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

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Hoitash
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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 6/17

Post by Hoitash » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:07 am

Hi folks, before we do this, I want to let you know I’m going on vacation for the next week or so, starting Saturday. However, I will be staying at a resort that should have a computer lab, so I will hopefully be able to post something during the week. So don’t panic if I don’t update when I normally do. Also, if for some reason the resort doesn’t have a lab, if you don’t see any updates at all, that’s why. Presuming anyone would care in the first place, I mean :). Anywho, on with the show:

We now enter the next phase in the relationship, where revelations are made, lines are drawn, and other dramatic stuff happens. Maybe.

Previous Chapter

Chapter Fifteen: A Light Shining in Darkness


KNOCK. KNOCK. KNOCK.

“Misha, I know you’re in there,” Carla said as she pounded on the bathroom door. Misha had bolted into the room, sitting against the cold white wall, her knees tucked under her chin as she tried to remember how to cry. It had been so long, her body seemed to have forgotten how to.

“Go away, please,” Misha muttered to the outside world, her words echoing slightly in the small room.

“Like hell,” Carla said, “Shiina, these doors lock on the outside, so, I’m coming in. If you want me out, you’re gonna have to kick me.”

Misha considered it for a second as the door opened and Carla walked in, but instead she sprang forward and hugged Carla so fiercely they would have hit the floor if the bathroom door hadn’t closed behind them.

“Ow,” Carla said as she was slammed into the door. Finally, Misha was able to cry, the tears streaming down her face as she whimpered. Carla slowly eased them down to the floor, Misha awkwardly hugging and hanging onto Carla. For a while Misha simply hung onto Carla, desperate for physical comfort from someone, anyone, only letting go when a suitemate walked in and quickly ducked out, the door’s thudding bringing Misha back to the world.

“Sorry, Carla,” Misha said, grabbing some toilet paper to wipe her face.

Carla shrugged, “no problem, I’m here for you. Unless you need comfort sex, you’re on your own for that.”

Misha gave a weak giggle at that, and Carla stood up, offering her hand to Misha. Reluctantly, Misha took it, heaving herself up with Carla’s help.

“You wanna talk about it?” Carla asked.

Misha started to shake her head, but stopped and nodded lightly. Carla led her back to their beds and they sat across from each other. Slowly, Misha told her what Lynda had said. When she had finished, she collapsed onto the bed, shoved a pillow over her head and closed her eyes, willing the world to reset itself before she opened them.

“The worst thing about this all,” Misha grumbled to her bed sheets, “besides not knowing how it will end, is there isn’t anything I can do~.”

“You can still contact her,” Carla said, “you have her email address and phone number after all.”

“What if she doesn’t come back?”

Carla sighed, “you need to worry about that later. Try and focus on what you still have,” Carla glanced at the framed photo of her, Hisao, and Shizune. It was joined by a new one of the three and Lynda at the hotel, standing as couples and looking a little more formal- and a little more mature, “just remember you’re not alone, okay? Your friends are here for you.”

Misha sighed and nodded- the same had been true last time, and she had managed to get through it. This time was different, though. Still, Carla had a point.

Carla smiled, “and don’t forget, if you don’t keep in communication, then if she does come back, things could get awkward, and that can ruin the relationship just as much as her not coming back at all. Understand?”

Misha nodded again. She understood, but that didn’t mean she had to like it.

“You don’t have to do it right away, either,” Carla said, seeing the grumpy look on the visible part of Misha’s face, “just make sure you do.”

Misha nodded and mumbled something.

“Pardon?” Carla asked.

Misha heaved herself back to a sitting position, “can we play Stratego?”

Carla smiled and nodded.

==

Misha stared at her laptop screen, undecided on her next move. It was Saturday, so she knew what she had to do. She also knew that it wouldn’t be easy. Sighing, Misha made the call.

[I know what happened- are you okay?] Shizune signed as soon as the call went through and she saw Misha’s face.

Misha shook her head hard, sending her long brown hair over her shoulders in the process, [how did you find out?]

[Lynda told us, said she wanted us to make sure you stayed in contact with her and us, so when she came back things wouldn’t be awkward- also in case we had anything to say that might help.]

[IF she comes back, and Carla told me the same thing about staying in contact.]

Shizune smiled, [she’s a good person. Do you want to talk about it?]

With you, not really. Misha shook her head, [what can I say? It won’t change anything, and it won’t make me feel any better.]

Shizune frowned and paused for a bit, collecting her thoughts before signing again, [do you mean that, or do you just not want to talk about it with me?]

Why were Misha’s friends so damn perceptive? Misha nodded again, [sorry Shicchan.]

Shizune frowned again, but then her face became contemplative. It took a while for her to collect her thoughts. Finally, she started signing again, [I know it’s not the same, but every time Hisao and I meet again, it’s the best moment in my life… and every time we have to leave each other to go back to our university’s, it feels like a part of me dies inside. It hurts every single time, no matter how often we see each other, or email, or use these webcams. I know he feels the same, too.]

Misha thought for a moment. Whether or not Lynda came back, the joy of seeing each other whenever they could would be worth the pain of when they were forced apart.

Misha smiled, (Thank you, Shicchan.]

Shizune smiled back, [Thank you for staying around.]

[You’re welcome. Speaking of Hisao, has he proposed yet?]

Shizune rolled her eyes, [no, but I think he’s close. I’m pretty sure he won’t want to get married until we graduate, so maybe he doesn’t want a long engagement], Shizune shrugged, the competitive glint in her eyes again, [or maybe he’s a bigger coward then I thought.]

Misha wagged a finger, [I’m gonna tell him you said that, maybe that’ll spur him on.]

Shizune gave a silent giggle, her hand over her mouth. The conversation slipped into idle chatter for a bit, and eventually the two friends hung up.

“Did it help?” Carla asked over her psychology textbook.

“Yeah, it did,” Misha said, staring at the two photos above her on the shelf. She looked from one to the other, comparing the short bubblegum pink hair to the shoulder blade length brown. Her past and her present, once again colliding together in odd and interesting ways. Misha ran her fingers through her hair for a bit, then turned to face Carla.

“Cacchan, would I look good with a skunk stripe?”

+++

Next Chapter

Things might get familiar in the future. This is intentional. I am going to toe a very fine line between familiarity and internet rage inducement. I apologize if I fail to toe this line.

I need to work on longer chapters. I suck at word length.
Last edited by Hoitash on Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:03 pm, edited 2 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
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: The United States of Misha 6/21 Update

Post by Helbereth » Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:47 am

I just have to say that, being about half way through while I post this, you are terrible at differentiating between 'there, their and they're', but I can forgive that because your writing is so wonderfully easy on the eyes, otherwise. The tempo has been just right and the progression of the relationships based on the time within the story world is perfectly believable - as well as the character's motivations.

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Re: The United States of Misha 6/21 Update

Post by Hoitash » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:09 am

Helbereth wrote:I just have to say that, being about half way through while I post this, you are terrible at differentiating between 'there, their and they're', but I can forgive that because your writing is so wonderfully easy on the eyes, otherwise. The tempo has been just right and the progression of the relationships based on the time within the story world is perfectly believable - as well as the character's motivations.
Thanks, and welcome to the forums; noticed you were knew.

If I can find an agent who thinks like you, my employment problem will look a lot better :D

I'm trying to improve on the three there's, but it's an uphill battle. Which are the best kind of battles. WAAGH!
"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
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: The United States of Misha 6/21 Update

Post by bradpara » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:48 am

Again, excellent work, I think that I might put this on the Fanfic Rec section of TVTropes.
Shizune=Hanako>Lilly>Emi=Rin
Family Game Night A Shizune After Story Fic
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Re: The United States of Misha 6/21 Update

Post by Hoitash » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:15 pm

bradpara wrote:Again, excellent work, I think that I might put this on the Fanfic Rec section of TVTropes.
If you do, words would not be enough to express my gratitude, /bows.

Regardless of your decision, thank you for reading. I always like it when I post a chapter that has me practically tearing my hear out in anxiety, and people say they liked it and it was a good 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
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: The United States of Misha 6/21 Update

Post by Hoitash » Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:01 am

Hi folks, Myrtle Beach is a little cool today thanks to clouds, so at least I won't have to worry as much about heat exposure.

I'm on a time limit here at the resort, so I'll post to my other fic later, and I'll link up this one soon as well. Sorry for the hassle, hope you enjoy it.

If I had a gorram mouse this would be so much easier.

Previous Chapter

Chapter Sixteen: They are my Bulwark Against the Terror


Misha examined her handiwork in the mirror of the bathroom Friday afternoon. It hadn’t been too hard to find purple hair dye- Lynda’s favorite color- and she had plenty of experience dyeing her own hair. Still, she had never dyed only some of it, and was nervous of how the stripe down her long hair would look. To her relief, it managed to form a good thick line, slightly off to the right as it went down her back. She smiled weakly and left the bathroom, just in time to hear a knock at the door. Misha walked over and opened it, surprised to see Will standing there.

“He-” Will’s salutation was cut off when he noticed Misha’s hair. He took off his glasses, wiped them on the sweater under his coat, and put them back on. Satisfied the purple stripe of hair was real, he continued, “hello, I was just wondering if you had dinner plans tonight?”

Misha shook her head; she was going to go with Carla, but she had to work.

“I see,” Will said, “well, in that case, I don’t suppose you’d like to have it with me?”

Misha raised an eyebrow at the offer; Will rarely spoke to her, and never did anything with her unless Henry or Lynda were around. The reason behind the offer was relatively obvious; no doubt Lynda had told Henry and Will she would be out of the country for some time, possibly for a very long time. Will’s offer seemed to be of genuine concern rather then pity, so Misha accepted, and the two ended up eating burgers and fries over a rickety metal table.

Will spent most of the meal complaining about work. Misha had quickly realized that Will dominated any conversation he had with someone other then Henry or Lynda. Misha didn’t mind; she was grateful for the company, and the same time appreciative she didn’t have to contribute too much while she slowly got used to her new, Lynda-less life.

After a particularly long rant, he paused to drink some soda before asking Misha why she had dyed her hair.

One thing she had appreciated about the meal was not being asked questions, especially about how she felt now that Lynda was gone. Still, Misha had put a lot of thought into her decision, and she didn’t mind sharing it.

“It’s to remind myself that we still have a chance,” Misha answered.

Will nodded, “you know, even if she doesn’t get the transfer, she may still be able to come back. She’s in Canada, not Brazil; it’s not exactly far. Hell, I can practically row there.”

Will’s statement got a weak giggle from Misha and an appreciative nod; he had a point. Still, she had to be ready for the chance that their relationship was, in fact, over. It was just not knowing whether or not that was the case that really upset her.

“Do you think we moved our relationship too fast?” Misha asked. Of all the people she knew, Will was the one who wouldn’t bullshit her. His lack of obvious pity and his familial relationship to Lynda helped the question stir from her mind to the open air.

Will lowered his glasses on his nose and leaned down slightly to look Misha in the eye. He opened his mouth, closed it, sighed, then opened his mouth again, “maybe. Considering the distance between you two, the limited amount of time you had together, it’s not too surprising, really. Besides, too fast or not, your relationship has still managed to grow and develop like any other.”

Misha sighed, “what if she does come back, and things don’t work out~?”

Will shrugged, “no relationship is perfect. Your doubt is understandable- though perhaps it should be directed at your girlfriend, and not her stepbrother,” Misha laughed weakly. Will readjusted his glasses and scratched his head for a moment. His eyes alight, he snapped his fingers- a subdued, melodic snap.

“There’s this old saying, ‘we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.’ Do you see how it relates here?”

Misha thought for a minute before nodding, “I should deal with the problems in our relationship when they occur, and not before.”

Will smiled and nodded, “more or less. You should probably focus less on theoretical problems in the future, when you have a big one in your present. Which brings me back to an earlier point, and one you’ve probably heard before: for the love of the Golden Throne, keep the lines of communication open.”

Misha smiled and nodded, “I will, and thank you, Wicchan~.”

Will sighed and smiled back before checking the wristwatch on his left arm. Checking the hands as they made their way around, he looked to Misha.

“I should go. Henry said if you don’t want to come to the movie tonight, he’ll understand.”

Misha nodded slowly; she didn’t think she could bring herself to sit alone on the floor, no one to hold her or lean on her. She may as well have been alone, and indeed that’s what happened as she spent the night watching the city lights from the roof of the Kimmel building. The scope of New York City never ceased to amaze her.

Silently looking out into the night, it was a while before she noticed Kelly pacing around the building, glancing in Misha’s direction whenever she had the chance. Misha was used to that; Kelly seemed a bit shy, never approaching or talking to anyone unless they initiated it, or she was invited. For once, Misha didn’t invite her to come over, as she sat there sitting and facing the world, alone. After an hour or so Kelly wandered off, which was fortunate, because that was about the time Misha started silently crying.

==

The winter chill of February wasn’t dampened much by the heat and energy of the city. Still, life moved on, as much as Misha tried to ignore that as she secluded herself from her friends, either at the Kimmel building’s roof or wherever her friends were least likely to be.

She managed to email and call Lynda every few days, and it hurt every time she did it. At the same time, she was glad every time that she had. If she ever doubted herself, all she had to do was look into the mirror and gaze at the bright purple line of hair. One call had reassured Misha that they may have moved quickly in their relationship, but it didn’t really matter at this stage, anyway. Still, the void in her life left by Lynda’s presence gnawed at her, a testament to her aura’s strength despite the limited time they spent together. Hiding away from the world allowed her to focus on shutting out the pain, or to allow her to wallow in it away from concerned eyes.

She did her best to not physically isolate herself from her friends too much. That had been her problem last time. Instead, she preferred to spend the time she normally would have spent with Lynda alone, quietly looking out the city, thinking of the things they did, and what they had yet to do. When Carla didn’t catch on ad drag her to dinner, at least.

“Hey, Hicchan~,” Misha said Thursday night, barely managing to put on a cheery face as she called.

Hisao raised an eyebrow, “hi, Misha. Hi, Carla.”

Misha turned her head slightly; Carla was right behind her on one knee to be in the camera’s vision.

“Hello, Hisao. How are you?” Carla asked. Stating her desire to study anime cosplayers, Carla had taken Japanese as her minor.

“I am fine, Carla. How are you?” Hisao responded.

Carla shrugged, “I hate your job, I can get a decent date not, and my roommate is depressed… wait…”

“Cacchan~!” Misha cried, shooing Carla away while Hisao sighed.

“Actually, about that, Shizune wanted me to tell you something, Misha,” Hisao said, “she says, hang on I wrote it down… ‘while your friends understand that you need time to yourself, wallowing in your anguish will not help anyone, least of all yourself.”

“You tell her, Hisao!” Carla said, not even pretending to read as she got the gist of the conversation from Hisao’s tone.

Misha rolled her eyes and jammed her headphone jack into her laptop, slamming them onto her head and flipping the microphone down to her mouth.

“Does Miss Student Council President have anything else to say~?” Misha asked through an indignant frown, her attempts at hiding her true feelings gone.

“Yes, she says she hates the skunk stripe, too."

That was low, “she always hates it when I change my hair~!” Misha retorted.

Hisao nodded, “I know. I don’t mind it, personally. But getting back to what Carla said, Shizune and I know you haven’t been as upbeat as you’ve been acting when you call.”

Misha sighed, “sorry, Hicchan, old habits die hard, I guess.”

Carla popped back up, “that’s because people who develop habits of a negative nature tend to regress to those habits in times of- sorry, I’m going,” Carla said as Misha shooed her away again.

Hisao raised an eyebrow, “what did she say?”

Misha sighed, “she’s saying what my counselor said- I’ve been putting up walls between me and the world to hide my pain as a coping mecha-nism- a bad one, as it turns out.”

“You’re also avoiding people, according to Carla.”

Misha slouched into her chair, “I know. I like being alone when I’m upset. Besides, they remind me of Lynda.”

Hisao nodded, pausing for a while before speaking, “you know, when you do things like that, it hurts those around you. You’re in pain, sure, but you’re also inflicting pain on others.”

Carla quickly reappeared and held up her smartphone:

Hey, if what’s going on is what I think is going on, I just want to say Misha isn’t as bad as she was when you and Shizune started going out- Lynda told me about that after I emailed her when Misha started avoiding us. She's most likely trying to shield those she cares about from seeing her in pain.

Misha grabbed the smartphone and read the screen, a weak smile on her face, “thanks, Cacchan.”

Carla smiled and went back to her bed.

“Well, that’s a relief,” Hisao said, smiling back at Misha, “I’m sure you’ll be fine, just remember you’re not alone. No matter how much it feels that way.”

Misha nodded, her smile stronger now, “I know, Hicchan. It’s easy to forget that sometimes, is all.”

After some idle chitchat and a promise for another four person game of Risk, the call ended. Misha sighed and turned to face Carla, who was flipping through a textbook, “thank you, too Carla.”

“No problem,” Carla said. She looked up from her book, “you wanna do something tomorrow?”

Misha considered the offer; she really did need to stop avoiding people, it hadn’t helped last time, either, “I think I’m going to have dinner with Will again, but after that we could go somewhere.”

“Sure, I get off work at nine, we can go to a café or something. You can listen to me bitch about work some more,” Carla smirked, “I can almost do it in Japanese. Turns out I have a flair for languages.”

“Most people do, they just don’t have the drive to learn, usually.”

“Thanks, for that, and for putting up with my nosiness."

Misha smiled, "nosy friends are the best kind for me, sometimes."

+++

Next Chapter

I have some reservations about this chapter, but I think it buffed out okay. I'll link it up next time, my timer is almost out.
Last edited by Hoitash on Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:48 am, edited 3 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
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Helbereth
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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 6/25

Post by Helbereth » Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:33 pm

Seems to work the way I see it. Even if Misha is improving how she deals with people, seeing a councilor, and accepting her preferences, she's still going to end up falling back on habits like that. What's good to see is that she's not putting on a happy face all the time like she used to at Yamaku - which is progress. It's possible that she could come off as wallowing a bit more than might be normal, but considering her history with rejection and confusion, I'd expect her to swing low for longer than most.

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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 6/25

Post by Hoitash » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:11 pm

Helbereth wrote:Seems to work the way I see it. Even if Misha is improving how she deals with people, seeing a councilor, and accepting her preferences, she's still going to end up falling back on habits like that. What's good to see is that she's not putting on a happy face all the time like she used to at Yamaku - which is progress. It's possible that she could come off as wallowing a bit more than might be normal, but considering her history with rejection and confusion, I'd expect her to swing low for longer than most.
That was my line of thinking. I was toeing a careful line there, but my A in Psycology seems to have paid off. Glad it worked :)
"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
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 6/25

Post by Hoitash » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:46 am

Important message:

We're entering the home stretch folks. Just a few more chapters and an epilogue to go.

Thanks everyone whose read and commented, I may do this for the fun of it, but it’s great to know my work is appreciated.

Previous Chapter

Chapter Seventeen: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night


Dinner with Will went how it usually did; he complained about work a lot, then asked Misha how her classes were going. Once again declining to attend the movie night, Misha sent a quick text to Carla to meet her at the Kimmel’s roof; Misha never got tired of looking out at the city.

The lights of the city sprawled and danced around her as she looked outside. Every now and then she wondered where Carla would drag her off to, and if she wanted to go. She did and she didn’t, but a text back from Carla mentioning a parfait managed to raise her spirits a little.

Misha’s anger at herself over her earlier self exile slowly faded as she looked out into the blazing lights and sparks of neon. The pain of Lynda’s absence subsided, too, helped by the fact that looking out to the city was one of the few things they never did together. After a while Misha started to doze off, but she snapped back awake when she felt and saw Kelly sit next to her on the bench.

Looking at Kelly, her nervousness was obvious, but she resolutely gazed out into the city, her eyes fixed on the view in front of her. Misha was about to say something, but decided against it, and just looked out towards the world with her silent companion. Both jumped when Misha’s cell phone vibrated with Carla stating she was on her way. Kelly glanced at the cell phone and left as silently as she had arrived. Misha again considered saying something, but again decided against it; she didn’t want to disrupt the calmness of the situation with words. Instead, she took one last look out to the city, listening to the dull murmur of conversations around her, and closed her eyes.

She had managed not to think about Lynda when she looked out towards the city, with her silent partner in silent pain.

==

Between her counselor, the LGBT meetings, and Will’s indifferent method of social comfort, Misha slowly spent the next few weeks getting her social life back together, obvious exception aside. The hole left by Lynda never quite went away, but she was able to ignore it most of the time. Only after calling Lynda, and hearing her voice, and thinking of it whispering in her ear, did the pain, uncertainty, and loss of their situation bring her to tears. Still, she was determined to stay in contact, no matter how much it hurt.

Misha checked her hair before making her call to Lynda, the slowly fading purple strip reminding her there was still hope- Lynda had told her not to recolor it, figuring its fading was as good a metaphor for their distance as any. Lynda refused to get a webcam, so that meant Misha once again had to settle for Lynda’s voice when she made the call after her afternoon class one Tuesday.

“Lycchan~!” she nearly screeched into the phone when Lynda picked up. Carla flinched on her way out to work.

“Hi, Micchan,” Lynda said, her voice immediately making Misha nervous; it sounded… depressed.

“Are you okay?” Misha asked as she lay on her bed, her fingers running down the seam of her blue jeans while she spoke.

“Yeah, you just got me in a downswing is all. The meds don’t completely fix my mood, just make the swings less painful,” Lynda gave a weak laugh, “nothing to worry about."

“So you’re still taking your meds?”

Lynda sighed, “yes, in fact I’ve stopped not taking them.”

Misha smiled at that, but as the conversation wore on Lynda’s voice increasingly made her regret the call.

“Lynda, why have I never seen or heard you when you’re like this before~?” Misha finally asked.

“…I didn’t want you to have to hear it. You hear me sound like this, and it hurts you, and you want to fix it. You can’t, by the way,” Lynda must’ve forced a smile when she continued, “please don’t worry about it, I’ll be fine in a day or two.”

Misha sighed, “okay, Lycchan, but we’re having a talk when you get back here.”

Lynda laughed again, a weak one, but a real one nonetheless, “I know; my partner’s always have a thing or two to say when they find out how much I hide my disorder from them- when it doesn’t drive them off.”

“I’d understand you know! I spent three years in a school where most of the students worked to overcome their disabilities. Hell, you can’t even tell some of them are disabled!”

“…it’s not the same.”

“Yes, it is,” Misha sighed again, “I don’t want to argue with you, okay? Just don’t hide your disorder from me anymore, please~?”

“…Okay. Oh, Shizune and Hisao want to meet up again during summer break.”

“I got that email, too,” Misha paused, “will you want to go, even if you’re not here?”

The smile in her voice was unmistakable this time, “I don’t care if I have to swim to Japan, I’ll be there.”

“Great. I love you.”

“I love you, too,” Lynda said before hanging up, leaving Misha alone once again. She didn’t cry, though hearing Lynda when she was down was a new experience in pain. Still, the fact that it hurt to hear proved they still cared about each other.

When a tear managed to force itself out, Misha grabbed her keys and wallet, shoved them in the pockets of her blue jeans, and bolted for the Kimmel building to watch the sunset. Alone on a bench, she could gaze out into the city, watching the sun descend and the lights of the city slowly replace it. Or she could close her eyes and block out the world entirely, listening to the dull murmur of conversation and city around her, as the sun’s light piercing her closed eyelids was slowly replaced by the light of man. Or she could fall asleep.

“Misha, you awake?” Kelly’s voice whispered next to Misha. She opened her eyes to look at the young blond woman sitting next to her and nodded slowly.

“You haven’t said anything to me in a while~,” Misha said.

Kelly shrugged, “you seemed like you didn’t want to be disturbed the last few weeks.”

“But you sat next to me that one time,” Misha pointed out.

Kelly clutched her cross, “you looked like you needed some quiet company. I’m good at that.”

“You normally don’t sit unless invited.”

Kelly shrugged again, “you didn’t seem in an inviting mood. When people need help most is usually when they’re least likely to ask for or accept it.”

Misha turned away to look outside; it was truly night now- the neon and lights of the city nearly burned out the stars above in their intensity. Kelly shifted in her blue jeans for a moment.

“Um, is the fact that you’ve been looking so upset connected to the fact I haven’t seen Lynda around for a while?”

Misha sighed; another person trying to help, “yes, she hasn’t been able to visit from Toronto for a while. She might not be able to in the future, either.”

Misha braced for Kelly to say “I’m sorry” or “it will get better” or something that sounded reassuring, but was just an empty platitude by this point. Instead, she looked out to the city and pointed to a block nearly half a mile away.

“You can’t see it from here, but there’s a small café at that block that sells ice cream all year round.”

Misha raised an eyebrow, “do they sell parfaits?”

Kelly nodded, “they do. They have a really nice chai tea, too… If you haven’t had dinner, I was thinking of going. You wanna come along?”

The idea of a parfait and getting off campus was appealing; so was sitting on the bench and moping. Deciding she needed a break from moping, Misha nodded, “sure, it would be nice to get off campus again; I haven’t in a while.”

The two crossed the streets quietly, making their way through the sea of people as they strode their way within the city’s vast expanse. The café was a small place, similar to the one Henry and Will had taken her to on her first full day in America. This place looked a little more upscale, though; the tables had light green tablecloths on them, and the lighting was that annoying dim light of a place trying to create ambience, but just caused eyestrain. They found a table near a corner somewhere, and Misha glanced around. The place wasn’t too crowded, and most of the people present were college students reading textbooks or chatting about this and that. Kelly yanked two plastic menus from the metal frame that also held the condiments and handed one to Misha.

“Before you pick anything,” Kelly said, her face buried in her menu, “I don’t mind paying the whole bill, since it was my idea to come here.”

Misha raised an eyebrow; this was starting to sound like a date. Or Misha was over thinking the situation; she seemed to do that a lot with relationships. Sometimes she missed being considered a puppet of a deaf girl; it made life simpler. The prices didn’t reflect the upscale nature of the place, but the food was definitely a bit much for a small café. When a waitress came over to take their order, they both ordered some chai tea and salads. Kelly decided on a platter of onion rings for them to share as well.

Kelly spent most of the meal sitting and sipping her tea, glancing at Misha every now and then. Misha patiently waited for Kelly to speak her mind, enjoying her food and wondering what her dining partner might be thinking.

“How are you handling her absence?” Kelly finally asked.

Misha sighed, “I’m doing better than I was a few days ago~."

“Good.”

Kelly didn’t say anything through Misha’s parfait and Kelly’s milkshake either. The silence would’ve been uncomfortable and awkward if Misha was in a talking mood, which she really wasn’t. Near the end, though, Kelly spoke again.

“What classes are you taking this semester?” she asked.

Misha told her, earning a nod from Kelly, “how do you like American Government so far?”

Misha shrugged, “it’s a bit more involved than I thought it would be. I’m still not sure I understand how a bill becomes a law.”

Kelly laughed quietly, “sometimes I wonder if Congress knows, either.”

Misha laughed, realizing it had been the first time in a while she had laughed decently and honestly. She also noticed Kelly’s smile; one of those cheery smiles that contrasts with the normally dour person wearing it. Remembering someone else who almost never smiled, Misha asked Kelly about her shyness.

Kelly fidgeted a little and shrugged, “I’m just a bit introverted, is all. It’s not serious; I just get nervous talking to people.”

“We’re talking~.”

“Well, we’ve talked before, and the first time we talked, you spoke to me first.”

Misha nodded- she had a point. Looking for a change in conversation, Kelly asked Misha how the US government’s functions differed from Japan’s. Never being particularly political, Misha answered the best she could; the differences weren’t too serious after all, once you broke it down. After that their conversation died again, and Kelly, realizing they had finished and paid for their dinner, checked the time on her cell phone.

“It’s getting a little late; I should go,” Kelly said, getting up. Misha nodded and got up, too. The two silently walked back to the dorms, stopping at a road where their paths diverged.

“I need to go this way,” Kelly said, pointing across the street, “see you around Kimmel?”

Misha nodded, “sure. And don’t be afraid to talk to me; I’m feeling better these days, okay~?"

Kelly nodded and trotted off. Misha thought she was smiling when she turned away, but it was hard to tell for sure.

+++

Next Chapter

My pacing structure is a tad kooky, but the bext few chapters might be a bit jarring. Hopefully I can work out the kinks- it's one of the risks of omnicient viewpoint, I think.

As to this chapter, well, I got nothin'.
Last edited by Hoitash on Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:05 am, edited 1 time 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
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: The United States of Misha 6/29 Update

Post by Helbereth » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:25 pm

I think the pacing is fine. Having a key character drop out of the story for a while creates a lot of introspection - especially if that character is close to the protagonist. Misha drifting a bit while Lynda is away makes plenty of sense, as does her tentatively reaching out for companionship after she gets past the initial shock.

I'd been wondering for a while when Kelly was going to finally say something, and I think it was handled well. The ending leaves us wondering what her motivations might be, and it shows that Misha has gotten better at perceiving how the people around her are thinking - or at least she has a more realistic sense of other people's perception.

Don't beat yourself up about it so much, it's not bad.

I don't think you messed up 'there, their and they're' this time, at least.

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Re: The United States of Misha 6/29 Update

Post by Hoitash » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:33 pm

Helbereth wrote:I think the pacing is fine. Having a key character drop out of the story for a while creates a lot of introspection - especially if that character is close to the protagonist. Misha drifting a bit while Lynda is away makes plenty of sense, as does her tentatively reaching out for companionship after she gets past the initial shock.

I'd been wondering for a while when Kelly was going to finally say something, and I think it was handled well. The ending leaves us wondering what her motivations might be, and it shows that Misha has gotten better at perceiving how the people around her are thinking - or at least she has a more realistic sense of other people's perception.

Don't beat yourself up about it so much, it's not bad.

I don't think you messed up 'there, their and they're' this time, at least.
Thinking it's not bad and knowing it's not bad are two differen things.

Good to know its going well, makes me less anxious about the next chapters :)
"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 Updated 6/25

Post by griffon8 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:39 am

Hoitash wrote:Misha shrugged, “it’s a bit more involved than I thought it would be. I’m still not sure I understand how a bill becomes a law.”
No problem! Schoolhouse Rock to the rescue!
I found out about Katawa Shoujo through the forums of Misfile. There, I am the editor of Misfiled Dreams.

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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 6/25

Post by Hoitash » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:38 pm

griffon8 wrote:
Hoitash wrote:Misha shrugged, “it’s a bit more involved than I thought it would be. I’m still not sure I understand how a bill becomes a law.”
No problem! Schoolhouse Rock to the rescue!
I feel old now... and I miss the 90's.
"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
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 6/25

Post by griffon8 » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:43 pm

Hoitash wrote:I feel old now... and I miss the 90's.
:?

Those things were made in the '70s. I was growing up when those were being created.

And the only reason to miss the '90s is because that's the last time the economy kicked ass.
I found out about Katawa Shoujo through the forums of Misfile. There, I am the editor of Misfiled Dreams.

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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 6/25

Post by Hoitash » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:47 pm

griffon8 wrote:
Hoitash wrote:I feel old now... and I miss the 90's.
:?

Those things were made in the '70s. I was growing up when those were being created.

And the only reason to miss the '90s is because that's the last time the economy kicked ass.
Huh, I did not know that. Explains why they looked like the Looney Tunes cartoons in terms of coloration.
"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
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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