Tripping

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Tripping

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:32 am

Next chapter:

Day 3, 7:30
I look at my watch. I’d rather not go down for breakfast, but Mr. Nomiya asked that everyone should be there for an announcement regarding the plans for today. I put down my book and walk over to the window.

Maybe I should have stayed at home. I admit the view of Mt. Makoto is breathtaking, but this room is the only place I can go, to have some time for myself, and I guess Mr. Nomiya is not going to let me do even that. What was I thinking when I told Lilly I’d come along?

Guess I can’t put off going down any longer. I open the door and step into the corridor – good, no one is here. Maybe I’ll get down without...

I’m almost at the stairs when I hear noise from below. I slow down, but I’m still almost run over by Emi who’s bolting up the stairs. I take a step backwards and press myself against a door... Except just in that moment the door opens and I bump into someone standing there.

I turn around and stand face to face with Leon, who was just about to leave his room. Time stands still for a moment. Somewhere in the back of my mind I register Emi’s shouted “Sorry!” before she vanishes into her room.

Leon stares at me with an unreadable expression. Then I notice that my hair flew back over my shoulder when I turned around just now, and my face is exposed for everyone to see. At that moment I know the expression on Leon’s face: Disgust.

Frantically I reach out and pull my hair back over my face. Leon forces a smile and starts to speak. “Hanako... uhm sorry... not see...”

I turn away and run down the stairs. I know that he didn’t like what he saw.

In the lobby I almost run into Hisao, who seems to be returning from his morning run. Hisao is always nice to me, but I know that’s just because he is on good terms with Lilly. If it were just me, he’d just ignore me like everyone else does.

I run past him and into the cafeteria. Everyone’s eyes turn to me, but I simply can’t go back to my room right now and risk meeting Leon again. I take a deep breath and walk towards Lilly’s table. Luckily the others soon return their attention to their food.

“H... Hello Lilly!”

“Hello Hanako. Is something the matter? You sound upset.”

Of course she would be able to pick that up. I had just hoped it would take her a bit longer than two words. “I... I don’t want to t... talk about it right now.”

Lilly accepts that without any further comment and smoothly changes the subject. “You should try this yoghurt. It’s delicious. Mrs. Kojima told me they make it themselves on the farm right next door.”

I get some of the yoghurt, a roll and a bit of jam and start to eat. After a few minutes Emi, Hisao and Leon come into the cafeteria. I lower my head and pretend not to notice them, and to my relief no one comes over to our table to talk to us.

The rest of the breakfast passes without notable events - except for Nanami ranting at Jun for stinking of cigarettes again.

Once everyone has finished eating, Mr. Nomiya rises from his seat and gathers everyone’s attention.

“Dear Students, I’m glad you all found the way down here this early in the morning.” A few people laugh, but I keep my gaze fixed on my empty plate. “I hope the breakfast was to everyone’s liking and would like to thank our gracious hosts, Mr. and Mrs Kojima.”

I glance over to the buffet table where Mrs. Kojima is bowing slightly.

Mr. Nomiya continues. “Let me now tell you about today’s activities.” He clears his throat a few times. "You might have noticed that many of you are also members of the Art Club, so we have taken that into consideration when planning our schedule. Mr Kojima has been so kind as to organize the necessary supplies, so we will look for a nice spot close by and paint some landscapes.”

A few people groan, and he is quick to add: “Of course this is not compulsory. Those of you who aren’t artistically inclined are free to explore the town. You can rent bicycles at the reception, but the town is only about ten minutes from here, so you can also walk. You are free to explore the town on your own, but please stay in groups of at least two people. A member of the nursing staff will be in town should you need any assistance. I trust you all received their phone numbers...”

He trails off, then reaches into his pocket and produces a small notepad. “Ah, yes... Ms. Kitamiya, Mr. Nakai, and Mr. Yoshida, please report to the nursing staff after this for special instructions.”

“What else... Oh yes, if you want to have lunch in town, please tell Mrs. Kojima, and she will prepare bento boxes for you. Dinner is at 19:00, so please be back by then. I think this is it for now. Those who stay here will meet in one hour in the lobby.” He sits back down and starts to chat with the nurse.

I look around the other tables and find Leon staring at me with that glare of his. When our eyes meet, his expression twists into a sneer. I quickly gaze back down on my plate again. He is in the Art Club, so that means, he’ll probably be around the house the whole day...

Lilly’s voice draws me from my thoughts. “So, Hanako, what do you...”

“L-Let’s go into town!” I interrupt her before she can finish her question.

She turns to me with a curious expression. “Really? Are you sure?”

“Y-Yes. L-Let’s go b-back to our room. We h-have to get r-ready.” I quickly collect Lilly’s and my plates, and bring them to the kitchen. Then I lead Lilly out of the cafeteria and up to our room, all the while feeling Leon’s stare on my back.

**********

Writing Hanako is hard...
Last edited by Mirage_GSM on Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:04 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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Re: Tripping

Post by moonpalace » Sun Aug 28, 2011 6:41 am

Really? It's funny to hear you say writing her is hard because by the finished product you make it look easy!

When I started reading this I was really impressed with how you established the character was Hanako within the first few sentences. And then the accident with Leon, what a tragedy. I feel deeply empathetic with her misinterpretation and helplessly read on. Also I like the way you captured the awkward tension as she moves into the dining room. I really feel sorry for Lilly at the end there too.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Mr. Nomiya continues. “Let me now tell you about today’s activities.” He clears his throat a few times. ["]You might have noticed...

Brogurt

Re: Tripping

Post by Brogurt » Tue Aug 30, 2011 6:44 pm

You are now realizing that Hanako only acted the way she did in the story because Hisao evidently wasn't on her path; he was on Emi's. Which is sad for more than one reason.Not only do I feel sad for Hanako; I feel pity for Hisao as well.Emi sucks.

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Re: Tripping

Post by Otakumon » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:56 pm

Brogurt wrote:Emi sucks.
But that's what he likes about her. :wink:

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Tripping

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:40 am

Thanks, moonpalace. Also next chapter ;-)

Day 3, 10:30
It really is a grandiose view. Of course you can see mountains from close to everywhere in Japan, but this is something else. No matter where you look you can see mountains, and even from here you can see the caldera surrounding Lake Kussharo. I hope we will make a trip there; the view from the rim has to be spectacular...

Someone gently touches my shoulder. I turn around and see Leon standing next to me. He shows me his palette and tries to sign something without dropping it. ...I ... more.... Frustrated, he breaks off and sets his palette down on the grass. Then he starts anew. Sorry, signing with my hands full is almost as bad as trying to actually talk. He smiles wryly. I still have to train a lot.

I shake my head and put my palette down as well. Not at all, your sign is better than any other hearing student’s at Yamaku... except for Misha I have to admit grudgingly. How long have you been learning sign?

I started a bit more than a year ago, directly after the accident.

I am impressed. To learn sign that well in only a year is quite a feat. I admit that I am curious. Normally I wouldn’t ask, but... What kind of accident was it?

A shadow passes over his face, but it’s gone in an instant. I went to the sea with some friends. Someone pushed me into the water, and I hit my head somewhere. I went down, but nobody noticed right away. By the time they found me and got me out, my brain had been without oxygen for... Actually, I have no idea, but apparently those parts of my brain that produce speech died. He gazes into the distance for a few seconds, then turns back to me. Well, I’m lucky I did not die altogether, and if I’m honest, I don’t really miss the life I had to leave behind.

I can’t help but admire his strength. With his intelligence and his looks he could have had everything he wanted. But I can’t bring myself to pity him either – he seems too content for that.

For a while neither of us signs anything. He is gazing into the distance again, while I look over the group assembled on the small hill behind the youth hostel.

The whole Art Club is here, as expected... Well, except for Takeshi, but he went to Kyoto because he couldn’t convince his girlfriend to come here. Misaki decided to head into town with the others. I feel a pang of guilt over that. She’s going to have no one but Jun to talk to, but it was her choice, and it was to be expected.

What I didn’t expect was Ooki joining us here. He isn’t painting anything himself, but he is standing next to Rin, talking to her and occasionally pointing at a part of her painting. I try to discern details of her painting, but all I can make out from over here is that it is not a landscape. Well, Nomiya didn’t actually tell us to paint landscapes, so why not. Personally I think it’s a waste of the view though.

Takumi is sitting close to the two. Mr. Nomiya has somehow organized a pottery dish for him and showed him how to use it. I’m not sure he’s having fun, though. When I see his face, he looks kind of glum.

Mr. Nomiya is standing with Nanami and Mai. There’s another one to be admired. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to live in Mai’s body, and yet she’s got that iron determination to beat her affliction. Looking at her, I can see that every stroke of her brush is a battle, but she doesn’t back down. Her paintings aren’t anything to write home about, but the pride in her eyes when she finishes one is unmistakable.

Leon is still absorbed in thought. I gently shake his shoulder. I’m sorry if I stirred up old memories. I didn’t mean to pry.

For a moment he looks at me confusedly, the he smiles. It’s not that. I was thinking about Hanako.

Ikezawa? What about her?

She ran into me this morning. I think I scared her or something. She’s been avoiding me ever since.

I almost laugh. That girl is avoiding everyone but Satou... But, you know, you do look pretty serious most of the time. I can see how a girl like her would be intimidated by that.

He looks a bit taken aback. Really?

Relax, most girls like this kind of thing, and Ikezawa is going to forget about that soon enough. It’s not like you’re going to ask her out or anything.

He starts to sign something but stops. A suspicion creeps up in my mind.

You’re not, are you?

Again this wry smile of his... I don’t think I’ll have much of a chance to do that, if she continues to run away every time she sees me.

I don’t believe what I’m seeing. Don’t get me wrong, but... Why Ikezawa? Half the girls in the school would give an arm and a leg to be asked out by you – provided they still have one.

He shrugs. I don’t really care for that kind of thing. But when I see Hanako, every instinct in me tells me to protect her from everything the world would throw at her... You know, I’ve always been accused of having a White Knight Syndrome...

I roll my eyes. Well, in that case you have your work cut out for you. Good luck.

He gives me a pained smile, waves and retreats back to his easel. Meanwhile I try to decide how I should feel about what I’ve just been told. Should I be jealous? After all, Leon is good-looking, intelligent and dedicated...

But while I don’t think Ikezawa deserves someone like him, I simply don’t feel that way about him. Guess me wishing him luck was heartfelt after all...

*****

So, now that all new(*) characters have had their say, I'd be interested to know if you have any favourites. It won't have any effect on whom I write more chapters for - just curious.

*Stay tuned for Hisao next week ;-)
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: Tripping

Post by Petermeter » Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:08 am

Mirage_GSM wrote: So, now that all new(*) characters have had their say, I'd be interested to know if you have any favourites. It won't have any effect on whom I write more chapters for - just curious.
I like Ooki a lot, but most others aren't on the unpleasant side, either. Can't find anything about the deafmute twins, though, they seem to be way to arrogant to be likeable. Doesn't hurt the story though, good stories need characters that aren't sympathy-magnets.
Ranking after act 1:
Hanako > Rin >> Lilly > Shizune > Emi
I played the routes in that order, every ending and all.
Ranking after full playthrough:
Lilly > Emi >> Rin ~ Hanako > Shizune

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Re: Tripping

Post by moonpalace » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:43 pm

I wrote a plethora of praise earlier about almost everything in this chapter but it got deleted because I ran out of battery power so here is a regurgitated form; the serene environment and atmosphere, the usual humour that made me laugh which you pull off so well, Leon is really sweet, oooh and Ooki and Rin's second cameo which was really tongue in cheek, and subtle details like your choice of words - they never "say" anything and she couldn't believe what she was seeing - Loved it all.

As for characters, Petermeter has already said it for me. I like them all but Mai definitely stands out with her spirited resilience in spite of an unimaginably challenging condition. I look forward to her next turn if she has one. And Ooki gets best scene/most likable character awards for me.

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Re: Tripping

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:46 am

Mai will definitely have more chapters, but it will be a while still. I'm still deciding whom to use for the next chapter I'll write and Mai is one of the options.
Fun fact (maybe): The twins were originally supposed to be even more aloof, interacting mostly with each other, but that concept didn't survive contact with reality. Meaning it was just to hard to write chapters for characters like that...
Before I post the next chapter, a short heads up: There won't be a new chapter next weekend. Two reasons:
1. There's a Rin Chapter coming up shortly that took me ages to write and my buffer is running lower than I like it to be.
2. (and more importantly) I'll be away on vacation next weekend with probably very limited internet access.

And now for this week's chapter:

Day 3, 10:30
Bowing slightly, I take the two bento boxes from Mrs. Kojima. It seems they didn’t expect everyone would choose to take their lunch with them so it took her a bit longer to prepare it. Mizuki is standing next to me, receiving her box; the others are already waiting outside.

We go to join them. I hand Emi her lunch, and she packs it into the bag she has slung over her shoulder.

I survey our small group. I’m surprised to see Hanako decided to join us, though she keeps her distance like usual.

The two nurses who have come with us to Hokkaido in addition to the head nurse and Mr. Nomiya are also there, chatting with Ikuno. I’ve seen them both around Yamaku a few times. The younger one is named Uehara, but I can’t remember the older one’s name... Ogawa? Okawa? Doesn’t matter.

Emi speaks up. “We’re all here! Let’s go!”

“What about Ooki?” Kenta asks. “Did he fall asleep somewhere?”

“No, he is staying behind to help Rin with an art project.” Emi grins. “I’m looking forward to seeing the results.”

Laughing, we start towards the town of Teshikaga. Even though we’re in the mountains, the street here is more or less level, so it’s even easier walking than around Yamaku. We decided to leave the bikes for another day, for longer trips.

After a few hundred meters I turn around and look at the youth hostel. On a hill behind the main building, I can see several figures. That’s probably the art club... Well, I hope they’re having fun.

I start walking forward again. Emi has waited for me and is now walking next to me... Something’s not right. Usually she’d be running ahead of the group, dragging me along. Now she’s deliberately slowing down, widening the gap between us and Lilly and Hanako ahead.

Just as I’m about to ask her, she takes a deep breath and turns to me. “Hisao, tell me, am I too dominating?”

Crap. This is going to be one of those conversations. I’ve heard a lot about them, but so far I haven’t had any with Emi. What does one answer to a question like that? I decide to stall for time. “What do you mean?”

“Do you feel constrained when we’re together? Do I push you too much? Do you think I demand unreasonable things from you?”

I search her face for some kind of clue as to what brought this on. Usually I would expect her puppy eyes to accompany a question like that, but not this time. She seems dead serious and... afraid?

We walk in silence for a moment while I try to devise an answer in my mind. “You know, I was pretty mad at you yesterday, but you apologized, so that’s okay.” I wonder if that’s going to satisfy her, but apparently it isn’t.

“And the other stuff? Your training, your diet... Do you sometimes hate me for being too strict with you?”

“Hate? Of course not! I... You know I have to work out because of my heart, and without you I probably wouldn’t have had the determination to go through with it...” I hesitate for a moment but then decide honesty will be best in the long run. “I do think your diet plan is too strict, though. My condition is not like Ikuno’s; I won’t keel over because I eat a few sweets too many once in a while.”

Emi starts to say something, but I continue before she has the chance. “But you don’t try to be strict to spite me. You do so because you care for me, and knowing that makes me put up with it.”

I smile at her. “Besides, I knew what I was getting myself into before I asked you to go out with me.” Mostly, I silently add. No amount of reading and well meant advice can prepare someone for the dangers of PMS... Better not mention that at this time though...

At that, a smile spreads over Emi’s face as well. “Good, I would have been disappointed, if you had asked me out just from an impulse. It’s nice to know your boyfriend actually thinks things through sometimes.”

She grabs my arm and drags me forward to catch up to the others. “And now let’s enjoy this nice weather. Tonight we’re going to negotiate some amendments to your dietary plan.”

We arrive in the town a few minutes later. One of the first buildings we pass is a ramen place. I know better than to suggest going in though. The fare there is bound to be less healthy than our bentos – I saw Emi put in some special instructions with Mrs. Kojima.

The town is a bit larger than it seemed from the bus, but I doubt more than 10.000 people live here. It’s almost like the town where Yamaku is, only the architecture of some of the buildings is a bit off...

As we walk along the main street we meet quite a few people, most of them elderly. It takes me a moment to notice what is different.

At Yamaku, the people on the streets stare whenever a group of students is in town, guessing at their disabilities. Here, people look at us interestedly, some even greet us, but otherwise treat us like normal tourists. Of course. Lilly is led by Hanako, so she is foregoing her cane, and Emi is wearing her normal legs. Outwardly we look like any other group of students that must frequent the youth hostel regularly.

It’s somehow refreshing to pass for normal again for the first time this year...

*****

Edit: Post #666. Neat.
Last edited by Mirage_GSM on Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:09 am, edited 2 times 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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Re: Tripping

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:27 am

Day 3, 14:30
“Hey, look at this figurine!” Ikuno picks up a small porcelain figurine in the shape of a cat and shows it to Emi. “I’m looking for something to bring home for my mom. What do you think?”

Emi regards it critically. “Does your mom like cats?”

“Not, real ones, no, but that’s because she’s allergic.” She grins – a grin that vanishes when she looks at the price tag at the underside of the figurine. “Well, I guess I’ll look for something else then.”

I thought Emi and Ikuno were fighting yesterday during dinner, but looking at them now, they look like best buddies. Probably a girl thing...

Hisao and I are standing a bit behind the two and share a glance, trying to decide whether to be bored, amused or both.

The two nurses, Mrs. Ogawa and Ms. Uehara have stayed behind in a nice café on the main street and told us to call them if there should be any trouble. I have no idea what kind of trouble they are expecting. My Asthma hasn’t acted up at all since we arrived in Hokkaido, and none of the others seem to have any critical conditions... Oh well, they’re probably just following regulations...

Anyway, Satou and Ikezawa soon split from the rest of the group, and Jun decided to take off on his own a bit after that. Mizuki decided to go with him, probably because he’s the only one in our group she can ‘talk’ to. I’m pretty sure Jun wouldn’t have cared for the two-person-rule one way or the other.

So that leaves Hisao and me to accompany Emi and Ikuno on their shopping spree. Okay, ‘spree’ might be stretching it a bit, since both seem to be running on a tight budget, but we’ve been frequenting the shops in town for some time now, and the girls don’t seem to get tired of trying on dresses and looking at fancy souvenirs.

Well, at least there’s air conditioning in most of the shops. It was pleasantly cool this morning, but since noon the clouds have disappeared and the sun is burning down mercilessly on the town. I didn’t think it got this hot so far north. This has to be one of the last truly hot days this year.

The girls seem to be done in this shop, and we step outside into the sunlight. I blink a few times to adjust to the glare; then I look around. We’ve almost reached the southern end of the town. At the end of the street I can see a small hospital, behind that there are only fields and a small forest.

Hisao seems to have the same thought I do. “Figures that there’s a hospital close by. They don’t take any risks, do they?”

Ikuno giggles. “Well, I don’t think we want to take a guided tour there, and there isn’t anything else in that direction, so should we head back? We can take another road and see if we find any more shops.”

Nobody objects, so we change to a parallel street and double back north. The area we’re in now is mainly residential, though. Only nice little family homes with no interesting shops at all.

We walk on in silence for a while, the heat killing the mood for idle conversation. I notice Emi glancing sideways at Hisao from time to time with an unreadable expression. What is she... When I follow her gaze, I notice that Hisao’s face looks more strained than usual. He looks uncomfortable for some reason.

Just as I am about to ask if he is alright, Emi points to a small café at the next corner. “Why don’t we go in there and have a break?”

Even though I haven’t known her for very long I know that asking for a break is not like Emi at all. Does this have something to do with Hisao’s condition? Being his girlfriend, she obviously knows why he attends Yamaku. Maybe it is something more serious than I thought...

Well, if he’s not comfortable telling others about it, I shouldn’t pry. And stopping in a café is a tempting idea as well... “Count me in. I wouldn’t say no to an ice cream, either.”

We enter the café and sit down at one of the few tables and order four bottles of water. There’s no ice-cream but a small selection of cakes that look quite delicious.

“So who else wants some cake?” I look around at my companions.

Hisao and Emi share a glance, and I feel like I miss out on some unspoken communication between those two. Then Emi stands up and walks over to the counter. “Okay, I’ll pick you something without too much cream, Hisao.”

I also rise and turn to Ikuno. “Should I bring you something as well?”

“Sorry, I can’t,” she replies dejectedly.

“Oh, come on. My treat.” From the panicked look on Hisao’s face I think I’ve said something wrong, but…

“It’s not the money. I can’t eat cake. I have Diabetes, remember?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I thought you could compensate for such things by adjusting your insulin dose. A cousin of mine did that when he ate something extra.”

This seems to agitate Ikuno even further. “And how the hell am I supposed to get my blood sugar to stabilize when I randomly eat whenever I feel like it? If I start making exceptions, how do I know when to stop? How high should I raise the dosage, if I eat whenever a whim strikes me? You have no idea what it’s like to see…” She trails off, a single tear glittering in the corner of her eye.

I sit back down. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know this was a sensitive topic for you.”

Ikuno takes a deep breath and blinks away the tear. “No, I’m sorry. I lost it there for a moment. Please go ahead and get your cake, but I won’t be having any.”

I nod and follow Emi to the counter. I don’t like eating the cake in front of Ikuno, and her outburst more or less stifled my appetite, but I have a feeling that refusing the cake for her sake would not make her feel any better.
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: Tripping

Post by scott1and » Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:27 am

Another good chapter, I wasn't so sure about the 'different character' each time thing but now I actually look forward to who its gonna be each installment. Keep up the good work ^_^
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Re: Tripping

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:53 am

New Chapter:

Day 3, 20:30
Sighing softly, I run my fingers over the pages of the book I am reading. It has been a long day and walking around town all day with Hanako in the basking heat has been strenuous.

Well, you could say we literally walked around town most of the time to avoid running into too many people. Sadly, apart from the occasional copse of trees there is little in the way of shade to be found in the fields around Teshikaga.

On the positive side I finally got Hanako to tell me what happened this morning before breakfast, though I did not manage to convince her that it was probably a misunderstanding.

Right now, she is lying on her bed, reading one of her books. The only things I hear from her are her calm breathing and the occasional turning of the pages.

Hanako is always calm when she is reading. It is a skill I have always admired. I have never been able to become so absorbed in literature that I can leave all my cares and worries behind me…

Someone is knocking at the door. “It is all right, Hanako, I will go.” I put a placeholder in my book, close it and place it on the small table. Even though the room is small enough that I do not really need the cane to find my way, I pick it up, rise, walk to the door and open it.

“Hello Lilly, hi Hanako.”

“Hello, Hisao. Is there something I can help you with?”

He hesitates. “Actually… Could you come with me for a few minutes? There’s something you should see… Sorry, you know what I mean.”

I wait for him to elaborate, but it seems like he is not going to do so for the moment. I turn around to Hanako. “Hanako, I am going out for a moment.”

She calls out an “Okay” and goes back to reading her book. I take it as a good sign that Hisao’s presence doesn’t seem to bother her that much anymore.

I step into the corridor and close the door behind me. Hisao offers me his arm and leads me towards the stairs and down to the ground floor.

“So what is it, Hisao? Is there some problem with the day-trip to Lake Akan tomorrow?” At the base of the stairs we take a sharp left. Where is he leading me? The cafeteria?

“No… Actually Leon wanted to talk to you and asked me to get you.”

My mind is racing. What could Leon want? Is this about this morning?

We enter the cafeteria and are greeted by Leon. “Lilly... Hisao.”

“Hi Leon. You sure I shouldn’t stay?”

“No stay… ah… thank Hisao.” Hisao leads me to one of the tables and excuses himself.

Leon sits down opposite of me. Although I am a bit uncomfortable not knowing what this is about, I give him time to compose himself. This cannot be easy for him. I know he is very good with sign language and when communicating with others he can probably use gestures to help others understand him or even write things down, but none of these things will help him with me.

Finally, Leon takes a deep breath. “Lilly… eh… tell Hanako… and Leon meet… and ah… breakfast… crash… yes crash, yes?”

I furrow my brow in concentration, but I think I understood what he was trying to say. “Yes, Hanako told me she ran into you this morning.”

Leon sighs relieved. Then he starts speaking again. “Leon… and ah… yes tell Lilly… not want bump… eh Hanako.”

I smile. “I’m sure you didn’t run into her intentionally. Hanako told me she was scared by Emi and tripped. Was that what you were worried about?”

“Yes… No… ah… more, yes more. Lilly… and Leon… uh… in love…”

My mind goes blank for a moment. Is he going to confess to me? But we barely talked before… What should I do now? “I am sorry, Leon, but I do not feel the same way…”

“No!” He interrupts me, and I trail off confusedly. When he starts talking again, he is speaking every word for itself, as if he is listening to what he said so far and consciously chooses the next word. “Leon… … not… … uh… love … … Lilly, yes. Leon… … love… … Hanako.”

I feel the blood rising to my face. “I… I am sorry, Leon, I did not expect…”

I trail off. What did I not expect? That someone would fall in love with Hanako? Why should I be so surprised about that? Has hearing Hanako tell me time and again how unattractive she is finally made me believe her? After all I have no way to see for myself if it is true, and I never talked to anyone else about her appearance, let alone to a boy…

But right now a boy is sitting right in front of me and waiting for an answer. Leon. I try to recall what I know about him. He is in her class. He came to Yamaku a bit more than a year ago. What was his real name again? I don’t remember. He is well liked by most people. Very good grades. Good looking, too, if the other girls’ gossip is to be believed.

There have been several girls who asked him out over the past few months, but he turned them all down, so if he says he is in love with Hanako, I am inclined to believe he is serious, even though I don’t know him very well myself…

I start over, this time with a smile on my face. “I am sorry, Leon, this really came as a surprise to me. But why did you come to me?”

I hear him fidget on his chair. “Hanako eh… hate Leon, yes?”

“No, Hanako doesn’t hate you, I am sure of that.”

“Hanako… fright?”

I hesitate, but decide to be honest. “Yes, I think she is a little afraid of you. I already told her you did not mean any harm, but when you saw her face this morning, I think that was a bit of a shock for her. She always takes care not to let anybody see it.”

“Lilly… ah… help?”

“I am sorry, Leon, but I do not think I can be of much help. If I told her you love her, she would not believe me, and it would probably make things worse than they are.”

He seems to think that over for a moment. “Lilly… ah… tell about… and Hanako likes?”

It takes me a few seconds to grasp his meaning. “Well, you probably know she reads a lot. She spends most of her free time in a corner of the library. She does not have any friends besides me… and maybe Hisao. At least she does not feel too uncomfortable when he is around. He once stuck up for her in front of Ms. Hakamichi, so that is probably the reason…”

I suddenly realize this could create the wrong impression, so I quickly continue. “I do not think she has any romantic feelings for Hisao, though. At least she did not mind when he started dating Emi.”

“What else… There is an unused classroom on the second floor where we often sit and drink tea. Sometimes Hanako tells me about the books she has been reading, sometimes we play chess, and sometimes we…”

“Hanako… uh… and play… chess, yes?” Leon interrupts me. There is excitement in his voice.

“Yes, she likes to play it a lot. I think she used to play against her father before he… Well, now she can only play against me, and I think I am not much of a challenge for her, although she never complains.”

I hear Leon rising from his chair. “Leon… thank. Lilly… ah… and great… uh help. Leon… stairs… to room… help… now, yes?”

I rise as well and hold my arm out for Leon. Together we return upstairs and Leon takes his leave before I enter my room again. I quickly think of a likely excuse for taking so long, but I do not think Hanako will have even noticed the time. I find myself wishing Leon all the luck he can get. He is going to need a lot of it.

*****

Brace yourselves for another Rin Chapter next week ;-)
Last edited by Mirage_GSM on Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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

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scott1and
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Location: I just don't know anymore...

Re: Tripping

Post by scott1and » Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:28 am

Its good to see Hanako getting a little love...well, not yet but if things work out :mrgreen:
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moonpalace
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Re: Tripping

Post by moonpalace » Mon Oct 03, 2011 10:10 am

Yay! Hanako actually was my least favorite character in KS, though I'm sure I felt as teased at her ending as anyone else. But in this series, I have to say, you make all the characters so likeable and I love them all very much. In fact, I think KS will have it's work cut out to compare with your writing (regardless of visual novelry buffering the experience). Anyway, I can't wait to see what happens between these two potential lovers!

Just a little nit - when Lilly starts explaining Hanako's behaviour she says, "I think she went a bit into shock,". I think it might sound a bit more natural if it's, "I think she went into a bit of shock,".

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Mirage_GSM
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Location: Germany

Re: Tripping

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:20 am

Thanks for the laurels, even if I don't think they're completely justified ^^°
Anyway, you can't really compare VN-writing against text-only writing.

Regarding Lilly though, you might have noticed that I'm not exactly going for natural speech in the first place. (I've taken a few liberties with her speech patterns compared to the VN to make her more distinct from the rest of the cast.)
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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WoopSlim
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Location: Moscow Mother-goddamn-Russia

Re: Tripping

Post by WoopSlim » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:56 pm

Another nice chapter (b'_')b. Hope you will write more awesome stuff, EmixHisao is such a nice couple and LeonxHanako is even more awesome, biting my nails and waiting for futher chapters.
derp

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