An Unexpected Visitor

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Lap
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An Unexpected Visitor

Post by Lap » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:49 am

EDIT: This short piece is a portion of a chapter of a longer work, now completed, called Home, available to read at https://archiveofourown.org/works/15614 ... s/36254490
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Testing the waters, here. This is a scene from a longer work-in-progress that sorta stands on its own. For context: it takes place during Hisao's University years. Hisao & Hanako are a couple, Lilly is their roommate, sharing an apartment near the University.

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One Friday afternoon, as I exited the elevator to our apartment's floor, I found an armless redhead sitting in front of our apartment door, a large messenger bag by her side. “Rin?” I called out, puzzled.

No response.

I walked over to the door, and saw that she was asleep, leaning against the doorframe. I crouched down next to her and gently shook her shoulder. I was struck by how thin it was, but of course she wouldn’t have much in the way of shoulder muscles. She opened her eyes and blinked at me a few times. “Oh. Hello Hisao. It is nice to see you again.”

“Rin? What are you doing here?”

She frowned and shook her head, “No, that’s not what you’re supposed to say. You’re supposed to say it’s nice to see me too. I’ve been taking a class in social interaction.”

“Ah…that’s nice.” Heaven knows if there was ever a person who needed lessons in social interaction, it was Rin. “But what are you doing here?”

She shook her head again. “That’s still not what you’re supposed to say.”

I sighed. “It’s nice to see you too, Rin. What are you doing here?”

“Sleeping. Until you woke me. Now we’re talking.”

I closed my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose. I had forgotten what conversations with Rin could be like. I looked at her and, knowing I would probably regret asking, asked, “Why are you here?”

Rin looked thoughtful. “That’s an awfully deep question to be addressing while sitting in a doorway.”

“Then maybe we could address it inside my apartment?”

Rin looked up at the door. “This is your apartment?”

“Er. Yes. You mean you just happened to end up sleeping on my doorstep by accident?”

“I was looking for Hanako. I guess it was just luck I found you instead.”

“Hanako lives here.”

“I thought you said it was your apartment?”

I took a deep breath. “It is. It’s my apartment, and Hanako’s and Lilly’s. We all live together.”

“Oh. Are they your girlfriends?”

“What? No! I mean, yes, Hanako is, but Lilly is just a friend. A roommate.”

“Oh. Well, if this is your apartment, can we go in now? I need to pee.”

“Uh. Sure.” I stood up and unlocked the door. Rin rose to her feet by unfolding her legs underneath her. I pushed the door open, and she entered before me. I grabbed her bag and brought it in.

She stood in the entry way for a moment, looking around, and then she nodded firmly. “Good.”

“Good?”

“Your apartment. It’s good.”

“Er. Thank you? I guess?”

“It needs more art on the walls. I’ll fix that.”

I had a sudden vision of Rin painting our apartment wall with a huge mural, like the one she had done at Yamaku. I glanced down at her bag—it hadn’t felt that heavy, I didn’t think it had a set of paints in it, but what did I know about art supplies?

“Does your toilet have a washlet?”

“What? Oh, yeah.”

“Good. It would be awkward to ask you to wipe my vulva, especially since we haven’t seen each other in years. Though I would ask, if I had to.”

I had never been so grateful for our toilet’s cleaning amenities.

“Right. Well, the toilet is straight ahead, between the two bedrooms.”

Rin kicked off her shoes and headed towards the toilet. “Don't you want to take off your jacket first?” I asked.

She shook her head. “I really need to pee.” She stopped in the doorway to the bathroom, and stared at the toilet for a moment. “Hisao?”

“Yes?” I replied, dreading what would come next.

“I can’t operate this model with my feet. I’ll need you to push the buttons for me.”

“Uh…”

“It’s still less intimate than wiping my vulva for me.”

“Um. Right.” I walked slowly towards the bathroom, hoping against hope that Hanako or Lilly would miraculously decide to cut out on classes early and show up to rescue me.

No such luck.

She turned around so she was facing the right way, then said, “As long as you’re here, could you pull down my pants for me? I can do it, but it’s easier to do with hands.”

I wanted to demur, but there was no denying her logic. I took a deep breath, then reached for the front of her pants. I unbuttoned and unzipped them, then turned my head to the side so I wasn’t looking at her as I pulled her pants and panties down her legs. Her hips were slim, and the pants loose, so they came down easily enough.

“I’ll just, uh, wait outside here for you until you need me,” I said, as I hastily stepped out and closed the door.

I tried to ignore the sounds coming from inside the bathroom, but she hadn’t been kidding about really needing to pee. The sound of her urinating lasted for almost a minute.

“I’m done.”

I stepped back inside, keeping my gaze to the side, not looking at her. I operated the bidet controls by touch and memory, and then the dryer.

“Your face is all red,” Rin observed.

My eyes flicked over to her, keeping my gaze above the neck. She was looking curiously at me. “Well, yes. I don’t assist young ladies in the toilet every day.”

She frowned. “Am I a lady?” She stood up, and I hastily turned my gaze back to the far wall.

“Could you pull up my pants?”

I fought down my blush, and reversed the earlier process.

“Thank you,” she said, for all the world as if this were a normal, every day occurrence.

Then I realized that, for her, it probably was. All traces of body modesty must have long ago been burned out of her, just on the basis of sheer necessity. I would ask, if I had to, she’d said. I grimaced, as I realized I had been making a big deal out of what was, for her, probably a very common problem.

“You’re welcome. And…I’m sorry.”

She cocked her head and gave me an inquisitive look, looking like a curious bird. “For what?”

“For being so awkward about all this.”

She shrugged. “You were fine. Better than most guys. At least you didn’t stare at my genitals.” Her mouth twitched in a little grin. “Just be happy I’m not having my period.”

I barked out a short laugh. “Yeah, I’m grateful for that.”

We went back out into the living room, and I helped her take off her coat. “Do you feel like a cup of tea?” I asked.

“I don’t think so. I’m not liquid.”

I closed my eyes for a moment.

“Well, I guess technically I’m about ninety percent water, but I don’t feel liquid.”

“Fifty-five, actually.”

“Pardon?”

“You’re only about fifty-five percent water, not ninety.”

“Oh. Well, that would explain why I don’t feel like tea, then.”

“But do you feel like—do you wish to drink a cup of tea?” I asked, trying to be as literal and precise as I could.

Rin stared at the blank wall above our small book case. “I wish for a lot of things,” she said softly, sounding a little sad. “But wishing doesn’t make it so.”

I stared at her, moved by her tone. What on earth was she doing here? Looking for Hanako, apparently, but why? I wondered if I would ever find out. Or if I would find out before she drove me mad.

I headed into the kitchen area. “I am going to make a pot of tea. Please tell me if you wish—if you want me to pour you a cup, too.”

“That would be nice. Do you have any straws?”

“Um, no. Sorry.”

“There are some in the outside pocket of my bag.”

I went and got her bag, and found the straws.

Rin was silent as I prepared the tea, walking slowly around the living room, examining the books, CDs and movies we had on the shelves. She stared for a long time at a poster we had on the wall by the entry way before shaking her head and turning away. It was one of my posters, one of Hokusai’s prints of Mount Fuji. Not the famous wave image, but one of the simple black and white ones that had no people in it. I liked the stark simplicity of it. I wondered why Rin disapproved of it, but was afraid to ask.

I brought the tea to the low table in the middle of the living room, and poured for both of us, putting Rin’s straw in her cup. She sat down across from me, and bent forward to blow on her tea for a moment, cooling it.

“So. Rin. It’s nice to see you again and all—“

“We’ve already done that part of the conversation.” She frowned. “Are you developing memory loss?”

“No, I—” I decided that explaining was pointless. I chose to tackle my questions piecemeal, instead of asking broad open questions that could lead her to wander.

“Why were you looking for Hanako?”

“In order to find her.”

“Why did you want to find her?”

“I want to ask her for a place to sleep tonight.”

“Why?”

“Because I need to sleep.”

“Why do you need a place to sleep tonight in this city? Aren’t you studying in Tokyo?”

“Yes, I’m studying in Tokyo, but I’m not there now. So I need to sleep here.”

I should have known better than to try and ask two questions at once.

“What brings you to our fair city?” Then I held up a hand to cut her off. “No, wait, let me guess, a train?”

She looked puzzled. “Why did you ask me if you already knew?”

I sighed. “What I should have said was, why are you visiting here?”

“Mana Kikuchi.”

“Mana Kikuchi?”

“Yes.”

“Who is Mana Kikuchi?”

For the first time, some animation lit her eyes. “She’s an artist. She’s having a show that’s opening tonight. I need to see it.”

“Why?”

Rin actually paused to put some thought into her answer. “Her art…feels like my art. I need to see it in person. Need to see her.”

“She paints abstract human figures?” That being most of what I recalled of Rin’s work.

Rin frowned. “No, she paints landscapes. I didn’t say she painted what I paint. I said her work feels like mine. I just want to know…” She stared at her tea cup, looking wistful. “I just want to know if she really understands.”

I sipped my tea, feeling out of my depth. “Understands what?”

Rin looked up and met my eyes. “Me.”

I shook my head. “Has she ever met you?”

“No. Or at least, not that I know of. I might have ridden next to her on a bus and not known it.”

“Then…how would she understand you? I know you and I don’t understand you, half the time.”

“Only half?”

I stared at her, startled, then I burst into laughter. She smiled as she watched me laugh, then she bent to drink her cooling tea.

“Did Hanako know you were coming to visit?”

“I don’t think so. Unless she’s developed precognitive abilities. But I hope she hasn’t.”

Against my better judgement, I indulge my curiosity. “Why not?”

Rin looked at me like I was crazy. “Precognition of future events would wreak havoc with the concepts of causality and free will.”

I blinked at that, startled by her remarkably cogent argument. “Um. True. So, why didn’t you call ahead to ask if you could sleep here?”

Rin shrugged. “I forgot.”

“For that matter, how did you know Hanako lives here?”

“Ooe told me.”

“Ooe Natsume?”

“Yes. She’s kept in touch with Hanako, so she had her address.”

“Yes, I know, she visited last year.”

“Oh. So she knew you lived here too.”

“Yup.”

“Huh. I wonder why she didn’t mention that?”

Knowing Rin, it was quite likely that she had, but Rin had forgotten. I wondered how Rin knew Natsume well enough to ask her for Hanako’s address, but decided I didn’t need to dive down that particular rabbit hole just now.

“Well, I don’t like to speak for Hanako or Lilly, but I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t mind you spending the night here. We don’t have a guest room, but the couch is pretty comfy.”

Rin shrugged. “The couch is fine. I sleep on my studio floor half the time anyway. But I promised my advisor that I wouldn’t sleep in the subway or a park. She worries about me getting mugged or raped.” She frowned at me. “You won’t mug or rape me, will you?”

Rin! What kind of question is that?”

She nodded. “A fairly pointless one, you’re right. A mugger or rapist is already morally bankrupt, and wouldn’t feel any shame at lying in response.”

“That’s not what I meant! Just asking me that question implies that you think I could be a mugger or a—a rapist.” I glowered at her. “That is—that is not cool.”

She looked mildly surprised by my outrage. “I don’t think you’re a criminal, Hisao, but I haven’t seen you in over two years. I could be wrong. People change.”

I rubbed at my temples. “Not you, apparently,” I muttered.

“I don’t?” She looked pleased by my assessment. “Good. I don’t like change.” She suddenly stood up from the floor and sat back down on the couch. “You interrupted my nap earlier. I couldn’t sleep on the train, there were too many clouds to watch. I’m going to sleep now.” And with that she lay down and closed her eyes.

I stared at her, dumbfounded, my annoyance at her implied accusation slowly fading away. I shook my head and smiled. “Nope. You haven’t changed one bit,” I said softly.

She opened one eye and peered up at me for a moment, before closing it and burrowing into the cushions. I got up and pulled a blanket out off a shelf and draped it over her. “Thank you,” she murmured, then her whole body relaxed a little as she apparently fell almost instantly asleep. I stared at her for a moment, slightly envious of that ability, then quietly gathered the tea things and took them to the kitchen.
Last edited by Lap on Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Avenues of Communication: Shizune suffers an accident.
Akira's Surprise: Akira pays a surprise visit to Lilly, Hanako and Hisao on Christmas eve. S9 Entry.
Arrival: Hanako's first days at Yamaku. (On Hiatus)
Home: Hanako & Hisao at University, sharing an apartment with their friend Lilly (on Ao3).
One-shots

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: An Unexpected Visitor

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:15 am

Seems okay so far.
Past tense is of course a perfectly valid choice, though with first person narrative it is a bit uncommon - especially here on the forum where most stories are inspired by a VN.

Rin's dialogue is very good - one or two lines had me read twice until I got her meaning.

I'm not personally familiar with someone without arms, but I'd like to think Rin is a bit more self-sufficient than you portrayed her in this story.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Lap
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Re: An Unexpected Visitor

Post by Lap » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:22 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:15 am
Rin's dialogue is very good - one or two lines had me read twice until I got her meaning.
Success! :)
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:15 am
I'm not personally familiar with someone without arms, but I'd like to think Rin is a bit more self-sufficient than you portrayed her in this story.
Oh, I think Rin is plenty self-sufficient (e.g., she made it all the way there on the train by herself okay), but when there's an easier option, i.e., someone with hands that she can rope into to assisting her, she's happy to take advantage of that fact. And I suspect she may be messing with Hisao just a little bit. I think Hisao's occasional obliviousness makes her obliviousness seem much more extreme than it actually is, if that makes sense. The perils of first-person narration; it's all filtered through Hisao's POV.
Avenues of Communication: Shizune suffers an accident.
Akira's Surprise: Akira pays a surprise visit to Lilly, Hanako and Hisao on Christmas eve. S9 Entry.
Arrival: Hanako's first days at Yamaku. (On Hiatus)
Home: Hanako & Hisao at University, sharing an apartment with their friend Lilly (on Ao3).
One-shots

Hanako Fancopter
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Re: An Unexpected Visitor

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:27 pm

I like this vignette and hope to see more of the overall story, as you've set up several different things to address next (what further importance Rin will have, what Lilly and Hanako will be like, etc.). My pet peeve is over-use of commas, so I have to point out that you have some unnecessary ones:

I walked over to the door, and saw that she was asleep, leaning against the doorframe.

Her hips were slim, and the pants loose, so they came down easily enough.

I grimaced, as I realized I had been making a big deal out of what was, for her, probably a very common problem.


I feel the first comma is unnecessary in all three of these sentences. There are probably others, these are just examples I picked out while skimming back through. Not a major issue, it's just something I always look for.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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Scroff
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Re: An Unexpected Visitor

Post by Scroff » Thu Jun 28, 2018 3:46 pm

I really enjoy how Rin-ny your Rin is, there aren't many fics that have so much of her in one place because I think it's hard to sustain an authentic voice for her.

The "class in social interaction" is nice but feels like a throwaway, I'd have been tempted to refer to it again later in the piece.

Hisao knowing the percentage of water in the human body implied to me that he's studying to be a scientist so I could imagine him monologuing how he should use his experience in designing experiments to come up with questions that Rin would give useful answers to. You do have him breaking down the questions but not in a very Science-Boy way.

Anyway thanks for an enjoyable piece, I'd certainly dive into those waters you're testing!

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Re: An Unexpected Visitor

Post by FISCHERWMT » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:12 pm

Found this very enjoyable. Rin did appear very Rinny. Well done. Look forward to the longer story.

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Oddball
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Re: An Unexpected Visitor

Post by Oddball » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:04 pm

Not bad. I think Rin was perhaps a bit too blunt at times, but nothing that ruined the story.

I'd cut out the opening author's note though. You explain Hisao and his roommate situation well enough in the story that it's not needed.
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calcifer
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Re: An Unexpected Visitor

Post by calcifer » Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:54 pm

Lap wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:49 am
It was one of my posters, one of Hokusai’s prints of Mount Fuji. Not the famous wave image, but one of the simple black and white ones that had no people in it.
Hmm, is this a generic reference or do you perhaps have a specific Hokusai piece in mind? :)

In terms of Rin... well, it felt like too much of a caricature. In the VN Rin is very much frustrated with the fact that her verbal expressions are different - to the point of being incomprehensible - than that of others. Here, it looks like a theater comedy scene where the audience is expected to say "haha look at the weirdo, she said vulva!". It just felt cheap and off.
Shizune = Rin > Emi > Hanako > Lilly
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sloth4
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Re: An Unexpected Visitor

Post by sloth4 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:25 am

This was an enjoyable read.

I agree somewhat about Rin's blunt manner becoming caricature-like. Recall from the VN that Hisao had to offer her help to her vague "problem" several times before she admitted she needed a new tampon. She does have something resembling embarrassment.

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