Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

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PsychicSpy
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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.

'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

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.”
NO KATAWA BAD
My collection of oneshots
Avenues of Communication: One of the best Shizune/Hisao fics I've read, written by Lap
S10 entry (Misha oneshot)

NuclearStudent
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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.

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cpl_crud
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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.”

“Hmm.”

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
Blog: http://cplcrud.WordPress.com

------
<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

ProfAllister
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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

Discord ID: ProfAllister#9754

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Shiranai
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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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emi
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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
Art: http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=10495

NuclearStudent
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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.”

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:43 pm

Feurox wrote:
Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:15 am
A fantastic story Mirage! Wonderfully done, though that prompt seems a bit too perfect for you ;)
To be honest, it wasn't quite that easy. I have only very cursory knowledge of Astronomy, so I had a bit of reading up to do before I could even start writing. :lol:
Also writing past tense is a bitch...
Last edited by Mirage_GSM on Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:45 am, 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.

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Eurobeatjester
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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Eurobeatjester » Fri Dec 27, 2019 4:05 am

Took a few extra days to get out with how busy the holidays were this year, but I managed to finish my contribution to this little shindig I look forward to every year! :mrgreen:

I drew the one and only ProfAllister as my victim.
Victim: ProfAllister
Prompt: The Winter Solstice is the Feast of Sol Invictus, "the unconquered sun". No longer retreating, the sun goes on the offensive, the days getting progressively longer from this point on.
Write a story about one of Yamaku's unconquered suns
This idea was kicking around in my head for a while and I replayed Emi's route to get a feel for it. Prof, I hope you (and others) enjoy it!

Next Step

Emi never did like wearing sweatshirts, especially when running on the track. The cooler weather made it a necessity however, along with the heavy cotton shorts she was wearing. It was a small price to pay to be able to keep up her routine, and one she was happy to.

Her breath came to her in ragged puffs, her lungs sucking in air and expelling it into small clouds that trailed behind her in the cold evening air. The sun had just dipped below the horizon, taking with it the feeble temperature that passed for warmth during the shortened days. A few months ago and there’d still be plenty of daylight left, but with the year coming to a close, she found herself on the track earlier in the evenings than she usually ran.

The blades made a steady cadence on the track, harmonizing with her breathing as she rounded the last corner and put on another burst of speed. She reached the line and soared across it, feeling good about the amount of time it took to run the last mile of the day - as good as she could feel without a stopwatch, anyway.

One more lap to cool down should do it, she thought to herself.

She was the only one out on the track this time of day, as it was on most days. With exams over and most of the other students either going home or choosing to spend their winter break relaxing, she had the entire thing to herself. As she finished her final lap, a voice called out to her, startling her.

“You’re gonna catch a cold if you keep up like this, you know.”

Emi turned to see Nurse leaning against the fence that separated the track from the bleachers, holding a steaming cup and smiling at her as he watched. She rolled her eyes in mock exasperation and walked up to him, hoping that she wasn’t in for another scolding.

“I was just finishing up. Besides, these shorts you gave me do a good enough job of keeping me warm!”

Nurse laughed. “Glad to hear it, even though all I did was cut the legs off a pair of sweatpants and have Yuuko hem the edges.”

Emi walked through a gap in the fence and sat down on the front row of benches, looking quizzically at the older man. “What are you doing out here? You normally go home by now.”

Nurse smiled back at her. “Well, I had to stay a bit late to finish up. I figured since I was here, I'd swing by to check up on you. How are you doing?”

“Never better!” she replied, reaching down to slide the hem of her shorts up, revealing the line where her flesh ended and the plastic began. “Wanna see?” With practiced ease, she swung both of her legs up onto the bench next to him as he sat down next to her.

“We can do this inside, if it’s warmer.”

Emi shook her head. “No, this is fine. It’s not that cold yet.”

Nurse nodded and placed a hand on her thigh, using the other one to twist her right blade until it gently slipped off. Emi reached down and took off the short stocking that covered her stump, leaving it exposed. They had done this countless times before, and the routine was no different; it only took about thirty seconds to check the flesh for any signs of irritation or damage, and another minute to inspect the other leg in a similar fashion.

“Everything looks good, but it looks like your blades might need to get the rubber changed out pretty soon.”

“Ahhh, yeah,” Emi agreed, rubbing the back of her head and looking sheepish. “I was kind of putting that off until the break started...”

“It might have been better to do it while the exams were going on. It only takes a week for the company to retrofit these things,” Nurse mentioned, pursing his lips as Emi put her stockings back on. The girl looked at him in abject horror at this suggestion.

“Are you kidding? Running in the morning was the only thing keeping me sane through the last two weeks!”

Nurse laughed again. “I can take them tonight and mail them off tomorrow morning. They’d be back here by the time classes start again.”

Emi paused for a second. “Um, can you pick them up when you come for Christmas? You’re still coming over, right?”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Will your boyfriend be joining us?”

She pouted. “No. Hisao’s parents really wanted him back to visit, but he promised me he’s going to be back here in time for New Years!”

“That’s good news, at least. So do you two have anything planned?”

“Yep! We’re going on a date in the city. There’s a concert I want to see and he owes me.” Emi twisted her second blade back into place and stood up briefly to test the fit. “Besides, we can get front row seats without paying for them!”

“So what does Hisao owe you for this time?” Nurse asked, smiling.

Emi put her hands on her hips and proudly jutted her chest out. “Just being my awesome self, of course! And getting him into shape. He said he’s healthier now than he ever was before he came to Yamaku.”

“Well I don’t know that for sure, but I know he’s never been better for the last few months, anyway. You haven’t done too bad yourself.”

“Are you implying that I wasn’t always this amazing?” she asked, her eyes narrowing.

Nurse threw his hands up in defense. “Not at all! But if I may say so, he’s been really good for you. And not just in helping you keep up a running schedule either.”

“He really has been. He makes me happy,” Emi confessed, sitting down next to the older man on the bench. “Took a lot to make him that way, you know.”

“Eh, between the two of us, I think he did just fine, don’t you?” he asked, placing an arm around her shoulders.

“Yeah. But you know, he’s not the only one I have to whip into shape,” Emi said, her voice starting to turn ominous. She leaned back a bit so she could turn her body to face Nurse, and crossed her arms. “You and I need to have a serious talk, mister.”

Nurse smiled. “Oh? And what did I do this time?” he asked, picking up his coffee and bringing it to his lips.

“When are you going to make an honest woman out of my mom?”

Nurse did a spit take, coughing as the sip he was taking exploded out of his mouth. It took him a few seconds to regain his composure, and even then it wasn’t very coherent.

“When am I what?”

Emi smiled slightly at his reaction, but didn’t let up. “You’ve been dating off and on for years now. She loves you, you know she does. So. When are you going to make it official? She’s not going to wait forever for you, you know.”

Nurse finally managed to set his coffee down, wiping the liquid off the front of his jacket. “Aren’t you direct this evening.”

“I’m serious. I want to know why you haven’t."

Nurse sighed and looked out over the track, seeing the long shadows the goalposts on the inner field cast as the lights above the bleachers flickered to life automatically, bathing the track and field into a harsh artificial glow. This was a conversation he knew was going to happen eventually, but now that it was here, he wasn’t quite sure how to begin.

“Your mother and I tried to get close before, but...the timing didn’t work out. We thought we might want to try it again someday, but...”

“This doesn’t have anything to do with what Nomiya did at the exhibit opening, does it?”

Nurse was taken aback. “You knew about that?”

“Mom told me about it. What exactly happened?”

Nurse paused again, reliving the memory of visiting the 22nd Corner that night. The three of them - himself, Emi, and Meiko - had gone to show support for Rin, who had a section dedicated to the art that she had made. “He didn’t say anything at the time, but he joked the next day in the staff lounge about how nice it must be to be dating an older woman.”

“Jerk. I don’t see how Rin can put up with him,” Emi said, clenching her fists in empathy.

“He has a very...distinct...personality.”

“Well, who cares if you’re closer to my age than my mom’s?” Emi bristled, her voice rising in indignation. “That’s only to be expected, right? I’ll be old enough to drink in three months, you know.”

“Heaven forbid,” Nurse said, shooting her a glare that made her deflate.

“Well, just because I can doesn’t mean I will. I don’t really like the taste too much anyway.”

“And just how would you know what alcohol tastes like, hmm?”

Emi shook her head emphatically. “Nope. I’m not letting you blackmail me.”

“I might just have to tell your mother anyway.”

“You’re an asshole, and blackmail only works if you’re covering up a good reason, which that isn’t.” Emi crossed her arms again. “So, what else ya got?”

Nurse leaned back, clearly uncomfortable, something that Emi only rarely managed to make him. “Did your mother put you up to this?”

She winked. “You don’t think you’re the only one I conspire with, do you?” She dropped the playful demeanor suddenly, looking at him with concern. “But seriously. I really need to know.”

“It...wasn’t so much the age thing, but something else that Nomiya made me think about. You know, it might be seen as inappropriate for one of the Yamaku staff to date the parent of one of their students.”

Emi pondered this for a moment, turning it over in her head. “If you’re gonna use that as an excuse, you better follow through on it.”

“What’s this now?”

“You were part of our lives years before I came to Yamaku, and we both know that hasn’t stopped you from trying in the past. And I’m not going to be a student here anymore in a few months, so that’s reason number two that doesn’t work. Try again.”

Nurse rubbed the back of his neck, his feeble attempts to stall or ward off the true issue of the conversation spent. “Well, if I’m honest, it’s, um...it’s you.”

“Me?” Emi asked in surprise.

“Not just you, but your mother,” he stammered out. “No, that’s not right either. It’s, well...your father.”

Emi was even more confused at this statement. “What do you mean, my father?”

Despite the chilly night air, Nurse felt uncomfortably hot. “I care deeply about both of you. You know that...but there’s a part of me that feels like I would be...overreaching?”

Emi’s brows furrowed as she heard this, before her eyes went wide with understanding. “Seriously? That’s what’s been holding you back? The idea that you wouldn’t be able to replace my dad?”

Nurse hung his head and rubbed at his temples. “Sounds stupid when you say it out loud, doesn’t it?”

Fully engulfed in a head of steam, Emi put her hands on her hips again and didn't relent. “You’re damned right! You’re one of the smartest people I know and that has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard you say in the eight years I’ve known you. If I had a week I wouldn’t be able to tell you all the ways you’re wrong.”

“I really think you’re overstating what I-”

Nurse was cut off by Emi giving him a fierce hug, crushing the wind out of him with its intensity. “Shut up,” she mumbled into his chest. “You’ve been here for me and Mom. More than anyone else. You’re family.”

“Emi-”

“I said shut up. I love my dad. I miss him. I’m always going to,” Emi said, pulling back a bit to look up at him. “But you know what? He would have wanted more than anything to see the two of us happy again. You make us both happy, and we wouldn’t be who we are today if we didn’t meet you.” Tears started to form in the corner of her eyes, and her voice became small. “I already lost one dad. I don’t want to lose another one.”

Nurse’s heart started pounding hard when he heard that, hammering away at his doubts. He returned the hug, wrapping his arms around Emi’s frame. “Do you really mean that?”

He felt her nod against his chest. “I mean, after all this time...don’t you see me as a daughter? At least a little bit?”

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.”

Emi’s embrace only got tighter at his answer, and the two of them sat undisturbed for several minutes.

“There,” she said, pulling away to look up at him. “So it’s settled.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that. I’m not telling you to propose to her, but...you guys need to give it a serious shot, okay? Mom loves you, and I...I really want it to work out.”

Nurse laughed, a huge weight being lifted off his shoulders. “You sure you’ll be able to put up with my nagging?”

Emi beamed up at him. “The last eight years has been good practice.”

Another bout of cleansing laughter shook Nurse, and Emi joined in, both of them shedding the anxiety and fear that the conversation had built up.

“Well, I guess your mom and I are going to have to have a talk when I come over in a few days, won’t we?”

“You better.”

Nurse hugged her again, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, letting go of all the apprehension that had built up over the last few years.

“Thanks for being so stubborn.”

Emi giggled. “You saw how I was able to turn Hisao onto running. You really didn’t think I’d ever use that on you, did you?”

“No, but I’m glad you did. Thank you, Emi. I can’t think of a better Christmas gift from you.”

~Fin
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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NuclearStudent
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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by NuclearStudent » Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:05 am

Re: Euro

A nice story about human beings trying to make each other happy and working out their hangups.

I never understood this type of story or particularly enjoyed them. But it's a good piece and a pleasant one.

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Lap
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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Lap » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:00 am

I "D'awwww!"'d out loud at “I already lost one dad. I don’t want to lose another one.” So sweet and mushy, hits all the right sweet spots for a Christmas story. Well done! :)
Avenues of Communication: Shizune suffers an accident.
Akira's Surprise: Akira pays a surprise visit to Lilly, Hanako and Hisao on Christmas eve. S9 Entry.
Arrival: Hanako's first days at Yamaku. (On Hiatus)
Home: Hanako & Hisao at University, sharing an apartment with their friend Lilly (on Ao3).
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Downix
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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Downix » Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:46 am

Awwe!! Nurse is bestdad!

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Tetrax333
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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by Tetrax333 » Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:24 pm

Procrastinated Really hard so my post got pushed a few days late.

I tried my best and I hope you all enjoy this, especially you Brythain.
Victim: brythain
Prompt: dramatic performance in winter, with the theme of shadow-play

AN UNSEEN PLAY

The story of Ramayana.

A five thousand years old epic originates from India that tells the story of the brave hero Rama and his journey to save his soon to be wife Sita. It is a story that has been told through many forms and has countless iterations over millennia. It is truly a story that defines not just India, but many other cultures who adopted the Hindu faith, some experts even suggest that this story and the Mahabarata may very well be the reason why the Hindu faith is still so strong in the region.

This iteration is a story told through the medium of shadow puppetry, known as Wayang, that is popular in the Java region of Indonesia. It tells its story through the puppets as well as the beautiful and traditional gamelan instruments that are accompanied by a team of traditional singers known as the sinden.

You are welcome to enjoy this beautiful traditional performance at this year’s Asian Culture Festival. The performance will be held on Saturday night at 19:00 PM at the-

I raise my finger from the brochure to stop reading the braille text that details the location and time of the performance. Since I’m already inside the theater where it’s going to take place, reading further would simply be a wasted effort.

As I’m waiting for the performance to start, I can hear the voices of the crowd around me gets louder and more numerous, a clear sign that the show is about to begin.

As I begin to relax in my seat, a warm and smooth object which, I’m guessing is a plastic cup suddenly touches my cheek, surprising me a little. I flinch, moving my face ever so slightly away from it.

“Whoops, sorry, was it still too hot?” The familiar voice of Hisao speaks up.

I simply smile in response to his apology, “No, I was just surprised since I didn’t hear your footsteps since it is getting rather crowded here. What took you so long by the way?”

“There was a long line at the buffet table, including the drinks. Not to mention that the staff forgot to actually heat up the damn thing, so I have to wait around for that,” His tone is devoid of any signs of frustration, and he even lets out a small laugh after explaining it to me.

“I would think that going through such an ordeal would cause you some frustrations Hisao, but you seem as chipper as you were this morning."

“Well... ” his words trail off momentarily as he takes a seat next to me, “It’s hard not to when it’s our first anniversary you know? I don’t want to sour the mood just because of a long queue.”

As if responding to his words, I run a finger across the outside of the ring, feeling the slight dimples on the ring. When I first noticed it, I thought it was a flaw in the ring but Hisao told me to feel it again and that's when I recognized the inverted Braille that had been carved into the cold metal. The dimples are still relatively new and legible, but I suppose that someday, they be won’t be.

But, I won't forget their heart-felt message: L&H 2018

I remember when were buying this, Hisao wanted to get us a fancier wedding ring that’s made out of gold or silver at first. But I convinced him, and also my parents, to get something simpler instead. Tungsten, to be more specific.

When my parents asked me why I wanted a simple ring, the main reasoning I gave them was purely economic. Gold wedding rings cost almost ten times as much as a tungsten one, and that money can be better allocated elsewhere. At least, that was my excuse for it.

It wasn’t just an excuse, but it wasn’t the full truth either. We had the money to spare, and my parents are more than willing to chip in even if we don’t. But I mainly wanted to keep them away from the decision making for our wedding, at least, for that part of it. I wanted it to be about us, about me and Hisao and no one else.

Although they did still pay for a large amount of the reception.

“How thoughtful of you. Can I have my tea, please?” I ask while outstretching a hand.

“Oh right, it’s still kind of hot, so be careful,” he warns me as he moves the plastic cup so that it touches my open hand.

I grab the tea and notices that it really isn’t that hot. The entire theater building is quite cold, so maybe it just cooled down after being in his hand for so long?

Well, it doesn’t matter, I suppose, so long as the tea is good. I take a sip to test the flavor and find myself very disappointed in the taste. It’s basically just a very mediocre tea with some sugar in it.

“This is pretty shit tea,” I curse quietly, but making sure it’s just loud enough so that Hisao can hear.

He lets out an exaggerated gasp and responds in an equally fake way, “Honey, mind your language!”

Considering that I would often warn him about proper language use to him, It’s quite obvious that he’s making fun of me with that little sarcastic remark of his. I simply smile in response to his little joke, appreciating our brief moment of playful banter.

“Oh, Hisao dear, what time is-” my question is suddenly cut short by the sound of music.

The music starts out slow and quiet, with only a few instruments starting the piece. As it reverberates through my ear, I begin to try and understand what I’m hearing and what type of instrument could make this sound, which is proving rather difficult.

It’s hard to describe since it sounds so unfamiliar with any type of music I’ve listened to. The closest thing that I can think of that sounds somewhat familiar would be those improvisational metal instruments that’s made out of steel drums, except this is a much more refined version of that.

“Hisao, is the instrument made out of metal?” I ask.

“Well, I can’t actually see the instrument since it’s covered by a semi-transparent curtain. So I can only see the shadow of the puppets,” he explains.

“That’s unfortunate.”

“But, I can see the shadow of the puppets and they look really elaborate.”

“How so?”

“Well, normally when you see a shadow of an object, it just looks like one big lump, as in... just try just imagining an object or a shape in your head and you’re probably not far off.”

As per his suggestion, I try imagining a human-shaped doll in my head. I can imagine the overall shape and perhaps even the more intricate things like its facial features and the shape and texture of the hair, but nothing beyond that.

“I’m guessing that you want me to imagine the silhouette of a person, right? If that’s the case then I think you should know the imagery that’s popping into my head perfectly well by this point.”

“Well not perfectly, but I can figure it out more or less,” as he says so, his seat makes a slight creaking sound, indicating that he’s standing up to get a better view, “the projection of the puppets on the screen is actually not just black, in fact, you can see the patterns of their clothes and even the details on the face.”

“Is that so? It sounds very pretty to look at. I guess it’s too bad that I can’t see them,” I joke with a fake disgruntled tone.

Well, I suppose it’s not entirely a joke. As comfortable as I am with my blindness, not being able to see things that have been described to me as beautiful still somewhat bothers me to a certain extent. I’ve learned to mainly ignore this feeling by enjoying other things about the world like sound and small, but it still gets to me from time to time. But, I should be grateful for what I have I suppose, not many have the opportunities I have in life.

Hisao lets out a small laugh as I hear him sitting back down in his seat, “Well I’ll give you play by play for the entire thing, so don’t worry about that.”

“How sweet of you, dear.”

“It’s my pleasure, honey,”

I begin to relax in my seat while enjoying the music. I feel around the right armrest of my seat to find Hisao’s hand and holds it in mine when I find it.

As the music comes to a stop, a man speaks up, announcing that the play is about to begin.

_______________________________________________________________

And thus the play ended. I get up from my seat and hold Hisao’s arm as we walk out of the theater together.

“So, what do you think?” he asks.

I let out a quiet hum, recalling the play and the story that takes place.

The show started with the puppetmaster speaking in a theatrical manner. He told us the premise of the story, about the warrior prince named Rama who won a tournament to wed the princess named Sinta.
The two got married shortly after, but it is then revealed that Sinta is actually a descendant of a goddess, and thus many forces want to take her for themselves.

The main meat of the story, from what I can gather anyway, is mainly about Rama rescuing Sinta from the clutches of a man named Rahwana and his eventual success in rescuing her, ending it off in a nice “happily ever after” ending.

To be perfectly honest, it’s a pretty... shallow story. I understand it’s historical significance, but it really is just a classic hero rescuing the damsel in distress story. Another thing is that the story’s pacing feels way too fast, which is understandable considering that, if I remember correctly, the Ramayana itself is a book-sized epic and this show condensed it all in just an hour.

But despite all that, I actually really enjoyed it. The story itself is nothing amazing, but the live music performance was simply phenomenal and the women who sang the songs were a joy to listen to.
And from what I can tell, Hisao enjoyed the show greatly as well.

He would try his best to describe every scene to me to the best of his abilities. Things like, what each characters look like and what they’re wearing, the different props that the puppetmaster would pull out and even how the puppets move, and he would also excitedly describe the action scenes whenever there was one. Although... he mainly described the fights as being two puppets smashing into one another, which sounds rather boring, to be perfectly honest.

I wasn’t able to enjoy the spectacle of course, but I did greatly enjoy listening to him describe it for me. It’s an act I greatly appreciate out of him.

Even though I know it’s difficult for him to describe the play for me and even though he knows that he can’t communicate perfectly the things that he sees to me, he still does it anyway. It seems small, and perhaps even he thinks that it’s a small and insignificant thing, but I wholly disagree.

I remember the times when he stumbled constantly, always trying to be sensitive about my blindness around me.

I remember the days where he would be utterly confused about how to describe things to me in a way that I would understand.

Now those days are in the past. Precious memories from our teenage years to remind us about how much we’ve grown accustomed to one another.

“It was wonderful, but the story was a bit bland in my opinion,” I answer with a little smirk.

“Is that so? I think it was a nice story, but maybe it was just because I enjoying the puppetry so much.”

“I’m sure it was wonderful to see.”

“It really was. I wish you could’ve seen it, I think it’s something you’ll really love,” his words comes out soft and quiet, tinged with a hint of sadness.

Even as the years go by, some things will remain the same, I suppose. Even though I told him many times that it doesn’t bother me, he will always be like this, constantly worrying and wanting me to see the sights that the world has to offer. Not out of pity, but because he cares.

I stop in my tracks and let go of my grip on his arm. I turn towards him and move my right hand to his cheek, feeling his face and enjoying his warmth. As I hold him, I move my face closer to him and give him a small kiss.

“That’s not something you should be concerned about dear, we don’t want to sour the mood during our anniversary right?” I give him a smile as I comfort him.

He lets out a giggle before speaking again, “You’re right. I’m sorry.”

I grab his arm before we begin walking towards the exit of the building once again.

A sudden change in temperature informs me that we are now outside. I stop walking to breathe the cold night air, and my mind begins to wonder about our lives together.

I’m no princess and Hisao is no prince, just two normal couple celebrating their first anniversary together. Our relationship isn’t perfect, and it could’ve ended so much earlier in our life. But it didn’t, and that’s something I will always be grateful for.

It doesn’t have to be an exciting journey, full of thrills and adventure. Life isn’t some fairytale or some epic like that show we just watched after all.

Perhaps our lives will forever be normal and mundane. And that’s fine. That’s perfectly fine.

I tighten my grip around my husband’s arm and ask him, “Shall we head home?”
Late to the party. But having fun in it.
Ongoing Project Falling Up and Down

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brythain
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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by brythain » Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:25 pm

Tetrax333 wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:24 pm
I tried my best and I hope you all enjoy this, especially you Brythain.
Hey, Tetrax... the Mahabharata and Ramayana were two of the earliest epics my father fed me when I was a kid. This has unexpected resonance, and I enjoyed it very much because of that. What a strange and wonderful juxtaposition—my favourite L/H combination and a blast from my past! Also, tungsten where I'd chosen ruthenium in AtD. Thanks very much!
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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brythain
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Re: Secret Santa 2019 - Story collection

Post by brythain » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:21 pm

This one is for PKMNthiefChris, with warm wishes for many great Christmases to come!

Winterhome

Thanks to Prof_Allister for setting up our annual event, and Mirage_GSM for hosting this! Merry Christmas, everyone!
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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