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White Unicorn

Chapter Text

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. 


Chapter Text

When he arrives at the gym again, it’s the same. This time, he walks in and leans on the wall, closing his eyes. His head is pounding and the side of his neck hurts. Likely from Murkuro’s attack. 

“Hey!” He hears her voice again and cracks his eyes open slightly. Mukuro, as Junko, is waving a hand in front of his face again. He stares at her for a moment before crossing his arms and shutting his eyes again. “HEY!” She yells and he groans. 

“Shut up,” he tells her curtly. This time, his answer doesn’t make her reel as much. She doesn’t back down. 

“What’s your problem?” She asks and he opens his eyes to see her with her hands on her hips. 

“What’s yours? I am simply trying to stand here in peace. It is rude to interrupt. Don’t do it again,” he says with a frown and then rests back against the wall. His headache hasn’t yet subsided. Huffing, Mukuro walks off. 

It’s only a few minutes later that he hears another set of footsteps and opens his eyes. Kyoko is walking towards him. He raises an eyebrow. 

“Excuse me,” she says slowly. “Your name?”

“Byakuya Togami,” he states. She waits for him to continue but he doesn’t, so she simply reaches into her pocket and withdraws two pills. 

“Painkillers. You look unwell.” She holds them out and he takes them slowly. She doesn’t know about the killing game yet, and she wouldn’t kill him out in the open like this. He’s not sure she’d kill anyway. She didn’t the first time. 

He swallows them easily enough and then quirks an eyebrow when she doesn’t leave. 

“What is it?” 


He sighs. “Don’t remember.”

Her eyes widen in shock but she keeps herself in check, nodding. “Me either.” 

“Thought as much.” He then shuts his eyes again and listens to her footsteps as she leaves. He doesn’t have to wait long before Makoto finally arrives, rounding off their group of fifteen. He can’t bear to look at Makoto’s face yet, remembering the screaming, crying boy finding his body. 

He hears Makoto walk over to him. 

“Uh… hello…? I’m going around introducing myself. Are you… are you awake?” He asks. Byakuya nods slowly and brings himself to look at Makoto. 

“Byakuya Togami,” he says before Makoto can ask. Makoto is startled for a moment before he introduces himself. 

“I’m Makoto Naegi.” 

Byakuya nods again, a minuscule smile gracing his lips before disappearing. Makoto sees it, though, and Byakuya spots an unsure smile on Makoto’s face as he walks away. Makoto is easily drawn into a conversation with Sayaka, which Byakuya watches out of the corner of his eye, suspicious of the blue-haired idol. She was the first to try to murder. 

There are several things he needs to plan before running his mouth like last time. Calling Mukuro out is a bad idea at this point. His best bet is to make sure Makoto isn’t as trusting of Sayaka. He also needs to keep his eye out for the least trustworthy. Namely, Mukuro, Sayaka, and Celestia. 

A good idea would be to stop Sayaka from murdering anyone. If no one dies due to the first motive, then Monokuma would be forced to use his next motive. The secret one would be easy to get around. Just get everyone to fess up, whether forcibly or not. He’s sure of some that would reveal their secrets with no hesitation. Little dirty secrets that don’t hold as much weight. 

His own, well… he’d rather that not come to light but it must be done. It’s not like it’d change much. This round at least. 

Monokuma’s voice is just as grating as always. After Monokuma leaves, everyone’s mingling, uncertainty and fear in everyone’s eyes. The idea of taking charge briefly passes through his mind, but he decides to keep a note of it for future reference instead of using it from the get-go. The suggestion to explore is thrown back in the air and, again, Byakuya entices Makoto to join him in his investigation. 

“Do you think someone will murder?” He asks and Byakuya frowns. 

“I believe someone will try.” He crosses his arms. “There are some that are certainly capable of murder if given the incentive.”

“Are you in that group?” 

Byakuya shakes his head. No. Murder is almost impossible to get away within this place. Monokuma may say he doesn’t help nor hinder, but the dirty liar is always helping the investigations in little ways. He’d never let the blackened get away. He loves the game too much. 

“Am I?” Makoto questions quietly. 


They walk in silence for the rest of their exploration. 

He gets through three days before Monokuma announces the motive. The same DVDs are presented to everyone. Unlike last time, Byakuya stops everyone from entering the multimedia room, holding Makoto’s arm as the boy almost faints in terror, pale and shaky. 

“Tell us what you saw,” Byakuya asks. Everyone looks at Byakuya wearily, but this time he hasn’t made himself their enemy. Makoto bites his lip before speaking, unsure. 

“My family… they were congratulating me. And then they were gone and the couch was all ripped up and everything was destroyed and there was smoke and stuff outside.” 

“So this is what he means by motivation…” Byakuya says. He then stalks inside the room and holds his hand up when everyone else attempts to enter. 

“Hey, what the fuck are you doing?!” Mondo shouts at him but he shakes his head.

He walks over to the DVDs and picks one up. Kyoko’s. Interesting. He wonders...

He drops it to the ground and stomps on the thing, the plastic cracking and he smirks at the satisfying crunch as the plastic splinters and the DVD snaps. A loud cry of panic reaches his ears.

“What the hell?!” Mukuro yells. But as she does so, he picks up another. Aoi’s. That one joins its predecessor, on the ground in tiny pieces. A third one ends up in his hands. Kiyotaka’s. This one he snaps in half with his hands. It’s efficient, he thinks to himself while snapping another with his hands -Sakura’s-, but not nearly as satisfying. 

“Ah,” Sakura’s voice hums and then the muscular woman steps inside the multimedia room. She doesn’t stop him, instead, she stands guard at the door as he breaks one after another. 

With Sayaka’s he adds an extra bit of effort. Mondo’s goes to pieces with one swift strike, Chihiro’s as well. 

Mukuro DVD makes him pause for a moment before snapping it with ease. What exactly had Junko left on it? If they’d watched it, what would they have found? He wonders if Junko would’ve put her sister in the video. If she would’ve outed the existence of a ‘Mukuro Ikusaba’ or if she would’ve put some stranger’s family instead. 

With Celestia’s he finds extra satisfaction crushing it underfoot. His own, well, that can be a clean snap. Makoto’s doesn’t necessarily need destroying, he’s already seen it, but even so, that one joins the rest as splinters of plastic. He’s tempted to throw Leon’s across the room, but instead, settles for stomping down hard. Protests peter out as he breaks Yasahiro’s and Hifumi’s. He’s making a real mess on the floor now, but leave that for Monokuma to worry about. 

He wonders how long he has before Monokuma makes an appearance as he breaks Toko’s. As he thinks this, Monokuma’s face flickers onto the screen at the front of the room. He looks pissed. Byakuya crosses his arms and a fair few of them scream or at least flinch back at the bear’s appearance.

“What do you think you’re doing, young man!” Monokuma yells loudly. Before he can go on, Byakuya cuts in. 

“You worked real hard on those, didn’t you.” 

Monokuma raises a clawed paw at him. “You think this is funny-”

“Yes, I do.” 

He turns to leave and his classmates part. He looks at Makoto and gestures for him to follow before walking out, the faint sounds of Monokuma seething making him laugh on the inside. This might just be a bit of fun. 

“Why did you break all those DVDs?” 

“Why wouldn’t I?” Byakuya asks Makoto in response. “Didn’t I tell you, with the right motivation, some of us could be driven to murder. The threat against our loved ones is enough to entice at least one person.”

“So, by destroying them you’re stopping possible murders?” Makoto asks. Byakuya nods. 


He finds that he hates scissors. Because they hurt. Especially when a psycho murderer stabs them into your throat. 

His eyes widen as blood fills his airways and he chokes up blood. Genocider Syo cackles, almost salivating. Oddly enough, his glasses stay perched on his nose as he slides to the ground. His hand is pressed to the wound at his neck until she rips it away and stabs another pair of scissors through his wrist. He chokes on a scream, more blood pouring out of his mouth as blinding pain reaches him. His head is dizzy and he feels sick as she stabs his other wrist, pinning him to the wall. He droops as black spots enter his vision and then another pair of scissors goes into the other side of his neck and consciousness leaves him completely. 

He wakes up a ghost. Again. This time it doesn’t take long for someone to find him. By complete accident, Aoi finds him. She’d obviously had a nightmare and was going to go sleep with Sakura. But, she happens upon him while wandering about. He’s in the hallway, not far down from the dorm rooms, so it’s pretty understandable for her to spot him. 

She screams, loud and high, and several students rush out of their dorms to see what’s going on. Sakura is first on the scene, freezing when she takes in the horrific sight in front of her. Kyoko is next, and that’s when Monokuma’s announcement comes over the loudspeaker. 

Makoto rushes over and then screams himself. He falls to his knees with terror-filled eyes. Many of their reactions are the same as last time. Mukuro does her best to act scared, most look ill or scared, with Chihiro sobbing. The difference is that this time around, they’ve known each other for a little longer. Sayaka wraps her arms around herself. Toko shakes in pure terror as she takes in the scene. She knows who did it. She knows that Genocider got loose. 

Mondo stands protectively beside the crossdressing boy. Sakura holds Aoi, Kiyotaka stares at the body, stunned. 

Byakuya sighs. How did this happen again? It dawns on him that perhaps Junko saw him as an annoyance and made use of Genocider’s obsession with hot boys and murder. Dammit. How is he supposed to win?

The trial goes as predicated. Mukuro gets stabbed with spears, Kyoko solves things, Toko breaks down, Genocider admits to everything, Makoto helps Kyoko solve the rest, and then the trial is adjourned. Toko is executed. Makoto walks glumly back to his dorm until Kyoko grabs his wrist. 

“Naegi,” she says. “Come with me.” 

Makoto, still upset, follows her silently. She walks him to his room and waits as he unlocks the door. Byakuya follows them, sitting down at the desk while Makoto takes a seat on the bed. Kyoko leans against the wall. 

“The mastermind did this…” She says and Makoto looks up. 


“Fukawa, or more specifically, Genocide Syo, did kill Togami. But… The mastermind must’ve pushed her to do so. Togami destroyed a motive, hit a nerve. He was going to stir up trouble for the mastermind, so they got rid of him.” Kyoko frowns. “I wonder what they’ll do now. Listen… don’t let Togami’s death be in vain. He didn’t want anyone to kill. He destroyed the motive videos for that reason alone. Carry on that legacy, don’t let this destroy you.” 

Makoto bites his lip and slowly nods. 

“I will see you at breakfast, Naegi.” 

“Call me Makoto…” He murmurs. “Please…” 

She nods curtly. “Very well. Goodnight, Makoto.” She steps out of the room. Byakuya sighs. His eyes slide shut of their own accord. 

He wakes up at the same goddamn desk. Dammit! 

Chapter Text

He throws the doors to the gym open and stalks inside. He crosses his arms and goes back to lean against the wall. He watches with half-shut eyes as people begin to turn up. He was second to arrive, right after Kiyotaka. Kyoko raises her eyebrow at him, but all he does is massage his wrist with one hand, and then switch to the other. His neck still hurts too, but he can power through it if need be. 

“Hi!” It’s not Mukuro who approaches him first, but Aoi. He nods his head to her in acknowledgement and she grins. “I’m Aoi Asahina! Ultimate Swimming Pro.” 

“Byakuya Togami,” he states. Expecting her to leave he lets his eyes slide shut. Makoto hasn’t arrived yet, so what’s the point? 

“What’s your talent?” He hears Aoi ask and he sighs. 

“Don’t remember.” 

“What?!” A loud voice comes from further down. Mukuro… again.

Keeping his eyes shut, he hums. “Do you have a problem with that?” 

“Who forgets their own talent?!” Mukuro’s voice is closer now. He blinks his eyes open to find two girls standing in front of him, one curious and one bordering on annoyed. He looks across the room to make eye contact with Kyoko, who looks surprised at his attention. 

“That’s none of your business, is it?” 

Mukuro scoffs. “Whatever.” 

She walks off and he straightens himself out, waiting. Almost as soon as he does, Makoto opens the doors and looks around in surprise. As he introduces himself to everyone one by one, Byakuya keeps his eyes on him. Makoto is startled when he finally turns to Byakuya and finds the blond staring at him. 

“Uh… I’m just going around introducing myself…”

“I can see that,” Byakuya says with a nod. “So?”

“Right, I’m Makoto Naegi.” 

“Byakuya Togami,” he states and then sighs as he waits. When Monokuma turns up, Byakuya discreetly steps in front of Makoto, in a way of protection. Kyoko notices, and he meets her gaze. With narrowed eyes, she directs her attention back to the bear. But he knows she will corner him later. 

They split up again and Byakuya practically drags Makoto out. He can hear Sayaka object as they leave the gym. As they search the first floor, Byakuya looks down at Makoto and the boy jumps. 

“Oh… uh…”

“Yes?” He asks, curious. Makoto has never been this nervous around him. 

“How are you so calm?”

“No need to panic. Panic leads to chaos. Chaos will likely lead to death,” he explains. Makoto nods, unsure. 

“Do you really think someone here’s capable of murder?” 

Byakuya shuts his eyes for a second before nodding. “I’m sure of it.” He then grits his teeth and mutters under his breath. “But I won’t let that happen.”

He lets the DVDs be shown. As much as it pains him, if he stops the motive, then he will be murdered again. Instead, after the motive is shown and Sayaka runs out, Byakuya grabs Makoto’s arm and grips it tightly. 


“Come on. You’re not in the right mind now.” 

Makoto nods slowly and Byakuya looks over at Kyoko, raising his eyebrows. She frowns but nods. She knows that the two of them will be alone. Makoto looks over at her as well. It would be foolish to let anyone know that they were together before one of them died. Kyoko knowing is protection for both of them. 

Byakuya leads Makoto back to his room, setting him down on the bed. 

“Are you alright?” Byakuya asks. Makoto looks at him with wide eyes. 

“Uh… yeah… yeah…” 

“You don’t sound so sure.” Byakuya raises his hand to his face, placing it under his chin in thought. “What did you see?” 

“My mom… my dad… my sister…” Makoto got out in parts. Byakuya nods. 

“What’s your sister’s name?”


“What’s she like?”

“How is this su-”

“Tell me,” Byakuya demands. Makoto bites his lip. 

“She’s my little sister. She’s just a normal girl, you know? She always annoyed me and stuff, but that’s how siblings are…” 

“Your mother?”

“Really sweet and loving…”


“The same. They’re made for each other…” Makoto’s breathing has evened out. 

“Feel better?” 

Makoto nods slowly and Byakuya stands. 

“Thought so. I will leave you now. Don’t answer your door for anyone. Understand?”


“Good.” With that, Byakuya spins around and walks out. “Lock your door.”

Byakuya lurks in the hall during the night. He’d much prefer to get some sleep, but he’d seen Sayaka ask Chihiro for a room swap. He’d seen her slip the note under Leon’s door. He watches as Leon emerges from his room, hesitant. The red head’s eyes dart about the hall and jump when he sees Byakuya. 

“What the hell?!” 

“Go back to bed, Kuwata,” he says firmly and Leon gives him an incredulous look. 


“Maizono is setting you up, Kuwata. She means to kill you. Go back to bed.” 

Leon shuffles back to his room and opens the door while facing Byakuya. He steps into the room and slams the door shut. Content, Byakuya stalks back to his room, giving the room plates a glance before shaking his head. No point switching them back right now.

“Kirigiri?” He beckons her. She frowns but follows him. He knows that Monokuma is seething. Even so, he doesn’t particularly care. 

“What is it, Togami?” 

“Maizono planned to kill Kuwata last night,” he tells her once they’ve arrived at his room. Another safety precaution for her. If he kills her, she’ll be in his room. It’ll be almost impossible to get away with. 

“Did she? I noticed her looking off this morning…” 

“She swapped rooms with Fujisaki and swapped the nameplates. And then she told Kuwata to meet her in her room. She planned to frame Fujisaki for his murder,” he tells her. She nods along in understanding. 

“And you intercepted?”

“Yes.” He then turns to his room. “This is where we part ways, Kirigiri.” 

She spins on foot and walks off and he breathes a sigh of relief. One motive stopped. One murder stopped. 

He just has to keep this up. 

The second motive is revealed. He sighs. 

“Naegi,” he says and waves the boy over. Makoto follows him back to his room. 


“I believe this motive will trigger a murder.”

“Really?” Makoto looks unconvinced. “Just over a little secret?”

“Not all secrets are made equal. I will do my best to prevent a murder, I promise you that.” 

Makoto nods. “Don’t get yourself killed, though…” He bites his lip. “Please…” 

“You either, Naegi.” He unlocks his door and Makoto grabs his wrist. 



“Call me… call me Makoto…” Makoto asks. Byakuya nods. 

“Very well. You may address me as Byakuya. Stay safe.” He opens his door and steps inside. 

If he’d been a second faster, he would’ve been able to stop it. Instead, he stands above his own corpse. Again. 

The difference this time is that Chihiro’s corpse lies beside his. Mondo looks petrified. Neither murders had been planned. Chihiro’s was out of anger and jealousy, and he killed Byakuya to stop him from talking. 

The difference this time is that Byakuya can see Chihiro sobbing in the corner. 

“Why…?!” The boy cries. Byakuya watches as he curls up. “Why Togami too…?”

Byakuya sighs. He remembers making Chihiro cry the first time around. That was probably the only time he really talked to the boy. The only other time he’d actually gotten a good look at the boy was when he was arranging the corpse. 

His past actions make him slightly sick. Why did he do that? It was so long ago he can’t even remember. 

He slowly walks over to Chihiro and places his translucent hand onto the boy’s body. Unlike everything else, his hand doesn’t go through Chihiro’s shoulder. The boy is the most solid thing in the room. 

“Fujisaki.” He crouches and Chihiro looks up, shocked. 

“Togami… I’m sorry…” He sobs. Byakuya shakes his head. 

“This isn’t your fault. I wasn’t fast enough.” 

Mondo moves both their bodies to the girls changing room. The look of guilt Mondo casts on the pair of corpses he lays on the blood-stained rug makes Chihiro cry harder. Soon enough, though, Chihiro drifts off into a sort of sleep. Huh? So they can sleep. 

Sakura is the first to find them, this time. She sees their corpses, Chihiro cradled in Byakuya’s arms. Mondo had made it look like Byakuya had attempted to protect Chihiro. How sweet. 

Sakura stops at the door and then Aoi, who’d been following her, sees the pair, she screams. Byakuya’s sort of sick of hearing people scream. 

Sayaka and Leon run to the changing rooms and Sayaka covers her mouth as she looks at the spectacle. Leon shouts and more and more people come running. Kyoko gazes over the murder, stunned, yet her eyes are calculating. She’s attempting to work out what happened. Toko faints, as predicted, and Mukuro actually has an honest reaction, if not a little overblown. 

“What’s going on?!” Makoto yells and Chihiro, who’s just blinking his eyes open from sleeping, looks at the bodies and the fear-filled faces of their friends and whimpers. Placing a hand on Chihiro’s shoulder, he gives it a squeeze before watching as Makoto finally sees what’s happened. 

He shrieks. It’s even worse than the other two times, likely because Byakuya had spent even more time with him during this loop. Kyoko takes one look at the boy and leads him out of the room.. 

“Naegi…” She sits him down. He’s in shock, barely moving. He’s white in the face, like he’s about to faint. She holds a hand to his forehead and runs her other down his arm. “Naegi, look at me!” 

He falls forward, sick looking, and she lets him fall into her, his head falling onto her shoulder. She runs a gloved hand through his hair and then rubs his back. 

“Naegi, we need to solve this murder. If we want to get justice for Togami and Fujisaki, we must solve this murder. You know that.” 

Makoto shakes his head and then nods. 

Chihiro can barely stand at his own podium, so Byakuya lets the boy sit on his beside him, instead. 

“Fujisaki… I know why you were in the boys changing room.” 

Chihiro freezes. “Y-You do..?”

“I do. I know you’re a boy. That is how you wish to be referred, is it not?”

Chihiro nods. “Yeah…”

“You wanted Mondo to teach you how to be strong. But you don’t need that. You are strong, that’s why he did it. He was jealous.” 

“I know… but why did you have to die?” Chihiro sobs. 

“I stopped the first murder, I believed I could stop this one too. If only I’d gone about it a different way…” Byakuya frowns. The trial swells to its climax. This time, there’s no confusion about Genocider, but the secret is revealed anyway. Genocider makes complaints about how she should have been the one to kill Byakuya, but, in the end, Mondo is found out and executed. Byakuya covers Chihiro’s eyes and Chihiro covers his ears. 

Byakuya waits for night to come and for Makoto to fall asleep. He knows what will happen next. 

Makoto falls asleep whispering one name over and over again. 


Chapter Text

He wakes up on the desk again and decides his killer headache is to be expected now. Instead of leaving as soon as possible, he takes his time. 

He’s the second only to Makoto to arrive last. After eight. Kiyotaka chastises him, but he simply goes back to his wall and leans, closing his eyes. 

“Here.” Kyoko is in front of him when he opens his eyes. Her curious and concerned eyes blink at him. She’s holding out two painkillers. He swallows them without a second thought. 

“Thank you,” he says quietly because he’s not usually one for gratitude nor apologies. 

She nods. “Kyoko Kirigiri.”

“Byakuya Togami.” 

He’s a little sick of introducing himself. She walks away, satisfied by the interaction, just as Makoto arrives. The brunet boy makes his rounds again, getting caught up in a conversation with Sayaka before Kiyotaka yells at them to hurry up and he moves on. 

Byakuya closes his eyes, leaning back. 

“Uh… Can you hear me? Are you okay?” 

Byakuya cracks his eyes open. “I am.”

“Oh! I’m Makoto Naegi.”

“Byakuya Togami.” 

Makoto looks dejected at Byakuya’s curt introduction, but Byakuya shakes his head, smiles a tiny bit, and holds out his hand. Makoto shakes his, glad that Byakuya hasn’t pushed him away. Makoto smiles at him before walking off to introduce himself to the others.  

Monokuma comes and goes and Byakuya tunes him out. He’s heard the little spiel enough times that he could probably recite it. He insists on having Makoto join him again, but he spares a look at Kyoko and raises his eyebrow at her piercing look back. She’s trying to figure him out, but she won’t. 

The age-old question is asked again as Makoto reluctantly helps him investigate the school. 

“Do you think someone will actually murder?” 

Byakuya sighs. “With the right motivation, it is a high possibility that someone will try. That does not mean they will necessarily succeed.”

Makoto drops his gaze. 

“Naegi,” he addresses the shorter boy. “Do you believe that you have the ability to trust me?”

Makoto looks up again and their eyes meet before Makoto bites his lip. “I don’t… I don’t know…” 

“A reasonable conclusion. Do you trust me not to murder if put under immense pressure?” 

This time Makoto nods. “I can’t imagine anyone killing someone.”

Byakuya shakes his head. “Naivety will get you nowhere. Someone will try. Foolish as it is. But I will do my best to stop a murder.” 

“You will?”

“Yes,” Byakuya says as he grits his teeth. “I need to.”

“Naegi,” Byakuya hums as Makoto sits, stunned, in his chair. He’s just watched his motive video. The brown-haired boy doesn’t respond. “Naegi, look at me.” 

Finally, the brunet looks up and his eyes are wide. Byakuya sighs, reaching down and dragging the boy out of his seat. He throws Makoto’s arm over his shoulder and leads him out of the multimedia room, making eye contact with Kyoko. She nods. 

“Naegi, sit.” Makoto blinks as he looks around. They’re in his room, Byakuya having taken Makoto’s room key out of the shorter boy’s pocket. 



The boy does so and Byakuya leans against the wall. “So? What did you see?” 

Makoto tells him. This time, he doesn’t hold back, explaining everything in detail. He then starts to cry, thinking about his family, and Byakuya lets out another sigh, walking forward. He crouches in front of Makoto and Makoto falls into him. Awkwardly petting Makoto’s hair, he clenches his other hand into a fist. Dammit. 

He stops Leon from going to Sayaka’s room. It’s almost too easy. Now he just has to decide what to do about the second motive. Last time his method didn’t work and only got both of them killed. He has to go about this differently. Sharing secrets right off the bat would make this easier, but who knew what the mastermind would do if he pushed it. 

Junko probably already dislikes him due to him preventing a murder. He has to be careful. Playoff someone else instead. He can’t die again this early. He needs to get further. 

In all honesty, he’d rather not die again, but something tells him that that won’t be the case. This is already a game of trial and error, and he’s sure it’s just going to get worse. 

Jeez, this is giving him a headache. 

The secrets flutter to the ground and people start to pick them up. Celeste moves to leave but Byakuya holds his hand up. “Wait…”

Kiyotaka immediately agrees with him. “Yes! Everyone should stay here!”

“I think it’d be best to reveal our secrets,” Aoi says. “I mean… they can’t be that bad, can they?” 

“It is a smart move,” Kyoko states. She glances over and him and he simply nods. 

“What the hell?” Mukuro asks. “Hell no am I revealing my secret!” 

Byakuya shuts her up with a glare. He then strides over to the door and shuts it, leaning on it. “No one will leave until everyone has revealed their secrets.”

“What the fuck is wrong with you?!” Mondo curses at him. He shakes his head. 

“With that attitude, it’s obvious that you have a secret you’d kill for. Everyone reluctant is suspicious in my book,” he shoots back. Chihiro curls into himself and Byakuya gives the cross-dressing boy an encouraging look. 

“Fujisaki? How about you go first.” 

He jumps. “I… I don’t…”

“I’m sure it’s not that bad, Fujisaki!” Aoi says. Mukuro gives Byakuya a seething look. 

“You can’t make her-” She starts but Chihiro interrupts. 

“It’s okay… I can…” Chihiro gulps. “I’m… my secret is that I’m actually a boy…” He lowers his head and blushes. Most people in the room are shocked, but he sees the fakeness of Mukuro’s reaction and Kyoko notes his own lack of one. 

“Fine then, oh dear leader!” Mukuro starts. “What about you!” She points at him and he shrugs. 

“This isn’t exactly how I pictured coming out, but I guess it can’t be helped.”

Kyoko freezes. “You’re-”

“Bisexual.” He chuckles at the puzzled looks on many people’s faces. “I’m into girls and boys.”

Mukuro’s eyes display genuine shock. It makes him pause. Did she not know? Did he not say anything before this killing game? If so, how would Junko know? The first time he saw those words on that piece of paper, he’d frozen, petrified. He’d done well to cover it up, but still, he’d been scared. The Togami cooperation was this perfect company, not a single thing out of line. Despite the changing times, though, they’d lagged behind in terms of social ideals. 

But now, knowing what he does about the outside world, he couldn’t give a shit.

Scrunching up her nose, she spits back. “Fine. I bet you want to know mine now, yeah?” 

“Go ahead.” 

“Fine!” She huffs. “Junko Enoshima uses photoshop to make herself look better when modelling.” 

Byakuya raises an eyebrow and coerces her over. She stomps and glares at him. 


He snatches the paper out of her hands and she splutters. “You already tell people that. That can’t be your secret.” Kyoko nods in agreement. She’d seen through the lie too. 


“So you too have a secret worth killing for,” he states, unfolding her paper. She weakly reaches for it but suddenly she’s restrained by Sakura. Nodding his thanks, he reads what’s written. 

Junko Enoshima is fake and Mukuro Ikusaba, the Ultimate Soldier, is pretending to be her

“Interesting. Kirigiri?” He holds it out to Kyoko and she takes it. She rereads it several times before narrowing her gaze on Mukuro. 

“So, your name is actually Mukuro Ikusaba? And your talent is actually the Ultimate Soldier?” 

Mukuro grits her teeth as Sakura releases her. In one swift movement, Mukuro pulls her wig off to reveal her short, dark hair underneath. Adjusting her stance to one of a soldier, she raises her gaze to meet his. 

“Togami, you are smart.”

Most of them let out gasps. Byakuya thinks he hears Hifumi almost screech in surprise.

“I am aware. Makoto, if you will.” At Byakuya’s request, Makoto glances down at his paper. 

“Makoto Naegi wet the bed until fifth grade…” he says, blushing. Byakuya shrugs. A pretty pathetic secret. Perhaps embarrassing, but certainly not one worth killing for.

“Fukawa.” The bespeckled girl jumps. 

“Master Togami!” She cries. He glares. She quivers under his gaze. 

“Secret. And make it quick.” 

Trembling, she looks at the paper. “I… I can’t…”


“Oh okay! Fine! Toko Fukawa has a-a s-split p-personality with a-a seri-serial k-killer!” She finishes, staring at the ground and shaking. 

“What?!” Aoi yells in surprise. 

As the secrets are revealed, some blush, some scream, some have to have the papers snatched from their hands -Celestia, or more specifically, Taeko Yasuhiro, who breaks character and screeches in anger- but in the end, all the secrets are revealed and everyone is either looking at the floor or around at each other. Byakuya then chooses to step away from the door. 

“Ogami, Owada, Kirigiri, Yasuhiro, not you Hagakure,” he glares at the dreadlock haired man. “And Ikusaba, if you would join me?” 

The group meets him in his room and he gets confirmation that they won’t try anything. He has Kirigiri hang back. 

“Why did you call for me? Did you believe that I would kill?” 

He shakes his head. “I need to talk to you. About this game.”


“You’ve forgotten your talent, sure, but you can still help me. You know more than you’re letting on. You’ve been exploring, haven’t you.” He crosses his arms. She raises an eyebrow. 

“I am.” 

“I don’t care what you’ve found, but I just need to make sure you’re not putting a target on your back,” he says and she gives him a look before slipping out of his room. 

“Make sure you’re not doing it either.” 

“I… I know it’s silly…” Makoto mumbles, standing at his door. Byakuya sighs. It’s one am. He’s tired. 

“Come in…” He opens his door wide enough for Makoto to slide in and then he ducks out the room, looking down the hall. 

“You… you just let me into your room with no protests?” Makoto asks, looking unsure. Byakuya shrugs. 

“I don’t believe you have the heart to kill. Nor the motivation.” 

Makoto looks at the ground before smiling. “Thank you…” 

“Now, I’m tired. You came here because you were scared, yes?” 

Makoto nods and Byakuya walks back over to his bed after locking his door. He lies back on his bed before giving Makoto a look. “Are you getting in or are you going to stand there all night?”

Makoto scrambles into the bed, nervous. 

“Thank you, Togami…” 

“Byakuya,” he corrects. “Call me Byakuya.” 

“Oh… you can call me Makoto, then…” 

Byakuya rolls over so he’s facing Makoto and smiles a little before closing his eyes. If he wakes up and they’re cuddling, well, no one needs to know that. 

The uneasy peace is almost stifling. Many don’t trust Toko, Mukuro, or Sakura. Luckily, Genocider is yet to make an appearance, but that doesn’t make much difference for morale. People have grouped up. Aoi sticks to Sakura’s side, Mondo and Kiyotaka are extremely supportive of Chihiro, Leon and Sayaka are often back to back. 

Kyoko and Makoto are often at his side and Makoto often spends his nights in Byakuya’s arms. It’s not like either of them mind. 

It’s on one such night that a sharp knock can be heard on his door. Makoto blinks his eyes open and Byakuya slides out of bed, pushing Makoto back down. He opens his door to see Kyoko standing there in her nightgown and slippers, with a pillow in her hand. He raises his eyebrows.


She blushes profusely and he shakes his head in defeat, opening the door. She creeps in and Makoto sits up in bed. It’s a little crowded, the three of them in bed, but with Byakuya in the middle, both of them curl into him, Makoto in front of him, Kyoko behind him. 

“Goodnight Byakuya, Kirigiri…” Makoto whispers. 

“Kyoko…” she whispers back. “You can both call me Kyoko. But… not in front of everyone else…” She pushes her face into Byakuya’s back and he stiffens before relaxing. And so, every night becomes a sleepover at Byakuya’s, apparently. It’s not like Byakuya minds, honestly. It’s kind of nice. With the exception of the first round, he’s always had Makoto on his side from the start. Now he has two people to confide in, that he knows won’t kill. Kyoko wants to discover the truth of the school, Makoto just wants to escape together and for no one to die. 

He’s safe, or at least, he hopes he is. 

The next motive hits him like a ton of bricks. 

“Not very inspired, is he?” Makoto says, deadpan. Aoi laughs a little. 

“It’s a little silly, really. I mean, money? Would anyone really kill over money?” 

Kyoko meets Byakuya’s gaze. He knows that someone would kill over money. He’s trying not to look at her. Kyoko also knows. 

He hopes that will be enough. 

It’s not. 

Taeko is swift, he finds. Some of it likely stems from him outing her as Taeko Yasuhiro, ruining her precious image of Celestia Ludenberg. Still, she kills him swiftly. She uses a well-devised plan to both off him and get away with it, with only one flaw. 

Like the last time she killed, she makes use of time to turn the blame to someone else. She kills him before the night time announcement in the kitchen. But everyone’s in bed by then. Everyone besides Kyoko. Taeko knows that if Kyoko sees her wandering around and then sees Byakuya’s body, she’ll put two and two together. 

Byakuya squeezes his eyes shut as he hears the unsuspecting detective tumble down the stairs. He remembers climbing them when Monokuma got irritated enough to allow them up one level. He did it last time, too. After a motive fails, Monokuma unlocks another floor in anger. As if he believes that a new floor will help encourage murder; more places to hide, more tools to kill with. 

Like last time with Chihiro, Kyoko becomes a ghost almost immediately. He stands beside her ghost, who is hunched over, surprise evident on her face. She hasn’t seen him yet. 

“Dammit. I’m dead!” She hisses. “I hope Makoto and Byakuya can figure this one out without me…” 

“I’m afraid only Makoto will be able to do that…” Byakuya looks down at her and she looks up in surprise. 

“Byakuya!” She stands. “What… you’re dead?” 

“Yasuhiro was thorough, I will say. She killed you to make sure you wouldn’t reveal her. I was her true victim, unfortunately.” 

Byakuya’s body is in the dining hall while Kyoko’s is at the bottom of the first level stairwell. Instead of waiting by their bodies, they walk to Makoto’s room. He was originally meaning to go there, but, instead, he heard Kyoko cry out and he’d run toward the sound. He’d only seen her fall backwards before he shut his eyes. 

Makoto wakes up to the morning announcement and walks to the dining hall. He’s halfway there when he hears the body discovery announcement, and Byakuya and Kyoko watch as he runs towards the dining hall. 

When he finds Byakuya lying there, he lets out a blood-curdling scream, sobbing with his hand over his mouth. Toko is passed out in a chair, Sakura is standing, guarding the pale girl as Aoi covers her eyes. 

Kiyotaka is the next to join them, shouting loudly. The second announcement rings loudly and Makoto almost stumbles in his rush to leave the dining hall. He runs down the hallway towards the stairwell and then collapses to his knees when he sees Kyoko lying there, her head at an awkward angle. Standing over her body is Sayaka, Leon, Mondo, and Chihiro. Mondo is letting out loud curses as Chihiro sobs and Leon holds a pale Sayaka. Ghost Kyoko crouches beside Makoto and she places her hand on his shoulder, but it goes through. 

“I hate this,” she murmurs, standing and walking back to Byakuya. He pulls her close to him and grits his teeth. 

“So do I.” 

Mukuro doesn’t push her luck with Monokuma this time. Instead, she, surprisingly, is a big help in solving the two murders. Makoto is determined and others are strangely helpful as well. One thing Taeko didn’t plan for was someone seeing her out late, but someone did. Kyoko, for one, but so did Chihiro and Mondo. They’d been coming back from the changing rooms after working out together. 

She hadn’t seen them but they’d seen her. 

Taeko loses it when she’s found out, her plan not so ironclad after all. Not like the first time. He will give her points, though. She went after one of the most outspoken people, and most clever, in the group. When she saw Kyoko, she raced at the chance to kill another capable person. Killing off the smartest is, seemingly, an easy way out. But, as Byakuya knows, Monokuma won’t let that happen. He tells Kyoko as much. 

“What do you mean?”

“Why would he put an end to his precious killing game? The blackened never wins. He likes the game too much.” 

“Why do you sound like you’ve done this before?” Kyoko asks. She stands beside him as they watch the trial come to a close, Makoto piecing together all the evidence. 

“Because I have. Many times.” 


Byakuya sighs. “I’m stuck in a loop. I get further each time, but it’s difficult trying to keep everyone alive without the mastermind deciding to use one of her pawns to off me.” 

“Mastermind? You know who they are?” 

He gives her a curt nod. “The real Junko Enoshima was behind this. The first time around, I managed to survive, but many didn’t. I’ve gathered that I have to have everyone survive to break out of this loop. But it’s difficult.”
Kyoko bites her lip, thinking. “Next loop… befriend me earlier. You’re close with Makoto, evidently, but you realise now, don’t you.” 


“What I mean to you.” She sets her head on her shoulder. “I wish you good luck on your next loop. I promise to watch over Makoto for you.” 

He lowers his gaze. “I’ll make sure you don’t die.” He grits his teeth. “I need to make sure everyone survives.”

He hates that everything resets when he wakes up on that desk. He has to do the whole damn thing all over again. It’s exhausting. 

Chapter Text

He shows up early. This time, Kyoko is already there. He gives her a sad look and leans back against the wall. His head hurts again. She walks over to him, her eyes glimmering with curiosity. 

“Are you alright?” She asks. “You look unwell.” 

He raises an eyebrow. “Do I?”

Instead of answering, she digs into her pocket and retrieves two painkillers. He swallows them without a second thought before asking her a question he’s been curious about since she first offered them to him. 

“Why do you have aspirin in your pocket?”

“Just in case,” is her answer. He chuckles a little. 

“Byakuya Togami.”

She gives him a minuscule smile. He can’t help but return hers with one of his own. 

“Kyoko Kirigiri.”

She doesn’t leave his side, arms crossed. He doesn’t mind. Makoto approaches them last. How interesting. 

“Oh… uh… hi. I’m just going around introducing myself to everyone. I’m Makoto Naegi,” he greets them nervously. Byakuya gives him a tiny smile. 

“Byakuya Togami,” he says and holds his hand out for Makoto to shake. The brown-haired boy hesitates before doing so. 

“Kyoko Kirigiri.” Kyoko, too, holds her hand out and Makoto shakes it. 

Monokuma’s voice is grating, as always, and Byakuya keeps his hand clamped on Makoto’s shoulder as the bear rattles on about murder and such. Kyoko gives him a confused look when he drives Makoto out of the gym with little regard for the others. He gives her a nod and she walks off to do her own investigating. 

“Do you know Kirigiri?” Makoto asks. Byakuya looks at him, a little surprised. 

“Not before today, no.” It’s a half-lie. He has, yes. But not in here. 


Byakuya shakes his head before leading their exploration again. 

“Uh… Togami…?”

Byakuya glances back down at Makoto. 

“You don’t think anyone will actually murder someone, do you?” 

Byakuya closes his eyes for a moment. “Someone will try. That does not mean they will succeed.” 

Makoto nods, unsure. 

“Like me?”

Byakuya chuckles and shakes his head. “No. Out of everyone here, you’re the least likely to kill.” 

Makoto bites his lip, smiling. “Thanks…” 

Byakuya lies back on his bed. He’s sick of all of this. He wants to break out of this loop. It’s so difficult to keep everyone safe. If he’s a second late or he makes a mistake, he has to go all the way back to the start. 

The thought crosses his mind that maybe he doesn’t have to save everyone, he just needs to live through the days until they defeat Junko. But no, he can’t do that. He doesn’t know why, but something in the back of his head is screaming that that would be the worst thing to do. 

But he hates it all. There’s so many people, so many potential killers. He’s lucky that the killers have mostly been the same. Sayaka, Mondo, Celeste. 

He has to do the same things he did last time. Then he has to divert their path again. Stopping the third motive from enticing Celeste is a difficult thing. What can he do…? 


If he offers her his own money in exchange for her promise not to kill, he may be able to stop the motive. 

The fourth motive is a wild card at this point. With Sakura’s secret already revealed, there are a few possibilities. He’s curious as to which one Monokuma will use. Will he use either Sakura or Mukuro to pick someone off -and as it has been shown, usually it’s him- or will he find something else to put in place. A rehash of the first motive, perhaps? Or something completely new. 

That’s going to be a pain, but if he’ll just have to wait and see. There’s not much he can do this early. And that’s the worst part. He has to wait. He has to wait for things to progress. Sure, in the meantime he doesn’t have to sneak around actively preventing murders, but there are downsides. 

He never thought he’d hate being alone as much as he does now. He misses Kyoko wrapping her arms around him from behind and Makoto curling tighter into Byakuya’s embrace. He misses them. Before these loops, before the killing game, he’d never even considered them. 

Or, maybe, he did. In his missing memories, perhaps they were closer. And to think, the first time around he didn’t particularly care if they died. He feels sick, thinking about how he was. 

Something feels wet on his cheek and when he reaches up to see what it is, he realises he’s crying. He’s crying! When he realises this, his tears begin to stream down his face faster and faster. He doesn’t make a sound, doesn’t scrunch his face up or anything. There are just silent tears pouring out of his eyes and he can’t make them stop. 

“...but you realise now, don’t you… What I mean to you…”

Kyoko’s words ring in his ears as he reaches up and digs his palms into his eyes in an attempt to stop the tears. 

“Dammit, Kyoko. Dammit, Makoto… Dammit, Monokuma…” 

The first motive is handed out. He deals with it effortlessly. 

“Naegi, come with me,” he demands when Makoto goes to comfort Sayaka. She’ll use him if he lets the brunet go to her. No. Byakuya can’t put Makoto in harm's way. 

Makoto reluctantly follows Byakuya back to his room. Byakuya holds the door open and Makoto stands in the centre of the room, unsure. 

“Take a seat, Naegi. You’re about to faint, I can see it.” 


“Sit.” Byakuya stalks over and takes hold of Makoto’s shoulders, pushing him towards the bed. He then spins the boy around and pushes him to sit on the bed. Byakuya then moves to lean against the wall opposite. 

“Togami… why? Why are you-”

“Helping you?” He hums. “You…” He trails off. “It doesn’t matter.”

Makoto bites his lip and looks at the ground. “Togami… what did you see on your video?” 

Surprised, Byakuya looks up. In the last two loops where everyone actually saw their videos did Makoto ask that. The first loop around, well that much is obvious. But…

“I didn’t really pay attention.” 

Makoto chokes. “You… you didn’t pay attention?!” 

“No. A motive from Monokuma? Falling for it is foolish. He wants us to squirm. He wants us to kill. The video is like lighting a fire under your ass. Something to get you on your feet and to action. No doubt the videos are fake, if not fully. Nevertheless, I have the suspicion someone will try and kill.” 

Makoto blinks and then his eyes fill with realisation. “Oh… that makes sense.” 

“Of course it does. Makoto, please, stay in my room tonight. I will repeat that I have a suspicion that someone will attempt to kill.” 

“Uh… but you only have one bed…” 

Byakuya shrugs. “Does that matter?” 

Makoto blushes. “But… but wouldn’t it be too small?” 

“Asahina and Ogami make it work, Naegi. This is only a precaution.” He then sighs. “Unless you’re adamant that this is out of your comfort zone. If so, we can work out something else. But… I know someone will try something tonight.” 

“No, no, it’s… it’s okay…” Makoto lowers his head. “I’ll just… get some clothes… from my room…”

“Go ahead.” 

He didn’t do this just for the feeling of someone else in his bed. No. He did this for Makoto’s safety… 

He leaves after he’s sure Makoto is asleep and waits in the hall. Leon emerges and Byakuya sends him back to bed and then decides to switch the nameplates back. What better way to intimidate Sayaka into stepping down than making sure she’s aware that you know everything that she was planning. 

He returns to bed and sleeps with his back to Makoto. He has a nice surprise in the morning when he finds Makoto cuddling him from behind and it’s almost reminiscent of the last loop. Almost. 

The papers flutter to the ground and Mukuro is the one to move first. When she attempts to leave, Kiyotaka shouts. “Wait!”  

“What?!” She sneers back. 

“Maybe we should share our secrets?” Aoi suggests.

“A fine idea, Asahina,” Byakuya points out and moves to block the door. Mukuro beats him there and she’s halfway out the door when he snags her hair. She lets out a sharp cry, likely because that wig must be on tight, and then the wig comes free and he drops it to the ground. 

Turning around, furious, is the Ultimate Soldier. She narrows her eyes when a large portion of their class cry out in surprise. 

“Enoshima?! Your hair is fake too?!” Sayaka asks. Byakuya scoffs, taking advantage of Mukuro’s momentary lapse in concentration to snatch her paper out of her hand. He reads over it. Same as last time. 

“Your real name is Mukuro Ikusaba?” 

Mukuro scowls. Kyoko stalks over and takes the paper from him. He lets her. 

“The Ultimate Soldier? Interesting, wouldn’t you agree, Togami?” 


Mukuro reaches out and he freezes when she wraps her hand around her neck. He cringes as she puts pressure on his windpipe, but Makoto quickly shouts out for her to stop. 

“Please! Let him go!” 

“If you kill him here, you’ll only be damning yourself,” Celeste points out and Mukuro drops him. He breathes out heavily, gritting his teeth. 

“Leave, Ikusaba. Now,” he hisses between harsh breaths and she runs off. He then gets to his feet and levels his gaze with everyone else. “None of you are leaving until you reveal your secret.” 

“I can’t believe you did that!” Makoto tells him, lying on Byakuya’s bed. It makes Byakuya happy that Makoto comes to him on his own now. 

“Did what?”

“Took charge like that! You made everyone spill their secrets. Celeste almost ripped you into pieces, and that was after Ikusaba tried to strangle you!”
“It had to be done,” Byakuya simply says and flicks of the light. “Goodnight.” 

About half an hour later, if the clock at Byakuya’s bedside is to be believed, Byakuya is awoken by a swift set of knocks on his door. He flicks on his lamp, gets up, and opens the door. He prays that it’s her. Sure enough, it is. 

“Hello, Togami…” Kyoko looks down, blushing slightly. “May I come in?” 

He doesn’t give her a verbal answer, simply moving aside. She tiptoes in and Makoto sits up. 


“Naegi,” she greets, a little surprise making itself known in her voice but Byakuya brushes it off. He locks his door and strides over to the bed, sliding in next to Makoto and patting the bed. 

“Well? Are you getting in?” 

She does, quickly, and when they all lie down together, Kyoko wraps her arms around him and he smiles, pulling Makoto close to his chest. 

“Goodnight, Togami, Naegi…” Kyoko whispers. 

“Call me Byakuya. Both of you.” 

“Yeah… call me Makoto,” Makoto murmurs. 

“Very well… then I am Kyoko to both of you,” Kyoko says and then they all drift off into a comfortable silence. 

“Money?! Would someone really kill for money?!” Aoi shouts. 

“Yeah, what the fuck?” Leon quips. 

“Perhaps someone will be enticed,” Celeste, or better know as Taeko, suggests, and Mondo turns on her. 

“Are you kidding me?” 

“No, I am not. I believe you should think more about this motive. Give it more consideration.” 

“If the other two motives could be stopped, then this one can be too!” Makoto shouts at her and Celeste rolls her eyes. Byakuya gives her a look and she stops in her tracks. 

“What, Togami?” 

“Nothing, Yasuhiro,” he quips back and he can see her lips turn down into a slight scowl. 

“If nothing else is to be said, then I will take my leave,” she says in response and the others take this as their cue to leave. 

“Byakuya,” Kyoko whispers in his ear later that day. 

“Kyoko?” He raises an eyebrow. 

“Be careful. I know what you’re planning.” 

“Do you?” 

Kyoko blinks. “I…”

“Don’t worry about me. I know what I am doing.” 

She closes her eyes for a moment. “Stay safe. I want you in bed by night time and I want you to stay there,” she tells him and he shrugs. 

“I know.” 

“Taeko Yasuhiro,” he calls out and Celeste spins around. She is planning to murder him again, isn’t she? Great. Now he has to bargain for his life.

“Byakuya Togami,” she hisses back. “What do you want?”

“I want to know why you’re planning to kill me. Of course, I am quite smart and in your situation, you’d be much more inclined to go after the smart then the stupid. The dumber the survivors are, the more likely you’ll get away with your crime.” 

She glares. “What are you talking about?!”

“You want that money, yes?” 

She crosses her arms. “And? So what if I do?” 

“You can have it. Just… not from Monokuma. Do you really think he’ll make good on his promise? Really?” 

“I…” She stops. “What are you implying?” 

“I can give you that money when we leave, Yasuhiro. I’d be happy to.” 

“You don’t have money,” she growls. He shrugs. 

“On the contrary, I do. I have managed stock markets from a young age. I have a not so small fortune to my name.” He points at her. “And I am determined to escape this hell hole without a single casualty, so you should be patient.” 

She breathes out deeply. 


He returns to bed and Kyoko hugs him tight. 

He waits patiently for the fourth motive to be revealed. Monokuma is huffing and growling, an entirely, 100%, pissed off bear. Not that he really cares. 

“Someone with the talent of Ultimate Despair is lingering in this school,” Monokuma tells them. “And they’ll kill someone every night that no one is murdered.” 

“He wants us to kill in sacrifice, right?” Makoto mentions later when they’re lounging in Byakuya’s room together. 

“He’s stooping pretty low, isn’t he. He wants a murder. He wants a trial. If it’s for self-sacrifice, he doesn’t particularly care at this point, does he?” Kyoko hums. “We have him at wit's end, don’t we.” 

“Yes. We do.” Byakuya sighs. “Still, this is troubling. Someone will try something, I’m sure of it. Either selfless or selfish.” 

“Selfish?” Makoto frowns, confused. “What-”

“Monokuma never said who would be killed. Someone may get the idea to kill to survive, to rid the possible threat to their life,” Kyoko cuts in. 

“Exactly.” Byakuya settles on the bed between the duo and they curl into him. 

He wakes up a ghost. Makoto and Kyoko are wrapped around his dead body. The sight makes him sick. 

He didn’t die any particularly horrific way, a swift stab to the heart. Byakuya hears footsteps and watches as a dark figure slips out of his room. He pushes his way through the door and tries to see who they are. The figure has long, dark hair, which sweeps the floor. As if they know he’s looking, they turn around and Byakuya sees red eyes level him with their gaze. 

“Hmm… how… interesting?” 

They disappear from sight and Byakuya returns to his room, confused. Someone saw him? His killer saw him. How? No matter, he just has to wait.

When it occurs to him that he’ll have to do the whole fucking thing all over again, he groans. Great. And he got so far this time! And now there’s another obstacle in his way. Dammit! 

The morning is predictable. Kyoko is the first to awake, but her surprise is slightly more toned down then Makoto’s high pitched screaming. Makoto goes tumbling off the bed and he shuffles back to the wall, screaming the whole time. One of Kyoko’s gloved hands is covering her mouth as her tears roll down her cheeks. 

Byakuya has to wipe tears from his own eyes and isn’t that weird. He’s crying as a ghost. 

The screaming doesn’t wake anyone, but Kyoko stumbles back to the door and nudges the lock-up before pushing the handle down with her free hand and opening it. Makoto’s screaming now floods the hallway and others rush out of their rooms, scared. 

The difference this time is there isn’t a blackened. The time limit damned him. If only he thought of something. He needs to think of something for next time. He needs to do everything right again and then he’ll have to figure out a solution to this new problem. 

Hifumi’s piggish screaming brings him out of his musing. He sees everyone crying or screaming or just staring at the scene in disbelief. 

“W-who killed him?!” Toko cries out. “It was one of you two, wasn’t it!” She points at Makoto and then points at Kyoko. “Wasn’t it!” 

“Upupupu, hey, hey. This was all your doing,” Monokuma’s hideous voice comes out of the monitor above them and most shriek again. 

“All… our doing?” Chihiro mumbles, trembling. 

“This wasn’t a killing, was it? This was part of the motive,” Kyoko says, wiping away the tears on her face. Her eyes are red and rubbed raw and she’s still sniffling slightly, but her tone is forceful. 

“Upupupu, give the amnesiac a prize! Ding ding ding!” 

“The mystery killer did this…” Makoto murmurs. Mukuro bites her lip. She doesn’t know who the mystery killer is either. Does she?

Monokuma leaves as quickly as he came, shooing everyone out of Byakuya’s room and Kyoko takes Makoto’s wrist. She drags him to her room and forces him inside. 

“I should have seen this coming. I didn’t realise he’d start as soon as possible. I was sure he’d give us a night…” 

Makoto squeezes his eyes shut as tears begin to bud there. Kyoko then rushes at him, pressing herself against him. She runs her hands through his hand and he wraps his arms around her on instinct. Her sobs can be heard, muffled by Makoto’s sleep shirt. 

“I can’t do this,” she whispers. “I… dammit!” 

Byakuya lingers as Makoto curls into Kyoko’s embrace. They’re crying in their sleep. 

The door creaks and Byakuya looks over at the figure sliding into the room. It’s him. Red eyes move from the two on the bed to Byakuya. 

“Get out,” Byakuya growls and the red-eyed figure narrows his eyes. 

“You’re still here,” his voice is as deep as before, but there’s something in it. Something… strange. It’s… confusion mixed with something else Byakuya can’t put his finger on. For a second the figure’s eyes flash hazel before going back to the red. 

“Leave,” Byakuya repeats and the hazel returns for another brief second before the red-eyed figure moves back towards the door, sliding his knife back into its hilt and levelling his gaze to Byakuya. 

“My name is Izuru Kamakura, don’t forget it.” 

The flash of hazel reminding him of soft smiles is the last thing he sees.

Chapter Text

Byakuya curses whoever made this his life to kingdom come. He doesn’t care about swearing now. He couldn’t give a shit how much it could destroy his image. The Togami corporation is gone. His family is gone. He doesn’t care about his 'image' anymore. He doesn’t give a fuck.

He just wants this to stop. He wants to leave this stupid school. If he has to spend many more loops in this god awful place, he’s going to actually go insane. 

He stands up from the desk, kicks it over, and storms out of the classroom before composing himself. If he meets the others angry, that will leave the wrong impression and make his ‘keeping everyone fucking alive’ goal more difficult to achieve. 

He walks into the gym with calm, methodical steps, and leans against the wall. He needs to think. Izuru Kamakura. Izuru Kamakura. Izuru…? 

He doesn’t know why it sounds familiar. Something is strange about the man he met. His killer from the last loop. Who could see ghosts and had eyes that changed colour. Familiar eyes. Why? None of this makes-

“Here,” a low voice comes from beside him. He blinks his eyes open to see Kyoko holding out those ever so familiar pills. He picks them up out of her hand without a second thought and swallows. 

“Thank you,” he says and nods and she waits. He lets out a little sigh. “I am Byakuya Togami.” 

Kyoko hums. “Kyoko Kirigiri.”

They stand side by side as they wait. People pass both of them by, but neither mind. 

“Uh… Hi?” Makoto finally makes his rounds and Byakuya nods in greeting. 

“I do not believe we have been introduced,” Kyoko says and holds out her hand. “Kyoko Kirigiri.” 

“Byakuya Togami.” Byakuya also holds his hand out and Makoto shakes it awkwardly. Byakuya had never noticed how nervous the boy was around him during the first part of this whole thing. 

Monokuma’s voice grates. Byakuya grinds his teeth together. He hooks his hands over Kyoko and Makoto’s shoulders and asks them to investigate with him. 

Kyoko’s presence is interesting. Makoto is nervous around both of them, likely to them being ultimates. 

“What’re your talents?” Makoto asks suddenly. They both turn to him in surprise. 

“Oh? I don’t quite remember…” He hums and Kyoko gives him the side-eye. 

“Nor I.” 

“You… you forgot your talents?” Makoto blinks at them. 



“What’s your talent, Makoto?” Byakuya asks even though he knows it. 

“Oh… it’s not that interesting. I’m known as the Ultimate Lucky Student. The school holds a lotto every year and if you get picked you get to go to Hopes Peak as the Ultimate Lucky Student.” 

Kyoko tilts her head. “Now that is interesting.” 

They walk in silence for a while and Byakuya waits for the age-old question. He spends so long waiting that when it actually does come up, he’s surprised. 

“Do you guys think someone will actually murder?” Makoto asks, unsure. 

“With the right motivation,” Byakuya murmurs and Kyoko nods. 

“Someone will crack with the right amount of pressure.” 

Byakuya grinds his teeth together. He wants to go back to the last loop. Stupid Izuru Kamakura. Stupid, stupid, stupid-

Who is Izuru Kamakura? He’s heard that name before. He’s seen that man’s face before. Those green eyes. From where? 

He’s crying again. He snarls at the camera. “Fuck you, Monokuma.” He almost says Junko. Almost. He can’t yet. He can’t because it’ll cost him. Dearly.

“Motivation,” Byakuya hisses and Makoto trembles as Byakuya guides him back to the blond’s room. Byakuya swipes his key and leads the brunet into his room. “Sit, Naegi.” 

“T-Togami… why are you…?”

“It’ll be fine, Naegi. Your family will be okay.” He kneels in front of Makoto. He takes the boy’s hands and squeezes them. “Tell me. Tell me about them.”

And so, again, Makoto does. He falls asleep in Byakuya’s bed and doesn’t notice Byakuya slip out to warn Leon. Leon almost trips on his stumble back to the safety of his room but manages to catch himself, sliding against the wall slowly. 

Byakuya slips back into his room and flops down on the other side of the bed. Makoto curls into him and Byakuya tries not to cry. 

“What the fuck?!” Mondo yells. “How the hell did-”

“Celeste!” Makoto calls. “Don’t leave just yet!” 

“Yes!” Kiyotaka cuts in. “It would be better if everyone just shared their secrets now!”

“The hell?!” Mukuro stalks over to the prefect. “Why would we do that?!” 

“So no one kills,” Kyoko murmurs. “Ogami, block the doors.”

The martial artist nods firmly and places herself in front of the door. 

“You got first then,” Mukuro hisses at Kyoko. 

“Fine. Mine is that I have amnesia. Is that good enough for you?” She spins around to look at each and every person in the eye. “Who’s next?” 

Byakuya spots Mondo instructing Chihiro on how to use a certain dumbbell later and it makes him smile a little. The first time, this was never possible. Sayaka and Leon were dead, Chihiro was about to be strung up like a puppet by himself. 

He thinks about it and throws up in his bathroom. 

“Togami,” Kyoko’s voice carries through the door. “Are you alright?” 

“Fine,” he spits out as he grabs his toothbrush. Kyoko opens the door slowly. 

“Your door is unlocked.” 

“Is it?” He sticks his toothbrush, slick with toothpaste, into his mouth. “I was in a rush.”

She walks into his bathroom to see him brushing his teeth rigorously. She then slides her gaze to the toilet and to his pale face. 

“Are you sick?”

He doesn’t answer, instead choosing to spit into the basin before rinsing his mouth out. “I’m fine.” 

“You don’t look like it,” she notes as he pushes past her to leave the bathroom. “What is your deal, Togami? You’re… I don’t understand you.” She bites her lip. “You treat everyone like they’re about to break, most especially Naegi and me. You’re terrified, I can see it in your eyes. But you think you have to do this alone.” 

“I do,” he gets out. 


“I do, alright?” He spins back to face her. “I’m fine. I’ve done this alone for so long, I can’t stop now. I… I don’t want another do-over.” 


“Leave, Kirigiri. Please.” 

She sighs. “I will return. I trust you will allow me in?” 

“Yes.” He nods slowly and waves her goodbye. She makes her exit and he lies back down in bed. “Dammit. Why me?”

Kyoko, as promised, returns that night. She is accompanied by Makoto. 

“Get in,” he mutters and they both hurry into the room. He shuts his door, locks it, and then gestures to the bed before sliding in himself. Makoto ends up on his left and Kyoko on his right.

“Call me Kyoko,” she whispers. 

“And me, Makoto,” Makoto whispers back. 

“Sleep, both of you. In the morning I expect both of you to address me as Byakuya,” he mutters and then closes his eyes. He just lies there, savouring the feeling of being in bed with two of the most precious people in the world to him. The most important people. 

He doesn’t want to do another loop. He really doesn’t.

Celeste takes to his offer quickly. It doesn’t hurt that he wasn’t the one to out her as Taeko Yasuhiro. He sleeps soundly after she grins at his promise of more money than the bear could ever offer. 

“Someone with the talent of Ultimate Despair is lingering in this school,” Monokuma tells them. “And they’ll kill someone every night that no one is murdered.” 

It’s like Monokuma’s words are on repeat. He says the same words for each motive each time. Phrases it the exact same. 

Chihiro cries into Mondo’s jacket and Sayaka hugs Leon for dear life. Because now the threat to their lives is very much real. They trust each other. No one has killed. Not a single person. And now someone will die? 

“How long do you think it will take before someone decides it’s their only choice?” Kyoko asks Byakuya. 

“A few days. A few deaths,” Byakuya tells her back because he doesn’t actually know. 

Makoto and Kyoko are curled up next to him but he’s awake. The door creaks open and Byakuya sits up, gazing at the figure with red eyes. Izuru Kamakura. 

“Byakuya Togami.”

He nods, slowly. 

“I have been sent to kill you,” Izuru says dully.

“I gathered that.” 

Byakuya slides out of bed. Izuru raises his knife and Byakuya shakes his head. 

“My death won’t be very interesting. Actually, I have a better idea,” he murmurs and Izuru tilts his head, lowering his weapon. Byakuya walks up to him and Izuru slides the knife back into its holster before staring right into Byakuya’s eyes. Byakuya stares back and sees green flash yet again. 

And then Byakuya whispers into Izuru’s ear. “Destroy the cameras, Izuru Kamakura.” 

The red-eyed male freezes and then breathes out slowly, narrowing flickering red/green eyes at him before nodding slowly and taking his knife out again. He throws it, aiming perfect, right into one of the cameras. He then slides another out of his pocket and perfectly hits a bullseye on the other. 

The sound wakes Kyoko and Makoto and the two sit up in shock.

“You…” Makoto murmurs and Izuru tilts his head in curiosity. 

“Makoto Naegi?” Green eyes stare at the brunette with deep fear before being replaced by red-eyed fear instead. 

Kyoko is frozen in her spot. “Kama-”

“Kura…” Byakuya finishes. 

Monokuma bangs on his door in the morning. Kyoko nudges him and he gets out of bed. He casts a look over at the lone desk chair where Izuru is reclined, one eye slightly open. Makoto yawns as he wakes up again. 

Not much happened after the cameras broke. Byakuya asked Izuru to stay the night and, surprisingly, he did. He simply took a seat in Byakuya’s desk chair and fell asleep. Byakuya returned to bed and curled back into Kyoko and Makoto. 

He doesn’t know what to do at this point. Izuru is there, hopefully on their side for the time being, and Byakuya doesn’t know what to do next. He hasn’t lived this. Ever. 

He opens his door with a little hesitation and comes face to face with a seething Monokuma. 

“For destroying school pro-”

“I didn’t destroy it,” Byakuya points out. He opens his door wider and gestures to Izuru, who is sitting upright, eyebrows raised. 

“Junko,” the red-eyed man says and smirks. Monokuma almost loses it. Almost

“What in ‘kill Byakuya Togami’ do you not understand?!” Monokuma shoots back. 

“Waste of time.” Izuru stands and gently pushes Byakuya out of the way before shutting the door. “Goodbye, Junko Enoshima.” 

“We can’t stay in here forever,” Kyoko mutters. “The others will be looking for us now.” 

Izuru nods. “She is waiting.”

“You’ve ruined this for her,” Byakuya quips back. Izuru nods yet again, a small, almost insignificant smirk making itself apparent on his face. 

“I have.”

“Why?” Makoto asks suddenly. “Aren’t you… an Ultimate Despair? Or something…?” 

Izuru shakes his head slowly. “I… I never was. Despite what the others believed.”

“The others?”

“Nevermind. You’ll find out soon enough…” Izuru whispers. “It’s time…” 

Byakuya stands and opens the door. He pushes it open slowly and sighs. Surrounding the door is every other student in their class. Mukuro’s eyes widen when she sees Izuru standing there. 

“What’s going on?” Leon asks, confused. Byakuya rubs the bridge of his nose before fixing his glasses and clenching his fists shut. He leads the whole group to the top floor, Makoto and Kyoko on either side and the rest of their class following, unsure. Izuru brings in the rear, making sure no one falls behind. 

“Junko Enoshima,” Byakuya says, knocking on the door to the principal's office. “I know you’re in there.” 

“You guys are, like, so unfair!” Her grating voice comes out from behind the door and then it swings open. She has that depressed look on her again. “I should have expected this…” she says glumly and Byakuya scrunches up his nose. 

“Now that we know who you are,” Celestia speaks up. “Will you allow us free passage out of this miserable place?” 

She cackles. “Are you kidding me?!” Her grin becomes a snarl. “You ruined my KILLING GAME!” She whines loudly. Byakuya resists the urge to cover his ears. “Look! We’re not even in the trial room! We’re just in the fucking hallway!” 

“How unfortunate,” Izuru comments and the model spins to point a long, manicured finger at the long-haired boy. He gazes back with emotionless red eyes. 

“You! This is your fault!” 

“Is it?” Izuru shoots back. He then looks over at Byakuya. “I do believe that this was all your fault, Enoshima.” 

“You’ve been defeated!” Makoto speaks up. “So let us go!”

“I… I’ve been defeated?” Junko looks at all of them. “Just like that?” She starts to shake. “I’ve lost everything? I… I lose?” 

Byakuya grits his teeth. “Have a despair orgasm later, give us the button to exit and feel free to execute yourself at your own discretion.” 

She narrows her eyes at him. “Oh?” She holds out the remote. “This one?” 

He narrows his eyes right back. She’s planning something… he knows she is. She…

He doesn’t see them. But he feels them. Spears of Gunguir. 


He keeps his composure while being impaled by dozens of spears. Makoto screams. Sayaka screams. Chihiro bursts into tears. Mukuro slides Izuru’s knife out of his pocket and perfectly throws it straight at Junko’s heart. 

As she falls, he grins a bloody grin.

“I… win…”

He’s a ghost. Again. They don’t leave straight away. Everyone agrees they should stay for the night. They take his body and cover it up in sheets, lying it on his bed. They’ll give him a proper burial when they get outside, they say. And he’s sure they will. 

Byakuya observes his classmates as they turn in for the night. Aoi whimpers as she follows Sakura. Leon has his arm wrapped loosely around Sayaka’s shoulders. Chihiro is flanked by Kiyotaka and Mondo. Mukuro bites one of her long nails off as she walks back to her room. Toko mutters loudly as Celeste guides her away. Makoto numbly follows Kyoko to their room. His eyes are dead. 

When everyone is asleep, whether peacefully or fitfully, Byakuya lingers in the kitchen. Izuru stalks in and pauses. 

“Togami…” He whispers. 

“You can see me.” 

“I can…” Byakuya turns around and Izuru slides down the wall to the floor, gazing up at him. “You’re a ghost, aren’t you?”

“I am…” Byakuya nods. “How long have you been able to see ghosts?”

Izuru quirks his lip. “Just now.” He then tilts his head. “What happened to you, Togami? You knew my name, you knew my face, you knew what was happening. I’ve watched you occasionally. You knew how to stop murders. You’ve kept everyone alive. How?”

Byakuya rubs his eyes, feeling more tired than he has before. “Have you heard of the film ‘Groundhog Day’?”

“I have not.” 

“It’s about a man who keeps living the same day over and over.” Byakuya frowns. “It’s an American film.”

“A time loop,” Izuru muses. “So that’s how you know…” 

Byakuya nods. 

“Do you die in all of these loops?”

He shakes his head. “I didn’t die the first time around. Most people did.” 

“You and a small band of survivors made it out and then…?”

“I woke up in that fucking classroom,” Byakuya curses, sliding to sit beside Izuru. Izuru tilts his head back. 

“Tomorrow, everyone will leave,” Izuru murmurs.

“I’ve saved everyone… finally…” Byakuya whispers. “Finally, everyone can leave…” He’s a little breathless at the realisation. He saved everyone. Everyone will escape together. He’s finally done it. He smiles. 

“You can’t,” Izuru says bluntly, cutting through his victorious thoughts. “Everyone survived. Everyone but you…” 

Byakuya smiles. “That doesn’t matter… This is done. Please…” He mumbles. “Please just let this all be over. I can’t do this anymore… I’m so close…” Byakuya wipes at the tears in his eyes. “I’m so… so close…”

“This isn’t over.” Izuru stands. “I’m sorry.”

Standing over Byakuya is no longer Izuru. It’s a brunette boy with gentle green eyes and a smile. The smile then falls and weeping eyes look down at him. Slowly the boy turns back into Izuru, tears still in his eyes. 

“I’m so sorry, Byakuya…” 

Chapter Text

Byakuya decides he’s done the minute he opens his eyes. That desk. That pamphlet. Those fucking iron plates. 

He curses and curses and curses as he kicks around desks and tosses chairs left and right. He breaks one when he throws it at the iron plate, gritting his teeth and scowling. Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. 

He’s back at the motherfucking start. Again.

He throws the doors to the gym open and straightens out his face. He can freak out a little more later. 

He’s the second last, arriving after eight. He ignores Kiyotaka’s admonishments in favour of resting against his wall. Oh, his good ol’ wall, he can always count on it to be there. His body hurts. His legs, arms, chest, stomach, back. He still feels as if he’s currently run through by several spears. 

“Hey,” Kyoko’s voice snaps him out of his pain. He blinks his eyes open and gives her a curious look although he knows exactly what she’ll do. 

She holds out two pills and he swallows them without pausing to take a breath. 

“Thank you,” Byakuya says. “Byakuya Togami.”

“Kyoko Kirigiri,” Kyoko responds and holds out her hand. Byakuya shakes it firmly and gives her a miniature smile. 

“Are you okay?” She asks after a few minutes. He shrugs but doesn’t give a verbal answer. Finally, Makoto throws the doors open and Byakuya’s lips tilt upward. Makoto looks out of breath, a little panicked, but mostly confused. He goes around greeting everyone, finally making up to the duo. 

“Uh… hi! My name is Makoto Naegi,” he greets, unsure. 

“Kyoko Kirigiri,” Kyoko says with a swift nod. Byakuya gives him a small smile. 

“Byakuya Togami,” he introduces, holding out his hand. Makoto returns his smile and shakes his hand. The handshake isn’t particularly firm nor graceful, but it makes Byakuya smile, a little sad if he’s being honest. 

Monokuma’s voice grates as always. Kyoko pats his shoulder as she makes to leave the gym by herself while Byakuya steers Makoto out. The brunette boy shakes a little with fear. 

“Are you alright?” He asks the shorter boy. Makoto nods hurriedly. Byakuya shakes his head, placing his hand on Makoto’s shoulder. “You’re scared…”

“Of course I am…” Makoto whispers. “Aren’t you?”

Byakuya thinks. Is he? He should be… his situation is objectively terrifying. Despite this, half the time he feels numb and the other half he’s just pissed. He’s never really… scared. 

“I hide it better than most,” he settles on. 

Makoto looks at him in confusion but Byakuya just pats his shoulder. 

Monokuma makes his speech, Byakuya drags Makoto out to explore. It’s like a tape on repeat. 

“Do you think anyone here could really kill someone?” Makoto whispers. Byakuya hangs his head. He tries not to let tears come to his eyes. He knows the answer. He knows it all too well. 

“Anyone can be driven to murder, Naegi. It just matters on how much motivation is given…” 

He holds down the urge to ruffle Makoto’s hair. 

Makoto lowers his head too. “Oh…”

“Naegi,” Byakuya clears his throat. “Trust me when I say I am going to try and stop this killing game from ever starting.” 

Makoto raises his gaze from the ground and looks Byakuya in the eyes. “You promise?”

Byakuya simply nods and smiles ever so softly. 

“I promise.”

He locks his door. He locks his door and flops on his bed and cries. He cries and cries and cries. All his rage is gone. All that’s left is pain, pure and simple. He hates this so much. He just wants to go home. He just wants this to all be over. 

“Why me?” He sobs. “Why… me?”

He runs his hands through his hair. 

“Is this punishment? For what happened? For what I did?” He wipes his eyes. “Do I deserve to die?” He whispers. “Do I?”

Does he? Is all of this his own fault? Is this punishment for what he did in the first loop? For what he did before the killing game even started? 

“Why can’t this just end?” He runs his hand across his face. “Why can’t this just all be over. I just want it to end. I want to get through this and be free.” He then curses. “Let me go…” He whispers quietly. “Please…”

“It’s sick,” Kyoko remarks, glaring at the DVD she’s brought back with her. 

Byakuya just pats Makoto on the shoulder. Not too close yet. Not yet. 

The boy is shaking, eyes wide. Byakuya is numb to the video now. All the death and pain has made the pathetic and easily faked video mean nothing to him. Even so, Makoto has not seen that. 

“I’d have loved to break them all,” Byakuya hums. As Makoto gasps in surprise, Byakuya thinks back to when he did. It’d felt so good to tear each one apart. Haha, wow. Back when he thought it would work. 

“I kinda wish you did,” Makoto whispers and Kyoko shakes her head. 

“That would just put a target on his head,” she says and he nods. 


“But… what do we do?” Makoto asks. “S-someone will….?”

Byakuya doesn’t answer him. He doesn’t need to. He’ll take care of it. Like he’s done many times before. He can do this. He can do this. He can do this all by himself. 

The night comes far too quickly and both the ultimate detective and ultimate hope fall asleep on his bed while he creeps out into the hallway and switches the nameplates back before telling Leon to go back to his room sternly. Leon visibly gulps when Byakuya takes a step forward and then shuts his door. 

When Byakuya returns, Kyoko is sitting up, looking at him. 

“What did you do?”

“Prevented a murder,” Byakuya answers bluntly and she gives him a questioning look but he doesn’t explain further. He just gets into bed and she gets squished in the middle. She doesn’t seem to mind, though, curling around a sleeping Makoto in order to make more space. 

“I’d think this is the ‘one-bed trope’,” Kyoko hums. “Do you agree?”

A strained smile tugs at his lips. “Sure.”

Secrets are spoken. Ones he’s heard a thousand times before. Mukuro struggles more this time. Celeste too, losing her cool for a good while before she just sighs and returns to being Taeko. Kyoko takes his hand as he sighs. This is better. It’s okay. 

His heart feels tangled. His skin feels scratchy and dry. His eyes feel droopy. 

He’s tired, he realises. He’s exhausted and worn and he wants it all to stop. 

They return to their rooms, Chihiro happily walking alongside Mondo and talking about getting stronger together. Makoto and Kyoko go with him, and it’s them that catch him when he stumbles and his legs give out under him. 

Going inside and getting into bed is a blur. He remembers the feeling of Kyoko removing his shoes. He remembers her running a hand through his hair as she settles herself in his desk chair. Makoto opts for the floor, resting against the side of the bed and pulling his knees to his chest. 

He wakes up in the middle of the night with the two of them on either side. Makoto’s hair tickles his nose and Kyoko’s forehead is pressed into his arm, breath warm through his shirt. 

He’s reminded of a song. A long one with slow, sorrowful vocals, in a different language. In a different world. 

His life is a wreck. He’s so tired. 

He has the distinct impression that Izuru is lurking in the school much earlier than he should be. He sees red eyes out of the corner of his eye and wonders if the man knows. Knows that he’s reliving this day again and again. 

Foolish thoughts, probably. Izuru could see him as a ghost, sure. But he didn’t know. Don’t think about him. He won’t be a problem yet. 

Taeko takes his offer. Her hair is long, he thinks. Longer than he thought. The drill tails she wore it in were deceptive. It’s almost knee length and it swings softly as she lets Hifumi brush it out. Her outfit is no longer that lolita one. Just a day dress, white with red and gold flower patterns spread across. Her shoes are sandals with brown wedges, white straps crisscrossing across her feet. 

She looks a little happier. How strange. 

“Someone with the talent of Ultimate Despair is lingering in this school,” Monokuma tells them. “And they’ll kill someone every night that no one is murdered.” 

Byakuya knows this. 

He knows this very well. 

He goes to bed with Kyoko and Makoto, the two of them following him without question. As he goes, he sees Sayaka and Leon. He’s helping her with the new jacket he found her. It matches his, and is a stark difference from her normal style. Leon makes eye contact with him and he gives the red-head a nod. 

And at night, he waits. He waits and waits and waits and-

The door opens. Red eyes glow in the dark. Byakuya tilts his head. He climbs out of bed and slides over to the supposed ultimate despair. Izuru frowns but lets him remove a knife from his belt. Byakuya then hands it to him and nods to the camera. 

A ghost of a smile graces Izuru’s face as he readies, aims, and throws a bullseye. The shatter wakes Kyoko and Makoto, the latter who freaks out at the stranger. 

With no one else listening, Byakuya tells them. He tells them he’s been through this again and again and he keeps losing. He thinks they’ll hate him. 

Kyoko kisses him. Truly kisses him on the lips. Makoto presses his face into Byakuya’s side as he clings to him around the middle and Izuru sighs, running a hand through his hair and humming. 

They fall asleep. 

They awake. 

Izuru is still there. He’s still alive. They’re all still alive. 

Time to stop her.

He sidesteps the spikes. Mukuro slides her gun out and shoots Junko dead. Izuru leads them out. He opens the door and they all step out into the light. 

He can rest. 

“Sorry,” a voice whispers. “But victimless killing games are what matters.” 

And Byakuya understands. He finally does.