Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 10/31/18)

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Reksho
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository

Post by Reksho » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:32 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:If it had been about Hanako, I'd have expected something along the lines of "She was always clinging to that friend" or "That friend was always there for her" etc.
The "Being joined at the hip" is really a Shizune/Misha thing. I think it's even a few times in the original text.

It's really a matter of describing the same relationship, rather than distinguishing the type of relationship. Just ProfAllister's way of naming it.

''Hicchan'' on the other hand, is objectively something from Misha and Misha only.

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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository

Post by ProfAllister » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:14 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:Well, you let Hanako use "Hicchan", which is in the context of KS obviously Misha's trademark.

Then the remark about His wife and her friend "being joined at the hip" which also doesn't quite describe Hanako and Lilly's relationship.

So, yes, you wanted to mislead the readers, but there wasn't much subtlety about it. It was almost as if you'd given his wife pink-drilled hair just to reveal it was a wig at the end.
I'm willing to concede that this was perhaps a failed experiment.

That being said, I feel you're being unfair in your judgments.

It is true that Misha is one of two characters in KS that uses "Hicchan," and the other character gets a single line by proxy. I was relying on an assumption (yes, I know) that the -chan suffix was reasonably understood. Misha's "thing" isn't using the names "Hicchan" et. al.; her "thing" is self-infantilization through adopting an inappropriate familiarity with individuals who are just one step away from complete strangers. While "Hicchan" is generally associated with Misha, the use of the name itself is no more exclusive to her as "Sweetie-pie" of "Pumpkin" would be in a more westernized setting.

In my opinion, the categorical judgment that Hisao's spouse can't address him by a common diminutive already used by family members unless she's Misha is simply wrong.

As for "joined at the hip," I figured (mistakenly) that it was enough of a cliche to be sufficiently divorced from the dramatic echo effect. Your suggestions seem to lack the ambiguity I was going for (the latter more than the former). And this problem becomes even more complex, as each of the pairings has a sliding scale between the apparent relationship and the actual relationship. And, on top of that, we all have the readers' omniscience of having seen all paths. Looking only through the lens of Hanako's good route, I do not feel that "joined at the hip" is an inaccurate description of the relationship.

And I think that goes back to intent. I wasn't aiming for a Shyamalan-style "What a tweest!" per se. I wanted to take accurate (or believable) elements of a character that were underplayed in the canon (and even more so in the fanon) to simulate an aged version of the character, having changed, yet remaining the same individual. It seems that building up to a "reveal" is what ultimately hurt the story.

But, even as it stands, I hardly think it's on the level of "Surprise! It was a wig the whole time!"
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository

Post by Reksho » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:54 am

ProfAllister wrote:In my opinion, the categorical judgment that Hisao's spouse can't address him by a common diminutive already used by family members unless she's Misha is simply wrong.
It isn't wrong in the realm of KS where the ''rules'' and logic have already been predetermined and which your story is written in. Without the realm, sure, it's acceptable on a general level. But your story is set within a world which readers are presumed to have knowledge about beforehand. Making others than Misha use ''Hicchan'' makes it unnecessarily difficult for readers to follow your story.

But as a simple solution, maybe ''Hisao-chan'' would be more fitting, especially for Hanako.

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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository

Post by Oddball » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:47 pm

I'm willing to concede that this was perhaps a failed experiment.

That being said, I feel you're being unfair in your judgments.

It is true that Misha is one of two characters in KS that uses "Hicchan," and the other character gets a single line by proxy. I was relying on an assumption (yes, I know) that the -chan suffix was reasonably understood. Misha's "thing" isn't using the names "Hicchan" et. al.; her "thing" is self-infantilization through adopting an inappropriate familiarity with individuals who are just one step away from complete strangers. While "Hicchan" is generally associated with Misha, the use of the name itself is no more exclusive to her as "Sweetie-pie" of "Pumpkin" would be in a more westernized setting.
In my opinion, the categorical judgment that Hisao's spouse can't address him by a common diminutive already used by family members unless she's Misha is simply wrong.
It's not wrong. You just used it badly. There's nothing that says Hanako can't eventually pick up a nickname for Hisao. The problem lies in the fact that you used a nickname that she was never known to use in the source material and that another character was.

There is simply no reason for the reader to assume that it's anyone other than Misha that's calling him that.
As for "joined at the hip," I figured (mistakenly) that it was enough of a cliche to be sufficiently divorced from the dramatic echo effect. Your suggestions seem to lack the ambiguity I was going for (the latter more than the former). And this problem becomes even more complex, as each of the pairings has a sliding scale between the apparent relationship and the actual relationship. And, on top of that, we all have the readers' omniscience of having seen all paths. Looking only through the lens of Hanako's good route, I do not feel that "joined at the hip" is an inaccurate description of the relationship.
To me, "joined at the hip" suggests that the two are never seen without each other and share an equal relationship. Hanako and Lilly are frequently seen without each other and don't exactly come across as equals when you're dealing with them
But, even as it stands, I hardly think it's on the level of "Surprise! It was a wig the whole time!"
It's pretty darn close.

I can see what you were trying. You were trying to give clues that could equally apply to different characters. What you ended up doing is creating clues that, AFTER you read the story you MIGHT be able to apply to the character it's supposed to be, as long as you don't mind tilting your head and squinting a little bit.
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository

Post by ProfAllister » Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:41 pm

Karaoke Night
25 Years Later...
A Very Student Council Christmas (You Are Here)
Sharks and Minnows
Katawa Shoujo: The Musical!
So She Dances
Hokkaido: a Turning Point
Where Are They Now?
Freaks and Friends Super Happy Funtime Christmas Special
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Two Halves Make a Hole
The Death and Return of Niji
Meeting Miki
War Diary 31-10-2007


(A little late, but here's a Christmas-themed one-shot. Wrote it up around Christmas, but decided to hold off on posting it, for various reasons.)

A Very Student Council Christmas

It's the perfect set-up. This won't possibly fail.

I managed to convince Shicchan to let me have the keys to the student council room so I could set up Christmas decorations. I don't really care for Christmas, but Shicchan loves festivals, so I have a reason to go all out.

Shicchan's expecting the traditional chicken dinner. She won't be disappointed, but I think I might add a few more things to spice it up. Like candlelight. And maybe a small gift...

I crack my knuckles, satisfied with my work. The room feels a lot warmer and festive now. I keep bugging Shicchan to turn the heat up, but she says it's too expensive.

Shicchan also says cracking your knuckles is a bad habit. She does it too. More than I do.

And there, at the threshold of the room, is the pièce de résistance: a sprig of mistletoe hanging over the doorway. There's no escape for her now. All I have to do is wait.

...

...

...Waiting is boring.

I start playing with my hair. I wonder if Shicchan would pay more attention if I did something to my hair. She already notices my hair, but not in a good way. She complains that it's too messy. It doesn't look dignified. It makes me look lazy. That last one really hurts. It's a lot of work keeping hair this long in good condition. And I like it when it's a little messy.

I hear the click of the door as the handle starts to turn. Show time! I pretend to be busy, so she won't suspect anything...

The door slowly opens as Shicchan walks in. Just as I practiced, I widen my eyes in shock and drop the decorations in my hands, signing a warning to her. [Don't move, Shicchan!]

The crashing sound tells me that those decorations were fragile. Oh well. My trap worked, Shicchan is frozen in place, the door half open. Her eyes are darting around, trying to see the danger. Hesitantly, I point to the mistletoe hanging above her.

Looking up, Shicchan relaxes, and seems a little annoyed. [Mistletoe? What's so scary about mistletoe?]

[You don't know about mistletoe? If you walk under mistletoe and don't get kissed, the Ghost of Christmas Past will curse you!] I run up to her. [I'm so sorry! I was decorating and I got carried away. I didn't mean to put the mistletoe up yet!]

She peers over her glasses at me. She has such pretty eyes. [I've never heard of that before. Besides, ghost stories are childish. Now let me in.]

Oh dear. I seem to have “accidentally” blocked the only way for Shicchan to get in. What a predicament. [You only say Ghost stories are childish because you've never been attacked by the Colonel. It's scary when you get ghosts mad. I'm not going to let the Ghost of Christmas Past curse you.

Setting her expression, Shicchan tries to sidestep around me, but I'm ready, and block her path. After a few failed attempts to get past me, she starts to smile, but puts on a show of being annoyed. Shicchan loves her games, after all. It's cute how easily they can cheer her up.

Giving up, she stops moving. [Fine, you win, I'm not getting by.]

I pretend to relax, but manage to block her path when she tries darting by. I'm not stupid, Shicchan.

Crossing her arms, Shicchan tries to scowl at me, but she's enjoying herself too much for it to stick. [Okay, Misha, this is fun, but I'm going to have to get in there eventually.]

I'm not budging. [Then someone's going to have to kiss you then. You'll just have to wait until some random ugly pimply boy with braces happen to pass by. Unless...]

She arches an eyebrow. [Unless what?]

This is so exciting! It's going to work! I hope it's her first kiss. That would make it all the more magical. Discovering your true love with your first kiss on Christmas. I'm so jealous of you, Shicchan!

[Well... We don't have to tell anyone, but I can kiss you. Just a quick peck on the lips and the Ghost of Christmas Past will be satisfied.]

I don't want to look too excited about this, so I follow it up with a hearty laugh. That way she'll just think I'm laughing at how silly that would be.

Shicchan looks like she's considering the idea. Come on, almost there...

“What's this? A shitty girl under the mistletoe? Gritty... bitty... pretty... pretty! ”

No. Not that. Anything but that. Go away, Lamperouge!

With a fluid motion, Lelouche twirls Shicchan around and dips her into an inappropriately familiar kiss.

Damn it! So close, and it's all ruined! I hope that wasn't Shicchan's first kiss. I hope she's a kissing slut, and that was her 32nd kiss! How would you like that, Lamperogue? You're just another notch on the bedpost to her!

Plastering a huge grin on my face, I pretend everything's fine. “Why hello~, Lulu! What brings you around here~?”

Yes, Lulu, why are you here? Shouldn't you be off with the rest of the literature club, reading? He grimaces at the nickname. I don't care. Nicknames are cuter. If it happens to keep boys away from Shicchan, all the better.

He gives me what I'm sure would be a winning smile. Handsome foreigner or no, I hate him right now. Not that he can tell. “I wanted to see if Shibboleth wanted to play chess. Suzuki... Shizuka... Mizune-”

“Shicchan!” I cut him off. It's rude, but he's already getting on my nerves.

Shicchan's eyes brighten. Please no, Shicchan. I had this all set up for the two of us. Don't ruin it. [Tell him that chess is a good idea. We can have Chess while we eat dinner! It's a great way to spend Christmas!]

Smiling so hard it makes my cheeks hurt, I relay Shicchan's invitation, which he accepts, of course. Enjoy this meal, Lulu. It will be your last.

If Shicchan and Lulu just shared an interest in chess, it would be one thing, but they match wits on all sorts of games, and even random variations they think up on the fly. Sometimes they let me play, but I don't even try when I do play. It's not like I'd be able to beat either of them. I pretend to be interested and enjoy myself, though. No one likes a sour face, after all.

So I halfheartedly chew on a fried drumstick as Shicchan and Lulu match wits. Once they tire of chess, it's on to another game. It is nice to see Shicchan so happy, though. I wish that she'd be happy because of something I did...

As they wrap up a final round of... whatever game they're playing now - I stopped caring – Lulu notices the time and excuses himself. Once he's gone, I force a laugh. [Lulu sure got you good, huh? You weren't expecting that at all!]

I will end him.

Shicchan gives me a nervous smile. [That was my first kiss.]

They will never find the body.

With completely artificial exuberance, I try to downplay it. [You care about first kisses? That's so childish! Kisses are kisses. Besides, it was under mistletoe, so it was forced. It doesn't really count.]

Each word feels like a knife driven into my own heart.

…and now I'm feeling sleepy. Before I can stop it, I let out a huge yawn.

Shicchan's on top of things, as always. [You look tired. You did a good job decorating. I'll clean up here. You should go to bed.]

I actually feel like smiling and laughing at this. Shicchan's so thoughtful. [Thanks, Shicchan. I'll see you tomorrow!]

Once I'm out of the room, I drop the act. I'm still ready to be cheerful if I run into anyone. I'm not safe until I'm locked in my room, after all.

Stupid Lulu. Stupid mistletoe. Stupid holiday.
Last edited by ProfAllister on Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:57 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository

Post by ProfAllister » Wed Dec 25, 2013 11:46 pm

Karaoke Night
25 Years Later...
A Very Student Council Christmas
Sharks and Minnows (You Are Here)
Katawa Shoujo: The Musical!
So She Dances
Hokkaido: a Turning Point
Where Are They Now?
Freaks and Friends Super Happy Funtime Christmas Special
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Two Halves Make a Hole
The Death and Return of Niji
Meeting Miki
War Diary 31-10-2007


Threw something together for a Secret Santa thing. Everyone made requests, the requests were shuffled around, standard stuff.

The request I was given: Something sappy and romantic around Christmas time. But with sharks.

Merry Christmas, and enjoy!


Sharks and Minnows

[Maybe we should shake things up a bit. What do you think of the idea of playing strip chess?]

Without showing any reaction to my question, Shizune takes her turn, capturing my remaining knight.

[There wouldn't be much point. You might as well save time and meet me at the door naked.]

If this game is any indication, she's got me there. I move my bishop out of harm's way.

[You don't know that for sure. Maybe I just haven't been trying because the wager isn't interesting enough.]

Yeah. For the past four years or so. She peers over her glasses at me skeptically.

[Worst. Hustle. Ever.]

There goes my rook. Things are looking grim for our hero. She'll probably win next turn.

[Well, how about reverse strip chess?]

I'm not really trying anymore. She didn't need that pawn, but it makes the loss sting less if I capture enough pieces.

Smiling, Shizune shoves the board aside.

[If you want to get me out of my clothes, all you need to do is ask.]

Lunging forward, she wraps her arms around my back and pulls me in for a kiss.

Losing isn't always a bad thing.

*****

[What time is it?]

I glance at my watch on the bedside table.

[Time for us to get dressed. Unless you want to give her a shock and answer her call like this.]

I can guess the answer easily enough without her shoving a pillow in my face, but I can't say I didn't deserve it.

It's a good thing we checked when we did, because the incoming call message pops up mere seconds after I manage to throw on a shirt and some pants. Shizune's just dealing with the last couple fasteners on her outfit, so I push the button to answer the call.

"Hi, Hicchan~! Hi, Shicchan~!"

"Seriously, Misha, the only people who have ever called me that are you and my mom."

She's changed a lot since Yamaku, but she's still unmistakably Misha. Her pink hair isn't anything more than a memory these days, having grown out and been trimmed away for some time now. She's since traded it out for hair curlers, but not drills anymore. Her style of choice is now a headful of shoulder-length brown ringlets. The years have been good to the rest of her, shedding off that last bit of baby fat to reveal the mature young woman beneath. She still has that playful softness, but it's somehow less childish these days.

"That's the whole point of special names, Hicchan. It wouldn't be a special name if everyone called you that."

I'd rather no one call me that, but I think convincing Misha to stop would be even harder than convincing my mom. We have an exchange like this whenever we talk, though. I think I'd probably miss it if she stopped. Not that I'd ever admit to it.

"So, what's up? Things have been so busy, we haven't talked in a while. Still on track to become the Best Interpreter Ever? And you were seeing sometime last we talked, right? Adolph or something?"

She makes that glowing blush of someone in love when they're kind of embarrassed, but also want everyone to know about it.

"It's Nathan, Hicchan. In fact~, we're still together, and you'll never guess what happened the other day~. Hi, Shicchan~!"

Misha's second greeting is accompanied by one of her trademark smiles and an enthusiastic wave. Sure enough, Shizune's finished making herself presentable and joined me in front of the screen.

[Hello, Misha. Now stop stalling and tell us what happened.]

It still startles me how excited and, well, girlish Shizune can be when it comes to gossip and "girl talk." I really shouldn't be surprised by it, but it is kind of cute, and such a dramatic contrast to the businesslike attitude she usually has.

"Well~, last week was Thanksgiving, which is a really big holiday around here. It's crazy~! Everyone gets together with their ENTIRE family and they spend all day making all kinds of delicious foods~!"

"Sounds like your kind of holiday."

The picture inset feature is very useful for sign language. It's not perfect, but it lets Shizune and me understand each other without looking away from the person on the other end. Speaking of which, Shizune elbows me for that comment. Misha isn't bothered the least bit by it, which makes me wonder if Shizune even knows about Misha's hobby.

"Yup~! So anyway, Nathan invited me to spend Thanksgiving with his family this year. They live several states away, so we had a long~ car trip to get there. I still can't get over how BIG it it's over here, and everyone drives everywhere! They almost never use trains at all~! And they were even taking about maybe FLYING there! Flying! To get to another part of the country!"

She's right, that is pretty hard to wrap my head around. I mean, I know how big it is on a map, but it's hard to really get a sense of what that means. To me, a long trip is going from Sendai to Hiroshima. She may as well be taking about going to Mars.

"Anyway, it was such a long trip that we were going to stay there a few days. Nathan slept in his old room, and they let me use a guest room. People around here have huge houses, all to themselves, even when they're not rich!"

I have to admit, I'm a little irritated that she doesn't just get to the point already.

"So you were visiting his family for an American holiday. What happened that was so exciting?"

"Well~," she begins, looking fit to burst, but also enjoying the suspense, "one of the other days we were there, he decided to show me around, because that's where he grew up. We went all over, and then he took me somewhere - I don't remember what it was called, but it was REALLY pretty."

She gets a far-off look in her eyes, as if she were reliving the moment.

"So it was really romantic. He started taking about some stuff, and I was getting a little confused, because he want making much sense, but then he gave me THIS~!"

She shoves her hand forward with a bit too much enthusiasm, and there's a loud clatter as we get the view from a falling camera until it comes to rest staring at the ceiling. An apologetic-looking Misha pokes in from the left frame, looking down at us.

"Sorry! I just got a little excited~!"

It's a little weird, watching from a perspective of being picked up and placed once again into a sitting position.

"As I was saying," she resumes, a little flustered, but still bubbling over with enthusiasm, "he gave me this."

Moving her hand a great deal more slowly and carefully, my suspicion from the get-go is confirmed. An engagement ring is pretty unmistakable, after all.

[It's so pretty! I'm so happy for you! When's the date? Wait, don't respond! I want to look at it a little more first.]

Shizune's flurry of questions isn't the least bit surprising, but the intensity with which she pushes me aside does catch me mildly off-guard. I really can't tell much difference from one ring to the next, but I know that girls care a lot, and this one seems to meet their approval.

Infuriatingly, Shizune and Misha begin talking intensely between each other with their secret signs, effectively cutting me out of the conversation. It's in my best interest to let them have their private girl talk - a lesson I learned the first, last, and only time I objected.

"You know the best part? He flew all the way to Japan to ask my daddy's permission~! In person!"

"'Ask permission?' Isn't that a little old-fashioned? I thought girls wanted to be able to make decisions on their own."

That comment earns me one of Misha's patented "I'm cute when I'm angry" scowls. "'Old-fashioned' isn't always a bad thing, Hicchan. A lot of girls like 'old-fashioned.'"

[I agree,] Shizune cuts in, confirming the sinking feeling I got when the subject came up, [it's not about permission, it's about respect. If a boy doesn't ask the girl's father, the answer should be no. End of story.]

It's worse than I thought.

"Since you and Misha got a private chat, is it okay if I have a talk with her in private, too?"

Shizune rolls her eyes, but turns around without any comment, pointedly looking away from the screen and from me.

I'm dreading the answer, and I already know what it is, but I still need to ask.

"There's no way I'm getting out of this, is there?"

Misha's smile is sympathetic. "It won't be as bad as you think, Hicchan~."

It's a lot easier to say that when you aren't the perennial object of his scorn, Misha.

I sigh. "That's what I was afraid of. Thanks again for helping me pick out a ring. You know I'm hopeless with those kind of things."

"You worry too much, Hicchan~. It's not the ring that matters, it's the person holding the ring~."

"I wish I could be as sure about it as you are."

"She loves you, Hicchan. She has for years. There's nothing to worry about. I promise~."

"I know. It's good to be reminded by someone else, though. Thanks, Misha."

"No problem, Hicchan. After all," she continues, a mischievous gleam in her eye, "you were there when I needed someone to tell me I was being stupid and unreasonable ~!"

She didn't have to be so blunt about it.

"Yeah, thanks."

"That's what friends are for! Wahahahaha~!"

*****

Well, this is it. I was able to pump Hideaki for the information I needed - Jigoro is definitely going to be home today. I push the button for the buzzer.
The gruff voice from the speaker is one I recognise all too well.

"Hakamichi residence. State your name and business."

Steeling myself, I prepare to speak. If I can't even face him on a speakerphone, there's no hope of me coming out of this alive.

"Nakai, sir. Hisao Nakai. I'm here to speak with Mr. Hakamichi."

A long silence follows. At first, I wonder if the speaker is broken and he never heard me. I'm about to repeat myself when a reply finally comes through.

"Come in."

Upon entering, I can see him waiting for me in the room I now know to be the parlor. As always when I'm around, he radiates a menacing aura. Nevertheless, his voice sounds jolly, and almost pleasant. As pleasant as a katana-wielding werewolf in a Hawaiian shirt can be, I guess.

"Well, this comes as quite a surprise! It's been some time since we last spoke! I usually don't meet with people on such short notice! Unexpected. Normally, people have to set up an appointment in advance."

His eyes narrow with that last sentence. As expected, he's decided that I did something wrong before I even have a chance to open my mouth.

"But there are exceptions to every rule. When someone arrives on such short notice, it tends to be something important. Please, take a seat. I'm certain that anything that can't wait for the normal procedure will be well worth my time."

So that's his approach. I didn't go through the normal protocols, so he's on the offensive. He smells blood in the water, so his eyes are locked on me in that analytical Hakamichi stare, waiting for me to mess up and admit that I'm wasting his time so he can tear me apart.

"Well, sir, it's about your daughter..."
He slaps his knee and barks out a short, harsh laugh.

"Hah! You don't say? Here I was thinking you wanted to sell insurance or discuss my stock portfolio!"

Balancing his sword on his knees, he folds his hands in front of his mouth. His polite and cheerful demeanor is gone. It's all business now.

"I'll make this easy on you. We both know exactly what's going on here. But you won't get my answer unless you can ask the question."

That seems surprisingly generous. I guess he's in a good mood because he's completely in control.

I take a breath. It's now or never.

"Mr. Hakamichi, I'd like permission to marry your daughter."

He smiles.

"So you would. Tell me, do you know what I see when I ask myself what you have to offer?"

I have a pretty good idea, but I know the answer he wants.

"No, sir."

He snorts derisively. "That's a lie. But it's what you're expected to say, so I won't fault you there."

His eyes meet mine, boring through the back of my head. I hold my gaze steady, refusing to back down. There's too much at stake.

"You come in unannounced, but, by all indications this is your first attempt, which means you are either lucky or you planned ahead. You aren't wearing the slacker clothes you're so fond of, which indicates that you care about giving a good impression. Your suit is two years old; the style is five. You wear it roughly twice a year."

He pauses there, daring me to tell him he's wrong. I can't. He's right on every count. Except for maybe that bit about the style - I have no idea there. Who even keeps track of that kind of thing?

Satisfied that he has me pegged, he continues.

"You lack the knowledge, ability, connections, and ambition to succeed in business. You'd never amount to more than a salaryman. Fortunately for you, you have no intention of going into business. I believe you had said that you wanted to become a science teacher. A noble profession, but not lucrative. At best, you're likely to end up a tired old man in a shabby coat with a scraggly beard. But you'll be doing something you love, and, with any luck, inspiring the next generation to commit to being less of a failure."

I guess it was too much to hope that he could go five minutes without insulting me.

Closing his eyes, he leans back in his chair before resuming.

"So, when I ask myself if you have anything to offer my daughter, if there is any possible benefit she could derive from spending five minutes with you, much less her entire life, the answer is obvious. I cannot see any good that could come from such a proposal."

With a deep breath, he gives his answer.

"You have my permission."

I should be relieved. I should be overjoyed. But instead, I'm dumbfounded by his response.

He opens an eye and looks at me quizzically.

"You're quiet. Are you disappointed? I can change my answer if you want."

"No!" I reply quickly. "I'm just... surprised."

His chuckle is dry and humorless.

"You overestimate my power. It's no secret that I don't like you, and you've made it equally clear that you don't like me. If Shizune cared about my opinion of you, you would be a distant memory, not in the middle of my parlor asking me if you can marry my daughter. And a slacker like you clearly has no regard for tradition, propriety, our respect for one's elders. So it's clear that you're only here because it's important to her."

Bringing his arms down, he rests his palms on the sword in his lap.

"We're at an impasse. Much as we detest each other, Shizune isn't willing to give either of us up for the sake of the other. Surely even you realise that. In coming to ask me for permission, you've made it clear that you'd rather suffer my presence than live without Shizune. If I were to act otherwise myself, I would be the lesser man."

Hefting his sword, Jigoro Hakamichi rises to his feet.

"Make no mistake, boy. If I truly had any power, I would forbid such a union. But this is ceremonial - a formality. So I take it as an opportunity to make a peace offering. If, as I have no doubt, Shizune feels the same way for you as you do for her, we're stuck with each other."

He walks over to an ornate cabinet.

"These sort of things are often sealed over a drink. What's your beverage of choice? Appletini? Cosmopolitan?"

To be honest, I don't know enough about drinks to have a preference.

"I'll just have whatever you're having."
On hearing this, he lets out another harsh laugh.

"Still can't make your own decisions, can you, boy? I may as well pour it down the drain, since there's no way you can appreciate it."

Despite that comment, he pours a deep amber-colored liquid into two glasses and hands one of them to me. Accepting the glass, I bring it up to my lips for a taste.

Even though every fiber of my being wants to prove him wrong, I can't help but make a face as that single sip burns its way down my throat. I didn't think he'd be crazy enough to drink turpentine.

"I thought as much," he concludes, with grim satisfaction. "A single shot of that costs more than you'd make in a whole day. Probably a whole week. What you've got in your hand there is a double."

So it's turpentine laced with gold. I honestly cannot imagine how someone justifies spending that much money on a drink. Not that I'm dumb enough to bring it up and get chewed out because the answers to slacker questions like that are all laid out in his autobiography.

Glancing down at his own drink, he shakes with silent laughter at some private joke.

"On the other hand, my daughter's one of the most precious things in my life and you're snatching her up with my permission! What's another sixty thousand yen?"

Sixty thousand? For a mouthful? Not that you'd drink it all in one go, unless you were trying to kill yourself...

With a shock, both from the impact and the gesture itself, I feel Mr. Hakamichi clap a hand on my back.

"A toast!" he announces, "To Shizune: the only reason we'd ever associate with each other!"

I'll drink to that.

*****

Christmas Eve. Tonight's the night. I have the ring, I have her father's permission, and we're on a date, so I have an excuse.

I'll have to thank Takumi for suggesting the aquarium. It's not too crowded, and the faint blue lighting is rather romantic.

She probably thinks nothing of it, but its quite appropriate that she choose to wear that hairpin today. Its the same one she wore on Tanabata so many years ago, when we first started dating. Of course, she's wearing it differently this time. Her hair is longer now, reaching a couple inches past her shoulders, so the pin sits in back, holding a half ponytail.

Obviously, she's not wearing a yukata, either, trading it out for an extremely flattering red dress. Not what I'd consider a reasonable first choice in the middle of winter, but if she's willing to wear it, I'm certainly happy with letting her do just that.

[What is your favorite fish, Hisao?]

[What kind of a question is that?]

She frowns, annoyed that I didn't give an answer.

[The kind of question that's perfectly reasonable to ask someone who thinks of an aquarium when trying to decide on a location for a date.]

Touche, Shizune. Touche. [Do you not like it? The aquarium, I mean.]

[It's nice. And I'm impressed that you were able to think of something so original. Especially since you don't know anything about fish.]

[What makes you think I don't know anything about fish?]

[It's pretty obvious when you can't answer such a simple question as your favorite fish.]

[I can answer the question,] I insist. [I just wasn't expecting it.]

[Then answer it.]

I'm teasing her and she knows it. And it infuriates her. One of the few times I'm able to win - which is probably why I do it so often.

[Penguins don't count, do they?]

[Penguins are birds, not fish.]

[Even if they're in the aquarium?]

I never really understood WHY penguins are in aquariums. Probably because its cheaper to keep all the climate-controlled areas together.

[Penguins don't become fish by being in an aquarium.]

Okay, that's enough teasing for now.

[I think I'd say my favorite fish is the manta.]

[BORING.] I've come to love the dramatic way she "pronounces" that word. [That's such a childish choice. You probably chose it because you think it looks cool.]

She's right, but I'd never admit to it.

[Then what's YOUR favorite fish? I bet it's something childish like the magical princess unicorn fish.]

[There's no such fish.]

[You're starting to sound like Hideaki.]

[Nonsense. I haven't mentioned photography, puns, or how painfully uninteresting you are.]

She's got Hideaki pegged, that's for sure... wait a minute.

[Hideaki says I'm uninteresting? The incarnation of blandness himself?]

[Maybe he does and maybe he doesn't.]

She's really enjoying this.

[You never answered my question.]

[Turnabout is fair play.]

I almost always lose, but its still fun to play the game.

[Would a kiss make this easier?]

Shizune's eyes light up at this suggestion.

[You're going to barter for the information now? I'm going to have to sample your wares before I can agree to anything.]

That's how she wants to play it? I can't say I object - the best games are the ones where everyone wins. I hook my arm around her waist and pull her close, catching her lips with my own. A little practice can go a long way, and we've had plenty of opportunities to practice that maneuver.

Much as I enjoy the kiss, I need to leave her wanting more if I want to come out on top, so I break it off abruptly.

[That's the end of the demo. If you want the full version, tell me your favorite fish.]

The way she's looking at me makes me uncomfortable, and her smile just makes it worse.

[I think I'm going to pirate it.]

I realise what she means a moment too late - around the same time she has her hands behind my head and her lips against mine. And this time, she's in control, letting me go when she's ready, and not a moment sooner.

Catching our breath after the extended kiss, I notice that Shizune is practically glowing.

[I think that's worth the price. Very well, I'll tell you my favorite fish.]

Contrary to her statement, she doesn't continue her thought.

[Were you planning on telling me any time soon?]

[If you insist. My favorite fish is... the shark.]

[Sharks? That's a childish favorite fish. You may as well talk about how much you like dinosaurs or chocolate cereal.]

[So what if I like those things? They aren't childish. Besides, sharks are the best fish. They take what they want, do what they want, and no one can tell them they're wrong. You can even go and see for yourself.]

To punctuate her last comment, she indicates the sign for the shark tanks.

Without waiting for a response, she heads off that way with her characteristically determined pace. She knows I'll follow, so she makes no effort to look behind to make sure.

She's right - the sharks are an impressive sight, clearly displaying everything that Shizune said, and so much more, too. But by her definition, the most impressive shark in the room isn't in a tank at all. She's standing right there in the middle of it all. And that's exactly why I love her.

There's no question - this is the moment. It's now or never. I step forward to get closer, but somehow manage to trip on my own feet, falling to the floor. And, as luck would have it, Shizune notices me making a fool of myself.

[Are you okay?]

Great. Now she thinks I hurt myself.

[I'm fine,] I reply, pulling myself up to one knee. I'm about to stand when I realise that this is the perfect set-up.

[Shizune, I-]

[Stop. You're going to embarrass yourself. And since it's in sign language, I'm the only one who will see it.]

Her smile is radiant.

[I'll make this easy on you. We both know exactly what's going on here. But you won't get my answer unless you can ask the question.]

I'm not sure why, but I have the strangest sense of deja vu. Setting that aside, I reach into my pocket to pull out the ring. Once it's in my hand, though, I realise that it keeps me from signing. Taking the initiative, she pulls the box out of my hand.

[Shizune Hakamichi, will you marry me?]

Her cheeks are glistening. I think this is the first time I've ever seen anything close to her crying.

[You know the answer. Nothing would make me happier.]

It's true, I did know the answer. But seeing her say it makes all the difference. Still, something's not quite right.

[Don't you want to see the ring?]

She shakes her head, the tears still flowing freely.

[There's plenty of time for that. I know it's perfect.]

Reaching down, she pulls me to my feet and into a tight embrace, holding me closer than ever before.

As we hold each other, the clock strikes midnight, and Christmas day finds a room full of sharks, and the single minnow that fell prey to their queen. And the minnow wouldn't have it any other way.
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 12/25/13)

Post by Henry Spencer » Thu Dec 26, 2013 1:30 am

I don't usually post or read much of anything, but this was well worth it. Excellent.

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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 12/25/13)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:52 am

"Hi, Hicchan~! Hi, Shicchan~!"
You know up until this point I had a Shizune x Hanako ship in mind - probably because it would have fit perfectly as a continuation of that other Shizune x Hanako story... I was really disappointed when I read "Hicchan" :cry:
Flying! To get to another part of the country!"
Shouldn't be all that surprising to a Japanese. The main reason the A380 was built for a maximum capacity of 853 passengers was that there was talk about ANA and JAL maybe using that configuration for domestic flights within Japan...
She shoves her hand forward with a bit too much enthusiasm,
She's been signing with this hand the entire time.

Good one-shot overall - and probably the best Jigoro scene I've read in a long time!
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 12/25/13)

Post by griffon8 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:46 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
"Hi, Hicchan~! Hi, Shicchan~!"
You know up until this point I had a Shizune x Hanako ship in mind - probably because it would have fit perfectly as a continuation of that other Shizune x Hanako story... I was really disappointed when I read "Hicchan" :cry:
It didn't occur to me that it would be anyone but Hisao playing chess with Shizune. Then again, it wouldn't occur to me that anyone would make a sequel to my story.

That said, I'm surprised you didn't bring up the kissing in public taboo, Mirage.

I agree that Jigoro was handled very well in this story. Nicely done.
I found out about Katawa Shoujo through the forums of Misfile. There, I am the editor of Misfiled Dreams.

Completed: 100%, including bonus picture. Shizune>Emi>Lilly>Hanako>Rin

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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 12/25/13)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:58 am

griffon8 wrote:That said, I'm surprised you didn't bring up the kissing in public taboo, Mirage.
Well... Christmas Eve at the Aquarium?
I wouldn't call that "in public." Who else would go to the Aquarium on Christmas Eve?
It's more of a surprise that it would be open in the first place ;-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 12/25/13)

Post by ProfAllister » Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:05 pm

Well, thanks for all the feedback. Nice to know people like the take on Jigoro.

RE: Shizune x Hanako - I'm not opposed to yuri/shoujo ai in principle, but I'd have to have a good basis for going that direction. Haven't read the fic you referenced, so there's hope I may decide to try something like that in the future. Who knows?

Flying - I guess that was a little unclear. It's not so much that it's surprising, but more the sense that it's so large that flying's the only practical option. From the quick research I did, most of Japan's domestic flights are either business-oriented (where time is of the essence), or across water (which is more practical). In the US, you're pretty limited in how far you can get without flying or taking a multi-day trip (especially if you aren't marathonning). From what I can tell of Japan's infrastructure, multi-day trips don't really happen unless you're travelling nearly the entire length of the country, and even then, a multi-day train trip isn't the same sort of logistical undertaking as a car trip of comparable time.

Anyway, she may not have been explaining it well, but (as an example), let's say they were travelling from Illinois to Kansas. On a map(under the normal scaling for each country), it looks like it might be comparable to a trip from Hiroshima to Osaka. The part she's awed about is that the short line between Illinois and Kansas is more comparable to travelling from Sendai to Osaka (and yes, it was only after throwing this example together that I realised I had Hisao mentally picture a trip from Sendai to Hiroshima).

Misha signing - I'll admit, this was an oversight both by myself and by the people I asked to take a quick proofread. That being said, it's not that simple:

Hisao could have simply not noticed - unlikely, and lazy, but a possibility.
Misha could have taken off the ring, and slipped it on just before showing it off - probably the most defensible of how it is currently written.
Misha could have been not signing/hiding her hands - Hisao could potentially not notice, but Shizune certainly would.
Misha could have forgotten/not cared - but Hisao should have noticed in this case.

And a few other possibilities as well. More importantly, the only real change would be a line about what Hisao notices - even if it's obvious, it's polite to humor a girl who's telling her engagement story.

Kissing in public - I'm just a stupid westerner who can't end a romantic climax without a kiss or something. I'd imagine Mirage has kinda given up on the fact that everyone is kissing everywhere in these fanfictions. Rest assured, the sharks were mortified.

Aquarium - These sorts of places do have late hours on special events on occasion. Not easy to hear about them, though, and they tend to be kinda under-attended because of that. All the more reason why I had Hisao get a tip-off on that.
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 12/25/13)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:47 pm

ProfAllister wrote:Kissing in public - I'm just a stupid westerner who can't end a romantic climax without a kiss or something. I'd imagine Mirage has kinda given up on the fact that everyone is kissing everywhere in these fanfictions. Rest assured, the sharks were mortified.
Well, I only remark on it in extreme cases by now.
And nice to know that at least the sharks have manners ;-)
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 12/25/13)

Post by ProfAllister » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:22 pm

Karaoke Night
25 Years Later...
A Very Student Council Christmas
Sharks and Minnows
Katawa Shoujo: The Musical! (You Are Here)
So She Dances
Hokkaido: a Turning Point
Where Are They Now?
Freaks and Friends Super Happy Funtime Christmas Special
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Two Halves Make a Hole
The Death and Return of Niji
Meeting Miki
War Diary 31-10-2007


This had been available elsewhere, but I noticed that it was never put in this thread with the rest.

Katawa Shoujo: The Musical!

Featuring such show stopping hits as the high-energy overture "Arrythmia!":

Arrythmia!
My girl confessed,
Now I'm depressed,
I'll never be the same!

My heart can't find a rhythm,
My head thinks this is lame!
I find a girl and with them,
We'll share our secret shame!

Arrhythmia!
A school for crips,
and building ships,
like some perverted game!


The ensemble piece, "Yamaku":

Got no arms,
Got no legs,
And scarred beyond belief,
Can't hear crap,
Can't see shit,
We'll never find relief!

Here at our Yamaku,
The docs they never rest!
Here at our cripple school,
You'll only find the best!

My joints don't work,
Blood sugar's low,
I spaz out all the time!
Can't stay 'wake,
The bells they shake,
To hide us here's a crime!

Here at our Yamaku,
We're broken one and all,
Here at our cripple school,
With more due in the fall!


The riotous interlude, "Student Council":

Welcome to Student Council,
There's lots for us to do~!
And here at Student Council,
We'll dump it all on you~!

Come meet our president~!
She works real hard
To give the students glee~!

You know it's evident~
She's hot for you,
But you're too dumb to see~!

So~!
Welcome to Student Council,
We work all night and day~!
And here at Student Council,
There's no getting away~!


The gentle ballad, "Teatime for Two":

Teatime for two,
Teatime for three,
Teatime for four,
With wine replacing tea-ea

Teatime for you,
Teatime for me,
My sister, my best friend,
The creep who sells anti-iques


And many more!
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 12/25/13)

Post by ProfAllister » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:24 pm

Karaoke Night
25 Years Later...
A Very Student Council Christmas
Sharks and Minnows
Katawa Shoujo: The Musical!
So She Dances (You Are Here)
Hokkaido: a Turning Point
Where Are They Now?
Freaks and Friends Super Happy Funtime Christmas Special
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Two Halves Make a Hole
The Death and Return of Niji
Meeting Miki
War Diary 31-10-2007


So She Dances

It’s cold in Inverness. Lilly shivers, pulling her shawl tighter against her shoulders.

Her mother’s ancestral manor is a shadow of its former self. It once stood with elegance and pride, adored by those near and far. Now it is little more than an empty shell, holding only the memories of what was - and what could have been.

And, in spite of her most fervent desires - often thought, never spoken - it was now Lilly’s home.

Counting her steps, Lilly gracefully traverses the hall. This house is still new and unfamiliar, but she made a point of committing this room to memory. Grasping the door handle, and congratulating herself that she found it on the first try, she slips inside, swift and silent as a ghost.

Her footsteps echo in the large room. She had been told that the ceiling is adorned with beautiful chandeliers, and an entire wall is filled with windows, overlooking the ocean. To Lilly, that really only means that one wall is colder and smoother than the others. Nevertheless, it’s the ballroom, and that’s what matters.

Against the wall, there’s an old-fashioned record player, a fascinating curiosity from a bygone time. Lilly selects a record at random - not having many other options - and puts it on to play, glowing with an inward delight as she places the needle into the record’s groove.

The song is vaguely familiar - a waltz. She used to be able to name most classical pieces, back when she considered taking up music as a hobby. But the lessons had nothing to do with the beautiful sounds that came from others when they played an instrument - it was a boring routine of the same three notes over and over again. She had been assured that playing the lovely songs she often heard would come with time, but she never was very patient.

Gliding to the middle of the floor, Lilly pairs herself up with an unseen partner. She chuckles at this thought - all her partners have been unseen. This one just happens to be weightless, and won’t step on her feet or awkwardly try to start a conversation.

Of course, awkward was the signature of the boy she fell in love with. He had a talent for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, and, judging by their attempts at dancing, his rhythm issues extended beyond just his heart. But she had used him, having her way with him while she knew the whole time that it wasn’t going to last.

Akira had warned them to always use protection. That warning was about more than just pregnancy, but Lilly had managed to convince Hisao that birth control was enough. She had heard that condoms make it all feel different, and, well, birth control is only fully effective when you use it exactly as directed. She was never good about keeping a schedule, so there were days when she took it late, or not at all.

For a time, she both hoped and feared that it would make a difference - that they might have an “accident.” But, with each passing month, the hope and fear were replaced by a resignation that the only bit of Hisao that remains with her is the memory.

She fights back tears as she continues her dance, dipping, turning, and twirling with a partner who is not. Why does a blind person even have tears? It’s not like she needs her eyes. Tears are just irritating, and embarrassing, and yet another reason to be reprimanded for being “unladylike.” But here, alone in the darkened ballroom, dancing by herself, she lets them flow freely.

It’s been rough for Akira, too. The new position means more work and longer hours - or at least consistently longer. And the social events are less to her liking, too. There is far less “going out for drinks,” and many many more cocktail parties, wine tastings, and “other fancy stuck-up bullshit,” as she so eloquently puts it. For all the complaints, though, Lilly is pretty sure that Akira actually enjoys all the “girling up.” The grumbling is just for show.

Unfortunately, the “girling up” is pretty much the only time they get to spend together. Akira has her demanding schedule, and Lilly has found herself quite occupied as well. They still speak Japanese when it’s just the two of them - a detail that the servants find rather off-putting. Both Lilly and Akira find the idea of servants off-putting itself, so they figure it balances out.

She never finished high school after returning to Inverness. Her father said that there’s “too much red tape” and that it’s “demeaning” to be a “working girl.” So she’s been relegated to entertaining the various suitors that come on her father’s recommendation.

The suitors are an altogether new annoyance, and yet so familiar. She had become accustomed to receiving confessions of love, and even gifts, but the suitors are far more persistent, and their gifts extravagant. But in spite of all this, they express no interest in who she is, and go to absurd lengths to “accommodate” her “condition.” Intentional or not, they tend to make her feel less like a person and more like a prospective purchase.

With a bitter smile, she imagines how her father would react if he learned that she’s been “ruined” for marriage.

When Akira and Lilly came to Inverness back in late June and early July, their father seemed a little distant. She had assumed that he was just uncomfortable about having been apart for six years. Now that they’re here to stay, his behavior seems to resemble contempt, rather than discomfort.

He doesn’t treat them badly, or speak harshly, or really do anything untoward. But he keeps them at arm’s length, and there has been more than one occasion when he lamented that the fates were so cruel as to not only deny a male heir, but to give him one daughter born wrong, and another who wishes she were a man.

And their mother is similarly frustrating. In private with her daughters, she speaks freely about her disagreements with their father, and her opinion on what they should do with their lives. But around their father, his word is law, and she makes no move to contradict him.

The longer they stay in Inverness, the more Lilly regrets leaving Japan. It wasn’t really her choice, though. If Akira wasn’t going to leave, the choice would have been easy. But Akira decided that her career was more important than happiness. She and her boyfriend were getting pretty serious, but then the job offer came. Rather than try to work something out, Akira just broke it off, throwing away any potential future. Faced with a decision like that, Lilly had no choice but to do the same thing to Hisao, right?

But was Hisao even worth it? Akira always said that a person’s true character comes out when the cards are down. Akira loves poker metaphors - or really anything that’s as far away from being ladylike as possible. In either case, the cards were down, and Hisao folded. She had given him many opportunities to object to her departure, to give him a single reason to stay with him, and he didn’t even try. It’s almost as if he didn’t care, that he was using her simply because she was convenient. Through the whole relationship, she did all the work, and he simply profited.

Perhaps it’s for the best that they broke it off. Perhaps it’s for the best that they came to Inverness. For years, Lilly had allowed herself to be blind to the flaws of those around her. Now, for the first time in her life, she can see clearly.

The record finishes, the music stops, and Lilly curtseys to her absent partner. With a few echoing footsteps, she leaves the ballroom.

It’s cold in Inverness. Lilly shivers, pulling her shawl tighter against her shoulders.

Her mother’s ancestral manor is a shadow of its former self. It once stood with elegance and pride, adored by those near and far. Now it is little more than an empty shell, holding only the memories of what was - and what could have been.

And, in spite of her most fervent desires - often thought, never spoken - it now felt like home.


"So She Dances" is a song written by Asher Lenz and Adam Crossley, performed by Josh Groban.
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Re: Yet Another One-shot Repository (New Entry 3/16/14)

Post by bhtooefr » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:01 pm

Inverness, not Iverness.

Not sure how I feel about that one...
bhtooefr's one-shot and drabble thread
Enjoy The Silence - Sequel to All I Have (complete)
Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking zombies on this motherfucking forum!

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