Living with Dying (an OC x Rika story)

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NovaX13
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Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:56 pm

Living with Dying (an OC x Rika story)

Post by NovaX13 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:39 am

So, first story I'm posting here. Hell, first story I've started in 10 years. Anyways, this story will focus on an OC, Takeo Ishida. Made sure to read through the Tips thread to make sure I didn't fall into any traps with OC stories. So, thanks to everyone for pointing me in the right direction and Stiles Long on the discord for beta-reading for me. This is simply the prologue. Setting up the dominoes that will be knocked down. I don't remember much about 2007, so to make it easier on myself I set this story in the modern day. So, let's begin. Here's the prologue for Living with Dying. I hope you all enjoy.

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The car raced down the road, sucking snow into its wake. It was going far too fast for the near-whiteout conditions, but the driver wanted the silent, hostile trip over. The other person in the car, the driver's son, wanted the same, but in a different way. He kept glancing over at his dad with vibrant blue eyes, words on his tongue but never forming.

"What's wrong?" The dad finally asked, not looking over at his son.

The two looked a lot alike -brown hair, taller than average, handsome in a subdued way - which made the next question even harder. The young man took a deep breath, composing himself. “Dad…do you hate me?”

The father turned and looked at his son with a shocked expression. “Takeo, I—”

A loud crash and the sound of crushing metal and shattered glass invaded his ears. A sudden impact to Takeo’s chest knocked him back into his seat. The car the rolled off the road before finally coming to a stop, upside-down, at the bottom of a hill. Takeo could feel a warm trickle run down his face. He looked to his side. His father was hanging limply in his seat, suspended by his seatbelt. He reached out, but before he could reach… he lost consciousness.

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Takeo suddenly found himself back on the snowy road. “I’m… I’m still here…?” He looked up to notice there were no stars in the sky, just an empty black void. He looked down to notice his body was nearly translucent. “Am I a ghost now?” he wondered aloud. 'Did the accident kill me? What about dad? Is he—'

Takeo’s thoughts were derailed when he noticed he was no longer alone on the road. He was suddenly face to face with a horrifically pale creature. Takeo couldn’t make out any eyes on the creature. He was unsure if it didn’t have eyes or if the eyes were shut and invisible to him because of the paleness of the creature. What he did notice were its incredibly long arms ending in clawed fingers.

“What are—” Takeo began. However, his question was interrupted as Takeo became impaled on the creature’s extended arm. Takeo let out a yelp, but it wasn’t from pain. “What…what’s going on? Why doesn’t it hurt?! Where am I?! What are you?!” The creature smiled at Takeo as its eyes finally opened. They were two pitch black orbs but there seemed to be twinkles of some kind of light in them. Before Takeo could make out what it was, he heard the creature say something. “Dead is dead?” parroted Takeo. “What does that mean?” The creature’s head twitched as it lifted its other arm, before slashing down Takeo’s chest.

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Takeo gasped as he awakened. His eyes began to regain focus. He felt completely drained but was slowly beginning to recall what had happened. He became drenched in a cold sweat as he recalled his dream. He began feeling all over his body. He breathed a sigh of relief. However, that relief was short lived as he felt his chest and found a large cross-shaped scar.

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Four months later...

Takeo was sitting in the backseat of a car, being driven by a young woman. “You sure you don’t want to sit up here?” she asked in a calming voice. She was very beautiful, with long brown hair and matching brown eyes.

Takeo’s hair was blond now. It was longer too, now reaching below his shoulders, and it was tied into a tail. He scowled at the woman’s question and began to shift in his seat uncomfortably. He shook his head. “I’m fine back here. It’s...weird, being in the front seat.” He took a sip from a bottle of water.

The woman smiled, “So, looking forward to life in the dorms?”

Takeo gave a shrug in response, “Eh. It’ll definitely be different.”

“I haven’t seen you draw in a while,” she said, the worry in her voice obvious.

Takeo paid her worry no mind. “Haven’t really had the inspiration,” he said, his voice quieter than it had been.

The woman looked at Takeo in the rearview mirror, a nervous look in her eyes. A catty grin spread across her face, “Looking forward to meeting all the cute girls?”

Takeo, who was taking a drink of water, began coughing at the suddenness of the question, “The hell, Maka!? That’s literally the last thing on my mind!”

The girl, Maka, shrugged, “Now it’s the first. And Uncle Sho always said it’s a big sister’s job to keep her little brother from turning into a NEET.”

“He never once said that,” grumbled Takeo.

“You haven’t answered my question~,” teased Maka. “It’s the country so maybe those girls will be all over a city boy like you.”

Takeo sighed. “You can get to the city by bus. I’m not gonna be some rare specimen of the outside world on display there. Besides, you know the real reason I’m going there.”

“Takeo…”

“It’s true Maka. The only reason mom is shipping me off to this place is so she wouldn’t need to deal with me.”

“And why would you say that?” Maka asked, glaring at her brother through the rearview mirror.

Takeo let out a sigh, “She left because she couldn’t deal with raising me. Why the hell would she want to live with me?”

“That isn’t the real reason and you know it!” snapped Maka. She took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. “And if you feel that way, why didn’t you say anything to her when she told you about the school?”

“It’s hard enough talking to her under normal circumstances. And I had…other things on my mind. Still trying to come to terms with all the sudden changes.” He then quickly tried to change the subject. “So, did you make that phone call like I asked?”

Maka nodded. “Yep, you have an appointment for later today. Why do you need to go see a—”

“I just need to talk to someone,” Takeo said, quickly interrupting her. “There’s a lot of things I’m still dealing with.”

Maya let out a sigh. “Well, the movers Mom hired should have dropped off your stuff. Do you want me to drop you off at the school or bring you into town?”

Takeo thought for a moment. “Town should be good.” Takeo shifted in his seat to get more comfortable as he leaned his head back and shut his eyes, allowing his memories of the past few months to take him.

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Takeo sat in silence. With him in the hospital room were Maka and an older woman; she resembled a slightly older Maka. “So… I fell into a coma after the accident?” asked Takeo, seeking clarification. “And I was out for a whole month?”

Maka nodded, looking on the verge of tears.

“What about dad?” The two women were silent. “Mom. What happened to dad?

Takeo’s mother and Maka shared a look. Takeo’s mother sighed, drawing Takeo’s attention. “Your father…he didn’t make it.” Her voice was neutral, trying its best to suppress any emotion.

Takeo looked down; his hands clenched into fists. He suddenly looked up. “What about Uncle Sho? He was starting treatments before dad and I headed to Hokkaido.” He needed some good news. Instead his mother shook her head.

“It was too far along Ta-chan,” whimpered Maka. “He passed a week ago.”

Takeo was about the say something when the doctor came in. The doctor tried to explain to Takeo everything that had happened, but Takeo wasn’t paying attention. His brain was struggling to come to terms with everything that had just been laid in front of him. His attention returned to the doctor when he finally caught something that had been said. “What do you mean “flat-lined”?”

The doctor looked at his notes before somberly saying, “Yes, because of the extensive damage to your heart and lungs in the accident your heart stopped beating on its own. It took a small amount of time before we were able to get it beating again.”

“How long?” asked Takeo, his mouth set in a firm line.

“Four minutes.”

Takeo sat in silence as his mother and the doctor spoke. Four minutes. He had been dead for four minutes. His dad died. His uncle died. HE died. But he came back? Why? Why him? He felt the world crumbling around him. He looked around. When his eyes fell on the open door, he saw a creature standing in the doorway. It was tall: enough so that its head nearly scraped the top of the frame. Takeo couldn’t make out much in terms of distinguishing features. All he could make out was the thing’s deathly pale skin. The only bit that wasn’t pale was the eyes. Two pitch black voids. He also noticed the creature’s unnaturally long, clawed arms, which scraped the floor.

The creature’s head jerked. It seemed to notice that Takeo saw it. Takeo shivered as the creature’s mouth began to open into as smile. Where the smile would have ended for a human, the creature’s mouth just seemed to keep growing. Jagged lines began to form as the smile tore into the creature’s face. Takeo used what little mobility he had to push himself as far away from the door as he could. A look of terror overtook Takeo as he finally recognized the creature. The monster from his dream. He did his best to curl up into the fetal position in the corner of his bed, but the various wires and tubes made that extremely difficult.

“Takeo, what’s wrong?” asked his mother.

“So many teeth…” Takeo whimpered to himself. “What is that thing?!” shouted Takeo, pointing at the creature.

The occupants of the room turned. “Takeo…” spoke Maka, the concern in her voice obvious. “Nothing’s there.”

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Takeo stood in front of a grave. His right arm was in a brace. He put on a smile. “Hi Uncle Sho. Hell of a way to come back into the world.” Takeo let out a dry chuckle.

“Sorry I haven’t been by to visit, this is the first time they let me leave the hospital,” said Takeo as he stared at the grave. “It’s not too bad at the hospital. Plenty of time to keep up on my studies, and any time not spent doing that I’m either reading or drawing. The doctors say that’s really good for the physical therapy with my arm. Not as good as I was, but I’m building back up. Doctors actually said I was lucky. Another half an inch and my arm would have been completely crushed.” Takeo let out a laugh at the concept of him ever being called “lucky.” His face went somber, “That’s a lie. I’ve been drawing as part of therapy, but outside of that… I can’t seem to find the inspiration. I just see a blank whenever I try to draw something that’s not right in front of me.”

He forced a smile as he ran his good hand through his hair. “Back to blond again,” he said, trying his best to keep his thoughts positive. “Thinking of letting it grow out too. The nurses wouldn’t let me dye it in the hospital. Something about the chemicals. But, I kind of missed it. I mean, I dyed it to keep from standing out, but now I’m a walking corpse so if I’m gonna stand out, might as well go for broke.” He gave a self-deprecating chuckle.

Takeo was silent for a few moments. “Dad…” Takeo’s voice got caught in his throat and his eyes began to well up with tears. “I could have asked him that question anywhere. But I was always afraid would try to escape the question, or I would try to escape the answer. So, what better place to ask him then in the car while we were driving? No way for either of us to escape. I took his attention off the road. He couldn’t see that truck coming…” Takeo couldn’t stop himself as he began to cry, “and now he’s gone… and I still don’t have my answer.”

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Takeo was sitting in an examination room. With him was his mother. The two sat in silence, though his mother kept stealing glances at Takeo. She was about to say something when there was a knock on the door and the doctor entered. “Well, Mr. Ishida, it looks like you can go home. According to the specialists, you haven’t been having any more hallucinations and your heart and lungs are doing much better. With the right precautions you should be able to move on. I’ve got your prescriptions right here.” He hands a sheet of paper to Takeo’s mother, who intently stares at what’s written down.

“Why so many?” she asked.

Takeo grabbed the sheet as his mother and the Doctor spoke and began looking over everything written on it. What the pills were, what they were for, when to take them, how much to take and the mountain of side effects. Heart pills, pills for his lungs, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication… and an anti-psychotic. Takeo smirked at that final on, ‘Guess they want to make sure the hallucinations stay gone.’

“Also, after speaking with your mother, we believe it would be best if you don’t return to your old school.” Takeo looked up from the list, his eyes wide.

“With your…condition, we’ve found a school that would be better for you. It’s called Yamaku Academy,” explained his mother. “It specializes in helping students with disabilities.” Takeo wanted to say something, but upon making eye contact with his mother he looked back down. He knew arguing would be pointless.

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“I’ll come pick you up in a couple hours,” said Maka. Takeo stood outside the car.

Takeo gave his sister a nod, “Thanks Maka…for everything.”

Maka shrugged, “Eh, someone needs to keep an eye on you.” She smiled as she drove off. Takeo let out a sigh as his sister drove away. He turned and began to walk down the street. It quickly became obvious to him that this was the “school town”. He saw teenagers wearing the uniform for his new school everywhere he looked. Not only that, but he saw the disabilities on display as well.

He saw a tall blonde girl make her way down the street, using a cane to feel around on the ground. He saw several others: a tan girl missing her left hand, a short girl with false legs who was walking with a girl with no arms, and a brown-haired girl walking with assistance from a cane. And those were just the ones where the disability was obvious at first sight. He looked down, ashamed at himself for gawking.

Takeo stood in front of a building, trying to decide whether to go in or not. With a sigh he made his decision and reached for the knob. He jumped back in shock when the door opened. A girl stood on the other side of the frame. She was a tall girl with an average build and long, dark-purple hair. A long slick of hair covered the right side of her face, though Takeo could see scarring behind it. She looked at Takeo in fear, almost as if shocking him scared her more. Takeo moved to the side, motioning for the girl to pass him. She bowed politely before running out of the room.

Takeo watched her as she ran off before stepping into the room. There was a desk and two chairs. The wall behind the desk was decorated with credentials. There was a man sitting behind the desk, writing on a notepad. He had shoulder length black hair and was wearing a plain navy-blue t-shirt and jeans. He looked up from his desk and noticed Takeo. “Ah, you must be Takeo Ishida. I’m Warren Smith. You moved here recently, correct?” Warren moved into one chair and motioned to the other for Takeo to take a seat. Takeo did, sitting across from the man.

Takeo nodded, “Yeah, I just left the hospital and am transferring into Yamaku. You’re American, aren’t you?”

Warren smiled, “Moved to Japan a few years back for college. So, how can I help you today?” Warren flipped a page on his notepad.

“Where to start,” chuckled Takeo. “Do you want me to talk about the nightmares? Or the night terrors? Maybe the times I’ve experienced sleep paralysis?” His voice raised, “How about how I spent three months in a mental ward because I couldn’t trust what I was seeing. Or how about that I’m pretty sure I’m cursed because people keep dying around me!” Takeo sighed as he finally calmed down. “Actually, I know exactly where to start. In the surgery to rebuild my heart and lungs, I died. Clinically dead for four minutes. They told me I came back. But…there are still days where…I don’t really know if I came back.” Takeo took a deep breath.

“Part of me thinks I’m still dead.”
Last edited by NovaX13 on Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

MrMadrid
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Re: Living with Dying (an OC x Rika story)

Post by MrMadrid » Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:23 pm

I'm not sure if the background of the character has justified enough to demand his father if he hated him (and therefore cause his death and his own damage), but at least generates enough intrigue to follow the story of the character and discover the reason for that question.

With respect to the pale figure that follows the MC and that only he can see, he reminds me a bit of the reaper of the pseudo-route of Suzu. An illusory form that represents his guilt for causing the death of his father? The death that follows him to finish the job? Or an allegory to the accident that took everything away? It may be everything, or it may be nothing of the kind.

Anyway, good reading to start. I hope you follow her.

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Oddball
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Re: Living with Dying (an OC x Rika story)

Post by Oddball » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:56 pm

Seems a bit coincidental than all the people he sees upon arriving at Yamaku are all characters we know, like you had to get their cameos out of the way.

The monster he sees could be interesting depending on what way you take this story but I'm a bit wary because it seems like a very easy idea to mess up.

The background seems a tad much as well. I'm rather cautious about this story and hope you have a good strong idea planned out.
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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Living with Dying (an OC x Rika story)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:08 pm

I'm still not quite sure why he is at Yamaku. According to the doctors his injuries seem to have more or less healed, and his problems seem to be more or less psychological...
There are "pills for his heart and lungs" but not any indication on what is wrong with those organs that would neccessitate them...
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NovaX13
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Re: Living with Dying (an OC x Rika story)

Post by NovaX13 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:00 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:08 pm
I'm still not quite sure why he is at Yamaku. According to the doctors his injuries seem to have more or less healed, and his problems seem to be more or less psychological...
There are "pills for his heart and lungs" but not any indication on what is wrong with those organs that would neccessitate them...
Yeah, I realized recently that I forgot to put in that rather important detail. So, that will definitely be in chapter 1 (which is currently being written).
Oddball wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:56 pm
Seems a bit coincidental than all the people he sees upon arriving at Yamaku are all characters we know, like you had to get their cameos out of the way.
Yeah, the idea I had when I wrote that scene was more to include all the girls that WOULDN’T be his love interest. Though, guess that idea didn’t really land. There’s really no reason to just force in cameos, as I already have plans to include all those girls in the story proper.
MrMadrid wrote:
Fri Jun 21, 2019 9:23 pm
I'm not sure if the background of the character has justified enough to demand his father if he hated him (and therefore cause his death and his own damage), but at least generates enough intrigue to follow the story of the character and discover the reason for that question.

With respect to the pale figure that follows the MC and that only he can see, he reminds me a bit of the reaper of the pseudo-route of Suzu. An illusory form that represents his guilt for causing the death of his father? The death that follows him to finish the job? Or an allegory to the accident that took everything away? It may be everything, or it may be nothing of the kind.

Anyway, good reading to start. I hope you follow her.
Well, his past, as well as his reasoning for asking that question will eventually be answered. Same with what exactly the “creature” is and what it represents.

Glad you liked it.

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