Fanfiction: Fractures (Completed 07/11/15)

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Sadako
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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sadako » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:58 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Please don't stoop to the "police is composed of nothing but idiots who couldn't be bothered to cut short their doughnut-break even if dead bodies start appearing everywhere" trope. So far you've gone for a mostly realistic tone, and that would seriously impact the believability of yor story...
Stay tuned. :D

Which is a glib answer to a very valid point. Anyone who’s tried to write a mystery story more realistic than Scooby Doo is going to run into the same issue – realistically, what any sensible person would do would be to go straight to the police at the earliest possible opportunity, especially in an essentially law-abiding country like Japan.

Now, that’s not to say that the police in any country are infallible, or that people always do the most sensible thing. But when planning out a story, applying Occam’s Razor to any of the characters’ major decisions can be a big help – otherwise known as ‘Why don’t you just shoot him?’

I hope I’ve covered all the bases in Fractured. Time will tell. But to reiterate: all is not necessarily as it seems…

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Sadako
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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sadako » Fri Aug 07, 2015 5:48 pm

4. Empty Canvass

Lily called Rin’s apartment three times: once just after Emi’s conversation with her mother, once while they were waiting for the cab to take them back to the Ministop, and again in the Ministop itself, while they sat at a table and waited for the JAF engineer to replace Emi’s tyres.

“Still nothing, I’m afraid,” Lily told her, putting the phone back in her bag. “Are you sure she still lives there?”

“No, not really.” Emi pushed her plate away, the sandwich Lily had bought her almost untouched. “I haven’t heard anything about her moving, but I don’t think anyone would tell me if she did.”

“If she has, maybe the new occupant can give us a forwarding address.” Lily paused, tilting her head as she listened. “Your first tyre appears to be on.”

“Maybe she’s in the park. She used like going there to watch clouds and stuff.” Emi chuckled. “She used to call me up at all hours, you know? Two, three in the morning, to tell me all about rainbows or entropy or this really cool bug she saw one time.”

“You used to be very close.”

“Eh, less than you’d think. I mean, back at school I’d help her get dressed and whatever, but that’s just the outside of her, and outsides don’t mean a lot to Rin. She’s all about the inside. Of her head, I mean, and nobody really gets to see that. Not even me.”

Lily coloured slightly. “I have to admit, I always found her, well, rather hard work.”

“It’s okay, everyone does.”

There was a period of silence. Finally, Lily spoke again.

“You never told me what happened between you.”

“Nothing to tell,” Emi lied. She was doing that a lot lately. “She had the breakdown, what, three years ago? While she was trying to put her second exhibition together.”

“I would have liked to have seen the first one.”

“Yeah, that was…” She smiled at the memory. “That was fun. We weren’t long out of Yamaku, she had all these ideas… It was, I dunno, personal. Hers, you know?”

“What changed?”

“Her old art teacher came back. Son of a bitch got into her life again, started pushing her to take her career to the next level. I guess he’d heard about the first exhibition, tried to get a piece for himself. But what he wanted was too big. He was calling in these arty types from all over.”

“She could have said no.”

“Rin’s never been much for thinking things through. And…” She looked away, through the Ministop’s glass frontage to the street beyond. “And I wasn’t there to help her. We’d already started seeing each other less by then. I was planning a wedding, she was working hard on the exhibition. Too hard, though. She broke. And I was too busy with my own stupid problems to fix her.”

“We can’t fix people, Emi. Trust me, I know that all too well.” Lily’s fingers brushed the face of her watch, checking the time. She was probably worried about traffic. “Did you try to get back in touch after she left hospital?”

“Yeah, a few times. But she was under close supervision for a year, while she was living with her folks. I don’t think they let anyone talk to her.”

“It’s only natural they’d want to protect her.”

Yeah, thought Emi bitterly. From me. “At least that teacher wasn’t bothering her any more. He was in Osaka last I heard. Nobody wants to know you if they think you’ve been ill that way.”

Lily nodded sadly. “I never realised how deeply that stigma is ingrained here, until I went away. Poor Rin. She must have suffered terribly.”

Those words went into Emi’s gut like a blade. It took every scrap of self-control she had to prevent herself from crying out.

“Second tyre’s on,” she managed. “I think we should go.”




Emi Takada was skilled enough at driving with her prosthetics that she had never needed a modified vehicle. Still, the journey from Matsudo to Niiza was a lot longer than she liked to go without rest; by the time she pulled up in front of Rin’s apartment block both her legs were stiff and aching.

She opened the car door and swung herself sideways, but stayed sitting for a moment, feet on the tarmac, breathing hard, trying to relax her thigh muscles. “Okay, when we go back we’re stopping halfway.”

Lily was already out of the car. “I should have suggested that, Emi. I’m sorry.”

All these years, Emi thought wryly, and Lily Satou’s instinctive need to look after everyone around her hadn’t diminished in the slightest. She pulled herself upright. “Nah, my fault. I’m always in too much of a hurry.”

Emi heard the soft click of Lily’s cane extending, then passenger door thudding closed. “It’s very quiet here.”

“Yeah…” She closed the driver side door. Lily was right, there seemed to be no-one about. “You know what else is weird? The parking lot’s half empty but there are cars parked on the road. Like there was something big here and now it’s gone.”

“Maybe a delivery of some kind?” ventured Lily, sounding utterly unconvinced.

“I hope so.” She took Lily’s hand – purely to guide her friend along, she told herself, and nothing at all to do with being frightened – and began to walk up the short pathway to the block’s front door.

“I’ve just thought,” Lily said. “How are we going to get in?”

“It’s okay, I’ve still got keys.”

Lily’s cane tapped lightly at the pathway, quick and skilled. Despite being completely unfamiliar with her surroundings she was moving along quite fast. Still, Emi was continually having to fight the urge to leave her and run ahead. “Steps coming up here.”

“How many?”

“Three.”

Her key still worked. Before long they were making their way along the narrow corridor that led to the rear of the block.

The inside of the building was even more eerily silent, the stillness only adding to Emi’s growing unease. Even if she hadn’t been desperately worried about Rin’s safety she would have been unsettled here. As it was, it felt like her heart was trying to batter its way out of her chest. “She’s just down here. Hey, if she opens the door at all, you’ll do the talking, right?”

“If you’d feel more comfortable that way, of course.”

They were rounding the final corner. “More like I don’t want her to kick me again. Last time we-“

Emi froze, jolting to a halt. She felt Lily stumble against her.

“Emi? What’s wrong? Why have you stopped?”

The door to Rin’s apartment was partway open, the lock smashed, the frame criss-crossed with yellow police tape.

She couldn’t answer. The sight had stolen the breath from her. Silently, she took her hand from Lily’s and stumbled towards the apartment. Reached through the tape and gently pushed the door open.

“Rin?”

There was no reply. She hadn’t expected there to be one, but the silence had been terrifying. She’d had to break it, even with that single, faltering syllable, or turn and run.
She lifted a length of tape, ducked under it and stepped through the doorway.

The apartment was utterly different from when she had last seen it: if there had not been a part-finished canvass lying discarded on the floor she might have been able to convince herself that Rin had moved out long ago. The floor was clean and bare, unmarked by paint splashes. The walls were unadorned, the furniture neatly arranged to open up a wide, comfortable workspace in the centre of the room. There were two low shelves against the far wall, the books ranged at just the right height for someone to be able to remove them with a foot: Emi could see works on entomology, colour theory, surrealism. A few comic books, too, at least one of which appeared to be ferociously pornographic, displayed with just the same neatness and care as the science texts.

The only things out of place in the room appeared to be a small backless chair that had been tipped over, and a ragged, plate-sized puddle of what looked like dark red paint between her and the window.

The window was covered in black plastic sheeting, fixed into place with more police tape.

“Emi?” The voice was a whisper, from close behind her. “What’s happened?”

“I don’t know. The police have been here. Oh god, Lily, I think-”

“I…” Lily’s breath caught, a horrified gasp. “I can smell blood in that room.”

“Are you from the newspapers?”

Emi whirled. One of the other apartment doors had opened; an old woman in a brown yukata was standing halfway through it, as if unwilling to emerge fully into the corridor.

“We’re friends of Rin,” said Emi. “Is she-“

“That poor crippled girl?”

Emi’s eyes narrowed slightly. “The painter. She-“

“Such a horrible thing. Can you imagine? I’ve been afraid to go out all morning.” The woman shuffled back into her doorway, nervously looking back down the corridor. “All those policemen, they rushed away so quickly. I asked them to stay a little longer, but they were in such a hurry…”

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” said Lily gently. “Can you just tell us what happened?”

The woman cringed back. “I shouldn’t. The police-“

“Please, ma’am.” Emi climbed back through the tape. “I know it must have been scary, all those cops around, but we’re really worried about Rin, and –“

“Someone fired a gun!” The woman’s voice was a disbelieving hiss. “Through the window! Can you imagine?”

“A gun?” Emi stared, uncomprehending. “You… You’re saying Rin was…”

“So frightening, can you imagine? Are we becoming America now?” There was almost nothing visible of the woman now, she was sliding back into her apartment like a snail retreating into its shell. “Where are the police? Are they still out there?”

“Where is she?”

“They took her to hospital, dear. Her face was all… Oh dear, it makes me feel quite ill to think about it. All that blood…”

Lily had stumbled back against the wall, hand to her mouth, looking utterly stricken. Emi shook her head. “No, that’s impossible. I’m sorry, ma’am, you must be mistaken. Maybe she fell, hurt herself...”

The door was already closing in her face. Emi took a step forwards, fist raised to pound on it, to demand that the old woman take back her idiot story. To beg her to tell the truth, to tell her that Rin hadn’t been shot in the face, that this was all a misunderstanding and her friend was still alive.

She was frozen. She couldn’t speak. All she could do was listen to the door click shut, and the old woman’s voice retreating behind it.

“Can you imagine? Can you imagine?
Last edited by Sadako on Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Sharp-O
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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sharp-O » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:52 pm

Damn. Just... Damn. :cry:

I can't help but hope that if all the 2007 students are being attacked and/or threatened, that some are being proactive. Whoever this sick fuck is, I'd like to think Miki would at least put up a decent fight. :x

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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:57 pm

“I would have liked to seen the first one.”
Oh boy... I'm certain she would've :-)
Nice chapter again!
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sadako » Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:12 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
“I would have liked to seen the first one.”
Oh boy... I'm certain she would've :-)
Nice chapter again!
And this, writing chums, is why it’s vitally important to have other people read your stuff.

Ugh. Firstly, it’s ‘would have liked to have seen’, which I have now edited in the post. And secondly, of course Lily meant that she would have liked to have been there to experience it, because it was a happy time for Rin. But I should have written that better.

Sorry, Lily.

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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sadako » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:06 am

5. All Mad Here

They drove to the hospital in silence. Lily tried to talk to her a few times, but Emi cut her off savagely. She would not, could not speak to Lily or to anyone else, not now. She was too sick, too horror-struck, too furious to even form words.

Besides, in order to speak she would need to think, and that was something she couldn’t bear to do.

Thankfully, Lily soon got the idea. Only when they had parked, and Emi had switched off the Toyota’s engine, did she try again. “Do you want me to remain here?”

“No. God no. I can’t do this on my own. I’m not even sure I can do it at all.”

“Shall we wait a little while?”

Emi sucked in a long, hard breath. “Nah. I’m guessing I’ve got about twenty minutes before I lose it completely. Maybe half an hour. If it’s okay by you, when that happens I’d really like to be back in the car where no-one can see me.”

“Which makes me the perfect companion,” Lily smiled.




Niiza Hospital’s reception desk was quite high. Emi had to stretch up a little to lean on it comfortably, but to be honest she was glad to take the weight off her legs for a few moments. “Um, excuse me?”

The receptionist smiled, bowed mechanically. “May I help you?”

“There was a woman brought in earlier today, a Miss Rin Tezuka?”

“Just let me check.” The soft rattle of fingers on computer keys. “Ah yes. Hm. May I ask your name please?”

“Emi Takada.”

“And your relationship to Miss Tezuka?”

“Cousin,” she said, slightly too quickly. Would the staff have detained her if she confessed to not being Rin’s relative? Emi wasn’t sure, despite having spent so long in various hospitals herself. She didn’t want to take the risk, anyway.

The receptionist looked at her a little oddly. “Of course. Well, would you like to follow me?”

Emi’s didn't think her heart could have dipped any lower at that moment, but she'd been wrong. There was no error, no chance of reprieve. Had the old woman made a mistake about the nature of Rin’s injury Emi would have been simply given directions. Instead, the receptionist was already up and out from behind her desk.

Emi took Lily’s arm. “Come on.”

They followed the receptionist together, not speaking. Emi listened to the sound of Lily’s tapping cane, and wondered if Rin’s parents had been informed of her death. They were probably already here, she realised.

When they met, would they be angry at her? Shout at her? Maybe Rin’s father would lose control and hit her.

She hoped so. It was nothing that she didn’t deserve.

“Here you are,” said the receptionist. “Please wait a few moments. A doctor will be with you shortly.”

Emi glanced about, slightly puzzled, as the woman trotted away. “Ah, okay…”

“Where are we?” Lily asked. “This sounds like Accident and Emergency.”

“How would you know that?”

“I’ve had a few of both.”

As far as Emi could tell, Lily’s assessment was entirely correct. They were at one end of a long, narrow ward, with open cubicles on both sides. Most were unoccupied, but a couple of beds were obscured by curtains.

Pulling Lily gently along with her, Emi padded to the nearest cubicle and peeked inside.

“Omigod,” she squeaked. “It's her she's in there oh god oh god Lily she’s okay!”

“I beg your pardon?” Lily’s hand was clamped tight around Emi’s upper arm. “Are you sure?”

Rin Tezuka was sitting up on the bed, propped up against a couple of pillows. She was wearing a hospital gown, hung rather loosely over her shoulders, and there was a surgical dressing, as long as Emi’s forefinger, taped above her left eye. The skin beneath it was a marred by a florid bruise, but otherwise Rin seemed to be completely, miraculously unharmed.

She was looking at Emi with a mixture of confusion, fear, and something close to loathing.

“Yeah. Pretty sure.”

“Mrs Takada?”

Emi stumbled back out of the cubicle. A very young-looking doctor, tall and quite startlingly handsome, was standing by the door and watching her with his eyebrows somewhere up in his hairline.

Where she had been told to wait. “Hey,” she smiled nervously. “Sorry.”

“I see you’ve met Rin already.” He strode over to her, put his hand out solemnly. “I’m Doctor Higuchi.”

She took the hand, shook it. His skin was soft and quite cool. “Yeah, about that…”

“It’s quite all right. Are you here to take her home?”

“Is she well enough?” Lily asked.

Higuchi nodded, maybe unaware that Lily couldn’t see it. “There’s no reason for her to stay here, as long as she’s with someone who can keep an eye on her.”

“I assumed her parents would have been here.”

“They’re abroad, I believe.”

“Doctor, um, sorry…” Emi’s face felt warm. Don’t be an idiot, she told herself. He’s not that handsome. “Look, we’re pretty confused. Somebody told us Rin had been, well, shot.”

“Somebody was right. “

“Excuse me?”

“That’s why I’m having any visitors accompanied here. Don’t want anyone from the press making a fuss.” Higuchi’s expression darkened. “Your cousin was very, very lucky. It looks like some maniac was playing around with an old rifle outside her apartment. Probably didn’t even know it was loaded, as if that’s any excuse.” He folded his arms. “The damn thing went off and put a bullet right through her window. Half an inch to the left, or if she’d not turned her head at that precise moment…”

“Was the gun recovered?” Lily asked.

“Thankfully yes. The police say it blew up after the first shot, may even have injured the idiot who fired it.” He chuckled. “We’ll be looking out for him, I assure you. In the meantime, Rin’s a little concussed and she’s got a nasty cut across her forehead. We’ve stitched it, but she’ll need help with the dressings.”

“I can do that,” said Emi quickly.

“Want me to show you how?”

“I’ve done it before, don’t worry.” Emi nodded at the curtain. “Is it okay if we…”

“Sure. I’ll sort out the paperwork.” He paced off. Emi found herself watching him go, and shook herself.

Lily must have noticed it. She was smirking. “My my, what a lovely voice he had.”

“Shut up, you. I’ve been on starvation rations since before the divorce started.” She nudged Lily back towards the cubicle. “Come on, let’s get this part over with.”

“Hm?”

“Never mind.”

Rin had obviously been listening. She was sitting perched on the edge of the bed, legs dangling. Her eyes met Emi’s just for a moment, then her gaze slid away.

“Hey Lily.”

“Hello Rin.” Lily frowned. “Doesn’t Emi warrant a greeting too?”

“You can say hello to her if you like, but she’s standing right next to you so I guess you’ve already met.”

“It’s okay,” said Emi. “I told you she wouldn’t want to talk to me.”

“It’s far from okay,” Lily replied. “Rin, Emi has been very concerned about you. We both have. The least you could do-”

“Concerned?” Rin tilted her head. “Wow. Just when I thought today couldn’t get any more fucked up, along comes Emi being concerned. Sorry, Lily, I’ve had first-hand experience of Emi’s concern, and it didn’t work out so well for me.”

“Lily,” muttered Emi. “Please just drop it.”

“What’s wrong?” Rin asked her. “Haven’t you told Lily what happened the last time you got concerned about me?”

“She did,” breathed Lily. “You were ill. You went into hospital for a while.“

Rin blinked, slowly, her big, bottle-green eyes half-closed. “Oh. Right. That’s what she told you.”

“Of course.”

“Not the part where she called the police and told them I was insane and needed to be locked up before I hurt someone.”

Lily paled slightly. “I beg your pardon?”

“What, didn’t you know that part?”

“I did not.”

“That’s okay, neither did I. Not until a policeman came into my studio and knocked me down and sat on me and broke two of my ribs.” Rin hadn’t moved. She was talking to Lily, but everything she said, every flat, lifeless, monotone word was directed right at Emi. “And I ended up in, oh, what are they called? You know, those nice government hospitals where they don’t steal your money and they take really good care of you and try to make you better.”

“I don’t know.”

“That doesn’t matter, because it wasn’t one of those.”

“Rin,” Emi whispered. “No-one ever meant for that to happen. You know that.”

“I don’t know that. I don’t know anything for sure. I’m crazy, remember?”

Emi bunched her fists. A cold, sick anger was flooding up from inside her, bitter as bile. “Can we at least not talk about this here?”

“Don’t you want to? You’ve never apologised for what you did, so I thought you’d be proud of yourself. Then again you’ve never admitted it either, so maybe not.” She looked perplexed. “It must be really confusing, being you.”

“Shut up, Rin,” grated Emi. “Why are you involving Lily in this? Just shut the fuck up.”

Rin slid herself off the edge of the bed. She leaned down to Emi, her face very close. “You let me rot in there for eight weeks. Eight weeks strapped to a bed and pissing into a diaper. Eight weeks without sleep because of all the screaming. Eight weeks being force-fed, when they bothered to feed me at all. And if Dad hadn’t emptied his bank account and got me out, they were going to start giving me ECT just to stop me crying.” She shrugged, lowered herself back onto the edge of the bed. “So you’ll forgive me if your concern doesn’t really fill me with hope and joy right now.”

Emi’s fingernails were digging like blades into her palms. She was fighting to keep control, from lashing out and physically striking Rin, and it was one of the hardest things she’d ever had to do.

“Yes,” she hissed. “It was me. I called them.”

“Mm. Progress.”

“And do you know why I called them? Because when I went round to your place to invite you to my wedding, I found out that you hadn’t eaten for two weeks. You hadn’t drunk anything but cheap brandy in three days. You were wandering around your studio wearing nothing but a filthy dressing gown and when I tried to talk to you, you kicked me in the knee. You couldn’t speak, Rin!” She was shaking now, voice cracking, eyes tearing. “You were dying!

Rin was watching her steadily, her head tilted slightly down and away, but there was an uncertainty in her eyes that hadn’t been there before.

“I’ve lost too many people,” Emi whispered. “My dad, that poor boy at school… I knew that if I didn’t do something, something horrible and cowardly like calling down the authorities on you, then I was going to lose you too.”

“You did anyway,” said Rin, very quietly.

Emi took a deep breath, and nodded. “Fine. I lost you. But the rest of the world didn’t, so that’s okay.”

“Then it’s okay to hate you for it.”

“If that’s what you want, yes.” She took a deep, steadying breath. “Come on Lily, let’s go.”

“Emi, please.” Lily’s grip on her arm tightened slightly. “Not yet.”

Rin closed her eyes. “Lily, it was nice seeing you again. But I think your friend has had a really good idea and you should probably run with it.”

“Very well.” Lily dipped her head. “But please, before we go, will you tell me something? Have you received any unusual correspondence lately?”

“No.”

“I’m glad.” She sighed. “That’s a relief, Rin.”

“Unless you mean that death threat thing. Why, what do you mean by unusual?”

A sharp pain spiked up Emi’s arm; Lily was suddenly holding onto her very tightly indeed. She resisted the urge to wince. “You want to run that past us again?”

Rin’s face was a study in disinterest. “Some newspaper clipping. About that man who got stabbed, which was horrible, and then it had been photocopied on a really crappy copier which made it look worse. I don’t know why.” She yawned. “Sort of grainy. Like those dream sequences in horror movies.”

Emi glanced across at Lily. The other woman was tense, her face rigid.

“Was there anything else?” she asked.

“My face stuck on with glue. I mean, don’t people even know how to Photoshop?” Rin’s eyes opened, narrowed suspiciously. “Why? Did you send it?”

“Why the hell would I send you a death threat?” Emi scowled. “Before today, anyway.”

That earned her a sharp rap on the ankle from Lily’s cane. She didn’t feel it, of course, but the sound of it made her start. “Sorry,” she mumbled.

“Rin,” said Lily, “Emi and I have received very similar letters.”

“What, with my face on them?”

“No. They were, ah…” Lily’s voice dropped lower. “Personalised.”

Rin sat forward, her eyes suddenly very wide. “That’s bad. That’s a worry. I’m worried now. Is someone going to shoot at you too?”

“We’ll be careful,” said Emi. “Lily, we should-“

“No,” Lily snapped. “Emi, what’s the matter with you? We’re not children, and this is more important than your foolish arguments. Tell Rin what happened.”

“Something happened?” Rin was on her feet in one smooth, fluid movement, off the bed and standing right in front of Emi again. “What? What happened to you?”

“Nothing happened.”

“Liar. Stop lying, you liar.” Rin was tilting her head this way and that. For a moment Emi thought it was some kind of nervous tic, or side effect from her injury, but then she realised that the woman was checking her for damage. “Tell me.”

She swallowed hard. “I… I think someone tried to run me over.”

Rin’s expression crumpled. In one instant all her coolness and disinterest were gone. She was shivering, her eyes wide, her skin white.

“No,” she whispered. “No no no no. Not you.”

“It’s okay, I’m all right. Just some bruises.”

“It’s not okay. How can you say it’s okay? What could possibly be okay about this?” Rin shook her head. “No. Not okay. Help me get my clothes back. We’re leaving.”

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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sadako » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:08 am

Story note: Rin

Out of everything I’ve written so far on Fractures, this chapter contains the stuff I felt worst about doing. Namely, Rin’s illness and her treatment in its immediate aftermath.

I’m choosing to take the likelihood of her breaking down under pressure as canon – after all, she got very close to that in her route in KS, and while she was younger then, she also had Hisao and Emi to support her and she still fell to bits. So while I’m in no way trying to write ‘the story of Rin the Misery Magnet’, I think it’s pretty likely that, if Nomiya did show up and try to take a personal hand in increasing her profile, she’d end up on a very dark path.

The uncomfortable stuff happens after she falls ill.

Now, it’s possible Rin might be misremembering a lot of what went on there, or exaggerating to make Emi feel worse. Sadly, though, while what she says she went through is extreme, it is far from impossible. The treatment and social perception of mental illness in Japan is very far behind that in other developed countries. This article was written in 2001, and research I’ve done for the story doesn’t lead me to think a great deal has changed:

http://www.economist.com/node/876845

Luckily for Rin, in-house therapists are being phased in, on an experimental basis:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/0 ... cdjfvlViis

Anyway, Rin can now safely say Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker. Even if it does leave her with a nasty scar.

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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sharp-O » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:22 pm

Every bloody chapter is fresh dip into scolding hot feels. I am glad that, once Lily told her about Emi's incident, most of Rin's bitterness faded into genuine concern. She may have been hurt but, deep down, she still cares about Emi and that's the brightest this story has been so far. :lol:

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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:46 pm

Good chapter, but you consistently misspell "Lilly" - and now you've infected Sharp-O as well...
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: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sadako » Sun Aug 09, 2015 12:58 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Good chapter, but you consistently misspell "Lilly" - and now you've infected Sharp-O as well...
If anyone wants me, I'm going to be over here, repeatedly slamming my head against the nearest piece of tubular scaffolding.

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Sadako
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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sadako » Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:21 pm

Sharp-O wrote:Every bloody chapter is fresh dip into scolding hot feels. I am glad that, once Lily told her about Emi's incident, most of Rin's bitterness faded into genuine concern. She may have been hurt but, deep down, she still cares about Emi and that's the brightest this story has been so far. :lol:
Thank you! Funnily enough, that scene was the first part of Fractures I wrote – it was pretty different, of course, but the core is the same. I just really like the idea that Rin can be steamingly angry and bitter at Emi because of what happened, but despite that she still loves her and worries about her, and a year-plus of silence hasn’t dimmed any of those feelings, good or bad.

Komamura
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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Komamura » Mon Aug 10, 2015 4:48 pm

Nice work man, at first i was skeptic about a mystery / police kind of fanfiction and KS but i find your writing to be good enough to make me entretained, keep up the good work and im waiting eagerly for the chapter 7

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Sadako
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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sadako » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:11 pm

6. The Space Between Words

If the trip to Niiza hospital had been quiet, the trip coming back was positively soundless. Emi drove with her hands painfully tight on the wheel, shaking with anger and distress. In the back seat, Rin was hunched into the corner, bruised face turned perpetually to the window, while Lilly sat next to her, bolt upright and eyes closed, as silent and unmoving as a statue.

Everyone in the car was, it seemed, utterly furious with everyone else.

It was Rin, finally, who broke the silence. “Left here.”

“What?” snapped Emi.

“Turn left here. I don’t want to go home.”

“Fine.” She slowed, headed towards the next junction. “Where do you want to go instead?”

“My parents’ place. Just drop me at the door, I’ve got keys.”

“I think we should at least see you inside,” said Lilly. “To make sure you’ll be safe.”

“But who’s going to make sure you’re safe?”

In contrast to her earlier emotionless tirade, Rin’s voice sounded heartbreakingly small and frightened. Emi took a couple of long, deep breaths, felt her hands loosen slightly on the wheel.

“Rin,” she said, as calmly as she was able. “May Lilly and I come in with you? Just for a little while?”

There was a long silence. And then Rin whispered something that sounded a lot like “Yes please.”

It was good enough for now.




Rin’s shirt had been too blood-stained to save. She was still wearing her hospital gown, over a pair of loose-fitting cargo trousers with a half a dozen pockets on each leg. Emi waited at the front door of the Tezukas’ neat little house, watching Rin stand on one foot to retrieve a set of doorkeys from a pocket on the opposite ankle.

She reached down, took them from between her toes. “Let me.”

Rin didn’t resist her. Emi unlocked the door and pushed it warily open.

Beyond was a typical entranceway; a tiny table, a wall-hanging, several pairs of shoes lined neatly along one wall. Emi listened carefully, but heard nothing. Just the cool silence of an unoccupied home in winter.

She stepped through, taking her shoes off as she did so. “I think we’re okay.”

Rin moved past her, slipping off her sandals. Emi saw her line them up precisely next to what must have been her mother’s shoes, nudging them into place with one toe. That’s new.

“Lilly,” Rin said. “Have you been here before? I’m sorry, I can’t remember right now.”

“That’s quite all right, Rin. And no, I don’t believe I have.”

Emi had, a long time ago, but she could barely remember the layout. The years between school and now had never felt so long.

“Do you want me to show you around?”

“I’m sure I can find my way. Emi, why don’t you help Rin find some fresh clothes?”

There was an edge to her voice that hadn’t gone away since the hospital. Lilly was still angry at her. With good reason. “Is that okay, Rin?”

“There’s stuff in my old room,” Rin replied. “They keep it ready in case I ever… Well, you know. ”

“Sleep over?”

A tiny smile quirked at the corner of Rin’s lips. “Yeah, that’ll do. Lilly, are you going to be okay for a while?”

“More than okay, thank you. It’s time I made some phone calls.”




It wasn’t until she was halfway up the stairs that Emi realised how much pain she was in. Driving was putting her knees and thigh muscles under constant tension, and not being able to use her running legs meant that any normal strategy for managing that tension simply wasn’t available to her. That wasn’t even taking into account the residual aches and spasms from her near miss of the previous day: much to her shame, Emi found herself climbing the steps one at a time, and clinging onto the handrail like a pensioner.

Even Rin couldn’t fail to notice how slowly she was moving. “Wow. He really messed you up, didn’t he.”

“Who?”

“Whoever tried to run you over.”

“No.” They had reached the landing. “Well, a bit. I was lucky, I guess. I fell back, and he just took my right leg off as he drove past.”

“Yeah, you’re limping on that one. Worse than the other one, anyway.” Rin’s bedroom was at the end of the landing. She opened the door with her knee and then moved aside to let Emi through. “Are you gonna start resting up soon?”

“If I can.” Emi hesitated at the threshold. Going through didn’t feel right. “Look, Rin…”

“It’s okay. I don’t mind.”

Emi nodded, and went in.

Like everything in Rin’s new life, the room was sparse and very tidy. The bed was neatly made and covered with a dust sheet. There was a small nightstand, a cupboard and an empty bookshelf. That was all. No pictures, no art materials, no books or toys or ornaments.

The surfaces were clean, almost shining. Rin’s mother must have dusted here frequently.

Looking at the room made Emi feel desperately uncomfortable. How long had Rin spent here, staring at those blank walls, after she had returned from hospital? Had the room always been so bare, so cell-like?

Rin was sitting on the edge of the bed. “Shirts are in the wardrobe.”

“Okay.” Emi slid the door across and peered inside. “Hey, there’s a couple of your old school uniforms in here.”

“Just something I can get into by myself, please.”

Emi glanced back at her. “Rin, we’re not going unless you want us to. We won’t leave you on your own.”

“Hm. On that subject.”

She cringed, keeping her head in the wardrobe so Rin wouldn’t see. Here it comes again.

“How come Lilly’s here, anyway? Shouldn’t she be nine thousand one hundred and thirteen kilometres away?”

Oh. “Please tell me you looked that number up.”

“Of course I did. When she left. I’d have to be an idiot savant to be able to work stuff like that out in my head, and I’m pretty sure I’m only one of those things.”

“That’s a relief.” Emi began sliding hangars around, trying to choose. “She’s been working for something called the Braithwaite Foundation. They run schools for blind and partially-sighted students, got little branches all over. They want to expand into Japan, so they sent her to start it up.” She hooked out a pale blue shirt. “How’s this?”

“It’s fine. So she’s their gateway to the Far East, huh?”

“Pretty much. Do you want me to help you with…” She watched Rin shrugging her way out of the gown. “Okay, never mind.”

Rin gazed up at her expectantly, seemingly unperturbed by the fact that she was now wearing only a plain white bra on her top half. Emi lifted the shirt and put it over her head, then stepped back as Rin began to wriggle her way into it.

She couldn’t help looking more closely. Apart from a couple of bruises and abrasions on her right shoulder, Rin’s body was in better shape than Emi could ever remember seeing. At school she had often been pale and painfully thin, but now her skin had a healthy sheen, taut over smooth muscle.

Fully into the shirt now, Rin swung her feet up onto the bed and sat back against the wall. “What are you smiling about?”

“Am I?” She shrugged. “It’s just… Well, you look, you know. Okay.”

“Hm?”

“Like you’re eating properly.”

Rin’s expression changed. Suddenly she was looking guarded, wary. “I’m doing everything properly.”

Emi sat carefully on the edge of the bed, not too close. “What do you mean?”

“I eat properly, even when no-one tells me to.” Her voice was quiet, controlled. As though she wasn’t speaking, but reciting. “I keep my apartment clean and tidy. I don’t talk to people I don’t know. When I talk I keep my thoughts in order, list them one, two, three.” She looked away. “I’m always careful, every day.”

“I don’t understand. Rin, that doesn’t even sound like you.”

“That’s because I can’t be me anymore.” Her feet were rubbing together, very slightly, like a nervous tic. “Not out loud. Even when I’m on my own I have to be careful.”

That was when Emi understood. “Oh god.”

“Yeah, my medical records have got Mental Illness all over them now. Big red rubber stamp, every page. Probably. That’s what it looks like in my head, anyway.” Rin seemed to have noticed what her feet were doing. She was holding herself very still. “So if I make a fuss or ramble when I talk or start crying I could end up in the mountains again.”

“Rin, I’m-“

“Don’t say sorry.” Rin was smiling. “It’s okay.”

“What could possibly,” Emi grated, echoing Rin’s own words, “be okay about this?”

“It’s okay because it’s okay. Because I’m okay.” Her eyes were drooping closed. “Also tired. Probably painkillers. Emi, listen… When I came back from the funny farm Dad got me a doctor, a good one. She tailed my meds off, got me back into my apartment. Looked in on me for a year until she was sure I was all right on my own. She was the one who helped me be careful, and yeah, it’s scary. Of course it is. But you know what?”

“Go on, what?”

“I kind of like being careful. I smell better, for one thing.” Her eyes were fully shut now. “I am so, so angry at you for what you did. I don’t think I can ever stop being angry. But you were right to do it. You had to do it. If you hadn’t I’d be dead. I’m sleepy.”

“That’s okay,” Emi breathed. “You sleep. We’ll be here when you wake up.”

“Um. That’s kind of creepy but also nice.” And then Rin said something, slurred and whispered. Emi thought she’d heard it correctly, but that might have been wishful thinking. She couldn’t be sure.

All she could do was to reach out and stroke Rin’s untidy red-brown hair, very gently. And then, when the woman’s breathing had slowed into the steady, silent rhythm of sleep, she got up and stepped back onto the landing.

“I’ve missed you too,” she whispered, and closed the door behind her.

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Sadako
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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sadako » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:12 pm

Story Note:

Sleepy Rin will never stop being adorable. That is all.

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Sharp-O
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Re: Fanfiction: Fractures

Post by Sharp-O » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:59 pm

Well, this wasn't soul-crushing or heart-stopping so that's good :lol:

I won't keep repeating myself but I'm definitely looking forward to more chapters.

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