in order, and choose to further yourself from the responsibilities you hold as a college student, then we, the University, will be forced to exclude you from our university.

We do understand certain circumstances that happened at Hope’s Peak Academy but your focus should be on University work. Since you are not failing all of your classes but have an average three point zero we will be warning you that you are at risk of academic probation if your GPA drops any lower.

Sincerely, P

That was what his eyes saw when he read the letter closely. He couldn’t believe his eyes. How did the university know how his time in Hope’s Peak? If the person knew about Hope’s Peak then couldn’t they be a Remnant of Despair? No, couldn’t be, they were all locked up and some were executed. None ever got out of Japan.

He couldn’t tell anyone; they’d all suspect he was having trauma again. Maybe they wouldn’t even believe him, and if they did how would they react? Some would genuinely help, but he didn’t want their help.

No…he couldn’t tell them.

He crumpled up the letter and threw it in the trash can sitting on his bed. He had questions running through his head.

Who was it?

Why him? 

And more importantly, where were they?

They could be a normal person watching him from the background or something he already knew. It couldn’t be one of his friends; they went through hell and back together. Even Byakuya wouldn’t do something as horrible as this!

Right?

Chapter Text

A few days had passed since the incident. His grades were slipping but at least he was still hanging on. He studied and did his homework so that he could turn them in and get his English grade up. At most it went up half a point or it didn’t matter at all, some other times it even dropped if the assignment was lower than that of his average.

His professor taught, he received homework, and outside waiting was Leon, Celestia, and Sayaka. It had been awhile since he had talked to any of them so he went up to them and waved. “Hey! Are you guys going anywhere?”

“Nah,” Leon kicked back and put his feet on the table. “We’re just sittin’ here since we have nothing better to do.”

“I could raise your stakes, Leon,” Celestia said sharpening her nails, “but I suppose you are broke since you have nothing to offer me.”

“Why you little—!”

“Leon, no!” Sayaka put her hand on Leon who had now taken his feet off the table and sat properly on the ground. “This is supposed to be peaceful. Please, for once?”

Leon rolled his eyes, kicked back and put his feet on the table once again. “You just gettin’ here?”

“No,” Makoto shook his head and sat down. “I just got out of class.” Makoto rubbed the back of his neck contemplating on whether or not to ask the question he wanted to ask. “Have you guys got a lot of work from professors?”

“Shit, yeah,” Leon said, “I usually have to work and study for hours and if I don’t I have no fucking clue what’s going on next class.”

“How many hours?” Makoto asked.

“About five; why?”

“I work nine .” Makoto stressed, “I don’t know if it’s my professors or not but I have no time to be out.”

“You’re out now.” Celestia pointed out.

“I think that’s unfair,” Sayaka told him, putting a hand on his shoulder. It was the same feeling he got from Mukuro. The touch was real yet it wasn't. “You’re always spending time in your room studying and you barely get out anymore. Are you just lucky this time to be spending time with us?”

Makoto shook his head. “No. I still have a lot of homework, but that’s mostly my fault since I’m failing English.”

Celestia laughed. “How can you be failing English? That is literally one of the easiest classes someone can take.”

“Hey!” Makoto slapped her arm, “No one asked you, house-wife.”

Celestia’s eyes narrowed, her eyebrows knitted together and down, the creases on her forehead showed, and her mouth tugged down. “Listen here you little pea brain of a failed fetus.”

“Celestia,” Sayaka said in a warning tone, “leave Makoto alone, he’d been through enough already. If you’re having that much trouble you could always come to me. Toko would also be a good help, she is a writer after all.”

Makoto should’ve taken her up on her offer. Toko was true to her word though; even if they were in the same vicinity of each other and he was doing English homework she never did offer to help. Her offer was a one time deal and he wasted it because of his pride.

“Yeah, no, it’s okay, Sayaka. I’m doing a lot better actually in the class. I guess doing so much of it by myself I’m able to understand it.”

“Are you sure?”

Here, stood a moment of truth for him. He knew Sayaka would help him if he needed it but if he said no then she would back off. He had already turned down an offer he wished he hadn’t before. Toko wouldn’t help him and he didn’t want to ask. Maybe having her help he could get through his homework faster, but that would be using her for a gain she didn’t ask for.

“Yeah, I’m sure Sayaka.”

Sayaka looked away from him and nodded her head. “Okay…”

Makoto looked to Celestia who was still eyeing him like a hawk. “How are you and Kyoko?”

“Oh,” her eyes widened and eyebrows raised, “we’re fine. She’d gotten closer with Shuichi Saihara who is an Ultimate Detective like her.”

“Wouldn’t you be afraid of him being around her?” Sayaka asked her. “I mean, they’re both alike and have more in common.”

“I’m not her owner,” Celestia stated, “I’m her girlfriend. A friend that also happens to be romantically in love with her. You wouldn't want your friends to own you would you?”

Sayaka stuttered out an ‘uh’ and shook her head. “No! I wouldn’t.”

“Okay then there’s your answer.”


The smell of books was starting to annoy Makoto. He was sitting in Gadot Library* with the never ending books by his side. He had become a regular during the past few weeks since he had been cooped up in his room. Even the workers noticed his late night stays that they decided to stay open a little longer for him. They also dimmed the lights because they could see his strain.

It was one of the busier days. He stayed in the back, away from everyone, and did his studying there. He had turned off his phone so he wouldn’t be bothered. He didn’t tell anyone where he was going either so that he would be completely unbothered by society. Making sure he was safe and sure no one would bother his stuff he left to relieve himself. Once he had made his way back he noticed one of the books was open.

He knew damn well that someone had to have been watching him.

Anxiety rising and walking faster he made his way back to his spot. Avoiding everyone and their eye contact as they went by him. As he got closer and closer he could see the discolouration on the book and when he was right upon his stuff he saw it.

Red wax seal and his name written in Old English calligraphy.

He was done with these stupid letters. The way they were taunting and teasing him. He figured they would stop after a while, but since the letters showed no signs of discontinuing he had no choice. He had wanted to stay out of this so badly but if it was affecting him greatly then he was going to take things into his own hands.

Chapter Text

Makoto sat there in his bedroom drawing out a plan on how to catch the person involved. He didn’t know how since every letter came at a different time. He didn’t even know anyone with that type of handwriting. He couldn’t go to the police because they were just threatening letters; they hadn’t done anything to him. One question bugged him though; how did they know this much about him?

Ever since that day he started watching out more and even became brave enough to ignore the threats he was getting. If it was someone trying to bully him then he wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of winning. He had already felt like a loser before during the games; how he couldn’t save everyone. He chose not to forget them but still couldn’t bring them back.

He was hope; he had to stay hopeful.

“Hey Makoto?”

It was Shuichi, looking at him from the doorframe. The two had never gotten close but had some small talk here and there. He learned from Shuichi how his group was in the fifty-third killing games. He also learned how gruesome of deaths that Miu, Kokichi, and Kaede had. He cried, Makoto cried, but they got closer in the end. Plus they were the only ones alive that had any significance to the games.

“Yeah, Shuichi?”

Shuichi looked to the ground, a slight think of pink rushing to his cheeks, and back at Makoto. “Would you mind if we all went out together? We haven’t had a proper sit-down with each other in awhile, and since we’re on break I—we—thought it would be a good idea to have that. Plus we all noticed you were more antisocial lately that we started to worry.”

People need to stop worrying about him so much; if he was that much of an inconvenience then he should just go away.

Hiding the paper underneath his pillow he grabbed his jacket. “Yeah, sure! Where are we going?”

“Sensmeier’s*! It’s an authentic Native American restaurant. We thought it’d be a nice place.”

Makoto nodded. “Okay, who’s we?”

“Well; me, you, Mondo, Kiyotaka, and Aoi.”

Makoto rolled his eyes playfully and looked at Shuichi as he passed by him. “So it’s a date and friends?”

It was nice to go out with them. He hadn’t been out with any friends lately and it felt nice. He wasn’t bothered with school or the paranoia of someone watching him. The letters hadn’t stopped but they had decreased. It was like they didn’t know where he was, or the fact that he had been staying in one place for long periods of time without leaving it.

Maybe that’s how ‘P’ was able to get in. Once he’d leave the stalker would pop up, set the letter down, and leave. With this in mind it worried him more, but he was out with friends. He couldn’t let the paranoia eat him up or else he wouldn’t be Makoto.

“This is a nice place, isn’t it?”

It was Taka’s voice who sat down across from Makoto with an interested smile. “Not only do they serve the food but they give you these cool pamphlets that tell you about the food you’re eating.”

“Since we’re not Native American it’s cool to learn about different cultures, especially from natives themselves!” Aoi smiled.

“Alright let’s just order before we sit here forever,” Mondo laughed.

When everyone ordered Aoi took it upon herself to read the history behind their meals. Makoto didn’t mind as he would like to know what he was eating himself.

Aoi had the Three Sister Soup, which was the story of a Sky Woman who fell to earth after peering through a hole. She landed on soil that the animals had put on the back of a turtle (which became known as Turtle Island.) When she fell she was pregnant and gave birth to a daughter. Her daughter later in live gave birth to twin boys but died while giving birth. Her mother, The Sky Woman, buried her in the new earth and from her daughter’s grave came corn, beans, and squash.

It seemed that Aoi’s dish was the only one tied to a Native American Myth as everyone else's dish was that of a different tribe. Makoto’s Frybread was that of the Navajo tribe; Shuichi’s Pemmican dish was that of the Cree tribe and gave high energy when the winter was scarce; Mondo’s was Bison Stew which consisted of vegetables of foods that Native American’s had at the time; Kiyotaka had the same as Aoi.

“How is everyone?” Aoi started off the conversation.

“I think we’ve given up on life.” Mondo responded.

“Don’t say that Mondo! We can’t give up we have five more months!”

“Easy for you to say, you enjoy your major.” Shuichi mumbled.

Aoi rolled her eyes. “Hey, Makoto, how’s your classes?”

Makoto knew what she was referring to since it wasn’t a secret that he was having a hard time in his classes. He kept it quiet but Toko didn’t keep her mouth shut. Everyone checked up on his periodically but it was never in front of other people. They wanted to make sure he could express himself freely, but now he had to keep calm.

“Fine.”

Things in fact were not fine. He was stressed beyond compare and most of his isolation was his fault. He thought if he did it on his own he could just get by but now it was getting too much. He couldn’t ask for help because he didn’t want to be a bother. People would tell him he wasn’t but he was. He didn’t need to ask for help when he could help himself.

Aoi nodded, her eyebrows drooped and her eyes looking away. Makoto was getting tired of the pity.

“No, really, I’m doing fine.” Makoto tried to reassure her.

She didn’t bother looking at him. “I believe you.”

Chapter Text

The next day the theme was different. Apparently they were split up into groups the day before (by Monokuma no less) and now they had a completely different set of members. Makoto guessed it was a way to make everyone communicate with each other even if they didn’t want to. That was fine with him, he hadn’t talked with certain people in awhile.

His group consisted of Leon, Chihiro, Kyoko, and Toko (only three he hadn’t talked to in a month or so) and they were going to Gyllenhaal Carnival*.

The laughter of children and that familiar merry-go-round music filled their ears. Soon enough they would all hate it, but for now it was nice to see the younger generation enjoy things. Funnel cake and hotdogs were all around like rabbits. Every now and again they would hear that one child who would squeal because they got their first prize of the evening.

Kyoko turned to the group. “So where do we wanna go first?”

“How about…” Makoto paused looking around, “the roller-coaster?”

“They have a roller-coaster ?” Leon stressed, “What carnival has a goddamn roller-coaster?”

“Leon!” Chihiro hissed, “There are children here!”

“Well if you’re too scared to ride then you can stay here.” Kyoko shrugged, “By the way you’re acting I can see you’re somewhat terrified of them.”

“I am not!”

“I-I’d rather n-not go.” Toko shyly said.

“That’s fine, Toko, you don’t have to go.” Kyoko told her with a soft friendly expression; completely opposite of what she showed Leon. “Chihiro?”

“I actually like roller-coasters!” Chihiro gleamed but then looked at Toko. “But if Toko is afraid of them I can stay here with her.”

“I-It’s fine, y-you d-don’t have t-to coddle m-me.” Toko shied away. “I-I’m not d-defenseless.”

“I know you’re not,” Chihiro reassured her, “I just don’t want you to feel alone.”

Toko nodded her head. “A-Alright.”

Kyoko grabbed Leon’s wrist and started walking to the roller-coaster with Makoto by her side. As Leon’s trying to get away Makoto can’t help but look at Kyoko’s face. Her eyebrows are raised, her mouth forming a smile, and her eyes wide as she looked to the roller-coaster. Her cheeks and ears turned red as she looked to the ground like a shy school-girl.

“Are you that happy that you’re going on a roller-coaster?” Makoto asked her.

“No,” she smiled, shaking her head, “I’m just thinking this would be a wonderful place to take Celeste on our next date.”

Makoto had never seen someone so love struck.

Kyoko threw Leon into the first seat and sat next to him with Makoto close behind. The way his expression was that of fear. His eyebrows raised, his eyes wide, and his jaw clenched. It was the same expression he showed when he knew he was going to die.

“No, no, no, no,” Leon muttered. “Kyoko please.”

“It only lasts for a few seconds, okay? Grab onto my hand if you’re scared that badly.” Kyoko offered her hand to him and Leon pushed it away.

“No! I’m not a pussy.”

“You’re a pussy for not taking it.” Kyoko shrugged again, rolling her eyes.

The arm protectors came down and locked them in. Makoto didn’t like the suffocating feeling. He knew it was to protect himself from possibly being flung out, and become a victim to the percentage of how many people die on rollercoasters, but he wanted some room so that he could move around freely. All he did was hold on and wait for the ride to start.

“You’re not my mother!” Leon exclaimed.

“I have to take care of everyone! Of course I’m your mother!”

Leon huffed and leaned his head back. “No shiii-“ and screams proceeded that sentence.

The ride only lasted a few seconds but it felt like forever to him. He felt all the blood come down to his legs and that sudden rush of energy. He felt like he was being pushed back against the seat like he was nothing, yet he felt so weightless. He shut his eyes and let the air pass by him while others screamed in the background.

After they got off Makoto told himself one thing: he didn’t like roller-coasters.

“Where to next?” Chihiro smiled at them. “I see Leon is…” her expression changed to worry, “okay.”

Leon wobbled off and hung onto Kyoko. “I…hate…you.”

“I do too,” Kyoko agreed.

Toko came out from behind Chihiro, possibly looking at some games beforehand, and spoke. “L-Let’s take a br-break from riding a-anything. L-Leon doesn’t l-look t-too good.”

They made their way to a picnic table. Makoto sat next to Kyoko and Chihiro while Leon slumped down and groaned. He felt back for the poor dude. First Leon dies from a bunch of baseballs and now he was forced to ride something that could also kill him. Makoto thought Kyoko was a bit sadistic as she was enjoying his pain.

“Are you really that scared?”

“Yes!” Leon stressed, “I’m never going back on one again.”

“I’ll go with you next time, Kyoko.” Chihiro told her.

“Since we’re here,” Makoto spoke, “should we get something to eat?”

“Food does sound good right now,” Kyoko told him, “I’ll go with you. Toko, Chihiro, you guys want anything?”

“Nachos?” Chihiro told her, asked would be a better word to describe it, “Toko?”

A sneeze came from her.

“I’ll just go with ya!”

“Hey, Jill,” Kyoko sighed, “come on.”

Ever since they got out of Japan Jill had been on and off with them. Some days she was on; she was nice as she could be, normal, and actually working towards something. During these days you could have a comprehensive conversation with her. Makoto even enjoyed her company sometimes. On her off days you knew to steer clear of her. These days she was antisocial and angry. Byakuya would use these days to his advantage if he had a rival.

“Ooh,” Jill cooed, “funnel cake.”

Kyoko held up one finger and said funnel cake then she looked back at them. “Nachos?”

Jill jumped happily. “Nachos!”

Kyoko repeated the same process but said nachos instead. “What about you Makoto?”

“Hot dog?” Makoto wasn’t really that hungry so he said whatever came to mind. “What about Leon?”

“He might throw up.” Kyoko turned to the man, told him Makoto’s order then her own, and waited for the food. “Jill, don't do anything weird, okay?”

Jill nodded enthusiastically. “Okay! What’s wrong with Big Mac?”

Makoto didn’t notice anything strange about himself. He wanted to enjoy going out but he didn’t feel up to it. He felt numb for the most part, not empty of energy but not full of it either, and didn’t feel hungry or thirsty. He was out of it since the rollercoaster because he didn’t feel there . He felt like an outcast just watching in on his friends talk, and when he spoke he wasn’t full of emotion.

“Nothing.”

“Oh come on!” Jill slapped a hand on Makoto’s back; he winced and shut his eyes. “You have a look of being high, and I know how high looks and you look it!”

“Thanks?” Makoto questioned her wondering if that was a compliment or not. “I just…don’t feel anything.”

“It’s normal,” Kyoko told him, “sooner or later that will pass.”

Makoto put his hands together and picked at his nails as he looked around. He couldn’t feel in the moment and felt like a spectator watching people. He wasn’t watching himself, no, but didn’t feel like himself. This never happened often but it still happened nonetheless. He didn’t feel at peace or fine, he just felt like a husk of himself existing. He never felt alive during these moments and just felt like he was being told to do these things without a second thought.

Would this feeling ever pass?

Chapter Text

Makoto entered the bustling mall looking for the rest area. He had been put in a group with Celestia, Sayaka, Mukuro, and Kaede. His energy levels were up, as were everyone’s, because they all had taken a break from seeing each other. Makoto stayed in his room most of the time during that small break from everyone and everyone else went about their day.

There in the waiting area were the four mentioned previously. In this waiting area were two long aqua couches and two small aqua arm chairs. It was a small little area just outside of the exit of the clothing shop behind him. There sitting in the first couch were Kaede and Sayaka politely talking, and sitting in the two individual chairs was Celestia and Mukuro.

“Makoto!” Sayaka was the one who noticed him idling there. “What are you staring at?”

“I just noticed I’m the only male in this group.”

“Does that matter?” Mukuro asked him getting up and walking towards him.

“I guess not.”

Celestia showed Kaede and Sayaka  around the mall with Mukuro and Makoto tagging along behind them. It was nice to see Celestia in a good mood, yet remembering the Class Trials made him wonder something. Even though she held up an act in the school he wondered how much of it was her real personality. Would she really kill someone for money? He knows she did but now being in the real world would she do it again?

From what Makoto saw Kaede seemed interested in what Celestia told her. He also noticed she had her hands in her pockets the entire time, not once bothering to move her hair or scratch an itch. He didn’t know why he noticed it, but he did nonetheless.

“Oh!” Celestia’s eyes widened at a shop she spotted. “Kyoko told me about this store!”

Standing outside the entrance they all noticed it was incredibly dark. Even going inside they noticed it too. Makoto squinted his eyes trying to get use to the white lights and dark room, and sometime later they did. There weren’t a lot of people in the store despite it being a full house right outside. There were clothes, something that looks like bobble heads, and some other merchandise. The employees didn’t even look like employees. They looked like normal people with a goth aesthetic, but they were nice enough.

“Can I live here forever?”

“No, Celestia,” Makoto told her, “please don’t buy a lot we’re college students.”

“Excuse me,” Celestia raised an eyebrow and laughed, “ you’re a college student in debt. Meanwhile I’ve been getting richer by the minute.”

Kyoko wasn’t a gold digger by any means, but it didn’t mean that she didn’t appreciate the girls’ Ultimate Gambler trait.

Makoto looked around, found a few shirts he liked, and went to the counter and paid for his stuff. He didn’t want to spend an entire hour looking for something, so he picked whatever looked nice and went with it. He was having a great time laughing and spending time out with his friends.

“Oh-hu,” a familiar voice chimed, “Makoto Naegi.”

There sitting on a rack was the black-and-white bear, Monokuma. His eyes glowed and a never ending smile on his face. He wasn’t scared of Monokuma anymore, but he did have an unsettling feeling. It was that dread he felt every time he had a panic attack, like the bear was the harbinger of death.

“Go away, Monokuma.” Makoto wasn’t entirely happy to see Monokuma, but another part of him wanted to see what he wanted. It was like Shrodingers curious cat. Either alive or dead until you open the box. “What do you want?”

“Just people-watching.” he hummed, swaying his head from side to side.

Makoto sighed and grabbed Monokuma off the rack and headed to the group. He knew when they looked at Makoto holding the bear that they didn’t want Monokuma there either. He couldn’t leave Monokuma there or else Junko would go bat-crazy.

“Mukuro!” Monokuma yelled excitedly and jumped out of Makoto’s and into Mukuro’s.

“Big mistake.”

“Makoto!”

 

Here and now Makoto was holding Monokuma and walking around the mall. People stared, he didn’t care, and they went on their way. Monokuma talked aimlessly, and everyone ignored him. Makoto only listened but never responded. He was bored, walking around the busy-body mall with no goal in mind.

He liked plans. Not skin-tight plans, more like a somewhat worn down shirt that was still presentable.

“Oh! I need to go in there .” Kaede pointed to the familiar black and pink store right across from them.

“I’m not going in there.” Makoto stated flatly.

“Puh-hu,” Monokuma put a hand—paw—over his mouth, “not fond of women’s undergarments?”

“No!” Makoto raised his eyebrows. “It’s just that it’s weird.”

“You could stay out here,” Celestia offered, “I need to buy something for Kyoko.”

Sayaka  blushed. “Is that something you need to announce?”

“We’re all adults here,” Celestia shrugged, “it’s not a foreign concept. Mukuro?”

Mukuro just nodded and headed inside. Celestia looked at Makoto, looked to the entrance, and walked inside with Kaede close behind. Makoto sat on a bench, phone in hand texting Byakuya. On the phone he was more concise and well-thought. Makoto was never a good speaker.

“Who’s P?”

That was a name he hadn’t seen or heard of in awhile.

Makoto looked at Monokuma who standing on the bench and gazing at him with a blank stare. He looked down, breathing in the air and filling in his lungs. He took a deep breath, holding in the air, and let it out.

“They’re…I don’t know. The person has been sending me these letters; threatening me mostly. Threatening to kick me out of school, what I looked like that day, knowing specific faculty members.”

“So there’s proof to back up his claims?”

He? Makoto never said a gender.

“Do you know?” Makoto grabbed the black and white bear and shook him. “Tell me you repulsive bear!

“Well since you called me repulsive I guess I won’t say!” Monokuma cooed. “Here, by the way.”

There in his paws was a familiar old manilla envelope with a red wax seal.

Chapter Text

There in the room sat Kokichi, Miu, Junko, and Byakuya. Byakuya was sitting in a chair that faced away from the entrance but near it. Junko laid on a couch that seemed to sink in and feel like a mattress. Kokichi sat on the edge of the couch and Miu sat in a chair facing all of them. The room was big and dark, but had an open arch so that anyone could walk in.

Junko asked the question everyone had been wondering. “Why is it called Luxury? I know it was named after someone.”

Not looking up, Byakuya answered. “Because, apparently, it’s a luxury that students get to rest.”

“Unless you’re me!” Miu laughed and smiled, then sulked. “Because you’re an engineering major.”

Kokichi piped in. “I thought you were sleeping around with that dirty—”

And soon enough Kokichi was being gagged by Miu.

Makoto couldn’t be bothered by the incessant blather of those around him. He was drowning himself in work again trying to ignore ‘P.’ P not only threatened Makoto but threatened those around him giving facts that no one else but him knew about. They—he knew about the games and what they went through. Even knew of Miu, Kaede, Kokichi, and Shuichi’s situation as well.

Makoto felt trapped in a one way mirror cell. Everyone could see him and the writhing pain he was in, but he couldn’t see those outside. He didn’t know who was with or against him anymore. He built a wall so high that he couldn’t climb over. He felt suffocated. 

No.

Suffocated meant he was already dead; he wasn’t.

There Makoto sat fully and wide awake doing work, something a dead person couldn’t do. Sometimes he wished he was dead…not dead, actually. He wished he simply didn’t exist. He had good days, but had more bad than good. When he would have a good day he only waited for the next bad day. Maybe he brought it upon himself; just wishing for another bad day to happen so he could get it over with.

All he could do was scribble down the notes he had taken out of his book. His hand had become numb at this point and his eyes red from the eye straint. His back hurt from the way he was sitting but he was too preoccupied with studying to care. He wanted to block out the world and ignore everything just to give his soul to college. At least there he was occupied with himself rather than worrying about others.

So he sat, and wrote…and wrote…and wrote…

…until he finally screamed.

“Well someone pissed in his cereal,” Kokichi remarked.

“What the hell, man?” Miu snapped. “You got something up your ass or something?”

Makoto didn’t speak. He couldn’t. It was as if all the energy he had was used for that one scream. He didn’t have any energy left. He was tired. He was done. He didn’t want to exist anymore if it meant he had to live like this.

“What are you saying, speak up you fool.” Byakuya told him. “You’re just mumbling.”

“Hey, wait,” Junko studied Makoto’s face. Why was everyone looking at him? “That face…”

Despair.

Makoto didn’t give a damn anymore. He said, “I can’t do this.” and cried. There he sat in front of everyone crying like a child. He sat there shaking and curling into a fetal  position. His fingers dug into his palms, possibly drawing some blood, and his head buried in his knees.

“Monokuma! Do you know anything about this?” Byakuya asked him.

“Why yes, I do,” a familiar puh-hu came after, “it’s just that he’s being threatened by a man.”

“Threats?” Miu asked. “Ah, bahumbag they’re just threats.”

“Not just any threats!” Monokuma exclaimed, “He knows about the rest of us too! Knowing our deep dark secrets and of the games.”

Everyone seemed to let out a short gasp, eyes widening in surprise, and a look of worry on their faces. Even Byakuya, who never talks about the games, seemed to regard them as something he’d never do again. Makoto knew that Byakuya was secretly like him. A torn down mess plagued by his past. He was a progeny and now he wasn’t. An heir to a dead name.

“I thought those who were in it knew,” Miu told the bear, “I know it was live but it’s not like you hacked the rest of the world’s broadcasting stations.”

“I didn’t,” Junko told her, “I tried but I gave up and focused on Japan.”

“So then how does this person know?” Byakuya asked. As much as he didn’t want to know emotion he sure was angry. His jaw was jutted and his eyebrows furrowed.

“It has to be someone from Japan then. I know the dark web doesn’t even have it. They have tried to pay for it but it turns out to be a fake.” Kokichi told them. “I’ve looked around. I wasn’t having my murder on any tv screen.”

Thanks ,” Miu gritted, “for mine.”

Byakuya cleared his throat. “We need to find this person. Who knows if they could out us to the public?”

Of course, Byakuya didn’t care that it was affecting Makoto. Makoto sat there with dry eyes and a wet face but no one seemed to offer a hand. Byakuya only cared about himself even if he wanted to care for others.

“Right,” Makoto spoke out unusually hoarse, “find the person…”

“Well what else do you want?” Byakuya seethed.

“I don’t know, some help?”

Byakuya nearly lunged at the boy when he said it. Makoto knew the wrath of Byakuya, and this look topped that. He showed all the usual signs of anger, but behind those cold eyes showed pure malice and hatred. “Help? You want some goddamn help? We’ve all tried to help but you never took it! Even I tried to help you but no you wanted to take it on yourself! You know what?”

Something boiled in Makoto, but he couldn’t bring himself to scream.

“What, Byakuya? That this is my fault? That I brought this upon myself? All you care about is yourself !”

“He’s right,” Kokichi spoke, “we’ve all tried to help but you stayed in your room sulking in your own self-worth and pity.”

“You don’t even know , Kokichi.”

For the first time he felt the wrath of the small boy. “ I don’t know? I was murdered ! You got all the glory by being the protagonist of the show! What was I? Some foil in a plan that was doomed to fail! But of course, introducing Makoto Naegi, the Ultimate Hope!”

“I didn’t…” Makoto sunk lower, “I didn’t ask for any of this…”

Everyone left him. Anger on their faces, except for Junko who enjoyed it, and pure hatred in their voice. Makoto didn’t wish for any of this. He wanted to be saved but couldn’t bring himself to ask. He didn’t even ask those to help him with the investigation. He needed to do it himself.

Byakuya was the last one left. He looked Makoto up and down, malice behind his eyes, and spoke.

“Save it for someone who cares.”