Satoru listens silently, sitting still at his desk. Yashiro drones on in the front of the room, explaining patiently to the group of ten and eleven year olds how to solve multiplication with decimals. It's all quite rudimentary to the 29 year old stuck in his past self's body, but instinct tells him not to overachieve and sully his fragile knowledge of the future.
Not that it matters much. With each and every redo he lives, any and all actions he seems to accomplish to change the future only delays the inevitable. Stopping Hinazuki from being killed on March first only leaves her alive a mere two days. In another revival where he sticks to Hinazuki's side like glue, his actions allow the killer to snuff the life out of Hiromi from right under his nose. No matter what he does, he can't be in everywhere at once, and there's no way to keep an eye on every child that could very well be the next victim in his latest revival. He's forced to run himself ragged trying to make sure no one has the chance to be alone.
In every revival, Kenya offers his help in one way or another, and Satoru forces himself to deny him. He may be his friend, but that is exactly why he can't drag him into this situation. He can't afford to have Kenya place himself into needless trouble, especially since he's never been a victim in any of his lived revivals. So, with a stern tone, he shoots Kenya down, willing himself not to back down when his friend looks at him with a hurt expression. It hasn't happened yet in the revival he's living now, but Satoru has now become an expert at faking ignorance. There won't be a problem with him avoiding Kenya's idea of becoming his partner in crime. To take down the would be kidnapper, in their complex game of detective. He's never told Kenya that there was a read kidnapper around, merely him 'playing superhero'.
Either way, it's unnecessary now.
Especially since he already knows who the killer is.
"Which is why you must be wary of where you place your decimal. You could have done everything correct mathematically, but there is a huge difference in 14.79, and 147.9. Be sure to line up your problem by their decimals so that you don't have to worry about a thing like that. That's all I have for now. Be sure to be careful on your way home! It looks like it's going to snow later tonight." A chorus of acknowledgement comes from the class, and Yashiro looks at them with an approving smile, unwavering even as a gaggle of girls giggle girlishly at the sight of it.
Satoru wondered briefly, if they would have the same reaction if they knew exactly what Yashiro was: a deranged killer with an extremist's ideal of life. One who wouldn't hesitate to end any of their lives if it gave him a greater sense of happiness.
He thought not.
Yashiro leaves the room, taking a pile of assignments with him to the teacher's lounge. He's done for the day, but Satoru knows he needs to follow after him.
It is, after all, his newest idea to the continued revival he's experiencing. He can't prove that Yashiro is planning murders before the actual attempt, for the man is too clever at erasing his tracks. Perhaps he's been pursuing a impossible task, trying to stop murders as Yashiro is actively attempting to kill. He's been treating the symptoms, and has done nothing for the main issue.
That issue being Yashiro himself.
Satoru recalls yet another revival, when in a fit of frustration decided that perhaps it'd be best if he just killed Yashiro and stop the whole thing from ever having the chance to occur. But, as he was arrested from brutally slashing Yashiro's throat in a home economics lesson, he triggered yet another revival. So, he though up an idea he hadn't yet thought of, an idea so bizarre, he hadn't though it could ever possibly work. But it was a few words Yashiro and he had exchanged in his most recent revival.
Satoru clutched the armrests of his wheelchair, declaring clearly to the older man gripping tightly to the bars just atop the wheels. "You're not alone anymore! I filled the hole in your heart!" Yashiro flashed him a look filled with disbelief. Panic was beginning to take hold of him, as well as an underlying hint of understanding flashing through his eyes.
"In this world, the only person who knew the real you... was me." Satoru smiled softly, leaning back on the wheelchair. With a few tense moments between them, Yashiro hesitantly let go of the bar of the wheelchair. In a brief moment of regret, he took hold of Satoru's hand swiftly before he plummeted to his death. The distant crash of the wheelchair breaking floors below them was the only sound between them in that single instant.
With his body hanging off the edge, Satoru belatedly realized that, as he hung only by Yashiro's hand, that Yashiro could see Kenya , Hiromi, and Sachiko with an airbag ready to cushion his preplanned fall. By the sudden glint in Yashiro's eyes, Satoru knew that he'd die for real.
"I can't... live without you." And with those final words, Yashiro let go of the iron fencing supporting the two of them. The angle in which he let them drop made it so that they wouldn't make it to the airbag. The set up was meant for if he'd rolled straight off the roof, not a steep drop. Yashiro embraced him tightly, unwilling to let him try and maneuver himself midair to somehow reach the airbag.
Yashiro inhaled deeply into his hair, murmuring sweet nothings that Satoru hadn't cared to pay attention to. The last thing Satoru could remember of that revival, was that Kenya's rapidly approaching face was one of the most devastated looks he'd ever seen.
If it meant the that the lives of his classmates and mother could continue on peacefully, he'd do anything to achieve that.
So, with a heavy heart, Satoru slowly gathered his school supplies back into his backpack, listening half heartedly as his friends gathered around him.
"Man! I didn't get any of that! Oh well, there's always tomorrow!" Kazu laughed, shooting Osamu a triumphant grin that the other blanched at. Kenya gave a cool smile, snorting in amusement.
"You know, that really isn't something you should sound so proud of. What's your grade in math, even?" Kenya asked, chuckling as Kazu's face paled.
"T-That doesn't matter! At least I was paying attention, unlike Satoru here!" He looked at the unresponsive Satoru, who hadn't said a word in their banter. He had already finished packing up, and was now looking intently at his desk, nodding every few seconds. "Hey! Satoru! Satoru, can you hear me? Stop ignoring me!" Kazu knocked on his friend's desk, startling the other boy. Kenya's eyes narrowed as Satoru flinched, looking at Kazu with guilty eyes.
"Hey! Stop bulling him! Satoru is probably just tired! He's love struck, remember? How romantic it must be, staying up all night thinking of Hinazuki! Ahh, he's so cool!" Hiromi gushed at his friends. "So manly!"
"N-No! That's not it! Geeze, I only thought she was a interesting, that's all. Anyways, I need to stop by somewhere, so you guys can go ahead. It'll probably take some time." Satoru diverted their attention, stopping that particular vein of conversation.
"Really? That sucks. Well than, I'm going home. There's a brand new video game with my name on it! Come on guys, race you to my house!" With that Kazu ran out of the classroom, an excited Osamu right on his heels. Hiromi brought up the back, desperately trying to catch up with his friends. Only Kenya remained, staring intensely at Satoru.
"Oh yeah? Where do you need to go? I could wait for you. I don't really have anywhere else to be today. We could hang out later." Kenya shot determined brown eyes at Satoru, waiting for his unusually carefree friend to respond.
"No, that's ok. I just needed to talk to Yashiro-sensei about class. Nothing special. I didn't get something in class, it's all good."
"Really? I'd be happy to teach you, it's not any trouble. I learned this subject a while ago. My parents make me meet with a tutor during summer vacation, so it's not anything new."
"Umm... No, that's fine. I don't want to take up a lot of your time. I'm pretty hopeless you know."
"That's not true, I've seen you grasp some concepts better than most of the class. Besides, I think you're underestimating my ability to teach, Satoru."
Satoru tensed, mind racing as he thought of a response. He didn't think Kenya would be so adamant about this, and there wasn't a good reason the Satoru of this time would reject Kenya's offer. But, for his latest plan to work, he needed to speak to Yashiro.
"Ahh... well, there was something else I needed to talk to Yashiro-sensei about, so that's ok. I promise next time I have trouble with the work, I'll ask you for help." Satoru quickly sat up from his desk, interrupting Kenya's protests.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Kenya! Be careful on your way back!" Satoru ran from the classroom, shutting the door firmly behind him. Quickly, he went to the ground floor of the school, finally arriving at the teacher's office. Sighing, he inhaled deeply, holding his breath as he exhaled slowly. He unzipped his vest, readjusting his shirt so that hints of his stomach would show with each stretch of his lithe body. With a few strokes of his hair to get rid of any out of place strands, he opened the sliding door.
"Yashiro-sensei? Can I talk to you? I have a few questions."
If it was for the greater good, he was more than willing to sacrifice himself.
After all, they could fill the hole in each other's hearts.
Yashiro looked up from his piles of assignments, blinking in confusion. Slowly, as he recognized his student, he smiled dutifully, eyes quirked. "Ah! Satoru-kun! What brings you here?"