Steins;Gate Universe Optional
Chapter Summary: Okabe and Kyouma's life after the events of the anime.
Word Count: 1029
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Think about it like quantum mechanics. The same electron can exist in several places at once.
Humans aren’t electrons, so you might think that a paradox would occur. However, there’s a difference occurs with time travel and not the electron. If you use a time machine to travel two seconds into your past, you’re minutely different now than you were then. This prevents things like the grandfather paradox from occurring, and shifts you to a—very slightly altered—worldline. However, anything you do to change the memories of your past self will cause a paradox since it changes the past.
Suzuha was right, and you didn’t believe her. This doesn’t bring any comfort; she’s not here to stop SERN’s plans. Mayuri will die, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. You can’t even rebel or escape. FB—the leader, here, of SERN’s Rounders—has made sure of that.
All it brings is dread. Pain, grief, all the emotions that you had been holding inside, all pour out at once.
She watches you dispassionately; she, the one whom you had called assistant, she, with whom you had confided every thought and fear, she, who was far more than the emotionless robot you had thought at first.
She resembles that emotionless robot now. Beautiful. She’s a woman now, beauty fully realized, confident and in control, and completely cold. She is seeing suffering, pulled the trigger and watched a friend die, and she doesn’t even care.
“I wanted you to know that this is pointless,” she explains after a pause. “I know every move you make. I’ve traveled in time, too, Okabe. You’re a lab rat in a maze, running through again and again, but there’s no cheese.”
You’d called yourself a mad scientist, but now, watching her, you know you had been a mere child, acting at the real thing. In the presence of a master all you feel is awe and dread.
Moeka’s eyes are wide, but she follows every order without question, an aura of worship in her eyes.
Kurisu runs into the path of Moeka’s gun, but it doesn’t stop the gun the future Kurisu is holding. “You’ve made a mistake. If anything happens to me…”
You all understand what she’s talking about. The Kurisu from SERN frowns deeper and actually looks concerned, and for good reason. If anything happens to the Christina of the past…it’s not certain that convergence will allow her to be killed, but if she gets hurt, that might stick.
That’s his assistant. Using her brain to break SERN’S plans.
She’d actually listened to him about the Future Gadgets. That’s Moad Snake he just employed. “Go, Okabe!”
“Get him!” FB yells, ice thawing in the face of her fury, but you run to the Time Leap Machine, just as before.
On paper, he’s the ideal candidate.
Driven. A genius.
He came to the UNIT scientists’ attention when he started posting on English chat boards. His mastery of English wasn’t that impressive. His mastery of science, on the other hand…
A few of the members had Japanese backgrounds, and they found much less than an even playing ground, especially when discussing time travel. Teams who had worked in certain fields their entire life were trounced by a man who had barely earned an undergraduate degree. Even the eccentricities of the man aren’t that difficult to deal with after you’ve worked with the Doctor.
But as the Brigadier is interviewing him, there’s something that holds him back. There’s something almost…broken about this man. He’s seen it enough in the army, those still suffering shell shock. The man acts normal enough. Well, normal enough for an eccentric scientist. It’s more…something about the eyes. The way he’d been shifty, distrustful, almost ready to make a break for it, claustrophobic and wary of people with guns. But even so, he’d kept in control. Despite the fear, despite the way he looks broken, this is a man who’s cool under pressure, who can act as befitting a UNIT scientist. Which should be a recommendation. It should.
He doesn’t know whether he can truly recommend this candidate.
He’s the asshole that sits in class and harasses the professor, disrupting learning. He barely takes notes. He loves baiting Kurisu.
And yet, he ends up with the highest grade on the test. It’s not just chuuni bs. He’s intelligent.
He’s annoying. He’s a snob. But his theories are interesting.
“Wait! You probably fail to recognize me in my current form. It’s a cunning ploy to avoid detection by the Organization.” I turn back, and the very short haired woman strikes a pose. “We share the name—Hououin Kyouma!”
This is a dream. And yet, female attire aside, as I stare into these eyes it’s like looking in a mirror.
“Why the sudden worry about staying fit?”
“Hououin Kyouma is wanted by many nefarious groups. I’ve been on the run for a while. You didn’t think that was mere figure of speech, did you?”
Daru pauses, then stage whispers to Mayuri, “You know, I think he’s actually serious for once.”
Okabe Rintarou needs Hououin Kyouma. At first, without that mask, he doesn’t know how to interact with the world. If he’s talking and he’s Hououin Kyouma…well, he doesn’t exactly have a script for every moment, but he’s sure of himself. He can actually act. Stripped of that, he’s vulnerable and…well, who the hell is Okabe Rintarou anyway? He doesn’t know; hasn’t known for years.
And, of course, there’s Mayuri. She needs it, too; and he’d do anything for her. Pluck the stars out of the sky for a present, and of course, he has moved heaven and earth and time itself, just for her.
Later, it’s because they’ll be waiting for a train, or Mayushii’s watch will begin losing time and need repairs and his heart will stop. He’ll mention something that no one ever said, not in this worldline, or react to something that none of the rest remember, and he knows they worry about his sanity, if he’s really losing it after all these years. Easier to just keep up the act, keep them guessing, then have them worry for real.
He’s still not quite sure who Rintarou is, but he suspects that Rintarou, the true personality, might be bound up with or connected with the Time Traveler in some way. He doesn’t want to think about it. Kyouma is a certainty. Real. Alive. It’s easy in a way that nothing is anymore, not even after it’s all over, so he clings to it for all he’s worth.