Bodies being ripped off of her own, a heavy sigh of relief was released as she exerted her strength, pushing herself up as she swung her bat in a wide circle, anyone within the one meter radius of the bat would have been hit — except for Jack. Though had had the experience of being hit with it, she would be careful not to — for now.
It seemed that the crowds of infected people were dispersing. Was it over? Looks like it. The area seemed to completely clean itself of the evidence that there had ever been such an epidemic running through, the city squeaky clean as everything wandered off and wiped out. “That’s strange..” the girl muttered as she stood up, practically drenched in blood — some of it was her own, while the majority belonged to the countless citizens of which she had taken out of her way. “.. How did they.. What did they..” She was at a loss for words. How was it that they could be released from the virus as quickly as it came?
Yuno didn’t like this city. It was a given. Though there were good things about it, like no longer being hunted down every moment of their lives just for the spot of God, no longer fearing for whether or not they’d live until the next day. All those worries were taken away, if not just significantly toned down. On the other hand, the dangers that the city represented only made Yuno all the more wary of whether or not she should be by Yukiteru’s side at all times. Though it seemed that something about the city just.. wouldn’t allow that, and after a few moments together they would part ways, connected by Yuno’s future diary. Though the phones wouldn’t work any other way, it was.. better than nothing.
Until a buzz sounded from her future diary. Alarmed and filled with panic, the girl dropped her bat almost immediately, shoving her hand into her pocket to pull out the phone, almost dropping that as well because of how quickly she tried to take it out. Urgently flipping it open, the girl opened the future entries, tears gathering at her eyes in anticipation for what she would read — was he injured? Hurt? Dead? What did the diary have to say? What changed? What was their future now?
“Let’s go, Yuno.”
Jack was completely ignored. His words didn’t even reach her ears as she dropped to her knees, eyes desperately searching for the entry she needed. Finally opening up the Future Diary entries, her breathing accelerated as her heartbeats did, tightly gripping the phone in hopes that Yukiteru wasn’t hurt. That it would tell her something positive.
But the world had never been kind to her.
Yukki is looking for me, and he’s uninjured! Ooh, I’m so happy he’s alright! He’s right around that corner, in that big alley, too! He was so close and I didn’t even know! I better go to him right away!
A huge sigh of relief was released as the girl sank lower on her knees, hugging the phone to her chest as small drops of sweat slid down her face, eyes widened maniacally. ”He’s okay.. He’s okay, he’s okay, he’s okay..” Her breaths came in large gasps as she calmed down, slowly as her heart did as well, head lowered to her knees.
Not wasting any time now, the girl forced herself up, closing her phone and returning it to her pocket before getting ready to dash off to where the entry had said he was located, at the moment. Halting right before she stepped forward, she turned to Jack, eyes narrowing suspiciously before she decided that she could trust him.. if not only a little. He had proved himself, and had earned it. But she wouldn’t hesitate to kill him if he ever so much as try to hurt the boy.
“He’s near.. Follow me, if you desire to.”
It was said through gritted teeth, but there it was. An offer for him to follow her — not a threat, but an offer. One that she would probably regret, but now wasn’t the time to linger too much on a thought.
Turning her heel, the girl sprinted off in the direction of the alley — though making sure that if Jack chose to follow after her, he’d be able to catch up. The alley wasn’t too hard to locate, since the entry had stated that it was the largest one. There weren’t many large alleyways, but this had to be it, for there stood the frail boy, walking down and out of the shadows as he — most likely — spotted Yuno, as well.
He was scared.
Everything was frightening in this city, in this fake life he tried so hard to get along with. This world was even more unstable than his original, the place where he was once surrounded by Akise-kun and the rest of his friends. Everything here was so different. No, worse. His Diary was useless and his only source of information, Akise-kun, wasn’t anywhere to be found. The other trio he had made friends with, his first real friends, were no where to be seen either. Only Yuno. Yuno, who’s hair flew in the wind as she crushed corpses with her axe. Yuno, who could still smile so sweetly with blood splattered across her face. Yuno… the girl who loved him with every fiber of her being.
To the core of her existence.
Yukiteru could feel his heart thudding hard in his chest, echoing loud in his head as he ran blindly through the streets, breath heaving in rough gasps. His cheeks were wet and his clothes were stained a gruesome red at the corners— not his thank goodness. The boy’s feet stumbled blindly across the concrete with each twist and turn, hardly paying any attention to where he was going at all. He needed to get somewhere he could be safe. Safe, safe, safe. He had no weapons, no defense against anything now.
Barely scrambling past a particularly violent being, he decided it was time for desperate measures. Thrusting his hand into his pocket, he withdrew his cellphone, teeth grit in knowing the fact he could only use it once a week. The thought of dying here… where no one where find him—! He shook his head and released a broken sob. Just then something barreled into him and he went tumbling the ground in a shriek of pain. “Aaaughhnn!”
No, no, no… If I can just get to Yuno—!
Getting to his feet and grabbing his diary from the ground, Yukiteru darted off, glancing back at the looming others behind him. What about the people who didn’t have weapons like him? He swerved into the nearest alley without acknowledging the answer. Limping to the wall, the blue-eyed boy raised his hands and wiped his eyes ferociously, a cough or two escaping in the process. Why haven’t I died yet? I shouldn’t be here! Blearily checking over his leg, he saw a small gash, probably from whatever that monstrous thing that attacked him. Yukiteru couldn’t pay attention enough to bandage himself… even as small droplets of blood ran down his knee.
A shaky thumb ran over his cellphone…
Suddenly there were footsteps, frantic ones, and the boy closed his eyes and shrunk into the shadows. He was going to die here. Maybe it really was for the better? Should he just face his demons? Trembling, he staggered into the open, eyes wide in preparation for whatever was to come. Ah— it was—
"Yuno," Yukiteru breathed, reaching a hand out to her, not even minding her appearance as it was. It wasn’t until a figure appeared behind her — a young man — that he dropped his hand, weary.
It was interesting how Yukiteru was slowly getting accustomed this strange experimental world. It had taken a while to finally get himself to venture out and see everything for what it was — the people were a different thing altogether — but he decided it was for the best. He hadn’t exactly spoken to anyone out of fear… that wasn’t necessarily new though, was it? The boy always stayed away from communication with others— it was better for him. Well, no, easier. He had trouble expressing himself in his own world already.
What do I do?
He stared down at his blank cellphone. It didn’t take long for a disgruntled huff to come next before Yukiteru pushed it into his pocket. Really, it was so different having to experience things for himself and not for the sake of recording them in his diary. His habit had been cut clean off.
Without really paying attention to his surroundings, he trudged through his sector like an angry toddler who hadn’t gotten the toy they wanted. It was around then he ran into someone else, the build small and delicate-like.
"A-ah— I’m sorry!" Yukiteru spluttered.
Yuno barely even attempted to cushion their fall as they did, Yukiteru landing with a thud on his back with Yuno over him, arms still wrapped around the boy as if he would simply disappear within a moment, as if this was an illusion that she was desperately trying to hold onto. But it was real. She knew it was. But that’s exactly why she won’t let go. She won’t ever lose him again. Even if they were to part ways in the city, they’d be connected by their diaries — well, Yuno would know what he was doing, and that was enough for the both of them. At any given time, Yuno would be able to rush to Yukiteru as long as he did some sort of action to call her over with a change of her diary.
After all, that was her Yukiteru Diary’s purpose. To monitor him. To make sure he was safe. To be there for him no matter the time or place, or situation.
It brought comfort — a sense of security, a warm, warm warm warm feeling to wash over the girl, tears staining the boy’s jacket as she cried against him. Although this wasn’t the most comfortable position to be in, neither of them seemed to care. They were with each other. That’s all that mattered.
Letting the moment last, letting everything sink in and wash over before giving the boy one more squeeze, Yuno moved off of him, standing up and reaching out a hand to help him up as well. And once he would take her hand, she wouldn’t let go. Her grip was tight, so tight that it probably hurt him a bit, though she was so glad to see him that for once, she wasn’t aware of it. He was here. he was here. He was right here, he was safe, he was with her.
But one thing was missing. The last piece needed to confirm that they were both real, an action performed many, many times before. It was normal now, if not just like breathing. Slowly, Yuno moved closer to Yukiteru, eyelids slowly closing as she pressed her lips against his. Though his lips were cracked and would probably feel uncomfortable to most, it didn’t make a difference to Yuno. Even if these lips had been touched by people other than her (like a certain armless bitch!!), it didn’t matter. In the end, he was hers.
Hers, and nobody else’s.
It wasn’t hard to lay there with her clinging to him. He was holding her, too, though, wasn’t he—? At the time, he wasn’t wondering about the many mysteries Yuno Gasai had hidden from him. All he cared about was that they were there together… and she seemed just as overjoyed. Yuno’s own sobs covered the small sniffling noises he made in his tries to stop his tears. They lingered in his eyes and he breathed in deep, a raspy sound coming in from the back of his throat. The boy couldn’t talk— not yet anyway. Yukiteru didn’t even notice the dull pain surfacing from his back either. He made a soft noise, unbeknown to him whether it was a protest or relief, when Yuno retreated.
He looked blearily up at her hand, an invitation, something very human coming from someone as strange as Yuno. Yukiteru offered a small smile in return, shakily lifting his arm up and letting his fingers graze into hers. With a grunt of effort, he lifted himself up onto his shaky legs, using her strong grip as his support. It wasn’t until a few seconds passed that he realized she was still holding on. He opened his mouth to question her, but it died in his throat when he saw the strange expression coming over her face. Was that still disbelief?
Suddenly she leaned forward and—
— it was then he realized he was kissing her right back.
Her diary.. Right now, the useless piece of plastic crap she once called her diary was completely useless in aiding her in her search for Yukiteru. The stupid plastic object not only showed nothing, did nothing, and was a huge disadvantage was not only useless, but if it broke, she’d disappear just like with her real future diary.
It had been days since Yuno arrived, days since she first set out to search for Yukiteru, days since that one incident happened on her first day. Her skirt was only slightly stained by blood that wasn’t hers, fingernails chipped from taking out her frustration at the ground. She was desperate. The girl had searched ever sector, every apartment, every nook and cranny of every place and store and still — there was no sign of him. Actually, she was about to give up. Let it register that she was alone here.
Making her final round on the sectors before she crashed, Yuno would pass by the several shopping districts, looking and looking, stumbling here and there — really, she was exhausted. Her searching was half the effort she put in before, and she was losing the hope that she had been trying so desperately to hang on to. Avoiding the people who passed by, ignoring greetings and attempts to stop her to ask her to fill out a survey or try a sample, she continued to walk, the same bag slung over her shoulder which held the now-bloody bat and the plastic, shitty phone shoved into the side pocket. Even if it was useless, she still had to be careful with it. It was her life, after all.
Reaching an empty space, free of citizens and lots of room for air, Yuno looked around — and spotted a lone figure not far away. At first, she thought it had just been someone else — a stranger, but upon closer inspection, they were familiar. The hat pulled over his head, that jacket that matched it..
And so she began to run. Though her legs were tired and shaky, she was running, forcing herself across the pavement and towards him.
Her eyes were filled with tears now, but her lips were formed in the biggest smile as she closed the distance between them, reaching out both her arms and — upon finally reaching him — ran into him, throwing her arms tight around the boy. “Yukki… Yukki.. Yukki. Yukkiyukkiyukkiyukkiyukki—!!!” He was here. he was right here. It was real. His scent was the same, the warmth that emitted from his body, that hair, those eyes.. everything. It was him. It was really him.
Her arms tightened around him in fear of losing him again, her entire body shaking as her tears slid down her face, getting all over Yukiteru’s jacket. “I-It’s really you! It’s you, it’s you, it’s you..!” She repeated those words along with Yukiteru’s name until her voice cracked, choking up and stopping to sniffle, her tight hold around the boy not showing any sign of letting go.
The happiness — the relief that flooded over her was beyond overwhelming.
He was dead, dead, d e a d.
There was no one here to defend him now. No one at all. He was weak and utterly defenseless when alone. By experience in his own world, he knew he was failing life— he had no friends, no achievements, and lived on a small periphery of a could-be. It was almost as if he watched life from the other side of a tunnel, recording results like a scientist. Cruel irony. It was flipped now. He was being watched and recorded. There was nothing he could do about anything anymore— no confidence to solve his problems.
The boy felt the anxiety well up and his trembling was near violent, eyes dark and wide, fearful. What should he do? Where would he go? Hole up in that — no, his— room with unfamiliar people…? His cellphone was useless to predict what they’d do to him, what they would ask. The very thing that made him feel safer, even if it was just a little, was taken away. Dependency. He need something to hold onto. In response, a vague memory fluttered in the back of his head, and it took a second more to realize it was accompanied by a girlish laugh. Wasn’t that…? But she’s not here…
Slowly the boy’s arm lifted and he scanned the screen of his lifeless cellphone again and again. Soon he couldn’t see anymore. I’m dead. Someone is going to kill me. His vision blurred completely and his knees wobbled from where he stood. Was he going to— fai… nt—-?
Suddenly— there was a voice calling— so loud… so desperate.
Name. His name? Colors danced in front of his eyes and he swerved to look, blinking rapidly in an attempt to see just— who— Yuno.
She was running toward him, tears falling from her face and arms outstretched. Yukiteru couldn’t catch his breath, could even think, before the girl tackled him. “Yu—no—?” He gasped out, voice haggard. Yuno immediately sobbed into his chest, her entire body wracking with them until it seemed her voice was just about done for. YukkiYukkiYukkiYukki—Yu—kki—Yu…kki—
"… I…’mmm— here—!" He finally choked out. Stunned.
Just then Yukiteru’s knees gave up their last resolve at withholding his weight.
He fell back.
It wasn’t until the boy saw the sky spinning that he realized he was holding onto Yuno just as much as she were him. His fingers dug into her clothes and he pulled her close, some part of his subconscious knowing she probably wouldn’t mind at all if she fell too. “I’m here…!” He repeated into her hair.
I’m not alone.
The words left an icy spike of nerves in his stomach, prodding and stabbing until he felt the intense need to vomit there and then. Where was he? He didn’t understand anything— was he still himself? Who were they? The boy trembled from where he stood, biting his lip hard to stop the tears his eyes from running down his face— he couldn’t— he couldn’t stand this—! Taken from his home, taken from the world he had gotten accustomed to at last…
When he had first arrived, the black-haired boy had taken out his Diary, shaking as he flipped it open— it had been blank and empty looking. Useless. He had no future? Unless they were controlling it… Soon he had noticed a small note had been written after having wiped the blur from his eyes. He could only use his Diary once a week. Once. Yukiteru had panicked in the beginning, wondering what he would do to protect himself since the only special thing he possessed was taken from him.
Now in the present where he stood, he felt numb, cold and stripped from his comforts.
"… Y-Yun—no,” he stammered suddenly, bright azure eyes widened in their misty fear, a jolt of realization shooting down his spine.
Where was she? Was she here? Was she safe—? The questions brought on a new wave of panic and nausea, and he choked back the bile rising in the back of his throat. “Yuno,” he whispered, scanning the area around him, fists clenched in an attempt to show a type of calm.
He could barely think, barely remember to breathe to keep himself from fainting and going over the edge, allowing utter defenselessness of his body. If Yuno were here, would she know what was going on? What they’d do to them? She had to be— he couldn’t be alone— not now, not here.
Sucking in a shallow breath, he said to himself, “… Y-Yuno, where are you?”