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Untitled Kurokano Trash

Chapter Text

The sounds echoing within the room were delicious. 

Wailing, the queen sat in a pool of blood surrounding her and her beloved friends. Her red-stained hands gripped tightly, desperately onto another that still held warmth. If one listened closely enough, they could hear the labored breathing of the two other beings strewn out before her. One of them was the thief, whose hand the queen clutched. He was slowly stripped of his pathetic life as the puddle of blood surrounding him grew. His brother, the deceiver, lay next to him, two bullets embedded in his leg and tears falling from his eyes.

Sneering, the snake silently observed the turmoil within the final survivors. After all, it was always entertaining to see them in their final moments, lost in their despair. 

"Seto... Seto!" the girl cried, clutching tightly onto the dying thief's stiff hand. "Please, get up! Seto.... Don't leave...." 

Her sounds quieted to a horrified whimper as the boy's hazel eyes slowly closed. The sounds of her grief poisoned the air as the blond, Kano, stared as if dazed. 

"Ah, this is too pitiful a sight," the snake began, feigning remorse. He waved the point of his gun between the three, as if contemplating who to shoot next. "What do you say, my queen? How about we put one of these poor souls out of their misery? Even better, I'll let you choose! So, who will it be?" 

"No...." she averted her eyes from him as she leaned closer to Seto's face. "Please don't kill them.... I don't want them to die anymore."

"Eh? That's no fun," the snake responded. "How about a numbers game? How did it go... ah, right! Choose a number between one and ten, hm?" 

"No!" the albino screamed now as the thief's breathing turned slow. Her hands balled into fists as tears fell from her face and splashed on the tiled ground.

"This timeline is no fun," the murderer muttered, twirling the gun carelessly in his hand. "Very well, I'll just kill the weaker one."

The queen's red eyes widened and the deceiver quickly turned away as the barrel of the gun was directed at Seto's forehead. A deafening bang sounded and rebounded against the wall as a shot was fired into his head. The snake felt his smile widen as the jumpsuit wearing teen's labored breathing came to a stop and his body grew still. The pitiful queen (Mary was her name?) screamed louder. Even more blood stained the floor. 

"Kano... he's not moving!" she sharply turned to cry at the other wide-eyed boy. "Why won't he...." 

Mary ducked her head and curled in on herself as the other refused to respond. The snake took a moment to observe the beautiful carnage. The telltale metallic smell of blood and the painting of dark red was truly a sight behold. It almost made sense now why that girl had loved the color so much.

"What a shame," the black clad teen restarted breezily. "Now there's only two mice left to hunt."

He kicked Seto's limp body aside as he stood before Kano, who was kneeling on the ground with tears running down his face. Mary's sniffles reverberated throughout the corpse littered room as the boy breathed heavily and raggedly. The blond's eyes were filled with cold betrayal as he locked gazes with the snake. Truly, the glare was a gorgeous sight.

"I'm feeling rather nice this time around," the snake drawled, his yellow eyes locked on the liar. "So I'll give you a choice... how would you like to die? A shot to the head, suffocation, me breaking your neck, crushing, what will it be? I'll have you know this is quite the privilege, so you should be honored to have a choice! Let's call it your reward for being the second to last left alive." 

He could feel the red eyes of the queen focused on him as he waited patiently by the wordless blond. Kano remained silent as he stared, rather forcefully, at the gun in the snake's hand, rather than his eyes.

After a few moments, the dark haired teen let an exasperated sound escape him. 

"You really are no fun this time," he sighed, running a finger over the trigger of the gun. "I might as well just kill you now and hope that the next loop will be more entertaining."

"W-Wait," Mary hiccuped as her shaky voice rang out behind the snake. "I-" 

"Oh? Do you have a request?" the smiling figure responded. "Please, you are welcome to present any ideas you have. After all, this poor morsel seems to be dry of any inspiration. How boring...." 

"C-Can you..." the girl's face slowly grew red as if reflecting the bloodied ground before her. She looked like she was in deep thought, as if she had to carefully select her next words or she would be killed. (Though that would never be able to happen.)

"Spill it, I don't have all day," the snake suddenly spat as he felt his patience suddenly grow short. This part of the process was already taking too long, and though it was fun sometimes, there was no point in dragging on the timeline to last longer than it needed to be.

"Can you two just kiss already?!" she finally burst out. "I've been waiting timelines for this and yet- just...." 

She trailed off as the color red finally took over her face. Impressive, the snake thought for a moment. She almost matches the floor. 

As the poor girl's voice died down into small embarrassed mutters, an amused smile spread across the snake's features. Maybe adding a small twist to this otherwise disappointing timeline wouldn't be too bad of an idea, after all. 

"Well, since our poor deceiver here is out of ideas," he began as he eyed the, now also red-faced, blond. "Then I suppose this could make for a rather entertaining change. Just this once, though, since I'm in a rather decent mood." 

The liar finally caught on, and made rather pitiful attempts to back out and escape from his fate. He pathetically squirmed as he tried, and failed, to drag his injured leg. The effort only resulted in more blood oozing from the wound, causing winces of pain to escape from him. His amber eyes grew wide and fearful as the taller towered over him. His failed attempts to move away proved to be futile as he was easily pulled over by the collar. 

The snake saw Mary's eager expression from the corner of his eye as he slunk closer. Kano locked his weak grip on the snake's arm as he tried to pry the other off. Once he saw it was useless, he simply whimpered and looked away, shutting his eyes tightly. So weak. A sneer was plastered on the murderer's face as he yanked the other even closer up to him. 

Slowly, the raven haired male knelt and ducked his head down to meet the deceiver's. He pressed his lips to his forehead, just below Kano's messy bangs. He stayed in that position for a moment, drinking in the liar's soft gasp. Then, he pulled away, feeling Kano's blond locks brush against his nose. The snake beamed a triumphant smirk down at Kano, then at Mary, who sat in disbelief.

"Wait no-" Mary began, an unreadable expression taking over her face as she curled her fists tightly. 

"Ah, well, that was rather enjoyable!" the snake smiled, pointing his gun at a stunned Kano. "But unfortunately, that's the curtain call for this timeline. I hope you found that as entertaining as I, deceiver."

"Stop-" the fujoshi began, reaching her hand out, as if that could stop what was to come.

A loud shot resonated, and the blond fell to the ground, lifeless. A shocked expression was imprinted on his still features. His lifeless eyes were still directed on the snake. Meanwhile, Mary screamed in equal rage and grief. As her tearful laments were cried out, the cycle was once again completed. The wish was made and granted again, and time was turned back to the very beginning.

Chapter Text

Two beings stood in the thick darkness. There was the monster of the fairy tale: The medusa, trapped and bound pitifully in the world that she herself created. Then there was the traitorous snake, who had imprisoned its master and now roamed as it pleased.

The dark haired girl looked on with disgust written on her face as the snake loudly cackled, burying his face in red-stained hands. As his laughs died down, the murderer eventually took notice of his old master's piercing red eyes trained on him. His smile only grew and spread further across his face as he lowered his bloodied hands. The two grew silent, locking eyes with each other, as if challenging each other to speak up first. As the silence stretched, the snake lost patience. 

"You know," the yellow eyed creature began first. "The most entertaining thing happened in this timeline!" 

He paused as he waited for the monster to respond. The only sound for a few moments was the sounds of blood dripping on the ground from his hands. Eventually, the old master gave in.

"And what would that be?" she spat, clearly not amused. "Surely something awful."

"Do you remember when you foolishly fell for with that man oh so long ago?" the snake questioned, ignoring the girl's insult. 

Her glare hardened, and her shoulders tensed at the mention of her husband. The old master caught on quickly, and didn't waste time to accuse him.

"What did you do to them?" she demanded quickly, anger blazing in her eyes. Despite the loss of her powers, her glare still proved to be frightening.

"Well I- hm... what was the word for that feeling again?" the snake brushed her off as he continued. "That feeling for when you care for someone else who cares about you? What letter did it start with? Come on, give me a hint!" 

"You couldn't properly love someone if you tried," she retorted, rolling her eyes. "Not without shattering their mind, that is." 

"Ah, love, that word!" the snake spread his arms wide and his mouth stretched with a smile. "Give me some credit, dear master, I can assure you the deceiver loved me just fine!" 

"I'm sure you caught them up in one of your sick games," she hissed with disdain. "I bet you took enjoyment in breaking their will or twisting their mind. I wouldn't expect anything less from you, a mere creature that can't enjoy anything more than crushing someone's spirit. After all, didn't you simply kill them in the end?" 

The conversation was clearly going nowhere, but the snake continued nonetheless.

"I'm truly hurt by your lack of faith in me," he sneered, then he turned away. "The killing is a necessary step in completing the cycle! And either way, I can always make him fall for me in the next timeline. But if that's what you really think, so be it! Now, if you'll excuse me, I must take my leave for the next loop. Enjoy your stay, Azami." 

As he walked away, the heat of his master's glare faded behind him.

Talking to her really could be troublesome at times.

- - -

The snake stared on boredly as the scarf wearing girl and the deceiver shared their short interaction. She was perched on the railing, ready to enter the daze. 

"I'm sorry Shuuya," the brunette whispered softly. "I guess I wasn't brave enough."

Her tears reflected the sunset's fading light as she leaned over to her doom. 

She fell, and the red of the girl's scarf finally disappeared from view. She was then consumed by the daze, taken away to be brought to the other world. The boy screamed out in pure despair as he ran and leaned over the edge, as if that would bring her back. When all traces of the girl vanished, Shuuya broke down and hung his head pathetically over the edge. He cried uncontrollably, despite the presence of the monster behind him. From where he stood, the snake laughed. Ah, this part was always enjoyable to watch. 

He stood there for a while, staring in amusement as the sun dipped below the horizon and disappeared from the sky, just like the girl. Shuuya's cries eventually died down to small whimpers. and the snake decided it was time to move on. Besides, the fun was just waiting to begin. 

"Let's get moving," he finally said, pulling the deceiver away from the rusty railing where his beloved sister had previously sat. "You have plenty of work to do, helper." 

The teen's trembling body was tucked under his arm as he was led away. 

"You and I are going to have a lot have fun together," he trailed on absentmindedly, despite the boy's hateful glares directed at him. 

The last timeline had been so entertaining, and he truly did somewhat miss the Shuuya from then, The snake pondered if he could make it happen again. How many times would it take? What would be different in this loop? One advantage of living in an endless time loop was that trial and error could be repeated over and over with little to no consequences. So, of course, he had to take advantage of that. He had an eternity to do so, anyway.

Hmm... so how did it go last time again?

Unconsciously, he ran his hand through the boy's hair.

Chapter Text

A dark sea of writhing snakes rolled beneath him. 

They slithered over his feet and flicked their tongues up at his hands in curiosity as they roamed the endless abyss of space. Hissing, they searched and covered every corner of the ground, to the point where it couldn't be seen. Was there even a ground? Maybe it was just the snakes. Their small, ruby eyes stared out as they scanned the empty landscape before him. As he stared out, he thought he was trapped forever on the rocky cliff he stood on, left to watch the snakes at his feet. Quietly, he sat there and let his focus falter as he listened to the overlapping buzz of the serpents.

But, abruptly, the sound stopped.  

As he gazed back down at the snakes, he realized that their red eyes were all directed at a spot in front of him, within the dark horde. 

At first, he looked on in confusion, not understanding what had suddenly captivated their attention. But then he saw how, slowly, a mass of the red-eyed reptiles were gathering and piling on top of each other. The mountain of writhing figures continued to rise, until, suddenly, a larger pair of crimson eyes stared out from between the gaps. 

Finally, the serpents dispersed to reveal a towering, contorting brown-haired figure. A girl. Her body bent and snapped in grotesque and unnatural ways, creating awful sounds that echoed within the abyss. However, finally, she settled into a proper position and stared down at him with an unreadable expression. Her hair was tangled and appeared windswept, and her overall appearance was disheveled. 

The snakes that had, for the most part, remained on the ground now daringly climbed up the overhang to coil onto his limbs and crawl across his shoulders. Their tongues flicked out as they hissed quietly by his ears.

"Nee... Chan?" he felt himself whisper out hoarsely.  

"Shuuya..." the girl spoke out quietly, her eyes staring at nothing. "How could you?" 

He was confused at what she meant. All he knew was that the weight of the serpents around his neck was increasing to a level of discomfort, and his arms felt heavy. He opened his mouth to speak, but a few of the dark-scaled bodies slunk over to wrap tightly around his face. The girl's face grew closer as she bent to look down at him, the ends of her red scarf drifting past them.

"Why didn't you save me, Shuuya?" her voice was distorted now as she spoke, as if it was mixed with another voice that wasn't hers, and she tilted her head questioningly. "Why did you fail me? Was I really that bad of a big sister?" 

He reached out in an attempt to pry the snakes away from his mouth, but that only prompted more to come and drag down his wrists. With horror, he realized that he was being pulled down into the endless mass of darkness. 

He tried to look back up at the girl, pleading for help, but she just smiled as her crimson gaze judged him. Suddenly, she started to decompose before him. The skin on her face rotted and flaked off and her features melted and disintegrated, save for her eyes. 

"You could you let me die?"

The serpents started to echo it, and before he knew it, the words were heard across the void, the hushed voices overlapping and clashing. They sounded by his ear, in the far distance, at his feet, everywhere.

Before him, the girl's body continued to decay and her clothes tore as her red eyes dilated. She was rotting away, and something else was taking her place.

It was no longer Ayano Tateyama that was staring down at him, it was now a sneering fox-eyed monster looking down on him. 

It was him, Shuuya Kano. 

"How could you let her die?"

He wanted to scream up at the image of himself now, but the snakes now were tugging harder than ever. One by one, their voices changed to speak something different. 

Useless

Desperately, he pulled at the serpentine bodies at his face and, contrary to expectation, they parted away to let him speak. 

"I didn't kill her," he croaked out pathetically, even as he was being dragged by his arms and legs down from the cliff where he once stood.

The being's face was consumed by a condescending smirk. The red-eyed faces were up by his neck, now, and their repeating voices almost drowned out what the reflection above him said. 

"Liar." 

Snakes closed in and wrapped around his neck as they sneered. 

... 

Kano jerked awake to see bored, yellow eyes examining his face.

"Ah, finally, you're awake!" the corners of the other's lips curled up into a smile. "I was wondering when my favorite deceiver would be back." 

The blond's eyes searched in confusion as he took in his surroundings. They were... under the school? How he managed to fall asleep here, of all places, he had no idea. There was, of course, the possibility of being knocked out, but he couldn't be bothered to remember. What caught his attention was how he was laying in a sweat, sprawled across the ground, and how his head was rested on the other's lap. Additionally, he noted how one of his scarred hands was settled on another unscathed one. 

"Er, what happened?" he cursed himself for asking, knowing how the other felt about "such trivial questions."

"Now, I should be the one asking that!" the older one responded. "You were meant to be working like a good helper, but then you collapsed for no reason. How foolish." 

Suddenly, he remembered how he had spent the entire night walking in the city. How he had stupidly walked the streets from dusk to dawn, despite how his feet had ached. 

That really was pretty foolish, huh?

"Did you sleep well?" despite the somewhat mocking tone, it was clear it was his way of prompting Kano to talk about his troubles. 

The deceiver decided that talking about Nee-Chan generally wouldn't be a great idea, and that the nightmare wasn't important. That and he simply didn't want to talk about it. Instead, he pushed his head up into the snake's hand, which was already stroking his hair comfortably, as a sign that he just wished to be reassured. 

The yellow-eyed teen clearly understood, and refrained from mentioning Kano's disordered state. He just silently continued to run his hand through the boy's hair. 

- - -

"Heh, how many goodbyes has this been for us?" 

"Ah, I've lost track by now, but unfortunately, a timeline cannot last forever. This cycle needs to continue. Of course, you understand that, right?" 

"R-Right...." 

"Eh- don't cry, now!" 

"I'm sorry...." 

"What's there to be sorry for?" 

"I'm sorry I won't be able to remember you. I'm sorry I...." 

"Hey, let's not make these farewells sour and depressing! Think of it as an 'until next time,' alright?" 

"...Yeah. U-Until next time." 

"May we meet again in the future." 

"..." 

A click resonates. 

"Farewell again, Shuuya."

Chapter Text

Day 1

Perhaps Kano should've been more suspicious when the snake insisted on making a body for himself. One similar to Konoha's. Strength-wise, at least. And he probably should've expected something when he trailed next to him on his way home. 

Then, before he knew it, the snake was being referred to as Saeru Hebi (he did his best to not insult the name) and was member ten of the Mekakushi Dan. Looking back on it, maybe he shouldn't even have let the literal murderer enter the base in the first place, but the other probably would've just forced his way in by any means possible, probably by breaking down the door or something like that. Despite that, Kido, in slight confusion, accepted the new member, only occasionally throwing a strange glance at the deceiver who had accompanied him. Actually, in general, everyone in the Dan was fairly welcoming, save for Konoha, who was too busy eating, and Shintaro and Hibiya, who were complaining about how they were going to "run out of space at this rate". Kano, himself, wasn't exactly sure how to feel about the situation overall, especially considering the snake's... plans. Maybe this was just some easy way for him to kill them all. A way for him to pick them all of, one by one, in the one safe place they had to live. Of course, he planned on questioning him either.

Putting that aside, it turned out that Shintaro and Hibiya's complaints weren't exactly wrong. The snake's (Saeru's?) appearance had posed a couple... problems on the first day. First of all, dinner was rather... cramped, as everyone fought over who would sit on the couch, and who would get the last piece of whatever Kido cooked. Second of all, there was the problem of where the Dan's new member would sleep, which is what everyone was going over right now. 

"Maybe he can sleep on the couch!" Momo suggested. 

"No," her brother stated simply, not taking his eyes off his phone. "I have to sleep there, and I'm not sharing with the new guy. Who knows how loud he snores?" 

"How rude," Saeru started, standing somewhere off to the side. "I'm right here....er... Kenjirou?" 

"Shintaro," the red wearing teen replied, a hint of frustration on his face. 

Kido threw the snake an odd look, but eventually shrugged it off. 

"Well I'm not sharing with him," Hibiya said defiantly, crossing his arms. "I'm perfectly fine with sharing with just Konoha." 

"Well..." Kido trailed off, contemplating. 

"Ah, I know!" Searu volunteered. "What if I shared with Shuuya? He kindly invited me here, after all!" 

"...Shuuya?" Shintaro and Seto questioned simultaneously. 

"Uh, it's Kano," the cat-eyed teen jumped in hurriedly, not missing Seto's and Kido's changing expressions.

"I think it would work great!" Mary exclaimed, putting her hands together. 

"Then it's settled," Seto nodded. "Saeru and Kano are sharing rooms." 

- - -

"Go to sleep already," Kano groaned, burying his head in his pillow. 

"Eh?" Saeru responded behind him. "But this body doesn't exactly need rest, deceiver. I could probably go days without sleeping."

Just the thought made him shiver. 

"You could at least stop staring at me," he replied, feeling the snake's unrelenting gaze trained on him.

"Ah, but what else am I supposed to do, Shuuya?" the other responded resting his head against his back, much to his annoyance. 

"Don't call me that..." Kano muttered. 

"What's so wrong with calling you by your name?" Saeru asked, though he was smirking. "I thought we were past this already."

"Just use Kano instead," he said, too exhausted from the day's dizzying events to explain.

"I don't see the problem, Shuuya." 

The blond groaned as the snake only pulled him closer. 

He could still feel that gaze on him as he eventually fell asleep. 

Day 2

Knock, knock. 

"Oi, Kano, Saeru, wake up already!" Kido's muffled voice could be heard from the other side of the door. "Breakfast's ready!" 

The deceiver in question rolled over in his bed as he called out, "I'll be out in a sec, 'kay?" 

As he rubbed the sleep out of his eyes, he took notice of a shape looming over his sprawled form. When his vision finally cleared, he realized it was Saeru staring down at him from the side of the bed. The other's bored stare didn't falter, even as the blond glared up at him.

"...Did you spend the whole night looking at me?" he asked, sitting up. 

"Of course!" the other replied as he strode to the door. "There was nothing to do, since all of you were asleep, after all. Perhaps I could've killed all of you just out of my own boredom, but it's much to early for that and, besides, I can't imagine that you'd enjoy that very much. That is, if you haven't changed, Shuuya. Ah, after we've gotten so close, too...." 

There was no way for him to prepare a proper response for that.

- - -

"Great job with breakfast as always, Danchou," Kano said, giving a content sigh as he pushed his chair back. "You too, Hibiya. That was delicious." 

Shintaro nodded as he stood up, making a beeline for the couch, "Thanks, Kido."

The green-haired girl gave a warm smile as she turned to clear the table. 

"O-Oh, uh, Saeru, could I talk to you for a bit?" Mary suddenly asked to the snake, the corners of her lips tugging upwards.

"But of course!" the snake responded, clearly amused. "What do you wish to tell me?" 

"I just wanna show you something...." the girl responded softly, gesturing to the other to follow her. 

The snake drifted closely behind Mary as they made their way to part-medusa's room. Kano watched with confusion as the door closed behind them. Mary was never really one to... talk to people so quickly. Not without some encouraging, at least. What if the snake had already gotten to her? She is "the queen" after all, at least in Saeru's words. As he pondered, member number eight appeared from the corner of his eye.

"Gee, what's the deal with that guy?" Hibiya sighed, observing the wooden door behind them. "He's so weird." 

"Not to mention he acts especially weird with Kano," Shintaro added sourly. 

"Weird?" Kano asked, turning to them. "With me? What do you mean?" 

"Well, for starters," Seto covered. "He calls you by your first name, which is pretty different in itself, and he seems...." 

"Seems what?" the blond pressed. 

"I don't know, he just seems very, ah, interested in you," the teen said, smiling. "Y'know, I'm glad you have someone looking out for you, Kano."  

Kano choked out a small noise of confusion, which was probably supposed to be some half-assed attempt at a word. Before he could attempt to speak further, the door to Mary's room bursted open, revealing the girl herself looking straight at him.

"Kano, could you come over here too?" Mary called out, peeking from behind the wooden frame. 

The deceiver nodded, and quickly made his way to the girl's room. As he entered, he saw Saeru sitting on her bed, a stacks of books surrounding him. The snake stared, clearly interested, as he picked up a few volumes and flipped through the pages.

He couldn't help but laugh, "Eh, what's this? A book club?" 

"I was just thinking that you two might be interested in some of these," the albino picked up a few of the books and pushed them into his arms. 

While Mary went over to hand some more of them to Saeru, Kano examined the illustrated covers.

...It was all yaoi.

He froze, unsure of how he was actually supposed to respond to this kind of thing. In his shock, the boy's head snapped back up to look at the girl, who was smiling innocently as she handed more of the, er, literature to Saeru. The other wore amusement on his face as she suggested specific ones for him to read. 

Kano approached the quarter-medusa and tugged on her sleeve, an uneasy look on his face. "Uh, Mary. What's with the sudden... reading recommendations?" 

"Uh, well... I-I thought you would like it...." Mary grew dismayed as she looked down at the books in her hands. 

"No- wait, I like it!" Kano reassured hurriedly. "I was just a bit surprised about the gift." 

"I must admit, this is rather intriguing," Saeru added in, his eyes scanning over a few pages with interest. "I appreciate the present, Mary." 

Red tinted Mary's face as she smiled up at Kano, staring into his eyes. "I really hope you two make good use of these!"

The deceiver opened his mouth to speak, only to decide against it as he stared silently at the... obscene content. 

"Now if you excuse me, I'm afraid I'll have to take my leave," Saeru finally spoke up as he stood, a pile of books balanced in his arms. "Really, this was rather-" 

Mary quickly jumped up to stop him, surprising them both. "Wait! I-I just wanted to talk to you more, first. It's just I brought Kano here so he could get some books too...." 

The other eyed her suspiciously, before he shrugged as if nothing bothered him in the first place. "Well, I don't see a problem with that. Mary and I will be here if you need us, Shuuya." 

Kano threw out a quick "right" as he turned to leave. He closed the door behind him, and tried to draw as little attention to himself as possible as he passed by other members, still carrying the questionable stack with him. It would be a lie if he said he weren't scared about what Mary could possibly be talking to their tenth recruit about.

- - -

"If you're not gonna sleep, at least don't just stare at me for hours," Kano's voice sounded out in the dark room. 

"Again, there's nothing better to do," the snake stated it as if it was simple, which it really wasn't. Honestly, at this rate, Kano was sure that holes were going to be burned into his head by the end of the week.

"Maybe just read what Mary gave you or something," he said, attempting to sound dismissive. 

Actually, it was probably a bad idea to bring that topic back up. Especially when the snake said just about the last thing he'd wanted to hear all day.

"You know, the queen taught me the most entertaining things today!" the other exclaimed behind him. 

Kano buried his face in his pillow, dreading the interaction that was about to ensue. 

"What did she tell you?" he asked, voice pitched a bit higher than he would've liked. 

Suddenly, a hand was placed on his shoulder, turning him over so that he was face-to-face with Saeru. The other sneered as the teen's eyes flickered red, hiding the scars littering his face.

Even as the snake spoke, the smile stayed stuck on his face. "She just elaborated on why she gave us her kind gift. To put it simply, she just wishes that we get a little... closer." 

Somewhere in the midst of that sentence, Saeru's hand snaked out to cup his face, causing the cat-eyed boy to freeze. 

"Ahah," the blond laughed nervously as the other's sneer only grew. "A generous offer but I'd have to pass. You see, it's pretty late, and, uh." 

It was said as if "uh" was supposed to be a strong way to end the sentence, but instead his words fell flat. Saeru released him as he stood from the bed. 

"Have it your way," the snake dismissed, picking up a few books strewn across the ground. "But I'm sure Mary would be fairly pleased if-" 

"No," Kano finally said, turning away so he didn't have to look at the other. "Just let me sleep in peace." 

Day 3

He woke up to red eyes staring into his soul. 

"You're finally awake," Saeru declared nonchalantly. "Did you sleep well, deceiver?" 

Sometimes, he had to agree with Hibiya and say he really couldn't believe this guy. 

"Not exactly, considering I only slept a few hours," Kano responded sourly, running his hand through his tangled hair. 

By the time he had gotten up and stretched, the taller had already kicked open the door, much to his dismay, and was turning to head over to the kitchen. The teen looked himself over in the mirror, fixing up his messy locks and stretching. Finally, he allowed his eyes to momentarily turn crimson, and the dark circles and scars on his body faded. All better. Casually, he turned to follow the other down the hallway. But-

"There's honestly no need for that," disappointment was written on the snake's face as he looked at Kano's unblemished form. 

The blond scowled under his illusion, but tilted his head in forged curiosity.

"I don't see why not. It's not like I can just let the other's see me with..." he scoffed as he thought about the horrible state of his image. "...everything. Besides, they'll be confused. This is all just a part of the routine!" 

The dark-haired shook his head at the excuse. "Foolish as always. Is it really that big a problem that you have to use your eyes all the time? I understand making use of your power, but this is beyond ridiculous. And anyways, I see your true self whenever you're sleeping, so there's no point in hiding what's already been discovered!" 

Kano ignored the implications of his words, not even gracing it with a response. But, once again, as he attempted to leave the room, he was stopped. 

"Also," Saeru grew closer as he began. "You didn't properly respond to my suggestion from earlier this morning." 

Really, the snake was a handful. Kano made a silent note to himself to say some strong words to Mary later, before throwing out a dry laugh. 

"Well, you didn't exactly suggest anything, you just told me what Mary wanted," he said, frantically searching for a good response. 

The taller sighed as he spoke, "You really are difficult, I'll give you that, deceiver." 

Swiftly, the blond was cut off from responding as a mouth suddenly met his. He felt arms wrap around his back, pulling him closer as his amber eyes widened. Heat burned and sizzled on his face as he feebly attempted to squirm away from Saeru's grasp. Unfortunately for Kano, this only provoked the other into dipping down lower, causing their chests to press together. A confused, incoherent mess of a word left the flustered teen as the two parted. 

The snake smirked down at him, the smile he once loathed stretching with satisfaction. 

"Now that's a little better, isn't it?" he hissed out, before bowing back down to kiss him again, which caused the deceiver to make a... less than dignified noise.

Around this time, Kano had finally wrapped his head around this ridiculous situation, but that didn't prevent the thoughts rushing through him.

Yes, they were most definitely past the back and forth death threats and overall hating each other. Yes, though he wasn't fond of admitting it, they were on far, far better terms. But this...

Unconsciously, the blond's hands wandered to the snake's hair. Maybe he was just thinking about it too much, after all....

"Hey, guys, leader said- uh- wha, I-" an all too familiar voice stuttered behind them. 

If Kano had the strength to completely shove the other off, preferably into a wall, he would've. Instead, all he could do was prod the snake's face a few inches apart from from his. Panicking, he quickly looked over by the door. He was met with the sight of a very red-faced Hibiya, who was blocking his eyes with his hands. 

"Breakfast's ready," the boy said hurriedly before storming off, muttering something about "decency" and "making Kido do this herself".

"How rude, he interrupted us," the snake said simply.

Oh, how badly he wanted to scream into his hands.

- - -

Breakfast was... awkward, for lack of a better word. Awkward didn't exactly do the feeling justice, but it was awful all the same. As Kano ate, he could most definitely feel the eyes of each and every member as they occasionally shifted their gazes between him and Saeru, with a mix of emotions. Of course Hibiya wouldn't shut his mouth about the whole incident, he probably complained to the entire Dan about it. 

Finally, the torturous meal ended and everyone dispersed, not saying a word to him or the snake. Kano stood up, rather forcefully, from his chair and considered simply sleeping in for the rest of the day until the embarrassment worn off and the... event was forgotten about. Maybe if he just made up a convincing enough excuse... but no, Hibiya had probably seen everything clearly, and with his futile attempts at getting the other off him, it was obvious what was going on. What if he just... 

"Hey, it's alright," a supportive voice said by him. "Don't feel bad, Kano. Hibiya was just at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Beside him was Seto, who had a soft expression on his face as always. Mary, who was staring rather intensely at Kano, clung to the hazel-eyed teen's arm. The cat-eyed boy was given a hearty pat on the back as his brother smiled. Though he appreciated the effort, it didn't exactly help him feel any less like utter garbage, but he grinned back anyway. 

"Man, he was pretty good at it, too," he joked, as if on instinct. "Too bad number eight had to barge in on us. So rude!" 

Seto rolled his eyes in mock annoyance at the other, while Mary's expression brightened with joy.

"Seto?" the albino asked suddenly, looking up at the taller. "Can I go talk with Saeru?" 

"Of course," Seto responded, still smiling. "I'm glad you've been making friends with him, Mary." 

She nodded, before departing to find the snake. For all he knew, she was probably plotting some horrible scheme against him with the other's help. Maybe if he just went on a walk, all of this would blow over. He was probably just being paranoid about Mary after all, right? Right. 

This would all just be forgotten after enough time passed. 

...Right?

"Well, anyway Seto, I think I could use some fresh air after, ah, today. I'll see ya later, 'kay?"

Chapter Text

The first time the world was filled with colors, he was genuinely perplexed.

He had spent so many timelines simply accepting that he would exist within an eternally monochrome world, and eventually just forgot the fact that there were other colors than gray, black and white. Really, he hadn't minded it, and had even accepted it, but this was... confusing.

He'd already seen and met with this boy a countless amount of times already, so how come only now was he able to recognize the amber color of his wide eyes?

Ah, well of course he wouldn't know the answer to that. After all, humans never really considered the possibilities that came with living across multiple versions of the same world.

Nonetheless, he decided to accept it, finding pleasure in seeing the bright and breathtaking world that surrounded him.

Meanwhile, liar laughed bitter sweetly as he stared down at his hands. It was so like the world to do something like this to him, making the person who he had to spend his life with the same person that had taken his sister away.

Sighing, he remembered her odd case, where she was able to see colors from the very beginning, and even up until the end. Finally, he was able to see this "red" color that she cared so much about, in the sunset that surrounded him.

...Too bad he couldn't really tell her that now.

Despite everything that the single hue had cursed upon him, he already knew that he liked it better than the "yellow" of that monster's eyes.

...

As the liar stubbornly shifted closer to him, he couldn't help but wonder what would happen when this timeline would reset. What would happen to all these shades that he saw before him right now?

Maybe just in case, he should memorize them.

He started with the same amber that he had first seen on that fateful day.

...

Dark crimson, which he had once known as just another deep gray, surrounded the red-eyed children that were sprawled on the ground, most no longer moving.

The queen cried and her eyes frantically searched around the space around her, and he couldn't help but wonder if her soulmate had just been killed in the incident. He wouldn't be surprised, since she never really interacted with anyone other than these brats.

A desperate cry off to the side caught his attention, and he turned to see the deceiver on his knees, with blood staining his hands.

Right, he should get this over with quickly. As he strode towards the other, he couldn't help but hesitate in his movements as the vulnerable liar flinched.

They stood there for several seconds, just staring at each other but not exchanging any of the words they needed to.

He took aim at the deceiver.

Immediately, the boy tensed and screwed his eyes shut, knowing that there was no use in struggling.

What a shame....

Hardly a second after the sound of the gunshot split the air, all the colors faded, as if they had been sucked into a void. To say he was surprised wouldn't exactly be true, in fact, he somewhat expected this. If his soulmate's presence was what brought color, surely his eternal absence would take it all away, right?

Once again, he accepted that he would live in a world of grays as time was mournfully turned back.

...

The second time the world was filled with colors, he was only further confused.

Surely the last timeline where he'd been his soulmate was all that he would get, right? He had thought that after the colors vanished and his soulmate died, that would be it, that would be his chance.

But no, here he was, cheating the system, seeing the world blossom again, with the deceiver wearing the very same surprise he had had on his face the first time.

This time, his amber eyes were a slightly darker shade, he noted absently.

...

More than anything, he was curious. So if the deceiver died here, but came back in the next timeline, would the colors just leave and come back again?

Normally, he would assume not.

That hardly seemed fair, in all honesty, but, after what he'd seen, he just decided that that was how the world was.

So killing him again with the other obviously wouldn't be a problem.

There was a gunshot, and the liar's eyes faded to a dull gray.

...

The third time the world was filled with colors, he was bitter.

After living through so much time of seeing the world in its most beautiful state, he came to resent the long period in between, where he would see nothing but the same stone-colored environment every day, every second.

It was frustrating to look at, and he was now curious if it was possible to make the colors last.

...How could he make that amber stay with him, no matter whether the boy was dead or alive?

A small experiment wouldn't hurt, right?

...

This time they didn't come back. He was surprised, to say the least, when he saw the liar's mourning face again, but wasn't met with those pretty shades that always flooded his vision.

This time he couldn't see how the boy's eyes had changed.

Perhaps he did something wrong? Or maybe this timelines just wasn't the right one?

Right, that was probably it.

Take two it is, then.

...

Four times in a row, and it still didn't work. He was growing impatient, frustrated even, when his experiment couldn't even begin because of his awful luck.

Really, he was considering just dropping it altogether, as making the colors last probably wouldn't even be possible. (Especially if they wouldn't even appear in the first place, no less.)

Yeah, that made sense.

Well, that, or he just wasn't getting the right conditions for a timeline that he wanted.

That also made some sense.

...Whatever. One more try probably couldn't hurt. He had all the time in the world to figure it out, anyway.

...

It didn't matter whether it was the deceiver's or some other disposable face he saw, the vibrant world wouldn't reappear.

Ah, he really should just drop this pointless experiment.

But first, he had to rid himself of this waste of a timeline.

...

The fourth time the world was filled with colors, he was even more confused than the first time.

How exactly does this world work, for something like this to be able to happen?

Ah, maybe that just didn't matter. Maybe he was just supposed to indulge in these small moments in the timelines and accept that the monochrome scenery would always come back, every single time.

Yeah, that was probably it.

If the world wanted him to live in an endless cycle of seeing the bright colors and the dull, monochrome tones, so be it.

It was probably only fair.

Well either way, it wasn't so bad, since seeing the ever-changing amber of Shuuya's eyes was already enough for him.

Chapter Text

Of course, Shuuya had went off on another walk in the middle of the night without telling him, and of course he had to simply wait alone in his dark room until he returned.

The snake sat still on the bed, staring at the door as small noises from the outside sounded around him. It was just another basic summer night, or maybe early-morning. At this point, he couldn't be completely sure it which.

Sometimes, on those rare occasions where the deceiver would disappear for days on end, the snake could see why his siblings fretted so much over him suddenly leaving, without warning. With all the reckless ways he had managed to find to get himself hurt (how exactly does one get sent to the hospital because of a mass bird attack in an alleyway?), he had every right to be at least slightly concerned, even if he could just force a reset when things spiraled way too far out of routine.

Shifting his gaze over to the ceiling, which might as well have been the same as the door, the snake sighed boredly, drumming his fingers impatiently on the side of the bed that Shuuya usually occupied. Sure, he was pretty tired and wouldn't have minded just drifting off to sleep, trusting that the other would be there by morning, but, instead, he just kept telling himself "ah, how much could a few more minutes hurt".

If he remembered correctly, the first time he said that was about two hours ago.

...

Three hours ago. He was confident it was, at the very least, past midnight by now.

...

Just when the dark-haired considered giving up and turning to rest for the night, the doorknob finally turned. He almost startled as the door was flung open, revealing a messy-looking Shuuya standing at the entrance.

"You're finally back," the snake commented, and didn't miss how the other jumped at his voice, almost accidentally slamming the door shut behind him. "I was wondering if this was going to be another one of your... week-long voyages."

"Nope," he said cheerily, though he sounded exhausted. "Not this time, at least. I'm too tired!"

The liar walked over and collapsed on top of him, letting out a content sigh. As he sprawled out his limbs, clearly eager to take up as much space as humanely possible, he nudged his head towards the snake. It was a subtle movement, but he knew what the other wanted all the same.

Rolling his eyes, he began dragging his hand through Shuuya's hair, resulting in a peaceful smile lining his face. After several moments, the taller's face almost matched, but according to the other previously, his smile needed a lot of work.

"What's even the point of you going out anymore?" the snake muttered after some time. "I can't really see what's been troubling you enough for something like that."

"Well, getting a breath of fresh air every now and then is just nice, y'know?" judging by his too-cheery tone and the way he anxiously shifted in place, it was likely there was most definitely something wrong, but the snake decided that the questioning could wait until morning. Just this time, though, since he was already so tired.

Instead, he just wrinkled his nose as he caught a whiff of the other's scent.

"You smell like garbage, just like last time," he said matter-of-factly. "That doesn't exactly seem like 'fresh air' to me. In fact, you could use a shower."

Shuuya laughed. "Ahh, but I'm too tired. Maybe tomorrow."

He cast a mistrustful glance at the other.

"You know, I don't see any good reason to be touching hair that has filthy stray cat fur in it, Shuuya."

The blond froze for a second, only to stubbornly bury his head deeper into his hand. "I swear I'll take one first thing tomorrow."

"We both know that's not actually going to happen, Shuuya," he sighed, recalling the time the deceiver had said the exact same thing about cleaning up all the loose spray paint cans littering his room.

To say he got pissed at him after slipping for the ninth time in a week would certainly be the child-friendly way to put it.

Shuuya gazed up at him with a stubborn look on his face. "Pleeease?"

With the way he puffed out his cheeks, no doubt something he'd picked up from the queen, it was a little hard to say no. The ridiculous face the other pulled tended to be more effective than he'd usually admit.

"...Fine."

The pout was replaced with a grin as Shuuya settled back down, clearly satisfied. That was how they sat, for the rest of the night, as the snake idly tangled his fingers in the blond's locks and liar's eyelids grew heavy and finally closed.

The snake felt his fatigue start to overcome him, too, and as the movements of his hand became slower and slower, he couldn't help but appreciate this particular timeline. Opening and closing the summer days with Shuuya was a rather nice bonus, and it wasn't something he could just achieve in every loop, so he felt even more thankful for it. (For it was either too much work for him to bother with, or it was next to impossible altogether. Some Shuuyas just put up much more of a fight than others, after all.)

Nonetheless, it could've been rather pleasant if times like these happened always. But, the snake supposed as he closed his eyes, that just wasn't how this world worked. He just had to appreciate the more trivial moments while they were there and not let them bother him when he had... higher priorities to deal with.

Lazily, he pressed his mouth against the top of Shuuya's head, and he was almost sure that the other shifted towards it, even though he, himself, was now nearing sleep.

Oh well.

The filthy stray cat fur wasn't that much of a setback, anyway.

Chapter Text

"Aww, it's fine, Shuuya, it's not like anybody's gonna notice!" Ayano's cheery grin almost, almost made him feel better as she applied the bandages to his face. "Besides, they're just cat scratches, and I'll make sure to give anyone a stern talk to if they look at you funny, okay?"

"It's not like they're gonna know they're cat scratches, though," the blond sighed, throwing his hoodie on, despite the scorching heat. "Dammit, why does this always happen?"

"Maybe you're just petting the wrong cats," the girl suggested. "Maybe they just don't like you! Well, even though they totally should, 'cause who wouldn't like you?"

A small smile tugged its way out from the corners of his mouth as she smoothed over a bandage across his nose. "Ah, they just don't realize my charm, is all."

"That's the spirit!"

"They're still going to stare, though," he said that in a far quieter tone, yet his sister picked it up all the same.

"Hey, but it's okay, right?" she gave him an encouraging smile, one that held all the summer's warmth and then some. "Even if they do, it's not like they're not gonna like you! They're just curious, I'm sure."

He wasn't so sure about that.

"Shuuya," Ayano said, in something between a whine and a mockingly stern order. "I want you to at least try and make friends with more of your customers, 'kay?"

"But-"

"No buts!" she quickly declared. "Just get comfortable, get to know everyone! I know you have it in you!"

Doubts still clouded him, even through the bright look in the girl's brown eyes, but he decided to grin back anyways.

"Yeah, I can probably do it."

A lie, as always.

...

Another faceless person gone and dealt with.

"Shuuya, I gotta go now!" Ayano called from a seat in the corner. One that she'd basically claimed as her own.

"Are you going to see that Shintaro guy again?" he hardly refrained from wrinkling his nose as he imagined him and his sister.

"Nope, just Takane!" the brunette giggled as she lifted her phone from the table.

She basically bounced up from her seat as she rushed to the door.

"Wait...."

"Huh?" Ayano tilted her head back to look at him. "What was that?"

"Ah, nothing," sheepishly, he laughed.

"If you say soooo," a small grin bloomed on her features as she pushed the door open. "Remember to try and at least talk with others, okay?"

He nodded as she gave him a thumbs-up, before bursting out the door in what seemed like infinite eagernes. The reds of her scarf flailed behind her like ribbons as she sprinted away.

Ah, surely it was draining to be that happy all the time.

Slouching back down onto the front counter, he sighed. It was a pretty slow day, and those were pretty common, sure, but he was at least hoping Kido, Seto, or even Mary would stop by. Or maybe if he was lucky, at least Momo, since she was apparently on break for a couple weeks.

Intently, he attempted to ignore the memories of stares and odd looks worming their way back into his brain. He pushed down the image of that tall lady's judging gaze, and the pitying glances from that man earlier, and instead replaced them with whatever else he could think of.

Let's see....

Quietly, he imagined what it would be like if everyone else were here, all sharing drinks and laughs and smiling all the while. Kido with coffee that he was sure needed more caffeine, Seto's blend fairly sweet, Momo's with all the bizzare things he could never imagine someone would put in their drink....

"This is a cafe, right? Should I come back another day?"

Immediately, he snapped back upright as he finally took notice of the teen with a bored look on his face. The other had headphones and jarringly bright yellow eyes. He looked calm, not desperately trying to find some space on the wall to gaze at, not stealing small glances at him when he thought he wasn't looking, not staring with a look that pierced straight into his very soul, just standing there.

"No, sorry, I was just distracted is all," he desperately tried to catch his casual tone, which was slipping like water between his fingers, as he struggled to keep himself steady. "What would you like on this fine day?"

"Er...." the stranger squinted his eyes as he searched the menu perched above him. "Hmm, whatever you want, I suppose."

"Wh- come again?" he sputtered as the others gaze shifted back down to him.

"I don't have any preference, and I haven't really tried... much, so it's up to you," the other said simply.

He stood completely dumbfounded as the other turned away, seating himself in the same corner that Ayano had been mere minutes ago.

He fumbled with the options in his head as he awkwardly stepped back. Up to him? What the hell was even up with this guy?

Thankfully, the other was looking out the glass windows and onto the streets, so he probably wouldn't be caught staring, but from just looking at him, he couldn't pinpoint even a vague idea of what to prepare. Wasn't cost going to be an issue?

Whatever. Simple coffee it is.

...

"One coffee for, uh...." right, right, he hadn't been given a name to work with, of course. "...You?"

It probably didn't matter whether or not he'd gotten a name, since the black clad teen was the only other person around, but he still stumbled anyway. Thankfully, he was any extra trouble as the taller came over to face him again.

"Black coffee," he said- ah, maybe a bit too matter-of-factly? At this point, he wasn't even sure.

No, it was fine, this was fine, completely fine and normal and all things in between, he reassured himself as he stared at the cup sitting, like it was smug and judging, in front of him. Ah, it was such a shame that their last mug had been carelessly shattered by the employee before him. Hopefully, the other didn't mind too much. With scarred and scraped hands, he slowly slid the container over.

The stranger didn't even seem to spare a second glance at the questionable state of his hands as he reached for the cup....

"Oh, but careful before you drink! That's really-"

...and downed a large gulp.

"...hot."

"What was that?" still, those yellow eyes remained unfazed as they looked back at him.

"Nothing," he dismissed, ignoring the steam rising above the dark surface of the coffee. "So, what do you think?"

"I think this is how I like it best," a satisfied grin stretched on the taller's features as he lowered the bitter drink. "You must have good taste."

Actually, he just took the shortcut and made the simplest, next to no-effort thing off the menu he could think of, like most probably would in his place. Still, though, he somewhat accepted the compliment. After all, receiving one- even if the taller's grin was just a tad unsettling- was... nice.

"I've just been working here for too long, that's all," he chuckled as the other took a few more sips.

"I'm sure it must be boring, doing all the same things and filling out the same bland orders everyday," the other muttered.

"Sometimes," he mused. "But hey, there are exceptions every now and then, like y- uh," quickly, he caught himself. "Like when the customers are interesting! You know, like when they're just nice and friendly, and are up for a nice chat, like friends!"

"And how often does that happen?"

He laughed, but even to him it sounded too hollow and sour. "Pretty much all the time!"

Ah, and there goes another one.

"Is that so?" the other muttered, briefly flicking his gaze back down to him. Eventually, a smile appeared on his face. "In that case, I'll be sure to return tomorrow... Shuuya."

"I'll be looking forward to s- that, too, uh... name?"

A small pause replaced an answer.

A bit too close to sounding nervous, he laughed. "What, is that up to me, too?"

"Saeru works."

"Works?" dumbly, he tilted his head.

"Saeru," he repeated. "I'll look forward to seeing you again tomorrow."

His mind hadn't even properly registered when the other left, nor had it registered how he'd managed to let payment slip from his mind.

Nee-Chan would really get a kick out of this one, huh?