(My Home)

I sat back in my seat, a dejected expression crossing my face. My green eyes stared - not for the first time - at the ending credits to Doki Doki Literature Club. After countless resets, countless plays and countless attempts to give happiness to them all, I had gotten the "true ending" of a sort; the thank you letter from the creators flashed on screen. However it didn't get rid of the pit in my stomach. This despair, this presence... I got this way whenever I felt helpless about a particular situation.

And I felt that for Monika. Sure she was a video game character; one who became self-aware and tampered with her friends and the very game until I was forced to delete her... over and over and over again. But at her heart she was... just a broken and lonely girl who realized her world was fake. Her home, family, friends... all of it fake. And every time I just recalled her words to me.

"... I still love you."

It pained me every time I read those lines, every time I saw them flash on the screen as Monika broke into pieces. Of course she was just a video game character... but she was also not. In some weird way I see parts of myself in her, like the desire to feel loved and the loneliness that hits me sometimes. And I just... loved her and wanted to see her happy. Not that I hated the game for that; it was a beautiful and well-done game that brought such horror and excitement to my face, and such sadness to my soul. And with all my heart I had wished for some sort of secret ending to give Monika a good ending, to not delete her, to... make her happy.

But I guess my hopes wouldn't come true for the game as there was no possible way to pick or save Monika and the group at the same time. Sayori, Yuri, Natsuki, Monika... all of them amazing but only three of them *designed* to have a happy ending. And that was awful to me. The idea of inevitable tragedy pricked at my mind as a scowl crossed my lips.

I took my headphones of hesitantly and set them aside, wrapping the cord up around them at a deliberately slow pace. My eyes still glanced at the blank screen now; the game had deleted itself after Monika had finished her beautiful song once more. It was it's programming... and some things you just can't change. Getting out of my chair and turning the lights off, I walk to my bed and crawl in. Since it was the weekend I didnt have to worry about school but I did have work tomorrow. With one last look to my computer my eyes closed and a solitary thought went through my head.

"I want to make her happy."


An alarm went off, but not one I knew. My eyes snapped open as I stared at an unfamiliar ceiling. My eyes glanced around, taking in a sparse bedroom. It had just a bed, dresser, nightstand, and a computer desk with a slightly older-looking computer and keyboard. Frowning in confusion I moved to get up... and stared at my hand.

Something felt... off. Like this was me but it *wasn't* me. Frowning some more I walked to the mirror hanging on the door and froze.

Staring back at me... was something straight out of a manga. I looked like... like...

... like the character from DDLC in a way. Of course I possessed my features still; green eyes, brown messy hair and fairly pale skin but at the same time I seemed more like the MC than myself. My blood ran cold and I booked it to the kitchen; it was the same as the MC's. Was I dreaming?

I searched the cabinets in my underwear and brought up a fork, and poked my finger with it before swiftly pulling away in pain. Nope, not a dream. I was actually here. Terror and panic set inside myself and I began to look around feverishly. I had to be going crazy I couldn't be here! In all my panicking and movements I slipped on the tile floor and smacked my head against it while earning myself a nice little blackout.

"...ty?! Monty!"

A soft, familiar voice called out and my eyes groggily opened. Staring back at me was a set of blue eyes and a worried expression. I blinked once, then twice before speaking as another cold shudder ran through my body.

"S-Sayori?" I croaked and a relieved smile crossed my childhood friends lips.

"Oh thank goodness you are awake! I overslept myself and was coming to meet up with you but you weren't there, so I came in to check and found you here. Are you okay; you've got a pretty big bruise on your head." She frowned worriedly as I slowly sat up. My head was pounding but otherwise I felt okay as I stood and shook it off. My friend looked at me in slight worry and concern but I gently raised a hand to calm her.
"I'm okay, I just slipped and hit my head. It hurts but that's about it." I try to soothe her but she still frowns.
"Maybe you should stay home then and rest; or maybe we should get a doctor." She fussed but I shook my head.
"No no, really.. I'm fine. Just let me get dressed and we'll go okay?" I smiled as she still gave me a concerned look but finally relented.
"Okay, but you are going to at least see the nurse today okay?" She demanded to which I nodded.
"Alright alright, jeez." I mused before giving her a smile.
"Thanks for uh, caring so much Sayori. I appreciate it." I state and a small blush crosses her face before fading as she smiles.
"Of course! You are my childhood friend after all! Just hurry up or we'll be late!" She called as I hurried into the bedroom and closed the door.

As I changed and got dressed my mind buzzed with questions while the throbbing faded.
"Okay, no doubt about it... I'm here. In this world, this game. But at the same time... this isn't a game anymore is it? Otherwise Sayori would probably have only appeared once I made it outside. No... the script is no longer applicable. Meaning I'm more or less just living it out as if it *was* a real world. So... will the same events occur? Will I watch Sayori's death here too, or Yuri's or Natsuki's? Or can I change it?"

"... Monika. Can I... give her a happy ending now?" That selfish/selfless thought came out of the corners of my mind and I froze. I was here... in this world. And Monika... she was here too. Upon reflection Sayori had looked even cuter when I was face to face with her... how would Monika look? Would she be able to tell I was one of the players? And since we no longer followed the script precisely...

... we could save them all. Give them all happy endings.

The familiar pit in my stomach evaporated and was replaced by a feeling of hope and determination. Grabbing a hat to wear and cover the bruise I walked out to Sayori and gave her a confident grin.
"Alright, you ready?" I ask and she beams back and nods.
"Ready. Lets go or else we'll be late!" She calls out and I grin before the two of us take off down towards the school.

As we walk I recall how the game first described the MC; aloof and kind of rude to Sayori and the others initially. Well the MC wasn't here; I was. And I would do a damned job to change that around. Looking around too showed a very complete, very large world around me; guess it would have to expand in some way since it was no longer just a game. And it was the perfect place to make a stand to save all of them. A voice spoke up and broke my thoughts as I glanced over.

"So Monty, do you remember what you said?" Sayori asked innocently as I turned to her.

"That I'd join a club? Yes I do; a promise is a promise after all, even if I haven't seen the person I promised in a while." I grinned and poked Sayori, making her blush and glance away a bit.

"Well good, because your happiness is important to me you know." She stated and a slight frown crossed my face. Her hanging by the rope came to my mind and my resolve hardened. Stopping and grabbing Sayori gently she stopped and looked at me.

"I know Sayori. And I love that about you; it really helps to know someone is always watching my back. So I want you to know that I've always got your back too, no matter what. I'll be here for you through thick and thin. Just don't hesitate to ask." I stated warmly. Sayori's blue orbs widened and her cheeks got redder, a small nervous laugh leaving her.

"Ahaha... you seem a bit different today Monty. Are you sure you didn't hit your head too hard back there?" She asked as I grinned.

"No but... seeing you and this whole beautiful world around us I realized something. I don't want to be aloof or mean, I don't want to hurt people. I want to be the best me I can be, and help those I care about. Think of it as... a new lease on life!" I stated proudly. The smile on Sayori grew and she began to laugh.

"Wow, that's awesome Monty! You're right, we can take the world on with a new lease on life!" She echoed and laughed, pumping her fists in the air a bit. Laughing I pat her back.

"That's the spirit! Now, you were asking about a club earlier... I think I have an idea for one." I grinned as Sayori looked at me with an expectant stare.

"I want to join your club Sayori. You always look so happy I uh... figured I'd give it a try." Sayori's eyes widened at my declaration and she stopped in her tracks.

"You... you really mean it?" She repeated as I gave her an affirmative nod.
"Of course, you think I'd lie to you? Come on Sayori, I want you to show me your club... if that's okay." I asked. She began to smile widely and nodded excitedly.
"Of course it's okay! I am sure they'll all love you!"

Well... she wasn't wrong on that note.

It didn't take long for us to reach the school and classes to begin; to be honest it felt like something of a blur. The classes were very easy though and with the only deviation being a trip to the nurses office everything was like a normal school day. I did take a look around the building and took it all in; just seemed like your average maze of a school. So once the final bell rang and I packed my things, getting up as the door swings open. Sayori comes in and spots me with a smile.
"Hey Monty! You ready to head to the club?" She asked as I nodded and smiled.
"Of course, lead the way!"

We head upstairs to where the third year classes and activities happen; apparently the MC rarely came up here so I stuck with that ruse. As we reached the club doors I got a bit nervous; let's just hope everything goes well. Sayori swings open the door excitedly.

"Everyone, the new member is here~!" She cries out. Smiling a bit I walk in, I take off my hat and bow.
"Hello! Thank you for having me!" I reply cheerily.

"Welcome to the Literature Club, it's a pleasure to meet you. Sayori always says nice things about you." Yuri stated with a small pleasant smile. I bow to her and smile back warmly.
"Seriously? You brought a boy? Way to kill the atmosphere." Natsuki complained. I just grinned at her.
"Hey now, that's not too nice." I mused before shaking my head. So that was Yuri and Natsuki, glancing over I see...

...Monika. Her eyes are locked onto me, wide in a mixture of surprise and worry. Oh great she knows. To give her credit Monika hid this face from the rest of the group as she came up and smiled at me.
"...Monty, nice to see you!" She replied as I couldn't help but smile back.
"It's nice to see you again too, Monika." I answer. Looking at Monika she was as beautiful as ever, even more so now. Those emerald green eyes were haunting and a part of me just wanted to stare, but for now I held back and nodded to them all.

"Well, as Monika said it my name is Monty. I've been looking for a club to join and Sayori looked so happy I wanted to join in on hers." I gave Sayori a warm smile as she nodded and ran up.
"Uh-huh! So Monty, this is Natsuki! She's the one who is always full of energy!" Sayori stated and I wave at her. She just huffs and looks away; pretty damn cute if you ask me.
"And this is Yuri, the smartest in the club!" She motioned as Yuri got bashful.
"D-Don't say things like that..." She murmured as I chuckled.
"Nice to meet you both. I hope to learn a lot from you." I reply before turning to Monika.
"You've already met Monika, right Monty?" Sayori asks as I turn fully and look at Monika. She almost seems to fidget under my gaze as I smile.

"Oh yes, I was in class with her last year. She is a good friend of mine, never thought that her club was the Literature Club though. Seems like a nice place." I state as Monika nods looking a little thrown-off.
"Yes... yes! It's a great place for us to connect with one another and create or read beautiful literature mediums!" She replied to keep up the happy facade. I just smile a bit.
"Oho? Well that's good, since I love writing and reading." I comment proudly as Sayori looks at me confused.
"I didn't know you did that stuff..." She answered as I turned to her.

"Well of course not, I just started recently and haven't seen you in a while! We'll have to change that, won't we?" I ask as she looked a little shy before nodding cheerily. Giving Monika a sideways glance I wink and lightly motion to the door with my head. The club president understands the message.
"Okay everyone! Since we have a new club member here I'll go with him get some supplies for him, then be right back and start okay?" She spoke as the three other girls nodded and with that Monika and I left the room, heading down the hall.

The silence had a tension in it I hesitated to break, but as we reached the open door to a classroom a pair of hands grabbed me and threw me inside. Letting out an oof I readjusted myself and turned to Monika, her expression unreadable.
"How? How are you here?" She demanded to know, her expression cracking to show anger and sadness and joy. I smile at her a little sadly, getting up close to her. She backs away a bit, but my arms reach out and pull her into a hug.
"I don't know why. But I am here. And I know who you are, and what you have done Monika." I murmur as she stiffens.

"I... what I have done?" She repeats. Unsure whether she remembers or not I decide to answer.
"You have always been looking at me... not the MC, me. And I knew that. I saw you... end the other girls to get me and only me, I saw you lose yourself and then come back... over and over again. I tried every way possible to give you a happy ending though." I whisper as she stiffens up more.
"I hurt them...? I didn't... I mean.." She began as I pull back.
"You did. I think as you realized the weight of not having an ending to begin with hit you, you began to lose it. You were lonely, weren't you? You just wanted love?" I ask, and she looks uncomfortable. I give her a serious look and stare into her emerald oceans as time seems to slow.

"And that's why I will take this occurrence, this blessing... to give you all the happiness you deserve. I refuse to lose you, Sayori, Natsuki or Yuri anymore. Especially you." I murmur and give her a soft look. Tears are beginning to form in her eyes as she pulls away.
"What... why? If what you... oh god, I remember-" She murmured, her eyes widening as panick crossed the presidents face. My heart lurched in pain at the sight of it.
"You remember? Do you remember what you said... after I deleted you?" I ask her and she pauses, looking up at me.

"... I still love you. You have no idea how much that applied to you for me." I murmured, and her breathing stops.
"Monika. It doesn't matter what you did. I know that you have good in you. You deserve happiness just like them. You deserve to be not alone. And besides... this isn't just a game anymore, is it?" I ask, and grab her hand before spinning her like a dance move and pulling her into my arms for a tight hug. She's crying more now and a blush is on her face... she looks beautiful.
"I will give you the happiness you deserve. I promise." I murmur to her, before pulling away.
"I will give it to all of you. I will save you all." I repeat firmly, before grabbing some items and heading for the door. Monika looks a bit shaken, her composure broken by the sudden turn of events. Glancing back at her I see her finally turn and look at me, before following quietly after.

From there things return to like how the game played out; I had a bit of Natsuki's cupcakes and praised her skill, even mentioning that I'd cook something for her if she ever wanted to try it. I also talked books and manga with both her and Yuri; their eyes lit up as I just got to be myself and talk about anything I could think of relating to those topics. After that I pulled Sayori into a conversation, asking her for some tips on writing a short story and such, and finally talked with Monika about her classes and time at school before Monika exposed the piece of poetry Natsuki wrote. One thing lead to another and now we were all tasked with writing poetry to grow closer; a bold task since I've only ever dabbled in it but I figure that without the game controlling me I could make much more personal and interesting pieces.

And with that done I happily waved goodbye to my new friends, adjusting my hat as Sayori and I left the building. She glanced at me and smiled.
"You were really cool in there Monty; you've already started making friends with them all." She murmured as I shrugged.
"Remember, a whole new lease in life. Which reminds me... part of that is reconnecting with my old friend. So come on, talk to me. How have things been going? I want to hear all about it." I smile at Sayori, her eyes lighting up a bit and a genuine smile on her lips. I listen to her talk all the way to her house before we part ways, bidding her goodnight. And as I turn and head to my house a flash of brown catches my eyes.

Standing in front of me is Monika.

I give her a smile as she has that unreadable expression on her face; she looks like an angel right now.

"We need to talk." She demands softly, her voice gentle yet full of determination. Thinking it over I nod, before moving up and grabbing her hand while walking along.
"Okay, but first I need to buy some groceries. If we are gonna have a talk I'm going to treat you to the best dinner and the best night you've ever dreamed of."