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A Worthwhile Disturbance

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“Go and talk to him!”

“What? You go talk to him if you want to so bad!”

“Just do it Makoto!”

Toko pushed him unceremoniously into the library without any further elaboration straight into the line of fire of Byakuya Togami.

Makoto gulped nervously. Why the hell did Toko want him to talk to Byakuya so badly? Because she was scared of doing it herself? But seriously why drag him into her stupid awkward crush. Byakuya was difficult to talk to at the best of times and Makoto would be lying if he said he wasn’t completely intimidated by the Ultimate Heir. He was brusque, sharp and arrogant with no fear and no qualms about speaking his mind. Not only that but he towered over Makoto and one look into his icy blue eyes made you feel about 2 inches tall. And he was really handsome there was also that, not that he really had a crush on him per se... just that he was highly aware of his good looks and strong personality, and that made the whole situation all the more nerve wracking.

“What do you want?” Byakuya’s voice cut through the silence of the library making Makoto jump.

“I...uh just came to get a book”

“No you didn’t” Byakuya’s eyes were on him now making him gulp. The intensity of his angry glare leaving no room for doubt that he wasn’t pleased with Makoto’s appearance in the library.

“I...” Makoto struggled for words.

“She made you come here didn’t she?”

“Uh...”

Without another word Byakuya stood, closing his book with a snap and striding briskly to the library door. Makoto tried to speak, to apologise for disturbing him and causing him to leave his own place of relaxation. When he was distracted by Byakuya grabbing the back of a chair and dragging it with him towards the door. He slammed the library door closed and wedged the chair back under the handle.

Toko shrieked loudly at the door being slammed shut in her face. Rattling the handle to no avail as the chair held tight.

Content with his handiwork he now turned and fixed Makoto with a stare as he walked back towards the table.

Subconsciously Makoto backed up as Byakuya approached. Something in his mind telling him that he was about to get punished for disturbing him. That’s when his back hit the library table and he was stuck. Byakuya closing in on him with a curious expression that Makoto couldn’t read.

Oh goddamn it why had Makoto let Toko drag him here? He was now trapped and being cornered by the one person in the school who had made it clear he didn’t mind killing someone to escape. Holy shit he wasn’t going to kill Makoto was he? No he couldn’t! He tried to reason with himself and calm his mind. Toko was on the other side of the door! If Byakuya killed him here she would know all about it!

During his frantic mental reasoning Byakuya had closed the distance and was now stood directly in front of him, Makoto having to look upwards at the heir who was almost a foot taller than him.

“Makoto you disturbed me for no good reason”

“I..I’m sorry” Makoto tried to look apologetic. His hands gripping the edge of the desk “I didn’t mean to, I didn’t know that’s what she wanted”

“Do you always take orders without question like a dog?”

“What? No! She seemed to need help and I wanted to help her, I didn’t realise she wanted me to do something so stupid”

“So talking to me is stupid?”

“Ahh! No that’s not what I meant! Just wanting me to talk to you for her is a waste of time. Why Dosent she just talk to you herself if she wants to so bad”

“Indeed” Byakuya cocked his head slightly as he scrutinised him “so you don’t want to seek out my company for yourself?”

“It’s not that I wouldn’t, it’s just..” Makoto bit his lip “it seems like you don’t really want my company most of the time, and even if I wanted to talk to you. I would at least have something to say and not just invade on your private time for no reason. That’s rude”

“Hmmm” Byakuya seemed to ponder his answer for a second. The whole time Makoto’s heart was beating fast against his ribs. Byakuya was intimidating as hell and he just hoped he wouldn’t annoy him further with his answers. Even if it wasn’t today he had a feeling irritating Byakuya would shorten his lifespan.

“Okay Makoto since you deem it rude to interrupt someone without purpose. You will now entertain me to make up for disturbing me understand?”

“Uh.. what?”

Byakuya’s eyes narrowed “don’t make me repeat myself”

“O-okay!” Makoto blinked widely. Byakuya was much too close. He couldn’t think properly. “S-so if I hang out with you then technically I didn’t disturb you for no reason so that would be okay?”

“I wouldn’t call it hanging out” Byakuya retorted leaning forward to meet Makoto’s eye better and succeeding in making Makoto feel even shorter “when I say entertain, I expect you to fully keep my attention and provide me with an exchange that proves worthy of disturbing my private time for you”

Okay fuck now he was really panicking. Byakuya’s hands came to rest on the table edge either side of Makoto’s and pinning him in even further. He had no means of escape and Byakuya about 2 inches away from him giving him a look that made him feel like he was about to get eaten alive.

“I’m sorry... I can’t really think of anything that exciting” Makoto hung his head. Nothing would come to his mind, how was he supposed to come up with something that would keep Byakuya’s attention? Anyone else in the school he was sure he could have just hung out with and thought of something fun along the way. But he had a feeling Byakuya’s idea of fun differed from his drastically.

Byakuya’s voice was right by his ear when he next spoke and it made Makoto jump.

“How disappointing. I expected bigger things from you”

“Y-you did?” Makoto licked his lips nervously. Damn his mouth was dry.

“Yes” Byakuya’s breath was hot against his ear and it sent a shiver throughout his body “I hoped you might surprise me”

“Well...” it was not okay that he had goosebumps “there’s always the cases in the archive.. we could..”

“I have a better idea” Byakuya cut him off. His voice was far too husky and sexy. Oh Jesus Makoto DONT think things like that now! Makoto scolded himself but he couldn’t help it. Byakuya was so close to him, his breath hot on Makoto’s neck and his tone making him shiver. Tingles spread through him right to his fingertips and toes. Was it normal to feel this anxious and exhilarated all at once?

“I think... I have something that will keep me entertained”

His voice was almost a whisper now and Makoto felt himself breathing much too hard in response to his words.

“And what would that be?”

Byakuya pulled away from his ear and locked eyes with him. The intensity of his gaze made Makoto feel both excited and fearful.

“Something that I think I’ll enjoy a lot, and don’t worry Makoto, it’s something you’ll enjoy too.”

“O-okay then” Makoto replied nervously struggling to keep eye contact but refusing to break away and show weakness.

“Good” Byakuya’s smile was almost charming. He removed one of his hands from the table and Makoto breathed a small sigh of relief at no longer being caged in so vulnerably.

That was until Byakuya’s smile curled into a smirk, a canine gleaming as it bit at a plush bottom lip. Then the hand he had removed from the table was moving fast and..

“Ahhh!” Makoto's eyes shot wide as saucers. His hands gripping the table edge hard, His whole body rigid and he almost forgot how to breathe. What on earth?! He looked up at Byakuya in shock, the blonde was smirking still showing no signs of hesitation. His blue eyes gleaming with the aura of a predator that had just cornered his prey. And what a strange kind of hunt it was. Makoto's leg trembled and he tried to keep quiet and stop any embarrassing noises escaping him but he was loosing the fight.

Byakuya's hand was on his crotch and rubbing him hard through the fabric. He had probably been a little bit excited before but he blamed that on the adrenaline and the fact that Byakuya was kind of hot. But now however, oh shit he was painfully hard and gasping as Byakuya’s hand mercilessly kneaded him through his jeans.

“F-fuck” he gasped, his knuckles white with the force of his grasp on the table. No one had ever touched him like this before. This kind of thing was firmly reserved for when he was alone in his room and definitely not at all while he had been trapped in the school. This kind of life or death environment wasn’t exactly a turn on. But it seemed he was wrong, Byakuya had his dick under his hand and Makoto was most definitely turned on.

His face was red he could just feel it, the embarrassment radiating off him as Byakuya scrutinised him. The gasps and whimpers that he was making were embarrassing, he didn’t know why this was happening or how to react. Byakuya hadn’t said a word and Makoto was scared to even look at him.

Byakuya’s hand moved away and Makoto almost whined wanting to beg him to continue. He didn’t have long to lament though as Byakuya’s fingers quickly unzipped his jeans and resumed his work this time with only the thin fabric of his starry patterned boxer shorts between them.

“Oh god!” Makoto cried out tossing his head back as he shivered under the touch. It was embarrassing as hell but holy shit it felt so good. Through that thin layer he could feel everything so much more acutely, the sensation making him whimper and moan lewdly but he couldn’t stop himself.

“See I knew you would enjoy this” Byakuya’s voice was husky at his ear again and Makoto groaned “am I wrong?”

“N-no!” Makoto gasped his legs felt so weak and without realising he let go of the table and wrapped his arms around Byakuya’s neck for support. Byakuya didn’t seem to object though, He made no move to remove Makoto’s arms.

“Im never wrong.” He declared smugly and accompanied his words by nipping on Makoto's earlobe “except I will say I’m impressed, you feel much bigger than I thought you would be”

Makoto full on moaned at those words, excitement and arousal flooding his system and making him tremble. Did he just hear that right? Holy crap. His arms tightened around Byakuya, his neck was right there and without thinking Makoto latched onto the smooth skin and suckled on it hard. Using Byakuya’s neck to drown out his moans.

Byakuya went tense against him. His hand slowing down and his voice whispered teasingly in Makoto’s ear
“You’re eager to move things along. I can’t say I mind”

Makoto broke away. His eyes were half closed and he lips felt too sloppily wet. He was a trembling mess but he was overcome and wanted more.

Byakuya’s hand left him and this time he did whine at the loss of feeling.

“Impatient” Byakuya whispered teasingly, his hands at Makoto's blazer lapels as he pulled the jacket from his shoulders and threw it to the floor.

“Y-Yeah.. it’s just so good” Makoto was ashamed of his lack of articulation or control but... he was painfully turned on and Byakuya didn’t seem to be showing signs of this stopping anytime soon.

“It’s only going to get better” was his smug reply, fingers on his hoodie zipper seemingly intent on removing Makoto’s top layers. When that was done Byakuya seemed to take a step back and examine his handiwork.

Makoto was shivering against the desk, only his thin black T-shirt remained, his jeans halfway around his legs.

“Take those off” Byakuya commanded pushing his glasses further up the bridge of his nose

“Take... what?” Makoto really hated his brain right now. Desire had taken over all his usual functions and all he could think about was how much he wanted Byakuya to touch his dick again.

Byakuya didn’t even reply, just pointed and flicked his finger down to Makoto's half undone jeans.

“O-oh okay” scrambling desperately he managed to kick off his sneakers and pull his jeans and socks off haphazardly.

“Better” Byakuya nodded approvingly and moved closer again “so cute and innocent”

“Me?” Makoto could hardly comprehend that Byakuya had just called him cute.

“Don’t make me repeat myself”

“Sorry”

Byakuya’s hands grabbed at his hips hard and lifted him easily as a feather setting him on the edge of the desk.

“Much better, now I don’t have to stoop” the barb at his height caused Makoto to blush and he looked down.

“Look at me” Byakuya commanded and Makoto obliged wordlessly “good boy”

Makoto gasped as Byakuya fastened down on the junction of his neck and shoulder and suckled gently on the delicate skin.

“Ahh... oh” one of his hands gripped at Byakuya’s shirt “harder”

He thought he felt Byakuya smirk against his neck but he didn’t care. He obliged and sucked harder, Makoto whimpering once more at the overload of pleasurable sensations he had discovered today.

His hands were still gripping at Byakuya’s shirt and he decided to put them to good work. Deftly he undid the shirt buttons and tie dropping the latter to the floor.

“You really are eager” Byakuya whispered huskily. “Well I’ll allow it”

He stepped back from the table where Makoto sat. His eyes boring into Makoto’s own as he slowly reached up and pulled the blazer from his shoulders and placing it over the back of a chair. His fingers grasped the collar of his white shirt pulling it apart.

“Shall I?”

Makoto nodded enthusiastically, his body was on fire, desperate and needy. He wanted Byakuya to take that shirt off right now and get back over here.

Byakuya smirked and far too slowly untucked the shirt from his dress pants.

“Hurry up” Makoto whined desperately. Byakuya just laughed.

Finally he slid the shirt from his shoulders and let it fall to the floor.

“Fuck” Makoto cursed taking in the sight of him half naked.

“What?” Byakuya was against him once more and Makoto couldn’t help himself now. Today was so fucking weird and wonderful and why bother keeping anything in? What could possibly be any more embarrassing that what had already happened?

“You’re... just really hot” Makoto panted. Byakuya seemed to like that response, his arms circled around Makoto’s waist and pulled him against him hard. Eagerly Makoto spread his legs to allow them to get as close as possible. His new proximity allowing him to touch Byakuya earnestly.

“You’re so gorgeous” Makoto ran his hands over broad shoulders and the muscle of his chest and stomach coming to stop at the prominent bones of his hips.

He struggled to move any further. Wow even after what Byakuya had done to him, Makoto was scared of reciprocating. What if he was terrible at it? It was pretty daunting despite their current situation. He needed to get a grip.

While Makoto was psyching himself up Byakuya seemed to take matters into his own hands. Where his hands rested at Makoto’s waist he slid his thumbs down to the waistband of Makoto’s underwear and he shivered looking Byakuya in the eye.

“Do you have any objections?”

“No” Makoto shifted his hips up slightly to make it easier. His favourite starry boxers dropping to the floor and exposing his naked arousal. He blushed a little as Byakuya seemed to scrutinise him. Being mostly naked in front of another person was intimating as hell but Byakuya soon wrapped his fingers around him and Makoto's mind went blank once more.

“Oh... oh god” his hands scrabbled for purchase one of them gripping at Byakuya shoulder, the other fastening into his hair. Fingers gripping through golden strands and anchoring Makoto firmly in place. His mouth hung open and he knew he must look depraved as he moaned and bucked his hips against Byakuya’s hand.

Byakuya worked Makoto’s dick with a reckless abandon that made Makoto tremble. He couldn’t help cursing and lewdly moaning, the sensations blanketing his thoughts and sending fire through his veins. His body tensing and spasming as pleasure shot through his system, his toes curling as delirium took his mind.

“Fuck!” He yelped feeling the very beginning of orgasm begin to ripple through his body and he welcomed it gladly, his hips moving faster to gain more friction. His breath ragged and desperate, he needed it... he needed it...

Byakuya let go of his dick and Makoto almost screamed in frustration, he was so close damn it!

Before he could even question it Byakuya bought 2 of his fingers to Makoto's parted lips.

“Suck” was all he said and Makoto inhaled sharply, blinking at Byakuya in confusion “Now” Byakuya barked and Makoto quickly obeyed, anything to keep Byakuya’s happy. He wanted to come so badly it almost hurt. He was so close and so desperate.

He accepted Byakuya’s fingers between his lips and began to suck on them sloppily, leaving them covered in saliva in no time. Byakuya gave a small sound of approval as he withdrew his fingers. His eyes now locked back on Makoto’s own.

“You know what comes next do you not?”

“Huh?” Makoto could hardly think straight. Only distantly registering what Byakuya was saying to him.

Byakuya didn’t seem to be In the mood for explanations and instead simply lifted one of Makoto’s thighs from the table edge, his hand dropping south and slick fingers suddenly tracing his entrance.

“O-oh!” Makoto's eyes shot wide open with shock and fear.

“Don’t worry” Byakuya purred in his ear “I’ll be gentle”

“I.. I.. I’m not sure..” Makoto stammered his heart in his mouth. He wasn’t sure where he had expected this all to lead but... now confronted with this he suddenly felt afraid.

Byakuya was looking at him again. His hand not covered in Makoto's drool came to the rim of his glasses. Slowly he took them off and set them on the table fixing Makoto with big blue eyes that looked.. strangely more innocent and expressive when they weren’t hidden behind expensive glasses.

His forehead came to rest against Makoto’s. His eyes boring into him.

“Don’t be scared, I won’t hurt you” His usual smirk looked softer and Makoto found himself strangely thrilled to see Byakuya this way. He was so cute and hot at the same time, and so far he had only made Makoto feel incredible.. plus he was so turned on...

“Okay” Makoto nodded fast “Do it”

Byakuya didn’t need telling twice, his hand returned to Makoto's ass, a slick finger gently probing his entrance. Makoto bit his lip and held on to Byakuya tighter, this felt weird but.. he had to trust Byakuya.

He gasped loudly as Byakuya’s finger slid into him, having something inside his body like this was such a strange sensation. He felt the urge to reject it but tried to keep calm, he needed to work through it. The second finger pushing into him made him cry out.

“That’s too much! Ahh It won’t go!”

Byakuya didn’t stop “of course it will”

He had to trust Byakuya, his eyes were watering as he fought through it. It was so uncomfortable and didn’t feel good in the slightest. Why would anyone do this?

When Byakuya had pushed both fingers into him up til the knuckle he grinned
“Now the fun part”

His free hand wrapped back around Makoto’s dick and Makoto gasped and held onto him tightly, with Byakuya’s hands now occupied with nothing to catch him if he slipped. Without another word Byakuya started to work him once more, his hand tightly jerking Makoto and making him moan, temporarily forgetting the discomfort in his ass. That’s until Byakuya’s fingers thrust inside him,

“Fuck!” Makoto all but screamed, something inside of him just had just come alight, his toes curling at the pleasure that just coursed through his body.

Byakuya looked pleased with himself and thrust his fingers deeply inside him once more, causing that same ripples through his system that made Makoto moan.

Byakuya had great coordination, as his one hand jerked him off the other picked up speed. He was fingering makoto hard and fast, his fingertips curled to that special spot inside of him that made him cry out. Without realising it he was moving his hips in time with his movements trying to get as much stimulation as possible. Byakuya’s fingers spread, scissoring him open and eliciting louder cries from Makoto

“Tha.. ahh that feels.. so weird” Makoto managed to pant out, his voice fractured and broken.

“I need to” Byakuya’s breathing was heavy “I have to get you ready for another one”

“What!” Makoto cried panicked “another won’t fit.. I’m full!”

“You aren’t” Byakuya growled worrying Makoto’s earlobe with his teeth “or else how do you think we would go any further?”

Further.. oh god. That was when it first registered in Makoto’s mind. Byakuya was talking about having sex with him. This is what it was leading to, Byakuya was going to fuck him. Oh holy shit.

Byakuya’s third finger pushed its way into his tight resisting ass and he yelped, he was sweating and his whole body was trembling. But as Byakuya moved his fingers again he was overcome by the flood of pleasure that coursed through him whenever Byakuya hit that delicious place inside him.

He was crying out, his ass felt so completely full. This whole situation was obscene and he didn’t know how he had even gotten into this position. An hour ago he was just an awkward virgin and now he was spread out on a library table while Byakuya finger fucked his ass. Life here really was weird.

His hips were rutting back, driving the fingers deeper inside if that were possible. His arms gripped tight around Byakuya’s shoulders for leverage and support. This was a different kind of pleasure, so much more intense than just jerking off. It felt so wrong but so good at the same time. Byakuya continued relentlessly fingering his poor virgin asshole and he was trying not to scream as the feeling of euphoria crept back over his body.

“I think that’s enough” Byakuya slowly withdrew his fingers and Makoto whimpered at the feeling, his ass now feeling strangely empty.

He slowly opened his eyes to see Byakuya staring intently back at him. His hands were on Makoto’s hips. Byakuya’s earlier words repeated in Makoto’s mind and he swallowed hard. Were they really... going to have sex?

“I’ve never done this before” Makoto blurted out his face a furious red.

“I’d gathered that” Byakuya was unrattled as usual.

“No I mean... with anyone” Makoto tried to explain but the embarrassment jumbled his words and made him feel stupid. “I’m.. uh...”

“You’re what Makoto?”

On true form Byakuya never wasted any time.

“A.. virgin” Makoto could feel his cheeks burn, his words mumbled and awkward.

“I’ll accept that”

“What do.. you mean?”

“That seems a fitting gift”

“Uhm... “

“You’re giving me something that only I can ever get from you correct? That’s an excellent gift and more than worth you disturbing me for”

“I guess” Makoto felt furiously embarrassed now and wasn’t entirely sure how he felt about his virginity being called a gift. However... he was desperate for release. He wanted to see this through and he realised he wasn’t going to back out now.

Byakuya was going to have sex with him. He was going to loose his virginity right now on this library desk. To a guy no less. The thought made his hands shake and he swallowed hard.

Byakuya’s hands were slowly unbuckling his belt and Makoto couldn’t help but shiver with anticipation. He forced his eyes up to Byakuya’s and was surprised to see the boy looked.. nervous? Was that it? He wasn’t sure. There was just something soft and tentative about the way he looked back at Makoto. A gentleness in his blue eyes that was vastly different from the boy Makoto had come to know. He heard the rustle of fabric and instead of looking down, focused on Byakuya’s eyes. He was so pretty, this close he could see every detail, his long dark eyelashes, the bright blue of his eyes, how his soft blonde hair framed his face, his high cheekbones and full lips. He wanted to kiss him he realised with a start. That was strange... they were going to have sex and hadn’t even kissed... wasn’t that weird? He was scared to though... what if Byakuya just didn’t want that. This was just a sex thing... and right now Makoto wanted the release of that.. so he didn’t want to ruin it...

Byakuya’s eyes darted downwards and Makoto blushed, this would probably be it.
He raised his thighs and tightly wrapped his legs around Byakuya’s waist. His arms still anchored around his neck. He was probably as ready as he would ever be.

One of Byakuya’s hands was on his waist, tight like an anchor. Byakuya’s eyes were back on his and he was breathing as heavily as Makoto was

“Makoto.. May I?” he didn’t sound as composed as usual.

Makoto nodded stiffly. Nerves and excitement stopping his body from cooperating. Byakuya seemed to take this as less than affirmative consent however as he leaned closer to Makoto’s ear, perhaps to hide his face from view.

“I’m going to have sex with you now, is that okay?”

“Yes” Makoto choked out forcing the words to leave his mouth. He wanted this to happen, he needed it “do it now”

Byakuya inhaled sharply, and Makoto felt the pressure at his entrance once more. Breathing deep he tried to relax and then slowly the emptiness of his ass was filled up inch by inch until Byakuya’s dick was deep inside him.

“Oh god Byakuya! Makoto whimpered his fingers clutching tight at the back of Byakuya’s neck. Byakuya was panting hard, his breath ragged against Makoto’s ear. For a moment the two were still, evening out their breathing.

“Are you ready?” Byakuya’s voice was back to sexy and composed and Makoto shivered eagerly

“yes!”

Byakuya thrust into him hard and Makoto cried out, it was too loud. But he didn’t care, who gave a fuck. It felt amazing.

He picked up speed, his fingers digging into Makoto’s hips as he moved fast, thrusting deep inside him and making Makoto moan for him. It felt even better than his fingers had. He felt so full once more but it was a so much more pleasurable and fluid sensation, his movements more Coordinated and god his dick was so much bigger than his fingers. The pressure building in his body was incredible, electric and all consuming. He was moaning lewdly. His hips snapping back hard against Byakuya’s thrusts helping him to fuck him even harder.

They were fucking, this guy that he had been intimidated to even talk to was fucking him on a library desk. Makoto hadn’t even considered himself gay or maybe bi. He hadn’t really had what he would consider a real crush on a guy before, he just thought that Byakuya was really pretty. But here he was doing this, and with great enthusiasm to.

Byakuya was moaning now, his noises fuelling Makoto even further. This composed, hot, intimidating, brilliant guy was turned on by him. Was getting pleasure from his body and making beautiful noises for him.

He forced himself to open his eyes, he didn’t realise he had even closed them. He made eye contact with Byakuya and was enthralled by what he saw. Byakuya’s eyes were glazed and half closed. His mouth hanging open as moans escaped his perfect lips. Their hips moved forcefully in a frenzied rhythm fucking hard and fast, Makoto was getting so close.

“Touch me please” he begged and one of Byakuya’s hands stroked his dick once more. The extra stimulation was so intense Makoto howled. He was going to come soon, he pushed back even harder. His fingers gripping in Byakuya’s hair so tight the other boy hissed.

Byakuya’s fingers curled so tight into Makoto’s hip he wouldn’t be surprised if he left bruises.

They were loud and wild, the library echoing with the sound of skin on skin and the moans and cries of the two boys. It was incredible, it was the best thing Makoto had ever experienced.

Byakuya had let go of his composure somewhat and it was an appealing sight to see him bite at his bottom lip, watch his face screw up as he cursed and moaned as he fucked Makoto. He was so hot, so beautiful and Makoto couldn’t help himself. He needed to.

Before he could stop himself or talk himself out of it he lunged forward and crashed their lips together. To his delight Byakuya’s lips opened against his eagerly and they kissed wet and messy and without any kind of finesse. Tongues rolled together deep in each other’s mouths the whole time Byakuya was thrusting into his ass, his fingers caressing his cock.

The start of the rush crept over Makoto’s body once more and he moaned into Byakuya’s mouth, their tongues still tangled messily. His hips pushing back hard, gaining every little bit of stimulation as he could. He yelped and whimpered, his body keening and hips bucking desperately as orgasm started to crash over him and rendered his mind useless. All he could think about was Byakuya fucking him, finally having to break their kiss as his cries of ecstasy got too much to kiss properly anymore.

Distantly realising in the back of his mind that Toko could well be still on the other-side of the library door listening to every sound he made, but he couldn’t care.

Byakuya was loud now, he swore and called Makoto’s name and that was the catalyst.

His thrusts lost their coordination, his hands grabbed wildly at Byakuya’s hair, his yelps and cries of pleasure uttered against Byakuya’s lips. And as he yelled out Byakuya’s name he came harder than he ever had in his life. His vision blanketed, his mind empty. Just euphoria.

When he came down, he was panting heavily, his brow covered in sweat and as he opened his eyes Byakuya was in a similar state. His blue eyes were wide and one of his hands was now on Makoto’s cheek cradling it in a loving gesture. The two just started at each other for a second before they moved back in place kissing each other deeply.

Makoto didn’t want to let go, when they stopped this might be the end of whatever this was. A fun little ‘entertainment’ as Byakuya had called it before they began. But Makoto didn’t want it to end here, he liked Byakuya, he liked him a lot more now. He didn’t want this to be the last time they kissed, or had sex for that matter.

They broke apart, too out of breath to kiss for any long period of time.

Byakuya slowly pulled out of him and Makoto grimaced slightly at the sensation, his ass felt sore and empty. Byakuya was buckling up his belt and Makoto realised that through this entire thing he hadn’t even seen Byakuya’s dick. Pretty weird considering. He stopped himself laughing, god he was exhausted.

They just looked at each other for a moment, Makoto didn’t know what to say. There was a lot swirling around in him but.. none of it sounded right to say.

“Have.. you done that before?” He asked shyly looking away. He felt really small all of a sudden just sat in his baggy black T-shirt, he pulled his knees up to his chin to cover himself somewhat. Maybe Byakuya had a point, maybe that was the only thing he had so give that was worthy for someone so untalented. He didn’t know why he suddenly felt so small and pathetic, maybe because he was expecting Byakuya to just walk away now.

“Maybe” Byakuya grinned slyly at him as he pulled his dress shirt back on “maybe I just read a lot”

“But you do read a lot”

“You got me” Byakuya put his hand to his mouth in feigned shock.

“Wait so...”

“Stop talking” Byakuya ordered and put his lips to Makoto's once more. This time kissing him firmly, a hand cradling his face. This was different from the sloppy kisses from the heat of the moment. This one was firm and controlled. A conscious choice to kiss him like he meant it. When he broke away he smiled at Makoto and this time it felt genuine.

 

“Feel free to disturb me more often”

Chapter Text

Makoto had quickly dressed himself, wincing as he pulled up his jeans. God he felt sore now, and sticky. Gross. He would have a shower as soon as he got back to his room. He finished tying his sneakers and finally looked over to Byakuya. A warm nervous feeling spread through his stomach at the sight of him, it was a nice feeling of excitement and tenderness. He was so pretty and.. well whatever capacity it was in they had gotten closer. Byakuya finished adjusting his blazer sleeves and locked eyes with Makoto, his mouth curling in a slight smile.

“Ready?”

“Yeah”

The pair walked towards the library door and Byakuya unwedged the chair from its position, allowing the door to be opened once more.

Makoto was a little nervous about what they would find on the other side, what if Toko had sat there listening the whole time? Knowing her she probably had, and Makoto had made some rather embarrassing noises to put it mildly.

Byakuya swung the door open in one quick movement and the pair were greeted by the sight of Toko passed out in the hallway. They looked at each other silently for a moment, Makoto audibly sighing in relief as an unspoken agreement passed between them. They quickly walked past her unconscious form and hurried towards the dormitories.

Makoto felt bad about just leaving her there like that, but if she had heard anything... then the last thing he wanted was to be the one that woke her up.

He was unsteady on his feet compared to usual, he was pretty sore and his legs felt weak as he struggled to keep up with Byakuya’s pace. However Byakuya seemed to realise that and slowed down, to Makoto’s surprise he placed a hand on Makoto’s shoulder and supported him as he walked, helping steer him back to the dorms.

When Makoto reached his door he looked up at Byakuya awkwardly, not really sure what would happen now. Byakuya had already removed his arm when they had arrived in the ‘despair hotel’ part of the school lest anyone see.

“I’ll see you at dinner I assume” Byakuya’s tone was clipped as usual.

“Yeah”

Byakuya looked around quickly and then leaned close to Makoto’s ear, his finger trailed his jaw and Makoto inhaled sharply in surprise “thanks for the gift, I’ll treasure it”

Byakuya smirked at him once more and then turned and strode away.

Makoto wasn’t sure his heart could take much more today. Quickly letting himself into his room he locked the door behind him and collapsed limply against the frame.

Holy shit today had been weird. He closed his eyes and focused on breathing properly, soothing the erratic beating of his heart. The urge to shower quickly came back into the forefront of his mind and he quickly made his way to the bathroom, throwing his clothes unceremoniously onto the floor in his urgency to get them off.

His lower half ached, his body covered in dried sweat amongst... other fluids. He examined himself quickly in the mirror noting the fingertip shaped bruises forming on his hip and the mark already red and angry on his neck from Byakuya’s lips. Well he would just have to make sure no one saw that. He blushed a little, was it cheap that he was kind of proud of it? It was like proof that Byakuya had been there... and done a lot of things with him.

Makoto shivered, he could hardly believe what had happened. He always though he would meet a girl and fall for her and then all of that stuff would have come after. You know, the usual, cheesy way of doing things.

Not that breaking the mold hadn’t been absolutely exhilarating. Boring normal Makoto Naegi, doing something wild and unexpected. He grinned to himself, he had enjoyed every moment of it. Even though he had been anxious in parts, wow was he was glad he had let go of his inhibitions because that had been fucking amazing.

He stepped into the shower and let the warm stream of water soothe his tired body. He made a small hum of contentment and leaned his head back letting his messy hair get soaked. This was nice and definitely much needed.

Byakuya was probably showering now too. A mental image briefly flashed through his mind and he sighed. Byakuya was really hot, but until now he had been pretty sure he only liked girls. He had definitely had a small crush on Sayaka.. he gulped and tried not to think about how she met her end... or where. He felt a little bad, she hadn’t been dead long and he had liked her...

He shook his head forcefully. He couldn’t think like that, he had liked her yes. But there was no doubt now that he liked Byakuya. Just because he hadn’t had feelings for a guy before didn’t mean that he wasn’t allowed to have them, Byakuya was just the first guy he had felt that way about. He cast his mind quickly over the other boys in the school. Hifumi, Hiro, Mondo, Taka... no. He shuddered. Definitely couldn’t think about them in that way. So maybe it was just Byakuya? And he was just attracted to him?

Oh who cares Makoto scolded himself. You’ve got bigger problems than what to label yourself, just enjoy this very weird, nice part of this whole awful situation.

Feeling much better now he left the shower and dried off, redressing in a different pair of jeans and a green T-shirt. The bruise on his neck was still visible he realised and pondered his wardrobe briefly before grabbing a white shirt and pulling it on over the top leaving it unbuttoned. Much better. After today he definitely didn’t feel like wearing his hoodie and blazer, too stifling. He needed to breathe a little and hey change was good right, today had proved that.

He finished towel drying his hair and as usual failed to brush it into submission before abandoning the task and heading to the dining hall. He stomach rumbled loudly, he hadn’t realised how hungry he was.

Hina waved to him jovially from the large table

“Hey Makoto!”

“Hey Hina” Makoto smiled and sat next to her

“You look nice!”

“Oh thanks!” Makoto rubbed the back of his head “I was stuffy and wanted to wear something light”

“Same” Hina nodded “there’s something so claustrophobic about being here.. I guess it’s the lack of sunshine” she had ditched her usual jacket and sat in a vest top and shorts. The two chattered for a while before walking to the kitchen together to get food. As they say back down with their trays the cafeteria started to fill up with the other students. Sakura came to sit with them, shortly followed by Chihiro and Taka. The room started to buzz with conversation and Makoto laughed along with the chatter as everyone else seemed to arrive for dinner.

Byakuya entered the room and Makoto felt himself going red just looking at him. He was carrying his blazer over his arm as he walked and Makoto couldn’t stop thinking about what had transpired earlier that day.. how he looked with more of his clothes off...

He looked away quickly before anyone noticed his fluster spearing some chicken with his fork and listening to Hina talk about donuts.

Most of the others had come to join them at the long table and Makoto felt a relief that they were all sticking together, there was no way they could allow another murder! there’s just no way. He looked back to Byakuya who was sitting at the small table he usually frequented alone reading and Makoto felt a jolt at the thought of someone trying to hurt Byakuya, maybe even killing him. The cold feeling on his stomach made him feel sick. No, he wasn’t going to allow that.

“Why does he always sit alone like that, he’s such a jerk” Hina declared shooting a cross look in Byakuya’s direction

“I think it’s more a self preservation thing” Makoto found himself jumping to Byakuya’s defence “keeping to himself is his way of dealing with this I suppose”

“But he’s so rude all the time.. that’s going to come back to bite him if he isn’t careful”

“Maybe... But.. I dunno. I actually hung out with him a little today” Makoto admitted trying to keep his voice even “and he isn’t like I thought he would be, he’s actually kind of nice.. in a weird Byakuya way”

“Oh!” Hina looked surprised “well I guess I’ll trust you Makoto, maybe I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt...”

On cue almost as thought he knew, Byakuya looked up at that moment to see them looking at him and his lip twitched into a small smile before looking back at his book.

“Okay I believe you” Hina said surprised “for Byakuya that was downright friendly”

They laughed and continued dinner with everyone. Mondo and Taka were being very bro-ish and it was amusing everyone greatly. Even Chihiro was joining in the conversation and coming out of her shell a little, Makoto smiled and enjoyed the ambience. Finally a good day on this nightmare school.

And that’s when it happened.

Toko burst through the cafeteria doors shaking, her eyes dark with anger and fury radiating her so heavily it made Makoto shiver.

“Y-you!!” She pointed straight at his face “h-how c-could you!!??”

“What! me?” Makoto recoiled in shock at her obvious ire “what did I do?”

“Y-you k-know what you did y-you t-traitor!”

The whole room was silent, everyone fixated on Toko with confused and shocked expressions. Makoto amongst them.

“I really don’t know what you mean, how am I traitor?”

“I t-trusted you t-to help m-me! And y-you just s-stole him for y-yourself”

Ah. That. Dumb silence. Nobody knew what to say.

“I think you need to calm down Toko, what did Makoto do?” Hina tried to be diplomatic and extended a hand to Toko kindly

“S-shut up you b-big boobed airhead!”

“Airhead?” Now Hina was pissed too. This was turning into a disaster. Makoto felt his face pale as his stomach churned in a knot. She HAD heard. She knew.

“Calm down this isn’t acceptable behaviour for such exemplary students!” Taka boomed over them.

“I w-will not calm d-down!” Toko hissed “M-Makoto s-stole Byakuya from me! He’s a d-dirty traitor!”

“Stole?” Sakura stood up now her eyes narrowing “you cannot steal people Toko.”

“Yeah you can’t be jealous just because he made friends with Makoto and not you” Hina glared “don’t be so pathetic”

“F-friends??!” Toko shrieked “t-they aren’t f-friends!”

“What’s this chicks deal?” Mondo growled shaking his head “this is just embarrassing”

“No I-I’ll tell you w-what’s embarrassing!” Toko pointed from Makoto and then to Byakuya fiercely. Byakuya hadn’t reacted at all except to set his book down and was observing the scene with a bored expression.

“H-hearing those t-two doing s-such depraved things to each other!”

“Depraved? And what exactly is it you think they were doing?” Celeste quipped sipping her tea.

“They... w-were in the Library and... they...”

Makoto felt like his heart was going to stop

“I h-heard them m-making such f-filthy noises! They were h-having s-sex!”

Silence. Absolute silence.

Makoto’s mouth hung open in horror. This was something he definitely DIDN’T want to be public knowledge and Toko had just screamed it to the whole school. He wanted to die right here on the spot, the room started spinning and then..

“Pfffffft” Hinas giggles were drowned out only by Taka’s booming voice.

“That’s impossible Byakuya would never desecrate a place of learning like that!”

“What the fuck!” Mondo was incredulous.

Hina laughed so hard she snorted “oh my
God Toko!” Her words broken by harsh giggles “that’s ridiculous!”

Celeste was giggling slightly, trying to maintain her ladylike posture.

Hiro was looking bemused and said simply “but they are both dudes” Hifumi leaned over and whispered something to Hiro whose eyes widened and he let out a long “Ohhhhh!”

Hiros dumbness aside... nobody in the room seemed to believe her and Makoto breathed a sigh of relief. Byakuya still hadn’t spoken, he looked amused resting his chin on his hand and observing Toko with a smirk.

“I-I’m t-telling the truth!” Toko shrieked “i h-heard everything! They were like a-animals!”

“Pfffft stop it!! You’re killing me!” Hina almost had to cling to the table she was laughing so hard.

With one last angry shriek Toko span and and stormed from the dining room. Her black cloud of ire leaving with her.

The room was abuzz with laughter
“It’s kind of sad” Chihiro said timidly “she can’t accept that he doesn’t like her..”

“For real” Hina agreed wiping the mirthful tears from her eyes “so Makoto what were you supposed to be helping her with when you ‘stole’ Byakuya?”

“Well..” Makoto decided to tell the truth but leave out the.. embarrassing details “Basically this morning Toko dragged me to the library saying she needed my help and it turns out she wanted me to talk to Byakuya for her which I thought was stupid”

“Yeah I mean if you want to talk to someone just do it yourself right?” Hina agreed

“Exactly! Anyway Byakuya realised what was going on and he was pissed so he locked Toko out the library. She didn’t sound very pleased about it” he scratched his cheek “So basically I ended up stuck in there so I hung out with Byakuya for a while and it was kinda fun actually. Then after a while he unlocked the door and she was gone so we left. That’s all really.”

“She seems to be jealous” Sakura said sagely “she cannot accept he would seek your companionship over hers and has decided that the only possible reason for that would be romantic or... ahem similar... feelings”

Byakuya finally made himself known and walked over to their table, simply planting a cup of coffee in front of Makoto wordlessly.

“O-oh.. thanks?” Makoto blinked up at him confused as hell

“I realise it’s impolite to have sex with someone without even buying them a cup of coffee first. My sincere apologies I hope this makes up for it” his affect was flat and Byakuya-like but his eyes were twinkling and Makoto realised he was trying not to laugh.

“Oh my god” Hina burst into peals of laughter once more as some of the others joined in.

“I didn’t know you had a sense of humour” she giggled and Makoto found himself laughing too

“Thanks Byakuya what a gentleman you are I really am the Ultimate Luck!”

Byakuya shook His head as he turned and walked away. But Makoto had seen the small smile on his lips.

The laughter eventually died down and Makoto sipped the coffee glad it was over. He felt bad that everyone thought Toko was a liar but.. on the other hand she had told everyone something that wasn’t anyone’s business so...

“So what are you doing now?” Hina asked as she munched on a donut “off to have more wild animal sex in the library?”

“No I was thinking the gym this time, have to have some variety you know?”

Hina snorted and shoved his arm good naturedly “seriously though of all the people though she had to say that about you, it’s crazy! I mean you like girls!”

“Uh.. yeah...”

“Oh sorry.. I didn’t mean to make you think about Sayaka”

“Oh no it’s okay” Makoto shook his head “don’t worry about it”

He spent a while chatting with everyone until the night drew to a close and everyone started to make their way to their bedrooms.

As he walked to his room he saw Byakuya approaching, judging from the pile of books under his arm he must have gone to the library after dinner. Unsure of wether to speak to him or not Makoto carried on to his dorm, feeling Byakuya’s presence behind him. As he put the key in the lock curiosity made him turn his head to the direction of Byakuya’s dorm. He too was stood at his door with his key in the lock. Their eyes connected and Byakuya smirked.

“What, did you want to occupy some more of my time Makoto?”

“Uhh no thank you” Makoto rubbed the back of his neck “I think I’m a bit too... worn out for any more of your company right now”

He wasn’t lying, as much as he would like to have a repeat of earlier some time.. tonight wasn’t ideal. He was still pretty sore and tired.

Byakuya simply smirked “as you wish”
And he disappeared into his room without another word.

Makoto sighed as he finally sank into his bed, today had been a whirlwind and above all he was utterly exhausted physically and emotionally. He snuggled the covers to him and the last thought he had before falling asleep was of Byakuya.

.....

The next morning he dressed in his jeans and hoodie before heading to breakfast to meet with everyone. It was pretty uneventful compared to last nights dinner. Toko wasn’t present but unfortunately neither was Byakuya. Toko was probably following him around as usual and that thought made discomfort creep through his veins. Still he couldn’t say he minded the quiet.

After eating he made his way into the main school, not really sure what to do with his day but deciding to make it up as he went. However as he climbed the first flight of stairs a hand grabbed his hoodie sleeve and yanked him hard causing him to cry out. He span and came face to face with Toko, his eyes widening in horror.

She was grinning in a maniacal way, her eyes glowing and her tongue stuck of of her mouth in an unnatural manner.

“T-Toko what do you want?” Makoto yelped trying to detach her hand

“Ohhhh you know what I want! I want the details!” She cackled in glee, her face contorting wildly “I totally heard you and Byakuya yesterday! I listened the whole time until it got too scandalous even for me and I passed out!” She burst into a fresh wave of cackles that made the hair on the back of his neck stand up “and I just find the whole situation so.... hot! I’m a total boy on boy fangirl! Tell me something Big Mac who was on the bottom? It’s gotta be you right? Sounded like it to me”

“W-whaaa that’s not what happened!” Makoto protested feebly. Too shocked to comprehend what was happening “and what happened to you being upset? You were really angry last night accusing us of stuff we didn’t do!”

“Oh you don’t have to lie to me Big Mac, don’t be embarrassed. I’m not judging you for your torid little gay affair in fact I’m a big fan of it already” more unnaturally high pitched laughter.

“Toko you’re acting so weird... what’s happened to you?”

“Nothings wrong with me McCutie! You’ve just captured my vivid imagination. So come on spill the beans! What was it like? Was he rough with you? You have to tell me everything!”

“For the last time! Nothing like that happened okay! We didn’t do anything!”

“That’s not what it sounded like to me! Does this sound like nothing? “ooooh Byakuya it’s too much, it won’t fit in me ahhhhh~” she moaned mockingly. Her lewd impersonation of his words made his heart sink and cheeks heat up furiously. His palms were sweating and he tried to still the shaking of his hands.

“I... that’s..”

“I’m not wrong am I? I heard eveeeerryyyttthing! Who knew you were such a cute little wilting virgin! Ohhhhh did Master take you and claim your innocence? Oh man just talking about it getting me worked up! Now I want to kill you both!” She chewed on her thumbnail aggressively and Makoto recoiled trying to get as far away from her as possible.

“Kill us?”

“What’s going on here” Byakuya’s voice rang out loud and commanding as he came up the staircase. His eyes narrowed on Toko who immediately sprung towards him in glee, letting Makoto go and he gasped in relief.

“Ooooh Master you’re here! Oh my are you two gonna do it again? Oh mannn can I watch this time?” She threw her head back and cackled once more. The expression on his face confused and repulsed.

“Stop spouting such vulgar nonsense” he retorted angrily which just made her laugh harder.

“It’s okay! I promise I won’t tell anyone! I’ll just peek you can pretend I’m not there if that helps ya!”

“That’s not happening!” Byakuya snarled “get out of my sight you piece of human garbage”

“Ohhh I love it when you talk down to me master! You know just how to treat a girl”

Subconsciously Makoto had backed away slowly from her until his back bumped into the door to the pool. The start of a plan forming in his mind, just beyond here... He looked up and locked eyes with Byakuya, the plan forming between them wordlessly as Makoto slid his handbook slowly out of his pocket.

“There is nothing between Makoto and I, this is just a warped fragment of your twisted imagination!” Byakuya strode over to Makoto and poked his finger into his chest, Makoto recoiled at his action harder than was necessary the doors opening behind them as the two moved backwards into the next room slowly.

“Do you think someone such as I, with the whole world at my feet would indulge such a boring, lowly commoner such as him!” With each of his jabs he prodded Makoto who jerked backwards. Toko following them still cackling in glee

“Oooh so it’s that whole class thing! The rich high flying master of the world wants to try a little rough once in his life! That’s hot too! You want to experience the dirty dark depravity of someone below you... getting down in the gutter! oooh you so know how to get me going!” She threw back her head once more as she laughed and Makoto’s hand slid backwards his eyes locked with Byakuya who nodded slightly.

*click* the e handbook registered on the electronic lock and the boys changing room door swung open backwards behind them. Byakuya practically shoved him into the room and quick as a flash the pair span and slammed the door closed behind them.

“What what whatttt! You deceived me! You can’t hide from my love master! Hahahahahaha!” ACHOOO

a loud sneeze rang out and then silence.

Makoto breathed a sigh of relief at the quiet and finally looked up at Byakuya. Who looked unrattled despite everything that had happened

“Not an ideal plan to shut ourselves in but considering the circumstances I’ll mark it as a win. We will just have to hope she finally tires of this idiocy and leaves soon”

“How will we know she’s gone though...? we are going to have to guess or wait for someone else to come in and see if the coast is clear”

“Hmmm” Byakuya seemed to contemplate that a moment before fixing his attention on Makoto “what was she saying to you before I arrived?”

“Oh...” Makoto felt himself go crimson “she was... talking about what she heard yesterday... and she definitely heard us”

“That’s irrelevant” Byakuya shook his head “she can’t prove she heard anything so it’s not worth worrying about”

“I do feel a little bad telling everyone she’s a liar.. but then after that... I don’t feel so bad anymore” He shuddered “She was like a completely different person”

“It seemed like it” Byakuya adjusted his glasses seemingly lost in thought “I have some thoughts about that... but nothing concrete. For now I’d rather not think about her”

“Oh.. okay..” Makoto sat down on the small bench in the room and to his surprise Byakuya sat next to him.

“I guess we’re stuck here for a little while until the coast is clear”

“It would seem”

Makoto could feel his skin prickle with his proximity to Byakuya, all he wanted to do was kiss him but with Toko’s embarrassing words lingering in his mind he was frozen still.

Byakuya’s hand came to rest on his neck shocking him into action, tilting his head to look up at the blonde. Byakuya’s lip was curled into a small smile, his hand moving up to trace Makoto’s jaw.

“So, would you like to spend some time with me today Makoto?”

“Yeah I would” Makoto managed to splutter out But... I don’t have a gift for you today”

“Oh” Byakuya’s eyes glinted “well since the gift you gave me yesterday was so grandiose, I’ll deign to spend my time with you for free”

He didn’t have chance to reply because Byakuya was kissing him. He sighed happily against Byakuya’s lips, hands coming to rest on his shoulders. This was all he wanted, the calmness that came with being with Byakuya.

Byakuya’s tongue swiped over Makoto’s bottom lip asking for entrance and he gave it to him gladly. Their kisses depending as their tongues met. It was less... chaotic than yesterday, not as messy. Instead it was slow and firm but that didn’t make it any less thrilling. When they finally parted breathless and panting, Makoto looked up at Byakuya, blinking with wide doe eyes.

“I did contemplate how you would feel after yesterday” Byakuya mused, running his thumb lazily over Makoto’s bottom lip.
“I’m pleased to see this result”

He latched onto Makoto’s lip biting down on in gently and Makoto meweled. Their lips resuming their former occupation intently.

“So Makoto. How do you feel after yesterday?”

“Aside from the weird thing with Toko...”

“No not that” Byakuya cut him off “how do you feel specifically about what happened in the library” he accentuated his point with a soft kiss to Makoto’s neck

“Oh.. that i feel really good about... although I am kind of sore” he admitted his eyes fluttering closed as Byakuya planted more gentle kisses on his neck.

“Ahh.. Perhaps I was too rough with you”

“No” Makoto protested squirming a little “You were just the right amount of rough with me. I’m probably just not used to it yet”

“Yet” of course Byakuya had picked up on that one small word “so you want this to be a repeat occurrence?” More kisses.

“Yeah” Makoto breathed heavily

“Good..” Byakuya’s fingers were in his hair now and Makoto looked up at him with lidded eyes “as do I”

Their lips crashed forcefully back together, Byakuya taking the lead and pushing his tongue into Makoto’s mouth hard. Makoto whimpered and tightened his hold on Byakuya’s jacket throwing up one hand to tangle in thick blonde hair.

Byakuya’s other hand came to his waist and pushed under the hem of his hoodie to grip his bare waist and Makoto groaned. That familiar wave of excitement flooded through him, Byakuya managed to get him hot and bothered within moments. He was already hard, straining against the fabric of his jeans as they kissed. He wondered if Byakuya was having a similar reaction.. he barely dared to think about it.

Byakuya broke the kiss, breathing heavily against Makoto’s lips.

“You’re in no condition to repeat yesterday”

“No.. probably not” Makoto wished he was though. What he would give to have Byakuya touch him again. “It still hurts quite a lot”

“Then.. I must apologise. I’m nothing if not a gentleman”

“What do you mean?”

Byakuya smirked and trailed his hand down from Makoto’s waist to his crotch rubbing his firmness through his jeans.

Makoto gasped, his eyes falling closed as he bit his lip. Slowly Byakuya shifted his weight from the bench and Makoto opened his eyes at the loss of body contact. What he saw made his jaw drop, Byakuya sank to his knees in front of him, a smirk still etched on his face

“I do hope you’re honoured Makoto. I’ve never gotten to my knees for anyone before in my life”

“Byakuya...” Makoto stammered out, shocked and even more turned on at the sight of Byakuya kneeling before him. Fuck that was hot, Byakuya was going to be the death of him.

Byakuya’s fingers pried at the waistband of his jeans and makoto lifted his hips in earnest. Byakuya pulled down his jeans and underwear in one foul swoop, the fabric pooling at his ankles.

Byakuya grinned at Makoto’s fluster, seemingly embarrassed non by the situation.

“Relax, let me take responsibility”

Makoto tried to relax but he still didn’t quite understand what ‘take responsibility’ meant. Still this wasn’t a bad situation to find yourself in so he supposed it was a good thing.

Byakuya took hold of him and that familiar feeling made him moan. Oh he had so quickly became accustomed to Byakuya touching his dick. His hands gripped the bench for support, his eyes locked on Byakuya’s and his breathing heavy as Byakuya stroked him gently. Then Suddenly he moved closer, his eyes still fixed on Makoto’s own he moved dangerously close to his dick. He poked the tiniest amount of pink tongue from his mouth and still looking into Makoto’s eyes he flicked his tongue over him.

“Oh god!” Makoto cried out his fingers curling as the intensity of Byakuya’s actions.

Byakuya was watching Makoto’s reaction and he felt under close scrutiny unsure of how to react, should he keep quiet?

Those thoughts disappeared from his brain fast when Byakuya’s mouth slid over his dick and enveloped him inch by inch.
Makoto was sure his moans must be heard all over the school. But holy shit this was amazing. Byakuya mouth was hot and wet and the way his tongue moved and worked him made him shudder. One of his hands gripped at Byakuya’s hair as he struggled to keep his eyes open.

Bright blue started back at him unwavering as Byakuya bobbed his head. Strands of blonde hair tickled Makoto’s thighs but he couldn’t care less right now. Byakuya was sucking his dick everything else was immaterial.

His fingers tightened in Byakuya’s hair, loud lewd moans escaping his lips as Byakuya’s mouth pushed him over the edge of sanity.

Fire in his abdomen climbed higher and higher through him, his breathing uneven and ragged as Byakuya’s tongue swirled around him and sucked him hard.

“Fuck!” He whimpered “Byakuya.. ahh! That’s so good.”

In response to Makoto’s encouragement Byakuya seemed to double down on his efforts, Makoto almost howling at the intensity.

The hottest guy he had ever seen was sucking him off. The fact Byakuya was on his knees was even more of a turn on, he was the only person Byakuya would kneel for. That was a heady feeling that sent a giddy rush through him and the first tingles of electricity spark deep inside him.

“Ahhh Byakuya.. I’m...” he gasped trying desperately to get the words out “I’m close...”

Byakuya didn’t stop or look away. Just continued to blow him with the same level of enthusiasm and Makoto knew he couldn’t last any longer

“I’m going.. to...ahhh I’m gonna come!”

His fingers twitched, his body tensing and twitching as orgasm ripped through him with raging intensity “Byakuya~”

He cursed and moaned, his whole system overloaded with pleasure they likes of which he hadn’t experienced before. His fingers grabbed hard into Byakuya’s hair as euphoria took him. When it finally ebbed and subsided, his body collapsing weakly back onto the bench only then did Byakuya move.

Slowly he slid Makoto out of his mouth and let go with a loud wet sound. His eyes still burned into Makoto’s and very deliberately he swallowed audibly and slowly licked his lips.

“Oh my god” Makoto gasped feeling another jolt of arousal go through him at the lewd display.

“Well what was I going to do? Spit it on the floor like some kind of peasant?”

Byakuya was grinning and got to his feet,
Makoto still struck dumb by the fact Byakuya has just swallowed his come.

“That was.. really hot” Makoto rasped, his breathing still irregular “you’re...

“Gracious I know” Byakuya smirked as he sat back next to Makoto on the bench “I trust this more than makes up for your discomfort”

Makoto pulled his jeans back up with shaky hands “You didn’t owe me anything..”

“True. But this makes life exciting does it not?”

He looked at Byakuya with shy adoration “You make life exciting”

He stroked Byakuya’s face softly and his lips drew him back in like a magnet. Byakuya made a surprised noise against his lips as he deepened the kiss, his eyes wide.

Oh.. Makoto blushed as his tongue met Byakuya’s, tasting himself. Oh.. well he wasn’t going to let that deter him from showing Byakuya the appreciation he deserved. Instead he wrapped his arms around Byakuya’s neck and kissed him tenderly. Byakuya scooped Makoto into his arms and the two just held each other a while kissing softly. It was hard to remember the situation they were trapped in, not when Byakuya made him feel such happiness and contentment.

*click* the electronic lock registered and the pair jumped apart as though burned. Byakuya immediately folded his arms and turned away. Makoto slid forward on instinct sitting on the carpet with his back resting against the bench.

“Hey what are you guys doing here?”

Mondo walked into the locker room holding a gym bag, confusion on his face.

Hopefully they looked natural enough.

“Hey Mondo! Is Toko still out there?” Makoto sprang to his feet.

“Uhh no” Mondo looked back behind him into the hall “no ones out there”

“Oh good” Makoto breathed a sigh of relief “she was acting so weird earlier she was all.. creepy and cornered us screaming at us like yesterday..”

“Well she was downstairs a little while ago but she seemed her mopey self” Mondo shrugged “that chicks just fuckin weird”

“I can’t figure her out” Makoto scratched his cheek “anyways we ended up hiding here to get away from here”

“I wasn’t hiding” Byakuya’s interjected getting to his feet “I’m not scared of that pest”

“Whatever you say” Mondo shook his head. “Anyway the coast is clear guys”

“Thanks Mondo” Makoto smiled widely and swiftly exited the boys locker room with Byakuya hot on his heels

“I’m going to the library” Byakuya said quietly “I’ll see you later”

“But... we.. I never got to...” Makoto protested weakly

“It’s fine. It wouldn’t do to draw more attention to us” Byakuya was already looking the other way. “We should part ways for now, goodbye”

Makoto watching his retreating form with disappointment. He had wanted to repay the favour.. well there was nothing he could do now, and besides he was pretty tired. He made his way back to his room and got cosy on his bed. The aftermath of his encounter with Byakuya leaving his body loose and relaxed, tiredness now creeping over him with just how content he felt. A nap might not be so bad, he grinned as he snuggled the pillow to him.

Byakuya really did make life more exciting.

Chapter Text

Makoto had slept well. Waking fresh and happy he set about making the most of the day that was left. He saw Chihiro walking from his dorm and ended up spending some time with the mild mannered programmer. After dinner - which was quiet and relaxed compared to last night, he spent some time with Mondo before retiring to his room. It was a shame he hadn’t seen Byakuya all night but.. as Byakuya said it would best he didn’t draw attention to them, and trying to hang out with him at every opportunity after Tokos accusations would definitely attract questions. There was always tomorrow.

.....

The breakfast meeting didn’t have much to report but he did arrange to spend some time with Hiro which was pleasant enough. He really did feel like he was learning more about his fellow students and building bonds with them.

The only thing that bothered him was not seeing Byakuya. He didn’t want to be needy but he hadn’t actually seen him in 24 hours and he missed him. He blushed a little, was it the sex that made him feel this way? Or was this more? His feelings growing by the day?

Deciding to do something practical to occupy his mind he rounded up his laundry. He especially needed to wash a few items from the other day.

Pushing the laundry room door open Byakuya stared back, stood next to a machine. Makoto swallowed hard his stomach a flutter with overjoyed butterflies. Setting the basket of clothes down on the table he walked over to Byakuya with a little nervous apprehension. He never got any less hot, his shirt sleeves rolled up and blazer lost for now, perhaps being washed.

“Hi” Makoto breathed nervously

Byakuya unfolded his arms and gestured with a sharp nod to the door.

“Right..” Makoto turned away red faced. He supposed anyone could walk in and that wouldn’t end well.

Byakuya tutted loudly and suddenly was at Makoto’s side pulling him none too gently to the door.

“Whaaa?”

Byakuya pushed his back to the door and smiled wolfishly, biting his bottom lip as he looked him up and down.

His lips were hungry on Makoto’s own, kissing him fiercely all tongue and teeth tugging urgently on Makoto’s bottom lip. Makoto groaned at the intensity of Byakuya’s affection, Byakuya’s hand pushed under Makoto’s T-shirt hem exploring what he could reach.

Their kisses were fiery and messy, wet with earnest enthusiasm and desire. The noises escaping them both urgent and needy. Fuck he wanted him so badly, his hands flew to Byakuya’s belt determined today to finally touch him and show him some attention.

BEEP BEEP

Byakuya pulled his lips away with a soft growl. His forearm rested on the wooden door above Makoto’s head as he seemed to will himself to move.

“I have to go”

“What? But why we....?”

“My laundry is done” he indicated to the beeping machine that had finished drying his clothes.

“So?” Makoto hated how desperate he sounded but damn it! he wasn’t done here!

“We must be careful Makoto” Byakuyas eyes burned into his, his air of authority leaving no room to argue. “No irregular behaviour that would draw attention. My laundry is done therefore my time in this room is over”

Makoto nodded reluctantly sighing as Byakuya’s hands left his skin. The blonde wasted no time In retrieving his laundry and then nodded to Makoto curtly. “Goodbye”

As he left Makoto slid down the wall groaning. Fuck when was he going to get some actual private time with this guy?

Pushing his frustration aside he finished his laundry, hung out with Celeste who tried to teach him a card game them promptly beat him at every round. Got himself lunch then spend the late afternoon training with Sakura and Hina. They didn’t have too much equipment outside of the locker rooms but used the giant open space that lead to the dorms and dining hall to run laps and do push ups. Makoto failed horribly compared to them but hey he was trying! Plus the physical exhaustion worked out some of his frustrations from earlier. He never got to see Byakuya for the rest of the day, or the next morning for that matter. He managed to get a brief kiss that afternoon in the kitchen when no one else was around, but with it being too public Byakuya quickly retreated leaving Makoto unsatisfied and frustrated once more.

Makoto sighed in exasperation, this was getting really difficult for him. It was the third day without any real length of time with Byakuya and it was getting to him. His mind was never far from the heir and how he made him feel, he just longed for more of that. For his urgency and firmness, So when he finally saw Byakuya walking to the warehouse that afternoon he took his chance to slide in after him.

Byakuya turned and smirked upon sight of him but Makoto didn’t give him chance to talk, shoving his back to the door and looping his arms around his neck to draw him down into a searing kiss.

“I miss you” Makoto surprising even himself with the force in his words.

He didn’t care how much that inflated Byakuya’s ego. He was fed up of trying to steal moments of affection.

He took the lead this time shoving his tongue down Byakuya’s throat as his hands grabbed at him wildly.

“If I don’t get some real time with you soon I’m going to explode” Makoto growled “I need you”

His mouth was wet from messy kisses, any finesse completely lacking. He had pretty much lost any semblance of control. All he wanted was Byakuya, right now.

For his part Byakuya hadn’t spoken, but he kissed back hard, his hands clamped firm on Makoto’s ass pulling him closer.

“I think about you all the time” Makoto admitted, desire loosening his lips. “You’re so gorgeous and I just want to get you to myself again like in the library”

Their lips crashed back together, enthusiastic exchanges of tongue and lips. Kissing senseless until they ran out of air and Makoto panted out brokenly.

“I want to... touch you... I want to please you... like you did for me” his hands tugged on Byakuya’s belt and Byakuya growled, his eyes closing.

Makoto made short work of unbuckling his belt and undoing his dress slacks. Byakuya leant back on the door looking cool and composed, but his breathing heavy. Makoto’s nerves had been overridden by his frustration and made it a lot easier to run his hand over the now prominent bulge.

Byakuya groaned and god that was an amazing sound, Makoto decided to just throw caution to the winds and tugged his underwear down quickly. Pushing his lips to Byakuya’s hard as his hand for the first time wrapped around his length.

Byakuya’s moans were stifled against his lips but they were still glorious to Makoto. He moved faster, working Byakuya a little firmer and enjoying the way he squirmed and groaned into his mouth. He had only seen Byakuya loose composure once and he wanted it again, he wanted to know he could please him and make him a writhing moaning mess.

Pulling his lips away from Byakuya’s intoxicating hold he locked eyes with him before dropping to his knees. He was nervous but he was determined to do this, for the first time he was actually seeing a dick other than his own and he almost snorted at the thought that came to his mind. Of course a dick like Byakuya would have a big one himself. Big dick, small heart.

Slowly as though to get accustomed he curiously lapped his tongue along it and Byakuya inhaled sharply at the contact. It was strangely soft, and didn’t feel as weird as he thought it would. Experimentally he circled his tongue along the top and was pleased by the reaction he got. One of Byakuya’s hands tangled in his hair, casting his glance upwards he could see Byakuya’s eyes tightly closed, a canine worrying his bottom lip.

Then he threw back his head and moaned loudly as Makoto took him into his mouth. He tried to remember what Byakuya had done to him to make him feel so good. He worked his tongue earnestly as he sucked paying extra attention to anything that made Byakuya groan louder.

The hand in his hair tightened further as Byakuya’s noises raised higher. He was moving faster now drool coating his jaw as he sucked him messily.

Byakuya’s legs twitched making soft thumps against the door.

“Makoto.. I’m...”

He didn’t get to finish his words, Makoto moving his tongue faster and firmer in earnest as Byakuya’s cries filled his ears. That composure gone once more as his legs shook, his fingers curling in Makoto’s hair and his mouth hanging open as he moaned and groaned through his climax.
Makoto almost jumped as his mouth filled with the warm thick fluid but he kept going until Byakuya went quiet and only then did he retreat. He looked up with big eyes at Byakuya’s shaking form, His blue eyes half open as he panted. Remembering Byakuya’s actions form the other day Makoto swallowed loudly while he started into his eyes and he saw the shudder pass through Byakuya as he did.

It did taste kind of weird, the fluid thick and foreign on his tongue but he didn’t let it phase him. He was just happy to have succeeded in pleasing him and that he hadn’t been terrible at it. He got to his feet, and Byakuya seemingly mimicking Makoto’s actions from the other day kissed him hard and firm.

Once his composure was back Byakuya redressed, buckling his belt back up and threading his fingers through Makoto’s hair as he kissed him more softly.

“You’re too good at that” was his verdict and Makoto practically beamed.

“So are you though”

Their foreheads rested together as they breathed heavy, hands entwined.

“We should go” Byakuya’s voice was quiet

“I guess” Makoto’s heart sunk “I hate how little we can be together”

“It’s necessary” Byakuya’s tone was firm “I can’t have anyone see this and use it to come after one of us”

Coldness spread through Makoto’s stomach. Surely Byakuya didn’t think someone else would kill after what happened to Leon?

Byakuya’s lips pressed back to his soft and gentle.

“Be careful Makoto. Not everyone is like you”

The screen in the warehouse burst to life interrupting their tender moment.

“Ahem this is a school announcement. Will all students gather in the gymnasium immediately”

Makoto and Byakuya looked at each other, expressions now clouded.

“He’s going to give us another motive” Byakuya stated adjusting his blazer and straightening his tie.

“You.. think?”

“Yes” Byakuya’s tone was brisk as he fixed his gaze on Makoto. “That’s how the game works”

Makoto swallowed hard his hands starting to tremble.

Byakuya strode from the warehouse with purposeful steps, seeming to fear nothing. Makoto more than anything wanted to take his hand, feel comforted by the presence of the person he cared about. Walk with him to that gymnasium and feel strong and defiant with the confidence that nothing would phase them.

But... in this reality. He walked alone, Byakuya’s shadow cast over him and highlighting how alone he really was.

The other students were assembled in the gym just waiting. For the next awful thing Monokuma would throw at them. He arrived in his usual theatrical manner.

"I'm low on energy these days. My stitching's even losing all its shine and luster... I'm thinking, it's probably become of this ho-hum, boring old everyday life. I'm looking for something with a little more stimulation, something rife with danger and intrigue! Listen, can I just be frank? The next blackened hasn't shown up yet, and I'm getting booooored! So I’ve decided to come up with a new way to motivate you!”

“M-motivate? ... is it another set of videos or something?” Makoto clenched his fists “Are you gonna show us some demented thing to try and drive us all to murder!?”

“Drive you to murder!? What a mean thing to say! Just awful!” Monokuma pouted

“I don't know what you've got planned, but we're not going to kill each other anymore!” Taka’s voice boomed loud and with conviction “No matter what you do, I swear to God we won't!”

”Hmm. That's very big talk. Do your best to back it up, okay? Now then, with your permission, let me begin! So this time it's... embarrassing memories and secrets! As long as you're alive, it's a given that there's things you don't want other people to know about you! So I did a little investigating of my own, and I dug up some of your darkest secrets!”

An audible gasp went up around the room but Monokuma wasn’t done yet.

“And those embarrassing memories and secrets are all contained in the envelopes I have right here... I'm going to hand them out now, so take a second to take a peek!”

He tossed the envelopes to the floor and quick as a flash Makoto snatched up his own with trembling fingers. He didn’t have much in his life that was that embarrassing or secretive until.. he gulped. Was this envelope going to reveal what he had been doing since he got here? Monokuma had to know about his relationship with Byakuya through the cameras... He pulled the envelope open fast trying to get it over with.

“Makoto wet the bed until 5th grade”

Oh.

He almost laughed. Thank god. Well not that it wasn’t embarrassing, not exactly something he wanted everyone to know. But compared to everyone knowing Toko had been telling the truth about them.. it didn’t compare.

Gasps and angry cries resonated throughout the room. Makoto looked up to see his classmates in similar states of shock, terror and anguish. Byakuya however looked unrattled, his face emotionless as he scanned the paper and pushed it into his pocket dismissively.

“You have 48 hours! If someone doesn't become blackened by then...all your deepest, darkest, most embarrassingest secrets will be exposed to the world! Maybe I'll roll by a crowded intersection in a van strapped with loudspeakers and spill the beans! Kyaaah! Wouldn't that be sooo embarrassing!?” Monokuma cackled and disappeared.

“I didn't know what to expect at first, but...maybe we dodged a bullet on this one” Hina broke the silence “I mean yeah, having those secrets revealed is gonna be totally embarrassing. But that's seriously not enough to give someone a reason to kill, right?”

”Good news, everyone! I have a brilliant idea!” Taka yelled with enthusiasm “Why don't we all just confess the secrets in those envelopes right here and now!? If we do that, any and all motive for murder will vanish! That's pretty smart, right!? Okay, so my embarrassing thing is...”

”I d-don't want to hear your stupid s-story!” Toko spat

“What!?”

”Besides, I don't...I don't w-want to talk about it... I don't c-care what anyone says, I don't want to talk a-about mine!”

“Neither do I. Not because it is unpleasant, but because it is impossible.” Celeste lamented

“Well it's just human nature to wanna hear it when you say it's impossible! C'mon, it'll be good for ya!” Hifumis eyes lit up

”Absolutely not”

“I agree with them. There's no need to discuss it” Byakuya’s answer was curt and dismissive. His arms folded and his cold composed mask firmly in place.

“What do you think, Chihiro?” Taka asked gently.

”Um...s-sorry, I don't really want to talk about it right now.” Her eyes were full of unshed tears her hands shaking “But I also don't want to leave things the way they are. So maybe I can talk about it later... After I try my best...to become strong... Then I can tell everyone.”

“If you don't wanna talk, you don't have to. I'm not super-excited to talk about it, either...” Hina trailed off

”If everyone's that much against it... Even if my bro's the one that suggested it, I gotta say no.” Mondo hung his head.

”W-Well, that's okay, then. Either way, if it's just a few secrets, I'm sure nobody's about to kill anybody over it.” Taka sounded uncertain. The discord that Monokuma has sewn amongst them palpable.

“To judge someone else's values based on your own outlook... Do you realize how dangerous that is?” Byakuya’s stern voice rang out “or did you already forget? This isn't a co-op game. It's every man for himself.”

“B-Byakuya!” Makoto’s mouth dropped in surprise.

“What the fuck do you mean "game"!? That's fucked up!” Mondo snapped back angrily.

”But it *is* a game. It's a game of life or death, which can have only one winner. That's all there is to it.” Byakuya stated as though it were the most obvious thing in the world.

“You talk like that, but what if you end up dead!?” Hina scowled.

”I won't. It simply isn't possible.”

“But..” Makoto tried to interject “I believe there’s a way we can all survive this.. we have to work together”

“Together?” The look Byakuya fixed him with contained none of the usual affection Makoto has come to know. He wasn’t talking to his lover anymore. This Byakuya’s eyes were hardened Ice, his whole aura cold and unyielding.
“There is no *together* about it. For my own survival. You must all die”

“Th-That's a terrible way to look at it...” Chihiro choked out “This...isn't a game. Our lives are on the line, you know... To kill your own friends is...is... It's horrific!”

”Friends? Who decided that?” Byakuya’s voice was venomous now. “We're not friends. No, quite the opposite. We're in competition--we're enemies.”

”B-But...you know...” Chihiro tried to object.

“But what? Stop trying to force your contradictions on me and just accept what I'm telling you.” Byakuya’s harsh words cut her down to size in seconds.

“I-I'm sorry...”

”Hey, shithead! You get off on bullying people that can't fight back? You wanna try that on me!?” Mondo growled looking ready to fight.

”So, you're back to pretending to be friends, huh? And how long do you think that's going to last?”

”Fuck you!”

”Is that all you can say?” Byakuya scoffed “Anyway...I don't have any intention of working with the rest of you any longer. To cooperate during an elimination game is... Well, frankly, it's a waste of time. And I hate wasting my time.”

”Quit talking like you're in a fuckin' movie or something!”

”All I'm saying is that, ultimately, you are all free to do whatever you want on your own. Goodbye”

And with that Byakuya strode from the gym, his dress shoes clicking on the linoleum as he went.

“Wait!” Makoto raced after him, finally catching up with him outside one of the classrooms.

“What?!” Byakuya snapped his glare cutting Makoto to the core.

“Come here I wanna talk!” Makoto nudged open the nearest classroom door for privacy. Once instead he cleared his throat nervously.

“What you just said..” he reached for Byakuya’s hand “that was just..”

“I meant every word” Byakuya jerked his hand away leaving Makoto holding air.

“What? You can’t mean that!”

“I do” Byakuya shook his head “I see you forgot the basic rules of this game too. Did you think we were all going to survive and live happily ever after? This a fight to the death Makoto”

“But if we work together..”

“Oh come on!” Byakuya snarled “you really believe that?”

“I do!”

“Then you’re an imbecile!”

“So you would really.. play the game? You would see us all dead?”

“That’s what must be done”

Makoto recoiled as though burned “you’ll see me die?”

“Eventually”

Makoto’s mouth hung open. Shaking his head in denial.

“You’ll either be murdered or you’ll die with the others when I become blackened. Either way, this doesn’t have a happy ending”

“But...” Makoto couldn’t process what was being said to him he reached out for Byakuya again, hoping for some touch some gesture that would show the Byakuya he had come to know. Instead he was greeted by a wall of ice and steel as Byakuya glared at him with scornful eyes.

“Oh Makoto, you thought that this little arrangement of ours made you special? You’re just a nice way to pass the time”

A punch to the gut would have hurt less. His heart crushed in one foul swoop.

“You mean all this was.. just..”

“Entertainment yes” Byakuya folded his arms “you made a nice distraction from the boredom. But let’s get one thing clear, I will not risk my life for yours”

Makoto’s mouth flapped uselessly, every fibre of his being hurt. The weight of Byakuya’s words burying him in anguish.

“Then.. why?” He asked brokenly “why even bother with me?”

“Because it was fun” Byakuya said simply “life was getting dull and you spreading your legs for me was definitely a nice distraction”

The shame crashed over Makoto all at once, he felt cheap. Used and betrayed. He clutched his arms protectively to his chest as though he might shield himself somehow from what Byakuya had already seen.

“So that’s all. You used me and that’s it?”

“That’s all there is to it”

Makoto felt his eyes burn with angry ashamed tears but he refused to cry.

“So in the library... you just.. did that because you could?”

“Precisely”

“And it didn’t mean anything?”

“Nothing”

Makoto was trembling his whole body wracked with anger and shame.

“You... knew you were.. my first... so why would you do that if you didn’t care?”

Byakuya tutted and rolled his eyes mockingly “so you think because I was your first that I’m honour bound to love you? Don’t be pathetic. Sex and love are not the same it’s about time you realised that”

He felt dirty, dirty and used. Using the last of his broken pride he looked him dead in the eyes.

“If you don’t care about me at all then why did you choose me? Why did you want me as your first?”

“When did I say that? I never said you were”

The final shot through the heart

“Y..you implied it! You said..”

“I actually said maybe, or maybe not. Everything else was your own inference”

Makoto’s posture crumpled. Eyes to the floor. Shame radiating from him like a tangible odour. Byakuya had just used him for entertainment, as a plaything. He hadn’t cared one bit, while Makoto had believed in him and trusted him Byakuya had just been laughing at him

“You’ve been labouring under the false apprehension that you’re special Makoto. You aren’t. It’s time to face reality now”

He didn’t want to, but his feet moved without his permission. And then next thing he knew he was running from the classroom, tears running down his face until he made it back to the sanctity of his dorm room.

Safely locked inside he crumbled, sinking to the floor as hot wet tears spilled from his eyes. He was a fool, a goddamn fool! He had let himself believe, dare to dream that Byakuya cared about him.

Now he saw the truth. He had no heart.

Chapter Text

The breakfast meeting the next morning was thick with tension. Fear and anxiety cloying and heavy in the atmosphere. Makoto supposed he was one of the only ones not bothered by his ‘motive’ secret. What weighed on his heart was his exchange with Byakuya. The admittance that Makoto was less than nothing to him had cut him to his core and left him empty.

He spooned cereal into his mouth on autopilot, his stomach churned angrily in knots with every mouthful. Silence hung over the room until Makoto couldn’t stand it anymore. Excusing himself with a mumbled apology that nobody seemed to be listening to and left. Not sure what do do with himself he headed to the library, possibly the best way to fill his time now was to educate himself further in case there were another class trial. Although he didn’t want to think that way, didn’t want to acknowledge the possibility. He had to be prepared for anything. After making sure Byakuya wasn’t there he slipped into library keeping his eyes firmly away from the long desk, he didn’t want to see the location of his own degradation. The archives were also devoid of Byakuya so he shut himself inside and eyed up the confidential files. Byakuya had warned him against reading them but... fuck Byakuya. He didn’t get to tell Makoto what to do. Selecting a file from the unsolved crimes section he sat on the cold floor and began to read.

The case files of Genocide Jack were graphic and disturbing but he persevered noting some patterns in the case and wracking his brains felt good for once. It was nice to feel like he was learning something. He grimaced at the images of bodies suspended with scissors, the killer truly had a grisly way of doing things.

The archive door swung open disturbing his train of thought. Byakuya stood in the doorway, the bright library light silhouetting his figure and making Makoto wince. He got to his feet quickly and glared at the intruder.

Byakuya said nothing, simply stepped inside and closed the door behind him, fixing with Makoto with an unreadable stare.

“What do you want?” Makoto barked and impressing himself with his own assertiveness

“I thought I told you that you shouldn’t read these” his voice was soft.

“You don’t get to tell me what to do” Makoto folded his arms glaring. The case file still clenched in his tight fist.

“You’re such an anomaly Makoto” he strode over standing directly in front of him and Makoto stood firm refusing to back down.

Byakuya’s hands came to his cheeks surprising him with the softness.

“W.. wha..”

He didn’t get to finish his sentence because Byakuya pulled him in and kissed him firmly. A million thoughts raced through Makoto’s mind, shock, confusion and weirdly elation. He had been hurting so badly and now... Byakuya’s tongue was at his lips and he gasped opening up and allowing him access. Their kisses deepening, Byakuya slid a hand to Makoto’s waist and pulled him tight to his body. Makoto mewled into his mouth and instinctively gripped the front of his shirt matching Byakuya’s enthusiasm as they kissed furiously.

This was so good, after all the hurt.. he was getting this comfort again. This wonderful feeling of being wanted, being desired, It was intoxicating. Byakuya ripped his lips from Makoto’s own to start kissing at his neck and Makoto whimpered threading fingers through Byakuyas hair. His fingers were pulling at the zipper of Makoto’s hoodie pulling it halfway down. He wasn’t wearing a shirt underneath today and Byakuya made an approving sound as he pushed the hoodie off one of Makoto’s shoulders kissing the bare skin and biting down making Makoto moan.

It’s so easy to give in... to enjoy the feeling. Loose himself in the bliss of Byakuya’s affection, his touches. He was wanted... Byakuya wanted him... everything was okay again.. the pain was gone, the hurt replaced with tingling skin and passionate kisses. This was.... amazing He could be happy again... right?

No.
That’s wrong.

His mind rang out with perfect clarity and he jerked away from Byakuya’s touch hard.

“Stop!” He grasped his hoodie and pulled it back over his shoulder shielding his skin from Byakuya’s eyes.

“What?” Byakuya’s voice was quiet, his eyes lidded and seductive as he moved closer to Makoto again “I’m just trying to make you feel good, don’t you want me to?”

“Yeah I.. wait no! It doesn’t matter if I want you to or not. You made your feelings very clear last night!”

“Just because this is going to end sometime doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it while we are here” Byakuya cupped his cheek, his icy mask from last night was nowhere to be seen and it was easy to get lost in those deep blue depths. But he couldn’t, it was false. Lying to himself that Byakuya cared about him because he showed him tenderness behind closed doors. He didn’t care. He just wanted to pass the time by using his body and as easy as it would be to give in and enjoy it, pretend that they were a real couple. It would never be, it would always be hollow.

“Why? To get your fill of me while your bored and then kill me when your time comes? What were you planning to do? Snap my neck while I’m sucking your dick?” He snorted angrily

Byakuya’s eyes widened at the vulgarity “I wouldn't kill you Makoto”

“I can’t believe a word you say! I don’t trust you anymore”

“Makoto... I would never hurt you. Just come here and...”

“No!” He pulled his cheek from Byakuya’s palm zipping up his hoodie fast. “I’m not here for you to pick and put down Byakuya! I cared about you and you trampled all over that. Now you want to come call when you feel lonely or bored? No!” He leaned closer, although he was so much shorter than Byakuya right now he felt tall. Eyes burning with fire as he squared up to the heir “you don’t get to do that. You made your choice and you’ll never touch me again. Not while you would see me die rather than fight for me, you don’t deserve anything I have to give you!”

Byakuya cocked his head, his eyes narrowing but his mouth curled into a smile “You always continue to surprise me Makoto, that feistiness makes me desire you more”

“No Byakuya! This is it! This twisted toxic thing between us is done! You took my virginity for *entertainment* so fine you can have that, congratulations. You don’t get to take anything else from me, I am not your whore”

Pushing past he slammed the archive door closed behind him and raced on shaky legs out of the library taking solace in the first place he passed, coming to sit at the swimming pool. In his haste he had dropped the Genocide Jack case file in the archive. He sighed, it was too late to go back for it.

“Hey Makoto!” Hina popped out the water at the poolside looking at him with curiosity.

“Oh hey, I didn’t even see you” Makoto rubbed his head sheepishly

“What’s up?” Hina pulled herself out the pool and wrapped herself in a towel coming to sit next to Makoto, her hair dripping wet splotches onto his hoodie.

Makoto sighed and stared off over the pool.

“The motive thing? Yeah I don’t know how to feel either.. I mean there’s no way I’d kill someone over it but it still sucks. I’m kinda just preparing myself for the big reveal ya know?”

“Yeah..” Makoto sighed his mind still reeling from the encounter in the archive. “And I’m kind of upset about what Byakuya said”

“Ahhh” Hina nodded “yeah that was super douchey of him! I thought he was actually okay deep down but.. last night just showed his true colours”

“It certainly did” Makoto agreed knowing If he told Hina what had actually happened she would probably get Sakura to snap Byakuya in half but... he really didn’t want anyone to become blackened over him

“I don’t get it, I thought you guys were friends.”

“Me too” Makoto shook his head “I guess I was wrong, he was just using me. He probably planned to kill me” he laughed hollowly.

“Ahh Jeez Makoto don’t think like that” Hina was quiet for a moment “you know I think the guys an utter douchebag now but.. there was something..”

“What do you mean?”

“Well something about when he was around you.. just the little things.. you made him more... human somehow”

Makoto swallowed hard trying to still the shaking of his hands.

“I’ll always be here for you Makoto” Hina smiled and grabbed his shaking hand with one of her wet ones “I’ll never turn my back on you, we’re friends!”

“Yeah, you’re right” he squeezed her hand back “Thanks Hina, you’ve helped a lot”

She laughed sunnily “you owe me a donut okay!”

Makoto laughed back “I’ll get you a whole box when we get out of here”

.....

He had watched Hina swim a while and cheered her on before going to get lunch together and meeting with Mondo, Sakura and Hiro in the dining hall. You could tell everyone was still nervous about the motive but they all tried their best to keep each other’s spirits up and Makoto found himself smiling again, glad he had them as friends.

He did his best to avoid Byakuya all day and wouldn’t even look in his direction if he came into the dining hall. It would hurt too much. So he spent the evening with the group too, most of the class coming to join the giant table and keep each other company over dinner.

“Here’s to all our secrets!” Hina lifted her glass in a mock toast

“Here here!” Taka raised his own

“If we burn we all burn together!” Mondo growled

Makoto laughed raising his own. Even Chihiro smiled

“I can be.. strong with you all.. I know it!”

The group toasted to the downfall of their most secret and embarrassing memories and Makoto knew they could do it. Monokuma wouldn’t beat them, they were strong and they would get through this.

Byakuya and Toko were nowhere to be seen. Good riddance he thought.

Chapter Text

47.55 hours elapsed. No one died. Makoto felt proud as he sat with the group counting down until Monokuma called them to the gymnasium to announce their shame.

“Whatever comes we can handle this okay!” Hina fist pumped the air jovially

“This isn’t going to be pleasant” Celeste sighed

“I’m not exactly enthusiastic” Makoto agreed “but it’s a much better solution than murder”

The murmured agreement of the group rang through the canteen hall. Then as if answering them the monitor crackled to life.

“Ahem this is a school announcement. Will all students gather in the gymnasium immediately”

The tension was palpable now.

“Whatever happens” Taka turned to the group “we cannot judge each other. We are all in this together”

“Together” Chihiro agreed

“No matter how bad it is” Kyoko nodded

“No matter what”

They walked together, united.

Except for Toko and... no. Don’t think about him.

He was already in the gym, Makoto tried to keep his eyes forward and walked past him without a glance. It hurt. More than anything he wanted to go to him and feel safe again. But he was in more danger with Byakuya than without him, that fact hurt the most.

Once they were all gathered right on cue Monokuma appeared leaping onto his podium.

“Well well! I have to say I’m so impressed by your moral fibre. I thought surely those secrets would would have motivated someone! Maybe you really have given up on the outside world and are ready to commit to your communal school life after all pupupu!”

“We won’t let you control us anymore!” Makoto stated with conviction “none of us will give you what you want!”

“Oooh such passion!” Monokuma cackled wildly before waddling towards Makoto and tilting his head “But eager passion can also be scary! Sometimes that leads people off in the wrong direction”

Makoto’s mouth snapped shut. He was sure Monokumas demonic red eye was glowing brighter somehow. Seeing right through him, seeing his shame. Which of course he did, through the cameras he had seen everything and was reminding Makoto of such.

“Makoto is right!” Hina yelled “we aren’t afraid of what you have to say! We won’t be ashamed of our pasts”

“O-Oh no... Is it because...for better or for worse, your memory is still a way to connect to the outside world? I have stuff I wouldn't want anyone to know no matter what, so I assumed you'd all be the same... Which is why I put so much effort into preparing this motive! That just sucks! ...Well, what can ya do? Okay, then I'll expose all your secrets just to make myself feel a little better!”

“Just get on with it already” Kyoko’s voice was composed.

“So eager! Okay then where shall I begin? Oooh shall I go alphabetically? Or randomly? Oooh any volunteers?”

“Stop fuckin around!” Mondo snarled

“Okay okay jeeez so mean!” Monokuma pouted “Okay without any further ado let us begin! With our very own Aoi Asahina!”

Hina gasped and Sakura moved closer to her, hand on her shoulder in a gesture of support.

“Ahem. Aoi was worried about being upstaged as the Ultimate Swimmer by her brother so she forced him to stop swimming!”

“What!” Hina shrieked! “That’s not what happened... well not exactly!”

“It’s okay Hina.” Kyoko called “don’t let it get to you. This is his game”

“Next secret.. hmmm how about Mr Ishimaru? Let’s see! Kiyotaka once ran in the school hallway to stop himself being late! Hahahahaha that’s a good one!”

“Now you can all judge my shame!” Taka’s face was red, tears streaming down his cheeks “I’m a disgrace to my title!”

“Are you fuckin’ serious?” Mondo slapped his own face in frustration.

“It’s all true!” Taka sounded devastated

“Okay.. ahem moving on” even Monokuma seemed perturbed by Taka’s emotional reaction

“Our lucky student Makoto Naegi!”

Makoto winced but stood firm. The worst part of all was - as if Byakuya needed more to hold over him.

“Makoto wet the bed until 5th grade! Hahahaha wow I’m beary surprised you haven’t killed someone already! Didn’t you know bed wetting scores you one for three on the triad of sociopathy?”

Makoto blushed but didn’t react. He would not let this get to him! Everyone else was getting through this he must too.

“Hifumi Yamada! You’re next!”

Hifumi squeaked and clutched his face as he sweated

“Hifumi once had a crush on a girl that wasn’t 2D”

“Noooooooo!”

“Hmmm that’s boringggg! next on the chopping black is.. Toko Fukawa!”

“N-no!!!” Toko’s scream rang through the hall “a-anything but that! Y-you can’t t-tell them!”

“Welll your secret is much worse than these mundane things isn’t it?” Monokuma cackled “I’m so surprised you didn’t kill to keep it!”

“Worse than our secrets?” Hina looked at Toko with curiosity

“Oh yes” Monokuma nodded “I decided to start off with the most boring and uneventful secrets! Where’s the fun if I don’t lead up to set the stage for the juicy scandalous ones!”

“Wait so.. there’s actual... terrible things our classmates are hiding?” Taka asked “worse than running in the hallway?”

“Oh much worse!” Monokuma was enthusiastic “your classmates are hiding a multitude of sins from lying to murder!”

Murder.

The word hung heavy in the air. Someone here.. was really capable of that? Had killed someone?

“You know what, since I’m such a gracious and kind headmaster I’ll give you all some time to process this!” He tittered mockingly “72 hours from now I’ll reveal the next 4. That’s 3 whole days to come up with the most beautiful flawless murder! So think hard kids, do you really want everyone to know what’s left to hide? Pupupu Well that’s all for now, a bear needs his beauty sleep after all! Toodleoo!”

And he was gone. The air heavy and cloying as the other students eyed each other up with suspicion.

“This was his plan” Kyoko growled clenching her fist “when we wouldn’t cooperate they were a step ahead”

“What do you mean?” Hiro asked clueless as always “we get a break from the reveal that’s got to be good”

“No.” Byakuya spoke for the first time and his voice tugged on Makoto’s heart “He never planned to reveal Toko’s secret today, he wanted to push someone to
the edge”

“Byakuya is right” Kyoko nodded “he’s given us just a glimpse of how it feels to have our secrets revealed. As well as the revelation that some of the secrets are... disturbing”

“He’s sewed discord amongst us once more, setting the stage for someone to kill” Byakuya smirked “I wonder if anyone *will* be desperate enough to kill to keep theirs now”

“Don’t be like that!” Hina snapped “your secret must be pretty bad to be held back”

Byakuya merely shrugged nonchalantly “Maybe. Maybe not”

The familiar words made Makoto shudder and he had to look away.

“Did you really force your brother to stop swimming?” Celeste asked curiosity and Sakura glared at her angrily.

“No!” Hina cried “it wasn’t like that! Kind of... I mean.. I just... suggested he do track instead... I didn’t want him to have to compete with me”

“So it was selfish of you after all” Celeste retorted

“Guys stop! This is what they want!” Makoto pleaded

“Wait, do you still wet the bed Makoto?”

“No! I had a medical problem... and I was a kid!”

“5th grade is pretty old man” Mondo murmured

“Leave him alone!” Taka demanded

“Don’t give him orders Mr-runs-in-the-hall!” Hiro sniggered

“So much for your fake camaraderie” Byakuya shook his head “I tried to warn you not to judge others by your own standards but as usual you all know best”

“Fuck off Byakuya nobody wants to hear your smart ass remarks” Mondo yelled anger emanating from his very being.

“Gladly” Byakuya scoffed and shook his head before turning and walking from the room. Toko scurrying off not long after him.

Makoto’s heart panged. He wanted to go after him. Slap him, kiss him, something! Anything. The emptiness in him had just grown larger from the rift Monokuma had created between him and his friends.

Dejected and miserable one by one everyone left until Makoto was the only one remaining. He sank to his knees in the middle of the gymnasium, if only everyone would listen. This couldn’t defeat them, they had to believe in each other.. but the animosity caused between an almost unified group in a matter of moments had crushed everyone’s spirit. It was hopeless.

He shook his head. No. Hope was all he had. He had to keep trying.

Slowly he got to his feet and walked on autopilot back to the dormitories, barely paying attention to his surroundings. As he passed the AV room a hand reached out and yanked his wrist hard. He yelped in surprise only to be pulled firmly inside the room and found himself pressed against Byakuya.

“Get off me!” He demanded trying to wriggle out of Byakuya grip.

“Makoto jut calm down!” Byakuya hissed

“No! Get off!” Makoto yelled pushing against him hard “if you want to kill me you’ll have to work for it you bastard!”

“Makoto! Listen to me!” Byakuya shoved his back to the wall trapping him. Hands clamping the sides of his face forcing him to look into the eyes of the person who had broken his heart.

Flailing weakly and panting hard in frustration Makoto glared up at him, hating how beautiful he was, hating how much he still wanted him, hating how much he wanted to kiss him until all the pain stopped.

“You *must* be careful now”

“W...wha?”

“Everyone is on edge, now they realise what’s truly at stake... seeing the reactions to the most mundane of secrets... it makes them fear their own turn coming, and there are secrets here people would kill to keep I promise you that”

Makoto stopped fighting back, his arms falling weak to his sides.

“Would you kill to keep yours?”

“No, I’m better than that”

“You’re so arrogant” Makoto growled

“You used to like me that way”

“Before I realised what you really are”

Byakuya was quiet for a second before shaking his head.

“Makoto. Be a good boy and listen to me. Someone *will* kill to keep their secret, I know it and deep down you know it too. You *must* be careful!”

“Careful of what!?”

Byakuya’s gaze softened, his grasp on Makoto’s face going slack

“Not to get killed”

The chill spread through Makoto’s core freezing him in place.

“Why do you care?”

Byakuya couldn’t answer. His fingers brushed some of Makoto’s hair behind his ear before he drew away. Putting his hand on the door handle he looked back at Makoto one more time.

“Promise me. You must not die”

.....

He lay in bed staring at the ceiling. Byakuya’s words echoing in his ear.

He didn’t want to believe someone would kill, but he couldn’t deny watching the distrust and tension that spread through the group within mere moments. Byakuya’s warning.. why had he taken the time to do that if he didn’t care?

Makoto felt the wetness of tears trickle down his cheeks, why did he feel this way damn it! He should hate Byakuya, hate everything about him and detest him for his betrayal. Hate his smart ass advice and hate the way he always made Makoto feel like such an idiot. But the thing he hated the most was that he couldn’t hate Byakuya at all. Not even a little bit.

He cried himself to sleep.

.....

24 hours passed. Barely anyone was talking to each other. He managed to speak to Hina and reassured her that no matter what, he understood and didn’t judge her. They hugged as she told him she didn’t judge him either. That lifted his spirits quite a bit as they shook hands on their poolside pact. Friends till the end.

Maybe there was hope for everyone. Maybe.

He went back to the archives after lunch, he wanted to finish his reading on Genocide Jack and after a short search found the file exactly where he had originally found it on the shelf. Byakuya must have put it back after Makoto dropped it storming out of the archives the other day.

He decided this time to take the file to one of the classrooms to study it. Last time Byakuya had walked in and Makoto bet the odds of Byakuya being in the library at some point were drastically high.

He settled at one of the desks and poured over the case file once more, this time scribbling notes onto his notepad. The killer was theorised to have multiple personality disorder. He didn’t know much about that and scribbled a note to research more into that when he next went into the library.

“Y-you!” Toko was glaring at him from the open classroom door and recoiled when she saw what he was reading “w-what do you t-think you’re doing!?”

“I’m.. reading” Makoto answered in confusion getting to his feet instinctively.

“Y-you just want to r-ruin my life don’t y-you!” She screeched “f-first y-you stole m-master Byakuya... y-you’d be h-happy if i d-died wouldn’t you!”

“What no! I wouldn’t think that at all Toko! Were friends!”

“F-friends! Don’t make me l-laugh! We a-aen’t friends Makoto you’re m-my enemy!”

“Toko.. there’s nothing between me and Byakuya!” At least this time he was telling the truth.

“A-and now.. my s-secret is g-going to come o-out and I can’t! I c-can’t allow that!”

She lunged for Makoto and on instinct he threw himself sideways missing her by a hairs breadth.

“Toko! It’s okay! It Doesn’t matter what your secret it, we will all get through it!”

“T-that’s where y-you’re wrong! You c-can’t comprehend w-what I have to l-live with you d-dirty bed wetter! M-my life w-will be over! S-so.. I’ll end y-yours instead!

She lunged for him again, a sharp flash of silver in her hand. Makoto yelped and tried to get away and then...

“STOP!”

Everything froze. Toko solidified in place, the item in her hand dropping to the floor. Makoto had instinctively thrown his arm in front of his face and he lowered it slowly taking in the scene unfolding in front of him.

Byakuya stood in the open classroom doorway his eyes blazing with blue fire as he marched inside and grabbed Toko’s arm forcefully.

“What do you think you are doing you little imbecile!?”

“I’m s-sorry master! I..” she trembled and buried her face in her hands “I’m s-sorry I j-just..”

“I don’t want to hear it!” Byakuya yelled the venom in his voice scaring even Makoto “get out of here right now or I swear to god the next body discovery announcement will be for you!”

With a squeak and a whimper Toko scrabbled for the object she had dropped and ran from the classroom crying.

Makoto just stood shocked in disbelief, would Toko have just... really killed him? He gasped for air, adrenaline and fear knocking the wind out of him.

“I told you to be careful!” Byakuya yelled his fist connecting to the classroom wall to the side of Makoto’s head “I warned you this would happen!”

Makoto just stared back dumbstruck with wide eyes “You... saved me?”

“You idiot! You... silly little hopeful idiot!” Byakuya shook with anger “You’re lucky I was coming up the stairs! A few moments later she would have skewered you. I can’t believe you sometimes Makoto!”

Byakuya grabbed the front of his T-shirt balling it in his fist before yanking Makoto forcefully to him. Makoto tried to yell, tried to protest but Byakuya was... hugging him? He blinked, confusion running through him and rendering him mute as Byakuya held him to his body firmly.

A moment later Byakuya pulled away and glared at him “now go to your room and keep yourself *safe* until this is all over do you hear me?! This is not negotiable”

Makoto nodded dumbly as Byakuya snatched up the papers and escorted him from the room. Following the blondes footsteps and before he knew it he was at his bedroom door.

“I’ll put this back in the archives” the Genocide Jack folder was clutched in his hand, but he passed Makoto his own notebook and glared at him imposingly “You will not die, I forbid it”

“I... understand. I promise”

Byakuya watched him unlock the door and he stepped inside, blue eyes fixed on him through the cracks until the door clicked closed and he locked it behind him.

Shaking with the adrenaline he lay down on the bed pulling the blanket over him. Would Toko really have killed him to keep her secret? He shuddered, he hadn’t thought her or anyone else capable but... she had at the very least tried to hurt him. Her anger enough to make her unpredictable. If Byakuya hadn’t come who knows what would have happened.

Byakuya... his eyes prickled with tears again and he thought about his reaction. His ire... how he shook and trembled at almost witnessing Makoto get hurt. Why was he doing this if he didn’t care? If Makoto was nothing to him?

He barely dared to dream that Byakuya could really care about him. Could really want him to survive after all. The tears fell now, he felt completely overwhelmed and for the second night in a row he cried himself to sleep thinking of Byakuya.

Chapter Text

Byakuya was fuming. He slammed his bedroom door closed and exhaled heavily, shrugging off his blazer and ripping his tie from his neck to throw them both onto the back of his chair. They were suffocating. He was too wound up, he needed to calm down. So for a moment he stood still. Regulating his heavy breathing and the angry pounding of his heart until he had it back under his usual level of composure. Good, that’s better.

Why was this all so much more difficult than was necessary? He shouldn’t be finding this so hard. He had done what he must, what he needed to for ensuring his survival. So why didn’t he feel good about it?

Sighing heavily he sat at the edge of his bed, mind focused on just one thing.

Makoto.

He remembered Makoto’s broken little face the night he had told him he meant nothing to him. Saw the tears forming in his big hazel eyes, the way he trembled as Byakuya ripped out and trampled on his heart.

It had been easy, too easy.

His whole life he had been detached, cold and ruthless. Speaking his mind, cutting someone down to size, the ugly truth. It all came easily to Byakuya, he didn’t sugarcoat his words and he did what needed to be done without flinching.
So speaking those cruel words to Makoto had been simple, putting on his corporate mask and detaching. It was second nature.

What wasn’t second nature however was the following guilt. The overwhelming feeling of regret and anguish he carried with him now, every time he saw Makoto he wanted to just go to him. Scoop him into his arms and kiss his lovely face until he smiled again.

When did he begin to care?

The library had been.. well. He wasn’t lying when he said it had been entertainment, a distraction. His mind restless and bored from the monotony of captivity. Makoto had been no one to him, a simple idiot sneaking into Hopes Peak on some ridiculous good luck lottery. He wasn’t fit to stand there with the rest of them and certainly nowhere near him.

But the way he had uncovered the truth behind Sayakas death stirred the first interest in him. Makoto seemed to have an exceptional way of piecing the facts together, weaving both evidence and testimony until he reached the truth. His incredible memory for detail and the way he went toe to toe with others in the courtroom. Now that fascinated him. Most of these so called *Ultimates* couldn’t tell their arse from their elbow, but ordinary unexceptional Makoto Naegi had cut to the truth and solved the case.

Byakuya needed to be challenged and when he realised Makoto could possibly rival him, well his interest had been truly piqued.

Of course despite his obvious talent in the court room in his everyday life he was a bumbling, chatty idiot. Trying to help everyone, no common sense. So when he came into the library at Toko’s request well.. he couldn’t resist the urge to mess with him. See how far he could push him, after all he was bored and Makoto interested him.

He should have known better than to entangle himself into something so physically intense. No matter what he had told Makoto, he had not come away from the encounters unscathed. Makoto had captivated him, maybe it was the physicality if it all, breaking boundaries, testing limits. For the first time feeling someone else against him, seeing someone’s reaction to his touch. Feeling someone touch him in return, to do the most intense and intimate thing they could do together. That was intoxicating.

It had escalated so fast but Byakuya never backed down, he wanted it. He wanted Makoto under him, squirming and calling his name. Knowing Makoto was letting him do something he hadn’t let anyone else do. Byakuya wanted to be the person Makoto remembered, never forgetting the way he had ravished him and made his legs tremble. Maybe that was his ego talking but he wanted Makoto’s affection all for himself.

Then Makoto had kissed him, even when Byakuya had pushed him to the furthest point he thought possible. Makoto had gone one further. The way he had kissed him so desperately and earnestly. It had struck a chord with Byakuya, it seemed so much more intimate an action somehow.. and that was where his problems began.

Afterwards.. he couldn’t get the thought out of his mind. How well they had fit together, how passionate they had been... and how good it felt. He wanted that again, wanted that rush. And so whenever he saw Makoto that same rush would come over him and he found himself caught up once more with the shorter boy. In locker rooms and laundry rooms. Whatever was available.

It was so easy to get lost in Makoto, he was earnest and passionate. The problem was Makoto hadn’t just touched him physically, he had touched his mind too.

And in return for that Byakuya had lied to him and made him feel like a whore.

He stood now, pacing the room in frustration as his mind scolded him for his cruelty. It wasn’t cheap, what they had, it was secret yes but not a dirty secret. It was a necessary secret for survival, for protection. But that hadn’t demeaned it. the enraptured expression on Makoto’s beautiful face, the vast emotion is his hazel eyes, they way he had kissed him and meweled in appreciation as Byakuya touched him. He was exquisite and Byakuya still wanted him more than anything in the world.

The lie... was it a lie? It was more of a... tactical manoeuvre. Putting it into Makoto’s head that he may be one in a long line of people Byakuya had fucked and left. That was cruel too, he was so good at being the bad guy.

The reality of his life was a stark contrast.

Byakuya did not like people. Period. He previously had no real care for anyone, no affection to give and his very definition of disgusting would be exchanging bodily fluids with some faceless nobody. Even if it were supposed to be for his pleasure, that was far too much human contact and intimacy. Nobody touched him, nobody got near him in any sense of the word. He would rather defecate in his hands and clap.

That was to say he hadn’t even entertained *that* idea before. Whomever he eventually did couple with would be someone exceptional, someone with his respect.

That had ended up being Makoto Naegi. Pretty ridiculous when he thought about it rationally.

Even their stolen encounters weren’t enough to satiate his longing. Late at night when he lay there alone he imagined Makoto there alongside him. What would it feel like to fall asleep nestled into his body? His slender frame pressed to Byakuya’s own. In the safety and sanctity of his private room to kiss him, have Makoto underneath him breathless and needy as he took him. He wanted to claim him over and over again, mark up his flawless skin with his lips and once more hear the delectable moans and whimpers Byakuya could made him utter. So was it just sex? Was that what made him feel so needy and enthralled?

He unbuttoned the top buttons of his collar. He was sweating, the weight of his emotions, his anger. It was cloying and made it hard to breathe.

When Monokuma had announced the motive, the stakes raised. Byakuya knew how this game would play out, it was a zero sum game. Only one winner. To live everyone else had to die and that included Makoto. He had fought too hard, given his everything to get to where he was. Heir to the whole world almost, would he risk loosing that? Of course not. So Makoto had to go, Byakuya’s own desire for the boy had to be erased. If they had been in the real world would he have had a relationship with him? Probably. Togami Byakuya did what he wanted to do, he didn’t just lead blindly he bent and broke all the rules and forged new ones. So yes, if he wanted to have an intense passionate relationship with a boy then he would. Damn everyone else’s opinion on it. There was no problem in the world that he could not overcome with his inginuity.

But this was not the real world where he could arrive at some mandatory stuffy corporate event with his boyfriend on his arm and scoff at the shock of the bigoted dinosaurs they would soon replace.

This was a death match and it *was* do or die. Byakuya knew how this went, he had always known, but now the thought of standing over Makoto’s dead body to graduate made him feel physically sick.

Makoto hurt, Makoto dead... those thoughts made him queasy and filled him with dread. That vibrancy, that light Makoto bought into the world. It deserved to shine, it should never be dimmed. But Byakuya had dimmed it with his words. the optimistic happy boy that had captured his attention was a shadow of himself. Quiet and pale, sadness followed him like a shadow. Byakuya had done that. And now... could he fix it?

Putting his head into his hands he growled in frustration. He had hurt the only person he had ever had feelings for. Makoto was an open book and he had seen the pain, the devastation on his face. How heartbroken he was as Byakuya stabbed the knife in again and again.

“You’ve been labouring under the false apprehension that you’re special Makoto. You aren’t. It’s time to face reality now”

That had been a killer blow. He would be proud under any other circumstance. But it just made him feel dirty. As cheap and dirty as he had made Makoto feel. But it was done. The connection severed, the relationship over and his feelings cauterised.

And yet... despite his best efforts at cruelty, his cold words and his resolution to extricate himself from Makoto he found he couldn’t stand by. He needed to protect him, needed to keep him safe. Because Makoto was too kind and honest and one of those morons would stab him in the back. Take his friendship and his naivety and use it to skewer him.

He had felt sleazy trailing Makoto covertly around the school. Just like that filthy stalker of his, but he knew as well as he knew his own name something would happen. So when he saw Toko attack Makoto he knew, in his heart and in his mind that he was lost. He cared about someone for the first time in his life.

If Toko had killed Makoto he knew damn well he would have picked up that knife and stabbed her back. He would have killed her and made her suffer before he messed with the crime scene and taken everybody down. Or was it a knife...? Well whatever it was it was shiny and sharp and Byakuya didn’t fancy Makoto’s chances against it. Thank goodness he had been nearby, had been watching out for him because Makoto could have died.

That’s when he realised he was a lost cause. He was in too deep, Makoto Naegi had unraveled his perfectly coiled mind and infected it with his tenderness. With his kindess and his selflessness.

He was surprised how quickly he had accepted such facts as truth but... he was Byakuya Togami. He was strong and no matter what he would find his way through whatever life threw at him and forge a path. And he wanted Makoto. So he had to find a way to make it possible.

But what if Makoto didn’t want him in return? Didn’t want to forgive him? He had made his opinions in the archive clear. Byakuya had hurt him so much that he may not want his apologies. Even if his actions showed he still wanted him physically, his words had been firm and resolute. Despite his pride not wanting to acknowledge such an outcome he knew Makoto had every right to reject him. After all he had lied to him more than once.

He shook his head, slowly undoing his shirt sleeves and pushing them up to his elbows. It was too warm, the weight of all this turbulent emotion.

This is why he didn’t have emotion, business was easy. Black and white, cut and dried. People were so much more difficult to understand.

He needed to escape here, he *needed* to get back to the Togami corporation. His whole life and his whole world was there and he had fought tooth and nail to earn his place at the table.

Would he climb over Makoto’s corpse to get back there?

He eyed his door

Or did he have the strength inside him to fight *for* Makoto?

He slowly took the steps to his door reaching for the handle.

You’re Byakuya Togami. Are you going to allow this? Someone to take you and command you to fight and you blindly pick up the knife and do as you’re told? Or do you turn it to the throat of those who believe they can control you? Break the rules and pull Makoto through the flames with you to victory.

He wouldn’t see Makoto die. He had forbidden it after all.

He was strong enough to do anything in action. The real question was. Was he brave enough to accept his feelings, to accept Makoto as...

He didn’t know what the word for it was.

A lover?

A boyfriend?

An equal?

Could he do it?

Should he do it?

Even if that meant not killing?

Everything he ever knew would have told him to back down.

Let Makoto die.

Let them all die.

Be the winner.

But For the first time in his existence his heart beat.

Fight back.

Destroy the system.

Go to him.

Make this right.

But you must survive Byakuya.

The Togami family depend on your survival

His hand dropped.

You cannot love.

You cannot be weak

Do what needs to be done

Makoto is nobody

Win

Win

Win

Let him die

Graduate.

 

He turned the door handle.

Chapter Text

Another day passed. Nothing but misery. Makoto had decided to at least stick to his promise and had spent most of his time in his room or in a large crowd of the others. When he had ventured to the cafeteria for food he had tried to make conversation and remain upbeat with the other students. Hina, Taka and Hifumi at least seemed unburdened along with himself.

Although having their secrets aired wasn’t exactly fun they didn’t have anything to fear from that now.. except.. the other students. It was obvious now, a wall between those who knew and those with something to hide. Makoto just hoped they would be strong enough to overcome another round of it tomorrow. He hadn’t seen Byakuya all day and he didn’t know how to feel about that, on one hand good. on the other hand... his behaviour showed something more... and that was what confused him and made him crave even the sight of him. He still cared about Byakuya, he couldn’t switch off so fast. His heart still longed for him, yearned for the closeness they’d had. His body missed the feeling of someone wrapped around it, holding him, loving him.

Love...

He was settling into bed, those thoughts swimming through his mind when his doorbell began to ring incessantly. He padded to the door almost unwilling to open it, but the person on the other side wouldn’t let up on the door bell. Finally giving in to curiosity he opened the door a couple of inches, almost slamming it shut again when he saw Byakuya standing there. His blazer and tie were gone, his shirt sleeves rolled up to the elbows and the top buttons of his collar undone revealing an expanse of milky skin that just begged for Makoto to kiss it.

“What do you want?” He asked instead, opening the door further and crossing his arms defensively.

“Come to my room with me”

“No”

“I just want to talk”

“Then do it here”

“I have something important to tell you”

“Is it your plan to kill me?”

“For the last time I wouldn’t hurt you. Just come! .... please?”

Maybe it was his soft tone, perhaps it was the please, or the fact that he had saved his life, maybe the way he had gone out of his way to keep him safe. But Makoto felt himself wobble.

“Okay but I’m leaving as soon as you tell me what you wanted to”

Byakuya nodded and walked back across the hall to his room. Makoto sighed and grabbed his door key stepping out into the hall and locking the door before pocketing the key. With a small amount of apprehension he pushed Byakuya’s door open and followed him in. A few days ago he would have been delighted to be asked to Byakuya’s room at night to spend time with him. Now however it just made him feel queasy. He locked the door behind them and walked into the room further, Byakuya’s room was a lot nicer than his... much more luxurious and filled with nice things. He supposed that made sense considering.

Byakuya stood in front of him and Makoto stared wordlessly back, waiting for whatever Byakuya had to say.

“Makoto...” Byakuya crossed his arms tightly. “I lied to you”

“What?”

“What I said in the classroom that night”

“Which part?”

Byakuya walked closer, his lip twitched, eyes full of something he couldn’t read.

He reached out slowly for Makoto’s hand and Makoto found himself letting him, resisting the urge to yank it back. Byakuya raised his hand and pressed his lips to Makoto’s knuckles softly.

“Makoto the last few days have.. highlighted many things to me. Some of the truths I have come to realise are ones I did not want to admit, so I lied to you. Specifically I lied about caring for you”

The air was knocked out of his system. He couldn’t breathe. His head shaking in disbelief.

“Please, please don’t lie to me”

“I’m not lying. I’m not... very well versed with my emotions Makoto.. I thought that I shouldn’t care. That’s all I’ve ever known, however... I do care about you. Very much”

Wet tears formed in the corners of his eyes and he shook his head willing them away “You can’t take back what you said to me. You called me a distraction, entertainment, that it was all meaningless”

“I know.. and I *can’t* take that back. It was cruel of me, I wanted you to believe it, I even wanted to believe it myself. To think you were nothing to me. Last night I was confronted with the realisation that you could get hurt, and I won’t allow that.”

“How? considering I’m going to die when you become blackened apparently. You should have let Toko kill me, one less competitor in this elimination game”

“No” Byakuya’s voice was fierce, he cupped Makoto’s cheeks, fingers soft and tender despite the firmness of his hold. “I won’t let that happen. I swear to you on the name of my family!”

And for the first time... Makoto believed him.

“Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t care for anyone else outside of this room. This is a game Makoto, the mastermind will keep it going no matter what. More people *will* die I promise you that.” He paused, his eyes fixed upon Makoto’s filled with steely conviction “But no matter what it takes. I. Will. Keep. You. Alive.”

Makoto swallowed hard overwhelmed by Byakuya’s words. His hands were gently stroking Makoto face and oh god he had missed that so much. Missed feeling cared for, missed feeling wanted.

“Are you saying that you won’t kill anyone?”

“That’s what I’m saying”

“Then why did you say all that...” the tears were sliding silently down his cheeks and Byakuya had the grace to look ashamed. The pad of his thumb traced the wet trails wiping them from Makoto’s face. “You made me believe I was.. nothing”

Byakuya’s arms circled him and pulled him gently into an embrace. “I was angry and my feelings about you are...confusing. The motive reminded me what the stakes really are here.. I felt like my attachment to you was dangerous and I should cut it off”

Makoto wanted to doubt. He wanted to make Byakuya hurt like he had hurt. But his poor fractured heart yearned for this, peace and solace in this embrace. Feeling Byakuya’s care wash over him and making him feel whole again. So he hugged Byakuya back and nuzzled his face into his chest revelling in the softness of his body and the feeling of strong arms wrapped around him as the tears fell.

When he finally looked up with tear streaked cheeks to meet Byakuya’s eyes. Byakuya looked genuinely remorseful letting out a small sad sigh and shaking his head a little as he wiped the tears from Makoto’s cheeks once more.

“Look what I’ve done.. As usual I am completely useless when it comes to my emotions. I have never known how to care about somebody else Makoto. It’s not an excuse but I have been lost on how to process the fact I find you constantly on my mind. You are an anomaly in my world, Someone I cannot predict, Someone I cannot figure out. You captivate me and I hate that. But... you challenge me, you push me to go further. You made me care with your strange little Makoto ways and your kind heart. I know I have no real way to convince you That I speak the truth now, however I can’t continue to lie to you and to myself, and.. you don’t deserve my misplaced anger. You deserve more” he swallowed “much more”

Makoto sobbed gently into Byakuya’s shirt, he cursed himself for falling apart like this. But his heart hurt and rejoiced all at once. His mind unsure if to believe but his soul already forgiving him. One of Byakuya’s hands was stoking his hair, soothing him with small noises of reassurance.

If he had given In that time in the archive and accepted Byakuya’s affection they would never be here. He had been right to stand up for himself, to show Byakuya who he really was and that he would not roll over. You had to bleed out poison before you could heal. Now he was sure. Byakuya wanted him for the right reasons, and now that beautiful feeling of belonging, of bliss. It belonged to him again truly and honestly.

“I can understand if you do want to leave now but I wanted to tell you that.. I care about you and even if you never speak to me again... There will always be part of me that, however briefly. Was yours”

Well. That jerked his heart strings. That jerk. But... He was only human and he had already chosen to forgive him. So without further hesitation he slid his arms around Byakuya’s neck and pulled him down into a gentle kiss. Byakuya’s eyes widened but he tightened his hold on Makoto and kissed him back tenderly.

“Don’t ever do anything like that again” Makoto whispered forcefully against his lips

“I swear It.”

The pain finally fully subsided, replaced only with a feeling of overwhelming affection. Byakuya did care, and Makoto knew enough to know how terrible he was with his feelings. He couldn’t fake the regretful and ashamed expressions that had been etched on his face as he comforted him. With Byakuya at his side he really felt like he had a chance to make a difference, to plan against the mastermind.

“Your motive..”

“Is nothing, I’ll tell you about it before the mastermind reveals it, just now isn’t the time”

“Really, you will?”

“Yes, I promise”

“Thank you”

Forehead to forehead. Arms arms around each other. He could stay like this forever

“Outside of this room with the others... you’ll..”

“Still be completely unbearable yes.”

Makoto laughed “I wouldn’t expect anything less”

“But with you..” he kissed the corner of Makoto’s mouth “I’ll be yours”

A lump rose in Makoto’s throat. “Then I’ll be yours too”

They sealed their pact with another kiss, gentle and sweet.

“No one can know about us, I won’t risk anyone hurting you or trying to frame one of us for hurting the other” Byakuya whispered “Toko has already proved she will hurt you”

“You should trust in the others Byakuya... we can work together”

Byakuya snorted “I’ll trust only in you”

That was enough for now.

He smiled as Byakuya tilted up his chin and kissed him tenderly once more. Fingers splayed through his hair, arms holding him tightly making him feel safe, compete again.

He had come home.

Chapter Text

It seemed hours had passed but in reality it was only moments. His whole world had changed yet again this time for the better. Byakuya confessing that he had real feelings for him, it was more than he could have dreamed of.

“Stay with me tonight?” Byakuya murmured, his hands clasping Makoto’s “I understand if you don’t want to.. l just want to hold you properly”

Makoto nodded, all he had wanted was to spend some time with Byakuya, even if it had taken all this to get there.. he was going to enjoy it now and make the most of this happiness.

Byakuya smiled seeming happy with Makoto’s answer. He really was cute when he wasn’t wound up so tight. He led him by the hand to his bed which looked much more plush and comfy than Makoto’s own.

Makoto was already barefoot so he immediately jumped on the bed and rolled over sighing happily. Byakuya was smiling from the foot of the bed as he untied his shoes.

“Comfy?”

“Very much” Makoto grinned.

“Come here” Byakuya had climbed on the bed now and scooped Makoto into his arms tightly.

“I really like you like this” Makoto admitted smiling up at Byakuya.

“You do?”

“Yeah, you’re...” his fingers trailed Byakuya’s jaw “even more handsome when you aren’t frowning”

Byakuya laughed and it lit up his face. The world was right again. Everything was going to be okay.

They moved back together like magnets. Lips drawn together, arms around each other as they kissed soft and slow. It felt so much... more real being together on a soft bed inside the sanctity of a bedroom. Instead of kissing against laundry room doors or on library tables. This felt like they were a real couple not a torrid affair.

He plucked the glasses from the bridge of Byakuya’s nose folding them up and Byakuya took them and set them on his nightstand. He really looked so soft without them his eyes blinking wide to acclimatise.

For the longest time they just laid there, limbs entwined, kissing lazy and slow just being together. It was everything Makoto had wanted. Perfection.

Byakuya nuzzled against his neck and Makoto moved accommodatingly to give access to his skin. He kissed along his neck and it sent electricity through his system covering his arms in gooseflesh. His lips worked the expanse of Makoto’s neck and along his collarbone while Makoto sighed in contentment. His hand cast above his head gripping the pillow as he squirmed.

Byakuya’s lips came back to his own and Makoto kissed him firm, wrapping his arms around his neck and pulling him as close as possible. Byakuya was on top of him now, bodies pressed closely together and kisses picking up in intensity. So much for just cuddling, though Makoto had known that this would happen. He welcomed it, craving the physical affection that made him feel so exhilarated.

Breathless he looked up into Byakuya’s blue eyes and sighed, reaching up to caress his face, strands of blonde hung down messy and out of place.
Byakuya nuzzled his cheek into Makoto’s palm, the expression on his face exquisite. This boy really was exceptionally beautiful and Makoto told him so. He answered with a kiss full of purpose and emotion, eyes filled with adoration. Like this.. he wasn’t Togami, heir apparent, strict businessman and cold aloof competitor.

He was just Byakuya, teenager, student, boyfriend? He hoped so. Their tongues moved in a slow languid dance as they held each other. No urgency, no rushing to not get caught, just them and a whole night ahead of them to be together.

Byakuya gently ran his hand under Makoto’s shirt and Makoto squirmed at the feeling. They had never had time to be intimate like this, never fully undressing even. It was exciting and nerve wracking all at once to feel hands on his bare skin.

He slowly pulled the shirt up and Makoto helped him to remove it, he was a little self conscious but... Byakuya’s hands softly caressed the newly exposed skin sending shivers down his spine. His lips pressed to Makotos clavicle, moving then to kiss along his shoulder and Makoto sighed happily. Byakuya gripped his waist, fingers caressing his bare skin in a way which made Makoto tremble.

When he found his way back to Makoto’s mouth he threw his arms around his neck once again as they kissed even more needy then before. There was so much emotion inside him, so much happiness and adoration. Byakuya and he were together, no longer a sordid affair. His body being bestowed with affection and gentle caresses upon a soft bed instead of being pushed harshly against a door or on a table and ravaged.

He felt accepted, equal. Wanted.

Their kisses were becoming more passionate unsurprisingly, they were both needy boys. Byakuya on top of him was partly to blame, being pinned down and kissed, that was hot. He wondered if Byakuya felt the same.

He gently coaxed Byakuya over onto
his back, noting the bemused expression on his face as Makoto leant down to kiss him again. That felt nice, It was quite a liberating feeling to see Byakuya underneath him.

He wanted him, Makoto already knew how good it felt to have him inside of him. The first stirrings of longing resonated within him and he kissed Byakuya deeper. The creamy skin of his neck and shoulder that had begged to be kissed had its wish granted. Makoto dropped his lips to his lovers neck and kissed everywhere he could reach. Byakuya murmured softly at his touch, hands anchored on Makoto’s bare waist. When he ran out of blank canvas his fingers slipped down to work open the buttons on his dress shirt, fingers dancing along his bare abdomen as Byakuya shivered underneath him. His lips trailed further south to explore the new territory and Byakuya sighed at every kiss.

He really was gorgeous Makoto thought as he kissed the muscles of his stomach. He wasn’t Mondo levels of muscular of course, few were. But his body was taut and athletic from exercise, he probably went running a lot... it made sense with legs like that.

Makoto caught himself in his daydreams and almost laughed. He was so enraptured by him he daydreamed about how hot he was, even when they were together.

“You know you’re hot right?” Makoto asked looking up to Byakuyas face. To his surprise Byakuya blushed, a hand coming up to his face as though to hide his bashfulness.

“Byakuya?” Makoto crawled back up coming face to face with him again and smiling, moving the hand away from his mouth to kiss him.

“I... know... I’m considered handsome I suppose.. but...”

Makoto cut him off with a searing kiss, pushing his tongue into Byakuyas mouth with messy passion. His fingers latched into his hair tilting his chin to give him better access to kiss him deep and punishing. When they broke apart breathless and wet Makoto sighed and pushed his forehead against Byakuya’s “You are handsome, everyone with eyes can see that. But...” he bit his lip “you’re so fucking sexy you drive me crazy”

Byakuya was definitely pink in the cheeks but he responded with claiming Makoto’s mouth again and kissing him with the same level of passion and enthusiasm. Makoto moaned into his mouth, Byakuyas hands on his skin made him twitch and shiver. Where their bare skins touched was electrifying, it make Makoto crave more. To finally be completely naked tangled up with this gorgeous boy taking their time as they...

He groaned as Byakuyas hand slipped under the waist of his pyjama bottoms, his own hands going to Byakuyas waist to unbuckle his belt. They were both already hard, he could feel Byakuya pressing into his thigh as they kissed. His own straining against his pyjama bottoms.

“You want to do this?” Byakuyas voice was husky. Words hot against Makoto’s ear.

“Yes” Makoto pulled the belt open and pulled hard at the dress slacks, tugging them down Byakuyas thighs “and soon”

Quickly their bottoms were discarded. Only underwear left as Makoto took the opportunity to pull off the shirt clinging to Byakuyas shoulders and toss it away. He wanted to be be completely bare with his love, see and feel every inch of his skin for the first time. They kissed frantic now, intense passion replacing all finesse.

“Makoto” Byakuya panted cupping his face “I missed you”

“I missed you too” tongues fought hot and wet, drool coating his jaw but he didn’t care. His fingers buried deep into golden tresses kissing with such force he was surprised he didn’t choke.

This was passion like he had never known. Such intensity, electric and dynamic.

“I want you” he moaned, desire taking over his vocal cords as his hardness rubbed against Byakuyas own. “I want to please you... You’ll have to teach me what you like” his voice was earnest “I know I don’t know much, but you’re the only one I’ve been with.. so I’m probably not very good compared to..”

“Makoto I have another confession to make” Byakuya’s voice was quiet now but firm, The seriousness of his tone alarming as he cut him off.

“Oh?” Makoto looked down with fearful eyes

“I... misled you. Or rather I tiptoed around the subject and led you believe something I shouldn’t have”

For the first time he saw the heir look nervous.

“The library.. I saw an opportunity. You were there and... cute and I decided to try something and... well it just happened even though it’s not.. in my nature to do such things”

“Yeah” Makoto blinked “honestly I wouldn’t have believed before that I would do something like that either. It was completely crazy but it just.. happened”

Byakuya wasn’t making eye contact and it unnerved Makoto. his head tilted slightly to the left to avoid his eyes, staring somewhere up at the ceiling “It’s not something I would do, especially not with a commoner I had hardly spoken to previously. That is to say I *hadn’t* done it before”

The barb aside Makoto shook his head confused.

“What are you trying to tell me Byakuya?”

Byakuya blushed harder. Makoto had never seen him fluster like this. With the others he was sharp tongued and composed. But with Makoto he was someone else.. maybe as Hina said.. more human.

“You *were* the first person I... had sex with” Byakuya stated flatly looking him dead in the eyes. Words composed although his pink cheeks gave him away. “I didn’t want to admit it so I made you believe you weren’t to upset you. Which was... really...”

“Really shitty of you!” Makoto glared slapping a palm against Byakuya’s chest

“I’m sorry”

“Why didn’t you want to admit it?”

“Lots of reasons. Pride. To push you away. Fear”

Makoto hesitated, he was upset Byakuya had made him feel that way but.. hadn’t he already forgiven Byakuya for his attempt to sever their relationship? Which just meant that.. Byakuya not only really did care for him... but he *was* also his first. And the only one so far for this very particular and icy heir. Makoto was special.

“I forgive you” Makoto kissed him firmly. His mind giddy with a strange pride. “I can understand why you said it.. you were trying to push me away and when I bought it up... it gave you an opportunity”

“Yeah” Byakuya nodded “It was cruel of me and I’m sorry. But... you are the first.”

“So...” Makoto couldn’t help but smile “you really did loose your virginity to me?”

Byakuya looked away again, his face still pink and adorable as he pouted.

“Well yes... I suppose i did. But you lost yours to me too!”

“At the same time... that’s almost romantic, you know... if it weren’t for the fact it happened on a library desk in the middle of a killing game with a perverted stalker listening outside”

Byakuya chucked despite himself and looked back to Makoto’s face.

“We aren’t very good at this are we?”

“We can get better”

They kissed once more, softer and more loving now. The final hurdle of their fight had been overcome, cards all on the table. And now knowing where he stood.. Makoto had never felt so hopeful and happy. This was really something, with them guarding each other’s backs with trust and openness. They could really fight back, and really be something. His heart stirred inside his chest and looking into Byakuyas eyes as their breaths were heavy from long kisses he felt the urge to say something stupid... so he swallowed the words back and instead nudged his nose against Byakuyas softly.

“Can we?”

“Yeah”

His fingers pulled gently at the edge of his underwear. He was eager but.. this was the first time it felt like they were doing this properly. It was special.

They were both naked now, he sighed heavily at the beautiful feeling of bare skin pressed together. It was so warm and intimate. Byakuyas fingers on his waist made him shiver and he arched his back and mewled instinctively.

“You look so good like that” Byakuya was looking at him with adoration and it made him feel weak. A few hours ago he wouldn’t have dared believe Byakuya even cared about him and now he was staring at him like he had won the lottery. It was a heady feeling and Makoto blushed.

Byakuyas hands on him were soft, tender as he cupped his cheek, fingers gently grasping tendrils of his hair. He kissed him so needy, so full of want and adoration. He could feel the affection radiating from him, the gentility and passion all at once making Makoto’s heart pang. This wasn’t like usual, this was emotional and tender. It was how you kiss someone you love, how you hold someone you can’t live without.

“This is different from before isn’t it?” He asked a little bashful under Byakuyas gaze.

“Yes” Byakuya drew Makoto’s hand to his lips and kissed each pad of his finger tips gently making Makoto tingle. “This time isn’t going to be rushed and rough” he cupped Makoto’s face now with both hands tenderly, looking him right in the eyes “Lets make love”

Makoto wasn’t expecting that. Those words stirred something deep inside him, colour shooting to his cheeks as he nodded against Byakuyas hands. He was sure he must have died or something and this was his final fever dream. Byakuya would... that was... love...?

His words jumbled in his mind as he tried to make sense of the intoxicating thrill that had ran though him.

Byakuya let go and drew Makoto’s hand back to his mouth presumably to resume his kisses. Before Makoto could react, he slipped two of his fingers into his mouth sucking on them.

“O-oh!” Makoto’s cheeks burned unable to articulate as Byakuya’s tongue lapped at his fingers.

Byakuya slowly released the wet fingers from his mouth and looked Makoto intently in the eyes “you know what comes next do you not?” The worlds sparked deja va in his mind and his mouth dropped at the realisation.

“Byakuya... you don’t mean?”

Byakuya just nodded firmly, his eyes burned with conviction.

“You gave me something irreplaceable, now I wish to give the same to you”

Makoto’s heart was in his mouth, shock coursing through him at Byakuya’s words. This isn’t what he would ever have expected, he had pretty much come to think he would always be on the bottom of their encounters.. this was... a show of trust, of affection. Giving himself to Makoto in a way he never would to anyone else, that was a heady thought. He didn’t want to let him down.

“You don’t have to prove anything to me”

“No, but I want to *choose* to give myself to you. Only you”

Makoto felt the lump in his throat at his words. He stroked Byakuyas hair from his face, kissing his forehead and then his lips softly.

“You really want to?”

“Yes I do” his nose nuzzled against Makoto’s “don’t be scared, I won’t break”

“Okay”

He kissed Byakuya as his fingers made their way down to his entrance, hesitating slightly and Byakuya kissed him firmer as though reassuring him. Very slowly he pushed one finger inside and Byakuya hissed into his mouth. Yeah it felt bad for a while, he felt a little guilty but continued to kiss him firmly to distract him as the finger sank deep into him. The second was harder to work in, Byakuya made sharp noises of discomfort and Makoto wished he could take that away.

“Okay” he whispered when both fingers were fully inside him “it should get better now okay?”

Byakuya nodded, biting his lip in discomfort.

Remembering what Byakuya had done to him he curled his fingers slightly and pushed them slowly. Working them in and out slowly, coaxing him open until he could thrust his fingers more easily into him.

“Ahhh!” Byakuya’s spine curved, his eyes wide and Makoto knew he had found it. He worked that spot relentlessly thrusting his fingers hard into it over and over as Byakuya started to moan and cry out.

“Is that good?” He asked worried.

“Y.. yeah” Byakuya groaned, his hips bucking up against Makoto’s fingers “really good”

Makoto swelled with a strange pride that he was doing okay, he was so scared of hurting Byakuya. He didn’t really know what he was doing and Byakuya had only done this to him once so he didn’t have much reference but... he knew he had to prepare him thoroughly.

Stretching his fingers out he scissored them to stretch him open as Byakuya whimpered, his beautiful face crumpled into a grimace at the discomfort.

“I know it’s weird” Makoto soothed him “it won’t be for long”

He reached down and slowly took Byakuyas dick into his hand, Byakuya moaned as his fingers wrapped around him. Seemingly distracted for now from the harsh fingering. Makoto rubbed him slowly at first, working his dick with soft languid strokes that made Byakuya writhe. Slowly increasing his speed to match the fingers pushing into him relentlessly. Byakuya began to tremble, biting down on his own hand as he tensed and shook. Makoto struggled to keep up the pace, how had Byakuya managed to make this look so easy?

Byakuya looked so vulnerable, almost scared and it jolted Makoto’s heart.

“Are you okay?”

Byakuya nodded, his breathing hitched and fractured. Maybe he was just embarrassed like Makoto had been, it wasn’t exactly something you could ever prepare to feel like. At someone else’s whim, having someone else inside you. After all he had been so confident in every other encounter, unfazed and unabashed no matter what they did. Cogs started to turn in Makoto’s head and as though Byakuya could tell he drew him close and kissed him firm.

“Don’t.. think about it” he panted “just love me okay?”

The strange way he worded it took Makoto by surprise, a shiver passing through his body at the world love. Maybe he already loved him... just a little.... He nodded breathless

“I will”

He deemed him ready now and gently removed his fingers. For a moment they just looked at each other, eyes locked as Byakuya breathed uneven and loud. His fingers came to Makoto’s face softly.

“You’re so beautiful”

Makoto blushed at the unexpected compliment. He knew people sometimes found him cute with his baby face and innocent looks but.. Byakuya thought he was beautiful? He wavered again, tonight had been the most emotionally charged night of his life and it was all he could do not to cry.

Instead he kissed him, trying to convey everything he didn’t know how to say, all those feelings he had for him. Everything, he wanted to give Byakuya everything he had.

“I’m ready” Byakuya whispered against his lips. Eyes firmly on Makoto’s own.

Makoto was nervous, stomach a mess of knots as he nodded. They were really going to do this? Byakuya still looked vulnerable but his eyes were focused and fierce. He couldn’t let him down.

As slowly as he could he pushed against his entrance. Heart beating frantic against his ribs as he took in the fact he was actually going to do this. Byakuyas long legs wrapped around his waist, hands on his face and there was no turning back. Keeping his eyes on Byakuya’s to ground him, he pushed inside of him slowly. Byakuya bit his lip, a pained groan escaping him and panicking Makoto.

“Should I stop?”

“Don’t you dare” Byakuya growled, his eyes burning as he clung to Makoto “now show me what it’s like”

Byakuya was stubborn to the extreme, Makoto found himself smiling as he kissed the corner of his mouth.

“Whatever you want, my love”

Makoto splayed his hands into the covers, supporting himself either side of Byakuya’s shoulders and slowly, tentatively pulled back and thrust into him.

Holy. Fuck. That was good. A moan tore from his throat at the feeling. It was so warm and tight, the pressure squeezing him and making him groan. Byakuya felt amazing.

He sped up, pushing in more deeply and resisting the urge to just fuck him senseless, as much as he wanted to. This wasn’t just about him and Byakuya was still quiet, tentative.

Makoto pressed his lips back to his, whispering softly “You’re so beautiful, you feel so good”

Byakuyas gave a half smile, his breathing laboured and suddenly as Makoto thrust into him his eyes widened and legs twitched around Makoto’s waist.

“The..there!”

He didn’t need to be told twice. Keeping his angle he kissed Byakuya hard. His hips thrusting faster as Byakuya tensed and groaned into his mouth.

“Ahh.. Makoto. Fuck” Byakuya cursed biting Makoto’s lip and Makoto groaned loudly. God this boy would be the death of him, he was irresistible.

His hips pushed back up against Makoto’s, his hands caught in Makoto’s messy hair. Lewd moans starting to spew from his perfect lips as they moved together harder and faster. Skin clammy with sweat as they clung to each other. It was so damn good, hot and meaningful all at once. It felt so good to be inside Byakuya, so exhilarating as he thrust into him over and over hearing his moans.

But the way they kissed, how they clung to each other. Byakuyas eyes were wide and full of emotion, as he trembled under Makoto and held onto him so tenderly. Byakuya was right, this was making love. So he loved him and kissed him, worshipped his skin and whispered words of affection in his ear. Every sound he made, every fleeting expression on his face was exquisite. All Makoto wanted was to make this incredible for him, show him his trust in him was well placed.

He ran a hand down Byakuyas body, his fingers dancing along his bare skin. Sliding it between them he took hold of him and stroked him in time with his movements. Byakuyas head tossed back into the pillow and he moaned loudly. Fingers gripping Makoto tighter, his hips rutting harder against Makoto’s thrusts as his voice grew louder and louder.

“Makoto.. I’m...” his words were fractured. Incoherent as Makoto worked his body hard. “Oh god”

His voice set free sang so sweetly. He trembled and shook, his legs locking hard around Makoto’s waist.

“Makoto!”

That moment would live in his memory forever. Byakuya calling his name, his legs shaking and eyes slamming closed as he twitched and moaned. His face exquisite, a wide range of emotions flickering over his features as rapture took him.

The sight was enough to finish him and Makoto gave in, his own moans and cries echoing the room as he came deep inside Byakuya.

Byakuya didn’t give him a moment to breathe, grabbing his face and kissing him fiercely. Makoto sank into it, god that had been amazing. When they broke apart Byakuya panted heavily. His brow sweaty and his chest rising and falling fast.

“Was.. was it okay?” Makoto whispered nervously and Byakuya nodded back firmly.

“That was more than okay”

He slowly unlocked his legs from Makoto’s waist, their bodies both clammy and in desperate need of a shower. With the water shut off at night there wasn’t much they could do to clean up, so they quickly wiped themselves down before Byakuya wrapped his arms around Makoto and snuggled him tightly.

Byakuya kissed him again, long and sweet. Stroking Makoto’s face with tenderness.

“You know I don’t plan on letting you go now don’t you?”

Makoto laughed softly “That’s exactly what I hoped for”

They smiled at each other, the moment pure and gentle. It was all Makoto had wanted, to be with Byakuya. To feel wanted, cared for. Equals.

Makoto sighed in contentment, pillowing his head on Byakuyas chest and holding onto him. Fingers entwined they curled up together, content and peaceful. Byakuyas breathing became heavier, his grasp on Makoto’s fingers slipping as he fell deeply into sleep. Makoto lay there a little while, just listening to the in out of his breathing. His mind spinning over the events of the night. What a strange turn of events it had all been. Byakuyas confession of his feelings and now this... there was definitely more to Byakuyas decision to.. give himself to Makoto as he put it. But those were questions for another day. Byakuya was a complex person and Makoto had no doubt there were many more layers for him to uncover, more for him to understand. But he wanted to learn it, no matter what he found out, he was sure nothing could change his feelings for this boy. Something about him was so familiar, intoxicating and captivating. His feelings for him already so deep and complicated even after such a short time.

Whatever happened, he would be there at his side. Nothing would stop him caring, trying to protect him.

Nothing.

....

Makoto dreamed a strange dream. He walked through the halls of the school, a bag of textbooks in his hand. His footsteps traced the route past the dining hall and down the corridor to Byakuya’s room. He didn’t knock, just pushed the door open. Byakuya lay on the bed reading, his shirt crumpled from laying around, the sunshine through the open window illuminating the room. The gentle breeze playing with Byakuyas hair.

Makoto dropped the books and went to him, Byakuya was smiling and pulled him into his arms. Makoto lay there happily as Byakuya leaned over him and kissed him. He welcomed it, wrapping his arms around him and kissing him back as the sunlight cast a halo over his blonde hair.

....

He woke with a start, it had felt so real he could almost feel the summer breeze. What a strange dream, it was almost like another lifetime.. One where they could have been normal teenagers.

Byakuyas arms were still tight around him, naked bodies pressed together closely. Makoto sighed and nestled back into him.

“Ahem”

That’s when Makoto realised they weren’t alone. Eyes flying open he yelped as Monokuma stared back at him.

“Wha?!” Byakuya jerked awake, flying bolt upright his arm still protectively over Makoto as he tried to make sense of what was happening.

“It’s alright, it’s just Monokuma” Makoto tried to reassure him as Byakuya grabbed his glasses.

“Upupu! Nice reaction! I'm glad to see you didn't disappoint!” Monokuma chortled

”Wh-What...!? What are you doing here!?” Makoto demanded yanking the covers up higher.

”I wanted to spice things up! So instead of a school announcement, I decided to wake you up in person!”

”What the hell for!?” Byakuya spat, glaring at the bear with rage.

”Because it's fun” Monokuma laughed “Jeez it smells like a brothel in here, what exactly have you two been up to? You better not be tarnishing my schools wholesome reputation by getting up to such dirty nefarious things!”

Makoto blushed furiously, of course Monokuma knew what they had done, he had known this whole time.

“But as long as I'm here, I figured I'd let you two lovebirds hear it right from the bear's mouth.”

”Hear... what?” Byakuya asked, his voice now suspicious, His arm tightening around Makoto.

“Are you sure you should be acting this laid back? I mean, even though something happened to one of your buddy-buddy classmates?”

”What...?” The words froze in Makoto’s mouth, his heart plummeting to the depths of his stomach. No... no no no there’s no way..

”Wuhwuhwuh-what? Your face is all blue, like someone on the verge of death!”

”What...what happened? What are you talking about!?” Byakuya demanded

”Puhuhu! That's for me to know, and you to find out! Good luuuck!”

They looked at each other pale and fearful. Makoto’s hands coming to grip at his hair in distress

“What the hell have they done?”

“Ding Dong, Bing Bong” the screen burst to life

“A body has been discovered! After a certain amount of time, which you may use however you like, the class trial will begin!”

Chapter Text

Monokuma’s ominous words could have meant many things, but the body discovery announcement left no room for doubt. Someone was dead.

Makoto leapt to his feet pulling his clothes on as fast as possible. Byakuya was getting dressed too, his mouth set in a firm line.

“We need to make sure we get to the bottom of this, whatever has happened. Our lives depend on it” he took Makoto’s hands in his own and drew him closer “Before we leave here you must promise me, we will get to the truth no matter what”

“I promise” Makoto swallowed “I just can’t believe it yet, I have to see it for myself”

Byakuya pulled him closer just for a second and kissed him quickly.

“I believe in you”

“And I you”

The two made haste and scanned the bottom floor finding nobody around. Panic starting to rise in Makoto as he ran up the stairs to the second floor, immediately rushing through the first door he saw and froze as he saw his classmates gathered around the boys locker room. He quickly identified Hina, Taka and Hifumi stood nearest the open door.

“What happened?” Makoto called out running to them, Hina turning to face them with tears in her eyes.

“He.. he’s dead” she pointed into the open room.

With trepidation Makoto walked inside with Byakuya on his heels. Nothing could have prepared him for what he saw.

Hiro was slumped forward, his knees resting on the carpeted floor, head bloody and his arms suspended tied to the racking. Blood had sprayed up the walls and daubed on the wall in bright pink were the words BLOOD LUST.

He cried out, unable to comprehend what he was seeing, why this had happened. Why whey why???

Kyoko had been examining Hiro, she turned and walked to Makoto now and put a hand on his shoulder.

“Makoto, you have to pull yourself together if we are going to solve this”

“You... you’re right” Makoto swallowed hard “I just don’t understand.. why did this have to happen”

“This is fucking weak” Mondo growled, his fists clenched tight “I’m sick of this bullshit”

“Monokuma has already been” Kyoko said softly “check your handbook for the Monokuma file”

Makoto scrambled in his pocket for the handbook and pulled it out with trembling hands.

“The victim was Yasuhiro Hagakure. The time of death is estimated to be around 2:00 a.m. The body was discovered in the boys locker room, on the 2nd floor of the school. The cause of death was a blow to the head with a blunt object. He was killed instantly."

“The wall” Byakuya spoke for the first time as he walked to the ominous wording “Blood Lust..” his face furrowed into a frown as he reached out and touched the wall “It’s.. pen. Someone wrote this in marker”

“That’s odd. It doesn’t seem to be some kind of dying message” Kyoko mused walking to the wall to scrutinise the words too.

“It's a dream... This is a dream! It's all just a dream! In fact, I haven't even been born yet! I don't have any memory of ever being alive! Ugyaaaah!” Hifumi sobbed clutching at his face

“Shut up” Celeste snapped.

“W-What’s going on?” Toko was the last to arrive, her eyes widening as she took in the sight of Hiro’s dead body “AHH! N-no!!!! No no no whyyyyyyyyy?!!” She screamed and then just like that her eyes rolled back and she slumped to the floor.

“Toko!”

Hina ran to her passed out form only to jump back in shock as Toko leapt right back to her feet with seemingly no regard for physical human constraints.

“Sorry about that. I was just so shocked, ya know? It happens, right? Was I the only one?”

”T-Toko? Are you...okay?”

”I'm fine, I'm fine! Kyehaha...! Whoa, is that a dead body!? Hey! Are you dead! Kyeehahaha!”

”She musta hit her head *real* hard when she fainted...” Hina said worriedly

”The world has a front and a back, a top inning and a bottom, a sea of truth and a web of lies!” Toko proclaimed proudly, her eyes still strangely vacant.

“This is...quite concerning. I mean, she sounds completely different...” Taka hesitated before taking a step towards her.

”No no no, everything's fine! At least the stutter's all gone. That's a good thing, right!? Kyeehahaha” Toko laughed

“It's clear to me that everything is *not* fine!”

”It might be best if we take her back to her room for the time being...” suggested Hina

Hina and Taka looped their arms through Toko’s with minimal protest and escorted her from the room as though one would a child. Leaving behind a group 8 confused and highly on edge students.

Makoto turned to Byakuya beseeching him with his eyes. All he wanted was to go to him and put his arms around him, bury his face into his chest. Just for one second to have the horror and pain of the situation to subside, to take some strength from the person he trusted most. But he couldn’t. He daren’t.

Byakuyas eyes flicked to his, his expression sharp, alert. He would get to this bottom of this if it killed him and Makoto trusted him. He couldn’t out them both on a whim because he was anxious. He nodded to Byakuya quickly before turning his attention back to Hiro.

“I’m sorry... we didn’t protect you” he apologised and bowed his head to his former friend before resuming the investigation.

“The cause of death was a blow to the head” Kyoko was examining his head wound. “It seems pretty clear that dumbbell there is the murder weapon”

Makoto turned his attention to the bloody dumbbell sat on the carpet “That seems most likely”

“Not only that the wound pattern matches” Kyoko declared “It lines up exactly”

Makoto blanched at the thought of how closely Kyoko had to examine to reach that conclusion as he nodded.

“But there’s more” she pointed to Hiro’s neck where there seemed to be some sort of a mark. Stepping closer Makoto scrutinised the area and noting the dark red ring around Hiro’s neck.

“It looks like.. he might have been choked” Makoto concluded “See the impression? It’s almost like someone wrapped something around his neck and pulled.

“I agree” Kyoko nodded “That wasn’t what killed him but it could be how the killer subdued him”

Makoto’s attention turned to the ties binding Hiro’s arms.

“This is... an extension cord?” The white plastic wrapped tubing was unmistakable, a plug socket hanging from the end of one length. “I’ve seen this in the library before, it was plugged into the lamp I’m sure of it.. and it looks like this is what was used to choke him”

“It’s the same thickness” Kyoko decreed eyeing it up “the killer strangled him with it and then used it to tie him up”

“Then why the blow to the head? Isn’t that overkill?”

Kyoko seemed to ponder this a moment “Perhaps they realised he wasn’t dead and hit him with the dumbbell. I’m sure that question will be answered during the investigation”

Makoto couldn’t help but feel this was all too... familiar but not. Blood Lust... he had seen that before...

Byakuya had turned to leave and Makoto had to stop himself from calling out to him. As though reading his mind Byakuya said loudly “I’m going to investigate outside the locker room. It seems pointless for everyone to search the same room”

Makoto had to resist the urge to smile, brusque though he may be... he understood Makoto.

“Kyoko... this seems familiar somehow”

“Oh?”

“Yeah...” Makoto tried to concentrate, the cogs grinding in his mind as he focused “Blood Lust...” then it clicked “Genocide Jack!” He cried out turning wide eyed to Kyoko “The Genocide Jack murders! Each one was distinctive for the way they suspended their victims and left the words blood lust scrawled on the wall in the vistims blood at every crime scene!”

“Interesting...” Kyoko brought a gloved hand to her mouth “However this message wasn’t written in blood but rather in marker pen”

“It’s strange but.. it seems remarkably similar. As though it’s the same kind of crime”

“Are you saying Genocide Jack is here amongst us at this school?”

“I don’t know if I’d go that far...” Makoto said softly “But it certainly seems to be an imitation of sorts, there a few notable differences. Why go to all the effort to mimic a crime then write the message in pen instead of blood?”

“It doesn’t make much sense, however I’m sure the answers will start to come if we follow the facts” Kyoko concluded “Let’s move on, you can help me with the investigation this time” without waiting for his answer she turned and walked purposefully from the room.

In the locker room entrance Byakuya was examining the electronic hand book reader with a frown on his face.

“Have you found anything in here?” Makoto asked hopefully

“I’m about to.. Monokuma!” He barked sharply clapping his hands together and as if by magic Monokuma appeared.. did Byakuya manage to domesticate him??

“You called?” Monokuma chirped as though he didn’t have a care in the world. Which he probably didn’t considering he was a bear.

“Yes it’s about the card reader”

”The card readers have all been designed to interface with each of your e-Handbooks! You can only enter the locker room corresponding to the gender listed in your individual handbook.”

”And it's impossible for two people in a row to go through while the door is unlocked, correct?” Byakuya challenged

”If there were some sort of erotic terrorist on the prowl... The ceiling-mounted Gatling gun would initiate a Swiss cheese slaughter!”

”And the school regulations prohibit anyone from lending someone else their handbook, correct?”

”Correctly correct”

A realisation dawned on Makoto, if that’s right then.. That means only girls can go in the girls locker room, and only boys can go in the boys locker room. In other words, Hiro’s body being found in the boys locker room means...

”Hey, Makoto. I can see right through you.” Byakuya was smirking at him, his words cutting through Makoto’s mental musings

”See right...through me?” He wasn’t sure he really wanted an answer to that. Byakuya had seen more than he would like to be public knowledge

”Allow me to tell you what you're thinking... Since Hiro was found in the boys locker room, the killer must have been able to get in there. As such, the killer must be one of the boys. Did I get it right? Good lord you're simple.”

”Hey! But am I wrong?”

”You should pay closer attention to the regulations. The answer has been in front of you the entire time. "Loaning your e-Handbook to another student is strictly prohibited." Only the act of *loaning* a handbook is prohibited. Borrowing someone else's is perfectly fine.”

”Nyohohoho! I would expect nothing less from the prodigal son of the noble Togami family! So you managed to sniff out the loophole in the regulations!” Monokuma cackled

“Wait, hold on... You're saying that's a loophole, but... In order to borrow something from someone, then...that means someone would have to loan it, so...uh...”

”So sleepy... Just listening to you makes me wanna pass out! Be more like Byakuya and get your poop together!”

“Yes Makoto” Byakuya smirked “get your poop together”

Any other situation Makoto would have grinned and kissed him but... instead he feigned offence and glared back at his partner.

“Anyway enough chatter. I have better things to do. Like the solve this case, goodbye” Byakuya walked from the room without a further word and Makoto had to swallow back his disappointment.

“We need to continue the investigation” Kyoko looked at him “Do you have any evidence for the Genocide Jack case?”

“I do” Makoto nodded “it’s in the archives”

The pair made their way through the library to the archives where Makoto selected the folder from the shelf.

“I’ve taken to reading some of these files to try and learn more about solving cases” Makoto admitted “this one is quite grisly”

Wordlessly Kyoko turned the pages taking in the pictures of his victims without any emotion ever crossing her face.

“So each victim was suspended and this detail was never released to the public.. yet the killer mimicked this MO with only some small details changed...”

“It seems so” Makoto nodded “its far fetched to think that Genocide Jack is amongst us but... it’s a possibility at this point”

“Hmmm” Kyoko nodded “We should take this with us and check the extension cord while we are here too”

“Ahh that’s right!” Makoto moved to the library’s desk and tried not to blush at the memories that swam to the forefront of his mind”

“It’s not there” Kyoko decreed eyes darting from the lamp to the plug socket.

“You’re right” Makoto flicked the lamp on to no avail “It definitely used to be here, I remember Byakuya reading using the lamp the day Toko dragged me to talk to him for her.

“Interesting” Kyoko nodded “That certainly clears that up, there’s also somewhere else we need to check, the front entrance”

“How come?”

“You’ll see”

Silently they walked to the entrance hall, the giant locked door reminding Makoto even more of their helpless captivity.

“Here we are” Kyoko gestured to the mailbox sat on a counter top.

Makoto decided to check it and pulled out a familiar object “It's...an e-Handbook!? No, wait...there's *three* of them! But what are they doing here?”

”It seems there's a system in place where the handbooks of dead students get "delivered" to this mailbox.”

”So then, these three handbooks belong to Junko, Leon, and Sayaka?”

”You can go ahead and confirm it yourself”

Makoto immediately turned on one of the handbooks. And what appeared on the screen was the name ‘Sayaka Maizono’

”This is Sayaka's handbook!”

”This may be the key to the loophole that Byakuya revealed earlier.”

”Yeah you’re right... with one of these you could access places you couldn’t with just your own handbook”

The thunder of loud footsteps in their direction caused them both to turn.

“Hey I need someone’s help!” Hina came running with a fearful expression “Toko is being super weird and I could use help right now!”

Kyoko turned to Makoto “I have some things I wish to look at before the trial, I suggest you do the same” without another word she had turned and walked away leaving Makoto in her wake.

“Are you gonna help?” Hina asked hopefully, coming to a stop then turning to sprint back to the dorms.

“Yeah sure, I don’t know how much use I’ll be but okay” Makoto followed “what’s happened?”

“Well, after what happened in the boys locker room, we left Toko in her room so she could lay down. After a while, we came back to check on her. Ya know, see how she was doing. But when we did it was weird. She refused to come out, and she kept saying all this weird stuff.”

”Weird stuff?”

“Yeah, see for yourself” Hina rapped loudly on the door and stood back. Eventually the door opened just a crack and Makoto almost jumped back in fear. An overwhelming aura of negativity flowed out from behind the door that filled him with dread.

”What?” Toko snapped her eyes glinting through the door crack.

”Oh, um...nothing. It's just that...Hina was really worried about you, holing yourself up in your room...”

”Leave me a-alone.. bed wetter”

”Um, yeah, sure thing. But...could you open up, just for a second...?”

”...Won't a-allow it...”

”Huh...?”

”I w-won't let Genocide Jack have control!”

And she slammed the door shut in his face.

“Wh-What was that...?”

”She's been acting like that the whole time” Hina sounded worried.

“I really don’t think there’s much we can do for now, she won’t open up for me and I doubt she will for anyone else either. Can you just keep watch over her while we finish investigating?”

“You got it Makoto” Hina smiled and flashed him a thumbs up as she resumed her lookout post at Toko’s door.

Unsure of how to proceed now Makoto stood for a moment, taking in everything he had seen so far. The biggest thing that stuck out were the Genocide Jack similarities. On that thought he quickly made his way across to his own bedroom, maybe the notes he had made on the case could shed some light on things. Quickly locating the book he scanned through his handwritten notes. There didn’t seem to be much that stood out, until he flipped to the last page and blinked in confusion. Underneath his note to research Dissociative identity disorder were some extra notes written in neat slightly cursive letters.

“Dissociative identity disorder or ‘multiple personality disorder’ is a mental disorder characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring personality states. This is accompanied by memory gaps, beyond what would be explained by ordinary forgetfulness. These states alternately show in a person's behaviour, it is most commonly caused by severe childhood trauma”

Who had written these? The last time he remembered checking his notebook was... the day Toko attacked him and Byakuya had given him his notebook back at his door. Makoto remembered being in shock after the event and not paying much attention to his surroundings as he followed Byakuya back to the dorms. Byakuya probably wrote it then, as they walked. He smiled slightly, when it came to Byakuya, nothing much surprised him. Besides this handwriting could only be Byakuya’s, it was formal, neat and elegant all at once. Smiling he pocketed the notebook. He doubted that it would be much use but you could never be too sure.

Leaving his room he made a bee line for Hiro’s own room. It had been unlocked for the investigation and Makoto quickly searched it for any evidence. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, no unfamiliar items, no strange notes or letters from himself or a potential killer. Sighing he made his way down the hall back towards the school when he saw Celeste stood by the warehouse.

“Hey” he approached her “have you seen or found anything that could help?”

Celeste seemed to consider him for a moment before speaking.

“Something, perhaps. I will tell you, and *only* you. Late last night, I saw Chihiro in the warehouse.”

”Really?”

”This was right before nighttime. She took a tracksuit from here and left. I assume she went to exercise but.. isn’t that strange considering Hiro was discovered dead in the locker rooms? And was killed late at night?”

“Yeah that *is* strange, but then again she did say she wanted to get stronger so perhaps it’s just a coincidence”

“Perhaps”

“I’m sure everything will start to make sense once we put it all together at trial” Makoto tried to be optimistic “I’m going to continue to search for now”

“Then I bid you farewell”

He should probably re examine the crime scene again. There had to be something he had missed....

“Erm, so ah...I'm getting tired of waiting. Shall we just plunge right in? It's the moment you've all been waiting for...the class trial! You remember where to meet, right? Please go through the red door on the 1st floor of the school! Puhuhu. See you soon!”

Chapter Text

The elavator clanked closed and with the familiar whirring descended into the depths of the school. Not a word was said. Tension and apprehension heavy in the air as they drew closer to yet another life or death game, another deadly class trial. Makoto wanted badly just to step backwards and slide into Byakuyas arms. To just hold onto him and tell him how much he meant to him... just in case it was the last time he ever got to. The thought filled him with dread and his hands started to shake harder. What if they failed this? They would all die...

The elevator reached its destination and the doors parted with a loud clang. Bodies filed out of the cage but Makoto hung back, fear paralysed him to the spot. Byakuya stood next to him now, looking down at him with determined eyes. He didn’t speak, he didn’t have to. His fingers found Makoto’s and squeezed just once before he strode from the elevator with confidence, and it filled Makoto with strength too.

“What do you think? I redecorated! Isn't it so fresh? Isn't it so EXCITING!?” Monokuma chirped indicating to the newly redocorated trial room.

”Don't waste our time with stupid questions. Let's get this over with” Byakuya snapped and Makoto had to suppress a smile.

”Good, good, you're rip-raring to go! Gotta say, I don't hate it! Not at all! Okay then, let's get this show on the road!”

Makoto took his place in the trial, fingers curling around the docket for support. Everyone was in place and Monokuma called trial to order, explaining the rules once more as the tension spread through the air infecting everyone with doubt.

“First things first” Kyoko immediately took control. “Did anybody see or speak to the victim last night at all? It doesn’t matter how tiny the detail if you remember something then tell us”

Everyone in the circle were shaking their heads.

“I did not see him after dinner” said Celeste

“Me either” agreed Hina

“Or I” nodded Sakura

“Nope, I went straight to bed” added Hifumi.

Nobody seemed to have seen or spoken to Hiro after they left dinner that night it seemed, not surprising.

“Secondly does anybody have an alibi for the time of the murder?” Kyoko pressed “I know the chances are slim as it occurred at 2am however if anybody does have an alibi let’s hear it now”

“I.. I do” Chihiro out her hand up meekly “I was with Mondo until about 3:30”

“It’s true” Mondo nodded “didn’t leave my sight”

“Can I ask what you were both doing so late?” Kyoko raised an eyebrow

“We were training” Chihiro blushed. “I went to Mondo... with my secret and asked him to help me become strong.. we trained until about midnight then I went back to Mondo’s room and we talked about my secret some more and had some post workout snacks from the warehouse. About 3:30 I started to fall asleep so Mondo took me back to my room”

Mondo nodded his affirmation. “During the time of the murder we were together so there’s no way either of us were involved”

“Where did you train?”

“The locker room” Chihiro admitted

“The locker room? That’s a strange coincidence”

“It is but. We were long gone before anything happened. I didn’t notice anything strange in the locker room at all while we were there”

“Hold on a second.. are you talking about the boys locker room? Chihiro.. how did you get inside?” Kyoko quizzed

Chihiro seemed to steel herself, looking down at the floor.

“You don’t gotta do this buddy” Mondo reassured her.

“It’s okay.. I have to get stronger and this is.. the first test” clearing her throat Chihiro looked up “I.. my secret is... Although I dress like this... I’m really...” she coughed and laughed a little nervously “I’m actually a boy”

“What?”
“No way!”
“Really!”
“You’re a guy?”

“Hmm? Oh what, you guys didn't know? Heck, I knew that right off the bat!” Monokuma cackled

“It’s all true” Mondo nodded “the little guy came to me and told me, asked me to help him get stronger. We worked out and afterwards I made sure he ate and we talked about him revealing the secret to you all today, on his own terms”

“That’s right” Chihiro smiled bravely “I hope you can all accept me.. for who I really am”

“Of course we can!”
“That’s so brave”
“Well done Chihiro”
“We’re so proud of you”

Chihiro gulped back tears and smiled widely “Thank you! All so much”

“Celeste can back that up that alibi actually too” Makoto added remembering their conversation “tell them what you told me Celeste”

“Last night just before night time Chihiro came to the warehouse and took a tracksuit. We spoke briefly and then he left which makes sense if he was training with Mondo that night. Also considering that an accomplice gains nothing from a murder it’s fair to say with that alibi they are both innocent” Celeste smiled

“I think that settles that. At the time of the murder both Chihiro and Mondo were together therefore neither of them could have committed the crime” Kyoko nodded

“But while we are on the subject of alibis, does anyone else have one they wish to speak of?”

Makoto looked at Byakuya, he was looking right back. This would look bad but... it had to be better of being accused of murder right? They needed to uncover the truth of this case and it would save everyone wasting time looking at them as suspects. Besides it’s not like they had to admit what they had been doing. Byakuya seemed to be on his wavelength, he nodded curtly and turned his attention back to the circle.

“I do” He spoke out the same moment Makoto raised his hand tentatively.

“You both have alibis?” Kyoko raised her eyebrow

“Yeah”
“Yes”

“And they are?” Sakura asked not unkindly

“We.. were together last night” Makoto tried to say the words as strong and confidently as he could.

“Makoto was in my room from approximately 9pm until the body discovery announcement was made” Byakuya stayed cooly.

“S-see I-I told you t-they were d-doing things together!” Toko hissed

“Not this again” Hina shook her head

“And neither of you left during that time? As a certainty?” Kyoko asked

“Yeah” Makoto said firmly “there’s no way either of us left”

“Did you sleep during that time?”

“What?”

“Did you sleep?” Kyoko repeated

“I’m not sure thats your business” Byakuya pushed his glasses up “We told you where we were, anything else is between us”

Makoto scratched his cheek grimacing at Byakuyas choice of words. As if they needed to sound even more like they were fucking each other.

“I’m not interested in what you were doing” Kyoko was looking firmly at Makoto “I’m asking if either of you fell asleep. As in, was there a time you were not conscious and therefore aware that the other could have left the room”

“Oh... well yeah I slept but..”

“I see” Kyoko cut him off “so it’s possible that Byakuya could have left the room without you knowing”

“No!” Makoto protested “there’s no way, I would have woken up if he had left. I wouldn’t have slept through that”

“Can you say for a fact that’s true? With 100% certainty that you would not have woken up?”

“Uh... I guess not but... he didn’t leave. I know it”

“When did you fall asleep Makoto? Roughly what time?”

“I... like maybe midnight, not much later than that if so”

“Why were you two together anyway?” Hina asked curiously “I thought you were mad at him Makoto, for what he said?”

Byakuya visibly stiffened at her words looking to Makoto with narrowed eyes.

“Yeah I was upset about what he said at the motive reveal” Makoto quickly clarified. The last thing he wanted was Byakuya thinking he had told Hina about their... personal fight in the classroom after. “But we talked about it, I ended up getting sleepy so I guess he just let me stay there. Next think I remember was waking up to Monokuma”

“To Monokuma?”

“Oh yes I woke them up in person!” Monokuma tittered “I gave them quite a surprise too! It was beary entertaining!”

“So by Monokuma’s own admission they were together this morning” Kyoko nodded.

“That’s correctamundo!”

“So I just need to ask, is there any way you can verify you both stayed In the room all night?”

“Uhh I don’t know how to prove that.” Makoto admitted

“Neither of us left” Byakuya crossed his arms “I don’t know why you’re trying to poke a hole in our alibi instead of focussing on those who don’t have alibis... like yourself”

Kyoko took the jab with a small smile “my intent here is only to prove you both are above suspicion. If we do there will be no need to revisit you as suspects. I would rather get those alibis airtight than risk everyone’s lives wouldn’t you?”

“Of course” Byakuya scoffed “But me and Makoto were together. That’s all there is to it”

“They w-were together at 9” Toko spoke up suddenly glaring at Makoto as she talked “I-I was watching out f-for Master like a-always. I saw him g-go to m-Makoto’s room and then, t-they both w-went back to M-Masters room”

“Why were you watching?” Hina recoiled “that’s just creepy!”

“S-shut up b-bimbo! I h-have to watch o-over Master!”

“Hey!”

“Toko did you see either of them leave?” Kyoko cut through the chatter

“N-no.. they w-were in there a w-while so I g-gave up a-around midnight”

“Hey it seems uh... out of character for Byakuya to let someone stay in his room” Taka ventured “If I may, why were you two together all night?”

“Uhhh” Makoto could feel the sweat forming on his brow

“I wished to speak with him about an incident that occurred the other day” Byakuya spoke with flawless confidence “During our lengthy discussion Makoto started to fall asleep so I allowed him to stay in my room. Contrary to popular belief I am not a complete monster” he snorted “Neither did I wish to carry the idiot back to his own bed”

“Incident?” Kyoko latched onto that quickly “What incident?”

“Well you see...”

“Toko attacked Makoto” Byakuya dropped the bombshell to a chorus of gasps and yells.

“What??”
“How?”
“What happened?!”

“How c-could you! I c-can explain!”

“Explain this” Byakuya said coldly “On my way to the library I heard a commotion. When I looked further a classroom door was open and Toko had a knife and was attacking Makoto. At my arrival she panicked and fled”

“Is this true?”

“Yes.” Makoto admitted “Byakuya saved me, that’s the reason I have been staying in my room or sticking in a large crowd the past few days”

“I d-didn’t mean t-to!” Toko protested “I j-just panicked! I-I was j-just scared!... I w-wasn’t going t-to kill him!”

“Why didn’t you tell anybody about this?” Hina asked with confusion “Surely you’d want to tell us all what happened!”

“I thought about it” Makoto admitted “But I was scared that if I did, everyone would be on edge and start panicking and we had just come together as a group and I didn’t want to risk it”

“Why would Toko try and stab you? Doesn’t she have like bloodophobia or something?” Hina asked

“I believe she tried to stab Makoto for that exact reason” Byakuya pushed his glasses up further “Upon seeing the blood she would pass out, everyone later finding the body would assume she merely discovered the crime scene and passed out at the sight. Therefore casting suspicion off herself”

Toko shook in anger as she glared at him “t-that’s...”

Kyoko seemed to consider these words carefully and when she spoke she looked to Makoto “Think carefully. Was Byakuya wearing the same thing when you woke up this morning? The exact same thing this morning? No chance he changed anything?”

“What? Why are you so focused on me?” Byakuya spat irritably “I think we’ve shown here that I was with Makoto and with good reason, we had a lot to talk about and that’s all there is to it”

Makoto could almost feel the blush across his face. Yup Byakuya was definitely wearing the same thing. Nothing at all. He could still almost feel the warmth of his bare skin, the wonderful feeling of his body wrapped around Makoto’s own lovingly, Comfortingly.

“Yes he was, definitely. He didn’t change”

“If you have something to say to me then say it” Byakuya snapped “I’m running out of patience with this witch hunt”

Kyoko smiled enigmatically “Then i’ll say it. I think Byakuya has a motive to commit murder and he set up Makoto as his alibi”

“What?” Makoto yelled smacking his hands on the docket “that’s not true! How can you think that?”

“That’s ridiculous” Byakuya growled “so now the suspicion falls upon me? Alright fine. Prove it”

“First of all isn’t it odd that Byakuya decided to go to Makoto on the night of the murder? When they hadn’t spoken in days even after Byakuya stopped Toko killing Makoto? Why didn’t they discuss it sooner?”

“That’s just a coincidence!” Makoto insisted “I was upset and...”

“Why Byakuyas room? According to Toko she saw him approach your room and then you both went back to Byakuya’s. Why not just talk in Makoto’s room if it was important?”

Byakuya rolled his eyes “Because his room is as basic as you are. If I’m going to have a long and arduous conversation it better be in comfort”

“Or was it so that Byakuya could leave whenever he wanted to” Kyoko folded her arms smugly “in Makoto’s room he would have to try and find the key to sneak out, however in his own room he knew where the keys were. He could leave easily once Makoto fell asleep and then sneak back in without him being any the wiser.”

“That’s all very fascinating” Byakuya sounded bored “congratulations on your creative writing ability. But I fail to see proof, a motive even”

“Allow me to elaborate. Byakuya, the person who declared in front of all of us just a few days ago that he wasn’t afraid to play the game and see people die. Saved Makoto from being attacked? Why? Surely with you as a witness that’s two players out of the game already”

“What?” Makoto couldn’t articulate, couldn’t speak

“I wasn’t going to let someone murder in front of me” Byakuya snapped “where’s the fun in a game where all the mystery is gone?”

“Is that so? That’s all there is to it?”

“Yes. Just my presence startled her and she fled. I didn’t even have to do anything”

“So, you *saved* Makoto then on the night in question, insisted he went to your room and then you stayed there all night together?”

“Yes! That’s all there is to it!” Makoto insisted “we talked about Toko’s attempt to hurt me... and after Byakuya stopped her I knew that there was good in him! I tried to persuade him to fight against the mastermind with me! You need to stop accusing him Kyoko his alibi *is* airtight”

“Makoto you told me that the murder mimicked the Genocide Jack case correct?” Kyoko changed track

“That’s right”

“Hey, so, speaking of Genocide Jack... I don't know who that is!” Hifumi laughed awkwardly

“And you found the documents pertaining to this in the archive?” Kyoko ignored him

“Correct”

“What...? That's kinda weird ass shit, isn't it? What was something like that doing in the library?” Mondo sounded outraged

”The why of it is probably more trouble than it's worth, so let's forget about that for now. More importantly, the file outlines all the specifics of every Genocide Jack case in exceeding detail. According to the file, there appear to be two defining characteristics in every Genocide Jack case. The first is that a bloody message is found written at the scene of every murder.” Byakuya explained in a detached voice

”Oh, that's right! Booblust!” Hifimi drooled

”Uh, no...it's actually "bloodlust"..” Hina shook her head disapprovingly

“But more important is the other characteristic. And it's something that has never been made public.” Byakuya continued

“Apparently, in every Genocide Jack case, the killer suspends the body in a certain way. Other than the killer, the only people who know about this are the higher-ups in the police department.” Makoto finished for him “and me and Byakuya apparently..”

”However, Hiro was most definitely suspended in the same way”

“I know it’s hard to believe that Genocide Jack could be amongst us but...”

“Makoto there ever an instance where someone saw you with those files?” Kyoko cut of his train of thought

“Wha? N... yes actually” Makoto scratched his head “Toko saw me reading them in the classroom when she attacked me.”

“Anybody else?”

“No”

“Are you sure?”

“Uhh well... Byakuya saw them, he took them back to the archive after the attack” His stomach sank as he spoke, he felt guilty as though he was betraying Byakuya by admitting it but.. he hadn’t done this so there was nothing to hide.

Kyoko’s smile told him he had played right into her hands

“So Byakuya saw the case file”

“I’ve seen it before” Byakuya retorted “I have a copy of it at home, it’s not new information to me, how else do you think I knew such specific information”

“It isn’t on its own, however you knew Makoto was reading it, therefore creating the perfect way to commit murder. Your own unwitting alibi leading the case in the wrong direction”

“You really think Byakuya did this?” Hina asked nervously “I don’t know about that”

“He didn’t do this!” Makoto hissed, his agitation unable to hide “no matter what you think this is all just guessing! There’s no proof he left the room or hurt anyone we are wasting our time”

“I believe he used the attack on Makoto to chose his alibi, victim and method of murder”

“V-victim?” Chihiro squeaked looking at Toko “how does that lead to Hiro at all?”

“Hiro wasn’t supposed to be the target, he wanted to go after Toko. It’s just Hiro’s luck he got caught up in the plot. He planned to set up his alibi, lure Toko to the library where he would strangle her with the extension cord he uses to read. Then recreate the Genocide Jack crime scene that would lead Makoto to follow the crimes case file. He used his handbook to access the boys locker room and string up poor Hiro and recreate the scene using details that very few people know. Then he snuck back into his room and Makoto was none the wiser”

Makoto’s head was swimming, Byakuya’s angry responses, the others whispers and shock floating right past him as he shook his head

“This is crazy! Why would he do that! That doesn’t make sense”

“It actually makes a lot of sense” Mondo admitted “he’s said over and over he would kill to get out of here”

“And just the other day Makoto you admitted to me you were scared Byakuya had wanted to kill you” Hina said nervously

“That was..”

“And not only did Toko try to hurt you but she also said all that weird stuff about you two..” Taka pointed out

“N..no!”

“He probably was angry at her for that already and then after she attacked Makoto he saw his chance to shut her up for good”

“Again I’m yet to see any proof” Byakuya was angry, Makoto could see it in his eyes, in his stance but he kept himself composed, together. It was impressive.

“Why? Why would he risk that?” Makoto demanded to know “Why bother!”

“The motive” Sakura spoke up “The only reason would be to keep his secret from being revealed”

“But he didn’t even care about that!” Makoto countered “He told me that he would show me his motive because it wasn’t important”

“Did he show it to you?” Kyoko jumped in quick as a flash

“Not yet, but he was going to!”

“I see” Kyoko’s affect told him he had given her yet more ammunition “Interesting that he would tell you that, yet not actually reveal it. Perhaps he knew he wouldn’t have to tell you in the end”

“No that’s not it!” Makoto yelped “it just wasn’t the right time! We are getting.. somewhere with our talk and I didnt want to ruin it by demanding to know there and then! He said he would tell me today and I believe him!”

“He’s correct” Byakuya concurred “I had every intention of telling Makoto what was on my paper”

“But you didn’t, and now your secret is safe. Quite the coincidence isn’t it?”

“Quite” Byakuya said through gritted teeth

“Well if you had nothing to hide just tell him now” Hina chirrped “if Makoto vouches for you then I will too!”

The smile he shot Hina’s way was full of gratitude. She really was a true friend In this terrible place.

Byakuya looked uncertain but made to step from his place towards Makoto when Monokuma sprang up.

“Not so fast bucko! If you leave your place then I’ll make you into Swiss cheese” the ceiling mounted guns clicked into action freezing Byakuya in place.

“Then how pray tell am I supposed to tell Makoto?”

“I’m afraid private time is over” he cackled “whatever you want to tell your little buddy will have to be said in front of everybody”

Byakuya paled, the colour draining from his face as he looked around the trial room. Makoto gave him what he hoped was his most encouraging smile

“It’s okay Byakuya! You can say it, just look at me and pretend no one else is here”

“Yes Byakuya” Kyoko added “if you were serious about telling him and you didn’t do this, you know we would all have found out anyway”

Makoto tried to reassure him with his gaze, smiling at him softly. He couldn’t do much right now but he wanted Byakuya to be okay. He knew this must be really hard, after all telling Makoto in private, to have that reassurance and someone to stand by him when it all came out was vastly different to this situation. He could see Byakuya shutting down in front of his eyes, the steel shutters closing in his mind.

“No”

I

“What?”

“I refuse” Byakuya crossed his arms. His eyes completely cold and detached “I’m not telling everybody”

“Byakuya!” Makoto’s mouth dropped “I know it’s hard but..”

“No” Byakuya snapped “I’m not telling everyone just to appease that woman. She can try to pick holes in my alibi all she likes but she’s yet to prove anything or even look at anybody else. So no. I’m not co operating”

Makoto’s heart dropped into his stomach at the victorious look on Kyoko’s face. He knew it would be difficult to say but thier lives were on the line here!

“That makes you look guilty” Taka boomed

“Think what you like” Byakuya glared “again there is no proof. Just Kyoko’s theory made on shaky circumstantial evidence. And I use the term evidence loosely”

“Yeah” Makoto swallowed “I believe him”

“You believed Sayaka too” Kyoko said coldly fixing him with a sharp glance “she framed you, I thought you had learnt from that”

“Byakuya is not Sayaka!” Makoto yelled angrily smacking his hand on the podium

“You seem very defensive of him” Sakura pointed out “why do you believe so much in someone who vowed to see us all die?”

“Because” Makoto hesitated “he’s... he isn’t like that. He’s a good person I just know it!”

“Makoto I know you don’t want to accept this possibility but, Byakuya looks good for this”

“There’s no proof! No proof at all!”

“Then allow me to show you some, Toko please show them all what you showed me earlier”

“Wha..”

Everyone focused on Toko now, as she pulled a folded piece of paper out of her pocket with trembling hands.

“Tell them when you received this Toko”

“I-It was slipped u-under my door at about 8:50ish... a-after I r-read it I went o-outside and t-that’s where I saw m-master talking to h-him” she glared at Makoto again

“And the contents of the letter are very interesting” Kyoko announced “its from Byakuya telling Toko to meet him in the library at 1:00am” she folded her arms “do you have an explanation for that Byakuya?”

“No no no no no” Makoto was shaking his head like a man possessed “it can’t be true it can’t”

“It isn’t!” Byakuya was facing him now with fire in his eyes “I didn’t write this!”

“Everything points to you” Taka declared

“I fuckin knew you would pull some shit like this” Mondo growled

“Y-you really w-were going to kill me w-weren’t you. I-if I’d have l-listened to t-this note I-i’d be d-dead instead”

Makoto felt the tears forming heavy in his eyes, his hands trembling as he grasped his docket. He couldn’t believe it, he refused! Byakuya last night had given himself to Makoto so lovingly. The things he had said, the way he had been. So kind and tender, that couldn’t be fake! That couldn’t be a cruel imitation to make Makoto believe in him. Nobody could be that heartless.. he couldn’t believe it!

But.. why the sudden confession? Why had he insisted on going back to his room? Why would he send that note? To Toko in particular after what had happened? Why would he promise to tell Makoto his secret and then refuse now? The Genocide Jack case file.. the extension cord...

And if he wanted to kill Toko in particular for what she did.... it wasn’t retribution as it meant Makoto would die in this trial... and Byakuya had meant what he said all along. He would see them all die to escape, Makoto truly meant nothing and he had gone above and beyond to get Makoto to believe in him before he used him as an alibi. So what they had done was... just a lie, Byakuya’s ultimate way of convincing him.

The realisation hit him heavy in his gut and made him gasp for breath.

Byakuya had used him to commit murder.

Chapter Text

Emptiness. Just hurt.. pain... betrayal.

“Were you ever going to tell me?” Makoto fixed his gaze to Byakuya’s icy eyes “Or was it all just a lie to make me trust you?”

“I...” Byakuya’s eyed widened, shock written plainly across his face.

“Because you didn’t have to do that” Makoto blinked back the tears ferociously gathering in his eyes “I already trusted you Byakuya, you didn’t have to lie to me. It would have been kinder if you didn’t”

Kyoko nodded “I’m glad you’re finally registering this as a possibility”

Byakuya stared at him wordlessly, his expression registering bewilderment, anger and then... heartbreak.

“So.... You have turned against me too. After *everything* we spoke about, you believe I lied”

Nobody else knew what Byakuya was saying to him, his real words being “how can you believe I lied to you, after I told you how much I cared for you. After I held you and kissed you and even let you inside of me. You would believe I did this”

“I don’t want to, but I... I have to follow the evidence”

“I see” Byakuya’s expression hardened, his posture stiffened “I should never have trusted you”

“I just... i need to be realistic... and face the truth”

“So shall we vote?” Hina asked tentatively

“I vote for Byakuya!” Taka yelled

“Do this and be cursed” Byakuya’s eyes were full of vitriol as he spoke calmly and collectedly. But his eyes burned into Makoto’s with an intensity as he declared “You are no friend of mine”

It was like a slap in the face. But wasn’t it all a giant sucker punch? Byakuya making him believe he cared, Makoto even thinking that he may possibly... love... him only to find he had been used and betrayed, but this was 10 times worse than what Sayaka had done to him.

“Shall we vote?” Sakura asked reiterating Hina’s words

“I think I would like to examine Toko’s note first” Celeste spoke up “I wish to examine all the evidence thoroughly. After all our lives depend on this outcome”

“Of course, Toko show then the note” Kyoko instructed

Trembling Toko passed the note around the circle, each person reading before passing it wordlessly to the next. Upon his turn Makoto took the note with shaky hands ready to see the proof of his betrayal.

The letter was written on lined notebook paper and read simply

“Toko,

Things are over between me and that bed wetter, I made a mistake and I need to talk with you urgently about what happened in the classroom the other day.

Meet me in the library at 1am after everyone else is asleep.

Master Byakuya”

Shit. Makoto bowed his head in shame as he took in the note. Everything he had thought... everything he had believed... finally composing himself to look back up at the group he locked eyes with Toko and steeling himself to stay calm...

“This is a fake”

“What??”

“This note, Byakuya didn’t write it!” Makoto slammed the paper down angrily

“How can you be sure?” Kyoko challenged

“Because for starters the only person here with a track record of calling me a bed wetter is Toko. She used that nickname for me multiple times, including the day she attacked me and even today when I tried to check on her!”

“A-are you t-trying to say I w-wrote this?” Toko hissed

“I know you did! Because this isn’t even Byakuya’s handwriting!”

“Let me see that” Byakuya had yet to see the letter and examined it with sceptical eyes “you’re right, this isn’t my handwriting and I would never sign a letter as ‘Master’“ he spat the word out distastefully

“He could have forged his writing” Celeste suggested

“Why bother doing that, only then to use your real name to sign it? No the only way forging your writing makes sense is if you’re trying to imitate someone else”

“Or to make us believe he’s being framed, how could we prove this isn’t Byakuya’s writing?” Kyoko asked

Makoto thought hard, his mind in turmoil as he tried to process what had happened. He had accused Byakuya.. believed he could have actually done this.. all based on evidence that was fast unraveling. Could he prove this? Could he.. he stuffed his hands into his pockets anxiously and coming into contact with a blocky object. He whipped the notebook from his pocket with wide eyes.

“I can prove it!”

Flipping frantically through the pages he revealed the last page of his notes, including Byakuya’s added neat lettering.

“This is what Byakuya wrote in my notebook. This is his handwriting”

His book made its way around the courtroom as everyone examined the writings, nodding their affirmation that the styles didn’t match.

Byakuya was looking at him with a strange look in his eyes, hurt and approval all at once and Makoto looked away with burning cheeks.

“So If Byakuya didn’t write the note, Toko wrote it herself” Kyoko bought her hand to her mouth

“I-I didn’t! I s-swear!”

“Stop lying” Byakuya commanded, some semblance of his self returning momentarily.

“Byakuya didn’t do this. He’s being set up”

“What you believe him again? Two fuckin minutes ago you were accusing him too” Mondo scowled

“Kyoko thinks he did it, that’s good enough for me” Taka nodded

“Not necessarily” Kyoko interjected “my theory is shaky I’ll admit, I would much rather explore all avenues before we make a decision”

“Good thing you made Makoto completely ruin his friendship on that theory then” Hina shot in an accusatory tone and Makoto felt a quiver in his lip at Hina’s defence. He didn’t deserve it.

“It’s better than dying” Kyoko retorted.

“So where do we go from here? Toko faked a note to make Byakuya look guilty, why?”

“Isn’t it obvious” Byakuya’s fists were clenched “because she committed the murder”

“I d-didn’t!”

“Save it”

“Can you prove it?” Kyoko asked and Byakuya’s just glared, his posture locking up defensively.

“Whatever I say now you will just be met with doubt. You’ll have to figure it out yourself”

“Makoto” Kyoko turned to him “then you have to prove this. If Toko is framing Byakuya then you are the key to unlocking this mystery”

The key... no.. he couldn’t see the truth.. he couldn’t even see past this one roadblock. He should have waited, examined the note before he believed... before he gave up his faith in Byakuya. And now he couldn’t take it back. He couldn’t solve this, he was useless... hopeless. Hifumi passed the notebook back to him and he accepted it with a heavy heart. He couldn’t prove Toko did anything, he knew nothing. Nothing at all.

His eyes lingered on Byakuya’s notes

‘Dissociative Identity Disorder or ‘multiple personality disorder’ is a mental disorder characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring personality states. This is accompanied by memory gaps, beyond what would be explained by ordinary forgetfulness’

Closing his eyes he tried to focus, there had to be something. He must know something important about Toko he just wasn’t focusing.

Trying to block out the noise of the others in the trial room he concentrated. What did he know? How did this all link together?

Toko... she tried to stab him. Even though she was afraid of blood. She was obsessed with Byakuya... she heard them in the library... she cornered him in the stairwell and... she was like another person. Loud, vulgar, asking all about what they did.. like a personality shift... between gloomy and... again the sudden change in the locker room... her personality changed?

Her personality changed.

“I got it!”

Makoto’s eyes flew back open, his eyes wide with realisation.

“Toko has disassociate identity disorder. She’s the real Genocide Jack!”

“W-What?!”

“No way!”

“It took you long enough” Byakuya retorted crossing his arms.

“What are you basing this on Makoto?” Kyoko asked

“Mondo, do you remember the day you found me and Byakuya in the locker room?”

“Uh.. yeah” the biker answered “you were hiding from Toko because she went all psycho on your asses right”

“That’s right! She cornered me in the stairwell but she wasn’t like her usual self.. she was loud, vulgar... no stammer either, a completely different person. Doesn’t that sound familiar?”

“It sounds like what happened to her in the locker room earlier” Hina scratched her cheek

“O-Okay...but still, to go and say that about Miss Fukawa is--“

”Perfectly acceptable. Toko's strange behavior after seeing the body is proof enough that she has a split personality.”

“She was acting funny, that's for sure! That melancholy tone of hers completely disappeared!” Taka agreed

”Don't go assigning adjectives to my t-tone without permission...”

”Not to mention, once she regained consciousness and saw Hiro’s body again, she was utterly calm.” Byakuya nodded “In other words, within her is one personality that can't handle blood, and one that obviously can”

”N-Ngh...!”

“So when Toko trapped herself in her room, it's because she was scared of Genocide Jack...? That they would get out again?” Hina clapped her hand over her mouth “She could have hurt me at any time!”

“This certainly sounds compelling. All that's left is to hear from the person in question directly.” Kyoko looked at Toko

“The p-person...? Y-Y-You don't m-m-m-mean...!?”

“Yes, it’s time to show us Jack”

“N-no! That’s not possible! I-I’m not Jack!”

“You know” Byakuya smirked “a shift in personality can be triggered.. assuming we know how to make it happen”

“How to force her to switch personalities...” Makoto thought hard..how could they force that to happen...

Next to him Hifumi sneezed “sorry.. it’s dusty in here”

“You’re a genius Hifumi!” Makoto’s eyes widened in glee

“I.. I am? Yeah I totally am! Why again?”

Makoto was triumphant “when we were stuck in the locker room she was being really loud outside until we heard her sneeze and then it went silent. Her switch is sneezing”

“How can we make her sneeze?”

“Monokuma can we have some pepper please” Kyoko fixed her intense stare upon the bear “it will make things much more fun”

“Oh well if it’s for fun then I’m on board!” Monokuma procured a pepper pot from... somewhere.

“N-no! Stop!”

Kyoko threw a handful of pepper with no remorse, most of those in the room
sneezing involuntary at the nuisance

ACHOOO

“Well hello there! Is it me you were hoping to see!?” Toko jumped up straight, her eyes bright and her tongue poking out of her mouth in that way it had back on the day of the locker room incident

“Gah! Eugh, what the heck!?”

”So you figured it out, huh? Well, whatever! What're ya gonna do!?” Jack cocked her head and giggled

”You’re.. Jack?”

”I'm the Ultimate Murderous Fiend, Genocide Jack! Or better yet, let's go with Genocide Jill!”

”What the fuck is this!?”
”Toko...what happened to you?”
“Someone hold me!”

”Not Toko! That's a loser name! And what happened is a textbook split personality! So what if one of them happens to be a serial killer!? You should turn a blind eye to one's faults!”

Jill threw her head back and roared with laughter. There was no mistake, this is who she had been that day she cornered Makoto. Genocide Jack lived within Toko Fukawa

“This one is so different from the one we've come to know...” Sakura shook her head

“Yes, well, the world is composed of a front and a back, you know. Just like how every inning has a top and a bottom, or how in the depths of every truth lives a little lie... Behind every dark and gloomy soul lives another that shines as bright as the sun! Kyeehahahaha!”

“Remember what Monokuma told us? If someone didn't murder and graduate within 24 hours, an embarrassing memory or secret would be revealed. Well, let's assume that Toko's secret was about Genocide Jack. If a secret like that came to light, Toko's life would have undoubtedly been forever ruined. So she had a very clear motive to never have that side of herself exposed.” Kyoko theorised

”Interesting... Very very very interesting...! But sorry! As much as I hate to admit it, I'm not the culprit!”

”Huh?”

“I murder with passion and conviction! I consider myself a professional, and I have a very particular way of doing things!”

”That is true,the cause of death is different. In the Genocide Jack murders, all the victims were killed the same way. According to the case file, they were all apparently killed with...a pair of scissors. But Hiro died from a blow to the head, right?” Makoto explained

”Ah, yes! That is remarkably different from the other murders!” Taka agreed

”Additionally, in all the previous Genocide Jack cases, something else was used to suspend them... Specifically, pairs of razor-sharp scissors. But Hiro was tied with an extension cord”

”And guess what! I used my own specially designed scissors for the murders AND the arrangement! Like I said, I'm a professional. So naturally I'm very picky about the tools I use!”

“You’ll only kill with your scissors? And nothing else?”

”Bingo! And--andandandandand ya know what else!? All the people I kill with such passion and conviction...are adorable little men! Kyaah! I can't believe I said it! I'm so embarrassed!”

”The hell is wrong with you!?” Mondo raged

”I can't help it. I'm just a full-throttle boy-on-boy fangirl!” Jill giggled “And the mopey side of me just hates it! That’s why I’m so fascinated by the adorable glasses boy and McCutie over here! Their level of action even made me pass out! Kyeehahahaha! And also no offence but that guy... he’s not adorable at all! Killing him would be an insult to my pattern! An Italian chef wouldn’t start making Ramen just because it’s noodles!”

”Be that as if may” Byakuya interjected seeming to brush off her comments about them while Makoto stewed in embarrassment “You may change your MO when you have to kill for survival instead of your own passions”

“Would never kill for a reason as petty as mere survival!” Jill spat in disgust ”And! If by some fluke I *did* kill to survive...
why would I bother with the message and arrangement!? It'd make me the obvious suspect!”

”That...does make some amount of sense”

”PLUS! Whatever reason I have for killing, I would NEVER leave out my prized scissors! Who would go out of their way to use a big stupid heavy dumbbell!?”

“Maybe you used the dumbbell cuz you couldn't find any scissors in the school?” Hina suggested

”Any scissors?” Jill screeched “I don't just use "any" scissors! I only use my own set of high-class, envy of the entire world scissors! Da da-da daa!” Quick as a flash she reached down to her thigh and pulled out multiple pairs of scissors with a flourish. Countless pairs holstered to her legs

”She's fully equipped!”

”That's right! So I can kill anywhere anytime! Why would I resort to dumbbells or rope, when I have my trusty scissors by my side? Go ahead, tell me I'm wrong. You can't, can you? Gutter dogs, all of you! Not to mention, I have no clue how to tie a good knot. So rope's totally out of the question anyway!”

“Ngh...ngraah...! I have no idea what's going on anymore...! Could such a heinous villain really be innocent!?”

“Sorry, But it wasn’t me! Plus Miss Morose has been keeping me on such a tight leash I haven’t even been around before today, not since the day I had my adorable conversation with Master and Big Mac when they hid from me in the locker room! Man the things they must have done in there, im on fire!”

“Right... enough of that” Makoto scratched his cheek.

“I think it’s pretty clear Toko was desperate for this secret not to get out” Kyoko tapped on the docket “she pleaded at Monokuma’s motive reveal not to have her secret read out and then attacked Makoto when she came upon him reading the case file. Scared she would have her secret revealed anyway she decided to kill him to silence him and keep her secret. But when that didn’t work.. she planned something far more devious”

“Really Miss Gloomy has the capacity to be that nefarious? I’m almost impressed” Jill cackled

“Do you didn’t know about any of her plans?”

“Nah it doesn’t work like that, we don’t exactly share memories. So I don’t know what goes on when I’m not here”

Jill cackled and tucked her scissors back into her holster.

“What what what? This isn’t one of my beautiful scissors!”

Angrily she held up a chunky pink marker and glared at is as though it had personally offended her.

“What the hell is this for!”

“Thank you Jill that was.. very helpful of you”

Without another word Kyoko threw the pepper back into her face

ACHOOOO

“W-What d-did I...”

“It’s over Toko, we know what you did”

“I d-didn’t do a-anything!”

“We know you planned to kill Byakuya, we figured out the last details from Jill. We just want to know why”

“I didn’t d-do anything! And you c-can’t prove I did!”

“I mean.. it still looks like Byakuya could have done it” Taka admitted “I can’t see Toko strangling a man to death”

“The strangling *isnt* what killed him though” Kyoko interjected “anyone could knock someone out, and the body wasn’t fully suspended either, his knees were resting on the floor suggesting the killer wasn’t strong enough to lift his weight up”

“But seriously a tall guy like that would have way more of a chance to knock someone out than a small girl like Toko” Mondo argued

Wait... height... may have something to do with this.... Makoto scrabbled for the crime scene photos.

“Monokuma!” Makoto called out

“Ohhh yes? What can I do for you? Or can you just not resist my beary good looks?”

Makoto decided to ignore that.

“With your permission i’d like to conduct and experiment, it will make the trial much more exciting”

“Then I’ll allow it! Man could this trial get much more fun?”

“I need some extension cord, Byakuya and Mondo for this”

“Fine, move into the centre of the circle” Monokuma tittered providing a length of extension cord.

Byakuya eyed him suspiciously but stepped from his podium, walking to the centre of the court room along with a confused Mondo.

“Okay so Hiro was 6 feet tall right? So for this I need Byakuya to be Hiro, Mondo stand behind him and take the cord.

Wordlessly the boys stepped into position, confusion and suspicion ripe in the air

“Okay Mondo now wrap the cord around his neck like you would choke him from
behind, don’t pull too hard but tug on it”

“I swear to god...” Byakuya grumbled

Mondo complied and pulled the cord a little tighter and Makoto grinned

“Just what I thought”

“What does that prove exactly?” Hina asked confused

“Look at the cable” Kyoko instructed, it’s almost parallel, completely level against a Byakuya’s throat making a nice clean horizontal line”

“Yeah what about it?”

“That the impression that would be left if a person of a similar height strangled him” Makoto explained “However if you look at the photos of the marks on Hiro’s neck”

“The impression angles down” Taka’s eyes widened

“Exactly what would happen if...” Makoto swapped places with Mondo, tugging the cord gently in his own hands.

“A much shorter person strangled them”

Bingo. The cord lined up.

“I see what you mean that was very exciting” Monokuma applauded

Byakuya turned to Makoto with a look filled with grudging respect and also distain... it bought a lump to Makoto’s throat.

“The physical evidence proves Hiro was subdued by someone much shorter than himself” Kyoko nodded “I’m impressed Makoto, that was well noticed”

“Toko.. we know you used that marker to write on the wall and I think I know why!”

“W-why What?”

“You didn’t want to kill someone using a bloody method. That would either cause you to pass out and be found at the scene or for Jill to take over and maybe do something unpredictable. So you came up with the strangulation method, it would be cleaner that way but you couldn’t mimic the crime scene properly. You wouldn’t be able to write in the victims blood.. so you used pen to fabricate the crime scene and lead the suspicion my way”

“It’s over Toko” Kyoko declare “the note is fake, we found the pink marker on you. Just tell us why”

“W-why? I’ll tell you w-why! He was going to r-ruin my life!” She screamed pointing at Makoto seemingly giving up her innocence protest “he s-stole m-Master from me! Then he s-started poking his n-nose in my case! I k-knew he would f-find out s-so when I c-couldn’t k-kill him I was g-going to frame him I-instead!”

Byakuya visibly paled at her words, Makoto’s mouth dropping open in shock.

“You tried to frame me?”

“Y-you were with him t-that night! Y-you’re so disgusting! M-Master always goes to the l-library late at night so... I was w-waiting for him with the cord... I didn’t want there to be any blood... so I was going to strangle him and fake the scene to look like one of *her* crimes! Then e-everyone would think M-Makoto did it because of his i-interest in the case” Toko seethed

“But h-he didn’t c-come! He was t-too busy... with *him*” she hissed at Makoto “he always c-chooses you! I w-was so a-angry! All my p-planning... and then a-all of a sudden t-that idiot appeared b-babbling! He told m-me he had a v-vision and he w-wanted to show me. I saw m-my chance and I... I s-strangled him! It w-was so easy! And t-then I dragged h-him and tied him u-up and wrote o-on the wall! A-afterwards I forged t-the note to frame m-master”

“That’s your whole story?”

“T-that’s everything..” she admitted dropping her eyes “I c-couldn’t kill like s-she does. I m-messed up”

“What do you mean?”

“The dumbbell. I d-didn’t use that.. she must h-have taken control and u-used it!”

“Yeah... actually why would she use the dumbbel? She made a whole plan to avoid blood and then.. the fatal blow was a bloody one” Makoto pointed out

“And Jill already said she wasn’t in control last night” Kyoko added “besides she was pretty adamant that she would never deter from her scissors. If she had taken control I’m sure she would have used those to finish him off”

“She m-must have been! There’s n-no way I could have h-hit him”

“And you have all your memories of last night?

“Y-Yeah I t-think I r-remember it all”

“So” Kyoko declared “either Toko *and* Jill are both lying... or someone else found Hiro tied up and they killed him”

“Wait so... Toko didn’t kill him?” Hina rubbed her head “after all this there’s someone else at play here?”

“I believe so” Kyoko nodded “it seems like Toko planned the crime and almost succeeded. However she merely subdued Hiro with the cable, at some point he woke up and someone discovering this decided to take their chance to get away with murder”

“But how are we going to figure that out” Makoto quizzed “if we rule out Chihiro, Mondo and Toko...”

“And yourself and Byakuya” Kyoko added “Byakuya leaving the room seems unlikely given he had already broken his habit of going to the library as usual. Also without knowing there was a crime to commit, fabricating an alibi with you wouldn’t have been on the agenda”

Makoto tried to make eye contact with Byakuya but he was firmly ignoring his gaze. Looking into the centre of the circle with anger radiating from his being.

“So.. that means that the person who killed Hiro was..”

“Either Taka, Hifumi, Celeste, Sakura, Hina or myself” Kyoko concluded

“But how can we figure that out?” Hina’s voice was high with fear “there’s just no evidence now! What are we going to do?”

“Don’t panic, we still have evidence” Kyoko said calmly “I think if we focus on the victim everything will become clear”

“You mean.. what Hiro was doing out of bed so late? His prediction?” Makoto asked

“Yes, if we follow his prediction therein lies the clue to his killer”

“Poor Mr Yasuhiro.. if he had never followed his prediction this wouldn’t have happened” Hifumi said sadly “when he said at 2am he would get to leave the school he couldn’t have known it would mean via his death”

Blood rushed through Makoto’s ears, his heart beating so fast he was surprised it didn’t burst

“What did you just say?”

“Hifumi, when did you find that out?”

“What?” Hifumi has started to sweat copiously

“How did you know what Hiro’s prediction was?”

“He.. he told me” Hifumi squeaked “after dinner!”

“No that’s wrong!” Makoto called out “you said you didn’t see him after dinner, that you went straight to bed”

“I.. I forgot!” Hifumi protested “he knocked on my door and told me and I thought it was all bogus so I ignored it”

“I don’t think so” Kyoko smirked “there was no reason to keep that information from us. You knew his prediction was allegedly he would be leaving the school at 2am, something nobody else knew”

“Games over” the smile had returned to Byakuya face “its time to vote”

.....

Despite his protests of innocence there was no more arguing when the votes were verified as correct by a gleeful Monokuma.

“Oooh that was a tense one! I was so sure you were going to get it wrong this time” he cackled “but you were bang on the money! Hifumi Yamada killed Yasuhiro Hagakure with a blow to the head”

“Why?? Why did you do this pig!” Celeste hissed

“I...” Hifumi had started to cry “he knocked on my door and told me he had foreseen that if he went to the locker room, at 2am he would get to leave this place for good! I got curious, I hadn’t been able to sleep thinking about it... so I went and he was all tied up with that weird writing on the wall! He asked me to help him get down and I went to help but then...”

“He realised this was the perfect opportunity!” Monokuma laughed “a way to graduate without any hard work! So he took the dumbbell and smacked his dumb brains in! Afterwards he ran away leaving Miss Fukawas piss poor murder attempt to disguise what he had done. Too bad it didn’t work! And so forth comes what we’ve all been waiting for... It’s Punishment time!”

Unceremoniously Monokuma grabbed his gavel and slammed the red button with glee. The class were forced to watch as Hifumi was caught in a death battle between a giant Monokuma and Princess Piggles resulting in Hifumi being blown up.

Makoto watched the spectre with shaking hands, he couldn’t believe it. They had found the truth... but at what cost? Byakuya stood away from him, not even glancing in his direction. His posture rigid and his aura fierce.

Monokuma laughed during the entire spectacle, while they stood transfixed with fear on their faces.

“Okay well not that’s over I need some beauty sleep” Monokuma yawned bored all of a sudden “off you go! Back to your lovely communal life! Ahahahah!”

Wordlessly they filed into the elevator. Nobody spoke, nobody knew what to do. Chihiro stood between Mondo and Taka, each had a hand on his shoulder.
Supportive and parent like.

Sakura and Hina stood together. Hina’s hand on Sakura’s arm, supporting each other.

Byakuya for once stood at the front of the elevator, back to everyone and as soon as the doors clicked open he strode off without a backwards glance.

“Wait!” Makoto’s feet took flight and he chased after him, struggling to keep up with his long strides

Everyone else hung back, standing outside the elevator talking together quietly. They seemed to understand by the look Kyoko gave him as he raced past turning to the others and halting their steps.

Byakuya ignored him and only as they finally reached the entrance to the dormitories did Makoto manage to catch him and grab his arm.

“Byakuya please! Wait! I’m sorry! I’m so...”

“Save it!” Byakuya hissed finally turning to face him. His eyes alight with blue fire and if looks could kill Makoto would have dropped dead on the spot “I don’t want to hear it! You betrayed me! You betrayed everything I thought we might have. I have nothing more to say to you”

“I’m sorry!” Tears were forming fast and Makoto couldn’t stop his lip wobbling as he tried to explain “I... I only believed it for a moment! I.. was just trying to follow the facts”

“Follow the facts” Byakuya repeated his nose crinkled in disgust “That much I expected, you should always follow the evidence. What you didn’t have to do.. was really *believe* it. The moment you accepted her truths over mine..” he shook his head “You were lost. The swimmer was right. Was it worth it?”

“N..no! I please! Let me make this right”

“There’s nothing you can do” Byakuya turned his back “What I did last night... I wanted to prove to you that you could trust me, that I really did care about you. I can see it was in vain, that you would think I was that ruthless...” he shook his head “I am ruthless Makoto. But not that much”

He reached for his door handle. “Leave me alone now. You’ve done enough”

“Byakuya! I know you’re angry at me! I let you down so badly but please let me make it right! The secret.. I just...”

“No!” Byakuya turned, his whole posture changed. Aggressive, fearful. His hands trembled and his face contorted into something Makoto didn’t recognise “you don’t get to know that!”

“I know.. I don’t.. expect you to..”

He advanced on Makoto like a predator, eyes gleaming, anger radiating from him in a way that made Makoto shake.

Pointing his finger in Makoto’s face and through gritted teeth Byakuya forced the words out as controlled as possible despite the quivering of his entire body.

“You don’t get to know what they did to me. Ever. You don’t deserve to”

And with that he turned, the slamming of his door resonated through the empty hall and shutting the connection between them. It was over, Makoto had lost him.

He tried to still the shaking of his body, trying and failing to fish his keys out of his pocket with trembling hands. Choking back a sob he finally managed to get his door open and ran into his room as the damn finally broke. His tears fell freely as he broke down against his dorm room door.

They had found the truth. But he had lost himself to get there.

Chapter Text

That night Makoto dreamt again.

The wind gently caressed his bare skin relieving the clamminess of his body. Despite the heat he nuzzled closer to Byakuya, his head rested on his chest as Byakuya skimmed his fingers through Makoto’s hair softly.

“I love you” Makoto said quietly tightening his arms around Byakuya’s bare waist.

Byakuya stilled his fingers and instead tilted Makoto’s face to look at him. He was clammy too, his hair damp with sweat but he smiled and it was full of warmth. Brighter and more vibrant than the summer sun that shone through his dorm window.

“I love you too obviously” he kissed Makoto softly, lovingly.

Makoto’s heart swelled, he was so happy, so content. Just basking in the afterglow.

Byakuya nuzzled against his cheek with a softness that made Makoto melt

“Can we stay like this forever?”

“We can” Byakuya answered into his ear “We will always be together, I will change the world for you. Just you watch me”

.....

He awoke with tears running silently down his cheeks. Touching his face in surprise his fingers came away wet and he started at them in confusion.

That dream had felt so real, just like last nights only this time... it reminded him that he had lost Byakuya. He sobbed then hiding his face in his hands, his dreams would torment him with a life he could never have. A past that could have been if they hadn’t ended up here. It all hurt, it hurt so fucking much.

The morning announcement pulled him from his stupor and he stared wide eyed at the screen registering Monokuma’s obnoxious wake up call. Still, it was better than going back to sleep, sleep hurt.

Breakfast was quiet, everyone subdued from the previous days events. Hina slid into the seat next to Makoto and wordlessly looped her arm through his own, resting her head against his shoulder.

“Thank you” Makoto kept his eyes down afraid if he looked at her he would cry.

“Friends till the end okay” she said softly and Makoto nodded to hide the tears forming. “I think it was pretty crappy of Kyoko to make you suspect Byakuya like that. Without proof it just...” she sighed “I’m sorry”

Makoto squeezed her hand and managed to force out a reply

“He’s not going to forgive me... is he”

“I..” Hina hesitated “I don’t know, maybe.. if there’s anyone that he would forgive it’s you... but... he’s stubborn”

“Yeah.. and I deserve it. I betrayed him” Makoto gave a hollow laugh

“He betrayed you first though, remember?”

“Yes and no.. he didn’t really mean what he said. He was just being all.. Byakuya. Trying to distance himself from people”

“You guys really made up the other night then huh?”

“Yeah. He was... really good to me” Makoto swallowed “I think i saw the real him.. the one under all that armour.. and now...”

“You just have to show him he’s worth fighting for” Hina pumped her fist enthusiastically

“What do you mean?”

“Well like... if you keep trying to show him you’re sorry and.. you’ll fight to fix your friendship. Even he can’t stay mad forever I’m sure”

“Makoto managed to smile at her “you’re right.. I just have to prove myself...”

“That’s the spirit!” Hina seemed jovial once more “now let’s eat! I’ll share some donuts with you.

....

After breakfast those gathered set off together to explore the newly opened floor of the school. Byakuya was nowhere to be found, neither was Toko. Makoto assumed Byakuya had gone to explore the new level first thing, knowing their breakfast meeting would come prior to their exploration.

The group quickly discovered the art room, repository, the Rec room and physics lab as well as two new classrooms.

Finding himself alone in the repository Makoto leaned against the wall as the wave of anxiety and regret crashed over him once more. He slid to the ground, trying to hold back his tears. How pathetic he was being, Byakuya would be repulsed by his weakness. But... he couldn’t help it, he just hated himself right now, hated what he had caused.

“Makoto” Kyoko’s soft voice reached him and he looked up in surprise trying to wipe his eyes with his hoodie sleeve. Wordlessly she walked to him and sat down next to him on the floor.

“...I’m sorry”

“What?” Makoto looked up confused

“I’m sorry for making you doubt Byakuya”

Makoto shook his head “it’s my fault.. you just... were doing what you had to.. I..”

“You were just being careful Makoto.. you followed the theory and the evidence until you disproved it. You proved his innocence, he would have done the same thing”

“The difference is...I believed it. That’s what hurt him. Not the trial.. not the process.. it was me. For all of my.. “let’s believe in each other, let’s work together, we’re friends” Makoto let his voice go high in a cruel mocking imitation of his own words “I still gave in, I believed... really believed that Byakuya had killed Hiro, had used me to commit murder. And I can’t take that back, I can’t take back that I betrayed his trust” He sniffed loudly wiping at his eyes again “and now he’s never going to forgive me, he’s shut down and I won’t get through to him again. I had one chance.. one opportunity to get to know him.. the real him. And I blew it” he laughed but the sound was hollow as it echoed around the room.

“I think you’re.. thinking about this the wrong way” Kyoko said softly “you’re thinking too much that he won’t forgive you, instead of thinking of what you can do to prove yourself worthy of forgiveness”

“I don’t know if I *can* do that”

“You don’t know until you try” Kyoko shrugged “I accused him because I saw a theory. If you shake enough trees eventually something will come loose. As it stands.. I was wrong about him. But without you the truth may never have come out. You are the key to Byakuya, you are the only one he listens to, even cares about. You have to try Makoto, show him you are the person he trusted”

Makoto nodded clumsily, trying to stop himself from crying again.

“You really care about him don’t you?”

“... yeah”

“Then don’t let this stop you. If you didn’t care... you wouldn’t be Makoto”. She patted his arm in a gesture so friendly he wouldn’t have thought it was Kyoko unless he was seeing it with his own eyes. “And he cares about you, I’ve seen it. I think he really was going to tell you his secret.. I have a feeling”

“You can’t know that for sure”

“I can, and you do too. You thought the same as I did, that Byakuya’s secret was going to be something terrible that he had done. Something shocking”

“well yeah.. I kind of did”

“But it’s not.. is it? It’s a vulnerability, something that was out of his control, something he’s ashamed of and keeps very close to his chest”

“How can you know this?” Makoto asked curiously raising an eyebrow at her deduction

“I caught the tail end of your fight, I wanted to keep the others away from you”

“Ahhh...” Makoto nodded “But he told me that his secret wasn’t a big deal, he seemed unphased even when he got the paper from Monokuma. It’s hard to imagine it’s something that... “

“That’s how Byakuya is” Kyoko cut him off “He’s learned to conceal himself beneath a polished facade. But something bad happened to him, and he only wanted to share with *you* his story... the reason he didn’t tell us at trial is because Hiro was dead. He didn’t *have* to tell us and he didn’t want anyone to know, to see his weakness. We all don’t deserve to know” she smirked “Byakuya is prideful, he would have dealt with the motive reveal with you as his confidant. He would have put on his usual air of arrogance and pretended he didn’t care. But you would know the truth, be his strength” she smiled then “don’t give up on him, don’t prove him right”

And with that she stood and walked away, long lavender hair swishing behind her like a curtain.

She was right, Hina was right. He had to be be the person that Byakuya had thought he was. Prove that he was worth more than one careless blunder.

Getting to his feet now he swore to himself he would do it, he had to. Drying his eyes he composed himself ready to go and find Byakuya, he had to talk to him.

.....

It turned out that was harder than first thought, Byakuya seemed to have disappeared off the face of the school. Nobody had seen him all day, maybe he had just kept himself locked in his dorm?

Makoto steeled himself to ring the bell, trying to regulate his breathing as the cold hands of fear gripped him from the inside and made him feel like he was drowning.
Swallowing down his anxiety he lunged for the doorbell before he could change his mind, the buzzer ringing out loudly.

Nothing.

He pressed again, and again.

Each time the noise rang out but there was no answer. If he was in there he was ignoring him. He pressed the buzzer 4 more times in quick succession. An annoying melody that was sure to bring Byakuya to the door in anger, at least to tell him to get lost.

Nothing.

Makoto’s hand wavered and fell to his side. If Byakuya were in there he was truly desperate to avoid Makoto.

Choking back his disappointment and fear he went back to his own dorm, curling himself into the covers to hide. This hurt more than he thought imaginable, his heart ready to burst from the ache inside of it.

He stuffed his face into his pillow as bitter tears stung his eyes. He missed Byakuya so badly already, missed how he felt when he was with him, that overwhelming feeling of contentment like he had come home. He wanted a hug, just more than anything he wanted to bury his face into Byakuya’s chest and be held, to hug him in return and feel that warmth and affection. That kindness that Byakuya had behind closed doors, the way he looked at Makoto and... just how fucking beautiful he was. He was everything.

He had to hope... Hope was all he had.

—————————

Byakuya slammed the door on Makoto and leaned back against it, willing his hands to stop shaking. The betrayal stabbed him repeatedly in the heart and made it hard to breathe. He squeezed his eyes shut as he forced himself to calm down.

How could he.

After everything... the anger surged through him again and he tore the bathroom door open leaning over the sink as he trembled.

Look at the state of you. The boy in the mirror taunted him. You’re heir to the entire world and you’re almost crying like a baby because of some boy.

He glared at himself, how had he become so pathetic? He had been better off when he told Makoto he didn’t care about him, if he had carried on that way he wouldn’t be hurting like this now. Except he hadn’t *wanted* to carry on that way, he cared and he couldn’t turn that off so easily. He still cared, that’s what was so difficult.

Taking off his glasses he splashed water onto his face as though he could wash away the heaviness of what had transpired. Maybe he could...

A shower later and he still felt like shit, he pulled on some pyjama bottoms and a white T-shirt that made him feel like someone else entirely. Not an heir, not an ultimate.. just a boy. A boy with a broken heart.

Sitting on his bed he pulled his knees up to his chest protectively. How could things have changed so much in just 24 hours? Last night they had lain here together in this exact spot, they had been so happy. Just caught up on each other, a long night of lazy kisses and gentle affection. He had never felt such care before... such intimacy. It was the closest thing to love he had ever experienced and his decision to give himself to Makoto was part of that.

He wanted to prove his feelings, show his adoration, that his pride took a back seat to how important Makoto really was. And more than that, it was something he was scared of... something he *never* thought he would do. He had fought through that for Makoto, to show him that they were equal. Now his heart and pride hurt as much as his poor body did.

He wasn’t perfect, he had hurt Makoto too, but even when his mouth had said those cruel words. His mind didn’t believe them, his heart didn’t mean them. He had tried to protect himself and he had lied. What hurt about this was that Makoto *believed* he honestly thought he had done it. That he had the capacity in him to kill and deviously used sex and his feelings to deceive him.

Maybe he should be proud, Makoto being so cynical. He certainly would have been when they first met, but feelings complicated everything didn’t they?

Sighing heavily he lay down pulling the pillow close and fighting back the urge to cry. Makoto’s scent lingered in his bed and he missed him, he missed him so much. He wanted to hug him, hold him, punch him, scream at him. He didn’t know how to understand these feelings that made him feel so pained, so weak. But he wanted Makoto, that much he knew.

Closing his eyes he let exhaustion claim him. There was nothing else he could do now.

He slept badly, tossing a turning in a fitful sleep that was plagued by half formed bad dreams. He couldn’t remember what happened, he just remembered the feeling. The fear, the blind panic that sent him shooting bolt upright in a cold sweat. By 6am he had enough, his mind needed something to occupy it and so he decided to dress.

The next floor of the school should be open by now, that’s what usually happened after a trial. Everybody would surely meet for breakfast before they went to explore the new floor together. They were so predictable. If he wanted to avoid them, avoid seeing Makoto he should go now.

Quickly pulling on a shirt he made his way up to the newly opened floor. The usual new classrooms were of little interest to him, however the art room and physics lab caught his attention. Examining the giant machine in the physics lab he concluded it must be what was oxygenating the school. From the art room he took some supplies for sketching, this would surely help to keep his mind busy. Finally he checked the game room and it made him feel bitter, this would have been a nice place to spend time with people. People that weren’t out to kill each other.

On his way back to his dorm he visited the library and picked up some more books, this was surely going to be a long day. He needed all that he could get. Finally satisfied he slipped back into his room just in time for the morning announcement. Everyone would now be going to breakfast, he just had to bide his time. After an hour had passed he risked sneaking down to the cafeteria and mercifully it was empty. He quickly made himself some food and took some supplies to last the day. Making himself the biggest cup of coffee he could manage he carried it all back to his dorm carefully before locking himself in.

So this is the master plan is it? Squirrelling yourself away in your room like you’re on house arrest? Very mature.

He tutted and dismissed his own thoughts. Today he didn’t want to have to deal with it all, didn’t want to see Makoto so if this is what he had to do then fine.

The water would be back on now, he showered and redressed in his pyjamas making himself comfortable on his bed as he ate his breakfast. After a while tiredness came over him and he napped finally getting some real rest after his restless night.

It was only at about 4pm whilst eating a donut surrounded by books and lying half under his duvet that he realised he was acting like *normal* people do after a break up. He laughed and the sound rang out hollow in the empty room. Sit in your pyjamas and eat your feelings Byakuya, you’re acting just like a teenager. A teenager who just got dumped.

However he could probably allow himself a little latitude. This wasn’t a case of his boyfriend breaking up with him, this was a case of his almost-kind-of-boyfriend accusing him of murdering someone. A little bit different from your regular teenage angst.

He stuffed the last of the donut in his face. Savouring the ridiculous sweetness that he would never usually consume. Sometimes you just had to give in to your base instincts and be a self indulgent miserable cretin.

Lying back on his pillow he sighed, where did he even go from here? He wanted to go out, to get on with things but... how? How did he face Makoto now? Huffing he buried his face in the pillow, he didn’t have the energy to deal with it all. He was going to nap instead, and sketch, and play his violin and not at any point think about Makoto Naegi.

7 o clock came and now he really was bored of wallowing in self pity. His sketches were half finished and angrily splattered with pink, his songs were all too sad, too melancholy, full of heartache and never at any point did he stop thinking about Makoto.

Makoto had let him down, end of story. He needed to just get over it and move on. How did one move on from feelings? Judging from everything he had ever seen or observed from others most people didn’t just ‘get over’ their feelings. They couldn’t be switched off and just pushed to the back of your consciousness. They plagued you and hurt you relentlessly for a long time, maybe forever.

Even thinking of Makoto hurt, his heart aching as he remembered the look on Makoto’s face when he accused him. Then aching even more when he remembered Makoto in this bed with him, his adorable face lit up as he smiled and cosied into Byakuya’s arms.

It was so cruel, to be so close to happiness and have it ripped away. That’s what this game was really about though wasn’t it? Despair.

If he gave in then the mastermind would win, and hadn’t he already decreed the mastermind would not control him anymore?

The sharp ring of his doorbell pulled him
out of his stupor, glancing at his door with suspicious eyes.

It rang again, then again, then 4 times in quick succession, the sound so obnoxiously irritating he wanted to open up just to tell them to get lost.

It was Makoto. It had to be.

But he wasn’t ready to talk, to deal with this. As much as he wanted to open up and both shout at him and kiss him. He couldn’t, not today. He was broken and sad and drowning in his own pity.

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow he would be perfect again.

Chapter Text

Today he was going to do it, he was going to find Byakuya and talk to him. Make him see that he was sorry, try and heal this rift between them.

No surprise that he wasn’t at breakfast but that wasn’t going to stop Makoto, he would sit outside Byakuya’s room all day if he had to!

With Hina’s encouragement after breakfast he ran off to comb the school for the elusive affluent progeny. He wasn’t in any of his usual haunts, the library and archive showed no trace of him. Climbing up to the last floor he didn’t have far to go as luck seemed to finally be shining on him. As he pushed open the door to the physics lab he saw a tall blonde figure with his back to him. He seemed to be inspecting some of the equipment and Makoto shut the door with a loud click to alert him of someone’s presence in the room.

Makoto swallowed nervously as Byakuya turned to face him and was relieved to see Byakuya didn’t look furious at the sight of him.

“So you did come to find me” Byakuya’s voice was calm, and without the ire it carried last they spoke.

“Of course” Makoto steeled himself and walked closer, he mustn’t loose his nerve now “I can’t leave things like this”

He stood in front of Byakuya now, looking up into his eyes and trying not to feel completely intimidated. He didn’t think he had ever felt smaller as Byakuya started down at him with a neutral expression on his face.

“Byakuya... I’m so sorry. From the bottom of my heart... I honestly only believed it for a moment but I know... that... was a moment too long. I should never have doubted you, not after everything that happened between us” Makoto tried to still the shaking of his hands, forcing himself to get everything out in one go before he either chickened out or cried.

“I let you down and I know I can’t take it back, i can’t change it. I regretted it instantly, and if I had just not panicked and been so stupid... moments later I knew it wasn’t true. You can hate me if you want to, I won’t blame you but even if you do I’m never going to give up on you. Nothing is ever going to stop me caring about you and trying to protect you.. nothing”

Byakuya’s eyes narrowed slightly as he started back at him. Makoto was fast loosing his composure, emotion rushing to the surface and threatening to choke him.

“I can’t make you forgive me, I can’t take back what I did or how I made you feel, but I can keep trying to show you I am the person that you trusted, That you didn’t misplace your affection. I won’t prove you wrong Byakuya.. I... I swear”

It was too much, tears were fighting their way out, his voice cracking with his last few words “And I’ll do whatever it takes to make you believe... that I’m sorry... if you want me to get down on my knees and beg then I will.. I’m not too proud”

Byakuya didn’t move, didn’t react, his face a perfect poker mask.

Trembling Makoto sniffed back his escaping sob, his shoulders bowed as his posture slumped. Knees half bent as he made to kneel on the floor in front of Byakuya.

“Don’t”

Byakuya’s words stopped him in his tracks. For the first time some emotion registering on his face, mouth twitching, eyes widening as his hands clenched into fists at his sides.

“Don’t beg, you aren’t a dog. Don’t.. lower yourself”

Makoto halted, rectifying his posture as he looked up at Byakuya with watery eyes.

“I just... want to show you I mean it... how sorry I am..”

He hiccuped involuntarily trying to stem his sobs. “I just... I miss you so much Byakuya” he knew he shouldn’t, it was selfish to try but before he could talk himself out of it he wrapped his arms around Byakuya’s waist. When he didn’t pull away Makoto buried his face into Byakuya’s chest and sobbed openly “I miss you so much! I just want to be with you, to lay with you and forget about this whole shitty situation because you’re the only thing I think about when we’re together” his tears ran freely now, soaking into Byakuya’s shirt. Byakuya didn’t say a word, just stood statue still as Makoto clung to him like a man drowning. “I adore you Byakuya, I dream about you even when I’m with you. I’ve never felt like this about anyone before, the other night was... the best night of my life. I got to really be with you... to love you... and I fucked it all up”

His chest heaved as he sobbed, just hoping beyond belief that Byakuya didn’t push him away. That he could just hold onto him for a few minutes more before he left forever.

“I’m sorry..” he almost whispered the last choked words against his chest, hot wet tears soaking the fabric. “I know it’s over... I’ve hurt you too much but...”

“I think...” Byakuya cut him off. His words slow, deliberate and carefully chosen “that we have both hurt each other a great deal because of this game” his hands moved from his sides, it felt like slow motion to Makoto because he surely didn’t believe it was real life. Carefully they came up until the pads of his fingers touched Makoto’s jaw forcing him to look up at Byakuya’s face.

He gasped in surprise at the tenderness of his touch, the way his steely blue eyes softened as he looked back at him. He knew he must look a state right now, puffy eyed and tear stained but Byakuya was looking at him with the same look he used to. The one that made Makoto feel like he was the most important person in his life. His hands now cupped Makoto’s cheeks, fingertips trailing in his thick brown hair and Byakuya’s voice was soft as he said

“Perhaps we can both forgive each other”

Makoto’s mouth opened in surprise, tears falling fast and thick as he tried not to choke “R..really? You could... really... forgive me?”

“You forgave me first” Byakuya rested his forehead against Makoto’s own. Eyes closing tightly as he held Makoto to him. Makoto couldn’t help help sobbing, his arms tightened around Byakuya’s waist as though scared he might disappear.

“If we let this beat us they win” Byakuya said quietly “I refuse to let someone else dictate our lives. I vowed to fight them with you, I won’t go back on my word”

Makoto nodded squeezing his eyed closed to stop his tears.

“I’ll never doubt you again... No matter what, I will believe you over anyone. I will never turn my back on you I promise”

“Good” Byakuya murmured some emotion finally registering in his voice “let’s not dwell on what we did because of this ridiculous game, let’s focus on what we do going forward. I won’t give them the despair they crave, we are stronger than them. We are stronger together.

“We are” Makoto smiled then for the first time “and I want to be with you... I really do but... are you sure you can... forgive me so easily? I know I hurt you... a lot”

“And I hurt you a lot too, I’m sure it still hurts when you dwell on it does it not?”

“Uh.. well yeah if I think about it.. I remember how it felt and it still makes me feel sad even though I know you didn’t mean it..” Makoto admitted

“And I will probably hurt still for a while. But I would rather heal with you beside me than give in to despair and hurt alone and with no future between us”

His eyes were intently upon Makoto’s own, his face so close “just promise me. Don’t ever do anything like that again” The words were spoken with a steely strength, the same words that Makoto had said to Byakuya after their last fight. Byakuya was evening the scales, both of them giving the other one chance to rectify their actions. No other chances may ever be given, this was them moving past all of this mess. Fighting together forward, unified. So echoing Byakuya’s own reply he smiled up at the boy who had his heart and said firmly and with conviction.

“I swear it”

And that was all it took, Byakuya’s lips were upon his with hunger. Kissing him as though his life depended on it, his hands knitted tightly into Makoto’s hair. Makoto gasped with the intensity as his body was pulled closer, his arms coming up around Byakuya’s neck tightly. He could hardly believe it but.. it was happening. So he kissed him back with enthusiasm clinging to him as though the world was ending. It was messy, hot and frantic. Tongues tangled together with passion, Byakuya’s hands on his face, in his hair.. one ventured south to slip under his shirt and Makoto gasped at the feeling on his bare skin. He bit Byakuya’s bottom lip gently in response and Byakuya practically growled into his mouth “I missed you”

“Ahh.. I missed you so much” Makoto whimpered as Byakuya’s mouth attacked his neck and latched down on the junction of his shoulder punishingly.

He wanted him so much, like never before. He finally had him back, the boy he adored, dreamed of. It was more than he could have ever hoped from this situation.

Byakuya kissed him once more and Makoto’s hands were wild in his golden hair messing it up beyond recognition but who gave a shit. They were together again with the urgency and firmness that he missed so much. Lips moved fast, tongues pushed together hot and wet and frantic, hands everywhere. He could loose himself in Byakuya forever.

His hands went to undo Byakuya’s tie, start to loosen the buttons on his shirt and only then did Byakuya pull alway. Resting his forehead against Makoto’s own as his laboured pants for breath filled the room.

“This room.. too public...”

“Yeah..”

They just looked at each other for a moment as their breathing evened out and then Byakuya gave a small smile before pulling Makoto into his arms tightly. Arms latched firm around Makoto’s waist he buried his face into his shoulder and hugged him. Makoto’s heart felt like it may burst with joy and affection, he wrapped his own arms around Byakuya gently and snuggled into his touch. As the pair hugged in the empty physics lab it was like the whole world had disappeared. No killing game, no despair.

When they finally pulled away from the embrace Byakuya smiled at him and it was warm and beautiful.

“It’s good to have you back”

“Likewise”

He slipped his hand into Byakuya’s larger one and gave it a squeeze.

“So this is it? Us together now for real?”

“Yes”

“So..” Makoto looked bashfully at the floor for a second before he looked up at Byakuya with embarrassment evident on his cheeks “does that mean... I can call you... my boyfriend?”

Of all the responses in the world, he didn’t expect the one he got. Byakuya hissed loudly and jerked away from his touch. Hands coming to grab at his forehead in a vice grip. His knees bowed as he almost sank to the floor as his anguished cry echoed the empty room.

“Byakuya! Are you okay?” Makoto rushed to him horrified and grabbed him to stop him hitting the floor. Byakuya panted loudly, his gasps for breath littered with pained whimpers until his breathing calmed and he finally stood upright once more. His face was sweaty and he rubbed his temple with one hand, his nose scrunched up in discomfort. Makoto’s hands were still tight on his arms, unwilling to let him go. Byakuya exhaled loudly one more time then turned to Makoto.

“I’m sorry for startling you, I.. had a sudden intense pain in my head... I’ve never experienced anything quite like it”

“Are you okay??” Makoto’s eyes were saucer wide as he put a hand on his forehead. “You’re really warm and clammy, and it sounded really painful”

“It was” Byakuya closed his eyes as Makoto’s careful fingers stroked his forehead “I think I’m okay now, it went as soon as it came”

“Maybe you need some fluids” Makoto fussed “have you drank enough? Maybe you haven’t had enough caffeine? It could be the stress of all this. We should go to the nurses office!”

Byakuya gave a small smile and nuzzled into Makoto’s hand “okay, we can get some painkillers from the nurses office. You’re probably right about the caffeine I haven’t had any coffee today”

“Yeah.. Makoto’s calmed at Byakuya’s tone, he seemed much more composed and like his usual self “okay let’s get you some meds and some coffee and then maybe you should lie down”

Byakuya chuckled taking Makoto’s hands in his own “you need to stop flapping Makoto I’m fine now, don’t worry”

“How could I not?” Makoto looked up at him with wide worried eyes “I don’t ever want you to be in pain”

Byakuya tutted loudly and rolled his eyes theatrically “I didn’t realise I’d managed to find myself such a fusspot of a boyfriend”

Makoto inhaled loudly. If possible his eyes were even wider, his mouth opening and curling up into a huge goofy grin
“Really? You.. want to?”

“Yes” Byakuya smirked “I’ve never had a boyfriend before this should be quite the education for me”

Makoto laughed as he threw his arms around Byakuya’s neck and grinned up at him “Today has been the best, I’m so happy!”

“As am I” Byakuya stroked his cheek gently before kissing his lips lightly “Now, boyfriend. I believe you owe me some coffee”

“Right!” Makoto was deliriously happy. Today he thought at most he might be able to talk to Byakuya and tell him he was sorry. He had ever even dreamed this could have been a possibility! His happiness spread through his entire being and made him feel as though he could do anything. With great enthusiasm he grabbed Byakuya’s hand “okay let’s go!”

“We still have to keep this secret okay Makoto?”

“Oh.. yeah I guess we should.. you really think someone is going to kill again?”

“I know they will” Byakuya grimaced “They already think that we are fighting so I think we should be seen together in the cafeteria. Knowing we are at odds can create a motive and somebody may use that. Not that I usually care what anybody thinks but... my actions could effect how somebody views you and I won’t allow anyone to hurt you”

“It’s almost like whatever we do we loose” Makoto sighed heavily “Friends, motive. Enemies, motive”

“Now you’re getting it” Byakuya gave a hollow laugh “The three factors to commit murder are motive, means and opportunity. Thanks to the mastermind we will always have motive. And the more we are together the more means and opportunity we give others to use against us. Just look at what Toko did, I assure you if anything happens to Hina they will look at Sakura. If anything happens to Chihiro they will look at Mondo and Taka. So god forbid anyone knows we are in a relationship, it paints a target on our backs and my primary objective is to keep you safe”

Makoto winced at his words but deep down he knew Byakuya was talking sense. Murder was still a very real possibility, the undercurrent of their lives here.

“Okay, lets go and sit together, let people know we’re on good terms, or at least have a tentative friendship. From then on we are going to have to be careful about how often we are seen together then” Makoto’s face curved into a frown, Sadness taking over his features.

“We will just have to be careful, it’s going to be okay Makoto” Byakuya squeezed his hand tightly once more and then kissed him slowly, savouring the moment. He hummed softly as he broke away fixing Makoto with a look of approval “I’m never going to get over how cute you are”

And before Makoto could answer through his red faced fluster, Byakuya had already smirked and walked out of the physics lab.

Damn Byakuya was really going to be the death of him.

Catching him up the two made their way to the cafeteria, Hina, Sakura and Celeste were sat together. Hina waved to Makoto, a questioning look on her face at seeing them both together and she flashed him a quick thumbs up. As Byakuya walked to the kitchen Makoto darted over quickly to his friends side

“Did you make up?” Hina asked excitedly dropping her voice to a loud whisper

“Pretty much!” Makoto whispered back grinning “were going to talk a bit more but yeah, I think we’re good”

“Way to go Makoto!” Hina high fived him with a loud crack that completely contradicted the reason they were whispering in the first place.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to be BFF’s but... getting along and him not actively trying to murder me is a step in the right direction”

Hina laughed and ushered him away with her hands

“Quick before he catches us gossiping and decides he hates you again”

Grinning Makoto slipped into a seat on the small table and waited for Byakuya to come back. He soon emerged with two cups of coffee, placing one in front of Makoto he took the seat opposite him and sipped at his cup with a refinement that only Byakuya could posses.

“You’re really cute” Makoto whispered quietly and was pleased by the blush that crossed Byakuya’s cool composure.

“Shush” he scolded “Now shall I gather from that obnoxiously loud high five that you have informed Hina that we are no longer at odds?”

“Uh... kind of” Makoto scratched his cheek sheepishly.

“Honestly Makoto That took maybe... 20 seconds from arriving? Well no matter” Byakuya smirked “We have achieved what we set out to do”

“In fairness she did ask me” Makoto laughed “but yes mission accomplished”

Byakuya seemed to think carefully for a moment sipping from his cup “After this I’ll go to the nurses office then to the library for a while, we need to be careful not to be seen too much together. Tonight after dinner I will leave my door unlocked, when you are sure nobody is watching you let yourself in. Make sure to walk past Toko’s room and ensure she isn’t spying. If she is then knock on someone else’s door as an excuse”

“So much sneaking around” Makoto sighed “Having to put so much thought into just.. going to each other’s rooms. We need to find a way out of here fast”

“I concur” Byakuya nodded “but until then, we err on the side of caution”

They sat in peaceful quiet together as they finished their drinks. Makoto couldn’t help but smile, despite everything terrible in this hell hole. There was a ray of sunshine.

.....

Byakuya waited for a while, sat on the bed with a book in his hands although he wasn’t taking in anything on the page. He was happy with today’s turn of events, although part of him still hurt from the trial he knew he had made the right decision. Weakness or not Makoto made him happy, made him feel something exhilarating and addictive. Giving that up would be far harder then learning to get past what had happened. And besides if they were in the real world... these situations would never have occurred. They would have been free to have a relationship and learn about each other in a much less stressful environment. So an amount of latitude had been granted to both of them in the wake of their bad reactions and decisions. He didn’t intend to waste more time playing the masterminds games and let them stop him from... being with his boyfriend.

That made a dumb smile creep upon his lips without provocation. He had a boyfriend now, that was new. Then again so many awful things here were *new* he should enjoy the good ones.

What did give him cause for concern however was the pain he had experienced earlier. He frowned at the memory, the searing pain had ripped through him lasting only moments but it was enough. He couldn’t account for it, he had never experienced anything like it before. Makoto’s words had echoed in his mind accompanying the blinding pain before both had stopped all at once. He hoped he wasn’t coming down with something, the last thing he needed was to be sick and vulnerable in this place.

After what felt like an eternity his door finally opened and Makoto slipped inside locking the door behind him.

“I was thorough” Makoto assured him as he walked over to join him on the bed “but no one was around”

“Good” Byakuya took Makoto into his arms and cuddled his small frame tightly against his own body “I missed you”

“Are you going soft?” Makoto giggled looking up at him, big green eyes shining from beneath his mop of messy hair.

“Maybe” Byakuya smirked “maybe I just really like being with my boyfriend who knows”

Makoto’s cheeks tinged pink and Byakuya took great satisfaction in watching his fluster.

“I sometimes can’t believe you like me” Makoto said bashfully averting his eyes “I’m so... normal and boring and you’re... so beautiful and smart and..”

Byakuya cut him off with a soft kiss, threading fingers in his birds nest hair as he kissed him tenderly.

“Makoto my whole life is full of smart, beautiful and affluent people. Everything is a business transaction, a ladder to climb. Everyone is bright and shiny and larger then life. But some things require a smaller, more honest soul.. I *need* something ordinary, someone normal and sincere... someone real... who see’s *me* not an heir, not a Togami, just... Byakuya”

Makoto’s face twitched as a whole spectrum of emotion played across his sweet face. His smile was filled with happiness, with honesty and humility.

“Byakuya... I...” whatever Makoto wanted to say, he seemed to think was better expressed by kissing him instead. His hands gripping at Byakuya’s shoulders pulling him as close as possible. Their delayed celebration from earlier quickly coming to the forefront as they made up for all they couldn’t do in the physics room. Their kisses quickly grew heated and passionate, taking charge Byakuya coaxed Makoto over into his back and took in the sight underneath him.

Makoto may think that he was plain and ordinary but Byakuya thought he was gorgeous. He kissed him hard, one hand on the back of his neck, fingers deep in his hair. Makoto was beautiful, he may be small but that took nothing away from his appeal, maybe even heightened it. Byakuya felt the need to protect him but also the strength inside Makoto made him feel protected. He was deceptive, small but strong, ordinary yet extraordinary, fragile yet resilient. And Byakuya liked everything about him, from the tip of his ahoge to his clumsy little feet.

He kissed the flawless skin of Makoto’s neck and enjoyed the small whimpers that escaped his boyfriend at his actions. Makoto practically purred under his touch and he loved it, every second of his undivided attention. His hand pushed under Makoto’s shirt and traced the contours of his body, along his ribs and his narrow hips. Makoto writhed under him at his touches, his noises of contentment music to Byakuya’s ears. It wasn’t long before he had Makoto naked under him, god he had missed him so much. Makoto spread his thighs, wrapping his legs around Byakuya’s waist and he moaned into Makoto’s mouth. He wanted him more than anything, he was the only thing in Byakuya’s life that he could not resist.

He looked up at Byakuya with those big starry eyes, hair in even more disarray than usual, his bare skin flushed from the warmth and Byakuya’s attention. The start of a bruise forming on his flawless skin made Byakuya feel strangely exhilarated. Makoto was his in every way, just as he was Makoto’s in return. Makoto bit at his bottom lip seductively and Byakuya wasn’t sure if he had ever seen a sight more alluring then this one.

“I want you” he growled nipping at his ear gently.

“Then take me” Makoto whispered back wrapping his arms around Byakuya’s neck as his spine arched off the mattress.

This time he made sure it was different from the library, when he had fucked him hard and merciless without much real affection. This time he never stopped kissing him, holding him. His hands cradling his face and neck as he kissed him deep and loving, all the while his hips moved in a careful rhythm between Makoto’s legs. It was so much softer, more tender and gentle. Makoto moaned softly into his mouth and Byakuya almost melted at the sound, he was weak when it came to this boy. He adored him, everything about him, including how incredible it felt to be inside him. Nothing on earth compared to the feeling of making love to Makoto.

Afterwards they snuggled together, breathing laboured as Byakuya gently stoked Makoto’s hair.

“Byakuya can I ask something?” Makoto looked up from where his head was pillowed on Byakuya’s chest.

“Yeah” Byakuya replied softly, his eyes half closed as tiredness spread through him.

“Are you gay?”

“Pffffft” Byakuya burst into laughter at the unexpected question, his body wracked with mirth as he tried to speak coherently “Well.. Having sex with a man is probably the most gay thing I can think of”

“That’s not what I meant!” Makoto pouted “I mean you’re the only guy I’ve ever been attracted to... so I think I’m probably bi... but it’s not something I ever had to think about before you... I just... realised I had never asked you about your... preference I guess”

“Well I suppose that’s a good point” Byakuya’s laughter died down as he pondered “Honestly I’ve never even thought about it before. I always doubted I would ever meet someone I felt that way about... I’ve only ever been attracted to you”

Makoto smiled back at him, his lovely face lit up with happiness at Byakuya’s admission “That kind of makes me feel special”

“You are” Byakuya kissed his forehead “Maybe I’m only attracted to you, but considering you’re my only ever crush and a man... I’ll venture that probably makes me gay” he shrugged noncommittally “I don’t think it matters what I am. I’m your boyfriend, that’s all”

“I can’t believe you’ve only wanted me. Me of all people!” Makoto was practically buzzing at this revelation.

“Neither can I, yet life continues to surprise us all” Byakuya’s voice was sarcastic but playful “Now come here I wish to sleep on you” he pulled Makoto back to him, resting his head on Makoto’s shoulder and nuzzling into his neck contentedly.

Makoto giggled but he snuggled back into Byakuya closely, tangled together in a mess of limbs the two held each other as sleep came to claim them.

.....

That night Byakuya dreamt for the first time in a long time. He and Makoto sat on his bed looking at each other. Makoto grinned at him before leaning forward and grabbing Byakuya’s tie in his hand, pulling him close and kissing him. They both laughed and Byakuya encircled Makoto in his arms, pulling him against his body as the two snuggled together happily. The curtains rustled gently with the breeze through his open window, his room was bathed in sunlight and it felt like the most perfect spring day. They both wore brown suits with red ties, it looked as though it were some kind of uniform but Byakuya couldn’t tell from where. He gently traced Makoto’s jaw with his fingers and Makoto shivered at his touch, smiling radiantly at him. His fingers came up to entwine with Byakuya’s own holding tightly, his eyes sparkled as he parted his perfect lips and spoke softly. The words made the hairs on the back of Byakuya’s neck stand on end.

“Does this mean I can call you my boyfriend?”

Chapter Text

He awoke that morning to Byakuya for the first time with no interruption. Byakuya’s head was still rested on his shoulder as they snuggled together and Makoto’s heart surged with love as he looked down at his boyfriends sleeping face. Byakuya looked so content, so beautiful, his hair messy and dishevelled around his lovely face as he slept peacefully. Makoto smiled as he stroked the hair out of his eyes, pressing a kiss to his forehead. Blue eyes opened wide and stared back at him sleepily, a smile curving Byakuya’s lips as his arms tightened around Makoto’s bare waist.

“Good morning”

“Good morning to you too”

This was everything he could have hoped for, this contentment. Byakuya yawned softly and kissed Makoto’s neck gently eliciting a sigh of satisfaction.

“New game plan, we hide in here and we never leave”

Byakuya laughed against his skin “Would that we could”

Makoto closed his eyes again and basked in the moment, the peace and quiet before the morning announcement and they had to go back to pretending and playing the game.

“When we get out of here... this will be us everyday... right?” Makoto asked tentatively, still a little doubtful that Byakuya really could want him long term.

“Yes” Byakuya sighed “only I have chefs to make us breakfast, no more canteen food ever again”

Makoto laughed, Byakuya’s world was far different from his own.

“And much more of this” Byakuya murmured trailing kisses down Makoto’s shoulder making him shiver “A lot more of this” his eyes met Makoto’s, expression hungry as he drew in to kiss him deeply. Makoto’s whole body tingled with electricity, the first sparks of desire resonating within him as he kissed back fierce and wanting. Byakuya’s hand came to clutch his face, fingers trailing the back of his neck pulling him closer and Makoto groaned, biting down on Byakuya’s bottom lip and drawing a loud moan from the boy on top of him. He wanted him...

Right on cue the morning announcement started to play and Byakuya groaned in exasperation “And not that, no more of that ever!”

.....

Byakuya went out into the hallway first checking the coast was clear, when he was satisfied no one else was around Makoto quickly ran to his own dorm to prepare for the day.

He was the last to arrive at breakfast, no surprise and Byakuya tutted and mumbled something about his tardiness as Makoto tried not to laugh.

“You know I think it would be fun if we all went to the rec room after breakfast and played some games together!” Hina was enthusiastic and some of the other students nodded and added their support to the idea.

“Doesn’t sound like a bad idea” Mondo agreed.

“I’m always up for a game” Celeste smiled.

And to take everyone’s money with it Makoto thought sheepishly.

“Yeah.. besides all going to the Rec room to do something fun.. that’s a nice change” Chihiro smiled from his seat besides Mondo, his confidence seemed to have grown since admitting his secret. Today he wore a shirt and pants instead of a skirt and looked much happier in his own skin.

So it was decided, after breakfast everyone went to the rec room together. Makoto was half surprised Byakuya had come but then again... of course he wasn’t going to be without Makoto if he could help it. Toko had come too, presumably because Byakuya had agreed to it. They still hadn’t spoke to Toko since the trial incident but... upon further inspection she laughed at something Mondo said, her eyes glinting red and Makoto visibly relaxed. Was it weird that Jill - a self admitted serial killer was easier to be around?

The group fanned out in the games room, Mondo teaching Chihiro pool. Celeste immediately claiming the Othello board, Kyoko examined a magazine from the rack. Makoto couldn’t help by smile at the scene, it felt nice.. unified even for once. He glanced to where Byakuya stood and felt the familiar jitters in his stomach. His boyfriend. Grinning goofily he turned away lest he be seen, but he couldn’t help it. He was dating the tall, gorgeous, brilliant man he adored and he wished he could just hold his hand or even stand with him like a normal couple. But they weren’t a normal couple, they were a couple trapped in a game of murder.

“You know I’ve got an idea” Hina was bubbly as always, pulling Makoto out of his thoughts as she nibbled on her donut bites “Theres a slot machine, I think we should test your luck Makoto!”

“What?” Makoto laughed “I’m not really lucky.. apart from winning the Hopes Peak lottery. Luck isn’t really a talent”

“Finally something we agree on” Byakuya’s voice rang out sarcastically and Hina frowned at him.

“Leave him alone! I wanna see if there’s more to your luck than that, it will be fun!”

“Actually I am quite interested in this outcome also” Celeste smiled at him enigmatic as ever “I think we should test your fortune”

“Okay okay fine you’ve got me” Makoto raised his hands in mock surrender “let’s have some fun with it”

“Okay” Celeste examined the machine briefly before turning to Makoto “it seems it accepts Monocoins, do you perchance have any on your person?”

“Oh.. yeah” Makoto dug into his blazer pocket and pulled out a hand full of coins. “Okay so shall I give it a go?”

“Sometime today preferably” Byakuya snapped and Makoto had to admire how well he could play the part of being indifferent.

He slotted a coin into the machine and pulled the handle sending the dials whirring. Three matching four leaf clovers aligned perfectly on the center reel as a jingle rang out, dropping a handful of Mono coins into the winner tray.

“See i knew your luck was real!” Hina was bouncing back and forth on each foot with excited energy.

“Nah I don’t think that proves anything” Makoto rubbed the back of his head sheepishly “It’s not like I won the jackpot”

“Try again” Celeste encouraged “let’s test your luck out of set of plays”

Shrugging Makoto picked up another coin and fed it into the machine pulling the handle firmly. The dials whirred and this time a set of Monokuma faces fell into alignment the music playing once more as a trinket fell into the prize tray. It was a small figurine of Monokuma posing wearing a seashell bikini. Makoto blanched at the tacky figure in his hands until Chihiro took it from him giggling

“Can I keep this? It’s pretty funny”

“Sure” Makoto turned his attention to the others “I’m pretty sure this machine is rigged”

“Try one more time” Kyoko spoke up “we can test a best out of three”

Makoto sighed and fed another coin into the rigged machine. When three BAR symbols lined up Makoto waited for the coin payout or tacky figure to appear. Instead a piece of paper seemed to drop into the prize tray and Makoto picked it up curiously.

The colour drained from his face as he examined the object in his hands. Kyoko quickly came to his side and a small gasp escaped her as she took in the prize. It was a photograph, and it showed Hiro, Leon and Sayaka together in a classroom laughing. The most curious part was the sunlight and blue sky evident through the clear windows. Kyoko took the photograph and passed it around the group as Makoto tried to still his shaking hands. The wind had been knocked from him, his stomach twisting in knots as he tried to make sense out of what he had seen. This wasn’t possible! How could it be? They had never mentioned knowing each other before this incident, this had to be a fake! A forgery or somekind, Monokuma playing a terrible trick on them.

“Makoto..” Kyoko turned to him and Makoto shook his head backing away from the machine.

“No no no I don’t think we should play this machine anymore.. it’s got to be..”

“Makoto If there are clues in this machine we need them” Kyoko’s voice was deadly stern.

“It’s.. rigged anyway.. just try it”

Kyoko took his place and pushed a coin into the slot pulling the handle.

“Sorry try again!” The jingle blared out as three random symbols aligned. She tried another coin and was met with the same outcome.

“Let’s all try” Celeste took a coin from the prize tray and tried the machine

“Sorry try again”
“Sorry try again”
“Sorry try again”
“Sorry try again”
“Sorry try again”

Echoed around the deathly silent room as each student tried their luck to no avail. Byakuya was the last to try and when the dials didn’t align for him either he turned to Makoto.

“You have to try again”

His tone left no room to argue and nodding Makoto nervously picked up the penultimate coin from the tray and plunged it into the insert slot, preying beyond belief that it came up empty for him too. Alas, that wasn’t to be.

Three 7 symbols aligned as the machine let out its loudest jingle yet, lights flashing as something plummeted into the prize tray. Squeezing his eyes closed Makoto gave a silent prayer this wouldn’t be something awful as he picked up the item. To his surprise it was a keychain, two keychains in fact. A crude heart split down the middle with ‘best friends’ written across it.

“This is...” confused Makoto turned to the group to show them the prize. Everyone looking at it was sceptical eyes trying to figure out the significance.

“Well, well! I shouldn’t be surprised that *you* won my little machines jackpot!” Monokuma’s jovial voice rang out making Makoto jump.

“What is this?” Kyoko demanded

“What? Such a cold reception to your headmaster, it makes me so sad” Monokuma hung his head for a moment “Gimme that back!” He quickly seemed to regain his usual composure as he snatched the photograph from Kyokos hand despite the tightness of her grip “Careless of me to leave things like this lying around pupupu oh well, whatcha gonna do”

“What the fuck is this some kind of sick joke?” Mondo yelled hands curled in anger.

“Hey hey!! you don't have to get so defensive. I've decided to change things up a bit this time. Up till now, I've been using the WOOSH of the North Wind to get you all moving. But sometimes you gotta use the Sun to light a fire under someone's butt! Ahh-hahaha!”

“What does... that even mean” Hina scratched her cheek confused.

Monokuma just laughed “Pupupupu I’ve decided instead... to give you something you want! Isn’t that a great motive? Instead of fear it’s a delightful treat!” Monokuma snatched the keychains out of Makoto’s hand and held them up
“You guys told me so many times how important friendship is, and it just got me thinking! Why would you kill to get out when it risks the lives of your buddy buddy chums? I’m right aren’t I? Pupupupu I’m always right!”

“So what’s your point here” Sakura growled and Monokuma seemed to hesitate taking in her fearsome stature.

“Ooh calm down missy, I’m giving you a wonderful prize here! Whoever kills someone and gets away with it, gets to graduate... with a person of their choosing! A best friend? a secret lover? a bother from another mother? The choice is yours, take whoever you like!”

The tension already heavy in the air was claustrophobic now. Makoto gasped, finding it suddenly hard to breathe as everyone else’s shock and outrage rang out around him. Monokuma’s words had been careful, a best friend... Hina and Sakura were best friends everyone knew that. A brother from another mother clearly was about Mondo and Taka.. the secret lover... that was a jab at him and Byakuya, he just hoped nobody else read into the words as much as he had.

“That’s right! The blackened gets to escape here with someone they choose, how lucky! What a prize to win eh? I bet you can’t wait to be the owners of these keychains now!” Monokuma’s demonic red eye flashed as his laughter rang out “So if I were you I’d be thinking carefully about who you’d want to escape with, or who might try and take *you* out to leave!” And with his laughter ringing out high and cruel he disappeared leaving the room In chaos.

Nobody even tried to deny that nobody would want that motive. It seemed fruitless to even bother.

Byakuya’s face was an unreadable mask as he crossed his arms and remained silent. Makoto didn’t even know what to say at this point, most people here had someone they cared about enough to want to save.

“Well that’s one way to get people moving” Jill cackled “does that mean if I win I can whisk my white knight away with me to start a new life” her hands clamped to the side of her face as she giggled making doe eyes at Byakuya who tutted angrily and looked away immediately.

“I think it’s obvious most people here would want to take someone with them” Kyoko said flatly “This was designed to prey on the bonds we have formed. Take away your reason *not* to kill”

“But that only works on those that have strong bonds does it not” Celeste pondered “those who have remained solitary.. might not be tempted by this offer”

Chihiro was looking around nervously, Mondo and Taka were stone faced. Hina looked to Sakura and Makoto knew that they were all major contenders for the motive... Celeste and Kyoko he could see withstanding this appeal but... even a part of him wistfully saw a chance to save himself and Byakuya... and he had to quash those thoughts fast because if they were allowed to fester they would poison him.

Byakuya broke the silence that had fallen over the room.

“I see no reason to blacken myself to save someone else’s skin. That’s of no concern to me”

“You wouldn’t want to save anyone, if you could?” Hina protested and Byakuya turned to her curiously.

“No, why should I want to?”

“But... you have friends! Makoto is your friend” Hina’s brow creased in annoyance.

“Barely, and besides his life isn’t a priority over my own. If he wants to leave he can kill for it” and on that note Byakuya turned and left the room leaving silence in his wake.

Slowly one by one everyone made their own excuses to leave, nobody seeming to know how to process this latest development. The last to leave was Kyoko who nodded curtly to him before leaving him in the room with only his growing panic for company.

Alone and disheartened Makoto gripped the edges of the slot machine as he tried to calm down. His heart beating far too fast and the uneasiness broiling in his stomach threatening to swallow him whole. He squeezed his eyes closed, forcing his breathing to regulate as he slowly regained some semblance of normality again. This motive was dangerous, so many people had someone they cared about, someone that they trusted. Perhaps someone they cared too much about to risk graduation, knowing they would die if they were left behind. Just like he and Byakuya... neither willing to risk the others life. But now.. a whole new world of possibility opened up with the tempting carrot dangled in front of them. To leave together, that was a chance somebody would take, a prize too good to resist. For all of his hope and optimism he knew deep down as well as he knew his own name that someone would kill again. The thought made him feel sick and he slammed his hand on the machine in frustration and fear.

The clang that rang out in the prize tray made him blink in confusion. Ah.. there had been one monocoin left in there. Picking it up and examining it he shrugged and decided why not, slowly he held it to the coin slot and with a hope and a prayer for something helpful.. a salvation he shoved it inside, Pulling the handle down with trepidation. The dials aligned just like he knew they would, a proud 7 7 7 flashing its delight as something dropped into the prize tray.

He sighed as he reached for the item, what kind of a weird and bizarre prize had come this time to twist his sanity and make him question his own mind.

A yell escaped his throat unbidden, his eyes welling up with tears as he shook his head in denial. No no no this was fake, it couldn’t be real! When was it taken? How was it developed? How could it be so? It couldn’t! It was lies! A cruel forgery just like the other photo... a..

His fingers gripped the photograph hard, a tear landing on its glossy surface as Makoto tried through gritted teeth not to weep at the terrifying possibility the machine had revealed.

The photograph was him, as he had never seen himself before. He was smiling at the camera wearing a uniform suit and tie that he didn’t recognise. A light pink dusted his cheeks as he grinned happy yet bashful. The reason for his fluster was no doubt the camera person had caught him unawares, surprising him in a private moment. For in the photograph... he was in Byakuya’s embrace. The world started to spin as Makoto struggled for breath, it was all too much, too cruel, too real.

There was no way he and Byakuya could forget such a thing! They had never met before this killing game... so why did it feel like he had known him all his life? Why did being with Byakuya make him feel like he had come home?

He looked back at the photo, Monokuma could easily take it away like he had the other one. Quickly he stuffed it into his blazer pocket and rushed back to his dorm room. He needed to talk to Byakuya about all of this but he had to wait until the right time.. not draw attention to them by rushing to seek him out in company.

It felt like forever that he lay there on his bed staring at the photo, drinking in every detail and trying to see anything that he hadn’t already seen. Something that might jog his memory and determine if this really was just an elaborate ruse.

The photo was taken outside that much was obvious, they were sat on a bench in a garden. For starters how could that be possible when they had only known each other inside this terrible prison? Byakuya wore the same uniform as him, only his looked much neater in comparison. Makoto’s own tie was looser around his throat and a corner of his shirt had come untucked. He smiled then, that seemed just like him. A little messy around the edges.. and Byakuya looked as immaculate and perfect as always. They sat close on the bench, Byakuya had an arm around Makoto. His fingers visible on Makoto’s waist, both looked at the camera with an embarrassed fluster as though they had been caught. That made sense really, from the looks of this photo they had been just about to kiss when it was taken. He could feel his face burning just looking at it, this just couldn’t be real! So why did it *feel* real? Why did Byakuya feel so comfortable and familiar? Why did kissing him feel second nature? Why did they fit together so perfectly and naturally so fast? You could argue maybe that was how you know they were meant to be together. Soulmates or true love or something. But this photo... was it a clue? Was there some greater truth he just couldn’t grasp yet? Monokuma didn’t do anything without a purpose. This all had to *mean* something! And if he wanted to go into even greater depths then.. they had sex really, really quickly. That in itself was abnormal, a freak occurrence for Makoto that he had chalked up to the tension of being here. They had both admitted it was out of character, something that had ‘just happened’ and it had been amazing. Not awkward... not strange... could it be... that it wasn’t the first time they had done that?

He shook his head then, this was crazy why was he even considering this?? This photo was fake. There was *no* way on earth he and Byakuya had ever met before. He needed to stop, talk to Byakuya. He was no nonsense and sharp he would soon put Makoto’s worries to rest and put this all into context.

Still the photo was nice.. he felt the smile grow upon his lips as he took in how happy they looked, how sweet they looked together. this could have been another life... could be their future if they escaped! He scanned the picture one last time for any final clues to jog his memory but found nothing. There was nothing about the scenery that gave him any clues, even their clothes were foreign to him, he was sure he had never worn that uniform before. Other than that,he didn’t look particularly older or younger in the photo than he did now. His hair still unruly as ever, Byakuya as polished as ever - even his glasses were the same as now, could it be some high tech photoshop? He should ask Chihiro to take a look at it. Sighing he smiled one more time at the image of happiness in his hands, running a finger over it gently as though he could reach into it and be part of it. Byakuya’s arm around him, Makoto’s own hand reaching for him to pull him closer and kiss him, the light bouncing off...

Wait

Makoto’s heart thundered faster in his chest as he gasped sitting bolt upright. He hadn’t seen it before, but there it was plain as day.

Unapologetically shining in the sunlight, was a band of green metal sat proudly upon Makoto’s ring finger.

Chapter Text

He couldn’t wait any longer, he needed to see his boyfriend now. His stomach was heavy with fear and confusion and he needed the reassurance of the person he trusted most. The hallway was clear so Makoto darted to Byakuya’s room and barged in without even waiting to knock.

Byakuya looked up at him from his bed and gave a weak smile, after quickly locking the door Makoto rushed over without a word and buried himself into his arms.

“Makoto..” Byakuya’s voice was soft as his hands came to rest on the back of his head and his waist, holding him reassuringly close to his body.

“I’m sorry.. I just.. There’s so much that...”

“It’s okay”

The gentility in Byakuya’s voice undid Makoto further. He could be so damn soft and sweet when he wanted to be. So affectionate, like Makoto had always been part of his heart. He just held him, whispering soothing words as his hand rubbed reassuring circles on his back. He kissed the top of Makoto’s head and Makoto almost cried.

“Byakuya... I’m going to sound crazy but... I..” he swallowed heavily trying to find the right words “T...the way I feel about you... it’s.. something I can’t... even put in words. I feel like I’ve known you forever.. we fit together don’t we? Like.. perfect! And you don’t even like people, but you like me! And then there’s the whole sex thing... and that’s amazing like it wasn’t even awkward even though it really should have been cause we didn’t even really know each other and I’ve never had anyone just spread...”

“Makoto” Byakuya cut him off abruptly, his thumb on Makoto’s jaw forcing him to look at him. “What are you rambling about?”

“Uhm..” Makoto took a deep breath nervously and tried to compose his answer “Byakuya... do you think there’s any chance... we’ve met before? That we’ve forgotten.. something really important?”

Byakuya inhaled sharply, confusion marring his features as he tried to understand Makoto’s question.

“That’s.. not possible Makoto”

“Isn’t it? We ended up in a killing game, anything could be possible!”

“Look... I know that it’s difficult, and the motive is very worrying. But you can’t think things like this, you’ll drive yourself crazy. Yes we clicked very fast.. our relationship is almost abnormally comfortable for something so quick but... maybe we’re just meant... to be together” Byakuya’s face coloured red at saying something so sweet but right now Makoto couldn’t appreciate the sentiment.

“But it’s possible that there’s more than we remember, we don’t remember anything after arriving here! What if...”

“Makoto what’s brought this on?” Byakuya’s eyes were firmly on his, worry written all over his face “you’re wound up too tightly like a coiled spring, tell me what you’re thinking”

Makoto silently reached for the photograph in his pocket and offered it to Byakuya with trembling hands.

“I won this out of the machine with the last coin.. after you all left”

Byakuya’s face registered shock, confusion, pain and then sadness? His blue eyes clouded with anguish and he squeezed his eyes closed as though trying to process something. His breathing sounded laboured and he gave a small grimace.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah..” Byakuya shook his head slightly as though shaking it off “my head hurt again.. not as bad as last time but still irritating”

“That’s not good” Makoto said nervously “are you coming down with something maybe?”

“I think it’s just stress” Byakuya turned his attention back to the picture in his hand “but this can’t be real Makoto. There’s no way we’ve met before and just forgot everything, that’s impossible. This is just Monokuma trying to unsettle us, he’s trying to get into your head and make you want to take the motive”

“I.. suppose that could be true”

“The more confused you are, the more questions that need answering.. The more likely you are to want to graduate to find out the answers. It’s just a way of getting to you, make you even more desperate to leave”

Makoto sighed “I know you’re right.. I just couldn’t believe how real it looks and it just got me doubting everything”

“It’s a nice photo” Byakuya blushed a little as he looked at it again “we look happy..”

“Yeah... that’s the life.. I want for us.. that I wish we could have”

“That’s why Monokuma made sure you saw it, to make you want to leave. Plant it in your head that me and you could leave together and make a new life. It’s his way of trying to manipulate you to kill”

“You’re right, you’re completely right as usual” Makoto felt that particular weight leave his shoulders and he relaxed tangibly “thanks Byakuya.. I was starting to drive myself a little crazy overthinking”

Byakuya just snuggled him closer, his care washing over Makoto and making him finally feel safe and calm. It was quiet for a few moments, just blissful silence and reassurance.

“The motive.. someone is going to take it” Byakuya said quietly verbalising what Makoto was scared of.

“I know” Makoto sighed pushing his face into Byakuya’s neck as though he could hide from the situation. The fear rising in him again and twisting his stomach “I’m... scared”

“Don’t be... I won’t let anyone hurt you” his fingers carded through Makoto’s hair, reassuringly “but.. this could be our chance Makoto.. to leave together”

“What?” Makoto looked up then with big scared eyes “We can’t! I want to leave here with you so much, but I can’t hurt anyone else to get there”

“But someone will” Byakuya countered “If we don’t then we’re in danger. From not just the killer but from a trial too”

“I know that. But we just can’t Byakuya, we can’t play the game! Believe me I dream about getting out of here, of us having a future... but I can’t step over anyone else to get there. I won’t hurt someone for my own benefit I couldn’t live with it”

Byakuya gave a small sigh, but his lips curled up into a smile. He laughed softly as he cupped Makoto’s jaw and kissed his forehead lovingly.

“I knew you would say that.. you really are so pure. I sometimes find it hard to believe you exist... I’m glad, you are the person I fell for and nothing will change you or corrupt you. You’re...” Byakuya cocked his head as he paused as though searching for the right word “you’re perfect”

Makoto’s face blushed a furious red but Byakuya was already kissing him slowly so he just melted into it. Byakuya thought he was perfect? Even after his mistakes, after he hurt him. He had fallen so hard and fast it was crazy, but he felt the same in return. Byakuya was perfect to him.

“But I’m not the only one... you don’t want to kill anyone either Byakuya” he whispered as they broke apart.

“Not particularly” Byakuya pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose as he contemplated “not that I care very much for anyone else here, I can’t say I’ll mourn anyone if they die... but no. I don’t want to actively kill anyone or hurt anyone either. And if I did commit murder, then I’ll be playing into the masterminds hands by reacting to what they have to offer. I don’t need anything they have to give me, I will take victory for us myself with fire and blood if I have to. I will fight and pull us both through the flames to safely, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do to stop them and to save you”

Makoto couldn’t help the rush of affection that raced through him and made him feel exhilarated and warm inside. Byakuyas conviction made him feel empowered. Made him believe they could actually get out of here, his devotion to Makoto made his heat pang and for the umpteenth time he wondered what he did to deserve this. He nestled closer to his boyfriend, straddling his lap and snuggling into his shoulder, arms tightly around his waist. Byakuya was so strong and he needed that strength now because he felt so disconnected, so tired and scared. But when he was with Byakuya... he really felt like they could succeed. That they could fight and win, he felt the urge to say something stupid come over him again. Biting back his words he pressed his lips to Byakuya’s neck instead.

“I believe in you, you’re smart enough to beat the mastermind”

“You are too Makoto, don’t sell yourself short” his hand cradled the back of a Makoto’s neck stroking his hair. He always knew just what to do, just how to calm Makoto. How to make him feel safe and content. Make him feel so loved. That word again, Makoto choked it back.

“Someone’s going to get hurt aren’t they” he asked forlornly

“Yes” Byakuya didn’t mince his words “I can’t tell yet who might act upon it, but excluding ourselves there are several prime candidates”

“I was thinking that too” Makoto admitted “Hina and Sakura are best friends, I don’t think for a moment Hina would hurt somebody but..”

“But we cant rule anything out, if we exclude people because don’t feel them capable, then we set ourselves up to loose”

“I agree, Kyoko, Celeste and Toko are those that I think won’t be tempted by the motive but then.. that’s a clever ruse isn’t it to make us look past them” Makoto sighed heavily “it’s true that we really loose no matter what”

“It is, but we can be each other’s alibis while keeping each other safe, we have an advantage in the trials against the dwindling numbers. But we have to be alert, to make sure we don’t give anyone an opportunity to get us alone and potentially lead us to danger. You aren’t to go anywhere alone Makoto if you can help it” Byakuya’s tone left no room to argue.

“How am I going to manage that without looking suspicious? And you’ve never been afraid to do what you please, be alone. You’ve cultivated a reputation of being a loner that almost invites someone to try and go toe to toe with you. Suddenly living like a hermit is going to make you look suspicious too”

“Well.. if people figure us out then... we will deal with it. I’d rather have you glued to my side and safe than risk you getting hurt” Byakuya’s words were laced with emotion the likes of which Makoto had never heard from his lips before “Before I only had myself to worry about, I welcomed the challenge. Would relish someone trying to come for me because I don’t doubt my ability to win. I was going to win above all else but now... I won’t loose you, I won’t see you hurt. I’ll kill everyone in my way before it comes to that. The way I feel about you Makoto... I....” he shook his head “I can’t even....”

“I know” Makoto looked up to meet his eyes and a lump formed in his throat at the look on Byakuya’s face “I feel the same way about you”

“It’s really not... normal is it?” Byakuya’s voice was but a whisper, keeping their conversation hidden from the cameras.

“I don’t think so.. To feel this strongly about someone... I never thought I could...”

“Or me” Their foreheads rested together

“I wish we could have the life.. that’s in that photograph”

“We will” Byakuya affirmed with a small smile “when this is over”

Makoto was emotionally exhausted, fed up of this terrible place, scared of what would come next. But he had a ray of hope.. a shared strength and determination with this boy he adored. He kissed him with tears in his eyes, needing to feel again, to feel connected to something tangible and real. Byakuya kissed him back with tenderness, a hand cradled Makoto’s cheek and wiped away the starts of his tears with a careful thumb.

“Don’t cry angel” he murmured “I’m here, and I’ll never let you feel alone or scared”

More tears fell at his words, his gentle affection. He was perfect, Makoto’s beacon of hope, his ray of sunshine, his strength... his heart. He wanted to say the dumb thing, it was there on his lips ready to fall out at any moment.

“I.. Byakuya I... I think I’m...”

Byakuya silenced him with another kiss

“Shhh it’s okay.. I promise” he soothed as he kissed Makoto again, and again and again. His gentle kisses and soft caresses melted him and in spite of it all, the stress of the day began to all dissipate. He couldn’t have known what Makoto was going to say, but maybe.. this was for the best. When they broke apart Byakuya smiled at him, bumping his nose against Makoto’s own in a cute show of affection. Makoto smiled back at him with adoration in his eyes, he snuggled back into the crook of Byakuya’s neck and closed his eyes, Byakuya’s hands stroking comfortingly as he held him close. He was so relaxed now, his mind starting to feel sluggish, his body heavy. He pressed a couple of quick kisses to Byakuya’s skin and then slowly sleep came to claim him.

.....

He dreamed of walking into a kitchen, he didn’t recognise the place he was in but it was beautiful. Everything was modern, shiny and expensive looking, as he padded across the shiny wooden floor he saw Byakuya standing there next to a giant coffee machine. He was in a simple blue T-shirt and pyjama pants and looked so relaxed, so different, his hair was sleep tousled and he looked so beautiful. He set down his cup and turned to Makoto and smiled.

“Good morning angel”

Makoto blushed at his words and walked to him wrapping his arms around him to cuddle.

“Good morning, i didn’t sleep in late did I?”

Byakuya nodded to the big clock on the wall that read 9:30am

“Not at all, I thought I would just make a start on breakfast for us”

“Thank you... I love spending time here, it’s so peaceful it’s like I lose track of time”

Byakuya nodded “I’m glad you like it here, it’s going to be your home when we graduate after all”

Makoto grinned wide “I still can’t believe you want me to move in with you, it feels so grown up!”

Byakuya laughed and lifted Makoto up easily as a feather and set him upon the counter. From here they could see eye to eye and Byakuya was smiling at him in that genuine way he only ever did for Makoto.

“Of course I do” he brushed hair from Makoto’s face and bestowed a quick kiss upon him “We are together everyday at school, I hardly want to live apart from you when we graduate, And besides” he lifted Makoto’s left hand and kissed the back of his hand “we have a future to prepare for do we not?”

Makoto grinned back dumb and goofy, the happiness inside him threatening to overflow. Byakuya was still holding his hand, squeezing it affectionately. The ring on his finger looking back at him.

....

He awoke upon Byakuya’s shoulder still. He murmured as he got his bearings, pulling himself from the distortion of his dreams. Byakuya had his arms around Makoto still, a book in his hands he seemed to have been reading over Makoto’s shoulder as he slept.

“Feel any better?” Byakuya asked softly dropping the book and lifting a hand to Makoto’s face instead.

“Kind of” Makoto yawned “but I had such a strange dream about us...”

“Oh?”

“Yeah... I’ve had dreams like it before.. they always feel so real”

“So what did you dream about just now?”

“Well..” Makoto turned and slid into Byakuya’s lap instead. Byakuya rested his chin atop Makoto’s head and wrapped his arms around him, making Makoto feel so small but so safe and content. He snuggled happily into his boyfriends arms before continuing his story “I was in a kitchen and it was really fancy looking, and you were there making coffee in your pyjamas and you were really cute. And you said good morning to me and we hugged it was really sweet”

“That’s a nice dream Makoto”

“Yeah it was...then..” Makoto’s nose scrunched up as he remembered the other details of the dream “I said I liked being there.. and you said that I was going to live there after we graduated.. and I said something about being shocked you wanted me to move in with you... and you were really cute and kissed me and said we had a future to plan for and I was wearing the ring! The one in the photo, it’s so weird”

“Well..” Byakuya hesitated “it could all just be wishful thinking, the photo has put ideas in your head about the life we could have.. maybe it’s just all blending together in your subconscious”

“Probably” Makoto sighed “It just felt really familiar but I couldn’t put my finger on it! I’d never seen that place before but somehow I knew it.. if that makes sense”

“Hmmm” Byakuya went quiet for a moment, Makoto’s hand came up to grasp Byakuya’s wrist comfortingly “tell me Makoto.. what did it look like?”

“The kitchen? Well it was really shiny and modern feeling, lots of a silver appliances and there was a this big coffee machine you were using that looked fancy like the ones you see in coffee shops” he paused for a moment wracking his brains for details “And it was sunny through the windows, the view was of a city I think, like from high up”

“Anything else you can remember? The colours or the furniture?

“Uhmm the walls were blue like a medium blue I guess? And the floor was wooden, there was a big clock on the wall with a blue and silver face... and the room was really neat and organised too but with loads of bags of coffee grounds all lined up neatly and some books on the counter I think”

Byakuya’s breathing was heavy in his ear and Makoto started to worry

“Are you okay?”

“Makoto.. this is really important.. what colour were the curtains?”

“Uhhh.. there weren’t any curtains. There was like... blinds I think? But the window was huge so it was like lots of a smaller ones”

Byakuya let out an anguished groan and Makoto panicked, twisting around to look at Byakuya’s face. Hand coming to hold his cheek as Byakuya’s face fell.

Byakuya what’s wrong? Please tell me what this all means?”

“Makoto...” Byakuya’s eyes opened and he bit his lip as confusion and fear clouded his face.

“You just described my apartment”

Chapter Text

Makoto just stared up at his boyfriend in open mouthed horror.

“Your.. apartment? I don’t... understand how.. could I...? Wait you have an apartment?”

“Yes..” Byakuya’s face wore an expression of shock and confusion “I bought it when I was 14, I moved out of the family mansion so I... I could breathe for once”

“14??” Makoto was shocked “but..”

“You know I think we should take a bath” Byakuya’s voice raised louder and took on an air of authority suddenly “yes I think that’s a good idea, I’m clammy from sitting around all day”

“Wait what?”

“Come on Makoto lets go”

Without further ado Byakuya pulled him by the hand up from the bed and before he knew it they were marching towards the bath house together.

“Byakuya I don’t..”

“Shush”

It wasn’t until they reached the bath house that Byakuya finally turned and looked at Makoto again.

“There aren’t any cameras in here, l don’t want them listening to this because something is very, very wrong here”

“That’s a good idea” Makoto tugged at his sleeve nervously “Byakuya I’m so confused I don’t understand how this is possible”

“I don’t either” Byakuya put a hand on Makoto’s shoulder as he spoke “but somehow you knew what my apartment looked like, that’s not a coincidence. That level of detail”

“I don’t know how I could have known” Makoto’s voice was becoming higher with fear “I didn’t even know you had an apartment! I’m going crazy Byakuya I can’t take this!” His hands clamped to his head in a vice grip, tears forming in his eyes as his voice cracked with panic.

“Ssshhh it’s okay” despite everything Byakuya’s arms came around him comfortingly, gently forcing his hands from his head “you aren’t crazy. Monokuma is messing with your mind Makoto, you aren’t crazy”

Byakuya gently soothed him, whispering sweet nothings into his ear and making reassuring little sounds until Makoto felt the pressure in his head dissipate. He wrapped his arms loosely around Byakuya’s waist as he regained his breath.

“I wish it were true! That I knew these things because they really happened but... like you said they can’t be real. We can’t have just forgotten all of that stuff! We arrived here and then all of this happened. I’m just so confused Byakuya!”

“It’s okay angel look at me” Byakuya commanded and Makoto looked up at him
with big wavering eyes “You’re fine okay? Monokuma is just messing with you. He’s probably be manipulating details from the start and planting things in our minds to confuse us. Considering he got our deepest secrets it’s not a stretch to image he knows what my apartment looks like and has managed to drip feed you clues or details”

“But... I don’t know how he would have done that”

“It’s possible to manipulate people’s subconscious. Don’t worry Makoto, all of this will make sense eventually okay? We just have to find out more information”

“Okay..” Makoto nodded “thank you.. you’re always so composed. I wish I could be like that”

“It’s alright” Byakuya kissed the top of his head cutely and Makoto smiled despite the situation “I’m here and everything is okay alright?”

“Right”

Byakuya gave him a reassuring smile, his hands tenderly stroking his face and Makoto could feel the care and affection wash over him and his worry started to dissipate.

“I’ll figure out what this means, we will get to the bottom of this I swear” Byakuya spoke with conviction and Makoto found it hard to doubt him.

“I know we will, with you.. I really feel like we can do anything”

“We can.. and we will”

Despite the situation and the semi public place, Makoto couldn’t resist wrapping his arms around Byakuya’s neck as the pair drew together in a deep and meaningful kiss. It was slow and wonderful, filled with emotion and as they gently broke apart Makoto couldn’t help but smile widely at his tall and handsome boyfriend. He wanted to say it, that stupid thing that was perpetually on the tip of his tongue. He needed to finally say it, to admit how he really felt. He was ready.

“Byakuya..”

“Yes?”

Makoto’s arms tightened, hugging Byakuya to him more closely, he swallowed as he composed himself. His hands trembling as he stared up into
Byakuya’s eyes.

“I... need to say something... I have to tell you that I...”

His voice wavered with nerves, unable to meet Byakuya’s eye with the intensity. He looked away to gain the courage to say what he needed to.

“I lo...”

His words died in his throat as from the lockers, Chihiro’s eyes stared back at him.

“Fuck!” Makoto yelled jumping back in fear. Startled, Byakuya whipped around as quick as a flash as Makoto clung to his arm in panic.

“What the??” Byakuya yelled shielding Makoto instinctively as the pair stared in shock at the image of Chihiro.

“A... laptop?” Byakuya seemed to recover his composure more quickly turning to a startled Makoto “Are you okay?”

“Yeah” Makoto nodded rapidly his breathing evening out “it’s just.. a laptop?”

“It seems so..” Byakuya tentatively walked to the lockers where the unmistakable laptop screen shone with Chihiro’s image upon it.

“This laptop.. wasn’t it broken?”

“Yeah” Makoto quickly caught up to his side “It was in the library right? Chihiro must have fixed it”

The smiling image of Chihiro moved its eyes as though seeing them and smiled wider much to Makoto’s shock.

“Hello!” The digital Chihiro greeted them and Makoto recoiled in shock.

“What on earth is this!?”

“Let’s find out” Byakuya was as cool and composed as ever once more as he leaned over the keyboard and typed rapidly.

“What are you?”

“Hello, nice to meet you. I'm Chihiro Fujisaki... Eheh... I always get so embarassed introducing myself”

“Th-That voice... The tone and everything...” Makoto was completely gobsmacked “It’s... just like talking to a Chihiro!”

”Hmmm an Alter Ego... I've heard about this kind of AI program, but I've never seen one for myself” Byakuya muttered

”AI program...?”

”It's how Chihiro earned his title of Ultimate Programmer. The AI lives in a computer, and by repeating different tasks, it gains knowledge and grows. Apparently, Chihiro used a support vector machine and reinforcement learning to develop it... Eventually, he came up with a breakthrough in artificial intelligence design” Byakuya explained although Makoto couldn’t say he understood any better for hearing it.

”Support vector machine...? Reinforcement learning...?”

”To put it simply, it's a learning method for computers. If an AI continues to grow, it will become more than just a piece of software to help people. Some say that an AI like this might someday *replace* people”

”Oh...” Makoto went to reply but the sudden call of Mondo’s voice behind him made him jump away from Byakuya as though he had been burned.

“Everything okay? I thought I heard a shout?” Mondo walked through the bath house entrance looking concerned and sharp as always Byakuya took control of the situation.

“Everything is fine however there has been... a development. I need you to discreetly bring everyone here at once”

“What? You serious?” Mondo narrowed his eyes suspiciously and Makoto gave him his most reassuring puppy dog eyes

“He’s right, this is something everyone needs to see”

At his words Mondo nodded, “Okay Naegs... I’ll be back with everyone soon”

“See everyone always listens to you” Byakuya spoke softly “It’s because of that innocent face”

Makoto blushed resisting the urge to hide his face in his boyfriends shoulder.

Within moments the other students began to trickle through the bathhouse door with confusion etched on their faces. When everyone was present Byakuya addressed them all with his usual air of authority.

“Today we found this in the locker, care to shed some light on it Chihiro?”

“Oh! You found Alter Ego!” Chihiro looked apologetic “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you all about him earlier, I just didn’t want to give you all false hope”

“What do you mean Chihiro?” Kyoko quizzed

“I managed to fix the laptop from the library! Although I can’t connect it to a main network I have been able to use my AI Alter Ego to encrypt the files on the laptop! I hoped to be able to help us find out more about what was going on here”

“And you hid it In here away from the masterminds prying eyes?” Byakuya asked “Impressive, although it gave Makoto quite a fright”

“I’m sorry Makoto!” Chihiro beseeched him with big apologetic eyes.

“Yeah I heard him screaming, he sounded terrified” Mondo nodded

“Hey!” Makoto protested “I didn’t scream! I was just... startled!”

Byakuya was smirking and Makoto pouted in frustration.

“Anyway so you fixed the broken laptop and installed your AI on it?” Kyoko cut through their chatter with a determined look on her face “How much does it know about our situation?”

“Well for now it’s analysing the massive number of files stored on this laptop. I believe the files are related to the school, but the protection on them is surprisingly strong. So it's taking him a little longer than I thought. But the fact that the files are protected so tightly means they must contain some important secret!” Chihiro said earnestly and quiet whispers broke out as everyone took in the extent of the new lifeline presented to them all.

“I wanted to wait until I had something to share with you all before I got anyone’s hopes up” Chihiro explained “But I’m confident we will find something!”

Byakuya turned back to the laptop and tapped away quickly “How much longer until everything's unlocked?"

”Umm...it's gonna be a while” the voice of Chihiro coming out of the laptop also was jarring “But I'm definitely gonna do it, so you can just leave it to me!”

“Keep it up. But be careful not to let the mastermind notice you." Byakuya tapped back.

”Don't worry. I've got a secret plan all ready, just in case... Actually, I can see what's going on using my built-in webcam, so if anyone suspicious shows up... I'll just scream for help real loud!”

“It's a pretty...basic plan, I have to say...” Makoto scratched his cheek

“That is fine during the day, but nighttime is a concern...” Celeste voiced her worry

”yeah how would we even hear him scream?” Asked Hina

”Okay, then how about once it's nighttime, we each take turns guarding the dressing room?” Makoto volunteered

”Too obvious, the mastermind would notice us all going in and out of the dressing room like that” Taka rebutted

”Then...what can we do?” Sakura asked

”Once nighttime comes, I'll leave the door to my room open. Then there's no way I can miss Alter Ego yelling.” Kyoko spoke up, her voice full of authority.

”B-But...if you leave your door open all night, then...” Chihiro stuttered anxiously

”There's a chance I may become a victim myself, I know. But I'm not as weak as you may think. I wouldn't go down without a fight, I assure you”

There was an undeniable strength in her voice when she said that. She was totally confident she would be okay. That confidence was somewhat similar to Byakuya's tone, but at the same time different... it had an entirely different feel to it, like someone who'd been dropped onto a battlefield versus someone who'd been born on a battlefield. Makoto felt like that was the fundamental difference between them both.

“I'll monitor the progress of the file analysis. I'm confident we'll uncover some kind of clue once its finished” Chihiro smiled taking Byakuya’s place in front of Alter Ego and tapping away at the keys.

“Well, for now all we can do it wait for Alter Ego to finish his work” Byakuya concluded

”So, should we get going?” Mondo asked

”Yeah”

“Probably for the best”

As soon as we were out in the hall, Hina let out a joyful shout.

“Awesome! Nicely done Makoto!”

And as if he'd been waiting for his cue Monokuma jumped up out of nowhere

”You guys all seem in remarkably good spirits. Did something happen!?”

”N-No, nothing in particular...!” Makoto yelped struggling to think of anything to say to explain their joviality.

”Ooh, keeping secrets? No fair! I demand an exclusive interview!”

”We were just talking about going to the bathhouse. We have not had a chance to relax in some time” Celeste said so nonchalantly Makoto almost believed her.

“But unfortunately, the bathhouse is not divided into men and women sections. So we decided to do rock-paper-scissors to decide which group would go first” Byakuya added with the same naturally indifferent air that Celeste had.

“Makoto won the match for us, suck on that” Mondo fist pumped the air triumphantly.

“Yeah, Yeah that's right!” Hina was sweating

“Okay, girls Why don't you head on back to the dining hall or something? We're gonna take a nice, long bath!” Taka boomed using his hall monitor influence once more to finish selling the lie.

”Ahhh, jeez, what're ya gonna do, right!? We lost, fair and square!” Hina shrugged theatrically

”Well, ladies? Shall we go?” Celeste lead the group of girls away as Makoto quickly spoke up

“Right guys.. uh... let’s go enjoy our bath! We earned it after all!”

Quickly retreating into the bath house dressing room Chihiro gave out a squeak of relief

“That was close! Thank goodness for Celeste and Byakuya”

“Yeah.. both too good at fuckin lying for their own good” Mondo said darkly as Taka reprimanded him

“Bro that’s no way to speak about our friends! They came through to keep the secret safe from Monokuma!”

“Yeah that’s right” Chihiro added meekly as Mondo sighed

“You’re right.. sorry”

Byakuya let out a loud hmph as he looked away.

“Anyway! Let’s.. uh go enjoy this bath we won” Makoto rubbed the back of his head and Chihiro nodded

“Yeah this will be fun!”

Everyone began to get changed all except for..

“Speak for yourself I’m not going” Byakuya said stubbornly

“Awwhh come on! Please come join us?” Chihiro asked kindly and Makoto smiled inside knowing just how to handle the situation. Byakuya needed to maintain his aura of spikiness and asking nicely wouldn’t usually get a reaction from persona Byakuya. Luckily he knew what his boyfriend was waiting for, the perfect out that allowed him to join in while maintaining their secrecy.

“If you don’t it looks suspicious. You would never usually fail to revel in your victory”

Byakuya glared at him over the rim of his glasses.

“Why you... fine. In that case...” He grumbled to himself as he began to undo the buttons on his shirt and Makoto had to tear his eyes away as pink crept up his cheeks. Watching him undress would definitely not be subtle and as much as he wanted to... the others would notice his reaction.

The others finished changing and wrapped in towels, made their way into the bath house as Makoto hung up his hoodie.

“You’re cute” Byakuya’s breath on the back of his neck made him shiver

“You’re hot” Makoto said bluntly “having to not watch you get undressed is cruel”

Byakuya moved into his line of vision, a playful smirk on his lips and a towel around his hips the only thing to cover him “likewise, this would be a fun place to...”

“Don’t even get me thinking like that” Makoto squeezed his eyes closed “that’s dangerous territory!”

Byakuya gave a low laugh “later tonight then?”

“Definitely”

He reached his hand to squeeze Makoto’s before turning to lead the way to the bath. Makoto thought he was seeing things, squinting in surprise at the new sight in front of him before calling out

“Byakuya?”

“Hm?” Byakuya turned to face him questioningly

“How did you get that scar? I’ve never noticed it before”

“What scar?”

“That one” Makoto’s finger gently trailed the unmistakable thick ridge of white scar tissue along the back of Byakuya’s right arm.

“I don’t have a scar there” Byakuya eyed him with confusion

“Yes you do, look” Makoto led him to the mirror turning his arm so he could see it in the reflection. Byakuya’s eyes widened before he frowned, using his other hand to run his fingers along the prominent mark.

“I... don’t know? I never even knew it was there”

“It’s pretty large” Makoto scrutinised the thick lines that marked his beautiful skin “It looks like it must have been painful...”

“Well.. I don’t remember it so.. it must not have been that bad” Byakuya shrugged noncommittally “Anyway we should join them before they get suspicious”

“Yeah you’re right... just one more thing”

“Yes?”

Makoto cupped his cheek with one hand and planted a loving kiss on his lips.

“I adore you”

.....

Byakuya did not know how Makoto could have known so much about his apartment. He didn’t really believe Monokuma could have subconsciously relayed so much information. But what he did know is that Makoto was dangerously close to having a melt down after the situation and that he would not allow.

So a little white lie to diffuse the situation seemed a worthy price to pay. He would continue his own pursuit of the truth into what was really happening, but he wouldn’t let it overcome Makoto and cost him his health. Makoto needed to be protected, be supported and Byakuya was prepared to do whatever it took for him.

He didn’t know how or why he was so besotted with the tiny brunette. He suspected there was far more to it than he knew right now, the photograph had struck a chord with him. Gotten the cogs turning in his head and now he was convinced there was far more going on behind the scenes, the mastermind had done something to them.. what that was, he was still to discover. But he would find out the truth if it killed him.

Makoto was firmly ingrained under his skin, in his heart. He had been from that first time in the library and since then his capacity to care for him had just grown each day. It was so easy, so effortless. Makoto fit him better than any item of clothing he had ever worn. Their interactions, their affection... it was all so balanced and perfect. He couldn’t help but think how easy things would have been between them in the real world, then that photograph along with everything else... there was more to this.

Makoto was so beautiful, he smiled at Chihiro as they talked and that smile alone was enough to make Byakuya want to go to him and kiss him hard. His slender frame was mostly hidden under water but his narrow shoulders shone with water droplets, his green eyes sparkling with the waters reflection. His neck still bore the faded remnants of Byakuya’s affection and he smirked at the sight. It was too subtle to be noticed by the others, but Byakuya remembered making it, how Makoto had squirmed and mewled for him so prettily. God Makoto was bad for his health, he hadn’t really given too much thought to his more base instincts before. He had always been too busy and frankly disgusted by other people to really contemplate sex. However since being trapped here with Makoto... he felt like a common horny teenager, he wanted him all the time. Even now.

Thankfully the others seemed to decide that enough time had passed and it was appropriate to leave the bath house now. The trio left together, Makoto voicing his desire to stay a little longer and Byakuya knew why. As soon as their voices disappeared he slid across the bath to Makoto’s side.

“Hi” Makoto spoke softly, a cute little smile curving his lips as he looked up at Byakuya with adoring eyes. He was too cute, too beautiful. Byakuya wrapped an arm around his waist to pull his body closer. His other hand trailing wet fingers up the side of Makoto’s face, Makoto shivered under his touch. Water droplets running down his neck and creating trails over his creamy skin. Slowly Byakuya kissed him, savouring the moment and the warmth of his boyfriends body against his own.

It was a slippery slope, as soon as they began to kiss they couldn’t stop. Byakuya’s fingers twisting in Makoto’s hair as he pulled him close with enthusiasm. Makoto sighed and reciprocated in earnest, swinging a slender thigh over Byakuya’s lap to straddle his waist as he kissed him back hard. He just adored him, couldn’t get enough of him. He was so perfect to Byakuya, he complimented him so well. Counterbalanced his quick temper and fiery personality with his optimistic and methodical approach, his calm and positive outlook. Byakuya felt his edges tampered by Makoto’s kindness, for the first time he had been able to care, to experience love for another person and he felt *better* for it. Not weaker like he had assumed. Makoto made him better, he wanted or be better *for* him.

Not to mention... Makoto was the sexiest thing he had ever seen, his body straddling Byakuya’s own made him groan. He kissed him wet and messy, tongues frantic and desperate as he clung to Makoto like a lifeline. He now ached desperately down below and Makoto pressing against him made him moan much too loudly.

“It’s..” Makoto broke the kiss, his eyes heavy with desire “too public though.. we should stop... what if someone comes back in?”

“I don’t care” Byakuya growled mouthing at Makoto’s slender neck with newfound desperation “I need you.. if I died while inside you... I’d die happy”

Makoto blushed at his words but returned his lips to Byakuya’s own, his hands gripping at his shoulders as their bodies pressed together firmly.

“Fuck..” Byakuya groaned nipping Makoto’s bottom lip between his teeth. there was something about the warm weight of the water, the way Makoto’s body felt when it was wet and soft. The way he looked with water droplets clinging to his flawless skin. It was a giant turn on and he wanted him so badly it overrode all common sense.

“I want you so badly right now Makoto. I’m so hard for you that it hurts” he rolled his hips upward, his aching cock pushing firm against Makoto’s own and he in turn let out a sharp gasp, his fingers gripping harder at Byakuya’s shoulders

“You are so sexy, you’re beautiful and.. I’m the only one that gets to see you like this, that’s ever gotten to be inside your perfect body” he nipped Makoto’s earlobe, his words hot and heavy in his ear, Makoto’s gasps music to him “Do you know how much I love being the only one to have you? How much it turns me on? I’m selfish and having the most perfect, pure being all to myself... it boosts my ego no end” he grinned into Makoto’s neck, enjoying the way his words made him whimper and gasp, his trembling body pushing back with uncoordinated thrusts that relieved the growing pain in his crotch.

“But I refuse to share you, nobody else deserves to have your affection, your body. You’re perfect and deserve to be worshipped“ he trailed wet kisses along Makoto’s shoulder “Nobody could ever love you as much as I do”

With that Makoto whimpered and crashed his lips to Byakuya’s hard. His hands gripped firm into his hair as he kissed him with passion, Byakuya’s words seemed to have lit a fire in him and Byakuya was very pleased with the result.

“Let’s do it” Makoto gasped, his words filled with lust “Now! quick before anyone comes back”

Not wanting to delay their union any longer Byakuya gripped Makoto’s hips and lifted him up easily with the waters momentum. Carefully he stood and seated himself on the edge of the bath.

“Come here, it wouldn’t do to contaminate the bathwater”

Nodding Makoto quickly climbed back onto his lap on the bathside. Straddling his hips once more and kissing him with fiery enthusiasm. Byakuya’s fingers quickly found his entrance and started to carefully work him open. Makoto’s muffled whimpers quietened against his lips as he slowly slid a finger inside of him.

“You’re so pretty like this you know? I love how you make those noises for me, how you pull those adorable faces when I finger you”

Makoto squeaked, his cheeks colouring pink as he squeezed his eyes closed. Byakuya’s other hand found its way to the back of Makoto’s neck and gently tugged his head back forcing his eyes open in surprise “You get so shy when I talk to you this way.. but it turns you on dosent it? I can see how hard and desperate you are”

Makoto nodded quickly, his embarrassment evident alongside his obvious arousal.

“It’s okay” he fastened onto Makoto’s neck with his lips, determined to leave him another branding bruise to remember their encounter “You don’t need to be shy angel, you’re beautiful you know?” two of his fingers were thrusting hard into Makoto now and his boyfriend was trembling as he tried to keep himself supported on his knees while they shook. His hands clenching tight at Byakuya’s shoulders. “I want you more than I’ve ever wanted anything, you’re the only thing in my life I can’t resist”

Makoto was whimpering and trembling, his face pressed hard into Byakuya’s neck. He pushed his fingers in hard one last time and Makoto threw back his head and moaned so beautifully it made Byakuya’s skin prickle. Slowly he withdrew his fingers and whispered into Makoto’s ear “Are you ready to be on top?”

“Yeah” Makoto gasped “I... I’ll try my best”

Slowly Makoto sank down onto his dick with the most enraptured expression on his face. It was so lewd and sexy, that coupled with the feeling of being buried in Makoto’s tight warmth made Byakuya moan loudly.

“You’re in charge” his hands gripped Makoto’s hips and he kissed his boyfriends parted lips vigorously. Makoto for his part seemed to take to being in charge very well as he immediately began to ride Byakuya’s dick with an enthusiasm that made him cry out. His nails digging into Byakuya’s shoulders hard with every thrust.

“Fuck” Makoto whimpered, his beautiful face screwed up in pleasure “this is... so good...”

“That’s it... fuck me Makoto, ride me hard”

“Shit Byakuya...” Makoto yelped, his eyes wide “you’re so... vocal today”

“And it turns you on” Byakuya released one hip to instead encircle Makoto’s dick with his fingers and eliciting louder cries from the boy on his lap “It’s dirty but telling you how much I love you bouncing on my dick, how much I love being inside your tight little asshole. It makes you even harder dosent it?”

“Y..yes” Makoto whimpered shamefully. His eyes closed with embarrassment but not stopping his movements.

“Don’t be shy about it” Byakuya smirked whispering huskily into his ear “It turns me on too”

Makoto was panting and gasping, every one of his thrusts gaining him the extra stimulation from Byakuya’s hand. His trembling frame moving fast and frantic, his finger nails dragging across Byakuya’s shoulder and making him hiss.

“Makoto... yes!” He crashed his lips to Makoto’s with no finesse at all, but he didn’t care. He was all consumed with passion for this boy he adored, his perfect boyfriend. He wanted him so badly, needed him, he was everything...

“You’re mine” Makoto cried out, his words fractured and heavy with lust, he sank one hand clumsily into Byakuya’s hair and gripped it hard forcing him to look up into his eyes “Now come in me, make me yours Byakuya”

Such dirty words from the mouth of his angel took Byakuya’s breath away. His hips rutting frantically back against Makoto’s, slamming into him as hard as possible while working his dick until Makoto cried out.

Within moments Makoto clenched tightly around him as he whimpered incoherently trying to control the volume of his moaning. His lips pushing forcefully against Byakuya’s ear as he groaned “fuck Byakuya! I fucking... I... I lo... fuck.. I’m coming!”

Byakuya groaned biting down gently on Makoto’s shoulder as the heat spread through his body. Mere seconds later he was moaning into Makoto’s neck as he came hard, releasing deep inside his boyfriends body.

Slowly they came down from the high, bodies trembling and sweat slicking their skin. Makoto opened his pretty green eyes and he looked embarrassed. Byakuya kissed him at once, cupping his lovely face with one hand, a thumb brushing his jaw lovingly.

“That was amazing, you need to be in charge more often”

Makoto blushed but he smiled, seeming less red faced.

“We were supposed to be getting clean” he giggled cutely and Byakuya laughed

“Somehow we seem to have gotten even dirtier” laughing together they slowly cleaned each other up. Byakuya washed Makoto’s shoulders kneading them gently and enjoying the soft noises of comfort Makoto made. He helped clean every inch of his boyfriends body, rubbing his tired muscles and cleansing his soft skin as Makoto sighed happily.

“You’re so good to me” Makoto smiled as Byakuya finished rinsing the soap from his back. His fingers caressing his skin and rubbing away the fatigue.

“No... you deserve to be looked after” Byakuya said softly kissing his shoulder “Besides... your body gets so sore and tired from this...”

“Well.. you’ve... you know... also been in that position” Makoto was pink, he was so pure.

“Only once, you are the strong one... out of the two of us”

Makoto smiled basking in the gentle affection as Byakuya’s words seemed to strike a chord with him. “Thank you... I never thought... of it that way”

“You should” Byakuya poured the last of the fresh water over Makoto’s thighs and wrapping a warm towel around his beloved.

“Okay. Ready to get changed for bed?”

“Yeah, I really want cocoa and a cuddle” Makoto admitted and Byakuya nodded

“Anything you like”

They made their way to the locker room and dried off quickly. Makoto pulled on his familiar hoodie as Byakuya rubbed his hair dry with a towel and tried to brush it into submission. As usual Makoto’s ahoge sprang up and Byakuya gave up trying to tame it.

After quickly redressing himself Byakuya passed Makoto his dorm key “Be careful as always, I’ll make the cocoa and meet you in there”

Makoto nodded earnestly, his hair damp and *mostly* flat for once. It made Byakuya smile as he pressed a kiss to his forehead.

“Be careful on your own”

“I’m Byakuya Togami”

He left the changing room to Makoto’s laugher and as quickly as he could made them drinks in the kitchen, pocketing some pastries for a snack before heading back to his bedroom. Keeping a careful eye out for anyone but thankfully seeing nobody.

Letting himself into his dorm and locking the door behind him, he was extremely pleased with what he returned to.

Makoto sat atop his bed wearing one of Byakuya’s T-shirts. The fabric skimmed his knees and he smiled at Byakuya with the same wide eyed enthusiasm that Byakuya loved about him. He handed Makoto his own cup and quickly changed into some pyjamas before joining his boyfriend on the bed.

“You’re so cute” Byakuya declared and Makoto grinned and snuggled close to him

“You’re gorgeous”

They snuggled together drinking their cocoa and munching on their snacks, easy and happy in each other’s company. When they were finished Byakuya set down the empty cups and encircled his beloved completely in his arms wrapping him in a loving hug.

Irresponsible or not... Byakuya didn’t regret their encounter in the bath house. Makoto was so stressed, so scared today. The last few days had really wreaked havoc on his nerves. And in the nicest way possible, fucking his brains out had tired him out enough for him to sleep easy tonight.

Makoto looked so happy, his eyelids fluttering closed and a sigh of contentment leaving his lips. Byakuya whispered softly to him, telling him how beautiful he was, how special he was to Byakuya, how they would build a life together outside of here. Makoto nuzzled into his shoulder happily, he was so perfect and Byakuya adored him with every fibre of his being.

“Where do you want to live when we escape?” Makoto asked softly

“In my apartment” Byakuya replied without needing to think “And I want you to live there with me”

“Really?”

“Of course. I want us to live together.. I’m not being away from you after all of this mess”

“You really want.. to be with me in the real world?”

“Of course” Byakuya frowned “I said so didn’t I?”

“But like you always used to tell me.. we’re from different worlds... I won’t.. fit in with your life”

“I don’t care about any of that” Byakuya kissed his forehead and cuddled him closer “I don’t care what anyone thinks... how much social standing you have... I...” his words died in his throat as he tried to convey they sentiment in his heart “Me and you.. is all that matters.. no one else”

Makoto smiled so beautifully and Byakuya kissed him soft and slow. “I’ll change the world for you Makoto.. I swear it”

.....

His dreams were frantic and lost.. searching, desperate... Panic screaming through his veins as Black and white ripped through the window. The pain his arm was agonising, Pink blood cascading down his white shirt and then.... darkness.

Chapter Text

Makoto didn’t dream that night, he awoke to Byakuya feeling rested and happy. He sighed contentedly as he stretched out and wiggled back into Byakuya’s body. The heirs chest rested against his back, chin on Makoto’s shoulder as he spooned him closely.

Byakuya had been so difficult to get to know, his cold attitude and slim patience making him intimidating and cruel. Makoto could hardly believe that they had gotten where they were now. Behind closed doors Byakuya was so loving to him, so protective and affectionate. Who knew that he even had that side to him.. though Makoto thought actually it made sense. Byakuya was a proud perfectionist, he would never date someone out of pity, he would never date someone he thought was ‘beneath him’ he would only choose someone he saw as an equal, someone he saw as wonderful and brilliant. And then that person would be loved and bestowed upon all of the love and affection Byakuya had because they deserved it. And that person was... Makoto. He had never felt more love or care in his life than he did when he was alone with Byakuya and in return Byakuya was everything to him. When Byakuya had called him Angel yesterday... he felt his heart swell with so much happiness and love he could have cried. He wanted to tell him how he felt so much...

Byakuya stirred, his cheek pressed to Makoto’s own as he nuzzled into his embrace. His heart sped up and the constant fuzziness in his stomach when Byakuya was around once more spread through him.

“Morn...An..el” Byakuya’s words were muffled and Makoto smiled, raising a hand to cast back into his golden hair and rub his head affectionately.

“Good morning Gorgeous”

Just... perfect. The life they might have outside of here played through his mind once more. He wasn’t stupid, he knew how hard it would be to get out of here but... he had to try to fight. The life he could have.. was there within reach. If they could overcome this one obstacle... they could be happy. Truly happy, in Byakuya’s apartment with the blue kitchen and the view of the city... he still didn’t know how he could possibly know so much about that... but he had to do as Byakuya said and not dwell on it. It would drive him crazy thinking of the ‘what’s ifs’ and that’s when a motive gained its power. He wouldn’t allow that to happen, he just had to concentrate on how to get out of here.

.....

He sat next to Hina at the breakfast meeting, for the first time ever Byakuya joined them at the long table opposite Makoto. He barely spoke but Makoto could feel his care and protectiveness. Although his face was its usual stone mask, the way he looked at Makoto was soft. Nobody had anything new to report and as usual nobody discussed the motive. It was like nobody wanted to acknowledge it in the hopes everyone would forget it existed.

At one point Makoto fumbled picking up his cup and spilled some hot coffee onto his hand. He yelped in shock and pain managing to place the cup back down, but before he could do anything Byakuya’s hands were upon his with a napkin mopping up the hot liquid and sloshing some of his cold glass of water over it.

It was instinctive, a reflex to help and concern for the person he cared for. Confused eyes were upon them and a split second later Byakuya seemed to realise the implications of his action.

“You’re such an idiot!” He reprimanded Makoto sternly “honestly can’t you even drink without causing an accident? You’re lucky i was close by at least I have reflexes you dolt!”

“Sorry” Makoto squeaked looking down at the table.

“Don’t be such a dick!” Mondo snapped

“Language!”

Hina was looking at him curiously but she didn’t say anything.

After checking Makoto’s hand and finding no further damage Byakuya fell back into silence, drinking his coffee while the others chattered. When breakfast was over Byakuya walked out of the room without a word and Makoto felt his heart pang. Despite their vow to keep their secrecy, it was never easy to watch him walk away into this unpredictable place.

“Hey after breakfast want to come to the pool with me?” Hina asked, her voice bubbly and excitable

“Sure sounds good”

Makoto had promised not to go anywhere alone but.. silly as it might sound he trusted Hina so he accompanied her to the poolside where instead of emerging from the locker rooms in a costume and diving in to practice, she was still fully dressed and sat herself on the poolside next to Makoto much to his surprise.

Hina looked at him and a smile curved her lips, her eyes twinkling with something Makoto couldn’t read. Sliding closer she put her hand on top of his.

“How long?”

“How long... what?” Makoto blinked at his friend in confusion

“How long have you been in love with Byakuya?”

Makoto’s heart stopped, his mouth falling in horror at her worlds as he tried to understand how she had figured it out.

“I.. I’m not in love with him”

“You don’t have to lie to me Makoto...” Hina squeezed his hand “I know it’s true. He pretends not to care but.. I can see it in his eyes, the way he looks at you and you look at him in exactly the same way. I know I’m not so smart but... I know that much”

Makoto’s mouth flapped uselessly as he tried and failed to rebut her observations. Eventually he just fell silent, eyes dropping to the ground as his cheeks burned. He had been caught, he knew that he couldn’t easily deny her words but... admitting them would betray his promise to Byakuya.. to keep this a secret.

“Please don’t be embarrassed” Hina said softly “I’m not going to tell anyone, this is your secret I just wanted to tell you that... Im happy for you, you deserve to be happy Makoto you’re the kindest person I know”

“Thank you” Makoto was able to meet her eye now as a shy smile crept over his face “that’s really sweet”

“Awhh come here you!” Hina threw her arms around him laughing jovially as Makoto hugged her back laughing with her “honestly I’m so happy for you Makoto! Look at your blushing face you’re so adorable!”

“I’m not blushing!” Makoto tried to deny before they both laughed again at the blatant lie

“Everything makes so much more sense now! That’s why you were so upset about what he said at the secrets motive huh?”

“Yeah” Makoto’s lip twitched as he remembered the cruel words his lover had uttered to him in the aftermath of the motive “I... pretty much cried myself to sleep that night”

“Makoto..” Hinas grip on him tightened as she tried to offer him comfort

“But he.. was still looking out for me, he stopped Toko hurting me and... the night Hiro died he came to me and told me he had lied about not caring... that he wanted to be with me..” he blushed a little more admitting it out loud “that’s why he was so upset after the trial because even after he confessed everything to me I doubted him and it really hurt him”

She nodded “no wonder you were so bummed out when said that stuff! And when he wouldn’t talk to you and why you were so happy when you made up. I started to suspect but..” she grinned wider “I got to know! What’s he like in private? Is he still like... you know all strict and ‘I’m
Better than you’ master of the universe?”

“Not at all” Makoto laughed “I think that’s more of a business persona, he’s uh...” he could feel his face warming up and Hinas smile widened at his obvious fluster.
“He’s really protective.. and affectionate.
He’s always hugging me and comforting me.. when I have a bad dream he strokes my hair and reassures me until I feel better..” a goofy smile spread over his face and he couldn’t help it. The rush of adoration when he thought about his love. “Like last night he dried my hair for me after the bath and made me cocoa... and then spooned me while I slept”

Hina beamed “that’s so adorable I never would have guessed he’s such a softie really”

“He really is! He’s really sweet and loving.. I always feel... so safe with him... like nothing could ever hurt me.. which is dumb I know in here but... with him I really believe we have a chance to fight back and beat the mastermind...”

Hina clapped her hands together with starry eyed wonder “tell me more! What else has he said to you? Are you guys dating officially? I need the details”

“Officially.. he’s my boyfriend” Makoto couldn’t help but grin again “and he wants us to live together when we all Escape here... he already asked me to move into his apartment!”

“Awhhh! You guys are boyfriendsss that’s so adorable! What else?” She had procured a box of donut bites from her bag and munched in earnest as she hung on Makoto’s every word

“Uhm... he calls me.. angel” Makoto blushed furiously at that but Hinas eyes lit up and she made an indistinguishable cooing sound “And he’s really affectionate and kind, He’s always hugging me and once he read a book over my shoulder so he didn’t have to disturb me while I napped on his shoulder. Plus he always hugs me while I sleep, he’s my big spoon”

“This is just too cute! Do you always sleep together now?”

“Yeah, it’s always a mission to make sure no one sees me sneak into his room but.. we manage”

Oh is that why you guys were together the night before.. the last trial? You were pretty sure he didn’t leave”

“Yeah I knew...cause we were sleeping together that night and uh... we didn’t... have clothes on” his face was burning again with embarrassment “and in the morning the clothes were still... uh... where... they were... thrown. But.. I couldn’t tell everyone that.. and either way I still ended up suspecting him which.. I almost ruined things between us for good..”

“But you didn’t! You guys sound totally loved up!” Hina gave a wistful sigh “sounds so romantic, i gotta say I didn’t see it coming! I thought you liked girls!”

“Well.. I do” Makoto scratched his cheek “I’ve only ever liked girls before but... he’s... I don’t know. He’s different, special. I... just... I’m in love with him” he had finally said the words always at the forefront of his mind, the ones that always threatened to slide from his lips whenever he was with Byakuya. It may be to the wrong person but, he felt much better for finally saying them out loud.

“That’s so CUTE” Hina squeaked hugging him tightly “have you told him yet?”

“Oh god no” Makoto shook his head “I’m... too scared to. I’ve hardly known him a few weeks but... it feels like I’ve known him a lifetime. I can’t shake off the feeling that..”

“What?”

“Nothing.. just that we have been together forever even though we haven’t”

“Maybe that’s cause you just found the one! Hina said enthusiastically “maybe he’s your soulmate!”

“I don’t know about that” Makoto flushed “but.. he makes me really happy no matter what. It’s just hard to pretend not to be together...No one else know about us, it’s a big worry that someone would try and hurt one of us to frame the other... Toko already attacked me once out of jealousy and planned to pin Byakuya’s murder on me after that...”

“Wait...” Hina jerked back her lip twitching as a realisation came over her “so... Toko attacked you out of jealousy because of her idea you and Byakuya were a thing... so when... Toko said she heard you two... uhm.. ‘doing it’ in the library...”

His whole body was burning with embarrassment and he grimaced closing his eyes tightly “uhm.. yeah. She heard alright”

“OH MY GOD!” Hinas yelp was quickly followed by raucous giggles and when Makoto opened his eyes she was cackling “I did not expect that from you! That’s wild I can’t believe it!” Her giggling soon subsided as she wiped mirthful tears from her eyes “no wonder she hates you, ahahaha it’s too funny!”

“It wasn’t so funny when she announced it to the cafeteria” Makoto couldn’t help but laugh along with her “I thought I may die of embarrassment but then no one believed her”

“Well duh it was just too wild a story for you! But.... apparently not” she wiggled her eyebrows suggestively as Makoto sniggered

“So you two were ACTUALLY having sex in the library?? And the night before the trial?”

“Yes we were”

“Ahhhhh!!!! I can’t believe all this time you’ve been together like.. oh my god we didn’t even know! Ooh is he good in bed?”

“Okay that’s enough question time!”

Hina laughed and rested her head against Makoto’s shoulder

“I’m just kidding! I’m happy for you, you sound so loved up talking about him. You deserve to smile... you’re the one who always works so hard at the trials and just... tries to get to know everyone, keep us all united you know?”

“Thanks Hina” Makoto felt a lump in his throat “you’re such a great friend I don’t know what I would do without you”

“Just don’t forget me when you’re married to a billionaire and living in a palace okay?” Hina grinned and Makoto laughed

“I never would, although... I don’t know about..”

“What?” Hina looked up at him noticing the drop in his tone

“If... you know.. I could end up married to him or something” he blushed and squeezed his eyes closed closed as he tried to finally articulate the worries that had been prickling under his skin “he’s... high society, heir to the biggest corporation I’ve ever even heard of.... He’s brilliant and his whole family are practically royalty..” he opened his arms and gestured to himself “what are they going to say when he brings me home? Normal, ordinary, boring Makoto Naegi? A boy of all things? And a talentless one at that... I... I’m not good enough...to... be the person he chooses”

“That’s crazy!” Hina cried gripping his wrist tightly “Makoto you aren’t boring and talentless you are a wonderful guy! You’re smart and kind and you’re the one that gets us through here! The one who keeps us all banded together. You’re amazing and Byakuya must think so too or he wouldn’t be dating you”

“That’s what he said” Makoto’s voice was small “he said he likes me as I am, that I see him... for who he is. But it’s different you know? In here... when it’s just us... but out there is he really going to feel the same introducing me to his father? Telling him he’s... with a guy? He’s an heir.... heirs... sometime or another are going to have to make more heirs....”

His eyes filled with tears as the anguish finally came to the surface, the unspoken worries he hadn’t wanted to voice after promising not to doubt Byakuya’s affections anymore.

“Makoto... you have to talk to him about this, he has already told you that he wants to be with you.. so he’s going to have answers to this. Are you scared to ask?”

“A little” Makoto admitted “it’s like.. if I say it what if he realises that... practically we can’t be together and leaves me? It’s selfish but... I can’t... I can’t willingly let go... I love him too much”

“You really think someone like Byakuya hasn’t already thought about all of
This? He’s not someone to just.. do stuff. He’s gonna have thought this through, you haveta just be brave! Like ripping off a band aid okay? And you’ll feel better afterwards!”

“I suppose you’re right.. I’m just nervous. What if he says something awful like... he’s gonna just.. make heirs on the side”

“Ew” Hina’s nose crinkled in disgust “then leave him. But he won’t say that, you know he won’t”

“You’re one of the best friends I ever had” Makoto said softly looping his arm around Hina to hug her tightly “we have to defeat the mastermind.. we have to get out of here all of us”

“We totally will!” She grinned widely “we can get our lives back and you can come
watch me swim and bring me donuts and I can come visit you at your flashy apartment”

Makoto laughed “it’s a deal”

.....

Inspired by Hina’s words Makoto set out afterwards to find Byakuya. Keeping his promise to be careful he quickly found the art room to contain a number of coloured paint tubs on the ground along with a blazer hung over the back of a chair. Carefully making his way to the repository he smiled at the sight of his boyfriend washing paintbrushes in the sink. His shirt was untucked and his sleeves were rolled up revealing paint smears on his arms which made Makoto smile.

“Hi!”

Byakuya smiled back at him drying his hands quickly before walking over and wrapping his arms around Makoto. He rested his head snugly against Byakuya’s chest basking in the affection.

“Thanks for helping me with my hand this morning”

“That’s okay, you really are a clumsy thing”

“I know” Makoto sighed “I’m sorry”

“Don’t be sorry, I’m glad you’re okay”

Byakuya kissed him softly and Makoto’s eyes lulled closed as he lost himself in the moment of peace. He traced Byakuya’s jaw with his fingers humming in contentment as Byakuya’s hand caressed his neck and cupped his cheek.

“I... need to talk to you about something”
Makoto whispered almost not wanting to ruin the moment by bringing this up but.. knowing he really needed to

“What is it?” Byakuya asked softly pressing another small kiss to the corner of Makoto’s mouth.

“You said.. when we escape you want me to live with you right? That.. you don’t care what people think... you want us to stay together.. right?”

“That’s right” Byakuya’s voice was a soft murmur as his fingers trailed up the shell of Makoto’s ear making him shiver

“You’re.. really going to... tell your father that your... with.. a boy? A normal untalented boy?”

“Yes” Byakuya didn’t hesitate “my father always taught me that Lions do not concern theirselves with the opinions of sheep. Togami’s do what they will, it’s of no one else’s concern who I am with... and you aren’t untalented.. not to me”

“But...” Makoto hated himself for pushing it but.. he had to “at some point.. aren’t you.. going to have to worry about.. your own succession?”

“... yes” Byakuya paused “I... don’t know about that yet. I certainly can’t... do things the way I’m supposed to..”

“What do you mean?”

Byakuya sighed heavily and his hand dropped from It’s gentle caress of Makoto’s face

“In my family... the head does not take a dedicated wife... instead they.. have children with exceptional talented women around the world.. then those children are forced to compete against each other in order to establish the strongest and most talented. That child... earns the title of heir”

Makoto’s mouth dropped in horror at the realisation that came over him.

“So you.. were the winner?”

“Yes, I had 14 half siblings. They were exiled after their defeat, they may as well be dead. To be disinherited is paramount to dying”

Makoto’s mouth flapped as he failed to articulate his words, his disgust and fear threatening to swallow him whole.

“How.. old were you?”

“13, it’s the first time in our history then youngest sibling ever took the crown. It’s the secret to our families success, nobody gets the company due to their birthright. They have to fight for it, earn it. I hungered for the crown and I fought as hard as I could to earn my place at the table”

“You.. shouldn’t have had to do that” Makoto’s lip wavered thinking of the stress, the fear and burden put upon his boyfriend at such a young age “it’s cruel”

“Perhaps” Byakuya’s voice was detached “but it’s how we do things, it made me who I am”

“Is that... what you are going to have to do? One day?”

Byakuya met his eyes now, his blues were vacant, unreadable

“That’s what I’m supposed to do yes, I’m still unsure.. how to proceed since.. I can’t envision doing.. what needs to be done to produce children”

Makoto was shaking his head in denial “no.. please... I...” he felt his eyes burn with tears again “how are you... you’ve.. never liked women... right?”

“That’s true. But I can’t let my family die out.. so I need to find a way to make it work”

“I can’t... I can’t bear to think of you with someone else like that” the tears were streaming from his eyes now “please... please tell me you aren’t.. please?” His voice was too high, begging and he hated it, hated how he was pleading for his boyfriend not to go and fuck random high class women.

Byakuya was silent, his arms still held Makoto but his demeanour was detached, vacant. Like his Byakuya was no longer in the building.

“Byakuya.. I can’t stand this, please I can’t.. think of you doing that with others.. you’re... you’re my boyfriend and...” he sniffled pitifully “The thought of you... it’s killing me inside.. please say you won’t.. please?”

Byakuya looked at him, something finally registering in his eyes as he sighed
“Makoto.. I carry my siblings defeat.. I honour their sacrifice by being the best I can... so that they didn’t loose in vain. If I.. don’t perform my duties then.. I have no right to be heir, no matter what I want”

Makoto’s lip wobbled uncontrollably as a fresh wave of tears cascaded down his cheeks

“So... you’ll just.. keep me around but... sleep with a load of women to have kids and then make them fight?” He sobbed clamping a hand over his eyes to conceal his tears to no avail. His heart was breaking right there in his chest, it just couldn’t sit right with him, it was wrong! Making your children fight like that, exiling the losers and casting them from your family... it was all so wrong! Byakuya shouldn’t have had to go through that and he certainly shouldn’t inflict it upon another generation. It was sick and twisted and imagining his boyfriend impregnating faceless women to continue this awful tradition. Him in bed with someone else... touching them the way he only touched Makoto.. he felt sick.

“No.. that’s not it... I want to be with you. You’re... the *only* one I want to be with. I just.. have obligations.. and I won’t.. sleep with anyone.. I only have to provide the necessary genetic material.. science can do the rest...”

“No! I won’t stand by while that happens!” Makoto pulled himself from Byakuya’s embrace “it’s wrong Byakuya! It’s barbaric and cruel and I won’t just stay silent and let that happen! You’re a good person and I know you don’t want to do that! Don’t want to see your own flesh and blood fight, not after all of this mess”

“It doesn’t matter what i want” Byakuya’s voice was quiet “this is what’s expected of me.. I don’t have a choice or the family dies with me”

“What happened to not caring! To Togami’s doing what they please and... what happened to you.. changing the world for me?” His lip wavered as tears threatened to spill over his eyelids once more “if this is the life you really want, then leave me. It’s the kindest thing you can do for me, because I love you too much to stand by and see you turn into someone okay with such cruelty”

Byakuya’s eyes widened, his whole face softening and Makoto couldn’t bear to stand there anymore. Rubbing his eyes with his hoodie sleeve he turned and walked from the repository leaving his emotionally torn boyfriend in his wake.

.....

He splashed water on his face to wash away the tear streaks, it still hurt so, so much. If they were just two ordinary boys... it wouldn’t matter. But Byakuya needed to produce an heir and... Makoto couldn’t stand the thought. Was it selfish? He was Makoto’s Boyfriend, of course he couldn’t stand the thought of him having sex with someone else! Or having children with someone else even through scientific methods... But Makoto couldn’t give him what he needed... he wasn’t enough. That feeling again... the sadness and shame rippled through him making him feel sick. Curling up on his bed he cuddled his pillow closely sniffling into it as his broken heart wept for what would become of their relationship.

.....

He should go outside and eat. He was starving, he could talk to Hina about all of this maybe.. she would know what to say.

He changed into a green T-shirt and pulled a white shirt over the top. Slipping his red sneakers back on he headed down to the canteen to get dinner and hopefully Hina would be there too.

Arriving in the canteen he was surprised to see all the rest of his class there in various stages of eating dinner. Everyone once more sat around the large table chattering and Hina waved to him immediately.

“Hey Makoto you okay?”

“Yeah” his voice came out weaker then he would have liked but he feigned a smile and walked over noting that the only available seat was next to Byakuya. Grimacing internally he sat down and focused his attention on Hina over the table

“Have you had a good day?”

“Yeah it’s been fun!” She chirped “I practiced swimming mostly then me and Sakura did some training!”

“So much exercise.. it makes me tired just thinking about it” Makoto joked

Byakuya hadn’t spoken or reacted but gently under the table his fingers found Makoto’s own and squeezed them affectionately.

Makoto could feel the emotion coming over him and he didn’t want to succumb, didn’t want to cry again.

He looked quickly to his left and Byakuya was looking at him with sadness in his blue eyes. He wanted to hug him so badly, to tell him he was mad and sad and he hated every part of this. But it was public and he couldn’t. Byakuya leaned ever so slightly closer, lips parted as he went to
speak seemingly uncaring of who was there to witness it.

And then, the lights all went out.

Chapter Text

Makoto gasped jumping to his feet instinctively amongst the fearful noises of his classmates, his heart racing in silent terror. Then before he knew it the lights flickered then came back on.

Everyone was silent for a second looking around at each other before a giggle broke out.

“Oh man that was tense for a second” Chihiro laughed

“Too fuckin right” Mondo chuckled “everyone nearly pissed their pants!”

The laughter rang out as everyone resumed their chatter and returned to their food. But Makoto didn’t feel like it yet, if he did... he would have to talk to Byakuya about earlier and he wasn’t quite ready for it yet. So instead he stayed on his feet and walked to the kitchen to make some dinner, sighing he placed his hands on the counter and tried to calm his mind still shaken from the the lights going out like that, he had really thought for a moment...

“Makoto? You okay?” Hina had followed him into the kitchen and put a hand on his shoulder comfortingly “what’s wrong? It’s not just the light thing... you looked off when you came in. What happened?”

Makoto took a deep breath and turned to his friend not even trying to hide his emotional state

“I talked to him and...”

“Oh no” Hina grimaced “it didn’t go well did it?”

Makoto quickly explained to her everything that had happened finishing at him departing his room for dinner. To his surprise she didn’t look as outraged as he thought and instead she merely frowned slightly.

“Well.. that doesn’t... sound so terrible”

“What?”

“Well you said yourself Makoto, he’s an heir and he’s got to you know.. pass on that lineage. And his way sounds much better than that gross way he was born”

“Huh? What! It’s not...”

“What? It’s not what you want?” Hina narrowed her eyes slightly “He said he only wants you it’s not like he’s gonna date anyone else or even.. you know sleep with anyone. Isn’t that like.. the best possible outcome?”

“But...”

“But he’s gonna have kids and you don’t want that?”

“I... I just wanna... be enough for him... and I’m not..”

“Makoto... I don’t want be mean but seriously you have to stop this pity party!”

“H-hey!”

“I’m serious though, you’re thinking about stuff that doesn’t even really matter right now”

Makoto looked down as tears filled his eyes, he didn’t expect this outcome at all, he thought Hina would be on his side

“Makoto... I’m not trying to be mean but.. you chose Byakuya.. even with all his flaws. He’s not perfect but he’s trying, if him having kids is a deal breaker for you.. then you have to face that. Would him stepping down as heir make you happier?”

“...no”

She wrapped her arm around him and pulled him into a hug which he gratefully accepted burying his face into her shoulder as her turbulent emotions threatened to pull him under.

“I know it sucks.. it’s not an ideal thing for either of you... and I do feel bad for you, you shouldn’t have to deal with this”

“I just... wish we were both normal you know? We could just... love each other without these politics... it’s selfish but it hurts thinking of him having kids with people... especially if he makes them compete like... I can’t stand that”

“I know”

She comforted him in the empty kitchen until his mind calmed and he felt lighter somehow.

“Thanks Hina” he smiled at his friend and squeezed her hand “without you... I’d just make a fool of myself”

She laughed, the sound so bubbly and carefree “we all need someone to keep us grounded! I’m glad I can help”

They were quiet for a moment as Makoto pondered his next course of action
“I’m.. not ready to talk to him about it yet, not tonight at least”

“Okay i gotcha!” Hina started to gather donuts and load them onto a plate

“Wha..?”

“We’re going to have a slumber party” she announced with enthusiasm “let’s have donuts for dinner in your room yeah? And we can talk and lounge around and forget about dumb boys for the evening”

Makoto laughed despite everything, Hina had a way of just making things so much lighter.

“Okay you’re on!”

Making some sandwiches and drinks Makoto helped Hina load up the tray before the two walked from the kitchen and through the canteen. Although he tried not to look he could feel Byakuya’s eyes on him and his face burned under the scrutiny. He felt like a coward for avoiding him but... Hina had given him a lot to think about and he wasn’t sure he was ready quite yet to get into another heavy discussion about their future.

They might not even have a future a darker part of his mind whispered to him, they could die in this prison... but as always he ushered out the negative thoughts. Entertaining them would just lead to a slippery slope into depression and ergo despair.

“Would you like a hand with that?” Sakura asked kindly taking the tray from his hands as though it were weightless.

“Thank you”

“Aren’t you staying for dinner Makoto?” Chihiro called kindly and Makoto flinched at having to turn and address the table, Byakuya’s eyes were on him. Luckily Hina jumped in straight away.

“Nah were going to go and have a slumber party, donuts are all we need!”

“Oh that sounds fun!” Chihiro chirped

“Yeah I would say no boys allowed but then Makoto couldn’t come” Hina laughed “come join us later if you like”

Looping her arm through Makoto’s he watched Byakuya’s face fall as she escorted him out of the canteen.

.....

Despite their vow of not talking about boys... they ended up talking about boys.

“So it’s more the contest thing you’re bothered by?”

“Yeah definitely that, it’s just so cruel. And I know he’s you know... not exactly soft hearted but.. that’s something I can’t see him being okay with”

“Surely he wouldn’t do it then. I mean, he doesn’t seem the type to do anything he doesn’t want to do” Hina lay on the floor with her feet on Makoto’s bed as she munched on a Boston creme

“Usually I’d say so, but when it comes to family.. realising everything he had to go through... no wonder he’s the way he is. Why he feels like this is the only way he can be”

“You really love him don’t you?”

“Huh? Well.. yeah! Of course”

“Hmm” Hina hummed as she licked the filling spilling down the side of her donut

“Part of me thought it was just a whole... while we were trapped thing, but you’re seriously twisting about stuff that’s way in the future. People only do that when they are like.. totally in love and wanna grow old together”

Makoto blushed “well... I.. I don’t know how to describe it. The way I feel about him just.. came out of nowhere and then it hit me so hard I can’t... imagine feeling any other way...”

“Maybe I’ll love someone that much someday” Hina sighed wistfully “I’ve never been in love before”

“Well we’re still young!” Makoto said earnestly “honestly until this happened I never thought I would feel like that either”

“It’s weird cause... I feel so close to Sakura. I don’t know what it means though, like is it normal to just click with someone so fast and feel like you’ve known them forever? Maybe it’s just the whole.. pressure of being here but it feels like more”

That piqued Makoto’s interest well and truly.

“I know what you mean, sometimes Byakuya says something to me and.. it feels like I’ve heard it before... so much feels like deja vu that I can’t explain”

“I’m glad it’s not just me” Hina nodded thoughtfully “it’s like... we know each other somehow”

She had said aloud the thing that always played on his mind, the think he couldn’t shake free of.

“I feel the same, I can’t help but... feel that this isn’t the first time we met but... how could it be? We wouldn’t just forget chunks of our lives like that”

“Totally”

“But the way I feel... it’s so strong... like it’s always been a part of me”

She sat upright and selected another donut from the plate “I was drawn to Sakura from the first day, I felt safe with her. As though she was so familiar and comforting even in all the chaos, then I started talking to you and I felt the same.
I just trusted you both without having to think about it. Did you feel that way about Byakuya?”

“Uh.. not exactly” Makoto scratched his cheek “I thought he was rude but kind of cute? In that way where you know people are attractive but you don’t really think about it. I had this feeling he wasn’t as bad as he seemed but I was more interested in... Sayaka”

“Yeah of course” Hina’s eyes widened “you liked her”

“Yeah, I think the fact I knew her at middle school helped too. Reconnecting with an old friend, someone you actually remember made me feel a lot more secure”

“That makes sense”

“I didn’t really think of Byakuya in a romantic way until... well” he blushed furiously and Hina clocked it immediately

“What? You gotta tell me now!”

“Uhm until the day Toko asked me to
talk to him for her... and we got together”

Hina dropped the half of the donut she was holding

“What the heck! You... had sex with him first?? Then got together?”

“Kind of?”

“Makoto you really are a dark horse!”

“Nooo it wasn’t like that!”

The rest of the evening was filled with laughter, gossip and a lot of donuts. Makoto could feel the weight start to leave him as Hina cheered him to his core. She was so easy to be around, in an ideal world he would have fallen for her instead. It would have been so much more simple. But she was his best friend and he loved her like he loved his sister Komaru.

A light knocking at his door drew both of their attention

“Ooh That might be Chihiro coming to join us” Hina beamed

Makoto opened the door in surprise as Byakuya stood on his doorstep. He would never normally be seen consciously seeking Makoto, so he knew this was important to the heir. Byakuya still looked sad, his blue eyes seemed dull and without their usual lustre. He wasn’t wearing either his blazer or tie and seemed slightly ruffled around the edges compared to usual. Even so he was still so beautiful to Makoto, his casualness.. it was more appealing somehow, more human.

“I’m... going to bed” Byakuya’s words were awkward as though he didn’t know how to say them.

“Okay...” Makoto said quietly “goodnight I guess”

Byakuya’s lip twitched down and just as quickly he corrected it

“So you’re... not coming to.. mine tonight” the words were a whisper, lest anyone else hear

“Not tonight..” Makoto hated how meek he sounded “I have.. to think about things”

Byakuya nodded curtly, Makoto could have sworn he saw his lip wobble but regardless the pain in his eyes gave him away

“I see... goodnight Makoto”

He turned to his door, unlocking it and looking back at Makoto one last time with anguish on his face. He looked like he was going to say something further but closed his mouth shaking his head sadly.

“Night.. Byakuya”

Byakuya smiled weakly and disappeared into his room. Makoto sighed and locked his own door behind him turning to a bemused Hina.

“Did you just reject him?”

“Yeah”

“Why are you resisting him so much?”

“Because I need some time to.. think”

“Okay.. well I’m that case I’ll help, first I want you to tell me 5 things you love about him okay?”

“Uh.. why?”

“Just trust me okay? Now get started”

“Well... this is hard... I feel judged”

“Hurry up Makoto I’m getting old over here”

“Okay okay! Ughhh first he’s really hardworking, he’s not just smart he... works at everything all the time to get better and keep improving himself. I think that’s really admirable”

“That’s good keep going”

“Uhh this is kind of embarrassing.. but okay. Uhmm hes got a really gentle side. he always makes me feel really safe and that I can feel how much he cares about me and how much he wants to protect me. He’s really affectionate to me.. and I like that, I need cuddles and stuff...”

“That’s a nice one”

“Third is... that he’s not afraid of anything. To speak his mind or ruffle feathers if needs be. He’s not afraid to be tough or be himself and make no apologies for it. I know he can be.. hard work and rude with it but it’s really strong to unapologetically be yourself you know? It shows me how much he truly cares for me because nothing about him is fake. He’s harsh but he’s real”

“That’s a good way of looking at it”

“Fourth.. Uhm.. this ones shallow but... he’s really beautiful. I love everything about how he looks...” he was blushing scarlet once more “especially his eyes, and his smile.. which he doesn’t do often so it’s.. more special I guess”

“But the rest of him is good too?” Hina winked at him dramatically and Makoto choked back a giggle

“Yes, it’s all very good”

Hina snickered as she counted down the last finger on her hand “Okay last one”

“I guess then I’ll go with.. the way he makes me feel. I always feel I can do anything when I’m with him, like anything is possible! I’m not just boring normal Makoto. I’m part of a whole, that we are two halves meant to fight alongside each other to achieve anything we dream of... I know that sounds corny but... he makes me feel strong and safe, and so, so happy! So.. loved and... important” he finished with a smile on his face, talking about him in such a way... just made him realise even more how much he adored him.

“Okay that was really good! Next task is I want you to tell me 5 things you hate about him”

“Wait what”

“You heard”

“N-no I can’t! I can’t list things I hate and... use them against him. The things he probably hates too”

“That’s not it.. you’re gonna have to trust me on this one”

“Okay..I guess I do so...” he took a breath “I hate that we have to keep this a secret. That we can’t just be together because of this shitty place and how anything can happen we have to just be like dirty little secrets sneaking around”

“Second?”

“I hate how he’s had to fight so hard for his place like it’s just fucked up! Making your kids compete against each other with the threat of exile hanging over them. He was 13 years old when he won, can you imagine what his childhood would have been like preparing for that? It must have been... “ he swallowed down the anger that had been rising up inside of him “I hate it, it’s wrong... no wonder he’s so harsh! When your own family are enemies why would you care what anyone else thinks?”

“You’re right that is super messed up and disgusting. I can’t believe that’s how they operate it’s so... gross”

“Third is.. I hate that he’s expected to live his life that way too. Why did he fight so hard to get to the top only to be told how to live his life? What kind of victory is that?? I swear I was nervous about what his father would think of me but now... I’m not sure I care, he must be heartless to do that. At least his son has a heart”

“Okay and what’s next?”

“Um...” Makoto wracked his brains but for the life of him couldn’t think of anything else he could be vitriolic about “I think that’s all I got”

“Okay” Hina grinned wide “you described 5 things you loved about Byakuya right? Him, the person”

“Right?”

“And only 3 things you hated.. but none of those things were about him”

“What do you mean?”

“They were situations. This place, his family, his life with them. You didn’t say one thing you didn’t like about him as a person”

Makoto was struck silent for a moment as he digested her words. He wouldn’t have looked at it like that.

“And those situations.. he hates just as much as you do if not more, so.. don’t waste time arguing and being sad about bad situations. You have to work with him to change them.. make them better but... don’t ruin a love that strong over his stupid family”

“You’re right..” Makoto’s voice was a whisper as he felt shame wash over him at his overreaction.

“Don’t get me wrong I get why you’re hurting and I can’t say i’d like it either. But so much can change in time and for now.. getting out of here is *the* most important thing”

“You’re totally right, you’re actually super smart Hina”

“I have my moments! Hey wanna watch me fit 2 donuts in my mouth at once? I totally can!”

.....

The rest of the sleepover consisted of laughter and chatter about their classmates, Sakura in particular who Makoto started to suspect Hina’s feelings for.. weren’t totally platonic. By the time tiredness started to fall over him Hina was already half asleep dragging his duvet over her as she snoozed

“Night ‘koto” she mumbled into pillow

“Night Hina” he smiled turning out the lights “thanks for the great advice”

“s’ cool. Be a happy egg..” were her final wise words before soft snores escaped her.

Makoto laughed as he curled up on the other side of the bed, he missed Byakuya but.. tonight had been good for him. An eye opener and sometimes you had to sacrifice a temporary happiness to build a long term one. Tomorrow he would talk to him and hopefully why could put all those behind them. Hina was right, getting out of here was priority one and he wasn’t going to ruin such a good thing over this.

Be positive Makoto. You will find a way through this together, you just have to have hope.

As long as there’s Hope there a reason to fight and never give in to despair.

....

Dream Byakuya laughed as his arms tightened around Makoto holding him tightly.

It was a beautiful day after class, the sun shining brightly yet it wasn’t too warm. The school gardens were tranquil and quiet where they sat on a bench together.
Makoto smiled at his boyfriend and for the umpteenth time thought about how beautiful he was. Their chests pressed together, Byakuya’s hand on his waist. They both leaned closer as though synchronised. Makoto’s hand reaching up to caress Byakuya’s face, he wanted to kiss him so badly. He was so close and then a loud

“Smile boys!”

They turned in wide eyes surprise as the camera flashed.

Chapter Text

Those damn lights. Byakuya cursed at the interruption, now Makoto had left and there wasn’t much he could do about it without giving them away.

Of course he understood why Makoto was upset, he was upset too damn it. It wasn’t an easy life resting on his shoulders, he was always well aware of the sacrifices necessary to become heir. His life was supposed to play out in a specific pattern but... being Byakuya he could never just do things simply. It wasn’t on the cards to date, to marry, to love and he had been okay with that. To take the company to greater heights, to continue their legacy. Those were his duties and he had been fine with them, okay with his future even if he didn’t exactly relish it. As he had said to Makoto, medical science could handle part of it for him.

But... everything was more complicated. His future had been laid out and now.... he wasn’t sure how to walk it. He wanted to be heir of course he did, he hadn’t fought so hard to just... give it all up! However... that specific part of his path felt wrong. A diseased limb of the Togami tree that needed to be felled at once. He could do that, he was the one who would have the power one day to decide how their family legacy played out. But they needed a family to do that, at this rate the family would die with him, that wasn’t possible.

However to continue their lineage, would be to have children and make them compete the way he had to. His choices were to accept his fate and do as he was told, or to change his destiny. The roadblock in the way of him making his decision... was that he was completely and irreversibly in love with Makoto.

He had accepted it in the late hours of the nights when he held Makoto in his arms and watched the peaceful look on his face as he slept so contentedly, the way he clung to Byakuya wanting to be as close to him as possible. His short legs entangled with Byakuya’s own, his arms tightly around him. Their bodies entwined the same way their hearts were. He had come to realise from the primitive instinctive parts of his very soul that he would do anything for this boy, he would risk his own life for him because a life without Makoto would be living without a soul. As he watched the gentle in out of Makoto’s breathing, seeing the contentment on his lovely face it made his heart pang with love. Yes he loved him, he loved him more than he had ever loved anything.

His life would be easier if he didn’t, he had known that from the start. But he couldn’t fight the pull that drew him to this angel that he adored. That he wanted to protect and worship in equal measure, that he wanted to live with, make a future with, grow old with, die with. Makoto was all he really wanted when he looked at his future, to make a life with him and together change the world from his perch atop the Togami corporation.

So.. he had to make some decisions.

Once more the weight of his emotion was cloying and he sighed miserably as he lay on his bed. It seemed so empty without Makoto’s presence, the room normally felt so vibrant and homely when his boyfriend was here. He was happy inside it’s four walls when he was curled up with the one person that could make him feel. Without him, he felt lost.. a soul adrift at sea.

He undid the buttons on his shirt and let the fabric fall open, it did little to alleviate the heat but it felt comforting, he could breathe easier.

He didn’t even want children, he had always known that. He didn’t have the capacity to feel that way, not that his position would have needed him to exactly be a hands on father. His contribution was supposed to stop at actually creating the children and after that... he would sit and wait until they were of age then start the contest. But that to him... suddenly felt so wrong. Growing up inside of its bubble he had felt it was the most ordinary thing in the world but now...

Now he knew what it was like to love someone, had his mother felt heartbreak when he left to compete? Had she hurt inside for every one of the trials he had to endure? Because his heart hurt for every terrible thing in this place, every instance that caused hurt to cloud the face of the boy he loved. Maybe he would never know, but what he did know was that he couldn’t continue it. He didn’t want to put more hurt into the world, more pain and strife.

He didn’t want children, he didn’t want faceless women raising his heirs that he hadn’t wanted. While he held Makoto at night and tried to pretend that part of his life didn’t exist. If the shoe was on the other foot.. he would hate to think of someone else... having a part of his Makoto he couldn’t. Seeing someone else swell with Makoto’s child.. carrying his baby. The thought made him so irrationally angry he hissed as he sat upright, yanking the shirt and tie from his arms and throwing them at the wall in a ball of rage.

His clothing made a soft thump as it hit the wall and fell to the floor as Byakuya sank back onto the sheets, swallowing his anger back down. Of course that’s why Makoto was upset, why he was so confused. A future like that must seem so... bleak and overwhelming to him. If Byakuya were in his shoes he would feel the same.

If Makoto had been a girl then... maybe. Maybe he could have personally gotten his head around the idea of being an actual father, of creating and raising an heir with the person he loved.. as a family. Still even that would have been against the rules, he was meant to have lots of children and have them compete.. and Makoto, despite being a Hopes Peak student may never have been viewed as ‘exceptional’ by his father and it didn’t matter anyway. Makoto was a boy, that’s all there was to it.

It was crazy but... he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t do something that... hurt his angel. That put their life together at risk, he loved Makoto so truly and completely.

He buried his face into his pillow as his heart ached at being without him. Being apart from him after this.. was it really a fight? Either way, he wanted to tell Makoto.. nothing mattered except him, he would find another way... he always did. He was Byakuya and he wouldn’t have his life dictated for him, he would destroy the entire system and rebuild it from the ground up.. somehow he would do it. If he was the first ever Togami heir to be gay then... that’s what he would be. He would not care about the opinions of sheep, of anyone that wasn’t Makoto.

He remembered the photograph, the ring.. it had stirred something in his conscious but he couldn’t put his finger on it... regardless since then.. the thought of marrying Makoto had crossed his thoughts. He felt ridiculous for entertaining such a notion when they had hardly been together for a month but... his heart knew somehow. He wanted that, he wanted to be with him always, marry him and love him for the rest of his life.

Tomorrow.. he would make him see that.. he was all Byakuya cared about. He *would* change the world for him. He had promised.

.....

Byakuya had been laying on his bed in a shirt and jeans, reading a book and drinking some coffee. He was content when the sudden shouting from the corridor brought Byakuya running from his room. Makoto wasn’t back yet and...

A tall older man was yelling instructions as Kyoko and Chihiro ran into the command room alongside him.

“What’s going on?” He demanded as he ran in after them.

The man was tapping at the large computer as Kyoko argued with him. Chihiro was typing a mile a minute at one of the computers with a desperate look on his face.

“It’s coming” Chihiro’s eyes were wide and fearful “faster than we thought”

“We need to lock down now!” The man shouted “it’s the only way, we don’t know when it’s going to come to our door and we have to protect everyone”

“But some of the others are still outside!” Kyoko sounded furious “we can’t leave them to die!”

“They knew the risks going out to their families, you all did. I don’t want to do this but I have to think of those still inside!” The man argued back, he looked exhausted “we have to secure the building now. For the good of everyone”

“Makoto isn’t back yet” Byakuya’s blood ran cold “we can’t lock down without him!”

“I’m sorry Byakuya but we have to”
The man met his eyes looking as defeated as Byakuya felt “we can’t risk everyone inside these walls”

Byakuya was shaking his head, denial bubbling under his skin. “No! I can’t.. let you! I’ll go and find him! And bring him back.. give me some time”

“No Byakuya I can’t do that. I was entrusted with you.. with your life and I won’t risk it”

Kyoko hung her head “He’s right Byakuya.. there’s nothing we can do”

Byakuya’s mouth flapped uselessly, his heart threatening to explode as it beat fast and loud in his throat, his blood rushing through his ears deafening him.

“You’re.. going to leave Makoto out there... to die?”

“He still has some time to get back” the man looked at the screen “We have an hour... at most. Chihiro is trying to locate him, it seems he Leon and Taka are together but if we can’t contact them and get them back inside in time. We have to go ahead with the sealing... I’m sorry Byakuya...”

His legs shook as he focused his willpower on not collapsing. His hands twitched as he forced himself to calm down... he... couldn’t let this.. be it. He wouldn’t loose Makoto... he was going to get him.. he turned to race for his bedroom, he still had time to get out. They weren’t locked down yet he could...

“Going to find these?” The man sighed and the clink of something made Byakuya’s blood run cold as he turned back in horror. The man held Byakuya’s keys in his fist.

“I knew you would try something like that... your stubbornness knows no bounds”

“That’s.. how did you?”

“That doesn’t matter, I can’t let you leave. I was entrusted to protect you, I won’t let you run off into the lions den.. as much as you love him.. I’m sorry”

He placed the keys into Kyoko’s gloved hand who took them with surprise.

“Make sure he doesn’t leave Kyoko, I’m trusting you”

“Of course” her hands clenched around the key as she blinked in anguish “I... won’t let him do anything stupid”

“I don’t want to do this... Makoto is like a child to me... you all are but...” the man let his words hang heavy in the air as he shook his head once more and sighing, exited the control room.

Byakuya felt like he had just been stabbed, the pain that raced through him paralysed him to the spot. This couldn’t be it.. it couldn’t! Makoto... wasn’t going to die out there alone.. he had to get back here... to safety. To Byakuya... didn’t he know... Byakuya couldn’t live without him either?” He was breathing too fast, his eyes wide as a sob escaped his lips and suddenly Kyoko’s hand was on his shoulder.

He looked up into lavender eyes filled with fire as she pushed the keys into his hand.

“Go to him”

“W..Wha...?”

“Chihiro has his location”

The programmer ran to him on cue and pushed a USB drive into his other hand.

“Alter Ego will lead you there, I got Makoto’s location, go and get them”

His eyes were wide, his mouth agape as he stared in shock and confusion at the two in front of him.

“Promise me you’ll bring them back alive, all of them” Chihiro’s tone was surprisingly stern “Promise me Byakuya”

“I... I promise”

“Now go” Kyoko commanded “we will unlock the car compound and the front gates from here. Don’t look back”

“Go Byakuya now!”

Turning tail he ran as fast as he could out of the command centre, tearing down the corridor to the front entrance.

“Byakuya stop! What are you doing?!”

“Mondo stop him!” Kyoko yelled as the man made chase after Byakuya. His hand was millimetres from grabbing Byakuya’s arm when the biker grabbed the man and restrained him with a loud yelp.

“Sorry teach but... Byakuya’s gotta bring em back for us”

The protests and yells all mixed behind him as he left them in his dust, he was so close to the exit.. crashing through the front doors to the bright sunlight... he had to get to him he had to...

.....

Byakuya sat bolt upright crying out in fear. Sweat poured from his forehead as his eyes focused in the darkness. It was... a dream? But this one was so clear... so much more detailed than the others. His breaths came in rapid bursts as he tried to calm down, what he hell was this?

With trembling hands he pushed the sweat slicked hair out of his face trying to cool down. He hadn’t had such a vivid dream before and the undercurrent of it was less then pleasant... loosing Makoto. Finally he managed to calm himself enough, laying back down on the bed and staring at the ceiling as his heart hammered against his rib cage. It was chilling, haunting and terrifying all at once, he didn’t want to think of what it meant, the implications of it all mixed with all the strange discoveries he was making here... he was scared. For the first time admitting it to himself, he was scared stiff of what this meant, of what would happen to him.
And Makoto.

He needed to talk to Makoto and fast, make right the stupid wedge between them... because something darker was always beneath the surface here and he was filled with dread for what might come next.

.....

He had managed to shower and change, Steeling himself to see Makoto at breakfast and get past this speed bump. All that mattered now was him and Makoto, banding together and getting out of this terrible place. The dream nagged in the back of his mind and he tried to push it back for now, he could dissect it later on with Makoto’s help but for now.. he needed to tell his boyfriend that he loved him... that he was his future and nothing else mattered.

Makoto entered the dining room finally and Byakuya breathed a sigh of relief at seeing him. Everyone else was present now, eating and chatting as Hina plopped herself at the table and began to chatter to Sakura. Makoto made his way over slowly and took the seat next to Byakuya not quite as to meet his eyes.

Just the relief at seeing Makoto, having him next to him made Byakuya swell with happiness. Carefully he placed his hand under the table and laced his fingers with Makoto’s own.

“Can we talk after this?” He murmured quietly and Makoto finally met his eyes, his bright greens beautiful as a shy smile spread across his perfect lips.

“Yeah... of course” his fingers squeezed back and Byakuya felt his heart pang with happiness. It’s crazy how something so small could make him feel so much, change his emotions so quickly

“I missed you” Byakuya whispered smiling slightly and Makoto smiled back adorably as blush dusted his cheeks

“I missed you too”

Hina was watching them but he couldn’t bring himself to care. It was perfect.

The lights flickered again and Byakuya glanced up in annoyance, this damn place was a massive shithole in every way possible. The lights flickered twice more and then completely went out. The laugher broke out around him.

“Not this again for gods sake I want my pancakes” Mondo snapped

“Someone put the lights back on!” Called Chihiro

“I’ll find the switch” Kyoko’s voice rang out.

The giggles and chatter continued and even though it was pitch black and Byakuya couldn’t see his boyfriend, he squeezed Makoto’s hand and pressed a kiss to the back of it.

He couldn’t wait to talk this out and finally put it behind them, get to cuddle him, kiss him and hold him. He had missed him so much after just one night.. maybe he should finally tell him... confess that he was in love with him

A horrific scream pierced the air.

Chapter Text

Panic spread through the room like wildfire at the scream,confused voices and cries of fear. Makoto jumped to his feet on impulse, Byakuya’s hand tight upon his own.

“Makoto outside” Byakuya’s voice was urgent “Now!” Makoto was disoriented, in the dark he couldn’t remember where he was, where the door was. His panic started to overtake him until Byakuya tugged his hand urgently in the right direction “quickly!”

He ran on shaking legs seeing the light surrounding the canteen door, the screams and terror of his classmates around him threatening to pull him under. Byakuya’s footsteps behind him, his hand on Makoto’s own keeping him anchored, keeping him sane.

He bumped into someone on the way who squeaked in fear.

“Chihiro?” Makoto yelled out and soon found the programmers arm.

“Makoto! What do we do?”

“Come with me we have to get out of this room!”

They were all rushing to the entrance, blind panic and fear coursing through his system. The darkness overwhelming and the screams around him chilling his very soul. Byakuya was now in front of him, tugging him forwards leading him to safety and then..

“Get off me!” Byakuya’s voice rang out loud and angry and then he cried out, an awful sound primal and agonising

“Byakuya!” Makoto screamed as Byakuya’s hand was ripped from his own “Byakuya no!”

“Get... to safety... don’t come back in here no matter.. what until... the lights are on” Byakuya’s voice was broken and pained. Makoto’s heart and feet stopping dead in his tracks.

“I’m not leaving you!” Makoto yelled groping blindly in the dark for his boyfriend dragging poor Chihiro by the arm

“I... said.... go!” Byakuya’s voice was behind him suddenly, hands coming to rest on his shoulder blades “now!” And with that Byakuya launched Makoto towards the door, his feet somehow keeping on going as he dragged Chihiro out of the dark canteen and crashing through the doors as screams rang out from the inside.

“Makoto!” Chihiro was in front of him as his eyes tried to acclimatise to the light “We have to get the lights on in there!”

“I.. I have to go back for him!” Makoto reached for the door instinctively prepared to throw himself back into the lions den.

“No!” Chihiro planted himself between Makoto and the door with a determination Makoto had never seen from him before “Byakuya said not to! we don’t know what’s happening in there”

“I can’t leave him!” Makoto protested with tears running down his face

“You can’t risk getting hurt” Chihiro’s tone was oddly commanding “we have to get those lights back on now! Go to the fuse box now! It’s in the warehouse, I’ll hold the doors open to get light in there to guide people out. Now go!!”

Shocked and fearful Makoto nodded and ran to the warehouse on shaky legs, he raced to the fuse box and stared in horror at the switch. It was out of reach but even from here he could see the remnants of a rudimentary device were left wrapped around the fuse lever. Not wanting to waste time he ran to the board noticing that a crate was placed under it, quickly as possible he climbed onto the crate and flipped the switch back before turning tail jumping down, racing out of the warehouse back to the canteen powered by adrenaline and fear.

Chihiro was calling to him yelling into the cafeteria where Mondo had ran out, his face a mask of terror as pink blood spotted his face

“Mondo are you okay?”

“I...” the biker was trembling, pale with fear “it’s a fucking bloodbath I...”

Cold and terrified Makoto ran straight into the fray powered by his need to get to Byakuya. He couldn’t be... please god.

The canteen was indeed a bloodbath. Bright arcs of pink blood sprayed across the wall and the table making Makoto feel sick. Kyoko was helping an unconscious Toko towards the doors and Makoto almost screamed at the sight of Byakuya crumpled on the floor covered in blood.

“No! No, no, no!” Makoto’s voice was ripping from his throat as he raced to his boyfriends side “please Byakuya! Oh my god... Byakuya please speak to me. Holy shit...”

Byakuya’s face was pale, his life leaving him as it flowed out staining his white shirt fuchsia.

“Byakuya!” Makoto screamed desperately, frantically pulling his shirt open to locate the source of the bleeding.

“Uhhh” Byakuya groaned, his eyes opening slowly, his fingers twitching and blood stained as he struggled to keep focused.

“Byakuya stay with me baby! Don’t go to sleep!”

The gory gash across his chest was evident now as blood cascaded from it. Makoto tore his shirt from his own shoulders and balled it up pushing it hard on the wound to stem the bleeding. Byakuya groaned at the harsh pressure, his face furrowing in pain.

“It’s okay! It’s going to be okay, I’m here... I... everything’s going to be fine!” Makoto’s eyes stung as tears poured down his face dripping onto the white fabric that was fast staining with Byakuya’s blood “you’re going to be okay.. you have to be... you’re Byakuya! You can’t... please... don’t leave me!” His voice was hysterical now, high and shrill as he sobbed, desperately trying to stem the blood.

Byakuya’s eyes were unfocused but they were open, he groaned and with a trembling strength lifted his arm to cup Makoto’s cheek

“I’m... not... going... anywhere”

Makoto nuzzled into his touch, a sob mixed with a laugh tearing from his lips “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry about.. the stupid fight! If doesn’t matter! As long as you’re... here”

“Makoto” Kyoko has appeared at his side but he didn’t even register her presence.

“I think... maybe you’re right.. fighting for something... good... can’t be worse than... this right?” Byakuya coughed, a half smile on his lips.

“I.. “ Makoto floundered as he sobbed, their fight seemed immaterial now. Their possible future had seemed so heavy to Makoto just hours ago. But now... a future without Byakuya alive... knocked everything into harsh perspective “none of that matters... as long as you’re okay and alive!” He pressed his lips to Byakuyas forehead, His tears wetting Byakuya’s face as he cried “I love you! I love you so much”

Despite everything, the pain he must have been in. Byakuya smiled up at him, his eyes half closed.

“I love you too.. obviously”

The strange familiarity of those words knocked the wind out of Makoto as he clutched his poor injured love closer.

“Makoto” Kyoko had dropped to kneel at his side now making her presence known, her hands taking over the pressure on Byakuya’s wound “I need to check his injury, you have to let go” violet eyes met his with intensity “It’s okay, I promise”

After pausing and eyeing her with fear and suspicion he finally nodded abruptly released his hold and instead brushed the hair back from Byakuya’s face, the contrasting pink against blonde was even more jarring. He whispered soothing words to his boyfriend as he stroked his hair and pressed kisses to his forehead as Kyoko checked the wound with careful fingers.

“He’s going to be alright” Kyoko declared resuming pressure on the injury “it’s a long cut so he’s lost a lot of blood but nothing Fatal. It’s a slash not a stab fortunately so it’s not deep but he’s going to need it cleaning soon and bandaging property to avoid infection”

“Hear that babe? You’re going to be okay!” Makoto choked out as he stroked Byakuya’s face lovingly “you’re gonna be fine alright, we’re going to make sure you get properly patched up and.. you’ll be back to normal in no time!”

Byakuya gave a small laugh “Of course I will Mako... I’m Byakuya... Togami...
and I promised to.. change the world for you.. and I keep my promises”

Mako... something about that took Makoto’s breath away. He was so sure Byakuya had never called him that before and yet... it felt so familiar... so...

“Chihiro! Taka! I need medical supplies now! Antiseptic and bandages at the minimum!” Kyoko commanded at the two stood beside her, Takas face was vacant shock seeming to have rendered him senseless.

“Yes ma’am!” Chihiro sprang into action with a determination and composure Makoto had never seen from the programmer before. His inner strength was shining through truly today as he pulled Taka’s arm seeming to snap him out of his daze. The two racing out of the room to the nurses office.

“Lemme help you out, what do you need?” Mondo knelt at Kyoko’s side as she fired instructions at him for how they were going to treat the injury.

A scream tore through the room jilting Makoto to reality. He had been so consumed in Byakuya he hadn’t even stopped to think about the others

“Hina!! No!”

The cry of agony froze Makoto to the core

“Hina? Oh god Hina!” He jerked his head around not seeing the swimmer on this side of the room.

“Go... to her” Byakuya commanded squeezing Makoto’s fingers

“I.. can’t leave you!”

“Go, now. I’ll be fine” as always Byakuya didn’t leave room to argue “I’m in.. good hands”

Kyoko and Mondo looked surprised but nodded to Makoto

“He’s right, go” Kyoko urged

A scream tore through the room, it was primal and raw filled with pain and Makoto flinched as that familiar fear twisted his stomach.

“Now Mako” Byakuya commanded sounding more like his usual self

He nodded abruptly kissing Byakuya’s cheek quickly and stroking his hair as he spoke

“I’ll be back soon, I love you”

Gently moving away from the injured boy He beseeched Kyoko and Mondo with his eyes who both nodded firmly, they would take care of Byakuya he knew it. Finally turning tail he raced around the long table and before he even reached Hina’s side he knew it was bad.

She lay on the floor in Sakura’s lap, the blood flowing from her neck was thick and fast despite the pressure Sakura was applying. The fabric was soaked fast as Sakura wept

“Please Hina! No! This can’t...”

“Hina!” Makoto screamed launching himself to her side and grabbing at her trembling hand

“Hina! No... please you’re going to be okay! We’re getting supplies... we can....”

“It’s... okay” Hina’s voice was but a whisper, weak and pained “I know.. this is the end” she gave a tiny smile as she squeezed Makoto’s fingers with a frail strength.

“You... were my best friends. I love you both... so much. Please.... be happy. Look after... each other okay?”

“Hina please don’t talk like that!” Makoto sobbed “you have to save your strength.. so we can treat you”

“So... optimistic” her laugh was fragile “but.. its okay... Makoto... I can accept it. Eat lots of donuts.. for me... okay? and promise me you’ll be happy... with him. I remember now... everything...all of you... how happy... we all were as friends.... and how much... you two loved each other... you guys.. will make it... promise me”

“Hina..”

“Promise me!” Her final strength was in those words and Makoto sobbed as he swore his promise

“I promise Hina, thank you for being my friend.. I love you so much..”

She smiled weakly before she croaked something to Sakura who leaned down to whisper something with her in hushed tones as Sakura wept. Makoto gripped her hand tightly, gently pulling it to his lips as he kissed the back of her hand wetting it with his tears until Sakura’s cries and Hina’s hand going limp In his own drew the stark realisation over him that she was gone.

He howled with anguish as he sobbed so hard it felt like his heart was breaking in his chest. Sakura’s own cries tearing his gut apart further as the two grieved for the purest and kindest friend they had ever known. And someone in this very room had brutally murdered her, they would pay.. they would pay with their life.

“Makoto” Kyoko’s voice called

“Yeah” Makoto called back in a wavering voice

“What’s happened”

“Hina is... gone” Makoto couldn’t say it, couldn’t say dead out loud... it made it real.

“Everyone get here now!” Kyoko boomed “Nobody go over on that side of the cafeteria”

Not questioning her command Makoto sobbed over his friends lifeless form, her eyes had closed and if it wasn’t for the blood she looked.. almost peaceful as Sakura cradled her head in her lap.

Eventually, who knows how much time had passed Kyoko called to Makoto again
“You need to come over here and tell me exactly what happened”

“I cant... leave her” Makoto sobbed

“Byakuya needs you” Kyoko’s tone was commanding and Makoto looked up at Sakura through hazy eyes

“I’ll stay with her” she wept and Makoto nodded a jerky fractured movement. His body unable to cooperate fluidly he squeezed Hina’s hand tightly before laying it carefully at her side. Lumbering to his feet he wobbled shakily back around the large table to where the group huddled together, tears running down his face as he cried without pause.

Kyoko came to him at once putting her arm around him and guiding him back into the fold. Everyone huddled together, the trauma and fear claustrophobic. They had experienced murders before but this... this was another level of barbaric, bloody and cruel that had scarred everyone deeply. They had thought they were safe together... that nothing could happen to them in a group but... someone had used that against them and managed to kill right in front of them.

Byakuya now leant upright against a wall, his eyes closed as Chihiro sat as his side wiping the blood from his face and neck with antiseptic. His shirt lay on the floor in a blood-soaked bundle reminding Makoto of just how close he had come to dying himself.

“Byakuya” he whispered as Kyoko guided him to his boyfriends side and he touched his face gently to alert him to his presence. His eyes fluttered open and he looked so damn tired.

“What happened?” Byakuya squeezed his hand weakly and Makoto wept once more choking back the hysteria rising in him

“Hinas... dead. Someone... slit her throat”

The gasps and cries rang out around him, Chihiro began to cry, his small fist clenched around the cloth and Mondo’s face fell as he put his hand on Chihiro’s shoulder to comfort him. Taka sat stone faced and pale, his white uniform streaked with blood as he seemed unable to comprehend what was happening around him. Celeste stared at the floor, tears running silently down her face. There was nobody here unaffected by this death... it was too close... too cruel.

“Nobody can go over there” Kyoko’s voice wavered but she shook out the inflection immediately taking charge of the group “if three people discover a body then it’s time for investigation”

Makoto gasped sharply, he hadn’t even considered that.

“Normally i would advise we start immediately so it’s fresh in everyone’s minds but...” she looked over to Byakuya. There was no way he would be ready for a class trial in this state, as strong as he was... it was too much.

Makoto sniffled as he stroked Byakuya’s hair, Chihiro had managed to clean most of the blood out of it and off his face which helped Makoto somehow. It looked less like he was dying...

Byakuya grimaced as Mondo finished trying off his bandages tightly.

“That should do it... that good Kyoko?”

“Yes” she checked over his handiwork carefully “as long as he’s careful, I think we’ve minimised the risk of infection”

“Thank you” Byakuya breathed, his voice so tired that it made Makoto well up once more

“Anytime bro” Mondo patted his arm

“We...are not related” Byakuya joked weakly back at him and Chihiro, a weak half smile on his face and Mondo chuckled good naturedly. Makoto could hardly believe the change that had come over Byakuya since they arrived here but... Makoto and a near death experience seemed to have softened him a little.

“What are we going to do?” Celeste asked Kyoko with a trembling voice as Kyoko considered the options.

“We need some time, Byakuya isn’t strong enough to withstand a trial in his current condition”

“I’ll be... fine” Byakuya protested, a shimmer of his usual self appearing as he tried to push himself upwards and hissing at the pain.

“Please don’t exert yourself!” Makoto cupped his face resting his forehead against Byakuya’s own “I... can’t loose you” he whispered brokenly.

Byakuya’s posture crumpled as he accepted Makoto’s words. His face was so pale from shock and blood loss and he trembled as he moved. Makoto took a moment to quickly check his injury, Mondo had been thorough and wrapped the bandages around his chest and shoulder to ensure it was protected and secure from all angles. Chihiro had cleaned most of the blood off him and Makoto was grateful for that.

“Take some painkillers” Chihiro popped the pills into Byakuya’s hand along with a a cold cup of coffee he had salvaged from the table “it’s gross but, you’re going to need it”

Nodding Byakuya accepted the pain relief, his nose creasing up at the taste of the pills mixed with cold coffee but he swallowed them down and leaned back against the wall breathing deeply.

“What What What?? There was a murder party and I wasn’t invited?” Jill ran into the dining room with a spring in her step

“Oh shit” Mondo swore “we forgot about Toko”

“Come here Jill!” Kyoko commanded “I need to speak with you now”

“Oooh Master! Death looks good on you! Well if that’s what it takes to finally get your shirt off for me ahahahha!” She raced over to the group and Makoto instinctively wrapped his arms around Byakuya trying to shield him from her somehow.

“Oh McCutie! Have you finally decided to come out of the closet? Oh man this is the best day ever, boy on boy action AND murder! But man I *am* jealous someone stabbed master who wasn’t me! They will pay for their crime!” She yelled unsheathing her scissors and cackling wildly

“Stop it Jill! Now isn’t the time!” Kyoko barked

“What did you say to me you lowly curr!” Jill aimed her scissors at Kyoko with a glint in her eye “no one gets to kill master except me! Me, me, me, me!

“You’re not touching him!” Makoto yelled tears pooling in his eyes. It was too much! Her usual jests about killing him were par the course but now.. after this. Watching Byakuya bleed on the ground like that.. it was too close, too personal “If you lay a finger on him I’ll kill you!”

“Oooooh such fire! You really would throw down to protect your lover boy? Wow you’ve got me going good!” She cackled dropping her aim at Kyoko to Makoto’s relief.

Byakuya grunted trying to get up, to be less vulnerable. His stomach muscles were tight with the exertion, showing just how exhausted he was as his breathing came in shallow bursts.

“Baby no... you have to stay still okay?” Makoto cried ushering him back down “Please, you’re still in shock” Byakuya’s tired blue eyed gazed back at him blankly, his forehead covered with sweat and Makoto stroked his hair, whispering soothing words to him.

“Ooooh you really did fall out of the closet BIG TIME! Hahahaha you all didn’t believe me but I knew! These two are totally hot for each other you should hear the way that..”

“Enough! Jill!” Kyoko marched up to her “Hina’s dead and we need time!”

“What What What??? Someone actually kicked the bucket? No way! Her giant melons surely should have protected her from any attack!”

“Jill listen..”

“I totally have to see this for myself!”

“No!”

Jill tore herself from Kyoko’s grasp slippery as a snake and leapt over the dining table

“NO!!!!”

“A body has been discovered! After a certain amount of time, which you may use however you like, the class trial will begin!”

Chapter Text

A loud whimper of fear tore its way out of Makoto’s throat and he cuddled Byakuya to him closer. They weren’t ready! Byakuya wasn’t strong enough for this! How were they going to manage when he was so weak from shock, pain and blood loss? He couldn’t risk anything else happening to his love, what if this pushed him too far? In his panic he had started to hyperventilate and only Byakuya’s hands on his face snapped him back into reality.

Despite how tried he seemed there was an unmistakable steely strength behind his blue eyes.

“Makoto. Listen to me” his voice was soft but firm, his forehead pressed against Makoto’s own as the two locked eyes “I’m going to be fine, I’m not going to just lay down and die. We have to do this but I need you with me to help me okay?”

“Of course I... I’m not leaving your side!”

“Good, because I’m relying on you to solve this with me. We can do this, you know we can”

“We can” Makoto closed his eyes for a moment, his own hands rising to cup Byakuya’s face and hold him contentedly for a second. Blocking out the carnage around them until he felt the calm finally settle in him and his breathing return to normal. Opening his eyes again Byakuya gave him a small smile.

“Are you ready?”

“I am” Makoto gently kissed him, relishing the last moment of peace they would get until they solved this murder... if they solved it.

“First thing is to get me standing up” Byakuya grimaced “I might need a hand”

“Oh...” Makoto turned and called over to his friend “Mondo could you help us get Byakuya standing?

“Sure thing” the biker came over and crouched, wrapping his arm around Byakuya’s waist and smoothly pulling him to his feet “You okay buddy?”

Byakuya wobbled a little, putting a hand to his head as the headrush passed

“Yes I think so... thank you”

Makoto immediately wrapped his arm around Byakuya and allowed his boyfriend to lean on his shoulder as support. He may be short but he could be Byakuya’s crutch and help him get around.

Kyoko seemed to have been reprimanding Jill but thankfully, always on top of her game took command of the remaining classmates.

“We need people on guard duty”

“I’ll take it again” Mondo offered “me and Sakura usually do and... I don’t think she’s going to want to leave Hina’s side so... we can both stay here and make sure nothing gets messed with”

“Very well” Kyoko nodded “you’re overseeing this area. I’m trusting you to make sure no one alters a thing”

“You can count on me” Mondo gave her a thumbs up and walked around the table, no doubt to brief Sakura of the situation.

“First I think we need to examine how the lights went off”

“The fuse box is in the warehouse” Makoto offered immediately “I went to put the lights back on and there was like.. a thing tied around the switch... someone definitely tampered with it”

“Then we should start there”

The three slowly make their way to the warehouse, Byakuya was managing surprisingly well but his skin felt clammy under Makoto’s fingers. The exertion of moving obviously getting to him.

“Do you want me to get you a shirt?” Makoto offered. Byakuya’s own shirt was still lying in a bloody ripped pile on the canteen floor.

“It’s fine” Byakuya shook his head. Makoto wasn’t sure if he was saying that just because he didn’t want to Makoto to leave his side or not.

“We can get him something in the warehouse” Kyoko decided for them “he should wear something loose so we can monitor his bandages”

“Good call” Makoto agreed eyeing the bandages nervously, fearful of seeing them sprout with blood.

Pushing open the door Kyoko immediately serached for the fuse box, Makoto pointing it out.

“Interesting... Makoto did you put the crate here?”

“No I didn’t, it was there when I got here. I remember panicking when I saw how high it was and then seeing the crate. Someone must have used it to rig the switches”

“Agreed” Kyoko pondered the box for a moment “so it appears the killer was too short to reach the switches naturally... they needed the leg up”

“So we think the killer is a short person?” Makoto frowned “shouldn’t they have moved the box afterwards? That seems like an oversight”

“Not necessarily” Byakuya spoke up, his voice still sounding tired “I could reach that fusebox easily. However if I was going to spend the time rigging a complex mechanism I wouldn’t want to be reaching the whole time with compromised vision”

“That’s right” Kyoko agreed “I don’t think we can rule anything out at this point, we need to examine how they tripped the fuse box”

She climbed up the crate gracefully as Makoto helped Byakuya over so stand beneath it and observe.

“Makoto was it like this when you got here?”

“Yes, although I had to take off that bag” he pointed to the bag which now sat on top of the box “it was keeping the switch down so to get the lights back on I had to pull it off”

“Interesting...” Kyoko frowned as she examined the mechanism. “From what I can discern the killer used a system to turn the lights off at a specific time...”

She picked up a large hourglass empty of sand which sat atop the fuse box. “From what I can gather here it’s a simple system. The hourglass has been doctored with this tube” she pointed to the bottom of the hourglass where a long tube had been crudely attached “simple really. They made a hole in the glass so when the hourglass was turned the sand would slowly start to trickle through and down this tube when it hit the bottom. The bag at the end was tied around the fuse switch. When the bag got heavy enough it would pull the lever down. Therefore cutting off the lights to the dining hall remotely where the killer was waiting for the right moment to strike”

“Horrifically effective for something for so primitive” Byakuya growled, hand coming up involuntarily to his bandages. “So whomever set this timer did so before breakfast to ensure that the maximum number of people possible would be present. I should have stuck to my gut about not eating with everyone...”

“Uhm... well...” Makoto’s voice trailed off. Guilt filling him up, Byakuya had started attending the breakfast meeting because of him.

“Hey” Byakuya’s voice pulled his focus back as he looked sheepishly into his boyfriends eyes. They were fierce in their conviction “don’t think like that, as long as you’re safe..”

“So you two really are a thing” Kyoko was twirling her braid as she scrutinised them from atop the crate “I can’t say I’m completely surprised but still... “

Makoto felt Byakuya’s grip on him tighten and he could feel his own cheeks redden. This was the first time they had actually been open about their relationship but it had come about in the worst way possible.

“Yes.. we are” he affirmed looking back up at Kyoko

“I suspected after the second trial there was more to it but...” she shook her head “now isn’t the time to get into it”

“Exactly” Byakuya said quickly “we have too much to investigate”

Kyoko quickly clambered down the crate and examined the rows of shelves.

“My first order of business is to replicate the conditions of the fuse switch tripping. The killer knew how much time they would have... we need to know how long before that switch tripped”

“In that way we can perhaps eliminate potential suspects” Byakuya nodded “we will have to conduct it in this room with a few different witnesses to verify its accuracy”

“Agreed” Kyoko rummaged on a Shelf before holding up a back jacket with a metal zip. “This should do Byakuya”

“Thanks” Makoto took the jacket from her and carefully helped slip it over Byakuya’s arms. He couldn’t say that it looked natural on him, such a casual garment but... if it weren’t for the fact he was injured it would have been quite cute.

Byakuya let out a heavy breath as the jacket settled over his injury, the movement obviously paining him.

“are you okay?” Makoto was wide eyed and worried reaching up to stroke Byakuya’s face in comfort.

“I’m okay. Thank you” Byakuya gave him a weak smile “that’s better, let’s get back to work”

Kyoko laid down an hourglass along with a length of tubing. “We should replicate the mechanics as best we can. I think we should go back to the cafeteria and investigate there, then I can set this up”

Together they walked slowly back to the cafeteria where Chihiro was lining up cups on the now clean table.

“I made coffee” Chihiro told them placing a plate of pastries on the table with them. “I know now isn’t... well.. the most useful thing to to... but we all need energy and Byakuya needs the sugar, for the shock”

“Thanks Chihiro” Makoto smiled taking the cup from him and drinking deeply. Celeste was drinking as she poured over a piece of paper on the table. Carefully Makoto helped Byakuya sit down, He groaned at the movement but quickly took a cup of the offered coffee and began to drink.

“What are you working on Celeste?” Makoto asked softly and Celeste looked up to meet his gaze. The usually composed girl was still shook up it seemed, not that he could blame her. The blood that spotted her dress a terrible reminder of what had happened here.

“I thought I would take the liberty of compiling a seating plan” she explained sliding the paper towards Makoto “I wish to identify where everybody was sat during this occurrence, that way perhaps we will find a clue”

“That’s a great idea Celeste” Makoto nodded pouring over the diagram she had carefully drawn. Byakuya looking over to examine the paper too.

“Yeah I think this is about right...” he noted as he checked each name. “I was sat by Byakuya, on his other side was you right?”

“That is correct” Celeste answered as Byakuya nodded “on my other side was Kyoko and then Toko”

“Yeah we were on the one side of the table” Makoto agreed on the other side was... “Hina” he swallowed heavily at the mention of his friends name.

“She sat by Sakura, then Taka, Chihiro And Mondo”

“That’s correct to my knowledge too” Byakuya coughed and twitched as his fingers came up to check his bandages much to Makoto’s worry.

Kyoko had come to join the group, checking the table plan herself and nodding along to the observations.

“We need to examine the body now” Kyoko looked at him dead in the eyes and he swallowed back his tears as he nodded helping Byakuya back to his feet.

He wanted to cry but he held it in as he approached his friend. Kyoko talked softly to Sakura who nodded and let Kyoko approach Hina. Makoto stood supporting Byakuya still not quite being able to bring himself to look at her properly. Luckily Kyoko seemed to be able to keep herself composed as she checked Hina carefully before coming back to the pair.

“Her throat wasn’t slit” Kyoko said cutting straight to the point “rather her artery was intersected by something sharp. That’s why she was still able to talk and explains the arterial bursts of blood in the canteen, there isn’t anything else of note other than a smudged bloody handprint on her shirt but... that can’t be narrowed down to a single culprit”

Makoto felt himself waver and Byakuya’s grip on him only tightened.

“That leads me to believe...” she pondered for a second before calling Mondo’s name.

“What do you need?” The biker approached them with a worried expression on his face.

“Do you have the thing I asked you to keep safe?”

“Sure do” Mondo reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a napkin which he carefully unwrapped in front of Makoto and Byakuya’s confused faces.

“What’s going on?” Byakuya asked weakly as Mondo unveiled a small sharp piece of metal tucked safely inside the paper

“Huh?” Makoto eyed it curiously “what is that?”

“we pulled this out of Byakuya’s wound” Kyoko explained gently prodding the shard to reveal the sharp point.

“That was in my cut?” Byakuya narrowed his eyed to scrutinise the tiny fragment

“It was, Mondo and myself had to remove it carefully. It seems it came off the murder weapon”

“But what even is it?” Makoto asked confused

“I believe we can answer that if we examine where Byakuya was attacked”

Grimacing the pair walked slowly over to the area of the canteen where Makoto had found Byakuya bleeding. His own white shirt still lay there stained with blood from his frantic attempt to stem the bleeding.

“Now.. if I’m correct...” Kyoko knelt down carefully examining the linoleum floor until she gave a small exclamation “this is our murder weapon”

Reaching from the floor she held up a scalpel blade with the tip snapped off

“A scalpel?” Byakuya blinked “someone attacked me with only this as a weapon?”

“So it seems” Kyoko nodded “as proved with Hina, the weapon doesn’t have to be particularly sizeable if you know what you’re doing. Cutting the vital artery... was all they needed to do. Unfortunately for them they undershot you when they grabbed you.. as a result.. they failed and as you resisted the blade snapped..”

“So where’s the handle?” Makoto spoke up frowning “the blade snapped and perhaps broke off completely from the handle but... that means the handle is still unaccounted for”

“That’s right” Kyoko frowned “which means we need to find it quickly”

“We should start with the nurses office” Byakuya turned to Makoto “that seems a likely place for scalpels to be stored, other than that perhaps the art room?”

“Good idea, we can go check there”

“You should also check other areas of interest on this floor” Kyoko kept her tone light but looked at Makoto with a stern expression “In the meantime I will conduct the experiment for the timer, i’ll take witnesses to time the hourglass so we can be sure of the accuracy at trial”

Nodding the two boys slowly made their way out of the canteen as Kyoko took Celeste and Chihiro down to the warehouse.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Makoto said softly as they walked, his concern for Byakuya overtaking all rational thought “I’m so worried about you.. you need rest”

“I’ll rest when this is over” Byakuya’s teeth were gritted and Makoto could tell us was exerting him to even talk

“I... Byakuya...”

“It’s okay” bright blue eyes were on him and Makoto felt himself waver with emotion “you can say everything you what to say to me after we win this trial”

Makoto nodded hastily but took the opportunity to quickly press a kiss to Byakuya’s lips. “You’re right, this isn’t.. where we fall”

“No, we won’t fail. I swear on the name of my family”

Makoto sighed as he rested his forehead briefly against his boyfriends, closing his eyes momentarily as he took in a moment of affection that reassured him and left him with the energy to continue.

“You’re right, I believe we can do this”

Breaking apart Makoto carefully guided Byakuya Into the bath house.

“Kyoko told me to check this floor carefully and I’m pretty sure she meant Alter Ego”

The smiling face of Chihiro started back from the laptops screen

“Oh you came to see me! I’ve been lonely nobody has come by today! Not even master”

“You haven’t seen or heard anything at all today? Byakuya asked sternly

“Nothing at all” the face looked sad for a moment “why has something happened?”

Makoto hesitated for a second before typing out

“Hina is dead”

“Oh” the AI started to cry “that’s horrible”

“We’re investigating her murder so if you’ve seen anything please tell us” Makoto implored the screen knowing that the AI couldn’t really understand the depths of his emotion

“I promise I would but I haven’t seen a single soul since yesterday. I’m sorry”

“That’s okay, thank you for the help” Makoto smiled weakly “please keep an eye out for anything unusual okay?”

“You can count on me!”

Byakuya wrapped an arm around Makoto once more and the two slowly walked out of the bathhouse and made a beeline for the main school building.

Only days ago they had visited the bathhouse and... they had been together and happy. So quickly it had nearly been ripped away from him. The thought of loosing Byakuya crashed over him once more and he had to choke back his fear and keep moving forward along the school corridor.

Finally arriving at their destination and pushing the door open the two entered the nurses office. Quickly checking the draws and cabinets Makoto tried to be as efficient as possible in his search and Byakuya moved beside him more slowly.

Opening a draw he quickly realised he had found his target.

“Byakuya.. look at this”

He pointed to a small basket containing a number of sealed scalpel blades in packets.

“So this is where the blades are... hard to tell if any are missing from this... they aren’t exactly numbered”

Sighing Makoto quickly checked the basket of blades but there was nothing to indicate the number that should be there or if any were missing.

“Makoto... the handles”

Makoto’s eyes flicked over to Byakuyas direction. There was a small holder filled with scalpel handles displayed neatly all ready to be used and fitted with blades

“None are missing” Makoto sighed “That’s unhelpful.. now we’re probably going to have to check the school store and the art room...”

“Don’t get too ahead of yourself” Byakuya’s old smirk returned to his face but it was only a shadow of its usual vibrancy “look more closely”

Makoto peered closer and a gasp left his lips. One of the scalpels had a faint but unmistakable bloody fingerprint.

“This is it!” Makoto looked at Byakuya wide eyed as Byakuya carefully picked up the handle in a cloth and passed it to Makoto for trial “but how did it get..”

Bing bong ding dong
“Are you excited? Are you pumped!? It's time for the class trial to begin! Like the bright burst of fireworks, like the flash of a soul clashing with life and death...! And so, with no further ado...! Everyone please meet at the usual spot! Make your way to the red door on the first floor of the school! Puhuhu. See you soon!”

Chapter Text

The red doors opened wide revealing the familiar claustrophobic elevator that would take them down to their potential doom.

Makoto steeled himself and with a deep breath helped Byakuya into the cage. Everyone filed in and with a clunk the doors closed and the elevator began it’s decent. It was silent, nothing but nervous breathing and the sound of Makoto’s own heart. Makoto looked up at Byakuya who was looking back at him. He looked so tired and Makoto felt the same rush of fear course through him. Was Byakuya strong enough for this?

A thump and the metallic sound of the bars alerted him to their arrival at the court room. The others shuffled out and once more Makoto found himself hesitating.

“Byakuya” he said softly looking into his eyes “I...”

“Don’t say it” Byakuya’s voices was quiet “not like we aren’t coming back. We are, and you can tell me afterwards.. properly”

“Yeah” Makoto swallowed back his tears “you’re right, we have to do this”

“I’ll be okay.. let’s go in strong and win”

“Right!”

He cloaked himself with Byakuya’s confidence, standing upright with his head high and Byakuya smirked with a kind of pride as the two together walked into the court

“Chop chop! You’re going to bore me to tears!” Monokuma chirped “you’re looking a bit less formal than usual Byakuya, anyone would think someone tried to murder you!” He cackled and Byakuya glared angrily as Makoto helped him to his place in the circle.

It hurt to have to leave him.. to let go of him and walk away to his own podium. But he had to, he squeezed Byakuya’s hand one last time before forcing himself to pull away and take his designated place in this mockery of a courtroom.

“Let’s get this show on the road!” Monokuma called playfully “who killed off our games resident fanservice? The class trial is now in session”

Makoto gritted his teeth at the bears cruel vulgarity but tried to let it wash over him. After all, he had to get to the truth.

“Well I would like to say immediately that we have an... obvious suspect” Celeste spoke out “one amongst us who is always in possession of a blade and has killed before”

“Mannn you guys are so boring!” Jill snorted “every single time you want to blame the serial killer!”

“Can’t imagine why” Celeste smirked over her fingers daintily

“Well it wasn’t me! besides I wasn’t even around! Gloomy was in charge you really think she would have the balls to do it?”

“She’s tried before!” Taka interjected “and the dark room adds weight to the theory that you are responsible!”

“The scissors are always on you, easy to access at any time!”

“That’s true however scissors weren’t the murder weapon” Kyoko called out

“And we all know I would *never* kill without my beloved scissors! Especially someone like master!” Jill’s fingers were twirling a pair of her prized scissors around with a sharp click “my babies were made for that one purpose! I would never deprive them!”

“Do we know what the murder weapon is?”

“It was a scalpel” Makoto answered “from the nurses office, it was used in both attacks”

“See I told you” Jill’s face changed quickly from glee to fury “and whoever cut master with such a measly blade will perish! Only I’m allowed to try and kill him! Me!”

“It’s fairly pointless to talk alibis” Byakuya cut her off, his voice tired and leaving Makoto in no doubt he was trying to hurry this along “since everyone was present it could have been anybody”

“Except perhaps Makoto” Chihiro spoke more confidently than usual “he arrived with Hina after their sleepover so he wouldn’t have been able to do that without Hina knowing”

“That doesn’t mean anything” Taka disagreed “he could have snuck away, without Hina here to question we can’t verify his movements. Maybe he planned this with Hina then turned on killed her and killed her to keep her silent!”

“Sorry but nah! That’s crazy” Jill singsonged “the killer also tried to kill master, theres no way Big Mac really killed melons and then also tried to slaughter him as well. Besides he must know his whole body inside and out by now... after that there’s no way he would have undershot his mark so much, he would know exactly where to put his hands.. where to touch... oh man the things he must have done... I’m on fire!ahahahahaha”

“Stop talking!” Byakuya glared daggers at her

“Yeah you’re really accusing me of trying to kill my own boyfriend?!” Makoto snapped at Taka, he didn’t have time for this or any of Jill’s fantastical ravings about them. They had to find the actual murderer

“Oooh that Would be hot though” Jill giggled

“What?” Sakura looked at him then, confusion marring her features “boyfriend?”

“Ah yes of course” Kyoko mused “Sakura was one of the only ones not present when... you found Byakuya when the lights came back on. Makoto and Byakuya are in a relationship and have been for
A while it seems”

“Is that true?” Sakura was still looking at him

“It is” Makoto admitted “nobody knew except Hina... she promised not to tell anyone. She was... always there for me.. like last night we talked for a long time about it...”

“She never told me” Sakura’s voice when quiet “she was true to her word to you...”

Makoto felt a lump form in his throat. Hina really has always been his best friend... and someone had cruelly taken her away.

“Jill’s point also makes a reasonable amount of sense” Kyoko nodded “Makoto would have had to kill Hina and then try to kill Byakuya. Given that he’s very... familiar with Byakuya there’s no way he would have undershot to much and slit his chest instead of his throat”

“Unless he and Byakuya are in it together” Mondo growled “he could have attacked Byakuya first to make it look like they weren’t involved and then killed Hina”

“Yeah that way they wouldn’t be suspected and then would leave together”

“I wouldn’t hurt Byakuya for anything!” Makoto snarled “and I would never hurt Hina! Or anybody!”

“Maybe Byakuya hurt himself” Celeste offered “the wound was not fatal and so perhaps he cut himself to throw attention away from himself and Makoto. If they are dating that makes them likely to claim this motive”

“I don’t think so” Kyoko interjected “a good theory however from the wound trajectory and depth it would be impossible for the wound to be self inflicted. Someone else cut Byakuya”

“How can we know how was attacked first?” Taka asked “that would clear up a great deal wouldn’t it?”

“It’s pretty clear who was attacked first, it was Hina, them Byakuya was attacked”

“How can you be certain? Makoto still could have done it could he not? They were sat together, Makoto could have cut him and then attacked Hina”

“That’s impossible, tell them why Makoto”

“Uh..” Makoto was taken aback by her passing the topic to him and tried to recall what evidence could dispute that point. A piece of evidence clearly pointed to who was attacked first..

“I got it! The blade broke when the killer attacked Byakuya! shards of it were even in the wound. Therefore the killer must have attacked Hina first and *then* Byakuya”

“Exactly, and thinking logically.. both Hina and Makoto were sat on the ends of the table. The killer moved to Hina first and then after attacking her what happened?”

“She... screamed” Chihiro said quietly

Exactly, she was attacked first which is also proven by her scream, that also ensured that everyone else got to their feet. Logically speaking.. they would have then moved on to the next person to go past them which... if you think about it..”

Kyoko was looking at him and Makoto felt his heart sink

“It should have been me....”

“That’s correct” Kyoko said cooly “after attacking Hina they would be stood at the head of the table, you should have theoretically jumped up and ran past them”

“Wait so the killer targeted Hina and Makoto?” Taka asked dumbfounded

“Perhaps not intentionally. I believe their targets would be whoever was sat at the ends of the table. The easiest targets to choose”

“There’s no evidence to prove that though, she’s just making stuff up like she always does. It makes a good story though!” Jill cackled

“I think there is evidence that the killer targeted Makoto. If you look at the placement of the wound it becomes clear”

“They.. we’re aiming low” Byakuya was shaking as he clutched his podium and Makoto’s heart hurt to see him like this “as though to slit the throat of... Makoto...”

“But Makoto wasn’t where he was supposed to be” Kyoko concluded “so when they attacked Byakuya got cut much lower. The shock mixed with Byakuya resisting caused the scalpel to snap and the killers weapon was now useless”

“Why wasn’t Makoto there? Surely that’s a huge oversight” Mondo asked confused

“Because..” Makoto’s lip trembled “Byakuya was trying to lead me out of the room. He jumped up and pulled me towards the doors where I bumped into Chihiro”

“That’s right” Chihiro conformed “we left the dining room together”

“So Byakuya.. really *is* dating Makoto?” Taka was looking back and forth between them “I have to say I... wasn’t sure I believed it”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Byakuya snapped angrily

“Just that you don’t give a shit about anyone!” Mondo clapped back “you were always fuckin taking about winning this game and how you didn’t give a shit about any of us. Now you want us to believe you care about Makoto?”

“My feelings aren’t of any of your concern!” Byakuya snarled “you didn’t have anything to say when you were there witnessing it yourself so..”

“Please calm down!” Makoto pleaded “you’re too weak to fight”

Byakuya visibly stilled and swallowed hard. His fingers almost digging into the wooden stand

“Byakuya does care I saw it myself” Chihiro defended “and you did too Mondo!”

“I guess... you’re right” Mondo sighed “it’s just... weird”

“Getting into the nitty gritty of their relationship isn’t helping us solve this case” Kyoko said bluntly “for now the facts are that the killer aimed for Makoto and cut Byakuya instead because he pulled ahead to get Makoto to safety”

“But why even go after a second person?” Chihiro asked, sorrow heavy in his voice “surely one would be enough to try and graduate... why.. why do this?”

“I’m sure that will be explained in due time, next I suggest we look at the way the killer turned off the lights” Kyoko gestured to the rudimentary set up she had bought with her

“So this is how the killer turned the lights off huh?” Mondo scrutinised the contraption “looks kinda primitive”

“It is, simple yet effective, designed to use the weight of the sands passage to pull the switch and plunge the place into darkness”

“We experimented with this” Celeste spoke up “it seems that 30 minutes was the time at which the switch would trip”

“That’s right” Kyoko concurred “exactly 30 minutes passed until the weight was exactly right. Meaning the killer had this set up ready for the breakfast meeting”

“So the killer set this timer up, readied their weapon and then went to breakfast as usual. They decided to kill the two people on the tables ends and waited for the lights to go out to enact their plan” Byakuya summarised but his voice was frail compared to usual and Makoto felt the anger surge through him. someone in this room tried to kill his boyfriend, had hurt Byakuya. He wanted them dead, for the first time he felt the rage, the pure anger in his veins that wanted to see retribution. Wanted to see someone suffer and bleed for what they had done, they killed Hina. They deserved to suffer. His hands trembled with fury, Whoever did this.. he hated them with every fiber of his being.

“The question is... who set it up? What other evidence was there to help us?”

“Nothing but a crate under the box” Kyoko answered “to give a leg up to the person setting it up”

“So the killer is short?” Mondo blinked

“Perhaps” Kyoko mused “perhaps it was to throw us off the trail, but it’s an important clue”

“Makoto... is short” Taka looked nervous “and isn’t he the one who went to turn the lights back on? Suspicious!”

“Are you fucking kidding me? Makoto yelled, the fury inside him threatening to overflow “whoever did this I’ll kill them myself!”

“Makoto!” Byakuyas commanding tone cut through him instantly and he turned to him wide eyed “stop, this isn’t helping”

“I’m... sorry” Makoto’s lip wobbled, it was all too much it just hurt so much!

“Wow so much drama! It’s like a soap opera” Monokuma giggled and Kyoko shushed him immediately.

“Nobody respects their headmaster” he lamented to nobody’s notice.

“Makoto, how did you know where the fuse box was?” Kyoko got back to business

“I didn’t” Makoto admitted “Chihiro told me where to go when we got out the dining room. Because I was going to run back in for Byakuya...”

“That’s right!” Chihiro agreed “I told him to go fix the lights because I was scared he would do something to put himself in danger”

“How did you know where the box was? Celeste honed in “You had this information yet I don’t think anyone else would have taken notice of such a thing”

“Well i...” Chihiro paused “I was messing around with a computer and I managed to blow a fuse... I had to go find the box and fix it”

“Is that so...” Kyoko mused

“Chihiro is... short” Sakura gasped as though a revelation had come over her “Chihiro... did you... kill Hina?” Her aura radiated fierce furious energy and Chihiro looked on the verge of tears

“Of course not! I would never!”

The computer.. that must be Alter Ego, during the tinkering with the laptop Chihiro must have tripped the power. Then had to find the fuse box to remedy it before Monokuma went poking around.. However he couldn’t directly mention Alter Ego here save ruining their plans.

“Chihiro did you put the crate under the box?” Makoto asked

“Yeah, I was too short to reach so I dragged a crate over to stand on.. I didn’t want to bother anyone asking for help”

“Interesting, did you put the crate back afterwards?”

“No.. I didn’t even think about it, I guess I just left it there.. sorry”

“No matter” Kyoko continued “we have established the run up to the murder somewhat. When the lights were off everyone was seated in place. They then attacked Hina. This has significance”

“It does?”

“Yes, the fact that she was attacked first gives us an insight to the positioning of the murderer, right Makoto?”

It did? There was some evidence to prove where the killer might have been situated..

“Now i understand! Celeste do you have your diagram?”

“I do” calmly she handed the paper around the circle for Makoto to examine

“That’s right! On one side of the time was Toko, Kyoko, Celeste, Byakuya and me, the other side of the table was Hina, Sakura, Taka, Chihiro and Mondo”

“So it stands to reason the killer was situated on Hina’s side of the table, attacking her and then attempting to attack Makoto”

“That’s flawed logic!” Taka boomed “people started to get up during the blackout, you yourself Kyoko went to look for the switch. Anyone could have moved to beside Hina”

“That is true, there’s no proof that the killer was definitely located there” Kyoko admitted “however I believe this will become clear over the course of this trial”

“Sakura was next to Hina...” Mondo ventured with reluctance in his voice “doesn’t that make her the prime suspect?

“You bastard!” Sakura shot back furiously

“I don’t believe Sakura is a suspect”

“And why not?”

“Because of the murder weapon” Kyoko replied cooly “Sakura couldn’t have disposed of it”

“But we don’t even know how it was disposed of yet”

“We do know” Byakuya replied “don’t we Makoto?”

“Yeah! That’s right” Makoto carefully retrieved the wrapped up scalpel handle from his pocket “this was in the nurses office, put back into the holder with all the other scalpels”

He presented the evidence showing the blood smear on the handle.

“It seems that the killer attempted to wash the handle but failed to get off all the blood, the textured grip traps blood” Byakuya explained, his voice getting weaker as the trial went on.

“Then they put it back with the other scalpels to hide the evidence in plain sight”

“So how did it get back there?” Celeste questioned

“The killer found time to go back to the nurses office and hide the evidence? Then Makoto and Byakuya must be the culprits Taka yelled “they *found* the evidence? Or did they plant it?”

“How dare you-“

“No, that’s wrong! If we planted the evidence we would have washed it properly and would never have admitted to finding it” Makoto retorted “without that evidence it leaves us with no idea where the murder weapon went, why would we purposefully admit that information?”

“So your saying...” Sakura said slowly, her eyes still pined and vacant “the killer.. was the person who went to get... the medical supplies”

“After the initial attack, Someone went to retrieve supplies from the nurses office, the same person who knew where the fuse box was located, sent Makoto there and coincidently is short and needed a crate to get to the box, this person who was also sat on the same side of the table as Hina.... and Makoto bumped into them during the attacks”

All eyes turned to the tiny programmer who squeaked in fear

“You killed Hina! You bastard!” Sakura screamed, the sound terrible and distraught tearing from her throat

“You... tried to kill me?” Byakuya’s eyes narrowed but he sounded confused, scrutinising Chihiro with uncertainty

“There’s no way that’s true!” Mondo yelled back

“I’ve heard enough!” Sakura was trembling “it’s time to vote”

Chapter Text

Byakuya stared in confusion at Chihiro, really? It didn’t seem right. Sure some of the pieces fit but... he wasn’t convinced. You needed more than circumstantial evidence to convict someone and Byakuya wanted the proverbial smoking gun in his hands before he voted for anyone. Most of the others in this trial were too emotional, too close to the terrible events to see it clearly. Makoto himself had gone from a composed and logical debater to someone angry and overcome by his emotions. He was consumed in his sorrow for Hina, his pain for Byakuya and if Byakuya’s didn’t keep him in check he might really go off in the deep end. He couldn’t let that happen.

“You can’t really think that... I did this” Chihiro’s eyes were full of tears as Makoto and Sakura’s glares burned holes into him “this wasn’t me I promise!”

“Well show us some evidence” Jill flipped her scissors, the Metallic sound making Byakuya cringe “prove it wasn’t you short stuff and you’ll be off the hook!”

“I don’t know how!” Chihiro flustered “I did put that crate there and I did get supplies but I promise I never hurt anyone!”

“Chihiro can’t have done it!” Taka protested “Makoto said himself he and Chihiro left the dining hall together, he bumped into Chihiro! How could Chihiro be both holding onto Makoto and also attacking Byakuya? It doesn’t make sense!”

“That is true” Kyoko mused “are you certain you had hold of Chihiro Makoto?”

“I...” confusion was clouding Makoto’s lovely face and he seemed uncertain again “I bumped into Chihiro.. he definitely spoke to me.. I remember holding his arm...” he paused looking conflicted “I can’t be 100% sure.. it was dark and I was panicking but... Byakuya pushed me out the doors and I was still holding Chihiro so...”

“Chihiro couldn’t have done it! He can’t be in two places at once!” Taka seemed vindicated

“Makoto can’t be 100% sure though” Kyoko was deep in thought “it’s not to say Chihiro didn’t switch with somebody in the dark”

“Why even bother? Keep murder simple that’s what I always say!” Jill giggled as she twirled her scissors around her index finger

“Because of the motive” Byakuya dug up the strength to speak although his words didn’t have the same edge he would have liked “to get to leave with someone... means that the killer probably had an accomplice to work with. Both knowing they would leave if the plan succeeded”

“But I wouldn’t do that!” Chihiro protested “How could I pick between Taka and Mondo? I would never... let one of them die.. because of me!”

“That is an interesting point” Kyoko tapped her fingers against her cheek “the killer would clearly have someone in mind to take away with them...”

“That’s why Byakuya and Makoto are so suspicious!” Taka was scrutinising Makoto again and Byakuya felt his heart sink. Makoto was furious once more, his rationale was fast leaving him and he scared of what might happen because of it.

“One more accusation like that-“

“The double murder angle is interesting” Kyoko cut over Makoto and for that Byakuya would be eternally grateful “why go to the trouble of trying to kill two people... one would suffice”

“They either wanted to silence someone or there’s more to this than we have discovered yet” Byakuya replied. His body felt so heavy.. the Pain was starting to return and he carefully pulled the jacket hem aside to check his bandages. No blood thankfully... the cold zip chilled his skin but it was better than being shirtless. Every so often Jill’s eyes would settle on him and giggle. He felt exposed and weak, frail and broken. He hated it so much, he was supposed to be an elite, an ultimate, the perfect Togami heir and yet... here he was weak and vulnerable in both body and mind now. His feelings laid bare for these imbeciles to pick at.

“So if Chihiro didn’t do it... then who did?” Sakura looked genuinely dumbfounded and distraught “it had to be Chihiro! It had to! It all makes sense”

Sense... did it? His eyesight was blurring, everything ever so slightly out of focus. It hurt, the burn returning where his skin had been torn cruelly apart. Chihiro did it? Chihiro who ran for medical supplies, who took charge and helped... who gave him painkillers, who wiped the blood off his face... who made him sugary coffee for his shock and helped him in so many ways... if Chihiro had wanted him dead... there were so many chances. Poisoned coffee? Swapped out medication? Injected with some kind of drug or poison when he nursed his wounds?

So many chances... so many times... and he hadn’t. He had helped... it couldn’t be him.

“I don’t believe Chihiro attacked me” he managed to say without his voice wavering “he was holding onto Makoto, I heard his voice... he wasn’t by me. And more than that, he had many chances to finish me off if he was the killer... he didn’t harm me in any way”

“That’s hardly proof babe but I can’t argue with that!” Jill grinned gleefully

“Thank you... Byakuya” Chihiro dabbed away his tears with a sleeve “I only wanted to help, I promise!”

“You.. really think so?” Makoto was looking at him and Byakuya nodded firmly

“I’m sure”

“Then who did this? We’re back at square one?”

“Not completely... we’ve managed to rule out so many obstacles, things are becoming clear” Kyoko said enigmatically

“It’s still unclear why they targeted two individuals or how they got rid of the murder weapon”

The weapon... replaced into the nurses office... how did it get there? He could hardly remember what happened after he had collapsed.. it was a painful blur. The blood.. Makoto’s tears.. Makoto telling him that he loved him... that made his stomach jolt. Makoto loved him... and that would cloud his judgment. Byakuya needed to solve this, he had to! His legs were starting to tremble with the exertion and he cursed his tired body. He had to keep going... just a little longer....

“You alright there Byakuya?” Monokuma chirped “just so you know there’s no excuses for falling asleep in my courtroom! If you pass out you’re going to get punished” his eye glinted murderously and Byakuya gritted his teeth, fingers digging harder into the wooden frame of his docket.

“That’s not his fault! He’s injured!” Makoto yelled at the bear and was met with only hostile laughter

“No exceptions! Slackers will be turned into Swiss cheese!”

“You bastard!” Makoto’s voice was venomous and Byakuya hated to hear it.

“It’s okay Makoto.. I’ll be fine” he tried to reassure his boyfriend

Makoto didn’t look placated by his answer, his lip wobbling and tears filling his eyes as he looked at Byakuya. He must really look like shit, he felt so close to it too... like his legs could give out at any moment.

“Chihiro perhaps could have replaced the scalpel for the killer?” Celeste ventured

“But why unless they were an accomplice? That serves no purpose otherwise”

“Maybe Chihiro isn’t the actual murderer, maybe he’s working with someone else”

“But like Byakuya said.. he never took the chance to finish off the murder.. so it stands to reason he wasn’t involved”

“Maybe he chickened out?”

“Chihiro wasn’t the only one to go to the nurses office. Taka went too” Makoto suddenly blurted out, shocked out of his stupor.

“That’s right” Kyoko nodded “I sent both Taka and Chihiro to get medical supplies so they both accessed the nurses office”

“Yes That right and I never saw Chihiro wash any scalpel!” Taka insisted

“Taka was In the nurses office?” Byakuya was surprised to hear the news

“Yes, then myself and Mondo treated your wounds while Chihiro cleaned you up”

“I remember that somewhat...”

“It stands to reason the person who put the scalpel back did it at this time..”

“Neither of us did this! You have no proof we did!”

“Monokuma” Kyoko finally addressed the bear who looked thrilled to be granted attention

“Why yes my lovely? What can I do for my most beaauuutiful student”

“I wish to ask you a question about the rules of this murder in particular”

“Oh?” He cocked his head “I’ll answer your questions, rules are important you know! I’m not running a lawless outlaw school for juvenile delinquents!”

“The rule was.. if you kill someone and get away with it.. you get to take a person of your choice with you to graduation?”

“Correctly correct!”

“So what about... if you killed two people?”

“What?” Makoto gasped, the courtroom a bustle of confused whispers and shock

“Ohhhh that? I’m not sure I can say! That would give away too much!”

“If there’s a rule for that then we need to know. In the interests of fairness, you can’t withhold a games rule from us and expect us to play fairly now” she argued back and monokuma seemed to consider it

“Okay well since you put it like that.. the answer is.. if you killed two people.. then you could take two people with you”

What? The cries of outrage around him echoed the sentiment in his heart. A loophole.. there was always a loophole and he had been too stupid to see it, too tired and blind to think correctly.

“I think that clears that up” Kyoko decreed “the killer targeted those on the ends of the table as their two victims. Two fast and efficient murders that enabled them to take away the two friends they cared about the most”

“So Chihiro did do it!” Sakura yelled “he wanted to take both his friends.. so he killed Hina!!”

Byakuya’s legs were starting to buckle, he grasped the podium hard, sweat starting to course down his face with the exertion of staying upright

“Byakuya!!” Makoto sounded desperate, pleading. That panic would get them killed. With a snarl he managed to fight the urges to give in.

To take two people... that motive fit Taka, Mondo and Chihiro... assuming they figured out the loophole or questioned Monokuma directly.. but proof... for which one of them did this... they put the scalpel back... and as far as they could tell only Chihiro and Taka had access to the nurses office unattended.. but with the motive... accomplices and double murderers were at play.. that made everything so much more complicated. Anyone could pass off evidence, switch things up... he needed the proof... he had to know..

“Eyebrows could have done it!” Jill pointed her scissors at him threateningly “he went to the nurses office and could have put the handle back! And who else is so obsessed with being time that they would make a murder that ran to schedule? Argue with that Mr uptight! You can’t can you! Gutterdog! I’ll kill you nice and slow for hurting master!”

“What! That’s crazy I didn’t do this!” Taka protested waving his hands in fear at Jill’s weapon

“It’s true this murder ran to a perfect schedule... to be expected of the ultimate hall monitor...”

“So Chihiro and Taka are the suspects? How can we tell who did it? Maybe they were working together”

“So who do we need to choose? If there are people working together then...”

“That’s easy!” Jill grinned “doesn’t matter who did the plotting! We just need to pin the guy who did the slashing! They go down and we’re free to go right pooh bear?”

“No respect” Monokuma hung his head “I’m way cooler than that fat bore! He gives my kind a beary bad name! Bears should be cute and fierce! Pupupu!” He flexed his claws mockingly

“But that’s correct isn’t it?” Kyoko added “we just need to pinpoint who actually did the killing”

“That’s right! You find the slasher and you win!”

“So... Taka could have done this. He fits a great deal of the criteria. The timing mechanism is very telling”

“You can’t accuse me of this! There’s no proof! No proof at all I tell you!”

Sakura was still arguing “We only have Makoto and Byakuya’s confused testimony in the dark. That’s not proof Chihiro is innocent!”

“The dark...” Byakuya mumbled, it was getting so hard to focus now.

“Stay with us!” Makoto was pleading and Monokuma was giggling. It was all Becoming a blur... voices drowned out in a sea of white noise.

They needed some proof... proof of who slit Hina’s throat... who cut him... that would end this.

It was dark... he was pulling Makoto.. he could hear Chihiro’s squeaks of fear... he felt the hand on his shoulder that span him around. The confusion... then the pain. He struggled and lashed out... the pain.. oh god the pain it burned and stabbed and wracked his body in fire. Makoto was panicking... he summoned his strength and pushed Makoto out of the room... that’s what happened...

He forced his eyes open to scrutinise... through blurry lenses he focused on Chihiro... it didn’t fit.. somehow he knew Chihiro was innocent. He wouldn’t risk loosing a friend... his eyes settled on Taka. Righteous hall monitor goody two shoes, stickler for the rules. He wouldn’t ever stoop to something like that, he had medals even for his moral ethics!

In his mind he replayed that moment.. that assault. There had to be something he could remember... he remembered the feeling... the way the blade was both hot and cold.. the attackers hand on him... the way he pushed back... fought and grabbed and....

He grabbed.

No.... he couldn’t have....

His hand shakily made its way to his trouser pocket... no way... he forgot.... really?

With trembling fingers he touched the outline of an item in his pocket and with a gasp realised it was true. He had fought... he had resisted and snatched something from his attacker. He had the proof in his pocket the whole time.

“I know... who attacked me” he rasped “it was so hard to talk now.. it burned and his senses were so numbed, he trained his eyes on Makoto who was looking at him with terrified eyes.

“You do?” Kyoko jumped in and Byakuya nodded, holding onto the item as though it was sacred.

“I struggled back.. in my state I forgot that I grabbed this from the killer and shoved it into my pocket... I got this... from the killer directly”

His hand pulled from his pocket and uncurled shaking fingers to uncover the final proof he needed to close the case. Resting in his palm... was a medal.

A gasp went up around the courtroom as everyone zoned in on Taka’s uniform... where his usual medal was noticeably absent

“Taka?” Chihiro gasped, hands shaking “you... didn’t. Please say you didn’t?”

“Bro... you cant... I don’t believe it!”

“Now it all makes sense” Makoto seems to have gathered some composure and drew himself upright to deliver his closing argument.

“Taka is always first at breakfast, he made sure to get to the warehouse ahead of time and set up the timer, knowing the lights would go out half way through breakfast. He chose his position carefully, making sure to keep his friends close and waited to see who was seated at the end of the table. When the lights went out he jumped into action, he sidestepped his friends and Sakura to grab Hina and cut her throat. In the panic everyone jumped and ran for the doors. He was aiming to grab me but.. Byakuya was in my place. They struggled and the scalpel snapped leaving residue in Byakuya’s wound... the rest fell to the floor and he pocketed the scalpel handle to hide it. When Kyoko sent people for supplies he quickly wiped the scalpel down and hid it back with the remaining handles, hoping to hide his evidence in plain sight thinking nobody would ever think to look there... if the blade hadn’t snapped we probably would never have found out the murder weapon. The killer made another mistake, and that was during the struggle... his medal was snatched from his uniform... the final proof to show beyond a doubt that Byakuya and Hina were attacked by... you! Kiyotaka Ishimaru!

“That’s nonsense you can’t believe it! That proves nothing!! Byakuya could have... found that anywhere!” His voice was weak... panicked.

Chihiro was crying and Mondo was trembling

“No I refuse to believe! There’s no way bro did this! He would never!”

“It’s time to vote” Kyoko’s voice was quiet but firm “it’s over”

He could hardly see now, the darkness was creeping over... his hearing fading away as his legs wobbled dangerously. He was so close... just a little further...

With a trembling finger he managed to lean and push Taka’s face on the voting panel and hoped beyond hope he could last.

The wheel span and Byakuya could hardly see it. It burned so much, he felt the tears building, the pain forcing them from his eyes.

“Guilty! Kiyotaka Ishimaru killed Aoi Asahina!”

Byakuya sighed, his lips curling as his eyes fell closed. They had done it, they had found the truth.

“Why!” Makoto was yelling “why?? You’re the one who pointed the evidence away from Chihiro! Why would you do that? If you had just stayed quiet you might have gotten away with it, it makes no sense!”

“Yes why wouldn’t you want us to suspect Chihiro?”

It was dark, so painful and he couldn’t last.. he needed to go to the dark now... give in and let it consume him. He heard the collar and chain snap closed around Taka’s throat and the last thing he heard before the black claimed him was the wavering conviction in Taka’s voice

“Because he’s my friend”

Chapter Text

Makoto giggled as they ran over the threshold into safety from the downpour. Byakuya couldn’t help but laugh with him, usually he would be pissed off to be caught in the pouring rain like that but... Makoto somehow managed to make everything more light somehow. The two had ran hand in hand through the rainstorm splashing through the streets, laughing as the water slicked their hair and stuck their clothes to their bodies.

He called the elevator and still laughing pulled Makoto inside as his boyfriend giggled. Once the doors dinged closed Makoto at once pressed his lips to Byakuya’s own, wrapping his arms around his neck and kissing him deeply. His body was soaking wet, his hair flat against his scalp and water droplets ran down Byakuya’s face as they kissed. The elevator dinged at the top floor and the boys broke apart grinning as Byakuya fished the keys from his pocket with difficulty, the sodden fabric sticking the layers together.

The top floor contained only his apartment, well... soon to be he and Makoto’s apartment. They may be young but Byakuya had been through enough in his life to know what he wanted, he wanted Makoto to move in with him when they graduated. It wasn’t just a high school romance, he wanted to share his real life with this boy that had his heart so completely, never have to spend a day without seeing his smiling face. He wanted to wake up to him everyday and fall asleep next to him each night. Makoto was his home.

As he unlocked the door they hurried across the threshold and as soon as the door was safely closed Makoto was kissing him once more. His fingers threaded Byakuya’s wet hair as his tongue moved so hot and fierce in Byakuya’s mouth that despite the cold of the rain water he felt warm.

Byakuya’s hands came to unzip Makoto’s wet jacket dropping it in a pile on the ground. Makoto laughed and the sound was so carefree and beautiful.

“I’ll be a moment” Byakuya murmured against his lips breaking away hesitantly. Makoto just smiled and took the opportunity to start unlacing his wet sneakers. Quickly flicking on the heating system Byakuya kicked off his shoes and made his way to the bathroom picking some warm fluffy towels off the towel heater and returning swiftly to his boyfriend. Makoto laughed as Byakuya wrapped him in the warm towel and rubbed his hair somewhat dry again.

“That’s nice” Makoto shivered at the warmth, his arms prickling with goose flesh. Makoto’s own hands came to Byakuya’s jacket and started to unzip it slowly. he dropped the jacket on the ground, his eyes filled with something like desire as he kissed Byakuya firmly once more, his hands gripping tightly at the sodden fabric of Byakuya’s sweater. His eyes lulled closed as he lost himself to the feeling of Makoto’s warmth. He let his fingers skim Makoto’s shoulder and up his slender neck curving his cheek and threading into his damp hair. Makoto shivered under his touch, kissing him more earnestly and heatedly. Small noises escaping his lips as a hand snaked to Byakuya’s waist and began to tug up the hem of his sweater.

Breaking apart briefly the pair wrangled the sweater from his body and it joined the wet pile of clothes on the floor. Their lips met again fast, hot and wet and oh so delicious as Makoto’s hands roamed his newly exposed skin. He moaned softly into Makoto’s mouth as his fingers trailed his hips teasingly, his own wet shirt sticking to Byakuya’s chest as they clung to each other.

Makoto was intoxicating, Byakuya lost all sense of time and space when he was wrapped up in his beautiful boyfriend. Having him here in his home... their future home together, it felt good.. even better than being with him usually. They were away from their classmates and the dorms where everyone knew everyone else’s business and could spend some real time together... like a real couple.

Together they peeled Makoto’s black tshirt from his skin and Byakuya immediately set about covering his shoulder and the side of his neck in soft kisses that made Makoto purr.

“Bya... ahhhh” Makoto groaned as Byakuya worried his skin gently “can we.. get the rest of these wet clothes off?”

There wasn’t much of them that wasn’t wet through, by the time both boys kicked off their wet jeans they were left only in their underwear as they kissed urgent and frantic. Byakuya’s hand cupped Makoto’s cheek pulling him as close as possible while Makoto’s hands gripped tight in Byakuyas hair. Their tongues moved together hot and wet and Byakuya groaned at the sensation, Makoto’s body was so warm and enticing against his own he wanted to kiss him everywhere.

“Can we go to your room?” Makoto whispered and Byakuya couldn’t think of a better idea. Scooping his boyfriend up into his arms Makoto wrapped his arms and legs around him tightly and they resumed their needy kisses while Byakuya carried him to his bedroom. Ever so carefully he laid his precious boyfriend down onto the soft navy sheets and thick cream blanket that adorned his bed. Makoto mewled contentedly as he nestled back into the soft furnishings before guiding Byakuya down on top of him. He claimed his lips once more, their bare skin flush and spreading warmth through each other from the contact. He brushed the stray hairs from Makoto’s face awestruck by how beautiful he looked like this. Gazing up at him with his big green eyes that glittered with adoration, his lovely face with that cute little nose dusted with light freckles, his sweet smile that was just for him.. he loved him so much.

He kissed him tender and purposeful, caressing his face and down his slender neck. Makoto squirmed as his fingers danced down his shoulder, muffled noises of appreciation in his mouth. Makoto’s hands stroked down his back making him shiver. He couldn’t get enough.

“I love you” Makoto breathed against his skin and Byakuya felt like he could die right then and there of happiness.

“I love you too, so much”

The blanket was pulled up over them to take the chill off, limbs entwined and bodies flush as they kissed and held each other for what felt like hours. He pressed kisses to Makoto’s neck and shoulders, covering every last centimetre of skin. Makoto made such beautiful noises of contentment, his fingers tightening in Byakuya’s hair when he fastened down harder to let his tongue trail over his sensitive flesh.

At some point Makoto shifted, rolling them over so he could lie on top of Byakuya. His hands quickly cupped his face and the way Makoto looked down at him.. the expression on his face was as though Byakuya were the most beautiful thing in the world. His hands roamed Byakuya’s skin making him shiver and tense, Makoto’s fingers trailed his shoulders, his chest and stomach, teasing the hollows of his hips and making Byakuya gasp. When he kissed him again it was intense and even more passionate, a furious exchange of tongue and lips that left them both gasping and grasping for more. One of his hands on Makoto’s face, the other snuck lower to grasp his hip and with a start he realised how excited they both were.

It’s not that they had never... done anything before. They had on more than one occasion ended up carried away and gone further than this. It’s just in the dorms where nothing was soundproofed, it was easy for someone else to know your business if you were too loud. Neither boy had particularly wanted that environment to be for their first time together, that should be something special and remembered for the right reasons. Not desperately trying to be quiet so Mondo or Junko didn’t overhear, then afterwards going to the canteen sat amongst everyone else eating crappy school food.

No, that wasn’t what Byakuya had wanted, Makoto was the love of his life and he deserved so much more. Now he was realising, in the safety and sanctity of his home with no one else around. With all the time in the world and nothing else to interrupt them.. now could be the perfect time to finally be together...

Makoto shifted his hips against Byakuya’s own and the friction sent ripples through him, a rough moan tearing out of his throat at the feeling.

“Makoto” he breathed and his name was the most beautiful word Byakuya knew. He held his boyfriend tightly kissing him as though the world was ending and it might as well be because nothing else in it existed now. Only this boy who he loved so honestly and truly, he didn’t feel vulnerable and weak beneath Makoto the way he thought he would. He felt nothing but love and adoration, perfection in his grasp as Makoto trailed his fingers through Byakuya’s blonde hair and kissed him, all tongues and wet passion.

Makoto panted against his lips, his breath stolen from long kisses and pent up desire. His green eyes half open and his cheeks dusted pink as he breathed heavily, want and need written all over his adorable face.

“I love you Byakuya” his lips pressed below Byakuya’s ear and he shivered “I love you so much... you’re so beautiful” he trailed his kisses along Byakuya’s neck, his fingers dancing down his side and Byakuya shivered at his every movement “and strong and smart” his mouth was working hot and wet along his collarbone and Byakuya let out a long moan and the sensation “you’re so perfect, so protective... and fearless” he looked up then, his bright eyes and beautiful smile made Byakuya melt “I love you more than anything”

Byakuya immediately cupped his face and drew Makoto back close enough to claim his lips softly

“I love you so much Makoto.. I can’t even describe to you how much I feel for you”

Gently he rolled Makoto onto his back once more, caressing his cheek softly and running fingers through messy brunette tresses as Makoto smiled so beautifully back up at him and spoke

“But maybe.. You can show me...”

His heart sped up in his chest as the words left Makoto’s lips. A thousand emotions starting to churn in his stomach, as much as he was loathe to admit it.. he was scared. It was a big part of what had stopped him ever crossing this boundary before. As much as he loved being intimate with Makoto.. this was different, Life changing even. He wanted to, he really did but he was nervous.

Makoto was smiling still, that adorable little shy smile

“I... I’m ready... I know it will probably hurt but...” his cheeks coloured a deeper pink but he carried on “I love you and... I want you to be my first.. and this is the most perfect time... to finally be together... properly”

“Are... you sure? You’re okay with being...” He blanched slightly with how to word it but Makoto always seemed to understand him.

“I’m sure, I always knew it would.. be this way” he gave a small adorable chuckle “I *was* nervous about it, but I’m not anymore. I’m ready, I’ll be yours now... in all ways.. If you’re ready too”

“I’m ready” Byakuya stroked his cheek and Makoto nuzzled into his touch “I want.. to give myself to you... to be yours... I want you to be the only one...”

“Lets... finally be together” Makoto said softly and Byakuya had never felt more emotional in his life as he had that moment “let me show you how much I love you”

Softly, lovingly they explored further. Tentative and gentle with with each other as they finally crossed that last boundary.

“I love you” he whispered like a mantra “I love you Makoto, I love you”

Makoto’s eyes were glazed, his perfect lips parted as he moaned softly over and over again. His hands twitched under Byakuya’s own as his thighs trembled and shook where they locked around his waist.

“I love you so much” he whimpered, his eyes finally closing as he bit down on his bottom lip. He was so beautiful, and he was Byakuya’s in all ways now. Jut as Byakuya was his, he had claimed him truly and irrecoverably.

Their bodies moved slow but firm together and Byakuya couldn’t stop kissing him, whispering his love to him through gasps and enraptured groans. The feeling was like nothing else, bliss and perfection, happiness and home, pure ecstasy and warmth so intense his heart felt like it might burst. Seeing Makoto’s happiness, hearing his sweet voice and loving him so completely and truly. It was everything he could have hoped for, better even.

Makoto was repeating his name over and over, soft and sweet and it set Byakuya’s heart racing further. It was the most enthralling thing he had ever heard, he wanted Makoto to call his name like this always. It was intoxicating, thrilling that Makoto wanted him, that he called his name with such a sweet and submissive desire. Byakuya ate up every last syllable, kissing Makoto’s neck in earnest bestowing as much love upon him as he could.

Makoto was trembling as his voice raised higher, his appreciation for Byakuya echoing the room. He was so beautiful, so perfect and Byakuya wanted to please him, wanted to make him feel the best he had ever felt. He touched him where only he had ever touched, kissed him where only he had ever kissed and Makoto’s body finally tensed and shuddered hard. Byakuya loved him until he cried out and nails scrabbled and left marks of ownership on Byakuya’s back. Seeing Makoto’s face like that.. hearing him.. it pushed him over the edge and he buried his face into Makoto’s neck as he moaned and repeated Makoto’s name like a prayer. The ebbing tide suddenly a tsunami that crashed through his body, robbing his rational thoughts and leaving him basking in the pure ecstasy. He called Makoto’s name loudly over and over as he rode out the intensity until their bodies finally stilled, their breathing laboured and heavy.

Byakuya looked down at his beloved boyfriend, his perfect angel who had just given him so much. Who he was now one with and he had never looked more beautiful. Makoto was smiling with powerful emotion quivering in his bright eyes. Even as he looked on tears spilled over the edges of his eyelids and Byakuya was startled, worry crossing his face.
Makoto just sniffed and smiled wider

“That was so perfect... I’m so happy”

“Me too angel” he kissed him soft and tender wiping the tears away with his thumb “it was amazing, I love you so much”

“I love you too, I’m so glad we waited. This was more than I could have dreamed”

“I’m so glad” Byakuya was stroking Makoto’s hair off his face “it was... it was... perfect”

They had finally sealed their relationship well and truly. Given a part of themselves to the other that they would never get back and more than that, he wouldn’t want it back. Makoto would always have his heart, his soul. This just solidified the bond between them, strengthened it and given Byakuya more emotion than he ever thought possible.

That whole night they couldn’t get enough of each other. Kissing, cuddling, sweet moments of affection and basking in their shared love. Afterwards they had bathed together. Byakuya had wrapped Makoto in his arms, Makoto’s face pressed to his chest as they snuggled in the warm water almost dozing off in contentment. He had washed Makoto’s back and rubbed his shoulders until he purred with happiness.

Afterwards they had sat in their pj’s eating take out food that Makoto had craved as Makoto lay in Byakuya’s arms on the sofa. They drank hot cocoa and Byakuya kissed a stay splat of cream from Makoto’s cheek as he giggled. They never stopped laughing and touching and enjoying the pure affection. When they finally tucked into bed that night to sleep they held each other so close it surely shouldn’t have been comfortable. Byakuya had never felt such overwhelming love, such happiness... it was shocking to him that he had the capability to feel this way. He had never believed he could love someone, let alone as much as he loved Makoto.

This was his future, his life ahead of him. Makoto and he sharing a home, sharing everything.. it was all he wanted. He whispered his love to Makoto in the dark who reaffirmed his words and pressed soft kisses to his lips.

His green eyes were lulling closed, the contentment on his face as Byakuya stroked his hair gently made Byakuya swell with pride. He could make this angel happy, make him smile the way he deserved to smile.

“I love you so much angel”

“I love you so much too sunshine”

When Makoto finally fell asleep and Byakuya held him in the dark, watching the moonlight sparkle off his perfect skin he felt choked with emotion. His love for Makoto was stronger than even his desire to live and breathe.. he wanted to be with him always. Until he had met Makoto he hadn’t felt at all, he had been the Togami families perfect heir. Cold and calculating, numb to the follies of friendship and emotion. He hadn’t wanted to be any other way, but then... Makoto got under his skin. He didn’t even know how, he had started off as cruel and distant with him as he was with everyone else. But Makoto just never stopped *trying* he seemed to genuinely like Byakuya and that itself was a puzzle. He was fascinated by this average commoner with no real talent and yet.. seemed to understand people, rally people like no one else he had ever known. Everyone adored him, he shone somehow in a way even Byakuya could not. He was special.. and Byakuya slowly over time had warmed to him, his icy cold heart thawing ever so slowly after every conversation, every encounter. He found himself going from clipped exchanges, to small conversations that had turned into lengthy debates. That had lead to walks, coffee in town, opening up about his life... one day he had looked at Makoto as he sat opposite him at a coffee shop and he realised for the first time that Makoto was cute. It had shocked him and made his stomach turn over in fear? Excitement? Either way he liked it.

The next time he saw him after that the two had sat on a bench in the grounds discussing class and Makoto had smiled at him so cutely, then he had told him he was going home to see his family in the school break and Byakuya felt... sad. He was going to miss his company. That was shocking, and what was more shocking is that the words escaped his lips and he told Makoto so. Makoto’s smile grew even wider as he told Byakuya he would miss him too... Makoto’s hand came to rest atop his own and he looked at it in surprise, anticipation and exhilaration racing through his veins... that had been the beginning of the rest of his life.

He gently stroked Makoto’s hair as he watched his peaceful slumber and he decided then and there that he was going to show Makoto how serious he was about him.

He smiled at the thought, he already knew who to go to. And what he would ask him to make... green like Makoto’s eyes, like his favourite clothes. He took one of Makoto’s hands into his own examining his finger, he was sure he would get the size right.. he needed to.

The thought filled him with even more exhilaration and he pressed one last kiss to his beloveds forehead.

“Goodnight Makoto, i’ll never forget today. I love you so much”

————

The light... who turned it on? Had Makoto gotten out of bed? He twitched, his arm searching for his love in the bed and pain wracked his body causing him to cry out.

“Byakuya! You’re awake! Thank god I was so worried about you!”

“Huh?” He tried to open his eyes but they were still so heavy, finally he focused enough to see the bright green eyes of his angel staring down at him with worry heavy on his face.

“We did it.. we won the class trial”

“Trial? Wha.. we... come back to bed”

“We were in the trial remember? You solved the case”

“No we... were sleeping” his eyes were struggling to stay open “i was cuddling you... i want to... hug you some more”

“Do you not remember what happened?”

“Course I do...” Byakuya felt his face redden despite his drowsiness “we just... finally... were together...”

“Byakuya... I... don’t understand”

He forced his eyes open again and took in Makoto’s scared expression, the pain in his body was intensifying as his consciousness returned. The metal plates and bolts over the windows drawing the stark realisation that he wasn’t at home, not one bit.

“What? We were just in my apartment...” he rubbed at his head and gasped at the pain “you’re moving in with me... We just...”

The realisation hit him at once, the trial, the attack... he was at Hopes Peak... and that had all been a lovely dream... it wasn’t real.

Tears were running down Makoto’s cheeks and he sobbed softly as he leaned and pressed his forehead to Byakuya’s own.

“You’ve been asleep a while...”

“I was just dreaming huh... that’s... upsetting”

“Sounds like you had a nice dream” Makoto laughed and sobbed all at once “I’m glad, but I’m also so happy you’re awake sunshine.. I was so worried about you”

It had felt so real... so pure and true that it hurt his heart. He had been planning.... he took Makoto’s hand in his own.. there was no ring.

But there had been...

in the photograph.

Chapter Text

Byakuya held the evidence, that last proof in his hand and Makoto gasped with the realisation the pieces had fallen into place.

They voted quickly, desperately fighting against the clock as he saw Byakuya fade in front of his own eyes. His boyfriends legs were buckling, his eyes closing and Makoto had yelled out in fear trying to keep him awake.

It was killing him standing here, unable to run over and support him, help him stay standing. Monokuma was leering eerily and Makoto didn’t doubt his threat. If Byakuya passed out Monokuma really would punish him just to see the despair on Makoto’s face.

The slot machine had revealed Taka’s fate and Makoto saw the relief cross Byakuya’s face before his eyes rolled back into his head, his legs giving way as he lost consciousness

“No!!” Makoto had screamed jumping off his podium but someone got there first.

Sakura stopped him hitting the floor, lifting Byakua into her arms as if he were weightless.

“Thank you..” Makoto’s lip trembled and tears fell from his eyes as he ran up to them, checking Byakuya’s forehead and stroking the hair from his face

“He.. he has to be okay” Makoto had mumbled and Sakura looked at him with tears in her own eyes

“He... saved us all.. he found the truth about Hina’s death... I can never repay him”

“He did...” Makoto sniffed “he fought as hard as he could”

“I’ll carry him back, it’s the least i can do..”

“Wow so much attention on someone sleeping! You wouldn’t think someone’s about to croak it in front of your eyes!” Monokuma giggled gleefully and they span in horror, forgetting he reality of that the trial meant.

Taka had been dragged off by the formidable collar and chain that always sealed someone’s doom. As they watched and Chihiro wept and Mondo yelled and fought against the glass viewing screen that would never break. Taka was seated on a parade vehicle that drove through a town of Monokuma chanting happily and waving signs that said “hooray for prime minster Ishimaru!” Taka’s arms were strung like puppets forcing him to wave at them as they passed. Suddenly a Monokuma popped up with a rifle and took aim, shooting Taka and assassinating him on his inaugural parade.

Makoto’s eyes shut at the last second, not wanting to see, knowing what would happen. But the cries of anguish around him told him more than sight ever could.

After that Monokuma dismissed them and they were granted leave to exit. Sakura carried Byakuya carefully into the elevator and Makoto stood at her side, never taking his eyes off his boyfriend. He looked peaceful now despite everything, He had held on as long as possible and now he deserved this rest. Makoto would have to make sure to take care of him now, he would have to get some advice.. maybe off kyoko? His eyes in her direction showed her as composed as usual, he was sure she would know a few things about medicine.

The elevator was filled with the sounds of Chihiro’s sobs and it was terrible to hear. Makoto couldn’t imagine how he or Mondo felt right now... their anguish and sorrow... nothing would ever make it right.

Even Jill was silent although she couldn’t resist looking at Byakuya every few moments and grinning to herself. God forbid what thoughts were going through her murderous head.

Finally they arrived back into the school and everyone left the elevator as soon as possible

“I think... everyone needs some time” Kyoko had said and everyone had nodded agreeing except Jill who shrugged but followed them anyway down to the dorms. Everyone went to their dorm except Chihiro and Mondo went together, probably needing each other in these moments.

“Do you have his keys?” Sakura asked softly and Makoto was jolted back to reality. He carefully felt into Byakuya’s pockets until he found the dorm key and unlocked the door, allowing Sakura to carry him inside and lay him down gently on his bed.

“He will probably sleep for quite a while” she said quietly and Makoto nodded

“I’ll watch over him.. as long as he needs”

“I’ll... check on you both later” she squeezed his shoulder and Makoto turned to her with tears in his eyes “thank you.. and I’m... sorry”

“I’m sorry too” she was fighting back tears “but... we... got her justice”

“We did” the tears were falling without his permission but he couldn’t help it.

“Byakuya... he...” she swallowed “I owe him a debt of gratitude”

“I think we all do...” their eyes returned to the sleeping boy, he looked pale but content in his rest. They had both lost sight of the truth, their anger and pain blinding them and making it hard to think, hard to breathe. Byakuya hadn’t let himself get clouded, he had fought until the end “I’m kind of glad his sleeping though...” Makoto said softly “his pride would hurt if he’d been awake”

Sakura gave a soft laugh “then we will never speak of carrying him back here”

They both were silent then. Too much to say, not knowing how to say it.

“She really loved you” Makoto finally settled on his words “when we were together she would just talk about you.. and I’d talk about Byakuya... it made us happy..”

“Thank you...” her eyes closed as she choked back her tears “I...” she shook her head seeming to not find the words she needed “I’ll come check on you later... rest now okay”

“Okay..”

She gave him one last smile and left, the door clicking softly closed behind her. Makoto locked them both inside before turning his attention to his boyfriend.

Byakuya was deep in sleep, his hair tousled around his head as he slept. Carefully Makoto took off his glasses and set them aside, checking his bandages and lamenting that he couldn’t take his jacket off him. He would just have to leave if for now. He located a blanket and covered Byakuya in it, lovingly tucking the edges around him to keep him warm and snug. He would keep watch over he wouldn’t let anything else happen..

Finally he cried as emotion gripped his heart, he could have lost him today. Byakuya could have died on that cafeteria floor along with Hina and Makoto would missed those last precious days together over a dumb fight. He didn’t care anymore, nothing was worth loosing him, whatever came.. they would get through it together. He loved him so much.

He pulled over a chair and sat at his bedside, taking his hand gently into his own and stroking it. No matter what it took, he wasn’t going to let Byakuya die here... he would never let him get hurt. Never again.

Softly he leaned forward and pressed his forehand to their joined hands. He was so tired... the emotion and fear, the adrenaline that had flooded his body left him feeling weak and exhausted. Maybe it was okay to nap... just a little.

He sighed deeply nuzzling into Byakuya’s hand comfortingly and allowed his body to finally relax.

......

Byakuya cut cleanly through the water, turning fluidly and swimming gracefully across the pool. Not as fast as Hina but then again who was? Finally coming to a stop he pulled himself from the pool and sat at its edge breathless and panting. Makoto smiled and walked to his side, he draped the towel he had warmed in the dryer beforehand over Byakuya’s shoulders and he sighed happily in response looking up into Makoto’s eyes

“Did I ever tell you you’re the best boyfriend I’ve ever had?”

Makoto felt himself laugh so carefree as he spoke

“Wait until you see this then” he squatted down and held out the takeaway cup of coffee he had bought with him for Byakuya after his swim.

Byakuya grinned and planted a wet hand on the side of his face pulling into kiss him hard. Makoto giggled against his lips slipping forward onto his knees and getting wet from the tiles, but he didn’t care when Byakuya was looking at him like that.

“I love you angel” Byakuya whispered lovingly and Makoto blushed, happiness coursing through his veins.

“I love you too sunshine”

The scene melded away, twisting and distorting until Makoto was laying on the bed staring up into Byakuya’s eyes.

Byakuya gave a drawn out sigh, his hands tightening into the pillows either side of Makoto’s head.

“You feel so good Makoto” he whispered and Makoto felt his heart race, staring up into those beautiful blue eyes he watched every fleeting expression on his boyfriends face. His eyes were full of love for Makoto, shining reflections of adoration and it bought a lump to his throat. His hands came to rest in Byakuya’s hair, fingers tangled into golden strands holding onto him tightly as they made love.

Byakuya gasped and his eyes lulled closed as he was overtaken but Makoto touched his face, gently pressing a kiss to his lips

“Please don’t look away from me” he pleaded and Byakuya’s eyes opened wide in surprise

“Please.. look at me...”

Byakuya gasped slightly and bit down on his bottom lip but he kept his eyes open, wide and fixated on Makoto.

It was exhilarating, beautiful and emotional seeing the expressions on Byakuya’s face, seeing the depth of adoration in his eyes. It sent a rush unlike anything else through Makoto and made him feel even more in love if that were possible. It was the most intimate feeling, like laying your soul bare. Both sets of eyes open and focused, exchanging wordless messages of love and dedication. Byakuya was touching him, pleasing him.. but he made love to him with his eyes.

Suddenly he was no longer in bed but staring wide eyed and terrified at Byakuya who seethed in pain, his right arm bleeding heavily. The windows broken glass littered the car and even as he watched Byakuya growled and threw the car around a corner out of dangers way stopping abruptly.

“Byakuya you need help!” Makoto was screaming and Byakuya simply growled and tore at his sleeve ripping it off and tying it around his arm and pulling it tight with his teeth. The blood flow subsided substantially and Makoto’s hands shook as he leaned to pull the bandage tighter as Byakuya howled in pain.

“They’re coming!!” Leon was screaming from the back seat and Byakuya without skipping a beat, threw the car back into drive and slammed his foot to the accelerator.

“Oh my god!”
“Fuck!!”

Makoto was so scared he felt like he might die on the spot of fear. Byakuya’s face was contorted into a vicious scowl, his eyes narrow as he concentrated and swung the car around a pile of debris as the yells in the back of the car intensified.

Fire was spreading, he could see it in the rear view mirror and Makoto whimpered in fear as Byakuya drove fast and reckless out of this despair filled city.

“What are we going to do?” Taka was yelling

“SHUT UP!” Byakuya yelled swerving hard as a small Monokuma ran by yelling

“Emergency!!”

“Fuck fuck fuck!!” Leon panicked grabbing at the back of Makoto’s seat “More are coming!!”

They were flying down the broken road, they were so close! Just a little further...

“Shit!” Byakuya cursed slamming on the brakes. The seatbelt slammed Makoto back to the seat as he cried out in fear.

In front of them.. the bridge home was raising before their eyes. The Monokuma robots in the nearby control tower laughing maniacally as the bridge rose slowly to close off their escape home.

“What do we do?” Leon and Taka were screaming, yelling. Panic overtaking them and swallowing them whole.

Makoto felt strangely calm, a sense of determination washing over him and putting him at peace with this. He turned and locked eyes with Byakuya, he was staring back and the two agreed without words.

Turning back to the road Byakuya narrowed his eyes and gripped the steering wheel, Makoto’s hand reached for Byakuya’s thigh and squeezed. He trusted him, there was no other way.

“What are you doing?!” Taka roared “this is suicide”

Makoto nodded and Byakuya slammed his foot down on the accelerator.

....

“What..” Makoto jerked upright in shock, his face still pressed to his and Byakuya’s joined hands and leaving a red imprint on his cheek.

Byakuya still slept soundly and Makoto felt a smile spread over his face, he was still safe and peaceful in his slumber. He stroked Byakuya’s face and thought about his dreams.. they had felt so real.. like the one about Byakuya’s apartment and that had turned out to have elements of truth in...

It was confusing, the swimming dream he could understand, that was definitely the pool here and it was a nice whimsical fantasy about a normal life.. the second part of the dream... he could also see coming from his imagination. They had... done things like that before and.. we was lying if he didn’t fantasise about it sometimes. However that last part... made no sense at all, it wasn’t rooted in anything he had ever seen or heard. It was panic and despair, fleeing from danger... maybe it was just conjured up by his mind but... in here he had started to doubt everything when his dreams seemed to mean more...

A soft knock at the door drew him from his thoughts as he made his way over and unlocked the door to Sakura and Kyoko.

“Any change?” Sakura asked quietly and Makoto shook his head

“Okay..” Kyoko answered “Im guessing you haven’t eaten yet Makoto?”

“Uhm no...”

“I thought as much.. I’ll be back shortly with some food”

“You don’t have to..”

“Yes I do” she cut him off and Makoto just nodded accepting her words as she turned and walked away.

“I brought medicine” Sakura said softly and Makoto moved aside to let her into the room where she checked Byakuya’s temperature and bandages.

“When he wakes give him these” she placed a tub of painkillers on the bedside table “only 2 every 4 hours. And make sure he drinks all of this” she set a bottle of water next to it “he’s going to get dehydrated and he’s going to need all the fluids he can get”

“Okay, thank you Sakura”

“You’re welcome.. I’ll check on him again. When he’s up to eating I can help make something to get his strength up”

A knock at the door showed Kyoko had returned and Makoto let her in, she held a tray of food in her hands and Makoto felt a rush of affection for this aloof girl who always seemed to have his back.

“I expect you to eat and drink all of this tonight” she said with a clipped authority and Makoto nodded taking the tray from her hands.

“We will be back to check on you, lock us out okay”

“Okay”

The two girls left and Makoto locked the door behind as promised. Settling down he turned his attention to the tray and began to eat eagerly, he hadn’t realised how hungry he was. The adrenaline had overtaken him and now it was gone he felt the first hunger rumble in his stomach.

He ate like a man starved and in no time he had cleared the tray. Stretching and sighing he held Byakuya’s hand once more and silently watched over him. He had hardly moved, hardly made a sound. He must be utterly exhausted and Makoto was loathe to disturb him even if he did want to give him water and medicine.

Eventually he decided since Byakuya showed no signs of waking soon he would take a shower, he felt clammy from the cold sweat of the investigation and he still had Byakuya’s blood on his T-shirt.
He grabbed a towel from Byakuya’s shelf and stripped down letting the water wash away the blood... Hina... he tried not to cry thinking about her but.. he couldn’t. His tears fell alongside the water jets as he finally let it all out and mourned for the purest, kindest girl he had ever known. Who always had his back, was always by his side and supported him with her chipper ways and earnest chatter. At least they had justice for her, at least she had been with the people who loved her. Her last words sent a chill through Makoto

“I remember now... everything...all of you... how happy... we all were as friends.... and how much... you two loved each other... you guys.. will make it... promise me”

She had remembered... she knew something the others didn’t? Was it true... had they forgotten something so important? The dreams and the thoughts that never went away... was it... possible that...

He shook his head and cast the thoughts aside. He couldn’t think about that now. He needed to concentrate on Byakuya, everything else could wait.

He washed his hair and cleaned the grime and misery off his body. Using Byakuya’s soap and shampoo made him smell like his boyfriend and he smiled, it felt like being enveloped in a big hug by him. Finally shutting off the water he dried off and looked at his discarded clothes, he didn’t exactly want to put back on blood smeared clothes and he didn’t want to go back to his own room so... with a cheeky smile he decided to put on some of Byakuya’s clothes, that was the best solution right?

Grinning he searched through Byakuya’s wardrobe and pulled out some pj pants, they would be a bit too long but hey! It would be snuggly and cosy. Searching for a shirt that might fit him he carefully sorted through the meticulously folded T-shirt’s in Byakuya draws. They would all be too big but.. it was better than his own clothes. Most were blue, white or grey and it made Makoto smile, Byakuya colours through and through. He selected a cobalt blue T-shirt from the draw and held it up to check its size, it would swamp him but at least it was clean. Out of the corner of his eye dark green jumped out and he looked in surprise. Stuffed under the shirt and the back of the drawer was a dark green T-shirt, definitely a Makoto colour. He picked it up carefully and unfolded it, it was creased from where it had been haphazardly shoved. A far cry from the other neat and orderly shifts. Lifting it up in shock he saw it was a much smaller T-shirt than Byakuya’s own, an inspection of the label revealed it was an extra small. The size Makoto usually wore.

He felt a shiver run down him, again.. yet another thing that gave him cause to think there was more going on here that met the eye. He checked Byakuya’s shirts quickly, they were all marked M for Medium and there’s no way this would fit him. This was Makoto’s T-shirt, he was sure of it. But... why was it here? Surely Byakuya hadn’t taken it, he had barely stepped foot in Makoto’s room and Makoto couldn’t even remember owning this T-shirt but... somehow he knew it was his.

Yet another mystery to solve but for now he needed a shirt and this was perfect. He pulled it over his head and quickly dried his hair before he resumed his place at Byakuya’s bedside.

Something was all wrong here, he knew it and deep down Byakuya knew it. There was more going on, more that he couldn’t make sense of right now... but he knew there were too many clues now.. it had to mean something! And he was going to get to the bottom of it, just as soon as his ray of sunshine recovered.

It felt like he had been sat for hours just watching the in out of Byakuya’s breathing when suddenly he twitched. His arm reached out aimlessly, fingers scrabbling on the sheets and immediately he cried out.

“Byakuya! You’re awake! Thank god I was so worried about you!” Makoto was up and leaning over him within nanoseconds.

“Huh?” Byakuya was trying to open his eyes but it seemed like a mammoth endeavour. Blinking he seemed to finally focus and Makoto and he smiled down at him.

“We did it.. we won the class trial”

“Trial? Wha.. we... come back to bed” Byakuya mumbled trying to tug him closer

“We were in the trial remember? You solved the case” Makoto prompted, his brow wrinkled in confusion. Byakuya must still be kind of out of it.

“No we... were sleeping” Byakuya’s eyes were struggling to stay open “I was cuddling you... I want to... hug you some more”

That was adorable and Makoto felt his heart twinge, he would love to give him a cuddle but he needed to see how he was doing first.

“Do you not remember what happened?” He asked softly and Byakuya’s face went inexplicably red

“Course I do... we just... finally... were together...”

“Byakuya... I... don’t understand” Makoto was very worried now, amnesia surely had to be a bad sign. Maybe he was in far worse condition than Makoto thought! Oh god he couldn’t risk anything happening to him! What should he do??

Byakuya wiggled his head and forced his eyes open again and groaned.

“What? We were just in my apartment...” he rubbed at his head and gasped at the pain “you’re moving in with me... We just...”

The realisation hit him all at once and his lovely face morphed from one of contented happiness to sadness and dejection.

Tears were running down Makoto’s cheeks now and he sobbed softly as he leaned and pressed his forehead to Byakuya’s own.

“You’ve been asleep a while...”

“I was just dreaming huh... that’s... upsetting” Byakuya said forlornly as he signed and closed his eyes

“Sounds like you had a nice dream” Makoto laughed and sobbed all at once “I’m glad, but I’m also so happy you’re awake sunshine.. I was so worried about you”

Byakuya didn’t answer, only wordlessly took Makoto’s left hand into his own and seemed to inspect it closely

“What are you...”

“Your ring... it’s missing”

“What do you mean Byakuya?”

“The ring, the one from the photo. It’s real... and I bought it for you”

Chapter Text

“Byakuya...” Makoto swallowed hard “what do you mean?”

Byakuya was staring fixatedly at his hand

“I remember...” then he abruptly stopped, his face still furrowed into a frown

“What do you remember?”

“Nothing, it was a dream” Byakuya said with an air of finality in his voice “what happened after the slot machine showed us it was Taka”

Makoto was confused but the look on Byakuya’s face told him now wasn’t the time “His punishment was... an inaugural parade... he was on a float and then a Monokuma popped up with a rifle...”

“A presidential assassination” Byakuya mused “points for creativity I suppose”

It was silent for a moment and then Byakuya sighed “I suppose someone carried me back here.. how embarrassing”

“Uhm..”

“You don’t have to lie. My pride is already hurt”

“Yeah.. Sakura carried you here... she also brought water and medication for you.. you should have that now actually”

“I suppose I’ll have to thank her” Byakuya looked a little pink but he accepted the bottle of water and packet of painkillers from Makoto. He turned them over inspecting them and scrutinising them thoroughly.

“What are you doing?”

“Checking they haven’t been tampered with”

“What? You don’t really think Sakura would..”

“I didn’t believe someone would try to kill my boyfriend in front of me in the dark” Byakuya cut him off “is it worth taking a risk?”

“No....” Makoto hung his head, he felt the burning in the corner of his eyes as the guilt returned. Byakuya tilted his head back as the swallowed the painkillers and drank the whole water bottle.

“I’m sorry..” Makoto whispered and Byakuya looked at him in confusion

“Why are you apologising?”

“Someone tried to kill me and.. you got hurt for it.. they could have killed you! And you wouldn’t even have been there if you hadn’t started coming to meals for me..”

“Makoto stop” despite his tiredness Byakuya’s grip on his hand was firm “I’m fine, the cut will heal. If they had grabbed you... you would be dead. Nothing on earth compares to that. I’ll gladly endure this cat scratch knowing you’re alive and safe because I made the decision to try and protect you. I always will Makoto...”

“Byakuya.... I..”

“It’s okay angel. Everything is okay now”

Despite the discomfort Byakuya guided him forwards and pulled him into a soft hug that made Makoto sob, carefully he put his arms around his boyfriend and nestled into the warmth of his embrace. Holding him and feeling his pulse beneath his skin, his heart beat in his chest. He was alive.. and he was still here.

“I don’t want you to get hurt again.. especially because of me”

“If I get hurt defending you then so be it. Nobody is going to try and take away what is mine.. as long as my name is Byakuya Togami”

“I’m yours?”

“You are mine, as I am yours..”

Byakuya was blushing and it was adorable. Makoto couldn’t help but laugh and smile widely as he quickly kissed his boyfriend.

“I’ll do anything to protect you too.. as long as we have each other...”

“We’re going to be just fine..”

They just looked at each other, lying there in each other’s embrace. Byakuya definitely worse for wear with his hair matted, skin clammy and pale. Glasses discarded, bandages covering his torso and the casual jacket looking so out of place against his dress trousers but... he had never looked more beautiful to Makoto. Gently he stroked his face, cupping his cheek and getting lost in the depths of his bright blue eyes. He finally.. finally... could tell him what he wanted to. Without being scared, without being interrupted.. without blurting it out in distress and fear. Saying it honestly and without hesitation.

“Byakuya...” his voice was but a whisper and Byakuya’s breath hitched at Makoto’s tone. As though he could feel the seriousness of what Makoto was about to say.

“Yes Makoto?” He replied softly and his own fingers came to caress Makoto’s messy hair as Makoto nuzzled into his touch, Smiling widely and unable to hide his emotion.

“I love you”

Byakuya’s face changed instantly, a wide smile that Makoto had never seen before graced his lips and he looked so radiant and.. like an actual teenager. A boy allowed to be happy for once instead of a strict and obedient heir.

“I love you too” he whispered back before leaning in and kissing Makoto.

He could almost cry, the emotion coursing through his veins. The relief and happiness, the sorrow and pain, the overwhelming love and contentment as he and Byakuya held each other, just kissing soft and sweet. Nothing could be better, could compare to the utmost joy as he lay there with the man he loved, their lips moving together in a familiar yet exciting pattern. Byakuya’s tongue met his in a gentle caress that made Makoto groan. It was so good.. so wonderful... his fingers tightened in Byakuya’s hair and as their lips broke apart for air he panted out

“I love you so much”

Byakuya’s tongue was back in his mouth with a fierceness that made him gasp, Their kisses more passionate and Makoto clung to him as though drowning. They were together.. they were in love... he.. loved him.

The loud knocking at the door made Byakuya groan unhappily as they broke apart.

“Why now?” He lamented brushing his nose affectionately against Makoto’s.

“People are probably checking up on you, they were worried” Makoto reasoned although he also shared the disappointment of their moment being cut short. Still there was plenty more time tonight for kisses be consoled himself with that thought “I’ll go get it”

Gently removing himself he padded across the room to the door revealing Kyoko on the other side.

“Is he awake?” She questioned and Makoto nodded opening the door wider

“Yeah, he hasn’t long woken up”

She stepped inside and walked over to the bed.

“How do you feel?” She wasted no time with niceties as usual

“Tired, sore” Byakuya responded in kind

“You should probably change your bandages now so we can inspect the wound”

Byakuya flustered somewhat at her words and looked away

“Makoto can help me with them later”

“That’s acceptable” Kyoko nodded “You should eat. Sakura can make you something to get your energy up”

Byakuya just nodded and didn’t argue much to Makoto’s surprise

“Take it easy, you need rest. Hopefully tomorrow you’ll feel a lot better” as she turned from his bedside and walked back towards Makoto she hesitated for a moment before turning back to look at Byakuya “thank you.. for the trial. You did well”

Byakuya nodded curtly to her and Kyoko turned back to Makoto.

“I need to talk to you”

“What about?”

Her voice dropped to barely a whisper “Not now. In the bath house”

“Is it urgent?” Makoto whispered back and nodded his head towards Byakuya. Kyoko hestitated a second then seemed to concede

“It can wait until tomorrow”

“Honestly?”

“Yes, it’s okay”

“Thank you I just.. can’t leave him right now”

“I understand” she nodded “Sakura and I shall get started on some food, I’ll bring it over”

“Thanks Kyoko” Makoto said thankfully and saw her out before locking the door.

He wonders what could have possibly been so important she needed to talk in private. But for now he knows he cannot leave and yes getting out of here is the highest priority, anything that she knows is defiantly important.. besides she wouldn’t usually come to him with her knowledge, she guards her secrets closely so whatever she has to say is vital information. Despite this nothing can make him leave this room right now, not while his beloved is still so sick and damaged. Damn everything else in the school right now, it can wait.

“What did she say to you?” Byakuya asks and Makoto can’t help but be aware of the cameras now listening to them, and so he shakes his head and decides to feign ignorance.

“She just wanted to talk about your progress, see if you are really okay. She and Sakura going to make you some food now for you, you need to get your strength back”

He simply nods and doesn’t argue back even though he must know that he’s lying. He knows Makoto, every part of him and perhaps tiredness and pain have rendered his usually sharp wit null and void. Or perhaps he’s every bit as sharp as always and is just as aware of the cameras significance in their exchange.

“I’d like to shower if you’ll assist me” he says quietly and Makoto knows it pains him to have to ask for a favour, but his skin still bears remnants of blood despite Chihiro’s cleanup job and Makoto knows that he must feel like shit.

He makes his way back to the bedside and sits next to his boyfriend once more, taking his hand and smiling at him.

“Of course, showering with you is cute, I’ll wash your hair”

Byakuya gives a smile and Makoto knows he’s helping his hurt pride as best he can. But it’s not a chore to assist him, not a burden to help him get clean when it’s more time spent with his love. More contact, more intimacy, more of Byakuya.

He kisses him gently once more and it’s addictive, it’s so hard to stop once he’s basking in the warmth that beautiful ray of sunshine casts upon him.

“Let’s get you cleaned up” he whispers and musters up the strength to pull away. He helps him to his feet and Byakuya is unsteady, he allows Makoto to take his arm and lead him to the bathroom. Previously tasks like this might have been embarrassing to them, would have made him blush. But too much has transpired now and after seeing someone you love bleed out on the dirty floor... it put things into harsh perspective and so he helps his boyfriend to undress, mindful of the bandages that cover him.

“We should check the wound” he says and Byakuya agrees. Slowly and carefully he unwind the length of bandages, hoping and praying that the wound underneath is fairing well and that he won’t be greeted by blood and infection. Thankfully his title of luck seems to be on his side today and when the last bandages are removed, the cut seems clean and healing nicely. Mercifully with it not being too deep the cut was already knitting over and scabbing which boded well. Carefully he reapplied the large sticky plaster bandage over the cut.

“This probably won’t hold long but it should stop it getting wet long enough to shower”

Byakuya nodded and stepped into the shower carefully, Makoto gently washed his hair for him, rubbing his scalp soothingly and helping him to rinse any residue of dried blood from his body. Byakuya basks in the warmth and sits contentedly on the shower floor so Makoto can condition his hair and massage his shoulders until he relaxes and purrs with contentment.

When they were finished Byakuya left the shower running but after drying himself and wrapping himself in a large fluffy towel he turned to Makoto with determined eyes.

“What did Kyoko really say?” His voice is barely audible and he knows Byakuya has left the shower on to hide their conversation from the cameras. Despite his trauma today he was still sharp as anything.

“She wants to talk to me” Makoto whispered back “in the bath house so it must be...”

“Why didn’t you go?”

“Because she said it could wait, I’m not leaving you right now”

Byakuya clicked his tongue impatiently “I’m fine Makoto”

“No you aren’t” Makoto whispered fiercely “and I don’t care, I’m not leaving your side right now no matter what okay? So don’t try to argue with me”

“I suppose.. there’s no point trying to..”

“No there isn’t” Makoto smiled softly “I love you too much to leave your side”

To his surprise Byakuya blushed slightly

“That.. feels nice to hear..”

“That I love you?” Makoto smiled and rested his forehead against Byakuya’s tenderly “because I do, I love you so so much”

“I love you too” Byakuya sighs and his eyes close as his arms snake around Makoto to hold him closely “I’ve never loved anyone before, but I love you fiercely and with everything I have. I swear it to you”

“I know you do, I could always feel how much you cared about me. I never doubted it”

They just hold each other for a moment before the doorbell rings again and Makoto goes to take the food Sakura has kindly delivered to them, assuring her he would make sure Byakuya ate it all and would take more medicine.

He helped Byakuya redress into pyjamas and sat with him in the bed as he ate, just offering his quiet presence as Byakuya slowly ate the meal. When he was done he gently pulled Makoto into his arms and the two lay in the bed, Makoto’s head resting on the good side of Byakuya’s chest as his boyfriend stroked his hair soothingly.

“Im the one that should be comforting you” He protests weakly and Byakuya gives a small laugh

“You are comforting me, you’re with me”

“But I should.. be holding you and playing with your hair instead”

“Oh shush” Byakuya scolds “I’m not an invalid Makoto, I want to hold you the same way I always do. So just be quiet and let me gain comfort from snuggling my tiny boyfriend”

Makoto laughs and his fingers tighten on Byakuya’s waist as he holds him tight.

“Okay fine, I think you earned the right to get your own way”

It’s so comforting in Byakuya’s embrace. Being held against his chest and his hair stroked and he just feels so safe and warm, pressed against his boyfriends firm body and enveloped so completely in love.

“I’m sorry about our fight” he tries to tell him again, now the trial is over and he can say what he wanted to say properly “I was being so stupid”

“No you weren’t” Byakuya counters “you were justified in your hurt”

“But it’s so stupid now” Makoto sighed “being so upset about nothing, you could have died while I was sulking about things that haven’t even happened”

“It’s not a bad thing to be thinking ahead though” Byakuya swallows hard “I know.. I can be... difficult and my family can be too. I wanted you to know what you’d be signing up for.. if you still wanted to stay with me”

“Byakuya I’ll never leave you, not for anything! I don’t care how tough your father is to impress or what you have to do as an heir... you love me right? And you won’t leave me?”

“Of course not Makoto, you’re....”
His voice drops to a shy whisper “the love of my life”

It takes Makoto’s breath away and he tries not to cry at the pure emotion inside him as he snuggles Byakuya closer and kisses him gently.

“And you are mine.. I’m not going to loose you over some family politics. If you have to have children then.. fine okay... that’s just how it has to be so.. I’ll try my best to be a good partner to you... if we can survive this killing game we can do anything sunshine”

“True as that may be” Byakuya’s blue eyes are shining and he’s stroking Makoto cheek so soothingly it’s hard to stay awake “I’ve decided to go against the grain. I won’t be doing that”

“But.. don’t you have to..?”

“You know how I resent being told what to do” Byakuya’s smirk returns and Makoto is glad he must not be that pained now “I’ve decided there’s more than one route for me, I can reach a new path that pleases both of us” both hands cup Makoto’s face tenderly now and he draws him closer, breath a whisper on his lips

“But no matter what, I will not dishonour you Makoto”

It twinges his mind and his brow creases as his head throbs in pain. Byakuya gasps too and rubs at his head as they both breathe deeply waiting for the shockwaves to pass.

It doesn’t take long to subside and when it does Byakuya’s eyes are upon his firmly.

“Tomorrow...”

“Yes”

They need privacy to talk, because there’s so much going on they can’t explain but... they both know there’s so much more and slowly.. together a picture is starting to form.

“I’m serious though” Byakuya puts there conversation back on track “I’m not doing anything that I don’t want to, nothing that makes your cute face sad”

He laughs and nuzzles closer to Byakuya, their arms around each other tightly, snuggling as close as they can be. He’s at peace finally, washed in a sea of tranquility. No matter what tomorrow brings, they have this here right now. This moment together, at peace and unified against the world. That’s more than he hoped for this morning, more than he dreamed of ever having again.

“What about your father?”

“He will have to deal with it. I’m the chosen and I *will* choose the way my life goes, the future that our family has”

“What If he doesn’t accept me? Tries to get you to break up with me?”

Byakuya lets out a tsch of annoyance and he squeezes Makoto tighter for a second

“I don’t care, I won’t. I don’t care for the options of bigoted dinosaurs” he scoffs “If I want to be with you I will, If I want to take you as my date to corporate functions then they will all have to accept it. I’m not letting anything trivial come between us again”

“You’re right.. me and you are all that matter to you and me”

Byakuya’s lips are soft and tender on his and Makoto can feel his eyelids drooping he’s so sleepy and content now in the arms of his boyfriend and he’s ready to slip into a peaceful slumber.

“Exactly, and if I want to be with you, live with you, have you as my partner in work and life and even marry you then I *will* because that’s what *I* chose with you. Not what was chosen for me by someone else”

“Wait.. Marry me?” Makoto’s eyes are wide with confusion and surprise and Byakuya smirks softly

“Yes?”

“You’ve... seriously thought about
marrying me?” He can’t really believe he’s hearing this.

“Does it scare you?”

“Wha... no nothing like that I’m just shocked! You think we might... one day?”

He’s smiling goofily and he can’t help it because Byakuya is talking about them being together forever. He loves Makoto enough to derail his track in life and forge a new path despite the disapproval he’s sure to face. And more than that he loves himself enough to know he deserves better, to live the life he wants to. That he won’t let business and logic dictate existence and that he has the capacity to let love in and be strong enough to accept it.

“I assume so, if you agreed of course”

“I would agree” he whispers and his heart is thudding ten to the dozen in his chest. Byakuya smiles back at him and he’s never seen such open adoration and happiness on his face before.

“That’s good to know” he breathes and Makoto kisses him because there’s nothing in the world he wants to do more. This boy was someone he was intimidated by and feared may turn against them merely weeks ago. Now Makoto is wrapped up in his arms while they talk about getting married and that... that’s crazy right.l? There’s something more, more at play but hey can’t discuss it now.. tomorrow’s talk will be an interesting one.

“What made you think about this?” He whispered instead as he grins and Byakuya’s eyes narrow ever so slightly as he hesitates and then runs his fingers along Makoto’s hand and loops a finger around Makoto’s ring finger squeezing gently. His voice is the tiniest whisper in his ear and Makoto’s breath is stolen from him as Byakuya says quietly as he can

“I’ve thought about it before, I only just remembered”

Chapter Text

Makoto awoke to cold emptiness beside him, wiggling closer to his boyfriend to get warm he realised with a start Byakuya was not in bed next to him. Awaking fully now with worry he sat upright and saw Byakuya sat by the window gazing out into the moonlight.

“Kuya...” Makoto called out getting out of bed and walking over to his boyfriends side “are you okay?” He placed his hand on Byakuya’s shoulder and the taller boy winced as though pained. Turning to Makoto he fixed him with a vacant expression.

“Kuya...” Makoto said sadly and moved his hand to run it up into Byakuya’s hair and stroke him comfortingly. Byakuya barely acknowledged the touch and stared out the window once again.

“They are still out there” he stated flatly

“I know.... and it’s not right.. but...”

“I’m going to make them pay” he said with the same emotionless tone “I won’t rest until they are dead and buried in the ground”

“I know it’s wrong.. and I know it hurts but that’s not the answer... please... look at where you are now. You’re somebody special, you’re... incredible and your life is good now. They can’t take that from you”

“They took too much already” some emotion finally registered in Byakuya’s voice “They deserve to suffer for what they did to me. They deserve that pain back one hundred fold and I won’t rest until they die screaming”

Tears ran down Makoto’s face, both at Byakuya’s words and the reason he said them. It was so unfair, so wrong. He sympathised with Byakuya’s thoughts, he thought then enough himself but... it wasn’t the answer. It wasn’t right. To fight fire with fire.

“Please... they deserve pain, you deserve justice but.. not like this.. not that way. Please baby...” he cupped Byakuya’s face gently with his hands and tilted his boyfriends face up to look him in the eyes “I can’t see someone I love so much give in to that kind of despair, to hurt someone.. you aren’t going to feel better from it I promise you”

“I can’t feel worse. Knowing they are allowed to exist... to breathe the same air as someone as pure as you... it’s not right”

“Byakuya... I love you. Please... listen to me... I’ll stay by your side forever, I’ll help you get justice i... I’ll love you no matter what. But please... don’t give into this... this despair.. the Byakuya I love... he wouldn’t want this”

Byakuya’s eyes softened and finally it was like the harsh shell had finally rescinded and he sighed softly

“Some nights...”

“I know sunshine... i know...”

He held Byakuya for what felt like hours, the two just hugging soft and affectionate as he stroked Byakuya’s hair and whispered sweet nothings to him in the darkness. Eventually Byakuya shifted and looked at him with clear eyes

“Thank you angel, I feel ready for bed now”

“Okay.. I’m sorry this happens.. I’m sorry for everything.. you don’t deserve it”

“No matter how hard I try to kill it... this weakness still exists inside me....”

“You aren’t weak Byakuya... you’re the strongest person I know. And I love you so much”

“I love you too...”

.....

Makoto awoke to Byakuya sleeping soundly beside him. Rubbing his head in confusion he sat up and tried to wrap his head around the nights events. He looked down to Byakuya’s sleeping form and saw his bandages. That’s right... the trial...

It must have been a dream, Byakuya had been sat by the window looking out into the night... and here the windows were barricaded. There’s no way last nights vision was real it had all been another vivid dream. And a bizarre one at that... he let his fingers brush Byakuya’s hair out of his face and watched his beloved boyfriend sleep. He loved him so much... it hurt to even think about his dream, to imagine Byakuya suffering. Yet... his secret motive... there was something there he still didn’t know... pain of Byakuya’s and for the first time he really wanted to know what had happened to him.

Byakuya stirred and slowly his lids opened to expose hazy blue eyes.

“Morning” he whispered hoarsely and Makoto smiled at him

“Morning, did you sleep okay?”

“Yeah, but I’m sore now.. I need some painkillers I think”

“Okay, we can get you some.. and some food” Makoto continued to stroke his hair and Byakuya moved closer snuggling his face into Makoto’s chest and letting Makoto wrap a careful arm around him.

“You never usually let me hold you like this..” Makoto said softly and Byakuya just mumbled in response, stumbling over his words.

“I... just... want... I.. I... feel safe with you”

Makoto felt a lump in his throat as he cuddled Byakuya tightly.

“You are safe.. I’ll never hurt you.. I swear”

“I know angel... I know”

They just lay there for a while content and at peace until the morning announcement intruded as usual.

“We should eat.. you need to keep your strength up”

“Right”

Byakuya seemed a lot better today, Makoto checked his bandages and the cut was scabbing over cleanly. After helping him with a fresh shirt Makoto took his hand and the two walked down to the canteen together.

“Don’t you want to get changed first?” Byakuya queried and Makoto just smiled

“I’ll do it later, priority number one is to get you fed”

As they entered the canteen they were the last to arrive and Kyoko nodded to them

“How are you faring Byakuya?”

“Fine, it’s not as bad as it looked”

“I’m glad you’re okay” Chihiro smiled at him although his eyes were still full of pain

“Thank you, for your assistance yesterday, you were incredibly helpful” Byakuya told him and Chihiro looked proud

“You’re welcome, I’m glad i could help”

“And thank you for your help also” he turned to Sakura who nodded to him and gave a strained smile, her own pain plainly evident.

Makoto quickly fetched Byakuya a drink and his boyfriend grimaced as he swallowed the painkillers.

Toko was back to her usual self and she sat fidgeting at the table, Celeste was sat by Kyoko’s side but the two were silent. Nobody seemed to know what to say, yesterday had been... the most brutal and horrific day in so many ways.

Eventually Makoto turned to his boyfriend and said quietly “what do you want to eat?”

“Eggs would be fine” Byakuya responded and Makoto nodded making his way to the kitchen to make them breakfast. When he returned with the plates the cafeteria was still silent. Chihiro was slowly eating his own breakfast, Sakura silently drinking her protein coffee. It was uncomfortably quiet and Makoto didn’t know what to say, instead he took a seat by Byakuya and the two ate together. Kyoko shot a look his way every so often and he knew she was reminding him they needed to talk today. He gave her a small smile in return to show he hadn’t forgotten.

Eventually they finished their meal and Makoto cleaned up the plates unable to stand the quiet anymore he offered his hand to Byakuya for comfort.

“So you’re actually together then, no bullshit” Mondo’s voice sounded even louder than usual in the silent room and everyone stared at him.

“Uh.. yeah?” Makoto was confused, surely that had become obvious through yesterday’s trial and investigation.

“Hmph, well watch your back Makoto. You’re making a big mistake”

“What’s *that* supposed to mean?” Byakuya demanded, annoyance clouding his features.

“That you’re a fucking snake and you’ll betray him” Mondo snapped getting to his feet “I don’t buy your act, you’re as fake as they come”

“How dare you!” Byakuya snarled also getting to his feet in anger “when I was bleeding on this floor yesterday you didn’t seem to think I was fake! In fact you only started to doubt me once the finger got pointed at your own friend”

“Don’t you fucking talk about him!”

“Why not? Is it hard for you to swallow that he didn’t trust you?”

“Fuck you Byakuya! You don’t know anything about him!”

“Neither did you it seems”

“Please stop!” Makoto cried out placing a hand on Byakuya’s shoulder “this isn’t helping!”

“If it weren’t for you! He would still be here!”

Silence

“So that’s the crux of the matter” Byakuya folded his arms and glared angrily at Mondo “you’re angry at me because my deductions caught the culprit and therefore you lost a friend... and *you* couldn’t leave this place. Did you plan this with him then I wonder?”

“Fuck no!” Mondo roared “I would never have let him do something so stupid!”

“You had no idea what he was up to then, the same as the rest of us! I fought to keep us all safe and yet you would blame me for those actions?”

“He wouldn’t be dead! You sent him to be killed! Me and him would...” Mondo hesitated and Byakuya sneered angrily

“You think I would let him get away with his plan? What? that I should have somehow known that he was trying to get you out and I should have lain down my life for you? Lain down Makotos life?” His teeth were gritted as he spat vitriolic “I didn’t know who planned this, but they tried to kill Makoto and In doing so almost killed me. I wasn’t going to let the culprit escape and if you’re upset then too bad!”

“You fucking... he did this because he cares about me! About Chihiro! You don’t give a shit about anyone! You dying would have been better for everyone”

“What!” Makotos face paled as Mondo’s words upset him deeply “how can you say that Mondo!! That’s awful!”

“It’s true!” Mondo snarled “he doesn’t fucking love you! He’s devious and he’s out to get us all! He’s just using you Makoto and you’re too stupid to see it!”

“How dare you!” Byakuya took a step forward, his eyes dark with anger as he spat his words with targeted precision. “It’s not my fault that *you* didn’t understand somebody you loved, Keep Makoto’s name out of your filthy mouth, DONT you dare speak to him that way”

“Why do you fucking care? You don’t love him”

“I do” Byakuya’s tone was absolute, his jaw set in a firm line as he glared over his glasses frames “Nothing you say will change that. I’m sorry it *offends* you so but get over it”

“So you and him get to fucking run off into the sunset while Taka is dead??”

“He shouldn’t have been so weak and tried to take the ridiculous motive! it’s his own fault”

“Stop it please!” Makoto begged grabbing Byakuya’s hand “both of you! We can’t fight between ourselves we play right into the masterminds hands!”

Byakuya exhaled loudly almost willing the anger to leave him, his shoulders shaking as slowly he relaxed his limbs before giving Makoto a small strained smile

“Okay.. we’re done here”

“We fucking aren’t!” Mondo yelled “I am not through yet! You’re putting on a show of caring about him but you swore to win this game and I ain’t fucking forgotten!”

“I kept up that front to *keep* him safe, If anyone knew that I cared for him or vice versa they could use that to hurt us, Frame us! Toko tried and I was damn adamant I wasn’t going to paint a target on our backs. Stop trying to fight with me it’s pointless, just accept the facts and move on”

“It’s convenient then that apparently the only person who knew about your supposed relationship is now dead huh?”

“You know what” Byakuya turned to him then and hissed angrily, his composure breaking once more “I wish I was still that person because it would be easy! To not care about anyone and to kill without scruples. You think I would have chosen this weakness? This care for someone else?? To care makes you weak! Just how *you* are acting right now!” His hand tightened around Makotos own “wether I want it or not. I care, Makoto and I are not negotiable. Get used to it”

“You think I’m weak?? You think you’re better than me?? I’m more of a man than you are!” Mondo stormed over his face red and his fist raised, without thinking Makoto moved and for the second time
In this killing game he found himself between Byakuya and Mondo’s fist. He saw the impact coming and winced... then the impact came and it wasn’t where he was expecting.

Something shoved his shoulder hard and pushed him roughly to the side, at the same time he heard the impact of a fist on flesh and a loud clattering noise. Shocked he regained his balance and span back towards the scene.

Mondo was stood angry and shaking, a small bloodstain on his fist. But what caught his attention the fastest was Byakuya stood bowed forwards, his blonde hair falling forward obscuring his face as he panted audibly. His glasses lay at his feet haphazardly and Makoto yelped running to his boyfriend at once.

“Byakuya!!!”

Byakuya looked up at him, his face was pale and his lip was split and bleeding where Mondo had hit him.

“Oh god! Byakuya!” Makoto’s eyes were filling with tears as he quickly picked up the glasses and held onto Byakuya’s shaking figure “why did you do that?”

Byakuya held onto him as he regained his composure. A hand dabbing away the blood on his chin as he fixed his gaze on Makoto.

“I’m not going to let you get hurt”

“Oh ‘Kuya!” he sobbed resting his forehead against Byakuya’s for a moment while he composed himself sniffling back his tears.

“That’s enough!” Kyoko’s voice cut through the room with angry authority “This behaviour gets us nowhere!”

“Mondo you need to get a grip!” Chihiro’s voice was surprisingly stern as he reprimanded the biker “you didn’t know what Taka was planning any more than I did!! He didn’t trust his with his plan because he knew we wouldn’t support it!”

Mondo was now looking at Chihiro with something like shame creeping into his features

“We wouldn’t have wanted him to kill for us! I would never want to hurt anyone to leave here! So he did it in secret so we wouldn’t have a choice!”

“Nobody knew” Kyoko’s voice held authority “we all tried as hard as we could to solve the murder, because we all knew our lives were on the line. You didn’t even know your possible freedom awaited you”

“Taka deceived us” Chihiro said firmly “with the best of intentions he lied to us and then undid his own plan because of his loyalty to us! Now you’re blaming his death on Byakuya because you can’t stand the fact you didn’t know the truth!”

Mondo looked ashamed now, his shoulders slumped as he looked down at the ground.

“Byakuya... he... proved it was Taka... if he hadnt...”

“Then right now he would be dead, Makoto would be dead. For all we knew we could have all been dead. He fought to save who he loved and you want to blame him for that?? And not blame Taka for killing and lying? I for one don’t want to leave here off someone else’s death. Taka was wrong! He did the wrong thing and he paid the ultimate price”

Makoto realised that a wall of sorts had formed between them, Chihiro and Kyoko between themselves and Mondo. Byakuya’s glasses were firmly back in place again and he stood at Makoto’s side. His breathing still a little laboured, a bright mark on his cheek and a cut lip proof of Mondo’s assault.

“I just don’t understand” Mondo finally said slowly “why he did this.. why... this happened”

“Attacking Byakuya hardly answers anything” Kyoko replies curtly “we have enough to contend with without fighting each other”

“He almost died yesterday” Chihiro scolded “he’s been through enough without you acting like an idiot! You have seen proof over and over again of how much he cares for Makoto it’s time to accept it and stop blaming him for your own feelings towards Taka”

Mondo looked up shamefaced and met his and Byakuya’s gaze

“You’re right... I’m sorry... I was out of line”

Makoto breathed a sigh of relief that the situation seemed to be diffusing and Byakuya was silent

“I can.. see how much you care... I was wrong to.. hit you like that... you pushed Makoto outta the way... because you care about him...”

“I’m glad it’s finally registering in your thick skull” Byakuya said tersely “I won’t let anything happen to him, not as I live and breathe”

“You really do... care for him then”

“Naturally”

“I know it seems weird” Makoto said softly “we aren’t an obvious fit... but we.. we do love each other”

Mondo nodded, Chihiro had gone to his side now and was patting his arm as though to offer him some comfort.

“Okay.. I think that’s enough here” Kyoko interjected “everyone needs to cool off”

Most of the students in attendance nodded and slowly began to file out of the room, Makoto nodded to Byakuya and the two walked slowly towards the doors.

“What would you have done” Mondo said quietly as they walked past him “if someone killed because of you”

The pair were quiet and looked at each other, unable to give an answer

“I can’t answer that” Byakuya finally replied quietly “I don’t know how I would feel because I highly doubt I would be in that circumstance.. The only thing I know for sure... is that if anyone hurt Makoto... I’d make sure they died screaming”

Makoto’s eyes widened as he turned to Byakuya in surprise. Those words.. yet another dream made almost reality.

Mondo nodded slowly, registering his words and looking down at the ground. With not another word the two walked from the cafeteria together and silently to Byakuya’s bedroom. Only when they were safely inside did Makoto wrap his arms around his boyfriend.

“Why did you do that? You’re hurt enough”

“I wasn’t going to let him just hit you!” Byakuya retorted “you keep putting yourself between me and his fist and last time you got knocked out”

“That’s right...” Makoto hesitated before saying quietly “at the time I felt like I was just trying to stop an argument.. but maybe there’s a part of me deep down that... didn’t want you to get hurt”

“Even then?”

“Even then”

Makoto gently moved Byakuya’s hair from his face and inspected the mark on his face that was already beginning to bruise.

“That looks sore”

“It’s okay”

Makoto knew he was lying, it had to hurt.

Carefully he snuggled into Byakuya, arms tightly around him.

“Thank you for protecting me... I love you”

Byakuya didn’t speak but he gave a small smile and Makoto pressed a gentle kiss to his lips. Despite his care Byakuya still winced and Makoto sighed sadly.

“It does hurt doesn’t it”

“My lip stings” Byakuya’s fingers came up to dab at his cut and his nose crinkled in annoyance “now I can’t even kiss you properly”

“That’s okay... I’ll just.. kiss you!” Makoto quickly kissed his nose, cheek and then his jaw before pressing repeated kisses to his neck that made Byakuya finally smile and laugh.

“You dork”

Makoto beamed at him before resting his head on Byakuya’s shoulder and snuggling closely to his body. They cosied together silent and content, they fit together so perfectly Makoto couldn’t help but feel as he always did.. that they were meant for each other.

“Things got a bit crazy back there..”

“He just wanted someone to blame, I’m easy to blame because I’m not nice”

“You are nice!”

“Let’s face it, you’re the only one that thinks so about me, and that’s fine I don’t need anyone else to like me”

“I think you’re really nice” Makoto grumbled “you’re sweet and affectionate and warm hearted”

Byakuya chuckled “words that have never been used on me before now”

Their hands interlocked as they stared each other in the eyes.

“Nobody else knows you like I do”

“No they don’t”

“I see you Byakuya.. and I love you... for all that you are”

“And that’s why I’ll never willingly allow you to be hurt... I love you... and I swear to protect you..”

“I swear to protect you too”

He buried his face into Byakuya’s shoulder as the two lovers held each other tightly, Byakuya’s face pressed into his own neck and he could feel his boyfriends soft breathing against his skin.

He knew they had things to do, mysteries to solve and important conversations to have. But for now, for this moment.. he was safe wrapped up with the boy he loved and he was going to take the chance to feel happiness.

Chapter Text

Makoto spent most of the day curled up with Byakuya. Despite what he said, he knew his boyfriend was tired out and he wanted him to rest for as long as possible. So he talked softly to him keeping him distracted with silly questions and anecdotes that made Byakuya smile.

“So.. if you could be any animal what would it be?” He asked as he stroked Byakuya’s hair tenderly. Byakuya gave a small laugh and pondered for a moment.

“Maybe... hmmm.. some kind of large bird. Flying would be useful...”

“I think you’d suit a peacock!” Makoto proclaimed enthusiastically

“Hah! Are you calling me vain?”

“No! I mean peacocks are proud and territorial! They can be scary because they are so assertive but they are really beautiful and I think that describes you well”

“That’s strangely complimentary”

Makoto beamed “I’m glad, I meant it in a nice way”

Byakuya chuckled “you’re adorable, so what animal would you be?”

“Maybe a dog... I’d probably end up being something small like a Pomeranian though”

Byakuya laughed loudly “a cute fluffy one with an ahoge”

The two boys laughed together and Makoto snuggled Byakuya tighter. The taller boys head rested against his chest and Makoto was revelling in being able to hold him close. His cheek was starting to swell and bruise much to Makoto’s dismay, he hated seeing him hurt. Byakuya hadnt deserved any of that it was so unfair. But then again this whole situation was so unfair and messed up.

“So when we live together... can I have a PlayStation in the living room?”

Byakuya chuckled “if you like, don’t expect me to play it though”

“Awwh but it would be fun! I’ll teach you to play something cool!”

“I don’t like games”

“But Byakuya” Makoto pouted “it would be really cute to play with my *boyfriend* I’ve never been able to do that before!”

Byakuya pursed his lips frowning back at Makoto before he let out a laugh

“Fine, it better be challenging though, and interesting otherwise I’m quitting”

“It’s a deal!” Makoto grinned “Oooh can we get a puppy?”

“Absolutely not”

“Whyyyyy?”

“Because they are needy and demanding”

“So am i!”

Byakuya laughed harder and snuggled closer, an arm locking protectively around Makoto’s waist as Makoto kissed the top of his head.

“I know you’re just trying to distract me from everything” Byakuya mumbled and Makoto couldn’t help but smile.

“Is that bad?”

“No...” Byakuya yawned delicately “I can’t say I mind... its fun and relaxing. Don’t worry Makoto I’m in no rush to do anything right now except be here with you”

“Good... we can... go for a bath later” he chose his words carefully “but right now I just want to stay in bed and relax with you”

“Sounds good to me” Byakuya sighed softly closing his eyes

Makoto allowed his eyes to close too as he drifted off into a peaceful dreamless nap with Byakuya snuggled tightly to him.

....

He awoke to Byakuya still sleeping softly on his chest and he smiled adoringly at the sleeping boy. It felt silly to feel so, but he felt tall for once and he liked it. He always felt so small no matter who he was hanging out with, he was so short for his age that most people dwarfed him and he was used to being the small one. Let alone now, going out with a guy who’s legs were almost as long as Makoto’s entire body! He was used to looking up at Byakuya and therefore always feeling protected by him, watched over and looked after. So getting to hold his boyfriend, to comfort him and look after him. To show him all the care and affection Makoto felt from him daily was a wonderful feeling. Of course he hated that it came about from Byakuya being hurt but maybe in the future Byakuya would let him do this more often just because it felt nice.

Byakuya stirred and slowly opened his eyes. Sleepy blues looked up at him and Byakuya looked so innocent and vulnerable. He stroked the hair from his face and kissed his forehead gently

“Did you sleep well?”

“Mmm” Byakuya mumbled closing his eyes again and nestling into Makoto’s embrace.

“We should take a Bath when you’re ready”

“That’s a good idea”

Slowly they got changed and Makoto checked Byakuya’s swollen cheek with careful fingers before they made their way to the bathhouse which was thankfully empty.

Byakuya gave a long drawn out sigh in relief that they were finally in private.

“We have a lot to talk about”

“That’s right. I’m not even sure where to start”

“Let’s start with your dream”

Byakuya hesitated a moment before moving closer. The two sat together on one of the benches, knees touching and Byakuya swallowed before speaking

“I dreamt... that..” he was blushing lightly to Makoto’s surprise

“What was it that’s gotten you so flustered?”

Byakuya looked at the floor seemingly unable to find the words

“It’s.. rather juvenile to have such dreams, especially in such vivid detail. Although I suppose I can’t deny it.. when it’s so important to our situation. I dreamt that we went back to my apartment one day in the rain. We were both soaking wet and then.. well...”

“Then what?”

“Well to put it simply we... had our first time”

“O...oh!” Makoto was blushing too now. It was crazy how this was making them both fluster so much when they had done way more in person. However there was something about the strange undercurrent of mystery to this situation that made it all the more poignant.

“Yes.. it was.. ahem... Um... rather sweet. After that we had an evening together and then when you fell asleep I was trying to figure out how to measure your ring finger because I was planning to get a ring made for you... a green one”

Makoto started back at him dumbfounded. This was all too connected, there was a reason they were piecing together to many occurrences.. so many overlapping themes. Something he couldn’t put his finger on but...

“So... was.. that real?”

“It can’t be. There’s no way we would forget this! We walked into Hopes Peak for the first time and ended up here..”

“But when we arrived it looked like a normal school from the outside! Then we woke up and this.. prison was barricaded”

“It’s not possible that we lost our memories, it’s scientifically impossible”

“But something is amiss! Something is bugging me at the back of my mind.. just out of reach like deja vu”

“It happened again last night..” Byakuya agreed “we both felt it, this time we both had pain”

“that’s right.. when you said you wouldn’t dishonour me.. we both felt it... but I don’t know why! Has one of us said it before? But how? And how can there be photos of me wearing a ring and you dreamed about the ring and yet.. it doesn’t fit in any timeline I’m so confused!!” Makoto placed his head in his hands as he rubbed his forehead, stressed and frustrated.

“Have there been any other occurrences you can recall during the mess of the past few days?”

“Well...” Makoto recounted “when you were passed out and I was watching over you I took a shower and I went to borrow a T-shirt from you and I found one of my own shirts stuffed deep in the back of the draw... not folded neatly with yours”

“That’s strange” Byakuya frowned “there’s no reason your shirt should be in with my things.. especially stored messily”

“Exactly, it’s definitely mine too, it’s my size and the colour I like... nothing at all like your shirts. Also I slept briefly and I had some.. strange small dreams.. one was that i was watching you swim and I bought you coffee it was cute”

“That doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary”

“No... then i dreamt about us..” now it was Makoto’s turn to blush “you’re right this feels so juvenile... but I dreamt about us being.. uhm together... you know the same way you did”

“Ah” Byakuya nodded, pink high on his cheekbones “anything significant?”

“No just.. it being really nice..” his fingers twisted together in embarrassment “like loving.. it made me feel warm inside when I remembered”

“We are ridiculous to be so embarrassed about this. We haven’t exactly acted decently during our time here”

“I know..” Makoto gave a small laugh “it’s weird huh... what we did that day.. in the library it’s.. not..”

“In character...” Byakuya agreed “strange isn’t it..”

“It just makes me feel like there’s more going on... more than we can understand”

“Hmmm, did you dream anything else?”

“That’s the funny thing, I did have a dream then that made no sense”

He recounted in as much detail as he could the dream of being in the car, with Taka and Mondo in the back as they fled fire and numerous robot Monokuma. Byakuya listened to his dream with a serious expression on his face and when he was finished, looked distinctly panicked.

“Makoto.. the night before the murder.. the night we spent apart I had a very similar dream..”

This time Byakuya spoke at length about his dream, how the school was being sealed and a mystery man had stopped Byakuya from coming to get Makoto who for some reason wasn’t present. He talked about ‘something coming’ and ‘lockdown’ and how in the end Kyoko had given him his car keys so he could ‘bring them all back’ when he finished this time Makoto was the one who stared back with wide eyes as fear curled serpentine through his stomach.

“This is too weird Byakuya... it has to be linked! But how?”

“I have one theory” Byakuya mused “it’s not solid I’ll grant you however... considering that the mastermind has complete control over our accommodations it wouldn’t be a stretch..”

“Tell me what you’re thinking Kuya”

“It’s entirely plausible that the mastermind is influencing our thoughts.. they have access to every part of this building. Theoretically they could be gassing us through our air vents or the oxygen system”

Makoto gasped “you think they might be drugging us?”

“That’s my theory, they could be drugging each of us in our very beds, causing us to have hallucinations and dreams that leave us doubting reality. Mixing that with clues and doctored evidence to get our minds racing. Imagining what has happened.. what is going on outside and pushing us more easily over the brink to commit murder”

“That’s... actually quite a smart idea” Makoto chewed his thumbnail nervously “manipulating our thoughts and causing us to question eveything. We’re more susceptible then to suggestion, more willing to do the unthinkable to find the truth”

“And the worst bit is, if I’m right then there’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t stop them from drugging us through our air vents or our oxygen system. We rely on it to survive and they could very easily be piping us drugs through it”

Makoto felt a shiver go through him, the thought of the unknown mastermind drugging them.. as they slept, even as they sat here and they were powerless to do anything about it.

“There’s one more thing...” Makoto suddenly remembered “I had a dream last night and...”

“Oh, im glad you’re here already” Kyoko suddenly entered the bathhouse with purposeful strides and Makoto immediately stoped talking. There was no way he was going to repeat the contents of his dream in company.. something about it niggled away at him.. telling him there was an element of truth in it he had to get to the bottom of.

“How are you after this morning?”

“I’m fine. It’s nothing”

Makoto grimaced and frowned at him, it was certainly not nothing but Kyoko has already moved on

“I’m glad to hear it, I need to tell you something I discovered. Considering there’s no possibility now that Makoto wouldn’t tell you this himself Byakuya, I may as well save time and tell you both. I’ve discovered a hidden room in the school and I need Makoto’s help to investigate it”

“Wait what?”
“How did you find it?”

Kyoko said nothing And Byakuya clicked his tongue impatiently

“Where is this room?”

“The second floor in the boys bathroom. The back of the cleaning closet. Tonight when everyone is asleep I will distract Monokuma, Makoto I want you to then sneak in and see what’s in that room”

“I don’t understand” Makoto said in confusion “how can you know this? And why do you want me to go?”

“I don’t trust anyone else” Kyoko retorted “Byakuya is injured and needs to rest, in turn I imagine nobody would even consider you leaving his side. Therefore if I’m the one to distract Monokuma the mastermind has no reason to be suspicious. You’ll go undetected, especially to a boys bathroom”

“I don’t like this” Byakuya had taken Makoto’s hand firmly “what if he gets hurt?”

“I can’t imagine anything happening to him if I’m distracting Monokuma. The mastermind can’t watch us and operate Monokuma at the same time. I’ve thought this plan through but now time is of the essence”

“She’s right” agreed Makoto “last night I wouldn’t leave you and nobody would suspect I would leave your side today either. If there’s information, something to help us then we need to find out what it is sooner rather than later”

Byakuya seemed lost in thought for a while before he finally gave a nod “okay fine... But if anything happens to him...”

“It won’t” Kyoko said with conviction “this is the best chance we have to make progress”

“I agree” Makoto nodded

“Then it’s settled. We move at 2am”

Chapter Text

Byakuya wasn’t thrilled with the turn of events. Despite what Kyoko said, he didn’t like the thought of Makoto venturing off into the unknown alone. He knew his boyfriend was more capable then he appeared, however that didn’t bring him any comfort right now.

He had voiced his thoughts to Makoto that actually Byakuya should be the one to go and explore the alleged room. However Makoto had objected strongly, arguing Byakuya’s injuries put him at higher risk and as loathe as he was to agree, he couldn’t argue with the facts.

In the end he had sighed and relented, giving his boyfriend a tender hug.

“You best be careful, if anything happens to you...”

“It wont, I’m going to be fine” Makoto smiled at him reassuringly with his lovely earnest expression that made Byakuya want to wrap him up in cotton wool and never let him go. He was too precious, too lovely and pure for this world and he feared loosing him more than anything. It was a constant thought plaguing his mind now that Makoto could be taken from him, he couldn’t allow that. Nothing would ever hurt his angel while he was around, and not getting to go with him tonight was torturous. But.. relationships were trust, equality, give and take. Byakuya couldn’t enforce his will over something Makoto felt strongly on, it wouldn’t be right. So he had to believe and place his trust in the boy he loved.

Hard as it was to settle the nerves in his stomach.

They had left the bath house not long after and Byakuya had to keep silent about their plan now lest Monokuma discover them. He spend the rest of the evening acting as naturally as possible while Makoto kept checking his injuries and nursing him accordingly.

His split lip and swollen cheek making chewing painful so he had soup for dinner, Makoto watched him with big worried eyes and Byakuya tried his best not to flinch as he ate. He didn’t want to cause him any more worry.

When they retired for the evening it was hard for Byakuya not to voice his thoughts as the hour drew closer but he had no choice. Instead he tried to vocalise his feelings through hugging Makoto to him protectively, and pressing kisses to his cheek and forehead.

“Byakuya it’s hurting you to do that” Makoto finally twisted out of his grasp “I know it hurts your lip, you said so earlier”

“But I want to kiss you” Byakuya said, his voice sounding whiney and pathetic to his own ears.

“I know but... here I’ve got an idea”

Makoto gently moved behind him pulling the blanket over them both and then slowly pushing his hands up the back of Byakuya’s shirt.

“What are you doing?”

“Helping you relax” Makoto’s voice in his ear made him shiver and he wriggled back into Makoto’s warm embrace as the other boy began to rub his shoulders.

“Mmmm” Byakuya sighed, his eyes fluttering involuntarily as Makoto gently kneaded his tense muscles.

“See, I can show you some love still, without you hurting your poor face”

“Mmmkay...” Byakuya gave in and allowed himself to submit to the wonderful feeling of Makoto working the tension out of his shoulders. It felt so relaxing and wonderful, Makoto’s hands were so gentle on his skin, his warm breathing in Byakuya’s ear comforting him to the bone.

“This is so nice... thank you..”

“You’re welcome” Makoto whispered back “I want you to relax, you’ve been through so much”

Byakuya yawned delicately, snuggling further into his pillow

“I love you, you know”

“I know you do, I love you too sunshine”

Byakuya was at peace, his eyes feeling heavy now as he allowed himself to drift. Only for a moment he thought, I need to be awake for when Makoto leaves. I’ll only sleep a moment....

.....
 
They were cuddled up in blankets, Byakuya was reading to a cozy Makoto who nestled into his chest.
 
“I’m so comfy, this could only be better if there were hot chocolate” Makoto sighed wistfully
 
“Hmm?” Byakuya paused, setting the book down. “Well, if you really want some we can go and make it?
 
“Please!” Makoto grinned at him widely; he knew Byakuya could never refuse him when he reacted so earnestly. The former only rolled his eyes before climbing off the bed with Makoto in tow.
 
He was dressed in a blue T-shirt and Pyjama bottoms, Makoto only in one of Byakuya’s blue button up shirts over his boxers. Personally Byakuya wouldn’t usually be seen out of his room dressed this way, however a quick glance at the clock reading 12:35pm reassured Byakuya it was highly unlikely anyone else would catch him dressed so slovenly at this hour.
 
“I don’t think anyone’s going to be around at this time, I shan’t bother changing lets just go quickly”
 
Makoto nodded happily, the pale blue shirt he had stolen from Byakuya came almost to his knees. It made him feel cuddly and happy and Byakuya knew he really didn’t feel like taking it off even for appearances sake.
 
Leading the way out of the bedroom and down the darkened dorm halls Byakuya hesitated for a second before reaching out and slipping his boyfriends hand into his own. They never had held hands in the school outside of their room before, but tonight Byakuya just really wanted to.. it felt like the right time. The pair walked hand in hand to the canteen, making their way through the rows of dining tables and into the kitchen.
 
Makoto made quick work of finding their favorite mugs out of the cupboard. They had bought them on one of their ‘secret dates’ one blue, one green and patterned with stars. He didn’t know why but silly things like that made him really happy. It was almost proof that they were a ‘real couple’ that did cheesy things together. Like buy matching mugs. Makoto strained to grab the chocolate syrup from the high shelf, in his attempt almost dislodging a precariously balanced jar of honey and bashing his elbow hard in recoil His pained exclamation of surprise ringing loudly in the silent kitchen.

“Makoto you are adorable but you are a kitchen hazard” Byakuya appeared at his side, checking his elbow with careful fingers. “I think its better you just sit here and let me take care of this” Before he could protest Byakuya had lifted him as easily as though he were a child and sat him on the kitchen countertop.

With no protest and rubbing his elbow to soothe it he watched Byakuya work preparing the drinks, he finally finished and topped Makoto’s cup with a liberal amount of whipped cream before handing the green mug to his owner.
 
“Good?”
 
Makoto took a deep gulp, cream clinging to his nose in the process. “Delicious!”
 
Byakuya grinned and shook his head in mock scorn. “Oh Makoto you are such a mess” Walking to the countertop he stood in front of Makoto leaning to wipe the cream off with his fingers.
 
“I’m your mess!” Makoto grinned in response spreading his knees to let Byakuya stand closer to him “and sat here I can finally look you in the eye! Is this what its like to be a tall person?”
 
Byakuya just shook his head again, but his face was split into a wide grin. He couldn’t resist Makoto’s adorable charm and enthusiasm.
 
“You’re so precious you know”
 
Makoto placed his cup on the side next to him. Their faces were close; he could see the glimmer of stars in Makoto’s green eyes and the light dusting of cocoa powder freckles on his nose. He was so beautiful and innocent and suddenly Byakuya couldn’t resist the impulse to kiss his boyfriend. Closing the gap he pushed his lips onto Makoto’s gently, wrapping his arms around the smaller boys waist. He tasted like chocolate and familiarity and… home? Byakuya’s heart beat faster at that thought; his mind consumed suddenly by how much he really loved Makoto.
 
He drew him as close as possible and kissed him deeply. Makoto responded in kind, burying his hands into his thick blonde hair and kissing back with reckless abandon. His hand was at Makoto’s jaw caressing his face and pulling him in closer. A soft groan escaped his lips as they drew air and suddenly his control disappeared, his tongue was so deep down Makoto’s throat he was surprised they didn’t choke. Smaller hands gripped in his hair and the collar of his shirt, Makoto kissed back fiercely and forcefully wrapped his legs around him to anchor at his waist. It all felt so blissfully good and fire was spreading through his skin.

His gripped Makoto’s hip hard with one hand, the other on the back of his neck pulling him forwards to kiss him harder. Small wanton groans escaped Makoto that made him gasp. All he wanted was to feel Makoto, kiss him and know that he was making Makoto feel happy and loved in return. He couldn’t get enough of him, he loved him so much...

 

“OH MY GOD!”
 
The sudden shriek scared the two boys to death, hearts racing they broke apart in shock turning to see the most horrifying sight they had ever witnessed. Half of their classmates staring at them wide eyed and mouths agape.
 
Hina, Kyoko, Celeste, Hifumi, Chihiro, Sakura, Hiro and Sayaka.

They.
All.
Saw.
Everything.
 
Byakuya’s heart was hammering in his chest, his face bright red and his shame evident for them all to judge. Makoto was breathing heavily, trying to hide his deep blush with a baggy shirtsleeve in front of his face.
 
Everything was painfully silent for a few moments. A stalemate. Hiro ever oblivious broke the tension with a nervous laugh

“Sorry guys, we didn’t realize you were in here, we definitely wouldn’t have intentionally watched you guys sucking face”
 
“I… We….” Words failed Byakuya for perhaps the first time ever, his heart felt like it was about to burst out through his throat and the waves of fear washing through his body made him feel physically sick. He wasn’t ready for people to know, he wasn’t ready to come out!! His strength was leaving him; his head was so full of fog he felt like he was falling down, down, down….
 
Makoto’s sudden grab of his arm pulled him back into reality, anchoring his mind once more. He turned to face Makoto who looked as mortified as he felt. His lips were moving to form the words “its okay, its okay” over and over.
 
His big green eyes were wide but the gaze fixated on him was strong. He knew Makoto; despite his innocent exterior his backbone was made of steel.  Whatever Byakuya did, whatever he decided to say now Makoto would agree with, the boy was selfless and strong to a fault. Byakuya could deny him, pull away in disgust and pretend that it was a mistake. Makoto would just smile sadly and agree and blame the situation on himself somehow. There was still an escape there, sure people would know what they saw but they wouldn’t know it actually meant anything to him. He could save himself in that respect.
 
But what was the point? If he hurt Makoto he even wasn’t worth saving. Besides, a life without that boy would hurt more than anyone’s opinion ever could. The Togami in him screamed ‘death before dishonor’ and staring back at those deep green eyes, he saw the determination and adoration in Makoto he loved and needed so much. He made his choice.
 
Pushing his glasses back up his nose in his usual dismissive motion he glared impassively towards Hiro, looping his other arm back around Makoto’s waist.

“We were not *sucking face*” he said the words distastefully “it were more *romantic* than that”
 
The room was filled with gasps once more and suddenly warm arms circled his neck again. Turning to grin at Makoto, Byakuya suddenly felt so light, it was freeing to just admit this was real. The look on Makoto’s face proved that the feeling more than mutual, His face was split ear to ear in a goofy grin. His nose and the corners of his eyes were crinkled with happiness, his eyes truly shone and with a jolt Byakuya suddenly realized this must be the first time Makoto had ever felt validated in their relationship. This moment was Byakuya accepting them, and Makoto reaction was so radiant Byakuya knew this could never be the wrong decision.
 
“You didn’t have to” Makoto’s voice was but a whisper.
 
But he did, he had to be strong and do this for Makoto. Don’t falter now he reprimanded himself internally, mustering his confidence he reached up to stroke Makoto’s cheek lovingly and whispered back with conviction
 
“I wont dishonor you”
 
“That… didn’t seem all that romantic to me” Hina’s voice rang out half joking cutting through the moment the two had shared. Taking a deep breath Byakuya turned back to the group of classmates observing them, Makoto sat behind him on the counter arms still around his neck. Taking hold of one of Makoto’s wrists with his hand he rubbed it affectionately and shot back dismissively, his innate sarcasm returning to him in a flash.
 
“Then clearly you’ve never been in love before. I feel sorry for you, you should try it sometime”
 
That had felt like the correct response. It was truthful and snappy but everyone in the room recoiled in shock like he had announced his intention to trample puppies or something equally hideous. Makoto squeaked into his ear tightening his grip around him and it suddenly dawned on him why everyone might be so shocked.
 
“YOU GUYS ARE IN LOVE?!” Sayaka was shrieking in glee. “MAKOTO IS THIS TRUE? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?”
 
Byakuya couldn’t help but laugh as Makoto buried his face into his blonde hair hiding his embarrassment from view.
 
“Hey don’t hide now, the hard parts over!”” Byakuya chided “Tell them Naegi”
 
“Yes its true” Makoto was blushing but his words rang out clearly “I… I love him and we are together”
 
That broke the tension, the group had been stood together tensely by the door unsure of how to proceed. Now they raced over to the couple laughing, shouting congratulations and bombarding them with questions.
 
“How longs this been going on?”
“Who asked out who?”
“Why didn’t you tell us?”
 
“Well um…” Makoto laughed “that’s a lot of questions but I didn’t want to keep it a secret from you all, but it was necessary… what with…” His voice trailed off unsure as to weather to explain fully. Byakuya’s family situation was uncomfortable and deeply personal, and Byakuya’s knew he didn’t want to say anything that could hurt his partner. He was spared his dilemma however because Byakuya decided to tell the truth himself.
 
“That was my fault, I insisted it were kept private. Makoto wanted to tell you all”
 
“Ahhh I see!” Hifumi tilted his head, curling his fingers around his copious chins “I understand! Not wanting to be seen with Mr. Naegi, ashamed of your love for such a lowly commoner! The stuff great novels are made of!”
 
Byakuya’s smile curled into an angry snarl but before he could cut down the oversized tub of lard both Celeste and Kyoko came to his aid. The former slapping Hifumi across the head and snarling “Shut up you insensitive pig” As Hifumi whimpered clutching his head Kyoko spoke over him.
 
“Byakuya is much too proud to entertain that which he does not believe in, if he were ashamed of Makoto he wouldn’t be with him. If my assumptions are correct then the reason this was kept private is due to Byakuya’s position of heir. Such a relationship becoming common knowledge would have unknown implications within his family. As such hiding it from them would be the best course of action.”
 
Byakuya had to admire Kyoko’s deduction, she wasn’t called the ultimate detective for nothing and the cool way she had deflected the answer from him had his eternal thanks.
 
“You are correct as usual Kyoko” he decided to be complimentary; she deserved that much at least. “I highly doubt that this will change my position, however I did not wish for such an uncomfortable discourse so early into our relationship. I wanted us to simply enjoy our time together, especially keeping Makoto unburdened by family or corporate politics is important to me” He glared scorchingly at Hifumi who shrank back under his wrath “I would never be ashamed of Makoto”
 
Hifumi whimpered at the heir’s words trying to hide his ample frame unsuccessfully behind Celeste.
 
“Wait so how long has this been going on for?” Hina asked curiously.
 
“Almost 7 months now” Makoto’s voice muffled by Byakuya’s shoulder his cheeks flushed pink from Yamada’s comment.
 
“That long? You were able to keep it a secret for ages!” Sayaka gasped clapping her hands to her mouth.
 
“I hated keeping it to myself, especially from you Sayaka” Makoto met her gaze his eyes full of contrition “You were always so supportive and every time you encouraged me to ask him out I felt so guilty not telling you the truth. You’ve been wonderful and I’m sorry for being such a bad friend”
 
“Wait” Byakuya shook his head in confusion turning to look at Makoto’s face “Sayaka told you to ask me out?”
 
The idols giggle rang out “Yes, I knew how much he liked you. I cant believe this whole time you’ve been together anyway! I am so happy for you!”
 
“We all knew” Sakura closed her eyes smiling her usual enigmatic smile  “dear Makoto was always head over heels for you it was obvious”
 
“Yeah” Hina laughed joining in “We all knew about his crush, but Sayaka really wanted to play matchmaker!”
 
Byakuya felt a sudden rush of affection for the singer. He had always been slightly jealous of the idol; she was always seen hanging off Makoto’s arm. Laughing with him, sitting with him in class and giggling incessantly at Makoto’s chatter. He always suspected that she had a thing for Makoto and despite their own relationship he couldn’t shake off the feeling of distaste every time he saw her fawn over his boyfriend. However all along she had been encouraging him to pursue Byakuya?
 
Makoto slipped his arms from around his neck and slid to the ground to stand beside him. “Yeah every time you walked past me or as much as looked in my direction Sayaka would start nudging me and telling me to talk to you, I used to get so embarrassed!” Makoto rubbed the back of his neck laughing nervously “I felt so guilty not being able to tell you Sayaka”
 
“Its okay Makoto, I understand totally and I’m just so happy for you!” Sayaka smiled
 
“Thank you for understanding” Byakuya smiled softly at her, one of his true smiles that showed how handsome he really was under all his usual coldness “you are a truly kind person” Sayaka just smiled back even harder if possible, her eyes lighting up at the compliment.
 
“Oh my god Makoto has melted Toges cold heart” Hiro laughed good naturedly and Byakuya spun pointing at Hiro, narrowing his eyes into a mock glare.
 
“Repeat such slander again and ill have you sued” though his voice carried no malice and he couldn’t help but smile. The group laughed together and it felt good. It felt… like acceptance. They had caught him with his metaphorical pants around his ankles and yet nobody, save Yamada’s tactless remark had said anything cruel or derogatory or condescending. They had understood, accepted, even without his knowledge. They were good people and the sudden realization overwhelmed him that he belonged. Makoto had appeared by his side, slipping his hand into his larger one and squeezing it affectionately.
 
“Wait why are you all here at this time of night anyway?” the question suddenly hit Byakuya like a bolt of lightning “The only reason we got so careless is because I didn’t think anyone would be around this time of night, I hardly expected half the class to walk in”
 
Chihiro giggled “its game night! We just finished up in the rec room and decided to all come get a drink before bed together. We did want to ask you to join Makoto but there was no response at your door, I tried a few times”
 
“Ohhh” Makoto rubbed his head again apologetically “I’m sorry, I wasn’t in there… I’m usually in Byakuya’s room at night…”
 
Kyoko twirled her fingers round her braid pondering,  “Now that we all know, this means you can be yourselves at least in the school. Everybody will be sure nothing will leave here, so you don’t have to worry about your family” she smiled at them kindly “You wont have to hide and now that we finally know where Makoto disappears to we can include you in our plans?”
 
“Of course!” Makoto nodded earnestly “I’m sorry I’ve missed out on so much with you all. Just with it being secret we didn’t get much time alone to be together”
 
“Its okay, we do understand” Kyoko nodded a sly smile taking over her features “Does this mean we can expect you to join us at breakfast from now on Byakuya?”
 
Byakuya closed his eyes in mock contemplation then nodded slowly “I suppose that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world”
 
Kyoko laughed her eyes glinting with mirth “I’m glad love hasn’t changed you too much Togami”
 
“I’ll make you coffee at breakfast!” Makoto was smiling up at him earnestly his eyes sparkling with happiness. His cuteness earning him a chorus of “Awwwww’s” from the gathered crowd
 
“No” Byakuya responded curtly “You are a hazard in the kitchen, I will be making you the coffee” If possible the “awwwws” got louder
 
“You guys are so cute!” gushed Chihiro clapping their hands together in glee.
The clock read 1:17, so much had happened in that short time but their world had completely changed. Byakuya couldn’t help but feel thankful that they had been caught. He had a feeling life would get even better from this point. Now he know longer had to hide his feelings he could hug or kiss his boyfriend in public. They could spend time together in the common areas and eat meals together without Byakuya constantly watching what he said, trying to ensure he didn’t appear too kind or close to the lucky student.
 
“It will be nice not having to think of twelve insults a day to spew at you in public Makoto” That drew a laugh from the boy beside him.
 
“That a shame I rather enjoyed your creativity with them” Makoto’s smile was radiant, he just looked so pure and so damn happy in that stupidly oversized shirt. His eyes were so alive he could count the stars twinkling in their depths; everything about him was so innocent and honest. Without Makoto his life would be empty and devoid of joy. He was determined his life would never return to its former loneliness and he would equally devote himself to making Makoto happy. He would never let any sadness or despair infect Makoto’s life or take away his shine; of that much he was determined.
 
“Right, its late and I need to get this boyfriend of mine to bed” Without warning Byakuya grabbed Makoto’s hips and lifted him up into his arms as though he were weightless. Makoto let out a squeak of surprise and quickly wrapped his arms and legs around his boyfriend, scared of falling to the ground. The others in the room whooped and cheered and whistled loudly at the brazen show of affection, Byakuya couldn’t help but grin wolfishly at them as he turned for the door with Makoto in his arms “see you at breakfast everyone”
 
Makoto grinned over Byakuya’s shoulder as they walked away, waving at the group and calling out goodnight as they all laughed and waved back good-naturedly.
 
Finally making their way down the deserted dorm corridor back to their room Byakuya set Makoto onto their bed, taking his face into his hands he kissed him firmly awash with emotion and adrenaline after all the events of the past hour “I love you so much Makoto”
 
Makoto looked back at him, his eyes focused elsewhere before he spoke disheartened “oh man I forgot my hot chocolate”
 
.....

Byakuya stirred, his eyes fluttering open as he sighed and his mind slowly awakened.

Another dream... he reached out to get Makoto’s attention and his hand met only thin air.

Sitting up now In surprised he fumbled for the lamp and realised as the room care into blurry focus that 1) his glasses had been removed and 2) Makoto wasn’t there.

He jumped to his feet in panic, forcing his tired body to wake up fast as he grabbed his glasses and checked the bathroom just in case.

Makoto wasn’t there... and it was 3:30 am.

“Fuck!” Byakuya cursed as panic flew through his veins. He had slept through Makoto leaving and he had been gone way too long. Fearfully he grabbed his dorm key and raced from his room.

Screw whatever Kyoko had said. In his heart he knew Makoto was in trouble and nothing in the world that barbaric robot beat could do to him would keep him from his soulmate.

Chapter Text

Byakuya had dozed off into a peaceful sleep as Makoto rubbed his back, he looked so angelic Makoto hadn’t wanted to disturb him, he was just happy his love was finally sleeping well.

As the hour drew closer Makoto carefully slipped out of the blankets and adjusted them, tucking them lovingly around Byakuya and kissing his forehead.
Byakuya made a muffled contended noise that made Makoto smile.

As quietly as he could he slipped on his sneakers and zipped up his hoodie, finally as the clock struck 2:00 exactly he slipped from the room. Hoping that Kyoko was holding up her side of the plan he made his way on swift feet to the boys bathroom thankfully encountering nobody else along the way.

Arriving inside the bathroom he looked around carefully checking the stalls and making sure nobody was in there to ambush him. Satisfied everything else was normal he opened the storage cupboard at the end. It certainly didn't look like much,. He placed his hand on the back of the wall…

Makoto yelped as it moved under he touch and he flew through the back of the closets secret door, falling into another room.

Picking himself up in shock he looked around the room in confusion; this was nothing more than a dusty old storage room filled with shelves of files, an abandoned desk and chair in the center of the room. Old crumpled papers littered the floor and dust covered every surface.

How had Kyoko known about this? Surely if she had stumbled onto it by accident then she had wanted him to come and verify her findings, but by the look of the dust no one had touched anything in here for a long time. Everything was so confusing and Makoto’s head began to swim. All of this coupled with the strange dreams and pains in his head lately was just making him feel like he had started to loose his mind in captivity.

Making his way over to the shelves he began to inspect the volumes of files, each was covered in a layer of grime that made Makoto loathe to touch them. Nothing was catching his attention as relevant or related to their predicament. Almost ready to give up he walked to the end of the bookshelf when suddenly something caught his eye that made his heart almost stop. His breathing hitched as he gasped loudly and he forgot how to breathe for a moment.

Piles of boxes stacked, each one still covered in dust but the hastily scrawled names on each box were unmistakable.

‘Asahina’s room’ read the first box, the one underneath reading ‘Kirigiri’s room’
Piles and piles of boxes bore the names of each of his classmates, both the living and deceased.

Pulling open the top box quickly containing Hina’s name he scrambled through it pulling out a photograph, which made tears come to his eyes. Hina and Sayaka grinning at the camera holding donuts. How could this be? Just like the previous photographs he had found just made no sense, they couldn’t be possible! Underneath the photo contained various personal scraps and trinkets reflecting Hina’s life. A photo of her with what he assumed was her family, a letter to Hina written seemingly by Sakura wishing Hina a happy birthday. A Christmas card address to her from Kyoko, ticket stubs from the cinema, a medal from a swimming competition proclaiming her the winner but dated a year in the future.

Makoto dropped the box in shock, gripping at his hair in distress. None of this could be real, what even was this? How could the mastermind have faked all this and why? Why? Why?? Makoto could scream he felt the hysteria rising in his stomach and up to this throat. Silent screams begging to be unleashed. This was too much.

Suddenly as though slapped a realisation came to him, what about his box?
Jumping back up he ran to the shelf examining the list of boxes, where was his? There must be something inside that could help him remember!
Frantically he scanned the names of boxes Kirigiri. Maizono. Kuwata. Hagakure. Fujisaki. Oogami. Ludenburg. Yamada. Enoshima. Oowada. Ishimaru and Fukawa.

Finally as he dropped to the lowest shelf in desperation the biggest box out of all of them started back at him. The handwritten scrawl on it proclaiming proudly ‘Togami & Naegi’

Makoto dropped to his knees awash with confusion and shock. His green eyes were as wide as saucers as he stared at those words that had stopped his world in its tracks.

They didn’t have individual boxes, one box. One room. Shakily he reached for the box pulling it towards him with trepidation fearful of what to expect.
He took a deep breath and poised himself before flipping off the lid and bracing himself for the contents.

Without warning a wave of emotion hit him like a steam train as he locked eyes on the first item. Tears cascaded from his eyes and he sobbed his heart out as he clutched the photograph in his fist.

It was he and Byakuya and they were lying on what looked like Byakuya’s bed judging by the blue sheets. The photo had been taken from above, one of them holding up the camera. They were both smiling up so radiantly happy, Byakuya was grinning in that genuine way he did that Makoto had only seen once of twice when they were alone. He was vibrant, so beautiful and happy next to Makoto who was also smiling up looking so full of life and so damn happy. How could he have forgotten about this? Makoto hastily wiped his eyes with his sleeve, this couldn’t be a real photo but why did it feel so real?

Desperately he dug through the box finding endless photos that showed him the story of their lives. Him and Byakuya walking in the snow in winter coats, them drinking coffee together and laughing, one showed the pair of them eating cake together on what looked like a birthday. Some of the photos contained their classmates but overwhelmingly it was photos of him and Byakuya together or separately. Here was one of them in brown school uniforms Makoto perched on a desk grinning flashing a peace sign while Byakuya sat behind the desk rolling his eyes, then they were in an arcade with Byakuya glaring at the crane machine he was playing while Makoto cheered next to him.

His fingers connected with a small box under the mass of papers and he pulled it out examining is curiously; it looked like some kind of small jewellery box. Flipping the box open he stared in open mouthed shock at the items inside. There were two rings, one green and one slightly larger one, which was blue. Makoto felt his heart stop in in chest when he locked eyes on the green ring. This was it, the thing always in the back of his mind. That convinced him there was more behind the scenes that he could remember. His eyes filled with tears on sight of it, this was his… he just knew it!

Forcing himself from his trance he glanced back down at the box, he didn't know how much longer he might have! He saw some writing on a piece of folded paper peeking out from the edge of the photographs, Sliding it out gently he unfurled the paper and began to read, a hand clasping to his mouth and tears falling once more without permission as the contents of the letter overwhelmed him.

 

“My angel Makoto,

I do hate leaving you like this, but I cannot avoid these trips when they do occur. I know that you understand but that does not make leaving you any more tolerable. Please know that I will be counting down the next few days until I return to you. I have never been as eloquent with my emotions as you are, however I want to show you how much you mean to me. I have left something for you with this note, please open the box next to this now.

If you have done as I asked then you will have seen the ring. This is my promise to you my beloved Mako, that when we finish school the next step is to go out and change the world stood side by side. I hope you can accept my promise and believe me when I say that I will love you always and forever.

Yours eternally
Byakuya”

 

Tears began to spot the ink of Byakuya’s perfect handwriting and Makoto sobbed consumed by emotion. This was Byakuya’s writing no mistaking it; few could imitate his elegant script. How could this exist? That the two of them could have had such a relationship and been so in love and then just… not remember? Frustration gripped Makoto until he wanted to scream, if this letter was accurate that meant that, the ring from the slot machine photograph, from his dreams had really belonged to him.

Swallowing deeply he picked up the ring box once more fingering the green band of metal. Gulping in trepidation he slipped it onto his ring finger and… it fit perfectly. He stared unblinking and mystified at the band on his finger, this *had* belonged to him. This had been bought for him by Byakuya to show how much he loved him, and then the pair had forgotten all of that along with everything and everyone else in their lives? This was so sick and twisted it made him want to vomit but he couldn’t afford to just stop yet.

He tore through the rest of the box frantically rooting through piles more photographs of him and Byakuya. Eventually another letter finally unfurled from the mess of clutter and Makoto gripped it firmly recognising his own messier handwriting he smoothed out the slightly crumpled paper and read back his own words.

 

“My Eternal Sunshine Byakuya,

I do miss you awfully when you have to leave, but I’m glad that I do because if we were never apart how would we know that we truly miss each other? The times I spend away from you are tough, but they fill me with hope for your return and the things we will explore and see together when we are reunited.

Thank you for your promise and your beautiful gift. I have always in believed you and your conviction to change everything that people expect of you. I will always stand by your side and help you take your name to greater heights than ever before. I believed you when you promised one day I would share your name and I believe you now more than ever. I have my own gift for you, my own promise that I will stand by your side loyally and help you take the world.

All my Love Forever

Makoto x”

 

Makoto clutched at his hair and wept his heart out. Angel… Sunshine… the rings… the photos… So many photos! This was them, it was their life and their thoughts, their memories? But how? How could they have lost them!? It didn't make any damn sense!

Frantically he stuffed the items into his pocket and dug around in the box for anything more, his heart almost stopped as he grabbed hold of something chunky and metal. It was a cell phone!! Flipping it open it revealed was switched off so he jammed the power button on and hoped beyond hope it wasn't dead.

Quickly he started to put all the loose items back into the box to take it with him, he needed to take it and show this place to Byakuya right now! To Kyoko too!

Then suddenly pain split through his head he cried out dropping the box and falling forward, throwing his arms up protectively around his head. It hurt so much; his vision was going wobbly as he tried to desperately hold on. The pain was unbearable and he felt like he might vomit.

Then everything went black.

…..

The mastermind looked down in amusement at Makoto’s unconscious form. They knew the silly boy would have tried to take back far too much to his little boyfriend and they couldn't have that!

They pulled the box from his unconscious grasp and sighed. Now they were going to have to move everything out of here! Such a bother.

They took the photos and trinkets littering the floor, Makoto’s hands were visible from where he had tried to protect himself, nothing stuffed in his tricky little fists. However… as they looked closer a laugh tore out of their throat, the ring was on his finger, the one he used to wear that his stupid boyfriend had bought him and made Makoto believe they would be together forever. Yuk, what childish naivety, it was so cute it made them feel sick.

Grinning the mastermind patted Makoto’s head mockingly.

“Awhhh since you took that hit like a good boy I’ll let you keep your silly ring. You earned it, I hope it brings you even more despair to try to figure all this out my sweet beloved friend’

Chapter Text

“Oh my gosh that’s so cute!!” Makoto’s eyes lit up as he spotted the giant plush in the crane machine as they passed the arcade.

“Hm? What is it?” Byakuya turned to eye the machine as Makoto led them into the arcade. Thier joined hands swinging between them as they walked.

“It’s a big Eevee!” Makoto grinned pressing his hand to the glass “look at his ahoge!!”

Byakuya laughed and Makoto grinned at the sound, he didn’t think he would ever get used to Byakuya so relaxed and open but he couldn’t possibly enjoy it more.

“It’s true, he has the same hair as you” Byakuya brushed his other hand affectionately over Makotos messy hair.

The giant plush indeed had an ahoge, The eevees embroidered face happy and adorable. Makoto loved the Pokemon and even more so that this one looked like his perfect partner!

“I want him!”

“Shall we get him for you?”

“Oh! I don’t know, I’m no good at these games”

“What do you mean? Game?”

“Yeah, this is an arcade” Makoto turned and looked at his boyfriend quizzically “have you never.. oh.. right”

Of course Byakuya had never been to an arcade. His upbringing had been extremely strict and disciplined to the point that Byakuya often didn’t understand the seemingly ordinary things he and his friends had grown up with. Byakuya had been fascinated by the school store and the gashapon machine when they first started school. Makoto had shown him how to work it and the heir pretended not to be interested it in but he couldn’t hide the fascination in his eyes as he put in coins to see what came out.

“Okay so here’s how it works!” Makoto decided to just get into the game and immerse Byakuya in the arcade. When they first made a tentative friendship Byakuya had tasked him with explaining ordinary things to him. Although now they were together and Byakuya no longer seemed to class him as ‘normal and boring’ Makoto still wanted to show him all the things that he didn’t know and help him understand the everyday fun people had.

“You put your money in here, then you use these buttons to operate the claws and position them. You want the claws to grab the plush, lift it up and drop it in the winning box there so you can get it out!”

“That seems simple enough” Byakuya nodded “so its almost low stakes gambling, but surely there must be a catch. That seems far too simple”

“Yeah that’s the thing” Makoto pointed to the next machine where someone’s attempt to grab a toy failed “the claws don’t always grab properly, they aren’t that strong to just lift it up and carry it all the way so you have to move it strategically”

“Interesting... well if it’s logic and strategy to win the toy then.. I’ll win it for you”

Byakuya fished into his coat pocket and pulled out some coins.

“Really you want to play?”

“Of course! You want a plush and what kind of boyfriend would I be If I didn’t get you one!”

Makoto giggled and squeezed Byakuya’s arm affectionately

“You’re really sweet”

“Tell me that when I win” Byakuya laughed smugly and put the first coins into the machine, the lights flashing and music beeping as it came to life. Byakuya frowned in concentration as the claws came down gripping the plushes head before letting go and it budged only slightly. Byakuya glared at it indignantly.

“I feel cheated, right now I get serious”

He grabbed the next coins and passed then to Makoto who looked at him in surprise

“why are you giving them to me?”

“Because you’re lucky of course!”

Makoto laughed again as he pressed a kiss to Byakuya’s cheek

“You’re so adorable babe”

“Shush!” Byakuya was blushing slightly “now put the coins in tiny boyfriend, I won’t be defeated!”

“Yes sir!”

Makoto pushed the coins in and watched as Byakuya concentrated, manoeuvring the claws so when they pushed outwards the plush budged closer to the win slot.

“Ahhh that’s your strategy! I like it”

“Hey boys!” A voice called and they looked up to see Hina, Sakura, Chihiro and Leon over the other side of the machines

“Hey” Makoto waved with a smile as they walked closer

“Oooh you’re going for an Eevee?” Chihiro smiled “it’s so cute!”

“Yeah Byakuya is trying to get me one!” Makoto leaned into his boyfriend who complained loudly

“You’re distracting me Mako!”

“Hehe sorry!”

The others gathered around as Byakuya painstakingly planned the trajectory of the claws pushing it again closer. Hina pulled out her phone and seemed to be angling it at them but Makoto paid her no mind and instead watched Byakuya as he put in the next coin Makoto had ‘made lucky’

“And now it’s mine!” Byakuya’s declared manoeuvred the claws to come down and grab the Eevee’s large head. Just as he planned the claws lifted and dropped the plush, bouncing it off the edge of the plastic column and dutifully it fell straight into the winners tray.

“YES!”
“Oh my god you did it!”
“That was awesome!”
“Nice work man!”

Makoto’s face was lit up with glee as Byakuya reached through the hatch and pulled out the big cuddly plush passing it into Makoto’s arms with a suddenly shy smile.

“Here you go angel, he’s yours”

Makoto took it and hugged it tightly as his eyes watered with happy tears

“Thank you so much! I love him! You’re the best boyfriend ever! you’re amazing!”

Byakuya looked bashful and made a small scoffing noise as he looked away

“It.. was nothing”

“Awhhh!” Hina cooed “that’s so sweet! Oh my gosh you guys get in closer, I need to commemorate this moment!”

Makoto grinned happily at the camera squeezing the plush as Hina clicked her tongue at Byakuya

“Come on! Smile! You just defeated a crane game in 4 goes to win an expensive prize for your boyfriend that’s awesome!”

“I.. suppose it is, isn’t it” Byakuya seemed to accept the praise, his smile returning as he smiled victorious at the camera, an arm latching around Maktoto’s waist to hug him.

“Awhh you guys are too damn cute!” She chuckled “I’ll send you the picture it’s adorable”

Makoto couldn’t stop smiling as Byakuya smiled back at him. His boyfriend was from a whole other world from him, but he damn well never stopped trying to make Maktoto smile and learn what mattered to him. He stood on his tiptoes to gently kiss Byakuya and whispered to him adoringly

“Thank you.. I love you so much”

....

Makoto’s eyes fluttered as he began to regain consciousness. The pain in his head the overwhelming feeling that made him groan. What the hell had happened to him?

As his eyes slowly adjusted he realised with a start that the room was empty.

Slowly reaching out he carefully touched his head with trepidation. The bump on the back of his head stung when touched and Makoto hissed in pain.

This wasn’t a figment of his imagination he had been attacked. Somehow.. someone had known he was here and had ambushed him, Kyoko must not have been able to keep Monokuma distracted enough.

For a moment he just lay there, trying to gather his energy despite the pounding of his head. The evidence was all gone, he could see that from here. The shelves stripped bare and the box wrangled from his unconscious hands. Tears formed once more, he had been so close to something and he had failed! He was so useless and managed to get himself hurt. He had promised Byakuya he would be okay and.. oh god Byakuya! What if he had woken up and found Makoto missing? Who knows how long he had been passed out now, someone had time to strip the room down so it could have been hours!

A shudder passed through him at the thought of some unknown person walking back and forth past his unconscious body as they carried away the precious evidence. He was lucky to be alive, they could have killed him here with no cameras to verify it and only 2 others who might know about this room... it would have been easy to frame...

Pushing that thought aside and fighting through the hurt he tried to get up, the floor was uncomfortable enough and something hard was digging into his ribs.

Slowly he pushed himself up, wincing as his head throbbed and span. Pulling himself up to his knees he grabbed the offending item that had been digging into his ribs and stared at it in shock and elation.

It was the cell phone.

The person who attacked him wouldn’t have seen it, it was in front of Makoto when he was packing up the box and they hit him from behind... when he fell he covered it with his body. They had made sure to remove everything but they hadn’t checked his body... which meant...

His hand flew to his pockets and with glee pulled out the Items he had stashed before. Jackpot! The ring he strongly suspected was Byakuya’s was safe along with a couple of the papers and photos.

Fist pumping in glee he checked the phone but it was dead. That’s something they could definitely resolve later, stuffed the phone in to join them and wobbling precariously managed to stand.

Now to get out of here and back to the dorms, it wasn’t going to be easy in this condition.. he wondered if anybody knew he had gone. Kyoko may not have checked on him after her run in with Monokuma in order to not raise suspicion... and if Byakuya was still asleep... his heart lurched at the thought. He had left the door unlocked to slip out... and who knows how long he had been in here. He had left Byakuya vulnerable in his sleep, if anything happened to him now...

With gritted teeth Makoto forced himself to walk, although his head throbbed with every single step. Carefully he climbed out of the storage closest. Only 2 floors to climb... then across to the dorms, he could do it.

The first flight of stairs made him dizzy and he had to stop and hold his head, crouched to the floor and whimpering like a sick puppy. It hurt so goddamn much! He was surprised he wasn’t bleeding with the size of the lump on his head. He really was lucky...

By the time he made it to the ground floor he was exhausted and his steps uncoordinated and clumsy. Byakuya wasn’t far from his reach now... Makoto rubbed his finger along his ring as though it would give him strength. He was so glad to have it, now it was on his hand he felt acutely like it had been missing all this time.

Resolute he stepped forward trying to ignore the dizziness, his vision slowly going blurry as he staggered. No.. just a little more... Byakuya was... Just out of reach.... he was so close... he could see him.. his eyes wide and scared and he was calling Makoto... Makoto I’m here...

“MAKOTO!” Byakuya’s voice was loud now as the very much real boy ran to him and caught his wavering frame before he collapsed “Makoto! I’m here! What happened to you??!”

“Byakuya....” Makoto smiled, trying to focus through blurry eyes “thank you... you saved me”

“You idiot” Byakuya sighed squeezing him close “I was so worried about you, what happened?”

“I have so much to tell you” now he was still and supported, the waves of nausea rescinded as his head slowly stopped throbbing “I got attacked... please get me to the bathhouse”

“Okay angel” Byakuya grimaced and Makoto felt terrible, Byakuya was weakened already from the attempted murder and then Mondo’s attack without having to carry him but.. they didn’t have much choice.

Despite this Byakuya carefully lifted Makoto up into a piggy back. He fastened his arms around Byakuya’s shoulders and made sure not to touch his slash would.

“Hold on tight, I’ll walk slowly”

“Thank you baby” Makoto buried his face into Byakuya’s shoulder, breathing in the scent of him and letting it comfort him. His blonde hair tickled his face and he nestled closer into the feeling. After everything he had seen... a huge wave of emotion rushed over him. He loved this boy more than anything, more than he could have even comprehended. He didn’t know how he was going to explain everything... how Byakuya would react. He only knew right now he wanted to cry from emotion, pain, stress and love. It was a heady mix that made him feel so weak and pitiful.

“Hold on angel... not much further”

“Thank you... I can hold out. Just please don’t hurt yourself more because of me”

Byakuya made an impatient noise

“I’m fine, you’ve been attacked I know what my priorities are!”

Makoto’s hands shifted to adjust his grip and suddenly Byakuya gave a sharp intake of breath and stopped walking.

“Makoto.. what is that on your finger?”

“Yeah... I have a hell of a lot to tell you” Makoto said quietly to his ear and Byakuya seemed frozen still for a moment just staring transfixed at his hand.

“Makoto..”

Then in the distance a sound rang out

“Huh?”

Both boys looked up in surprise, it was faint but.. undeniable

“What’s that noise?”

“Sounds like it’s coming from the gym”

“We should go and see what it is”

“But you’re injured, I need to get you back” Byakuya insisted

“We can’t just ignore it, after what I’ve seen tonight... we need to check”

Byakuya hesitated for a second before nodding.

“Okay, lets go”

Byakuya walked the bath to the gym, Makoto wincing at the faster pace but needing to know what was happening. As they approached the noise got louder and louder

 

*KRAK* *DGAH*

*GAGUNK* *BAGYAH* *CLICK*

“What on earth...” Byakuya frowned as they reached the entrance to the gym. The booming sounds and sharp clicks now thundering from the room.

Slowly without making a sound Byakuya reached out and slid the gym door open slightly so the two could look inside. And the sight...

They could hardly believe.

Before them raged a battle beyond anything humanly possible. No...one side's not human, that's for sure. But... Regardless, Makoto couldn't stop staring. forgetting to move, or even breathe...

In front of his his eyes Monokuma was locked in an intense physical fight..

With one of their classmates.

Chapter Text

“Why you...! What do you think you're doing?” Monokuma landed back to the ground and glared down his assailant.

Silence

“I asked you a question! What's the meaning of this? How dare you defy me...? This wasn't part of the deal!”

The deal...?

Makoto almost forgot how to breathe. His fingers tightening in his hold on Byakuya as he concentrated on keeping silent despite the pounding of his heart.

Byakuya had stiffened, eyes wide with shock as he watched the scene unfold. Makoto pressed his mouth to Byakuya’s shoulder to drown out any noise as he watched. His heart was beating so fast and loud he was shocked they weren’t overheard already.

“Well that’s the thing pooh bear! We were supposed to have a fair deal but you had to just keep pushing it and messed it all up! So I don’t really want to play along with you anymore!”

“You do realize what will happen if you go through with this, right? You haven't forgotten, have you? The world will know your secret?”

“Hah! Dont make me laugh! You already made sure my secret came out! And unless I’m the only one left standing at the end did this then it’s not like it’s gonna stay a secret forever, but whatever I don’t really care anymore anyway! I can finally be myself ahahahahah!”

Makoto looked to Byakuya with scared eyes, could this really be true? There had been a spy all along... a traitor in their midsts?

Byakuya looked back at him and nodded, a conversation without words. After all of this time.. the masterminds spy was...

“You’re playing a veeeeery dangerous game”

“Oh well! I don’t care ahahahahah! I was fine being your little spy at the start. Keeping my secret was the most important thing and honestly Byakuya is sooooo hot I would have happily pinned him to the wall to get your little game started! But then you had to go and threaten to out us to everyone! Gloomy panicked so bad she almost skewered Makyutie! Now what’s the point in working with ya if you outed me anyway!”

Makoto bit gently at the white fabric of Byakuya’s shirt to stop himself screaming. This couldn’t be true, he had hit his head too hard there’s just no way... this game had really been rigged against them from the start they had never stood a chance.

“And on top of that! Just when I thought it wouldn’t be so bad to be out there as a killer people started trying to murder my beloved white knight!”

Jill pointed her scissors at Monokuma threateningly as she hissed “Just when I thought he couldn’t possibly get any better he started living out my boy on boy fantasies! He’s my dream man and killing him would bring me nowhere near as much enjoyment now! So I’m not going to let you or anyone else hurt him ya hear? Your deal ended up being lousy for me on all sides!”

“So you’re really going to turn against me? Interesting veryyyy interesting. And what if I decide to tell all your little classmates that you’ve been a traitor all along?”

“I won’t give you the chance! I’ll slash you into smithereens! I’m not helping you any more you hear me? I’m going to take you down and pin you to the wall harder than any of my previous beautiful little conquests ahahahahah!!”

Scissors poised she leapt at Monokuma who lunged back and the clash of claw and scissor once more rang through the air.

Byakuya stepped backwards slowly, the raging battle disgusing any small sounds that the pair made as the retreated from the gym and let the doors softly close.

Quickly Byakuya made haste towards the bath house, Makoto knew his fast pace must be hurting him but he showed no signs of hesitation as he strode to safety.

“Dont speak” Byakuya said quietly and Makoto bit his lip holding back everything he wanted to say. Byakuya was right, the mastermind could easily check the footage and see what they saw in the gym, he didn’t need to give them any more ammunition in the form of their thoughts on it.

Finally they reached the sanctity of the bath house changing room and Byakuya sat Makoto down carefully on a bench

“Are you okay?”

“Forget me what about you?”
”I’m fine you’ve been attacked Makoto, perspective please!”

Despite his heavy breaths Byakuya checked Makoto’s head with gentle fingers

“Its swollen but the skin didn’t break fortunately, no bleeding but I need to put a cold compress on it”

“No! Dont’t leave!” Makoto grabbed his hand, terror overtaking his mind “Please, we don’t know what will happen!”

“Now Is the best time, the mastermind is distracted! I’ll be fast”
Without giving him time to answer Byakuya raced from the room and Makoto’s strangled cry of fear was swallowed by the empty room. Anxiety pooled in the pit of his stomach growing stronger with each passing second. Byakuya alone in this terrible place was more than he could bear. Especially after what they had just seen, Jill was the masterminds mole. Byakuya had been right when he initially insisted that there was a traitor in their midsts, Jills plan had been to kill Byakuya If the murders didn’t begin. If Sayaka hadn’t tried to frame him for murder then Byakuya could be dead and buried by now.. or wherever the mastermind put the corpses it didn’t even bear thinking about.

His morbid thoughts were interrupted gladly by Byakuya’s return.

“Thank goodness”

“I told you I would be fine” Byakuya took a seat at his side and gently pressed the retrieved compress to the lump on his head “this should help with the swelling, now take these”

His other hand contained a bottle of water and some painkillers which Makoto took gratefully sighing at the welcome relief of the compress and water. Who knows how long he had been lying in that dusty abandoned room and his mouth felt like sandpaper.

“you’re so clammy” Byakuya stroked the sticky hair from his forehead and Makoto wanted to weep, he could have died on that floor and his whole body hurt but Byakuya was here.. they were safe... for now.

“Thank you, I love you you know?”

“Mako...” Byakuya wrapped his other arm around Makoto’s waist and pulled him in for a hug “I know you do, I love you too. I’m so relieved that you’re alright, I was so worried”

“I’m sorry I scared you, you were right.. It wasn’t safe”

“What happened in there angel?”

“Wait! First.. we gotta talk about what we just saw!”

“That Jill is the traitor? I guessed there was one amongst us...”

“She would have killed you!”

“And Toko already tried to kill me, this isn’t the most shocking of revelations to me. She’s our enemy just as she always was”

“I’m not so sure about that” Makoto grimaced “she told Monokuma she didn’t intend to play along any more”

“Whatever her reasoning may be isn’t my most pressing concern, we can deal with her tomorrow but right now I need to know what happened to you in that room”

“Right...” Makoto took a deep breath “I suppose your right. Do we talk to her about it first or.. do we tell people that we know?”

“Hmmm... I’m not sure how to broach this as there’s a chance Toko doesn’t even know Jill is the traitor. Perhaps we have to orchestrate her coming out so we can question her. Now, tell me what happened”

“Okay... what I’m about to tell you is going to sound crazy but.. the mastermind thought me finding it was worth attacking me for”

“You’re sure it was the mastermind who attacked you?”

“It had to be! Who else could it have possibly been?”

“Kyoko” Byakuya stated bluntly “She insisted you had to be the one to go, that she would distract Monokuma and yet you ended up attacked. So if she wasn’t dealing with Monokuma what was she doing?”

“N-No she wouldn’t!”
“Makoto this naïveté is going to get you killed” Byakuya growled “I’m not one to throw around baseless accusations like she did to me in that trial but... either the mastermind attacked you or she did. And if she had been playing her part correctly how would the mastermind even know you were there?”

“I... She probably couldn’t keep him distracted long enough!”

“I intend to find out the answers to my questions tomorrow and her answers better be satisfactory” Byakuya said darkly and Makoto felt a shiver run down his spine. He couldn’t believe Kyoko would set him up to fail like that, there was another reason too..

“I dont think it was her based on what I found in the room”

“Tell me what you found Makoto”

Makoto turned to meet his eyes now as he took a deep breath.

“I found proof that.. there’s more to this... to us. Just like we suspected. We know each other Byakuya”

“What.. do you mean?”

“The secret room was filled with dusty old files and mostly rubbish but there were a boxes, all of them marked with our surnames”

“W-what? What was inside them?”

“That’s where it gets interesting” Makoto sighed, wincing at the pain in his head and Byakuya stroked his forehead soothingly, worry all over his face “There were 14 boxes and each of them contained personal possessions, more than that.. the boxes said they came from our bedrooms”

“Only 14? And bedrooms?”

“That’s right. I opened Hina’s it was on top... it contained stuff.. from her life just ordinary things. Trinkets, sentimental items... birthday cards.. from our classmates”

“What!?”

“Yeah.. one from Kyoko... Sakura.. there was a swimming medal but the date was next years date”

“This... makes no sense!”

“It looked like someone had cleared out her bedroom and taken away anything incriminating. Like someone sanitised our rooms before we arrived”

“And yet our rooms were already decorated to our tastes before we got here. My room already contained my art, music, my glasses and clothes...”

“Exactly, we didn’t bring our things here yet our rooms were already full of them”

“Except your room, you don’t really have much in your bedroom at all”

“That makes sense now” Makoto nodded” My real personality was never in that room”

“What are you saying Makoto?”

“There were 14 boxes.. 14 emptied bedrooms and the biggest box of them all... said Togami & Naegi on it”

“Wait... what.. we...”

“We shared a room Byakuya, we shared everything! Our whole life together was in that box! Its why my own room is so plain its why we found my T-shirt hidden in your draws!”

“Someone cleared your existence from my room but they couldn’t get everything...” Byakuyas voice trailed off, horror on his face

“Yes exactly! I don’t know what happened to us Byakuya but I knew that this couldn’t be right. The way we are together! its just... this isn’t the first time we’ve met Byakuya I just know it!”

“This is.. beyond belief!”

“But its true! While I was looking through our box I got attacked and when I woke up the whole room was empty! I don’t know how long I was laying there but they emptied everything, there wasn’t even a file left. There’s no way Kyoko did this, the mastermind realised I found the room and made all the evidence disappear”

“The evidence” Byakuya’s eyes widened “without proof..” He glared at the floor as he pushed his glasses up deep in thought “this is going to be hard to unravel”

“I have proof!” Makoto dug into his pocket immediately “It’s not as much as I wanted to bring back but.. the mastermind took what was in my hands but didn’t check my jacket. I guess without cameras to watch me in there they didn’t know that I’d already taken things”

Relief flashed upon Byakuya’s face as Makoto handed him the photograph of them on the bed smiling up at the camera. His finger brushed gently over Makotos smiling face but he shook his head

“It’s... not enough proof.. we’ve seen photographs already with no proof of validity”

“That’s true... the box had hundreds of photographs in it but... these are a bit harder to forge”

He passed him the handwritten letters then, his lovely face morphing into shock, fear and then... finally unbridled emotion

“This... this is my writing its... how I talk... but this... cant be real it cant!” He shook his head in disbelief before his eyes widened and he snatched Makoto’s left hand within his own.

“I saw this when.. I picked you up. Makoto... the ring”

“It was In the box. Alongside your letter, you bought this for me Byakuya just as you suspected you had. When you were out cold after the trial you remembered didn’t you?”

“That’s what these pains have been” Byakuya said quietly as the realisation dawned on him “It wasn’t just dreams... is it really possible that I’ve been remembering.. our life? Our past?”

“I believe so.. it’s how you remembered the ring... how I knew your apartment.. Its all linked I see it now”

“The mastermind has been feeding us clues? But... nobody else seems suspicious”

“Hina remembered right at the end” Makotos voice choked with emotion as he remembered his friends dying words to him “she said she remembered it all, how we were all friends... everything. She said we would be happy together just like we were. I think in her dying moments she remembered it all”

“I cant believe this! there’s just no scientific way someone just... brainwashed us all to forget chunks of our life! If can’t be done!”

“I’m not so sure about that, I wouldn’t believe but... the reality is stranger right now. Someone is manipulating us, We had a life together Byakuya... its why I love you so much so fast”

Byakuya bit his lip, his eyes were so uncertain and yet.. he squeezed Makoto’s hand gently and sighed softly

“It’s hard to believe Makoto.. Even with this proof...”

“Byakuya look”

Fishing into his pocket he pulled out the piece of evidence he was sure would convince him. In his palm was the other ring, Byakuya’s ring.

The other boys eyes widened as he took the band of metal from Makoto’s hand eyeing it warily. Slowly he brought it to his ring finger and with a face of apprehension he slipped it onto his finger where it sat perfectly.

And then something Makoto didn’t expect happened, Byakuya looked right at him with wide childlike eyes... and then he sobbed.

Chapter Text

“Byakuya!”

His boyfriend hung his head, face hidden by his hair and his hands as soft sobs met Makoto’s ears. He tried to reach out and move his hands but Byakuya held firm.

“Byakuya please! Look at me” he pleaded.

Byakuya didn’t respond, only the quiet sounds of dignified crying audible.

“I know this is a lot but please... don’t block me out”

His words finally seemed to resister as Byakuya slowly moved his hands, wiping at his face and finally looking Makoto in the eyes. He looked dignified even in his sorrow, only small tear stains on his cheeks evidence of his heartache. Makoto took his hands firmly squeezing them reassuringly.

“Makoto if this is true... if we really lost our memory and I have loved you for years.. then I have to confront the fact that I spent time in this game actively wishing you dead and plotting your demise” Byakuya’s voice was hollow, shame evident on his face “I hurt you, planned ways to break you and ultimately watch you die.. by my hand if needed. The only person I ever loved i wanted dead”

His words hung heavy on the air and Makoto barely knew how to respond. It was all true, Byakuya had hurt him, tried to push him away and maybe yes planned his death.

“That maybe true... however.. you also saved my life. You stopped Toko from attacking me, you kept me safe. Even if you didn’t understand why... you didn’t act upon your initial instincts. You changed everything and protected me even if you didn’t know why you wanted to. Your love for me was still there deep down and it ended up shining through”

“But also, if I have to accept that... I also have to accept that everything is true, the head pains the dreams... it’s all our past! All those dreams were *real* and I somehow forgot all of them!”

“That’s also true but we can’t avert our eyes from the truth! If we have lost our memories.. and we’ve been dreaming them then we need to piece them together and find out as much as we can”

Gently he leaned to cup his boyfriends face in his hands. Byakuya looked so devastated, emotion all over his usually stoic face and Makoto stroked his cheeks gently with careful thumbs.

“Byakuya I know this is hard, I know you’re hurting but it’s okay! I understand and none of this is your fault alright? You didn’t do anything wrong. You’ve taken care of me, loved me.. despite everything that’s happened we still have each other”

“I love you” Byakuya’s voice was small “I’m sorry, for everything. For hurting you... for forgetting you”

“Oh Kuya..” Makoto wrapped his arms carefully around his love and snuggled in close. Byakuya’s arms locking around him and making him feel safe and secure. His hurt head resting on Byakuya’s hurt chest and they had both suffered so much already, it wasn’t fair! What had they done to deserve this? To have their lives shattered like this. All those memories of a healthy relationship and a happy life, they were taken from them for what purpose? Why were they here??? It was enough to drive him mad but he was going to get through it with the help of Byakuya. He was more certain than ever now, he loved Byakuya.

“I love you too okay? Never doubt that. I’m sorry I forgot you too, I’m sorry for everything that’s happened to us but I promise you together we will get to the bottom of this and find out what’s been done to us and why”

“That’s right, someone did this to us and we need to find out quickly and escape here. They will pay for this” Byakuya growled and Makoto nuzzled into his neck

“We have to stick together now, no matter what”

“Agreed. No more midnight missions alone I don’t care what Kyoko says”

“Agreed”

Byakuya sighed then and tilted his head down to look Makoto in the eyes

“Can you ever forgive me?”

“There’s nothing to forgive” Makoto’s fingers brushed his cheek “You remembered me.. in some way even if it wasn’t obvious. You’ve taken care of me and loved me. You’ve saved my life, I have no doubt of your feelings for me and that’s what matters now”

Byakuya sighed chewing his lip as his eyes darted the room

“I’m not very good at this, I can never adequately convey how I feel”

“You’re better than you think you are” Makoto smiled pulling him back in close and for a while they just sat there in the bath house changing room holding each other in a tight embrace. Hugging each other and taking a moment to convey their feelings for each other. The need to protect the other and keep them safe from harm, so much had already befallen them they couldn’t risk anything more.

Eventually with reluctance they pulled apart after a small kiss and stroke of a cheek.

“Okay we need to piece together what we can of these dreams”

“That’s a good place to start, it seems like portions of our memories has resurfaced in our subconscious”

“I wonder if it’s happened to anyone else or just us” Makoto frowned “it seems Hina remembered right at the end...”

“Severe emotional response seems to have triggered the memories. For Hina it was her.. attack” Byakuya worded it carefully “and for us our relationship seemed to stir our memory the more we reconnected the stronger the memories got”

“That makes sense.. like muscle memory. You never really forget and as soon as you get back on the bike you remember how to ride it. Not.. that I’m calling you a bike of course!” Makoto flustered at the implication but Byakuya just chuckled, the sound filled Makoto with relief that after this terrible evening something pure like laughter could still exist.

“See I knew it didn’t make sense. This, us, me. I don’t ‘do’ affection, I was taught never to love, never to feel. I didn’t even have any friends, I had never shared a modicum of sentimentality with another living soul. In my world ties to others hurt you, emotion Is a weakness. I would have never allowed myself to give into such base instincts and yet.. within mere weeks of being here I was with you in the library like some kind of senseless animal! I didn’t know why I really did it, why I wanted to. I was just.. bored and I thought I’d taunt you and make you sweat a little for getting on my nerves... and then as I was stood there and you were looking at me with those big nervous doe eyes.. all I could think about was how cute you were. How much I wanted to touch you, so I did. And you responded so I did more, and more and more until we... well you know what happened, you were there”

Byakuya trailed off, his long train of thoughts seeming to overwhelm him as he fell silent. Makoto let his words sink in, he was right, from what he had known of Byakuya, what he had come to know. What happened that day in the library was almost impossible. It wasn’t in line with his nature, his personality. At the time it seemed like that must be the kind of person he was, but now Makoto knew better. Byakuya would never do something like that, and from everything he knew about himself.. he wouldn’t either.

“Honestly I never understood why I.. wanted to go along with it either. Why it was so compelling and why I wanted to kiss you so much it hurt. It all felt right, familiar and exhilarating, like I’d been missing it and finally had it back and you made me feel like... like I had come home in some way. Now I know for sure, we were drawn back to each other because we missed each other. We knew on some level that we were meant to be together and once that initial contact was made our bodies remembered and we needed each other”

“Exactly, our minds had shut off yet as soon as we engaged in something together it was.. addictive. Like our bodies moved on instinct because they remembered, craved the affection they had missed”

“I suppose at least our first time together wasn’t actually on a library desk with Toko outside” Makoto tried to joke feebly but to his surprise Byakuya actually smiled and quickly kissed his forehead

“No it wasn’t. I remember it.. it was special”

“Oh..” Makoto felt a shiver pass through him “that’s really good to know, will you tell me about it.. later?”

“Of course, there’s many memories we need to go through”

“In a way I’m relieved that.. if we were already together before that our story was a nice romantic one. Not... all this” he gestured around them feeling tears prick his eyes “not just thrown together in fear and death... murder..” he shook his head furiously trying to will the tears away “we were real... honest and happy.. that’s our story..”

“We were Mako, from what I remember it was the purest and most loving relationship” Byakuya rested his forehead against Makoto’s own and held his hands tightly “we were so happy”

“I don’t want it to end here... not like this” Makoto’s voice was cracking with hysteria as he tried and failed to reign in his emotions “I don’t want to die here Byakuya... I can’t let this be our ending”

“It won’t be Makoto I promise!” Byakuya said fiercely “no matter what it takes angel you are getting out of here! I swear it on the name of my family! I will protect you no matter what, I swear that to you”

Byakuya held him tight making little soothing noises as the hysteria in Makoto slowly wound down and retreated to the pit of his stomach.

“This all makes sense now” Makoto spoke softly as he composed himself “looking back, That’s why it was so easy and familiar to kiss you and touch you. I remember feeling like I had kissed you a million times before it was so natural”

“And not awkward like first kisses would be..”

“It wasn’t our first kiss which means.. we’ve forgotten when it really was” Makoto concluded sadly

“More than that, meeting, dating.. falling in love.. our first kiss. It’s all gone. We don’t know when any of it happened”

“That’s really awful” Makoto could feel his eyes watering again and blinked it away furiously. He was far too tired, hurt and emotional he couldn’t break down now after just reigning it in, or he wouldn’t stop crying. “All of that time just.. robbed”

“We’re going to get it back, we will figure this out eventually” Byakuyas voice was full of determination “I remember some aspects so we can try and piece together a timeline of what we can tell”

“Yeah, maybe between us we can find a clue” Makoto nodded spinning the ring on his finger absentmindedly, Byakuya watching him and then focusing on his own ring running a finger over the smooth metal

“I have to say I wouldn’t have believed this.. I would have still thought it was a trick of the masterminds but... this. After dreaming of getting yours and... I didn’t know it was missing until I had it back. I feel.. complete”

“I agree” Makoto nodded “It feels right, the previous photos are the masterminds way of messing with us, But then we actually started to remember it. Now I’ve seen the secret notes and the photos and everything else. I know it’s real. We used to wear these, we bought them for each other”

“I bought this for you because I loved you so much I wanted to show you that I was serious. That it was a promise we would stay together after school and defy the odds. I remember those feelings in my dream so clearly.. now seeing it in person and knowing you got me one in return...”

“We really were serious about each other.. I mean we’re serious about each other now so it shouldn’t be surprising but somehow it still makes an impact”

“It’s like seeing an old home video, you know it’s you in the video but you don’t remember it. It was too long ago”

“Exactly, I know in my heart that we had a life together but it still feels so far removed from the us that are sat here right now” Makoto nodded

“And for me.. this means so much more” Byakuya picked up the note he had written with his own hand “this note here tells me what lengths I was prepared to go. Togami’s are not supposed to date or marry, we are taught not to be monogamous and commitment is our downfall. It would be the height of stupidity to admit to my family and the word that I was in love, with a boy no less and yet.. I did” he set the note down carefully and softly brushed his fingertips across Makoto’s ring once more “I bought you this, not just to show you that I loved you but to show the world. You were my partner, the person I chose and my intentions were to stay with you and eventually marry you... that would have gotten me into some hot water no doubt and yet you were worth it. That alone tells me - even without my own current knowledge and feelings involved, that you were important than myself, my family, my title.. you were what I was living for now. You were the most important and precious person in my entire existence”

Makoto felt himself welling up again this time from affection and feeling humbled by Byakuya’s words of love. Byakuya professed to be bad with his emotions but this right here was the most cohesive and fluent he had ever heard him.

“I love you Makoto” Byakuya said to him with strength and certainty in his voice now squeezing his hand gently “if I ever had any doubts at all consider them gone. You are mine, as I am yours, and we are absolutely going to get out of here and take the world just like we promised”

“Yes.. we will.. I promise you too. I love you so much and I won’t rest until we find out what happened to us! Why we are here and why our lives have been destroyed like this. We will take our lives back”

“We will”

Forehead to forehead they closed their eyes to push back tears and squeezed each other’s hands tightly. Taking a moment in time for two weary souls that needed a break, needed some love and a breather to compose themselves. In Byakuya’s grasp Makoto felt strong for the first time in a long time, despite everything they had been put through, although the pain in his head still stabbed. They were not broken, not defeated. They were going to fight now, pit themselves against the mastermind to reclaim what was theirs. He had a focus now, determination and a fire in his belly. He was not broken and he never would be, he would never stop trying to reach the truth.

When he opened his eyes unfaltering blues met his in a steady, determined gaze.

“So, shall we begin?”

“Lets, it’s time to see how much we remember”