Akira Pseudo-Route [Complete!]

WORDS WORDS WORDS
carrion_crow
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by carrion_crow » Thu May 16, 2013 6:54 am

Thanatos02 wrote: because so many people try their hand at it.
If this part about the miki route wasn't a joke. I'm going to feel like a real ass for laughing so hard
Akira=Miki>Lily>Emi>Rin>Hanako...........and shizune I guess

WRXJoey
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by WRXJoey » Sat May 18, 2013 3:15 am

The suspense is killing me.

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Thanatos02
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by Thanatos02 » Sat May 18, 2013 3:49 am

4-9 might take until Sunday. Proofreading is taking a bit longer than I'd hoped.
Also, imagine my surprise when I look through new comments and Suriko posted in the thread. I doubt he cares about the story here, but still.

carrion_crow
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by carrion_crow » Sun May 19, 2013 3:12 pm

Ah crap. I keep logging in almost every hour to see if its been updated......I want to say thats a sad addiction...... But this fic is SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD
Akira=Miki>Lily>Emi>Rin>Hanako...........and shizune I guess

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Mader Levap
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by Mader Levap » Sun May 19, 2013 3:16 pm

carrion_crow wrote:Ah crap. I keep logging in almost every hour to see if its been updated......I want to say thats a sad addiction...... But this fic is SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD
No need to log. Just subscribe topic. You will get email when someone add some message.
Image Proud member of Polish Route - group dedicated to translation of Katawa Shoujo to Polish. Full translation released!

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Thanatos02
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by Thanatos02 » Sun May 19, 2013 8:54 pm

carrion_crow wrote:Ah crap. I keep logging in almost every hour to see if its been updated......I want to say thats a sad addiction...... But this fic is SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD
Just subscribe to the topic or add it to a feed or something. I feel terrible hearing about stuff like this ;_;

At this point I'm practically flipping a coin over releasing 4-9 unedited, since my proofreader has been busy ever since I finished it and might not be back until a few hours past midnight here. I'm doing as much as I can, but one thing I'm not afraid to admit is that I'm GOD AWFUL TERRIBLE at close-reading, which happens to be something he's quite amazing at. You can see the difference around Act 2-7, which is when he started helping me out.

Update: PROOFREADER CAME BACK! EDITING AS WE SPEAK. I'LL HAVE IT UP BY 5/20, 3PM CST I SWEAR.
Last edited by Thanatos02 on Mon May 20, 2013 3:03 am, edited 2 times in total.

GetBehindMeSatan
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by GetBehindMeSatan » Sun May 19, 2013 9:53 pm

Thanatos02 wrote:
carrion_crow wrote:Ah crap. I keep logging in almost every hour to see if its been updated......I want to say thats a sad addiction...... But this fic is SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD
Just subscribe to the topic or add it to a feed or something. I feel terrible hearing about stuff like this ;_;

At this point I'm practically flipping a coin over releasing 4-9 unedited, since my proofreader has been busy ever since I finished it and might not be back until a few hours past midnight here. I'm doing as much as I can, but one thing I'm not afraid to admit is that I'm GOD AWFUL TERRIBLE at close-reading, which happens to be something he's quite amazing at. You can see the difference around Act 2-7, which is when he started helping me out.
I can't speak for anyone else, but a few typos or minor grammatical errors don't really bother me. Your call though, of course. Also since this is my first post, thanks so much for an awesome story.

WRXJoey
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by WRXJoey » Sun May 19, 2013 10:11 pm

GetBehindMeSatan wrote:
Thanatos02 wrote:
carrion_crow wrote:Ah crap. I keep logging in almost every hour to see if its been updated......I want to say thats a sad addiction...... But this fic is SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD
Just subscribe to the topic or add it to a feed or something. I feel terrible hearing about stuff like this ;_;

At this point I'm practically flipping a coin over releasing 4-9 unedited, since my proofreader has been busy ever since I finished it and might not be back until a few hours past midnight here. I'm doing as much as I can, but one thing I'm not afraid to admit is that I'm GOD AWFUL TERRIBLE at close-reading, which happens to be something he's quite amazing at. You can see the difference around Act 2-7, which is when he started helping me out.
I can't speak for anyone else, but a few typos or minor grammatical errors don't really bother me. Your call though, of course. Also since this is my first post, thanks so much for an awesome story.
I agree as long as the errors don't break the immersion from the story, but it's your call.

Bagheera
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by Bagheera » Sun May 19, 2013 10:19 pm

It's your work. You should post it when you're satisfied, and not a moment sooner. Not like your readers are going anywhere.
Girls: Emi = Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Shizune = Rin
Routes: Rin = Shizune > Emi > Lilly = Hanako


carrion_crow
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by carrion_crow » Sun May 19, 2013 10:30 pm

Bagheera wrote:It's your work. You should post it when you're satisfied, and not a moment sooner. Not like your readers are going anywhere.
This is true. We're dedicated readers. Whatever you're decision I'll agree. I waited this long, another day isn't a big deal.
Akira=Miki>Lily>Emi>Rin>Hanako...........and shizune I guess

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon May 20, 2013 4:07 am

Mader Levap wrote:
carrion_crow wrote:Ah crap. I keep logging in almost every hour to see if its been updated......I want to say thats a sad addiction...... But this fic is SOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOD
No need to log. Just subscribe topic. You will get email when someone add some message.
Ah, but then he'll have to check his email every hour... :lol:
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

carrion_crow
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by carrion_crow » Mon May 20, 2013 7:09 am

Exactly!! Haha. Im still checking
Akira=Miki>Lily>Emi>Rin>Hanako...........and shizune I guess

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Thanatos02
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/3]

Post by Thanatos02 » Mon May 20, 2013 2:14 pm

Long wait times between chapters and even missed deadlines. I feel awful.
Anyway, this is the true finale of act 4, which leads into the final part of the story, act 5. Not a whole lot to say about it; I've got some cool things planned to make act 5 easier to settle into, since there is going to be a bit of a timeskip (nothing ridiculous like years or even more than a few months.)
Comments and criticisms are welcome, as always. Thanks everyone for suffering through my ridiculous wait times, and I'm glad there were some folks that were okay with waiting for the edited version because JESUS CHRIST there were a lot of little errors.
Also, someday I WILL take the time to add chapter descriptions and links to jump from the next or previous chapter. SOMEDAY.


Act 4 - Part 9: Remnants

The muted ‘clack’ of polished resin hits my ears as the billiards bounce off of one another, rolling along the green surface in a lazy fashion. The girl across the table takes a few moments to pull her cue away, not even batting an eye as only the solid ‘2’ falls into the corner pocket.

A half-empty glass of beer sits on the table nearby, a few idle bubbles slipping through the amber liquid while beads of condensation slide down the edges. Bland slow jazz plays through a speaker and the space around us is generally vacant, occupied by a few men and women who only seem to be here for post-work drinking.

Akira’s eyes drift away from the game and she stares at me in a stupor, as if expecting to find some sort of answer on my face. I can’t seem to think of what she could be looking for, except to make a mental note of how tired I look, maybe even planning on how she’d catch me if I fell asleep.

We’ve been here for about ten minutes now, the pint glass on the table Akira’s first and only tonight. I’m not even sure if she wants to continue, just that she wanted a beer and a game of pool to clear her head. Neither of those seem to be working, however, as she purses her lips in thought, eyes devoid of any emotion.

If I had to describe the look on her face, it would be one of detachment. It’s such a strange feeling to see in her – she’s always seemed so involved with everything at hand, even if it’s something simple like walking down the road or drinking a cup of coffee. It's unsettling, to say the least.

“You gonna go or are you just gonna stare?” She asks, the joking undertone of her voice just barely audible as she shoots me a feigned pout.

I grab a cue and line up my shot, trying my best to focus in on the striped ‘11’ mere inches away from the side pocket. Of course, I miss it by an inch because of all the thoughts swirling through my own head, from the start of the day up to the events that occurred less than an hour ago.

“What a load of crap.” I sputter, letting the rubber end of the stick bounce against the carpet.

Akira shrugs, her vacant gaze shifting from the table back onto me. “You gotta hit the side if you want it to curve. Like how you’d put a spin on a baseball.”

“Not that.” I say, leaning nearly all of my weight against the table as I slump. “Everything that’s happened today. It’s such a goddamned mess, and it’s all my f-“

Akira cuts me off partway through my statement. “I told you not to start with that.”

“Why not? If I could have just kept my mouth shut, all of this could have been…”

Avoided? No, of course not. Akira would have told him eventually, with or without my butting in. “I just feel like I screwed it all up for you. It’s because he found out through me that he exploded like that.”

She shuts her eyes and gently shakes her head, giving me a hefty sigh. “That’s just the kind of man he is. That much hasn’t changed since the day I met him. He was an idealistic moron from the very beginning, and I was stupid to think it wouldn’t come to this even if I’d tried to find the best opportunity to let him know.”

“You did nothing wrong.” I counter, not even twitching as she pulls her cue back and strikes the white sphere with enough force to stir up the entire table, pocketing the ‘4’ in the process.

I just don’t know what to think about all of this. How Akira’s going to recover from it, how it will affect Lilly or Hanako, or if I’m going to be fired out of spite when I show up to work on Thursday. My role in this was definite; I’m sure it all would have happened either way, but to say I had no effect on it is blatantly avoiding facts. It’s because I interfered that he wound up snapping.

Akira’s eyes regain that dull gleam as she drifts into thought once more, her eyes lazily following my pool cue as I attempt to sink the striped ‘14’ and, once again, fail.

“Aim more for the center.” She drones as she steps away from the table to indulge in the remaining contents of her beer glass, not stopping for a single breath as the rest of it enters her mouth. From there, the glass dangles from her fingers and she examines every inch of it, as if expecting it to magically refill.

“Do you want another?” I ask, still contemplating on how much of a risk it would be for me to join her and order one for myself.

“I’ll think about it.” She returns, no doubt debating in her head whether she’d like to stay sober or not. “For now, let’s try and finish this game.”

Her vigor seems to be returning bit by bit, although more as frustration than as her usual brightness. Her listless eyes focus on the cue ball and she lines up her shot, sinking the ‘1.’ Regardless, she still clicks her tongue in anger. “Dammit, I could have gotten the ‘7’ too if I just bounced it.”

She pauses, her gaze focusing on the solid ‘7’ ball. “It just seems like nothing wants to work today.”

“You’re telling me.” I return, already in position to take my next shot. “It’s just been an awful day for everyone involved, huh?”

I push the cue forward and attempt to sink the striped ‘14’ once more, this time just barely able to nudge it into the corner pocket, taking the ‘11’ with it. Akira gives a short ‘heh’ at my accomplishment, the sides of her mouth curling up ever so slightly before fading back into that blank expression.

"I'm gonna have to agree with you on that one." She says, stopping to grind a small, blue cube of chalk against the tip of her cue.

She seems to be getting more and more into the game, throwing her tie over her shoulder in a small bout of annoyance as it continues to get in the way of her shot.

"All it takes is time." I remark, unable to keep from laughing in disbelief as she bounces the white sphere over a cluster of striped balls and sinks another solid. A wooden 'chack' sounds as the cue ball hops over the obstacles again for her second turn, although this time it loses its precision misses the target and winds up rolling into the side pocket.

“Yeah, I just need to think about all of this.” She says, letting out a long sigh. She steps past me and sits down nearby, resting her head on one arm as she watches me line up my move.

She waits until after I knock the ‘9’ out of play and then screw up my next turn to continue. “I need a day off. Maybe another week or an entire month or something.”

I try to give her my best smile, but it no doubt comes off as forced, considering the fact that I can barely keep my eyes open at this point. “The whole world should just stop for a while. Thirty days, at the very least.”

My heart tingles as she finally gives me an amused chuckle, her features brightening up for just that small moment as she grabs her cue and steps up to the table beside me. “That would certainly be amazing.”

“The world doesn’t work that way, though.” She adds, her brow narrowing and her lips falling into a depressed frown once more. “As if life could stop for even a few moments.”

She bumps the tip of her cue into the far edge of the cue ball, rolling it across the table in an arc and, once again, landing it in the side pocket. Her interest in the game begins to dwindle at this point as her shoulders drop and she gives an annoyed sigh.

“Well, of course not, but…” I pause to fish the white sphere out of the pocket and set it on the table, the neutral point giving me a clear path to the ’12.’ “Think about what it would be like; if time could just stop. What would you want to do?”

“Honestly, I wouldn’t even know where to start.” She answers bluntly, gripping the cue behind her back in a lethargic stretch.

I mess up the shot completely as I glance up, “are you sure? There's nothing you want to do more than anything else right now?”

She leans on the table, shrugging at the same time. “It's not that there isn't anything – there's just too much. I've got a lot of thinking to do, and it doesn't help that I've gotta rush for that damned...”

A low grumble follows her statement after she trails off. “Can I tell you something, Hisao?”

“You can tell me anything you want. That much hasn't changed since day one.” I return, waiting until she's finished to make another attempt.

“I still don't know if I want to leave for Scotland.” She confesses, a dreary look on her face as she chews on the words. “For a while it was a certainty. It was the one thing I wanted – the position, the chance to put our family back together, a shot at a new future...”

She lets out a sigh and shakes her head in frustration.“But now it feels like everything's gone up in smoke. There’s just too much going through my head and now I’m doubting everything.”

Of course there are a million things to worry about. How her new life will conflict with her old one, how smooth the transition will be, how many opportunities she's giving up in either situation, the management of her remaining assets, all of the friends she has to say goodbye to...

My worries are nothing compared to that. That's not to say my life is without troubles, between the defective heart and shaky social life, but she needs as much support as she can get right now. I doubt I can do enough to help or even sway her, but at the very least I can be here.

It's more than he could do, anyway.

Her past is filled with regrets and she’s got a future filled with uncertainty. At the very least I can try to make the present more bearable for her – after everything she's done for me, it’s a good place to start.

“Hey, I think we should go ahead and sit down. The game isn't going anywhere.” I say, setting my cue on the table.

She gives a light nod and we sit at the small table nearby, both facing out to the rest of the building. I fumble around in my thoughts trying to put the right words together, everything still mixed up as my eyes slide over her downcast expression.

“Akira, I don't know what's going through your head, but I don't think you're in the wrong. At all.” I begin, still unsure of how to handle these situations. “I'm here if you have anything to say, though. Anything at all.”

Even though I've come to know her as a good friend over the past few months, the contents of her mind are still a puzzle to me. I've spent countless hours poring over what she could be thinking about, whether it involve me or the things around her, but I still never come up with anything definite. Maybe it’s that random, indiscernible nature that keeps drawing me back in.

She glances over at me, a whirl of emotions dancing across her features. Naturally, she isn't one to mince words when she finally opens her mouth after a long, deep breath. “You know it's Tetsuo that has me feeling like this; there's no point in even trying to deny it.”

“Well, I would think so.” I retort, leaning forward in concern. “Anything you want to talk about?”

“Depends. Should I start with the good or the bad?” She asks, clearly split down the middle as to where her thoughts of him truly lie.

I think for a moment. Do I want to hear what I'm more curious about, or should I just let her vent? It's still a mystery to me how they even got together in the first place, but at the same time I doubt she's going to want to tell a story about that when just earlier tonight he gave up on her and walked away with a cigarette in his mouth.

“Whatever you feel needs to be out in the open. I've never judged you before and I don't plan to start now.” I state, intent on hearing anything and everything.

She tilts her neck back, staring at the ceiling as she scours her mind for the one thing she wants to say most. “I think I got all the bad stuff out already.”

“We all did a bit of yelling back there, yeah.” I nod.

A muddled look is shot at me as she tries to process my statement. “Why were you yelling too? It didn't really register to me at the time -- you said a lot of stuff, you know that?”

I grimace at the memory, recalling the numerous surprised glances each time I opened my mouth. “I just couldn't stay silent anymore. Between working with him and seeing the way he treated you, there were too many things to let out.”

“Well, yeah, I get that. But why?” She persists, one eyebrow raised at my response.

I give a light sigh and a shrug, not sure how to answer. “Some of it was on impulse. I did a lot of things on impulse today.”

“It was just sickening seeing the way he did things -- how he treated you. You deserve someone better than that.” I explain, crossing my arms as I lean back in the seat. “Honestly, I don't think I liked him even from the first day, a while before I even knew about the two of you being together.”

Akira’s expression goes unchanged, not the least bit offended or even sidetracked by my statement. “I did, though. I talked a lot of crap about him sometimes, but I loved that man.”

“I knew it was coming. It's been coming for nearly a month now, and if we hadn't fallen apart over this then it surely would have been something else.” She adds, a hint of bitterness in her voice.

And that's what she wants to talk about. It was always something that kept me mixed up; how much she tended to say about him behind his back, and yet she would always insist that she cared. I don't understand the mindset, how you can love someone so much and yet hate so many things about them.

She pauses and shakes her head, clenching her eyes shut for a moment. “I thought I was ready for it, you know? I had everything I was going to say laid out and I meant every word of it when I finally did.”

“But that's a good thing!” I counter, recalling the unbridled fury in her eyes when she finally pulled out all the stops at Tetsuo. “Isn't that better than letting it go without speaking your heart completely?”

“That's not what I mean.” Akira says, slumping in her chair and crossing her arms. “I just didn't think it would hit me as hard as it did. I can't stop thinking about everything that's happened or everything he said!”

She lays her cheek against the cool tabletop, facing me as she continues in an exhausted voice. “I don't know what to think anymore. What if we're both doing the same thing? Am I really gambling everything away on one outcome?”

There are certainly a few similarities. That's one of the traits they had in common: that reckless abandon whenever it comes to reaching out for something that might benefit someone. Tetsuo wanted a better job because he believed that it would make him a better man for Akira. Akira wants a better job because it offers a more beneficial position for Lilly.

“Everything was figured out and then he had to go and spin my head around like that.” She groans, shutting her eyes in exasperation.

I lay one hand on her back and gently rub from side to side, an action she doesn't seem to mind in the slightest. “Honestly, Akira, I want you to stay in Japan. At the very least give yourself some time to get everything back together -- I mean, just think about it. There's all the stress you already deal with, and then you have to pile even more on top of it. What happens once you get to Scotland with the parents you've barely spoken to in years, alongside a completely new position that dwarfs your old one?” I argue, trying not to come off as forceful. “Even if you're dead-set on going, at the very least give yourself some time. Don't you think you've done enough for one week?”

Those ruby-red eyes center on mine as she contemplates her answer. “You really don't want me to leave, do you?”

My mouth opens and closes as I try to put together something witty or touching, but all I'm able to give her is a straight “No, I really don't.”

Her gaze pauses on me for a time, staring before a faint smile emerges on the corners of her lips. In that moment, she shuts her eyes and begins stretching her arms over the table, eyeballing me with curiosity once she finishes. “What are you willing to do to make me stay?”

What kind of a question is that? “Everything, as long as it's nothing absurd.”

Although, frankly, I'd probably do anything for her if she asked, regardless of how insane the request was.

“Is that so?” Akira says, laying her head in both arms as she thinks about her next statement, a blank, almost disinterested look on her face despite the glimmer in her eyes. “Use the tips of your fingers. Move a little bit farther down.”

“Huh?”

She gestures to her back. “Stop using the palm of your hand. You'll wear out my shirt at this rate.”

Oh.

A light moan slips into the air as I gingerly brush my fingertips down her back, sweeping them up and down. Her eyes shut and she nestles her cheek into the crook of her arm, looking as if she could fall asleep at any moment.

In all honesty, I wouldn't mind one bit if she decided to fall asleep here. I don't care that exams are in two days -- if it's for her, I've got all the time in the world.

“Like that?” I ask, following each twitch of her features.

She nods, her expression unchanging despite her increasing vigor. “I needed that.”

After a few more moments, she sits up and adjusts her shirt, doing nothing about the loose buttons and disheveled tie. “I think I've spent enough time moping today..”

Dark rings have formed around her eyes and it's clear that she's more tired and stressed out than anything else. The sudden burst of energy may wear off at any moment, but she continues anyway. ”I’ll have plenty of time to think about what went wrong later; there are some other things that have to get done right now.”

“Have you figured out what you want to do?” I ask, one hand lingering on her shoulder.

The chair creates a light scratching sound as it drags across the floor, following Akira's movements. “Yeah, I need to go talk to my sister. Do you want a lift back to the school?”

****************

It's well past curfew and I'm surprised we haven't been stopped by a night nurse or one of the dorm security guards. None of this seems to be passing through Akira's head, however, as she raises one hand and raps her knuckles against the door.

One thing I can be thankful for tonight is that Akira only had one beer at the club, and that it didn't impede her ability to drive in the slightest. Nor did it affect her ability to call Lilly while driving.

We're only left waiting for a few moments before the door clicks open, revealing a very tired Lilly. No doubt she's been waiting by the door ever since the phone call she received from her sister at a little past eleven at night.

“Good evening Akira, Hisao. It is rather late, is something the matter?”

Akira slides both hands into her pockets, her tie loosened, her shirt untucked and unbuttoned, and only a grey undershirt beneath it all. “Just thought I'd stop by. Gotta talk about a few things and it felt improper to do it over the phone, ya know?”

She did at least have the decency to call ahead and tell her she'd be coming. I decided to tag along out of a desire to see this through to the end, even though I've already said enough for today.

“Plus I never have enough chances to see my baby sister.” She adds with a soft tone, reaching up and ruffling Lilly's hair as she passes by, prompting an adorable pout from the taller of the two sisters.

No further words are exchanged until all three of us are sitting down at the table. Both Akira and myself decline tea, considering how late it is. Lilly's suspicion doesn't seem to be aroused by the fact that I showed up with her sister, which is a little strange taking into account my confession a few days ago.

Akira is quick to relax herself, having calmed down quite a bit since our time at the club. I can feel my eyelids starting to droop as I try to focus on both of the Satou sisters – it's amazing that I didn't outright fall asleep on the ride here, even with the smooth jazz playing over the radio.

“Well, I'm not gonna beat around the bush. Tetsuo and I recently...” She trails off, her features expressionless as she takes a deep breath. “We broke up.”

Lilly meets the statement with a troubled frown, but she doesn't seem as bothered as she is surprised. “I'm sorry to hear that, Akira. What happened?”

Akira lets out a short 'hm' at the response, her gaze flat and troubled. “Well, simply put; we just couldn't work it out in the long run. I need to talk to you about a couple of things when we have more free time, but I'll save that for later since there's something more important right now.”

She takes a short pause, meeting my gaze as if to reassure herself before continuing. “I don't think we should take up father's offer. Not yet, anyway.”

“Are you absolutely sure about that?” Lilly asks on impulse, clearly taken aback. “Akira, you're going through quite a bit of stress. Please don't make rash decisions.”

I can't help but choose to cut in here. “Lilly, it's not a rash decision. What is a total move to Scotland going to accomplish at this point anyway? Less stress?”

“I just need to get some things straightened out, both in my head and with a lot of people.” Akira adds, sitting up and crossing her legs. “Besides that point, I think I want you to finish school here in Japan as well. At least get your diploma.”

That was something I hadn't thought about until now, but I do very much agree with it. Akira needs some time to rest with everything that's been going on, but at the same time Lilly also needs to get some things sorted out. What are the plans for the small remainder of her education anyway? What about college?

Lilly sits in a calm fashion, absorbing all the information as it's tossed back and forth. “I have put some thought into this as well. Hanako has been informed of our situation, and she also suggested staying behind until at least graduation.”

So she's already found out about it, then. I wonder how she reacted, how long they spent talking about this, or what she suggested to make Lilly already seem like she's all for postponing the trip.

“It's reasonable enough, if you ask me.” I agree, propping my head up on one arm and waiting for Lilly to finish yawning before I continue. “Honestly, you don't seem very opposed to staying behind in Japan yourself.”

“Do I seem that way?” She asks with a curious expression, folding her hands in her lap like usual.

I nod my head, prompting a look of light confusion from Akira before I fumble over my response. “Yes, and quite frankly I don't blame you if that's what you're thinking.”

Lilly takes a deep breath, no doubt trying to put the proper answer together in her head. I don't think it should be a very hard point to convince someone on. It doesn't seem like an emergency that the two of them have to be in Scotland for, and on top of that I think it's outright selfish of Mr. Satou to be calling them back at such a time in the year anyway. Even worse is the fact that-

“Hm?”

All three of us turn to a soft knocking on the bathroom door -- a few locks of dark hair and a single violet eye peeking in as soon as Lilly calls for her to come in.

Akira lightens up a bit as she paces into the room, her pink nightgown swaying with her movements. “Hey. What's up, Hanako?”

“I h-heard people talking and I wanted to know what L-Lilly was up to.” She answers, blinking a few times before rubbing her tired eyes. Locks of hair poke out here and there, making it clear that she was having a very restless sleep.

“Just discussing some business.” Akira says with a flat, almost spiritless tone. “It might be better that you're here for it, actually. Lilly's already told you about everything, right?”

Hanako gives a feeble nod, followed by a comment from the younger Satou. “She already knew. It turns out she could hear everything just fine a few nights ago when you came over to help us study.”

The walls here don't seem very thick, in retrospect. It explains why Hanako has been tiptoeing around so many things lately – moreso than usual. Everything over the past few weeks has been so on-edge that I don't know what to think anymore. Ever since getting to Yamaku I'm finding that it's better to focus on one thing rather than trying to dig up answers for all the problems that comes my way.

“I see.” Akira gives a faint half-smile to Hanako. “Well, what do you think? I've heard the other two sides of the story. Hisao is ready to do anything to get us to stay and Lilly is still on the fence.”

Hanako meets my gaze for a few moments, a strange relief passing over me as we seem to mentally agree. Even so, she still responds with “I, um... I-I want you and Lilly to be happy...”

“So what would make us happy, I wonder.” Akira notes before turning and waiting for Lilly's response, as if deciding that it's now her call.

“Isn't that just like you, putting me on the spot like that.” Lilly says, flashing a warm smile before her features fade back into a worried demeanor. “If I'm quite honest, I'm doing this for you, Akira.”

She pauses as if waiting for a response, content to continue when one fails to emerge. “I understand the magnitude of the position Father is offering you, and I do believe that it would be foolish to turn that down. I also very much value the chance of getting our family back together.”

Akira's doing it for Lilly, and Lilly's doing it for Akira. That's a family bond, if I've ever seen one. It almost makes me regret the fact that I'm an only child.

“Don't you think you've got enough family here?” I say to both Akira and Lilly, still dumbfounded as to why everyone isn't convinced yet. “I know I talked about having feelings for Akira, but I'm here for both of you. I don't know you as well as I'd like, Lilly, but I'll try to support you as best I can if you do stay.”

Hanako's face is immediately flushed with crimson as she glances between Akira and myself in quick succession, as if to ask 'did he really just say that?!' Her response isn't helped when Akira essentially shrugs it off by saying nothing in comment.

“I'm not trying to be selfish; I really do care about your happiness – both of you. But that just goes along with what I think – are you really going to be happy over in Scotland, gambling everything away?” I argue, too tired to make any exaggerated hand movements to support my exasperation at all of this. “I'm sure Hanako thinks the same thing as well.”

Hanako pauses to think before nodding her head. At first she's reluctant to admit it, but once Akira smiles in agreement she's quick to reinforce her thoughts.

The blonde-haired girl beside me spends a bit of time gazing at both Hanako and myself, as if to gather everything together before presenting it to her sister. “So, what do you think, Lils?”

Lilly then does the same thing, letting the room sit in silence as she analyzes each thought. Before long, she heaves a deep sigh and returns with “if Hisao and Hanako would like for us to stay, then frankly I can find no reason not to. Are you absolutely sure about this, Akira?”

Akira is already pulling her phone out halfway through Lilly's statement, flipping through her contacts before raising it up to her ear. Even though the room is totally silent, I have to focus to make out the sound of the dial-tone through the speaker of her phone.

Although, the annoyed “don't tell me his phone is off” that follows is quite easy to hear -- as are the exasperated groans that follow as she pulls the plastic slab away from her ear and proceeds to dial the number manually.

Even if the floor is carpeted, one could hear a pin drop with all the suspense in the air as we wait for the dialtone once again, with Hanako clenching her hands together in her lap and Lilly scratching her nose in anxiety.

“Dammit, Dad, I've put up with enough crap today. C'mon now.”

The third attempt is met with a shorter wait before a deep, incomprehensible voice comes onto the speaker. It's quickly met with “hey, Father, I need to talk to you about someth- yeah, I put my letter in. That’s not important right now.”

Some grumbling and a bit of a pause before Akira continues. “Well, Lilly and myself have been doing a lot of talking, and we just recently came to a bit of a consensus. Basically, we're gonna stay here in Japan.”

The response isn't as loud and angry as I was expecting, although the stern tone can still be made out even if none of the message can. We're left waiting for a full minute as what seems like a lecture drones on, accompanied by many sighs and eye-rolls by Akira.

“I don't know if it's a permanent basis or not, we're still trying to get that worked out.” She explains, followed by a short, deep-voiced comment from the other line. “No, Father, I'm not insulting you. We just need more time to get things sorted out. You're expecting us to drop everything for this.”

Akira gives a surprised jerk at the next message before starting to lose her temper, her self-restraint clearly thinned out thanks to tonight's events. “How stupid do you think I am? Yeah, I know about the job offering. Even s-”

“It's a lot to take in, I know.” She groans as the man continues to ramble and lecture. Akira doesn’t seem the least bit interested in it, however, as she continues to insert small remarks here and there.

She raises her eyebrow at the next exchange. “Lilly knows, yeah. I want her to graduate from high school while she still can. I wouldn't be calling you if we weren't both absolutely sure, you know that right?”

What soon follows is a period of silence, then by what may have been a quiet response as indicated by Akira's infuriated glare as she stares at the phone's screen. “Yeah, I'm sure, old man.”

“What happened?” Lilly asks, her hands clasped together in worry.

The older Satou gives a short 'hah' before tossing her phone over her shoulder, showing no reaction as it knocks against the wall and hits the carpet with a muted 'thud.' “He hung up on me. The pompous piece of crap hung up on me!”

“You know how father feels about bad news.” Lilly says with a resigned look on her face.

“What were you expecting?” I ask, shrugging my shoulders. “I've never met the man, but he comes off as rather uncaring about other people's situations, considering the fact that he expected you to drop everything and move to Inverness in the first place."

Akira leans back, propping herself up on both arms. “Honestly, I don't know. All he did was bitch at me about our responsibilities as his daughters and treat me like an idiot for even saying anything. It's not the end of it, but eh, we can work that out later. For now...”

She turns towards me with a small, almost satisfied smile on her feature, the first one I’ve seen all night. “Well, I guess you got what you wanted, huh?”

I give a curt nod of my head, unsure of how else to respond despite the massive grin forming on my lips. This is pretty much exactly what I wanted – Akira doesn't have to deal with Tetsuo anymore and she's not going to gamble everything away on moving back in with her parents. Hanako and myself will both be here for her as well as Lilly.

“I think we all got what we wanted.” I remark, glancing over to find Hanako smiling broadly as she brushes a few locks of hair out of her vision.

It's an incredibly broad thing to say, but in my opinion it holds true. I understand what the two of them have to pass up – putting things back together with their family being the biggest issue. It's certainly a big trade-off, but somehow, I know this is the right decision.

“For now, quite.” Lilly agrees. “Thank you for being here. Both of you.”

“We'll have to discuss this more heavily later on, though.” Akira states, pausing to let out a long, unrestrained yawn. “I think it's about time we all got back to bed. It's been a long day.”

Both myself and the older Satou sister stand up, with her pausing to retrieve her phone and check it for any damage before following me to the door. She's stopped short of opening it, however, as Hanako stands up and runs over, planting her face against Akira's shoulder as she wraps her in a hug.

Akira freezes for a moment before pulling Hanako even closer, rubbing her cheek against the shorter girl's hair for what feels like a solid minute.

“Ahh, I needed that.” She says with a soft voice as the two of them pull apart. She ruffles Hanako's hair, giving an amused chuckle at her reaction as Hanako's face floods with red once more.

She exchanges goodbyes and a promise to call in the morning with Lilly and gives a small wave to Hanako, beckoning for me to follow as we both step out into the hallway. Only an air of contentment sits between us as we make our way back to the front door without a word.

Luckily I'm allowed to take my time getting there, the threat of falling asleep from exhaustion doing nothing to aid me along. It gives me a bit of time to think at least, even though I've done enough of that for one day.

What does this mean from now on? Akira wasn't clear on whether or not she was staying behind on a permanent basis, although I've got her until at least graduation.

Eventually there comes a time where we have to say our goodbye for tonight, and Akira takes no time in making her thoughts clear. With no warning; she grabs my shoulder, spins me around, and pulls me into a bear hug, giving a satisfied groan as she nestles her head into the crook of my neck.

“Did you need this one too?” I snark as I wrap my arms around her, reveling in the warmth as I rest my cheek against her head.

The faint scent of her shampoo penetrates my senses as I bury my nose in her hair, a sense of belonging filling my thoughts as my arms press against her figure. She always looks so strong, and yet like this she feels as dainty as any girl would – she has much thinner shoulders than that suit jacket would have one believe.

“Yes, I did.” She says, her voice muffled by my shoulder. “You're a lot bigger than you look.”

“Naaah, you're just smaller.” I respond, pulling her even closer as the grip around my waist tightens.

“Just because Lilly got the height genes doesn't mean a thing.” She retaliates, waiting a little while longer to pull away. A few moments of silence ensue as she checks her pockets to make sure she has everything before our gazes meet, seeming as if there were nothing more to say.

Well, maybe a little bit.

“Thanks. For everything tonight.” Akira says, folding both arms behind her back as she faces me.

I give a short chuckle, still a little airheaded thanks to the butterflies floating around in my stomach from that hug. “I didn't do anything worth being thankful for. All I've done today is speak my mind and most of the time it was out of place.”

She rolls her eyes with an accepting smile. “Speaking your mind is what got me through everything today, you know.”

“Well, I'm glad to have been here, then.” I respond, scratching my head with embarrassment. “And like I said, I'll be glad to be there anytime you need me.”

“Maybe after a short break.” She says, a bit of a glum look on her face as her gaze slides up to the stars. “I think I need to be alone for a while.”

“I understand.” I reply, trying to offer a conciliatory smile. “Take as much time as you need. I'm not going anywhere.”

She closes her eyes in thought, chewing over her next statement. “Yeah. Neither am I.”

With that said, she offers a more eased expression and begins walking away once more, her hand hanging in the air as she waves. “I'll catch you around sometime, Hisao.”

“Yeah, I'll be seeing you.” I call back. “I'd like it if we could spend more time together, Akira.”

She stops in her tracks, both hands in her pockets as she glances over her shoulder. No statement is issued in turn, however, other than a light smile and a curious gaze. Only the sound of the night breeze slipping through the branches fills my ears as she passes through the iron-wrought gates of Yamaku, leaving me here under the starlight.

I want to sit here and wonder what she thinks about all this – wanting to spend more time together. Frankly, though, I might just pass out here on the sidewalk if I don't get to sleep soon.

Today has been one of the most eventful times of my life, moreso than my incident on that snowy day. I have a lot to think about and there are a few choices I need to make now that I've got answers to a few questions. There's also finals to worry about, and how I'll be taking care of work when I go back on Thursday.

Despite all that, however, at least I can take solace in the fact that she'll be there if I need to call her, and it’s just the same if she needs me for any reason. That's the only thing that matters to me.
Last edited by Thanatos02 on Wed May 22, 2013 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

carrion_crow
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/20]

Post by carrion_crow » Mon May 20, 2013 2:35 pm

Just read this on you're pastebin. I made sure to turn off my tv and lights while I read so I could get the full effect. Amazing as always. Initially I felt like Hisao was being a total jerk, but now its actually hitting me how passionate he has become in you're fic. This chapter leaves so much room for the story. Addiction sated......for now lol
Akira=Miki>Lily>Emi>Rin>Hanako...........and shizune I guess

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Hoitash
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 5/20]

Post by Hoitash » Mon May 20, 2013 2:56 pm

carrion_crow wrote:... Initially I felt like Hisao was being a total jerk...
I have noticed that Hisao seems a lot more cynical in this route, but it makes sense since its based off the Act One end.

Definitely worth the wait :)
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