Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route (Updated 11/20/2019)

WORDS WORDS WORDS
DackFayded
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:40 pm

Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route (Updated 11/20/2019)

Post by DackFayded » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:10 pm

Hello all! Bit of an introduction here before I get down to business. My name is Dack, or Reinhardt if you're on the Discord. I've been involved with Katawa Shoujo off and on since about 2012, and after having gotten back into it again this year, I delved into Fanfiction to fill the void of content after replaying the game again. After working my way through a good chunk of the more popular fanfictions on this site, I came across one in particular that really inspired me: Learning to Fly, by Euro. It made me absolutely fall in love with Saki as a character, and inspired me to finally get my creative gears going again and get started on my own pseudo route.

Just like Euro, why Saki?
Just like Euro, one thing I found lacking in Katawa Shoujo is the idea of mortality, outside of Hisao himself. With Saki, death is not something that can be avoided with hard work and dedication; it is an inevitability. Having this sort of prior knowledge, knowing exactly how you will die and what the process towards it will be like would result in a unique mindset and personality for sure, no matter how they turned out. Not only that, but it would also force Hisao to confront the inevitability of his own death, as long as he might make it, and a simple fact: to enjoy whatever time he has, instead of worrying how long he has.

So, without further ado, I present Sweetest Requiem.

Ayame inspired by this by =fayntcommissions on DeviantArt

ACT 1: Cadenza Coloratua
Chapter 1: Adagio
1 2 3
Chapter 2: Accelerando
1 2

ACT 2: Giocoso Overture

Chapter 1: Poco a Poco
1 2 3 4 5
Chapter 2: Sempre Piu
1 2 3 4 5
Chapter 3: Sforzando
1 2 3 (NSFW)
Last edited by DackFayded on Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:26 pm, edited 38 times in total.

DackFayded
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:40 pm

Post by DackFayded » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:11 pm

Chapter 1: Adagio

It’s been a few days now since I began attending Yamaku, and it still feels just as alien as the day I arrived. I can’t exactly call myself completely isolated: I’ve met a few people in my class, and my hallmate across the way, but I still don’t feel...connected. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself; adjusting to a new school takes time, and meeting people does as well. It’s not like I’ll be on a first name basis with the entire school by the end of the first week, but...it still feels as though I’m not integrating as much as I know I should be.

I’m still sometimes bothered by the disabilities of the students around me; well, not bothered, but...awkward. I don’t know how to approach the subject, how to even begin interacting with some of them.

The ringing of the lunch bell breaks me out of my thoughts, and I’m out the door after a few moments of collecting my things. I don’t give Misha the chance to invite me to lunch with Shiune and herself today. I don’t want to hear any more recruitment pitches, at least not for today.

I manage to make it to lunch at a decent time, able to get through the line fairly quickly. Turning away, I scan the lunch room for an empty table to occupy. As I do, I happen to make eye contact with a girl already sitting at a table a few meters away. Almost-golden, light brown hair falls just past her shoulders, soft waves rolling through her locks. Her brown eyes meet mine, and before I can look away out of embarrassment, she smiles slightly and, raising it over the table, points her cane at me, as if telling me ‘Wait right there.’

She leans over to the girl next to her, a face I recognize: Miki Miura, from my own classroom. She’s one of the few I’ve gotten to know since coming here, though that was more of her doing than my own. Miki seems to be a bit of a social butterfly, ever comfortable talking to new people. I sometimes wish I could have an amount of her confidence.

I can see them talking, Miki’s eyes following her friend’s cane after a moment and she spots me, having almost the same reaction as this other girl. She smiles at me and nods to her friend, who returns her cane under the table and emphatically waves me over to their table.

A bit confused, I approach the lunch table, and find two more occupants as I do: Suzu Suzuki, another girl from my class, head resting atop her arms, face down, sitting next to Miki. On the other side of the mysterious girl, is another student I don’t recognize: a girl, of thin features with long, crimson hair, black at the tips and done in a thick braid, left to sweep over her shoulder and onto her chest. Bright green eyes meet mine: at least, almost meet. They turn towards me, but not quite looking at my face, and I can see now her eyes are clouded and dull, just like Lilly’s.

“Hey, Nakai!” Miki calls out as I come close to the table. “Grab a chair! We’ve still got room for one more. Unless you can think of something better than lunch with four cute girls all to yourself.”

The dyed-haired girl blushes a bit, but refrains from speaking, her mouth obviously still filled with the semi-sweet bread that is one of the few truly good things the cafeteria serves.

“Thanks.” I reply, feeling a bit of heat rush to my cheeks at her words. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to how she teases people, but at least it’s good-natured.

“Shizune and Misha offered, but I think I’ve had enough Student Council propaganda for a lifetime.” This elicits a groan of exasperation from Miki and a cute girlish giggle from the one who’d called me over.

“Ugh, don’t remind me.” Miki starts, gesturing animatedly with both her one good hand and her stump as she talks. “I don’t know what it is with those two. She’s been running that thing since at least second year when I got here, and I’m fairly sure she’s put the fear of God into one too many people, since I think it’s just the two of them.”

“Maybe she wants to be a dictator when she grows up.” The blind girl speaks, finally joining the conversation. Her voice is playful and lilting, almost musical.

“Or a dominatrix.” The brunette counters, a mischievous grin curling her lips before she sips from her carton of juice.

That I can’t help but chuckle at, drowned out by Miki’s laughter and both of the other girls’ giggling. After a moment or two, a realization seems to dawn on Miki as she plants her hand on her face.

“Ugh, where are my manners” She pulls her hand away, planting it down on Suzu’s head, who only reacts by giving a light groan. “I’m sure you’ve met Suzu already, so I’ll let her introduce herself when she wakes up.”

She turns her attention to the black-haired girl two seats away, holding her hand out but turned to me. “This is Ayame, class 3-2. Ayame, this is Hisao. He’s the new kid I was telling you about.”

Ayame turns in my general direction, a warm smile on her face as she nods her head slightly. “Ayame Hayashi. Nice to meet you.”

“Hisao Nakai. Nice to meet you too.” I reply, making eye contact with her as she corrects her line of ‘sight’ to look directly at me. I smile back at her, though it falters after I remind myself that she can’t exactly see that.

“And this,” Miki continues, laying her hand on the last girl’s back. “Is Saki, class 3-4.”

Saki smiles and holds out her hand, and after I take it she shakes it firmly, though her hands are soft but calloused on the tips of her fingers. “Saki Enomoto, but just call me Saki. My mom is Ms. Enomoto.” He smiles at her own joke, and I can’t help myself either: her smile is so warm and contagious that it quickly spreads to my own face.

She returns her attention to her lunch, eating a bit before making further conversation. “I bet you’re wondering why I called you over, huh?” She questions me, a dainty, almost playful smile on her lips.

That certainly was a question on my mind, though I didn’t want to seem rude by asking it. “It crossed my mind.”I reply, feeling a smile tug at the corners of my lips. They’re cute, all of them are, and much less aggressive and ear-shattering company than the Student Council is.

“Miki’s told me a bit about you.” She starts, interspersing her pauses between sentences with bites of her sandwich. “She said you’ve been ‘moping around like a lost puppy’.” She says this part complete with air quotes, her smile widening a bit as she continues. “I felt like you just needed a home.”

For a moment, it makes me feel almost worse than I had before. Was it really that obvious to everyone around me how depressed I’ve been since coming her? At least they weren’t just writing me off, and as I look into Saki’s face…

I see not a trace of pity. She doesn’t feel sorry for me, she didn’t ask me to have lunch with them just so she could feel better about herself. I can see she just wanted to cheer me up, to make me feel a bit more welcome in my new environment.

I return her smile, but avert my gaze, feeling my cheeks heat up. Still though, it feels nice to be cared about, rather than worried over.

“Thanks.” I mutter, rubbing the back of my neck. After a moment, I life my gaze back to hers. “I really appreciate it. Honestly. It’s been...kinda hard, adjusting to how things are here.”

“You’ll get the hang of it.” Miki pipes up, Suzu blearily blinking her eyes and resting her head on Miki’s shoulder, getting there but still barely with the waking world. “New school, new rules. Always takes time. Yamaku just takes longer than most.” She says with a shrug, slumping into her seat as Suzu sits a bit more upright. “Morning sunshine.”

“It’s still lunchtime.” Suzu mumbles, followed quickly by a yawn. She slowly raises her head, scanning the occupants of the table before settling on me. She almost seems to inspect me, tiredly looking me up and down. “Hey Hisao.” Is all she says, befure turning her attention back to her partially-eaten lunch.

“Hey Suzu.” I reply in kind, eliciting a chuckle from Miki. “That’s our Suzu for ya. Always got her head in the clouds when it isn’t in a pillow.”

----------------------------------

The rest of lunch passes rather quickly, if not the least because of my company. It’s nice, eating lunch like this. It really does a lot to make me feel like I’m starting to get used to being here. I know I still have a ways to go before I’m really comfortable with everything, but it’s a start at least.

Our conversations continue through the halls back to our classrooms, which leads to learning a bit more about my new acquaintances. Ayame is an only child like myself, and an avid lover of music, though I can’t exactly say my tastes match hers. More towards metal and punk, since she can ‘feel the music better’. Her family is from Hokkaido, and she’s been attending Yamaku since arriving as a first year.

Saki, on the other hand, is an avid lover of classical music. She plays the piano herself, and is in both the art and literature clubs. ‘A modern Renaissance woman’, she called herself, with a playful wink that turned me scarlet. We parted ways in the hallway, Ayame heading across the hall to 3-2, and Saki continuing down the hall.

I watch her as she goes. She doesn’t seem to lean on her cane as much as I thought that she would have, and she even carries herself with a lightness and a bounce to her step that is unmistakable as anything but content happiness. Before disappearing into the door of 3-4, she looks back, and we meet eyes once more. She smiles at me, that warm, compassionate smile that had beckoned me over to her lunch table. With a wave, she’s gone.

----------

The rest of classes pass just as quickly as lunch seemed to, having breathed new life into me; or, at least, having alleviated my moping for a while. It felt good to socialize again, to do something so...normal. My particular company certainly didn’t hurt, either. Speaking of company, Miki is currently in the process of languidly depositing herself on my desk instead of packing away her notes.

I can feel the heat rising to my face as she takes up the desk in front of me, my eyes starting to widen. She stiffens, and I relax, as she stretches out like a cat before, apparently satisfied, sitting upright on my desk. “How ya doin’, Nakai?”

The ease at which she can go from something bordering on sultry to completely casual and nonchalant baffles me, and I couch to help fight the blush from my face. “Fine?” I reply, sliding the last of my things into my notebook.

“Just fine?” She counters, crossing her arms and pouting a bit. I have to admit, for someone as tomboyish as Miki, it’s still a rather cute look on her as she puffs out her cheeks. “I let Saki convince me to let you eat lunch with four of the cutest girls in school, and you’re just fine?”

I can’t help but chuckle at the fact that she looks almost just like Emi with the way her face is screwed up, but I know that if I told her that she’d probably pummel me. “Alright, alright. Thank you, I really appreciate it. Like I said, I feel like I’ve been having trouble fitting in and getting to know people, so I appreciate the help.”

She beams down at me, a mix of legitimate happiness and deep pride at my words. “Don’t sweat it, kid!” She replies, punching me in the shoulder. “Friends are the best thing around to get rid of a bad mood. Well, second best.” She says with a sly grin and a wink. “Play your cards right, you might get some of that around here too.”

I flush again, this time groaning and burying my head in my hands. “Miki, you’re a shameless tease, you know that?” I grumble through my digits, getting a giggle in response.

“Would you rather I be anything else, Nakai?” She says through her laughter, leaning down to whisper in my ear. “Maybe a bit more like Enomoto, huh?”

My head snaps back from hers, eyes wide in surprise. What the hell is she talking about? I just met her! My face feels like it’s on fire now, and I’m sure I look it. This, of course, is exactly the response Miki was looking for, almost falling off my desk in laughter and finally spurring me to rise from my seat and start heading for the door.

“Hey, come on!” She calls out, scurrying after me to catch up. “I’m just teasing you.” She nudges me in the ribs with her elbow, falling in alongside me. “Still, though…” She starts, trailing off as if seeing if I’ll finish the sentence for her. “I did see how you were looking at her, Hisao.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I snap, turning my head away from her. I can’t fight the red in my cheeks, not at this point. Her words ring true, though. Saki was captivating, gorgeous and funny. Most of all, though, she was caring enough to invite me in, not out of pity or concern, but out of a genuine desire to make someone’s day better.

“Aww, come on, don’t be like that! Saki’s a real pretty girl, Hisao. You could do a lot worse than her.” She steps in front of me, placing her hand on my chest to get me to stop as well. She looks me over, turning my chin her hand to manipulate my head. “You’re not so bad yourself, either. Little scrawny for my tastes, honestly, but you’re cute.” She lets her finger drag along the underside of my chin before pulling away, a crooked smile on her face as she turns and walks away.

“Have a good one, Hisao! Hit me up if you ever wanna hang!” She raises her hand in the air, waving lazily as she walks away.

Good God, that woman is going to kill me.

Next | First
Last edited by DackFayded on Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:21 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Feurox
Posts: 226
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:03 pm
Location: England, Oxfordshire

Re: Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route

Post by Feurox » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:42 pm

Okay, so welcome to the forum! Always good to see some new people! I'm on the discord, so if something I said isn't clear, or anything else, you can reach me here or there.

The usual warnings apply with regards to starting your writing with a route here, like it's a big commitment, it's hard to pace right, it's definitely a red flag when someone jumps straight in with route writing. That being said, you preface this with the fact that you've read many stories on the forum and I hope that's true. Practise, and reading those stories that deal with the themes of mortality, or even route writing in general, will undoubtedly help. Still, starting a route is ambitious. Especially a Saki route...

I only highlight that point because you also preface this story with admiration for Euro's LtF. I agree, Saki's character is wonderfully interesting, and Euro's route undoubtedly deserves the attention and praise it gets, but don't put the cart before the horse. Really think about who the character is, why you want to write about her. Mortality, of course, is essential to a Saki story, but why? What story of Mortality are you going to tell, and how will this affect Hisao's own outlook? You mention that Saki will force Hisao to face the reality of his own inevitable death. Yes. But what else? Saki would have that affect on anyone really. She'd make anyone realise their life is precious because it's finite, but Hisao is a special case, what makes him different from the rest? His life might be shorter than a regular one, and he might be in more danger from physical excursion etc, but what's stopping any of us from dying any day? What I'm saying here is that you really should consider what exactly you want to explore with regards to mortality, with regards to what it means to live, to die, to know. There's a worrying sentence here too:
and a simple fact: to enjoy whatever time he has, instead of worrying how long he has.
So Saki's character is going to make Hisao just be complacent and enjoy his time? What about attempts to prolong his life, to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I'm being a bit mean and pedantic here, but it just highlights how important it is to really REALLY know what message your story is going to tell.

Now, with that out of the way, on to the story itself.

Do you have a proofreader? That'd be a good start if not. I know many of us here would happily do so/ help out with advice etc. Here's some examples of problems I found that could be avoided:
’m still sometimes bothered by the disabilities of the students around me; well, not bothered, but...awkward.
This sentence doesn't really work. I like what you're trying to say, but it reads poorly.

(Changed a comment because I was wrong, apologies.)
She leans over to the girl next to her, a face I recognize: Miki Miura, from my own classroom
This one showcases a problem i'm noticing a lot. I can tell you're trying to mimick thought with this style, and you're nearly there, but you still need to write full sentences.

"She leans over to the girl next to her, it's a face that I recognise: Miki Miura from my classroom."

Anyway, there are more, I'm sure someone else will jump in with a few comments along the lines of SPAG etc. I'm more of a content person anyway, so let's unpack what we've got.
Her brown eyes meet mine, and before I can look away out of embarrassment, she smiles slightly and, raising it over the table, points her cane at me, as if telling me ‘Wait right there.’
Straight into the action. I actually like this. I don't think you need an awful lot of set up to make this beginning work, I can accept that this just happens - presumably following Hisao's failure to engage with the other girls much.
“Miki’s told me a bit about you.” She starts, interspersing her pauses between sentences with bites of her sandwich. “She said you’ve been ‘moping around like a lost puppy’.” She says this part complete with air quotes, her smile widening a bit as she continues. “I felt like you just needed a home.”
A little bit more confusing. Miki has been talking about Hisao? How long has he been here, and other than gossip of 'there's a new guy' how could she really be discussing him. Either way, I can accept it. I like that Saki's character is being established as sweet, but, this is quite intense. I'd tone it down... which brings me to this:
Saki was captivating, gorgeous and funny. Most of all, though, she was caring enough to invite me in, not out of pity or concern, but out of a genuine desire to make someone’s day better.
This is way too much! How can he possibly know this about Saki, it sounds like he's in love with her. What timeline are we in where Hisao is this quick to attach, like a limpet! Way too fast for this kind of thought, in my opinion of course.

Despite this seeming perhaps overwhelmingly negative, please know this was a good read, and i'm genuinely interested to see you take this route in an interesting direction. There's a good start in here, and if you are indeed quite well read on the forums, that gives me hope that you can avoid the pitfalls of stories and routes of this nature. I look forward to seeing this develop, and once again, welcome to the forums!
Last edited by Feurox on Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

NuclearStudent
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:05 am

Re: Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route

Post by NuclearStudent » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:23 am

I have nothing productive to remark about your writing. It is Katawa Shoujo fanfiction. Nothing has occurred to pull me or push me in.

But I'm sticking around for answers to a question I've held for a long time.
Having this sort of prior knowledge, knowing exactly how you will die and what the process towards it will be like would result in a unique mindset and personality for sure, no matter how they turned out.
Why? I've heard this statement many times. I don't really understand it. We are all boundedly aware how and when we will die, in a broad sense. Saki has much more precise information than the rest of us, but we're all in the same business. Maybe you think about it and let it shape your worldview, maybe you aren't so oriented towards death. But I don't understand the fascination, what people see as necessarily engendering a unique mindset or personality.

I love talking and I could figuratively jaw about this all day long. But I will wait and see if the work speaks for itself.

DackFayded
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:40 pm

Re: Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route

Post by DackFayded » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:50 pm

Thank you for the feedback! I really do appreciate it. I'm always looking for opportunities to improve my writing, especially with something so longform like this. I look forward to producing more content for this and getting more opinions on my particular style.

DackFayded
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:40 pm

Post by DackFayded » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:03 pm

I stand there a while as Miki walks away, still a bit flustered by recent discussions. I don’t have time to think about anything like that right now. I’ve barely been going to Yamaku for a week, barely been back at school for a week after being in the hospital for several months after a world-shattering heart attack. Not to mention how well the prospect of a relationship went last time.

After a minute or two to collect myself, I begin heading for the dorms myself. It’s a short walk to practically anywhere on campus from the main building, sitting almost at the center of the academy grounds, so it only takes a few minutes to find myself coming to the short flight of stairs that leads to the twin buildings.

Before them is a figure, however. Silhouetted against the light from standing lamps, I can’t make out their face, but the figure is unmistakable: the lack of arms at the side of their body making them oddly thin.

Rin stands there, motionless, staring at her incomplete mural. Compared to how it looked when Emi and I were lugging paints around for her, she’s made quite a bit of progress. It seems almost three-quarters of the way complete by this point, though it still doesn’t seem any clearer what the images are actually supposed to be. Maybe that’s just who Rin is, though? Someone seen and recognized at some level, but not truly understood.

“Hey Rin.” I call out as I approach, though she doesn’t turn to face me. The only sign she heard me at all is that she speaks up as I come closer.

“Hey.” She responds, a bit flatly. Her voice, as monotone as ever, never belies much in the way of emotion in either direction, so it’s always a bit difficult to determine how she’s feeling just from the way she talks.

“It’s really coming along.” I reply, gesturing to the mural as I come to stand beside her. “You must be working really hard on it.”

She frowns slightly at this, shaking her head softly after a moment of thought. “It’s not about working hard. It’s about finding the shape and the color of the feelings you’re trying to get.“

There’s a bit of a pause as I mull over Rin’s words. She’s as cryptic as ever, though at least she makes a little bit of sense this time. “What feeling is this then, Rin?” I ask, at least trying to understand her.

She frowns again, though this time a bit more sadly instead of indignantly.

“I don’t know yet. Maybe I won't know until it’s done. So many different me’s have worked on this together, it’s hard to say that it’s only one feeling.”

“Uh…huh.” I rub the back of my neck as I reply, completely perplexed by Rin. I feel like she’s the type of person who you don’t really understand what they were saying until days after they said it and it finally clicks in your head.

“Anyways, just...figured I would say hello.” I move to the stairs, slowly mounting them before pausing halfway, turning back to Rin. “Try to make it back to your dorm tonight, okay? I know Emi worries about you. She’d hate it if something happened to you.”

This finally causes Rin to crack a smile, looking a mixture of tired and far away as she does. “That’s Emi alright.” She pauses a few moments before continuing. “Goodnight, Hisao. I hope you can figure out what color you are.”

For once, I actually understand what Rin is saying as she says it. I smile at her, though she’s already turned her attention back to the mural by the time I respond. “You too, Rin. You too.”

With that, I make my way towards the dorms, up to my room, and am thankfully in bed before I ever heard a deadbolt slide free.

Today has been...tiring. Enjoyable, but tiring. A combination of Miki’s halfhearted, mockingly flirtatious teasing and Rin’s spacey, cloudcuckoolander antics are incredibly draining on a person’s ability to think reasonably, but all in all I was welcome for the company I had today. Maybe....maybe things aren’t quite as bad as I think they are.

If today has shown me anything, it’s that I’m not nearly as isolated as I thought I was. Emi, Shizune, even Miki. All of these people didn’t just start talking to me because I stumbled into their lives and they were forced to accept me. They actively made an effort to spend time with me. At first, like with Shizune and Misha, I thought it was because people had some ulterior motive, something that they wanted from me or wanted me to do for them. Could I really have been that naive, though?

Is it really so hard to think these people might actually care about me, despite knowing so little about me? Sure, Shizune had tried to dig her icy claws into me from the moment I stepped foot in that classroom. At the same time, though, she was making sure I wasn’t alone. That I was socializing, spending time with classmates and getting acclimated to my new environment. Even Saki, a girl who had never met me before and only knew anything about me from the passing gossip of teenage girls, made an effort to include me.

It’s a start towards accepting my situation. Accepting who I am now and all that’s happened to me in such a short amount of time. I can’t say that all of my insecurities have been washed away in a single day, but...it’s a start, at least.

Eventually, I manage to drift to sleep, already dreading my morning alarm which beckons me to the track.

-----

“So, joining us again today? Or are you gonna have another tea party with Satou and Ikezawa?” Miki, walking side by side with me out of Mutou’s class, teases me yet again.

As much as it does still get to me when her teasing turns less-than-innocent, I’m starting to get used to how Miki socializes. She switches from being ‘one of the guys’ to acting just like any other girl in the blink of an eye, something that leaves me dazzled sometimes. How can she go from talking about homework and somehow twist it into an innuendo?

I shrug, a coy smile settling onto my lips. As uncomfortable as I am around most of the people here, Miki is someone it’s easy to relax around. “Well, seeing as though I haven’t had any other pretty girls invite me to lunch recently, I suppose I can tag along.”

This earns me a playful giggle and a punch to the shoulder. “You’re learning, Hisao.” She praises me, once more dusting my cheeks with pink. That’s the Miki I’m still not immune to.

It’s not been too long since Miki first introduced me to her group of lunchtime friends, and it’s already become an unspoken agreement that I am the newly welcomed addition at the lunchtime table. The festival is approaching, just days away now, though I’m still not exactly looking forward to it. Contrary to Shizune and Misha’s best efforts, I haven’t really involved myself in preparing for it that much, though...it’s not like I’m necessarily opposed to the idea.

I suppose I’d been against it due to my own unwillingness to integrate myself into the workings of the school; I just felt like too much of an unwelcome outsider to really put any work into things around here. Over the past few days, though, that feeling is starting to fade. I’m meeting people, talking to them and working over my ideas that people here would somehow be different than the people I knew before.

Or maybe I was scared that they’d be the same?

Four months I had been in the hospital. For two, I had visitors. For one, Iwanako was the only one who showed up. It had taken a month for my old friends to forget me. Maybe they were just hoping I would show back up one day, and that things would just carry on like they did? It certainly felt like being forgotten, no matter what the case was.

The idea of death looming over my head hasn’t exactly been a pleasant one, either. Unlike so many of the other students here, I can hide my condition, but the trade-off is that it’s so much more serious, so much higher stakes than a missing forearm. My scar, almost as if reacting to my thoughts, itches a bit; a constant reminder of both the procedure that saved my life, and of the event that killed whatever life I’d had.

I’m shaken from my introspection by a face mere inches from my own, all puffed out cheeks and crossed arms as Miki glares at me. “Hello? Earth to Hisao? I’m still talking here!”

I shake my head to clear my thoughts away, looking a bit sheepish now. I guess I’d never really noticed that I had a tendency to just...space out sometimes.

“Sorry. Just...thinking, is all.” I apologize, which Miki uncharacteristically seems to take at face value. She’s always analyzing the things I say, searching for any crack in my word choice or context to verbally poke me in the ribs. This time, though, she can tell my tone is...different.

“Don’t worry about it.” She waves away my concerns, both literally and figuratively, dismissively waving her good hand at me. “Just don’t make a habit of it. I’ll start thinking you’re just ogling.” Ah, and there it is again. “Granted, there is a lot to ogle.”

Oh no. She’s got that glint in her eye again. Just as we’re reaching the cafeteria, she turns on me, a mischievous grin plastered on her lips. Reaching out, she grabs my tie and yanks me down to her level, staring me in the eye as she comes close.

“Ain’t there, Hicchan?” She purrs, her tongue between her teeth as she finishes. I feel my entire face go red hot, eyes widening in surprise. With Misha, the nickname is a bit grating, and generally a sign of bad things to come. With Miki? It sends a shiver down my spine. God, she’s going to give me another fucking heart attack one of these days.

I can feel my pulse pounding in my chest, and Miki lets the moment hang before she releases me and starts guffawing, clutching her stomach as she stumbles into the lunchroom. I take a few moments to straighten myself out, rubbing my face to get the blood to flow away and adjusting my tie before taking my place in line.

A few minutes later, I’m back in my seat across from Saki, though today our fivesome is down to four. Suzu never showed up for morning classes, and has apparently slept through the beginning of lunch as well. Apparently, Suzu had been the topic of conversation just as I arrived.

“Miki, you know you’re supposed to get her up in the mornings when she won’t.” Saki chides her. “Gods know you need her every bit as she needs you.” The last part, though still delivered with a playful tone, still carries a bit more weight to it than it might in other schools. Students here have to be both friend and caretaker sometimes.

Like Lilly and Hanako, for example. Or Shizune and Misha. Rin and Emi…

Come to think of it, it seems like a lot of people around here sort of have their own ‘person’. Their own other, their compliment to help them through the things that they need help with the most and can’t or don’t trust other people to do so.

Someone to confide in about your condition, to let into the fold and allow them to care for you. For someone like me, the idea sounds more necessary than it might to others.

“She didn’t sleep last night, so I let her have today.” Miki counters, before jabbing at Saki with a half-eaten egg roll. “You could have woken her up just as easily, if you were so concerned. Everyone in the hall knows you’re up early in the mornings to go swimming.”

“Since you’re so familiar with my schedule,” Saki retorts, one corner of her lips curled up in a smirk. “You’d also know that I never have time to make it back to the dorms to change afterwards, and getting up at 6AM when you have no other reason to is just cruel. And who’s to say she wouldn’t just go back to sleep anyways?”

Miki seems to concede the point, too focused on the will of her stomach to continue verbally sparring with Saki. Ayame wears a bemused smile on her face, enjoying the bickering despite not partaking herself. She’s a bit of a mystery to me, despite how much she carries an air of indifference and relaxation, similar to Miki.

“So, Hisao.” Saki’s voice breaks me out of my reverie, looking up from my tray to meet her gaze. Her eyes are slightly narrowed, her lips pursed slightly. “You’ve been eating lunch with us for a few days now, but you’ve been awfully quiet.” Her expression brightens as she leans forward onto the table propping her chin up on her fists. “Why don’t you tell us about yourself?”

I’m not sure if she can sense my hesitation, or if my face changes, or what it is, but she pulls a trick I’ve seen before, only on someone much shorter than her. She draws her eyebrows together, raising them in the middle as she puffs out her bottom lip. Puppy dog eyes. One of my greatest weaknesses after vigorous exercise and sharp knocks to the chest.

I swallow the rice I’d been chewing and clear my throat. “I’m just not all that special, is all.”

“You’re at Yamaku.” Ayame finally speaks up, a wry grin across her pale features. “Everybody here’s special, Hisao.” As dry and sour as her words are, there isn’t any malice to them. More of a flat statement of fact than anything else. “You’re here for a reason. All of us are.”

“But-!” Saki cuts her off, throwing a glare at Ayame. Even if she doesn’t see it, she seems to feel it, as she only gives Saki a shrug. “We’re not asking about that, Hisao. That’s yours to bring up. We want to know about you. Hobbies, things like that.”

Next | Prev | First
Last edited by DackFayded on Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:21 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 5992
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

Re: Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route (Updated 9/14/2019)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:48 pm

Hi, and welcome from me as well!
Feurox has already elaborately commented on the first chapter, and I can only second what he wrote. So as not to repeat to much, let me just highlight that the speed with which Hisao seems to fall in love (and with which Miki seemse to catch on) seems way too fast in that chapter.

As for chapter two, there are a few SpaG issues e.g.:
Gods know you need her every bit as much she needs you.
Their own other, their compliment to help them
complement

There are some cases where you make sentences needlessly complicated, for example here:
it only takes a few minutes to find myself coming to the short flight of stairs
Sometimes simple really is better.

One general problem with starting the story somewhere in week one is that you don't give the readers enough clues as to what interactions Hisao had with to other characters so far. For example he recommends Rin "make it to her room tonight" implying he knows of a time where she didn't which shouldn't have happened until friday night.
You mention interactions with Emi, but not what exactly those interactions were. Sonce most of us here have read the VN there are several options...

The timeline itself is confusing:
The story starts when "It’s been a few days now since [Hisao] began attending Yamaku".
In the last scene of chapter 2 "It’s been a few days now since Miki first introduced [Hisao] to her group", yet the festival is still "days away". Those are way more "days" than should be in one week...
This suggests that you don't really have the timeline worked out for yourself making it even more confusing for your readers.

Finally, I know you have cited Euro's route as an inspiration, but try not to copy too many things from his route. Not because of any fear of plagiarization, but because you WANT to write a story different from his. Your Saki also likes classical music, and she also goes swimming. With only that there is still enough room to set yourself apart, but try not to overdo it.
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.

DackFayded
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:40 pm

Re: Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route (Updated 9/14/2019)

Post by DackFayded » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:43 pm

Thank you for your own feedback! Most of the issues fall mostly into my particular writing style that I can polish up, but Hisao's first reaction to Saki was never intended to be taken as falling in love or anything of the sort: nothing beyond finding her attractive, and noticing that she didn't look at him with pity like everyone that had visited during his stay in hospital did.

As for the timeline, I looked at ProfAllister's timeline and decided to push the date of Hisao's arrival at Yamaku back a week, to the end of May instead of the first week of June, mostly just to give myself space to not start at the first day of school and already have some things established. Chapter Two will begin with e festival itself, and stretch into a few days afterwards.

DackFayded
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:40 pm

Post by DackFayded » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:51 pm

I feel two other sets of eyes slowly turn their gazes towards me, though Ayame is off by about an inch since I haven’t made much noise beyond eating in the last few minutes. I can feel the scarlet rising in my cheeks as their attention is all turned to me, waiting expectantly for a response.

I swallow, taking the time to think before finally responding. “I mean, I’m not too interesting is all. I like music and science, but wouldn’t exactly say I have a passion for either. I used to play soccer with my friends, but that’s not exactly an option anymore.” I say the last bit with a bit of bitterness, though I continue before any of the three have a chance to pry further into it.

“I guess I’m a bit of a bookworm, though?” Saki’s eyes seem to light up at that. “I’d always enjoyed reading, but it was really all I had to do for a while before I came here.” Again, that hollowness creeps into my voice. I drag my tone up as I keep talking, though, not wanting them to start to worry about me again. “Like I said though, not super interesting. I’m just a pretty average guy, honestly.”

“I told you he was a dork like you,” Miki spouts at Saki, settling into her seat with one arm over the back of her chair.

“A dork that might be right at home in the literature club,” Saki counters, flashing a smirk at Miki before turning back to me. “Suzu and I are both in it, and maybe some other familiar faces you'll recognize.”

She pauses, looking a bit sheepish before she finishes her thoughts.

“And we could still use some help finishing up our stall for the festival.”

Ah. So there’s the meat of it. Maybe she was just bringing it up to fish for help? Still, though...I can’t say I’m entirely against the idea. The festival is this coming weekend, but still three days away, and I’ve really got nothing better to do with my time between then and now than have my nose pressed into a book; whether that be for studying or otherwise.

[Maybe not...]
[>That sounds nice, actually.]

Why not? I can think of a million worse ways to spend my time than reading, especially if that involves discussing a bit further into the stories that I’m reading anyways.

“Sure,” I reply, almost instantly greeted with that infectious smile of hers. “Can’t be that bad, and talking over sections of a book is a really good way to understand anything you didn’t get yourself.”

“Exactly!” Saki claps as Miki groans, rubbing her hand down her face.

“Man, I was really hoping to have a cheerleader at my track meets,” Miki says, voice oozing sarcasm. “Now you’ve gone and stolen him, Saki! I had a uniform in mind and everything! Little frilly skirt and thigh-highs!”

Ayame gives a snort and chuckles as my face turns the same color as her hair. Saki at least has the decency to hide her lips behind her hand as she giggles. I can only see the sultry glare Miki gives me for a moment before I give her an angry one back, which earns me another knock to the shoulder.

“Come on, relax Hisao! You know I just like to poke fun at you!”

“How could I possibly forget?” I grumble into my rice, thankfully saved from further embarrassment as Saki speaks up, gently prodding me in the knee with her cane to get my attention back.

“Seriously though, if you want a spot on the Literature Club, I’m sure we could squeeze you in. Some of us are meeting up after classes today to put the finishing touches together on the stall. I can show you there!”

Again, that happy, passionate smile of hers. There’s just a...purity to it, something so truly delightful glinted in her eyes. I can’t stop my lips from mirroring hers. The idea of spending some more time with her is a welcome one, and it will be good to feel like I’m contributing to something, as well.

“Sounds great,” I say, and for once I believe it. Since my accident, I’ve had very little to really look forward to. Now, as small of something as it might be, it’s at least something. Maybe the upcoming festival won’t end up being as bad as I had thought it would be.

-----

“Hicchan, this is absolutely unacceptable!” Misha wails, an annoyed pout plastered onto her face. Shizune, on the other hand, looks positively furious. Her signs are sharp and accentuated, her hands slicing through the air like knives.

It’s just the three of us left in the classroom, after our final class of the day had ended. Shizune and Misha, as per usual whenever they wish to accost me, have cornered me against the window of the room.

“You know how hard we were trying to recruit you into the Student Council, Hicchan! After all that your extremely-dedicated Student Council president and Class Representative has done to help acclimate you to our school environment, you spurn us to wax phi-lo-soph-i-cal about Charles Dickens and Jules Verne?!”

I can see Misha’s anguish fading to confusion as Shizune signs rapidly at me, the pink-haired girl barely able to keep up with the former’s movements in time to translate.

“I got an offer that felt a little less like coercion or blackmail than what I'm used to,” I respond simply, giving Shizune a shrug. This only serves to infuriate her even further, though it’s an interesting process to watch; instead of signing even more angrily, she pauses and glares at me, breathing silently through her nose for a few moments.

“Listen,” I start, rising from my seat and raising my hands placatively. “I appreciate all that you and Misha have done. You could be a bit pushy and stubborn about how you were doing things, but I know you were just trying to help. Thank you. However, the Student Council just isn’t something I’m interested in. It’s not for me.”

As Misha translates to her, Shizune takes a few moments to process my words. She squints at me as she does, studying me with her oh-so-familiar analytical gaze. Her mouth is still pursed in frustration, but I watch her slowly relax, shifting from anger to annoyance. After a few moments, she finally finds the words to respond.

“Well, Hicchan, as long as we know that you’re getting yourself involved with some form of school association and applying yourself to help prepare for the festival, I suppose we can’t be very upset with you overall. But! Don’t think that lets you off the hook, Hicchan~!”

Sometimes, I’m so thankful for the filter of Misha over Shizune’s words. I’m sure it would sound much more threatening in her own voice.

I can see Shizune winding up for another round of tongue lashing, but it’s then that a thump, thump, thump from the door interrupts the three of us from our argument. I turn to find Saki smiling in the doorway, her cane withdrawing from the door and coming back to rest at her side.

“Hi there!” She greets us, now having gotten our attention. “Sorry, I hope I’m not interrupting anything.” She looks across Shizune and Misha before coming to rest on me. Something in her eyes tells me she heard much more of the conversation than just the end. It’s not like Misha is exactly quiet in her verbal translation.

“Not at all!” I quickly reply, scooping up my bag and starting towards the door. Frantically waving my hand in front of me so that Misha and Shizune can’t see, I urge Saki to start walking before I’ve even gotten out of the room. I turn back to face the two girls, almost looking a bit stunned as I leave them behind.

“I’ll see you guys later!” I call out, before disappearing out of sight. I catch up with Saki a short distance from the door, and she smiles coyly up at me.

“Find yourself in hot water for siding with the Literature Club?” She asks, pretending with all her might that she doesn’t already know the answer.

“Something like that,” I sigh, running a hand through my hair. I haven’t seen Shizune truly angry since her argument with Lilly, but she looked damn close wen Miki let slip about making good on my promise.

“Thanks, by the way. I don’t know how much longer she would have dragged that on if you hadn’t shown up.”

She giggles, her hand finding the railing of the stairwell as we make our descent. “Don’t sweat it. Shizune can be like that, as I’m sure you’re aware by now. She means well...usually, but sometimes I think she just likes to push people’s buttons to see what they’ll do.”

“Like Miki?” I reply, a tired frown tugging at my lips. “I swear, it’s like she just loves to watch me squirm.”

“Why do you think she gets along with the guys, Hisao?” Saki retorts, though she’s still smiling playfully. “But she’s only kidding. If she was really into you, she’d be way more bashful. It’s actually kinda cute.”

“I’m not her type I guess. Told me I was ‘too scrawny for her taste’,” I say, raising my hands to give air quotes.

“She did not!” She exclaims, turning to me in shock.

“Cross my heart.” I give the motion as I speak.

“Well, at least she’s blunt about it. I know plenty of girls that would love to let a guy think there was something when there wasn’t.”

I give a derisive snort at her reply. “You’re telling me.”

Saki makes a turn towards the Library. I get there before her, pulling the door open and standing aside. Saki smiles as she approaches, flashing a wink as she passes me.

“My my, what a gentleman.”

I’m thankful that’s she’s already past me as my face heats again. I’m starting to have second thoughts about my choice of friends, and whether or not surrounding myself with cute girls is advisable for my health.

The library is uncharacteristically alive with movement and noise today, a large section of the space not occupied by bookshelves occupied by a about a small handful of people, working to finish the final aesthetics on the club’s stall. From the menu and the decor, it’s a yakitori booth. Just the thought of freshly-grilled meat and vegetables makes my mouth water slightly.

Oh, this was definitely a good idea.

As we approach, I can pick out a few familiar faces. Suzu is gesturing animatedly at a man in a beret, turned away from me; still, he’s unmistakable as anyone but Takeshi Maeda even without seeing his face. Naomi is there as well, busily ignoring Suzu and Takeshi while rolling sticky decals onto the stall. Yuuko is there as well, apparently filling the role of faculty sponsor.

Along with them is a face I don’t recognize: a strikingly pale girl with a long, almost-silver braid over one shoulder, who catches my eyes with her bored, crimson gaze.

It’s almost like she stares into my soul, the way she looks at me; unmoving, with no visible reaction at having made eye contact with me. Her gaze is cold and analytical, as if drinking in my essence without a word. I feel as though she’s seen something in me that I have not told her. The rest of the group doesn’t seem to have noticed us. They do, however, when Saki uses her cane to rap twice on a bookshelf as we approach.

“Alas, your savior has arrived! I come bearing gifts!” Saki announces our presence as we approach the small group, and the other four sets of heads turn towards us. I see varying levels of recognition across their faces. Well, at least there’s no disgust or annoyance. That’s a good sign.

“Beware of Greeks bearing gifts,” Takeshi retorts, giving a wry grin at Saki before turning his attention to me. “‘Sup Nakai.” A simple greeting before he turns his attention back to the stall.

“Hisao?” Yuuko asks, confused. “What are you doing here? Do you need something? Oh, no, oh no, I’m so sorry!”

Before Yuuko can really get herself going, Saki interrupts her.

“Yuuko, it’s okay,” Her voice is soft and placative, practiced even; knowing how worrisome Yuuko is, I imagine this happens with some frequency.

“I invited Hisao to join the club, and he said he was more than happy to help us finish the preparations for the festival.”

I nod in assent, and Yuuko visibly relaxes a few degrees, though I can tell she’s still a bit on edge.

“That sounds great! Thank you, Hisao. We only have so many people, and I can’t always be around to supervise things between the Library and working at the Shanghai and studying for cla-”

“Yuuko,” This time I cut her off. “Don’t worry about it, really. We’ve still got a few days, I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about.”

This seems to finally set her at ease, as she breathes a held-in sigh of relief. “Alright. Alright, yes, you’re right.” She smiles at me thankfully before continuing, “We should have things handled here for now, though. Would you and Saki mind heading down to the cafeteria to do an inventory of the food we have? It should all be labeled specifically for the club.” She grabs a clipboard and a set of keys and hands them towards us, which I take.

“Just put down how many boxes of each we have, so we know how to portion it out.”

“Can do!” Saki quips, looping her arm in mine. “You can count on us!”

She turns, and I’m tugged along as she goes. I can feel my heart rate increasing at the contact, but she breaks away after a few steps. As comfortable as I am with Saki now, physical contact is just not something I’ve ever really gotten used to.

“I can’t say I’m surprised how few people were there,” Saki sighs as she heads out through the door. “I guess people are more focused on their class’ stalls instead. We finished ours last Sunday, so I’ve thankfully been able to spearhead things here recently.”

“There’s more?” I quirk an eyebrow at her as we walk, closing on the cafeteria.

“What, you thought the entire club was only six people?” She sounds incredulous, punctuated by the sharp clack, clack, clack of her cane against the tile floors.

“No, we have about a dozen or so. Mostly second and first years, so probably no one you would know. Ikezawa and Satou have actually popped in a few times, but Ikezawa tends to get a bit skittish after a while and they both leave.”

Sounds about right. Seems like Lilly’s way of trying to get Hanako to branch out and tame her shyness. It makes me feel sorry for Hanako; that the only way she gets out into the world is at the call of her friend.

Am I not the same, though? When I came here, I just trudged around, drifting through my days. I didn’t make an effort to do anything or really get to know people on my own: other people pulled me into their lives and given me a direction.

It’s incredibly comforting to have real friends again. People that want to have me around, rather than visiting me out of obligation or pity. Even still, I feel as though there’s a disconnect between myself and the rest of the student body here. I’m still not sure how to act, or talk, around people. Not sure where to look, what terms to use or avoid; awash in a sea of uncertainty as I struggle to find my bearings.

Saki, Miki, and even the Student Council has been there to act as lighthouses; lights in the ocean to guide me home. I’m thankful for it, honestly. I don’t know how long it would have taken me to reach some semblance of normalcy without the outreach that I’ve been given by the people I now consider my friends.

A jab in the stomach breaks me from the clouds, and I find myself standing just inside the cafeteria. It’s incredible how I can space out like that and continue walking unabated; a secret talent that I’m now thankful for.

“Are you still with me, Hisao?” Saki asks me playfully, making her way towards a door in the back of the cafeteria. “Come on. We just have to go back to the stock room and take inventory.”

I smile sheepishly and follow after her, unlocking the door and allowing her to continue leading the way to the back rooms. It’s interesting, seeing the areas where most students wouldn’t ever go. The air is colder back here, and only gets colder as we approach a chill room, and are greeted by a rather sizable stack of boxes, all stamped with ‘LIT’. The air isn’t freezing, but not entirely comfortable; we shouldn’t have to worry about the short time we’ll be in here.

Looking over the clipboard, I frown. There’s...a pretty decent sized list of different items here, ranging from fruit to spices to meat and vegetables.

“Uh...why don’t we divide and conquer? This list is pretty extensive. I’ll move separate them into piles, you count them up?”

Saki nods her assent, and after passing over the clipboard, we set to work. It’s not incredibly time-consuming work, but monotonous, especially when the boxes vary heavily in size.

“So…” Saki starts, using her cane to tap the tops of a series of boxes as she counts. “What had you so lost in thought?” She looks up at me now, that familiar playful glint in her eyes. “Am I just too gorgeous for you to handle, pretty boy?”

I’m suddenly no longer aware how cold the room is as I make a point to not meet her eyes, imagining her expression roughly mirroring Miki’s at most times.

“No! I mean, not saying you aren’t-” I cut myself off as she starts giggling, obviously enjoying seeing how flustered she has me. I swear, I’m going to get both of them back one day for all the torture they’ve been putting me through the last few days.

“Oh, just relax, Hisao. We wouldn’t poke fun at you if you weren’t so cute when you’re sputtering and trying to talk over yourself.”

Well, now the blush only intensifies, though at least it consolidates itself to my cheeks and ears.

“I was just thinking,” I continue, changing the topic. “About how thankful I am for you and Miki, even Shizune and Misha.”

This, however, is obviously not what Saki was expecting to hear. She lowers the clipboard a bit, her playful smile gone and replaced with a mix of sincerity and expectation, obviously assuming I have more to say.

“You guys have done a lot for me, and I haven’t even been here a full two weeks. You knew next to nothing about me beyond whatever gossip Miki had told you, and you still invited me into your little group of friends.” I look up from my own stack of boxes as I pause. “You did a lot to make me feel like I belong here, and it probably would have taken weeks being here before I settled in without you guys.”

Saki’s lips curl up into a bright, beaming smile at my words, a dusting of pink across her face a sign of the slight amount of embarrassment thrown into the mix. I can’t help but return the expression, so infectious in it’s warmth it can’t be stopped.

“You’re very welcome, Hisao. To be honest, I’ve seen a lot of kids like you walk into Yamaku: depressed, directionless...lost, really. They don’t know how to deal with the jarring change their lives have taken recently.” She must notice the look of shock on my face, as she just gives a giggle in response.

“What, you thought it wasn’t obvious that something happened to you? You transferred in in the middle of third year, Hisao. That means you either didn’t know about your condition until now, or it wasn’t bad enough for you to need to come here.”

My hand instinctively comes up to rub my chest, reminded of that day in the snow that had landed me here. Saki picks up on my shift in expression, as she continues.

“But! What I noticed about all those other kids is that they just needed someone to show them that it was okay, that they weren’t just some broken thing shuttled off to the Isle of Misfit Toys to be forgotten.” I can hear her walk towards me, but I don’t look up until I feel her hand on my shoulder, gazing down at my with her soft smile and compassionate eyes.

“They just needed a friend.”

My vision blurs slightly as I can feel my eyes water a bit, before I sniffle and look away, wiping my eyes with my sleeve. Damn that girl and her smile.

“Aww, see!” She pats me on the shoulder, the intimate moment passed as she moves back to the clipboard. “I told you you were cute when you were flustered.”

I’m not sure who’s going to kill me first; Miki, or Saki?

Next | Prev | First
Last edited by DackFayded on Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:21 am, edited 3 times in total.

DackFayded
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:40 pm

Post by DackFayded » Tue Sep 17, 2019 2:28 am

Chapter 2: Accelerando

Beep, beep, beep!

I slam my fist down on the alarm clock, it’s blaring claxon having more than done it’s job of waking me up. Were it any other Sunday but this one, there’s no way you’d find me up this early. Even Emi was graceful enough to let me off the hook for the weekends. As much as I’ve been skipping out on our morning runs since my near-miss with a heart attack last time. I could see the pain and worry in her otherwise cheery face, and it wasn’t something I wanted to risk seeing again.

Today is no ordinary Sunday, though. Today is the day of the festival, and I can already hear things getting started outside my window.

I swing myself out of bed, blearily blinking the sleep from my eyes. I go through my practiced routine; cracking open a bottle of water and working my way through my pills. By the time I finish, I’m much more awake than I was just a minute or two ago. A week ago, I would have been dreading today. The prospect of a campus-wide event I had no plans participating in is depressing. Things have changed since then, though.

The rest of the Literature Club was grateful at my having joined and pitched in so close to the festival. I was absolved of any duties with the stall itself; especially since this would be my only festival as a student. They wanted me to explore and enjoy myself, but that presented me with a different problem altogether. I had no one to spend it with.

Well, it’s not like everyone will be busy the entire time. As popular as yakitori might be, people’s interest would have to wane or shift to something else. Hopefully Saki would be able to slip away long enough to keep me company.

I blush a little at the thought of her, lips curling into a smile. I’m so glad to have met Saki since I came to Yamaku. She’s been an integral part of making me feel welcome and acclimating myself to the new environment. Hell, I told her as much two days ago in the storage cooler.

Still, though, she’s a bit of a mystery to me. I know so little about her, and want to know so much more than what I do: she plays the piano and has since she was a little girl; she goes swimming every morning to keep herself fit; she loves fine literature and poetry, astronomy, karaoke, and fried foods.

It’s odd, how much she’s come to occupy my mind. Just two weeks ago, I couldn’t have been bothered putting too much thought into someone’s personal life; I was far too concerned with my new life, and how radically different it was to what my life had been just six months before that.

A new school, a totally-unchecked heart condition that was an absolute miracle hadn’t already killed me, and a constant reminder of what awaited me if I wasn’t extremely careful about taking my medication and not pushing my body too hard.

Compared to a pretty girl like Saki, who the hell would want to constantly think about that?

I shake myself out of my slump and finish my morning preparations, deciding not to even ask Kenji what he has planned for today. I vaguely remember some offer of a ‘Manly Picnic’ on the roof of the school later tonight, but decide that it might be better to leave him alone. God knows I don’t need anything else to put me off of a good mood this morning than my own existential worrying.

Exiting from the men’s dormitory, I’m thrown into a bustling campus square, alive with a mix of students, parents, visitors, and faculty. It’s a bit surprising, compared to how sleepy and quiet Yamaku normally seems. Even the post-class rush hours are tame compared to this.

Pushing through the throngs of people milling about, I start heading for the Literature Club’s stall. Even if I’m off the hook manning it today, I still want to at least help out. I’d still feel bad not doing something to make things run a bit more smoothly today, especially after seeing how busy it actually is. Maybe I can just keep Yuuko from having a panic attack?

It isn’t difficult finding the stall, since I helped put it up last night. Other stalls line the various walkways and ring both the inner and outer edges of the main square, but I head past them, closer to the main school building.

As I arrive, I notice a line stretching from this particular booth. It’s not particularly long, but long enough that I’d feel bad waiting in before helping out. Well, there goes my plan of partaking in our food before joining in. Circling around to the side, I am greeted by a few familiar faces.

Saki mans the counter, seated on a high stool to keep her from standing for too long. Suzu and Rika - I’ve since learned her name is - work chopping vegetables and skewering the small kebabs, and Maeda is next to them working the grill. Naomi is washing dishes, and I can see three other faces I haven’t met before flitting around and providing help. These must be a few of the first- and second-years Saki had mentioned.

Naomi is the first to notice me, a glint of relief in her eyes before it shifts to a scowl. “Hisao, what are you doing here? We told you to go enjoy the festival, we can handle things here. Especially now that we managed to find a few underclassmen to help out.”

Suzu and Saki both turn away from their stations for a moment at the sound of my name, both greeting me with a smile before turning back to their duties; Suzu tiredly but sincerely, Saki with her usual brightness and warmth.

I shrug, moving to Naomi’s other side and taking up duties of drying the plates and restacking them. “I’d feel bad if I didn’t help out even a little bit today. I’m the new guy, sure, but I’m still part of the club.”

Naomi smiles at that, though I can see a mischievous twinkle in her eyes. After a moment or two of returning to work, she leans over to me and whispers.

“Sure you didn’t just want to spend some more time with all the pretty girls? Maybe you and Takeshi aren’t so different.”

I make a point of turning away and setting a stack of plates next to Takeshi, who gives me a nod of thanks before turning his attention back to the grill. If he notices how red my face is, he doesn’t react. He’s an oddly quiet guy, usually with his face buried in a book or staring off into space. He’s in the art club as well, from what I’ve heard. With that stupid beret he always wears, he certainly seems the ‘silent artist’ type.

“Not to sound like a stick in the mud,” I start, settling back to drying the plates. “But I get more than enough of that from Saki and Miki. I don’t think I can handle another one.”

Naomi giggles, but gets the message. “Don’t worry, Hisao. I won’t blue-ball you like those two do. I like to poke fun, but they just take things too far sometimes. Especially Miki.”

“You’re telling me…” I grumble, though the conversation is finished.

-----

I end up spending a few hours helping out with the booth, eventually trading places with Saki to run the register as things start dying down. After a while, I find no one waiting to be helped, and breathe a sigh of relief. I mentally remind myself to never work at a fast food restaurant. Thankfully no one was exactly upset; most likely a mixture of being able to see just how busy we are, and probably a bit of pity at seeing disabled children working ‘normal’ jobs.

For once, I’ll take it.

I’m broken from my thoughts by the sound of my stomach growling, eliciting a bubbly giggle from Saki to my right. I turn, a bit startled and flushed, to find her standing next to me. Her chair has disappeared, likely taken off to the side to be kept out of everyone else’s way.

“Sounds like someone’s hungry.”

“Yeah…” I smile sheepishly, bringing a hand to my stomach. “I didn’t eat breakfast before I came to help out.”

Saki’s hand flies to her mouth, her face an expression of mock horror. “Hisao! That is simply unacceptable! Here you are helping out your friends, and you haven’t even fed yourself properly.”

This is the kind of teasing I can get behind. It reminds me of Shizune, in a way, though much less forceful and challenging. Her words feel more like a toothpick than Shizune’s fencing foil. Saki keeps my wits sharp, but she always seems to be one step ahead of me in mental gymnastics.

“Some things are more important in life than breakfast.” I reply simply, shrugging as I do. I think I’m starting to get the hang of my verbal sparring matches with Saki.

“Nonsense!” She declares, rapping her cane on the ground as she does before stepping closer and looping her arm around mine. “Come on, let’s get you something to eat. I could use something to lean on anyway.”

Ah, there it is again. The warm feeling in my chest and face I’ve become so familiar with the last two weeks. This time, though, it’s coupled with the fact that she’s holding onto my arm. Physical contact is just something I’ve never been entirely comfortable with, but that’s not exactly a reason to force Saki to walk on her own. I don’t know what her particular ailment is, but it’s obviously something that makes it more difficult to walk.

“I suppose I could use a tour guide.” I reply, before allowing her to take the lead. After all, it’s not like I have much of any idea what good food and scenery around here is.

She smiles wryly at my comment, but doesn’t reply. It isn’t until about a minute later that I realize my mistake.

“To your left, you have the Chess and Swimming clubs; and on your right, the Newspaper and Astronomy.” Her tone is even and almost monotone, trying her best to sound like a tour guide who’s been at it for several hours at this point.

“Don’t do this to me.” I groan.

She laughs, and I let her have her fun until she squeezes my arm. “You said you wanted a tour guide, Hisao. Or were you just trying not to sound excited to have a pretty girl hanging on your arm?”

I fight the urge to blush and stay silent, but I can still feel a dusting of pink on my cheeks.

“I can certainly think of worse things than that.”

This earns me another adorable laugh, though she does break away from me. Her cane clacks on the pavement as we walk together, though I do notice she’s standing a bit closer than she usually does. I wonder if she’s okay being on her feet all day?

She seems content to simply walk with me for a bit, letting me take in the sights of the brightly-decorated stalls. Not all of them serve food, much to my surprise. Some feature games, others demonstrations of the particular club’s focus.

“So,” Saki starts, dragging my attention back to her. “What are you hungry for? There’s a pretty wide selection available, as you can tell.”

I look around, only just now remembering that this is exactly what we had actually set out for. Rather quickly, my eyes settle on something that I hadn’t realized I’d been missing until this very moment.

“This way.” I say, now taking the lead and making a beeline for a particular booth. Saki seems to follow my gaze before we arrive.

“Yakisoba, huh? A man after my own heart, aren’t you?”

“Well, you seem to eat about as healthily as I do, so I figured it wouldn’t be a bad guess.” Ah ha. So, this is what it’s like to be on the other end things, is it? It feels nice to be the one starting one of these verbal dances instead of being swung into one.

This, in turn, earns me both a giggle and a playful swat to my side. The slight pain is fleeting, but the feeling of having gotten the first strike in at least once is invigorating.

It seems my eyes only moved so far down when it came to deciding what to eat, as I’m surprised to find Lilly manning the register. She looks...uncharacteristically tired. Knowing her, she’s probably been out here since the stalls set up earlier this morning.

“Oh. Hey, Lilly.” I greet her as we approach. She gives a familiar and warm look of recognition as she turns to face me, a soft smile settling on her lips.

“Is that you, Hisao? It’s nice to see you again.” Even with the slight tinge of tiredness to her features, she still looks just as elegant as the day I ran into her in the tea room, a dainty smile resting on her lips. “Though, I don’t suppose you came just to talk to me, did you?”

“Can’t say he did, sorry!” Saki answers for me, causing a look of confusion to come over Lilly’s face, which quickly shifts to thought.

She turns her head down and to my right, ‘looking’ directly at Saki with her head slightly cocked. After a moment, her lips curl up. Oh no. I know that look.

Lilly, not you too.

“My my, who is this Hisao? Attending Yamaku for less than a month, and already such a ladies man you are.”

I thought you were better than this. Maybe Hanako and Rin are the only people in my life that won’t constantly tease me.

“You are...Miss Enomoto, yes? My apologies, it’s been quite a while since we’ve met.”

Saki waves her hand dismissively, as if Lilly would be able to tell. “No worries! Last you saw me I was helping you figure out the layout of the dorms. I must have done pretty well, since you never got lost.” She smiles proudly at her own self-praise.

“I do appreciate your help. It would have taken me much longer to memorize without it.” Lilly turns back to me, seeming a bit more businesslike now that pleasantries have been exchanged. “So, will that be two, then?”

“Yes please.” I answer, already reaching into my back pocket for my wallet.

“Hisao, you do-” Saki starts, but I cut her off.

“But I will.” I say, already handing over Lilly enough money for both orders. It’s interesting, watching her count the money with her hands before depositing it into the register before beginning to make my change. “Oh, keep the rest. It’s fine.”

Lilly gives another look of confusion, before smiling gracefully. “My, how generous. Thank you, Hisao. Your orders will be ready shortly, if you’d like to just take a few steps to your left. Be sure to bring your bowls back when you are finished, please”

“Sure thing.” I reply, stepping over to the small serving window. It seems a small line had formed behind us, and Lilly is once more back to taking orders. I really hope she’s able to take a break sometime today.

“Thank you, Hisao, but you really didn’t need to do that.” Saki pipes up, pouting a bit, though it’s obvious she’s far from actually upset with me. “I am a strong, independent young woman.” She continues, one hand on her hip, the other on her cane.

I can’t help but smile, even as she puffs her cheeks out at me in mock indignance.

“A ‘strong, independent young woman’,” I begin, making air quotes with my hands. “That has been an amazing friend to me for the past week and a half. The least I can do is buy you lunch.”

She blushes, and for once looks a bit...bashful? Demure, maybe? Cute, for sure.

“Well, when you put it that way, how can I possibly refuse?”

Next | Prev | First
Last edited by DackFayded on Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:21 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 5992
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

Re: Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route (Updated 9/14/2019)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:38 am

DackFayded wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:43 pm
As for the timeline, I looked at ProfAllister's timeline and decided to push the date of Hisao's arrival at Yamaku back a week, to the end of May instead of the first week of June, mostly just to give myself space to not start at the first day of school and already have some things established.
You have to tell your readers stuff like that or you will just cause confusion.
The library is uncharacteristically alive with movement and noise today, a large section of the space not occupied by bookshelves occupied by a about a small handful of people, working to finish the final aesthetics on the club’s stall.
They are building the stall in the library?
he’s unmistakable as anyone but Takeshi Maede even without seeing his face.
"Maeda" and this sentence says the exact opposite of what you probably meant for it to say. Another case of making a sentence more complicated than necessary, and this time it actually went wrong.
Last edited by Mirage_GSM on Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

DackFayded
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:40 pm

Post by DackFayded » Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:15 pm

True to Lilly’s word, our orders are completed in a few minutes, and I leave the task of finding a spot to eat to Saki. She has a sharp eye, as she managed to scout us out a bench that was occupied as we approached, but the people seated there finish eating and leave before we’re even halfway there, giving us a perfect opportunity to swoop in and occupy the spot before anyone else does.

Saki gets there first, hopping onto it with a twirl, crossing her ankles as she lands. She leans back against the Cherry Blossom tree, setting her cane against it as well, a soft and dainty smile on her lips. Her eyes close as she takes in the fresh summer.

Sitting there, she looks...girlish. Peaceful? Content, maybe? I don’t really know the right word, but I can feel a smile curl up onto my face as my mind drifts. I wonder how much different this would look when the tree is really in bloom…

So much has changed so recently, that much is sure; and in so many different directions. I still feel as though my life was taken from me, stolen out from under me. I have some semblance of a life now, with people that obviously care about me...but I also know how quickly that can change.

How easy it would be to have another heart attack and wind up back in the hospital. To lose another set of friends, another life just to be shoved back into isolation for God knows how long.

I already had my world taken from me once. I’m terrified of it happening again. Is that why I still feel like I’m holding back? All of the people I’ve been spending time with since coming to Yamaku have been so welcoming, accommodating even. Even Nurse with his jokes, that set him apart from the plastic smiles and strict proceduralism of most doctors made me like this place more than the hospital.

No matter what, though, my condition constantly looms over my head. The threat of death at the slightest mistake. How could I not be worried all the time?

“Hellooo~?” Saki’s mockingly drawn out, lilting question pulls me back to reality, and I find her smirking at me, a knowing look on her face. “Don’t you know it’s impolite to stare, Hisao?”

Her words say one thing. Her tone says another.

“Sorry, sorry.” I apologize sheepishly, moving to sit down next to her. “Just...lost in my own head.”

She scoffs at this, apparently deciding to double down on my poor choice of words before I can fix them.

“I’m sure you were, Hisao. Thinking of so many different things.” She sticks her tongue out at me, but doesn’t press further, instead turning her attention to the rather-sizable bowl of fried noodles in front of her.

Saki practically melts as the first mouthful hits her tongue, her body rolling slightly and a pleased hum rumbling from her throat. She chews slowly, savoring it for as long as she can before she swallows.

“Oh, Hisao, you know how to treat a girl right! This is exactly what I’ve been craving recently.”

And with that my foul mood is abated. There’s little better praise you can get like that, honestly, implications aside.

“A connoisseur of the fried arts, huh?” I smirk, starting to dig in to my own meal. True to her word, it is delicious. I’ll have to be sure to see who was running the show at the stall later.

She stops, her chopsticks halfway to her face and head reaching down to meet them before she pouts at me, returning her food to her plate. “Fried and fine, thank you very much. You know I’m just as well read as I am well fed.” She punctuates her point by sticking her tongue out at me again, this time seeming more like a miffed child.

-----

The rest of the festival passes mostly the same, with Saki accompanying me and pointing out various stalls I might be interested in checking out. More often than not, she’s correct, and by the time the sun is starting to dip below the horizon, I’ve definitely eaten far more calories than you’re supposed to.

I’m a bit tired from all the walking as well, and I can tell that Saki is beginning to feel it too. She started hanging on to me again about 20 minutes ago, this time putting a bit more weight onto me than before. I eventually suggested that we sit down, which she agreed to with a nod and a smile.

We find another bench, this one under a shady maple tree, just off the long garden path. One of the spaces of Yamaku reserves for greenery, to give students...somewhere safe to feel at one with nature, I suppose? Whatever the reasoning behind it, I can’t deny that it’s rather nice.

Today has been great so far. Some parts of it remind me of all that I miss from before coming to Yamaku...but it’s also shown me that life doesn’t have to be so different here. At least, not in the ways that aren’t directly related to people’s conditions. I still don’t quite know how long it’s going to take me to understand exactly how to treat people correctly around here.

I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it, though.

Every day, things seem just a little bit easier. I feel a little bit more relaxed, I accept a little bit more about what’s holding me back.

I can hear Saki giggling, and it breaks my train of thought. As much as it happens...I don’t really mind. It’s gotten me out of more than one mental funk, so I can’t hold it against her even when it’s good thoughts she’s interrupting.

“You really do that a lot, don’t you?” She asks, tilting her head quizzically. “Space out, I mean. I feel like you get lost in your own head a lot.”

I breathe a sigh, shrugging and settling back against the tree. “Yeah, I suppose I do. Habit, I guess? I…” My voice trails off, thinking of the right words. How long can I just dance around this?

“I had a lot of time to myself to think before I came here.”

If my words themselves didn’t make Saki’s face turn down in empathy, my tone certainly did. She gently places a hand on my shoulder, turning her body towards me.

“Hey now, that’s no way to be. How can you see the track ahead when you’re constantly looking backwards?”

I...I can’t say I’d ever really thought about it that way. It’s obvious the reason I’m so depressed is because of what happened to me, everything that I lost...but should I really be so obsessed about it?

“‘We can experience nothing but the present moment, live in no other second of time, and to understand this is as close as we can get to eternal life.’” Saki recites, smiling softly at me. It’s a quote from a book, I recognize that much. I can’t remember the title.

“I can’t say I know what you went through before you came here, Hisao. Or what your condition is. I’m sure it was sudden, and a great shock to you to find out.” She starts, taking her hand off me and adjusting herself to sit more comfortably.

“What I can say, though, is that you shouldn’t let it control you. You are not a disabled person, Hisao; you are a person with a disability.”

She stands, rising before me and looking down at me. “I certainly don’t. I’ll be honest with you, Hisao: what I have is gonna kill me. I know exactly what’s going to happen to me, and a vague idea of what’s going to happen on the way there.”

I know she notices the look of shock on my face. She’s just...telling me all of this. I felt like my heart should be my most closely guarded secret, a physical barrier between myself and a normal life.

She throws her hands out, her cane falling to rest against my knees.

“But do you see me depressed about it? Sure, I’ve had a lot longer to come to terms with it, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early for you to accept it. You can’t change what happened to you, Hisao; no more than I can get rid of what I have.”

“When you first joined us at lunch, I have to admit, Miki was right about you.” My face shifts to confusion before she continues. “You were depressing as hell, Hisao. You barely said a word, and almost never smiled. When I said you looked like a lost puppy, I wasn’t exaggerating. You looked like someone had ripped your heart out of your chest.”

She must notice the look of pain that flashes across my face because she quickly turns to change her point.

“Whatever you have is your business, Hisao. You can tell me when you’re ready. But me? I know I’m going to die. And you know what? That doesn’t matter. When your days are numbered, you learn to make them good days.” There is a tone of painful wisdom from that line; that’s obviously a lesson she learned the hard way.

She plops back down next to me. Retrieving her cane, she rests it across her lap.

“I look at life like it’s a big race. My car is a little bit faster than everyone else’s. My ride’s gonna be over sooner than most people’s, but you can bet your ass I’m gonna make it a joyride that no one will ever forget.”

She takes my hand in hers, looking into my eyes. There is a wetness to her golden eyes, and I can’t help but feel my heart break a little. Just what has this girl gone through?

“We don’t die when our hearts stop beating, Hisao. We die when we lose sight of who we are.”

As if on cue, our discussion is interrupted by an explosion from the sky. It causes me to jump, eyes shooting upward toe cast a fractal of lights and sparkles. Saki giggles next to me, drawing my attention back to her.

“Well, if that isn’t poetic timing…” She says, sounding amused by the situation.

We sit and watch the fireworks in quiet awe, all while Saki’s words still run through my mind.

‘When your days are numbered, you learn to make them good days.’

Honestly, she’s right. There’s nothing I can do to get rid of my arrhythmia. I can manage it, sure, but I can’t just try to deny it’s there. It’s a part of me, as much as my messy hair is.

That also means there’s no reason for me to be ashamed of it. It doesn’t make me lesser-than. It doesn’t make me broken.

All it does is make me, me.

I look over at the girl next to me. Her eyes are turned skyward, her face illuminated by moonlight and flashes of color. I’ve only known this girl for two weeks, and yet it feels like she’s done more for me than any of the friends I had before. She’s gone out of her way on more than one occasion for no reason other than to help me feel better about being here.

Saki might just be the best thing that’s happened to me since my heart attack.

She’s given me a new lease on life, an entirely new outlook to approach things from. It’ll take time, sure, but even Saki’s chipper attitude is infectious. There’s no reason to be depressed forever, right? Looking back up to the sky, the finale begins in full swing. I can feel the fireworks just as much as feel them, a bombardment of color and noise spread all across the tapestry of the night sky.

“‘I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.’”

Saki looks at me, a questioning look on her face at my vague quote, before understanding spreads across her face. She puts her arm around my shoulder in a one-sided hug.

“That’s the spirit.”

-----

We ended up spending a few minutes on the bench after the fireworks finished off to let the crowds die off before making the journey back.

Saki and I walk back to the dorms together, the only sound now the chirping of crickets and her cane on the flagstones. I woke up today half-dreading leaving my room. Now? I’m incredibly glad that I did. We spend the walk back in comfortable silence, tired both physically and mentally from today.

We pause at the parting of ways between the two dorms. Saki turns to face me, smiling softly before yawning.

“Ah, excuse me. I’m all tuckered out from today. I hope you enjoyed yourself, Hisao. Goodnight.”

“I did. Goodnight, Saki.”

She turns, her cane calling out her movements into the still night air. Before she pulls open the door, though…

“Hey, Saki!” I call out, still standing where I was. She turns to face me, a curious look on her face.

“Thank you.”

It takes a second, but she comes to understand my meaning. She smiles again, as bright as the day I first met her.

“You’re welcome, Hisao.” And then she’s gone, disappearing into the girl’s dorm.

I stand in the night air for a bit longer, enjoying the soft breeze that’s began to blow as night fell, before finally heading inside to my own room. My heart attack took away the life I had, sure. And up until now, I’d mostly just been coasting, trying to get by.

Tomorrow starts something new.

END OF ACT 1

Next | Prev | First
Last edited by DackFayded on Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

DackFayded
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:40 pm

Post by DackFayded » Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:30 pm

Chapter 1: Poco a Poco

Whatever sick, twisted soul decided that classes should still take place at 8 in the morning the day after the festival obviously does not understand natural biorhythm of teenagers. Then again, I wouldn’t exactly call myself an expert on the matter. Lord knows my body can’t do it.

I slam my hand down on the alarm clock to quiet it, and seriously consider just staying in bed. I manage to pull together enough resolve to at least sit upright.

Last night is still fresh in my mind. Spending the day with Saki was nice, reinvigorating even. She’s given me a goal to strive for, as simple as it is: to live my life to the fullest. To enjoy every moment that I’ve got, since I never know when it could be taken away from me. It’s a bit morbid, in all honesty, but...it works.

I run through my morning route: pills, shower, teeth, clothes, backpack. There’s a new energy to my movements, and I actually feel...excited about today. Not that I have anything in particular to look forward to. For now, though...classes await.

-----

Everyone in class today is just as drained and unwilling to think as myself. Even Mutou is out of it, having declared class today a Study Hall, leaving Shizune in charge, and heading off to take care of other business. I decide to take the opportunity to get some more sleep. Not like I have homework right now.

The door barely shuts behind him before I feel two sets of eyes staring into my soul. I do my best to ignore them.

“Hicchan~.”

No, Misha. Not today.

“Hicchan~! I know you can hear me~!”

Ugh. No such luck, I guess. I lift my head, looking at Misha tiredly. “What?”

She pouts at me, but still goes on. “Shicchan and I just wanted to know if you enjoyed the festival~!”

I smile weakly at her, propping my head up on my hand. From this position, I can also see Miki staring at me as well, her trademark smirk plastered on her face. God only knows what she’s thinking right now.

"I did, actually. It was a lot more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be, honestly."

“Good, Hicchan~! I’m glad! Wahaha~!” Her laughter is no less ear-splitting than normal, and I can see the flash of a smile on Shizune’s face as I wince.

Misha and Shizune sign something back and forth for a moment, before Misha leans in towards me, her voice a conspiratorial whisper.

“And~...” She starts, pausing for dramatic effect. “Shicchan says you spent the whole day with Sacchan~.”

Scarlet begins creeping up into my face as I scowl at her, pulling back to glare into her eyes. “Tell Shizune it’s none of her business who I spend my time with.” I harshly whisper back.

“Wahaha~!” Misha laughs, just as loud. “We’re only teasing you, Hicchan~!”

She leans back in, and I have to resist the urge to lean away.

“Honestly, I just think Shicchan is jealous~.”

I lean around Misha to look at Shizune, who is giving me her usual stern half-pout, half-glare. I return my gaze to Misha. “Tell her that yes, I had a good time. You both obviously worked very hard on setting everything up.”

Misha signs my words as I say them, and Shizune gives me a haughty look before replying.

“No thanks to you, Hicchan~! You were much more busy working on the Literature Club’s stall than your own class’~! We expect better from you in the future~!”

“Yeah, yeah.” I wave my hand dismissively, settling my head back down onto my arms. I need this nap.

-----

On my way to lunch, I spot a familiar head of crimson and black, and move to catch up to Ayame. “Hey, Ayame.” I call out, both to greet her and make her aware of my presence. Her bright, cloudy green eyes turn towards me, lips curled up in a smile.

“‘Sup Nakai.” She greets me in return, and I fall in alongside her. I’ve noticed that she doesn’t use a cane like Lilly does, at least not while she’s indoors. She tends to keep her hand along something, like a wall or railing. It’s...rather interesting, seeing the different ways people can adapt to the same situation.

“Miki and Suzu can’t join us today. Suzu ended up falling asleep towards the end of English class and was still out when the bell rang. I offered to help, but Miki said she’d be fine getting her to her room on her own.”

Ayame frowns, scrunching her lips and nose together in a look of annoyance. “Saki can’t either. Emi dug her claws into her and whisked her away for something.”

I shiver a bit at the thought. Being Shanghaied by Emi means only one of two things: exercise, or gossip bordering on interrogation.

What could Emi possibly be so interested in talking to Saki for? She’s gregarious and tends to flit between social circles, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen her talking to Saki, despite them being in the same class.

Wait…

Miki is a gossip, sure, but Emi puts even her to shame. Maeda explained it as, “You can’t keep anything from Ibarazaki. There’s at most two people between her and anyone in this school. You don’t know her? Well, she knows someone you know, or knows someone that knows someone you know.”

We practically spent the entire festival together yesterday. Knowing Emi, that’s probably exactly the kind of thing she would want to know about. It’s not like it was a date or anything. Saki might have taken an interest in spending time with me, but it was just to pull me out of my own head so I could smell the roses.

Then again, the mental image of Emi and Rin pulling a ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine on Saki to pump her for information is kind of funny.

“Welp, guess it’s just the two of us then.” Ayame speaks up, before stopping at the entrance to the cafeteria. “Hey, you wouldn’t mind, uh…” She trails off, nervously rubbing her finger with her thumb. It takes me a second, but I get her meaning before she continues.

“Oh, yeah. No problem.” I raise my hand, letting her fingers brush against my forearm. She smiles, gently grabbing hold of my wrist before I lead her to the table. It makes sense that it would be difficult to navigate a place like the cafeteria without sight. Maybe that’s why I’ve never seen Lilly come here?

She wears a look of slight confusion as I bring her hand to the back of the chair. “You just sit down,” I explain. “I’ll get your lunch, don’t worry about it.”

Ayame seems conflicted for a second before she smiles again, sliding into her seat. “Thanks, Hisao. Make sure it’s good.”

“Can do.” I reply, before darting off. Thankfully, the line hasn’t gotten too long quite yet, and I’m able to get two meals together and return to the table before too long.

I set the tray down in front of her, and Ayame perks up at the sound of it. The background noise must be enough that she didn’t hear me walking up.

“I figured no one could dislike ramen.”

She gives a smile of approval as she feels for her chopsticks, long pale fingers brushing over the tray until she finds the packet.

“So.” She begins, snapping her utensils apart and stirring her ramen, allowing it to cool.

“So?”

Her black lips curl into a smirk as she lounges in her chair, gazing in my direction. “A little one-winged birdy told me you spent the whole festival with Saki.”

I quirk an eyebrow at her, though I can again feel a blush rising to my face. I was really hoping that it wouldn’t be something people would notice, but of course Miki would be keeping an eye out for us.

“Yeah, so what?” I counter, setting down my chopsticks. “I didn’t know what to do with myself, and Saki offered to show me around.”

Ayame nods, almost sagely. “That’s Saki for you. Such a sweet girl. Always making sure people are just as happy as she looks.”

I blink a few times, head pulling back in shock. As happy as she looks? “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Her face softens for a moment, before she turns a bit stern. “Hisao, Saki carries this air of happiness and brightness everywhere she goes. She’s sickeningly cute and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”

She takes a breath before continuing. “That also means she can be a bit naive. She tends to see the best in people, and sometimes doesn’t see the bad in people before it’s too late.” Wait, where is she trying to go with this?

“I’ve seen it happen too many times to not stop it if I can.” She sits forward in her chair, propping her arms on the table.

“So, Hisao. What do you like about Saki?”

That...was not the question I was expecting. It’s also not a question I’d ever seriously asked myself. Saki’s my friend, a good one at that, but I never really thought about anything specific about her that drew me to her. I sit silently for a few moments, mulling her question over in my head.

“I guess…” I start, poking my ramen around my bowl. “There’s everything you mentioned of course. She’s nice, sweet, all of that. I like the back and forth that we have, our little verbal sparring matches.”

Slowly, I feel my lips tugged into a wide grin. I know exactly what I like most about Saki.

“What I really like, though, is her smile.”

Ayame tilts her head at this, settling back into her chair and gesturing for me to continue. It isn’t until a second later that I realize that she has no idea what I’m talking about.

“It’s just...so full of warmth. So compassionate, so sincere. I spent months looking at different doctors’ plastic smiles, and Saki’s was...just so refreshing.”

My answer seems to have satisfied her, as she smiles approvingly at me. She sits forward, taking up her chopsticks again. “Alright. I approve, you have my blessing. Now you just need to convince Suzu and Miki.”

Now it’s my turn to be confused again. “Convince them what?” I ask, finally getting started on my food.

Ayame flashes me a knowing smirk. “That you’re good enough to date Saki.”

I really wish I hadn’t started eating, as I immediately begin choking on a noodle that was halfway down my throat. Ayame giggles as I cough and splutter. It takes a few moments, but I’m eventually sure I’m no longer in mortal doom; at least, not from pasta.

“Ayame, what the hell are you talking about? Saki’s just my friend. I don’t think about her like that.”

Her only response is to stare at me, one eyebrow quirked. After a moment, she seems to concede with a shrug.

“Whatever you say, new guy.”

-----

I couldn’t get what Ayame said out of my head throughout the rest of the day’s classes. What did she mean by ‘I’ve seen it happen too many times to not try to stop it.’? That, and her insinuation that I was interested in Saki.

To be fair, it’s not like I’m specifically disinterested. Saki is a very nice girl, and attractive. I just haven’t really been thinking about relationships since coming here. I’ve been too worried about trying to fit in and coming to terms with what exactly my heart meant for my life to worry about getting a girlfriend.

I’ve got homework to worry about instead. Maybe that will get my mind off of Ayame’s grilling. Just as I’m about to open my door, though, I hear several locks being undone behind me.

Great.

I hear the door swing open as I turn around, and see Kenji’s head poking out through the crack. I wonder how easy it would be to slam his door on it.

“Who’s there?!” He shrieks, one hand coming through under his hand, armed with...a plastic spatula? What was he going to do with that, slap someone to death?

“It’s me, Kenji.” I reply, tiredly. Kenji is the last thing I want on my mind.

“Oh. What’s up, dude?” He straightens up, opening his door further and stepping into the hallway. I almost have the urge to peek into his room, but decide I’d rather not gaze into the abyss.

“Nothing. Just going to my room to do some homework.”

Kenji nods sagely, as if I’ve imparted some great secret to him. “There’s something I wanted to talk to you about.”

I swear…

“It’s that girl with the cane that you’re always hanging out with. Enomoto, right?”

“What about her?” I say through gritted teeth, glaring at him. He’d better choose his words carefully.

“You know she’s one of them, don’t you? One of the feminist conspiracy. She hasn’t compromised you, has she?” Kenji seems legitimately worried about the idea, and that just makes me resent him more.

“No, Kenji, I haven’t been compromised.” If he can hear the exasperation in my voice, he certainly doesn’t show it.

“Going undercover then, eh? Getting into their base of operations would very useful actually.”

“Yeah, whatever Kenji. Good night.” I don’t give him a chance to respond before slipping into my room and closing the door. A few moments later, I hear his shut as well.

How can one person be so insufferable? Kenji really wouldn’t be so bad if he weren’t so obsessed with his conspiracy theories. He’s not a bad guy, just annoying.

Whatever. The Edo period demands attention.

Next | Previous | First
Last edited by DackFayded on Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:48 pm, edited 6 times in total.

NuclearStudent
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:05 am

Re: Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route (Updated 9/18/2019)

Post by NuclearStudent » Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:54 pm

A Lilly-like ending line?

The dialogue certainly puts drama over verisimilitude, but that's certainly an aesthetic.

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 5992
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

Re: Sweetest Requiem - A Saki Pseudo-Route (Updated 9/18/2019)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:54 am

Good chapter, but his name is still Maeda...
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.

Post Reply