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The days go past in an extraordinarily slow manner.

"Wake up", go to the eight-thirty workout in the morning until noon, eat, "go to sleep" and listen to that song, and repeat.

Junko groans as she roams around the first floor of the Lime House. Her bare feet tap near-silently on the floors as she paces the room.

A shadow rushes at her from the side, and she throws up her hand to stop the damn thing from advancing. When she opens her red eyes, nothing is in front of her. She choppily exhales and groans.

Lack of sleep sure does cause some hallucinations. More so than those blueberries at the buffet table she's eaten more than once, having not learned her mistake.

It isn't her fault if the berries taste good! Even if they do… basically putting her into a coma. It's a miracle she isn't dead yet from breaking the rule of the motive.

Junko huffs in annoyance. She sits on the ground in front of the Lime Tower next to the statue. Her eyes most likely have bags under them, but her vision is too blurred to properly see anything in the mirror.

Idly, she wonders how Mukuro is. She's been avoiding Junko for a few days now, and it's starting to piss Junko off. Did she manage to do something grand to piss Mukuro off? Not likely, she's barely even seen the soldier over the past few days!

She rubs her eyes and pulls her knees to her chest, arms wrapped around her legs, and presses her cheek to her knees.

Why does her luck have to be so bad that when the others in the Lime House decided (were forced) to trade headphones with others, Junko lucked out in the bad way. She had been so tired that she couldn't analyze what number to pick, and now she's going more days with that song reverberating in her skull.

It's bullshit.

Her back rises and falls with her breaths. Her eyes slip closed but she doesn't dare answer the urgent call of sleep.

Thud!

God damnit.

Junko groans and pushes herself up to stand. "Of course when I try to fucking relax, there's some stupid sounds interrupting me!"

That's fine. She can always just go to the Lemon House to relax, maybe talk to Sakura, and forget about everything.

Just as she's about to go to the boat, something stops her in her tracks.

Junko glances down in bemusement and stomps her foot. A wet slap ripples water on the floor.

Is there a leak somewhere?

… Not her problem.

Too bad. She really wanted to go to the Lemon House, but fine, whatever. It's not like it matters anyway. She doesn't care.

Treading through the inch-deep water, Junko goes up the spiral staircase to the second floor of the Lime House. She sighs and plops down on the couch next to Celeste who had decided earlier to rest on the couch after the morning workout.

"Are you serious about not wearing shoes just because some water splashed your feet?" Celeste asks for the fifth time in two days. Her red eyes are glazed over with exhaustion and her blinks are long and heavy, turning her eyes half-lidded.

"Yep,"

"I highly advise you to reconsider,"

"Nope,"

"Have I ever told you how much you just so happen to infuriate me?"

"Yep,"

The gambler shakes her head in disbelief and sinks further into her square of the couch with a sigh. Junko doesn't have the energy to continue teasing her, so she cuddles onto her own square of the couch.

"Hey, Celeste,"

"What,"

Damn, she sounds pissed off. Junko snickers when Celeste whips her head around to glare fiercely at the fashionista.

Sighing, Junko says. "Y'know, you aren't so bad. A pain in the ass, sure," She hums. "But not that bad."

"... I appreciate the compliment, but I'm sure that one, you don't mean it and two, I don't deserve it,"

"Maybe," Actually, now that Celeste is here, Junko needs to ask something. "Hey, usually after the morning workout, you go back to your room. Why aren't you doing that lately?"

Celeste scoffs. "What would be the point? I don't have the headphones anymore because we decided to trade them off, so is there much of a reason to go back immediately in order to be secluded away if you don't have something to keep others out?"

… Point taken.

"Who got the headphones, by the way?"

"Sakura and Mukuro. Makoto told us he would be fine since he likes listening to the same song over and over again,"

That kind of sounds like Makoto. Constantly listening to the same song over and over without getting bored sounds pretty boring and not something creative minds do. Maybe that's why it's so perfect for Makoto!

"And Leon said he deserved to go insane from the damn song," Celeste says as she stands with a slight wobble, yet her face remains unchanged. It's as blank as a piece of paper.

"I am taking my leave now, so if you'll excuse me," She gives a brief nod and parts to the staircase.

"Fair warning," Junko calls out. "There's some dumb leak on the first floor, so watch your step."

Junko closes her eyes and zones out.


She can't do it anymore… Fuck!

Mukuro paces around the first floor of the Lemon House, ignorant to the scoff of Celeste who just exited the boat coming from the Lime House.

She eyes the Funhouse where she knows answers are waiting for her, locked behind puzzles and other things. She shouldn't… but something urges her to go forward towards the horribly designed doors.

It's just a room with an ominous name and a creepy design on the doors.

Mukuro doesn't hear the arrival of a new boat behind her.

Hell, maybe it'll be some sort of death game inside like Russian roulette. A bullet in one of the six chambers shooting out of the revolver, cracking her skull as it tears through the soft tissue of her brain. She'd bleed out fairly quickly if she didn't die instantly.

The feet pad closer as her metal hand reaches out.

Perhaps it isn't a death game and is more of a thrill. Five finger fillet is the perfect game she can think of. The knife hitting the table between her spread fingers as she moves her other hand faster and faster and fasterandfasterandfasterand--

Grumbling from behind her that she doesn't hear.

Fuck it! Maybe it's some sick and twisted thing like hangman, but the person being hanged is--

"Mukuro!"

The soldier squeaks and whips around. The quickness of the action combined with a strange wetness on the floor makes the girl slip and fall on her ass while her upper back hits the door.

"God, no wonder J-Dog was worrying up a storm," Mukuro glances up with wide eyes. Kyo's tongue is hanging out of his mouth, and he's tugging on the thing with one hand and swinging the small can of paint Junko brought along. His eyes turn harsh. "Hell're you doing tryna go in that fucking room? Don'tcha know only dumbasses go there?"

"How do you… know about this room?" Mukuro asks.

Kyo rolls his eyes. "You think I'm stupid or some shit? I have a journal," He talks in a slow and enunciated way that pisses Mukuro off. "And when J-Dog writes in said journal, I look at it and find out what happened when I was asleep. Got that?"

"What, so Junko needed to keep you updated on everything, huh?"

"Geez, what's with the fucking switcheroo of your attitude…?" He crosses his arms and glares down at her. "Did I do something to piss you off?"

Mukuro shakes her head and lifts herself up from the wet floor. Is there a leak somewhere?

"No, you didn't do anything… Just leave me alone," The soldier stomps through the inch-deep water and up the stairs, mindful of Kyo's narrowed eyes on her back.

When she reaches the second floor, she sees both Leon and Sakura sitting on one couch talking idly and Hajime on the other couch rifling through papers. What is he doing, exactly?

"What are you doing?" She inquires with a bite in her tone.

Hajime glances up with an unimpressed face. "Taking matters into my own hands since I don't have help,"

"And who'd wanna help some suspicious person like you? No one sees the point in tryna get you to confess anything that'd help us," Leon, cranky, spits out.

"Seeing the point…? The point is that I'm trying to save your asses from the despair of Monokuma's game," He closes his eyes and takes a big breath before sighing. "You guys may not trust me, but I am trying to get you guys out of here."

Mukuro bites her lip.

"You can give me those looks all you like, but they won't faze me," He shuffles the papers into a neat pile and picks them up. His hazel eyes scan over the room to the staircase. "If you'll excuse me, I have better things to do than following a bear's instructions over multiple days. If you want to join me in getting the rest of you out of here, feel free."

Hajime passes by Mukuro. Time slows down as their eyes meet one another, one showing disappointment while the other is stoic. Shaking his head, Hajime pushes past the soldier and down the stairs.

Mukuro stands still in place for a long moment before turning her attention to Leon. "Hey, Leon, you aren't ever going to open that envelope are you?"

"Huh…?" Leon glances up. His orange hair curtains his pale blue eyes. "Tch, nah not anymore. I don't see the point. Why, you want it?"

"... If I could have it,"

"Be my guest," He grabs the envelope from his pocket and frisbees it over to the soldier who catches it nonchalantly.

Sakura sighs. "It's nearing ten o'clock, so we should go relax. If anyone needs me, do not hesitate in knocking," She goes to the buffet table and picks up a small plate and fills it with mixed berries. "I'm going to give this to Celeste before I lie down. I noticed she never ate properly today, so I will give her this."

Cocking her head to the side, Mukuro raises her brows and the choice of food. "Wouldn't something more… heavy sit better in her stomach?"

"It would, yes, but Celeste told me herself that she wouldn't prefer anything heavy in fear of her lunch being tossed up,"

Leon furrows his brows. "Yeah, I guess she's got a point as much as I hate to admit it,"

Mukuro watches the martial artist knock on Celeste's door before entering. Her mind drifts to the envelope currently resting in her metal hand.

She shouldn't open it at the moment, though. When she has a chance to open it without any fear of anybody seeing, she'll open it.

For now… Mukuro yawns and rubs her eyes. It wouldn't hurt to rest in her room for the next few hours until that song turns off. It's nearly ten like Sakura said, so Mukuro is going to go to her room.

"You going to stay out here all night or…?" Mukuro asks the baseball player still sitting on the couch.

He chuckles. "Nah, I'm gonna go to my room… I just wanna talk to what I got left of HIFAK first…"

Mukuro bites her lip and takes a small step forward before moving to sit next to Leon. He's holding small objects in his hands, cradling them gently, and smiling with guilt.

"Are those… Toko's glasses?"

"Yeah… And a small strip of Hina's jacket and Hiro's bracelet beads…" Leon's shoulders tremble. "I-I miss 'em. Fuck, I miss 'em…"

Mukuro ponders for a moment before cracking a small smile. "I think we should change the name from HIFAK to something else,"

"Like… what?"

"Weed and Chill?"

"... I think Hina would like the weed part, Hiro'd like the chill part, and Toko… She wouldn't like any of the shit we pull,"

"Yeah," Mukuro pats Leon's thigh with a slight chuckle. "But let's get out of here and honor their memory… because they won't ever be forgotten."

"No…" Leon grips the items tight and shove them into his pocket. He stands up. "No the hell they won't be forgotten! And if I gotta use my music career to help spread their names, then, dammit, I'll do the thing!"

Mukuro stands and grins. "We got this,"

"Hell yeah!"

Their hands slap together in a tight grip as they smile at each other.

Mukuro can't help but feel guilty.


When Junko comes to her own body, she's standing outside of the Final Dead Room and still in inch-deep water. She scowls at the wetness on her feet and kicks the water.

"Screw you, dihydrogen monoxide!"

Unfortunately, Junko slips and falls onto her back with a slight splash and a muffled thud. She curls her hands to the back of her head and groans.

"What the hell…" She hisses and stumbles in helping herself up.

"... Are you OK?"

Junko glances up and scowls upon seeing Hajime standing a foot in front of her holding some papers. She finishes lifting to her feet and brushes herself off, not like it'll help the obvious water on her back.

"I'm fine you damn porcupine. Now what're you doing in the Lemon House?"

"Collecting data. I'm trying to get you guys out,"

"Yeah right,"

Hajime shakes his head and turns on his heal, walking through the shallow water. Squawking, Junko hurries after him and nearly slips multiple times from her lack of shoes.

They both get on the boat and wait in pure silence.

"You claim to be both a fashionista and an analyst, yet you refuse to use your latter talent unless it benefits you," Hajime points out. "Why is that?"

"'Cause the fashion wizzes don't like sexy and smart girls. They like the girls that look the part and don't have the brains," Junko replies.

"And you just… What, you take that treatment?"

"Kinda, yeah, but I'm smart enough to not get duped into some dumbass deal,"

Hajime sighs. "Junko, I can't tell you what to do, but I can give you advice. Don't worry about your managers, they don't care anymore. Be who you want to be,"

"What--"

"Be the smart girl your sister knows you are that you refuse to be," The Lime House slides into view and the boat parks. Hajime turns his head to look at the fashionista. "And I'm not saying to give up the feminine side of yourself, because you can be both feminine and smart. Don't conform to dumb world views."

Junko sneers. "First of all, don't tell me what to fucking do. I can drop the fashionista shit and be an analyst full time if I wanted. You saying shit won't encourage me to do anything, so I don't know why you tried,"

"Heh… Yeah, I guess I deserved that. Just promise me one thing," He pulls a small pocket watch from his front pocket and checks the time. Hajime steps out of the boat and calls over his shoulder as he walks away. "Promise to try to go to sleep tonight. I need to settle something, and everything will be alright."

Junko blinks in surprise at his promise. Go to sleep when the motive is to not sleep? Does Hajime think she has a death wish or some shit?

Junko steps out of the boat and toes the ground before slipping and falling on her face. She curses into the water, and bubbles pop beside her ears.

It's a struggle to get up the stairs, but the fashionista manages with no help at all. She creeps into her room and sits down against the wall, sinking into the uncomfortable space from pure exhaustion.

Her eyes start to blink closed and back open again. Her eye lids have weights on them, pulling them down unwillingly even as the song plays in the background.

Soon after, she falls into a deep sleep.

Never gonna give you up!

Never gonna let you down!

Never gonna run around and desert you!

Never gonna make you cry!

Never gonna say goodbye!

Never gonna tell a lie… and hurt you!

Thud! Crash!

What the fuck was that?!

Junko gasps as she sits up in pure panic. Her body moves automatically to the door, which she pulls open harshly, and steps out.

The damn music is still playing overhead. It's blaring loudly, and it's a miracle how their rooms do slightly muffle the sound.

Sayaka and Hifumi rush out of their own rooms right after Junko does, eyes wide with panic.

"What was that?! If it was a level one-hundred boss, my PVP skills and stats have yet to update!" Hifumi rubs his eyes by pushing his glasses up with the knuckles of his thumbs.

Sayaka sighs in relief. "Oh, it was just the clock falling…"

Junko and Hifumi look down at the ground to see that, yes, the analog clock that once resided on the wall has fallen down.

"But… what caused the fucking ground shake, then?" Junko asks.

"We haven't been to sleep in ages…" Sayaka yawns and slumps slightly. "Maybe we were all hallucinating it."

We were all? What a strange way to put it. If it was a hallucination due to the lack of sleep, would Junko still feel it too since she got some sleep?

… Actually, what was the deal with sleep anyway? Hajime said he'd take care of it… Huh, Junko was wrong about that puny twink. Twunk? He is kind of nice to look at even with Junko playing for the other team.

Her red eyes glide to the clock again. The big hand is ticking past the thirty while the little hand is on the six. Six-thirty in the morning, huh? There should be enough time to rest before the eight-thirty workout. It's a miracle the damn thing still works.

Junko yawns and sits in her room for the time being just contemplating the mystery in their bunch: Hajime.

He's going to help them. How is he going to do that? And, more importantly, why is he doing that for them? Is there a point to the madness?

She isn't sure how much time has passed until there's three solid knocks on her door. Junko looks up just in time for the door to open and Kyoko to peek her head in. She looks ready to drop at any moment, but her face remains blank.

"Are you ready? The clock apparently fell sometime during the night, and it's time to do our workout,"

Junko groans as she pushes herself up. Her feet drag herself out to the rest of the second floor where everyone else sans the Lemon House people are waiting.

"You all ready to go?" Sayaka sighs out.

"Not yet, we still have to get Hajime," Kyoko goes over to his door only to stop. Her eyes narrow at the sudden appearance of Monokuma, his arms crossed and foot tapping on the ground and a cein popping out of his forehead.

"I'm disappointed in you students. I set up a clear time to have our workout and, yet, here you are slacking off!" He throws his arms up in a roar.

Junko blinks, taken aback. "Huh? Isn't it time now?"

The bear is still ranting. "This is why people should never have children, they never listen to clear orders!"

Orders? Children aren't supposed to follow orders, they're supposed to be kids.

"Besides, I think one'a you left the faucet running upstairs or something," He huffs. "All of the first floor is flooded to hell! Call me Noah and get my arc, 'cause that sucker ain't doing good for lives! Actually… isn't this just great? I always wanted to die like this!"

Kyoko sighs. "Can you at least clear out the water so we can assess the damage?"

"'Can you at least clear out the water so we can assess the damage'," The bear nags in a lower tone. He perks back up. "Puhuhuhu, that's how you sounded just now! Like a total nut! Yeah, I'll get rid of the water. It'll take juuust a second!"

Monokuma pops away then comes back with a rather large cork. "Had to apply another layer of glass, but the first is still visible. Go on then, go explore," He makes air quotes. "'Assess the damage' if you must. Puhuhu…"

Junko lets the others go first and follows after them.

The first floor is a mess. The statue of the A. Owari girl is still standing, but the amount of green plants around it and fish is concerning.

Junko steps off of the stairs, slips, and falls on her ass. She stands with a wobble and ignores the throb in her tailbone. Grimacing, she picks up some of the green plant that is sticking to her foot.

"Is this… seaweed?" She inquires with disbelief. 

Kyoko cups her chin. "It certainly looks like it,"

Hifumi perks up at the name. "Seaweed? I believe I saw some in the Lime Tower where all of the mobs are,"

"Mobs… meaning fish, correct?" The detective sweatdrops.

"Indeed, Ms. Kirigiri,"

Kyoko furrows her brows. "I have a bad feeling about this,"

Junko takes her hand before the detective can take off. She blushes and scoffs nonchalantly. "This doesn't mean anything, I just can walk without shoes,"

"Maybe you shouldn't have taken them off then," Sayaka mutters under her breath.

That cheeky little…!

No. Happy thoughts, Junko, only happy thoughts are allowed right now. As Kyoko tugs her to the half-open doors to the Lime Tower, happiness rushes down her spine. Oh yeah, happy thoughts alright.

… But the happy thoughts are snatched away in an instant.

Junko's throat dries up at the state of the room. It looks worse than the Lime Hall or even the first floor.

But the thing that stands out the most isn't the state of the room…

Ding dong! Bing bong!

"A body has been discovered!"

It's Hajime Hinata's dead body in the middle of the room, lying down and facing the students with dead eyes.