Characters: Hoshikawa Subaru, War-Rock, Luna, Ophiucous.
Warnings: Dark. Pretty dark. Actually, it's Bad End dark. I BLAME GABE. IT WAS HIS IDEA.
Notes: Bad End AU. oops what are emotions
Summary: He couldn't save them. Why did he keep trying?
Luna had been discharged from the hospital relatively early compared to most of her classmates. The doctors had commented on her “indomitable strength of will” and her “amazing mental fortitude,” but she felt none of that strength at the moment. She was alone again.
Bud was still in the hospital. He had only just recently regained consciousness, and he was still coming to terms with the fact that not only was he the monster that had been breaking red things all over town, but that he had nearly killed his two best friends and would now never walk again. It was slow going for him. But at least he was conscious and thinking now. Kizamaro…she wasn’t sure if he’d ever be the same again. He was still unconscious, but a lot of the students who had awakened recently had done nothing but recite formulas and other such nonsense nonstop, as if their brains had been completely overwhelmed and reprogrammed by the intensity of the Study Wave’s information discharge. And Kizamaro had fallen unconscious before most of the students as well…his little body couldn’t take it. Ah! Would she ever hear him complain about his small stature again? She couldn’t stop fretting over either of her two friends. They had been so loyal and encouraging to her, and now she couldn’t do a thing to help them…
At least she could visit them. That was something. It was just about time for that…
“It doesn’t look like that school will be reopening anytime soon, dear.”
“Well, good riddance! That rubbish public school, what were we thinking about, sending our precious little Luna to such an inferior place!”
Those were her mother and father’s voices. What were they planning to dictate to her now? Despite knowing how rude it was, and ignoring the dread building in her stomach, she stopped in the middle of the hallway to eavesdrop.
“We should have gone with our original plan. By next week, our precious baby girl will be enrolled in the finest private school we can afford. There will be no room for that ridiculous experimental nonsense or the inferior riffraff that she so foolishly addresses as friends,” her father ground out. Luna’s throat spasmed, and for a few moments, she couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t think. No. No.
“With the best education, she can get the best job. It really is the best way to happiness for her.”
No, they’re wrong! Not that they’d listen to me if I told them that…why do they always do this to me?! Why do they direct my life like I’m some sort of puppet?
She walked out of the house, calmly and quietly, pretending she never heard their conversation about her. She always did this. It was just easier to show them her little mask, stand still and let them dress her like a doll when she was around them. Only outside, with her friends that really accepted her, could she show her weakness, how scared she was to lose those two precious friends.
And now her parents would take her away from them. Just when they needed her support the most.
Just when she needed them.
As soon as she was far away enough from the condominium complex that they lived in, alone at the bus stop, she screamed and kicked at the ground.
How dare they! How dare they act like they know exactly what’s best for me! How dare they try to take me away from the only people that actually care about me! Those two disgusting people, they just want a little doll to dress up and model after their best desires!
“Yaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!” She let out another scream. Usually venting like this made her feel better, but this time the effort left her drained and empty. She knew this time, no matter what, no amount of screaming and kicking would be enough to make her feel okay again. She was going to lose her most precious things, finally submitting to being the perfect little daughter that they wanted her to be. By the beginning of the next week, she’d be alone forever. And there was nothing she could do about it.
Those people…I hate them!
Visiting Gonta and Kizamaro was more painful than usual. She felt terrible not telling her friends about what would happen to her, but she couldn’t find the strength to say it. Every time Gonta cheered over the basket of snacks she had brought for him (he had no problem with hospital food, but fresh food was always the best!), every time Kizamaro shifted in his sleep, she couldn’t bring herself to say that she was leaving them now, at their worst moment. Instead, she scolded Gonta about giving the hospital staff a hard time, and instructed him to keep an eye on Kizamaro for her while she wasn’t around, which he agreed to readily.
Then Kizamaro had woken up, and started reciting Shakespearian sonnets nonstop. No matter how much she scolded him, he didn’t shape up or snap to attention at all. Eventually the nurses had to administer anesthesia to force him into a medicinal coma, the same as the other patients. She had begged them not to, why would they force him into sleeping again when he had just woken up? Wasn’t there a chance they could get him to stop? The nurses simply shook their head no-it wasn’t healthy for the brain to be constantly wired into a high rate like these children were. Their brains had been altered by the Study Wave enough that their psyche could have been irrevocably damaged, and it was very well possible that the parents may opt for euthanasia, seeing as it was very unlikely that such deep psychological traumas could have been cured easily or quickly. Most parents just didn’t have the money to spend, or the willpower to submit what was left of their child to such a fate with little to no chance for a cure, if there were even any of them left.
She couldn’t take it anymore. The rest of her visit was spent consoling Gonta and trying to keep up her firm mask of strength. How could she leave them now? How could her parents make her leave her only friends in this state? If she left now, then Kizamaro…he’d probably be going through his last moments without her, and then what would Gonta do? He was strong and kind, but utterly dependent on her and Kizamaro, even more so after being taken over by that monster. What would he do when he was left all alone?
Once she left the hospital, she found a small corner in its gardens to sink to her feet and sob into her hands.
“Those people…they’re nothing but cold, unfeeling monsters! I hate them, I hate them, I hate them…I don’t want to be transferred to another school…”
“Is that so? What if I told you that you could keep them from doing such a thing?”
Luna froze for a few seconds before she regained composure of herself. Wiping her eyes and fixing on her usual strong mask, the mask of the Class President, she rose and turned to face the meeting that would seal her fate.
Subaru was bored. He had already done all his work, and it wasn’t nearly dark enough to be able to watch the stars from Vista Point yet. He had already eliminated all the viruses in the house earlier in the day, so there wasn’t anything to fight at the moment. There wasn’t anything good on the television either, so he simply was flipping through the channels for the sake of doing something.
“Ne, Subaru, go back a few channels.”
“Just do it! I think I saw something…”
“Alright…” He did as told, until he saw the news program-breaking news, apparently?
“That’s it, kiddo. Keep it there.” And that had Subaru confused. War-Rock wasn’t usually fond of things like news; he claimed the shows to be dull and boring. Maybe it was the scenes of destruction he was seeing behind the frantic reporter that captivated the alien.
“We’re here outside the snake exhibit on the roof of Yashibu Town’s largest department store, where the snakes are exhibiting very strange behavior! They have suddenly broken out from their habitats in a coordinated fashion and have started cornering humans! It looks like they’re being directed by some sort of snake monster woman-“
The reporter then let out a scream as he was set upon by two green snakes and collapsed to the ground. Quick work by the cameraman revealed the “snake monster woman” cackling on the roof, firing more green snakes from seemingly nowhere.
“War-Rock?! Is that-?”
“Aah, that’s an FM-ian alright. Looks like Ophiuchus. She can control snakes, as you can see.”
“We have to get over there, War-Rock!”
“Of course! But do you know where that is?”
“I’ll look it up before we go, but hopefully it’s close enough that we can get there quickly!”
They weren’t able to get to Yashibu as quickly as Subaru had hoped, but they were there. Already there were several people either unconscious or in pain because of venomous bites, but Subaru ignored them. Medical personnel could take care of those people; it wasn’t like he knew any treatments. Instead, he quickly became Rockman once he could get out of sight and made his way up to the snake exhibit.
There, he was greeted by the gruesome sight of two dead corpses, both wrapped up tightly by large constrictor snakes. It looked as if they were freshly dead, the bodies still warm.
“Keep squeezing those two foul monsters, my darling snakes! Make them know my pain tenfold!”
Why were all of the people who were possessed insane? Did they really have that big of a hole in their hearts? Or maybe it was being fused with the FM-ian that made them this way. Rockman didn’t know. And he didn’t care. He knew there was no point in pointing out the futility of inflicting pain on dead bodies; instead he launched a Fire Ring at Ophiuchus, hoping to end the battle quickly before she realized he was there.
Unfortunately, she noticed the blazing wheel early enough to destroy it with beams of light from her eyes, before sending out more green snakes to flush him out of the heavily wooded snake habitiats.
“So, the traitor, War-Rock, is here.”
“Ophiuchus! I was wondering when you’d show up!”
“Now, now, I didn’t come here to fight you, you know! Frankly, I’m surprised you didn’t leave the FM King sooner!”
“What are you trying to imply, Ophiuchus?!”
“For one thing, I’m Ophiuchus Queen, now. As for your question, well, we all know that the FM King is a weak-willed fool. It’d be easy to unseat him from power, especially now since you hold the Andromeda Key. Team up with me, and I can easily charm the FM King into giving up the controller for Andromeda, and with both the key and the controller, we can easily rule over both Planet FM and Earth! It’ll save us both the trouble of you getting deleted, you know.”
“Hmph! I’m not interested in that sort of thing. I’m just interested in my own vengeance against the FM King. You can just take your offer and feed it to your snakes!”
“Ah, and that’s your final answer, I see. What a shame. I expect I’ll just have to delete you and take the key for myself!”
“That isn’t going to happen! Battle Card, Fire Bazooka!”
The battle was difficult. Ophiuchus Queen was in her element here, amongst the woods and the many snakes at her command. The nasty little buggers were efficient distracters, particularly the venomous ones. It took Rockman finally deciding to just set the entire exhibit on fire with several deliberately aimed Fire Rings and Bazookas for him to finally gain an advantage over her, which resulted in him killing most, if not all of the snakes, trapping several people within the flames, and obliterating the carefully crafted habitats. He didn’t focus on that, however, instead he continued to relentlessly attack Ophiuchus, who was weakened by the change in environment and now at a severe disadvantage. The fire eventually forced Ophiuchus Queen to flee, threatening to take her human host with her, but Rockman wouldn’t have any of that.
He chased after her all throughout the store building, but it wasn’t until they reached the back of the building that he managed to subdue her by hitting her straight in the back of the head with a Power Bomb. While she was stunned, Rockman caught up to her, grabbing her by the neck and holding her up for inspection.
“No point in letting her stay around for an interrogation, is there, War-Rock? We already know all she has to say.”
“Aaa, you’re right about that.”
“Fine then. Battle Card, Predation! Blazing Edge!”
Ophiuchus Queen was impaled by the fiery sword before she even had time to scream. A flash of purple light later, Rockman was left with the unconscious Luna held up only by his hand on her uniform collar as the disintegrated remains of Ophiuchus glinted in the sun before completely vanishing.
Rockman carelessly tossed Luna’s unconscious body aside, not bothering to wait for her to awaken, nor going back up to put out the flames he had started. They had already managed to get the fire under control by the time he had chased Ophiuchus Queen out of the exhibit, it would probably be put out by the time he got back, anyway. Him showing up there would probably make things worse, anyway, it always did. There was no need to get involved with more people than necessary.
It was just better to go home. So go home he did.
Luna woke up feeling heat on her face. When she struggled to her feet and looked up, her eyes widened in horror. The entire building in front of her was engulfed in flames. She stared at them, transfixed by the dancing shadows of the fire. The longer she stared, the more she felt memories stir within her before suddenly…
Her parents’ glassy eyes as they looked up at her, their last breaths having been squeezed mercilessly from their bodies. Their pleas for her to stop, looking up at her with fear and worry and love, which she responded to with cackling and ordering the snakes to squeeze harder. Sending the snakes out to injure, maim, and kill others while she watched her parents struggle to breathe, listening to their bones crack under pressure, relishing in their pain even as they begged for their precious little girl to return to them. Their corpses, starting to burn in that heated field of battle, now probably reduced to nothing but charred, stinking flesh.
“N-no…” Her legs shook, threatening to collapse under her. “No…I didn’t…I didn’t want them to…” Dry sobs wracked her body, she had already used up all her tears before meeting Ophiuchus. “H-how could I…”
She wished that the blue-clad boy that had fought her monstrous form had killed her. She couldn’t live with herself, having done this. She wanted to see her parents again, tell them how sorry she was. She just wanted them to know how she felt. She didn’t want them to…to…
Luna took one step towards the burning building. Then another. And another.
Then she found herself rooted to the ground in fear. She wasn’t strong enough to take another step forward, to do what needed to be done. How could she atone for her sins when she couldn’t…
She was never strong enough. She knew that. That was why she had found those precious friends in the first place, precious friends who would have stood by her through anything. But she ended up only bringing them pain-if she hadn’t threatened to cut Gonta’s BrotherBand with her, he wouldn’t have been taken over by that monster, if she had been strong enough to snap Kizamaro out of that mental state, his parents wouldn’t have been stuck debating on whether to mercifully end his life or not…She was weak. Too weak to admit that she really did love her parents under all that rage and sorrow until it was too late, too weak to simply just talk to them, let them see the real her and get them to accept her as she was. Too weak to deserve to live. She should die.
She took another step towards the building, then stopped and fled from the scene. She couldn’t do it. She wasn’t strong. She wasn’t brave. She couldn’t support her own strength, so how could she even think about supporting others?
She couldn’t go back. Not after what she had done. And she couldn’t do what was necessary to set things right. All she could do was wait for her karma to catch up with her in some way, wait for her inevitable end.
Shirogane Luna was now completely and utterly alone.
Subaru watched the news of the day, and was mildly surprised to see that the department store, in fact, had not managed to keep the fires under control. It had spread to the entirety of the building before firefighters were able to beat the flames back. Only the first floor was remotely salvageable.
“Heh, so they didn’t manage to put it out, after all…”
“You’re not worried about that, are you, Subaru?”
“Not really…all we really were there for was to defeat the FM-ian. We did that, so everything else should be fine. None of my Aqua element cards would have been strong enough to put out the flames, anyway, if it spread as much as they say it did by the time our fight was over.”
“Maa, maa, that’s true. Still, it’s pretty unlike you to be so blasé about it. You haven’t been moping around as much as you usually do after something like this happens because of our fights.”
“Mmn. I guess I’ve just come to accept that these sorts of accidents happen, I guess. I can’t really control it, and I’m pretty resigned to something bad happening every time a fight happens. I have other things to worry about other than things I can’t control, I guess.”
“Heh. You’re sounding more and more like a grown-up warrior after these fights, I see.” Still, War-Rock couldn’t help but worry. Was it really natural for a human to stop showing emotion so quickly? He didn’t know humans well enough to figure it out, but something about Subaru’s increasing detachedness made him feel uneasy.
Still, as long as they were winning fights and doing well in battles, it should all work out, or so War-Rock hoped.
-0-0-0-0-0-0-[A/N]: welp I did not expect the chapter to get this long LUNA DEMANDED THAT I WRITE HER OKAY