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White Unicorn

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Byakuya’s first thought after waking up is one of annoyance. His back hurts from being hunched over a desk, his head hurts from the wood. His neck aches from the position. Sitting up and blinking his eyes open slowly, he’s met with a blurry mess. He twists his neck so it cracks loudly before feeling along the desk for his glasses. They are reasonably easy to find and once he has them in hand, he places them on the bridge of his nose. 

What he sees startles him. 

A blackboard, cameras, metal plates instead of windows…

“Hope’s Peak?” 

Sure, he hadn’t exactly left the place, but the door opened. There’s no way he’d come back inside. No way he’d fall asleep at a desk in a classroom. That would be preposterous. 

Standing and cracking his spine with it, the little clicks making him shiver, he evaluates the situation. He’s back in a classroom. He’s inside Hope’s Peak. 

He spots a sheet of paper on another desk, with a crude drawing on it alongside words written in crayon. Frowning, he picks it up, holding it carefully between two fingers. His eyes widen when he sees what’s on it. 

Welcome to school.
A new semester has just begun.
Since yer starting new lives, 
This school will be yer new world.
Gather in the gym at 8 for the welcoming ceremony.

His hands shake as he reads it over and over. It’s not just a piece of paper, it’s a Hope’s Peak pamphlet, and the handwriting is obviously that of Monokuma’s. Or, more specifically, Junko’s. He remembers it. Remembers it from weeks ago, when he’d first woken up in Hope’s Peak. Or… at least… he thought it was the first time. 

Breathing heavily and eyeing the camera, he digs his hand in his pocket. Withdrawing his student handbook, he sees every single person’s profiles blank. Besides his own. Curious, he taps on it. 

Ultimate ???

A chill runs through him. What does this mean?

He strides out of the classroom and mechanically walks through the halls with practised ease. His shoes make sharp sounds as he speeds up. When he gets to the door of the gym, he breathes out heavily and then enters.

Four people stand there. Kyoko, Kiyotaka, Toko, and… Junko. 

Or, more specifically, Mukuro. 

He has to give her credit, her acting as the ditzy airhead is truly believable. Unfortunately for her, he easily sees through the ruse. Clenching his fists, he grits his teeth and looks at Kiyotaka. He’s standing up straight, as usual, but all Byakuya can think of is the boy lying on the ground, blood splattered on the ground and matted in his hair. 

He looks to Mukuro and sees several spears stuck through her, blood pooling under her as she looks down at Monokuma in horror and betrayal. She thought Junko was going to save her. She’d been so sure. She loved her sister so much. 

Looking at Kyoko reminds him of a few things. Of her defending Makoto sharply contrasting with the time she easily threw him under the bus. In response, she stares back, her eyes narrowing as she attempts to unpack his body language. 

Finally, he looks at Toko and sees Genocider Syo. Jack. Jill. Whatever. The girl is trembling nervously, but all he can see is Genocider’s long tongue and wild eyes gazing at him in lust and want. 

As he observes the four, more people enter behind him. He spins around to face them. First is Aoi, seemingly upbeat, but he can see the way her eyes dart about the room. The next is Leon and it’s sickening to think back to the baseball player's body hanging from the post, beaten to death by baseballs. How ironic. Celestia enters and he sees her sweating bullets as she burns alive. Sayaka, stabbed and propped up against the wall in Makoto’s shower. Hifumi, slowly petering off into death with a few words almost damning them all. Sakura, sitting in that chair with her lips in a soft smile. Hagakure, speaking reassurances as Makoto prepared to press the button to let them out. Mondo, gritting his teeth as Kiyotaka screamed for Monokuma to stop.

Seeing Chihiro makes him freeze, making him remember how he strung the cross-dressing boy up, remembering the heavyweight, the way the blood dripped down his forehead and arms and legs. Forcing the memories down, he breathes in and out. He leans against the wall and tries to understand what’s going on. 

Everyone’s alive. That’s apparent. No one remembers what happened. Likely, although it’d be best to check for possible outliers. 

Has he… has he gone back in time? No… no that’d be impossible… unless…

“Hey!” He freezes as a loud voice comes from beside him. Mukuro is waving her hand in front of his face. He stiffens as she whines at him. “Come on! Who’re you?!” 

No doubt, she remembers how he was before the tragedy. Before the killing game. Before the memories. He wonders…

“Byakuya Togami,” he tells her politely and watches as her eyes widen a tiny bit. She snaps back fast, but he can tell that she’s completely puzzled by his response. He wonders how fun this will be if he keeps it up. “And you?”

“Junko Enoshima!” She falls back into the character easily enough, flicking her hand. “Fabulous Ultimate Fashionista. You’ve got to have heard of me!”

“I’m afraid not.” 

Pouting, she points at him. “What’s your talent then?” 

“I don’t know.” 

Everyone in the room freezes. Kyoko stalks over. 

“What did you say?” She asks carefully. 

“I do not remember my talent,” he says firmly. He steps away from her, adjusting his glasses. The doors slam open some time past eight and Byakuya braces himself. When Makoto walks through the door, he breathes out heavily before steeling himself. As the boy goes around introducing himself, nervous in the wake of so many Ultimates, he finally gets to Byakuya. 

“I’m Makoto Naegi,” he says and Byakuya nods slowly. “Ultimate Lucky Student.” 

Byakuya stifles a chuckle. Makoto is much more than a ‘Lucky Student’. He’s the Ultimate Hope

“Byakuya Togami.” 

Makoto bites his lip. “I haven’t heard of you before…” 

Curious. What is his talent then?

As people mingle, Byakuya keeps to himself and, soon enough, Makoto joins him in his little corner. So… this time he’s made a good first impression. The thought fills him with satisfaction. Last time he didn’t particularly care what impression he made. This time though…

As soon as he hears Monokuma’s grating voice, he cringes both inwardly and outwardly. The two-toned bear shares the same spiel as before and Byakuya fixes the bear with a glare, fixing his glasses on his face. Makoto, unlike last time, doesn’t stick close to Sayaka. 

He also never gets punched in the face by Mondo, because this time Byakuya doesn’t make comments about him nor does he attempt to walk out by himself. Instead, he politely asks Makoto to join him in exploring their new living quarters. 

“Why are you so calm?” Makoto asks him and Byakuya sighs. 

“There is no need to panic. Panic creates chaos and that’s exactly what Monokuma wants. Chaos.” 

Makoto looks at his feet. “Do you think anyone will kill? I… I don’t think someone will but…”

“I am uncertain. Some could certainly be prompted into murder, although I wouldn’t put you on that list,” Byakuya explains and then turns to face Makoto. He places both his hands on the shorter boy’s shoulders. “Listen. Do not trust anything that the bear shows us. He will do anything for us to kill. Anything.” 

Makoto obviously doesn’t know what to say, but even still, he nods slowly. “Okay…”

Byakuya straightens himself out. “Come now, there’s more to explore, I’m sure.” 

Mukuro corners him after lights out. He raises his eyebrows at her when she slams her hand into the wall beside him. 

“What is this? A murder attempt?”

Although he sounds calm, he’s not so sure that this isn’t one. 

“What the fuck happened?” 

He hums. “Whatever do you mean, Mukuro?” He gambles on the name and she stiffens. He feels the blow before he sees her swing. She hits him over the head and as his vision goes blurry, she stabs him in the neck. With a pair of scissors. 


Who knew it would be so interesting to watch your own trial. Early in the morning, Kyoko leaves her room before finding his body pinned to the wall with multiple pairs of scissors. She runs off to find others while Makoto also discovers the body, screaming loudly.

Byakuya has to cover his semi-translucent ears as the terrified, heartbroken scream cuts through the silence of the early morning. His scream awakens Aoi and Sakura, who find Makoto on the ground, pressed up against the opposite wall of the hallway, covering his mouth in an attempt to stop himself from screaming. 

Aoi screams herself but Sakura stops her from passing out. More students emerge from their dorms. Toko faints as soon as she sees the blood. Mondo curses loudly and Kiyotaka almost screeches. Sayaka covers her mouth as her eyes water and Yasuhiro and Hifumi both look sick. Leon presses himself against the wall as if trying to distance himself from the body as much as possible, while Celestia simply observes. He can see it in her eyes, though. That spark of fear. 

“T-this is real?!” Mukuro lets out when she ‘finds’ him. Chihiro is right behind her and when he gets there, he starts to cry. 

“No… Togami… who would do this?” He sobs. 

“Monokuma…” Makoto growls and Byakuya sighs. Oh, dear Makoto. Believing in everyone until the end. How naive. How… sweet.

 Predictably, Mukuro is executed by Monokuma for ‘attacking’ him. Even though she was the one to kill him, he still winces when the spears pierce her again. She lets out the same murmurs of ‘this wasn’t supposed to happen’ and whatever else. In the moments before her death, he wonders if she’ll join him in being a ghost. 

She doesn’t.

The trial is strange in the single regard that Junko is dead, so the blackened is literally dead. Kyoko knows that Junko was the culprit. She knows how but she doesn’t know why. When they finally figure out who killed him - because, unfortunately, his death was actually textbook Genocider Syo, which throws them off the track a whole heap - they blame Junko’s motive on her need to leave. For god's sake, they hadn’t even gotten to the motive videos. 

The trial concludes with no execution, despite Monokuma’s complaints - that are quickly shut down when Kyoko points out that he already ‘executed’ the culprit - and everyone returns to their dorm rooms. 

Byakuya’s body is gone, but ghost Byakuya still follows Makoto. When Makoto gets to his room, Byakuya sets himself down on the bed as Makoto flops onto the other side. 

“Why…?” Makoto whispers. “Togami was the first person to really be nice to me here. Why him?”

Byakuya breathes heavily. 

“Why me, indeed…” 

He awakes to an aching back and a stiff neck and a sore face from a wooden desk. His vision is blurry until he finds his glasses. 

He’s back in that classroom. On the first day.