Tsubasa yawned as he stretched over the back of his chair, the sound of joints popping back into place. The room was filled with light from only the sunset that bordered on evening twilight. He had been there a little before three P.M., right after school ended, and after looking at the clock it was 4:47. The anime/gaming club's meetings only held for an hour since everyone had their own schedule to go on and the president wanted everyone to get into a time frame where everyone could be included. Tsubasa did appreciate the club being there to begin with, but given that the room consisted of only males they only really picked the fanservicey and ecchi anime's and the games mostly consisted of dating sims. Whenever they do try and differ from this it ends up being something mainstream. Tsubasa didn't have any particular problems with this but it really limited any variation at all. Even the discussions were mostly basic and the group mostly talked (Half of the time heatedly) about waifu's and who was the best waifu, and what was badass. His only real problem was how biased people can get over this shit. Two of the students had accidently broken a desk in one of these disputes.
Tsubasa was sure there were actual civilized groups out there with even a female audience (Given the demographic of the anime/gaming club he didn't blame them for keeping their distance) but he ended up drawing the short stick of it all and had this particular version of this club. The fact that these people were the most he could even relate to anyone in this school made him almost feel like a prisoner. At least he had friends on the internet to talk to about this but until he was finished with High School this was as close to human contact he could get in this regard. He wasn't the most social person in the world by any means, and he's aware that his demeanor wasn't welcoming (Always with a perma-frown with white hair and menacing red eyes). Even most of the club avoided talking to him. Not that he minded too much.
Still. Something a little more exciting would be nice. Something different.
"Later Tsubasa." The second to last student said with a wave of his hand while he finished packing up and heading out the door.
Tsubasa grunted in acknowledgment and went back to finishing his homework. Most of the club members preferred to do their homework at school after hours to keep the "Work" mindset easier, and Tsubasa was one of them. All of them did their work quietly and left. He sometimes felt he made the others uneasy. He never cared to really act on it. It was their fault for intimidating easily.
After a couple more minutes he finished his work and stretched again. He was half-way through packing his stuff when he heard a quick triple tap on the classrooms door. He turned and saw one of the other students standing there.
Tsubasa knew him from some of his classes and seeing him around school. He never once spoke to him or vice-versa. He didn't know his name but he was aware that he was best friends with that one pink haired girl, the real bubbly and upbeat one. He believed her name was Sayo-something.
"Club president isn't in until tomorrow." Tsubasa informed him. "If you come back after school you can talk to him about joining but I don't think we have room for new members."
"That's alright." He said with a nod. "I'm not looking to join any clubs; I just need to talk to someone."
"To who and why? I can leave a message for you." Tsubasa was done packing his things and closed his case. He wanted this guy to just be done so he could get out of there and go home. His stomach wasn't growling yet but he definitely wanted to be back in time for dinner. The sweet wouldn't last him forever. "Just give me your name...?"
"Gabriel. Gabe." Gabe looked down the hallway as if to make sure no one else was within hearing distance. "And I literally just need to talk about someone about dating sims. It's really important."
"Literally everyone in this class can help you." Tsubasa walked to the door sliding past Gabriel. If he needed anyone, it could be anyone but him. "Tomorrow."
"W-wait!" Gabriel grabbed his arm making Tsubasa jump in surprise. Gabe winced and let go. "Please, you're a part of that club, right? I really need advice from someone on this subject, and I need it before tomorrow."
Tsubasa lightly glared at Gabe before turning and walked down the hallway to get out of the school. He didn't remember "Gabriel" acting like he was seemed a bit unlike from what he'd before but he didn't care. He just wanted to get home.
"Dude, please, I'm begging you!" He even sounded just as desperate. "I just need an hour of your time! If you want money, I can pay you!"
"Goodnight Gabriel." Tsubasa was almost at the turn. His sister was supposed to be preparing some kind of meat stew. He hoped it was beef. They've been having-
"I'm a twenty-six-year-old American man in a Japanese boy's body trapped inside of a dating sim, AND I NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO!"
Tsubasa stopped just before the turn with a raised eyebrow. He weighed his options: Hear out an obviously mentally disturbed classmate, or go home and eat dinner. He stood there for a moment longer before he gave a resigned sigh.
Before wanting to start any kind of discussion Tsubasa went to the school's cafeteria vending machine to get something to drink and snack on. Gabe settled for just a coffee. They returned to the classroom and set-up two desks to be facing each other to make discussion easier. Tsubasa was eating his potato chips and sipping at his soda leisurely while Gabe only looked into his bottle of coffee looking awkward, stressed, and in vague despair. Tsubasa noticed that Gabe was straining to keep his hands from shaking but he still jittered. Tsubasa made no comment on this and just took another sip of his drink.
Tsubasa had waited for perhaps five minutes for Gabe to say something to start off their talk and when it was apparent that he didn't know how Tsubasa decided it would be best to start it off.
Tsubasa clicked his tongue before asking his first question: "So, you believe your inside of game?"
Gabe finally looked up to meet with Tsubasa's eyes. He nodded absently. Tsubasa didn't believe what he was saying is real but Gabe sure believed in it. Gabe even had a different look in his eyes than the usual face he saw him wear in class.
"A dating sim as well."
Gabe nodded again.
"So did the game... suck you in or something? What's the rundown on what happened here?"
"I played the game, nothing happened until a month-and-a-half later. I went to bed after a long day of work and I woke up..." He shook his and gestured all around him. "Here."
"At the school?"
"No. Whoever's body I'm in's house."
"And in response to this, you decided to come to school?" Tsubasa asked incredulously.
Gabe scratched the back of his head while shaking his head in embarrassment. "One thing led to another..."
"Alright, look. Start from the beginning. Like, when you first played this game...?"
"Doki Doki Literature Club." Gabe confirmed. Tsubasa snorted at the name. Gabe couldn't help but nod with a snort of his own. "It was meant to sound and look like one of the most happy-time school-life games until about halfway through. Then it turns into psychological horror."
Tsubasa found that pretty interesting. He gestured for Gabriel to go on. Gabe took a deep breath and recounted the events leading up to him first playing the game.
On a Saturday evening after Gabriel had gotten off from his job at a small diner as a chef for his aunt and uncles restaurant, one of his Friends that he keeps up with regularly had called him earlier that morning if he had free time to hang out. Gabriel had nothing planned so after work he headed to see Marvin. They weren't too close as friends but half of their tastes were similar enough to keep in touch. After taking the bus and walking a few blocks he arrived to his destination and spent the rest of the day at Marvin's.
Maybe four hours before the time he left they were sitting on the couch. They played video games for a good while with Marvin still in his robe and pajamas. They shared a two-liter soda and a bag of chips between them while they played and later decided to take a break and watch some TV.
He couldn't remember what they were watching, but he assumed it had kind of romance sequence because that had somehow started the conversation that led to Doki Doki Literature Club.
"'Doki Doki'?" Gabriel asked. "What the fuck is 'Doki Doki'?"
"It's, like, the sound effect of a heart beat in Japanese. More specifically when you're standing next to someone of the beautiful and pleasant looking variety."
"Ah. One of your naughty little games you play..."
"Nah, man, this one was more or less clean but the girls in it are definitely what brought people in the first place. It's what the game is really about that really brought in the heard."
Marvin went into a bit more detail about the game without spoiling anything relevant. He went over the characters, the setting, the mechanics it starts out with which seem relevant to it until the halfway point when you see the meat of it. He had told Gabriel that it would be psychological horror without going any further than that.
"You're really going to blue ball me here?" Gabriel asked while finishing off the soda.
"The games free on Steam. You should play it yourself and really grasp the experience. Even if you're not a big fan of this stuff it's definitely worth the time for this."
A little more nudging from Marvin and Gabriel had indeed reached his peaked in his curiosity and had downloaded it on his laptop while still at his friend's house. He played for about an hour with his friend looking over his shoulder time to time while he was making dinner for them both. He never played sim games, but he was more than aware of their presence though most of it was knowledge he picked up from Marvin.
Though it was certainly new and interesting for Gabriel (And though it seemed like a cheesy anime at times it was more engaging then he expected) after an hour he began to lose interest much to his friend's annoyance. Their friend they were playing with over online was back on again at that point so Gabriel was more in the mood to play with real people then with just himself. He promised that he would be over the next week to play more of the Doki Doki Literature Club while Marvin watched to see whatever reactions he wanted to see.
Unfortunately, the next three weeks they had scheduling confliction and were not able to have any free time to meet up. Gabriel didn't want to admit it to Marvin but he had become quite curious with the direction the game would go. He had come across many things about the game on internet searches that happened to be related enough for it to come up along with what he was looking for in games and anime, and YouTube around that time was basically a minefield for the game with popular gaming YouTuber's having videos left and right regarding it and Gabriel had become concerned for spoilers. Marvin had informed him that he wouldn't be free any time soon and suggested that Gabriel just play it in his spare time and inform Marvin how he enjoyed it.
And it sure was an experience. After a while he forgot that it was a horror game until the morning of the festival when he read Sayori's poem in the pamphlet. Gabe gave the game a bit of props it did make him feel very uneasy at that point forward. The game had presented the characters well enough for him to be concerned of their wellbeing.
Then Sayori hung herself. His worries were justified and the game turned into a steady train of uneasiness going south at record speed. He finished the game that day.
"Then the month gap you mentioned occurred." Tsubasa asked. He followed by drinking the rest of his beverage.
"Anything significant happen at all during that time? Odd occurrences? Like your computer acting up or the like?"
"No!" Gabe said with a shake of his head. "I'd have more than welcome any BEN Drowned shit if it could put some kind of face on the situation, but no. I did what I always did: Went to work, watched T.V. and played games after if I wasn't hanging out with friends, went to sleep. Nothing at all eventful in between." Gabe stopped for a moment and scrunched his brows in thought. "Well, except for last night. Before this happened."
Gabriel had just gotten back from work after a long day of just rushing to cook. He was only supposed to have an eight hour shift that day but the person who was supposed to come in after him had called in sick so he had to stay around for another three hours with a larger amount of orders than usual and people who were impatient, but he had somehow got it all done without any incident.
He went upstairs to his apartment on the second floor and went inside. He flipped on the light switch to reveal his shabby but clean apartment. He shrugged off his bag and tossed it and his keys onto the counter with a relieved sigh followed by a bone popping stretch. He was able to cook himself a meal before he left so he didn't have to worry about dinner that night. He went to the kitchen area grabbing a fork from his drawer and taking the Styrofoam package out of its plastic bag following to the couch where he sat and watched some Netflix for about an hour before he felt like going to sleep. He turned off the T.V. and tossed the container into the trash and the fork in the sink.
Gabe took his time in the shower and let the hot water run over him to wash the day away. Upon exiting the shower, he looked into the fogged mirror, wiping the steam away to reveal his face which he frowned at the reflection. His stubble was starting to make a black tint on the bottom half of his face, feeling like sandpaper against the palms of his hands. Gabe debated on whether or not he should shave but he yawned and shrugged off the idea. He was too tired to get it done that night. He figured he'd get it done the next morning.
Upon entering his room, he tossed his dirty clothes into the rest of the pile at the foot of his bed, but something caught his eye. His computer was on.
The computers sound was on very low from a late night gaming session and it took him a second to pick up the sound but by the time he looked at the screen he already knew what was on. The familiar sound of the piano theme to Doki Doki Literature Club was playing as he saw the screen pop up with all four of the main girls of the series all having their usual expressions greet him with the pink and happy background.
Gabe faced the computer with a thoughtful expression. Had he turned it on before he got into the shower? He recalled a few times when he had done this before in prep to have the computer fully loaded so he didn't have to wait for the boot-up, but he remembered that the days he would do that were usually on his work days with the least hours. There was a chance that he did do this, but why load it back to this game? He didn't have any reason to play this game again. He had his fill. He already watched other YouTubers play the other routes when curiosity nudged him to look. The memories were fuzzy at that point given the one play through a month ago but he didn't have an urge to play it anytime soon.
He shrugged it off. He was honestly too tired to really care. He must've left the computer on and bumped the mouse in the right places to get there. He turned off the computer and turned off the light before dropping onto his bed. He hugged his pillow to him and was asleep in minutes.
"...That's it?" Tsubasa asked with a light chuckle.
"That's it, man. Then I woke up here."
"I mean, it's reasonable to link these together. The way it follows up makes sense, but just having the game on doesn't seem like... A big leap, you know?"
"I know! And before you ask me: The game was downloaded by its official source, the system was off, and there were no changes at all to the menu before I turned it off. I just..." He sighed through his nose. "I don't know, man. It just freaks me out."
"What about dreams?" Tsubasa asked with his interest growing. He found this interesting. "Was there anything significant about it before waking up?"
"I haven't really been able to remember my dreams since I turned, like, ten."
"Fragments?" Tsubasa pressed.
Gabe thought it over. "Maybe if I think on it, but right now everything is blank on that part."
Tsubasa thought that was fair enough. One question did arise for him. "So where did you wake up exactly?"
This time Gabriel actually expressed annoyance with a deep sigh. "Oh, I have a bit more to tell you about this." He jerked his thumb to point at himself. "Let me tell you how it went down waking up as Generic Guy Number whatever-the-hell."
Gabriel was forced to awaken to the sound of birds chirping. He grunted in annoyance and was forced to open his eyes which he immediately regretted it. The sunlight from outside had hit him right in the retinas making him clamp his eyes shut and turn his face into the pillow as a shield. He groaned. This is exactly why he put those thick curtains up in the first place. Did he kick them away in his sleep?
He laid there for a few more minutes to see if maybe he could get at least an hour of more sleep before he figured his phone's alarm would go off. He resigned and decided to get up. There's no way he'd get back to sleep at that point and even then with that whole biker thing going on he'll need to be prepared before he heads out. Yesterday hearing those motors was like the coming of the apocalypse so he should expect as much today.
Although upon getting up his mind did a double take. At first his still half sleeping mind couldn't really decide if what it was seeing was right but as he fully awakened he was horrifically confused. He didn't recognize the room at all. Slowly he turned his head to survey the room and it was completely alien to him. The room was bigger than the one in his apartment and it was definitely less cluttered (And cleaner) and everything was arranged differently. But of course these are just background thoughts. His heart was racing at the foremost thoughts was why he was there in the first place. There was no plausible way for him to have sleep walked into someone else's house.
Could someone have actually taken the time to put him here? As some kind of prank? He didn't have any kind of friend who would make a joke like that on such a scale. By the minute he was feeling more and more confused, and the good sized room was beginning to feel smaller. He felt like he was suffocating. His breathing has quickening and his heart felt like it was going to pop out of his chest in panic.
He went to the nearest phone he could find and there was one on his nightstand that he dove for as soon as it entered his vision. Thankfully there wasn't a lock on it and he just swiped over the screen and was in. He went to the dial pad and tried to call 911. He had gotten some message saying that the call could not be transferred and his heart turned into a lump in his throat.
He instead tried dialing the number for his aunt and uncle's establishment and waited for the phone to ring. The message told him that the phone call could not be made since it would be to another country. He tried to ring up Marvin. Same message. He tried to ring up any number he could from memory but none of them work. He growled in frustration and threw the phone in the corner of the room where it clacked and cluttered against the floor. He put his hands against his face and rubbed them down roughly against him.
"What the actual fuck man..." He said to no one.
His breath caught in his throat. That was not his voice coming out. One thing he realized there was no stubble on his face either. Even the structure of his face wasn't the same as he was used to.
He stumbled off of the bed and rushed to find any room with a mirror. He tripped over his feet a few times when he went to the door just down the hallway to the left of the room he was in and lucked out finding it was a bathroom. The bathroom was lit by sunlight coming from a window. He saw the sink to the left of the room and was more than sure that there would be the mirror he was looking for. He cautiously stepped inside.
He looked into the reflection.
He didn't see the twenty-six-year-old scrawny man. He didn't see the black shaggy hair that could look greasy really quick on a hot day. He didn't see the patchy chest hair with bald spots that almost made Orion's Belt, or the baggy olive eyes that had been wide open during long game sessions.
Instead he saw a teenage boy that was just a hair away from looking like he could shave. His hair was a little shaggy and brown, but not in a messy fashion. He was maybe a head smaller then he remembered. The eyes were now a hazelnut brown.
He rose a shaky hand to his face, and his reflection copied his movements.
Gabriel screamed with his alien voice filling his ears, making his voice raise louder.
I feel like writing this snippet took longer than it should have for a first chapter, but then again I was never that good at beginnings to start with (Ha-ha I think). Hopefully I did this well enough and will be smoother sailing from here.
Anyway, if you've come across and it's up your alley, please favorite and follow. Please leave a review, any criticism is welcome, even if you hated it.
-Your Boy Beta