Flutter - Level Twenty One: Footsies [25/3/17]

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swampie2
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Re: Flutter - Level Eleven: Re Patra [9/5/16]

Post by swampie2 » Mon May 09, 2016 8:02 pm

Sharp-O wrote:Also, I'm surprised you haven't commented on the recurring background character that keeps getting referenced :wink:
That completely went over my head at 4am.

Recurring? Now I'm just going to have to re-read everything so far, and that's a fate I'm cool with. :lol:
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Re: Flutter - Level Eleven: Re Patra [9/5/16]

Post by Hoitash » Wed May 11, 2016 9:25 am

He tugs at his tie to loosen it and offers a weary smile to me before I wrap my arms around his torso.

“Hey, senpai. What’s got you looking so down?” I ask sweetly and he shrugs.
I could make a lot of jokes here or remark on my continued blood feud against adverbs, but you story is adorable and I feel these two lines encapsulate that adorableness.
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Re: Flutter - Level Eleven: Re Patra [9/5/16]

Post by AlexFDSR » Wed May 11, 2016 5:58 pm

Sharp-O wrote:a much smaller cerulean-haired girl with thick bags under her eyes
Finally, someone who acknowledges that her hair isn't green! I wish there was a bowing emoticon.
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Re: Flutter - Level Eleven: Re Patra [9/5/16]

Post by Texaboose » Sun May 15, 2016 10:41 pm

How have I not read this yet?! Don't answer that - it's because I've been reading RWBY fanfic.

Loving the new story, Sharp, and am glad Rika didn't stay in the One-Shot catagory. Your Rika is simply adorable, although I admit I'm biased towards geeky gamer girls. While cynical, nihilistic Rika will always be my headcanon (if nothing else apart to add some character variety), I am enjoying your take on things. Having Saki being the bitchy one was a bit of a mind-flip, since I'm also reading Eurobeatjester's "Learning to Fly", but hope she'll be returning to create some drama.

As always, your witty dialogue really hits it out of the ballpark and drives your characters forward, with Fuuka and Rui being highlights. I don't really have many criticisms, as I know your stories are lighter and more humorous, so what others might dismiss as Happily-After-Fluff, I find is just your style of writing - and it's fun to read. Anyway, am hitting that big ol' subscribe button, so looking forward to reading more.
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Re: Flutter - Level Eleven: Re Patra [9/5/16]

Post by Sharp-O » Mon May 16, 2016 9:29 am

Nice to see you, Tex! Thanks for the kind words! :oops:

Rest assured that the next chapter is almost ready to post but there'll be a one-shot going up before then. :D Hope you enjoy the rest of Rika's quest!

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Flutter - Level Twelve: Open World [21/5/16]

Post by Sharp-O » Sat May 21, 2016 9:50 am

Hisao and I eventually find our seats, surrounded on all sides by other Yamaku students heading home for the summer break. I help Hisao lift our luggage onto the overhead compartment with a grunt. Shaking my full backpack loose of my shoulders, I plant it on my lap when I take the window seat.

“I hope you brought a book or something because I remember the drive down here taking forever.” Hisao takes the aisle seat next to me, a book in hand. I throw him a sly smile and zip open my backpack.

“Better, I brought my DS! And I’m about to correct you on a mistake you made.” I grin, holding the handheld console out to him. He takes it with an unsure look, slipping the book into the space between us.

“What do you…” He opens the device and turns it on, the main navigation menu loading with the game title highlighted on the top screen. “Oh, come on. You’re going to make me do this?”

“If we are going to continue dating, you need to at least have an appreciation for one of the greatest game franchises ever.” I cross my arms smugly while Hisao rolls his eyes.

“I never said I didn’t like Pokémon, just that I preferred Digimon.”

“And you later admitted to not playing more than an hour of the originals, this is the latest one and there is a ton of improvement.”

“Okay, okay, geez. I’ll give it a go but you have to read this while I’m doing it.” He pulls the book out from between us. Alright, fair’s fair let’s take a look.

“A science text book? You were going to be doing homework on this trip?”

“No, that’s just some casual reading I’m doing at the moment.” He remarks, as if this is actually light reading and clearly not something you have to read for an assignment. I’m honestly shocked, I thought he’d at least bring a trashy sci-fi light novel or something.

“You are a massive nerd and there’s no way I’m reading this,” I place the book in my lap while leaning across Hisao to hit the A button and start Pokémon Diamond for him. “Now hurry up and put your name in!”

-----------

Despite the switchovers to the Yamanote and the Hibiya lines, I think Hisao made pretty good progress on his game and seemed to get genuinely into it, only asking for help a couple times.

We pulled into Naka-Meguro Station at around 1:45pm, the only Yamaku students heading for this part of Tokyo.

“Waaaah, my butt’s still asleep!” I gripe, all but limping down the station steps as the pins and needles spreads to my thighs next. “Which way we headed now?”

“Well, we can take a bus or there’s a few shortcuts I know that would take us right by my house.” Hisao offers, first gesturing to the bus station a few yards away then down the street in the opposite direction.

“Which is quicker?” I ask and Hisao furrows his brow as he looks up at the cloudy blue sky.

“Ummmm, I can’t really remember… Huh. Weird…” He trails off, muttering to himself as he looks between the two options, the gears turning behind his eyes as he attempts to work it out.

“Why not call your folks? Could they pick us up?”

“They’d either be asleep or just getting up — They work night shifts, remember?” He explains and it clicks in my head.

“Right, right. Oooookaaaaaay… How about we take the bus?” I suggest, seeing that Hisao doesn’t seem all that confident in his navigation skills right now. He agrees and we move toward the bus stop.

The train ride made Meguro seem so far out of the way but still, the bus ride around the city reveals that it’s a little different to what I expected. All the streets are packed with people and there are plenty of stores around but it’s got more of a small town vibe than a city. It’s… Nice. Hisao points out some places he recognises as we pass, going into little stories as we go.

“So Mai is just wailing on Shin after he distracted her during the-Waaaait. Waita minute, hold on, damn!” Hisao cranes his neck in a panic before hitting the stop button on the hand rail in front of him. “I missed our stop. Damn it!”

The bus grinds to a halt at the next available stop and we disembark, Hisao looking pretty annoyed with himself. He points back the way we came and we begin our stroll, Hisao rubbing the back of his neck.

“It’s so weird… I grew up here! I should know this place like the back of my hand but it’s just not in there!” He exclaims, knocking the side of his head with the flat of his palm. I grab his hand as he goes to do it again, bringing it down to the space between us and locking my fingers between his.

“Don’t worry about it! I mean, sure, it’s not been that long since you were last here… But a lot of stuff has happened to you! No shame in forgetting a couple silly things like bus stops or shortcuts.” I smile, trying to turn his frown upside-down. Just then, his phone begins ringing and I release his hand.

“Hello? Hey, Mom. Yeah, we’re here, we just… took the scenic route.” He shoots me bemused shrug and I titter quietly. “Yeah, we’re just a few blocks away, we’ll be there in ten minutes. Okay. Love you too.”

“Scenic route, huh?” I smirk, Hisao sighing in response.

-----------

By the time we reach Hisao’s house, we’re both out of breath and drenched in sweat. Leaning on the brick pillars either side of the dull grey gate, we take a minute to regain our composure.

“You said it would take ten minutes!” I gripe, taking off my baseball cap and scooping a handful of sweat from my brow, tossing it sideways and shaking my hand dry.

“I didn’t know there’d be road works!” Hisao shoots back, tugging at the collar of the blue sweater vest he definitely regrets wearing now. “Besides, we got here in one piece, didn’t we?” He says with a goofy smile.

“Only just…” I chuckle along with him as the door behind us opens and a woman gasping draws our attention. A woman, motherly in frame and clad in a pink sundress, her hair matching Hisao’s in hue, trots out of the gate and immediately begins fussing over Hisao.

“Oh, dear! You should have called us when you got to the station! We would have come and picked you up.” She says, holding Hisao’s shoulders as he straightens up.

“I thought you guys might be asleep…”

“Our little boy is coming home from school, we’re not going to be sleeping in.” As she frowns at the hapless Hisao, I can’t help but shake my head with a smirk.

“I hope Hisao hasn’t been giving you the run-around, miss.” A gruff voice announces itself and I almost jump out of my skin, at the very least hopping a few feet forwards and turning. Hand on heart, I huff a couple times before the man’s eyes go wide in surprise. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“It’s… okay.” I swallow a lungful of air and force a smile in spite of my heart thumping like a jackrabbit. The man; tall and broad, dressed in a salary man’s attire, places his hand on Hisao’s shoulder and receives a smile from him.

“Hey Dad. It’s good to see you guys.” Hisao grins and brings his family into a group hug. It’s a side of Hisao I haven’t experienced before so I keep off to the side to allow them the moment. They break apart and Hisao moves to my side.

Image

“Mom, Dad — this is Rika, my girlfriend.” He gestures towards me, causing me to instinctively bow.

“Hello. I’m Rika Katayama. Thank you for inviting me into your home.” I rise with a smile, removing my cap and holding it behind my back.

“It’s, uh, v-very nice to meet you, Rika.” Mrs Nakai says, a vague hint of a stammer in her voice before she looks to her husband.

“Thank you for looking after Hisao. He says you’ve been very helpful with him adjusting to his new school.” Mr Nakai compliments me and I blush a little.

“It’s been my pleasure, sir.” I respond earnestly, which seems to satisfy him; even if Mrs Nakai looks a little trepidatious at my presence. He steps towards me and holds out his hand.

“Here. You kids have trudged those things across the country, the least I can do is haul them upstairs to your rooms.” He offers and I roll my case towards him. Hisao does the same and he lifts the pair with ease. Mrs Nakai slinks around him as he heads inside and takes Hisao by the shoulders.

“I’ve got some nice cold drinks inside, you two.” She smiles and ushers us both toward the house. I keep catching quick glances from her and she knows I can see her doing it but she doesn’t seem to be able to help herself.

Escorted through stately Nakai manor to the dining room-slash-living room, we’re deposited there while Mrs Nakai rushes to the kitchen with the promise of ice-cold lemonade. Hisao takes his spot at the far end of the dining table and I sit along the long-edge closest to him.

“What do you think?” Hisao asks. You mean apart from the fact that your Mom is acting like you brought The Grudge home for dinner?

“They seem nice. Just your typical, average parents so far.” I offer my honest assessment. I’ve known them all of five minutes, senpai — hardly enough time for me to form an opinion on them.

“Heh. I suppose.” Hisao looks around as curiously as I am, as if this was his first time here. It must be pretty weird for him too; he didn’t spend more than a couple days here after getting out of the hospital before he was shipped off to Yamaku. He didn’t seem too bothered by it when he spoke about it but actually being here might be a little different.

“Here we go!” Mrs Nakai cheers as she swoops in with a tray with four glasses on it, expertly balanced between her hands. Hisao plucks a glass off the tray and I pick one up with both hands, the outside beading with condensation.

“Thank you, Mrs Nakai.” I smile as I bring the glass to my lips. The ice-cold liquid freezes my throat and I cough a little.

“Ar-are you alright, Rika?” She asks quickly, a fist clenched tight to her chest.

“Mm! Yes, the cold threw me. It’s delicious, thanks!”

“It’s really good. Thanks, Mom.” Hisao grins. “Do you guys have work tonight?”

“Unfortunately… But I arranged my shift to start later so we can all have dinner together.” She sadly admits before breaking into a warm smile. “Are you allergic to anything, Rika?”

“No, ma’am. Hisao has told me you’re an incredible cook, so I’m looking forward to whatever you have in store.”

“Did he now…” She glares at Hisao as she takes a seat on the opposite side to me but near to the other empty end seat. Hisao warned me that his mom isn’t the best cook but it looks like she’s fully aware of that. “I hope he hasn’t been causing you any trouble?”

“Not at all, he’s been a model senpai; very studious and responsible. He even brought a text book to read on the trip!” I laugh at Hisao, whose face turns sour.

“Senpai?” One of Mrs Nakai’s eyebrows twitches upwards as she questions me. Oh boy… She’s already acting real cautious around me, I really shouldn’t have said that.

“Yeah, he’s in the year above me.” I admit but before his mom can react, Hisao is quick to jump in.

“But you’ve already got a year and change on me in terms of attendance soooo, if anything, you’re my senpai because you’ve been at Yamaku longer.” He explains before sipping his lemonade.

“True but you’ve adapted pretty quickly in such a short time.” I endorse as Mr Nakai enters the room and takes the seat opposite Hisao at the other end of the table next to his wife.

“That’s good to hear. He seemed a little lost to begin with but after hearing about all the friends he’s met — and you, of course — we’re glad he’s settled in and can focus on his grades and leading a normal life again.” Mr Nakai says, placing his hand atop his wife’s. “Have you given much thought to what you’ll do once you graduate, Rika?”

Dad, c’mon…” Hisao sighs, giving his father a tired look.

“Sorry, you’re right. You guys are on summer vacation! I hope you’ll be showing Rika more than just your old hang-outs, Hisao. She probably doesn’t want to spend her time in arcades.” Mr Nakai chuckles and I share a look with Hisao.

“Yeaaaah, something tells me that’s pretty much exactly what we’ll be doing.” He says with a coy smile, one I mimic. We better; otherwise we are going to have a falling out.

-----------

Afternoon leads into the early evening and after a rather mediocre curry udon — which Hisao, Mr Nakai and myself commended as utterly delicious, much to the delight of Mrs Nakai — I find myself refreshed and dressed a little more casually for an evening alone with Hisao. I think I’ve made a good impression, despite Mrs Nakai’s early reservations.

As I descend the stairs, however…

“—just worried that he’s moving too fast with this girl. Not to mention how frail she looks herself.” The hushed voice of Mrs Nakai drifts from the kitchen. “She’s white as a sheet and so thin!”

“She seems fine to me and she's very upbeat for someone having to go to that school. She'll be good for Hisao.” Mr Nakai responds with a cheerful air to his voice.

“We don’t know what’s wrong with her, Sho! And the fact that she’s younger than him as well…”

“You’re worrying too much, honey. I’m sure Hisao and Rika are being responsible and not rushing into this situation blind.” Exactly! Thank you, Mr Nakai. We’re fully aware of each other’s conditions and weaknesses and we’ve been taking things slo-

“I was just hoping he’d focus on his studies to get into a good university and, eventually, marry a nice normal girl.”

Woooooow… Normal, huh? You mean not disabled, don't you? Like the ignorant girl who gave your son a heart attack? That kind of normal? More than anyone I know what your son is going through and definitely more than you. I trudge down the remaining stairs, making sure that she hears me coming. I’ll show her normal…

“I just wanted to thank you again for a wonderful meal, Mrs Nakai, and for allowing me to stay.” I paint on a cheery smile and bow politely into the kitchen from the doorway at the bottom of the stairs. The colour drains from her face at my all-too-sudden appearance while Mr Nakai gives her a wilting look before turning his attention to me.

“You have such wonderful manners, Rika. We are delighted to have you. If you need anything, just let me know!” He beams and smile back earnestly.

“Thanks!” I will definitely come to you, sir. I spin on my heels and head back into the living room, where Hisao lounges with the TV remote in hand. I flop down beside him, leaning my head against his shoulder.

-----------

Hisao’s parents eventually leave for their evening jobs that so often left Hisao home alone; Mrs Nakai leaving first after explaining her work to me but I kinda tuned her out. She’s currently keeping Enomoto company on my list of people with dumb opinions.

Before he left, Mr Nakai took Hisao aside and spoke quietly to him; even my prying ears couldn’t pick out what they were saying… But given the haunted look Hisao had when he re-entered the room, I can only imagine what they were talking about involved two teenagers spending time together in a house unsupervised and what kinds of things they should and shouldn’t be getting up to.

My inner-Fuuka is hoping ‘no good’ will be one of the things we’ll be up to… Alas, no hanky was pankied as we were both yawning loudly by 10pm and were content to snuggle on the couch.

“We should probably go to bed.” Hisao mutters, rubbing one eye with his palm and I reluctantly push myself away from him. He takes my hand and leads my sleepy butt up the stairs to the guest room.

We hug tight, my arms and shoulders getting that lovely tingly feeling when you’re half asleep and cuddle something — in this case, my boyfriend. I kiss his cheek and shuffle into the guest room, watching him make his way to his old room with a faint smile.

Sweet dreams, Hisao.
Last edited by Sharp-O on Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Flutter - Level Twelve: Open World [21/5/16]

Post by Dash9 » Sat May 21, 2016 2:10 pm

“I was just hoping he’d focus on his studies to get into a good university and, eventually, marry a nice normal girl.”
This reminds me of the situation in one of the emi-fics that was never really resolved in that one. I'm glad you chose to go with this tone for Hisao's homelife.
My inner-Fuuka is hoping ‘no good’ will be one of the things we’ll be up to… Alas, no hanky was pankied as we were both yawning loudly by 10pm and were content to snuggle on the couch.
It's little tiny bits like this that make your writing really enjoyable / memorable for me.

As always, thanks for sharing, and keep up the good work!
--Dash

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Re: Flutter - Level Twelve: Open World [21/5/16]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat May 21, 2016 7:04 pm

Well, the Mom in that Emi fic was a bit more extreme... This one is keeping it civil at least.

And where did you get that picture? Those breasts are larger than her head each ^^°
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Re: Flutter - Level Twelve: Open World [21/5/16]

Post by TubaMirum » Sat May 21, 2016 7:18 pm

I like the idea that Hisao's density is a trademark passed on from his parents :D

Well, assuming they genuinely thought they could get away with such a talk in their own house without being found out someway or another. It will be intriguing to see Mom's reaction when she figures/finds out our lovely protagonist is albino~

Oh! And it's funny I'd forget to mention this since it's what prompted me to comment in the first place, but I find it funny that the first chapter of this posted after I've started wasting 90% of my waking hours on getting back into Pokemon features Hisao doing basically the same thing... Except sort of a generation off :? These remakes though... Makes me kinda glad nobody is actually that desperate to read my writing yet :lol:
Last edited by TubaMirum on Sat May 21, 2016 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Flutter - Level Twelve: Open World [21/5/16]

Post by Sharp-O » Sat May 21, 2016 7:22 pm

Dash9 wrote:It's little tiny bits like this that make your writing really enjoyable / memorable for me.
Love to add banter, puns and wordplay into everything I write and I'm glad you enjoy it, Dash!
Mirage_GSM wrote:Well, the Mom in that Emi fic was a bit more extreme... This one is keeping it civil at least.
Well I didn't want her to be the evil step-mom but still have legitimate (and possibly a tad bit ableist) concerns. Having Rika (somewhat similar to Hisao in condition but very different in appearance) meet the normies in his life, as well as Hisao see people he has all but alienated, is something that I wanted to play with and I can't wait to flesh out the ideas I have.
Mirage_GSM wrote:And where did you get that picture? Those breasts are larger than her head each ^^°
The number of VNs with large-breasted women is quite substantial... :shock: And quite ridiculous at in some instances (to the point where this character sprite would be deemed small).
TubaMirum wrote:It will be intriguing to see Mom's reaction when she figures/finds out our lovely protagonist is albino~
Remember the scene where Hisao asked if her paleness was part of her condition? I imagine it would be the same damn conversation with his mum (As you said, I think Hisao takes after his mum in terms of obliviousness)

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Re: Flutter - Level Twelve: Open World [21/5/16]

Post by Texaboose » Mon May 23, 2016 1:24 am

Dash9 wrote:
My inner-Fuuka is hoping ‘no good’ will be one of the things we’ll be up to… Alas, no hanky was pankied as we were both yawning loudly by 10pm and were content to snuggle on the couch.
It's little tiny bits like this that make your writing really enjoyable / memorable for me.
Agreed - I love the wordplay you put into your writings, Sharp, and for me this was the standout sentence of the chapter.

I find it a bit cliched that the mother is always the bitchy, disapproving one when it comes to the son's girlfriend, but at the same time with every cliche there's an iota of truth, and mothers can be very overprotective of their sons. I hope she doesn't turn into raving Bitchface McCrabby like the one in the afore mentioned Emi fic (someone remind me, was that Swampie's "Developments"?), but that doesn't mean she has to be an "eventual caring & understanding" trope either. I'd be open to a mean, but subtle and manipulative, character.
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Re: Flutter - Level Twelve: Open World [21/5/16]

Post by swampie2 » Mon May 23, 2016 11:44 am

Texaboose wrote:someone remind me, was that Swampie's "Developments"?
You flatter me, developments is dewlars. :lol:

Not sure if that has the bitchy Meiko though, been a while since I read it.
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Re: Flutter - Level Twelve: Open World [21/5/16]

Post by Texaboose » Mon May 23, 2016 2:19 pm

swampie2 wrote:
Texaboose wrote:someone remind me, was that Swampie's "Developments"?
You flatter me, developments is dewlars. :lol:

Not sure if that has the bitchy Meiko though, been a while since I read it.
Right XD You were the last person to comment on that fic, so your name stuck in my head.
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Flutter - Level Thirteen: Encounter Rate [28/5/16]

Post by Sharp-O » Fri May 27, 2016 9:46 pm

I don’t sleep well at the best of times. Whiling away the small hours gaming can really mess with your sleep pattern so going to bed at 11pm is a rarity for me. Not to mention being in a strange, new place; the mattress beneath me much stiffer than I’m used to.

It’s only when my slumber is disturbed by the sound of a heavy sliding door squeaking open that I reflect on this.

The unfamiliar room around me is only dimly lit by the ambient light of the moon and the street lights outside. I peer out of the curtains into the street below and find a long shadow cast onto the road from the balcony of Hisao’s room. What the hell’s he doing up?

I creep out of the guest room and pad barefoot over to Hisao’s room, still dressed in my nightgown. I don’t think Hisao’s parents are back yet but I’m still quiet as a mouse lest I’m caught night crawling by his mom. Pretty sure she doesn’t like me as it is and I doubt that would endear me to her. I tap gently against Hisao’s door then open it a crack to see the main light on.

“What are you doing up?” I ask as I slip into the room, simultaneously closing the door and flicking off the burning light. The now backlit Hisao, dressed in nothing but boxers and a t-shirt, peers back from his balcony into the darkness at me.

“I could ask you the same thing.” He responds and I glare though I don’t think he sees it.

“Funnily enough, your door is super-loud.” I rap my knuckle against the sliding door as I pass it and join Hisao on the small balcony. My arms snake around his torso as his wrap around my shoulders.

“Sorry I woke you… I tried to be as quiet as I could.” He sighs, squeezing me affectionately.

“You didn’t answer my question; trouble sleeping?” My voice muffled slightly as I nuzzle into his chest.

“Yeah…” Hisao quietly admits. “I thought I’d be more comfortable sleeping in my own bed again but after months of quiet mountains; all I can hear is the city.”

I look out into the quiet night sky, past the sleepy little suburb and to the lights of Meguro. It’s not Tokyo proper but it’s still quite a sight compared to the pitch blackness of Yamaku’s mountain surroundings. I listen carefully and while I can hear the distant sounds of cars, there’s something missing…

There’s something I can’t hear that I feel like I should be… What is it?

“Cicadas!” I exclaim before realising I’ve just shouted that into a quiet suburban street. “There’s no cicadas around here. It’s all I can hear at night at Yamaku!”

Hisao looks at me confused for a few seconds before his eyes wander away from mine, his head tilting as he listens more carefully.

“I’ll be damned. I used to hate those things but now it’s weird not to have them.” He chuckles, turning his attention back to me.

“Sounds to me like you’ve gone native, senpai.” I smile up at him, giggling.

“Only you would be strange enough to notice that.” Hisao’s face softens with a smile, causing me cheeks to warm.

“I notice a lot of things! Things you don’t even know!” I respond with an authoritative air.

“Did you know you’re really pretty with your hair down?” That’s right, I don’t have my braid in. Crapbaskets, gotta say something nice back! Ummm. Errr.

“Y-you’re pretty w-with your… hair… down.” Nailed it. Thankfully, Hisao takes my weak-sauce attempt to compliment him in stride. We stare at each other and, in a wordless second, we both decide on something.

Image

And it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. The warm, slightly chapped texture of his lips is… Just… It’s just so… And he tastes… His hands are… Mmm.

Wow. Struggling to breathe and my heart is pulsing loudly but that’s okay. Totally worth it. Hisao looks okay, I can feel his heart beating fast with my hand pressed against his chest. He looks pleased with himself too. High score achieved. “That was…”

“Yeah.” Hisao agrees with a smirk. I purse my lips while staring at his. I want to do it again, inching towards his face to steal another kiss.

“Rikaaaa… I think you better head back to your room.” He leans back, away from me and my head snap in the direction of his concerned gaze. “Pretty sure that’s Mom’s car.”

FFFFFFFFFFine… I don’t want to cause trouble for Hisao and canoodling with him on the balcony in the middle of the night would probably qualify. We both head inside and before I leave, I pull Hisao into another kiss. When I let him go, he looks a little shocked.

“One more for the road.” I grin as I walk backwards out of his room. “See you in the morning, senpai.”

“Pleasant dreams, Rika.” Oh, they are going to be very pleasant…

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Meguro might not have cicadas that keep you up at night but they certainly have chirpy birds who like to wake you up in the morning… Maybe I should have gone straight to sleep after I left Hisao’s room last night…

Nah. I hop out of bed and almost trip on the towels left in front of my door. I guess that’s the Nakais’ way of letting me know I can use their shower? It would be rude not to I suppose…

A gorgeously satisfying shower later and I’m almost skipping downstairs to find Hisao already awake and in the kitchen drinking coffee.

“Good morning, sleepy-head.” He greets with a smile, getting up from a stool next to the counter and greeting me with a peck on the lips. That’s already the best part of my morning.

“Mornin’. Are your mom and dad back from work?” I ask, taking his stool as he moves towards the corner of the counter where the kettle and fridge are.

“Yeah but they’re both sleeping. Mom didn’t come into my room to give me a lecture so I think we got away with it last night. Coffee or orange juice? Toast?” He chuckles.

“Mm! Toast and orange juice, please.” I say and he nods. “Glad your mom didn’t catch us. That would have been awwwwkwaaaard~” I brush my hair in front of me, playing with the tip of my long braid.

“Heh, it would, yeah.” Hisao swaps the coffee mug next to me for the glass of juice, leaning against the counter in front of me before going to the toaster on the opposite side of me. “So what did you want to do today?” He asks and I look at him with wide eyes. I gulp the mouthful of juice and wipe my mouth with my thumb.

“You’re asking me? I don’t know what Meguro’s hottest, hippest places to be are! That’s your job!” I poke his shoulder for emphasis and he rubs his neck, blowing air out as he looks to be thinking.

“Well… I guess I can show you around the neighbourhood a bit, if you’d like? Maybe we could take a trip into Shibuya… Get some lunch…” He looks to me for approval and I roll my eyes at him.

“Whatever you want to do, I’ll tag along.” I shrug and he seems to accept it, turning when the toaster makes a loud ‘TCHUNK’ noise.

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“Do you own anything other than sweater-vests?” I tease as Hisao locks the door to his childhood home before turning to me, laughing.

“I don’t think you really want the answer to that! Ready to go?” He clasps his hand around mine and I nod. As much as I make fun, I think he looks ridiculously cute. It’s almost like his iconic default costume, not that I’d phrase it that way to his face.

We take a casual stroll around his neighbourhood in a seemingly random direction but I trust Hisao knows where he’s going. At least, more-so than he did yesterday. I look around and can imagine a tiny Hisao, scraped knees and snotty nose, running around with the friends he talked about; getting into trouble, playing soccer, climbing trees… A lot of stuff I never really experienced.

Not that I begrudge him all of those memories, not at all but as I look up at the confident smile on his face while he explains the route he used to take to his Junior High School, I can’t help but envy how long he lived with no knowledge of his arrhythmia. How lucky he was…

“Hisao? Hisao Nakai?” A tiny old voice asked; the source of which was an equally tiny old woman, hunched with a cane, coming out of a gate to our left. She shuffled slowly towards us as Hisao moved to greet her.

“Hey, Mrs Ukita. How are you this morning?” Hisao greets the elderly lady with a smile, hunching over a little.

“Ain’t seen you around for a while! Your momma ain’t grounded ya, has she?” She laughs; that kind of dirty, guttural cackle that only old people can do. Hisao rubs his neck while throwing me a look.

“No, uh, I’ve been going to a new boarding school so I haven’t been around. I’m back for summer vacation.”

“Oooooh? Doesn’t that sound fancy! And who’s this lovely young lady?” She looks at me, squinting curiously.

“Hey there! I’m Rika, Hisao’s girlfriend.” I smile gently, Mrs Ukita nodding ponderously.

“Is that so… I think you need some sun, miss. You look awfully pale…” I giggle a little at her concern and nod enthusiastically.

“Hehe, I’ll try.”

“Whelp! I better be off; gonna take all my time to get to the supermarket before sundown! Take care, you two!” She cackles again, shuffling away with all the speed of a tortoise. We wave before continuing on our way. I look to Hisao, looking bemused at the sidewalk before noticing me.

“That’s Shin’s grandma… Me and Shin and the others would sometimes run errands for her. I guess he didn’t tell her where I went.”

I don’t have anything to say to that. I don’t know why she wouldn’t be told or if she even needed to be but it clearly upset Hisao. I squeeze his arm tight, nuzzling his shoulder.

The walk around town is pretty quiet and Hisao’s story become fewer as we encounter more people from his neighbourhood who are surprised to see him. At least some of them are aware of what happened to Hisao, even if they don’t know about Yamaku. It’s not until the fourth person he spoke to that his heart attack was even mentioned.

“I’m sorry to hear about what happened, Nakai, but you’re looking great! And with such a pretty girl on your arm too!” The portly shopkeeper bellowed as Hisao bought two cans of soda for us. He chuckled nervously and thanked the man before we resumed our walk outside.

“So people do know… I was starting to get a little paranoid there for a second!” Hisao waves off his thought as he cracks open his can. I can see it’s actually a relief for someone to talk about it because I think we both were getting a sense that everyone thought he’s just been ‘away’ and his heart attack swept under the rug.

We near a bus-stop when we hear a booming “HISAAAAOOOOO!”

We both look at each other confused before turning around, looking back to the long stretch of road we just walked down. A girl with short reddish hair bolts toward us, chased by a much slower boy with black hair and a rucksack. The red streak all but skids to a stop in front of us, her mouth agape with shock. The boy, huffing and puffing behind her, braces himself against his knees before straightening up with a cocky grin.

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“See…? I… told… you…” He wheezes.

“Hisao… Holy crap! Hisao!” The red haired girl’s shock turns to glee and she launches herself at my boyfriend, wrapping her arms around his neck and hugging tight. Hisao lets my hand go and stumbles back a step but before I can move to wrench this crazy person off him, he laughs and hugs her back.

“H-hey, Mai. Miss me?” He chuckles and she all but pushes him backwards off her, crossing her arms with an annoyed look on her face.

“Hardly! I was just surprised to hear you were back!” Okay, so if this is the Mai he's talked about then that guy must be…

“Glad we caught you! How’s it going, sir?” The boy asks, offering his hand up for a high-five that Hisao grabs hold of for one of those high hand-holds that macho people or gang members do.

“Takumi! It’s great to see you, man.” Hisao smiles broadly, for the first time since we started talking to people. “Who told you I was back?”

“Mrs Ukita — we saw her just now and have been running our asses off looking for you! Why didn’t you call to tell us, jerk!” Mai certainly seems as excitable as Hisao’s stories made her out to be. Just as she goes to bop his shoulder with an annoyed scowl, she pulls her punch. She guiltily withdraws it and looks down. “Sorry, almost forgot…”

“Don’t worry about it, Mai. I’m sorry for not calling you guys but I don’t have the same phone anymore and… well, after the hospital… I didn’t think you’d guys would want to see me.” Hisao explained, becoming glummer as he goes on.

“Are you kidding? You’re our friend, Hisao! We’ve known each other since we were kids!” Mai explodes with emotion while Takumi scratches his cheek.

“Granted, we distanced ourselves during your recovery but we never stopped being your friends. I’m sorry if I—we made you think otherwise.” Takumi’s eyes practically twinkle with emotion, his brow furrowed with guilt.

“I’m mostly to blame for what happened anyway… I’m sorry if I made you guys feel like you weren’t wanted. I was in a bad head-space and-oof!” Hisao’s apology is cut off as Mai hugs him again, Takumi joining in this time. I’m starting to feel like I’m intruding on this tender moment. And maybe a little bit left out of the hugging.

“Knock it off, man… You’ll make me cry…” Mai mutters while Takumi places a hand on Hisao’s shoulder.

“All for one, one for all.” He smiles warmly. I have to turn away to sniff and clear my throat as the emotion starts to get to me. Ugh, I’m such a girl with stuff like this.

“So snfff who’s the spooky-looking goth chick?” Mai says and I spin on my heels to find them all looking at me. I ruined the moment, didn’t I?

“She’s not a goth!” Hisao rolls his eyes and I giggle. I step forward, smiling as sweetly as I can, with my hands behind my back.

“Hi, I’ve heard a lot about you guys. I’m Rika.” I hope they like me, otherwise this nice reunion could turn sour and I really wouldn’t want that for Hisao.

“We’re dating.” Hisao adds, stepping up to me and wrapping an arm around my waist. My cheeks burn and his friends turn to each other confused before looking at us with twisted smirks.

How long have you been at this new school?” Takumi asks first; posing like he’s thinking, chin cupped between his thumb and index finger.

“Seriously: is having a heart attack the cripple school equivalent of a big dick?” Mai crosses her arms with a teasing smirk.

“Mai! It’s not ‘cripple school’! Don’t be a bitch.” Takumi scolds, cuffing her bicep with a backhanded swipe. Mai realises her faux pas and does at least apologise, Hisao smiling as he shakes his head.

“It’s alright, guys. I’m not offended.” I chuckle. Well, I’m a little offended but it’s the kind of slip-up Hisao could have made too before he came to Yamaku. Me and Hisao just have show we’re normal teenagers behind the disabilities.

“Hisao told me you guys like to hang around arcades and that Mai's pretty good.” I offer and Mai’s expression turns from apologetic to a grin.

“Good? I can trounce these losers all god damn day! Hell, before we heard you were back, we were going to head into Shibuya to hit up Taito Station and Adores.” She boasts.

“Sounds fun~” I say, smiling coyly at Hisao. He knows what I’m after and he’s not going to stand in my way.

“Mind if we tag along?” Hisao asks and the pair smile.

“Sure, it’ll be great to catch up.” Takumi responds and Mai looks me up and down.

“You like video games, Rika?”

“More like love them! It’s been a while since I’ve been in an actual arcade though…” I rub my arm sheepishly, setting the trap…

“Don’t let her cute act fool you, she’s a demon with a controller.” Hisao ruins my initial plan but Mai seems to have taken the bait regardless.

“Yeah but you’re a scrub, Hisao!” Mai laughs and I just smirk. I think he could do just fine given that I’ve been his opponent. “Just so you know... Just because you’re Hisao’s girlfriend doesn’t mean I’ll go easy on you.” Mai cocks her hip and I match her bravado with a hand-on-hip stance of my own.

“That’s good to hear, because I wasn’t planning on going easy on you just because you’re Hisao’s friend.”

We stare each other down with such intensity that electricity could be arcing around right now.

Rika versus Mai.

Round One.

FIGHT.
Last edited by Sharp-O on Sat Jul 15, 2017 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Flutter - Level Thirteen: Encounter Rate [28/5/16]

Post by Hoitash » Fri May 27, 2016 11:41 pm

“Cicadas!” I exclaim before realising I’ve just shouted that into a quiet suburban street. “There’s no cicadas around here. It’s all I can hear at night at Yamaku!”
Ugh I hate that sound. I'm with Hisao on this.

Well that was adorable, but the whole story is, so nothing new there.
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