Oh my goodness, I am so so sorry for the late update. This thing took WAY longer than I suspected. I predicted 1.5 thousand words for this chapter. I wrote 3500. Holy crap. It is the 2nd longest chapter that I have ever written, only beaten by that 4k long chapter in Fire Meets Water. Even if it gets draggy at times, I really do hope that you enjoy it.
One of the reasons as to why I haven't updated in a while is because of RL. Usually my social life stops when I enter my house (I don't use FB that much), but thanks to Skype, I can just continue chatting with my friends and playing games with them, and it's pretty hard to stop talking to them to write this thing.
Another reason is because this was merely a hard chapter to write. I wanted a bunch of build up so that the huge payoff would make sense, so I just crammed in a bunch of stuff. Plus, the emotions were just hard to capture without losing its humanity. I think I do comedy decently (if the feedback from that recent TWOSK chappie means anything), but I find it hard to emote other feelings. Oh well, hopefully it won't feel tacky.
I'm really busy with schoolwork right now, so I can't proofread this. Forgive me for the grammatical errors. Point 'em out and I'll take them down.
Disclaimer: I don't get any money off of this. Sue me; you get nothing.
Plunge head first into the Crossover Only God Knows!
Flag 13: Misuzu Kamio Route End
-Set a week after Chapter 12-
The bells sounded off the cry of their people, signalling for the end of learning and the start of most people's favorite subject: Lunch. It was a great subject for all kinds of students: the jocks could meet up at the courts for a short round of basketball, the gossips could gather in the cafeteria to broker for information, and even the more studious of the population making up Mai-High enjoyed perfecting their math problem solving techniques during this glorious period.
However, it was not a glorious time for Keima. Usually, he'd be seen on the rooftop hanging out with Misuzu, his new girlfriend, but that wasn't the case today.
Let's segue into a different subject first. On the topic of Misuzu, it was a wonderful time for him. Before the incident, he was adamant on being away from reality, if not completely cut off. Due to that, he denied himself of some... human pleasures, such as enjoying his food, having a decent night's sleep, and... satisfying his bodily cravings. He believed that he could have just as much fun using all of that time to play games.
He did, but when he became a little more lenient with that "No human pleasures!" rule to be by Misuzu's side, he couldn't help but reluctantly admit that, yes, they were enjoyable. Misuzu was a damn good cook when she wasn't accidentally adding cicidas to the recipe (he still couldn't believe that she had the capacity to do that), and he enjoyed every single bite, especially since she was by his side. Keima now woke up early, so by the time Misuzu was there to pick him up, he was fresh and ready, much to Mari's joy. Keima also enjoyed he more... physical rewards of having a girlfriend. Sure, they were still at the chaste kiss and hand holding stage, but Keima was excited for more.
What he wasn't excited for was confronting Chihiro. Yes, Chihiro had called him out last night. She wanted to find out his answer to her question. Sure, he had no trouble answering it: he loved Misuzu. He wasn't too sure if it would remain as it is, but he did know that he was in love with her. The problem was dealing with the consequences. Gossip spread quickly in Mai-High – the Kanon scandal incident was enough proof of that. If Chihiro found out, there would be no doubt that it would spread. Misuzu would be branded as a girl dating the Otamegane, the scum of the school. She'd be ridiculed and berated just for being by his side.
Keima stood up from his seat, just as Chihiro left the room, no doubt making her way towards the roof, the
place where she had scheduled tbe interrogation. Keima stood, rigid. It was a rare moment. Keima Katsuragi, the God of Conquests, was stumped. If both denying the relationship and confirming it would hurt the blonde, how would he keep her safe? Keima didn't know. He wasn't sure of himself. This time, the consequences wouldn't merely fall on him: they would affect the cheery lass too, and he didn't want that to happen.
"Are you okay, Kei?" asked Misuzu, who had suddenly appeared behind him. Startled, he swung around, seeing the naive girl's inquistive face just begging him to answer her. All of a sudden, the curiosity faded away into a nice shade of faith and contentment, flashing Keima a smile that warmed him to the core. No one couldn't help but smile in front of that goddess of happiness, and Keima only confirmed it by smiling right back. "Looks like you still won't tell me what you're going to do today. ~Gao! Oh well, I know that you're going to do great because you're my Kei, and I have faith in you."
"Misuzu..." Keima was at a loss for words. The things that usually came out of Misuzu's mouth were things that a child would say, happy and peppy despite falling down and hurting her bum. Now, she was speaking words of encouragement when Keima most needed it. She trusted his decisions. She trusted him. She was completely in his care, and he would be damned if she was to leave it. All signs of discomfort and anxiety were wiped off of Keima's face with just those words. He was ready. "Misuzu, I'll go do my business now, so I'll see you before the next class."
"Of course," stated Misuzu with absolute certainty, with the devotion of a child. As she fell onto her back while returning to her desk - Gao! - Keima fixed his cravat, dusted the dirt off of his shoulder; and strode towards the roof, where a storm was about to brew.
It wasn't possible. He was supposed to be an Otamegane, uninterested in his classmates, or anyone, for that matter. Then why? Why did he fall in love with a girl that he had just met a few weeks ago? Why was he so devoted?
"Yes, Chihiro, I am in love with Misuzu, and I want to stay by her side till the very end."
For some reason, they were the harshest three sentences that she had ever heard in her life, and she was the girl who was rejected again and again by guys out of her league. Why would they hurt her? She was only acquaintanted with the creep, right? Then why did they pierce her heart, causing it to bleed out and torture her with pain and... regret?
All of a sudden, memories and images rushed back into her head. Spilt tea, meat buns, an umbrella... and a kiss under the rain. What were these images, where did they come from, and why did they all feature a boy with glasses? Chihiro, her head racked with pain, had to lean on the bar for support. Keima just stood there, as dark clouds rolled in. They closed in on Chihiro, as if they were out to get her. "...Chihiro, are you okay?"
Chihiro wasn't okay, but she was too occupied by the pain to tell him. As her knees buckled and she fell to the floor with her feet tucked under her body in seiza, more images rushed forth. A visitation, a festival, a rooftop... a hand in hers... and a kiss. A sweet kiss. Then a bitter taste that corroded her till she felt all wrong from the inside out. Jealousy was mixed with confusion and anger to form the emotion that Chihiro was experiencing - remembering - and she didn't like it one bit. Her body warmed up, nausea built up, and all Chihiro wanted to do was to faint.
Keima was very disheartened. One of his lost lambs, a girl whose life he had touched with his grace, was suffering because of him and his selfish decision. Just looking at her vegetated state sent waves of guilt up his spine, attacking him with feelings of nausea. Her distraught face wracked with discomfort reminded him of the day where he had first shed a tear, and only the memory of Misuzu's comforting grin kept him from shedding a few more.
Reminded on his purpose, he stood up, giving the normal girl one last look, and left, shutting the door. As he walked along the hallway, eyes glued to his handheld, a blur rushed past him with the speed of a missile. Keima froze. 'Ayumi... Great, I don't like where this is going. Once Chihiro wakes up, she'll tell Ayumi, the girl will probably confront me, and with that loud voice, she'll belt out the little piece of info, starting the gossip train. Then, it'll travel through the student body in the blink of an eye-'
"...Keima." His line of thought was instantly derailed. If he wasn't mistaken, the human bullet train in question was right behind him. He looked at her from over his shoulder, covering his anxiety with stoicism. "Why?"
"I have no idea about what you're talking-"
A resounding slap caused a deafening silence to overtake the students. All looked just in time to see Keima reel back from the force of the smack, his cheek dangerously red. Coughing, Keima tried to regain his composure when Ayumi gripped his collar and pulled him up. She was angry. Definitely angry. No questioning that. What was surprising was that her rage sparked a fire in her eyes, piercing through Keima's guise and revealing the discomfort he had been hiding the whole time. "Keima, enough with the bullshit!"
"Ayumi, watch your-"
"Shut up," growled the short haired girl, her eyes narrowing as a few locks of her hair turned silver, Mercury's power leaking through the hole her emotions busted opened. Shaking him around like a ragdoll, she walked forward with Keima still in her grasp, uncaring about others and causing even more of a commotion. "Why did you hurt Chihiro? Is this what the best ending is, huh, 'Otoshigami-sama'?"
"It is for me, Ayumi. Chihiro will recover, and you will recover too. You'll be able to fall in love with someone else, someone more free," said Keima, tugging on his purple death choker. Ayumi glared at him some more, but begrudgingly put him down. Right after, she crossed her arms, as if asking for more info lest he gets beat up. "You all will find someone better to love. A harem ending may be a Good End, but you all deserve the True Ending. As for me, Misuzu makes me happy. She gives me hope in even the darkest times. I really need her. Please understand, Ayumi."
"..." She said nothing as she lowered head. Her breathing became more intense, her posture becoming more tense. Keima prepared for an outburst. He didn't get one. She just turned around and left, leaving behind an aura of unease and anger.
As Keima reached his classroom, he heard the warning bell ring, calling all the students back into their classrooms. He caught a glimpse of blonde hair, and smiled despite the ugly feeling in his chest. Even if two of the closest people in his class hated his guts, he's still have that blonde klutz and that bug demon.
As classes begun, Keima couldn't help but think about his situation. Chihiro and Ayumi... could've gone better, but you couldn't change the past (maybe), so he shoved that aside. Shiori and Tsukiyo had shied away from him at the hallway, phones in their hands, so Keima knew that the rumor mill had reached them. Much like the Kanon incident, Tsukiyo had feigned indifference and proceeded to her classroom, with Luna glaring daggers at Keima, and Shiori had made sure to avoid him like the plague. It hurt a little, but at least they weren't absolutely crushed. They could recover in the arms of another protagonist. His arms were already full. As for Kanon, she didn't message him about the incident - according to the letter giving to him, she was too busy attending idol rehearsals to check her phone - so he was safe from those evil, evil tasers. (Seriously, it was like they lusted for his pain.) He hadn't seen Yui yet, but he wasn't too worried about Yui. She was a strong, confident woman, and Keima didn't think that him dating Misuzu would change that. In fact, he wouldn't be surprised if Yui wanted to join them in their little sessions. Finally, Tenri...
...He had no idea. He didn't know how to deal with her. While she might just shy away from him like Shiori, Diana, as forceful as she is, might forget tact and make her ask. He just didn't want to see any more decimated women. It was like getting a Bad End in a galge: it just feld bad.
After class ended, he exited the classroom, leaving a confused Elsie to go to her club room alone. While he was occupied by his thoughts, his girlfriend suddenly appeared. Looking up into his glazed eyes, her smile faltered a little.
Keima looked sad again. That's what Misuzu was thinking about. Ever since she's met him, he's had that depressed expression that just didn't look good on his cute face. Since he's removed her own sad face, she wanted to return the favor and lighten him up. It was hard at times, but he deserved it. He was her first friend (and boyfriend) so she had to do her best! With that in mind, her smile flared and she put a jump in her step, causing the target of her affections to smile softly right back at her.
"So what are we going to do today, Misuzu?" asked Keima, playing with his PFP. Last night, before Chihiro's fateful call, Misuzu had wanted to organize the date for once. Keima was glad for the switch - he wanted to be a little surprised - and Misuzu was glad for the responsibility, just like a child wanting to be grown up. There were no downsides that had any significance in Keima's eyes, so he agreed.
"Actually, we've been going out a lot lately, so I want to just relax at home today," said Misuzu, followed by a harsh thud. Smiling, Keima picked the Yokkyun-like girl up, dusting her off. He was glad that even if she wanted to organize the date herself, she still thought of her own priorities. "What do you want for dinner, Kei?"
"Er... I don't know," replied Keima, waving off the question in favor of thinking about the rest of the girls. His smile drooped to a flat line, and his eyes turned a little steely. It was the fastest mood swing that Misuzu had ever seen on someone other than herself (her crying stimulus still took first place), and Misuzu didn't like it one bit. "You usually make pretty delicious stuff - aside from that bug omelette - so I trust you completely with the choice."
"But Kei..." Misuzu, without any action on her part, naturally pulled out her ace in the hole: a puppy eye session accompanied by a cute little irresistable pout. Keima was knocked back by the cuteness.
"Okay, okay, I'll put some thought into it," said Keima, pocketing his PFP and his thoughts. "I'm in the mood for some ramen... though I don't really want sweet ramen. Instant ramen would be fine."
"I think I have some extras," replied Misuzu, turning her cute pout into an even cuter smile, and like always, Keima couldn't help but smile in return.
Unlocking the door that he was given to by the blonde beauty, Keima entered the apartment, setting down both of their bags as Misuzu went into her room to change into something more comfortable. Sitting in front of the low table that he was seated at before, Keima pulled out his PFP to play, still a little haunted by images of Chihiro crying, Ayumi screaming, Tenri crumpling to the floor-
"Kei!" hollered Misuzu, waving a hand in front of the conflicted hero's face. Keima reeled back a little, shaking away his pain. "Kei, please tell me what's wrong! I wanna help!"
Keima decided to be blunt, but not harsh. "I'm sorry, Misuzu, but all you can do is cheer me on. I will get through this, though."
"Alright, Keima," cheered the blonde, who got up and went to the table, fetched the decently sized servings of preserved MSG-in-a-cup, and placed them on top of the low table. Blowing the soup to cool it down (causing some of the delectable liquid to spill), Misuzu picked up her chopsticks, and - Itadakimasu! - dug right in.
Keima smiled, and ate too. In between bites, they had a lighthearted talk about everything under the sun: dinosaurs, games, schoolwork, and more. It was a lot of relaxing fun for the two of them. After the disposable cups were emptied of their contents, Keima and Misuzu laid down, side by side.
"Hey, Keima, I wanna try something." Before he could respond, he was pulled to his feet by the blonde girl and ushered outside, the starry dome watching him from above. She went back in, hollering, "Just wait for a while. I'll go and get some stuff!"
Keima shouted a quick reply, and Misuzu's footsteps faded away. He wondered what Misuzu was planning. The grass was warm, the clouds were nowhere to be found, the breeze wasn't too chilly, the stars were shining brightly, and the ambience was just perfect for-
"I'm back!" cheered Misuzu, bringing some pillows, a big mattress, and a blanket with her.
-stargazing. That's what Misuzu wanted to do. Keima smiled. It may have been ripping off the moon obsessed Goddess Host a little, but Keima still found it a little enjoyable, just relaxing in the ethereal light. He laid down the mattress, backing away for Misuzu to place the pillows and blanket in their proper places.
Just as Keima was admiring his handiwork, Misuzu playfully shoved him to the ground, the frail boy landing onto the bed with his head on a pillow. The blonde dived after him, landing right beside the boy as planned. As Keima pulled the sheet over them both, Misuzu grabbed his arm and snuggled with it, causing Keima to blush from contact with the girl's soft mounds. "Isn't this great, Keima?"
It was. It was the epitome of peace, the peace that he hadn't gotten since that fateful day of him binding himself to that bug demon. The atmosphere, the ambience, was just perfect. It was like going through Yokkyun's route; Keima was on Cloud Nine. He was drowning in pure bliss that he never wanted to leave. He was more than fine with staying by Misuzu's side. They had enough Devils to Capture the rest of the Spirits. They didn't need his help. Yeah. Let him have a break for once. Keima made sure to savor the moment, with Misuzu's angelic smile in sight.
"It's wonderful, my love."
Their lips melded together under the starry sky.
Drops of rain pelted Keima's face, awakening him from his peaceful slumber. Thunder roared, and lightning struck, telling Keima to get him and his girlfriend into the house before a storm befell them.
"Misuzu, wake up," said Keima, shaking the girl to wake her up. No response. He held his hand above her mouth. Weak breath. He looked for the rising and falling of her chest. A slight movement was all he got. He pressed his finger against her lips, the lips that he had kissed the night before. Stone cold. He moved those fingers to her neck. A faint pulse was found. Wracked with fear, he quickly picked her up into his arms bridal-style and shook her repeatedly. "Misuzu, Misuzu!"
"K-Keima." Keima's eyes darted to her face, where she was looking him in the eye, a faint smile on her face. What had happened to make her that pale? Why was she so clammy? Was it sleeping outside? He didn't think that she was that frail. Before he could think up some more possibilities, Misuzu continued, "Keima... I did it."
"...Did what, Misuzu?" asked the dismayed boy. What would happen to that bliss, that peacethat he'd found in her? Would that all go away?
"I reached my goal." Her arm was slowly moving up, Keima's eyes following every movement she made, till it pointed skyward, her eyes looking skyward too. "Those wings in the sky... are now mine."
"M-Mis-suzu..." sobbed Keima. He didn't want this kind of Ending! What had gone wrong? What hadn't he factored in for him to hit the Bad End. He cursed the Real. He cursed it to Hell where it belonged. To kill off a Heroine like this was just plain atrocious. Of course, his anger towards Reality was over shadowed by his sadness. Misuzu... "I-It's going to be alright, okay, my love?"
"Thank you, Keima Katsuragi. I love you." Those few words were the last nails in the coffin, as Misuzu's arm went limp and fell with a harsh thud at her unmoving side.
"Please, no! Misuzu, MISUZU!" Keima slowly broke down.
"Why...?" asked Keima. He was on the ground, his legs folded underneath him, as the rain pelted his kneeling body. In his arms was a girl, a beautiful girl, a beautiful girl with the most peaceful expression in the world.
Keima hated that expression. He hated it with all his being. Oh, it suited her. It suited a happy-go-lucky girl like her perfectly. He just didn't like what came with it. Still cradling the blonde girl in his arms, he slowly stood up, his knees threatening to buckle. Shakily, he managed to stand to his full height, his whole person now vulnerable to the rain. He whipped his head towards the heavens, the rain falling incessantly.