Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2020-1-17)

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Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2019-09-06)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:25 am

Lilly's never been the sort to dive into work at all...
...she DOES have a history of inoring and actively avoiding potential conflicts in her relationship - to the point of avoiding Hisao as well.
Hisao at this point should be aware enough to not do anything to startle Hanako.
I imagine being about to break up with your girlfriend would make you quite nervous and jumpy.
Hence the punchline is also the raison d'être for this situation. It may not be a bug, but a feature.
The punchline is the only thing I don't really like about this story. It does not seem to fit the mood.
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: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2019-09-06)

Post by Scroff » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:27 am

Thanks all for the really useful feedback - I tend to overthink the circumstances around my stories and consider the background to be "obvious", so it's good to be reminded that trails of breadcrumbs get eaten by birds

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Moon Hare

Post by Scroff » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:41 am

Many thanks to Lap and Feurox for helping me de-clutter this tale; any remaining clutter is, of course, my responsibility.

***

Hisao sighs unsteadily as the Principal walks off the stage. "That was rough. I didn't know Tanaka so why did it hit so hard?"

Miki pulls him into a tight hug. "Yeah, these memorial services fucking suck."

"They do a good job of making us feel like an extended family so losing a member always hurts," Suzu agrees.

" 'Always'? Does this happen a lot then?"

"Two, maybe three times a year? Not so many that you get used to it, not so few that it's unexpected whe-"

Suzu is interrupted by Taro rushing up to them, closely followed by Naomi and Natsume. "Shunsuke didn't come, no-one's seen him today. He should've been here."

"Slow down big man. Who and why?"

"Oh yeah, sorry Miki. Shunsuke Ito is one of the juniors I mentor, he was close to Tanaka. Ducking out on this isn't going to help him come to terms with his loss. Suzu, will you do a seeing-off ceremony for him?"

"Of course, though I haven't conducted one before, I'll need to check some of the details with Naomi."

"What's a seeing-off ceremony?"

Patting him on the shoulder Miki says, "it's hard to remember you're a newbie, it feels like forever since the day you slunk into class."

Natusme nods. "Indeed. We have a number of traditions and rituals which are presided over by the student body. Suzu here is our keeper of traditions and Naomi is the keeper of records, they're instrumental in keeping alive the spirit of Yamaku."

"She's our very own miko," Miki says proudly, extending the hug to Suzu.

"I'm no shrine maiden, but I'll allow it provided you remember their original role as shaman."

"Yeah we had stuff like that at my old school. How does the mentoring work?"

"We get three juniors to look after. Well, not everyone, class reps and club officials are spared 'cos they're busy. And some of us find ways to wriggle out of our responsibilities." Taro looks pointedly at Miki.

"Hey, I was saving myself for Hisao. It's a good job I did, he needed intensive care."

"As if you knew he was gonna appear," Taro scoffs.

"How close were Tanaka and Ito, Taro?"

"You know I'm not one to pry Suzu," he replies with a shake of his shaggy head, "but, well, put it this way: from what I could tell, their parents were paying for one dorm too many."

She nods decisively. "In that case we should move fast." She takes out her phone and makes some checks. "Perfect. Sunrise tomorrow is 5:28 and moonset is 5:37. Taro, get him to the worry tree for around 5. Could you help him, Hisao?" When he nods she continues, "we can go over the records while we cook, Naomi. Miki, I'm afraid your task might be... aggravating."

***

Shunsuke jolts awake to a series of loud blows on his door. "I'm coming in whether you like it or not."

Recognising his mentor's voice, he swears under his breath and scrambles to open the door. Taro and a tall boy he does not recognise walk in as if they own the room, grating on nerves which are already frayed. "What the hell do you think you're doing, barging in here-"

"Shut. Up. Put on stout shoes and a warm coat and follow us."

"Fuck off, I'm not going anywhere in the middle of night. Who are you to tell me-" He flinches as Taro raises a heavy arm, all too familiar with how effective an attitude-adjuster it is. "OK, OK, no need to get cranky, I'm coming."

After marching through the dark woods above Yamaku for what seems like an age, they arrive at a clearing bathed in moonlight, dominated by an enormous tree at its centre. As his eyes adjust to the light he sees three figures. He recognises the track star and the artist but is unfamiliar with the slight girl standing between them. "Tell me of your hate for him," she says commandingly.

Ignoring Taro's looming presence he bursts out, "how can you say I hated him? He was the only thing that made this place bearable, the only good thing in my-"

"Don't stand under the moon hare with lies on your lips."

Glancing up at Yamaku's unofficial mascot, he shudders and says, "Hanae's feet smelled. He was lazy with his schoolwork and always expected me to help him catch up. He was greedy, he stole my snacks and never replaced them."

"But most of all?"

"Most of all I hate him because he left me. It was supposed to be me who went first!" The anguish in his voice is unmistakable, causing Miki to make an involuntary move towards him, her heart demanding she take him in her arms. A gentle touch stops her, reminds her of her role.

Suzu steps forward and offers him a plate of sticky rice cakes. "Let these symbolise your hate so we can accept it into ourselves, transform it." They each take one and chew the sweet, rubbery confections.

"He didn't wait for you but we can't always control when we have to leave. He couldn't become a butterfly so joined the fireflies instead. I see a lonely caterpillar in front of me, I don't know which way it might go. All I know is it must change or it will never be able to metamorphose." Rin bows her head, nothing more to say.

"Tell me of your love for him."

Embarrassed, Shunsuke shuffles his feet and does not speak until Taro clouts him on the shoulder. "I l-loved his fierce heart, he couldn't play any sports but competed at video games as if his life depended on it. He would get so flustered when I caught him looking at cute kitten pictures. He could turn me into a quivering mess just by trailing a fingernail along my jawline..."

"But most of all?"

"Most of all I loved how his crooked smile would fill my world with joy."

Staring at his feet as the tears start to flow freely, Shunsuke does not see Miki wrestle with a jar and release the firefly it took her all afternoon to catch. Suzu calls out, "we make this offering to speed his soul on its journey."

He looks up and gasps as he sees the firefly disappearing around the tree, hastily accepting the flask of sake she is holding out to him. He pours a measure onto the ground and passes it to Taro who does the same. When the flask has made its rounds, prised out of Miki's hand when she attempts to drink instead of pour, Suzu bows her head.

"Now it is time for you to continue your journey, to honour his memory by making every step your best so when you meet again you can hold your head up with pride."

Taro wraps his good arm around Shunsuke's shoulder and guides the sobbing boy into the breaking dawn, flanked by Suzu and Rin, Miki and Hisao bringing up the rear.

With a last look at the corner of Earth she holds most dear, the moon hare sets aside her mortar and pestle, satisfied that the transformation of sticky rice into pristine cake is complete for the day.

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Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2019-10-16)

Post by Feurox » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:48 am

What a beautiful and spiritual story. Very poetic and wonderfully carthartic. I love the little ritual here, and can’t wait to see you inevitably do more with those little symbolic rituals in the future.

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Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2019-10-16)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:13 am

"That was rough. I didn't know Tanaka so why did it hit so hard?"
At first I read that as "Tainaka" and wondered why you killed Ritsu...
I'm not sure how authentic your little ritual is - I certainly have never read about anything similar - but I think you could have chosen better characters for the story. I can just barely see Miki in that role, but Rin felt very out of place.
Also for something unrehearsed the ritual went a bit too flawlessly. If I was asked to state my grievances/love for a person I would start with the main issue and probably come up empty if someone followed up with "but most of all..." :-)
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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Date Night

Post by Scroff » Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:00 pm

Many thanks to Lap and Feurox for their valuable feedback!

It's been a very rough few months for me so I wanted to write something to cheer me up and here it is. If you wish, you can remind yourself of Hanako's friendship with Suzu, Hisao and especially Miki in the short stories "You are not alone..." and Manga evening.


***

Hisao frowns when an unfamiliar noise interrupts his attempts to make sense of his history assignment. A few moments later it repeats and he recognises it as the notification tone from the group messaging app Suzu had persuaded him to install. He grabs his phone and checks the messages.

Code: Select all

Sonic: Emergency get ur butz to shanghia nao
Kyoyama: didn't take enough money to pay your bill again? 😆
Sonic: NAO 👿
Kyoyama: Do I have to? I'm 🥱
Yamabe: Let's meet @ the gate, I'll buy you ☕ when we get down there
Kyoyama: ☕ < 🛌🏽 but OK, see you in 5
***

Suzu slips her arm through Hisao's as she collects him from Yamaku's front gate and they set off down the hill, the setting sun lengthening their shadows.

"I wonder what's got into her this time?"

Suzu shrugs. "Who knows? If it was really serious she would've given us a bit more to go on. She's not one to drag us out for nothing though, I'm sure she thinks we need to do something about whatever bee she's got in her bonnet."

"I don't like being kept in the dark. How am I supposed to figure out what to do when I don't know what's up?" he frets.

She rests her head on his shoulder. "We might not have to do anything, sometimes you just need to be. You'll give yourself an ulcer if you insist on trying to fix everything. "

"Yeah yeah, I know, you've told me a million times and I'm doing my best to take it to heart. But it's not always easy, 'specially when it's something to do with you two."

"We'll find out soon enough. And stop galloping, I haven't got giraffe legs!"

***

"Where's she got to?" Hisao asks as a tinkling bell announces their arrival at the Shanghai. Looking around he sees a couple wearing Yamaku uniforms chatting animatedly at a table by the window and, tucked away in a quiet corner, a figure bundled up in a black sweatshirt, face obscured by sunglasses and hood.

"Oooh, is that-" Suzu is interrupted by a hiss from the shrouded figure who takes off her sunglasses revealing a scowling Miki. She beckons them over, making a shushing gesture with her stump.

"What are you playing at Miki?" Suzu asks with a giggle.

"I'm safeguarding the virtue of our dear friend Hanako!"

"Is it in danger?"

"Yes! What do you think about that?" Miki asks, her outrage obvious as she gestures towards Hanako and the mysterious student she is sitting with.

"Phwoar, he's gorgeous! Where's he been all my life?"

"You're not helping Suzu! All I know about him is he's in class 3-2, how can we be sure he's not just after one thing?"

"Heaven forbid! You've never pursued someone with just one thing on your mind..."

"Well, yeah, but that's different. I can look after myself, Hanako's a newbie at this dating stuff."

Breaking his silence, Hisao sighs. "Look Miki, sometimes you've got to trust that your friends know what they're doing and let them get on with their lives."

Miki and Suzu share an astonished glance. "Who are you and what have you done with the real Hisao"' Suzu demands.

"Yeah yeah, very funny, at least it proves I've been listening! You should practice what you preach."

"Yeah, but it's-"

"Come on, let's go and talk to them." Before he can move Miki grabs his arm and shakes her head vigorously.

"We can't butt in on their date!"

"Why not?"

"It's not the done thing. Back me up here, Suzu. Suzu?"

They look around to see her standing at Hanako's table, batting her eyelashes at the mystery man. "Hi Hanako, fancy meeting you here. Who's your friend?"

"Oh h-hello Suzu, I d-didn't notice you come in. This is Tochigiyama Moriya."

"Please, call me Tochi. I'll never forgive my parents for saddling me with such a mouthful."

"Sumo fans are they?" Miki asks as she takes her place next to Suzu.

"Very much so. I fear I was a terrible disappointment to them when they discovered I couldn't see beyond the end of my nose. Who do I have the pleasure of speaking with?"

"S-sorry Tochi, these are my friends Suzu Suzuki, Miki Miura and Hisao Nakai."

"I've heard of your achievements Ms Miura, congratulations on shaking up the established order."

"Just call me Miki, surnames are too stuffy."

"So how did you two meet?" Suzu asks eagerly.

"Hearing Miss Satou speak so affectionately about Hanako made me wonder whether such an angel truly lived amongst us, though satisfying my curiosity was difficult given her elusive nature. I'm ashamed to say I took advantage of the hubbub surrounding our beloved class representative's departure to press my contact details into her hand and exhort her to meet with me lest I wither in despair."

"Aww, how sweet," Suzu coos, backhanding Miki as she mimes sticking her fingers down her throat and gagging.

"Contacting him was a bold move, Hanako," Hisao says approvingly.

"I dithered for a-ages until one day I asked myself what Miki would do, then g-grabbed my phone and called him."

Hisao smiles fondly and nods. "Yeah, she's an inspiration for sure."

"I must say I had almost given up hope. You can only imagine my elation when my prayers were answered and I heard her sweet voice on the line. Oh, but where are my manners?" Tochi asks rhetorically. "Please, join us for tea and cake."

Suzu grabs Miki's arm and starts nudging Hisao towards the exit. "No, no, we shouldn't keep you lovebirds any longer. Don't stay out too long Hanako, we've got classes tomorrow."

"Y-yes mom!"

***

"I don't like him," Miki declares as she stomps up the hill to Yamaku. "All that flowery lingo. And you heard him say he took advantage of Hanako!"

"Well yeah but not in that way," Hisao protests. "He seems fairly..."

"...harmless." Suzu frowns as she remembers where one of the phrases Tochi used came from. "Tennyson! I knew I'd come across that 'lest I wither in despair' line before."

"See! He's a plagiarist, you can't trust a plagiarist."

Suzu darts ahead of Miki and stands in her way, stopping her from walking past. Taking her face in both hands, Suzu rises up on her tiptoes and kisses her tenderly. "I'm so grateful for your protective instincts and I look forward to benefiting from them for many years to come. In return I provide things which you benefit from too, don't I?" When Miki nods she continues, "if we didn't have this give and take you'd've dumped me ages ago for taking advantage of you. Tell me if I'm wrong, but I don't see the same dynamic between you and Hanako. You need to be careful you're not treating her like Lilly did."

"No fucking way! I give her support and encouragement without standing over her and telling her what to do."

"True, but what does she give you?"

"I don't need anythin-"

"It's not about what you need. She needs to believe she's got something to offer, otherwise she won't feel like an equal partner in the friendship."

A troubled look crosses Miki's face and she pulls back from Suzu, turns and takes a few steps away. "It's not like she treats me as her big sister. And I don't even get to see her that often these days, so much for catching up on lost time..."

"Graduation's coming up fast, you need to prepare yourself to part ways with her. The best thing you can do until then is let her make her own decisions, her own mistakes, and offer her a shoulder to cry on if she needs it. She's got her own path to follow and you won't be there to pick her up if she falls."

"Fuck you. And fuck you too Hisao." She wipes her eyes and blurts out, "why do things have to change? For the first time since I don't know when, everything makes sense, everything just works. Why can't I have some time to enjoy the life we've struggled so damn hard to carve out for ourselves? Every time I try to kick back I get reminded it's about to end and I'll have to start again from nothing."

"Not from nothing." Hisao walks over to Miki and hugs her from behind. "We'll be right there with you."

"Will you? You two have plans, you know what you're gonna do, what you're gonna be. Me? Not so much. How long are you gonna put up with me mooching off you if I end up a NEET?" When Hisao starts to chuckle she spins around to face him. "Don't you laugh at me!"

"Then stop saying stupid things. You a NEET? I don't think so. We all know what you should do, the opportunity is right there, waiting for you to grab it with bo- with all your heart."

"What if I can't make it? Right now I'm a big fish in a small pond, out there I'll be swimming with the sharks."

Hisao shrugs. "You don't need to be perfect, just be the best version of yourself you can be."

"I dunno Hisao, no-one loves a loser."

"It doesn't matter where you place, you're always a winner in my eyes."

"Oh fuck off, you glib bastard." In contrast to her words, Miki melts into his arms and kisses him.

"I'm so proud of you two right now, I can't even say," Suzu beams. "All this emotional stuff has made me hungry, how about I treat us to-"

"Pizza!" chorus Miki and Hisao.

***

Miki opens her door and is almost bowled over by a sobbing Hanako falling into her arms. "Hey, what's wrong?"

"We broke up!"

"What? How? If he did anything..."

"No no, I finished with him. I t-tried but I couldn't take it any longer."

"Awww, sit down and tell me all about it." Miki ushers her into the room and passes her a box of tissues. When she shows no sign of speaking Miki nudges her. "C'mon then, spill the beans, what happened? You looked disgustingly head-over-heels in the Shanghai last week."

"I'm a b-bad girlfriend," she wails. "I should n-never have accepted his confession."

"I find that very hard to believe. You're not just super cute, you're kind and funny and clever. How the hell do you figure you're a bad girlfriend?"

"I'm supposed to be t-tolerant of my boyfriend's little oddities b-but it was just too much."

"What type of oddities are we talking about?" Miki asks suspiciously.

"The p-p-poetry! He'd spend hours reading aloud this excruciating poetry he'd written and I was s-supposed to sit in appreciative silence until he f-finished, then tell him how good it was."

"I bet it didn't even rhyme! He came across as the sort of pretentious git who'd look down on conventional stuff like that."

Hanako giggles. "You're right, h-he calls it 'free verse'."

"As kinks go poetry is pretty harmless. Not that I'm not saying you should put up with it," she clarifies hurriedly.

"I wouldn't have minded something a bit m-more physical, a girl's got n-needs after all."

"Hanako!" Miki shakes her head and laughs. "Hang on a tick while I grab us something from my emergency ice cream stash. When I get back I'll tell you a tale about the first guy I dated and his oddities..."

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Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2020-1-17)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:14 pm

Good to see back Scroff! Are your stories in a sort of shared continuity? I get the sense of it but my reading of them is too spaced out to really be sure. I do like the idea of Miki and Hanako as besties.... unusual friends one might say. And when they first saw her with the handsome guy I immediately imagined him wearing a leather biker jacket for some reason......
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2020-1-17)

Post by Scroff » Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:02 am

Thanks, it's good to be back in a writing frame of mind! There is a shared continuity, 14 out of the 25 stories in this thread are set in it, the ones with Suzu, Miki and Hisao being the most obvious though there are a couple of others too.
Hanako Fancopter wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:14 pm
And when they first saw her with the handsome guy I immediately imagined him wearing a leather biker jacket for some reason......
The Hanako who has Miki as a good friend would never consider herself to be used goods under any circumstances!!

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Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2020-1-17)

Post by Feurox » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:54 am

Well I'm lucky enough to have had a first glimpse at this story before it was posted, still, it's no hardship reading it again! Congrats Scroff!

I utterly adore the theme of change, of moving on! (Probably why I like to tear things apart so much ha!) But this brief glimpse of Miki's frustration that, yes, life does move on, and no, things can't stay the same, made me so damn excited! You tease! I hope we see more of that stuff explored in your next shots to come, because my lord is it good here!

Great work as always :D

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Re: Yet another one-shot thread (updated 2020-1-17)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Feb 03, 2020 8:26 am

Do people actually text that way in real life?
In story I can see Miki doing that, but not Hisao.
Apart from that a very good new story/chapter.
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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