Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

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Trufflez
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:49 am

Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Trufflez » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:28 am

I recently finished KS for the second time and after reading some fanfiction here, decided to create my own headcannon the other night. I don’t think my writing is all that good, but I’m going to share it anyway. There are probably a fair amount of grammatical errors as well, so I hope you don’t mind. Enjoy.

****
I feel someone tap my shoulder. Looking up from my work, I see that it is Katsumi.

[Kaori says we’re done for today,] she signs.

[Already? But I’m not finished.]

[Student council president’s orders, Shizune.] She grins at me. I let out an inaudible sigh and glance over to where Kaori is talking with some other members. She’s a good president and keeps us busy most of the time, but I’m still looking forward to her graduation next spring. In my head, I’ve already planned out how I’m going to win the upcoming election…not like there is much competition. The students at my university are harder workers than those at Yamaku, but they still seem more like followers than actual leaders. Just as I begin to pack my things, I notice Kaito walking over to us. I already know what he is going to ask, so I have my answer prepared ahead of time.

[Kaito wants to know if you’re going to be free during Tanabata,] Katsumi translates.

[Sorry, I’ve got to study for finals.] He takes the hint, shrugs, and walks back over to where the other council members are talking.

Katsumi throws me a knowing smile. [You can’t keep them away forever, you know.]

[Yeah, well I could care less what they want.] I realize that sounds a bit heartless. [And besides, I really do need to study.]

[Of course. So, do you still need me for today?]

[No thanks, I’m just going to go back to my dorm and relax,] I reply.

Katsumi nods at me, then does a slight bow before making her exit. I grab my bag, wave goodbye to everyone, and start walking towards my room.

Tanabata. Lovers under the starlight. Memories come rushing back to me, despite my efforts to push them away. Was that really less than a year ago? It seems like so much more time has passed.

****
As I enter my living space, I unconsciously turn my head to look at the stuffed purple cat doll sitting atop the night stand next to my bed. The same doll that I for some reason find myself cuddling with every night. I force myself to look away and close the door behind me. I walk over to my desk and take a seat in my chair, before opening my laptop.

Homework can wait. I decide to check my email, only to find some messages for school in my inbox. It seems like Misha hasn’t replied back to the email I sent her yesterday. I miss her. Katsumi is a far more professional translator, but I also found Misha’s rambunctiousness to be endearing. Besides, despite Katsumi becoming friendlier over the past few months, it doesn’t change the fact that she’s being paid for her service. If not for that, Katsumi would find business elsewhere. At least she doesn’t call me Ms. Hakamichi anymore.

I see an email that Hisao sent me last week which I have yet to reply to. In it, he told me that his classes were still going well, although with finals coming up he had better start studying. Formal, just like every other weekly email from him. At first, I didn’t mind. Lately though, especially today, I’ve felt…worried? We haven’t officially broken up, technically we’re still a couple, although our conversations make it seem otherwise. The last time I had seen him had been at graduation, where he told me of his plans to teach at Yamaku someday. We promised to keep in touch and he had hugged me one last time before saying farewell. Everything seemed fine between us, thus there had been no reason for an emotional parting. Why then, was there this feeling of dread that had appeared in the last few days?

, he signs to me. I know he does, but the words still make me feel a surge of happiness. I smile at him and want to say it back, but something stops me. First, we are in public. Being intimate with him has been difficult enough in private, but now we have an audience. Not only that, but Misha is standing right next to me. Although she has been a lot more like her old self lately, I don’t want to risk the chance of hurting her. Therefore, I say nothing, hoping my expression will say the words I cannot. He seems to understand, and switches focus back to the three of us, asking about the possibility of a reunion.

I’m not one for regret, but I can’t help thinking that perhaps my silence had created the rift between us. Is there actually a rift, or am I overanalyzing things, as I often do? I shake these pointless thoughts from my brain and start typing back my reply.

Dear Hisao,

Things are very much the same over here. We already finished the stuff for Tanabata last week, so Kaori has been giving us less work to make studying for finals easier. I’m feeling a bit stressed, but Katsumi assures me that I have nothing to worry about. Either she believes that I’m a genius, or she’s a great liar. Anyway, best of luck on your exams. I


Miss you? Wish you were here? That sounds so clingy, so I decide to say nothing and send my formal reply. I try to imagine Hisao at his university, making new friends and being his usual self. When I first met him, he was withdrawn and depressed. By graduation however, he oozed confidence. Surely, there would be women interested in that sort of personality. It didn’t hurt that he was good looking, either. I briefly consider him already having a new girlfriend, but quickly push the idea out of my head.

What is wrong with me? Hisao would tell me if there was someone else in his life. Still, a hint of doubt lingers. Have I already lost that much trust in him over these past few months, or is it my own insecurity creating these thoughts? I close my laptop and lay down on my bed. Perhaps some sleep will help clear my brain.

Before I can even begin to feel tired though, my phone vibrates. Taking it out of my pocket, I see that it’s from Misha. Strange. She knows how much I hate texting, so this must be important.

Hey Shiichan. You busy?

No. Just resting.

Cool. I was wondering if you had anything going on this Tanabata?

Wait, what?

No, I was just going to study. Why?

That’s great, Shiichan! Because I was going to ask if you want to go with me!

Aren’t you overseas?

Yep, but I really miss you and thought we should see each other again!

Misha, I want to see you too, but buying a plane ticket just for one festival seems like too much. Why don’t we see each other during the summer break instead?

Too late! I already bought a ticket!

My palm finds its way to my face. I want to argue with her, but it looks like she’s set on seeing me at Tanabata for some reason. The more I think about it however, the better it sounds. Of all the days to take my mind off things, this one is probably the best.

Okay Misha, see you there.

****
Last edited by Trufflez on Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Trufflez
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:49 am

Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Trufflez » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:30 am

Misha’s train arrives right on time. People huddle their way out and I keep my eyes open for a bobbing pink head. Strangely, I can’t find it anywhere. Maybe she fell asleep. Just as I’m about to go looking for her, a familiar face jumps into my line of sight and hugs me.

[Ah, I see. You’re back to your natural brown color.]

[Yep! I’m trying to look more mature!] Misha signs back to me.

[You still look like a kid to me.] I adjust my glasses, grinning at her sarcastically. She laughs.

[I see you haven’t changed, Shiichan!]

[Why did you want to see me on Tanabata?] I look at her closely, waiting for any hints of discomfort at my rather abrupt question. Unfazed, she replies back almost immediately and in her same usual cheerful tone.

[I told you already, Shiichan! I really, really wanted to see you! And…I also felt lonely because I couldn’t find a date.] Misha’s expression changes to one of sadness. Woops.

[I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you upset.] Suddenly however, she brightens up and starts laughing. I wonder if my face depicts the same level of shock I’m feeling at this very moment. It would seem that it has indeed been far too long since we’ve been together if she’s able to catch me off guard like this.

[Kidding! I had several people ask me out, but the one girl I’m interested in can’t go with me because she’s working.] I relax.

[Well, I’m glad you’ve finally found someone. Does she like you back?]

[Of course! We haven’t made it official yet, but we flirt a lot and her friends have told me as much. I was planning on confessing to her during Tanabata, but I guess it’ll have to wait! I’m not upset though, because I get to see Shiichan!] Her words make me smile.

[I’m glad I get to see you, too. Come on, my dad is waiting to pick us up.]

Even he seems sort of pleased to see Misha. When we get to my house, Hideaki and her hug for a long time before we play a game of Risk. One particular thing I notice is that he is able to understand some of the things I am saying and we are even able to hold a short conversation. When I ask him if he’s been taking lessons, he says yes, but refuses to go into detail. I can understand him being hesitant with our father around, but it seems more like he’s trying to hide something from me. I’m far too content right now to pester him about it, though.

****

When we head out the next day, Misha insists on following the same route as last year. That is, starting from the town and making our way up to Yamaku. Her pace, usually energetic, is even more so tonight. I do my best to keep up with the girl wearing her green yukata while trying not to trip wearing my red yukata. Apparently I’m moving too slow however, since she eventually grabs my hand and leads me towards a place I recognize.

[The Shanghai?]

[That’s right! There’s nothing better to start the night with than a cup of our favorite tea!] Misha signs back.

We enter the unsurprisingly empty restaurant. Even on a normal day, there aren’t usually many people here as I recall. At the only occupied table sits a middle-aged couple. There is something oddly familiar about them, but I can’t say what it is. They catch me staring and wave. Feeling slightly embarrassed for being rude, I wave back and quickly turn away just in time to see Yuuko making her way to us. Smiling, she bows to us.

[The usual?]

[Yes please,] I sign to our waitress, which Misha translates. We take our seats and when our tea arrives, I ask Yuuko how her school is progressing.

[She says it’s going very well and she hopes to graduate soon!] She looks confident in her answer, which makes me proud.

[That’s great to hear. I expect amazing things from you!] Perhaps that wasn’t the best reply, since Yuuko suddenly looks very nervous. [What I mean to say is, I have the upmost faith in your ability to succeed in life.] That seems to work a little better. She nods, before replying.

[Yuuko says we better go enjoy the festival before it gets too late!] Sadly, she’s right. I would’ve liked more time to talk with her, though. Misha and I finish our tea before heading back out into the cool night air after saying goodbye.

****

Trufflez
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:49 am

Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Trufflez » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:32 am

Misha seems eager to skip most of the stalls in town, despite my dissatisfaction. She apparently wants to get to Yamaku as quickly as possible. I can’t blame her, although we’re missing out on some cool things, not to mention delicious fried food. We finally reach the school gates and take a minute to catch our breath.

[There!] She points at a nearby stall and before I can protest, grabs me by the hand again and drags me over. She’s become far more strong-willed since I met her. I, on the other hand, have become a bit more passive. Even though I’m still combative at times, I made a promise not to turn everything into a competition and I think that I’ve done pretty well keeping it. As we near the stall, we come face-to-face with our old homeroom teacher.

[Mr. Mutou? You’re helping out with the festival this year?] He gives me his typically awkward smile and puts his hands in his pockets before speaking.

[Yep! He says that the new student council has done such a great job with promoting it that more help was needed.] Looking around, it would seem that way. Tanabata was always popular, but there is definitely a bigger crowd than previous years. I can’t help but feel a swell of pride. Choosing Aoi and Keiko as my successors was a wise decision, as I had hoped.

[Speaking of the new student council, where are they?]

[They’re up on the rooftop, having a private celebration,] Misha translates.

[Is that so? Maybe we should go surprise them! I can’t wait to see their reaction.] I flash a wickedly mischievous grin. Mr. Mutou shakes his head.

[He says to leave them be, Shiichan! I agree, let’s play some games!] She motions to the one behind him. Bottles filled with water are stacked on top of each other in a pyramid. Uh-oh. I put up both my arms, making a large X.

[NO.]

[Aw, Shiichan….]

[You know I don’t like throwing balls, Misha.] She looks dejectedly at Mutou, who scratches his beard for a moment in consideration. Then, he speaks.

[He says he’ll make our first game free. Also, he says that it’s not like Shiichan to turn tail and run away!] I glare at him.

[Excuse me?] He puts his hands on his hips, as if to say, “You heard me.”

[Please, Shiichan? I really want to play.] She gives me her best puppy dog face. I’m immune to such nonsense, but Mutou’s challenging remark has rubbed me the wrong way. He wants me to play? Fine, I will. I’ll rob his stall blind of all its goodies. I crack my knuckles.

[Balls. Now.] Misha claps excitedly, before translating. Mutou hands us our weapons. I motion for Misha to go first. I need time to form a plan. She throws with abandon, without any actual target. Finally, she tosses her last two balls in frustration, missing the bottles completely. Normally, I would laugh, but I’m too focused on figuring out a strategy.

[Shiichan, you have to win this for us!] I nod, before adjusting my glasses. I think back to the game we played last year. Or rather, Hisao played. He managed to knock over the bottles by aiming for the space between two of the bottom ones. It wouldn’t hurt to try the same thing. I pull back my arm, take aim, and fire. A perfect shot. As the bottles crash to the table, Misha cheers excitedly. Mutou nods once in acknowledgment of my victory. Time to claim my prize.

[What do you want, Misha?] Without hesitation, she points to a doll. A stuffed cat doll, exactly like the one I have. The only noticeable difference is that this one is pink, instead of purple. Mutou hands it to her and she beams at me.

[Thank you, Shiichan! Thank you! Thank you!] I’m feeling a bit too nostalgic at the moment to return her enthusiasm, so I just smile back.

We’re sitting on a bench on the rooftop. Misha has fallen asleep. I catch him eyeing the doll he gave me. I hold it out to him and ask if he wants it back, but he shakes his head and says something I can’t understand. He smiles at me, but it is a sad smile. I can’t say why, but I want to make him happy. I want to get him out this depression he’s been living in since we met. He keeps talking to me, but eventually I get impatient. I stand up, spreading my arms for him to see the world around me. It takes him a moment, but he gets the message. Still, that look of melancholy doesn’t leave his face. I use one hand to grab his shoulder and pull him to his feet, while using the other to point towards the sky. As if on cue, the fireworks start. We watch them together until they finally die down. I look at him, seeing him at peace for perhaps the first time. I want to savor this feeling of accomplishment, but then I realize I’m still grasping his shoulder. He looks down at me, almost curiously. It’s an uncomfortable feeling being this close to him, one I can’t describe. I cautiously remove my hand and we finish eating. As we watch the stars, I think back on the short time we’ve been acquainted. He’s interesting. Even though he mopes around a lot, he also hides a tenacity that almost matches mine sometimes. Not only that, but he’s easy on the eyes. I told him as much the other day at the Shanghai, although he couldn’t understand me, of course. I like him, that’s for certain. However, the thought of being intimate confuses me. I don’t know the first thing about relationships. Besides, we can’t speak to each other. For the first time in a while, I feel disappointment.

A tap on my shoulder pulls me out of my reminiscing. Misha is looking at me curiously. [Are you okay, Shiichan?]

[Yeah. I’m fine. Let’s go play something else.] Misha nods, and we wave goodbye to Mutou.

****
Last edited by Trufflez on Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

Trufflez
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:49 am

Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Trufflez » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:35 am

Misha doesn’t seem very interested in playing games, however. She’s pulling me again past quite a few stalls. Perhaps this is a game, revenge for all the times I used to drag her around? The thought amuses me. She really has changed. Misha suddenly stops, almost causing me to lose my balance. I throw an irritated look her way, but what she’s looking at catches my attention. A girl is sprinting in our direction. She has light brown hair, but her trademark pigtails have been replaced with a ponytail. Her eyes are aimed straight ahead and I have a feeling that if I don’t stop her now, she’ll run right into us. I firmly dig my heels into the ground and put my hand up in a “STOP” gesture. Misha yells something. Emi finally notices us, and comes to a halt.

[Ms. Ibarazaki! Have you already forgotten? No running on school grounds!] I place my hands on my hips in an authoritative fashion. Misha does the same. Some things never change, apparently. Emi pouts at us, before breaking into laughter.

[Ibarazaki says she didn’t realize that we were still doing patrols.] Misha giggles.

[We’re like the Spanish Inquisition. Anyway, what are you doing here?] Emi crosses her arms in mock anger.

[She says she could ask us the same thing, Shiichan!] She and Emi share a knowing glance, making me suspicious.

[You knew she’d be here?] Misha nods guiltily.

[We’ve kept in touch! Ibarazaki’s university isn’t far from here, so she decided to help out with the festival.] Emi nods in agreement.

[I see.] We’ve never been more than acquaintances, but I’m nonetheless glad to see another person from my previous life. [Which stall is yours?]

Emi grabs Misha’s hand and she subsequently grabs mine. Here we go again. Doing our best to avoid smashing into people, we eventually reach a stall adorned with various paintings. Sitting in a chair next to a canvas is none other than Rin. She is wearing overalls, but otherwise looks the same as I remember.

[Tezuka? You as well?] Rin looks in my direction as I sign, avoiding direct eye contact as is her norm. Misha is too distracted by the artwork in front of us to translate. I poke her in the ribs, causing her to jump.

[Ow, Shiichan! Oh…Rin says hello!] Based on her uninterested expression, I doubt she said it like that.

[So, you guys are selling paintings?] Rin looks at Emi, who looks at me and shakes her head before speaking.

[Portraits, actually! The paintings are just to attract people.]

[I see. Are you enrolled in university?] Rin stares at me for a moment, then says what I hope is a coherent reply.

[Do you want a portrait, Shiichan?] I guess not.

[Sure. Can you do both Misha and me together?] This time Rin stares at both of us for what seems like at least a minute, before speaking.

[She says yes!] Misha claps her hands in excitement. Emi tells us to stand closer and not talk. I assume that includes signing. Rin pauses every now and then to wait for Misha to stop squirming. Eventually, she finishes drawing and Emi hands us the final sketch. It’s quite beautiful. Our features seem a bit exaggerated, but you can definitely tell it’s us. That Rin could draw something so well in such a brief period of time is nothing short of amazing.

[Thank you. It looks great.] Misha bobs her held in approval. [Hold on, what is this?] I point to a single bright star hovering above Misha and me in the portrait. It seems to almost block out the night sky in the background.

[Tezuka says it’s a star! Even I knew that, Shiichan!]

[It’s unusually large. Is it supposed to symbolize anything?] Rin stares at it for moment, then shrugs. I take that as a no.

[Come on, let’s go see the rest of the festival before it gets too late!] I try to protest, but Misha is already pulling me away and waving goodbye to Emi and Rin.

****

After some more running around, I step in front of Misha. She looks at me, confused. [Enough. I’m hungry.] She laughs.

[Me too, Shiichan! I was just about to find us something to eat!] I adjust my glasses and raise an eyebrow at her.

[Oh really?]

[Yep! This way!] I sigh as she runs ahead of me. At least I’m not being dragged along any more. I follow her towards an increasingly enticing smell. When we locate the source, I freeze dead in my tracks. A girl with long, black hair is standing at the register. The scars across her face are unmistakably recognizable. Behind her, a tall blonde girl is cooking. Her back is turned, but I don’t need to see her face to know who it is. I feel the urge to run away, but Misha grabs me by the hand and walks me over. Hanako sees us and smiles shyly. She turns to say something to Lilly, who nods and faces in our direction. I can only gape at Misha, who seems rather exuberant.

[I thought I smelled Ms. Satou’s famous cooking! It’s great to see you and Ikezawa again!] Misha runs behind the stall to hug Lilly and awkwardly hugs Hanako as well, who is looking somewhat uncomfortable from the sudden display of affection.

[What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be in Scotland?] Lilly listens to Misha’s translation, then smiles playfully.

[She says that she wasn’t aware that the former student council president still needed to keep tabs on her after graduation!] Misha does her best to look serious, but the sarcasm is obvious enough. Even if there weren’t any actual apologies, the feud that took place between us at Yamaku seems so petty now. There are bigger things to worry about. Although I won’t say it, I missed her. I think she probably feels the same way, but I can’t help feeling a bit uneasy seeing her here so unexpectedly.

[Very funny. Seriously though, what brings you here? You’re the last person I thought I’d run into in this place.] Lilly’s expression changes to one of curiosity.

[She says are you sure about that?] What’s that supposed to mean? Lilly’s teasing is starting to get on my nerves. Before I can unleash a flurry of insults her way however, she speaks again. [Lilly is on summer break right now, so she’s in Japan to visit her old friends and teachers. She planned to stop by the Hakamichi household after our vacation started, but is pleased she gets to see you even sooner. Aw!] Even though she can’t see it, I smile at Lilly.

[Likewise. What about you, Ikezawa?] Hanako has been watching us this entire time silently and suddenly becoming the center of attention causes her to stiffen momentarily. Despite her still acting shy, I can see that she’s changed as well into a more confident person. She quickly composes herself before replying.

[Ikezawa wanted to spend time with Lilly, of course! She’s doing well enough in her classes to take some time off and help with the festival! Isn’t that great, Shiichan?]

[Indeed. Still, it’s strange to see so many familiar faces in one place.] This time, Lilly responds.

[She agrees! Tonight is Tanabata however, so it isn’t as surprising on a fateful night such as this.] Despite how odd that sounds, Lilly doesn’t seem like she was making a joke. Before I can think about it any further though, my stomach grumbles. Misha laughs. We end up eating a small meal together and spend the time catching up. Tonight has certainly been interesting so far.

****
Last edited by Trufflez on Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

Trufflez
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:49 am

Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Trufflez » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:38 am

Unfortunately, we don’t get to talk for very long, since Lilly and Hanako have to get back to work. At this point Misha is beginning to look tired and I myself am feeling a bit worn out. When I ask her if we can go somewhere away from the crowd to relax before heading back home, she happily complies.

[The roof is probably still occupied Shiichan, but I know a place!]

[Oh?]

[Yep! This way!] She’s too exhausted to pull me after her, but I follow anyway. We pass through the school garden and as we reach our destination, I realize that this is the exact same spot where Hisao took me, one year ago.

We watch the stars together. Tonight they look especially beautiful. I had felt very uncomfortable being alone with him after Misha suddenly left, but right now his presence makes me feel very at ease.

[My favorite thing about this school is that it’s on top of a mountain,] I sign to him.

[Is it because it’s much closer to the sky?]

[Yes.]

[I like it too, but more because of the fresh air.] He smirks at me. [You’re so competitive. Too competitive. If a whale bit you, you would bite back.] I laugh and then wink at him.

[Would that be so bad?] We smile at each other.

[Yes.] I close my eyes, thinking of a response.

[It’s true. I’m terrible, a little.] I open my eyes and smile at him playfully. [But if I can make people happy, I’m not entirely terrible, am I? Then, it’s okay. I have many examples in my defense.] He grins.

[That’s right.] He pauses. [Do you want to be my girlfriend?] Now, it’s my turn to pause. We had grown closer over the past few months and his efforts to learn sign language had made me even more infatuated with him, but I still wasn’t expecting him to ask me that. Not yet. He looks at me nervously, expecting a reply. I have to give him one. My heart and mind start racing. Part of me wants to shout yes and another wants to run away. I can’t recall ever being this shy before. Should I confess my feelings now? How would I do so? Each time I try to sign, I have to stop and think about it some more. It hasn’t even been a minute yet, yet it feels like so much more time has passed. Finally, I’m able to give him my answer.

[Okay.] What a simple reply. As difficult as it is, I have to show him how I feel. I slowly move towards him and wrap my arms around his waist. Hugging in general feels strange, but like this it’s downright foreign. Still, the warmth coming from him is nice and when he hugs me back, I want to stay like this forever.


[Shiichan, you’re spacing out again!] Misha waves her hands in front of my face.

[Sorry. It’s pretty tonight, isn’t it?]

[Yep! Actually, I’m really thirsty. Wait here while I get some drinks!]

[What? Let me come with you, then.] Misha shakes her head.

[You’ve followed me enough, Shiichan! Just wait here, okay?]

[Fine. Just be quick.]

[I will! Don’t forget to make a wish!] She runs off towards the festival. Misha ends up being gone so long that I get lost in thought once more. Don’t forget to make a wish? I don’t make wishes, she should remember that. I’ve always thought wishes are for those who are too afraid to pursue their desires, so they have to rely purely on luck. Wishes don’t come true, either. After all, my mother was still gone. Such memories are painful to think about, so I look up at the stars and think back to tonight. Going to the Shanghai, seeing Mutou, winning a stuffed cat doll for Misha, almost being tackled by Emi, getting a portrait from Rin, eating with Lilly and Hanako. Tonight was something special. Still, all these things keep turning my thoughts to one person. I miss the days we spent working together in the student council room. I miss his touch and the warmth of his skin. I miss the feel of his lips and the times we made love. Most of all, I miss his smile. I close my eyes and make a wish. A pair of hands cover my face. I jump in surprise, even though I know who it is.

[Misha. Took you long enough.] The hands disappear and I turn around to smile at her. My heart stops. Time itself stops. He’s wearing a dark gray yukata. His hair no longer hangs parted over his face, but is instead combed into bangs just above his left eye. His face seems more defined and masculine than the last time I saw him. I’ve always found him to be rather handsome, but with the moonlight enhancing his features, he’s amazingly gorgeous right now. I feel like I’m going to melt staring into those eyes of his. I want to touch him to make sure he’s really here in front of me, but I’m still frozen to the spot. That is, until he smiles amusingly at me, as if to say “I’ve got you now.” The smugness of it pulls me out of my trance. I realize I’ve been set up. This whole thing was a game from the beginning. He played me like a fiddle. I can feel the anger building up inside me.

[You think this is funny?! We don’t see each other for months and you pull something like this on me?!] Despite my rage, he maintains that amused smile of his. I want to choke the life out of him. [You’re so immature, Hisao!] I cross my arms and glare. He looks at his watch.

[It should be starting pretty soon.]

[What should be starting?! What are you talking about?!] I’m still upset that he seems to take so much pleasure in my loss. That is, until he places a hand on my shoulder and uses the other to point at the sky. His touch sends a jolt through my body and all I can do is turn my head upwards to see what he’s pointing at. As if on cue, a single flare shoots up through the treetops and explodes in a beautiful blue cascade. Then another appears, then several more appear, until the entire night sky is filled with bright explosions. I don’t know how long we stand there, but when they finally stop, I no longer feel angry. I stare at him, wistfully. His amused smile is gone and has been replaced with a gentler one. He slowly removes his hand from my shoulder. The moment it is gone, I have to fight the urge to embrace him. I can’t let my emotions out. Not here.

[I never stopped chasing you, Shizune. Watching you leave after graduation was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure. But, we have to pursue our goals. You said you wanted to become a philanthropist and I said I was going to be a teacher. We have to follow through with our decisions. Once I got to my university, I had to seriously think about how I was going to do so, without anything to distract me. I believe the same goes for you.] All I can do is nod in agreement. He’s right, if we had focused on each other right after starting college, then I would’ve been less focused on my goal. I’ve been able to set myself on the right track these past few months thanks to the lack of outside interference. Still, with him in front of me right now, I’m not sure I could go back to talking to him through our ridiculously formal emails. The distance between us made me realize how much I really needed him. But, even now, my pride keeps me from saying such things.

[Why, Hisao? Why go through all this to make me feel vulnerable?] I dare not blink, I want an honest answer from him.

[Because, after everything we’ve been through, you still close yourself off to me. I know you have a tendency to reminisce about important moments in your life and this seemed like the best way to do so. I needed to make you emotional in order to read your true feelings.] I want to argue, but he’s right. Well played, Hisao.

[Okay, good job. What now?] That smug look returns to his face. Oh no. No. I can only watch helplessly as he calls out to somebody. From behind a large row of bushes, several individuals come out from hiding. I see Mr. Mutou, Emi, Rin, Hanako, Lilly, and a laughing Misha encircle us. Akira herself jumps out from behind a tree, grinning from ear to ear. This can’t be happening. I look at Hisao, my eyes widening in fear. He gets on one knee. Please, no. Not in front of all these people. He continues using sign, but also speaks aloud for the others to understand.

[When I met you, I was ready to give up on life. However, you refused to let me wallow in my self-pity. First, you showed me that I could still accomplish things even if I felt like a cripple. Then, you gave me hope that I could live a content life. That wasn’t enough for you, though. During the time we spent together at Yamaku, you made me genuinely happy to be alive. Every moment together gave me another reason to keep fighting. You made me want to be a better person. Thus, I made a promise to return the favor someday. I learned sign language and that was only the first step. I’m not going to stop chasing you until you’re truly happy, because I love you.] Hisao reaches into his yukata and pulls out a velvet box. At this point I’m visibly shaking, despite trying my hardest to stop. I refuse to let it out here. I refuse. He opens the box. In it is a ring. I can’t really get a good look at it, since my vision is starting to get blurry.

[Shizune, will you marry me?] This time there is no hesitation in my decision, but I’m unable to sign, so I simply nod. He takes my hand and places the ring on my finger. It’s a perfect fit. He really did plan everything out with absolute precision. As he stands, I can’t hold it in any longer. I rush forward, wrapping my arms around him. It’s as if years of pent-up emotions are flooding out of me all at once, but I can’t stop them. He holds me tightly as I sob into his chest. When I finally stop crying, I look up at him.

[I love you, Hisao.] We kiss and he gives me the happiest smile I’ve ever seen. It’s contagious. Looking at our audience, I expect to feel nervous, but there is only bliss. Everyone is cheering enthusiastically, especially Misha. She looks like she’s about pass out from how much she’s jumping up and down. The sight makes me laugh so hard that I can’t hide it. Oh well. I feel a tap on my shoulder and turn back to my fiancé. This time he signs to me without speaking.

[Our universities really aren’t that far apart, you know. If we tried really hard, we could probably see each other every other weekend.] I grin slyly at him.

[Only every other weekend? How about every weekend? Or are you not up the challenge?] He raises his eyebrows at me, clearly intimidated. Then, he grins back.

[You’re on. First person to lose has to go on a date wearing only their underwear.]

[Typical Hisao, so dirty minded.] I smile suggestively at him. He laughs.

[Sorry darling, we’re not done socializing yet. You still have to meet my parents.] Surprised, I adjust my glasses nervously.

[Your parents? Where are they?]

[At the Shanghai, you might’ve seen them.] Of course. I thought that couple had looked familiar. Hisao’s face is a lot like his father’s, while he shares his eyes and hair color with his mother.

Unable to control herself any longer, Misha runs up to us and hugs us so tightly I think I might suffocate. She says congratulations about five million times, before everyone else comes over and also offers their own.

As our group walks towards the Shanghai, I can’t help but feel the need to sate my curiosity.

[How did you manage to get all these people together?] Hisao makes a motion of sealing his lips.

[A magician never tells his secrets. Although, I may have been planning this since graduation. I even managed to get your father’s permission.] I gape at him.

[No way. You’re lying.]

[Well, I think I got his permission. I was able to use teaching Hideaki sign language as an excuse to come over several times. Eventually, I got the courage to ask him for your hand in marriage. After he spent eight hours telling me how unworthy I was, he finally got up and walked away. I consider the fact that he did not chop me up into little tiny pieces a victory.] I almost burst out laughing and only barely manage to contain it by biting my lip. He holds out his hand to me. I take it. As our fingers intertwine, I can’t help but walk with a spring in my step.

Tanabata. Lovers under the starlight. It seems some wishes really do come true.

****
Last edited by Trufflez on Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:32 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Trufflez » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:41 am

Bonus Epilogue!

****

Yamaku High School. I stand in front of the gates, nervously anticipating my first day here. I really wish Masumi would show up already. The bell should be ringing soon. Finally, I see her mom’s car driving up the street. I wave. Masumi gets out and we hug. Behind her, I see Yuuko also getting out and walking up to us. I smile at her.

“Hello, Yuuko.”

“Hi Sakura, are you ready for your first day?” Not really.

“I guess so. I’m just glad that Masumi and I share the same classes.” My best friend beams at me.

“So am I! Bye Mom!” Yuuko suddenly looks very alarmed.

“Wait! Aren’t you going to say bye to your father?” Oh no. Please, not him. Not now. As if on cue, the trunk of Yuuko’s car flies open. Out steps a man with a rather scruffy-looking beard and glasses far too big for his face. Even though it’s spring, he’s wearing a jacket and a scarf. He stands at attention, then marches over to us. I want to grab Masumi’s hand and run away, but I know he would catch us.

“Hello, Kenji.” He glares at me.

“That’s Mr. Setou, to you, girl. My wife might be on a first-name basis with you, but we’re not. We’ll never be, so long as you support the feminist regime.” I want to tell him that having Risk as my favorite game doesn’t automatically make me into a future dictator, but I already know it’s pointless. Grandpa is the only person who can actually get him to shut up.

“Yes, sir.” I bow. The gesture only seems to make him angrier.

“You call that a bow?! This is a bow!” He bends over so fast and so low that he loses his balance and only barely manages to avoid smashing headfirst into the sidewalk. The whole time, Yuuko is looking more and more nervous. I think she might actually faint.

“Please, Kenji, they’re going to be late!” Hearing her plea, he recomposes himself.

“Very well. Leave. Just remember, I’m watching you. You try putting any funny ideas in my daughter’s head and I’ll call in the big guns. You hear me?” He flexes his rather skinny arms in my direction.

“Yes, Mr. Setou.” I bow, deeper this time. It seems to do the trick, since he gets back in the trunk. We wave goodbye to Yuuko and start walking towards our class. Most of the students here live in dorms, but Masumi and I are lucky enough to live within driving distance. Well, lucky for me anyway. I’m not so sure about her, with her psycho father imposing his will on her constantly. How Yuuko fell in love with a person like that, I’ll never know.

****

We manage to reach our homeroom just before the bell rings. Room 1-3. As we enter, I spot two empty seats near the window and we sit down. There’s a lot of noise in the classroom, since the teacher is apparently late. I take the time to look at my peers. Most of them have disabilities that are obvious, like a missing limb or bandages. Others are harder to figure out. Like Masumi and I, they might be normal, although I hate how superficial that word sounds. While I’m imagining different possibilities in my head, the teacher finally enters. My family often spends time with Akio, but I have to remember to address him properly in this setting. He walks to the front of the class and looks over his new students. When his eyes meet mine, he smiles. I return the gesture. Masumi waves at him. Eventually, he finishes examining us and speaks in his usual monotone voice.

“Hello class.” We all say hello back to him. “This is the first day of your first year at Yamaku, which means that it’s very important that you learn what it means to be a student here. While I want you to enjoy your time in this place, remember that this is where you’ll begin your transition into adulthood. That means knowing when it’s time to play and when it’s time to get down to business. When I was your age…” He goes on like this for a while, before having each of us introduce ourselves to the class. After homeroom, we jump into our science lecture. When the bell finally rings, he calls us over to his desk.

“Yes, Mr. Mutou?” He scratches his chin for a moment, before speaking.

“I’m sure I don’t need to tell you girls this, but just because we know each other personally doesn’t mean that I’m going to go easy on you both.” We nod. “As a matter of fact, since I know how smart you two are, I’ll push you even harder than your peers.” Well, that’s just great.

“We understand, sir,” Masumi replies. He smiles at us.

“I know you do, but I just wanted to get that out there. Go enjoy your lunch.” We bow and make our exit.

****

During lunch we get to know some of the other students. It’s nice, being able to fit right in. People at Yamaku are certainly friendlier than the kids at our junior high were. Eventually, we make it through to our final class of the day, which also happens to be the one I’m most excited about. Entering the class, I see the teacher sitting on top of the desk swinging her legs. Her long, brown hair has streaks of pink in it. When she sees us, she immediately jumps off and bear hugs us. Thankfully, I preemptively remembered to take a breath beforehand. I hope Masumi did the same.

“Saachan~! Maachan~! I’ve been waiting all day to see you two!” I quickly look around, noticing that people are staring at us. I don’t want to earn a reputation as the teacher’s pet.

“Hello, Mrs. Mikado.” I bow to her and Masumi does the same. The teacher responds by roaring laughter in our faces. I don’t believe my ears will function properly after this encounter.

“Wahaha! There’s no need to be so formal! We’re friends, remember?” I just now notice that this whole time she’s been signing everything she says. She typically does this when she gets very excited, which is pretty much always. Masumi becomes aware of the attention we’re getting and fidgets nervously, before speaking.

“Mrs. Mikado, we have to! This is a classroom and you’re the teacher! We can get in trouble if we’re too friendly, then they’ll move us somewhere else!” Misha puts her hands on her hips and pouts.

“Fine! Have it your way!” She points to a pair of desks in an authoritative manner. “Sit down before I give you two detention!” She really doesn’t have a middle ground, does she? We sit. She turns to face the rest of the class and returns to her happy self. “Anyway~! One thing all of you should know is that there is no speaking in this class unless I say so! That means everything must be in sign language. Here, you will either sink or swim!” She’s starting to sound an awful lot like somebody I know, except for the fact that the way she says things makes it impossible to take her seriously. After the initial introduction, she discusses the history of sign language and has us practice the alphabet. This stuff comes naturally to me, but Masumi gets lost easily and I help her out. When the bell rings, we walk over to the teacher’s desk.

“Class was fun today, Mrs. Mikado,” Masumi says. Misha beams at her, then frowns.

“What did I tell you? No speaking unless I say so!” She breaks into laughter, once again shattering my previously abused eardrums. “Wahaha! I’m kidding, kidding~!” You don’t say. “I’ve got to go to a meeting, but I’ll see you both tomorrow, okay? Say hi to your parents for me!”

“We will. Bye, Miichan!” Upon hearing me say that, Misha laughs. We flee the scene before any more permanent damage can come to our hearing.

****
Last edited by Trufflez on Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Trufflez » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:43 am

Once we reach classroom 3-2, I knock on the door. A very recognizable male voice answers.

“Come in.” We enter the empty classroom and face the teacher, who is currently organizing some papers. He puts them down, folds his hands together, and smiles at us. His longish brown hair sways gently from the breeze coming through the nearby window. Masumi is the first to speak.

“Hi, Mr. Nakai!” He raises an eyebrow at her.

“I’m not your teacher, Masumi. You can call me Hisao, if you like.” This causes her to blush and I frown. He has a way of making my friends fall for him, which is embarrassing to witness.

“Dad, are you almost finished? I’d like to go home and study my new books.” He looks at his desk, shrugs, then gets up.

“I’m ready Sakura, let’s go.” He tosses the papers unceremoniously into his briefcase and heads for the door.

“Oh, I want shotgun!” Masumi calls after Dad. I shake my head, knowing that she just wants to sit next to him. As we make our way to the parking lot, however, we’re surprised by a blue-haired woman in a rather expensive business suit waiting for us. I look at my father, who’s giving her a playful grin.

“Thought you’d race me here, eh?” She winks at him and they share a brief, but intimate hug. If it weren’t for Masumi and I being here, she’d probably kiss him, too. I’ve managed to catch them a few times when they think I’m not paying attention. I look at my best friend, the jealousy clearly written all over her face. As if she could even pretend to stand a chance against Mom, I think to myself amusingly. My parents turn to face us, smiling.

[How was your first day?] I let Dad do the translating for Masumi, before speaking.

“Not bad. Misha almost got us in trouble, though. She’s being too informal with us in front of the other students.” Mom adjusts her glasses, clearly annoyed.

[I told her not to do that! Of course, she doesn’t listen to me anymore these days!] Dad nods in agreement.

“I’ll keep an eye on her, Shizune. As a matter of fact, here she comes right now.” We turn to see where he’s pointing. Misha is hurtling towards us so fast I’m almost expecting there to be a sonic boom in her wake. Masumi and I move away from her destination, which is of course Mom and Dad.

“Shiichan~! Hiichan~!” I see them brace for impact, but nothing prepares them for the unstoppable juggernaut that squeezes the three of them together. I hope they remembered to take a preemptive breath. Just when it looks like my parents might pass out due to lack of circulation, Misha releases them. They take a moment to collect themselves, then place their hands on their hips in unison. Misha does the same, but can’t quite maintain the same level of seriousness as them. She loses her composure and the three break into laughter.

“Adults are so weird.” I can only nod at Masumi, embarrassed. Dad raises an eyebrow at Misha.

“I thought you had a meeting?”

“I did, Hiichan! But~! In the middle of it, I decided that I wanted to see you and Shiichan instead, so I excused myself and left!” Dad puts his palm to his face. Mom adjusts her glasses angrily, looking so intimidating that it makes me glad I’m not the target of her rage.

[Are you trying to lose your job? If you were my employee, I’d fire you!] Misha pouts at her.

“But it’s the first day of school, Shiichan~! There’s nothing important going on yet!”

“It doesn’t matter Misha, you’re still relatively new here and I don’t want to see the same thing that happened at that other high school occur.” It should feel weird seeing my parents chew out one of my teachers, but I’m used to this scenario by now. I decide to lighten the mood.

“Well, other than that, Misha is a great teacher. The students seemed to really like the energy she had. It made things less boring.” I wink at her. She brightens considerably.

“That’s right! And~! I owe it all to my two favorite pupils, Saachan and Maachan! Wahaha!” My parents seem to lose their worried expressions. I suddenly remember something I forgot to ask earlier.

“Dad, have you gone to the nurse yet this week?” He rubs the back of his neck, trying to hide his poorly-hidden guilt.

“Oh. Yeah. About that. I guess I forgot.” Now, it’s his turn to get in trouble.

“Hiichan! What about your heart?”

[That’s right, Hisao! You shouldn’t be so careless!]

“It’s no big deal, I told him I might not be able to see him for a few days because of school starting. He said he’s fine with it as long as I remember to take my meds.” Thinking about Dad’s condition worries me, but he does regular exercise and the last time he had any serious complications was when I was little. It also helps that he’s a close friend of the nurse, who gives him frequent checkups. He’s expected to live pretty close to an average lifespan as long as he keeps taking good care of himself. Still, I worry, and I know Mom does, too. She’s hard on him sometimes, but I can tell that it’s because she loves him so much. Right now, her face is a mixture of concern and anger.

[You will see him tomorrow. I don’t care if I have to drag you by the ear!]

“Alright, alright. I’ll go.” Misha claps excitedly.

“That’s great, Hiichan! Nice work, Shiichan!” They give each other a thumbs up. Dad chuckles.

“I think that’s enough drama for one day. Masumi, want me to drive you home?” She looks at him with puppy dog eyes.

“Hisao, can I spend the day at your house? I want to study with Sakura. Please?” He translates to Mom, who nods.

“Okay, but don’t forget to call your parents to let them know. Last thing I need is Yuuko having a panic attack and Kenji showing up at my door with a crossbow. Again.”

“I will, I promise!” She gives him a dainty smile. I honestly can’t wait for her to get a boyfriend. Speaking of which, I can’t wait to get one myself. There are some pretty cute looking guys in my class. I hope my parents don’t freak out when I finally bring a boy home. I can imagine Dad being cool about it, but Mom on the other hand…She’ll probably scare him off.

[Does everyone want to go to the Shanghai?] My thoughts of romance are interrupted by my addiction for caffeine. I nod eagerly at Mom, before turning to Masumi.

“Didn’t you say that your mom used to work there?”

“Yeah, before I was born. Hard to believe her working in a fancy place like that.”

“Oh, she was a very good waitress. The day she decided to move onto a higher paying job after getting her degree was almost depressing for the poor woman,” Dad says. Before he can say any more though, Mom interrupts us by dramatically slicing her arm through the air.

[Enough! Let’s get some tea!]

“I agree, Shiichan!”

“Mrs. Nakai, are you driving? I like your car the most.” Mom shakes her head after Dad finishes translating. It’s funny when he and Misha are together, since they seem to make it a game to see who can sign to her the fastest.

[No. We’re taking the scenic route. Using our legs.] Masumi groans. She really hates exercise.

“Wahaha! Come on, Maachan~! You too, Saachan~!” Misha grabs both of us by the arms and hauls us off towards the Shanghai.

I turn my head around just in time to see Mom and Dad share a brief kiss, before holding hands and following behind us. The way they look at each other makes me smile. I hope that someday, I can find someone to share that same bond with.

****

Thanks for reading. Sorry if it seemed a bit corny, but I’m a sucker for happy endings.
Last edited by Trufflez on Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:10 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by brythain » Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:53 am

That's sweet. All the nice stuff and not a hint of sad stuff anywhere! Yes, it is a little corny, but it isn't corny -and- incompetent. I liked it. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Trufflez » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:13 am

brythain wrote:That's sweet. All the nice stuff and not a hint of sad stuff anywhere! Yes, it is a little corny, but it isn't corny -and- incompetent. I liked it. :)
Thanks! I figured that there are already more than enough depressing or bittersweet fanfictions on this board. :lol:

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Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:23 pm

Sorry if it seemed a bit corny, but I’m a sucker for happy endings.
As long as you realize it yourself :-)

Aside from the general cornyness it was quite good.

Two minor comments:
- When Hisao surprises Shizune before his proposal she signs something before turning around. Meaning he wouldn't be able to see it.
- If this is their first year of High School they'd be in class 1-3 not in class 3-3.

Speaking of that - any reason both Hisao's and Kenji's daughters are going to Yamaku?
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
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Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Trufflez » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:45 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Sorry if it seemed a bit corny, but I’m a sucker for happy endings.
As long as you realize it yourself :-)

Aside from the general cornyness it was quite good.

Two minor comments:
- When Hisao surprises Shizune before his proposal she signs something before turning around. Meaning he wouldn't be able to see it.
- If this is their first year of High School they'd be in class 1-3 not in class 3-3.

Speaking of that - any reason both Hisao's and Kenji's daughters are going to Yamaku?
I actually hadn't even considered the classroom thing, thanks for pointing that out.

As for the signing, the way I see it is that it would at least be somewhat visible if the person is right her behind her covering her eyes and looking over her shoulder. Even if it wasn't, Misha is pretty much the only person to pull that sort of thing so Shizune doesn't really need to sign it. It's just part of their game.

Like it says in the VN, Yamaku isn't exclusively for disabled kids and if Hisao is teaching there, I thought it would make sense for his daughter to go there as well. I'm also a huge fan of the whole Kenji x Yuuko theory, so I figured that it would be fun to imagine if they got back together and had a kid. Having the two being best friends and going to the same school may not be the most logical setting, but my hope is that the joy of seeing familiar characters will help readers not think about it too hard :D

Edit: Alright, I decided it to give it some more thought and I suppose this is how it could work out:

- Kenji and Yuuko went to Yamaku and dated
- Kenji talks about how he misses his ex (Yuuko)
- Yuuko talks about how she misses the people from high school (Yamaku)
- They either choose to get in contact once more, or meet again through the sheer power of fiction...I mean fate
- Kenji hates being in unfamiliar situations and being surrounded by lots of people
- Yuuko is very shy and also dislikes being in unfamiliar situations and being surrounded by lots of people
- So, when they have a kid, they decided to send them to the place where they're most familiar with, Yamaku, while living nearby because the area isn't heavily populated
- Since "Haozune's" kid also lives nearby due to Hisao teaching at Yamaku, they end up going to the same schools as "Yuuji's"

I tried. :lol:

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Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by brythain » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:36 pm

Trufflez wrote:I tried. :lol:
So did I, once... [LINK] — Hisao's daughter and Kenji's son. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Trufflez » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:28 am

brythain wrote: So did I, once... [LINK] — Hisao's daughter and Kenji's son. :)
Heh, After the Dream was actually one of the first KS fan fictions I read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but damn if I didn't need a drink afterwards...

Shizune is my favorite girl (if you can't tell :D ) and your take on her is pretty much what I imagine happening if she never learned to open up to the people she loved.

It's sad how many people hate on Shizune's path because I found it to be rather inspirational. She originally comes off as cold and demeaning, but as Hisao gets to know her better, he sees a girl who has trouble expressing her innermost feelings and only wants to the see the people around her succeed. She pulls him out of his depressed state and gives his life meaning once more, causing him to fall in love with her. In return, he helps mend Shizune's relationship with Misha (my second favorite girl) and makes her realize the faults in her personality. At the end of her route, Hisao decides that he also wants to make people happy. Not only that, but he's determined to keep trying to crack Shizune's emotional shell until she herself is truly happy. She's not perfect, but this is the woman he wants to spend the rest of his possibly short life with. All the paths have their own characteristics that make them shine, but based on my own life experiences, this one hit me with the most feels.

And now I realize that I went way off topic from what I was originally going to say. :lol:

Any child of Kenji's would certainly be interesting. That is, of course, assuming that he remains the same as he gets older. For all we know, he finally gets a dose of reality and becomes normal....or maybe he's the one who's normal and we're the ones who can't see the bigger picture?

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Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by brythain » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:49 am

Trufflez wrote:Any child of Kenji's would certainly be interesting. That is, of course, assuming that he remains the same as he gets older. For all we know, he finally gets a dose of reality and becomes normal....or maybe he's the one who's normal and we're the ones who can't see the bigger picture?
Glad you enjoyed reading AtD, and I'll have to say I wrote it with the aid of a fair bit of Kenji's hard stuff! :)

Perhaps his reality does overlap with ours; it's just that he says the things we refuse to say—he sees the things we aren't supposed to see, and hence stands like a shaman between us and madness...
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

Trufflez
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:49 am

Re: Chasing the Future - Post Shizune Good Ending (Complete)

Post by Trufflez » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:41 am

brythain wrote:Glad you enjoyed reading AtD, and I'll have to say I wrote it with the aid of a fair bit of Kenji's hard stuff! :)

Perhaps his reality does overlap with ours; it's just that he says the things we refuse to say—he sees the things we aren't supposed to see, and hence stands like a shaman between us and madness...
The terrifying thing is that it's probably true, even Hisao was almost too afraid to look him directly in the eyes when he took his glasses off. Truly, it must've been like staring straight into the abyss.

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