Black Iris (A Rin Epilogue; Update 8/8/2018)

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Black Iris (A Rin Epilogue; Update 8/8/2018)

Post by QuietlySomething » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:53 am

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Black Iris, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1926

Now a promising student at a prestigious art school in Tokyo, Rin Tezuka struggles to become an artist at any cost.

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

A neutral-ending Rin epilogue.

Thanks for reading; appreciate all feedback and comments.

Table of Contents
Las Meninas
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Red and White Plum Blossoms
Annunciation
Dance at le Moulin de la Galette
The Son of Man
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
Great Wave off Kanagawa
Last edited by QuietlySomething on Wed Aug 08, 2018 6:26 am, edited 16 times in total.

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Post by QuietlySomething » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:53 am

Las Meninas

Rin decided that if she were a color, she would be brown. Not brown like chocolate, more like the light kind of brown on a piece of wood that has been sitting around for a few years and has started to lose some of its polish, but not all of it.

She leaned over the table and sipped coffee out of a stirring straw, eyes aimlessly scanning the other patrons at the coffee shop. There were at least two dozen of them, most of them too focused on something to notice Rin staring at them. Those that did stared back, but only out of curiosity at her lack of arms, which was so common that she barely noticed it. For a little while, Rin tried to guess their colors, but before too long she gave up trying. You couldn't really know a person's color if you didn't know anything about them. It was a hard enough task if you did know them.

A few weeks earlier, one of her professors had told her that the human eye could see ten million colors, which was every color she could ever see or think of. If she tried to give everyone on Earth a color, she'd have to start repeating them before she even got through everyone in Japan. That didn't seem right to her, and the thought of it made her stomach all twisted up.

Rin spent a while just sitting at her table in the back of the shop, thinking about colors. Someone's color was the shade of brown of a piece of wood whose polish had worn off just a little more than Rin's shade of brown. She wondered what that person was like, and if she would ever meet them. If she did, would she like them? This train of thought occupied her for a while.

After some time- a concept which Rin had mostly lost touch with a while ago- Rin's mother walked through the doors of the shop. She quickly set eyes on Rin and stared at her for longer than usual, making an odd squinty sort of face.

The two of them hadn't spoken in a while. Rin started to feel sick.

Mrs. Tezuka was a tall, aging woman with a soft face- if she were a color, probably a light green, or possibly a pale yellow, though Rin found it difficult to judge with her. She was rather beautiful for her age, with long red hair the color of Rin's that hung down over her shoulders. She seemed to have aged a bit since Rin had last seen her, or at least her face was sagging a bit more. But most notable was her eyes, wide and green and wrenched open like a cat's. Rin had always been told that she had her mother's eyes, a prospect she found both confusing and a little creepy.

Rin frowned and looked at the floor. She was trying not to say that kind of thing out loud anymore.

"Oh, sweetheart, you look like a twig," Mrs. Tezuka said with a sigh, pulling out a chair at the end of the table. "Please make sure you're eating enough…"

It sounded like a simple request, so Rin simply nodded in response. "Okay." She could tell that her voice was a little hoarse, and she silently wished that her mother would ignore it, unlikely as it seemed.

Mrs. Tezuka slid into her seat across from Rin, her eyes tracing over her Rin's face in that funny way like she was trying to see the skull underneath the skin. Her hair flowed down over part of her face, flaying a little at the ends. Rin didn't want to say anything, so she looked away from her mother and examined the tabletop instead.

After a while of saying nothing, Mrs. Tezuka breathed loudly and clapped her hands together. "I'm just going to lay all my cards on the table, here, Rin. I don't feel good about the way things ended between us last time we spoke." Her tone made Rin shoot her eyes up.

This sounded like a complaint. Of course, Rin didn't feel good about the way they had left things, either, but she rarely did after a conversation with her mother.

"Sorry," said Rin's mouth, with little input from her brain.

"I- huh?" Mrs. Tezuka stopped short, taken completely aback by the apology, before continuing. "No! It's not your fault. Oh, Rin…" She placed a hand on her forehead and rapped her fingers along her hairline, making a strained face like she stubbed her toe. "Look, I just wanted to say. I shouldn't have called you ungrateful. That was wrong of me, and I'm sorry. Okay? I owe you that apology." She hesitated for another moment. "I love you. Your father loves you. You know that. And… we didn't send you to Yamaku to torture you. I'm sorry that you didn't have a good experience there. We just- I want you to be able to find somewhere you feel like you belong. At Yamaku, I thought maybe you might be able to find someone… like you. You know?"

"I know." Rin's head felt kind of fuzzy, which made her want to stop listening. Her mouth kept saying things she didn't want to say, which was happening to her more and more lately.

"Are you mad at me?" Mrs. Tezuka asked with a little pout.

"No." Rin wished she actually knew the answer to that.

"It's stupid for us to fight, anyway." Mrs. Tezuka grimaced and patted her hands on the table. She kept making faces that Rin didn't understand. "I just worry about you, that's all."

"I know."

"I'm glad." Mrs. Tezuka batted her eyes and breathed loudly again. "You should know… we're so proud of you. For moving up here, and taking advantage of this opportunity, and everything. It's a very mature thing to do. You have no idea how happy I am that you wanted to do it."

"Good."

"How have you been doing so far?"

"Fine."

"Have you made any friends?"

"Sort of."

Mrs. Tezuka wrinkled her nose and hesitated to speak again. "Are there any boys you like?" Rin flinched at the interruption to the silence.

"Yumi's boyfriend is nice." Rin was surprised to hear her mouth say this.

"Oh, well, that's good! Not exactly what I meant… but all the same, I'm really glad you and Yumi get along."

"She talks a lot."

"Your dad told me after he dropped you off that it seemed like the two of you would be friends. I mean, Emi was a real chatterbox, and you were friends with her, right? So…"

"Yes." Rin closed her eyes and tried not to think about it.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm okay."

"You're not saying much."

Rin thought for a long time about how to respond to that before muttering, "I don't have much to say."

"You're just not really acting like yourself."

Rin opened her eyes just in time to see her mother shuffling her hands around like she had an itch.

…So, Rin wasn't acting like Rin. "I know that," she said quietly.

Mrs. Tezuka rolled her eyes, playing with her hair with one finger. "You're going to make me worried about you…"

"Don't worry about me." Rin's mouth mumbled that last bit. After she spotted her mother's concerned frown, it repeated itself more loudly. "There is nothing for you to worry about."

Tapping on the table with two fingers, Mrs. Tezuka sucked in her breath before responding to that. "Okay, listen. I know you don't want to see a therapist, so I'm not going to ask. Just… hear me out. I got you something." Holding out one finger in the air, she reached into her jacket pocket and retrieved something pebble-shaped that fit in the palm of her hand. Looking Rin in the eye, she set it down on the table and lifted her hand from it dramatically, revealing it to be a small cell phone. "It's prepaid through to next year. It's really important to me that you have this. I know you won't use it much, but please, promise me… if you're struggling with anything… please call me. I'm here for you. Really. I will always be here to listen if you want to talk. About anything."

Rin stared at the phone, stone-faced. It was yet another request from her mother, but this time not such a simple one. Rin couldn't think of anything to say, but her mouth spoke up again anyway. "Okay. I'll call you."

Her mother always had so many requests. Rin thought that was something funny about her, how she constantly asked for things like she knew exactly what she wanted.

"Thank you. Thank you." Mrs. Tezuka nodded twice, her eyes closed. She looked sad, but Rin couldn't understand why. "You said you've been getting along with Yumi… so she can help you with it if you want to use it. But even if she's not around, you can just dial with your toes and put it on speaker phone, right? I've seen you do more complicated tasks than that."

"I can do it."

Of course, Rin didn't want to do it, but she knew that it didn't matter what she wanted, and that it would be pointless to talk about it anyway. Besides, Rin never really knew what she wanted anymore.

"I know we're not always on the same wavelength. And I know you're not going to believe me when I tell you this. But I know what you're going through, I really do. I was your age once. You've got a world of pressure on you, and no direction." Mrs. Tezuka traced her hands above her head in an arc like she was drawing a rainbow, or possibly a fat snake. "You're doing the right thing. I am so proud of you for taking the initiative with the scholarship here. If you keep it up, I promise things will only get easier. Okay?"

"Okay."

"Promise me you're okay?"

"I promise."

"I love you."

Rin hesitated again at that. Her head was still kind of fuzzy, and the feeling spread to her ears, like invisible gnats were buzzing in them.

"Do you want to see where I live?" asked Rin's mouth.

She wondered how much time had passed while her mother had been waiting for her to say something.

"Really? Yes, of course!" Mrs. Tezuka shook her head, mouth gaping slightly in shock. "I really thought I'd have to beg and plead you to get you to say that… it really… that means a lot, Rin…"

Mrs. Tezuka crinkled her face like a squirrel, putting her hand to her mouth. After a brief pause to suck in her breath, she stood and stepped around the table, bending down a little to meet Rin's eyes. Lips curled into a weird, sad smile, she wrapped her long arms around Rin's neck and hugged her daughter closely. Her long hair tickled Rin's nose, which made her want to sneeze.

Rin stared at the table. She was terrible at hugging. That was the only thing she could think about.

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Some time later, though Rin really didn't know how long it had been, Rin's mother led her through the halls of her dormitory with her hands cupped at her chest. Rin's long sleeves dangled at her sides, tapping rhythmically on the sides of her legs. Rin had dressed herself that morning.

"What's the number again? 308?"

"308," replied Rin's mouth.

"308, 308…" Mrs. Tezuka repeated the number again for no reason as she counted the doors in the hall. Spotting the small room at the other end, she stopped herself from knocking on the door to 308, evidently distracted. "So that's the kitchen for your hall? Do you ever use it?"

"No. Yumi does sometimes."

"Oh." Mrs. Tezuka nodded with a little pout, then turned and knocked twice on the door. "How do you open the door when there's nobody home?"

"I use the stool. I open it with my foot."

"…Oh."

Rin and her mother both went quiet. On the other side of the door, bare-footed footsteps slapped on the ground until a girl's shadow appeared under the door.

"Right here, Rin!" shouted Yumi as the door swung open. Momentarily surprised, Yumi blinked and looked back and forth between the two of them before settling on the elder of them for a greeting. "Oh, hey! What's up? You must be Rin's mom!"

Mrs. Tezuka laughed quietly. "The one and only."

"I'm Yumi Ono, Rin's roommate… obviously! So good to meet you!" Yumi leaned on the door to look at Rin, who returned the gesture by staring vaguely in Yumi's direction. Puffing out her cheeks, Yumi added, "…You guys gonna come in, or what?"

"That was the plan," declared Mrs. Tezuka, stepping past Yumi to take a look around the dorm room.

Yumi giggled a little bit and made a dramatic bow, allowing her to step inside, but Rin didn't follow. She had gotten distracted, and stopped in the doorway to look at Yumi instead.

She was nice to look at, Rin thought, with long hair and stormy eyes and one breast that was just the littlest bit bigger than the other.

Rin hadn't painted people in a while. She had been painting the beach; her teacher told her to paint an environment. So she painted the beach, for no particular reason.

"Wow, this place is huge!" Mrs. Tezuka said loudly, walking around in circles. "Way nicer than the dorm I stayed in during my freshman year back in college."

"Yeah, no kidding. It's super nice having all this room to paint in," said Yumi.

Eventually Rin wandered into the dorm room, closing the door behind her with her foot. The room looked nice, too, but room-nice. Not people-nice. The walls were all covered in paintings, mostly Yumi's and a little bit of Rin's. Right above her bed, Yumi had hung up that famous sketch of the man with four arms and four legs but only one head and only one penis.

"Wow, is that yours?" asked Mrs. Tezuka, looking at one of Yumi's paintings on the wall. "Gorgeous!"

Yumi smiled from ear to ear. "Thanks so much! It's one of my favorites, that's why it's up there."

Above Rin's bed was a painting she did for the exhibition at Yamaku. Nomiya had told her to keep it. She didn't like looking at it, but Yumi said it was nice, so she hung it up. At the time that seemed like the thing she should do.

"Omigod, just wait till you see this." Yumi bounced on her heels, scurrying over to the closet door and swinging it open dramatically. "Walk-in closet! How cool is that?"

Mrs. Tezuka scoffed with disbelief. "Man… I have to say, you guys have it way better than I ever did…" She stepped into the closet and disappeared from view.

Rin lay down on her bed and stared at the ceiling. The ceiling had a funny pattern, with little grooves that trailed off in different directions like veins.

"What are these?" called out Mrs. Tezuka from inside the closet.

Yumi's voice came from the same place. "They're my watercolors! I've been experimenting with these lately. What do you think?"

"They're so pretty! You capture so much detail… I guess I had kind of thought that watercolor painting was supposed to be all blurry and abstract."

"No, not really, unless that's what you're going for. It takes a lot of time to get it right though. At least for me…" Yumi hummed loudly in-between sentences. "…But I'm really happy with the way those ones turned out. With all this space in the closet that Rin said she wouldn't use, I figured it was a good spot to let them dry up."

Rin wondered if the trailing veiny lines in the ceiling were intentional. The walls didn't have any funny designs of their own. They were blank white, like they were supposed to be a great big canvas.

"Hey, Rin?"

All of a sudden, Rin decided that she wanted to paint on the walls. Just to capture the thought. She fantasized about being able to get out of bed in a year and see a pattern on the wall, a thought she had had just now…

"Rin?"

But she wasn't going to paint on the walls. She had to finish painting the beach first. That was what she was supposed to paint. Why she was here.

Rin thought about getting out of bed in a year and looking at her beach painting. She wanted to throw up.

"Rin, are you still with us?" Mrs. Tezuka put one hand on Rin's bed, looking over her sternly.

Startled, Rin sat up suddenly, her ears buzzing with the invisible gnats again.

"I'm still with you," said Rin's mouth.
Last edited by QuietlySomething on Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Black Iris

Post by Path » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:30 pm

I enjoy this story so far. I don't know why, but Rin here somewhat reminds me of Daria from her show back in the day. Not an exact copy but some lines of dialogue remind me of that randomly. Can't wait for the next chap and hopefully meet more new chars.

Rin's mom seems like a neat character. Like a mother trying to connect with her daughter despite having nothing in common. Wonder if Mr. Tezuka will make an appearance.
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Re: Black Iris

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:13 pm

As always I'm going to complain about the term "neutral end"...

Nothing to complain about in the story itself, though.
Very convincing Rin; looking forward to where you're going to take this.
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Re: Black Iris

Post by CozyRavioli » Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:01 pm

I've seen a lot of people claim that Rin is the hardest KS character to write about correctly, but I think you've done a great job of it. Struck the balance of 'enigmatic artistic goofball' and 'this chick needs to learn to speak or I'm going to pull my hair out.'

I also like the little touches, like how you keep writing 'said Rin's mouth' or 'replied Rin's mouth'. It does a good job of showing the disconnect between what's going on in her head and what's coming out of her mouth.

As far as the plot goes, it's definitely a promising start. I feel for Rin's mom desperately trying to be there for Rin, and Yumi seems interesting as well. It's about time chicks with lopsided titties got some representation in the community. You're truly a pioneer.

Excited to see you working on this, seeing as Rin is my favourite out of all the girls with official routes.
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Re: Black Iris

Post by Oddball » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:46 pm

So far Rin's mom and Yumi both feel rather interesting.

You've also done a good job with Rin without making her feel too abstract and weird. I look forward to seeing where this goes.
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Post by QuietlySomething » Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:20 am

Girl with a Pearl Earring

"…So with our class discussion in mind, what is this, Tezuka?"

"It's the beach." Rin glanced back and forth between her professor and her painting, eyes narrowed.

"Pft, yes, I realize that." Chishiki crossed his arms, thinking for a moment. "But as we have discussed, I am speaking to the essence of your work right now. Think outside of strictly composition. What are you expressing here? Fundamentally, what is it?"

Rin thought extremely hard about it for a few moments, so much so that it exhausted her. "It's a painting of the beach." She knew as she said it that it wouldn't satisfy him, but for all her efforts she could not find the answer he was looking for.

Quiet laughter echoed throughout the room at her response, and Chishiki put a hand to his forehead, moving slightly away from Rin to look at her better.

"Please, tell me, Tezuka. What time is it?"

Rin's eyes drifted slowly toward the clock in the back of the room. "12:37."

"And what time did class start?"

"11:00."

"11:00? Really? So you're telling me that based on a whopping hour and thirty-seven minutes of lecture that you've been sitting in on so far, the most valuable thing you can possibly think of to contribute right now is that this painting, which you've spent weeks working on, is depicting the beach."

Rin opened her mouth but closed it again a moment later. Every single person in the class stared at her in anticipation of her response, even though she had nothing to say. Half a minute passed, and she could hear her own breathing getting louder as the silence began to overstay its welcome in the classroom.

"Ay… okay. I'm not trying to embarrass you. Please take your seat, Tezuka." As Rin stalked back to her seat in the front row, Chishiki crossed his arms and turned to the desks in front of him, expression unchanging. "I don't want to single her out, because we all know that at least a third of you would be giving me the exact same response if you were unlucky enough to be up here today. But look." He picked up Rin's painting from its easel and set it down to lean against his desk. "I make you all do this glorified form of show-and-tell so that we all have something personal that we can connect to our class material. Not just so we can gawk at how good each other's shading is. Alright? Let's try to dig a little deeper, as artists." He watched Rin carefully for a moment, pressing his tongue into the inside of his cheek, then clasped his hands together. "Tell you what, let's shift gears a little bit. I don't want to distract from our presentations, but right now I want to look at my art pick for discussion this week. Just because it feels pertinent."

As he spoke, he moved to the end of the room near his desk and pulled out his projector, laying a laminated sheet on top of it and holding out his hand to gesture toward the screen hanging over the chalkboard.

On the screen was a dark-colored painting of a flower, one which spiraled inward and bled darker in the center. Rin bored her eyes into it, like looking at it harder would make it more valuable. Like, somehow, that would tell her what she was supposed to be getting out of it.

Someone sitting behind Rin mumbled that they had seen it before. The noise distracted her, and she gave up, sighing quietly and looking down to stare at the little wooden strip on the wall underneath the chalkboard.

"Black Iris," declared Chishiki, "by Georgia O'Keeffe, an American painter. Originally painted in 1926. Who is familiar?" Rin shifted in her seat and turned her head to watch as nearly a dozen scattered students raised their hands. Chishiki nodded at them. "Okay, please hold your tongues, just for this little aside. I want to hear from the others first." He thought for a few moments, eyes scanning the students in front of him, before settling firmly on Rin. "Actually, I would like to hear from our presenter, of so few words. Tezuka, what do you think when you look at this? Please don't say 'a flower'."

A few students laughed at that.

Rin stared blankly into the black center of the painting. None of the good words, the ones she had been trying to remember, floated to the top of her brain. She stopped breathing for a moment, wishing she could leave the room.

Instead, she slumped her shoulders down and said the first thing that did come to mind. "It looks like a vagina."

A few people sitting at their desks behind Rin laughed, but Chishiki didn't seem to think it was funny at all, instead smiling broadly at the response.

He raised an eyebrow at Rin, waving a hand to silence the others. "You said you haven't seen this painting before, Tezuka?"

Confused, Rin's face drooped, and she looked up almost at his eyes. "No."

"Well, I'm so glad you said that. Because that's exactly what I wanted to talk about." Chishiki looked away from Rin again. "I mean, I realize that to some of you, it sounds like kind of a crass observation… but simply put, to many people, it does! It does look like a vagina. Tezuka is certainly not the first person to make that observation. And it's a very valuable discussion to have." He raised his hand a little bit in front of him. "How about a show of hands? From the others who weren't familiar with this piece. Was anyone else feeling like this is a piece of sexual art, just from first impressions?"

Eight people behind Rin raised their hands. Was that right? Rin suddenly felt intimidated, like she had said something gravely wrong, but her professor paid her no mind as he continued on.

"Georgia O'Keeffe, like every human being on the planet, is a product of the time and the place in which she lived. Remember that this painting was created in 1926. In the United States, in many respects, the twenties were a time of broad, sweeping cultural change. This is a society hot off the heels of scandal being a woman's ankle shown in public. Sex was a major cultural taboo. No matter where or when, our art reflects the evolution of our culture. Sexual repression, and then, this. A loud, vibrant expression of female sexuality, and with it? A cultural upheaval, and sexual revolution," Chishiki declared, clicking his tongue. "…Well, here's the catch. O'Keeffe herself… vehemently denied these interpretations. She said that her critics wanted it to be sexual. She said it was projection. A perversion of her art. …So… so much for an American sexual revolution, then?" He shrugged, both hands pointed flat toward the ceiling. "Defenders of O'Keeffe have claimed that the sexual interpretations of her works were founded in male projection, and perpetuated the trend of men describing women as sexual objects. But at the same time, there were and are many feminist artists and art critics that felt that overt sexual expression in O'Keeffe's work was a sign of female empowerment. O'Keeffe herself? She said Black Iris was a painting of a flower. So… who was right? Could O'Keeffe be wrong about her own art? At the same time, can we claim that so many others, who connected with this work in such a profound and meaningful way, were seeing something that simply wasn't there in any form?"

Chishiki walked in front of the spot on the wall where Rin had been staring, and her gaze suddenly fixed on his right leg.

He moved closer to the desks, changing his tone and getting quieter all of a sudden. "These are the kinds of fundamental questions I want us to be asking. To whom does art, and its interpretation, belong? Is it strictly the vision of its creator, or might it be something beyond that? Is there a wrong way to look at a work of art? Many people are uncomfortable with the idea that anything could be art, but at the same time, those same people don't want to say that there is a single correct way to evaluate what art is and what it means." He crossed his arms, rapping his fingers along one of them. "Now, I certainly don't claim to have the answers to these lofty questions for you, but one of my primary goals for this class is to help us find some individual perspective on them. The way we personally view art as a concept is a fundamental part of who we are as creators, and as artists." Smiling to himself, Chishiki shot a sudden glance at Rin, pointing a finger harshly in her direction. "What do you think, Tezuka? Still think Black Iris is a vagina?"

She looked him in the eye, helpless, and he frowned at her. Her lower body sank into her chair, like invisible hands were dragging her down to the floor under her desk.

Someone else interrupted the two of them, drawing away Chishiki's attention with their hand. He waited for a couple of seconds before turning to them. "…Yeah, let's open it to discussion. What do you think, Aoki?"

Aoki was a boy with long, unwashed hair that Rin had never spoken to. He sat up in his chair like he was afraid people weren't going to look at him otherwise. "I was just wondering, why are we limiting it to what O'Keeffe said she had painted? I mean, couldn't she herself have been painting- er, representing herself in a sexual way… without her consciously realizing it?"

Chishiki snapped his fingers at the boy. "Ha! Well, we'll never know the answer to that, will we? But yeah, of course, of course. I'm sure Freud would have something to say about that- absolutely, yes, there is an argument to be made that what we create reflects the subconscious."

"Then… I guess I don't understand why there has to be debate? Can't O'Keeffe be right about what her conscious inspirations are without everyone else's interpretations necessarily being wrong?"

"…So, maybe everyone is right, then? Even the people who disagree with each other?" Aoki hesitated for a moment, and Chishiki continued without waiting for him. "What if I'm, say, a botanist, and I tell you, the only reason you compare this image to a vagina is because you don't know what the flower looks like up close? Maybe this is simply a faithful depiction of a real part of nature."

Aoki scribbled something down in a notebook at his desk. Rin watched Chishiki as he spoke, trying desperately to hang on to every word he said- but the longer he went on, the more she forgot, until she got lost in a cloud of thoughts. It always used to be so much easier. But maybe that's what was wrong with her.

Rin blinked, her cheeks wet. Chishiki looked at her again, and stopped himself.

When he spoke, which it took him a little while to do, it was mostly to her, even though he looked toward the students in the back of the room. "…Alright, alright, you know what? I feel like I've been listening to myself talk forever. It's my class, my rules. Go on, go on. Go get some lunch. We'll just pick up with this up tomorrow. Tezuka, hang back for me?"

In a mob, everyone but Rin cleared out of the room, moving in the exact same way and with the same amount of urgency. She focused on the door as they cleared out, even as Chishiki approached her and took a seat in the desk next to her.

"I always think people are going to get trampled this close to lunchtime," he said quietly, patting a hand down on the desk. Rin turned her head to look at him, even though her thoughts were somewhere else. "Okay, so, what's going on with you? Do you want me to call somebody?"

"No," she replied instantly.

"Alright, well. If you change your mind, you don't have to tell me anything. I'll just dial a number and you don't have to talk to me anymore." He glanced up at the phone on his desk, laying eyes on Rin's beach painting, which was still leaning against his desk. "Look. You clearly put a lot of time and effort into the painting you brought in today. That's all I ask for this assignment. All I'm doing is trying to guide our class discussion in the right direction. I promise I'm not going to fail you just because you weren't 'philosophical' enough."

"Okay."

Chishiki studied her face for a little while, but she didn't make eye contact with him.

"You know why I put pressure on you, right?" he asked, relaxing back into his seat. "The work you do sets a high bar for the people who evaluate you. You obviously care about doing this right. That's a good thing, Tezuka. You should be proud of the fact that people already take your work seriously. God knows that's something I would have killed for at your age."

He waited for her to say something, but gave up shortly afterward.

"You know something?" he continued. "Everyone who moves to the city, comes to an art school like this, wants to start a career out of what they're passionate about. And off the record? Very, very few of them are going to end up succeeding, outside of maybe the very local, hobbyist level. This is something that takes passion, and talent… and drive, and commitment, and a hell of a lot else. It's not something you see from a lot of people. But you- and yes, you, in particular, have a lot of promise. Seriously. You may not have been aware of this, but your name floats around with a lot of the faculty here. You impress people! You're here on a scholarship! And as I hear it, before you even applied, you'd already sold your art at a real exhibition, not just an art show. That alone gives you a huge leg up on a lot of your peers. And you absolutely cannot waste that. Alright?"

The ends of Rin's hair clung to her cheeks.

She cleared her throat. "Alright."

"Alright, then." He patted his hand on the desk again and stood, making his way back to his desk. "You've earned the opportunities you have. You should be proud. I mean that."

He picked up the painting of the beach and set it back on its easel, appraising it.

With pursed lips, he leaned back on his desk, shrugging. "If nothing else, it really is a nice painting of the beach. There's something powerful about that open space that extends all the way out to the horizon. Makes you feel kind of small." He snickered. "Am I trying too hard?"

Rin stood as well. Yumi, who had helped her carry the painting to the classroom, was out getting lunch. Rin didn't want to look at it anymore.

She turned toward the door, stone-faced. "Can you carry it out for me?"
Last edited by QuietlySomething on Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Black Iris

Post by CozyRavioli » Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:04 pm

Even though it's only his first appearance, I already like Chishiki more than Nomiya.

I also enjoyed the conversation about how an artist's interpretation of their own work can differ from what other people see in it, and that there isn't anything necessarily wrong with that. I'm guessing that will play into how Rin tries to communicate through paintings, even though she doubts anyone will ever truly understand what she's trying to say.

Really good chapter. I'm looking forward to seeing what the central conflict of the story is going to be.
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Re: Black Iris

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:21 am

CozyRavioli wrote:Even though it's only his first appearance, I already like Chishiki more than Nomiya.
Even though he puts the same kind of pressure on her...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Black Iris (Update 10/14)

Post by Path » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:25 am

Nice little short read, something I know about. :lol: Chishiki seems like a nice person so far. sounds like a man who wants to see his students become better artist, but so did nomiya. Time will tell if he is similar or different than the red tilted art teacher. Also wonder if Aoki is going to come back, or just a one off. Either way, looking forward to the next chap. Keep it up.

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Re: Black Iris

Post by Oddball » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:09 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
CozyRavioli wrote:Even though it's only his first appearance, I already like Chishiki more than Nomiya.
Even though he puts the same kind of pressure on her...
True, but it's meant for the best possible reasons. We know more about Rin than the characters do, so we know how she feels about her art but that's not something that anybody who knew her in-game ever understood or found out about.
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Re: Black Iris (Update 10/14)

Post by dorito4her » Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:23 pm

now that's a fanfic I was looking for.
haven't read it yet, but the events after Rin's neutral ending are the most interesting to me

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Re: Black Iris

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:00 pm

Oddball wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:
CozyRavioli wrote:Even though it's only his first appearance, I already like Chishiki more than Nomiya.
Even though he puts the same kind of pressure on her...
True, but it's meant for the best possible reasons. We know more about Rin than the characters do, so we know how she feels about her art but that's not something that anybody who knew her in-game ever understood or found out about.
Which again goes for Nomiya as well...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Post by QuietlySomething » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:44 am

Red and White Plum Blossoms

Rin lolled her head back against her door, which was cold against the back of her scalp. A long white tube sock with blue stripes along the end hung from the doorknob, dangling down just far enough to graze her hair. She had been sitting there for nearly half an hour, though she hadn't been keeping time that well lately.

Legs flat on the ground, Rin lowered her head to stare at the wall across from her. Her shoes, which she had kicked off a while ago, lay strewn about at the base of the wall. Nailed to the wall above was a piece of art, one of many paintings by previous students that decorated the halls of the dorm.

Rin stared at it for a long time, trying to make sense of it. It was a series of overlapping blue squares- all turquoise, teal, and Prussian blue- jumbled together arbitrarily, like someone with square feet dipped them in paint and walked around on the canvas.

A little laminated plaque to the side of it read:

Lonely Pond

Himari Nakamura

2002


But it didn't look like a pond to Rin.

She shrank back against the door, and her head slumped forward. Her bangs, wild and scraggly, fell down over her face, and she shook her head to brush them out of the way. Her hair was longer than it used to be, and she was still getting used to it. Yumi had her own strange way of brushing it.

Rin stared at her toes for a long time. Her toenails were too long; they hadn't been cut in weeks. She'd never asked Yumi to cut them. Her parents had been doing it most recently, and before them, Emi.

Rin shivered and took a long, shaky breath. A few minutes passed in silence.

Eventually, the door opened behind her, and her head fell back again, hanging over her back so she could stare up at the figure looming in the doorway. It was Kichiro, Yumi's nice boyfriend, wearing tight-fitting clothes and looking tired and disheveled.

He looked straight down and frowned at Rin as he made eye contact with her. "Uh… hey there." With one hand, he pulled the sock from the door handle and tossed it back inside the room.

She blinked once and tilted her head down, her bangs hanging slightly over her eyes again. "Hello."

He put one foot through the doorway and leaned against the frame, looking Rin up and down. "…What are you doing, Rin?"

She looked down at herself before whipping her head up. "Nothing."

They briefly looked each other in the eye, and Kichiro watched her from his spot just in front of the door, pouting slightly.

He gestured toward her feet. "Really? Because it looks to me like you're sitting outside the door, staring at your toes."

She blinked, drooping her head down to look at her toes again. "…That is what I'm doing."

"Then why'd you say 'nothing'?"

She stared blankly at him as he smirked to himself, unable to think of a response. Why had she said nothing? She knew it wasn't true, but she'd said it anyway…

Briefly closing her eyes, Rin wished that she had been doing nothing, so she wouldn't have to think about it.

After a pause, Kichiro wandered out the rest of the way into the hall, reaching the opposite wall and leaning back against it to look down at Rin. "Look, I, uh… I feel weird about putting you out like this. My roommate is seriously never around. I swear we will use my room next time." He scratched behind his head, gaze drifting to the floor. "It's totally my fault, though; I hadn't even thought of you being there. We were just-" -he stopped himself- "-I mean, you don't need the gory details or anything, but we were just hanging out in the room, and… it was just kind of a heat of the moment thing…"

"Okay," she replied quickly, voice flat.

He cleared his throat, covering his mouth with a closed fist. "…Hey, are you hungry? Yumi and I were going to go out for a little while and grab a bite. If you want, you are more than welcome to tag along."

"I don't know."

They exchanged a brief glance, but before Kichiro could respond, he was interrupted by a cheery voice from inside the dorm room.

"What's going on out here?" Within moments, Yumi's face appeared in the doorway, and she stepped through, crossing the hallway to stand next to Kichiro and half-hugging his arm.

He gestured toward Rin with one hand. "Your roommate has just been sitting out here waiting for us so she could be let inside."

"Oh… geez." Yumi peered back at the doorway to examine the thickness of the door frame, frowning uneasily. "I, uh… hope these walls are soundproof…"

"They aren't," Rin replied immediately.

Yumi widened her eyes and gritted her teeth at that. Kichiro grinned with amusement at her reaction, his fingers slowly intertwining with hers. Rin watched intently from the floor, knotted sleeves hanging at her sides.

After a few moments of awkward silence, he leaned in, raising the finger of his free hand to interject. "…Um, so, I suggested Rin come eat with us."

Yumi shot him a look and nodded affirmatively. "Yeah! Good idea." She swiveled her head around to look down at Rin, who was still planted on the ground. "You should tag along, Rin. Would be fun…!"

Rin made a face like she was considering it. "I don't know."

"Oh, right, I forgot," Yumi groaned playfully. "Rin hates fun."

Rin sat up sharply, alarmed, and shot a glance at Yumi, who was grinning but looking somewhere else. "I don't hate fun…"

Kichiro released Yumi's arm and wandered forward a little bit, shrugging with both hands. "No pressure or anything. We were planning to go just the two of us anyway."

Yumi stuck out her tongue at him as he approached the door again, then followed him, standing over Rin with her hands on her hips. "Aw, c'mon, Rin! We're roommates; we're supposed to bond, and… like, do roommate stuff."

She kept her vibrant eyes wide, her gaze piercing Rin's own.

"Okay, then," mumbled Rin. Kichiro watched her uncertainly as she did.

"Yeah?" Yumi took her hands off her hips. "Alright, cool."

"I just want to change my clothes."

"Okay. Come on, then." Thrusting a finger in the air, Yumi turned to her boyfriend as Rin shimmied to her feet and stalked into the dorm room. "Okay, you're banished. No boys allowed."

"Alright. I'll just be out here pretending I don't exist, then."

Yumi let out a girly-sounding giggle and shut the door.

She laughed differently around Kichiro. She was always kind of nasally about it, but with him around, it was kind of squeaky, too. Like someone poked her lung with a needle every time she took a breath. Rin stood in place as she considered it, right up until Yumi slapped her hands down forcefully on Rin's shoulders.

"Okay, what are you thinking then?"

"I got paint on these." Rin looked down at herself. A very light streak of blue streaked down her clothes, trailing down the side of her shirt and staining the top of her pant leg. It was clear from the pattern that the stain had followed the edge of her apron, which was too small for her. But there was something she liked about the paint stains- maybe just that it was incidental, that there was no planning behind it.

Cupping the stained part of Rin's shirt in her hand, Yumi clenched her teeth and looked Rin in the eye again. "Yikes… may come out in the washer, right? Do you just want me to toss these in your hamper?"

"Okay."

The two exchanged a glance, and Rin dipped forward, wordlessly initiating their usual routine. Yumi grabbed her sleeves and pulled up on them, peeling Rin's shirt straight off of her and balling it up in both hands. Rin stayed seated on the bed as Yumi carried the paint-spattered shirt to the hamper.

Lips curved into a contemplative frown, she cocked her neck and looked down at her bra. For a moment, she wondered if they made lopsided bras with two different cup sizes. Yumi probably wouldn't fit into one very well, but there was something to that idea, Rin thought.

Yumi returned to her and fidgeted with the button on Rin's pants, awkwardly trying to undress her from her kneeling position below the bed.

"Okay, so, Rin. Serious question." Yumi pursed her lips a little bit as she struggled to phrase her question. "Was this… um… overstepping? Kichiro and I were just hanging out in here, and we just… I really wasn't expecting to end up monopolizing the room like we did. I feel like that was inconsiderate. I really don't want to be hard to live with…"

Rin flailed her legs like she was pedaling a bicycle, struggling to help Yumi remove her pants. "No. It's okay. I don't mind waiting."

Yumi paced across the room again and tossed the balled-up pants into the hamper. "That feels like something that you'd just say to make me feel better, even though you secretly resent me for it."

"It's not. I don't want to make you feel better."

"Oh, gee, thanks."

"Wait. I do want you to feel better." She planted her bare feet on the floor and stood up sharply, suddenly alarmed. "Wait, I'm not- I don't know. Sorry. I don't want to fight with you."

"Huh? Fight?" Yumi pouted as she stopped to look Rin in the eye, the two of them now standing face-to-face. "You worry too much. We don't have to fight about anything. I'm just trying not to be a nuisance." Visibly amused, to Rin's dismay, Yumi took a step backwards and turned away from her. "I don't know if I ever mentioned this, but I shared a bedroom with both of my sisters growing up. I just know how irritated I would be if one of them locked me out of my room without any warning." As she spoke, Yumi made her way to Rin's clothes drawer and began digging through it with both hands. "You don't have any siblings, do you?"

Little strands of hair trailed down in front of her eyes again, and Rin shook them out of her face as she slumped quietly back down onto the mattress behind her. "No, I don't."

She looked at the wall above her bed frame, at her untitled painting that Nomiya had told her to keep. It was so dark; it felt like she'd gone through more black than any other color while working on that exhibition. She remembered falling asleep on the dusty floor of the atelier, how strange it felt to be uncomfortable lying on the floor. It was something she had always been so comfortable with before then…

"Hey! This is cute! I don't think I've ever seen you in this before." Boldly interrupting Rin's train of thought, Yumi flipped around, holding a polo shirt in front of her chest and looking down at herself. "You should wear short sleeves more often."

Rin gave half a shrug. "I think people don't like to look at my arms."

"Yeah? Well, so what? How is that anyone else's business?"

They exchanged a glance, and Rin yielded, raising the bare stumps of her arms at her sides. Yumi stuffed her into a short-sleeved shirt with a little collar. The ends of her stumps poked out of the sleeves.

"See?" Yumi smiled at the sight of her, like it made her proud. "You look sophisticated."

"Okay." Rin didn't know what she meant by that but nodded anyway.

Yumi took the following silence as an opportunity to fish out a pair of pants from the drawer. Her chest pressed against Rin's back as Rin shimmied into them, and her hair hung over Rin's face in bunches. But there was nothing Rin could do about it, so she just kept her eyes shut instead. Yumi buttoned up the trousers with one hand like an expert, then returned to the door to let her boyfriend back inside.

The collar of Rin's shirt gnawed at her neck- she'd never worn it before, and it had never been washed. Quiet and weary, she shuffled around in it for a few moments before lying back against the bed to stare at the ceiling again.

************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Yumi's squeaky laughing shook the table as Rin tried to eat, her heel digging uneasily into the wood grain. Frowning, she twiddled a red-handled fork around between her toes, not wanting to say anything. The others had paid already and were working on cleaning their plates, so everyone would have to wait on her. Rin was in no particular hurry.

The little scrap of food Rin had managed to skewer on the fork slid off and landed uselessly on her plate. She stared at it in silence.

Kichiro tapped his fingers on the table, taking long pauses in-between his sentences. "Does Tsuchiya even do watercolors?" He shot a look at Yumi in the seat next to him, head tilting down to look the shorter girl in the eye.

Yumi rolled her eyes at him. "He mostly does oil paintings. But I didn't ask him to look at them because he's an expert; I asked him because I wanted an honest opinion."

"What about Tsuchiya screams 'honest opinion' to you? He's a dick."

"Exactly! He doesn't try to protect my feelings. Unlike a certain someone."

Unable to hide his smile, Kichiro looked away a little bit and snickered at her. "Yeah, that's called masochism."

"You can't improve without honest criticism." She leaned over the table with both arms. "Some of us are hoping to make a career out of this someday, y'know."

She talked with her hands, so that every time she laughed or said something loud she flicked a little bit of food from the ends of her chopsticks.

"Yeah, yeah. Let me worry about passing my classes before I get that far." Kichiro shoveled food into his mouth and looked up from his plate, eyebrow raised. "So? What did he tell you?"

"…He said, as an Impressionist, he didn't really 'feel' my style," Yumi replied after a moment, smacking her lips.

He interrupted her with a laugh, unapologetic. "Seriously? That's what he said?"

"Yeah."

"Impressionist? Those are the words he used?"

"That's right. So what?"

"So, he's not an Impressionist. Impressionism is, like, a historical movement. Making blurry-looking paintings doesn't make you an Impressionist."

"Well, that's the kind of thing he paints. So it's what he calls himself."

"I'm just saying, unless he is a two-hundred-year-old Frenchman, he's not an Impressionist. He just calls himself that because he thinks it will make people take him more seriously."

Rin looked up a little bit more from her dish, intrigued by the thought, but Kichiro didn't seem to notice.

Yumi crossed her arms. "Okay, then, big shot. Did you like my watercolors?"

"Sure," said Kichiro noncommittally. "They looked great to me."

"Okay, but how about when you aren't just trying to kiss my ass?"

"Oh, for the love of-" Giving an exaggerated sigh, Kichiro set down his utensils on the table and turned to face his girlfriend, shrugging with both hands. "I'm not kissing your ass! They're good! But, look, if you like them, I don't know why you even give a damn what anyone else thinks. Least of all Tsuchiya. All I'm saying."

"I'm just trying to make sure I actually get criticism on my work outside of class. You know?"

"Yumi, I spend most of my time trying to minimize the amount of criticism I get in class."

"Well, you don't give yourself enough credit." She pursed her lips at him. "If you asked, people would tell you that you have more talent than you think you do."

Kichiro was quiet for a little while, and glanced over at the table at Rin just in time to catch her watching the two of them. As though remembering for the first time that she was sitting there, he jabbed a finger in her direction, enthusiastic. "Hey, Rin. You were working really hard on that landscape painting of the beach. How did that go over in class?"

Rin froze for a moment with surprise, but nevertheless found herself speaking before she even really had time to think about her answer. "It went okay. Chishiki said he liked it."

"Sure sounds okay. I wish he'd say that about something I painted."

"He says that a lot."

"Pft, are we talking about the same guy?"

Kichiro looked right into her eyes, and she diverted her gaze. The exchange didn't make much sense to her, but she tried not to draw attention to it.

"I'm talking about Chishiki." Rin spoke quietly, pursing her lips.

"Yeah, I know that. I was, uh, kidding."

"Oh."

Rin drooped her head, and he watched her with an awkward frown. Yumi cut the silence by patting her hand down on the table, and Rin jumped slightly, startled.

"Did you ever come up with a title for that beach painting, Rin?" Yumi asked loudly, turning her head in Rin's direction.

Fork hovering somewhere in front of her mouth, Rin lowered it back onto her plate, closing her eyes tiredly. "No, I didn't."

"Aw. And I gave you such good suggestions."

"I couldn't pick one."

"How hard can it be?" Kichiro gave a blank expression as he glanced between the two of them. "If it was me, I would have just called it 'The Beach' or something."

"Yeah, well, if it was you, you would have just sketched and painted the entire thing in a weekend. You're not a good role model," Yumi scolded, shooting a cheeky smile in Rin's direction.

Rin swirled her food around with her fork, off-put.

"I'll put effort into a school assignment when they give me one worth my effort, and not a minute sooner," Kichiro replied matter-of-factly.

"You're lazy."

"No, I'm efficient. Putting in a ton of effort on little assignments like that is a waste of time. Who's ever going to look at a painting you did for 'show-and-tell'? Far as I'm concerned, half-assing it is an act of integrity."

"And how do you figure that?"

He paused and nodded once, like he had to take a moment to agree with his own argument before explaining it. "Well… you put a title on something, and you're saying, 'This is what this is'. You're saying it's a finished product- like, it's a work of art. If you don't dignify it that way, you don't have to own it. Lets you save your creative juices for the stuff you actually care about." He jabbed a chopstick in Yumi's direction pointedly. "I never sign them, either. School assignments. It's the same thing."

"You…" hummed Yumi with a smirk, "…are very good at rationalizing."

He shrugged halfheartedly. "Maybe. Or maybe I'm brilliant."

"Maybe both."

Kichiro turned to look at her, only to find that Yumi had closed the distance between her chair and his own, putting them face to face. She leaned forward to kiss him, resting a hand on his leg. As she did, he cupped one hand over her ribs and ran his hand down them, fingers rapping gently along her side like he was banging on tiny drums. She didn't seem to notice, though.

Stoic, Rin remained seated in her chair, dropping her fork on her plate and sliding her leg off the edge of the table. As she watched them, Yumi's pants vibrated from the back pocket, and she stared out of curiosity for a few moments before loudly interrupting them.

"Your pants are buzzing," Rin observed flatly.

Without a second thought, Yumi reached into her back pocket to tap a button on her phone, looking over her shoulder and smirking. "Yeah. Thanks, Rin."

"You're welcome."

Yumi slumped back into her own chair, and Kichiro took a second glance at Rin before turning his head to his girlfriend again. "What are you doing on Saturday?"

She brushed a little bit of hair behind her ear with one hand and looked at the table. "Not much besides class. I thought I might get some schoolwork out of the way in the afternoon."

"I can probably get rid of my roommate."

"'Kay."

"Should I?"

"Sure."

"I don't want to spend too much time hogging your room; we already shut Rin out today."

"Yeah. I'm with you."

"Who called you?"

"Doesn't matter. I'll call them back. I don't want to hold you guys up."

"What if it's your mom?"

"She can wait."

"You're going to feel bad if you don't call her back until we get back to your dorm."

"It's not my mom."

"What if it is?"

With narrowed eyes, she shot him a look, then reached into her pocket again and pulled out her cell phone, opening it and reading for a moment.

Getting no response from her, Kichiro widened his eyes. "It was your mom, wasn't it?"

Yumi paused before responding, closing the phone again. "…Can you guys wait up for a few minutes?"

"Yeah, no problem." Smiling to himself, he stood from his chair, gesturing towards the door at the lobby of the restaurant. "I'm gonna go have a smoke."

Yumi scrunched her face, making a motherly, disapproving sort of expression. "Gross."

Rin craned her neck up to keep her eyes fixed on him as he stood. The opportunity struck her suddenly, and she looked at him pleadingly.

For a few moments, her mouth stopped speaking for her. "I'm finished eating. Can I have one?"

"What? Rin, you don't smoke!" Yumi narrowed her eyes as she said that, shooting a glance in Rin's direction. "…I mean… do you?"

Rin lowered her head. "Sometimes I do."

Yumi scratched her chin a little bit as she thought about that.

"It's cool, Rin. C'mon." Kichiro waved Rin forward as he stepped away from the table, and Yumi rolled her eyes at him.

Moving slowly, Rin followed him. Behind them, Yumi started speaking loudly from her seat at the table.

Kichiro flung open the doors at the entrance to the restaurant and held one of them open so that Rin could step through alongside him. Foot traffic bustled on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant's front patio, and cars on the road in front of that. The streets didn't quiet down much in the city, a fact which Rin still hadn't decided whether she liked or not.

Kichiro leaned his back heavily against the wall as he fumbled with a cigarette, glancing over at Rin as she shimmied toward him along the wall.

"Pft, alright. Here," he said quietly, amused by her hopeful expression.

With two fingers, he held a fresh one to Rin's face, and she scooped it awkwardly out of his hand with her mouth. Trying not to drop it, she pushed it forward with her tongue and lolled her head back, allowing Kichiro to light it.

Tucking the lighter into his back pocket, Kichiro took a drag on his cigarette and shot a glance at Rin, snickering at the sight of her.

"You can do it without hands." He released his cigarette with one hand to demonstrate, flicking it in his mouth and puffing smoke into the air in front of him. "It kind of takes some practice, though."

Rin flicked her own cigarette a little bit with her tongue, and the smoke trailed straight into her face, burning her nostrils. She winced a little bit, but she didn't want to say anything, so she simply closed her eyes instead.

Kichiro groaned at that. Reaching over again, he grabbed it out of her mouth, and she exhaled loudly, breathing smoke straight onto his hand. Kichiro chuckled at her as he placed the cigarette back into her mouth.

"Does helping you do this make me a bad friend?" he asked with a snicker.

Rin opened her mouth just a little, trying to speak without dropping the cigarette out of her mouth. "No, it doesn't."

Though the word 'friend' didn't sit right with her in the first place.

Kichiro sized her up with a glance. "Tsch."

He held his own cigarette with two fingers again, posed coolly against the wall. The two of them stood in silence for a couple of minutes.

After a stretch of silence, one which felt to Rin like a very long time, Kichiro reached over to take Rin's cigarette again so she could exhale. "So… how are you doing, Rin? I'm definitely not supposed to bring this up, but Yumi said she was worried about you."

Rin narrowed her eyes. He placed the cigarette in her mouth again, and she tried to smoke on her own. "I'm okay."

"Alright. I know it's none of my business; it's just that I hate to see Yumi worry like that. She gets really caught up in other peoples' business sometimes, but it comes from a good place. Remember that, if she happens to bother you about it."

"Okay."

He rapped two fingers of his free hand on his opposite wrist, lips pursed. "…You're not from the city, right? Are you settling in? How do you like it here?"

Shuffling a little, Rin turned toward him so that her stump pressed into the wall through the end of her sleeve. "It's okay. It… smells like smoke."

"No kidding." He shrugged half-heartedly. "I've never liked the city, to be completely honest. I have family in Osaka, so I'd had my fill long before coming to live in Tokyo. So many people, and so much noise, and everything. I just think it gets hard to think sometimes."

"Then why did you come here?"

He smirked at that. "Because I got into the school. Talent or dumb luck, or something; knowing me, probably the second one. My dad is a neurosurgeon, which is the reason I can afford to go here in the first place. He wanted me to do the same thing as him, but since that wasn't going to happen, he at least wanted me to go somewhere he could brag about at parties." He chuckled and leaned his head back against the wall. "But the reason I go to art school in general? Fewer tests."

She studied him as he smirked to himself. He was so self-assured, and Rin found it fascinating.

After a moment, he turned his head to the side and made sudden eye contact with Rin, startling her. "How about you? You following your dream, or what? What are you doing here?"

Her mouth almost spoke for her, but something stopped her. Rin relaxed, just for a moment, and drooped her head down to look at the ground. Her bangs fell over her eyes again. "I just… needed something to be different."

"Yeah." Kichiro pursed his lips and took another drag on his cigarette, contemplative. "I know how you feel."

Rin froze at the words. Hair dangled in her eyes. For a moment, she forgot about it.

Thinking nothing of the exchange, Kichiro stared off absentmindedly in the distance as he finished his cigarette. But Rin had her eyes fixed on him. They were both very quiet again, but the kind of quiet that made your ears ring, like after a bomb went off.

Yumi appeared in the doorway, and Kichiro's lips twitched into a tiny smile when he spotted her.

"There she is." Kichiro flicked his cigarette to the ground and stamped it out with his foot. "Everything good with your mom?"

"Yeah. Everything's good. She's trying to sort out tuition bills. Needed some stuff from me."

"So it could have waited, then."

"Yeah, probably. But thanks for waiting, anyway."

Pursing his lips, he leaned in toward her with an arm outstretched. "How about a kiss?"

"How about a breath mint? Or a nicotine patch…" Yumi rolled her eyes at him and turned away, arms crossed. "You all good, Rin?"

Rin opened her mouth, and the butt of her cigarette landed on her shoe. Nearly silent, she gave the faintest nod without stepping away from the wall.

"Cool." Yumi pointed her head toward the sidewalk. "Can we get going, then?"

"I'm ready," said Kichiro.

Yumi turned toward Rin, who drooped her head absentmindedly. "Rin? Ready?"

Rin nodded vaguely, and Yumi smiled in turn, taking a step away from the entrance. Kichiro took her hand as they moved onto the sidewalk. Without saying anything else, Rin finally stepped away from the wall, trailing behind the two of them with heavy feet.

She blinked twice and shook her head, her long bangs in her eyes.
Last edited by QuietlySomething on Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:57 am, edited 12 times in total.

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Riakai
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Re: Black Iris (Update 11/20)

Post by Riakai » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:11 am

For one thing, the fact I read a Rin-centric fic is wild to me. Not huge on Rin to begin with, probably due to the amount of trouble I had getting into her route. The fact I'm enjoying 3rd person narration is ALSO wild as hell.
But this does a really good job of Rin, and the 3rd person feels really good. Your OCs are great so far, I'm interested to see how the new professor plays out especially.
[Innumerable Fits]
The Naomi Inoue Pseudo-Route.

[Ria's One-Shot Hell]
One-Shots. Not much else to say there.

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