Greater Than The Sum (Finished!) - All days now up: 11/4/12

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Greater Than The Sum (Finished!) - All days now up: 11/4/12

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:47 am

Day Zero

I stand in the nigh abandoned lobby of the building, shuffling my feet awkwardly amidst the bags of my belongings, as I wait for the go ahead. I look around the room and take in the scenery, or lack thereof. Plain light coloured walls - are they off white or beige? I can't tell, it's as if they had found some sort of in between colour which somehow is infinitely more plain than either one by themselves. The carpet is a light tan, still quite plain but much more appealing to look at than the impossibly plain walls. In one corner of the room stands a simple potted plant.

A generic landscape painting hangs on the wall behind me. I've always liked looking at landscapes, they always appeared more impressive than portraits or that 'abstract' nonsense. Any fool can paint random shapes and colours and say it has meaning. It takes a painter with real skill to capture something as natural and with as much detail as the world around them. That said though, this painting is somewhat unimpressive. It's no real fault of the artist's skill, it's just that the landscape being portrayed has no... feeling. That seems like the right word. There's no sense of grandeur, or desolation, or beauty. Just a plain environment, that compliments the other plain elements of the lobby's decor.

My Father stands nearby, alternating between stroking his goatee and brushing one stray lock of hair out of his eyes, a task he is seemingly failing at on account of his glasses obstructing the access of his finger. Even though he has not been to the office at all today, or scheduled any meetings, or even conducted any phone calls to other business people, he is still garbed in his expensive navy suit. Beneath that is a standard white business shirt and one of his selection of work ties, this one a simple red number. I nearly chuckle as his attire reminds me somewhat of Ace Attorney.

My Mother is engaged at the reception counter, signing away on some document. She has always been the one wearing the pants. A business executive through and through, always reading the fine print and checking for clauses. Whenever I want to do anything, especially something involving a document or money in any way, Mother is the one I have to run it past. She'd make a fine lawyer. Mother and Father make up a relatively high profile business duo, always flying to meetings with big corporations, making multi-billion yen deals. If you want your business to succeed, you hired them.

Unusually for a duo such as themselves, Mother was the power broker, the speaker, the deal maker. Father - not to underplay his abilities or his education - was often relegated to Mother's support act per se. In saying that though, both of them work very hard for their job. Long hours, lots of time away from home... it was not uncommon for me to spend a week or more at a time fending for myself. Sometimes I enjoyed the freedom, the independence. Other times -


I affix my gaze to the source of the sound. Mother is asking for my attention. I step around my bags and approach the counter. The small, smiling bespectacled woman on the other side addresses me.

"All the paperwork has been sorted out. Your room is number one-three-zero, here is your key. Come back here by 8:30 tomorrow morning, your home group teacher will be here to meet you and you will receive your time table. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! Have a good evening, and welcome to Yamaku Academy!"

She hands me my key, and resumes whatever work she was doing before we arrived. 'Welcome to Yamaku Academy'... at least the hospitality is nice. I can't say I was particularly excited about the prospect of being enrolled in a school for the disabled. My first thought was of a classroom filled with dribbling fools while a kindergarten teacher espoused the basic operations of math. I know, I know, incredibly harsh and incredibly offensive, but that's what the word disabled is generally used to mean these days. With explanation, I realised that Yamaku dealt not with mental disabilities, but rather physical or social ones.

They said that it had a twenty four hour nursing service and was a very short drive from a major hospital. That lead me to believe that the place I was to be attending after I was discharged was little more than a hospital that allowed its patients to finish their highschool education. Though, there was something that the doctor said... what was it? 'Yamaku was founded as a place where students can be best equipped to lead healthy lives free from disability'... or something like that. It sounded kinda bogus.

That being said, given my... medical status, it would be extremely difficult for me to attend a regular school, what with my parents being at work all the time and stuff. Maybe this will be for the best? I'm a bit scared of going solo into this... there's no familiarity, no friends to show me the ropes. But it's also a fresh start, a clean slate. I can make a new name for myself now. I can be a new person. Ah, who am I kidding. It was the same at every other school I went to, why should this one be any different?

I turn and notice Mother is on the other side of the room, speaking animatedly into her earpiece. If one didn't realise the earpiece was there, they might have thought she was talking to herself. Stifling a tiny laugh I avert my gaze and instead examine the pile of bags before me. Some are bags of clothes, one obtained only shortly beforehand and containing my new uniform. Another contains all my tech gear; laptop, Nintendo DS, Playstation 3... I hope my room has a TV. I'd rather not hook it up to the one in the common room.

A few other bags have miscellaneous belongings in them. Books, photos, other sentimental things. Then there's the big case, three quarters my size and housing an electric guitar. I haven't played it in several months now, but I figure now is as good a time as any to take it back up. In any case though... it's a lot of stuff. I think maybe I can take half of it in one go, tops. I'm by no means muscular, but if I double load my back with clothing bags, and carry the guitar case and tech bag in each hand...

"Here, let me help you get all that to your room. We helped bring it in, it wouldn't be fair of us to leave you to carry it all by yourself now," Father says.

He might say 'we' but what he really means is 'I helped and your Mother was on the phone'. I can't find any logical reason to refute him though, so I accept his offer and begin to load myself up with bags. Surprisingly it isn't as heavy as I thought once the two of us have adorned ourselves in my stuff. I realise Father has taken all the bigger, heavier bags, and the guitar case. I let out an exasperated sigh. Still doesn't think I can look after myself.

We carry my belongings out of the lobby and head across the courtyard to the dorms. In a short time we manage to find room 130, a room at the end of a hallway on the far side of the floor. It's a bit awkward maneuvering ourselves through the corridors whilst carrying all my bags, but we manage. Setting a bag down and ignoring the sound of someone nearby playing loud music, I fish the key out of my pocket and open my room. Taking a glance inside, I'm a little disappointed. Guess I'm going to have to set my Playstation up in the common room when I want to use it.

Father and I move inside the room. It's surprisingly spacious, almost as big as my room back at our penthouse. Then that cynical part of my brain reminds me that this is a school for disabled people, it has to allow for wheelchairs and other such things. I silence that thought and focus on what is before me. A single bed draped in simple covers lies against the left wall backing onto the far one. Beside it is a simple bedside unit with a cheap digital alarm clock set upon it. Further across is a somewhat nice wooden desk and desk lamp, presumably for completing homework on.

Along the right wall spans a fairly large window, the sill of which juts out just enough that it could be used as a seat, and is just wide enough for two. A two door wardrobe is built into the wall adjacent to me, generously large. It will hold all my stuff with no trouble at all. Next to it is a door, which I can only assume leads into the bathroom; which, if my old elementary school is anything to go by, will be shared with the guy next door. The floor is the same light tan as in the lobby, and the walls the same impossibly plain not-white-but-not-beige colour, with the exception of the far wall, which is painted in a light blue. Nice of them to mix it up a little.

Having finished my seconds-long internal tour, I dump my bags across the large amount of floor space and together Father and I unpack my belongings and reassemble them into the various storage recesses in the wardrobe. My guitar case doesn't quite fit into the wardrobe without being in the way of something else so I stow it under my bed. With the exception of my laptop, I leave my tech stuff packed for now. By the time we're done, we notice Mother outside the room, finishing her call. She hangs up and the air hangs awkwardly silent between us for a second too long.

Father breaks the silence.

"Well... I guess we had better be off. We have a business meeting at 10 so we need to get a move on."

Of course. No wonder he was suited up. Trust my parents to book a meeting on the day their son moves into his new school. If it wasn't so common an occurrence I'd be a little hurt. I look at Mother, anticipating her words. In that short time span she has already removed her PDA from her breast pocket and is tapping away at the buttons. At least Father goes casual on weekends and holidays; Mother never goes anywhere in anything but her work clothes. I sigh dejectedly and this appears to attract her attention.

"Good bye," She says, without even looking up from her device. Father throws me an apologetic glance.
"See you later, Katsuro. Look after yourself, don't get into trouble, and have fun!"

Yes, lots of fun to be had at a school, Father. I shake my head slightly at his words and clasp the hand he has outstretched to me. I can't bring myself to bid them farewell so instead I sort of half smile at them. It goes unnoticed by Mother, who has already begun walking towards the exit. Father smiles back and hurries to catch up to his wife, leaving me standing alone outside my room. I almost resign myself to sleep, even though I'm not tired, when the door of the room next to mine opens.

"Yo, what's all the chatter?"

The voice belongs to a stocky boy, with longish, wild, dark hair, and blue eyes. He's wearing Yamaku's uniform, though rather casually; his collar is popped and his tie is rather loose. He's twirling a drumstick in his hand as he leans out the doorway. If I had to guess, I would say he was in a rock band. I guess bringing my guitar was a good idea after all.

"Oh, er, hi. You must be the new guy, right? What's up man, the name's Seto."

I stare at him for a second, mouth ajar, before I realise I'm supposed to introduce myself. I clear my throat and extend my hand, which Seto grasps firmly, drumstick in hand. There's something odd about his grip but before I can figure out what it is, he let's go.

"I'm Katsuro. Katsuro Akarada. You got it, I'm the new guy. Guess we're neighbours, huh? Was that you with the music going?"
"Yeah man, just busting out some wicked drum solos on my PS-triple. Wanna join me?"
"You're playing video games? Wait, so you have a TV in your room?"
"Sure do man, as if I'm gonna use the one in the common room. I brought it myself, admin didn't mind, as long as I keep the noise down from 10 til 7. So, you gonna come in or what?"

I see no reason to object to Seto's offer. It's much better than my plan of going to bed early. Reaching out to close my door, I follow Seto into his room. True to his word, a set of plastic drums is set up in front of his desk chair, where he promptly sits and resumes banging away. While he finishes his song I take the opportunity to look around his room. It's fairly similar to mine, but has a distinct 'lived in' look about it. It has personality. Seto has hung posters of his favourite bands and video games on the walls, and has retrofitted his desk to carry a TV and several video game consoles. It looks like he doesn't do much homework, or if he does he does it elsewhere.

Another difference is that Seto has a little bar fridge and microwave set up in a corner of his room. Judging by the number of empty plastic containers piled on top of them, I figure Seto reheats his food a lot. Either that means the cafeteria is lacking in flavoursome food, or Seto just buys a lot of take-out. I'll have to suss that out in the morning. In due time the banging of the plastic drums ceases and Seto turns towards me.

"Hey man, thought I should mention, you're in my class. That's how I knew you were 'the new guy'. We're in room 3-4, it's the fourth room on the third floor, easy enough to find. If you want though I could probably show you now, we still have some time left before curfew."
"Oh, thanks. But, uh, the receptionist told me I had to meet with our home group teacher in the morning and I'd get shown around then. Sorry."
"Nah it's cool, man, it's cool. So, tell me about yourself. You from around here?"
"Uh... not really. I've sorta moved a lot, so I'm not really 'from' anywhere in particular. Most recently though I lived in Tokyo."
"Ah, a city boy like myself, alright man. What's with the hair? Foreigner, or you just dye it for the ladies?"

I let out a laugh. That's not the first time I've been asked that, oddly enough. I guess blond hair stands out in Japan. As for the styling... well, if it's common to have longish hair that curls outward slightly at the ends, so that it looks like I'd been wearing a hat for a long time, then I mustn't have been looking hard enough.

"Hahaha no, it's not dyed, and it's not for the ladies. It's natural, and that's just how it goes. Am I a foreigner? Eh, in a manner of speaking. My parents are both half-Japanese, so I'm a bit of everything. I was born here though."
"Fair enough man. I'm Japanese through and through, and my style IS for the ladies. Well, it's meant to be anyway, I haven't had much luck yet."

We both laugh at this, and we move onto other topic; about our choices in music, our old school - schools as a plural, in my case - where to get some great take-out... just general friend chatter. It's been a long time since I last had a conversation like that. Before long we realise we've been talking for a good hour or thereabouts, so I head back to my room and prepare to go to sleep. I'll have to get up early in the morning if I want to meet with my home group teacher in time, so I set my alarm clock and stretch myself out on the bed. It's comfortable enough. As I await sleep I muse over my chat with Seto. Haven't even had my first day of school yet and I think I already have a friend. That's definitely a new record. Before long though, my thoughts die down and I succumb to rest.

On to the next part: Day One
Last edited by BlackWaltzTheThird on Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:29 am, edited 22 times in total.
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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Day 0

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:46 am

Bit of advice: DON'T colour-code spoken text! It looks like a cop-out and it isn't even necessaary in this first chapter.

Also some passages in the first half are inexplicably past tense, e.g.:
Even though he had not been to the office at all today, or scheduled any meetings, or even conducted any phone calls to other business people, he was still garbed in his expensive navy suit. Beneath that was a standard white business shirt and one of his selection of work ties, this one a simple red number.
She was always the one wearing the pants. A business executive through and through, always reading the fine print and checking for clauses. If you wanted to do anything, especially something involving a document or money in any way, Mother was the one you had to run it past.
Finished my seconds-long internal tour, I dump my bags on the relatively vast floor...
a) the beginning of the sentence is either missing a word or two or it has the wrong word-order.
b) "relatively vast"?
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Day 0

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:23 am

Thanks for the advice. Is the coloured text really that bad? I'll reset it to black then. I'm getting a bit aggravated with inserting it all the time already, so it's kind of a relief. Indeed you have picked up on those mistakes, I'll go back and fix them now. I'm working on the next part at the moment as well, so I'll post that when I'm done. Hope it's to your satisfaction!
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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Day 0

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:16 am

Day One

7am. Argh, mornings suck. That's one thing I didn't miss about school. But I have to be up early so I have time to meet with my home group teacher. When was that again? I search my memory for what the receptionist said last night. 8:30. Plenty of time... I could have slept in longer. I yawn powerfully, and make my way out of bed and into the shower.

All clean and dressed in the surprisingly well fitting Yamaku uniform, I attempt to pat down the ends of my hair. Like every other morning, it doesn't work. It doesn't matter anyway, at the moment I kind of like it like this. Departing the bathroom and my dorm room, I decide to grab something to eat at the cafeteria. I didn't bring any food with me, so I hope there's something good. I make a mental note to go shopping at some point after school. We're supposed to be allowed out of the school grounds, outside of classes and curfew, so I'll figure it out when I get my time table.

In the cafeteria, I find myself accompanied by more people than I expected. It seems a fair few students are early risers here. Breaking my gaze from the crowd I head over to the kitchen and examine the breakfast options. Hmm... better play it safe. I order some toast and fresh juice, and wolf it down. Still feeling a bit peckish, I return for some seconds. As I eat, an unfamiliar voice calls out to me.

"Hi~ new guy! Glad to see you're up early~!"

I look up at the source of the sing-song voice. A curvy girl with preposterously styled pink hair is standing on the other side of the table, positively beaming at me. It's a little unsettling. Behind her, a girl with dark hair and glasses is staring at me with a strange look in her eyes, as if I'm some object to be studied. Sensing my surprise and confusion, the girl with pink hair introduces herself.

"Oh~ I should introduce myself! I'm Misha~ nice to meet you~!"
"...Hi. Nice to meet you too, I guess. I'm Katsu-"
"I know who you are~, Kacchan! But you don't know me~, that's why I introduced myself~!"
"You... wait, how do you know who I am?"
"I'm on the student council~! It's my job~ to know who everyone is!"

As Misha speaks, I notice her moving her hands around in the general direction of the girl with glasses. Misha catches me looking at her friend, a lets out a disproportionately loud laugh.

"Wahaha~! Wondering what I'm doing, Kacchan~? I'm interpreting! This is Shicchan~ the student council president! Say hi to Shicchan~!"
"Um, hi, Shicchan?"

As Misha 'interprets' for 'Shicchan', it suddenly dawns on me what is going on. Misha's hand movements are sign language, and she's communicating with her friend, who I can only assume is at least partially deaf.

"Wahaha~! Shicchan says hi to you too~ and asks that you don't call her Shicchan~! Shizune will suffice~. Aww, Shicchan, do you have to be so formal~?"

This is getting down right confusing. It's as if the person talking suddenly changes mid-sentence. Combined with Misha's excessively loud voice, I start to feel like I'm drawing the attention of the other cafeteria-dwellers. I've got to get out of here. Misha and Shizune are probably nice girls, but right now isn't the time to be making new friends. Especially loud, confusing friends. I think I should go and wait in the lobby.

"Sorry to interrupt our little conversation, girls, but I have to go meet with my home group teacher in the lobby... we can chat another time, okay?"
"Aww, so soon~? If I hadn't just met you I'd~ think you were avoiding us~! Well, okay Kacchan~, bye~!"

I rise from my seat and give a short bow to the girls, to which Misha waves and Shizune gives a curt nod in return. On my way out of the cafeteria, I find myself thinking about Shizune's deafness. She's the first person I've spoken to so far that is obviously disabled, now that I think about it. Though, what could I have expected from a school for the disabled? Everyone must have some underlying reason to be here. I cast my mind back to Seto. Nothing stuck out to me as being wrong with him. Same for Misha. I guess not everyone's disabilities are so readily apparent. That includes my own.

Before long I arrive in the lobby. Checking the clock I find myself right on schedule, and as if on cue, a tall woman with shortish hair cast over her ear and big... heels, yes, deinitely heels, approaches me. She looks very businesslike in her demeanor and attire, but in a different way as Mother. It's like she wears that get up because it's appropriate to wear it, not because she likes it or wants to make any sort of impression. She spends a second looking me up and down as if to confirm that I was the one she was looking for. Satisfied that I am indeed that person, she begins to speak.

"Akarada? I will be your home group and English teacher. You may call me Sakura-Sensei, or just Sensei if you would prefer. I have your time table here; I trust you have your equipment sorted?"
"Yes, I have it all in my room. Thank you, Sakura-Sensei."
"In your room? I should hope you run quickly and get them, Akarada. Home group will start in a minute, and I can't imagine you would like to be late to your first class."
"No, Sensei, you're right. I'll go and get them straight away."
"Good. I shall see you at home group then."

And with that she strides away. Dammit, why are all the good looking teachers always bitches? I interrupt my thoughts as I remember I need my books. I run quickly to my room and grab them; it seems I have English up first. No wonder she didn't want me to be late. By the time I find myself outside the door of room 3-4, the bell rings and I see Sakura-Sensei about to enter. She turns and smiles at me, and leads me into the classroom.

I feel kind of nervous standing in front of everyone like this. I never really liked being the centre of attention. Even after all these times I'm still not accustomed to the ritual. Sakura-Sensei proceeds to introduce me to the class. The feeling of all their eyes on me is really unsettling. It's a few seconds before I notice that they are waiting for me to say something. I managed to sputter out some half-assed introduction.

"Uh... hello. My name is Katsuro Akarada. I like video games, music, and sports. I hope we can all get along and have a good time."

It sounds really clichéd in hindsight. Nevertheless everyone claps for some reason. Sakura-Sensei clears her throat to attract my attention.

"I understand you've already become acquainted with Sasaki. I've arranged for you two to sit together for the time being. Is this acceptable?"

I automatically nod the affirmative, even though I don't even know who Sasaki is. I turn to the class before me and notice Seto in the back row give a short nod of greeting. Oh, that makes sense. Seto's family name must be Sasaki. On his left is an empty desk, flanked on its left by a ginger haired girl. I notice her smiling at me, although she quickly looks away when she realises this. Seto holds back a small laugh as I make my way down to my new desk. They must know each other.

Class goes on, and I find myself doing quite well at the work. I like English. It's a confusing language, always contradicting itself, but it's very interesting. That, and all my favourite music is in English, so it helps to learn the words and their meanings. Of course I probably wouldn't be doing as well as I am if my parents didn't speak English. Being multi-lingual really helps in the business world, apparently.

During breaks in the work, Seto introduces me to his friend Naomi, the smiling girl on my left. She seems like a nice girl, but I think it's too early to judge just yet, after all I've only know her for a few minutes. Seto invites me to have lunch with them out in the grounds. According to Naomi they have a 'secret' spot that's secluded and accounts for shade in the summer and windbreaks in the winter. I accept, it would be much better than eating in the cafeteria anyway. And it gives me an opportunity to get to know Naomi.

Before long, lunch arrives and the three of us head out to this 'secret' spot. As it turns out, it's just a bunch of trees out behind the dorms. They were right in saying it's secluded, somewhat at least, and there is a nice sun to shade ratio, but it's hardly hidden. I figure that no one else sits here because it's already occupied. Putting my thoughts aside I sit down with Seto and Naomi, and realise I don't have any lunch. I knew there was a reason I went to the cafeteria this morning.

"Oh, Katsuro, don't you have anything? Would you like some of mine?" Naomi offers.
"I couldn't ask that of you, it's my fault I forgot to get some."
"Bahaha, don't worry about it man, I steal her food all the time," interjects Seto.
"Stealing isn't asking in the first place, Seto."
"Here, take this. And don't refuse it, or else Seto will eat it."

I glance at Naomi's outstretched hand, and look up at her face. She nods her approval. Unable to refuse any longer, I take the bowl of food from Naomi's hand. It's delicious, a fact I make known to Naomi. It doesn't last long at all, and I find myself disappointed to have finished it so fast.

"Glad you liked it."

Naomi smiles at me. I smile back, and she blushes profusely. She looks quite cute, shying her face away like that. Wait, cute? Hmm, that was the word I used, I'm definitely not mistaken. Thinking about it more analytically, she does look quite cute. And her ginger hair is rather unusual in Japan, perhaps she's foreign? Or maybe she dyes her hair, that would provide at least a little context for Seto's question last night. It's nicely styled too, simple but appealing. It reminds me of something but I can't remember what -

"Are you two love birds done smiling at each other? Class will be starting soon."

Dammit Seto, way to ruin the moment. Hey, I actually had a moment in the first place. Yay for me. Thank you Seto for being friends with Naomi, I guess I can forgive you on those grounds. My attention is suddenly refocused on the real world as Naomi throws a piece of her food at Seto, who is laughing uncontrollably. I find myself laughing too, but Naomi just pokes her tongue out at me.

"It isn't funny, Seto, we're not love birds!"

Seto grabs a clump of grass and casts it across Naomi, who squeals in shock. A second later Seto is on the run back to our dorm, laughing all the way, with Naomi in hot pursuit. Everything feels back to normal, like before I - wait. When did I become abnormal? I suppose having to go to Yamaku means one is abnormal to begin with. Although... so far for the most part it doesn't seem any different to a regular school. Students muck around, have fun, make friends, get into play fights... just the same as every other school. The only difference is the odd one or two people with a cane, or an interpreter, or in the case of one girl I saw earlier, prosthetic legs.

This train of thought is getting rather philosophical, so I decide to end it and head back to my dorm to collect my stuff for the next class. Maybe life at Yamaku isn't going to be so bad.

On to the next part: Day Two
Last edited by BlackWaltzTheThird on Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:58 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Days 0-1 Complete

Post by Specter Von Baren » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:22 am

Huh, fanfic about an OC in Yamaku... eh...

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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Days 0-1 Complete

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:29 am

Very constructive sir, I commend you on your excellent critique and eloquent choice of language. I shall be sure to incorporate your superior ideas into my work as soon as I am able. Thank you for lending me your precious time.
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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Days 0-1 Complete

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:49 am

Day Two

My second day of classes passes rather quickly. Granted, it's a Saturday so we only have the half day, but even then the day seems unusually short. After class Misha and Shizune (well, only Misha technically) try to talk to me, but I don't particularly feel like trying to follow the peculiar way a three way conversation is carried out by only two people, so I pretend not to hear her and get myself lost among the crowd of students. Breathing a sigh of relief at having escaped the clutches of the one woman duo, I take a seat below a large tree and take in the view. Yamaku is certainly a lot less plain outside than inside.

"Whatcha doing, Kacchan~?"

The sudden appearance of the mystery voice behind me gives me a start, and I sit bolt upright, posture becoming tense. Dammit, I thought I'd lost her.

"Just... taking in the scenery I guess. What about you, Misha?"
"Wahaha~! Looking for you, of course~. You can't fool us, Kacchan~, we know you heard us call out to you~!"
"Oh, you called out to me? I'm sorry, I didn't hear you."

As soon as I say it my insides do a back flip. Talking about hearing in front of the deaf girl. Real smooth, you jack ass. I turn to look at Shizune, who is looking over me with a mixture of contempt and and derision. Damn, nice second impression there, Katsuro. Misha doesn't seem to notice my faux pas, and carries on oblivious.

"Oh~, I think you're lying to us~! Why~ would you run? We don't bite~. But it doesn't matter, we've got you cornered now, Kacchan~. Really Shicchan? I'm not sure saying that helps our cause~!"

I stare at Misha, eyebrow raised. This switching persona thing she does is getting increasingly confusing. That, and this whole "cornered" and "cause" business they have going on. Sounds down right shady to me. Knowing I'm just asking for more mind fucks in saying it, I pose the question to the girls anyway, sort of talking to both of them at once because I'm not sure who to direct my voice to.

"And what cause would that be, exactly?"
"Getting you to join the student council of course~! Wahaha~! So~, what do you say?"

The idea of spending more time with these girls is weighing heavily in my mind. On one hand, they're quite pretty, and definitely don't seem to be bitchy by any strech of the imagination. Joining the council could net me some brownie points. On the other hand, having one person speak for both would be and is goddamn confusing. And Misha's laugh is pretty annoying. I think it might be better with just Shizune, but then I only have things she's said through Misha to go on, which undoubtedly have been biased mid-interpretation. I'm going to pass on this one.

"Sorry Misha, I'm not really one for politics or meetings or anything like that."
"Aww~! But Kacchan, it's not like that at all~. We take time out of class~ and work on important matters~!"
"So... you skip doing work you have to do, in order to do work you don't? Sounds like a blast."
"It really is~, sometimes we order in and make it a party~!"

Apparently my sarcasm is lost on Misha. I notice based on Shizune's expression that it is not lost on her at all. It makes me wonder how a deaf person learns about sarcasm. In any case, Misha doesn't seem to be letting up. Or is it Shizune who is insisting, via Misha? I don't even know. I catch Shizune's gaze and make a distinct expression, and mouth 'no' to her. Even if she can't lip read, that should be clear enough. I realise that this whole time Misha has been talking to me. She notices my gesture and finally she gives up. Or so I think.

"It looks like Kacchan is a hard egg to crack~! Well, that's okay~, we'll get you eventually~! Cya~!"

Misha is without a doubt a strange person. What she said sounds incredibly dastardly, perhaps even villainous. And yet the whole time it was spoken in her high pitched sing-song voice. I decide that, even though they have left, that I'm not yet safe. So I take the window of opportunity to scoot back to my room. I can hear Seto playing his drum game next door. He's selecting a song that I know. Hmm, that's a good idea...

I reach under my bed and extract the guitar case. Gently I remove the instrument from the velvet depths, and take in the form of the object of an obsession from some time ago. Basswood body, transparent blue finish, white pick guard, maple neck and headstock and rosewood fretboard. It's nothing expensive, being something I bought after saving my allowance, but it's a nice guitar. I give a quick test strum over the strings using the pick accompanying it. Still in tune, good to hear.

I open my wardrobe and remove the little amp I use. It's also nothing special, but it gets the job done just as I need it to. I plug everything in and get all the switches and knobs set up when I realise Seto has finished the song. Damn. Missed to opportunity to play along to it. I cast my mind back to the tabs for that song... I still remember it pretty well. Without turning on the sound, I run through the main riff of the song two times. Yeah, still got it. I set down the guitar and head over to Seto's room.

"Hey, play that song again. And leave the door open."
"Wait, what? Alright man, but why?"

I leave Seto's question behind me as I reenter my room, pick up my guitar and turn the sound up loud enough that Seto should be able to hear. As the song begins and the guitar kicks in, so do I. I've barely gotten through the intro as Seto steps in through the open doorway, wooden drumsticks in hand and mouth agape.

"Dude, you play? Why didn't you tell me, man?"

I stop playing part way through the first verse, and I can hear the sound of Seto's game telling him he failed his song.

"I never even thought of it. I haven't played this thing in months, I figured it might be a good idea to pick it up again."
"Might? Might?! This isn't a good idea man, this is a GREAT idea! Finally we can reform the school rock band!"
"Jeez, getting a bit ahead of yourself don't you think? I haven't even been playing for thirty seconds yet."
"Doesn't matter, man. When we first formed it none of us had ever touched an instrument. It took two years for us to be anything even remotely capable.
"Why'd you stop then?"
"Our guitarist left. Graduated actually. I hear he's gone on to play in some thrash metal band. Pretty impressive for a blind guy."
"Hmm, that is pretty impressive. So tell me more about this band, who else was in it?"
"Well I was the drummer, as you could probably guess. We had Yamato on guitar, but he left as I said. There was a girl named Reina on keys, but she graduated with Yamato. Our bass player still goes here, you might have seen him, he's the guy with the wheelchair in 3-1. And of course we had Naomi doing vocals. Damn can that girl sing, it's unreal."
"Naomi sings? And was in a rock band too... that's pretty awesome."
"Damn right, man. God... I gotta get everyone together. What is it, 3 o'clock? I'll tell everyone to meet up in the music room at 7, and get them to ask around for a keys player, and-"
"Woah Seto, hold up. We can't go gathering everybody up for a meeting tonight."
"Huh? Why not?"

I pause for a few seconds. I don't really want to talk about why I can't make that arrangement. Especially in a school like this, citing medical reasons seems like a bit of a cop out. However, I figure people would be accustomed to such things happening here. I decide to give Seto only the basic information for the time being. I mean, I've only known the guy for two days, I don't need to burden him with my life story.

"I... have an appointment. With the nurse."

Seto seems to mull this over for a while. He's probably debating whether to ask about it. In the end, he decides not to.

"Fair enough. I'll make up some posters or something asking for keys players and for the guys to meet up on Monday after school. You cool with that?"
"Monday? Yeah, that should be alright. I'll bring some of my tabs, I'll show you some Western stuff. Really helps for English as well."
"Excellent. I'll get to work on those posters. You, my friend, keep playing. I wanna hear what you can do."

With that, Seto heads back into his room, leaving our doors open. I hope anyone else here doesn't mind, as I go back to jamming along to a few songs. It feels good to be doing this again, even if I have to stop a few times to try and get a riff right, or remember how the next part of a few songs went. No Eddie Van Halen for sure, but I'm sure it'll be enough for whatever stuff Seto's band has in mind.

Some time later I stow my gear away and head off to my appointment. I swear I hear a quiet 'awww' emanate from Seto's room as I pass, and stifle a quieter chuckle at his disappointment. I find my way to the nurse's building easily enough. The interior is quiet different from that of the school building or the dorms. It's much older styled, with stone walls and heavy doors. It kind of reminds me of a dungeon, or a castle. I knock on the door and I'm greeted by a male nurse with almost purple-y coloured hair and eyes that seem to be stuck in a perpetual squint.

"You must be Katsuro. Please, take a seat and remove your blazer. I don't mind if you leave your shirt on, but it's no big deal if it's off either."

Right... this nurse is a little bit odd. No matter, working in medicine makes all people go a little loopy. Or was that only for psychology...? I return my attention to the nurse after making myself comfortable. He's holding the needles in his hand. Yuck, I hate needles. Of course I would end up with a condition that requires me to be stuck with needles several times a week.

"I've read your file Katsuro, your fistula is in your left arm, yes? Ah, there it is, how could I have missed it? Hold still for a second while I insert these."

I shut my eyes and grimace as the needles enter my arm. It's one of the worst feelings in the world, having a needle drain your blood out. Sure, another one is giving it back, but it's really disconcerting. The nurse notices my discomfort.

"You alright there, Katsuro?"
"Yeah, I just don't like needles."
"Hahaha, how ironic. A dialysis patient who doesn't like needles. Do you have something to take your mind off it?"

I stop for a second. That word hits me pretty hard. Dialysis. Kidney failure is not the most life threatening thing in the world, but it's just that the word meant a lot of changes for me. I would be dependent on this machine for the rest of my life, or at least until I got a transplant. I return my thoughts to the rest of the nurse's statement. Take my mind off it? I hadn't thought about that. Damn, I'll have to remember next time. But what would I do? Two hours isn't long enough for me to finish a book, and I can't stand stopping part way through one. I don't really feel like playing video games or surfing the web while hooked up to the dialysis machine. Wait, maybe...

"Hey nurse, do you think it would be okay if I played guitar while I was here?"
"Guitar? Hmm... well I've heard of people playing those music games while hooked up, so if you're not being too vigourous I think it might be okay. As long as you don't do any Pete Townshend stuff, you hear? And you might want to keep it down so you don't disturb anyone."

The nurse chuckles at his reference to The Who's guitarist, reknowned for his 'windmill' technique. It appears the nurse has some good taste in music. And keeping it quiet... I don't think I'll lug the amp and stuff with me, besides, I'm not sure there would be many free power points to plug it in to. Looks like I've found myself a good place to practice. Starting from my next appointment of course. For now... I just have to sit quietly and await my time to elapse. All of a sudden I'm excited for Monday afternoon.

On to the next part: Day Four
Last edited by BlackWaltzTheThird on Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Days 0-1 Complete

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:55 am

To be a bit more constructive:
I noticed that you tend to write very elaborate descriptions. The opening passages or when he enters his room...
However, when he comes across the most interesting thing for him (Naomi) all we really learn about her is that she is "ginger-haired." I'm not really sure if that's supposed to be a colour and if so what it looks like^^°

Also, I don't think Seto is used as a given name in Japan, but I'm not really sure about that.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Days 0-2 Complete

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Mon Feb 13, 2012 12:18 pm

I intend to go into Naomi's description a lot more in the next part, as the characters gather for Seto's band meeting. As for Seto's name, I only have it on the word of Yu-Gi-Oh that it is a given name and the word of my Japanese-Australian friend Jack that to name one Seto would be like naming a kid Sydney after the Australian city. In any case, it doesn't break any conventions of the Japanese language, and I like the sound of it. I'd be happy to change it if you had a more appropriate name in mind. Oh, and I should add that my post about constructiveness and eloquence was directed at the one line post above it, not yours. Your advice has been good, thank you for it.
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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Days 0-1 Complete

Post by Specter Von Baren » Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:00 pm

BlackWaltzTheThird wrote:Very constructive sir, I commend you on your excellent critique and eloquent choice of language. I shall be sure to incorporate your superior ideas into my work as soon as I am able. Thank you for lending me your precious time.
Sorry if I was offensive. I'm just naturally wary of these sorts of fics. Your writing isn't bad from what I've seen, it's just.... not something I'm really fond of.

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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Days 0-2 Complete

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:09 am

I'm sorry about the delay. Whilst typing up the next two parts of the story my computer contracted some sort of virus and spontaneously combusted (no not really, but case in point it is currently unusable). As a result I have bought a new machine, but my work is stuck on the hard drive of the old infected one. I'm doing all I can to retrieve my files, but if that fails then I'm probably not going to rewrite the next 5000 words, including two new characters and a hefty, elaborate description of Naomi, just for you Mirage. I hope it doesn't come to that, so here's hoping that I can get my files off the old machine. Cheers guys.
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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Days 0-2 Complete

Post by Tezzeret » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:25 am

I'm actually enjoying your story so far man. I like the amount of detail you're putting in so no complaints on that end nor any to really speak of. Looking forward to more.

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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Days 0-2 Complete

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:03 am

Day Four

Monday is rife with anxious antsiness. It seems to take forever and a day for each tick of the clock; very different to yesterday. I look back over the previous day's transpirings. Seto showing me to the music room and giving me a rundown of all the equipment they had in storage, including a much fancier amp than my own and several effects pedals. Lugging over my guitar and spending a great deal of time unpacking Seto's drums. Jamming along to the few songs we both knew our respective parts for. All in all, we spent several hours playing, and without even realising it we had jammed the whole afternoon away. Although, I did note the absence of Naomi; after all, Seto and her were good friends, not to mention that she sung for the old school band. I'm not sure I know her well enough to call her my friend yet, or even Seto for that matter, but I figure for her not to be present she must have been doing some other thing that I'm not yet aware of.

I look at the clock again. Aww... still over half the period left before the end of classes for the day. And it's English as well, so it's extra hard work compared to working in Japanese. My ears perk up as I notice Naomi and Seto starting up another whispered conversation either side of me. We've had about a million of these so far today, comparing different songs we know, things the old band used to play... by this point we've managed to construct a list of about half a dozen songs that the three of us can perform well enough to consider it 'playing'. Some of them we all know well, others fairly well. Some of them we had to discard because one or more of us didn't know the parts. Well, for now anyway; we could always learn it at a later date. For now, the focus is on establishing some kind of starting point. A sharp, precise voice interrupts our hushed chatter.

"Akarada! Were you listening to what I just said?" Busted. I look to the front of the class and see Sakura-Sensei staring at me, frowning.
"Yes, Sensei."
"Is that right? Then perhaps you would like to repeat it to the class - in English."

I think back to a few seconds ago. I pretty much heard what she said, there's no real way anything I might have missed could change that sentence too much. I fumble about my mind to find the right English words. Yeah, they seem appropriate. I string them together into one phrase, tripping over the strange English syntax, but I think what I have is pretty workable. Confident in my knowledge, I recite the sentence aloud. Several seconds pass in silence before Sakura-Sensei speaks.

"That is correct. Let us continue; you three would do well to refrain from speaking while I address the class, in future."

Hell yes, English-speaking parents for the win. The three of us do indeed stay silent for the rest of the class however, despite our excitement at the prospect of the upcoming band meeting. Soon enough the bell sounds and we make our way to the door. Before I can cross the threshold though, a woman's hand placed gently on my shoulder stops me in my tracks.

"Akarada, may I speak with you for a moment?"

Uh oh. Generally, teachers wanting to speak with you after school means you're in trouble. I face Sakura-Sensei; she doesn't appear to be in any sort of position to tell me off. Either way, this shouldn't take too long. I agree to Sensei's request, and tell Seto and Naomi to go on ahead; I'll meet them at the music room shortly. Shrugging, Seto leaves. Naomi hesitates for a mere second, before following him. Returning my attention to Sakura-Sensei, I find her posed in a sort of half-stand half-sit stance against her desk. Leaning like that, she seems quite ample on her lower half as well.

"Akarada, while it's isn't officially required of me, I feel I must ask: how are you settling in?"
"Alright I guess. It's not very different from my old schools at all."
"That's good to hear. Also, I think you'll find good friends in Sasaki and Inoue. They are model students."
"Yes, I was actually going to the music room with them just now."
"Really, the music room? Hmm..."

A calmness sets over Sakura-Sensei. I can see she is deep in thought, probably remembering some past event whose memory was inspired by my mention of the music room. A few short seconds later, she withdraws from her thoughts, and grants me leave.

"Oh, and Akarada? I just wanted to congratulate you on your efforts today. Your response was outstanding, I hadn't expected such a well formed answer."
"Oh, um, thank you Sensei. I guess it just helps having two English-speaking parents."
"I see... that explains how you have quite a handle on English. Compared to the rest of the class, anyway. I think it might be appropriate to set some more difficult work for you next lesson. Is that alright?"
"Is that really necessary? I'm not that good, honest."
"No need for false modesty, Akarada. You are talented and not to push you would be severely lacking on my part. Besides, I need something to keep yourself, Sasaki and Inoue from whispering during my classes."
"I'll try not to encourage them, I promise."
"Somehow I don't quite believe that. I won't pressure you for silence. Now run along, I think I've held you up enough already."
"Thank you, Sakura-Sensei. Good bye."

I place a short bow to Sensei as I depart. Perhaps she isn't quite so much of a bitch after all. The image of her derriere on the desk flits around my mind. No, go away, I have to concentrate on getting to the music room and playing guitar, not girls. Especially girls who are grown women, and my teacher to boot. When I arrive at the music room, I find Seto's kit already set up, and Seto seated before it, flexing his arms. Naomi walks out of the storeroom, mic in one hand and mic stand in the other as I enter. She smiles when she sees me. She has a really pretty smile, I realise. Her lips are quite full, and just the right shape. Seto calls out, and I return the greeting. I amble over to the storeroom and remove my guitar and the fancy amp. I'll try the pedals some other time.

With no one else here, I figure I may as well do a little warm up. I settle on a song that's not to easy but not too hard. I run through the song easily enough, no particularly noticable mistakes - in my opinion anyway. Naomi and Seto sit listening and watching as I play. Seto seems impressed by my performance, but Naomi's eyebrows are narrowed and a half frown paints her features. She instructs me to play the chorus again; I oblige. Naomi's face eases out of the quizzical look this time and a cheeky grin spreads across her face.

"You're playing the wrong note at the start of the 5th bar. It should be an E major chord, not an open E power chord."

I raise my eyebrow. That's a very subtle difference there. Nevertheless I run though the chorus a third time, taking care to play E major as Naomi said.

"Well, what do you know. You're right. You've got a fair ear for music there."
"Both my parents are musicians, so I've grown up with music."
"Oh, really? Who plays guitar?"
"Neither, actually. They play in an orchestra. I just really like that song." Before I can comment on this, a voice from the door interrupts.
"Like it? Girl, this was the only song we played for the first month because of you."

We all turn to the new presence. Seto walks over to him and greets him, shaking his hand. Again his grip seems weird, but I can't figure out why before he releases it. The person he greets is a guy in a wheelchair. He seems pretty tall, or at least, he would be if he weren't missing his legs. It's really quite a sight, one I try hard not to stare at. Unlike that girl I see sprinting about the grounds, no amount of money could build prosthetics to replace this guy's legs. They aren't just gone below the knee, they're little more than tiny stumps almost hidden beneath his pants, which have been tied into a knot less than halfway down and folded underneath him. I tear my eyes away from his legs and set them upon his face. His hair is cut very short, a buzzcut almost, and he sports a fairly respectable beard for a senior student. Wheeling into the room and settling himself amidst our group, he addresses me.

"Naomi's got you picked though, you were playing that wrong. What's your name, newbie?"
"Akarada. Katsuro Akarada. And you?"
"You can call me Daisuke, kid. I'm from the old band. Guess standards have dropped since then. Seto, where's my bass at?"

This Daisuke guy seems like a bit of a jerk. Didn't even sugar coat his criticism of my playing. And 'kid'? Really? The guy can't be much older than me, we're in the same year. I decide to let it go. It's probably just a figure of speech, like how Seto says 'man' all the time. Seto soon returns with Daisuke's bass and, with Seto's assistance, he sets it up.

"Right, kid, let's see what you're made of. Play that same song again, Seto and I know it well already. And Naomi, well, you'll know what Naomi's like when we start. Ready?"

Seto counts us in with his drumsticks, and we begin. The intro of the song is pretty short, and leads right into the first verse. But where in the original recording, the singer starts out quietish and restrained, Naomi bursts out into a loud, passionate dirge. I'm astounded by the timbre of her voice. It's both powerful and feminine, and doesn't at all detract from the song because of it, no matter how much louder it is. In fact, I would go so far as to say it's better Naomi's way. I snatch glances at her while I play. In lieu of a crowd, she instead performs to us, her band. She's got some fair moves to accompany her voice. She flicks her hair a lot, and tends to stand further back from the mic and lean into it, bending at the hips like she was bending over a table or something.

About half way through the song, during the breakdown right before the solo, Naomi sings the last line of the last verse. When she does so, so does this move where she bends down really low in kind of a lunge - one leg bent forward and the other back. Then, mic in hand, she springs up as if she's about to backflip. Her hair arcs through the air as she reaches her zenith and screams out the last word, looking kind of like an enormous ginger mohawk from this angle. No, not ginger. The way the afternoon sun catches her hair through the window causes it to look different. Like it lights up. Like it exudes an aura of light and heat. Ginger isn't the right word, something else is her hair colour right now... fiery. That's it. Her hair glows like a burning flame in the sun. It's truly eye catching.

My eyes move down her body, taking in her shape and form. The curve of her spine and the cut of the blouse of the girl's uniform causes her breasts to become rather prominent. They're a nice size, I note. Not small, but not any sort of big either. Of course, it could be that her pose accentuates her size somewhat. And possibly her underwear, I'm sure there's bras that do that. Further down; Naomi's stomach is flat, but then she is quite slim after all. I imagine that under her blouse there would be a smooth, toned abdomen. Moving further through her motion, Naomi kicks her leg up in then air. She gets it quite high, and the tension in her leg reveals the subtle curvature that lies under her black stockings. Her legs are really very long. Looking back she's quite tall for a girl, I think she's about my height if not slightly taller. I look back up and catch her eye as she lands quite deftly. For some stupid reason I smile, but my gesture is not returned in kind. Instead, she cocks her head slightly with a bemused look on her face. Seto's voice rouses me from my reverie.

"Yo man, why'd you stop?"

Stop? I look feebly at the instrument hanging from my shoulder. Indeed my hands are not even touching it. I must have stopped playing while I was... watching Naomi. I look at everyone apologetically. Daisuke doesn't seem too sympathetic.

"Uh... sorry guys, guess I kinda spaced out there."
"Don't do it again. It's not the sign of a professional to lose focus like that. Let's pick it up again from the end of the solo. Seto, lead in and we'll go straight on as if we hadn't stopped."

Damn that critical ass. I sigh heavily, and we pick up where we left off, out of the solo and into the double chorus at the end of the song, followed by the outro riff. Amidst the noise we don't hear the tiny sound coming from the partially open door. Daisuke announces the next song we are to play, and Seto even begins counting down before anyone notices the timid voice outside. Naomi has to stop us from playing, and calls out to whoever stands beyond the portal. A small girl with short, pixie-cut brown hair enters, twiddling her hands anxiously. She looks nervously around the room at us, these unfamiliar people, for several seconds before she speaks again, still in a tiny, almost inaudible voice.

"Um... I s-s-saw your post-st-ster. Y-you were l-looking for a p-p-pianist?"

Her stutter is quite prominent. I give her a once over with my eyes and mind. Like so many others here, nothing outwardly admits to me that she belongs in a school for the disabled. I wonder if a speech impediment would be grounds for admission to Yamaku. It's quite possible, I think. There's a girl in another class in my year who looks like she has scars on her, I can't imagine that they would hinder her in any physical way, and yet here she is, a student of Yamaku Academy. Of course, this girl looks far too young to be in my year, and I could definitely be wrong about the speech impediment thing. She could just be nervous, she certainly appears so. Besides, like I thought the other day, plenty of people's problems aren't immediately apparent. Seto, for one. Misha is another, as well as Naomi. And of course, there is myself.

I realise we've all been standing there for several seconds in silence while this girl flicks her eyes to each of us in turn, unsure who to expect an answer from. Taking it upon myself to speak before Daisuke, lest our potential keys player flee in shame, I open my mouth.

"We certainly were, little lady. What's your name?"

She visibly flinches as I enunciate the word 'little'. I guess she has a complex about her stature. She is very small, smaller even than Seto. I would stand head and shoulders over her, no problem. I think it best to avoid such words in the future. Naomi shoots me a look that tells me not to say any more.

"Um... Mi-Mi-Miko. Miko Na-Nakamura."
"Well hi there, Miko. I'm Naomi. Come with me and I'll set you up with a keyboard."

The two girls set up an expensive looking electric synthesiser and stand, which Miko takes up her position behind. We gather ourselves before her, a captive audience. Miko does nothing for a moment that seems disproportionately long considering its short duration, but then takes a long, deep breath and begins to play. Fur Elise. I'd recognise that song anywhere. She plays it well, very well. Although her hands are little, she has long fingers that make up for it, and has no trouble moving along the keys. But the problem lies in that classical music isn't what we were looking for. This is meant to be a rock band. I wait until she finishes before I ask her if she knows anything modern. A tiny shake of her head. I reel off a list of recent pop acts, a few rock bands with keyboardists... more nigh imperceptible shakes of the head. As a last resort, I throw out the names of a few songs that I like by foreign bands. At the mention of one certain song, Miko's eyes light up.

Without even answering, she nimbly places her hands upon the keys and busts out a perfect rendition of the catchy synth hook of the song, and proceeds to move through the synth solo - no easy feat mind you. This is what we were looking for. But Miko doesn't stop there. She segues seamlessly through another half dozen classic 80's new wave hits. I never would have even considered those songs to work together like that, and yet here I stand, listening to some of what I believe are the greatest songs of all time being peformed to me as one song. I stand corrected. THIS is what we were looking for. I notice that Daisuke is leaning forward in his chair, mouth agape, shock written across his bearded face. Miko 1, jerk ass 0.

Miko stops playing, and awaits our response. A second of stunned silence, then Daisuke begins to clap. Shortly after, Seto, Naomi and I join in. A four-man round of applause for Miko. She positively beams with joy. Our applause stops, and Daisuke manages to compose himself enough such that his face returns to normal. When he speaks, it's somewhat quieter than before.

"Miko... welcome to Band Club."
"Th-thank you."
"I think it's time we jammed as a group. Do you have anything you want to play? We'll join in if we know it."
"I think... I th-think I do."
"Great, then lets get going. Back to your instruments, everyone! Oh, and Katsuro, you could learn a thing or two about professionalism from young Miko here."

I glare hard into the back of Daisuke's head. And so it's with a direct assault on my confidence that we complete our five-man band. Faggot. But he is right in that Miko is very talented. Playing together I realise how much better it sounds having so many people joining in, even if not all of us know the parts to some songs. It's just better than on Sunday. It's more... atmospheric when you have more people. What's that thing they say? That a whole is worth more than the sum of its parts? Yeah, that's it.

The five of us jam away the rest of the afternoon. When we're done, Daisuke stows his bass away and rolls out without a word. So he's lazy too. Good to know. The rest of us share the load of packing up. Seto's drums take the longest to put away. Who knew it would be so time consuming to disassemble a drum kit? I kind of wonder why we even bother putting them away, no one else uses this room, right? Before I can even answer myself, we're done, and Miko has already scampered off to wherever. The three of us that remain walk out together and begin heading towards the exit of the school building. A few steps in, however, Seto stops short.

"What?" Naomi and I interject simultaneously.
"We didn't organise another meeting."
"You're right. Let's split up and look for Daisuke and Miko. Got any times in mind?" Naomi asks.
"Hmm, well obviously we can't do it during class... but other than that I'm free whenever. What's good for you guys?"
"I can't do Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings," I reply. Naomi gives me a look of concern before answering.
"You already know I can't do Sundays." Seto's face shifts slightly when she says this. He looks kind of sad, or grim. I'm not sure what. He quickly returns to normal and continues on regardless.
"Alright then, so that leaves every afternoon bar Sunday, and also after dinner on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I think Friday, yeah?"

The three of us all consent to that arrangement, and set off looking for Daisuke and Miko. I don't really want to find Daisuke, and I'm really hungry, so instead I decide to head over to the cafeteria. On the way, something clicks in my mind. Naomi can't do Sundays. That explains her absence from the music room yesterday. I wonder why she can't do Sundays. I make up a list of possible answers. She has extra classes on Sundays. She visits family. She hangs out with other friends. She goes shopping. She has some religious reason. My family was never religious so I'm a little unsure about that one. Maybe... it's medical? It seems like the clichéd answer for a Yamaku student, but it's possible. That was my reason. But... Seto's face when she said it... it concerns me. Is it something bad?

I don't like where this train of thought is taking me, so I dismiss it. Naomi has her reasons, and if she wants to share them with me then she will. In the mean time, I've arrived at the cafeteria. I order something that sounds somewhat appetising, and I'm not entirely disappointed when it isn't. Little wonder Seto has so much take-out. In spite of the bland flavour, I still choke down the stuff you can only partially call food, and retire to my room to do some homework. The guys will find the others and tell them about Friday. For the rest of the night, thoughts of Naomi linger on my mind. Some of her when she was singing... others contemplating her quote unquote 'conditions'. If I had been awake for it, I would have been pleased that falling asleep prevented me from thinking about it further.

On to the next part: Day Six
Last edited by BlackWaltzTheThird on Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Arriving At Yamaku - Days 0-4 Complete

Post by griffon8 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:15 pm

I'm at least interested in seeing where this is going. Nothing really strikes me as particularly good or bad. I can be patient.

One correction: 'storeroom' is one word in the sense you're using it.
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: Arriving At Yamaku - Days 0-4 Complete

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:21 am

Day Six

"Christ, man, again with the cafeteria food?"
"What, have you got a problem with that?"
"Well, yeah. The cafeteria sucks ass, man."

I shrug away Seto's disdain and tuck into my ass-sucking cafeteria food regardless. I honestly can't disagree with him. The cafeteria's food does suck ass. Well, it isn't unpleasant, but it's not exactly appetising either. It's just... edible. But honestly, I can't heckle the kitchen workers for it. They have to make all sorts of arrangements to account for a variety of disabilities, allergies and diets. With all the work they put in making food that won't harm a single student at Yamaku, I guess adding flavour gets shunted down the list a little. Or maybe a lot. My memory jumps back a few days to Naomi's food. That was the complete opposite of what I have now; completely tasty and it doesn't compromise for anyone else's needs. I stare at Naomi's lunch with hungry eyes. Dammit, I shouldn't have thought of that until after I'd finished mine.

"Come on, Seto, it isn't that bad. You only say that because you want some of my food," Naomi mumbles, mouth full of food. Delicious food.
"If I really wanted your food, it wouldn't be your food."

Seto's comment elicits light laughter from our group. Naomi's laugh, I note, is dainty and girly. A childish giggle of sorts. It's really cute. Wait, I used 'cute' again. Damn, I've only known her for six days, I can't think she's cute yet. Think about something else for a minute. Um, um, um... no no no, I can't think about Sakura-Sensei either. Something else damn you, stupid brain. Ah, no, not Miko. She's only, like, fifteen. Way too young. Enough about girls goddammit. Think of a tab, come on... ah yes, that's a good one to play, very fun trying to hit those notes -

"Earth to Katsuro, Earth to Katsuro. Hello, anybody home?"

What? I must have spaced out again. I focus my eyes and look over to Seto.

"Yeah... I was just thinking."
"You'd better stop thinking and start walking man, class starts in a few minutes."

Guess I was gone for a fair while. I make to stand up, only to realise I'm still holding my lunch, half eaten and probably cold. I frown intently at it. I figure if I do so long enough, it'll become something tastier. Naomi interrupts my attempt at psychic flavour conversion.

"Hey, how about Seto and I show you around town after school? We can show you where to get some good meals, and some really nice tea. What do you say?"
"I'd like that. I was intending to go shopping way earlier than this. Guess I just never got around to it."
"Great! Make sure you bring some money with you, it's un-gentlemanly to ask a lady to pay for your food, and I can't see Seto buying it for you."
"A lady? Now who would that be? I thought I was shopping with you and Seto."
"Oh, like that is it? Take that!"

Laughing that dainty laugh, Naomi flicks a tiny morsel of her lunch, which hits me flush in the middle of my left cheek. The impact does not halt my laughter at all. I quickly brush the morsel off, and glance quickly at the uneaten food in my hand. Sweet rev- no, savoury revenge. Served cold. Following my gaze, Naomi also glances at it, and horrible realisation is written across her face - but it's for only a mere second as she arcs her arm up, knocking it out of my hands, then takes off for her room at a sprint. Even though I only hesitate for a second to regain my hold on the soon-to-be food projectile, she still has a strong lead on me. Nevertheless I take off after her, little by little closing the gap. Not far to go before we reach the girls dorm now, just around this corner...


The panicked voice comes from a girl with pigtails sprawled on the ground before me. Not far away, also sprawled in a heap on the ground, is Naomi. Guess they must have collided. The pigtailed girl dusts herself off and gets to her feet. Well, not really. Poor choice of words. This is the girl with the prosthetic legs, so they aren't really feet, are they? I'm not sure what to call them, but she's on them, rocking back and forth anxiously as she waits for Naomi to stand up. Naomi groans and hauls herself up slowly. Sounds like she's in pain. Naomi reaches her full standing height and adjusts her hair. Hair? That doesn't make sense, you can't adjust your hair like that. It must have been her hair band. Yeah, hair band it is. The pigtailed girl apologises profusely to Naomi, who just waves her off.

"Are you okay? I'm so sorry I hit you!"
"I'm... fine. Just a bit winded."
"It's all my fault, the rules say no running, and I was running, and then all of a sudden you were there, and then BAM, and then -"
"I said I'm fine, Emi. I was running too, it's as much my fault as yours."

Apologising again, against Naomi's protests, Emi runs straight off to somewhere else. Obviously hasn't learned her lesson. Naomi gives me a reassuring smile and walks over to me. I figure she's going to say something, but without warning she snatches my lunch from my hands and deposits it in a nearby bin. I can only stand there liked a stunned mullet as she pulls a face and heads up to her room. I'll have to get her back later. In the meantime, it's time for class.

After school, the three of us meet up at the front of the school. I can see the town in the distance below us. A winding road connects Yamaku with the town. It makes me think a little bit; who builds a school for the disabled at the top of a hill? Anyone with crutches, wheelchairs, or heart conditions would have a hard time self-sustaining having to traverse it all the time. As I walk down the road however, it somehow seems a lot less taxing. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all. Before I can engage myself in a lovely internal debate about the logistics of ascending and descending the long road, I am informed that we've arrived at the town. Time to start paying attention.

Seto shows me to a few of the places he gets food from. The fact he calls eight restaurants 'a few' worries me a little. This man sure knows his take-out. Naomi is even unfamiliar with one or two of them, and she's known Seto for over two years already. It takes a rather long time for Seto to complete his tour, on account of the facts that he shows me to so many restaurants, all in different parts of town, and gives me what could be classed as a lecture on each one. By the time he is done, my stomach is growling at me for nourishment. That's what I get for listening to Seto talk about food. Luckily, Naomi takes the lead and brings us to a place called the Shanghai. As we enter, I find that it is an old-style tea house.

The teashouse's decor is quite unusual. Everything bar the cushions is made of a variety of different woods, all different colours, grains, and finishes. Some parts of the place appear to be made of one enormous lump of wood, such as the counter, while others have a number of pieces of different woods arranged into some kind of artistic pattern. I actually quite like the effect. It provides a really earthy atmosphere, it's really quite homely.

We seat ourselves in a booth and peruse the menus. Naomi and Seto only glance at their respective menus before putting them down. They already know what's on them I assume. Reading over the menu for myself, a small lightbulb goes off in my head. Isn't this lucky. Brought out to a teahouse, and I'm not a fan of either tea or coffee. That knocks off about 90% of the beverages listed on the laminated sheet of paper. Of the remaining refreshments on there... I think I'll go for hot chocolate. Path of least resistance. Chocolate can't possibly be bad. And as my stomach growls once again, I browse the food items on offer. I'll get some cake as well.

Our waitress staggers over on Naomi's call, bumping into several chairs and nearly knocking into a few customers. As she takes our order, her voice is shaky and nervous. She must be new here. Disproving that thought almost immediately is Naomi, who thanks the waitress by name, and whose reassuring smile is returned in kind. I see another group of Yamaku students elsewhere in the teahouse; this must be a popular spot amongst the student body, and Naomi and Seto must be regulars.

One of the students is quite tall, with blonde hair and a dark coloured bow tying it back. I can't see their face from here, but I assume them to be female. She's sitting with a girl with long dark hair covering her face. This girl seems quite nervous about the situation, her eyes are flitting about the teahouse as if looking desperately for an exit. For the briefest of seconds our eyes meet, and she goes rigid. Not sure about how to respond to that, I force a sort of half smile. The girl blushes slightly and shifts in the booth to position her friend between us. Odd.

Shortly afterward, the waitress, who I now know to be named 'Yuuko', serves us our food and drinks. It's pretty good; Yuuko's nervousness belies her ability to make good hot chocolate. While we eat, Seto starts up a conversation.

"Either of you guys catch up with Miko about Friday?"
"Nope, I haven't seen her or Daisuke since we were in the music room," I answer, hiding the fact I didn't bother looking.
"I caught up with Daisuke on Monday night, he's cool with Friday. Naomi, did you see Miko?"
"Yeah, it was a little hard to find her though. She's a first year, so her classes are on the complete other side of the building."
"And we're good for Friday?"
"Sure are. Band Club has been revived!"
"Hell yeah! Here's to Band Club!"

As we clink our mugs, a similar chime is emitted by the bell on the door. A feeling of dread settles over me for some unknown reason.

"Wahaha! What's this I hear about a club~?"

Mother of God no. Not her. Not now. Ugh. I sigh into my hot chocolate as Misha and Shizune approach our booth. I can only assume Misha has signed her eavesdropped intel to Shizune, because she stares at the three of us as if we've breached some pedantic by-law of some oft-ignored sub-section of the Yamaku Academy 'book of useless rules and regulations'. Shizune quickly signs something to Misha, who in turn communicates the message to us.

"Shicchan says that all~ clubs have to be made official~ by submitting a form to the student council~. I haven't seen you guys~ submit any forms yet~!"

Seto, Naomi and I look awkwardly at each other. I can tell that they are thinking the same thing as I am. Seto clears his throat to address the devils-in-girl's-clothing.

"Misha, please inform her highness Queen Shizune that the forms will be submitted by the end of the week. Now, if you would kindly leave us to our business?"

I couldn't have said it better myself. Or snarkier, for that matter. I try my hardest not to laugh at Seto's false formality. Like before, the intended effect whizzes in one of Misha's ears and out the other without disturbing anything inside. Also like before, the opposite holds true for Shizune. She lowers her glasses and shoots Seto the meanest death-stare I have ever seen, before performing an abrupt about-face and storming out of the teashop. The slightly confused Misha stares dumbfounded at the door, then stumbles out after her friend. Crisis averted. I think.

"'Queen Shizune'?"
"Yeah, man. She likes to flaunt her status as council president, so I return the favour in kind. She hates it."
"Well played, I gotta hand it to you. So what's this about forms and submitting them to the girl with the human sized voicebox?"
It is Naomi who answers. "Anyone forming a club which meets on the school grounds has to fill out a form explaining the purpose of the club and the time they'll spend using the classrooms. There has to be at least five members and have at least one overseeing member of staff for the club to be 'passed'. It's supposed to be so that in the event of any incidents involving the club, that problems stemming from it can be handled 'properly'. Frankly, it's all legal crap and a waste of time."
"That's preposterous, we never needed anything like that at any of my other schools. Honestly, what could happen?"
Seto fields this question. "Things have happened before. Not bad things per se, personally I never thought they were big deals, but that's what the student council are like; making mountains out of molehills."
"And it results in us having to fill out a form before we can meet again. Wonderful. Well, we have our five members, who can we get to sign as overseeing teacher?"

Seto and Naomi look at each other with a slight grin. Clearly they have an idea of who to ask. Seto speaks slowly, as if the answer is meant to be a secret.

"Ai Sakura."

On to the next part: Day Eight
Last edited by BlackWaltzTheThird on Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:59 am, edited 4 times in total.
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BlackWaltz's Pastebin - for those who prefer to read things with no formatting and stuff. It's mostly the same as in my thread. Also contains assorted other writing!

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