Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Ch.52 posted 10/21

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Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Ch.52 posted 10/21

Postby dewelar » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:20 pm

Okay, here we go. This is my first real fan fiction (I don't count my one-shot Rin diary). A few notes about it:

This is a continuation of the bad (or neutral, if you prefer) ending of Lilly's route - sort of. The continuation actually picks up immediately after Hisao confronts Lilly at The Shanghai and they break up (for all intents and purposes, anyway), and will last through summer break and possibly beyond. As such, there will obviously be spoilers for Lilly's route, as well as probably every other route in the game. The reason for this is that, due to the nature of this story, certain events that happen on other routes will happen here, but modified in some way. Also, due to the vague nature of the timelines as presented within the game, I have taken some minor liberties with the dates of certain events. For instance, given some of the indications within the game, I have placed the date of the anniversary of Emi's accident, where in her own arc she visits her father's grave with Hisao, on the same day as the aforementioned Shanghai meeting. Since there was no mention made of classes on that day in Emi's arc, I concluded that it also took place on Sunday. Also, I am using ProfAllister's post from this thread for other timeline-related stuff. Hope said poster doesn't mind, as it appears well thought-out.

The general concept of this story is that it follows Hanako, Hisao, and other KS characters as they deal with the aftermath of the aforementioned ending. There will be chapters told from the point of view of each of them, along with other major characters. This is also the first time I've ever written anything that wasn't an educational paper for which I've actually used an outline.

So, off we go.

NOTE: I have provided a table of contents to the story proper below. However, to those of you with the time and the motivation, I highly recommend reading through the thread sequentially rather than via this index. There is a lot of wonderful discussion and speculation about the story (and occasionally other tangents) provided by the community, which has been both a joy for me to read and a force to keep me motivated to continue writing. One or two ideas therein might have even snuck their way into the story here and there :wink:. Anyway, no matter how you read this story, I hope you'll enjoy it!

Chapter 1 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 2 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 3 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 4 PoV: Emi
Interlude: Tanabata Drabbles PoV: Various
Chapter 5 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 6 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 7 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 8 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 9 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 10 PoV: Akira
Chapter 11 PoV: Emi
Chapter 12 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 13 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 14 PoV: Emi
Chapter 15 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 16 PoV: Lilly
Chapter 17 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 18 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 19 PoV: Emi
Interlude 2: The New Class Rep PoV: Hisao
Chapter 20 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 21 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 22 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 23 PoV: Emi
Chapter 24 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 25 PoV: Lilly
Chapter 26 PoV: Emi
Chapter 27 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 28 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 29 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 30 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 31 PoV: Lilly
Chapter 32 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 33 PoV: Emi
Interlude 3: The Correspondent PoV: Takako
Chapter 34 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 35 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 36 PoV: Lilly
Chapter 37 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 38 PoV: Emi
Chapter 39 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 40 PoV: Lilly
Chapter 41 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 42 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 43 PoV: Rin
Chapter 44 PoV: Emi
Chapter 45 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 46 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 47 PoV: Shizune
Interlude 4: The Wake-Up Call PoV: Noriko
Chapter 48 PoV: Emi
Chapter 49 PoV: Lilly
Chapter 50 PoV: Hisao
Chapter 51 PoV: Hanako
Chapter 52 Part 1 Part 2 PoV: Emi
Last edited by dewelar on Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:01 pm, edited 76 times in total.
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Developments, Chapter 1

Postby dewelar » Mon Aug 05, 2013 1:37 pm

It's the Sunday before summer break, and I've spent most of it in the library reading. It's been raining for most of the afternoon, which means I'm the only one here besides Yuuko. This is usually the time when I'm most comfortable with reading, but today my mind is drifting more than usual.

Lilly and Hisao are on their mysterious second date, and I briefly wonder where they went. For a few days, Hisao raved about their last date, and bemoaned the fact that he'd never top it. Lately, though, he'd been unusually quiet during lunch. On the rare occasions I'd seen him here, he seemed to be thinking more than studying. I pushed back my concerns at the time, knowing that we were all under a lot of stress. Now, I just hope they're enjoying themselves, whatever they're doing.

By the time the library closes, the rain has stopped. There's a chill in the air, which is echoed by the dampness of the ground as I walk back to the dorms. As I open my door, I hear a soft voice from just off to my left.

"Hanako, is that you?"

"Yes, Lilly, it's m-me," I reply. There's something off about my best friend's voice, but I can't place it. "I just got back from the library."

"I'm glad you're here, Hanako...can you come to my room for tea when you have a chance? I've got something I...I'd like to tell you."

I don't know that I've ever heard that hitch in Lilly's voice. She doesn't often get upset, at least not visibly, but I've spent enough time with her to recognize that something is wrong. Did something happen on her date with Hisao today?

"O-okay. Be there in a few minutes."

After changing into my nightgown, I go next door to Lilly's room and knock.

"Is that Hanako?"

"Yes, Lilly."

"Please come in."

I slowly open the door, and I can see right away that something is wrong. While Lilly has her usual calm smile on her face, her eyes are obviously red. I can only remember having seen Lilly cry once, and that was when Hisao...

Oh, no...he didn't have another attack, did he?

I close the door behind me, and I sit down on the floor while Lilly goes about her ritual of pouring our tea. Once she's finished, I know I have to say something. I try my best to steady myself, but in the end I can't keep the dreaded stammering from my voice. "L-lilly, what's wr-rong? Did s-something h-hap-"

"Hanako, don't worry about Hisao." Lilly had anticipated my question, as she does so often, and moves to ease my concern. However, she adds something unexpected: "He's fine, I think...at least, physically."

"W-what do you m-mean?"

"I'll answer that later. There's something more important that I need to tell you first."

Lilly's wearing one of the most serious looks she's ever worn, and she's telling me not only that there's a problem with Hisao, but that there's something more important than that to tell me, something that obviously isn't good. My mind is rushing to places I can't bear for it to go, but I do my best to prepare myself for whatever is coming. I wrap my arms around my knees, and Lilly helps a bit by coming around the table to sit next to me, leaning back against her bed.

"Hanako, you know that Akira will be leaving for Scotland soon."

"Y-yes..."

Lilly lets out a heavy sigh. "What I haven't told you is that when she was asked to come to our family's home, I received a summons to join them as well."

What? They...summoned her? They have no right to do that, not after all this time! Wait...if she's telling me this, that means she's actually...

"A-are you..."

Her shoulders slump, her body finally betraying her efforts to maintain her usual brave face. "Yes, Hanako. I've decided to go."

I turn to Lilly with a gasp, my head spinning with confusion. A thousand thoughts run through my mind, most of them bad, some of them downright terrifying, but ahead of all of them out of my mouth is the simplest and most direct.

"Why?"

Lilly puts a hand on my shoulder, her small smile making its best effort to cover her face again. "Because they're my family, of course."

"L-lilly, I'm n-not stupid. Y-you've known about this for w-weeks. If y-you...knew you were g-going...if that w-was all there was to it, then you would have s-said something before now. S-something else m-must have happened." Lilly's face clouds again, and I know that I was right. "What's ch-changed?"

She pauses, trying to put whatever it is into a form that will be least painful, I imagine. After a long moment, she lets out a breath and starts. "I suppose I can't keep this part from you for long, either. Hisao found out about the summons from Akira. He asked me about it while we were at the Shanghai, and...well, it didn't end well."

"Y-you had a fight?"

Now a smile does return, but it's a sad one. "That, I think, would have been easier. At least it would have shown me that he's willing to fight. Instead, he just...accepted it, and we...parted."

This sets my mind reeling.

How is that even possible? Hisao loves Lilly! He would never let her go like that! That sounds like something...

Like something I would do.


I barely even hear her continuing. "I suppose it's kind of a taste of my own medicine." She chuckles wryly, a strange sound coming from Lilly. "After all, I've been accepting where my life has taken me for as long as I can remember. The one time I think I might just be able to break away from what I'm supposed to do, because I finally have someone for whom making that decision is worthwhile, that someone is..."

Lilly's voice catches again, and her head sinks into her hands. "That someone decides he's not even going to let me make the decision!"

Hisao. Hisao broke up with Lilly? What kind of insanity is infecting my friends today? I can feel my anger rising in my chest.

"What did he s-say to you?"

Lilly picks her head up. Her expression is a twisted mix of anger, despair, and that nearly ever-present smile. I don't think I could ever say I'd seen Lilly look ugly, but if she ever could, it would look like this.

"Nothing. He told me he knew about the summons, then he asked what I intended to do. I was...taken off guard, so I tried to gather my thoughts and explain the decision. I began to tell him how much being with my family meant to me after all this time, and...apparently he took that to mean that I'd already decided to go."

"H-had you?"

Lilly opened her mouth, then closed it again. Her expression cleared somewhat. "When I went out this afternoon, I thought I hadn't. I thought I was still open to being...influenced. However, I suppose that, in a way, I had. I love Hisao very much, no matter what happened tonight. As I'd been considering my decision, though, I began to have...doubts."

"Lilly, Hisao l-loves you! I kn-now he does!"

"I believe he does too, in his own way. However, there is still too much about himself that he's unwilling to tell me. Maybe if we'd had more time, he might have been able to reveal himself more, but without knowing that he would, or could, I can't give up this chance to reconcile with my family. If I reject this opportunity, I might never have another."

She'd mentioned her difficulty in getting Hisao to open up to her before, but at the time I thought it was just a fleeting concern. Had I known she had this decision to make looming in the background, maybe I could have said something to Hisao...

Who am I kidding? I knew how much it bothered her, so I could have done that anyway, but I never did. I'm still useless.

"I offered the possibility of...trying a long-distance relationship, but he rejected that out of hand. I know it wouldn't work, but I think...I was grasping at any chance I could not to say goodbye. I apologized, and we made some small talk. In the end, we just...sat there while the time slipped away. When I finished my tea, I walked away. I'm not even sure if he noticed."

I move in to wrap my arms around Lilly, saying "I'm s-sorry, Lilly. S-so...so, sorry." I bury my face in Lilly's breast as she wraps her arm around my shoulders. By now, the weight of everything that's happening truly hits, and tears are flowing down my cheeks. Focusing on Lilly and Hisao's breakup allowed me to push all of the fear and insecurity aside for a little while, but now...now my insides just feel empty.

"Hanako," she says in a small voice, "are you...crying...for me?"

Yes... How can Hisao do that to you...

No...how can you leave me just when I was starting to feel like a whole person again? Just when I was feeling like I was ready to show you that I didn't need you to protect me any more...

I don't even know why I'm crying any more. There's just too much!


In the end, I can't even say anything. I just sob uncontrollably into her pajama top while she holds my head in her hand. I can't raise my head to look at her.

"Don't worry about me, Hanako. I'll be fine." She softly kisses the top of my head. "And so will you. You'll see. You're stronger than you give yourself credit for being. Besides, you're still going to have Hisao."

Oh no...I hadn't even thought about that. Will I REALLY still have Hisao? I can...sort of talk with him without Lilly around. Small talk over games of chess...idle chatter in the library...working together in class, but never anything IMPORTANT. Not like Lilly. Yes, he's shown me great kindness, and I'm...fairly sure he doesn't pity me. But...what if what happened between him and Lilly comes between us? What if the only reason he's been kind to me was for Lilly's sake?

My stomach just keeps sinking, I think it's got to be underground by now.


"And...Hisao will still have you, too."

What.

"Hanako, you may believe that I think you depend on me too much, but that's not true...at least, not any more. You've begun to blossom, and I can only take a small amount of credit for that. In fact, sometimes I think Hisao may even have a greater claim to that credit than I."

That's not true, Lilly...

"But the one who deserves the most credit for that is you, Hanako. In fact, of late, I've begun to think that there's someone else who has been more dependent upon me than you have been in quite some time."

She can't mean...

I finally find my voice, if only for a moment. "S-someone else?"

I look up at Lilly, and her placid smile has returned once more. "Yes. Besides you and I, who does Hisao have here? When the President isn't running him ragged..." Lilly allows herself a brief chuckle at the thought, "...he spends almost all his free time with us, or in the library. He rarely even talks to Emi these days, and...well, I don't really think I even need to mention Kenji."

For a moment, I have a brief flash of the strange boy who lives across the hall from Hisao, the one we helped with painting the stalls for the festival. I'm not sure it's possible to be friends with him, but if anyone could, it's Hisao. He just doesn't...

He just doesn't try. Does he?

"He's going to need you, maybe even more than you'll need him."

Oh, Lilly...those are dangerous words. I need to change the subject, quickly.

"L-lilly, I..."

"He's going to need to spread his own wings soon, but he's not going to be able to do it on his own, at least not at first. He's going to need support, and I believe that, as his friend, you can do that for him."

I sigh in relief.

His friend...right, of course. That's what I've been to him these last few weeks, after all. All I need to do is to...keep doing that. That should be easy.

Shouldn't it?

If anyone else had asked this of me, I don't know that I could ever do it. But for you, Lilly...


"I-I'll...try."

Lilly's smile becomes warm again, a sight that brings joy to my heart. "That's all anyone can ask you to do. Hanako, I love you dearly, and I know you want to help me through this..."

Do you? I AM your friend, too, Lilly, even if you never let me be a real friend to you. You certainly sound sincere, but I really wish these words had come before now. At least you're saying them, and maybe there's still enough time.

"I-I'll always be there for you, L-lilly."

She squeezes my hand a bit more tightly. "I know that, too..."

For this moment, I allow myself to believe that maybe, she really does see me as a real friend. It's the first thing she's said tonight that lets me smile, even if it's just a small one. It just feels a little bit...hollow.

"...but everything that's happened today has really worn me out. Besides, I need some time...time to think about everything. We'll talk tomorrow at lunch, all right?"

"Are you s-sure?"

Her facade is now truly back at full coverage. "Yes, I'm sure. I think you could use some rest as well."

"A-all right. C-can I ask you...one question?"

"Of course."

"W-when will you be l-l-..."

"I'll be leaving in a few days with Akira. The day after summer break begins. We'll spend the night at the Hakamichi residence, and then our flight will be the following day."

"I...understand." I know it's selfish of me, but I really don't want to leave right now.

If I do, I'll be alone. Alone for the first time since Hokkaido. Our little family is truly broken now, isn't it?

Lilly gently moves her hand from my head to my shoulder and, ever so gently, pulls me to my feet as she rises as well. She leads me to the door, with me clinging to her arm for support. With every ounce of strength I can muster, I separate myself from Lilly, and she retreats into her room.

"Good night, Hanako. I'll see you tomorrow."

"R-right."

As she closes the door, I collapse against the wall beside it for a moment. I'm too drained of emotion even to cry any more. There's nothing left inside me but the knowledge that all this happened, and as always, there was nothing I could do to stop it. After a few moments, I drag my useless self back to my room, lock the door, and curl up on my bed, not even sure if it's worth trying to sleep.

What will be waiting for me there after this?

~~~~

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Last edited by dewelar on Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly BE Continuation) [Updated 8/5/1

Postby Oscar Wildecat » Mon Aug 05, 2013 2:22 pm

Gah! Too many feels! Where's the fluffy!?!?! I need a fluffy shot! Stat.

:wink:

Seriously, This looks promising.
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly BE Continuation) [Updated 8/5/1

Postby Mirage_GSM » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:54 pm

"That someone decides he's not even going to let me make the decision!"

On the contrary. That's exactly what he did.
Well, I'm used to people trying to shift the blame away from Lilly at whatever cost by now.

Anyway, I really like your Hanako perspective. It came out quite well.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly BE Continuation) [Updated 8/5/1

Postby dewelar » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:04 pm

Oscar Wildecat wrote:Gah! Too many feels! Where's the fluffy!?!?! I need a fluffy shot! Stat.

:wink:

Seriously, This looks promising.


*laughs* Thanks. Given the timing, it was inevitable that the early chapters were going to be highly emotionally charged.

Mirage_GSM wrote:
"That someone decides he's not even going to let me make the decision!"

On the contrary. That's exactly what he did.
Well, I'm used to people trying to shift the blame away from Lilly at whatever cost by now.


*nods* I understand why you see it that way. I do think there are different ways to read the original scene, but there's something else with which I'm playing here. I don't want to give away too much of my thinking at this time, though if you're curious I'd be willing to elaborate via PM.

Mirage_GSM wrote:Anyway, I really like your Hanako perspective. It came out quite well.


I appreciate that, thanks.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly BE Continuation) [Updated 8/5/1

Postby Oscar Wildecat » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:23 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Well, I'm used to people trying to shift the blame away from Lilly at whatever cost by now.

:?:
The only one I saw shifting blame was Lily herself. Of course, this does play into Hanako's fears and frustrations about herself, and maybe by extension, others. So, I can reasonably see her going along Lily's blame game.

But, wow. To wait to the last second to tell Hanako about the move, and only because Hisao had already heard about it from Akira. Then Lily complains about Hisao not opening up? Can we say "hypocrite?"
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly BE Continuation) [Updated 8/5/1

Postby dewelar » Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:32 pm

Oscar Wildecat wrote:But, wow. To wait to the last second to tell Hanako about the move, and only because Hisao had already heard about it from Akira. Then Lily complains about Hisao not opening up? Can we say "hypocrite?"


Obviously, this is an assumption on my part as well. I do believe that had she told Hanako, it would have been impossible for Hisao not to know something was up. There would have been a change in both Hanako's and Lilly's behavior before the revelation to Hisao. Besides, we all know Hanako's lousy at keeping secrets :) .

This is also the reason I believe that, while Lilly had been mostly set on going, it only became set in stone at The Shanghai (and maybe not even then, necessarily...) The two ideas go pretty much hand-in-hand.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly BE Continuation) [Updated 8/5/1

Postby Oscar Wildecat » Mon Aug 05, 2013 5:03 pm

dewelar wrote:
Oscar Wildecat wrote:But, wow. To wait to the last second to tell Hanako about the move, and only because Hisao had already heard about it from Akira. Then Lily complains about Hisao not opening up? Can we say "hypocrite?"


Obviously, this is an assumption on my part as well. I do believe that had she told Hanako, it would have been impossible for Hisao not to know something was up. There would have been a change in both Hanako's and Lilly's behavior before the revelation to Hisao. Besides, we all know Hanako's lousy at keeping secrets :) .

This is also the reason I believe that, while Lilly had been mostly set on going, it only became set in stone at The Shanghai (and maybe not even then, necessarily...) The two ideas go pretty much hand-in-hand.

You're correct, as far as Hanako goes. But still, there's the whole deal as to her not wanting Hisao to know. How can she reasonably expect Hisao to let her into his world when, fundamentally, she was unwilling to let him into hers? (I feel that this is what her wanting to delay informing her friends about the decision to relocate until after she finalized the decision herself represents.)

I can see her being upset that Hisao didn't leap to his feet and try to stop her, it is a perfectly normal emotional response to not getting the outcome one desires. It also, in this case -- in this particular interpretation -- matches up with the perfectly hypocritical response.

Of course, humans are flawed beings. If they weren't, they would be cats. :)
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly BE Continuation) [Updated 8/5/1

Postby LorSquirrel » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:36 pm

Not much I can say that hasn't been said already... so I'll just say I like it so far.


Oscar Wildecat wrote:Of course, humans are flawed beings. If they weren't, they would be squirrels. :)



I fixed that last part for you.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly BE Continuation) [Updated 8/5/1

Postby Mahorfeus » Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:39 am

"That, I think, would have been easier. At least it would have shown me that he's willing to fight. Instead, he just...accepted it, and we...parted."

"I believe he does too, in his own way. However, there is still too much about himself that he's unwilling to tell me. Maybe if we'd had more time, he might have been able to reveal himself more, but without knowing that he would, or could, I can't give up this chance to reconcile with my family. If I reject this opportunity, I might never have another."


And that's why I don't like Lilly anymore. I mostly blame Mirage though. :P

It's insane how hypocritical she is here. From her viewpoint, it seems that she thinks Hisao has no spine. To be honest I think you might have exaggerated her reasoning a little, but I don't think it's too far from the hypothetical truth. Establishing that the meeting at the Shanghai is what made her decide to leave makes her seem particularly cruel.

Well, my jimmies were rustled a bit, so I'd say you've been doing a pretty good job here. I am a little anxious about where this might lead, though.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly BE Continuation) [Updated 8/5/1

Postby dewelar » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:01 am

Mahorfeus wrote:To be honest I think you might have exaggerated her reasoning a little, but I don't think it's too far from the hypothetical truth. Establishing that the meeting at the Shanghai is what made her decide to leave makes her seem particularly cruel.


There are a number of things I found...well, let's say wonky about Lilly's endings - both of them. There are some things that, when you really sit down to think about it, can only be explained in certain ways. I do intend to explore this to some degree throughout this story.

Mahorfeus wrote:Well, my jimmies were rustled a bit, so I'd say you've been doing a pretty good job here. I am a little anxious about where this might lead, though.


Thanks. Chapter 2 will probably be up later today.
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Developments, Chapter 2

Postby dewelar » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:37 am

I close the door behind me and collapse onto the bed, feeling numb.

What just happened?

When I walked into the Shanghai with Lilly this afternoon, I guess I'd been mostly expecting this result, but I wasn't prepared for the sheer immensity of the realization of my fears. I feel like I know even less than I did before the conversation with Akira.

Lilly is leaving, for good this time. I know she misses her family, and feels an obligation to them, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. It hurts because she didn't tell me herself, even though she's known she was going back for some time.

I had to learn about it from her sister.

Just thinking about it starts my insides churning. I really must have looked a wreck when I got back. Even Kenji noticed I was depressed. I pick my head up to look over at the shelf with my medications briefly, then drop it again.

It's funny. I never thought about it before, but this is twice now that someone confessed to me, and each time my heart problem was involved. The first time, it set off my heart attack. The second time, my heart attack pretty much led directly to the confession. Is it coincidence, or is someone trying to tell me something? Hell, I'm surprised I made it home in one piece.

Home.

This school really had become home for me over the past few weeks. I continue to marvel at how easy it was, but then I remember what, or rather who, it was that made it so easy. I don't just mean Lilly, either.

What about Hanako? Did she know about this? How is she going to take it? She's been making a lot of progress lately, but this is going to be a huge blow to her.

I also remember that lately, it hasn't been so easy. Lilly had been evasive about the future for a while, and when Akira told me about the summons, I thought I knew why. I thought, once I confronted her, I would at least understand, but that wasn't what happened. Even after I told her I knew, she was still evasive. She wouldn't even tell me when she'd made the decision.

And there I was, foolish enough to think that things could just go on like this. I guess that earns me some kind of prize for stupidity, because right from the beginning, things weren't even the way I thought they were.

Even then, was she trying to protect me? Was she trying to spare my feelings from the real reasons she wouldn't tell me, which were...what, exactly? She said she wasn't trying to take advantage of me, and whatever measures she takes to protect herself, I've never known her to outright lie about something like that.

Did she just decide she didn't love me after all? That we really were just playing at being adults, and it was just a case of infatuation?

It's as though the more I think about it, the less sense it makes.

If she thought she might be leaving for good soon, maybe it wasn't just my heart that rushed her to her decision. Maybe she just wanted as much opportunity to spend time with me as she could. It was a feeling to which I could relate, if that was the case. Thanks to my condition, I don't know how much time I have left, either.

I guess neither of us was entirely honest with each other. I had chances to open up and chose not to, and so did she. Maybe this worked out the only way it could have, under the circumstances. It STILL doesn't mean that it doesn't hurt.

I lie there, staring at the ceiling and replaying the past month in my mind, trying to decide what might have been done differently. I have no idea when I finally fell asleep.

=~=~=~=

The next day, I consider skipping class altogether. I still don't feel like eating, but I know I have to eat something. I start with my medications, seeing how much I can fill myself up with them as I have on other mornings. As I grind them between my teeth, I decide that I need to take my mind off what's been going on. Since Hanako might be at the library, and there's no way I'm ready to try and talk to her yet, the only thing I can really think to do is go to class.

I wound up sleeping in my clothes, so I take a quick shower before putting on my school uniform. I head to my classroom, and silently thank the fates that Shizune and Misha aren't present. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Hanako enter from the back of the room. For a moment, I think she's going to come over to my desk, and I brace myself, knowing that she must have spoken to Lilly last night. I'm really not sure I'm prepared to discuss it right now, not knowing how she would react, but again I'm saved, this time by Mutou entering a moment later.

I try my best to focus on the lectures during the first half of the day, but I fail miserably. When the bell rings, I quickly head out the door so as to avoid having to face Hanako. That's going to have to wait until I've sorted my own thoughts, and certainly it won't be in the middle of the classroom.

I haven't eaten anything since lunch yesterday, so even cafeteria food is a reasonable choice today. I don't dare go anywhere near the tea room where I have eaten lunch more often than not of late, so instead I make my way up to the roof with my food. Though I silently hope there's someone up here, I find myself alone. I suppose I can blame my own haste for that. Fortunately, before I can get too deep into my wallowing, the door opens, revealing Rin Tezuka. She nods in my direction.

"Hello."

"Hey, Rin. Having lunch with Emi today?"

"Hmmm. I expect to be able to answer that soon, but there's no way to be sure."

A pretty standard answer for Rin, I suppose, and one which for now I'm going to presume means "yes". I sit down on one of the benches while Rin stands nearby, staring off at something. I briefly consider the idea of actually starting a conversation with her, knowing that at the very least it would force my mind to engage with something other than yesterday. I am saved from that act of desperation by the fortuitous arrival of Emi.

"Hey, Hisao! JUST the guy I wanted to see!"

Then again, perhaps it wasn't so fortuitous after all. I swallow the bite I'm chewing before saying "Hi, Emi. Why did you want to see me?" I had a feeling I knew the answer already, but maybe I'd be pleasantly surprised.

"The Nurse told me I should keep a closer eye on you. He's worried you're not exercising enough."

No pleasant surprise this time. I wince a bit. How much does he tell her anyway? I know he wouldn't say anything specific about my condition, but could he have told her that I'd had a setback recently?

"He also told me to take it easy for a little while."

"Right, but ONLY a little while. Besides, with summer break coming up, you're going to be tempted to slack off. You wouldn't do that, would you, Hisao?"

Before Emi can get too far into her injured puppy dog routine, I wave her off. "Of course not. I wouldn't want you to worry about me."

"Good!"

"She would, you know. She does that sort of thing." Rin's monotone voice floats from where she was eating across from us. Emi sticks out her tongue at her in response.

Emi turns to face me again. "So what are your plans for summer break, Hisao?"

"I'm..." I pause, realizing that what I had planned had been rendered null and void. I sit there for a moment before continuing. "I'm not sure, actually. I was thinking about staying here, but things kind of fell apart." I wasn't lying about that part. "My parents said I could come home for the break if I wanted, though. I haven't decided whether to take them up on it yet."

Emi looks surprised. "Nothing planned with Lilly?"

There it is. I suppose it's some consolation that the whole school doesn't know yet. I try to hide the emotion on my face, but I obviously don't do a very good job.

Emi's look turns serious. "Hisao, did something happen between the two of you?"

"Heh. You could say that. We..." What do I call what happened yesterday? Might as well call it what it is at this point. "We broke up. She's moving back to Scotland in a few days, and we decided a long-distance relationship wasn't really likely to work. So...I guess it's over."

My shoulders slump, and half of me expects Emi to yell at me or something. But instead...she puts a hand on my shoulder, and says, as gently as she probably can, "I'm sorry, Hisao. I didn't know. I wouldn't have..."

I put my hand on hers, and I can feel my emotions welling up for the first time since I left the Shanghai, tears forming at the corners of my eyes. "It's okay. It only happened yesterday, and I...I haven't really talked to anyone about it. I guess..." I don't say any more, but I soon feel Emi's arms wrap around my back, and I allow myself to put my head on Emi's shoulder -- which admittedly is a lot easier to do while we're sitting down.

"If you want to talk about it, Hisao, I'm here. I mean, talking about stuff like this isn't my strong suit, but you're my friend."

I stay like that for a moment before lifting my head up to look Emi in the eye. "Thanks, Emi. I think...I think I needed that." As we pull apart from each other, I look briefly at Rin, who holds up her short arms, then shrugs.

"I can't really do things like that," she says seriously. "You can have the rest of my lunch if it helps, though." I marvel at the incongruity of the offer, and of the situation.

Even Rin is trying to be nice. This kind of thing would have been met much more harshly at my old school, I think. Even two months in, I sometimes marvel at how much different things are here. It seems somehow...easier to share this sort of thing.

Why couldn't I do that with Lilly, then? And if I had, would it have even made a difference?


"I appreciate that, Rin. I'll pass, but thanks anyway."

Emi still hasn't taken her eyes off of me. "I know you loved her a lot."

"Heh...I suppose the whole school must know that."

"You were pretty obvious about it, ya know. You're gonna be okay, though, right?"

"Eventually, I suppose. Just...not today."

"Wow, might be a whole day, huh?" I try to laugh, but I just start coughing a bit, and I turn away until I calm down. When I turn back, she's still wearing a serious face. This is the longest time I've ever seen her go without smiling, I think. "I know things are probably kinda weird for you right now, but if you do need to talk to someone, you know where to find me."

"Thanks again, Emi. I may just take you up on that some day."

Emi smiles brightly again. "And, if you do decide to stay at Yamaku over break, I'll be at the track every day to keep up on my running schedule, and you're still welcome to join me anytime! I don't live that far away, and I have permission to use the place whenever I want. I even have a key to the storage shed if you want to use any of the equipment!"

"I'll let you know, okay? I have a lot to think about."

"Don't think too hard, Hisao. You might break something!"

I can't help but smile at Emi just being Emi. Something about her energy is infectious. The two of us look at each other, and we both start laughing. For the first time, a little bit of the horrible feeling of yesterday passes out of me.

"Hisao, seriously think about coming out to the track tomorrow. Not just for the exercise, either. Running is a great way to clear your head. If anybody knows that, it's me."

"Okay, Emi. I'll really try."

Before either of us can say anything else, the bell rings to end the lunch period. She punches me in the arm on her way to the door, having long since finished her lunch.

"Great! See ya, Hisao! And try to cheer up, okay?" As Emi starts through the door, she calls back over her shoulder, "We'll be here again tomorrow if you still want some company!" Before I can answer, she's already bounding her way down the stairs.

After Rin follows her, I take one more look out at the Yamaku grounds. While this really did help a bit, there's still a long shadow cast over me right now. As I descend the stairs, I wonder what life will be like for me here once Lilly's gone. Right now, the only word that comes to mind is...empty.

~~~~

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Last edited by dewelar on Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I'm writing: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending (in progress)
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 2. up 8/6]

Postby Mirage_GSM » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:56 pm

I even have a key to the storage shed if you want to use any of the equipment!"

In any other situation this might have been confused for an inappropriate offer :D

I liked this chapter much better than the first - probably because less Lilly.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.

Sore wa himitsu desu.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 2. up 8/6]

Postby dewelar » Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:44 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
I even have a key to the storage shed if you want to use any of the equipment!"

In any other situation this might have been confused for an inappropriate offer :D


*laughs* Very true.

I liked this chapter much better than the first - probably because less Lilly.


Thanks.

Note to self: Be prepared for Mirage to hate Chapter 3.
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Stuff I'm writing: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending (in progress)
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