Akira Pseudo-Route [Complete!]

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Thanatos02
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 7/28]

Post by Thanatos02 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:28 am

Alright, so, proofreader had some issues and we were only able to chip away at the first chunk. I feel bad about promising an update today and coming up practically empty handed, though, so I'm gonna post a bit of a lead-in for the next chapter. I'm sorry that I can only give y'all this much, but I hope it works out until tomorrow.

Act 5 - Part 2-1: Just The Way You Are

Against my expectations, the new trimester has actually turned out to be rather difficult, given the amount of work we've had to do in the first month alone. My bookbag's weight has nearly doubled and there’s a general lack of enthusiasm around the campus.

But for all the obstacles that have cropped up, it’s definitely manageable; and for the most part I’m still able to enjoy lunch here in the same empty classroom on the second floor.

“At least this time I don’t have to spend half the trimester trying to catch up with everything I missed.” I say, leaning back in the chair and stretching my arms.

Both of the girls in front of me giggle as I set down my teacup and heave an exhausted sigh. It’s a great contrast to Shizune's constant passing notes and Misha's… everything, both of which made it difficult to even pay attention in class today. Despite that, I still managed to get something out of the class, so hopefully I should be prepared in time for quizzes tomorrow.

Lilly takes a few moments to refill her teacup, the plates and empty lunchboxes between us already gathered in a neat pile at the center of the table. “We’re not quite at the final stretch, you know. We’ll simply have to keep working until it gets easier.”

“Y-Yeah...” Hanako mutters, shooting a glance to her own overstuffed bookbag. “I-I've barely had any time to read this m-month, though. There are too m-many things going on.”

Too many things indeed. I was hoping I'd be able to maintain a regular study schedule even around work, but that plan doesn't seem to be working out considering how often I've had to stay late -- sometimes I wonder if Mr. Setou is even aware that I'm still a student.

Ever since Tetsuo stopped coming around, the one boss I have left has been treating me like I'm the only force that keeps the company going -- while I find that flattering to a degree, I know for a fact that there's at least one other janitor who can’t possibly be pulling as much weight as me.

“At least I have plenty of chances to make up the failing grades.” I remark, eyeballing my empty teacup before deciding that I can pass on another cup. “I feel like there isn't enough time in the world for me to fit in any studying. If it’s going to get easier, it needs to hurry up and happen.”

“You do seem awfully busy as of late.” Lilly says, clasping her hands together in her lap.

I shift in my chair and let out a groan, feeling the urge to kick my bloated bookbag as far as I can. “Yeah, but at least finding time to study is the only issue I'm having. I'm getting along with everyone in the classroom just fine.”

...For the most part.

Lilly perks up at the notion. “Judging by what I heard on the phone last night, you seem to be getting along just fine with Akira as well.”

Even though it's already been a few weeks and this is hardly the first time Lilly has brought it up, I'm still unable to keep from getting flustered.

“Do you have to mention that every time we have lunch?” I ask, noting that Hanako has decided to ignore our conversation, gazing out the window and taking meager sips out of her teacup – as always.

Lilly giggles. “You'll have to forgive me if I'm concerned for both you and her. I don't mean to sound harsh, but you two certainly aren't the likeliest of couples.”

“Come on, at least try to show a bit of faith.” I laugh, trying to brush off her statement.

It's not something I haven't heard before, mostly from myself. It was a big laugh Akira and I had during those first few nights when I mentioned the concept of... us, but never got a real opinion or answer. She understood that I had feelings for her and she'd admitted a few times to wanting to spend more time together, but I feel like it wasn't something that was actually considered until we started bouncing dreams or potential dates off of each other.

Lilly takes a sip out of teacup and gives a contented sigh before continuing. “Only time will tell, I suppose. I do hope that no matter what happens you both find happiness.”

“Akira deserves it more than anyone.” She adds, a troubled smile forming on her lips. Even Hanako seems to notice the shift, although she quickly returns to her own thoughts.

I make an attempt to laugh off the change of mood, still blushing either way. “At any rate, don't go getting ahead of yourself. We’re just now getting past the one-month mark.”

And on top of that, I'm not entirely too sure where it began – then again, at this point it doesn't make much sense to keep focusing on that. If it really matters, then we can just say our anniversary lasts a few weeks -- not that an anniversary is anything to worry about when we haven’t even had a formal date.

“Even so, I would like to find out where it goes.” She smiles, starting to gather up all of the empty dishes on the table. “Has Akira told you about... a certain visitor that may be coming by soon?”

“She's mentioned a couple of different 'characters' to me. Are you talking about your father or your uncle?”

Lilly gives me a small frown, her previously busy hands now prone above the handle of the emptied teapot. “I am aware of father deciding to pay us a visit, but I've not heard anything about Uncle Jigoro coming by.”

Is it strange that even without a name, Lilly knows who I'm talking about? I guess it makes a bit of sense seeing as how most of their family seems to be over in Scotland, but maybe there's more than one uncle in question? Akira didn't mention any names beyond an uncle and a cousin.

“Is that who it is? She said he was bringing your cousin as well.” I say, leaning forward and trying to figure out just what has her so worked up. Hanako seems to be just as curious, her head tilted and her gaze drifting between Lilly and myself.

Lilly's face, while still maintaining its refined demeanor, becomes a lot more distressed, moreso than when she was just referring to her father and uncle. “I see.”

She resumes moving the dishes and finished meals to their respective places before settling down, facing away from us with her hands folded over one another.

“I'm afraid I won't be able to attend.”

It sounded so calm, and yet I get the feeling that she was defying the entire concept of having to spend time with those two relatives with as much force as she could manage.

“I-Is something wrong?” Hanako asks, so worried about the situation that she doesn't even flinch when the bell to go back to class sounds.

On the other hand, the ringing seems to bring Lilly back into the world as she gathers up her cane and bookbag, all smiles despite filling the room with such a frightful aura.

“Everything is alright, Hanako.” Lilly remarks with her usual brightness.

Any thought of bringing it up or questioning her is pushed away, as if she made sure to bar the possibility. From that point we head back to class as has been clockwork for over a month now. The only thing out of the ordinary is that today, instead of wishing us well before walking the rest of the way on her own, Lilly decides to leave me with a message.

“You'll tell my sister that I won't be coming over today, won't you?”

It takes a few nods of my head before I remember that I have to actually vocalize “right.”

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

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Last edited by Thanatos02 on Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:24 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/29]

Post by Carighan » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:11 am

*squeeeeee*
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/29]

Post by Dreamcastin » Fri Aug 30, 2013 6:59 am

About to leave for class, can't wait for update later! Cheers mate.
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/29]

Post by YourFavAnon » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:21 am

Convenient enough for me to read right before leaving for my 9 AM class! Looking good so far.
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/29]

Post by Hoitash » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:04 am

Nice mini-update, and don't worry about the delay; shit happens, buy a helmet, as they say :wink:.

You're a great writer with a devoted editor/proofreader, and you're very involved with your readership. That puts you ahead of a lot of paid "professional" writers off the bat, so good luck and thanks for your work and keeping us in the loop :).
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/29]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:14 am

As you know I prefer chapters in easily digestible chunks...

About this one: I'm not sure, but do you mean to imply that Hanako is unaware of who Lilly's cousin is? Her reaction was kind of strange. She should know that Lilly isn't on good terms with Shizune and her family.
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/29]

Post by Guest Poster » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:13 am

I'm not sure if Lilly's relationship with the rest of Shizune's family is ever elaborated on. She doesn't get on well with Shizune, but that's due to the two of them butting heads in the student council. They used to get along. She seems friendly (in a casual way) with Hideaki though obviously not as close as her sister is with him. Her opinion of Jigoro is anyone's guess.
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/29]

Post by Troy » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:47 am

Amazing as always cant wait for the full update.

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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/29]

Post by Thanatos02 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:16 am

Alright, so, got this all hammered out literally seconds ago. Here's the second part of this gigantic chapter.

But wait, THERE'S MORE! I'll try to get it to you tonight.


Act 5 - Part 2-2: Just The Way You Are


The bus ride into town went off without any real occurrences beyond me falling asleep for a few minutes, and the penthouse lobby seems as spacious as ever. Despite serving no purpose other than to greet residents and their visitors, it’s still undergone a redecoration, the likes of which I don’t take any time to observe before making a beeline for the elevator.

I punch the number to Akira’s penhouse into the keypad and the brass doors slide apart, opening to a lift with no other passengers.

Now that I think about it, this is the first time I've come here by myself. Granted, I don't have a key, so Akira will have to let me through the door once I'm up there. The only other times I've come here have both been at her side, seeing as how she doesn't invite me over very often – not as much as I'd like, anyway.

I've asked to come by and hang out on a couple of occasions, but I could never get her to let me in on account of 'arrangement issues.' Something about getting all of her stuff packed up to move out and not feeling like setting everything straight now that she's settled in for good.

Offers to help were also refused, mostly since whenever I had time she was taking care of business elsewhere. Either that or she was sleeping in -- ‘I haven’t slept until three in the afternoon since I was in high school and I’ll be damned if I let the chance slip away now’ was one of her many ways of declining.

I arrive at the top floor, which opens up to a short hallway that only hosts a few doors, one of which is an exit labeled ‘roof access - do not enter.’  The other option is a wooden door with a peephole in the center, which is obviously never checked seeing as how I’m only left waiting for a moment upon knocking on the door.

The greeting party consists of one Akira Satou dressed in a white shirt with rolled-up sleeves and a pair of olive capris, the likes of which seem to be her usual ‘I don’t work today so I didn’t feel like getting dressed’ attire.

“Hey! How's it going?” She says with a bright smile, pulling me into a one-armed hug as I enter.

“Pretty well, now that I get to see you.” I answer, noting that her penthouse looks totally rearranged. “How have things been going around here?”

She slumps against me. “I've only been up for a few hours and I already can't wait for today to be over. I’m not saying I don’t like my relatives, but hopefully they won’t hang around for too long.”

“Yeah, you look like you've been working all day.” I chuckle.

The room in front of me is nothing like how I remember it -- the television and cushy leather sofa have changed places around the coffee table and there are still about a dozen small brown boxes sitting around on the shelves or against the wall, some of which look like they’ve already been unpacked.

“Ever since I woke up.” She groans, continuing to jump around the room as she puts portraits or other such things back on the wall, leaving the newspaper or other wrapping they were kept in on the floor. “I had to get everything unpacked one of these days, at least before my uncle came to visit.”

So she’s been busy all day then. I guess that explains why she didn’t return any of my text messages when I told her I was coming over. “Oh, yeah, Lilly said she can’t make it.”

“That doesn’t surprise me. Lilly has always had a bit of an issue with Jiggy and Hideaki.” Akira laughs while collapsing a cardboard box and throwing it into an already tall stack. “Shizune is really the only one she ever truly got along with in that household, provided one of her tutors was there to translate, but besides that…”

So Shizune is the unnamed relative? She would have been one of my first guesses, behind that blonde girl in the back of the class, but I can’t say I’m not surprised. If that’s the case, then their little arguments just got a lot more serious.

Akira chews on the words for a moment before adding onto her previous statement. “Lilly is really good at keeping her composure -- a lot better than me, at any rate. A raving lunatic could follow her around for a week and she wouldn’t even come close to snapping unless there were a hundred other things going on.”

“So you’re saying she’s polite to her uncle and cousin even though she can’t stand them?” I ask, finding the idea surprisingly easy to wrap my head around.

Akira nods before letting out a sigh. “Yep. There’s a long story behind all that though, she doesn’t just like them for no reason. I’ll tell you someday when we’re not so busy.”

“It sounds like something I’d like to hear.” I muse, having to stifle a laugh as I start to imagine just how out-of-left-field her relatives have to be if even Lilly finds issue with them. The fact that they’re Shizune’s family might explain a bit, but I don’t want to go jumping to conclusions.

As she said, though, it’s a story for another time. At the very least it’s something that can wait until after I’ve met the folks in question.

I decide to plop down on the sofa rather than get in the way by trying to help out. “So is your uncle strict about that sort of thing? The kind of guy that would rather live on the street than in a messy house, or something like that?”

“Nah.” She says, waving one hand back and forth to dispel the thought. “He's just full of hot air, he'll groan about the first thing you give him a chance to groan about. You could show him a chest of buried treasure and he’d complain about the fact that there were more jewels than gold.”

As if saying that reminded her of something, she gives me an intent stare, looking me up and down.

I don't think there's anything out-of-place about me right now, besides that odd lock of hair that never wants to stay down. I decided to leave the suit at home, going with just a white button-up shirt and some slacks. Formal, but not like I'm going to a funeral or anything.

“Something wrong?” I ask, my eyes tracing her as she paces over to me and begins messing with my hair, maybe trying to see if she can't do something about the one issue.

Or maybe she's just ruffling my hair for no reason, as would be the case as she begins wildly running her hands through it -- it feels nice, but still.

“There was, but I fixed it.”

As soon as I try to pull a comb out of my pocket to put everything back in ‘proper’ order, however, she pushes my hand away.

“Leave it messy like it usually is. It looks weird when you’ve got it all straightened and everything.” She says with a grin, apparently pleased with the amount of fun she’s able to have with my head.

I shrug and decide to leave it be. “I thought you said not to give your uncle anything to groan about?”

Akira returns my gesture, although that playful smile never drifts from her lips. “Yeah, but it's worth it. You look better when it's only formal from the neck down.”

“I bet you have amazing bed-head.” She muses as she begins to stride away back to her bedroom.

...I only leave my hair messy because it takes ten minutes of constant combing and brushing just to get the rest of it sorted out. As for my bed head, it's not too different from what you normally see considering that I don't bother to comb it out on most days.

On that note, however, I wonder what Akira's bed-head is like. While it's clear that she grooms it, she still wears it like the mess she no doubt wakes up with.

“Where are you heading off to?” I call out as soon as I hear her door shut.

A muffled voice answers. “Getting dressed. He'll be here any minute now.”

Ah, right. If he's anywhere as full of hot air as Akira says he is, then I'm sure he'd have a lot to say about his corporate lawyer niece having company over in anything other than a Victorian dress.

I glance around to make sure there's nothing that seems out of place before sitting back down on the sofa. The thought of turning the TV on crosses my mind for a moment before a couple of harsh knocks sound, almost like someone were rapping their entire fist against the door.

“Oh dammit.” Akira remarks, loud enough to be heard even through the wall. “I thought we still had a few minutes.”

“Do you want me to get it?” I ask, wondering just how much longer it'll take Akira to put on... whatever she has to wear to impress her uncle.

A few moments of silence elapse before she pops out of her bedroom in that same pinstriped black suit, adjusting her tie with a bit of haste even though she seems just as relaxed as always. “Nah, we're good.”

“Does everything look alright?” She asks, turning around and trying to glance over her shoulder, swatting at some invisible bit of lint.

I stand up and pat her back down a few times, a useless action seeing as how she probably just pulled it out of the plastic from the cleaners. “Just as great as always.”

She chuckles before replying with “just making sure” and ruffling my hair one last time for good measure. From there, she jumps over to the door and pulls it open before taking a step back, evading the next set of ham-handed knocks that would have followed.

“It's about time.” The man... bear... person out in the hallway growls. “Unacceptable. Expecting guests and yet the door was firmly locked.”

Akira and I both bow our heads as he steps in, neither him nor the tiny person trailing in the back bothering to close the door behind them.

The formalities quickly end however, as my companion decides to comment. “Well I can't just have anyone walking into the place, especially since there's no code on the door for the stairwell.”

The taller of the two gives a short huff. “Is that how you greet people these days? Disrespectful. To think that I was in a good mood until now.”

Rather than offer an argument or an apology, Akira just shrugs it off. “Nah, it's just how I greet you. Take a seat and chill out.”

As the two of them trade non-sequitor greetings, I'm given my first chance to actually think about what I'm looking at here. Having already taken a seat on the sofa is a man who can't be any shorter than two meters – he had to duck his head under the doorway, in fact. The next most imposing thing I notice is the fact that he's carrying a sword.

As in, a full-length sword, which he is now twirling around as if it were a cane or a drumstick. No one else seems threatened by this fact, though, so I'll assume it's business as usual.

He doesn't seem to believe in shaving, seeing as how he sports a full beard of dark hair, accompanied by an unkempt mullet that drifts down to his waist. On top of all of that, his clothes are about as casual as it gets; a pair of jeans and... a sky-blue hawaiian shirt. With palm trees. I get the impression that he wrestles bears or some other form of dangerous wildlife, so I’d sooner jump out the window than attempt to comment on it, especially since all this time he’s been ranting and raving about something unrelated.

“Anyway, I'm glad you could make it over.” Akira says after a short silence, having just suffered through a lengthy, drawn-out exposition on the importance of home security. “By the way, this is my boyfriend, Hisao Nakai.”

And then all the attention in the room goes to me, which isn’t something I need to be dealing with after having the ‘we’re official’ bomb dropped on me.

“Hisao, this is my Uncle Jigoro and cousin Hideaki.”

The latter statement goes unnoticed as I receive a pair of mixed expressions, a look of disbelief from the grizzly one and a curious gaze from who I assume is his daughter. With nothing coming to mind, I simply bow my head and wait for recognition.

Which happens to come in the form of a gruff laugh. “At least you've still got a sense of humor. I needed that.”

Akira doesn't even wait for her uncle to finish laughing before chipping in, though. “I wasn't joking.”

She shoots me a smile before nudging me in the side and winking, giving me some silent reinforcement. “Anyway, I'm gonna go make some coffee for all of us. Hisao will keep you company while I'm busy.”

With that said, she disappears into the kitchen, leaving me with her extended family.

The two of them eyeball me expectantly, one of them still snickering from the previous exchange despite hearing that it wasn't a joke.

“So, uh, good afternoon.” I say, deciding to take a seat in the recliner. From there, I immediately regret having not turned on the TV a few minutes ago.

The one named Hideaki lets her attention drift around the room, the curiosity in her gaze apparently having been depleted as she looks for something else to pick apart. I'm met with the interest of the elder, however, as he leans forward and begins twirling his sword around as if it were a baton.

“Hello. What are you doing here?”

Well he's certainly to the point.

“Akira actually asked me to be here to meet both of you. I'm curious ab-”

His stern voice cuts me off before I can even express what I was wondering about. “Stop. Be quiet. Don't ask questions. Who are you to question me?”

It takes me a moment to realize that the entire mood has changed in the snap of a finger. One moment he's jolly and polite, and then the next moment he's telling me to shut up. “I was… excuse me?”

“You are not excused. I asked you what your business here was and you ignored me. Learn how to answer questions instead of going off on tangents. Immature.” He lectures, barely stopping to take a breath between each of his pointed statements.

All I'm able to do is remain silent as he continues. “I'm asking the questions here. Who are you? Where do you work? What do your parents do? When were you born? How did you get here?”

“My name is Hisao Nakai and Akira let me through the door. I don't think any of that other stuff is necessary at this point.” I reply, feeling uneasy as this grizzly bear of a man swings his sword around like it’s a toy.

Just before her uncle can answer, though, Akira peeks out of the kitchen and throws in an annoyed “hey, you two play nice in there.”

He doesn't wait long to give his own two cents, though. “Everything is my business. You are a child claiming to be my niece's boyfriend. What happened to Kirei?”

I'm not given a chance to answer though. At least not immediately. First I have to wait for Akira to finish yelling “I broke up with him three years ago, Jigoro!”

While that calls other questions into mind, I still have more pressing matters to deal with. “Yes, I'm Akira's boyfriend. Does that really matter right now?”

He lets out a burly 'hah,' almost like a guffaw. “A child is dating my twenty-four year old niece. Disgraceful. What kind of a prank do you think you're playing?”

“You are short, weak, and your hair is a mess. Do you even know how to play golf?” He continues, beginning to ramble despite the fact that he's still in the exact same position we started in, the idle 'click click clicking' of the sword shifting in its sheathe never slowing up.

“What does golf have to do with anything?!” I sputter.

He ignores me, though. “Golf is a man's soul. You've never even been fishing have you? Do you know what it's like to partake in sports? No doubt you spent all of your student career in the chess club. Nerd.”

How can he make so many assumptions on someone just going off of one thing? And even that's on shaky ground. I feel like this might be a game for him, like he's racking up points in his head based on how many pointless insults he can sling.

At least one of us is having fun, anyway. I almost feel bad about letting Akira miss this -- how long does it take to make a pot of coffee?

“No, I've never been fishing. I played soccer when I was younger. I'm terrible at chess.” I return, knowing full well that I'm just tossing wood on the fire.

He laughs again. “Chess is a man's soul. You need to read my biography. If possible I would record every word on a playing piece and force you to capture each of them in sequence, but I do not have enough time. I have business, unlike you.”

Somehow I get the impression that Akira is in the kitchen finding all this hilarious, just kicking back and waiting for the fire in here to die down. Surely she's learned some tricks to dealing with him, seeing as how he helped her out all those years after her father had moved. If this is what she had to deal with the entire time then my already overwhelming respect for her just grew even more.

“The only thing about yourself you haven't pre-emptively debased is your clothing.” He continues, no doubt twisting and turning inside at the thought that there's something he can't chastise. “Plain and unassuming. It is too bad that no other part of you is unassuming.”

“What's that supposed to mean?” I counter, checking my clothes up and down. I tried to wear something as neutral as possible, but if he's going to point it out like that then I think I would have been better off wearing a swimsuit.

I thought I'd have to fight for their approval, but now I don't feel so bad seeing as how the approval isn't anything obtainable, at least for one of them. I’m not too sure about what the other thinks, seeing as how she hasn’t said a single word since she came in.

Either way, I could be the richest, most handsome man on the face of the Earth and he would still find something to hurl insults over. I can respect him if he's who got Akira where she is, but with the way things are I can't find myself looking up to him for anything else.

It doesn't help that I haven't heard a single word from the younger one; Hideaki, I think her name was? For a moment, Jigoro stops swinging his sword around and looks me dead in the eye, as if waiting to tell me something important.

And then, from there, he laughs again. “Fashion is a man's soul. If you had read my biography you'd know that. Maybe I should have my publisher write a picture book version so that someone as slow-witted as you might have a chance of understanding.”

“I don't think I need to take that from someone wearing a hawaiian shirt.” I jab, feeling a pang of satisfaction well up inside my heart as a chuckle sounds from the kitchen.

Jigoro only regains that jaded expression however, leering at me through the tiny bangs of his mullet. “A man's clothes speak volumes about his character. I look at you and see a simpleton who gambles in the restroom to make up for the fact that he cannot work.”

“I have a job, though.” I retort, crossing my arms in response. “And if that's the case, aren't you someone who either spends too much time at the beach or shops off of the discount rack?”

In an instant, he utters something of a grumble. “Didn't your mother ever teach you not to make assumptions? Disrespectful. I am appalled that such stupid words could come from someone so unassuming.”
“What do you do, then?” I ask, glancing over my shoulder as Akira steps into the room and sits beside me on the arm of the chair.

She's wearing a pretty neutral expression. Not angry that I don't seem to be getting along with her relatives, but at the same time not happy for it either.

Akira's uncle shoots me a grin bloated with unwarranted confidence. “I lecture ignorant youths on the dangers of making assumptions of men older than them.”

“Older and stronger.” He adds. “And wiser. And bigger. And with more money.”

He continues to tack things onto the end, almost as though he had a list he committed to memory long ago. It doesn't take long for Akira to tire of it, however, leaning in and whispering “he's a consultant” into my ear.

“What kind of consultant?” I whisper back, content to let the grizzled man across the living room have his rant.

She shrugs. “That's just what he's been ever since he gave up 'Director of Human Resources.' He's pretty much retired, even if he doesn’t get benefits. If anything 'consultant' just means 'the guy who calls me every month and asks if I've broken anything yet.'”

Then, without any kind of final statement to his previous ongoing rambling, her uncle stands up, announces that he's going to use the bathroom, and heads down the hall to do just that. He even takes his sword with him, leaving Akira and I alone with the girl sitting on the sofa.

“Hey little man, what's going on?” Akira says without waiting to see if anything’s wrong before jumping off of the chair-arm and plopping down on the couch. “About time your old man shut up, huh?”

Wait, little man doesn't seem like a very appropriate pet name for a...

“Nothin'.” She... He... Hideaki answers.

The appearance of a young girl, if a little tomboyish, coupled with the voice of an adolescent boy. Either a very feminine guy or a very masculine girl. I honestly don't know which way to lean, and I'm not sure why it matters at this point in time. Or if it ever well – all they've done so far is sit down and glance around the room. I can understand not wanting to create conflict with that walking hurricane of a man, but...

“Nothin', huh?” Akira says, crossing her legs and laying back. “How's school been?”

Hideaki shrugs off the attempts to create conversation. “Alright.”

Every so often he glances over at me, giving me a blank expression and yet acting as though he's nervous to say anything around me.

Akira just rolls with the punches though, clearly a master of dealing with both of her relatives. “Tried out for any clubs? You said you wanted to do journalism last time I saw you.”

“No.” Hideaki answers blankly.

The woman beside him gives a short ‘heh’ before glancing at me and around the room. “Gonna give me anything other than one-word answers?”

“Ye-...”

Akira meets his defeated gaze by ruffling his hair, which only prompts more resistance. She ignores his protests, however. “You've been in such a bad mood since you got here. C'mon, smile a bit; otherwise Hisao's gonna think you're a stick in the mud or something.”

“I'm not a stick in the mud.” Hideaki replies, attempting to feign composure by sitting up and planting his hands in his lap. “I'm only here because I have to be. I don't want to cause any trouble.”

“You're not really causing trouble.” I say, deciding that I've been invited into the conversation. “Not any more than your dad, anyway.”

“Speaking of which...” Akira muses, pulling our attention to the man standing in the hallway. Without a word, he gestures for her to join him, who then motions for me to come along.

His expression has gone unchanged since before he left us, still looking as annoyed as ever. Though now he seems to want to talk about business, hence why the three of us are leaving Hideaki in the living room.

Akira has one strange family, as least as far as I can tell. If this is her uncle, my head hurts just thinking about what her father could be like, whether he's better or worse – he seems to match all the jerk aspects at least.

We all file into the kitchen with Akira and myself both leaning against the counter and Jigoro taking a seat at the dining table, sword in hand even though it's clearly difficult to find a place to put it.

Three cups of coffee are poured from a full pot and passed between the three of us, although Akira decides to set hers aside after only one sip.

“So, straight to the point?” She says with a look of concern. “What do you wanna do about father? We both know what he's gonna attempt.”

The matter doesn't seem particularly pressing to the other party however, seeing as how he's gone silent – more concerned with finding a teaspoon and perfectly measuring out the sugar for his coffee, down to the grain… An act which then goes wasted as he takes one sip, grimaces, dumps it in the sink, pours another cup, and then drinks it black.

Finally content with the state of his coffee, he crosses his legs and decides to give us some attention. “Whatever you see fit. I haven't spoken to him ever since I left the company, and I'd like to keep it that way. I don't associate with backstabbers.”

The woman beside me scoffs at the notion. “No help from you, then?”

At this point everything begins to get a little confusing. Her father is coming to Japan, I know that much but I don't know why. At first I'd like to think that he's just coming to try and convince her to come back to Scotland in person, but... is that really the case?

“You think there's something I could do?” He asks in response,  giving us both an annoyed gaze as he takes another healthy gulp out of his cup. “I could pound him into the ground with my bare hands, clubbing him over the head with a hardcover copy of my biography. That is all I wish to do. That would not fix your problem, however.”

“I came here to visit and see about business. I am not here to deal with your issues, I have enough of my own.” Jigoro adds with a grizzled tone, fist clenched around the sheath of his sword. “Family deals with family, and he is no family of mine.”

Akira lets out a long sigh. “I should have figured as much.”

“Okay, okay, what's going on here?” I ask, too confused to bear being silent any longer. “Why is your father coming down again? He's just trying to get you to come back to Scotland, right?”

She nods. “That's the gist of it, yeah. I need to make sure Lilly's safe, though. I can't watch over her anymore; she has to finish school.”

I don't have any doubt that Lilly is going to be in danger, but is he really coming over just to abduct one of his daughters? It's not like he's going to stick her in a tower or anything, right?

“What about you? I understand that there’s apparently some danger for her, but are you sure he's not going to try to rope you in while he's at it?” I argue.

“Ignorant. Of course he's going to be here for her.” Jigoro chimes in. “The Satou have a knack for closing off their family members. He has just the spot for it too.”

He strokes his beard in an exaggerated manner, thinking of what else to add. “What was that position he had open? 'Vice-chairman of company resources?' Utterly disgusting.”

“Wait, what's so bad about that?” I ask. I'm not firmly rooted in corporate-speak, so I'm not too sure about what the issue is here – it seems like it would be a high position.

“You remember when I told you about that job offering in Scotland?” Akira says, crossing her arms. “Guess what the bad part was?”

I shrug. “Too much work?”

She shakes her head. “No, there's nowhere to go from there. Just like the job I'm currently stuck with. I'll be pushing papers until I retire in forty years.”

“Wait, that doesn’t make any sense.” I say, setting my own coffee aside. “Why wouldn’t a vice-chairman just become a chairman someday?”

Her uncle decides to take this time to put in his two-cents, which for once is something helpful and relevant. “He pigeonholes his family into bottom-feeding roles. He’ll put them in what seems like powerful positions, but ultimately he never allows them to move up from there.”

“So why did you take the offer in the first place?” I ask, trying to tune Jigoro out as he continues onto something more unrelated. “You seemed pretty ready to throw everything else away for this.”

My question is met with detachment. “For a jackass who hadn't called in four years, he made a pretty convincing argument. It helped that, contrary to what this guy says, it was a pretty good position to be in.”

“It had pretty much everything I'd ever need, but what bothered me was that he was locking me away.” She sighs, glancing over at her uncle before resuming. “He's just trying to get Lilly and I under the rug for some reason. I have a couple of guesses, but nothing really definite – he's a wildcard when it comes to this stuff.”

“What's your best guess?” I ask, already letting the ideas form in my head. I can hardly come up with anything, though the first thing I'd imagine is...

She rolls her eyes. “You know he's a control freak. Take a wild guess.”

Yeah. That's what I figured.

Even so, I don't want to go jumping to any conclusions. “You'll have to spell it out for me.”

“Are you as dense are you are presumptuous?” Jigoro cuts in before Akira can even open her mouth. “One child is locked into a management position, the other is married off to some promotion-grubbing pantywaist so that the company can be kept in the family.”

He puts a sardonic emphasis on 'family,' his words dripping with spite. I don't know what happened in the past to put everyone in the positions they're in now, and I don't want to risk pushing him to set the city on fire by asking. All I can gather is that he has a pretty big grudge against his family; or at least the ones that aren't Akira and possibly Lilly.

“Regardless of their petty infighting, there is still a lot of potential at hand.” He adds, taking gulps of coffee between each jagged statement. “I taught you to seek opportunity and shoot it where it sleeps. If you overlook that for drama then I will have my biographer personally come here and smack you.”

“That's pretty much it.” Akira says smoothly, choosing to move along with her voice and expression both filled with emptiness. “I thought I'd be able to move on and actually have a life of my own, but go figure my dad's gonna take one last stab at chaining me down.”

It's almost appalling how many hurdles she's had to jump over during the past few years, and that's just for her job. It's just another way we're different; my problems are all internal, whereas hers are all things thrown from the outside world. It's one of the things I admire about her -- she's strong in all the places where someone like me would crumble apart.

“You're not gonna let him, are you?” I say, nudging her in the side and offering a friendly smile. “You've come this far, right? What's a little more work?”

Without a second though, her face lights up and she returns my gesture with a confident smile. “Of course I'm not gonna let him, dummy.”

“I gave his offer a lot of thought and was on the verge of taking that plunge, but in the end I didn't.” She explains, receiving Jigoro's emptied cup of coffee as he rises to his feet. “I was too caught up in my own life to realize that he was full of crap, and I'm glad you helped me realize that.”

I can’t help but blush with pride, if only for a moment; it wouldn't make much sense to go through all the trouble to get her settled back into her life here only for something to tear everything up again. It doesn't seem like we'll be getting any help from the other side of her family, but at the very least I've got some more information. Or something of an explanation as to what's going on.

Her uncle decides that there's one last piece of advice worth divulging though. “Don't burn bridges.”

Jigoro lets out a hearty chuckle, as if there were a joke only he understood. “Use them for all they're worth, then let them burn along with it.”

“What's that supposed to mean?” I ask, leaning out of the kitchen as he makes his way to the front door, not even gesturing for Hideaki to follow.

He taps his sword against the ground a few times and gives me one last annoyed grumble. “I dream of a Satou Electronics run by someone in the family other than that backstabber.”

With no further comment and leaving no room for discussion, he gives a disgruntled announcement of his departure and steps out of the room, leaving the door open for his ‘partner’ to follow.

Hideaki gives both Akira and myself a nod before going to accompany Jigoro, shutting the door behind him.

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

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Last edited by Thanatos02 on Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Troy
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/30]

Post by Troy » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:23 am

Best possible time for me ;D

-edit-

Great as always.
Last edited by Troy on Sat Aug 31, 2013 5:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Hanako Nakai
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/30]

Post by Hanako Nakai » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:46 am

Samurai sword fight to the death... loser commits seppuku :)
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You should be a protagonist of a new story :lol:

Am I really that dense?

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Gauldoth Half-Dead
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/30]

Post by Gauldoth Half-Dead » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:10 am

Hanako Nakai wrote:Samurai sword fight to the death... loser commits seppuku :)
But if it's a sword fight to the death, then how does the loser... :|
Whatever, great piece of writing again. Jigoro was pretty well done, I liked him. Fits the canon character to a T, but now I'm curious about Mr. Satou and his reaction to Hisao. Keep on writing, man! :D
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/30]

Post by Guest Poster » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:52 am

By traditional Japanese standards, a daughter being "locked" into a management position is actually pretty gracious, seeing that lots of working Japanese women never advance past the "Office Lady" status, whose main job is to clean, copy documents, make coffee for the male collegues and look pretty while doing so.

If Akira values her career so much, why doesn't she consider moving to Scotland, picking up a bit of experience in her new position and then resign and apply for another job over there? Lawyers are more wanted in the west and Scotland doesn't have the cultural stigma's on switching jobs or women pursuing careers past their 30's.
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Oscar Wildecat
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/30]

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:08 am

Guest Poster wrote:By traditional Japanese standards, a daughter being "locked" into a management position is actually pretty gracious, seeing that lots of working Japanese women never advance past the "Office Lady" status, whose main job is to clean, copy documents, make coffee for the male collegues and look pretty while doing so.

If Akira values her career so much, why doesn't she consider moving to Scotland, picking up a bit of experience in her new position and then resign and apply for another job over there? Lawyers are more wanted in the west and Scotland doesn't have the cultural stigma's on switching jobs or women pursuing careers past their 30's.
If I read things correctly, it seems that she did consider the move at one point. However, I get the feeling that she ended up declining because of the old adage, "IT'S A TRAP!". That is to say, the "lock" her dad had planned for her in the position would have been something that would have prevented her from changing jobs easily. (Contractual agreements, perhaps.)
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khhero
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Re: Akira Pseudo-Route [Updated as of 8/30]

Post by khhero » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:19 pm

Wow that was amazing. I was laughing so hard at some points. man that Jigoro just perfectly the jackass he is and such a hypocrite it amazing... an there still more coming for this piece and hopefully coming tonight as well I'm a very happy reader!
You should feel special if you're seeing this ... I don't comment much if at all on here I just lurk and read ... and other things... If I have a mistakes it because I have a terrible keyboard on a terrible laptop with terrible spelling skills

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