Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

WORDS WORDS WORDS

Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby themocaw » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:37 pm

This is an index for the various bits and pieces that make up my "2400 words" Saki continuity. Non-H Scenes will be included in this thread. H-scenes will be included in a separate thread.

This story is currently deadfic.

Background Information
- 2400 Words from a Path Never Written
The original set of drabbles. Subject to change.
- A Bowl of Noodles
How we got here.

Act 1: Life Expectancy

Enemy of My Enemy - Shears - Stitch in Time
- "Enemy of my Enemy"
I have had it with these blankety-blank deaf girls getting all up in my blankety-blank grill.
- "Shears"
Hisao meets up with Rika again, and pays a visit to the art club, where he meets up with a new friend.
- "Stitch in Time"
Class 2-3, after hours.

Coming Unraveled
- "Coming Unraveled"
Saki and Hisao deal with an emergency, then have a talk about the secret to happiness.

Don't Panic - Dream Girl
- "Don't Panic"
After waking up on the day of the festival, Hisao is greeted by a ranting Kenji
- "Dream Girl"
Hisao spends part of the day being served by maids, and then enjoys the fireworks with Saki.

Act 2: Denial

Baring Your Teeth
- "Baring Your Teeth"
Hisao and Saki have a run-in with the student council.

Invitation - Application - Deliverance
- "Invitation"
After morning classes, Hisao and Saki have lunch together in the cafeteria.
- "Application"
Hisao goes to the student council room to fill out the application for the Fashion Club.
- "Deliverance"
Hisao goes to the girls' room to drop off some notes for Misha, but is sidetracked by two unexpected encounters.

Pink Lace - Losing My Shirt
- "Pink Lace"
Saki and Hisao spend a quiet afternoon chatting in her room.
- "Losing My Shirt."
Hisao and Saki play strip poker, with some unexpected consequences.

Aftermath
- "Aftermath"
The morning after.

How Many Lumps
- "How Many Lumps"
Lunch Time and a small mistake.

Skip Mode
- Skip Mode
Getting back into the game after a long hiatus.

- "A Gift"

Act 3: Despair
- "One Golden Hour" (In Progress)
Saki and Hisao get caught in the rain.

Act 4: Dying
- "One Diamond Minute" (Good Ending)
Saki and Hisao return to each other's arms. H content.

Unfinished Content
- Shaken and Bacon
A little side story.
Last edited by themocaw on Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:55 pm, edited 14 times in total.
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Re: Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby Mirage_GSM » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:48 pm

Are you going to do this in anything approaching chronological order?
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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

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Re: Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby themocaw » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:55 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Are you going to do this in anything approaching chronological order?

My plan is to go as chronologically as possible, yes.
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Enemy of My Enemy - Shears - Stitch in Time

Postby themocaw » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:47 pm

The air between Shizune and Lilly ripples with the heat of their enmity.

Well, not really. They can't disguise it any more, though. Even Misha looks like she's beginning to understand the real nature of this conversation.

Shizune turns to me and signs rapidly. "Hicchan~!" Misha translates. "Don't you slack off either~!"

"What are you talking about?"

"Aren't you taking part in the festival, Hicchan?" Misha goes on, as Shizune continues waving her hands at me. "You are, aren't you? Then~! I hope you're going to do a lot more to make sure it goes smoothly than this person~!" That last part is a gesture in the vague direction of the tall blind girl.

I don't understand why Shizune is suddenly getting mad at me. And why isn't Lilly saying anything? Is she trying to use me as a scapegoat for Shizune's anger?

In fact, this whole situation is starting to seriously piss me off. Why the hell are these girls trying to draw ME into their private argument!?

"You know what? Both of you can just piss off. I haven't even been here one week, and already you're trying to pull me into some stupid bitch-fight you two have been having since before I even got here? That's just low!" I point at Lilly. "So why don't you do your damn assignment so that Little Miss Dictator here will get off your case already!"

Lilly flinches at my angry words. "And you! Just leave me the hell alone!" I shout at Shizune, freezing the look of triumph on her face. "I'm sick and tired of you constantly following around and badgering me! And for the last time: no, I do NOT want to join the Student Council, no I do NOT want to help you with any work for it, and no, I DON'T want to be a pawn in some stupid private argument you're having with some other student!"

Two pairs of eyes regard me in stunned silence. Even Lilly seems taken aback by my sudden outburst. My heart pounds in my ears hard, reminding me of my own medical condition.

I suddenly realize I've been screaming at a deaf girl.

Shizune's face falls, and she starts to sign a few times. . . but then she lets her hands fall to her sides, clenched in fists. For a moment, I think she's about to punch me. . . but then she turns and walks out of the room.

"I'm sorry," Misha says sadly. "I didn't realize we were doing that to you. We'll leave you alone from now on, Hisao."

She has the strangest expression as she follows Shizune out the room.

Lilly just shakes her head. "I'm disappointed in you, Hisao." She leaves.

I feel like a complete jerk.

Picking up the shattered pieces of my self-respect, I get my bags and slink out.

-----

I head to the vending machines and get a can of my favorite melon juice, then sit down in the gap next to it and the wall. Hopefully no one will find me here, so I can wallow in my shame some more.

Why the hell was I even talking to Shizune and Misha like that? I had no reason to treat them the way they did. I mean, sure, they were kind of being annoying, but did it really deserve me insulting them like I did?

I put my head on my knees and wish I could disappear into the ground. I have no idea how I'm going to face them tomorrow.

Maybe I'll just die. Then I can get out of having to face them at all.

"Are you going to die now?" a familiar voice asks.

I look up into the red eyes of that strange girl I met in the nurse's office the other day. What was her name?

"I'm Rika," she says. "We met each other in the infirmary a couple of days ago?"

Oh, that's right. The creepy albino girl with the bad heart. "Right, I remember you. What brings you here?"

"You're in my spot," Rika says. "That's a good place to be if you want to hide from the world."

"Oh. Sorry about that," I say, getting to my feet. "I'll be going."

Rika cocks her head to one side and gives me a curious look. "Why do you want to hide from the world?"

"Oh." I consider telling her about the incident with Shizune and Lilly, then decide not to. "Just felt like it," I say.

Rika nods. "Want to come to the art room?"

"What?"

"I'm going to the art room right now. Do you want to come with me to the art room?" Rika asks again.

"Why would I?"

"No reason. I just thought maybe you were done hiding from the world."

She's right, I guess. Sitting here feeling sorry for myself isn't going to help anything. "Sure, I'll come along."

-----

We set off down the hallway together, up the stairs, and to the art room.

"Ah! Katayama!" a strange voice says. "You're here to help Enomoto, then?"

An old man with silver-hair is coming out of the art club room. He's wearing the ugliest looking pink jacket I've ever seen, and his huge pot belly hangs low over his belt. A pair of small pink round glasses are perched on the end of his hawklike nose.

"Saki told me to come by and help her out this afternoon," Rika says softly.

"Good, good. She's in the back of the art room, as usual. I'm on my way down to check how Rin's mural is coming along." The old man turns to me and raises an eyebrow. "And who is this? A new boyfriend?"

"No," Rika says flatly. "Just a stray cat I picked up."

"Does the stray cat have a name?" the old man asks.

"Hisao Nakai," I say, bowing politely. "I'm a new transfer student from Class 3-3. Nice to meet you."

"Mutou's class, huh? Well, I won't hold that against you." He laughs obnoxiously. I see Rika wince and avert her face. "I'm Shinichi Nomiya, the art teacher. Are you here to join the Art Club?"

"Not really. I'm just checking it out."

"Good, good. . . well, if you do decide to join, just let me know. We're always looking for new members. I'll be seeing you, Katayama."

He turns and walks away from us down the hallway. "So that was the art teacher, huh?"

"Yes," Rika says.

"He seems odd."

"I don't like him," Rika says flatly.

"Why not?"

"No reason. I just have a bad feeling about him."

"That's it? Just a hunch?"

"Hunches are important. They're the vestiges of the instinctual reactions we had when we were animals. When your hunch is bad, that's your animal side warning you something's wrong." Rika's pale eyebrows furrow. "He scares me, and I don't know why. My lizard brain is trying to warn me of something."

"So what should we do?"

"Nothing," Rika says. "It's only a hunch. Are you going to open the door for me?"

"Oh?"

"A gentleman should always open a door for a lady. It's only proper," Rika says softly.

"Oh, right. Sorry."

I open the door for her, and Rika walks in, prim and proper, like a character from some sort of Victorian romance novel.

Inside, the art room is in a flurry of activity. Students are sitting at easels putting the finishing touches to art pieces they want to display at the festival. In one corner, a boy wearing dark glasses is sculpting something out of clay. I can see a couple of other students standing in front of a five foot by five foot canvas, arguing over something or other. A boy with a bandage over his right ear pushes past me into the hallway, carrying his canvas under one arm and a box of paints and brushes in another.

Rika walks past the other students and into the back of the art room, where part of the room has been sectioned off with a makeshift curtain. "Saki?" she says. "It's Rika." She glances over at me. "I brought a friend. Or an acquaintance. Or something."

"Come on in!" a cheerful feminine voice says. "I've got a couple done already, but I could use some more help."

Rika pushes the curtain aside.

-----

She has shoulder-length hair the color of dark honey, pulled back from her face with hair pins. Her lips are pursed in concentration as she uses a pair of shears to carefully cut out cloth shapes from a piece of white fabric with a brown paper form pinned to it.

“Hi. I’m Hisao Nakai.”

She looks up at me in surprise. “Hi! I’m Saki Enomoto!” Her voice is cheerful and bright.

"You said you needed some help. I found help,” Rika says flatly. She turns to me. "You will help, right?"

"Help with what?"

“Hm. Why don’t you do the cutting for me? I’m having a bit of trouble with it at the moment.”

Enomoto holds out her hand. It’s trembling very badly, causing the scissors to shake and rattle a bit.

“Oh.” This is awkward. “Is that because of—“

“My disability. Spinocerebellar ataxia. The part of my brain that controls how my body moves and stuff is breaking down. Right now it makes me jittery and stuff. Eventually I’ll stop walking, then I won’t be able to breathe. Then I’ll die.”

Her words hit me like a ton of bricks. Not just because of what she’s saying, but because of the matter-of-fact way in which she says it, as if she were discussing the weather or her favorite movie.

“I probably won’t live past forty,” she says, handing me the cloth and the scissors. “On the other hand, it’s not how long you live, but how you live it, right?” She grins again cheerfully. “Every day is a gift, every hour is golden, every minute is a diamond. Life is wonderful, you know!"

Rika, standing next to her, grimaces, but doesn't reply.

-----

Ask for Rika's opinion.
> Agree with Saki.

-----

"I guess you've got a point. I mean, if you only live half as long, you just get in twice as much living, right?"

"Exactly!" Enomoto says, excitedly. "See, Katayama-san? Nakai-san gets it! Great minds think alike!"

"More like 'fools of a feather flock together,'" Rika says, deadpan.

Enomoto laughs and hugs Rika tightly. For an instant, the faintest hint of what could be the ghost of an expression that somewhat resembles a smile quirks Rika's stoic lips.

Seeing these two girls hugging each other makes my male imagination run wild. I tear my eyes away from the dangerous sight and look down at what I'm doing. "So, what exactly are we making?" I ask.

"Maid uniforms!" the girls say in unison.

I nearly drop the scissors in surprise.

"It's for the festival. Class 2-3 is doing a maid café!” Enomoto winks at me playfully. "The uniforms are already done, but we're short on aprons. We were going to buy some, but since we had cloth left over anyway, why not make our own and save money?"

“Is that what those are?” I ask, pointing at the clothes rack behind her.

“Yup! Uniforms for all the girls!" Enomoto stands up, using her steel crutch as support, then takes one of the clothes hangers off the rack. "This one’s going to be worn by Kurosawa-san. She’s only got one leg, so we’re going to go for deliberate asymmetry.” She gestures to the skirt's hemline. “We’ll put her left stocking to thigh-height, but her right stocking will be knee-high so we can show off her prosthetic’s knee. That’ll mean we get different lengths of thigh visible between the skirt and socks. So we’ll balance that asymmetry with another one on the length of arm we show. The dress will be sleeveless, but she’ll wear gloves. Her right glove will be elbow length, but her left glove will be wrist-length. It’ll be darling!”

“Why not make both her stockings thigh-high, then, and hide the prosthetic?” I ask, confused.

“And give up the charm point of her artificial leg? Are you nuts?” Enomoto points her finger in my face accusingly. “The entire point of this maid café is crippled girls in cute outfits! We’re not going to hide their disabilities. We’re going to flaunt them!”

She makes this last statement proudly, as if declaring victory in battle. I can't help but laugh.

I find myself admiring this girl. Despite her horrifying condition, she hasn't let the knowledge of her own mortality bring her down.

Unconsciously, I put my hand over my chest, feeling my heart beat. Will there be a day when I have the strength to face my own death with such courage? Will I one day be able to declare my own condition to the world in a loud voice, as she does?

I find it hard to believe that could ever happen.

-----

With the three of us working together, it's not too long before the aprons get finished. I do the cutting and help out threading some needles and other such small tasks. Rika does most of the hand-stitching, while Enomoto runs the sewing machine. Even so, by the time we finish, the sun has started to go down.

"Thanks for your help, you two," Enomoto says. "I couldn't have finished this without your help."

She passes me an iced coffee from the vending machine, and hands a green juice box to Rika.

To my surprise, she opens up a second can of iced coffee for herself. From the color of the can, it's the unsweetened stuff that no one ever buys on purpose.

"Darker than a moonless night, hotter and bitter than hell itself... that is coffee."

I jump in surprise at Rika's deadpan statement.

"Except that quote doesn't work here, because it's iced coffee. A pity," Rika takes a sip of her drink. "Are you going to escort us to the dorms?"

"Pardon me?"

"It's late and we should be going back soon. A gentleman would never leave a lady to walk through a darkened campus alone."

"Why don't you two go on ahead?" Enomoto says. "I need to take these things to the classroom anyway."

-----

> Help Saki.
Escort Rika.

-----

"I'll help you. Some of this stuff looks heavy."

"You will? Thanks, Nakai-san! You're a sweetheart."

Rika looks back and forth between me and Enomoto for a moment, then seems to come to a conclusion. "I'll see you back at the dorms then, Enomoto-san."

She stands up, brushing off her skirt, then leaves the room, leaving me and Enomoto alone. The suddenness of her departure takes me aback.

Enomoto laughs. "Don't worry about it. That's just how she is."

"Are you sure?"

"Yup. She doesn't actually like being around other people that much. It's okay, though. She'll be back when she feels up to socializing again."

"If you say so."

Enomoto slings her bookbag over her shoulder and picks up the bag with the aprons in it. It takes me a moment to figure out how to work the brake on the clothes rack, but once I do, it's not hard to roll the entire thing along.

"Put it in the corner over there for now," Enomoto tells me. "We'll figure out a better place to put it later."

Class 2-3 looks a bit different from my own classroom: instead of being a converted lecture hall with a raised area for the students, it's a normal high school classroom, just like the ones from my old school. Someone has written some words on the blackboard.

- Food
- Tea
- Uniforms
- Aprons
- Napkins
- Plates
- Silverware
- Decorations

Enomoto walks up and draws a line through the word "Aprons." "There!" she says. "That much is done, at least. Now all we need to do is decorate the classroom, and it's done! Thanks for your help, Nakai-san!"

"No problem." I look around the room curiously. The students have drawn dark curtains over the windows and replaced the normal desks with tables and chairs. Despite the rude furnishings, the place has a somewhat elegant air. "This place looks nice."

"It'll look nicer once we're finished decorating," Saki says. "How about you? What's your class doing?"

"Mm? Oh. I uh. . . don't know."

"You don't know?"

"I only transferred in a few days ago. I don't think my class is actually doing anything, though. Most of them are doing club stuff instead."

"I see." Enomoto nods. "Well, then. If you're not busy, want to come back and help me out some more?"

"Oh? More aprons?"

"Nah. Uniform fittings!" Enomoto grins. "Want to help me dress up some beautiful disabled girls in sexy maid outfits?"

I gulp nervously. "That umm. . . sounds a little intense for me."

Enomoto laughs out loud. "Sorry, that was a bit mean. But yeah, if you're not busy, I could actually use some help. You're pretty good with your hands, you know."

I'm not sure if that was a double entendre or not.

-----

> Sure, I can help.
Sorry, I have other plans.

-----

"Sure, I can help out."

"Great!" Enomoto says. "Come by any time, when you're free. See ya!"

"See ya."

We part ways and I head back to my room.
Last edited by themocaw on Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby YOTC » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:01 pm

For some reason I really want to see Rika's story now.
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Re: Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby Mirage_GSM » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:10 pm

When I read Hisao's outburst, my first thought was "If that was the real VN, this would end in a manly picnic." ^^°
Oh, and Nomiya's given name is "Shinichi."
YOTC wrote:For some reason I really want to see Rika's story now.

Look here.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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

Sore wa himitsu desu.
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Re: Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby themocaw » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:31 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:When I read Hisao's outburst, my first thought was "If that was the real VN, this would end in a manly picnic."


More or less. I needed a point for Hisao to go to the art room without running into Rin, and that felt like a decent point to do it. I don't know why I came up with the idea of Hisao basically saying, "SCREW BOTH YOU BITCHES, I'M OUT." Maybe a little self-indulgence. :D
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Re: Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby Demonhornz » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:41 pm

YOTC wrote:For some reason I really want to see Rika's story now.


I wanted to click on the Rika choices for this story as well, but sadly text doesn't work that way. :(
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Re: Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby GG Crono » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:46 pm

You really did a good job of capturing the tone of the original. TV Tropes would call it Original Flavour. Delicious!
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Coming Unraveled

Postby themocaw » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:43 pm

When I come into class the next day, Shizune and Misha are nowhere to be seen.

I can't say I don't feel relieved. After the way I exploded at them yesterday, seeing them again so soon would be awkward.

Mutou comes in and gives the class a few problems to do in-class, then takes me into the hall for a short conversation about how I'm doing at Yamaku.

Before I know it, Saturday classes are over.

-----

The hallways are filled with students running around and making last-minute preparations for the festival. Me being one of the few people with nothing to do, I realize that the rest of the day is going to be a long, boring one.

Then again, maybe not. There was that girl I met yesterday, Enomoto. She said that I could help her class out with their preparations.

Why not? It's something to do.

-----

I head down to the second floor and make my way over to Class 2-3. A girl with dark hair meets me in the doorway.

"Can I help you?" she asks.

"Yeah. I'm looking for Enomoto?"

"Oh, Saki? She's not here at the moment. I think she's up in the art room."

"Thanks."

I take my leave and head upstairs to the art room.

-----

When I get there, the entire place is abuzz with activity. Kids are yelling at each other as they try to make their last-minute preparations. A couple of boys push past me, carrying finished artworks and cans of fixatif. The two kids with the five-foot canvas are putting the finishing touches on their painting. It looks a lot like a beehive that's been stirred up.

I head over to the back corner, where Enomoto and I met up yesterday to make the aprons. The moment I do, I hear her voice call out. "Hisao!" she shouts. "Thank heavens you're here. Emergency!"

Saki is frantically ripping the seams out of the frilly maid outfit I saw yesterday. "Kurosawa lost weight! I need to take in the waist of this outfit. Help me!"

"I'm sorry!" There's a pretty girl wearing a tank top and gym shorts sitting next to her, wringing her hands in distress. "I've been dieting. I didn't think it would make this much difference!"

"Well, congratulations on your new figure, but it's made your waist and bustline go down by 3 cm! My lines are ruined!" Enomoto hands me the dress and a strange little tool that looks like a razor blade on the end of a stick. "Help me out! I need to do the fittings on the other girls!"

"What do I do?" I ask.

"Rip out the seams on the waist and bustline. Here, here, and here," she says, pointing. "Let me show you how to use that thing." She demonstrates how to use the seam ripper to tear out the stitches, then hands it back to me. "Now let's go!"

She pushes past the curtained-off area. For a moment, I see a flash of white frills: there's another girl back there dressed in some kind of maid outfit. "Oh hell!" Enomoto shouts. "You too!?"

"We all decided to lose weight!" I hear a female voice protest. "We wanted to look our best when it came time to be waitresses!"

"I took those measurements before you started dieting! My numbers are all off! I'm going to have to redo all of these dresses! Two months of work down the drain!"

I hear a sound like two girls struggling, then Enomoto bursts out from behind the curtains, tossing another dress at me. "Do this one too! I've got to re-measure everyone!"

She rushes out of the room, measuring tape in hand, muttering angrily under her breath.

The next few hours pass by in a blur. I find myself locked in an endless routine of tearing stitches, taking down measurements, threading needles, and various other tasks. By the time it's over, my hands are aching, my eyes are sore, and the sun is going down.

Enomoto sighs as she puts in one last stitch into a frilly black garment. "Done!" she says. "That's the last one." She puts her head down on the table, groaning wearily. "Why did I decide to wait until the last minute to do the fittings?" she groans. "I could have used all that time we spent yesterday making aprons on this. . ."

I lean back in my chair and stretch out. "It's not your fault," I point out. "How were you supposed to know those girls would all decide to lose weight?"

"I should have expected it. It's exactly the sort of thing they would do." Enomoto rests her head on her arms, sighing. "Thanks for helping, by the way. This wasn't nearly as fun for you as I thought it would be."

"It wasn't bad. Anyway, it was something to do. Better than sitting alone feeling sorry for myself."

"You do a lot of that?" Enomoto asks.

"A fair bit." Actually, for about four months, that was more or less all I did. Memories of my time in the hospital well up, making me wince. I unconsciously put my hand over my chest. "In the end, it didn't really help much. It just made me feel worse, and my situation was just as bad as it was before."

"Your situation?"

"Oh. Um. My condition. Congenital Heart Arrhythmia. I had a heart attack and wound up in the hospital for four months." I chuckle. "Actually, you and I are kinda alike like that. My heart's trying to kill me, same as your brain."

“Oh, we’re not similar at all, Hisao,” Enomoto says, stretching her arms out over her head. “Your heart’s going to kill you suddenly. I’m going to suffer and die slowly and painfully. In the end, I'll be living my days out as a twitching mess that used to be a human being."

The sudden frankness of her words chills me. Enomoto turns towards me and tilts her head to one side. "You don't like it when I talk like that?"

-----

> I don't know what to think of it.
I don't like it, no.

-----

"I don't know what to think of it, no," I admit. "I mean, doesn't it scare you? How can you live knowing what lies in your future?"

Enomoto sits up and picks up her cane. "C'mon," she says. "Let me buy you a drink."

-----

We walk outside to the vending machine, and Enomoto buys two cans of iced coffee: plain black for her, and a mocha cappucino for me. We sit down on a bench outside the art room, as Enomoto pops open her can and takes a sip.

"The way I think about it, we're all going to die anyway, right? The truth is that dying is the one of the few things that every human being eventually does. Not everyone gets married. Not everyone goes to school. Everyone dies. Do you get me?"

"I guess."

"So given that there's no way around it, why should I run from it? Pretending it's not going to happen won't change the fact that, one day, it will happen." She takes another sip of her coffee. "It's actually a bit liberating. It means I don't need to worry about getting old. I know I've only got a short time in this world, so I might as well make the most of it." Enomoto smiles. "It's the secret of happiness in life, you know."

"What is?"

"Enjoy everything. Whether it's a frantic afternoon spent fixing a bunch of dresses, or a can of iced coffee, enjoy it to the fullest." She grins. "Every day's a gift. Every hour's golden. Every minute's a diamond. Life is wonderful if you're willing to live it."

"You said that to me yesterday, too," I point out.

"It's my personal philosophy on life," Enomoto says. She looks up at the clock and sighs. "It's getting late. We should get those dresses to the classroom."

"Right." I toss my empty can into the trash, and we head back inside to move the clothes rack back down to the classroom.

-----

Enomoto opens up the door to the classroom, and we push the clothes rack inside. I look around, and find myself rather impressed.

The students have transformed this room into a pleasant little tea shop. Tablecloths have been put over the round tables, hiding their stark, utilitarian structures. Vases of flowers sit on every table. Frilly white borders surround the chalkboard, upon which has been written a simple menu. Dark curtains hang from the windows, giving the place a quiet, but elegant air.

"You like it?" Enomoto asks.

"It looks nice. Very elegant."

"It'll look even more elegant when it's filled with beautiful crippled girls wearing sexy maid outfits," Enomoto says, grinning. "Speaking of which. . ."

She hands me two white tickets with the words "Class 3-2 Maid Cafe" printed out on them from a computer.

"Why don't you come by tomorrow and enjoy it with us? Bring a friend. You deserve it for all the help you gave me."

"I guess. I don't have anything better to do, after all."

"Well, now you do," Enomoto says. "You'd better start heading back. It's almost curfew."

"How about you?"

"The girls' dorms are closer. I've got some time. And I want to make a few last-minute preparations."

"All right. Good night, Enomoto."

"Saki."

"Hm?"

"All things considered, we shouldn't be so formal with each other. You can call me Saki."

"Oh. Sure thing," I say. "Then feel free to call me Hisao."

"All right. Good night, Hisao."

"Good night, Saki."

-----

I head back to my dorm room, wash up, and take my pills. I lie down on my bed for a while, ruminating about Enomoto.

Her condition makes mine look positively benign in comparison. Even so, she's managed to keep a cheerful attitude towards life. It makes my own moping and depression in the hospital look positively childish.

Would it be possible for me to share her outlook? To be just as cheerful and positive in the face of my incoming doom?

I want to be like that. I want to be like Saki.

With that thought first and foremost in my mind, I turn over and go to sleep.
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Re: Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby Youmaghost » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:47 pm

I am really enjoying this. I look forward to reading more of it when you get it posted.
:) My Favorite Girls :)
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In the Darkness one finds Peace...
Can you seize the day? - Rin
Can you see the Real me? - Rika
Can you make everyday special? - Saki
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Re: Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby FishyBroski » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:00 am

Absolutely loving the story! (:
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Re: Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby Rikabro » Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:15 pm

I love your Rika! She's so unpleasant. :D

And I think you are doing an excellent job of making Saki unlike any of the other girls. She's really got a unique personality and I love your interpretation of her. Looking forward to future installments.
Writer for Familiarity. I also have an anime blog.
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Re: Themocaw's Saki Pseudo-Route

Postby CNB » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:32 am

Rika seemed a little Rin-clone there at the beginning, but apart from that it's pretty enjoyable so far.
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Don't Panic! / Dream Girl

Postby themocaw » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:27 pm

I wake up the next day around noon to the sound of the festival already under way.

I think I might try to see if Kenji wanted to do something, but he completely flips out and just starts ranting at me worse than ever. I should have known better than to even ask.

He flips out the worst when I mention that I'm going to Class 2-3 to visit Saki and her class' maid cafe. "HER!" he screams. "She's the worst of all of them! Do you know the stories they tell about her? What the hell, man? Do you even know who she is?"

". . . No, but I assume you're going to tell me."

"She's one of their best trained operatives! You've seen the things she makes! They're designed to soften men's minds by making their most dangerous soldiers look like harmless little girls!"

". . . they are harmless little girls," I point out.

"See? She's got you thinking it too! In fact, did you know that the entire fashion industry is controlled by the feminist conspiracy? Seriously, why do you think that it revolves around the worship of women? And why do you think it is that high fashion always revolves around making men look as unmasculine as possible! I can't believe what I'm hearing, man. I thought you had better judgement than this!" He grabs me by the collar and pulls my face close to his. "For the love of God, man, don't go out there!"

He then mutters something about finding a safe haven to hide in and closes the door in my face.

Whatever.

-----

Anyway, since Kenji doesn't want to come along, that means I've got an extra ticket for Class 2-3's maid cafe. I'm not sure what to do with it, but I might as well make use of the one that I can.

I take a quick shower and get dressed and head out of the dorms to find the school abuzz with activity. It seems like half the town has come up to visit the school booths. Half the school is out here, too, and I can even see some faculty members standing around and sipping punch.

I push past the crowd and into the school building. The halls are still packed with people, but things are quieter, and more calm. It's more like the crowd on a train station during rush hour, rather than the more festive atmosphere outside.

I push my way past a few people rather gingerly, not wanting to risk getting knocked over. As I approach the second floor, however, I can tell that I might be in for a long way.

There's a huge line leading from the door of Class 2-3 all the way down the hall, and then back around again. It mostly seems to be made up of teenage boys and young men, all waiting in line to get into the maid cafe. As I approach the front of the line, I can tell why they're all so excited.

The girl at the front of the line is a vision in black gabardine and white lace. The outfit she's wearing is not one of the sexy costumes that I helped make, but a simple, modest maid's dress with a long skirt and long sleeves. The only frills on it are on her apron and the headdress. Somehow, though, on Saki, she makes the simple, utilitarian garment look good.

"Ah, Hisao!" Saki says winsomely, waving at me. "It's so good of you to come!" She turns to the rest of the crowd and bows respectfully. "My apologies, young masters, but a VIP has arrived. After I'm done seating him, I'll return to help the rest of you!"

To my shock and surprise, Saki then grabs my upper arm and clings to me like a limpet. Any words I would like to say are immediately stifled by the sensation of her soft breasts pressing against me.

"S-saki?" I stammer. "What's going on?"

"Just follow me," Saki mutters. She leads me into the classroom.

It's like entering another world. In the light of day, the room looks like a garden out of some fairy tale. Somehow, the students have managed to build a lattice adorned with paper roses made to look like climbing vines, hiding the bulletin boards and blackboards along the wall from view. Opposite it, the windows are hung with dark curtains, trimmed with lace. The tables I'd seen the night before are now decorated with cut-glass vases, each one holding a pair of long-stemmed roses: one white, one red.

Most of all, however, I'm struck by the people. The room is filled either with young men sitting around sipping tea and nibbling on biscuits and cake, or the young ladies serving them. All of them are wearing the outfits that Saki and I spent hours the night before refitting.

It's like a sea of white lace and beautiful female flesh. The dream of every young male come to life.

"Sorry about this, Hisao," Saki whispers to me. "But it's the only way I'll get you in."

"Is something wrong?"

"Yeah," Saki sighs. "Someone at the market messed up our order. We're not the only ones, either: several classes ran into this problem. Long story short, we don't have nearly enough supplies to feed everyone waiting in line. The teacher and a few of the boys are going to see what they can scrounge up, but it doesn't look like even that will be enough."

"Oh. Well, in that case, I can just skip it. It's not fair to everyone who's waiting in line if I just skip past them."

"Don't be silly, Hisao. You worked hard to help us. You deserve to enjoy the fruits of your reward," Saki hisses back. "Speaking of which, time to get back in character." She takes a deep breath, and the coquettish flirtiness I saw from her in the hallway returns to her. "Ah, young master! Come this way! I'll find a perfect maid to serve your every need for you. . . ah, here we go!"

Saki continues to cling to my arm as she guides me across the room towards a small table for two in the corner. In fact, I realize, she's not just clinging to me, but leaning on me.

Oh, I see.

She doesn't have her crutch with her, so with her condition, it must be hard for her to keep her balance. She's clinging to me out of necessity, to keep from stumbling.

That realization takes a bit of the fun out of my circumstance, but just a bit. After all, I do still have a pretty girl in a maid outfit clinging to my arm.

-----

Saki pulls out the chair for me as I sit down, then pushes it in for me. "Well, young master," she says, leaning against the table. "How can the maids of Class 2-3 serve you today?"

"A cup of coffee would be nice, for starters," I say, getting into the flow of things. "And perhaps a few biscuits?"

"Very well, then, young master. I shall summon one of our lovely maids to come and serve you forthwith!" Saki stands up and curtseys, then heads back behind the curtained-off area in the back of the classroom, keeping her hand on the windowsill the whole way.

I look around the room as I wait. The entire place has a kind of energetic, but refined air to it. Soft harpsichord music, played from some kind of stereo, is piped into the room, underlaying the murmur of conversation. That refined air is, I suppose, enforced by the two big male students in waistcoats and cravats standing in strategic locations, glaring at any customers who get too fresh with the girls. I think I recognize one of them as a member of the wrestling team: the eyepatch over his left eye gives him a menacing air that, alone, seems to keep a good half of the room polite.

"Hello, young master!" a cheerful female voice says. "I've brought you your order!"

I turn to face the voice, and my jaw drops in surprise.

It's Kurosawa. The short skirt she wears shows off just a hint of bare flesh above one of her thigh-high white lace stockings: the other, cut lower, shows off the top edge of her prosthetic, now painted white with a delicate gold filigree pattern. More frills and white lace show off her bustline, somehow enhanced by her corset into a rather delectable-looking cleavage. A pair of black boots with high heels adorn her feet, mirroring her white gloves: one short, one reaching to her upper arm. A frilled headpiece sets off the entire ensemble.

Even more astounding, however, is the make-up. It's subtle, but somehow, Kurosawa's already lovely features have been enhanced oh-so-slightly: a slight reddening of the lips, a slight darkening of the eyes, a bit of pale blush added to her cheeks. I gulp nervously as the lovely girl before me bows her head and places the porcelain teacup and saucer on the table in front of me.

"Would you like cream and sugar, young master?" Kurosawa asks, tilting her head winsomely.

"Oh, umm. . . two sugars please. And a little bit of cream," I say.

Kurosawa curtseys gracefully and adds the sugar and cream to my cup of coffee, then places a tray of small sweet biscuits next to it. I pick one up and take a bite. To my surprise, they're homemade, and quite tasty. "These are pretty good," I say. "Did you make them?"

"Oh no, young master," Kurosawa says, giggling cutely. "These were made by one of our other lovely maids. However, they were all made with love and care, the same love and care we show to all our young masters!"

. . . oh jeez. This is just too cute. I'd make a joke about having a heart attack from the sheer adorableness of it all, but given my very real and very serious heart condition, such a joke might be in bad taste.

In any case, I spend a very pleasant half an hour being waited on hand-and-foot by a pretty young girl in a maid outfit, before being told, rather delicately, that perhaps it would be time for young master to move along and enjoy some other part of the festival. Taking the hint, I pay for my meal using the two tickets that Saki gave me, and take my leave.

-----

To my surprise, I find Saki outside the classroom when I come back out. She's changed out of her maid outfit and back into her school uniform. Some other girl in a much shorter skirt is now taking money from the other guests and seating them instead.

She smiles and waves at me as she steps aside to let a couple of girls walk past. "So," she says, with a wicked twinkle in her eyes. "Did you enjoy your time with Kurosawa?"

"I did," I admit, "But not as much as I would have if it had been time spent with you."

I'm not sure where that sudden flirtatiousness came from: maybe it's all that time spent in that maid cafe. I'm surprised, however, when a sick sort of smile crosses Saki's face in response. "That's cute of you to say," she says carefully, "but you know, being too cute has its downside too."

"Oh? Like?"

"For instance, if you're not careful, you might break some poor girl's heart. How mean would it be to make her fall in love with you when you didn't mean it?"

"How does she know I don't mean it?"

That sick smile crosses Saki's face again and she shakes her head. "Don't be silly." She picks up her crutch and fits it back into place, leaning on it as she heads down the hall.

I jog a few steps to catch up to her. Saki looks back at me in surprise as I fall into step next to her. "What's up?" she asks.

"Just wondering if you've got any plans for the rest of the day."

"Not really. I was just going to head back to my rooms and get some rest. It's been a long day."

"Oh." I wonder if my disappointment shows on my face as clearly as I feel it. "Good point. I should probably do the same."

As I turn to walk away, I feel Saki tug on my sleeve. "You're way too fast to give up, Hisao," she says.

"But you said you were going back to your room. . ."

"I said I WAS going to head back to my room. 'Was' implies I've had a change of mind." She smiles up at me. "You hungry?"

"A bit, sure."

"Come on. I'll buy you dinner. Consider it payback for helping me out with the aprons."

"I thought you already paid me back for that with those tickets to the maid cafe."

"No, that was Kurosawa and all the girls thanking you for helping me fix their dresses. This is me thanking you for helping me out with the aprons."

I still don't know how I feel about having a girl buy dinner for me. "Let's at least go dutch, okay?"

"Fine, if you insist," Saki says. "What do you like?"

"I dunno," I say. "I don't know too many places around here. Although I've heard there's a teahouse in town that's pretty nice."

"The Shanghai? Been there. Don't like it." She snaps her fingers. "I know. How do you feel about yakitori?"

"It's all right, I guess."

"Let's go, then. I know a class that's doing a pretty good yakitori stall."

-----

"How about takoyaki, you like that?"

"Sure, why not."

"Let's go stand in line, then."

I toss the empty yakisoba tray into the trash and follow Saki to the booth where several male students are selling takoyaki.

It's been a pleasant evening, walking through the booths and sampling the various foods being sold. Most of them are pretty much standard festival food: not particularly well made or fancy, but still tasty by value of being fried to a crisp.

I wonder, idly, whether it's really such a good idea to eat so much fried food, given my heart condition, but what's the point of living if you can't enjoy yourself once in a while?

"So," Saki asks, continuing the conversation we've been having for the past hour or so. "Next question. If you could be a dinosaur, what dinosaur would you be?"

"That's a strange question to ask."

"It's the best way to get to know someone. It really tells you more about yourself than you know."

"Then I'm not sure. Probably that one with the spiked tail and the big plates on the back?"

"Stegosaurus? You do know they had brains the size of walnuts, right?"

"That's actually a myth," I point out. "It was based on a brain cast of the inside of one skull made in the 19th century. In fact, the brain was probably about the size of a fairly large dog's."

"See?" Saki says, grinning. "I told you it tells me more about yourself than you'd think."

"What?"

"Well, when you first answered the question, you pretended not to know the name of the dinosaur in question. But the moment that I said something you thought was incorrect about it, you immediately corrected me."

"All right. So what does that tell you?"

"It tells me that you don't like to admit things to yourself sometimes. It also tells me you like to hide what you really want behind an air of indifference." Saki's grin gets even wider. "It also tells me that you're smarter than you like to appear to people."

"Fine, then. Why don't you tell me about your favorite dinosaur?"

"Oh. That's easy. Tyrannosaurus Rex."

"Aha!" I reply, smiling in triumph.

"What?"

"You're right. That does tell me a lot about you."

"Oh? Like what?"

"Well, for one thing, you're a man eater."

Saki laughs out loud at that. "People and dinosaurs didn't live at the same time, silly!"

"Fine, then. A proto-primate eater. Either way, you like to eat people up alive."

Saki laughs again. It's a nice, clear, bell-like sound.

I find myself hoping I can hear more of it.

"Hey, Saki?"

"Hm?"

"Thanks."

"For what?" Saki asks.

"For hanging out with me."

"Oh?"

"This past week's been kinda tough on me," I admit. "I had to transfer to a new school, left all my friends, and on top of that, I have to deal with my heart condition." I put my hand over my chest, feeling the edges of my surgery scar. "So. . . yeah. I think if it weren't for you, I wouldn't have had a friend in the world this past week."

". . . it wasn't anything, really," Saki says. "You'd have done the same for me, right?"

Before I have a chance to respond, we're at the front of the line, and our conversation gets interrupted by the task of buying, paying for, and carrying away our takoyaki.

I blow on one of the small octopus dumplings to cool it a bit, then take a bite. I grimace.

"Not very good, huh?" Saki whispers, under her breath.

". . . I've had better."

"Oh well. I was hoping they'd be as good as last year's. Those were actually pretty tasty." Saki drops the rest of the tray into a nearby trash can.

"Hey, aren't you going to eat it? That's wasting food."

"Life's too short to eat mediocre food," Saki says. "C'mon. Let's go get some taiyaki. Those, I hear, are pretty good."

I shrug and eat the rest of my takoyaki as quickly as possible. If I make sure to add plenty of the sauce, it's not so bad.

-----

We head to the next booth and pick up a pair of fish-shaped pastries filled with sweet red bean jam. We're two of the last customers: the sun has gone down, and the booths are already starting to pack up by the time we walk away with our treats.

"Do you like fireworks?" Saki asks.

"Yeah, of course."

"C'mon, let's go watch them, then."

"Sure thing. Where should we go, to the rooftop?"

"Nah. That place is usually kinda crowded on festival days. I know a better spot."

We wolf down our pastries as quickly as possible as Saki leads me to the back of the school, past the crowds of kids coming out to watch the fireworks display, and over to the hiking trail leading up into the woods.

I follow her, through the steadily growing darkness, as she leads me up the slope and to a small glen in the middle of the woods.

"This is the place?"

"Yup," Saki says.

"This doesn't seem like a very good place to watch fireworks," I point out. "There are too many trees. I can't really see any-"

My words are interrupted by two things.

The first is the sound of the first firework detonating overhead, illuminating the woods in a pale blue light, casting stark shadows from the trees over the entire scene.

The second thing is Saki's warm, soft lips pressing against mine.

The shock of it is so sudden that I'm left speechless for a good minute as she wraps her arms around my neck, kissing me.

It's the first time I've ever kissed a girl.

Saki smiles up at me, a winsome, mischievous gleam in her eyes.

"See?" she says. "Fireworks."

I'm left completely speechless. What the heck is going on here?

"Hisao?" Saki asks. "Would you like to be my boyfriend?"

My world freezes as the next firework detonates in the sky overhead.

In the pink light of the exploding stars, I can see Saki looking up at me, her eyes wide and playful. There's an energy to her that's relentlessly magnetic. Despite her bitter life circumstances, this is a girl that's full of life, who has learned to live the time she has to the fullest. In one short week, she turned my entire experience at Yamaku around, changed it from a place of bitter loneliness to a place where I've had more fun than I can remember.

And yet, the shadow of Iwanako still lingers in this place. It's been only a few months since I was last in this position, in a field of snow, surrounded by trees, locked in the dead of winter.

And then I realize. There's no snow here. Only lush, green life all around me.

"Yes," I say back. "I would."

Saki smiles back at me, and she pulls me down for a second kiss: a slower, more lingering one, that we can both enjoy to the fullest.

-----

Every day is a gift.

Every hour is golden.

Every minute is a diamond.

Life is wonderful, if you have the courage to live it.

Those are the thoughts that are running through my mind as we stand in that forest grove, with the fireworks exploding overhead.
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