Fanfiction Uncertainty Principle

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Endearing Misanthrope
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The Convergence Series GM
Collaboration with @Atomic Knight





"..."

Kyoko Kirigiri was someone many considered to be a "workaholic."

She was the kind of person who always worked tirelessly to achieve her own goals, between her time as a young detective, her investigations during the Killing School Life, her endeavors as a member of the Future Foundation, and now, the reinstated sole leader of the Coalition, by far the greatest responsibility she'd ever shouldered in her life. It wasn't as though just anyone could become the leader of an independent organization dedicated to protecting the greater multiverse. Thus, it was the best and worst job for a workaholic like her, whose job was never done.

In this specific case, the lavender-haired dame found that logging her own account of the Eveline Incident was an annoying task. It was an incident she'd rather not vividly recall, given the dark nature of it, even beyond the Daughter Incident and the Coalition Civil War, and all that she had to face in it; the horrors that resided within the house of Lucas Baker, the warped fantasies of everyone around her, and of course, Kyoko's own desires that she had locked away.

"... Tch."

There she went again. Remembering. In this instance, she still remembered the feeling of the ring hugging her gloved finger. Makoto's personality that contrasted how he normally was. It certainly didn't help with the friction between the two, after the Coalition Civil War, but... Well, very little people, if anyone, could get under Kyoko's skin the way he could. She considered it a kind of weakness to be able to be provoked that easily by someone, even despite what Genji Shimada had told her back then, about what it meant to truly be human. These days, she found herself often thinking back to the cyborg's words, lecturing about humanity, not letting his appearance undermine what he wanted to preach to her. Letting herself be provoked by others.

Perhaps in some manner, he had reached her.

Sighing in mild irritation, Kyoko slid away a few inches in her chair from her desk, using one hand to massage her temple as she took a temporary break from writing up the incident report. One little brain could hardly keep up with everything she had to maintain, after all. On top of the Eveline Incident, so much had happened afterward as well that she, Mr. Kunikida, and the rest of the Coalition Administration could hardly keep up with. A Delfino Incident here, a Faust Incident there, it was quite much to process, despite her's and everyone else's best efforts.

There was a knock then at Kyoko's office door; a knock that sounded far too loud to Makoto Naegi, the boy standing outside in the hall. If he thought he had been walking on eggshells around Kyoko before, then the report ODMA had submitted to the Coalition concerning the Bakers had Makoto conjuring a metaphorical bubble around himself whenever Kyoko was near. He didn't recall most of his actions during that time, but that didn't make him feel any less shame for what had occurred. It didn't matter that no one seemed to hold his actions against him, for he himself held it all against him, weighing him down immensely.

The temporary facility they were using for the moment was far smaller than the old Coalition Headquarters, leaving Makoto with many awkward opportunities to run into Kyoko. As a result, he ended up spending most of his time in the medical center, feeling terrible about the people who ended up there. He wondered what the medical staff thought of his sleepless nights at Jennifer's side.

"..."

Sighing, Makoto figured he should warn Kyoko that it was him who wanted to talk to her. "It's me."

Kyoko blinked in mild surprise when the knock came on her door, as though she were snapped out of her thoughts. However, it wasn't until Makoto identified himself that the young woman froze in her place, as though her body instinctively tensed up at the mere sound of his voice. And she would be lying if she said she didn't know why. Between the immediate Coalition Civil War and now the Eveline Incident, it almost felt as though a series of tragedies were just waiting to befall Kyoko the moment she returned to the Coalition, piling up and ready to unleash themselves. Tragedies that made up for the lost time.

Perhaps in a way, it would have been better if she never came back.

But it was not a thought Kyoko enjoyed entertaining, so she sighed and shook her head slightly.

Wordlessly, Kyoko pressed a button on her desk, the door automatically sliding open with a soft hiss and a whirring sound, exposing herself to the boy's line of sight. She visibly averted her gaze, looking to either her own report or whatever else on her desk, but Kyoko knew she had to talk to him one way or the other if he was going to show up at her door.



"What do you need?" She asked curtly, actively avoiding eye contact with Makoto.

As soon as Makoto walked into the room, he figured this had been a mistake. Kyoko could not even look at him, which only got worse with every passing second Makoto spent in her office. He did not know whether he should feel frustrated or hurt, which made him only annoyed at himself for thinking he had any right to be frustrated.

With obvious trepidation, Makoto stepped up to Kyoko's desk and placed a few manilla envelopes in front of her. "It's been a really busy time for the Coalition," he said as an explanation for the sudden surge of reports. "ODMA described Kyosuke's meeting with S.H.I.E.L.D. as 'satisfactory,' whatever they mean by that..."

By no means had Makoto read the reports as they were not for his eyes, but enough people still thought of him as leader enough to feel free to tell him most of what they would usually have to say to Kyoko, despite his objections. It was almost like people both respected him and did not care for what he had to really say. Makoto figured he could probably thank the civil war for that.

"They never even really told us much about Byakuya, did they?"

The lavender-haired detective hardly moved a single muscle as Makoto walked in and spoke, eyes as piercing as her silence glancing over at the envelope placed on her desk. Lovely, even more things to look over. Was there ever any end? No, Kyoko supposed not. How arduous indeed, but it couldn't be helped now, could it?

After a brief, uncomfortable silence, Kyoko responded to Makoto, brushing aside some stray hair with a mechanical movement in her arm. "No, I suppose not. Waller doesn't seem to be overly fond of mincing words," she commented. And yet, ODMA didn't seem to be fond of communication at all. For an organization to pride itself on efficiency, and then to do something like that... Though of course, they likely figured that it was all on a "need to know" basis. Of course, was Kyoko really so different in this situation? How she'd been around Makoto all this time?

All this time...

How long had it been now?

How long had it been since the Coalition Civil War? Since it had gotten out that the Revanchist had been infiltrating their organization? Since the remnants of Umbrella had resurfaced? Since their headquarters had been irreversibly destroyed? How long have things been like this?

Even with the system they'd set up, time was still a bit difficult to keep track of across different dimensions, but even so, it felt like too long. Knowhere, the station that senior Coalition member Cosmo once worked at in his home world and gregariously offered as a replacement for the Coalition HQ, was a competent enough new base of operations, but it wasn't quite "home." It wasn't the place that she'd built with her own hands alongside Makoto and the others at the beginning of it all. Perhaps there was some poetic irony to be found that what they'd built together was now destroyed.

But even so, the Coalition persevered, for better or for worse. It wasn't like the United Universes were faring much better, all things considered, but it was hard to spend any time pitying them when they were in a similar situation themselves, just without the publicity of being such a public organization. Members may have resigned or committed less time, the scope and influence of their work may have been undermined, but here they were, still alive, if one could even call it that. One could say that the Coalition from here on had been relatively quiet ever since, with a number of members directing most of their focus on Ash or Avalon and making sure things were secure there, but even so... Things were certainly different.

She had to wonder if it was okay to come back like this, after all this time. Makoto had changed, and so had she, even if she didn't realize it. For the year or two she'd been gone, it was as though they gravitated from each other five centimeters a second.

Makoto cleared his throat uncomfortably, snapping Kyoko back to reality, the usually observant and focused young woman oblivious to the uncomfortable silence between them. It was almost more familiar to her now than any attempt to talk further, but she knew she had to say something else. Anything. Anything to cut through this silence.

"I'll... look these reports over later. I was just thinking about clearing my head a little before you came in," Kyoko sighed, clasping her gloved hands together as she tiredly looked over the report titles.

"Yeah... You shouldn't work so hard, Kyoko. I'm sure even you could use a break from this stuff every now and then," Makoto said in an attempt to be considerate, though he admittedly felt a little awkward instead. He knew Kyoko secretly enjoyed indulging in this sort of tedious work, at least more than most other people, but there had to be a limit to it all. Scratching his cheek briefly, Makoto eventually went on. "Come to think of it, when was the last time you've even eaten? I know how... deep in your work you can get."



"Don't worry about it," Kyoko replied without missing a beat, still averting her gaze. Nothing in the tone of her voice, let alone body language, could even imply that she was grateful for the thought of Makoto's consideration, but truth be told, he did have a bit of a point. Maybe just sitting back wasn't enough, a meal might do her well.

... It was funny. Even after everything, Makoto Naegi was still caring enough to ask about how she was doing. Even after everything, Makoto Naegi was still considerate enough to comment on her well-being. Even after everything, he still acted like he cared. Even when he didn't have to act anymore.

Times like these, she wasn't so sure he was acting, and it perplexed her all the more.

Still, even so, Kyoko still said nothing despite the burning feeling in her chest. Her thoughts went back once again to Genji's words, about the state of her humanity. Was it something she actively repressed, or just something that others had already done for her? The Coalition leader had always kept everyone at arm's length, her hands a constant reminder of the consequences of trusting anyone too much, but Makoto, even back when they first met, had always so tenderly, benevolently threatened her with that kind of personality. It always made him frustrating to be around.

With a depressed sigh, Makoto turned around and began to walk away. However, he stopped as he felt something tug on his sleeve. With a perplexed blink, the boy looked back only to find that it was Kyoko's slender fingers, grabbing a hold of his shirt. She initially looked down to the ground, as if mildly abashed, before finally looking at him, directly into his eyes, for possibly the first time in quite a while, her expression just a touch softer than it usually was.

"... You haven't had dinner either yet, have you?"


The boy's eyes widened in great surprise, having not expected that kind of response at all. By itself, the question may not have been much, but... It was a start, right?



"E-Eh? Well... No, but... I don't really see how--"

"Then let's eat together," Kyoko said, standing up. The act of her meeting his gaze was short-lived as she looked away again, but at least it seemed to be under a different context now.

"... Just like we used to."

...

Makoto took a moment to compose himself, before resolving to answer, to give a response worthy of that offer. He didn't exactly know where this would go from here, but--

Ahem.

"I'm not... interrupting anything, am I?"

"?!"

As though a bullet shot through the air, both Kyoko and Makoto jerked their heads toward the doorway where the strange voice came from. Standing at the door stood an unfamiliar blonde man with an overly nonchalant attitude. Stepping back, Kyoko furrowed her brow. "Who... are you? How did you get here?"

"Ah yes, I suppose I owe you answers to questions like those, don't I? But fret not. All in good time. For now though, I can only say this. My name is Ollerus..."



"... and we have important business to discuss."

The countdown to the end of a certain multiverse came closer and closer.

And Ollerus continued gathering his numbers.​
 
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