Crafty's One-Shots (Jun 7th, 2020: Path of Least Resistance)

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Feb 2nd, 2020: Nudge to Nurture)

Post by brythain » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:46 am

You're still with writing the mini-VNs in response to prompts, eh? I liked it, but I have ONE issue. I always click on the 'latest' button in the forums, and that, in your case, leads me to 4/4 rather than 1/4 in your usual 4-parters.

I could smell the heatwave.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Feb 2nd, 2020: Nudge to Nurture)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:15 am

Hmm... This is a tough one...
One of the problems of stories written for a prompt is that you have to include the prompt somehow. (obviously)

In this case I think the story would have been perfect if it had ended after part 3 - not so much a fan of part 4 with angel mom and dad.

I seem to remember another story some time ago that would have been a lot better if the author had not been compelled to add a prompt scene at the end - and that one was also at the track I think :-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Feb 2nd, 2020: Nudge to Nurture)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:45 pm

The thing that stood out to me most for this story was actually not the dream sequence or surprise supernatural aspect, but rather the fact that it includes a "fixed" version of Hanako's good ending. As in, a scene where Hisao and Hanako fall for each other in a semi sensible fashion instead of tossing away their virginities in a silly act of teenage stupidity. That was kind of cool to see. Definitely an enjoyable read.
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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Feb 2nd, 2020: Nudge to Nurture)

Post by Craftyatom » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:44 pm

brythain wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:46 am
You're still with writing the mini-VNs in response to prompts, eh?
As always. Luckily they've been more reasonable as of late, as opposed to the 20k monsters I occasionally produce.
brythain wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:46 am
I liked it, but I have ONE issue. I always click on the 'latest' button in the forums, and that, in your case, leads me to 4/4 rather than 1/4 in your usual 4-parters.
I'm not even sure if the old graphical glitch that required segmentation of posts still exists, but I can't help myself. It's force of habit by this point. You'll just have to scroll up like the rest of us :P
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:15 am
In this case I think the story would have been perfect if it had ended after part 3 - not so much a fan of part 4 with angel mom and dad.

I seem to remember another story some time ago that would have been a lot better if the author had not been compelled to add a prompt scene at the end - and that one was also at the track I think :-)
I understand what you're getting at, but beg to differ. Someone did indeed have an "extraneous" scene at the end, which had value in the form of wrapping things up, but wasn't an important part of the story. In this case, however, the last part was the climax. I wrote the former parts with the intent that they would lead into the revelation at the end. Without it, they have a whole bunch of red herrings, and the reader would be left a bit confused.

Basically, remove the final scene, and the dreams become almost pointless. Remove the dreams, and the first two parts become almost pointless. Could the third scene have existed in a vacuum? Maybe. But, as I said, I have a strong preference for extensive exposition - the reader doesn't need to know everything as they read, but they should know everything by the end. Could I have reworked the entire story to use different plot points than the dreams? Absolutely. But this was the idea I had, and it seemed a lot more interesting, which helps keep it short, in my opinion: large conflict needs little introduction, small conflict needs to be dwelled upon.

But I can see why it might have seemed out of place. Says far less about their relationship than any of the previous parts. Hanako's reaction does play into her take on Hisao's weakness, and it helps give a sense of finality, but nowhere near the same style as the rest.
Hanako Fancopter wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:45 pm
The thing that stood out to me most for this story was actually not the dream sequence or surprise supernatural aspect, but rather the fact that it includes a "fixed" version of Hanako's good ending. As in, a scene where Hisao and Hanako fall for each other in a semi sensible fashion instead of tossing away their virginities in a silly act of teenage stupidity.
That was actually a big part of what I wanted out of this story. It seemed like a great opportunity to provide a different, albeit not perfect, take on the end of Hanako's route - there are aspects of the canon endings that I liked, but also many I didn't, so I felt like switching things up.

Though I will say, "tossing away their virginities in a silly act of teenage stupidity" is a totally viable plot point for plenty of stories - just not necessarily this one. (Though I know for a fact opinions vary on that!) Oh, and this story wasn't supernatural.

Thank you, everyone, for your feedback! I knew this one wouldn't be my best work, but I'm glad it at least piqued people's interests.
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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Feb 2nd, 2020: Nudge to Nurture)

Post by Craftyatom » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:50 pm

DISCLAIMER wrote:The following post was written in response to Stiles Long's writing contest. Each participant was given a list of KS character pairings and a list of locations. One of each was chosen for this fic.

There were a limited set of options available to participants in the contest and it may be that this fic resembles others. Any such resemblance is coincidental.
Hello again! The 8th small writing contest has come around, and (as per usual), I’ve given it a go. I had some real trouble making a good plot out of the prompts available to me, but I think I managed it, with the prompt Shizune and Akira at the Shanghai. I also managed to keep it fairly short, as my stories go, despite having lots of free time to work on it (since this past week has been spring break, and the coming weeks are a bit of a mess due to cancellations and the like).

I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending, myself, and seriously considered going further - long after fulfilling the prompt, mind. In the end, I decided that it was better to leave it where I did, and keep the possibility of writing a subsequent story open. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for opportunities to make a continuation, because I had some nice ideas, but that’s all for another day.

For now, please enjoy In the Know!
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In the Know

Post by Craftyatom » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:50 pm

In the Know
There was something chilling about being told to come alone.

Such a thing would have been strange regardless, but it meant a lot more to Shizune. She relied on Misha to translate for her, which made conversations so much easier. But not today, apparently. Today, she had been asked to meet Akira at the Shanghai - alone.

Shizune got along quite well with the elder Satou sister. As cousins, they knew each other rather well. Furthermore, Akira was a respectable businesswoman, with a commanding air of confidence. It was hard not to look up to her sometimes.

Sure, in the past year Shizune had somewhat fallen out with Akira's younger sister, but the two were very different, in many ways. Lilly was a fellow student, reported to the student council, and had a whole cadre of friends at Yamaku. Akira only showed up a few times a year, at most.

Which, really, made it even stranger that she would want to meet with Shizune, one-on-one, at the Shanghai. Something was definitely up.

As Shizune walked through the front door of the small restaurant, Yuuko rushed to greet her, then seemed to become very worried about something, as she almost always seemed to be. Shizune simply waved at her, then turned and walked over to one of the booths along the wall, where she had spotted Akira drinking a cup of coffee.

She slid into the booth opposite the blonde girl in a neat suit, who looked up and smiled, though she definitely had to force it a little. She reached into one of the inner pockets of her suit jacket, and pulled out a quaint-looking little notepad and a sleek black pen, both with gold-colored accents, and slid them across the table to Shizune.

Surely this would’ve been easier with Misha.

Shizune, ever prepared, took out her own pen - just a plastic one from the nearby convenience store, in stark contrast with the one on the table - and grabbed the presented notepad.

Her first message was simple. [What’s wrong?]

She slid it across the table to Akira, who picked it up, chuckled, and wrote back. [Is it that obvious?]

[Why else would you not want to involve Misha? Or your sister?]

Akira’s smile relaxed into a somewhat tired expression. [You’re right. In fact, I came here to talk about Lilly.]

That made sense - it was one of the few topics that they might both be invested in. Shizune nodded, and passed the notepad back without writing anything. If Akira wanted to talk about Lilly, then Shizune wanted to listen.

[You remember a few weeks ago, when she went to Scotland with me to visit some relatives?]

Once again, Shizune nodded and passed the pad back to Akira without writing anything.

[That was the first time she had been to visit them in many years, and it seems she made a good impression. They want us both to move to Scotland with them, for good.]

Shizune had to re-read the last part, not quite comprehending it fully the first time. She took a moment to try to come to terms with everything. It would probably take a long time for it to properly sink in.

From an immediate perspective, Lilly's duties as a class representative would need to be transferred to someone else, preferably with enough time for them to learn the position. Shizune didn’t always agree with Lilly’s handling of that role, but she knew full well that her successor couldn’t possibly be an improvement. [Why didn’t she tell me this herself?]

[I think she’s still trying to tell herself that she hasn’t decided yet. She won’t even give me a firm answer.]

[So she still has a choice.]

Akira sighed before writing her response. [Technically speaking, yes. But there's a lot of pressure on both of us. I'm not sure either of us can really say no.] That last part had visibly affected her - clearly she wasn’t entirely happy with her perceived lack of a choice.

Of course, there were plenty of reasons that Lilly might want to stay, despite any sort of pressure. [What about Hisao? And Ikezawa?]

Another sigh. [I don’t know. I don’t think she’s told them. She doesn’t want them to worry. And, I think, she’s trying not to let them influence her decision. I worry that she’s going to wait until the very last minute to say anything, which would be even worse for them. I might have to have a meeting like this with them as well.]

That certainly seemed like a good idea. Hisao would certainly survive - things seemed to be going well between them, but they hadn’t really been dating for that long - but Ikezawa was sure to take it badly. Her dependence on Lilly was significant - even the brief trip earlier had noticeably affected her, both emotionally and academically. Hisao might be able to take on some of that burden, but far from all of it.

After taking a minute to mentally chew on everything she had learned in the past few minutes, Shizune wrote back. [Thank you for telling me.]

Akira smiled. [No problem. You deserved to know.]

Shizune was ready to finish the conversation and be done with it, but one last thought crossed her mind. [Please do tell Hisao and Ikezawa. I think they deserve to know. Even more than I do.]

Akira had to think about it a little herself, but eventually nodded. [I will. I promise.]

Shizune passed the notepad back to Akira, put away her own pen, and got up. Akira followed suit, but before she could go anywhere, Shizune surprised her by wrapping her in a hug.

When they finally pulled apart, Shizune smiled at Akira, and signed briefly. [I’ll miss you.]

She didn’t know whether Akira even knew what those basic signs meant - she had never really had a reason to learn sign - but she smiled back and nodded nonetheless.

Even if she didn’t know, she fully understood.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lilly quietly sipped her tea, ignoring both her lunch and the conversation. She had no appetite for the former, and Hanako and Hisao seemed to be taking care of the latter. Lilly wasn’t really in the mood to add anything - part of her had hoped that having them around would help her think, but another part knew that it wouldn’t. Just being here with them made her anxious.

For a few days she had come up with reasons to avoid spending time with them, but she quickly realized that that wasn’t really fair - not to mention that she had pretty much run out of excuses. So now she was back where she started, trying desperately to keep up appearances in front of her best friend and her boyfriend, her mind racing through the same arguments it had been working on for the past few weeks.

Instead of launching into them again, however, her train of thought, as well as the conversation, was interrupted by a loud knock on the door. Lilly reflexively called “Come-” she heard the door open before she finished - “in!”

The atmosphere in the room seemed to freeze solid, as if none of its occupants wanted to risk making a sound. Hisao took his chances first, and it quickly became apparent why. “O-oh, it’s Shizune.”

Of course. It couldn’t have been anyone pleasant or comforting, it had to be Ms. Student Council President, calling to collect on some debt of paperwork, no doubt. Strangely, though Lilly expected to hear Misha launch into a long-winded tirade about some neglected responsibility, nothing of the sort occurred. Even more strangely, she heard footsteps approach her, and then felt a hand come to rest on her shoulder.

For the first time in a very long time, Shizune wanted to contact sign.

It was unusual for Shizune to be without Misha nowadays, but she usually made do in her absence by writing notes. Lilly couldn’t read them directly, but Hisao could’ve read them out, acting as a sort of translator. It was unlike Shizune to want to use a slower, more cumbersome method of communication - and if it wasn’t urgent anyways, why not wait until Misha was available?

Still, Lilly couldn’t reasonably decline. Warily, she stood up and put a hand on Shizune’s shoulder in return, offering her free hand to ‘listen’ with. She was out of practice, but couldn’t possibly have forgotten the basics, even after so long.

[Akira gEj^N me.]

Lilly hadn’t quite caught that sign, and motioned for Shizune to try again.

[Akira speaks to me.] Or wait, no, that was probably ‘spoke’.

Content that she understood, at least a little, Lilly tapped Shizune’s shoulder in affirmation.

[Akira says that you leave.] Once again, Lilly was having some trouble with tenses, but could figure out that-

Akira said that you’re going to leave.

She froze. It was as if her worries had jumped out of her head and into reality - into the open arms of the one person she least wanted to interfere. Her first instinct was to be angry, both at Shizune and Akira, but that was quickly overridden by fear - fear that Shizune was going to be the leak through which this godforsaken dilemma would escape into the rest of Lilly’s life.

She quickly removed her hand from Shizune’s shoulder and began to sign in return, confident that she would be understood. [No! You not tell...] She realized that she didn’t have a sign for Hisao or Hanako - she hadn’t contact signed with Shizune since meeting them. She considered fingerspelling their names, but decided against it, worried that Hisao might know how to fingerspell his own name, and catch on. As surreptitiously as possible, very carefully controlling herself so as not to give anything away, she finished with [... them. You not tell them.]

Shizune, somewhat surprisingly, acquiesced, and signed back slowly. [I will not tell them. You will tell them.]

The emphasis was clear. Shizune wasn’t going to do this herself, but Lilly would have to, eventually. Begrudgingly, she agreed. [Not now. I will tell them. Not now.]

Shizune replied with a single word. [SiA&n]

Lilly motioned for her to repeat herself.

[Sia&n.]

Lilly’s confused expression stayed put.

Shizune paused for a moment, then fingerspelled it out. [S-O-O-N.]

Lilly’s heart sank into her stomach. Still, she couldn’t say no. She sighed, nodded, and tapped Shizune on the shoulder, just to confirm that, yes, she would do it soon.

Shizune responded with a tap on the shoulder, then turned and left, closing the door behind herself, and leaving the room awkwardly silent.

Once again, Hisao was the first to speak. “Was that... sign language?”

Lilly’s muscles felt almost mechanical, as if she had to focus intensely on every single motion she made. Placing her fingers on the table, and using them to find her teacup again. Sitting up in her chair, keeping her legs crossed and her back straight. Looking at Hisao, and just barely managing to smile at him. “Yes, it was. Contact sign.”

“Neat. I, uh, I’ve never seen you use it before.”

“We used to sign to each other a lot, back when we were younger. But we don’t often have much to talk about nowadays, and there’s usually someone around to translate, so it’s not really necessary.” She hoped that he wouldn’t question Misha’s absence.

“I guess it would be easier that way.” Lilly nodded, and began to drink the last of her tea, assuming that Hisao was finished - but he had one more question. “So what did she actually want to talk to you about?”

Lilly froze up, and it took all her willpower not to cough and splatter tea everywhere. After spending a few seconds trying desperately to both control herself and act natural, she cleared her throat and placed her teacup carefully back on the table. “She wanted to me- er, to see me, to talk about, you know, business.” It felt like less of a lie once she had actually said it.

“Ah.” Hisao sighed. “That student council work just never ends, does it.”

“No, it really doesn’t.” Except that it would, soon enough. “But we manage, with the help of our friends.” The ones who would be left behind.

“I’m always amazed at how well you handle it.”

Lilly’s stomach tightened up.

It felt good to hear Hisao compliment her - and that made it hurt.

S-O-O-N.

“You know, sometimes, I am too.”

END.
Last edited by Craftyatom on Mon Apr 06, 2020 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Mar 15th, 2020: In the Know)

Post by brythain » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:43 am

I like pieces that appear to be original KS lore, but literary and with a good kick in the feels to boot. I like the way you worked the contact signing into it—I was thinking for a while of the one I wrote which used this, but in a very different way, and yours is possibly better. Good job!
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Mar 15th, 2020: In the Know)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:58 pm

Yeah this is a good supplement to the game's story. In particular I think you nailed Lilly's character.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Mar 15th, 2020: In the Know)

Post by Craftyatom » Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:01 pm

DISCLAIMER wrote:The following post was written in response to Stiles Long's writing contest. Each participant was given a list of KS character pairings and a list of locations. One of each was chosen for this fic.

There was a limited set of options available to participants in the contest and it may be that this fic resembles others. Any such resemblance is coincidental.
Hello again, everyone! Time for another entry in one of the local pairing contests; an entry I feel quite good about (despite the fact that the deadline was during finals season). As always seems to be the case, I had a bit of a hard time coming up with a good plot that would fit my given prompts - made more difficult by the addition of a new class of prompt modifier - but I settled upon an idea that actually fit into canon quite well, using the prompt Hanako and Hisao at lunch; the characters have parallel experiences, but not with each other. I therefore decided to focus on a bit of a “canon extension” type of story, which fits into a specified timeframe in the original story, like so: the first section is the night before Equivalent Exchange, the third section is an alternate perspective on Invitation, and the second section occurs in between those two scenes.

As a result, there are some parts of the story (specifically, the third section) that use dialogue taken directly from the game. This isn’t an attempt to pad out my own writing - I’m using some of the same text, but writing from a different perspective. That said, it’s important that I’m up front about all of this, lest someone recognize it and think I’ve tried to pull one over on them. Anyways, with that out of the way, I hope you enjoy The Slightest Nudge!
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Path of Least Resistance, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
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The Slightest Nudge (1/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:01 pm

The Slightest Nudge
“Lilly?”

“Yes, Hanako?”

“Do you... What d-do you think about, um... about Hisao?”

An interesting question. Hisao had certainly had an impact on them - he had transferred into Hanako’s class in the middle of the year, happened to meet Lilly in the tea room one day, started joining them there to eat lunch, helped out with the festival last week, and had even been over to have tea with them one evening.

Unfortunately, Lilly had been so caught up in festival preparations that first week that she hadn’t really had much time to even think about him, let alone get to know him. “Well, he seems nice, but we haven’t spoken much. I think you’ve spent a lot more time with him than I have; most of the time he’s been around, you’ve been there with us.”

“Really? He hasn’t... t-talked to you that much?”

Lilly could remember one conversation in particular that they had had over breakfast recently - but even that had mostly been about Hanako. “Not that I can remember, no.” She paused for a moment to think about it some more. “Ah, well, I suppose he did help me with my shopping last week.”

“Oh, right...” Hanako seemed hesitant, possibly still feeling a bit guilty for having forgotten about their shopping plans last week, despite having been reassured many times since that it was perfectly fine. ”How was... that?”

“It was quite nice, all things considered. We happened to be heading into town at the same time, and on the way there he mentioned that he didn’t know his way around, since he was new. I showed him the way to the store, and in return, he helped me pick out the items I needed.”

Hanako hummed in agreement. “When he went shopping with me, he, uh... He helped me with the c-cashier.”

“Of course, I had forgotten, you two went into town on Monday.” Lilly chuckled. “See, you have spent a lot more time with him than I have.” She could hear Hanako fidget a little, and decided to quickly move on. “So, what do you think about him, given your shopping trip?”

It took Hanako a few seconds to decide how to respond. “He seemed... nice. He was really relaxed, and d-didn’t seem to mind... me.”

Lilly nodded. “That certainly sounds like him.” Something crossed her mind. “Did he have trouble walking back up to Yamaku?”

“N-No... Why?”

“Oh, I...” She realized, just a moment too late, that the explanation involved some personal information about Hisao. That said, it wasn’t exactly harmful information; besides, Hisao probably wouldn’t mind Hanako knowing. “When we were walking back after going shopping, he seemed very tired, and was breathing a little heavily. I asked him about it, and he said that it was because of a, um... a heart condition.”

“O-oh... I d-didn’t... I wasn’t...”

“Hanako?”

“I p-probably just didn’t notice him having trouble... I wasn’t really looking at him, and your hearing’s a lot b-better, so I guess I just...” She went silent.

“Don’t worry about it too much, Hanako. It didn’t seem like a big issue, just a bit of a nuisance to him. He probably just wasn’t as tired when he went with you.”

“I... guess.”

They sat there for a while, neither saying anything, before Lilly decided to ask a question she had had since this conversation started: “So, what brought this on, Hanako?”

“Huh?”

“Why do you ask about Hisao? Is there something about him troubling you?”

“N-No! No, I... I, uh...” She shuffled a little in place. “Do you... like him, Lilly?”

It seemed a bit of a silly question. “Of course I do. Like I said, he seems quite friendly, and you two get along well.”

“No, I mean... Do you... Does he, uh... Do you like him... a lot?”

It finally clicked in Lilly’s head. “Oh, you mean... in a romantic sense?”

She could just barely hear Hanako whisper “Yes.” in reply.

Lilly found herself at a rare loss for words. “Well, I... I hadn’t really thought about it, to be quite honest. I mean, he’s nice, but I don’t know if he’s... like that.”

“Oh. I just thought... You got along so well with him, and he... He p-probably likes you.”

“What makes you say that?”

“Well, you’re, you’re really nice, and you’re a responsible class rep, and you noticed he was t-tired, and you’re... you’re p-pretty, too.”

Lilly chuckled. “And what about you, hmm?” She didn’t leave Hanako time to reply. “He seems to get along rather well with you, too. And you’re very nice, very smart, and very pretty.”

Lilly could feel Hanako’s anxiety radiating off of her in the subsequent silence - that reversal of conversation had been rather sudden, and perhaps a little embarrassing. Once again, she decided to simply move on.

“Anyways, if Hisao does have those sorts of feelings for me, he hasn’t said anything about it. If he did, I promise that you’d be the first to know, Hanako. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s worth worrying ourselves about.”

“O... okay. Thank you, Lilly.” She seemed at least somewhat satisfied with that answer, and got up off of the bed, ready to return to her own for the night.

As she did, however, Lilly couldn’t help but be curious: why would Hanako bring all of this up? They had spoken about Hisao before, but only in passing. What had brought on this line of questioning? She had a hunch.

“Um, Hanako, one last thing, before you go.”

“Yes?”

“What made you want to know whether I, er... saw Hisao that way?”

A tense pause followed, and Lilly tried to project an air of calm, in hopes that Hanako wouldn’t be thrown out of her comfort zone. It was somewhat effective, as she did eventually start to reply, albeit rather slowly.

“Eh, I, uh... I was, I, I d-didn’t... I just, I was just, um, just c-curious.”

Lilly made sure to respond with a reassuring smile. “Alright. Good night, then!”

“G-Good night, Lilly.”

The door opened and closed, signalling Hanako’s departure, and Lilly began to get ready for bed herself.

It was no longer a hunch.
Hanako wrote:L-Last night Lilly t-told me about your heart... A-and I... I didn't think it was f-fair. T-that I knew about you b-but you didn't know about me...

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The Slightest Nudge (2/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:01 pm

Lilly walked briskly down the hallway, relieved to have some time to relax, but also well aware that her conversations with classmates had cut into her lunchtime.

Finally arriving at the tearoom, she knocked on the door, then opened it. “Hello?”

“Oh, hello, Lilly.” Hisao’s voice was the only one to reply, and he was clearly already eating.

“Hello, Hisao. Is Hanako not here?”

“No. She left class a bit early, and I haven’t seen her since.”

Lilly sighed as she sat down, and Hisao recognized it as frustration at Hanako’s habits.

“It was almost lunchtime anyways, so she didn’t miss much. Besides, I think she’s been doing it less.”

“Well, that’s good to hear, at least.” As Lilly began to unpack her lunch, however, she wondered whether Hisao really had a good feel for Hanako’s attendance; he hadn’t been here for very long, all things considered. But then, it was entirely possible that Hanako had stayed in class more, given recent events. Lilly would have to ask her about it at some point.

“Actually, I, uh... I’ve been wondering about Hanako, lately.”

“Oh? Is something the matter?”

“No, I’ve just been thinking about what you said before. About Yamaku, and human nature.”

Lilly remembered the conversation well - she could imagine why Hisao might be dwelling on it. “You haven’t been too troubled by what I said, have you?”

“Not troubled, no, more... interested.” He shifted in his seat. “When I first arrived at Yamaku, I was really focused on myself, and my own mistakes, like I told you. But recently, I’ve been thinking more about how other people act. Especially around... Hanako.”

Lilly quickly finished a bite of her lunch. “And how do you find that they act around her?”

“They act like... like she’s invisible. When I first got here, I wondered if they were just trying to avoid focusing on her scars, like I was. But when I started asking them about her - about what she was like, or whether we should reach out to her - they’d always say that it wasn’t a good idea, that I should leave her alone. It was almost like there was something wrong with her. But now that I know her better, she just seems really sweet.” He sighed. “Do they know something I don’t? Do I know something they don’t? What am I missing?”

“Hmm.” Lilly briefly mulled it over. “I think you are mistaken, but perhaps not in the way you might think. The people you mentioned, who tend to stay away from Hanako - they probably don’t really think there’s something ‘wrong’ with her. Rather, they just know that she’s not very social. Hanako is the type to have only a few very good friends, and your classmates know that, so they’re careful not to try and force her into being sociable with them.”

Hisao almost choked on the food he was swallowing. “Force her? B-But then, am I-”

Lilly held up one finger, and Hisao stopped and listened to her. “You, on the other hand, are one of her friends, and so you’re seeing a rather different side of her - her best side, if I may say so.”

It took Hisao a second to respond. “You... really think she cares about me that much?”

“I think you care about each other that much. After all, it sounds like she’s been on your mind quite a bit lately.”

“I, uh... I guess she has.”

They sat in silence for a while, each focusing on their own food, until eventually the bell rang, and they both began to pack up. Before they left, however, Hisao spoke up.

“Thank you, Lilly. You always know exactly what to say.”

She giggled. “It’s nothing, really. Oftentimes, people need only the slightest nudge to help them find their way.”

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Craftyatom
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The Slightest Nudge (3/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Sun Apr 26, 2020 11:02 pm

Hisao wrote:I think she's been getting stronger recently. You've seen it yourself... right...?
Hisao placed his mug of coffee back down on the table, and Lilly could tell he had finished most of it by the sound it made. He exhaled deeply, then addressed Hanako.

"Hey Hanako, I was just wondering... aside from chess and reading, do you have any hobbies or things you like doing?"

Lilly could feel Hanako tense up, clearly not prepared for such a question. She also wasn’t exactly a girl with a wide array of pastimes.

"Um... I guess... I like singing a l-little. I'm okay with c-computers as well, but I... don't use them all that much."

It was unusual for her to admit to her love of singing - Lilly herself hadn’t even known about it until fairly recently. When it came to computers, however, Lilly knew from experience that Hanako was likely the most proficient at the table.

"W-what about... y-y..."

Hisao was now the one caught off guard. "Me?"

Once again, Lilly was pleasantly surprised that Hanako was being so forward - relatively, that is. She was also quite interested in how Hisao would answer, as she didn’t know what hobbies he had either.

"There's chess, obviously, but also... hmm... There was soccer as well, though I can't really do that anymore. Reading, which I picked up in hospital... um..."

Hisao’s flaky answer stalled the conversation a little, and Lilly took the chance to quickly and surreptitiously speed-dial a certain classmate on her cellphone, then immediately hang up. That done, she jokingly replied to Hisao. "It sounds as if you've picked up quite a few things since your accident."

Before Hisao could say anything in his defense, Lilly’s phone rang, just as she had expected. Her ringtone was fairly quiet, but loud enough that they could all easily hear it, given that the Shanghai was nearly deserted.

She grimaced. "Sorry..."

"I-it's okay..." Hanako seemed thankful for the change in conversation.

Lilly nodded, got up, and walked a short distance away to take the incoming call, while Hisao and Hanako kept chatting.

Of course, it was Lilly’s classmate on the other end, but said classmate was performing an impeccable imitation of someone who was being reprimanded by Shizune. Lilly had worried about accidentally laughing at such ridiculous acting, but over the next minute or two, she almost began to feel a genuine sense of frustration.

"But can't we deal with that on Monday? The fallout has hardly settled from the last... I understand. I'll try to talk her down. You know what she's like when she gets locked onto an idea. Yes, thank you. I'll talk to you later, then. Goodbye."

She closed her phone, and went back to the table that Hisao and Hanako were at, but didn’t sit down.

Hisao picked up on the situation pretty quickly. "Need to go?"

"Unfortunately. Class representative work calls once again."

Hanako immediately offered to help. "I-I can come with you."

"It's all right, Hanako. I'll just be going straight to the Student Council. There's no need to spoil a fine evening on my account. Besides, if you were to accompany me on my way back to the school, who would keep our poor Hisao company?"

She acquiesced, somewhat reluctantly. "Okay..."

"I can join you for tea again later tonight, if you'd like.” Lilly sighed dramatically. “I may well need it."

They each said their goodbyes, and after making sure to pay her portion of the bill - she wouldn’t hear any arguments otherwise - Lilly stepped out of the Shanghai and into the warm afternoon air.

She began to walk home, and smiled at the thought of the pair she had left behind.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Path of Least Resistance, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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Feurox
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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Apr 26th, 2020: The Slightest Nudge)

Post by Feurox » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:10 am

What a lovely story! The quotes from in game work wonders too to establish, 1) where are and 2) how these characters are circling one another. Of course, there’s a storm on the horizon for these two... but this is still an optimistic tale. The first section and second section are undoubtedly the strongest, but if I were to criticise anything, I’d say that Lilly feels somehow separate from this story in a way - it might have been interesting to twist the knife there, and show her own feelings being suppressed.

Hell, what am I saying, I just love a bit tragedy. This is a great entry and a wonderful story, well doen Crafty!

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Apr 26th, 2020: The Slightest Nudge)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:42 am

If it's tragedy you want (and I know you do)...
If he did, I promise that you’d be the first to know, Hanako.
Coming from Lilly this is a promise I certainly would not take at face value...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Apr 26th, 2020: The Slightest Nudge)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:56 pm

D'aww it's cute to see Good Lilly after having her evil twin stuck in my head for so long. Though it's interesting to see yours still has a knack for social engineering, even if she's using it for benign purposes.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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