I do not own Highschool of the Dead or its characters.

This popped into my head the other morning when I was half-way between asleep and awake.

Update: 11/3/13


Hirano Kohta dreaded getting up, and going to school every day. He climbed out of bed, got dressed, fixed breakfast and lunch, and aimlessly wandered off down the street to the train station, chewing on a piece of toast. Three stations later, he would depart the train and trudge up the long hill to Fujimi High School to live through another day of hell.

Fujimi was an upper level school that also had dorms and catered to many upper-middle to upper-high class families. Few people knew, if any, that Kohta's father was a jewel merchant and his mother a fashion designer. They traveled a lot with their jobs and left Kohta on his own much of the time.

Trudging down the hall, he looked into the classroom before opening the door. He nodded to Komuro Takashi and his girlfriend, Miyamoto Rei as he went past. He really didn't know the couple, but they always acknowledged his greeting when spoken to, which was much more than ninety percent of the rest of the class offered him. Seeing the coast clear, he proceeded to his seat with his head down hoping class would start quickly and spare him the morning ritual.

No such luck. A hand clamped down on his shoulder as he sat down and the sneering voice of Kento Taro said, "Hirano-san! Well, well, how are you this morning? We didn't see you coming in so you didn't get to pay the toll."

Kohta looked to his left to see the smirking face of the delinquent inches away. Freckled face, bright red hair and gold chains locked into Kohta's mind as they did every day.

"And since you didn't pay the toll there will be a little extra in for you at lunch," the leering bully said.

Kento and his five friends, known as 'the gang of six', ran a toll racket on weaker students who they could push around easily. Most of them were on one or other sports teams and because their families were powerful, they got away with a lot. Teachers just looked the other way instead of stopping their bullying.

"Get out of my way, Kento; you're blocking my seat!" a sharp female voice snapped before he could say anything else to Kohta.

Kento snarled and turned on the pink-haired girl who had the gaul to scold him around, "Don't order me around, bitch!"

"Then move!" she snapped back.

Kento raised his hand as if to slap her, but Kohta suddenly stood and stepped in between them with his back toward Kento. "O…Ohayou, Takagi-san! I hope you are well today!" he exclaimed as he bowed slightly and waited for the blow of a fist to hit him in the back of the head.

Looking surprised, Takagi Saya frowned and replied, "Ohayou, Hirano," before sitting down in her seat.

Kohta quickly sat back down as Kento glared at him. The teacher came in the front of the classroom and called for everyone to sit and quiet down.

Kento and his five cronies shuffled past him bumping him and rapping him in the back of the head as they made their way to their seats.

"Baka! Why did you do that? It will just get you into more trouble with that bunch," Saya snarled at Kohta.

Kohta simply hung his head and endured the scolding from the girl who he thought was the most beautiful in the world. He sighed as he opened his book to start the class.

000

When lunch came, Saya got up and went over to where Komuro was eating by himself, his girlfriend having disappeared somewhere. Kohta watched out of the corner of his eye as she stood over Komuro questioning him about something. He understood they had been in the same classes together ever since kindergarten, and he guessed they were friends, or about as much friends as Saya seemed to be with anybody.

Kohta got up and headed to the restroom hoping to dodge Kento and his crew until the start of class.

It didn't work. As he came out of the stall he was knocked back into it with a fist to the chest. Kento stood over him with his fists balled up, "I'll teach you to get in between me and that bitch!"

He pummeled Kohta over and over in the gut until he couldn't breathe and was dry heaving on the floor. Kohta could see an expensive pair of shoes as they stopped outside the stall. "Are you boys having fun playing?" he heard teacher Shido Koichi say.

"Sure, Shido-sensei! We're just teaching someone their place in life because they don't know it," Kento bragged.

Kohta saw Shido lean in and look at him with a sneer on his face, "Just remember to get back to class on time."

Kento nodded as he kicked Kohta twice more and turned to follow the teacher out the door, "Remember; double toll next time, Hirano-san!"

000

Back in the classroom, Saya was questioning Komuro about Kohta, "Why is he letting them do that to him? Why won't he stand up for himself?"

Komuro shook his head, "I don't know, Takagi, and it's none of my business. What do you want me to do, get involved in someone else's fight? I've got enough worries on my hands already. I don't even know the guy except to say good morning."

"I just don't understand why that gang is allowed to get away with what they do!" Saya said as she stomped her foot.

Komuro shrugged his shoulders, "I heard Kento's family is a big supporter of the school, and the board chairman doesn't dare lift a hand, and risk losing that money coming in."

"Probably the only way that asshole can stay in school," she grouched.

"So what's this with Hirano all of a sudden? You like him or something?" the spiky-haired asked.

Saya went livid, "What the hell do you mean by that! No, I just am tired of seeing that bunch push people around every day, that's all."

Komuro waved his hands in front of him, "Okay, okay, I was just asking! He's been sitting next to you since the start of the year and I didn't think you said two words to him before today."

"He watches me out of the side of his eyes. I think it's creepy, but he hasn't said or done anything 'til this morning. I think he's some kind of a pervert," Saya said as she frowned.

Komuro sighed, "Did you think maybe he likes you and can't bring himself to say anything? You're not the easiest person to talk to you know."

Saya punched him in the shoulder and shouted, "BAKA!"

They looked over as Kohta came back into the classroom. He was limping slightly and holding his stomach with one hand.

Saya walked over with Komuro following, "Hirano what's wrong? You look like you're hurt!"

He grimaced as he sat down, "It's nothing, I just slipped and fell in the restroom."

Komuro leaned over and looked at him closely. Kohta was sweating and Komuro could see he was holding back the pain on his face.

"Don't lie to me! You didn't fall, you got beat up didn't you!" Saya cried out.

"I told you I fell! Please leave it alone, Takagi-san!" Kohta snarled.

Komuro looked him in the eye, "Hirano-san, whether you fell or whatever, it looks like you hurt your ribs. You need to go to the infirmary and let the nurse look at you. Now come on, please go with me."

Kohta shook his head 'No'.

Komuro leaned closer and whispered, "Hirano, if you broke a rib it could puncture your lung and kill you. You also know she is not going to stop 'til you see the nurse, do you really want to put up with that scene all afternoon? Plus she's worried, consider that."

Kohta frowned more and finally nodded okay.

Komuro helped him up and they headed out the door as Miyamoto Rei and Komuro's best friend Igou Hisashi walked in.

"Where are you going?" Miyamoto asked.

"Hirano took a fall and hurt his ribs. We are going to take him to the nurse and get him checked out. Tell sensei where we are please?" Komuro said.

"Need some help?" Igou asked.

Komuro shook his head, "I think we got it."

"Get better, Hirano-san," Miyamoto said as she lightly touched him on the shoulder.

"Arigato, Miyamoto-san," he replied.

000

A short while later the school nurse, Marikawa Shizuka, stood with Komuro and Saya next to her desk, "Well he doesn't seem to have any broken ribs, but I don't think those bruises came from any fall. Looks to me like he was kicked and punched, do you two know anything about this?"

"I have my suspicions but I can't prove anything. Plus he insists he fell," Saya said.

The nurse shook her head, "Well I can't do anything but give him something for the pain and let him rest 'til it's time to go home."

Komuro looked over at Saya, "Go on back to class, Takagi. I want to talk with him for a bit and then I'll come back."

Saya nodded and thanked the nurse before leaving.

Komuro walked around to where Kohta lay resting. "How you feeling?" he asked.

Kohta shrugged his shoulders, "A little better now."

"So…if you don't mind me asking…what the hell is this thing with the Gang of Six all about?"

Kohta shook his head, "What is it ever about? Bored, stupid, jocks bullying because they can. All they see is a fat, glasses wearing otaku that is a potential target. They'll get theirs sooner or later. I hope sooner."

Looking at Komuro for a minute, Kohta asked, "Komuro-san? You've known Takagi-san a long time correct?"

Komuro nodded with a smirk, "We started school together in kindergarten, and for some reason we always ended up in the same schools and classes together. And yes, she has always been just like she is now; arrogant and hot headed."

Kohta nodded, "I figured, but that's not why I'm asking. Try to get her to listen to you, have her stay away from Kento and his gang. I really thought he was going to slap her this morning, and if he had, it would have been on; I could not tolerate him hitting a woman. I would have probably have gotten killed, but that is one thing I will not allow from a jerk like him."

Komuro nodded, "Oh if he was to put a hand on her you wouldn't be alone. She can be irritating, but we have been friends far too long for me to allow that jerk wad to do something like that."

Looking at Kohta for a minute he finally asked, "So…Hirano-san…do you like Takagi?'

Kohta blushed, "Ah…umm…does it show enough that you noticed?"

Komuro chuckled, "Not really, but she has noticed you watching her. Don't worry, she just thinks you're a perv."

Kohta groaned as he laughed, "Oh good! Then I don't have to worry about looking like a love struck teenager at all!"

Komuro laughed with him and then said, "Well, I better get back to class. I'll stop by later. Oh, and Hirano? Call me Takashi."

Kohta blinked for a minute. Calling someone by their first name was a sign of friendship, one he had never known before. Nodding he replied, "Only if you will call me Kohta."

Takashi smiled and nodded back, "Certainly, Kohta-san."

000

Takashi came back after classes and at the end of the day, even walked with Kohta to the train station. Kohta learned Takashi stayed in the dorms during the week and went home on weekends since he, Miyamoto and Takagi lived all the way over in the west side of the city past the Sagami River. They were both thankful it was Friday and the weekend would give everyone time to cool down.

Takashi waved goodbye as Kohta's train headed east. Kohta sat and tried to relax as he reflected on the day's events. His mind churned with thoughts. Had he just made a friend for the first time in his life? In sixteen years, no one had ever asked him to call them by their first name, and it was almost too much for him to handle.

Leaving the train and walking toward his home he noticed someone out of the corner of his eye. He stopped and looked in a shop window as he watched a couple in Fujimi high school uniforms walk past him in the reflection, holding hands like they were on a date.

It was Miyamoto Rei and Takashi's best friend Igou Hisashi.

Kohta felt embarrassed, but he decided to follow them for a few minutes, just to be sure. It didn't take long to confirm his suspicions; they were definitely on a date and being very lovey-dovey with each other.

Kohta was torn as he proceeded on to his house. Takashi had just become his friend and he didn't want it to look like he was trying to get between Takashi and Igou. After much thought, he decided to stay quiet about it, but be there for Takashi when he found out.

Kohta quietly prepared his supper and ate while watching an old war movie on TV. What no one knew was Kohta was a military or gun otaku, a 'geek boy'. He was fascinated by what could be done with weapons and the power it gave a single person. He had even gone as far as convincing his parents to let him travel to America and take a two-week gun training course with the excuse of he was thinking of going into the military, it would give him a boost up when training started. Since his parents were world travelers they agreed. They knew what it was like in other parts of the world, and both knew Kohta was not interested in either of their careers, so they supported him in serving his country.

What they didn't know was Kohta had other plans.

Kohta had not really made friends in America, but he had made contacts. Contacts, that could not understand why Japan denied their citizens the right to bear arms to protect themselves. These contacts were also the types that knew how to get around the laws of shipping weapons across the globe. They were more than happy to fix their 'little Jap buddy' up with what he wanted…for a price.

Over the last few months boxes from America had been arriving for Kohta. Some held toys, others metal parts that could be for any piece of machinery. The one thing they held in common though was when what was in the boxes were put together in the right way, they became a Springfield Arms .45 cal. automatic pistol.

Kohta now had almost everything he needed, including three maganines and twenty one rounds of ammunition. All that was left was the barrel and hand grips and they should be arriving in the next few days.

Kohta sat smiling as he loaded and unloaded the bullets from the clips. The boy laughed as he thought about the face Kento would make when Kohta shoved the gun into his gut and pulled the trigger.

Then he cried. He cried as he thought about how Takagi would see him, a cold blooded murderer, insane with his hatred 'til the end. He cried thinking about how his new friend Takashi would feel about him, knowing this was something the other boy could not even conceive happening. He cried long and hard into the cold dark night, until he finally slept, exhausted.

000

The next few days came and went quickly for Kohta. The rest of the parts came and the pistol was assembled and ready when he wanted it. The thing was now, he was not sure. Things had cooled off, and as long as he 'paid the toll', Kento and his crew were content to leave him alone for now. Kohta was watchful though, and worried over the fact that Takagi was still mad about the beating he got the week before.

He had been surprised on Monday when Takashi called him over to eat lunch together, since Miyamoto was off somewhere else. Kohta knew where, but still didn't think it was his place to inform Takashi of that.

Takagi even spoke to him in the mornings now, and would stop and say something to him and Takashi during lunch when she stayed in the classroom.

Kohta could have been in heaven if not for Kento and his bunch always on the sidelines watching, waiting to pounce.

The peace suddenly ended a week later when Takashi and Kohta sat talking after finishing their lunch. Takagi had just left the room when they heard a crash and her cry out in pain. Takashi rushed out the door with Kohta on his heels to find Saya on the floor in front of the lockers with Kento and his crew standing over her.

Takashi jumped in and shoved Kento away from her as Kohta knelt down beside her to see if she was alright.

"You've gone too far this time!" Takashi snarled as he squared off against the six boys.

"Stay the fuck out of my way, Komuro! This is none of your fucking business! The bitch has that and more coming for getting in my way!" Kento screamed in Takashi's face.

Saya looked up at Kohta, shaking and scared as she held her shoulder where she had been slammed up against the metal lockers.

"Saya-san! Saya-san are you alright?" Kohta asked as he took her by the arms and helped her up.

She looked at him in surprise at the use of her first name, but nodded that she was okay, "He just caught me by surprise. I didn't even know they were around 'til he shoved me into the lockers."

Kohta's face flashed red with anger and he spun toward where Takashi and Kento were squaring off. Before he could move though, Igou and seven or eight other boys ran up beside Takashi.

"Hey Kento, if you want to shove somebody, why don't you shove me?" Igou asked him.

"Oh yeah mister big time black belt! I got something for you anytime you're ready for it asshole!" Kento shouted as several teachers ran up to push the boys apart.

Takashi looked back at Kohta and Saya. He jerked his head toward the classroom door and turned back to the confrontation.

"Come on, Takagi-san; let's get in the classroom for now," Kohta whispered. She nodded and let him lead her inside. He watched at the door as she paced until everything calmed down.

Takashi was still furious when he and Igou came back into the room, "Damn worthless teachers! They won't lift a hand to that bunch! They even tried to make it seem like we were the ones that started it all!"

Calming down he turned toward Saya, "Are you okay, Takagi?"

She nodded, "Hirano helped me up and got me to come in here before things got too wild out there." Hesitating, she bowed slightly and said, "Thank you both for coming to help me."

Takashi waved it off with a 'you're welcome' but Kohta blushed and bowed back to her saying, "It was my honor to do so."

Igou's eyebrow went up as Takashi tried to hide a smirk at Saya's surprised face.

Her face hardened as she put her hands on her hips, "So what are we going to do about this bunch of idiots?"

000

Nothing had been decided since everything they could think of led back to violence. School had ended and Kohta was heading down the quiet corridor making his way out to the train station. He was passing an open window when he heard Kento mouthing off.

"Those fucks! Who the hell do they think they are! I'm gonna show them! Tell me what to do, will they?"

"What are we going to do, Kento?" one of his cronies asked.

"First thing I'm going to do tomorrow is catch her in that storeroom where she goes to put away the class papers every day. I'm going to rough her up, bend her over one of those desks and fuck her up the ass 'til she passes out. By the time I get through with her, she will be begging me for it every day!"

"Hey watch out man, that shit is over the top. What if you get caught?"

Kento laughed, "What, you think this is the first time? Shit, I did this once back in middle school! You remember that girl with the big tits that all of a sudden disappeared? Wouldn't let me play with her tits so I caught her in the sports equipment room, and banged her ass 'til she couldn't walk straight. When she raised hell, my old man and Shido-sensei's handled it. Whole family got packed off somewhere never to be heard from again. They laughed it off as 'youthful exuberance' or some shit like that. They got my ass covered."

Kohta froze in horror. He remembered the girl in question as a sweet innocent, whose body grew into a woman's before her time. She had been shy and bashful as she was cute. He always wondered what had happened for her to just be there one day and gone the next like she had never existed at all.

He began to shake as his anger rose. He'd had enough of these animals once and for all and for them to be planning this for his Saya! No, never.

He stewed all the way home. He ordered pizza and as he waited for it to arrive, he sat down and started writing letters. After eating he took a walk down the street to a small shrine he would visit every once in a while. He sat and reflected while watching Koi fish swim in a pool off to one side. After praying he went home and slept solid for what seemed like the first night in his life.

He awoke before dawn and bathed, slowly scrubbing his skin to get clean and fresh. When done he dressed in his uniform, packed his school bag and lay one letter on the table for someone to find. Looking around one last time with a tear in his eye he walked out the door.

Arriving at the school just after dawn, he slowly walked the corridors from his classroom to several others in the building and on different floors. He then stood and watched out the windows, as the students filed into the school from the surrounding streets.

Takashi came and slumped into his chair as a few others filtered in. Kohta walked over and sat down across the desk from him and looked at him for a moment. Reaching into his pocket he brought out an envelope with Takagi's name on it.

"Takashi, are you my friend?" he asked as he looked across the desk.

Shocked, Takashi nodded, "Sure I am, Kohta. Why would you think otherwise?"

Kohta smiled slightly, "I'm sorry to ask that way, but you see I've never really had a friend before, and I need to ask something of you that I think only a friend would do. Please give this letter to Takagi-chan out on the stairwell you hang out on. You know the one I mean? Where you go when you're thinking?"

Takashi smiled slightly, "Kohta-san, don't you think it would be better for you to do that?"

Kohta frowned, "Takashi do you know how hard it was for me to even get this far?"

Thinking a minute, Takashi nodded, "Okay I understand, but how am I supposed to get her out there?"

"I'll handle that, but the only thing is you have to wait until the first bell before giving it to her."

"She won't like that, it will mean she's late for class," Takashi replied as he frowned.

Kohta nodded, "I know, but once she reads the letter she will understand and I hope forgive me."

Takashi chuckled, "Okay, I'll go now and wait on her." As he got up he lightly punched Kohta on the shoulder, "Hey, don't ever doubt that I'm your friend."

Kohta smiled as his friend headed out the door. Now for the next step, he thought.

He sat in Takashi's seat 'til Saya walked in the door. As soon as she lay her school bag down he called out to her, "Ah…Takagi-san? Could I speak with you for a second?"

She came over with a grumpy frown on her face, "What is it Hirano? And where is Takashi? He better not be skipping again!"

Kohta blushed and rubbed the back of his head, "Ah…that is what I wanted to talk to you about. It seems he's down and out about something, and is hanging out on the stairwell where he goes to sulk."

Saya looked furious, "Like hell he is! He's going to keep this up and get expelled from school!" She turned and stormed out the door as Igou and Miyamoto came in.

As they sat down, Kohta went over and leaned in close to Igou, "Ah, Igou-san. Takashi is out on the staircase sulking about something. How about you and Miyamoto-san go out and check on him?"

Igou looked puzzled, "Why would I do that Hirano? He's always sulking about something."

Kohta smiled a feral grin, "Because you're his best friend and I would hate to have to tell him what his best friend and girlfriend are doing behind his back."

Igou went white for a moment before asking, "You know?"

Kohta nodded, "I saw the two of you about a week ago when you were on a date near where I live. Now it's really none of my business and I have not said anything, but I need you to take her and go find him right now. I will not say another word about it if you do that one simple thing for me. Personally I think you should tell him but again, it's your business. Please do as I ask."

Kohta stood up and Igou nodded and went to get Rei. After whispering to her for a minute they got up and left the room with Rei looking back at Kohta, a shocked look on her face.

Looking around Kohta finally sat back down in his seat and put his school bag on his desk. As he thought, within a minute of the first bell, Kento and his crew crashed into the room. He was slapped in the back of the head as Kento passed and Kohta snarled out, "HEY ASSHOLE! TURN AROUND AND LOOK AT ME!"

Hearing this Kento stopped and spun with a stunned look on his face. "Are you talking to me, you piece of shit fat ass!"

"Damn right I am, you worthless fuck! Here, I've got something for you!"

With that Kohta drew the pistol from his bag. Kento stared at it as if he could not understand what it was until it suddenly roared. BOOM! The bullet hit him in the chest right at the heart and blew a hole in him the size of Kohta's fist.

The room stood in shocked silence as Kohta sneered at the corpse now lying on the floor.

BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! The pistol jumped in his hand as he ended the lives of the cronies with either head shots or heart shots at close range.

Standing up he walked to the front of the room and said to the teacher, "You should have stopped them, but noooo you had to kiss their asses and help them." BOOM!

Kohta stepped past the body of the teacher as he dropped the magazine and reloaded. Looking back he said, "Everyone else here is safe. Stay in this room and you will not get hurt when the police come."

He stuck the pistol in his pocket as he walked out the door and turned down the hall. Now other teachers were starting to appear and as he walked along he saw two of the coaches running towards him. As they got near he drew and fired, one in the head the other in the chest.

"Two from seven leaves five," He muttered to himself as he walked on.

No one tried to stop him. No one could even imagine that he was the one causing the death and destruction as he walked along. They began to realize it though when he stopped and called out the name of a student in the crowd. Waving for him to come over he waited 'til the baseball player was close and then, BOOM!

"Don't think I forgot how you treated me in middle school, dickhead," Kohta mumbled as he walked on. Four more times this scene played out before he loaded his final magazine. Turning and climbing the stairs he could now hear sirens screaming outside as the police and SAT started to arrive.

"They're here now, so giving time for them to set up…they should be in position in about ten minutes," He thought out loud to himself as he topped the stairs. Sudden movement caused him to draw and duck to the side as he saw a whirl of skirts come at him.

"STOP!" he ordered as he jumped back out of the way of a tall beautiful girl with raven black hair holding a wooden sword. He held his gun on her as she stepped back holding the bokken at guard above her head.

"I will not allow you to harm these girls!" she commanded as he noticed a crowd of young women behind her.

"I'm man hunting today. I swear on my honor, I will harm no woman in this school," he replied to her.

She watched him for a moment, then stepped back. Still keeping her bokken at ready, she told the group to go down the stairs behind her. After they were all gone she continued to stand and watch him.

"Don't," he said. "I swore not to harm a woman, but if you come at me I will wound you and I don't want to do that. My weapon is out and ready, you will not beat me to the draw."

The girl snorted through her nose like she was not sure of that but slowly lowered her weapon and backed away. She stopped at the top of the stairs, "Why are you doing this?"

Kohta, keeping his gun at ready replied, "Things at this school had gotten out of control due to certain people. Today I'm setting things right. If you want to know more ask Komuro Takashi, second year, after this is all over. He will have a letter I left with him explaining it all."

She nodded, "What is your name?" she asked.

"Hirano Kohta, second year, and today, I'm playing the part of Death."

"Busujima Saeko, third year and captain of the kendo club."

"Peace and long life Busujima-sempai," he said bowing slightly.

She opened her mouth to respond, but then stopped, "And what of you Hirano Kohta?"

He sighed, "I will be dead within the hour, so I shall have neither."

She nodded and turned her back on him as she walked down the stairs.

He smiled as he moved off down the hall. Now there was an impressive woman! he thought as he arrived at his destination.

He kicked the door open and stepped in the classroom, pistol at ready. Students were hiding behind their desks as Shido Koichi hid behind his.

With a smile on his face Kohta called out, "Shido-sensei! I've business with you! Please come out and face me like the man I know you're not!"

"Hi-Hirano-kun? Wh…what are you doing here? W-what is this about?" Shido asked, his voice shaking as he tried to keep the desk between him and Kohta.

"It seems there is a rumor going around that your father was involved in the disappearance of a young girl that Kento Taro raped when he was in middle school. I think since your father helped do that to someone's daughter, I should at least help him lose the son that must mean so much to him."

Shido began to slide backwards on the floor shaking his head, "No Hirano! I don't know anything about that! I have no idea what you are talking about!"

Kohta heard movement to his left. He spun and fired as a blond haired student raced at him with a chair in his hand. Hit in the middle of the chest, the boy flipped over backwards and crashed to the floor.

Turning his attention back to Shido he smiled one last time, "Ah, that was good, he was on my list, but I didn't know where to find him." Shido whimpered as Kohta pulled the trigger and blew his brains all over the wall.

Kohta looked at his pistol and thought a moment, Hmm that should leave five I believe. Starting out the door he called out, "I'm done in here, everyone else is safe."

He walked down the hall thinking about the time. Stopping by a column he reached into his pocket and pulled out a mirror. Holding it out, he looked into it and focused on the building wing across the way.

Ah, there they are, right on time, he thought as he could see a police sniper team watching from the far roof.

He pulled his mag and checked his load before taking a deep breath. Stepping out from behind the column, he fired one bullet through the window to draw their attention and then took a bead in the sniper who was already looking at him. BOOM! BOOM! The pistol roared for the last time as he fired off two shots that he knew were too far away to ever hit.

000

Police sniper Minami Rika drew a bead on her target as he first, shot out a window, and then fired at her. The rifle kicked into her shoulder as she ended the violence that had taken the lives of so many people that day.

"Got him!" called her spotter. "Clean shot between the eyes!"

She just nodded and continued to watch as the other teams cleared the school making sure there were no more shooters.

000

On the outside stairwell before Kohta started,

Takashi was propped up on the rail smiling when Saya burst through the door ranting at him.

He laughed as she dressed him down for skipping class and drawing her into it all.

She stopped as he held out the letter Kohta had given to him for her.

"He said he couldn't do it himself, so he asked me to give this to you. I don't know why, but he said it had to be right now as soon as the first bell rang," Takashi said with a grin.

Stunned, Saya took the letter and read her name written in kanji on the front. Opening it she found another letter addressed to Takashi inside. She handed that to him and began to read hers.

Saya-chan,

I hope you will forgive me for being so personal with you at this time. I want to say what I could never tell you in life.

I think you are the most beautiful girl in the universe and I love you with all my heart and soul. I wish we could have had many years together learning about each other, but that is not to be. I am jealous of Takashi in that respect, since he did get all those years with you I could never have. Don't worry, I don't resent him for it, since I consider him my first and only friend, but I do wish it could have been different.

I am going to settle everything today so there will be nothing to fear from those animals anymore and you will be safe from their touch. I have explained everything in the letter I included for Takashi and he will need to talk to the police about it when all this is over.

Take heart Saya-chan! I feel I will go to a better place and the only regret I have is that I cannot be there with you.

I love you,

Hirano Kohta

She looked up at a shocked Takashi as Igou and Miyamoto burst through the door wanting to know why Kohta had insisted they come outside and find Takashi.

There was a booming sound that echoed through the halls of the school. Seconds later it boomed five times more and then again shortly after.

Saya started to scream and turned to race through the door, but Takashi grabbed her from behind and held her tight to his chest.

"OH MY GOD! STOP HIM! PLEASE GOD STOP HIM!" Saya screamed as the booming started again further away.

"What the hell is that? Gunshots?" Igou cried out.

"It's Hirano," Takashi said. "I don't know how, but he's cleaning out Kento and his gang as well as some others he says were involved in his crimes in the past. It's all here in this letter for me to take to the police once it's over."

"We've got to get out of here!" Igou said as he grabbed Rei's hand and started down the stairs.

Takashi grabbed his shoulder, "NO! Don't you see? He sent us here to get us out of danger! This is the safest place to be for now. Do you really think he would hurt any of us?"

Igou stood stunned as Rei hugged him while Saya kicked and screamed, cursing Takashi for all he was worth because he would not let her go.

They stayed like that until the noise stopped with a different kind of gunshot. Then police in armor came up the stairs to take them to safety.

000

Takashi sat at a table in the police station across from Chief Inspector Miyamoto Tadashi, Rei's father. It had been three days since Kohta died. Takashi had been in and out of the police station with Rei's father every day.

Inspector Miyamoto tossed down the letter Takashi had given him after reading it for the tenth time. Disgusted he held his head in his hands and sighed.

"So he gave you no indication of what he was going to do, Takashi?" he asked.

Takashi shook his head, "If he had, I would have tried to talk him out of it or at least come to you about it. I don't agree with how he did this, but I understand why."

Tadashi nodded, "I know you would have. Your part in this is not being questioned. The only reason you're here is because he saw fit to give you the letter to turn over to us. But this…" he picked up the letter and shook it in anger. "This shit trail should have never been allowed to go on to begin with. I've been trying to get my hands on Senator Shido for a while now and this just might give me the leads I need for further investigation. To think that the school's officials were supporting the actions of these criminals is so appalling I cannot even start to imagine. I just wish to god it had not come at such a cost."

He hung his head again and sighed, "I can never say it outside of this room but this young man…well, he did it wrong…but he did it for the right reasons."

Takashi thought about what Tadashi was saying and realized he was right. If there could have just been some way for it to have come out without the cost in lives and ruined families.

Without losing Kohta.

Saya was still shattered. All she would do is sit in her room and hold the letter he had written her while muttering his name over and over. Takashi went to see her every afternoon in hopes she would snap out of it and start bitching at him again.

Tadashi waved at him, "I know you want to go check on Takagi-san so you can go. Oh, by the way, I want to say I'm sorry that in the middle of all this, my stupid daughter picked this time to drop that bomb on you."

Takashi shrugged, "I should have seen it coming, but I had my head too far up my own butt to see what was going on around me."

Tadashi snorted, "Yeah, we men get that way sometime. You and I both thought the two of you would end up together for the rest of your lives. So much we know."

Takashi got up and headed for the door as Tadashi said, "If there is anything you ever need, Takashi, please don't hesitate to call me. You've got my private number now so don't be afraid to use it."

Takashi stopped at the door, "There is one thing I would like to know…"

000

It had been several weeks since the 'incident' as it was called and Takashi was sitting back in his classroom looking out the window. There were a lot fewer people there than there used to be because many parents transferred their children to other schools.

As class broke for lunch, a tall raven-haired girl came to the door and asked a question of one of the other students. They pointed her toward Takashi and she quietly walked over to him.

When Takashi noticed her he was shocked for a second by her grace and beauty. Tall and lean, but shapely, she stood straight and proud, a cloth bag over her shoulder that Takashi knew carried a wooden practice sword.

Heaven on earth, he thought as she cleared her throat and asked, "Are you Komuro Takashi?"

Standing up, he bowed to her and replied, "At your service. How may I help you?"

She smiled sweetly, "Busujima Saeko, third year and captain of the kendo club. I had the chance to talk to a young man a couple of weeks ago and he told me to ask you what it was about when it was all over. While I do not condone what he did, he impressed me with his control and discipline while under such pressure. Could you explain to me why he felt he had no other choice than to take the path he did?"

Takashi smiled and held out a chair, "Please be seated, Busujima-sempai, and I'll tell you a story."

000

A couple of weeks later on a Sunday, Takashi, Saya and Saeko walked together through a graveyard in an out of the way corner of the city. Dressed in black, and after a long search, they had come to find where their friend's ashes were laid to rest. That was the question Takashi asked Inspector Miyamoto at the end; where were they going to put his friend.

There had been no funeral for Kohta, in the end he was the mad teenager that caused grief to so many. His parents had been so devastated they had not even come home, handling the arrangements from abroad, too embarrassed and ashamed that their child could have done such a horrible thing. He had been cremated and cast into an almost marker less grave, as soon as the police had released the body.

They wanted to forget about him. They wanted the memory to go away and never surface again.

Finally finding the spot, Saya knelt down and placed flowers in the urn in front of the simple head stone that held only his name, date of birth and death.

Saeko reached out and took Takashi's hand as they stood side by side. Her hand was warm and soft, but he could feel callouses from her swords handle. They had become close surprisingly quickly after that first meeting. Something attracted them to each other.

Saeko and Saya had become good friends also. Saya claimed Saeko had a 'big sister' complex and Saeko said Saya was 'bossy'. They got along like sisters who had known each other for years. The second time they had met, Saya turned to Takashi and said, "Catch her now, she's a hundred times better than the other one you pined over for so long."

After talking and praying for a few minutes, they slowly walked away, promising to return with fresh flowers in a few weeks.

As Takashi walked, he held Saeko's hand on one side, and Saya's on the other. He felt complete for the first time in his life.

Unseen by them, on the top of the hill behind them, a gray figure with white, glassed over eyes and a sagging jaw stood and moaned.


A/N: There is a lot I could say but will not. Please leave a review and/or favorite.