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ライアーダンス

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Amami was first into the room. It was a small classroom, 16 desks, and with no other worthy-to-be-mentioned features to it. It was dark, hues of blue and greys and blacks, and the Ultimate Adventurer had no choice but to take a seat by the window and wait. The doors didn’t open and the windows had no way to unlock, nor would they smash. So all he did was wait. Was this hell? It felt like hell.

 

When the doors opened, and Kaede Akamatsu walked in, Amami could say he did understand the situation a tiny bit better.

 

“A-Amami?!”

 

“Yo.”

 

“Wh-What is this.. Is this...Eh?”

 

“Who knows. So did you possibly kill me, Akamatsu?”

 

Kaede paused, eyes wide before nodding slowly.

 

“So you were the Mastermind?” Amami continued and Kaede frowned.

 

“No… I thought you were… that’s why I set the whole thing up…”

 

Amami paused for a moment.

 

“I see… So you didn’t kill me.”

 

“Wh- What? But Monokuma sai-”

 

“Monokuma can lie if no one knows the truth. You didn’t kill me, because that shot put missed. If it had hit me, how would I know it was a shotput, because I’d have died instantly. See?” Amami answered, proving Kaede’s innocence to the girl who just gaped confused.

 

“The shot put from above didn’t kill me. Someone hit me from behind.”

 

“Then- Then-”

 

“The True Mastermind.”

 

Silence fell as Kaede took everything in. Amami let her, gave her the space and silence she needed to comprehend what had happened.

 

“It’s likely they executed you to cover it up, they would have wanted me dead as soon as possible anyway from what I knew.”

 

“Knew?”

 

“Well I didn’t remember at the time… But that wasn’t my first killing game.”

 

“... I remember. You were in the 52nd season.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“This is messed up.”

 

“Exactly, and what’s more messed up is that we wanted it, Akamatsu.”

 


 

When Ryoma Hoshi walked through the doors after what felt like a few days later, Amami could only sigh and Kaede looked concerned.

 

“Well this is odd.”

 

“And the killing continues I can assume.” Amami frowned. He wanted to prevent this. How had he failed so early on.

 

“I let her. She needed to get out… Or I thought she did at least.”

 

“Her?”

 

“Kirumi.”

 


 

It came as no shock when Kirumi Tojo burst through the doors later that ‘day’ (as there was a lacking concept of time to the room, and the students felt no need to sleep or eat or breathe… so it certainly was hell.)

 

She was quite composed about the whole thing, accepting the outcome of everything after remembering she had willingly signed up, and had met the end she had begged for in her audition. She was repulsed at who she had been, but kept her cool, and settled into a seat near the front of the class.

 

“If it means anything, I apologize for my actions. I believe the motive video was a strong factor behind the path I took.”

 

“Don’t worry.”

 

When Angie and Tenko entered together Amami just dropped his head to the desk and let out a frustrated noise.

 

“Is this Heaven? Atua must have reunited us in this plain~!”

 

“Heaven? Atua?”

 

“This isn’t heaven Angie, it looks like hell to me.”

 

Tenko was slightly disheartened to learn Kiyo has behind her death, from Angie’s explanation on what had occurred. On the other hand though, she was relieved. If she hadn’t offered to take Yumeno’s place… then the small magician would be dead instead of her. That was enough to keep Tenko sane.

 

When Kiyo came through the doors, he didn’t apologize.

 

Nor was he forgiven.

 

But none the less, he took a seat near the back of the class, and sat in silence.

 

“Would it be wrong to guess who’ll step through the doors next?”

 

“...”

 

“Yes, probably, considering it means you’re guessing who dies next.”

 

“Well it’s not like there is much else to do here anyway.”

 

“Fine.”

 

So the group of teens decided to pass their time trapped in the room by predicting who would walk through those doors next.

 

Tenko spent most of her time silently praying it wouldn’t be Himeko, after Kiyo had said the short redhead would be next because she was an easy target. Amami and Kaede refused to guess because they found it to be horrible.

 

Angie claimed Atua had informed her it would be Kiibo and Ryoma had quietly guessed it would be Maki. Kirumi simply decided on Iruma.

 


 

When Iruma Miu walked through the doors next, though she didn’t show it, Kirumi felt a tiny bit of smugness, at guessing right.

 

“As if you guessed right.”

 

“It was merely a random guess.”

 

“Guess? You fuckers guessed on who’d die next, and you picked me? I’ll have you know I was mid murder plot..-” Iruma stopped, and then frowned.

 

“Woops.”

 

“You were? Do share.” Kiyo asked, sounding the slightest bit excited for some reason.

 

“Haa? Why should I fucking tell you my plans?”

 

“Because we’re stuck in this room with no way out and it might pass the time?” Ryoma suggested.

 

In the end Iruma admitted she’d been about to kill Ouma before behind strangled from behind, dying witnessing Ouma’s smug victorious face, because the fucker knew her plan all along.

 

“That little shit better die soon.” Iruma added and Kaede shook her head in disapproval. She didn’t want anyone else to die, but if people kept coming by themselves, it meant Saihara must be solving the trials, she hoped he was doing okay.

 

Gonta came through the doors next, and at the sight of them all, he burst into tears.

 

“Gonta is so happy to see everyone again.”

 

And Gonta would not stop apologizing to Iruma, to the point she was forced to accept his apology.

 

“Will the game really continue to just two of them?”

 

“It has every other time.”

 

“Saihara won’t die. I’m sure.”

 

“Yumeno won’t die either! I have faith in her!” Tenko declared.

 


 

The doors creaked open once again, and Amami raised his head from his desk, and met the wide grin of Kokichi Ouma who stood in the doorway with a hand raised in greeting to the Adventurer.

 

“Nishishi, fancy seeing you guys here.” Was all he said.

 

Iruma got up first, and slapped the shorter boy, before returning to her seat, feeling a lot better about herself, even if she had tried to kill him first.

 

“Hello to you too Iruma.”

 

“Someone finally took the initiative to kill you?”

 

“They probably did it after learning what he did to Gonta and Iruma.”

 

“Nope~! I had Momota-chan crush me.”

 

“Wait- Had?”

 

“Yup~! I did. If everything goes right, then it should end the game.”

 

“You gave your life to end the game?”

 

“Sure did.”

 

And then Ouma bounced right over to Amami, sitting down on top of the boys desk with a smaller more genuine smile.

 

“You’re an idiot Ouma.” Amami deadpanned and Ouma gave a small nishishi .

 

“So are you.” Ouma retorted and the two fell into quiet laughs.

 


 

When Kaito Momota walked through the doors, Ouma punched the wall. Pain wasn’t something they could feel here, and injuries never occurred, so it did nothing at all, it was simply a way to vent his anger.

 

“Wha- What is this-”

 

“Momota-chan what happened?!” Ouma asked with a frown, wondering how his plan had failed.

 

“Shuuichi figured everything out, and then decided to lie at the last second saying I was you, but... I couldn’t let him do it…”

 

Ouma just sighed as though he expected it.

 

“My Beloved Saihara-chan is just too smart.”

 


 

Tsumugi Shirogane came next, and Kiibo followed her heels.

 

“So it’s over?” Amami asked upon seeing her and she nodded.

 

“It’s over.”

 

“What’s over, what do you mean?”

 

“Shirogane was the Mastermind.” Amami admitted.

 

“What?”

 

Ouma’s nose curled up in disgust. The Mastermind had been under his nose the entire time?

 

Kaede was gobsmacked too, she hadn’t expected that whatsoever. Why had Ammai kept quiet.

 

“Did you know the entire time Amami?”

 

“Only after speaking to Kaede, she helped me clear up some memories... Shirogane was in the 52nd season too. She wasn’t the true Mastermind, that would be Team Danganronpa, who crafted her memories to make her that way.”

 

“It’s true. I wasn’t a willing Mastermind.”

 

“Keeboy died too?” Ouma asked, and Kiibo nodded.

 

“It was the only way to destroy the place.”

 

“What was?” Kirumi asked.

 

“Self destructing.”

 

And Kiibo ignored the few pitying or shocked looks, Kiibo ignored Kaede’s tears and Ouma’s tauntings, and simply turned to the doors behind him.

 

“No one should come through those again.”

 

“There’s 16 seats though.”

 

“Who knows.”

 


 

Maki came what felt like shortly after, and blinked through tears on seeing Kaito once again.

 

“What happened?”

 

“Everything ended… but the world didn’t want us back. I- I tried to protect them.. But I guess I died.”

 


 

Yumeno came after that and Tenko cried, so much, refusing to let go of her. Yumeno cried a lot too though, and Angie shed some tears as well. It was sad to see that even after everything ended, they weren’t welcome into the world as they had hopepd to be.

 

“Shuuichi is alone?”

 

Silence fell.

 

The detective was alone in the world.

 


 

Oddly though, the detective didn’t step into the room for days upon days later. Maybe it was months? Maybe it was years? They had no way of telling, but Amami could confirm this was the longest they had waited by far.

 


 

Saihara did eventually come through the doors, but it wasn’t the Saihara they knew, that much was evident.

 

“Shuuichi!”

 

“Saihara?”

 

Sa...i..hara-cha..n?”

 

Saihara looked like shit, and was completely in denial that they were in front of them.

 

“This isn’t real.”

 

“This is real.” Kaito countered, trying to move closer to the detective, who looked like the living dead which was punny since the detective had just died.

 

“No.” Saihara shuffled back as far as he could, back against the door, sliding down against it, as far back as he could go from any of them.

 

“This isn’t real.”

 

Saihara assumed the smallest position he could, knees tucked under his head, facing down.

 

“I’m alone. You're not real.”

 

“Shuuichi-”

 

Kaito was lost for words, all of them were. The strain of being alone had obviously not seated well with the detective. Kaede made a move from her seat, only to meet the arm of Ouma Kokichi who blocked her way, shaking his head at her attempts to move, before silently going over to the boy instead. Ouma said nothing, sliding down against the door too, taking a similar position, but resting his chin atop his knees instead.

 

“Saihara-chan. We’re most definitely real.” Ouma whispered.

 

“No-”

 

“Saihara-chan”

 

“No!”

 

Shuuichi.”

 

Saihara lifted his head, and his eyes turned to Ouma, sharp, focused, and a spark Ouma was trying to find in the lost soul before him.

 

“There you are Saihara-chan. I was beginning to think you were lost.”

 

“Wh.. What did you call me?” Saihara whispered quietly.

 

“Hm? Saihara-chan?”

 

“N..No you said Shu-”

 

“Who knows what I said~ After all I am a liar.” Ouma shrugged, standing back up, and returning to Amami’s desk, which he had taken to sitting on, rather than taking a desk of his own.

 

Saihara’s eyes stayed glued to Ouma, who had started talking quietly to Amami. The detective's eyes never left the back of the Supreme Leader, even after he was swarmed, by Maki, Himeko, Kaede and Kaito.

 


 

 

In the end, Saihara accepted he had died, and explained what had happened to Maki and Himeko.

 

“Shortly after we left, we were chased by a large group. Maki made us go ahead.”

 

“Yeah Maki Roll told us that.”

 

“Himeko and Me made it to some mountain pass, found some shelter there, but they jumped on us while it was dark. I was asleep, and Himeko was watching, but they found us and I couldn’t do anything to stop them.”

 

“After that, it was just me by myself, trying to stay ahead of them. I managed for a while too, seems the Ultimate Detective title wasn’t just for crime solving, but crime committing. I broke into a lot of places to hide in, stole things.. It wasn’t… It wasn’t living. It wasn’t the freedom we fought for. It was hell, and death seemed peaceful compared to living in hell… So... that’s what happened.”

 

It was silent as the detectives words sunk in.

 

Saihara hadn’t been killed.

 

He’d killed himself.

 

“Saihara!”

 

Kaede had clung to him for who knows how long, crying onto his shoulder. Even Ouma and Kiyo had the decency to not speak. Hell, most of the class had clambered to comfort him.

 


 

In the end, the 16 of them settled once more, taking a desk each, wondering if now they were all reunited, they could leave this purgatory-like Room?

 

Oddly enough, as though them taking their seats was the key to the whole thing, the world around them began to glitch, walls juttering in awkward directions, desks fading in and out of view. Yumeno let out a shriek in shock, and even Kiyo lost his composure for a second. Tenko made a move to stand up, to go to the Magician, but Amaimi’s voice kept her seated.

 

“Stop. We don’t know what happens if we get back up.”

 

So Tenko stayed put, as much as it pained her to do so, itching to get up from her seat.

 

And through all the chaos, the unexplained events surrounding the room, everything faded to black.

 


 

“Up you get, steady now, not too quickly.”

 

Saihara blinked in shock, at first all he could see was white, his eyes trying desperately to seek something out, but it hurt, it hurt so much Saihara clamped them shut again. All he could feel was someone slowly helping him sit up, from where he lay… the ground beneath him felt like it was humming, cold metal against his back. Odd…

 

“Careful now, give your eyes time to adjust.”

 

Saihara frowned. He couldn’t see but he knew that voice. He knew that voice… but it couldn’t be them.

 

“Do you know who you are?”

 

Saihara paused. Who has he… Was he Saihara Shuuichi or was he the monster who’d eagerly signed up for his own death, for the chance to murder for fame and glory…?

 

"Saihara Shuuichi.” Came the feeble voice. Saihara was shocked, he sounded awful, like he hadn’t spoken for a while… what?

 

“Good. Right do you think you could try opening your eyes for me? Slowly, they need to adjust to the light.”

 

Saihara gave a weak nod, arms clinging to the arm supporting him. He felt weak, like he hadn’t used his body in so long. It took a bit, of squinting and blinking, before Saihara could make out vague shapes and colours, browns and blacks and greens.

 

He was right then.

 

“How… How much was the truth?”

 

“I think that conversation is better held with you all together.”

 

“All… everyone is alive?”

 

“Yes.”

 

That was enough for Saihara. He understood parts of the situation, could vaguely guess what had happened, but he needed confirmation.

 

But all he knew for sure, was he was alive. He was alive, and everyone was alive, and he would make sure things stayed that way.

 

 

Or that’s what he had hoped.

 


 

For the first few days, Saihara wasn’t allowed out of the room, he was kept under some monitoring, and attended to by some clumsy nurse, with a soft spoken voice, until his condition meant he could walk properly, and that they knew he was okay… or as okay as he could be.

 

It took about three days for Saihara to be able to stand on two feet, hands clutching onto the arm of his career. From what he’d been told, they’d all been assigned someone, and Saihara was grateful he was with someone as patient and considerate as the short brunette he knew to be Naegi Makoto.

 

“Do you think you could try a step?”

 

Saihara gave a nod. He had to try, he had to step onwards, Kaede had taught him as much.

 

And Saihara, by the end of the fourth day, could walk without assistance, Naegi staying by his side though, ready to catch the detective if needs be.

 


 

By the end of the week, Saihara finally got to see someone other than the nurse and Naegi.

 

That someone was the unexpected arrival of a boy who most certainly looked like Kiibo… except.

 

“Hello Saihara.”

 

“Kiibo?”

 

“Yes. That’s correct.”

 

Except the Ultimate Robot… wasn’t really living up to his talent…

 

“It appears I’m not actually a robot…” Kiibo mumbled, scratching the back of his head, bashfully.

 

A 100% a flesh and blood human.

 

“Wha..”

 

“I’m actually just a normal person… Odd isn’t it.”

 

He certainly looked like normal though, his facial features remained the same, hair still unruly as ever.

 

“Are you okay, Saihara?”

 

“Yeah… Are you?”

 

“Yes. I apparently recovered quickest, so I’ve been allowed to visit some of you.”

 

Some?”

 

Kiibo went silent for a second.

 

“Ah…”

 

Saihara couldn’t help the unease in his stomach, to the extent he had to ask what the boy meant.

 

“What do you mean some?”

 

“Some people… don’t remember.”

 

“Remember what?”

 

“Anything after the game started… They basically don’t remember anything except the… well… the monsters we were.”

 

Saihara couldn’t help but raise a hand to his mouth, which he knew was open in shock and horror.

 

He didn’t really understand everything yet, it hadn’t been explained, but he knew he’d always been Saihara Shuuichi, and that the monster who’d signed up for the game wasn’t him, that was the fictional him. Saihara Shuuichi was not fictional, but #154 was..

 

“So… they think- they think they’re..”

 

“Yes. Some one them believe themselves to be the monsters we were made to be.”

 

“W-Who?”

 

Kiibo blinked.

 

“I can’t answer.”

 

“Kiibo please.”

 

“I can’t tell you, but I can tell you Kaede is okay.” And then he turned to leave.

 


 

Two weeks after waking up, Saihara finally got an explanation, and was allowed to leave the room.

 

Essentially what had happened was that he, and his classmates, all of which genuinely were his classmate, and part of the rebuilt Hope’s Peak, had been captured by some of the last parts of Despair, and forced into a simulation similar to what the 77th class had endured, except… they’d been led to believe their entire identities were fiction, with the creation of fake versions of themselves.

 

Essentially, the people they thought they were, and the sides of them they thought were fictional… were swapped. Their talents existed, their families and motives were correct, and the people who they’d been told they were, Danganronpa-crazed fans seeking glory in murder, were fictional.

 

For some of them though, after waking from the Sim, they’d forgotten their true selves, and believed in the fictional versions of themselves. Some of their history may be accurate, but that was all they could remember. No killing game. No having met any of them before… Nothing.

 

The Staff of the New Hope’s Peak and Remnants of Future Foundation had found the class of Ultimates under Simulation, fairly quickly, and defeated the last of Despair, but couldn’t wake the students up without risking their brains being fried. The only way it would end was with every single one of their deaths, which explained the room waiting for them, and why none of them had left for the extended period of time it took for Saihara to eventually ‘die.’

 


 

With his new found freedom, Saihara made it his mission to seek out anyone… someone

 

Kiibo had been busy with the Staff and Future Foundation, the Ultimate Robotics Student was assisting them in dismantling the Simulation, processing data, and attempting to reverse the memory wipes which had occurred when some students awoke. Saihara understood it was important, and Kiibo likely knew the most in the subject, but Saihara hadn’t been able to speak to him since that one encounter.

 

When Saihara ended up walking the gardens of the huge area they were in currently, he found himself finally finding someone.

 

Namely Rantaro Amami.

 

“Yo, Saihara.” Amami smiled, a small gentle smile, waving a hand before beckoning him to sit beside him, on the stone bench.

 

Saihara complied, taking a seat beside the Ultimate Adventurer.

 

“Hello Amami.”

 

“Nice to see you’re okay. Are you managing okay? Just let me know if not.. I’ve got an… impressive… person helping me out, and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind helping out if you need anything.”

 

“Ah- It’s okay Amami, I have someone rather pleasant myself.”

 

Amami just let out a quiet laugh.

 

“Ah, if only the same could be said for Kaede. She told me she has the most odd and Chuunibyou-like person ever. Not a bad person, just odd.”

 

“You’ve spoken to her?”

 

“Yeah. Our rooms are opposite one another. There’s two rooms per floor.. So you should be with someone too… Have you noticed?”

 

“No…” Saihara admitted. He hadn’t looked, but now that he thought about it… there was a room opposite… probably?

 

“If you want, I’ll show you where abouts our rooms are?”

 

“Please.”

 


 

While Saihara was on the 11th floor, Amami was only on the 2nd, and Saihara was grateful it wasn’t a long walk.

 

The door read Kaede Akamatsu, and Saihara could vaguely recall his own might have said his name on it…? Maybe?

 

Amami stood beside him reassuringly, as Saihara raised a fist, to knock.

 

“It’s open” Kaede’s voice chimed, after Saihara knocked, and slowly but surely Saihara opened the door, filled with the same feeling of unease and fear he’d felt opening those Library doors to that god awful scene…

 

But Saihara swore opening the doors was the best sight he’d seen since he had woken up. Kaede looked positively radiant, a gentle smile on her lips, head swaying to the quiet sound of something classical that's playing through the speakers, a tune Saihara didn’t know the name of.

 

“Saihara!”

 

As soon as Kaede saw him, she launched herself at him, accidentally tugging him onto the ground with her, Amami somehow ending up pulled down too.

 

The three paused for a second before breaking out into giggles.

 

“It’s good to see you’re okay Saihara.”

 

“It’s good to see you too! I was worried you’d.. Kiibo told me some of us… aren’t us.”

 

“What?”

 

Neither of the 2nd floor residents had heard this.

 

“Kiibo let slip that some of us woke up.. And didn’t remember us.. Only the fictional us.”

 

Kaede let out a gasp in shock, and Amami closed his eyes in horror.

 

“I don’t know who, he wouldn’t say… I don’t think he was meant to tell me.. But I was worried… I still am.”

 

Kaede’s hand found Saihara’s, giving it a reassuring squeeze.

 

“I’m sure they’re doing everything they can for whoever it is.”

 

“I hope so.”

 


 

The evening drew in, and eventually Saihara had to head back to his own floor, bidding farewell to Kaede and Amami who told him he was welcome to come by their floor anytime.

 

On his way back up, Saihara stopped outside the other door on his floor.

 

Ouma Kokichi.

 

Of all the people, Saihara was the least sure about Ouma. He was complex.. That was for sure. He wasn’t 100% certain he was ready to face the Ultimate Supreme Leader just yet…

 

It’s not like he could anyway, when two tall individuals left the room, one just slightly taller than the other.

 

Saihara had seen both of them… through Tsumugi’s talent in the Simulation. This was Hinata Hajime… but the name of the other escaped the detectives memory.

 

“Oh. Hello.” Hinata spoke, quietly, surprised to see someone in the hallway. The light haired male to his side just gave a skeptical look before smiling, a small smile that didn’t seem completely true. Actually it wreaked of the falseness that often masked Ouma’s face too.

 

“You must be Saihara… your room is on this floor too?”

 

“Yes. I am... “

 

“Are you here to see Ouma?” Hinata asked.

 

Saihara paused for a second before shrugging. He had to face everything, there was no point running.

 

“Ah.”

 

That was… unexpected.

 

“Ouma.. he’s not really in a state for visitors.” Hinata went on to explain, Saihara’s eyes darting between Hinata and the other, for any traces of a lie.

 

“He.. remembers though… right?”

 

The other, shook his head.

 

“Nope. He doesn’t remember much at all, he can give us his name and a bit of his history… and that’s all.”

 

Saihara’s eyes widened.

 

“But how do you know that, hm?” The light haired one went on to continue.

 

“Nagito stop pressuring the poor guy.” The other snapped and Komaeda rolled his eyes.

 

“Kiibo told me. Just.. not who.”

 

“Aha… sneaky, he wasn’t meant to~! But yeah, there’s Ouma, and I believe the girl on the 6th floor, and the two on the floor above. Only four.” Komaeda relayed and Hinata elbowed him.

 

“You’re not meant to say.”

 

“What? It’s not like I gave that much away… Such a downer Hajime.”

 

Saihara just backed away, into his own room, unnoticed by the two who ended up in petty bickering.

 

Ouma didn’t remember?

 

Ouma… didn’t remember…him.

 

To some, the boy had already been quite the monster, as his normal self… so what the hell was he like now? How much worse could he be?

 


 

Four days of sitting with his thoughts, Saihara had enough. He hadn’t really left his room that much in that time, and he hadn’t returned back to the 2nd floor. The only person he’d spoken to was was Naegi who brought him meals, after the detective refused to visit the dining hall for them.

 

“Naegi.”

 

“Hm?”

 

Can .. Can I see Ouma?”

 

Naegi looked taken aback for a second, opening his mouth to say what Saihara already knew.

 

“I know he doesn’t.. He doesn’t remember… but.. I just want to try… see if maybe us being around him jogs his memory?”

 

“You weren’t supposed to know.”

 

“Komaeda told me.”

 

Naegi let out a weak curse, possibly a damn or a darnit, Saihara couldn’t hear properly, but he knew the gentle boy wouldn’t swear… especially since he was a headmaster after all, even if he was barely 23. He had to set a good example to the students he felt he’d failed.

 

“I.. could see if it would be possible.”

 

“Really?”

 

Saihara wasn’t sure why he sounded eager, but Naegi nodded.

 

“Yes. I’ll let you know as soon as we reach a decision.”

 


 

Two days later, Saihara finally found himself on the 2nd floor.

 

“Saihara, you okay? Expected you sooner.” Amami spoke, leaning against his door frame.

 

“Kaede’s down in the dining hall currently, with Yumeno and Angie, but you can wait in my room if you’d like.”

 

Saihara took Amami up on that offer, the tall boy being nothing short of a life saver. Saihara wasn’t sure how the boy could be so nice and positive after everything. Saihara still woke up screaming, and hated when the dark drew in, and the nightmares stalked his mind… but Amami seemed fine, and Saihara just couldn’t understand that.

 

“So why’d you wait a while?” Amami asked, as Saihara took a seat on the chair by the desk in the corner of the room, Amami sitting on the edge of the desk.

 

“Ouma’s on my floor.”

 

“Oh. I wondered where he’d ended up, I wasn’t allowed past floor 5 though. Have you spoken to him? Is he okay?”

 

“He.. I haven’t spoken to him. He doesn’t remember…”

 

Saihara let the words sink in, and watched Amami’s usually positive and composed demeanor sink.

 

“He doesn’t?” Was the feeble whisper Saihara managed to hear, giving a nod in confirmation. From the slowly returning pre-Sim memories, Saihara could recall the two were close, and that Amami had claimed the Supreme Leader as his brother (after all 12 sisters was lovely, but he’d longed for a little brother too, and well, Ouma calling him Nii-chan was just… perfect.)

 

“That’s…”

 

“I’m trying to get permission to see him, even if he doesn’t remember, so I can try and spark some memories or something.” Saihara went on to explain.

 

“Let me come too.” Amami answered, instantly, with a confident and determined look in his eyes.

 

“We'll have to ask.”

 


 

As it turned out, Amami had been assigned Togami Byakuya, and well… that guy could make anything happen. (Plus, not that anyone knew, but Togami also couldn’t resist Naegi’s puppy dog eyes that pleaded to let his patient into see the Supreme Leader.)

 

So Amami and Saihara stood outside the door of the Supreme Leader, unsure what to expect, accompanied by Komaeda, Hinata, Togami, Naegi and Kirigiri. It turned out that those without their memories were assigned two people, and Ouma had been assigned Komaeda and Hinata. Komaeda because they’d come across as similar to one another, and Hinata being the only one willing to work with Komaeda.

 

Kirigiri simply came along because she didn’t trust Naegi to not be a dork, and because she felt like the only sane and normal one from the group of Staff that would be there.

 

“What was that Ouma like.. The one they made?”

 

Saihara knew what some of them had been crafted like, knew Kaito had been made into a sadistic and bloodthirsty competitor who had wanted to kill every one of them, Kaede had no faith in humanity, and he himself had eagerly planned his own execution, planning the gruesome murders of his friends. What had Ouma been?

 

“...Imagine the opposite from normal I guess.”

 

“...”

 

Saihara just blinked. The opposite?

 

“What.”

 

But the question wasn’t answered, and Komaeda opened the door for them, without warning.

 

“Ouma?” Komaeda asked, bed empty. The small form of the Supreme Leader instead sat upon the thin window ledge, knees to his chin, staring out the window onto the vastness of greenery. Still donned in the same uniform he’d worn from his time as a student, the Supreme Leader sat, face slightly obscured by his trademark check scarf.

 

His head turned at the sound, eyes taking in the newest arrivals to the room.  

 

“These guys wondered if they could spend some time with you, I promise you they’re good people, is that okay?”

 

Ouma nodded, staying silent, not making an attempt to move.

 

“Would you like us to stay, or we can wait outside?”

 

Ouma didn’t speak, but his eyes flitted between Amami and Saihara, before nodding towards the door.

 

“C’mon then.” Komaeda ushered the four of them out, following himself, leaving just Ouma, Amami and Saihara in the room.

 

“Will they be okay?” Was all Saihara heard before the door shut, and silence fell.

 

Ouma went back to staring out of the window.

 

“Ouma…” Amami started, and the boy flinched at his voice, but turning to look none the less.

 

“Do I know you?” Ouma asked, voice shaky, and small, he sounded so… Gods. Saihara stood frozen. This was Ouma? This...

 

Amami nodded, Saihara was sure neither of them could find words right now. The detective wanted nothing more than to simply scoop this small boy up into his arms and make sure he knew he was okay, he was safe… because frankly, Ouma looked petrified at them being in the same room as them.

 

“I’m Rantaro Amami.”

 

“And I’m Saihara.”

 

The Ultimate Detective was the only one of the two to notice the smallest flash of recognition in Ouma’s eyes, before he turned his face away, back to the window.

 

“Ouma.” Was all he said, introducing himself when it really wasn’t needed.

 

“Were you… in it to?”

 

Saihara and Amami looked at one another before both nodding.

 

“We were. Yes.”

 

Ouma just clutched his hands under his thighs, pulling his knees even higher.

 

“Th-.. Then could you please leave?” Ouma spoke, hands trembling, face not turning to meet them anymore.

 

Neither of them expected that. It was like looking at a completely different person.

 

P..Please.” It was then, with Ouma’s voice breaking slightly, that Saihara and Amami could tell he was crying.

 

“C’mon Amami.” Saihara sighed, heading back towards the door. They didn’t want to make the boys condition worse, and he was obviously distressed by their presence. He likely thought them to be.. Well people who’d signed up for the game, and summarily probably not the best people… But Ouma… his personality just didn’t match what they’d all been made to be.

 

The two left, leaving behind Ouma who sat still, staring from his place by the window, raising a sleeve to wipe his damp eyes.

 

Sorry, Shuuichi.

 


Screenshot_2017-11-12-19-04-28

So I posted it on Amino, and ended up featured <3 Thanks a lot for your continued support guys.

Chapter Text

Saihara, with his detective work, slowly but surely began to compile a list of who he saw around, to work out who else didn’t remember. He heard that Kiyo was on the 6th floor, whichever girl was alongside him didn’t remember, but he had no way of knowing about the 12th floor, he couldn’t get up there without the inhabitants agreement, and since neither remembered, it was like the floor was off limits.

 


 

It took two days before Saihara managed to get a hold of Kiyo in the large establishment they were kept in. Mostly because Saihara didn’t like to leave his floor, he still lacked the confidence to face everyone, but Amami had helped him..

 

“My floor? Tsumugi Shirogane.”

 

Saihara nodded. He’d expected the girl to have some memory issues, she’d been tampered with quite a bit, but it was surprising that Amami was fine, since he’s gone through quite a bit too…

 

Kaede told him that she met up with most of the girls already, except Tsumugi, Iruma and Kirumi, so it wasn’t any of the others. Saihara could already cross Tsumugi off, and had to put Iruma and Kirumi on the list of possibilities for the 12th floor.

 

From the boys, he was only missing Kaito, the rest he’d seen or had others confirm they were okay. So that left it down to those three. Iruma, Kaito and Kirumi. But which two?

 


 

In the end, Saihara found out from Kiibo, who he overheard talking to a short blonde staff member with the eyepatch.

 

“Have you seen Iruma? I need her opinion on some of the security measures I can’t bypass.”

 

“5th floor last I saw her.”

 

“Thank you.”

 


 

So Saihara now had to face the fact Kaito and Kirumi also didn’t remember.

 

He wasn’t to fussed about the Ultimate Maid, they hadn’t spoken much, and while she was nice to everyone, she’d been executed before he could properly get to know her… and his pre-sim memories of her were still hazy. Not that he didn’t like her or anything, he actually found her presence to have been calming, and she was pretty much adopted as the entire classes mother before Ryoma’s murder… But still… Kaito...

 

Kaito….

 

It hurt a lot more.

 

Saihara had hoped he’d finally be able to make things up with the Astronaut, and fix his mistakes, but now it was like God was punishing him. First Ouma and now Kaito?

 

Saihara just wanted to apologize to them…

 


 

Saihara eventually managed to get in to see Ouma late one evening in secret, with the assistance of Komaeda Nagito, who Saihara was uneasy about. The light haired male had offered to sneak him in to see Ouma, without alerting anyone else… which seemed both preposterous and stupid, but Saihara complied. He tried to bargain for time with Kaito, but apparently he wasn’t in a state for any visitors, and he’d had to be assigned two of the strongest staff members, because he was dangerous, and constantly trying to kill anyone that entered the room…

 

Saihara had shuddered while being told that.

 

That wasn’t Kaito… it wasn’t...

 

Ouma was a mystery to though.

 

He just didn’t fit the personality he’d expected of someone who’d sign up for murder and death, and it left him to wonder what exactly Despair had written his false reasons to be.

 

“Ouma.”

 

Saihara stood awkwardly in the doorway, Ouma was sat in one of the corners of the room this time, looking even smaller than before, if that was possible, backed against the wall.

 

“You came back…”

 

“I did.”

 

“Why?”

 

“...”

 

Why indeed.

 

Saihara had no clue.. If anything he just wanted the chance to sit and properly talk to the Ultimate. Everything that had occurred… he just needed to sort it all out, verbally, with the boy. He just...

 

“I don't know.” Saihara finally replied, watching Ouma slowly clamber to his feet. He was wobbly on them, and his hands clutched onto the wall to stay upright. Saihara thought he’d fall if he was honest, but he didn’t want to intrude the boy's personal space, when he obviously didn’t want to be around them.

 

“I.. I still can’t walk properly.” Ouma admitted, indicating for Saihara to come closer, which surprised the detective. It had been a while since the Simulation ended, and most of them were back to being able to function properly, hell, even Ryoma was stable now, and when he’d woken up apparently he was in a state; physically.

 

Mentally there was still issues with most of them, but physically they’d all gotten over the worst of it already.

 

Saihara moved forward cautiously holding out an arm, which Ouma wearly took, weight now supported by the Detective.

 

“I was told it was because my nerves endured intense shock… something to do with... that ... “ Ouma trailed. Saihara knew what he meant.

 

Of course, being forcefully crushed to… whatever remained of Ouma at that point … by a fucking hydraulic press was bound to affect him, but regardless, the boy clearly wasn’t going to be stopped that easily. Saihara made a small noise of understanding, as Ouma hobbled over to the bed with his support.

 

“... Saihara.” Ouma mumbled, and Saihara’s heart sunk, at the lack of ‘chan’ at the end. It might have been slightly weird to be referred in such a way, but the lack of cheerful tone behind Ouma’s words had Saihara feel lost.

 

“Ouma?”

 

“Will.. will you do me a favour?” Ouma asked, finally letting go of Ouma’s arm, letting the Supreme Leader sit down onto the bed, tucking his knees up instantly. Saihara stood beside him, unsure what he should be doing with himself.

 

“What can I do for you?” Saihara asked, curiously.

 

“Stay.”

 

“W-what?” Saihara asked, confused.

 

“Stay.” Ouma asked again, lip trembling slightly, eyes darting between the window and Saihara.

 

Oh.

 

Oh .

 

The boy didn’t like the dark?

 

“Okay Ouma.” Saihara mumbled, and let himself be tugged down to sit beside Ouma, by weak arms. The two sat there for a moment, neither speaking, before Ouma rested his head on Saihara’s shoulder, arms still securely wrapped under his knees.

 

Thanks Saihara-chan.”

 

If Ouma felt him tense up at his words, nothing was said.

 

If Saihara felt his entire being freeze at the words, nothing was said.

 

Nothing was said at all for the rest of the evening.

 

Saihara felt a tiny bit uncomfortable intruding, but his heart wouldn’t let him leave the boy alone, when he’d spoke with such fear dancing in his eyes. It actually helped calm the detective himself if he was honest, having the gentle breathing of Ouma present in the normally silent darkness he endured every night.

 

It was... Nice.

 

Saihara had meant to slip out once Ouma had fallen asleep, but that didn’t happen. He wasn’t sure how he’d ended up falling asleep, but it had happened, and the next time Saihara awoke, it was to the whimpers and sobs of Ouma Kokichi, who was clung around his waist tightly, small form shivering against the detective.

 

Saihara could feel his heart break further, at the distressed sounds the boy was emitting. Reaching gently, with one hand, he carefully buried it in strands of dark purple hair, combing it gently to try and calm the boy down.

 

He knew waking people up while they were distressed was dangerous, because they could react violently while unaware of themselves. He’d once accidently punched Naegi in the face that way, having been woken up from a nightmare by the boy only to accidentally flip out. He had profoundly apologized after and learnt that it was best he didn’t follow Naegi’s example.

 

Shuuichi…

 

Saihara froze. He’d not told Ouma that… he’d only introduced himself though his family name… Saihara caught himself though, noticing he’d stopped moving his hand when Ouma let out another distressed sound, making Saihara restart his actions.

 

Maybe Ouma subconsciously remembered through dreams?

 

Who knew…

 

Anyway, slowly but surely, Ouma’s uneven breathing calmed down, and the sobs and jutters of his shoulders relaxed into quiet snores once again. The detective was grateful it hadn’t ended too badly, but he couldn’t shake the odd feeling he was experiencing. Eventually the detective fell back to sleep once more to, arms wrapping around Ouma protectively as he drifted back into the darkness of his own night terrors.

 


 

 

Komaeda found them the next morning, and even he had the decency not to make any comments, instead leaving the two, clinging to one another as though their lives depended on it, and looking at peace for once which was pleasant to see.

 

“Nagito?” Hinata asked, and Komaeda simply put a finger to his lips, turning to Hinata in the doorway, shaking a hand to waft the boy back out.

 

“I believe you can say you found where the little Detective went.” Komaeda whispered, leading Hinata back away from the room, he’d known the entire time where Saihara was but he knew it was crucial for Ouma to have someone he could trust...

 

And he’d be damned if he left anyone try and say otherwise.

 

“Is it okay to leave them?”

 

“Yeah.Trust me, Hajime.”

 

Because Komaeda Nagito could well and truly admit he had taken a liking to the small Supreme Leader from the moment he’d stepped into Hope’s Peak more than a year ago, and he’d do anything to have him back to normal, even if he had to break a few rules and weave a few lies.

 


 

It was around noon when he awoke. Saihara opened his eyes to find Ouma staring up at him, eyes reflecting an emotion Saihara couldn’t place, one he knew he hadn’t seen on the boy before. Despite the Supreme Leader being awake before the Detective, he had made no attempt to move, content with staying wrapped around Saihara, simply watching him sleep.

 

“Ouma?”

 

“Good morning Saihara-chan.”

 

So the chan was back for good it seemed, which had Saihara feel a bit better. It was certainly a step back to Ouma’s normal self… and he was sure the boy knew more than he let on.. But he wasn’t sure how to go about approaching that subject with him yet.

 

“Ouma… Why were you staring at me?” Saihara asked groggily, raising a hand to wipe his eyes, the other trapped between his and Ouma’s bodies.

 

“Because Saihara-chan is cute when he’s asleep, obviously.”

 

Saihara simply gave a spluttering noise.

 

“See!” Ouma countered, small grin littering his face and Saihara could feel the blush it caused.

 

If anyone was cute it was Ouma.

 

Wait what?

 

“Let’s… let’s get up.” Saihara mumbled, trying to change the topic, and Ouma let go of the detective with a quiet grumble.

 

“But you’re so warm.. And Saihara-chan feels safe.”

 

Saihara wasn’t even surprised anymore, at the amount of times this boy was making him speechless.

 

“C’mon Ouma.” Saihara said once more, climbing up to stand on his feet, brushing down his clothes he’d slept in, creases obvious against the fabric. He’d need to get changed before he went anywhere else.

 

Ouma made no attempt to move, snuggling deeping into the covers.

 

“Ouma?”

 

“Not getting up.” Ouma mumbled, shutting his eyes.

 

“Ouma.. You need to get up, you need to eat something.” Saihara mumbled and Ouma shook his head.

 

“Don’t need to.”

 

It was like arguing with a child and Saihara couldn’t help the small smile that graced his features at Ouma’s stubbornness. This boy slowly but surely was reminding him of the Ouma he knew.

 

“Do you want me to bring you something?” Saihara asked and Ouma shook his head the best he could.

 

“No.. I… No. Feel free to visit again though Saihara-chan.” Ouma whispered, and turned over, as if to tell Saihara to go.

 

So Saihara did.

 

He didn’t want to push his luck, after he’d finally managed to earn a sliver of Ouma’s trust.

 

He headed back to his own room, getting changed into a fresh pair of clothes, before heading down to the ground floor, towards the dining room he’d spent most of his time avoiding, he didn’t feel ready to be around everyone at all once… but now… he felt ready.

 

Maybe seeing how hard Ouma was trying gave him some confidence… he wasn’t sure, all he knew was that it was time to start facing reality more.

 


 

“Saihara!” Yumeno grinned, pointing her toast at the boy who she noticed in the doorway. The rest of the room turned too look to, smiles meeting the detective who stood awkwardly in the doorway. Not everyone was there, but it was nice to see more than one or two of them, together, as though nothing happened... moving on… There was only a few people missing from the group, minus the four Saihara knew not to expect, the only ones missing were Gonta, Kiibo, Iruma and Maki.

 

It was a little weird to see Kiyo sat talking to Angie, all things considered, but then again he knew those two weren’t exactly normal.. In fact they were quite extraordinary people.

 

Saihara just raised a hand in greeting, shyly, as Amami shuffled further down the bench, to make space for him, between the Adventurer and the Ultimate Pianist.

 

“Hiya Saihara! You okay?”

 

Saihara nodded before sitting down in the space made for him.

 

“Where were you?” Amami asked quietly and Saihara raised an eyebrow in question.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“Last night. Half the staff went crazy with worry, because you’d vanished, I overheard them.”

 

“Oh.” Saihara mumbled, he didn’t even know, but he guessed it made sense, since Naegi came to check on him most evenings, and if he was missing, it probably would have raised warning bells… since Saihara barely left his room.

 

Saihara could feel his face flush, he could hardly turn around and say he'd slept with Ouma, even if that was all that had happened… no way, he couldn't say that… But Amami looked like he had an inkling anyway.

 

Oho ?” Amami asked, with a sly smile.

 

“I erm .. I was with Ouma…”

 

“I figured as much.”

 

“Wait.. what?” Saihara kind of expected him to be mad or agitaited or something… considering how close they’d been..

 

For Ouma to latch onto him and not Amami?

 

“I’m not mad if that’s what you’re thinking. If anything I’m relieved. I was pretty concerned after the other day, so I’m glad he’s at least let you in. Look after him okay, Saihara?”

 

Saihara just let out a quiet eep , face flushing at Amami’s words.

 

“I believe in you.” Amami quietly spoke, as to not alert the others, before getting up from his seat.

 

“I’ve gotta go, bye everyone.”

 

And then Amami was gone.

 

The rest of the day went by smoothly, the group stuck together for most of it, Saihara getting a better tour of the place, which he hadn’t properly explored. It kind of reminded him a bit like that damned Prison School, with all the different rooms, but Saihara tried to ignore that idea, pushing it to the back of his mind.

 

As the evening drew it, Saihara found himself in the huge library the facility had, with Kaede, a sick feeling in his stomach because the last time he’d been with the girl in such a place…

 

No.

 

He wasn’t going to think that way.

 

“Saihara, are you okay? Is it this place? I wasn’t sure if you’d feel okay here... “ Kaede asked, concerned and Saihara nodded.

 

“I’m okay.”

 

It was a lie, and Kaede saw completely through it, but if Saihara didn’t want her to know, she’d go along with it.

 

“I finding calming, you know? Being around all these books… It's stupid but I like it.”

 

Saihara just nodded, unable to find the words he wanted.

 

“Did you get any further investigating? Amami told me you were trying to find out the other students?”

 

“Yeah, Kirumi, Tsumugi and.. And Kaito.”

 

Kaede just hummed in reply.

 

“I see. I thought for sure it would be Iruma, I never see her.”

 

“Apparently she helps out alongside Kiibo, with trying to recover and reverse the memory issues… I guess that means she’s too busy to be around us…”

 

“Possibly… I wish I could help out someway to… I feel so useless. Why are we still here anyway? What’s the purpose of waiting here, what are we waiting for?” Kaede pondered, her thoughts voiced without her realising. She stammered.

 

“I-Ignore that.”

 

“No, I agree. I think they wanted to keep an eye on us at first, after all there was a possibility we could have been brainwashed to Despair, and they wouldn’t want to let us slip through their fingers. Now I think they just want to keep us all together until we’ve all recovered.”

 

“That would make sense… maybe.. I just don’t like this pointless waiting around… I want to see the world again, my sister, my family. Do you know in this massive facility there isn’t a piano?” Kaede rambled and Saihara let out a tiny snicker at the end part, which had Kaede giggle too.

 

“A piano shouldn’t be so hard to find in a post-apocalyptic world, should it?”

 

Saihara felt himself relaxing more. Kaede’s presence certainly calmed him down when he felt on edge. The girl just had some sort of ability that cheered him up, and it was nice, pleasant, welcome.

 

The evening drew in further, and eventually the two departed from the Library, Saihara feeling the relief of leaving the room.

 

“I’m going to head back up to my floor. I’ll see you tomorrow Saihara! Come down and see us more!”

 

And Kaede was gone.

 

The walk back to the 11th floor was.. Tiring. The elevator was out of use for the day, due to some maintenance, and Saihara just felt shattered after walking up to the 9th floor. The first floor, and floors 8 to 10 weren’t dorm rooms, instead they housed areas like the library, dining room, and a bunch of office-like areas that the staff used. Saihara was pretty sure the 10th floor was used for their own dorm rooms, but he wasn’t sure because he didn’t have access to get through the doors.

 

Eventually he made it to his floor, walking through the doors to the floor, and straight into the body of Komaeda Nagito, the taller male catching him, and steadying the two of them, to stop them from falling.

 

“Ah, Saihara.”

 

“Ah! Sorry- I wasn’t loo-”

 

“It’s quite alright, I’m actually quite lucky to run into you, you’re just the person I was looking for.” Komaeda slyly admitted, and Saihara frowned.

 

“Me? Wh- What is it?”

 

“”Come with me.” Komaeda smirked, grabbing the Detective's arm, and fair dragging him, despite his quiet protests. The luckster dragged him to Ouma’s door, before letting go of him, and crossing his arms, giving a nod in the direction of the door.

 

“All yours.” Komaeda spoke and Saihara let out a feebly splutter in protest.

 

“Wh- What?”

 

“The rest of the staff don’t want students in each others rooms at night until you’ve all been cleared of suspicion, and especially not with the special cases…I’ll turn a blind eye to this, if you continue to stay with Ouma.”

 

And then Komaeda was gone.

 

It made sense they didn’t want students together at night, because considering nearly half of them had killed someone in the class in the Sim, or been murdered, there was certainly the incentive to commit horrible acts, and when better than at Night when there was less chance of being witnessed…

 

Regardless though, if Komaeda thought his presence would help Ouma, he was willing to give it a shot. So, with shaky hands he opened to door to the room, cursing himself midway at forgetting to knock.

 

Ouma was perched on the windowsill once more, legs tucked up to his chest and head down. Despair really had written his character to be this anxious soul? It made sense in a sick way though, that the most eccentric and confident one of them all was made into.. Well this.

 

“Ouma?”

 

Ouma’s head snapped up instantly, eyes darting to Saihara, and tiny smile upon the boy's face, despite the obvious tears that gave away that he was crying. Saihara's own face fell at the sight, and before he even knew what his feet were doing, he was over beside the boy, pulling him towards his chest in the most comforting embrace he could muster.

 

“Ouma… It’s okay.”

 

“Saihara-chan. W-Why do you keep coming back to someone like me?”

 

“Idiot, of course I would. We’re friends aren’t we? Even if you don’t remember me.” Saihara mumbled, as he felt Ouma’s fingers clutch onto his uniform, his head buried in Saihara's chest.

 

“I do.” Was Ouma’s quiet response and Saihara froze.

 

“Y..You do?”

 

“Yeah.. Yesterday… but…who knows, I am a liar after all~ Saihara-chan .” Ouma managed to say, raising his head from Saihara’s chest to look up at Saihara, tears still evident on his face, eyes watery, but with the most genuine smile Saihara had ever seen on the Supreme Leader's face, and Saihara could feel himself return it, how could he not? It was infectious.

 

“Why.. haven’t you told anyone?”

 

“Komaeda knows, he’s a little shit though.”

 

“Ouma.. I don’t think you should be referring to the staff that way.” Saihara scolded and Ouma just let out a quiet nishishi.

 

“Says who? Supreme Leaders don’t take orders from anyone… but I’ll make an exception for my Beloved Saihara-chan..” Ouma taunted and Saihara just shook his head, attempting to conceal the laughter threatening to burst past his lips.

 

“Will Saihara-chan still stay, even if I remember?” Ouma asked, and Saihara only just managed to catch the flash of fear before it hid itself behind Ouma’s carefully constructed masks… Maybe Despair hadn’t messed with Ouma’s personality at all, because after spending the briefest of time around said ‘personality’ Saihara could conclude the boy in front of him still had the same aspects to him, just hidden better. Was that the kind of person Ouma had always been? Masked insecurities and fears, behind lies and taunts?  

 

Saihara didn’t want to think about it, because it made him feel awful, so he pushed the thought from his mind, and nodded.

 

“Yeah, I will.”

 

Ouma let go of Saihara’s jacket and raised his arms in mock victory.

 

“Yay. You just couldn’t resist me, right? Right?” Ouma asked, his tears had stopped by now, and the boy discreetly wiped them onto his scarf, cheeky tone back in his voice as he spoke. Saihara just scoffed.

 

“If that’s what you want to believe, Ouma.”

 

“Ehhh… There’s only room for one liar here Saihara-chan.” Was all Ouma said before attempting to climb down from the windowsill, legs still unsteady below him.

 

“You okay?” Saihara asked, holding out an arm for the boy to use as support but Ouma shrugged it off, slowly hobbling over to the bed in the room.

 

“I’m fine, Saihara-chan… gosh.” Ouma pouted childishly before flopping back to lay on his back, staring up at the ceiling, Saihara rolled his eyes at his antics.

 

“Is that a lie, Ouma?”

 

“Who knows~!” Ouma replied, before using his toes to prod the detective in the side.

 

“Your feet are cold.” Saihara concluded and Ouma just scoffed.

 

“That’s what you paid attention to?”

 

“...” Saihara blinked. What else was he meant to pay attention to?

 

Ouma just sighed, sitting back up to grab the detective by the shoulders, before tugging him back down with him.

 

“Now stay there and provide me with warmth, your Supreme Leader commands it.” Ouma boasted, wrapping himself around Saihara, who froze, dumbfounded. Even after remembering everything, Ouma wanted him here, to stay?

 

“I can hear your thoughts, they’re that loud, Saihara-chan.” Ouma mumbled, as Saihara relaxed slightly.

 

It wasn’t that bad… if anything Saihara felt a sudden joy at being wanted, at Ouma desiring him to stay with him… it was… Saihara couldn’t really explain what he felt, but it was nice, so he stopped trying to think so much about it, and simply closed his eyes, allowing Ouma to use him as a source of heat, arms wrapped around him.

 

“Thanks Saihara-chan~!” Ouma beamed, with a small nishishi , and Saihara just smiled in return.

 

No problem Ouma.

 


 

The next morning, Saihara awoke first, and flushed upon realising his position. Somehow he’d gotten his legs tangled up with Ouma’s, and one arm was trapped under the shorter boy, the other wrapped around his waist, Ouma’s own arms clinging to him in return. Saihara was pretty sure he’d lost the feeling in the arm under him, he couldn’t wriggle it, and he concluded it was dead, he’d have to wait for Ouma to move, so he could get the blood to return to it.

 

He didn’t have to wait long, but in the time he did wait, Saihara saw the appeal of watching the other sleep, just as Ouma had done the day before. Ouma looked like the epitome of an angel while he slept. There was no false facial expressions masking his face, or emotions, there was no mischief in his eyes, and best of all, he looked happy, a tiny smile on his face at whatever dream he was enduring. Saihara scolded himself for acting weird. Why did he feel like this around the boy.. What even was he feeling? Saihara was confused, and in his deep thought, he failed to miss Ouma stirring.

 

“Saihara-chan~? Earth to Saiharaaa-chan~” Ouma prodded the boys cheek, and Saihara’s eyes widened, before looking down at Ouma.

 

“Ah.. sorry Ouma.” Saihara tried to catch himself, and Ouma just pouted.

 

“My Beloved Saihara-chan was busy thinking about something else to notice me~ I’m wounded by this betrayal.”

 

“S-Sorry Ouma!” Saihara apologised and Ouma snickered in return.

 

“Just kidding~!” Ouma beamed, tugging himself off of Saihara, freeing his arm, and untangling their limbs, before brushing off his clothes.

 

“Aw… now everything is creased... “ Ouma sighed.

 

“We have spares anyway.” Saihara explained and Ouma nodded.

 

“I know… It’s like being back there.” Ouma pointed out and Saihara shuddered at the thought. It wasn’t a false statement though, the fact they were stocked with extra pairs of their uniform did remind him of the Prison School. They did have other things in their wardrobes, casual clothes and things like that, but predominantly they all mostly settled for wearing their uniforms because it's what they felt most comfortable with.

 

Ouma stuck his head into the wardrobe he had, while Saihara managed to drag himself out of the bed.

 

“Ooo look Saihara-chan!” Ouma pulled out a long cape from the wardrobe and Saihara let out a groan. His pre-sim memories might not be a lot, but he sure as hell could remember that damn cape, and Ouma parading about in it like he was the new supervillain (because Ouma refused to be called a superhero.)

 

“I can look like a phantom thief with this, Saihara-chan~! Will you try and catch me though?” Ouma asked, raising a finger to his chin as he did. Saihara spluttered at the thought of chasing the boy, heart racing for some reason, until Ouma gave his trademark laugh.

 

“Just kidding.”

 

“I’m going to need to change my own clothes too.” Saihara announced. He’d also not showered for like two days now, because he’d been staying with Ouma on a night.

 

“Okay~ Saihara-chan.” Ouma replied, as Saihara let himself out of the room, agreeing to come back in half an hour.

 

Saihara didn’t encounter anyone on the way back to his room, thankfully, and was able to grab a quick shower without worry. He was grateful the rooms all had ensuites.

 

When he got out and headed over to the wardrobe, he found himself pulling out a version of his uniform, succumbing to wearing the same outfit once more, simply because he felt lost without it.

 

Saihara departed the room once more, after ensuring he’d dried off his hair the best he could, and accidently running into Komaeda once more.

 

“Saihara!” Komaeda gave a sly smirk, ruffling his hair with a hand, that had Saihara feel uncomfortable.

 

“Thanks.” Was all the luckster said before leaving, walking down the hallway away from Ouma’s room, to the staircase.

 

Saihara shrugged it off. Ouma already told him Komaeda was the only one who knew about his return of memories, so it was probably just to do with that.

 

Once Saihara made it back to OUma’s door, he gave a quiet knock, remembering to do so this time, and he was welcomed with the cheerful enter which sounded exactly like the Ouma Saihara knew. It was nice to have him back.

 

Ouma was donned in his normal uniform, including the cape Saihara knew to expect, because the cape was one of the few things he knew for sure Ouma loved about his uniform.

 

“Yoho~ Guess what, Saihara-chan?” Ouma asked, and Saihara shrugged.

 

“Komaeda said I was in the clear, and he’d arranged to allow me to leave the room!” Ouma beamed. Saihara guessed behind stuck in the same room for more than a month could drive anyone a little crazy.

 

“So I have decided you have to take me to see Amami-chan. I need to say sorry to him.” Ouma pointed out.

 

“Why me?” Saihara complained, but his lie was easily seen through by Ouma.

 

“Nishishi, don’t lie to me, Saihara-chan, you’re elated to be able to spend time with me.” Ouma chortled and Saihara just sighed.

 

“Okay then. Off we go.” Saihara replied, knowing arguing with him wouldn’t be worth it.

 

“Thanks Saihara-chan.”

 


 

Getting down 11 flights of stairs took time, but Saihara was patient, and Ouma persisted, getting to the 7th floor without much help, but relying on Saihara from there downwards. Eventually the two made it to the first floor though, and Saihara slowly took Ouma in the direction of the dining room. Komaeda had left Ouma with a crutch, so the shorter male could use that alongside Saihara, and it did help relieve the ache in his legs, which still protested to moving so much.

 

The dining room was the fullest Saihara had seen it… but Saihara had only seen it twice so that kinda made sense…

 

Anyway, it contained everyone from the day before, but this time, Saihara could also see Kiibo, Iruma and Gonta had joined them, summarily only missing 4 of the class, Kirumi, Kaito, Tsumugi and Maki (three of which made sense to Saihara, but come to think of it, he hadn’t actually seen Maki at all.)

 

It was probably a sight to see, considering news had circulated between the class about the fate of the four who didn’t remember, so seeing Ouma Kokichi in the doorway, supported on his feet by a crutch and Saihara Shuuichi likely wasn’t what they expected to see.

 

Nishishi , you all look like you saw a ghost or something…” Ouma snickered and Saihara could visibly see the shoulders of about half of the class relax, as Ouma unknowing confirmed his memory had returned.

 

Amami, as expected, was on his feet instantly, and over to the boy in a heartbeat, tugging the shorter boy into a hug.

 

“Idiot.” Was all the adventurer said, and Ouma just gave a laugh in reply, letting go of Saihara to wrap an arm around the taller student.

 

“Amami-chan was worried about me~? I’m touched.” Ouma joked and Amami just rolled his eyes, used to the boys antics.

 

“Amami-chan might want to let go now, before I collapse.” Ouma added quietly, and Amami pulled back, just as Ouma’s legs gave out from under him, Saihara catching the boy the best he could, Amami lending a hand too.

 

“Ah. Thanks.”

 

“Idiot.. You should have rested more, if you still can’t walk properly.”

 

“Amami-chan, A Supreme Leader like me cannot be beaten by something as simple as this.” Ouma lied and Amami sighed.

 

“No, of course not, Ouma, being crushed by a hydraulic press and suffering from extensive nerve damage and temporary amnesia certainly isn’t something that could beat someone as mighty as you.” Amami said, sarcasm dripping in his voice, Ouma shrugging, as Saihara helped him sit down.

 

“Exactly, Amami-chan” Ouma replied with a sly grin, one of the ones Saihara knew was a false mask for confidence, he’d seen it enough in the Sim to work it out already.

 

The rest of the students seemed to have their spirits lifted by Ouma’s evident recovery, hope for the rest wasn’t misplaced it seemed, and a few of the students seemed quite happy to engage in conversation with the short student, even if they’d all thought him annoying in the Sim.

 

Kiibo seemed interested in monitoring Ouma, and asked some questions about how he remembered and what triggered it, to try and aid the others in a similar way.

 

“Eh.. Keeboy isn’t a robot? Lame.”

 

Kiibo just let out a noise of protest, before opening his mouth to speak in retaliation.

 

“I might not be a robot, but that’s not the issue here, Ouma. The issue is, how did you remember?”

 

“Easy~ My Beloved Saihara-chan.” Ouma replied, before pausing, face blank.

 

“Or was that a lie~?”

 

Kiibo let out a frustrated noise before Iruma butted in.

 

“Oi, Brat, answer his questions already.”

 

“Ehhhh. Why?” Ouma complained and Saihara couldn’t help the tiny smile that made it’s way onto his face, listening to Ouma’s childish antics.

 

Amami leaned in, from the other side of the detective.

 

“Thanks Saihara. Whatever you did, I appreciate it.”

 

Saihara just flushed, blood tinting his face a bright red, detective lowering his head to try and hide it.

 

“Also, how long are you going to be in denial that you’ve got the biggest crush on him?”

 

Saihara promptly choked on his orange juice.

 

“Saihara! Are you okay?” Kaede asked with concern and Saihara just held up a hand to signal he was okay, while struggling to steady his breathing, turning to Amami with wide eyes.

 

“W-what?!”

 

“It’s so obvious, Saihara, even a blind man could see it.”

 

“W...what…”

 

“You didn’t even know… did you?’ Amami asked, with realisation, and Saihara shook his head.

 

“I… I like Ouma?” Saihara asked, and Amami just nodded as if he’d asked the stupidest question on earth.

 

It made sense the more Saihara thought about it. Ouma made him feel happy, and safe, and so weird when he was around him. But it was that weird feeling that he could finally place with Amami’s help.

 

Affection.

 

Before Saihara Shuuichi could even realise it, he was already head over heels in love with Ouma Kokichi.

 

And he had no idea what the fuck he was going to do now he knew that.

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Thank you for the continued support on Danganronpa Amino.

Chapter Text

Kaede Akamatsu could tell there was something between the two boys. She wasn’t sure what exactly yet, but there was something… And whatever that something was, Saihara seemed to gain more confidence everyday, and Kaede was grateful for whatever Ouma was doing for her friend.

She knew Amami was pretty grateful too, because the two spoke often, being on the same floor and what not. Kaede was pretty certain Amami had noticed something too, because sometimes she’d catch him talking to Saihara, and she was 100% sure Amami was teasing him, but in a way that would help him clear his thoughts and confusion.

Obviously she shouldn’t condemn such antics, but thankfully, whatever Amami said to the detective that meal time, it’d helped knock Saihara out of whatever thoughts he’d been stuck in for days. Kaede knew, knew that the detective was probably over thinking something, and Amami had probably helped out, because that’s the kind of person he was, he was like a big brother to the two boys… That’s how Kaede saw it anyway.

Amami… was still quite a mystery to her though. She knew a little more about him now, after their time spent together, but she still couldn’t understand him entirely. But he was nice, he was nice even to her, even when she’d tried to kill him, despite everything… and he was too pure for any of them.

Kaede Akamatsu felt 100% certain she didn’t deserve the kindness of Amami Rantaro.

///

Maki Harukawa was lost.

Not physically, of course, but mentally.

There’d been so much confusion when she had awoken, and she wasn’t sure what to believe anymore.

The feelings she had, feelings she thought she’d never feel, feelings she was told were fake… what were they really? Were they really fake, simply spurred on but the events in the simulation, or, despite everything, did Maki genuinely like the idiot Kaito Momota?

She had no idea.

It took a bit of coxing from her carer, the young photographer Mahiru, before Maki finally took the initiative to leave her room.

It only happened once though, and Maki found herself in the presence of Kaede Akamatsu that gentle April afternoon, early on when they’d awoken.

It was… okay, it was fairly nice, because Kaede could relate to her, to an extent, and her presence alone seemed quite calming, like it came naturally to the pianist, to soothe those she was around.

It was only a brief exchange, and after that Maki retreated to the confines of her room, with Mahiru and Mikan being her only visitors, the photographer bringing her food when needed, and trying to act as some form of support, but with little success.

It took quite a bit of time with her thoughts before Maki could firmly say she had a clear grasp on what thoughts and feelings were real and what wasn’t. She couldn’t be indecisive with her thoughts, based on her talent, there was no room for unsurities. She could conclude, yes, she did like that space idiot, and no, she didn’t entirely blame the shorter brat that had used him in the simulation, in his crazy scheme to end everything.

Maki Harukawa could firmly say, she was ready to face everyone, face Kaito, face Saihara, face Yumeno, face Ouma… and Tsumugi.

Her appearance in the dining hall that morning sparked shock, from the six occupants, two of which were maybe just possibly fighting over a slice of toast like petty children.

“Harukawa!” Saihara spoke in surprise, and Maki gave a curt nod in greeting to the detective.

“Eh… Little Miss Assassin makes her appearance, at last~!” Ouma taunted, returning to moving his hand in all sorts of crazy uncoordinated directions, clutching a slice of toast Kiibo tried desperately to grasp, but unable to due to Ouma’s constant uncoordinated movement.

“Ouma! Gimme it back!”

“Nahhh~ c’mon Kiibo surely you’re not completely useless even as a human?”

“That’s rude! I’ll have you know-”

“Ehhh excuses!” Ouma butted in.

“Hello Harukawa.” Amami waved a hand, having not know the girl entirely well during the sim, and not having clear memories of any of their exchanges from before said time.

The final two occupants in the room, besides Saihara, Amami, Ouma and Kiibo, were Iruma and Korekiyo. Korekiyo seemed content to sit at the side and observe everyone silently, and Iruma seemed too busy fiddling with some odd device to notice anything around her, including Kiibo and Ouma’s squabble or Maki’s entrance.

“Hello Amami.” Maki replied, taking a seat at the table, feeling slightly uncomfortable being opposite the supreme leader, who’d finally given up, tossing the toast back to Kiibo, instead taking to leaning on Saihara, sipping silently at a carton of juice, eyes baring deep into her soul. Finally he stopped, tore his gaze away, and up to Saihara.

“”Shuuichi-chan I’m boreddddd.” Ouma pouted, and Saihara just sighed. Maki raised an eyebrow, since when did Ouma refer to anyone by their first names?

“Is that your way of telling me you’d like to leave, Ouma?”

Oh so it was just Ouma, Saihara wasn’t in on it? Maki just shook it off, it was probably Ouma just being weird.

“Yup~ Ah Shuuichi-chan knows me so well~” Ouma beamed and Saihara just shook his head. He couldn’t figure the boy out, but it’d been four days now, since the boy's memory returned, and he realised his gay ass feelings™ for the boy. Ouma had also insisted on calling him Shuuichi now, which made Saihara’s heart flutter when he heard it, but he’d not let him know that obviously… Not to say Ouma hadn’t worked it out, but Saihara wasn’t sure.

“If you say so, Ouma.” Saihara mumbled, standing up, to help the shorter boy up. It turned out that Ouma’s trip down to the dining hall a few days ago, wasn’t actually a wise choice on Komaeda’s part, as his legs still weren’t 100%. It didn’t do any damage per say, but Ouma had felt a bit of pain the day after, and could barely stand because of it. So he still needed support to walk, and he was only allowed down to the dining hall twice a day, nothing else, the rest of the time, Hajime had told him he had to remain in his room to rest his legs. If by the weekend check up, he’d showed signs of improvements, then he’d have free reign.

Ouma used this time for breakfast, and mostly closer to night-time, because he liked that it was quieter at that time.

Ouma just gave a simple nishishi, grabbing the crutch he still had to use, other arm slung around Saihara’s neck (which was slightly awkward considering Saihara was taller than him.)

“Bye bye Little Miss Assassin~ try not to miss me too much?” Ouma gleefully spoke, missing Maki’s brief concerned look, as he departed with a small limp, Saihara holding him on his feet as he did.

Amami noticed this look though.

“He can’t walk properly, that’s why Saihara helps him out, apparently he underwent too much physical stress.”

Maki frowned. That was probably her fault wasn’t it?

“He didn’t even get his memory back till about four days ago.”

“Memory..back?”

“Oh you don’t know?” Amami asked in surprise, and Kiibo used this time to butt in.

“Ah Amami it might be best if you don-”

But Amami continued, unaware of the whole Kaito and Maki thing, including her talent to which he’d never actually been told.

“Some people don’t actually have any memories other than like… fake ones made in the Sim? Like.. Pre-Killing Game? I think that’s what Saihara called it. Anyway, Ouma didn’t know anything true except his own name till Saihara worked his magic.”

“Who.. Who else?”

“I believe Shirogane, on the 6th floor, and Tojo and Momota? They’re on the 12th floor. Ouma was the only one who didn’t react violently due to the memories. Apparently he was quite the opposite, he was really reserved and when me and Saihara tried to see him, he was really upset at being in the same place as us.”

“The other three are under constant supervision, and react violently when they can. Apparently Momota actually managed to injure one of the staff members recently, by faking an improvement in his condition, to be trusted enough with cutlery. Stabbed one of the female staff members in the leg with a fork.” Kiyo mumbled from the side, and Maki’s eyes widened. Kaito.. Had done that?

“Oh where’d you hear that?” Amami asked curiously.

“The girl who checks up on me. She’s quite detestable, and she lets infomation slip too easily.” Kiyo replied, and Kiibo let out a splutter.

“Th-That’s rude!”

“It’s true though.”

“Momota… doesn’t remember?”

“No, I’m sorry Harukawa. Myself and Iruma are helping out the best we can too!” Kiibo admitted, with a faint blush, because goddamnit that girl was distracting more than helpful, and she was also still completely engrossed in the device in her hands to listen to her being spoken about.

“Do.. do you think I could see him? I might be able to help like Saihara did? I.. can handle myself.”

Amami just gave a quizzical look which Kiyo cleared up.

“Ah. You don’t know because it was revealed after you died. Harukawa is the Ultimate Assassin.”

Amami just blinked once, twice.

“Oh.”

And then he gave a nervous chuckle, because what Ouma called her as he left made sense now.

“Well I’m sure you could handle yourself then.”

“You reacted quite well.” Maki commented and Amami just shrugged.

“What can I say, I hang around enough abnormal people to just not get surprised anymore.”

Iruma finally paused enough to notice Maki.

“Eh. I haven’t seen you around. Where have you been hiding Harukawa?”

“...”

“Suit yourself. If you’re wanting to see that idiot though, I know just the person to ask.” Iruma added, and Maki narrowed her eyes with interest.

“Ir-Iruma are you suggesting-?” Kiibo spluttered and Iruma smirked, giving a nod.

“Exactly.”

///

And that was how Maki Harukawa met Komaeda Nagito, a.k.a The Original Little Shit™

Apparently Komaeda wasn’t actually staff of either Hope’s Peak or the Remnants of Future Foundation, he was just here because of Hinata Hajime, and just seemed to be breaking rules left right and center because he apparently didn’t give a shit for order? That’s the impression most of them had of him by now. Komaeda did hang around Hope’s Peak quite a bit, but he just got away with a lot of things and Maki had no idea what to think of the guy.

“Harukawa is it?” Komaeda asked, and Maki nodded.

“You’re wanting to see Momota… Even after I told poor Saihara no, twice.”

Maki blinked. Saihara had tried to see him too? It made her feel a bit better knowing the detective hadn’t lost that courage the astronaut had helped bloom.

“Yes.”

“Okay~”

Maki just blinked.

“That easy?”

“Yup. You see, I just have an inkling that these guys that don’t remember, just need someone to kickstart their memories. Worked for Kokichi, so…”

And apparently Komaeda was on first name basis with Little Shit 2.0™

Made sense.

“So you’re thinking I’m that someone for Momota?”

Komaeda just nodded.

“I watched most of the game, since it broadcast back to the monitors. I even have an inkling for the other two.” Komaeda gave a sly smile and Maki had to stop herself from shuddering at the sight of it. This guy was.. Not normal, he made her feel on edge, and he seemed quite capable of pulling off some dangerous and insane shit.

How was there someone worse that Ouma in this world?

“Yet you’ve not said anything?”

“Of course not. Everyone’s hopeful enough without my ideas. It’s nicer to see you guys form your own hope, than have it forced upon you by me.”

Maki just frowned.

“But luckily, I happen to have been classmates with the two with Momota, and I’m sure I could convince them, so just give me a bit of time.. Say..2 hours?”

Maki just blinked. Did this guy have that much faith in himself? Or was his faith placed in something else?

///

As it turned out, Komaeda convinced Pekoyama Peko, and Nidai Nekomaru, that Maki could see Kaito, if she didn’t get to close, and the two of them, and Hajime Hinata had to be present. Mako wondered what Hinata could do, considering she’d seen him and he looked pretty weak to her?

She’d been informed, however, that he had a large array of talents, due to some messed up project from a few years ago, before everything fell to shit… which was partly his fault.

So, accompanied by a swordswoman, a huge ass guy who looked capable of killing someone with his pinkie, and the scrawny form of Hajime Hinata, Maki finally got in to see Kaito Momota.

////

“Shuuichi-chan~”

Saihara just looked at the boy in question, eyebrow raised, as they exited the dining room.

“Harukawa stayed in a room with me for more than 5 minutes without a threat on my life!” Ouma said, eyes sparkling in fake excitement that had Saihara roll his eyes at the boys antics. He suspected the boy had wanted to leave before Maki found out about Kaito’s condition, since Saihara was certain the girl would find some way to pin it on Ouma, and well... They didn’t need that in their lives at the moment, they already had enough burdens.

“I’m worried about her though.” Saihara admitted and Ouma sighed, as they reached the elevator, which had finally been fixed.

“Shuuuuichi-chan.” Ouma extended the ‘u’ vowel as he spoke, stopping for a moment before continuing to speak.

“You can’t help everybody y’know. Sometimes you have to look after yourself too!” Ouma commented and Saihara’s face went blank.

“Don’t try and hide it from me. You can’t hide that sort of thing from a Liar like me, y’know?” Ouma continued, as the number above the life slowly traveled downwards.

12, 11, 10, 9…

“I.. I-” Saihara didn’t have any excuses. It was just how he felt. He’d no issues with helping others, while staying silent about his own problems, because that’s the kind of person he was. Saihara Shuuichi was too considerate of everyone else and it was slowly killing him.

8...7...6...5

“Look after yourself more.”

4...3...2..

“I’ll try.”

..1

Saihara didn’t hear Ouma’s muffled thank you, as the doors dinged open for them, but that’s okay, because Ouma didn’t want him to hear anyway.

///

Despite everything, the Detective and the Supreme Leader still both slept in Ouma’s room, it was just one of those things they didn’t want to stop, mostly because it was comforting to have someone there, to tell them everything was okay, and that they weren’t in that horrible school, every time they awoke disoriented and scared.

It was usually Ouma that struggled with the nights to be fair though, it wasn’t often he did wake up, but Saihara was there regardless, he was a light sleeper so 9 times out of 10 he awoke to Ouma’s distressed noises, ready to assist in anyway he could. Maybe it was Maki’s appearance that brought the weight of everything back to Saihara, that even if it wasn’t reality, he failed to protect anyone, everyone had died before him, after he’d promised to continue Kaede’s wish, and even now he felt pretty helpless. Kaito couldn’t remember a thing about him… or anything for that matter. Saihara was finally starting to feel the pressure, because he felt the need to help everyone out, to aid in anyway he could, because it was the least he could do.

What kind of detective was he, letting everyone die before him? Letting himself be deceived and lied to without realising? Why didn’t he have the answers he needed? Why had he given up so easily?

On top of that, how could he even call himself the Ultimate Detective if he had to wait for someone else to tell him what he’d been feeling for Ouma? How did he not even realise his own feelings?

Saihara didn’t sleep much that night.

Ouma fell asleep pretty quickly, loosely wrapping himself around Saihara, because for some reason the Supreme Leader was a clingy sleeper. Saihara did eventually drift off, sometime in the early hours of the morning, but the only thing that greeted him was horrific nightmares.

It had started out quite nice, the 16 of them in Hope’s Peak, quite cheerful and happy if anything. And then Tenko had turned to face in, neck dripping in blood, eyes drawn in accusation at him. Saihara whipped around in desperation, only to come face to face with Angie, her too dripping in blood, finger pointed at him, besides Amami, who held a hand to his head, blood trickling through his fingertips. Slowly but surely everyone around him began to point or glare at him accusingly, the friends he’d tried so hard to help all glared at him like it was his fault, bodies reflecting the injuries they’d sustained before their deaths.

There was too much blood, and Saihara couldn’t escape, no matter how far he ran, they were always right behind him. Somehow, in his endless running, Saihara began to recognize his surroundings as the dreaded Prison school, and he could tell from the dark colours and whirring of machinery where he had wound up, from the press that lurked in the corner, two of his friends stood beside it, feral expressions littering the faces he knew would never look like that. Even as Saihara struggled, there was no way to resist the 13 students who shoved him forward, and the two who lurked beside the press, one grabbing each arm, hoisting him forward towards the metal he never wanted to go near again. Resisting did nothing though, and sure enough, Ouma was hoisted onto the slab, still trying to break free from the arms that held him into place. It was in the briefest of moments, that Saihara wondered if Ouma had been just as terrified, laying here, knowing what was to come, before the fear and panic overtook him once more. He knew this wasn’t real so why couldn’t he wake up? Why couldn’t he alter it? Why? When the heavy metal of the press finally dropped down, towards his struggling form, it ended.

Saihara bolted up from the bed, muffled scream from his lips, breathing uneven, hand shakily reaching instantly to clasp at his chest, as he tried to take in the oxygen he so badly needed. He could hardly breath, and the darkness of the room had him hyperventilate further, he was okay but his brain couldn’t accept that, it was still driven by fear and panic, and Saihara couldn’t function, he couldn’t move, all he could do was sit there, tucking his knees up, willing away the tears that made him have to choke back sobs, still unable to calm his breathing.

Why couldn’t he escape?

Why would it always be there in his mind?

Why couldn’t he just forget?

Saihara shuddered, breath hitching as he felt a hand on his shoulder. He managed to pick out the blurry form of Ouma, himself slightly disorientated, awoken by the noise Saihara made. The shorter boy had placed a hand on his shoulder, as to not spook him, there was silence between the two, as the supreme leader finally moved forward more, wrapping both his arms around Saihara, tugging him forward and into the smaller boy’s chest.

“Shuuichi it’s okay. Breathe for me, yeah?”

Saihara could only shake his head. He couldn’t- He couldn’t do it. Ouma didn’t give up though, one hand moved to calmly run his fingers through Saihara’s hair, combing it softly, the other to the stark pale face of horror and fear that was pressed against his chest, small fingers moving to wipe away the tears on the detectives cheeks.

“Shuuichi please.” Ouma asked again, and Saihara tried to take a shuddery breath, his shoulder jittered, and all he could do was make a feeble noise as he tried to inhale before exhaling sharply.

“There we go. Keep that up, breathe in.” Ouma mumbled, and Saihara followed in suit, finding it a tiny bit easier to gulp down the air he needed so desperately.

“And breathe out.” Saihara exhaled, calmer this time, but still unable to stop himself from letting out a sob, one he’d tried to contain.

“Shh, it’s okay Shuuichi, I’m here, okay? You’re safe.”

Saihara nodded, letting the boy know he’d heard, opening his mouth to try and speak, but only managing to let out another choked noise, hands moving up to clamp over his mouth, shaking his head wildly against Ouma who simply sat holding him.

“Don’t worry. You don’t need to rush. I’m not going anywhere, take your time, Shuuichi.”

Eventually, Ouma’s words and actions helped Saihara calm down, relaxing slowly but surely, in Ouma’s hold, his breathing evening out to a normal rate. Then the silence came.

That was the first time Ouma had ever woken up because of Saihara. Usually the detective could keep himself quiet and under control, but it’s likely the constant stress the Detective was silently enduring had finally caught up, and it had become too much to contain. Saihara was more than willing to care for Ouma when he awoke in a state, but it was the first time Saihara had ever disturbed the Supreme Leader. He felt like shit for disturbing the boy who already didn’t get enough sleep, and now he had just disrupted him with his pathetic panic. Ouma said nothing, and didn’t let go of Saihara either, even after he’d calmed down enough to breathe properly.

“You think too loud, Shuuichi-chan, I can hear you from here.” Ouma mumbled, the typical chan returning down the boy had calmed down considerably. Saihara didn’t notice the lack of honorific in his panic. Saihara just looked up, and Ouma sighed at the obvious guilt the detective was reflecting in his eyes.

“It’s not your fault Shuuichi-chan. I promise.” Ouma mumbled, trying to get the Detective to stop looking so guilty.

“B-But I woke you up- and-”

“So? You never complain when I wake you up. You’re allowed to be selfish sometimes y’know? If you feel lost, remember everyone in this building is here for you, okay?”

Saihara could tell Ouma was acting quite different than normal, and his voice slightly reflected that of the boy he’d been before his memories returned… Was it possibly the two personalities had merged?

“Bu-But-”

“No but’s. You’re allowed to put yourself first.”

Saihara just gave a weak nod. He didn’t want to, not when people were relying on him, or when people had bigger issues than him, but Ouma’s demanding tone made him consider trying at least.

“Now, you’re going to lay back down, and sleep, and if you wake up again, I am going to be right here for you, okay?” Ouma asked, one hand moving down to clasp at Saihara’s, squeezing reassuringly. Saihara just nodded quietly, complying with Ouma’s orders. As the detective slowly fell back asleep, he said nothing, reassured by the silent yet ever present squeeze of Ouma’s hand.

The boy didn’t have anymore nightmares that night, and by the time morning rolled around, Saihara woke up, and actually felt pretty rested, hand still held loosely by Ouma’s. The boy was already awake, staring at him curiously.

“You okay Shuuichi-chan?”

Saihara nodded, faintly embarrassed at the events of last night. He’d been so close to Ouma, and he’d looked so weak, after he promised he’d be strong for everyone.

“Good. Now let’s get you some food, that’s the best cure for feeling uneasy, don’t you know?” Ouma asked and Saihara furrowed his brow. It was?

“What time is it?”

“Like.. 3pm.” Ouma mumbling and Saihara never bolted out of bed as fast as he did that day.

“Ho- What the hell, why didn’t you get me up sooner?”

“Silly Shuuichi-chan. You needed sleep. Who cares what time you wake up? It’s not like we actually have anything to get up for at the moment, we’re stuck here till they sort out the others guys memories.”

“Bu-But-”

“You can’t risk your own safety to help others. Kiiboy and Iruma are doing what they can already, and you helped a lot, don’t you remember? You helped me, and you helped Kayaday and Amami too. You help us all without even knowing.”

“I- I do?”

“You do.”

“If you say so.” Saihara wasn’t overly sure he’d done anything to help, he didn’t feel like he had anyway but Ouma didn’t appear to be lying.

“Now, shall we get some food or not?”

Saihara nodded. He felt pretty hungry even though he’d only just woke up, and it did sound like a nice idea to head down to the dining hall at this time, since it’d probably be empty.

///

It wasn’t actually empty, but it was near enough. The only person in the room other than the two of them was Angie, who greeted them cheerfully but paid little other attention to them, too busy sketching with one hand, and nibbling on a sandwich in the other.

“Now, let’s find something for you to eat?”

Saihara just gave a nod. Did the Supreme Leader even know how to cook?

Apparently he did, and Saihara couldn’t help but be a tiny bit impressed at the boy, a small smile making his way onto his face, at the sloppily presented but rather tasty omelette the shorter boy cooked up for him.

“It’s probably not as good as what Tojo could make..” Ouma trailed, he kind of missed the maid, since she was pretty convenient to have around, and she did kind of feel like the mother he should have had but never did.

“It’s perfect Kokichi.” Saihara muttered, quickly shoveling it down, not even noticing his slip up with Ouma’s name. Ouma noticed though, and even if he was a master at deceiving people, he couldn’t deceive himself, tips of his ears turning red in embarrassment, because goddamn it he wanted Saihara to call him that all the time if that’s how the word sounded from the detective's mouth.

“No problem Shuuichi-chan.” Ouma smiled, a genuine smile that had both of them feel just a tiny bit happier in their rather complicated lives.

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Chapter Text

 

Ouma’s reassuring presence helped Saihara out a lot, and while he wouldn’t use such words until they were out of the way of others, Saihara came to find Ouma was a lot more humane than he had tried to act. He understood people and their insecurities, and he actually knew how to help with them, which mildly surprised the detective. Having Ouma near worked both ways for them. Ouma was there to scold Saihara when he put too much stress on himself, and Saihara was there when Ouma awoke with muffled screams for everything to stop. The two being inseparable also didn’t help Saihara with his feelings for the boy, but at least now he could clearly say he definitely liked him beyond a ‘friendship’ level. He had no idea how to broach this to Ouma though, because for starters did Ouma even like guys? He honestly had no idea, the boy hadn’t even mentioned any form of relationship, with either gender, so Saihara couldn’t be sure if he was even into dating people or not. If anything, these questions added to the stress he received when he next saw Maki, faint scars littering her face, by what looked to have been made by fingernails, and two broken fingers.

 

Apparently she’d been allowed in to see Kaito, and he not only didn’t recognize her, but attacked her. She’d ended up defending herself, only getting minor injuries in the process because the girl could handle herself… Plus he’d been restrained before anything else major could happen. Saihara felt his heart stop when she told him, but Ouma was there to reassuring squeeze his hand, letting him know he was there, and if Ouma could overcome the amnesia, Kaito could too.

 

This time that he saw Maki was when the entirety of them had been called together, something Saihara nor Ouma had yet to see, they hadn’t seen everyone at once yet. Of course, Tsumugi, Kaito and Kirumi weren’t present.

 

“We feel it’s best to not keep you in the dark any longer. As you likely know, due to someone’s interference-” Togami spoke to them all, pausing to glare at Komaeda at the sidelines, “The three students not present today are still in intensive care, due to a lack of memories. They currently do not remember anything of their original selves. We are doing everything in our power to help restore their memories.” Togami stopped to let Kirigiri take over.

 

“On top of this, we believe you’ve recovered quite a lot lately, as a collective, and we’ve managed to locate some of your relatives or close ones, and we will be allowing them to visit you. Of course you’ll have to be monitored the entire time, but we believe it may be a step in the right direction towards you guys being allowed to leave here permanently.”

 

The majority of them perked up at this. They could have visitors? Finally?

 

Saihara felt pretty glad Kaede would be able to see her sister, noticing the blonde’s smile grow, at the news, from where she stood beside Amami. The boy beside her seemed rather elated at the news too, as did a few of the others. Ouma’s hand tensed in his own, and Saihara had to wonder what kind of people would visit Ouma. His parents? Siblings? Friends? Who did Ouma have in his life? Saihara couldn’t remember yet, but he was sure he’d met someone close to the boy before the entire Sim thing. His memories refused to cooperate though. The only person Saihara could think of that would visit him was his Uncle. They weren’t overly close, but they were all they had, so it made sense he’d come visit, or Saihara hoped at least, because if no one came, Saihara was sure he’d feel even more lost.

 

But all in all, at least they weren’t being kept entirely in the dark anymore, which was nice to see. The fact they were trusted enough for visitors now was also nice to hear, and it certainly improved the moods around the facility.

 

///

 

That night, the two simply laid staring at the ceiling, in Ouma’s room.

 

“Shuuichi-chan?”

 

“Mh?” Saihara mumbled.

 

“Who’ll come for you?”

 

“Hopefully my Uncle… I don’t have any parents so…”

 

“Oh.” Ouma was silent. “Me neither.”

 

Saihara’s head whipped around to the boy.

 

“They’re not dead if that’s what you’re thinking.” Ouma continued, and Saihara furrowed his brow.

 

“They were horrible anyway, I’m glad they left.” Ouma admitted, voice shuddering as he finished, obviously finding it hard to admit this to Saihara.

 

“Because after they left me, I found my true family but I really don’t want to face them so soon. I don’t want them to see me in such a pitiful state, Shuuichi-chan.” Ouma mumbled, finishing his speech. Saihara just rested a hand on top of Ouma’s, trying to comfort the boy.

 

“My parents died when I was young, I lived with my Uncle ever since. I don’t really remember them.” Saihara explained his own tale, Ouma humming in understanding beside him.

 

“Then Shuuichi-chan can join my family if his uncle doesn’t show up.” Ouma quietly spoke, Saihara sputtering beside him.

 

“I’m sure he will though, Shuuichi-chan. Who couldn’t love you?” Ouma whispered, closing his eyes to sleep, hoping Saihara didn’t hear him.

 

He did.

 

Saihara stayed quiet through, the pounding of his own heart heavy in his ears. Ouma was seriously going to kill him with words. Trying to calm himself down, Saihara just turned over, closing his own eyes, attempting to sleep.

 

Two hours later he finally drifted off, to a light and unsatisfying sleep.

 

///

 

It only took a week before visitors were cleared of access. They gathered in the dining hall, because it was the biggest open space. Most of the staff were there too, a few faces Saihara remembered vaguely. All the students were there too, except the three everyone knew not to expect. There was a small handful of the staff not present too, the ones assigned to said students.

 

Hajime brought in whoever had arrived first, and Saihara watched fondly, as the dining hall was invaded by what the detective could only call a herd of mini Rantaro’s. Amami had mentioned he had sisters briefly, and that he’d lost contact with them somewhere along the line, feeling pretty horrible about it, and wanting to try and find them one day, but seeing all of them there, healthy and safe was probably the nicest thing that happened to Rantaro in a long time. Saihara was happy for him.

 

Rantaro wasn’t even embarrassed, at the fact he sobbed his heart out at his younger sisters appearance in the dining hall, instantly asking for their forgiveness for being such a ‘horrible big brother.’ Saihara even found himself laughing quietly when they all just rolled their eyes or sighed, one exclaiming that he had done nothing that he needed to be sorry about.

 

There was plenty of tears and sobs from the Amami clan with hogged the corner of the dining room, under Togami’s watchful eye. Rantaro also introduced them to Kaede, and the pianist warmed up to the younger Amami’s instantly. Ouma noticed this and gave one of the trademark smirks he’d used quite a lot in the Simulation. It wasn’t a face Saihara had seen since they’d woken up though, and it made him feel a bit on edge, that is, until Ouma spoke.

 

“Does Amami-chan know he’d got a massive thing for Kaede?” Ouma asked, slyly, and Saihara blinked, Ouma’s face returned to the small genuine smile he had been wearing.

 

“He does?”

 

The detective hadn’t really noticed… But it made sense. The two were close, unnaturally close all things considered. But it was nice they could put aside events, and move forward. If anything, the two were a nice fit for one another, in Saihara’s eyes, and the detective loved both of them to bits, the two being utterly supportive rays of sunshine in the past few months.

 

A red haired woman was allowed in next, Yumeno giving a short shriek of excitement, dashing from beside Tenko, and straight into the womans arms. Saihara was glad she hadn’t lost her childish side, and that she certainly had the motivation and enthusiasm when it came to some things. She’d certainly been rather unmotivated as of late, and Saihara had been worrying about the Magician for a few days now.

 

A rather modestly dressed woman came next, and silently made her way over to Iruma, whose jaw had dropped at her appearance. Saihara couldn’t tell who this woman was to Iruma, a sister or a mother perhaps? They were certainly related somehow though, and Iruma seemed elated at the company, the two talking to themselves before she dragged her over to Kiibo excitedly.

 

There was a while before anyone else arrived, but the individual Hajime brought in next had Saihara do a double take. This was definitely Kaede’s twin, and beside her must be the Pianist’s parents? Saihara was glad for all three of them, Himiko, Amami, and Kaede.

 

“We only have one more scheduled today, but more are arriving early tomorrow morning.”

 

The individual the final visitors were for was painstakingly obvious. Saihara simply did all he could to help, giving Ouma a reassuring squeeze. Where their hands lay connected under the table, after Ouma tensed.

 

This was D.I.C.E, uniforms reflecting that of Ouma, who had literally frozen beside the detective.

 

“Ouma?” Saihara asked quietly, most of the occupants looking from the nine individuals in the doorway, to Ouma, and back again.

 

Ouma finally knocked from his state, recoiling backwards, head turning to Saihara instantly. Ouma couldn’t do this alone. No way.

 

“Shuuichi-chan… Come with me.” Ouma mumbled and Saihara flinched visibly. Ouma trusted him enough to literally come meet the most important people in his life so easily? Saihara couldn’t get his words out, so he simply nodded.

 

So, with Saihara’s aid, not that Ouma really needed it anymore, it was mostly because Ouma’s legs felt like jelly at the moment, the two made their way over to the group, all of which were watching with both joy and concern. Saihara felt his heart melt at the fact these guys so obviously cared immensely for Ouma. It was nice that the boy had someone. So this was Ouma’s family, the one Saihara was free to ‘join’ if his Uncle didn’t show.

 

When they reached D.I.C.E, the shortest girl with the braids tugged Ouma into a hug, hand ruffling the boy's hair, action spiking jealousy in Saihara who internally rolled his eyes at his own feelings. He couldn’t be jealous, what was he jealous of?

 

“Kokichi!”

 

The boy was literally dragged into a messy group hug, his tense attitude relaxing fairly quickly, before Saihara could hear the genuine soft laughs of the Supreme Leader, mixed in with gentle sobs that had Ouma’s breathing uneven.

 

“Leader, who's this?” One of the other girls asked, the tallest of the three girls in the group.

 

“Ah! Yatsuko, let me introduce him!” Ouma demanded, finally being put down by the bulky group member, who’d hoisted Ouma up pretty early on.

 

“Everybody, this is my beloved Saihara Shuuichi.”

 

Saihara was used to being called this, it had happened in the sim before plenty of times, but that was before Saihara realised he was head over heels for this boy, and good lord being referred to in such a way had in blush lightly, attempting to hide a choked noise behind a cough.

 

“Leader finally found someone worthy enough?” One of the guys joked, sparking laughter among the eccentric group. Ouma nodded.

 

“Shuuichi-chan is perfect. Shuuichi-chan introduce yourself~!”

 

“But you already did Ouma…” Saihara managed to say and Ouma rolled his eyes.

 

“I only said your name!”

 

Saihara guessed it could go along with it, considering how much happier Ouma had suddenly come across as, completely ignoring the fact half of the students in the room without guests were watching.

 

“I’m Saihara Shuuichi… er… I’m the Ultimate Detective.. I guess.”

 

Two of the girls simply turned to each other, and squealed in each others faces. The third girl rolled her eyes.

 

“Of course, Leader, nothing less from you.”

 

Saihara was confused, but he assumed it was due to his talent that the group seemed to sigh. A Supreme Leader and a Detective. A laughable pair for sure.

 

Ouma then went through all the members, introducing each of them to Saihara who felt a bit overwhelmed at meeting so many people. They all sounded wonderful, and Saihara could tell how much they cared for Ouma, it was really pleasant to see.

 

They stayed for a while to chat, before eventually they were forced to depart for the day, but before they did, the shortest girl of the group dragged Saihara to the side, without anymore noticing too much.

 

“Saihara.”

 

Saihara just nodded. What did she want to talk to him for.

 

“I’d just like to thank you, y’know? For being there for him… It means a lot. I can tell”

 

Saihara just spluttered, embarrassingly, before trying to cover it with a weak cough.

 

“I- I haven’t done anything-”

 

“That’s wrong. I can tell you two are really close. Kokichi has never had anyone like that before, y’know? He was abandoned young, we all were, he pulled us all together, and we owe him so much… and now we owe you too, because I can tell you’re making him happier than even we could. Please continue to love him!” The girl bowed before dashing back over to the group, and Saihara just froze, hand covering his mouth, cheeks burning a light red. This girl had figured out so quickly? He needed to tell Ouma, because he really didn’t trust himself to keep this secret. He’d tell him, and if it didn’t work out, at least he’d plucked up the courage to let it out… Right?

 

When they left, the girl who’d spoke to him looked back and gave him a confident thumbs up, and Ouma turned to him to ask what that was about, as the two headed up to their floor again.

 

“Eh she just told me something and I realised there was something I needed to do…” Saihara answered cryptically.

 

“Oh.” Ouma mumbled looking down.

 

There was silence then, until Ouma and Saihara reached the doors to their rooms, Ouma hesitantly turning to the taller boy.

 

“Shuuichi-chan… May- May you stay in your own room tonight?”

 

Saihara could feel his heart drop. Had he done something wrong? He found himself slowly nodding, not trusting himself to open his mouth without asking why abruptly. He didn’t want to breach Ouma’s boundaries if he wanted to be alone, but a part of him wanted to scream for answers at the boy's sudden change in their silently agreed routine.

 

Ouma nodded in gratitude, before turning into his own room. When the door shut on Saihara without a single word of good night or anything being uttered, Saihara knew something was wrong. For the most part of the night, Saihara didn’t sleep, he was kept awake worrying, and questioning, his mind abuzz with questions, something had certainly happened and he really hoped Ouma was okay.

 

The next morning Saihara tried knocking on Ouma’s door, but received no answer. He didn’t mean to intrude, honestly, but Saihara found himself trying the door, finding it open. The Supreme Ruler wasn’t in the room though, bed already made, and no visible signs of the boy. His legs had improved drastically as of late, so not only did Ouma no longer need support, he was also allowed to freely roam whenever he wanted, rather than being limited to two trips out of his room a day.

 

So the boy had to be somewhere… but Saihara couldn’t think where. There was more visitors coming today, and they were to gather in the dining room if they hadn’t already been visited yesterday, so Saihara knew Ouma had no reason to go there, so where? A part of Saihara did want to go see if anyone came to see him, but a part of him wanted to find Ouma, to make sure the boy was okay after his strange behaviour.

 

Saihara expected everyone to have gone to the dining hall if he was honest, or rather everyone who hadn’t had guests yesterday, but he ended up running into Korekiyo in the library, and the shorter blonde beside him must be his carer? She seemed… unique. It seemed as though she was trying to convince him to go with the others in the dining hall, only for him to continuously decline, until the girl huffed, stomped her feet and turned to leave.

 

“Hello Saihara.” Kiyo spoke, not looking up, but somehow knowing the boy was lurking in the shadows.

 

“Hi…” Saihara still felt a tad on edge around Korekiyo, but that was to be expected, the boy was still rather odd, even outside of the Simulation.

 

“I suppose you’re looking for Ouma.”

 

“Y-Yeah- how did you- do you know where he is?”

 

Kiyo hummed to himself, a single extended note before shaking his head.

 

“It’s obvious. He’d be the only one you’d skip the whole ‘meeting’ thing for… Alas I haven’t seen him for hours. He came into the dining hall at about 5am and I haven’t seen him since.” It was closer to noon now. What was Ouma even doing up and about at 5am anyway?

 

“Ah- Thank you.”

 

“No problem, Saihara. The two of you are interesting to observe after all.”

 

Saihara shuddered. Kiyo observed them? And found it interesting?

 

“Surely you’ve realised what he is going through?” Kiyo spoke. And Saihara wasn’t sure if the boy had a teasing tone to his voice or not… but either way it seemed out of Kiyo’s character to gloat. Going through? What did he mean?

 

“W-wh-”

 

“I imagine it’s something similar to yourself, only you had Amami’s guidance did you not?”

 

How did Kiyo know everything? Just how much had he been watching? Did that mean Ouma was struggling to understand his own emotions too? Was that what this was all about?

 

“I- I need to go find him-” Saihara burst out, and Kiyo gave a nod.

 

“Yes. You do. Good Luck.”

 

And Saihara wasn’t sure if he should feel a tiny bit better about Kiyo or not… He was still weird but in a helpful… yet creepy way.

 

Saihara didn’t run into anyone else for a while, student or staff alike, and he was grateful, until he came across Kaede.

 

“Saihara- why aren’t you with everyone else?”

 

Since Kaede had already met with her relatives yesterday it made sense she wasn’t there currently. Saihara hadn’t wanted to run into her though, because she somehow seemed to have the ability to see into his soul or something. She always knew what was troubling him and he felt exposed under her eyes.

 

“I-”

 

“Ouma?” Kaede asked knowingly and Saihara could only nod.

 

“I’m not sure if I did something yesterday.. But I haven’t seen him since last night, and feel like he’s avoiding me…”

 

Kaede just let out a small laugh, high and whimsical, like a wind chime or some other beautiful noise that had Saihara pause. Why had she laughed?

 

“Silly Saihara, maybe you should go lay down in your room.” Kaede said, and before Saihara could ask what she meant, she left. What?

 

Saihara couldn’t understand her cryptic words, but fund himself heading up to his room. What had she meant? His mind really couldn’t understand, until he pushed open the door to his room, and then everything made sense. This was why he couldn’t find Ouma.

 

There, curled up in the sheets of the bed he’d made a few hours ago, was Ouma Kokichi, sound asleep, clinging to the covers, that he held close to his face.

 

Saihara just sighed. Why was Ouma so stubborn. Quiet as to not disturb him, Saihara shut the door behind him, stepping into his room and making his way over to the curtains to close them as silently as he could. Saihara just sat on the floor beside the bed, back resting against the side of it, knees brought up to under his chin, crossing his arms over then before resting his head down on them. Saihara himself was pretty tired even if it wasn’t late yet. He’d spent too long awake last night if anything, wondering what was wrong. He couldn’t bring himself to wake Ouma up when he seemed too peaceful, and Saihara was pretty sure this was the first time Ouma had been in his room too.

 

Saihara stayed like that for a while, content to sit and listen to Ouma’s muffled breathing, and the ticking of the clock in his room, before Hajime entered his room, and upon noticing Ouma, he went quiet as to not disturb the boy. Instead he quietly made his way over to Saihara, and sat down beside him.

 

“There’s someone here for you Saihara.”

 

Saihara froze. Someone had actually come to see him? A part of him wanted to go see so badly, but there was a side in Saihara’s mind that pleaded he stay right where he was, beside Ouma.

 

“Ah- I- I’m terribly sorry- you went to such an extent to find these people for us- but- ah- I’d like to stay here… for Kokichi if that’s okay?” Saihara asked, pausing, wondering if he was coming across as rude. Apparently not though, Hajime just gave a small understanding smile.

 

“I understand. That’s fine. Good luck Saihara.”

 

And so Saihara went back to sitting there, listening carefully to the smallest of sounds in the room, as Hajime left. Saihara remained there for a while longer, before eventually he drifted off to sleep in such an uncomfortable position.

 

Saihara didn’t wake up, until the curtains no longer needed to be closed, until the sky turned dark outside, and the moon made its appearance. When he did wake up, he felt a heavier presence on his shoulders than before he’d fallen asleep, and was surprised to see not only was the quilt cover draped over his shoulders, Ouma was also perched at his side, head resting on his shoulder and arm wrapped around his own, under the cover with him, fast asleep. Saihara just smiled. This boy was too stubborn.

 

Saihara decided the town probably couldn’t just sleep the whole day, they needed food and at least had to act like they didn’t enjoy just shutting themselves inside together all the time…

 

“Ouma-” Saihara whispered, prodding Ouma’s cheek with a finger. Ouma just mumbled something in his sleep, trying to shift away but not letting go of Saihara’s arm.

 

“Ouma!” Saihara spoke louder this time, and Ouma stirred beside him, slowly opening his eyes. When he spotted Saihara his eyes widened and he shook his head.

 

“Sorry Shuuichi-chan! I didn’t want you getting cold!” Ouma mumbled before realising what he said, and blamed the fact he’d just woken up.

 

“O-Ouma- We need to talk-” Saihara started and Ouma’s face dropped.

 

“Is this about what Touka said?” Ouma asked, referring to the shorter girl from D.I.C.E who had spoken to his Saihara when he’d been too distracted by the other members. Ouma didn’t know what they’d spoke about, but she had a tendency to but into things, and while Ouma didn’t want to be suspicious of the people closest to him, she had definitely said something that had shook Saihara. A part of Ouma didn’t mean to ignore Saihara last night, but he needed time to think, and as the hours drew on, the boy realised he couldn’t sleep without the comforting presence of Saihara. It had gotten close to 4am and he’d ended up wandering the halls, and by the time 5am rolled around, Ouma was alone in the dining hall, nursing a cup of hot chocolate, trying not to regret leaving his room without shoes or socks, toes freezing in the morning air. When Kiyo came in (because God knows why he woke up so early,) and started to make himself some breakfast, Ouma had ditched, taking his drink with him, and hiding out on the 6th floor, knowing it would be empty now.

 

He’s stayed there for a while, camped near the lift, because he really didn’t want to run into Saihara. When noon rolled around, the lift finally made its way up to the 11th floor, and Ouma knew Saihara was on his way downstairs. That was his queue to sneak back upstairs. He was exhausted, and he really couldn’t sleep without Saihara it seemed. Ouma just frowned. And so, he’d used Saihara’s room, because that was as close as he could get. He had only meant to nap, and escape before the detective knew he’d been clinging to his bedsheets, like they hadn’t seen each other in years, but when he next woke up, it was to Hajime Hinata’s quiet voice. Ouma didn’t dare indicate he had woken up, and remained still. Saihara was here too, and Saihara would rather stay with him then go speak to one of his few remaining relatives? Ouma felt touched.

 

“A little…”

 

“Oh.. What.. What did she say?” Ouma asked, dread deep in his stomach.

 

“Mostly to thank me… And she helped me decide I should stop keeping secrets from you.” Saihara admitted and Ouma frowned, eyebrows furrowing together. Saihara was keeping something secret from him?

 

“Ouma… I know we’ve been through.. Well… a lot in the past few months- And-” Saihara stopped. How the fuck had it come to this? He was not prepared to do this, he wanted to back out and run, but so many people were supporting him, Amami, Kaede, Hinata, heck even Kiyo was rooting for him…

 

“I guess… I’ve grown to really enjoy your company… and a lot of people have really helped me to understand my feelings better when I was lost… Touka could see through this so easily, and she told me to tell you… So, Oum- Kokichi , I’ve been meaning to tell you… that I believe I like you.” Saihara fumbled at the end. He couldn’t just outright shout out how much he loved this boy, because he was pretty sure Ouma was more fragile than he tried to appear. Ouma’s eyes widened and he froze beside Saihara. It was silent and awkward and Saihara didn’t know what on earth to do, should he go? Had he been wrong and Ouma didn’t even like people romantically? Saihara was about to blurt out an apology for intruding, when the most unexpected thing Saihara could imagine happened. Ouma literally tilted his head sideward, and pressed the briefest and most hesitant kiss on Saihara’s cheek that he could manage, before turning his head back away, and pulling his scarf up over his face. Who knew the boy could actually get embarrassed over something so simple and pure? Saihara just froze too. Had that really happened? Did this mean- Did Ouma-

 

“Of course I like you too Shuuichi, you dummy.” Ouma mumbled form under the cover of his scarf. Saihara could help but blush and left out a sigh of relief. Thank God because the atmosphere had turned so awkward.

 

“Wi-Will Shuuichi do me the honour of dating me?” Ouma asked, confidence coming back to his voice, and Saihara tried to contain the noise he wanted to let out that would probably reflect that of an overly excited K-pop fan.

 

“Y-Yeah- I’d like that, Kokichi.” Saihara managed to response, and Ouma lowered his scarf, eyes trying to trace any lie on Saihara’s face, because Ouma felt for sure he didn’t deserve this precious soul. Saihara was obviously not lying though, because the detective looked an embarrassed mess, and he’d struggled to tell Ouma his feelings. This was real.

 

Ouma couldn’t help but smile, and reach out to Saihara, who hesitantly held out his own arms, and tugged Ouma to his chest. They’d sat like this plenty, but typically it was after one of them had awoken the other from nightmares, this time it felt a lot better, safer, and Saihara wanted to keep Ouma tucked to his chest forever, to feel the warmth of the shorter male against him, because Saihara knew he couldn’t bare to let the Supreme Leader go, not when he felt this strongly. The two felt content, to sit in each other's arms, comforted by the fact the feelings they had been struggling with recently were indeed requited, and for the briefest of moments they could forget everything in their lives, forget the stress and the horrors of the Killing Game, or the Despair filled world that still existed in the early years of their lives, before Despair began to die out.

 

Saihara just wanted to sit here forever and forget all his troubles.