A/N: Welcome, readers, to my first series of drabbles. And surprise, surprise, it's in Kagepro again. Why, brain, must you always bring me here, I want to expand! As for the tag: SI-OC, multiple rebirths, and drabbles. A/N will always be found on the back from this point forward.
WARNINGS: Genderbend!Boy when the OC gets reborn into them. OC-centric.
Disclaimer: I do not own Kagepro, that's Jin you're looking for. I do have this cute chibi keychain...
Without further ado, presenting: Drowning in Lemonade
ROUTE: KANO I
The air was disgustingly humid when I first opened my eyes to find myself in the body of a female Shuuya—well, here we go again. Ten years of memories associated with this body instantly registered to me, and it was with practiced ease that I could comprehend the current situation.
Right, it seemed like I was at the moment when Shuuya was sent to the orphanage due to the "tragic accident" as the authorities called it. Nothing in these memories were rather informative—ah, at least this Shuuya had a better relationship with the mother than the last time I was here. Still didn't stop the abuse, what a shame.
Rain droplets clung to my blonde bangs as I observed the social worker making idle chatter with the caretaker of the orphanage. I remembered her, she was a sweet lady who replaced the older caretaker when he retired around the time the Tateyama family last adopted me.
Surely my memory wasn't failing me even if this happened a few time loops ago, but change was already happening in this timeline. Fine, I could handle trivial discrepancies. The real party was far from starting.
"Oh, you poor thing," the caretaker cooed, bringing me to the waiting room where I would familiarize my "new" home. "You must be devastated. Everyone, we have a new member of the house! Please introduce yourself to everyone here."
I grinned widely, but inside I felt so tired. Tired of redoing everything every single time. But it was all for a good cause, yes, I had to be patient.
"Hiya! My name is Kano Shouko!"
Today, I was Shouko; as always, I was on a mission to make this life my last.
"Baka-Shouko! Stop pulling my hair!" Tsubomi cried as she tried to shift her head, only to wince as she made the pain worse. Behind her, I had the lovely view of navigating my fingers through her mess of a hair.
"Have I ever mentioned how much I love your hair? Just mentioning it again because you need to comb it more often," I sweetly replied back to her. Smiling, I salvaged another strand of her jade hair to join the rest of a French braid.
She grumbled, "Maybe you should try better" as I tried in vain to entwine all the hair together, with the result being a poor imitation of a French baguette instead. Oh well, I never bothered with these sorts of activities before, so that explained my mediocre talent.
"It's not my fault," I replied, making sure to lace my voice with an accusing tone. "If you just let your hair grow out like a princess, then this will make things easier for the both of us."
Tsubomi shot a glare from her position, looking much like a defensive animal while growling, "Like hell!"
"Tsk, tsk, Flower Bud. Cursing is bad for a lady." Hehe, kettle calling the pot black. "But I'm serious."
"So am I!" Tsubomi childishly retorted—wait, she was a child, not the cool-headed Danchou I once knew. The thought of it somehow made it harder to keep smiling.
"Fine!" I dramatically said. Spying my new target, I projected my voice for the newcomer to hear, "Kou-chan will definitely agree with me. Kou-chan!"
"You called?" A head of messy black hair popped out of the bushes near us, no doubt from talking to squirrels and similar critters, and Kousuke emerged with pieces of leaves stuck all over his clothes.
I nodded vigorously and pointed an accusatory finger at Tsubomi. "Flower Bud here wouldn't let me do her hair. So you do it then!"
Kousuke shot a questioning look at me. "And why do you think I would do better than you?"
An old memory of him braiding Mary's mane of a hair resurfaced, but I quickly discarded it in exchange of replying with a cheeky smile, "Practice for your future girlfriend, of course!"
"G-girlfriend!" Kousuke spluttered, his face turning a bright red. Ah, that never gets old.
"Or is it wife?" I couldn't help adding. Poor boy looked almost ready to faint from the blood rush.
Tsubomi smacked me lightly on the arm, a pink blush also spreading on her face. "Shouko, stop embarrassing Kousuke like that!"
And there was the cue I was waiting for!
"How about letting Kou-chan do your hair?" I grinned, ready to use the magic words. "Besides, we're all best friends here. As respective besties, it's our duty to help each other out, right?" A beat of silence, but I knew I won my argument when Tsubomi turned away blushing like a maiden.
"You know what, fine!" Tsubomi said. She dragged an overwhelmed Kousuke to a different location. "Come on, Kousuke! Don't let her get to you, you're going to make the best hairstyle and we'll prove her wrong! That's our job as—" Under her breath, she whispered, "Best friends."
Tsubomi must have unconsciously activated her power since they both disappeared from my sight. Only when I was certain they were gone did I finally giggle.
Ah Tsubomi, always the gullible one, especially at this age. Good thing Kousuke was such a good boy, he wouldn't let anyone take advantage of them and such facts would never change.
Under the illusion of Kano's trademark grin, I frowned. I would have thought their silly antics would lift my spirits, but now I just felt more hollow inside. It was always a pleasure to re-experience such innocent moments together, but knowing what was set for the future and trying to prevent our demise...
"Best friends, huh. I wonder how long will we last this time?"
"... and here's Ayano, your new nee-chan! So please get along with each other, okay?" Ayaka said while tilting her head, her daughter mirroring the motion beside her. Expecting a confirmation, the older woman's smile strained at the two blank stares and me smiling like a mad loon.
"Alright! Ayano, can you show them to the kitchen? I'm sure they must be hungry by now. Okaa-san has to go back to work."
"Hai~" Ayano chirped, and she kneeled down to talk at the same level of our huddled group. "C'mon, guys. Let's go on an adventure!"
While Tsubomi and Kousuke were still mute, I responded with an enthusiastic cheer. Apparently, that was all Ayano needed before she led us to the kitchen, with me herding from the rear to prevent the others from lagging behind too much.
Wow, it had been like three lives since I last saw Ayano. I'vd forgotten how cheerful she could get, even when she if she was a nervous wreck right now. The signs of her fidgeting with her sleeves and talking at a faster pace were obvious clues that betrayed her anxiety.
Not that Kousuke or Tsubomi noticed, they were still looking at the hallway decor with wary glances. Tsubomi was especially clinging onto the back of Kousuke's shirt as if she could blend with the cotton. Time to muster up all the energy I have to deal with damage control.
"Cheer up, guys! Aya-nee seems like a nice person." I made sure to giggle. "Now to see if she's a good cook as well!"
Kousuke looked at me warily, his eyebrows raised in surprise. "A nickname already? Isn't that sudden?"
"Aww, is Kou-chan jealous?" I teased, but the boy quickly turned away from me.
"Eep!" And he went back into his turtle shell again. Discreetly, Tsubomi glared to show her disagreement on my statement. Before I could offer any more encouragement, we stopped at our destination.
"Here we are, this is the kitchen! Is there anything you want particularly?" Ayano asked.
Yikes, Tsubomi and Kousuke didn't look like they were going to talk soon. Hmm, Ayano was always best in her homemade food, especially that.
"I want chocolate!"
Ayano looked at me with confusion, but wore a patient smile. "But Shouko-chan, sweets are bad for lunch."
A reasonable argument, but it would be no use against the puppy dog face. I made sure my eyes were all doe-like and used my power to enhance them to be even more sparkly than they were.
"B-But," I stammered, a well defined pout on my face. "Flower Bud and I never made chocolates before, a-and it's always been a dream to give out homemade ones. Even Kou-chan wanted to learn…"
By the end of my act, Ayano looked ready to cry a waterfall. "Is that true, Tsubomi-chan, Kousuke-kun?" At the sudden attention directed to them, they looked at me anxiously before hesitantly nodding. Out of anyone's sight, I snickered to myself. That was what they get for not deciding on lunch.
With a grim determination, Ayano raised her fist. "Alright, chocolate it is! Help me get the ingredients!" Now set on a mission, any signs of her nerves disappeared and she became a blur while dragging the other two to the refrigerator as I leisurely followed behind them.
Yum, it had been a while since I'd been blessed with Ayano's sweets. Even when I craved chocolates, I could never seem to get mine as tasty as hers.
'Maybe that's why she's like milk chocolate, the perfect blend of everything,' I thought offhandedly as I watched Ayano heating the milk and butter. Off to the side, Kousuke was chopping pieces of chocolate and Tsubomi was mixing the dry ingredients together. Kousuke would be white chocolate because the guy was too sweet for his own good. Tsubomi would be dark chocolate, bitter yet rich to the sophisticated taste buds.
Then where did that leave me?
I stopped cutting the strawberries I was tasked with as I barely avoided a superficial wound from my knife. Well, Shuuya would be like chocolate covered fruits, being the deceiver he was like chocolate warping the image of the fruit. Yet, he still had a big heart on the inside no matter how many times I wanted to strangle him myself.
Except, I wasn't Shuuya nor was I Shouko. At the end of the day when I laid in bed restless, I was—
"Shouko-san!" I turned to where Ayano was aiding Kousuke in properly chopping the chocolate. "What kind of chocolate would you like?"
I smiled. "I'm okay with anything~"
All that contemplation made me realize I was more in the mood for marshmallows, but not like I could say that when I was the one who suggested chocolate. At least everyone was smiling now and that was all I could ask for.
Well, nothing ever went my way before and that wasn't something new. Still not going to stop me from enjoying the moments in the present.
If one ever have a chance to meet God face-to-face, many scenarios can play out, but generally they are categorized into two reactions. Either the person in question will drop to a low bow and praise God in all the ways possible, or the person will try their best to kill God in the most gruesome ways possible.
I'll skin the guy alive, spray acid onto the bleeding wounds, burn the corpse till ashes remain, dance on the ashes—Well, you get the picture. I'm a great example of the latter case.
Life's not fair. I know that, probably better than what the average kid knows. In fact, I knew I was dying, 23% survival rate not being a nice number, but I didn't expect it to be so soon. Nonetheless, I would happily embrace death with open arms.
Then, God decided to throw that curve ball and here I am now. And where am I, you are asking?
Kagerou Days. Or Daze. Mekakucity Actors? Songs, manga, light novels, whatever! I'm in the freaking Kagerou Project, you know, something fictional, and made by God Jin, and should not be real?! I'm panicking here! Sure I loved it, but that was when I was on the other side. Worse, I don't even know the full endings! I don't wanna end up in a world of overpowered reptiles, broken timelines, and unnaturally colored eyes!
If this is to punish me, God, then congratulations on succeeding. And may you burn in a fiery pit.
Dear Mom, Dad, Harpy Harper, and little dweeb Jerry,
Sorry for dying on you guys, but we all knew it was coming. So please don't cry too hard and divide my stuff equally, not board them all into one big room to let them gather dust for eternity. But please, send your luck, wherever you guys are, to me to get out of this world sane.
With love from your youngest daughter,
Rose M. Reed
EDIT 07/20: Brushed up on grammar and dialogue. Original A/N below still applies.
A/N: Alright, onto the explanations. First, these drabbles will have a plot and are not randomly put together. The profile picture is partially what Rose looked like pre-reincarnation loops. Also, her name does have a significant meaning to the story, so see what you can make of it as of now.
Yes, this is very SI-OC centric. Yes, Rose does have knowledge of the fandom she's "just so happens" to appear in. NO, she will not have romantic relationships with any canon characters, not including crushes. In most SI, the OC throws away the past and does their best in changing the plot for the good and all that stuff. Then things go canon no matter what they do and relationships happen with triangles thrown in sometimes. Yeah, no way here. Kagepro is a perfect place with the right amount of characters, great things to go into details, and the time loops will ensure the Butterfly Effect to happen, especially when you're one of the main characters. Don't get me started on the different plots in all the Routes, Jin is an evil genius. Rose... she's going to go down kicking to forget everything relating to her. Fair warning, this story won't be just a fix-it plot, it'll focus on exploring idea of friendship, self-confidence, and the Kagerpro world.
Fem!Boys, why do that? As fun it is to have a female panicking over a sexual body change, I don't think I'm that cruel... yet. Turning the canon boys into females for specific timelines can change things as well, especially with all the hinted relationships in the fandom. Let's take Fem!Kano for example. As a boy, he's a pain in the rear for Kido. As a girl... still a bother, but a more understanding between them. I can't wait to go into the HaruTaka one...
So, feedback on the story? Yay, nay, or something in between? Reviews and criticisms would be appreciated, though I thank every reader who read The Name Tateyama Ayano, especially all who favorited, reviewed, and followed. You guys made me happy! Until the next update, have a nice day, everyone!