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Despair. My Love, I Will Save You

Chapter Text

I was there again, that last perfect day, the beautiful sun in the sky shining through the trees of our school grounds almost glittering down upon us. Was it so beautiful then? Was it so perfect? It always was when I dreamt of it. He looked beautiful; he was beautiful. He was crazy and often made me feel like shit because he looked down on me since I had no talent, but I was still drawn to him. He would say we were the same but still acted like he was above me but sometimes… sometimes he forgot about his own ideals. Sometimes when we were alone, behind closed doors… he forgot about all that, he forgot I was just a Reserve Course Student. He forgot about his own ideals and focussed on us. Focussed on just being us. That last perfect day, before it turned to chaos, and we lost everything. We were eating lunch together as we often tried to do so. It was sometimes difficult since he was an Ultimate and I was just a Reserve Course Student and they liked to keep us separate, but it was one of those times. His voice was still so clear in my head.

“Hajime… you must be pretty lonely to still spend your time with a nobody like me, maybe it’s because you’re as worthless as I am,” he said with a big smile.

“Nagito, you are not a nobody, neither am I,” I replied.

“Yeah, but all I have is my luck which is pretty terrible when it hurts those around me. That good luck, bad luck cycle I told you about before,” he laughed “and then you, well, you have no talent whatsoever, heh, you have nothing.” he would say.

“A person without an Ultimate Talent isn’t left with nothing, Nagito,”
“I’m worthless… you are too! We’re perfect for each other!” he would say. No, that is not why I am with you… I would slap my forehead with my palm. His ideals were never mine, but I did love him, even when he was rambling in this way.
“Nagito, I choose to spend my time with you, I couldn’t care less if you were an Ultimate or another Reserve Course, or from another school altogether, I look forward to spending time with you. Would you please get that into your head?” I asked him annoyed, and he looked at me a little dumbfounded before he laughed.

“Wow, Hajime… do you see me as your Hope?” he asked, and I remember feeling annoyed and praying he was not about to go into one of his monologues about Hope.

“What? No, I just… like you…” I know I blushed.

“Oh,” he looked a little awkward for a minute too, “so, what is your Hope? How far are you willing to go for your Hope? You still idolise the Ultimates, right? Just like I do, otherwise your parents wouldn’t have shelled out all that money for you to get into here, right? They are the Hope of Humanity, living symbols of Hope.” he asked, his blue eyes were wide, a big smile on his face.

“I can never be an Ultimate but yeah, I do respect you all,”

“Oh! Me too?” he asked surprised.

“Well yeah, Nagito, your luck is weird and… kinda scary but it’s still cool…” I was blushing again. He laughed. He was laughing at me. Bastard!

“Hajime, we are the same because I look up to them all too, my luck is a curse, right? It isn’t really a talent, I’m not actually good at anything. My talent is… worthless just like me. Trash.” he said with a smile, but I knew behind that smile was sadness. I still, to this day do not know what made me get so soppy with him that time but it was our last perfect day and perhaps that was part of it, I hadn’t known it was our last day unless I had sixth sense and knew subconsciously. I took his hand and made him look at me.

“Nagito, even if you feel worthless, you’ll never be worthless to me.” His smile. Those tears he tried to hide. That shining sun… it was glittering down upon us… on that last… perfect day… until I lost him. Nagito Komaeda…

 

**

I woke in my bed; I had that dream again. I have lots of dreams which force me to relive memories. Good or bad memories, I woke depressed, it didn’t matter. Nagito. Why did you have to go? Despair had taken him from me. He was either dead or… worse. I had not been able to save him. Why? What kind of man was I if I could not protect the man I loved? I was worthless. I had no talent. Perhaps I could have protected him if I had talent… protected him… from the end of the world….

Chapter Text

I climbed out of bed, the dull metal walls of the bunker we were forced into when the world came to an end closing me in. It was suffocating. I felt trapped but they rarely let anyone above. Especially a nobody like me. My name is Hajime Hinata and I attended Hope’s Peak Academy, but I was no Ultimate. I was just a Reserve Course Student. I was nothing. I was nobody. Worthless… I was… worthless… Nagito… tears were filling my eyes as I thought of him. He may have been condescending at times and hard to understand but he also… loved me, sometimes he forgot his own ideals and just… got lost in us… my grief took over for a moment and tears flowed from my eyes. I was safe but he was not. He was probably long dead. I was in this bunker with these assholes who thought they could save this world and called themselves the Future Foundation. What the fuck was that? Where were they when the world fell to shit? Where were they when Nagito got dragged away from me? That’s right, they were there but did nothing as he was taken and stopped me saving him. I was forced to live with them in this bunker and to live among Ultimates. None of which were Nagito. I drew in a deep breath; it was time to step out and face the world. What world? Whatever was left. This fucking bunker. I left my room and looked out at everyone here. We seemed so few. Is this it? Are we all that’s left? The Future Foundation say they are trying to fix this world, to bring it back from the Despair that filled it, spreading like a virus, but I will only believe that when I fucking see it. The first thing I had to do was eat but I was only thinking that because I couldn’t remember the last time I had done so. I still had no appetite. I did not eat much since I lost Nagito. His arms reaching for me as he was dragged away… to who knows what fate?  I tried so hard to save him, with all my strength… but it just… wasn’t enough… my last image of Nagito was him fighting to get free but stronger arms had hold of him dragging him from me… my head was stuck in those memories constantly. I could not let him go. Part of me wished he had just died a quick death because for someone like Nagito who loved Hope so much… I feel to have fallen to Despair… may be a worse fate. I do not believe he would forgive himself that. I had to bring myself back to reality… out of the past, out of memories, Nagito was probably long dead… I was here but… what was I doing? Nothing. That’s what. I was going through the motions of life, breathing, sleeping but barely eating… why? What was the point? What was my purpose? Nagito was dead. I was still grieving but how did I really feel about it? Angry. That’s how. I couldn’t save him, but I could avenge him, as little as that will do me but I would die happy if I avenged his death. Junko Enoshima… she had to die but they were yet to find her. I had to do something. I had to help… somehow… but they were not interested in me… I had no talent after all. Nagito always told me how worthless I was… I was nothing. A nobody. Only now, do I realise he was right. I looked out at the people, as before… so few of us… I knew there was more but my own community here… seemed so few… Snap out of it, Hajime! You have a mission. I ignored my sorrow instead I tried to draw strength from it, forgetting about eating. I went on my way to make my demands; I was sure would fall on deaf ears. I marched towards Operations. I tried to march right past the guards but of course, they stopped me. I had just been so focussed on my personal mission. I was stopped by strong hands pinning me to those dull metallic walls… perhaps too aggressively but I met pink eyes almost as fierce as my own. We’d had this argument before. He was an alumnus of Hope’s Peak.

“Hinata, I get it, but you cannot keep trying to get by here!” Juzo Sakakura said. He was right, of course, it was not my first time trying but I felt somehow more determined this time. I pushed him back but any strength I previously had within me was gone due to my self-neglect in all ways. My sorrow was just too deep.

“You have to let me do something to help! Please!” I yelled at him. “Anything!” I cried. He looked at me with sympathetic eyes, but it was only fleeting. Juzo Sakakura was a hard ass. He would never be that sympathetic.

“You stop trying to get by us, Hinata. You know you have no authorisation.” He said. Walking past was someone I knew. Sonia Nevermind. She had been in Nagito’s class. She stopped in her tracks and looked at Sakakura pinning me to the wall and her expression was that of utter appalment.

“Release him at once!” she demanded, and he did so immediately. That’s right, she was the Ultimate Princess. It was impressive. Thinking that way made me miss Nagito even more. He was always praising his classmates.

“I just want to do something… I just want to help,” I muttered to Sonia as she led me away.

“I know, I am sorry that you cannot.” She replied.

“They can’t all just be Ultimates in there, I must be able to do something.” I said.

“And what is it that you would do?” she asked.

“I don’t know.”
“You are seeking revenge, Hajime, for Nagito.” She was right.

Again… terrible memories… even the good ones became bad… especially when it came to Nagito. It was the day the screens went on. The day I saw sane people around me fall to Despair and completely lose who they were. I was in my Reserve Course Class and our class monitors went on… some random girl with dark skin, bright eyes and a red jacket came bursting through our door and told us not to look but some didn’t listen… the monitors went on but I was looking at this red jacket girl and her desperation compelled me, I grabbed the nearest to me which was Natsume Kuzuryu, not someone I cared all that much about but I dragged her to the ground with me as the screen went on. We managed to creep out of our class as it erupted into chaos. It sounded like people dying. No. It sounded like people killing each other! We followed that red jacket girl as she tried to lead us to safety. I knew, my only goal was getting to Nagito. That was all I cared for, and I knew Natsume wanted to get to her brother who was in the same class. I kept her close, trying to protect her from what was happening around us as the reality we knew melted into a reality of utter Despair. Even the first years were falling and killing each other. We somehow managed to escape and this red jacket girl was leading us back to the main building. She must be an Ultimate. I remember thinking. Nagito… Please be alright. We hit the main building somehow managing to avoid the chaos and this red jacket girl led us to the classrooms, to find survivors, I left her and Natsume followed me, same goal, same class. We found them. I saw Nagito huddled at the back of his class with others but Fuyuhiko… Natsume’s brother… had not been so lucky. He was fixed on the screen. Apparently, some brainwashing video to turn people to despair, that’s what the red jacket girl had said. It was being broadcast all over. What the hell? Nagito. He was not watching; he was cowering from it just as I’d hoped. Hope. He loved Hope so much. I went to him immediately.

“Nagito,” I said, and he looked at me.

“Hajime, what is happening?” he asked me.

“I don’t know but… everyone is… being filled with despair and it has something to do with those videos… we were warned…”
“So were we but some didn’t look away fast enough… what is happening?” He asked again as though it didn’t quite sink in, but I took his hand and then looked at his surviving classmates.

“We have to leave this place!” I said and they all agreed and followed. Natsume had approached Fuyuhiko, her own brother and as soon as the video stopped, he turned to her. I left Nagito immediately, knowing Natsume was in trouble, an instinct inside of me just said as much and I pulled her from him before he could hurt her, if he ever got in his right mind he would regret having done so, he may not have hurt her, but I did not really know what was going on, I did not understand, it just felt dangerous. I had her by the arm and I took Nagito again, his remaining classmates… all of us ran. Some were taken here at Hope’s Peak but some… some of us were taken later but Nagito… I lost him here right at the beginning. I held onto him the entire time, but it didn’t matter. The whole school was overwhelmed by Despair, and we could not escape it. We lost everyone at a point, my main focus was protecting Nagito. We found ourselves trapped and we hid in a custodial closet. It felt so pathetic. So weak but we were literally surrounded. There was no escape. We tried to calm our breath and keep quiet. I could just about see him by the light through the cracks in the door.

“Hajime…” he whispered… “I don’t want to fall to Despair… I don’t want that… I’d rather die.” He said.

“It’s alright that won’t happen.” I tried to reassure.

“It almost did though, Hajime, it was so close. I don’t want to lose my Hope. My belief in all my classmates as Symbols of Hope… that is what they are. Not me but the other Ultimates… Hope of Humanity… I just watched… some of them… fall… how could they? I can’t forgive them.” I could hear his quiet anger. People he idolised as Symbols of Hope, he had seen fall to Despair. I knew how traumatising that probably was for Nagito. I could not see it in his eyes because it was too dark, but I knew how he likely looked right now and all I wanted to do was hold him, but I was scared to make too much noise, too much movement. Although the chaos outside began to die down… it started to sound quiet, I was still scared. I had no idea what the hell was happening, but I had to reassure Nagito.

“Nagito, we’ll make it out of here, alright? You won’t fall to Despair like they did, your Hope is too strong. You’re obsessed with it,” I laughed trying to lighten him a bit, but my laugh was still quiet. “I’ll protect you, alright?”

“Hajime… if… things go wrong and I… do fall… please just kill me. Grant me that mercy. I don’t want to be a Despair.” He said. It was breaking my heart, but I would never let it come to that and if it did then I would never lose my Hope not if there was a way to save him and bring him back. I even knew that at this point. Suddenly the closet door burst open, and I immediately stood in front of Nagito pushing him further towards the back ready to take on whatever was coming and protect him but… they were sane. Looking for survivors to be exact and they may have heard our whispering since everything else directly in that hallway had quietened down. Three people stood before us, two of which I recognised from Nagito’s class. Gundham Tanaka The Ultimate Breeder, Chiaki Nanami The Ultimate Gamer and a short boy in a hoodie with determination in his eyes and hair similar to mine, at least when it came to that spike at the top. He was the one who opened the closet door.

“Are you two ok?” he asked.

“We didn’t know what to do, I feel stupid hiding but what the hell is going on?” I asked and we all spoke in whispers.

“We just need to leave. I can explain more when we get out of here.” This boy said and we followed him out of the janitor’s closet.

“Komaeda… we lost some of our friends,” Chiaki said sadly. “We lost them,”

“I saw Kuzuryu and Pekoyama watching the screen… others too…” Nagito muttered. “How could they?” he was distraught. I held his hand as we navigated our way out of this condemned school. The screens went on again.

“Don’t look and don’t listen!” the strange hoodie boy called out to us, and we ran along covering our ears. I could hear a woman’s voice speaking through the screen, her voice grated on me, but I did not see her face and tried not to listen. We ran and finally we made it outside, there were some black vans waiting for us, men in dark suits ushering us over and we ran. We were blocked. Our path was blocked. Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu the Ultimate Yakuza and Peko Pekoyama, his tool, and Ultimate Swordswoman along with what appeared to be Yakuza.

“Tanaka, Nanami, Naegi, Komaeda you come with us,” the Ultimate Yakuza said. His eyes were so focussed. Pekoyama drew her blade. I was expendable, I knew that. I was just a Reserve Course, perhaps she meant to eliminate me as she ran towards me, her blade ready. The men in suits came to our aid and clashed with the Yakuza’s whilst others ushered us towards the vans. Pekoyama had been intercepted and I was saved. We ran but suddenly more despair ridden Yakuza came at us. Nagito… his hand was pulled from my grip, and he was fighting those that had seized him, struggling, and trying to get back to me. I went to assist but a suit had hold of me stopping me whilst other suits defended the other Ultimates.

“Nagito!” I cried out, reaching towards him as if that would help and he looked back as he was dragged away, his arms reaching towards me too. “Let go of me!” I screamed.

“Hajime!” he called, tears soaking his face. I fought angrily trying to get released by our rescuers, but it was no use. Nagito was gone. I lost him. I had not protected him as I had so promised. I remember looking at the others and thinking quite harshly, why him? Why did he have to be the one who got taken here? Perhaps it was something to do with his cycle of luck. The suits piled the rest of us into the van, clearly trying to save as many as possible. I had to be restrained since I was still trying to get out to get to Nagito, to save him.

Sonia was right I wanted to kill that Ultimate Yakuza and his Ultimate Swordswoman. I wanted to kill all those Despairs that dragged Nagito from me. I wanted to kill whoever spoke on those videos. That woman. Some said her name was Junko Enoshima and she was an Ultimate from Hope’s Peak and had been in Makoto Naegi’s class, the hoodie boy who had tried to get us out. Makoto from the year below us was that years Ultimate Lucky Student. Junko Enoshima was in his class. She was an Ultimate. Ultimate Despair. And this world was now hers.

Chapter Text

It was yet another day, I felt I would go mad in here if it had not already happened. All I had was my grief. I was sat trying to eat some food, but it still did not appeal to me. I had people around me, Natsume Kuzuryu, among others but I did not hear them, my mind was elsewhere until Makoto Naegi appeared at my side, a hand on my shoulder tearing me from my memories and my regrets.

“Hajime, they have a job for you.” He said in my ear.

“What do you mean, like cleaning floors?” I asked resentfully.
“No a field job,” he said, and I looked up at him. “Come on, they’ll explain more in the briefing room.” He said and I followed immediately. We passed the security no questions asked this time. As we walked in, I noticed a huge screen, my instinct was to cower from it.

“Shit…” I muttered.

“It’s alright, Hajime, I was scared to look at it too at first, but they have plenty of security measures in place, so we don’t get hacked.” Makoto explained.

“I hope so,” I muttered, and we walked to what could only be described as a strategy table. It was showing a city, lights made the outlines of this city and in it’s centre was a huge tower.

“Thank you, Makoto,” an old man said, and Makoto stepped aside, “My name is Kazuo Tengan, I run this base of operations. It’s nice to meet you Hajime Hinata,” he said so politely, no disdain for a simple Reserve Course Student.

“Nice to meet you,” I replied dully and with little enthusiasm as my words were not genuine.

“We have intel on one of the Despairs taken from Hope’s Peak, one I have learned you are closely acquainted with. Nagito Komaeda?” he said, and my eyes slowly widened.

“He’s… alive?” I asked in a breath, not finding my proper voice and I could hardly focus my mind on this news.

“Very much so but he has most certainly been consumed by Despair and he now goes by Servant. We caught this image of him,” he got it up on the screen. That white hair… even longer than before and messier. It was definitely him. He had a chain collar around his fucking neck, what the hell? “We have captured Despairs before, and this is where we have gotten our intel. It has been brought to our attention that Servant likely knows where Junko Enoshima is hiding, it is rumoured that he is closely linked to her. Your mission is to join him, infiltrate his plans and try get into where Junko is hiding and report back to us.” Tengan finished.

“Lie to him, trick him… that’s what you want me to do?” I asked as I looked at his image on the screen, I could barely take my eyes from this screen version of him.

“Hinata, he is not the same as who you knew. He is a Despair now,” Tengan said.

“What happens after I succeed, if I succeed?”

“We will come and stop them all.”
“By that do you mean kill?” I asked. “Are you going to kill Nagito?”

“Not if we don’t have to,” I almost believed his words. “Servant-“
“Would you just call him Nagito or Komaeda,” I said hating hearing him referred to in that other way. Fucking Servant. Servant of what? Of who?

“Komaeda is located in Towa City right now, we have a chopper ready to fly you in and then, you must find him. We must arm you though, that city is chaos. It has been hit bad. Enoshima may even be in that city with Serv- Komaeda.”

“I don’t want… anything to happen to Nagito, Tengan.” I said and it almost sounded like a threat although my chosen words did not.

“We can do our best, I do not want any unnecessary casualties either, my boy.”

“We are working on a way to try and restore Hope to people who have been affected by Despair.” Makoto spoke and Tengan made a coughing sound as though he was not supposed to have told me that. I looked from Makoto to Tengan.

“You mean… there is a chance we can get him back… get them all back?” I asked.

“A chance, perhaps but it is a small one, we have not yet finished tests on the program,” Tengan said.

“I want him back, Tengan,” I found myself saying.

“Hinata, this mission is a dangerous one, highly dangerous. The world is full of bots known as Monokuma bots, I will have you shown the different types and we have a gun that can eliminate each different type with certain settings. You will be armed with this for protection only. You must discard that gun before you reach Komaeda, it is widely known as a Future Foundation weapon, and it will blow your cover. You must not be seen using it and I advise you to take cover at every opportunity as you make your way to Komaeda, he has been sighted around the location seen in that picture quite frequently. I will also arm you with a standard firearm pistol and a knife. One last thing, Hinata… when you meet Komaeda, he will likely try and turn you to Despair, but you must resist it.”

“I will. Tengan, if I turn then he will forever be a Despair. I want him back to how he was.”

“Yes, well reports from the others in his class told me he was always somewhat… unstable which concerns me. His sanity in question even before Despair”

“He was a bit unstable, Tengan, his Ultimate Luck was maddening to him. He would tell me about his endless cycle of Good Luck versus Bad Luck, but I don’t think it should concern you, he was not a danger.” I replied.

“Hmm,” he mumbled as though he did not believe me. It was fine he didn’t have to. I just needed to bring him back. I had grieved Nagito for over a year and now I learn he is alive it sparked a little Hope inside of me. A mere ember but it was there.

Chapter Text

I had been prepared and briefed, armed with a standard pistol a knife and a strange gun that looked more like a megaphone, but they told me about the various settings on it that would eliminate each different type of Monokuma that might attack. I was briefly taught how to use the handgun I had hit the target a few times at least but hopefully I would not need to use any weapon. I was nervous, I could feel the flutter in my stomach, my breath getting faster as we flew in a helicopter to land near Towa City. Here, I would walk the rest of the way. Nagito… I’m coming to get you back. I had back up with me, but they would only be stationed near in case it all went horribly wrong. Sonia, Gundham and Makoto but having them close made me nervous. Makoto had told me he had his own mission here; his younger sister was trapped in Towa City, and he was here to look for her. I told him I would also keep an eye out for her whilst I was out there. I was nervous about seeing Nagito again and nervous about my mission. Terrified something might go wrong. What if I fell to Despair? What if I couldn’t take Nagito as a Despair? The whole idea of this was utterly terrifying. They dropped me off far from the city centre, I had a way to go from here. I looked back at them, and Makoto handed me a small device.

“Keep that somewhere safe, Hajime, somewhere secret, it is a small communication device. We need you to use that if you locate Junko Enoshima.” He said.

“Makoto… promise me Nagito is safe from the Future Foundation,” I asked.

“We don’t want any unnecessary casualties, Hajime, I will protect all those I can.” He replied and offered a smile. It would have to do although his words sounded exactly like Tengan’s, and I did not trust that man. I did trust Makoto, but he was fully integrated into the Future Foundation. The story was that he and some of his classmates found out about this plan of Junko Enoshima’s and those that managed to escape her were able to warn some others in the school. Aoi Asahina had been the red jacket girl, she was the Ultimate Swimming Pro, but she was also good at other sports, she had run as fast as she could to the Reserve Course building to warn us there. She had saved some of us. I walked ahead a little, this whole place was in ruin. How fast it has been destroyed by the Despair, it was as though it had been in decay for more years than it had been. It really was only one and a half years or there abouts. It was disturbing to see. When I had walked far enough away from the chopper, it lifted into the sky to head to wherever the base they had established nearby was. I was free from the bunker, but I knew they would likely have some way to keep tabs on my movements here. I had been given guidance and direction to head to where Nagito had frequently been sighted in recent weeks, I hope I find him. I started to make my way towards the location, but I needed to remain in cover, so I used buildings to navigate through. I had been given limited supplies to last me, but I was meant to look as though I had been struggling through the chaos of the world to find him once I reached him. Nagito was no idiot though, so I wondered if my story would be believed, even I thought this whole idea was farfetched. The sky was getting dark outside, so I decided to find a secluded spot and get some rest. I was under the cover of a building; it might not be that safe, but it was safer than being in the open, I had seen Monokuma bots, but I had managed to avoid them. I just hoped I was not found by a Despair or a Monokuma bot whilst I was sleeping. I could not fail Nagito, I needed him back, I needed to save him. I needed him to be safe and, on that thought, I slowly drifted into sleep, but it seemed I was not spared my dreams even out here. They plagued me and I was sleeping on rock or rubble, and at best flat concrete so I did not get much in the way of rest. Nor for any other night it took me to find Nagito. It took me a just over a week to find him amongst this desecration that was now Towa City, and I was hungry as my supplies did not last me. I did find him, but I had not decided on my approach, so I hid from him, behind a crumbled wall and I just watched. I was terrified. I could tell just by looking at him. That was not my Nagito anymore.

Chapter Text

I had discarded my Future Foundation weapon a while before I began to approach the location but as soon as I was here and waiting for him to show, I remained hidden. I looked out over the edge of a broken-down wall to a building that I had previously used to navigate through, he looked as though he was searching for something amongst the rubble and sadly corpses, I had come to learn were strewn all through this city. Probably all through every city by now. He looked so calm and normal, but I could still tell he was different. Unless that chain meant he was simply someone’s slave or, well, he went by the name Servant now. Perhaps he was not even a Despair but a prisoner. That thought crossed my mind, suddenly. Perhaps… intel was wrong, and he was simply a prisoner to Junko Enoshima and needed to be rescued from the chains of imprisonment? Yes. Surely that was it. I looked out again to see him, but I slipped on some rubble and the sound made noise which alerted him. I ducked down as fast as I could.

“Are you coming out?” he called. His voice, that calm voice of his, I had not heard his voice for so long. I felt tears fill my eyes. I slowly looked over the wall and began to step out from cover looking at him, not taking my eyes from him.

“Nagito?” I asked as though just to make sure. Did he even recognise me?

“Hello Hajime,” he said. Is that it? After so long? No, this was not my Nagito. He sounded so casual, like he saw me only yesterday. If he had been in his normal mind he would have smiled or cried even, possibly have hurried to me and threw his arms around me only to apologise for the invasion of my personal space, but there was nothing. The tears fell from my eyes, and I dropped to my knees.

“They got you… didn’t they?” I asked, my voice was breaking.

“Do you mean did I become a Despair? Yes, it was forced upon me, but I was wrong Hajime, I was always wrong.” He started and it was breaking me inside. I crumpled even more falling forwards on the ground to my hands now. The sorrow was consuming me. I remembered his words in that closet. Hajime… if… things go wrong and I… do fall… please just kill me. Grant me that mercy. I don’t want to be a Despair.” Those words echoed through my head until they became deafening. Maddening. I pulled the handgun from my jacket and stood pointing the gun at him, my hands trembling, if I just shot him straight in the head it would be quick, he wouldn’t feel a thing. He just stood looking at me a moment.

“You wanted me to… kill you…” I muttered through my tears.

“That was when I was in the dark, Hajime, I can see everything far more clearly now.” he replied. “You can pull that trigger if you want to, but you haven’t heard me out.” he said.

“What’s to hear? You fell… you… loved Hope, your ravings about it drove me mad but… Nagito…” I was falling right now, despair ridden. No, I didn’t come here to kill him. His words when he asked, even then I knew I wanted to save him if there was ever even the slightest chance and I suddenly remembered that there was. I put the gun down letting out a breath as though I had been holding it the whole time. “Nagito… I grieved for you.” I muttered.

“And here I am, alive and well.” He smiled.

“No, not well but you are alive,” I sat down on a large nearby piece of rubble exhausted. He moved and sat beside me. He looked the same and yet… different. I reached for the chain collar around his neck. “Nagito, what the hell is this?” I asked him.

“I’m their Servant, its fine, I’m not worth much else,” he said.

“Who’s Servant, exactly?” I asked.

“The Ultimates,” he replied, and I looked at him.

“You are an Ultimate, Nagito,”

“But I don’t have talent,” he said laughing.

“So, you haven’t changed all that much then,” I mumbled and lay back on the large piece of rubble. I was weak from lack of food and water and terrible sleep.

“What were you expecting, Hajime?” he asked and then lay back beside me.

“I don’t know, I honesty don’t know. My last memory of you was you getting dragged away by Fuyuhiko’s Yakuza Despair’s.”

“Yeah, that was scary but once I gave in, I realised I was always wrong. Hope doesn’t always win, not without building up the Despair. To reach that beautiful shining Hope, we must nurture Despair, Hajime, that is what I’m doing.”

“So, you… still love Hope?” I asked looking at him as he lay beside me; it felt strange being this close to him again. He looked at me and smiled.

“I love Hope and I love Despair. I love them both.” He said.

“I don’t understand,” I mumbled.

“It’s like my Good Luck / Bad Luck cycle. I get something really unlucky happen to me, it’s alright because I always knew even better Good Luck would come afterwards and make up for it. All this Despair will eventually be cancelled out by the Hope that follows. Nurture Despair to get to an even greater Hope. All of this is mere steppingstones to that Hope.” He was raving like he always did but this time the ramblings about hope were also ramblings about despair.

“Nagito, those steppingstones are ruins. Look around you, what Hope can be so great to cancel all this death and destruction? It makes no sense.”

“Why did you come looking for me, Hajime and more importantly, how did you manage to find me?” he asked. Those questions were going to come up at some point.

“Nagito, I came to-“ suddenly we were surrounded by Future Foundation men in suits all holding weapons aiming them at Nagito. We both stood holding our hands up. I moved in front of him, although it would not protect him, there were even men in the building above training weapons on him with laser sights. No, they betrayed me. They lied to me.

“Don’t shoot!” I called out. “Please don’t shoot!”

“Hajime, are you… Future Foundation? Did you trap me?” Nagito asked behind me.

“No! I’m not and I didn’t!” I said. What was this, if they wanted to take him in, they could have just done this without me. Some began coming forwards and he was shot with a stun weapon and then cuffed easily and dragged away. I was led with them, but I was not under arrest. I felt so stupid. I was piled into the same helicopter as Nagito, he sat across from me, staring at me but he was smiling, it was creeping me out. I was so angry. Angry with them all. I could not even look at Makoto, Sonia or Gundham, whether or not they were aware, they were still here, and I still felt they were part of it. Tengan told me they gained intel before from other Despairs… what methods did they use to gain that information? I should have known the plan we had was not the real plan, it seemed so far-fetched and unbelievable, but I had been so desperate to see Nagito again. Sonia, Gundham and Makoto had said nothing, and I wondered about Makoto’s own mission, of finding his sister, had he just forgot about it? Did he receive new orders? I had no idea. At one-point Nagito had a dark bag put over his head before we landed and until we were inside the bunker and the bag was removed. I was following closely behind trying to walk with Nagito as he was dragged faster inside.

“Nagito, you have to believe me I was not part of that, that had not been the plan!” I tried.

“But you had a plan against me, it’s fine, I’m sure they’ll only torture me for information that I won’t be giving them. I’m sure it’ll be terrible and bring lots of Despair and pain,” he suddenly turned to me, his eyes, they didn’t look right but he was held back by those that led him and still he continued to talk. “Oh, and if they torture me to death, Hajime, I wonder if you’ll fall to Despair!” he said before he laughed manically, and they dragged him away from me fast as I watched in horror, that laughter rang in my ears and those eyes bore into my soul. That was not Nagito Komaeda. That was Servant an Ultimate Despair.

Chapter Text

I marched through Operations looking for someone to blame for having used me to capture Nagito and what his fate may end up being and I came to face Makoto. I had trusted him; my first action was to take hold of him and pin him to the wall. He was quite a bit shorter than me so even in my weakened state it was easy.

“Why did you lie to me?” I yelled.

“Hajime… I had no idea that had been planned, I promise you, I thought we were sending you in as we had discussed. I was pulled out of my own mission and ordered back, my sister is still out there somewhere. I’m furious too, Hajime. I have had a word with Tengan, I’m sorry this happened.” Makoto said and I released him inclined to believe him. Tears were falling from my angry eyes.

“I want to see Tengan, the orders obviously came from him,” I said and then I faltered, I needed food and water.

“Hey, you were out there over a week, with very few supplies, you have to get your strength back and then I’ll take you to Tengan and we’ll find out what’s going on, ok?” he suggested kindly, and I just nodded. There would be no point confronting Tengan if I was just going to pass out. Makoto was kind and got me food and water and then he instructed me to wash but after as promised he took me to Tengan. The old man looked as though he had been prepared for my arrival and we went straight to an office.

“Hajime, I must begin with apologising for the deception,” he said.

“I thought I was supposed to be allowing him to take me to Junko,” I muttered.

“Yes, but that would be far too dangerous, you would probably have been turned into a Despair immediately or just simply killed as a non-Ultimate, and there really was no guarantee he would have taken you where we needed him to. He is cautious, we tried following him before but each time we lost him, it was like he knew we were there. The same when we began to close in to capture him so we decided the best approach would be to send you, someone he was close to as a distraction taking him off guard and then surround him. It worked.”

“What’s going to happen to him?” I asked.

“Our priority is finding Junko Enoshima or at the very least where she is making those Monokuma bots.”

“That doesn’t answer my question, Tengan. Are you going to torture him?” I asked, my voice was flat.

“In order to gain information, we must.” He replied.

“How dare you.” I whispered darkly. “How dare you use me to lure someone I care about, someone I wanted guarantee would not be harmed! And now you are going to harm him.” I was seething.

“Hajime, life is no longer simple,”

“I am fully aware of what life is now, don’t you dare try that one on me! What happens if Nagito doesn’t talk?” I asked.

“We will have to cross that bridge when we come to it,” he said.

“What the fuck does that mean?” I yelled.

“Hajime, just listen to me. We have a program in the works, but it is far from finished, if he doesn’t talk then we may attempt to rehabilitate him and undo his brainwashing.”

“Why don’t you do that first and then when he is back on our side ask him where Junko is, then you don’t have to hurt him at all!”

“We cannot guarantee his memories will stay after he is reverted to how he was and that program as I said is far from finished.”
“Tengan… is there any other way, apart from… torture?” I asked the very word paining me as I said it.

“I’m afraid not, my boy, we have gained much information from previous Despairs using this method. Servant, however, is the first prominent one we have managed to capture. He is likely privy to valuable details of Junko’s plans.”

“I can’t believe there is nothing I can do to protect him… again!” I slammed my fist on Tengan’s desk. I looked up at him with tears in my eyes. “Where is he now?” I asked.

“He is probably in his cell whilst we make preparations,”
“Preparations, you mean for torture? What… methods do you use?” I asked uncertain if I really wanted to know.

“We have Ultimate Level Pharmacist Seiko on board, and she has created a serum that causes pain through the body, she will administer this via injection and hopefully he will offer some information.”

“That sounds horrible,” I muttered. “Please, Tengan, can I see him?” I asked in a shaky voice.

“I will allow it, yes,” he replied and then he led me to the cells, and I realised there were other Despairs here, some were calling out of their cells, I could not see any of them, but I could hear them, but they were not Ultimate Despairs just caught in the crossfire, expendable like me. We stopped at one cell and Tengan ordered the door open, and it was. Nagito… or Servant, was lying on his cot, one leg propped up, staring at the ceiling with a smile on his face. He looked at us as the door opened.

“Leave me with him.” I said and they did so. I noticed the collar had been removed and some bruises were visible around his neck and collar bone where it had rested. He sat up and looked at me.

“Nagito… they’re going to torture you, please just tell them what they want to know.” I begged. He smiled.

“Do you still care about me, Hajime?” he asked.

“Of course, I do, Nagito, it never went away. I was grieving for you and then they told me you were alive… I couldn’t believe it.”

“Its nice that you still care but that makes all of this even harder,” he said, and he stood. I felt like I wanted to back away but there was nowhere to go except out of this cell completely and I was not ready to leave yet. “Hajime… I have thought about you since… quite a bit actually and I wondered what a beautiful Despair you’d make…” he was edging closer, and I only had the wall behind me. “Hajime, I had been so terrified about becoming a Despair, but it really opened my eyes,” he was drawing closer, and the wall stopped me, and he continued until he was right in front of me. “I had thought how wonderful Hope is but Despair as an accompaniment to Hope is just as wonderful!”

“What were you doing in Towa City, Nagito?” I asked him suddenly, trying to ignore his ramblings. He was close enough to me now and he placed a hand on my chest pressing me against the wall.

“What were you doing in Towa City, Hajime? Oh, that’s right, setting me up.” His voice had gone dark again and he leaned against me. “Do you still like me?” he asked and moved his knee between my legs lifting it until it touched my groin, I closed my eyes, this was not like him, he usually had a certain reservation as to coming near me deeming that I would be disgusted by him getting close. It had been so long, and I missed him, I could feel myself getting hard, “Oh, I see that you do still like me but, I think I also terrify you, you’re trembling.” He said.

“Nagito… I’m sorry this happened to you… I’m sorry you… became this…” I could not even move to get away from him, he had me pinned, it had been so long since I had him close and yet, this was not my Nagito. This was some twisted version of him, and he was right, it did terrify me. I had no idea what he was capable of as a Despair. Suddenly his hand shot up and took hold of my jaw holding me in place and forcing me to look at him, he grinned and then leaned in and whispered in my ear.

“I had been waiting for you, Hajime…” he said. Waiting for me?

“N-Nagito…” I tried to speak but my voice trailed off into a pitiful whisper. His hand moved to hold the side of my face and then he kissed my neck. This is wrong. I suddenly mustered the strength to move, and I pushed him away. “Stop!” I hissed.

“Did you want it a little more… dirty?” he asked and then came towards me taking hold of me. After a little struggle, he threw me to the bed and then climbed on top of me, I was surprised he had won that struggle, he was as skinny as ever, but I had weakened too.

“Nagito… stop…” I whimpered and wondered if anyone would come in to stop this, part of me… a part of me wanted this, wanted him close again but this was not Nagito Komaeda. Servant was on top of me, straddling me, tugging on my hair and my clothes. My breathing was heavy with need, I had missed him but… this was wrong. I still kissed him back. This was wrong. Tears fell from my eyes, and he sat up to look down at me and he smiled. He leaned onto me and licked up one of my tears.

“Are they tears of Despair I taste?” he asked in a dark voice.

“Yes,” I whispered, my voice breaking with emotion. “I just want you back, Nagito, as you were…”

“But I am better this way, Hajime, I have all the steppingstones I need to become what I always wanted. A worthless nobody like me crawling out the Despair and becoming something great Ultimate Hope, it would be amazing. The Hope that will come after all this Despair, after Despair is defeated, we will all rise out of the ashes of it and the Hope, the beautiful shining Hope will be born. Oh, Hajime, it really will be amazing! But Despair is not done yet, it hasn’t reached its peak!”

“And what… what peak is that?” I asked, my voice trembling. He looked back down at me and grinned, his eyes… they were crazed, almost as though his mind had been so twisted, and he had become a complete blend of both Hope and Despair. Suddenly an explosion sounded, followed by consecutive ones. Nagito looked up and away from me as we heard what sounded like gunfire and battles breaking out in the bunker. The cell door opened, and a Future Foundation member was about to usher us out but suddenly there was a gunshot and blood spurted out the side of his head before he fell. I threw Nagito off me but took his wrist and ran out with him, I did not look at anything happening around us, it was obvious battle had broken out. I did not know if they were Despairs or if it was riotous protest, but I was getting Nagito out of here and away from it all.

Chapter Text

We ran through the chaos and then we were trapped as we reached an exit tunnel. Ultimate Despairs were waiting for us blocking our exit. That Ultimate Yakuza Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu, his Ultimate Swordswoman Peko Pekoyama. They were stopping me again. Stopping me from escaping with Nagito. I had nothing to fight them with. I also saw a couple of other Ultimate Despairs, I recognised them as some more from Nagito’s class, Akane Owari Ultimate Gymnast, Nekomaru Nidai, Ultimate Team Manager. They were all good people, Fuyuhiko and Peko included but they had fallen to Despair. They were not themselves, just as Nagito was not himself.

“Servant, you played your part well as always,” Fuyuhiko said, his voice was cold, almost robotic, he had not been that way before.

“Oh wow! A compliment from the Ultimate Yakuza? Amazing!” Nagito replied but I was confused, he turned to me and then pulled out a small device from his pocket showing it to me. “I was bait, Hajime and you all fell for it. As usual Junko predicts various possible outcomes with accuracy, I knew the Future Foundation were on to me, I told Junko and we came up with this plan to lead us to this base! One less Future Foundation base of Operations. It’s all going to fall.”

“Yeah, and we have captured some more Ultimates,” Nekomaru spoke, he was a big guy, looked very strong. It was intimidating especially now he was Despair. There was no way I could fight these guys I went to run; I could not do much but perhaps I would be able to help some of the other Ultimates, Nagito was lost to me, I could not save him. Suddenly my wrist was grabbed. It was Nagito.

“But Junko has plans for you, Hajime, even though you’re just a worthless Reserve Course Student, no talent, nothing much to you. She has plans,” he said and started to drag me away. I did not want to hurt him, but I was terrified of his words. What plans? Nagito had cared about me once, what was he willing to allow Junko to subject me to? I pushed at him and managed to free my arm before I retrieved a nearby rock from the rubble and I cracked him over the head, he fell to the ground I and ran away as fast as I could. I hope I didn’t hit him too hard, was my thought as I ran. It really was chaos and I saw some Ultimates trying to fight, these were all Despair’s here having followed Nagito’s tracking device and they were trying to capture more Ultimate’s to throw to Despair. Many had already been taken in the past but now… many more were taken. I could do nothing. I felt so helpless. Hopeless. No… Suddenly somebody was pressing up against my back, I could feel large breasts and an arm wrapped around me, a gloved hand holding a syringe.

“Oh… yes… th-that’s right… my beloved wants you… f-for something special…” Mikan Tsumiki, Ultimate Nurse pressed the needle into my neck, and I lost consciousness. I was too scared, too consumed by Despair I had not fought her off. How I wish I had more fight left in me at the time because what came next… was a nightmare of sheer Despair.

 

**

When I awoke, I found myself in a cell, it felt as though I was underground, and this small square cell made of concrete was suffocating but it had no door. I was not imprisoned within this cell. I stepped cautiously outside it and looked around, the air in here certainly felt like I was underground. It was thick and musty. I noticed other small rooms like the one I had awoken in, and others slowly emerged from these. I recognised some of them. Some of them were Ultimates. Were we in Junko’s lair? I saw Makoto Naegi, Aoi Asahina, Sonia Nevermind, Gundham Tanaka. Leon Kuwata, one from Makoto’s class Ultimate Pro Baseball Star. Sayaka Maizono, also an underclassman of mine, Ultimate Idol Sensation, Mondo Owada, Ultimate Biker Gang Leader and Kiyotaka Ishimaru, Ultimate Moral Compass, from Naegi’s class. She had captured so many, and so many others had already fallen.

“Wakey wakey!” we heard cry in a shrill voice, and we all looked up realising these cells were in an enclosed space, some tunnels ran from this area and led who knew where. We all looked up and I saw her. Junko Enoshima standing over us on the edge of this… arena? Beside her was Servant, he had been fitted with a new collar and was just smiling down at me. Junko was holding the chain as though she owned him, and he was her pet. All around this space, above us stood all the Ultimates that had fallen to Despair, all looking down at us. “Hello everyone!” Junko cried out triumphantly.

“Sakura!” Hina cried out. That’s right, Sakura Ogami was among the missing but clearly she had fallen to despair.

“What is going on?” Makoto called up to her and her face twisted into a cruel grin.

“All of you must entertain us with a battle royale!” she cried out. “I’ll call an end to it when I get bored.” I’m going to die.

“We just won’t fight!” Makoto cried up. “Don’t listen to her!” he yelled at everyone inside this, yes it was an arena.

“If you don’t cooperate Naegi, then I will just send my Ultimates in and they will kill you all but that’s boring too, isn’t it?” Junko said. “Oh… another thing… Servant, fetch them, will you?” she asked and Nagito disappeared only to return with some prisoners.

“Komaru!” Makoto cried out, tears in his eyes. His sister?

“Yuta! No let him go!” Asahina cried, the boy looked just like her. Perhaps a brother. There were more cries in the arena as other loved ones were recognised.

“I’ll throw these into a pit of Beast Monokuma’s. You ever seen what they can do?” Junko asked and then a hidden door opened and out came two messed up looking black and white bears, they were bots, mechanical nightmares. They were large and, on all fours, crazed, manic. Junko called an order down to them and they pounced, tearing apart two people who had been too slow as the rest of us ran. Their terrifying screams rang through the tunnels we had split into, the screams died down as the Beast Monokuma’s finished tearing them to shreds.

“Weapons have been activated inside your arena, Beast Monokuma’s proved their point, the only threats that remain are yourselves.” Junko’s voice echoed out. I found myself with Makoto, Asahina and Sonia, we had all scattered. Makoto and I looked to one another.

“Our classmates… up there with… her…” Sonia’s eyes were huge, and she was trembling. I went to her and held her.

“That was awful… those poor people,” she muttered. Sonia had been good to me so I would look out for her in this nightmare.

“We have to find a way out of here!” I said looking at Makoto.

“She has my sister,” he said looking terrified.
“And my little brother,” Asahina cried, she crumpled to the ground.

“Enoshima said something about weapons, I think we should arm ourselves; we have no idea who might be out to get us.” I said knowing how expendable I was.

“The Despair will already be setting in for some. They had even captured… non-Ultimates,” Makoto muttered.

“Yeah, like me. We have to stick together and find the others, come on,” I said leading the way. Anger and fear were both driving me. We had friends to find in here. As we walked down the tunnels, we could hear screams and death, it was chilling. A small opening appeared in the wall and a present was placed upon it. A small person bent sideways to peer around the present, a child, wearing a helmet resembling that Monokuma bear. I took a step forward and looked at the tag.

“Sonia Nevermind…” I said and she drew closer.

“Wait! Can we trust it?” Makoto asked suddenly.
“What if it… explodes?” Asahina added in a trembling voice.

“Everyone else stand back, just in case. It could be something to assist us.” Sonia said. “I’m opening it.” she cautiously lifted the top of it and all we could see was her whole body stiffen. “No…” she muttered. “My… home… all of it… how…” she turned to look at us, her eyes… they almost reminded me of Nagito’s, but they were void of all Hope. She was crying. “Everything… is destroyed….” She said and fell to her knees.

“Sonia,” I went to go to her, but she pushed me away and started to laugh.

“She was subjected to a screen!” Makoto cried and I looked to the box, I could see flashing images lighting up the sides of the box, but I looked away. Sonia was no longer laughing she just stood watching us. I kicked the box back into the opening it had come through. It was no use, she was gone. Despair had taken her. I failed to protect her just as I had failed to protect Nagito. I was useless. I was nothing.

“Oh no,” Asahina muttered.

“No more presents! We ignore the next one!” Makoto said and we continued onwards. We heard screaming and looked to see Sayaka Maizono on top of Leon Kuwata stabbing him over and over.

“No! Stop!” I found myself crying and ran forwards, but she was also gone like Sonia and Leon was dead.

“Sayaka!” Makoto cried but I stood in his way.

“I… have to kill to save them…” Sayaka mumbled as she stood off Leon’s corpse. There was so much blood pooling from underneath him and she was covered in blood too, but it was his blood. I stumbled backwards as she came at us holding up the knife ready to kill her next victim. Me. She dove on top of me, but I managed to catch her blade wielding arm and hold her off until I managed to swap positions and I was on top of her wrestling the blade arm until it gave, the knife was in her chest.

“Oh god… I’m so sorry… I’m so sorry…” I muttered to her as she died and then I looked over at Makoto and Asahina, Sayaka had been their classmate. “I’m so sorry!” I cried.

“It was… self-defence,” Makoto muttered as tears fell from his eyes. Asahina was staring over at Leon’s body.

“Both of them?” she muttered. They were both dead, we also noticed in this space, two presents. Had they been brainwashed and fallen? Sayaka got that blade from somewhere too. “How could… someone lose themselves so much they… murder someone they love?” Asahina asked. That’s right, Sayaka and Leon had been a couple and she murdered him viciously. Does that mean Nagito didn’t care if I died in here? Had I lost him so completely? We heard more screaming, more crying, and more killing.

“We need to stop people opening those presents,” Makoto said and led the way down a different tunnel. We found an opening and in that opening people were sat trembling and cowering, some Ultimates were trying to coax them out of their despair. We found Gundham, Mondo, Celeste was here and Yasuhiro Hagakure as well as Hiyoko Saionji and Mahiru Koizumi from Nagito’s class. Enoshima had caught so many. I noticed a woman, Chisa Yukizome, that was her name, she was a teacher at Hope’s Peak, and an alumnus, they had captured her too?

“You must stay strong, humans, this is a test and one we cannot allow to beat us!” Tanaka was saying, but even the hamsters on his shoulders were trembling. He looked to us as we joined them in this space.

“We may be caught in this situation, but you cannot give in, she wants you to give in to despair, fight it!” Miss Yukizome said. They were trying so hard. Tanaka was coming towards us.

“Sonia… my dark lady, she was with you…” he muttered but the look in his eyes betrayed what he already knew.

“She is alive but… she opened one of those presents, it had her name on it,” Makoto said and Gundham’s eyes widened.

“I will kill that she-devil with my own two hands! How dare this happen to my lady!” he raged.

“She is still alive but… she is now a Despair.” I said being reminded of Nagito. He was still alive just a Despair.

“Do not open those presents, has anyone here received a present?” Makoto asked.

“I ignored mine,” Mahiru said.

“Good, we have to stay strong, all of us. If we’re together we can beat this! We must hold onto our Hope, that is what we are, all of us, Ultimates or not we are survivors! I’m just like the rest of you, I got into Hope’s Peak through Luck. I’m just a normal kid really,” Makoto said with a smile. How could he smile in this situation? Some of his friends just died… wait… I could see tears in his eyes. He was trying so to stay strong too.

“I’m so tired, Makoto… they got Sakura too, she was up there, I haven’t seen her since… Hope’s Peak. She was so strong, mentally as well as physically… how could they… what did they do to make her fall? I was sure she was dead…” Asahina was crying.

“I know, we’ll get them back. We will get them all back.” Makoto said and I felt a swell of Hope inside my chest. Nagito… I will get you back.

“I think we should all get some rest, nobody enters the tunnels alone, some should keep watch and we take shifts.” Gundham said.

“I am happy to take first watch, with others,” Mahiru offered.

“Ohhh I wanted to sleep but if Mahiru is staying awake then I’ll take first watch too,” Hiyoko whined.

“I can also take first watch,” I offered despite being so tired.

“I will too. Hina, you get some rest, I’ll look out for you,” he said to his friend. I looked at Gundham, he was still distraught over Sonia, but his expression had taken on determination likely at Makoto’s words. He had instilled Hope within all of us, people had stopped crying and everyone else was bedding down on cold, hard ground but we needed our strength. I sat leaning against the wall and Makoto sat not too far from me.

“I said I’d get Sonia out of here… I failed her…” I muttered as I dwelled on it.

“Hajime, it wasn’t your fault,” Makoto said.

“I killed Sayaka…” I added and looked at him.

“Hajime, you are going down the path of despair, I need you to stay with me, we can beat this together.”

“I’m nothing, Makoto, I don’t even have a talent,” I muttered.

“That doesn’t matter! That means nothing! You are a strong person, Hajime, I have seen that. Stay with me, we’re all friends in here, we have to stick together!” he was trying so hard.

“I am expendable,” I added.

“Nobody is expendable!” he said with urgency or was it desperation? He was desperately trying to stop me spiralling but the more I thought about it, the worse I felt. That swell of Hope had dissipated completely. Nagito was lost, my fault. Sonia was lost, also my fault. I hated seeing Nagito like that, it was disturbing, and the sorrow was deeply set inside of me, my grief was ongoing. He was not dead but at the same time, he was.

“Hajime, get a hold of yourself!” Mahiru snapped. “Come on, we’ll get out of this,” she said fuelled by Naegi’s lead. He smiled at her. I rested my head against the wall and then I heard a noise, it was like a tapping or scratching noise, and I felt a draft. It could just be coming from one of the tunnels, but I had to investigate it.

“Hajime, what is it?” Makoto asked.

“I can hear something and feel air,” I said as I investigated the wall. Yes, it was coming from the wall. I felt around it, perhaps it was a secret exit. “I think I found an exit!” Suddenly an opening before me appeared but I was pulled right in and it closed behind me, I ran back to the wall, but it was completely sealed. A small light lit this place, other than that it was dark.

“Hello Hajime,” it was Nagito who had pulled me out of that arena.

Chapter Text

I ran to the wall bashing it. “You want to get back in there?” he asked me.

“Nagito… this is terrible we have to stop this… we have to help them in there, people are dying!”

“I know it is very despair inducing,” he replied so casually. “Hajime, you have to come with me,” he added.

“No, I don’t want to,” I said.

“If you don’t then you’ll never find your way out of here,” he said.

“I can’t… I just can’t take this, Nagito…” I cried and sat down on the ground, I felt like I really had lost all Hope. He sat beside me. “Nagito… I loved you so much and… now you are this… my friends are dying and killing each other or falling to despair. I don’t want to live in this world. I have no talent. I can’t help anyone; I can’t stop this. I am worthless, like you always said, I’m nobody, nothing. I have nothing. I really have nothing. I don’t even have you.” I was crying uncontrollably and suddenly he took my hand. I looked at him to see him smiling at me under the candlelight he had provided.

“Hajime… you still always meant something to me,” he said, and I found myself leaning forwards and placing my lips onto his. It had been too long, I missed him so much, all of him. It was almost like it was out of my control and I was undoing my trousers and pulling his off.

“Hajime,” he said and tried to squirm away, trying to pull his jeans back on. I pulled him back.

“Nagito… please just… forget about it all… forget about Hope, forget about Despair, I need you.” I said crying and feeling as though my mind was fragmenting. I loved him but I also hated him for what he had become. He tried to get from underneath me again, but I took his arms and held his wrists down pinning him.

“Hajime… I missed you too, but this is not the time…”

“Just shut up, stop talking,” I cried and removed my hand from his wrists to lift his legs now that his jeans were off.

“Hajime!” he cried in protest, but I still continued. It was uncomfortable for us both but mainly for him, we had no lubricant, we had nothing and no foreplay, I do not believe I even had his consent. He winced as I pushed inside him. “Hajime… I love you… even in my Despair…” he muttered looking up at me and I saw tears falling from his eyes, back into his white hair. Please don’t cry. I knew tears were falling from my own eyes, but I did not want to see him cry.

“Nagito… please forget about all that… let it just be us…” I said as I slowed my movements pushing inside of him more gently. What the hell was I even doing? “Nagito… I love you so much…” I said and the tears kept falling but the sex began to feel good, he closed his eyes beginning to make pleasurable sounds as I slowed my movements. “I love you,” I whispered again, my voice unable to form anything above a whisper.

“Hajime…” Nagito whispered back looking up at me with heavy lidded eyes.

“Please come back to me, Nagito…” I cried but I knew it was impossible. Any Hope of that was gone after that Future Foundation bunker had been overrun by Despairs.

“I’m here, Hajime,” he said, and I thrust harder, I think he winced again and then I could feel it coming and I finished inside of him, he let out a pleasurable sound as he also finished, I did not feel the release sex usually granted. I was empty, angry. I slumped down beside him and pulled up my jeans as he did the same. “You could always join me, Hajime,” Nagito said. Perhaps I should. Perhaps if I joined Nagito in Despair I would not feel so much pain. He turned on his side to look at me, placing a hand on my chest.

“I don’t know what to do… I don’t really want to live anymore…” I muttered.

“I don’t want you to die, so if you have nothing to lose then you may as well join me, Hajime,” he said.

“Yes… I may as well join you…” I replied.

Chapter Text

It had become apparent that I could not save Nagito. I could not bring him back from this Despair. He was gone. I had mourned him appropriately. Now I would mourn my own death. I had followed Nagito out of those tunnels and when we got out, I noticed survivors from whatever terrible Battle Royal Killing Game I had been a part of. They were all in chains, some had fallen, any non-ultimate was thrown to Beast Monokuma’s and the Ultimate’s who survived were taken away.

“What’s going to happen to them, Nagito?” I asked but I sounded empty, almost as though I was already dead. My soul had left me.

“The Ultimates who have fallen to Despair will join our ranks, any who are still holding on to Hope will be further subjected to Despair, possibly even some brainwashing but Junko does like to have her fun, so I cannot say I’m certain.” He replied and then led me to a large room which was filled with some Ultimate’s I recognised, both from Nagito’s class and Makoto’s class. They had all fallen and all been taken at some point and now they were here having aided Junko Enoshima in countless terror missions. I saw those bunches… those piercing eyes… Junko was sat upon a throne of her own making, legs crossed and Nagito led me right to her. When he got before her, Nagito dropped to one knee prostrating. What the hell? It made me angry to see him this way. It was almost pathetic. No it was pathetic.

“Well, hello there, Hajime Hinata, simple Reserve Course Student who fell in love with Ultimate Luck, the talentless Ultimate. Trash attracts trash, right Servant?” she asked as she checked the ghastly red nail varnish job on her fingertips.

“Yes, it does.” Nagito replied looking up at her.

“You walked here willingly, Hajime, does that mean Servant worked his magic on you? Convinced you to come to our side?” Enoshima asked. I felt rage boiling inside of me as I looked at her.

“What would happen to me? You only want Ultimate’s I refuse to be a servant like Nagito,” I hissed trying to ignore my rage.

“Oh, it’s so special!” Junko cried out.

“It really is my beloved! Wonderful!” Mikan was clapping her hands.

“What is it?” I asked and Junko smiled.

“You can have talent, Hajime,” Nagito said looking back me, and Junko walked over to him yanking the chain collar around his neck pulling forwards so aggressively that he ended up on the ground on his front.

“Don’t ruin it!” she hissed.

“I’m sorry!” he cried, and she dug her heel into his back, he winced.

“Oh, I’m so j-jealous…” Mikan stammered and fell to her knees drooling. She was worse than Nagito.

“Stop it!” I yelled pulling her off him, but then strong arms had hold of me securing my own arms at my sides. It was Nekomaru, I was no match for him. Sakura Ogami had also moved nearby; she was huge of build too and the Ultimate Martial Artist from Makoto’s class. I had no chance. There was no fighting here.

“It’s fine, you can release him, he won’t try anything again, not now he knows how fuckin’ hopeless it is!” Junko said laughing obnoxiously. Nagito began to lift himself and I helped him the rest of the way.

“I’m sorry, Junko,” Nagito repeated.

“You are forgiven. Now, I will tell you what I found at our dear old Hope’s Peak Academy,” she whipped out a clipboard and donned some glasses. “Now it came to my attention that the Trustees and Researchers at Hope’s Peak Academy were looking into ways in which to manufacture talent and imbue it on a volunteer, but it didn’t get that far, and my own plans were somewhat foiled when they were discovered causing me to change them drastically. Thus, I did not get to see what they were calling the Kamakura project come to life but, I do have their equipment right here and I intend to use it now that it has been set up properly.”

“And the… volunteer?” I asked.

“You of course,” she finished. “What talent do you wish to have? You can choose any.”

“Don’t choose luck, though Hajime, in case you end up like me.” Nagito said and she slapped him around the face.

“Stop! Please stop hurting him.” I begged.

“He’s a pathetic creature who disgusts me, even though he has fallen to Despair, he still loves that Hope of his. He makes me want to vomit.” She said looking down at him disgusted as she took hold of his jaw forcing him to look up at her. “He is useful though,” she added and then released him. I looked away a moment. I hated seeing him like this.

“I get to… choose a talent, any talent?” I asked her.

“Yes, we would put you in the capsule for a while and through a series of various methods you come out of it a whole new person so to speak, of course I have thrown in a little Despair so you will belong to me. If this works I can subject others to it and I will have a whole army of Ultimate’s at my disposal! How awesome!” she switched her personality at least three times during those words.

“I would… like to… be the Ultimate Robotics Expert,” I said, and she looked at me intrigued.

“That’s quite a random one. You don’t think you can plan something against my Monokuma bots, do you?”

“I might be able to improve your Monokuma bots if I had that talent,” I replied.

“True, hmm, it is no risk to me since you’ll be conditioned to be loyal to me when you are in that capsule,”

“Exactly.” I muttered.

“Alright! Let’s fuckin do this!” she cried, and I was being led away by some of the Ultimate’s and found myself in this strange room which had a blue glow to it and there it was a capsule that I had to get inside. Nagito approached me.

“Allow me to prepare him,” he said to the others, and they let him. He led me to what appeared to be a shower room and he began to strip me and directed me to shower, once I was clean, he was waiting with what looked like a hospital gown which he helped me into. “Hajime, they want to wipe your personality first, that is the first step.” He said.

“I don’t care.” I replied feeling completely empty, my soul had already left me.

“I do,” he said and then he kissed me on the lips and that at least drew some emotion out of me. “I am so excited that you’re joining me, though Hajime! Robotics Expert? That’s a very interesting choice,” he said smiling brightly.

“It will be interesting.” I muttered. He led me back to the room. It was then that they placed something on my head, and after that everything was so surreal but the running words through my mind were Nagito… I am sorry I could not save you… I could not even save myself…

Chapter Text

Where am I? I feel… different… am I still… me? Who was I? I could not know. I became aware of the fact I had probably been lying down for some time and then I became aware of the gentle blue glow around me. A mechanical hissing sound hit my ears and then I felt cool air surrounding me. I opened my eyes to see an attractive face surrounded by messy white hair gazing in at me. I knew him… didn’t I? No… I don’t remember…

“Hajime?” he asked. Was that my name? Is that who I was? I slowly sat up and realised I had long dark hair falling in my face. “You look… so different,” that white-haired man spoke again and then a squeal pierced my ears.

“Oh yesss! He is absolutely beautiful!” A woman with blonde bunches bounded over towards me with big cutesy eyes. “Oh wow, he doesn’t look like how I imagine a robotics expert would look though, strange.”

“Robotics Expert you say?” was that my voice? It left my mouth, but it was cold. “I have all the talents,” I said. I could feel them coursing through me, I just knew things. If Hajime was who I had been before that was not who I was now. “Do I have a name?” I asked.

“Hajime Hinata,” the attractive white-haired man said.

“No, that is not who I am, perhaps… who I was…” I replied to him, and I noted on his face a trace of apprehension, perhaps sadness?

“I will call you after the project you were born from, Izuru Kamakura! Well, the project was actually just called the Kamakura Project but it was named after Hope’s Peak Founder Izuru Kamakura so that is your name.” the blonde-haired annoying woman with bunches said. I moved to get out the capsule, some pale hands moved to help me, again it was that white-haired man. He seemed to care for me, but emotions were boring. Emotions were not needed. They were illogical and complicated things unnecessarily. Gratitude was a waste of time, so I did not even thank him for his assistance.

“Servant, he is gorgeous like this! I’m getting all hot! I think I’ll steal him from you!” again the annoying one spoke, and she came to get close, but I stopped her in one easy movement, twisting her arm behind her back and slamming her against the capsule.

“Servant?” I asked.

“Oh, that’s me,” the white-haired man stepped forwards.

“I know none of you.” I said looking around me.

“Did we fuck it up?” a small blonde baby-faced man in a suit asked.

“No, I don’t think so,” annoying woman spoke. “This is wonderful!” she cried almost manically. Is this… insanity? I released her. “You can be right at my side, Mr Kamakura, I want to keep you close. I think we’ll call you The Ultimate Talent, if you possess all talents. In that at some point we did fuck it up but it’s fine, it worked out quite well.” She finished. “Servant, show Mr Kamakura to his room but no sexy times, I know he’s even hotter this way, but he must stay sharp.” She said. Servant led me away and I simply followed the attractive white-haired man who I sort of felt drawn to in a way I could not rationalise and that made this man dangerous. I stared at the back of his head as we walked to my room, and we entered.

“Hajime-“
“I do not believe that is my name, if that is who I used to be then he is dead,” I replied and he looked emotional ever so fleetingly. Emotions will be your downfall. “What was Hajime to you?” I asked.

“He was… my boyfriend,” he muttered, and I moved slowly towards him.

“That makes you dangerous, Servant, if you had feelings for Hajime and him, you.” I took hold of the chain around his neck and pulled on it, so he was forced to his knees, and I angled his head using the collar and chain, so he was looking up at me. “Will you be my servant?” I asked.

“Anything… anything…” he muttered breathlessly as though he was aroused by the mistreatment that I gave him.

“You go where I go.” I said to him, looking down with cold eyes.

“Always,” he replied.

Chapter Text

He looked so different. His hair was so long, and his cold red eyes peered through thick strands that fell in his face, not green eyes anymore. He was not my Hajime any longer, but he still filled me with excitement. Hajime had been a broken man until now. I had seen it in him and in our last moment together, I was glad we did that. At least I got to be with him one last time, even though I had not wanted it to begin with. That was how I knew Hajime was so broken, he would have immediately stopped if I had been asking him to. It was fine. Hajime Hinata was no more, and I do not think Hajime had been himself far before he broke in front of me and now Izuru Kamakura was in his body. Hajime was imbued with all talents, that had been my input, mine and Ryota Mitorai’s, we made him the most powerful of us all. Ryota Mitorai had not been subjected to Despair to turn him; he was so terrified of Junko he didn’t need to be turned. I had, however, convinced him to help me with Hajime in this project, it took a lot of convincing, but I persuaded him with my luck talent, telling him that it would go our way because I wanted it to, also that it might lead to the Hope at the end of this dark tunnel of Despair. My luck did not always guarantee things went my way but in most cases it does, sometimes I even don’t know it at the time. When I got taken by Fuyuhiko’s men and turned into a Despair, I had not wanted it but then, Junko’s words turned me around, I did want it, it became so clear. My own mind began making sense of it all, taking my own perspective on Despair. Despair became so beautiful to me, even if it was just the part it had to play in reaching the Hope I wished to attain in this world. Ah, how beautiful that Hope is going to be! It got me so excited I could almost not contain it. Looking up into Izuru Kamakura’s eyes from where he put me on the floor, also excited me, so much so it was getting to be uncomfortable.

“Servant, I know where my room is now, show me your room.” He said. Oh? I hope he did not have sexual desires for me, a lingering attraction… no, of course not, Hajime could hardly have been that attracted to me either. I was trash in all ways. I wanted to at least shower though, if he did, Hajime had taken me hours ago and I had not had the opportunity to wash. Izuru pulled me back to my feet and I led him down the hall to the end where my room was. It was not much of a room since I was a mere Servant. A role assigned to me because I disgusted Junko so much because of how I rambled on about Hope when she was turning me to Despair. The feeling was mutual. She disgusted me. I hated her; I saw even her as a steppingstone to Hope. I opened the door to my room and Izuru peered inside.

“This is barely a room,” he said, “where do you sleep?” he asked me.

“Anywhere, really, usually against the wall,” I replied since there was barely room to lie down. He tugged on my chain, using it like a lead.

“You will stay in my room, that way, I will always have you near in case I need something,” he said, his voice was so cold, so monotone and void of emotion but… was this decision derived from a lingering sense of caring for me? I was imagining it, surely. Mitorai and I had tried to override the part of the program that eradicated Hajime completely, but it seemed like that part had failed. We returned to Izuru’s room, and he looked around, he led me to the couch nearby and then released my chain. “You can sleep on here,” he said, obviously taking the bed, no Master should offer his bed to his Servant. This looked the most comfortable place I would have the privilege of sleeping in a long time. I looked over at Izuru as he climbed into his own bed, deciding it was bedtime. That was fine with me. I also laid back and stared up at the dark ceiling until sleep took me.

 

***

I awoke but who had any concept of time these days? It was likely long enough to have slept and I looked to find Izuru was also just rising as though we were in tune with one another’s sleep states. Unlikely.

“Did you sleep well, Izuru?” I asked him.

“I dreamt,” he muttered in response.

“What did you dream about?” I asked curiously.

“I think I dreamed I was this… Hajime you mentioned… I was on grass, eating lunch with you…” he muttered but left it at that.

“That sounds nice,” I smiled.

“I think it… was a memory,” Izuru muttered and then looked at me before climbing out of bed and taking the chain on my collar. “Come, we must go and see what is expected of us today.” He said.

“Um… Izuru, I would like to wash at some point, if I may?” I asked.

“Where do you normally wash?” he asked.

“I usually just get a bucket with water and a cloth,”

“Where am I to wash?” he asked.

“I imagine there is some washroom around here for you,”

“Then you use that too.” He replied. “Get to it.” he said like an order and I happily obeyed. After I was clean and dressed, he took me by the collar again and led me out to find the others. Junko was in her usual throne and today she had a Beast Monokuma either side of her which put me on edge. Everyone was here already, waiting around, Kazuichi the Ultimate Mechanic was tinkering with something off to the side. We stopped before Junko and she eyed us strangely.

“Have you claimed Servant as your own?” she asked.

“Yes.” Izuru replied. “He sleeps in my room now, not that inadequate space of which you provided him.”

“Oh? How interesting. Are there some residual feelings there from when you were Hinata?” she asked, and I looked around to Izuru.

“Feelings… emotions… are irrational and I have no need of them,” he replied coldly.

“Well, you won’t mind if we just… off him then?” she asked and then sent an order to one of those Beast Monokuma’s, fear sunk to the bottom of my stomach as it came towards me, wild claws ready.

“No…” I muttered and as it closed in, Izuru completely wiped it out with only his body and certain movements which were too fast to catch with the eye.

“Oh… wow.” Junko muttered. “You really are impressive.” She said. “Don’t worry, Servant, I thought he would do something like that I wasn’t really going to have you killed.” She said to me. I was relieved.

“Of course not, thanks Junko.” I replied smiling nervously. Izuru was looking at me, his face still held no emotion and still both excited me but also chilled me to the core. The fact that he felt dangerous but also still seemed to protect me, perhaps there was a little Hajime that remained. I could only Hope. I may have been Despair, but I still had feelings for Hajime, and I was beginning to fall for Izuru as well. I suppose, they were of the same body just different minds.

Chapter Text

I looked at Izuru as we sat in his room, and he tinkered with a Monokuma bot having assured Junko, he would improve it, but he wished to work in the privacy of his own room. I was just near, I had nothing much to do but watch him, I didn’t mind. I could not help but still see Hajime when I looked at him, despite the fact his appearance was so different. He did some work outs in the morning as well, I remember Hajime worked out a bit before all of this but when I saw him next, he had seemed quite skinny. Perhaps Izuru wanted to be stronger. He already seemed strong but perhaps physically he was still lacking. He was beautiful to me, as Hajime and as Izuru. I was still quite disappointed about mine and Ryota’s part in retaining my Hajime and its failure. Why he had to change so much I did not know, why Junko had to erase him… Izuru looked up from his work and over to me.

“Must you watch me?” he asked.

“I’m sorry, is there anything you would like me to do?” I replied.

“I require some water,” he said.

“Alright, I will fetch that water for you,” I agreed quickly and left. I arrived at the area where we kept all our food and supplies, some of which I had collected myself, so I knew there were some bottled waters around here somewhere. As I went to leave, Fuyuhiko appeared and stood in my way.

“Were you given permission to help yourself to a drink?” he asked.

“It’s for Izuru,” I replied.

“That man is dangerous, Servant, can’t you see it?” he replied.

“Dangerous, sure, but not to us.” I replied.

“How did you convince him to join us?”

“He was… broken… it all got too much for him and I think he was falling to Despair already,” I replied.

“I know you and Hajime were close, I remember from school, but he is not the same now.” Fuyuhiko reminded me of that painful truth. A truth that brought more Despair on top of the Despair that already filled my world.

“I see it all as steps towards Hope, that amazing Hope that will come of all this, as much as I love Despair, I still love Hope-“ I was interrupted by Fuyuhiko kicking at my knee causing me to hit the ground and then he stepped closer and slapped me hard across the face.

“Shut up about that Hope, you were a pain in the ass in school and you’re a pain in the ass now!” he hissed.

“I’m sorry,” I muttered holding my burning cheek.

“Get the fuck up, Junko was looking for you at Izuru’s room.” He ordered and I obeyed following him back to Izuru’s room. When I arrived, the Monokuma bot was walking and talking. Junko was jumping up and down positively ecstatic.

“I have programmed and installed an AI.” Izuru said.

“What can he do?” Junko asked with huge eyes.

“What can he do, you say?” the Monokuma bot spoke in a shrill and unnerving voice. “I can bring more Despair into the world, Despair to your hearts content! Ahaahahha!” the Monokuma bot cried, it hurt my ears.

“What would you like him to do?” Izuru asked Junko.

“I want to start another Killing Game, a better one with those still holding on to their Hope. He can be the mascot.” Junko said and then looked at me. “And I want Servant to be part of it.” she said, and I started to laugh. “You still need a little breaking down.”

“I will be the first to die, though, right?” I asked.

“Servant will not be participating.” Izuru replied.

“I am in charge here, Mr Kamakura, you need to learn that.” Junko said ad suddenly Fuyuhiko took hold of me securing my arms. He was stronger than he looked. Izuru walked over to me, but his eyes were on the Yakuza.

“Release him.” he ordered but the Yakuza did not falter. Suddenly Izuru took hold of Fuyuhiko and threw him across the room with little effort and just as suddenly the Monokuma bot exploded, and Junko went flying across the room from the explosion since she was close. “I can rig them all to explode, Enoshima,” he said as she pulled herself to her feet. “You will not subject my Servant to a Killing Game of Despair. He is mine.” He took the chain in his hands holding on to me. Fuyuhiko pulled himself to his feet also and brushed himself off.

“You’ll regret that,” the Yakuza said.

“Took the words right out of my mouth,” Junko said. “Let’s leave them for now, the game is not yet ready anyway.”

“Most of the Ultimates are already Despair, what sort of Killing Game do you envision making of such a small group?” Izuru asked and she just grinned before leaving without a word. Izuru turned to face me, those cold red eyes… he began caressing my face, but his touch was also cold, not even a slight hint of real affection and then he spoke. “I am compelled to protect you, though I do not know why. Why do I feel so drawn to something or someone for such an insignificant reason as beauty?” Beauty? “I am drawn to you, Servant, and yet, I hold nothing to emotions, they are pointless, and attraction is just as boring and pointless and yet…” he trailed off. “These words are meaningless.” He finished and I went from utterly swooning at him to sadness. Despair. He found trash like me beautiful, but his words were meaningless. I hated that word.

“Does that word not fill you with so much Despair, Izuru?” I asked him.

“I have no Despair; I have no Hope. I am just Ultimate Talent, possessing all talents,”

“What… will you do with all those talents?” I asked him but he did not reply. It was impossible to know what was going on inside his head. He did not seem to have much care or respect for Junko or for me and yet he protected me. Was Hajime still in there, somewhere? I had wanted him to join me in this Despair and perhaps understand my words after joining me but he was so different. He was drawn to me? He spoke of attraction and a need to protect, Hajime was still in there. That was my Hope at least.

Chapter Text

Izuru looked at me one evening after we had eaten and returned to his room, I could not read him, not even a little. We had so far been left alone by Junko and the other Despairs. I could see them whispering as we passed all the time, they watched us. I think they feared Izuru, I feared Izuru. The more I observed him, the more I felt Hajime was no longer part of him. There was nothing more Despair inducing right now.

“Servant, come here,” Izuru said, I felt he had been watching me for a while. “I have a need, but it has no sense or logic.” He said and I didn’t understand him. I went to him, and he began removing my jacket and allowed it to fall to the floor.

“Oh… you mean sex?” I asked him as my heart rate quickened at the thought.

“A desire… nothing can be gained from it… what is the point?” he asked me.

“Well, it’s fun,”

“Fun? What is the point in ‘fun’?” he asked.

“It’s enjoyable, people usually have sex because they are attracted to the person, they choose to do that with, though I never understood why Hajime chose me for that, but we did always enjoy it.” I said realising I went off on a tangent. “It can bring about release from stress and strengthen bonds.” I added.

“I have no need of any of those things, but I have a need to… remove the rest of your clothes.” He ordered. I felt a little exposed but obeyed, starting with my jumper and then I began at my jeans. He was watching me, I felt very self-conscious, he would look at me through Izuru’s eyes not Hajime’s.

“I am not good enough, I know,” I muttered with a smile.

“You are very skinny, no wonder you are so weak.” He said. “You will do.” he added making me feel worse than I made myself feel. It was wonderful, I felt he despised me more than I despised myself.

“I know, I am disgusting, I’m sorry,” I replied. What despairful sex we were about to have; I was both terrified and excited. Would he hurt me? The bruises from Hajime were fading now but that was different… Izuru began to remove his own clothes and stood before me, robotic, no passion in any of his approach but I did not expect that to be part of this.

“On the bed,” he said, and I climbed on, the chain still on my neck making my movements a little awkward. He climbed on beside me and took the chain pulling me to a sitting position and then he forced me onto all fours.

“Izuru…” I muttered.

“Must we talk during sex?” he asked as he held the chain in both hands. I shook my head looking back around at him and he proceeded to tie the chain to the head of his bed behind me and then moved into position.

“Izuru, it is always better with a little lubricati- ah!” he started anyway. This was uncomfortable but he seemed to be a little lubricated by precum already.

“If you talk too much, the chain gets pulled,” he said as he held onto my skinny hips and thrust inside of me. I didn’t really want that, I had enough of the chain, it hurt, and I could feel the bruises on my neck and collar bone. I bit my lip trying to remain silent as he continued to thrust. He began to make slight sounds of pleasure, but I was not feeling it. “Is this… enjoyable?” he asked. I was scared to say no but for me it was not.

“If it is for you then that is fine, I do not deserve to feel enjoyment from it,” I replied instead.

“Then you are not enjoying it,” he pulled on the chain but not hard just guided me upright and held me close to him, I could feel his body pressed against my back. It felt nice and the discomfort was slightly less for this position.

“Could you… maybe… go slower?” I asked him and suddenly I felt the release of the chain, he had the key nearby, I had not even realised he had it and I was released as it fell away. He softly caressed my neck, running his hand over the bruises. It felt nice to be free and his touch, although still void of much affection was welcome. He adhered to my wishes and thrust his hips more gently, that was it. I closed my eyes and let my head fall back against his shoulder as he held me in place to receive his thrusts. It felt so good… so good… Hajime….

“Hajime…” I breathed as I came from his gentle movements inside of me.

“Nagito…” I heard whisper in my ear, causing my eyes to open and he let out a pleasurable moan finishing inside of me, just as slowly as I had requested and he released me suddenly and in my shock at hearing my name… at his response to calling him Hajime I fell forwards onto the bed and looked around at him, his eyes, no longer cold spilled with tears as he looked down at me.

“Haji… Hajime?” I asked and he suddenly cried out crashing beside me, he growled in frustration or like he was in pain or confused, disoriented.

“Nagito?” he said through his cries. I went to go to him, but he pushed me away and threw himself off the bed, his breathing was heavy and fast as he crouched on all fours, but then suddenly it stopped. He looked at me again and stood. Those eyes… cold once more. What had just happened?

“Where is your chain?” Izuru asked, that was the most Despair inducing moment, the Hope of having Hajime back taken just as fast. I just smiled and handed him the chain collar to be put around my neck once more. “I feel no release from that, it was pointless,” he said and disappeared into his washroom. It wasn’t pointless for me… but it did fill me with Despair…

Chapter Text

Izuru had begun to work on Monokuma bots within the laboratory, I was guessing he wanted privacy for his first look at their design. He had also started working with Kazuichi Soda on another project since he was the Ultimate Mechanic and good with machines. Izuru never let me out of his sight though, I was always in the lab with him. Bored. I could visit Ryota though, he was not far so I decided to do that, he was locked away in an office surrounded by screens working on another project for Junko. When I entered, he panicked and hid some of his designs from me. I smiled.

“You are terrified of her, aren’t you?” I asked him.

“You should be too, but you did not see what I saw…” Ryota said, he looked tired, like he had not slept for such a long time.

“I did see what you saw. Good people, our classmates falling to Despair,”

“And then you fell with them…” he said looking up at me from his seat.

“Yes but it was the best thing that could have happened to me, the boy who loved Hope then comes to love Despair as its accompaniment-“
“Please, don’t start one of your monologues… I’m already exhausted,” he said, and I stopped.

“I was wondering if you had found out where the Kamakura project went wrong? We were supposed to retain Hajime, there was a… moment… I thought I was talking with Hajime again but that wasn’t the case it would seem.”

“I know, I have no clue what went wrong but I think…” he looked around himself and to some of the monitors, surveillance some of them were. Junko was in her throne room with some of the other Ultimate’s. “Komaeda…” he whispered, “she is planning something, she knew what we tried to do, Hajime… he is not erased… not completely but… I cannot be sure, but I think somehow part of him is still within the Kamakura Project, perhaps still in Izuru but… I cannot be certain. I should not have said anything!” he began to panic.

“I’m not entirely sure I follow you, so I think you’re ok, you didn’t tell me anything.” I replied smiling. “Do you know anything about this Killing Game she’s been talking about?” I asked.

“I cannot say! I won’t say!” Ryota panicked again and he completely clammed up.

“She can’t hear you, just tell me,” I said.

“Get out! Leave me alone! Please!” he put his head in his arms cowering.

“Urgh!” I said in annoyance.

“What is going on?” I heard that cold voice at the door.

“Oh no! Please just leave me alone! All of you!” Ryota cried in fear. Izuru came to me and again he took hold of the chain pulling so hard as he walked off that I crashed to the ground. Ouch. He stopped and turned to me, looking down at me, no emotion, no care. I winced as I tried to pull myself to my feet, his cold red eyes watching me the whole time.

“Are you going to be more trouble that you’re worth?” Izuru asked me and I laughed awkwardly.

“Probably,” I replied, and he just turned pulling on the chain and this time I moved my feet in time with him, so I didn’t crash to the ground again, he led me to where he worked with Kazuichi and padlocked my chain to the leg of one of the workstations. Really? I thought, feeling like a pet again. Oh well, I guess that is all I am good for, I felt like he was even less Hajime than he was before. I sat on the floor and Kazuichi was glaring down at me.

“Back to your old ways, causing trouble again?” he asked me.

“Seems that way, I’m sorry.” I replied. Izuru kicked me.

“Quiet, we’re working.” He hissed. Ouch, again. He had changed towards me, was what Ryota said true, had a part of Hajime remained? If so, was that part… disappearing? There must be something good coming of this… all this Despair… there has to be… that bright Hope that springs from true Despair… my Hope… that beautiful Hope from all of this beautiful Despair… something good has to come… I believe it… I can accept this Despair the same way I always accepted my Bad Luck because Good Luck always outweighed it and building this Despair… it is all leading to one thing… Hope. The most beautiful Hope the world has ever seen!

Chapter Text

We walked into Junko’s throne room and saw the prisoners, they looked over at us, I recognised the Ultimate’s that were still free from Despair. Makoto Naegi, Ultimate Lucky Student like me only the year below, they had resisted, Aoi Asahina, his friend and Ultimate Swimming Pro, Kyoko Kirigiri had also been taken Ultimate Detective those from the class below me at Hope’s Peak. Gundham Tanaka, Ultimate Breeder from my class but his girlfriend Sonia Nevermind, Ultimate Princess although she was no prisoner, she had joined our ranks, fallen to Despair in the chaotic Battle Royal game, also Mahiru Koizumi, Ultimate Photographer had survived Despair so far…. There were so few. Other Ultimate’s had escaped our attack on the Future Foundation Bunker so there was still more out there. I also noticed some non-ultimate’s who I knew we had imprisoned, Yuta Asahina and Komaru Naegi. Junko began laughing shrilly, psychotically and Ryota was at her side cringing at the sound. He barely looked me in the eye, what had she made him do?

“My Killing Game is ready!” Junko cried ear piercingly, she irritated me, she was too loud. “My secret weapon was Chihiro Fujisaki! Another prisoner of mine. Thanks to her… ahem… him… I was able to complete it in my design, it was Future Foundation supposed to be something to do with Hope, how hilarious, but now it is Despair! All Despair!” she cried gleefully. “Izuru lent a hand too, of course,”

“You won’t break us, Junko!” Makoto cried.
“We will not submit!” Gundham joined. They were so honourable, their Hope so strong. Just what I would suspect of Ultimate’s. I was practically drooling watching them.

“I could have done it the easy way like with everyone else, but this is so much more fun!” Junko clapped her hands together. “Thanks to Mr Kamakura we have the main mascot who will take the lead on this!” everyone looked to Izuru.

“Who is he?” Gundham asked.

“It’s Hajime…” Makoto muttered solemnly.

“How do you know?” Aoi asked.

“I just do…” Makoto said looking down.

“What did you do to him?” Mahiru cried out.

“Servant, help them get ready,” Junko ordered, and I looked to Izuru and he made no protest at least it did not seem she planned to put me into this Killing Game anymore.  I went to them, and I stopped over Komaru Naegi, she looked terrified, trembling before me. I put my hand to her chin and lifted her face, so she looked up at me.

“Don’t touch her!” Makoto cried. I looked from her to him then back to her.

“I wonder… I wonder if you have as much Hope as your brother…”

“She does and we will never fall to Despair!” Makoto cried out desperate he was. I smiled and looked back at him.

“That’s what I wanted to hear,” I muttered and then stood “because if you do fall with Hope so strong, that will be the most despairful thing!” I cried out excitedly and was about to make moves to direct them where Junko led but I backed up into a large body, it was Nekomaru, he had somehow silently appeared behind me. I looked up at his fierce eyes.

“You should watch your step,” he said.

“I’ll bear that in mind.” I laughed but suddenly he took hold of my chain hoisting me up over his shoulder carrying me away. It was choking me, I looked at Izuru and he made no moves to protect me this time as he had done so before. I pulled at the collar trying to get a bit of relief, it hurt, and I certainly didn’t want to die this way, it was pathetic and meaningless. Finally, I was dropped to the ground gasping for breath in a mix of coughs and splutters, he had not carried me far but that was uncomfortable. Izuru appeared before me and lifted me by the chain, no more… I wanted to say but I was frozen. Who was I to ask for mercy? Was more Despair coming my way? I welcome it. The Hope can only be the better for it.

“I was turned around to the idea of this Killing Game, intrigued as to the outcome, this Hope you speak of and this Despair… You were useful for a time… you taught me… little but you have become utterly useless to me,” he said and for some reason those words hurt. I was useless though, worthless. It was fine at least he got me right, Hajime always tried to tell me otherwise and this… was not Hajime. I looked around me and I saw pods and the Ultimate’s holding onto Hope were forced inside them and then I was lifted and thrown into one. Junko approached my pod.

“Do you like this? We recovered all this from that Bunker, thanks to you, Servant,” Junko began. “First, we erase some of those memories and then… the fun can begin…” Junko said. “Oh, and if you die in there, you die out here!” she burst into maniacal laughter as she informed those of us about to enter this Killing Game and the last thing I remember was Mikan Tsumiki leaning into my pod, lips dripping with saliva bringing a syringe to my neck and Junko’s shrill laughter faded away….

Chapter Text

Where am I? Who am I? I felt incomplete, almost like I wasn’t real… I could hear something… the gentle swishing sound of water… wavesthe ocean… I felt sun on me, it was warm… sand… I was lying on sand…

“Hey,” I heard a soft voice, right next to me and I opened my eyes to look up find the face the voice belonged to. I saw a guy with messy white hair looking over me, he looked concerned. “You ok? You took longer to wake than the rest of us,” he said in a calm voice and began to help me upright.

“What happened? Where are we?” I asked feeling disoriented. I struggled to recall my last memory.

“Hey, we all feel the same way, don’t act like its worse for you!” a red headed girl said.

“You’re right but he’s just woke up give him a sec,” a short boy in a hoodie said. I didn’t know these people…

“What is going on here? How did we end up here?” A girl with striking blue eyes and a red jacket spoke.

“You all got terribly sick on that boat,” we heard a shrill voice and looked around but could see nothing.

“Who said that?” I demanded.

“I did!” we still could not see where that voice was coming from.

“Show yourself!” A strange looking gothic guy yelled.

“You idiots, I’m right here!” again, nowhere. “Ahaahahahhahahah!” that laugh was painfully annoying. We looked all around and suddenly a black and white bear appeared in front of us. A… stuffed animal? What the hell was going on? “I take it none of you know each other? Let’s get the pleasantries over with, shortie over there is Makoto Naegi, the plain girl beside him is his sister Komaru Naegi, Little Miss Blue eyes over there is Aoi Asahina, the male version is her little brother Yuta Asahina. Ah, I’m bored of this already!” the bear cried and then sighed, “Stone-Faced girl is Kyoko Kirigiri, Goth-boy is Gundham Tanaka, Redhead is Mahiru Koizumi, Fluffy Cloud Head is Nagito Komaeda, and Spikey Head is Hajime Hinata.” That was my name! And why was the red jacket of the girl with the blue eyes so familiar? Nagito Komaeda? The white hair… familiar… no I knew none of these people.

“How did we get here?” the one named Gundham demanded.

“I told you a boat, how else do you get to an island? Well, I suppose a plain, but it was a boat!” the obnoxious bear snapped.

“What the hell are we doing here?” I demanded but faltered, the white-haired boy Nagito, he steadied me since he was near. I neglected to thank him; I was too disoriented.

“You have a handbook in your pockets, it has a map, that will tell you key locations on the island, including where you will sleep.” The bear said. “Oh, I forgot to introduce the main character! Myself! I’m Monokuma! I will be your Overseer on this Island Killing Game!” he said, and we suddenly looked up from the electronic handbooks and over to him, he slapped his hands over his mouth. “Oops, I just let it slip, didn’t I? Killing Game! Killing, death, murder, death, dead! Ahahahahha! Walking corpses all of you, not like zombies but like y’know, you aint got much time! Despair! That is the goal! Despair! Despair! You might wanna check the rules in those handbooks.” what the hell was this manic bear on about? What the hell was happening? How the hell did we all get here suddenly? I felt sick.

“Killing Game?” the one named Makoto asked.

“We won’t participate in something so ridiculous, and you can’t make us!” Mahiru said.

“If everyone is killing each other I won’t last long,” the one name Nagito said but he didn’t look too scared about it. What the hell is this?

“I won’t do this!” I stepped forwards.

“Oh, I think you will, if you ever want to leave this place!”

“What?” I asked.

“I’m sure you’ll find reasons for the killing to start, or I’ll find you some. I don’t care how you murder each other just hurry up about it!” he said and suddenly pulled out a huge crate that looked too big for him to be moving. Nothing made sense. The crate opened and in it were an array of weapons, knives of all sizes… spears… clubs… chains and ropes, duct tape as though somebody might get tied up… no guns though. I stepped back.

“Don’t touch those!” Makoto cried out. “Everyone, run!” he said, and we agreed all running off the beach and found ourselves on a path.

“How do we leave?” Mahiru asked.

“I told ya that,” the bear again suddenly appeared before us. “You have to kill. Kill, kill, kill!”

“No! I won’t kill anyone!” I cried out.

“I don’t mind dying,” Nagito said.

“Nobody is dying!” I yelled at him.

“If anyone has to die though, it should probably be me, right? I mean you just have to look at me to realise I’m trash,” he said with a smile. Nobody was dying here.

“Stop talking like that!” I snapped at him irritated by this guy already.

“We won’t do this!” Makoto said meeting me at my side before Monokuma and for a moment it felt like we were both staring down this ridiculous stuffed animal. Standing strong against him as the bears lifeless eyes looked on at us, silence. It was like a stand-off and suddenly the bear broke the silence.

“Ah suit yourselves…” he disappeared. We each looked at one another perplexed.

“If we got here on a boat, I did not see one so it must have left some time ago,” Kyoko said.

“Makoto… what do we do?” Komaru asked joining her brother’s side.

“We won’t be killing each other; we have to find a way off this island.” Makoto said and met my eyes. I nodded once but that nausea did not leave me. I was so confused, so disoriented that had been a lot to take in.

“There’s a hotel site here, I’m guessing we stay there?” Mahiru asked as she looked at that e-handbook.

“I’ve got a feeling that bear won’t let this go so easily,” Nagito said. “Honestly, if someone has to die one of you can kill me.” he said, and I walked up to him and slapped him hard across the face.

“Get it together!” I yelled at him.

“Wow, Hajime, you’re pretty violent, maybe it’ll be you who kills me.” He said and we all took a step back from him. “Yeah, I have that effect on people,” Nagito sighed.

“What is with you?” Mahiru asked.

“He is but a foolish human with a desire to find the afterlife of which he is destined, but I can sense he will only find the burning fires of the underworld.” Gundham muttered.

“Heh, that sounds scary, but you got me wrong.” Nagito said. “Have any of you had a chance to gather your thoughts? I guess not, maybe just me. I remember being at school, Hope’s Peak to be exact, I vaguely recognise Gundham and Mahiru but the rest of you I have no idea who you are, but it has been my assertion that you are all Ultimate’s too.”

“That is correct,” Gundham said.

“Yes, I remember being accepted into that school, my talent is known as Ultimate Detective,” Kyoko said.

“I was… Ultimate Swimming Pro…” Aoi muttered standing close to her brother.

“I was known as the Ultimate Breeder, I tame all levels of demons,” Gundham added firmly as hamsters appeared out of his scarf.

“I was… Ultimate Photographer,” Mahiru spoke.

“I was… I don’t remember…” I realised…

“That’s fair, you were the most confused when you woke,” Nagito said with a smile as though to reassure me.

“I got accepted on the Lottery as Ultimate Lucky Student,” Makoto said.

“Me too,” Nagito smiled excitedly, “but there was only one of those for each year’s intake, right? What about the siblings?” he asked looking at Komaru and Yuta.

“I’m quite athletic but not on the same level as my sister,” Yuta muttered. “I don’t have an Ultimate talent,”

“Neither do I, I’m just a normal girl.” Komaru replied and Nagito’s expression darkened.

“So… the two of you are even more worthless than me but not by much, you should sacrifice yourselves too.” he said, and everyone gasped appalled.

“You stay away from my sister!” Makoto cried standing in front of Komaru protectively. Nagito laughed.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” I asked him.

“Do I really need to explain myself? It should be obvious.” Nagito replied impatiently.

“Forget him, just leave him.” Mahiru said and began walking towards the hotel area, one after the other we followed. Nagito managed to match his steps with mine to my annoyance.

“Hajime, its strange that you can’t remember your talent, I wonder if you are one of them, like Komaru and Yuta, a worthless person with no talent.”
“Having no talent doesn’t make a person worthless, Nagito, there is more to life…” I trailed off as I felt a pang in my chest. I stopped in my tracks.

“Hajime?” he stopped with me looking at me. I looked back at him; he was annoying as hell but… I suddenly felt drawn to him for some reason and my words just then… why were they so… familiar?

“I am… so confused… this clearly isn’t right,” I said frustratedly.

“Hey, Hajime,” Makoto said coming to me, “we’re in this together, all of us, we’ll get through this, whatever is going on. We just need to stick together and stay strong. Right?” Makoto asked. “Don’t lose Hope.” He said with a strangely reassuring smile.

“Hope?” Nagito asked. “Yes, that’s what you Ultimate’s are all about! Symbols of Hope! Hope of humanity if anyone can beat this its you guys! That’s why I’d gladly offer myself as a sacrifice-“ I took hold of Nagito by the front of his jacket and pushed him against a near tree.

“I don’t want you to do that!” I yelled at him. “Makoto is right, we have to stick together and not do what that stupid bear is asking us to do!” I yelled.

“Nagito… stay with us, ok?” Makoto said stepping forwards and he put his hand on my arm. “Hajime, calm down, yeah?” he smiled at me, it was so disarming. I released Nagito.

“I’m sorry… hearing you talk like that, Nagito… it isn’t right.” I said and he just looked at me with big eyes and a puzzled expression.

“Is anyone hungry? I kind of… eat when I’m stressed…” Aoi said putting a hand on her grumbling belly.

“Sure,” Makoto smiled.

“Let’s go find our beds and get some food,” Mahiru agreed.

“We’ll eat together,” Makoto suggested, and we all agreed heading in the direction of the Hotel Site. What the hell was going on? I was just… going through the motions… following these people I had no idea who they were or if I could trust any of them. Nagito already pissed me off, I thought all that talk earlier was his version of hysteria given our situation, hence why I slapped him, but it seems he is just insane. At least the rest seem fairly level-headed. I had a horrible feeling; no, I was certain, Nagito was right though and that black and white bear would be back.

Chapter Text

We had found the hotel and were sitting in the restaurant where a convenient amount of food was laid out before us. We were a little hesitant to eat it, but our stomachs compelled us. We all sat, Kyoko and Mahiru were trawling through the E-Handbook we had been given and I just stared off into space until that crazy guy came and sat beside me after he had eaten alone on a table separate from the rest of us. I looked at him slowly and he just smiled. Urgh!

“Hajime, I’m sorry I upset you-“
“It’s not me you should be apologising to!” I snapped.

“It is, I mean, you could be the worthiest one out of us all. That talent you can’t remember, what if its something amazing?” he asked with an excited grin.

“I doubt it.” I replied.

“Or it could be that you’re actually the most worthless…”

“Why do you talk like that, Nagito?”

“He’s clearly just nuts, don’t try to understand him.” Mahiru said looking up from her handbook.

“I’m sorry, it is just my personal beliefs, I’m kind of relieved you all know me already but it is kind of disappointing that you don’t understand-“
“How could we understand, Nagito?” I asked him but calmly despite my inner feelings towards his so-called beliefs.

“Well, you could be the one worthy to bring the world a Great Hope, only those born with talent can do that and since my talent is worthless, that can’t really fall to me, so I’d happily be the first to die. I don’t really consider myself among the Ultimate’s but then we also have completely talentless people among us, those two who, even if they try, they can never really be considered worthy.”

“Nagito, what the hell happened to you for you to feel these… extreme feelings towards talent?” I asked and he just laughed.

“Oh, you don’t want my life story, Hajime,” he said but part of me kind of did at least then I might gain some measurement of understanding.

“If you touch my brother, you will regret it.” Aoi said and Nagito laughed again.

“These rules…” Kyoko spoke, interrupting this pointless talk, and we all looked at her, “if there is a murder… a class trial will be held and an ensuing execution… either the so called ‘blackened’ or murderer if found guilty through appropriate investigation will be executed or… everyone else if we do not reach the correct conclusion.” She continued.

“This is horrible.” Aoi said panicked.

“But we have the Ultimate Detective! I’m sure we’ll be fine!” Nagito said but we all ignored him.

“We just have to stick together; we won’t be killing each other that’s for sure.” Makoto said.

“This really is a despairful situation we find ourselves in,” Nagito spoke again. “But it also presents an opportunity!” he smiled widely.

“Can someone just knock this guy out for a bit?” I muttered feeling exhausted and putting my head on my arms on the table.

“You’re not gonna do it yourself?” Nagito asked sounding disappointed.

“Seriously?” I asked him.

“I’m sorry, I almost can’t help it. This is so exciting! The situation we find ourselves in here is a rare opportunity-“

“Stop!” I snapped standing from my seat and slamming my hands flat on the table we had been sat at. He just stared up at me a moment and blinked.

“Everyone needs to remain calm,” Kyoko said, “we need to figure out our course of action,”

“I don’t… I’m so tired…” Aoi rubbed her eyes.

“We’ll be alright, I won’t let anyone hurt you,” her little brother Yuta told her.

“I’m more worried about you,” she replied and glared over at Nagito. He smiled and laughed.

“I guess my ideals make me that guy. Honestly it is just what I believe, I simply yearn for a bright hope, the brightest hope can only come from individuals such as yourselves, well, the Ultimate’s here anyway, and from the foundations of Despair. It will provide the steppingstones to reach that Hope.” I was about to lose it on this guy but then Makoto spoke.

“Nagito… why do you see it that way?” he asked, and I realised it was a good question.

“Tell me, Makoto, you have Ultimate Level Luck, how has it been living with that your whole life?” Nagito asked.

“Well, it doesn’t really affect my life daily. There was this one time when Komaru and I were kids, we were about to cross the road, we were holding hands and the road was clear and as we stepped into the road, I sprained my ankle on the curb and we both fell down just at that moment a car apprehended by the police sped by,” he said.

“We would have both been killed for sure,” Komaru added.

“That’s amazing!” Nagito said with a big smile and even bigger eyes. “What came after?” he asked.

“What do you mean?” Makoto asked.

“Well, that was a pretty big act of good luck, was it followed by bad luck?” Nagito asked.

“My luck seems on the surface as bad luck, but it actually results in something good. My ankle still gives me problems sometimes,” Makoto said. I couldn’t help but think he had just told us all a potential weak spot if anyone here were planning to kill.

“What else happened? Any other examples?” Nagito asked.

“Nothing as extreme as that,” Makoto replied and Nagito looked disappointed.

“Oh, so it hasn’t greatly impacted your life at all.” He muttered.

“What is your luck all about then?” Komaru asked.

“You don’t want to hear about me,” he replied now with a smile.

“If it helps us understand you a little better than maybe we should.” I said.

“I’ll tell you this, my life has been one big cycle of Good Luck and Bad Luck, it always balances out. Something bad happens to me, I know it’ll be alright because something amazing always happens after! That is the Good Luck. I see this Despair as the Bad Luck and the Good Luck at the end of all this will be that Hope!” he looked excited but less manic than before as he explained to us. “That’s what I believe.” He finished with a smile.

“I guess… that makes sense…” I found myself muttering without thinking. He met my eyes and smiled; his eyes were shining a little as he looked at me. I suddenly wondered what everyone else thought and I had just blurted that out.

“I still can’t agree with your outlook on human lives,” Kyoko said.

“Yeah, that’s really messed up.” Mahiru agreed.

“You are all insects to me, but I still value every life, no matter how small.” Gundham spoke.

“How about we try and reach that hope you love by beating this despair together and building our friendships, the opposite of what that Monokuma wants?” Makoto suggested with a smile to Nagito.

“I don’t think that’s possible.” Nagito said seeming almost disappointed.

“Why not?” Komaru asked joining her brother’s optimism.

“It just isn’t,” he muttered.

“Why don’t we try?” I suggested, maybe Makoto’s optimism was infectious.

“I think we could all become friends,” Komaru added smiling.

“I don’t believe that is how we achieve the hope I dream of,” Nagito said. He was adamant his way was the only one.

“Let us try and convince you otherwise,” I suggested.

“We could throw a pool party!” Aoi cried.

“And completely ignore the instructions of that bear? I have a bad feeling,” Kyoko muttered. I did too but we had to fight this. We had to. This Killing Game… we could not let it even begin…. What could he do or whoever was behind this, what could they do to make us kill? They couldn’t force us….

Chapter Text

We were exhausted so we postponed the day at the pool to the following day. My head was spinning, and I really just needed to lay down. I entered my cottage, it looked nice, this whole place looked like it could be a really chilled holiday resort with the tropical beach and the pool by the hotel… but for us it was a nightmare. I rested my head, deciding that was all I was good for right now…. At 10pm, I was rudely awoken by the monitor in my bedroom flashing on and Monokuma announcing night-time, was this to be a daily thing? I had already been asleep and once he had finished, I closed my eyes again and tried to drift back.

***

The morning was greeted with Monokuma again on that fucking monitor, I wanted to smash it, but I recalled a rule about damaging property. I felt like I had not had proper sleep, despite resting my head as soon as I hit my cottage. I rubbed my eyes and decided to head out. I had an ominous feeling as I stepped outside and sure enough as I walked around to the pool, he was there. Nagito Komaeda that weird guy was sat on one of the loungers, he had taken off his jacket and hung it over the back of the lounger and looked like he was just gazing off into space. I drew in a breath, I could at least be civil, but I really hoped someone else woke soon too, so I wasn’t stuck with him. I walked and stood beside him; he had a dark expression as he sat watching the pool water glisten under the already heightening sun.

“Good morning, Hajime,” he said.

“Morning,” I replied.

“Did you sleep well?” he asked.

“What do you think?” I replied.

“Me neither,”

“I thought you were excited about this whole thing?” I snapped.

“Well, I am only because it is a chance for the Ultimate’s to shine! But I had… some dreams… they kind of felt like… memories and I woke up feeling confused.” He said.

“Memories? Really?” I asked him and sat on the lounger beside him, now interested in what he had to say.

“I already said I vaguely recognised Mahiru and Gundham but I couldn’t really remember them. I had a strange dream about you last night,” he said, and I was horrified.

“About me?” I asked suddenly.

“It might not mean anything,” he muttered.

“Well, are you gonna tell me about it?” I asked frustrated.

“I don’t think so, you would probably think I’m messing with you.” He sounded almost depressed.

“To be honest, I feel like something more is missing, not just my memories and despite your craziness, I felt a draw to you as though I knew you but… would I really have been friends with someone like you? I don’t know.”

“Someone like me, huh?” he asked and looked at me, he had an almost sad smile on his face.

“You have to tell me what you dreamt, if it involves me and it might be a memory, it’s only fair you share it.” I said plainly.

“No,” he replied.

“Nagito-“ we were interrupted when Makoto and his sister came up the walkway, shortly followed by the others. I had to dismiss Nagito’s words at least for now. We decided to have breakfast and then we found the Rocketpunch Supermarket, where we gathered all kinds of inflatables and other things to have fun in the pool. We also had to pick out swimsuits. I was even starting to enjoy myself, but the reality of our situation was still in the back of my mind. Could we really beat this just by ignoring it? Even though Nagito didn’t believe it, he was still helping us fetch things and looked like he was having fun too. We even shared a smile as we gathered drinks and snacks to have by the pool. I hoped he was not going to be a problem and what was with that dream, he refused to tell me about? That guy….

We all walked to the pool with the last of our supplies looking forward to this day of fun. Yuta and Komaru, the youngest of us tossed the inflatables into the water and Nagito and I lined up some coolers by the pool filling them with ice and putting our drinks inside.

“You getting into this, Nagito?” I asked him, feeling hopeful at the prospect.

“It could be fun but making friends is not really a reality for me.” he said, and I didn’t get it so instead I decided to push aside my prior feelings towards him, and I held out my hand.

“Let’s try,” I said, and he looked surprised at the gesture and hesitantly took my hand. “We can do this, Nagito.” I added with a smile, and he returned it by taking my hand. I was forcing optimism, perhaps out of a form of denial, I had no idea, all I knew was that Makoto was trying really hard so at least the rest of us could do the same. Next, we headed to our cottages to change into our swimsuits meeting by the pool after.

“Yes! This is great!” Aoi said as she was already in the pool with her brother.

“Let’s race!” Yuta suggested and she laughed.

“You know you can’t beat me,” Aoi teased back. Healthy sibling rivalry, it was nice to see them having fun. I wasn’t ready to get in the pool just yet, so I retrieved a drink and realised Nagito had the same idea, we sat on some of the loungers, a whole lounger space between us. Seeing Nagito in just his swimming shorts, I realised just how pale that guy was. Did he get out much to get any sun? He noticed me looking and laughed.

“You checking me out, Hajime?” he asked with a smile and I felt my cheeks burn.

“Ah, no, of course not!”

“Hmm, I probably disgust you, right?” he replied. Well, no he didn’t at all except for how he was and the way he talked about human lives, but physically he was even kind of attractive. What the hell? It was probably nothing, but I had enough of my memory to realise I was attracted to other guys as well as girls. Was that what drew me towards him before I realised the depths of his insanity? I was feeling a little bashful around the girls in their swimsuits too. Aoi had opted for a plain one, I thought it fitting that the Ultimate Swimming Pro would wear a practical one, but she certainly filled it out, stop thinking about it! I noticed Mahiru had chosen a dark green bikini with a tank top style which really suited her. Kyoko had picked out a purple one piece and it had frilly bits at the bottom, Komaru had chosen a pink one piece and Yuta picked some shorts in black with some white stripes around the leg at the bottom. I had just picked out blue shorts, but they had a bit of pattern on one leg and Makoto’s were plain red. Nagito’s were a dark green colour similar to his hoodie, I guess he just liked that colour and Gundham’s were simply black but that was predictable. Everyone was looking quite relaxed, and Makoto was sitting by the pool with his sister who had decided to slip into the water and lounge on one of the inflatables we had brought from the supermarket. I’ll probably get in the pool in a bit, I didn’t feel comfortable right now. I sipped my drink and watched as Aoi and Yuta completed their race, Aoi won, of course.

“I might beat you one day, sis,” Yuta said in his defeat.

“I doubt it.” she teased back, and they started to splash around and play together. It was sweet until Komaru got splashed but then she jumped from her inflatable lounger and joined the fun. I laughed watching them bond.

“That looks fun,” Nagito said as he finished his drink. It did look fun and as Nagito went back for another drink, I had an idea. He would make friends and strengthen his bonds and then perhaps he would change his view on any human life being considered worthless if he began to see these others as friends. I followed him and just as he reached into the cooler, I grabbed him by the waist and threw him into the pool, he came back up rubbing the water out of his eyes and smoothing back his long now very wet hair and he looked up at me as I grinned down at him, he laughed and splashed some water up at me and I jumped in after him taking one of the foam floats and started batting him with it, he laughed and squirmed away reaching for his own one, we were all laughing and soon, Aoi, Yuta and Komaru were taken in by the fun and joined us. Makoto soon followed, the only ones not joining in were Kyoko, Mahiru and Gundham.

“Hey, stop!” Nagito was the one to concede. “I swallowed too much water,” he said with a disgusted expression.

“Get him!” Yuta cried and we all went for him, but Yuta got there first and dunked him under the water. “Loser gets dunked!” he laughed and then let him back up again. Nagito was coughing but also still laughing. “You’re not going to complete the job?” He asked bringing the mood back down but just a notch.
“Nagito, nobody is going to kill you so give up on that one already” I said, and he laughed.

“Of course, that is disappointing,” he muttered, and I couldn’t help but find amusement in his words and his depressed expression, so I laughed.

“Nagito, you’re a really strange guy,” I said, and he laughed too.

“Yeah, I get that a lot,”

“That was so much fun!” Komaru cried and I thought she was cute, in a younger sister kind of way, she was a middle-schooler. I looked over to Kyoko and I couldn’t help but feel she was behaving as though she was on look-out as she stood by the pool.

“This was a great idea, guys,” I said as I began to feel more relaxed, I was starting to feel that we really could be friends, even Nagito, maybe a little, might be safer to keep him at a distance but he didn’t seem like a bad guy he just had some troubling views.

“What the hell is this?” we heard that voice and then saw an angry Monokuma at the far end of the pool with his arms up. “You’re not supposed to be having fun!” he yelled, and we all moved to the opposite end of the pool. Aoi and her brother both climbed out. “If this is happening, I have no choice but to provide a motive.” He said.

“A… motive?” Makoto muttered.

“Has anyone checked their mailboxes recently?”

“Stop it!” we heard another voice cry, another annoying voice and suddenly a rabbit in a dress appeared, another stuffed animal that talked, I felt nauseous.

“How did you get free?” Monokuma asked.

“Don’t listen to Monokuma! He’s a big meanie, you just have to keep doing what you’re doing, that’s what this is all about, love, love.”
“What the fuck?” I found myself saying.

“This is about despair and if I have to get things rolling to induce that despair then I will!” Monokuma suddenly produced what looked like an electrical device, it had a long cord leading back to the hotel. No…. those of us left in the pool clambered to get out, Nagito was just behind me, and I helped him out quickly, while Makoto helped his sister and the electrical device was tossed in, electrifying the pool. That was too close!

“You can’t do that!” the rabbit cried.

“I can do whatever I want!” Monokuma shouted. “I am Overseer on this island. Oh, on second thoughts… I think I’ll just collect those back up; we have some new arrivals, it wouldn’t be fair if you received your motives, first, huh.”

“New arrivals?” Aoi asked.

“What is this?” Kyoko asked.

“A Killing Game I told you, what are you stupid? And now we have more bodies!” Monokuma cried triumphantly. The gates behind us just past the cottages opened and in walked some more people around our age. “I’ll leave you to make your acquaintances,” he took the rabbit by her ears and dragged her away with him ignoring her protests. Our fun… our attempts at bonding… ruined.

“Who the fuck are you and why are we on this island?” a short blond-haired guy with shaved sides and wearing a suit yelled at us.

“We could ask you the same thing.” Kyoko said stepping forwards.

“We just woke up on a beach out of nowhere, no memory of how we got here.” A large muscular woman with white hair said.

“That’s what happened to us.” Makoto stepped forwards now.

“Did you see a… white rabbit in a dress or… a black and white bear?” another asked, a tall guy of reasonable build and wearing what looked like a biker jacket, his hair was in a strange style.

“The stupid rabbit was going on about hope and making friends, I don’t want to get even a little bit friendly to you gross people! But the bear told us about a… Killing Game… what the hell?” a girl who looked as though she was younger and wore a kimono spoke now, she clearly had a bad attitude.

“I don’t trust these people,” Aoi said standing close to her brother.

“Can we trust each other? We know nothing about each other.” Mahiru said, she was right. A little play… a little bonding… that was pointless….

“We were… starting to build our friendships…” Yuta muttered.

“These people are on our handbooks now!” a pretty, blonde, foreign looking woman said.

“They’re all Ultimate’s too!” I heard Nagito’s voice say excitedly as he had retrieved his handbook from his hoodie.

“I’m done, I’m sorry, this is all too much… I’m going to my cottage,” I said. More people? Why did they arrive separately from us? More Ultimate’s, when I couldn’t even remember my talent? This was too much… it was all… too much….

Chapter Text

Once woken the following morning by Monokuma on the monitor I did not want to leave my room, I couldn’t face it, couldn’t face anyone, I just rolled over and stayed in bed. After a while there was a knock on my door.

“Hajime, are you ok?” I heard the unmistakable laidback raspy voice of Nagito. I groaned, of all people to come to my door, I pulled myself out of bed and opened the door to him.

“I’m alive if that’s what you mean,” I said and realised he was holding a tray.

“You didn’t show up for breakfast, so I brought you something.” He said with a smile. That was actually quite kind of him, and I was hungry. I accepted the tray of breakfast.

“Thanks, Nagito,” I said. “Do you… want to come in for a minute?” I was unsure why I asked him.

“Are you… planning to kill me?” he asked looking excited.

“No, Nagito, it would be stupid to do that in my own cottage, don’t you think?” I replied depressed.

“Yeah, I guess so, aren’t you worried I might kill you?”

“Forget it.” I said and went to close the door.

“Have you checked your motive? We all have one now, in our mailboxes.”

“No, I haven’t and I’m not going to.” I muttered.

“I looked at mine.”

“Yeah, I bet you did.”

“It isn’t enough for me to act on though,” he said. “Aren’t you curious?” Truth was, yes. “There was something else, Hajime, I wanted to say thanks for pulling me out the pool in time yesterday, I don’t think I would have made it on my own, that would have been a really pointless death.” I left my door open and sat on the end of my bed eating the breakfast he had brought me, and he took this as an invitation to walk in of which it was supposed to be. I allowed the door to remain open though in case anyone thought I was in league with him.

“I don’t want anyone to die here, Nagito, even someone as messed up as you.” I said and he laughed.

“I still appreciate it.” he paused for a minute, “oh the new Ultimate’s! We have Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu Ultimate Yakuza, you should watch out for him, his pretty grouchy, I’m sure he’s going to kill someone, and that foreigner is Sonia Nevermind, she is the Ultimate Princess, isn’t that amazing? Mondo Owada is the Ultimate Biker Gang Leader and the girl in the kimono, Hiyoko Saionji, she’s the Ultimate Traditional Dancer and then there’s Sakura Ogami, Ultimate Martial Artist. We have a really good mix, here. I can’t wait to see what happens!” he said excitedly, and I could feel my headache starting up.

“That’s great,” I replied sounding anything but enthused. I finished my breakfast. “Thanks for bringing me some food, Nagito, that was really thoughtful.”

“We’re in a pretty intense situation, you should keep your strength up. It would be bad if you were the first one to get killed.” He said.

“You’re really sticking to that one, aren’t you?”
“Well, this is a Killing Game, someone is bound to take action on their motive.”

“What… were they exactly?” I decided to ask.

“Mine was just some pictures, nobody else is owning up to having looked at theirs. Makoto suggested we just burn it all at the beach tonight.”

“I missed a lot, huh?” I muttered. “What kind of pictures could be a motive?” I asked him.

“Oh,” he laughed, “it could be likened to memories, at least I think my pictures were ones from our lost memories.”

“If you don’t plan to act on it, can I see?” I asked and he looked a bit uncomfortable, I think his pale cheeks even blushed but only a little.

“It’s private, Hajime,” he said as though I had offended him.

“Nagito cut the crap. You tell me you had a dream with me in it believing it to be a memory and now you have pictures of the forgotten times? You’re just messing with me and I’m already exhausted.” I said and he just left. I rubbed my eyes but shortly after he returned with an envelope. He looked a bit nervous, but he handed me the envelope and simply left again. Huh? What was that about? I tentatively opened the envelope and pulled out the photographs. The first was a picture of me and him together. We were both smiling and looking really happy. I flicked to the next one, we were walking along a street… holding hands?!!! In the picture he was looking at me as we walked, and he was smiling. How was this a motive? I didn’t understand. Why would pictures like this… drive Nagito to murder someone? I put them aside and I hurried out to my mailbox and retrieved my motive.

“Hajime!” I heard Makoto. “Don’t look at it!” he urged hurrying over.

“I have to!” I yelled back.

“Please… this is all wrong!” he cried.

“I’m not going to kill anyone!” I insisted.

“You might… after you look at that… who knows what’s in there!”

“Memories, perhaps?” I snapped. “Just leave me alone!” I yelled and ran into my room shutting the door behind me and locking it. I threw myself to the floor desperate to see my motive and opened my envelope. It was a note.

‘Do you remember how badly you wanted to save him? If you kill and get away with it, you will get that opportunity.’

Save him? Save who? Nagito Komaeda? From what? What is this?

It was almost as though Nagito’s motive and mine went hand in hand. If his photographs were real and we… were close… then perhaps… I would want to save him. I gripped my head with both hands and cried out, one loud despairful, confused and frustrated scream.

Chapter Text

The evening was closing in and I had spent the day trying to draw my memories from the depths of my mind, but it was no use, I stared hard at the photographs of Nagito and me, but nothing came back. I had to know what his dream was about now; I would make him tell me by any means. I was done with this. I left my cottage and walked to his but there was no answer when I knocked.

“Are you looking for the resident crazy?” I heard and turned to see Mahiru.

“Uh… yeah,” I replied.

“He was headed to the restaurant; I think most people are headed that way about now.” she said.

“Thanks,” I replied and left to head there. As I walked, I saw Yuta and Komaru sitting by the pool together engaged in conversation and looking like they were getting along well. I guess it was a good thing some were strengthening their bonds as Makoto wanted. I walked past them towards the hotel. In the lobby I saw that short blond guy sitting on his own, he had a mean look on his strangely contrasted babyface. I was guessing he was the Yakuza; I suppose it was pretty obvious who each of them was from Nagito telling me what their talents were.

“Hi,” I decided to say to him, and he shot hateful eyes at me.

“Don’t fucking talk to me!” he snapped.

“Right,” I muttered before I walked past and up the stairs to the restaurant.

“That’s amazing! I didn’t know hamsters could do tricks!” I heard and walked in to see the Ultimate Princess praising Gundham who was blushing fiercely. She was rather beautiful; I couldn’t help but note. I scanned the room and saw others but finally my eyes were drawn to the white hair, he was sitting on his own table eating some dinner at a window seat, so I approached him.

“Hey,” I said, and he looked up at me, his expression turned to that nervous one again.

“Hi, Hajime,” he said.

“Do you… fancy taking a walk?” I asked him.

“Sure,” he replied and left the rest of his dinner. We went to leave but everyone else had arrived, Makoto and Kyoko stopped us.

“Hey, you got a minute?” Makoto asked and I could see he was looking at me with distrust after seeing me retrieve my motive, I didn’t care anymore.

“We must discuss our next course of action.” Kyoko said. I looked at Nagito and then sighed.

“I need to speak with Nagito,” I said.

“Why? Are you colluding with him? Are you planning a murder together?” Gundham asked.

“No, of course not!” I snapped. “It’s personal.” I added.

“You both looked at your motives. That much is obvious.” Kyoko said.

“We were thinking, whether anyone looked or not, we should make a point and head to the beach after dinner, make a small fire and burn them.” Makoto said.

“Yeah, I agree.” Mahiru added.

“I think that would be the best idea, if you haven’t looked it takes away that temptation.” Sonia, the Ultimate Princess said.

“Well, we’ll meet you there.” I said and left with Nagito. I knew they would all be suspicious of me, but it was important I tried to recall my memories, our memories… they could be key to beating this. We walked in awkward silence to the beach and once we got there, we just continued to walk, traversing the sand until we hit the shoreline, just before the water hit, was where we decided to take a seat, we had plenty view of the beach so could see when the others arrived. I was holding both our motives in my hand, and I opened the envelope with the pictures. He looked a little apprehensive as I laid them down beside us.

“Nagito… why are we holding hands as though-“
“We’re a couple?” he interrupted. “Maybe we were, I know I… think your kind of hot but I would never expect you to think the same of me, or anything close, of course.” He laughed awkwardly.

“I am attracted to you, physically but your personality is shot.” I muttered.

“Oh… I mean… do you like, feel anything?”

“I don’t know yet, Nagito, I don’t remember any of this. My motive… it was just a note, a very ambiguous note.” I said and unfolded it handing it to him and he read it.

“Does… what does that mean?” he asked.

“I don’t know but if we are to believe those pictures, I feel the note, my motive is talking about you.” I voiced my theories.

“It’s like our motives go together,”
“That’s what I thought,” I replied.

“Why would you care that much about someone like me?” he asked now turning to face me, sitting cross-legged and I mimicked that action.

“Nagito… maybe in another life, we were a little different, maybe outside of this situation your crazy ideals were… tolerable.”
“You tolerated me.” he said and smiled. “Wow, you must have been really lonely or desperate for someone to be with!” he laughed.

“Why do you do that?” I asked him.

“Huh?”
“I mean you’re so hard on yourself,” I muttered looking away.

“I told you, I’m worthless, I’m not like the other Ultimate’s I don’t even feel worthy of being here or being beside them but… when I’m around you I don’t feel so out of place, as though you’re also a nobody!” he looked strangely happy about that, and I sighed deciding to steer the conversation back on subject.

“Nagito… if we were… close like these pictures suggest and my note, then… I know in my heart that I would want to protect you but I just… don’t remember!” I growled frustratedly. “After this, you have to tell me about that dream you had of us.” I looked him directly in the eye.

“It was a dream of us… together…” he looked almost ashamed for a moment, “it’s a little embarrassing but let’s just say I woke up with a boner!” he suddenly said, and I was both surprised and horrified, he clearly wasn’t that ashamed if he would admit that. He started to laugh but that somehow eased my horror and I laughed too. Without realising it, the shoreline had crept up the sand, edging closer but we realised too late.

“Shit!” I cried attempting to dive out the way.

“The motives!” Nagito gasped and scooped them up, holding them high but we were both soaked, at least our lower halves were. I was lying on my side, in a pointless attempt at escape and Nagito looked down at me, we met eyes and then just laughed.

“Well, this is going to be comfortable,” I said as my clothes were soaked, and I pulled myself to my feet offering him a hand. He accepted and we stood both dripping wet from the waist down, my shirt had also got a bit wet from my stupid escape attempt, since I dived to the side.

“Look, everyone’s here!” Nagito said looking up the beach, he put the motives both inside the envelope and we headed to meet the others. Many of them were looking at both of us distrustfully.

“We weren’t colluding!” I said irritated. “Are we burning the motives then?” I asked and both Gundham and Makoto began making the fire, but Makoto kept casting suspicious eyes to me. That self-righteous little prick, I couldn’t help but feel, how dare he doubt me? I guess he had his reasons, and he did just want to stop the killing from even happening, I didn’t want the killing either.

“Will anyone own up to having looked at their motives?” Kyoko asked standing with her arms folded. Everyone looked at each other and nobody spoke.

“Are we all in agreement that we burn them?” Makoto asked as he and Gundham finished up the fire.

“Yeah, I don’t see the point in all this, its stupid. That bear thinks he can make us kill each other with something like this?” Mondo, the Biker Gang Leader said.

“Good,” Kyoko spoke, and she was the first to cast her motive to the flames. Makoto was next followed by Komaru, then Aoi and Yuta. Slowly the rest of us followed, even the Yakuza was cooperating. Nagito was yet to step forwards with ours. I held out my hand for my one and he handed it to me but kept hold of his envelope.

“Nagito, are you going to burn it?” Makoto asked.

“Not this one.” he said.

“Why not?” Kyoko asked.

“I just don’t want to.” He was smiling. “What does it matter if I’ve already seen it?” he asked.

“Just let him keep it.” I said. I realised as he was holding something of a memory, perhaps he wanted to keep it for that reason. I guess that was… kind of sweet since I knew the contents of that envelope.

“Then if you intend to keep it, will you share it?” Gundham asked and Nagito shook his head to my relief. It was private, between me and him.

“Alright, we burned the first motive, now we can go back to ignoring that bear and having fun!” Komaru said innocently and perhaps naïvely.

“Yay!” we heard and that annoying rabbit in the dress appeared. “You’re all doing really well, you can strengthen those friendships and collect the Hope Fragments, that’s what this is all about!” she said clapping her hands together.

“Hope Fragments?” Nagito asked.

“Check your handbooks, you might have already collected some!” she said, and we did so. I looked to see Report Cards for each person here, I had apparently obtained two Hope Fragment’s with Nagito and as he looked at me smiling, I guessed he had the same for me. I also had a Hope Fragment for some of the others and when I read more they had been obtained from our fun at the pool.

“Having fun together and talking will strengthen your bonds-“
“Shut up!” we heard and Monokuma appeared interrupting the rabbit.

“Oh no!” she cried.

“You thought it would be THAT easy? I have redelivered a copy of all your motives to your mailboxes, you can’t get rid of them so easily!” he said.

“Oh, in that case,” Nagito tossed his envelope onto the fire.

“What?” Aoi cried.

“It seems we are to enter a vicious cycle,” the white-haired woman, Sakura said looking disappointed. I sighed, we all looked defeated now, this had been a pointless effort.

Chapter Text

I had a dream that night… a memory? I don’t know, was it simply inspired by my conversation and revelations with Nagito? Possible but it felt so real. He and I were sitting on grass, eating lunch together, and something about it felt so perfect, he was still raving about Hope and Ultimate’s, but I seemed to be tolerant of it, a little weary but also somewhat endeared to him for this love of his. These feelings… I just could not shake them after I woke. Was I… warming to Nagito? These that could be considered memories, were they really real? It felt so real to me. I saw those photographs with my own eyes. I know things like that can be tampered with but… these feelings that began to stir within me, I could not deny those. That dream… for some reason I felt a sense of loss, as though that memory had become a sad one but when I was in the dream, I had felt happy. Nagito was still crazy but… I had felt something towards him and if those photos were to be believed then those feelings were real. I got up, washed, and dressed before heading to the restaurant for breakfast. When I saw Nagito in there, I felt… happy to see him and he looked over smiling at me and he waved me over, so I went to his lonely table and sat with him instead of the others. We certainly got some of them eyeing us, I knew there was distrust there.

“I didn’t expect you to actually come sit with me,” Nagito said.

“I wanted to.” I smiled and he returned that smile.

“How are you today?” he asked.

“I… actually had a dream last night… about us and it felt real. I… it felt like a memory… everything I felt in that dream felt so real, not just… dream real but… I am starting to believe we might have been… something.” I said.

“Did you wake up with a boner?” he asked suddenly, and I blushed.

“Nagito!” I cried. “It wasn’t that kind of dream.” I added and he laughed. He was just messing with me.

“I knew that. I think we were a couple, if I may be so forward, I still don’t know why you would be with someone like me, but I’m flattered.” He said and I found myself smiling.

“Well, there must be some reason,” I said.

“I’m glad you survived the night, Hajime,” he said, and I felt that to be a strange thing to say. “I feel like there will be a murder soon.” he added.

“Don’t ruin it, Nagito,” I replied.

“I’m sorry,” he muttered looking down, but he was smiling.

“Hey, Komaru isn’t here,” I heard Makoto’s voice as he came to the top of the stairs. “She wasn’t answering her cottage door so I thought she might be here already. Has anyone seen her?” he asked looking concerned, a bead of sweat forming on the side of his face. We all looked at one another and everyone was shaking their heads. He looked panicked and ran out of the hotel. We decided to follow him as he ran out calling her name and returned to her cottage. He was banging on the door. “Komaru! Are you in there? Open up!” he cried out.

“Makoto, calm down.” Kyoko said and he tried the door, but it was locked. Kyoko moved to one of the windows and looked inside, there was a gap in the curtain. She stepped away. “We have to get the door open.” She said as everyone gathered.

“I can do that.” Sakura stepped up and she rammed the cottage door breaking it down in one hit and then stood frozen, her expression was enough to know what she was looking at.

“Komaru!” Makoto cried and went to run in. I tried to stop him, but I was too slow, and he was inside. Bing Bong. We heard and then the confirmation.

“A body has been discovered!” Monokuma appeared to us all looking positively gleeful.

“NO! Don’t listen to that! This is not happening! This is not… no! That is not a thing! This isn’t… happening…” Makoto muttered in a mixture of uncharacteristic forcefulness and raw emotion, with tears falling from his eyes as he stood, still in view.

“My this is exciting! You get time to investigate but when I get bored, I’ll call the Class Trial and you have to find who dunnit!” Monokuma cried, “check your handbooks, there is some vital information about the murder on there.” he said and then disappeared. Everyone stood outside, nobody else entered. I looked to Nagito.

“So, it finally happened, I had a feeling.” He said and I found myself walking in. Komaru was lying in her bed and a pillow was over her face, her bed was dishevelled as though there had been a struggle. It really happened… Makoto walked to the bed, and he removed the pillow, she looked as though she was asleep. He put his hands on Komaru’s shoulders shaking her gently.

“Komaru… wake up… come on…” he said but he was crying as though he really knew the truth. “Come on, Komaru….”

“Makoto…” I muttered.

“No, don’t… don’t….” he said, his voice was thick with sorrow.

“Makoto, we probably don’t have much time, we have to investigate and find your sister’s killer.” Kyoko said.

“Well, Kyoko, you’re up, this is the perfect chance for you to shine, I can’t wait to see the Ultimate Detective at work!” Nagito said now joining us inside looking excited. Makoto slumped to the ground just staring.

“It was you, wasn’t it?” he muttered and looked at Nagito.

“Huh?” Nagito asked but then smiled. “Well, who knows? We have to investigate and find that out.” he added.

“You… saw her as a sacrifice….” Makoto muttered.

“It’s true I’m pleased to see there hasn’t been wasted talent in a murder, but it also means this probably isn’t worthy of that great Hope of which I seek.” He said. “Feel free to investigate my cottage if you suspect me,” he added.

“You’re a monster… what is wrong with you? Komaru was a… nice girl and you don’t even seem to care that she is dead!” Yuta cried, tears streaming down his face.

“I hold my personal beliefs close; I can’t help the way I feel.” Nagito said. Ignoring him we all looked at what was called the Monokuma file, it had some information about the case.

“The cause of death states suffocation. I suppose for now we can safely say the murder weapon was that pillow. It says that she has no substances in her system and there are no visible marks on her body. Time of death around 3am.” Kyoko began.

“This is terrible…” Aoi muttered as she went in and to Makoto’s side. “You don’t have to be here, Makoto, we can go somewhere while others investigate.” She said and he stood as though in a trace and simply followed her outside, Yuta left after them. I felt terrible for Makoto, this was truly awful, and he was clearly in shock, consumed by grief and Yuta was devastated too, he had been growing close to Komaru and I wondered how many Hope Fragments they had collected between them. A random thought but I felt sorry for them both. Nagito was looking around like he was searching for clues and Kyoko approached the bed and Komaru’s body.

“Hey! Should we be letting Nagito investigate if he’s a suspect? He might get rid of important evidence!” Mahiru cried out, her eyes were filled with tears. Everyone was in shock. Nagito looked up and laughed awkwardly, it was kind of chilling how he seemed so unaffected by this. A girl was dead!

“I guess I can sit this one out if you really don’t want my help.” he said.

“I think that would be best.” Kyoko said.

“Alright, I’ll be in the restaurant, my cottage is open if you want to go in there for your investigation.” he said and headed out but stopped “Oh, look, I think that’s a clue, it looks like a footprint scuff, or smudge, might want to look at that closely.” He said and was careful not to step on it as he left.  

“Hajime, could you check the door for tampering? It was locked but I want to see if there was anything done to it for someone to have gained entrance.” Kyoko asked me.

“What?” I found myself asking.

“We have to find the killer; we need as much evidence as possible for our case.”

“Is she… really dead?” I heard Sonia ask near the door as I approached it, careful of that footprint. I had a close inspection of the lock, but it seemed fine. I took a look at the footprint, it wasn’t a whole footprint, as Nagito said, it was just a scuff but more like a smudge as though it was on a wet shoe.

“Kyoko, this print… it’s definitely heading out of Komaru’s cottage, it looks as though they were in a hurry, also it’s hard to make out but I think Nagito is right, it’s a clue.” I said and looked over to Kyoko with Komaru’s body, she was touching it! I suppose to conduct a thorough investigation, the body would need to be inspected too. I pushed back my horror and continued to look around. Somebody stepped inside, it was Gundham. He was folding his arms and looking right at me.

“Weren’t we suspecting Hajime to be in collusion with Nagito? He might be planning to compromise the investigation” he said, and Kyoko looked up from Komaru’s body.

“There is no gain from collusion, it is true Nagito is our first suspect but that is only circumstantial since we are going on his ramblings about non-Ultimate’s and the first victim happens to be one of those.” Kyoko replied. “Sometimes things run deeper than surface appearance,” she said, so the Ultimate Detective had some doubt as to Nagito being the culprit. I really hope he had nothing to do with this.

“What else can I do, Kyoko?” I asked her since it was her strength, and I was out of my depth.

“Please check the windows next,” she said and so I did. There was one window partially open, so I took a closer inspection. I took it and opened it further, it was faulty at the lock in points. The windows were only supposed to open so far, but this opened all the way, enough for someone to climb through. Kyoko looked up and then came over for a closer inspection. There was a bit of dirt on the windowsill but other than that Komaru’s room was spotless.

“Perhaps this was how the murderer gained entry,” she looked along the window’s edge and then realised that below was the canal that ran around our cottages, “it would be tricky, but it is possible,” she said and moved to take another look around.

“I can’t tell if it’s faulty or if it has been tampered with.” I said as I checked the lock in points that were supposed to prevent the window from opening too far. Kyoko moved to the bathroom and in there she found a cloth which had some dirt on it, Komaru’s room was so clean and spotless it seemed strange that a dirty cloth was discarded so carelessly. I looked back at the windowsill and noticed some dirt there, too, like it had been wiped away but not completely.

“I think we are done here,” Kyoko said. “Let’s now move to Nagito’s Cottage,” she said, and I followed her, hoping that we found nothing. We entered his cottage since it appeared he left it open, it was very clean and tidy I noticed, not like my room. We entered and Kyoko walked in first turning on the lights. There seemed to be only one thing out of place and that was a set of keys on the floor, a little way from the door. I couldn’t help but think how odd that was. Were they Nagito’s keys? I wondered and Kyoko retrieved them moving to his door clearly wondering the same thing.

“They don’t fit.” She said and then she headed outside, and my heart was pounding inside my chest, I looked out of Nagito’s cottage door and watched as she successfully used them on Komaru’s Cottage door. She returned.

“They… belong to Komaru’s Cottage?” I asked her, even though I knew the answer to that already.

“It seems so,”

“Why does… Nagito have them?” I muttered hearing my own voice disappear.

“We will have to find that out,” she said and ushered me inside Nagito’s Cottage once again, but she closed the door behind us and stepped into the centre of the room like she was taking a hard look at the entirety of the room, and I stood at her side. She noticed something near the door and went to inspect it, so I joined her. It looked like another scuff mark but less prominent than the ones at Komaru’s Cottage.

“I think we need to speak to Nagito,” she said, and we left his cottage, Makoto, Aoi and Yuta were by the pool, and we passed them, Makoto had his head in his hands and Aoi was comforting him. We continued towards the hotel and found Nagito where he said he would be in the restaurant. He looked up at us and smiled.

“Did you find anything interesting?” he asked.

“What were you doing last night?” Kyoko asked.

“After the beach, I spent a little time with Hajime and then I just went back to my cottage, had a shower and went to bed.”

“So, you do not have an alibi.” Kyoko stated.

“Nope.” He replied so calmly. Nagito, you’re the main suspect here! I wanted to scream at him. Why was I so scared? I didn’t have all my memories back, but I knew there was something between he and I, if he… killed Komaru and there is all this damning evidence against him it will be a shut and close case and he will be… executed. Ding dong. We heard and Monokuma appeared on the monitor.

“All done, times up! Head to Monokuma rock for the trial!” he cried. I looked at Kyoko.

“Do we have enough?” I asked her as Nagito stood making his way already. Kyoko watched him.

“I don’t know but I have a feeling…” she didn’t finish that sentence and then headed to the Class Trial. I watched her and slowly my feet moved without my permission, and I was headed there too. I didn’t want to go but we had to do this… if we didn’t find the culprit… we would all be executed.

Chapter Text

The Bear Shaped rock spat out an escalator of which we were meant to ride. We each looked at one another apprehensively, this all felt so unreal, but the first murder had happened and Nagito looked the most suspicious. I wished I knew what Kyoko was thinking. We rode up and then we stepped into an elevator which took us down. I couldn’t believe this was all happening. We stepped into what was supposed to be trial grounds and there was a space for each of us. One of the spaces had Komaru’s picture at it but with a cross over her face. I closed my eyes; my heart was pounding hard inside of my chest as we all took our space. Makoto’s eyes were red like he had done nothing but cry since and he probably hadn’t. His little sister was the first to be murdered. She had been a sweet girl, only a middle schooler and they had seemed close. She was dead and somebody in this room killed her. Monokuma reeled off the trial rules and then the trial began.

“I have a question, Monokuma, before we begin, the handbook states when three or more people discover a body is when you call the announcement, this was called after only Sakura Ogami and Makoto Naegi entered Komaru’s Cottage, so does that include the killer?” Kyoko asked.

“Ah jeez, no it doesn’t,” Monokuma huffed.

“So, someone else saw the body at some point, so somebody knew of it, but who? Why did they not call everyone?” Kyoko asked. “Will anyone own up to it?” she asked looking around at us all. “Apparently not,”

“We know who the killer is, this should be easy! Nagito Komaeda killed her!” Yuta cried out.

“You… murdered my sister, didn’t you?” Makoto muttered looking at him with hateful eyes.

“Well, that’s what this trial is for, a battle of Hopes and to find the killer,” Nagito replied, he looked pretty excited about this whole trial thing.

“Komaru never hurt anyone! She was… always so kind and sweet… she never hurt anyone!” Makoto cried, tears streaming down his face.

“Makoto…” Aoi said putting her hand on his arm for comfort.

“So, we understand the murder weapon was the pillow used to smother Komaru as she slept, the first mystery we must establish is how the killer gained entrance to her room.” Kyoko began.

“Maybe she just let them in? She was pretty stupid.” Hiyoko said with a snide grin on her face. Makoto just closed his eyes.

“If that is the case then she must have trusted that person,” Sakura said.

“I don’t think that’s it. The window was faulty, it opened far enough for someone to climb in,” I spoke.

“Do you have proof that was the way the killer got in?” Mahiru asked.

“Yeah, there was a smudge on the windowsill like it had been wiped away, it looked like… dirty water,” I said.

“So, they went swimming first?” Sonia asked.

“No, idiot! They probably just got their feet wet or something,” Fuyuhiko said.

“So, they got their feet wet on the way in? Possibly off the side of the cottage, maybe they slipped.” Gundham said.

“There were footprints in her cottage too that couldn’t be wiped clean,” Kyoko said.

“How do you know the killer wiped away the footprint on the windowsill?” Mondo asked.

“We found a dirty cloth carelessly discarded in her bathroom, judging by the rest of her room, Komaru was very clean and tidy, this discarded cloth was out of place.” Kyoko said.

“So, the killer was pretty sloppy, that’s disappointing.” Nagito said.

“What are you talking about? You’re the killer, you were talking about how Komaru and me should be sacrifices so you obviously started the killing off with taking one of us out and you went for the girl like a coward!” Yuta cried.

“Oh, heh heh, if that’s what you think, then by all means, vote for me but shouldn’t we be discussing other evidence?” Nagito asked. “Komaru’s keys were found in my cottage, right? There could only be one explanation for such damning evidence, I killed her.” He said and we all looked at each other.

“Nagito… did you… really kill her?” I asked feeling my chest ache.

“That’s what we find out, here, I would like to direct you to those footprints we found, there were some faint ones in my room, too, right?” he asked.

“Yes, they looked like… sports shoe soles,” I said realising Nagito wasn’t wearing a shoe of that type.

“That suggests someone wearing sports shoes entered Komaru’s cottage, smothered her and then took her keys and placed them in my room, right?” he asked.

“Could that be? How did they get into your room?” Sonia asked.

“Oh, I leave my door unlocked, in case anyone wanted to kill me while I slept.” He said with a smile. I rolled my eyes. This guy… he really was nuts.

“So, are you saying you’re not the killer?” Fuyuhiko asked and Nagito just smiled.

“Nagito, do you know something? Are you telling us you didn’t even wake when someone entered your cottage?” I asked him.

“I might have done, but you know, it was really dark.” He was messing with us, treating this all like some game.

“Nagito, if you do know something then you should tell us, all of our lives are on the line here.” Aoi said.

“Well, we could just compare the partial footprints to the soles of everyone wearing sports shoes, get this warmup trial over with,” Nagito said.

“Warm-up trial?” I asked horrified but he just smiled.

“Let’s discuss the motives,” Nagito continued. “Hajime and I looked at ours, my motive was about memories, I had some photos in an envelope. I don’t remember those times of course, because our memories have been taken but Hajime’s motive was a bargain. It was almost like they went hand in hand. You see, my pictures suggested that Hajime and I were close before all this, his motive seemed as though it suggested someone he cared about could be saved.”

“What?” Mahiru asked.

“It all makes sense if you think about it.” Nagito added.

“Nagito, were you the other person to find Komaru’s body?” Kyoko asked.

“Yes.” he simply stated without elaborating.

“That would mean then, that Nagito is not the killer.” Kyoko said looking around at us all.

“So, you want to know how I knew Komaru was dead? I don’t care much for this trial, since the victim was just a normal person, this trial can’t be brimming with enough Hope for it to really matter so we should probably just get it over with, right, Yuta?” he asked, and the other middle-schooler looked terrified.

“Why are you asking me?” his voice was shaking.

“Come on, Yuta, you’re not worthy of bringing the shining Hope, only the Ultimate’s can do that, so you’re Hope is not strong enough.”

“My… Hope?” he muttered.

“Didn’t you look at your motive?” Nagito asked.

“I…” Yuta’s huge eyes spilled with tears.

“Leave my brother alone!” Aoi cried out, “what are you even saying?” Aoi cred. What was he saying?

 “So, Yuta, are you going to tell everyone what your motive was? I mean, you told me.”

“What the hell is he talking about?” Aoi cried and Yuta put his face in his hands before he gripped his trial stand and crumpled to the ground crying. “Yuta?” Aoi cried out.

“I just… wanted to save you… my motive… said I could… get you out of here if I got away with a murder… but I’m… sloppy and… I didn’t know what I was doing and I… really liked Komaru but… I felt like I would be able to kill her. I couldn’t look at her after I killed her, so I left the pillow in place. But I felt that I might… get away with it…” he muttered between sobs.

“Yuta!” Aoi cried out and went to him. “Why?”

“You’ve done so much for me… I just… wanted to protect you… I wanted to save you… to get you out of this… I love you, big sister.” He cried and she pulled him into her arms.

“Yuta, I love you too but… this can’t be happening…” Aoi cried.

“This is a very disappointing outcome but, at least it means the first two sacrifices are dealt with.” Nagito said.

“Nagito, how did you know Yuta killed her?” I asked.

“Oh, he approached me first, asked about killing me and getting my help with a plan. I told him that his Hope was not worth sacrificing my life for, it would not lead to a great Hope and so we left it at that, and he obviously accepted that and decided to try framing me instead.” Nagito explained.

“You’re… a monster…” Aoi muttered glaring at Nagito. “Yuta…. Why? Why do this? Now I… have to lose you!” she cried and then she stood up again.

“Voting time!” Monokuma cried out and the votes were cast for Yuta, the correct answer.

“Monokuma! Please… can you kill me in place of my brother?” Aoi asked.

“No! I deserve to die for this… Komaru was a kind person and I… really liked her. I deserve this. Aoi,” he said.

“Only the blackened gets killed!” Monokuma said.

“No…. No…. Yuta!” Aoi cried.

“I’m sorry, Makoto, I’m so sorry!” Yuta cried, tears constantly flowing down his face. Makoto couldn’t even look at Yuta.

“Now… how to punish a non-Ultimate, I got no inspiration for that one.” Monokuma said “I’ll think of something.” He raised a hammer. “It’s Punishment Time!” He cried and hammered down onto a red button.

“No…” Aoi cried and took Yuta’s arm trying to hold onto him, but he was dragged away, and we were forced to watch this kid get killed. “No….” Aoi screamed. Yuta was stood in front of a huge plain white wall before us and Monokuma appeared holding a machine gun. Aoi looked away and Monokuma reeled off rounds into Yuta whose blood spattered across the white wall before he fell to the ground with blood pooling around him.

“Oh god…” I muttered. It was over. Just like that. Yuta was dead. Komaru was dead. Two down. The youngest of us. Aoi let out a most despairful scream as she crumpled to the ground holding the sides of her head.

“That was too easy,” Nagito said, “it’s a little disappointing I knew the killer all along, makes the whole thing a bit boring. At least it was the two normal people who were the first to go. It also meant that this trial was not the one brimming with Hope, since their deaths didn’t really matter.” Suddenly Makoto ran at Nagito, I thought he was going to hit him, but he just took hold of the front of his hoodie.

“How can you be like this? What is wrong with you?” he cried. “My sister and Aoi’s brother are dead! They’re lives do matter! They were both good people, even Yuta, he didn’t want to kill her, he was put in this situation and forced to!” Makoto cried.

“They’re sacrifices are not in vain, it provided us a little warmup and to see what this trial thing is all about.” Nagito replied.

“Nagito, just shut up. How can you… be this way?” I asked.

“Hajime, these are just my beliefs, if you were in a relationship with me before all this, maybe at some point you understood them.”

“You two were… in a relationship?” Mahiru asked horrified and I closed my eyes.

“That was another life… we are nothing now.” I said looking back at him. Makoto released him and Nagito looked hurt, but it was only brief and then he smiled.

“So, Hajime also hates me, now. That’s fine, maybe I can be the next one to get killed.” He looked excited at the prospect.

“How did you know it was Komaru who was the victim? The one whose cottage those keys went to?” Kyoko asked.

“Yeah, I had a feeling after Yuta came into my room and placed the keys, that it might have been her that got killed. At least that is what I had hoped, it would have been a shame if one of you got killed by a nobody like him. And you all suspected me? I guess that was expected but it means you really don’t understand me at all. I do not intend to kill and be the only survivor here. That is not my Hope, my Hope is to see all of you shine brightly!” he continued to ramble. I could feel my head begin to pound as I listened to him. “Hajime… its fine if you hate me too, but I remember how I felt before all this. I remember how you felt about me so I can hold onto that memory, even if it is just small flashes.” He said and I felt saddened. I could hardly believe I would have been in a relationship with someone like him.

“Speaking of memories…” Monokuma spoke up after being silent through Nagito’s ramblings. “I will award you all with a little bit of your past, are you ready?” he asked, and we braced ourselves. Suddenly a bright light filled the room, and we were all cast to the ground. My mind was flooded with what could only be described as a memory. It was Nagito again and I was with him. He was lying on a bed, and I was beside him, propped up on one elbow looking down at him. I could feel the intense beating of my heart as I lent down and kissed him softly. His cheeks were flushed as I pulled away. I could feel it. I had… loved him. I really had loved someone like him. As the memory turned back into my present reality, I looked around and everyone was reeling from the sudden onslaught of a random memory. Nagito was on his hands and knees, one hand was gripping his head, but he looked at me, I could see tears falling from his eyes and I felt tears in my own eyes. That love was real but… I couldn’t love someone like him, not with the things he has done here, but those feelings… could not be denied.

Chapter Text

We all met at the restaurant but there was a heavy, thick oppressive air all around. Makoto and Aoi had both lost their younger siblings in awful ways. This was a true nightmare, this situation we were in but the only person who was still smiling was Nagito. He angered me but I was so confused since that memory I had received… I had felt strong feelings for him once. As we tried to eat breakfast, Monokuma appeared and so did that white rabbit, Usami, I guess.

“Well, aint this a depressing scene? Well, I’ll tell you one thing, the motive has already been given to some of you, the memory you received last night might make sense of your first motive, you see, they roll over to the next and sort of add to each other. I wonder who will get killed next. I can’t wait!” he said, and I believe some of us had already come to that conclusion but not all of us looked at our first motives, but they were still around, so the opportunity was still there.

“I can’t do this… it’s too awful!” Mahiru said putting her face in her hands.

“My… memory confused me even more,” I muttered.

“Mine too,” Nagito muttered no longer smiling.

“The next person to die better be you!” Aoi yelled at Nagito, fresh tears falling from her eyes.

“Nobody else is dying,” Makoto said. “We can’t give in to this… I know Komaru would want me… she’d want us all to fight this. To escape, she wouldn’t want to see anymore hurt, anymore bloodshed.”

“You’re just an Ultimate Lucky Student like me but your Hope must be really strong to still have fight in you. That’s very admirable, Makoto.” Nagito spoke.

“I’m going to be honest with all of you. My first motive was talking about Nagito, and my memory returned to me last night left me remembering some of those feelings I had for Nagito before, it confused the hell out of me because of how I feel about him now but… those feelings were very real. I cared about him. I still don’t want him to get hurt.” I said.

“Even though you now hate me?” Nagito asked.

“I don’t that’s the thing. I’m angry with you for the hurtful things you have said to Makoto, Aoi and their siblings. Yuta was just trying to save his sister, at least the memories they shared from before growing up together… they were not taken. Any one of us could have acted the same way if in that situation.”

“I don’t really understand that since I’m an only child, but I can say I don’t want Hajime to get hurt but if it led to the great shining Hope then I guess I could accept it.”

“Do you really mean that?” I asked him and his expression slightly changed, part of me felt he regretted those words or maybe that was wishful thinking, and he would gladly sacrifice me for this Hope of his. Or maybe he simply couldn’t help it when those sorts of words just spilled out of his mouth. Was I making excuses for him? I disgusted myself.

“All of this trust building and bonding shit is what’s going to get all you guys killed. We shouldn’t trust anyone; I know I don’t intend to.” Fuyuhiko said.

“I like this guy.” Monokuma said, so he was still here.

“Shut up!” Fuyuhiko snapped at him.

“The memory I received was a brief one of my time at school. Makoto, Aoi, Mondo, Sakura, we were friends, classmates.” Kyoko said.

“Yeah, I saw something like that too, pretty confusing,” Mondo spoke.

“If… someone commits another murder and we… succeed at another trial, will we… get another memory back?” Sonia asked.

“Monokuma treated that like some kind of reward, it is possible, but we should refrain from that driving the next murder,” Kyoko said.

“Another murder will happen,” Nagito said.

“I truly Hope it doesn’t,” Makoto replied.

“If we all stick together and-“ Sonia was interrupted by Usami.

“That’s the spirit! But also, you guys haven’t really ventured off this island, there are others to explore you know.” She said and we looked at one another. It was true, we hadn’t gone far from the hotel site.

“Shall we?” Nagito asked and we agreed with him for once. We all stood and began making our way to another island as a group. Nagito met his steps with mine once again but part of me did want to spend time with him, more like part of me wanted to attempt talking sense into him. Sonia and Gundham seemed to be walking together as well, Aoi and Makoto stuck together. We were becoming groups and it made me shudder a little to think that Nagito was going to be my ‘group’.

“Hajime, what was your memory?” he asked me.

“I don’t want to talk about it!” I snapped.

“Hypocrite.” He said but with a smile. “You said yourself, it involves me, so I have a right to know.”

“I don’t want to talk about it! Especially to you! It confused the fuck out of me!” I yelled and he laughed.

“’Fuck’ you say, was that part of it?” he asked teasingly and somehow that managed to disarm me and I couldn’t help but lighten up.

“No, actually it was not about sex. Perhaps all your memories are but…” I was almost talking about it; how did he do that?

“You should try relax a bit, all this anger is bad for your health,” he said with a smile, and I couldn’t help but laugh. Shit. I was still angry with him; his words were unforgivable and leaving Komaru like that after being first to discover her body was awful.

 “Nagito… I want to talk to you later,” I said.

“Oh, talk? Really?” he asked.

“Yeah, we’ll find somewhere to go.” I added as we crossed a bridge to another island. Here, we found another beach which had a beach house, a diner, a library and a strange looking ancient ruin and a pharmacy with some questionable drugs inside, strong prescription drugs that you shouldn’t just be able to grab. After we had a look around, I did separate and go off with Nagito.

“I know you guys are gonna start to distrust me, but you have to understand, Nagito and I were once close, I need to understand that better myself.” I explained before we left.

“I… do understand that, just be careful, he could be… dangerous.” Makoto said, he was still depressed but he was trying hard to go on that much was clear.

“I’ll meet you guys later?” I asked and they nodded, others had already gone off. I walked with Nagito, and we found our way to the library, he had wanted to check out some of the books there, we had a little browse, a lot of the books were in languages we couldn’t speak. Instead, we decided to sit since nobody else was here.

“So, you wanted to talk?” he asked smiling.

“I wanted to understand you a bit,”

“You mean my views?” he asked.

“Maybe,” I muttered.

“I know I kind of just forced them on all of you at the beginning, I couldn’t help it, I was just excited at the opportunity presented to us. If it helps, at all, I count myself among the worthless and those that should be sacrificed. I see Makoto like that too since neither of us have actual talent. Mine is worse though, his Hope is strong so I might be willing to overlook his lack of talent if he contributes to bringing that great hope I seek.”

“Why do you seek this so relentlessly with such extreme views as to how that hope should be obtained?” I asked.

“Hmm, good question.” He said pensively, “I told you about my horrendous cycle of good and bad luck, I feel strongly that our world needs one great hope to shine and eliminate the despair…” he trailed off.

“What despair?” I asked him.

“A lot of bad things happen in the world; it needs balancing out by achieving a great hope and Ultimate’s are the worlds Symbols of Hope. I admired Hope’s Peak for so long, I didn’t feel worthy of attending but they really wanted me to. They wanted to research my Luck talent, how amazing is that?” he asked.

“Yeah, Hope’s Peak is pretty awesome,”

“See, we have common ground.” He smiled.

“But why does anyone have to be sacrificed to achieve that?” I asked him. “Why can’t we all just… work together to escape this? Why do we have to cooperate with the Killing Game?”

“Because from great despair can rise an even greater hope.”

“With those views, you have made a lot of enemies, Nagito.”

“Are you worried about me? I always said I’d gladly be a sacrifice-“

“For this hope you believe in? I know from my memories we were close, and I did really care about you, could you not… focus on that instead? We could fight this together, we could… work on our relationship? If only you discarded these wild views of yours!” his face turned blank.

“You’re asking me to give up my beliefs? Also, I can’t believe you truly want to rekindle our relationship, I believe you are just trying to fit me into some slot beside the Ultimate’s I am not worthy, Hajime, I am only worthy as a steppingstone for them. That is all I want.”
“And how about I don’t want you to be a sacrifice!” I yelled.

“I’m nothing, Hajime, I’m a nobody, worthless, at least in death I could provide some worth, some…” he trailed off. “You don’t really care, do you Hajime?” he asked.

“I want to… help you… we might not need anymore sacrifices in this. Don’t you think enough despair has already happened? We lost Komaru and Yuta, they were just middle-schoolers, we should have protected them! Instead they were the first-“
“The first? So, you don’t believe your own words, you feel it inside of you that there will be more sacrifices.” I sighed; he was right.

“I don’t want there to be but of course its possible.” I said.

“You know, Hajime, I found it quite shocking that I actually had someone, I always thought of myself as a person who has no friends and especially not a special someone. To think that a person, and an Ultimate could have… cared about someone like me…” he said suddenly. I was about to respond to his lonely words, but Sonia appeared with Mahiru and Hiyoko at her side.

“There you are! We just had a wonderful idea; we are going to throw a party tonight all of us! A beach party!” Sonia said with shining stars in her eyes.

“Its probably best Nagito sits out though, I don’t think some people will accept his presence.” Mahiru said.

“Oh… of course,” Nagito muttered. I sensed a loneliness from him at his disinvitation. It was completely understandable, for him not to go, but it still seemed a bit… not right to exclude him flat out, especially if we were going to try fighting this together. I stood from my seat and joined the girls at the door.

“Don’t you think it’s better to keep an eye on him? If we isolate him, he only has those messed up views of his to keep thinking about.”

“Just because you got a boner for him, Hajime. You have awful taste.” Hiyoko spewed.

“Yeah, I agree.” Nagito said appearing behind me.

“I think we should all attend.” Sonia said smiling. “Even Nagito.” She added.

“I would be honoured of course,” he said.

“Then that’s settled, we will hold it at Chandler Beach, the new one! This will be fun!” Sonia rejoiced. I guess we were having a beach party. That could be fun, if we could forget where we were and what we were expected to do here.

Chapter Text

The beach party was set up, we had towels, blankets, and our swimsuits, we laid out towels to sit on and some went for a swim whilst others opted to chill on the sand. Again, we had our ‘groups’ but Nagito didn’t stick to me, he kept his distance, he was fully aware he was unwelcome, but I had managed to convince him to join. I saw it as his opportunity to attempt redemption if that was even a possibility. I hoped so, I didn’t want anyone to decide he should be the next victim. I didn’t want anyone else to die but with Nagito, I wanted to understand him and whatever our relationship was before we lost our memories. It was clear we had all attended Hope’s Peak and the memories we lost were those ones. I was sat with Sonia and Gundham with Makoto to my other side. He was obviously still very depressed and Aoi had forced herself to come. It was upsetting to see them both, but they were trying hard to be normal and focus on being part of the bonding and in that we can fight despair. Can we just ignore it like that? I couldn’t help but wonder. I noticed the yakuza guy had showed up even though he seemed highly unsociable, and he was just sitting away from everyone and seemed to watch us all. It was unsettling. I was concerned about him and what he might do. I felt if anyone here was going to kill, he would be the most likely and that worried me.

“Does anyone want to play volleyball?” Sonia asked, “We brought the game from the supermarket!” she looked excited about the prospect, and it was rather cute. I smiled. She seemed very sweet and being the Ultimate Princess, she had an elegance about her.

“I love volleyball but… I don’t think I can do it.” Aoi muttered looking depressed, for obvious reasons, just last night she watched her brother get shot and die in a pool of blood. He was just a kid, and it was horrific to watch for the rest of us, so for her of course it was devastating. Her little brother…. I was like Nagito, an only child but at least I had the capacity to sympathise. There was something wrong with Nagito. He was also just watching everyone.

“I’ll play,” Mahiru said.

“I would also enjoy a game, but I’ll have to reign in my strength,” Sakura said.

“Nagito, will you play?” Sonia politely invited.

“I’ll pass, if I do play, my team will definitely win.” He said smiling. Oh yeah, that luck of his….

“I’ll play,” I said deciding to try to join. In the end the only ones who sat it out were Fuyuhiko, Nagito, Aoi and Hiyoko. We made up two teams, Team One: Myself, Makoto, Sakura, Kyoko. Team Two: Mahiru, Mondo, Gundham, Sonia. Makoto was trying hard to join in, it was quite clear this was difficult for him, but I was determined he would have a good time. I slapped him on the shoulder.

“Ready?” I asked forcing my own enthusiasm and he smiled. We began the game, Sonia taking first shot. There were some clumsy mishaps, but it ended up being really fun for all of us and my team won, and Makoto was smiling. We came away and were all laughing afterwards and sat back down with the others.

“How could you even smile, Makoto, how can you laugh?” Aoi asked him and his newfound cheer faded.

“I just… believe we can get through this if we ignore the order for killings, I believe strongly that if we build our friendships, since we were all friends at one point, even if we don’t remember it all, I believe that we can beat this and stop another killing from ever happening. We don’t have to lose anyone else. I refuse to let that happen!” he said. “We focus on hope not despair.” He added.

“Jeez, you sound like Nagito,” Hiyoko huffed.

“He sounds nothing like Nagito!” I defended. “What Makoto is saying makes sense, what Nagito says doesn’t.”

“It does actually, the rest of you just don’t understand and that’s fine.” Nagito spoke up. “By the way Hajime, you look pretty good playing volleyball,” he suddenly said, and I felt my cheeks burn.

“Creep,” Mondo spat.

“Shall we talk abut what memories we got back? If we share those it might help all of us piece together our pasts,” Sakura suggested. That was not a bad idea.

“I’m not sharing that with you guys!” Hiyoko snapped.

“Me neither,” Fuyuhiko said.

“I think that is a good idea, to share our memories, those who are willing.” Kyoko agreed.

“Mine was… Nagito and me, together, you have to understand… the feelings I had for him, I felt them in that memory. I want no more killing, and I want Nagito to stop seeking that hope he insists will spring from this despair. I feel it will… I just think we should do as Makoto suggests.” I spoke.

“I still can’t believe you were with that creep; how could anyone be with someone as nuts as he is?” Mahiru said.

“I’m sorry, I know I don’t deserve the love of an Ultimate, but… my memory was also of Hajime and me but… I also know he hates me now and I think what we had is lost.” Nagito muttered.

“Its not lost!” I suddenly burst and everyone looked at me. “It… doesn’t have to be.” I added and looked away a little embarrassed about having said that in front of everyone.

“Please… everyone… please, can we just… make a pact right here with the sunsetting behind us… the waves of the ocean… please, I am begging you all that we make a pact together that we have no more killing.” Makoto pleaded.

“How do we beat this if we don’t play the game?” Nagito asked.

“He’s right, I hate agreeing with that creep but he’s right.” Fuyuhiko said.

“I don’t think it’s possible. How do we get off this fucking island if we don’t play the game?” Mondo added and Makoto closed his eyes, tears falling.

“I’m willing to try,” I said in support of Makoto, even though I felt it could be a hopeless battle.

“I am also willing to try; I do not want more killing.” Sonia said and smiled.

“Well, you assholes are gonna be the first to go.” Fuyuhiko said.

“I… like the idea of… having friends even if its just Hajime who is willing to give me a chance,” Nagito muttered.

“Let’s try,” I said and smiled at Nagito who smiled back.

“I want to.” Mahiru replied and looked saddened at the prospect of more killing and perhaps she felt as uncertain as me about this working. I certainly had reservations about Fuyuhiko but was Nagito coming around to the idea? I hoped he didn’t try anything.

“What about our memories?” Aoi asked.

“I have had some come back to me in dreams,” I said.

“Me too.” Nagito added.

“I had… some dreams… they felt real.” Mahiru said. “To be honest… I saw some of you and I… felt like we were friends. In one of them I… took some pictures of everyone, I even remember seeing Hajime and Nagito together, I snapped a picture they were unaware of, walking along. I wasn’t so disgusted by Nagito in those dreams. He was… one of my classmates,”

“That picture… I think that was my first motive, but it didn’t really make sense.” Nagito spoke. That’s right, it did sound like one of the pictures he had.

“It kind of feels like they’re trying to make Nagito and me each other’s motive for killing.” I said.

“That makes me think the two of you definitely had strong feelings for one another.” Kyoko said.

“Yeah, I think we might have done.” I said.

“I still can’t believe that’s it, why would you feel like that towards me, surely it was purely about sex even though I can’t believe anyone would want to do that with me either.” Nagito said.

“Yeah, tell me about it! Gross!” Hiyoko spat and Nagito laughed.

“I want to… understand my memory,” Kyoko spoke now. “I remembered… Makoto… I did not want to admit this because I do not know how it will be received and I am a little uncomfortable but… in my memory I felt… affection towards Makoto.”
“What?” Makoto asked.

“Were you guys a thing too?” Nagito asked.

“Possibly.” She admitted and Makoto was blushing.

“My memory was about some people I didn’t recognise.” Mondo spoke. “Some guy with piercings and orange hair, like we were buds, and another guy who was dressed like a girl and it seemed he did that as protection, I felt the piercing guy and me sort of… took the kid under our wing, looked out for him, y’know?”

“That’s really kind,” Sonia said smiling.

“Well, he was bullied before and he kind of just needed some guys like us to back him up, so we did.” Mondo added.

“That is really cool,” I said feeling like Mondo seemed like a good guy, despite first appearances.

“I remember being in class with you guys,” Makoto said, “I also recognise you others as our upperclassmen,” he said looking at the rest of us. “My memory was just… being at school, it felt like… good days.”

“I wish I remembered more,” I muttered frustratedly.

“We’ll get more memories back after the next trial,” Nagito said optimistically.

“Nagito!” I snapped, “you miss the whole point of all this!” I was getting emotional; a mix of emotions were rising like boiling hot bubbles to the surface.

“Hajime,” Makoto said softly as though to calm me, “Nagito, this whole Hope thing you love so much, can’t you try and see things differently, like if we encourage our friendships we can build on the hope and use it to fight despair? Doesn’t that make sense to you? Wouldn’t you rather do that instead of encouraging people’s deaths?” Nagito looked as though he pondered on that for a minute.

“Well… I’m not really worthy of being friends with all you Ultimate’s so I would never presume that could be a possibility.” He said.

“Doesn’t it sound good though?” I asked, trying so hard to get him onside.

“Of course it does, but I’m a completely worthless human being, my only use to any of you really is to be a –“ I interrupted him diving at him, finally losing it and I pinned him back into the sand grabbing the front of his hoodie holding him up by that.

“I don’t want you to be a fucking sacrifice, Nagito! Don’t you get that? Stop trying to throw your life away!” I yelled at him.

“I don’t want to die a meaningless death, there is nothing more despairful than that or than dying alone, right? The second one is inevitable for me, but I can change the first one.” He said sounding dark, his expression blank and chilling, he was completely unphased by my assault, other than the fleeting surprise in the first instance. I was pulled off him by Sakura, who moved me with little effort.

“Hajime, you should relax, don’t allow him to get to you.” She said.

“I don’t… I just… why do you have to be so selfish?” I yelled turning to Nagito as he sat back up brushing himself off.

“Is it selfish to want the world to see a great hope, is it selfish to want a death with meaning that might help bring that about?”

“You want to be a martyr for those twisted beliefs of yours, then fine.” I said and headed back to the hotel site, no longer interested in anything. I had tried hard to keep my cool, but it was no use. I needed to get away. Nagito frustrated me so much, I knew my feelings had been real, in some ways I still feel them.

 

A while later there was a knock on my cottage door, I didn’t really want to see anyone, but I opened it up to Nagito. He looked a bit awkward as he just stood there, I saw nobody else around as though he had come back on his own.

“Please may I come in, Hajime, I’d like to talk.” He said.

“Fine,” I replied and allowed it. I closed the door behind me.

“Why did you… react like that?” he asked.

“What? Angry?” I snapped.

“Yeah,” he looked puzzled.

“Nagito… I might not remember everything, but I know…. Shit.” I muttered. “I don’t remember everything, but I have felt… feelings towards you and before you say anything I don’t mean disgust or… hatred… the feelings… we used to have. Obviously, there was a time when… you meant something to me… you were important to me and…” I could feel my emotions stirring and the tears were coming to my eyes. “Damn it Nagito! If you got killed here, how do you think… how do you think that’s gonna make me feel? Huh? I don’t think… I don’t think I’d be ok.” The tears were now falling from my eyes, and I slumped on the edge of my bed. “Fuck,” I muttered and then he sat beside me.

“Hajime,” he said my name softly and I looked at him and he suddenly kissed me taking me off guard. He then pulled away looking horrified. “I’m sorry, you probably didn’t need me invading your space like that!” he said suddenly but it had stirred up even more intense emotions inside of me. I didn’t remember everything, but I did remember some things and I know… I just know I cared about him. He went to get up, but I took his wrist and pulled him back down again and planted my lips on his. We were lost in the moment and began making out with increasing passion and I pulled at his jacket, insisting he remove it, my need taking over any other feelings. I felt like it had been a long time since I had been with him in this way. His jacket came off and he removed my tie as I began unbuttoning my shirt eagerly and it wasn’t long until we couldn’t wait any longer and our lips met as though we had been apart too long. He was yet to remove his shirt, but he was fumbling with my belt buckle whilst refusing to part lips. I suddenly got nervous and pulled away taking his hands and pulling them away too. He was looking at me lustfully but that soon turned to apprehension.

“I’m sorry, did you change your mind?” he asked looking away.

“No, Nagito, there’s a camera,” I said, and he looked around and laughed.

“Oh, right, your just camera shy then,”
“We don’t know who is watching behind that thing.” I replied, “damn it!” I slammed my fist on the bed beside me.

“Well… I can’t do much about the sound but…” he stood taking his jacket and he stretched up tossing it over the camera, if the weight of his jacket was enough to break it, we’d be in trouble, Nagito would be in trouble, but it seemed to just sit laying over it, the lens obscured. He turned back around and smiled. “Of course… we don’t have to do anything really but it’s a nice moment of relief from being watched.” He said. Suddenly Monokuma appeared in my room.

“Nyah! What are you doing? You’re tampering with property!” he said in his shrill voice and my mood was entirely killed. Monokuma jumped up and pulled Nagito’s jacket down tossing it back at him. “No obscuring cameras!” he disappeared just as fast.

“Um…” Nagito muttered as though he was about to speak but he sighed instead. I guess his mood was gone too. I rubbed my face.

“Nagito, do you… want to grab your pillow and… stay over tonight?” I asked him.

“R- really?” he replied.

“Yeah, my mood is dead but… y’know you could sleep here.”

“Sure,” he hurried out the door swiftly returning with his pillow and toothbrush and his own toothpaste. I smiled as I let him in. Who knows? Perhaps the mood will return later, after all there was not much else to do.

Chapter Text

I don’t know why I let Nagito stay over, maybe so I could keep an eye on him, but I was pleased I had done so. I felt a bit awkward about our former burst of passion where we almost… almost got close but I am relieved we didn’t quite get there. I was conscious of the cameras; I had no idea who was watching on those. I woke the following morning and Nagito was still at my side, he was facing away from me and curled up, it left me with a strange feeling as I looked at him in my bed. The way he was here, must be different from how he was before when I was… in a relationship with him but I guess we were not thrown into a fucking killing game then. I know I had feelings for him, some of my memories showed me that much, well, that one they decided to give back to me and Nagito’s motive photos, plus any dreams. I still did not have all my memories, of course. I climbed out of bed and went to shower leaving Nagito asleep. When I got out, he was no longer there, he must have gone back to his own cottage to shower and then I guess we would meet the others at the restaurant as usual. I brushed my teeth and headed over there. Nagito was not here yet but most of the others were. I decided to take a seat with them.

“Morning Hajime,” Sonia greeted me with a bright smile.

“Morning,” I smiled back. Fuyuhiko came up the stairs and sat at a different table, his eyes glared over at me.

“I saw Nagito leaving your cottage this morning, I take it you two made up then!” he spat, and I felt my cheeks burning.

“Listen, its none of your business and I can’t just ignore the feelings that are coming back to me, Fuyuhiko. We just talked anyway.” I replied but looked away from everyone’s accusing eyes.

“Does it matter? It’s probably a good thing Hajime is spending time with Nagito, maybe he’ll talk some sense into him!” Mahiru said.

“I don’t want anyone to die, I don’t want him to die, and he keeps offering to be someone’s fucking victim!” I snapped.

“I understand, Hajime, it seems that… some of us have been put here with people we used to be close to, but we don’t have our complete memories.” Kyoko said. Nagito walked up the stairs and greeted everyone before taking a seat at another table and our conversation continued but now that Nagito was here, I could feel my cheeks burning again as I remembered our kiss last night and now, he was here….

“I had a dream of… Aoi and myself training together, it felt like we were good friends,” Sakura said.

“I saw you in my memory too!” Aoi said looking a little brighter.

“I remember being good friends with Hiyoko,” Mahiru added. “I’ve had some memories come back to me in dreams and Hiyoko was by my side when I was taking those pictures I remembered taking.”

“I wonder…” Nagito spoke, “are we… supposed to be getting memories back like that? I feel they wanted to control when our memories returned and that is why it is treated like a reward after the trial,”

“Are you thinking whatever they did to take our memories went… wrong?” Sonia asked.

“Maybe…” Nagito pondered. “Or it could be something else entirely.”

“Who knows? It’s pointless to sit here tryin’ to figure it out!” Fuyuhiko spat.

“So, what are we all going to do today?” Sonia asked.

“We could… explore some of the other islands?” Nagito suggested. “Oh, I mean if you can stand to be around trash like me.” he said, and I rolled my eyes.

“Yeah, we’ll all go, together.” Mahiru said smiling around at everyone.

“Wow, is everyone united like Makoto wanted?” Nagito asked. “Did you all bond last night after Hajime and I left the beach?”

“Nobody wants to commit murder.” Makoto spoke now.

“I never said that. I can easily kill any of you fuckers.” Fuyuhiko said with a cruel grin on his face.

“Right, sure, you would have done it by now if you were that keen!” Mahiru replied seemingly unimpressed by his bravado. Fuyuhiko just huffed and crossed his arms. I smiled, looking to Mahiru, meeting eyes, I was also unimpressed, he seemed to be among those opposed to Makoto’s plan of everyone getting along. I didn’t understand it, why anyone would want the killings to happen, Nagito, Fuyuhiko… it just made no sense, but I had a feeling Fuyuhiko might be all talk.

“Well, the invitations there, Fuyuhiko, just come to me first and we’ll make a plan together.” Nagito said and I felt sick.

“I don’t need your fucking help!” Fuyuhiko snapped. Nagito held his hands up laughing.

“Alright, I’m sorry,” he said.

“Do I not get an apology for that remark?” I asked him, “after our conversation last night?”

“Oh right, yeah I’m sorry, Hajime. I still plan on pursuing my goals,” he said so casually.

“Then… it seems clear to me that… whatever we had did not hold so much meaning for you…” I muttered and I could feel tears in my eyes, and he looked at me across the tables, his expression unchanging.

“I just can’t believe an Ultimate would really have any kind of feelings for me. What if these memories are false ones? Did anyone consider that?” he fired out.

“No! They are real, Nagito!” I yelled. “I know they are! Makoto’s right, we just have to ignore the motives and get to know each other, rekindle our friendships!”

“Well, I suppose I am willing to try and see what we can salvage from our relationship if it was real.” Nagito said. “Maybe we can search for a blind spot for the cameras and pick up where we left off last night,” he said taking me off guard.

“Wh… Nagito!” I snapped and he grinned playfully.

“Talk, huh?” Mahiru asked looking at me and smiling then the others laughed. It was light and uplifting laughing together like this.

“So, what are we going to do, what island should we explore?” Nagito asked after our laughter subsided.

“Well, we went to the second island yesterday, shall we just take them in order and go to the third?” Kyoko suggested and we all agreed finishing off our breakfast and getting up to head to the third island. At the third island we found a hospital, a motel, a music venue, an electronics store, and a movie theatre. 

“Oh, the movies!” Sonia cried. “Oh, please can we make that our activity for today?” she asked turning to the rest of us with stars in her eyes.

“I wonder what movies they have playing,” I said out loud.

“We could take a look.” Makoto replied and we headed inside and almost as soon as we did, he appeared. Monokuma. Sonia gasped and gripped Gundham’s arm, he pulled away abruptly.

“You fiend! You make the lady jump, and, in her fear, she touches me risking her life! If anyone touches me, they risk withering away and dying!” he said. Wow, this guy is really intense but I had already gathered that much.

“Oh, Gundham, I am so sorry, why do you think it is that I survived?” Sonia asked.

“Perhaps you are part demon,” Gundham replied crossing his arms.

“I am?” Sonia looked really happy about that. I had learned that the beautiful princess was a little strange.
“Ahem! Are you guys just going to ignore me?” Oh yeah, Monokuma was here. “So, you all want to watch my movie?” he asked.

Your movie?” I asked.

“It’s a masterpiece, I promise!” he insisted.

“It’s not gonna be, I know it, but should we just check it out? It’s something to do right?” Mahiru suggested.

“Yeah… I guess so…” I muttered.

“Come on, Hajime!” Nagito said taking me by the wrist and dragging me as other’s had already gone ahead. Some grabbed snacks that seemed to be available at the refreshment stand and were offering them around. I was sat next to Nagito, and I had Makoto to my other side. I liked Makoto, I had a lot of respect for him and how hard he was trying to stay positive despite his sister having been murdered. I also felt I wanted to look out for him and help him to keep that strength he held onto.

“I wonder what kind of movie this is going to be.” Nagito whispered in my ear as everyone settled in their seats. I rested my hand on the armrest nearest Nagito not wanting to intrude on Makoto’s space and Nagito had his hands in his lap, plus he annoyed me, so I didn’t care if I was in his way.

“I’m sort of looking forward to this.” Nagito said.

“I don’t think you should be I wouldn’t get your hopes up.” I muttered back.

“I… have a bad feeling…” Makoto said to my other side, and he rested his hand on his chest. “I…”

“Everyone!” he was interrupted by Monokuma’s shrill voice. “Allow me to present the best movie in the entire world, the best movie ever made and ever to be made! Monokuma’s Adventures, Featuring, you guys!” he cried out and we all looked at each other and the screen went on, the bright light drawing our eyes to it, and we found that none of us could move in our seats except Nagito’s hand slammed down onto mine as it rested on the arm but that is where it remained. What was I seeing? On the screen was such a bad animation of Monokuma and of us doing… I don’t even know what and the voices were all badly edited versions of our voices. Nagito started to laugh, and I then realised others were crying. Nagito suddenly hunched over gripping his stomach and was no longer laughing. I realised something bad was happening here. Images flashed in front of me but it was not what was actually on the screen and I could barely make sense of what I was seeing but this was not right. Something was not right about what we were shown on the screen, it was as though it seeped into us.
“Stop watching it!” I yelled.

“Stop! Look away from the screen!” Makoto joined me and then the movie ended.

“It wasn’t that bad, was it?” Monokuma asked looking disappointed as he stood in front of the screen.

“What in God’s name was that shit?” Mondo yelled.

“I can’t believe I let myself follow you guys into this fuckin’ joke!” Fuyuhiko agreed. I looked around at everyone’s faces and some of them looked a bit dazed. It had not been right, whatever we had just watched was having a strange effect on us. I put my hand on Nagito’s back as he was still hunched, his eyes wide with tears falling from them.

“Hey, you alright?” I asked him.

“No… no I’m not…” he muttered and then looked at me slowly. “Hajime… what just happened?” he asked.

“Let’s get out of here!” Aoi said and stood from her seat, we all followed but Monokuma blocked the door.

“Uh, no. You don’t get to do that. You insulted me with your reactions to my masterpiece.” He said and then the already dim lights went out completely and we were plunged into darkness. “Ahahhahahahahahahahhhhaaaaa!” Monokuma’s laugh piercing through the darkness. “I’ll let you out when a killing happens!”

Chapter Text

“What the fuck?” Fuyuhiko’s voice in the darkness.

“Hidden around this place are various weapons, if you wish to survive, I suggest you arm yourselves! The weapons will have markers, so you’ll be able to see them in the dark!” Monokuma continued. Shit. Shit! I was still close to Nagito, and I pressed him against the near wall managing to fumble around finding it in the dark and I put my body in front of his.

“Hajime…” he whispered.

“Shhh, if we stay quiet, we might survive this.” I whispered back as everyone else panicked and fumbled for somewhere to go and unfortunately some likely fumbled for weapons. How anything can be found in this darkness was beyond me, but Monokuma said something about markers. This was ridiculous but my heart pounded hard inside my chest.

“Hina, stay behind me!” Sakura trying to protect her friend.

“Everyone just stop panicking!” Makoto’s voice. Please be quiet Makoto, I don’t want you to get killed.

“Get away from me!” Mahiru.

“Oh god… oh god…” I heard Aoi crying nearby and then I heard her scream. It cut through me. This was horrible, I had no idea what was going on and everyone was freaking out.

“Remain calm, we can work our way out of this.” Kyoko. I refused to speak, I just stayed at the top with Nagito, using my body to protect his if anyone came close with a weapon. Why I was willing to do this, I did not know, I had just felt suddenly very protective.

“Hajime, my life is worthless, what are you doing?” he asked.

“Just shut up!” I hissed but then he pushed me off him and I tried to push him back, but I fell, and instead as I fumbled for something to stop my fall, I believe I grabbed onto Nagito and he fell with me, we tumbled all the way down the stairs until we hit the bottom and then suddenly the lights went back on. It was too bright to start with, although we soon adjusted. But as those lights went back on, I realised Nagito was not moving beside me. I panicked and shook him, there was blood on his head. Shit. Shit. Was he dead? Is that why the lights went back on? Does that mean… I killed him because I grabbed him and took him with me as I fell?

“A body has been discovered!” I heard and my heart sunk but then a loud scream pierced the theatre and Nagito’s eyes slowly opened, he was alive but that scream… the body discovery announcement… what had happened? How? It was so dark.

“Did I just hear… or was I dreaming?” Nagito asked and I did not want to stand up or turn around to find out which one of my friends had been killed. I had to though. I had to because we would have to investigate again and then… the trial. I pulled myself up and helped Nagito to his feet. He put a hand to his head. “Ouch,” he muttered but I looked away from him and went to where the others all stood staring in shock.

“You idiots didn’t take looooonnggg! Ahahahahahha!” Monokuma was happy that a killing had occurred and as I walked to the top, I had to avoid various scattered objects, so some weapons had been found and were scattered, some may have been grabbed for self-defence purposes. When I got to the top of the theatre, I saw… Mahiru Koizumi lying slumped in a chair… her throat had been cut and blood was spattered all down her and in the chairs in front. How? It was so dark. How could… this even happen? Judging by the scattered weapons whoever killed Mahiru were not the only ones who had found a weapon. It had been chaos in complete darkness. Mahiru… she had been a nice girl, a little abrupt at times and sometimes harsh on the boys and she was perhaps even our friend in school since we had been in some of her memories and those photos she took. I looked to Nagito and even he looked a bit shocked for a moment.

“Hina?” Sakura asked looking terrified. She had been protecting her, but she was not behind her.

“Hey, where is Aoi?” Makoto asked looking all around and we had to leave Mahiru and search the aisles for Aoi. We called out her name but there was no response. Until… there she lay halfway down the theatre, nobody had seen her previously, but she was there.

“A body has been discovered.” Was the next announcement. I really felt as though my heart stopped. Two? Two of us? How? Why? Makoto dropped to his knees; his face stricken.

“Wh- why is this happening? We’re… all friends, right? Who… could do this…?” Aoi looked like her body was just broken. She was… dead too?

“Hey! Stop standin’ around you got an investigation to do!” Monokuma… our handbooks dinged, and we were provided with the Monokuma file. Nagito was still beside me and I realised he pulled his handbook out right away. We had to do this, but I just couldn’t focus.

“Mahiru’s cause of death is… obvious and it states it but… Aoi… it doesn’t state what her cause of death was.” Nagito muttered beside me. I finally moved but not enough to pull out my own handbook, I just looked over at his as he held it.

“We… have to do this… again?” Sonia asked.

“Yes… we have to….” I found myself muttering.

“Who… has blood on them?” I heard Mondo ask and I realised Mahiru’s death was quite bloody so he could be right but as I looked around, I realised a few people had blood on them. Everyone was standing at a distance from each other. Trust was gone. Any one of us could have killed these two.

“Nagito… did you… do this?” Makoto asked, his voice sounding dark, very unlike him. Nagito laughed.

“I guess we’ll find out at the trial.” He replied.

“Shut up, Nagito.” I said, “He didn’t do this, he was with me the whole time, I held him against the wall and then… we both fell down these stairs, its impossible for him to have done either of these. He has an injury on his head to prove it.” I said immediately.

“Hajime, that’s a good point.” Nagito said. “Monokuma, please can I ask you something?”
“I won’t promise to give you an answer.” Monokuma replied.

“Well in that case, I have two questions so I hope you can answer one of them. Firstly, can there be more than one blackened?” Nagito asked and I realised my words had promoted his thought process and he might be on to something.

“Uh… no comment!” Monokuma replied, “can I call my lawyer? Oh, hang on, I’m not the one on trial here! Aahahahaha!” Monokuma cried.

“You won’t answer that one,” Nagito realised. “Then… was that film the motive?” Nagito asked.

“Ah… duh!” Monokuma replied. So, it was. There was definitely something strange about that movie, but I saw Nagito’s reaction, it was different to my own. Did he see images flashing before him too and did his make more sense than mine? Nagito went from one extreme to the other during that movie. I would ask him about that later. I didn’t understand how that movie was the motive. Did we all experience it differently? I looked back up to where Mahiru was, Kyoko was already investigating. I should help her.

“So, we have Hajime’s testament, what was everyone else doing? Can anyone else provide alibis for others in that way or are we all doomed to follow Mahiru and Aoi to hell?” Gundham asked.

“I… was… protecting Hina… how… how did this happen?” Sakura asked still staring at her friend’s broken body. I moved up to where Kyoko was somebody had to help her and if she felt starting with Mahiru was the right call then I would just follow her lead. Nagito was right behind me and soon Makoto joined us, but tears were flowing from his eyes. This was too awful. Mahiru Koizumi. She was lying slumped in a chair, her throat cut and bleeding, her eyes, usually so full of life… had darkened. We had to begin this. The investigation and then… the trial. Could there be more than one blackened? If so… what were we supposed to do when it came to selecting the killer?

Chapter Text

Mahiru Koizumi and Aoi Asahina… both dead. They were killed right near us, we were all in this room, in this theatre and it had been pitched black. How had a murder even occurred in that darkness? How had anyone been able to do anything except fumble around?  

“Monokuma, I have a question too,” Kyoko stopped her investigation for a moment. “What does happen if more than one blackened is in operation? How does that affect the trial?” I had wondered that myself.

“You have to find them both, but you have to determine who acted first and only that blackened will be executed.”
“So according to the rules, the second blackened could graduate?” she asked.

“Nope. If you find them out, they haven’t gotten away with it, but they have gotten away with murder.” Monokuma replied with a grin.

“How does that even make sense?” I asked.

“This… this is ridiculous!” Makoto cried out.

“Does that mean… more than one of us committed murder?” Gundham asked.

“It is possible.” Kyoko pondered as she searched around Mahiru’s body. I decided to look at my handbook so I could see it in more details, first Mahiru. Her throat had been cut deeply, it says she bled out pretty fast and there was a lot of blood. I hoped she didn’t suffer, I looked over to Kyoko.

“What do you need me to do?” I asked her.

“Look around for the likely weapon.” She said and I moved to do so and Nagito followed. Makoto was also getting involved determined to find the killer of our friends. What happened if we determine more than one killer was among us and how did we determine who was killed first and which killer was to be executed and which one we had to have live amongst us after the trial? How would we live with someone knowing they killed one of our friends?

“Hajime… focus…” I heard and it was Nagito, he was right, I had to focus, it must have been obvious my mind had drifted. I looked around and others were also doing so, some of us were injured and nobody was obviously covered in blood to indicate being Mahiru’s killer. Also, Aoi had been at the top with us, but she ended up a few aisles down amongst the chairs. That was strange.

“There’s a bloody knife down here!” Hiyoko called, “gross!” she obviously didn’t remember Mahiru’s friendship the same way Mahiru had remembered it. I left Kyoko with Mahiru and hurried down to the front of the theatre. The knife was quite large, and I noticed a coloured paint on it, it was almost luminescent, Monokuma had said markers. It was covered in blood too.

“This… might be the weapon used to kill Mahiru,” I muttered.

“Someone took a god damn swing at me too!” Mondo said. “It caught me, so I got cut.” He said.

“Someone pulled my hair at some point during that confusion,” Sakura muttered. I made a note of the knife believing it to be the murder weapon for Mahiru. Sakura was going towards Aoi, her face stricken and tears in her eyes. “I remembered her… I remembered her friendship… I wanted to protect her. She bent down and looked at her friend’s body. I decided to join her. I noticed Aoi’s body really did look broken, her neck had a grotesque break, and she was just in a heap. I didn’t want to touch her but then Kyoko appeared and did the deed instead. She lifted one of Aoi’s arms. In her clutched hand were long strands of white hair. Sakura’s face dropped, became even more stricken.
“You say someone grabbed your hair?” Kyoko asked and tears fell from Sakura’s eyes.

“She was… reaching for me, for anything… anyone…. I heard her scream… I thought she was still near me.” I had heard Aoi scream too.

“Why is this… happening?” Makoto cried.

“How do we solve this?” I muttered feeling Makoto’s despair.

“If we try and remember how events unfolded, we might reach a conclusion.” Nagito said.

“The film, the motive, what did it show for everyone?” Kyoko asked but some clammed up and looked uncomfortable about speaking of it.

“We have to cooperate!” I yelled looking at everyone. “Do you all want to get executed?” I was losing it. this was all too much.

“I saw… images that didn’t make any sense…” Makoto muttered.

“That’s what I saw too,” I said.

“As did I.” Kyoko agreed.

“Mine did and didn’t make sense but I felt… despair….” Nagito said.

“It was a despair film?” Makoto asked. “They’re trying to break our hope.” He muttered.

“I saw… a world in chaos… but it didn’t make much sense,” Mondo was cooperating too although nobody spoke in detail. Perhaps the images were just that confusing. I barely even recall what I saw, perhaps that was the same for everyone.

“We have very little to go on here,” Kyoko observed. Sonia crashed to the ground in a heap, the expression on her face could only be described as despair and tears fell from her eyes.

“This is… are we all going to die?” she asked.

“I will not allow it!” Gundham said going to her. “I remembered you, my Dark Queen, I will not allow any harm come to you, I swear it!” he helped her back up, but he was blushing. Were they a couple too?

“Gundham….” She said in a soft, tearful voice. How were we going to solve this? There were not even any other locations to search, last time it made sense to search Nagito’s cottage at least since he was a suspect but this time, we had no leads. We had nothing. One weapon. What we heard and… the motive film but it was nothing. Not when we could hardly recall what the movie showed us….

Chapter Text

This was it again, we were heading to that trial room, with hardly anything to go on. It was impossible to find the killer, there were no hints. I’m pretty sure we only got by last time because Nagito knew who the killer was and wanted it over with as quickly as possible because it involved two non-ultimates so it didn’t fit with his ideals of reaching that hope he strived for. The trial began.

“Let’s begin with Mahiru,” Kyoko said taking the lead.

“Why do you wish to begin there?” Gundham asked.

“It is my belief she was murdered first,” Kyoko replied.

“What has you believe that?” Gundham countered.

“Think back to when the lights first went out, I distinctly remember Mahiru crying out for someone to get off her, I believe that is when the killer made their move, shortly after we heard Aoi scream.” Kyoko replied and Gundham was convinced.

“Shall we start with the murder weapon?” Makoto asked, he still looked haunted, but he was trying to be strong as always, it was very admirable, how he managed to hold onto his strength despite all of this and having lost his sister and now his friends. I had a lot of respect for him.

“We found what looked like the murder weapon, that bloody knife at the front of the theatre,” Fuyuhiko said.

“Yeah, I agree,” I said.

“I found that!” Hiyoko cried, yeah, really good of you. That’s all you did. I thought but really what did any of us do? Two people died in that, and we barely found any clues.

“How did it end up there when she was killed near the top?” Makoto asked.

“Let’s discuss that,” Kyoko agreed.

“Could they have just tossed it?” Mondo asked.

“Or found their way to the bottom in the darkness?” Sakura suggested.

“Who was at the lower parts of the theatre when the lights came back on?” Fuyuhiko asked.

“Hajime and I were but I believe we’ve already covered our alibis,” Nagito said.

“I saw Mondo down there and Sonia,” Hiyoko said.

“Are you… accusing me?” Sonia asked looking horrified at the prospect.

“Just because they were down there does not automatically make them a suspect,” Kyoko said.

“Why the fuck not?” Fuyuhiko snapped.

“Because tossing the knife down there is still a possibility,” I said.

“Alright, I’ll admit this, someone came at me in that chaos, and I fought back but tripped on the stairs and fell, that’s why I was at the fucking bottom!” Mondo defended. Mondo… is that true? Could there have been another murder? Three people? I’m so pleased he fought back if his story was true, but what if that didn’t happen as he had described. Maybe he tried to kill someone or… maybe….

“Mondo… did that really happen?” I asked him.

“Of course!” He snapped. “I didn’t fucking kill anyone!” he yelled.

“Let’s not jump to conclusions otherwise this trial could fall apart,” Kyoko said calmly. She was right.

“Are we all in agreement that Mahiru was the first to be killed?” Gundham asked and everyone affirmed that agreement.

“Then we have to find her killer and determine if they also killed Aoi or if it was someone else,” Makoto said.

“I think we should talk about that film,” Nagito said. “What did everyone see?” he asked crossing his arms looking a little less excited than I thought he would.

“I… don’t really know what I saw, all I saw were images that made no sense.” I said.

“What were they?” Nagito questioned.

“I saw… it looked like… a city in ruins,” I said.

“Puhuhuhu.” Monokuma laughed with his hands over his mouth.

“What does that mean?” Kyoko asked directing the question to Monokuma.

“It’s a surprise!” He cried out.

“It’s useless, don’t bother asking him anything,” I muttered.

“I saw something similar,” Makoto said.

“All I felt was… despair,” Sonia said with tears in her eyes.

“I had a personal revelation but then… it turned to despair,” Nagito said.

“Personal revelation?” I asked him and he just smiled. “Nagito! If it could help this case, you have to tell us! We have nothing, we have nothing to go on! We’ll all die here if we don’t find the killer.” I yelled at him getting annoyed.

“That might be for the best.” he replied darkly. What?

“What the hell is with you right now?” I snapped.

“What I saw… I believe were more memories, it affected us all differently, I don’t think everyone is being truthful, at least… not very open about what they saw.” He replied.

“Yeah, that includes you!” Hiyoko yelled.

“It is not just what was seen during the film but… what I saw afterwards… when the lights came back on. Did anyone notice the look on some people’s faces? Not everyone was sad to see the deaths.” Nagito said.

“Despair,” Makoto muttered, “that is what I saw from that movie… just… despair… faces of… people… fallen but… the memory faded. I can’t recall!” he said frustrated.

“What you guys saw was the outside world! Ops, I ruined the surprise! Ahahaaahhahah!” Monokuma cried like he had just burst.

“What…?” I asked.

“Don’t believe everything he says,” Kyoko replied.

“Back to our discussion,” Makoto said.

“I noticed the weapons had… glowing paint on or something,” Makoto said.

“The identifying markers,” Gundham replied.

“I do remember seeing flashes of colour in the dark,” Mondo added. I didn’t see anything. I was too busy trying to protect Nagito and then almost killed him myself.

“We have the murder weapon, the knife at the bottom of the theatre,” Fuyuhiko said.

“Yes, I agree that was the weapon.” Kyoko replied.

“Did anyone… feel something like… a switch in their brains whilst watching that film?” Mondo asked.

“I feel different after watching it, if that’s what you mean.” Nagito said. What were they talking about?

“I also felt something somewhat like that,” Sakura said.

“What are you guys talking about?” Makoto asked what I was thinking.

“The real battle begins!” Monokuma cried out. What was going on?

“How was anyone able to see enough to kill?” Gundham asked.

“The cut on Mahiru’s throat was messy, it was deep, but it was not a clean cut. It is likely they just fumbled around,” Kyoko noted.

“Yeah,” I agreed sadly. Mahiru….

“Could the glowing paint have provided some assistance?” Sakura asked.

“It is possible,” Kyoko said. “Let’s try and remember where everyone was positioned before the lights went on,” she decided, and it was a good idea, but could anyone remember?

“We were all at the top, trying to leave,” Fuyuhiko said.

“Who was closest to Mahiru?” Makoto asked.

“Let’s think about who was sat with you during the movie, it makes sense that those people would still remain close as we tried to leave,” I decided. “I was sat beside Nagito, and Makoto was to my other side,”
“Kyoko was on my other side and then… Aoi…” Makoto muttered.

“Fuyuhiko was on my other side,” Nagito said.

“I was the other side of Aoi,” Sakura added.

“In front I saw Sonia beside Gundham and to her other side was… Mahiru….” Kyoko said.

“Accusing me again?” Sonia cried holding her hands to her chest looking hurt at the accusation.

“I did not say as much,” Kyoko defended.

“But… it is a little suspicious,” Nagito said resting his hand on his chin pondering the idea. “Sonia… how did you feel when the lights came back on?” he asked.

“I felt… relief but then…” she trailed off.

“Despair?” he asked with a smile. “How did that despair make you feel?” he asked.

“I felt… I felt….” Sonia muttered.

“Enough! My Dark Queen did not murder anybody!” Gundham shouted looking angry. “Cease this immediately or I will tear you asunder!”

“Wow, scary. Alright, I’ll not pursue my line of questioning,” Nagito backed down easily, perhaps he was just messing around as usual.

“Shall we start discussing Aoi’s murder?” Kyoko suddenly asked.

“Alright, she was at the top with all of us and… when we found her, she was nearer the bottom,” I said.

“Just like the knife,” Hiyoko said.

“She had a clump of Sakura’s hair in her hand,” Kyoko said.

“Then that means Sakura fuckin’ killed her!” Fuyuhiko snapped.

“We cannot be certain of that,” Kyoko replied.

“I was protecting her and then she screamed and the next thing I knew my hair was pulled.” Sakura said sadly. “I failed to protect my friend.”

“It is my belief that she may have died from… being tossed, her injuries were consistent with such, she not only had a broken neck but various fractures,” Kyoko said.

“Being… tossed?” Makoto asked horrified at the prospect.

“I do recall hearing a thud of some description,” Gundham said.

“There are only two people in this room with the strength to have done that, Sakura and Mondo perhaps could have achieved such a feat. Although, I do feel Gundham may have the strength too.” Nagito spoke up.

“You fiend! I would not have killed someone so pathetically! Especially a woman! How dare you!” Gundham defended.

“I was at the bottom of the theatre,” Mondo said, “you all saw me there, right?” he asked.

“Yeah,” I muttered thinking I may have seen him at the bottom when Nagito and I were down there.

“Sakura, you were the closest to Aoi, this is feasible.” Kyoko said.

“You’re accusing me of… killing my friend?” Sakura asked, eyes closed and looking down. “It is the first murder we should be focussing on.” she said.

“Is that an evasion?” I asked, “Sakura, did you kill Aoi?” I asked.

“And if I did, it was only so that she could escape this nightmare.” She replied.

“Was that… a confession?” Fuyuhiko asked. Sakura was silent.

“Sakura!” Makoto cried.

“Hina’s murderer does not matter,” she said. “Mahiru was killed first.”

“Sakura, did you do this?” I asked annoyed.

“It was the only way, she was so scared and wouldn’t stop crying,” Sakura muttered.

“Oh my god,” Makoto muttered. “You… killed your friend!” he cried, tears streaming down his face.

“You did it…” I whispered.

“Now that’s settled let’s find Mahiru’s killer.” Nagito said looking pleased at the prospect.

“Sakura, how could you?” Makoto cried out and suddenly Sakura’s eyes looked different as she looked up at us.

“It was the only way.” She just said again.

“So, we have the second victim’s killer, but it is the first killer we must determine, unless…” Kyoko pondered.

“Unless Sakura killed them both?” Nagito asked.

“Precisely,” Kyoko spoke.
“I did not kill Mahiru, only Hina,” Sakura said. There it is a literal confession. She did not defend herself for long, perhaps because she knew she would be pardoned this murder, it was Mahiru’s killer that would be executed. I did not understand. Why? How could she kill her friend and… she tossed her? Like a rag doll. Aoi had been so sweet, terrified, she had been so scared, and she was grieving the loss of her younger brother. Now she was dead too, murdered by her good friend.

“You had memories of her, Sakura! Of your friendship!” Makoto cried. He could not accept this outcome but sadly it was true.

“Back to Mahiru’s case.” Nagito said. “Shall we all name a suspect, the most likely one.”
“Are you ready to vote?” Monokuma asked and my heart thudded inside my chest. Not even close!

“No, not yet.” Kyoko said. “Nagito, are you leading us to something? You led the first one because you knew the killer, do you have a suspicion?”

“I felt… I felt… despair…” Sonia suddenly muttered and Nagito folded his arms. “It is… all I feel… my home… my home was… destroyed… my people… gone… but that despair…” she did not look right; Sonia’s eyes had darkened.

“Sonia was the closest one to Mahiru, didn’t we ascertain that earlier?” Nagito asked.

“Is it that simple, to accuse her just based on that?” Makoto asked.

“Despair!!!” Sonia cried out. “Oh Gundham, everyone! That is all there is in this world, hope is just a dream… why strive for the unobtainable? Bow down!” she cried and then gripped the sides of her head. What the hell was wrong with her?

“My lady….” Gundham muttered. “My… Queen… are you alright?” he asked.

“Oh Gundham, please… join me… we can rule this world by her side… we can rebuild my kingdom in a new image!” Sonia cried.

“What is going on?” Kyoko asked.

“All of you could join me… if we join… if we just give in… we can beat this game! If you can’t beat them join them, is that not the saying?” Sonia asked.

“Sonia… did you kill Mahiru?” Nagito asked and Sonia just started to laugh. It was in her usual delicate way but this time there was something chilling about it. My eyes widened and I looked from Nagito back to Sonia.

“Did I?” she asked. “You like accusing me, don’t you Nagito?” she replied.

“You fell to despair, isn’t that right?” Nagito asked her.

“Oh yes, but I’m not the only one, am I? You know that Nagito, don’t you?” she asked but he did not answer. She laughed again.

“What’s happening?” Hiyoko cried.

“You all had to be taught a lesson, hope is just a fantasy, hope is not real-“ Sonia began.
“You’re wrong!” Makoto cried out suddenly. “Hope is real, its in all our hearts, its out there, no matter what, we hold onto it, and we feel it. It is what keeps us going through this nightmare! You’re wrong, Sonia, I don’t know what happened to you but… you’re wrong.” He said.

“Hope… is real… it’s the most beautiful thing in the whole world, the hope in people’s hearts but… despair is necessary, although I despise it as the opposite to hope.” Nagito said and Makoto smiled at him. “I will never lose my hope, it will never break, it is what keeps me strong!”

“Yeah! We have hope, as long as we’re alive, we have hope, it is real, and we will reach it!” I added, it was not quite as eloquent as Makoto’s words and not as passionate as Nagito’s, but I had to say something. Sonia just laughed.

“You really don’t understand,” she said, “you should just join us… she is the ruler of our world, she will show you true despair and she will be… your god. I will be queen, but she is god.” Sonia said.

“What madness are you babbling? Come to your senses!” Gundham snapped but he looked more upset than angry.

“My sweet Gundham, you could be my king,” she said reaching her hand to him. “We would be beautiful!” she said.

“Sonia, did you… murder Mahiru?” Kyoko asked.

“Despair is the only way,” Sonia muttered she sounded like Nagito but instead of Hope it was Despair. “If I am to die here… I know the others will fulfil her wishes, so I can accept it.” Others?

“She had no blood on her!” Gundham cried out. “How could she have cut someone’s throat and not got a drop of blood on her?”

“Mahiru’s body was found on a chair, sitting, it is possible the killer used the back of the chair to shield themselves,” Kyoko said, and Sonia let a small laugh once again.

“Perhaps… it is time,” she muttered. “I am ready.” She did it? Is this… a confession?

“This… cannot be… My lady what are you saying?” Gundham asked.

“Sonia, you were closest to Mahiru when the theatre went dark, it was impossible to really see enough to kill a person but if you were already near them, then it may have been possible.” Kyoko said.
“But she was in the chair aisle, and I was not.” Sonia suddenly said, “her body was slumped in a chair at the back.”

“You used the cover of the chairs to prevent blood getting on you,” Makoto muttered.

“But how do you suggest I found the knife? How do you suggest I was able to find her once she had gone back into the chairs?” Sonia asked.

“The weapons were… hidden under the chairs,” Mondo said.

“The glowing paint made them visible,” I added.

“As for getting Mahiru… if you had been close to one another… it may be that she climbed over the chairs in order to get away from everyone after Monokuma’s trap. The glowing paint would have certainly drawn the killer’s eye,” Kyoko said. “The killer retrieved the knife almost immediately and then when Mahiru mounted the chair to climb over it, the killer grabbed her and ran the knife across her throat.”

“You are clever,” Sonia muttered. “Well, I suppose it cannot be helped. I wonder how the despair will feel as I face execution?” she muttered.

“No!” Gundham cried out. “This cannot be true!” he had tears in his eyes. Sonia seemed unaffected by his tears which made the whole thing even more painful to watch, Gundham was devastated. This was it. Sonia Nevermind, the Ultimate Princess did this.

“She fell to despair,” Nagito muttered looking disappointed.

“Is it Voting Time?” Monokuma asked.

“I believe so,” Kyoko said. Is this… really correct? Was Mahiru really the first victim?

“Wait!” I cried. “Sakura… you murdered your friend, instead of protecting her. From what I learned of you in our time here, you are loyal, and you honed your strength to protect others. It goes against everything you were!”

“What are you saying?” Sakura asked.

“You were quick to admit and quick to affirm that Mahiru was the first killed and that we should focus our efforts there.” Kyoko said after a pause for thought.

“That video… it wasn’t right, I couldn’t move the moment it began,” Makoto joined.

“Sakura… could it be that you also fell to despair?” Nagito asked darkly. Sakura was just stood folding her arms, her eyes closed.

“Mahiru died first! We heard her call out!” Hiyoko yelled. That was true.

“Do we trust it?” Kyoko asked. “I do feel strongly that Mahiru was the first to die but… do we trust it?” she asked the rest of us.

“I believe Mahiru was the first victim,” Nagito said. Gundham had fallen to his knees, holding onto the base of where he stood. I’m so sorry Gundham.

“I believe she was the first to die too,” I admitted closing my eyes pained at the idea. One of these girls made the first move. I believed Kyoko and Nagito. It is the only clue we have.

“That video was a trigger to despair,” Nagito spoke. “It was not right, what I felt was… also despair but I was able to break away from it and move my body, taking my eyes from the screen.” Nagito said. That was true, he hunched over hiding behind the chair in front of him, he had a horrified expression in his eyes, utter fear.  

“Let’s vote!” Hiyoko cried out.

“Are we ready?” Monokuma asked and we each looked at one another and nodded.

“No!” Gundham suddenly cried out pulling himself from his own despair, standing once again. “I will not send my Queen to her death!”

“So, you can see our reasoning and also believe that she did it.” I said.

“Her words… I cannot doubt the words that came from her own mouth… my Dark Lady… my Queen… why?” he asked.

“Oh Gundham, if only you had joined me.” she said with a sad smile.

“It’s Voting Time!” Monokuma cried out. We cast our votes and my heart pounded inside my chest, I hoped we had the right choice. Sonia Nevermind, The Ultimate Princess. “Correct!” Monokuma announced. “One of you did not vote but majority counts.” He added. Gundham…. “Punishment Time!” he cried out excitedly. We had to watch again. “I have a special punishment for The Ultimate Princess.” He added and Sonia was dragged away.

“No!” Gundham cried out reaching for her. Suddenly we watched as she appeared before us, wearing an extravagant dress fit for a queen. She was walking towards a block where she willingly knelt before it and placed her head upon it. Decapitation? Monokuma stood holding a huge axe and was about to bring it down. Suddenly she was pulled away and Gundham had appeared, he pulled her from it and was running with her in his arms. Gundham… what are you doing? A blast of fire cast him to the ground, and he had dropped her. She was then pulled away; a noose having snatched her, and she was pulled up and into what appeared to be a tower. Gundham, are you ok? He was struggling, trying to recover and Sonia looked down at him from the window of the tower. A really bad model of a dragon appeared and was looking up at the princess in her tower. Monokuma appeared behind her, and she was pushed from the high tower falling to her death and the ‘dragon’ opened its mouth as though meaning to eat her. We heard the most awful thud as she hit the ground below, behind the dragon. It looked to us from where we were standing that she had fallen straight into the mouth of the dragon, but the dragon was not real.

“No!” Gundham cried out and everything disappeared to reveal the princess lying in a pool of blood and Gundham crying over her corpse. It was over.

Chapter Text

Another… murder… two murders… another… execution…. This was all getting too much and now we were forced to live with a killer. What had happened to Sonia? The video… a trigger to despair? Could we have all fallen? After that trial, Nagito had wanted to be alone, and I let him have that space. I hope he was alright. I know I was not. I lay on my bed staring up until eventually… sleep took me. I dreamed I was someone else. It all felt so real… I looked different… long hair, red eyes. It soon changed and I was me again. I was with Nagito, we were lying in bed together, naked. I kissed him and then gently guided him, so he lay on his side, proceeding to enter him. It was tender… loving… I kissed his face as I gently pushed into him, his head pressing back into my shoulder… a soft moan escaping his lips… this was real, this was a memory. I woke from the blissful memory feeling wetness inside my pants. Shit. I had come in my sleep whilst dreaming of being with him, but the feelings were still there. We did not receive another memory after the trial this time but my dream… there was a knock on my door. Shit.

“Who is it?” I called out.

“It’s Nagito,”

“Can you… come back in a minute?” I asked him.

“Are you ok?” he asked through the door.

“I just… need a minute!”

“Are you masturbating? The need for stress relief is understandable after what happened.” He said.

“No! Just… come back in a minute!” I snapped and I heard him walking away. I had to shower and dress before I saw him. I decided to go to him once I was done to see if he was ok. He invited me inside his cottage.

“Hajime… you know we could stress relieve together if we find that blind spot.” Nagito said as I entered. “Unless you can forget about the cameras?” he asked.

“Nagito….” I began. “I can’t… in front of the cameras,” I muttered.

“But you can play with yourself? Are you ashamed to be seen doing anything like that with me? I wouldn’t blame you if you were.” He muttered.

“It’s not like that, Nagito,” I replied.

“I… had another dream tonight, about us.” He said.

“Y-yeah so did I,”

“What was yours about? In mine we were having sex, it was great, but I woke up really horny,” he admitted.

“I… yeah, I dreamt that too,” I replied blushing.

“Is that why you couldn’t answer the door? Did you have a boner?” he asked with a grin.

“No!” I snapped.

“You did, didn’t you?” he was teasing me, but it was helping to make me feel lighter. He smiled. “I think we should focus on finding our blind spot,” he added.

“Alright, let’s do that.” I agreed smiling at him. “Nagito… are you ok?” I decided to ask.

“Yes, Hajime, I just needed to gather my thoughts. The video was about despair… I hated it but what I hated most was seeing Sonia fall to despair, I’m still not convinced the same didn’t happen to Sakura, now we have to live with her. It’s not like she’d be easy to take out either.” He added.

“Nagito… you’re not… planning anything are you?” I asked him.

“No, Hajime, I’m just voicing my thoughts. You’re the only one I really trust here.” He suddenly said.

“Nagito, if you ever need to talk anything through, if anything is bothering you, please come to me.” I asked.

“I will, I promise.” He replied smiling. I was pleased he felt he could trust me. I was happy our relationship was coming back to us, and I could not deny my feelings. I loved him but to say those words aloud would be difficult for me.

Chapter Text

The next days drifted by and it all felt a bit like a dream… nightmare… we were still stuck here on this island in a killing game. Who would be next? I dreaded to think about it. Everyone stayed away from Sakura, she seemed content with that. I spent some time with Makoto and of course Nagito but the days passed so slowly. It was as though we were all just going through the motions of living, eating, sleeping, sometimes interacting but everyone was lost in their own thoughts a lot of the time. The air was heavy and oppressive, the atmosphere stifling. We had lost three people in one hit. Sakura… got away with murder. Were we living with a person fallen to despair? Would she kill again? Why did they fall? I knew those questions ran through everyone’s mind. I was lying in bed in the early hours, sleep having evaded me most of the night. Gundham was uninjured by his encounter with the fire during Sonia’s execution, but he was distraught at her loss, although he insisted on remaining strong and beating this game. I decided to get up and shower taking my time. Damn, I needed some release, I hadn’t even masturbated here for fear of the cameras, I don’t want anyone watching me! It would put me off anyway. What I really wanted was Nagito. I wanted him.

After I was ready it was about breakfast time, and I headed to the restaurant as usual. When I got there, I noticed a few others had also been up early. Makoto and Kyoko were both here and Nagito, but he was sat away from them. I greeted Makoto and Kyoko but headed to Nagito. I sat in front of him, and he smiled. I couldn’t help thinking how attractive I found him, I know I was just horny so perhaps that was becoming even more obvious because of that, he had nice eyes and I liked his messy white hair, clearly untameable, I could relate since I had that bit at the top which just never flattened. He was looking a bit troubled this morning. he had just been gazing out of the window.

“Hajime… I was thinking about what you said the other day, I would like to talk to you about something.” He said.

“Do you want to go for a walk?” I asked him.

“Yeah,” he agreed, and we headed out walking from the hotel grounds and towards the beach. It was another beautiful day, a complete contrast to our horrible situation. We arrived at the beach and walked along the shore.

“Are you ok, Nagito?” I asked him.

“Not really, Hajime.” He replied. He never admitted to not being ok, so I knew it must be something bad. “I was planning something… something… big but I wanted to talk to you. I felt I could despite… what I know.” He said.

“What do you mean?” I asked him.

“I don’t know exactly what’s going on but… that video triggered some memories about you, but it has pieced together to make more sense as I dreamt.”

“About me?”

“You were not an Ultimate, you had no talent whatsoever, you were just… ordinary, boring a nobody like Komaru and Yuta. That was… disappointing to me.”

“What? How? I was at Hope’s Peak!”
“They had a Reserve Course, parents shelled out lots of cash just so their useless children could go to that prestigious school. It’s pointless, you lacked talent, you were nobody, nothing, a mere steppingstone for those that were Symbols of Hope.” His words hurt. “You should have been a sacrifice.” He said and I slapped him hard across the face. He looked back at me with a dark expression. “You didn’t let me finish.” He muttered.

“You’re lying to me!” I snapped. This couldn’t be true; I had no talent?

“You were not bothered about your lack of talent; you did not hold the same beliefs as me, but I still loved you even though you were a nobody without talent. As I remembered that, I realised I did not want to go through with my plans, I wanted to talk to you instead.”
“Plans?” I asked.

“Hope must win, Hajime. Sonia was not the only one of us to fall to despair. You did too, and so did I.” he said.

“What? But we’re not like that now.”

“Maybe they did something to us before we came here, I don’t know.” He muttered. “You tried to save me, but it was too late and then… you fell.” he said. “You were altered, I remember you… you looked different, I made it so that you possessed all the talents. I don’t know what they did to revert us back just to send us to this island to kill each other, but… its to do with despair winning. That can’t happen.” He said.

“Altered?” I asked and then I remembered my own dream of when I looked different. Was that real? I had begun to believe that had been nothing more than an actual dream rather than a memory. “Nagito, what was this plan you were thinking of?” I asked.

“I thought… if I could use my luck and come up with a plan that got all the despairs killed somehow, including us, then Hope surely would win.” He said.

“Nagito….” I muttered.

“I realised there has to be another way.” He said.

“Of course, there is!” I snapped. “I’m sorry for hitting you.” I muttered realising I was yet to apologise.

“I was being harsh, but you know how I feel about all that.” he replied. “Hajime… I can’t believe… I fell to despair… why?” he looked distraught, and I went to hold him, but he pushed me away violently. “I knew you had fallen after you… forced yourself upon me-“
“What?” I yelled. No, that can’t be true. “Did that… really happen?” I asked.

“I’m not lying about anything, Hajime, that’s why I waned to talk to you, it wasn’t quite like you forced yourself on me but… I did ask you not to.”

“That’s the same thing….” I muttered feeling disgusted with myself.

“It’s not your fault, Hajime, you had fallen to despair, its ok.” He said.

“No! It’s not ok!” I yelled. “Nagito… I’m so sorry.” I could feel tears falling and he just smiled.

“Don’t fall again, Hajime, stay with me.” he said but I just fell to my knees. I… forced myself upon him?

“You’re right… I should be a sacrifice….” I muttered. “I could just… kill myself….” He got down to my level.

“You want to be a sacrifice for hope? Or are you falling to despair again?” he asked, and I just looked at him.

“I’m a terrible person… my life… is meaningless….” I muttered and realised he was looking at me with such disdain. It hurt.

“Maybe… I should kill you and then kill myself and there would be no trial, or there will but both victim and killer would already be dead. It might end this.” He said.

“I don’t want you to die, Nagito but… I should if I kill myself then there would be no killer at all!” I muttered.

“I don’t really want to… go on if you die… Hajime,” he replied.

“What… should we do?” I asked.

“I don’t know.” He replied looking troubled. “I don’t feel comfortable telling everyone about this, I feel I have a lot of memories returned, it is still incomplete but… I don’t know, why have I… maybe its something to do with my luck, but… is this good luck or bad luck? I don’t even know.” He said and suddenly I got a pain in my head, shooting through me as though a bullet had been fired into my brain. I cried out and gripped my head. “Hajime!” Nagito cried but… he faded. He faded as though he disappeared altogether and so did everything around me.

Chapter Text

I stood in front of the pods, all subjects had been sedated and inserted into this program Junko Enoshima had modified, I had also modified alongside Chihiro Fujisaki. I told my Servant nothing about my part in that as he was to be part of that plan. He was an important part of it. I stood over his pod, looking in at him sleeping. He was nothing to me of course but my dreams… my dreams… memories of Hajime… I could not fathom the feelings from those dreams that is why I had to have Servant that one time but nothing. Was I supposed to feel? I did not know. All his talk about Hope and Despair… all of Junko’s talk about Despair… what was it all really? What was the point of it all? Which was stronger? Makoto Naegi… he believed Hope was, he intrigued me and thus I helped with this project. The monitors had not yet started up, I could not see anything, so I knew the program was not running but that was because it was not ready, only the subjects were. All subjects bar one. I was to join it. I would then experience first-hand what this battle between Hope and Despair really was… I might even get to understand these things called… emotions. Perhaps. I did not see a need for them but what I had observed from the humans without Despair, their emotions were strong, could even be considered powerful. What made a human, human? Is it those things called emotions? Makoto seemed to think so when I went to speak with him before they were thrown into this simulation. He told me emotions were important, they were what made us individual. Is this something I would ever understand? I had experienced emotions but only in my dreams through this Hajime, my past self. Friends… lovers… what was it all? It seemed so utterly pointless. Boring. So why did I have a need to understand it? I believe it is because of those dreams. I looked in at Servant one last time and felt nothing. Not like when I dreamt but as soon as I woke those feelings… simply disappeared and all I felt when I looked at him was cold. Indifference. He was important to this Hajime though. I turned from him and made my way into the laboratory; I had my own pod. There I met both Ryota Mitarai and Chihiro Fujisaki, Ultimate’s captured but not rendered to this so-called Despair, perhaps that was in the plans of this Junko Enoshima. They were both pathetic timid creatures. Lowly, worthless, and boring.

“Did either of you betray me?” I asked.

“N-no,” Fujisaki spoke first.

“I am going to enter the pod; you are to set the programme and then exit the room sealing the door. That mechanical creature, I showed you, it is set to kill anyone who defers from my orders. After you seal the door, it will stand guard, and nobody enters.”

“Wh-why did you call that thing a… Monobeast?” Mitarai asked.

“So, Junko thought it was hers, like her Monokuma. She can have her Monokuma, the Monobeast is mine. I have programmed it so specifically that it will act as I need it to in my absence,”

“Why are you… doing this?” Fujisaki asked, his eyes big and scared.

“Because I must.”

“Whose… side are you on?” Mitarai asked me and I looked directly at him.

“Whose side are you on?” I replied and he looked broken. Pathetic. Are these human emotions so important? To know that I had to see the world through Hajime’s eyes and not just in dreams.

Chapter Text

What was that? A memory? Nagito was right. I began coming around and then I felt like I could not breathe and realised a hand was over my mouth and holding my nose. I opened my eyes to see Nagito tears falling from his eyes as he tried to suffocate me. I managed to fight him off and I pinned him to the sand, straddling him.

“What are you doing?” I yelled.

“I thought… you were in despair, and I was… going to kill myself after I’d killed you… we can’t fall, Hajime… that would be the worst.” He said and I released him sitting beside him head in my hands.

“We already have, Nagito, if you’re resorting to that. You just tried to kill me.” I muttered. “Nagito, I saw… I don’t understand what it is, it’s fading but when I passed out, I think I had a memory of when I was that… altered person. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand what I saw and it’s… disappearing! AH! God damn it!” I yelled and bashed my fist into the sand. I looked at Nagito and he had this look of despair on his face, fear even, as he gripped the sides of his head.

“My memories started fading too, I know some of us fell to despair, but I don’t remember everyone who did.” He muttered. “I don’t want you to die, Hajime but… I think we have to; we have to sacrifice ourselves so that hope can win, it has to win, Hajime! I understand that nurturing despair to raise the hope to greater heights is necessary but… I hate despair, and I feel… the steppingstones are as high as they can get.”

“What I did… to you….” I muttered.

“You shouldn’t feel bad about it, neither should I since I’m worthless, I don’t matter, how I feel about it shouldn’t matter.” He replied but he had not moved from his position. I grabbed one of his arms.

“Hey, look at me!” I hissed. “It does matter! You should hate me, you should feel bad, I should, and I do! It’s not right, regardless of the situation. If that really happened, then there is nothing that can be done…. I keep getting this feeling though, its not despair, its deep inside my chest… a feeling… that I finally have you back.”
“Is that your last ember of hope burning?” he asked.

“Maybe,” I replied. “I don’t know but I… still don’t want to die, Nagito, even if I deserve to.”

“I don’t… really want to die either,” he replied meeting my eyes.

“We could do with some Makoto encouragement right about now,” I said, and he smiled again.

“He’s amazing, isn’t he? He lost his sister, but he is still fighting. His hope is so strong!”

“You admire him?” I asked.

“Yeah, I do.” he replied, and we smiled at one another.

“Shit, I feel so stressed,”
“You need some relief, are you sure you can’t ignore the cameras?” he asked me.

“Yeah, I’m sure,” I replied.

“Then let’s start looking for that blind spot, there has to be one, right?” he asked.

“Yeah, you mentioned that in front of everyone before, in the cafeteria, it was… kind of embarrassing,” I said.

“Oh… you are ashamed to be seen with me, it’s not just the cameras, is it? I understand, your worried people will think you must be desperate to be with trash like me, right?”

“Nagito, shut up.” I simply said and pulled myself to my feet. I held out my hand for him to also rise and he accepted, and we walked back to the hotel site hand in hand. That memory… although it was now fading, it made me feel like somehow… everything would work out. I was unsure why I felt that but I did.

Chapter Text

I still had trouble sleeping that night, everything was weighing on me. When would the next murder happen? Would it be me that got killed? Would it be someone good and kind like Makoto? I had almost fallen to despair and so had Nagito after learning we had done so before. How was it that we were not like that now? Why did I look so different then and why do I look as I usually do now? None of it made sense. I was just lying in my bed staring up at the canopy of my bed. Sleep was not happening, but I heard in the dead silence of the night a slight shuffle near my door. Was someone thinking about breaking in and coming for me? I panicked and then I looked over there, a piece of paper had been slipped underneath it. I headed over and picked it up opening it.

Hajime, I found a blind spot. Meet me behind the old building at 2:30am. Nagito.  

I opened the door quickly, but he was not out there, nobody was. Did Nagito write this? Or was this a trap? I couldn’t help but wonder. I looked at the time, it was 2:10am now. Something felt strange about this, he could have just knocked but this was Nagito, he was quite strange and maybe he felt awkward about telling me to my face. I was not about to leave Nagito waiting out there, but I still felt odd about the whole thing. I decided to freshen up in the twenty minutes before I had to meet him. I started to feel a bit excited at the prospect of having him close again and my anxiety began to dissipate. I began to imagine what we might do, I wanted him to enjoy it, I wanted to enjoy it, but it was more important for me that he did. After learning what happened between us before, Nagito’s memory, I decided he would take the lead, but I would do whatever he asked of me, and I would be gentle. It was time, I headed out feeling excitement swelling inside of me and I tried to keep my pre-emptive boner at bay. I slowly and quietly walked out towards where he had told me to meet. Behind the old building. There was some light provided by the pool lighting and the lights from the hotel. I got closer and then what I saw I could hardly process. No…. this can’t be happening…. I saw him, his white hair illuminated in the lights, he was lying on the ground, face down in a pool of blood. This was just a nightmare… it had to be. My heart ached and pain tore through my soul. I felt like I was dying too. I wanted to go to him, but my legs gave out and then darkness took me once again as I passed out.

Hope…. Despair…. Love…. Loss…. What was the point of it? What did it all mean? What was I if I did not feel these? Why do I exist? Should I exist? I am just a passenger in a body not my own. Hajime Hinata. He loved and he laughed, he cried. He hoped and he despaired, yet I feel none of it. Now he feels the greatest pain imaginable, and I still feel… nothing. My Servant… his Nagito Komaeda is dead, and I feel… nothing. Although… I do remember feeling vague feelings of wanting to protect my servant. Was that… lingering from when I had been Hajime? Yes, perhaps. How do I feel now?

Hajime Hinata. See me.

I opened my eyes, and I was stood in a white open space. Had I died? Did seeing Nagito that way really break my heart enough for me to die? I had not even gone to him but there was so much blood shining under the lights, he had to be dead. No. Oh god, no. I began to despair and then a man appeared before me, he looked like me, but his hair was long. His hair was so long and dark, his eyes red. Where was I? What was going on?

“Hajime Hinata, see me.” he said, and I did not understand what he meant. He reached out a hand and I was unsure as to why I copied that action, and I touched his hand. He and I were the same. We were one. Why was he so different? How could I be him and me at the same time? Nagito… why? Why Nagito? I began to despair once again, and I broke away from the other me. No more. No more! Enough! Stop! I crumpled, crouching into a ball, holding my head in my arms. No more…. Nagito… I won’t accept this. If you are dead…. no, it had to be a nightmare. This is still that nightmare…. That’s it, I am having a terrible nightmare. That’s all. That’s all it is….

Chapter Text

I woke feeling hard ground beneath me and I heard a voice. It sounded like Makoto. I felt hands on me shaking me. If I was on the ground… and Makoto was here… then… it wasn’t a nightmare. My eyes flew open, and I sat up but felt dizzy for sitting so fast.

“Nagito?” I called and looked over to the old building. There, in the bright light of day, I saw blood… lots of blood… the green hoodie… white hair… no…. Kyoko was already by his body investigating. No… stop! “Stop it!” I cried and lunged forwards, Makoto tried to stop me, but I got there and pulled Kyoko away.

“Hajime! You don’t want to see him that way!” Makoto called and I ignored him going to Nagito.

“He isn’t dead.” I muttered dropping to my knees beside him.

“You missed the body discovery announcement, Hajime, I am so sorry,” Kyoko muttered. I wanted to hold him but… there was blood everywhere. I clasped a hand over my mouth. I could see his eyes through the hair that hung over his face, they were just lifeless, empty, blank like the expression on his face. There was blood spatter that looked as though it had come from his mouth, it made me feel sick. He was so still, it wasn’t just his eyes that were lifeless and empty, his whole being seemed that way.

“No….” I muttered.

“Hajime, come away, you don’t have to see him this way,” Makoto said but it was too late. It was burned into my mind. I moved some of his hair out of his face almost as though to confirm it. There was even blood spatter in his hair.

“Nagito….” I lost him again and this time… for good. I remembered… why now? I remembered mourning him before… believing him to be dead just to learn he had fallen to despair. Now I really had lost him after getting him back…

Why were we here? What was happening? Why were we not in despair any longer? Nothing made sense. Nothing at all.

Nagito… I couldn’t save you…

Chapter Text

I could hardly take my eyes off Nagito. The pain inside my chest was unbearable.

“Hajime… you do not have to be here for this,” Makoto came to my side placing a hand on my shoulder. I was filled with a sudden rage, and I turned to everyone who had now emerged from their rooms at the body discovery announcement.

“Who did this?” I yelled, “who killed him? Fuck the trial, fuck the execution I’ll kill you myself!” I screamed feeling my entire body trembling.

“Hajime, I understand but please calm down, we must find his killer and follow the rules,” Kyoko said. I gripped the sides of my head letting out a cry of despair.

“The cause of death is multiple stab wounds to his body, massive blood-loss and pierced organs.” Gundham muttered as he trawled the Monokuma File.

“Oh god,” I muttered.

“Hajime, you must let me investigate his body, there may vital clues,” she said as I was still at his side. Tears fell from my eyes as I looked back down at him, lying on his front almost as though… he tried to crawl away from his attacker. I just cried out and went to move him, but Kyoko now pulled me away.

“You could risk destroying evidence, Hajime, please.” She said and helped me up, Makoto taking over guiding me, I just walked in a daze.

“Kyoko… be gentle,” I said turning back to her.

“Of course, Hajime,” she replied.

“He’s dead, what’s to be gentle about?” Hiyoko spat, if she wasn’t a girl, I would be pounding my fists into her grinning face right now.

“Well at least it’s the resident crazy,” Mondo said, and I turned glaring at him.

“You’re next! You’re fucking next, Mondo, I swear!” I screamed and Makoto was holding me back, stopping me from doing something I would regret. That look in Mondo’s eyes… I realised he did not look like he usually did. Something was different.

“This was a vicious attack, almost as though… someone had a grudge.” Kyoko observed going to Nagito’s body. “Time of death was… 2am,” she added after checking back on the Monokuma file. She lifted his hand. “That would appear accurate, since rigor mortis has begun,” she said, and I felt sick again. I didn’t need to hear all this, but Kyoko seemed eager to get this over with. I gripped my stomach and then fell to my knees; it was too much… why another death already? Why Nagito? This was not happening….

“Hajime let’s go get some water,” Makoto said, and he helped me back up guiding me to the restaurant. I walked up the stairs I was still in a daze, and we sat, I realised as we did so, I had Nagito’s blood on me. Makoto brought me some ice water and placed it in front of me.

“I can’t believe it,” I muttered.

“I know how you feel, Hajime, I felt the same after… Komaru…” his voice broke as he said her name and I looked at him, tears were falling from his eyes. If this wasn’t despair, then I don’t know what was.

“I remembered… and Nagito remembered some things… we were talking about it just yesterday,” I said.

“Hajime, you were the first to find him, right? You must have passed out from the shock.” Makoto said.

“Yeah…” I muttered.

“What were you doing out there?” he asked.

“I was….” The note. It was still in my pocket. I pulled it out. “Nagito and I were… looking for a blind spot from the cameras so we could… be closer….” I slipped the note across the table.

“2:30am, that’s when you found him?” he asked, and I nodded.

“How could someone do this? How could… someone be so vicious? There was so much blood and…” I decided to look at the Monokuma File, I couldn’t wait to see his killer executed. “They stabbed him multiple times… injuries to the chest, stomach and back…”

“It’s awful, I didn’t agree with his ideas of what hope is, but I don’t think he was a bad person,” Makoto said.

“Even though he said those things about your sister?” I asked, my voice was dull.

“Yeah, you’re a good guy and you cared about him so he couldn’t be that bad, right?” Makoto asked with a smile.

“He wasn’t… he was unhinged but I never cared… I loved him, he used to tell me I was worthless a nobody… he had a memory and he told me I was part of the Reserve Course at Hope’s Peak, I don’t have a talent and that was why I was just a nobody but… when he wasn’t on one of his rants about his ideals… I could tell… he really cared about me.” I broke, I broke down crying and I put my head on the table on my arms.

Hajime Hinata, see me…

 

 

Chapter Text

I suddenly felt composed, and I sat up, I felt different, my sorrow was still there but I was no longer falling apart. I looked at Makoto with a blank expression. He looked worried but I simply stood and walked outside, I had to help Kyoko. I could do it now. I left the hotel and walked towards the old building just beside it and joined her. I did not feel the need to ask her what I needed to do but I needed to tell her about the note. If Nagito died at 2:00am and the note was passed to me at 2:10 it was likely just after he had been killed and the killer intended for me to find his body when I arrived at 2:30am. Why would they be so cruel?

“Maybe he offed himself,” Mondo said.

“Read the file, he has stab wounds to the back,” I said blankly. I had no emotions, none at the surface but they raged within.

“Also, the murder weapon would still be here, but I have found none,” Kyoko said. “It does appear he tried to crawl from there and was stopped here.” She pointed towards the side of the building and the blood trail she was motioning to. I did not look at Nagito as he lay on the ground, I was not sure I could see him like that again although I would never forget it.

 I handed Kyoko my note and she read it and then looked at me.

“I’m going to his room,” I said plainly and left her investigating Nagito’s body and the scene of the murder. I saw myself into his cottage. It was tidy and clean as usual, and I could still smell him as though he was still here, I felt a pang inside my chest. His scent was so comforting but only now it left sorrow. I remembered everything except what led us to this island and killing game. I looked on his bed and saw there was a note just as I thought, and I picked it up.

Nagito, I found a blind spot. Meet me behind the old building at 2:00am. Hajime.  

I did not write this note.

“A lovers quarrel?” I heard at the door and looked to see Gundham standing there looking in at me.

“You think I did that to him?” I asked.

“You were first there,” he said.

“I didn’t do this, Gundham, I cared about him.” I said.

“I saw the two of you in contention at the beach yesterday, perhaps you still held a grudge?” he asked.

“You can think that if you want to, but I would never do that to Nagito,” I replied blankly. I was unsure what happened to my emotions, perhaps I was all burned out and no longer had the energy for them. Gundham just held my eye contact a moment, his gaze was intense but mine was unwavering. Something had come over me and I was not sure what that was. Nagito was dead and all I could do was investigate right now. I would find out who killed him. I took the note and walked past Gundham heading back to Kyoko, Makoto was at her side now also investigating. I handed her the note and she looked at them both.

“Hajime, did you write these?” she asked.

“No,” I simply replied.

“Is Hajime under suspicion?” Makoto asked.

“Everyone is under suspicion until we find the killer,” Kyoko replied.

“Did you find the murder weapon yet?” I asked.

“No, I suspect it was a knife of some description judging by the wounds,” she said, and I closed my eyes, I did not want to think about what his wounds looked like.

“Again, our evidence is minimal, Nagito had a good sense for things, and he was very observant, he did help us out previously but now we no longer have him when it comes to the trial.” Kyoko said.

“I can’t wait to see the bastard bitch whoever did this to Nagito, suffer and die,” I said coldly and the expression on Makoto’s face was one of fear. I took one last look at Nagito as he lay on the ground and then I turned to everyone. “One of you killed him, I know it,” I looked from Mondo, to Fuyuhiko, Hiyoko to Sakura and suddenly Fuyuhiko pulled something from his pocket. It was a knife, a large one and it still had some blood on it, he grinned at me.

“You all just wasted your time investigating, there will be no trial this time.” He said and I just glared at him.

“Puhuhuhu” Monokuma showed up and he was laughing less maniacally than usual. I stood, Makoto and Kyoko behind me, Gundham not far from us, we faced Fuyuhiko, Mondo, Hiyoko and Sakura. No trial? That’s fine, I will kill Fuyuhiko myself.

Chapter Text

“I owed you, Hajime, the other you but you’re one and the same to me. I told you, you’d regret tossing me across the room like that to protect Nagito, you couldn’t protect him in here, huh?” Fuyuhiko taunted but I had no idea what he was talking about.

“Fuyuhiko… did you get your memories back?” Kyoko asked.

“Yeah, all of them.” he replied.

“As did I.” Sakura said.

“Me too,” Mondo added.

“Yeah,” Hiyoko agreed. “We played a game, it was… full of despair and, hehe, I ended up falling after you exited.” She added looking right at me. What game?

“This is what I meant about the real battle! Puuhuhu,” Monokuma.

“This is a simulation, we were put here just like you but at first, we also had our memories taken but the mastermind has since returned ours, perhaps she will soon return yours.” Sakura said.

“If this… is a simulation then are those who have died… still alive in the real world?” Makoto asked.

“No, they’re dead.” Fuyuhiko spat.

“Who killed Nagito?” I asked even though I knew the answer.

“I did,” Fuyuhiko said. “I stabbed him right in the ribs, took him by surprise, I stabbed him again and again and he fell down, tried to crawl away but I got him, finished him off by stabbing him in the back. You wanna know what his last words were?” he asked.

“What… did he say?” I asked.

“I only made out one word, actually, since he was too busy coughing up blood, but he said your name, so it was something about you.” He finished and my rage just overcame me, and I went to go for him, but we were interrupted by the sudden appearance of a girl with blonde bunches.

“Now, now,” she said walking towards us as though from out of nowhere. “So, you decided to kill crazy hope boy, Fuyuhiko, interesting…. You all did well,” she said.

“Who the hell are you?” I yelled, still riled and ready to kill.

“Junko Enoshima and the outside world belongs to me!” she laughed maniacally, “Hajime, if you want to kill Fuyuhiko go right ahead,” she said, and I did. I really did want to kill him. I went to go at him, Makoto calling me to stop but I ignored him but then Fuyuhiko held the knife ready.

“The outside world is full of despair and if you all fall in here, you will be despairs back in the real world. I know some of you are close to it, you will all be part of my despair army.” Junko said. I looked from her and back to Fuyuhiko. I’ll get that knife off him and I’ll stab him in the fucking ribs! I ran again going straight for him, but I was grabbed by both Makoto and Gundham and we ran, they dragged me away from the hotel grounds and we ran as fast as we could.

Chapter Text

We ran so fast out of the hotel grounds, the four of us who were not in despair. Although I had been, I seemed fine now. No, I was not fine, Nagito was dead, murdered viciously and cruelly at the hands of Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu, Ultimate Yakuza. He was in despair, but I still wanted revenge. We ran but I suddenly had to stop.

“What the fuck was all that?” I asked halting everyone, “why are we running? Why didn’t you let me kill him?” I yelled.

“Didn’t you see their eyes? Their expressions, it was like they weren’t even them anymore.” Makoto said.

“I know, Nagito…” my voice faltered as I said his name, my emotions were back, and I felt like I was breaking all over again. “Nagito… had some memories return to him he said… some of us fell to despair.” I muttered.

“Who was that woman? Was she the mastermind of this?” Gundham asked.

“I suspect so yes, I believe she is the one who put us all here,” Kyoko said.

“We have to hide, I think they want to kill us all,” Makoto said.

“Wait, that woman said she wanted us to be part of her despair army, surely those who died here would not just simply die out there too? That vastly reduces her numbers,” I realised. “I can’t… I just can’t go on if Nagito is really dead. I remembered some things too, I remembered losing him before… believing he was dead… it was hell but then I found him, he was… also in despair,” I said.

“What? He was with that woman?” Kyoko asked.

“Yes, but in here with memories taken he was like he had been before, I had him back just for him to be killed. I can’t… let me go back there and fight, I have to.” I said but then a pain shot through my head, and I fell to the ground on my hands and knees.

“Hajime!” Makoto cried coming to my side, but it was happening again. That voice.

Hajime, see me.

What do you mean? What do you want? The words did not leave my lips, but I felt as though I screamed them in my head, back at the voice within.

“Hajime!” Makoto cried again but he sounded so distant. Suddenly the pain in my head subsided but I felt weak. Makoto tried to help me up and then Gundham appeared at my other side, and they carried me. “We have to find somewhere we can hide.” Makoto said.
“And think up a plan,” Kyoko agreed.

“Hajime, please forgive me for accusing you of murdering Nagito,” Gundham said as they helped me walk. What was going on with me? I felt weak, almost as though… I was fading away.

“It’s ok, Gundham, just know I would never do that, I might do that to Fuyuhiko now, but I would never hurt Nagito like that. It was awful, oh god!” I started to panic, “I can’t… get the image of him lying there… all that blood… I can’t get it out of my head! I had to go to him though, he was just…” I cried out in despair and Makoto let go of me, leaving Gundham supporting my weight. He stood before me.

“Hajime, listen to me, you’re falling to despair, that’s what she wants, she wants you to kill Fuyuhiko in revenge, don’t give in! You have to stay strong!” he urged, and I had seen how strong he had been since his sister’s death. I could not be that way, not after losing Nagito once before, to get him back just to lose him again.

“No!” I yelled at him, tears streaming down my face, “I can’t, you have no idea what I’ve been through, Makoto, no idea!” I yelled.

“I have had some memories return to me too, Hajime, I do remember. We were with an organisation called Future Foundation and we were fighting despair. The world is filled with it but there is always hope. Fight it, Hajime.”

“Makoto… I fell to despair before we got here, so did Nagito. He remembered that do you remember that part?” I asked him, my voice now dark and dull. His eyes widened telling me that he did not remember that part.

“You’re one of them?” Kyoko asked.

“No, not here, I am Hajime Hinata! As a despair I was Izuru Kamukura. I remember it.”

“Was Nagito a despair in here?” Gundham asked.

“No, he was as he was before, he was… devastated when he had that memory, but he talked to me instead of taking action himself. I was glad.”

“Wasn’t Nagito supposed to be lucky?” Makoto asked.

“What happened to him didn’t seem so lucky,” Gundham muttered.

“He had this cycle of good and bad luck, his cycle… ended with bad luck.” I said my voice failing me. I was filled with sorrow, but a quiet rage burned inside of me. Why? Why did this have to happen to him?

“We have to think of a plan, but we need a base,” Kyoko said.

“Somewhere to hide,” Makoto added.

“I do not like running and I do not like hiding, I fight an enemy when one appears before me, running and hiding is for weaklings. I am no weak man.” Gundham said.

“I want to fight too,” I said. “When I… get my strength back.” I added. We continued onwards to find somewhere we can hole up for a while so I can recover and so we can work on a plan. I did not know why I was so weak.

Hajime… see me… That voice in my head again. Was I just completely losing it? I wondered but then I passed out once again, it felt like something was trying to take over me.

 

 

Chapter Text

I was looking down at Hajime, he was still unconscious, we had managed to carry him and found a place to hide for now, deciding to go as far away as possible. We found it strange that Monokuma had not even showed up yet. He usually popped up all over the place whenever he felt like it and surprised us. We had bunkered down on the fourth island where there was a theme park as we found a Funhouse which looked ideal. Once we entered some instructions pinged up on our e-handbooks. It told us of a room called The Final Dead Room and that a prize awaited us if we passed a life-threatening game, some kind of weapon. We looked at the ominous door and decided against it, deeming it far too dangerous to play a life-threatening game. I was lucky but I was still unconfident in just how lucky I would be in something like that, my luck was usually bad luck which ended up being good luck and I couldn’t predict its outcome. Someone like Nagito may have been able to use his luck talent to succeed in there since he had a different type of luck that he could predict, it was just a shame his luck did not help him at the end when Fuyuhiko killed him. We had placed Hajime on one of the comfortable beds in the bedrooms that appeared available in this Funhouse. We had opted for green, so Grape House, Hajime stayed in one of the so-called deluxe rooms, we wanted him to be comfortable. Gundham and I insisted Kyoko stay in the other deluxe room whilst we both opted for a so-called crummy room. I was worried about Hajime; he wasn’t injured but he seemed to be weak, and he just passed out for no reason. He was still not awake. I know how much he cared for Nagito, perhaps it was down to shock but I was scared his body was simply failing him and he would soon follow Nagito. I would keep checking on him. I felt exhausted myself, everything that had happened all happened inside a simulation. It was so much to take in. Komaru… I hold onto the hope that you are still alive in the real world, and we’ll get out of here safe and then I can protect you, as a big brother should. I felt tears fill my eyes as I thought of her… seeing my little sister dead and nothing I could do about it almost broke me, but I refused to lose my hope, there were still others who had to survive this. Kyoko, it seemed we may have been a couple before we lost our memories, she had those ones return to her first. I was certainly attracted to her, but I wondered why she would be with me, she was quite cold and stand-offish, but I had seen her warm side. I cared for her, now I wanted to protect her. Gundham, he was a strange man, but he seemed like a good guy, I had to get him out of this too. Hajime. He was not always the politest person, but he was a good man and he had suffered in this as much as anyone, losing the one he loved like that, it had been awful. I suppose I could find some solace in the fact that Komaru’s death was not as vicious as Nagito’s had been, seeing a loved one like that would be soul-destroying and now I was worried that was actually happening to Hajime. I wondered how the others fell to despair and I hoped there was a way to help them. Hajime had said something about having fallen and so had Nagito but they both seemed normal, well maybe not Nagito but they did not seem to be in despair. It was hard to tell what was going on, this was a simulation and at the beginning all our memories were taken from us. Anything could happen. There was a knock on my door, so I answered it. Both Gundham and Kyoko were standing there asking me to come to the lounge for a meeting.

“Makoto, I had an idea to brave the Final Dead Room, it said the prize was some kind of weapon, we may be able to use it against those that call themselves despairs.” Gundham spoke.

“And I think it is too much of a risk,” Kyoko added.

“Yeah, I think so too,” I said and then suddenly Hajime appeared at the open entrance to the lounge. “You’re up!” I said happy but he was looking at his hands as though they were alien to him and then he raised one of those hands to his head feeling his hair before he looked at me with cold eyes and that was when I realised his eyes were different. They were red. Bright red but cold and he looked at each one of us. Suddenly I got a memory back. Slowly they came back one by one with a trigger and that was when I saw him. Hajime… they altered him, transformed him and he had long dark hair and those eyes. Those red eyes, he was terrifying and that was when I realised, I was not looking at Hajime Hinata, my friend, I was looking at Izuru Kamukura the creation of Junko Enoshima, the mastermind of this Killing Game and another Despair.

Chapter Text

I looked at the man that stood before me, Kyoko moved closer to me and Gundham moved away from him, closer to us. Izuru’s cold eyes just looked at each one of us for a moment as though he was trying to understand what was happening. Why was Hajime now Izuru Kamukura? What was happening? I took a step forward, feeling protective of my friends, not that I could do much, Gundham would have a better chance against the likes of him.

“It’s Izuru, isn’t it?” I asked.

“What is the situation?” he asked in that cold blank voice.

“Half of the group here are despairs, Junko has showed up,” I said.

“Then… I am in the wrong place with you, Makoto Naegi, believer of hope.” He muttered and made to leave.

“What? Izuru, you could help us!” I tried and regretted taking yet another step forward. He looked at me again, those eyes just bore through me, they were so intense.

“Why? Why would I help you?” he asked.

“Because… Hajime would want you to.” I said.

“And you think I have any care for Hajime? He is a broken man, especially now Nagito is dead.”

“So, you are aware of some of the events, how is that?” Kyoko asked.

“I have seen much of what has happened through Hajime’s eyes, he is weak. Boring.”

“He is not weak! He loved Nagito and that love made him strong!” I tried desperately.

“It made him weak because look at what he became after he lost him.” Izuru replied and then he continued onwards, we chased after him and then saw he was heading to Strawberry House and so we followed but got there just after him to see the door to The Final Dead Room closing. He went to the Final Dead Room. What? He was going for that weapon!

“No!” I cried. I looked at the others. “What should we do?” I asked them. Gundham approached the door, but it would not open since someone was already in there.

“I should have just gone in there without consulting with the likes of you,” he said turning to us.

“I do not feel like we should be here when he comes back out,” Kyoko said.

“No, this can’t be happening! We lost Hajime too? This is too awful!” I despaired, no, that was what she wanted. I ran to The Final Dead Room door and began banging on it. “Izuru! What did you feel when Hajime was distraught? When Hajime found Nagito lying in a pool of his own blood? How did you feel when you learned it was Fuyuhiko that killed him so coldly? You must have felt his emotions if you have been looking through his eyes, riding as a passenger in his body!” I cried desperately. He had to know… he just had to know how strong those emotions were… how powerful if he had been here the whole time with Hajime. We cannot lose Hajime too, I had to save him. I had to save everyone who was left, I just didn’t know how… I slid down the door having gained no response from Izuru. Tears fell down my face and I hung my head as I sat on my knees, fist still against the door from my pointless banging. Kyoko appeared at my side and placed a hand on my shoulder.

“We should leave, Makoto, I don’t trust our chances if he obtains that weapon.” She said and she was right. I refused to lose hope but right now… it really was looking hopeless.

Chapter Text

The three of us went to leave the Funhouse, I was scared something would happen to Hajime whilst Izuru had taken over. I didn’t know why that had happened; it was terrifying that Hajime could just lose himself like that. I wonder if it was the shock of Nagito’s death, he hadn’t been right since. Losing everyone here had been terrible but Nagito’s death seemed particularly brutal given how many times he had been stabbed and the fact he was stabbed in the ribs first, puncturing his lung taking away him being able to call for help when we had all been so close to where it happened. It was chilling and he must have been terrified. It all felt so hopeless right now, Izuru Kamukura instead of Hajime but he was despairing, he kept talking about killing Fuyuhiko, perhaps he was falling to despair again. It was clear how much he had cared for Nagito. We had lost so many friends it felt like whether it was to murder or to despair. We arrived at the exit to the Funhouse and Gundham stopped. He looked behind him and then back at us.

“I’m going back,” he said.

“What? We don’t know what he’s planning on doing! He might just kill you!” I cried.

“That is exactly why I feel I must go back, because it is unclear as to which side he is aligned, and I am more than capable of defending myself,” he said.

“Gundham, do you realise what Izuru Kamukura is?” Kyoko asked him.

“He has all the talents,” Gundham muttered.

“Yes, that makes him almost invincible to a person with just one,” Kyoko added.

“He isn’t all powerful, he is still just a man,” Gundham replied. “I must do this, for the sake of the memory of my Dark Queen, I must try and do something.” Gundham added. His Dark Queen who fell to despair. Sonia Nevermind, Ultimate Princess. I think I remembered when she fell, it was during another Killing Game but one without trials. I had been there with Hajime, and Aoi… Aoi… my friend…. I felt tears stinging my eyes, but I had to push them back.

“Gundham, if you must do this, please… be careful.” I said.

“I do not need to hear those words from a mere worm such as you but, yes, of course. I have a few things up my sleeves-“
“Hamsters?” I asked with a slight smile, but I could feel the sadness in that smile, what if we were about to lose another friend? That would leave just Kyoko and myself against the despairs. It would… be hopeless.

“You mean my Four Dark Devas of Destruction, I tell you again, they are more than just hamsters, that is simply their earthly form.” He said sounding most put out. I smiled again; he was a strange man.

“There is no way to communicate, but I feel we should find another place to hold out, I’m thinking the ancient ruin, but we need to get inside it.” Kyoko said.

“We do not have the password,” I said.

“I know, and it is risky to search openly for it, in case the despairs are looking for us, but it is not just hiding out in there, I believe the security on that building is a sign that its very important.” She said. “We need to find a way to stop this.” She said and she was right.

“We will be searching for that password.” I told Gundham.

“Very well,” he said, “if I do not see you again then I await you in hell,” he added before he turned and left. I watched him walk away from us back inside the Funhouse, awaiting Izuru Kamukura. Would we see Gundham again? Or would he fight Izuru and lose? We really were so few now.

Chapter Text

Hope? Despair? Emotions? Did I need to be any part of it? I wondered as I cleared the Life-Threatening Game and walked into the Octagon. Makoto’s Naegi’s words swam through my head, when he mentioned Nagito lying in a pool of his own blood, the image of that flashed before me, perhaps the simulation was glitching? But seeing him lying there as Hajime had done, certainly brought a pang to my chest, perhaps I had not acquired Hajime as completely as I had meant to. Perhaps those emotions really were powerful if Hajime is in fact still fighting for control. I looked about the Octagon and realised it was an armoury, all kinds of weapons were strewn throughout the room, every weapon you could think of, even guns and even rocket-launchers; boring. So many had died in here, the failsafe I had programmed into the simulation appeared to be glitching. I had no idea if those who had died were also dead in the real world. It was possible. I began to select weapons; I could not see anything that could be described as the Ultimate Weapon, but I also did not know enough about this place. I looked at Hajime’s handbook and the map of this building and then I went to the window. It seemed something was not quite right with the layout of this place. It dawned on me. This building was meant to be designed in such a way. I had put the failsafe into this program just in case, but it could well be that it had not worked. Nagito Komaeda and all the others could be dead in the real world too. I had not put it there to save them, I had done it as a precaution, it depended upon my decisions. I know Hajime would want me to fight for his friends but what was the point of it? For hope? Friendship? Love? It all seemed so utterly pointless and boring. I felt that pang inside my chest again, this time it was crippling, and I doubled over falling to my hands and knees. Suddenly my vision blurred and before me I saw him. Nagito, he was smiling and reaching out to me as though reaching through some otherworldly veil. Hajime…. It was almost as though I heard him say his name. The name of the body I possessed. Hajime… come back to me…. He was speaking and I suddenly realised my face was soaked with tears, I had not known were there.

“You’re dead,” I muttered coldly to the ghost that appeared before me. This simulation was glitching. That much was certain. He disappeared, fading away just as his life had done, and it was as though he had never been there at all. I pulled myself up to my feet and wiped the tears from my face looking at the wet on my hands, no feelings. No emotion. Why did I feel nothing? Hajime loved him. I knew that. I felt nothing. Just cold hard logic. Emotions were illogical, they made people do pointless things, made people act like fools and yet… why did I feel like it should be a part of me? Hajime Hinata, this is your life I have stolen. I was never meant to be. I was never meant to exist. A mere passenger in someone else’s body. I continued to gather weapons and then I noticed a hatch. I would leave via that and find where it takes me. No. I will feed the weapons through that and exit the way I came in with no weapons. Do I choose the side of hope and love? Or do I choose the side of despair and destruction of this boring world?

Chapter Text

I approached the room known as The Final Dead Room and waited, but he did not come out, perhaps he failed and died in there, I could not help but wonder. I did not wish to fight a man not in his own mind, a man whose body had been taken over by another. I would if I had to, to protect everyone. Those that remained. I could not protect my Dark Queen, I watched her fall to despair, watched her… executed right before my very eyes. Perhaps, if this were just a simulation, then there is hope that all those who have fallen may yet live in the real world but that could simply be the dream of a hopeless fool, if that is what I had become through this suffering. He finally emerged and I braced myself. He held no weapon in his hands, he just stood looking at me with those cold red eyes.

“Did you find the Ultimate Weapon?” I asked him.

“Did I? Perhaps,” he replied, his eyes were unwavering as they stared into me.

“Why have you come out empty handed?” I asked.

“I have yet to decide on what side I should take in this battle between hope and despair.”

“I see, so you might be an enemy, but you could also be a valuable ally,” I replied.

“Give me one good reason to side with you,” Izuru said.

“I am on the side of despair, does that sway your decision?” I decided to say.

“You wish me to fight against Makoto? There are only two remaining on that side, and you have sided with the other. Is that simply because they outnumber the side of hope? Are you a coward?” he asked, and it enraged me.

“I can never be called a coward! I am Gundham Tanaka, Demon Lord of Hell!” I cried and my Four Dark Devas of Destruction were ready to fight if they must.

“I see, are you set to fight me? I possess all the talents, you cannot win.” Izuru said.

“Then choose your side.” I challenged.

“I will go to Junko Enoshima.” He replied.

“Then I too, shall join you.” I replied. He did not respond, he simply moved passed me towards the elevator, but I followed, and we took the elevator to Grape House, I was uncertain what he was doing but I felt the need to watch him closely. I followed him to the lounge and there I saw a pile of weapons of all kinds. He began to select some from the pile and strap guns to his chest, knives to his legs.

“What do you mean to do with all of that?” I asked.

“It is simply insurance,” he replied.

“Then we go, to the hotel site, that is where we left Junko and the other despairs.” I said and we headed out. I got the distinct feeling he was not really with me but simply allowing me to accompany him. What he had planned I could not know but if I had to kill him, I would not hesitate, though I feel with his talents I would have to take him by surprise and kill him in one hit.

 

Chapter Text

I was accompanied by the one who went by the name Gundham Tanaka, and we drew close to the hotel grounds. I had weapons strapped to my body, but I may not even need them with the strength I possess. We entered the hotel grounds and upon walking towards the hotel, I saw him, Nagito Komaeda’s body strung up, and beside him all those that had also died, all strung up on display. Komaru Naegi, Yuta Asahina, Aoi Asahina, Mahiru Koizumi, Sonia Nevermind…. I could feel Hajime crying out inside of me, his rage was overpowering and yet I personally felt nothing. Gundham was horrified and then I heard the laugh of that woman cutting through the air.

“Isn’t it the picture of despair? All your friends and your lovers, strung up like they are nothing?” she cried.

“Why… would you do this?” I found myself asking and then suddenly that rage boiled over, Hajime was trying to take back control. I looked at Nagito and then moved my eyes over all the others, I had no care for them but something about this scene disturbed me. Something about Junko disturbed me and I realised all my actions until now had been preventative of her plans, I had to decide but it seems part of me always knew… she was evil. Was I also evil? With my lack of emotions, my coldness, utter disinterest in the man that Hajime had loved so deeply, who now hung lifeless before me. Nagito Komaeda… Servant. I remember feeling drawn to him, perhaps even attracted to him, lingering effects from Hajime, perhaps. No emotions though and still none except the ones deep that were likely coming from Hajime. I knew he loved him. Hajime’s memories were slowly becoming my own, I remembered how hard Hajime tried to help him, but he fell to despair. He tried to save him. Despair. My love, I will save you. Those words rang through my mind. It could be too late for that, Hajime Hinata, did I even care if it was? I suddenly had the urge to find out if my own work on this program had failed or if it was still in effect. Suddenly Makoto and Kyoko burst through the gates as though they had waited and followed us instead of hiding away.

“Hajime!” Makoto cried out. “I know you’re in there! Come back! Come back Hajime!” his words similar to the ghost of Nagito, the glitch, but then he stopped in his tracks, looking at his sister and his friends as their bodies hung lifeless from the hotel. I heard him gasp behind me, tears in his voice. “Komaru…. Aoi…” he muttered. It was indeed a terrible sight, if one had emotions to feel that terror. Pain shot through my head, and I tried hard not to react in front of The Ultimate Despair, she could not know what I suffer. The battle for control of this body. Hajime Hinata’s body.

Chapter Text

The world glitched, I started to see more clearly, Hajime had broken through somehow but not completely. I was both. I was Izuru Kamukura and Hajime Hinata and looking at Nagito and our friends’ bodies treated with such disdain was painful. Emotions… I felt them, Hajime… I was Hajime Hinata. I looked to Junko Enoshima; how dare she do this; how dare she treat our friends this way. Fuyuhiko Kururyu, how dare he murder Nagito the way he did, how dare he lay a hand on him and kill him so cruelly. My rage, coupled with the knowledge that I still possessed Izuru’s talents was overwhelming. I wanted to kill them. I wanted to kill them all but more than anything I wanted to kill Junko and Fuyuhiko. Junko for masterminding this and Fuyuhiko for hurting Nagito. I know he was in despair and that was Junko’s doing, I remember him at school, he wasn’t a bad guy. Should I simply get my revenge when I did not know if he would be permanently dead on the outside world? I wanted to kill him, just the way he killed Nagito, first stabbed in the ribs in the lungs then over and over until he just slipped away through organ ruptures and blood loss. Nagito must have been in such pain, and he couldn’t even call for help, he didn’t deserve that. Just thinking about it stoked the fires of my rage but I had to be smart about this. Coming here first, was perhaps the best course of action but right now, I needed to leave.

“Junko Enoshima, I have a decision to make, deciding who’s side I am on. Will you allow me that time?” I asked her, my voice sounding like Izuru.

“This world is glitching, there probably isn’t much time, Kamukura but if you insist, I will let you have a moment to think, but we have to turn everyone to despair.” I looked to Gundham.

“Whose side are you on?” I asked him, as I remembered what he said to Izuru about being a despair.

“Not on this evil woman’s side,” he said glaring at Junko, so that had been a bluff, testing me perhaps. She allowed us to leave the hotel grounds, Makoto chasing after me.

“Hajime is that you?” he asked.

“No and yes,” I replied marching towards one building I knew to be important. The Ancient Ruin. If my efforts and part in reprogramming this simulation had paid off, then in there I might find some answers.

Chapter Text

We arrived at The Ancient Ruin, and I approached it cautiously, that gun at the door could be a problem but I trusted my skills as a computer programmer and if I could access Chihiro Fujisaki’s AI then I may be able to hack in. I touched my hand to the door.

“Hajime be careful!” Makoto cried. I ignored him.

“Alter Ego, are you available? Can you access this simulation?” I asked and a green screen appeared beside me.

“Chihiro!” Makoto said with glee.

“It is an AI, but Chihiro Fujisaki created it.” I replied.

“Hajime, are you on our side?” Kyoko asked.

“I am undecided if I should use my skills to save you or simply destroy the entire world, it is broken anyway.” I muttered; this did not sound like me, but I was there. I am here. This world was not worth it if I could not save Nagito but… there may still be one thing that I could do. “Alter Ego, can you open this door? Can you hack in?” I asked.

“Hmm, I might be able to, but that gun is risky, you should stand back while I try,” Alter Ego replied, and I did so.

“Hajime, you cannot simply cast the world to the fires, if this is just a simulation and it has become clear that it is, then we may be able to bring everyone back. You might be able to bring Nagito back.” Gundham said.

“Junko and Fuyuhiko said they were all dead in the real world,” I replied.

“But they’re despairs, they lie!” Makoto insisted.

“That hope of yours is so strong… Nagito loved that.” I muttered.

“Exactly! Nagito loved hope, he raved about it, always said how it will always win! Are you just going to disregard his beliefs? His passion?” I looked to Makoto.

“Nagito is dead.” I replied coldly but then I felt a pang inside of my chest at those words.

“He might not be in the real world,” Kyoko said.

“I have finished,” Alter Ego spoke, the door opened. I approached the entrance to The Ancient Ruin but turned to the others.

“You remain out here,” I said.

“NO!” Makoto snapped, “you have to let us come with you!”

“I do not need you.” I replied and stepped inside; I armed the gun stopping the others from following me. This was something I must do alone. Inside here, I should be able to access the programmes code and read it, to find out if my failsafe had glitched or if it was intact. Finding this out, may be the deciding factor. I will save you. Those words, they rang through my mind as though my thoughts were not completely my own. I WILL SAVE YOU!!! It became deafening. Was I Hajime? Or was Izuru? It felt like Hajime was still trying to fight for complete control.

Chapter Text

We waited for Izuru or Hajime to come out of The Ancient Ruin, it felt like an eternity and our fate hung in the balance. I refused to lose hope, but at the same time I could feel the despair creeping in. I slumped to the ground, crouching and then Kyoko came to my side and did the same.

“Makoto are you ok?” she asked and placed a hand on my shoulder.

“I don’t… know… what if he decides it isn’t worth it? What if he decides to… kill us?” I found myself mutter.

“Don’t lose that hope you harbour so strongly, Makoto,” Gundham said standing beside me.

“I’m sorry, I just… after everything that’s happened, Komaru… Aoi… our friends falling to despair… it does all seem so hopeless, doesn’t it?” I could feel the tears in my eyes. I was falling but I could not let that happen.

“Makoto, stay strong, I know you can do it, if we cannot beat them in this simulation then perhaps we can beat them out in the real world. We may even have the Future Foundation working on a rescue mission, we were not all captured when they raided our bunker.” Kyoko said. She was right.

“I… yes, there has to be a way!” I stood up again and looked at The Ancient Ruin. I had to believe in Hajime and that he wouldn’t sacrifice our world but the thought that was at the back of my mind; what if he had fallen to despair after Nagito’s death? What if he was no longer with us?

Chapter Text

Hope? Despair? Which side should I choose? To destroy the world would destroy both hope and despair. I still wondered if that was the best outcome but within The Ancient Ruin, I had found what could only be described as hope. I had my answers, and I was heading out of The Ancient Ruin back to the others, but as I went to leave Alter Ego appeared before me as though blocking my exit.

“Izuru… what do you plan to do?” the AI asked me.

“Why do you ask?”

“Because my master had hopes that you would make the right decision and I wanted to know, I want my friends to be safe.”

“You could not stop me if I decide to side with Junko.”

“Perhaps not but… I could do something to help my friends if you force my hand.” Alter Ego said.

“Get out of my way.” I said.

“Please consider helping my friends, Hajime,”
“You called me Izuru to begin with,”

“I am not certain which you are right now.” Alter Ego replied and then disappeared. I powered down the gun and then exited The Ancient Ruin, they were all still there looking hopeful at my return. I stepped out and was about to tell them what I had found out but then that noise that ‘bing bong’ sounded. We looked to the near monitor where Monokuma appeared.

“Ahem,” Monokuma started. “did you guys think there wouldn’t be another trial?”

We looked to one another.

“What reason is there to hold a trial? We know who killed Nagito Komaeda.” Kyoko said. The monitor went off and suddenly Monokuma appeared before us.

“The trial is the final battle for hope and despair!” he announced.

“We are so few now… how do we do this?” Makoto asked. I simply left them heading for Monokuma Rock and this Final Trial.

Chapter Text

Hajime… Izuru… he had returned to us and now we were headed to a Final Class Trial. He had told us nothing of what he found in The Ancient Ruin, and I still did not know who’s side he would take. He was still emotionless, like Izuru, I almost did not recognise him like this, he looked like Hajime, but he acted so differently, Hajime was all emotion especially after Nagito’s death, to see him this way was chilling. We met at Monokuma Rock, the despairs stood before us, Hajime… Izuru stood between us as did Junko. He faced her but him standing between us all had me feeling he was still undecided. We had no evidence to submit in this trial, we did not even really know what it was about. As Kyoko said, it could not be about Nagito’s murder since his killer had already come forwards. Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu, unless that was a false confession, and it was one of the other despairs. Monokuma had said it was about Hope and Despair. Is this the final battle? No, because there was still the outside world in ruins and Junko still reigned. Could we escape this place and defeat her? All of this ran through my mind.

“Hello, hopesters, and whatever you are Izuru, let’s get this trial going before I get bored.” Junko said and we entered the rock taking our positions in the trial ground.

“What is this about? What evidence are we supposed to submit?” Kyoko asked.

“I’m testing your resolve to begin with!” Junko announced. “How about we watch some footage of your friends’ deaths?” she suggested off the bat.

“What?” I asked and she laughed and then a screen came down and I saw Komaru lying in her bed. “No… this is sick!” I yelled. “Why would you make us watch this?” I yelled.

“She wants to see if it will cause you to fall into despair.” Hajime said but in Izuru’s voice. I turned away from the screen as I saw Yuta climbing into my sister’s room. I refused to watch this but everywhere I turned another screen would show it. I closed my eyes.

“Oh, Makoto, you won’t play?” Junko asked.

“This is twisted, Enoshima!” Kyoko said and Junko laughed maniacally.

“I know isn’t it the most despairing thing? I recorded all your friend’s deaths and executions; it is nothing to just show you them as they played out.” she triumphed.

“I think we should watch.” Hajime said. No, this must be Izuru.

“You’ll watch Fuyuhiko kill Nagito? You’re willing to see that?” I yelled at him.

“It will test how strong that hope is, will it not?” he replied.

“I will just leave that running in the background on a loop.” Junko said. “So, Izuru, what was your intention when you sneakily messed with my program and then entered it yourself? You’re on trial here, what was the goal? I thought you were on my side but now I’m not so sure, but neither is Naegi, isn’t that right?” she looked at me.

“I don’t know,” I replied.

“My intention….” Izuru muttered, that cold emotionless voice, I could not get over how he sounded.  “I wanted to know about emotions, I wanted to see the world and feel it through Hajime’s eyes and through his experiences.”

“Oh? Why?” she questioned.

“I would dream in his memories, I felt nothing, but he felt strong emotions. He loved Nagito Komaeda, he was very important to him. I wanted to know the point of it.”

“And is there a point? To love? To friends?” Junko asked.

“It is all meaningless and boring.” Izuru said. Yes, this was definitely Izuru because I knew Hajime, and he would never say that he would never have said that about his relationship with Nagito. I felt like the floor beneath me was opening up and I was about to fall down into a deep dark hole. No! Stop!

“You’re wrong!” I called out. “There is nothing meaningless to loving someone, to caring about friends, to hold those around you close! That is what life is about! That is what living means!”

“Then I am not living, I am merely existing. Is that what you’re saying?” he asked.

“Yes, if you have no capacity to understand why we care, why Hajime loved Nagito, then you are merely existing, but it doesn’t mean you’re not worth saving too!” I said.

“We were only able to cope with what was happening because we all had each other and as our memories returned to us over the course of our time here, were we able to fully grasp what we meant to one another.” Kyoko said. “Although, all life is worth protecting.” She added and I smiled at her.

“Ah yes, the memories, that was also you’re doing, wasn’t it Izuru?” she asked after donning some glasses and holding a clipboard but then she switched to a childish appearance, “You ruined the carefully set plans I had laid out for what was supposed to happen in this simulation, and everyone got their memories back much sooner than planned.” She was insane but I already knew that. I remembered when me and some of my classmates came across her plan, forcing her to carry it out differently. Could it have ever been prevented?

“Why did you do all that, Izuru?” Fuyuhiko now questioned. “The despairs were supposed to get our memoires back first, but you did something to fuck it up and everyone got their memories back!” he snapped.

“I had hoped that you as Hajime might have killed Nagito yourself and it looked like it might be heading that way at the start but then the memories you were getting were not the ones I had planned either. Getting memories of your love prevented that, but I wanted to return those memories to you after you killed him. That would have been wonderfully despairful!” Junko cried out. “What you ever saw in him, though, I have no idea. He made me want to puke, even in despair he still loved hope. What was wrong with him? Oh well, he’s dead now.” she said.

“No, that’s wrong!” Izuru muttered, his voice cold and quiet but still commanding. 

“Oh?” Junko asked intrigued. What did he mean?

“I put in a failsafe, just to make sure those that died could come back. But was it your intention to actually kill them? I thought you wanted them to join your despair army?” he asked.

“Komaru Naegi, Yuta Asahina and Nagito Komaeda will remain dead in the real world. I have no use for them, but you are correct, Hajime, I did not want them all to die.”

“What? Komaru… is really dead?” I muttered and then looked to Izuru. “Tell me that’s not true! I’ve been holding onto the hope that she is still alive out there when we get back!” Junko laughed and Hajime, Izuru looked at me with cold eyes.

Chapter Text

“Are you falling to despair, Makoto Naegi?” Izuru asked me, still looking at me with those cold eyes.

“I…” I had no words, but the tears in my eyes fell.

“You, of all people.” He continued. “It seems despair might be stronger than hope.”

“Makoto is not falling to despair; it is human to react to tragic news in such a way.” Kyoko said but she might be wrong, maybe I was falling to despair, my sister being dead in the real world…. My sweet sister, she was so kind and never hurt anybody… she didn’t deserve this. This was exactly what Junko wanted, she was winning. I looked to Izuru and something dawned on me.

“Izuru… Hajime… whoever you are… can you honestly say if Nagito is dead in the real world that you’d be ok?” he asked. “I know how much Hajime cared for Nagito, I saw it out there when he was grieving for him, believing him dead before. He was barely living. If Hajime heard that Nagito was really dead he would be falling apart, he was already falling apart.”

“That is why he needed me to step in and take over.”

“But what good is that doing us?” Gundham asked. “Hajime was on our side, he wanted us all to get out of this hell.” he added.

“I knew you lied when you said you were despair, what sort of ploy was that?” Izuru asked.

“If you sided with the despairs, I would have joined you, but only as one working from the inside, I would not abandon my friends, even if they are just simple humans.”

“So, to spy?” Izuru asked.

“I would have seen straight through it!” Junko laughed. I realised something the screen showing the deaths of our friends kept glitching every so often. I remained silent and watched it for a bit until I saw the glitch properly. I saw Nagito Komaeda walking towards the old building at night, going to the spot near where we found his body. It glitched at that moment and cut to the next when he was already dead. There was no blind spot, but I had suspected that. Every moment of Nagito’s death would have been caught on the cameras just like with everyone else but… why was it glitching?

“Have you noticed it too, Makoto Naegi?” Izuru asked me and I looked at him. “I believe Nagito’s murder was not as simple as Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu killing him. My Servant, Hajime Hinata’s lover.”

“Nothing’s ever simple, Izzi Baby,” Junko said. “Hey, didn’t you get a little freaky with Servant, yourself? I’m jealous.” She sulked.

“I was attempting to understand the feelings behind my dreams, I felt nothing for him, and I still feel nothing.”

“This is horrible,” I muttered.

“Makoto, do not despair, as awful as our situation is and losing Hajime to Izuru we must remain strong.” Kyoko said to me and when I looked at her, she offered a smile. Her smiles were rare, but it filled me with strength. “Enoshima, are we to figure out who Fuyuhiko’s accomplice was or is Fuyuhiko not the true murderer of Nagito Komaeda?” she asked.

“I’m not answering that, you have to figure that out,” she replied, and I looked to Fuyuhiko, he was grinning cruelly, he knew but he would not help us.

“We have no evidence to suggest he had an accomplice, in fact, after you all revealed yourselves as despairs we stopped investigating and tried to escape. This is not a fair trial.” Kyoko said.

“She is right, thus far you have allowed us adequate investigation time. We demand that courtesy for this trial, although you already tampered with the body.” Gundham added.

“Alright, alright.” Junko huffed. “Sakura my muscular darling, go to the hotel site and unstring the body, I will allow a little time for investigation.”

“Not alone! She is on your side, she may destroy evidence, I shall accompany her.” Gundham said and Junko agreed it. They left but I did not want to do any investigation of the body, if Kyoko felt it necessary, she can go ahead and do so, but he had been dead some hours now.

“Trial suspended!” Junko announced. “But before you go, this is not the main reason for the trial, although there is a little more to Nagito’s murder than you first thought.” she informed us as we followed Sakura and Gundham.

“What a waste of time,” Kyoko muttered as we walked. Izuru was walking with us, did he intend to help investigate? I wondered. We entered the hotel grounds to see Sakura and Gundham having already lowered Nagito’s body, and he was now laying in front of the hotel from which Junko had hung him.

“We should take them all down, this is horrible,” I said looking at how Junko had displayed our dead friends, but I had to look away.

“We have very little time, I am certain.” Kyoko replied.

“I will do it, with Sakura’s help, the rest of you do the investigation, I will join you when I am done.” Gundham said. “We cannot leave them like this.” He added and looked to Sonia as she hung from the hotel. I was thankful to Gundham but I could not look at my sister like that, or any of them for that matter.

“I am not sure I need to investigate Nagito’s body any further, but perhaps I should just in case I missed something.” Kyoko said but Izuru was already heading over to his body. He reached out and touched a hand to Nagito’s jaw moving his head to look at him, looking into his dead glassy eyes.

“Why do I feel nothing?” he muttered. “Why did Hajime care for this man so much and why did I cry?” he asked. When did he cry? I could not imagine such a thing.

“I feel our first place to investigate would be Fuyuhiko’s cottage,” Kyoko said.

“I agree,” I replied and then looked to see Izuru closing Nagito’s eyes. Why would he bother if he did not care? I looked to Kyoko she noticed this too. Was Hajime still in there somewhere? Was that hope?

“Come on, we don’t have much time,” she said, and we headed to Fuyuhiko’s cottage and saw ourselves inside. “I did notice some strange smudges in Nagito’s blood at the crime scene, I made a note of it in the Monokuma file,” Kyoko said, and I had a look as she searched Fuyuhiko’s cottage. The smudges looked strange almost as though someone tried to cover something up. Was it footprints? I wondered and looked as Kyoko discovered a pair of Fuyuhiko’s shoes, she inspected them. They had blood on them.

“Why would he bother covering it up if he was just going to confess?” Kyoko asked.

“Perhaps just to throw us off?” I suggested.

“Or perhaps it had not been planned that he would confess?” Gundham was now at the door, he was holding something in his hand, it looked like a note. “This is perhaps a vital piece of evidence, I found it in his mailbox, but it has been read and there is blood on it.” Nagito’s death had been messy, it made sense his blood would get everywhere. Poor Nagito. I had not been friends with him, and I did not agree with his ideals, but he certainly did not deserve to go through such a violent death. Kyoko and I went to Gundham and Kyoko took the note; we read it.

Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu. Go to the spot behind the old building at 1:45am and wait. I enclose a gift. Use it.

Chapter Text

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“I think we have everything we need,” Kyoko muttered as though she had figured it out but as usual, she remained tight-lipped, but I trusted her, and I knew she would have our backs when it came to the trial. We stepped out of Fuyuhiko’s cottage and walked back towards the hotel site. Izuru had not moved. He was still sat by Nagito’s body just looking at him.

“What is he doing?” I asked.

“I don’t know but it’s a little disturbing,” Kyoko replied.

“Perhaps he is summoning the gods of resurrection to question Nagito about his murder,” Gundham said rather unhelpfully.

“I think it’s very disturbing,” I muttered, and we walked closer only to see Sakura standing over the dead body of Aoi looking down at her.

“Let’s go to them,” Kyoko suggested as though endeavouring to find out what was happening why they were doing this. I went to Izuru and stood beside him, I did not want to get too close to the bodies, it was unsettling, I had seen my friends and sister dead once, I did not need to see it again. He was just staring down at Nagito, but tears were falling from his eyes as he did so.

“Why does my chest ache?” he asked dully.

“Maybe you are feeling his loss but don’t realise it,” I suggested, and I crouched beside him. “Izuru, perhaps you did care for him.”
“Don’t be foolish, that hope you are grasping at right now will fade once it touches your fingertips.” He said.

“Then perhaps Hajime cared so much for him that his emotions are spilling through to you?” I suggested instead.

“Is it really that strong that it can… defy me and my indifference?” he asked.

“Yes, if only you could feel what Hajime felt,”

“But I cannot, and I do not… feel anything,” he muttered.

“Hina… what have I done?” I heard Sakura mutter and I looked to her, I stood, and I went to her side a little fearful, she could break me in half if she wanted to.

“Makoto!” Kyoko warned but Sakura was my classmate and she had been a kind-hearted girl. I was scared but she was crying. I looked up at her as she towered above me.

“Sakura, this is not your fault,” I said.

“It is unforgivable!” she snapped. What was happening? Why was she in regret? She was on the side of despair. She looked to me.

“That video at the theatre, I had my memories return through that and it brought me back to despair. I received orders within that video from Junko Enoshima… to kill anyone. The closest person to me was my best friend, Hina… I killed her without question through blind loyalty!” Sakura was angry. “Why do I… what has changed?” she asked.

“I don’t understand,” I replied.

“I do not feel… despair… I do not feel… hope… Makoto… I have done an unforgivable thing here, but I do not feel I am obligated to obey Junko any longer.”

“Has something changed?” Kyoko asked and then Izuru finally stood from where he had been sitting beside Nagito.

“I believe she is speaking the truth; something may have changed within the simulation to revert her back to how she used to be and now she feels remorse for her actions.” He said.

“What about the others?” I asked.

“I do not know,” he replied.

“Sakura, do you know what we’re supposed to find out, the missing part to Nagito’s murder?” Kyoko asked her.

“No, I am sorry,” she said appearing regretful. I looked from her to Kyoko and Gundham.

“We have another on our side!”

“I told you I feel nothing towards hope and nothing towards despair.” Sakura replied.

“Then perhaps you can atone for your sins by siding with us, that is what Asahina would have wanted of you.” Gundham said.

“Yes, you are correct.” She replied. “Perhaps… that is what I should do.” she replied. I looked to Izuru as he stood looking over at us, if Sakura had really returned to us then perhaps Hajime could too.

Chapter Text

I don’t know why Sakura was herself again, I wondered if something triggered the change, but it was a good thing. Kyoko suggested she not let on about it, but we were aware Junko likely knew since we were constantly being watched in this place. The trial was about to begin again. I guess Nagito’s trial but also trial for the battle between hope and despair. Hope must win. We had to beat this and get out of this place somehow, I wondered if Izuru knew how we could get out, if he would let us out. Junko could probably exit at any point and make sure those she didn’t want in her despair army stayed dead, maybe they were already dead in the real world. I couldn’t think of it, it was too awful. We stepped up to our assigned podiums and looked across at the despairs as they stepped back up to theirs. Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu, Mondo Owada, Hiyoko Saionji and the false despair, Sakura Ogami. Junko Enoshima took her position and Izuru Kamukura took his.

“I’m fuckin’ bored let’s get on with this already!” Junko cried.

“I’ll start.” Kyoko said.  “Fuyuhiko, we found shoes in your cottage, and they had blood on them. That doesn’t mean it was you who killed him.”

“No, it doesn’t,” he replied. “What’s your point?”

“Did you despairs identify yourselves to one another when you regained your memories?” Gundham asked.

“Yes,” Sakura answered.

“There was something about the blood spatter on your shoe, it does lead me to believe that you did kill him, and we found this note in your mailbox.” She showed everyone.

Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu. Go to the spot behind the old building at 1:45am and wait. I enclose a gift. Use it.

“Yeah, I got that delivered to me on the day.” He said.

“It suggests the murder weapon was supplied with that note. Who delivered it?” Kyoko asked.

“Monokuma.” He admitted.

“Why would Monokuma give that to you?” I asked. “Does that mean…” I looked at Junko who was checking her nails looking bored. “Did you… set up Nagito’s murder?” I asked her.

“Oh huh? Me? Are you talking to me, little mouse?” she asked.

“Did you set up Nagito’s murder?” Kyoko repeated my question. Junko laughed.

“No, of course not! I don’t want to interfere too much; it wouldn’t be so fun if I orchestrated everything.

“Then who wrote those notes?” Gundham asked looking around at everyone. “The victim received one, his lover received one so that he would be first to discover the body and the culprit received one. Who would do this?” I thought on it a moment.

“Makoto, do you have any ideas?” Kyoko asked me. I didn’t.

“Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu, did you enjoy your revenge? Seeing Hajime break after Nagito’s Komaeda’s death?” Izuru asked.

“Yeah, it was satisfying to finally shut that freak up and Hajime is easier to break than you so it will have to do.” Fuyuhiko said. So, he did murder Nagito… wait a minute. I looked at Izuru.

“Did you notice, Makoto?” Kyoko asked me. I thought back to Fuyuhiko’s note, it was addressed with his full name… no… this can’t be… Izuru often referred to us using both first and last names… but he kept Hajime and Nagito’s notes informal as they would not address one another like that. This… would be too awful. Did he do this?

“Izuru… you often use both names when you address us, did you write those notes?” I asked and everyone looked to him, and he closed his eyes, still no emotion.

“Emotions….” He muttered. “I knew if I were to understand them, then seeing the one Hajime loved die… might stir them inside of me. Tears fell from my eyes but… I felt nothing.” No… this is too horrible.

“You arranged the death of your lover?” Gundham asked horrified.

“Hajime’s lover, my Servant.” Izuru said opening his eyes again.

“Servant?” I asked.

“In the real world, Nagito was Servant to the despairs but when Izuru arrived he took him for himself.” Junko explained. I vaguely remember a dishevelled version of Nagito with a chain collar around his neck. That must be what that was then.

“You arranged his death?” I asked Izuru, I still could not quite process it.

“You were there, weren’t you, Izuru?” Kyoko asked.

“Yes,” he replied simply. “I made Hajime sleep so I could take over at 2am. I tampered with his clocks and then when he awoke, he felt as though he had not slept at all, when the note was given to him it was 3am. Nagito Komaeda had already been dead an hour.” He said. “I stood and watched Fuyuhiko stab him over and over and yet… felt nothing, even when Nagito looked over at me and reached a hand towards me… nothing.”

“He… saw you?” I muttered tears falling from my eyes.

“Oh, what despair he must have felt in those last moments! Ah how wonderful, it’s enough to make me drool!” Junko triumphed. “Again, I’m jealous of Nagito but shall we show you the full recording?” she asked. No. I don’t want to see Nagito’s vicious murder, but she played it anyway and I could not look away; nobody could. Nagito walking to the old building towards the back, Fuyuhiko jumping out and thrusting that knife into his ribs, piercing his lung. Nagito cried out. He went to run but Fuyuhiko landed a few more jabs to his chest and stomach before he could even turn. Nagito fell as he turned trying to escape. Falling onto his front. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t speak, was now coughing up blood…. He tried to crawl. Izuru. He was by the pool watching. Nagito made a pained sound and gasped for breath “…Haji… me….” he tried to speak and Fuyuhiko jumped on him bringing the knife down a few more times into Nagito’s back. Izuru just watched. Nagito was crying, I could see the tears from here as he reached to Izuru, did he think he was Hajime? This was terrible. He made one last attempt to speak but it was choked by more blood filling his airways before his hand fell down and the life left his eyes. I had not wanted to see that, but something forced me to watch it, almost as though it was against my will, there was a stunned silence and I felt tears falling from my eyes, my face was soaked with them. Suddenly a loud mournful cry filled the room, piercing the silence, it had come from Izuru. We all looked at him, he was holding his head and an expression I could only describe as despair.

Chapter Text

“No!” he cried out. “No! Oh god!” Hajime? He held the edges of the podium and let out a rageful cry which turned to sorrow, “Nagito….” He whimpered and then he stood up straight and his eyes went right to Junko, his eyes, cold but also hateful; filled with rage.

“Oh, has the pathetic one returned?” Junko whined. “I much prefer you as Izuru, he’s far sexier.” She said but Hajime did not respond.

“Alter Ego,” Hajime said but his voice sounded like Izuru again. Chihiro’s AI appeared beside him. “This ends now, exit Junko Enoshima, Mondo Owada, Hiyoko Saionji and Sakura Ogami from the program but do not allow them to wake in the real world.” He said. He could just do that?

“How is it you had that power all this time?” Gundham asked.

“He was Hajime, he wouldn’t have known about it,” I defended.

“But as Izuru he would have!” Gundham replied.

“The AI previously could only be activated in and around The Ancient Ruin, I could not risk it getting found, I changed that when I was inside. I am Hajime Hinata, but I still retain his talents and his memories. The real battle for hope and despair is back in the real world.” Hajime said but he still sounded like Izuru.

“Hey bastard! Why’d you exit them and not me?” Fuyuhiko called over but he looked a bit scared.

“Because I have unfinished business with you.” Hajime said going towards him.

“No! Hajime don’t do it!” I cried.

“Alter Ego, exit Makoto Naegi, Kyoko Kirigiri, Gundham Tanaka but leave them sleeping as with the others.” He said.

“Hajime don’t do this! This is what she wants this is despair!” I cried fearing he meant to kill Fuyuhiko in here as revenge, but then everything went dark. I could do nothing.

Chapter Text

I was alone in the simulation with Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu, the one who murdered Nagito, the one I loved so much, all others having been forcefully exited. Fuyuhiko pulled out a knife, one stained with the blood of the man I loved and worked so hard to save. He put him through a painful death and every moment watching it on that recording was torture, but I couldn’t look away.

“Do you think you can beat me?” I asked him and he took a swipe, as I closed in, but I dodged it. “I possess all the talents,” I muttered.

“I’ll fuckin’ kill you!” Fuyuhiko snapped going to jab me in the ribs just as he had done so to Nagito. I swiftly disarmed him, predicting that move and took the knife from him, he staggered back.

“You killed Nagito so brutally, why did you have to stab him so many times?” I asked now in possession of the knife.

“It was Izuru who gave me that knife, Izuru who instructed me to do it!” he yelled.

“I know but Izuru is also me and I can’t kill myself, I have things to do.”

“You’re… gonna kill me?” he asked, “but I’ll come back in the real world, right?” he asked.

“Not you, no.” I replied wanting him to feel despair at the prospect of his final moments.

“Fuck.” He muttered. I held the knife, gripped his shoulder with one hand and I ran the knife into his chest, between his ribs. He cried out but his cry disappeared as his lung was pierce. He coughed up some blood and staggered backwards holding his wound. He looked up at me. “Just get it over with!” he snapped with as much strength as he could.

“Like you did for Nagito?” I asked, my voice was cold like Izuru but I knew I was me. He subjected Nagito to a death he was unwilling to experience himself. I closed in and took the knife again, but I was not going to draw out his death the same cruel way he had done for Nagito, I stabbed him right in the heart. He gasped and then I held him lowering him to the ground as he drew his last pained breath and his eyes darkened. I gently laid him down and stood. I was no longer in despair, something switched inside my brain, and I felt in control of myself. I was no longer losing my mind over Nagito’s death. This was a simulation, and I will get him back, I will save you. I will get them all back, I will save you all. I looked down to the yakuza’s body as blood pooled around him, even you Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu. Nobody is dying.

Nobody except Junko Enoshima. This was all happening because of her....

Chapter Text

I awoke in my pod in the room Izuru had prepared, defended by something he called a Monobeast. I had all his memories, his plans, everything he did whether he knew it or not was to ultimately stop Junko, but he also had a need to understand certain things. I could never forgive him for arranging Nagito’s death in that simulation in his quest for this understanding but there was nothing I could do about it now. I likely did not have much time, the despairs that did not enter the program are probably acting and trying to wake their comrades in despair. I pulled myself out of the pod and looked around. I hoped Chihiro Fujisaki and Ryota Mitarai were still ok, I had left them, Izuru had left them, but my priority was Nagito and the others still sleeping after they either died or I forcefully ejected them from the simulation. I hurried taking down all the locking codes from this laboratory and when I stepped outside, my Monobeast stood before me. I reached to it’s coding panel and powered the machine down whilst I programmed more instructions.

“You’re awake,” that was Nekomaru’s voice, I looked to see him standing with Akane.

“Do you intend to fight me?” I asked them and Akane punched her fist into her hand. “We do not have much time, we must get to the other pods, even your Junko Enoshima might be at risk of dying if you do not let me get there.” I said. Suddenly I heard the sound of a blade being drawn and the Ultimate Swordswoman was running towards me, she was lucky the Monobeast was powered down right now or it would defend me. I dodged her attack with ease.

“You killed my Young Master!” she said and got into another stance.

“He is not dead out here, if you let me get there, I can help them all.” I said again but she swung her sword once more. I dodged and then struck her hard enough to render her unconscious. I looked at the other two.

“He’s strong, he doesn’t look it, but he is.” Akane said. “Let’s do this! I’ll tear you apart, Izuru!” Akane cried but Nekomaru put his large hand on her shoulder, stopping her and I just looked at them both before I reactivated the Monobeast and continued to the other room with the pods. Other despairs just watched me, wary of the huge killing machine that walked at my side, but they should be wary of me too. I arrived at the room with the pods, left the Monobeast on guard outside it and I entered. I found Nagito’s one first, desperate to see him alive again, I peered inside, he was in his Servant clothes of course, I would remove that damned collar as soon as I could. He looked as though he was asleep, far more peaceful than the last time I saw him lying in a pool of blood, still and lifeless. I could not take my eyes off him, I was so close to saving him, to saving all of them. I then went to Fuyuhiko’s pod, I felt some guilt killing him and allowing him to think he wouldn’t be coming back in the real world, but I wanted him to feel that fear Nagito had felt. I hated him for what he did to Nagito, but I knew he would not have done that had he not been in despair. It was Junko Enoshima’s fault. I made a brief stop looking at her pod, she was still there too. It would be easy to kill her like this, but I made my priority in beginning to wake my friends.

I accessed the code on the program. All those who had died appeared to be in a comatose state, but something was wrong. When I looked closer it seemed as though Nagito was still somehow inside the program. I did not understand. I decided I would wake Makoto, Gundham and Kyoko first, I had reservations about reviving Sakura, she had apparently come to our side, but I could not be certain reviving her was a good idea but perhaps, she could come in useful and if I deemed her still on the side of despair, then I was confident in my ability to take her down but I could check the programs glitches first to confirm that it was true she returned to us. It was true and it was a glitch of sorts. The program was originally supposed to restore hope to those fallen to despair. I realised the original AI inside of it, Usami, had not shown herself in there for a while, I believe it was since Junko showed up. I wondered about that and what happened to her.

 It should be simple to wake those who did not die within the program and so I made this my first task.

First Makoto.

He woke slowly but then panicked and sat bolt upright.

“Hajime!” he cried and then looked at me. “Did you…?”
“Yes, I killed Fuyuhiko in the simulation, but I will revive him here,” I replied.

“Hajime… you’re not a killer….” He muttered disappointed.

“No, but after all that’s happened and the way Nagito died in there… I had to do it.” Makoto put his head in his hands. “It’s ok, I am not in despair,” I added.

“It’s not ok….” He muttered but I just moved on to wake Kyoko next and then Gundham and finally, I did revive Sakura. She was the only one who was not looking at me with distrust as she awoke. She opened her eyes slowly and looked up at me, I was ready in case she was not herself.

“Hina….” She muttered and then closed her eyes, tears falling. “I can… never forgive myself… she will never forgive me either….” I held out my hand for her.

“Sakura, it is not your fault, the one we should be blaming is Junko Enoshima.” I said and she slowly took my hand and I helped her into a sitting position. “I can bring them back, Sakura, all of them.” I said to her.

“I know,” she replied. “Thank you, Hajime,” she said, and I smiled that she recognised me as Hajime, despite my appearance. I went back to Nagito and looked in at him, Makoto appeared the other side of the pod.

“Hajime… I am sorry he went through that and… I’m sorry you had to see it, but revenge is not the answer.”
“It is too late for this talk, Makoto.” I replied looking at him coldly.

“I know.” He muttered. “Please… could you revive my sister?” he asked.

“I can but all those who died are lying in a comatose state, it may not be easy, I need time but that Monobeast at the door should help. We are protected in here; we must ensure the despairs do not wake before I have revived our friends. Komaru, Yuta and Nagito are my priorities since she deemed them expendable.” I said and went back to look at the code. Something wasn’t right with Nagito though. It had me concerned. Could I really revive him?

Chapter Text

The program had recorded each person’s vitals and brainwaves at every stage of the simulation, and I had analysed the ones of those who had died. I could bring them back, but their physical bodies entered a comatose state due to the trauma of experiencing death. All deaths had been traumatic for each person but Nagito’s… his was drawn out and he suffered a great deal, that much was clear from watching the recording of it. Junko had been sure to capture every aspect of his painful death, I saw it all. His brainwaves and vitals of his physical body had shown the most trauma and it seemed it would be harder to bring him back. It seemed he was still somehow inside the program. I wanted to get him back so badly, but I knew I should focus on reviving those that were going to prove a simpler task. It was strange having Izuru as part of me, I was more focussed, the talent inside of my previously talentless self was a strange feeling. The way I just knew things, had confidence in my abilities. I never cared much for talent, that was Nagito’s thing, he loved the ultimate’s and did not really consider himself among them, he would always talk about how great they all were as though he was not an ultimate himself. I admired all of them, including him but I never had much care for being talentless. Now I possessed all the talents. and I would use some of them to get our friends back; to get Nagito back. Inside I could feel my turmoil as I feared Nagito might not be saved, the more I read the code, the more I feared it. He was stuck in a world of his own creation. A coping mechanism perhaps? My emotions raged to the surface, and I suddenly slammed my fist down onto the desk.

“Hajime, what’s wrong?” Kyoko asked and I looked at her, tears prickling my eyes.

“I might not be able to get Nagito back,” I muttered.

“What of the others?” Gundham asked as he sat beside Sonia’s pod. Makoto was by his sisters, the pod open and he was holding her hand.

“I can bring the others back, but we must do something about the despairs before we wake them,” I said.

“Agreed,” Kyoko replied and then joined at my side. “I am not a computer expert but is there anything I can do to help you?” she asked.

“Just monitor everyone’s vitals, to lose anyone now would be… devastating,” I replied.

“What are we doing about Junko? Like this she is vulnerable.” Gundham said but at those words her pod began to make sounds. I went to it and saw that she was waking. How? I was not ready for her yet. She opened her eyes and when she came around, she looked at me and then swiftly climbed out of her pod. She grinned. No….

“Hello Izzi Baby,” she said.

“It’s Hajime!” I snapped.

“Disappointing,” she muttered checking her nails. “Anyway, I have some preparations to make, so I best be going.” She went to leave but not through the exit I knew of, where the Monobeast waited. I intercepted her and took hold of her arms; she was not leaving. She turned her head slightly to look around at me and grinned. Suddenly three Monokuma bots came at me, the bombs! I was forced to release her, and she dove out the way and the bots blew up but just out of harms way. “You can thank my Ultimate Mechanic for that. He’s been very busy whilst we were away.”

“Kazuichi?” Gundham asked, yes, his classmate, Nagito’s classmate.

“He’s quite the useful little cretin,” Junko said, and she continued out of the lab.

“How did you wake yourself?” I asked.

“Oh, you didn’t think I suspected you’d pull some little stunt like that? I put my own failsafe in to wake myself, unfortunately I didn’t do the same for my despairs for lack of time, but I have plenty who didn’t join us inside. Anyway, byes!” she went to walk away again.

“What is your plan?” I called, fearing that now, she turned back to me.

“Oh, wouldn’t you like to know, but I have a thing against giving spoilers, ya see, it takes away any surprise! Wouldn’t you like to be surprised?” she asked.

Chapter Text

“I’ll kill you for everything you have done, Junko Enoshima, everything you did to us, to Nagito… to my friends… to the world… you will pay for it tenfold!” I yelled.

“Eeeeeeeee!” she squealed excitedly, “oh, Hajime, maybe you are just as exciting and sexy as Izuru… those words made me all tingly. I look forward to the despair that is to come, for you, for me… ahhhhhh.” She said and drooled as she thought on it but then she left ne with a cold expression and walked right out. I turned to the others; their expressions reflected my inner feelings. Dread. It was important we revive everyone as soon as possible. I decided to start with the two youngest, they had been asleep long enough. I hoped everyone was ok. I hoped Nagito was ok. I went silently to the computers and started to work on waking those in comas. It would prove to be a task, but we had to get them back.

“Hajime… what is the plan?” Kyoko asked me.

“To wake everyone, that is our priority, I will begin with Komaru and Yuta,” I explained my intent. “They may wake disoriented, my next will be Aoi and Mahiru,”

“The order they all died?” Makoto asked.

“How will I look Hina in the eye, after what I did?” Sakura asked closing her eyes, tears falling.

“You were in despair,” I replied.

“Sakura, the situation we were in was terrible and you were not yourself, you cannot blame yourself for actions taken under Junko’s control!” Makoto added.

“But will she blame me? Will our friendship ever be the same again?” she asked. “Perhaps… there is some way to atone….”

“You can atone by helping me bring everyone back.” I said, “I also killed in there, I murdered Fuyuhiko in cold blood, out of a sense of revenge, I do not feel good about it, but I wanted him to suffer as he had made Nagito suffer.”

“Did you… draw out his death the way he did to Nagito, did you… stab him many times?” Makoto asked fearfully as though he was not sure he really wanted the answer.

“No, I stabbed him twice, once in the ribs, piercing his lung so he could feel what that felt like but then the second was straight through his heart, he died quickly after that.” I said.

“So… despite the fact he was also in despair and not in his right mind, you still felt he deserved to die, you still wanted vengeance,” Sakura said.

“We all saw how he toyed with Nagito, how he made him suffer and fear. I just wanted him to have a taste of that and if that makes me a hypocrite then so be it. I have to look him in the eye too when he wakes.” I said.

“Hajime… when you talk… you sound like Izuru,” Makoto muttered.

“He is a part of me, I may become more myself once my task is achieved and I have Nagito back safe.” I said and I moved from the computer going to his pod again. I opened it so I could look at him properly. He was just sleeping, deeply but he was alive. “All I have wanted; all I have been trying to do is save him.” I muttered. “Emotions… attraction… the hormones of a teenager… we were drawn to each other, despite him being an Ultimate and me a Reserve Course student. Sometimes he could look past that.”

“He had some pretty extreme views on people without talent and yet he… fell for someone without talent, I wonder if he would have sacrificed you for the hope he sought.” Gundham said. “For all your efforts to save him, would he have done the same?” he added. I would like to think no, but I had no answer. I did not know if he would sacrifice me if it meant that shining hope he always wanted to see would come to be. All I knew is that I was unwilling to sacrifice him.

“I have a lot of work to do,” I said omitting an answer to Gundham’s question. I returned to the computers and got to work on waking our friends, finding a way to bring them back from this deep sleep they were now in.

Chapter Text

I had finished, Komaru should be waking any moment now. Makoto stood eagerly by her pod, and I joined him on the other side. Slowly she opened her eyes and looked up at Makoto but then she sat bolt upright, horror in her eyes.

“Makoto! I remember everything! It was a simulation! They were despairs! What is she doing awake?” she suddenly pointed to Sakura.

“She is with us now,” I said.

“Nagito was one of them too! No wonder he-“ Makoto took her hand.

“Hey, it’s alight, we know,” he said smiling. “It’s all alright,”

“I… someone put a pillow over my face… what happened?” she asked.

“It wasn’t real,” I muttered, and she looked at me.

“Hajime?” she asked.

“Yes, I was also a despair, Junko Enoshima changed me after I fell.” I informed.

“Izuru… yeah, I remember you… Makoto… what happened? I’m so confused!” she cried, and he held her. Tears falling from his eyes.

“You died in the simulation… I thought I’d lost you… I won’t let anyone hurt you again, Komaru. I’m so sorry.”

“Makoto… who killed me?” she asked. “Was it Nagito?”

“Nagito didn’t kill you,” I muttered.

“It doesn’t matter, Komaru, others died after you… we lost others after you to murder and to execution.” Makoto told her.

“Oh, that’s terrible.” She cried.

“It is over now.” Kyoko said. “At least that part, we are still to defeat Junko.”

“We must finish waking everyone,” I said and moved on to the others, I next awoke Yuta who woke slowly. I wondered if I should have woken his sister first so he had her here with him, but I felt I should bring them back in the order they died. I was also working on those that were despairs, reprograming the simulation and trying to use it to rehabilitate them as the program had originally been meant for. They could stay in there a while with Usami but Nagito… he was deeper inside the program. Why was it so difficult to save you? Am I not meant to save you? I could not help but fret.

Yuta opened his eyes and looked up at me and then tears fell from his eyes.

“I’m so sorry…” he muttered.

“Hey, it’s alright,” I assured trying to sound like Hajime, myself. “Nobody blames you, we all blame Junko, she put us in that situation. It wasn’t your fault.” I said successfully sounding like myself again, it was a relief I no longer sounded like Izuru but it may be fleeting.

“I didn’t have to… hurt Komaru though….” He muttered and I helped him up.

“You… did it….” Komaru muttered as she was also helped out of her pod by her brother.

“Komaru… I’m so sorry… I had a note which said I could save my sister… I made a choice… I’m so sorry….” He was still crying, he had been crying before his execution, crying with regret and guilt. He really wasn’t the killing type, he seemed like a sweet kid so he must have been feeling desperate. I understand that feeling but I would not have resorted to murdering someone innocent. I had murdered Fuyuhiko, but I did not deem him completely innocent.

“Murder is never the way, but we were all under pressure in there.” Kyoko said.

“Komaru… I don’t deserve it but… can you ever forgive me?” he asked.

“I… don’t know… I suppose… I’m not really dead but… we were friends, Yuta… aside from Makoto… you were the last person I thought would hurt me.” she said looking away from him, tears in her eyes.

“I know… I really am so sorry….” He muttered, more tears falling from his big blue eyes. I had to get back to work, next to be woken was Mahiru and Aoi. This proved successful as well. They were both disoriented as they woke but everyone was waking with their memories from before the simulation which helped them to understand their situation. Mahiru first reached a hand to her throat.

“I’m… alive….” She muttered.

“Everyone is alive,” Kyoko replied as she helped her out of the pod. Sakura went to Aoi.

“Hina… I was in despair… I do not deserve your forgiveness, but I promise you this… in our battle against Junko Enoshima, I will protect you and ensure you get out alive, even if it costs me my own life. Yours is far more important to me. I am so sorry.”

“Sakura… I was so scared….” Aoi muttered.

“I know but you do not have to fear any longer, I swear to you I will protect you.” Sakura replied. Aoi looked up at her and then smiled.

“You’re back… you’re you again.” she said tears falling.

“I was in despair far too long and I have missed you, Hina,” Sakura replied and helped her out of the pod. Aoi threw her arms around Sakura’s large muscular waist. Sakura’s eyes widened in surprise but then she slowly returned the embrace. A happy reunion… would Nagito and I have the same, after he saw me as Izuru watching as he was murdered?

Everyone who had not been in despair, was awake, now I had to bring the others back.  I would bring them all back at the same time, I only hoped that the restoration program was successful, and they were also themselves. I would have to look Fuyuhiko in the eye after I had killed him, and he would have to look me in the eye after what he did to Nagito.

Chapter Text

I changed my mind. My plan had been to wake the despairs and save Nagito for last, but I was worried about him, and the despairs were in the Hope Restoration program right now. I can only put this indecisiveness down to the side of me that was Hajime. I missed Nagito and I wanted him back. He was stuck inside the program, deep inside of it, it would be like being stuck in his own mind. I had programmed an AI to go deep but then I decided I wanted to go in myself. It had to be me. Again, my indecisiveness on an important decision. I had set everything up and I was ready, trusting the others with watching over the pods and the program. That world Nagito was stuck in, had to be destroyed and he had to accept it, had to accept that world was not real. I would make him do that. I climbed into the pod.

“Hajime… are you sure about this?” Makoto asked me.

“I am very sure, I need to get him back, I’m worried if he stays in there too long… it will be harder to get him out.” I muttered. “It is a world of his own minds creation within the simulation,” I added.

“Do you feel it was something that happened to… deal with the trauma of his death?” Kyoko asked.

“Yes, seeing me standing there and not helping him, likely added to the trauma of it. I can only hope he knew it was Izuru but in his last moments and all that pain he may not have been thinking straight. He must know, though, he must.” I was trying to convince myself of it.

“Good luck, Hajime, we will monitor everything from out here.” Gundham said.

“Good luck, Hajime,” Komaru said smiling.

“You can do this.” Makoto said.

“We will look after everyone,” Aoi said.

“Good luck, Hajime,” Sakura smiled.

“Will… you be able to get him back?” Mahiru asked.

“Yes, I am certain he will see the truth in his world.” I replied.

“I hope so, Hajime, good luck.” She said and smiled.

“Hajime… thank you….” Yuta spoke, “for what you have done so far.” He added standing beside his sister, and she took his arm smiling at him, relieved they had each other back, I could see the tears in her eyes from here.

“Don’t thank me, it isn’t necessary, we all did this. We will beat this together.” I said. “I’m ready,” I looked to Makoto and then lay back inside the pod. He closed it and soon I was entering the program once more.

Chapter Text

Hajime and I had successfully graduated high school and we even moved in together. I was so lucky to end up with the hottest guy in school. Well, he was the hottest to me, but I knew he had other admirers. It was fine, I didn’t mind, he was with me. I was so happy right now, even if it was winter and cold. This would be our first Christmas together in our home and I was so excited for it. I met Hajime from work, and we were heading to the shops to get our dinner for tonight. I wanted to cook for him, we both worked but he was the money earner, he had better grades than me, and secured a better job, but I didn’t mind. That was expected and I was happy to work a lesser job, so I had time to do things for him, like cook nice dinners and keep our home clean and tidy. I was happy and we lived comfortably. I waited for him on the corner we usually met and as soon as I saw him, my heart fluttered. It still did that sometimes. He was so handsome, and I loved him so much. He was very protective of me which was sweet. I knew he would never let any harm come to me, but equally so, I would not let any harm come to him either. I smiled as he joined me, and we headed to the shops.

“How was your day?” I asked him.

“Long and busy but I’m glad to be home.” He said.

“I’m glad to have you home,” I replied.

“Let’s just get there first,” he replied.

“Sure, I’ll cook for you tonight, Hajime,” I said, and he smiled. “What do you feel like eating?”

“Something with meat in,” he replied.

“Sure, if you see anything you’d like grab it and I’ll snap something up.” I smiled.

“Do you want some wine?” he asked as we got inside the store, and he looked in the direction of the alcohol.
“That would be nice with dinner,” I smiled as I began to pick up some ingredients. Hajime selected the meat he wanted; he chose beef, which was fine with me, I believe red wine went best with red meat. I knew I could make something nice with the meat he chose. This normality, cooking for my boyfriend gave me a certain feeling of excitement, something so simple but I enjoyed making him happy and taking care of him; he worked hard after all. We had selected all our ingredients and were heading home hand in hand, with a nice bottle of wine to share. I was so happy with how my life had turned out.

We arrived home and Hajime got into something more comfortable, and I went to the kitchen to begin preparations for dinner. I washed my hands and began chopping. I was thinking I might fry the beef up and then cook it in some vegetables and serve it up with rice which I would add spices to. Hajime came into the kitchen and opened the wine.

“Already?” I asked him.

“Yeah, just a taste, you want some?” he asked me.

“Sure, just a sample,” I smiled, and he poured us both a little in some glasses.

“Do you want me to help?” he asked.

“No, it’s ok, Hajime, you just relax.”

“I want to help.” he said coming to my side, he put a hand on my hip and then I turned my head to him, he placed a kiss on my lips surprising me.

“Oh, ok, sure.” I replied smiling. Hajime’s phone went off and he checked it for a text, and I continued to chop.

“Oh hey, look what Fuyuhiko just sent,” he held up his phone and it was a picture of Fuyuhiko and Peko holding out her hand, she had a ring on her finger.

“They’re engaged? Already?” I asked.

“Yeah, I had a feeling he was gonna ask her within a year after graduating, they’ve been together forever.” Hajime laughed. “They’ve invited us all to a party tomorrow,”

“Yeah, I’m really happy.” I said smiling and then got back to chopping. Ouch! I nicked my finger. It was bleeding.

“Nagito!” Hajime cried as I ran it under the water of the tap to clean it.

“I’m so careless sometimes,” I replied laughing as he fetched the first aid kit.

“Is it deep? You ok?” he asked opening the kit up.

“Yeah, I’ll be fine, it wasn’t too deep, but it keeps bleeding.” I replied and as I watched the blood pour out of my finger and down the drain a sudden dread hit me. Blood… so much blood….

“Hey, Nagito, you sure you’re alright?” Hajime snapped me out of it. I wasn’t sure what that was, but I felt better now. He came to my side with a paper towel wrapping it over my finger and then taking me over to the first aid kit.

“Thanks, Hajime.” I smiled as he cleaned it up and then carefully wrapped a small bandage around it to soak up any more blood.

“Just be more careful,” he said.

“I promise,” I smiled and then returned to chopping.

“Why don’t I do that bit?” Hajime suggested and I agreed. I could start cooking the meat and rice. I took a taste of the wine first.

“Mm, that is a nice one.” I said.

“Yeah, I like that one.” he replied as he chopped without incident.

We enjoyed our dinner over some wine at the table, we talked a bit about our days and then Fuyuhiko and Peko’s engagement party tomorrow. I couldn’t wait. We drank the whole bottle of wine between us, it was quite strong, so I felt a little tipsy but not drunk.

“Hajime… shall we go to the bedroom?” I asked and he smiled and that is where we headed. I didn’t really need to ask since we had sex most nights. It was perfect. I really was happy.

Chapter Text

I watched from a distance as Nagito walked hand in hand with an imagined version of me, they were carrying shopping bags and he looked happy. His ideal world… was with me, living a happy and normal life. I bet he didn’t even have Ultimate Level Luck in here. He was just a normal guy, like I was. He looked so happy, but I had to destroy that. This world… was not real… that version of me… was not real. I had to tear it down bit by bit and it would hurt him, but he would soon realise this was not real. I was his Hajime, not that creation he walked with now. It broke my heart to take him out of such a peaceful life and bring him back into one far from it, but his real-life body would just wither away in the real world, or his mind might shut down, and I could not let that happen both of his worlds would end then. My mission was to save him and that is what I was going to do. It was good to see him again, even if it was inside this simulation, he was alive and he was smiling. I felt a tear fall down my cheek. He was alive. He really was alive. Seeing him like this was different to seeing him lying comatose in that pod, he was laughing and smiling and looked so happy. Part of me was pleased his ideal world was imagined with me at his side but I would have to take that away from him too. I had to if I was to save him. Nagito was important to me, and I had already endured losing him more times than anyone should. The day despair hit, and he was pulled from me, the day I found him again, but he had fallen, the day I was turned into Izuru, the day he died in the simulation and then the prospect of not being able to save him from his own mind. This had to work if it didn’t… I don’t think I could take it and then everything would fall. This world. The outside world would plummet even further into the depths of despair because I would lose all hope and make sure that happened. Selfish? No just a man at the end of his tether, breaking point breached. That is what would happen. Everything I had done was to save Nagito and this was the final trial. I had to bring him back, the world depended on it.

Izuru… you’re still part of me, aren’t you and you did care for Nagito too, although… you may not have understood it, I understand it and I have your memories. I know how you felt deep down… that is why the world would end if I could not save him…. Izuru… would end the world… it was beyond my control now that he was part of me.

Chapter Text

Hajime looked so smart, so handsome all dressed up to attend Fuyuhiko and Peko’s engagement party. I probably looked ok but standing beside him I would certainly be lacking. I had attempted to tame my hair and pinned some of the fluffier bits back which seemed to work.

“Nagito, you look really good,” Hajime said to me.

“Really? I do?” I asked turning from the mirror to look at him and he smiled.

“You never saw in the mirror what I see when I look at you, but that’s fine.” He came to me and kissed me. I felt my cheeks blush. He could be so charming sometimes. “You ready?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’m excited to see everyone,” I replied, and he took my hand. We headed out walking to get a cab at the end of our road. It dropped us in the city where Fuyuhiko and Peko had hired out a nice club for the occasion. As we walked to it from our drop off point, we saw others heading there.

“Hey, Chiaki!” I called and she met us, walking beside us as we headed to the party.

“Hey, how are you both?” she asked.

“Really good, thanks,” I replied.

“Yeah, pretty good. You?” Hajime asked.

“I’m great, thanks,” she replied.

“You look so pretty, Chiaki,” I said admiring her pink dress.

“Thanks,” she appeared to blush and then glanced at Hajime, oh yeah, I think she was one of his admirers. It was kind of cute, but he chose me, she never treated me with any animosity though, in fact she has always been so kind to me. She was a good person. We entered the party together to see many familiar faces. All our friends from school.

“Hajime! Nagito!” we heard and saw Sonia Nevermind hurrying over to us smiling brightly. She was so beautiful, I always thought when I saw her, and she had a grace about her almost like she could be a princess. Fuyuhiko and Peko came to greet us looking happy.

“Hey guys, glad you could all make it,” Fuyuhiko said, they both looked really well too. Peko looked beautiful in her black dress with silver sparkles on. “The bar is paid for, there’s plenty of money behind it so just go get what you like.” Fuyuhiko said.

“This is technically a private party so it’s not considered a public place right now, so we can all drink.” Peko said.

“Awesome,” Hajime said and then took my hand and we headed to the bar. We just ordered a couple of beers to have and then looked around. We saw our classmate Hiyoko Saionji dancing to the music; she was always into dance and despite her often foul personality she seemed like a different person when she danced. She had been president of the dance club at school and was going on to become a professional dancer. She had already secured multiple show bookings. Others were cheering her on, Mahiru and Ibuki from our class. This was awesome, seeing everyone here. My best friends here were Fuyuhiko, Peko, Chiaki, Sonia, Mahiru and Kazuichi. They were all really great people, I hadn’t seen Kazuichi yet though. Fuyuhiko took a bit more time to warm to me, but I think he was that way with everyone. My memories of school were becoming a little foggy already, but my life had gone down a really good path. Hajime and I had been together since school, some memories might be foggy but the day he first asked me out was still so clear. We had been friends, and I had a crush on him so when he admitted my feelings were reciprocated and asked me out, I had been very shocked, but I felt so happy and immediately said yes. I looked at him now, he really was the most handsome man I had ever seen, and I loved him so much. Suddenly, our song came on, I had decided it was our song a while ago and I think Hajime just went with it, he probably didn’t even remember but I would enjoy it. He glugged down some of his beer and I sipped mine and then he placed it on the bar and turned to me.

“You wanna dance?” he asked, and I blushed, he did remember! I took his hand and we joined others on the dance floor. He put his hand on my waist and held me close as we danced to our song. He smelled so good as my head was buried in his neck and we held each other moving to the music. This was perfect and I had a warm feeling inside my chest.