Neverland of Black and White
Past and Future Intertwined
(Uploaded on July 8, 2020)
Summary: The future Class 78 settle into their temporary norm. The present-day Class 78 try to figure out what's up.
Notes: This chapter is set the day after the previous chapter.
Makoto & Kyoko
Hope's Peak Academy
Second Floor – Hallway
"Who does Kyoko think she is, being all smug and in your face like that…!?"
"If she thinks I'm just gonna let her win, she's got another thing coming…!"
"Uhh…" Makoto nervously glanced between Sayaka and Mukuro. "Y'know, I just remembered I had something important to do with my sister, so… can I—?"
Two pairs of eyes faced him with a harsh glare. "You're staying here!"
"A-A-Alright! If—If that's what you two want… oh boy…"
The Luckster had no idea how he had gotten into this situation.
It was one thing to have Sayaka and Mukuro drag him out to spy on people.
It was another thing entirely to have those people be his future self and future Kyoko.
(And they were married, to boot!)
The three of them were peeking out from behind the corner, watching the couple stare out the window with hands interlocked. There was something in Future Makoto's eyes that neither the girls could pinpoint. Longing? Regret?
"Even now, I can still recognize where everything used to be," the time-displaced headmaster said, wistfully. "Fifteen years on and not a thing's changed in my mind."
The ex-Ultimate Detective snorted. "You sure that's not simply because you became headmaster of Hope's Peak?"
"Hey, I may not have your memory, but I could never forget this for the world. Not after all that's happened." He laughed, self-deprecatingly. "It really is just my luck that we'd end up back here like this, huh?"
"It certainly does seem that way… not that I'm complaining." Future Kyoko put her other hand to her chin and smiled. "I'd much prefer being here by your side, instead of at home and without you."
As they continued to converse with one another, the Pop Sensation and Soldier seethed in the background. I'm supposed to be Makoto's childhood friend, the idol thought—and yet, I've never been able to be that casual with him! What does she have that I don't!?
I refuse to believe that this is reality, Mukuro insisted. I refuse to! Because that would mean—that would mean—!
…that I'm out of Makoto's life entirely…
Meanwhile, the Luckster was taking a good look at the couple himself. Kyoko's as steadfast as usual, he noted, though she's… more laidback than I've ever seen her. And future me—I don't even know what to say about future me.
Compared to hopelessly average me, he's basically a completely different person…!
"That's one thing we can agree on," said guy chuckled. "Man, looking back, I used to be so oblivious. Three different girls vying for my attention, with me constantly wondering what's up… it's kinda cute, now that I can remember it. And… kinda sad."
"Mmm. It's… a pity, isn't it? Dynamics like the ones we had don't crop up often—I miss it sometimes, myself."
Three… different… girls…? Past Makoto blinked. Wait, does that mean both Sayaka and Mukuro are—?
"Yeah. But hey," Future Makoto waved off his melancholy, "we're back in the past now, and we've got the opportunity to embarrass our younger selves and our old classmates! That's better than I could've expected. Speaking of which…"
Abruptly, he turned toward the eavesdropping trio and waved at them. "Come on out, you three. Don't be shy! We don't bite or anything."
Makoto, Sayaka, and Mukuro all jolted in shock.
H-How the heck did he see us!? Sayaka gawked. Makoto's not that observant, lessons with Kyoko aside!
I must be slipping, Mukuro swore. There's no way I would've been caught if I had been focused…!
Future Kyoko peered at the opposite end of the hallway and called for a fourth person to join them. "That includes you, past me. I know you're there. You're doing a bad job concealing yourself, for what it's worth."
The younger Detective shuffled out from her not-very-hidden hiding spot, blushing furiously.
Sayaka and Mukuro shot another red-hot glower at her.
The Luckster sweatdropped. Even she couldn't resist snooping in, huh…?
Byakuya, Aoi, Yasuhiro
Fourth Floor – Computer Lab
Future Byakuya's fingers clacked across the keyboard.
A number of tabs were open on the laptop the company president was using, a dissatisfied expression present on his face as always. Next to him was Future Aoi and Future Yasuhiro—both of whom were being… less than productive, much to Byakuya's chagrin.
"Mmm…" The ex-Swimming Pro dumped another donut into her mouth, humming with delight. "Donuts in this era still taste as good as donuts from ours! I can already feel my worries washing away in the wind…!"
"Look at all these crystal balls going on retail!" the ex-Clairvoyant said excitedly, his smartphone lit up in his hand. (It was fortunate that they could still connect to the present-day Internet, different models aside.) "Hey, you two, which one do you think I should get? One of them's gotta be more magical than my last one!"
"I'm not going to help you waste your money, Hiro," Byakuya replied, without missing a beat. "And Hina, it would be appreciated if you could focus on gathering information—I trust you to do that more than this idiot."
Aoi sighed. "I know, I know… but if I don't eat this, I think I'll go insane from anxiety!" She popped another donut in her mouth. "Just lemme finish this pack, and I'll get right to work—promise!"
In the background, Past Byakuya gazed disinterestedly at the trio of dysfunctional adults, joined by Leon, Chihiro, and Celeste. Facing his elder counterpart, he continued, "I don't see why you're electing to cooperate with these two. There are plenty of smarter individuals out there—even that commoner Makoto would be a better option."
Future Byakuya hummed. "Call it me being sentimental," he allowed. "Fifteen years of associating with these six will do that to you."
His past self shuddered. Spending well over a decade with these plebeians—including Toko, however more respectable she may have become?
He'd rather go choke on a pineapple, thank you very much.
"What are you three even doing, anyway?" Leon brought up, one finger scratching the side of his head. "Researching? You lived through this time already; I don't see why you have to do so…"
"Is their reasoning not obvious?" Celeste raised an eyebrow. "Without fact-checking, there can be little accounting for inaccuracies in their memories. It is akin to trying to play poker without ever glancing at your cards."
Chihiro bit her lip. "That… d-does seem like something you'd want to avoid…"
"Exactly. It's simply common sense." The once-heir closed his laptop and swiveled toward the other four. "It's imperative that we get all our facts right now—because if we need to do it later, it could lead to disaster."
Leon and Chihiro blinked simultaneously. "Disaster…?"
Future Aoi cringed. "Trust me, you don't wanna know. Not everything during our time at Hope's Peak was smiles and sunshine—as much as I wish it was. I've… got a lot of regrets, and I'd rather not see them repeated, if I can help it."
Aoi was a girl who was normally endlessly optimistic.
What kind of regrets would someone like her have?
(And why did she make it sound so deadly serious?)
"That's why we've gotta do what we can before things get to that point!" Future Yasuhiro said, pumping a fist into his palm. "And that starts with… doing all this stuff!" He laid back in his chair and rubbed his fingers through his hair. "Man… if only my crystal ball hadn't broken when we got here. Then I could actually perform some expert-level predictions!"
"f you really want to make yourself useful, I think you're better off getting the Reserve Course students on our side," Future Byakuya said. "Specifically, Hajime and Natsumi. Your idiocy just might be over-the-top enough to be endearing to them."
"…I'm not sure if that was a compliment, but I'll take it!"
"The Reserve Course, you say?" Past Byakuya crossed his arms. "And what, pray tell, would you need with those riff-raff?"
Aoi breathed in and out, struggling to stay composed. "You wouldn't understand. Not with the way this whole school acts." Beneath her breath, she muttered, "God, I—I really do hope we can make a real difference this time…"
The Affluent Progeny and the Gambler exchanged glances.
They plan to keep us out of the loop, do they? the former scoffed. As if they could hide anything from a Togami, of all people.
Mark my words, I will drag the truth from their mouths, the latter vowed. They may hold all the cards… but I have plenty of experience with this kind of game.
Komaru & Toko/Jill
"I still can't believe you're willing to eat s-stuff like this."
"Oh come on, Toki! There's nothing wrong about this! It's perfectly ordinary food for a perfectly ordinary girl!"
"As if. It's about as ordinary as Makoto's tastes in gifts…"
The self-dubbed Ultra Despair Girls were in Hope's Peak's courtyard, ready to have another of their usual lunch dates. As was a semi-regular occurrence, Komaru had a tray of kangaroo meat sitting on her lap, while Toko struggled not to cringe at her girlfriend's… exotic palette.
Past Toko, on the other hand, had no such qualms.
"Eww. Eww, eww, eww. H-H—How can you stomach this k-kind of sh-shit?" the Writing Prodigy groused, holding a hand over her mouth. "T-To give up Master for her… both of you s-s-sicken me."
"Aren't you just cheery?" Past Aoi deadpanned. In the background, Mondo scratched his head in confusion, while Hifumi gleefully soaked in every minute detail of the scene. "Really, you should be happy that you've found love in the future, Toko! It's… different than what we all expected, but still!"
"Grrrrrrrrr…! Of course you would see it that way." Her hands started to shake uncontrollably, her face going redder than the athlete had honestly ever seen her. "This drab girl's l-like—like a bowl of soup in comparison to Master! No presence, no charm; no athletic or intellectual skills, either… how could I ever fall in love with her?"
Komaru kept munching on her lunch, not affected by Past Toko's words in the slightest. "Hey, I may not be all that special, but I try my best! You should keep an open mind—you never know what you'll find."
Hifumi pushed his glasses up his nose and grinned. "So, you're Mr. Makoto Naegi's sister, eh? I must say, you certainly do share that protagonist aura of his! And his ahoge, too!"
"I do?" She put a finger to her mouth and chuckled nervously. "I wouldn't really put it like that, myself. We're siblings, sure, but we couldn't be more different from each other."
"Yeah. She rides motorbikes at full speed, likes sitting on training potties, and can kick your ass h-harder than a Monokuma on steroids," Toko supplied.
Mondo blinked. "She rides bikes?"
"She sits on training potties?" Aoi chimed in, bewildered.
"…wh-wh—what's a Monokuma?" Past Toko brought up. (She went ignored.)
The Ultimate Fanfic Creator beamed. "Bwehehe… You are quite the individual, Ms. Komaru Naegi! There's more to you beneath that Ordinary High-School Student façade!" ("She's not even in high school; that metaphor d-doesn't work!") "What adventures have you gone on, as compared to your lucky older brother? There must be a story you can tell us!"
"AAAAAAAAAHHH! MY MECH! IT'S OUTTA CONTROL!"
Abruptly, a giant-ass robot burst through one of the walls, startling the six still sitting in the courtyard. It was fizzling with electricity and moving around in a jerky fashion, weapons prepared to fire at any time.
"Oh, come on," the Swimming Pro groaned—"this again!? This is the third time this month!"
"G-Great," Past Toko groused. "Today's just the w-w-worst day. First I l-learn about my future, a-and now everything's exploding again. Ughhhhhhhhh… why is this happening to me!?"
Komaru put her tray down and sighed.
"Even here, Hope's Peak can't stay quiet for a single second, huh…? Fine by me." She leaped from her seat and unlatched a rather strange peripheral of hers—a device shaped like a megaphone. "I've been itching to get some action in, anyway! Toko, you ready?"
"O-Of course," her girlfriend said, "who do you take me for?"
She got out an electric taser and shocked herself with it, much to the surprise of the four observing her. In an instant, Toko was gone, and in her place was…
"Kyeeehahahahahaha! Somebody smashed the triangle button, and here I am!"
"Ooh, and what do we have here?" The ex-Ultimate Murderous Fiend squinted at her wide-eyed audience. (Past Toko, in particular, had her jaw pretty much on the floor.) "I must be dreamin', 'cuz I'm seeing the past come to life—and Miss Gloomy, too! We on the set for a reality TV show or somethin', Dekomaru? I always thought those were boring—not enough murder for my tastes!"
"It's a long story, Jill," Komaru replied. "Tell you 'bout it later. Right now, we've got more important things to deal with." She pointed a thumb at the rampaging wrecking machine in the background.
"Well, if that's all you need, then who am I to deny ya!?" she laughed. "Let's break this thing in half, just like the old days!"
"I knew I could count on you. C'mon!"
The two proceeded to leap into action, Break Shots and Genoscissors flying across the makeshift battlefield.
A beat of silence passed before everyone managed to find their voice.
"…damn," Mondo breathed. "If she's that badass, then I'd really love to race her sometime. Wonder how fast she can push herself…"
Toko was reduced to stammering incoherently. "Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-What? She—She-She-She-She-She—! Genocide J-Jack? J-Just like that?"
"Wow!" Hifumi's glasses glinted approvingly. "Her heroic ability is truly unparalleled! She and Makoto are giving me tons of new inspiration already!"
"…are all of us going to be like this in the future?" Aoi asked, flabbergasted. "Being able to fight giant robots and such without breaking a sweat? Because I have even more questions now than when we started!"
The Seven Survivors
Class 78's Homeroom
Junko sat in the back of the classroom, laying her eyes on the six remnants of Class 78 (plus one).
"Look at them," she muttered disdainfully under her breath. "Smiling and laughing as if they've never ever seen a glimpse of despair. Where do they get off being so hopeful?"
She didn't like this.
She didn't like this at all.
Granted, Junko wasn't one to be affectionate toward anything—Yasuke barely qualified as an exception—but…
This confirmation of her plans being unsuccessful in the long-term?
It vexed her.
And even worse, she could tell that it was all herbivore boy's fault.
Oh, they didn't go and say it outright. They weren't that stupid. But she could make a few educated guesses, based on the way the six other adults seemed to gravitate around the ex-Ultimate Luckster.
"What's it like, being the headmaster of Hope's Peak Academy?"
Future Makoto smiled at his younger self's innocent question.
"It's something else, I'll tell you that," he replied. "Handling dozens of Ultimates every day, making sure the academy stays up and running… it's not quite as extravagant as you'd expect, but it definitely isn't boring, either. It helps that I've got my friends on staff, too."
Future Kyoko nodded, a warm expression on her face. "Between the seven of us, we have a variety of bases covered—and our students know better than to make us mad. Believe me, anything you can do, we've probably seen several times over already."
"I see, I see!" Kiyotaka professed loudly. "You all have lots of experience in the field! I am very impressed in your abilities to curate a suitable learning environment!"
"Ha ha—coming from you, that's some pretty high praise," Komaru said. "Thanks!"
"It's nothing special," Future Byakuya dismissed—"any peasant could wrangle Hope's Peak's rowdy bunches, so long as they have the mental fortitude. I could do it in my sleep.
"Kyeeehahaha! You heard him here first, folks!" Genocide Jill cackled. "Nothing's impossible for Master Byakuya!"
Look at my classmates, Junko internally scoffed. They're so easily enthralled by their future selves, it's almost depressing. Even my twin sister can't keep her eyes off of them, and she's as emotionally resonant as a moldy brick.
On a whim, the Fashionista moved her gaze toward Sayaka and Mukuro, who were silently fuming in their seats. Yasuhiro was hovering over them, offering them a discount on his services—"If you guys want some help, I'm totally down for that!"—while his future self frantically shook his head no.
I should've taken care of Makoto ages ago, she thought, before he managed to sink his teeth into Mukuro. I'd bet that even if I asked her to now, she'd think twice about taking that Luckster outta the game.
"Wh-Wh-Why the heck are you allowed to be a s-s-staff member, of all th-things!?" Past Toko yelled, tersely looking at her doppelganger in irritation. "And—wh-what was with that s-stunt you pulled earlier!?"
"Oh, that?" Jill beamed. "I'd tell you now, but there's no fun in giving you all the answers! It's like skipping straight to the end of a book without stopping! Just know that I'm totally reformed, and that Dekomaru's, like, the cutest girl this side of Japan!"
"Like hell you are! A-And like hell she is!"
"Wow," Komaru laughed, "somebody's in disbelief! I almost can't believe Toko used to be her…"
"Tell me about it," Future Aoi chirped. "At least she's not so crazy over Byakuya anymore. Otherwise, we would've had a much harder time dealing with the painting incident last month—"
The ex-Affluent Progeny shot a harsh glare at the ex-Swimming Pro. "We don't speak of that."
Future Yasuhiro brightened up. "Oh, yeah! There was that! Man, you guys should've seen Byakuya's reaction to the statue they made of him—"
His voice got more annoyed. "We don't speak of that."
Sakura chuckled. "Some things never change, I suppose. It'll be an interesting experience, learning from these future versions of our fellow classmates. I look forward to it."
That was fine. Junko was looking forward to it, too—but in a different way.
They can conceal the truth all they want, but I'm more than capable of figuring out the future from them. And I've got the means to fire back against anything they can do to sabotage my plans.
They think it'll be easy to stop the apocalypse this time?
Fat chance of that.
I'm the Ultimate Despair; the one who'll induce The Biggest, Most Awful, Most Tragic Event in Human History.
I'll bide my time for now, but I'm a quick learner. No matter what they do, they can't stop me from plunging this world into despair—
—or from bringing their world back to the brink.
Just you wait and see. Despair will triumph over hope, as it was always meant to be.
Just you wait.
So, I recently got and beat Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls. The third-person shooter aspects are admittedly a bit undercooked, and the game can be a bit strict with navigation and Save Points sometimes… but overall, it was a fun time.
And honestly, the game was worth getting, if only to see Komaru and Toko's relationship blossom.
(I ship them now. I ship them a lot. They are just so perfect for each other.)
In celebration of this event, I decided writing an addendum chapter to this fic wouldn't hurt. And this time, we get to see Past!Class 78's side of the story, instead of just what Future!Makoto sees. Fun times for all!
The appearance of Future!Class 78 naturally raises a lot of question for their counterparts. Their fire-forged camaraderie eclipses the younger sixteen's bonds in spades, and there's an air of mystery behind how much they had to grow in the intervening years. For most of the Ultimates, though, the best explanations they're gonna get are vague references and inferences.
Which is fine by me, in this case. After all, half the fun of this comes from seeing the sixteen's reactions to their surprise visitors.
Well, that's all for now – see you around!