Akira Pseudo-Route [Complete!]

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/1]

Post by Guest Poster » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:15 pm

Well, all I can say is that I didn't make it up. I did some searching and one of the posts is here. Take it or ignore it as you see fit.
Sisterhood: True Edition. Hanako epilogue I wrote. Now expanded with additional chapters.

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/1]

Post by Thanatos02 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:31 pm

StudyOfWumbology wrote:Well, I'm honestly happy that there is SOME drama. Oh and the correct english is a blessing as well. I've been reading a lot of badly translated VN's.
Correct english is a given, I think. It's kinda hard to take things seriously or enjoy the story when everything is typed lyk dis. I do screw up from time to time, though.
neio wrote:I hope you don't go the same way as the Lilly Route with this.
The parallels and nods to Lilly's route are intentional, although I've held myself back from making a joke about Hisao forgetting to take his pills due to work/testing stress because that would just be redundant. There isn't going to be more than one ending anymore though, so keep reading and find out.
khhero wrote:I really like this story. It was and still is the first I read on this site. When i finally decided to get off my lazy butt and go to the forums. :lol: I made an account afterwards couple days. Although found the story slightly before the previous update or day off. Well. Happy April fools day nice update nice story hope it ends well or has a good and a bad ending. and Bye. :)
Thank you. I'm glad you've enjoyed the story thus far.
Triscuitable wrote:I uh... I got that reference.

Whatever could you be talking about? But seriously, I am so glad I got off that idea of Akira's boyfriend being a narcissistic motorcycle-riding asshole. Now he's just a pseudo-asshole who is hinted to ride motorcycles. Much better, right?
griffon8 wrote:I'm glad there wasn't the drama of Tetsuo showing up unexpectedly.
Good chapter. Plot development, feelings talked about, Hisao knows about the Scotland offer. Well done.
Well, when Tetsuo said he wasn't going to go, then he wasn't going to go. Having Tetsuo showing up seemed like a way of creating unnecessary drama, especially since it's supposed to be Akira and Hisao's scene.
And thank you. Was kind of a tricky chapter to write, I'm glad it turned out okay.
I did, however, edit out a bit where the dancers they bump into turn out to be Mutou in a polo shirt with a popped collar and one of Hisao's female teachers. Hisao and Mutou essentially give a silent nod to agree that nothing happened before continuing on with the night. I cut it out before sending it to my proofreader since it felt incredibly unnecessary and it detracted attention away from Akira.
Guest Poster wrote:Well, all I can say is that I didn't make it up. I did some searching and one of the posts is here. Take it or ignore it as you see fit.
Artwork depicts Hisao as being a little taller, but official measurements say otherwise, which is kind of misleading. However, that doesn't matter because Lilly is a tiny bit taller than Akira, meaning that Hisao is also just a little bit taller. I think the real error here is that I used 'inch' rather than something ambiguous like 'a tiny bit,' so there's an error both in using standard measurements in a metric setting and with not just using a more simplistic description that would have worked just as well.

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/1]

Post by Triscuitable » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:07 am

Thanatos02 wrote: Whatever could you be talking about? But seriously, I am so glad I got off that idea of Akira's boyfriend being a narcissistic motorcycle-riding asshole. Now he's just a pseudo-asshole who is hinted to ride motorcycles. Much better, right?
Image I really did enjoy the gag, though.

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/1]

Post by somenerd » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:30 am

... wait, so it WAS a Gilgamesh reference? Been a long time since I read FSN.

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/1]

Post by Triscuitable » Sat Apr 06, 2013 3:04 am

somenerd wrote:... wait, so it WAS a Gilgamesh reference? Been a long time since I read FSN.
It was actually a Carnival Phantasm reference, in this case. Holy Grail Grand Prix.

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/1]

Post by Command13 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:23 pm

Cant wait for next update, this is actually the first fic I've read that wasn't already completed. I love it, the writing is great and the story has been awesome. (unlike my post, since i'm on my phone.) Thanks for writi g this, you ha e another loyal reader. :D

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/1]

Post by Thanatos02 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:33 am

I would just like to say that I am not dead. There's been a lot going on school-wise for me this month, so Akira hasn't gotten as much attention as she deserves. 4-7 is about 3/4 of the way there, and I've been squeezing in time whenever I can. Sorry for the constant delays, you guys.

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/1]

Post by KeiichiO » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:40 am

You keep doing your thing, while I'll be patiently awaiting for the next epic installment of Akira. Though, waiting proves difficult in some situations. This is one of those situations...

Love your work!

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/1]

Post by Thanatos02 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:20 pm

Alright, finally finished.
Sorry about the incredibly long update times lately. It's been a bit of a bad month for me so I apologize if it feels like I've dropped off the face of the earth.
I know no one cares about that though so here's 4-7. We're only one chapter away from the climax of act 4, so it shouldn't drag on for too much longer. Then again, pretty much the entire route has been dragging, so I don't think it's right to say that here. Either way, I hope you enjoy the read. Comments and criticisms are still appreciated.

Act 4 - Part 7: Battle Phase

“Well, it may just be that she has high standards for everyone.” The blonde girl across the table from me notes regarding upcoming exams. “I understand that English is a difficult language to grasp, but don’t you think it’s a little late in the year to be panicking?”

It’s enough that we’ve been cramming throughout the entire weekend, but the fact that it’s a Monday doesn’t help in the slightest. The two pairs of eyes in the room that can see jump back and forth between the textbook on the table and Lilly, trying to catch everything from both sources.

Of course Lilly doesn’t have trouble with English. She’s half Scottish and she’s one of the smartest girls among the third years -- I’ll bet she’s even picked up a handful of other languages on top of that.

“The only things I’m concerned with are english and history. Supposedly the third year history teacher gives extremely difficult exams before break.” I respond, wishing I had another set of eyes to study the other textbook in my bag.

Lilly gives a small giggle. “They are quite challenging, but it’s nothing you shouldn’t be able to handle.”

She takes a sip out of the dainty white teacup perched between her fingers, its contents reflecting a slight glow from the open window beside us. The table has been set for lunchtime, a pair of boxes containing sandwiches filled with tuna salad, fruit, or any of another number of combinations between us. However, Hanako seems bent on at least curbing my dependence on vending machines, as she’s offered to share out of her own lunch box and even produced an individually wrapped sandwich just for me.

“These are really good. Did you make these?” I note in an attempt to raise conversation.

She avoids eye contact, glancing between her hands and the girl across the table. “L-Lilly has been teaching me how…”

I turn and tilt my head at Lilly, more to display my own confusion at a blind girl knowing how to prepare food than to make a gesture that would go unseen regardless. “Really? Maybe she should teach me how to make something better than simple three-step dinners.”

She smiles at the notion before giving a slight shake of her head. “I shouldn’t take all the credit. She’s been reading up on things and asking Akira as well.”

“Asking Akira? Yeah, I heard she’s actually a really good cook.” I reply, recalling the conversation I shouldn’t have heard from last week.

“What could you mean by 'actually?'” Lilly asks, seeming puzzled. “Why is it strange for Akira to know how to take care of herself?”

Hanako seems to share the same confusion, tilting her head as she waits for my response.

“Well, I, uh…”

I shift in my seat uncomfortably. What’s a good way to say this? I had Akira pinned as the fast-living kind of girl. I’ve seen her buying groceries before, but I was always under the impression that she lived entirely on high-class restaurant food or even personal catering.

“It’s just a thought I had. When I first met her it was easy to imagine a team of personal chefs catering to everything she wanted.” I respond, feeling my face become red with embarrassment. “I’ve had the same thought about you, as well. Back when Emi was talking about you being in the Yakuza or something like that.”

Lilly forces a smile at my statement. “Well, that was certainly the case while we were growing up. It wasn’t so much a team as it was a single personal chef, however, as Mother hated cooking.”

She ends that thought with a bit of regret, pursing her lips in thought before continuing. “It was hardly a bad thing, though. He was very much a friend of the family, and he didn’t mind me helping out in the kitchen.”

“That must have made it easy to pick up a few things over the years.” I remark, glancing at the half-eaten sandwich in my hand.

“Well, of course.” Lilly replies with a giggle. “It’s not very difficult to learn, at any rate.”

“You can look up r-recipes in the library and the c-convenience store in town has everything you n-need…” Hanako adds, poking at a riceball.

Lilly finishes the few bites of food she has left and closes her lunchbox. “Most of what we need, anyway. They never seem to have fresh eggplant.”

Eugh. Eggplant. “I’ve never checked, personally. Can’t stomach the stuff.”

“I’ve never been partial to it myself either, but it’s one of Akira’s favorite foods.” Lilly says, followed by a nod from Hanako.

Eggplant is one of her favorite foods? Just… raw eggplant? Or is there a certain way she likes it prepared? Maybe that could get her to stay here; Hanako or Lilly could teach me how to cook Akira’s favorite dish and it would sweep her off her feet.

Hah. Yeah right.

“What else does Akira like?”

Lilly places one finger on her chin in thought. “Well, she’s acquired a taste for cod as well, something I don’t find palatable in the slightest. We both share a dislike for instant noodles, however.”

“You’d think anyone who has been a student for more than a week would depend on instant noodles. What’s the story behind that?” I ask.

Hanako seems to avoid the subject entirely, clearly guilty of the same crimes as myself. Lilly, however, gives a weak smile as if trying to avoid remembering that part of her life. “Instant meals, fast food, and bottled drinks got quite tiring after a few months.”

Oh. Well, that would explain a couple of things.

“I think I can understand that much. Especially when you’d been living on expensive catering for most of your life.”

“Indeed.” Lilly says, finishing the last few sips of her cup. “Thankfully, those days are behind us.”

Did their personal chef leave at the same time as their parents? Or maybe he moved with them to Scotland? Either way, I doubt he stuck around when Mr. and Mrs. Satou decided to leave the country, which would explain why the two of them had to make do on meals with less preparation required.

We pass the rest of the break in relative silence, managing to finish our lunches before the bell ushers us back to class. However, Lilly calls out to me as I begin to head out the door.

“By the way, Hisao, do you think you would mind helping us study a bit tonight? From what I understand you’re one of Mutou’s star students.” Lilly says, standing up and straightening out her skirt.

I gather up my things and scoot away from the table. “I might need directions, but I don’t see why not.”

As I say that, Hanako taps me on the shoulder and holds out a small white note between two fingers, which I take.

“Y-You shouldn’t have any trouble f-finding it.” She remarks, adjusting the strap of her own bookbag.

I open the folded slip of paper to reveal directions to Lilly’s room, starting at the door of the female dorm. I've never been inside, but it's probably of the same layout as the male’s so I shouldn't have too much trouble finding the room.

Can’t say I’ve ever gotten an invitation to a girl’s room, even for something like studying. Then again, I'm not squeamish about it since Lilly is fluent in my worst subject, and I might get the chance to help the two of them out.

“Ah, I’ll try to make it then.” I reply, still unsure of what to think. “Should I bring anything besides my notes?”

“That won’t be necessary; we should already have everything we need.” Lilly says. “I should be getting to class now, I'm afraid. I am looking forward to studying with both of you tonight.”

Well, looks like it's all set up then.

“Think we should be getting back to class as well?” I glance at Hanako as I begin to walk out the door.

She nods her head slowly before joining me, preferring to walk behind my shoulder rather than beside me. Either way, I still consider it a bit of an achievement.

Even more impressive is the fact that I've been invited to help two people study, something I've never had the honor of doing even back before I got here. I want to treat it as a chance to find out what Lilly and Hanako both think about the departure to Scotland, but it is a much-needed study session as well. I’ve been falling behind thanks to my work schedule and overall end-of-trimester fatigue, so this should help me catch up a bit.

That’s not to say I’m going to go without asking about the summons, though. It’s a chance I might not get again, especially since this could be the last week I see Akira and Lilly. I don’t have much else to lose at this point, so what’s the worst that could happen?


I flip through my keyring as I approach my dorm room, thoughts of the study session tonight still on my mind. Should I do anything to prepare for it? I've got my notes in order well enough for myself, but are Hanako and Lilly going to be able to get any help from them?

My thoughts subside for a few moments as a series of clicks and clacks sound behind me, hinting at the coming storm. There isn’t enough time to get into my room before he arrives, so I turn and brace myself against my own door.

As expected, the door swings open and Kenji steps into a very uncomfortable distance, the garlic on his breath overloading my senses and causing my eyes to tear up as he scrutinizes my face from behind those thick glasses.


I lay one hand on his shoulder and gently nudge. “Yes, ‘dude.’ Please back away.”

Upon contact, he jolts backwards in a series of graceful hops and nearly trips over something in his room, having to grip the frame of the open doorway to keep himself up. “Holy shit, man, are you a ghost or something? It's been months since you were here, they had to have gotten you by now."

“Kenji, the last time I talked to you was about a week ago.”

He looks me up and down numerous times, leaning back in to inspect every inch of my features, much to the agony of my sense of smell.

“Wait, whoa, really? Shit, man.” He says, adjusting his glasses and attempting to regain what little composure he usually has. “Time is a fickle concept, dude. That’s why you can’t let people eat your dinner; it throws everything out of whack.”

Is he still upset about that ‘missing’ cup of ramen?

“So, what have you been up to lately?” I ask, trying to make conversation since it’s clear he’s not going to let me go about my business without a fight.

He pauses to think for a moment, as if debating whether or not my ears are worthy of hearing what he has to say. “Stuff.”

I know I shouldn’t be concerned about it, but when he puts it like that I can’t help but be curious. “Stuff?”

“Things. Stuff and things. You know how it gets this time of year. Busy busy busy.” Kenji says, crossing his arms and shifting his weight back and forth.

“Ah, yeah, exams are just a few days away. Are you already prepared?”

He raises one eyebrow at me, confused by my statement. “What exams, dude? I’m talking about summer break! I gotta find ways to stay away from the beach trip my parents take every summer. Too much sunlight.”

Oh, right, Kenji doesn’t go to class. Part of me has begun to believe that he’s not even a student here, he only continues to live in the dorms thanks to a clerical error and participates in Lilly’s class as a spy, wearing an ill-gotten uniform to perpetrate his paranoid agenda.

“Too much sunlight? Are you sure you aren’t a vampire or something?” I ask, scratching my head.

He places one hand in his pocket and gives me a reassuring smile. “Nah, man, I’ve got that covered. Vampires couldn’t eat a clove of garlic every morning.”

That explains so much.

“I’ve got silver fillings, too, so vampires wouldn’t even think to try messing with me.” He adds, causing me to revile in disgust as he opens his mouth and points to a greyish mound in one of his back teeth. “They try to bite me and I just bite back. Van Helsing’s got nothing on that. Except being able to turn into a werewolf, or some shit.”

I’m pretty sure those fillings aren’t made out of silver. At least, not anymore. Or was that mercury?

Anyway, “alright, I trust you with vampire guard duty, then. You’re stuck inside like them anyway.”

“Well duh, I’m stuck inside. The beach is shit, man. All those dirty sluts running around in their skanky overpriced bikinis, baiting men to spread sunblock on their backs before devouring their souls right then and there.” He gripes, his hands making random shapes to somehow aid his already insane ranting.

“I dunno, I don’t go to the beach to do stuff like that with girls I don’t even know.” I reply, tempted to jam my key into the doorknob and escape as quickly as I can. “The last time I was at the beach all I did was build sand castles.”

Then again, the last time I was at the beach was when I was eight, long before I knew how to swim. I wish I could go again, especially with a certain image of Akira burned into my head. Maybe I could get her to stay if I set up a beach trip of some sort.

“What, so some uppity bitch can come kick it to pieces and let the tide wash it away?” He yells, suddenly becoming very defensive. “I’ve already lost one kingdom. No need to let the harlots snatch another.”

My shoulders drop at his statement. “Already lost a kingdom?”

Kenji erupts, waving his arms around in rage as he recounts his story. “Dude, I used to rule the world. Seas would rise when I gave the word. Then some unrestrained whores decided to run by and trample my glorious nation into the ground. Just dashed right through it like the stampeding landwhales they were.”

“It’s some traumatic shit. It was like, a foot tall. With flags and bottlecaps and little army men and all the good stuff.” He adds. “I spent three hours running up and down the beach looking for shit to put on that castle. It was my bastion of badassery against the bitches.”

“Didn’t seem like it stood up too well against the raging hordes.”

He gives a short huff before continuing with “yeah, man, the raging whores were too much for it.”

“…So what are you going to do about finals?”

“I dunno. I’ll cross that road when I get to it, or something. We’ve still got a few weeks, right?” He replies, shifting from angry back into uncaring.

This time I’m the one crossing my arms. “Finals are this week, Kenji. In a few days.”

His response is a little underwhelming. “Oh.”

“What do you mean ‘oh?’ Wouldn’t you be angry if you couldn’t graduate because you failed the exams?” I counter, still wondering how he’s even able to maintain being a student between all the other things he does.

“Nah, man. I flunked ‘em last year and they didn’t even bug me about it. I’ll be fine.”

My jaw drops on the spot. “You what?”

Kenji brushes it off entirely, as if the ramifications of what he just said are of no importance. “Anyway, I gotta get back to doing... stuff. Things. Things and stuff. You know how it is this time of year. Busy busy busy.”

With that, he takes a few strides back into his room and slams the door, locking each of what may be over a dozen different mechanisms.


This is the room, right? The note says ‘225’ and there’s a door with a plastic panel reading just that before me. Then again, there’s another panel below it with ‘Lilly Satou’ written in block lettering so it might be safe to assume that this is the place.

My watch says that it’s 7 P.M. -- probably a little late for a male to be in the dorms for the opposite sex, but I haven’t received any weird looks so it might be safe to assume that visiting hours aren’t over yet. I do recall some strict warnings about curfew hours though…

I raise my knuckles up to the door and knock a few times, waiting a moment to let my hand drop to the doorknob as a voice from inside calls for me to come in.

The room inside is sparse when it comes to decoration; no calendars or posters on the walls and no trinkets or anything of that sort lying on the desk or dresser. Even the bed looks about as barebones as can be, with only a plain violet blanket and matching pillow.

It’s hardly what I expected of a girl’s room. Then again, the resident wouldn’t really benefit from any visual appeal, so I might just be overthinking i-

“Good evening.” I say upon spotting Lilly, sitting on her knees next to a small table.

Despite it being fairly early in the evening, she’s already changed into a pair of royal-blue pajamas, the shorts on her bottom half only reaching her mid-thigh. Her hair has been stripped of any bands and ribbons, a continuous flow of wavy blonde gliding down her back.

She turns her head and faces my general direction, a calm smile on her features. “I’m glad you could make it, Hisao. Hanako will be here in just a moment, she’s in the shower right now. ”

Now that she mentions it, the faint sound of water running can be heard through the wall, evoking images in my head I’m not sure I have any right to be seeing.

Frankly enough, I’m not sure if I have any right to be seeing what I am now -- stunning beauty must be something that runs in the Satou genes. It almost makes me feel out of place, even if she can’t make a comment about the fact that I’m still wearing my school uniform.

I take a seat across from her at the table, laying my bookbag on its surface. There’s already a steaming tea kettle laid out with three cups sitting beside it.

Lilly pours a cup of tea without my asking, setting the dish on a small white plate and then sliding it across the table until it bumps against my hand. “So, may I ask how you have been lately?”

The teapot is tilted into another cup as I explain the past week, leaving out the parts about Kenji, and the eavesdropping on Akira and Tetsuo... and the jazz club... and the rejection...

“Everything’s been alright for the most part. I’m just a little stressed out since a couple of things have decided to pop up over the past few days.”

She takes a slow sip of the dark liquid, barely skipping a beat as she replies with “I’m sorry to hear that, Hisao. Is there anything you would like to talk about?”

Yeah, sure. Why are you and your sister going to Scotland to live with the parents who practically abandoned you?

Of course, I couldn’t ask THAT. There has to be some ulterior motive for it, some great reasoning. They wouldn’t be doing it if there wasn’t a valid reason, and I should stop being so cynical about it.

However, now is a perfect time to ask. I don’t know if Hanako is aware yet, so I’d rather not be the one to reveal it to her. It’s Lilly’s and Akira’s business who finds out about their plans so I shouldn’t spread it around. At any rate, the sound of the shower running on the other end of the wall hasn’t slowed so I should have at least a few minutes to discuss a few things.

“It’s nothing worth talking about right now, I think.” I say, deciding to wait. “By the way, I never got a chance to ask about how the trip to Hokkaido went. How was that?”

Lilly perks up at the mention, “We merely studied and toured the village nearby, nothing very taxing.”

“That sounds nice.” I respond, staring into my teacup before chuckling. “I’m sure you two needed the quality time after spending a week apart.”

She covers her mouth with one hand while giggling. “We were able to keep contact during that week. Hanako called me every day. She’s been getting along with other classmates as of late, so I’m sure the time alone helped her as well.”

“Really? I haven’t really seen her much outside of the empty classroom we eat lunch in. She seems to fade away while we’re in class.”I explain, recalling the fact that the only times I really talk to Hanako are during lunch and whenever I run into her in the library.

“Well, she’s thinking of joining the journalism club. Naomi in particular has taken a liking to her, from what I hear.” Lilly says, beaming with pride at the notion of such a thing.

Ah, those two girls in the back corner of the class. Naomi and Natsume, I think? I’ve never really noticed them in particular; they always just seem kinda… there. It’s good that Hanako is making other friends, though. Journalism sounds like a good career path for her.

Lilly takes another drink from her still-steaming teacup. It’s quite possible that she went and refilled it without me even noticing. “Speaking of which, how have you been getting on? You must be quite busy if you weren’t able to join us at the summer house.”

Ah, yeah, the invitation was open, after all. I’m sure Lilly would be curious as to why I chose to refuse. “Well, my first day of actual work was that weekend, and I didn’t want to give off a bad image by asking for a day off before my job had even begun.”

While not totally false, it works a lot better than ‘I was intimidated by the thought of spending a weekend alone in a summer house with two schoolgirls,’ even if I don’t have any real romantic feelings towards either of them.

“I understand.” Lilly says, seeming let down by my reasoning. “Still, it would have been nice to have you along. Akira was going to come as well; until she was invited out by her boyfriend, that is.”

The latter statement carries no malice, although I can’t help but wonder if she feels cheated by such a thing.

“That seems like it would have been fun, the four of us together.” I remark, taking a long drag from the steaming cup in my hands.

Lilly flashes a warm smile at the mention of such a thing. “Actually, Akira is coming by to discuss a few things tonight, so don’t sell the idea short quite yet.”

“Is that so?” I ask, slightly taken aback. “Is she going to help us study?”

“My my, that would certainly be nice.” Lilly says, pouring herself another cup of tea after having emptied the first one. “No, we have some different matters to discuss. I’m sure she could help you out in math if you needed, however.”

Different matters, huh? Maybe something related to that upcoming relocation to Scotland. I doubt she’s stopping by just to shoot the breeze and tease Hanako.

“I think I’m set for math. That and science are the only two subjects I’m confident in.” I reply. “If I remember correctly, didn’t you say Akira doesn’t come by very often?”

Lilly’s smile recedes and she purses her lips together in thought, her fingers still hooked around the tiny handle of the teacup. “Not as much as Hanako and I would like, I’m afraid. There are a few things on the table for us, and we’re still making plans with regards to that.”

Still making plans, huh? I thought everything had already been settled. They’ve been asked to return to Scotland and, against all logic and reason, they’re both going to go along with it. If anything, I should go ahead and make a few things clear.

“Is there anything I can do to help? Akira’s already told me about it. The summons to Scotland, that is.”

My response breaks the flow of our conversation a bit, indicated by Lilly’s silence. It takes a few moments for her to even issue a reply. “So, you know, then? I do think we have it under control, nonetheless.”

I take a small sip from my teacup in preparation, trying to think of the right questions to ask. “Are you sure about it, though? Not the plans, I mean… going to Scotland in general?”

She closes her eyes and sighs, suddenly looking fatigued despite her always cordial demeanor.“Yes, I am sure. Akira has been offered a very prestigious position in our father’s company, and I have no intentions of getting between them. I have been summoned to return with her, and I plan to respect both my father’s wishes and my sister’s future.”

“Well, Akira has already told me all of that as well. I just…”

I set the teacup down and prop my head up on both arms, giving a stressed sigh of my own. “Is it really okay? Maybe I’m just hearing a different perspective of the story, but didn’t your mother and father practically abandon you two? I understand wanting your family to be whole again, but is this really the right way to do it? Disregarding everything you’ve built up?”

She folds both hands together in her lap, her expression unwavering as she tries to piece together the right words. “I do not know what Akira has told you, but Mother and Father certainly did not abandon us. Yamaku was my only option for education, and it was in my best interest to stay behind in Japan.”

I should have figured there were two sides to the story. Akira made it sound like they just up and left without saying anything, and now Lilly is telling me that it was something planned. Are they both right or is one of them skewing things a bit?

What would that mean if Akira’s story was skewed? Were there plans for Akira to join them in Scotland the entire time, and she decided to go against that and stay behind in Japan for the sake of Lilly’s education? It’s not exactly farfetched, considering how close the two of them are.

But with that in mind, could it be Lilly’s story that’s on the wrong side? Could she accept it so easily if their parents did truly leave them behind as if it were a regular business trip? But if that were the case, why are they being summoned to join?

What if both of them lack certain facts?

“With that in mind, she elected to stay behind and seek the help of our uncle to secure a job. Originally Akira was to leave with Father to become his protégé, but instead she stayed in Japan to help me. As for everything we’ve built…” She trails off.

The room goes silent as she listens to the shower subsiding, followed by the pitter-patter of light footsteps and what almost sounds like faint humming.

“This is just how it must be. There isn’t an alternative, I’m afraid.”

She says it with so much reluctance; almost like she’s trying to convince herself more than me. Lilly is truly ready to sign herself away and live an unknown life in Scotland while she still has plenty of friends and a future here in Japan.

I just don’t understand it. I don’t understand either of them, and I never will. “There really isn’t an alternative?” I ask, unable to hide the stress in my voice. “You can’t just, you know, refuse?”

She takes another short sip from her teacup, a resigned frown on her lips. “Father would not take a refusal well, not from Akira or myself.”

What’s he going to do, fly over to Japan and kidnap you? Either way, it doesn’t look like convincing her is going to work very well. Lilly has decided to let the decisions of others play their course despite being a walking example of confidence and independence and I don’t know what I could do to go against that.

“May I ask why you’re so interested in this matter?” Lilly asks, setting her teacup down and listening intently to each and every noise in the room.

“Well, you two are my friends. I just don’t think it’s right to finally make some friends at this damned school only to have them move away right as I settle in. It’s selfish of me, but you can’t say you’re not going to miss anything here either.” I argue.

Her eyes narrow and she clasps her hands together as she returns with “is it really about friendship, Hisao?”

And there’s the accusation. She knows. She’s probably known for a long time now, before I even told Akira about any of this.

Even then, do I even have an answer for that question? I can’t say I don’t feel attached to both of them after all this time, but if I had to choose one reason then it would be because I don’t want Akira to go. Especially after my feelings are already out in the open and I’ve wound up between her and Tetsuo. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to force it all the way. There’s no point in giving up halfway there after all the ground I’ve covered.

Now, the big question is whether or not I should tell Lilly. What would I even say? “Honestly? I think I’m in love with your sister.”

“Oh… oh my.” Lilly mumbles as her stern gaze fades away, brow jumping in shock.

On top of that, a stark yelp cuts through the air coming from the open door I have yet to notice until now. I look over to find Hanako, her hair sleek with water, figure clad in a pink ankle-length nightgown, and hands clenched over her mouth in surprise.


Did I just say that out loud?

“I, uh…”

My voice trails off and I stutter in muddled bursts as I try to explain myself, the ticking in my chest beginning to race as my head spins.

I can’t say I wasn’t expecting something like this, can I? Even if the confession was a little out of line; it’s not a total mess, right?


“Hey Lils, you in there?” A muffled voice calls out after a few stark knocks on the door, the sound of which causes Hanako to jump nearly a foot into the air.

Lilly takes a moment to overcome her momentary lapse in composure before calling back “yes, please come in.”

Now, more than ever, I have to be resolute. I meant it the first time I confessed and I mean it this time as well. I’m not taking it back for any reason.

I steel myself as the door swings open and the older Satou sister steps in, box under one arm and giving Hanako an energetic wave with the other. She’s wearing that same business suit as always, the light-grey pinstripes gliding along the entirety of her figure. Her jacket is unbuttoned and her tie hangs freely in the air, swaying with her strides.

“Hey, you got Hisao to come too!” She says upon locking eyes with me at the other end of the table. She gives me an eager wave as well, flashing a warm smile despite the fact that it’s been less than a week since our night at the jazz club.

An awkward giggle slips out of Lilly’s mouth as Akira walks over and takes a seat at one end of the table. Akira then reaches over and pats the space across from her while glancing at Hanako.

“Gang’s all here, huh?” She says, setting the pastel-pink box on the table. Its contents release a fresh aroma in the air, a logo on the side helping to indicate that she must have picked it up from a bakery on the way here.

“Y-y-yeah, all here.” Hanako replies with a feeble smile, her eyes darting between Akira and myself.

Akira pushes the box forward on the table and opens the two flaps on top, plucking a small pastry from inside. “Decided to stop by that bakery we used to go to on the way back. I know how much you love ‘em.”

Lilly’s nose seems to wriggle at the scent of the confections but she keeps her hands clenched in her lap, noticeably grateful for the easy change of subject. “Why thank you, Akira. But don’t you think it’s a bit late to be having sweets?”

The older Satou takes a large bite out of the pastry in her fingers, taking time to chew and swallow before continuing. “I thought you were gonna be cramming all night. You hate coffee so I figured sugar was the next best thing. Besides, it’s been a while since we’ve had these -- a couple of years back you couldn’t go without them.”

Hanako glances inside the box in curiosity, reaching over to take one for herself when Akira motions for her to go ahead. She still avoids eye contact with me at all costs, giving a flustered stare to Akira each and every time I enter her field of view.

“I am quite fond of them, but I do think I could go without cream puffs for a day.” Lilly responds with something of a cute pout, scooting back a little as if to distance herself from the delicious things in front of her.

“Hah, you’d make me wonder sometimes.” Akira smirks before turning to me with a bright smile, as if there were no trace of what happened less than a week ago. “Trust me, she could live on sugar if she wanted.”

“Y-You do order sweets every time we go to the Shanghai…” Hanako mumbles after taking a small nibble of the sweet pastry.

At this point Lilly becomes visibly flustered, which happens to be the first time I’ve seen her turn this particular shade of red. “I have no idea as to what you two could be talking about. I merely have a sweet tooth. There isn’t a girl alive who doesn’t, dear sister.”

“True that.” Akira concedes without argument, finishing off the cream puff in her hand. “Still, it’ll only be a few more years before you’ve gotta start watching your figure. Once you hit thirty, poof.”

“I do keep track of my figure, thank you.” Lilly responds, her voice laced with a tiny amount of annoyance, as if this conversation has happened many times before.

“Lilly h-has a very n-nice figure…” Hanako says with a light voice whilst reaching for another cream puff.

“Yeah, but she’s got help from Mother. Went and took all the ‘perfect body’ genes.” Akira says with a short ‘heh’ while drawing an hourglass in the air with her fingers.

“Also got the bust genes.” She adds before Lilly can interject. “Ran off with the smarts, too.”

“Please, Akira, stop.” Lilly says with a flustered smile, reaching through the air for Akira’s shoulder before lightly shaking her.

Akira lets out an amused chuckle. “Whaaaaat? I’m just telling the truth. At least you got away without Father’s stubbornness.”

“I don’t understand all this talk of genes, you both seem to have turned out just fine either way.” I say, deciding to finally step into the conversation.

“I’m just picking on her. It’s what older siblings do.” Akira replies with a smile, crossing her arms and resisting the urge to laugh as Lilly gingerly retrieves a cream puff from the carton and munches on it in resignation. “Hanako looks like she got just as lucky, too.”

Whereas Lilly gives a minor pout and a light blush, Hanako’s face becomes dyed with multiple shades of red as she waves both hands back and forth. “I-I-I-I-I’m not that… I’m not as pretty as… you or L-Lilly…”

“Hah. Any guy would be jealous of him right now.” Akira retorts, winking as she notices me looking at Hanako. “Aren’t you a lucky bastard, getting to see the two of them in their night clothes?”

I can’t disagree with that, honestly. Even so…

“What? Don’t go counting yourself out of that one.” I reply to Akira, reaching over to grab one of the pastries for myself.

“Naaaaaaah, I don’t look that cute in my pajamas.” She says, shrugging her shoulders and glancing off in the other direction. “I wish I could make a nightgown look as good as Hanako does. I always roll around while I’m sleeping so I’d wind up choking myself with it somehow.”

“Lilly’s got the right idea.” She adds, prompting both Hanako and herself to glance over and sneak a peek at Lilly’s bare legs.

I resist the urge to join them, instead finishing the cream puff in my hand and asking about the subject at hand. “Aren’t we supposed to be studying right now?”

“Yes, that does sound like a rather good idea right now.” Lilly comments, doing nothing to hide the fact that she’s already gone through another two of the confections and is currently reaching for a third.

“Studying? I got the impression that we were having a sleepover.” Akira snarks, laying back on the floor in boredom. “Where’s your pajamas, Hisao? There’s a strict dress code for this kinda thing.”

“I didn’t think to bring mine.” I reply, crossing my arms. “Besides, where would I even sleep?”

“On Hanako’s bed.” She says, causing Hanako herself to blush and stutter in objection. “It’d be open, the three of us can share Lilly’s.”

“Oh my, it’s certainly been a while since we’ve done that.” Lilly adds with a giggle, no doubt going along with the joke.

Akira, Lilly, and Hanako all in the same bed together? I’m sure it’s a joke or something between them. Reality would probably crumble apart if that were to happen -- singularity of cuteness or something along those lines.

As tempting as the thought is, I can’t resist the urge to make a jab at Akira. “Besides, you forgot your pajamas too. It’s pretty hard to sleep in a suit, don’t you think?”

“I could make pajamas out of this.” Akira explains as plays with the sleeve of her suit jacket, deciding to leave it at that rather than invoke any details.

“I do quite think that’s enough of that.” Lilly says, unable to contain her laughter nonetheless. “We came here to study, didn’t we? The night is wearing thin and I would like to get more than a few hours of sleep.”

“Spoilsport.” Akira returns, offering a disinterested pout.


The cup of tea in front of Akira lies untouched even after a couple of hours of non-stop studying, including lectures from both the older Satou and myself. She’s loosened her tie and untucked her shirt, leaving her jacket folded on Lilly’s bed. Her phone and wallet sit idly on the table, both used throughout the night for some of Akira’s strange-yet-completely-sensible examples.

As for the rest of us, the table is covered in a mess of notes and old quizzes ranging from Lilly’s perfect scores in English to Hanako’s and my own subpar marks in Japanese history.

Hanako lies face-down on the table, giving a tired moan as she rests her head against one arm. Lilly’s posture doesn’t waver for a moment even though she’s clearly more tired than Hanako and myself combined, as indicated by her inability to go more than a few minutes without yawning.

“Well, I do quite think that’s enough for one night.” Lilly finally declares, gathering her things up and separating them back into the braille-marked folders she pulled them from.

“Yeah…” Hanako replies, rubbing her eyes as she sits back up and does the same, fidgeting as she turns to me and says “th-thank you for helping me w-with chemistry.”

I shovel both of my textbooks and a binder of science notes back into my bookbag, giving a tired “no problem” to Hanako as she begins to stand up.

“Think you’re all feeling better about finals, then?” Akira asks as she stretches, giving a gentle groan as she winces.

Hanako and I both nod, followed by an affirmative “certainly” from Lilly.

“I think I’m still a little spotty in some things, but I feel a lot better off than I was a few days ago.” I state, seeking out my long-since emptied teacup and setting it on Lilly’s dresser with the rest of her tea set.

Akira checks her watch, raising both eyebrows at the time. “It’s nearly 10 P.M, just so you three know.”

At the announcement, Hanako nods once again before heading to the door, “I-I think I’m all caught up as w-well.”

“Heading off to bed, Hanako?” Lilly asks, turning to face the sound of her voice.

“Mmhmm.” She responds, waving goodbye to both Akira and myself as she steps out the door and heads back to her own room, notes in hand.

That actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea, all things considered. I still work only on Tuesday and Thursday of this week, so it would be wise of me to get to sleep so I can make it through both class and my duties tomorrow.

But that would be giving up the chance I’ve been given now.

“So, how was work today, Akira?” Lilly asks with a bit of apprehension, ready to address a few real issues now that the need to study has been satiated and erased from our minds.

Akira releases a long sigh, leaning forward on the table and propping her head up on one arm. She gives me one long look as if accepting that my presence isn’t negotiable before turning to Lilly. “Well, I turned in my letter of resignation today.”

“Is that necessary? Aren’t you just changing branches?” Lilly mentions, a look of worry covering her features.

“Not at all, but I’ve gotta go through all the formal mumbo jumbo.” Akira explains, waving one hand back and forth with sarcasm. “I may not have been there for fairly long but I am still in a pretty important position. It doesn’t really give off a good message to employees when you hear something like ‘oh, she transferred without saying anything.’”

“So you’re really going through with it, then.” I say with apprehension.

Akira’s features fade into a small frown, a mixture of emotions behind her eyes. “Yep. There’s a lot of flaming hoops to jump through, but I can’t just leave without saying goodbye.”

I shake my head and let loose a frustrated sigh, deciding to just jump to my concerns rather than beat around the bush. “Does Hanako know about this? All your friends?”

At this, Akira turns to Lilly, who gives a downcast look at the question. “I’m waiting for the right time to tell everyone. There’s been too much going on, and I don’t know how Hanako is going to take it.”

So Hanako doesn’t know yet. Neither Akira nor Lilly have bothered to tell their best friend that they’re going to be leaving the country forever. Even worse is the fact that I found out before she did -- what a load of crap.

“Might want to get on that, sis.” Akira chides, sitting back up. “I don’t want to imagine how crushed she’d be if you just left without saying anything.”

“I’m aware of that!” Lilly returns, raising her voice slightly. “I just need time to figure out how to say it…”

“Time ain’t a whole lot of what we’ve got. The flight is in a week, right after exams. I’ve already got most of my stuff packed away.” Akira says with a sour look. “Can’t take the car with us, I’m afraid. I’ve got a friend who’s going to take care of it until we can find a buyer.”

I give a bitter ‘hah’ at her statement. “Shouldn’t take too long to find someone who wants a nice car like that. How long did it take you to get it in the first place?”

“Actually got it from my uncle.” Akira returns, not the least bit fazed by my tone of voice. “He’s the kind of guy that has enough money to just buy a new car every time the one he drives breaks down. All I had to do to get it from him was graduate college with a 4.0 GPA, pass the interview for the Japanese branch of the family company, and earn employee of the month for my first month there.”

“Also had to pick up the cost of the repairs for it.” She adds, as if that were the most insignificant detail.

Her statement just causes my frustration to amplify. “So you’re really okay with just letting it go like that? All the work you put into it? All the memories with it?”

Akira’s expression goes unchanged even though Lilly continues to listen with worry. “Hisao, I know what you’re saying. I understand how you feel, but this is just the way it has to be. The job I’ve been offered is the equivalent of skipping the corporate ladder entirely. This isn’t something that comes for, well, anyone most of the time. ”

“So it’s just for the job, then?” I ask, unable to keep from sounding bitter and angry even if all I want to do is help.

“No, Hisao, and you know that. This is for our family.” Lilly cuts in.

Of course it’s for their family. For the father who left them behind in favor of business interests and for the mother who went along with it.

“I know that.” I state, taking a deep breath to keep myself from exploding. “I just don’t think it’s right, really and truly.”

Akira covers her face with both hands, letting out an exhausted sigh. “You wanna know something, Hisao? That’s because it isn’t right. The damned man breaks off contact for an entire year and acts like he’s disowned us until suddenly he wants us back in Inverness on a permanent basis. He waited until the last few days we were there to even mention anything about this crap.”

“But what can you do?” She continues, meeting my eyes with a downcast gaze. “He’s family. Even if I may hate his guts for all the bullshit he’s put both of us through, it’s hard to just dismiss it altogether. He wants us back, and that much I trust of him.”

“That’s still ignoring the point!” I return, feeling my entire head heat up with anger. “What about the family you have here?! Lilly and Hanako are still here, your job, your home, your belongings, everything you’ve worked for! I keep asking and you never answer the question!”

Akira remains calm even in the face of my frustration, taking a deep breath to maintain her composure. “No, Hisao. It’s not a bad life here, and don’t you dare think we’re leaving because there’s something we don’t like.”

“But there’s nowhere to go from here. It’s a broken, shattered relationship between us and them, but at least there’s something to work with, unlike the job I’ll be stuck with for the next ten years here.” She adds, the fatigue on her mind becoming more and more clear.

The girl across the table from me groans at the sound of her sister’s plight, her frown deepening more and more as Akira speaks up again. “I understand how you must feel, Hisao. But as I said before, this is how it has to be.”

“What about you, Lilly? What are you going to do about the last trimester of high school? How about college?” I turn to her and ask, my expression pleading even if I know she can’t see it.

“I’ll be home-schooled, and I’ll be able to earn my diploma in Inverness.” Lilly answers calmly. “I still plan to pursue my teaching degree, although it will be in Scotland, rather than here in Japan.”

So they’ve both got everything lined up. No room for error, no fall-back for anything that may go wrong. Nothing planned for if things blow up with their parents again or if anything at all goes wrong along the way.

But that’s alright. I hate every single tiny bit of it, but there’s nothing I can do at this point, they’ve made up their minds, and I can hardly make an argument to change them. Akira has a world of opportunity waiting for her, and I would be the worst human on earth to get between her and that, considering how much I want her to be happy.

And I do, even here and now with Akira looking at me in what could almost be described as anger. Maybe that’s why I oppose it so much; because I want Akira to be satisfied with the way things are. I want these days of laughing and smiling to continue, the only days of happiness I’ve had in forever.

I don’t want to accept it, but maybe they’re right. What if this is the only way? Maybe I’m just being pessimistic as always whenever I think of all the things that could blow up in their faces.

“Even so, I still think you two are making a huge mistake by doing this.” I press on, feeling my chest become heavy with melancholy. “It seems to me like you’re betting everything on a huge gamble, but maybe that’s just the only stance I can take. I’ve seen how happy you can be here, and it confuses me to no end that you’d throw that all away for a chance to fix things that don’t even need fixing.”

Standing up upon collecting my things, I become more than well aware of the fact that it’s past my time to be going. All I’ve managed to do is toss around my opinion in a conversation where it isn’t needed and probably isn’t even welcomed.

“I should be heading out now. You two have important plans to make and all I’m doing here is getting in the way of that.” I state, heading to the door across the room.

It takes all of my control just to keep from clenching my fists in anger, keeping my eyes frozen on the ground as I walk towards the doorway. A heavy silence follows me as I make my way across the room, only making me feel more and more unwelcome.

I plant one hand on the doorknob, turning it and pushing the door o-

“Hey.” Akira calls out, her voice sounding just as tired as my own. “You’re right, you know.”

I stop in my tracks, unsure of what she means. My eyes focus on the tiny crack in the doorway, refusing to glance back and make eye contact.

“It is a huge gamble. Neither of us has a damned clue as to what’s gonna happen over there.” She continues. “But I’m tired of feeling stuck with the life I’ve got here. Like I said before, there are some answers you can only find by going with the flow.”

“Yeah. I understand.” I return, having to force myself to keep from going off again. “Hopefully I’ll see you again before you have to go. Good night.”

“’Night.” Akira calls out in a reserved voice, followed by a “good night, Hisao. I’m sorry” from Lilly.

I shut the door behind me and trudge out of the girl’s dorm, feeling as though my teeth would break if I were to grit them any harder. My chest throbs, my head burns, and my entire body quivers. I have to keep my hands in my pockets just to keep from balling them up any further.

None of this makes any sense. Even after hearing their take on it, I still don’t understand, and I don’t think I ever will. Maybe my time in the hospital has taught me to further appreciate the things I have, or maybe I’ve just become far more attached to Akira than I’ll ever be able to get over.

Call me stubborn. Call me selfish and stupid and greedy and ignorant and naïve. I don’t care about any of that, all I know is that they’re making an incredibly bad choice by doing this. I have no fact to back it up and there’s no evidence supporting it, the only thing I have to go by is this sinking feeling in my gut.

I want Akira here in Japan. She’s the first girl I’ve ever fallen truly in love with. Nothing will change my mind, and nothing will make me waver in that thought.

If she thinks that there’s a better life waiting in Inverness, then maybe all I have to do is make her see that she has everything she could ever want here in Japan.

I’ve already laid back and watched as everything I loved faded away and the way I knew the world crumbled apart before my eyes. I lost a chance at happiness before I even know what I was missing out on, and I’m not going to go through that again. Not if there’s a chance that I won’t have to.
Last edited by Thanatos02 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:24 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/1]

Post by Breaker deGodot » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:04 pm

Thanatos02 wrote:I asdfghkjlaksdhghf in an attempt to raise conversation.

...Dafuq is that?
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/23]

Post by forgetmenot » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:14 pm

Breaker deGodot wrote:
Thanatos02 wrote:I asdfghkjlaksdhghf in an attempt to raise conversation.

...Dafuq is that?
That, my friend, is author's frustration embodied in its purest form.

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/23]

Post by Gilrond » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:19 pm

forgetmenot wrote:
Breaker deGodot wrote:
Thanatos02 wrote:I asdfghkjlaksdhghf in an attempt to raise conversation.

...Dafuq is that?
That, my friend, is author's frustration embodied in its purest form.
That's exactly what I was thinking. Or some form of transcendent writing popping in. Might be beyond our understanding.

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/23]

Post by naxxar » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:14 pm

I especially love that hisao isn't doing the same codswallop from Lillys route where he just accepts them leaving
I don't understand signatures? Why do we do this?

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/23]

Post by Hoitash » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:39 pm

Well, that went well...

I'm not sure how this will turn out, but I'm enjoying the ride there :).
naxxar wrote:I especially love that hisao isn't doing the same codswallop from Lillys route where he just accepts them leaving
Amen. Now, what the blazes he's going to actually do is a whole other problem.
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 4/23]

Post by Thanatos02 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:44 pm

forgetmenot wrote:That, my friend, is author's frustration embodied in its purest form.
Gilrond wrote:That's exactly what I was thinking. Or some form of transcendent writing popping in. Might be beyond our understanding.
If mashing your fingers against the keyboard in frustration is transcending the boundaries of conventional storytelling, then I might be onto something here.
naxxar wrote:I especially love that hisao isn't doing the same codswallop from Lillys route where he just accepts them leaving
That's one of the goals I set for his character, yeah.
Hisao asks too many questions and becomes frustrated when he can't come up with enough answers.
Hoitash wrote:Well, that went well...
I'm not sure how this will turn out, but I'm enjoying the ride there :).
Thank you. I'm not very good at writing suspense and drama, I don't think, so I'm glad that it's at the very least enjoyable.
Now, what the blazes he's going to actually do is a whole other problem.
He's going to do stuff. Stuff and things. You know how it gets this time of year.

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