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

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Snowblind Part V" 19/4/16

Post by Sharp-O » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:18 am

swampie2 wrote:It was all going so well :cry:

I'm glad you took the story in a different direction than I was going to. That doesn't mean I forgive you for that cliffhanger though. :wink:

Sad to hear things aren't going well in real life, I hope you get things sorted out soon freind!
All cliffhangers, all the time! Thanks for the well wishes, Swamp.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
as it leaves without Miki and I.
You know what I mean, don't you? :-)
Argh! Every damn time! I always mess up one of those. I keep second-guessing it. I'll sort it.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Nice artwork. Where'd you get Shizune from? She looks familiar...
From a VN called Sousei Kitan Aerial, apparently. It's also the origin of the guy in Rika's photograph in Flutter. I'll be honest, I don't really look at the titles of the galleries I scour for assets but she popped out as quintessentially Shizune (sans glasses). I only had to change the eye colour!

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Snowblind Part V" 19/4/16

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:23 am

Welp....Taro done fucked up. :lol:

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Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Snowblind Finale" 22/4/16

Post by Sharp-O » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:42 pm

~Miki~

"Well that didn't take lo-What the fuck happened, Arai!?" I cry out, stepping over a knocked over thigh-high table and the remnants of a vase in the entranceway, before getting to the living room. Getting the all-clear to come home after being turfed out for my roommate's booty call, I really didn't expect to find the place trashed.

"Oh… Yeah, I'll, uh… don't worry, I'll get to it in a second." Taro mumbles from the kitchen and I look around and see everything else seems fine so seriously; what the fuck? I turn my attention back to the shattered fragments of blue porcelain and sigh sadly.

"Awww man, that was my favourite vase…" I mutter. It was a house warming present from Hana…

"It was our only vase…" Taro corrects and I frown. I storm over to the kitchen yank at his shoulder to spin him around, only to recoil when I see his face.

"GAH! What kind of freaky shit did you get into?" I ask, mildly concerned at the band-aid across his left cheek and swollen, red eyes. A quick glance down at his good arm shows red-raw claw marks, which he must have been cleaning and dressing. "What the hell happened?" I ask, grabbing at the band-aid and tearing it off.

"Shit! Owww! Watch it, Miki… Damn." He hisses, wincing as I uncover another scratch on his face. "Just a couple scratches. Not a big deal."

"Not a big deal? You look like you got your ass kicked by a hedge-trimmer; what the fuck did she do?” I ask, my blood boiling. I warned her. I gave her a fair shot but when she does this to my friend? To my Taro? Miki gon' smack a bitch!

"Hey, look, it's nothing alright? Kinda deserved it to be honest…" He leans back against the counter, replacing the band-aid with a wince. "I said something really fucking stupid and I got what I deserved."

"What could you have possibly said to deserve this?" I question, folding my arms, awaiting his answer. He looks down, rubbing the back of his neck in the hangdog way when he really feels like he's fucked up.

"I said Ritsu's name." Oh. "While Noriko was blowing me." Pffffftttt.

"Can you, uh, run that by me on more time." I say, barely containing a snicker and a huge grin. He looks up with a 'Really?' expression and I have to cover my mouth.

"That's awful. Really, really, awful. Totally bad." My thinly veiled attempt to keep a straight face isn't working, especially with how high and muffled my voice is. I'm so sorry, Taro, but that's hilarious.

"Just get it out of your system…" He sighs, giving me reluctant permission while shaking his head. I have to brace myself against him as I let out a roaring belly laugh, rocking him back and forth as I do.

"You all done?"

"Yeah, yeah, thanks. Fuck me, Taro…" I right myself and look at the pitiful guy before me. All scratched up and kicking himself for yet another bone-headed mistake. "Go take a seat, dumbass. I'll clean up this mess and then I'll do some dressings for you."

He nods and slinks over to the couch, an audible 'fomp' as he sits there dejected. God damn it, Taro. I tried to warn you… I toss my hoodie onto the counter, tying my hair back into a ponytail. Gathering up the mess of bandages and tape he's made, I take the kit over to the couch, planting myself on the coffee table in front of him.

"Lean forward." I command and he obeys. I peel off his cheek bandage again and set about doing another. "It's been taken off once which means it won't stay on properly. Did you even disinfect the cut?"

"Yeah. Stung like a bitch." He grimaces as I plant a fresh bandage on his face. I pull up his good arm, resting his palm on my knee.

"How were you going to do these then, genius?" I remark, gesturing at his lone functional arm and the reddened grazes up it's length.

"Why do you think I called you? I needed an extra hand." He smirks a little and I start working on him, shaking my head. Dumbass. Good thing I know a thing or two about wrapping up arms.

"So… Ritsu, huh? Bet Nori wasn't too pleased with that."

"You think?"

"Didn't get you anywhere… else did she?" I ask with a curious eyebrow and he chuckles.

"No. I should thank my lucky stars that she didn't bite my dick or something."

"You'd be on your own with that one!" I laugh.

"I tried saying sorry but she went ballistic! Just kept signing insults at me and then she started slapping, then scratching. The vase was her last little 'fuck you' out the door." Taro explains and I can only blow air in amazement.

"Wow… Who'd have thought she'd have such a short fuse? Still, at least you escaped with only a couple cat-scratches. Crazy bitch, man… You should never stick your dick in crazy, Arai."

"Speaking from your vast experience of dick ownership or as the crazy in question?" He snarks in return and I pull the bandage tighter around the last set of claw marks, making him hiss a little.

"Do you wanna push that button, tons-of-fun? Because you know full well I don't do scratch like a bitch." I glare, clenching my fist at him before packing up the first aid kit. He's had worse from me; he'll survive.

"Thanks, Miki." He smiles sheepishly. I pat his knee with my stump before heading back into the kitchen.

"So what did you learn from this failed rebound, Arai?" I call out behind me as I place the first aid kit back under the kitchen.

"That maybe I should listen to my roommate more often?" He groans loudly.

"Damn straight. What else?"

"That… That I need more time…" He says quietly but I still hear him. It's good to know that he's still smart enough to learn, even when he's stupid.

"Well, you'll be making time tomorr-well, I guess today, for shopping because you owe me a vase." I look to the clock before turning with a grin. Taro furrows his brow in confusion.

"But it wasn't me who—"

"You brought that nutcase into our home; it's on you. After that, I think we can head over to the park and I'll get some training in." I state, standing in front of Taro.

"So I get to put on boxing pads and take another beating? Is it my birthday?" Taro replies in sarcastic excitement.

"I'll let you get some pity hits in, buddy." I hold out my right hand to him and we grab hold of each other's wrists so I can help him to his feet. "Now where do we keep the dustpan?"

"Why am I not surprised you still don't know where the cleaning supplies are?" He gives me a real bitchy look as he passes me and I smile at his back. I know.

But you need to sort out your own messes, Taro.

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

~Kenji~

Gone. She's gone. Not surprising really but still… I kinda hoped she would stick around. I pull myself up off the futon, putting on my glasses and looking around my lonely, empty room — the dull light of morning seeping in from behind my curtains.

I rub my head and try to remember when she left. I told her everything. About what happened at Yamaku. How it all went to shit and how I became a misogynistic tool with no friends. Unlike my own, hindsight is twenty-twenty and it all seems so blatantly obvious…

Schizoaffective disorder, as Akio's friend Kapur described, appears to be the root cause of my pitiful mental state. Granted, she was working off third-hand information but still… After doing my own Google-fu on it, her opinion seems sound. Her opinion… It's funny, and pretty fucking sad, that Hisao has known all these brilliant people all along while I spent half of my school life locked in my room worried that girls were out to get me.

I missed out. I really did. On a girlfriend, on a social life, and on decent grades. God, it's too early in the morning for this much self-pity… I miss Rika already. She was a fun distraction.

No, more than that, you d-bag! She was amazing! Cute and clever and she liked you! And you let your past drive her away. You fucked it up, just like you always do. I don't know how Hisao can put up with yo—

A rapid-fire barrage of thumps to my door snaps me out of my inner monologue. Who the hell could that be? At this hour? On a Sunday! I mutter and curse under my breath as I groggily rise to my feet. Another series of bangs just riles me up.

"I'm coming, asshole!" I shout, unlatching the lock and swinging the door outward. "What's with all the rack-ru-Rika!?"

The woman in front of my tilts her head at me quizzically before barging past me. "Let me in, Kenny! It's cold as hell out there! Brrr!" She shivers a little and I quickly close the door. What's she doing here?

"What?" She asks of me as she places a grocery bag on my small kitchen counter and I don't have an answer. I'm utterly dumbfounded. "Sorry I took so long, I got a rather dramatic text from Nori. Apparently her night wasn't as good as ours. Sucks that it didn't work out, Taro seems like a nice guy. At least the corner store had some fresh eggs."

"Huh? What happened with Taro? Wait, did you say you were going out for eggs?" I furrow my brow in confusion.

"Yeah! While you were on the futon twenty minutes ago, silly!" She laughs and I rub my eyes. I must have been talking in my sleep, I guess? Have I always done that?

"You okay?" Rika asks as she takes off her coat. She came back. She heard everything I had to say and she didn't run away.

"I'm, uh, just surprised is all. I just woke up too so I'm not entirely convinced this isn't a dream." I rub the back of my neck nervously. She smiles warmly and hangs her coat on the peg behind her.

“What? You thought I'd be half way to Hokkaido by now?" She raises an eyebrow at me and plants her hands on her hips.

"Pretty much… Wouldn't blame you either. Like I said last night; I'm kind of an asshole."

"Do you remember what happened after that?" She asks, turning her attention to the stove. Is she making omelettes? Is that why she went out for eggs? Why is she here, cooking breakfast?

"Umm, not really. I was pretty drunk." I admit sadly.

"So was I and I kinda remember you telling me all this stuff about school and some librarian and how you were trying to organise a one-man reich… but mostly I remember you saying something that completely contradicts that whole 'Kenji is a woman-hating turd' persona." She puts everything down and steps closer. I step back instinctively, which makes her laugh.

"You said you were glad to have met me because all of our dates, and you smiled when you said dates, have been the most fun you've had in years. And you thanked me." She blushes and reaches out her hand. The little voice in the back of my screams as I reach out and take it.

"Believe it or not, I'm not amazing with people either and when we got talking about your patches and about history… It's the first time I really connected with someone, especially a boy, about some of my favourite subjects. So I thanked you too, for just talking to me." She smiles again, so brightly that it's like being snowblind.

I did that. Damn.

"And then we drank more beer and watched bad TV until we passed out." She giggles and I suddenly get a flash of us cuddling in front of an 80's comedy.

"Huh. Well, that's…" My cheeks burn as I struggle to think of something to say. Where's Akio when you need him? He could be feeding me smooth lines right now but noooo, he has to spend time with his wife. Somehow a worse wingman than Hisao.

"Yeah…" Rika blushes, pulling her hand away and proceeding to tie her hair back. "So then! Breakfast! Do you like your eggs scrambled, in an omelette, what?"

"I don't mind, whichever is easiest. Do you want some help or should I make coffee or what?" I ask, feeling rather useless in my own kitchen.

"Oooh, yeah! Coffee would be great. Lots of sugar in mine."

"Aren't you sweet enough?" I joke, thankful that I might have picked up something from Akio after all.

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

~Hisao~

"Geez, man! What the fuck happened to you? Did she finally snap?" Kenji's straight in with the questions as soon as he sees me. I breath a weary sigh because I've already heard that particular question from Akio; though he asked as a joke whereas Kenji probably would think Shizune gave me this black eye.

"Just… Get in here already, I'm starving." I all but drag him inside because the smell of that pepperoni pizza is killing me. We take up positions in front of the TV and I reach for the pizza box, only for it to be snatched out of reach.

"Nuh-uh! No pizza until you tell me what happened." Kenji chuckles and I flop backwards into the couch.

"Fine! Hanako invited a bunch of us out to the Tokyo Big Sight yesterday…" I groan, Kenji opening up the box for me to take a slice.

"Right, she was doing a signing or something, right?" Kenji states as he pulls a slice out of the box himself. I throw him an incredulous look as I chew. How does he know? "What? I read her stuff, she's not half bad."

"Oooookay, well, yeah. Her publisher was giving away signed copies of her light novel; she couldn't actually face that big a crowd so they had a stand-in or something. Unfortunately, some clever dick behind the stall got his hands on a t-shirt cannon and well." I gesture to my black eye and Kenji cackles like a mad man.

"You took one to the face?" He chokes between laughs and I glare at him.

"Yeah, yeah, Akio already made that joke…"

"He did? For fuck's sake! I swear that guy is like some kind of future plagiarist; he always makes the jokes I want to before I can!" Kenji whines and I have to wonder how he came to that odd observation.

"I'm just thankful I got hit in the face and not in the chest; not that it mattered to Shizune. Miki had to hold her back from decking the guy." I say with a small smirk.

"Your girl's quite the Spitfire, man. You did good." He says with a bizarre note of sincerity in his voice and I have to place my hand over his forehead, which causes him to swat at me.

"What the hell, dude?"

"Just checking you're not running a fever or something. That almost sounded like a compliment for Shizune." I chuckle and he rolls his eyes.

"Well it was, alright? I think it's cool how protective she is of you. Same with Miki and Taro. They're both pretty cool."

"Okay, now I know something's up. What have you done with the real Kenji?" I narrow my eyes at him and he sighs with a smile.

"Nothing's up, Hisao. Everything's… right, for a change." He offers with a genuine smile and I make the connection. It's Rika's influence. Has to be. I haven't really seen him in a couple weeks but he's been texting me and he always seemed upbeat.

"I'm glad to hear it, sir." I say, reaching for another slice of pizza.

Good on you, Kenji.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So that's that. I wanted to finish this story up before I focus back on Flutter. I ended up choosing Swamp's alt-future to Monomyth for the ending because, well, this story was his idea in the first place and so everyone gets a good (My version obviously would have played out differently). I know this probably didn't go in the direction he intended but I hope it was at least somewhat enjoyable.

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Snowblind Finale" 22/4/16

Post by swampie2 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:11 pm

It's definitely a happier ending than I had thought out. I'll post my (very barebones) plans since why not?

I had planned for Nori to be the bad guy right from the start, she pushed Miki's buttons just to see her get angry. She was going to break Taro's heart and laugh about it. I didn't like this idea since it would have removed these characters from the universe entirely, doing that with somebody else's characters didn't sit right with me.

Once said heart breaking had happened I was going to attempt to focus on Taro and his fixation with Ritsu. Not only would I have not been able to tell this story well, it's not my story to tell. Playing god in sharp's universe is fun, but not to that degree, I feel like Taro's life is Sharp's to reveal to us or not.

I was going to keep things in line with Sharp's universe thought, in having Taro with Miki. How I was going to get there though, that I hadn't figured out.

Kenji and Rika's story was actually going to take a back seat to Taro. I don't think this would have turned out very well, in fact I think I subconsciously thought "Oh damn, I don't know how to tell this story, let's focus on somebody else." and decided on pushing them to the background. Even if I had continued, this wouldn't have ended very well, Rika would have to chose between Kenji and Nori, and that'd crush Kenji whatever she chooses, essentially setting him back to square 1 right at the end of the story. Not satisfying in the slightest.

In the end, I'm glad I turned the story over to you. Not only was it fun seeing a story I conceived become an enjoyable one, it actually finished. As much as I hate to say it, I'm not having any good ideas for stories anymore, at least ones that I can tell in the way I want (As you might be able to tell from my plans :lol: ). Hopefully I'll pull something out of my hat soon, but until then, I'm content with reading the stories posted by all you fantastic people here.

Great job sharp, I enjoyed it a whole bunch. Glad you didn't kill of Hisao a second time too, I might need him. :wink:
One Shots - My stories thread.

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Snowblind Finale" 22/4/16

Post by Sharp-O » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:33 pm

See, that's really intriguing. My thought process was that your alternate universe would be the more positive one because of Hisao's survival.

As we all know, I am a massive sadist and love to put characters through the ringer. If I was writing this for Monomyth proper, things would have gone quite different.

The obvious one would be Hisao. In my version, the t-shirt cannon would have killed him (or I'd come up with something else because I know people super-hate that joke answer that became psuedo-canon :lol:) Having this happen would have been the catalyst for a series of events.

Kenji and Rika would not have had a positive end. I, of course, thought of the darkest possible outcome as a murder-suicide. Kenji's unbalanced nature would only have gotten worse post-Hisao and post-coitus with Rika. He'd have gone mad with grief and his existing neuroses would have gotten the better of him. Obviously, that's the absolute worst case scenario but the others weren't too great either.

Taro and Noriko would have banged and even gotten into a fledgling relationship but the death of Hisao would have brought back Ritsu and a bunch of feelings between the two would have resurfaced, culminating in a messy conflict (not sure on the details, I'm sure it would have been terrible). Taro, through his indecisiveness, would anger Miki to the point where they actually fought. Well, she'd kick his arse and he'd barely defend himself (because not only is he outmatched, he could never hit a woman, let alone a friend) and this is where Miki's feelings would come out. Raw emotion running wild as she demands why he can't choose and why he hasn't chosen her. It's obvious to her so why isn't it to him? It would have run its course to the point where even Ritsu would begrudgingly admit that Miki is the better match.

There's other ideas that would have been in there too, laying groundwork for possible future instalments but I may save them for another time.

It was an interesting experiment, overall. Both combining ideas with Swamp and writings characters I'd never really approached before (Hisao and Kenji were always my least favourite KS characters). Glad you enjoyed it, Swamp. If you're ever struggling for ideas and would like input, I'm always happy to bounce around ideas :)

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Snowblind Finale" 22/4/16

Post by freddy753 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:13 pm

I think that wrapped things up nicely. It's always nice to see an update from you, considering how slow the forums have gotten lately.

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Snowblind Finale" 22/4/16

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:02 am

As we all know, I am a massive sadist and love to put characters through the ringer.
Not really, but you've again shown your aptitude for sarcasm :-)

Also: "wringer"
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: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Snowblind Finale" 22/4/16

Post by Dash9 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:37 am

Congrats on finishing the Snowblind storyline. I gotta say, I enjoyed it. I think we talked about it a little bit before but while I somewhat agree on not really liking Hisao in the VN. But he does have the potential to have a massive effect on those around him. In this case, I wouldn't spare Hisao for his own sake, but for Shizune (and the others).

I like the Rika in this story too, but I think it could have used an extra scene or two with her as the focus. The picture of how her and Kenji spent their time and what they were up to since they met was just a tiny bit thin considering...something I'll define better after I get some sleep. Maybe.

Anyway, thanks for sharing this with us. I'll now resume anxiously pummeling my f5 button while waiting for Flutter to update. =)
--Dash

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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Snowblind Finale" 22/4/16

Post by Sharp-O » Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:19 am

freddy753 wrote:I think that wrapped things up nicely. It's always nice to see an update from you, considering how slow the forums have gotten lately.
Thanks, Freddy! Rest assured that Flutter will be updating somewhat more regularly so there'll be something new from me to read at least.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
As we all know, I am a massive sadist and love to put characters through the ringer.
Not really, but you've again shown your aptitude for sarcasm :-)
You're right, I'm too big a softie. I don't think I've got the heart to do something irreparably damaging to characters that I care for. Hisao on the other hand... :lol:
Dash9 wrote:I think we talked about it a little bit before but while I somewhat agree on not really liking Hisao in the VN. But he does have the potential to have a massive effect on those around him. In this case, I wouldn't spare Hisao for his own sake, but for Shizune (and the others).
Hisao, as the player proxy, will always be more of a catalyst or plot point than an actual character to me at least. I may be off-base in my terminology a little but I believe he's a slave to ludonarrative dissonance in that he never makes decisions, we do. But I guess that can apply to all player-characters to one extent or another.
Dash9 wrote:I like the Rika in this story too, but I think it could have used an extra scene or two with her as the focus. The picture of how her and Kenji spent their time and what they were up to since they met was just a tiny bit thin considering...something I'll define better after I get some sleep. Maybe.

I can certainly agree that the 'Yamaku Survivors' are all a bit paper thin but that's mainly because I never envisioned them having long-term repercussions on the main cast. Since I've been slyly doing bits for other stories behind the scenes (not just Flutter) I just didn't have the energy to dedicate to characters that wouldn't be around for the long-term.

Dash9 wrote:I'll now resume anxiously pummeling my f5 button while waiting for Flutter to update. =)

I can promise romance, epic quests and more than a few jokes!

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Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Morning Routine" 12/5/16

Post by Sharp-O » Wed May 11, 2016 8:46 pm

The heaviness of my arm is telling me to lie still but if I don’t move, that god damn alarm clock won’t stop. I silently curse my mother for buying it; as I do every morning while I strenuously reach to my night stand and silence the infernal device.

I lay still for what feels like an eternity, gathering up whatever scraps of willpower I can muster before attempting to lift my body. The process is slow; practiced over several years worth of mornings.

I shuffle my legs towards the edge of my bed, while contorting my waist to allow both of my elbows to brace against my mattress. As my legs begin to tip over the edge, I plant both palms flat against my mattress and push.

Every synapse and sinew erupts into flame, screaming for me to stop moving but I ignore it. I ignore it like I do every morning and, like every morning before, I falter and fall. I breathe a tired sigh into my pillow and try again, grunting and groaning as my heavy body is lifted by weak arms. I manage to sit upright finally, straightening my back with my hands gripping tightly to my thighs for support.

My head spins through a fog of fatigue and pain. I inhale deeply through my noise, exhaling slowly through my mouth. I don’t know the how or why but this always helps me, managing the pain and helping me regain focus for the next task.

“Shiiit…” I grimace as I look at the clock, the digits reading [07:14am]. Not the worst time I’ve had but it really shouldn’t take nearly ten minutes to sit up from lying down. Again, I curse my mother for this situation before looking at the clothes strewn across my dorm room floor.

That one’s on me. I should have hung my uniform up but I was so drained last night I couldn’t be bothered. It’s a familiar and well-used excuse. I lean gingerly towards my bedside table, first retrieving my glasses and then opening my top drawer and plucking out a fresh pair of socks.

There’s a knock at my door and I glance at the clock. [07:22]. She’s earlier than usual…

“Come in, Naomi. The door’s unlocked.” I croak, brushing my bed head out of my face and slipping on my glasses as the door opens.

“Gooood morning, Nattie~!” Naomi sings, the shock of blonde hair wafting gently as she bounces in. This girl is like the sun incarnate, dazzling and deadly. “You shouldn’t leave your door unlocked like that, Nattie! All sorts of things could happen to a vulnerable young thing like you.”

Her voice is sweet and melodic and upbeat and I simply hate how she can be so irritatingly cheerful first thing in the morning.

“If anything does, it’ll at least make a good story for the paper…” I grumble as I lift one leg onto the bed, a painful twinge up my spine as I plant my chest against it and begin the gruelling task of putting on socks.

“And just look at this mess!” Naomi clicks her tongue several times in a disapproving, motherly way as she begins gathering up my clothes and neatly folding them before depositing them in the laundry hamper. It’s a waste of time to fold dirty clothes but she won’t be told.

My fingers twitch and pulse with a prickly numbness as I fumble with the first cotton sock, my weak fingers having no luck getting the material to cooperate and slide onto my foot. I manage to slip the bundle over my toes but that’s just the beginning as the tight material is incredibly fiddly for my stupid, broken fingers.

Naomi, meanwhile, has retrieved a fresh blouse and skirt from my wardrobe and draped them neatly over the back of my chair.

“Okie dokie! That’s all d—Natsume…” She derails her train of thought and I look up from my pitiful predicament. “Have you even taken your medication yet?”

“I haven’t even managed to stand up yet; what do you think?” I give her an incredulous look and she tilts her head with a sympathetic gaze.

“That’s no good! Hang on!” She skips out of the door and I continue to wrestle with my sock. She returns with a glass of water and grabs my medication from my desk. She pops the tablets from their foil containers and holds the glass in one hand and the pills in the other. “Two solpadol, one multi-vitamin and one prednisolone; all part of a balanced breakfast!”

I take the pills and pop them into my mouth before attempting to lift the glass from her grip with both hands. My fingers refuse to grip the glass with sufficient force and I release an annoyed sigh. Naomi crouches down, kneeling on one knee before me and helping guide the glass to my mouth. I gulp the pills down and smile a little at Naomi as she pulls the glass away.

“Thank you.” I mutter quietly as she places the glass on my bedside table.

“No problem, Nattie. Now let’s sort out these pesky socks, eh?” She grins and before I can protest, she’s already finishing what I started. She smoothes out the material with a firm pressure against my skin. She repeats the process on the other side, her hands lingering on my ankles longer than they really need to.

“All done. Now let’s get you dressed!” She effortlessly rises back onto her feet, a move I envy. I glance at the clock. [07:38].

“Twenty minutes to put on a pair of god damn socks… Must be a new record…” I grumble as Naomi holds out her hands, beckoning me to take hold of them. I obey and Naomi waits patiently for me to rise, easing me up as my rickety limbs quiver and quake. She moves close, her hands moving to my waist to steady my stance.

This is where my mornings get weird.

“Do you need fresh underwear?” Naomi asks with a barely hidden smirk and a raised eyebrow. I shake my head and I can almost see the glint in her eyes die. She smiles regardless and turns to my desk, shaking the green pleated skirt and unbuttoning the waistband.

“Come on, slowpoke! We don’t wanna be late today!” She grins as she kneels in front of me. I grip her shoulder and place one foot after the other inside the skirt’s waist. Naomi lifts it up my body, her fingertips grazing my skin through the material.

“Oh yeah, the new transfer…” I remark as she buttons the skirt closed around my waist with a smile. She quickly gets my blouse and holds it up so I can slide my arms into it. “I wonder what they’ll be like.”

“I’m hoping for a cutie~!” Naomi giggles, circling to my front and buttoning my blouse methodically. She’s not. I know she’s not. Leaving a fair amount of collarbone exposed, she reaches across to my table and picks up my bow. Hate these things and I hate having to rely on Naomi to put it on, as well as the rest of my clothes.

“Either way, we’ll have to run a piece on them. Nothing sells papers like fresh meat and speculation.” I observe. Every morning since late in the first year of our enrolment, Naomi has helped me dress. I was always running late and one morning she found me struggling with my socks. I hate socks. Truly, I do.

My condition has made my life a living hell and I blame my mother. Seriously — after three generations of genetic predisposition toward autoimmune diseases, you’d think she’d have thought a little harder about bringing me into the world. Then I wouldn’t be here; at this school and certainly not being dressed by her.

“Almost done, Nattie! Just gonna quickly brush your hair!” She grins giddily and I nod. I hate not being as independent as I once was. That I have to rely on other when once I could button my own damn blouse. My manual dexterity was the first thing to go and the rest of my body followed. Naomi begins humming an all-too-familiar and not-so-subtle tune as she brushes before breaking into the full English lyrics.

♫~Here I walk down the avenue, looking at the pretty view. Maybe there's a reason… I got my eyes on you~♫” She bops along to the rhythm of her own words while I tug the sleeves of my blouse up past my elbow. I can’t fiddle with the material to fold it how I like it right now but I can sort it out later.

“There we are~!” Naomi bounces into view happily, handing my cane to me. “And we’ve still got plenty of time before class starts!”

“Thanks, Naomi. ‘Preciate it. You go grab your bag and I’ll meet you in the hall.” I smile, a genuine one. Despite the knot in my stomach, I am thankful for her help, I just wish it came from a better place…

“You got it, chief!” She gives a tiny salute and a wink before dashing out of my room. I sigh and hobble over to my desk to grab my bag from the chair. I feel awful. Not just because of my body but because of needing Naomi’s help and the reason why she does it every morning.

Naomi Inoue is in love with me.

I haven’t reciprocated those feelings, despite how obvious she’s made them. I’m simply not into other girls but I can’t, daren’t, spurn those feelings because…

I need Naomi Inoue.

I’m knowingly using her because, without her, I would be an absolute mess. I’d always be late, whether for school or club activities and I’d definitely be less well-maintained then I am…

And the worst part of all of it is that I don’t know which is worse. Naomi wasting her time and energy with a love that will never be or that I’m taking advantage of those feelings just to survive. I lock my door and place the keys inside my messenger bag.

“Ready to go, Nattie?” She grins, hooping her arm around mine for support and I offer a smirk in return.

“Just try and stop me.”

And so we set off for class. Just another typical morning routine for me.

~~~~~
Author note: This was mostly written because I was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis myself and the increasing frustration I've felt with both myself and how helpless I've felt. Natsume was the natural choice for this story and I used her as a basis for venting how I feel (plus throwing in a healthy dose of KS brand drama)

freddy753
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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Morning Routine" 12/5/16

Post by freddy753 » Wed May 11, 2016 9:23 pm

I think you did a great job of describing just how painful doing something as simple as getting out of bed can be for someone with arthritis. I'd really love to see a successful Naomi/Natsume route that doesn't just get abandoned after a while.


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swampie2
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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Morning Routine" 12/5/16

Post by swampie2 » Thu May 12, 2016 11:19 am

Sharp-O wrote:I hate not being as house brand as I once was.
I have never heard this before, Is this actually a thing people say? :lol:
Sharp-O wrote:I was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis
That sucks man, hope you're alright.

Definitely a nice little story, even if the topic isn't so cheery. Interesting to see your take on the Natsume x Naomi idea too, I feel like that'd be a very cool story seeing how the whole unrequited love things turns out in the end.
One Shots - My stories thread.

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Sharp-O
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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Morning Routine" 12/5/16

Post by Sharp-O » Thu May 12, 2016 11:47 am

swampie2 wrote:
Sharp-O wrote:I hate not being as house brand as I once was.
I have never heard this before, Is this actually a thing people say? :lol:
*squints at your quote and then looks back at the story to see it says 'independent'*
I don't get it.
swampie2 wrote:Definitely a nice little story, even if the topic isn't so cheery. Interesting to see your take on the Natsume x Naomi idea too, I feel like that'd be a very cool story seeing how the whole unrequited love things turns out in the end.
It's a very twisted relationship, to be sure, and there's definitely ways it can go. I was thinking of a companion piece from Naomi's perspective that, frankly, is fucking terrifying that I may end up doing eventually.

I'm surviving but the loss of my job, the all-new limitations on my body and trying to sort things out to where I can actually eat is incredibly stressful. Thanks for the concern, Swamp.

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TubaMirum
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Re: Sharp-O's One-Shots! "Morning Routine" 12/5/16

Post by TubaMirum » Thu May 12, 2016 1:20 pm

It's terribly bleak in here :( I'm not sure if knowing exactly how Natsume came to her conclusions or just having to imagine that situation is better at this point. I can't shake the feeling that Naomi has completely broken already in this, though.
Gustav Mahler wrote:If you find you're boring your audience, go slower not faster.

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