Confinement (Miki's Story) [10/30]

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Catgirl Kleptocracy
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Confinement (Miki's Story) [10/30]

Post by Catgirl Kleptocracy » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:53 am

Howdy. Admittedly Katawa Shoujo is the first VN I've ever played. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it (and still am). To keep a potentially long author's note short, I was disappointed that Miki didn't get her own route. Fortunately that's what writing is for. I haven't played every route in the game (only two so far, actually), so please let me know if anybody is excessively out of character. Any other comments or suggestions you have would be awesome, especially comments on the story and writing. Good or bad, don't hold back. I'd love any suggestions on what I can do to improve. Thanks for reading!

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Table of Posts


Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
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Confinement

Chapter 1: Driving the Nails

When I realized, she was opening a door. Class had just ended. She wasn’t the first one out—the girl with the burns was, and the door latched shut behind her before anybody else had even left their seats—but she wasn’t far behind. While she didn’t look frightened like the other girl, she marched towards the exit like she would rather have been anywhere else. Then she froze. I don’t think anybody else noticed, or if they had they didn’t pay it any mind, but she missed the handle. Her arm went up like it should have, and it came back down, but it fell about an inch short of hitting the lever. Her hand was gone. She tried to play it off, and worked the handle with what was left of her wrist. As she walked through she thrust her stump into her pocket. I knew then she hadn’t been an amputee for long.

“Hiichan!” I didn’t have to turn to know it was Misha’s voice, but I still had to look to see who was actually talking. Misha’s hands were signing as she spoke. The words were hers. “Have any plans after class?”

She was grinning. Shizune wasn’t. The two stood in stark contrast. Misha’s pink hair was styled into all sorts of curls. At a glance it didn’t look like she took a whole lot seriously, and she could bring down a building with her voice. Shizune was always business. She looked like she’d fit in at a corporate boardroom. Her dark hair was cut short, and her glasses seemed to magnify the intensity in her eyes. She was also mute. “I haven’t thought that far ahead yet,” I said.

Shizune began signing. “Perfect. Misha and I are going to grab a snack before we get to our student council work. You’re more than welcome to join us. For the snack, that is.” Then she smiled too.

While I wasn’t hungry, I didn’t have anywhere else to be. The rest of the class seemed nice, but I hadn’t really met any of them. “Sure. That actually sounds pretty—” It was only my third day at Yamaku Academy, and I wasn’t sure if I could consider the two more than acquaintances, but I’d already figured out their shtick. They’d come to me after class to see if I wanted to hang out. We would. Then they’d try to rope me into student council. I wasn’t sure I wanted that. “Wait, you’re not trying to—”

“Of course not, Hisao!” Misha said, feigning offense. “How could you even…” She paused for a moment, like she knew what she wanted to say, but didn’t know how to sign it. “Insinuate?” Her fingers flashed, and Shizune nodded. “Insinuate that we’d ever think about doing such a thing?”

They both smiled the kind of smile that says, oh, yeah, you can totally trust us! I knew it was a trap. I still couldn’t say no.

We stopped off at the cafeteria and bought slices of pie. It was cherry. I moved to grab us a table, but Shizune stopped me. “It’s a bit crowded in here, don’t you think?

I looked around. We weren’t the only group in the room, but there were plenty of open tables. “Not really.”

Yeah, it’s too crowded to enjoy our pie. Let’s find somewhere else to eat.

Somewhere else ended up being the student council room. I knew I was going to end up there eventually anyway, so I didn’t fight it. The walk there was silent—it was difficult for Misha to sign back and forth while walking through crowded hallways—but they made me carry the slices anyway.

“Cherry’s my favorite!” Misha said. She took the biggest slice from my hands and grabbed a seat. The first bite was in her mouth before I could set the other two slices on the table.

“I’ve always liked apple,” I said.

Shizune nodded. “I’m with Hiichan on this one.” The translation was muffled by the food Misha was eating. I wondered if that meant Shizune was talking with her mouth full.

When I laughed I tried to pass it off as agreement. “You’ve got good taste, Shizune.”

Misha ended up laughing with me. She knew how ridiculous she sounded. Shizune didn’t catch on, though, and she lifted her hands to respond. She only made one sign before Misha’s phone rang.

Misha pulled her phone out of her bag, pointed to it, and nodded towards the other side of the room. I was pretty sure it wasn’t standard sign language, but the message seemed to translate well enough. Shizune waved her off, and Misha stood to take the call.

It was awkward, but Shizune and I watched as Misha spoke into the phone. There wasn’t going to be much conversation between just the two of us. As much as I would have loved to chat with her personally, we would never connect without an intermediary. It was disappointing. The thought was also a little discomforting.

Thankfully Misha’s call didn’t last long. Something looked wrong, though. Her smile had faded. She turned to Shizune and they signed back and forth. I didn’t get a translation. Halfway through they both turned to look at me, but the break only lasted a moment before they continued. When their hands stopped, Shizune adjusted her glasses, and Misha sighed. They were back in business mode. “I’m sorry, Hiichan.

“I have a feeling I’m being put to work.”

That was the nurse on the phone. Tainaka was scheduled to assemble part of our class’s stand for the festival this afternoon, but her wrists are bothering her again and she’s been sidelined.

I tried to remember Tainaka’s face. The name was familiar, but I couldn’t remember who it was. “Is it serious?”

She shook her head. “But it leaves us in a bind. A replacement worker was found. Normally it would be a one person job, but under the circumstances…

Misha picked up where she left off. “We could use someone to lend a—” She stopped herself. “To help.”

It wasn’t like they were trying to get me to join the council. They even seemed apprehensive about asking me to do it. Maybe they thought I’d take it the wrong way. “I’d be happy to.”

Seeing their relief spill out was worth it. Misha giggled, and Shizune’s signs were bouncier than usual. “She’s in the art room. The art club isn’t meeting today, so you won’t be disturbing anyone. Everything you’ll need is already there.

“I’ll hop to it then.” I hadn’t gotten the chance to eat my pie. That was fine—they’d take care of it for me. “See you two later.”

The art room wasn’t far, but I still had to navigate the stairwell to get there. I was surprised that I was looking forward to the job—or at least meeting another classmate. It would be a relief to finally know some people other than Shizune and Misha. They were cool girls, but I’d made myself a bubble, and after the hospital I didn’t want that. As I neared door I heard someone working inside. There were two loud clangs. They were followed by a soft thud, and then a yelp. “Goddammit!”

My heart skipped a beat, then pumped faster. I almost fell through the door. If I’d ended up missing the handle, I would have knocked myself out running into it.

The girl on the other side was clutching her foot. She was still holding a hammer in her good hand. The other ended in bandages at the wrist. She looked up when I entered, and I tried to remember her name. Long black hair. A boy’s dress shirt instead of the girl’s blouse. Skin a few shades darker than average. One hand. “Miura?” I was pretty sure that was it. “Are you alright?”

She was still wincing. It looked like she’d been trying to nail a plywood sign to another board. She would have had to hold the nails in place with her feet. “It’s Miki. Don’t be so stuffy.” She seemed more concerned about her name than her foot. “And yeah, I’m good,” she said, almost as an afterthought.

I stood there for a moment as my heart slowed. She’d let her foot go, but it looked like it hurt. If it did, she wasn’t paying attention to it. “What are you doing?” I asked.

“That board’s going to be the top front of our festival stand,” she said, pointing to the thicker one on the bottom. “I’m trying to get the sign we made to stick on it. I painted it during lunch. Ritsu was supposed to nail it on, but she’s down for the count.”

I looked at the sign. Some other classmates had gotten together to design it. It didn’t look like their outline. The lettering was the same—flat black. The background was completely different. Originally it had been divided into three sections, with red on either side and yellow in the middle. Miki had painted the whole thing one color. “You like green?”

She cocked her head as if it was an odd question. Then she shrugged. “Yeah. It’s a cool color, you know? Chill.”

“Never really thought about it like that.” Art was never my thing. I couldn’t draw or paint to save my life. I tried picking it up after my heart attack, but I gave up when even my stick figures were mutants. The green background of the sign was plainer than the original design, but I didn’t think that was bad. It’d be a lot less confusing to look at.

“So what brings you here?” she asked.

“Same as you, I guess.”

She looked at my arms. “I mean to Yamaku.”

For a few seconds I wasn’t sure how to answer. Most people in the school weren’t so forward about asking what my disability was. Only that Rin girl had asked me straight out. But I’d answered her. That had been in the art room, too. There must have been something in the paints. “My heart.”

Miki held up her arm. “My hand.” She gave a halfhearted smile. “What do you think of it?”

I told her the truth. “I’m really not sure what to think yet.”

“Getting used to the area?”

“Actually I haven’t been off campus yet. I would, if I can get somebody to show me around.”

She let her eyes drift back to the hammer. “Unfortunately that’s not me,” she said. “I uh…” She looked back up. The smile was gone. “I just started at the beginning of the year.”

I was right. Her injury was recent. Our eyes met, and we froze for a moment in empathy. Then the moment passed. “Take this,” she said, handing me a box of nails. “All you have to do is hold them in place. I’ll take care of the rest.”

Her foot was still fresh in my mind. Images of her swinging the hammer down on my thumb kept me from grabbing a nail. “Are you sure? I mean, I could just take care of it.”

“Where’s the fun in that?”

I wanted to tell her the fun was not getting my fingers crushed. I didn’t want to alienate a classmate before I even knew her, though, so instead I drew a nail and held it in place, praying her aim was better than before. The blow didn’t come.

When I glanced, I saw she was looking at me again. “What is it?” she asked.

“Huh?”

“You look like you have something on your mind. What is it?”

I shook my head. “It’s nothing.”

She didn’t raise her eyebrows, but I could see in her eyes that she didn’t believe me. “It’s alright,” she said, more quietly than before. Somehow it felt like she knew what I was going to say. “I won’t be mad.”

Part of me felt she really wouldn’t care what I said. Of the people I’d met so far, she was the most laid back. On the flip side, her change in tone told me she didn’t believe what she said as much as she wished she did. I didn’t have anything else to go on, though, so I nodded to her hand. “I’m glad you still have your right.”

Her expression didn’t change, and she held her stare for a good five seconds before turning her attention back to the nail and raising the hammer. “I was left handed.”

All in all, things didn’t go too badly. By the time we finished I’d only been hit four times. I didn’t count the glancing blows. We had just sat back to admire our work when there was a knock on the door. “Hiichan!” Misha’s voice called. “Miki! We’re coming in!”

They walked in behind us. “It took some work,” I said, “but it didn’t turn out too shabby.”

It wasn’t until I turned my head that I realized something was wrong. They were inspecting the job, and their lips were pursed. Miki seemed to notice too, but she just rolled her eyes and looked out the window. Misha and Shizune started signing. After a brief back and forth followed by a short pause, Shizune signed again. “It was supposed to be red and yellow.

“I don’t like red,” Miki said, without looking away from the window. “It’s kind of aggressive.”

That’s the point. We want the sign to draw people’s attention.

“And green doesn’t?”

Shizune’s hands were flying. She was picking up speed with every sign. “Not like red. Or yellow. We came up with that design as a class. You can’t just change it on your own because you don’t like it. That’s selfish and irresponsible. It’s the class’s stand, not yours. If this were a one-time deal I’d consider it a misunderstanding, but it’s become a pattern. Do it over.

“But—”

Shizune didn’t need to sign. Her expression was enough to end the debate.

“Yeah,” Miki said. Her voice had gone quiet again. “You got it.”

Misha and Shizune stood there long enough to make sure that Miki really had gotten her point. When Shizune was satisfied, they turned to leave. Misha gave a sympathetic nod before following out. Then they were gone.

Shizune wasn’t known for mincing words, and if she believed what she was saying she didn’t sugar coat. Her lecture must have hit hard. It also didn’t sound like the first time Miki had heard it. I almost expected her to start crying. Instead, she laughed. “That girl signs like a motherfucker.”

At first I wasn’t sure I’d heard her right. She sounded more like one of the guys than a girl. If I’d ever heard Iwanako talking like that, I’d have ended up in Yamaku Academy a lot sooner. “Yeah, Misha was having a hard time keeping up with her.”

“I meant what she was saying.” She must have seen something in my expression, because she waved me off. “No, don’t get me wrong,” she continued, “I like her. She’s actually not too bad. Maybe a little uptight, but cool enough. At least when she’s not on one of her student council kicks.”

“That’s good to hear.”

“Yeah.”

There was an awkward silence before I stood to grab the paint cans. “I’ll take care of the red if you do the yellow.”

I didn’t get an answer right away, and saw she was still looking out the window. It was just a view of the campus commons. There didn’t seem to be anything special about it. “Nah.”

“Hm?”

With a sigh, she hoisted herself off of the floor and walked towards the painting supplies. “You get out of here. I got this covered.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. I brought it on myself anyway. See you later.”

“Sure.”

I didn’t want to leave her with all of the work, but she seemed intent on doing it herself. Did she see it as repayment? Maybe she just didn’t want to leave. With the way she’d been looking out of the window, I doubted that. Whatever it was, I decided to let her run with it. I turned to leave, but she stopped me before I made it to the door. “Hey, Hisao?”

When she said my name I realized I hadn’t introduced myself when she’d given me her name. She must have remembered my introduction from class. “Yeah?”

“Was she right?”

It was like a professor calling on me and asking questions about a book I hadn’t read. I didn’t know Miki well enough to know how to answer. Tell her the truth? Yeah, Shizune was right. But recently I’d learned the hard way that the truth usually sucked. Nobody really wanted to hear it. “I don’t think it really matters. She’s got the final say on these kinds of things. We just kind of have to follow orders.”

It was political. Weak. And if it felt weak coming out, it must have sounded weak going in. “Hm.”

The conversation was over. I knew I would spend the rest of the night thinking about what I should have said instead. I might have even come up with something good. Maybe even only an hour or two too late. “I’ll catch you later.”

She waved with her back turned. “Fosh.”

I didn’t know what that meant, but I nodded anyway and walked to the door. When I grabbed the handle I wondered what it would be like to reach out for something and find a part of yourself missing. To try depending on something that wasn’t there anymore. It wasn’t something I wanted to think about for very long.

Turning the lever, I opened the door and walked out.

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Next Chapter
Last edited by Catgirl Kleptocracy on Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:31 am, edited 14 times in total.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:49 am

Nice introductory chapter. Nothing much to fix except for:
If I’d ever heard Iwonaka Iwanako talking like that,...
Looking forward to how it's going to continue.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
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Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Sperance
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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by Sperance » Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:27 am

Welp, you picked my interest. Let's see where this goes from now :D

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scott1and
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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by scott1and » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:16 pm

Good to see more Miki stories around here. Lookin forward to see how this goes.
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Catgirl Kleptocracy
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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by Catgirl Kleptocracy » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:34 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Nice introductory chapter. Nothing much to fix except for:
If I’d ever heard Iwonaka Iwanako talking like that,...
Thanks for the correction, I'll change that up. Damn foreign languages and their feminine A endings! And now she's a covert agent on paper. It's a conspiracy, brah.

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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by Guest » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:09 pm

Well, it left me interested in seeing more. Hope you keep this up.

Anon875835896472

Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by Anon875835896472 » Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:55 pm

Interesting. Both the concept and execution are good so far; I look forward to reading more.

Florinu123
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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by Florinu123 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:45 am

really nice story. We need more stories centered on the minor characters

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Demonhornz
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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by Demonhornz » Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:37 pm

I first found this on fanfiction.net (The Legendary Zero). As I said there, looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

iamjagman
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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by iamjagman » Fri Jan 27, 2012 2:04 am

Hoping to see this continued soon, as it seems that you're a very good writer and I'm interested in how this will turn out.

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Ax Maverick
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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by Ax Maverick » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:13 pm

Nice... Very nice, actually. It's interesting to see stories about secondary characters. Besides, your writing is very good, too.
Lilly
"Stop telling me not to worry about you! Just this once... Let me cry..."

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Hisao
"I fell in love with you, and I refuse to let that be thrown away, just because you're afraid to lose me."

Emi
"Why are you doing this? Why can't you just leave me alone?"

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nemz
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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by nemz » Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:01 am

Interesting characterization. Your Miki seems significantly less cheerful than she's usually portrayed, but then perhaps she's just having a bad day.

and I also have no idea what 'fosh' means.
Rin > Shizune > Emi > Hanako > Lilly

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BeastlyFerret
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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by BeastlyFerret » Tue May 01, 2012 12:08 pm

Haha this is very nice, although I don't think Miki is this bitchy :P. Great work though! Looking forward to seeing more (Also shouldn't Act I be life expectancy?)
Shizune=Emi=Lilly=Hanako=Rin=Saki=Rika=Misha=Miki Because all girls are equal and deserve equal amounts of love. However, these girls appeal to me the most~

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ThistlewickVII
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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by ThistlewickVII » Sun May 13, 2012 5:27 am

This has the potential to be a good story. I think there should be more miki and you definately have the talent to write her.
Became a better person because of KS. But I was pretty awesome to begin with.
Contender to be the Last Sane Man in an Insane World.
Likes Dogs.

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Re: Confinement (Miki's Route)

Post by Guest » Sun May 13, 2012 6:14 am

I don't think this story is still active, which is a shame because with all the recent pseudo routes being taken up, Miki deserves her fair share too.

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