Hanako's Story (COMPLETED 18/08/2014)

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Negativedarke
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 20/06/2014)

Post by Negativedarke » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:50 pm

For the most part I was fine with this chapter, though I didn't get here until after the revision. Heck I thought it was an interesting touch that Hanako enjoyed their first time a lot more than Hisao realized. After all the fact Hisao missunderstands her at times is a pretty major part of Hanako's good ending. My biggest problem is that I don't see how Hanako's emotions at the end of this chapter would lead to the akwardness of of the next morning.
"Misha, I don't think Chocoholism is a real disability."
"But the School's Entrance Board does Hi-Chan. Wahaha~"

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Atario
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 20/06/2014)

Post by Atario » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:34 pm

Negativedarke wrote:My biggest problem is that I don't see how Hanako's emotions at the end of this chapter would lead to the akwardness of of the next morning.
My feeling is it will be mostly her carefully watching Hisao and being dismayed at his actions (or lack thereof).
NB: none of the above is a request

Mutou Gets Fired — a little one-shot fanfic I wrote

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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 20/06/2014)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:21 pm

I just read the chapter now, so I also missed the reference to Misha/Miki. Anyways, it was decent. I was a bit surprised how into it you had Hanako being(I didn't think she finished, but she certainly could have), but I've read worse H-scenes. I would call this chapter just average, overall, though it's hard for me to really like a chapter with a major part of it being an H-scene. I'm just not into those.
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 20/06/2014)

Post by LilyKitsune » Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:50 pm

I felt there was way too strong of an attempt to convince that it was fully consensual. Its almost like she was handed fanmail of people that thought it was non consensual and told to play the scene over again. It was layed on pretty thick. I feel it got in the way of the awkwardness and the fear amd confusion from doing it the first time. As much as we know she wanted this, it was still a terrifying experience. Lots of worrying and self consciousness and it all disappeared. More importantly, the experience on the whole was really painted as more of a negative one physically. Emotionally it was absolutely what she wanted. There was determination. I just feel it was entirely overshadowes by painting it as consensual in a way that almost tried to address common points people bring up to argue otherwise. For the record, I do not feel it was nonconsensual.

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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 20/06/2014)

Post by Trivun » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:18 am

For once, I've avoided replying to each message individually, but it's nice to see a chapter instilling a reasonable debate into the comments now that the revised chapter is (at least a bit) better than the original version I uploaded. End of the day, everyone has different opinions on the scene, and there'll always be those who agree with my interpretation and those who totally disagree. For my part, it's just really interesting to see everyone's differing thoughts and look at the whole scenario from different angles, even if my own personal interpretation is (I suppose fairly obviously) congruent to how I wrote this chapter :)
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 20/06/2014)

Post by Trivun » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:25 pm

I know there's been nothing new posted here for over a month, but I am working now on the final chapter, so an update will be forthcoming! Story isn't dead yet, though it would be a cruel irony if I made it all the way to the end then did a George RR Martin on everyone at the very last step... ;)
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Negativedarke
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Re: Hanako's Story (UPDATED 20/06/2014)

Post by Negativedarke » Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:37 pm

Yes. That would suck. So please finish it up. Please.
"Misha, I don't think Chocoholism is a real disability."
"But the School's Entrance Board does Hi-Chan. Wahaha~"

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Re: Hanako's Story (COMPLETE 18/08/2014)

Post by Trivun » Mon Aug 18, 2014 2:50 am

It's time now, then, for what everyone's been waiting for... the final chapter of Hanako's Story! I would like to both apologise and thank everyone for this - an apology for taking so long to finish, and for such a wait between this and my previous update, and a thank you to everyone who's read this work and enjoyed it, whether they've left a comment or simply been content to sit back and read at their own leisure. It's been an emotional journey for the past two years, and hopefully you'll all agree it was worth the wait. I can only hope I've done the readers, and the original developers, proud...

Act 4 – Chapter Seven, Third Branch: I'll Hold My Breath

My eyes flicker open, then close again, sleep still taking hold of me for a few moments more. After a little while, they re-open, and stay that way. My thoughts drift back to last night, and... last night! I panic slightly, looking across to my partner for last night's activities, to see him still sleeping, between myself and the wall. At least I don't have to manoeuvre over him to escape the confines of my bed.

I think back to our dealings of the evening before, the moment of my awakening, and how I truly became a woman, no longer some child both searching for and refusing all aid. Yet a deep sense of embarrassment grows, beginning life as a tiny knot in my heart and expanding as I dwell more on what happened between us. What will he want now? I can't work out if Hisao will choose to honour what we did, and pursue a relationship, or if he'll decide to forget it ever happened and shun me as so many probably would. Or even something in between, whatever that could be. As for me, I'm happy in part, for my own boldness and for the massive step I undertook, and then I feel weak and scared, reverting once more to the child I once was. How can I ever hope to resolve my issues like this? I feel as if the sex last night has only made things worse.

I try to push it out of mind, something to think about later when I have a moment to focus on my next steps. Time later as well to witness Hisao's reaction, and make a decision then. I know that although I'm far from better, I've at least confirmed to myself (if no-one else) that the strength within me is not still hidden away, but brought to the fore and finally used in some manner. That's enough, for now.

I quietly slide out of bed, my naked flesh burning again with desire as soon as I pull the covers and (though accidentally) see Hisao's form underneath. I hold back, and put the covers over him again, as comfortably as I can. I reach for my nightgown, feeling the silk on my bare skin, and fold his clothes neatly in the corner, picking up the foil wrapper discarded on the floor and placing it in the bin by my desk. It's only now that I think back to him having a condom in the first place. It suggests to me that he expected something to happen between us eventually, but last night was my doing more so than his. It conflicts me again, the pleasure of knowing he must have felt that attraction to me physically, and yet the worry of whether he intended anything to happen or not, had I not made the first move. In any case, I'm glad he thought to bring one, as I certainly forgot. Better safe than sorry.

I retire to the bathroom and take a shower, returning to my room to find Hisao still asleep. He really does sleep late, I notice. He clearly can't hear me, though I am creeping about, trying not to disturb him. I dress, and leave once more to prepare breakfast for the two of us. Nothing fancy, just a couple of microwave meals, but it's the least I can do considering he stayed with me through the night. He'll have to get up soon though, as it's still a school day, and I highly doubt Mutou-sensei will accept the aftermath of sex as a valid reason for being late.

My thoughts are still distant from my worries and fears, deliberately so, when I return to my bedroom with two meals, one for each of us. It's a little tough to open the door without spilling anything, but I somehow manage it, through clever use of elbows and wrists. As I enter, I notice Hisao, out of bed and fully dressed, standing just next to the bed.

“Good morning, Hanako.”

I can't ignore him, not that I want to, so I try to answer as normally as I can. “M... morning.” I bow slightly, in the formal manner of our culture, and make my way to the desk, setting down the two dishes. It's satay, chicken skewered on bamboo sticks in a tangy sauce, and rice to accompany. Nothing fancy, but definitely enough to alleviate the hunger, and hopefully help stave off any tension between us for a few moments more. Hisao thanks me, and we start to eat. I sit at the desk, while Hisao takes the edge of the bed. At least while we eat we're not expected to talk, but even so I take the chance to observe Hisao, a few brief glances here and there. I can see he's doing the same thing, looking at me, catching my eye, then looking away again before repeating the strange cycle.

I wonder what could be going through his mind? I wish I knew, because then the silence would be so much easier to bear. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Any attempt at conversation will no doubt be doomed to failure, to stuttering and awkward silences worse than the one we'd be trying to fill.

It continues after we finish eating. We put our plates and forks in the sink; we leave my room and make our way out of the dormitories, thankfully early enough to avoid the stares of my neighbours who would surely find some comment to make about the whole affair. Throughout, neither myself nor Hisao say a word. We don't hold hands as we've done so often before, we don't pass comment on the weather or the meal or any number of small things that could break the tension. We exit the dormitories and enter the main school building where our fellow students are busy preparing for another day of study. We remain silent even to the point of reaching our own classroom, still together but further apart than ever before.

It's too much.

When we enter the classroom, I realise our mistake. We should have come here separately, but too late for that now. Shizune is seated already, watching us as we enter together, eyebrows raised though no comment passed through her erstwhile interpreter. Misha's silence is telling, but as for what it tells, I can't be sure.

In contrast to the lack of sound coming from Misha, the silence is ultimately broken by a single comment from Hisao. “S-see you.” Admittedly, one that doesn't make much sense given we share the same class. I reply regardless:

“Okay.” He waves a little, in such an awkward manner, and we take our seats, no further words passing between us. I look at him, watching him, wondering if he'll make any kind of move, but there's nothing. Shizune, however, gets out of her seat and starts to walk towards him, and my fears are piqued. I'm saved from her finding out what happened though, by the timely arrival of our teacher, forcing her back to her desk and away from the certain questions still to be answered.

Lectures proceed as normal, and again I'm able to force the awkward thoughts out of my brain, focusing solely on Mutou-sensei's voice and the lessons he is trying to teach. It's tough, but for my own sanity, to avoid tearing myself apart with contradictions and indecisiveness I use whatever means I can to keep my mind fixed on the teacher, and not on Hisao or the events of last night. For the most part, it seems to work. My mind is blank when the bell rings to end the morning. At least, until Hisao leaves his desk and walks across to me.

My first instincts take over and I look down at the light timber, feeling the blood rush to my face and my cheeks rise in temperature. He stops short, attempts to speak, and fails. This is worse than if we weren't speaking at all, having him come to me and be unable to bring words together! I can't bear it, I can't continue to operate hoping he'll have the decency or courage to say anything, yet nor can I bring myself to speak in his stead. I wish I knew what was going through his mind, so I could at least know whether he intended to progress beyond what we did last night! It's too hard...

Behind Hisao I see a familiar pair approaching. One with pink hair, one without. Around us I can hear faint whispering and see a few stares, our fellow students passing comment to each other on the joint arrival of me and Hisao. I have to cut this off before things get worse, though I see his mouth open before I can speak. My reaction is an old favourite, and of course it hardly makes me feel any better.

“I... I... I'vegottogodosomething!” As always.

I flee, with no thought given to the items scattered from my desk in my wake. My bag is safely hanging from my shoulder, carrying my books and any other essentials from class, but it hardly matters now. I need to speak to him, but not with everyone around. Hisao's lack of reaction, the silence of the morning, it all suggests to me that perhaps what we did last night was the wrong thing. I realise I came on much too strongly, beyond anything he could have expected, and maybe I intimidated him a little. Then again, I'm not exactly an intimidating person, and there's no way I could have achieved that, really. No, it was my mistake to think that giving him what he wanted would solve everything. All I've done is overload the potential relationship and then break it apart, all through my own stupidity.

And yet, every time I've made a move, pushed past my own fears of failure, my own worries about everything that broke down in my life, I've had to hit that same wall on the other side. It's not just me who was broken, and although Hisao's past is so much less traumatic than mine, I was naïve enough to focus only on my own despair, and never consider what it was like for him to have to deal with me. In a way, it makes it all the more understandable that he would shy away now. In another way, it drives me further down, worrying again about his lack of reaction, how distant he's become after my mistake last night. The contradictions circle ever closer in my mind, but now we've reached a turning point, and after what we did, there's no going back.

No. I can't bring myself to blame him. My actions last night were my own decision, and whatever fallout comes, I have to deal with it myself. And the first step is to talk, but when we're both ready. It will be difficult, but I can accept that. I have to.

My mind slightly clearer, albeit not much, I make a quick detour to my room to get changed and to drop off my school bag (I really can't bring myself to return to classes today), and then begin the long walk down the hill. As I walk I think briefly on the events that have led me to this point, how weak willed and scared I once was, and how far I've come. How strong I've managed to become. Every decision made, by myself, by Hisao, and even by Lilly, in a more indirect sense. I try to keep emotion out of it, thinking rationally, and that's as hard a task as the one I'm anticipating later. Wherever, whenever the conversation takes place, emotion is at the heart of it, and it will either make our relationship once more, or destroy it.

I drift aimlessly around the streets for a while. I take in a cup of tea, alone, at the Shanghai – Yuuko isn't there, too busy dealing with the influx of students trying to prepare in the library back at Yamaku, rushing to learn at the last minute for their remaining exams. I pass by the shops, sticking to the smaller, quieter streets, and leaving the main thoroughfares alone. Suddenly, I hear the tone of my mobile phone in my pocket. Taking it out, Hisao's name appears on the screen. He's chosen to get in touch, then. Not a phone call, though – a text.

“Hanako, if you want to talk, I'll be at the park in town for a while.”

Such a simple, short message, but the ball's now in my court. Should I go, or should I wait? The former will be tough, and I'm not sure that I'm ready. The latter, however, would simply be putting off the inevitable. It's really no choice at all.

It takes me around ten minutes to reach the park, but seems longer. I guess he didn't expect me to be in town before him, but it's a neutral, safe place for us to talk. If it all goes wrong, I can always just walk away. If I can bring myself to leave. I see him as I enter the park, a few shops and a bakery to one side bringing with it the smell of fresh bread and cakes. No sense in putting it off any longer...

“H...Hisao...?” It looks like I've startled him, as he drops something on the floor and jerks up, head turning to face me.

“Hanako...” Was this a mistake? I break eye contact and start to mess around with a lock of hair, uncertain of what to do or where to go. It's all so different now, and I feel as though I was kidding myself to believe that talking would help. Do we really have anything to say to each other? Does he?

“Hanako... I...” He stumbles on the words, a trait more common to me than to him. “What we did that night... how should I interpret that?”

I stop. He's asking me? He really wants to know what I think? It's time for me to be brutally honest. Brutal for myself. “I thought... you might eventually go away if I was only someone you needed to protect.” My words are steady, the stammer stays away for now. I'm surprised at myself, how calm I seem, when really inside I'm a complete mess. “I thought that if I let you do that... you might see me as someone more than that.”

It's true. I hate to admit it to myself like this, but it's true. I let myself expose my body and my most vulnerable aspect because I thought it would make him happy. I know I wanted it too, but it's only with hindsight that I realise how foolish I was. I want to believe the best of Hisao, but did he just use me, take advantage of my emotional state and step back when he realised what I was doing? It's all too confusing, and I thought that talking would make it easier to handle.

I have to believe the best of him, because if not, then there's no hope for either of us. It's tough, though. “I knew...” I continue, “you couldn't look at me that way...” My words are barely audible, almost a sigh of resignation.

“In what way? What do you mean?”

I must explain how I feel, because this is the only chance I'll get. And, to be honest, there's some resentment there. It's not quite what I expected, but my emotions right now are a strange mix between the positive and negative, and I need to reconcile the two. Time for some home truths, for us both. “All I ever was to you was... a useless person. Just someone... to protect. Someone like... a child.”

He needs to know, to understand how he makes me feel, and how wrong it is. I think back to this time a few short weeks ago, when I would never have had the courage to stand here and say this to him. In a way, that was always part of the problem. “I-I wanted to be more to you than that,” I continue, “but after so long... I... got used to it.”

It's not only him I resent. Hisao was certainly the one who treated me in such a way, but I allowed him to do so for so long. Oh, sure, I made attempts, feeble flights of fancy to try and break out of the rut, but it took me so long to finally do so that by the time it happened, I was making nothing but wrong decisions, pushing us both further and further down a path that could have ended in disaster for our friendship, let alone any relationship that may have happened. I consider that there were occasions, somewhere down the line, that could have gone either way, where I had no control over the situation. Any one of a number of variables could have affected the final outcome, and without intending to I allowed Hisao to control them all. Not in a malicious or nasty way, but simply by circumstance. It's sheer luck that he made the right choices, that led us to this point. But were they the right choices? Could things have ended up worse?

I carry on speaking. It needs to be said. “After I came out of my room... I saw that you had started drifting away. I felt like I was going to lose you, because... you wanted somebody you could have... that kind of relationship with.” He made the first moves, but after I left my room during the troubled times, earlier than I had planned, I did all the running. It's only now, after last night, that I understand it all myself.

I thought back then that I was making so much progress, becoming stronger, becoming more independent, able to break away from the rut. I was a fool. My reverie continues.

“You were more quiet in school than before, and you were getting on so well with Yuuko... I thought... that I might lose you.”

I take a second to catch my breath, and Hisao takes the chance to respond. “But... we're friends, right? I wouldn't just abandon you like that, even if what you're saying was true.” He pauses, allowing me to speak once more.

Friends. Lines blurring between the spaces. What does it mean to me now?

“Friendship... was something I thought I'd given up on. I stopped believing in others... after what happened after the accident... before the accident happened, I got on well with people and other children. I didn't have many friends... but I didn't mind, because I treasured the ones that I had. Afterwards, though...”

It's hard for me to recall. Not through the remembrance, but through my willingness to do so. “I was called names by the others, and teased a lot. It hurt... really deeply. The teachers tried to help, but they couldn't do much, and even many of them recoiled just at the sight of me.” That wasn't even the worst part. I've talked before about how institutionalised the prejudice is in Japan, how deeply it cuts through our very society. I expected, I guess on a subconscious level, the horror of the teachers as well as my fellow students. I didn't expect the other, more hateful reaction.

“Among those calling me names and teasing me... were the ones that I thought were my closest friends. From then on, I believed that it didn't matter if nobody else acknowledged me. All my existence ever did was make people troubled, after all. It was... easier... if I just didn't exist.”

That was why I became such a recluse, and hid away from the world. If I didn't exist to the rest of the world, everything would be alright. Out of sight, out of mind. Needless to say, my plans were less than successful. “But after meeting Lilly, and then you... I tried, but I... couldn't make myself think that way again.”

I try to gauge his reaction, but Hisao's face shows nothing. I get a feeling though, that I've hurt him. It's not a good thing for me to do, but he needs to understand just how things have been for me, so we can start to move forward. If he wants to. Then again, to be fair, it hurts me too, that we've reached this point, and what I have to do to make things right again.

“Hanako, if you'd just told me...”

“Was I... wrong?” I put him on the spot. Now is the pivotal moment. How will he answer?

“Of course you...” He pauses. Thinking. He answers. “I mean... I don't look at you that way now.” It's a confession, he once did think of me like that, as I suspected. And yet, he seems to be saying that... he sees me differently now. Is that right? Is that true? “I got worried about you after what happened to you in class, and I thought I should try to protect you. When you locked yourself in your room, though, I got afraid. I thought you were rejecting me, and it forced me to think a lot about... different things.”

This is the most honest conversation we've ever had, but has it come too late? It seems to me we've been through nothing but a parade of mixed signals, confusion on both sides, and inexperience giving way to mistakes that have inexorably led to this awkwardness now. I reply with the truth, as he has done, and wonder if it will be enough... “I wasn't rejecting you!” Only after my outburst do I realise how it must sound, how loud and sudden it appears to be. Still, he has to know. “I wouldn't ever do that. Not to you. Even though I was scared... even though I tried to push you away... you still tried to get closer to me.” The words come tumbling out like they never have before. “I locked myself away because... I was just a burden to you. To Lilly. To everyone.”

That's what I became, through my own weakness, and Hisao taught me how to be strong. Yet even then, I couldn't face the harsh truths that are pouring out from us both now. I made up lies and deceits to myself to try and persuade my mind that everything was okay, that I was improving, and that the darkest days were nothing but a bitter memory. Even in the past few weeks. Especially then. “E-every birthday was the same. Everyone doing their best to pretend that I mattered. Everyone pretending everything was all right... for that one day of the year. I didn't want to exist... but they wouldn't let me. Even after meeting Lilly... everything was the same. I was as useless as I'd always been, unable to do anything for her, or for myself. I didn't want to be the same way... to you.”

I give him a chance to speak. To respond to every confession that my lips have uttered. “After you locked yourself in your room,” says Hisao, “I decided to try to work out my past as well, and sort out my future. I didn't know how to deal with the things I'd lost by coming to Yamaku, so I was trying to sort them out myself. I thought... it would help us become better friends... if I did that.”

He stops speaking, and silence reigns. We can barely look at each other. I can feel the situation growing beyond control, for either of us, and worry that talking is too late, that the past has happened and can't be changed, can never be erased. I don't consider that maybe it's better to keep the past stable, so the future can learn from those mistakes. Only much later does that ever cross my mind.

I can't bear it any more. I let my emotions take over, my conscious mind pushed to the back, and drop to my knees. The tears stream down my face; I let them hit the ground uncared for.

I can't take this! My world is crashing around me, breaking into pieces, because I was a stupid fool who dared to think that maybe, just maybe, everything could be alright, and someone could love me for who I am, not just what they thought they could do to protect me, to treat me like a fragile doll who needs constant smothering to keep me from the evils of the world, someone who would never let me try and gain the strength I needed, the strength I thought I'd gained in these last few weeks, someone who...

My self-loathing monologue stops abruptly, as I feel a pair of arms around me. Not strong, but familiar, and strangely comfortable. Was I... was I wrong?

“I'm sorry, Hisao... I-I've messed up everything...” I can barely speak for choking on the words, each one punctuated with a sob, forcing my misery on the world around me.

“It's fine. Everything's fine. I'm the one that should be sorry. I was meddling around behind your back, and I never told you anything.” He should have. He should have told me, should have trusted me, should have supported me and not just treated me like porcelain...

As Hisao continues I can hear the words break, as he holds back the same tears that fall from my own eyes. “To tell you the truth, Hanako... I was scared. For the first time since my heart attack, I was really scared.” Wh...why?

“Hisao...?”

“I lost so much when I came to Yamaku. I was... depending on you, more than I ever thought I did. Even now, I still have that hole inside me. After losing my entire life, and everyone I'd known, the thought of losing you, as well...”

He depended on me? How can that be right? “But I'm just a useless...”

“You're my friend, Hanako!” He cuts me off before I can finish. “You're... No, you're more than that. I love you, Hanako. I love you so much, that the thought of losing you frightened me so much...”

He... he loves me? I feel my heart beating faster, as it did every time I thought about my own feelings towards him, and the realisation that I felt the same way, before everything went to hell. I find myself beginning to understand, a little more, able to comprehend finally just why he treated me the way he did, if I was someone so precious to him. It's hard for me to believe, but I want to, oh so much.

“I'm sorry, Hisao... I can't help... feeling a bit happy. For so long... that's what I've wanted... to hear...”

The tears start in earnest this time, but not for sorrow. I'm not naive enough to believe this fixes everything. We still have a long way to go, but knowing that he loves me... it's more than I could have hoped for, everything that I wanted. We don't speak, but I can feel his body close to mine, holding me tightly, and a small smile creeps onto my face. A hidden smile, one that I thought would never show again, pushed deep below the layers of self-loathing and despair, finally allowed to fight its way to the surface with those precious words from his lips.

I don't know how long we stay like that. I don't care. This moment is all I need.

We disengage after a while, and walk together, following the path, hands held and not a word spoken. Hisao drops a can (I'd barely noticed him holding it) into a bin and sits down on a nearby bench. I follow suit, taking a seat beside him. He's given me a handkerchief to wipe away the tears, but the overall effect has been negligible. I'm not really sure that he looks any better, either.

“Have you calmed down a bit?” he asks, concerned for me more so than himself.

“Y-yes. Thank you.” We wait again, before the silence is broken once more. I surprise myself by being the one to break it. “The weather is nice at this time of year.”

It's idle chatter, nothing more, but it helps alleviate the tension slightly. “Yeah, it is.” Hisao closes his eyes and continues, “You know... I don't really want to go back to classes, right now. Do you?”

Asking for my opinion, giving me the choice and allowing me to control the outcome... it seems like a new step, though not before time. It's refreshing, after all the heartbreak I had steeled myself for. I shake my head regardless, agreeing that I'd rather not be in class when I can be here with Hisao instead. “I'm sorry. For... everything.”

“It's okay. I think we both have a bit to be sorry for.”

He takes on some of the blame, and allows me to accept the part that is my fault. Perhaps a few days ago, even, I would have claimed all the fault for myself, while he would do likewise to himself, trying to protect me from my own mistakes and the consequences of them. Now, he's happy to share it out, and allow me to take responsibility for that which I deem to be mostly my fault. It really is a change. Still, I can't be everything he wants, and he still needs to realise that. I am me, and I can't change everything so easily and still be me.

“I know that...” I say. “I'm too shy. I know you don't want me to be, I don't think I can...”

“You can change, Hanako. I know that because, even in the time I've known you, you've already changed. To be honest, just being able to sit here and talk to you like this means that you've changed a lot since we first met.”

I have to accept that, though not everything is so simple. I have changed, and for the better, but there's still a long road to travel. “But... I can't be like that for... anyone else. I don't have any plans for after school ends, either...” I've tried to avoid thinking about the future, too hung up always on the past. What should I do? I realise that Hisao knows now to give me the space I need, and hopefully when Lilly returns we can explain together the same to her. It should help.

“Just give yourself time, and I think you'll be able to achieve what you want. No, I'm sure that you'll be able to do it. I can see you've been trying, and I have faith in you. And you can depend on me if you feel like you need someone to support you, you know.”

“B-but I can't ask that of you...”

“You can, because that's exactly what I'm asking of you. I'm going through the same thing, you know. It's called love.” I understand now, just what he's saying. I remember hearing a phrase from some American film, a few years ago - “love means never having to say you're sorry”. I recall thinking at the time how stupid it sounded, regardless of the romantic intention, but I can see now. A better phrase would be “love means supporting each other, so you never have to apologise for anything” - there would be nothing to apologise for in the first place. I think that makes sense, sort of.

I smile, in any case, confident that I comprehend what Hisao means. We both get up, in turn, and dust ourselves off from the leaves and blossom that fell on us as we were sitting. Hisao turns to me and asks, “I'm kinda hungry. Want to grab something to eat?” I'll admit, I'm hungry too, but that's not the important thing to me. Rather, it's the chance to spend time with him now on an equal footing, assured in the mutual belief that we can be partners without any kind of expectation or demands placed, without either of us having to become a crutch for the other. My response is a clear nod, an agreement to Hisao's question.

We walk together, across the street from the park and along the row of shops. “Hisao?”

“Yeah?”

“I... I think... I don't really understand you.” It's true, but is it really an issue? Has everything been for naught, or can we learn to understand each other with time?

“I don't think I understand you, either. I believe that's fine, though.”

That's fine by me. We can't break down these barriers so easily, but if things can get better, and we can move forward together, then I can accept that. This is more than I would have imagined could be possible between us after last night, and I'm driven to do something bold, something I wouldn't have considered previously despite my advances of the night before. I'm not certain though, if I can bring myself to make such a move, but my eyes begin to flicker between Hisao and the path ahead, hoping that he'll understand what I want to do.

“Is something on your mind?” he asks. “You look restless.” I slow down, then stop dead, prompting him to do likewise. He notices, but he doesn't comprehend. I suppose... I'll have to take the chance. I look into his eyes, take a deep breath, and speak.

“I... I think... I think I have something... I need to give you.” The nerves kick in and I begin to lose strength. Can I make this final leap, to seal in stone my love for him?

“What is it? You don't need to be evasive about it.”

“I wanted to give you this for a long, long time, but... now that I need to... it's too embarrassing.” I'm not sure I can do it...

“Don't worry. I'll accept it, whatever it is.”

I smile, and take hold of his shoulder. Perhaps I can do it after all, now I know he won't reject me, won't push me away. “Then, please accept my first gift to you, Hisao...”

“Hanako...?”

One hand is on his shoulder, one is curled around his side. I lean forward, lips parted, and gently brush against his own. A slow, tender kiss, one returned in kind as our eyes close, and I dwell solely in the moment, ignoring the stares from those around us. If a moment could last forever, I would want this to be it. My true awakening, with the one I love.

To me, it's a new beginning, and the dawn of a bright new day...
Last edited by Trivun on Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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brythain
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Re: Hanako's Story (COMPLETED 18/08/2014)

Post by brythain » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:17 am

That's lovely. And it's finally done. And I will indeed read it at leisure again. Thanks!
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
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Re: Hanako's Story (COMPLETED 18/08/2014)

Post by Markus Ramikin » Mon Aug 18, 2014 6:47 am

Any attempt at conversation will no doubt be doomed to failure, to stuttering and awkward silences worse than the one we'd be trying to fill. But the silence now is just as bad
So would it be worse, or just as bad? Can't have both.

For a marginally less frivolous observation: there are moments where the prose gets a bit purple - though maybe that's just my taste. "the strength within me", "silence reigns", things like that, especially on top of Hanako's general wordiness.

That aside, nice to see this finally brought to a conclusion. The story was a good and interesting read. I re-read the whole thing and still liked it.
Lilly=Emi=Hanako>Rin >>... ...

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Re: Hanako's Story (COMPLETED 18/08/2014)

Post by dewelar » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:30 am

This was one of the first stories that got me hooked here, and one of the ones that inspired me to start writing as well. I may have disagreed with its direction at times, but I just used that as a jumping-off point to give Developments' Hanako her own direction, so credit to you where it's due :) .

Towards the midpoint of this, I was disappointed that you stuck so close to the events of the VN, because I thought some of your better work was done on scenes that gave us more of a larger view of what was happening with Hanako. I missed that a lot in recent chapters, and I think it could have added substantially to this story's impact.

Anyway, all in all an enjoyable piece, and one I know I will revisit from time to time. At the very least, now that it's done, I can finally read it to my friend :) . Good luck with whatever it is to which this might lead you next!
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: Hanako's Story (COMPLETED 18/08/2014)

Post by Deadpool021 » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:05 pm

Congratulations Trivun! I really enjoyed the story and think you did a wonderful job portraying Hanako's perspective. Some may disagree with certain parts but we all need to remember that the VN never showed what she was thinking so everything would be each owns interpretation and I like yours. Re-reading the VN after this , it makes sense with your fan fiction.

I know this took you a very long time to complete (which I commend you for since it is something that is hard to come by) but I was wondering if you have any plans for writing from the other character's perspectives in their stories as well. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not requesting anything here but I just wanted to know if that was something you may have considered. I think you did an amazing job with this and have confidence that you would also write other perspectives very well.

Anyways, thank you very much for sharing your fan fic with us. I enjoyed it very much and this is definitely a part of my head canon.

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Re: Hanako's Story (COMPLETE 18/08/2014)

Post by Atario » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:15 am

A few logistical notes:
Trivun wrote:We put our plates and forks in the sink; we leave my room
They don't have sinks in their dorm rooms…
We don't hold hands as we've done so often before
I can't remember them ever holding hands in the game. Did they?
Hisao drops a can (I'd barely noticed him holding it) into a bin
Hah, this reads like he was holding the can all through the breakdown/hug/cry scene. Hisao, have some class! :) I think the game intended that he picked it back up from where he'd left it on the bench or whatever.
NB: none of the above is a request

Mutou Gets Fired — a little one-shot fanfic I wrote

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Re: Hanako's Story (COMPLETED 18/08/2014)

Post by Frankyo » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:24 am

Gah, you've reminded me of how beautiful Hanako's route was :cry:, and how it is actually perfect that it ends at their first kiss. Great job, and congratz on finishing this fic!
Girls: Hanako/Misha > Lilly > Emi > Shizune/Rin
Routes: I realized that every route has its own charms, but felt that Shizune's was lacklustre. It has Misha though!

"No masters or kings, when the ritual begins"

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Re: Hanako's Story (COMPLETED 18/08/2014)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:18 pm

Great job on this story. I didn't get quite as emotional during the confession scene as I have in the past, but that's probably just because I've experienced it so many times.
Best girl
Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

Best route
Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

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