The Let's Play Archive

Fatal Twelve

by Mix

Part 13: Dreams Eating Away

BGM: Lion House Cafe

05/14 (MON), Evening

You realize no one else works here, right?

Naomi drops her things off at the counter before donning the apron she's brought from home. I fill in the regulars about the culture festival and tell them not to worry about Naomi's presence. In exchange for my teaching her, she's offered to help out with dish-washing and other simple tasks for around an hour or so. I've told her not to bother, but she insists on it. It's gotten to the point where it'd feel rude to keep turning her down, so we've decided on a time for her to help me out.

Here's how things typically go when Naomi's around: We open at 4 p.m. on weekdays, and the hour or so after that, it's either completely dead or we have very few customers inside. That's when we either brew some coffee together, or she reads up on different types of coffee beans. The latter is more out of personal interest than anything else, since it won't come in handy for the culture festival.

Around 6 p.m., the regulars who are just finishing up work start dropping by, so that's when I have her help out for an hour. Afterwards, she kills some time either studying or reading books. Sometimes we chat when I've got the time, too. That's how things went last week, anyway.

Right, let's get started.

Oh, can I show you something first?

She takes something out of her bag after I nod. It's a transparent plastic bag. Inside are a number of cookies, made in the shapes of stars and hearts.

Oh, these are cute.

They're, um... my way of saying thanks. I made them at home yesterday.

I untie the red ribbon after she hands me the bag. A sweet smell wafts through the room as soon as I do.

Would you like to have some together after we brew coffee? A-Assuming you're fine with sweet things, of course.

...I'd love to, thanks.

I tie the bag back up to prevent the cookies from getting splashed with water while we're brewing.

Ehehe! I even made sure to use your favorite color for the ribbon.

Huh? How'd you know that?

Wow. You actually thought I wouldn't have known?

Leaving the cookies somewhere visible, I start the brewing process.

Yup. You've got this down pretty well now. You should be able to teach the others, no problem.

No way... I'd much rather practice some more. This may be a method for beginners, but... we know how clumsy I can be.

She can act as humble as she wants, but it's a fact that she's improving. I'm rather impressed by how well she manages it when she's properly focused. I wouldn't be surprised if she shot right ahead of me, if it were my gran teaching her.

This feels like a good time for a break. I've been looking forward to those cookies of yours.

We have no customers right now, so it's the perfect moment to take a break. Can't say for sure if that's a good or bad thing, though.

It's hard to see with the text box in the way, but...

...Naomi's cookies are on the saucer for the rest of this scene now. :3:

I place the cookies onto a plate and carry them over to our usual seats, along with some coffee. After appreciating how great they look, I finally take a bite.


Someone hits Naomi's panic button as she awaits my reaction.

These... are great.

I'm not good at making dramatic reactions, so this is the best I can do. Naomi's eyes shimmer with an excitement that matches her beaming smile.

What a relief...

I have a sip of my coffee before taking another bite.

Oh, actually...

I-Is something the matter?

These pair with coffee quite well, don't they? I'm struggling to find a reason why, though...

Yes! I made them with extra butter so they would complement the bitter coffee you make.

She lets out another sigh of relief, brushing her hand down her chest.

I'm so glad you like them...

There's no way I wouldn't when you went and made them for me.

There are a few too many for me to eat alone, so we end up eating them together. Baking sweets is apparently one of her favorite pastimes. She can bake a whole bunch of things, but cookies seem to be her specialty. It reminds me that my gran used to bake cookies as well. Granted, the taste was completely different from these. These are simple and mellow, much like Naomi. But at the same time,t hey don't feel as if they were made by someone not used to baking.

An idea hits me once we're about halfway through the plate.

Would you mind teaching me how to bake these?

Our customers would probably be thrilled to see more sweets on the menu. Learning directly from Naomi rather than trying to do so on my own is a much more realistic approach, too. And most importantly, I want our regulars to taste just how good these are. However... I can't help but remember Divine Selection when Naomi stares at me in utter amazement. Even if she does teach me, it'll all be for nothing if I get eliminated.

BGM: Silence
Sorry, forget I asked.

There's no way I can tell her about the possibility of me dying, but I am awfully close to doing so. There's definitely a part of me that figures I could lift some of the weight off my shoulders if I told someone about all this.

BGM: A Dot on a Piece of Paper


Her overjoyed expression quickly clouds over as she draws her face close to mine. I must look like I am mulling something over, so I rush to find a way to respond.

...I can't keep taking up your time like this. Things can't continue this way forev-

That's not what you're really thinking, is it?


Besides, I'm the one who asked you to teach me first. That, and well.. Um...

She struggles a bit before continuing.

Sorry, I'm just... not quite sure how to put this.

Don't worry about it.

BGM: Silence
...I want us to keep spending time together.

Her eyes immediately shoot to the floor, almost as if she's let the words fall out by accident.

Sorry. Something about me has been... strange lately.

You might just be tired after I made you do stuff you're not used to. Want to head home for today?

That's... That's not it.

She takes a small breath, raises her head back up, and looks me dead in the eyes. Her expression is almost oppressive.

Forgive me for asking out of the blue, but... could you hear me out for a moment?



I've been having an awful nightmare a lot lately.

A nightmare...?

Yes. It always starts out normal, with the two of us getting on the train and chatting away... But then... a fire breaks out all of a sudden... The flames spread throughout the entire train, and the heat alone makes it painful to breathe... But then, you dive in front of me... and shield me from the flames, only to be engulfed by them in my place...

She pauses a number of times while she talks. Her voice gradually gets more and more agitated.

After that, I... I can only watch as they kill you...!

BGM: A Dot on a Piece of Paper

...Do you remember when you started having this dream?

She shakes her head, which has turned to face the floor again, and then answers.

I don't remember exactly, but... it might've been ever since I first came here with you.

Why didn't you tell me sooner? Sorry, I don't mean to sound angry, but... if coming here is causing you undue stress, then...

That's not it at all! I love spending time with you and brewing coffee together! Doing so helps me to understand that it's just a dream, nothing more. It's just that... I hate seeing you die in front of my eyes, even in a dream! I'd never, ever want to see that... Never...

Her voice falters on her final word. I can see the tears welling up in her eyes.

I keep having this same dream... over and over...


That's not a dream. There's no doubt that what she's seeing is the cause of my death. A number of questions pop up in my head, but most of all, I'm flat-out shocked. I never would have guessed that she's been having a dream like that, based on her attitude. Especially when my own memory of the event is fuzzy, at best.

Don't worry, Naomi. It's okay. I'm right here.

There's still so much more I want to do together, with you, Rinka... I want to bake cookies... I want to go to the theme park again... So you... you won't die all of a sudden, will you?

I can't force myself to nod in response. After all, I'd already be dead if it weren't for Divine Selection. What she's dreaming about actually took place. It's just been “undone” for the time being. It makes me wonder... When Parca said our deaths had been undone, did she mean that the world's memories of the events themselves had been undone? I can't wrap my mind around how such a thing could even be possible.

However, the fact of the matter is that Naomi's memory of my death is so deeply ingrained in her being that she's reliving it over and over in her dreams.

Please, answer me...


Oh, no... I didn't want you to apologize... but, well... I do want an answer to my question. So long as you do that, I'm sure I'll be fine, even if I have the same dream again.

Sorry, but I...

I desperately hold myself back from saying something I'll regret. I'm far worse at lying than I thought, judging by how I keep apologizing and evade the question. Her head is cast downward, but her eyes are glancing up at me. The tears in her eyes are a lot more obvious than before.

And it's my fault that she's crying.

BGM: Silence

If there's anything on your mind, then please talk to me about it... The last thing I want is for you to just... disappear someday...

She says this with a resolute voice, despite her eyes being filled with tears. It just makes my heart ache all the more, though. She's likely to be haunted by that dream for a long time, assuming I keep the truth from her. And yet, telling her won't change the fact that I'm a participant. What's worse, I may even get her caught up in something dangerous if she decides she wants to try and help me out.

I can't say for sure how dangerous this whole situation is, but at the very least, I want to make sure she never comes in contact with those people from the dream world. Most of all, I'd have to reveal the fact that Miharu's also a participant, and that only one of us will make it through the whole thing alive. Keeping her in the dark would mean I don't burden her with my situation.

Actually, there's something I need to tell you, too.


This might worry you even more... In fact, you might not even believe me. That said, will you listen to what I have to say?

Of course.

She answers without hesitation. Just as I'm about to start my explanation, the chime on the door rings.

Sorry. Can we stop here until tomorrow?

Do you mind if I wait until you close for the night?

I'd hate to keep you here that long. Besides, I think it's better if we take a breather. Don't worry, I promise I'll tell you after school tomorrow.


She nods enthusiastically, and then helps put the tableware away. She leaves as I get back to work. Meanwhile, I try to focus on my work as much as possible to distract myself from my own uneasiness.