(WIP - Updated 3/14/2019 TRIPLE POST) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/5/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by Feurox » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:56 am

One thing I wanted to mention before even diving into the story:
speaking of Leafy
It’s Leaty. I know that’s likely just an auto-correct issue. But obviously when giving credit, which, you are, it’s best to make sure that the credit information is accurate so that others can find the source easily. I’m also a bit confused as to what the credit is for... but you said that’s yet to come so fair enough.

Okay, onwards.

I’m not entirely sold on this so far - I’m always a bit hesitant to comment on Fics that leave Yamaku, but what I will say is that you’ve made a good effort to make Hisao’s journey from where his heart attack should have been seem believable. The course of action seems thought out, and Hisao, whilst depressive, comes across as quite well developed in the years we’ve missed.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this, your writing is technically sound and I think this shows promise.

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/5/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:18 pm

A reenactment of me waking up:

*sees notification that someone replied to my post*

Ah cool! Let's see who pos-

*6 posts in the span of 12 hours*

OH! Let me get on my actual computer instead of creeping on my phone.

----------------------------------
brythain wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:15 am
AJT135 wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:08 am
I suppose it was more the age they got married that seemed odd to me, since getting married at 19, while not unheard of, is unusual. Thinking about it more, the apartment thing makes more sense if Iwanako had wanted to move out for uni, which is pretty common, even amongst people going to uni near home. I can't say I've ever known anyone move out permanently right after school however, but maybe that's because I'm in the UK where property prices are ridiculous.
Especially in Japan, where age of marriage is getting later and later, and more people are just not doing it. What might make the story better is to allow more gradual development. Else it's hard for the reader to see how it happened over time. Not that it can't happen, but the reader should see it happening.

I would like to point out that they would have been engaged at 19, not necessarily married at 19. I'm not sure how long the usual engagement is in Japan, but in the US they can range from a couple months to a year or two. A small, but notable, difference.

Feurox wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:56 am
speaking of Leafy
It’s Leaty.

*checks post* God dammit. Fixed

Okay, onwards.

I’m not entirely sold on this so far - I’m always a bit hesitant to comment on Fics that leave Yamaku, but what I will say is that you’ve made a good effort to make Hisao’s journey from where his heart attack should have been seem believable. The course of action seems thought out, and Hisao, whilst depressive, comes across as quite well developed in the years we’ve missed.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this, your writing is technically sound and I think this shows promise.
Razoredge wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:41 am
For me, it's really interesting so far. I will keep this story in my "read more" list. I don't see the problem here too. For me, it's a nice content.

Thanks! All I can really say is I hope it doesn't disappoint

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:31 am
AJT135 wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:48 pm
It's also kind of jarring to see that entire year of Hisao's life skimmed over in the space of 2 chapters paragraphs.
I don't usually comment on stuff that didn't make it in the published version, but this is kind of funny, because in the original draft it was two sentences instead of two paragraphs.
I don't really see the problem with moving in together that soon, and proposing after almost two years of being in a relationship does not seem too unusual either. I'll be interested in the mysterious reasons for the breakup though. I haven't been able to read that far either...

This is true, you have Mirage to thank for having as much explanation as you have. I mentioned this before (Rule 1: Only write the interesting stuff) but honestly I just didn't see the point in covering the 1.5 years more than I did right now. More stuff may come up later as it's appropriate, but fate is mentioned for a reason: this isn't the life Hisao was supposed to have, so I skipped to where him and fate began to intersect again.

I knew I couldn't leave everything out (hence the chapter's worth of his heart stuff) but him going to school, work, and his relationship with Iwanako just wouldn't have been interesting in my eyes. At least not as a whole preamble to what I'm writing now.

dewelar wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:26 am
brythain wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:15 am
Especially in Japan, where age of marriage is getting later and later, and more people are just not doing it. What might make the story better is to allow more gradual development. Else it's hard for the reader to see how it happened over time. Not that it can't happen, but the reader should see it happening.
That really depends on how germane it is to the story, though, and whether there's some revelation to come that might make it more properly placed later. Mistake status: pending.

dewelar hit the nail on the head

Interesting story so far -- interesting enough to keep reading at least :) . I'm anxious to see who's in Misha's circle in this 'verse.

Haha, yeah *frantic movement behind the scenes* Can't wait! BRAIN WHY?!

Regarding some of the other points: yes, I know I didn't really describe Shin or Mai in Developments, but it probably would have improved it a bit if I had. I don't think the characters from the VN necessarily need it unless there's something notably different about their appearance. As for the speed of Hisawako, I can't complain, as I married my wife nine months to the day after we met, and we're still together :D .

Yes, build my following dewelar, build it slowly until I'm so overwhelmed I foam at the mouth from too much attention.

...

Wait, maybe that isn't such a good idea. ABORT! ABORT!

Image

There's a reason I mentioned you and Leaty as inspiration instead of more as the more I write the less I feel I'm directly taking from you guys. Still, some of y'alls stuff will be more obvious as the story progresses. Just gotta write more so I can feed these people :oops:
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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/5/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:05 pm

Things changed since I posted Chapter 2. There are 4 beautiful women on this chapter, but only 2 with Misha. I have edited the previous chapter. Apologies for missing this.

-----
Chapter 3

Mikado leads me to one of the rooms inside the karaoke place; evidently we’re the last ones to arrive. Before we get too close, she turns around and gives me as serious a look as she can through her typically cheerful face. “Hisao, I’m serious~ about you being free to leave at any point. This is supposed to be fun~! You aren’t a prisoner being kept against your will, okay?”

I can see the pout creeping back onto her face. “Okay, but are you sure this is alright? It took a while for you to convince… Satou was it?” She’d spent quite a while on the phone calling and texting various people earlier tonight, but the one who seemed most against it was the first one. Satou Lilly I think was her name.

Her usual happy smile begins to creep back. “Of course~! I wouldn’t have invited~ you if it weren’t!” She drops her voice to a much quieter tone. “Just don’t stare, okay? One of them is really shy…”

I quickly nod, remembering what she’d said. “Right, you told me about them a little.”

Her smile back in full force, she turns the knob. “Great!”

As she opens the door, I’m overwhelmed by the sight of an extremely beautiful women sitting on the couch in the room, “Hey ladies! This is Nakai Hisao.He looked really down earlier, so I thought he could use the company.” As I begin to soak in the atmosphere the tall, blonde lady with the overly kind smile on her face begins to speak.

“It is a pleasure to meet you Mr. Nakai. I’m Satou Lilly. I must say I was quite surprised when Misha called me about tonight.”

Misha? Does she mean Mikado? Her face is pointed in my direction, but she isn’t making eye contact; this must the one Mikado spent the most time on the phone with. She mentioned she was blind but to not ‘worry about that.’

“Wahahaha~! Yeah, sorry about the late notice. It all happened so fast!” Mikado looks a little nervous, but continues with introductions unabated, “My friend sitting next to Lilly is Ikezawa Hanako. She’s the one who recommended Karaoke tonight!”

As I turn my attention past Satou, I catch the eye of a thin girl almost entirely behind her. Her hair, almost the same shade as Iwanako’s, hangs over her right eye. I think I see something else there, but before I can make it out she pushes further into the couch, her entire body behind her well-endo- ‘lovely’ friend. I give a nervous smile and wave, though I’m not sure if she can see me anymore.

She speaks almost too quiet for me to hear. “H-hello…” Honestly, she has a lovely voice and is quite attractive, despite the- OH! I finally notice some scarring on her right hand. That must have been what I saw on her face… A cap on her head makes it even harder to see, I’m surprised I noticed anything at all.

“It’s nice to meet you Ikezawa, sorry to intrude on your night with friends.” Though she still seems skittish, I see a small smile from behind the shield of hair.

“N-no, it’s okay. Misha t-told me y-you really needed a f-friend.” Slowly, she comes out from behind Satou, “I k-know how that feels…” Maybe it’s just my imagination, but there’s a depth behind her eyes that tells me those aren’t just kind words.

With introductions out of the way, Mikado, a.k.a. Misha, strikes a pose with her fist in the air, “Okay then! Let’s get this party started!”

***

As the night rounds out, sooner or later, every girl here has insisted I refer to them by their given name. Being the gentleman that I am, I agreed as long as they did the same. Misha eventually explained her nickname, a combination of her given (Shiina) and family (Mikado) names. Hanako seems to really be in her element when she sings, putting her heart and soul into her final song. She mentioned it’s from her days in an orphanage but didn’t explain any further.

Lilly seems content with how I’ve treated Hanako. It is obvious she cares deeply about her, maybe she’s even a little protective. She asks me plenty of questions, though I don’t get into the specifics of why I’m here. They seem comfortable with me, but I’m not ready to talk about Iwanako. They did, however, invite me to a cafe after karaoke.

Everyone else orders tea, leaving me the sole voice of reason with coffee. Misha recommends a parfait, but the cake Hanako ordered sounds much more my speed. Lemon cake always hits a spot I forget is there.

Now that we’ve spent more time around each other, Hanako is beginning to seem more comfortable around me, though she stills stutters more when talking to me compared to Lilly and Misha. “H-Hisao, I… I’m glad we m-met you tonight. I hope we’ve h-helped. You look m-much less depressed than earlier.”

“You did, hopefully we can do this again. I had fun tonight.” I think I see her blush, but she’s turned her head that the hair that hangs in her face makes it hard to tell.

“It was quite enjoyable, Hisao. I look forward to seeing you again in the future. Good luck handling whatever it is that led to you needing a couple strangers for company.” She smiles sweetly, which is swiftly interrupted by a yawn she hides behind her hand. “My apologies, I think I’m spent for the night. Until next time.” Lilly and Hanako get up to leave, Lilly looking particularly tired. Hanako has been hiding behind Lilly whenever people walk by, but Lilly looks to be leaning on her as they walk out. That leaves just me and Misha in the small cafe near the train station.

We sit there chatting a while longer before Misha hides a yawn. “Hicchan, did you enjoy tonight?” Misha herself looks tired, but is adamant she’s fine.

“I did, thank you for inviting me. It helped keep… It helped distract me.” Checking my watch, it’s a bit later than I expect. “We should probably get going though; I don’t care how much you insist, you’re falling asleep just sitting there.” Her head slowly drifts down before she snaps it back up.

“Y-yeah, you’re right. What part of town do you live in Hicchan?” She begins to fade but slaps her face to keep herself awake. She winces at her pain, evidently having hit harder than she meant to.

“Suginami Ward, I have to catch a train before they stop for the night.” As the words leave my mouth, Misha’s eyes drift wide.

“Wait, really?! Where in the ward?” She’s leaning close now, the smell of strawberries drifting through my nose.

“Uh… An apartment right near Kōenji Station. It’s about a 5 minute walk from there.” Now I’m worried. The look on Misha’s face is somehow even more exuberant than her normal cheerfulness.

“OHMYGOSH! I get off at the next station, Asagaya!” Though her energy is overwhelming, it’s easy to tell she’s thoroughly exhausted, “Um… Hicchan? Could I bother you with a walk home? I’m not sure I’ll make it at this point without help…” An extended yawn escapes her before she can continue, “My apartment is to the East of the station, so it shouldn’t be too far of a walk for you after I get home.”

If you weren’t so utterly exhausted Misha, I’d expect something uncouth from this request.

“Sure, can you even stand at this point?” She’s practically a puddle on the table now, but makes an effort to sit up before responding.

“With great effort, Wahaha…” Not even her laugh has energy anymore.

I stand up and offer her my hand. “Then it would be my honor, young maiden.” My back is straight, left hand behind it, giving an air of servitude to my otherwise shabby attire.

With a chuckle, she takes my hand and stands up. “Thanks Hicchan, I really~ appreciate this.”

***

After making sure she won’t fall on her face going up the stairs, I give Misha a parting wave. A tired smile is all I get before the upper floor blocks her face. The crisp autumn air persuades me to pull my jacket closer.

As I walk home, flashes of today go through my head. Waking up next to Iwanako, walking her to the station. I remember rushing home to get ready for the night, double checking everything so it went off without a hitch. The early dinner, everything seeming perfect, until I drop the question…

As I arrive at my apartment, turning my key in the lock, the inside looks so empty. Everything that was hers, that she didn’t think I’d need, is gone. Pictures on the wall, her toothbrush, her half of the closet, empty. I had almost forgotten about it, but this all brings it rushing back.

She told me after rejecting my proposal that she was moving back in with her parents. It was closer to school, and she didn’t want to hurt me even more by staying here longer. I just don’t understand where I went wrong…

I slump onto the bed, the hollow apartment swallowing what’s left of my waking mind.



The light outside rouses me from my sleep, a streak of light making it right into my eye. “Ugh… I wasn’t sleeping well anyways, universe.”

I turn over to check the clock, bright red numbers showing me it’s 6:30 AM. Considering how late I was up, I’m surprised I woke up so early.

Hell no, ain’t happening. I shut my eyes, pull the covers up and hope to fall asleep again.

Time passes, I toss and turn, but no luck. Glancing at the clock, I evidently drifted off at some point as it now flashes 9 AM. Deeming it not worth the effort of trying anymore, I get out of bed to take my morning meds and make breakfast. Checking my phone, I notice a call I missed from Mai last night.

Just as I’m going to check my messages, a very loud knock interrupts me, quickly followed by the sound of my door unlocking. The door swings open, revealing a fiery-headed woman storming in.

Jackass! Get your ass out of bed, I’m not letting you wallow in there another sec-” As she shuts the door behind her, I finally catch her eye, standing next to my rice cooker. “Oh, good, I wasn’t looking forward to dragging you out of bed.” She sets a grocery bag on the counter, some kind of instant meal spilling out. “Wanted to make sure you got something to eat.”

“Thanks. Gotta say, I didn’t expect you this morning Mai. If anything, I thought you’d be over at Iwanako’s…” A look of devastation crosses my face as the words escape before I can process them.

She jabs a finger straight into my forehead. “And that’s why I’m here. She doesn’t need me right now. You do.” She shoos me away from the kitchen. “I can at least prep you something, man. Go get a shower. Did you sleep in your clothes last night?” Entirely forgetting to change, I still have my jacket and semi-nice clothes on from yesterday.

“Whoops…” I slip off my jacket, walking towards my room to get out of these clothes. Before I enter I turn back towards the kitchen. “Thanks Mai, it’s good to see you.”

“Don’t mention it, just go get cleaned up; I’m making sure you leave this apartment today. I called off this morning, the owner understood when I told them why.” As I enter my room, I hear my microwave open and shut. Whatever Mai brought, it looks like she’ll combine it with the rice I’m preparing.

With yesterday’s clothes removed, I grab some new ones and head into the restroom. A hot shower will help remove the fatigue that built up last night.

-----

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Last edited by NelNinja on Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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The Sound of Silence - Shizune one-shot
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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/5/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by Raimen » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:43 am

I'm really enjoying this story. I'm curious to see where it goes.
NelNinja wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:21 pm
“Good! Don’t get the wrong idea, but spending the night with four beautiful women should help! Wahahahaha~”
Chapter 3 reveals that there were only three beautiful women at karaoke -- Misha, Lilly and Hanako.

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/5/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:05 am

Raimen wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:43 am
I'm really enjoying this story. I'm curious to see where it goes.
NelNinja wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:21 pm
“Good! Don’t get the wrong idea, but spending the night with four beautiful women should help! Wahahahaha~”
Chapter 3 reveals that there were only three beautiful women at karaoke -- Misha, Lilly and Hanako.
Yeah, stuff changed. I've edited Chapter 2 and am just about to put an author note at the beginning of Chapter 3 to address this.

Edit: If you guys read Chapter 3 before I corrected Chapter 2, you didn't miss anything. Stuff changed and I forgot to change chapter 2 dialogue.
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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: (WIP - Updated 3/10/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:22 am

Chapter 4a

This morning has certainly been interesting. Ever since Mai came by and made breakfast, we’ve been on the move. Going to a nearby convenience store, visiting a manga place, buying some games and walking everywhere seems to be her answer to how to distract me. Eventually, her main goal becomes obvious: exercise.

I’ve been walking some mornings to keep my heart healthy, but evidently that isn’t enough for her. Walking to a nearby park, she’s adamant that I dedicate myself to running around the foot paths here. I don’t really see the need, but it’ll be easier to drop later than to fight her about it now. Today we’re just planning to check out the place, but fate has other plans.

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO-ONE IS THERE?” Mai shouts into her phone. Evidently, basically everyone at her job called off today or didn’t show up. Her being the manager means it’s her responsibility to fill that need.

After a few more terse exchanges Mai slaps the phone shut and throws it back into her handbag “Sorry Hisao, my piece-of-shit assistant manager evidently can’t say no to anyone and also can’t be bothered to bring hell down on the others that didn’t show.” The venom behind her words practically oozes from her mouth. “I’ve gotta go, but don’t you dare break your promise! I’ll call later, and I swear to god if you have, I’ll tear you a new one! Got it?”

I swiftly nod, which seems enough to sate her bloodlust.

“Good, I’ll see you later Hisao.” With that, she sprints out of the park towards the nearby bus stop, leaving me alone at the park around 11 AM. With a sigh, I decide to check out the foot paths so I know what I’m in for, my plastic bag of stuff swaying on my arm.

...

This park seems pretty nice, lots of greenery, and the path goes in a big loop to make it easy for continual walking. As I come up to one of the benches along the path, I notice a guy sitting there, staring at the clouds, unmoving. He has a pair of overalls on with sleeves tied-off about half-way down, giving me the impression he doesn’t have his full arms. Three different people with disabilities last night, and another one this morning? I didn’t expect to meet so many so quickly…

The man’s auburn hair is an absolute mess, his sideburns hanging limply past his ears. Despite this, the look works for him surprisingly well. His mouth is open slightly as I approach, apparently oblivious to my presence. I’m breathing a little heavy from the constant walking this morning so I decide to take a seat near him. As I sit down, his eyes dart towards me, though his face stays pinned to the sky.

“You here to see her run too?” … Okay, that definitely isn’t a guys voice. I have no idea who this chick is talking about, but my surprised face elicits a lazy smile from her. “You thought I was a dude.” It’s a statement. Apparently, this isn’t the first time her gender has been mistaken.

She slips off a sandal to reach up and scratch the back of her head. The flexibility is impressive, though it leads to a crude image out in public. Satisfied with her effort and display, she sets it on the opposite knee. Her eyes are half closed, staring at what I think is a bird.

“Why would I be here to watch someone run? This isn’t a track.”

Her lazy smile shifts into a look of confusion. It’s a look that fits the whole scene quite perfectly. “Oh, so it seems.” She brings up her other leg and sits on the bench cross-legged. Did you just realize that? After a very extended pause: “Why are you here? Do you like dudes…?”

Wha- no. I’m done with this conversation.

As I stand up, I can hear someone approaching quickly, Maybe that’s who she meant. Out of curiosity, I turn back to see a high school girl sprinting towards us, honey blonde pigtails streaming behind her. Under a light jacket, it looks like she’s wearing a school gym uniform. She has a look of intense focus on her face, her mouth pulled into a tight smirk. That by itself is almost mesmerizing, but as I look down her body, I don’t see shoes on her feet - or shins for that matter. Attached right below the knee, she has these curved metal rods which flex and launch her forward. As she gets closer, she slows down, stopping near my benchmate who now has her full attention on this tiny cannonball.

“Rin, who’s the boy? Did you catch him with your feminine wiles?” She giggles, jabbing ‘Rin’ in the chest with an elbow. The confused look now occupies my face instead.

“Dunno, just kinda showed up.” She leans forward to whisper in her friend’s ear, watching me out of the side of her eyes, but keeps her volume and tone completely neutral. “I think he can teleport.”

What?

My brain hurts. As my face scrunches to match my imploded brain, the short-stack finds the apparent joke way too funny.

“I think you just spaced out again Rin.” Bouncing over to me, she gives a short bow, “Hi, I’m Ibarazaki Emi. My armless friend here is Tezuka Rin. Hope she didn’t bother you too much.” The amount of energy stuffed inside her small frame reminds me of Misha, though the air about her is totally different.

“Nakai Hisao, and I think she hurt my brain.” Ibarazaki stifles a laugh at that, turning to Tezuka, and karate chops her lightly on the head.

“Bad Rin! I told you to dial down your normal when you meet new people. You’ll never make new friends at this rate.” With an exasperated sigh, she turns back to me. “Sorry, Rin’s an artist and always seems to say the most random things.”

“I told you, four things at once. You just can’t keep up.” She punctuates her statement with a light kick to Ibarazaki’s knee. “Is there something wrong with you?”



Evidently that question was directed at me. Her gaze doesn’t even shift towards me until after she asks it.

“... Why are you asking that?”

“I wanna know.” Evidently that’s her answer.

It’s Ibarazaki’s turn to wear the confusion that’s being passed around. “What makes you think he has a problem, Rin?”

And now it’s back to the person who wore it first. “He’s not dressed to run, and he was winded when he approached.” You just said I teleported, how do you know that? “Something wrong in your pants? I don’t have one of those.”

... WHAT?” Ignoring me, she leans down to inspect my crotch.

“I collect people. Working around a junk problem tires you out. I know it does me.” At this point she’s dangerously close to my zipper, warranting a jump backwards.

“NO! I have arrhythmia; a friend had me walking for hours and I didn’t pace myself, that’s why I was tired.” That’s the fastest I’ve ever told anyone about my condition. Tezuka seems surprised, eyes almost popping out of her head, as if I confirmed the moon is made of cheese.

After a couple seconds, Rin nudges Ibarazaki with her shoulder. She looks lost for a moment, shakes her head, and closes the distance. “Wait, you’ve got a problem with your heart? I could help with that!” She’s bouncing in front of me, leaving me wondering what sh-

I feel blood rushing to my face, No… there’s no way she could mean- “H-how would you do that? Besides, I.. I think I’ve got it under control; I’ve known about it for almost two years now.” She stops bouncing, but the determination on her face only strengthens.

“All right! I can finally use what I’ve learned from Nurse!” If I wasn’t confused before, I certainly am now.

“Slow down, what the hell are you talking about?”

“I’m studying sports science at Hosei University, and I’ve been wanting to practice what I learned for real. I haven’t had the chance since Yamaku! I can’t do too much, but I can help you find the appropriate amount of exercise and adjust your diet.” Her bouncing has resumed, presumably because of her excite-

SHE’S IN COLLEGE?!

I give her another once over, lingering at her chest and hips. They’re certainly more defined than I would think for a high schooler, and the rest of her body is really toned. She must run a lot. I had failed to notice before now.

My stare, however, does not go unnoticed. Ibarazaki’s stance has gone from one of a giddy child to a much more… flirtatious one. “Like what you see Nakai?” With a wink, my face is now very hot.

“N-n-no, I’m enga-!” My heart is pounding now, my embarrassment and the emotions from last night hitting me all at once.

Thump, Thump, THUMP!

Pain shoots through my heart, my hand colliding with my chest as I begin to feel my heartbeat. Calm down Hisao, breath. You’ve dealt with this before, nothing new… With a hand to my chest and closed eyes, I steady my breathing, sweat pouring despite the cool morning. As my heart calms down, my uneven rhythm returns to normal, and I collapse onto the bench. These flutters always leave me worn out.

As the episode passes, the pain subsides and I open my eyes. Ibarazaki’s eyes are wide with horror, and Tezuka’s face shows concern. I release a breath I’d been holding. “I’m alright, just a scare…”

My new short-legged acquaintance comes up to me, offering a hand. “Come on, my step-dad is trained to handle this, he can check to see if it’s anything more serious. My house is right around the corner.” The look on her face tells me it’s more an order than a request, so I take her outstretched hand and stand up.

“Thanks, I’m supposed to see my doctor when this happens; if your father can do it, I don’t have to make the hour trip there.” She pulls me up with a surprising amount of strength, putting my right arm around her shoulders and her left arm around my waist.

“Of course, I feel a little responsible anyway. Sorry… you’re just really cute when you blush.”

-----

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Last edited by NelNinja on Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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I wrote things!
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Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate - Hisao sans heart attack (On-going)

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/10/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:24 am

Interlude 1 - P1

---Mai---

God dammit, why today of all days?

Just barely catching the bus, I scan my pass and collapse into a seat. Thank god I’m keeping up my Judo training… As I catch my breath, I take out my phone and shoot a text to my worthless assistant manager to let him know I’ll be there soon.

The crappy convenience store I work at isn’t the ideal job, but it pays the bills and lets me help out my parents supporting my grandma. “Bless your soul granny, you’re the only reason I’m still here.”

Seeing Hisao up and about when I got there really helped keep this day from sucking as much as I’d expected; I can tell he’s struggling, but it looks like he’ll be okay in time. Just gotta keep on his ass. Remembering this morning isn’t helping me calm down my heart from running all the way to the bus stop.

Come on Mai, you moved past these feelings when he and ‘nako got together in high school. Pull yourself together. Slapping my face, I drive this crush further down into the depths it came from.

“Great plan Mai, spend even more time with the man why don’t you…” I can see the stop ahead so I stretch one last time before resuming a jog off the bus. Another day in paradise.

Interlude 1 - P2

---Lilly---

BEEP BEEP BEEP *click*

“It is 10:40 AM.”

I’ve woken up late, again. I remove the remnants of sleep from my eyes and slide off my bed, taking a moment to assess the apartment. I can hear the sound of kitchenware and smell whatever Hanako, I assume, is making. I thought she’d be at class this Saturday morning, but maybe her teacher canceled. Again.

How that teacher is still there I’ll never understand.

As I leave my room, I catch the faint smell of burnt something, but it’s faded enough that I don’t worry. Heading towards the kitchen, the muffled sound of something from the apartment next to us lets me know Misha is probably still here as well. “What will I do with you two-whoooo-aaaaahhhh…” Try as I might, I do not think I made that yawn ladylike. Judging by the shuffle of feet on wood, my roommate has also noticed.

“Good morning Lilly!” This is immediately followed by an almost full-force tackle, causing me to stumble. The sound of her nightgown on my pajamas confirms my suspicion. Despite this, I return the warm embrace.

“Hanako, we have lived together for almost seven months. Do you intend to greet me this way every morning until we grow old together?” I feel my friend giggle softly into my shoulder.

“Of course! I still can’t believe we get to be roommates Lilly!” She squeezes me once more, nuzzling her face into my shoulder, before stepping back. The sound of her footfalls tell me she returns to the stove. “Breakfast is almost ready; I went for a western style one today!” The sizzling I hear, interrupted by plastic on metal, tells me she’s probably finishing up the eggs.

“Wonderful, I look forward to it.” I make my way over to the table. “Did your professor cancel class again?” An improper pout settles on my face.

“Y-yeah… though evidently this time it h-had to do with his wife. I think she’s in labor… He sent some worksheets to help make up for today.” Right, I almost forgot his wife was pregnant.

“Okay, I guess I can forgive him if he wants to be there for his wife and newborn…” With a familiar click, Hanako turns off the stove and presumably piles the eggs onto our plates. I hear one of them clink on the table, followed by it being lightly pushed into my hand. The sound of metal sliding follows. I pick up the fork and begin to search the layout of what Hanako prepared.

“S-sausage and eggs. I also made toast, b-but I ruined it…” The dejection in her voice is obvious, “I seasoned the eggs how you like them. Let me know if you’d like more salt.” Scraping her fork on her plate, I assume she’s started.

Finding what I presume is one of the sausages, I poke it with my fork and bring it to my mouth. A little overcooked, but good nonetheless. Seasoned well. I follow this up with some egg. “Mmm, perfect eggs Hanako. You’re picking them up quite well! There is a taste I can’t quite make out though…” A small sigh of relief is all the response I get. “The sausage is slightly overcooked, but it’s much better than last time. Perfectly satisfactory!”

“I-I know, that was w-when the toast began to smoke… But I used the oil left over from the sausage to enhance the eggs; I like it.” A small exhale tells me she’s smiling, a little tell I’ve learned from spending so much time with her.

“The only advice I have for toast is to set the timer for less,” I cover my mouth to shield a small chuckle, “But I know you like yours right on the edge. No worries, what we have is plenty.”

After a short while, breakfast is finished, and I collect the plates to rinse them. Standard protocol: whoever cooks, the other cleans.

As I begin, Hanako clears her throat to grab my attention. “So, uh, L-lilly, what did you t-think of Hisao?” It’s hard to tell over the running water, but she sounds nervous.

“The man we met last night? He certainly seems nice, though he isn’t the kind of person I’d expect Misha to bring at the last minute. Boys haven’t been her first pick so far.” I pick up our sponge and begin to clean the plates properly.

“True. She mentioned him having had a b-bad day. I thought h-he was… a little c-cute.” This grabs my attention.

“Oh, is that why you were so relieved once he arrived?” A knowing smile crosses my face.

“N-no! He just… w-wasn’t as scary as I t-thought he might be…” If I know Hanako well, she’s fidgeting as this point.

“Well, I don’t know him well enough to say otherwise, but Misha certainly thought he was someone you could handle. She was very adamant about bringing him when she called.” Finishing the plates, I set them in our draining rack next to the sink and turn off the water. Hanako hands me a towel to dry my hands, and once I do we head over to the couch. She snuggles close to me, her head on my shoulder and her arm entwined with mine.

“Y-yeah, but I could tell h-he wasn’t all there. I wonder w-what happened to him…” Hanako runs a hand through my hair, signalling that it is, indeed, a bird’s nest. “You should finish getting ready Lilly, it’s already past 11. You have class this afternoon, right?” Her reminder brings me back to earth.

“Yes, I do,” my pout from earlier returns, “and it’s my worst subject. Math.” Hanako giggles at my pain.

“Misha mentioned Hisao is good with numbers. She said the girl that was always with him asked him for help with Science. M-maybe he could do the s-same with you?” The tone in her voice hints that helping me is not her only goal.

“If he can, I would certainly appreciate it. I imagine you wouldn’t mind him coming here either?” I poke her stomach, a light chuckle resonating from me.

“S-stop! I h-have no u-ulterior m-motive!” If I could see, I’m sure her eyes would be looking at anything besides myself.

“Your stutter suggests otherwise, Miss Ikezawa.” Taking her arm from my own, I stand to wash up. “But lucky for you, I have other business to attend to. Pray I do not return to this subject later.” The laugh coming from my throat isn’t nearly as quiet as I would have hoped, but finding something to tease her on is rare.

“S-shut up! I’ll s-see you off to the station, so hurry up.” Her pout is ever so obvious in her voice.

Returning to my room, I set out to do just that.

-----

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Last edited by NelNinja on Thu Mar 14, 2019 4:02 am, edited 4 times in total.
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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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/10/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:28 am

Thank you to dewelar for permission to use his Emi chant.

-----

Chapter 4b

---Emi---


This morning has been pretty good so far.

With a bubbly smile to Rin, I double check that the park is clear of collision hazards before kicking into high gear.

air . . . wind . . . ground . . . track . . . . . . . . .
. . . will . . . not . . . hold . . . back . . . . . .
. . . . . . hear . . . smell . . . feel . . . see . . .
. . . . . . . . . set . . . these . . . thoughts . . . free


Rin’s still sitting on her bench, watching me at my ‘Emiest’ as she calls it.

wind . . . air . . . track . . . ground . . . . . . . . .
. . . one . . . more . . . time . . . round . . . . . .
. . . . . . time . . . space . . . form . . . flight . . .
. . . . . . . . . all . . . shall . . . be . . . -


Who’s that with Rin?

Slowing down after my sprints is always annoying, the world crashing back into my mind. Today, there’s a cute boy at the end. Giving him a once over, I can tell he isn’t a slouch from the lightly toned build he has, but he’s far from being my brand of fit.

“Rin, who’s the boy? Did you catch him with your feminine wiles?” Lightly jabbing Rin with my elbow, knowing what her answer will be.

“Dunno, just kinda showed up.” As she leans closer to me I brace for her ‘whisper’ in my ear, “I think he can teleport.”

That’s a new one.

I fail to hide my laughter as the boy’s brain implodes from Rin’s ‘observation.’ “I think you just spaced out again Rin.” Looking to make a good first impression, I bounce over to him, taking advantage of my bow to take a closer look at him.

His hair’s a mess, reminding me of Rin’s with how it works somehow. “I’m Ibarazaki Emi. My armless friend here is Tezuka Rin. Hope she didn’t bother you too much.”

Wouldn’t be the first guy to be driven away by her.

I already know Rin’s brand of ‘normal’ confuses people. I’m not immune to it either, but she’s always there for me when stuff goes wrong.

“Nakai Hisao, and I think she hurt my brain.” Mostly succeeding at keeping a giggle at bay, a typical round of ‘scolding’ comes out towards Rin, followed by me attempting to explain her and-

“Is there something wrong with you?”

… What?

That’s not how these intros go.

“... Why are you asking that?” And that’s not how most people respond to that question.

“I wanna know”

She hasn’t asked THAT question in a while.

“What makes you think he has a problem, Rin?”

Evidently, she thinks I’m missing something. “He’s not dressed to run, and he was winded when he approached.” He was? Her confusion doesn’t leave her face. “Something wrong in your pants?” Goddamnit Rin. “I don’t have one of those.”

And now she’s inspecting his crotch. The last time she asked something like this was at Yamaku, why would sh-

“NO! I have arrhythmia! A friend had me walking for hours, and I didn’t pace myself. That’s why I was tired.”

Black asphalt. Green grass. Silver bleachers. He’s lying on the track. “Come on bastard, you’ve been running with me for 6 months, this is no time to be-” He begins convulsing. Pain shoots through my knees. I try to help him, but I don’t know what to do. My mind's blank. Eventually, Miki calls out, but I can’t understand her. She’s shaking me, yells to someone I can’t see.

Why couldn’t I do anything?

That’s what rings in my head everytime I remember him. Something was wrong with him, but he wouldn’t tell me what. Nurse had him run with me, saying he needed the exercise and company.

I just watched him die.

I noticed he always came with me to Nurse’s office after our run, and that he always seemed tired, but I thought he was just out of shape.

Could I have saved him?

He finally broke the wall I’d built.

We started dating a month or so after he got there.

Of course, Nurse wouldn’t tell me what was wrong with him either, just told me to keep an eye on him and fill him in on anything I saw. He was friends with another student at school. I didn’t like her much, but I hardly knew her. He seemed to be getting closer to her. I didn’t like it.

He insisted there was nothing between them, but I saw them together. I started pushing him a bit more than I should have, tried to get him to spend more time with me.

If I hadn’t pushed him, would he be here now?

I thought he was just out of shape. That his disability had nothing to do with it. I was wrong.

Why didn’t you tell me?

He had been in an accident and had sustained lasting damage. He had to play it safe when exerting himself, but he never stopped me from pushing.

WHY DID YOU NOT TELL ME?


Rin hits my shoulder with hers. I look at my surroundings, seeing Nakai and Rin and remember what he said. I can’t fail this time. I shake my head, clearing the memories away. I fill myself with the enthusiasm everyone knows me for. “Wait, you’ve got a problem with your heart? I could help with that!”

-----

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Last edited by NelNinja on Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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)

Raimen
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu May 17, 2018 1:27 pm

Re: (WIP - Updated 3/14/2019 TRIPLE POST) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by Raimen » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:59 am

Emi's running chant from Developments is great. I know it's a part of my head canon.

I do have a suggestion. The boy that Emi watched die deserves a name to go with his story. She cared for him, and his memory and the events of his passing will be something that Emi would carry to her grave. He shouldn't be "That student in my third year." He should be more.

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/14/2019 TRIPLE POST) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:18 am

Raimen wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:59 am
Emi's running chant from Developments is great. I know it's a part of my head canon.

I do have a suggestion. The boy that Emi watched die deserves a name to go with his story. She cared for him, and his memory and the events of his passing will be something that Emi would carry to her grave. He shouldn't be "That student in my third year." He should be more.
Hmm, he should come up again in the story. I'll remove that line for now since it's more explanation and less Emi thought process. There's no need to say his name in the moment, it's an inner monologue, but he will have a name.

Justice for "that student in her third year" will be had!
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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