Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

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Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Sharp-O » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:25 pm

Chapter Fifty: Mirai Part II

~~~~Molly~~~~

“Good afternoon, Miss Kapur!”

“Hi, Nat. Looking for your shadow?” I ask as I hold the library door open and allow Natsuki to limp past me; her tiny, flower-patterned cane tacking softly on the tiles as she passes.

“Yeah… He’s gone walkabouts again. Was he okay after your session?”

“Seemed perfectly fine to me, but if he’s not here you could try that other place.” I offer with a smile at the tenacious young girl with dwarfism. Natsuki snaps her fingers in realisation.

“Shoulda known! Thanks, miss!” She smiles before racing off. I shake my head with a smirk and enter the library. The expansion looks great, there’s more computers, more stacks and even the reception looks smarter. Apart from the dishevelled heap that rests atop it.

The students tend to leave her be, she’s just the quirky librarian after all. I carefully tidy the desk around her, stacking the books in order to one side while placing her papers in a neat pile on the opposite side. I look around and the library is as quiet as ever.

Tablets have all but replaced the need for this place but when the job opportunity came up after Yuuko left, she leapt at the chance. She joked that it was just a way to be paid to sleep but I know her better than that. The sleeping guardian of knowledge and stories.

“Suzu…” I whisper and gently try to rouse her by stroking her silken locks like I do every morning. She stirs a little but ultimately ignores me. Okay, time to pull a Pavlov.

“Suzu… If you don’t wake up, I’m just going to have to draw on your face.” I whisper with a lilting tease. A frown forms on her face. Even now she’s bloody cute.

I reach into my coat pocket and retrieve a marker pen. I pop the cap and gently waft it under her nose. Her eyes shoot wide open and she catapults herself backwards on a rolling desk chair, slamming hard into the hardwood filing cabinets behind her.

“Don’t you dare!” She glares at me, hair splayed and eyes manic.

“I wouldn’t dream of it.” I smirk, replacing the cap and pen into my coat. Suzu pats her hair down and brushes her smart attire back into a presentable form. I can’t help but follow the shapely form of her legs up to her miniskirt. I cross one arm across my chest and slip my glasses down to the end of nose. “Red suits you.”

“That’s very unprofessional, Miss Kapur.” Suzu chides, closing her thighs together tightly and blushing.

“So is sleeping on the job, Miss Suzuki.” I laugh and she peddles her legs to slide back to the desk.

“Don’t you have kids to traumatise?” She jabs, folding her hands together and resting her chin on them. I edge around the desk and perch on the edge of it beside Suzu, crossing my legs.

“All done for today. I even got a surprise visit today.” Suzu looks at me confused and I smile. “Hanakio.”

“{Bloody hell}. The reunion’s tonight, isn’t it?” Suzu’s face becomes one of utter disbelief. “Ten years…”

“Give or take…” I giggle at her British-ism. “It’s been a Time Trippin’ Ride.”

She gives me an incredulous look. She hates that I picked up Taro’s love of Kamen Rider and I love to wind her up about it. Speaking of…

“Do you think he’ll show?” I ask, concerned.

“He has to. This’ll be the first time we’ve all been together since the wedding.” Suzu responds, folding her arms and leaning back in her chair.

“I hope so.” I cast my gaze down and Suzu gets out of her chair to hug me.

“He’s never let us down before, right?” She reassures me and a bury my face in her neck, holding her close. She still smells of raspberries.

“Do you have your clothes picked out for tonight?” I ask and she nods, breaking away from me with a kiss.

“Yup, you?”

“I figured I’d wear the slinky dress…” I smile coyly at her and her eyes sparkle.

“I love the slinky dress!” She gasps with a grin.

I know…

~~~~Hanako~~~~

“Can we stop for a rest? My knee is giving me hassle…” Akio whines as we come to a stop. He rests against the wall and I cross my arms.

“Sorry for running you ragged, Akio…” I say softly.

“Don’t be… You actually lead us to one place I wanted to visit.” He smiles and I tilt my head. He points to the door behind me and a flood of memories washes over me. I trace the scuffed veneer of the blank brass plaque on the door with a smile.

“The tearoom…” Akio’s arms snake around my waist and he kisses my neck. “Don’t get any ideas, darling.” I smirk.

“None that you haven’t already had, dear.” He purrs into my ear. I look up and down the halls before spinning on my heels and grabbing Akio by his tie.

“You are truly the worst influence on me, Akio.” I give him a wicked smile and drag him into the tearoom, closing the door and pushing him hard against it. We laugh before our lips meet with a lustful vigour.

“Hana…” He mumbles but I ignore his words. He lit the fire, now he’s going to taste the flame.

Haaaa-naaa~” He chuckles nervously. If he’s worried about his tie, I’ll tie it back up for him later.

“Ex-excuse me?” Eep! If my body could creak as I slowly turn to look at the origin of the new voice, I’m sure it would. That’s how tense I am in this moment.

“W-w-would you m-m-mind waiting until I leave until you start, um…” Oh god… It’s that boy from before!

~~~~Akio~~~~

I’m yanked away from the door and Hana slips into the space behind me, covering her scarlet face with her hands. I haven’t seen her react like this in a long time.

“Congrats. I don’t think I’ve seen her this skittish since we were students here.” I chuckle to the lad, readjusting my tie.

“You went here?”

“The cane didn’t give it away?” I ask with a cheeky grin and he giggles. “Sorry about that… I’m Akio. The shy broad behind me is Hanako.” I say, offering my hand out. He takes it and gives a limp handshake before quickly retracting it.

“Hana, do you think you can pry your hands away from your face long enough to check the cupboards?” I look back over my shoulder and she nods, dashing over to the cupboards to look through them. I take a seat across the table from the boy and Hana joins me soon afterward.

Some asshole’s cleaned out everything…” She whispers.

“What’s wrong?” The boy asks meekly.

“My wife used to spend a lot of time having tea in here with her girlfriend.” I tease and Hana shoots daggers at me before laughing.

“I know it’s not much but…” The boy leans over and fishes out two soft drinks from his bag.

“Thanks.” I say and Hana graciously accepts, brushing her hair behind her ear. The boy’s eyes go wide.

“You okay?” I ask and his eyes dart to me before resting on the table.

“Y-y-yeah… I’m s-sorry. I’ve j-just… Never seen someone like me b-before.” He mumbles quietly. Hanako and I share a look and he tugs at his tight scarf until he reveals deep, dark scarring along the his mouth and jaw line.

“What’s your name?” Hanako leans across the table and places her hand on his.

“I’m… I’m Akira.” He looks at us from under his shaggy blonde hair and we both share a laugh. “Wh-what?”

“Nothing, Akira. It’s a damn good name.”

“A lovely name. I bet the girls are just tripping over themselves to get to you.” Hana smiles and he blushes.

“N-n-not really. Not with a face like mine.” Poor lad…

“Trust me, Akira. Chicks dig scars.” I throw a sly smile at Hana and she does the same.

“Guys like them too, if you’re so inclined.”

He goes to speak but the door is pretty much kicked open by a tiny brunette girl.

“N-Natsuki!” Akira stammers.

“I’ve been looking everywhere for you, Akira! You were supposed to meet with the Theatre Club today!” The girl releases an exasperated sigh as Akira quickly wraps his scarf tight again.

“O-okay, I’m coming! Sorry…” He stands and bows to the both of us. “It was nice to m-meet you both.” He walks out with the girl, who continues to chastise him for being late.

The door swings close and the room falls silent.

“You knew he was scarred, didn’t you?” I turn to face Hana and she’s got that sweet and innocent face that means she’s been dragging me around campus for a reason.

“The way he looked at me earlier… I had a hunch. It’s good to see there’s someone on his case though. Someone to encourage him.”

“She seemed a bit full-on, if you ask me.” I offer and Hanako giggles, patting my arm.

“So were you, if I remember correctly.”

“I didn’t go around kicking doors in!” I protest. “Not that I couldn’t have. I’m pretty badass, y’know.”

“I know, dear.”

“So what, you think those kids are the next us?” I ask and a smile creeps across her face.

“You know the old saying; history doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------

~~~~Ritsu~~~~

The bartender was more than willing to let me tinkle the old ivories while I wait for the others to arrive. Hanako had the forethought to reserve the joint for our reunion and the owner was more than happy to comply. Apparently he’s a friend of hers. Or Lilly’s. I forget which.

I don’t even know what to play right now. I’m nervous to see everyone again, it’s been a long-ass time. I check my watch for the umpteenth time since I got here.

“A watched pot never boils, miss.” The young, handsome bartender smiles as he places a glass of wine on a napkin on the piano.

“Thank you. Any requests? I’m struggling to think of a tune…” I admit and he strokes his chin in thought.

“I know it’s an odd one but…” He looks around as if he’s about to suggest something very inappropriate. I’d be up for it. “Do you know Extra Magic Hour?”

I rack my brain and play a few notes of the chorus of the song I’m thinking of. His face lights up like a beacon, a flashing sign that says I got it right. Heh, I always seem to get asked for songs by geeks but for a smile like that…

“I’ll give it a shot.”

♫~Extra Magic Hour~♫

It’s light and lyrical but with a fast edge to it that I enjoy. I close my eyes and allow myself to be swept along in the melody as a smile creeps onto my face. I can usually tell a lot about a person by their requests. This guy, this guy is fun and funny. A youthful heart that sees wonder all around.

I only play for maybe two minutes at most since I don’t know all of the song but the round of applause I receive is gratifying, soon joined by three-or-four more clapping pairs of hands. And then a wolf-whistle. Ah. They’re here.

I open my eyes and find my friends looking on with beaming smiles. I look to the bartender who is still clapping but softer.

“That was amazing. Thank you.” He grins earnestly and I reach for my wine.

“Thanks for the drink…”

“Shiro. Will you be playing any more tonight, miss?”

“Call me Ritsu and you bet your ass I will if you keep bringing me wine.” I say with a playful wink. He laughs and steps off the stage, followed to the bar by Akio, Miki and Molly. Suzu and Hana hop onto the stage and I greet them both with hugs.

“It’s great to see you guys!”

“You too, Ritsu. That was a lovely piece. What’s it from?” Hana asks and Suzu snorts.

Anime. I recognise it from Molly’s iPod playlist. I’m surprised Ritsu knows it though…” She leans in with a teasing smirk.

“I do watch TV sometimes and yes, I sometimes watch anime. It’s not a big deal.” I pout, flicking Suzu’s forehead so she’ll wind her neck back in.

Akio, Miki and Molly return with drinks and hand them out, Miki dashing back to the bar for her own drink. I make the rounds and greet them each in turn.

“Good to see you, Rits.” Miki squeezes me tight and I return in kind.

“Ditto, Meeks.”

“Told you not to call me that.” She frowns and I laugh.

“Yeah well, you tell me a lot of things.” We give sly smiles to each other before Akio calls attention to himself. In a good way for a change.

“Guess the gang’s all here.” Akio grins but Suzu soon corrects him.

“Barring the obvious absence of an elephant in the room.” She giggles and Molly elbows her girlfriend. Miki and I share uneasy looks. He should be here.

“Rumours of my demise are greatly exaggerated!” A booming voice calls from the doorway and everyone’s eyes look to the door to see a broad mountain of a man stand with his right hand tucked into his beige slacks and his left holding a jacket slung over his shoulder. God, when did he grow a beard?

He strides over with purpose, only to be met by a swift jab to the shoulder from Miki.

“I told you not to take all day, tons-of-fun.” She chides and his smile broadens.

“Someone had to cover for your lazy ass at work. The director’s pissed that you missed the location shoot today.”

“Oh darn! It’s almost like there’s not a half dozen other guys who could have done it!” She retorts and he laughs.

“Yeah, but none of them have the parkour skill you do nor do their butts look half as good in pink spandex as yours does.” He leans in and kisses Miki on the lips, sending a shiver up my spine.

“Hey guys, how’s Alice?” He greets Hana and Akio next, hugging them both tight.

“Looking forward to seeing her Uncle Taro again.” Hana says with a smile and Akio places his glass down.

“What’s your poison, big man?” He asks and Taro gives him his order as Molly pounces on him.

“{Hello, Molls. How’s work}?”

“{Driving me mental}!” She laughs and he shakes his head. He gives Suzu a hug and exchanges some friendly barbs with her before finally reaching me.

“It’s been a long time, Taro.” I say with a wistful smile.

“Too long, Ritsu. C’mere.” He opens his arm up and I slip my hands around his chest and hug him tightly. He’s just as husky but he’s definitely lost some weight. Miki’s been good for him. She always has, really. She should get him to shave that beard though…

“It’s great to see you.” He smiles as warmly as ever and I nod in response.

“Missed you too, big guy.”

Akio returns with a drink and Taro takes it after tossing his jacket onto a chair. Everyone gathers around a single table, Miki taking my place at Taro’s side.

~~~~Taro~~~~

I look around at our little group and feel a warmth I haven’t felt since our last day of school and at Hanako and Akio’s wedding. We’ve all grown so much in the past ten years…

Akio and Hana, the stay-at-home dad and the writer. Partners in every sense, the perfect counterbalance to each other. I pity Alice’s first boyfriend because one or the other will put him through the ringer.

Molly and Suzu, the Oxford-educated psychologist and the shrewd librarian. Lovers parted, only to be reunited by the place that brought them together. A Yamaku success story in more ways than one.

Ritsu, accomplished concert pianist. As radiant and as talented as I remember. I’m glad we’ve managed to stay acquainted, even after we drifted apart. My biggest failure will always be my inability to give her what she wanted… Children. I hope this reunion will give us the chance to bury the past for good and go forward as friends once more.

Miki… My right hand. She was already working with me at the studio before I found out that the same neurological impairment that paralyzed my arm also affected a number of other minor bodily functions. Just like at Yamaku, she supported me and helped me through both a demoralising revelation and a bittersweet break-up. We soon found ourselves together again, hand in hand. Old habits die hard, I suppose.

I smile to myself and raise my glass in toast, everyone following suit.

“To friends, both here and absent. To loved ones, passed and present. To stories told and untold and, most of all… To us.”

Our glasses ring out and we begin the party in earnest.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Author's Notes: Big-ups to Swampie for allowing me use of elements from his Shizune in The Snow story (which borrowed elements from Monomyth) and thank you all so much for following this series, giving feedback and support all along the way. Thank you.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by swampie2 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:57 pm

Author's Notes: Big-ups to Swampie for allowing me use of elements from his Shizune in The Snow story (which borrowed elements from Monomyth)
This is an advanced level of fanfiction! Now somebody needs to take Akira and Natsuki and go wild, or alternatively, Alice!? :lol:

It's sad to see Hisao go, I'm glad that my version of the character managed to help others on a large scale before he kicked the bucket, at least. It's even sadder to see Taro X Ritsu go, then even worse to see that Ritsu hasn't gotten over it at all.

However; It's hard to empathise with Ritsu when you imply that the reason Taro couldn't have children was completely out of his control. I want to be on her side, but I just can't.
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:03 am

It's a shame to see Taro and Ritsu didn't work out, and yeah that is a pretty shitty reason to leave him, but overall this was a very satisfying epilogue. The positive emotions more than outweigh the negative ones(Ritsu and Taro breaking up and Hisao's death). Definitely looking forward to anything else you write in the future.
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by brythain » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:14 am

Ahhhh... wonderful! I'm so glad Monomyth is complete. I loved Developments and it drove me nuts because it was always not-complete and I'd have to wait for the next instalment and then I'd have to read everything all over again, which was great but sometimes frustrating.

You've done excellent (and I mean that it really, truly excels) work on all the characters, and tied them up nicely with various bows at the end. An instant classic, and written beautifully at a rapid clip. Thank you very much, and congratulations on your achievement! :)
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Hesmiyu » Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:43 am

Monomyth complete. New characters added in epilogue. Bring on Monomyth 2.0 (Duologue) ;)

In all seriousness, really good writing. Actually affected my emotions at some points if I remember (so many chapters), I glad I work alone :P.

Here to the same good quality in The Fixers and anything else you decide to write :)
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Decadent Albatros » Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:04 am

Dammit you're killin' me once again, Sharp! D: I mean, poor Ritsu she deserves so much better :cry:
Apart from the obvious, yet good, sad parts I must say that you nailed this epilogue. Hanakio's rocking as always and so does our beloved Sully so that's good. Taro's entrance was just so damn awesome, I loved it :lol: ; plus by the photo, he just looks so damn badass. Oh and, last but not least, the photo in the previous part was so effin adorable and yes, the part is good as this one thought I would just end up repeating myself.
Anyway, as I said before, Monomyth will stay as an old-time-favourite and I think we all look forward to read some of that Fixers goodie~

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Hesmiyu » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:33 am

Decadent Albatros wrote:Dammit you're killin' me once again, Sharp! D: I mean, poor Ritsu she deserves so much better :cry:
Apart from the obvious, yet good, sad parts I must say that you nailed this epilogue. Hanakio's rocking as always and so does our beloved Sully so that's good. Taro's entrance was just so damn awesome, I loved it :lol: ; plus by the photo, he just looks so damn badass. Oh and, last but not least, the photo in the previous part was so effin adorable and yes, the part is good as this one thought I would just end up repeating myself.
Anyway, as I said before, Monomyth will stay as an old-time-favourite and I think we all look forward to read some of that Fixers goodie~
Every time I see the name 'Sully' I automatically think of the one from Monsters, Inc or Jake Sully from Avatar. Guess I watch to many movies.
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Alpacalypse » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:40 am

And with that, Monomyth is over. Praise be to Sharp-O! \o-o/

Basically just insert what I said about the last chapter here, replacing the bit about goodbyes with something about Hanakio still being cute as fuck ten years on.
Also, I can't take muscled Taro seriously. Not from that picture. :lol:

I tip my hat to you, good sir! You have done a great service to the forums with this story, one that you shall be thanked for eternally. Continue your writing and stay awesome! :wink:
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Sharp-O » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:09 am

Thanks everyone, it means a lot to hear that you enjoyed the finale (and the series) so much! :D I thought I'd throw in my thoughts about how and why the characters end up where they are.

Hisao's Death: Hisao, while a background character in this story, is still a key element to the universe so I at least wanted him to have a legacy that was befitting a man of science. That said, his death in-universe was both tragic and hilarious because I am fucking sadist sometimes. When Akio says he deserved better, he meant it. No one deserves to die by being nailed in the chest by a t-shirt cannon at a convention. :lol:

Hanakio & Alice: These kids deserved their happily ever after and I was more than glad to give it to them. Akio being the stay-at-home dad was a cute idea that I had of him being a better man than his father and Hanako keeping her surname and hyphenating it with Akio's made perfect sense, combining her original family with her new one. Alice's name is obviously taken from Alice in Wonderland and while these guys are here, she's being looked after by Grandma Hina.

Molly & Suzu: Yet again, I couldn't have these guys apart just after they got together! What am I? Some sort of monster? But yes, they spent a couple years apart, frequent visits to the UK for Suzu and eventually, Molly moving full-time to Japan.

Ritsu: I'd say she gets the shortest end of the stick but that's not to say this is the bad ending for her. True, her and Taro splitting up was a major event but it wasn't as bitter or heated as you'd imagine. That event was just the straw that broke the camel's back. They're just not meant to be together. Sure, they fit well but they have no lasting power.

Taro and Miki: It was always going to be them. It's symmetry. Plain and simple. :D

Akira, Natsuki and Hikari: Degrassi: The Next Generation, anyone?
Last edited by Sharp-O on Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Decadent Albatros » Tue Sep 01, 2015 7:15 am

Sharp-O wrote:Hisao's Death: Hisao, while a background character in this story, is still a key element to the universe so I at least wanted him to have a legacy that was befitting a man of science. That said, his death in-universe was both tragic and hilarious because I am fucking sadist sometimes. When Akio says he deserved better, he meant it. No one deserves to die by being nailed in the chest by a t-shirt cannon at a convention.
That.... made the thing even more sad :cry:

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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:23 am

“You know the old saying; history doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.”
No, but I like it :-)
To loved ones, passed and present.
Either this is a pretty tasteless pun or it should be "past"

And... printed fotos in 2018? Don't they have smartphones? :-)

Anyway congratulations on finishing this story. It had its ups and downs, but for the vast majority of the time it was very enjoyable.
Good job on not making the Epilogue TOO fluffy, though there are still a few too many of the gang now working at Yamaku ...
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by swampie2 » Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:56 am

No one deserves to die by being nailed in the chest by a t-shirt cannon at a convention. :lol:
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Sharp-O » Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:43 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
“You know the old saying; history doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.”
No, but I like it :-)
So do I, it's attributed to a bunch of different people but I've always been fond of it :)
Mirage_GSM wrote:Either this is a pretty tasteless pun or it should be "past"
Tasteless pun, always go for a tasteless pun :P
Mirage_GSM wrote:And... printed fotos in 2018? Don't they have smartphones? :-)
Misaki likes it old school but digital copies are available on request.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Anyway congratulations on finishing this story. It had its ups and downs, but for the vast majority of the time it was very enjoyable.
Good job on not making the Epilogue TOO fluffy, though there are still a few too many of the gang now working at Yamaku ...
Good job I cut Lilly out of the line-up then hehehe Thanks, Mirage. You've been an invaluable help during the course of the series and I'm very thankful for your help.
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Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Hoitash » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:08 am

No one deserves to die by being nailed in the chest by a t-shirt cannon at a convention. :lol:
Is this a Simpsons reference, or are you just that sadistic?

Either way nicely done. It was quite a concept you had, and a lovely ride to experience.
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Hesmiyu
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:07 am
Location: England, United Kingdom, British Isles, Europe, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy

Re: Monomyth: Taro Arai's Story [Complete]

Post by Hesmiyu » Tue Sep 01, 2015 11:36 am

Hoitash wrote:
No one deserves to die by being nailed in the chest by a t-shirt cannon at a convention. :lol:
Is this a Simpsons reference, or are you just that sadistic?
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that. Did take me a minute to realise where I recognised it from though.
The line below is false.
The line above is true.

Being disabled is just differently abled differently labelled.

My art: http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=10190
Swim story(Currently 11 chapters long) http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=10221

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