Sabitsuki awoke from her bed for one last time. All her memories had been safely implanted into her computer, so that even if the Rust did take over her…at least some part of her would be alive…in memory… She kicked the covers off and scratched her bed-head hair. At once, a bloating feeling was stuck in her throat, and she threw her head to over the side of the bed to cough up whatever was inside her trachea. The bitter metallic taste of blood flooded out as she retched. The Rust was definitely in its last stages.
She sat down at her computer, ready to visit her nexus one last time. Just before she could enter, a message came up. Sabitsuki froze. She once used a messaging program…when she had friends to talk to…but after her hospitalization, she deleted everything on her computer. The message was a tiny pop-up at the bottom of her screen with 'Hi :) ' written on it. She took a minute to examine it before it disappeared in a gliding animation, a window taking its place.
'Who r you' Sabitsuki typed in, slamming the enter key defiantly.
'Where are U going? ' came the reply.
Sabitsuki closed the window. It must have been a bug or virus that got her.
The window popped up again with a small, annoying tone, the task bar glowing orange.
'I'll miss U'
Sabitsuki flinched a little. Who was this person? Her hands were positioned over the keyboard, trying to think of some response. There was no email or usename or anything that could link that person.
Her hands rested on her keyboard calmly. Whoever this person was…they used the smiley face a lot. Sabitsuki thought of her old…friend, Smile. But he was long dead now. When her school became corrupted by Rust, everyone turned into Kaibutsus. Except Smile. Of course Smile was the exception, Sabitsuki thought. She looked at her trembling hands, remembering when it came over her to kill him. The Rust was telling her to kill him. The worst part was that he never fought back.
At the nexus of her computer, Sabitsuki wondered what she should visit today. She felt a longing for the plant gardens, someplace she felt calm and nostalgic, or to visit Oreko. Even though this Oreko was only Sabitsuki's image of her real-life friend, she gave the same comfort. Sabitsuki stopped to think about the message this morning. She put on her Black Hood effect and brought it up over her head. She always did that when something upset her. Even though Smile was dead, maybe visiting the Flow-version of him would make her feel better.
She went to school again. The Flow-version of her school. Her real school would have most likely been run over by the doctors and biohazard team, and none of the desks, students or teachers would be there any more. She found her way to the room with Smile and the other students, a diorama of a memory that she would always remember. Back then, she was ostracized for her white hair, the beginning of her Rust disease. She envied the other students. Only when she brought a metal pipe with her for protection against the bullies did Smile seem to glance her way, a faint smile on his lips. Perhaps it was only Sabitsuki who noticed.
Then that time she returned to class to pick up the uniform that one of the bullies stole from her. She opened the door to the classroom, surprised to see Smile there. He said only one thing 'the rooftops'. And he continued to ignore her. He was always surrounded by the more popular students, and Sabitsuki couldn't even get near him at all.
Returning from her thoughts, she looked at the Flow-version of her fellow students. All unmoving, all blank faces, all the same look. She gripped her fist and put on the Steel Pipe effect. A deep hurt sprung a leak and she whipped it at one of their heads. The flow-student squeaked and disappeared, like anything would in her world. She was hurt, and betrayed.
Sabitsuki went to the next room, where Flow-Smile was surrounded by the mass of faceless Flow-students, a constant reminder of what Sabitsuki couldn't have. Her Steel Pipe certainly caught his attention, and he brought out the hammer and that familiar grin on his face. Sabitsuki cursed the Flow-Smile for not being the real one and ran out of the school.
At Mouth and Eyes World, she felt normal. Everything was bleeding in this world, and not just Sabitsuki. The eyes bled, the mouths bled, and so did she. Except, today there was something different. There was an extra mouth there. Curious about a new world, Sabitsuki stepped inside.
Oh no, Sabitsuki was at school again. But this was a different looking school. She tentively walked inside, unable to put on any effects. Suddenly, someone very familiar started charging at her. It was herself, but in her Rust form, wielding her steel pipe. She gasped and ran the other way. She screamed at her Rust to go away, cursing it that made her kill Smile. This has never happened before. She kept running through the halls. Most were blocked with desks. Soon, another Rust joined in on the chase and Sabitsuki scampered down the stairs and into the basement.
They stopped following. She breathed a sight of relief and look ahead to find someplace in the basement to hide. But Smile was there.
She gasped when he started moving towards her. Smile never moved, never in the Flow world did he move. She made it so that he wouldn't move. He came at her with a hammer, and she was surprised to have the Steel Pipe effect once again in her hands. Sabitsuki dodged a blow of his weapon, and ran to the side of one room. He recovered from the miss and started at her again. Sabitsuki clenched her Steel Pipe as if it could calm her beating heart. This shouldn't be happening, she thought. It was almost like reliving her memory, of having to kill Smile, except it was also acting out her wish-that Smile would've fought back.
'Sabitsuki…where are you going?"
She snapped her head up to look at the Flow-Smile.
No one could talk in the Flow world. Sabitsuki created it to be silent except for the screams and music.
She dodged another hit from him.
"Why do you keep running away?" He asked.
She watched his lips move. Not even the Kaibutsus' lips moved when they screamed and became monsters. Somehow, this world was out of her control now. Smile wasn't moving towards her now. They stared at each other in a face-off. Smile took his hammer and started ripping at the bandages that covered his arms.
"I waited for you…" He whispered.
A bunch of blood-red cuts, new and fresh, decorated his arms. This was definitely not the Flow-Smile her mind had created. She dropped the Steel Pipe, letting it bounce on the floor. Her hands instinctively went to her mouth as she felt the sickening blood in her throat. She coughed and heaved it all out of her system. Smile looked on with a look of pity across his face.
"You're…so sick…" he muttered, brandishing the hammer again.
Sabitsuki swore and reached for the pipe again, before a heavy blow cracked against her wrist. A hand caught her around the neck and she felt herself slammed against a wall. She choked and dug her hands into the arm. She heard Smile's laughter. Then she felt a cold metal held against her, crushing her windpipe and both wrists against the wall. Smile was using her own steel pipe to kill her.
"S-S-Smil-e!" She coughed.
His face was just close enough that she could peer into his eyes and the familiar tattoo on his eyes. There was a madness in his eyes that caused guilt and grief to arise in her own. She didn't know when, but her face was dripping with tears now. If she had the breath in her lungs, she would be begging for forgiveness.
"Don't you want to stay together, Sabitsuki?"
She wheezed when the pipe loosened a bit.
"I don't care anymore about staying in one piece anymore, Smile! Rust…I won't survive any longer…If it doesn't kill my body, it will my mind."
She had no other answer except for the truth. The Smile in front of her frowned. Flow-persons could not express any other emotions than the ones Sabitsuki's mind made for them.
"I want to stay together." He replied.
Of course Smile wanted to stay together, Sabitsuki thought. He had a sister to survive for. Rust didn't infect Smile, even when it did to the rest of the school.
"We should stay together."
Sabitsuki closed her eyes to shut off the tears and apologize when a starb pain ignited in her hand. What came out of her throat was not an apology, but a scream that burned everything in her throat. When her eyes twisted to her right hand, there was a deep gash in it and it was bleeding heavily. A nail driven into it was the cause. She felt another one being driven onto her left hand this time, and the pain was throbbing as it coursed through her arm. Smile let go of the steel pipe, allowing her to fully breath and slump down, although she was held pinned to the wall by the nails.
"S-Smile! W-What are you do-d-doing?!" She yelled.
"Don't you want to - me?"
She didn't hear him over the beating in her ears and the screaming in her head. She tried to kick him, but she missed and he was out of her reach. He drew out another nail and readied his hammer.
"You won't leave this place…not like this." He said.
"Nooooooo!" Sabitsuki screamed.
The next nail dug into her arm, near where her elbow was. It was excruciatingly painful being dug in and every time her arm moved it caused her more pain. Her face was drenched in tears and blood now.
"What is wrong with you…?!" Sabitsuki spat, a twinge of begging in her voice.
She shot a look back into his eyes.
"Will….take you away…I will keep you here…forever…"
Sabi! I hope you get this in time…! I know you're in the hospital right now, but get better soon, okay? Don't worry, I'm doing fine and the doctors should have me patched up in time!
Sabitsuki? You haven't been replying to me…is something wrong? I'm not angry at you for what you did…Everyone went crazy, not just you. It's because of the Rust disease. I have it too. The doctors say it just takes longer for boys to show the symptoms. Maybe now, you won't be so alone anymore, because we both have it.
Sabitsuki, please answer me. Please! You make me worry that you're gone. Please don't do this, Sabi. Why don't you answer any of my messages? I'm beginning to really worry about you. If it's computer problems, I've learned a bit about codes and programming. I can help you! Please, Sabitsuki, don't tell me that you've succumbed to Rust already. You're strong, I know you can do this…I'll wait for you. I feel like it's getting harder to breath everyday. I hope we both survive this Rust…
I've waited long enough. I figured out how to get into your computer. I'm coming for you. I know that you'll come to me too. :)