Page 4 of 7

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 4)

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 10:49 pm
by Ar Grathnos
I don't wanna ruin anyone's enjoyment, so I'll keep my negative thoughts to my self and simply leave you with this; good job. For what it is worth, this is well done.

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 4)

Posted: Sat May 14, 2011 10:54 pm
by griffon8
Thank you, Ar. I appreciate that, given the end goal is not to your tastes.

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 4)

Posted: Sun May 15, 2011 2:51 pm
by griffon8
Chapter 5

Twenty Minutes Ago:

Once again I wonder how it is that I’ve agreed to such a ridiculous game. Then I look into her eyes. “Oh, that’s right,” I think, as I melt again.


One Month Ago:


Never before had that word carried so much personal meaning for me.

Hanako and I purged ourselves of sadness. Eventually, the well of tears dried up. After that, one can only think about what can be done, given the circumstances. So what was to be done?

Suddenly it occurred to me that the biggest problem with using sign is that you can’t talk and hug someone at the same time. Hanako doesn’t know Deaf-Blind speech, and that takes too long to communicate anyway.

Hanako’s breathing had steadied, so I reluctantly pushed her off me. She started wiping the tears off her face, which I needed to do, too.

“Well, now what?” she asked.

“That’s a very good question. Wish I knew the answer,” I replied.

We sat there for another minute. Finally Hanako signed, “Shizune, we’re friends, right?”

I smiled at that. “Of course we’re friends. Ever since the first time we found ourselves in this closet.”

“I’m glad for that. Hisao and Lilly are still friends, but they have each other so much more than I have either of them. My friendship with you has always felt different though, different from any previous one I had.”

I thought for a moment about my own situation. How many other friends did I have? There was Misha, of course, but there was no way for her and Hanako to be friends anymore. Would I have to choose between them? Could I choose? How could I choose? Make a list of the pros and cons for each of them? Ridiculous!

So what could I do? Not having Misha would be bad. Not having Hanako…

What the hell? How did it happen that the thought of not having Hanako filled me with dread? What was going on?

Hanako tapped my shoulder. “Shizune?” My ‘moment’ must have lasted longer than I thought; Hanako was looking at me with concern. “Is something wrong?”

Maybe there was something wrong. Why was I having these feelings? What triggered them? It started when I first found Hanako in here, a month ago, when she was bullied. That must be it—my own experience with bullying. I had long ago buried my feelings about that; Hanako’s incident brought them to the surface again. That was all there was to it.

“Hanako,” I began, “I have a story to tell you. Nobody at Yamaku knows this story, not even Misha.”

I certainly had her attention. She was hanging on my every gesture.

“When I was eleven years old, I attended a Deaf school. All the students were deaf to some degree. Even most of the teachers were deaf.

“It’s a very different culture in a Deaf school. Insular. Secluded. Not wanting to be stuck in that is why I’m at Yamaku now. But like any school, it had its share of bullies.”

Hanako’s eye went wide when she realized I was answering her question from two weeks earlier.

“There was one girl who was the worst bully you’d ever seen. She didn’t have friends, she had sycophants. The ones she treated the best were simply ignored, for you never wanted to draw her attention. If she acknowledged you, it was to demean you.

“Oh, she was an expert at hiding it from the teachers. Manipulation and cruelty were her weapons. Weapons kept sharp through constant use.

“And one day, she just decided that she would make one girl’s life hell. There was no reason for it, just another opportunity to exercise power. Cruel notes were left in her desk. Her shoes would get ‘misplaced’. The bully and her cronies would ignore her, acting as if she didn’t exist. With the isolation deafness brings, that was particularly cruel.

“That girl, that victim, got sadder and sadder as the days and weeks went on. Eventually the bully would move on to another victim when she stopped being entertaining, but until then, life was truly hell for her.”

“And that victim was you? That’s why you wanted the ones who bullied me punished?” Hanako signed when I paused my story.

I smiled at the sympathy Hanako showed for me. If only it were that simple. “Hanako… I was the bully.”

Shock. Surprise. Amazement. It’s funny how many emotions you can read in a face, even if only one eye is visible.

“Somehow, my latest—my last—victim got me to understand the depths of my cruelty. She became completely withdrawn. She drifted through the day as if nothing mattered. Teachers couldn’t get anything out of her. She answered questions put to her with the shortest responses possible, usually just shrugs.

“Eventually, her parents pulled her out of the school. I never saw her again. Years later I was able to find out that she got better going to a different school. I’ll probably never know what kind of permanent damage I did to her.”

“What about you? What happened to you after that?” Hanako asked.

“I realized there was something wrong with me. I went to my parents and demanded to see a psychiatrist. My father was actually relieved; he had berated me for my bullying before, but didn’t know that I just got better at hiding it, rather than dropping it.

“So, now I want to see bullies punished, because I didn’t get the punishment I deserved. I suffered no academic loss. I lost my ‘friends’, eventually replacing them with people I cared about and who cared about me. One of my new friends was even one of my former victims.”

So there it was. Was that the underlying source of my feelings for Hanako? Was she a stand-in for that girl from years ago? A chance to make things right? Or at least different?

Hanako sat there motionless. Now I needed to know how she felt. Would she reject me as the monster I used to be?

Hanako lifted her head up to look at me. I found her expression difficult to read, which usually means that someone is thinking about a lot of things.

“I’m glad you shared that with me. I’m honored that you would tell me that when you haven’t told anyone else. Now I’d like to share something with you that I’ve never shared with anyone else.”

And much to my amazement, Hanako reached up with her right hand and pulled her hair to the side, letting me see all of her face for the first time. She looked at me with both her eyes, intently, waiting to see my reaction.

I looked deep into those eyes.

How the hell could I have been so wrong?



Code: Select all

24 c6      exf3
25 Rc2     Qe3+
26 Kh1     Bc8
27 Bd7     f2
28 Rf1     d3
29 Rc3     Bxd7
30 cxd7
I’m out of Bishops. Rooks are good, but they have all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, compared to how Bishops can slip through and surprise your opponent.

They’re much more useful in the end-game, though. I don’t think we have much longer to play.

And on that note, we each remove our other stocking.


Chapter 4 Chapter 6

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 5)

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 2:32 am
by bradpara
This is beacoming even more amazing

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 6)

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 3:47 pm
by griffon8
Well thank you!


Chapter 6

Twenty Minutes Ago:

Those eyes are all the reassurance I needed to believe that she loves me. The eyes that look at me with such adoration.


One Month Ago:

What was going on? How could this have happened?

Hanako sat there, holding her hair to the side, waiting for me to do something. Anything.

I didn’t know what to do. If I made the wrong move, I would scare Hanako off, and I couldn’t bear to do that. But if I didn’t do anything, she might take it as a rejection.

I had to calm down. Too much emotion might also scare her off.

I smiled. That could only be good, right? I tried to give her my most sincere smile as I looked at her.

She smiled, too. A good sign. I began to relax a little.

I put my arms out towards her—hands open, palms down. She moved her hands to intercept them. We held hands for a moment, then pulled into a hug. I started crying again as we held each other.

Hanako must have noticed, for she pulled back to look at me, a look of concern on her face. “Why are you crying now?” she signed.

I wiped my nose before I responded. “Because now I know what I want, and I don’t know if I can have it.”

She looked confused. Then she looked… worried. “What… what do you want?”

It was time to find out, one way or another. I looked right at her as I responded, “You, Hanako.”

Surprise. But only briefly before her face lit up with the most radiant smile. “Shizune, I realized a month ago that if you wanted me, you had me.”

That really surprised me. I hated asking my next question. “Then… what about Demachi?”

Hanako’s smile disappeared as she answered, “I was interested in Manabu. But I had already fallen for you when I started pursuing him. I’m so sorry, Shizune.”

“Don’t be. I wasn’t ready. I had no idea that I had fallen for you until just now. But now I know I had. Ever since that incident in here.”

Her smile came back even bigger. “I was the same. That was when I fell for you, right here in…” For some reason, Hanako didn’t finish her sentence. Then she got a goofy grin on her face. She put her hand to her mouth, as if struggling to contain something inside, and her eyes opened wide.

Hanako started shaking with laughter. I’m sure she saw the puzzled look on my face; I had no idea what she found so funny.

I waited patiently as her gasps of laughter faded. She still had trouble controlling herself, as she tried to calm down enough to sign again. I asked, “So, what was so funny that you had to interrupt our mutual confessions?”

Her laughter was really slowing down her signing. “Because… we’re… in… a closet!” She couldn’t contain herself anymore and started clutching her sides.

I had the sense to remove my glasses before slapping my face with the palm of my hand. That only served to increase Hanako’s difficulty with breathing while laughing. Eventually, I started laughing, too. Now that I knew the joke, I couldn’t help it.

So we sat there, laughing as long as we could. The release of tension and worry was good for us. Finally, the laughter faded and we’d had enough. We stood up and left the closet together.



Code: Select all

30 …       e4
31 Qc8     Bd8
32 Qc4     Qe1
33 Rc1     d2
34 Qc5     Rg8
35 Rd1     e3
36 Qc3     Qxd1
37 Rxd1    e2

Uh, oh.


What should be going through your mind at this point because of the 'Now' part:


Chapter 5 Chapter 7

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 6)

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:03 pm
by Esa94
Closet lesbians, indeed.

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 6)

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:35 pm
by bradpara
Keeps getting better. This is such a crack pairing but you make it work

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 6)

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:59 pm
by SirMax
I don't really see how laughing stops you signing.

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 6)

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 9:51 pm
by griffon8
She's shaking so much any gestures she makes would be unintelligible. Hard to sign with your hands clasping your aching sides.

And bradpara: That's totally why I started writing this. :mrgreen:

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 6)

Posted: Mon May 16, 2011 10:22 pm
by bradpara
griffon8 wrote:She's shaking so much any gestures she makes would be unintelligible. Hard to sign with your hands clasping your aching sides.

And bradpara: That's totally why I started writing this. :mrgreen:
Just glad to have my two favs in the same fic. :D

(Gives you a mental image of Shizune cosplaying as Fem! Prussia from Hetalia to show is appreciation)

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 6)

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 12:23 am
by Ar Grathnos
Sir Griffon, I just got finished reading your other fic, "Emi's Winter Break," and it made me realize exactly what some of the aspects I'd noticed in this one were. Particularly that you are a master of the "D'aaaawwww."

I think I just might have to read everything you write forever now. This is an unexpected, yet pleasant, turn of events. :o

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 6)

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 4:07 am
by Leotrak
griffon8 wrote:"Because… we’re… in… a closet!
I had to laugh out loud when I first read it, and I can't stop myself from snickering every time I see it since XD

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 7)

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:37 pm
by griffon8
Ar Grathnos wrote:Sir Griffon, I just got finished reading your other fic, "Emi's Winter Break," and it made me realize exactly what some of the aspects I'd noticed in this one were. Particularly that you are a master of the "D'aaaawwww."

I think I just might have to read everything you write forever now. This is an unexpected, yet pleasant, turn of events. :o
Wow! High praise indeed. Thank you.


Chapter 7

Twenty Minutes Ago:

“Are you ready to play? Even with these stakes?”

I thought about it. I suppose I was. After all, I was the one who suggested passing up a normal date. Though I didn’t think it would lead here. “Yes.”


Earlier Today:

Unfortunately, Hanako and I weren’t able to see each other for the next month. Summer Break started right after Tanabata, and both of us were spending it at our respective parent’s houses.

We emailed each other constantly. Even texted quite a bit. Hanako kept me up to date on how Hisao and Satou—no, Lilly—were doing; I kept Hanako up to date on how Misha and Demachi were doing.

Ah yes, Misha. Under the circumstances our friendship had cooled a bit. She had known that Hanako had been pursuing Demachi before Tanabata. Misha hadn’t thought anything of it, which really was only natural. Since I hadn’t realized that I was in love with Hanako, Misha had figured Hanako was still a member of the ‘enemy camp’. But I truly believe Misha’s feelings for Demachi were genuine.

Not that they went anywhere. Demachi broke up with Misha less than a week into summer break. At least he had the decency to do it to her face, rather than over the phone or, worse, by email. I remember a movie where the boyfriend of the protagonist broke up with her by leaving a message on her answering machine. And then showed up at the prom with his new girlfriend.

So, since Hanako had Misha to thank for not getting too far with Demachi, Hanako forgave her. It turned out that Hanako had been interested in Demachi mostly because she couldn’t imagine that I might be interested in her. He’d been her second choice.

Hisao and Lilly, on the other hand, were getting along just great. He visited Lilly and her family for a week during the break, and Lilly visited Hisao’s family for a similar time. Hanako peppered her emails with smilie faces of a romantic nature whenever she wrote about Hisao and Lilly’s relationship. She toned it down when I teased her about saving the ‘mushy stuff’ for us.

Us. Me and Hanako. How the hell was this going to work? We’ve discussed how it will be. Neither of us was worried about people’s reactions. My parents were okay with it. Hideaki teased me endlessly, but, really, he’s one to talk. Hanako’s mom, according to Hanako, was mostly relieved to find her daughter so much more outgoing than she had been.

We’d both like to do typical ‘date’ things to get to know each other better. Even without hearing, there are many things you can only learn together.

Hanako told me she liked chess, so we played a few games with each other over the Internet. I had a commanding lead on wins, but she was definitely getting better. Once we were back at Yamaku I’d have to get her to play a game of Risk.

Hanako also told me how she got so good at sign so quickly: She learns everything quickly. Part of the reason the teachers never called her on her coming and going to class was that they knew she would always make up the work. A lot of her leaving class early was because she was bored. She said she had a good excuse to stay in class now, though: watching me. I blushed when I read her email. Might have to make her join the Student Council so we have a good excuse to miss class together.

Finally the day came when we returned to Yamaku. Frankly, I was feeling pretty giddy. The brief moment between our confessions and the start of break hadn’t left us any time with each other.

My parents and I arrived at the front gate as normal. A lot of other families were around, too, so I looked to see if Hanako was there. I did see Hisao and Lilly arriving; Hisao waved when he noticed me, and I waved back. I didn’t see Misha anywhere, but her family lives a long way away, so they would probably arrive later. Nor did I see Hanako. Maybe she was already in her room?

I took out my phone as my parents and I hauled my things to the dorms. There weren’t any texts, so I texted Hanako: Just got 2 Y. Where r u?

It didn’t take her long to respond: In room. Got here 2 h ago. Meet u d/s.

Well, I guess my parents were going to meet Hanako. I’d certainly told them enough about her for them to recognize her. As we entered the dorms, I looked around but didn’t see her.

Then I noticed someone approaching us. It was a girl with long hair like Hanako, but pulled back in a ponytail, so it couldn’t have been her. But then she waved at me. As she got closer, I noticed the burns on her right side. It was Hanako, but not the same Hanako.

Hanako’s hair was trimmed to be balanced on each side, and since it was in a ponytail, nothing blocked one’s sight of what she’d previously kept hidden. She greeted my parents with proper deference, signing what she said to keep me in the conversation.

I must admit that I mostly stood there in shock. My parents seemed surprised as well that this confident and open person was the same one I had described to them.

After I stumbled through introductions, we all went upstairs to my room. Hanako offered to let my parents have a minute with me to say goodbye, but they insisted they had to get back home and left. That left me and Hanako alone in my room.



“Problem?” she asked.

“I don’t see a way of preventing you from winning without you making a monumental mistake.”

“It’s normal to admit defeat in these cases. Do you surrender?”


Chapter 6 Chapter 8

Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 7)

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 1:56 pm
by Esa94
Hanako? Outgoing and not shy at all?
I may be attracted to her for her shy nature but I've got to admit this isn't really worse :3


Re: The Most Surprising Thing (Chapter 7)

Posted: Tue May 17, 2011 3:11 pm
by SirMax
Why are they coming back to school after summer break? Hisao joined during the last year of highschool.