Copyright, Aviatrix8, 2015. Kill la Kill and all related characters are property of Trigger, and are used without permission.
This is the sequel to "Unspeakable" (which I recommend reading before this, although it's not completely necessary). Also spoilers for the OVA/ep 25, so be forewarned.
Kill La Kill fanfic:
"Speak No Evil"
Shiro Iori quickly ran through the abandoned hallways of Honnouji Academy. There was one last thing he needed to do, before he could close the chapter on this part of his life, for good…
"We've almost finished evacuating all the students from the graduation ceremony out of the school," said Houka Inumuta, as he consulted his smartphone.
Iori glanced around his shoulder. "What about those no-star students Hououmaru was leeching memories from?"
Inumuta's eyes widened. "I'd completely forgotten about them; how careless of me. I'll send someone to go fetch them now."
"I can do it," said Iori.
Inumuta raised an eyebrow. "You? By yourself?"
"You and the Elite Four are still evacuating the rest of the students, as well as the town," Iori pointed out. "Besides, the school should be safe now that those Life Fiber lookalikes of Hououmaru's have been defeated."
"Go ahead then; it doesn't look like I'll be able to convince you otherwise." Inumuta scanned the school with his phone. "I'm detecting faint bio-readings at the location of homeroom class K; that must be where our missing students are."
Iori nodded. "On it!" He ran towards the school.
"Be careful!" Inumuta called out after him. "And hurry; by my calculations, this whole island will sink into the bay in less than an hour!"
"I'll meet you guys at the lifeboats by then!" promised Iori. He then ran through the front doors of the school.
Honnouji Academy wasn't in the best of shape, as Iori ran through its crumbling hallways… But he didn't care much about his own safety, right now. Iori knew he had to save those trapped students, if only to atone in some small way, for all the terrible things he'd done to the student body.
At long last, he finally reached the entrance of homeroom class K. Iori tried the doorknob, expecting it to be locked, but the door swung open easily from his touch.
He couldn't help but stare at the unnerving sight within… The classroom was full of long suffering no-stars, hooked up to helmets with red Life Fiber wires that led to the ceiling. They were all staring blankly at the front of the class, where a huge monitor projected the past atrocities that Lady Satsuki and the Student Council had enacted at Hounouji Academy.
Iori found himself pausing at the doorway. He was having uncomfortable flashbacks from when they had retaken Hounouji Academy, and he had headed to the Sewing Club lab only to find all his captured club members unconscious all over the place; they had clearly been under the influence of Lady Ragyo's mind stitching at some point. It made Iori feel far more guilty and responsible than he already did.
He shook his head. Get a grip on yourself, man, thought Iori to himself. You have a job to do, remember? Steeling himself, he entered the classroom.
He had only taken a few steps into the room, when the door suddenly slammed behind him. A familiar voice then spoke, one that he knew as well as himself…
"Ah, Iorin… I've been waiting for you."
Meanwhile, in Honnouji Academy's defcon system control room, Lady Satsuki turned, as Ryuko dropped into the room.
"How's everything on your end?" asked Lady Satsuki.
"Everything's fine, sis," replied Ryuko, with a grin. "All those cheap knockoffs of you and the Elite Four have been defeated, all five of 'em."
Lady Satsuki nodded. "Good."
"Five? But there aren't just five of them…"
Everyone turned in the room turned, to stare at Rei Hououmaru.
"Whaddaya mean there isn't five?" asked Ryuko. She began to count off on her hand. "There was one of Satsuki, and one for each of the Elite Four, right?"
"That is true…" replied Hououmaru. "But there are six clones in total."
"Then who's the sixth?" asked Ryuko.
Lady Satsuki's eyes widened. "Oh no…"
Idiot, Iori silently berated himself. I should've known this room wouldn't have been left unguarded…
He found himself glaring, as a familiar figure stepped out of the shadows of the corner of the classroom; a person that was basically himself, wearing Tailor's Regalia.
Unlike the Life Fiber copies of the others though, Iori's transformed clone looked almost exactly like him, down to the colour scheme; the shades were just a touch darker, and both its visor and gloves were now blood red. It was like looking into a darkened mirror.
"Oh come now, don't tell me you weren't expecting this," said the clone, as it sashayed into the light. Its metal arms hovered menacingly in the air.
"I can't say that I'm surprised, after I saw your companions," replied Iori grimly.
"Oh good. I'd hate to think that you felt left out." The clone chuckled at its own joke.
Ugh, did people really think of me this way? thought Iori, in disgust. "I was just wondering why you're wearing Tailor's Regalia," he said aloud. "The no-stars never saw me in that form."
The clone tapped its gas mask. "True. But Hououmaru did, as did some of your 1-star members." It pointed to the corner behind Iori, where a few hazmat-suited students sat hooked up, staring mindlessly at the front of the class.
"Besides, it's a far more impressive form, don't you think, Iorin?" The clone spun around in place, while the sewing machine at the ends of its metal arms snapped threateningly at Iori.
"Stop calling yourself that," said Iori, his hands balling into fists.
"But I am you, aren't I? And being you, I know all your dirty little secrets. Like what you did to all the Sewing Club members? My word, that was delightfully devilish."
"You don't know all my secrets."
"Perhaps not. But I know just enough to know what you're actually capable of. Like that poor Sewing Club member you sent to one-month detention, even though you knew full well that he didn't steal that 1-star uniform–"
Iori chose that moment to try and dash past his clone; but he found his path blocked by its sewing machines, which hissed at him.
"Ah, ah, ah… Trying to run away from your responsibilities again? Well, we can't have that, can we?"
The clone's metal arms suddenly darted forward, its sewing machines latching themselves to Iori's wrists and ankles. Iori could only struggle helplessly as he felt himself being hoisted off the ground.
"How does it feel, being confronted by your past self? Does it sting? Ooo, I certainly hope so." The light gleamed off the clone's red visor. "Let's make it hurt even more, shall we?"
The fangs of the clone's sewing machines bit into Iori's wrists. He fought back a yell.
"Not going to scream for me? How very disappointing. I was so hoping that would hurt more!" The clone leaned forward, to stare Iori in the eyes. "I wonder, do your wrists still hurt from that day?"
"'From that day…?'" repeated Iori. His eyes then widened. "You actually know about that?"
"About your assault on the Primordial Life Fiber? Oh yes. Us Life Fibers share a consciousness, you see. And every moment completely severed from the Primordial Life Fiber, is like torture to us; we have you and your friends to thank for that."
The metallic grip around Iori's wrists tightened. Iori bit his lip until it bled.
"That pain you're feeling… It's appropriate, don't you think? After all the sins those hands of yours have committed; not just against my kind, but yours, as well."
The clone held up its gloved hands. "For while you may have worn white gloves with your Tailor's Regalia, mine are red… Blood red, from all the blood you've spilled."
A gloved hand snatched Iori's chin, and pulled it forward until their foreheads touched.
"All those students you experimented on, all in the name of science… Do you even remember their names? Well, I don't. You just stood back and let others do your dirty work, while your hands stayed perfectly clean. It sickens me!"
The clone shoved away Iori's face in disgust.
"Well, unlike you, I enjoyed every last minute of their suffering. And I'm not afraid to show it."
The clone withdrew its gloved hand, and used it to push its gas mask over its strawberry-blond hair.
Iori stared into a face that was the polar opposite of his; a face as black as night, with a wide toothy grin spread across it, like a half moon hanging over the sky.
"Unlike you, I'm not afraid to smile. In fact, I do it all the time!" The mad grin on the clone's face spread even wider.
"And now, I'm going to rip you apart with your very own Tailor's Regalia… So the only memory of you left will be just me, and all the atrocities that you've committed!"
Meanwhile, back at the defcon control room, Ryuko stared blankly at Rei Hououmaru.
"Iori? You mean that short blond kid that was the Sewing Club president?" asked Ryuko.
"That's right," replied Hououmaru. "I left a Life Fiber replica of him guarding the no-star students I stole memories from."
"Then we have to get rid of it right now!" yelled Ryuko. "We have to free those students!" She turned to leave, when she was halted by a hand on her arm.
"Hang on, Ryuko," said Lady Satsuki. "I've just gotten a message from Inumuta, telling me that Iori himself is already over there."
"But… I've never actually seen that kid fight," said Ryuko. "Are you sure he's going to be all right, without any help?"
Lady Satsuki closed her eyes. "I suspect this is one challenge that he'll have to face alone… Just like the Elite Four did."
Iori gritted his teeth, as the clone's metal arms lifted him up, and slowly began to pull at his limbs. Apart from the pain, there was only one thought going through his mind.
Is this how the students of Honnouji Academy really saw me? As some kind of evil scientist? he thought in despair. Iori's eyes then widened.
Wait… If they thought of me just like a mad scientist… Then I have only one chance of getting out of this alive.
"Hey, you cheap knock off!" said Iori aloud, with much more bravado than he actually felt. "I don't suppose you'd let a dying man tell you his last words, would you?"
The clone tapped its chin with a finger. "Hmmm. I guess I can't see the harm in that."
The metal arms lowered Iori until he was face-to-face with his clone.
"Well, Iorin. What words would you like preserved for posterity?" it asked, with a grin.
"Just this." Iori took a deep breath.
Suddenly, he wrenched his right arm free from the sewing machine arm, causing blood to spatter across the clone's eyes. Iori then swung his arm back, slashing the clone across the throat with the seam ripper hidden in his hand.
"Don't you ever stop talking?" he retorted.
Iori then reached into the clone's cut throat, and used the seam ripper to sever the banshi within.
Still grinning madly, the clone started to laugh. It continued to laugh as its head fell back from the slash in its throat; then the entire clone dissolved into a cloud of Life Fibers, that promptly faded away. Iori fell to the ground with a thud.
The problem with mad scientists, he thought to himself grimly, is that they always give the hero a chance to defeat them. However, Iori didn't feel very heroic at the moment, after basically seeing himself get slit across the throat.
Quickly, he ripped the edge of his lab coat, and bound both of his bleeding wrists with the makeshift bandages. Then he turned to attend to the trapped students.
He removed the helmet off one of the students closest to him, which just happened to be one of his club members. The student shook his head, and stared at Iori.
"President? Is that really you?"
"That's right… What do you mean, really me?"
"Well… There was someone who looked exactly like you in here with us, but he felt really, really off…"
"Don't worry, he's gone now," said Iori firmly. "Can you help me with the others?"
"Of course sir."
They both started freeing the rest of the students, as Iori pulled a helmet off another one his club members. He stared at him in recognition.
"You're Yamada, aren't you…"
The club member stared back at Iori. "You remember my name?"
Iori nodded slowly. "Yamada, Kouhei. Your Sewing Club application consisted of a tiny stuffed bear you had sewn for your little sister. You were so eager to join the club, that you willingly submitted to having your lips sewn shut with Life Fibers… And then I stabbed you in the knee for the theft of a 1-star uniform." Iori began to laugh bitterly. "I was such a fool, back then…"
The sewing club member watched silently as Iori's laughter turned into bitter tears. Only then, did he speak.
"I can't say that I can ever forgive you for what you've done to me," said Yamada shortly. "But with everything that has happened, and after talking it over with the other members of the club, I honestly can't say if we wouldn't have done the same thing, in your place."
Iori's eyes widened. Then he gave the other boy a tiny smile.
"That's more than I could ever hope for…" said Iori quietly. "Your understanding."
Inumuta was waiting impatiently by the docks, scanning the horizon, when a blond head wearing a clear orange glass mask finally bobbed into view, trailed by a group of assorted no-stars. Inumuta couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief.
"Well, it's about time," he said, trying to keep the concern out of his voice. "What took you so long?"
"There was a bit of a delay," replied Iori.
Inumuta's eyes narrowed. "What kind of a delay?"
His gaze moved down, until he noticed a small trail of blood dripping down Iori's hand.
"And why are you bleeding?" added Inumuta, as he snatched at the other boy's hand.
Iori grimaced. "The classroom holding the no-stars had a Life Fiber replica of me guarding it."
Inumuta dropped Iori's hand. "You're kidding! Are you all right?"
"Could be better, but nothing that a few stitches can't fix."
He saw Inumuta gaze at him disapprovingly. "Seriously, I'm fine. I handled it, didn't I?"
Inumuta shook his head. "Sorry, I didn't mean to belittle your abilities, Iori. It's just that you're always so quiet and reserved… It's hard for me to believe that you don't need our protection sometimes."
"Yeah, Lady Satsuki used to see me like that, when I was growing up, too." Iori's usual frown then deepened.
"It's just that…" Iori sighed. "That replica of me I fought… It acted exactly like some cliched mad scientist from a kid's cartoon. I won't deny that I did some terrible things at Honnouji Academy, but I never thought I was that bad… Until now."
"But our replicas were made from the memories from the no-star students, right?" Inumuta pointed out. "Since you spent so much time in the lab, it's not like they'd see you very often, and know what you're really like… So their perceptions of you would be coloured by their wild imaginations."
"There were Sewing Club members in that room too," said Iori flatly.
"And you don't think that Hououmaru wouldn't use their worst memories of you to make your copy? Tell me, after everything that's happened, do you really believe that the Sewing Club still fears and loathes you?"
Iori thought back to the two members he had freed earlier.
"Not completely, no."
"There you go, then. The students of Honnouji Academy only got to see that one side of you; they didn't know the real you like Lady Satsuki did… Or like us Elite Four did."
Iori gave Inumuta a small smile. "Leave it to you to cheer me up with logic… Thanks, Inumuta."
It was just then that Lady Satsuki showed up, surprisingly with Hououmaru in tow.
As she walked up, Lady Satsuki noticed Iori standing with the others, and gave him a knowing smile, one that he recognized immediately.
Did she… Know about my confrontation with my past demons? thought Iori. And Lady Satsuki didn't send any help, so she must've thought I'd be able to handle it… Thank you for having such faith in me, milady.
It then occurred to Iori that Lady Satsuki was smiling a lot more these days… He hoped that some day soon, he'd feel comfortable enough to be able to do so himself, too.
This story's title comes from that Elite Four/Four Devas/Four Monkeys meme... Though I know Inumuta is supposed to be "Speak no evil", I thought that it would be fitting for Iori as well, in the context of the story (plus, he also keeps his mouth covered).
BTW, this story is dedicated to iorishiro from Tumblr, for enabling my Inumuta/Iori addiction. Thanks. ;)