Numbered Days

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neumanproductions
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Re: Numbered Days

Post by neumanproductions » Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:08 pm

Leotrak wrote:I just need to figure out how to work towards the ending (which is pretty much written out already)...
Wait, you have the ending planned out and you're still keeping me in suspense.
Rin=Hanako>Emi>Misha>Lilly>Shizune (Misha counts in my world alright; and now she surpassed Lilly)
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Re: Numbered Days

Post by York » Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:53 pm

Just finished catching up on the story.
In short, the Hanako/Hisao scenes are probably my favorite :3, loled When Kenji actually remembered, and cliffhangers are as frustrating as ever.
So, looking forward to more. :D

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Re: Numbered Days

Post by Wan-wanniche » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:21 pm

This Is Really Good. I am looking forward to more.
Rin takes an unexpected lead in the updated polls.
Surprised? a little
Is this unexpected? Have you met Rin:)?
Expect the unexpected. lol

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Re: Numbered Days

Post by Leotrak » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:19 pm

Right, sorry about the delay between chapters, folks. I was having a bad case of writer's block... To such an extent that managing 3 lines in a week was a good week T_T

Thanks for all the praise so far, folks. I hope this next instalment won't disappoint. And as always, comments are most welcome!




=======Chapter 11=======
"Eleventh Hour"

Darkness slowly makes way for a starlit sky.

I find I'm floating in a silent stream.

There's things on either side of the stream, but I'm comfortable drifting down it for now. I haven't even looked sideways once.

There's a lot of stars in the sky. More than there usually are visible around Yamaku. I can't recognize any constellations, though. Not that I was ever any good with those.

Now why did I think of a place called... ah, lost it. Oh well.

There's sometimes flashes of.. things in the sky. Faces. Places. Or just a name written across the firmament. They could be anything, really. I'm not even trying to recognize any of them. The five girls that keep flashing by in varying poses are cute, though. For some reason, two of them flash by more often than the others, and even between those two, one appears more than the other.

The one that I see the second-most often is a girl that seems very lively, just judging by her face. Sometimes she's giving someone puppydog eyes, which is just too adorable.

The one that shows up most is of a beautiful girl with long, dark hair. And scars on the right side of her face, which are hidden behind some of that hair. I don't know why, but I like seeing pictures of her the most.

Not that I don't like seeing the others. A blond girl with her eyes closed. One with short red hair. And two that are always together, one with short blue hair and the other with a pair of pink drills for hair.

There are others, too. Two friendly looking people, sometimes together with a small boy. They appear almost as often as the energetic and the scarred girl. A guy wearing a white coat. A guy with thick glasses, who I keep associating with garlic. I don't know why. A slovenly, older guy. A grey-haired fat guy with glasses. A woman in a business suit.

There's others, but they seem less important, as their images are often blurry.

Is one of those people me? I can't tell. I'm not sure I want to know, either. Not yet, anyway. The stream's water is comfortable, and I think I might have to go ashore if I want to know who I am. But which side?

Now that that question came up, I look to my left. That shore is lined with cages, and behind that, black swirls of.. something. I'm not sure what they could be. Some of those seem ominous, but others look more comfortable than this stream. The sky over the horizon is red, and it flashes sometimes.

Frowning, I turn my head to look at the right-hand shore. But all I see there is a hand stretched out towards me. Just the hand, keeping level with my shoulder. It looks ready to pull me out should I just choose to grab hold of it. I'm not sure I want that, either. There's only the hand, and nothing else. No trees. No sky. Just a feet-wide stretch of dirt and a hand hovering, attached to nothing I can see.

No. I'm not getting up yet.

"...sa..."

Sometimes I hear snippets of sounds. Voices, detached from their owner. I feel I should recognize most of those voices, but as with the faces, I can't be bothered to try. I look up at the sky again. Wait, did that picture just move?

No, it was just two slightly different pictures of the same girl coming up right after each other. It was the dark-haired one. I frown slightly, then look at the hand again.

I knew I'd seen something. There's the beginning - or maybe the end - of a scar on the back of that hand.

"...y wo... .... u..."

The sounds are louder for some reason. Longer, too. How long have I been floating, anyway? Time doesn't seem to pass around here. No matter how far down the stream I go, the stars don't change.

"He .....d ...... ...on"

Are those voices talking about me? If so, I at least know I'm a guy now. That might explain why I like seeing the pictures of the girls better. Unless I'm secretly lesbian. Who knows? I sure don't.

I'm still not sure I want to find out.

A sound suddenly comes from my left, so I look that way again. Were those swirls spinning that fast? I hear the sound again, but I can't make it out any more than I can make out the other sounds. The voices seem to be coming from my right now, too. I wonder why I didn't notice that sooner. Maybe because I hadn't looked.

"This way... Come here..."

That's coming from the black swirls in soft whispers. I ponder for a moment how I can see they're swirls, or black. The ground is black too, and it rises up like a hill on that side. No, I should consider more why they want me on that side. I squint my eyes, trying to make out anything inside those swirls.

"NO!"

A loud scream suddenly comes from the right shore. I frown and turn my head that way slowly, seeing an image of the energetic girl in the sky. Was that scream hers, maybe? It stopped the whispers for a short while, but now those are becoming a little louder, and more constant.

There's a small section of arm attached to that hand now, less than an inch past the wrist. It, too, seems to be beckoning me to choose that side. The fingers are slightly curled. Hang on... Yes, it's a different hand now. It's smaller, and the scars are gone.

"Bah, I don't want to choose yet. Let me float for a while longer, both of you."

Neither the swirls nor the hand respond in any way I can notice. But at least I seem to have a voice. I'd try to find out something from either side, but I don't think they really hear me.

"...i ...m do.... .....ey.... ....oin.... ...."

Another snippet I can only half make out. No, not even that much. Just a few letters, the rest is a murmured blur. I can't seem to figure out why they sound like that. Why am I floating like this, anyway? Did I come from somewhere?

"Come here... This is where you belong..."

The whispers are becoming louder again. More insistent. They say I belong on that side, but why would I belong in a cage or a swirl? Am I dangerous? I look to that side again, and see that all the swirls have gotten bigger. The cages are being swallowed by them. I frown. That doesn't seem to make any sense, but I can't figure out why.

When I look up at the sky again, a droplet of.. something, lands on the middle of my forehead. That's even stranger. There's no clouds anywhere. Well, except beyond that rise on my left. I try finding the source of that little drop, but there's just pictures up there.

Hang on. That one's new. None of the pictures had sad faces in them before. No sleeping faces, either. And why does it seem like there's a rip in the sky? It's only there for a moment, but it was shaped like an eye, I think.

"... inke.... ... ......ed!"
"..isa... ...ke.... ...... ....eas.."

Whatever it was, it made the voices on my right side more frantic. They're still very distorted, though, and far away.

Somehow, I suddenly feel like I need to find out what this place really is. I need to know what caused this. Why I'm floating in a stream. Why I can't recognize any of those faces, or put those names together with any of the faces. In short, who I am and where I came from.

And why do I suddenly feel like I'm pondering the questions of the universe?

I should begin by standing up, I think. Yeah, that's probably a good idea. Who knows where this stream ends up.

I bring my heels and my hands down under the water's surface. They touch the bottom, I slowly turn over and stand upright. Looking down, I note how shallow the stream really is - the water's barely up to my ankles.

Making sure I'm still in the middle of the stream without knowing why it's important that I do, I again examine either shore. The side with all the crazy swirls is starting to cause a draft.

That makes me note another weird fact. I don't feel any cold or warmth. I can feel the water running over my feet, but there's absolutely nothing to indicate any kind of temperature. Again, I have no idea if it matters or not.

The whispers from the swirls are starting to become a low droning noise, and it's starting to drown out the voices from the other side. I look to that side, and see the hand staying level at about halfway up my chest. Wait, no, two hands now. The one with the scars, and the slightly smaller one without them. And now that I really look at them, the scarred one is a right hand, and the other one a left hand. Frowning, I decide to look up and down the stream.

Nothing.

There's just more of the same in either direction. A long stretch of dirt of a feet wide on one side, and a slowly rising hill on the other, filled with crazy black swirls, that by now have completely swallowed up the cages. The stream doesn't even turn, it just goes in a straight line.

Looking up, the pictures and star-written names keep on flashing by. They mean something to me. I just know it. Whomever I am, anyway. I think and I think, and I can't find out anything on my own. What the hell is this place anyway?

A thought suddenly hits me. Could this place be inside my own mind? If that's the case, I must have really lost it, and now I have to choose where to go. One of these sides must mean waking up and returning to sanity. Then, the other side will likely turn me forever insane.

Heh, if I put it that way, the choice is easy.

I smile, and take hold of the two small hands as I turn my back on the chaotic swirls.

...

Waking up has never been more of a chore than it is right now. But it's an improvement over the strange scene my mind had conjured up. I let the pictured faces pass by one by one again, and attach the right name to each of them. My parents. The Nurse. Lilly. Akira. Mutou. Shizune and Misha. Nomiya. Kenji. Rin. Emi.

And Hanako.

Who happens to be the first person I see when I finally manage to pry one eye open. I have to squint it shut again immediately, though, and I let out a soft groan at the bright light. I guess I was only gone for a few hours.

"Hisao!? You're awake!" Hanako's voice is both hopeful and frantically worried. She must have been close by, because I can feel her hands on my arm.
"Mmm, not yet..." I groan in response. The giggling that follows is filled with relief, and before I know it, I'm being hugged desperately tight. The feel of a feminine chest on mine really helps in waking me up.

"Guh..! H-Hanako!?" I'd have said more, but I freeze, because I can feel my shoulder becoming slightly wet.
"W-welcome back, Hisao," Hanako whispers softly.

What can a guy say to that? Really... So I just smile and return her embrace.

Of course, that's when the door opens and the Nurse walks in, with Emi directly behind him. "I'm glad to see you're back with us, Nakai." Damn, have I grown tired of people with smug faces this week.

Hanako quickly retreats from our embrace, her face burning bright, but her hand stays on my shoulder. Which would never stop Emi from barrelling into me after what I just put everyone through.

So, really, why am I still surprised to find her hugging my chest less than three seconds after she entered the room? At least she was a little more careful this time. She slowed down just enough to prevent a collision, right before hugging me. Or maybe it was because Hanako's arm was still in front of me at that moment... Either way, there's little I dare do beside return Emi's affection right now, especially since the front of my shirt is becoming wet, too.

"Hisao, you idiot, don't scare us like that," Emi complains, loud enough for me to hear despite her voice being muffled.
"I'm sorry, Emi, Hanako..." I manage to say, before the Nurse interrupts me with a polite cough. How he ever managed to make that sound smug, I'll likely never know.

"Emi, I'd like to have mister Nakai's undivided attention for a few moments." The little girl grumbles something at that, but squeezes me a moment before letting go. I see her narrow her eyes at Hanako a moment, and then she just plops herself down on the edge of my bed and links her arm with mine. Luckily, Hanako just keeps her hand on my shoulder. I'm not sure I could've handled it if she suddenly copied Emi.

The Nurse just rolls his eyes before saying, "I guess this will have to do, then. First, I'll tell you the misses Ikezawa, Tezuka, Satou and Ibarazaki have told me about the.. situation you seem to be in."
Emi giggles softly a moment, then says, "Rin is still sour that she can't think of a word for this."
Nurse silences her with a glare. "That aside, how much of this seemingly endless repeating time have you experienced, Hisao? Or rather, how much of it is true?"
I sigh and say, "All of it, sir."
He purses his lips a moment. "So, five different students, all experiencing the same time-frame over and over, one of which spends most of it away from Yamaku." His face relaxes as he takes a small plastic jar from his pocket.

"That explains why these anti-psychotics never worked on me," he says, silencing the three of us with a bombshell.

"Well, I can't say I have a solution to this predicament we seem to be sharing, but I can at least make sure you're physically in one piece." He gives both girls a stare. Hanako lightly squeezes my shoulder before taking a step back. Emi pouts at first, but as the Nurse raises an eyebrow, she too lets go.

Ten minutes later, I'm on my way to my room, escorted by two very cute girls.
"Come on, Hisao! Let's check out the festival!"
"Emi, I'd like to take a sho- wait, festival?" Looking around, I see that, yes, the festival is in full swing. I grimace slightly, then say, "So I was out for two days?"
"Y-yes, you were," Hanako responds, looking downcast suddenly. A thought strikes me then - someone else had been there when I went mad.
I sigh and squeeze Hanako's hand. "I'm really sorry you had to see me like that, Hanako."
She just nods at my apology, but she has a death-grip on my hand. I don't have to ask why.

Emi's cheerfulness evaporates when I apologize to Hanako, and the hold she has on my arm tightens as well. Nice job, Nakai, you ruined the mood already. I cough slightly, then say, "So, festival? Though, I'm not sure there's any part to it I haven't seen yet."

Emi harrumphs at that, but nods in agreement. "Then how about we just hang out with Rin, then?"
"That's probably a good idea. Mind if we try to rescue Lilly first?" Hanako seems to perk up a little at my suggestion.
"S-she'd like to know y-you're ok again, too," she says while nodding.
"I'll get Rin, then. And some food," Emi says as she lets me go, and she waves before running off towards the mural.

Hanako and I continue on towards the class 3-2 noodle stall, where I'm half-dreading having to convince Lilly to leave it again. But when we get there, Lilly is standing in front of it, apparently waiting for us. Or at least waiting for Hanako. I give Hanako a slight nudge, and try to tell her to greet Lilly first.

"H-hi, Lilly." Looks like I got through.
"Hello, Hanako. Who is there with you?"
I smile slightly as I say, "It's Hisao." I'd have said more, but as the last syllable of my name leaves my mouth, Lilly's arms encircle my neck, and I'm left speechless once again as I'm hugged by the third girl this week - this day, even.
"L-Lilly!" Hanako's shout somehow manages to sound both embarrassed and angry.
"Do not worry, Hanako," the blind girl says as she lets me go again. "I am merely expressing my relief at seeing a close friend up and about again." She offers Hanako a reassuring smile, but neither girl offers any more explanation as to Hanako's outburst.
"Um.. thanks?" I manage to say. I can feel my cheeks starting to cool down again, fortunately. Lilly's bright smile somehow relaxes me again, but I'm still a little confused...

"I assume we will be joining miss Ibarazaki and miss Tezuka now?"
"What about your class' noodle stall?" I ask Lilly. "I always have to drag you away from here, so to speak..."
"That will be no problem this time, as I told you thursday, during dinner." Lilly's raised eyebrow only adds to the smugness radiating off her.
"Right, of course. How could I forget..." I manage to say before both girls giggle lightly. I grimace at the both of them, which only gets a response from Hanako.
"I'm s-sorry, Hisao," she says with a smile. "Lilly k-kept asking me why you were so absent-minded thursday e-evening until I c-caved in and t-told her what I d-did..." I didn't think there were any shades of red I hadn't seen yet on Hanako. I also didn't think Lilly could get any more smug.

Proven wrong on both accounts, right here.

Turning to Lilly, I ask her a little grumpily, "You've been going smug on me this entire week. Would you finally tell me why that is?" I've never seen a person's smug air evaporate this quickly.

Collecting herself, Lilly straightens ever so slightly before answering me. "During the four months in between the festival and the start of this week, Hanako steadily grew more and more worried, that perchance you harbored stronger feelings towards me than towards her." She smiles brightly at Hanako's general direction, then continues. "I assume I have sufficiently proven her wrong by now," to which the shy girl latches onto my arm and smiles at both her friend and me.

I give Hanako's hand a light squeeze, and return her smile in kind. "I'm going to assume you're right, Lilly."
"Splendid! Now I believe we have kept miss Tezuka and miss Ibarazaki waiting long enough. Hanako, would you be so kind as to guide me?"
"What, I'm not good enough for that?" I quip.
Lilly's eyes sparkle in response. "You have already received the satisfaction of guiding one beautiful woman around. I dare say having to guide two would cause you too much strain."
I just roll my eyes in response, and follow it up with, "I get it, I get it," when I again realize the futility of such a gesture. Hanako just giggles again, and lets Lilly slip her arm through hers.

And with Hanako in the middle, we start off towards Rin's mural.
============================
One more chapter after this. Still deciding whether I should wrap it up in that one, or add an epilogue... Oh well, I'll figure it out before the year is up.

Probably.

... Right?


edit: found a small issue with tenses, fix'd. 2: Also fix'd griffon's find, thanks again for pointing it out.
Last edited by Leotrak on Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
"ice-cream-flavoured ice-cream" -Rin
"oh moe is me" -me
Numbered Days, my first piece of fanfic
Leotrak's Library, my other depository of written stuffs
Before: Hanako>/=Emi>Rin>Lilly>Shizune
After: Emi>Rin>Hanako>Lilly>>>>>>>>>>>Shizune

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Re: Numbered Days

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:10 pm

OK, let's just say, I understand, why you had problems writing that scene.
Difficult reading at three in the morning...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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

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Re: Numbered Days

Post by Devon » Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:59 pm

God damn you, sanity! Why must you taunt people! xP

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Re: Numbered Days

Post by griffon8 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:36 pm

Leotrak wrote: "That explains why these anti-psychotics never worked on me."

And silences the three of us with a bombshell.
I think these lines have less impact separated like this. Here are some suggestions.

-----------

"That explains why these anti-psychotics never worked on me," he said, silencing the three of us with this bombshell.

-----------

"That explains why these anti-psychotics never worked on me."

We sat there, stunned and silenced by this bombshell.

-----------

Come to think of it, I think the word 'and' is what bugs me the most about those lines. It implies a flow which the revelation isn't meant to convey.

Also, days of the week are capitalized.

Overall, a great story. I can't wait to see if Shizune crashes the gathering. :lol:
I found out about Katawa Shoujo through the forums of Misfile. There, I am the editor of Misfiled Dreams.

Completed: 100%, including bonus picture. Shizune>Emi>Lilly>Hanako>Rin

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Re: Numbered Days

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:01 am

[quote="griffon8]Overall, a great story. I can't wait to see if Shizune crashes the gathering. :lol:[/quote]
Of course!
She's got to be the one behind all of this!
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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

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Re: Numbered Days

Post by neumanproductions » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:08 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
griffon8 wrote:Overall, a great story. I can't wait to see if Shizune crashes the gathering. :lol:
Of course!
She's got to be the one behind all of this!
That's funny, I thought Misha would be the one behind it all.
Rin=Hanako>Emi>Misha>Lilly>Shizune (Misha counts in my world alright; and now she surpassed Lilly)
Fanfic series entitled... A Day in the Life of [character name here] (updated 6/8/10)
Random writings and Crossover... New stuff of Neuman (updated 5/6/11)
It's time to Duel... KS Yugioh Deck (updated 3/16/11)

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Re: Numbered Days

Post by Leotrak » Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:02 pm

Less crazy speculations, more comments on the actual story :P

griffon8 wrote:
Leotrak wrote: "That explains why these anti-psychotics never worked on me."

And silences the three of us with a bombshell.
I think these lines have less impact separated like this.
You may be on to something there, griffon... I'll probably make an edit to that soon as I decide what to edit it to... Thanks for spotting it :)
"ice-cream-flavoured ice-cream" -Rin
"oh moe is me" -me
Numbered Days, my first piece of fanfic
Leotrak's Library, my other depository of written stuffs
Before: Hanako>/=Emi>Rin>Lilly>Shizune
After: Emi>Rin>Hanako>Lilly>>>>>>>>>>>Shizune

Necrous

Re: Numbered Days

Post by Necrous » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:47 am

Read all the way from first post up to now in one sitting. One word.

AWESOME.

I can't wait to see how it all ends. My first play through the game, when I first met Hanako, I told myself "I want to get her ending!" Then, ironically, I wound up getting Emi's ending.

I'll definitely will be checking here very often for updates on the next chapter!

Retsof

Re: Numbered Days

Post by Retsof » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:09 am

Hey people. Just read this entire thing after my second playthrough. (for the curious, Emi, then Hanako) Great fic, can't wait for the final (or perhaps semi-final) chapter.

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Re: Numbered Days

Post by trekki859 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 1:33 pm

necrobumping for justice! this story needs to be finished!

(USER WAS WARNED, TEMPBANNED AND WRIST-SLAPPED FOR THIS POST.)
in the wise words of Jack O'neill ..."what?"

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Re: Numbered Days

Post by Leotrak » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:53 pm

I once again apologize for the massive delay between the previous instalment and this one. Honestly, I don't know what's keeping me from poking at my writing more...

Anyway, here's the final chapter of Numbered Days, for your reading enjoyment!

Yes, you read that right. Final. Chapter. Sad, isn't it? Feel free to express your mixed feelings by leaving a comment or two!


=======================================================

=======Chapter 12=======
"Twelfth Revisitation"

By the time the three of us reach the mural, Emi's already there with stacks of food that contain so little grease that I couldn't make up the difference even if I tried the rest of my life. We spend the next couple of hours eating, talking and laughing between the five of us, putting aside what's going on for now. And when Rin pointedly looks at Emi and asks her to accompany her to the bathroom, I wisely keep my big mouth shut...

That was probably the first smart thing I did this entire week.

When the two return, Lilly asks me what went on in my mind while I was out. I grimace, but I try my best to explain it to them anyway. Which takes up another few hours. There's just something about trying to pry apart an insanity induced dream that seems to make people fear it less, I suppose. Though, Hanako is sitting next to me very quietly during that time.

While I'm talking about this, I can see Shizune and Misha walking around the school grounds out of the corner of my eye a couple times, but they never make any move to approach us. Either they don't see us sitting here, which I could suspect Misha of, or they're pointedly ignoring us, something much more likely from Shizune. I'm still feeling a little upset that neither girl wanted to believe me, but maybe sometime in the future, we can convince them to open their eyes.

By the time we've said everything there is to say about my 'dream', the sun has set, and we're probably only half an hour away from the fireworks display. I lean back on my right hand and stare up at the sky, wondering what to do if I end up going back to the starting point again. It definitely won't be the same next time. For one, I'm myself again, and I don't have to hide any more. For another, well...

I glance to my side, and smile. Hanako hasn't budged from my side even once today, despite everything I've said. In fact, she's refused to even let go of my left hand. Not even Emi's glares, which can still rival Shizune's, managed to put any distance between us, sappy as that may be.

Rin suddenly gets up and says, "Time to move. There's something I'm curious about." She heads off towards the main building without another word, leaving the rest of us to stare dumbfounded. Right until Emi lets out a giggle and offers her hand to Lilly. "Come on, she's probably headed to the roof."

"You sound awfully sure of that, Emi." I reply.
She rolls her eyes at me in response. "That's because she almost always goes up to the roof if you don't end the week with her."
"Do you know why?" Lilly asks as she stands up. Hanako and I follow suit.
"Not a clue," Emi pouts.
"Well, guess we have no choice but to go and find out, right?" I say as I start to follow Rin, who's almost reached the front door by now. But as I'm about to enter, I spot Shizune and Misha from the corner of my eye. I let go of Hanako's hand with a quick "I'll be right back," and make my way over to the two.

"Hey, Shizune, Misha."
"Hicchan! Why are you here? You can't really see the fireworks from here, you know~! Wahahaha~!" While Misha sounds like her usual self, Shizune is only inches short of staring icy daggers at me.
"I know, I know. Listen, I wanted to apologize about what I said earlier this week, especially about how I said it. I was feeling frustrated at the time, and, well, I could've been nicer with my words..." I start to trail off, rubbing the back of my neck awkwardly. Shizune, after having received Misha's translation, stares at me intently with an unreadable expression. Which makes me feel even more awkward when the silence drags on.

After what feels like hours but probably only was a minute or two, Shizune makes a gesture that can be best described as an harrumph, turns away, and starts to walk towards the school grounds. Misha and I are left standing there, dumbfounded, which gets worse when Shizune turns around again, and makes the sign with her hands that Misha has never translated to me.

I look at her, asking despite knowing the answer, "So, what does that sign mean, anyway?"
"Ahahahaha~! Sorry, Hicchan, can't tell you that yet~." With which she runs after Shizune, who by now has turned around and started walking again, having done whatever it was she set out to do.

Wait, Misha said "not yet". Why would she-

Ah, so they do know. Misha's a better actor than I'd have given her credit for. I shake my head and smile as I turn around and rejoin Hanako just inside the front door. She doesn't ask what I just did, despite having been out of earshot, she just smiles, takes my hand and says, "Let's go, t-the others are waiting."

When we reach the roof, we find Rin standing at the edge of the rooftop, inches away from the fence. Not the part I always fall through, luckily. No one says anything as the fireworks start their usual short-lived show. And even though I've seen it thousands of times before, watching it with these four girls, who all hold a piece of my heart.. it's different. It's like, for the first time in my life, I'm not just a bystander, but actually part of what's happening.

That's when I notice Rin is looking straight at me. There's still no sense of intimidation coming from her, but it also doesn't feel like she's looking past me. And when she sees me looking back, her eyes flick towards Hanako an instant and she smiles in a way that makes me feel like I'm the luckiest man on the planet.

Then again, when I look at Hanako myself, her face lit up with every flash of the fireworks, I'm left wondering what kept me from feeling like this before. I quickly discard that depressing thought, though, and curl my arm around her shoulders. She stiffens for the slightest of moments, but then leans into my side.

"So how long after the fireworks do you usually stay up for when you end here?" Rin suddenly asks.
"Not much longer than when we're sitting at your mural, really," I say. "Why do you ask?"
She just 'hmms', and turns around again, leaving the rest of us to wonder.

"Oh? It's starting already."

I'm about to ask Rin what she means, but I can already see for myself. As midnight tolls, everything starts to go black. Not like going unconscious black, our surroundings simply start to fade out. The stars overhead disappear first, then the edges of the horizon.

"H-Hisao? What's happening??"
"Is something happening, Hanako?"
"Yeah, Lilly," I answer. "Everything is.. fading away. The stars are already gone, and now the school grounds are starting to vanish." Which makes little difference to Lilly, of course.
"It's really interesting," Rin says as she walks to the edge of the roof. "I've seen this happen a few times before, because I don't always go to sleep straight away on sunday. Watching everything disappear around me is like the opposite of painting something."
"It's not funny, Rin! It's scary!"
"I never said it was fun, Emi. Interesting is to fun as heart attacks are to Hisao."
"I'm not sure I think that analogy works, Rin."
"Really? Anyway, we'll all eventually disappear too. I think whomever's standing the closest to Hisao will vanish last."
"Any idea why?" I feel obliged to ask.
"Just one, really. You're at the center of this loop. You will disappear last, then get moved to back to where you started. We will, too, but you move the farthest. Because you weren't here."
"I think I get that much, Rin." Really, how can she be this calm? Especially when the school complex itself is starting to disappear. Like the edge of the roof. Where Rin is still standing.

Oh, crap.

"Hey, Rin! Get away from the-" I freeze mid-sentence as her body starts to vanish much the same way as our surroundings are. She just looks at the rest of us as deadpan as always, saying, "What? It's not as if I'll fall to my death now. There's nothing to fall on." She's right, too. Everything has gone black. Which does little to explain how we're still seeing.

"Oh, but you won't hear me anymore when I've completely disappeared."
"Rin! Stop this!"
"There's nothing to worry about, Emi. We're just going back to Hisao's fateful winter afternoon, that's all. There's no pain involved. Well, except for Hisao." Really, Rin, this is no time at all to give me a sly grin!

Her words have an effect on me, though. I don't calm down as much as I start to feel.. resigned again. Resigned to having to live the next four months in that boring hospital again. I grit my teeth and clench my fists as Rin disappears completely, and the same starts to happen to the rest of the roof. Hanako tightly wraps her arms around me, holding on to me for dear life.

I can't help it. I really can't. As I hug Hanako tightly, tears finally fall down my cheeks, and I almost break down completely. Hanako simply hugs me tighter.

"Oh? This really is a first."
"Rin!? How are you still talking??"
"I think I'm like a ghost now, that's how. You'll all be one too in a short while. But this is the first time I can still talk."
"You're not helping, Rin!"
"There's little to help with, Emi."

"I wonder how things will be this time, Hisao."
"Probably the same as always, except I'll be looking forward to coming back to Yamaku more now." I hold Hanako a little tighter for a moment for emphasis, a gesture she returns wholeheartedly. Emi 'hmphs' at that, and then she too fades away.

Lilly gives me the warmest smile she's ever given me before she disappears with Emi.

"Hisao? W-what will happen now?" She sounds scared. Not that I can blame her.
"I'm not sure, Hanako. I wish I knew."
"I-I wish I could s-stay with you..."

Our upper bodies finally fade away with that. The last I see of Hanako is her tear-stained face, looking me in the eyes.

"Yeah.. Me too."

As if my words were the trigger, I start to feel myself drifting. Wait, how's that possible when there's no body?
"Here we go again. See you at Yamaku, Hisao. Oh, and cover your ears." Deadpan as always. I could swear I hear Rin shouting something about a rollercoaster ride as she vanishes, but I'm not sure where that would've come from.

"You'd better take care of yourself, Hisao! I won't forgive you if you don't show up!" No worries there, Emi. Trust me.

"I'll leave Hanako in your care, Hisao." I swear I can feel Lilly brush past me as she says that, but I have trouble figuring out why she said it like that. For that matter, I can still feel Hanako pressed against me.

"Hisao? I c-can still feel you..."
"I just noticed that too, Hanako. I don't really get it."
"M-me neither..."

By now, I feel as if I'm moving somewhere. However, Hanako is being pulled in a different direction.

No. No more.

I'm not letting go of her. I hold on to Hanako as tightly as I can, and I can feel her do the same. I don't know how it's possible, or how we're doing it, but we're clinging tightly to each other. We're still moving, but whatever is pulling on us, it's having a lot of trouble pulling us apart.

Words are impossible. There's impossibly loud noises coming from all around us. Is this why Rin told us to cover our ears?

No! I have to focus. I can't let go of Hanako. I can feel her starting to slip away from me. No, don't let go! I can't let go! Hanako! HAN-

...

I'm awoken from my peaceful slumber by my blaring alarm. Groaning, I switch it off, then check the time. Seven in the morning. And it's cold.

I'm back where I started. Sigh.

As I get ready for school, I can't help but wonder. I know what will happen now. Will that somehow prevent my heart attack? I mean, if I know Iwanako will confess her feelings to me, I'm sure to feel a lot less excited about it. No excitement would mean no accelerated heartbeat. I might have to do something else to cause one. I can't stand the thought of not seeing Hanako at all this time around. Or any of the other girls.

When I get to school, I take off my shoes as usual, and open up my shoe locker.

...

Now that is weird. There's a note in my shoe locker. I stare at it for a full minute before a guy from my class starts to hoot at me. "Now what do we have here, Nakai? A letter in the locker!" He almost manages to snatch it up, but I slam the locker shut before he gets a hold of the note. "Do you mind? Stuff like this is private, you know."
"Fine, fine, I was only gonna tease you a bit." He claps me on the shoulder, then walks off, grinning. Idiot. Oh well.

I open the locker again, and take out the note to read it.

I'll be waiting for you at the usual place.

That's all it says. No time mentioned, no name. The note doesn't even look like it's hand-written. It's a very strange note. I read it over a few more times, trying to figure out if there's any secret meaning to it, but I get nothing. Muttering, I stuff it in my pocket, and finally change my shoes.

Classes go by the same way they always do this day. Nothing special happens until it's lunch time. I take up my lunch and head for my usual place, when I catch a sliver of conversation in the hallways. I only hear a fragment of a word.

"...keza..."

That's all I hear. But it's enough to freeze me in place. Hanako's last name is Ikezawa. Why would.. But no, there's probably someone in this school with a name like that. I just never noticed that particular sliver of conversation before.

When I return to class, I find the note left in my math book telling me to come to the secluded area behind the school at 4 P.M. Iwanako's note. I put it in the same place I put the note from my shoelocker. Afternoon classes pass by as uneventful as morning classes.

And as the final bell rings, I remain seated until everyone has left, like I always do. Iwanako is always one of the first people to leave. I wonder why she's rushing out so fast every time, yet always manages to keep me waiting. Oh well, it doesn't really matter. I don't leave the classroom until it's a quarter to four.

I make my way to the usual meeting place of me and Iwanako. Wait, wait, hang on a moment... That's what the other note said. 'Usual meeting place.' It couldn't mean the place I'm going to now, could it? But if it did, who could have left it? I don't think anyone but that friend of Iwanako knows about this. Well, I told the girls at Yamaku, but they're not here. And I never described how to reach this particular spot.

For some reason, there's already a set of footprints in the snow, following the exact same route I'm taking. Maybe they're from the shoelocker note person. The footprints go a little beyond the spot I always stand to wait for Iwanako, to a large tree on the other side of the clearing. I can barely make out someone half-hiding behind that tree. That hair looks a little familiar. But there's no way she-

The person walks out from behind the tree and faces me, smiling beautifully. Her smile sends my heart racing, and before I know it, I'm running towards her. I don't care how she got to be here. I don't even pay attention to my heart. All that matters is that I hold her, and that I hold her now. And when she's in my arms, I whisper a single word.

"Hanako."
"Hisao..."

We stand there, in the cold, snow starting to fall around us, for what feels like forever. I know it's not forever, I've lived through forever. But this is a kind of forever I don't want to end. Not ever. We stand there, holding each other, and all is well.

"Guess I don't need to wait those four months now, do I?"
She giggles softly. "I g-guess not."
I'm still holding her close. There's no way I'm letting go. "I suppose you'll have to cause me that heart attack now, right?"
"A-at least I'll have you all t-to myself..." I can practically feel her blush.

And then I hear the faint crushing of snow. "Hi.. Hisao? You ca-"

Iwanako is cut short when Hanako is revealed, as I half-turn towards her voice. "What is -she- doing here??" she almost shrieks. "And why are you holding her like that?!?"
I look at Iwanako, then back at Hanako. I can feel the old resentment towards Iwanako bubbling up again. I don't know where it's coming from, but because of it I say, "Isn't it obvious?"
The shock in her eyes instantly makes me regret my words, and I squeeze my eyes shut. "I'm sorry, that-"
"No. Shut up. Just shut up!" Iwanako bolts away, mortified. I try to call out to her, to at least apologize. She didn't deserve to be treated like that.

But that's when my heart finally gives in to the strain. I hadn't even noticed it'd been beating so fast until now. I try to raise my arm, but that just sends a spike of pain through it. Hanako immediately realizes what's going on, and shouts after Iwanako to get help. I think. I can't hear anything other than my too-fast beating heart.

Iwanako turns around, looking suspicious, but I can see her go wide-eyed as I start to fall, my knees buckling as my heart stops, and I hear both girls shriek my name when the sound of my heartbeat fades. A flash of Hanako's hair passes before my eyes as arms wrap around me again. It's the last thing I see before everything fades to black once more.



=======THE END=======

Epilogue is.. in the works ">_>
"ice-cream-flavoured ice-cream" -Rin
"oh moe is me" -me
Numbered Days, my first piece of fanfic
Leotrak's Library, my other depository of written stuffs
Before: Hanako>/=Emi>Rin>Lilly>Shizune
After: Emi>Rin>Hanako>Lilly>>>>>>>>>>>Shizune

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trekki859
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Re: Numbered Days

Post by trekki859 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:06 pm

absoulutly amazing my friend. also my apologizes for being rude before.
in the wise words of Jack O'neill ..."what?"

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