Diversions

I can't believe she's gone, the pink-haired girl thought glumly to herself as she sat moping on the edge of her bed and fidgeted idly with the single handcuff ornamenting her left wrist. The diminutive first year was usually the most energetic and bubbly student in the afterlife school, which said a lot given the school was massive with over 2000 students living in dorms since there was no such thing as families in this crazy world except as a vague concept of the "non player characters", or NPCs, who would talk about visiting home but never did. Despite all the pain and loss she had gone through in her existence, she had never before felt her romantic optimism falter for more than a brief moment now and then…until now.

The despondent girl was in her room with her three friends, her groupies as Shiori called them. One of the girls was her roommate and all of them were NPC's, although the girl considering them wasn't really fond of the term since they were her friends after all. At the moment, each of them was seemingly confused and bewildered by the events of the evening. It was clear reality was working on them already; doubtless the next morning they wouldn't even remember her beloved mentor.

The NPCs never did remember those who had been obliterated. Generally the amnesia happened almost immediately, although for more major figures it seemed to take a night's sleep for their reality to adjust to accommodate the vanished person never having existed. That had been the case when her previous roommate and best friend in the afterlife had vanished. The disappearance of the lead singer of Girl's Dead Monster was certainly the most significant such loss in the young girl's time in the afterlife, and she wondered idly just how the adjustment would be managed. The idea made her sick, both because she hated seeing the girls manipulated by cruel fate like this and because she didn't want to face the idea that her idol and role model would be remembered only by the handful of students who had experienced life before this place.

I wonder what this means for GlDeMo? I wonder what will become of it; if Hisako will take over or whether tomorrow no one will remember it at all except the SSS and those of us who support it?

The grieving child had never felt that close to the SSS, the Afterlife Battlefront or whatever it was called at any particular time, despite the fact she had since the day she had come here proudly worn the alternate girl's sailor fuku school uniform of those who remembered having once been alive, even if they often couldn't remember the details of that life. Her reason for wearing the contrarian uniform wasn't because she cared that much about the SSS and fighting God, honestly she felt no particular grievance toward whatever Being had brought her here, rather it was because she had worn it…her and all the members of GlDeMo.

She wondered what the unquestioned supreme leader of the SSS was thinking about the events of the night, the loss of the lead singer of her best diversion. Nakamura Yuri, called Yurippe by just about everyone around her, was a terrifying presence that the promotions assistant to GlDeMo never felt comfortable being around. The boys who constituted Yuri's groupies were equally violent for the most part, or nearly inhumanly stupid, or both, except for Ooyama-kun who seemed to enjoy his role as liaison between the SSS fighting force and the various teams which constituted the Diversion Units.

The Diversion Units. I wonder what will happen to them? My senpai led more people directly than Yuri herself. So does Chaa. Still, both of them always defer to Yuri. I can see why, I guess.

The pinkette's tortured thoughts wandered back to her departed mentor. I don't know where she's gone or why she left. She didn't even say goodbye.

Or did she?

Although the master songwriter had never shared this last song of hers with her apprentice before her final performance, this ballad that most certainly was Her Song, the words were seared into her kohai's consciousness.

What will I do without her? What will we all do without her? She's been here since…well…forever. She even rescued me when I first came here.

The girl's thoughts wandered over the events of her coming to the afterlife. That amazing day when she had met her idol and her life had changed forever despite having already ended.

***PGBR***

"Iwasawa, what's up with you today? You've never been the one to lose the bet before. I didn't think you could!" To say Hisako was surprised was an understatement. Shocked would be more like it, and the sentiment was shared by the other members of Girl's Dead Monster arrayed with their instruments in the practice room.

Classes were in session at the moment, but as often was the case the four girls were skipping and spending the late morning before lunch together doing what they loved best, bringing their energies together to play music. They were each others' best friends, although perhaps Shiori and Miyuki took it a little further than the others. They were comfortable enough together to be honest, and to expect great things of each other.

In order to inspire quality, Hisako, the practice manager of the group given she was by far the strictest of them, had instituted a policy whereby anyone who screwed up and forced everyone to stop playing and take things again 'from the top' twice in a row would be responsible for buying the other three girls dinner. Despite the limitations of the afterlife and the fact under certain circumstances things could be made from dirt, there were still many nice things to spend money on and their allowance from their 'family' that came every week disappeared fast. Saving the expense of a meal could make a positive difference, as could buying for everyone have the opposite effect on the negative end.

Occasionally even Hisako had been forced to be the buyer, although more often is was Shiori or Miyuki. Lately, the spirit of the challenge had paid off and whole days had gone by with no one losing the bet. In fact, it'd been over a week since one of them had messed up twice in a row.

The tall girl with short pink hair shrugged and smiled at her best friend reassuringly, then looked back apologetically to Shiori and Miyuki. "Just distracted I guess. Sorry guys."

"Should we take a break for a while?" brown-haired Hisako asked, her beloved Jazzmaster hanging loosely from the strap on her shoulders. She was concerned knowing her best friend could occasionally get in funks, and the band co-founder wanted to avoid that for the tall girl's sake as well as for the good of the group.

"Nahhh, I'm fine. Lets take it again from…"

The words were cut off by the sound of a radio calling out loudly from its perch on the music stand nearest Iwasawa.

"Iwasawa-san, please come in. Iwasawa-san, code orange in progress."

Code Orange. Iwasawa and Hisako shared a look. Code orange was a new arrival with Angel, the Student Council President and presumed right hand of God in this world, dangerously close to making first contact. The only thing worse would be a Code Red, meaning they were already too late.

"That's shitty timing," Hisako supplied into the silence with a scowl. "What with all those SSS morons on a parachute drop."

Iwasawa carefully placed her Stratocaster down in its stand and reached over to speak into the radio. "Iwasawa here. Where are we talking about and how long until things turn red?"

"Behind the guest team bleachers at the soccer field. I'd say we have five, maybe ten minutes if Angel sticks with her usual sweep pattern."

Why do we have guest team bleachers? The girl thought randomly at the news. There are no rival schools here. Aloud she noted rhetorically, "Not much time, and we don't have much to work with while the SSS fighters are away."

Iwasawa thought through her options. She knew it would be hours before Yuri and the main SSS team came back. She also knew Yuri would be furious to lose a new recruit to Angel's influence. Although she wasn't terribly worried about Yuri's wrath, she had to agree with the passionate girl's sentiment. Iwasawa Masami didn't like to lose either.

"Yusa," Iwasawa began again, making a decision and hoping it'd work. "How long will it take to initiate your little project? Operation American Independence?"

There was silence for several seconds before an answer came. "I'm on the roof already. I can have things going in 5 minutes. Are you sure, though? Yurippe will hit the roof when she sees we executed it without her being here. She's told me over and over how much she wants to see it get set off."

"You tell me, Yusa. You know her too. What will piss her off more- losing someone or us using the best diversion we have without her boys around?"

"Losing someone to Angel." The answer was immediate and unequivocal.

"Right. So we go with what we have. I need a team to set up one of the spare amps in the courtyard. We'll have Hisako, Shiori, and Miyuki play an impromptu and unauthorized concert if we need to. Otherwise, we're depending on you."

"Who's going to get the new girl?" the voice on the radio inquired curiously even as it sounded strained, like the speaker was multitasking at the moment.

"It's a girl?" While it was a 50/50 chance, Iwasawa realized rationally, for some reason it still surprised her. Oddly enough, she had been picturing a boy in her mind.

"She looks really young, too. Pretty cute, if I do say so."

"Yusa!" Hisako exclaimed, incensed, as she leaned over to address the radio still in Iwasawa's hand. "I heard that. No looking!"

"No touching, you mean. I'm top sentry, it's my job to look," the voice teased.

Iwasawa had to smile at the glare her best friend gave her unseen lover through the radio. The relationship between Yusa and Hisako was perhaps the strangest of the strange things in this life after death world in which she now existed. On the radio or through other indirect communication, the blonde American exchange student, a rarity in this afterlife but not unheard of, was talkative, even downright chatty. She was one of the few people who would actually tease Yuri.

In person, though, the small blonde was silent and almost entirely expressionless. Only Iwasawa's complete trust in her best friend's word caused her to believe that Yusa actually spoke when the two were in private. Hisako had once shared the bare bones of Yusa's death story to Iwasawa when circumstances had demanded it, but the cause of the girl's inability to communicate normally was still a mystery even to the head of the Diversion Units who, along with Yuri, knew most of the tales of those who came to this place.

The girl left in charge was called back from her musings by the expectant look on her brown-haired friend's face. "So, she's getting things ready. What's your plan to rescue my girlfriend's new eye candy so that I can kill her myself and save Angel the trouble?"

Iwasawa's smile deepened at the good-natured grousing of her friend. She had no doubt Hisako wouldn't harm the newbie, at least not unless the new girl really DID try and capture Yusa's attentions, something exceedingly unlikely given the intensity of the American girl's affection for the guitarist who held her heart.

"You're right, Hisako. I should get going."

The singer moved to her acoustic guitar case, the guitar she carried with her and was rarely without, and gently lifted the precious object within up enough to provide access to a compartment under the arm of the instrument. She pulled out a gun, a SIG Sauer P225 to be precise, and its shoulder holster from the hiding place. She then returned her most valued possession to the safety of the case.

"You don't seriously plan to use that, do you?" Hisako asked, clearly skeptical. "Yusa says you don't practice enough and can't hit the broad side of the school at 50 meters. I've been there to see it and she's right. I know because I suck just as much as you do, and for the same reason."

Iwasawa couldn't argue with either assessment. In her defense, like with Hisako part of that was her reluctance to practice given what the recoil did to her wrists, wrists that needed to be saved for her far more critical and enjoyable job of playing her guitars.

How Yusa had come across her familiarity with firearms was as much a mystery as her silence, but her skill was unquestioned. Although she lacked strength, she was perhaps the best marksman in the SSS and despite her silence was the range instructor for the entire diversion team. Her sniping abilities were superb, in fact, and some of the boys in the SSS occasionally suggested she provide cover from the rooftops to which she gravitated. Yuri vehemently vetoed the idea every time it was raised, usually flattening the hapless speaker with the intensity of her disapproval. Yuri's stated reason was she didn't want to make her top sentry into a target. Iwasawa suspected there was more to it than that, but the answer to that mystery resided with Hisako and Yuri.

Iwasawa shrugged. "Yuri is adamant that retrieval missions be armed. You know what she'll do if I don't take this and things go south. I don't want to hear it."

Hisako just shook her head in dismissal. "Whatever. Your funeral."

Iwasawa finished inspecting her weapon and smiled back at her friend's joke.

"It's about time we get going. Yusa will kick things off any moment now if we have any hope of stealing Angel's attention before it's too late. I should get outside before the fireworks start and you three need to get to your equipment in case you're needed. Watch Yusa for the signal to start if you're needed, although it'll likely be obvious. I just need enough time to contact this girl and get her to follow me to the situation room. We'll be safe there until the team gets back."

"What about us? What if we get caught?" Shiori piped in with a good-natured, curious look as she and Miyuki made their way to the door. "Will you come rescue us?"

"Don't get caught," Iwasawa replied with a smirk.

/*/

With her firearm snugly secured in the holster now fastened to her body, and the radio link to Yusa clipped firmly to the holster strap, Iwasawa made her way down the stairs outside the main entrance to the school and looked back. On the roof she could see the top of one of the small maintenance sheds retracted. Everything looked ready.

"Everything set to go?" Iwasawa enquired of the lithe blonde through the radio.

"Ready as they'll ever be." Iwasawa could hear the smile in the voice, an expression she wasn't sure she'd ever see in person.

"Then light the candle," the girl Yuri left in charge of things directed.

Moments later, Iwasawa watched as fireworks shot from the shed and filled the sky with flowers of color visible even in the daytime sunshine. The sound of the explosions ricocheted off the buildings and most certainly carried to the sports fields where their intended target stalked her prey. Along with the explosions, the sounds of mostly unintelligible music playing loudly from the PA filled the air.

"O Louie, Louie. Oh baby. We gotta go now."

Despite her knowledge of English, that part of the refrain was all Iwasawa could make out. The rest of the lyrics sounded like a drunken slur. Despite having no idea where the song had come from, Iwasawa had to grin at the selection made by the strange 'foreign exchange student' in the high school of the 'not yet dead'.

Just as she was turning to run toward the soccer field she heard a loud POP that brought her attention back to the school just as the façade along the top of the school blew off in several places and objects descended from the height. Curious, Iwasawa walked over to pick one up. She found herself marveling at a life-size plastic hot dog in a bun complete with a 'Made in China' imprint on the bottom.

She's something else, isn't she?

With that thought on her mind, Iwasawa turned one last time to run and collect the new girl.

/*/

"Where am I?"

The girl was staring up into the light blue daytime sky. She had no idea how she had gotten outside, and she could tell she wasn't on a bed but rather the hard ground. She turned her head to each side.

Concrete. I'm lying on concrete.

"Mom?" She called out nervously. "MOM!" The lack of response from her caregiver, the woman she relied on for everything, brought her increasingly to panic.

Why would I have been dumped outside like this? Did she finally have enough and abandon me?

The thought frightened her given it had always been her deepest fear, the dream that would occasionally wake her up at night crying. Still, the helpless girl also knew it made no sense after the love her mother had given her all these years, since the accident had taken away the use of her body from the neck down.

Calm down. Come on, you can do it… Her thought stopped there as she had intended on finishing with her name but oddly she couldn't remember it. Any more than she could remember how she had ended up where she was.

I'm so scared.

"MOM!"

/*/

Iwasawa came at the field indirectly, using a route Yusa assured her would avoid Angel, who was now making her way back toward the school almost certainly to investigate the fireworks and strange music now emanating from the building where she was Student Council President.

I should have plenty of time now, she mused as she made her way around the track field and toward the location where Yusa had told her to expect her objective. I hope she hasn't woken up yet. I know how scary it is to wake up all by yourself, not even remembering who you are at first, or how you got here.

Iwasawa reminisced on her own arrival experience, before even the formation of the SSS, as she walked across the soccer field and came to the guest bleachers. Looking through the gleaming aluminum structure she could just make out the outline of a child's body in the standard school uniform of the school, as opposed to her own that she shared only with the other members of the SSS and associated units. The girl was unmoving, staring up at the sky as most were when they first arrived. The lack of movement seemed incongruous with the screaming her keen ear could just now start making out in the outside air.

"MOM!" the frantic voice cried.

Shit. She is awake…and scared. Why isn't she moving?

Iwasawa increased her stride as she swung around the bleachers and approached the young girl. She could see now that the kid was definitely able to move her head, and in fact was frantically doing so as tears streamed down her cheeks.

Yusa's right about one thing. She is a cute little thing.

The child on the ground perhaps ten meters before her also had pink hair, but the similarities mostly ended there. The child was definitely that, a child. Almost certainly no more than fourteen and perhaps younger. Her pink hair was longer than Iwasawa's and was currently splayed out around her in part due to her frantic head movements. She had a sweet, seemingly innocent face that the older girl found immediately endearing.

She's still not moving. I wonder why…

She slowed her movement so as to not startle the child overly much as she appeared in the girl's field of vision. She called out just as she would be appearing in the new girl's sight.

"It's okay," the afterlife veteran called out reassuringly. "I heard you calling and I'm here to help. My name is Iwasawa Masami and I'm your senpai here."

The distressed child calmed down noticeably at the sound of Iwasawa's soothing voice and her head and eyed turned to track the tall girl's movements when she became visible.

Iwasawa knelt down and looked over the curiously immobile girl. "I'm sorry it took me a while to get here. I'm sure you must have been really scared, but you have a friend now. What's your name?"

The child looked thoughtful, trying really hard to remember something she obviously knew should be right there on the top of her mind. Her brow came together in evidence of her frustration.

"Um..yu…yu…Yui?"

Her given name, Iwasawa thought. She must have been called by it a lot in life, then, or else she would have remembered her family name first. It took me months to remember my given name. Then again, Hisako can't remember her family name either and we had to give Yusa a name. There's no rhyme or reason to any of this.

"That's a pretty name. You're welcome to call me Masami in private, Yui-chan, but I'd suggest against it in public. I have some pretty annoying fan club members and they might not like a first year calling me that."

"Fan club?"

Iwasawa chuckled at the reality she herself still struggled with believing some days. "Yeah, I sing in a band here at school."

The girl's eyes widened. "A band! That's so awesome cool! I always wanted to play guitar and sing in a band. I'd watch people like that on TV or read about them in magazines. I wanted so bad to go to a concert but the doctors couldn't figure out a way for me to go without it being too much trouble."

"Your doctors?"

"Um…yeah…" the girl looked crestfallen. "I'm paralyzed. I can't move from the neck down. I really need your help finding my mom. I don't know how I got here but there's lots of things mom has to do every day to keep me from getting sick…"

The girl's voice trailed off as if remembering something. Her brow furrowed again as if remembering something that came really hard. "I remember now. I was really sick. I couldn't breathe anymore. They had taken me back to the hospital to put me on the machines and Mom was crying." The look in the girl's eyes was now frightened. "I think I fell asleep. Then I woke up here and was breathing just fine again."

"You're dead, Yui." There, no sense sugar coating it, thought Iwasawa.

"Wha?" The girl laying on her back on the ground before her was clearly bewildered at the idea.

"We're all dead here. It's not your best afterlife, but we make the best of it."

"If I'm dead, why can't I move?" Watching her eyes, it appeared to Iwasawa that the girl was already starting to accept the possibility she was dead, but the idea of paralysis even in the thereafter wasn't a pleasant concept at all.

"I think you can."

She watched as the girl appeared to concentrate, but nothing happened. Yui tried again twice more, her face intense, but there was no movement below the neck.

"I was paralyzed for a few months before I came here," Iwasawa shared aloud as she considered how she could possibly help the girl remember again how to move, "but I'd been fine before that. You've been paralyzed your entire life, haven't you?"

"Just about." The girl's face was forlorn now. It was clear she was a clever girl, and she was starting to consider the true ramifications of what was happening.

The radio clipped to her shoulder holster called out in a winded voice. Yusa's been running. "Iwasawa-san. I think Angel had seen the new arrival before she started back. The teachers have the school under control again and she's heading straight for you at a rapid pace. I can't tell for sure how long you have since I had to vacate the roof."

"Angel?" The girl asked, obviously considering images from popular culture back in life. She wasn't sure, but Iwasawa thought she saw hope in the girl's eyes and she hated to dash it.

"Not the kind of angel you learned about in Church. And we're not exactly fond of God here. You'll understand really soon, but right now Yui-chan I need you to move." Iwasawa knew time was running short and she allowed some impatience to show.

"I can't!" the girl cried out in frustration.

"Yes, Yui-chan, you can. I know you can. I was paralyzed before I died and I'm fine here. People come here after having been chopped up, and they're in one piece when they wake up on the ground just like this. I bet your body is just fine, you just have to trust it."

"I don't know how!" exclaimed in a plaintive whine. "I can't remember what it's like to move…it's been so long."

Iwasawa looked through the bleachers and could see Angel coming into view across the field and up the hill toward the school. Think, Masami-baka, think. I can't carry her and run away from Angel. How do I get a girl who can move but has forgotten how to move again?

Hoping she wouldn't end up traumatizing the girl, she decided that desperate times called for desperate measures. She took a deep breath and pulled out her firearm.

"Move Yui-chan!" she called out sternly, holding the gun before her.

The girl's eyes were suddenly terrified. "A gun!"

"Yes, and it works too."

"I thought you said I was dead. Are you gonna shoot me?" A flurry of thoughts and emotions were flying across the child's face, chief among them a sense of betrayal, and it broke Iwasawa's heart to be the cause of it.

"If you don't move, I will." She fervently hoped her aim wasn't as bad as Hisako's teasing suggested as she sighted low at Yui's leg.

"Three, Two, One…"

To say the girl was terrified was an understatement. She looked around herself for any savior and there was none. She started twitching all over…not realizing the supposed impossibility of it and what it meant to her. Iwasawa saw it, though, and the confirmation gave her courage to see her plan through to the end.

"Don't!" Yui cried out as she jumped back just as the shot rang out, dust puffing up where the impact penetrated the dry earth…and nothing else.

Iwasawa looked as the terrified girl cringed back from the apparent gun-toting nutcase that had just fired on her.

"I think we can go now," Iwasawa announced as she holstered the gun with wrists she knew would be sore tomorrow, and then reached out her hand to the girl who was just now comprehending what had happened.

"I moved…"

"Yes, you did," Iwasawa agreed with a satisfied smile teasing at the corners of her mouth, then infused urgency into her next words. "Now you need to move more, quickly, right now!"

"I moved!" The girl who had been terrified just moments before now was elated, bouncing up and down with legs that suddenly, miraculously worked again. The joy on the girl's face lit up the whole area as far as Iwasawa was concerned.

"Come on!" she shouted urgently at the slip of a girl as she grabbed the child's hand and started dragging her along, looking back only to make sure Yui's legs were, indeed, helping her along before gazing across the field to stare at Angel who watched their progress but no longer made to move toward them. "I'll explain everything but we have to get back to school or we'll be in trouble for skipping. I'd be a poor senpai if I allowed such a thing of my kohai. Isn't that right, Kaichou?" Iwasawa spoke her words loudly enough to ensure they would carry the 30 meters or so she maintained between herself and her new charge and the white-haired girl.

"School?" the girl processed as she started to run on her own power after her strange savior, still hand in hand. "You mean I get to go to school? And wear a uniform? And do PE and join clubs and…"

This girl's quite the chatterbox, Iwasawa noted. Still, I was paralyzed for a few months. I know how it feels. She was stuck like that her whole life. I really can imagine what that must have been like. "Yes, although you might want to be careful," Iwasawa interrupted. "A lot of that can be trouble for you."

"Oh…" The girl looked crestfallen as the image of school, likely something she'd picked up from anime and manga, dissolved.

"Um, I could teach you how to play guitar, though," Iwasawa offered as she pulled Yui up beside her and slowed so that the smaller girl could keep up on her own.

"Would you! That would be so cool!" the girl's exclaimed, her voice squeaking and her eyes shining brighter than the sun over their heads as they beat feet from the neutral-faced, white-haired Student Council President who stood silently and watched them flee back to the building where they belonged.

***PGBR***

Yui smiled at the thoughts running through her mind. The memory of her first meeting with her beloved mentor was precious to her.

All her memories were precious to her. Her Mom's love in life, her time with Iwasawa, her impromptu performances in the hallways and courtyards with her acoustic guitar, her membership within the inner circle of GlDeMo even if just as a groupie, even her strange three friends who might be dismissed as 'NPC's' by Yuri-sama and the boys, but each still having a spark of life that Yui could appreciate having been confined to her bed her whole life and knowing maybe half a dozen people the whole time. They were all precious, such precious treasures.

Precious.

Treasure.

After months of effort since her arrival here is this bizarre afterlife, Yui felt she had become pretty good with the guitar, both acoustic and electric, despite Hisako's constant criticisms and pressure to improve. With practice, her voice had gotten pretty good too. The one thing she'd still wanted to do, the one remaining skill Masami-senpai had tried to teach her, up till now unsuccessfully, had been songwriting. Nothing had possessed her heart, grabbed her imagination. Masami-sempai had assured her that she had the gift, and that it would come to her all at once when the time was right.

Yui jumped from where she had been moping on her bed and ran to the little study desk on her side of the room. She sat and quickly grabbed blank music score paper and a pencil and started scribbling down words and notes. They were in a jumble but she knew she'd be able to sort it out later. She just needed to get the notes and words out now while they were filling her head.

"Are you okay, Yui?" her roommate asked, looking concerned as she came to stand next to the pinkette's chair.

"Better than I have in my life," Yui said with a determined smile on her face, not looking up from her furious effort for anything out of fear it would break the spell.

Thank you, Masami-senpai, for helping me to see that My Most Precious Treasure has been here all along.

Where you will always be. In my heart.


English Translation of Yui's Song from Angel Beats (Episode 10)
'Ichiban no Takaramono' or 'My Most Precious Treasure'

My Most Precious Treasure (Yui ver.)
Vocals: Girls Dead Monster (LiSA as Yui)
Lyrics: Maeda Jun
Composition: Maeda Jun
Arrangement: Hikarisyuyo

When we faced each other, we did nothing but fight
Yet those were good memories, too
You taught me that, so I'm not scared anymore
No matter how fettered I am, I can seize happiness, so-
Even if I'm alone, I'll go on, even if it's tough
I'll definitely take along the dream I had with you
I'm glad to have been with you, not anyone else
But on the morning when I wake up, you're not there
I felt like we'd be able to play forever
I know I only felt so
I no longer regret that I was born
It's like after a festival; it's lonely, but let's get going shortly
I'll go everywhere, that's what I learned here
I'll show you I'll fulfill the dream known as happiness
Even if I'm separated from you, no matter how far apart we are
I'll live in a brand-new morning
Even if I'm alone, I'll go on, even if I want to die
I can hear your voice, saying, "You mustn't die"
Even if it's tough, even if I cry in loneliness
Deep in my heart, I feel warmth
Cycling and flowing, the times change
I can't recall what happened anymore
But if I try closing my eyes, there's someone's laughter
Somehow that's now my most precious treasure


***Author's Note***

For those who don't know, the stunningly beautiful and tear jerking song that plays as Hinata talks about how he and Yui might have met in their past life...and again just before Angel moved on...is called 'Ichiban no Takaramono', or translated, 'My Most Precious Treasure'. It is my favorite piece of music ever and something I listen to more or less daily when I need a lift. I have included a translation of the lyrics above for those who aren't as familiar with it as I am.

Yes, I know soccer is called football in Japan…as well as every other civilized country on Earth. I'm an American, though, as are the majority of FFN readers. As such, I felt it necessary to use the term soccer for clarity since we're not talking about the American version of 'football' and didn't want any confusion.

I'll admit to being a huge fan of Girls Dead Monster and the ladies, including LiSA, in real life behind it. I have all the music CD's (yes, I actually bought every one of them to support the artists) and they are by far my most listened to tracks on my iPod...well okay along with Kalafina and anything their songwriter composes (I worship the ground Kajiura Yuki walks on!). I knew if I wrote in the Angel Beats universe that it would be focused on GlDeMo. Hopefully I've done the girls proud here.

This story may remain a stand alone, or it may be continued. I've definitely left open ideas for new chapters back as Yui learns the ropes of the afterlife and becomes part of the Diversions Team. It could be fun to flesh out Shiori and Miyuki more, as well as develop the relationship between Yusa and Hisako. Review and favorite/follow if you'd like me to write more sometime. Also, if you like what you see, feel free to visit my other works in Strawberry Panic!, Puella Magic Madoka Magica, and Maria Sama ga Miteru.

(EDIT 7/12/13 - I am writing more in this story. Thank you everyone who has reviewed and shared their enthusiasm for telling the stories of the unsung heroes of the Afterlife High School!)