Note: This is a fic fragment that is set after Fatal Frame III, featuring mostly characters from II.

Sense of the Remaining
by Estirose
c 2012

It was strange, Itsuki thought, to be like this. Their whole village - even the recently dead - had appeared suddenly in the forest, with no idea of how they got there.

The world had changed, somehow. They were some one hundred to two hundred years in the future, and everything was different. The government was trying hard to make them fit in, but how does one do that when one is hopelessly out of time?

Even their village wasn't there anymore. It was somewhere in a lake caused by a dam. Progress. Itsuki had never thought he'd live to see it, not after everything that happened.

One of the teachers stepped in, a folklorist of some kind named Amakura Kei. He smiled warmly at them, though Itsuki noticed few smiled back. Itsuki liked him; he was kind. But he sensed the others resented having to go through this, having to live.

Sae leaned back in her chair. Itsuki wasn't sure why she was alive, too. But he wasn't going to argue. She'd asked Amakura-san if he could find out what happened to her sister, but he hadn't found anything out yet.

Amakura-san started talking about family and housing in modern Japan. The slide projector had taken a little getting used to - they'd had film, but barely. He flipped to the next slide. "I live with my niece and two friends-"

There were murmurs in the audience, and Itsuki took a look at the picture. He soon spotted what the other villagers had - that the youngest woman in the picture had the mark of a Remaining.

But how was that possible?

Kurosawa-san, Sae's father, spoke. "Who is the young woman in the picture?" he asked, his finger wiggling about until he could manage to figure out how to point in the projected light. He was pointing at the girl, the Remaining.

"That's my niece, Mio." Amakura-san was probably wondering why his niece was so important. Itsuki itched to explain it to him, but he knew it wasn't his secret to tell.

"Did she have a twin?" Kurosawa-san asked. There were several people making murmurs of assent. At least they weren't bombarding the teacher.

"Yes. How did you know?" Their teacher was looking about, staring at one then the other to try to figure it out.

But nobody explained. Itsuki didn't expect them to.

"We would like to meet her." It was another person in the audience. The others agreed, if only to see the Remaining that they didn't know about.

"I don't know… Mio suffered a terrible trauma after Mayu, her twin, disappeared." Amakura-san shook his head. Itsuki could well imagine exactly what that trauma was, having gone through it himself; he wondered if Mio's twin still floated around her as a butterfly.

"We can help." Itsuki spoke up, and he thought he could see Kurosawa-san's gratitude.

After all, a Remaining was a Remaining, and traitor though he had been, anything that he could do to bring a Remaining back to the village was something they could all live with.

"We're her age," Sae said. Between them, they were the outcasts, they who had lost their own. But maybe they could save her. And her uncle would save them.

"I'll ask Mio," Amakura-san said, and continued on with the pictures. He switched to a picture of a modern house, and it seemed like the matter was over.

But Itsuki knew that it wasn't.


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