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Achluophobia

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Nana is not afraid of night time.

Actually, it would be a little — and just a little — inconvenient, if she was afraid of the dark. It’s more efficient for murders, as morbid as it is, but morbidity has never been an issue for her. It’s common sense; she can hide in the dark, almost no one comes out, it’s seemingly innocuous to meet her, the class leader.

Nana’s only here to eliminate the Enemies of Humanity, and there’s no denying that she’s successful. A large portion of the class is chipped away, most by her own wit.

So, when Michiru, a visibly established Enemy of Humanity, dies, why does she care?

It’s convenient. Michiru would’ve died anyway, and Nana wouldn’t need to be involved.

And Michiru is stupid, to put it bluntly. She believes Nana, even when Nana lies through her teeth, even with presented with a photograph of her murdering Nanao taken by a prophet. Michiru believes her when she’s convinced that Michiru would betray her. Michiru tries to heal everyone she can, even the girls that bullied her (who Nana killed for completely unrelated reasons, of course).

Michiru’s also stupid enough to heal Nana when she’s dying from stab wounds all over her torso.

 

Nana’s not exactly scared of nighttime, even when she hugs Michiru’s corpse — which is still blazing hot — until the morning. She only cries until her eyes turn swollen because of how another Enemy of Humanity saved 140 thousand potential lives, instead of her.

 

Nana gets a rare break, only for one night, when Moe isn’t chasing her around and being fucking annoying. Moe isn’t easily tired out, but when Nana slams a door in her face, she quickly learns to back away.

But being alone only reminds Nana of Michiru and how she glowed when she was crying and healing and how there was a body bag and how Tsuruoka promised her that if she did her job properly—

Nana’s not exactly thinking when she throws open her window, grabs a flashlight, and climbs out of her room. It’s a new moon so the only light comes out from the dorms, filtered by curtains. When she clicks her flashlight on, it’s barely enough to see the line of trees, and nothing beyond them. The sound of wind overpowers any familiar noises Nana was accustomed to, like the chirping of birds, or the familiar chatter of her classmates around her.

Her arms shake and the back of her neck turns clammy from sweat. It’s unfamiliar territory, even though she’d tracked down talent users in complete darkness with zero hesitation. Nana’s heart pounds at every slight rustle of leaves.

 

The boy’s dorm is a good distance away, but Nana is a good sprinter. She runs to it like she’s running for her life, and instinctively avoids the forest. (But what use is running against an invisible soul?) She arrives in record time, and doesn’t waste any catching her breath outside. Nana enters it without a second thought.

When she reaches Kyouya’s dorm, she knocks politely enough to not be annoying, but aggressive enough so he would definitely hear. He opens the door after seven knocks, and his eyes widen when he sees her.

“May I come in?” Nana asks.

Kyouya’s not even in pajamas; he’s still wearing his school uniform with his tie on, and he doesn’t seem to show any signs of fatigue despite it being almost two in the morning. He narrows his eyes. With a sigh, he nods. “Of course, my dear. Why so late at night?” There’s a clear edge of suspicion to his tone, as any self respecting, non-immortal would.

“I wanted to talk,” Nana answers, sitting down amidst the pile of clothing Kyouya has scattered around the floor. She doesn’t bother enough to sweep it to another corner, and only then does she realize she’s unarmed.

It’s funny. The only person Nana is closest to, alive, is the one with the power to expose her completely, if she hadn’t been more meticulous.

After a moment’s hesitation, Kyouya asks, “About Michiru?” He sits down at his desk, and swivels in his chair to face her.

Nana swallows. “Yes.”

Another pause. “I know how much she means to you. I didn’t find Tsurumigawa fast enough,” Kyouya starts to fiddle with his uniform, “I’m sorry. If I was a little bit quicker, all of this would’ve been avoided, and Michiru wouldn’t have…”

“Don’t say that,” Nana’s tone is solemn, “I didn’t save her. I couldn’t save her. I couldn’t save her from a stupid ghost, and then she died saving me. She should’ve just let me rot.”

“This is the only time we’ve talked about anything other than the Enemies of Humanity, my dear.”

Nana clasps her hands together to keep them from shaking. “And this is the most considerate you’ve been, Kyouya.”

“I might not know what swag means, but I’ve experienced grief,” Kyouya comments casually.

“Your sister?” Nana asks.

“Still missing. I must’ve searched this entire island, but there’s nothing. She’s either gone for good, or I’m not looking hard enough.” Kyouya’s face hardens in determination. “I won’t stop until I’ve dug up all the dirt on this damn place.”

Nana distinctly remembers a zombie with pigtails like hers, but she keeps her mouth silent. It’s burnt to a crisp now, when her sole priority was to hide all the evidence. It’s a coincidence. It’s just a coincidence. She purses her lips. “Good luck.”

“Thank you.”

Nana doesn’t reply, and Kyouya doesn’t attempt to continue the conversation. She glances away, and takes in the sloppiness of Kyouya’s room: the incalculable books lining the shelves, ranging from things as mundane as cookbooks to neuroscience textbooks. He’s probably infinitely as knowledgeable as Nana is.

“Don’t be afraid anymore. Tsurumigawa is dead.”

“I’m not afraid,” Nana deflects. “I know he’s dead. We all went to his funeral.”

“Your hair is messed up, probably from running here. You’re holding a flashlight and it’s still on,” Kyouya deduces.

“I didn’t want to get caught.”

“By who?”

Nana scowls.

There’s still hope, there’s still Tsuruoka’s promise. Nana had to successfully eliminate all the others to get Michiru back. But the aspect of killing Kyouya fills her with a sense of regret she had continuously denied, and not because he was immortal.

“Most of the time, when Michiru came to talk to me, it was about you.” Nana whips around to glower at him, but Kyouya only stares back and continues. “To help you, like with your parents. Other times it was to help other people.”

“You don’t have to pretend you weren’t crying, my dear,” Kyouya finishes.

Nana’s eyes start to water, and she wipes it away roughly. “I wasn’t,” she lies through gritted teeth, hugging her knees and hiding her face. It’s a waste to pretend she isn’t sobbing; it’s not like Kyouya won’t notice anyway.

She feels Kyouya sit beside her — maybe an elbow length away — and after a moment’s hesitation, he lightly pats her shoulder. “You really remind me of my sister,” he comments, almost silently.

“I loved her,” Nana hiccups. When she inhales, it feels like she’s swallowing shards of glass. “Even though I shouldn’t have.”

“Nothing wrong with that,” Kyouya reassures. “Why would it be wrong in the first place? It’s okay if you like girls.”

“It’s not for that reason,” Nana rasps. It’s futile, but Nana desperately wipes away inexhaustible tears.

If Kyouya was suspicious, he doesn’t press on. For the first time, his presence doesn’t seem like a threat.