"Takashi!"

Komuro turned to see his best friend running toward him, tears sliding down his face. He was waving his arms and running haphazardly, as if he kept bumping into people who weren't there.

"Hisashi!" he exclaimed, surprised to see the normally down-to-earth Hisashi in such a state. "What's wro-"

He was cut off as Hisashi barreled into him, knocking him over and sending the two boys flying. They landed in a heap, and Takashi's head banged hard against the ground.

"Ow!"

Takashi heaved Hisashi off him, and sat up clutching his head in his hands. "Ow, ow, ow! Dammit Hisashi, what are you doing?"

Hisashi's eyes widened, and his hands went to his mouth. He looked at Komuro in horror.

"You said a bad word! I'm telling!"

Takashi jumped up in surprise.

"That wasn't a bad word!"

"Yes it was!"

"No it wasn't!"

"Yes it was!"

The two boys stood facing each other, chests heaving, hands balled at their sides. Suddenly Hisashi burst out laughing. "Ahahaha!"

"Eh? Hisashi?"

Suddenly, Takashi was being embraced by his best friend. Hisashi's short arms were wrapped firmly around his back, and Komuro was too surprised to do anything but laugh. "Geez, Hisashi, what's gotten into you?"

Hisashi pulled back, and looked at the ground. Takashi was surprised to find the front of his shirt was a bit wet.

Oh yeah, he was crying…

"Hisashi…?"

Hisashi took a deep breath, but it sounded more like a gulp. When he spoke, his voice came out in a low whisper. He sounded incredibly sad. It was very un-Hisashi like.

"My mum's gone away."

Takashi didn't get it. Why was that such a big deal?

"Where's she going?"

"I don't know."

"When's she coming back?"

"I don't know."

Takashi let out an annoyed sigh. "Geez, what do you know?"

Hisashi shrugged, and looked up. "My parents are always really nice to me, but sometimes I hear them yelling. Then last night I saw them fighting. And… and my mum hit my dad. Really, really hard!"

Komuro's eyes widened, and he gasped. "No way!"

Hisashi nodded sullenly. "What should I do?"

"I dunno… I don't really know much about parent stuff. Mine are always nice I guess."

"Yeah, well, they're always nice to me, which is why I don't get it…"

Takashi made a distressed noise in the back of his throat. He hated to see his best friend like this. He was obviously really upset.

"Hey!" he exclaimed. "Let's go play ball! We can figure out what to do about your parents later, alright?"

Hisashi looked surprised, before his face split into a wide grin. The young seven year old nodded enthusiastically.

"Sure!"


H.O.T.D. Season 2: World of the DEAD

Prologue: Remembering the DEAD


"Really? Really truly?"

Rei grinned and nodded.

"Hai!"

Takashi grinned foolishly. Rei was going to marry him! He couldn't wait to be grown up!

His mouth dropped open in a comical 'o' of surprise. He couldn't tell Hisashi about this. What with his mum leaving him and his dad, he didn't want Hisashi to think things were too great for him.

Suddenly, he became aware of the setting sun. The slowly darkening light lit up the park in a golden orange, and the sun that glinted of the playground was bearable to look at. Rei's hair was just the colour of the autumn leaves. She was really, really pretty.

Takashi's goofy grin faded as he realised what the setting sun meant. His mum was expecting him at home soon!

"Gomen, Rei-chan!"

"Huh?" Rei's beaming face adopted an expression of confusion. "What do you mean?"

"I have to go!" Takashi started to run away, before turning and waving to Rei. She giggled and waved back. He started to run again, but turned and waved once more. Rei laughed.

"Aw, come on! I'll still be here tomorrow!"

Takashi beamed.

"Sweet!" He punched the air triumphantly before quickly running away to stop himself from turning back again.

His feet pounded the familiar streets as he tried to get home as quickly as possible. He wanted to stay in his mum's good books. Takashi frowned a little as he thought of his mum – he wondered what it was like for Hisashi, seeing as he didn't have a mum anymore. She had left about half a year ago now, and as far as he knew Hisashi hadn't talked to her since.

He shook his head to clear his mind. He would go over to Hisashi's place tomorrow and play with him to keep him company.

Takashi grinned at his masterful plan – Hisashi would be thrilled!

He ran to his doorstep, and kicked off his shoes as he stepped through the door.

"I'm home, mum!"


Two young teenagers walked together through the school grounds. One looked to be the picture of punctuality – his jacket was done up to the top button, his hair was neatly arranged, and he hoisted his bag high, throwing his shoulders back as he strolled through the grounds.

His friend, however, was not so punctual. His uniform was un-ironed, and his hair was tousled, certainly not complying with the school's hair policy code. His bag was slung casually over one shoulder, and he took idle sips from his carton of orange juice as he looked at a group of girls clustered nearby.

The more uniform of the two frowned at his laid back friend.

"Geez, Takashi, you should stand up straighter. You'll do terrible things to your back otherwise."

Takashi waved his juice box in the air dismissively. "We're all gonna turn out to be crusty old prunes anyway, why resist the inevitable?" he explained with the air of talking to someone with an IQ of under 40.

Hisashi chuckled. "Honestly…" he shook his head, still laughing. The pair walked in silence for a few meters before he spoke up again.

"Hey, did I tell you about Romi?"

Takashi shook his head. "Your step-mum? What about her?"

Hisashi's dad had gotten married three years after his first wife left him to a woman called Romi. Takashi could count the times he'd seen her on one hand, but she'd seemed really nice when he had. He knew Hisashi liked her anyway. She had been really nice to him, and had helped fill the motherly position that Hisashi had missed. Not that he'd ever complained. That wasn't really Hisashi's style.

"Well, her daughter is coming to live with us."

Takashi blinked in surprise.

"No kidding. What's her name?"

"Miyuki Arakawa. She's our age, but I haven't met her before. She's moving in by the end of the week."

Takashi choked on his juice, spitting it out. "No way! Why so soon?"

Hisashi's face darkened. "Romi didn't give me too many details – she said that if I really wanted to know, I'd have to ask her myself. But she did tell me that her dad died."

"Oh."

There was a short silence, before Takashi spoke up. "Well, you're going to have to give her a warm welcome. Is she going to come to this school?"

"No, she's going to Tetsuya middle school, and then Tetsuya high."

A great sucking noise came from Takashi's juice container as he finished the last dredges of fruity goodness. He tossed the carton into a nearby bin before replying:

"Tetsuya? Why is she going to the sister school instead of coming here?"

Hisashi shrugged.

"I don't know. My guess is she wants to start afresh. Maybe she just doesn't want to see me all the time."

Takashi punched his friend in the arm. "Please, she's lucky to have you as an older brother! She's going to be just fine with you watching over her."

His comment apparently surprised Hisashi, because he couldn't seem to find any words. He finally grinned, and punched Takashi back.

"I could say the same for you!"

Takashi laughed. "Haha, yeah, I've always thought it would be cool to have a brother or sister. Someone to boss around and all that."

"Yeah… me too."

Their wistful moment was interrupted by a high pitched shout.

"Hey, Takashi!"

The two best friends turned to see Rei running towards them, waving. Takashi gulped, and a small blushed tinged his cheeks at the sight of her. She may only be 14, but her… breasts… were already pretty big, and they bounced as she ran enthusiastically.

She was on his mind a lot these days – he kept thinking about the moment in the park all those years ago when Rei promised to marry him when they were older. He had been so excited – but he was still looking for the opportunity to make a move on her.

He really didn't want to screw up his relationship with her, and he had no idea how to go about dating her. The whole thing was foreign to him. So he kept putting it off, never expanding their relationship past former declarations of commitment and constant teasing.

As Takashi thought to himself, the girl in question came to a halt a few meters from them, panting slightly.

"Ehh, and Hisashi too!" Rei smiled at Hisashi, who seemed surprisingly perplexed, as he bumbled and rubbed the back of his head, an uncharacteristic move on his part.

"Wow Rei, out of shape much?" Takashi teased, referring to her out of breath state.

Rei reared up in indignation. "Hey! Watch who you're calling out of shape you lazy oaf!"

Takashi wailed dramatically, raising his hand to his head in a display of mock agony. "The words! They burn! I'm melting because of their ferocity!"

Rei Tched, and turned her attention to Hisashi. Takashi slowly dropped to the floor, and Rei could hear him calling out about evil witches sapping his will to live. She ignored him, and spoke up.

"Ah, sorry about that. I worry about his sense of humor sometimes."

Hisashi chuckled agreeably. "Did you have a message for him? I might need to pass it on for you…"

They both turned to look at Takashi, who was now curled up in a ball, holding his chest, and badly reciting a passage from the play they were currently studying, Macbeth.

Rei snorted. "That's alright, I guess I'll just have to talk to him some other time. Honestly, he can be so difficult to talk to sometimes. He's really indecisive…"

"Takashi's a good guy. He listens when you really need it."

Rei was looking at Hisashi with interest, before a warm smile settled on her face.

"Thanks, Hisashi. Well anyway, if I can't get through to Takashi, then I guess I'll go. Work to catch up on and stuff." Hisashi nodded in an understanding way, and cast a despairing look at Takashi.

"Looks like I've got a job on my hands too."

Rei laughed and tried to hide it behind her hand, but failed. She waved.

"Ja ne, Hisashi-san!"

She turned and quickly walked away, leaving Takashi on the ground in the fetal position.

"Bye, Rei-san," Hisashi said quietly.

All of a sudden, Takashi snapped out of his craze, and looked after Rei with a sharp gaze. He climbed to his feet grumbling all the way.

"Wow, she could have said goodbye at least."

"I think you were beyond all hearing, Takashi."

Komuro looked at his friend with a troubled expression before shoving his hands deep into his pockets and walking away.

"Come on, we're going to be late now."

Hisashi shook his head and walked after his friend. What would he do without him?


H.O.T.D. Season 2: World of the DEAD


He couldn't believe this.

Rei… and… Hisashi?

His best friend was going out with the love of his life, and there wasn't anything he could do about it!

How could she just tell me like that? Hasn't she got any moral values at all?

Takashi sat in the middle of the near-empty classroom, staring disbelievingly at the figure of Rei in the doorway. She was holding the frame and looking away from him, avoiding his gaze.

"Why didn't you tell me? You never even hinted that something was wrong between us."

Rei bit her lip. "Takashi… I-"

"So, was that promise all for nothing then?"

His voice was hollow, empty of any emotion except a slowly building anger.

Rei turned in anger, eyes flashing.

"I made that promise when I was seven! Seven, Takashi! How can you still hold on to that promise now, ten years later? Takashi, I'm seventeen, and I've never had a boyfriend because you never made a move!"

"How is that my fault? If you'd wanted a relationship, you could have easily started it yourself!"

Rei's face darkened. "That's not what I wanted."

Takashi chuckled darkly, hands balled on the table in front of him. "Ahh, I get it. You want a knight on a horse, riding in and sweeping you off your feet, right? Well sorry, but the world doesn't work like that."

"Well, Hisashi fits that description pretty well if you ask me." Rei's voice was as cruel as her words, and Takashi's head jerked up in response. His eyes narrowed in anger.

"Don't get this confused, Rei. Hisashi isn't the one I'm angry at. I… I never even told him how I felt about you. You're the one who-"

"Then how is this anyone's fault except your own?"

Takashi's eyes widened. He made an angry noise and stood up.

"What have I ever done to turn you away? I listen to you all the time. I tried to help you, even when you failed the year!"

He trailed off. The phrase 'If looks could kill' ran through his mind. Rei looked like she seriously wanted to hit him. Hard. With a sledgehammer.

"Geez…" Takashi muttered.

Rei's face turned even more furious, if that were possible.

"This is what I mean. You never listen to me, and you always say the wrong things. And you wouldn't understand…"

"And I suppose Hisashi does?"

Her expression suddenly turned very sad. She turned away once more, and her voice was quiet when she replied.

"Yes, he does."

That was it. It was over for him. When she looked like that, he knew he had no chance. Regardless, he asked one more question.

"Did you ever feel anything for me?"

Rei took a long time to answer, but when she did her voice had a kind of heartfelt finality in it, almost as if she felt sorry for him.

"It's true that I did feel that way for you once, but that was a long time ago. You're too indecisive, Takashi. I'm sorry."

She walked away, fading from his sight as did his hope of ever having a relationship with the love of his life.

Takashi stood alone in the classroom, looking out the door.

His world just couldn't get any worse, could it?


"Hey, Takashi."

"Please… I need your help."

"You have to… help me…"

Hisashi's words were punctuated by coughs that sent blood splattering on the cement.

"Hisashi! Hisashi!"

Rei's desperate cries were like a buzzing sound in his ears. Takashi couldn't see anything, couldn't hear anything, and couldn't make sense of anything other than his dead friend in front of him.

Because he was dead. Takashi had this gut feeling – there was no going back for Hisashi now. Whether by Takashi's own hand, or by whatever was making Them come into existence, Hisashi was a dead man.

But Takashi couldn't do anything. He could only stare as his friend convulsed on the ground ,writhing in pain. Rei's cries turned angry, and he realised she was shouting at him.

"What are you doing? You have to help him! Takashi!"

Always, always she was yelling at him, never giving him a chance to explain. This woman he now knew he loved, holding his best friend in her arms. His blood stained her clothing, as she desperately tried to hold him together, begging him not to die, telling him he wasn't allowed to die.

Rei… he's dead already. Can't you see that?

Suddenly Hisashi wrenched his head up to look at Takashi straight in the eyes.

Takashi's eyes widened as Hisashi's brown ones looked at him pleadingly, begging him, begging him to do him one last insurmountable favor.

Begging Takashi to save him.

Begging Takashi to kill him.

But the baseball bat hung limp in Takashi's hand, and he watched as his best friend of nearly seventeen years threw back his head on final time, and collapsed on the ground with a pained gasp.

In that moment, Takashi understood. He understood that when his friend rose once more, he would not be Hisashi. He knew that the world as they knew it had come to an end, and that there would be no returning to it for them. He knew that Hisashi would never see his parents again, would never hug the stepsister he loved again, would never listen to Rei when she needed comforting again.

Hisashi was gone, and a monster had taken his place.

Rei was hysterical, screaming at Hisashi's body.

"Damn it, you're not allowed to die!"

Their moans could be heard coming from the other side of their makeshift barrier, and Takashi's hands tightened on his weapon. His voice was quiet, commanding and dangerous.

"Rei, get away from him."

Rei choked through her tears. "What?"

"Get away from Hisashi."

"Shut up, he's not going to turn into one of Them. Hisashi's special."

Takashi wondered if she believed her own desperate words.

Hisashi's hand twitched and his arms hung crookedly behind his torso as he stiffly sat up.

"Hisashi!" Rei's voice was so happy, so painfully happy. The thing that used to be Hisashi turned its head to look at Rei as it slowly lurched to its feet.

Takashi was suddenly very afraid. Very, very afraid of what he was about to do.

"Rei! Get away from it!"

Rei ignored him, as she knelt on the ground, gazing at the monster that loomed above her.

"Hisashi…?"

The thing lunged for her, and Rei instinctively moved out of the way.

"GODDAMN IT REI, MOVE!"

She didn't understand, so she yelled at Takashi as he screamed in defiance of the world as it crumbled around him. He ran towards his best friend, raised his baseball bat, and as the thing's jaw flopped open, he smashed its head with his weapon and sent it crashing to the ground.

"Takashi!"


Prologue: Remembering the DEAD


Memories, memories, memories

In this world you tried

Not leaving me alone behind

There's no other way

I'll pray to the gods: let him stay

The memories ease the pain inside

Now I know why

All of my memories

Keep you near

In silent moments

Imagine you'd be here

All of my memories

Keep you near

The silent whispers, silent tears

Made me promise I'd try

To find my way back in this life

I hope there is a way

To give me a sign you're okay

Reminds me again

It's worth it all

So I can go home

All of my memories

Keep you near

In silent moments

Imagine you'd be here

All of my memories

Keep you near

The silent whispers, silent tears…


"Takashi!"

"Uhh…"

Takashi slowly opened his eyes, unwilling to accept the fuzziness of the morning. He was met with an annoyed looking Rei standing over him.

"Come on, we're moving."

"Okay, okay."

Rei frowned again, and left Takashi to wake up.

What a weird dream… I'm surprised I can remember stuff that happened so long ago.

"Well, better get a move on." His voice sounded small in the room. Their group had found a mall, and stocked up on supplies – however none of them felt particularly comfortable staying there. There was no knowing who, or what, could be waiting for them in the large complex.

Takashi pulled himself to his feet and ran a hand through his hair.

"Hisashi… I wish I'd helped you sooner…"

Takashi shook himself and steeled his resolved – there was no time for wishing in this world. He hoisted his jacket, and made his way to the foyer. Suddenly, there was a shout:

"Komuro-kun!"

Saeko…

Takashi ran to the railing and looked down into the space below him.

"No way…"

There were… hundreds of Them. Advancing towards the group as Saeko did her best to hold the horde off. She was a truly excellent swordswoman, but no one could prevent such a number of the undead from advancing.

Takashi bounded down a nearby staircase, taking the steps three at a time until he reached the bottom. He ran towards the group, and as he passed Saeko he yelled.

"Time to go!"

Saeko grinned.

"Hai!"


TO BE CONTINUED…


I do not own, nor am I affiliated with the series Highschool of the Dead in any way shape or form.

I am not associated with the band Within Temptation, nor do I own the rights to their song 'Memories'

Hi guys! So, H.O.T.D… pretty much the greatest thing ever ;) As there doesn't seem to be any news of a season 2, I thought I'd write it myself. This story follows the events of the anime. I have read the manga, but figured it's easier to write a fanfic based after the anime, as the manga has kind of stopped.

Chapters should get longer after this one - gotta keep up!

Review?


NEXT CHAPTER: Act 1: Fighting amongst the DEAD