Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

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Robnonymous
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Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Robnonymous » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:39 pm

[Want to know what the hell's going on? Check out my Hanako bad-ending fanfic Reconciliation to get up-to-speed. Why haven't I posted this as a follow-up chapter? Because I consider Reconciliation to be a complete story. This is more of a one-shot aside, so I wanted to keep it separate but still link them together via... well... links. Anyway, enjoy if you so desire.]



----------------------------------- Checkmate --------------------------------------

It feels like it’s been an eternity since our impromptu trip to Scotland. I suppose it HAS been a while, at least. Lilly made good on her promise to visit and the three of us had a pretty good time all-around. To be honest, I was actually fairly surprised to find myself included in most of the activities. Although “activities” is probably the wrong word for it. We mostly just talked. Sometimes we went out together, but it was all pretty much talking. Well, I didn’t do much talking. I mostly listened.

Not that I could blame them for wanting to catch up. Eight years is a long time to be apart from your best friend, and Hanako didn’t exactly leave on good terms. I can only imagine how much that must’ve eaten away at her. She’s not really the sort of person who shrugs stuff like that off. Anyway, I didn’t mind coming along for the ride. I’ve gotten to know Hanako fairly well over the years - more so that anyone else in the country, apparently – but a lot about her was still a mystery to me. Being something akin to a fly on the wall as she and Lilly spent hours swapping stories gave me a little more insight.

That was four months ago. I wish I could say it’s made things easier for me.

-------------------

“-your move.”

Her voice snaps me out of my trance. It takes me a second to remember what I’m supposed to be doing. I refocus on the board in front of me and realize I’m fucked. She’s got me. I probably made a few careless moves when I wasn’t really thinking about chess but I’m fairly certain that wouldn’t have made much of a difference. She always beats me. I don’t really mind, though.

I give one more cursory scan of my remaining pieces and their positions. Yeah, no, I’m still fucked. At this point I can either prolong the inevitable – probably only two or three moves away, anyway – or concede. Without a second thought I tip my king on its side.

“I know when I’m beaten,” I sigh with a faint smile.

She furrows her brow and frowns at me, “Already?” She looks a little petulant like that.

And completely adorable.

Dear god, I wish I could either turn that part of my brain off or come to terms with there being no “us.” Not like I want there to be, anyway.

“Sorry, but I know I’m toast. Besides, you still owe me that dinner from our last game. You know, because I beat the pants off of you,” I say with a smirk.

“Ha!” she retorts, “I think you’ve got that backwards, Sho. I trounced YOU, remember? YOU owe ME dinner.”

I hang my head in mock-defeat, “Oh woe is me! I have to take a beautiful, talented celebrity author out to dinner!” I lean back in my chair and drape an arm over my face, “Whatever shall I do??”

She giggles a little at that. The sound makes my heart skip a beat. Seriously, why the fuck do I always torture myself like this?

“I think you’re stretching the truth a little bit there,” she mumbles, still smiling.

I pretend to think on it for a second and recant, “Okay, you’re right. You aren’t really THAT much of a celebrity.”

Shut the FUCK UP, Sho.

I know she catches on to what I was implying once she starts to blush a little and begins hurriedly collecting the pieces and tucking them into their respective drawers. I mentally cross my fingers that I didn’t just blow the first chance I’ve had to taking her out to dinner since… well… since ever, really.

“W-Where were you thinking of going?” she asks without looking up.

“Well, since you utterly destroyed me I figured you deserved to go someplace nice. Someplace a little fancy,” I try my best to nonchalantly read her face as I explain, “Someplace where we’ll have to dress up a little.”

Her hands freeze. Her head is bent forward too far so her bangs are obscuring my view. All I can see is her mouth. She’s most certainly NOT smiling.

“R-Really?”

Shit.

“Well,” I start to backpedal like a madman, “that’s what I was thinking, anyway. If you aren’t up for it I suppose we could just-“

“No.”

Say what now?

“I… Huh?” I’m at a loss at this point.

She looks up at me with a slightly pained expression. Even so, she manages a smile, “No, I-I’m… I’m up for it. I think.”

I chomp down on the inside of my cheek to keep from grinning like a complete idiot, “Really..? Um… Okay then, I suppose we should get ready.”

She nods, then raises an eyebrow, “Wait, what are you going to wear? There isn’t enough time to run to your apartment and change…”

I can’t tell if she’s legitimately worried or cleverly looking for a way out, but I’ve planned ahead this time. Not that I’d let on so soon. I have to milk it for a little bit, so I take off my glasses and ponder. I take too long and she catches on before I can come up with a good line.

“You have a change of clothes in your car, don’t you?”

“I… yeah,” I give in, “I’ll go grab them and change in the bathroom if that’s alright.”

She nods, “Sure. I’ll go change while you get them,” she stands up and walks past me, toward her bedroom. She puts a hand on my shoulder and gives it a little squeeze as she passes.

That! That shit right there! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! What am I doing? Where is this going? Why can’t I be more direct about how I feel? How does SHE feel???

She stops at the doorway and turns back to me. I think I deserve some kind of award for keeping an even expression at this point.

“Exactly… how fancy are we talking, here?” she asks, narrowing her eyes suspiciously.

“W-Well… You should probably wear a… uh… a dress,” I can feel my face flush as I desperately search for words that won’t make me sound like a complete tool, “It doesn’t have to be too formal, but it wouldn’t hurt.”

She stares what I hope are mock daggers at me for a bit longer before her eyes snap open and she starts to grin, “Oh! I think I have just the thing!” And with that, she vanishes.

What the hell have you gotten yourself into, Sho?

--------------------

I’m not entirely sure why I decided to book it to the car and back, but I did. I’ll admit I was a little out of breath when I made it back to the bathroom and started to change. Something about the situation made me feel compelled to be ready and waiting for her. To be all dressed up and good to go in time to see her step out of her room in whatever she’s decided to wear.

Like a date.

I pause halfway through the buttons on my shirt. It couldn’t be that simple… Or pathetic… Right?

No. It probably is. Yeah, it DEFINITELY is. Shit. Well, might as well roll with it I suppose.

I fly through the rest of my buttons, fumble with my tie and toss on my jacket as I head back to the living room. I scan the area for a good vantage point. I want to get a good look as soon as she walks through that doorway. The best position is most likely over at her writing desk, but it’d probably look weird to be sitting there of all places. I’d have to turn the chair around. Plus it’s her writing desk.

“U-Um… Are you r-ready to go?”

Shit!

I don’t know how she snuck up on me like that, but she damn near made me jump out of my skin. I take a second to collect myself before turning around slowly. I can only imagine what she looks like right…

“H-Hanako…”

… now?

I know my mouth is hanging open but I couldn’t give a shit at this point. She looks absolutely stunning. I’ve been to more than a few awards ceremonies with her and I’ve never seen this dress. It’s a simple design. Little more than a black tube, really. It hugs her body from her shoulders to her waist, easing up around her hips and flowing loosely the rest of the way to the floor. It accentuates pretty much everything.

“W… Where have you been hiding that?” is all I can think to say.

She blushes and reflexively brings a hand to her face, over her right eye, “I-Is it t-too much?”

I… Who… Where… What… Huh?

“N-No!” I take a deep breath, “No, not at all. You look… You look…” I decide to be honest, “You look absolutely amazing, Hanako.”

She blushes again, only with a smile this time.

The most beautiful woman in the world is standing right in front of me, about to go out to dinner with me, and I’m too much of a pussy to tell her how I feel…

I take another deep breath and extend my arm. I figure I might as well go all-out since we’re both dressed up and formal looking. After an agonizing moment she loops her own arm through with a nervous smile and we make our way to the car.

--------------------

“Yamane, party of two,” I tell the maitre d. He looks up from his list with a practiced smile. It falters slightly as his eyes drift over to Hanako. I can feel my blood start to boil a little bit.

Take it easy, Sho. He’s not trying to be offensive. He was just caught off-guard is all…

I glance over to my… date. She either didn’t notice or is so used to this kind of stuff she just doesn’t care. My money’s on the latter. Hell it’s not like I’ve never witnessed people reacting to her scars before, but it still bugs me. I feel like they’re cheating themselves out of seeing who she really is. And that’s not fair to her.

“Right this way, sir.”

We follow him further into the restaurant. The lights are a little dim to help set the mood but I still catch a few people glancing in our direction. The angry kid that’s still inside of me wants to pound their teeth in. The more level-headed, sensible, older me knows there’s a good chance they’re not staring at her scars. She IS looking mighty sexy right now…

We take our seats, peruse the menu and make our choices. Once the waiter comes to take our orders and menus I figure it’s time to talk. I’ve been dancing around it for a long time now, and I can’t keep doing this to myself. I need to know how she feels about me so I can either do the fucking Macarena out of sheer joy or resign myself to being her friend and move on with my love life.

Either way, it’s now or never.

She looks like she’s deep in thought. Her eyes are staring dreamily at the centerpiece on our table as she delicately traces the rim of the glass in front of her with a finger. She’s getting more and more lovely by the minute. I’ll have to start talking quick or I’ll chicken out. Again. I take a deep breath, doing my best to keep it from being obvious.

“So, Hanako…”

“Mmm?” she looks up from whatever it was she wasn’t actually staring at and meets my gaze. It knocks the breath I’ve just taken right out of me. I suck it back in and keep going.

“Um… S-So… How have things been going lately?” she gives me a puzzled look which makes me realize just how stupid and vague that question was. I quickly elaborate, “What I mean is… That stuff you and Akira talked about back in Scotland… You know, about the… uh…” I trail off. This sounded so much better in my head.

Bullshit. This sounded moronic and pathetic in my head, too.

“Stuff Akira and I talked about in Scotland…” she rests her chin in her hand and stares at the ceiling for a bit, “Wait… you mean when she was teasing me about… f-finding a boyfriend?”

Shit! Why did I think this was a good idea?

“Um… well… yeah. Kinda,” I swallow hard. This is SO not how I pictured this going.

She starts to fidget a little bit. Her eyes wander all over the restaurant but won’t come anywhere near me.

“I… Why do y-you ask?”

My turn to find everything except our table interesting.

Jesus Christ, we’re like a couple of grade-schoolers. Man-up you fucking pansy!

I sigh, “Look, Hanako… this… isn’t easy for me to admit. In fact, I’m practically terrified right now. But…” she looks up from her lap and at me again, nervously biting on her lower lip.

“The thing is…”

“Your salad, madam. And sir,” the waiter places our food on the table with a flourish, either unaware or uninterested in the heavy emotional shit that’s going down. Jackass. Without another word Hanako tears into her salad, filling any room for conversation with lettuce and croutons. I DEFINITELY pictured this going much better in my head.

---------------------

The rest of the meal passes in relative silence. We make some small talk but that’s all it is. I’d have thought that a couple glasses of wine might loosen both of us up, but nope. I’m still a nervous wreck on the inside and she still looks like a rabbit that’s been cornered by a very large dog.

I’ve made such a fucking mess of things…

Neither one of us says a thing in the car on the way back to her apartment. I don’t offer her my arm as we head toward her front door and she doesn’t ask for it. The magic is gone. Even worse, I very well may have put a strain on our friendship at this point.

We reach the door and she fishes out her keys. She gets them in the lock but doesn’t turn them. Instead, she faces me and looks me in the eyes for the first time since we sat down for dinner.

“Sho…” she starts to fidget again, playing with her fingers absent-mindedly. I’d consider it super cute if I hadn’t just botched my chances royally, “Believe it or not, I had a nice time tonight,” she says with a nervous smile.

“Heh. Me, too, I guess,” I respond. I just can’t bring myself to form big sentences at this point.

She looks down at her hands again, “I-I… I’ve been thinking about what you asked at dinner… A-About the whole…” she trails off.

“Boyfriend thing?”

“Boyfriend thing,” she nods, still not looking up, “I… I HAVE thought about it… I mean, I’ve BEEN thinking about it… b-but there’s just so much-“

“I know,” I cut her off, “You don’t have to explain anything,” I can’t keep the disappointment out of my voice. I hope she doesn’t think less of me for it. Or even worse, pity me.

“N-No, I think I do…” she continues, “It… That was a hectic time in my life and… as much as I might have w-wanted to… well… I didn’t want to r-rush anything. You know?”

I’m staring at her fingers as they twine around each other. I can’t tell if I’m too ashamed to look her in the eyes or if I’m trying not to cry. I think I hate myself a little right now. I don’t look up, but I give a slight nod.

“A-And I’ve been d-doing a lot of thinking ever since. It’s just that… I’m not r-really sure if… I haven’t h-had a lot of experience… Oh fuck it.”

The unexpected cursing catches my attention and I start to look up. At the same time she grabs my shirt and pulls me forward andOHMYGOD I’M KISSING HANAKO!!!

A tingling sensation spreads from my lips though my whole body. A second later and my body starts to move on its own. Good thing, too, as my brain isn’t doing much right now. I wrap my arms around her and kiss back. Both our mouths open slightly tongues start coming in to play. She’s a little awkward, possibly from a general lack of experience, but it’s still the most amazing kiss I’ve ever had.

I can’t tell how long it takes before we both decide to come up for air, but when we do we’re both gasping a little. Her face is bright red. Mine probably is, too. And I’m at a total loss for words. Her eyes are scanning my face with a slightly desperate look. It’s as though she’s worried about my reaction. She couldn’t possibly think I didn’t enjoy that, could she?

Unable to form coherent words, I do my best to smile as big as I can. After a second she smiles back nervously. I take a shot in the dark and try to break the silence.

“That was…” I trail off.

“Yeah…” she responds.

I look back to my car, then back to her, “W-Well… We’ll definitely have to do this again sometime.”

God I still sound like a moron. But at least I’m a very happy moron now.

She nods and smiles her little smile, “Definitely.”

I lean in for another quick smooch – one which she reciprocates, thank GOD – before heading back to my car. I make it halfway through one step when I feel something tugging on my sleeve. I stop and look back. She’s sheepishly clinging to my jacket with one hand while nervously playing with her hair with the other.

“D-Do you maybe want to… um… you know…” her eyes meet mine again, “come i-inside?”

My brain comes back to life as I desperately try to formulate a response.

“Uh… Uh-huh…” I mumble with a nod.

My stupefyingly idiotic response gets her laughing. Good to know I can make a total fool of myself without ruining the moment. She unlocks her door, still clutching my jacket, and gently pulls me inside.

Yessir, I’m a VERY happy moron.
Bad Dreams (Hanako) - My first KS fanfic. it's actually a happy story
Reconciliation - (a Hanako bad-end story) - My second KS fanfic. Not all that happy.

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Mahorfeus
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Mahorfeus » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:08 am

Robnonymous wrote:Yessir, I’m a VERY happy moron.
Relevant text. :mrgreen:
"A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love." -Stendhal
The verdict is (finally) in:
Hanako > Rin > Emi > Lilly = Shizune

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Brogurt
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Brogurt » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:30 am

fuckshitfuckshitfuck

This guy is almost less likable than Hisao

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Cally
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Cally » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:52 am

Time fo DinDins!

But no, enjoyed reading it a lot - although I was fine with Reconciliation having an ambiguous ending, closure is always good. :D

Demoneq
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Demoneq » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:34 am

Cally wrote:Time fo DinDins!
Define/explain "DinDins"?

And I liked it too. :)

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:10 am

Brogurt wrote:fuckshitfuckshitfuck

This guy is almost less likable than Hisao
You're just mad he gets to be with Hanako :lol:
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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Brogurt
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Brogurt » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:13 am

Mirage_GSM wrote: You're just mad he gets to be with Hanako :lol:
I think you meant to say I'm mad that Lilly doesn't get to be with Hanako

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Daitengu
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Daitengu » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:29 am

Brogurt wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote: You're just mad he gets to be with Hanako :lol:
I think you meant to say I'm mad that Lilly doesn't get to be with Hanako
I know right? lol

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Oddball
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Oddball » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:48 am

I haven't read the main story, but I didn't have any problem following what was going on or understanding anything, and I think it was nicely written.

I'm with Brogurt though, I don't think this Sho guy is quite as likeable as Hisao.
Not Dead Yet

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Daitengu
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Daitengu » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:15 am

Oddball wrote:I haven't read the main story, but I didn't have any problem following what was going on or understanding anything, and I think it was nicely written.

I'm with Brogurt though, I don't think this Sho guy is quite as likeable as Hisao.
Eh, inner thoughts are different than spoken words for most people. So I gave it a slide.

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Oddball
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Oddball » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:21 pm

Daitengu wrote:
Oddball wrote:I haven't read the main story, but I didn't have any problem following what was going on or understanding anything, and I think it was nicely written.

I'm with Brogurt though, I don't think this Sho guy is quite as likeable as Hisao.
Eh, inner thoughts are different than spoken words for most people. So I gave it a slide.
I'm not saying it ruined things for me or anything, I just didn't care for the character.
Not Dead Yet

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Daitengu
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Daitengu » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:43 pm

Oddball wrote:I'm not saying it ruined things for me or anything, I just didn't care for the character.
Fair enough. It was a bit of a shift from Reconciliation. He seemed more confident pre epilogue, then again, I don't know how he felt about Hanako internally at that time. Inexperience in love tends to do that though.

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Mahorfeus
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Mahorfeus » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:53 pm

Well, we more or less got the rationale here for his mannerisms in Reconciliation. In this context, a lot of the time he seemed to be masochistically teasing himself, even in Scotland. Seeing things from his point of view was surprising, but I liked it.

Whether he holds a candle to the dearly departed Master of Romance all down to preference I guess.
"A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love." -Stendhal
The verdict is (finally) in:
Hanako > Rin > Emi > Lilly = Shizune

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Robnonymous
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Robnonymous » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:01 pm

I wouldn't exactly consider Sho masochistic so much as having trouble deciding whether or not he wants to let go. At least that was the idea I was going for. And I wanted to tell this part of the story from his perspective both as a means to mix things up a bit as well as show that he's almost as self-deprecating as Hanako. He just hides it better.

But thanks for reading and commenting, everyone! I hope it doesn't spoil the original story too much. :wink:
Bad Dreams (Hanako) - My first KS fanfic. it's actually a happy story
Reconciliation - (a Hanako bad-end story) - My second KS fanfic. Not all that happy.

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Brogurt
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Re: Checkmate (A Reconciliation Epilogue)

Post by Brogurt » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:09 pm

Robnonymous wrote:But thanks for reading and commenting, everyone! I hope it doesn't spoil the original story too much. :wink:
Yeah, pointless shipping has never spoiled stories before
sarcasm or no? that's up for you to decide

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