Itsuki Hanazawa was silent, orange eyes staring out across the courtroom at their former associates, almost as if they wanted to be sure that, if they were going down, none of the others were going to forget their face. They had no intention of dying without leaving a mark, and even when that ever so familiar chain shot out from the space beyond the trial room to lock around their scarf-covered neck and drag them away, they were staring with a blank yet somewhat… accusatory gaze at the courtroom’s occupants, excluding only a certain exorcist from that piercing look.
You did this to me, those eyes seemed to be saying, and none of you were going to forget it.
Looking away from the now-empty podium, you found yourself looking up to the screen that revealed itself from the wall that flickered to life easily. Static gradually cleared itself from the image to show Itsuki wandering about in a city that should have been full of life but was now completely lifeless. There were no people occupying the shops they passed by, no vehicles slowly driving down the formerly crowded streets, but even so, even with that apparent strangeness, Itsuki seemed to know full well where they were headed. Each of their steps had purpose behind them, and their eyes were trained ahead, not straying away to look at what was around them.
There was only one place that this could be, after all.
The tap-tap-tap of their sneakers against the pavement was a quiet backdrop against the otherwise silent execution, and the photographer’s hands were still in their pockets, not saying a single word. There was nothing to observe, nothing to focus on besides their lone figure making their way through the city, ducking between buildings along a path that you could swear they’d memorized from how mechanical and easy their movements seemed to be.
Perhaps the silence was beginning to eat at your own nerves when Itsuki finally stopped before a building that would have seemed unremarkable to anyone else besides themself. In fact, if anything, it was notable in how unkempt it seemed to be, obviously having been abandoned and left to the hands of whoever claimed it first quite a while ago. For a moment, you thought you saw them knit their eyebrows together as they looked down at the ground, scuffing the tip of one shoe against the dusty pavement, as if it were troubling to even think about stepping any closer. However, an execution was an execution, and turning around and running away wasn’t an option.
Even Itsuki knew that very well.
You watched as they righted their expression back to its passive default state, rolling one of their shoulders as they reached up to adjust their scarf against their face. Slowly, they took one step after another, making their way towards the seemingly normal building with a strangely obvious sense of unease, considering the photographer’s usual unbreakable calm. Gently pressing their fingertips against the wood of the door, Itsuki silently pushed their way into the building, and perhaps you jumped when the screen suddenly fell back into static for a moment.
When the screen’s vision cleared once again, you were by the side of the person who was to be executed as they wandered the expanse of the building that was just as empty as the rest of the city had been. There was a pile of empty bags discarded in one corner, and a set of ratty old couches and chairs that seemed like they’d be terribly uncomfortable to sit on in another. On a table nearby, there was a small assortment of cameras that were in varying states of upkeep, though all of them looked as though they’d been well-used.
What… even was this place?
Maybe, just maybe, you heard the subtle click! that Itsuki seemed to miss as their mind became more and more preoccupied with whatever this place was dredging up, but it was when they placed one foot on the first step heading up to the second floor when you heard it. There was the sudden and distinct sound of glass being shattered as something was thrown against the wall of the building outside.
While you didn’t see what exactly had been tossed, neither did Itsuki, but you could certainly see the fire that sprouted from where the sound had come from. Glowing in bright oranges and yellows outside the window, you witnessed as the flames clung to the wooden exterior easily. Itsuki paused for a moment, then two – (was that fear you saw threatening to show itself in their eyes at seeing the fire? couldn’t be, right?) – before they turned on their heel and ran for the door.
Green scarf trailing behind them, they crossed the area of the empty building for a second time, heading for the door they had entered from. Hands nervously hovering by the handle to check for any heat, they quickly grasped onto it and turned –
Only to find that it wouldn’t open.
They jiggled the handle once, twice, three times because maybe, just maybe it was stuck, but it still stayed just as locked as before. They jumped when glass shattered again, watching as another set of flames rooted to the building and began crawling along the walls. Pulling their scarf tighter around their face and tying it to keep it in place, they almost seemed somewhat… frantic as they searched for an exit. The windows, another door, a crack in the wall they could try to break through – anything.
Once again, the feed on the screen cut out, but this time it was only for a second, if that, before it shifted to the point of view of someone outside of the building. A gas can was held in one of the individual’s hands, splattering gasoline across the walls until it was completely empty. He tossed the can towards one of the fires that had already been started, allowing it to be eaten up in the flames, and for a few moments, he simply stood there empty-handed.
You could see Itsuki’s form still hurrying about inside through the windows, and you were sure that the figure had to know that they were in there as well, but he either didn’t care or had planned it as such.
You heard the young man sigh as he reached up and adjusted the green hat that covered his blonde hair – (didn’t that movement seem a bit familiar?) – before delving one hand into his pocket to pull out a matchbook. He lit one match and tossed it towards the building silently; he lit a second match and did the same with it. One after one, he lit them and added more and more fuel to the flames.
You watched as the walls began to look less and less sturdy until they started to cave in on themselves, and you could definitely hear a certain someone calling for help from inside the burning building. They wouldn’t have much time; it had to be unbearably hot in there, and if the smoke didn’t permeate through their scarf first, surely the flames or the soon-to-be collapsing walls would get them.
Tossing the final match along with the matchbook itself into the fire, the boy shuffled his feet once before turning on his heel and walking away, muttering something about how it was a lot harder to move on than he’d thought as he pulled his hat farther down over his head. Beyond the screen’s reach, you heard the voice of another boy, shouting something about how it had taken him long enough to cut ties with the past before greeting the mysterious individual cheerfully as their voices and footsteps faded into the distance.
The flames crackled and ate at the building as it fell in upon itself, and you knew, as it continued to burn and the screen began to gradually fade to black, even if you hadn’t seen it, what the photographer’s fate had been.
[Itsuki Hanazawa, Super High School Level Architectural Photographer, has been executed.]
Monobear Theater || I Miss the Conversations || Itsuki [RE: Malachi, Mitsuru] [ATTN: Julia]
They weren’t surprised at Yuu shouting at them, demanding some truth that may or may not exist. From the manner that they didn’t send a single glance in the onnagata’s direction, it was obvious that whatever he was asking for them to do didn’t matter to them. What else had Yuu Sagara ever done in this place besides yelling, crying, and making an absolute show of himself? Well, he was an onnagata, after all – an actor – and Itsuki supposed that his nature was almost fitting of his occupation.
(That didn’t mean they had to like it.)
Itsuki simply blinked in that slow relaxed manner of theirs, absentmindedly watching Malachi’s pen scribble on the page within his hands until he ripped it away, the sharp sound of paper tearing jerking them back to attention. Despite the lack of change in their expression, they couldn’t help but let their mind wander as the trial’s explosive action winded down once again. At least, this time, it had a definite end. There wouldn’t be someone bleeding out on the floor from some crippling injury that no one could predict; just like the rest of the trials, the class would be leaving this courtroom with one less person.
This time, that happened to be them.
(What was Monobear going to do to them? What were they going to be put through?)
They couldn’t help but feel slightly relieved that Malachi’s grin was on his face again when he approached them, pressing a folded up note into their hands. Honestly, they wouldn’t really have… known what to do if he’d been visibly upset, if he’d cried or tried to hold them. It would have seemed so unlike him that Itsuki doubted they could even imagine those things. They didn’t watch as he turned away and returned to his podium, instead choosing to carefully unfold the paper they’d been given.
…This was just like him.
Their eyes squeezed shut for a moment, as if amused, before opening them to read it over again. With a somewhat content-seeming sigh, they folded it back up, pressing the crease lines cleanly together before slipping it into their pocket. In that same movement, they approached the exorcist again, carefully handing… something to him and leaning up to presumably whisper a message back.
Nodding, their hand went into a different pocket in their jeans as they finally left the exorcist’s podium, continuing around the circle until they arrived where Julia was slated to stand. Once again, they grabbed her attention before slipping something into her hand and moving away. They backed up, patting their pockets as if trying to check whether they’d handed out everything that was necessary before making the lap back to their own podium, satisfied with whatever they’d done.
They studied Mitsuru for a moment when he approached them, sizing him up and trying to decide whether telling him anything they knew was worth it. They could die and take every last bit of it with them, officially leaving the majority in the dark, but… really? What could giving him a little bit of insight hurt? Adjusting their scarf, they beckoned the game maker closer to speak quietly about something for a few moments. Eventually though, they waved him off and… seemed to be done.
Itsuki let out another sigh, though this one seemed much more weighted, as they silently stepped back up to their own podium. The exchange between Masayuki and Mitsuru hadn’t gone completely unnoticed by them, but… they didn’t care. What did it matter to them whether their theories were correct or not? It certainly wouldn’t change the result of the votes, nor would it alter the fact that this was going to be the last day Itsuki Hanazawa lived.
(They… really were going to die, huh?)
Being faced with the reality that they were going to die – not as a possibility, but as a definite event happening in the near future – left a person to wonder about a lot of things. All those wishes for the deceased parties of this place to rest in peace, did they actually have any effect? Did they matter; was it restful at all after a person was no longer on the living realm?
Well… they supposed they were going to find that out soon enough. After all, with having admitted that they’d been leading Monobear on for the entirety of their stay here, there was no way that he’d be easy on them.
They swallowed thickly, hands balling into fists by their sides, and their eyes fell to stare at the worn and swirling wooden patterns on the surface of their podium. Despite wanting to be completely at ease with what was going to happen to them, the uncertainty of what they were going to face still managed to… eat at them. Perhaps it was the silence of the courtroom that made it seem that much worse, but they could hear every single thump of their heart within their chest, and they didn’t like what it implied.
Itsuki Hanazawa took a deep breath, enjoying the sensation of their lungs taking in air properly for what might be one of the last times, and… they waited.
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He had a feeling in his gut that his little request would go ignored. And then, on top of all that… Mitsuru. Had they all just voted for Itsuki because they hadn’t been sure if Ohno had done it? Had they voted for Itsuki because they’d felt confident that they were the one that’d killed Blanc? Kuzou had spent all that time convincing the others to vote for Itsuki as if he’d known that the latter was the case. And it was only now that he’d…
He’d be biting down on his tongue if he still had one. Instead his head is bent low, pen moving across the page quickly, erratically. It doesn’t matter what anybody else says, it doesn’t matter what they did – hasn’t that been his little philosophy this entire time? That none of this matters, not in the long run? Ha ha. He wants to laugh aloud but doing so would just be a waste of time. Besides…it’s not like there’s much to laught at at the present.
And don’t get him wrong – it’s not like the attachment they felt towards Itsuki was deep, but they’d gotten more affection (? for lack of a better term) out of him than anyone else on the ship – or on the planet. So that was that, his reasoning behind writing the words he was writing on the page right now, already wanting to kick himself for being so… sentimental (for lack of a better term). He isn’t about to cry though, god, how embarrassing would that be? No, even now he’d be able to watch Ituski’s executing with a serene smile on his face, as if he’s totally unbothered – because he is, right? Right?!
Okay, inhale, exhale. Start counting. Counting…what? The seconds until Hanazawa is dragged away aha ha ha… one, two, three…
Handwriting getting more and more cramped, the page getting cluttered – but let’s be honest. What he has to say can’t be that important right? Every time he opens his mouth (or at least opened his mouth) he’s brushed aside, treated as a joke; and of course that was fine with him, that was the point – but because of that, the moment his words might have mattered…
Oh well. They were going to die one day anyway.
And the page is torn out, folded up as he walks towards Itsuki Hanazawa, the closest thing they had to a friend in… God, it’s been an embarrassingly long time. The moments sure fly by when you don’t give a shit about anything other than…well..
He reaches them, slips the note into their hands, that insufferable smile on his lips, as if he’s just given them a large sum of money rather than, well, the last thing he was ever gong to give them before returning to his podium, smile leaving his lips, his face reflecting Itsuki’s usual, stoic stare.