Akira had ran the moment the first blood was spilled, the first shot was fired. He may not have been the strongest, but he knew how to survive. He had been walking for close to 6 days now, and god, he was tired . He didn’t know where he was heading, why he was going that direction, but he knew that it felt right. As he walked closer to the blurred shapes in the distance, he saw skyscrapers and beautiful, modern buildings. He was in Tokyo.
Ryuji Sakamoto was part of a small band of survivors from his school. Their leader by default was Kamoshida, the shittiest gym teacher to exist. Effing pervert. But, Kamoshida kept them alive, so he had to grin and bear it.
Ann Takamaki was a foreigner stuck in Japan, an exchange student lost in a school she had just started a few weeks ago, with a language she didn’t know for shit.
Yusuke Kitagawa had stuck with his mentor through it all. The disease spreading, quarantining themselves, going out to find food that Yusuke only got the scraps of.
Makoto Niijima loved her sister, the ruthless leader of a survivor’s group. They were allied with Kamoshida’s group, trading supplies and hunting together. Makoto was the brains, but her sister didn’t need brains. She had enough of her own.
Futaba Isshiki had been wandering when the disease struck. She knocked on a random door and was let in, her eyes shining with tears after she watched her mother drop dead right in front of her. She locked herself in a room and didn’t leave.
Haru Okumura was the daughter of a very rich man. She didn’t know how to function when money had no value, so she agreed to marry for an alliance.
And Goro Akechi… The less said about his situation the better.
alright everyone! welcome to shadows of the survivors (title idea by mobianflame, send some love that way <3) and i hope nyall enjoy! this is my first time doing “real writing” in a while so here we go!!!! remember to give comments about what you enjoy, what could be changed, and just general tidbits if you want to!
Chapter 2: First Meeting
hey everyone, this is important info for the fic! since p5 is set in japan, all the bold text is in english , none of the characters so far understand english very well, and ann in this au doesn't know japanese
hope you enjoy the chapter!
Akira stopped under an awning in the rain, panting and wiping his face with some of his ragged clothing, hissing as water dripped into the deep wound in his hand. There was supposed to be a camp a few minutes from where he was, where he’d get food and water. At least, that’s what the man in the former cafè said. Its name was… LeBlanc? He caught his breath as a girl in a hood and a simple medical mask strolled up beside him and lowered her hood to wring out her hair. He kept his eyes on the ground.
“Freaking rain… I almost hit the supply cache like Kamoshida asked for! Maybe then Shiho would’ve gotten a day off… Who am I kidding, he-” The blonde’s mutterings were cut off as a heavily modified car roared to a stop in front of them, the window opening to reveal a muscular man with curly black hair.
“Takamaki! We’ve been looking for you for hours, I need you back at camp. Hey, Curly. Need a ride?” Akira shook his head as the blonde stepped into the car, her face falling ever so slightly as the window closed. As luck would have it, another blonde ran past him just as the car left, before stopping and grabbing his leg, swearing. He turned to Akira.
“What? You gonna rat me out to Kamoshida? I’m in my hunting time, you ain’t gonna get me punished for going out of the gates.” Akira tilted his head, confused. The blonde got closer.
“What, d’you not know Kamoshida?” Akira didn’t know how he could respond, instead opting to make an X over his throat and shaking his head. The blonde grimaced.
“Ohhhhh. You don’t know him, though? That’s good. Come on in, we’ll get you set up with a whiteboard or something… And some bandages.” Sakamoto offered his hand and Akira shook it, smiling gently. Good. Sakamoto took Akira’s hand afterwards.
“You must be trying to get to Shujin Camp, huh? Here, I’ll show you.” Akira felt lightheaded and stumbled at the same time as Sakamoto. He frantically waved his hands and pointed at his head, making spinning motions around his head with his fingers.
“Me too, man, me too. Okay, do you have a pen or something? I wanna be able to call you something.” Akira shook his head before his eyes lit up. He pulled a single playing card out of his coat pocket and showed one to Sakamoto.
“... Joker? Better than nothing, I guess. Alright, let’s get you back to camp.”
“So, why’d you have that card on you?” Akira shrugged. He had woken up with the card in his pocket on the day it all began, and he had kept it nearby ever since.
“Where were you when it started? I was at home, but I got my mom to run to Shujin.” Akira thought for a moment before turning and sticking a finger in a muddy area nearby.
“What the eff, dude, gross!” Akira glared at Sakamoto as he wrote shaky letters in the mud with his left hand.
“Holy shit , you’re from Inaba and you walked here?” Akira nodded and scuffed the words up with his shoe, as to hide his message and give him a clean slate.
K-A-M-O B-A-D ?
Sakamoto nodded somberly.
“Yeah, he’s shitty as hell, even broke my leg, but we had no other options. Niijima would never let us in her camp with my leg, and that dude in Yongen is livin’ totally alone.” Akira nodded in understanding, before standing up and completely covering the letters in mud. No need for anyone to see those. Akira wiped his hand off on a nearby wall and took Sakamoto’s hand once more, letting him lead Akira to the camp.
“Kamoshida, I told you! The rain gave away my position, I couldn’t!” Akira tilted his head in confusion and pointed towards the door that they were waiting outside of.
“That’s Takamaki. She’s an exchange student from America, barely speaks Japanese. Chouno is probably in there translating.” Just then, the door swung open and a girl stormed out. Kamoshida looked around the doorway and narrowed his eyes at Sakamoto.
“You came back early.”
“I found an increase in our ranks. Master of stealth, can’t and won’t say a word.”
“Hmm… Let me see him.” Kamoshida circled around the boy, almost like a predator seeking out his prey.
“So, Kamoshida? You gonna take him or not?” Kamoshida put a finger up in response to Sakamoto and looked Akira in the eyes.
“Do you have a name, Curly?” Akira nodded. Again, he put an X over his throat with his fingers, and pointed towards the chalkboard in the back of the room.
“Alright. Write down your name, and why I should let you in.” Akira scribbled furiously, letters a bit messy with his left hand.
“My name is Akira Kurusu. I was in Inaba when the outbreak started, and I’ve walked for six days nonstop to get here. I’m determined, can last a while without food, and won’t say a word of any plans to your enemies.” Kamoshida grinned.
“Alright. He could be useful. Sakamoto! He rooms with you and Mishima. Take him sniping tomorrow morning.” Akira meekly raised his hand and pointed to the chalkboard, then pointed to his mouth. Sakamoto grinned.
“It’s cool, man, we can get you something back at the room. Welcome to the Shujin family.”
Chapter 3: A Universal Language
Akira tugged at the twine holding the chalkboard around his neck up, trying to ignore the texture.
“Whaddya think, Kurusu?” Akira quickly scribbled out a few words.
“It’s perfect. Thank you, Sakamoto. Sorry for small sentence, need write fast.” Akira proceeded to erase the words before writing more.
“Keep calling Joker. Like that more. Kurusu reminds of before. Not in front of others, though. Secret.” Sakamoto smiled brightly.
“Got it, Joker! I should introduce you to Mishima…” Just then, a boy with short black hair walked into the room.
“Sakamoto, I hear we have a new roommate?” Akira took into account the bruises littering the boy’s face as Sakamoto nodded.
“Yeah, this is Kurusu. Found him during hunting, he walked all the way here from Inaba. Before you try, he can’t talk. Mute. Half the reason Kamoshida even took him. Kurusu, this is Mishima. Mishima, Kurusu.” Akira waved to Mishima, who flopped down face-first on his cot.
“Kill meeeee… Our team has been going so hard, everything hurts. Shiho is starting to joke about a revolt petition. Three people have signed.” Sakamoto gasped.
“Not surprised by the petition, but Shiho ? Hot damn.”
“Yeah, once he started calling people back to his office for ‘meetings’ she got pissed. He called her in for one earlier.” Akira winced. Kamoshida must be a tyrant or something. Yikes.
Akira took a deep breath and closed one eye, focusing on the target. They looked so… Gone. Empty. He fired off a shot, but diverted the gun just before so that it wouldn’t hit that poor Infected. Sakamoto growled.
“Dude! I saw that, you almost had them!” Akira shook his head and hid his face in his hands before writing,
“Can be healed?” Sakamoto shrugged.
“Dunno. Kamoshida wants them gone, even if it’s really shitty to do, so if we want to stay we kinda have to- Hold on.” Sakamoto fired the gun. The person went down, and Akira flipped the fuck out. Sakamoto immediately put down the gun and rushed to Akira’s side.
“Joker! Dude, talk to me. Well, write to me- Nevermind, what’s wrong?” Akira grabbed the chalkboard and hastily scribbled out,
“Gun killed classmates only survivor they purge school purge town hide by body they kill everyone only survivor I’m the only survivor ” Sakamoto’s hand flew to his mouth.
“Dude… Oh my god. I… I’m so sorry. I- Dude. Your whole class? Were they infected? Were you infected?”
“No! Killed for no reason, mass murder, organized by orange goggles bald man.” Sakamoto groaned.
“Shit, dude. So sorry. Hey, wanna go back to the room? Relax a bit before finding you a new job, without guns?” Akira nodded shakily.
“Not your fault, don’t blame. Kamoshida fault.” Sakamoto slung Akira’s arm around his shoulder, supporting him as he got up.
“Agreed. There’s no way he doesn’t know about Inaba, I was a message runner for a day or two after the first wave. Also, call me Ryuji. Maybe we should investigate?” Akira nodded and put a hand to his head at the same time as Ryuji.
“Me too. Weird.” As the two hobbled back to their room, Ryuji went ghostly pale.
“Ryuji, what’s wrong?” Ryuji simply pointed towards the roof, where Akira saw a girl perched. Her hair fluttered in the wind as she took a deep breath, before Akira heard a scream in a language he didn’t understand, but the message rang through loud and clear.
“Shiho, no!” The cry was too late. The next few minutes were a blur to Akira, seeing a blonde he didn’t know rush past him, sobbing incomprehensibly as the girl was taken to the medical ward.
Anguish is a universal language, after all.
Chapter 4: Infiltration: Start
Akira had been laying down, facing the wall for hours. He couldn’t get the image out of his mind, and after a few minutes of trying to convince him to get up, Ryuji had decided to just let him be. His mind drifted away...
The screams of the students, tens jumping before a single shot could be fired at them, choosing an end at their own hands rather than the hands of others.
A man in orange goggles surveying the scene after the massacre, grinning beneath his mask.
Akira running until he couldn’t anymore, hiding behind the counter in a convenience store next to his friend, whose eyes were open and empty, blood staining their hair.
He was the only survivor of his high school.
“Kurusu. -- up.” Akira turned his head, but only enough to see the face of the person waking him. Oh. Takamaki. He quickly pulled out his chalkboard and wrote in the little English he knew,
“Need what?” Takamaki gasped in delight, momentarily breaking her out of the emptiness in her eyes.
“-- know English?”
“Little. Need what?”
“Right. Sakamoto is -- for you.
“Repeat? Small words.”
“Sakamoto eyes for you.”
“Oh, thank you! Sorry Shiho. Alive?”
“Okay, not your fault. Kamoshida fault. Shiho sleeping deep, hurt but alive.”
“Thank you again. Go find Sakamoto?”
“Yes, by eating room.” With that, Akira took off, gently smiling at Takamaki. Language barrier aside, she seemed nice.
“Joker, dude! Did Takamaki go find you?”
“Yes! I used English, she seemed happy.” Ryuji’s eyes went wide.
“You know English?” Akira shook his head.
“Not well. Didn’t understand parts, but managed to talk. What do you need?” Ryuji clenched his fists and held out a phone.
“It would’ve died days ago, but Mishima managed to rig up some sort of charger for everyone. This is Shiho’s phone, she has an audio recording from the day before, and… I think you should hear this.” Ryuji pressed play. Bile rose into Akira’s throat as he heard the file, and he quickly pressed the stop button.
“We need to stop him. How many do you think this has happened to?”
“By my guess, just Takamaki and Shiho so far. The guys get knocked around pretty bad, but he doesn’t… Yeah.” Akira brightened and quickly scribbled something out.
“Snoop in his office! We could find something to condemn him! Mishima on watch?” Ryuji thought for a moment before grinning.
“I like it. I’ll worry about getting us in, you can convince Mishima. I think he’ll be more receptive to you.” Akira nodded, determined.
“No way in hell.” Akira frowned before turning the board around.
“Please. We need to be sure that we aren’t missing anything. Audio isn’t enough. Please, Mishima.” Mishima turned away from Akira.
“I’m on his good side and… I’m so sorry, Kurusu, but I can’t risk that. I want to so bad, but… Do you know what happens to the people he exiles?” Akira shook his head.
“The moment they head out, they get swarmed. They get infected almost instantly. And we… We have to gun them down. I can’t let anybody here have to look at me and kill me.” Akira tugged on Mishima’s jacket before showing him the board.
“Ryuji and I are looking for a cure. We can try to heal them, Mishima. Please. We want to make sure that bastard can never touch Shiho again.” Akira looked directly into Mishima’s eyes, tears spilling out of his own.
“... I’ll do it.”
Chapter 5: Discovered
Akira slowly crept in before shutting the door behind him. He knocked twice, getting three knocks in response. Alright. Ryuji was on his way in, then. He quickly scampered behind the desk, hiding until he was sure that it was Ryuji that entered. Ryuji pointed to the bookshelf and himself. Akira nodded and pointed to the desk. The two set off, quietly searching his office for condemning evidence. Paperwork, letter, letter, paperwork… Notebook paper? It was torn and crumpled, like he changed his mind halfway through. Akira began to read.
“ To the base of: Niijima Sae
Sender: Kamoshida Suguru
Niijima-San, I regret to inform you that I have been compromised. As such, Kobayakawa shall be taking over the Shujin branch shortly, but I will continue to operate as leader until I am too far. This is simply a notice so you may prepare . As such, I will be continuing to operate for Shujin and attempt to discover some sort of suppressant. ”
What the fuck . Compromised? Too far? Akira grabbed the paper and stuffed it in his pocket, when he heard four knocks at the door. Fucking shit. Kamoshida was on his way. Ryuji crammed himself into a locker and closed it as Akira crawled on top of a desk and into a vent. It was small, and reminded him a lot of-
Hiding in the ceiling tiles for almost an hour, cramped into one small space until he could hear that every guard was gone.
Akira shook his head to clear his mind. Hide now, panic attack later. He held his breath as the door to the office opened, and he saw Suguru Kamoshida grit his teeth as he unwound a bandage around his arm showing… Teeth marks. Infected teeth marks, with creeping purple lines around them. Pale and sweaty, with a… Yellow tint to the eyes. Kamoshida scrabbles at the desk before dabbing something on the wound, and Akira watched as he seemed to return to normal.
Suguru Kamoshida was an Infected. Just as he came to that realization, the vent seal came flying off and Ryuji tumbled out of the locker.
Chapter 6: Exile
Ryuji was the first to speak.
“What the fuck . You’re infected ?” At that, Mishima burst into the room.
“He’s what? Oh, god, everything makes sense now!” Akira put a hand over his mouth as Kamoshida began to speak over Mishima.
“You all are exiled. You have ten days to prepare before you all leave. No arguments. I’ll be sending messages to the other settlements soon.”
Mishima had a panic attack the moment that Kamoshida had said the word ‘exiled’. Akira picked Mishima up and carried him out of the room, trying to soothe him without words. Running a hand through his hair, trying to make him aware that he was present. His frustration and guilt only grew when Mishima didn’t even acknowledge him. Ryuji sighed and crouched down next to where Akira set Mishima down.
“Dude, lemme try something.” Akira nodded and much to his surprise, Ryuji began to hum while putting his hands on Mishima’s.
“Hey, man. It’s gonna be okay. Five things you can see?” Mishima sniffled.
“Bricks… Pillar… Kurusu… You… Uh, Kamoshida’s door?” Ryuji grinned and hummed while Mishima spoke.
“Effing fantastic. Alright, four things you can hear?” Mishima craned his neck, honing in on some sort of sound.
“Footsteps, the snipers, your humming, and that scuffling that Kurusu is doing.” Akira perked up at the mention of himself before going back to his pacing.
“Alright, Mishima, that’s good. Now, what are three things you can feel?” Mishima slowly started to uncurl.
“This itchy sweater, your nails, and… Hair? Why is it so soft, we’re literally in the middle of the apocalypse.” Ryuji and Akira both looked up to see Takamaki next to Mishima, murmuring something in English. Ryuji shook his head and returned his attention to Mishima.
“Good. Two things you can smell?”
“That gross gruel from the caf, and… Shampoo? What the hell, Takamaki?” Takamaki shrugged as Ryuji smiled at Mishima.
“Perfect, dude. Now, one thing you can taste?”
“Chocolate. Takamaki gave me one just now.” Takamaki stood up and dusted off her hands on her skirt before pointing to Akira.
“Need to talk to you and Sakamoto. Where — we meet?” Akira rewrote the parts of the message that he understood down on the board, and Ryuji thought for a moment.
“How about the roof? We’ll head up there noon tomorrow.” Akira quickly wrote down,
“Roof, Ryuji and I go there tomorrow.” on his board. Once done reading, Takamaki gave the two a thumbs-up. Ryuji groaned.
“We need a translator app… You head up there first, I’m gonna get Mishima to give us one of his portable chargers so you don’t have to write everything down.” Akira nodded and made his way to bed, awaiting the next day.
In the middle of the night, Akira’s phone buzzed with a text. Weird. Signal had been down for at least three days now. He squinted and read,
“Tomorrow night, Shibuya. Bring your friend. I hope to see you soon, Joker. -Gentleman”
Chapter 7: Wild Card
Akira sat on a box awkwardly until Takamaki showed up. She grinned and waved at him as he wrote down a quick message.
“Sakamoto grabbing charger, going to use phone to translate.” Ann nodded just as Ryuji burst onto the roof, holding his phone victoriously.
“Yes! Hey Akira, hey Takamaki. Hang on…” Ryuji turned on the phone and pointed to Takamaki, motioning for her to speak.
“Okay? Hi! So, there’s something I wanted to talk about…” She paused, and the trio cheered when the phone rattled off Takamaki’s words in Japanese.
“Eff yeah! Okay, what’s up?” Takamaki looked down and nervously tugged on her mask.
“I want to help you take down Kamoshida. Please.” Ryuji stared in shock.
“Dude! That’s hella dangerous. We’re already getting exiled, you’re on his good side. We can’t do that to you. Where would you go?”
“Where would you go? Your mom is here, right? Who would take you?” Ryuji grumbled in defeat before scratching his head.
“Alright. What do you know about the Infected?” Ann thought for a moment.
“They go for limbs, hair, and clothes. Easiest to grab. They can run, they’re attracted to voices, and they can smell us. They… They don’t feel pain once they’ve turned. At all. A lost limb means nothing. And once they’re gone, they still follow a daily routine. That’s all I’ve got.” Ryuji nodded furiously, committing everything she said to memory.
“Good, thanks. Listen, tonight we’re going out. If you have to, cover for us. I promise it’ll be worth it.” Ann thought for a moment before smiling.
“You two seem okay. Stay safe.” Akira grinned at her before rushing down the stairs, eager to meet this ‘Gentleman’.
Akira stepped into the middle of Shibuya, gripping Ryuji’s hand tightly. He looked around for anyone who looked out of place, before someone grabbed his shoulder. He turned around to see a man in a red suit and a horned mask facing him, smiling.
“Ah, Joker… I hoped to see you here. Come, come, your presence is eagerly anticipated.” He beckoned Akira to follow as he breezed through the crowd effortlessly, Akira pushing through and still holding onto Ryuji’s hand.
“We’ve been waiting for you and the Chariot for a while. Come in, come in. I went by Gentleman in the letter, but you may call me Arsene.” Arsene opened the door to an office, pointing to a chair.
“Just Joker. The Chariot shall remain here.” Akira walked in slowly, giving a thumbs-up to Ryuji. A person in a plague doctor’s mask turned to face Akira.
“Well, well, well. Wild Card, I am absolutely delighted to meet you.” Akira nodded in response quickly, but a little girl on his left walked up to Akira and smacked him in the shin with a stick.
“Speak! Show some respect!” The other girl placed a soothing hand on her shoulder.
“Caroline. I do not believe that he can.” Akira nodded enthusiastically, teeth gritted from the pain. The man chuckled.
“These are my assistants, Madams Caroline and Justine. They will be monitoring your progress. You wish to bring Kamoshida’s crimes to light, yes?” Akira gave the man a thumbs-up.
“Very well. My name is Igor. I will be making sure you keep sight of your goals. Arsene may be considered your benefactor, or your mentor. He will be the one to provide the cure once you have secured a way to give it to Kamoshida. Anything we should make note of?” Akira frowned and pointed at his throat.
“Right, right. Justine?” Justine brought out a piece of paper and a pencil, and Akira sat down on the floor to write.
I have no means of transportation but my legs.
Akira gave the piece of paper to Igor, who smiled.
“Transportation? We can fix that. Return here once your first target is apprehended, we’ll have something for you. That is all. We hope to see you again soon. If you need anything, leave a note directly outside of Shujin’s gates. We will receive it.” With that, Caroline and Justine marched Akira out of the room and back to Ryuji, who was conversing with a man in a skeleton mask.
“Hey, dude! This is Kidd, he says he’s gonna be helping get us shit.” Akira waved in greeting to Kidd, who simply smiled. There was a tap on his shoulder, and Akira saw Arsene.
“Nobody can know who you are. We will be delivering masks to you shortly, courtesy of Igor.” He escorted the two out, a wide grin on his face. Let the game begin.
Chapter 8: The Vents
“Okay, so once we get in all we have to do is slip the cure into his drink and then get out. But his office has been on lockdown. How do we do it?” Akira shrugged, trying to think of something.
“Vents? Can’t crawl through, not skinny enough. You?” Ryuji shook his head.
“Nah, man. I know maybe three people at this school who could fit in those damn vents, and exactly one of them may be down. And I don’t wanna make her do that.” Akira cocked his head before realization dawned on his eyes.
“Ann?” Ryuji nodded, but his eyes went wide and he motioned for Akira to erase the board. He didn’t in time.
“Hiya! So, what’s the plan?” Akira looked to Ryuji.
“What the eff am I supposed to do, I don’t speak English! Didn’t bring the phone either.” Akira sighed and started writing.
“Ann. Can you fit in vents?” Ann shrugged.
“Need to get in Kamoshida’s office, but on lockdown. Need someone who can get in to let us in.” Ann’s eyes lit up.
“Oh! I can do that! Give me 20 minutes and a screwdriver.” Akira shook his head violently.
“Nonono! Not today, need get something first. Very big, can’t skip.” Ann looked confused, but quickly lit up again.
“Okay! Tomorrow night? Can you get scissors too?” Ryuji and Akira nodded.
We need by tomorrow evening:
3 masks, cure, screwdriver, knife/scissors.
Joker, Sakamoto, Takamaki
Akira looked excited when he found a small bag under his bed. He quickly tapped Ryuji on the shoulder before showing him the bag. Ryuji grabbed the phone and limped off to get Ann, while Akira want up to the roof to rummage through the bag.
“Whatcha got?” In response to Ryuji’s voice, Akira tossed him a skull mask and a cat mask.
“Ooh, I want the cat mask!” Akira smiled at Ann before grabbing the third mask and a small vial. On it was a note.
Use carefully. Only one chance. New masks to follow. -Igor
Ann looked confused and peeled a note off of the inside of her mask.
“Uh… Oh! The lady who wrote this says her name is Carmen!” Akira gave her a thumbs up and put his mask on. It fit perfectly. He then grabbed the scissors and offered them to Ann, confused.
“Hair gets caught in the vents. Plus, I’ve wanted to do this for a while. Hair is a liability out here.” With that, she swiftly lopped one of her long pigtails clean off, bringing the length of her hair to her chin. Ryuji stared in awe.
“That is singlehandedly the most badass thing I’ve ever seen.” Ann grinned before cutting the other one off and tossing the old hair off of the wall, pelting a few Infected in the face.
“May they join the dead! God that feels good. Do you know how heavy hair is?” Akira shrugged.
“It looks nice. Pretty.” Ann blushed before she grabbed the screwdriver from the bag.
“You’re too sweet! Seriously though, if I wanna get into his office in time I have to go change now.” With that, she ran off, sliding the mask on as she went. Akira’s eyes widened.
“Right, we have to change clothes! Uh… Got anything that fits me?” Ryuji shook his head.
“Dude, you’re an effing twig next to me. You’re taller, too.”
“No I’m not. You slouch.”
“Finish this later?”