az: Just a random two-parter. Part two should come later. Not thinking if I could stretch this into another multi-chapter story but we'll see.


Third time's... the charm? - Part 1

Written by Izzu alias honou-no-izumi

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It was almost a year, since then. Ah, a year seemed like an overshot. There's still a few months still until you can properly call it a year...

Fujimaru let out a sigh as he closed his notebook, watching silently as his professor walked out of the lecture hall. Yes, he had finally let himself continue on with life and enrolled himself into a university. And surprisingly, it was the same one as the one Otoya was in; except that he was in a different faculty.

Then again, it was not that surprising. As Otoya used to say it, he had intentionally failed himself during the first entrance exam he was in the year before. Considering that he had no more reason to punish himself, why not just let himself go on forward? Despite that, even Otoya hadn't expected that he would take this course over everything.

Then again, there was no guarantee that his life from now on would return to being normal any more. Perhaps, sometime in the future; there would be an even bigger danger to befall on the people he cared about. If he had remained just as he was, perhaps next time... he wouldn't be able to save anyone. Any more. His heart would not forgive himself should that happened. Enough. He should not run away any longer.

He had promised Kurano Risa that.

Aoi-chan would have understood. Hide as well.

His father would have approved.

He would also do it, in memory of Orihara-sensei.

He would make himself be stronger, not just to protect Haruka and Otoya but to protect every single person in this world worth protecting.

Fujimaru sighed as he made his way out to the corridors. There were many other students walking about by now, so this was university life! How... uninteresting. He chuckled to himself. Otoya sure was trying so hard to convince him last time about the life he had been missing out on. Hah!

Silly Otoya.

Fujimaru walked towards the next lecture hall where he should be having another lecture on before something caught his eyes. He frowned and turned as he saw no one familiar.

Weird. He could have sworn he saw Hibiki walking pass him just now. Fujimaru shook his head as he continued walking.

Talking about Hibiki, he had not seen her since the incident involving the Magic Bullet group been settled. What had become of her... as well as that Professor? Had her injuries healed fine? He had tried asking about her, but it seemed no one had any answer to give him. Or they won't... tell him. He hoped she was fine.

Fujimaru blinked as he reached the lecture hall. There was a note saying that the lecture was cancelled, as the lecturer had some pressing matters to attend to. He sighed to himself. Guess he would have a free period for the next two hours. What should he do then?

He turned around to head to the exit—strangely, the hallway was empty; how did he not notice it earlier?

Without warning, a pair of hands grabbed him from behind as Fujimaru immediately tried to defend himself. Another person grabbed his backpack away from his grasp as Fujimaru turned to look at the other. It was a woman—though he had never seen her before—and she was rummaging the content of his backpack as if searching for something. The woman turned towards him.

"Where is your laptop?"

The woman's Japanese was very good... though the accent was a bit weird. But then, something crossed his mind. They were looking for his laptop, did they knew about his other identity? But then why—he haven't been involved in any Third-I investigations these few months...

Fujimaru tried to fight the man holding him as the woman repeated her question. He did not answer and he bit onto the man's hand that had been covering his mouth as he attempted to shout for help. That did not work well as the man and woman quickly silenced him again, despite his struggling. Fujimaru almost did not notice it as the man murmured something to the woman before he felt something pricking his arm.

Alarms started blazing inside his mind as he saw that the woman was injecting something into him. Without thinking, he pushed himself towards the wall—kicking the woman and surprising the man holding him for a moment—as he managed to free himself enough to make an escape.

As he managed to run a few meters ahead, he managed to hear the two behind him exclaiming something in foreign language again before giving him the chase. So since they did not find my computer, so they wanted to take me along with them?

His phone started ringing as Fujimaru pulled it out and answered it while running. He rushed into the crowd of students as he gasped for air.

"Otoya!"

xxx

Kujo Otoya smiled to himself. Somehow, he called it a blessing that Fujimaru managed to enrol into the same university with him, even if he had taken a different course than him. It felt good to have him around, guess that part never changed.

He pulled out his phone to call Fujimaru. His lectures for the day had already ended and he had no other class for the rest of the evening. What better to pay a visit to see how his junior had been faring in his classes so far?

The call connected almost immediately as Otoya asked Fujimaru if his classes have ended. He was already mid-way to reaching his faculty anyway so if he was free, they could just meet up as soon as he reached the place. What surprised him was to hear Fujimaru cried out for his name as if his life depended on it.

Immediately, Otoya felt an immense fear for his friend...

xxx

"Otoya, if possible... call for help! Don't come over here—", Fujimaru turned around to see his pursuers gaining on him as he made his way into another corridor. He bit his lips as he started feeling drowsy. Wha—did it have anything to do with that injection the woman gave him earlier? He can't let himself be captured!

Fujimaru headed straight towards the stairs—he had to somehow escape his pursuers and not endanger any of the other students—as he remembered Otoya had been frantic on the other side. He had only managed to grasp some words that Otoya was saying as he tried to explain.

"I don't know what happened... but suddenly this two people started coming at me—Otoya, call for Third-i...perhaps this had something to do with—"

"Hey! No running though the corridors, kid!"

Fujimaru stopped without thinking as a security guard called towards him but before he could stop himself, dizziness started kicking in as he didn't manage to make a grab on the railing before falling down the stairs. He gave a cry as he felt something hard hitting the back of his head and he lost his hold on his phone. Fujimaru barely saw the face of the worried man before darkness overcame him...

xxx

"Fujimaru! Fujimaru!", Otoya exclaimed as the line went dead. He immediately made a run to the faculty building as he dialled on Third-i's main office number. Desperately, he wished that nothing bad should happen to his friend.

Please, let nothing happen to Fujimaru!