An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako; Complete)

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Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Tue Jun 26, 2018 6:14 pm

Lap wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:10 pm
"An Unusual Friendship" is understating it... it's such an unusual friendship that I avoided this one for a while, it just sounded too weird, but I'm glad I gave it a shot. You're making it work, somehow :D. Can't wait for more!
Glad you like it! I think it makes more sense that people might realize at first. Hopefully, I'll do a good job of showing that through the story, but at some point I'll probably post my own OOC thought process about it as well.

---

Chapter 7: Rescue

Misha heard a strangely familiar voice as she approached the Student Council room. The door was ajar, which was odd—Shizune’s sense of neatness would never allow such a thing. Pushing the door fully open so she could enter, she found herself completely confounded by the situation that confronted her. Misha recognized the owner of the voice, who was standing on one side of the room yelling at Shizune and gesticulating wildly: what was his name? Kanzi Satou? That couldn’t be right, he wasn’t related to Lilly... in her head she just called him “scarf boy” anyways.

“Give it up, she-devil! The silent treatment isn’t gonna get you out of this. I know all your tricks! I’ve trained for YEARS for this moment!” scarf boy proclaimed.

Shizune was not taking such wild behavior quietly, metaphorically speaking. She stood on the other side of the room wearing a death stare and a fierce scowl even by her standards. Her own gestures nearly matched the intruder’s in frequency and vigor, arms moving with cold precision in contrast to his random flailing. There was no way he had any idea what Shizune was saying, which was probably for the best, as her frustration drove her to call him some pretty vulgar things.

“You can’t hypnotize me with those arm movements! My mind is protected by these state-of-the-art scrambling goggles!” scarf boy said, holding his thick glasses by the frames to indicate that they were the “scrambling goggles.” Shizune seemed to interpret this as a mockery of her own trademark gesture, further fueling her own anger. Both combatants were too engrossed in the conflict to notice Misha, who watched dumbfounded for a bit longer than she probably should have, entranced by the absurdity of it. If this were happening to anyone but Shizune at any other time but this, she’d be on the floor rolling with laughter already.

“The tyranny of the Student Council ends today! I, Kenji Setou, will finally have my revenge!” he said, pointing at Shizune while striking a dramatic pose. “I’ve picked you all off one by one, biding my time carefully, until it’s finally come down to this final confrontation. When I saw your recruitment propaganda, I knew you must be getting desperate!”

Seeing him point to the RISK adverts, Shizune seized upon this as a possible way to get through to whatever he was trying to tell her, picking one up and offering it to him in hopes that it would make him go away.

“Aha! Raising the white flag already? I won’t fall for such an obvious trap!” Kenji said, swatting the poster onto the ground. “I know what those things really are—subliminal messaging! They represent your feminist hordes overrunning the school! That’s why I had to sabotage them!”

Shizune did not react well to the rejection of her offer, looking nearly ready to slap Kenji. She settled for making a rude gesture at him instead, one which anyone could understand without needing to know sign language. Out of all the things she’d done, this one somehow drew no reaction from her opponent; whether he was truly unfazed or simply couldn’t see it was anyone’s guess. This exchange finally snapped Misha into action. She charged into the fray, taking up her translator’s position between Shizune and Kenji.

“Hey, hey, hey~! What do you think you’re doing?! That was you that wrote on our poster?” Misha asked, jabbing an accusatory finger of her own at Kenji. He jumped back at her sudden appearance with a yelp like a frightened little girl but quickly seemed to regain his composure (or what passed for composure with him).

“Jeez, an ambush! Spreading rumors to the whole school that you quit, just to lure me into this trap?! You feminists are darn crafty, I’ll give you that. So—” Kenji paused to strike an over-exaggerated crane stance out of some old kung-fu movie, wobbling as he barely managed to hold it “—I’ll just have to take you BOTH on! C’mon, bring it! Yahh, woo, haha, kachow—oof!!”

His “fighting moves” ended abruptly as Misha marched up to him and brought an open hand down on his head, fairly hard.

“Stop being a doofus~!” she commanded, stance wide with hands on her hips. “That’s enough horsing around. Don’t you see you’re upsetting Shicchan?”

Kenji’s antics faded away instantly, arms dropping limply to his sides. He looked at Misha like a computer trying to reboot.

“Now~! The president’s translator is here, so she will hear you now. And~! Then you will have to pay a fine for vulgarizing Student Council property~!”

Misha turned to Shizune next. Both were too concerned by the immediate problem to address her return, not while there was a lunatic still standing in their Student Council room. Even with that hanging in the air they fell seamlessly into their speaker-and-translator pattern, the routine coming back as naturally as riding a bike.

“Shicchan says… Who are you, and what excuse do you have for such shameful behavior?”

“Well, uhh, I… I’m here to overthrow the Student Council?” Kenji asked, as if trying to remind himself what he was doing. “Yeah, that’s right. Don’t try to distract me! I’m here to end your reign of terror once and for all!”

“Okay, okay, okay, slow down~! Let Shicchan talk before you get carried away again!”

[He says he’s here to overthrow the Student Council?]

Shizune’s anger faded for a moment as she tried to wrap her head around this. She repeated the signs to make sure Misha had translated right, then stood dumbfounded for a moment, truly thrown for a loop by such audacity. Once the statement fully sunk in, a familiar spark came to her eye, amusement replacing anger.

“Is that so~? Well~! Shicchan says, you can’t overthrow the Student Council unless you make another one to replace it! Have you done that?”

Misha beamed expectantly at Kenji.

“Um… no… drat! I hadn’t even thought of that!”

“Wahaha~! That’s right, that’s right. Every school needs a Student Council. If you can’t do better, then you have no right to complain~! If you want to overthrow Shicchan, you’d have to vote her out in a fair election. But~! Only members of the Student Council can vote for the council president! And you’re not in the Student Council, sooooo…”

“Gahh! You feminists might have won this battle, but I’ll still win the war. I have all the time I need. All the time in the WORLD!” Kenji said, looking to the heavens with his final statement.

Then he made a break for the door. Misha was ready, throwing herself in the way before he could touch the knob.

“Excuse me~! Where do you think you’re going? You haven’t paid your fine yet!”

“What fine?! This is extortion. You can’t do this to me! I’m a sovereign citizen, dammit!”

“Watch your language in the presence of the Student Council, young man! You owe us, hmmmm…”

[…Shicchan, what should the fine be?]

[Something weird. Just to annoy him. How about 369 yen?]

“You owe us three hundred and sixty-nine yen for the poster you disgraced. Pay up, bucko~!” Misha demanded, planting herself firm.

“Sheesh! Fine, fine. Take your ill-gotten cash! This is a strategic retreat, you hear me? A necessary sacrifice!”

After fishing around in his pockets and handing over what appeared to be all the money he had on him—more than twice the amount requested—Kenji was allowed to leave, but his voice echoed back down the hall as he walked away.

“This isn’t over, feminist harpies! You’ve only postponed the inevitable!”

As soon as he was gone Shizune doubled over in silent shaking, unable to contain her laughter any longer. Misha gave it sound to match.

“Wahahaha~!”

[What was all of that about, Shicchan?]

[How would I know? He just showed up and started yelling at me!]

[Even if he knew sign language, I’m pretty sure he’s in the vision-impaired class. Why were you making signs at him?]

[I tried to give him a note to write with but he ran away from it like it was poisonous and kept yelling. So then I started to get angry and just yelled back.]

“Ahaha~! What a funny boy!”

[I thought Yamaku didn’t accept mentally disabled, but maybe that was just a rumor.] Shizune said.

[Shicchan! That’s mean… but maybe you are right, maybe!]

Things lapsed into the sort of silence that came all too easily with sign language. Neither one of them knew what to say from here. Misha began to hum as a distraction but it wasn’t much help. She couldn’t bring herself to look straight at Shizune, glancing around at various objects in the room instead. She realized that now she knew exactly how Hanako must feel before fleeing from a social situation. It was sounding like a better and better option as the seconds dragged on.

Shizune’s finger entered her field of vision and tapped her on the knee.

[You came back.] Shizune said. [I’m glad.] she continued, smiling.

Seeing her smile lifted a considerable weight off of Misha’s shoulders. She gave a measured smile of her own in return.

[Yep. I came back.]

[Why wouldn’t you answer your door?]

[That was you who was knocking?]

[Yes. Who else would it be?]

[I don’t know, Shicchan. I just didn’t think…]

[The lights were always off in your room so I didn’t know if you were ignoring me or actually hiding somewhere else. I was worried.]

[Why did you keep looking for me?]

Shizune looked hurt by the question.

[Because you’re my friend.]

[Even after—]

Shizune’s hands shot up and took hold of Misha’s wrists, stopping her from finishing the signs. Carefully, she lowered Misha’s hands back down, folding her own over them for a moment.

[You’re my friend, Misha.] Shizune repeated. [That’s all there is. That’s all that matters to me.]

“Shicchan…”

[You’re too nice to me, Shicchan. I’m sorry I left you without a translator. I didn’t think about how much trouble I put you through…]

Shizune gave Misha a stern look.

[No talking like that. You’re here now—that’s what matters. You came back. You made a promise to me, remember? You promised that you would be my vice president. I think… I would like it very much if you could keep that promise.]

[You’re right, Shicchan. I did promise. Okay, I’ll be the vice president, just like I said.]

Misha’s expression lifted slightly.

[I don’t just want it because you promised, or because I need a vice president, or because I need a translator, okay? I want my friend back.]

“Your friend…”

[I want that too, Shicchan. I don’t want… I just want to go back. Can we start over?]

[I hope we already have.]

[Okay then. Okay! It’s decided!]

Misha suddenly jumped up onto a nearby desk and pointed a finger dramatically into the air, mirroring the commander’s pose she had used in some of her RISK illustrations.

“Shicchan! Let’s work hard so that Setou and everyone else knows to take the Student Council seriously ag—whoa-hoaa!!”

She began to lose her balance and half-fell, half-jumped back down to the floor, only just managing to stay on her feet. Shizune tried half-heartedly to rebuke her for improper treatment of council property but was laughing too hard to finish the signs.

[That Kenji boy. We’ll show him not to mess with us! If he tries something again, we’ll say, the fine just got a hundred yen higher!] Shizune said.

[Oh! I’m hungry! Can we get takeout? I’ll pay!]

[That sounds good. You’re not paying, though.]

Shizune indicated the scattered collection of currency they had confiscated from Kenji.

[He is!]

---

Student Council work had piled up quite significantly in Misha’s absence. Between playing catch-up and eating Kenji’s takeout, she spent a lot of time in the council room that evening. She even agreed to play Shizune in another game of RISK before leaving, although Shizune couldn’t even finish the set-up before Misha declared that the official rules were boring and that she would make her own. Her “rules” seemed to consist of arbitrarily pushing pieces around or smashing them together while saying dramatic things, then declaring that she was victorious with a mighty “Wahaha!” It was already dark outside by that point, so Shizune decided to simply concede rule of the world over to Misha and call it a day.

Misha returned to her room tired but happy, feeling like she could breathe clearly for the first time this week. She had planned on flopping straight into bed but a little scrap of paper stood in her way, apparently having been slipped under the door sometime during the day.

Do you want to hang out in the library again tomorrow?

Misha turned the note over and nearly put her pen’s tip to its surface before she paused and frowned, remembering: she had promised Shizune that they would catch up on the rest of their council work tomorrow. It was definitely going to take up her whole evening. That was unfortunate…

I’m sorry, Hacchan, but I have Student Council tomorrow! We’ll do it again some time though. For sure!

Chapter 6 | Chapter 8
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:05 am

Last chapter of my "Act 1!" Also added navigation links and table of contents.

---

Chapter 8: Reflection

Misha skipped along in excitement, beckoning Shizune to catch up. The president pointedly pushed her glasses up in response, the visual equivalent of a “tsk, tsk,” but stiffened her pace slightly. The festival was coming up soon and once preparations got underway Misha didn’t expect to have much time on her hands. She had decided that the last free weekend beforehand shouldn’t be spent on Student Council work—or at least not only on Student Council work—and had thus pestered Shizune until she’d agreed to a picnic with Emi and Rin. Part of Misha’s persuasion strategy was that she would carry the food, so she had stuffed some vittles into her backpack and off they went.

[So where are we going? I thought we would go to that park in town. We’re going the wrong way for that.] Shizune asked.

[It’s a secret, Shicchan! I’ll never tell! Never, ever!]

[Okay then. How about a hint? I’ll see if I can guess it.]

[I asked them where we should go and Rin said she knew somewhere. So she’s going to show us! That’s your hint. But it won’t help, because I have no idea where we’re going!]

[You didn’t think to find that out? This better not be anywhere off-limits.]

[Don’t worry, Shicchan. They knew you would come along, so they’d never pick somewhere like that!]

[That makes it sound like they would pick somewhere off-limits if they could.]

[No way! They would never do anything like that! I promise!]

[If you say so…]

“Hi Emirin~!” Misha said, skipping up to them as they came into view.

“Whoa! Your hair!” Emi exclaimed.

“Do you like it?” Misha asked, twirling the end of one bright-pink drill on her finger. “Watch this!” she continued, pulling the drill down and then releasing the taut bundle of hair so it bounced back into shape like a spring. “Boing, boing~! Wahaha~!”

“Well, it’s uhh… it’s certainly different!” Emi said, giggling along with Misha.

“I like it. It fits you. Like a glove,” Rin said.

“Oh?” Misha inquired.

“It’s silly. And you’re silly.”

Misha paused for a moment, considering Rin’s analysis, then decided that the appropriate response was another peal of laughter.

“Wahahaha~! You’re silly too, Ricch—I mean, Rin! Oh, Shicchan asks, where are we going?”

Emi and Rin exchanged a look.

“It’s a secret,” they said together.

Shizune looked none too pleased by this response but further interrogation was cut off when Rin lifted an arm to point behind her. Hanako approached the group with Lilly holding her sleeve for guidance and a picnic basket swinging on her other arm. She gave Shizune a wide berth as she walked past her to stand closer by Rin and Emi.

“Hello, everyone,” Lilly said.

“H-hi…”

“Hey, hey, Hacchan~! And Lilly, too!”

Shizune signed at Misha while Lilly introduced Hanako to Emi and Rin.

[What are they doing here?!] Shizune demanded. [You didn’t tell me they were coming!]

[Oops! I guess I forgot! Silly me!] Misha responded.

[Like hell you did. If you think this is going to be some kind of peace summit…]

[Slow down, Shicchan! I just wanted to see everyone, that’s all. It doesn’t have to be like a Risk game!]

[Not to you maybe…]

“Hey! Slowpokes!” Emi called out, jogging over to Misha and Shizune. The two Student Council members had failed to notice the other girls beginning to walk and now stood a short ways behind them. Emi jogged backwards ahead of them as they caught up. “C’mon, let’s go, step it up! Hey prez, I’ll race you!”

Shizune looked for a moment like she was seriously considering it. They rejoined the rest of the group and the six of them began to walk together with Rin in the lead. Annoyance lingered on Shizune’s face at Lilly’s presence but she refrained from making any direct attacks. Given their respective disabilities, it was easy enough for the two to ignore each other while in a larger group. The girls also sported quite a range in terms of natural movement speeds, causing them to spread out gradually before having to re-form every now and then.

“M-misha, your hair, it’s…” Hanako started to say.

Misha cut her off with a wink and a shush.

“It’s really~ cute, isn’t it?”

“Y-yes!” Hanako replied with a smile.

“What have you done with your hair, Misha?” Lilly asked.

“I changed it~!”

“Sh-she made it into pink dr-drills…”

Lilly furrowed her brow at this, trying to wrap her head around the idea of pink drill hair.

“My, that sounds like a bold style. May I?” she asked, holding her free hand out towards Misha.

“Sure~!”

Misha took Lilly’s hand and guided it to the nearest drill, allowing her to run her fingers through it.

“Eheehee, that tickles, Lilly~!”

“Well, it feels very nice. It seems… bouncy?”

“Yes! See! I mean, uhh, here! Try this! Boing, boing, boing~! Wahaha~!”

The three shared a laugh and even Shizune had to put a hand up to hide her own brief smile.

“Th-the back gate… are we going into the w-woods?” Hanako asked.

Rin paused on the other side of the gate and looked around, as if the trees hadn’t been there last time.

“I guess so,” she answered.

“Oh dear, that may be difficult for me. Is it far?” Lilly asked.

“Not very,” Rin said.

“Don’t worry. There’s a path here!” Emi added.

“Shicchan says, feel free to stay behind if you’re too delicate for it!”

Lilly frowned at this.

“I think I will manage, thank you.”

“Uhh, hey, let’s scout ahead, Micchan!” Emi called out, running ahead down the path.

“Micchan?! I’m not a Micchan. I’m Misha! Get it right, Emi!” Misha responded, pouting at Emi, who gave her a mischievous grin in response.

“Is that right? Well, if you’re going to say Shicchan all the time, then I’m gonna call you Micchan! If you want to stop me, you’re gonna have to catch me!”

Unlike Shizune, Misha was easily suckered into this challenge, bounding off down the path in pursuit. Shizune scowled at the two of them, not wanting to run ahead either, but unable to talk without her translator. She began to speed-walk in an attempt to close the gap, leaving Hanako and Lilly behind. Emi accelerated and left the rest of the group in the dust, causing even Misha to realize how fruitless it was to give chase, particularly with her picnic-backpack weighing her down. She slowed back to a walk, taking stride alongside Rin while sticking her tongue out at the taunting calls of “Micchan, Micchan!” that drifted back through the trees.

“Grrr! Maybe I’ll call her Emi-chan and see how she likes it!” Misha said.

“So did you do it?” Rin asked.

“Do what? Call Emi Emi-chan? Not yet, but maybe I will. Maybe I just will~!”

“No, not your -chans. Did you destroy yourself?”

“Yep~! Well… I think I did? I’m still Misha, but I’m a different Misha now? Is that it~? Anyways! Why do you think I changed my hair?”

“I don’t know. Maybe Shizune made you do it.”

“What? Why would Shicchan make me change my hairstyle?”

“Because she tells people to do things.”

“Does she? I guess—oh, Shicchan says, no she doesn’t! Don’t say something like that, Rin. Slandering the Student Council president is a severe transgression!... but Shicchan does like it, waha! She said my old hair was too messy. Like yours~!”

Rin flipped her hair back and forth to confirm its messiness, then shrugged.

“If she wants me to wear spirals like yours, she’ll have to fix it herself. I don’t think I’ve ever held a comb.”

“You haven’t? That’s—wait… Rin, you’re silly~! I bet you’d look cute if you grew your hair out, though. Wahahaha~!”

“Rin looks cute with any hairstyle!” Emi remarked, running back past them and continuing on down the way they’d came. Lilly and Hanako caught back up as the front trio paused to watch Emi’s retreat.

“M-misha, your eyes… are they… ?” Hanako asked.

“Yep~! You’re the first to notice today, Hacchan.”

“Th-they’re very pretty… the g-gold is a good color for you,” Hanako continued, drawing a giggle and a slight blush from Misha.

“I’m glad, Hacchan, that’s good~! So, what are you doing for the summer break, hm? Got any plans?”

“Oh, umm… not really…”

“Just hanging out at home, huh? Well, that’s fun too~!”

This comment caused Hanako to drop her gaze down and begin to contemplate her picnic basket very closely. Misha’s smile faded slowly as the silence extended past the point where Hanako might’ve still given an answer.

“I didn’t know you wore contacts, Misha,” Lilly said, trying to salvage the conversation.

“Huh? Oh, yeah~! How’d you figure it out?”

This drew laughs from the others sans Hanako, who was still looking pointedly downwards. Misha remained confused at Lilly’s powers of deduction regarding her contacts, and Rin’s attempt to explain how Lilly had done it despite being blind served only to further confuse her. She spent the remainder of the short walk bouncing various questions off of Rin’s abstract answers while the others watched (or listened) in amusement. Emi rejoined them near the end of the path, just in time for it to open up onto a hilltop covered in dandelions.

“Welcome back, Emi-chan~!” Misha said loudly.

“Emi-chan?! Oh no you don’t, you are not starting that! How about a truce on the nicknames, Micc—err, Misha!” Emi responded.

“Yes. No more -chans today. Please,” Rin said.

“Hmmm~… Okay! Just because you guys took us to such a pretty place! Wow, this is really~ high up!”

“Where are we?” Lilly asked. Her question brought Hanako back to life, prompting the scarred girl to describe their surroundings to her friend.

Shizune led the group to the peak of the hill, from which they could look down on the whole town nestled near Yamaku. The six of them took a moment to enjoy the view after setting down their provisions—one basket, two backpacks, the second one belonging to Rin. Shizune was the first to deem the visage no longer interesting.

“Shicchan says, she’s the king of the hill! You must all join the Student Council if you can’t de-throne her~! Wahaha~!”

“I think I’ll let her be king and eat my lunch instead,” Lilly said.

Nodding in agreement, all of the girls got their food out and began to eat, stifling conversation somewhat. The exception was Rin, who did little more than nibble on her food before laying down among the flowers and staring up the sky, her head landing near Misha’s thigh.

“You know, this is where I did it,” she said up at Misha.

“Hm~?”

“You know. Destroyed myself. When I first moved to Yamaku, I had a lot of time, and I didn’t know what to do with it. So I used to just walk in the woods looking for something. Eventually I found this place. I came here and laid down, just like this, every day, to look at the clouds. That’s how I did it,” Rin said, sounding like she was talking to herself just as much as Misha or anyone else. “I like to think the old me is still up there in those clouds somewhere, right where I left her… Does that make sense?” she added, seeming to remember that she was, in fact, talking to someone else.

“Uhhhh… not really~! But it sure sounded nice! Hmm~… I didn’t look at any clouds, so I hope mine still counts… hold on, Shicchan, let me finish this sandwich!”

“I didn’t make my hair into drills to do mine. So I think it counts. You should try it though.”

“Try what? Oh, Shicchan wants to know if you are interested in joining the Student Council!... Can she fill out papers with her feet? Shicchan, see if she’ll join first before you ask that!”

“I can. I can’t though. That is, I can do papers. But I have art club already, so… no Student Council.”

“And what about you, Emi~? Shicchan, you know she’s on the track team!”

Emi nodded through a mouthful of apple.

“Is that a nod yes you’ll join~?”

Emi switched her nod to an emphatic shake sideways, then swallowed her bite to answer, just in case.

“…No! I mean, it’s not like I have any problems with the Student Council! But it’s like you said, I have track. Sorry!”

“Shicchan says it was worth a shot!”

Emi rolled her eyes at this, drawing a pointed glare from Shizune. Fortunately, her wrath couldn’t be transformed into words, as Misha was distracted by a tap on the arm from Hanako.

“Yes, Hacchan?”

“U-um… do you want to tr-try it, Misha?” Hanako said, covering the right side of her face with one hand.

Misha’s eyes widened and she perked up slightly.

“Try what, Hacchan~?”

“Cl-cloud watching… like Rin said.”

“Oh~? Wahaha~! Yes, let’s! Make way, everyone~!”

Misha took Hanako’s hand and pulled her up, then reached for Shizune with the other, wanting the council president to join in on the experience. Shizune refused with a shake of her head, more interested in her food than in clouds. Misha could respect that. She hopped around to a clear patch with Hanako in tow then flung herself down on the field, pulling Hanako along for the ride. Not ready for this sudden move, Hanako stumbled and tripped around before landing atop Misha with a squeak of surprise.

“Eep! S-sorry!”

The fall brought them nearly face-to-face, giving Misha a glimpse of Hanako’s face fully revealed as curtains of hair fell away from it. It was only a glimpse; Hanako immediately covered the scarred half with a hand and looked away, blushing furiously on the other half that still could. Misha didn’t seem fazed by any of this, smiling steadily up at the girl on top of her.

“Wahaha~! No, Hacchan, I’m sorry! I got a bit carried away. Are you alright?” Misha asked.

“Y-yes…” Hanako said, delicately extricating herself from Misha and pushing plant growth aside to make a spot for herself. Misha thought of a cat kneading a potential napping spot as she watched it.

“Are you two okay?” Lilly asked.

“Yeah, they’re fine. Hana just wanted to make out with Misha, that’s all,” Emi said.

“D-d-did n-not!”

Lilly chastised Emi for this remark, prompting Emi to turn the teasing onto her instead. Misha wasn’t listening to their banter. Instead, she touched Hanako’s side and pointed up into the sky to distract her from it.

“Look, Hacchan!”

“I-I see them…”

The two of them laid silently in the grass, their heads forming a rough triangle along with Rin’s. Misha kept her hands behind her head while Hanako held one hand over her scars and used the other to fidget with the top of her blouse. The sky was perfect; a blanket of puffy white clouds that floated lazily along, keeping the sun covered while revealing the occasional peek of bright blue between their sheets. Misha let her usual manic energy fade away as she stared up into it.

She realized that this might be the first time in her whole life that she could see absolutely nothing but sky in her whole field of view. There were no points of reference to orient her vision, no trees, no buildings, nothing. It actually made her kind of dizzy but it was also surprisingly relaxing. Misha thought she could understand what Rin was talking about earlier, at least a little bit.

“What do you think, Hacchan?”

“A-about what?”

“The clouds~!”

“O-oh, umm… they’re pretty… th-that one looks like house. A big one, like a m-mansion.”

“Does it? Oh, I guess that hole there is the door, huh? Hmm… that one looks like a game board!”

“Wh-which one?”

“There! It looks just like the Risk game board, right, right~?”

“I-it’s, uhh… just a r-rectangle, Misha.”

“Exactly!”

“Hmm, o-okay… Th-that one looks like a roast ch-chicken…”

“A wha? I see a cat, Hacchan!”

“N-no, well, maybe… see, those are the l-little legs sticking up, but I guess they c-could be cat ears.”

“Actually~! I kind of see it now. I think yours is better, Hacchan! Mmm, I could really go for a roast chicken right about now!”

“But we just ate lunch…”

“So? Chicken is chicken, Hacchan~!”

She couldn’t argue with that logic. Misha hummed softly to herself, tapping a rhythm onto the back of Hanako’s hand as it rested in hers. When did that happen? Misha glanced down to confirm it, then over to Hanako. Half of a face looked back at her, offering her a familiar shy smile. Misha returned the smile and gave Hanako’s hand a gentle squeeze, feeling a light flutter in her chest…

“I think it looks like a dream,” Rin piped up.

Hanako tilted her head towards the voice, while Misha flipped over and sat up to look at Rin quizzically.

“A dream? H-how’s that?” Hanako asked.

“It’s just the word I thought of looking at it.”

“Maybe you had a dream of a cat eating a roast chicken. Waha~! Thanks for showing us this place, Rin~!” Misha said.

Rin shrugged.

“It’s a good place.”

“M-misha…” Hanako began, sitting up alongside her.

“Hm~?”

“Y-you, uhh… well…”

“I…?”

“I-it’s too embarrassing, I-I don’t kn-know if I-I can say it…”

“Hacchan, you know if you say that, now you have to say it! That’s the rule~!”

“O-okay…”

Hanako took a deep breath to steel herself.

“Y-you have dandelions in your hair.”

“Oh? I do? How’s this~!”

Misha pulled a drill down to make it spring back up as she had earlier, and sure enough, it expelled white fluff.

“Wahaha~!”

She shook her head back and forth, flipping her hair around and sending dandelion fluff flying in all directions. Hanako jerked a bit and leaned back to avoid the display, nonetheless amused by it. It reminded her of a dog shaking off its fur when it came in from the rain. One of the pieces floated slowly down onto Rin’s forehead, who crossed her eyes to look up at it before shooing it with a quick puff of air.

“Th-they’re like little cl-clouds, aren’t they?” Hanako observed.

“Sure are~! If clouds could get all stuck in your hair, for sure~! You know, you’ve got a few of your own, Hana-chan! Here!”

Misha leaned forward and raised a hand, waiting for Hanako’s affirmative nod before continuing. Her dark hair was silky and smooth to the touch, the afternoon’s soft sunlight giving it a reflective sheen. Misha realized again how pretty it was. Her hand moved carefully to pick out each bit of fluff, sometimes running through Hanako’s hair a bit more than it probably needed to, but never near her face. It was terribly tempting to touch the scarred skin there—Misha was fascinated by it, if she was honest with herself, but she knew Hanako probably wouldn’t appreciate that.

“What are you guys doing, huh? Rin’s turning everyone into a sky-watcher, is she?”

Emi stood next to Rin, looking over the three of them as Misha pulled her hand away from Hanako.

“C’mon, skinnybutt, up, up! You’ve gotta finish your lunch. I’m not gonna let you slack off so easily!” Emi said to Rin, leaning down and tugging on one of her shirt sleeves.

“Do I have to?” Rin grumbled. “Five more minutes…”

“No excuses, young lady! You’re going to eat your vegetables, too!”

Shizune approached in turn as Rin started to get up.

[Come on, you too. We still have Student Council work to do after this.]

“Yeah, we do. That was fun, Hacchan~!”

“Mm-hmm!” Hanako replied with a smile and a nod.

Unlike Rin, Misha didn’t need to be asked twice to return to her food. She had already scarfed down most of it but was happy to handle the rest, even managing to sneak a few bites from Rin’s while Emi wasn’t looking. Everyone finished their food in fairly short order, those who hadn’t already. Shizune had already walked a short ways back towards the forest path and now stood tapping her foot with arms crossed, watching Misha expectantly. It felt like barely any time had passed since they all left the school grounds.

As they began the walk back, Misha maneuvered herself next to Hanako and Lilly.

“So~, Hacchan, did you finish your Great Gatsby?”

“Y-yes, I did.”

“How did it end?”

“U-umm… I-I don’t know if I should sp-spoil it…”

“Waha, it’s okay~! I want to know! …Shicchan says she doesn’t care!”

The mention of Shizune caused Hanako to glance up nervously at the council president, but Lilly’s voice seemed to calm her somewhat.

“It’s okay, Hanako. Go ahead,” Lilly said.

“W-well, err, it’s pretty s-sad, really… Mr. G-gatsby gets shot, a-and, he d-dies fl-floating in his pool, so D-daisy stays with T-tom…”

“What?!”

Misha looked flabbergasted at this.

“What kind of an ending is that?! …Maybe he deserved it? Shicchan, he was the main character!”

“N-no, actually, the n-narrator is someone else, who just meets G-gatsby… he leaves them a-all at the end, b-because he thinks they’re all b-b-bad people…”

“My, my, that’s a harsh ending indeed. Sometimes life is harsh, I suppose. A time comes when one has to move on,” Lilly said.

“Shicchan wants to know if that’s supposed to sound profound, Lilly!” Misha translated.

“Profound? I’m flattered that she thinks so,” Lilly replied.

“U-umm! W-w-w-w-well!” Hanako interjected, exaggerating her stutter as she glimpsed the building glint in Shizune’s eye. “I-it was, uhh, i-it was good! I-I guess…”

“You know, it kind of sounds like the main character had to make himself again, hm~? You know, make a new him, with new friends?” Misha observed.

[I wonder if he dyed his hair pink and shaped it like drills.] Shizune said.

“What? Why would he do that, Shicchan? Boys look silly with pink hair~!”

The rest of the conversation remained lighthearted and the group arrived back at the school grounds before they knew it. They paused just inside the back gate, looking around at each other with no one really knowing what to say. Misha took care of that.

“On behalf of the Student Council, I would like to thank everyone for attending this event. You all did a very good job~! That was from Shicchan. It was really fun—that was from me~! Now let’s all work hard to make the festival a big success this year! That was from both of us!”

“Thank you, Misha.”

“I-It was nice to m-meet you, Emi, R-rin…”

“You too, Hanako!”

“You’re pretty good at cloud watching. For a newbie.”

“Wahaha~!”

END ACT I

Chapter 7 | Chapter 9
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
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WorldlyWiseman
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by WorldlyWiseman » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:04 am

I'm glad I caught up with this. You're making good use of existing canon and it's really helping you sell this pairing.
Hanako's favorite joke is The Aristocrats, but she never tells it because Lilly finds it really offensive. Instead, she practices her delivery in front of a mirror when she's alone. It's the only time she never stammers.

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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:00 pm

WorldlyWiseman wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:04 am
I'm glad I caught up with this. You're making good use of existing canon and it's really helping you sell this pairing.
Thanks--comments like this really help to maintain motivation.

First chapter of act 2. Here goes!

---

Chapter 9: Premonition

Hanako watched the cracks in the sidewalk passing under her feet, careful not to step on any. Lilly tapped along nearby. This Saturday was like any other; a trip into town and then they’d probably retire to the tea room. Hanako felt that she had finally settled into Yamaku this trimester, developing a routine that she could rely on. While she would never say it aloud, the truth was that it had helped her when Lilly quit the Student Council, freeing up a lot of time for them to spend together instead. They really only saw each other for an hour or two a day on average but for Hanako those quiet afternoons in the tea room meant a lot.

Now that the year was moving into June, summer was properly underway and even the weather was consistently pleasant. Hanako rarely spoke to anyone besides Lilly, rarely went anywhere that wasn’t the library or the tea room, rarely went a whole week without missing any class time… but her grades were improving and the anxiety attacks were less frequent. She was finally beginning to feel stable, to feel like Yamaku Academy was a home. The faculty cared and mostly no one bullied her. Hanako didn’t think she could call herself happy but things had certainly been worse.

Lilly’s head perked up in a familiar gesture indicating that someone was nearby. Hanako didn’t notice anything but Lilly’s hearing was considerably sharper than hers. Sure enough, she soon heard the tapping of shoes on pavement as someone came running up behind them. There wasn’t even time to turn around before a pair of hands wrapped around her head, covering her eyes.

“Guess who~!”

“Eek!” Hanako yelped, freezing at the sudden contact.

“Wrong~! It’s me! Misha~!”

“O-oh, hi Misha,” Hanako said.

“Please don’t scare Hanako like that,” Lilly reprimanded.

Did she have to say that? The little prank had startled her, yes, but Hanako was also genuinely glad to see Misha, even if it came at the price of being touched without warning. After Lilly, Misha was probably the only other person in the school that Hanako could call a friend. Lilly’s quitting the council had also substantially increased the workload born by Misha; they hadn’t gotten around to hanging out in the library again but Hanako still hadn’t forgotten it, or the other times she had seen Misha, brief as they may have been. They even passed notes under their doors from time to time, checking in on each other despite rarely speaking in person.

She offered the pink-haired girl a shy smile in greeting as Misha withdrew her hands and stepped up alongside Hanako. Misha beamed in turn but that huge grin faded a bit as she saw Lilly’s stern expression. Unfortunately, Lilly couldn’t see that Hanako had not only recovered but reacted warmly to Misha’s dynamic entry.

“Sorry, Lilly. But~, I can’t really do it to you, you know?” Misha explained.

“You don’t even need to cover my eyes, do you? I think I would rather you did it to me than Hanako,” Lilly said.

“I-it’s okay…” Hanako said.

Lilly’s furrowed brow made it clear that she did not, in fact, think it was okay. Misha pursed her lips and pushed them to one side of her face, temporarily vexed by this situation, but the tension could only hold her back for a moment before she dove in again.

“Alright, Lilly. Then~! Here we go!”

Misha paused for dramatic effect before jumping ahead and spinning around to face Hanako and Lilly again, hands on her hips and goofy grin back on her face.

“Guess who~!”

For a moment Hanako was dumbfounded, then she began to giggle as she saw a similar degree of confusion on Lilly’s face. Perhaps that twirl was supposed to represent Misha disappearing and appearing again?

“I don’t understand, Misha,” Lilly said with a frown.

“I’m doing it without covering your eyes first, just like you said. You said you wanted to play instead of Hacchan, right~? Wait, wait… here~!”

Misha held a finger to her lips and winked at Hanako. Taking Hanako’s right hand, she placed it gently onto Lilly’s shoulder.

“Okay~! Guess who~!”

Lilly sighed.

“It’s you, Misha.”

She reached up to take “Misha’s” hand off of her shoulder, only to pause in surprise at the ridges and pocks that it found.

“Nope~! It’s Hana-chan. You two are bad at this game! Wahahaha~!”

Misha’s laughter was quickly matched by more giggling from Hanako, their combined amusement managing to draw a smile out of Lilly. It wasn’t until Lilly touched the scars that Hanako even realized Misha took her burnt hand for this prank—she had done it so quickly, and without flinching or even looking. Any reservations Hanako might’ve had were swept aside by the mirth of the moment before they could arise.

“Where is Shizune?” Lilly asked, having sensed by now that Misha was alone.

“Shicchan’s busy doing council stuff. She sent me to get some stuff from the art supplies store. The festival’s only about a week away, you know. We’ve got a loooot of crafts to make, and only two hands~!”

“Yes, Misha, we are well aware. Shizune has only reminded my class of that, hmm, five times at my last count. How strange that no one has yet volunteered to help ease your burdens…”

“I know, right?! You must be working them extra hard, Lilly~!”

Hanako noticed that Lilly had already prickled up again. A lot of people couldn’t tell because her demeanor was so steady but after spending this much time with her, Hanako could recognize when her defenses went up. Shizune wasn’t even here but Lilly couldn’t help fighting with her anyways. Hanako thought Misha was just speaking earnestly. Lilly, however, seemed to assign her words the sting that Shizune would’ve spoken them with.

“U-umm, you mean… you have two sets? Sets of hands... to work with?” Hanako said, trying to derail this line of conversation.

“Whoops! That’s right, Hacchan. Shicchan doesn’t make me do all the work~! Wahaha~!”

Now even Hanako started to wonder if Misha was more subtle than she typically got credit for. If she was, her deadpan was top-notch, not a hint of sarcasm detectable in her voice. It was really no wonder that she was the kind of person who ended up translating for Shizune, Hanako thought.

“W-would you like three?” Hanako offered.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Hanako,” Lilly cut in.

“Wh-why not? I’m not any use in our cl-class project for the festival…”

“You can help my class, Hanako,” Lilly said.

“Hey, if Hacchan wants to help, we can always use more people in the Student Council! Err, not that I’m asking her to join… nope, nope, nope~! She can just help a bit if she wants!” Misha said.

“I-I think that would be o-okay…”

“For sure~! We still have some of those old Risk posters we made. Wahaha~!”

Hanako smiled, remembering the ridiculous posters Misha had made that day. It was fun drawing her own as well, especially when Shizune ended up approving of them. Sometimes she wished she had joined the Student Council after all… but the anxiety had ruined it, just like it always did.

“Mmm. Perhaps,” Lilly conceded.

“So~, what are you guys up to? Festival supplies too?” Misha asked.

“No, this is just a grocery trip, I’m afraid. My classmates have generously offered to buy our supplies,” Lilly said.

“Y-yeah, we usually go every Saturday, so we’ll have th-things to cook during the week,” Hanako said.

“Oh, you like to cook? I wish me and Shicchan had time for that. We usually just get take-out, since we can put it on the bud—err, that is~! Since I’m such a bad cook, I mean! Aha, wahaha~!”

Lilly tut tutted at this.

“Remember, I was the vice president before you, Misha. I know how… flexible, let’s say, Shizune is with the council budget. I won’t scold you for what she does.”

“You won’t?” Misha asked.

“…Only because of how much tea I got that way…”

“Wahahaha~!”

“I-if you’re having trouble cooking, M-misha, maybe I c-could…” Hanako said, her voice drifting off.

“Nah, I’ve really never tried cooking any real food. Maybe I should, though! Maybe I should~! Do you cook for both of you, Hacchan? Or can Lilly cook too?”

“I-I try, but I’m not very good… Lilly is better…” Hanako said.

“I don’t know about that, Hanako. You… well, you’ve improved substantially. I have a lot more experience. I used to cook regularly when I lived with Akira,” Lilly explained.

“Wow~! That’s great, Lilly! How do you do it? Can you count the rice grains by hearing how many pour out?” Misha asked. “You’re like an anime character~!”

“Haha… my, wouldn’t that be nice? No, I’m afraid blindness does not grant superpowers in real life. I measure ingredients the same way anyone else does… mostly. Being careful not to over-pour is actually one of the trickier bits.”

“So you don’t even have any special powers and you can still cook without seeing? That’s even greater~!”

“…Hmm, I suppose I hadn’t thought of it that way.”

“I-I think… maybe we can teach you, Misha. I-if you want…” Hanako said.

“Sure~! Wait!”

Misha gasped as an idea struck her.

“Can you teach me how to makes parfaits?!” she asked excitedly.

Lilly’s head turned slightly as she seemed to consider the request.

“I’ve never tried that, but I don’t see why not,” she said.

“P-parfaits? Like in—” Hanako started, but another hush gesture from Misha stopped her.

“Yes, yes, Hacchan—just like at the Shanghai! Parfaits are the best. They have a really big one at the Shanghai, not just really big, but really really big~! Can we make that one?”

That wasn’t what Hanako was going to say… why did Misha stop her? That was weird… oh well. One thing about Misha was that you couldn’t waste too much time trying to guess her reasoning behind things. She just did stuff.

“Goodness, Misha. Two reallies? Perhaps we should start with only a ‘big’ parfait, then work our way up through a ‘really big’ one, before we’re ready for the double really big,” Lilly said.

“Aww… well, I guess we gotta start somewhere. We’ll do that sometime for sure~!” Misha said.

Misha’s disappointment at only getting to make a “regular big” parfait amused Hanako. They’d kept walking the whole time that they talked and just like that, they were already coming up on the town. The remaining minutes were mostly filled with Misha’s descriptions of different parfaits she’d tried around town and how much she liked them. Apparently there were at least ten different places here that you could get them… Hanako couldn’t name ten restaurants in the town period, and she didn’t think she’d ever been to any besides the Shanghai.

“Alright, welp~! I guess this is it,” Misha said as they came to an intersection. “Oh! But before I go! I have a secret~ to tell. Don’t let Shicchan know I told anybody, okay?”

“Okay,” Hanako said.

“I wouldn’t dare,” Lilly confirmed.

Misha leaned forward and pulled them into a huddle, speaking in a conspiratorial whisper. Hanako was pretty sure there wasn’t anyone else nearby… she put her arm around Misha’s shoulder anyways, looking expectantly into her golden eyes.

“Well~… Shicchan told me that we’re getting a new student on Monday! And he will be in our class, Hacchan!”

“R-really?” Hanako said, more of a reaction to the revelation than a genuine question. This was of slight concern to her… one reason she was feeling better at Yamaku was that she saw the same people every day. A new person meant a fresh set of eyes staring at her, trying to get a good look at her scars without being obvious, even though it was always obvious the first time. Maybe she would skip Monday…

“D-do you know what’s wr-wrong with him?” Hanako asked.

“Nope~! We’re claiming him for the Student Council, though. You hear that, Lilly? Shicchan said he’s not allowed to join the Tea Club! Wahaha~!”

Lilly gave her an expression that would’ve been blank even if she could see.

“Excuse me? The ‘Tea Club?’” Lilly asked.

“Yeah~! You know, the one you and Hacchan are in together!”

Lilly was still dumbfounded but Hanako thought she understood, the corners of her mouth lifting at the silly misunderstanding.

“I-it’s not a club, Misha… we just hang out together…”

“Oh, really?”

“Really. Don’t worry, your recruit is safe from my clutches. Try not to let Shizune harass him overly much,” Lilly said.

“Ahaha~. That’s too bad! A tea club would look better on your record, I think!” Misha said.

“You k-keep records of our clubs?” Hanako asked.

“Probably. Shicchan has a ton of papers sitting around. I bet some of them are records of stuff!”

“Oh… why are we still wh-whispering?”

Of course, Misha’s “whispering” had never been that quiet to start with, and she abandoned the concept entirely as she broke their little huddle and gave one of her wahaha~!’s.

“I dunno, Hacchan. Maybe Setou is listening! Anyways~! It was good to see you, Hacchan, Lilly! See you on Monday~!”

“You too!” Hanako returned.

“Goodbye, Misha,” Lilly said.

“…S-satou? I-I’m sure you were listening…” Hanako said after Misha had bounced out of sight.

“Not Satou. Setou. There’s a boy with that name in my class, though I can’t imagine what Misha meant by bringing him up… he’s not here, is he?”

Hanako looked around, failing to spot anyone else around their age who could be a fellow student.

“I-I don’t see anyone…”

“Hmm. Well, he is a bit strange, but no more than Misha herself. Perhaps something happened between them that we don’t know about.”

“S-something happened? Like… like, they were d-dating?” Hanako asked.

Lilly giggled at this.

“My, my. No, I don’t think Kenji and Misha are a likely couple. If they were, it would be the talk of the school.”

“Ha, you’re probably right…”

The two continued to walk in comfortable silence for a few moments before Hanako spoke again.

“…D-do you like Misha, Lilly?” she asked.

“Hm? From where does this question come?”

“W-well, it’s just… you seemed to get al-along, but sometimes, when she’s with… Sh-Shizune…”

Lilly sighed.

“Sometimes, it can be hard to remember that Misha is more than just Shizune’s mouthpiece. You’re right. But today, we saw her without Shizune around. It was nice… I think… I think Misha is a very nice person. She means well. But perhaps she spends too much time with Shizune.”

“Y-you think so? But Shizune needs her, to t-talk…”

“Not strictly speaking, she doesn’t. A translator is certainly more convenient for Shizune, but she can and has communicated without one in the past. I think Misha is very giving, and Shizune is very willing to take. I thought that might have caught up to them at one point, but then—”

“…Th-then what?”

“…Nothing. They seem to complement each other. We must be getting close, yes? Would you like to visit the Shanghai first?”

Hanako smiled. She hadn’t been willing to say it herself, but she’d secretly been hoping for this. It was something of an unspoken agreement between them that Lilly paid when they treated themselves. She never seemed to run out of money…

“Yes!… Maybe I’ll get a p-parfait!”

Chapter 8 | Chapter 10
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:51 pm, edited 5 times in total.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:19 am

Chapter 10: Continuation

Hanako had mixed feelings about Sundays. Occasionally she might see Lilly but more often than not it was their “day off.” Lilly did have other things to attend to in her life, after all. Today she would probably be working on festival things with her class. Hanako knew she could join her if she wanted to… she just didn’t feel up to it. It was a lot of people that she didn’t know after a week sitting in class with people that she barely knew.

She planned to spend this Sunday in the library instead, as she often did. Sometimes she would spend this entire day without speaking a single word to anyone; sometimes she wouldn’t even leave her room, though that had been more common in past semesters, when she was newer to Yamaku. These days, Hanako usually managed to make it here, to her bean bag in the library. Even still, her only human interaction today was an awkward exchange of smiles with Yuuko. She expected that would be the full extent of it until she retired to her room.

Part of her enjoyed the silence and the isolation, even craved it, if the anxiety was flaring. She did appreciate spending time with nothing and no one besides the books. No looks, no questions, no judgments. At the same time, such a day made her painfully aware of just that—how alone she was. Other people were out doing things with friends, being active and exploring the world, while she spent the day only retreating further into herself. Sometimes she worried how long that would go on, if she would ever leave her cocoon to join them, and how she would end up if she never could. Hanako liked reading in part because the stories helped her escape from those thoughts.

So Sundays were good, but also bad.

“Psst! Hacchan~!”

This one had just broken the routine. The voice was about as close to a whisper as Misha could get; Hanako had to give her credit, it was actually possible that Yuuko didn’t hear her all the way back at the front desk. The odd thing was that Misha herself was nowhere in sight. It was just her voice, drifting in from somewhere nearby…

“Hey! Hacchan! Guess who~!”

“M-misha?”

“Drat! I was really working on my voice, too! Okay… guess where~!”

“Uhh…”

Getting halfway up from her beanbag, Hanako looked around in a full circle, still seeing nobody. The voice seemed to come from somewhere behind her… but behind her was just a tall bookshelf.

“Y-you’re in the library…” Hanako said, probing for more.

“What?! Of course I am, silly~! That answer doesn’t count, Hacchan! Don’t give a Ricchan answer, that’s cheating!”

Hanako’s “cheating attempt” caused Misha’s voice to falter back towards her normal volume, making it apparent that her voice was not only coming from behind the bookshelf but through it, between the books themselves. Hanako caught an unmistakable shift of motion through the little gaps between each row. Leaning down to peer through the nearest one, she found her own eye looking directly into a wide, golden one on the other side.

“Boo! Wahaha~!”

“G-got you!”

“Did you? Poof~!”

Misha pulled away from the shelf, the accompanying sound effect suggesting that she was a magician who had just performed a disappearing trick. Hanako could trace her movement down the aisle on the other side by the sound of the laughter drifting back to her. Soon Misha emerged around the corner of the row and strode towards Hanako, looking immensely pleased with herself. She pulled a book from behind her back and held it out to Hanako with a huge grin: the light novel that Hanako had recommended to her. Once she recognized it, Hanako returned Misha’s smile.

“H-hey Misha… what are you doing here?”

“I came to bring this back to you!” Misha explained, poking her with the book.

“Umm… you give that back to Y-yuuko, if you’re returning it…”

Misha whapped herself on the head with the book, hard enough that it made a sound. If it hurt, she didn’t show it.

“Silly Misha~! Of course. Well~! I’ll make sure to do that sometime! I’m also here to hang out with you, Hacchan… if that’s okay!”

Hanako nodded her head.

“Mmhm. Sure!”

Misha immediately flopped down on another bean bag. Hanako wasn’t entirely sure of the protocol for “hanging out,” so she took that as a cue to tentatively sit back down on hers.

“So, err… wh-what did you mean when you said, ‘a Ricchan answer?’ Who’s that?”

“Ricchan? Oh, that’s the funny girl with no arms! You met her, I think!”

Hanako did remember Rin, though not well enough to have figured out that she was “Ricchan.” She winced inwardly at Misha’s description. Hanako hoped Misha didn’t refer to her as “the shy girl with the burnt up face…”

“What’s a Ricchan answer, then?”

“It’s how Ricchan would talk~!”

“B-but… how’s that?”

“Oh, hmm, well… well~! Usually, when you ask Ricchan something, she gives an answer no one would think of, but her. An answer no one expects~! It’s why she’s so funny. You try it: what does my hair look like?” Misha asked, bouncing one of her pink drills.

“Uhh… drills?”

“No, Hacchan! Ricchan would say something like, hmm, like~… it looks like upside down Christmas trees, with cotton candy poured all over it! Wahaha~!”

Misha seemed to amuse herself more than Hanako with this answer, but Hanako was amused by Misha’s ability to amuse herself.

“Oh, huh…”

Hanako paused for a moment to look down and think.

“…i-it looks like a m-manga character’s hair!” she finally exclaimed, settling on an answer.

“Ahaha~! It does, Hacchan, it does!” Misha said, tapping the cover of her light novel. “I don’t know if that’s something Ricchan would say… but I’ll count it. So~!”

Hanako looked at Misha expectantly.

“What should I read next, Hacchan?” Misha asked.

“Umm, maybe you should decide…”

“Eh? No way~!”

Misha stood up and held her arms out, then spun in a circle.

“Look at all these books, Hacchan! Just look~! There’s way too many to ever look at them all. Waha~, I don’t know how you do it. You’re way better at reading than me, so you should pick for me!”

Hanako wasn’t sure that that was how reading worked… a lot of things probably worked differently looking at the world through Misha-vision, though.

“Okay… how did you like that one?” Hanako asked, indicating the light novel Misha had already read.

“Oh, it was great. Really great~! All the characters are so cute… especially her!” Misha said, tapping the book’s cover again. Titled MIX-C, it featured an illustration of the series main character, who wore the same hairstyle Misha had adopted: bubblegum pink twirled into twin drills. Misha opened the book and flipped quickly through to a page that she seemed to have memorized or bookmarked somehow. This one had an illustration of a parfait topped with a swirl of pink strawberry yogurt resembling a drill, the main character’s signature creation. “I’m gonna have one of these one day. One day~!”

“I-I’m glad you liked it so much. Well… there are m-more of them…”

“Hm~? More drill parfaits?”

“No, more books. Th-that’s just the first one. It’s a whole series…”

“Oh, oh~! More Mix-chan? That’s perfect, Hacchan. Perfect~! More of these means more parfaits, after all. Wahaha~!”

“I-I guess it does, ha…”

Hanako stood up as well and they walked over to the light novel section together. When they first checked this out Misha said she’d never read a light novel before, so Hanako wasn’t really surprised that she forgot most of these came in many volumes. It had taken her an awfully long time to get through one light novel… Hanako could finish one in a single day if she wanted to. Misha had probably been sitting on it and doing other things though.

“I-I, umm, I really like your h-hair, Misha…” Hanako said. “…d-did you really change it… just to look like C-carolina?” she asked, voicing the question she’d had in the back of her mind ever since Misha made that decision.

“Thanks, Hacchan~! Shicchan likes it too! I changed it because, well… hm~! I wanted to change something about myself, but I didn’t know what, but I needed to make sure it was cute. So I looked at your book and I remembered, you said she was cute~!” Misha said, indicating the illustration of Carolina again.

Hanako would’ve said the same about any of the characters. They were purposely drawn to be moe, after all. That was just the one that happened to be on the cover, since it was the protagonist. She had never thought Misha might assign the statement this degree of significance. Misha’s wording also made her wonder if Misha didn’t consider herself cute before changing her style…

“W-well… I like it. It’s good on you,” Hanako said. Her left hand twitched for a moment as she considered, then it reached hesitantly up to Misha’s face. Misha blushed and stood still as the hand approached, seeming unsure of what to say for once… Hanako took the tip of one drill between thumb and forefinger, then pulled it down and released it so that it bounced back up like a spring, just as she’d seen Misha do.

“B-boing!” Hanako said.

“Aha… ahaha! Wahahaha~! Boing, boing~!” Misha said, bouncing both drills together to follow up. “It’s fun, isn’t it~?”

“Mmhmm.”

“You know, Hacchan…”

“Hm?”

“…you should make up your hair like this! Then we can be drill sisters! Wahaha~!”

“I-I don’t think I could do that…”

“Come on, you’d be sooo~ cute! I’d sit you down and do it just like mine. Pink and purple—It’d be great~!”

Misha took a lock of Hanako’s long hair in her hand and twirled it rapidly around one finger, doing her best to make it resemble her own spirals.

“A-ah…”

She released the hair from her hold, causing it to unfurl in a circular motion.

“Whoosh! Just like that! Wahaha~!”

Hanako smiled, stroking the lock instinctively once Misha withdrew her hand. Misha went ahead and pulled out the whole set of MIX-C light novels, carrying them like a stack of pancakes back to the beanbags. At least she wouldn’t lack for more reading material this time around, Hanako thought.

“So what are you reading, Hacchan?” Misha asked as they sat back down.

“Oh, umm… you might not like it very much…” Hanako said, clutching the book a bit tighter.

“Awww… but you’re reading it. I wanna see~!”

“A-alright…”

Hanako held the book out tentatively, displaying an illustration of a skeletal figure clad in a scarlet robe on the cover.

“Oooo, spooky~! ‘The Mas… kew? of the Red Death,’” Misha said.

“’The Masque of the Red Death,’ yes,” Hanako clarified. “I-it’s a horror story…”

“Really? I thought it might be a love story,” Misha said.

Hanako had no idea how to respond to that. She looked pretty serious… yet Misha’s poker face only lasted a few seconds before breaking back into her typical laughter, the infectious sound drawing a giggle from Hanako as well.

“Wahaha~! Got you, Hacchan~! Shicchan always teases me that way. What’s it about?”

“Umm… a long time ago, there is a pl-plague, the Red D-death… the noble men and women are hiding from it in an abbey, eating a feast while the people outside d-die…”

“Hmmm. You always read such sad things, Hacchan!”

This was only the second book Misha had known her to read… but it was true that she’d been on a bit of a horror binge lately. Edgar Allan Poe’s stories were fascinating, not just for the stories themselves, but also because of how different the writing style itself was compared to contemporary literature. It was much more formal with a lot of strange words, yet the strangeness of it helped lend an otherworldly quality to the story, something that Hanako found stimulated her imagination while reading.

“W-well… I have to balance you out,” Hanako said. “Yours are very b-bubbly and light-hearted.”

“Hey, that’s right. If it lets me read happy stuff, I guess you can keep reading sad stuff. That works out~! Alright~!”

Taking the top book from her stack of light novels, Misha proceeded to open it in her lap and dive right in, saying nothing further. Hanako waited a moment to confirm that they were indeed reading now before following suit. Misha’s zero-hesitance approach made this type of abrupt transition feel natural, or at least less awkward than it would with anyone else. Hanako didn’t have to worry that her companion had gone quiet because she had said or done something wrong… that wasn’t how Misha operated.

They read quietly for some time, “quietly” being relative to Misha’s presence. She only chimed in with the occasional comment or burst of humming, mostly just being there next to Hanako. Still, compared to her normal behavior, it was surprising how calm she could be when she wanted to. The sun made its way across the sky; time seemed to pass faster somehow. “The Masque of the Red Death” was only a short story but Hanako had plenty more lined up which she periodically switched between. The next thing she knew, the day was well into the afternoon, perhaps getting close to evening.

“Umm, M-misha…”

Hanako got up and closed her book, placing it on top of a couple others she had ready to check out.

“I-I have to go now… I have homework,” she said. “B-but… I’m really glad you came to see me today.”

“Me too, Hacchan! Me too~! I’m sorry it took me so long! Did I surprise you~?”

“Y-yes… you didn’t send me any notes that you were coming.”

“Waha~, sorry about that! I had to beg Shicchan to get today off from council stuff. You said you have homework—that’s what I’m supposed to be doing right now! Ahahaha~!”

“…D-does that mean she doesn’t… doesn’t know you’re here?”

“Nope~! I just said I had to catch up on my reading.”

Misha thumped her stack of light novels.

“I did do a lot of that! Wahaha~!”

That was… slightly troubling. Hanako wondered if Misha considered that a lie or not. It could just be a harmless joke to Shizune, though. She really had no idea what their relationship was like behind the language barrier that separated Shizune from everyone else. Misha put a hand on her shoulder and leaned in closer, lowering her volume back down to her whisper from earlier.

“Don’t tell Shicchan, okay?”

This was more worrisome yet. Misha was still all smiles, though. Hanako realized that it didn’t really matter to her whether it was a joke or not; she wanted to spend more time with Misha like this.

“…O-okay. It’ll be our s-secret, Misha!”

“Wahaha~! Yes, yes~! Our secret spot—I always wanted one!” Misha said, taking Hanako’s hands and flailing them around a bit. “I’ll come back again, Hana-chan. Sooner this time~!”

“Mmhm!” Hanako replied with a smile.

Today, Sundays were good.

Chapter 9 | Chapter 11
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:52 pm, edited 4 times in total.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:41 pm

Chapter 11: Deflection

Hanako sat with Lilly in their designated tea room, occupying the tableside which left her good side facing the sun. The scarred side of her face was more sensitive to temperature so direct summer sunlight could be uncomfortable for it. Lilly took a slow sip from her cup, pinky extended; Hanako mirrored it almost perfectly as she took her own sip, a little game she liked to play at times like this.

“Your mysterious transfer student arrived today?” Lilly asked.

“Yes,” Hanako answered.

“Well?”

“Umm… he’s… a b-boy.”

Lilly giggled.

“I know that, Hanako. Do you know anything else about him?”

“N-no, I mean… he didn’t even introduce himself, the teacher did it. So he’s just a boy… I really don’t know any more…”

“Ah, so he truly is mysterious, then. Then it’s too much to hope that you spoke with him?”

Lilly knew the answer but she had to ask anyways. One thing Hanako had learned about Lilly was that she was actually fairly nosy, in her own way. She liked to find out things about everyone if she could. It was one of the things that had caused her to clash with Shizune, who used to worry that Lilly was talking about her behind her back. Unfortunately, her worries hadn’t been entirely unfounded… but Lilly’s Student Council drama was all in the past now.

As if in response to that specific thought, the door to the room swung open forcefully.

“Guess who~!”

Hanako and Lilly both jumped at the sudden intrusion, not only due to its volume but also due to the rarity of anyone intruding on their little corner of the school. Hanako managed to keep herself from yelping, though, for which she was grateful. She didn’t want Lilly scolding Misha for scaring her again.

“Hello, Misha. What are you doing here?” Lilly asked cautiously. She was probably trying to figure out where Shizune was.

“Wow, good job Lilly. You’ve gotten better~! Me and Shicchan just showed the newbie where the nurse’s office is. Then I passed by here, so I thought I’d check out the Tea Club! Wahaha~!”

Hanako was pretty sure that the nurse’s office was nowhere near here… Shizune was nowhere in sight, either. She might as well help Lilly out on that count, plus, she herself was curious.

“H-hi, Misha. Where’s the president?”

“Oh, Shicchan’s very busy, very very~!” Misha deflected. “So~! What are you guys doing?”

“We’re drinking tea,” Lilly said dryly.

“Really~? Do you have any cakes?”

Lilly furrowed her brow in confusion.

“Why would we have cakes, Misha?” she asked.

“Well, isn’t that what they say in England? ‘Tea and cake?’ You can’t have one without the other! Wahaha~!”

“I’m afraid we can, Misha. I’m not English, either. I’m part Scottish,” Lilly corrected her.

While Lilly seemed frustrated, Hanako just giggled at Misha’s antics.

“W-would you like to join us, Misha?”

“Sure, sure~!” Misha said, pulling up a chair for herself.

Lilly sighed. Hanako knew what she was about to ask—she had to ask, now that Misha had been seated.

“Would you—” Lilly began.

“W-would you like some tea?” Hanako asked at the same time, seeing a small smile from Lilly in thanks.

“Gee, thanks Hacchan~! Too bad about the cakes… what were you guys talking about, hm~?” Misha asked as Hanako fetched her tea.

“Our mysterious new arrival, Misha. What was his name, Hanako?” Lilly asked.

“H-hisao.”

“Yep, yep. That’s him~!”

“You said you just took him to the nurse’s office… would you happen to know of his condition?” Lilly asked.

“He looked kinda sad… he wasn’t much fun at lunch, either. He actually asked us about Shicchan’s hearing! I don’t think she liked that very much.”

Lilly frowned at this total miss of her intentions.

“S-so you don’t know what’s wr-wrong with him?” Hanako asked for her.

“Hm~? No, Hacchan, I don’t. He got to sit with a pair of cute girls like me and Shicchan! There’s no reason he should be sad at all~!”

Of course. At this rate they’d have to track Hisao down themselves to get any sort of proper answer.

“Maybe there’s a reason that’s… more physical?” Lilly suggested.

“More physical? A reason why he’d be sad around cute girls?” Misha thought aloud. Suddenly she gasped in realization.

“Oh, Lilly! Oh no! You don’t think…”

Misha blushed and her voice dropped in volume.

“…you don’t think there’s a problem in his pants, do you?” she asked.

Now it was Lilly’s turn to blush, being caught entirely off guard by this very plausible suggestion. At least they were getting warmer. Hanako had to fight to stifle another giggle.

“H-have you tried your tea yet, Misha?” Lilly asked, now seeking to change tacks.

“Oh! Nope, nope. Whoops~!”

Misha took the small cup in both hands and raised it quickly, looking for a moment like she was ready to pour it all down her throat in one gulp… but she stopped before going through with it, something seeming to click in her head. She set the teacup down and picked it back up using only one hand, fingers hooked carefully around the handle with pinky extended as she took a small, dainty sip. It was actually quite ladylike, Hanako thought.

“Did I do it right~?” Misha asked.

“Mmhm!” Hanako approved. “You used your pinky, and e-everything!” she added for Lilly’s benefit.

Lilly chuckled.

“That’s very considerate, Misha, but there isn’t necessarily a ‘right’ way to drink tea,” she explained.

“There isn’t? So you mean I could use other fingers?” Misha said. “How about… this~!”

She raised the cup for another sip, this time sticking her middle finger out by itself. Thanks to the angle of their seating it was aimed directly at Lilly. Hanako laughed at a volume that surprised even herself. Lilly, unable to see what was so funny, looked somewhat uncomfortable.

“What is it?” Lilly asked.

“Aww, was I that bad? Sorry, I’ll go back to the pinky…” Misha said.

“N-n-no, n-no!” Hanako insisted, squeezing Misha’s upper arm to reassure her. “N-not that! Th-that, uhh, with your m-middle finger… it’s a very r-rude thing in western countries,” she explained, having run across a few instances of it in fiction.

“It is? Hmm~, what does it mean?” Misha asked.

“Err…j-just, you probably shouldn’t do it… use your other fingers,” Hanako said.

“What, what~? I want to know, Hacchan!” Misha said, leaning over and rapping her lightly on top of the head. “Come on, let it out of there! Remember the rule—now you have to say it!” Misha insisted.

“N-no, it’s too e-embar-r-rassing…”

“Waha, Hacchan, you’re blushing so much~! Ahaha~!”

Misha stood up and put one arm around Hanako’s shoulders while giving her a playful noogie with the other, drills bouncing with her laughter.

“A-ahh! I’ll never tell, M-misha… you’ll have to do b-better!” Hanako said, clutching her blouse defensively. Her blush remained but now it was joined by a slight smile.

“You’ll never tell never ever ever never, hm~, Hacchan? We’ll see, we’ll see! Wahaha~!”

“Goodness, Misha, what are you doing to her?”

The epic struggle for the truth of the middle finger came to an abrupt end as the door suddenly opened again, just as forcefully as before. There was no boisterous greeting to accompany it this time. Shizune managed to have as much presence as Misha without any need of a voice. She stood in the doorway with feet planted wide and hands on her hips; Hanako wondered briefly whether Misha had gotten that stance from her.

Shizune glowered at Misha and Hanako who had both frozen mid-horseplay. A moment passed in silence, broken only by a nervous chuckle from Misha. Hanako immediately thought of a scowling mother who had caught her daughter staying out past bedtime.

“Oh, h-hi there, Shicchan!” Misha said awkwardly.

Then the signing started, coming fast and furious in a blur of limbs and digits. Even Misha looked hard-pressed to keep up with it.

“Oh dear…” Lilly said, realizing who had arrived.

“Shicchan, I was gonna come right back, I—yes, yes, I did say I was getting a drink… look, look~! Here’s the drinks~!” Misha said, making a dramatic flourish towards the tea cups.

Shizune did not look pleased.

“No no, I didn’t mean to slack… look, Shicchan, I… no, she wouldn’t—err!”

Misha’s last line cut short as Shizune made a few signs that were clearly aimed at Lilly.

“…Shicchan wants to know if you put me up to this, class rep,” Misha clarified, giving Lilly an apologetic look which the latter could most likely hear in the defeated tone of her voice.

“Does she?” Lilly said, a cold edge to her voice. “You may tell her that I’d like to know why it’s her business. Perhaps she is afraid that her pet has finally tired of her leash?” she continued, taking a measured sip of her tea to punctuate the retort.

“L-lilly!” Hanako interjected. “D-don’t!”

This was going to go nowhere good, really fast. Too late… Misha had already translated the venomous words, not even realizing their meaning until afterwards, if at all. Shizune looked furious.

“It is absolutely the business of the Student Council if you are trying to sabotage it, class rep! It is nothing short of shameful to distract council members and waste their time when festival preparations are at their height!” Misha translated, actually managing to sound somewhat angry herself. Hanako wondered if that was her channeling Shizune or her own displeasure at being called Shizune’s pet.

“I suppose you couldn’t convince that transfer student to join after all? What a shame. I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t want to chain himself to our well-tempered council president,” Lilly shot back.

Shizune reddened a bit at this, seeming to wither back from its sting. Her retreat lasted only a moment before she returned fire.

“Speaking of the festival, where’s your budget request, class rep? I told you to have it in on Friday, but it’s nowhere to be seen,” Misha said, probably missing the purposeful use of the word “see,” but Lilly and Hanako didn’t. “Still late on everything, even after you quit. Disgraceful!”

Misha crossed her arms and narrowed her own eyebrows at Lilly, looking about as angry as it was possible for her to—which wasn’t much, but still. Hanako didn’t know if she was being this way to try and make up to Shizune for slacking off in here or what, but she showed no signs of stepping in and stopping this. Hanako couldn’t take much more of it. Their voices felt like nails being hammered into her head… she tried to make her shoulders stop shaking. The effort only made them shake harder.

“I’m afraid the deadline will have to be extended. Several students in my class have fallen ill… it can’t be helped,” Lilly said. “Perhaps the stress of such frequent demands has taken a toll on their health.”

This couldn’t go on.

“You don’t get to decide the deadlines! That’s a sub… sub-ver-shun?… of proper council auth—”

“St-stop!” Hanako shouted, heaving slightly as she shot up out of her seat. Her lips trembled as she looked right at Shizune. “I-i-it was m-me! I-I did it…” she said, voice quickly lowering back down to her usual quiet tone.

The other three girls all paused and looked at her, momentarily shocked.

“…What do you mean, Hacchan?” Misha finally asked.

“T-tell her, s-say… I-I asked you to h-hang out, with us… not L-lilly. L-leave her al-alone…”

“But—”

Misha clearly wanted to protest but she had signed the words even as Hanako spoke them, her hands moving on auto-pilot.

“Hanako, don’t—” Lilly started.

“I-I’m sorry!” Hanako continued, raising her volume again as she cut over Lilly’s protest. “I-I didn’t kn-know, that it was… th-that it was such a pr-problem!”

Her shoulders and her voice were both shaking. In spite of that, her one visible eye didn’t look away from Shizune’s as she spoke. The council president crossed her arms for a moment, face inscrutable as she thought this through. Her previous anger had subsided although her expression remained stern.

“…Shicchan says it’s okay, but~! Now there’s been a lot of hassle and fuss! How will you make up for it?… Aww, Shicchan, don’t get onto Hacchan like that!”

“N-no!” Hanako replied stubbornly. “I-it’s okay… I-I’ll make up f-for it. I-I’ll… I’ll help you. L-like I did before. R-remember?”

Shizune’s eyes showed her comprehension of the reply as Misha signed it.

“Shicchan says, okay, but no running away this time~!”

It took some effort not to wince visibly at that. Hanako was glad that Shizune couldn’t hear the quaver in her voice.

“I-I won’t! I swear!”

While Lilly looked quite unpleased with this proposal, Misha gave Hanako an encouraging smile. The switch in focus from Lilly to Hanako seemed to return her to her standard upbeat attitude.

“…Pinky swear?” Misha asked her, extending the appropriate finger.

Hanako looked at it for a moment before smiling back at Misha, feeling some of the anxiety recede.

“P-pinky swear!” she replied as they “shook” on it.

Shizune looked satisfied with this resolution to the incident. Her expression couldn’t be called happy but at least she and Lilly weren’t clawing at each other anymore. The latter remained silent, her lips pursed tightly and her fingers gripping at her empty tea cup. Apparently she had decided to just wait for the situation to end. Shizune was more than happy to make that happen.

“Shicchan says, she’ll extend that deadline for you, since your friend is sooo~ responsible and understanding. But you better have it in by Friday, class rep! Or else! Wahaha~! Hacchan, we’ll find you for council stuff tomorrow. So be ready, Freddy~!”

It was utterly astonishing to Hanako how Misha could still manage to be so light-hearted while effectively issuing a threat. She probably got used to it translating for Shizune. They made another few signs just to each other and then Shizune stepped out, disappearing back into the hallway. The moment she was gone Misha’s mask of smiles and laughter dropped to an apologetic frown. She dashed back in to the table for a moment, whispering even though there was no chance that Shizune would overhear them.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, sorry~! I just wanted to visit… I didn’t know she would follow me~! Hacchan, you didn’t have to do that!”

Hanako gave her a brave smile. Part of her already regretted this decision. The other part of her wouldn’t let her back down or stop. It was like Misha’s rule about saying things: now she had to do it, even if it was uncomfortable. Besides, she had worked with Shizune once before and it really had gone pretty well up until the end. This time she had made up her own mind to do it instead of being randomly pulled in by Misha. She could do at least this much, couldn’t she?

“I-it’s okay, Misha. I said I wanted to help… on S-Saturday, remember? It’s no pr-problem!”

Misha leaned forward and gave her a brief hug. Hanako was struck by the strawberry scent of Misha’s hair, feeling the thick consistency her hair products gave it as a drill brushed against her cheek.

“Mmm! Thanks, Hacchan~! You’re too nice to me… we’ll make it fun~!”

Then she was gone, following Shizune out in a whirl of bouncing curls. Hanako let out a long exhale like a deflating balloon, feeling the immediate tension dissipating from her mind. Now there would just be the slow burn of anticipatory anxiety as Hanako waited for tomorrow afternoon. She slumped back down in her chair and stared into the dregs of her tea, feeling tired more than anything. Lilly sat across from her in silence for a moment before speaking up.

“…Hanako, I know you wanted to help me, but you didn’t have to do that. I can handle Shizune. You don’t have to trouble yourself doing work for her. If you let me—”

Hanako put a hand on Lilly’s arm to stop her.

“I-I’m doing it. Okay?”

Lilly frowned. She clearly did not think this was a good idea and that wasn’t going to change. Hanako couldn’t entirely disagree with her assessment. That didn’t matter.

“…Okay,” Lilly said.

“Th-thanks.”

There wasn’t much left to say after that. They packed away the tea set, went through a bit more routine small talk as they walked back to the dorm, then turned in for the night. No doubt Misha and Shizune were still in the council room doing whatever it was Shizune always had them doing in there. Hanako laid down on her bed and looked up at the ceiling, feeling too anxious to sleep just yet. This made two days in a row Misha had suddenly appeared in her life, apparently seeking her out specifically. She hadn’t really thought anything of it until Shizune’s appearance showed that Misha was even slacking on council duties to hang out with her and Lilly.

The thought of someone that actually wanted to spend time with her was so weird to Hanako that it just didn’t sit right in her head, yet she found herself smiling at it anyways. Would she have to worry that Shizune was right around the corner every time she saw Misha, though? That thought caused her smile to fade right away. The anxiety started to rise back up and Hanako reached for her Edgar Allan Poe book, deciding to scare herself to sleep if at all possible.

Chapter 10 | Chapter 12
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:52 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:59 am

Scare herself to sleep :lol:

Until this chapter I was under the impression that this was set one year prior to the events of the LN. Most of the events you've covered - as far as they also appear in canon - happened at least several months before Hisao came to Yamaku.

It still kind of works this way, but it threw me off quite a bit reading about Hisao's arrival here. That was something I did not expect.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:16 pm

Yeah, there's a big time skip between Act I and Act II. A big one. Maybe I should have made that more clear.
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:01 pm

Hmm. It really doesn't feel like a time-skip.
The freindship between Hanako and Misha does not seem to have progressed any since the end of Act I. Indeed from this chapter I'd have assumed they haven't even MET in the meantime...
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.
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:03 pm

Yeah, I intended for a time skip that does not really change anything, my idea being that they indeed don't see much of each other for some time between the end of Act I and start of Act II; I imagine Shizune and Lilly claiming most of the time of the two of them, each being the more dominant personality in those two relationships and mostly wanting to avoid each other, or being very unpleasant when they can't. Trying to see each other despite that is kind of where I am going in this act. It would be safe to assume they might have met a few times in that time but nothing major would have happened.

I had certain beats that I wanted to hit from before the VN as well as around the time of the VN, but I found that making all of the timing line up with the canon is indeed pretty awkward. It may be better to revise that part completely so that there is not as long of a time skip, like I mentioned in the first couple posts (alternate timeline and all that). I left the exact length unspecified to keep this door open. Maybe I'll go back later and specify a time skip of only weeks instead of months.

As for the main pairing's friendship progression, I'll note that the fic isn't only about Misha and Hanako, even if they are my main couple. I had a chapter earlier that was only about Misha and Shizune. But don't worry I am going to level them up, so to speak, in the next couple chapters.
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:49 pm

Well, just keep in mind that in real life, human relationships don't usually get frozen like that for half a year - especially not when both parties are living on the same campus and are part of the same classroom...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:24 pm

I had plenty of friendships like that in high school and college--people who I hung out with once or twice for some reason such as a group project, then didn't see again outside of class for a semester. If you're close friends who have already built up an expectation of regular interpersonal contact, then sure, but I think a holding pattern is actually pretty normal with people outside your inner circle. Regardless, I'll probably edit that aspect of the story when I post the next part.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:31 am

Okay, made some edits where needed and added a note to the first post. There is no longer any significant time skip between Act I and Act II. Considering how few actual changes were needed (most chapters remain untouched, and even in the ones that did, really only a few sentences had to change), I agree that it was an unnecessary aspect of the story. The main thing where this causes the fic to diverge from canon is that Misha's confession to Shizune now takes place only a month or two before Hisao arrives at Yamaku. To be fair, the game does not specify an exact date for this, but Misha does refer to it as "a long time ago." Maybe a month is a long time in Misha-land, or it's another detail she was low-key lying about.

---

Chapter 12: Confrontation

Hanako ignored the occasional stare as she ran down the hall. Was it… here? No, not that way, it was the next intersection…

“Hacchan~!”

That was where she needed to turn to head back to the girls’ dorms…

“Hacchan~!”

The voice cut through the fog over Hanako’s thoughts, bringing her to a sudden stop. It was…

“Hi, hi~!”

Misha beamed at Hanako as she came striding up to her from behind, Shizune in tow. In her panic to escape from the school, Hanako had run right past them without even realizing. Now she stood there like a rabbit caught in a trap, not knowing what to do or say.

“Shicchan says, absolutely no running in the halls, Hacchan. None at all~!” Misha relayed cheerfully.

Hanako stared.

“I know you were eager to find us, but that’s no excuse to break rules~! Wahaha~!… Hacchan?”

“Oh! S-sorry…” she finally managed, her brain slowly regaining function as the anxiety began to recede.

“It’s okay~! Are you ready?”

“Umm…”

That was right—she was supposed to be helping the Student Council get ready for the festival today. Hanako had spent all day worrying about it in the back of her head only to completely forget when it was staring her right in the face. That was par for the course when it came to an anxiety attack. She’d already been a bit on edge all day, even stepping out of class for a while earlier, so Hanako wasn’t ready at all when Hisao came up to her in the library. She had wanted to run straight back to her room and lock herself in… she probably would have done it too, if Misha hadn’t spotted her.

Hanako still wanted to run right back to her room. A year ago she wouldn’t have thought twice, but there had been a lot of therapy sessions between then and now. Hanako closed her eyes for a moment and inhaled deeply, focusing on her breathing… she could handle this… she had agreed to this. Now that it was here, she was going to do it. Maybe it could actually help take her mind off the disastrous encounter she’d just had.

“…umm, y-yeah, I’m ready. L-let’s go,” Hanako said, looking up at Misha.

“Alright~!”

Misha took Hanako’s hand and pulled gently; she followed, wondering that the handhold seemed to last a bit longer than it needed to.

“Sorry we’re a bit late, Hacchan. We got the new kid to play some Risk with us! Good thing he was bad at it—Shicchan beat him pretty fast, wahaha~! She said he was too defensive!”

“Mmmhm,” Hanako acknowledged.

“If we can get him to play again, maybe we’ll invite you! You had fun with it, right, right~?”

“Uhh… y-yes, but…”

“…but? You don’t like Risk anymore, Hacchan?”

“I-it’s not that… I, err… I’d rather not pl-play, with a… b-boy…”

Misha paused for a moment to process this statement.

“Ahaha~! Hacchan, are you shy around boys?”

Hanako looked at Misha, a little embarrassed, and nodded.

“Shicchan says, you should be fine around Hicchan. He’s very passive and doesn’t have a lot of initiative, so you don’t need to be scared of him at all!”

“H-hii-chan?”

Right. Hisao.

“Oh, erm… h-he came up to me just now, in the l-library, and… well, he was st-staring…”

“Staring?” Misha asked blankly.

“Mmhmm. H-he just walked up and i-introduced himself, and, he was j-just… staring, at m-me.”

Misha took another beat to make sense of this before responding. This time she didn’t manage to figure out what Hanako was trying to say-without-actually-saying-it. Hanako wasn’t sure whether she was grateful for that or not.

“Well, of course, Hacchan. You’re a cute girl~! He probably wants to hang out with you! Wahaha~! I never knew you were so popular with boys!”

“I-I’m not…” Hanako said meekly.

It wasn’t just Hisao’s looking at her that bothered Hanako, although that was part of it. But Hisao had been staring at her scars. Almost right at them, she felt like.

“So~? How did it go?”

“Wh-wha?”

“Do you have a hot date with the new guy now, Hacchan~?… Shicchan says, you better not steal him away from us! Wahaha~!”

“Umm… n-no, it didn’t go w-well…”

Misha frowned, only for a moment.

“Don’t worry, Hacchan. Boys are stupid anyways~! Isn’t that right, Shicchan?”

Shizune did not seem amused by this. She was looking at Hanako with a calculating gaze, her eyes slightly narrowed. Shizune was nice enough, as long as she wasn’t around Lilly, but Hanako did not enjoy that analyzing focus… it made her feel like Shizune could see right under her hair and her clothes, could see just how ugly she was underneath. Fortunately, Shizune broke it off by “speaking.” It was easier for Hanako when she could just look at Misha while she translated.

“We all have our differences here, Hana-chan. Yamaku is a place where we are protected and cared for, but it’s not meant to pamper us or make us com-play-sent!” Misha said, getting a bit into character as she relayed Shizune’s small speech. “We live in a society when we graduate and leave here! Everyone else will notice we are different right away and stare at us because of it. We have to figure out how to be okay with that. You can’t let anyone’s stares stop you from living your life, or you’ll stay crippled forever!… Wow, Shicchan, where did that come from?”

Hanako stared down at the tiles. They had stopped walking about halfway through the spiel. Shizune stood with her hands on her hips, clearly expecting some type of response. Hanako wasn’t sure what to say… she didn’t really disagree with anything Shizune said but it had caught her a bit off-guard. And it wasn’t exactly a subject she felt comfortable discussing in detail. She felt a finger poke her in the shoulder and looked up to see Shizune making a few more signs.

“Shicchan says, you have to look at someone when you’re talking to them~!”

“A-ah, sorry…”

“…And~! She says you apologize too much!”

“I-I, I’m sor—I m-mean, err… I’m not sorry?”

Shizune gave her a slight smile of approval.

“Yes, like that~! That’s better, Hacchan.”

Apparently satisfied with the exchange, Shizune started to turn around to continue walking, then stopped herself, frowning sharply at something behind Hanako. Their lengthy stop had given someone time to catch up. Lilly might be slow but Hanako was willing to bet she could hear Misha’s voice from anywhere in the building. She was like a homing turtle, Hanako thought, as she came tapping up towards them.

“Hanako? Misha?” she probed.

“Hi, Lilly~! Hacchan didn’t tell me you were coming!” Misha said.

“I-I’m here, Lilly…” Hanako said.

“Are you okay, Hanako?” Lilly asked, moving towards her voice. Shizune stepped forwards possessively—Lilly couldn’t see it, but she seemed to sense it all the same, pausing and matching Shizune’s frown with one of her own.

“She’s fine, class rep, she’s fine! Isn’t that right, Hacchan~?”

“…y-yes, I’m fine,” Hanako said, although she did not sound very confident of that. She was fine but that might not last very long if Lilly and Shizune got into it.

“Yuuko told me what happened. You don’t need to do this right now,” Lilly said, extending a hand for Hanako to take. “Let’s go back to the dormitory. I’m sure Shizune can manage without your help. She’s a very competent president, after all.”

There it was.

“L-lilly, it’s okay, I—”

Hanako’s words were cut off as Misha voiced Shizune’s response, spurred on by the intensity with which it was given.

“You can’t just interfere in council business like this, class rep. It’s not proper at all!… Wait, Yuuko told… what happened, Hacchan~?” Misha asked, the latter half of her speech seeming to be her own words.

“It isn’t your concern, Misha. Or Shizune’s. You have no right to Hanako’s time if she isn’t feeling well.”

“You aren’t feeling well, Hacchan?”

Misha looked crestfallen. Just in the time they’d taken to have that exchange, Hanako had started to look like it was true. She looked stubbornly down at the floor, shoulders trembling, and refused to respond.

“You should’ve told us, Hacchan~! Of course you don’t have to work with us if you’re feeling down!… Shicchan says, don’t try to make excuses for her! Unlike you, she wants to keep her commitments!”

“Is that what the esteemed president tells herself? Hanako? Where are you, please?”

Lilly held out a hand again. This time Hanako looked up just enough to take it.

“My, you’re shaking… Can't you see that she's upset, Shizune? Asking her to work right now is callous, even for you.”

“Now who’s treating who like a pet?” Misha’s voice shot out, though the words were Shizune’s. “Let Hacchan decide what she wants to do for herself!”

“You don't need to answer that, Hanako. Shall we go?” Lilly asked.

She tugged on Hanako’s hand but found that the scarred girl wouldn’t budge. Not yet. Hanako looked up at Misha, noticing immediately how different Misha’s face was from her voice. She kept up her usual boisterous tone in speaking while her expression was anything but. Misha looked… like she was sad, and she was trying not to show it, but you could still tell. Hanako would know that look anywhere. She had years of experience wearing it.

Misha’s eyes pleaded with her. Hanako realized in a flash that Misha didn’t like this any more than she did. She hated this fighting too. Both of them just wanted it to end.

“…I-I’m sorry, Misha, Sh-shizune… I j-just can’t t-t-today… let me tr-try a d-different day…”

That was all she could manage before looking down again. Shizune’s expression was inscrutable as it went out of her view.

“Hanako, you—” Lilly started.

Hanako cut her off, voice rising in volume.

“Lilly. Please. No more,” she said.

Lilly paused, momentarily taken aback by the sharpness of this interruption, then she nodded. The two pairs of girls parted with ice in the air between them. Misha’s voice carried back as they walked away.

“Don’t forget that budget request, class rep! Goodnight, H-hacchan! Feel better!” Misha said, her voice breaking slightly on Hanako’s name.

Hanako felt a tear roll down her scarred cheek as she kept walking.

“Hanako, I’m sorry she’s been such a bi—”

Lilly stopped herself and cleared her throat.

“I’m sorry you have to deal with Shizune. She is truly inconsiderate at times… most times, it seems. Would you like to talk about what happened in the library?”

Would you like to talk about what happened in the library. Like it was such a traumatic event that a boy came up to her and introduced himself. Hanako hated herself for making it seem true with her behavior. She sniffed back more tears.

“I-I don’t want to talk, Lilly. I want to be alone.”

Lilly understood that, at least.

Chapter 11 | Chapter 13
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:13 am

I had plenty of friendships like that in high school and college--people who I hung out with once or twice for some reason such as a group project, then didn't see again outside of class for a semester.
Sure there are people like that. I've been in the same class with people for years without getting to know them personally. But thoses are just what you said: People you did a group project with, found no common interests with and probably had no interest of getting to know them further.
Now try imagine Misha avoiding Hanako for half a year, maybe thinking "nah, I can't think of anything to talk about with her"...
I personally can't imagine that :-)

As for the current chapter, I feel Lilly is coming across a bit... no, WAY too forceful and insensitive, especially here:
“Don’t answer her, Hanako. We’re going,” Lilly insisted.
I half expected Hanako to have her Misstep-Moment right then and there...
On the other side Hanako's "Homing Turtle" was a bit mean for her... Funny though :-)
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.

Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:21 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:13 am
I had plenty of friendships like that in high school and college--people who I hung out with once or twice for some reason such as a group project, then didn't see again outside of class for a semester.
Sure there are people like that. I've been in the same class with people for years without getting to know them personally. But thoses are just what you said: People you did a group project with, found no common interests with and probably had no interest of getting to know them further.
Now try imagine Misha avoiding Hanako for half a year, maybe thinking "nah, I can't think of anything to talk about with her"...
I personally can't imagine that :-)
That's a good point lol. Since the story is about them, it is a bit strange to have such a skip where there is no advancement in their relationship.
As for the current chapter, I feel Lilly is coming across a bit... no, WAY too forceful and insensitive, especially here:
“Don’t answer her, Hanako. We’re going,” Lilly insisted.
I half expected Hanako to have her Misstep-Moment right then and there...
On the other side Hanako's "Homing Turtle" was a bit mean for her... Funny though :-)
Yeah I made a conscious decision in this fic to address Lilly's possessive side with Hanako, which was hinted at in Misstep. My thought process here is she's extra bitchy due to dealing with Shizune. Maybe I'll go back and change that dialogue to make her more passive aggressive about it like she usually is... do you have any suggestions?
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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