SUMMARY: Yukiteru is Yukiyori, and Yuno is Yuto. Snippets of each episode to show how much a gender switch really does make a difference.
Chapter 1: Episode 1
As she pumped her legs harder to quicken her dash, Yuki remembered the last few days before things had escalated to this.
She remembered giving a little hop in her walk on her way home. Everything was going so well, and it was all thanks to the magic that Deus had spun into her phone. It was bewildering, initially, as to how accurate these diary predictions turned out to be, not to mention that her supposedly imaginary friend was actually, well, a god. But that doesn't matter because, given the recent events, she would have to say a personal thank you to Deus.
On the last few impromptu quizzes, Yuki was able to ace through all of them because she possessed the answers in her hand! In fact, she scored a perfect 500/500 on her grades, bumping down Gasai Yuto to second place. She supposed that she ought to feel guilty for cheating while Gasai and those who do well academically worked hard to earn their place at the top, but any remorse was replaced with relief when she was able to reach the shoe-lockers in time before a couple particularly jealous girls would do something petty like fill her shoes with tacks.
She remembered grinning and flipping open her phone, reading whatever future entries that lay waiting for her so that she may continue her luck.
That was what it was supposed to be all about. Luck.
Yuki wasn't sure where to go as she ran and ran and ran. She half-considered heading home and locking herself up in her bedroom and being swathed protectively in a blanket, but, in her blind running, she happened to take a detour that had her further away from her neighborhood. There was no way that she could muster enough energy to take herself there.
Eventually, her burning feet carried her inside a building under construction. Yuki nearly crashed against the elevator and felt her anxieties slip away just a bit when the doors parted. Entering inside, she haphazardly threw her messenger bag to the side and pressed a finger against a random button—the fourteenth floor. She wasn't sure what was going on, but she wasn't safe out there, not with him chasing after her.
Just when matters couldn't get any worse, something stopped the doors from fully closing. Yuki gasped and whirled around, finding Gasai stepping into the elevator car.
No way, Yuki thought, taking a step and her back hitting against the wall. She was trapped. Was she going to die here? She probably was going to die. Tears were prickling at the rims of her eyes, and beads of nervous sweat accumulated on her forehead. She almost gave in to the idea ducking and bolting around him; however, fear struck her still. Panic swelled inside her at Gasai's purposeful stride towards her.
"Don't you see, Yuki?" Gasai's jovial voice rang, breaking her hysteria that had burst out deafeningly inside her head. For a moment, there seemed to be a quiet pause, which Yuki pounced on the opportunity to refill her lungs with air. She didn't realize that she was holding in her breath. "Lift your head. Look."
She did, and she felt cold all over. Brought seemingly innocently up to the boy's face was a phone. His phone. Could it be…? Another diary owner…?
When the doors finally closed and the car was being hoisted to the designated floor, Yuki wasn't sure what to do, but it was then that she found her fingers work their way into her pouch that hung around her waist. Of course! Her darts! She didn't like the idea of executing violence, but she was alone in a closed space with a very strange boy—she would have to take measures in order to defend herself.
"You won't stab me."
There were hands that slammed against the wall between her head. It occurred in a flash, so what Yuki caught was only a glimpse of Gasai's face descending, his eyes closed. The rest was all feeling. She felt the boy's lips hot against hers, moving against hers. Of all things that could have taken place, this was what happened. Her mind fully blanked out, and that seemed to stretch out time for her. And, then, he finally pulled back slowly, leaving a wet and tingling sensation on her mouth.
"You won't stab me," he murmured, watching her with hooded eyes. "That's the future."
"Th-the future…?" Yuki choked out. What just happened? Did he, Gasai Yuto, just kiss her? And what's this gibberish that he's spouting out now? She couldn't focus all at once.
Gasai favored her with a smile—a genuine, happy smile—before stepping back and letting his arms fall back to his sides. "You've got the wrong idea, Yuki."
Yuki this, Yuki that. Why was he addressing her so familiarly?
Suddenly, his eyes narrowed and snapped at the transparent casing outside. Standing below the rising car and painted in the orange hues of sunset was a man garbed in a dark trench coat, matching pants, and a hat. Oddly enough, he wore what looked like a gas mask with goggles attached, and wielded by one of his gloved hands was a blade. It wasn't just his appearance that sent Yuki immediate unease; though his eyes were hidden behind the reflective glass of his goggles, his face was tilted upwards in a way that he was staring at the car—no, staring at them, which was entirely eerie.
"He's here," Gasai murmured.
"Who is he?" Yuki asked.
"The serial killer from the news. The third diary owner."
She blinked, feeling quite lost. "Third?"
"He had plans to kill you," he said, returning his gaze back to her face, "by looking at your future."
Gasai brought up his phone again and flipped it open. "This is my future diary," he said. "18:20. Yuki dies on the fourteenth floor of the building."
On the small glowing screen, Yuki couldn't believe what the content was about—but it was there, all of it. She blinked rapidly, as if to somehow flutter awake from this nightmare; unfortunately, the feeling of horrification was so very real. This was no nightmare. "Th-those entries are all about m-me…" she whispered. "B-but… How…"
"My diary is the Yukiyori diary." Gasai flashed her a smile. Were the circumstances different, she would have seen it as boyish and cute. Instead, it sent her shaking in trepidation. "It catches your future in ten minute intervals." And then he had to add, "It's a diary of love."
From what Yuki knew, her diary's predictions could only come out at inconsistent time periods; it seemed to be structured rather similarly to how she would type her own entries before Deus did something to her phone. Yet how could Gasai be in possession of a diary that could conjure an augury exactly every ten minutes? And why her? Things were starting to become stranger. So, if Deus's powers were able to transform her randomly updated diary into a randomly updated predictor, then that must mean…
For who knows how long, Gasai had been writing about her for every ten minutes?
Yuki swallowed thickly. There seemed to be a shortcoming on both sides: death by a wanted criminal or death by her crazy stalker. Her image of the handsome and intelligent boy of her homeroom class was completely and utterly destroyed. She first thought that it was peculiar how he was in some way involved in all of this as she was running away from him, but this was just insane. Not to mention how knowledgeable he was regarding the current situation: the "third diary owner," knowing that there was a serial killer after her, and…and it was him who placed that miniature clay replica of Murmur on her desk, wasn't that right?
"In a sense, your future rests in my hands," Gasai said. The car slowed to a stop, and, just when the doors opened, his backside momentarily engulfed by the sun's dimming rays that flooded the fourteenth floor, Gasai pushed the last button—the seventeenth floor—without having his eyes leave her face.
"W-wait, what are you—"
"Like I said," he cut in, once again invading her persona space and presenting his phone in her face, "you'll die if you get off the fourteenth floor. If you do, you'd be the first to be dropped out of the survival game."
"Survival game?" she murmured.
"Those who possess a special diary like yours and mine are after each others' lives. Like that man who's after yours."
Yuki listened to his explanation in confusion and a bit of disbelief. Just what was he going on about? A game? Now that she thought about it, Deus mentioned about her phone being the tantamount to her existence, albeit she failed to affiliate that piece of information to this game that Gasai mentioned. And why would the other owners try to kill one another? Was this Deus's doing?
"Yuki, you used your diary carelessly," the boy in front of her remarked lightly. "You must have left a trail, which was how the killer was able to track you down."
That's right… She had a mass murder out to get her. And here she was, getting worked up over Gasai who apparently didn't harbor any ill-intent towards her. Rather, his small actions and words seemed to convey his interest in saving her, which didn't make sense because, according to his explanation, wouldn't he want to have her dead since he was a diary owner as well?
She must have worn her distress openly because she found her head tilted upwards by a gentle grasp on her chin.
"No need to fear, Yuki. From here on out, I'll be your knight in shining armor, always coming to your rescue."
No, no, no. How could this possibly happen?
"The meeting is adjourned," Deus's voice thundered calmly. With that announcement, the god faded amongst the wisps of clouds in the backdrop and the convention returned to the purple dome that was—not anymore, not after what happened—her refuge that she retreated to everyday after school.
Yuki collapsed to her knees. She was lost in a sea of despair, fear, and loneliness. It was as though the world was turned against her. She didn't want to die, but she was powerless…
"Don't worry, Yuki."
She froze. Slowly and reluctantly, she looked over her shoulder and saw Gasai standing behind her.
"Didn't I tell you before? I'll be your knight in shining armor." His eyes were lost in a deep haze, yet they concentrated solely on her form. "Always."
NOTES: Rewriting the entire series? No, thank you. I've decided to focus on parts of each episode that I think could place emphasis on girl!Yuki and boy!Yuno's circumstances regarding their gender. Yukiyori is the reserved wallflower and Yuto is her good-looking yet creepy stalker. Despite being a shut-in, Yuki is essentially a normal fourteen-year-old girl, so being thrust into a world full of danger would, of course, dissolve her into the perfect damsel-in-distress for Yuto to happily sweep her off her feet (that is, if she's not too scared of him to do so). I don't think it would make sense for Yuki to turn out to be a heroine who'll brave through any difficult situation without bawling in panic or needing Yuto to save her, but her building up courage will come gradually (you know, character growth). As for Yuto, all he wants is to be Yuki's suave and cool knight (and marry her and have her bear his children and live a happy ending), but, because he's so crazy, he would often slip and behave far from suave or cool. Him being cheerfully nonchalant and saying that knight-in-shining-armor line when he and Yuki were in the elevator? That was him executing his sheer "awesomeness" while hoping that Yuki would be impressed (but he was oblivious to the fact that she already discerned that he was friggin insane). Him gazing at her with deluded adoration at the end scene, obviously creeping her out? Yeah, Yuki will never be impressed.
SCIENTIFIC FACT: Men have more gray matter whereas women have more white matter in their brains. Gray matter represents information processing centers, and white matter works to network these processing centers. I tried to research the process of how the gray and white matters affect one's thought process, but only came up with something biological than mental. I've kind of came up with the conclusion that men are quicker to receive the information but will have to go back to reflect while women would need to connect the dots. Henceforth, Yuki would appear more apprehensive because she would lack that burst of recklessness her male counterpart would, from time to time, act on. Yuto and Yuno… Well, I don't see what changes I can make there… Perhaps Yuto would be more prone to violence.