Makoto knocked three times on Kyoko’s door, then opened it upon hearing her call “It’s open”, walking in to see Kyoko sitting upright on her bed. Most of the effects of Junko Enoshima’s poison that had nearly killed her had receded; the only remaining evidence was that the left side of her face was still a barely visible shade of pink.
“Makoto. It’s good to see you.”
Smiling, Makoto replied “You too, Kyoko.” Frowning, Makoto then asked, “Are you…feeling okay?”
Makoto was still reeling from the realization that she was still alive, and ever since they had embraced in relief after she shakily walked out to greet him and the others, he had constantly worried about her health, afraid that even the slightest touch could break her.
Smiling in appreciation, Kyoko reassured him “I’m fine. The doctors told me that the remaining pigmentation should fade in the next week, and that I should have my full physical capabilities back within the next few days.”
Sighing in relief, Makoto smiled, before adopting a more serious expression. Kyoko raised her brow, surprised at Makoto’s serious and determined gaze now that the danger was over.
“Kyoko…I…I have some things I need to say. Things I probably should have said a long time ago. And after…you nearly died…it made me realize that life really is short and that I might not have another chance if I wait. So, if it’s okay…”
Confused at what Makoto was trying to tell her, Kyoko could nonetheless tell that this was important to Makoto. She lay her hand on top of his, weaving their fingers together and gave her permission.
“Go ahead, Makoto. Say whatever you feel you need to. I’m all ears.”
Nodding, Makoto took a deep breath and began his speech.
“Kyoko, ever since you saved me when Sayaka was murdered, you’ve been one of, no, you’ve been my most trusted confidant. I felt like I could trust you with anything. You were always there to lend me a helping hand, and you’ve looked out for me and saved me more times than I can count. And on the few occasions when we fought or argued, I felt cold and empty, like I had lost my only reason to go on. I realized something during our time in the Future Foundation, and almost losing you these past few days, reinforced my feelings…”
Kyoko’s eyes widened as she realized Is he…is he seriously going to…
“I love you, Kyoko Kirigiri. I’m sorry if I’m coming off as intense, but the truth is that I’m truly in love with you!”
Kyoko held her gloved hand to her open mouth in shock at Makoto’s surprise confession.
He actually said it…He loves me…he truly loves me!
A few seconds of uncomfortable silence passed, with Makoto becoming more and more nervous.
“Kyoko? Please say something. I’ll respect your feelings if you don’t share them, but I need to know if-”
Makoto was prohibited from speaking any further, as Kyoko wrapped her right hand around his ahoge and pulled his face down, pressing his lips to her own. Makoto’s eyes widened in shock, the surprise and pleasure of Kyoko’s sudden kiss overriding any and all pain he felt from having his hair tugged on. Kyoko’s tongue jabbed forward, forcing Makoto’s lips open so that her tongue could seek out his own, twisting around it in an embrace, just like she had embraced him countless times.
Before long though, Kyoko had to breathe, so she reluctantly broke contact. Once she did, Makoto gasped for breath, partially due to lack of oxygen and partially to process what the hell just happened.
“So…hah…you…you…love me too?”
Smiling wryly, Kyoko teased “The evidence would suggest that to be the case, yes.”
Having received an answer that was just so characteristic of Kyoko and her detective upbringing, Makoto knew that she was being honest with him. He beamed, happy tears running down his face as he laid his head against her breasts, chanting “Kyoko! Kyoko! Kyoko!”
Smiling, Kyoko wrapped her hands around his head, securing it against her skin and stroking his head, trying to say without actually using her voice, It’s okay. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.
Kyoko looked down at the happy Makoto, and suddenly gained the confidence to make her next move.
It’s the right time… “Makoto, if it’s alright with you, I’d like to say a few words of my own.”
Lifting his head from her body and looking up at her with a confused expression, Makoto nodded his agreement.
“Makoto, I know that you love me, and you know now that I love you. I doubt either of our feelings are going to change on the subject, so I’d like to suggest that we cohabitate together…on a permanent basis.”
Makoto’s eyes widened as he realized Is she really…is she truly? “Kyoko, what exactly are you implying?”
Kyoko huffed, thinking Even he can’t be this dense… “I’m asking you to marry me, Makoto.”
Fantasies of marriage to Kyoko running through his mind, Makoto violently nodded his head and shouted “Of…of course I’ll marry you!” Did I just become engaged?
Noting the look of joyous shock on his face, Kyoko smirked and asked “Is it really that shocking that I proposed to you right away like that? After all, we did date in high school.”
After arriving at the Future Foundation, the survivors of Class 78th all went through extensive memory desuppression therapy to recover their memories of their lives at Hope’s Peak academy prior to the Tragedy. And buried amongst the pile of memories that gradually came back to Makoto and Kyoko was that a relationship had indeed blossomed between them prior to the memory wipe.
“So you…you remembered that?” Makoto’s eyes widened as he asked “But wait! If you knew we had dated and you still loved me, then why didn’t you say something earlier?”
Kyoko hung her head as she confessed “Because it took me a long time after we escaped for me to sort out my own feelings. I didn’t know whether you still felt the way that you did about me before the Tragedy. Also…after Mukuro Ikusaba’s murder trial, when I…betrayed you…and then you forgave me…looking back, I concluded that I had committed too many sins to be worthy of being your life partner.”
Stunned, Makoto’s eyes narrowed and he quietly declared “No, that’s wrong!” Stunned, Kyoko looked up at him as he cradled her face in his hands and assured her “I’ve told you time and time again, you saved my life. I am eternally indebted to you, and we both know that Junko cheated back then.” Makoto bit his lip, pained at the memories that had given him so many nightmares before looking back at her and continuing “I won’t deny that I was terrified at the time. Getting tied to that desk and nearly crushed to death, I’d never want to relive that. But I never ONCE blamed you for it. If I was more concerned with my own life, then I would have outed your lie and held it against you. But I always had faith in you, and everything turned out okay. So please believe me, you are the worthiest person in the world of being in a relationship with me. If anything, it’s a privilege for me to be in one with you!”
Kyoko gaped at his passionate reassurance of her self-worth, blushing pink at how fast her heart was beating. Once they both calmed down, Makoto let go of her face, dropping his arms as Kyoko closed her eyes and smiled.
Becoming serious, Kyoko opened her eyes and asked him “By that same token, why didn’t you say anything before? We shared the same memories in this context, so why didn’t hint at your feelings?”
Taking a deep breath, Makoto wove his fingers with her own, squeezing her hands as he explained “Like you, I also needed to take some time to sort out my own feelings. Even with all the times you stayed by my side after I had nightmares, I needed to make sure that what I was feeling was love and not just gratitude. And even when I figured out my feelings, I wasn’t sure if you still were interested in me like that. And I know the peeping incident makes my claim a little suspect, but I genuinely wanted to avoid overstepping any of your personal boundaries, so I held my tongue until I felt like I could confirm where your boundaries were in that regard.”
Kyoko felt touched at Makoto’s explanation, amazed at how similar their reasons were for holding back their feelings before the Final Killing Game.
She then smiled and assured him “Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. You have never overstepped my boundaries and you never will. Besides, if you’re worried about that little incident, it’s not really an issue.”
“You mean, because it’s not something I’m perverted enough to do regularly, right?” Makoto asked, remembering her forgiveness back at Hope’s Peak.
“Well, that’s part of it, but also…” Kyoko smiled shyly and revealed “now that I have my full memories back, I know it wasn’t anything you hadn’t seen when we were dating.”
Makoto turned red, steam piping out of his ears as he realized the implications of what she just said. Shaking the thought out of his mind, Makoto willed his face to go back to normal before speaking again.
“Well, thank you Kyoko for putting so much trust in me. I promise I’ll make you and the Kirigiri name proud as your husband.”
Ah, and here we come to the elephant in the room… Kyoko tucked a strand of loose hair behind her ear and reluctantly revealed “That’s the thing…Makoto, I’d rather you not take the Kirigiri name.”
Seeing his shocked and slightly saddened face, Kyoko held up her hand in interruption and continued “Let me explain. It’s not a jab at your self-worth. If I’m being honest, there’s nobody more worthy of belonging to a legacy of top-tier detectives. But the Kirigiri name is one that I’ve become…disillusioned with.”
Huh? “Dis…illusioned? But why?”
“I told you as we climbed out of the garbage room at Hope’s Peak about how my relationship with my father was strained, and how my grandfather took me in and trained me to be a detective. But what I didn’t say before was that my father was only invited back into the Kirigiri family after my birth. And it wasn’t out of some newfound regret for how he was treated by my grandfather. You see, my grandfather’s sole reason for welcoming my father back was so I could be trained as a detective to keep the legacy alive.”
So…your grandfather…used you…
Makoto felt bile rise in his throat after hearing about Detective Kirigiri’s selfish ambitions. The idea of taking advantage of a child’s birth like that was…abhorrent to him.
“For a time, I lived with my parents while taking extended vacations with my grandfather to assist him on cases. I did indeed have the best of both worlds. But then, when I was seven years old, my mother fell ill, and although my father tried, my grandfather refused to let me see my ailing mother. We were traveling in Europe at the time on a case, and according to my grandfather’s philosophy, being a detective came before all else, even the fatal illness of a parent. I never saw my mother’s face again; it’s a critical reason why I can’t remember what she looked like.”
Makoto sat there, shocked at how a guardian could be so cruel; it was unfathomable to him. Makoto flashed back to when he attended his great-grandparents’ funerals as a child; his mother impressed on him that family occasions took precedence above everything else, even work and school. To hear Kyoko was raised under such a polar opposite set of principles, made him feel sorry for her and the cruel childhood she had to endure.
“From then on, since I was an orphan, my grandfather became my permanent guardian. Until Japanese education laws required me to attend school, I spent every waking moment of my life being a detective. And because of that, I became a cold woman; I had almost no friends, and I never gave out my emotions freely to anyone.” Kyoko reached out to hold his hands as she continued “But then I met you, and you were so persistent in being my friend, that you managed to break down my walls. While my time in the Kirigiri family filled me with loneliness and sorrow, you made me happy. You gave me something to care about besides my occupation. You made me feel loved, and gave me a reason to love. All the name Kirigiri has given me is discord and solitude. I don’t want that name anymore, Makoto.”
The former Detective squeezed his hands, tears streaming down her cheeks as she pleaded with him “So, if you’ll have me, I’d like to have the name of the man that saved me from myself, and from despair. I’d like my married name to be…Kyoko Naegi!”
Makoto gaped in shock; never in a million years would he have thought that Kyoko viewed her own surname with such scorn, nor would he have thought that she looked up to his own with such pride. There was only one answer he could give.
Makoto nodded, a happy smile on his face as he let go of her hands and wiped the tears from her face with his thumbs while answering “If that’s truly what you want, then of course! It would be a privilege to have you take my name!”
The newly engaged couple embraced, taking comfort in their love that was stronger than ever as they repeatedly pecked each other’s lips. After the twentieth kiss, Makoto moved to release her form his hold and stood up.
“Well, I’ll leave you to get some rest now. Good night, Kyoko.”
As Makoto turned around to leave, he found himself stopped; Kyoko had grabbed his wrist in an attempt to keep him there.
Gulping, Kyoko hid her embarrassed face under her lavender locks as she asked “Please…please stay with me? I don’t…I don’t want you to go. Besides, we’re engaged now, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?”
Makoto stood there, shocked at Kyoko’s uncharacteristic tone. It wasn’t unusual for Kyoko to make an embarrassing request that was disguised as a teasing remark. This however, this was completely and totally honest, showing her complete vulnerability to the young man she fell in love with.
“…Could you maybe scoot over a bit? I need the extra space if I’m going to stay with you.”
Happy tears spreading across her face, Kyoko smiled and edged over, letting go of his wrist and waiting for Makoto. For his part, he lifted up the blankets and kicked off his shoes, sliding in next to his fiancée. The moment he got comfortable, Kyoko turned over and laid her head against his chest, inhaling in his masculine scent through her nose. Makoto smiled, reaching with his right hand to rub her back.
“Get some rest, Kyoko. I promise, I’ll be right here when you wake up.”
Her grin obscured by the fabric of Makoto’s shirt, Kyoko fell asleep, her arms wrapped around her beloved Makoto’s neck.
“I love you, Kyoko.”
His new fiancée unconsciously grinned wider, his words feeding her good dreams as he fell asleep with her.
The door swung open, Kyoko Kirigiri swinging the key on the keyring around her finger as she and her finance Makoto Naegi entered their new apartment.
Before Kyosuke Munakata officially stepped down from his position at the Future Foundation, he signed an order granting Kyoko and Makoto ownership of one of the Future Foundation’s largest and most expensive apartments, as an apology for the role he played in nearly getting the two of them killed during the Final Killing Game.
Consider this gift my atonement. You also have my word that the Future Foundation will not interfere in your lives, wherever they may take you.
Makoto was giddy and thankful towards the former Future Foundation head. Kyoko was slightly suspicious but agreed not to look a gift horse in the mouth unless provoked.
Makoto gazed in awe as he looked around the apartment; a living room with plush carpets, multiple couches, and the largest big-screen TV greeted him, the fireplace roaring on the side of the room to give it a very homey feel. Branching off of the left side was a kitchen with two refrigerators, cupboards filled with dishes and stocked with nonperishable food, and a stove that took up an entire counter, with a separate bar and a decently long table to give them options for how to consume their meals. Extending from the middle was a shared bathroom with a giant bathtub, a freaking jacuzzi, a shower, two washers, and two dryers. Finally, not far from the furnace was a large bedroom with two dressers, a second bathroom, a standing mirror, and a king-sized bed, lined with multiple blankets and pillows that made Makoto want to lie on it.
Chuckling at how giddy Makoto looked, Kyoko teased “Enjoying the new apartment?”
Hopping in place, Makoto confirmed “This is awesome! We really need to thank Munakata-san for this awesome pad. I mean, look at our bed! It looks so comfy, I’d jump on it right now if the ceiling wasn’t so low!”
Shaking her head in amusement at her fiancé’s antics, she joked “You’re such a little boy sometimes.”
Calming down from his excitement high, Makoto unexpectedly grabbed her hand and dragged her into the living room before fishing through his pocket with the other hand.
“Makoto, what are you?”
“I know that this is largely a formality at this point, but I had dreamed of doing this properly when I was a teenager, and one of the Future Foundation survivors happens to be the Ultimate Blacksmith, so if you’ll allow me to…”
Makoto finally pulled out a small black box, flicking it open with his thumb to reveal a plain, purple ring inside. Kneeling on his left knee, he held it up to her and started to speak.
“Kyoko Kirigiri, you’ve stood by my side through the greatest Tragedies in the world, both personal and official. Now that the world is finally coming out of despair, I’d like you to become my shining hope as we rebuild it together. Will you grant me the privilege of being your husband, Kyoko?”
Closing her eyes, a tearful smile formed on Kyoko’s face as she murmured “Like you even had to ask…”
Crying happy tears, Makoto stood up, taking the ring out of the box, about to slide it on her finger…only to find her gloves in the way.
“Oh…well, this was a surprise after all, so I had to guesstimate your finger size when I made the request. It’s no big deal; I can just get it resized…”
Makoto tried to put on a brave face; he really did. But he was still too much of an open book for Kyoko to possibly miss how much he put into acquiring her engagement ring and the passion he put into his proposal, even if it was only a formality at this point. Kyoko then looked at her gloved hands, coming to a silent decision. She walked over to the fireplace, opened the firewood hatch, and removed her gloves, dropping them among the logs to burn.
Makoto’s jaw dropped, stunned at what just happened, exclaiming “Kyoko?! You just…your gloves…”
Doing her best to ignore Makoto’s shock, she held out her left hand and encouraged him “…Try again, Makoto.”
Still shocked, Makoto mustered the will to withdraw the ring from its box, gingerly taking her scarred hand into his own and smoothly sliding the accessory onto her ring finger.
Smiling, Kyoko angled her hand, examining it as she murmured “A perfect fit. Nice choice, Makoto.”
Overcoming his shock, Makoto exclaimed “Yeah, but Kyoko…your gloves! Are you really okay with just…letting them burn like that? I mean…you didn’t want anyone to see those scars, and only showed them to me after leaving Hope’s Peak because I had won your trust. Are you sure you’re comfortable with just letting them be on display?”
Smiling in appreciation of Makoto’s consideration for her feelings, Kyoko explained “…I did feel that way, yes. But now that we’re engaged, I want to show the world that I’m completely and utterly yours, much more than I wish to hide my scars. It’ll be an…adjustment, but it’s one I want.” Kyoko cradled his face in her hands and finished “You asked me to help you rebuild the world and stand by your side. In return, let me show off to the world exactly how much I love you!”
Tears of joy streaming down his cheeks, Makoto uttered “Kyoko…Kyoko…Naegi.”
Understanding that his premature use of her future married name was code for his acceptance, Kyoko leaned down and met his lips with her own, their gentle kiss soothing the emotional couple as they took the first step in their post-Tragedy lives.