An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:58 am

Why is it that in any story that contains lesbians, all other girls turn out to be lesbian as well? I always wondered that...
And most of you probably know that I do not have the highest opinion of Lilly from her path in the VN, but even I don't think she would do something like that - even if she were bisexual and even if she is drunk.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
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Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Lap » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:15 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:58 am
Why is it that in any story that contains lesbians, all other girls turn out to be lesbian as well? I always wondered that...
And most of you probably know that I do not have the highest opinion of Lilly from her path in the VN, but even I don't think she would do something like that - even if she were bisexual and even if she is drunk.
I'm not even sure if Lilly is bi, here, or just drunkenly, desperately trying to hold onto a friend she feels is slipping away. This version of Lilly is a bit more needy of Hanako than other versions I've read, but not totally OOC, I don't think.

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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:16 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 3:58 am
Why is it that in any story that contains lesbians, all other girls turn out to be lesbian as well? I always wondered that...
And most of you probably know that I do not have the highest opinion of Lilly from her path in the VN, but even I don't think she would do something like that - even if she were bisexual and even if she is drunk.
I knew you weren't going to be a fan lol. I tried to set it up as a moment of weakness, as well as create an environment in which this was not obvious but not implausible either. I actually debated with myself quite a lot about going through with it--ultimately I decided I would rather try something and fail than just play it safe all the way through.

To me, Lilly is a character who plays her cards very close to her chest until she is finally forced to lay them on the table, and even then, isn't sure what to do with them and ends up acting emotionally. This is shown by her confession scene (where, after being the composed lady for the whole story up to this point, she halfway loses her shit screaming "I love you!" six times in succession and immediately bangs Hisao on the floor) as well as her complete refusal to even tell Hisao about the Scotland issue, much less face it properly.

Also, I'll make no excuses when it comes to being biased towards lesbians >.> I'm pretty heavily influenced by Yuru Yuri, if anyone is familiar with that. But I can at least promise you Shizune is straight!
Emps wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:42 pm
Hanako Fancopter wrote:
Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:36 pm

“Sl-sleeping won’t fix this, Lilly!”

“Then… what will, Hanako?”
I think there's a saying that goes something like, "drinking can't fix anything, but it can make the unfixable tolerable," or something like that. Not sure how applicable it is in this situation though :lol:
Lol. If I'd had a snarkier character available in that scene I might've had them say "Damn, I'm gonna need another bottle..."

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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by sloth4 » Wed Sep 05, 2018 2:02 pm

Lilly, you cad! Put down that bottle, girl!

Good chapter, nice drama. It's a frightening dilemma I imagine, since Hanako loves them both. Monogamy can be a pain sometimes. :P

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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:19 pm

Chapter 40

“Nnngghh, Hacchan… I think I drank too much… waah~…”

“Y-yeah, Misha… you did…”

Misha forced her eyes open, the lids seeming glued shut. This was… a unique feeling. Kind of like having the flu on no sleep, after eating way too many parfaits, and the parfaits were all poisonous, she thought. Overall, it was pretty not fun. Misha didn’t mind terribly though. She’d be fine, because she’d woken up in her own bed, right next to someone who she knew would take care of her. Even in her current state, Misha managed to give Hanako a brief kiss before rolling onto her back and groaning in pain.

“Ugghh… water…” Misha pleaded, resting a hand on her pounding forehead.

“Sure, Misha.”

Hanako got up for a moment and came back with a full glass of tap water. Normally Misha wasn’t a fan of raw chemical water. Right now, it tasted like the nectar of life. She sat halfway up, letting Hanako tilt the glass up for her until the entire thing was gone, its consumption finished off with a satisfied smacking of the lips.

“Ahh~! That’s better. There~! Now I should be totally fine! Waha—ahh!!”

“M-Misha! Are you alright?!”

“Ehee… I’m okay, Hacchan, I just, umm… I sorta hurt my headache with my voice…”

Hanako stared for a moment, then let out a light giggle.

“Well, that’s what you get. For dr-drinking too much. I guess we really should have listened to Akira…”

“Definitely, Hacchan. Are you okay? If you’re hurting, I can kiss it and make it better~!”

“I feel fine, Misha. Thanks. I think… I think you drank as much as me and L-L-Lilly, put together.”

“Really? Whoops~… I don’t… I feel like, my memory’s all fuzzy? I remember playing the king game, then we talked about… Shicchan, maybe?”

“Yeah, we were laughing about R-Rin and the council stuff…”

“Umm… and then… uhh…”

“…Th-then you got really g-goofy. Too goofy, Misha. We had to put you to b-bed.”

“Ackk! Sorry, Hacchan. Sorry! Wine is really really~ bad, huh? I’m never drinking again never ever~ ever never~!”

Hanako gave Misha a wan smile.

“I don’t think you need to do th-that, Misha. Just next time… we’ll be more c-careful.”

“Maybe, Hacchan~. I just hope I didn’t ruin your party!”

“…No, Misha. You didn’t ruin it. I had fun, really… I had a lot of fun…”

“Hacchan… you don’t sound like you mean it. It’s okay~. I know I screwed up… you don’t have to pretend for me.”

“N-no, Misha! No! It’s not your fault!” Hanako snapped, jumping up from the bed.

Misha recoiled a little, the sudden volume not helping her hangover. Hanako seemed angry but… in an indirect way? It faded from anger immediately into an undeniable look of distress. Just before Hanako looked away from her, Misha noticed how red her eyes were. Was that an alcohol thing, or… had she been crying?

“Hacchan, is something wrong?”

Hanako stood with fists clenched, looking down silently.

“…You can tell me if I did something bad, Hacchan. I need to know if I really screwed up.”

“It’s not you, M-Misha…”

“Then, what? I know something is up.”

“It’s… it’s L-Lilly… she, umm… k-k-kissed me…”

“…Yeah? So~? We were playing the king game, Hacchan. It was just a game… I don’t remember it being a big deal…”

“No, M-Misha! After you p-passed out, then, she…”

***

“Hello.”

Lilly held her door open, waiting for her visitors to introduce themselves.

“Hello,” Hanako returned.

“Hi, Lilly,” Misha said.

Lilly’s face was back to its usual guarded state this morning. Perhaps a little somber but overall, she betrayed very little. Hanako wondered how she could stay so stoic like that, only to realize that she and Misha probably looked about the same. None of them wanted to let very much out right now… things still felt too delicate to risk it.

“C-can we come in?”

Lilly turned and walked wordlessly to her bed, sitting down on it with her hands in her lap.

“Are you… h-how are you feeling, Lilly? Are you h-hung over?” Hanako asked.

Lilly ignored the question.

“Misha, last night, after we put you to bed, I—”

“I know, Lilly. Hacchan told me.”

Lilly let out a long exhale, seemingly relieved that the elephant in the room had already stepped forward. She bent over, putting her face in one hand and rubbing her forehead for a moment.

“…I’m sorry, Misha. I made a terrible mistake.”

“You don’t have to say that to me, Lilly. I’m not mad. But you did make Hacchan cry. That’s no good~.”

“Ah… Hanako, of course… I hope you can forgive me.”

Hanako sniffled, saying nothing.

“Can we just… please, if there’s any way that I could… take it back?” Lilly asked. “If you can’t accept that, then I understand, but I just… I wish it had never happened.”

Misha frowned, her voice taking on an edge of displeasure.

“No, Lilly~. There’s no taking anything back. That’s not how it works.”

Lilly winced.

“Ahh… I understand, then, I’ll—”

“Why did you do it, Lilly?” Misha interjected.

“Wh-what? Because… I…”

“It’s just one thing that matters. Was it because you liked Hacchan? Like you know, because you really really like her~?”

Lilly sat for a moment, her shoulders shaking in a way not unlike the girl for whom she held such affections. She gave a single reluctant nod, her face turned to the floor.

“Okay then~. Lilly, I think I know how it was for you. You picked a bad way to let it out, but… it’s not just Hacchan who is hurt. I think you are hurting, too,” Misha said, her voice softening.

“How could you know that, Misha? How it is for me? You, you have…”

Lilly’s voice trailed off, unable to finish the statement, but the bitterness in her voice was undeniable.

“I never told you about me and Shicchan, huh~? Before… before I was friends with Hacchan, I liked Shicchan, just the way that you… anyways~, I liked her, and I worried that I could never be with her, but I told her how I felt anyways. I was rejected.”

Lilly’s eyes opened slightly in realization.

“So, back when people were saying you had broken up, for those few days…”

“It was a joke people made, but~, it wasn’t actually as much of a joke as they thought it was. Ahaha~.”

“Then you know… it does hurt. Even still, I don’t… I don’t think I can use that as an excuse. I acted inappropriately. I tried for so long to deny this, then with the alcohol, and how things were… well, I won’t make excuses that way, either,” Lilly said. “Even if you are not angry with me, I’m angry with myself. I’m worried that things won’t…”

“…that they won’t be the s-same again,” Hanako finished for her.

Lilly nodded, concern coming more readily to her face now.

“I didn’t know if I could see you t-today, Lilly. But Misha said… Misha said we h-have to,” Hanako said.

“Ah… Hanako, if you don’t want to see me, then…”

“Misha was right, L-Lilly. We have to… t-talk about it, even if, even if it’s h-hard…”

“Mmhmm~. Things probably won’t be the same. So~, we have to start over, and make friends again,” Misha agreed.

Misha walked over to the bed and sat down next to Lilly, with Hanako taking a seat on Misha’s other side. Hanako gripped one of Misha’s hands tight while Misha put the other on Lilly’s shoulder, only for Lilly to jerk away defensively.

“Lilly… it’s okay… I’m not gonna bite,” Misha said, trying again.

“Ah…”

Lilly allowed the contact on its second attempt, relaxing a bit as Misha rubbed her shoulder.

“I just want us to be happy, Lilly. Me, and Hacchan… and you. It’s not okay if we’re happy but you’re hurting. What you did was bad, but~… I should’ve said something, too. I kind of knew, or I thought I knew, about how you felt about Hacchan,” Misha said.

“It was that obvious?” Lilly asked, sounding resigned to the fact.

“N-no!” Hanako disagreed. “Not… at a-all! How, M-Misha?”

“Because~, Hacchan. Lilly always… she cared for you so much.”

“Lilly cares for e-everyone…” Hanako said.

Misha shook her head.

“It looks that way to you, because~, she always was that way around you. There’s lots more people she could have been with, if she wanted to. Even after she quit the council, she didn’t join any other clubs… she kept picking you.”

“I always… I told myself that things weren’t that way, Misha,” Lilly said. “I denied it to myself for a very long time. But it seems you could see it, even when I didn’t want to.”

“So wh-why, why didn’t you say it, M-Misha?” Hanako asked.

“She did ask me, once. I denied it then, too. I should’ve been more honest…” Lilly said.

“Maybe~, Lilly. I thought I shouldn’t bother you too much about it, but~, then we got here. So now I think, maybe I should have talked to you more about it. We both… we both messed up, huh? Sorry, Hacchan~. None of this is fair for you…” Misha said.

Hanako gripped Misha’s arm and leaned onto her. How could she end up somehow making this her fault, her failing? Misha hadn’t done anything wrong. Hanako was the one who let things end up this way. If she hadn’t been so sensitive, and so withdrawn, for so long, then maybe Lilly wouldn’t have been so…

“I don’t… I didn’t want any of th-this… I h-h-hate this… you’re both talking like it’s your f-fault, but… I’m the one, that you both, b-both… this is happening because of m-me…”

“Hanako, you mustn’t blame yourself,” Lilly said. “I can’t let you take any blame either, Misha. I’ve caused such an issue… I feel that, perhaps, I should simply leave you and Misha in peace.”

“And wh-what then, Lilly? You’ll just be… al-alone?” Hanako asked.

“I suppose. I’ll manage,” Lilly said.

Hanako frowned.

“I don’t want th-that, either, Lilly. You’re still my best fr-friend, even if… I don’t want to just thr-throw that away!”

“Hanako… it’s more than I deserve, but I’m grateful. That’s a very kind thing for you to say.”

Misha furrowed her brow throughout this exchange, looking to the ceiling thoughtfully.

“We do both want you, Hacchan,” she said. “I got you first, but~, Lilly is very pretty, and really kind, and smart, so… if you like her too, then… I think, I could… that I could share?” Misha probed.

Misha felt Hanako’s grip tighten on her arm. What that meant, she wasn’t sure. It took a long time for Hanako to respond, long enough that Lilly spoke first.

“Even if you allowed it, I don’t know if I could allow myself…”

“It’s n-not… it wouldn’t be r-right… to do that to you, M-Misha,” Hanako said.

“But Hacchan, if you wanted to be with Lilly, then I couldn’t—” Misha started.

“N-no, Misha! Don’t just think about me! I want you to be h-happy too…”

“Well~, Hacchan, Lilly…”

Misha squeezed Lilly’s shoulder and Hanako’s hand.

“…we’re all friends, and what I want is that I want us all to be happy, so~, if you want to try it, then… I can try. I think that… maybe it would make me happy, too~.”

“M-maybe isn’t good enough, Misha,” Hanako said. “Wh-what… how would we even… how would it w-work?”

Misha shrugged.

“I’m not sure, Hacchan~. I never tried with two girlfriends, but~, I know people can do it. We could just… do what feels natural, and figure it out?”

“Ah…”

“My my, this conversation took quite a turn,” Lilly said, punctuated with a nervous laugh.

“Waha~! Uhh, yeah, Lilly. Yeah~!” Misha agreed.

“Mmm…” Hanako added, unsure of her feelings.

“Hmm… what if… I think it may be healthy that we have some time away from each other, some time to gain perspective, before… considering anything too hastily,” Lilly said. “I need to begin preparing for my trip today. Akira wishes to go shopping, and our parents have some things they’d like us to pack from our old storage unit. That will keep me busy today and tomorrow. When I return from Scotland, I’ll see you both again. How does that sound?”

“Lilly… m-maybe that’s good. I need time, t-too…” Hanako said.

“Okay~. That’s a smart idea! It’s sad that you’re leaving for a while, Lilly, but I guess it kind of works out, huh~?”

“So it would seem, Misha.”

The three sat for a moment.

“No matter what h-happens, I…” Hanako started, both other girls perking up in response, “I’m glad we t-talked, about st-stuff. I can’t… I can’t lose either of y-you. I don’t know what I would do…” Hanako said.

“Yeah~, Hacchan. It’s good to talk about stuff. I know I haven’t known you as long as Hana-chan has, Lilly, but~… I feel the same way. If she can’t lose you, then I can’t either,” Misha said.

“Thank you, Misha. You’re too kind. And I agree, it is good to talk openly… I’d say it’s a lesson well learned. Would that I had learned it earlier, perhaps I could’ve avoided making such a mess of things. Again, I truly am sorry for my… indiscretion,” Lilly said.

“Lilly, have you ever had a girlfriend?” Misha asked.

“Ah, I, I—n-no,” Lilly answered.

“Then—it’s okay~. I forgive you. You’re trying to figure stuff out. You don’t know what you’re feeling. It’s hard. I remember it,” Misha said.

“I f-forgive you too… I always kn-knew, that I liked girls, but L-Lilly, maybe… maybe you d-didn’t?” Hanako asked.

“I… meant as I told you previously, Hanako. I have struggled with that question, within myself. Even very recently, I wasn’t sure, but now…”

Lilly placed a hand on Misha’s knee.

“…I think you and Misha may have brought me some clarity. I’m thankful for that.”

“Umm… Lilly, can you pr-promise that… we’ll still be fr-friends? That we can tr-try, to be friends, at l-least?” Hanako asked.

Lilly leaned forward to smile past Misha at Hanako.

“Yes, Hanako. I promise.”

“Okay… that’s g-good, Lilly…”

“Okay~! Well~! I guess we’re not going to class today! Wahaha~!” Misha said.

“Wh-what? Ahh, I… guess not, aha,” Hanako agreed. They had slept past the start of morning classes, as she’d seen on Misha’s alarm clock earlier, not to mention the time spent since.

“I need some rest, Hacchan, Lilly. I’m still suuuper~ tired! So~!”

Misha withdrew both her hands, using them to smack her knees as she got up.

“Have fun in Scotland, Lilly~! We’ll see you again!” she said.

Lilly held a hand out, squeezing Misha’s for a moment when it met hers.

“Thank you too, Misha. I mean it.”

Misha stepped towards the door as Hanako scooted closer to Lilly. After a moment of hesitation, she leaned over and gave Lilly a brief hug, then got up as well.

“G-goodbye, Lilly.”

“Goodbye, Misha, Hanako.”

“Bye bye~!”

Misha and Hanako left the room. Whatever came next, Hanako felt like she could breathe clearly again, and for that she was thankful. She could tell that Misha felt the same. The bounce in her girlfriend’s step, the little humming sounds she made to fill the silence, the subtle way her eyes smiled along with her lips… Hanako realized just how easily she could read Misha’s mood now. Not that Misha was ever one to hide her feelings in the first place, but it was still a marvelous thing, Hanako thought. Her old self could have never imagined being this close with another person.

“Ahh~, now I’m all talked out! I definitely feel better about things! What about you, Hacchan~?”

“Me too, M-Misha. I don’t kn-know how things will really be, but… we don’t have to f-figure it out today, so…”

“Yeah, we have a little time to think. That’s good, because~! I’m way too tired to do any more thinking today! Wahaha~! I’m going straight back to bed!”

“Hmm… if you’re not going to class… what will you tell Sh-Shicchan?”

“If Shicchan asks, I’ll just say I was sick. It’s a true thing to say, aha~!” Misha said.

“Then, if you’re going back to sleep… you need someone to c-cuddle with, right?”

“That would be great, Hacchan, yeah! I was hoping you’d say that. Come on~!”

“Ahh… Misha, sl-slow down! I thought you were s-sick!”

“I am, but you promised cuddling! Wahaha~!”

Chapter 39 | Chapter 41
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by sloth4 » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:22 am

Hmm, a lesbian threesome... is there anything more beautiful than that? Spoiler alert: the answer is 'no.'

It'll be interesting to see how that all turns out once Lilly gets back. More interesting is how you plan to handle the actual birthday.

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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:33 am

Okay, that's my cue to get out of here. It was fun while it lasted.
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: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Wed Sep 12, 2018 3:20 pm

sloth4 wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:22 am
Hmm, a lesbian threesome... is there anything more beautiful than that? Spoiler alert: the answer is 'no.'
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

As tempted as the memer in me is, I think I've probably already pushed this story about as close to the line as it can get. But still... no promises...
It'll be interesting to see how that all turns out once Lilly gets back. More interesting is how you plan to handle the actual birthday.
I think the Lilly issue is actually bigger than the birthday issue, tbh. Part of me is worried that I've derailed my story by introducing such a major issue when I already had the birthday coming up around the corner, that was the big hesitation that I had internally. I figured that I would know if I screwed up if I got negative feedback from anyone other than Mirage--but as always, I'm surprised by how receptive you guys are. I almost wish I could write the story two different ways and see which one works out better. But for now I think I'll keep what I have, for better or for worse.

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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Imperial_Sheep » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:10 pm

I feel its not a bad idea to play it safe. Some people can be turned off reading by outlandish scenarios, and some can be turned off by reading normal "plain" scenarios. Your current story is heading in a way that strikes a middle path, providing something different from the normal fiction written here and also at the same time not being a train wreck of something so outlandish that would garner a negative reaction. I'm personally curious to see how this progresses onwards.

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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by sloth4 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:21 pm

Imperial_Sheep wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:10 pm
I feel its not a bad idea to play it safe. Some people can be turned off reading by outlandish scenarios, and some can be turned off by reading normal "plain" scenarios. Your current story is heading in a way that strikes a middle path, providing something different from the normal fiction written here and also at the same time not being a train wreck of something so outlandish that would garner a negative reaction. I'm personally curious to see how this progresses onwards.
It's a delicate balancing act. I myself am... ambivalent about KS fics in general. I've started to grow bored with them over the past couple of weeks.

Someone like me wants something new and interesting. Not just the same old pseudo-routes and novelizations. That was one of the fun things about this in the beginning, it was a fresh or semi-fresh take on things.

I'm not sure how I feel about it at this point. I still read it, and will continue to do so, but there's something missing (probably something unique to me, so don't worry too much, HF).

The concept of Lilly's feelings might have been more interesting if they had been introduced earlier. At which point, Misha and Lilly would have to compete for Hanako's affections, creating the sort of compelling drama you see in "Developments." As it is, you're stuck with HanakoXMisha (which isn't bad, just limiting).

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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Thu Sep 13, 2018 4:47 pm

Imperial_Sheep wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:10 pm
I feel its not a bad idea to play it safe. Some people can be turned off reading by outlandish scenarios, and some can be turned off by reading normal "plain" scenarios. Your current story is heading in a way that strikes a middle path, providing something different from the normal fiction written here and also at the same time not being a train wreck of something so outlandish that would garner a negative reaction. I'm personally curious to see how this progresses onwards.
That's probably the best compliment I've received on the whole thread. Thanks dude. I want to re-iterate how much the responses have motivated me, both the good and the bad. At this point I'll probably finish it out even if no one comments again, but just knowing that anyone was reading at all really kept me going to get here.

Part of me definitely wishes I had played it safe lol. Another part of me would rather have people hate reading it than not reading it at all. If I go with the former I worry about stagnation, if I go with the latter I worry that I may be forcing bad plot points through for the sake of creating cheap drama. At the end of the day I guess there's going to be an angle for dissatisfaction no matter which way I go, so I'll just have to try my best.
sloth4 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:21 pm
Imperial_Sheep wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:10 pm
I feel its not a bad idea to play it safe. Some people can be turned off reading by outlandish scenarios, and some can be turned off by reading normal "plain" scenarios. Your current story is heading in a way that strikes a middle path, providing something different from the normal fiction written here and also at the same time not being a train wreck of something so outlandish that would garner a negative reaction. I'm personally curious to see how this progresses onwards.
It's a delicate balancing act. I myself am... ambivalent about KS fics in general. I've started to grow bored with them over the past couple of weeks.

Someone like me wants something new and interesting. Not just the same old pseudo-routes and novelizations. That was one of the fun things about this in the beginning, it was a fresh or semi-fresh take on things.

I'm not sure how I feel about it at this point. I still read it, and will continue to do so, but there's something missing (probably something unique to me, so don't worry too much, HF).

The concept of Lilly's feelings might have been more interesting if they had been introduced earlier. At which point, Misha and Lilly would have to compete for Hanako's affections, creating the sort of compelling drama you see in "Developments." As it is, you're stuck with HanakoXMisha (which isn't bad, just limiting).
Regarding staleness in fics, I'm with you. Probably my #1 complaint about KS fanfics is that 90%+ seem to be a pseudo route featuring Hisao as the POV character, often without much innovation in content even if the technical quality of the writing is high. I felt that was really squandering a lot of the setting's potential because there are so many interactions you could have between all these colorful characters that aren't getting used. That was definitely part of my motivation to attempt this story. Of course, after 40 chapters the novelty of my own story wears off, I get that. Looking back I think I could have ended the fic at Act III and probably been happy with my work. If I end up shitting the whole thing up in this last stretch, maybe we can call Act III the "good ending" and Act IV the "bad one" :p

I should also thank you for sharing your honest thoughts. It is really interesting to me to see a response like this because it highlights how wildly the feedback can vary between different people. Obviously one person thinks I totally jumped the shark, while your view seems to be, if anything, in the opposite direction--that Lilly's angle is perhaps too little, too late, to save the story from stagnation. Introducing Lilly's feelings earlier and fleshing out a full-blown love triangle definitely would've been an interesting direction to take. Unfortunately, I didn't set out with a plan to tell that type of story. Indeed, most of this story has been written on the fly--when I posted the first chapters I seriously did not know whether or not I'd continue this thing. I'm kind of floored sometimes that you guys have been willing to bear with me to this point. After all, I'm still a novice when it comes to this whole fiction writing thing...

(maybe if i ever try again, i'll use an outline...)

---

Chapter 41

[ADULT CONTENT WARNING]

They spent the rest of that day relaxing, not talking about much. Misha felt like they’d said everything they needed to for now. The next day Misha felt back to her usual self, while Hanako still seemed… quiet, even for her. She dismissed Misha’s attempts at conversation or play with mumbled, one-word answers and a downcast face, putting up that impenetrable wall that Misha had worked so hard to penetrate. Could her birthday really be such a large issue, even after how much she’d grown since coming to Yamaku? Misha wasn’t sure what to make of it. Worse than that, she didn’t know how safe it was to ask about directly.

Hanako remained taciturn that night, interested in little more than laying down and going to sleep. This was a thorough disappointment to Misha, in more ways than one. Today, when she got up, her girlfriend had already gotten up and gone to class without her. Hanako had never done that before; something was definitely wrong. She had said she felt okay about Lilly, but… had Hanako hidden her true feelings, the way that Lilly done? There was no way. If Hanako could fool her so thoroughly, then she simply hadn’t been dating the person she’d thought she was. It had to be the birthday. Misha just wondered how it was possible, that a day which was supposed to be among the happiest, could make Hanako withdraw so thoroughly…

When the class broke for lunch, Misha waved bye to Shizune and made her way over to Hanako’s corner right away. She caught the tail end of Hanako mumbling to Naomi and Natsume that they should go and eat without her. The two of them shuffled out, with Naomi giving Misha a worried glance before disappearing into the hall. Misha stood next to Hanako’s desk.

“Are you feeling okay, Hacchan~?”

That simple question got Hanako’s attention in a way that none of Misha’s jokes or pranks had over the past two days. Her face snapped up to lock with Misha’s, anger flashing on her face.

“Ahh~! Hacchan, I—”

Even as Misha put her hands up and took a step back, Hanako’s face fell from anger back into sadness. She kept her gaze up, though, letting out a heavy sigh.

“…S-sorry, Misha, I… I d-don’t know. I’m not f-feeling… gr-great…”

“Okay. Should we go hang out somewhere by ourselves for lunch? Maybe the tea room?”

Another brief flash of darkness at that suggestion.

“No, not th-there… let’s go to your r-room?”

“Sure, Hacchan.”

***

“So, Hacchan,” Misha started, wiping her mouth as she put her empty plate aside on the desk. “Can I ask… what’s got you down?”

Hanako frowned at her, sitting on the bed and looking at her hands while Misha retrieved her dishes.

“You kn-know what it is, M-Misha…”

Misha matched Hanako’s frown as she sat down next to her, beginning to rub her back gently.

“No I don’t, Hacchan. I can’t know if we don’t talk. Is it… because of Lilly-chan?”

“No… w-well… maybe a l-little… but it’s not just th-that…”

“Not just that?… Your birthday?”

Hanako looked up slowly, a slight tremble in her neck telling Misha that she was forcing herself to do it. She gave an equally anxious nod, letting herself lean into a light embrace from Misha.

“It’s a b-b-bad time for me, M-Misha…”

“Yeah… it’s tomorrow?”

“Mmhmm, and, j-just… with L-Lilly, and st-stuff, it’s just… it’s just a l-lot…”

“Aww~. I think I know how you feel, Hacchan. You remember when I saw you in your room for the first time? And you held me?”

“Yeah…”

Hanako did remember that. At the time, she’d thought to herself that her life was so boring, she could never imagine herself feeling overwhelmed by it like Misha had. Now she was sitting here, the one feeling overwhelmed, while Misha held her up.

“But… your birthday was always bad for you, huh~? Even if there was nothing else going on? Hacchan, I don’t… I don’t understand. Can you help me understand why it’s so bad for you?”

“…I don’t want to th-think about it, M-Misha… not today… I don’t want to th-think about that, or L-Lilly, or… or anything, okay?”

“…Okay, Hacchan.”

“I pr-promise I’ll tell you, Misha. Tomorrow I’ll t-tell you. Just… not n-now.”

“You don’t have to tell me anything, Hacchan. Not if you don’t want to.”

“No, Misha, I do have to… I don’t want to h-hide from it anymore. And I kn-know it bothers you… you told me e-everything about yourself, so I want you to kn-know everything about me, too…”

“Yeah, knowing that you’re hurting, and not knowing why… that’s what hurts me, but~. It’s okay. For today, we can hurt together, I guess. Ahaha~.”

“Aha… I guess let’s do th-that, then. Misha… let’s not go back to cl-class today.”

“Oh? Alright, Hacchan. If you want~. But what are we gonna do instead?”

“Th-there’s something I’ve been wanting to do, and… I think I’m r-ready. I want to do it t-today, before…”

Misha opened her mouth to ask what; Hanako stopped her with a finger pressed to her lips.

“No t-talking…”

Hanako sat up straight, looking Misha in the eye as she reached to the top of her blouse and pulled loose the ribbon there. Comprehension dawned on Misha as Hanako undid one button after another, her face set in determination as she let the blouse fall off of her shoulders. Misha resisted the urge to look down, keeping her eyes level with Hanako’s until she was done removing her other garments—skirt, brassiere, tights, panties, all of it, the process feeling like it happened in slow-motion and fast-forward at the same time. Only when Hanako finished did Misha let her gaze wander.

Misha had seen Hanako’s upper body once before, but not… like this. As if thinking the same thing, Hanako stood up and turned around, looking over her shoulder at Misha while holding her long hair aside to give a clear view of her back. What Misha had seen before was just the tip of the iceberg. The true extent of the scarring revealed itself here: it wrapped nearly all the way around Hanako’s upper back, with the area near her right shoulderblade in particular resembling a patch of leather. From there the angry red fingers reached down to her waist and kept going, with another large blotch right on Hanako’s hip. Even her foot and ankle bore the scars, looking rough and scabby from repeated blistering inside Hanako’s shoe.

It occurred to Misha that she was very likely the only person alive, save for Hanako herself, to ever see this. Finally raising her eyes back to Hanako’s face, she saw the girl’s lips quivering, a wetness forming in the corner of her eye. A mix of emotions lanced through Misha: compassion, longing, concern. Most of all, admiration. In this moment, she thought that Hanako had to be the bravest person she’d ever known. She got up and ran a hand slowly down the burned side of Hanako’s right arm, using her other hand to undo her own blouse. The baring of her body meant nearly nothing next to Hanako’s but Misha thought it was the least she could do.

Letting her blouse join Hanako’s on the floor, Misha hugged her from behind, lacing her hands around Hanako’s stomach and resting her chin on Hanako’s shoulder. She could feel the strange texture of the scar tissue against her own right side, cool smoothness occasionally broken by a pock or rough patch. Shifting herself back and forth against it, Misha let out a light giggle as it created a tickling sensation. Hanako’s body relaxed in response to the sound, losing the slight tremble it had at Misha’s first touch.

Tugging Hanako around so she faced the bed, Misha leaned her forward and released her. Hanako let herself fall onto the sheets, her torso resting on the mattress and her knees on the floor. With her head turned to the right, Hanako’s hair fell over her face, obscuring it from view. Sitting down next to her, Misha brushed the dark curtain back to reveal a light smile on Hanako’s face, her eye looking up at Misha from within its cradle of scar tissue. Misha ran a hand over that scored cheek, pausing for a moment as Hanako’s face nuzzled against her palm.

From there Misha’s hand ran across Hanako’s neck, to the top of her spine and then down her back. She traced the areas where the burnt tissue joined with healthy skin, her fingers passing from one region into the other, bringing a shiver from Hanako when they reached the end of their journey. Misha understood why Hanako felt that she had to hide this but she couldn’t think of the scars as ugly, or even particularly jarring. They were part of Hanako, part of her mystery and part of her beauty. They were entrancing to Misha… she hoped that one day she would know every inch of them.

Taking a firm hold of Hanako’s hips, Misha flipped her over onto her back, eliciting a gasp from Hanako at the sudden handling. Each girl could see the desire smoldering in the other’s eyes. Hanako had long ago stopped worrying that her scars would lead Misha to reject her yet she had carried a lingering fear that their full exposure might suppress the physical side of their relationship. Seeing how things were now, that fear was quelled completely.

Misha hooked her hands under Hanako’s armpits and pushed her farther up the bed until her head touched the wall, then climbed on top of her, undoing her own brassiere before leaning down over Hanako. Hanako let her arms rest limp at her sides, giving herself over to her girlfriend. Misha eagerly accepted the offering, sweeping in with a swift kiss. Hanako felt one hand wrap around her, cradling her with its palm on the right side of her back, while the other one found her left breast. Her mouth opened to respond vocally, only for Misha’s tongue to use that opportunity to slip inside, leaving Hanako unable to do more than sigh back into Misha’s mouth.

Not nearly satisfied yet, Misha removed her lips from Hanako’s and sat back up, using both hands to grip Hanako’s breasts. Hanako looked up at her, breathing heavily, feeling the pressure of those fingers on her flesh, waiting for them to begin moving… a long moment passed, then another, and a smirk finally creeped its way onto Misha’s face as her façade broke. Hanako pouted at her, realizing her game, then brought her own hands over Misha’s, using them to massage herself. The temporary break in the rhythm of her breaths ended, their depth increasing once again as Hanako felt heat rushing to her cheeks, as well as other parts of her.

She ran her hands up Misha’s arms as she felt Misha picking up her end of the slack; Misha gave her one more gentle squeeze before moving her own hands down Hanako’s stomach and back up her sides. Holding Hanako’s torso that way, Misha planted kisses across her chest, feeling Hanako’s fingers on her face and neck as she moved from one breast to the other. Hanako’s ribs jerked slightly under her grip as she joined her lips around the right nipple; Misha heard a light moan as she teased it, then felt a sudden pressure on the top of her head. She realized that Hanako was pushing down on it, wanting it to go lower.

Misha tensed and tried to pull up, worrying that she’d done something wrong, but a firm grip held her down. Her eyes turned up to look at Hanako for communication. There was no concern in Hanako’s eyes, only longing, more intense than ever. She began to push again, gentle but insistent, her expression a little flustered… nevertheless, she persisted, sending Misha’s face down, down past her navel, past her hips… Misha closed her eyes and slid back off the bed, onto her knees, understanding what Hanako wanted her to do. She took hold of Hanako’s thighs as they opened to receive her, touching her lips down gently in between.

Misha moved her head slowly down until her bottom lip touched the sheets, relishing the way Hanako squirmed each time she paused and applied a kiss to the tender flesh. The kisses weren’t only foreplay, serving also to help Misha figure out what was where. Once she knew where her target was, she started again from the bottom of Hanako’s folds, bringing the very tip of her tongue into play as it searched for the right spot. The sounds and shakes from her girlfriend guided Misha’s affections, letting her know when she was getting closer or farther away, until the shape of Hanako felt right inside of her mouth. Then she pushed forward, a sharp inhale from Hanako telling her that she was right on the money.

With her own heart pounding hard now, Misha put foreplay aside, her tongue forcing itself into Hanako’s hood to run directly over the small bump underneath. Hanako cried out so sharply that Misha worried she might have hurt her. Thankfully, Hanako’s hands told another story, their fingers lacing into Misha’s hair and holding her tight against that spot. Their grip only relaxed when Misha obeyed their implicit command, applying steady stimulation that brought forth moans from Hanako in time with each stroke.

Misha released Hanako’s left leg and slipped the hand down her own waist instead, pleasuring herself in tandem with her girlfriend. It was easy to let go, to lose herself in the whirlwind of sensations as they moved together, over and over, each one’s arousal feeding back into the other. Misha felt herself drawing rapidly to the edge—the ragged quality to Hanako’s breathing told Misha that she was the same, about to go at any moment, their bodies heating up together. Misha didn’t want it to end so soon, but her hips were beginning to quake with anticipation, matching the constant tremor in Hanako’s own legs. There was no going back now.

“M-M-Misha!”

Hanako’s legs seized around Misha’s head, her fingers digging in hard enough that it would’ve hurt if Misha weren’t so absorbed in other feelings. Misha’s knees nearly gave out as Hanako’s climax triggered her own; she still did her best to drive Hanako on even while her own body convulsed, a muffled cry making its way out of her throat. After it was done, Misha leaned back and around Hanako’s knee, slumping against the side of the bed as she took in deep breaths. Hanako looked down at her from the mattress, her legs hanging limply next to Misha.

“Happy birthday, Hacchan~.”

“Are you o-okay, Misha? I hope I didn’t…”

“I’m great, Hacchan. Really great~.”

“Okay… me too… come sn-snuggle?”

“Ahaha~! Naked snuggles, Hacchan? That’s like super duper~ super snuggling! Just, uhh… one sec… nnnghh…”

“Misha?”

“…my legs don’t wanna move yet. Wahaha~! Okay… here I come!”

Misha dragged herself up and onto the bed with a grunt, flopping lazily over on top of Hanako, who pushed her back to a more reasonable position with a laugh from Misha. Once she was better situated, Misha wrapped her arms around Hanako’s torso, realizing that her hands joined on Hanako’s right side. Directly on top of some of the most thorough scar tissue… Hanako didn’t shy away from that touch, though. Not anymore. She dug her own arm under Misha’s body, letting Misha’s head rest on her chest while her other hand played with the drills, noticing that their little romp had scrunched said drills a bit out of shape. Hanako supposed this was Misha’s equivalent of bedroom hair.

“M-Misha, uhh… th-thank you… for c-comforting me.”

“Yeah, Hacchan, of course. I said I always would~!”

“I’ll c-comfort you too, you kn-know. If you ever w-want…”

“Careful, Hacchan~! I like to be ‘comforted’ pretty much all the time! Ahahaha~!”

“Aha, I sh-should’ve known… maybe I’ll tr-try later?”

“If you want, Hacchan! If you want~! You’re extra naughty all of a sudden, huh~?”

“W-w-well! I j-just, uhh!”

“Wahahaha~! It’s okay, Hacchan. I remember what you said. You don’t want to think about anything today, huh~?”

“Mmm…”

“Don’t worry! I think we can do that~! Ahahaha~!”

“You’re so b-bad…”

“But so are you~! Hey… Hacchan?”

“Yeah?”

“I just wanted to say… I love you.”

“Ah… I love you too, M-Misha.”

[ADULT CONTENT WARNING]

Chapter 40 | Chapter 42

baikouha
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:04 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by baikouha » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:09 pm

Just wanted to say I really enjoy this story and have been checking often to never miss an update since it started. I don't have any input but I felt like saying I really like your work here!

Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 104
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:11 am

baikouha wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:09 pm
Just wanted to say I really enjoy this story and have been checking often to never miss an update since it started. I don't have any input but I felt like saying I really like your work here!
I'm glad you enjoy it!

---

Chapter 42

Misha felt a tap on her shoulder, causing her to jump in surprise.

[Earth to Misha.] Shizune said.

“Ah!!”

[Sorry, Shicchan, I was just—]

Misha raised her hands back into proper signing form and looked hurriedly to the front of the class, only to find Mutou reclining behind his desk, looking through papers without paying the class any mind.

[Mutou just assigned us group work for the rest of the class. Here…] Shizune explained, showing Misha the page number. [You were really spaced out. What’s up?]

[Nothing… thinking about things.]

[Hanako things?]

Misha frowned.

[What else could it be? She’s not here today. I’m sure you’re worried.]

[Yeah, Shicchan. Stuff is… complicated.]

[You and she have both been skipping together, you know. You didn’t think I wouldn’t notice that? You’re not… having a rocky time, are you?]

[Sort of, Shicchan. Something, uhh, something happened. That we didn’t expect. I don’t think I should really talk about it. I’m just worried about Hacchan. She has a lot on her mind.]

[Well, she misses sometimes. She’s gotten a lot better about it, but it’s not like her attendance has ever been perfect. Maybe she’s just feeling down for today.]

[I don’t think it’s just that, Shicchan. Today is—]

[Mind I join?] a new pair of hands joined the conversation.

“Aha~! Hi Tacchan!”

Misha looked to Shizune for approval, which she gave with a nod. Takashi pushed a desk up to theirs, smiling at the both of them. Smiling at Shizune in particular, Misha noted.

[Where Ha-na-ko?] he asked.

[We were just talking about her. She’s… not feeling well today.] Misha said.

Shizune’s face darkened, realizing what day today was.

[It is this week… I nearly forgot.] Shizune said.

[What is?] Takashi asked, looking between them.

[Her… birthday.] Misha said.

[She doesn’t like her birthday.] Shizune explained. [Before, around this time, she missed a whole week. Most people wouldn’t know, but tracking attendance is part of my job. I almost made the Nurse go and check on her that first year. If Lilly hadn’t been around for her, I might have done it. He was the one who made the birthday connection, since he had seen the date on her medical record.]

[That is concerning. Why?] Takashi asked.

[We don’t know.] Misha said. [We tried to have a little party for her, just me and Lilly and Akira, but… it didn’t go all that well.]

[I see. Well. Not my business. I hope she feels better. Should we?] Takashi continued, pointing to the problem set that remained untouched in their textbooks.

“Ah, yeah…” Misha said.

Shizune adjusted her glasses, giving Misha a suspicious look. It seemed that she wasn’t quite ready to drop the subject.

[What day, Misha?]

[What?]

[What day was the party you had for Hanako?]

“Ah, ahaha~, uhh…”

Misha looked away guiltily. Shizune gave her a brief scowl.

[Skipping class just to party is irresponsible, even if it’s for someone’s birthday. But, from what you said, and Hanako’s record, it seems… that there are other factors, that I’m not aware of. I won’t ask you to share them. I don’t know if it’ll help, but tell her the attendance lapse won’t count against her.]

[Thanks, Shicchan.]

Misha looked over to Takashi, who had simply been following their conversation with interest. Seeking to transition away from the topic, Misha pointed a finger accusingly at him.

“Tacchan~! Quit staring at Shicchan’s boobs!”

“Wh-what?! I was just following her… hand signs! They’re—in front of her chest!”

“Sure, Tacchan. Suure~! We believe you!”

Shizune smirked, then puffed her chest out proudly, one hand behind her back while the other held her glasses, her eyes flashing at Takashi from behind them.

“Admire them!” she demanded.

Takashi stuttered incomprehensibly, his inner battle between trying to look and trying not to look very visible on his face.

“Boys are so dumb. Wahahaha~!”

Shizune let him linger through another moment of embarrassment before reverting her posture, her face growing serious again as her torso seemed to deflate back into place. She fixed Misha with another look of consideration.

[If you want to go to her, Misha, you can.]

[Now? Are you sure, Shicchan?]

[I think you should. You have the president’s permission. Just… make sure she’s okay.]

[Alright. I will. Thanks, Shicchan.]

Takashi gave her a smile and a nod. He barely knew Hanako but he seemed in agreement with his council superior.

“Bye~, Tacchan. Don’t have too much fun with Shicchan!”

“I doubt there will be anything fun about doing these problems…”

“Really~? Are you saying you don’t like working with Shicchan?”

“What? I didn’t—you—gahh!”

“Ahahaha~!”

***

Misha knocked on Hanako’s door and waited patiently. She opened it after only a moment.

“Hi, Misha…”

Hanako sounded… glum. That was the best way Misha could describe it. Her expression was neutral but she didn’t lift her eyes from the floor as she let Misha in and went to sit down on her bed.

“Happy b—ah… I mean, uhh, hi. Hacchan~.”

“It’s okay, Misha. I know it’s my birthday.”

“But you’re, ahh…”

“In my room? Yeah. I thought you would come see me.”

“You know me. Ahaha~.”

Misha sat down next to her, slowly moving one hand over to Hanako’s where they rested in her lap. Hanako turned her right hand over, allowing Misha’s to join with it.

“So~. Here I am, Hacchan.”

“Thanks, Misha. For being here.”

“Of course, Hacchan~.”

“Can I do something?”

“Anything.”

“Can I hold onto you, Misha?”

“Sure, Hacchan. Sure~.”

Hanako leaned into Misha, resting her head on Misha’s shoulder and wrapping her arms around her girlfriend. Hanako didn’t look distressed or overly sad. There was no indication that she might have been crying. She was just… glum. Misha wanted to say something, do something, to make her feel better. A hundred different things came to mind by which she might attempt that, most of which she’d already tried over the past few days. Misha didn’t do any of it. She only hugged Hanako back.

Hanako’s head fell down onto Misha’s chest. Misha swapped occasionally between stroking her hair or holding her hand. They stayed that way for a long time. Eventually Hanako’s head ended up in Misha’s lap. Misha had no idea how long it had been when Hanako finally glanced up at her.

“Okay, Misha…”

Hanako paused, scrunching her face up a bit. She wasn’t shaking and she didn’t look nervous. Still, she seemed like she didn’t know what she wanted to say.

“Okay, Hacchan~,” Misha echoed.

That got her the slightest tug on the ends of Hanako’s lips.

“I guess… I promised to tell you what’s wrong with today, but. It’s d-dumb, Misha…”

“I don’t understand, Hacchan. What’s dumb? You’re not dumb…”

“The reason why… it’s… it’s a st-stupid reason…”

“Hmm~. If it’s your reason, I probably won’t think so, Hacchan. Try and see.”

“Well… when I was in middle school… I got really used to being alone, and, I got to wh-where… I just wanted to… to not ex-exist, until I could go h-home again. I didn’t even want people to talk to me a-anymore…”

“I always thought you wanted to have more friends, Hacchan.”

“I did, yes, but… it’s not just s-simple like that. I wanted to have fr-friends like I saw everyone else have. Friends that were just… f-fun, and easy to talk with. But when people tried to talk to me, it was really w-weird, and awkward, because, I didn’t know what to do and I got really an-anxious. I thought… I thought I could never really have friends, so for then, I kind of gave up. And, you know… a lot of times, people would only talk to me to p-pick on me. So I just wanted them to go away…”

“Hmm~. I guess I kind of get it, Hacchan. But what’s it have to do with your birthday?”

“My b-birthday… it’s the only day… it’s the day I had to ex-exist. Even if I didn’t w-want to… the teachers always s-said it, if it was someone’s b-birthday, so the wh-whole class would look at me… people would try to talk to me m-more, even just to say h-happy birthday, but… I h-hated that, too. Because I didn’t think they m-meant it…”

“So… you don’t like your birthday… because people gave you too much attention?”

“I kn-know… it’s dumb, M-Misha… I used to be a really b-b-bad person…”

“Hacchan, no…” Misha reassured her, hugging her tight around her shoulders. “Thinking that way… it doesn’t make you a bad person. I get it. You had to be the way that would get you through stuff. I just thought… well, everyone kind of made a big deal out of this. I hope you aren’t mad for me to say it, but~, I’m almost a little happy. I was scared that there must be something really big and awful that happened to you today.”

“N-no, Misha. Lots of bad st-stuff has happened to me… one time, people gave me a gift b-bag on my birthday, but when I opened it, it was e-empty. It just had a note saying I should w-wear it on my head.”

“Hacchan! See! That is really awful!”

“Not r-really, Misha. I guess it’s bad, but… it wasn’t the w-worst thing that happened to me. Not at all. Really, my b-birthday was just another day. Nothing sp-special ever happened.”

“So it was just another day, that wouldn’t let you forget about how your days were. I think that kind of makes sense, Hacchan.”

“Yeah, I guess… now when I th-think back, I think, some of those other students, they really might have wanted to be my friend, or… at least make me feel a little b-better. I don’t th-think they were all trying to be mean. I just made it too hard for them. I was so stuck… any funny l-look, or little c-comment, I always thought it was something bad, somehow.”

“Well, I don’t think you’re that way now, Hacchan. You don’t seem that way to me at all. Even if…”

“…If?”

“…Ehehe…”

Hanako sat up a bit and gave Misha a play-scowl.

“You have to s-say it, Misha. That’s the rule.”

“…aha, ehaha~! I was just gonna say, Hacchan. When I met you… you still got mad sometimes. You still get mad sometimes now, I guess, but… you never seemed that way to me, like you didn’t even want to be friends. I could always tell you were trying.”

“I used to be a lot w-worse, Misha, that’s right. If people looked at my sc-scars, or said they felt s-sorry for me, or anything like th-that, I would just… I would h-hate them so much I couldn’t th-think. Even L-Lilly, sometimes. I did… get really m-m-mad a few times, at my old sch-school, and I had to do some c-counseling. The counselor said I should tr-transfer to a new envir-ronment, and, that was here. I thought, I was being sent even farther away, to a special place for br-broken people. I thought here, I would just stop ex-existing for real. So that first b-birthday here, I was so used to h-hating that day, so I remembered th-things, and I got stuck in my head, and I just…”

“It was just too much.”

“I just gave up, for that w-week. I stayed in my room. I wouldn’t talk about it, I wouldn’t talk about a-anything… so people, L-Lilly, the Nurse, they just thought there must be something sp-special they didn’t know about. But there wasn’t. It was just how I was.”

“So how did you come back from that, Hacchan? That was before I met you… a long time before, it feels like.”

“I guess it was L-L-Lilly…”

“You guess? That doesn’t sound very sure, Hacchan. What did she do?”

“She just kept tr-trying… more than anyone did b-before… she came to my door every d-day, and I would scr-scream at her, but then she’d be back the next day. Until I finally came out.”

“What did she do then?”

“N-nothing, Misha. She asked if I wanted to talk about it. I didn’t. That was all. I thought she would be very mad at me, or, or that she’d want me to say s-sorry, or… something. But she didn’t make it w-weird. I think that’s why I could st-still be friends with her, like I was. She can just… go past st-stuff.”

“She is good at not talking about stuff, huh~?”

Hanako’s face fell considerably.

“Ahh~… sorry, Hacchan. I shouldn’t have said that. If you don’t want to talk about her…”

“It’s okay, Misha. You’re right. Lilly, she helps you just ig-ignore stuff. But the st-stuff was still there. I always felt like… like she was still sorry for me, even if she hid it really w-well. But, now, I th-think… what if she wasn’t nice to me because of that, but because… of other r-reasons…”

“Because… she liked you? I don’t think it’s that simple, Hacchan. Sometimes you like a person right away. But other times, you only start liking them after a long time, after you really know them. That’s how I was with Shicchan.”

“You’re pr-probably right. Lilly… she did help me a lot. I don’t kn-know if I could have gotten any better without her. Now it just feels like…”

“What does it feel like? It feels weird, Hacchan?”

“Yeah, Misha.”

Hanako sighed.

“It’s weird. I don’t like… w-w-weird,” Hanako said.

“Well, we can’t hide from it, Hacchan. That’s what Lilly did. If we just ignore it, it won’t get any better. So… we’ll have to talk about it, sometime~. Maybe not today.”

“Mmm… I can talk about it, I just don’t even know what to s-say. I don’t know what to do, M-Misha. Were you… were you s-serious, about what you said?”

“Which part, Hacchan~?”

“You know wh-which. About… all of us… being g-g-girlfriends.”

“Aha~. Maybe, Hacchan. I really thought you and Lilly-chan might already like each other that way, for a little while. You seemed… really close. So I just think… I don’t want to make you pick, Hacchan. I don’t want anyone to have to pick. That’s not… fair, if someone gets left alone.”

“Would it… would it really make you happy, Misha?”

“I just said it because I thought it might make you happy, Hacchan~. If it’s—”

“No, M-Misha. You can’t h-hide from it, remember? You have to tell me… do you… want th-that?”

Misha took her turn to sigh.

“…I don’t know, Hacchan. Maybe it’s like… it’s like I’m different people, and I don’t know which one is really me. One of me is scared you would lose Lilly if we don’t do it, another one of me is scared that I would lose you if we do. I can’t pick either one of those.”

“Yeah… I don’t want to p-pick, either…”

“What about you, Hacchan? Do you really… if you really only ever liked Lilly as a friend, then we definitely can’t do it. But it’s not like that, is it?”

“I don’t know how it is either, M-Misha. I always thought… Lilly was very pr-pretty, but… I never really th-thought I could ever be with someone like her, even if she, was like us, you know… even if she liked g-girls too. Being with Lilly was like… just a st-stupid dream I had.”

“But you did want to be with her?”

“…S-sometimes.”

“Hmm~. Well, it’s too hard, Hacchan. We can’t figure it out by ourselves. I think maybe we should get advice.”

“Advice?… From who? Sh-Shicchan?”

“Ehehe, maybe not Shicchan. I have an idea…”

Chapter 41 | Chapter 43

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