Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Lost & Found" 16/5/16

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 6" 30/12/1

Post by Hesmiyu » Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:28 pm

Sharp-O wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:That's your storytelling as we all know and love it :-)
Rambling? :lol:
More like so many good and relevant ideas :P
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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 6" 30/12/1

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:06 am

That.
If you spent too many chapters on too short a timeframe, it's easy to have a chapter feel dragged out endlessly.
This very rarely hapens in your stories.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 7" 3/1/16

Post by Sharp-O » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:55 pm

Act 7:

Taro puts one unsteady foot after another onto the asphalt and pulls himself away from the van, Akio and Hisao at the passenger door talking to Kenji.

“Yer not stayin’ for the after-partay?” Akio asks in the kind of cringe-worthy way people do in comedy movies, only for Hisao to follow it up with a more pressing concern. “You’re not gonna flip out with all these girls, are you?”

Kenji waves his hand dismissively before leaning out of the window conspiratorially. “Nah, these girls aren’t feminists! They’re just girls, man. Well, not too sure about the one making goo-goo eyes at Taro but the rest seem cool…”

“You mean Rika seems cool.” Akio cocks his brow suggestively and Kenji blushes. “Pack it in, man! I’m playing it cool right now!” He hisses quietly, but still clearly loud enough to hear.

Akio and Hisao share a look and shrug. Hisao pokes his head through the open side door to address the group. “If he’s any trouble at all,” He starts, gesturing to Kenji who looks over his shoulder, offended.

“Oi!”

“Just call us and/or the cops. Either way, he’s gettin’ tazed!” Akio boisterously laughs as he hobbles towards his apartment building. Taro shakes his head and turns his attention back to Noriko, her glassy eyes trying to focus as her head sways lazily.

“It was nice meetin’ you, Nori. I had a lotta fun tonight so, uh, thanks.”

[Me 2! U cud stik around tho. We can have a after-party 2!] She giggles as she types and holds the phone out at an odd angle. Taro blushes and rubs his neck sheepishly. “Nice of you to offer but I best make sure these two don’t get into trouble.” He chuckles and Nori nods lazily. As Taro turns, Noriko tugs on his bad arm, pulling him closer and sloppily kisses his cheek. He stumbles back confused as she types one last message.

[Don’ read in2 tht. Jst a thanks you! <3] Taro looks at the impish young woman and can’t help but pluck the phone out of her hand, deftly tapping away at the screen. He hands it back and she glares at it with a puzzled look.

“My number. In case you ever want a… rematch.” Taro explains with a small smirk and she looks up, giving a wink and an OK gesture with her free hand.

The two groups give one last goodbye before parting, Hisao and Akio helping each other ascend the stairs. “Oof, you couldn’t have moved to a place with an elevator?” Hisao gripes, supporting Akio way more than the other way around.

“Exercise will do you good, just like wide-load back there!” Akio throws a mischievous grin over his shoulder, only to be met by a flipped bird from Taro. “Though he might be getting a bit more exercise from Noooori~” He teases and laughs along with Taro and Hisao.

“Back off, glass-jaw. You’re not my real dad!” Taro snipes with a dumb grin adorning his blushing face.

“Don’t take that tone with me, young man!” The red-head cackles as he heaves himself onto his floor and the trio of revellers make their way along the concrete balcony-come-hallway toward their destination.

The door swings wide as they get near, Miki carrying out three empty bottles of wine bundled in her arms. She catches sight of the dishevelled trio and shakes her head at them. “Look at you three! What happened, y’all share a gin and tonic?”

“Those all yours or did you actually share with the rest of the class?” Taro is quick to snipe back at his other ex, who gives him the stink eye before planting the bottle along the wall under the kitchen window. “Better watch yourselves, guys. This is a bachelorette party and these ladies are half expecting a stripper!” She chuckles and Akio waves her off as he and Hisao slip past. “Already taking off my pants!”

Taro tries to follow them in but before he can cross the threshold, he finds himself tugged backwards by his collar. “Hold your fucking horses, Arai.” Miki sternly commands, coming face-to-face.

“Huh? Wha’s up, Miki?” Taro furrows his brow in confusion. Miki rolls the crimson sleeve of her shirt down over her stump before spitting on the material. Her hand becomes a vice around Taro’s mouth, her strong fingers digging into his plump flesh. After roughly scrubbing his cheek, she releases him with more force than should be necessary.

“You had lipstick on you, dumbass. Don’t give a fuck how it got there but I’ll be damned if I’m letting you and Ritsu fuck up this party for everyone with another stupid spat.” Taro stares blankly at the woman as she angrily tugs her sleeve back up her arm to match her right.

“Um, thanks…” He sheepishly mutters, his gaze cast downwards. “And stop with the hangdog shit, it don’t work on me.” Her annoyed tone eventually gives way to an equally annoyed sigh, however. “Did you at least have fun with the guys?”

“… Yeah. We drank, hung out with some other Yamaku survivors…”

“Anyone I know?”

“I don’t thiiiink so…? Think they were a couple classes after us.”

“Huh. What are the odds.”

“Right?” Taro chuckles and a hint of a smile plays across her lips.

“Good to see you smiling anyway, tons-of-fun. I know shit’s been rough but I don’t want to see any of that shit boil over tonight, ‘kay? This is about the old gang hanging out.”

“You told Ritsu that?” Taro scoffs, a little hurt that he’s getting a lecture if Ritsu hasn’t.

“Oh, I told her already. None of it interferes with the wedding, got it? Otherwise I’ll crack your stupid skulls together.”

“Roger!” Taro declares in English, giving a tiny salute, seconds before Miki’s stump collides with his chest. “Just get inside…” She sighs but with a smile and Taro does as he’s told, making his way into the living area only to be confronted by a tag-team of Hanako and Shizune.

“What w-were you th-thinking letting them get this drunk!” Hanako chastises as Shizune signs furiously, Hanako nodding along. “Exactly! What about Hisao’s h-heart?”

Taro peers between the two women to see a rather sheepish duo shrug at him, having shirked the entire blame onto his broad shoulders.

“You rat bastards.”

=======

As the evening wore on, and copious amounts of alcohol were consumed, the group became chattier and livelier, despite how cramped the one bedroom apartment was becoming.

“Seriously, you guys have, like, the coolest job eeeeever!” Molly rocks back and forth as she sits cross-legged on the floor, cradling her drink in both hands as she compliments Taro and Miki. “It ain’t too bad…” Miki remarks, with an aloofness that makes Taro elbow her in the ribs with an incredulous look on his face.

“You get to beat people up for a living; you love it.”

“Gah! Yeah, well it’s only ‘cause you got me the job in the first place…” Miki admits, a little smile of affection spreading across her face. She’s said thank you more times than she can count but Taro has always deflected it in the same way.

“Nuh-uh; I only got you an interview, you got the job.” Taro nudges her gently with a proud smile. He didn’t have to look far when the studio was looking for a stunt performer and despite her inexperience in the industry, her athleticism and tenacity put her far above the three other applicants.

“I’ve been keeping up with all the toku stuff coming out of Toei, especially after Suzu told me you guys were working there! I’d love to come see you guys film some time!” Molly beams excitedly, but Miki’s follow-up question throws her off a little. “Aren’t you leaving right after the wedding though? I don’t think we can arrange it on such short notice.”

“Oh,” Molly realises that she still hasn’t revealed her secret to everyone just yet. “Y-Yeah, I guess it is pretty short notice… Nevermind!” Her nervous chuckling thankfully goes unnoticed by the pair and Molly sighs a little in relief when Hisao plops down beside her.

“Hey, sorry to interrupt but Suzu said you got some new prosthetics while you studied for your doctorate?” His curiosity is barely contained in his drunken state.

“Um, yeah. I kinda got into an accident and my originals were busted, so the boys in the Engineering Science department designed my new ones. It ended up earning them a lot of extra credit!” Molly explains, leaving out the detail that it was her own clumsy nature that got her original prosthetics crushed by a bus.

She still remembers the look on the crowd’s face as she effortlessly pulled herself from under the bus sans legs. Someone fainted and a class mate had to carry her all the way back to her flat. A story for another time, no doubt. “Mind if I take a look? I’ve got some ideas but I haven’t had a chance to take a close look at any.” Hisao smiled earnestly.

“It’s a trap, Molls! He just wants a feel of your legs!” Miki cackles, making Taro almost spit his beer through his nose. Hisao turns beet red and looks horrified as Shizune leans across the back of the sofa. “He does have a leg fetish, Molly. Watch out.” Shizune flashes a playfully evil smirk flashes at Hisao and, remarkably, he turns even redder.

“You swore you’d never tell…”

In the kitchen, Akio is affectionately molested by his wife-to-be, the drunken Hanako perched atop a counter and playing with his hair from behind him, while her legs keep him standing close to her. Ritsu can’t help but smile as Hanako plays with his hair and Lilly offers an ultimatum that comes across as more than a little protective.

“Akio, I hope you realise that my sister and I have discussed it thoroughly and we ought to let you know that if you hurt our Hanako in any way…”

“You’ll carve ‘Akio is a scumbag cunt’ into my flesh, hollow out my torso and turn me into a human jack o’ lantern? Because someone’s already threatened it.” Akio says plainly, an eyebrow raised quizzically, as if asking if he was close. Lilly’s eyes go wide with shock as Ritsu’s narrow, unsure what demented person thought that up.

“I, um, I was going to say they’d never find your body but it seems rather tame in comparison now…” Lilly pouts, deflated that someone not only beat her to the protective punch but did it in a much more visceral manner.

“I don’t think Miki m-meant it, Akiooo~! Besides, I’d p-protect you~!” Hanako slurs as she curls her arms around his neck and nuzzles the side of his head in much the same way a cat would.

“That a fact?” Akio smiles a little as he looks back at Hanako. Their loving stare lasts a good few second before they press their foreheads together. “Love you.” Akio whispers.

“I kn-know.” Hanako whispers back with a quiet giggle.

=======

oof! Oh… Sorry.” Ritsu apologises, stepping back from the plush wall she hit absentmindedly. Taro nods and side-steps, pressing himself firmly against the wall to allow Ritsu to pass through the cramped hall to the bathroom. She squeezes past without a word and Taro reaches for the door handle.

“Hey.” Taro freezes but he daren’t turn around, he daren’t do anything that might provoke an argument or a crying fit so he stands stock still. “Yeah?”

“I think we should talk.” Ritsu suggests and Taro’s blood runs cold, but the soft timbre of her words oddly soothes him as her words carry across the six feet between them effortlessly, despite her inability to look at him for the moment. “Not right now, obviously, but soon. We need to talk.”

“Tomorrow?” Taro asks tentatively, wincing as he does so. “I’ll meet you at that coffee shop near your apartment?”

“Sure. I'll text you a time.” Ritsu affirms and then rejoins the party, not uttering another word to Taro for the entire night until she left, citing a carpal tunnel flare-up.

=======

“We’re not playing strip poker, Akio!” Hisao groans at his friend’s cheeky suggestion, lolling his head back onto the couch to look up at his girlfriend. Retiring her voice after the wine started to kick in, Shizune returned to the old faithful of sign.

[Scared?] She raises her eyebrows suggestively. Hisao rolls his eyes at her flirtatious smugness. “Why am I not surprised? We could be doing strip arm-wrestling and you’d still be convinced you’d win.”

“Pretty sure only me and Taro would win that deal!” Miki scoffs, Taro shaking his head. “It’d be strip arm wrestling, everyone would be a winner!” Akio declares.

“Except for me!” Lilly giggles from the corner, an equally glassy-eyed Hanako laying her head on her fiancé’s lap responds to her self-deprecation. “I c-could describe it…”

“That’s alright, Hanako. I much prefer a more… hands-on approach.” She smiles provocatively. “Though I’m not sure everyone would be comfortable with me touching them in such a way.”

“I’d be okay with it.” Molly comments plainly while Suzu snores softly on her lap. Lilly tilts her head in the vague direction of Molly’s voice, her smile only becoming more devilish.

“Why, Molly… Are you flirting with me?” Lilly’s airy laugh proves infectious as everyone eagerly awaits Molly’s retort. The dark-skinned Brit casts an alluring glance sideways at Lilly and smirks. “And if I was? Is that something you’d be open to?”

“I like to think I’m open to a lot of things.” The rest of the group shares looks that are equal parts shock, inebriated giddiness and curiosity. “After all; I do have a healthy, mature sex drive…”

“I th-think you’ve h-had enough wine, Lilly…” Hanako mutters as she blushes brightly, pressing her forefingers together. Suzu stirs and frowns grumpily at Lilly. “Hyoo back offa hurr… Sheez mine!”

“I guess that puts an end to that. I’m sorry, Molly, it looks like you’re off the market. Such a pity.” The sarcastic disappointment in Lilly’s voice doesn’t help but spur Molly’s playfulness on. “Don’t mind her, she doesn’t play well with others. I do though.”

[I think this conversation is getting out of hand.] A scarlet Shizune signs to her boyfriend, who simply laughs in response. “The irony of you saying things are getting out of hand…”

“Y-Yeah, didn’t you t-tie Hisao to a ch—” Hanako ponders aloud but doesn’t get far before a hand is clamped over her mouth. Hanako follows the hand up to it’s owner, Shizune shaking her head violently from side to side with her eyes shut tight.

“Owww… Dammit, Shizune.” Hisao heaves himself up, Shizune’s rapid clambering over him leaving him prone on the ground. She throws a flustered stare back at him and he smirks. “What? So what if you tied me up for ou—”

“Holy crap, she’s fast…” Miki exclaims as Shizune all but leapt from Hanako to Hisao in the blink of an eye, mounting him and pressing her hand forcefully over his mouth. “Shhhhut the fuck uuuup!” She whines.

“Mao whooz scurred?” Hisao mumbles into the soft flesh of Shizune’s palm, tickling and grossing her out in equal measure.

=======

Lilly, Molly and Suzu had bid farewell as their taxi arrived and Shizune and Hisao soon followed suit, the navy-haired woman bundling her paralytic boyfriend into the backseat of his own Prius and driving home to their shared apartment.

“You guys sure it’s okay for us to crash here?” Miki asks and Hanako nods rapidly with a wide Cheshire smile. “Yeeeah! Ish fiiiiine! I need sleepy-sleeps though…”

“No hanky-panky! I mean it!” Akio glares at both Taro and Miki, each lazily sprawled out on a sofa each. Taro felt heavier than he ever thought possible, a combination of fatigue and excessive drink dulling his senses. “Same to you, asshole…” He murmurs, eyes already firmly closed in the dimly lit lounge.

“See you guys in the morning’…” Miki yawned, stretching out like a cat before letting her limbs go limp.

“G-goodnight, Mee~kee! Goodnight, Taaaaarooo~” The swaying Hanako bids in a giggling whisper as she tugs at Akio’s hand and the pair disappear into their bedroom, the door closing is soon followed by a fit of giggles.

Taro flails his good arm a little over his head before connecting with the lamp and switching it off, the room darkening even more. “G’night, Miki.”

The room is deafly silent bar for the quiet din of the city outside. Miki lies curled on her side, her head pressed slant ways into a cushion as she peers through the shroud of darkness to the massive guy flat on his back, his good arm hanging limply to the floor.

“…Yo. Taro.” She whispers into the darkness.

“Mm?”

“So what was that girl at the bar like?”

“I dunno. Mute. Funny. Wicked at pool.”

“You let her kiss you and the most outstanding thing about her was that she kicked your ass at pool?”

“Yeah? What did you expect me to say?” Taro asks, his tone barely changing from a relaxed drone, his eyes still closed. Miki thinks for a second before sighing. “Actually, that sounds about right for you…” She says with a small smile to herself as she lays on her back as well, letting her eyelids succumb to gravity and close.

“G’night, dumbass.”

“Pleasant dreams.”
Last edited by Sharp-O on Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 7" 3/1/16

Post by swampie2 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:58 pm

Sharp-O wrote:“Shhhhut the fuck uuuup!” She whines.

“Mao whooz scurred?” Hisao mumbles...
Oh god it's perfect. :lol:
One Shots - My stories thread.

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 7" 3/1/16

Post by Alpacalypse » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:07 am

Huh, tying up your boyfriend for your first time comes back to bite you in the arse. Who'da thunk it?
A chapter full of Sharp-O-brand drunken banter ain't to be complained about. 'Twas highly enjoyable. :D

One small thing:
Sharp-O wrote:I don’t think Miki m-meant it
Wasn't it Lilly who was making the threats?
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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 7" 3/1/16

Post by Hesmiyu » Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:18 am

Alpacalypse wrote:One small thing:
Sharp-O wrote:I don’t think Miki m-meant it
Wasn't it Lilly who was making the threats?
If I got it right, Lilly is making the current threat and we are told Miki made the one mentioned beforehand. That's my interpretation.
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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 7" 3/1/16

Post by Alpacalypse » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:12 am

It says that "Lilly offers an ultimatum [to Akio]," which was her threatening him. Miki was messing with Hisao about the leg fetish at the time.
Though I can see where the confusion comes from.
I am the harbinger of your destruction... By herbivorous, mountain dwelling quadrupeds... fear me
---
I also write now, apparently. Since everyone else does it, I'm putting it here
---
I have also discovered that I'm a decent proofreader. Anybody with SPaG problems is free to PM me their work for a thorough analysis and/or evisceration. Depends on how I'm feeling.

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 7" 3/1/16

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:13 am

“Tomorrow?” Taro asks tentatively, wincing as he does so. “I’ll meet you at that coffee shop near your apartment?”
"When?"

"I don't care."

"Okay, I'll be there, but don't be late!"
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 7" 3/1/16

Post by Sharp-O » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:42 am

Drunken shenanigans! Now comes hungover shenanigans!

I fixed up the time issue and the the whole Miki/Lilly confusion. I'm glad people got a giggle out of this chapter! :D

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 7" 3/1/16

Post by swampie2 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:36 pm

Oh, and also:
Sharp-O wrote:“He does have a leg fetish, Molly. Watch out.” Shizune flashes a playfully evil smirk flashes at Hisao and, remarkably, he turns even redder.

Image
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Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 8" 5/1/16

Post by Sharp-O » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:41 pm

Act 8:

“Oh my goooooooood!” Molly growls angrily as she falls off her plush perch onto the floor. Peering into the darkness of the unfamiliar room, she claws at her jeans to stop the incessant chirping. Pulling her phone free to see who will earn her ire for daring to call at 6am, she sighs. She should have known, really. After looking at the screen with resignation, Molly accepts the call and brings the device to her ear as she closes her tired eyes.

“Hi, Mum…”

Beti~! I hope I didn’t wake you!” The excitably loud voice on the other end blares through the ear piece. Molly winces and turns down the volume before responding.

It’s six in the bloody morning… How’s everything at home?” Molly grumbles resting her back against the carpeted floor. “Everything is hunky-dory! Are you alright, Molly? You sound unwell.” Mrs Kapur offers in an apologetic tone.

“Yeah, just tired. It was Hanako’s hen do last night…”

“So you’re hungover, then! Consider this your just desserts!” She cackles loudly, the diminished volume of the call doing little to temper the woman’s boisterous laughter.

“Gah! Please… Not so loud…” Molly whimpers and her mother relents. “I just called to see if you were settling in okay. Did you manage to find a flat yet?”

Molly groans loudly. She hadn’t even settled into her hotel yet, let alone had time to go flat hunting. “No… But I’ve got, like, a week to do it. I’ll start looking today, promise.”

“Good, good. How did your friends react to the news? I bet they’re all excited to have you back!”

“They, um, they’re proper chuffed!” Molly tentatively offers, hoping that her mother won’t challenge her on it. “Well I’m glad. We all miss you, Molly. Your father sends his love, by the way.”

Molly smiles to herself as she thinks of her family. They’ve been so supportive, despite the usual tears over their only daughter moving to a different country. “Tell him I love him too…”

“She says she loves you too!” The woman calls out, clearly away from the phone and Molly laughs. She can just imagine them all gathered in the living room watching Casualty. “I’ll let you get some rest, beti; but be sure to call home soon.”

“Will do, Mum. Love you.” Molly sighs with a smile as her mother makes kissy noises down the phone. She disconnects the call and lets her arms go limp. She lies there for a few minutes until something cold and fleshy presses lightly against her fingertips. Her fingers twitch instinctively and a few seconds later her hand is struck.

Molly rises onto her elbows and opens her eyes a fraction to look at her attacker and finds an old acquaintance staring back at her. The tiny beast purrs softly as it clambers onto the flat of her stomach and begins treading the bare flesh. “Hi, Jinx… I wondered where you were…” She sighs affectionately and strokes the female calico cat bundling up on top of her. Suzu had rescued Jinx around a year ago, by Molly’s reckoning, and before she started dating Toshi.

The lights of the living room flare into life, burning Molly’s retinas like it was pure sunlight. She hisses loudly and the lights switch off. “Sorry, sorry! Forgot you were still here! Really, really sorry…”

“S’okay…” She opens her eyes tentatively to see the slender frame of a man timidly turn on a lamp next to the sofa she was sleeping on. “Oh, um, s-s-sorry again…” He turns away from her and she looks down.

Bollocks.” She quietly curses as she plucks the cat off her stomach and begins dressing. “Not much of a house guest, am I?” She offers in Japanese as she slips her jeans on quickly. “You can turn around now, Toshi.”

The timid man in plain pajamas turns, rubbing his neck — his usually pale face a deep shade of crimson and a crooked smile of embarrassment plastered across his face. “At least you were semi-clothed. I was almost shish-kebabed by Miss Miura after I found her sleeping naked…”

“I remember Suzu telling me about that,” Molly chuckles as she heaves herself backwards on to the sofa. “Um, don’t suppose you’ve seen my legs have you?” She frowns, looking around her immediate surroundings to no avail.

“N-no, unfortunately not…” Toshi replies, looking from side to side. “This is what happens when I drink; I end up getting leg-less!” Molly grins weakly with her arms gesturing to the flat parts of her jeans that dangle limply from the sofa.

“Huh, what?” Toshi tilts his head curiously and Molly laments that Taro or Lilly isn’t here to appreciate that joke. “Just British humour, Toshi. What are you doing up so early?”

“No rest for the wicked, I’m afraid; I have work in a few hours. Would you like some coffee?” He offers a warm smile as he walks past Molly to the kitchenette. Molly rubs her eyes, resigned to not getting any more sleep. “Please. Latte, if you don’t mind.”

“I think we have some of those capsules left…” He mutters as he begins opening cupboards. Molly claps her hand against the cushion and Jinx hops onto the sofa, content to receive more fuss.

“I guess that damn cat only likes girls…” Toshi chuckles and Molly looks back at him. “I go to stroke her and she hisses but if there’s a girl in the apartment; she’s all over them!” Molly can’t help but smile at the idea that pets take after their owners as Jinx nuzzles her palm.
The room fills with the sound of the coffee machine heating up as Toshi prepares two glass mugs. “Miss Kapur? M-may I ask your advice?”

“You can call me Molly, y’know? Shoot.”

“Sorry, right. Molly. Do you think Suzu is…” He trails off and Molly turns with a concerned expression. “I was just wondering if there were any…”

He furrows his brow as he braces himself against the counter top and sighs heavily. “Things have been a little weird for a while now and I’m worried that this wedding has brought back an ex-boyfriend or something.” Toshi admits, visibly worried as he looks to the guest he barely knows; one of Suzu’s oldest friends from school.

“Wh-what do you mean? How have things been weird?”

“Suzu and I haven’t… Um… Well… Y’know, since she got the invite.” He blushes deeply and looks off to the side. “I thought her best friend might know something about it but I really shouldn’t have said anything. Sorry.” He shakes his head and continues making coffee.

Molly looks down at Jinx, a sudden, burdensome weight in her heart as she processes the information she’s just been given. She sketches out a rough timeline in her head; From receiving an email with a certain job offer, and then getting Hanakio’s wedding invite by email the next week, to telling Suzu about how she was attending the wedding… It had to be around three months, give or take. Molly winced at the notion that just her attending the wedding was enough to make Suzu…

She took a deep breath; to steel her nerves for what she was about to say.

“I don’t think you have anything to worry about, Toshi.” She lies, looking up with a false smile that she would often deploy against her mother whenever she’d ask about Molly finding a nice boy and settling down. “There’s only, like, six guys from Yamaku coming to the wedding and Suzu never dated any of them.”

“Really?” Toshi’s somewhat dubious expression spurs Molly to elaborate.

“Yeah! Maybe it’s the whole marriage thing. You know how weird she gets about romantic things… She’s probably got this goofy idea in her head to stay chaste until after the wedding.” Molly offers, trying to make her reasoning sound as convincing as possible by using what she knows about Suzu. “Trust me, she’s just having one of her weirdo little fantasies. It’ll pass!”

A dismissive hand wave punctuates the explanation that Molly hopes would be true but has a pit in her stomach telling her otherwise, that it’s as false as the smile on her face. At the very least, Toshi appears to be appeased for the moment.

“Yeeeeah, she is a bit of spaz, huh? Thank you, Molly.” He smiles and Molly nods as she screams and curses at herself in her mind with a lamentable sense of nodus tollens.

=======

“Can’t I at least come in and get some god damned coffee?” Miki whines as both she and Taro shut the doors to her car in unison. He slips on the ugly pair of shades he dug out of Miki’s glove compartment to help against the onslaught of the mid-morning sun.

“Screw it, I owe you for the ride anyhow…” Taro groans as Miki throws on her own, much more stylish, aviators and smirks. They cross the street and make their way to the quiet little coffee shop that sits less than a block away from Ritsu’s apartment.

The pair make small-talk about the how stupidly early it is, how stupidly bright the sun is and how stupid in general the talk Taro is about to have with Ritsu is.

“Do you think I’m a coward, Miki?” Taro asks as they patiently wait for their coffee to be made by an all-too-chipper barista.

“Not really, no. A massive dork, yes — but no way are you a coward, man.” Miki affirms with a pat on his shoulder. Taro nods but his face remains sullen. “It’s just… I feel like I am. For doing this, all of this. Because I’m too damn scared of what would happen if the worst comes to worst. I should have told her everything from the start…”

“That’s what I’ve been saying but hey; stay positive, big guy! You’re already broken up, what have you got to lose?” Miki jokes but as Taro looks at her incredulously, she finds her confidence in the inappropriate gag waning. “Sorry.”

“Just… In case she kills me, and frankly I think I’ve got it coming, be sure to look after everyone okay?” He asks solemnly and Miki snorts with laughter, a faint smile tugging at his lips as she does so. “I’m being serious.”

“I know, that’s why it’s so funny!” Miki rises to pick up her to-go cup from the counter and raises it in a gesture of thanks. “I’ll wait in the car. Don’t go falling on your sword just yet, Taro.”

I’ll try.” He mutters quietly, picking up his coffee and finding a quiet corner of the café to wait the ten minutes Ritsu said she’d be.

=======

A loud, high-pitched yawn erupts into the living room as a cerulean-haired woman stumbles in, an overly large t-shirt draped onto her slender frame like a nightgown.

“Good morning, Mo--”

Where are my fucking legs, Suzu?!

The sudden, infuriated howl almost knocks Suzu into a cataplexy attack before she’s even fully awake but the more shocking thing is it’s origin point. With a dull thump, Molly aggressively shuffles across the carpeted floor, grunting as she inches closer to the woman, who steps backwards instinctively.

“Um, they’re… by the… door…?” Suzu almost questions her fuzzy memories of the evening before. She couldn’t quite remember whose idea it was that Molly leave her legs with the rest of the shoes but it made sense to the giggling pair at the time. The atmosphere was very different now as Suzu followed the woman scooting across her floor.

“What’s going on, Molls?”

“What’s going on is I’m gonna put my bloody legs on and proceed to kick your stupid, little arse!” Molly spits in English as she reaches the entrance way. Sure enough, there stood her legs. Bold as brass — or rather; a special blend of plastic, metal and electronics. Molly lies on her back and takes off her jeans before beginning the process of attaching them to her thighs as Suzu looks on.

“Wait? What did I do? What’s wrong, Molly? I’ve never seen you like this…” Suzu’s face creases, as if in pain. Molly stands tentatively, checking her balance is correct before turning around and continuing her assault; now just above Suzu’s eye level rather than waist height.

“That’s because I don’t like being like this and the fact that you made me say all that bullshit to Toshi…”

“W-W-What did you say?”

“That everything between the two of you will be fine! That you withholding sex,” Molly steps ever closer to Suzu and they step back into the living room as the semi-drowsy snaps awake at Molly’s stark revelation, “Is just some goofball romantic delusion of yours and that everything will be fine once the wedding is over.”

“What the hell!?” Suzu demands, taking a firm stance against the encroaching woman. “He had no right to tell you that shit! And you had no god damn right to lie for me!”

“What did you expect me to do!? After what happened at the hotel, and hearing what’s been cracking off, I wasn’t about to reveal that; oh, your girlfriend isn’t pining for an ex-boyfriend, she’s pining for her ex-girlfriend! Surprise, it’s me!” Molly sneers sarcastically while Suzu scratches her head furiously, pacing back and forth.

“Can you blame me for not telling him? You know what’s happened every god damn time my boyfriends have found out about us. They freak the fuck out and yeah, this time, I didn’t want that to happen.”

Suzu’s reasoning is sound and Molly can’t argue with it but the conversation is already heated and neither woman is likely to back down with their hearts laid bare.

“But you are going to break up with him! And I can’t help but think it’s not just a coincidence that this all started around the same time I said I was coming to the wedding.”

“Get over yourself, Kapur!” Suzu pushes Molly back, giving herself some breathing space and room to throw an accusing point. “This isn’t about you. It’s about me! I’m sick of trying to get it to work out with guys because, guess what? It doesn’t! Every relationship has been trying to measure up to the one we had and falling short, which is ironically emasculating when you think about it…”

“So this is about--”

“Noooo, this is about me trying to replace you with something else. And, as it turns out, I can’t fucking replace you. And I can’t have you either! You’ll be gone as soon as the wedding’s over and that’ll just leave me alo--”

“Well surprise, surprise, you sleep-walking pile of neuroses because I’m not going anywhere!”

The room, no, time itself seemed to stand still for the pair. The furious shouting now silent and the room descending into an eerily quiet void that Molly and Suzu found themselves adrift in as they stared at each other.

Shock, mixed with adrenaline, surged through Suzu’s body as her heart pounding like a jack hammer. Each successive beat akin to the tick and tock of seconds passing.

Molly raises her hand to her mouth, stunned that she just blurted out what she wanted to say all along but was afraid to for fear of the fallout it would cause. Fallout she was now knee-deep in.

What did you say?” Suzu squeaks quietly.

“Bugger it… I’m not leaving after the wedding. I’m staying.” Molly admits, Suzu’s face still a befuddled mess of emotion. “I got a job offer and, frankly, I jumped at the chance. It’s the perfect job for me! I get to come back here and be with you guys, I get to put my degree to good use and I get to help vulnerable kids just like us!” Molly smiles earnestly, the swelling pride she feels soon dips though. “This… Wasn’t how I imagined telling you. You were always going to be the first I told but after the hotel and what you were going to say… I felt like I… Shouldn’t.”

“Because of Toshi…” Suzu realises and slumps backwards, perching herself on her couch arm rest.

“Yeah. You remember what happened with Ritsu, right?” Molly asks and Suzu nods solemnly. “I’ve been accused of being the other woman before and it sucked. I didn’t want to actually be the other woman.”

“No, no, I get it. Shiiiit, I really put you in an awkward position. I’m so sorry, Molly.” Suzu’s head drops shamefully and Molly folds her arms across her chest, smiling ruefully. “I’m sorry for threatening to kick the shit out of you…”

The pair look at each other, warily, but smiling nonetheless.

“So. What do we do now?” Suzu asks, rasing an eyebrow. Molly rubs the back of her neck as she eyes Suzu ponderously.

“Why don’t you finish what you were going to say back at the hotel…” Molly says, her heart skipping a beat at the prospect. She knows what Suzu was going to say, especially as her pale skin blushes, but Molly wanted to hear the words all the same.

“I’ve always loved you, Molly Kapur.”

“Knew it.” Molly devilishly smirks but before Suzu can voice her protest, a pair of soft umber lips meet hers as Molly holds Suzu’s face in her hands. It’s tender and loving and just long enough that Molly doesn’t need to say another word on the matter. She steps back and chortles to herself as she moves towards the kitchenette.

Suzu stares, dumbfounded, at the gorgeous woman making coffee and cannot think of a single word to say that could match that gesture. As Molly quietly sets about her task, she glances in Suzu’s direction and shakes her head a little. Hypocrisy aside; the kiss felt worth it to Molly but there was still one huge obstacle to overcome but she felt that the heavy talk could wait for now and a little tease can only sweeten the atmosphere and lighten the mood.

“That’s all you’re getting, Suzuki.”

Oh.”

“For now~”

=======

The clunking sound of a door opening is followed by a gentle rocking that rouses Miki from her nap. Taro closes the door and breathes a heavy sigh.

“Dare I ask?” Miki winces, rubbing sleep from her eyes. Taro looks at her with a forced smile. “Well, I’m not dead, bleeding or covered in scalding coffee so I’m gonna chalk that up as a win.”

Miki gives him a decidedly disparaging look and his smile shatters as he rests his head back against the head rest, closing his eyes.

“That sucked the fattest sack of dicks!” Taro groans loudly and Miki can’t help but chuckle at his wording. “But at least we’re on the same page. I told her the truth, why I don’t think it will work out…”

“You don’t have to if you don’t…” Miki begins but Taro simply shakes his head.

“It’s all out in the open now, so there’s no harm in telling you. All those other break-ups were because of Ritsu’s fear that I might cheat, this time it was because I thought the same of her. I mean, how could I not? She wants kids so badly! She’s been off the pill for months now,”

What is it with you two and sharing details like that?” Miki mutters under her breath.

“But how long can I ask her to wait? How long before she gets tired of waiting. I’d end up just being the fat-ass failure who couldn’t give her what she wanted…”

“She’s not going to turn out like her mom, Taro…”

“And I didn’t want to give her the chance. Selfishness and cowardice… What the fuck have I become, eh?”

“You’re Taro Arai.” Miki musters quietly, placing her hand on his shoulder. “And you did what you felt was right by her. That’s gotta count for somethin’, right?” She hates that she can’t think of all the right words like he can but the least she can do, for a friend who tries to do his best with everything and everyone — especially emotionally-stunted, one-handed bitches, she thought — is to offer a helping hand.

“Let’s get you home, big guy. You could probably do with a shave and a shower.” She offers and Taro nods, rubbing his chin in thought.

=======

“Oh yeah! Ugh! You like that?” Akio grunts and gyrates in celebration as Hanako rolls her eyes, thoroughly fed up with this particular song and dance.

“D-Do you h-have to do that every round?” She slaps his bare thigh and Akio simmers down, sitting down back on the sofa with a smug look of triumph. “You’re such a s-sore winner…”

“I’ll remember that next time we play pool. Or cards. Or chess. Just let me have this one thing I can beat you at!” He grins as Hanako shrinks into the plush sofa, her cutesy dinosaur hoodie cloaking her frustration at being unable to dethrone the self-styled ‘King of Tekken’.

“Don’t you think we could be doing something else?” She asks, one big violet eye peeking out from her hood. Akio scratches his cheek as he goes over all the preparations that they’ve got left to do, which is a very short list thanks to the help of his family and Hanako’s own hard work.

“Well fuck. I just realised that I haven’t really done much for this wedding, have I?” Akio purses his lips and Hanako slinks into his lap, snaking her arms around his torso. “You’ve d-done more than plenty. You got all the invites out, you got your family catering the party… You even managed to corral Taro and Hisao into getting their suits fitted.”

“Yeah but not much leg work. You’ve been running around like Ibarazaki!” Akio chuckles, Hanako blushing timidly in response.

“I wasn’t actually thinking of w-wedding stuff buuuut…” Hanako says, Akio looking at her confused. “If you w-want to make it up to me anyway…” She whispers suggestively as she nuzzles his nose.

“Why, Miss Ikezawa! I’m saving myself until marriage!” He mockingly protests with a wide grin, only to be bopped in the ribs by his pouting fiancée. “No one likes a smart-ass, Hayashi.”

“But you love one.” Akio charms Hanako with a sincere and affectionate gaze before pecking her on the lips.

God, I hate you.”

“I know.”

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Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 9" 8/1/16

Post by Sharp-O » Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:47 pm

Author's note: Yup, that last chapter was pretty heavy but fear not! It's smooth sailing from here on out and look! It's that wedding I promised!

~~~~~~

Act 9:

“Okay! Okay!” Akio growls as he limps toward the incessant banging on the metal front door. “It’s 7am! What. The hell…” He opens the door wide to find the culprit standing a few feet away. “…is wrong with you, Lilly!? Did you have to knock so loud?”

Lilly’s eyebrows rocket up her forehead in shock as she turns her head from side to side, as if she were searching for something. “Akio? No, it w-wasn’t me, it was--”

BOO!” A shock of blonde hair atop a pinstripe suit jumps out from behind the door, frightening both Lilly and Akio, the latter stumbling backwards onto his rear. The mocking laughter that follows is only matched by the chastising tone of Lilly.

Akira! What the hell?! That was an awful, not to mention childish, thing to do! You could have hurt Akio.” Lilly frowns into the middle distance as the androgynous woman steps over the threshold, throwing a cheeky barb over her shoulder as she offers her hand out to the wincing Akio. “Oh, take that stick out of your butt, Lills! It was just a prank! Y’okay, scruffy?”

“Akira…” Akio tiredly sighs before taking her hand with a smirk, the other Satou sister pulling him back onto his feet. “You haven’t changed a bit. Not even that ugly suit.”

“Hey! You might not like my gags but don’t knock the suit!” Akira scolds before pulling the boy into a loving hug. “Good to see ya, Akio. Y’all ready to get hitched?”

“I’d better be, otherwise I have half a dozen women ready to beat my fragile ass if I make a run for it…” He rolls his eyes but gestures for them both to come inside, Akira leading her sister into the apartment.

“Okay, so where’s little--” “AKIRA!” Her ponderous venture further into the apartment alone was folly; a purple-haired pup pouncing on her and sending the pair tumbling onto the sofa with a soft ‘whump’ sound.

“Heheheeeey, Hana! Miss me?” Akira asks, knowing full well that Hanako did — especially given how tightly the younger woman’s arms are wrapped around her torso.

“Is everything alright?” Lilly asks and Akio sidles up beside her, crossing his arms. “Yeah, Hanako just tackled Akira onto the couch.” Lilly simply nods with a smile at Akio’s description. “That sounds about right.”

Hanako finally lets go and helps Akira off the sofa with a huge grin on her face. “I’m so g-glad you’re here, Akira, b-but why are you here so early?”

“You’re coming with us, little lady!” Akira announces with a beaming smile while Hanako and Akio look at each other confused. “Whuh-where?” Hanako meekly asks and Lilly answers.

“We thought we would offer up our hotel room for you and the bridal party to prepare while Akio and his groomsmen assemble here.”

“It would be pretty crowded in here with both, plus I bet there hotel is super-swanky.” Akio shrugs, encouraging his bride-to-be to go along with the plan.

“Shouldn’t your eyes be closed, scruffy? It’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding!” Akira smirks at Akio who narrows his eyes ruefully at her.

“I don’t believe in bad luck and besides; you’re already here.”

“That’s quite enough of that, you two. There’s a great many things to be done and not a lot of time to do it in. Hana, would you like some help packing your things?” Lilly chastises the squabbling pair before turning to Hanako.

Hanako nods and leads Lilly toward the bedroom, Akio following to retrieve his phone before returning to the kitchen. “Do you want the bridesmaids to meet you at the hotel?” He asks and Akira nods affirmatively as she explores the tiny apartment. “Yeah, they know where the Weston is, right?”

“Mm-hmm. There, Hisao and Shizune know. Now for everyone else…”

“Hey, Akio? Did my sister… say anything to you yet?” Akira asks quizzically and Akio chuckles. “You mean the explicit threat of disappearance? Yeah but Miki threatened to turn me into a Halloween decoration so it didn’t quite have the impact she’d hoped.” Akira laughs along before placing a hand on Akio’s shoulder and he looks up from his phone.

“But seriously — look after her. That girl means a lot to me and my sister.”

“Sorry to tell you, blondie, but she means way more to me.” Akio says, his eyes full of an intensity that Akira didn’t know he possessed. “She’s more than family, she’s my entire world.” He earnestly, getting an approving nod from Akira before her attention is drawn behind him.

“Oh, Akio…” Hanako’s quiet voice whispers behind him and he looks over his shoulder to Hanako and Lilly, both with bags and dresses folded over their arms. He steps towards her and nuzzles her nose affectionately, his cheeks flush.

“Meant every damn word. Now get going and I’ll see you guys later.”

“Don’t be late, Hayashi.” Hanako orders, pecking his lips before ushering Lilly and Akira out of the apartment. She stops at the door with a blushing smile of her own as Akio breaths a contended sigh.

“Same to you, Ikezawa.”

=======

Within the hour, the two parties had assembled and while the groom’s party was relatively sedate and relaxed, the bridal party were practically crazed in their panicked preparations, all the while Hanako sat in the middle of the chaos, quietly having her hair done by Molly.

“Okay, I think I’ve got them about even…” Molly mutters, circling Hanako and peering at her hair from every possible angle she can. “Yeeeeeah, that’s good.” She affirms, retrieving a can of hair spray from the myriad of hair products on a nearby table. “Eyes closed, Hana.”

Hanako does as she’s told, holding her breath for good measure. Measured hisses follow precision prodding and one final all-engulfing blast before Molly is satisfied. The mist dissipates, Hanako coughing a little as she finally releases her breath. “Okay… Eyes open!” Molly cheers and Hanako gazes at her own reflection held up by Molly.

Oh my god, Molly…” Hanako gasps, bringing her hands to her mouth. The bustling din of the room stops as the assembled women pause to look. Two neat braids corral the majority of Hanako’s long, silken locks along either side of her head, ending in a neatly combed ponytail. Her fringe still curves across her face but her scars are on full display. “It’s perfect.”

Murmurs of agreement, affirmations of beauty and sincere compliments follow — both for Hanako and for Molly on a good job. She blushes and soon sets about making touches to everyone else’s hair as Hanako takes the mirror and turns her head side to side.

She strokes the scarred side of her face, furrowing her brow as she does so. “This face does not deserve this h-hair…” She quietly — and sardonically — remarks but a curt snap on her left makes her jolt, drawing her attention to the predatory Shizune, who circles around Hanako before kneeling in front of her with a warm smile and a champagne glass full of an orangey liquid.

“Nonsense, Hanako. You deserve this.” She firmly states, placing her hand on top of Hanako’s. “If anything, Akio doesn’t deserve you. But I know he’s going to adore seeing you like that.” She smiles wickedly and Hanako nervously does the same. Shizune has never been a big fan of Akio’s humour but for her to go to bat for him is nice. “Th-Thanks, Shizune…” Hanako says, placing her glass down before hugging her friend tightly around the shoulders.

“Yo! Does that taste alright? I’m not sure I’m doing this right…” Miki scrunches up her face as she carefully and cautiously pours orange juice into a series of glasses with champagne in. Shizune shakes her head vehemently and rises, rushing over to her.

“No, no, Miura! Two parts orange juice to one part champagne! Are you trying to get everyone drunk for the ceremony?” She chastises, struggling with a few words while simultaneously resting control of the pouring from Miki. “Okay, okay! You do it! …Tiny-ass tyrant.”

“I heard that.” Shizune smirks but doesn’t look, her attention solely focused on making this bizarre concoction that both Molly and Lilly said was a wedding tradition.

=======

“Gentlemen… It’s been an honour.” Akio smiles as he holds his glass high, Taro and Hisao meeting him and clinking their glasses against his. The trio down a single of Yamazaki 12-Year each, two of the three reacting with slight coughs and grimaces.

“Fuck me, that’s got a kick…” Akio exclaims with something somewhere between a laugh and a wheeze. “How can something that smells that nice do this to my throat?” Hisao croaks, rinsing his glass out and replacing it with water.

“I told you, my dad only buys the best.” Taro chuckles, a familiar burning in his throat but he knew what to expect. Akio picks up the bottle and gives it one last approving look before placing it into a cabinet. “Remind me to thank your father for the excellent paint thinner.”

“Don’t be such a pussy, Akio.” Taro snarks, placing his glass in the sink. “Now can you help me with this god damn tie?”

Akio nods and helps his one-armed friend with his tie, commenting to Hisao as he does so. “Did you ever hear back from Kenji or is he missing presumed dead?”

“He sent me a text saying he’s alright, but ‘alright’ could be his code for ‘for the love of the man-gods help me’ for all I know.” Hisao shrugs, knotting his own tie neatly. “But I don’t think he’s coming, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“Nah, I was just worried that he got laid and freaked out again. If so, there’s probably only one thing that can put him right; the love of a good man.” Akio chortles as he finishes helping Taro.

“I’d never describe you as a ‘good man’, Akio…” Hisao remarks glibly as the red-haired groom plants two hands firmly on Taro’s shoulders. “I’m not… But he is.”

“Ohhhh no!” Taro tries to interject but Akio only tightens his grip. “I’m sorry, buddy, but as the only single guy in this room… You’re going to have to take one for the team.”

“I’m not taking anything.” Taro sternly replies, only making Akio’s grin grow wider. “Or give one for the team, whatever’s your preference though I always hoped you’d be more of a bottACK!”

The soft swat to the side of his head from Taro’s meaty mitt puts an end to his perverse joking. He rubs the side of his head as Taro looks on, blushing.

“Gotcha, wide-load.”

=======

“Hot damn…” Miki stares mouth agape, much like Shizune.

“So much for out-dressing the bride, huh Suzu?” Molly, dressed in her aqua-blue sari elbows the bridesmaid dress wearing Suzu with a small smile, only receiving a single nod in return. Akira and Ritsu hurriedly begin explaining, in copious detail, what they’re seeing to Lilly as Hanako steps out of the bedroom.

Splayed across the ground and leading up to her chest, the flowing white gown reaches up and over her chest, wrapping snugly around her torso while two straps bind her biceps. A pair of long satin gloves stretch from her fingertips to above her elbows and her veil cascades backwards over her violet hair.

The dress, while exposing more of her skin than she’d truly desire, just looked too good for her to refuse and Hanako certainly paid the price for it. With the money she had been squirrelling away from her various writing gigs, she just about managed to buy it outright though she ended up sacrificing her own luxury budget for two months to do so as well. Akio was certainly making enough for them to live comfortably for those two months but she still felt guilty for buying such an extravagant dress.

“S-S-So? H-How do I l-l-look?” She worriedly asks, an unsure smile precariously placed on her blushing face. Everyone smiles but it’s Lilly who moves first, offering her hands out and Hanako taking them. Dressed as they are, one could be forgiven for thinking Hanako and Lilly were the ones getting married — a fact that Hanako is all too aware of as the tall blonde woman opens her cloudy, sky-blue eyes. Hanako gulps hard as she watches Lilly’s lips curve into a beaming smile, water collecting in the corners of her eyes.

“You look radiant, Hanako.” She says proudly and earnestly. Lilly didn’t need to see to know Hanako looked amazing, though the helpful descriptions certainly confirmed what she had imagined in her mind. “R-R-Really?” Hanako whispers, Lilly closing her eyes once more and nods solemnly. She looks to the others and they all seem to agree.

“I say we leave that chump at the altar and just elope!” Akira laughs, hugging the younger woman, kissing her affectionately on the cheek.

Shizune offers her handkerchief to Miki who declines, despite how watery-eyed she had become. “Akira. Would you?” Shizune asks, holding her phone out to her older cousin and she takes it as everyone groups together. “I’m going to send this to Misha.” Shizune explains as she joins the others and Hanako nods with understanding.

“Okay, ladies! All together now, big smiles!” Akira commands and they obey. The camera flashes and Akira hands the phone back to Shizune, who holds it out for all to see.

“I’m just putting it out there… But we look hot.” Ritsu cheekily grins and the women erupt into a chorus of laughter.

=======

“Oh my handsome little boy!” Hina Hayashi exclaims as she plants a series of wet kisses on Akio’s cheeks, hugging him tightly as she does so.

“M-Mom! C’mon, quit it!” He chuckles; seeking desperate help from the assembled Taro, Hisao, Sadao Hayashi and Misaki Kawana — the latter taking a picture of what could only be described as a ‘violent mothering’.

“Was that necessary, Misaki?” Akio asks incredulously, still in the ravenously loving clutches of his mom. The smartly-suited woman nods; her wild bob of indigo hair waving gently as she does so. “You paid me to shoot your wedding, Red and that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

“Yeah but we aren’t pay-- Wait, we’re paying you? So you’re not doing this pro-bono?” He asks with a mix of faux concern and sarcasm, Misaki scowling at the insinuation that her time and effort isn’t worth it. She storms inside, camera in hand as Akio calls out to her. “It was a joke, Misaki, c’moooon!”

“Let her go, Aki. If she’s known you since you were at that school then I’m sure she knows you’re joking.” The gruff yet gentle timbre of his grandfather’s voice draws Akio’s attention almost as much as the hand on his shoulder. “Speaking of… Hina, let him go! You can’t cling onto him like that now…”

“B-But he’s my baby~!” She blubbers a little and Akio rolls his eyes. She had always been loving but after they escaped his bastard father’s tyranny, Akio thought she became a tad melodramatic but he’d become used to it. He’s still glad that she didn’t act like this when she met Hanako for the first time, for which he had his grandparents to thank.

“He’s not a baby anymore, Hina… He’s a man! Soon to be a married one as well.” Sadao Hayashi smiles proudly at his grandson. “I just wish Rinko were alive to see it…” He quietly admits and Hina soon switches her targets, wrapping her arms around her father.

“She’s here, dad. I know she wouldn’t miss this for the world.” Hina reassures him and he takes some comfort in the idea of her spirit watching over her grandson’s union. “You’re right…”

“She did take a shine to Hanako…” Akio admits with a wistful smile. He didn’t necessarily believe in ghosts but it was a nice thought all the same. Hisao follows a couple of Akio’s first cousins to the entrance of the chapel and cranes his neck.

“I think that was the last of them…” He observes and Akio nods, just as a two-car convoy rounds the bend from the distant gated entrance. “Just in time too. It looks like that fool Yoshi came through on his promise after all.” He chuckles, admiring the black Mitsubishis that his second son — Akio’s uncle — had brought to deliver the bridal party as a wedding gift. Sadao plants his hand on Akio’s shoulder firmly. “You know where you need to be, Akio. Don’t keep your lady waiting.”

“Alright, gents,” Akio claps his hands together as he strides purposefully into the chapel, flanked on either side by his best men. “It’s showtime!”

The cars pull up and Yoshi Hayashi hurriedly exits the driver’s seat of the first car opens the rear door to allow Molly, Suzu, Ritsu and Shizune out. At the second car, Akira hops out of the passenger side to open the rear door; Miki exiting first and helping Lilly out. The Satou sisters link arms and approach the chapel as Miki helps the final passenger exit.

“We’ll see you guys inside!” Molly waves as she joins the blonde sisters, Misaki passing them with a friendly greeting. The bridesmaids assemble, each offering luck and support before three of them go to take their positions at the front of the chapel. Misaki takes several shots as Hanako and Miki approach the entrance.

“Looking good, Hana. You’re going to knock him dead.” Misaki offers with a smile before taking one last shot and heading inside, Miki following after giving a hearty thumbs up.

“Oh, Hana, you look gorgeous!” Hina beams, hugging the bride tightly before holding her at arms length. “Th-Thank you…” Hanako blushes with a smile before turning to Sadao. “I b-believe you sh-should have this b-back.” She offers up a gloved hand to the old man, her engagement ring sitting flat in her palm. Sadao looks at the tiny trinket and smiles before closing Hanako’s fingers around it, his warm hands holding hers.

“Nuh-uh, little lady. Rinko would’ve wanted you to have it.” Sadao insists. “After all… It should stay with family.”

Hanako gives him a stoic nod, unable to speak for the lump developing in her throat. She smiles as she gazes at the engagement ring, one of the few treasures both Akio and herself managed to find in the wreckage of the Hayashi family home in Miyako four years ago. More than the house was lost, however, as the grief overwhelmed Rinko Hayashi and she died of a heart attack.

Hanako remembers the week they — along with other members of the Hayashi clan — spent digging through the remains of the old house; desperate to find something, anything, worth salvaging. Amidst the crumbled timbre and debris, they found Sadao’s safe, partly wrenched out of the concrete foundation. The engagement ring was one of the few non-perishable items in there and when Akio proposed, it was that ring he asked with.

She slips the ring onto the fourth digit of her right hand and folds them neatly in front of her as she bows respectfully. “Th-thank you. I w-will treasure it fuh-forever.” Hina and Sadao share smiles before hugging the violet-haired woman before them. They break away and head into the chapel.

Hanako takes deep, measured breaths as she approaches the back of the chapel, row upon row of stark-white pews flank the aisle in a regimented fashion. The congregation stands and turns, all eyes now on her. As the wedding march begins and Hanako begins to walk down the aisle, she keeps taking measured breaths, glancing at the Akio’s and her friends from Yamaku and work on one side and Akio’s family on the other — each and every one with their attention solely focused on her. She keeps breathing slowly until she finds she can’t move her legs anymore. Her breath catches in her throat and she closes her eyes tightly.

Not now, she pleads internally, hoping against hope that she can win the fight against an encroaching anxiety attack. Don’t you dare do this, Hanako. You’ve worked too damn hard to turn and run now. Don’t. You. Dare. Run.

And Hanako doesn’t run, for which she is somewhat relieved. Crumpling to her knees in front everyone she’s ever known or loved however?

D-D-Damn it.”

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swampie2
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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 9" 8/1/16

Post by swampie2 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:30 pm

This is a rollercoaster of emotions and I'm not sure if I want to get off Sharp's wild ride. :lol:

I'd noticed that you'd written Hanako's stutters into this story where they were missing in the true finale, and I wondered if you were going to play with that idea, but now I've seen it with my own eyes I only feel pain.

CRAAAAWLIIING IIIIN MY SKIIIIN
One Shots - My stories thread.

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Cordially Invited - Act 9" 8/1/16

Post by Sharp-O » Fri Jan 08, 2016 7:41 am

swampie2 wrote:This is a rollercoaster of emotions and I'm not sure if I want to get off Sharp's wild ride. :lol:
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swampie2 wrote:I'd noticed that you'd written Hanako's stutters into this story where they were missing in the true finale, and I wondered if you were going to play with that idea, but now I've seen it with my own eyes I only feel pain.

CRAAAAWLIIING IIIIN MY SKIIIIN
Let's face it, this was bound to happen. Hana's progress has been good but the stress of a wedding and being the centre of attention would certainly play up her anxiety and again, I'm a sadist and I like to put these characters through the ringer. :twisted:

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