After the struggle Haru had with Morishige, he and Shiori waited in the classroom in order for Shiori to take care of Haru's face. He had been through so much just to ensure her safety, and she felt horrible for how cruel she was to him before. Tears rolled down her face as she looked at the gash on his forehead and tried to wipe some of the blood away, but it was already crusted over and would not come off. She wanted to get him some proper help, such as to disinfect the wounds, but nothing was around to do so. Haru said nothing and did not wince at all; instead, he just clutched Shiori's skirt, as if he was afraid she would just vanish right before him. Much to his relief, the bruises on Shiori's neck were not as bad as Haru initially thought they were.
So close… if he had not gotten there in time, she would have…
When she was done, Haru wasted no time in rising to his feet. He was stiff and sore, but he knew they had to keep going. Shiori did not say a word; it was as if she could read Haru's mind, and she agreed with him. Hand in hand, they left the room and continued searching throughout the school for their friends. Their throats were scratchy, and their mouths were so dry. Their stomachs growled in hunger. They were so, so tired. How long had they been here? How much longer would they survive? Haru gently squeezed Shiori's hand. He was not going to let her die under any circumstances. Not here. Even before coming to this hell, they had been through so much more than what most teenagers went through. Perhaps even adults. The only true happiness they had was when they were with each other and their friends. Maybe it was an act of munificence that Haru and Shiori were placed together in this place, to be each other's vim and vigor.
They thought about those four children, and the three who were murdered. All throughout the school, they had found scattered newspaper articles about the murders and the development and the story. Conveniently enough, however, the articles were always cut off at the very end, as if someone or something there was hiding the whole story. Time and time again, they ran into the ghosts of the children. Shiori wanted to help them so much. It was as if she could feel the pain in their hearts. Haru agreed with her, but he felt as if what the children were doing was wrong. They were taking out their anger over their deaths on innocent people who had nothing to do with it- people who were not even alive during the time of their grisly murders.
Suddenly, Shiori came to an abrupt halt. Haru stopped as well and look back at her to see sadness in her eyes. She hugged herself and looked down at the floor. Haru, wanting to comfort her, walked to her, but she took a step back.
"What's the matter?" he asked.
"I think… something is wrong with me," she began. "Seeing a body… doesn't bother me anymore…"
Haru was shocked by this statement, but he did not let it show. He knew what was going to happen if they did not get out of here soon. Little by little, Shiori was losing herself to this school. Haru walked to her, and just as he reached out to her, her cell phone beeped. This surprised them both; their cell phones had stopped working hours ago despite being fully charged. Shiori gasped and pulled her cell phone out of her pocket. She gave Haru a hopeful look, and he nodded in agreement. She opened her flip-phone and held it to her ear.
"Big sis? Hello?"
Shiori smiled immediately at the sound of her little sister's voice. Haru smiled as well, put his arm around his love's shoulder and gave her a gentle squeeze. "Yukata! Is this really you? I am so happy tear hear your voice!"
"Big sis? Answer me! It's your little sister, Yukata!"
"I am answering you, goober. I'm right here," Shiori giggled, thinking that perhaps there was bad signal and she was cutting out on Yukata's end.
"…Please… answer me… come home… Grandma and Grandpa are really worried… If you and your friends think this is a funny joke, it's not! We're scared!"
"If something has happened to you…"
Just then, Shiori could faintly hear her grandmother in the background. "Is she not answering, Yukata?"
"No… what if…"
Shiori's grandmother seemed to have grabbed the phone out of Yukata's hand. "Listen me. If someone else has this… if you have harmed Shiori and her friends in any way… God have mercy on you, because we certainly won't."
With that, the line went dead. Shiori's hopes shattered, and she lowered the phone as she looked slowly up at Haru. Her features shocked Haru; she was pale, and her eyes were dull. Haru grabbed the phone out of her hand and called the number again, putting it on speaker. He had to try again. They heard what seemed to be someone answering the phone, which gave Haru hope that perhaps Shiori's grandmother had answered it.
"Honami?" he called.
"You will die here," spoke a sinister, male voice from the phone. This statement caused Haru to nearly drop the phone. "You fight… you struggle… for nothing. I. Will. Kill. You."
"Stop!" Haru yelled as he slammed the phone shut. He shoved it angrily in his pocket then directed his attention to Shiori, and was immediately scared to see that she was no longer by his side. He looked all the way down the hallway to see her standing in a corner, her back toward him, her shoulders moving up and down. Thinking she was crying, he began to make his way to her… but the closer he drew, the more he realized she was not crying, but laughing creepily. The laughter seemed broken, as if she had become unhinged. He stopped behind her, his heart racing as he listened to her laughter.
"Sh-Shiori?" he apprehensively called as he reached out to her. Just as he touched her shoulder, she wheeled around and knocked his hand away.
"Don't you dare touch me, you bastard!" she snarled. Haru nearly cried out when he saw her face. Her eyes were wide, and her pupils were as small as pinpoints, and she was literally snarling her lips. She looked absolutely deranged, and it scared Haru greatly. He took a step back, not sure how to react.
"Shiori?" was all he could manage to say.
"He thinks he'll kill me?" she quickly spoke. "He's got another thing coming!" She reached up and started sinking her nails into her collarbones. Slowly, she began to drag then down as far as her blouse would let her, brining blood. Haru nearly jumped out of his skin at this, but he gathered his bearings and ran to her. He grabbed her wrists and held them in his hands.
"Shiori! Stop it!" he strongly ordered. "You're hurting yourself!"
"It's my body! I'll do to it whatever the hell I want!" she screamed at Haru as she jerked her hands out of his hold. She dug her nails into her neck this time and did the same as she did to her collarbones, laughing frenziedly as she did so. Haru grabbed at her again, but she moved to the side and ran away from him. This was not like her. She loved life. She never quit at anything, so why…? Again, she clawed her throat. Haru tried to get her to stop, but no matter what he did, he could not get her to stop. He thought of one thing he could do to bring her back to her senses… and he hated the thought. But, he had to do something… anything… to save her. Using his speed, Haru ran up to her, grabbed her wrists with one hand and balled the other. He paused for a moment to prepare himself-
"SHIT!" he screamed as Shiori clamped her teeth into his arm. She bit him so hard that blood started trickling down his arm, and she would not release him. Haru winced in pain then looked into Shiori's eyes. She was not there. Not the Shiori he loved. "Shiori… I'm sorry." With his balled fist, he punched her stomach at such a force, it knocked the breath out of her, and she collapsed unconscious in his arms. Haru sat down in the floor at held Shiori loosely as he stared down the hall, trying to catch his breath.
Shiori's cell phone beeped again, breaking the silence. Haru ignored it for a moment, but it continued to beep. After about thirty seconds that caused him to get irritated, Haru jerked it out of his pocket, flipped it open, and held it up to his ear.
"You will die here."
Before Haru could stop himself, he took the cell phone in both hands and snapped it in half. He threw it to the side in anger and looked away from it.
"I. Will. Kill. You."
Haru quickly turned his head and looked at the phone. It was completely broken. Yet, it was lit up and a voice was coming out of it.
"You keep saving her. You're making her suffer. Just let her die. It's going to happen anyway."
"You should kill her. Think about it. She'll die by the hands of the person she loves the most. If I kill her, I'll make her suffer. I promise you that."
"Shut up." Haru growled. "I would never kill her or anyone. I promised to protect her."
"I'd do away with that pathetic masquerade of honor. It doesn't do you a bit of good here, but you and I both know that the end is inevitable. It's either you or me."
The light died, and the voice stopped. Haru stared at the phone for a moment, unblinking and not breathing. Never would he kill her, or anyone for that matter. He looked down at her to see she was still unconscious, and that a tear had splattered on her face. Wiping away the tear with his hand, he continued to loosely hold her in his arms. He bowed his head and tried to force the tears to go away as he tenderly stroke Shiori's cheek with the back of his hand.
"I'm… starting to lose myself… Shiori," he whispered.
More tears splashed onto Shiori's face.
Thirty minutes passed before Shiori awoke. She opened her eyes to see Haru staring blankly ahead. Confused, she sat up, surprised that her stomach was sore and that her neck and chest stung, as well as feeling queasy. The memory of whatever happened before was gone, and as she tried to recall what happened, she noticed that Haru had not moved or spoken a word. She looked down to see a bite mark on as well as blood on his arm, and she grew concerned. Her neck and chest still stung, so she reached up and felt wetness. When she brought her hands down, she gasped in terror to see blood on her fingers. Quickly, she backed away from Haru, wondering if he had lost his mind briefly and harmed her, and if so, then perhaps the bite mark was given to him by her efforts to free herself.
Finally, Haru blinked and directed his eyes to Shiori. He smiled sadly at her.
"You're awake. That's good," he spoke in a way that seemed almost detached. Shiori took a step back, preparing to run if she needed to.
"Haru… did… what did you do?"
Haru raised an eyebrow, confused as to what she meant. He then realized what she did mean and he sighed, visibly hurt by her assumption.
"You don't remember, do you?" he asked. When she did not answer, Haru rose to his feet. "I guess that's a good thing that you don't. Now, let's get going."
Shiori took another step back. "I'm not going anywhere with you until you tell me what happened."
Irritated, Haru exhaled and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Forget it, Shiori. It's best you don't remember."
"You attacked me, didn't you?!" Shiori panicked.
"Don't be ridiculous!" Haru snapped. Shiori jerked, astonished by the viciousness in his voice. He never talked to her that way. "You know better than that."
"What else am I supposed to believe?" Shiori lashed back. "I have scratches all over my neck and you have a bite mark on you! Probably from where I was trying to get away!"
The look in Haru's eyes immediately broke Shiori's heart and made her understand that her accusation against him was completely asinine. Before she could apologize, with a smile on his face, Haru walked to her phone. He bent down, picked it up, and stood up.
"I broke it. I'll replace it when we get out."
Shiori shook her head. "When we get out? Haru, we're never getting out! We are going to die here!"
Haru placed the phone in his breast pocket and walked past Shiori a little ways before he stopped. Silence filled the area briefly. Shiori felt horrible. First, she nearly got Haru killed by the principle's son. Then, she accused him of trying to kill her. Thirdly, she had no faith in anything anymore. Haru had never given her a reason not to trust him. What was wrong with her?
"It's most likely a good idea we keep moving," Haru spoke. "If you don't want to be with me anymore, I understand."
He began walking onward. Shiori felt a lump rise in her throat, and tears stung her eyes. She followed Haru but remained two to three feet behind him at all times. They continued to walk the through the school, past corpses and ghosts, in silence. It was sometime until there was any communication between the two. Shiori still felt horrible for treating Haru so badly, but for some reason, she could not bring herself to apologize. No matter how hard she tried, her voice would fail her. Time went on, and as they walked by a classroom, they could hear someone eating inside. Locking eyes with each other, they wordlessly communicated; perhaps whoever was in the room would be willing to share. They slid open the door and walked in… What they discovered made Shiori scream. Inside the room, a boy about Haru's age was devouring another boy, whose eyes were open and transfixed in death with the utmost pain in horror.
Hearing Shiori's scream, the boy looked up at them. He swallowed his bite and wiped the blood that was on his face on his sleeve. He sat up and looked down at the boy, a creepy smile spread on his face.
"You must think I'm a monster, but we were so hungry," he spoke. "So, we talked and decided that one of us has to survive. We played a game of rock-paper-scissors… I won, so I got to live."
Haru grabbed Shiori's arm and pulled her behind him. He backed her up closer to the exit.
"Whatever you and your friend decided is your business," Haru calmly said.
The boy glanced back up at Haru and Shiori, the smile on his face widening, revealing his teeth. Shiori could not refrain from throwing up; skin, meat, and tissue were stuck in the boy's teeth. He rose to his feet, pulling scissors out of his pocket as he did.
"I'll run out of food soon. I don't want to starve."
Haru let go of Shiori's wrist to let her run, but she did not move. The boy stepped over the body then charged at them. Since Shiori was right behind him, Haru could not move. The boy raised his scissors and stabbed them into Haru's chest, causing him to grunt in shock and Shiori to scream in fear; however, Haru did not fall. Shiori remembered that Haru had put her broken cell phone in his breast pocket, and by chance, that was where the boy had stabbed. Haru jerked the boy's arm away, the boy pulling out the scissors. In one swift motion, Haru twisted the boy's arm behind his back and slammed him into the wall.
"Shiori! Go!" he yelled.
Shiori shook her head. "I'm not leaving you!"
"No! Shiori, go! Now!"
Reluctantly, Shiori took off running. She ran down the hallway but stopped with a gasp when she heard Haru cry out. An eerie silence filled the hallway. She did not know whether to stay put, go back to the room, or run. After a few moments, her heartbeat sped up, and tears filled her eyes. Then, she smiled when she saw Haru step out of the classroom. The smile quickly faded when she recognized that something was wrong. Haru walked to the staircase and on down the stairs. Shiori followed, despite feeling uneasy. She walked down the stairs then stopped when she saw Haru sitting on a step with his elbow propped up on his knee and his head leaned on his hand. Shiori got in front of him… His hands were covered in blood. He had a gash on his neck, but luckily it had missed the artery. He sat in silence as he stared into nothingness.
Shiori understood immediately. He killed the boy in order to protect them. Wordlessly, Shiori sat down beside Haru and wrapped her arms around him. It was silent for a moment, but then Shiori's cell phone cut on.
"You are slipping, boy. You gave your testament that you would never slay anyone." Shiori reached in Haru's breast pocket and pulled out the broken cell phone. She stared at it, stunned to see it lit up and that they were hearing a voice emitting from it. "I told you that your bravery was just a masquerade. You feared for your own life, so you took his in order to ensure your survival," the same voice (unbeknownst to Shiori) from before spoke. "You have now subjected your love to the depravity of your madness that you shadowed for so long. Consider what I suggested before, boy."
"Leave him alone," Shiori pleaded. "Just stop… he's been through enough."
"It's all… everything… for nothing. You will die here."
In a fit of rage, Shiori threw her phone as hard as she could down the stairs. It slammed on the floor and rolled until it was out of sight. Shiori calmed down then leaned her head on Haru's shoulder and wrapped her hand around one of his blood-soaked hands.
"Haru…" she whispered, "please don't give up on me…"
Silence. However, shortly after…
Shiori squeezed Haru's hand tighter. She was not going to lose him to this place.
*Edit: I made this longer. After I had posted it, I suddenly got ideas. Hope it's all right!