Mirage_GSM wrote: ↑
Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:06 pm
“Please comfort me, Hacchan. Just for tonight.”
I see what you did there...
I thought about trying to set it up more properly but then I just figured, at the end of the day, a meme is a meme. We all know what "comfort" means in this context ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
I just skimmed over it, but from what I've seen I'd say it was a bit too long.
It'll probably be the longest one due to it being Hanako's first time. I was more concerned to avoid it coming off as too quick and casual for such an important experience to her. As always, the things I fret over when writing never end up being the issues that others see. Future ones will be shorter.... maybe.... no promises <.<
If he was qualified as a psychological counsellor, that would be his main job...
Shhhh. I just wanted an excuse for it to be him instead of some nameless psychologist >.>
Chapter 29: Expedition
Hanako awoke on Saturday to a note under her door.
Come meet me by the gate after class, Hacchan. We’ll have fun fun fun today!
It was a bit weird to ask this way when they were in the same class together, but maybe Misha thought it was cute or something. Hanako was just glad to have her attention. She spent most of class trying not to look too much at Misha, who was still translating dutifully for Shizune. Her attempts only halfway succeeded. Luckily, between her hair-curtain and her position in the back row, the other students probably didn’t notice her wandering eye.
Misha stayed to talk with Shizune a bit after class. Normally Hanako would sit and read, or go to the tea room for lunch, but today there was that note. Wouldn’t it be more natural to just wait for Misha and walk out together? Now that she thought about it, the note was worded like Misha assumed that they would go to the gate separately… then it struck her. Hanako felt silly that she hadn’t considered it herself. If they started walking around together everywhere, people would definitely talk, if they weren’t already. She had
asked Misha not to tell anyone, even if a few had already found out anyways…
So Hanako packed her things, got up, and walked to the front gate by herself. Misha wasn’t too far behind her, showing up after three or four minutes.
“Hacchan~! Hi, hi~!”
Misha rushed up, arms outstretched for a hug, but managed to stop herself short, her arms smacking audibly back down to her sides. Hanako tried not to giggle, thinking how Misha’s sudden unnatural posture made her resemble a soldier who’d been ordered to stand at attention.
“Sorry, Hacchan~! Umm…”
Misha leaned in and whispered (or tried to).
“…is it okay to hug, out here? I made sure for us to come apart, you know, because…”
“I-I know, Misha.”
Hanako smiled at her and gave her a brief hug.
“Y-you hug everyone anyways.”
“Wahaha~! That’s true, Hacchan, I do~!”
Hanako looked around them.
“…what are we doing, Misha?”
“We’re going on a date, of course~! Whoops~!” Misha exclaimed, covering her mouth right afterwards.
“Ahh!” Hanako yelped, wincing visibly at the word “date.”
“Sorry, Hacchan~!” Misha said, switching back to a “whisper.”
There was that habit of blurting things out again. Misha had been surprisingly considerate with the note and everything, but her volume and personality still betrayed her. A nearby group of students had looked over curiously at her enthusiastic declaration of the date. Hanako didn’t recognize them, so they were probably first years that didn’t know or care about her anyways, but still…
“A-alright, Misha… let’s just g-go, then. Into town?” Hanako asked, reasoning that there was not really anywhere else to go for a date around here.
“Yeah, Hacchan, yeah~! That’s what I was thinking, too~! How’d you know?”
“I don’t know, I’m… I-I’m very sneaky, I guess,” Hanako said.
They stayed quiet for a moment, until they’d made it a bit further away from the school gate and the students who tended to gather there on Saturdays. There were other groups going to town both ahead and behind them, but the spacing was enough that no one should be in earshot. Probably… you could never be sure with Misha, Hanako thought.
“So, d-does this m-mean, we’re… th-that we’re…”
“Getting parfaits? For sure~!”
“N-n-no! I m-mean, we can do that, b-but… does this mean we’re d-d-dating?”
Misha stopped for a moment and blinked. She opened her mouth to respond but caught herself, pausing and putting a finger on her chin to think for a moment, then spoke up after considering the question.
“I don’t know, Hacchan. I guess I just thought… well, with, you know… what we did this week,” Misha said, blushing a bit as she thought through their situation, “that’s stuff that usually… people who are dating do. But if you don’t—”
“N-no! I do!” Hanako cut her off, grabbing one of Misha’s hands in her own for emphasis.
“I-I mean, yes! I think… I’m very happy to be d-dating you, Misha.”
“Awww~! Me too, Hacchan. Me too~!”
Misha leaned in for a kiss, once again managing to stop herself halfway with a jolt of realization. A small group of second years on their way to town had nearly caught up to them while they had stopped to talk about this, giving their joined hands a few curious glances.
“Eep!” Hanako squeaked, covering her face and blushing. Feeling a rush of anxiety at the sudden and unexpected attention, she retreated off the road a bit, looking firmly at the ground until the second years had passed them and gone on a ways. Misha stood by her side, scratching her head and trying not to look too awkward. The other students had lost interest almost right after Hanako noticed them, going back to whatever they had been talking about before encountering the couple, but…
“Hacchan… are you alright? Maybe… maybe this wasn’t my greatest idea, huh~? I’m sorry, Hacchan. We can go back if you want…”
“N-n-no!” Hanako said stubbornly. “I-I’m, I’m not…”
She clenched her fists, feeling a surge of anger, then closed her eyes and took a couple of deep breaths. It wouldn’t help anything to start yelling at Misha over this. Misha was trying to take her out and do things with her… to take her on a little adventure of their own, exactly like Hanako had always dreamed about on those lonely days spent sitting alone in the library. She was the one that was acting weird and getting in the way. It was definitely tempting to flee from the situation and hide back in the dorms, but if Hanako did that, she wouldn’t just be letting herself down. She’d be letting Misha down, too.
She couldn’t do that.
Misha reached out for her hand, yet again stopping midway. Hanako raised her own hand and took it, holding on firmly.
“I-I don’t think… it’s going to be too h-hard to go out with you, and not… not h-have anyone know about it. It’s… it’s j-just who you are. So…”
Misha’s face fell.
“Okay, Hacchan~. We can—”
Hanako squeezed her hand to cut her off.
“…so let’s just g-go,” she said, looking up at Misha with her brow furrowed in determination. “I don’t care who sees us. That was d-d-dumb of me. If everybody knows how I feel about you… it’s fine. I don’t c-c-care!” she finished, channeling a bit of lingering anger into a forceful kiss to punctuate the decision.
“Of course I’ll go on a d-date with you, Misha.”
“…Thanks, Hacchan~. I’m really looking forward to it! So~!”
Misha danced back towards the road in a twirling motion.
“Where should we go, Hacchan, hm~? Somewhere with parfaits, I hope~!” she said, leaning forward and holding a forefinger up to emphasize her point.
“I-I think I know somewhere.”
“Hi~, Yucchan, hi!”
“Hi Misha! I mean! Welcome to the Shanghai, may I take your order!”
Yuuko’s head dipped below their waists, the force of her bow causing Hanako to jump back away from it lest she get headbutted right in the chest. Misha brought a hand down on her shoulder, probably a little harder than necessary.
The impact might have knocked Yuuko right down onto the floor if Misha hadn’t also taken hold of her with it. She pulled Yuuko back up to a standing position.
“Wahaha~! You don’t have to do that, Yucchan! You know us!”
“Y-yes, but it’s part of my job. I have to show respect to all the customers, no matter who it is!”
“If you say so. If you say~! Where should we sit!”
“Ohmigosh! I’m so sorry, I haven’t even cleared a table off for you yet!”
“That’s okay~! Anywhere is fine!”
“No, it’s not fine! I should’ve been cleaning all these tables, making sure I had more ready for new customers! Please forgive me!”
“You shouldn’t say sorry all the time, Yucchan. Shicchan always says, you should only apologize when it’s important!”
“Ahhh, you’re right! I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”
“See~! You’re still doing it! Wahaha~! That’s a bad habit, Yucchan!”
“Oh! I didn’t realize—what I mean is, I’m sorry that I was sorry! But—that means I’m still sorry, doesn’t it? Ahhh!”
“M-M-Misha!” Hanako blurted out, putting a hand on her girlfriend’s shoulder and giving Yuuko an apologetic look of her own. “C-cut it out…”
“Cut what out, Hacchan~?”
“Y-Yuuko, how about… there?” Hanako said, pointing to a table for two in a corner of the establishment.
“Yes, yes, that’s right! That’s fine! Go ahead and sit down, I’ll be right with you!”
Hanako took a seat across from Misha, inspecting the table warily. It looked perfectly well and clean to her… Yuuko’s idea of what “cleaning the tables” meant was probably something way off base, though. She wasn’t kidding when she said she’d be right with them, either; she retrieved their menus and scurried back with frightening speed, nearly tripping over a chair on her way.
“Here you are! Your menus! I, ah, I brought three…”
“Three~? Are you eating with us, Yucchan?”
“N-no! That would be completely unacceptable! I just thought, in case, well… Shizune might be coming?”
“Shicchan? Aha~, I guess this is the first time I’ve been here without her, isn’t it? No, Yucchan, Shicchan is…”
Misha looked down at the table, seeming a bit flustered.
“Sh-Shicchan isn’t coming today, Yuuko,” Hanako said.
“Oh! Okay then, no problem, no problem! I’ll just… put this here… and… so! I’ll be back in a few—”
“Wait, Yucchan! I know what I want! I wanna order~!”
“What?! Alright, Misha!”
Yuuko fumbled around for a notepad to take down the order, then looked back up at Misha.
“I want a pink strawberry drill parfait!”
“A… a what?”
Hanako suppressed a laugh.
“M-Misha… did you even look at the m-menu?”
“Oh, is it on the menu?” Misha asked, betraying not a hint of irony.
“Umm, I don’t think so…” Yuuko said. “I don’t know what that is, so I don’t think we have it here…”
“That’s right, Yucchan. It isn’t~ on the menu! That’s why I’m telling you about it!”
“Well, we do have a couple options with strawberries in them! Would you like to see them?”
“No, Yucchan, that’s no good~! It has to be cute, pink~, strawberry yogurt! Then you do it in circles, in a cone, so it makes a drill shape, see~?” Misha explained, twirling a finger in the air to demonstrate. “If you do it right, then it should look like… this~! Boing~! Wahaha~!” she continued, bouncing a drill to emphasize her point.
“Uhh… I’m sorry, Misha, but… I just don’t know if I can do that! I don’t think we have any pink yogurt…”
“Awwwww~! Who makes the parfaits, anyway? I’ll bring them a picture next time!”
“Well… A lot of times I make them…”
“Y-you do? Aren’t you just a w-waitress?” Hanako asked.
“Yes, but! We’re short staffed, because the café doesn’t make very much money, so the manager had me pick up some extra duties! It’s really not fair because he didn’t increase my pay at all, and—oh no! I’m not supposed to talk to customers about things like that! Please act like you didn’t hear anything!”
“Wahahaha~! You’re goofy today, Yucchan!”
Hanako sighed. They were never going to get any food at this rate.
“M-Misha… let’s just order something n-normal, okay?”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t fulfill your order, Misha! Let me know if there’s anything—”
“U-u-u-umm!” Hanako stuttered, using the tic to interrupt Yuuko before she could encourage any more nonsense from Misha. “I-I-I’ll have this!” she declared, aiming for the first parfait her finger fell on.
“Hmm~, what should I get?”
“Maybe we can share?”
“Aha~! That’s a great idea, Hacchan. It’s on me~! We’ll have that one, Yucchan!”
“Alright! Great! Thanks! I mean, you’re welcome! It’ll be out soon!”
“Wahaha~! Yucchan should really try taking it easy some time!” Misha said as she scuttled away into the kitchen.
Hanako looked around the café, taking note of how few the other customers were. It really was a mystery how this place stayed in business, she thought.
“Yeah, especially because there’s not even that many p-people… but…”
“…y-you’re not making it easy for her, Misha. You were really m-messing with her!”
“Wha?! Was not~! Shicchan might like to do stuff like that, but she’s not here today, and I’m not like that. Not at all~, not even a little bit~!”
Hanako rested her head on her chin, her eyes drooping a bit as she gave up on trying to convince Misha of this.
“I guess… umm, I noticed you called her… Y-Yucchan…”
“So~? That’s her name. Yucchan~! It’s cute!”
“Yeah, but… when I talked to you one day before, you said she doesn’t get a n-nickname. Because she’s not a student like us.”
Misha raised her eyebrows quizzically, then put a finger to her chin and stared up at the ceiling, genuinely thinking about this.
“Huh. Maybe, Hacchan, maybe~! But~! Today, she seems like a Yucchan, so~! That is her name! Wahaha~!”
Hanako smiled, realizing how much she had missed this side of Misha over the past week. It had been a bit of a journey, with one emotional moment after another, ever since… that night, the festival. It felt a bit crazy to think that not even a full week had passed yet, with how much had happened. It was nice to have a day that they could just goof off like this again, Hanako thought. It was like those times they spent in the library together, except this time, they were going somewhere Misha liked to go.
“Alright, Misha. Does that mean there’s a day, when… you seem like a M-Micchan?”
Misha crossed her arms and frowned.
“No, Hacchan~! No Micchan! I’m Misha… always Misha~!”
“Why you—I already have Emi-chan doing that, you better not do it too, you better not~! I’ll make you pay for your part of the parfait!”
“That’s okay, I’ll pay for it anyway. Y-You don’t have to.”
“But I want to, Hacchan. We’re on a date~! That’s how dates work! One person pays for the food of the other person, to show that they care for them. Right, right~?”
“I guess that’s right…”
Hanako left it unsaid that usually the man was expected to pay for the woman. Did this make Misha the man in their relationship? It would be a funny thing to ask, but she didn’t quite feel up to such an awkward joke right now.
“Say, what are we getting, anyways~, Hacchan?”
“Hm? You didn’t l-look at what I ordered?”
“Nah. I just know it was a parfait! So~! It’s good!”
“M-Misha! What if it’s something you don’t l-like?”
Hanako realized that she had no idea which one she pointed to either, having been in a rush at the moment. No need to bring that detail up.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Hacchan. I like all~ parfaits. Wahaha~!”
“Well, that makes sense…”
“Sure it does! I like to eat all sorts of delicious things, Hacchan. Alllll~ sorts!” Misha exclaimed, holding her arms out as wide as they would go to show how many that was.
“S-so you can eat th-this~ many parfaits, Misha?” Hanako repeated, matching the wide spread of her arms.
“Wahahaha~! That’s right, Hacchan, just like that! I have a whole quest, you know. I do~!”
“A qu-quest? Ehaha… like an anime h-hero?”
“No, Hacchan, not like that at all! I’m not interested in punching or any other dumb boy stuff. My quest is way better! I want to find the biggest~, best~, most fanciest parfait that there is! And eat it allllll up!”
“Hacchan! Don’t make fun of my dream~!”
“Aha, M-Misha, it’s just, ha… I’m s-sure you’ll find the perfect p-parfait. One day!”
“That’s right. One day~!”
“But, if you have a quest, then… you are a h-hero, Misha. Maybe not like in m-manga, but…”
“Having a quest makes me a hero, hm~? Then—I’m a parfait hero!” Misha declared, holding a sideways V symbol near her face in an idol pose.
“D-does that make me the parfait v-villain?”
“Hm~. I guess it does, Hacchan! You did~ say you’re a villain before, didn’t you? You better not come between me and my parfait, or else I’ll have to punish you very severely, yes I will~!”
“Oh n-n-no… anything but th-that…” Hanako said sarcastically, playing up fear of being “punished” by Misha.
“You didn’t change your mind, did you?” Yuuko said, arriving at the tail end of this exchange and only catching the part about Hanako potentially coming between Misha and the parfait. “If it’s not to your liking, I can try making another…”
“Not at all, Yucchan~! Hacchan’s just being naughty, that’s all~! We’ll definitely still eat this!”
“W-w-was not!” Hanako protested.
“Mmmm, mmm! It looks sooo~ good! Thanks Yucchan, thanks!”
“You’re welcome! Please enjoy!” Yuuko said, nearly dropping it as she performed a bullet-bow with the large glass still held in her hands. “Whaah! Sorry, here you go! Bye!” she added, setting the item down and scurrying away before she could do anything else she might regret. It looked quite tasty: the tall glass held an amalgam of fruit resting in layers of fresh ice cream, topped off with whipped cream and a cherry.
Misha grabbed a spoon and immediately began to mush it all up into goop, spilling whipped cream everywhere in the process.
“M-M-Misha! What are you d-d-doing!”
“Hummpf?” Misha asked, her mouth already stuffed with a sizeable bite.
“H-how am I gonna eat it n-now?!”
Misha swallowed her mouthful of mashed parfait and pointed to the other spoon on the table.
“How did you think parfaits are supposed to be eaten, Hacchan?”
“N-not like that! It comes in all those nice l-layers, that Yuuko probably worked really h-hard on, and you just cr-crushed it…”
“Wahaha~! Don’t be silly. It’s made this way so that you can mix it up really easy, of course~!”
Was it? Misha’s confidence made her doubt whether she really knew how this was supposed to work, especially since between the two of them, it was guaranteed that Misha had eaten many more parfaits than she had…
“Just try it, Hacchan~!”
Not content to wait around for Hanako to serve herself, Misha scooped up a big spoonful of parfait and moved it towards Hanako’s face.
The “ahhh” had been more out of shock than compliance, but in the end it worked out the same. Misha watched expectantly as Hanako rolled the food around in her mouth, her smile never wavering. She seemed to have total confidence that Hanako would enjoy it. A stubborn part of Hanako wanted to try and deny it, but her taste buds won it over. She chewed a bit—not much, since the mixture had the approximate consistency of yogurt—and swallowed, already picking up her own spoon for another bite.
“It is good after all, Misha!”
“See~? I may not know very much, but if I know anything, it’s parfaits! Wahaha~! Hacchan, did you know? There are at least ten different—”
“—pl-places that you can get them. Aha, I remember, Misha. I guess you really are the parfait ex-expert.”
When Hanako brought her spoon forward for more, Misha intercepted it with her own, the two utensils clanging together.
“Uh-uh Hacchan! I want to feed it to you some more~!… Can I do that?” she asked, her voice growing sheepish on the question. “It was really, really~ cute~…”
Hanako remembered the night that she’d ended up feeding Lilly’s cooking to Rin in the dorms. It had been oddly satisfying… she guessed if they were going to be a couple, this type of thing was to be expected.
“Yay, yay~! Wahaha~! Okay, here comes the airplane! Brrrrrnnnn…” Misha whirred, probably trying to imitate a jet engine.
“N-not if you’re going to do that!”
“Ahaha~! Sorry, I got too excited!”
Misha settled for just popping bites of parfait into their mouths more normally, alternating between herself and Hanako on every bite. This way it did ensure that they got an equal share, Hanako thought. The pauses between them also made for a fairly natural flow of conversation; one person could speak while the other took their bite, then they switched. They made some more small talk, but there were also a few breaks where Hanako found Misha just staring intently at her, that look in her eyes that Hanako now recognized as… love? It felt too soon to call it that, but that was the word that came to mind.
Inevitably, she’d blush and look away after trying to stare back into Misha’s eyes during those moments, that expression of absolute contentment causing her heart to flutter. Misha would just laugh and say something silly, then they’d talk again for a bit. They ended up staying well after the parfait glass was emptied out, ordering some tea and just amusing each other that way. It was a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, Hanako thought. It was so simple, something so normal, yet to her it was such a step up from her usual routine of solitude.
She could really get used to hanging out with Misha like this.
| Chapter 30