The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

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Hoitash
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The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

Post by Hoitash » Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:44 pm

USM: United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

So… Why the hell can’t Misha get her Happily Ever After, too?

(Shrek 2 was on, sorry.)

Oh, and I’m bouncing off Weekend at Hisao’s, where she’s in New York City when she calls. Sorry for that. I’m also sorry for my incredibly lame title, for any areas where my ignorance on a certain matter is blatantly obvious, for any possible OOC writing, and for apologizing so much. Feedback is appreciated; fanfiction is one of the writing genre’s I have yet to successfully pursue, and if I can, well, that just makes me that much better of a writer. Defy Sturgeon!

Thanks for reading :)

++++
Table of contents:

Prologue (This Post)
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Seventeen
Chapter Eighteen
Chapter Nineteen
Epilogue

The One-Shot Thread
++++


Prologue: Welcome to America

San Francisco International Airport was huge; inside or outside. Everything about it had a scope and scale that seemed…odd. Not overly concerned by that, but still looking around, trying to take it all in, Shiina “Misha” Mikado hauled her large green carry-on bag with her as she exited her gate, the building shielding her from the morning sun.

Slightly over five feet tall, wearing a simple brown skirt and a “McCain/Palin 2008” T-shirt, she stopped for a moment to scratch her head, her golden eyes scrunching in annoyance as she did so. Her hair was slightly past the bottom of her ears as it slowly grew back, pinned back with a few heart-shaped pins, and a sickly mix of brown and faded pink. Scratching one of the more faded pink spots, she resumed her trek from one gate to the next, grateful for the chance to stretch her legs.

She was also grateful the staff was multi-lingual; her English grades had been terrible, and she was still mulling over why New York University had accepted her, or why she was going. Yes, she wanted to teach sign language, and she wanted to learn overseas, but she still hadn’t quite figured out why to the last question.

A quiet, cynical voice spoke a possible reason, and she shook her head as she made her way to her next destination, the nine-hour flight to LaGuardia Airport. The voice almost retreated at the thought of another long flight; why had she bunched her flights so close together?

That answer was obvious; Shizune and Hisao had thrown her a going away party that had to fit their schedules. She hadn’t wanted to go to such a sad-toned party, but she knew how happy the two would be if she came, and how upset they’d be if she didn’t, so she went. She did say she’d be mad at Hichan if he made Shichan cry, so it was only fair to expect the same from him if she made her cry. The cynical voice returned, her real voice, really; the one she had before she had dyed her hair and styled it so outrageously. It was a stupid thought, an illogical thought. It was not the reason she was here, taking off her shoes and getting scanned for the umpteenth time by some big, bulky machine. Still, the voice said it anyway, finally retreating into oblivion for the time being now that it had said its piece:

She was running from her problems. From the insults her middle school classmates had hurled at her, from the heartbreak of Shizune’s rejection, from all of it.

Misha sighed as she managed to make it to her gate when her ticket letter was called. The voice was probably right, but that didn’t mean it had to win. Running or not, this was a great opportunity, one she had busted her ass off to get. Mutou’s, too, come to that. Literally; she had somehow managed to hit him in the butt with a wayward pencil. He had been disturbingly considerate about it, though. Perhaps he could see how important her goals were to her. Or he didn’t want to get arrested for killing a student; either was plausible.

As a flight attendant helped her heave her bag over her seat-why was everyone in America taller then her?- she sat by the window and resumed her train of thought. Why did she run from everything? Shichan would be furious if that were the truth. Was it? Or was she not running from something, but toward something; something that she had wanted at Yamaku, but now had a chance to really find?

A place she could be herself, whole and true, with no false personas, no denial of who she was, just her: voice, depression, and sexual orientation in one curvy little package.

Misha smiled; she liked that thought and wanted to pursue it further, but that had to wait, as the plane taking off left her clutching her ears as they popped painfully. When the pain subsided she felt dizzy, fortunately she managed to quickly doze off.

That always helped get rid of the dizziness.

+++

Jumpin’ Emi on her running legs, what have I gotten myself into?

Again, feedback is appreciated; I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it, for that is the hallmark of a happy writer (i.e., write what you like to write, not what you think others want to read.)

(I’m an apsiring writer by trade, but I’ll get off my soapbox now. I need to actually sell some of the soap anyway to make rent.)

Next Chapter
Last edited by Hoitash on Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:53 pm, edited 31 times in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
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Re: The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

Post by bradpara » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:24 pm

Good start here Keep going
Shizune=Hanako>Lilly>Emi=Rin
Family Game Night A Shizune After Story Fic
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Re: The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

Post by Beoran » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:04 pm

Great start. I love airplane beginnings! I hope she has fun in the big apple... :)
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Re: The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:43 pm

Peace -> piece
...at least in this case

Otherwise nice beginning. Too early to say more.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

Post by Oddball » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:48 pm

It's certainly a nice start.
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Re: The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

Post by Hoitash » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:56 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Peace -> piece
...at least in this case

Otherwise nice beginning. Too early to say more.
Fixed- thanks for that; I may be a half-decent writer, but I'm a pretty lousy proofreader.

Chapter one is done and will be posted Thursday- I need to pace myself so I can revise my novels/find a job/write stuff I can try and make money on/save up for medical stuff/buy Warhammer 40k stuff/not get burned out writing the fic/ yadda, yadda, yadda.

Sorry, I ramble.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
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Re: The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

Post by Elcor » Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:11 pm

Looking forward to reading more.
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Re: The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

Post by nemz » Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:31 pm

Would have been better if you named it "This is My Unites States of Whahaha~!"
Rin > Shizune > Emi > Hanako > Lilly

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Re: The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

Post by Hoitash » Thu May 03, 2012 9:09 am

An important service announcement:

The pacing of this baby might seem off to some people. I’m trying to replicate the pacing of a college semester: weeks of dragged out boredom as the semester winds up, a few months of frenzied activity, a few weeks of dragged on nothing as you prepare for finals and papers, a break, wash, rinse, repeat. Just an FYI.

Anyway, on with the show!

Previous Chapter

+++

Chapter One: New York, New York!


It was 8 pm, August 26th, and fortunately, still light out- or Misha would probably have passed out when she got out of the gate. Realizing how hungry she was, she grabbed a packaged sandwich from one of the restaurant vendors in the airport. Since she wasn’t quite willing to test the Western fast food that hadn’t crossed the ocean yet, she quickly ate the ham and cheese sandwich and left LaGuardia Airport, scanning the curved outside pickup/drop-off area as people unloaded and loaded into cars, vans, and swarms of taxi’s.

Surprised to see it, a small white poster to her right caught her eye. Stating simply “Shiina Mikado” in bold black letters, with the Japanese text under that, Misha bounded over to the sign’s holder, a tall young man with auburn hair and brown eyes.

“Are you Henry Donovan?” Misha asked, unwilling to use English until she had no choice, even after the extra tutoring from Lilly. Annoyingly, her hands still subconsciously signed everything she said, when she spoke Japanese, at least. She was also apparently a bit too loud still, as the young man recoiled slightly at her voice.

The young man nodded and stuck out his right hand, which Misha took with a wide smile.

“Yes, I am, you must be Ms. Mikado,” the young man said, smiling as well.

“Please, call me Misha. Everybody does.”

Henry raised an eyebrow, “All right. I’ll let the taxi driver know we’re ready and then I can introduce myself more fully. By the way, how’s my Japanese?"

Misha smiled and laughed lightly; not the booming laugh she had developed to cover her depression, but a boisterous giggle nonetheless, “It’s very good, the Office for International Students chose my mentor well.”

“It gets better,” Henry said, dropping the sign by a nearby trashcan to use his other hand [Besides being your mentor for the year, I’m also your tutor for American Sign Language. Obviously, as you’ve noticed by now I’m sure, I’m pretty familiar with JSL as well.]

Misha’s smile broadened, “That’s great, really really~ great.”

Finished for the moment, Henry tapped the window of a nearby taxi and had him pop the trunk of the yellow cab for them. Heaving her carry-on into the trunk, he opened the right rear door for her, gesturing for her to sit. Closing it behind her, he ambled over to the left side of the cab and took his seat.

“Hayden Hall, right?” the cab driver’s gruff voice called to Henry.

“Yes,” Misha and Henry said at the same time. The driver nodded and drove off.

Smiling mischievously at her, Henry declared, “So you do know English."

Misha nodded, frowning, “Yes, but it’s not very good.”

Henry raised an eyebrow, “Sure. Say something in English; if I’m going to be your mentor I need to know your skill level.”

Misha furrowed her brow and stared at the cab’s clean, black upholstered floor for a moment, then looked back up. Looking into Henry’s expecting, welcoming face, she said the first thing that popped into her head:

“I like parfaits. Do you know where I could get a good one?”

Henry chuckled, “See, it’s not so hard. Nice to know you guys find English as intimidating as we find the Asian languages,” Misha was still frowning, maybe because the cab driver was glaring at her for her voice volume, so Henry coughed to grab her attention, “To answer your question, I’m not a big parfait person; I prefer pie myself. However, if you want a cheap parfait, there’s always McDonald’s. They’re pretty good, when the fruit in them has thawed.”

Misha kept frowning, but nodded at Henry, “Thank you; this is the first real con...con-ver-sat-ion that I’ve had in English, besides when I was learning it.”

Henry smiled, “Con-ver-saysh-yon,” he corrected, before easing back to Japanese, “and you’re welcome. Good to know your grasp of the language is better then you think.”

He was right; even after all the work she put in to get this far, she was still doubting herself. If she wasn’t careful, she could slip back to those dark days of middle school, or when Shizune and Hisao first got serious. She didn’t want to go back to that, it was too depressing. Going the other direction and being constantly cheerful and perky was too exhausting and phony. Somehow, she’d find the balance.

The drive to New York University passed pretty quickly and silently; either Henry picked up on her mood and didn’t want to bother her, or he wanted to let her take in the city, which she was doing.

“What do you think of the city so far?" he asked as the cab stopped in front of the Hall. The building wasn’t very tall, with red and gray brick, looking similar, and yet so different from, Yamaku. Misha looked around a bit more before answering.

“It’s big. Really big. Really~ Really~ big.”

Her smile was wide when she said it, and Henry smiled back, “That seems to be the general view, even among visiting Americans.”

The driver popped the trunk and told the two their fair. Misha fumbled for her purse and the cash and pre-loaded debit card inside it, before remembering her purse was packed, and she didn’t have a lot of cash on her.

“Don’t worry, I got this,” Henry said, “I have connections in the Office that keep me well budgeted.”

Henry paid the driver while Misha tried to heave her bag out of the trunk. It took some effort but she managed it. By the time she was done, Henry was in front of her and closed the trunk for her. The cab drove off, leaving the two to stare at Hayden Hall.

“Since class doesn’t start until next Tuesday, the place will be pretty empty, and your roommate won’t be here until Orientation starts,” Henry paused to make sure Misha understood, then continued, “It’s not abandoned though; a few summer students are still around, and the Resident Advisors have started to move in, so you’re okay. Oh, and because of your inner-ear problem, you’re on the first floor.”

“Inner ear?” Misha asked, frowning.

Henry gave a sheepish look, “Uh, well, you said in your dorm selection info that stairs made you dizzy. Between that, and your, well, volume control issues, I assumed you had some inner ear damage,” he shrugged, “Guess I’ve been watching too many medical dramas, sorry about that.”

“It’s okay,” Misha said, making a mental note to see a doctor at some point in the future, “thank you for the help, Hecchan.”

“You’re welcome,” he said, not bothered by the new nickname, and, perhaps seeing Misha have to concentrate as she tried to understand his long sentences, slipped back into her native language, “Since most of the international students arrive earlier than other students, the Office is arranging a few guided tours of the city and campus over the week. I can email you a list,” the two had exchanged contact information before meeting, “They’re arranged by region, language, and we even have a few with some of our braver language studying graduate students, as well. I’m giving a few of them, so you’ll know someone on the tour, at least. If you want to join a tour, just email me and tell me which one. Oh, and if you want a more personal experience, you can contact me, or stop by the Office during the day; I’ll be there all week, and I’m usually there in the afternoons when the semester starts. Ask the person at the desk for Will, he’ll be easier to find than me, and then he can find me.”

The longer he spoke, the more accented and slow-paced his Japanese became, but Misha understood anyway. He apparently wasn’t used to saying so much in any case, as he was breathing a bit heavy after he finished.

“Thanks,” she said, then cocked her head slightly, “Who is Will?”

“He’s my assistant,” at her blank look he repeated the last word in her language, “Well, he may as well be; he’s a work-study student and my best friend, but he usually ends up being my gofer,” again, a need to repeat the word; still, Misha was doing better then she had expected. After assuring him she could handle her bag on her own, the two exchanged a goodbye and she hauled the bag through the front door into the lobby.

The lobby looked much like the girl’s dorm lobby at Yamaku, only bigger. There was a counter and a little boxy office space separate from the rest of the lobby, an elevator in one corner, the stairs in another, and a few branching halls to rooms and lounges. Wondering if shooing away her interpreter was a good idea, she stepped up to the counter and rang the little bell next to her, even though a dark skinned young woman was present, dressed in a dark blue summer dress and looking at the mailboxes assorted on the wall to Misha’s right.

At the sound of the noise she jumped and looked at Misha. Taking stock of the newcomer, she walked over to her and asked her who she was.

“I’m Misha! Er, that is, Shiina Mikado? I’m moving in early,” Misha said, a little concerned at the stare the counter-girl was giving her. At her name, though, she brightened a little.

“Oh, I was wondering if you would come early,” the girl ducked down and came back up with a clipboard with some paper on it, and a cheap black pen, “I’m Lorraine, and coincidentally, I’m also you’re floor RA. Well, one of them.”

“Co-in-ci-dent-all-y?” Misha repeated the word slowly, frowning.

Lorraine stared back, scratching her long black hair tied up in a ponytail, then snapped her fingers, “Crap, sorry, forgot for a sec who I was talking to. It means, um, well, never mind,” Lorraine said, abandoning her attempt at being an impromptu dictionary, “You understood the rest, right?”

Misha nodded, “Sorry, big words are a problem for me, for some reason.”

Lorraine smiled, “Don’t worry about it. Now, I just need to move you in, make sure the room wasn’t burned by last year’s idiot stoners, have you sign some forms, and I can give you your keys.”

“Stoners?”

Lorraine sighed quietly, “Never mind. Sorry,” she added when Misha started to pout, “I am way over my head here. Jill or Fred usually get the international students, probably because they know a language besides English. Well, if you count elvish as a language, which Fred does, for some reason.”

Apparently ignorant to the parts of her statement that Misha hadn’t understood, the young woman opened the simple wooden door out of the front desk and into the dorm proper.

“You are in room… 1-2-5, which is this way,” Lorraine said, pointing to the hall to her left after examining her clipboard. Walking down the hall, Misha followed, her large bag rolling behind her.

The door to the dormitory room was wood, painted white like the rest of the building. Lorraine opened it using a key from a small manila envelope, unlocking and pushing the door open. The two walked in, and Misha took stock of her home for the next nine months.

The room was painted white, with two beds on either side of a window on the back wall. At the foot of each bed there was a four shelf light wooden dresser and a desk with two shelves and some drawers built in. Between the two beds under the window was a radiator, which was turned off, though the room was still pretty hot. A door to their right led to the bathroom, the door of which was locked on the outside.

Lorraine wandered around, looking at the bed, the floor, ceiling, everywhere, even under the beds, making marks on her clipboard paper as she did so. After scrutinizing the room, she unlocked the bathroom door and inhaled deeply before looking around inside. That didn’t take too long, and she returned to Misha, who had opened the window as far as she could to stop the stifling heat. Lorraine held the clipboard for her with one hand, the pen in the other.

“Well, everything looks fine,” Lorraine said, “so I just need you to sign here, here, initial here, and date here. Uh, I don’t think the language matters for that.”

Taking the clipboard and pen, Misha signed, dated, initialed, and returned the clipboard and pen.

“Great, here’s your keys,” Lorraine emptied the small envelope into her left hand, producing two more keys in addition to the one she still held, “The big one is your room key, obviously. The small one is for the mailbox at the front desk, and the third is for the laundry room. Oh, and to get in the building after hours, you need to scan your student ID. Uh, you all ready got that, right?”

“It’s in my purse, which is in my bag,” Misha patted the large bag at the edge of the bed on the left.

“Okay, then my work here is done,” Lorraine handed the keys to Misha, “You may want to get a key ring, or something. If you need me for anything and I’m not out front, my room is 136. Bye.”

“Bye bye!” Misha shouted, making Lorraine flinch, “sorry sorry~” she called after the retreating RA. Misha heaved her bag onto her bed and opened it, hauling the various clothes, books, supplies, and computer equipment onto her new bed. The first thing she pulled out was a new laptop and a webcam, both still in there boxes. Taped to the webcam’s black box, in penmanship so meticulous it looked typed, was two rows of days and times, one labeled “Hicchan,” the other “Shicchan.”

Misha sighed when she read the chart; she couldn’t call Shizune until Saturday. She could call Hisao Thursday though, and she didn’t need the webcam for that, though she may as well get the equipment set up.

She didn’t need the webcam, of course; email worked just fine for the three, as did chat programs. It was Hisao’s idea to get webcams, because according to him it was possible to hold webcam chats with three people on three different computers, like when businessmen used multiple monitor’s to do the same thing. Shizune, perhaps from experience with her father, confirmed the information.

Maybe Hisao thought Shizune wouldn’t like email because it was too much like texting, or using a pad of paper. Misha didn’t mind, though; she liked the idea of being able to see who she was talking to; probably a habit from being an interpreter for a deaf person for so long. Still, there were very few times the three could arrange a meeting together. In fact, there were none on the chart; the two went to different universities, and between the three’s different schedules-and in Misha’s case, the time difference- they had decided to wait a while before attempting a three person call. At least Misha had settled in a bit.

Shaking her head a little, she continued to unpack.

+++

Next Chapter

Sorry if I screwed up NYU’s looks or the computer stuff. I know so little about computers it’s pathetic. I’m lucky I can run Steam and keep my computer chugging to play Shogun 2: Total War for me. I guess the Omnissiah looks kindly upon my computer’s machine spirit.

(I am a dork, FYI.)

Also, chapter two will be up (puts on tinfoil hat to see the future) Monday-ish. I feel confident now in posting every four or five days, so I can stay ahead of myself and not have to revise something ten minutes after writing it; I hate doing that.
Last edited by Hoitash on Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:05 pm, edited 9 times in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: The United States of Misha Chapter One Posted

Post by Beoran » Thu May 03, 2012 7:04 pm

Yes. Now who will be her lover... Her room mate? Henry, or...
Kind Regards, B.
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Take a look at Eruta my jRPG under development. New web site since december 2012.
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Re: The United States of Misha Chapter One Posted

Post by themocaw » Thu May 03, 2012 8:08 pm

"I'm Themocaw Shepherd and this is my favorite Misha in America fic on the forums." :)

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Re: The United States of Misha Chapter One Posted

Post by Elcor » Thu May 03, 2012 8:18 pm

themocaw wrote:"I'm Themocaw Shepherd and this is my favorite Misha in America fic on the forums." :)
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Re: The United States of Misha Chapter One Posted

Post by Hoitash » Thu May 03, 2012 8:30 pm

Elcor wrote:
themocaw wrote:"I'm Themocaw Shepherd and this is my favorite Misha in America fic on the forums." :)
Image
Ditto :)

EDIT: Whoops, forgot the italics didn't carry over from copy/paste to the forum. For reference italics=Japanese.

MOAR EDIT: I have discovered how to link to posts, so a table of contents now exists, along with a link to the next chapter at the end of the current chapter.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: The United States of Misha Chapter One Posted

Post by Hoitash » Sun May 06, 2012 9:01 am

I said Monday-ish. Sunday/Thursday will likely be my posting schedule. Also, feedback is appreciated, enjoy, and thanks for reading.

Previous Chapter

Chapter Two: Food, Glorious Food



Her digital alarm clock blared out a song Misha couldn’t understand, waking her up from another damn dream about the two of them left alone in the Student Council room. The alarm said it was 8 am, so Misha went about getting herself ready, finishing up in the bathroom and wearing a clean light pink summer dress for the day.

In the roughly half an hour getting ready had taken, she had become aware of a few problems. One, she had no food, nor a way to store food. Two, her university meal plan didn’t start until Tuesday of next week. Three, she was in an unfamiliar city, with a rudimentary grasp of the native language at best, and no idea where to get food.

Mentally shrugging at the minor inconvenience, she grabbed her garish, flowery pink purse and opened her front door, to see Henry and a slightly shorter young man standing in front of her door. Both wore polo shirts and blue jeans; Henry’s shirt was green, the other’s orange.

“Hello,” she said, unsure of what language to use, and opting for the obvious.

“Hi,” Henry said, resolutely staring at the ceiling; Misha’s dress didn’t leave much to the imagination in the chest department, and both her short height and Henry’s stature made his field of vision very pervy if he chose to make it. Oblivious to this, she turned to his companion, “who is your friend?”

“This is Will, I mentioned him yesterday,” Henry said, finally deciding her left hair-dec was a suitable focal point for his eyes. Will was a bit shorter than Henry; short enough he could look down at Misha up close and not get slapped for it, if she cared. He had dark brown hair that went past his shoulders, small square glasses, and piercing green eyes.

“Hello,” he said, smiling, the smile of a man doing so out of politeness, rather than genuine good nature, “since you might be confused, I’ll tell you now; I do not speak Japanese.”

“He’s our Middle East guy,” Henry said, “well, one of them; interest in that region picked up about seven years ago. Anyway, he’s pretty fluent in Turkish, and right now he’s looking at Arabic, too,” lowering his voice to a mutter, he leaned toward Misha, “and he says all the Asian languages look like scribbles, when he’s studying the languages that look like a pre-schooler’s doodles.”

“How very culturally sensitive of you to say,” Will said, a few words going over Misha’s head, not that she cared; something about Will amused her, and she found herself smiling. Will, focused on Henry’s head, didn’t notice, “please forgive my friend’s rudeness; he’s still upset that I’m right about Daniel Craig being the superior James Bond.”

Groaning, Henry wheeled around to jab a finger at Will, “I am not having this conversation twice in the same day; we’ve all ready had it a million times for the last two years! Sean Connery has been, is, and always will be the superior James Bond.”

Will threw his hands into the air, “fine, and the prequels are better than The Original Trilogy, and Godfather III is the best. Do you hear yourself?”

“One movie, he was in one movie. Connery was in seven!”

“Quantum of Solace comes out in two months.”

“He’s still superior!”

The two stopped abruptly as they heard Misha’s distinctive laugh. Turning to face her, they saw her, her hands on her hips, and laughing loud enough to wake the dead-and then make them deaf.

“WAHAHAHA~ You two are so funny!”

The two stared at each other, unsure what to do. After a minute, Misha calmed down and spoke before the two could resume their argument.

“I agree with Henry. Sean Connery is the superior Bond. Now, why are you two here?”

“Oh, right,” Henry said, “well, I realized-”

“Who realized?”

Henry groaned, “Will realized that I had more or less left you at the mercy of the city for the next week, food-wise, and that I should probably get you acclimated-used to, that is- some of the surrounding eating and shopping locations, until the meal plans kick in-start- next week.”

“I also said it might be less awkward if I came along, so here I am,” Will said.

“Yeah, not awkward at all,” Henry grumbled, “anyway, if you like, would you like to go to breakfast with the two of us?”

“Sure sure~” Misha said, smiling and bolting out of her door and closing it behind her, her purse nearly getting stuck in the door along the way.

“You may want to be clear about payment,” Will said to Henry, pulling out a mail envelope from a pocket and handing it to Misha, “here, this is a gift from the Office.”

Misha took the envelope and raised an eyebrow, “where is this money coming from?”

“I sell my extra leman russes and sentinals on ebay,” Will said, “and use them to help Henry with work, since most of the Office’s budget goes to scholarships and paying our pathetic salaries.”

“A few of those scholarships you yourself earned,” Henry added.

“Sen-tin-al?” Misha’s brain was trying very hard not to explode.

“Warhammer 40K,” Henry said in Japanese, “it’s a game based on armies of miniatures that you assemble and paint yourself.”

Sounded like a more complex version of Risk; Misha made a note to bring it up to Shizune when she called on Saturday. Misha smiled to Will, “thank you, Will.”

“You’re welcome,” Will said, smiling genuinely for the first time, “so, time for food? I need coffee.”

“Christ on a bike, me, too,” Henry added, pinching the bridge of his nose, “let’s get the hell out of here before I murder Will.”

“You’ve had five years to do it, you know.”

“Where are we going?” Misha asked to stop another argument, as amusing as it would have undoubtedly been.

Henry scratched his head for a second, “there’s a local coffee/tea restaurant place that has a decent breakfast, and it’s only a few blocks north of here.”

“That should work,” Will said, “I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight if we brought her to a Starbucks on her first day here. How does that sound to you?”

Misha smiled, “sounds great, Wichan.”

Will blinked and turned to Henry, “I’ve been nicknamed, haven’t I?”

“Yeah.”

Sighing, Will gestured for Misha to follow Henry out of the dorm, Will following the two. The walk to the restaurant gave Misha a chance to appreciate how tall the buildings were. Everywhere she looked there was some monolith of glass and concrete, or glass and steel, peppered in with the more traditional city buildings. And the people; herds of them, roaming everywhere with a purpose and discipline she envied. The three made their way through it all, and as they did so a thought struck Misha, a thought she liked very much.

No matter how strange, weird, or different a person was, in a city this big, they could be practically invisible.

The restaurant itself reminded her vaguely of the Shanghai; it was modern yet traditionally designed, it was small, and it didn’t look very crowded. When they walked in, the place even looked the same; square wooden tables and chairs strewn about. The counter to the left was different, though; people ordered at the register and picked up their food to the left of it.

“Welcome to Roy’s,” Henry said, “or is it Dave’s now?”

“It’s a Panera’s that lost its franchise,” Will said.

Sighing, Henry walked past the chairs and tables to the register. A young woman was waiting there, and behind her, the menu and prices. To her left, behind a shield of glass, was a mass of food, treats, and even chilling drinks, all waiting for someone to ask for them.

“How can I help you, Henry?” the cashier asked.

“I need coffee,” Henry said, jabbing his thumb at Will. The cashier laughed lightly as he continued, “large coffee, black, two sugars, no cream, and one of those coffee cake things, the ones with fruit on them. I want to at least pay lip service to the major food groups.”

“All right, and for you?” she asked Will. Will ordered a small mocha and a scrambled egg wrap with ham and cheese, giving Misha time to examine the menu and calculate things in her head. Reaching for the envelope she had placed in her purse, she quickly counted the sixty dollars Will had given her. Between that, her pre-loaded card, and what her parents gave her for the week, she’d be fine until they mailed her a small allowance-assuming she kept her grades up.

“I’ll have a medium green tea, and the strawberry yogurt parfait,” she had to start finding her favorite parfait sooner or later. She stumbled a bit on a few words, but the cashier didn’t say anything.

Paying for their food and drinks, the three picked a table by the front window while waiting for their order.

“It won’t take too long,” Henry said, looking outside at the mass of people.

“How did you two meet?” Misha asked, her curiosity getting to her, “are you both juniors?”

“I’m a sophomore,” Will said, “second year student,” he added to her confused look.

“We met in high school,” Henry said, “we’re not actually from the city; we come from a small town out west near Pennsylvania,” Henry paused and quickly explained what Pennsylvania was before continuing, “because I was taking Japanese back then-it was an odd school-, all the cheerleaders wanted to hang out with me; they were all huge anime fans. That got me in with the popular crowd, and I was able to use my influence to protect the geeks and nerds of our school. One of them decided to follow me here.”

“You never complained,” Will said, smiling to show he didn’t mind being called a geek, a nerd, or a stalker.

“It must have been nice to have someone protect you from the bullies,” Misha said, staring at the table.

Will glanced at Henry, who glanced back. When their order was called, Henry went to get it.

“Misha?” Will asked. She looked up at the young man, frowning, “you okay?”

Misha considered the question; she wasn’t, really; hearing the story had brought up bad memories, memories of insults and rumors and things stuffed in lockers. She didn’t want to burden her new friends, but she didn’t want to lie, either, although being honest nearly crushed her, too.

“Well… When I was in middle school, I was bullied a lot for…because I was,” she wasn’t sure how her sexual orientation would be taken just yet; it was a controversial topic in America, and she didn’t want to burn bridges anymore then her oblivious nature tended to. She wasn’t sure on the details of her personality yet, anyway.

Will nodded, “ah, and you were thinking it would’ve been nice to have someone there for you, like Henry was for me.”

Henry silently rejoined the two and distributed the food and drinks. Misha nodded to Will and the conversation died off as they ate. Will looked odd for a while, but spoke again after a minute or two, “if the past is that upsetting for you, you may want to consider a counselor, or therapist.”

Henry sighed, “what did you do?”

“Nothing,” Will said, “she was bullied in middle school.”

“Oh,” Henry said, and resumed eating. His coffee cake was large, hot, and sticky, so he spent a lot of time wiping his hands on napkins. Will’s wrap was much easier to eat, and Misha found herself enjoying the small parfait she had ordered. The tea was…fine.

“I’ll think about it,” Misha said, then turned to Henry, “oh, by the way, can I join the tour tonight?”

It took Henry a few seconds to realize what she was talking about. When he did, he nodded, “sure. It’s a Chinese/Japanese group, with one of our Chinese interpreters. Nicole is the name she goes by. Also, dinner comes with it, generously paid for by the school.”

“Great~” Misha beamed, then a new thought occurred to her, “why are you being so helpful to me? Not that I mind.”

“He’s trying to get in your pants,” Will said, ignoring Misha's blank look of incomprehension.

Henry choked on his coffee, gasping and barely swallowing it before starting up a hacking fit. While he was trying to not choke to death Will clarified, “I’m kidding; he just likes to take an unhealthy dedication to his work to make up for his girlfriend still being out of state.”

Catching his breath, Henry finally spoke to Will, “you jackass, I’ll get you for that,” with Will giving a “come at me, bro” shrug, Henry turned to Misha, “and I only do it for special cases. Some students come from overseas with family here, or friends, but you, you’re alone. So I wanted to make sure you were used to things first; all my other student charges have someone else for help.”

“Well, thank you, Henry. And you, Will; you did not have to give me any money.”

“I’m a sucker for a nice rack,” he said, finishing his food and once again ignoring Misha's comprehension at what he has said.

Henry groaned and quickly said to Misha in Japanese, “He just says crap like that to annoy me. That’s not why he did it anyway; he helps me out because he thinks he owes me for high school, though he doesn’t.”

Will gave a theatrical cough, “that’s rude, you know.”

“He’s right,” Misha said, “sorry, Wichan. He was just saying what a great guy you are.”

“Reports of my good nature are greatly exaggerated.”

“Bullcrap,” Henry said, “that money you gave her was from a sentinel you need for your new army.”

“I did need it, but fortunately I managed to trade a squad of kommandoes for one,” Will said, “Jerry’s greenskins will suffer when he dares face the might of the Emperor again!”

Misha gave a quiet-for her anyway-laugh at the two’s bantering. Problems or not, it was nice to know she had options for dealing with her own issues, and people willing to help her through them.

++++
Next Chapter

Not the best chapter ever, but not too bad. Hopefully adding the html italics in the word doc will save me some time.
Last edited by Hoitash on Wed May 16, 2012 5:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Silentcook
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Re: The United States of Misha Chapter Two Up 5/6

Post by Silentcook » Sun May 06, 2012 11:41 am

Your hyphenation is a little schizo; I don't know where you are from or in which flavor of English you are trying to write, so I can't comment on how to fix it. Still pretty sure that nospace-hyphen-space isn't what you should be going for in most instances, anyway. The forums do support em dashes.

Misha blanks at comparatively simple stuff like "coincidentally" and "inner ear", so her breezing past stuff like "I'm a sucker for a nice rack" is hard to swallow. Idioms and other things not found in grammar books are the first and biggest stumbling block for foreign speakers.

Your choice on style of italics use, but if you "tag" them as foreign language you might find trouble later, if you want to express both a thought and spoken words in the same sentence. Since [ ]s are reserved for JSL, you might want to consider < >s for foreign language instead. God help you if you ever want to use ASL, though; in that case you'll be stuck the other way. :3
Shattering your dreams since '94.

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