nc-17 | violence | major character death | sexual content

Alice seemed fine when they got into the car; Clover felt like her head was gonna explode.

Akane had offered to have someone drive them home, but Clover told her to go fuck herself. Three fucking times now, kidnapped for these fucking stupid Nonary Games. They were going to send her to be trapped in the future and she'd never see her brother again. Light was on his way back from Mexico, following some stupid lead on her disappearance. Akane probably tricked him into going there so he wouldn't find her.

There was supposed to be some guy in Zamboni who said he had a drug that would take away esper ability. Light said it was probably a scam, but maybe Alice could get it and test it and if Clover took it, these fucking people would stop fucking kidnapping her.

It meant she wouldn't be able to work with Alice anymore, though. She snuck a glance at the woman next to her. She had to be as pissed as Clover was, but Alice looked calm and beautiful and perfect.

SOIS probably only recruited her because they wanted to work with Light, she thought. He was the smart one.

Clover picked away at her nail polish. Alice was silent the entire drive and even when she walked Clover into her apartment. Light wasn't home yet. If something had happened to him, Clover would have beaten Akane to death with the stupid water bottle she had offered.

That reminded her that she was thirsty - no way she was drinking anything those people gave her! - and she went to the fridge. There was the champagne that Light was saving for -

"Hey, it's New Year's Day!"

"An arbitrary holiday designating that we've orbited the sun once more. Who gives a fuck?"

So she was still mad. Hopefully she wasn't mad at Clover. It wasn't like she'd done anything to get them kidnapped on purpose. It wasn't her fault psychos kept trying to kill her.

Okay, maybe it was her fault that one time.

Clover got the bottle out; Light wouldn't mind if she helped herself, even if he wasn't here to enjoy it with her. Alice was pacing, one hand on her hip, her other up by her face, two fingers pressed against her temple. It wasn't easy to get the champagne open - he usually did this shit - but Clover managed, spilling some into two glasses. She held out the glass with the ladybugs on it to Alice, who reluctantly took it. Clover sat on the couch with her own glass - pink with unicorns on it. If her brother was here, he'd criticize her for drinking so quickly. He'd be able to hear her gulping it down.

It maybe wasn't the smartest thing to do on an empty stomach - she didn't remember if she ate before they were kidnapped - and soon she was feeling buzzy.

"Um, Alice, do you believe all that stuff about the religious fanatic?"

She stopped her pacing. "What did you say?"

"That stuff Akane said about there being a religious fanatic. Do you think she was telling the truth?"

Alice didn't answer right away. She sat down next to Clover and took a sip from her glass, wrinkling her nose as she did. Light always got nice stuff, even though Clover would be fine with the crap from the discount rack at the grocery, but maybe it wasn't fancy enough for Alice.

"Your brother said once that he thought non-espers could access the field, in a way. Not the way you do. He said when we experience déjà vu, it's because we're becoming aware, on some level, of things that have happened in other histories."

"Uh, yeah, I guess."

"I'm getting that feeling right now, Clover. We've done this before."

Well, if she meant sitting on the couch here, drinking something, yeah, just a couple weeks ago, after they got the intel on -

Clover blinks, and there's a strange man with a black eye and a busted-up lip helping her out of a weird coffin thing. She tries to shove him away, but he's too damn strong. He's trying to tell her to calm down, but how can she calm down? Where's Alice? She's dizzy as he picks her up like she's nothing and puts her into a chair. It's a really nice, comfy, super-soft chair that feels like it's covered in flannel pajama fabric, but she can't stay here.

There's a strange woman next to her, red hair pulled back in a loose ponytail. She tells Clover to be careful as she tries to get up.

"What did you do to Alice?!"

"I'm right here, Clover."

She turns around, relaxing only when she sees Alice, looking better than Clover feels, standing next to ... fuck.

Santa - Aoi - looks like shit. His skin is blotchy and his eyes are red - has he been crying? Is this another fucking Game? Clover looks at her wrists, but there's no bracelet. No weird anklet, no necklace, nothing she wasn't wearing before, nothing that might make bombs in her stomach explode. The red-haired woman touches her elbow and holds out a bottle of water.

"You're probably thirsty."

She smacks it out of the woman's hand and puts both hands on her shoulders, pushing as hard as she can, because she is NOT falling for that shit. It probably has drugs in it to make her sleepy, to start this crazy death game shit again. NO THANK YOU NOT FALLING FOR IT THIS TIME.

"Hey!" The strange man yells at her. Clover points her finger at him, ready to give him a piece of her mind, but the woman steps between them. She puts her hands on his arms and he deflates like a balloon.

"You said we had something to discuss," Alice says to Aoi. "Now would be good."

He clenches his fists and lifts them up, but not like he's gonna hit her. He keeps them close to his chest, and Clover can see they're shaking. He doesn't seem to notice or care when a tear falls from his eye.

The man and the woman look like they've been crying, too. The woman steps away, wringing her hands as she goes to get towels to clean up the water Clover spilled. The man pulls something out of his pocket - so small she can't see it in his palm, so probably not a weapon - and stares at it.


The woman nearly jumps out of her skin. Aoi and Alice don't react, but the man's startled and he drops what was in his hand, and Clover snatches it up before he can get to it. Some kind of pin. Silver, with writing on the back.

Clover blinks, and she's in her apartment, sitting on the couch, drinking milk out of a glass with ladybugs on it. Alice stands by the window, hands on her hips. Her back is so rigid it looks like it could snap at any moment.

"Do you believe all that stuff, Alice? That they took us to send us to the future to stop the virus?"

"I don't know." She turns around, and Clover doesn't like the look on her face. It's her I-have-bad-news-to-tell-you face. "Whatever happened, it killed Akane and six others. Including ... including Junpei Tenmyouji."

"Junpei?" Clover's eyes hurt, but she doesn't cry. She can't - that's what Aoi said. Being frozen messed up her tear ducks. Alice sits down next to her. Puts an arm around her. Junpei can't be dead. WHAT THE FUCK DID THESE ASSHOLES DO TO HIM?!

"I'm sorry. He didn't suffer. It would have been like falling asleep."

That sentence is weird - what the fuck was that supposed to mean? Who else did they kidnap? Clover doesn't even know this. Aoi hadn't wanted to talk about it in front of her, and Alice hadn't given her any details. Light's okay 'cuz Alice said so but did they take Jason or Nona or somebody?

"So somebody else did suffer?"

"Nobody you know." Her nose scrunches up in anger. "Someone was burned alive."

Clover shivers, pulls the quilt off the back of the couch and wraps it around her shoulders. What THE FUCK is up with crazy torture game people and fucking burning people alive?

She blinks, and Clover's in her bed, dark skin under her hands. There's some stickiness on Alice's breasts where the dress tape had been hard to remove, left on for too many days in that fucking freezing coffin.

Alice moans softly as Clover brushes her nipples with her fingers, and Clover can't really believe this is happening. Alice is completely out of her legion. She's smart and strong and beautiful and maybe it's only because they opened that bottle of wine. Clover can taste it between Alice's breasts. Some must have spilled.

She's never done this before - wanted to, with that pretty brunette in her drama class - and she knows what she likes done to her but has no idea what Alice wants. Licking and sucking at a nipple seems like a good idea, though.

With a small groan, Alice grabs Clover's hand and puts it between her legs. She's shaved or waxed or something so it's just smooth, slick skin. Clover feels herself shaking and she doesn't know if it's nervousness or just being hella horny. She moves her mouth to Alice's other breast while slowly slipping a finger inside. She feels tight, but not so much that another finger won't fit, so soon she's sliding two in and out.

"Fuck, Clover, please."

She doesn't explain, but her hand is tangled in Clover's hair and is gently pushing down, so Clover's pretty sure she can figure it out. Alice has to scoot up on the bed a little so Clover isn't hanging off the edge. She really has no idea what she's doing as she puts her mouth over Alice's clit, poking it with her tongue. Alice's hips buck up and Clover pulls back.

"Hey, that hurt my nose."

Any frustration Clover has disappears when Alice touches her face.

"Sorry. Take it as a compliment?"

Alice is smiling when Clover - carefully - lowers her head back down. But only for a moment, because she can hear the door opening and it has to be her brother, and she doesn't think she locked her bedroom door and -

She blinks, and there are people pushing past her. One of them nearly knocks her to the ground.

"Hey, fuck off, asshole!"

He doesn't even turn around to yell back at her. Clover hasn't seen these many people running and shoving and acting like idiots since there was that sale at Lush.

It's snowing.

Wait. Snowing in fucking LA in July?

It's not really like snow, she sees, once she holds out a hand and catches some on her palm. She rubs her fingers together and sniffs them.


She looks down at herself and realizes her clothing is torn. There's black shit smudged all over her arms and a giant gash on her leg. There's blood all over her heels.

She was ... she was just shopping. The mall.



He was right here, holding her hand, because it was crowded. But now she's outside ... except she's not. The Sephora is off to her left, but there's sunlight coming in, and something is burning, and there's ash, and WHERE THE FUCK IS HER BROTHER?!

She trips over a body as she stumbles back towards the shoe store. Her phone ribbits and she gropes for it in the pocket of her shorts and she keeps looking for Light. There's a head in her way and she kicks it like a soccer ball.

"Clover, are you okay?"

"I can't find Light, Alice. You have to help me find him." Everything'll be alright now, she thinks, as she steps over a leg. Alice will find him. Alice will ... leg?

The floor is not usually red.

"Alice? What's going on?"

It hits her, all at once. Dismembered body parts. Blood. Fire. A hole where the ceiling was. Ash. Her leg is still bleeding and there's a piece of ... something sticking out of her arm.

"I don't know. I can't get through to the Pentagon. I can't get through to anybody. We're being -"

Clover drops her phone when she finds Light, because it doesn't matter what the end of that sentence is.

Nothing matters now.


She blinked, and Alice was snapping her fingers in front of her face.

"Oh, thank god. You looked like you were having an absence seizure. There's no history of epilepsy in your file. Has this ever happened before?"

It was like she was speaking in slow motion. Clover opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out.

We're being bombed.

That's what Alice was going to say.

There was bombing and Junpei was dead and Alice and Light was dead and they were kidnapped but Akane was dead and it was just Aoi and then Light was dead and -

"It's true," she whispered. "Everything Akane said was true."

Alice had her hands resting on Clover's forearms and her fingers tightened just a bit before relaxing.

"You had a vision. From the field."

"Light's gonna die." Clover closed her eyes and let herself cry, because these people were gonna kill her brother and why did there always have to be bad guys and why did they want to kill everyone? Why can't everyone just get along and not kill each other?!

"No." Alice drew her into a hug. "We're going to work with them. We're going to stop whoever this is."

Clover clung to her, her hands splayed across her bare back, sobbing against the uncomfortable metal ring of her top, because there was no way Alice could promise her that.