Neverland of Black and White
History Repeats and Repeats
(Uploaded on February 9, 2020)
Summary: (Or, the weirdest high school reunion of all time happens.)
Notes: This fic is set in an alternate timeline to Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak Academy – Side: Despair. The future Class 78 are from sometime after the conclusion of Side: Hope. Past!Class 78 has only been enrolled in Hope's Peak for a few months, and none of the major Tragedy-inducing events have occurred yet.
This fic is not canon to Class 78's Face-Off Hope Romp.
The title is derived from the lyrics to Dead or Lie, the opening theme to Danganronpa 3 – Side: Future.
Location: (Ack! Wh-Wha—!?)
You'd think that, with my days as Class 78's Ultimate Luckster long since behind me, I'd outgrow the trend of tripping and stumbling upon matters both fortunate and unfortunate to discover.
Unfortunately, you would be wrong.
Today had been pretty mundane, as far as things go. I had wrapped up my duties as headmaster for the day, and Kyoko and I were about to go have a nice dinner with my sister and our friends. With the Tragedy being several years behind us, we figured it'd be nice to chat a little, even reminiscence about the past. The world was healing, Hope's Peak was respectable again… what better time was there to go out and celebrate?
Apparently, that time was 'anytime but now'—'cause right when we were heading into the restaurant, the floor gave way and I ended up falling through some sort of wormhole.
Once a Luckster, always a Luckster, I guess.
Luckily for me, the fall didn't last long, as I soon crashed to the ground rather unceremoniously. My friends also did the same, and we ended up forming an uncomfortable pile on top of each other.
"Ow," I groaned, scratching my back. "That kinda hurt…"
"What the heck…?" Hina muttered, eyes spinning around in disorientation. "Did—Did we get caught by some kind of earthquake…?"
"I told you dudes, I told you!" Hiro's voice crowed semi-triumphantly. "'Great change will happen when you least expect it!' Fortune cookies really are sources of wisdom!"
"Good for you," Byakuya sarcastically grumbled, "but I don't exactly see how that helps us now. Toko, that better not be you touching my butt."
"Th-That's not me!" Toko immediately denied. "I'm not doing it! I-I-I only touch K-Komaru's, a-anyway!"
Going to ignore that statement…
"Sorry! I can't exactly help it!" my sister apologized. "I mean, we're in a bit of a tight squeeze right now…"
A few moments later, we had managed to untangle ourselves and were standing upright on the ground again. I took stock of everyone: Byakuya looked disgruntled, Toko was fretting over Komaru, Hiro was rummaging through his pockets ("I gotta check on all my stuff!"), Hina was getting her head back on straight, and Kyoko was as cool-headed as ever. I felt a little relieved, despite myself; after surviving two Killing Games and a heck of a lot more, you learn to appreciate the luck in having all your friends be a-okay.
"Okay," Kyoko said, dusting herself off, "it looks like we're all here. Anyone feel any discomfort from the fall?"
"Hmph. A Togami wouldn't be bruised from that."
"Don't worry—I survived Towa City, this is nothing by comparison!"
"Oh no! My super-expensive crystal ball broke again! Why does this keep happening!?"
"I'll take that as a no," the ex-Detective concluded.
"That's a relief…!" I sighed. "Jeez, crazy stuff is drawn to us like a magnet. We can't even go out to eat without something going haywire. At this point, I'm beginning to wonder if it's even my luck at work."
"Well, we are the former students of Class 78," Kyoko nonchalantly replied, "the last batch of Ultimates from the old Hope's Peak Academy. You remember those days as much as I do—it's no surprise that still follows us around to some degree."
"I guess you're right, Kyoko," I shrugged. "Now, the question is… what even happened? Sinkholes don't just open up like that."
"It better not be the world punishing us for trying to have fun," Hina pouted. "It would've been great to eat a ton of donuts today!"
"S-Speak for yourself, you big-breasted b-bimbo…" Toko grumbled. "I wanted to s-snuggle with my c-cuddle-bunny, but we can't always get what we w-want…"
"We appear to have dropped into Hope's Peak," my beloved deduced, continuing as if the others hadn't spoken—"which is strange, considering we were halfway across the city five minutes ago. In addition, the school seems to be… older than it was earlier today. I can't imagine why, but perhaps it's because—"
"Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-WHAT THE HECK!? Makoto!? Kyoko!? EVERYONE!?"
And then we all froze.
That—That was a voice I hadn't heard in a long time.
As in, 'first Killing Game' long time.
Slowly, we craned our heads to face the unfamiliar familiar sound…
…and we were greeted by sixteen faces staring slack-jawed at us from a cafeteria table, food almost entirely forgotten.
I couldn't help but drop my own jaw at the sight of sixteen-year-old Sayaka Maizono—the owner of the voice—sitting next to sixteen-year-old me and Kyoko.
I quickly counted off the students before me in my head. There's me, Kyoko, and Sayaka, sitting like we used to—there's Toko hovering over Byakuya—Mondo, Taka, and Chihiro; Leon, Celeste, and Hifumi; Hiro, Hina, Sakura, oh god Junko and Mukuro—
It's us, as we used to be, innocent and unknowing of despair.
It's them; our old classmates, alive and still full of hopes and dreams.
For several moments, we just blankly stared at each other, in disbelief at what we were seeing.
Then, Byakuya—our Byakuya—broke the silence with two rather appropriate choices for words.
And then chaos filled the air.
Hope's Peak Academy
Jin Kirigiri looked like he was nursing a headache.
Honestly, I'd be doing the same if I was in his position.
"You know," he said, "I'm… I'm not sure what to say about all of this."
"Don't worry," Komaru sheepishly replied, "none of us are either."
"Shh! N-Not the time!" Toko hissed.
The elder Kirigiri waited for the two to settle down. "In all the time I've spent as headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy," He sighed, tiredly gazing into our eyes, "I've never come across a case as bizarre as this. So… time travel, was it?"
Kyoko nodded. "That would appear to be the logical conclusion, yes. One minute we were about to enter a diner, the next we had jumped over a full decade back in time. It is rather perplexing, I will admit—though not entirely an unexpected event."
"Talk about it," I said, laying back a bit in my chair. "I mean, after the time my students accidentally set two bathrooms on fire—and somehow made a breakthrough in medicine in the process—something like this was bound to happen eventually."
A chuckle exited the principal's mouth. "On fire, huh…? It is… good to hear that even ten years on, Hope's Peak hasn't changed a bit."
I frowned. "In some respects, it hasn't. In others…" I let the sentence hang for a moment. Being here was bringing back a host of memories – ones I had thought to be long past us. "…it had to, if it was ever going to reopen."
"Re-Reopen…?" Jin repeated in shock. "But… that implies that Hope's Peak had to be closed down! Th-This place is the bastion of hope for the entire world! Without the talent that emerges from here—seventy years' worth of it… how could there be hope to overcome despair?"
And now the rest of the room was frowning, no doubt intensely remembering what the impact those kind of ideals had. I put a hand to my forehead, suppressing the well of sarcasm that threatened to escape. "That's not what you should be focused on, Kirigiri-san," I said, quickly shoving a balled-up fist in my pocket. "That kind of thinking… it's what led to the Tragedy so easily consuming civilization whole."
"Tch. That's right." Byakuya pushed his glasses up, sternly glaring at the headmaster. "The zeroth Killing Game hasn't taken place yet. I almost forgot. Without that context, a plebian like you—however elite you are—won't be able to understand."
Toko took over explaining. "Th-The Student Council—that bitch Junko Enoshima f-forced them to kill each other, and u-used their deaths to make l-literally everyone go insane. So much talent, d-dying out like that? …it—no one could accept it."
"She's the Ultimate Despair, hiding behind the mask of an Ultimate Fashionista," Hina added, eyes blazing with fury. "All she wants is to feel as much despair as she can, and she'll drag the entire world down with her just to satisfy her addiction. Ugh, why can't she—she get out of our lives for good…!?"
"She's crazy, dude!" Hiro chimed in, looking serious for once in his life. "And I don't need my 30% success rate to tell you that! You gotta do something about her—none of us wanna go through hell like that ever again!"
"Same here," Komaru growled. "I mean sure, I wouldn't have met Toko otherwise—" She shifted closer to the ex-Writing Prodigy, who (still somewhat surprisingly) reciprocated her girlfriend's feelings. "—but it gave me a lot of scars I haven't entirely healed from."
"…you're serious," Jin realized. "You're actually serious. One girl—a girl I personally vetted—she did all of that…?" He turned to Kyoko, all of a sudden worn out and tired. "…can it really be?"
Kyoko was silent for a minute. "…I know in the past we've had our fair share of differences," she acknowledged, doing her best to avert her sight. It's still so painful to remember him, huh…? "And I… wasn't the most forgiving of individuals, then. But—believe me when I say that it's all true. Every single word."
"To be fair, Junko wasn't the only cause," I stated. "Hope's Peak was just as responsible, if not more so. So many people suffered because of them: the Warriors of Hope, Chiaki Nanami, Chisa Yukizome, Hajime Hinata… even Mukuro Ikusaba deserved more than what they got." And there were plenty more names I hadn't even said yet.
The minute I said Hajime's name, the frowns on our faces grew deeper. I knew what was going through our minds—the Izuru Kamukura Project, the culmination of the Steering Committee's efforts to create the Ultimate Hope. The project that only served to drive the nail further in the old Hope's Peak's coffin.
Just another thing to add to the list. A list of everything we need to change.
"We'll get back to our own times eventually. Hajime won't leave us hanging for long." Making a time machine isn't too out of his skillset. "But before we do… we're going to do our best to save this world from its own Tragedy." I glanced around at my friends, and confirmed their expressions were as determined as mine. "We've been through too much not to do so."
"I can see that," Jin sighed again. "Very well. I'll help get you seven set up and… we'll see what we can do from there."
Class 78's Homeroom
The seven of us stood in front of the classroom, feeling the gaze of the sixteen younger Ultimates ratcheting all over us. Kizakura had dismissed himself moments earlier, citing "I think you guys have got this handled. Go get 'em, Kyoko!"
What helpful advice. Thanks so much, Koichi.
An awkward silence floated about the room, much like it had during our first encounter with them. I decided to cut everyone some slack and take the initiative.
"So! Sorry for crashing in on you guys earlier." I put on my warmest smile and tried to look as inviting as possible. "Time travel can be a bit of a bumpy ride, especially when it's not planned. I understand our appearances have surprised most of you—" Understatement of the century "—so we'll introduce ourselves now. I'm Makoto Naegi, future headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy."
And then the whole room seemed to explode.
"H-H-H-Headmaster!?" my younger self gaped. "Th-That can't be right! I'm—I'm just an ordinary guy! A little more optimistic than others, b-but—definitely not headmaster material!"
"A respectable position to uptake!" Taka shouted, as fiery and authority-abiding as ever. "We should all congratulate Makoto on accomplishing something so incredible!"
"H-Hey, d-don't you think you should wait for that to actually happen first!?"
"Hey man," Mondo said, "take it for what it is! You're goin' to the fuckin' big leagues!"
"Ha!" I fought to conceal a grimace as Junko let out a boisterous laugh. "Herbivore boy actually got a job that high? Get a load of that, Muku!" She slapped her sister on the back, the Soldier subtly flinching from the hit. (Ugh, that's right. Junko was never the best sibling…) "Talk about one heck of a personality upgrade!"
"You'd be surprised at how much you can change," I shrugged. "I wouldn't recommend taking the same route I did, though. Wasn't… the most fun time."
"A-As cool as it is to see Makoto all grown up," Chihiro meekly said (don't get flashbacks to him being hung up now), "I—I think we should hear out the others, too. We might get a glimpse of our own futures, too."
If only, Chihiro. If only.
"I believe the most of the rest of us go without saying as well," Kyoko said. "I'm Kyoko Kirigiri-Naegi, assistant headmaster and Makoto Naegi's wife." She shot a smirk at the audience, definitely feeling a little satisfaction from saying that out loud. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance."
"Makoto Naegi's WIFE!?" Sayaka and Mukuro jumped out of their seats in sheer disbelief, while younger me and Kyoko started blushing up a storm, unable to look at each other. It was cute, seeing the latter so flustered—it's not every day she loses her cool like that.
"That can't be true!" the Pop Sensation immediately denied. "M-Makoto would never marry Kyoko!"
"She—She's right. You're joking. You have to be!" the Soldier insisted, hand twitching uncontrollably.
"Oh, really?" And that was when—with no small amount of smugness—she drew me into an embrace and kissed me full on the lips, much to the class's collective surprise. I was a little shocked myself, but I decided to just go with the flow (any excuse to kiss Kyoko's good enough for me).
Out of the corner of my vision, I could see Byakuya sighing and palming his face, muttering, "Of course she would do that… Oi vey…"
"Hmm. I expected as much to happen," Celeste mused, bringing a hand to her mouth as Kyoko and I separated our lips. "Hina, Leon, I do believe you each owe me 10,000 yen now."
"Noooooooooo!" Leon cried dramatically. "Dang it, he just had to choose the other cool-headed girl…!"
"Poo," Past Hina pouted, "I was hedging my bets on Makoto and Sayaka…"
"Heh heh heh heh…" Hifumi chuckled. "So, Naegiri was canon after all! The One True Pairing strikes again!"
And now both Sayaka and Mukuro were glaring at my past self as if this revelation was his fault. (Huh. Not quite as threatening as I remember. Still, though…) He looked to me in desperation—probably hoping I had an immediate solution for his little crisis.
I just sighed and shook my head.
Sorry me, you're gonna have to weather this storm on your own. No way in hell I'm getting involved in that…
From there, the rest of the introductions went relatively smoothly.
"I'm Aoi Asahina, ex-Ultimate Swimmer and future gym teacher at Hope's Peak. Nice to meet you all again!"
"Byakuya Togami, president of the Togami Corporation. Do try to keep your questions somewhat civilized."
"Yasuhiro Hagakure, ex-Ultimate Clairvoyant! If you wanna ask me about the future, my usual rates apply!"
"Ugh… I—I don't want to d-do this…"
"It's okay, Toko, I'll do it for you! Hey, I'm Komaru Naegi—Makoto's little sister! And this is my girlfriend, Toko Fukawa, ex-Ultimate Writing Prodigy!"
With that out of the way, everyone started organizing their thoughts and reacting appropriately.
"G-G-G-G-Girlfriend!?" Past Toko spluttered. "Th-Th-That's impossible! M-My heart belongs to M-Master Byakuya, n-n-not a b-brainless shrimp like h-her!"
"Don't you dare call my cuddlebug brainless," Future Toko hissed, absolutely incensed. "M-Master's good and all, b-but K-Komaru's better than you'll ever know!"
"H-Ha! I beg to differ! Wh-Wh-What can she do that Master c-can't, s-smoosh people with those big b-balloons of h-hers?"
"That's it. I-I'm breaking her out for this!"
"Toko, put your taser back down! Don't call Jill for this!"
Past Byakuya's eye twitched. He muttered, "Two crazies, both with a bad stench and different flavors of obsessed… I'm beginning to think graduating with 'guaranteed success' isn't worth this headache…"
"Did you hear that, Sakura, did you hear that!?" Past Hina jumped up and down animatedly enthusiastically, grabbing her best friend's arm. "I get to become a gym teacher in the future! Eeeee, this is so exciting!"
Sakura smiled. "Yes, it certainly is."
"Ooh, do I get to break my donut-eating record where you're from!?" The younger Swimming Pro raised her hand with a very wide smile. "You've got to be able to eat a lot of donuts as a teacher, right? Right?"
"I've… broken it several times, yeah," Hina confirmed, a bittersweet smile briefly showing. She had a habit of binge-eating whenever she's majorly stressed – and god knows there were plenty of moments like that during the Tragedy. "I can give you a few pointers, if you don't mind learning from your future self. Oh, and on exercising better, too."
And now Past Hina was vibrating like a Wii Remote. "YES! HA HA! Donut-eating competition, HERE I COME!"
"Hey, hey! Me from the future!" Past Hiro hollered. "I know you said that our usual rates applied, but—you wouldn't mind telling me a few things, right!? C'mon, I'm you, what's the harm in a 'lil free information?"
Thankfully, Hiro had enough sense to realize that some of the information we held was… too sensitive to tell even them about. "Sorry, buddy! You'll need about, uh… one billion yen before that becomes available! Platinum-tier rewards, y'know?
"What!? Aw, man! I'll need to make, like, a million fortunes to afford that!"
"Good to hear that you're still a cheapskate no matter what the year," Leon deadpanned. "Even going as far as to literally sell our future to us…"
"…hey, Leon! You wouldn't mind doing a friend a favor, would ya?"
"Huh—!? Get real! There's no way I'm paying for one of your loony fortunes!"
"So…" Celeste laid her arms on her desk, her gaze moving back and forth between Byakuyas past and future. "Neither of you," she pointed at the two of them, "seem to have changed much in ten years' time. That smile of yours is the same as ever."
"Hmph." Past Byakuya pushed his glasses up his nose, a familiar smirk on his face. "That's because I'm already perfect. As the Togami scion, it would be unbecoming of me not to be."
"Perfect? I doubt it," Past Kyoko muttered, a gloved hand covering up the blush still on her cheeks. "You may be the Ultimate Affluent Progeny, but you've got a long way before you ever reach perfection."
Past Byakuya shot a fierce glare at the Detective.
The elder Togami, to his credit, didn't react too much other than raising an eyebrow. "I could say the same to you, honestly. Detective or not, I think your social skills—and common sense—could use a lot of work."
Past Kyoko clenched a hand in annoyance. "Why you…"
Oh, Byakuya. You really have to stop trying to rile everyone up…
Kyoko and I hung out in the back of the room, watching as two sides of the same world interacted with one another in an almost impossible event. "It's… nostalgic, seeing our whole class back together like this, isn't it?" she remarked.
"You said it…" I replied. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think all of us were reliving memories in the Neo World Program. It's… It's one heck of a surreal miracle. Like—a second chance to get things right."
I glanced over at Junko, whose eyes were lazily surfing about her fellow Ultimates' heads. It wasn't too hard for me to imagine her thought process—even if our presence here was only temporary, it still said a lot about how successful her plans would be in the long run.
Her old strategies won't work. She'd need to tweak them all.
And only my closest allies and I knew the extent to which she'd be willing to do so.
…in the end, the battle remained the same as it's always been.
The Ultimate Analyst vs. the Ultimate Luckster.
The Ultimate Despair vs. the Ultimate Hope.
The only difference was the battlefield we'd be facing off in.
"…there's no way I can leave them alone. Not when I know what their fates will be. Maybe it'll mean putting ourselves in more danger, but… if I step back now, I know I'd regret it forever."
Kyoko blinked a bit, before giving off a warm smile. "I expected as much. It's just like you to hope for the best, even in a situation like this." She took my hand and squeezed it tightly. "Don't worry—we'll be behind you every step of the way. We'll figure out a solution to this, together. That's a promise."
I smiled back. "Yeah. You've got that right, Kyoko."
I'm not alone in this. And we're not outnumbered this time.
This time, we know exactly what's going on. We've got a plan to save as many of our friends as we can. Even if it'll be hard, even if it's not our time anymore—we'll be there to see things through.
Oh—and we'll get to hang out with our old friends again. That's a good bonus.
Whatever happens from here on out… I breathed in and out, as calmly as I could. …we'll do our best to make it work.
That's what hope is all about, after all.
Here's something you don't see a lot of in this fandom: Physical Time Travel instead of the usual Peggy-Sue. Made it all of the surviving DR1 squad because why not? Only having one or two of them go back would be kinda lonely.
…oh, and Komaru. I mean, she and Toko are besties at this point.
I fudged the canon timeline a bit because dang does DR3 give me headaches. Side: Despair (and for that matter, Side: Future) desperately needed more time than it was given, because so many elements flat out went to waste (see the minimal screentime of Class 77-B and outright shafting of Class 78 for proof). They really needed more involvement in their own dang stories, so hopefully this'll give 'em the chance. After all, they've got a lot of despair to avert in their current futures.
One of my favorite parts of Time Travel fics is seeing the time travelers' reactions to their past selves and vice versa. Ten tons of hell and Character Development will really change a person – comparing then and now can be a really fun time, especially when you get into the relationship side of things. (Look at Past!Makoto and Past!Kyoko blushing; doesn't it just warm the heart?)
If anybody wants to make their own fic based on this, then I'm all for it! Erethia's Infinity Route is a good time travel-esque story in its own right, but I'd love to see something a little more light-hearted and fun. Go all out; I'll be waiting!
Well, that's all for now – see you guys around!