The Sound of Silence, a Shizune one-shot ('All I Have'/'Enjoy the Silence' tie-in)

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NelNinja
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The Sound of Silence, a Shizune one-shot ('All I Have'/'Enjoy the Silence' tie-in)

Post by NelNinja » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:20 pm

I recently read ‘All I Have’ by Oddball and ‘Enjoy the Silence’ by bhtooefr and found myself really enjoying their premise, despite how dark or possibly “out of character” it may have been. This isn’t my first time writing something - short stories come to me occasionally - but this is the first Katawa Shoujo fic I’ve written. Shizune’s role in both of those stories is minimal, and mostly plot related, so I thought I’d give my take of what happened with Shizune.

Considering the material I worked with, ‘happy’ isn’t a term I’d use to describe this story. Melancholy is an emotion I’ve been looking to channel and this is one of a few stories (only KS related one) that it’s popped up in. Mirage feels this story can stand on its own, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage reading the two fics it’s based on.

Thank you to Mirage for editing this. Stories always seems to live or die by the editor :)


***

If I could hear, this room would be filled with the sound of… What sound do computer keys make? Misha would say something like ‘a woodpecker making holes’, or some other cute animal doing something inane. Either way, I’d take her word for it. Whatever the sound is this room must be overflowing with it, considering how long this report is taking. Thinking of my bubblegum-haired friend has thoroughly derailed my focus. A silent sigh escapes my lips as my eyes wander to a clock on the wall. 8:23 PM. Almost time to wake her up.

Misha has improved greatly in waking up early, but everytime life calls her to be awake before 8 AM she appreciates getting a video chat from me. With her flying across the globe this morning - for her anyway - I have more than enough investment to give in today. I reach across the desk to grasp the piece of plastic and metal that ties me to her, the phone I still somehow dislike despite needing it for everything involving my family’s business. As the little screen lights up, a text message stares at me. From Hisao.

I input my password and open my messages.
Hisao wrote:I’m catching a train to Tokyo in the morning. Will you have time?
A frown creeps across my face. I’m glad to hear from him, but this seems very out of character. Pulling out a planner, I thumb through my day tomorrow. Aside from classes in the morning, I should have a few hours before meeting Misha at the airport. I can’t think of a reason why not, but doesn’t he have classes tomorrow? It seems important, so only a little ribbing, but I pull up my phone to reply.
Shizune wrote:Should be fine. Misha is flying in tomorrow afternoon, I wanted it to be a surprise. Are you alright? Don’t you have classes on Fridays?
Hitting SEND, the date on my last message assaults my eyes. A month? No, I swear I contacted him- Oh, right, the business meeting… The frown turns into a scowl; I let school and work get in the way again. A less than silent breath leaves my lungs. I lost again. Before I’ve even finished the thought, my fingers have typed an addendum to my message.
Shizune wrote:I’m sorry, school and work have taken all my free time the last month. Can I make-up with lunch tomorrow?
And sent. I’ve said that a lot recently, ‘sorry,’ haven’t I? After scolding Hanako about it during our time at Yamaku, it stings how hypocritical I’ve become.

Hisao and I haven’t spent nearly enough time with one another for the past year or so, despite me making a game out it to stop that from happening. As my head swirls with regret, my head falls, a resounding THUMP resonating through the room, I’m sure. Sleep is another lover I have missed far too much.

8:35 PM. Whoops, better call Misha.

***

“Good night, Shicchan, thanks for the wake-up call! I’m headed to the airport. See you soon, Wahahahaha~!” With an over-the-top wave, and a smile the size of my father’s ego Misha ends the call. I’m still getting used to seeing Misha not sign everything but she insists on it to help me with lip-reading. She still has to repeat herself more than I’d like, but it is helping. A flick of my wrist tells me it’s time for bed. The video calls with Misha always go on longer than is healthy, though I’m sure neither of us mind. The smile plastered on my face shows I’m excited for tomorrow. How long has it been since I’ve seen her? Over a year? My thought stops, my hand covering the extended yawn that surely fills the room.

One last text informing Hisao of my intentions signals the end of my brain functioning. His smile, his hand, his scar… all these fill the void left behind as I clap twice, plunging the room in darkness. These things must be put off till tomorrow, but I am looking forward to seeing him…

***

I’m fanning myself, while the sweltering heat melts me into the seat. News said today would be quite nice, but evidently they lied. Sweating through my makeup isn’t my idea of “nice weather.” Fortunately, my dress keeps me cool, the white top leaving most of my upper torso free. The week Misha, Hisao and I spent at my father’s years ago comes to mind. As does the first time we had sex. The weather isn’t the only reason my face is red now. This is the dress I wore that day, must be why all these memories are coming back.

Hisao steps off the train. His hair is a mess but he lacks his traditional sweater vest. Sleep must have been avoiding him as much as it has me; the bags under his eyes add weight to the smile he flashes. While he certainly filled out, he’s the same mess I fell in love with during high school. Joy fills my face, but there’s something behind his eyes, something worrying, [What’s wrong?] I question, my frown making it clear I’ve noticed.

Downcast emotions streak across his face before a weak smile punctuates his words. [Ah, sorry, I had a paper due this morning that kept me up later than I thought…] I furrow my brow, his placating words doing little to ease my worry, but I drop the subject. He’ll tell me when he’s ready.

Standing from the bench, a light hug is all I get before we seperate. Something must really be weighing him down. [Okay, don’t worry about it. You ready for lunch?] A small smile and a wink seem to pull him from his funk as I grab his arm. There’s the Hisao I love.

[Yeah, know a cafe nearby?] I nod, pulling him towards the stairs.

Squeezing his arm, a familiar distance falls between us to allow conversation. [It’s no Shanghai, but I know a place.]

***

Plates empty, drinks finished, Hisao fills me in on the last month we’ve missed each other: classes, group projects, nights with friends, simple things. I return the favor, and we continue with the small talk for some time.

[Shizune, could we head back to your place?] I blink, swiftly followed by a knowing grin. It's certainly been a while. Shifting my glasses gives me a moment to plan this.

[Oh? And what are you planning on doing with a helpless girl in her apartment?] Hisao shifts uncomfortably, telling me my teasing worked.

[Uh… No, I just need to talk to you about something without other people around.] His hand ruffles the hair above his neck, followed by the same downcast look he hid earlier.

[Ah, okay. Of course, it isn’t too far. Come on.] I blush, almost dropping my shoulders to give him a glare. I wouldn't be opposed to the idea… Gathering our trash, we drop it in the bin on the way out.

It isn’t long before we arrive at my apartment, it being central to everywhere I go in the city. Grabbing juice and coffee for us, we sit down on the couch, that downcast look having not left his face since we left the cafe. [What’s wrong Hisao? And don’t give me another lame school excuse, I know it’s something else.] My brow stays taut, but my lips and eyes betray my concern. He raises his hands to ‘speak,’ lowering them several times before deciding on what to say.

[What am I to you?]

I freeze, the suddenness of the question catching me off guard. What are you to me? Is that really the question on his mind?

[You are my boyfriend, the man I fell in love with. I know I’ve been distant, haven’t reached out as much as I should, but nothing has changed.] My signs are decisive, leaving no doubt behind their sincerity. He flinches when I mention ‘love.’ What’s got him so riled up? [It’s the same way I’ve felt since graduation, since you told me that day.] Despite my reassurances, he’s sinking further into the same kind of pit I found him in on his first day at Yamaku, [What brought this on?]

He takes a moment to collect his thoughts, almost as if… as if he’d rehearsed this. [Akira visited the other day.]

Akira? Why would Akira be visiting him? [What brought her there? We haven’t seen her since high school.]

It was when we visited my house for the first time, before she and Lilly moved to Scotland to be with their parents. It was very sudden, but Lilly explained it to me very thoroughly. She wanted to be with her parents, with her family, and not be separated from the only family she had left aside from me and my father. Hanako didn’t take it very well. Lilly asked me to watch over her once she was gone. That’s what started to break the antagonistic wall that had been between us since she’d left the student council.

Hisao looks away from me, almost leaving me behind. [She… She came to visit Hanako.] Wait, is Hanako still in Sendai? Last I had heard from her was the trip she took after high school with Naomi and Natsume. But… Why would Akira visiting Hanako mean-

[You’ve seen Hanako? Why didn’t you tell me sooner? You know I’ve been looking for her since she went on that trip!] Anger was plain on my face now. He knew what had happened. He knew Lilly asked me to watch over her, to make sure she was okay. Unless…

No, no, Hisao wouldn’t do that to me, would he? He loves me, that’s what he said at graduation, that’s what he said- I pull out my phone, going to my messages and scrolling through them.
Hisao wrote:When was the last time you said, “I love you?”
That was six months ago, the last time that appeared in our messages. We’d been so busy, both of us, that I hadn’t given it much thought. He’d brought it up at what seemed like such a random time. Is that when it started…?

Hisao hasn’t made any motion after what he last said, his eyes looking at the floor. Grabbing his chin, I turn his face towards mine, [Why did you come here today, Hisao? You never come here out of the blue, you’ve never…] My hands fall. Hisao isn’t looking at me, he isn’t signing either.

“… with Hanako.” What? I wave my hands, making a circle with my pointer finger around his mouth. He winces, but repeats it. “I’m cheating on you… with Hanako.”

***

I’m not sure how long I cried, how much time passed before Misha entered my apartment. “He’s gone…” that’s all I was able to say before it all came back: the emotions, the anger, the pain Hisao had hidden from me. She embraced me for what seemed like hours, saying nothing. At some point I composed myself enough to explain what happened, to relive my heart shredding what felt like just moments before.

I’m not sure what came over me but when I looked up at her, the tears streaming down her face, I saw the girl who’d confessed to me. The girl who’d stayed by my side, hurting. Her hair had grown since then, her natural dirty blonde hair showing, leaving hints of the pink she dyed it. She didn’t deserve this.

I’m not sure when I kissed her or when we went to my bedroom. All I know is that it happened, that she comforted me. The wound left by Hisao is still fresh, still bleeds, still stings, but maybe…

… Maybe everything will be alright, if she is here.
Last edited by NelNinja on Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Character Impressions:
Misha>Emi=Hanako=Lilly=Shizune=Rin
I wrote things!
The Sound of Silence - Shizune one-shot
Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate - Hisao sans heart attack (On-going)

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Re: The Sound of Silence, a Shizune one-shot

Post by Feurox » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:15 pm

This is peculiar. In a good way of course.

It's a bit of a sting, having Hisao cheat on Shizune like that. Entirely the point I'm sure and had you not captured the 'version' of Hisao from Shizune's route, the pragmatic, drifter Hisao that refuses to assert himself in his own life and attempt to in Shizunes, I think that reveal would fall short. My problem then, is that the person in which you choose Hisao to cheat on Shizune with is someone who, besides Lilly, would likely be the least likely to partake in such a thing. Maybe he's being truly awful and lying to both, I grant you, but of the cast of character you could choose, Hanako actually seems like a bit of a poor choice to have used. Considering not much is done for her development, or at least mentioned, (in fact you mention Lilly still asking Shizune to watch her... like she's not gotten any better,) it makes Hisao seem like a bit of a predator - and yet, whilst Shizune is hurt utterly, she's not nearly as outraged as I'd expect from my reading of her character. I think in short, that kind of summarises how I think you've dealt with the characters you used - Hisao is pretty well done, if extra scummy, whilst Shizune and Hanako feel like they've not been the same justice. Of course that's not to say this is by any means bad, what a brilliant and poetic style!

One thing I want to stress is that I think it's possible to write this kind of scenario and not be out of character. Your Hisao comes close, but misses the mark - It's not something I'd attempt myself, but I do believe it's possible.


Also, I'm not sure of those implications in Misha's comfort but since you've labelled this a one-shot I think that's utterly fine to leave it ambiguous. A fantastic read and a lovely post, well done.

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Re: The Sound of Silence, a Shizune one-shot

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:37 pm

Nice story! It's a bit of a shame it's just a one-shot. There is so much that is implied in the two pairings you make here, the one that is broken, and the way that is broken, but we don't get to see any of it, only the culmination of it. How did Hisao make contact with Hanako again? What kind of person is Hanako now? What was going through his head when he did that--what did Hanako know, and how did she feel about it? That's not to even get into the implications for Shizune and Misha. There's so much there to be explored! But of course, not everything has to be a longer multi-chapter work--still enjoyed what's here!

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Re: The Sound of Silence, a Shizune one-shot

Post by NelNinja » Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:06 pm

Feurox wrote:
Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:15 pm
This is peculiar. In a good way of course.
First, thank you!
Feurox wrote:My problem then, is that the person in which you choose Hisao to cheat on Shizune with is someone who, besides Lilly, would likely be the least likely to partake in such a thing. Maybe he's being truly awful and lying to both, I grant you, but of the cast of character you could choose, Hanako actually seems like a bit of a poor choice to have used. Considering not much is done for her development, or at least mentioned, (in fact you mention Lilly still asking Shizune to watch her... like she's not gotten any better,) it makes Hisao seem like a bit of a predator - and yet, whilst Shizune is hurt utterly, she's not nearly as outraged as I'd expect from my reading of her character. I think in short, that kind of summarises how I think you've dealt with the characters you used - Hisao is pretty well done, if extra scummy, whilst Shizune and Hanako feel like they've not been the same justice. Of course that's not to say this is by any means bad, what a brilliant and poetic style!


One thing I want to stress is that I think it's possible to write this kind of scenario and not be out of character. Your Hisao comes close, but misses the mark - It's not something I'd attempt myself, but I do believe it's possible.
More thanks! Mirage also pointed out the oddity in choosing Hanako, but that's wasn't entirely up to me. 'All I Have' by Oddball established the 'canon' for this particular fic, in which Hisao and Hanako end up as friends with benefits after Shizune and Hisao's second h-scene. An exact timeline isn't given, but it occurs in the 6-8 months between Hizune talking about what they're pursuing with their lives (teaching and philanthropy) and graduation. The long-and-short of the basic premise is that Shizune is too focused on school and preparing for the future to be a good girlfriend and Hisao and Hanako spend more time with one another, leading to bennies.

'Enjoy the Silence' by bytooefr then expands on this concept (picking up around 1-1.5 years after), leading to the resolution presented here. Both Hanako and Hisao get fairly well represented in those stories so I wanted to give Shizune a voice. I can totally see why picking Hanako outside of those fic would be very weird. Emi, or possibly Lilly, would make better candidates outside that fiction.

Edit: The other fics are linked at the top of my original post.
Feurox wrote: Also, I'm not sure of those implications in Misha's comfort but since you've labelled this a one-shot I think that's utterly fine to leave it ambiguous. A fantastic read and a lovely post, well done.
The ambiguity is most certainly intended. That said, I have every intention for those implications to be run with. Sex scenes will probably never show up in my writing, it would be awkward for everyone involved :lol:
Hanako Fancopter wrote: Nice story! It's a bit of a shame it's just a one-shot. There is so much that is implied in the two pairings you make here, the one that is broken, and the way that is broken, but we don't get to see any of it, only the culmination of it. How did Hisao make contact with Hanako again? What kind of person is Hanako now? What was going through his head when he did that--what did Hanako know, and how did she feel about it? That's not to even get into the implications for Shizune and Misha. There's so much there to be explored! But of course, not everything has to be a longer multi-chapter work--still enjoyed what's here!
These questions are all answered in the linked fics, 'All I Have' by Oddball and 'Enjoy the Silence' by bhtooefr. Also, those fics expand the story, but you didn't hear that from me. You should totally run with the whole concept anew.

With that said HEY LOOK, IT'S THE MAKER OF 'AN UNUSUAL FRIENDSHIP' I AM NOT FANBOYING OVER IN THIS CORNER, YOU ARE!
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Character Impressions:
Misha>Emi=Hanako=Lilly=Shizune=Rin
I wrote things!
The Sound of Silence - Shizune one-shot
Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate - Hisao sans heart attack (On-going)

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Re: The Sound of Silence, a Shizune one-shot

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:42 pm

Ohhh that makes a lot more sense! Absolutely did not know your fic was a tie-in. That's pretty cool and does make me more inclined to read the two fics you linked!

also thanks for the shout out lol

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Re: The Sound of Silence, a Shizune one-shot ('All I Have'/'Enjoy the Silence' tie-in)

Post by Lap » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:16 am

Nice story, fits in well with its predecessors. It felt very much like Hisao to put off breaking up for as long as he could, instead of just doing it up front as soon as he saw Shizune. Well, we all have our moments of cowardice, and it''s not an easy task.

But I kept getting annoyed by Shizune's references to sound. It's just not something she would routinely think about or do--any more than you or I routinely think about what our world would look like if we could "see" in sonar like a dolphin. It's an interesting notion to contemplate occasionally, but not all the time.

I do feel sorry for Misha, getting caught up in Shizune's rebound sex. Poor Shiina.
Current KS Stories:
Avenues of Communication Shizune suffers an accident. (WIP)
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. (WIP)
Home: Hanako & Hisao at University, sharing an apartment with their friend Lilly (on Ao3).

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Re: The Sound of Silence, a Shizune one-shot ('All I Have'/'Enjoy the Silence' tie-in)

Post by NelNinja » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:16 pm

Lap wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:16 am
Nice story, fits in well with its predecessors. It felt very much like Hisao to put off breaking up for as long as he could, instead of just doing it up front as soon as he saw Shizune. Well, we all have our moments of cowardice, and it''s not an easy task.
All this praise is gonna go to my head some day.
But I kept getting annoyed by Shizune's references to sound. It's just not something she would routinely think about or do--any more than you or I routinely think about what our world would look like if we could "see" in sonar like a dolphin. It's an interesting notion to contemplate occasionally, but not all the time.
This is one of those things that came out naturally as I was fleshing out Shizune. I understand it feeling out of place, but for me it seemed a natural progression as she learned to speak and speechread, stepping into the shoes of the non-deaf and volume control. Understanding how loud one should be means also learning to gauge how loud the environment is.

Edit: It's also a small reason this story is named as it is.
I do feel sorry for Misha, getting caught up in Shizune's rebound sex. Poor Shiina.
Don't worry, my Misha may fully break after this (depending on how it all evolves from there) but you can make sure she gets a happy ending :wink:
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Character Impressions:
Misha>Emi=Hanako=Lilly=Shizune=Rin
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The Sound of Silence - Shizune one-shot
Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate - Hisao sans heart attack (On-going)

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Re: The Sound of Silence, a Shizune one-shot ('All I Have'/'Enjoy the Silence' tie-in)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:30 pm

Now wait a minute. Misha got what she always wanted! Don't make it sound like the story has a bad ending after all! Don't hurt the drill princess! :O

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Re: The Sound of Silence, a Shizune one-shot ('All I Have'/'Enjoy the Silence' tie-in)

Post by NelNinja » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:44 pm

Hanako Fancopter wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:30 pm
Now wait a minute. Misha got what she always wanted! Don't make it sound like the story has a bad ending after all! Don't hurt the drill princess! :O
Perspective Fancopter, it can go either way. It's intentionally ambiguous and open. No drill princess need hurt today!

Also, I thought it was a good transition to a shout out.
I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing
Character Impressions:
Misha>Emi=Hanako=Lilly=Shizune=Rin
I wrote things!
The Sound of Silence - Shizune one-shot
Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate - Hisao sans heart attack (On-going)

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