Touko couldn't see properly. She felt arms holding her; careful ones, that were protecting her from something.
"IT'S A LIE, IT WAS HIS PLAN!"
Oh, from the shouts. From Celestia and Hifumi, who just tried to kill her. Kiyotaka made her escape.
He saved her? Why?
"Let's ask her, she's awake."
That was Byakuya, her friend. Her voice came from over her head, and the comfy arms separated a little just so the writer could see her teal eyes.
"We need you to aclare something. Can you stand up?" The blonde asked, reciving a simple nod as response.
Touko still had a headache, and she couldn't see well, but her help was needed, so she nodded.
"Celestia pinned you, while Hifumi grabbed a hammer. Then, Kiyotaka came to help. What happened next?" Makoto asked, serious.
Touko simply looked at him, at everyone. They were expecting her to talk? She never did that around strangers.
"Aw, come on, your other you talked a lot! We won't get angry, I promise!"
O t h e r y o u ?
They know they know they know they know they know--
"It's alright, gal! You can't control her, nothing of what she did was your fault. I had a vision of ya having a lot of blooody scissors, so I kinda expected it!" Hagakure said, smiling, not worrying much about the secret. The heiress kept quiet for some seconds more, and Byakuya holded her hands with an strange softness; the writer started to trust the strangers, so it was okay to talk. For now.
"... L-Ludenberg ran to me, and... Yamada stayed with Kiyotaka. He killed him."
Touko noticed that Yamada was missing, and that the gothic girl was alone now.
"But... s-she was the one that invited me to the recreation room."
Based in Celestia's tension, they didn't knew about the note that she had in her pockets.
The gothic girl panicked, showing her metal claw as if defending herself, but not moving a muscle.
"She'll probably try to kill someone again..."
"Probably? It's obvious!"
The strangers whispered to each other, with surprise and disbelief, and Celestia's eyes were wide. The girl sighed softly, calming herself, and left the room in silence. Byakuya was still holding Touko's hands, even after her almost-murderer was gone. The blonde had a little smile in her face, revealing the happy feelings she normally hides.
'What did Syo do?'. Touko wondered, not in the mood of asking. Maybe Byakuya was happy that she discovered a famous murderer... or that she found a way to annoy her. The brunette knew that it was only a matter of time to be betrayed. She blamed herself, knowing that it would have been better if she just kept the author in her work life.
"You shouldn't be alone now. Celestia will try something", Byakuya said, scratching the back of her head. Her tone was soft, caring; Touko recovered her trust on her friend just by hearing her voice. They left the trial room, and the blonde was close to her in the elevator. Her lips were shaking, an almost imperceptible gesture, as if she wanted to say something but wasn't sure of it.
"Can... are you up to go to the library?", Byakuya whispered, her gaze dodging the heiress' one, "I have to tell you something. It's not really important, but..."
Touko nodded, and they kept quiet while the elevator went to its destination. Makoto looked at them and smiled softly.
The blonde wasn't looking at her. Disarming her-- his-- ponytail, he sat in one of the chairs of the library.
"You were nervous before", Touko whispered calmly, looking at her friend's eyes. "Is something wrong?"
"I... I have something to tell you. Syo, uh, she made me realize something...". The author scratched his cheek, and a soft blush appeared in his face. "...About you. It's something... good, I think. I don't know?"
The brunette simply stared at him, playing with her fingers. Maybe she was right, and he hated her now.
"I-I...", he let out a soft sigh, to calm himself. "... I think I like you more? I mean... she kissed me in my cheek, and I'm so confused right now..."
"She- I, uh... a-ah?!"
Touko blushed deeply, closing her eyes. Was it real? Or was it a dream? Surely a love declaration wasn't this awkward...
"I wrote the poem for you, and I tought you didn't felt the same... you two share feelings, not memories, right?". Byakuya hugged her, putting his head over hers. His skin was warm and soft. "Then you... d-do you... like me?" he asked, his voice becoming lower in the last words.
Touko hugged Byakuya back, with no words coming from her mouth. How was she supposed to answer his confession, if her own feelings were unclear?
His hands stroked her hair in a dubious way, and she simply sighed. She wasn't sure what to say now and, even if she had some idea, her voice would be too soft for him to hear. She was confused.
"I understand if you don't like me, Touko. It's okay", the blonde whispered, his heartbeats becoming faster. "I just wanted to make sure you knew. I don't really care if I'm... friendzoned, or something."
Her eyes were wet.
She could be happy with him, as friend or as lovers, but her stupid heart didn't let her decide. The heiress still tought that he loved Kirigiri, even when his warm hands petted her hair with softness. Even if he always hugged her first, without she even asking. Touko kept quiet, her sobs being the only sound of the small library. When Byakuya started to pet her back, she relaxed, but didn't break the hold. What if he got annoyed and left her alone? It would be her fault.
"I d-don't know, either...", she whispered in his chest, trying to clean his elegant shirt; her tears were too messy, ruining everything they touched. "But, u-uh...". Touko closed her eyes again, sighing. She felt tired now; not sleeping for almost an entire night was starting to affect her. "I think I l-like you too..."
The heiress wasn't brave enough to look at him, and Byakuya put his hands in her cheeks. Touko yawned, and he made her look at him. He was smiling. Because of her.
"It's late. We can discuss this tomorrow, okay?", the writer said, quietly, breaking the hug. They left the library soon.
"I told you; you can't be alone while Ludenberg is around."
Byakuya was in her room, arms crossed. He wasn't going to leave.
"I do not think this is necessary, but you can stay", she answered, sitting in her bed. He sat with her, without adding anything.
Touko started to search her night clothes (she left them under her pillow), and the blonde closed her eyes while she changed. They knew each other for about five years, so it wasn't a problem. After all, he never tried anything weird, and they were born with the same sex.
"Move, I want to sleep", she whispered, and Byakuya did so.
Both had soft blankets over them, the brunette looking at the ceiling while her friend put their glasses in the night stand, near a fluffy cinnamon bunny she bought in the Monokuma's machine. He hugged her again, his warmth way better than the blankets' one, and Touko smiled, hugging back.
"Good night, Touko."
"Good night...", the heiress yawned again, and closed her eyes.
She blushed, deeply, when Byakuya kissed her forehead. Her tired body won, and she fell asleep without answering him. The blonde didn't mind. He was happy that she liked him, or was still trying to figure out that, but he really didn't knew what to do next. So he simply slept at her side, enjoying her company and warmth.