Another three days had passed since Kirigiri Kyoko had become herself, and in that time, quite a lot had occurred. She had felt incredibly satisfied with the direction her life had been going in lately; becoming the full clone of Kirigiri had left her feeling better than ever, although you wouldn’t know that by looking at her face. The investigation had continued, and since she had stopped going against the transformation, she had more focus and drive than ever to contribute to finding the truth. She enjoyed every quiet moment of introspection and intense thought as she and her twin did their work.
A last minute clue had led them to the location and identity of the the true culprit. Once they arrived, there was a struggle, and then a chase. With the help of each other and the local police department, they had managed to trap and corner the killer, however, it wasn’t without cost. Kirigiri--- the original Kirigiri--- had been injured. It was a head injury following a fall. It was nothing life threatening, and she’d be fine, but for now she was bedridden and unconscious while her new clone was left to sit and watch her at her bedside. The doctor told her it was likely that while her mental faculties would be left undamaged, it was very likely that she’d suffer memory loss. If so, it may not have been permanent, but it was likely to persist for a significant amount of time. They could only wait until she woke up to see if she remembered anything. During the next two days, a few brief moments of consciousness seemed to answer this. At first, Kirigiri had been glad to see her copy reawakened, but another moment passed and her initial reaction said it all.
“...Who are you?”
She remembered nothing. This situation wasn’t the worst in the world, as there was a simple cure; the pill that had transformed her in the first place.. Although she hadn’t obtained the pill the first time, she did have all the memories of the Kirigiri who did. The pill was specially manufactured by a new, powerful company that was capable of such things, but Kirigiri had had to pay an extraordinary amount in order to receive it. The main goal of the pill was to transform one person into another entirely, but it had a side application; if a person became injured, taking “their own pill” could easily bring them back to their normal state by transforming them into their usual condition.
It wasn’t an issue of money- she had just solved a giant crime and had been rewarded handsomely for it, and her detective business had been doing wonderfully even prior to this crime; they had enough money to have dozens of pills made. That wasn’t the issue. The creation of one pill took months and months of careful planning, and Kirigiri and Naegi were scheduled to be home days ago. Since they had already ordered from the company, they could have more made much quicker, but it would at least be several weeks, if not longer, until they would arrive. This wasn’t acceptable; people were expecting them; clients, friends, families. Kirigiri had obtained the brown reversal pill that would turn her back into Naegi Makoto at the conclusion of the investigation (she gained the memory of where the original Kirigiri had placed it in her hotel room), but she had yet to take it.
There was an alternate solution, of course. Kirigiri didn’t need to take the brown pill herself; her incapacitated original self could do that. That was, logically speaking, the most optimal solution. Instead of manufacturing another Kirigiri pill, by having her other self take it, they could have the results they required; one Makoto and one Kyoko. It really didn’t matter which was which, at least in the objective sense. The thought passed through her mind that she would probably object to that, but… it was for her own benefit. Kirigiri knew that she would’ve rejected her transformation too, just two short weeks ago. And she would’ve been a fool to do that. This wasn’t wrong. She wasn’t justifying this to herself, and she wasn’t using this as an excuse to keep this life. She knew that. It was just the thing that made the most sense for everyone. Once the original had recovered enough to leave the hospital, she took her (in her confused and dazed state) back to the hotel. She made tea. Everything would be better in the morning, as long as she drank all of it. The old Kirigiri appreciated how kind her “twin sister” was being, despite all of the trouble she was putting them through. Kirigiri gave her the tiniest of smiles as she watched her sleep, shutting the door just as the tip of her nose began to darken.
Six long days had passed since Naegi Makoto had found himself helplessly trapped within the body and control of Kirigiri Kyoko. Every day he’d wake up and watch his body dress itself and go outside to meet the original Kirigiri for a quick morning briefing before they split up to pursue their alternate explorations, meeting up again at the end of the day for a discussion of what they had each found. It became clear that this mystery was going to take more and more time, and he wasn’t fond of his current situation.
However, certain things had definitely improved since his imprisonment began; the continuous, never-ending barrage of Kirigiri’s inner thoughts and emotions had eventually started seeping into his, the thought of which was incredibly unnerving, but it at least gave him a sense of clear headedness and familiarity that helped him get through the hours with considerably less difficulty. Kirigiri wasn’t one to freak out or get anxious during a difficult situation, she was one to try and find a way to solve it, and that special lack of panic made the whole odd set of circumstances much easier to handle.
In addition to that, Kirigiri’s body was also giving him more and more control, as long as he’d behave as she did down to the last detail. He didn’t want to ape her, but it was preferable to not having any control over her body. At first it had been difficult; his steps had been too bouncy, he had let himself smile or show fear, or he’d innocently examined the hem of his new skirt in a way that the real Kirigiri never would have, leading his body to immediately autocorrect him and demonstrate the “proper” behavior. However, in order to regain control, he quickly learned the proper movements. By now, the odd Pavlovian form of obedience training had trained him enough to be Kirigiri at almost all times, excluding the rare occasion in between examinations when he needed to speak to a suspect or a bystander. He didn’t even need to really focus on trying to be like her anymore, most of the time. The “system” had ingrained her style of movement and behavior in him like it had always been his. He now walked with purpose; his steps were smaller, but they were rigid and almost harsh. Whenever he paused to think, his old body had usually just let his arms hang loosely by his sides, or mindlessly scratched the back of his head with one hand, but now he always crossed him arms in the way he’d always seen Kirigiri do whenever she was lost in thought. He may have been in control again, but every step, every shake, turn, glance, and gesture was undoubtedly hers down to the tiniest detail. An observer would find it impossible to tell the difference between the two, had they been together, and the thought scared him. And scaring him more than anything else was that emotionless expression he now sported at all times. Whenever he’d catch a glance of his new face in the mirror he’d shudder internally. It wasn’t even his new face that did it, but just the fact that displaying such an dispassionate countenance was almost satisfying; that it felt good to know that he was giving off the same sense of mystery and indifference that Kirigiri did. Why did it feel right?
He had become accustomed to his new style of movement, but the sensations of his new body were impossible to get used to. He felt kinda embarrassed to admit it to himself, but being in Kirigiri’s body, at least on a physical level, actually felt really nice. Having long hair was a novelty that never got boring, and once again, wearing a female uniform was gratifying in a way that he didn’t want to think about or describe. Even with her cold demeanor, he had always thought of Kirigiri in the back of his head as a little cute, and there was a growing piece of himself that couldn’t help but find a little satisfaction in the fact that he was now just as cute himself.
Time continued to pass, and the days flews by, with them slowly inching closer and closer to the truth of the mystery. Although he now had her body, what had begun to affect him more than anything were those constant Kirigiri thoughts constantly tickling the insides of his new pink head. He was learning a lot more about her by hearing everything that she would’ve thought. Kirigiri’s internal thoughts were very similar to her outer appearance; concise and calculating. She was constantly analyzing and thinking about things in a much deeper way than he ever had. It was easy to see how she was such a fantastic detective. He was beginning to understand why she behaved and thought the way she did. Although Naegi knew from experience that it wasn’t the case, sometimes it was easy to get the impression that Kirigiri was a cold emotionless person. However, hearing her thoughts as his made it especially clear that this wasn’t true. Kirigiri wasn’t a robot or anything; she had feelings, (very muted feelings, but feelings nonetheless) but she realized that she didn’t need to think about them most of the time. By focusing primarily on the facts rather than her emotions, it allowed her to be a great detective. Naegi started to think that that made a lot of sense, and started to think how he may have let his emotions run too wild in the past. “Maybe trying to think more like Kirigiri would be the right thing to do, at least for now.” He started focusing more on the mystery, noticing (strangely, without issue) that he and the Kirigiri voice began to sound more and similar… a few times, even thinking the same things together in sync. Every time he did, small tingles of pleasure raced to his heart. Solving a mystery… thinking about things in the critical way Kirigiri did… there was something magical in being a detective that he’d just never noticed before. Something was intrinsically fulfilling about what he was doing, and he found himself complaining less and less.
Memories were another issue altogether. He forgot almost everything about his previous life; he could barely remember anything from his childhood or adolescence, but he found that Kirigiri’s memories and experiences were more than willing to fill up all that empty space. He remembered that he had been a bed wetter until the 5th grade, but he couldn’t remember what his room looked like, the middle school he had gone to, or even what his parents were like. He remembered a few individual facts about his old life, but most of what now occupied his mental history was the life of Kirigiri Kyoko. He remembered being called Kirigiri, having long hair, carrying a lifelong fascination with mysteries, and more. He remembered another father, the vague memories of another mom, the incident that lead to him wearing those infamous gloves, going through puberty in a much different sense… it was all new, but all so familiar at the same time. He even recalled some of her recent memories; he could even remember himself giving Naegi the pill in order to change him. It was only her life in bits and pieces, but more and more kept flooding in, and he already had far more of her memories than what was left of his. On a factual level, he was able to identify that he had not actually experienced any of the things that he had remembered, but in another sense, that didn’t matter. He recalled them all as if they had all happened to him. He felt no worry at the loss of his old memories; Kirigiri had assured him that this was entirely reversible, and this was only for his safety, anyway. Besides, the more he was like Kirigiri, the more he’d be able to focus on the investigation, and the quicker this would be over. He realized during this thought that he preferred being Kirigiri; it wasn’t a dramatic realization, just a simple statement of how he had been feeling. The feelings of embarrassment and unfamiliarity with his new body and rapidly changing mind had been replaced by those of a calm and decisive detective. He decided that he would refer to himself by her name. “For now, I am Kirigiri Kyoko. Accepting that will help the investigation. I am not worried, and I have nothing to worry about. I am not Naegi Makoto. Being Kirigiri suits me fine.”
After finishing up on the tenth day while walking back to the hotel to meet up again, she noticed that she couldn’t hear the voice anymore, but that her internal voice sounded just like Kirigiri’s did. It seemed that she had become so similar to the Kirigiri voice that they had completely merged together. This was fine, of course. If anything, it was good. It meant that she had succeeded in becoming Kirigiri, and that she’d be able to be even more efficient during the remainder of the investigation. She joined Kirigiri as they discussed their discoveries for the day. She knew Kirigiri may have not known that she had changed internally; she was acting the same as that morning, after all, the only difference was that it was now completely of her own volition as opposed to autopilot. The original Kirigiri probably assumed that the real Naegi was still thinking like his normal self under the layer of Kyoko that had swallowed him whole. That was incorrect, of course, and the new Kirigiri knew that. She had gladly accepted her new self and was content in the thought that she was essentially as much Kirigiri Kyoko as the girl who had handed her the pill just a short time ago. However, that wasn’t important right now. As always, the task in front of them came first. There really wasn’t any reason at all why the original needed to be informed about her new mindset.Kirigiri Kyoko sat with her template and exchanged information. They were almost at a breakthrough, and she found herself completely entranced by the complex details of the riddle in front of them. Nothing would bring her more satisfaction than bringing the truth to light, and thankfully, they had all the time in the world.
As Naegi Makato watched his new body bend down at the knee to examine a dried bloodstain, he wondered just how he had gotten in this strange situation in the first place.
It had started, really, when he and the other five survivors of the initial Hope’s Peak Academy debacle had managed to escape the facility following the suicide of Junko Enoshima. As it turned out, the entire bit about the world having ended was just an elaborate hoax; although Junko Enoshima’s plan had resulted in the death of herself and about ten others, she had just kidnapped the entire incoming 78th class prior to the start of the year, brainwashed them, and pretended the world had ended in order to satisfy her sick desires. After they got out, despite the world's celebration that even a few of the missing teens had been recovered, the publicity had destroyed the school, and the remainder of the class, including Naegi, was left without a school to go to. Initially, he had planned to join another school as the year started, but Kirigiri had approached him with an offer; join her as her assistant at her new detective agency. She said she had valued his insight during the school trials, and that she wanted him to help her out. He had never been good at turning people down…
For a few months, everything had gone fine. It wasn’t exactly what he expected; they did investigate the types of crimes that Kirigiri had said they would, but Naegi found himself barely contributing at all. Most of the time he’d follow Kirigiri around for hours on end, holding various magnifying glasses and examinational tools, nervously watching her think, examine crime scenes, and interview various suspects. Occasionally she’d give him a bit of busywork to do, but it was obvious he was there for little more than moral support. Still, it wasn’t that he didn’t mind or anything; he wouldn’t even say that he would’ve rather been at a new high school. Helping her work was certainly interesting, and it was pleasant being around Kirigiri in an environment where their lives weren’t constantly on the line. She seemed fulfilled in her new role, and he even caught her throwing a smile once or twice his way a day before returning to the apathetic frown she’d become famous for. Things were going fine, at least it seemed so.
During one investigation, they’d traveled to another continent, thousands of miles away from home, in order to investigate a chain of murders of high level politicians. As they pursued one lead after another, it became clear that finding the culprit was extremely dangerous. After one close call during a stakeout, during which Kirigiri had narrowly saved him after things went wrong, it became clear that he was more of a liability in this situation than anything else. He felt embarrassed and more than a little guilty at his impeding of the investigation. Even the normally stoic Kirigiri looked a little shaken up by the event, as if he had come to some important realization. Once they were back to the hotel for the evening, Kirigiri broke a long silence (which Naegi had become accustomed to when working with her-- she wasn’t one to fill dead air with unnecessary chatter) in order to give him orders. “Naegi-kun. This mission is much more dangerous than I had originally anticipated.”
“Yeah, I’m sorry... do you need me to head home? I don’t want to mess anything up again.”
“No. That won’t be necessary. But I do have a task for you. I want you to take this before bed.” She handed him a small plastic bag with a pink pill inside. He looked at her. “It isn’t long lasting or anything, don’t worry. We will just need you to take it for the duration of this mission. As soon as we finish, I will give you the reversal pill. But there is nothing to fear. Goodnight.”
As if anticipating his confusion, she opened the door the his bedroom and quickly shooed him inside, shutting the door and leaving him to sleep. What had she meant by that? He knew she wouldn’t want to hurt him or anything, but he still couldn’t help but wonder what the pill would do. She didn’t mean it, but sometimes her personality left her intent shrouded in mystery. Hoping for the best, he swallowed the pill and jumped in bed, finding himself getting very tired very fast. His eyelids shut like rocks falling to the ground, and fell in a deep and dreamless sleep.
He woke up in the morning to the sound of Kirigiri’s voice. “Good, it worked.” Why was she in his room? He tried to turn his head to face her, but quickly found himself unable to move. It only took a moment for his body begin to move without his consent, however. His hand--- his incredibly pale, feminine and dainty hand--- moved up to his face and brushed the long pink hair out of his eyes. He had a fairly good idea of what had happened, but no matter how much he willed himself to, he was couldn’t make himself move in the slightest. His body; or her body, as he suspected, wouldn’t let him. He couldn’t even fully look as himself as he got out of bed, but it was clear that he was somehow in the body of Kirigiri. That’s what the pill did? That alone was strange, but coupled with the fact that his new body wanted to make all of his decisions for him, he felt downright terrified. Wordlessly his body began to work on putting on a familiar outfit that had been conveniently left on the nightstand, presumably by the original. He had no control of any of his new body: not his glove covered hands, not his newly expanded thighs and hips, and not even his eyes. But he could feel everything. Every movement, every touch, every feeling; it was all being broadcast to every bit of his new self and he couldn’t help but focus on it. He didn’t want to think about it, but it was impossible not to. His skin had been pretty soft for a guy, but her skin was like a plush pillow compared to his. He was in awe of the oddity of her fluttering skirt and her long hair gently pulling on the back of his new head, tickling his neck and back in a way he’d never felt before. He wanted to close his eyes out of embarrassment and respect as his body put on her bra, but he couldn’t even close or avert his eyes, forcing him to an unwilling peep show. During all this, he couldn’t help but notice the deliberate nature of his new body’s movements; even Kirigiri’s gait expressed a sense of raw confidence and intentionality as opposed to his old style of walking. He was used to walking around with an awkward smile, but he felt his face pulled to mimic the emotionless gaze he often worked hard to subtly encourage the real Kirigiri to change. Now, he was the one carrying it around.
After finishing tying his new hair braids together, he walked to the door and silently greeted the original Kirigiri outside. “Good morning, Naegi. I apologize for the dramatic response, but it was… necessary.” She paused for a moment, as if expecting him to respond, but then continued, seeming to know that he could not. “Again, this is a temporary measure. There are too many crime scenes to investigate for one detective alone, and I need to make sure that they can all be examined, and more importantly, that you’ll be safe. The pill you ingested changed a portion of your brain as well, and partitioned it off. Until I give you reversal medicine, that part of your brain, which is a partial copy of mine, will be in charge. Don’t fret if you find yourself hearing my thoughts or forgetting a few things… it is just until the investigation ends. I know I am asking a lot, but I you need to trust me. You don’t need to do anything, as my body and mind will do the work. Just relax, and… trust me, please.” She knew just how to manipulate him, even if for his own benefit. Naegi, as uncomfortable as he was, still recognized the importance of trust. He still didn’t really think this was a good idea, but he would trust her judgement. Not that he could tell her that, anyway.
That was several hours ago. Since then, they had split up, with Naegi’s new body taking him to a nearby museum to reinvestigate the body of the first victim. He could hear every one of Kirigiri’s thoughts overlayed on top of his as she investigated the body, putting all the pieces together. In one sense, it was interesting to get a view into her mind, but it made it almost difficult to think for himself. Despite her thoughts sounding much different in tone from his, it was getting hard to tell them apart. And whatever Kirigiri had mentioned about forgetting a few things seemed to be true as well. After trying to dig into his memories, he found himself struggling to remember his old address, the way his room had looked, and even his sister's face… apparently copying some of Kirigiri’s brain into his had some serious side effects. Still, for whatever reason, he couldn’t get himself too worked up about a situation that would freak out anybody. In fact, he think he was starting to feel like Kirigiri emotionally, as well. It was getting tough to feel too strongly about anything. It was like Kirigiri’s stoicism was infecting him… and he was starting to think it might have not been the worst thing in the world. It would only impede the investigation if he was freaking out, after all. It was weird, but he almost felt grateful to Kirigiri for changing him. After all, with two of them, the investigation would go much smoother. It was just the logical thing to do.
Naegi had already figured out that if he behaved as his new body would, it was fine with letting him take control with smaller movements. He had already retained control of his facial movements, and at first he tried to smile as he examined the room, but it was just… unnatural. He returned of his own free will to Kirigiri’s normal monotone expression, finding that it just seemed to make more sense. There was almost a solace in it, in acting just like she would. Maybe Kirigiri was right to behave the way she did. He would’ve kept thinking about it, but his body just discovered another clue, sending a train of intense Kirigiri thought upstairs to interrupt his. He tried to think over it, but found himself unable to, so he waited for it to pass, while a shrinking part of him continued to hope that this would be over as soon as possible.