A certain character who would've died finds both love and death at the same time.
I can't find the rhyme in all my reason
I've lost sense of time and all seasons
I feel I've been beaten down
By the words of men who have no grounds
Somewhere deep in Fujiyoshi's mind, she knew if The Program decided against putting the kids into teams she would've been dead. She wasn't sure why, but maybe it was that the closet people she could whisper to reinsure her of some kind of normalcy were Kiriyama and Mitsuko.
Thank the Gods her Red Team (consisting of her, Oda, Kiriyama, and Shuuya) were the first to leave. Fujiyoshi didn't know who much longer she could stand looking at that ghoul of a man with his puffy face sadistically grinning each time he saw a tear run down one of the students' faces and that slimy tongue licking his fat lips as he reminisced about raping that poor woman. And that voice, that horrible throaty voice of his that forced her fight down the bile that would swell up in her throat with every perverted comment he made. Even thinking of him sent a chill up her spine.
"I bet he'll be in the bathroom whacking it after he sends everyone off." Her thought stopped her in her tracks. Did she just think that? Sweet, helpful little Fujiyoshi acting like she was one of Mitsuko's girls. If her friends could read her mind: Yuko would jump back and be weirded-out for a half hour, Kayoto would be trying not to laugh, Yuka would be shocked but then high-five her for the great line (bonus points if did some pantomiming along with it), Satomi would call her immature and then bust up laughing when she thought no one was around, and the others would tell her how gross she was being.
Fujiyoshi gazed upon her team; everyone was so quiet. Sure she expected this from a dead log like Kiriyama and wasn't too surprised that Oda hadn't made a peep either. Frogboy never really liked talking to anyone anyway unless it was to make some snide comment to whoever was pissing him off. But it was Shuuya that was concerning her the most. Especially after the fuss he kicked up during Kamon's lecture; not that she blamed him. It almost seemed like a every ounce of joy that he ever possessed was painfully drained out his body and entrapped him in his own thoughts.
"Wait." After fifteen minutes of walking, Oda's voice finally broke the deary fog of silence that clung to them. "I'm going to put my vest on." He pulled out a bulletproof vest from his bag. It sure made the piano wire she was assigned look useless. "And you, leave." He said to her, pointing at a large rock ten feet away.
"She's got a name, Oda." Shuuya replied.
"Now ask me if I care. I'd rather not have her or either of you looking at me while I change."
Fujiyoshi fought back urge to say, "As if I wanted to go blind looking at your green, warty body." and walked over to the rock as Shuuya and Kiriyama turned their backs. Oh well, it would give a chance to change her shoes. Even with The Program's overflowing cruelty they were at least nice enough to include her favorite pair of sneakers and a pair of socks in the blue bag they gave her. Man, she hated wearing those stupid dress shoes the school dress code forced the girls to wear. It wasn't her fault she had wide feet. Just as she was about to lace-up her shoes, she could feel something cold, dull, and metallic pressed against her throat.
"Don't say a word."
"Yutaka?" Fujiyoshi could recognized that high-pitched voice anywhere.
"I said, don't say anything!" Yutaka growled, sounding like a frightened child trying to act tough. He'd prove to that crazy bitch Mitsuko that he wasn't a wuss. He knew he should've been use to the title by now. Hell, even Shinji called him that when he got all panicky, but now it was different.
"Yutaka please, this isn't like you." Why did she have to say that; acting like he was still human? They were drafted in this stupid game; kill or be killed. Screaming, calling him a monster, even referring to him as "chipmunk-faced faggot" would've been better than this. His hands began to shake like they were caught in a paint mixer.
"So what are you going to do now wuss?" He swore he could hear Mitsuko's voice taunting and giggling at him in his head. "Going to act all tough and kill your girlie-girl? She'd kick your pathetic ass."
"Shut-up!" Yutaka mentally screamed back at the top of his lungs as sweat began to pour down his face like waterfall. "Don't you have some VD you need to be fighting off?"
"Nah. I'd rather see you make an ass out of yourself. You sure couldn't watch that bag of yours."
Why did she have to right? He cursed the clumsiness that made him accidently send his bag rolling down that hill. Even with Yuiichiro's offer to help, Yutaka went off by himself. Not just to prove his usefulness, but to get away from Chigusa and Mitsuko.
It was pretty obvious by her reputation alone that Mitsuko's beautiful face sent a chill up his spine, but there was always something about Chigusa that rubbed him the wrong way. He could just imagine Sugimura yelling at him for even thinking it, but try looking at her cold face and see how brave you are. Ok, maybe she wasn't as bad as the other girls on the track team made her out to be and Yuiichiro had offered his trust on an alter to the both of them when he wasn't blushing his head off.
"Yutaka?" With his fork's grip against against her neck weakening by the second, Fujiyoshi summoned enough courage to turn toward her would-be killer. A hybrid of pity and shock took over at the sight of him; his face, damp with sweat and tears, looked like someone drained all the blood out of his frail little body. On looks alone, she could almost swear that he was verge of having a seizure.
"Just stab her real hard with that stupid fork of yours; even you could do that." Mitsuko's mental voice's cruelty and joy began to slowly melt away.
/"Kill her you little shit!"/
"I wouldn't do it!" Yutaka slammed the fork on the ground. "I love her." He threw his arms around her, burying his face into her shoulder and sobbing. "I love you."
Letting her maternal instinct take over, Fujiyoshi followed Yutaka's lead and hugged him back. "It's alright." Her voice took a calm, soothing tone as if she never witnessed his attempt to kill her. He could feel one of her hands lovingly stroke his curly hair between the countless "I love you"s sputtering out of his lips. Could this be the love that Shinji and Shuuya were always talking about? Maybe fling was a better term in Shinji's case, but who knows, maybe he did love them at the time. Fujiyoshi reluctantly broke the embrace.
"Come on now, let's dry those tears."
"Thanks." Yutaka sniffled. "Take that slutbag!"
Flashing a smile that would put an angel to shame, she took his face into her hands and wiped some fresh tears with her thumbs. Inside she giggled like an child at Christmas, never realizing until now how cute that buck-toothed smile of his was before it contorted into a look of sheer pain as a horde of bullets pierced his side.
"You bastard." Shuuya yelled in her place since she locked in a state of shock fixated on Yutaka's corpse.
"You play to win. Kill or be killed." Even with Kiriyama's reputation of emotionlessness, it shocked him that he didn't even blink.
"Kill?" Snapping back to reality, a rage slowly boiled inside her. "He had a fork for Christ sakes. He wasn't going to hurt me." He just stood there like he was caught in Medusa's gaze and turned to stone. He might as well spit in her eye as she lunged at him with the piano wire from her bag and wrapped it around his neck. "Answer me, damnit!"
"Fujiyoshi, stop it!" Shuuya cried. "It's not going to bring Yutaka back."
"Go ahead." It was as if she wasn't doing anything. She tightened the wire's grip on his neck. He just had to respond now; even one little choke would've made her feel better. "Take yourself with me."
"This is what The Program wants, for us to kill each other. We can fight back."
"I don't care!" Maybe her collar exploding wouldn't be that painful; it would only take a few seconds to die. Not that it mattered now. Yutaka would be waiting for her with open arms; gushing out the "I love you"s that he showered her with only minutes ago. It was the first time any boy had paid attention to her like that. It just felt so special, so wonderful to hear that and now it was gone.
"I'm sure Oda and Nanahara wouldn't mind being left to fend for themselves." No, why did he have to mention them? Sure Oda was a conceited jerk, but even he didn't deserve to be put in this Hell. And Shuuya? Dear, sweet, optimistic Shuuya with his dreams of a non-violent defeat of the program. Her friends, especially Noriko, would never speak to her again if she broke his heart and abandoned him. Swallowing her pain, Fujiyoshi let the piano wire fall to the ground.
"He said he loved me." Her knees fell onto the soft grass, crying as Kiriyama simply walked off. "He said he loved me."
"Vermin." A smirk formed upon Oda's lips as he watched the whole charade. Such weak, pathetic creatures these lower-class beings were.
"No." Yuiichiro sighed as he, Chigusa and Mitsuko watched the last couple minutes from a hill far enough for Kiriyama not to notice them before him and the rest of the red team left. "I should've went with him."
"Then you'd be dead, too." It wasn't the comforting hug that Yutaka received, but the sympathy in Chigusa's voice was just as nice. While him and Yutaka never really hung out all that much, it still felt like he was mowed down instead. How could Kiriyama be so cruel? Not even a single twinge of fear, joy, or regret peaked through.
"It would be suicide to go after them." Images of that uzi of his haunted Yuiichiro's memories. If only he was a better shot he could put his .357 revolver to use and blast a hole in Kiryama's head before he had a chance to fire. Then he realized that he was not Alucard, Vash the Stampede, or Spike Spiegal and never would be no matter how hard he tried. Not to mention that Chigusa and Mitsuko got dealt rather crummy hands with just a sickle and an ice pick to back him up. At least he couldn't blame The Program officials for a lack of imagination. "As long as they have that uzi, they're invincible."
"Maybe not." Mitsuko mused. "They're strong, but not invincible."
"What do you mean?"
"Just look at them, they're all a bunch of ticking time bombs waiting to explode. If pushed in the right direction, they'll kill each other off."
Chigusa frowned. "Just what do you have planned, Mitsuko?"
End of Chapter 1, 40 students remain.