A/N: ...You guys are so easy to fool XD
"I... I can't do it..." Junko watched satisfied as Naegi finally collapsed to her knees and arms, the tears trickling down her face as she cried. "I...I can't..."
"Can't what now? Please speak up, Ms. Naegi." Junko requested, knowing full well what she was referring to behind her glasses.
"Th-This, all of this! I can't...tch.." She choked back on her own tears as she tried to speak. "I can't do this... I can't vote their lives away... It'd be no different than killing them..." Looking through the shifty gaze, past the watery tears, she saw the button. The one that could keep her friends safe in exchange for her own life, and the one that could vote against the Puppet Master, which in turn they would be forced to leave this place forever.
"Of course you can Naegi, just hit that one little switch with your name on it, and I proooooomise everyone will be so much more thankful for it. " She didn't know if her words were reaching the little luckster, but she didn't care. She just sat back and enjoyed the show.
Watching, seeing Naegi's hand twitch as she gazed at the buttons unwavering.
"I...I'm sorry guys..." Naegi wept. "I just... I don't want you guys to suffer..." It was like dinner and a show for Junko, her heart pounding with ecstasy. This was it. This is what she wanted to see. Watching Naegi slowly reach over her hand towards the buzzer, ready to make her decision.
"I'm sorry..." Naegi cried once more. "I can't..."
"Can't what, Naegi?"
"!" Naegi's eyes shot open at the sound of a familiar voice. It couldn't be possible, it wasn't possible!
But there she was. Fujisaki, With the same calming, peaceful smile on her face as always.
"Fu...Fuji-" Naegi began to mutter in disbelief before she noticed her surroundings.
She was in school again. Not the blood-crazed murderous school she had started this horrific game in, but the school from their previous life, over a year ago, back to how it used to look like. There they were in one of the classrooms, the desks all aligned, the windows showing the bright and sunny days they used to know. Even Naegi and Fujisaki were back in their old school uniforms, Fujisaki sitting on her right like the good old days.
It was clear to to her. She had finally snapped.
"I...this..." She paused briefly, observing herself once more. "Am I dead?"
"Dead?" Fujisaki glanced over her friend curiously as she tapped her chin. "Hmm nooooo, doesn't look like it."
"Then are you dead?"
Fujisaki looked over herself, patting herself audibly. "Mmh hard to say." Naegi couldn't even roll her eyes at this as she just slumped in her seeming chair.
"Then it's just another hallucination again, or some fake trauma related thing." It didn't matter to her how real the situation looked before her, she hadn't forgotten what was going on up till now. She didn't need Naegi's explanation of it either, the Fujisaki before her already know what was going through her mind.
Junko had won. She sent all the surviving students on a never-ending descent of absolute despair. There was no fighting back against her, or at least not in a way that wouldn't end with their suffering even more. It was truly hopeless.
If they had agreed to single out Naegi, she would receive some form of punishment, and the rest of them would go on living in this school for the rest of their days. And honestly, that seemed like the better option between the two ultimatums. They would still be in despair, they would know they had to sacrifice one more friend in order to do it, but at least they could manage to live with that burden for the rest of their lives, at least granting them the chance to actually live, even if the guilt and despair would never end.
The alternative here was to vote for Junko. If they had done that, provided they could even manage the courage up to this point, she would be punished instead, and the rest would be able to leave freely, with nothing keeping them within this school any longer. That used to be the original plan until they saw what the outside world had to offer.
Wars were broken out all over, violence had spread across the entire globe, so much to the point where world wars seemed like mere child's play. Everyone was in despair, everywhere was filled with despair. There were thousands of people despairing like they were now, and many of them just as twisted as Junko was. There was no guarantee they would manage to exist for over a week outside these walls, much less a day before they got captured again. They would be tortured, broken, killed, and that was on the off chance they were lucky.
For all they knew, they could be thrown into this game once more with many other people with who knows who as a headmaster. Heck it probably wouldn't even be a game, they could just throw these people into a random building and make it a rule last one left gets out alive, possibly to just kill them anyway after or not even let them escape on their end of the bargain.
There was no reasoning with despair. If there was, they probably would've had a plan by now, or perhaps managed to counter one of the Puppet Master's nefarious plots and saved one of their friends and escaped. That was all the hopeful thinking that put them through all this only to end in for naught.
It was pointless now. Everything was pointless now. There was no Hope, no future, only Despair.
"Hmph, sounds bad." Fujisaki stated simply. Naegi looked over as she leaned over, looking over her desk. "So what's the answer?"
"Huh?" By the time Fujisaki moved away again, she saw what she meant. It's only now Naegi just noticed the piece of paper lying on her desk, with a single sharpened pencil on the right of it. It had a very simple question on it.
What is the answer:
It was a bit strange having such a weird question like this outta nowhere, especially seeing how short it was. A simple 4-word question with only two boxes next to each of the possible answers requiring a check. Naegi could get the gist of what this was getting to, what this whole hallucination was trying to tell her, but she just couldn't care anymore.
With a slight sniffle, she grabbed the pencil gently, hesitantly reaching over the latter answer.
"Umm...are you sure about that answer?" Fujisaki suddenly spoke, catching Naegi's attention as she paused. She still had the same sour look on her face as she spoke.
"Why wouldn't it be? You've heard- well I've heard what Junko's said, I remember the events that happened." Naegi replied as she teared up slightly.
"That's some screwy logic, isn't it dude?" Naegi's eyes suddenly widened at the sound of the familiar voice. She couldn't help but gasp to herself before turning around, seeing the too familiar grin of Hagakure, leaning back in his chair like he used to during their time at school.
"Ha-Hagakure?" Naegi was in total disbelief. There was no way any of this could be real anymore despite how similar this hallucination was to her friend.
"In the flesh, dude! Haha...well sorta...maybe...I don't know..." He chuckled nervously as he leaned over her shoulder. "Naeg's, seriously? That question's so simple!" He said with a playful pat on her back.
"Simple..." Naegi could only mumble. "How is it simple? If I pick Hope, we go outside to die horribly, but if I pick Despair, at least the others will be safe."
"Are you sure it's that simple though?" That was a familiar Naegi knew even before this school. She almost teared up herself, provided you could truly tear up in one's hallucination, at the sight of her friend since childhood, Maizono. She sat there with her natural blue hair, looking ahead staring into thought as she tapped her chin. "I mean, let's face it. No matter where you go, you're going to have your good and bad days, right? So why not just keep pushing forward, see what happens?"
"But you haven't been around as long, none of you have..." It was hard for Naegi to continue arguing like this, whether it was the hallucinations or technically with herself. As much as it warmed her heart to see them all again one by one, it also pained her knowing they had all passed, and weren't truly here. She almost wished this was all real, or she really was dead if they were all ghost. At this point, it didn't matter anymore.
"Junko was just one girl...who did all of this...If the rest of the world's like this, then everyone would just suffer if they went outside!" She cried.
Naegi nearly jumped at the two hands that slammed on the desk in front of her. Much to her surprise, there was Togami, the only one out of uniform as he still wore his green jacket as always.
"What kind of reasoning is that!" He yelled, naturally scaring her a little.
"Hey, ease up on her!" Maizono yelled back defending her friend like she used to. "She's in a stressful situation, give her some space!"
"Seriously man, try being in her shoes, I doubt you'd do any better!" The suddenly materialized Leon added, leaning back on his chair behind Maizono's.
"Geh," Togami scoffed walking away to the chalkboard again, "It's your constant coddling of her that makes her weak you know," he grumbled leaning against the board, "if she thinks abandoning her friends is the way to go, then I say let her do it."
"Ab-Abandon?" Like before, she was still hurt by his words, but was even more confused by what he actually said. "W-What do you mean abandon? I'm not abandoning them, I'm just...I just want them to live peacefully."
"I'm not sure I follow the logic behind that." With a mental sigh, Naegi gave a soft smile as she saw Celes sitting casually next to Hagakure in her seat, sipping tea like she was usually found doing "You rather die if it meant keeping your friends safe, yet you don't want them to suffer either?"
"What's wrong with that, Cells?" Hagakure asked curiously scratching his head. "Doesn't seem confusing to me."
"I mean she thinks letting the others knowingly kill her would end their suffering," she explained, eyeing him with irritation, "so she would rather just let them kill her and live with the fact they could only survive by killing a friend of theirs. Seems rather hypocritical in some sense."
"Well what the hell am I supposed to do!" Naegi finally shouted, tears rolling down her cheeks. "If I let them outside, they'll just suffer possibly worse than all of us have! And you're saying if I let them live peacefully in here, it'll be all the same, so what's the point?!"
There was a moment of silence as Naegi shut her eyes tightly, crying to herself right there. It was a dilemma with no reasonable answer to it. What were they supposed to do if there was no answer which resulted in the same outcome? Suffer this way, suffer that way, it would be the same even if she chose nothing.
And why was this hallucination of hers just telling her what she already knew? It was more torturous hearing it from the remains of her dead friends she came to love, missing each of them each passing day and regretting the opportunities she could've taken to possibly save them!
"I'm not strong enough to protect everyone, I'm not smart enough to figure out the solution to every problem by myself, an-and..." Naegi continued to sniffle as she was embraced in a group hug between Maizono and Fujisaki. She really didn't know what answer to look for, whether it was to give into hope or give into despair. She might as well try to put out a fire with a tank of gas, the disaster would just spread anyway!
"You think that counts as having strength means being strong enough to protect your allies from anything?" The all-too familiar voice of Oogami asked. Naegi blinked away the tears a bit as she looked past Maizono, seeing Oogami standing near the window with her arms crossed as she stared out the window. "Naegi, being strong and having strength are two completely different things. It wouldn't matter how strong you are if you weren't brave enough to use it."
"B-Brave?" She's been called a few things but brave wasn't one of them. Not that it was a matter of being brave or not, people just simply didn't call her brave. "I'm not sure if I'm one to be called brave...I-I mean just look at me! My friends are usually the ones encouraging or helping me, heck you guys are all doing it right now! I've...I've just never been bra-"
"Don't even finish that line, Ms. Naegi!" Ishimaru demanded with authority, suddenly appearing behind Fujisaki herself. "You think everyone could go through the things you have without some mental breakdown or something? You've been through hell Naegi, we all have! So stop being so hard on yourself and just press on!"
"..." It was the first time Naegi was left without anything to say for a moment. She knew what they were all trying to encourage her for, what they were all trying to say. As much as she wanted to argue she was doing it for them, how could she? If this was her mind just telling her things she already knew, then what was the supposed revelation of all of this? Why show her these things if she knew what to pick anyway?
"What was that?" Fujisaki asked unable to to hear.
"...So...What am I suppose to do then?" Naegi repeated in confusion. "I can't do either thing without someone getting hurt, and I know that, right? So..." Naegi paused once more as she looked between all her friends. "Why do I know all of this? I mean if I know all this, I shouldn't be struggling to choose my answer, right? Deciding to choose between hope and despair?"
"Is that what this is about?" Celes asked rising from her seat.
"What do you mean?"
"Hmhmhm, why don't you decide that for yourself?" Celes asked covering her grin. Before Naegi could question her further, her entire body began to shine before dissipating in an array of sparkling dust.
"Huh?" It almost terrified Naegi for a brief second before she realized what it meant.
She was snapping out of this hallucination. Whether it was real or all in her mind, she could barely tell, but it mattered little. One by one her friends began disappearing, all in the same mannerism as Celes herself. It started with Ishimaru and Oogami, both of them giving her a supporting nod as they smiled. Following this was Togami, who, much to Naegi's surprise gave her a knowing grin, as if telling her "she's got this" as he vanished too.
As the numbers dwindled, it slowly came upon her closest friends next, starting with Maizono as the world around Naegi began to dwindle to mere light as well. As opposed to the others, she was the only one who gave her a teary smile as she slowly dwindled away. Perhaps it was meant to be some form of apology to her, once more apologizing for being one of the first to betray her, despite being one of her closest friends. But even as she did, Naegi smiled a tiny bit as she smiled back to her, the last thing she possibly heard from her was her giggling, somehow letting Naegi know how thankful she was of her forgiveness. And shortly following this, she saw Leon giving her a cheeky grin as he gave her a two-fingered salute, sending her off with a simple "Good Luck".
Coming down with the last two, Naegi watched as Hagakure stood from his seat, scratching the back of his head as his dissolving started from the feet up. "Just remember dude, you already know the answer, ok?" He reminded as he felt up a fist. Despite the uncertainty that filled Naegi's mind, it slowly began to be replaced with warmth as her heart grew more determined, giving him an affirmed nod as she bumped his fist gently with hers. "Ha, that's more like it! Oh and...don't forget my jacket ok? It was one of my mom's favorite gifts..." Naegi gave a nod in his direction even after he disappeared.
She felt stupid. Foolish. Gullible. Until now she had nearly forgotten everything they had fought for, all the reasons they were fighting against the Puppet Master till now. It pained her seeing her friends disappear one by one, by it was probably the last push she needed to find her answer.
Although, it still didn't make things any easier watching the last of her closest friends, Fujisaki, slowly dissipate. "Well... I guess time's up, huh?"
"Fujisaki..." Naegi felt her eyes tremble slightly, feeling tears building up again. Before she could shed something else again, she felt Fujisaki hold her hand gently once more. It was at this point Naegi could no longer tell if these were all hallucinations, or maybe they were all ghosts. But whatever it truly meant, all she knew was that they were here to help her one last time. "I... I'm going to miss you guys...I wish you guys were still here..."
"Heh..." As opposed to a tearful wave goodbye or a simple tearful smile, Fujisaki just gave her a simple smile. "Just don't forget about us Naegi... and we'll always be around..." Those were the final words spoken as Fujisaki finally dissipated.
By now there was only about ten feet of the classroom around Naegi remaining, still disappearing at a slow and steady rate. Her friends were gone now, at least from the world of the living, but she would always remember those times she had with them in their school. They were some of the worst moments of her life, yet also some of the best at the same time.
Slouching back into her chair, she reviewed the piece of paper once more. It still read the same question back to her, but now she just noticed her pencil was missing. Taking a moment to look between the desks and her floor, her attention was suddenly caught by the sight of a stretched out hand offering her a pencil.
"Here..." It mumbled. Naegi followed the length of the arm as she took the pencil, smiling a little bit as she saw Fukawa in front of her desk with the same uneasy look on her face as she always had.
"Thanks Fukawa." Her dissipation was a bit quicker than the rest of her friends, but she still had time to offer her a sly smile as she always did during their high school life.
"Don't mention it...I'm just returning what you gave me..."
And with Fukawa's disappearance, the world around her dispersed to the world she saw before her. Everything was still the same as she saw it before her most-recent hallucination. The students were still in despair, the monitors were showing her the horrors of the world, one of her closest friends were still groveling in pain, and at the center of it all stood Junko, the mastermind behind the Catastrophe, the murderous Killing Game, and the torment she continued to inflict upon her friends.
Then there was that wondrous device right before her, the voting machine that would determine not just her fate, but the fate of all her friends. It almost felt silly to Naegi how she saw things earlier, thinking she was going to be a hero if she sacrificed her friends just to keep them all alive, regardless of whatever fate befell her. She had truly forgotten the true purpose of this game, the real reason that brought all of them here in the first place other than escaping with their lives. It was time to do the only thing she knew she was best at, and pushed forward.
And just like that she pressed the button.
She had finally lost hope.
She sealed their fate.
Junko had won.
This wasn't right.
Junko had won.
Naegi sealed her fate.
She had lost all hope within herself like Junko predicted!
Why the hell was she getting up all of a sudden?
It was only then that Junko noticed the tally machine before her. Being the Puppet Master, it was only natural that she had the voting result machine reserved for no one else but her own. And like expected, Naegi had placed her vote and she made her decision! So there wasn't any reason for her to be standing up so confidently all of a sudden! Just look at the tally results, it said she voted for-!
"Me?" Junko shouted completely dumbfounded. "What the hell you dumbass, you voted for the wrong person!
"No I didn't." Naegi replied bluntly.
It was only now Junko could see her expression. It wasn't one of rage, anger, frustration, sadness, or fear. There was something different about it, something she had yet to see from Naegi herself. The tears on the side of her face were slowly drying up, she didn't even let out so much as a sniffle anymore. All that she saw in her eyes were determination. Determination and...
"Hope?!" It sickened her. Seconds beforehand Naegi was wallowing in a fount of despair like her friends, and now she's suddenly staring Junko down like some gungho superhero or something. "What the hell happened to you?"
"I remembered, that's what!" Junko was almost taken back by how firm Naegi was suddenly being before her. Not one ounce of her voice wavered as she spoke. "I thought the only thing that mattered for this trial was getting out with all my friends and figuring out the mysteries behind this school, that's what all of us thought." It was here though that Naegi shot her finger at Junko with certainty. "But now I remembered the other reason we're supposed to get through all of this. It's not just about escaping, it's about finishing this Killing Game that our friends died for!"
(Author's Note: It is highly recommended to listen to the Danganronpa Main Theme DR video on Youtube while reading the following below until stated otherwise for Maximum reading pleasure)
It was impossible for Junko to comprehend this, or Naegi's sudden encouragement that seemingly came out of nowhere. She was literally down on her knees, about to surrender everything she fought for like the rest, but then had a miraculous spark of Hope suddenly burst out of nowhere.
It was hard to believe any of this was truly happening before Junko, but the terror didn't just end there for her either. She couldn't tell if the same contagious spark was spreading to the rest or not, but one by one the rest of her friends looked to her in a questionable state of despair. While they still had the same look of depression and despair on their faces, there was some small spec of curiosity and hope growing in their eyes too.
It was spreading.
"That fucking spark..." Junko gritted her teeth, realizing what was going on before her. She only saw it once truly during their high school lives at Hopes Peak, peering straight into Naegi's eyes the day she tried to cheer her up. It was that little spark that she could see burning around her entire being now, that little seed that finally burst into a mighty oak, and was proving to be her downfall.
"You guys, we need to vote against despair!" Naegi directed , much to everyone's surprise. Even Ikusaba couldn't help but lift her head up slightly, still groveling in pain.
"Chick...seriously, what's the point?" Owada questioned with his head down. "Even if we get out of here, we're just gonna die out there too."
"So you're just give up without even trying?" Naegi shot back. "I thought you were supposed to be the leader of the toughest biker gang around! "
"I-I am, it's just-"
"Then start acting like it! Your brothers died for you, your took the mantle of being the leader of our team! Doesn't their sacrifice mean anything to you?!"
"Ugh, you just don't get it chick..." Much to Junko's surprise, despite what he said, he lifted his head up once more with authority. "But you're right. Both my bros would be looking down on me if I just got startled by some crazy chick with a bad haircut! And who cares if my gang's all dead, I'll just gather up a new bunch of survivors, and kick those despair-bastards' asses!"
This wasn't happening. This couldn't be happening. With just a few short words Naegi had already reinvigorated Owada's spirit once more. "Y-You can't be serious! There's barely a handful of people left without despair, we topple them one-thousand to one!" Junko shouted angrily. Much to her disgust, Owada just grinned at this as he punched his fists.
"That's fine by me! It just means I'll have to whip up my new team so they can take down ten thousand of you bastards singlehandedly!"
"So...Oogami died because I was too nice." Asahina frowned with a sigh. "I was naive, gullible. I didn't notice Celes' betrayal until it was too late, and it cost Oogami her life."
"The outside world is filled with people who will swallow that kindness in a heartbeat, then spew it back out along with your blood." Junko assured with a grin.
"But that's always been your best quality Asahina!" Naegi assured with a hearty smile. "Without your encouragement, I'd still be wallowing in my room afraid of everyone. Even through the worst of times, you did your best to get everyone to smile, I'm sure everyone felt that. Even if we ended up betrayed or betrayed one another, we'll always cherish those fun times we had together. And that's what we need from you the most, Asahina."
"..." Junko's own hope almost started rise before the mermaid swimmer managed to fire herself up once more. "Naegi's right! I can't just be wallowing on the bad things that happened here! And there's gotta be lots of kids out there who need help and cheering up." Despite lowering her head briefly, she still had a solemn smile on her face. "Besides, Oogami would be sad if I spent the rest of my life being miserable around here. I need to show her I can take on the rest of the world and help you guys."
"Easy for you guys to be so positive about it...You're tough, you're fit...All I can do is draw and write." He groaned.
"Not to mention the outside's air is polluted." Junko added. "We can only breath normally thanks to the air purifier built inside the school. If I lose, the air purifier will break down, forcing you all to leave this school forever!"
"So what's wrong with that?" Naegi asked wondering. "I mean look at me, my only good quality is my luck, and even that's been debateable. But I've managed to get as far as I am now because I've always had you guys supporting me, we overcome each other's weaknesses as a team."
Cliche as it was to say, it was a relatively fair statement to make. All of them were keepers of one talent, but none were masters of all. It was truly thanks to them working together that they even managed to get as far as they did because they all believed and trusted in each other, despite all their faults and weaknesses.
Naegi simply excelled her academics, despite not technically having a special talent, which brought her to Hopes Peak but her kindhearted nature and shyness made things rough for her. Ikusaba had military expertise and Kirigiri had the advanced skills of a detective, yet both were easily distracted and compelled to help Naegi because of their feelings. Owada had his gang expertise and brute strength, but could never bring himself to do anything against his Man's Honor, which included harming women even if they were dangerous. Asahina was a perky swimmer with a positive attitude, but like Oogami let her kind heart be easily manipulated when the Puppet Master needed.
She also had a thing for donuts...
Then there was Yamada. He was far from the toughest student, and was definitely the least fit between them due to his weight. But his creativity for animes and manga, his devotion for the fan-based world. He could easily create entirely alternate universes and unique and original stories for any of his interests.
"Nyaaaaaah!" Yamada screamed with cheer. "But so what if the world's like this? Everyone has their on and off days, this is nothing more than a rainy day at worst! Besides, with an entire world without stories of hope and heroes, someone needs to bring those back to the world! I'll fill the entire world with stories with happy endings if I have to singlehandedly!"
"I bet you'd make yourself the main hero of each and every one of those, huh?" Asahina encouraged with glee.
"Hell, I'd read one man, just make sure it's not too cheesy." Owada added with a grin.
Naegi looked at Kirigiri with a look of determination the detective's never seen before. It was bright, colorful, vibrant, it was like Naegi was a completely different person before her. For all she knew, maybe she was, but all the same, it was comforting to her, almost warm.
"I didn't know much about my father Naegi, but after what I've seen, I can safely say this." It didn't matter what Junko hoped for at this point, she could already see the small smile growing from Kirigiri's lips. "But after my experiences with you, I think I can safely determine who he was. He was a good man who just wanted a normal life. Maybe he didn't want to abandon me either, though I still won't forgive him for leaving me behind."
""If you leave this school, you'll only make him suffer from the great beyond!" Junko warned. Her expression was now one of clear disgust and hate. This was all what she stood against, the very idea and imagery of hope, and yet here it stood proud and tall against her.
Everything now stood against her.
"But," Kirigiri continued, "I can safely say now that he loved me, very much so, and thanks to you Naegi I think I can safely return those feels as well. And now I know that no matter what's happened, he would never want me to mope around and suffer from the cruelty of despair. So I'm with you Naegi, I'll stand by your side till the very end!"
"Kirigiri..." Naegi was touched by her words to say the least. At the same time, Kirigiri could only smile to herself. After all that's happened, all the times she's had to help, for once Naegi was finally the one saving her.
Just like all those years ago.
"And I'm starting to think you're here for a different reason, Naegi." Kirigiri nearly finished. "I don't think you came here as the Ultimate Luckster by this point. I think we should be calling you the Ultimate Hope."
Naturally Naegi was quick to blush as she rubbed her finger under her nose with a cheeky grin. It was corny sounding for sure, but it actually felt right to her for some reason. "Hehehe, it definitely has a better ring to it than the Luckster to me."
"No arguments here." Yamada agreed.
"I think it's fitting, Naegi!" Asahina smiled with a nod.
"Hell, I can get behind that!" Owada yelled with excitement.
"Oh har har, you all must think of yourselves as high and mighty, right?!" Junko raged violently. Her expressions had officially ceased by this point. She wasn't pretending, she was no longer caring about putting on a show. All she cared about was Despair. Her despair, and rage. "But surely you wouldn't want anything bad to happen to Ikusaba!" She warned.
At this point the remaining students were gazing upon the once proud soldier fallen to despair. There she was, dropped to her knees with her head down, tears still dripping from her chin. She was shaking slightly as she gripped the podium bars in front of her, the imagery looking like she was almost behind a prison cell.
"The outside world is clashing with minimal hope against an onslaught of Despair," Junko grinned as she said this, "so do you think she'll be accepted after all she's done?!"
"I don't care!" Naegi shouted with courage, causing Junko to grin.
"See, you're only proving your own selfishness You don't care what she believes or what she wants, all you're caring about is-"
"No!" Naegi shouted as she interrupted, refusing to give Junko the final say. "I don't care what the outside world will think about her! I don't care about all the seemingly bad things you claimed she did! The Ikusaba I know has been a kind and considerate friend, who's helped me out when I really needed it. That's why, because she's a dear friend, I'm giving her my hope, and letting her have the final say!" Ikusaba's eyes fluttered open with this as she suddenly froze.
"...Eh heh...heh heh...AHAHAHAHAHA!" Junko bellowed with laughter. She couldn't believe it, it was too perfect. "That's the fucking funniest thing I've ever heard! You, give her YOUR hope?! Are you fucking with me now?! She's an embodiment of despair, my own flesh and blood! You think she'll honestly prefer your shit over me? I've molded her into the perfect killing machine since birth, a near-perfect replica of me in every way! What makes you think she'd-!"
"No..." Ikusaba mumbled weakly, causing Junko's eyes to widen with disbelief as she looked down at her. Raising her head slightly, just enough for the others to see her face, they could see the tears continuing to flow down her face and the pained expression on her look. But this time, they could tell there was another meaning behind it, an inner struggle she was trying to fight against. "P-Please...end it..."
"Ikusaba..." It hurt Naegi to see her friend beg like this, it wasn't like anything she's seen before. But at the same time she smiled softly, knowing Ikusaba was trying to fight back against despair, possibly for the first time in her life instead of embracing it.
"I don't...", she sniffed, "I don't want this...I don't want to live in despair anymore..."
"What...the hell..." Junko was at a loss for words. She spent years perfecting her, training her to always remain loyal and never abandon her side, especially like this. Yet here she was, defiant, assertive, and for once in her sickening life, she had something other than despair! "What the fuck is wrong with you, do you want to see your sister die?!"
"You're not...my sister..." Ikusaba wept, shifting her eyes to her. "My sister... died a long time ago... I don't know who you are any more..."
Not a single word got to her. As much as it would pain the average person, it enriched her very being. The despair it was bringing was enormous, beautiful! Yet at the same time it still sickened seeing her sister being all like this!
"What did..." Junko glared at Naegi with all her fury, all her anger molded into one. "What did you do to her?!"
"Nothing." Naegi stated boldly. "I was just being her friend...something you couldn't be..."
This was impossible. This was completely impossible! Everything Junko had done, everything she worked for, every single plan she put into place! It was perfect! She was perfect! Everything she's done was perfect!
"This is NOT how it's supposed to go!" Junko shouted with rage. "You're supposed to fall, give in to despair! THAT IS THE FUCKING STORY I WROTE FOR YOU!"
"I don't care!" Naegi yelled back. "My name is Naegi Makoto, I came here about two years ago as nothing more than a Luckster, yet even with that life was still hard. I wasn't the smartest student around, I wasn't the most agile or sturdiest of people, and even my optimism tended to waver from time to time. But if there's one thing I can never allow myself to do from this point forward, it's to give up! My friends, possibly my real family, we all suffered just for your entertainment This isn't some story where you can mess with people's lives the way you want. We have emotions, we feel pain, we cry a lot, but we laugh a lot more! We're not just characters for your amusement or anyone else's!"
"Tch, this chick's getting annoying." Owada scoffed at Junko as he eyed the voting machine before them. "Hey, can we get to voting now? I'm getting impatient."
"We just have to press the buttons right in front of us, right?" Asahina asked to make sure.
"Seems like it." Kirigiri replied. "I don't think it's a hard choice, unless anyone else has an argument to make."
"Then if I may do the honors first, let's finish this!" Yamada cheered ecstatic.
"We'll never give into your despair Junko. Not your's...or anyone else's!" And following Naegi's final words, the students gave a simultaneous nod before casting their vote.
And before another word could be said, it was finished. One by one, each of the students casted their votes before them, all choosing the same exact answer before the polling had finally finished.
Junko Enoshima; Guilty!
The ambience in the air was lifeless as all the TVs suddenly turned off simultaneously. They had won. They had all won. The Mutual Killing Game was over, the people who died throughout the entirety of this game had finally been avenged, or at the very least they could pass on peacefully now. The people who were watching this game could finally live peacefully knowing the remaining students of Hopes Peak
And there stood the remaining students who had entered Hopes Peak academy, and came out alive. Makoto Naegi, Mondo Owada, Aoi Asahina, Hifume Yamada, Kyoko Kirigiri, and Mukuro Ikusaba. The people who have spent the better part of their last month surviving each and every challenge the Puppet Master threw at them, and finally came out on top.
And there she stood, Junko Enoshima. The Ultimate Fashionista, The Ultimate Despair, the Puppet Master, and the one who started all they saw before them. There she stood with the face of disbelief, dumbfounded, emotionless. All she could do was look at the screen that assured her she had lost.
"Wha...What just happened? She muttered out loud.
"Oh, I'm going to enjoy this." Owada grinned, cracking his knuckles. He wasn't planning on harming her, curse his man's honor, but he was going to enjoy watching her grovel in despair before them after all she did to them.
"Don't bother apologizing cause we won't forgive you!" Yamada stammered.
"How did I just..."
"It looks like even the Puppet Master can't help but succumb to her own Despair." Kirigiri commented as she walked over to the fallen Soldier, helping her gently to her feet. She helped brush what little dust she could off of her, taking a brief moment to help wipe a tear away.
"It's over, Junko." Naegi finally stated, and this time it was for certain. Their long awaited victory, their long hearted battle, it all finally came to an end.
"This is...this is..." The students watched expectantly as she began shaking, lowering her so her face was out of their view.
"Well, what do you have to say for yourself!" Asahina shouted.
"This is amaaaaaziiiiiiiiiiiiiing!" Junko spoke with lustful glee.
It was getting a bit disturbing watching the former headmaster suddenly rub herself sensually before them. In some way, it did make sense given Kirigiri's diagnosis of this woman's psyche, but it didn't make the situation any less disturbing. "My sister and I came here almost two years ago with the plan of domination, set up these elaborate schemes, pitted you students against one another, and had this final trial, only to fail miserably at the end of all things when despair was at it's brightest! What more could I ask for?!"
"I take it back, calling her Yandere would insulting to even Yanderes!" Yamada screeched with sweat pouring down his face.
"I-I-I think she's actually h-happy..." Asahina commented nervously as she backed up.
"What are you talking about?" Naegi wondered, unable to comprehend anything going on before her.
"She's always been like this." Ikusaba suddenly spoke up, catching everyone's attention. She wasn't crying anymore, but she still had that pained look in her eyes, telling everyone how she was still suffering. "Ever since we were growing up, whenever something disappointed her, it only made her happier at the same time. So no matter what happened, she was always in a state of happiness...even at it's lowest points."
"I'm so hopelessly ecstatic!" There were not enough words to describe how disturbing the students before them found the scene, yet it mattered not. For a fetishist, this seemed to be about what they could expect, nothing more than a psychopath who enjoyed in anyone's misery, including her own. "And now, you guys are going to walk out there into a world of nothing but absolute Despair!"
"That's wrong!" Owada grumbled, interrupting Naegi to her surprise.
"You keep going on despair this and despair that, but honestly it's nothing more than bluster now." Owada declared, crunching his knuckles once more.
"We're going out there with our heads' held high, we're not afraid of you or your despair anymore!" Asahina added.
"And Naegi was proof of that," Yamada puffed up his flabby chest as he assured, "our lives at this moment is thanks to her reminding us what we're truly pushing forward for!"
"You guys..." It warmed Naegi's heart hearing such thoughtful words about her. To be honest, this was the first time Naegi ever felt depended on, and it actually felt a little good, especially given everything that's happened up to this point. Even she could admit to herself, when all this started, she was nothing more than a frightened weak crybaby who depended on others to help. But seeing this, all her friends encouraged by her words, she could tell she finally came a long way within the last month, possibly within the last two years back when she forgot about all of this.
"Geh, you guys have to take the fun outta everything, don't you?" She grumbled irritated.
"Heh, I guess that's all you can expect from them sis." Iksuaba commented with a small weak smile, walking over to her sister's side as she faced the crowd once more.
"Ikusaba?" Naegi blinked curiously at the sight in front of her. No matter what she's done, no mater how much she tortured her physically, emotionally, and mentally, she still continued to stand by her sister's side, still feeling the same love for her that she's always had.
As for Ikusaba herself, she was ready for this. This trial served it's purpose, and all that awaited was the obvious execution that was to follow. Maybe it wasn't obvious to them, but she knew more than anyone to expect it from Junko herself. It didn't matter what she did around here, Junko was Ultimate Despair. Even if it wasn't a matter of being a stickler for the rules, she still wouldn't miss out on the opportunity to meet her own end, just to relish the ultimate of any despair: Death.
"I wanted to thank you guys... for everything." She said with a slight bow. Naegi wasn't the only one, the remaining students were looking amongst themselves back and forth in confusion as she spoke at her sister's side. Even Junko herself was looking at him in complete cluelessness. "I know nothing I or my sister did will ever make up for everything that's happened...And I will never ask you guys to forgive me for it either..."
"H-Hey, what are you...?" Owada could feel the tips of his hair waver from unease. He's seen scenes like this plenty of times in the past, where someone usually gives a last hearty speech before moving onto something that will ultimately kill them.
"But, all the same, thank you guys...for everything." As before, tears began to trickle down's Ikusaba's face as she wiped them. This time however, everyone could tell. These weren't tears of sadness or frustration. They were joy. Pure, hopeful joy for the future. "These truly were...some of the best times of my life," she paused briefly as she sniffled slightly, unable to hold back the feelings any longer.
"Ikusaba...are...are you...?" Naegi could feel her heart pacing even faster then before, yet couldn't bring herself to finish her sentence no matter how hard she tried screaming inside. Ikusaba this, only she wanted this, and yet Naegi couldn't protest about what she was about to do.
"It was nice...Nice to feel like I had a family that truly cared for once... but a win's a win guys." Ikusaba said as she nearly finished speaking. "You guys proved your hope was stronger than our despair...so...I guess all that's left to do now is-"
"Oof-!" Ikusaba nearly doubled over in pain as her stomach was impacted by a strong, sturdy fist belonging to her own sister.
"Ikusaba!" Naegi shouted worriedly as she rushed kneeling to her side, Kirigiri right behind her.
"Jesus, just cut the cheesy bullshit already, will ya?" Junko scoffed. "You're acting like someone from a bad fanfiction or something."
"W-Wh-What?" Ikusaba mumbled weakly, opening one eye as she turned her head.
"Seriously sis, you take the fun outta everything." She commented as she walked over to the punishment switch.
"Wait what are you doing?" Naegi could tell she was going to kill herself, but she was in just as much surprise that she would actually follow through with it.
"What does it look like I'm doing? I'm gonna punish myself of course!"
"B-But you don't have to-" Owada tried to speak up to no avail.
"Gah, all of you just shut up! Let me have this moment for crying out loud!"
Was it...her? Was she doing it for her? Ikusaba was left with complexed confusion as she looked at her sister's eyes once more. She was Ultimate Despair, she relished despair and she'd certainly die in despair. Yet before her, Junko was standing at attention ready to end everything herself, including her own life, but for some reason refused to let Ikusaba be a part of it.
It was only then that it dawned on her why she punched her seconds earlier. Was she trying to keep Ikusaba from finishing her sentence? Keep her from from participating in the execution of the last trial?
Maybe this was her way of showing her love for Ikusaba. By participating solo in the final execution, she would sever all ties with Ikusaba and any involvements she had in her schemes. She was keeping her from experiencing what Junko first thought she would enjoy, something that she was a part of all along. But maybe just for once, at this one last moment of Junko's life, this was her way of showing her love for her, as if to apologize for all the horrible things she did to Ikusaba, and make amends for being such a cruel little sister...
Yeah, right. That would never happen. Ikusaba knew Junko, and she knew what she was about. This wasn't about keeping her from dying, keeping her from the despair Junko herself would soon witness. She only did this to make her suffer once more, by taking away the one and only thing Ikusaba cared for until she met Naegi: Herself. She wanted to prove to Ikusaba how far she was going to go for her despair, even if it meant rejecting her sister in it's entirety.
It was her revenge, plain and simple.
"But let me tell you all one final word of warning." Junko spoke once more. "Out there, you're going to be face to face with never ending despair, no matter where you run or where you hide. You think Hope is some all-powerful manifestation of the world, but to be honest, it's no different than the despair you're going to see. They're two sides of the same coin, and as long as you have one, you're going to have them both. Are you really prepared to live with that?"
Naegi looked amongst her friends once more. Sad as it was to say, Junko was technically right. There's no order without chaos, yet chaos can exist in itself. Just like how there are good days, there are always going to be bad days. If not for themselves, then for others, and there was no escaping that certainty no matter how fast they ran.
Even then, however, Naegi just gave her an assuring nod. They came so far after all this time, had pushed back as much as they could no matter how much harder the Puppet Master pushed first. It was that sparkle of light that told them how much they could do, how far they were willing to go, and none of them were ever going to let that spark run dry. They would hold onto hope with all their might.
"Of course we-"
"Gah! Don't bother answering that, it was a rhetorical question!" She yelped.
"What about Ikusaba?" Kirigiri asked curiously. Surprising or not, Junko just rolled her eyes with a shrug.
"Hell if I care. Bring her with you, kill her after, do what you want from this point on." She didn't even seem to pay attention to those words while her eyes sparkled at the sight of the lever before her. Her whole body wracked with ecstasy as she raised her hand towards it, heart thumping a thousand beats of pure excitement every second, eyes shining from the emptiness and despair consuming her entire being. "And now..."
"W-Wait, you don't need to-!" Asahina's plead fell on deaf ears as the Puppet Master continued reaching over.
"Are you sure about this?" Yamada said with a slight gulp.
"-for the ultimate punishment of all..."
"This chick's serious, isn't she!" Owada stammered.
And with a single pull, the punishment began to commence. It was pure perfection, pure joy. She had finally obtained the ultimate despair she had always been looking for, wanting. She had finally come across her own death...
Junko Enoshima has been found guilty. Commencing Execution...
The lights flickered for merely a second before returning once more, showing Junko's waving, excited, hand as she waved farewell to all of her fellow classmates and sister, as well as those rats outside in the real world who've been watching up to this point. She cared for nothing before her, except the glorious despair building in her heart, the fear of losing her own life, the torture of knowing everything she worked so hard for had come to an end. All of it for the great bright glorious despair that awaited her.
She was in eternal bliss.
Before her, the rest of the room came to life, revealing the punishment that was coming before her. It wasn't something simple, nothing would be simple for the final trial that they had lost, including the punishment. One by one, each portion of her punishment came to light as the field expanded upon before her. In a straight line that extended from her, the scenery came to life, in order, showing each of the horrific pieces of torture she was about to endure.
First was a dancing platform that resembled that of a DDR game, the punishment Maizono endured. Following this was an entire array of numerous, different scissors dangling from the ceiling via string. It wasn't exactly the punishment she had planned for Fujisaki, but given how painful being stabbed by numerous scissors would be, and the fact Genocider herself carried out Fujisaki's punishment, it seemed nonetheless fitting for her. Coming up next was a portion of a city landscape, a fourth of the size used in Hagakure's and Genocider's execution, with blinking cop lights filling the city and mountains of TNT on the ends of each and every building. After that came the fourth punishment that was used for Oogami's punishment, the one that claimed the life of the Ultimate Martial Artist, where she had fought for her life and fallen, succumbing to the poison coursing through her veins. In a way, she was rather glad Oogami was poisoned, otherwise it would've been hard deciding a punishment the toughest student around couldn't break with her mere muscles. And lastly, there it was. The end of her punishment and glorious despair that awaited her: Detention. The very one Naegi failed to die from, the one where her sister's betrayal became apparentl. Those mere memories overfilled her with unrelenting despair, so much more than everything else had up to this point.
And it was going to be Glorious!
-Super Duper Nasty Torture!-
And with the sound of the first bell, her ultimate punishment had begun. As expected for the order to flow, it started out with Junko preforming Maizono's execution. As opposed to the Ultimate Pop Sensation herself, Junko wasted no time purposely stepping on the wrong platforms, sending one-thousand jolts of electricity through her veins with each step and sending another euphoria of pleasure with each spark.
Following this was the student-given execution of Genocider Jack. When it came to hers, Junko had instead simply lied on her stomach as if expecting a full-body massage. As opposed to your typical massage, however, this one wasn't brought upon by comforting hands. Instead, this was brought about thousands of razor sharp scissors that dug into her flesh like a knife, only with thousands upon thousands in an endless rain. Surprisingly enough, this wasn't enough to make her bleed profusely, but was enough to leave numerous scratches across her back.
Coming up next was the execution used in Hagakure's and Genocider's own execution, this time with a following setting taking place all around a city. Unlike Genocider and Hagakure, she didn't attempt to run away from the police, instead just playfully sliding side to side as the bullets past by her harmlessly. Unlike the ending to their execution, however, Junko didn't bother running out into the open field of the town to come across a massive field of dynamite and explosives.
Instead, she simply let them all come to her before exploding in a golden fiery blase.
The fourth one coming wasn't much of an execution as before, and like the rest Junko gladly enjoyed the punishment, pain, and torture that came about with each and every punishment before it. From here, she simply waited standing in place, as hundreds upon nearly thousands of Monokumas dogpiled her in one spot. While a single Monokuma may not seem like much of a threat, the bear weighing a simple ten lbs. at most, being dog piled upon literally hundreds of Monokumas was enough to weigh up to 5,000 pounds with ease, Junko's bones creaking steadily under their massively combined weight.
And finally, it all came to an end. The one and glorious punishment that would ensure nothing less of absolute despair: Detention.
The students watched the nearby conveyor belt as the Headmaster behind everything, Junko Enoshima, smiled with glee, raising two fingers to give off a peace sign as she squealed. She wasn't going to allow a single thing out of this, not her joy, and neither the Monokuma robot she was holding. She was going to enjoy this punishment to it's fullest, literally to the very end!
And only to further her immense joy, was the beating pound of the crusher behind her, beating the ground at a steady rate, growing louder with each passing second. Faster and faster her heart beat as she neared it, teeth tightening as she felt the rage and torment throughout her entire life relinquish itself into this one very moment. It was like her entire life, everything before the Mutual Killing game, before her high school life, before she could even learn to walk, was leading up to this one final moment of absolute ecstasy.
Just mere yards away from the happiest possible ending for her, she saw her sister step forth from the small group just slightly.
It had been a hard life for all of them, there was no debating any of that, and definitely harder for Ikusaba herself. To be fair, that's mostly due to Junko's influence, the young girl ruining her life since birth as she tormented and tortured her at every end and turn.
In a way, it was almost poetic Junko was going through these grisly moments of torture, as if feeling every ounce of pain she inflicted upon her sister herself. The only difference was, she didn't care.
It was then, just one slam away, that Junko gave off her last farewell to Ikusaba as she gave her a peace sign too. Back when they were kids, it was their special sorta way of saying "good luck" to each other, or, have a nice day. Granted, Junko never meant any of it, but to Ikusaba it was a rather interesting final sign for her sister to give back.
It's been years since the last time she gave her a personal peace sign, and to be honest she didn't know what it meant to her. Junko wanted despair, and she enjoyed giving despair all the same. Yet now, in this one final minute of her life, she was practically telling her sister good luck, or to take care. She doubted she truly meant it, even if it did mean what she thought it did.
But all the same, after everything she did to her, every life she took from them, and every single person she tortured, she forgave her. She forgave her because she was still her sister, and she would never stop loving her. Which is why, just before the final toll, she smiled slightly, giving her a sign back with a small smile.
The last one she would ever see.
The trial seemed like a picnic in the atmosphere and tension it raised compared to the sight before them. There it was, the massive door that kept the students of Hopes Peak from their freedom. Before her death, or possibly by mere accident, Junko had tossed away the button that controlled the massive mechanical doors in front of them, the literal button that kept all the students away from their freedom and the one goal they had throughout the entirety of this Killing Game.
It was almost strange how the atmosphere felt before them. Before, they were all fighting nonstop to escape this accursed hell. Some of them fought the Puppet Master, some of them fought the others in order to gain their freedom in which they worked so hard for. And to some, they simply fought to stay alive. Nothing else mattered to them anymore from this point, and they had nothing else to fear.
This was their moment of freedom, the one thing they had truly been wishing to achieve till now.
Speaking of which, it was the matter of that "air purifier" Junko warned about before the end of the trial was reached. Apparently by "air purifier", that was somehow a translation for the Air Conditioner which turned off. To be honest, some of them were nervous, wondering to themselves if this was just some hilarious prank the Puppet Master thought of, or there truly was some bizarre poisonous atmosphere before them. All that mattered now, though, was the steel contraption that had kept everyone from their freedom.
"...So...Ehhhh..." Owada scratched his head, trying to break the silent atmosphere suffocating the students. "This is it, huh?"
"Yeah...I guess..." Asahina shrugged before looking around. "Hey, where's-"
"I'm here! Huff...Huff..." Yamada panted, out of breath despite the few seconds of running he just managed. "Sorry, I was just...retrieving someone." Naegi looked curiously at the contents of his hand, noticing broken laptop within his hands.
"You were getting Altar Ego, huh?" Naegi guessed with a smile, Hagakure's jacket tied around her waist once more.
"Mh hm," he nodded, "I know it's a long shot, but...There might be a way I can restore the laptop...and hopefully Altar Ego with it..." There wasn't any argument from the rest of his friends. After all, who's could say he couldn't? Granted, there were definitely going to be some spare parts they would need to get, it did have a bullet lodged inside of it after all. But at the very least the thought of bringing another one of their friends back was another bright thing to hope for.
They needed as much hope as they could at this point, given the state of the person they all turned to.
There she was, Mukuro Ikusaba, sitting against the wall of the hallway with the same frown on her face that she had when her sister had died. It wasn't the death of her sister that necessarily lead to to this sadness, but just about everything before and after it.
For the first time in her life, she felt emptiness. Complete and utter emptiness. And why shouldn't she? In one trial, she lost her sister, provided she ever had her to begin with, was exposed as one of the devious masterminds behind this killing game even if her sister was the one behind it all, and one of her dark murderous secrets of her parents were revealed, even if it was a matter of her doing it in the defense of her sister.
And it didn't end just there.
They knew now. Everyone within not just the school, but the entire world watching this murderous game, they had all known the truth of Ikusaba, and everything she's done up to this point. They knew who she was, they knew her dark past, and they knew she was dangerous. The only one who truly ever accepted her, and even that was debateable, was officially dead. There was nothing left but her, and her despair.
And it scared her.
Taking a brief moment to look between her friends, Naegi walked over to the young soldier's side, kneeling down beside her.
"Hey, Ikusaba...You ready to go?" Naegi asked with a small smile. She could only know a few of the many thoughts and worries that was plaguing her, yet it didn't bother either. Ikusaba was one of her best friends, and nothing shown to her now or before was going to change all that.
"Just go already." Ikusaba mumbled with her head down. "I can't come with."
"Aww c'mon, is it still cause of that psycho bi-"
"Yeowch!" Owada yelped as he was gutted by Asahina's elbow interrupting him. "Hey I'm just saying, I'm not blaming her for anything, you saw how screwed up her sister is."
"While I'm not sure I can vouch for Owada's choice of words, he does have a point Ikusaba." Kirigiri commented, walking over to her. "Your sister was a master of manipulation. Mukuro, you shouldn't feel bad about anything she got you to do."
"Yeah, I'm not angry for anything you did, and Yamada isn't angry or afraid either!" Asahina assured with a smile.
"W-Well, I'm not sure about afraid bu-aaagghhhh!" He started yelping in pain as Asahina suddenly pulled his ear. "I mean yes! Yes! Completely not afraid, you're cleared with me!"
"It doesn't matter..." Naegi could hear the small sniffles Ikusaba was trying to contain. "Everyone knows...everyone knows the truth...Wh..." She lifted her head high enough for the remaining students to finally see the tears pouring from her eyes. "What's the point of going on if everyone knows what I am...they'll shun me if I'm lucky. You don't know how despair responds to traitors..."
"So?" Was Naegi's innocent response.
"So what if we don't know what to expect?" She clarified. "We've been through so much within the last two months, and possibly even more before that. But we managed to pull through by working together and came out on top."
"Hells yeah!" Owada cheered, pumping his fist. "I'm not gonna pretend I'll be ready for everything on the spot, hell I don't even know what other despair people are gonna look like. But I'm ready to face anything head on and kick it's ass if needed!"
"Besides, your sister was a liar, remember?" Asahina reminded as she helped Ikusaba to her feet. "Chances are a lot of people probably won't even believe half the things she said in the first place."
To be fair, that was a rather valid point. Up till now, they could never trust in a single thing related to the Puppet Master, her motives and plots indefinitely. Whenever they thought of something, the Puppet Master countered it, and when they needed to trust in something big, the Puppet Master always sabotaged it. But now, she was dead. She was dead and that was the only certified thing they knew was the truth.
"So, just promise to stick with us Ikusaba, and we'll all be fine. Promise." Naegi said with a warm smile.
"Naegi..." She loved it. She loved her. Most of all, she loved her hope. For the first time now she could declare that she loved the feeling of Hope as opposed to Despair. It was comforting, it was warm, and it was just all around pleasant. "O...Okay...I'll try..." Ikusaba said softly, wiping away another tear as the students walked over to the door once more.
"So, moving on then, are we sure this button is going to open the door?" Yamada asked nervously. "I mean she didn't technically say anything about us getting out of here alive. For all we know, that button could blow us all up!"
"It probably will too." Kirigiri commented.
"But we can't just not open it!" Asahina complained. "Especially after all we've been through up to this point, we got no other choice but to open it now!"
"And you can relax on that part," Ikusaba spoke up, brushing the bangs out of her eyes, "I promise you it'll open the door, no more strings attached."
"Well in that case," Owada rummaged through his coat briefly before pulling out the switch, "you wanna do the honors?" He offered Naegi. While she thought it was more appropriate for the leader of the group to do it for them, she wasn't about to argue either. This was the moment they all had fought for, what many of their friends had died for. It was time to end this game with literally the flick of a button.
"Yeah, let's end this."
The students all gazed at the door, standing side by side as the lights suddenly began to flicker followed by the red alarm lights going off. With each second that past, the numerous mechanics, nuts, and bolts of the door began to come undone one by one, steam pressuring off the solid contraption as the entire school before them began to shake violently, but not in a way that worried them.
This was it. This was the moment they had longed for. The despair caused by their fight was monstrous, and some of it never truly disappeared. But as long as they had each other, all brimming with hope in their hearts, they were ready for this. They were going to make sure they held their heads high for each student before them, and the lost friends that they came to grow along with inside of this academy.
And then, it happened.
In a violent shake, the earth itself practically roared as the door slowly became undone. As expected, little by little the entire group was blasted by a stream of bright light, being over a year since they actually had seen any sunlight for the first time. In addition to that, none of them had even seen the sky for that matter, not even Ikusaba despite her involvement with the Killing Game. Everything they've done, they did in the name of Hope. In the name of Hope, they fought back against Despair with all their might, and had finally won. This was the ending they all smiled for, the one shimmering light they all yearned for. And now, they had finally reached the end.
"Phew, that's some bright light." Owada commented, shielding his eyes slightly.
"Well it has been awhile since we last saw any sunlight, you know." Kirigiri reminded. "I get the feeling a lot of things are going to be bizarre and strange to us, especially given the catastrophe."
"W-Well, with all that in mind I think it's only suitable that our Leader takes the first step out into the dangerous world, and-!" Yamada began to mutter. Unfortunately for him, Owada just rolled his eyes before dragging Yamada by his shoulder.
"C'mon Rambo, it's the men's job to make sure it's safe." Owada commented.
"W-Wait! Wait! Technically I'm holding a lady! Shouldn't I keep her safe or-" Whatever rambles Yamada was quickly muttering slowly grew quieter the farther Owada dragged him until they were out of earshot. The outside world was still covered in a blinding light, but at the very least, the group knew it was safe.
"Well, I guess we should go." Naegi suggested as she began walking forward, only to be blocked by both Kirigiri and Ikusaba simultaneously.
"W-Wait, Naegi?" Ikusaba spoke up.
Kirigiri and Ikusaba looked at each other for a moment at this. They spoke a little bit while Kirigiri was patching up Ikusaba's arm, about their feelings for Naegi. From this point forward, there was no telling what awaited any of them, nor whether they would possibly die the minute they exited this facility. All they did know at this point was that this would be their last moment of absolute peace to say anything out in the open, anything they wanted to to get out before the difficult world would befall them.
"L-Look, Naegi..." Kirigiri began blushing alongside Ikusaba as she spoke. "You...You know how we said...we loved you back in the dumpster?" Asahina was the one to grow surprised by this sudden announcement, almost immediately knowing what they meant.
"Yeah? I said I loved you two too, you're the best sister's around!" Naegi replied happily. Her response was all they needed to know she truly didn't get it.
"No, N-Naegi, we..." Ikusaba took a deep breath through her nose as she tried to regain her composure. "Let's... Just let us show you what we mean."
"Sh...Show?" Naegi repeated in confusion.
Their hearts raced a mile a second at this point. This was it. The two girls slowly leaned towards Naegi's face, causing a mix of confusion and surprise to the small girl as they neared her face. It took a few moments for her to realize it, but she couldn't believe what the two appeared to be doing. Was it really? Were they both going to kiss Naegi simultaneously? They wanted to show their true love for her, not just something on a sisterly level. Every inch hastened their beats, every breath sent trembles through their spine. One cheek each, that's the the two agreed upon, and they were going to do it simultaneously! Oh just thinking about it would-
"Wah-HEY!" Kirigiri suddenly shouted as Ikusaba shoved her away, kissing Naegi right on the forehead before grinning back at the sleuth.
"Hehehehe~!" Iksuaba could only chuckle as she began running out the front door of this now vacant school.
"Ikusaba you bitch, get back here!" Kirigiri cussed angrily, quickly kissing Naegi on the forehead before rushing after the traitorous soldier into the blinding light.
All there was was a large amount of silence for the next few seconds, as well as an immense blush on Naegi's face followed by a semi-blush on Asahina's face. Here they were, two girls, one who watched two girls kiss another one, and one girl who received said kiss. It was completely baffling, though indefinitely planned at the same time, seeing how they waited for Yamada and Owada to get out of the room first. The only thing that could break the silence was Naegi's voice, speaking as she rubbed the spot where they kissed her.
"Wow...those two really want to be my sister." She commented, causing nothing but a sigh from the Ultimate Swimmer.
Naegi was innocent. That was her weakness, not her fault She lived most of her life peacefully, being shy to many people before coming here, and had very little interaction with others due to her issues. So it only made sense to her that she would think this was just some sign of sisterly bonding or something. Regardless, she still put it upon herself to clarify the truth of the matter, for all their sakes.
"Umm...N-Naegi?" Asahina spoke with a small blush on her face. It was obviously going to be awkward saying how two friends, who are seemingly lesbians in this case, want something more of a relationship with Naegi. "I think that's something you should know about those two-"
"You mean how they both actually love me love me, and not in a sisterly sort of way?" Naegi guessed walking towards the exit.
"No, I mean-!" Asahina flinched as she played back the sudden words Naegi just said. What the heck? Did she just read her mind or something? How the heck did she come across an answer so easily? "Y-You knew?!" At this, Naegi just turned back as she grinned.
"Yeah, I knew. I just like to tease them..."
(A/N: Recommended listening to the Danganronpa 1 Ending theme while reading the Credits)
Time for Completion: 3 Years, 1 Month, and 3 Days.
Special Thanks To The Reviewers/Supporters Who Made This Possible:
The Deceiving Maiden
Darklight of the 0 arcana
The Unknown Alias
Gilgamesh The King of Heroes
Misaki StupidSaru Yata
Shadow Phoenix 16
GreenCAT the second
EteDesp Jirachi Of Frost
Allen Ux Ultor
Ben the Master of Time
King 0f Darkn3ss
Final Favorite Tally: 221
Final Follows Tally: 215
Word Count: Over 600,000+
Thank you all for your continuing love and suppor-
All that filled the pitch black room was the lone TV monitor sitting in the middle of it. All it displayed were the messy remains of what was once Junko Enoshima, one that was being viewed by very special individuals who hid within the shadows.
"Waaaaaaaaaaah, Big Sis Junko is gooooone!"
"Wahahhahaaaa, why did it have to be her?!"
"It should've been me...my life's too worthless to be important...I would've gladly died instead..."
"We can't...sniff...we can't let this get to us g-guys...sniff...we have to move on like she said..."
"Now now now, he's right after all. We have a plan from big sis herself, you know."
"So...sniff...what do we do?"
"It's simple of course. Now, we move on to Plan B: Operation Pink Phoenix..."
A/N: HUZZAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Oh my god, I did it! I actually did it! I finished this freaking fanfic! Holy sweet halibets christ o'mighty XD! You guys have no idea how good this freaking feels, ugggggggh...
Ok, so now to get some things out of the way:
1. YOU PEOPLE ARE SO PISSED XD! Omg the replies I got were hilarious, I think I loved Ben The Master of Time's the most cause it just straight up said, "F*** YOU!" XD Omg.,
2. For the record folks, no, this chapter isn't a response to pressure or anything, this was always intended. Some of you actually caught onto that considering I didn't post a "completed" status on this fic- honestly I was tempted to just to pretend, only problem was I couldn't tell if i'd still be able to post after, much less if I could turn off the completed thing since I've yet to do it till now.
3. I deeply apologize to everyone I pissed off, but at the same time, it shows you guys don't give me enough credit XP I meant what I said, I'm still pissed at Kodaka, but, as some of you managed to point out too, I'm not gonna take it out on you guys XD and yeah the logic wouldn't make sense if I did like someone pointed out, so I'm glad some of you got it, and i still enjoyed some of your replies from the fakeout I did (seriously Ben, i love your straight up FU bit XD)
Huuuuuuuuuff...so now it's over folks. Really, genuinely, over. I don't know, maybe I'll do the prequel chapters too, but on a different fanfic if I do since I more or less ended this just now, and BY GOD have so much written in here. I also apologize to anyone finding the ending to be too cheesy, cliche, a cop-out, etc., along with being rushed. As I always say, its been a year so I don't fully remember every detail and I do kinda wanna get this fanfic done, so hopefully I did it to your guys' standards, and I pray you all enjoyed this marvelous journey I took us all on along for the ride.
With that said, special thanks to longtime fan Chaosrin who i recognize as one of the few continuous fans i've had in this series altogether, his encouragement and support is one of the many reasons I got this fanfic done, as well as pendragon (as to which i don't know cause there's like several pendragon reviewers I have XP). And I thank everyone especially who reviewed and gave me their support to finish this fanfic after the long 3 years. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW AMAZING THIS FEELING IS ^^!
So, now you're probably wondering what I'm gonna do now. Well honestly, I might go to Despair Girls :P there are a few things to keep in mind though:
1, i need to play the game, i stopped near the 2nd main boss a year ago, + i'm gonna have to restart since my dumb dad erased it's data which means doing it all over again, which I have no problem with being a long time fan ^^. I am going to write the fanfic WITH the game to keep up to date on everything best I can, but mixing that with school and work, dont expect updates every day :/ updates will be every now and then.
2, reason for this is pretty much due to waiting. If i heard correctly, Kodaka will be taking a break from danganronpa, maybe between 3-5 years (you can relax though cause chunsoft does promise spin offs and stuff, which possibly means another despair girls game :P) so I figure another long-time fanfic will help all of us pass the time :P.
3, I'm looking for supporters. I want people who can to send this fanfic to the corners of the web to help grow this fanfic indefinitely. Who knows, we might grow a club of artists, fan makers, etc., anything is possible :P.
So with that said, I thank all of you guys with all my heart. You made this fanfic possible, so my completion is your completion. I love you guys so much for your support, and hope you support future fics.
So, with love, Thank you all. I hope you enjoyed this journey with me, and continue to support me till the end of time :)
As always, leave a like, a fav, and review! Best one I get within the next week will result in a free Bonus Episode :P!