Ultimate Rescue

Chapter 14.

Here we go, this ends now.

After dragging him down the winding stairwell and back through the hallway leading up to it, Junko forced Makoto into a different room and locked the door behind them.

Makoto opened his eyes, having had them closed the entire time Junko had pulled him along, and found that they were in the Headmaster's office. Junko was standing in front of the door, her hand holding the switchblade trembling violently, her face void of any clear emotion, her breathing heavy.

Makoto was not sure what to say or do, never in all the times he had seen her had Junko ever displayed such behavior, usually she would be laughing, yelling, raving about despair, but, now, she was not doing anything of the sort. For the first time since he remembered, this was the first time the Ultimate Despair actually looked legitimately furious as opposed to simply being irritated, but, it was clear that it was not just that.

It then became clear to the Luckster, that the Mastermind was scared, everything she had been working towards was coming apart at the seams right in front of her eyes. She had put so much work into her "Killing Game", Everything up until now was, for the most part, going according to her plan, even when things changed, she still had a handle on the situation; but, now everything had been completely turned on its head, nobody had died, nobody was despairing, all of her intended victims seemed to have only become stronger with every shot she fired.

Junko had failed and she knew it.

Makoto looked on tensely as Junko raised her switchblade, pointing it at the chair at one of the couches.

"Sit." she hissed.

The slight brunette obliged, he slowly walked over and sat on the couch, then Junko walked over and stood in front of the table in between the two couches, standing right in front of Makoto.

The blond Mastermind and her hostage stared at each other in silence for several seconds, the only sound in the room was the incessant ticking of the clock on the wall.

Makoto tried to say something, only for Junko to hiss in response and hold her knife just inches from his face.

The numb blond closed her eyes, inhaled, exhaled deeply, then opened her eyes again.

"How?" she spoke flatly.

The brunette looked up curiously.

"How did you do it?" she questioned monotonously.

"Um...what, uh...what do you-" Makoto responded hesitantly.

Suddenly, Junko slammed her free hand against his chest, getting a tight grip on his jacket collar, and pulling him face to face with her.

"You know what I mean!" she spat, "Every time I tried something, the lot of you, especially you, seemed to be one step ahead of me, like you knew what was going to happen!"

Makoto cringed as he felt miniscule beads of the furious blond's spit fly onto his face.

"Did you think I didn't notice?" Junko voiced, "That ever since day one of this operation once everything was up and running, every once in a while there'd be a glitch in my surveillance equipment's audio or visuals or that everyone seemed to get settled in rather quickly?"

She was now shaking the tense Luckster.

"And I noticed right away that you were pretty quick to cozy up to everyone like you already knew them," she continued, "that everyone was quick to trust each other, like everyone had just remembered everything as quickly as they had forgotten it."

Makoto looked around nervously.

"So tell me right now," Junko demanded, violently shaking the shorter teenager back and forth, "tell me how you did it! Tell me how you knew everything!"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you!" Makoto uttered.

The shaking stopped abruptly, with Junko staring blankly at the dizzy boy; Makoto remained completely still as the blond slowly leaned towards him.

"Try me." she said flatly.

He glanced at the blade that pressed precariously against his cheek.

"You really wanna know how I knew everything?" he asked.

The Ultimate Despair said nothing as she awaited her rival's explanation.

Wracked with uncertainty, Makoto explained, in full detail, everything he knew and how everything had been done, from being contacted by the spirits of the students originally lost to the killing game to how they got everyone's memories back. As he spoke, he watched Junko closely, her expression falling with his every word. Once he finished, he waited for the blond's response.

Nearly a minute passed before Junko finally spoke.

"Huh, time travel...I shouldn't believe it..." she voiced quietly, "but...after everything I've seen...is it really that surprising? How else would you have known what was going to happen...before it happened...you've seen it all before."

Makoto nodded.

"I've also seen what happens after this as well," he voiced, reaching for his phone in his pocket, "do you wanna..."

"The cameras are still on." Junko stated softly.

The Luckster froze, confused by what she said.

"You destroyed my surveillance on the inside," Junko voiced monotonously, "but...the broadcast is still going on...people can still see what's happening here on the inside."

A questionable expression formed on her face as she stared firmly at her captive, she looked as if she were contemplating something crucial and then she got the same look she had when she talked about the feelings of despair. That brazen, salacious look.

Wary of what was about to happen, Makoto glanced at his side and found that Junko had dropped her switchblade, the blade part retracted. Unsure of what else to do, he quickly grabbed the black handle and flung it across the room. When Junko looked back to see what happened, Makoto quickly stood up from couch and shoved the tall blond over the coffee table, against the second couch, and ran for the door. Unsurprisingly, he found the door to be locked, but, before he could do anything else, Junko, who had gotten to her feet, grabbed him by his hood and viciously pulled him backwards.

"I don't care what happens," the Ultimate Despair yelled, "I'm getting something out of this! Somebody other than me is going to feel despair!"

She spun the shorter teenager around forced him to the ground, pinning him down as she straddled his hips.

"Junko, you don't have to do anything else," Makoto said, struggling as his rival swiftly unzipped his hoodie, holding him in place with her other hand, "just stop."

The blond did not listen, she grabbed the collar of Makoto shirt with both and forcibly tore it down the middle, revealing his bare, scrawny torso. Her behavior left her rival incredibly anxious, but, it was her next act that alarmed him. As Junko's fingers dug into the rim of his pants, Makoto panicked and quickly latched his hands around her neck and began to squeeze, which made the blond grab his wrists.

"I don't want to hurt you, Junko," Makoto affirmed, lessening his grip, "but, this has to end!"

Junko responded by slapping him in the face, then again when he did not let go of her neck the first time, as soon as he let go of her, Junko grabbed him his shoulders.

"This. Ends." she growled, repeatedly banging Makoto's head against the floor, "When. I. Say. It. Ends!"

While his hands were free, Makoto quickly dug into his pocket and took out his phone.

"Goddammit Junko," the Luckster cried, "look! Look at what happened last time!"

Junko froze as Alter Ego tapped into her mind, imbuing the events surrounding and following the killing game the first time around, showing her everything she had done and everything she had caused, even in death. When it was all over, Junko had a fixed, obviously stunned, look on her face, whatever she was feeling it was not immediately clear.

Makoto shifted, trying to remove himself from the vacant blond's hold, but, as he sat up, holding eye contact with her, Junko's eyes suddenly began to shed tears, though her expression did not change.

"J-Junko?" Makoto called softly, "Junko?"

Then, as Junko's face softened, she collapsed against her rival; Makoto remained completely still as Junko sank into his front, unsure of what to do, the shorter teen simply put his hands on the blond's back as she wept softly. After a few minutes of awkward silence with only the sound of Junko's quiet sniveling, the Ultimate Despair finally spoke.

"M...M-Makoto," Junko whimpered, "I'm scared...I'm so scared, I don't know what to do."

Makoto did not know how to respond to her, he had seen her cry before, but, not like this, before, she pulled tears for only a moment before changing her demeanor. This time, she legitimately sounded like a lost, scared little girl, there was no laughter or growling afterwards, she was not yelling or smiling psychotically, hell, she almost seemed like a normal human being.

"I did so many bad things," the Ultimate Despair continued, "I lied to so many people, I told them that I cared and that I could help them, that I was their friend, that I would look out for them and give them whatever they wanted, but, it wasn't true, none of it was true, I didn't really care about them or their problems, I just cared about getting what I wanted, regardless of what happened to them!"

"What do you want, Junko?" Makoto asked quietly.

"Someone!" the blond uttered, "Anyone! Somebody I don't have to brainwash, someone I actually give a shit about, someone who actually gives a shit about me! Somebody who won't leave me behind! Somebody I won't leave behind!"

Makoto's eyes widened as Junko lifted her head to look at him with her soaked, bloodshot eyes.

"I'm tired of having to kill people just to feel something other than nothing," she lamented, "I'm tired of feeling Despair and nothing else, I...I want to be happy, I want...hope."

"Junko..." Makoto said solicitously.

"Am I allowed, Makoto?" Junko inquired meekly, "Am I allowed to have hope?"

"Well, yeah," her rival responded, "everyone should have hope."

Junko's looked on curiously, as he had said it in a way that made her think that she should have known that already.

Just then, they heard loud footsteps from outside of the room, distant, but clearly getting closer.

"Huh?" Makoto voiced, "Someone's out there?"

"Guess they didn't want to leave without you," Junko sighed, "I figured they wouldn't."

Finally, she pulled away letting the boy get to his feet, in return he pulled her to her feet as well; as soon as they were both up, Makoto, with a firm grip on Junko's hand, tried to head for the door. However, Junko did not move from where she was standing.

"What are you doing?" Junko questioned flatly.

"I was...gonna leave," Makoto offered, "I thought...I'd bring you with me."

Junko looked on in shock, then appreciation, as she shook her head.

"No..." she said solemnly, frowning, "I can't."

The blond weakly pulled her hand from her rival's.

"It would cause more trouble than it's worth if I went with you," Junko expressed, "besides, there are things I have to do, people I need to talk to; I'll leave here when I'm good and ready, but, right now, I think it would be better if nobody sees me right now."

She then turned around headed for the curtains at the back of the room.

"Well then, I'll leave the door open for you on my way out." Makoto sighed, zipping his hoodie up, as he had just remembered that it was still unzipped.

Just as Junko disappeared behind the curtains, there was a knock at the door.

"Makoto?" he heard, "Are you in there?"

It was Leon.

"Leon?" Makoto responded, "I'm here."

He then tried the door, only to find that Junko had busted the lock.

"But, the lock is broken," the Luckster affirmed, "I can't get the door open."

"I got it," the baseball player instructed, "step back a ways."

Makoto moved away from the door, then, after confirming his position, there were two loud bangs against the door.

"Almost got it." Leon said.

Then, with a third strike, the door flew open, as the tall redhead kicked the door open, right then, Makoto grabbed his phone and sent a text to Kyoko, telling her that he was okay and Leon had found him.

"Ah, that wasn't so hard," Leon voiced, "sorry nobody got here sooner, it's just, between getting the roof door open again and having to search all the rooms-"

He was cut off when the shorter boy suddenly hugged him.

"Huh?" the athletic one responded, "Hey, what happened, are you okay?"

"I'm...not sure." Makoto replied dismally.

Confused, but mindful, the baseball player hugged him back.

"Come on, let's go back to the others." Leon said.

Makoto checked his phone and saw that Kyoko had responded.

"They're all waiting by the entrance." Makoto affirmed, looking at the text.

They left the room, making their way toward the entrance, the redhead keeping an arm around the Makoto's shoulder's as the Luckster clung to his side.

Down by the school's heavily armed, reinforced front door, the survivors of the killing game, old and new, were waiting for the moment they could finally open the door.

An impatient Kyoko was just about to leave the area to go look for Makoto and Leon, when said boys entered the area.

"Found him," Leon said, "he was in the Headmaster's office."

Kyoko quickly, yet casually, hurried over and hugged the Luckster, who hugged her back.

"What happened to Junko?" Chihiro wondered.

"She...left," Makoto replied, "we don't have to worry about her anymore...hopefully."

"So, that's it," Mondo responded, "we can leave?"

Makoto nodded.

"All right," Aoi said, "well then, let's get that door open!"

Mukuro held up the remote control set to open the door.

"Y-You know," Toko voiced, "the past has been changed, u-undone, things are going to be different out there, d-drastically different."

"She's right," Byakuya affirmed, "we don't know what awaits us out there this time."

"But, whatever is out there," Makoto avowed, "we'll be ready for it, because we'll face it together."

Hifumi leaned forward eagerly, while Celeste looked on mellowly, Kiyotaka and Chihiro clung to Mondo's side, and Sayaka grabbed Leon's hand, he was surprised, but, nonetheless, he squeezed her hand in return.

Finally, Mukuro pressed the button on the remote and everyone watched in anticipation as the door slowly opened.

"Maybe someone should go out there first and make sure it's safe to exit?" Yasuhiro voiced.

"Good idea," Byakuya said, "tell us what you see when you get out there."

"What!?" the clairvoyant responded tensely, "I didn't mean me!"

"Ugh," Toko groaned, "I'll go first."

The writer walked ahead of everyone and carefully stepped through the door, several seconds of silence went by before she spoke again.

"Whoa, everyone," she called, "come see this."

With that, the rest of the survivors walked through the door, once outside, they saw just what Toko had found, a massive crowd of people standing just outside the gates of Hopes Peak Academy. As soon as everyone had exited the school, every person in the crowd began to clamor joyfully, many of them applauding.

"Well, this is new." Byakuya stated.

"Yeah," Aoi said, "this did not happen last time."

"Junko said that even though the building's surveillance equipment was destroyed the equipment that televised what was going on inside still worked," Makoto explained, "so, everyone who was watching outside saw everything."

"And this time," Kyoko added, "they got to see a happier ending."

"Though, with alternate endings," Toko voiced, "come alternate storylines."

"You're right," Makoto said, "so, let's see what this one has in store for us out there."

Oh God, finally, it is finally done and over with! At last I can put this thing to rest.

I am sorry if this was not the ending everyone was hoping for, it certainly was not the one I was hoping for. Believe me, I cannot express how painful it was to spar Junko in this, it's just, as I thought about where I wanted to go with this, the stories that would follow this, it dawned on me that in order for future fics following this one to work, Junko had to survive, as much as it kills me, for the sake of story telling, she had to get out of this alive. Don't get me wrong, things will not be good for her, they will only get worse, I swear on my honor that Junko will suffer as long as I decide. Not just her, but, other characters who I felt got out of the games way too easily will suffer too. Nagito, I am coming for you, asshole (sorry Nagito fans, I don't hate him, but, no way in hell am I letting him off the hook).

I'm sorry if this ending was underwhelming, but, between pieces/fics piling up, people asking me to update, and the fact that I really want to move on to more DR fics, I had to get it done, it was time for it to end. There were a lot of things I had to change or leave out in order to make this work, like, I chose not to show the group breaking back into the school to look for Makoto because, that would have led to a mess of dialogue repetition, you know "nobody gets left behind" and all that, and Junko's "scuffle" with Makoto was cut short, because, if I would have followed through with it, I would have had to bump the rating up to M, and I did not want to have to change the rating just for the last chapter.

You get it, it's over, I'm happy, time to move on. One less thing weighing my already stressful life down.