Secret Santa 2018 - Story collection

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Mirage_GSM
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Secret Santa 2018 - Story collection

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:31 am

Hello again!

A few weeks ago ProfAllister started the call for the Seasonal Solstice Secret Santa Short Story Sharing Session SEQUEL!

Since it's now December and apparently there were enough takers to fill an actual advent calendar I decided to open up the collection thread a bit early just in case someone is already sitting on their story and waiting to share.

Of course using this thread is not mandatory - if you already have your personal short story thread you may use that, and I'll just put up the link in this post. That said, personally I prefer having all the stories packed in a neat bundle and tied up with a bow :-)

Happy Holidays!

Index
From Lap for EurobeatJester - Akira's Surprise
From PKMNthiefChris for Lap - Mission Log: Discovery of the Snow Butterfly
From Downix for Kiith - When the World Stops Cold
From Mirage_GSM for brythain - A Gift of Confidence
From Bricktycoon for StilesLong - The Last Leap of 2007
Last edited by Mirage_GSM on Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:50 am, edited 5 times in total.
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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Lap
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Akira's Surprise

Post by Lap » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:22 am

I had considered posting last Sunday night, since it was the first night of Hanukkah, but I decided to play by the rules & wait until the 24th.

Then this thread was opened up, and, well...I'm an impatient sort. :-)

Thanks to ProfAllister for organizing this—it was lots of fun!

Story for: EurobeatJester
Prompt: Akira makes a surprise visit from Iverness on Christmas Eve to see Hisao, Lilly, and Hanako.

This story takes place a few months after my previous fanfic, Home.

Title: Akira's Surprise

________________________

I couldn’t have pointed to any single event that made me worry that something was up with my sister Lilly. Not necessarily wrong, per se, but still—off. Odd. Out of sorts. It was just a vague feeling, a sense of unease on my part, that slowly crept up on me over the course of several months.

It began when she didn’t call me for almost three weeks last spring, when usually I heard from her at least once if not twice a week. Well, that was odd, but maybe just a fluke. Busy with university or some such.

But then there was the way she’d change the subject whenever I asked her about her love life. We’d always been extremely frank and open with each other about our love lives, perhaps more so than most sisters. We’d giggle together and discuss our various boys and their pros and cons, comparing sexual techniques that we did or didn’t enjoy.

But now, silence. She claimed she wasn’t “on the market” at the moment, but that was odd too. Underneath the prim mask she presented to the world, she was a highly tactile and sensual girl, who was happiest when she had someone in her life to hold and hug. She no longer had me to hug, halfway around the world as I was, and although I was sure she got occasional hugs from her roommates Hanako and Hisao, I doubted that simple hugs sufficed for her “healthy adolescent sex drive.” Even if she wasn’t an adolescent anymore.

I could almost believe that she was taking a break from sex and romance, taking the opportunity to figure out what she really wanted from a relationship. Especially since her last relationship had ended so ugly. But there was no talk of things like that, just a nervous change of subject whenever I brought the topic up. I wasn’t used to being shut out of my little sister’s life. I didn’t like it.

She sounded happy when we talked. Which you wouldn’t think should be a cause for concern, but…she almost sounded giddy at times, but without any apparent reason. When I questioned her about her happiness point-blank, she just said, somewhat blithely, “Oh, I’m just happy that summer is finally here.” Or, “It’s been a good week.”

And then she told me she wasn’t going to come visit the family over winter break like she’d been doing for the past four years. Her refusal to come to Scotland was somewhat understandable—she and our parents hadn’t gotten along so well on her last visit, last spring. I offered to let her stay with me at my apartment, so she wouldn’t be subjected to constant exposure to the ‘rents, but she’d still refused.

“I don’t deal well with jet-lag,” she said, when I asked why not.

“Who does? C’mon, Lils, if that’s your excuse, you’d never see any of us ever again.”

“I’ll come visit again someday. Just…not right now.”

“It’s been nine months since I’ve seen my favorite baby sister. That’s enough time for you to have had a baby!”

Lilly gave a choked laugh that sounded like equal parts embarrassment and humor. “I have not had a baby since you saw me last! Furthermore, I’m your only sister.”

“Details, details. So, why not right now? Were things with Mother and Father so bad you just don’t want to deal with them at all? I won’t tell them you’re here, if you want.”

“No, I…we’ve worked a lot of things out over the last few months, in email and phone calls. Well, mother and I have, anyway. We’re…on better terms now, I think.”

“Is there something keeping you in Japan?” I lowered my voice conspiratorially, despite there being no one around to hear. “Is there some hot new boy in your life, and you just can’t tear yourself away from his loving embrace?”

She hesitated before responding, and for a moment I thought I’d hit the nail on the head. But then she said, “No. There’s nobody new in my life. I just…don’t feel like traveling right now, Akira. Isn’t that a good enough reason?”

Something about her tone of voice didn’t convince me. I wished I’d made the call a video call, instead of just voice. She didn’t gain anything from a video chat, of course, but I did miss seeing her. And I really wished I could read her facial expressions, to get a better sense of what she was feeling. Thinking. Hiding.

Because I was convinced she was hiding something from me. If not a boy, then…what? Was she flunking out of university, and too embarrassed to admit it? I found that hard to credit, not with her work ethic. And that didn’t jibe with her generally happy attitude. Was she getting harassed at school, for being blind, or “foreign?” But that didn’t make sense either.

Maybe there were problems between her and her roommates? But if that were the case, you’d think she’d want to get away for a while. But from all she’d said, they were both doing well too, and she was getting along with them. I’d chatted briefly with Hanako just last week, and she’d sounded good, also even happier than usual. I didn’t think that was it.

I briefly considered calling Hanako or Hisao directly, to ask them what was up with Lilly, but I wasn’t sure they’d know. Or if they did know, they’d probably want to know why I was asking them instead of her. The three of them had been sharing an apartment for almost three years now, and I trusted them to help take care of Lilly, to help her with things that a blind person couldn’t handle on her own. Mostly. But, honestly, they were both a little young. Naïve. Insufficiently worldly for my tastes. I wasn’t totally sure they could handle everything that life might throw at them. Or Lilly.

So here I was, on Christmas Eve, on a crowded plane, failing to sleep away the miles. I didn’t think it was strictly necessary for me to surprise Lilly by just dropping in on her, but, I had to confess, the fact that I had to travel all this distance to take care of my little sister made me feel a little…grumpy. Petty. Vengeful. So I hadn’t told her I was coming. I figured I’d just show up at her door, and see if the shock of my arrival might reveal anything useful.

I shifted uncomfortably in the airline seat, and regretted, for about the hundredth time, not spending the money on a business-class ticket for this flight. Scotland to Japan was over eighteen hours with connections, and my lower back was aching from so much sitting. I’d paced up and down the length of the plane a good half-dozen times already, but there were only so many times I could do that before I began to feel self-conscious about it. At least I had splurged a little bit and gotten a front-row seat, so I had room to stretch my legs out in front of me as I failed to sleep.

I sighed. Dammit, Lils, if you’d just talk to me, I wouldn’t have to be traveling all this distance to see you. Of course, if she’d just visit me, I wouldn’t have to travel at all. She could have been flying much more comfortably than I—Father always bought her a business class ticket. But I was doing this trip on my own money.

Meanwhile…I still had eight more hours of flight to endure. I flagged down a passing flight attendant and asked for another beer. Maybe if I drank enough, I could fall asleep for the rest of the flight.

________________________

Once I’d landed and dealt with customs, I found the car rental place and picked up a car. The attendant had seemed startled to hear a tall blonde woman speaking flawless Japanese, a reaction I was used to, though I hadn’t encountered it for almost a year now. As I took my keys and bade them farewell, I realized my Japanese wasn’t totally flawless anymore. I was speaking with a hint of a Scottish brogue. Which was truly odd, given that Scots English came down hard on the “r” sounds, and Japanese had almost none. It was an odd mix.

The sun was almost setting and snow was gently falling as I drove to the apartment complex where Lilly and her friends lived. I passed a grocery store near their place, and on impulse I stopped and went in. Although I had brought a couple of small, easily transported Christmas gifts for Lilly, I belatedly realized I should probably get something for Hanako and Hisao too. The traditional (for me) bottles of wine should do nicely. And I could get some beer for myself while I was at it.

I was lucky enough to find a parking spot near their building. I debated dragging my luggage as well as the alcohol up in one trip, then I decided to avoid the risk of dropping the bottles on the way in. I could get my luggage later.

The building door entry code hadn’t changed since the last time I’d visited—sloppy—and as I rode the elevator up to Lilly’s floor I pulled out the apartment key I had kept after helping her move in three years ago. As I approached the apartment door, I felt an unexpected surge of nervousness. I didn’t think there was really anything major wrong with Lilly, but—what if there was? The notion that I might be about to find out what my little sister had been hiding from me for all these months made my stomach clench.

I opened the apartment door. No lights were on, which meant that Hanako and Hisao, at least, probably weren’t home, but Lilly might be. “Hey, Lils,” I called out as I entered. “Happy Christmas!”

Silence was all that came back to me. Well, crap. I didn’t think they had had any trips planned to somewhere else for the holiday, but maybe Lilly hadn’t mentioned it to me. I flipped on the lights and looked around. The place looked basically the same as when I’d last been here, although there was a new painting on the wall by Lilly’s bedroom door. Triangular in shape, it took me a moment to realize that it was a portrait of Lilly and her two roommates. The paint was thick and textured, almost sculptural. I wondered who’d painted it.

I went to the kitchenette, and opened the refrigerator. There were fresh vegetables and a container of leftover take-out in the fridge, so the signs were good that at least one of the three was here for the holidays. I hoped it was Lilly. I stuck most of my beer and the white wines into the fridge to chill, then took one of the beers and sat on a stool while I drank and considered my next move.

They were hopefully out for dinner, or karaoke, or something. I briefly considered calling Lilly to ask where she was, but I still wanted that element of surprise, upon first seeing her face-to-face. I’d worked this hard for it, it seemed silly to abandon it now.

I drained the beer, then rinsed and tossed the can into the recycling. I yawned, and decided to take a nap. The couch looked short for my frame, but I was sure Lilly wouldn’t begrudge me using her bed for a nap. I just hoped I would wake up when she got home.

If she got home. I was going to feel really stupid if I’d come all this distance and never got a chance to see Lilly.

I was surprised to find Lilly’s bed had several stacks of clothing and books on it. She must have been sorting laundry recently. Books in odd piles around her room were normal for her—there were also a few by the door—but almost everything else in her life was rigidly organized and structured, so she could easily find her things. Seeing the laundry left out, not properly put away as soon as it was done, was a little disturbing. That wasn’t her usual style. More evidence that something was amiss in her life.

I moved the clothes and books to neat stacks on her desk. I’d help her sort them back out later. As I lay down on top of the comforter, it smelled odd. Under the comfortingly familiar scent of Lilly and her shampoo, it smelled…stale. As if it hadn’t been used for a while. More fuel for my unease. Lilly had claimed she didn’t have a new boyfriend, but then why would her bed go unused long enough for it to get musty?

Before I could worry about that too much more, the reassuring familiarity of her scent overrode my worries, and my exhaustion finally caught up with me. Sleep claimed me and I fell into dreamless oblivion.

________________________

I struggled up from sleep an unknown time later, awoken by some sound I couldn’t quite process. I blearily looked at my watch—it was almost eleven o’clock. I’d slept for over five hours. Nowhere near enough time to conquer the jet lag, but it was a start. Sort of.

I could see a splash of light out in the living room. I tiptoed to the bedroom door, and peered out. The light was coming from Hanako and Hisao’s bedroom, their door ajar. The bathroom door was closed, but there was no light coming from under that door, so I wasn’t too surprised when the figure who emerged from the darkened bathroom a second later was my sister. I opened my mouth to say hello, to forestall her walking into me, standing in the doorway to her bedroom, but she didn’t turn my way. She turned the other direction and walked without hesitation into Hanako and Hisao’s bedroom.

I froze, puzzled. It seemed awfully late at night for her to be visiting with them, especially dressed in such a sexy nightie, but maybe Hisao was visiting family, and she was chatting with Hanako?

“Hey, lover,” I heard Hisao say as Lilly entered the room. My stomach clenched in reaction. Is Lilly having an affair with Hisao? I couldn’t believe she would ever betray Hanako like that, but what else could that mean? I stood frozen as I listened to their soft voices murmuring to each other.

I struggled to comprehend how such a thing could come about, what possible changes could have made Lilly—and Hisao, for that matter—act in such a fashion. I knew I’d thought something was off about Lilly lately, but this was unbelievable. So unlike her. And Hanako—she had grown stronger and more self-assured during her years at university, but it seemed to me that she was still fragile in many ways. This kind of betrayal would crush her, would utterly—

I heard Hanako’s laugh. “You’re the b-best Christmas present I could ever hope for.”

“Let’s get busy unwrapping you,” said Hisao.

What.

I stood there for a long moment, stunned. My ears were hearing but my brain was not really processing the sexy laughing banter going on between all three of them.

What?

My little sister…was in bed with Hisao…and Hanako?

“Holy fuck,” I whispered to myself. I had suspected Lilly had been hiding something from me, but this? I thought back over our conversations—there was “nobody new” in her life, she’d said on more than one occasion. Hah. True enough. Just a couple of old somebodies.

My paralysis broke as I heard the soft talking give way to the sounds of soft kisses, and then gentle whimpers. Fuck, how do I get out of this mess? I didn’t want them to think I had been spying on them (although I suppose technically I had been), but what could I do?

The simplest thing might be to pretend to “wake up” with a loud yawn in Lilly’s bed. It was close enough to the truth. I quietly stepped backwards into Lilly’s room, and promptly tripped over one of her stacks of books.

“Shit!” I cursed out loud as I thumped to the floor, then froze, my hand clamped over my mouth. Well, that was certainly more dramatic than a yawn, but it wasn’t quite what I’d had in mind.

From the other room there was only silence for a long moment, then Hisao called out, “Hello? Is someone there?”

Oh, hell. I groaned to myself, then sat up and called out, “Yeah, sorry, it’s me. Akira.” I stood up and dusted myself off.

Akira?” came a chorus of three incredulous voices, in almost perfect unison.

I turned on the light in Lilly’s bedroom, and stepped out into the living room. Lilly was the first to stumble out of the other bedroom, wrapping what looked like Hanako’s robe around her as she came. I couldn’t help but notice she was no longer wearing that sexy nightie underneath it. And the robe was inside-out, not that that mattered.

“Akira? What—why are you here?” she demanded.

“Hi, Lils,” I said weakly. “Happy Christmas.” She turned toward the sound of my voice, and frowned.

“Happy Christmas?” she sputtered incredulously.

“You’re an hour early,” said Hisao drily, as he emerged from the bedroom dressed just in pajama pants. I was momentarily distracted by his physique—I’d always pictured him as a scrawny twig of a guy, but he had some nice muscle on him. Strong in a slender sort of way.

Hanako peered out over Hisao’s shoulder, a sheet wrapped around her like a toga. I was startled by her casual attire, or rather, lack thereof—I’d never seen so much of her arm and shoulder scars before.

“Uh, yeah. Sorry ‘bout that. It was supposed to be a surprise visit, but you guys weren’t home when I got here, and I was jet lagged, and I was just going to take a short nap and I fell asleep on your bed, and then I woke up and, um…” My babble trailed off and I took a deep breath. “Surprise?” I offered.

Lilly and Hisao were quite red-faced. I was somewhat startled to note that of the three of them, Hanako looked more amused than embarrassed.

“Y-yes, I’d say that th-this qualifies as a…surprise,” Hanako said, barely suppressed laughter in her voice.

“Yes…” said Lilly slowly. “And why exactly did you choose to just ‘drop in’ unannounced from half-way around the world?”

“I wanted to see my baby sister,” I said. “I miss you.”

“Uh-huh,” said Hisao, looking dubious. “That explains the visit. It doesn’t address the ‘unannounced’ part of the visit.”

“Surprise?” I offered again. Not very convincingly, if their expressions were any indicator.

“Try again,” said Lilly flatly. She was glaring at a spot ten centimeters to the left of my face, but it was still an effective glare.

“W-what were you w-worried about?” Hanako asked, displaying a surprising level of insight.

I shot Hanako a wry smile. “When did you get so wise?”

That got a chuckle from all of them. Even Lilly, who relaxed a fraction at the humor.

“Were you worried about me, Akira?” Lilly asked.

I snorted. “Yes.”

“Why?”

“I’m your big sister. Do I need a reason?”

“Yes.”

I rubbed my temples and tried to swallow a yawn. “Because…I thought something was wrong with you. I could tell you were hiding something from me. Which is rather unlike you. So I worried.”

“And you decided to just ‘drop in’ from Scotland?” asked Hisao.

I shrugged. “It seemed like a good idea at the time? But I must admit, I never imagined you were hiding something like this from me.” I gestured to the three of them. Standing in a cluster, all well within each others’ personal spaces. At my gesture, Hisao and Hanako moved in a little closer to Lilly and each other, as if grouping together for reinforcement.

Lilly sighed. “Can we sit down for this discussion?”

“And I’ll…go p-put something on,” said Hanako.

Lilly looked startled. “You’re not wearing anything?”

Hanako giggled. “I’m…wrapped in the b-bed sheet.”

“Oh.”

“Don’t worry, I haven’t been sneaking peeks at your naked girlfriend,” I joked. I winked at Hisao. “Or boyfriend, either.”

Hisao still blushed quite charmingly. “I’ll go…get a shirt, too,” he said.

I regarded his retreating form. Apparently the tousled-hair stud had some skills in the sack, if he was managing to keep my sister and Hanako happy. My sister had, as she liked to put it, a healthy sex drive. She’d worn out a couple of boyfriends in the past.

Of course, it might be that Hanako was keeping Lilly happy too, I suddenly realized. And vice-versa.

Hoo, boy. Well, I’d wanted to learn what was going on…

We sat down around the low table in the living room, the three of them together on one side, me on the side next to Lilly. There were a few empty gift boxes on the table, as well as a surprisingly tidy pile of torn wrapping paper. One of the boxes was from a fancy lingerie store I’d never set foot in. Apparently I’d managed to not only sleep through their return to the apartment, but also their opening of presents. Jet-lag was a bitch.

“So, Lils, the solution to your lover not being able to keep up with you in bed is to have two lovers?” I asked my sister.

Akira!” Lilly exclaimed, turning bright red. I noticed that both Hanako and Hisao looked like they were holding back laughter.

“And is your heart up to the strain?” I asked Hisao, only partly joking. I didn't want the kid to drop dead in the sack—I rather liked him, even if he was banging my baby sister behind my back.

He rolled his eyes. “Yes, I’m fine. Why is that always the first question anyone asks me when they find out about us?”

“Always?” I asked. “How many people know about this happy little ménage à trois?”

“Not many,” said Hisao. “Just a few close friends.”

“It's n-not exactly something we b-broadcast…to the world.”

“A ‘few friends,’” I said flatly. “But not your sister?”

Lilly flinched, and bowed her head. “I'm sorry, Akira,” she said softly. “But I was afraid that you might…disapprove. Might…get angry. Or hate me. For my…unorthodox lifestyle choices.”

My nascent anger vanished in the face of the naked fear I could hear in her voice and see in her posture. “Ah, Lils,” I sighed. I slid over closer to her and wrapped an arm around her rigid shoulders. “Nothing could ever make me hate you, sis. Nothing. I love you.”

She slowly relaxed under my arm, and leaned against me, wrapping her arms around me in turn. “I love you too,” she said softly.

I hugged her tight, then added teasingly, “Mind you, I might be a bit envious of you. Two lovers at once? And both of them incredibly sexy. What's your secret, girl? How'd you land them?”

Lilly giggled, her face red. “I didn't ’land them.’ Quite the contrary.”

I turned to Hisao, my eyebrows shooting up in surprise. “Hisao, you smooth mover. I must admit, I never would have guessed you had it in you.”

Hisao also laughed. “Wrong again.” He just grinned at me, as if waiting for me to put it together. I stared at him blankly for a moment, then slowly turned to Hanako, who was sitting between the other two.

She smiled brightly at me and gave me a little finger-wave with her scarred hand. “Hi.”

It took me three tries to get any words out. “You? You seduced Hisao and Lilly?”

They all laughed. “I prefer to th-think we seduced each other,” said Hanako.

“But it was Hanako who was wise enough—and brave enough—to realize that we were all in love with each other,” said Hisao. He turned his head and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“She brought us together,” added Lilly. She smiled lovingly in Hanako’s direction, then also leaned in to give her a kiss. Hanako looked shyly pleased and proud at their praise.

“Uh. Wow. Okay.” I stared at Hanako, trying to revise my mental image of the scarred stuttering girl to include this new information. It wasn’t fitting in very well. Apparently she’d changed more than I’d realized in the past three years.

I shook my head, and looked back at Lilly. “And you. I’m supposed to be the family rebel and non-conformist. When did you take over that role?”

“While you weren’t looking,” she said with a tiny smile.

As I thought about it, I realized that she was actually right—I’d settled down into a staid, stable job, even if it was half-way around the world from where I’d been born and raised. And meanwhile, my sister…

I looked at the three of them. They looked good together. Natural.

Wow. Just…wow.

I slipped out of Lilly’s embrace and stood up. “It’s almost midnight, I think we can open your Christmas presents now. Do you want red or white?” I headed to the kitchen.

“Red or white what?” asked Hisao.

“Wine, silly,” said Hanako.

“This is Akira,” said Lilly.

“Hey! I resemble that remark,” I protested.

“White, please,” said Lilly. “If you don’t mind?”

Hanako and Hisao shook their heads. “Fine by us,” said Hisao. He got up to help me find the glasses and corkscrew, and bring everything back to the table.

As Hisao sat back down next to Hanako, I worked on opening and pouring the wine. I glanced at the three of them, cuddled together, and felt a flash of guilt. “Ah…I’m sorry for, uh, cock-blocking your planned Christmas Eve celebration.”

Hisao snorted, and the girls giggled. “Well…it is nice to see you,” said Lilly. “Even if you did…clit-block us, too.”

I almost dropped the glass I was holding as the other two burst into laughter. “Lilly!” I exclaimed.

“What? Believe me, Hisao isn’t the only one you’re ‘blocking’ tonight.”

“T-too true,” murmured Hanako.

I stared at them for a moment, my face flaming, then I filled a glass with wine and knocked it back in one long swallow. Much to the amusement of the three lovers.

I poured four, more moderate, glasses of wine and passed them out, placing Lilly’s glass in her hand.

I raised my glass to the trio in front of me. “Well. Crude sexual innuendos aside, here’s a toast to the three of you. Long may you love and be happy. Happy Christmas!”

“Happy Christmas!”
Last edited by Lap on Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current KS Stories:
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
Home: Hanako & Hisao at University, sharing an apartment with their friend Lilly (on Ao3).

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 5772
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

Re: Secret Santa 2018 - Story collection

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:11 pm

I see the right prompt got to just the right person...
Prof, are you sure you did a random drawing? :lol:
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.

PKMNthiefChris
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat May 12, 2018 9:35 pm

Mission Log: Discovery of the Snow Butterfly

Post by PKMNthiefChris » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:36 pm

I had this done for about a week and then this opened up and my victim posted theirs so I thought I'd post mine too.

Victim: Lap

Prompt: I'd like to see Rin interacting with Lilly to maximum comedic effect, optionally with "mediation" provided by Emi and/or Hanako.

Mission Log: Discovery of the Snow Butterfly

Anti-Feminist Mission Log 2001, 25-12-2007

A winter night when all feminists gather, often with an unfortunate male captive, in this wide room with strange music and blinking, bright lights. These lights must be used to hypnotize unsuspecting men into blindly being obedient to the women. I am hiding here in the coat closet in my coat. I am nearly invisible. The Russian Mafia princess Lilly Satou comes in, arm being held by the purple haired girl covered in scars. As cold as I make myself be towards the feminists, even I cannot help but wince at her scars. She must really have tried to resist the feminist programming and so they burned away her resistance. Even now she runs off to speak with another golden-haired enemy and the girl with the two color eyes, a clear mark of evil hypnotism mutations. Poor girl. Maybe someday when the feminists are defeated once and for all, we can return her innocence and purity. But for now, me and my fellows shall fight on. Shambling through the door I can see one of my best agents, one so successful he hasn't only earned the trust of the feminists he's gotten himself accepted into their dorm where he can keep a ready eye on them at all times. Good ol' Rin. Amidst the alcohol, smokes, and pretzels of our manly picnics, he's disclosed important findings such as that underwear contains the feminist's soul. Which means, if you can steal a feminist's underwear you have removed their power! Such findings are invaluable.

The mafia princess seems to be engaging him in conversation, I'll listen in, just in case my fellow agent ends up needing assistance. "Merry Christmas Rin," Satou says, "I was wondering if you might have seen Hisao? He was supposed to be meeting me here but-"

"No Butterfly Whisperer," my agent interrupts. "I haven't seen Nakai since yesterday. Or maybe it was the day before? He was coming out of the girl's dorm in a hurry. A blur almost. I wish I could've painted the blur of him running."

The Russian chick seems to turn pink at Rin's words and... What's this about Butterfly Whisperer? Are the feminists now commanding literal bugs in their spying attempts? "Well thank you for your time Rin," the Russian says. "I think I'll wait for Hisao over by the refreshments."

"Why not ask the butterfly?" Rin asks. "Surely if it can help you get to our position, it can help you find Nakai?"

It seems my agent has supplied me with useful information once more. The Butterfly. It must not be an actual bug but an informant. Not a what, but a who! An integral part of the feminist information network at this academy. Please Agent Tezuka… I think desperately, trying to send a telepathic message. Keep her talking. Further information must be gathered!

Satou sounds a bit frustrated as she says, "I've told you before I can't communicate with butterflies. It's got nothing to do with how I was up there with Hisao for lunch!"

She's getting angry, her body is tightening and so is her grip on her cane. Good. At times like this, she's more likely to let something slip. Agent Tezuka is quite good at getting information out of these feminists. "I suppose it would be difficult to talk to the butterfly this time of year..." Rin says, voice distant. "They do start to disappear as the weather turns cold. But if not the butterflies you could ask something else... Like the snow... It's small and drifting like butterflies. You could always ask the snow where Nakai is."

The snow? Is Tezuka trying to give me a clue? Who might be the Butterfly...? Who might be associated with snow...? That second year who even had white hair! Rika... Rika Katayama! The Butterfly must be Rika Katayama.

Satou seems indignant however. "I just wanted to know where Hisao was," she huffs. "But since it seems you don't know I think I'll go so hello to Misha. Merry Christmas Rin."

Tezuka just... He just drove off a feminist and got information! I've gotta get back to my room and adjust the charts and puppets! I burst out of the coat closet, coats going flying and mittens scattering through the air. I must leave before my presence is noticed, for a great discovery has been made! These feminist bitches cannot stop me!

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Re: Mission Log: Discovery of the Snow Butterfly

Post by Lap » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:13 pm

PKMNthiefChris wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:36 pm
Mission Log: Discovery of the Snow Butterfly
Hey, thanks! That was delightfully silly, it made me grin. Well done! :D
Current KS Stories:
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
Home: Hanako & Hisao at University, sharing an apartment with their friend Lilly (on Ao3).

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Re: Mission Log: Discovery of the Snow Butterfly

Post by PKMNthiefChris » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:18 pm

Lap wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:13 pm
PKMNthiefChris wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:36 pm
Mission Log: Discovery of the Snow Butterfly
Hey, thanks! That was delightfully silly, it made me grin. Well done! :D
If you found it silly, I'll call it a win. Glad you liked it!

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When The World Stops Cold

Post by Downix » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:41 pm

Since it appears we are doing an advent calendar here, and someone posts a new story daily (many thanks to PKMN Thief Chris and Stiles Long for helping me edit this):

Story for: Kiith

Prompt: It is the evening of December 31st. Hisao and whomever he holds dearest in his heart took a little time off to have a walk through the nearby snowy forest. They intend to be back in time to celebrate the new year together with Hisao's family. However, as they often do, things go not quite as planned.


When The World Stops Cold


Snowflakes drifting down on the light breeze, the scene is silent around us as we walk leisurely through the carpet of white.

“Are you sure about this?” I ask my partner, her arm linked in mine. “It’s not too late to…”

This brings out a slight giggle from my companion as she says, “It sounds almost like you’re scared.” Her eyes, hidden behind sunglasses even at this late hour, scan around us as we walk.

Damn right I’m scared. This spot, which could have been the final spot, still haunts my nightmares.

With the sun nearing the horizon, the sky was shifting in color, already a deep purple along the horizon. I did not even need to look at my watch to know what time it was. Just past 4, same as it was 11 months before.

Despite the late hour, her precautions stay in place. Long gloves, tights under her thick dress, sunglasses, and the ever-present parasol overhead. All were colored today a pale blue. Accenting it, white, lace mainly, matching her hair. Even in the dead of winter, she always wants to be the prettiest thing to be seen. A perfect lady.

A doll of porcelain in a field of white, the scene is nothing if not serene. And on her arm, me.

“I don’t think I’ve worn this since…” I tell her, looking down at my thick coat. “This feels weird.”

“Weird can sometimes be good. But, you need to stop being afraid, Hisao. You can’t keep running for the rest of your life.”

Closing my eyes, I can only nod.

It is winter break. School is going well for us both. We should be enjoying life. But, once in awhile I still wake up in a panic, afraid of what happened last February. Always in a field of white. Always in these woods. Always with snowflakes drifting down.

When the forecast called for snow, she insisted we take the time to visit this place.

Nearly a year, and it hasn’t changed a bit. The trees barren of life, merely sticks peeking out of the virgin snow.

Holidays here were pleasant. Her family for part of the time, mine… well, I got to see them for a few hours at least. Buckets of fried chicken for a holiday meal. I have to wonder if it really does taste the same as back in Kentucky.

She leads me to the spot where I stood so long ago, and I stare off into the woods. Summertime, this place is always alive. Always filled with people.

Now, silence surrounds us.

I look over at where I used to play soccer with Takumi and Shin, kicking the ball around for fun. In that direction, school. Still can’t believe Mr. Tachibana teaches. I really expected him to retire by now.

We’ve been dating now for, how many months now? A Tanabata confession, still so romantic. My little half hearted sweetie finally putting how she feels into words.

A sudden buzz draws my attention to my pocket. Pulling out my phone I flip it open.

“Hicchan, sorry to tell you but work…” my mother starts explaining even before I have said hello.

“Had to call you in, I understand,” I complete the often heard sentence.

“Oh, thank you for understanding. I’ll try and be back in time for new years. See you both at home.” the line goes dead.

My pale companion just sighs, a knowing twinkle in her eyes.

I can only chuckle. “No surprises here.”

She can only shake her head. Then, shaking her parasol to clear it of snow, she reaches out a hand to grab my arm. “Then, what shall we do?”

When her fob watch alarm goes off, she smiles. “It’s time.”

Sighing, I pull out both of our pill carriers and a bottle of water - my burden due to these magical elements called ‘pockets’ which clothing designers seem to leave out of women’s fashion. “Will I ever get used to this?”

“It has not yet even been a year for you,” she reminds me. “You’ve got plenty of time to get used to it.”

Swallowing, she finishes in under a second before handing me the bottle of water to take mine. I join her a moment later, having taken down my late afternoon pill.

“Now, what do you want me to do?” I ask her, taking a cautious look to the sky as the wind starts to pick up slightly.

“Wander over in that direction,” she gestures.

Used to her giving instructions when she was planning something, I fold her parasol and hand it back to her. I start walking in that direction, waiting for her to tell me to stop.

When the snowball hits the back of my head, I take it as that signal, bending over and spinning around to return fire.

She ducks down behind the parasol, giggling.

“Cheater,” I cry out.

The thin girl screams as I rush over, a glove full of snow ready to go down the back of her jacket.

“Yield, yield,” she says as I stand over her.

“Yield?” I ask, amused at this. “And what do I get if I accept?”

“Anything you want,” she says, giggling.

“Oh? Anything?”

The devilish look on her face tells me what she means.

I step back slightly as she stands up, and presses herself against me before kissing me softly. As our lips separate, she whispers softly, “Anything.”

A gust of wind, and her parasol flies away, her hand failing to keep hold of it.

“Hold that thought,” I tell her, and I set out to retrieve it.

Every time I get close, the wind picks up, carrying it further out of reach. After awhile, annoyance sets in, as it seems more that nature is playing games with me than anything else.

Finally it gets stuck against a pair of trees growing close together. Grabbing it, I dust the snow off and fold it up, before looking back.

She’s nowhere in sight.

“Hello?” I cry out. “Where’d you go?”

Following my footprints backs works for awhile, but after about a dozen meters, the wind and snow have all but obliterated them.

Around me, the snow keeps coming down, ever harder, even as the wind picks up.

These woods aren’t that big. But as I wander, I am starting to wonder if I would suddenly run across a lamp post with a wary faun running past.

Twirling around the closed parasol, I slowly walk in the direction I think I came from. Man the wind has picked up. Plus with the show coming down harder… this may not have been the best idea.

A slight whisper of noise was the only warning before a batch of snow falls on my head. Looking up, the thin braid of the girl I was searching for falls and bats me in the face.

“Why you…” I groan, brushing the snow off even as she hangs upside down from the branch immediately above me, laughing, her sunglasses no longer on her face, revealing the deep brown, almost red eyes that hid behind them. In all fairness, I must have looked positively ridiculous.

“Hey,” she says.

Instinctively, I hold my arms out just as Rika lets go with her legs, causing us both to fall into the lightly packed snow.

So, laying in the snow, a featherweight pale girl above me, I find her with a wide smile on her face. “So, now two girls have caused you to collapse in the snow. What’s next?” she asks, a slight twinkle in her eye.

I can only laugh, looking at her there with her hands folded under that chin of hers. “Whatever we want, I suppose,” I tell her, to which she gets a distinctive twinkle in her eyes.

‘Uh oh,’ goes my mind as I recognize that look.

“Whatever, huh?” she says, slowly walking fingers up my chest. “Be careful what you offer Mr. Nakai. A girl might get the wrong impression.” Pausing a moment, the puts a finger up to my lips. “So, with your father working late, and your mother called back into work, it means your house is… empty right now. And with snow all over our clothes, we’d best get back there and out of them before we catch chill.”

“That sounds like an excellent idea, Miss Katayama,” I tell her, holding my arm out for her hand.

Bad dreams, nightmares, and dead memories all lay forgotten in the snow as we wander off, two happy people in love.

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Re: Secret Santa 2018 - Story collection

Post by Craftyatom » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:46 pm

Akira's Surprise
I've never read your previous fic, but I still realized what was gonna happen pretty quickly. You telegraphed it rather heavily. Not a big deal, just saying that you definitely could've gone for the element of surprise - I mean, this plot seems like a surprising one, so I was kind of surprised when I... wasn't. I will say, however, that I was bracing myself for Akira to join in at the end. I'm not entirely sure, but I think I was glad that didn't happen. Can't say for sure, though.

Besides the few sentences that gave the plot away, your writing was solid and enjoyable. Definitely went above and beyond the given prompt, to good effect. I only found one error (I guess it could be a slip of the tongue, but as they haven't started drinking yet, probably not):
Lap wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:22 am
“Hey! I resemble that remark,” I protested.
Mission Log: Discovery of the Snow Butterfly
I'll admit that, given that prompt, I would probably have written something a lot less interesting. The silly spin you put on it really made this story a fun read. Not much more to say - it was short, but good. Oh, and the title made me expect a snow angel to be involved, and it wasn't until after I finished the story that I realized it had never actually been implied.

When The World Stops Cold
Loved it! Such a nice concept, executed excellently. I should've expected you to use Rika if given the chance, of course, but she worked well, so I can't complain. Overall, sweet and cozy, except for the line about snow down someone's jacket, which brought back bad memories. I'm so glad I live in a desert now. I didn't find any real SpaG issues, but I did feel that this sentence needed some work, there were just one or two words too many:
Downix wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:41 pm
“It has not yet even been a year for you,”
Oh, and of course, this starts the counter for the number of Christmas stories to feature KFC. *Ding* 1. (Yes, I know it's a thing. Doesn't mean I can't laugh about it every time.)


Downix wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:41 pm
Since it appears we are doing an advent calendar here, and someone posts a new story daily
If y'all want to post a few weeks early, go ahead... I haven't even finished my outline yet. Call me traditional, but I'll be posting at 23:59 on the 24th.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:11 pm
I see the right prompt got to just the right person...
Prof, are you sure you did a random drawing? :lol:
While I can't be sure it was used, I can assure you that I threw together a decent random number generator and linked it to prof specifically for this purpose. So the drawing was either completely random or rigged by prof.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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Re: Secret Santa 2018 - Story collection

Post by Scroff » Sat Dec 08, 2018 6:27 am

I loved Akira's Surprise, having read Home on AO3 it was more of a "how" rather than "what" sort of a story, but that didn't affect my enjoyment one bit. To me, her real surprise was that Hanako was the driving force!

Mission Log: Discovery of the Snow Butterfly made me laugh, and made me wonder what other Mission Logs might be floating around...

When The World Stops Cold was very atmospheric, conjuring vivid images in my mind. I loved how Rika knew that Hisao needed to re-visit the scene of his heart attack to lay the ghosts to rest, and that she's made sure that his memories of the place will be happy from now on.
Craftyatom wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:46 pm
While I can't be sure it was used, I can assure you that I threw together a decent random number generator and linked it to prof specifically for this purpose. So the drawing was either completely random or rigged by prof.
Tsk, random.org for all your true random needs.

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Re: Secret Santa 2018 - Story collection

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:08 am

I haven't read that other story either, since it's not up here on the forums, but I roughly know what it's about from the comments that ARE on the forum.
If y'all want to post a few weeks early, go ahead... I haven't even finished my outline yet. Call me traditional, but I'll be posting at 23:59 on the 24th.
Well, I kind of liked the "official" Secret Santas here from days of old with one new story/fanart/other each day of December up to christmas, but for that we'd have to collect all contributions way earlier, and it's probably not really feasible...
Still while wer'e not going to get exactly one story each day this way, it will still shorten the time and we won't have 20-odd stories all dropping in on Christmas when we probably won't have time to read them all :-)
My story is pretty much done. Still waiting on a minor bit of feedback, so it should go up once the Prof checks his PMs...
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: Secret Santa 2018 - Story collection

Post by Lap » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:15 pm

I didn't really plan the story as a mystery per se, hence the early hints—it's more about the journey & Akira's surprise. Which wasn't quite the surprise she had been intending... :)
Craftyatom wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:46 pm
Akira's Surprise
...
I only found one error (I guess it could be a slip of the tongue, but as they haven't started drinking yet, probably not):
Lap wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:22 am
“Hey! I resemble that remark,” I protested.
Nope, it's a colloquialism. A variation on "I resent that remark," which would be what someone says when someone else says or implies something potentially offensive ("Akira's gifts are predictable/she's borderline alcoholic" in this case...).

"I resemble that remark" is a humorous way of saying "I probably should be offended, but I have to concede that you're right."

Thanks for the feedback!
Current KS Stories:
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
Home: Hanako & Hisao at University, sharing an apartment with their friend Lilly (on Ao3).

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Re: Secret Santa 2018 - Story collection

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:39 pm

Resemble
Of course it's possible that Akira intended to make a joke here, but to the normal reader it will still look like your mistake if you don't at least add her winking mischievously or something...

Anyway, here's my story. Merry Christmas brythain!

A Gift of Confidence
From Mirage_GSM for brythain
(Prompt at the end of the post for spoiler reasons)

Thursday evening (Oct 4th, 2007)
Drawing his jacket over his head to protect himself from the pouring rain, Nomiya sprinted the last couple of dozen meters to his destination. It had been such a nice day all morning an afternoon while he had been cooped up in classes, and now the sky’s floodgates had to open up just before he reached safety.

He dove through the curtain separating the cold, wet outside from the warm (if a little cramped) inside and shook himself to get rid of the worst of the water. Then he took off his jacket, put it on a coat hanger near the exit to dry – a rather optimistic sentiment judging by its current condition – and surveyed the room.

It was a small bar, the kind there are dozens of in each Japanese city. Not more than a counter with a few stools and three or four small tables for those who wanted a few snacks along with their drinks. Did it even have a name? Nomiya didn’t know, but it was probably enough that locals knew where to find it.

He found who he was looking for almost immediately. Nurse was sitting at the end of the counter appropriately nursing a beer and motioning for him to join him.

“No umbrella?” he asked with a small grin.

“No comment,” was the gruff reply as he motioned for the bartender to bring him a beer as well. “You got here early.”

“Well, you don’t believe I live in my office like some of the students do, do you? I started my shift at half past five this morning, and this evening Akiko is on shift. She’s capable and won’t call unless there’s a real emergency, so I thought I could actually leave on time for once.”

“Any news?”

“Yoshida’s been hospitalized. Nothing serious, but he’s probably going to be there for a few days. He’s in the art club, isn’t he?”

Yes, he is. And he already called me this afternoon to tell me, but thanks anyway. What I meant was about your new step-daughter.”

Nurse laughed at that. “Hey, you know that the wedding is not until spring. We haven’t even sent out the invitations yet.” He winked.” I’ll tell you as soon as Meiko’s decided on a date.”

“How did Emi take it when you told her?”

“She just said ‘About time!’ and stormed out of the room because she was late for her date. Honestly, I don’t know if she’d have been so accepting if not for her boyfriend. Those two are very good for each other. I still think making Hisao run with her was one of the best ideas I ever had.”

Nomiya shook his head, accepting a glass of beer from the bartender. “You and your meddling. Ever thought you might have missed your true calling being a nurse?”

“Never,” Nurse said with conviction. “So what about your own meddling? Heard anything from Rin since she changed schools?”

“No, but I didn’t really expect her to write in the first place. You know how she is. I keep in touch with one of her teachers and a gallery owner in Tokyo who exhibits a few of her works. She seems to be doing okay. The school is closer to where her parents live, and according to her teacher she’s made a few friends.” Nomiya stared into his half-empty glass sombrely. “It’s always hard to let them go. Rin was the greatest talent I’ve had the pleasure to teach in many years, and now someone else will have to continue that teaching. I know this is what’s best for her. That school has a lot more resources to nurture her talents than Yamaku does, but it’s still hard…”

They both sat quietly for a while, then nurse spoke up again.

“Hey, you know Ikezawa, don’t you?”

Nomiya furrowed his brow. “Third year, long hair, very shy?” he asked, and when Nurse nodded he continued. “Hmm. I don’t think I ever taught one of her classes. What about her?”

“I’m really worried about her. She never really had any friends except for Satou, and since she left to live with her family in Europe she’s really been withdrawn. Akio encouraged her to join the newspaper club, but it was pretty predictable that Inoue’s… personality would not agree with her in the long run.”

“I see what you mean… So what would you suggest to help her?”

“If I’m not mistaken you tutor the photography club as well as the art club, and since Endo changed schools Kawana is the only member there. She’s as unthreatening as can be, so I thought Ikezawa might be a good match.”

“You and your meddling...” Nomiya shook his head again. “Well, it might be worth a try, but I’m not sure Ikezawa would agree if I just suggested it to her.”

“Oh, let me worry about that. By the way Ikezawa is due for her monthly check-up tomorrow at five. If you could just ‘accidentally’ drop by around then…”

One week later (Oct 11th, 2007)
“…and I had to threaten to bar her from the track meet altogether to make her stop training long enough for her legs to properly heal. But enough about that, how’s it going with Ikezawa?”

“Oh, she’s a sweet girl, but I see why you were so worried about her. I wasn’t at all sure she would show up for club even after she promised to, but she did. She didn’t own a camera, so I gave her the one Endo donated to the club when he left. We started out doing some still-lives, and I showed her what to look out for regarding lighting and the camera’s settings…”

Two weeks later (Oct 25th, 2007)
“…so he told her not to bother, because she’d take care of it without our help. Sometimes I just can’t believe that girl. Any progress with Ikezawa?”

“Well, I have to say she’s very talented. She seems to get along with Kawana, but the two don’t interact much. We’ve moved on from still-lives to landscapes. I’ve planned an excursion to Gebikei Gorge for next Saturday. Should be a stunning scenery with the autumn foliage, and we have to get that done soon, or it will get dark too early…”

Two more weeks later (Nov 8th, 2007)
“…and then she said she’d be visiting Hisao’s parents with him over Christmas so we’d have the whole house to ourselves, the cheeky brat…” Nurse almost blushed. “So how was your field trip?”

Nomiya seems barely able to contain his excitement. “It was magnificent! There was a light drizzle – just enough to keep tourists away, so we could take photos freely. I’ve never seen Ikezawa so full of energy. At one point she was leaning so far over the bridge’s railing to get the right angle for her photo that she’d have fallen in the river if I hadn’t caught her arm.”

He reached into the pocket of his jacket and pulled out an envelope full of photos that he spread over the counter.

“And it’s really admirable what she’s getting out of that old camera. That’s a view of the river from one of the bridges… She climbed up a small rock to get this one… And this is a small ropeway that delivers dango to you…”

Still two more weeks later (Nov 22nd, 2007)
“…and so I lent her my own camera to take this one. We started doing portraits last week, but understandably she does not want to be a model herself. Kawana doesn’t mind, though. Maybe her example will help her not to be so self-conscious.”

The week after (Nov 29th, 2007)
“…You know digital post-processing has never been my forte. This old fart is too set in his ways to learn to do that, but I sent her to Shirakawa to recommend a few books, and now she’s reading up on the topic…”

The week after that (Dec 6th, 2007)
“…so she actually went to Hakamichi to request some post-processing software for the club. Talked her into it and filled out all the forms by herself! Would you have thought she’d have it in her two months ago?”

Two weeks later (Dec 20th, 2007)
“…got it installed on the computer in the library. It’s really something what modern technology can do. Did you hear that she helped out the newspaper club with the photos for the yearbook? I guess she’s fine with Inoue’s antics by now, though I don’t think she’ll want to full-on join that club again… Oh by the way, when Kawana heard Ikezawa didn’t have anywhere to go over the New Year she asked her to come home with her, and she said yes. Can you believe that?”

The next week (Dec 27th, 2007)
This time, Nomiya was already sitting at the counter when Nurse entered the bar. He motioned for him to sit down. “You’re late. What kept you so long, there shouldn’t be anyone left at school right now… Oh, right, you have the house to yourselves at the moment…”

This time Nurse did blush. “No comment. So, Shinichi, what have you been up to on Christmas this year?”

“Oh, nothing much. Just having dinner with an old friend…” Nomiya trailed off and gazed wistfully at the ceiling.”

A wide grin spread over Nurse’s face. “I sense the potential for more meddling…”

Nomiya elbowed him in the ribs and laughed. “Don’t you dare!” Then he got serious again. “I think I’m old enough to meddle with my own life… And who knows, maybe I will. After having seen Ikezawa change over the last few months… I get the feeling it’s never too late to change…”

“Right, she’s at Kawana’s now, isn’t she?”

“Yes, but she’s left me a Christmas gift in my desk. She called me the day before yesterday to tell me where to find it.”

Nomiya took an envelope out of his jacket and wordlessly put it on the counter in front of them. It seemed to be hand-crafted with a collage of clipped photos of Christmas trees and other Christmas decorations.

Nurse cautiously picked it up. On the back it was addressed ‘to Shinichi Nomiya’. “That is indeed a wonderful card. It has to have been a lot of work.”

Nomiya only nodded. “Have a look at what’s inside.”

Nurse opened the envelope and took out the single photo within – a self-portrait of a young girl with her long purple hair pulled back into a pigtail, looking at the camera with a smile on her face.

***

Prompt: “Nomiya and Nurse are having drinks at the local bar. They have to resolve a problem involving a main female character who's neither Rin nor Emi.”

A few words regarding the implementation of this prompt: I found this to be quite challenging. The framework was quite restricted both in the characters involved (With Emi and Rin excluded, Shizune and Lilly not really being the ones to have others solve problems for them and me not sure whether brythain would consider Misha a ‘main character’ Hanako was pretty much the only one left) and the location (which pretty much precluded Hanako from making a personal appearance). Oh, and of course I wanted to somehow shoehorn in something about Christmas…
I think the story could have been better if there had been some interaction between Hanako and Nomiya, but on the other hand the prompt caused me to write the story in a format I would probably not have considered on my own.
Anyway, I hope what I wrote will still be considered satisfactory.

P.S.: Genbikei Gorge should be about an hour’s travel from Sendai. Now I want to go there the next time I visit Japan…

P.P.S.: This is now my headcanon for what happens to the other girls after Emis good end :-)
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: Secret Santa 2018 - Story collection

Post by Bricktycoon » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:08 pm

Here's mine. Tried to do something you wouldn't expect just looking at the prompt.

Anyway...

Prompt from none other than Mr. Stiles Long:

The KS girls (your choice who attends) throw a New Year’s Party (where is again up to you). An unwelcome and unexpected guest (if the pattern isn’t clear, it should be by now; the guest’s identity is in your hands), however, makes a welcome appearance.

***
The Last Leap of 2007

Why are my ears the only working sense left to me?

I listen to the soft pounding of my shoes against the sidewalk’s pavement. The snow, what little there is, has been pushed aside to clear the path, although I don’t think it was necessary. God, why am I filling my mind with these absurd little details, when I’m walking to my doom?

Just turn around. Just turn around and go back to the dorm. It would be that simple. But my feet keep taking me downhill, into the town, towards the Shanghai. Where they are. Just thinking of them, any of them, brings a storm of turmoil to my already-weak heart. I might just puke right here on the sidewalk. That would be a good excuse to turn around and go back, for certain.

My body almost obeys for a moment, as I stop walking and bend over forward, looking at the snow on the ground. Snow, I think dimly, almost childishly. There was a lot of snow on the ground that day. The day that kicked all of this off. The day of my first heart attack.

It’s been nearly a year since then. Months in the hospital, months at Yamaku Academy, a tumultuous summer break, and then more months at Yamaku.

And tomorrow…tomorrow it will be 2008. Considering everything 2007 hurled at me, is it really strange that I’m not exactly jumping for joy at this?

I stand up, and keep walking forward. The little bag swings in my right hand, and the gifts shift from side to side. I once again tell myself that this is a terrible idea. I know I need to give these, I need to have that closure before we all go off to college soon, but I could have so easily done it separately, privately. But it’s been a chaos of business at the school since the end of the year has sent everyone up in a storm…and of course, all of them are more productive than me. They all have duties to attend to, be they literal…or in some cases, creative. It’s been impossible.

Now, this is my last chance.

A gust of wind rushes up the hill, sending a shiver through me. The town is still alight this late in the evening, although there are no sounds of life to speak of. The cicadas stopped chirping two months ago. Now there’s just the wind, and my footsteps.

My most awkward interactions with all of them keep getting replayed in my brain…even if I’ve had better interactions with them since then, it doesn’t matter. Their impression of me will always be held to that lowest standard.

First, there’s Lilly, Shizune, and Misha…

“Hicchan! Don’t you slack off either!” She said other words after that, but I don’t remember them. I was too busy being mad at her.

“And I’m a part of this, how exactly?” I asked harshly. “This is between you two…er, three. I’m no class representative. Leave me out of it.”

Lilly had a shocked expression, one that read You’re not even going to try and help me out here? I thought we were friends. That was the first hit. And then Shizune had slashed her hands through the air at me, fury written all over her face, and Misha had translated. That was the second hit.

Later on, the Student Council apologized for the nature of how they dragged me into the argument, saying it was uncalled for to do it in such a manner, but Shizune made it very clear that she disapproved of my snarky attitude. You cannot go through life acting as if you don’t have to do anything. You’re living on this planet; you owe it some work.

Shizune and Misha asked me for help with things signficantly less after that. We still talked in class, but it was only out of necessity, due to us sitting next to each other. I got the message loud and clear…they thought I was a lost cause.

And I’ve barely spoken to Lilly at all. We’ve run into each other in the hallways before, and exchanged some polite conversation, but I can tell she doesn’t really want to deepen our relationship beyond that.

Especially now, that I…

No, no. I will not think about Hanako right now. It’s partially my fault that she won’t be at the party that I am approaching. Me and my inability to do ANYTHING properly. I just wanted to be friends, because it seemed like she loved books as much as I did…but I didn’t have the social skills to navigate such a friendship. It was doomed from the start.

In the back of my mind, I can hear Shizune speaking through Misha, in a scathing tone. There you go, giving up again. Do you intend on ever doing anything difficult in your life? Yes, Shizune, apparently I do. This thing I’m intending right now might be the most difficult thing ever.

Emi will be at this party as well. Emi, who I probably got the closest with out of all the people at this school…Emi, who I maybe wanted to get closer with, as we became friendlier and friendlier on our morning runs. But there was a barrier there, some kind of disconnect…I sensed that she was keeping herself distant, and even after all she taught me about running, I was scared of trying to close that distance. I was scared of Emi, and I think she figured it out. Instead of escalating, our friendship stagnated, and then grew colder. I haven’t gone out to run on the track in weeks, citing the cold weather as the reason the last time I saw Emi. She only nodded and said, “I understand.”

Now I’m wondering what she really meant. Was she understanding why I wasn’t running, or understanding something else?

The Shanghai is across the street, the sleepy orange lights giving the area a sort of blurry warmth through the dark, chilly air. Something wet lands on the tip of my nose.

I look up at the yawning, drooping sky. More wet things land on my face. It’s begun to snow again.

I sniff, tears suddenly streaming down my face. What did I even do with my last year of school, with my friendships, with my life? My one real chance to really understand someone else, to share experiences with someone else, to have a meaningful relationship with someone else, was taken away by my heart attack, and I haven’t done anything proactive since.

The snow continues to land on my cheeks, my eyelashes. I’m suddenly laughing, laughing while crying. God, I’m such a wreck.

“You shouldn’t do that out on the street,” someone says. “Someone will think you’re a foreigner.”

I sniff again, sharply this time, and shift my head down to look at the person who spoke. Under the narrow overhang of the Shanghai’s exterior, Rin is leaning against the wall. Probably watching the snow, I think.

“Hello, Rin,” I say, my voice still doing that airy waver that you get after crying. I wipe my face off and step under the overhang. “What did you say? I’d look like a foreigner? Do I look like a foreigner to you?” I’m in a giddy, playful mood, all of a sudden. Have no idea where it came from, but I’ll use it while it lasts.

Rin looks me up and down. “No. You look very Japanese.”

“Is standing in the street and crying like a psycho something foreigners regularly do in Japan?”

Rin shrugs.

“What were you doing out here?” This is starting to feel like an interrogation, but there’s nothing I can really do about it, right?

“Watching the snow,” she answers. Just as I expected. “What are you doing down here? Were you invited to this thing?”

“No,” I reply, “but I’m here.”

Rin nods, as if understanding everything. “I’m the opposite. I was invited, but I’m not here. Maybe if we go inside together, it will cancel out.”

Sounds so horrifically absurd that I want to do it. “Okay,” I agree. “When we go in, I want you to say something. Just anything.”

“Anything?” Rin raises an eyebrow.

“Yes.”

“You’re putting an awful lot of pressure on me.”

“It doesn’t matter. Come on.” I make a gesture, and she pushes herself off the wall with her foot. Swinging around to get ahead of me, she opens the front door to the Shanghai, and I follow inside.

The teahouse has been decorated with streamers and balloons and things like that, clearly made by Shizune and Misha. This is the only thought I have time to process.

“Slugs have four noses,” Rin announces to the entire room. “Also, Hisao is here.”

It goes silent. I swear you could hear a pin drop.

Near the counter, Misha makes a little noise and then turns to start signing to Shizune. They begin having an aggressive conversation, just as far as I can observe.

“Hey, Rin, you finally made it,” says Emi, walking over. “Hey, Hisao. I didn’t know you were invited to this.” Her tone is casual and neutral, but suddenly I’m filled with the butterflies all over again.

“Uh, well…” I rub the back of my neck with my hand sheepishly. “I kinda…”

“He wasn’t invited!” Misha declares, and before I know it, the Student Council is on top of me. Shizune is giving me an authoritarian glare, and Misha has her hands on her hips. Emi’s look is questioning, and Rin just stands there, her eyes half-lidded.

“Um…” The heat is rushing to my cheeks. “Well…” My stomach feels like it’s flipping over and over. “You see…” God, why can’t I SPEAK?

I could just walk out. Run for it. I don’t have to interact with these girls for much longer, anyway. Escaping an extremely awkward situation to make things only slightly awkward for a few more weeks seems like a reasonable trade-off right at this moment.

No.

No, this isn’t how I escape. I escape by powering through. I escape by standing my ground.

“It’s true, I wasn’t invited,” I say apologetically. “But I had something to give all of you, and I didn’t know if I would get a better time to do it.”

Shizune’s dark blue eyes dart down to the bag in my hand, and her face suddenly lightens.

Emi breaks into a grin. “Ooh, Hisao what did you get me?”

Misha’s face relaxes, and she takes her hands off her hips as Shizune begins signing. “Well then, Hicchan, if you…”

“Sorry, I was speaking to Yuuko. Did someone come in?” It’s Lilly, walking slowly and steadily, her cane tip-tapping against the floor.

“It’s Hisao,” Rin tells her.

I look at Lilly’s face carefully. For a moment, she keeps her neutral expression, but then she smiles prettily. “Hello, Hisao,” she says. “What brings you here?”

It’s like their hopeful expressions melt all my nerves away. “I brought some things for all of you,” I announce.

Then, I take the final leap.

PKMNthiefChris
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Re: Secret Santa 2018 - Story collection

Post by PKMNthiefChris » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:10 am

So here's my comments on what's been done so far:

Akira's Surprise by Lap

I freely admit I'm not a fan of harem endings in general and Lilly or even Hisao being in a poly relationship is pretty outside my view of them. I can however see a post route Hanako being the driving force behind it, along with Lilly fearing Akira's reaction. And Akira ranging from shocked to teasing? Heck yeah, definitely. The writing itself was solid and ending on a note of cheering was good.

Mission Log: Snow Butterfly by PKMNThiefChris

Does this fool think he's a writer? I can't make heads or tails of it.

When the World Stops Cold by Downix

Ah, Downix's Rika. No matter the incarnation her play off Hisao is always enjoyable. It's nice to see her helping Hisao confront some of his demons from the winter before. It's well written like I've come to expect from Downix's work and it was a nice fit for the prompt as well.

A Gift of Confidence by Mirage_GSM

I'm glad I didn't get this prompt. It turned out quite well but I definitely would've been stuck if I'd gotten it. Them helping Hanako worked out well and it's nice to see or see them seeing Hanako's growth as time months go on. Also you really played up Nurse's nature as a meddler. Not that I think you made him more of a meddler than he actually is but it was cool seeing it being the main focus.

The Last Leap of 2007 by Bricktycoon

I'm torn about how to feel about this one when it comes to Hisao. The girls were in pretty good character and so was Hisao for a depressed him but... I'm uncertain he could make it this far, this depressed. Rin was great. Everyone was great. I just feel conflicted about that specifically. Ending on a hopeful note was a good touch since he makes it very clear he wishes to change.

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brythain
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Re: Secret Santa 2018 - Story collection

Post by brythain » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:38 am

My dear Mirage!

This is excellent. I loved the chronological vignette format, which told many bits of story—about Nurse, Nomiya, and others—while keeping the main storyline flowing. I had no idea what I'd get, and am indeed very pleased with my present. I am now fearful that I am not going to deliver as good a piece for my own victim!

Thanks very much! :)
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:39 pm
Prompt: “Nomiya and Nurse are having drinks at the local bar. They have to resolve a problem involving a main female character who's neither Rin nor Emi.”

A few words regarding the implementation of this prompt: I found this to be quite challenging. The framework was quite restricted both in the characters involved (With Emi and Rin excluded, Shizune and Lilly not really being the ones to have others solve problems for them and me not sure whether brythain would consider Misha a ‘main character’ Hanako was pretty much the only one left) and the location (which pretty much precluded Hanako from making a personal appearance). Oh, and of course I wanted to somehow shoehorn in something about Christmas…
I think the story could have been better if there had been some interaction between Hanako and Nomiya, but on the other hand the prompt caused me to write the story in a format I would probably not have considered on my own.
Anyway, I hope what I wrote will still be considered satisfactory.

P.S.: Genbikei Gorge should be about an hour’s travel from Sendai. Now I want to go there the next time I visit Japan…

P.P.S.: This is now my headcanon for what happens to the other girls after Emis good end :-)
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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