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memories resurface on the day of the damned.

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the two silhouettes were walking along, hand in hand. one was smiling widely, clearly much shorter than the other, while the other just looked down at the first with a soft look.

they were visiting their old school, maybe seeing about getting the taller re-registered so he could finally finish. they had agreed it'd be good for him, but it'd be hard to adjust again.

" shintaro. "

he glanced down at her again, a brow raised. he let out a soft hum, a sign to further show he was listening.

" you're absolutely sure you wanna do this ? " her kind eyes were to staring up at him, her smile faltering if only for a moment. " we said multiple times, you don't have to do this. after all, you always have your music ! "

he hummed again, looking back ahead. " yeah, but we agreed this was best, didn't we ? " his expression was blank as he stared up at the sky, suddenly overly aware of what day it was. god .. they had chosen a horrible day for this. " im not excited for it, but it's better than sitting at home with nothing better to do than rot away on my computer. "

he felt a small squeeze on his hand, jumping for a moment. then he looked down at their interlocked hands and sighed softly.

" im proud of you. "

that got him to look away, wishing he hadn't let her talk him into not wearing his jersey for once. though .. it's not like she was wearing her scarf either.

" jeez, ayano. warn me the next time you plan on praising me, will you ? "

she could tell he was only joking, and he turned his head to see as she began laughing. these were the moments that just reminded him she was back. she was here. she was going to stay with him for a long time. she wasn't leaving him again.

as they walked into the school, ayano began humming to herself. it was a small tune, and just something to pass the time. and also .. to distract them both from any other thoughts about this place, she guessed. he went in alone to get himself registered, and while it made him beyond nervous, he knew he had to try. so ayano told him she would be wandering the school to see how much it's changed, telling him to find her when he was finished.

and she did exactly that, wandering out of the office and through the halls. there were no extra classes at this time, but teachers were still in some of the classrooms, probably preparing for their classes when they started.

she felt a pang of sadness as she passed the room that, around 3 years ago now, would've held takane, haruka, and .. her father. even now, she could see ghosts of the three of them in there, especially her father. she blinked once, and the vision was gone. it was just .. an empty classroom.

sighing, she went back on her journey, wandering throughout the school. she walked down multiple halls she was still oddly familiar with, eventually moving up floors as well. she didn't realize how much time had passed or how far she had moved until her feet took her up to the roof.

she could've sworn she wasn't wearing it before, but she suddenly felt the ghost of her scarf as she staring at the fence put up on the rooftop. her eyes were wide staring at it as suddenly she was back. back in the daze. this was all just another loop, right ?

slowly but surely, she made her way to the fence, looking down past it and below. she took in a breath, placing a hand on the fence. she was tired of the loop. she thought she was done here. so why was she back ?

she sat there, refusing to climb the fence for a long time. the hesitation really showed as she just stared up at the top of the fence. she didn't want to climb it again. she was so tired.

all of a sudden, she swore she heard her name being called, and as she was pulled away from the fence, she was back in the real world again. that's right. they had gotten her out of the daze, and she didn't need to go back now. she stared at shintaro with wide eyes as he pulled her into his arms.

" what are you doing up here ? "

she didn't have an answer. she genuinely didn't know why she was here. why did her feet take her up here ? 

without really thinking, she wrapped her arms around him, and with that, she just began crumbling. a choked sob left her, and her knees buckled underneath her. shintaro was careful to sink to the floor with her, keeping a strong hold on her as he brought her into his lap.

he knew they would have to leave eventually, but for the time being, he let her sob her heart out. he knew she needed it, especially since she almost repeated history. although if she had, she would permanently be gone. he would never get her back if he hadn't made it up here in time.

that's the thought that brought him to tears as well, clinging onto her like his life depended on it. like she would disappear if he let go.

" please .. " her voice was so small, but he knew what she was asking for. don't let go.

so he didn't. not when they eventually wiped each other's tears. not when they eventually got up and left. not on the way home. and definitely not when they get home. he would not let her go for the rest of their august 15th unless she told him to.

 

a few hours later, well after they had gotten home and both of them were plenty calm after the episode, the school situation was mentioned. they had both just been in each other's arms since they got home, the tv on so they could have some background noise.

" oh ! " came ayano's soft voice, almost completely out of nowhere. " i almost forgot to ask ! did you get registered ? "

shintaro stared at her for a second before laughing nervously. " about that .. " he looked away, seeming a mix of embarrassed, tense, and just overall nervous. " i didn't end up registering. "

her brows rose in shock, and she tilted her head up at him. " how come ? "

" well .. " he took in a breath before continuing. " i wanted to see if maybe it would be possible for me to take the classes online because it'd feel .. wrong going to school there again. but there wasn't, so i decided against it. " there was silence, until he spoke up one more time. " and .. im kinda glad i did. "

ah .. she knew why, and she can't sat she's surprised, but that made her feel a bit bad. she really didn't mean to worry him so much. but .. well, him deciding against going back to school meant she had no reason to go back there and do that ever again, as well still being able to see him often.

" that's alright. we'll figure things out, okay ? "

her soothing voice and kind words seemed to help calm him down, as he finally looked back at her. he buried his face in her shoulder, eyes closed as he gave only a small hum in response. she smiled softly, leaning towards him just enough to press her face against the side of his head.

it was a sweet position, and kept both of them as calm as could be as little by little, they drifted off into what could hopefully be a peaceful sleep.