Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in Battle Royale.
Just like Taka…Just like Taka…Just like Taka
Hiroki Sugimura's thoughts were a never-ending loop.
He had failed.
He'd failed to protect the girl he loved…
… the same way he failed to protect the one he cherished dearly.
Kayoko was gone, just like Taka.
One moment Kiriyama was lying on the ground, looking like he wasn't going to get up again.
And Hiroki was finally proclaiming his love for Kayoko.
He was telling her how much he cared for her.
She was so beautiful. Even with tears in her eyes.
All the times he saw the light coming in through the window of her flower arranging class he thought she was beautiful, but at that moment she was more than beautiful… she was heavenly.
And she's alive. She's mine at last.
For a while.
The next moment, Kiri-fucking-yama stood up and taken two shots.
The first one went straight through Kayoko's brain. Hiroki saw that clearly (even if he did have only one functioning eye).
His body was aching with a terrible pain, but his heart was in total agony; twisting about, as if someone was wringing out every last bit of hope and love he had in him.
Then Kiriyama took his second shot. Like a flash of white light the pain in his body was intensified. The fires that burned his bullet holes grew hotter and his head felt as though it had been pounded repeatedly against a rock.
But no matter how badly he felt physically the mental pain was far more excruciating.
Just like Taka.
His limp body fell to the ground, like the pathetic loser he was.
He couldn't even save Kayoko, or Takako.
Just like Taka.
His broken figure crashed to the ground.
And then it was over. The pain was gone.
The burning, the head ache, the intensity, all disappeared.
He felt nothing.
But what he felt and what he thought were very different.
The physical pain was gone, but the agony of losing another loved one still remained.
Just like Taka…Just like Taka…Just like Taka
He couldn't stand it.
He knew that he was dead, but to have that thought, that knowledge, playing over and over in his mind…
I'm in hell. He thought. I've died and gone to hell. I've failed Kayoko, like I've failed Takako and my repayment is that I'm in hell.
"Mim!" Takako shouted, with both pain and relief. The spiky head of hair belonging to Shinji Mimura snapped up immediately. "He's coming!" She got up sprinted away from Shinji as fast as she could, without looking to see if he was following.
"You heard her guys!" Shinji was grinning like crazy as he called over to Yutaka and Yoshitoki. They all ran in the same direction as Takako.
The darkness had enveloped him.
Hiroki was surrounded by nothing.
Completely alone, in the dark, in agony: in hell.
"Just like Taka…Just like Taka…Just like Taka…" Hiroki was screaming over and over. He was sobbing loudly and writhing around like a worm. "I'm a failure. I left it too late! She's been taken away from me! Just like Taka!"
He couldn't bear it.
The agony worse than death: the death of the ones he loved.
"Fuck you Kiriyama! I'm in hell and I'm fucking waiting for you! Come at me motherfucker! You took Kayoko away from me! Just like Taka!"
"Sugi!" A voice called to him.
Not just any voice…he knew that voice.
He felt a hand placed gently on his shoulder.
He shivered at this sensation, as if someone had shocked him with electricity.
"Sugi!" the voice grew louder, and more urgent.
He felt a sharp sting on him face as a hand delivered a quick slap.
"You guys go and find her while I'll sort this one out."
"You got it, babe." A familiar male voice responded.
"I wish you would stop calling me that!" the female yelled back.
The agony from within was slowly settling down.
The knots in his stomach were slowly unravelling.
"Kiri-fucking-yama…he…took her. Like Mistu took…Taka." Hiroki continued to sob, but the volume of his voice had been greatly reduced, as was the calming effect of the hand on his shoulder.
"Yeah, she did take me away. That bitch." The familiar female voice spat. "But that's all over now. Can't do anything about it but watch her from up here."
Hiroki's breathing got heavier. This couldn't be real. It couldn't be…
He sobbed even louder.
The knots in his stomach tightened again.
His heart wrenched. Sorrow, regret and guilt filled every inch of his body.
"Oh Sugi," Taha groaned in frustration "I was so hopeful. A moment ago you had gotten over your cry baby phase. God! All of that for nothing? Back to being a wimp?"
He took a deep breath to try and stop the tears, but even though the agony had diminished a little it was still powerful and passionate.
"And for god's sake open your eyes when I'm talking to you!" Taka gave him another slap.
Hiroki was so shocked at what she said he stopped breathing. What?
Only then did he realise how tight his face felt. He was too distracted with his heart's agony than with his scrunched up face. With all of the effort he could muster he slowly moved his face back into its normal shape. The strange sensation felt unnatural, yet strangely pleasant.
Then he slowly opened his eyes.
Light flooded his vision.
He was out of the darkness at last.
As soon as his eyes adjusted to the light he could see Taka's frowning face hovering above him. She sighed with relief.
"Well, at least now you can see me as I tell you off. Stop your crying and say hello. Jesus, I'm in your final thoughts but when you see me again you can't help but scream and writhe around like a baby?"
Hiroki just lay there in disbelief. He was looking up at the girl he cherished (the one who he owed everything too) and yet could think of nothing to say. He chuckled nervously and instinctively moved his hand up to his nose and rested his finger on it.
He took a sharp breath and stared at his hand, complete with five fingers once more. He was so fixated on his five digits he didn't even hear Takako's complaint. ("Jeez! I thought you would let go of that habit by now!")
"Taka? Where are we?"
"Safe, in some sort of afterlife. " She said, holding out her hand. Hiroki took it and slowly stood up. "It's a place where memories go, memories of people. We stay up here and watch over the people we love, and I've been keeping a very close eye on you Sugi."
"Oh, right." Hiroki felt his gut twisting, the agony was intensifying. "Taka…"
"I'm sorry." He bit his lip so stop himself from crying again. "I was useless. I wanted to save her. I tried to protect her but I couldn't do it. I'm hopeless. I could have done better. I let Mitusko go. I could have avenged you, but I was a coward. I was a boy scout. I was pathetic. When I seized the moment and tried to make it mine I screwed up and got her killed…Kayoko." He turned his head away so that Takako couldn't see that he was crying again, but it was no use.
"I told you to quit it with the tears!" She gave him a two-fingered push on the shoulder and tried to make eye contact with him, but he closed his eyes and avoided her frown as much as he could.
Takako sighed in frustration.
"Oh hell, if I'm gonna be sentimental it may as well be now!" She threw her arms up in the air then took a hold of Hiroki by the shoulders.
"Sugi, you did brilliantly!" He opened his eyes and looked at her with confusion. She stared deep into his eyes, passed his tears. "So yeah, you could've killed Mitsuko, but to be honest even though it would have been nice for you to avenge my death I would have been a little too worried about you. You're too fucking nice and sentimental to kill like that. You would've done yourself some serious damage if you'd shot her down like a dog (even if she is one).
"And your fight with Kiriyama? Man! If you'd have seen us watching you from up here you'd know how amazingly you were doing! You gave him a run for his goddamn money! That's for sure! The first one in the game to make him bleed! And what a way to do it!
"First you lost your eye, and I was shit scared, I honestly thought you were done for right then and there, but then you stood up and gave it everything you had! You protected Kayoko better than anyone has ever protected her or anyone else for that matter! You kept on going! You could have given up and let her die at any time, but you didn't. You kept on standing up and defended her. Hell, you even nearly killed yourself just so you could get yourself closer to the gun!
"When Kiriyama was down you had the chance to tell Kayoko and you fucking did! You finally fucking took a piece of my advice and you stopped fucking dithering about like a moron! You fucking told her you loved her and she smiled like a fucking loon! They were the last words she ever heard and she died the happiest fucking girl I've ever seen! You made her complete by telling her. She's one lucky girl to have had you fight for her like that!
"I honestly could not be prouder of you!"
Takako sighed with exhaustion after her little rant. "So don't worry your clueless little head about it! She died, but she died happy, like me." Takako's voice went quiet, and for a moment Hiroki stopped thinking about Kayoko.
"The last words I said to you were about how much I cared for you and how much I cherished you. And the last words I heard may not have been that you loved me, but they were about how much I mean to you. It was nice to know that not everyone thought I was Robo-bitch, and that I changed someone's life. I was so happy to see how much you'd grown, because I was your rock. And I got a chance to tell you that you were mine." She smiled, then it was her turn to look away, but this time it was to hide a blush.
"Dammit, look at what you've made me do!" She chuckled. "I've gone all soft and sentimental."
He pulled her towards him and embraced her tightly. They didn't hug much when they were alive, but Hiroki always liked it when they did. He thought he'd never do it again, but Takako was there, her arms around him, hugging back.
"Oi! Taka! Sugi!" A voice called out to them, making them pull away from each other.
Hiroki turned in the direction of the voice and instantly beamed. Mimura followed by Yutaka and Yoshi were heading over in their direction, he could also see another pair of legs, but the boys were blocking his view of who it was.
"Shinji!" Hiroki waved at his friends. "Yutaka! Yoshi!"
Mimura grinned. "Forgetting someone?"
The fourth person stepped forward smiling as beautifully as she was when Hiroki had last seen her.
She was as radiant, as stunning, as beautiful…
As heavenly as ever.
"Well," Takako chuckled. "Go on and get her you big dummy!"
Hiroki needed no more encouragement. He sprinted as fast as he could in her direction.
She came running to him.
He collected her up in his big arms and picked her straight off of the ground.
He planted a small kiss on her forehead and smiled.
The agony was gone and he was with her, in heaven.
"I'll remember them. Even the worst deserved better. I'll remember every single one of the people who gave their lives"
Takako turned towards the direction of the voice. A gap had appeared before her feet.
She could see the glistening eyes of Shiroiwa's very own Elvis.
"Trust Shu to be the optimistic one, huh babe?" Mim grinned in the direction of the gap.
Takako smiled, ignoring Shinji's term of enderement.
"Yeah, it's a nice sentiment."
"Just don't fuck up, Shu! Take the shot when it counts. Protect Nori like Sugi protected Kayoko, but please stay there, you have a lot to do before I see you again."
For any of you who are religious (or even athiest) I do apologise if this version of the afterlife offends you. I loosely based it off of the heaven in the book The Lovely Bones by Alice Seabold. This is only a piece of fiction and it was not my aim to offend anyone or make any kind of religious statement.
So what did yo guys think? I wrote this all in one sitting and started at around 11pm and finished about half an hour ago so it might not be the best thing ever written. It might be a little too sentimental or some characters might be acting a little OOC, so please tell me if this is the case!
Please review and tell me what you think! My first BR Fan Fic in quite a while and I'd love to hear your thoughts!
(PS: hope you liked the hint of TakaMim...it wasn't much but it was fun to add in anyway :P )