(Updated 7/28/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - No Heart Attack]

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Re: (WIP - Updated 3/25/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:45 am

Hanako Fancopter wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:53 am
Alright I've read everything that's been posted so far. Boii does Hisao have the VN protagonist curse! Just as many girls falling over him as in the game lol. If it turns into a pseudo-harem story where he's trying to manage all the female attention without any of the dating options trying to kill the others, I certainly wouldn't complain.
Lilly and Misha will have a duel to the death, secretly, to decide which of them gets Hisao while Rin goes in the backdoor ("Giggity!") All while Emi and Mai watch jealously through the slit of Hisao's closet. Also, Iwanako and Hanako meet for a double suicide pact on the basis that their aesthetics are the same besides Hanako's scarring; hilarity ensues. Hisao decides, "I love you all equally, the only fair thing to do is have an orgy!" Cue confused females as they quietly stand barefoot in a room together. Fully clothed. "Master of Romance!"

Darn, I spoiled the climax of the story!
Hanako Fancopter wrote: I think with Emi's first bit, you did too much exposition too quickly, basically telling us the major events of Emi's time at Yamaku and where a lot of her motivations are right away, in her first appearance in the story. It's all recounted in her head as opposed to being revealed to Hisao through behavior and eventually confession. There's no need to do that and it potentially robs you of good material for down the line. I also find it a bit contrived for her to have a previous running mate similar to Hisao as if he'd gone to Yamaku after all. Just my opinion.
Fair
I will look forward to reading more of this story! I find it interesting that you are making Mai more of a significant character as opposed to only using Yamaku girls. I'm also going to picture the nurse as having four arms for the duration of this thread.
I am so confused as to why Goro has four arms, but accepted.

Also, Mai best girl ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Oh and last comment I particularly enjoyed the Lilly/Hanako segment ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Thank you! I had a lot of fun writing that interlude. I was slightly worried after no-one commented on it... It was the same update as PTSD Emi, so I shouldn't be that surprised, but something that simple won't stop the worry train!

More soonish, the plot thickens!
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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 3/25/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:44 am

If it turns into a pseudo-harem story where he's trying to manage all the female attention without any of the dating options trying to kill the others, I certainly wouldn't complain.
Don't worry. I would. :twisted:
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: (Updated 4/9/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - No Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:15 pm

Chapter 6

Work dragged on way too long today.

After calling Hisao, he assures me he kept his promise but wanted the rest of the night to himself. “Earlier, after you left, I had a small heart flutter that really drained me.”

… Oh gods…

The worry I’ve been trying to suppress oozes out of my voice. “Are you okay? I’m so sorry, I didn’t mea-”

“Don’t worry about it Mai, I met some people at the park that got me flustered. Add in remembering last night at an inopportune time and BOOM, heart flutter.”

That isn’t very comforting Hisao…

“Besides, it turned out one of them had a nurse for a father. He checked me out and said I was fine, though he reminded me to take it easy the rest of the day. She was super apologetic and invited me for lunch to make up.”

“Wait, a girl?”

“Yeah, she also mentioned she goes to Hosei for sports science and offered to help me up my exercise regiment; I figured you'd appreciate hearing that.”

“I mean, sure, but…” But I was hoping I could do that for y- Nope, bad Mai. “Don’t downplay a heart flutter Hisao. It’s been months since your last one. What exactly happened to cause it? Did she hit you or something?”

“Oh, uh… No, she was flirting.”

Motherfu- “Really? That’s all?” I try to turn my jealousy into playful banter, though I’m not sure he’ll buy it.

“Seriously, that’s all.” I hear him sigh at the other end of the line. “I started to say I was engaged… That’s what put me over the edge.”

I want to sigh relief, but that isn’t a much better topic. “Oh… Yeah, I can see how that would do it. You sure you’ll be fine tonight?”

“Yeah, go keep Iwanako company. I’m sure she could use it too…” His tone doesn’t fill me with confidence, but this isn’t something I should push right now.

Some small talk and pleasantries to fill the space, then the call ends.

After metaphorically slamming my head against a wall, I dial up Iwanako. She’s voiced some concerns before, but none of them seemed enough to break-up with Hisao over.

A couple rings and she picks up. “Hey Mai, you wanna come over?”

Straight to business I see. “Yeah, Hisao insists he’ll be fine today. Needs some rest anyway, so I thought I’d be a friend to the other person who went through hell yesterday.”

***

‘Nako’s parents’ house always gives me the creeps. It’s supposedly super modern - grey, metal, and angular - but it just doesn’t seem like a home. It’s three stories high, with her room being the top floor, and it couldn’t feel smaller.

Knocking on the front door, it’s only a few seconds before my friend opens the door. From her red eyes and puffy cheeks, it’s a safe bet she’s been crying, but there’s a tipsiness to her also. “Hey ‘nako, how’re you doing?”

She invites me inside, stumbling up to the second floor den. I see her mom’s alcohol on the table, confirming my suspicions.

“Mai, Mm not sure how ya plan to help, but now’s a gud time ta ask. There’s’nough liquor in ma veins I cnd’t lie if I want’d to.”

No kidding… “First, you need some coffee and food. You may answer whatever I ask, but it won’t do any good if you can’t remember anything.” Grabbing her glass, which is about half full, I down the rest of it to help calm my own nerves. I then take the bottle, put the top back on, and return it to the bar her mom uses to entertain guests.

Pulling out my phone, I order the greasiest thing on wheels: pizza. I order ‘nako’s favorite - mayo jaga with eel - then a more reasonable sausage for me. I’ve got my own disgusting preferences, but I don’t have the cash for it today.

I start up their coffee machine before plopping down next to Iwanako. “So, what led you to breaking up?”

She sits there long enough that I think she’s fallen asleep. Before I lean in to check, she speaks, “Itsh… uh long shtory…”

I put my arm around her and pull her into a tight hug. “Take as long as you need cupcake, I’ve got all night. It’ll be easier to understand you once you’re less drunk anyway.”

***

We sit there in silence for a while. Once the coffee is done and we both have some pizza in our systems, Iwanako looks much better. Eventually we separate, and while she’s definitely still drunk, more of her is there.

After getting a refill, she finally pipes up. “You’ve known Hisao since elementary school, right?”

“Yeah, we first met because he had an action figure I liked. I was bigger than he was and thought I could take it without much trouble. Turns out he was attached to that thing more than I thought, and we both got sent to the principal's office.” I take a sip of the black coffee in my mug. “Him standing up to me was impressive; been inseparable ever since.”

Not really sure what this has to do with what’s going on, but my story picks up her mood a bit. “I heard it was a magical girl figure, Sailor Mars?” I roll my eyes, garnering a chuckle from her. “I never would have pegged you as a Sailor Moon fan, too girly.”

“Hey, Mars is strong and a lot like me, okay? Sorry I felt kinship with a fictional character.” I play up my frustration, but I can’t keep a smile off my face. “Besides, what does this have to do with you breaking up with Hisao?”

A little bit of her previous somberness returns, her voice getting a little weak, “You guys have so much in common, I always feel left out when we spend time with you, Shin, and Takumi. I know Hisao loves me, but there’ve been so many barriers to jump over in our relationship. You’ve been there for him since elementary, you know better than I about his struggles with depression. He hates admitting it, but that’s been a frequent divide in our relationship. We were only just now getting to somewhere I really felt comfortable, but I’m not strong enough to be there for him during his depression, and…” Iwanako shrinks even further into herself, her voice reflecting her posture. “Then I met a guy in class…

My eyes go wide, and my jaw drops, but before I can say anything, she continues. “No, not like that, nothing has happened, but this guy I met a few months ago seems to understand me better than Hisao ever has, even a year and a half into our relationship. Better than I feel I’ll ever understand him. And that brought on a lot of questions like: Is Hisao the one? Am I his one?”

Despite ‘nako being popular in school, this is the first relationship I know she’s ever had. I guess it isn’t that weird to have doubts. “Relationships are hard ‘nako, my parents can attest to that. You know how rocky things have been since high school started, but they didn’t give up, went to counseling and are doing better than they ever were before.” I pull her close again, setting her head on my shoulder. “I’m not saying to stay in a relationship you’re unhappy with, especially if supporting him is too much, but did you ever talk with Hisao about this stuff?”

She shakes her head. “No, I never knew how to bring them up, but I’m just holding him back. I’ve done my best to support him, but he’d be much happier with someone like you Mai, someone who understands him and doesn’t shut down every time he talks science.”

I’m frozen in the embrace I gave Iwanako, seconds passing before I can respond. My uneasiness with the new revelation peeks through my tone, “W-what? No he wouldn’t. Y-you’ve seen how we are, all I do is haggle him and beat’em up. He’s happy with you Iwanako, you’re just reading too in-”

“No he’s not, I distracted him too much during high school, and he spent so much time tutoring me in science and math that he failed his entrance exams. I only got into university because of him Mai, and now I can’t even be there for him during this shitstorm. He wanted the best for me despite me not wanting to be a stay-at-home mom, and I went and gave up on us… Besides, I’ve seen how you look at him. You’ve liked him since before you met me.”

I don’t have a response. She isn’t wrong, but I’ve been hiding it for so long and got them together... By now I’m not even sure if he could see me any other way than as a friend.

The silence drags on for a long while before Mai pushes me with her hip. “I’m not mad Mai, I didn’t even realize it until after we were dating, but with all these questions and doubts in my mind… I just can’t continue our relationship. You’ve been there beside him for years Mai; I’ve just been playing adult…” She settles more deeply into me. “This has been churning though my head for a while, but when he proposed last night I couldn’t spend any more time figuring it out. I’d even been moving stuff slowly to my parent’s house while he was at work.”

Wait, back up. I withdraw from her a bit to look her in the eye. “You’ve been what? How long have you been having these doubts?” My voice is a bit louder than I wanted, but she doesn’t back down.

“A few weeks. I didn’t mention it to you because I knew you’d tell him if he asked. We both know he can be a bit oblivious, but he isn’t blind. I was certain he’d notice my distance at some point…”

Bullshit! He didn’t notice crap Iwanako!” I stand up so fast she has to catch herself before falling on the couch. “He has no fucking clue what the hell is going on. As far as he knows, you blindsided him with this!”

Iwanako spends a few seconds processing my words before meeting my glare with guilt. “Wait, so he proposed…?”

“Because he fucking LOVES you Iwanako! He didn’t think he was losing you, he just wanted to spend the rest of his goddamned life with you! What the fuck were you thinking ‘nako!” I practically slam my mug on the glass table, turning away and frantically pulling my hair.

A few minutes pass with neither of us saying a word. I’m too furious to say anything, and Iwanako looks too guilt-ridden.

Finally, with a face of resolve, she breaks the silence. “Mai, it doesn’t matter if he noticed or not. I’m not sure I care about him that way anymore, and even if I did I couldn’t give him the support he needs.”

Her words hit me like a ton of bricks, but deep down a part of me feels joy. How the fuck could I be happy about this? The only response I can muster is a growl of frustration before collapsing next to Iwanako.

“Look, you know I would never want to hurt Hisao, but now I’m questioning every decision I’ve made ever since we started dating. Even if I still care, sorting this all out and asking him to wait would just be cruel.” Tears begin streaming down her face. “This hurts me just as much as it does him, Mai, but I can’t just stay there. I’ll end up resenting him…”

My frustration settles a bit, enough that I can keep it from my voice. “Yeah… I guess I can understand that…” I really can’t, but I’ve never been in a situation like this either; I’ve never seen Hisao’s heart or his struggles as a burden. I shake my head to clear it. “Look, regardless of your decision, you owe it to him to it explain it in person.” She flinches, but I can tell she agrees. “If you need someone there, I can grab Shin to keep me company and wait nearby. If either of you need help, we’ll be there, but you gotta handle this solo buttercup.”

She hesitantly nods, leaning into me before her tears return. “I know Mai… But not today. Maybe not until next week.”

I hold her close, just letting her cry into my shoulder. After a bit, I begin to stroke her hair and she gradually calms down. “You never answered me earlier ‘nako: how are you doing?”

This elicits a light titter. “Not good, Mai, but I’ll get there.”

I give her one last squeeze before backing off. “Good enough. I’ll let Hisao know you’ll talk to him but that it’ll be a bit, okay?”

“Thanks, I don’t deserve you as a friend.”

My voice takes on a warm and soft tone. “Bullshit, everyone needs a shoulder to cry on. One day you’ll return the favor.”

With a half-hearted punch from the bag of tears, we move on to lighter topics.

-----

Prev | Next

_____________________________________________________

Finally got this chapter in order; lots of stuff changed since I wrote this so I had to go back through and change a couple things, which mean Mirage had to edit it again...

Anyway, it's Mai's first chapter! And it gives perspective on Iwanako's decision! A friend of mine who's reading this despises Iwanako as a character even after this chapter (though understands her depiction), so hopefully she's got enough character to not be one dimensional. This is also where Bantamweights becomes apparent with the design of Iwanako's parent's house and the liquor stuffs. Future thanks to Leaty once she actually logs on an (hopefully) approves. Also current thanks to Dewelar since Leaty wrote it within his world and gave permission.

Enjoy! Feedback is always welcome!
Last edited by NelNinja on Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:48 pm, edited 2 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 3/25/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - Hisao w/o Heart Attack]

Post by Raimen » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:33 pm

NelNinja wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:45 am
I'm also going to picture the nurse as having four arms for the duration of this thread.
I am so confused as to why Goro has four arms, but accepted.
Pick me! Pick me! I know this one!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goro_(Mortal_Kombat)

And yes, a small part of my brain thinks about 4 armed Goro whenever I read that name for the Nurse.

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Re: (Updated 4/9/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - No Heart Attack]

Post by Feurox » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:04 pm

I apologise, I said I'd follow this but I haven't commented on it in a long time. Things have been hectic. Still, I actually don't have many constructive comments that haven't been made before by those better suited to do it. Still, I know how much those 'just keep doing what you're doing' comments can feel, so I'll leave you with one of those. The quality started quite lacklustre, to be honest, but you consistently improve with every post. I definitely started reading this with some scepticism, but you've taken criticism constructively and honed your writing consistently. Keep up the good work and well done.

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Re: (Updated 4/9/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - No Heart Attack]

Post by dewelar » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:16 pm

Popped in for the first time in a few days to find a new update, and a pretty interesting one!
NelNinja wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:15 pm
Also current thanks to Dewelar since Leaty wrote it within his world and gave permission.
Technically, I'd call it a shared world, since Iwanako and Mai in Bantamweights are canonically the same characters that appeared in Ch.60 of Developments, and the concept of the Daidouji home was originally Leaty's, although I did build on it a bit. Obviously, your Iwanako and Mai are different from ours, but I won't hold that against you :wink:. I know Leaty doesn't follow the boards anymore (I don't even think she follows the responses to MTtB these days), but for what it's worth next time we talk I will make sure she's aware of this story's existence.

Anyway, a few ideas are beginning to roll around in my head about where it might be headed, which is always a good sign for my interest level. This is the first fanfic I've read (major qualifier there, as I haven't read all that many, especially in the past couple years) where Mai is interested in Hisao, and I am thus greatly looking forward to her interactions with the YamaCrew, as I expect there should be a few sparks flying in several directions :twisted:.

See you next time!
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: (Updated 4/9/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - No Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:16 am

dewelar wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:16 pm
Technically, I'd call it a shared world, since Iwanako and Mai in Bantamweights are canonically the same characters that appeared in Ch.60 of Developments, and the concept of the Daidouji home was originally Leaty's, although I did build on it a bit. Obviously, your Iwanako and Mai are different from ours, but I won't hold that against you :wink:. I know Leaty doesn't follow the boards anymore (I don't even think she follows the responses to MTtB these days), but for what it's worth next time we talk I will make sure she's aware of this story's existence.
You should let her know to go back and fill MTtB with, "This is a dead fic," if she doesn't intend, or can't, finish it. She promised she would in that thread :P
Dewelar wrote: Anyway, a few ideas are beginning to roll around in my head about where it might be headed, which is always a good sign for my interest level. This is the first fanfic I've read (major qualifier there, as I haven't read all that many, especially in the past couple years) where Mai is interested in Hisao, and I am thus greatly looking forward to her interactions with the YamaCrew, as I expect there should be a few sparks flying in several directions :twisted:.

See you next time!
There are so many ideas rolling around in my head, I'm glad someone else is getting a few of them.
Feurox wrote: ... I actually don't have many constructive comments that haven't been made before by those better suited to do it. Still, I know how much those 'just keep doing what you're doing' comments can feel, so I'll leave you with one of those. The quality started quite lackluster, to be honest, but you consistently improve with every post. I definitely started reading this with some scepticism, but you've taken criticism constructively and honed your writing consistently. Keep up the good work and well done.
Thank you! It really does help keep up my spirits! I'm glad to hear it's gotten better, it certainly feel like it has on my end.

Edit:
Raimen wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:33 pm
NelNinja wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:45 am
I'm also going to picture the nurse as having four arms for the duration of this thread.
I am so confused as to why Goro has four arms, but accepted.
Pick me! Pick me! I know this one!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goro_(Mortal_Kombat)

And yes, a small part of my brain thinks about 4 armed Goro whenever I read that name for the Nurse.
Huh, that explains it. Four armed Nurse it is
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: (Updated 4/9/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - No Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:47 pm

Chapter 7

Sundays are usually one big lazy day where Iwanako and I just sit around and do nothing, enjoying each other’s company…

That won’t happen again anytime soon.

Turning my head to see the clock, it reads 8 AM. I’ve been awake for several hours now wallowing about Friday and being numb to the world around me. Forcing the gears to turn, I sit up to take my morning medication. Taking them has become mechanical, but there is nothing behind my movements today except habit.

I’m far from considering it, but a very small part of me wants to just stop taking these pills. The thought has been there since I was diagnosed with arrhythmia… Iwanako helped drown it out. Now that’s she’s not here it isn’t a real threat, but it’s louder than I’m comfortable with. Grabbing my cell phone, I want to call Mai or Shin, but I don’t really have the energy for it. However, I don’t want to be alone, so I send them both a text. The little bit of energy I had spent, I collapse back into bed, not even bothering to pull the covers over me.

My drowsiness is interrupted by a knock at the door. I’d check my phone to see who was headed over, but I don’t dare waste energy when I could just answer the door. Sliding out of bed, I catch that it’s now 10 AM. At least I got some more sleep.

Arduously making my way to the door, I turn the deadbolt and let the weight of my hand open it up. I’m not sure who I would have prefered, but both of the friends I contacted are standing in front of me.

“Hey man, I’d ask how you’re holding up, but I can guess just by how terrible you look.” Shin pushes past, making sure not to barrel through me. I think I hear the rustle of a plastic bag.

Mai just leans forward and pulls me into a hug. It catches me off guard for a moment, but it’s a welcome feeling. Returning the hug, she holds me for a while before stepping back, slipping off her coat, and flicking my forehead. “That’s for your depressing text. ‘If it isn’t too much trouble-’ What kind of friends do you take us for?” Her words hold none of their usual bite.

It’s kinda comforting being reprimanded.

I push the door closed behind her, turning to see Shin ransacking my kitchen looking for something. “What do you need Shin?”

“Ah! Here they are.” He pulls out some bottles of sauce I’d forgotten he gave me a while back. “Gonna need these for what I’m making.”

The bag he brought with him has a lot more in it than I anticipated. He removes several containers and sets them on the counter. Looking them over, I think I can put together what he’s making. “Ramen? Were you planning on coming over today to make this before I texted?” The way he makes ramen means at least 2 days of work preparing the kombu dashi and tare with another day of work to take care of the pork and stock.

“No, but I was planning on making this today. Happy little coincidence that you happened to text.” With a wink, he begins making the final preparations he’ll need here. Shin has always had a knack for cooking, though I’m not sure if he plans to pursue it further than that.

Mai grabs my arm and pulls me to the couch, basically throwing me into it, as she triumphantly holds a DVD case. “This, my hopeless friend, is a masterpiece that you have not yet had the pleasure of experiencing.”

Looking at the name on the case, my eyes open wide and a anticipatory grin replaces the funk I’ve been displaying. “Akira? Your older brother finally let you borrow it?” The sly smirk on her face tells me this isn’t the case. “You didn’t.”

“What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him; he’s on a trip with his girlfriend this weekend. Won’t be back till tomorrow night.” She meanders over to my DVD player, popping the case open. “He tried to lock his door to keep me out, but we both know that won’t stop me!”

She takes out the disc, opens the tray, places the hallowed disc inside, and taps it to close. Almost skipping back to the couch, she plops down next to me and proceeds to get comfortable. I look at her slightly confused. “We’re just gonna watch this while Shin makes the ramen?”

“Don’t worry about me man, I’ve seen this before. Enjoy it bro, just remember Mai ain’t no girl.” This earns him a glare from the pertinent party, but nothing comes of it.

“Asshole.” Mai seems to hesitate for a moment, but eventually puts both her hands behind her head. “Just sit back and enjoy Hisao. I think you’ll like this.”

***

Whoa…

That’s about the only thing I can formulate in my head by the end of the movie. “Shit, I knew this was good, but I could never have guessed that’s what happened.” Images of telekinetic destruction reel through my head. I sit with my half-finished bowl of ramen, letting the whole movie slowly sink in.

Mai noisily eats hers, having no tact nor respect for my musings. “Very true. Shame Tetsuo couldn’t get ahold of his powers before tragedy struck, though.”

“Hey, sometimes fate says, ‘Screw you!’ and you just have to roll with it. Not exactly a happy ending, but satisfying.” Shin finishes his bowl, checking his watch. “Sorry I can’t stay longer. I’ve got a date to get ready for.” While I’m sure he’s genuine, his face says he’s far from sorry.

“No, it’s fine, leave your best friend in the clutches of this unstable woman. Nothing bad could happen.” This earns me a punch from Mai.

Shin stands up, washing out his bowl before placing it on the counter. “Seriously though Hisao, I’m here if you need me, man. Don’t be afraid to call or text for anything.” With a wave, he strides out of my apartment.

Mai and I chat about what film to watch next; evidently she brought several over from her brother’s room. Once I finish my ramen, as much as I want to continue this lazy day, I should make sure I get my exercise. Mai agrees, picking up her jacket from earlier.

Once we’re out of the apartment, we decide on going to the nearby park. On our way over, Mai seems to be pondering something. “What’s up Mai? I know you’re here for me, but if something is on your mind, I’m willing to listen.”

She looks between me and the ground a few times before releasing the breath she was holding. “I went to see Iwanako last night like you said I should. She isn’t doing much better than you are, Hisao, and after she explained to me what’s going on I made her promise that she’d talk to you about it. She’s not sure when she’ll be ready for it, but she said the soonest would be next week.” Shaking her head, she continues. “This is a clusterfuck Hisao. I’m so sorry this all happened…”

I can't say this is exactly what I wanted to talk about, but if it was weighing on Mai I don’t want her as miserable as either of us. “Thanks. I’m glad you can be there for her as well. It hurt Friday night, but I just want her to be happy. She deserves that much.” … Do I really believe that?

“Yeah, I don't think she believes that, but I won’t let her push me away. You know how stubborn I can be.”

Oh boy do I.

“Yeah, you kept pushing me to confess to Iwanako like some matchmaker gone crazy.” Despite the heavy subject, the smile on my face holds strong. “Don’t take the last few days too hard Mai; there might be some things I would have done differently, had I known this would happen, but that's no reason to dwell on it.”

Mai doesn’t look too convinced, so I push onward. “Besides, me confessing led to finding out about my arrhythmia. If it hadn’t been caught then, who knows what would have set off that time bomb. I could have had a heart attack and been in the hospital for months! As is, I got to finish high school with my best friend.” Taking a step towards her, I push her shoulder with mine. “Best friends since elementary, right?”

Mai’s troubled look doesn’t disappear, but she nods. “Yeah, and I got a sweet Sailor Mars figure out of it!” She puts on a smile, but it doesn’t quite reach her eyes.

“Is Iwanako really what has you troubled Mai? I’m sure you’re worried about me, but that look on your face says there’s something more going on.”

Something flashes across her face, but I don’t catch what it is before her face hardens. “Would you listen to me if I said not to worry about it?”

That catches me by surprise. I can’t remember the last time Mai didn’t tell me something without making clear she couldn’t. “I won’t lie and say it solves my worrying, but I won’t push if you don’t wanna talk about it.”

Although I said that to ease her burden, her expression becomes pained. “It’s not so much that I don’t want to talk about it, but now just isn’t a good time.” She stops walking and holds up her left hand, pinky extended. “I promise I’ll tell you one day, okay? Just not today…”

“If you promise, I’ll trust your judgment.” I raise my right pinky and we both curl them around each other. “Just remember - I’m here for you if you need it.”

That’s part of the problem…

She mumbles something that I can’t quite make out, but before I can ask about it, she releases my pinky. “Thanks. Now come on Jackass, let’s get moving.”

-----

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_________________________________________________________________________________

Edit: My 42nd post; sadly, this does not contain the ultimate question to life, the universe, and everything. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Inb4 someone says this chapter is pointless; no credit for you.

I watched Akira for the first time a little over a year ago; I liked it. It's weird, in a good way, and Hisao's reaction is very similar to mine. Sadly, I don't think I can fit the iconic motorcycle skid in this fanfic, but we'll see.
Last edited by NelNinja on Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:39 pm, edited 2 times 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: (Updated 4/15/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - No Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Fri May 10, 2019 5:18 am

Retcon Initiated

After much pondering and debate with trusted friends, I have removed Chapter 4b and moved the second half of Interlude 1 into that post. I dropped way too much too fast for the story I'm looking to tell and left myself nowhere for the story to expand. Nothing in the story so far changes because of the revelations from the chapter and it ends up feeling out of place because of it, hence it's removal.

I'm currently working on the next chapter and am happy with where the story is going, but now I have some more material to work with.

Your normal life may now resume. That is all.
I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing
Character Impressions:
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The Sound of Silence - Shizune one-shot
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Re: (Updated 4/15/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - No Heart Attack]

Post by Raimen » Fri May 10, 2019 6:49 pm

I reread chapter 4 and 5, and it took me a while to remember the part that you removed. (The fact that myself and others commented on it helped...)

Without knowing your plans, I think it's a good change. Chapters 4 and 5 still flow together quite nicely. And as you've said, you've got some room to grow.

I don't have a lot of fan fic experience (I'm still working on my first one, 13k words so far!), but I did know that removing what you've written hurts. I think I threw away the first 2k words of my story. It was tough for me, but I know my story is better because of it. I'm sure Pilgrimage will be better because of your retcon too.

Hang in there! I'm looking forward to your next chapter.

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Re: (Updated 7/16/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - No Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:38 pm

Interlude 2

---Misha---

I wonder what clouds taste like…

Sitting on a bench outside my apartment, I swing my legs idly while staring at the sky, waiting for Hacchan to come down so we can catch the train into Bunkyō.

Wednesdays are always weird. Hacchan’s classes aren’t early, but they aren’t late either, meaning we have to leave around 10 AM to get there on time. This means I don’t start my job until close to 11 AM since I walk her to class before heading there. Which means way too much time by myself.

Despite this, I feel a genuine smile appear on my face. Hacchan has made great strides to get out of her shell, and she’s working on a degree in Social Work since she wants to give back after receiving so much since her accident. I don’t know the details, but it came up when I asked her where she gets all her money since her parents aren’t available and she didn’t have a job. She didn’t like the question, but it turns out she has been getting money from the government for a long while since her family was gone. She’ll always have to deal with her anxiety, but I’m really proud of her.

While I’m waiting, maybe I should check on Hicchan! It’s been a bit since his breakup, and Hacchan asked me to talk to him about tutoring. I pull out my phone, its bedazzled pink sparkling in the morning sun.
Misha wrote:Hey Hicchan! How are you today? I should have some free time tonight; wanna hang out? I’ve got a favor to ask of you.
Mulling the text over in my head for a moment, I decide this is just the right amount of familiarity to show. I’ve known him casually for almost a year since he visited the café I work at frequently, but this whole ‘friends’ step is new. Having a guy friend is especially new. I’ve always seemed to have girl friends around me my whole life. Personal taste aside, guys don’t seem comfortable around me. Dunno why, I’m so friendly with everyone!

Glancing at the clock on my phone, it looks as if Hacchan has a few minutes before we need to leave. As I’m deciding if I should trust her to be up or not, a ronin thought pops up to ruin my mood.

Why did you stay here?

This makes my pleasant smile flip into a depressing frown. You know why I stayed, I didn’t get accepted into a foreign school.

But why HERE? Why come to Tokyo with people who know your struggles?

I care about them, I wanna help Hacc-

They do nothing for you. You’re just being used and will be discarded. Just like with Shicchan…

I pull my knees up to my chest, these intrusive thoughts forcing tears to build up. No, that isn’t what happened. She apologized and thanked me profusely when she left Yamaku for Kyoto, and she still texts me regularly. She even visits occasionally. That isn’t what happened.

She’s just keeping you around to use ag-

“SHUT UP!” My voice echoes through the small street. I press my face into my knees, infinitely grateful for waterproof mascara. Minutes pass before I calm down. I grab the handkerchief Shicchan gave me when we graduated - it’s the same deep blue of her hair with my name embroidered into a corner - and blot out the tears. I pull out my phone and set a reminder to call my counselor. I’ll see them later this week, but I may need something sooner.

Quiet steps from the stairs catch my attention. I force happiness onto my face before glancing over. Hacchan finally decided to come down. I quickly check my phone. It’s later than I’d like, but we should be fine if we hurry. “Hey sleepy head!”

Hacchan flinches at my voice more than usual. “Misha, please l-lower your volume today. Akira sent Lilly some w-wine, and I h-had a bit too much…”

“No can do~, Hacchan! This is an important lesson you need to learn. If I coddle you, it’ll never sink in!” She continues to wince, a look of defeat apparent on her face.

“F-fine, but can you at least not get louder to punish me?”

“Very perceptive, Hacchan.” Getting up from my bench I bound over to her to give her a big~ hug. My voice is noticeably softer now, feeling I’ve teased her enough. “Don’t worry Hacchan, drink lots of water, make sure you get your daily nutrition, and this’ll all pass before you know it!”

Hacchan lets out a relieved sigh. “T-thank you Misha. Shall we h-head out now?” She’s still tense when we hug, but the fact that she doesn’t run away anymore is good enough for me.

“Lets!” Hacchan winces as I let my normal volume slip. I revert to my kind voice again. “Sorry, Hacchan…”

---Hanako---

A glance at my watch tells me there are only a few more minutes left on this train before our stop. Train rides are always difficult with so many people in close proximity. I stay behind Misha, doing my best to hide. Her pink hair and bubbly personality grab people’s attention just a bit sooner than my constant anxiety and scarred right side. A year ago, I never would have thought I’d be grateful - or close - to her.

I remember the day Shizune fell down the stairs at Yamaku. I didn’t see it happen, but I heard the commotion and her scream, though I didn’t know it was her at the time. She broke her arm and missed a week of school between going to the hospital and bed rest. I finally put two-and-two together when she came back to class with a cast on her left arm and a splint on her right hand.

Weeks passed, but eventually Naomi persuaded me to interview them about the Student Council elections. I was terrified when I arrived in the Council room, but Shizune spoke to me - with words - and managed to keep me calm. She insisted I push back my hair so she could see my full face while talking; I didn’t want to show my scars, but her speaking felt so… intimate, that I found myself unable to refuse. After that, Lilly and Shizune’s bond slowly repaired itself and I found myself with two more friends.


“Approaching Ichigaya Station.”

Pulled from my memories, Misha turns her head and smiles her typical broad grin. “Ready?”

I return her smile with a small one of my own. “Y-yeah.”

---Hisao---

“Takumi, I swear I’m fine; her dad checked it out and there’s nothing to worry about. I feel fine after the flutter… I know you want to be here for me, but you’ve gotta focus on your schooling in Kyoto man. Focus on becoming the best businessman in the world first and then you can worry about me; if nothing else, I’ve got both Shin and Mai nearby helping me, and I met some new friends recently that have been a great help, too.

“...

“Yeah, we broke up a couple weeks ago now… Sorry I didn’t let you know myself, you know how it is after a break up… I’m doing okay now. I think she’s doing pretty good as well, if Mai is to be believed. ‘Could just be telling me that to stop me from worrying, but I’ll accept her word for now.

“...

“Oh? A girl caught your eye? What’s she like man? … She sounds abrasive. Don't take that the wrong way, Mai's abrasive too. Just don’t get ahead of yourself. If what you say is true, it sounds like she’s really trying to do well in the class; don’t distract her too much during your group project! … It doesn’t matter what color her hair is, don't rush it! … You're welcome, good luck.

“I’ve gotta head out to do some tutoring for those friends I mentioned, already gonna be late as it is… Science and Math. Gotta keep up my education somehow... Yeah, I’ll talk to you later. Bye.”

Ending the call, I bring up my contacts and pull up my new friend’s number. Hitting call, there are only a couple rings before she answers.

“Hicchan~! What’s up? You can still tutor Hacchan and Lilly, right?”

“Yeah, I got held up talking with an old friend. I’m heading out now and should be over there soon. Let Hanako and Lilly know for me, it’s still weird calling them up directly.”

“No~ worries, Hicchan, we’re just finishing up lunch; they’ll be all ready when you get here!”

“Thanks Misha, see you ladies in a bit.”

With a clack, I flip the phone shut and stow it in my pocket. One last check to make sure I’ve got everything I need and I’m out the door.

-----

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_________________________________________________________________________________

Guess it's time to continue the credit train as part of this chapter (Hanako's part) is based on Lap's Avenue's of Communication, with obvious changes (Hisao being absent), with permission.

Enjoy!
Last edited by NelNinja on Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Misha>Emi=Hanako=Lilly=Shizune=Rin
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Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate - Hisao sans heart attack (On-going)

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Re: (Updated 7/16/2019) Pilgrimage - A Subversion of Fate [Divergent Story - No Heart Attack]

Post by NelNinja » Sun Jul 28, 2019 10:18 pm

Chapter 8

“Hisao, over here!” Emi enthusiastically catches my eye as Mai and I approach the theater.

“Going off of your description, I take it the short-stack is Emi?”

I’m still unclear as to why Emi insisted I go with her and Rin to see a movie this Saturday, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to finally introduce the ever-friendly Mai to her short counterpart in keeping me healthy; seeing her reaction to Rin is just a bonus.

“Yeah, that’s her.” Rin seems vacant, as usual, though I think she’s staring at one of the posters for a movie. “Her armless friend is Rin, the one who thinks I can teleport.”

As we approach the two complimentary friends, Mai’s put on her best smile; she’s always trying to make good first impressions. “Hey! I’m Nakamura Mai. You’re the one who’s been so interested to meet me?” Ever since I mentioned Mai’s been keeping up with Judo and is her predecessor in keeping me healthy, Emi has bugged me to bring her along on one of our outings.

“Yep! Ibarazaki Emi, gotta vet all those who are staying on his ass to keep him in shape!” She seems overjoyed to make her acquaintance. “Rin, introduce yourself.”

Seeming to finally realize she’s around people, Rin turns towards Emi confused. “But Hisao already knows me…” At which point she catches Mai standing next to me. “Oh, hello.”



Nope, that’s it. “Mai, this is Tezuka Rin. Rin, Nakamura Mai.” Mai gives a small, ‘Yo,’ before Rin seems to have lost interest.

“We should get the tickets for the movie. I wanna see this one.” Lifting a foot, she points towards a poster with a small, dirty robot presenting a boot - a plant growing from it - to another, much cleaner, robot that looked almost like a capsule.

Rolling her eyes, Emi flicks her head towards the ticket booth before turning to walk to it. “That’s what we’re here to do, Rin. Care to make any small talk?”

Rin’s head turns off it’s axis. “How do you talk small? Is it like a... whisper?”

Mai’s eyes are already pleading for help. “Don’t worry, this is quite tame so far.”

***

“You know, I didn’t think Rin was capable of sitting through an entire movie…” As we walk out of the theater, Rin and Mai are ahead of me and Emi talking. Well… talking might be a stretch; I think Rin is talking about the movie and Mai’s doing her best to understand. Regardless, I think Rin’s taken a shine to her.

“You’d be surprised at the concentration she’s capable of. When she paints, she’ll often sit there until it’s finished, only taking breaks when me, my mom, or Goro step in to make sure she’s eating and sleeping.”

“Well, at least you don’t have to worry about her becoming one of the humans from the movie, sitting all-day, consuming shakes until they’re blobs of fat.”

Emi shudders a bit, but there’s a smile on her face. “True, but I liked it. The main robot was so cute!” Her fists are just below her face as she begins to bounce.

“Yeah, it was a lot of fun, especially when he flew around space with a fire extinguisher.”

Emi squeals remembering the scene, her nose adorably scrunching with her smile. “I know! I think that was my favorite scene of the whole movie!”

It’s at this point that Mai looks back, her eyes pleading for someone to come save her. “I think Mai’s reaching her limit. You said lunch was on you today?” Quickening my pace to catch up, Emi beams.

“Yeah! My mom should be here soon with lunch; I know a good park near here where we can have a picnic!” She bounds forward and grabs one of Rin’s sleeves. She gives Mai a wink before pulling Rin off towards the restroom.

As they leave, Mai’s head collides with my collarbone. “Your friend is weird, Hisao…”

“Mai, that is her normal; you haven’t even seen her weird yet.” Her only response is a resounding Hnnnnngh.

“What about Emi? I thought you two would get along pretty well.”

Mai’s head continues to rest on my shoulder. “She’s okay. We didn’t get to talk much during the movie, but she seems like someone I could be friends with.” Lifting her head, her previous frustration slowly bleeds away. “She’s the one you run with in the mornings, right?

“Yeah, that’s her. Same girl whose step-dad checked me after my heart flutter a couple weeks ago.”

Mai looks down, inspecting her lower legs. “Almost can’t tell she wears prosthetics.”

“When she runs she’s got a different set of legs; they’re much thinner and less normal looking.” I draw their shape with my finger. “Kinda like blades. Emi bounces a lot on them, running seems really important to her.” Thinking of her determined look and bright smile brings a grin to my face.

Mai takes a moment to respond though I can’t quite place the emotion on her face. “... You seem to really like her.”

A shrug is my first response. “She’s got a fire inside of her; it’s hard not to be impressed by seeing her run, as if she never lost her legs. She hasn’t told me about how she lost them, but I know running was a big thing for her dad. From how she talks about him, and how her mom looks when he’s mentioned, I don’t think they seperated.” I recall when I foolishly asked about him at dinner one night, how awkward the conversation became. “I think she would tell me if I asked - about her father and her legs, but it seems like such a painful memory…”

Whatever Mai’s feeling deepens. Before I get the courage to ask, Emi and Rin wander back up. “Okay, you guys ready for a bombshell lunch? My mom just messaged that she’s outside, come on!” Emi grabs Mai’s hand without hesitation, pulling her towards the doors.

“Hey! Slow down!”

***

Life is pain.

As I lie in the park, I regret every decision I ever made leading up to this moment. Looking at the sweets, remembering how delectable they were, Emi’s freaking face. “I think I’m gonna be sick…”

“That’s what you get for finishing everything they brought for lunch, dumbass.”

I groan and roll onto my side so I can’t see Mai’s judgment. “Leftovers are for the weak and unmotivated; it would have been rude to leave anything left when it was so good…

Meiko’s beams at my praise. “I appreciate that Hisao, but I was prepared to bring some home to my husband…”

Betrayal, that is the only emotion left to feel in this moment.

Rin lies next to me on the grass, deciding an afternoon nap was in order after such a meal. Even if she were awake, I doubt she’d support my decision or understand what’s going on.

“Mai’s right Hisao, you really are a dumbass.” Her chiding remark is underlined with a laugh filled with angels - horrible, lying, deceitful angels.

“Don’t start Emi! You’re the one who said it would have been so difficult to carry this all back by yourself!” I can’t see her directly as she’s sitting next to Mai, but every ounce of frustration I have backs those words.

“I wanted you to help me carry them, not eat everything! Some first mate you are.” This gets me to look back at her.

Despite her unkind tone, she has a devilish smile across her face, mocking me. “Aye, that’s why ye didn’t botha to clarify when I began devouring it.” Pirates have not been discussed by the look of confusion on Mai’s face. Cue more angels and their damned fallen master.

***

After spending a few more hours with Emi and Rin, Mai and I headed off back towards my apartment. She has a shift tonight, and I felt it was time to head home.

Today was a good day.

Mai seemed to really get along with Emi once they got to talking, but there was something hanging over her ever since lunch. It was subtle but obvious once you’ve gotten to know her. As we walk down the streets of Suginami, I glance at her while she’s distracted with a shop window.

Mai’s almost never a touchy-feely type of person, but when the chips are down she’ll do just about anything to help a friend. She’s abrasive, crude and just a bit childish at times, but she just has a hard time feeling vulnerable and showing that side of her. A lot of people struggle with it, but Mai’s choice is to hide it all behind the mask of anger and detachment. But honestly, I love that about her, I love her in a lot of ways.

I look away before she turns back just in case I give the wrong impression. She’s doing better since we left, but that air of fog and discontent is still around her. I walk her to the train station before waving her off.

Okay, time to head home and… Sit around bored with nothing to do… I didn’t think this all the way through…

Approaching the stairs to my apartment, I pull out my keys and trudge up to the third floor. With my eyes looked on the ground, lost in thought, I don’t notice her until she speaks up.

“Hi, Hisao…”

My head snaps up, locking on to her mauve eyes. “... Iwanako?”

-----

Prev | Next
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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