Nagito sat in the back, quietly observing. It was the one thing even he could do more or less successfully. He had been thoroughly enjoying other people's conversations, till the comforting atmosphere had been cut in by the entrance of a faceless background character. Someone who clearly didn't know how to follow the script.
The room was clean of him at the moment. He'd snuck off with the Ultimate Mechanic just mere moments ago, leaving all his belongings completely in the air, to Nagito's attention. Weird, considering he'd been much more protective of his items lately, not that Nagito had been paying attention, but it was hard to miss the way the clung to his phone lately. He might have mistaken it as glued to his hand.
Nagito shifted his eyes back to his classmates. He was reading too far into the actions of the common man.
Soon after the door closed behind the two, The Ultimate Princess stood up, her footsteps soft and precise. "I believe this is my chance to make an easy exit." She sighed. How unfortunate, it seemed she didn't receive Soda's advances as hopefully as Nagito thought.
"Escape girl! lol." Ibuki beamed.
"Who says lol out loud. Lame."
"Hiyoko. I'm girls supporting girls right now. Oh, I could write a song about it." To make he point, Ibuki jumped up and made various generic cheerleading poses, while yelling loudly. Nagito admitted noise was never his thing, but for the sake of the Ultimate there was nothing he wouldn't do, even bare to Ibuki earsplitting volume. Sonia enjoyed her enthusiasm much more, as she clapped lightly for her and laughed.
In her excitement, The musician jumped back, banging her body against the desk where Hajime's belongings resigned, sending them flying to the floor, putting everyone's attention on Ibuki. Everyone except Nagito, whose attention had only been on her, for a moment before noticing Hajime's phone. It had slid, long and dramatically, all the way towards him before slowing stop right before at his feet.
Nagito huffed quietly. "Not very subtle today are we, Luck." He thought to himself.
"Owwwwwwwww. Someone call Mikan, Everything hurts." Ibuki yowled and groaned as she rubbed her lower back, where she had likely hit a bone on the desk. Peko stood and rushed over to pick up Hajime's belongings.
"I'll take care of it for you." She spoke swiftly as swept papers and trinkets back into the bag with her hand.
"I wasn't gonna do anything! I don't care about that guys trash." Fuyuhikko's face flushed as he squeal high-pitched, but he had stood up reflexively upon seeing the bag hit the floor. "That's Ibuki's mess to clean up."
"Gosh, didn't you hear me? I said my ass hurts guys." She received a unconcerned chorus of "We heard you." Well, except Sonia, who helpfully rubbed her back for comfort.
Nagito leaned to pick up the phone. He turned it in his hands, looking for whatever he was clearly supposed to be seeing, eyeing Pekoyama every other moment to see if she noticed him but her back was still turn to the ground, with Fuyuhikko hovering near.
As he glanced at them, he heard the soft click of something opening. Nagito looked down and realized he'd accidently pressed open the SD card slot, and a small pink chip had fallen into his palm. Nagito eyebrows furrowed, as he struggled to read the words itch on it
Peko placed the bag down with a bang. Surprising Nagito who slipped the chip into the pocket of his jacket.
As he calmed himself from he noise he called to her, "Pekoyama, I believe this goes with the rest of the toy set." He waved the phone in his hand.
"How did that get over there?" her eyes narrowed slightly, laced with slight suspicion, but Peko strode over and picked the phone from his hand. "Thank you." She turned her back to him.
"No worries." He held his placid smile, the chip snug in his jacket. He returned to his observing but found himself slipping into his own thoughts. Deeper and deeper, as everything turned blank around him.
What felt like seconds later, Nagito returned to a empty classroom. He sighed as stood and began his walk home, ignoring the reverb of his footsteps in the halls.
As he enter the dormitory building, he saw the various main course students around. He knew nearly all the faces by talent, if not name. Ultimate Popstar, Ultimate Gambler, Ultimate Pharmacist, he ticked them off in his head like a list. Like many of the other students, Nagito didn't really need to be here as he had more than suitable housing. Nevertheless, he was happy the dorms were required, otherwise he wouldn't be graced with the presence of so many Ultimate students everyday. It may have been a little unfair, sure, but their entrapment was his utmost delight.
Still, it seemed the hope of his ultimates struggled to penetrate the walls of his actual room. As the door clicked shut behind him, he felt it return. The feeling of disconnect. Even far away from his mansion he still felt it, the feeling there was s no body that mattered beyond the walls despite everything. No reason to leave no reason to enter.
"Truly despairing. What hopeful luck will such and awful feeling bring me today." Nagito cheered.
He remembered the chip. "Perhaps I've already received that luck." It's not like there was much else to do anyway. So he opened his phone and clicked the chip inside, and a screen near instantly popped up. It informed him something was installing. Despite the obvious involvement of his luck, Nagito wasn't quite ready. His questions about the Reserve weren't prepared to be answered, so he looked away instead of peering intently.
Nagito placed the phone on his bedtable as he turned to take off his coat. He then sat quietly straining his ears in attempt to hear people moving outside his door. Unlike at the mansion, if he listened hard enough he could likely make out noise from beyond the wall but even then he found himself not wanting to. Though he specifically requested to be choked by the overwhelming hope of his main course students, the choking wasn't as inspiring as he expected, more of a overwhelming soul-crushing pressure in his entire body. Nagito didn't know which felt worse, hearing nobody or every body behind the walls.
So he settled for nobody and turned his attention to a book lying on his beside table. Before he could open a page, He heard a buzz and saw his phone screen light up. He paused for a moment, then search then screen. He noticed a new icon in his app gallery.
He pressed it.
"Hello. I'm Chiaki-" A girl popped onto the screen, her voice was monotone but friendly, then it turned to surprise, "Oh. You aren't Hajime."
Nagito reeled back at her sudden appearance. He could no longer stop himself from doing his intent peering as he hover 3 inches from the screen.
"A....person?" His voice was filled with fascination.
"No, I'm a computer, I think. Artificial Intelligence. You can call me Chiaki Nanami," Chiaki smiled, and tilted her head.
"Truly Incredible. Something like this must be the work of Ultimate."
"Well, yes. My father, Chihiro Fujisaki-"
"The Ultimate programmer. Of course." Nagito interrupted as he thought of their feats. He hadn't be particularly into coding himself, but he had done lots of late night "research" on various Ultimates and their achievements. As he lost himself in these thoughts he remembered he was still in another person's presence. He turned back down to Chiaki, who was giving him a strange expression. It wasn't one of out right disgust though, like he had expected.
"My apologies, Chiaki. It just, for someone as lowly as me to have something of Ultimate creation in my very hands is..." He wiped the drool pooling at his chin, "A very moving experience."
Chiaki didn't seem to bother by his fanboying. "I'm not that impressive though. You don't even know what I can do yet."
"Don't be so down on yourself. The very fact you exist is a feat no one else can replicate." Nagito comforted. "That being said, why would a Reserve student have such advanced technology installed on his phone? There's no way he'd be talented enough to steal something like this."
"Mm. He didn't steal it. I'm just a personal project, so like I said I'm not really that amazing. Hajime is testing me out."
"To think anyone would trust someone, well, like him, with such and honor, Only for him to lose you? To the likes of me no less. Truly uninspiring Hajime." Nagito sighed and shook his head.
"I'm sure he didn't mean to."
He flitted his thumb over the SD slot. "Even so, it would be very unfortunate for him if something were to happened to this chip." He couldn't help the air of danger rising in his voice. He knew he could never destroy such brilliant technology but if he did, boy, wouldn't that surely teach Hajime a lesson. It might finally get him out of the classroom, and effectively out of his head.
"Don't." Chiaki voice was firm, and her brows furrowed.
"Oh? You seem bothered Chiaki? Are you worried about being deleted?" An amazing concept in and of itself, Nagito thought.
Chiaki paused, seemingly irritated with him, but then her voice softened. "My program won't be deleted just because you threw away my chip. But even if it did, I'm more replaceable than Hajime's reputation. I can't let you do something like that to him."
"You care about Hajime? You understand what I mean when I say he's Reserve, or is that knowledge not in your programming?"
"I know. And even if it wasn't in my programming, Hajime has told me plenty about it. And plenty about how you feel about it." Nagito didn't think Hajime took anything he ever said to heart, not with his defiant attitude. "But Hajime is a good person. He's my friend."
He was silent for a moment, and Chiaki made no move to change that fact. "Strange." The only word Nagito could slip from his lips. It was strange. It felt like everyone in the world loved Hajime, despite everything Nagito knew. Nagito knew the world wasn't like that. It didn't love those who didn't deserve it, those not born to the affections of the universe. But it loved Hajime and it made no sense. It gave Hajime hope that he never earned, that he never bleed for. Nagito knew there was never hope without despair. He knew he couldn't be wrong, He was never wrong, no how hard he tried. No matter how hard he hoped, ironically.
And Chiaki said nothing, she sat in his hand boring through him. He had to redirect.
"I'm not going to throw you away Chiaki. You're far too amazing for that. Someone as lowly as me should never even considered doing something as shameful as that to you." He cheered at his own self-deprecation, but Chiaki didn't seem flattered. "That said, I really don't trust you in the hands of someone like Hajime. I mean look what happened the first time."
Chiaki was still quiet like she was calculating something. Calculating him. Finally, after forever and then some, she spoke, "Ok then. I won't tell Hajime."
"But I thought you were friends, shouldn't friends trust each other?" Nagito edged at her, but Chiaki seemed to have already adjusted to his personality.
"He'll find out eventually." Something about that felt genuinely threatening but he couldn't explain it. "And I want to talk to you, too. That's what I'm for, after all. Maybe we can be friends too."
Nagito chuckled sympathetically, admiring her optimistic attitude. "I don't think you'd want to be friends with someone like me."
"Hm. We'll see." Chiaki smiled.