Aya had, admittedly, not slept much at all.
How could she? That card and the words it held still burnt away in her mind. It was as though every emotion, every thought, every piece of guilt from the past two years had been scrumpled up and dropped into a dark corner of her messenger bag.
She’d toyed with getting rid of it somehow. But every time her eyes drifted to the bag, Aya would be caught up in a sudden wave of fear. So clearly, she wasn’t meant to get rid of it, and she found herself caught up in distractions instead. Writing messages on the wall (memes, huh?), solving puzzles (successfully, to her surprise. Ayano had always been the puzzle lover, not her), trying to put some time into the work on her bedroom wall, and eventually, sleeping. Rather fitfully, perhaps, but she’d finally drifted off.
So the PA system crackling on at the time it did was very unwelcome.
P.K. Aya hadn’t known her outside of that first trial. But now here she was, blearily staring up at the dancer’s body. Her mind was, at first, too clouded to figure out what had happened. But as soon as she met P.K’s dead eyes… Aya understood instantly.
How could she not?
There was no verbal reaction. Still bleary eyed, unbraided hair tumbling past her shoulders in red waves, all the artist could do was stumble back; away from the body some were already attempting to get down from that lamp cord, away from those investigating it- out the way of the girl who’d just made a dash for the exit. Misaki, was it? Yes, Misaki, that was the girl who’d just bolted past so close to Aya she’d knocked the other girl slightly and spun the artist around a little.
After a few moments blinking in the direction of the door, something clicked in Aya’s mind, quickly swiping at her eyes with her pyjama sleeves before exiting the room herself.
Oh god, this wasn’t good. Aya could have been looking at herself after that motive. Stepping closer to the other girl, Aya spoke just loud enough for Misaki to hear. Her hands attempted to tug nervously on her braids but of course, they weren’t there, leaving her twirling a strand or two instead as she desperately tried to help.
"A-Asano-chan… it’s okay. It’s okay."
It wasn’t, it really wasn’t, someone else was dead and they were going to have another trial and then someone else would be dead; killed in a horrifyingly personal way. But she needed to say something, anything to try and ground Misaki.
"…Do you want to sit down? I’ll sit with you, it… it’s okay…"