Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Lap » Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:58 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 3:04 pm
You're welcome.
Just for the record: Prof insists the drawing was indeed totally random...
I'd like to have a word with that random number generator. I think it may be developing sapience...

Scarred Muse Hanako and Rin.
Avenues of Communication: Shizune suffers an accident.
Home: Hanako & Hisao at University, sharing an apartment with their friend Lilly (on Ao3).

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Feurox » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:15 am

A fantastic story Mirage! Wonderfully done, though that prompt seems a bit too perfect for you ;)

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by KSFFWriter » Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:04 pm

Technically my first story posted here on the renai, I think. Glad I made the mostly self-set deadline of "Before Christmas"!

Title: Christmas Double Date
Victim: EurobeatJester
Prompt: Write a story about Hisao and the girl of your choice heading down into town during a winter holiday (so Christmas or New Years), and include them meeting another one of the “pairs.” For example, if you pick Hanako, have them run into Emi/Rin or Shizune/Misha. Write the encounter however you want! Getting coffee, getting into a huge fight, etc. Have fun!

It was supposed to be our Christmas date, since I'm not going to be here on Christmas day. Just Hanako and I, doing something simple... tea at the Shanghai, and probably a small meal. It's our usual sort of date. We tried a few fancier ideas early on, but they just ended up being tiring for the both of us. She's been getting a bit better about people since we started dating, and since Lilly left, but she's still Hanako. Just two people eating and drinking together is probably the ideal date for us.

I'm not sure how we ended up this way.

"Ahaha~ So~ It's a Christmas date~! But~! Does it even count if it's not Christmas? What? Shicchan, it does? Wahaha!" Misha and Shizune were both looking very much their usual, wearing their Yamaku uniforms. Even as thick as the winter uniform is, they still have scarves on. Matching scarves, oddly enough, Misha wearing blue with pink stripes, and Shizune wearing pink with blue stripes. Neither really suits them, but I'm not going to try to play fashion guru here.

Hanako is sitting beside me, against the window, while Shizune and Misha sit across the table from us, in the little booth here in the Shanghai. It's a relatively quiet day here, though Yuuko is bustling around attending to a few new guests, and thankfully not so focused on us. At least Hanako isn't panicking. She was the one who agreed to this double date when we ran into these two, so I guess she was at least willing to try.

"Hicchan, are you spacing out~?" Misha signs as she speaks. "You shouldn't~! You're on a date with three~ cute~ girls~!"

"I'm definitely not on a date with all of you." I say it before I really think, but then Misha just laughs, and Shizune adjusts her glasses... looking torn between complaining at me and complaining at Misha.

Misha translates Shizune's signing. "But it's not a date for Misha and I~! What? Shicchan, I'm pretty sure they know that~!" Still, Misha looks somehow disappointed in Shizune pointing that out.

Hanako giggles though. At least it seems to draw a smile from Misha, though she doesn't comment directly.

Shizune signs, and Misha speaks to me, hands on her hips, a stern-ish look on her face. "That's right! It's already~ December! Hicchan, your student council members are very~ concerned about your university applications! What are your plans? You have to learn about them and strike early~! Ahaha, is that right, Shicchan?"

"I'm going to Tokyo Institute of Technology. I think it was mostly Mutou's recommendation that got me accepted." I can't help it. I have to relish the shock on Shizune's face at my answer. It's not exactly an easy school to get into, and I think I may have deflated whatever bragging she was aiming for.

A moment later, though, she looks quite pleased as she signs. "That's great~! It's a really~ good school, Hicchan!" Misha laughs after, and continues on her own, still signing. "But~ What about Hanako?"

Hanako shrinks away from the question, and for a moment, Misha looks a little embarrassed. But Hanako does manage to speak, with her hand over her scars. "I'm g-going to Rikkyo. It's... n-not too far from Hisao's school, and I w-want to be close."

Shizune smiles and gives a small little clap with her hands before signing. "That's great! Shicchan says she was worried~ before, that you might not apply anywhere. Shicchan, that's strange to say."

Hanako blushes, but she's still smiling anyway.

I speak up. "What about the two of you?"

"Ahaha, Hicchan, we're not attached! Shicchan's going to Tohoku, near here! She's got a scholarship from Yamaku~!" Shizune adjusts her glasses, looking vaguely smug. It is a good school, so a bit of smugness is deserved.

"I'm~ going to America! There's more work for interpreters there, Hicchan~! And~ my English isn't bad either!" Misha smiles brightly, though her comment draws a sidelong look from Shizune, for some reason.

That's a surprise, and it must show, because Misha laughs again. Hanako looks to her for a moment before speaking. "That's i-interesting. America s-seems like a f-fun place."

Misha smiles brightly. "Ahaha~ It might~ be! You can come visit sometime~!"

To my surprise, Hanako nods, smiling, though she doesn't comment further.

Shizune sipping at her tea reminds me of my now-lukewarm coffee. The Shanghai's coffee isn't the best, but it's still fine even when it's not hot anymore. A few quiet moments pass, as we all just sit together. Shizune and Misha sign to one another, but without translation. Hanako looks out the window at the gray winter landscape outside... no snow, unfortunately. She's come a long way from how she acted when I first came to Yamaku, but... Hanako still needs time to recharge between social events, and I can't help wondering if this date she spontaneously agreed to is a bit much. Not that I'd actually ask her that, especially in front of the others.

Still, to my surprise, it's Hanako that starts the conversation again. "Wh-what are you doing for Christmas?" She looks to Shizune as she speaks.

Shizune pauses a moment before signing. Misha's voice is a bit muted, oddly. "Shicchan says she's going to her family's home in Saitama~. She's not looking forward to it (really, Shicchan?) but seeing her little brother might~ be fun. What about you, Hicchan?"

I put my empty cup of coffee down. "I'm going back home too. My parents want me home at least for Christmas day. I think they're just missing me after I've been at Yamaku for months."

"Ahaha~ Hanako, are you going~ to~ meet~ them~?"

Hanako shakes her head quickly, hand over her scars again. "I c-can't. I'm s-staying at Yamaku, I... it's... m-meeting his parents w-would be..."

Misha wilts slightly at Hanako's reaction, but then giggles. "I'm staying at Yamaku too, Hanako~. You don't have to be embarrassed! What? Shicchan, I already~ told you that!"

Shizune looks annoyed as she signs at her friend, and Misha signs back, before letting out a slightly odd-sounding laugh. "It is what it is, Shicchan! But, Hanako, at least you don't have to be lonely! We can see each other over break~!"

Hanako hesitates a moment, and then nods, just slightly. "I-if you want to."

"Ahaha~ really?" Misha's laugh sounds a little off, but she's smiling again, so at least that's something.

Shizune signs again, and Misha looks to her, before blinking. "You want to stay too, now? But Shicchan~! What about your family? That doesn't matter as much as me? Haha~, what are you saying~? That's silly, Shicchan~!"

But after a flurry of signing, Misha looks to Hanako. "Do you think we could all do~ something? Shicchan says she wants to stay too~." Shizune adjusts her glasses, giving Hanako a surprisingly friendly and cute-looking smile.

Hanako nods again, blushing faintly. "Y-you don't have to s-stay because of me. But if you w-want to, it might be fun to... d-do...something."

But now there's three sets of eyes on me. Oh, right. I guess if they're all going to be here, then I should probably stay too. I look to Hanako. "Should I call my parents and tell them I'm staying too?"

Hanako's eyes widen, and she shakes her head quickly. "Y-you don't h-have to. W-won't they think I'm k-keeping you a-away from them? I..."

I catch Shizune's eye, as she looks at me with something approaching a challenge. Misha has her hands on her hips, and her cheeks puffed out comically, as though mimicking an angry anime character. Why are they getting involved in this?

But it wouldn't do to leave for home and have my friends stay here to keep my girlfriend company, would it? "I'll call them. I think I'd rather stay here with everyone anyway. Is that alright?"

Hanako looks at me for a long moment, but then smiles and nods, just slightly.

The other girls smile to her as well. There's a moment or two of quiet, before Shizune snaps her fingers, ear-crackingly loud as always. Misha and Hanako both jump at the sound, though Misha's mentally present enough to translate, at least. "So~! That's settled. Shicchan will figure something out for all~ of us to do~! But! For now, a double date should have dinner, right~? Ahaha, Right, Shicchan~! That's right, we definitely need food~!"

While they try to get Yuuko's attention, I look to Hanako. She looks away at first, but then smiles to me. ""Th-thank you. I think it might be... f-fun."

I just give her a smile, and then turn to Yuuko to order with the others. I'm not sure how we ended up like this, all together for this date, and for Christmas itself, but... my first Christmas with Hanako really should be with my- with our friends, as well. But previously, Hanako seemed a little distant about her plans for Christmas, reading alone in her room. Right now, she's haltingly speaking with Shizune about ideas everyone can do together. Maybe I still need to believe in her a little more.

Right now, it looks like our first Christmas together is going to go just fine.

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Craftyatom » Tue Dec 24, 2019 7:14 pm

PKMNthiefChris wrote:
Sat Dec 21, 2019 12:42 am
Almost Home For Christmas
Thank you for tackling my prompt! Your story's short, but sweet. The interaction between Saki and Hisao is fluid and believable, and their relationship is set up well, given how little exposition we get. It sometimes feels like the pacing is a bit fast, but I suppose that's kind of the point of a simple prompt and quick one-shot; there's an issue, they (somewhat ham-handedly) figure it all out, and spend the holidays together. Well done!

I get the impression that, in trying to write a rather hands-off prompt, I ended up making it a bit more difficult for you by adding so few constraints. Or maybe I'm overthinking things, who knows. Thank you again for writing it!
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Path of Least Resistance, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by sgtpepper » Tue Dec 24, 2019 8:42 pm

Victim: Tetrax333
Prompt: Rin goes Christmas shopping alone for a friend.
A light layer of snow gently crunched under my feet as I walked. It’d been lightly snowing since I’d left my dorm, gradually accumulating on the icy sidewalk. I was dressed appropriately for the weather, or rather as appropriately as I could be. I idly ran my fingers over my uniform jacket. It wasn’t the warmest, but it was still better than no jacket at all, even if only by a thin margin.

There was nobody else walking around, the air heavy with the distinct silence of a winter's night. A few businesses still had their lights on, their muted glow illuminating my face as I passed by. The Shanghai was open, surprisingly. As far as I knew, Yuuko was their only employee, and it was probably too late for her shift to still be going, especially with tonight being Christmas Eve.

Admittedly, I wasn’t as familiar with the other businesses in town. My introduction to town, via Shizune and Misha, hadn’t allowed me to get acquainted with much beyond the Shanghai and the convenience store.

Shizune and Misha had come by, actually, to invite me to come with them for Christmas. I politely declined. I would’ve felt out of place. I didn’t feel like we were all that close, but maybe things were different to them.

I’d also turned down their invitation in the half-baked hope that my parents would get time off for Christmas and have me come back home. Those hopes had been extinguished, however, when Mom had called me before her evening shift. She offered to let me come home anyway, but I turned her down. In the past, I could’ve gone with friends to the arcade or park if my parents weren’t around, but now they were so estranged from me that I’d just end up sitting around, alone.

A patch of ice caught my foot, breaking my trance and forcing me to focus on the scene in front of me again. The snow was accumulating steadily; there looked to be about a quarter-inch on the road now as I continued towards my destination.


The lights of the convenience store drowned out those of the surrounding houses and homely businesses as I approached. Unlike the crypt-like silence of the deserted town, the convenience store had a steady stream of people going in and coming out while a Christmas-y song played. I’d read that convenience stores were especially busy on Christmas Eve, when everyone was busy with preparations for the next day.

I shuffled through the aisles, trying to keep my head down while idly studying the other people in the store. Most of them were older, wearing thick coats and idly shuffling down the isles with small piles of goods in their hands. I recognized the green uniforms of some students from Yamaku. I quickly diverted my gaze from them, not wanting to create an awkward situation or accidentally stare at a missing limb or other physical condition. Not that it really mattered, though, since I didn’t recognize any of the students beyond perhaps seeing them once or twice in the hallways.

A pair of tied off sleeves caught my attention. I didn’t have to look at her face to remember her name. Rin was unique, as she seemed to view me with as much apathy as I viewed her. I looked away quickly, but she still spoke.


Her voice was monotone, and when I looked up I saw she had an expression to match.


I paused, uncertain if I should add to my greeting. Seeing that Rin was making no move to do so herself, I spoke again.

“What are you doing out here, Rin?”

“Buying. At least that’s what I wanted. I don’t think Emi would like this, though.”

She nodded at the items on the shelf. I had to agree with her, I don’t think Emi would appreciate a stick of deodorant as a gift, unless Rin was trying to tell her something. I smiled slightly.


The cashier handed me my receipt. I took my bag with the other hand, absentmindedly stuffing the receipt into my uniform pocket, where it joined Rin’s. I’d ended up just buying some instant noodles, while Rin had just bought a small can of coffee. I paid for both, as the cost was negligible and Rin didn’t seem to have any interest in paying. Rin was still standing by the door, looking at me with her with her trademarked deadpan expression.

We exited the store, stepping out into the now snow-covered town. I rummaged around in the bag and pulled the can out, holding it out to her. She looked at me for a second.


If there was one thing to admire about Rin, it was her straightforwardness. Drawing closer, I awkwardly slid the bag down my arm so I could use my hand to pull her pocket open. After a few tries, I slid the can into her pocket. She was wearing her normal uniform pants with sandals on her feet.

I backed away and began to turn around. I still hadn’t accomplished my half-assed goal of exploring the town. Perhaps there was an arcade or a park somewhere that I could go to, just like old times. Rin would probably just go back to the dorms. Hell, she might even live in town and could go home.

I hadn’t gotten very far before a voice sounded behind me.


I turned around to see Rin still standing where I left her.

“Aren’t you coming?”

I looked at her blankly.

“Coming where?”


I almost turned her down and kept walking. I wasn’t in the mood to socialize. I needed to just carry on, wandering around aimlessly until… I felt better, or something. Despite all of that, though, I found myself walking with Rin as we started back towards Yamaku.


The walk back was considerably harder than earlier. The sidewalk was blanketed in the still-falling snow. I absently worried about Rin as she trudged through the snow in open-toed shoes, but she showed no signs of distress.

We talked as we made our way back. She caught me off guard by talking about her life. She was from a well-off family; her parents were able-bodied and quite successful. Her mother had been a singer, and her father was a locally famous lawyer. It’d been her father’s idea to send her to Yamaku, where she would remain year-round. Her mother had tried to protest, but couldn’t bring herself to go against her husband.

The way she delivered it all in her normal monotone, matter-of-fact manner of speaking made it all the more sad, as it made it sound like she just viewed it as normal to be evicted by her parents.

“I don’t think Dad likes me.”

My mouth shot open, part in shock but also part in instinct to say something reassuring.


Say something, dammit!

Say what? “I’m sure that’s not true?” Given how direct she was, I’m pretty sure “that” was actually true. I can’t even tell her that I know what it’s like - sure, I wasn’t extraordinarily close with my parents either, but they’d never thrown me out.

We’d stopped walking. She stood a few paces in front of me. Her shoulders shook with what I assumed were restrained sobs.

“Well… I like you.”

I was able to phrase it like an off-hand rebuttal to her statement, but it was obvious how much weight such a sentence carried.

I took a step towards her, but she suddenly turned and ran into me with such force that I nearly fell over. Her sobs broke the tranquil quietness of the night as I embraced her tightly.


The warmth of her room was a nice contrast after being out in the snow for so long. The warmth combined with her faint cinnamon scent was like a heavy blanket, luring me to sleep. Rin was snuggled against my chest, her tie flopped to the side. Gently stroking her hair, I surrendered myself to sleep as the snow continued to fall outside.

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Downix » Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:42 pm

A Hidden Obsession

Victim: PabloPabloPablo
Prompt: Class 3-3 has a secret Santa event just before winter finals. The rest is up to the writer.

Puzzled, I turn the slip of paper over in my hand a few times. No matter how I read it, the answer is the same.
On the paper, a name.
Akio Hayashi
It's someone in my class, but beats me who it could be.
Wait, let's try a process of elimination.
Akio's a boy's name, so, let's limit it to the boys.
Guy in the corner with the headband's name is… Haruhiro, or Haruhiko, something like that. Behind me is Taro. There's the beret guy, um… Maeda, right. The other guy on the front row has a French name. That leaves me with… the boy sitting next to Hanako, with the cane.
So, a secret Santa exchange for a kid I've never spoken to, hung out with, or even knew existed.
Such fun.

Observation Journal, Day 2…

Why am I putting up with Kenji's madness, and actually writing down "Observation Journal" in the first place? Having approached him to learn about Hayashi, I was given binoculars, camouflage paint, three fake passports (where is Djibouti anyways?), a bucket of glue, and about 500 one cent Euro coins in a nylon bag. Oh, and this journal.
"Target is at 4 o'clock," comes the voice over the walkie talkie.
Groaning I message back, "What does that even mean?"
"Look over your left shoulder!" Kenji barks at me through the small handheld device.
Turning that way with the binoculars, I see him, limping along while talking to a pair of girls. One of them is the girl who sits next to him behind Misha, the other a girl I'm not familiar with.
That reminds me, I should call Nanako tonight to see how she did on her university prep test.
This mall should tell me what I need to know about what his interests are. Checking the 'target file' Kenji prepped, if he's right they will hit the bookstore. Just need to find out what books he likes, and present picked.
And there they go, approaching the entryway… and walk right past it.
"Dammit," I curse as I move to follow them. Past otaku shops, comics, the group finally stops at… a cosplay store? Well, he is with two girls. Guess it's for them.
Casually observing through the binoculars, I see little of note, other than Akio waiting while the girls picked over the garment racks.
When he looks over the magazine racks, I quickly focus on the titles. As I read the titles he picks out, a plan of action sets in.

Wearing the scarf I'd received from my own Secret Santa, and thanking whomever got for the warm present, I idly watch as Akio opens his box. Once in sight, his face freezes in amusement before he withdraws the magical girl wand from within.
The room erupts in laughter as he barks out with, "Okay, which one of you got this? Fess up! Come on!"

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:17 am

I use my one-shot thread for all my secret santa posts, but I figured I'd make a post on this thread as well, for consistency (and to make Mirage's job easier):

From Craftyatom for Oddball - The Waiting Games
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Path of Least Resistance, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Downix » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:26 am

Excellent work from everyone as ever.

As for the RNG, I firmly believe that it is a magical system designed to get the ideal prompt to the right writer. Perhaps an Ouija board like arrangement.

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by PsychicSpy » Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:13 am

Just in time for Christmas, too!

Victim: nuclearstudent
Prompt: We were alone in the storm together, and so grew close. It seemed as if the rain would never end; as if it would drown us and drag us away from our shelter without a trace left behind. We smiled regardless.


Misha couldn’t sleep. As she turned over onto her other side, she flashed a glance at the digital clock on the nightstand.

“1:00 AM,” she groaned. On top of everything that had gone wrong today, now she couldn’t even sleep? On the one night of the year where you’re actually supposed to sleep. Christmas Eve. She kept replaying the Hakamichi Christmas party and the disaster it had been. It was all her fault, too.

She tossed a few more times before sighing deeply and throwing off the covers. She’d get some water; if anything, it would at least distract her for a moment. She tiptoed out of her room. The floorboards in the Hakamichi guest room were notoriously squeaky, and Misha had no intention of talking to anybody, or ruining anybody else’s night.

Making her way out of the room and down the hall successfully, Misha began to descend. The kitchen was through the living room from where the stairs ended. As she crept down the stairs, she heard a low voice murmuring something. She moved slowly and stopped close to the end of the steps.

“It’s Christmas, honey. Shizune is 18, and Hideaki is 15,” the low, male voice said. It was coming from the large lounge chair off to the side of the room. A fire crackled and popped in the hearth.

“It’s been a real challenge raising them. Shizune is starting to step into her own, and even though she’s at that school, she’s still a handful. She even brought her boyfriend home this Christmas. Can you imagine? Our Shiichan, with a boyfriend? He seems a little submissive for her, but maybe he’ll become a man with her.” It was definitely Shizune’s dad, and he seemed to be talking to something he was holding.

“Hideaki, on the other hand, is by far not a man. In fact, I believe he might trend in the other direction. It’s a little embarrassing, seeing him try to emulate a woman, but maybe he too will recognize that he should emulate me instead, or even his cousin. I may not agree with your brother all the time, but Akira’s a good kid. Masculine role model for Hideaki, at the very least. He still has a few more years, and maybe his peers in high school will make him see differently about his style,” Mr. Hakamichi continued. Misha decided it would be best not to interrupt him and just to try to get water later. She turned around to go back up the steps and carefully began to make her way back to her room.

Squeak! The step cried out. Mr. Hakamichi leaned over from the chair and swung his head. “Who goes there at this late hour?” Misha knew the jig was up, and besides, she’d already fucked up enough as it was. She nervously came back down the stairs and stood at the bottom.

“My apologies, Mr. Hakamichi,” Misha said, bowing her head. “I was coming down the stairs to get some water from the kitchen.”

“Well then, go get your water,” Shiichan’s father said angrily as he pointed at the kitchen door. Misha quickly scurried to the kitchen and filled a glass at the sink. ‘You fucked up, Misha,’ she told herself. ‘You disappointment. Why didn’t you just keep to yourself and stay in your room? You should just go up, crawl back in, and stay there for the rest of the time here.’ She hurriedly walked out into the living room, but Mr. Hakamichi snapped his fingers.

“Come here,” he commanded, and Misha slowly moved back to the armrest of the chair. She noticed a picture frame was sitting in his lap. A younger man with a full grown beard was smiling, his arm interlocked with a smiling young woman. She was wearing a floral yukata, with a familiar looking hairpiece.

“Is that your wife?” Misha blurted out. She immediately looked down at her feet, embarrassed again. She expected him to lash out, verbally or maybe even physically, but he just sighed.

“Yes. Yes it is. This was us on Tanabata. This picture was taken soon before I proposed to her,” he explained. “She was so beautiful. We met through work, and I knew I was falling in love with her early on. I tried to woo her, and despite the best efforts of her brother, she fell for me too.” He looked directly at her. “Have you ever been in love?”

Misha reflected back on every time she had teased Shiichan, and every time Shiichan had teased right back. “Yes, sir,” she said quietly.

“And have you ever lost it?” The next question provoked her thoughts. She had watched on as Shiichan had grown more and more attached to Hiichan, and it was nice to see her so happy. A part of her realized though that it meant that they truly would never have a future together. There was no hope for her, and that it was only a matter of time before they started doing couple things without her.

“Yes,” she replied again, biting her lip to keep her emotions in.

“I can tell.” Misha looked up at him surprised. His eyes were sympathetic. “Sometimes, the older generation can tell things. That’s why your generation should respect us. We are much wiser than you are.” Not expecting a reply, he added, “Don’t worry; your secret is safe with me.”

Thank you, Mr. Hakamichi,” Misha quickly responded. He waved off as if it was nothing.

“I lost her 11 years ago. Cancer,” he said, looking back down at the picture, his voice getting lower.

“I’m very sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you. Christmas time was always a time for us to be together as a family. She wasn’t just my wife; she was my partner, my friend. And Christmas is so hard without her.” His voice was beginning to waver. Misha delicately placed her hand on his shoulder.

“It’s ok, Mr. Hakamichi,” Misha said, trying to make him feel better. He sniffed a bit, and patted the armrest. She sat down on it. She thought about how she had run away from the Christmas Party, after seeing Hiichan and Shiichan kiss under the mistletoe, and how her depression had brought her down to a low point.

“Thank you, pink girl,” he replied, wiping his eyes. He sighed shakily. “And to you as well. You seem like a nice girl despite your flaws. I’m sure the right girl will come along for you.”

He stood. And pulled her into a bear hug. She slowly wrapped her arms around him as well. He released her after a moment, and smiled. “This was a good talk. Thank you for humoring an old man, even if showing emotions is weak.”

“It was no problem, Mr. Hakamichi. And thank you for the kind words,” she responded. He smiled, his eyes twinkling with some sort of hope. It was a strange look for him.

“Now run on to bed, so that Santa may come and visit this house.” Misha smiled at him. She walked towards the stairs and paused at the bottom.

“Merry Christmas, Mr. Hakamichi.”

“Merry Christmas, pink girl.”

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by NuclearStudent » Wed Dec 25, 2019 1:18 am

That was sweet. I did not expect that.

I'm surprised that Jiggy took Misha's feelings of romantic attraction seriously. I know I don't treat teenage love with any seriousness at all.
Feurox: it is extremely difficult to tell whether you're echoing some very interesting sentiments or if you're just attempting to be trite or funny

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by cpl_crud » Wed Dec 25, 2019 4:24 am

Here's mine - I hope that I met the deadline...! I'm not sure if it's too short (as I have read some of the others) but I hope that this is what you were looking for. Merry Christmas
Victim: MoashLannister (Detective Emu)
Prompt: A working adult Hisao is able to have the holidays off to spend some quality Winter-time with his loving wife and child....except the wife cannot be any of the main six KS girls.

A Winter at Home.

Damnit. Will this traffic ever move?
The taxi driver’s shoulders slump ever so slightly, as if he can sense my growing tension. I’m not sure what his problem is, I’ve been watching the meter trickle ever higher since we got stuck on this on-ramp. It’s been half an hour since the last intersection and yet I can still see the tri-coloured lights through the rear of the car. Plumes of exhaust, condensed by the frigid air, trail lazily from the back of the cars lined up in front of us. In them I can see the red and orange blinking lights signalling the calamity ahead that has kept us trapped.
“I’m sorry sir… what time is your flight?”
I look at my watch; my brain trying to look polite and not signal that I’m not counting every second to take-off.

“It departs in 45 minutes. I only have carry-on and I’m checked in.”


That doesn’t fill me with much confidence. I’m hoping that I can somehow get into the priority security lane, else I’m doomed. I bite my bottom lip in frustration. I want to scream, to punch the roof – something to vent some of the tension that is building up within me, but I also don’t need this driver to kick me out of his ride in this traffic.

In a way, it’s my own fault for taking an assignment on Christmas Eve. Originally it was a great idea; jam a few extra days into the pre-holiday period so that I could have an uninterrupted fortnight with the family. It’s typically unheard of in Japan, but the kids had been dreaming of going away for so long that I knew I had to do something.

But if I miss this flight, it means another night in Tokyo. That means we miss the flight out of Sendai, and at this time of year every seat is booked out. Six months of planning, of begging for overtime, of negotiation with the boss – gone.
Maybe I should call the wife and have her go ahead with the kids on her own. I’ll work something out. I wonder how long it would take to kayak to Okinawa…?

The taxi lurches forward another five meters before stopping again, jerking me from my scheming.
I let out a sigh as I realise the futility of fulminating in the back of the taxi. Que sera sera and all that.

Whatever will be…

Damnit, why do I keep doing this to myself? And why now, when I want to calm down? What is it about the human brain that makes us relive our worst days over and over again? Here I am, with a great life; a beautiful wife, talented children and a well-paying job, and yet not a week goes by that I’m haunted by the mistakes I made in high school, nearly a decade ago.
Everyone has those formative experiences; the mistakes that rattle you from your self-centred worldview and show you that you need to appreciate others. And, by the very nature of that metamorphosis, they are embarrassing moments. The unrequited lover letter sent to someone who barely knows you. The public speaking event at school where you made a fool of yourself. That time you thought it was OK to wear a hoodie from the internet to class. That time you got 100 likes on a Facebook post and you boasted to your friends that you were about to “go viral” and “become an influencer”.

And then there are those of us whose “moments” were much more personal, but are somewhat more influential.

Like me.

Most days I don’t remember that fateful evening, but on the days that I do, I can still see it clearly. I can see the orange-red sun streaking through the windows. The cheap, government-issued bedsheets crumpled up atop the bed. Hanako’s tears wrapping her eyes; a salty mixture of rage and dismay.

Maybe I never really recovered from that dressing down. Maybe part of me retreated within myself and didn’t want to expose my core to anyone. For one, it did make me take a back seat in my relationships. Without making the tiny deposits that are required in relationship, all my friendships evaporated by the time I finished my first year of university. I’m sure I’m still friends with everyone on Facebook, but I haven’t logged in there for nearly a year. Maybe I should. I know I missed the 10-year anniversary last year because I had drifted that far from everyone. I guess that means I have 4 more years before the next event.

Sometimes I wonder if that incident was the reason that it took me another five years before starting another relationship, and also the breakneck pace we moved at once we met. Married in 10 weeks, pregnant in 14 – was that me simply trying to make it harder to leave me – to reject me…?
Stress does strange things to the mind. It pulls it in ways that you could never imagine it would go on its own. And the stress of this traffic is driving me slowly insane. The darkness calls me, and it is fuelled by those wispy plumes of exhaust.

This is why I hate cities. I hate running late. I hate traffic. But most of all, I hate myself. I hate myself for taking this extra assignment, for not leaving a day between work finishing and the trip starting, and for not leaving the hotel with enough time to get to the airport. I could have taken the train and made it with time to spare, but that seemed too much of a hassle. I could have had less to drink last night, gone to bed a little earlier… any number of things that would have prevented me getting myself into this situation, but I didn’t, because I am an idiot.

A terrible, self-loathing idiot.

Sorry, I’m not sure if I’m going to make my plane…

I tap out the message on my phone. I don’t think that I could face a phone call over something like this. If I don’t say it out loud then maybe it won’t become real. It gives me time to gauge the reaction, to find someone else to blame.

Did we get travel insurance? Would this be covered?

Just how much money did we spend? The tickets were discounted so there’s no way we’ll get a refund. I’ll never live this down.

Ok honey, be safe! We’ll work something out. Love you!

The message pops back up on my phone almost as soon as I sent it. She’s watching.

The taxi’s engine revs a little, and we pull forward a little… but there’s something different this time. To my left I see the bright red glow of a warning flare… and another… A policeman with a flashing signal baton is spinning it furiously at the taxi driver. The engine revs as we are directed past the flipped car. As the taxi picks up speed I barely have time to survey the accident that caused our delay, but I can at least see two firefighters grappling with the jaws of life as they cut open the car’s a-frame.

“Looks like you still might make it…” the taxi driver mentions as he pours on the speed in the now-empty freeway.
“T-thanks,” I stammer. So what if I miss the flight, or we miss our holiday? At least I’m going home, in one piece.
Things could have been worse…

Que sera sera.
My Novel - Now available The Zemlya Conspiracy

<Suriko> Crud would be patting Hanako's head
<Suriko> In a non-creepy fatherly way
<NicolArmarfi> crud is trying to dress hanako up like miku and attempting to get her to pose for him in headphones and he burns money

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by ProfAllister » Wed Dec 25, 2019 2:26 pm

Posted my entry over in my one shot thread, but figured I should ensure that there's a link here, for posterity.
Current Project: Misha Pseudo-Route

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Shiranai » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:20 am

Is It In Gingerbread That One’s Cake is Dough?

[Victim: Gibzx
Prompt: The student council has decided to host their own Christmas party during the winter break, and roles have been split evenly between the original trio and the new first-year recruits. Hisao and Misha have been tasked with snacks and pastries, which was supposed to be a rather straightforward and simple task, until...

Misha suggests that they should bake their own gingerbread cookies rather than buy some for authenticity, but given that neither Hisao nor Misha have any experience with baking, they take to the kitchen for experimentation and shenanigans. Will they perfect their craft in time, or end up baking a recipe for disaster?]

Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year. At least Hisao was told so. It was the most romantic time of year, where couples would cuddle up onto their couches, and embrace to stave off the cold. Every year he remembered the streets of the city, all decorated in lights. Couples were commonplace, and it was more likely to see them then some young boy out alone. That’s the sort of experience he expected out of his Christmas anyway. A romantic evening, to spend with Shizune. The year had been difficult with all that was said and done between them and Misha. So a relaxing day between them was a warmly welcomed occasion. But it felt like Saint Nick got him the wrong impression of what he wanted this year.

A week ago during a student council meeting, a Christmas party for the whole council was announced by Shizune. It wasn't exactly the most romantic idea, eggnog with a room full of their first year recruits. But after an unsurprisingly landside vote for the celebration, Hisao was in no position to argue. They were paired up, and the work split up for the much needed preparation, especially so close to the given day. He was partnered with Misha, and they were charged with snack duty. Candy, pastries, chips, drinks, the whole nine yards.

Now, the day of Christmas he was stuck stirring ingredients for gingerbread cookies. He had never made them before. And he could tell just by how to room reeked of burning ginger, they weren't going too well. His eyes watered as he threw in a spoonful of cinnamon, the spice an assault on his throat and sinuses. " Misha! Are you sure this is right?" He coughed, turning to look at the pink haired flurry.

Misha was scrubbing away at a particularly tough, burned-on batter-stain as their next experimental batch baked in the oven. " It's what the recipe said, Hicchan!"

Here was the other thing about their predicament: neither of them had any cooking experience. Especially not with baking. They were only doing this the day of the party since they procrastinated the rest of the week. He had gone out and bought these ingredients this morning. His initial worry was that they were going to set the kitchen on fire. But with the party only hours away, and not a single edible cookie? It seemed like that was the least of his problems.

Waving his hand until the chemical warfare in his bowl subsided, Hisao glanced down at the dark sludge that had formed. The viscosity wasn't too bad; at least it wasn't a solid mass like the first one. He groaned and took a seat, watching Misha as that particular stain was coming loose. " I can just go and buy some cookies,." he stated.

" Don't give up just yet! We have the ones in the oven, and we can make another batch and we'll still have time to decorate before the party," she replied.

" Why did we need to bake these anyway?

" It's in the Christmas spirit! You can't just have Christmas without a home cooked meal, you know." She threw her sponge down, throwing in the towel on clean up. " I love having Christmas dinner with my family."

He couldn't relate to that sort of thing. With his parents often out on dates during the evening or working during the holiday. He didn't get that sort of familial experience. Christmas must be different outside of the city. The oven beeped and Hisao stood back up, donning the oven mitts as he took out their freshest monstrosity. He had to say, they didn't come out half as bad as one might have predicted.

Testing with a knife, they weren't raw either. They had managed to bake one entire sheet of cookies! The two celebrated with a quick high five. Hisao looked to the clock, it was nearly time for the party! " What now? The party is starting in around an hour. We don't have enough time to make any more cookies now."

Misha began to rummage through the kitchen until she brought out a rectangular pan. " Why don't we make a cake? We can use our left over batter to bake a cake. So we'll have more than enough for everyone."

That, might actually work. " Right, you start baking the cake. I'll get working on decorating." They went to work with an intense fury. With the cake beginning to bake in the oven, the pair worked together to dress their little gingerbread people with icing clothes and little fondant accessories. Their cake was lathered in sweet creamy icing. They began to clean up and were soon making their way down to the council room for their merry celebration. Arms full of drinks and snacks for their friends.

The council room was decorated in silver and gold tinsel. Their recruits were finishing last minute preparations. Hisao laid the fruits of their labor out on a spare table. As things settled down, people started talking and playing games. Some were watching a movie on the other side of the room. He stood up to the snack bar and helped himself to some chips, eggnog, and a slice of cake. Sitting down to eat, biting into the cake he coughed. He was right, he’d added a bit too much cinnamon.

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by emi » Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:14 am

SX Entry

Victim: Hanako Fancopter

Prompt: Miki has broken the rules one too many times. Determined to teach her a lesson, Shizune has concocted a creative punishment for her.

A loud snap behind me interrupts my conversation with Suzu, and I turn my head to see Shizune staring me down. She signs quickly as I hear Misha translate. “Miura! You haven't finished your festival plans! Or have you even begun? Wahahaha! There are only a few days left you know! Shizune wants you to submit it.”

I roll my eyes and respond. “Tell her to blow me.” Misha looks worried about translating my message and I turn back to Suzu, only to realize that she's already fallen asleep. I casually side glance behind me to notice Shizune is fuming. I give a smug smile and turn my head back towards the front of the room as the rest of class goes by uneventfully.

I’ve been running laps around the track for over an hour and my legs are ready to give out. I take a few swigs of water; its cold taste is divine and refreshing. Reinvigorated, I return to the locker rooms. I start taking off my shirt when I hear the door close quietly. I pause but don’t hear anything else for a while. Maybe someone was still in here and left. I go back to changing. There's a flash of pink in the corner of my eye but before I can react, my vision goes dark as a cloth is shoved in my face and someone starts restraining my limbs. I try to fight back but there’s more than one assailant and my screams are muffled by the towel. I start to feel disorientated and eventually pass out.

I wake up to darkness. My arms and legs are bound to a bed. I hear whispering in the distance and footsteps approach me. The bag is removed and I’m blinded by a bright light. I turn away and let my eyes adjust as I take in my surroundings. The walls and floor are mostly bare, the only illumination in the room is coming from the spotlight pointed at me. I can just make out someone in the middle of the room, watching silently. The pink girl looming over me cackles sinisterly. “Wa-ha-ha!” This means the other one must be Shizune. I try to speak but the gag renders it difficult. My attempts to get free of these restraints don’t seem to do any good either. “Now, now. No need to be so fidgety, Miki. You need to atone for your sins. Wahahaha!” She reveals a feather duster and smirks. Oh hell no. Do they know I’m ticklish? I give Misha a deadly glare.

A loud snap echoes through the room. Misha looks up just as she was about to start tickling me. Shizune starts approaching with an outstretched hand. Misha dejectedly hands her the feather toy and stands to the side.

I manage to spit the bandana out of my mouth so that I can talk. “This isn’t funny! Let me go right now!” Shizune starts slowly running the feathers down my leg. I bite my lip as the feeling of the brush creeps up my body. She gets down to my foot and twirls the handle a few times. “Sto-ha-ha-p!" I plea in vain.

Shizune pauses her torture momentarily. She signs something to Misha who nods and walks to the corner of the room and reaches into a box. She pulls one, no three things out of it. As she approaches, I realize what they are. Three more feather brushes.

“Hey, come on. You really don’t need to do this. Just let me go, please.” Misha hands a second duster to Shizune. My cries fall on deaf ears. Literally.

I’m suddenly attacked from four spots at once. Shizune simultaneously tickles both my feet while Misha alternates between my neck and armpits. I lose control of my body and begin squirming from the overwhelming sensation as my constant thrashing shakes the bed.

“Aha-ha-hahahaha!” They both relentlessly torture me to the point that I’m having difficulty breathing, I can’t take much more of this. “Ahahaha- Misha-haha pl-haha-ease! I can’t-hahaha breathe! Hahaha-I'll finish my sta-ha-hand!”

I try to catch my breath and notice the tickling has stopped. I see them signing to each other. “Say it again.” Misha declares.

My chest rises and falls rapidly. “I’ll finish my festival stall. That’s what you wanted, right?” More signing. Shizune walks away. That’s a good omen, I hope. “I can’t believe you would resort to something like-” Another towel. The last thing I wonder before passing out is: Where did they get all this chloroform?
Emi > Misha > Miki > Suzu > Lilly > Hanako > Rika > Saki > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by NuclearStudent » Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:33 am

“We are not katawa disguised as mere dogs, we are wolves disguised as katawa.”
Feurox: it is extremely difficult to tell whether you're echoing some very interesting sentiments or if you're just attempting to be trite or funny

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