For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 11/1/19)

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Critical115
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (April 1 "Update")

Post by Critical115 » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:54 pm

Katawa Shoujo is dead. I feel so empty on the inside knowing there is nothing left of Katawa Shoujo
We all float down here

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Hisao&Hanako<3
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (April 1 "Update")

Post by Hisao&Hanako<3 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:58 am

KS is anything but dead. It is carried in the hearts of many who discuss it even to this day. :D

SirKaid
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (April 1 "Update")

Post by SirKaid » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:14 am

Don't cry because it's gone, smile because it happened.

ProfAllister
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (April 1 "Update")

Post by ProfAllister » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:17 am

-_-

I know SilentCook doesn't like "I'm still alive" posts, but I also know that he doesn't like laments for the death of a popular fic with no further contribution.

So,l as an update, I'm still alive, still working on this, and making (slow) progress on the next chapter. I haven't posted much lately because I haven't really had much time to read fan fiction and most oft he discussion over on the general side hasn't really been flashy enough to get my attention. So stop assuming that it's over.

If you're going to say something here, please keep it relevant to discussion of the fic.

Also, I've said it before: I make a point of keeping myself available to contact. Considering that, posting on this thread assuming that I'm gone, without even the slightest attempt to contact me, is extremely disrespectful. So please stop it.

The next time I post on this thread, it will be the next chapter. It may still take a while, and I apologize for that. Life happens.

But these repeated laments need to stop. There's no purpose, it irritates me, and it irritates our gracious host. Cut it out.
Current Project: Misha Pseudo-Route

Discord ID: ProfAllister#9754

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Chaoxdriver
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (April 1 "Update")

Post by Chaoxdriver » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:57 pm

Oh hey ProfAllister! Glad to hear that the next chapter is coming along. You know, Misha's birthday is November 1st...

Nah, just kidding =p You take as along as you need to; real life makes working on artistic stuff difficult, and something great like this is worth the wait. In the mean time, I think I'll give what you've written so far a re-read... Keep up the great work and best wishes to you!
Pinkie Pie is best pony, Misha is best human... What would happen if the two met~? @.@

HoneyBakedHam
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (April 1 "Update")

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:10 pm

I'm with Driver on this: Love your work and will patiently wait for the future updates.

I do love your Misha. Reading this just reminds me how disappointed Misha didn't get a route and, if someone were to ever make one for her, I'd want this to be the route.

ProfAllister
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (April 1 "Update")

Post by ProfAllister » Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:17 am

I wake up in a strange room.

It’s funny. I’m so used to the feeling that it takes me a minute to realise that I actually am in someone else’s room. It only takes a quick glance - the vanity, the swimming trophies, and the narwhal make it pretty unmistakable. I'm in Misha's room.

Normally, the Misha on top of me would have been my first clue, but I guess I kind of got used to her being around over the course of exams. Then again, it hasn’t really been like this, either. With the exception of the t-shirt bunched up under my arms, neither of us is wearing anything.

I must have left the bedside lamp on last night, because it’s the only reason I can see anything right now. I look down at the sleeping form of my girlfriend. A mess of bright pink hair covers the upper part of her back, but it’s all that’s covering her. The drills on her back somehow managed to survive through the evening and night, but they’re on their last legs, so to speak.

Lifting a hand, I slide it under her hair and gently stroke her back, once more enjoying the touch of her skin against mine. As my hand migrates lower, though, I start to wonder if this might be a little creepy. On the one hand, we did have sex, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any boundaries, does it? It’s not like they give you a handbook on this sort of thing.

Much as I’d love to just stay here forever, we still have classes today. And I can’t imagine what would happen if Shizune catches us. Moving my other hand up to her shoulder, I give her a gentle shake.

“Shiina… Shiina, it’s time to get up.”

No response.

“Misha?”

Still nothing, other than a cheerfully wordless sound as she hugs me tighter and further buries her face in my shoulder.

I want to give up, but I know I should be the responsible one. Bracing my hands against both her shoulders, I give a push, which manages to roll her over and off of me.

As I sit up, I can’t help but glance at her unclothed figure, still peacefully asleep. I’ve seen pictures of naked people before, and videos, too - because who hasn’t? But to see her lying there, so peaceful and unguarded, is something entirely new. I’ve certainly been fond of her appearance when she’s wearing clothes, so it’s no surprise that I like how she looks without them, too.

And, since we're on the subject, pink. Whatever her natural hair color, she’s certainly gone all the way when it comes to dying it.

Creepy as feeling her while we lie down together felt, ogling her while she’s defenseless like this is obviously much worse. I reach down to grab her discarded yukata - now bunched up near her feet, and spread it over her like a blanket, granting her some degree of modesty.

Speaking of modesty, I’m not exactly fully clothed myself. First things first, I adjust my shirt so it covers me as a shirt should. In doing so, I discover a large wet spot, all across my right side. Misha has a bit of a tendency to drool while she sleeps.

I take a moment to assess the situation. It's early morning, my girlfriend's still fast asleep, and I have no idea what she did with my pants.

The lamp gives a decent amount of light, but it's still too dark to safely navigate the room or to look for anything, so it would probably be best to turn on the overhead light. Last night, Misha turned it off by clapping, and I figure that that's a better idea than fumbling around for the wall switch or trying to figure out where she put her remote.

As the room fills with light, I take a second to let my eyes adjust - you never realise just how dark it is until it gets brighter.

"Good morning, Hicchan~."

I turn around at the sound of her voice, and I'm glad I did. She’s sitting up on the bed without a care in the world, making no attempt to cover herself. Her mouth quirks into a mischievous grin.

“I think you’re forgetting something, Hicchan~.”

I guess standing next to the bed in a t-shirt and nothing else isn’t exactly the most dignified position. I figure my best bet is to follow her example and pretend that there’s absolutely nothing unusual or noteworthy about my current state of dress.

“It’s not forgetting if you meant to do it.”

She giggles at my response. “Ahaha~, that sounds like you do it often~!”

“How do you know I don’t?”

Her smirk makes it clear that she actually has an answer to that question.

“Because you look like you want to put them back on as soon as possible.”

She’s got me there. Strictly speaking, I shouldn't have a problem with her seeing me like this, all things considered. But still, I feel... vulnerable.

Taking my silence as confirmation, she lets out a hearty laugh. "Wahahahaha~! You need to wake up pretty early in the morning to fool me, Hicchan~!"

Normally, Misha's loud enough to wake the dead. Right now, I just hope she's not loud enough to wake her neighbors. Or, I guess, if she's usually this loud, they're probably used to it. If that’s the case, lets hope they're not paying too close attention.

"But I do get up early in the morning. I'm not sure it even counts as morning if I get up earlier. Besides, I at least wake up before you."

"Hahaha~, and it's still not enough, Hicchan~!"

With a little hop, she scootches herself closer to me and the edge of the bed, catching me in one of the most unusual hugs I've experienced.

Rubbing her tangled mess off hair against my chest, she adds on a final thought. "...but I’m happy to have you as my boyfriend. Even if you are a little slow."

Slow? How did she come to that conclusion?...I guess she'd tell me that if I need to ask...

"That's not really fair, Shiina," I reply, wrapping my hands around her back. "I may not obsess over tiny details, but that doesn't mean I'm slow."

She pushes herself away just enough that she can look at my face. "Who obsesses over tiny details, Hicchan~?"Her golden eyes shift from inquisitive to stern as she frowns. "You aren't picking on Shicchan,are you? If you're teasing her when she can't defend herself, I'll never forgive you~!"

I honestly can't tell whether she's serious or not. Also, does that mean it's okay to tease her when she can defend herself? Probably. Judging from past experience, she'd make a fool of me if I tried.

"You can relax, Shiina, I wasn't talking about Shizune."

On hearing my words, she does in fact settle down. I guess she was at least a little serious. With a grin, I continue. "I was actually thinking of a girl who decided to dye her hair pink. All of it."

Enough color flows into her cheeks to match her hair as she buries her face into my chest. Without pulling away, she mumbles a response. "I wanted it to look natural~."

Pink isn't exactly the most common hair color, but I was almost willing to believe it was natural, so I can't really fault her for that. However...

"Isn't that only an issue if you expect people to see it?"

"Stop thinking dirty thoughts, Hicchan~."

Gently pushing herself away, she continues, "Besides, it's time to get dressed."

As she pulls away, I let her go, enjoying the sight as she retrieves her clothes for the day. In spite of everything else, she still seems a lot more comfortable without clothes than I do.

"Other girls can see me in the showers, sometimes, Hicchan."

So much for her command to stop thinking dirty thoughts.

"And it's just one of those things, like in movies. Lots of times, the costumes have things like socks or underwear, even though no one sees them~. It makes it more real."

Speaking of underwear, she looks to be pulling out something with orange and white stripes. Not what I would have expected. Considering what I've seen her wear, I guess underwear is something she really cares about. Even if no one sees it.

"If you ask me, that sounds like obsessing over tiny details."

She sighs as she begins to dress herself. "Maybe you're right, Hicchan." Pausing, she looks back up at me, smirking. "But now I know you're forgetting something~."

And she has the upper hand yet again. Here she is getting dressed, and I've completely forgotten about what this all was started over - my pants.

Now that the light's on, I locate my pants with ease, sitting next to the narwhal I won for her. She probably named it "Narcchan" or something...

"You don't seem to think dying your hair like that is such a big deal. Wasn't it uncomfortable?"

Another sigh. "Life is uncomfortable, Hicchan~. That's just the way things are. There are different ways to be uncomfortable, but that's what it all is in the end."

That sound shockingly cynical, especially coming from someone like Misha.

Now that she has the marginal modesty of her underwear, she moves over to her large vanity, messing around with the various tools and concoctions all women seem to understand by instinct. Whatever the details of her regimen, it's all Greek to me.

Saving at her face with something or other, she continues her thought, "...And that goes double when you're ugly."

"You keep saying that, Shiina, but it's not true. You look great."

She turns to give me a half-hearted smile, but it never reaches her eyes. "It's nice to hear you say that, Hicchan, but you don't understand~. Anyone can look good, but ugly people need to work at it."

I'm not sure I follow, but Misha continues without any prompt.

"Shicchan's pretty. She looks great even when she just rolls out of bed~! She still puts a lot of effort into looking even better because that's just how she is~! Hanako's pretty, too, but she doesn’t really do anything. Ever. Even then, she can go a week without taking a shower, but most people can't tell~!"

"But there are also other ugly people, even if you'd never know it. Lilly's actually kinda scary when she first wakes up, and there's a girl down the hall that almost looks like a boy in the morning~!"

"It seems like a pretty pointless term, then," I reply, "The kind of word someone would use to make people feel bad, even though it doesn't mean anything."

She pauses for a moment. From this angle, I can't really see her face or expression, but I think I may have struck a nerve.

"Either way, I can say with complete certainty that you look good even when you wake up, messy hair and all."

She turns to look at me, wearing a faint smile. "That's a nice thought, Hicchan, but you don’t count~."

I don't count? What does that even mean? Before I can say anything, she grabs a robe hanging on her chair and throws it on, then starts gently ushering me toward the door.

"You have your clothes, right, Hicchan? Then we need to get you out of here before anyone wakes up~! Get your books and stuff from your room and meet me at the pool, okay? We don’t want to be late, after all, right~? Right right right~!"

Taken aback by the sudden change of pace, I turn to face her, slowing our advance toward the door. "Shouldn't I grab my yukata, too?"

She shrugs, then continues her press. "It's not like you can take it with you. It would be too sus-pic-i-ous~. I can give it to you after class."

Now my back's against the wall. Well, the door, but it's the same idea. What happened that she’s in such a rush all of a sudden?

She's right about that "suspicious" bit - a guy coming out of the girls' dorm at this hour usually only means one thing - exactly what it does in this case. "What if someone sees me?"

"You'll be fine, Hicchan~! No one's up this early! And if you do see someone, just say you're on official Student Council business~!"

She seems a bit too confident about that last bit of advice, no doubt from experience. It doesn’t matter, though. I've outsmarted her. The door opens inward, meaning I need to get out of the way before she can get me out.

Realising this predicament, Misha puffs her cheeks out in frustration, the smiles sweetly at me. “Okay, Hicchan, you win. We can spend some more time together before we start the day~.”

I tense slightly as she steps forward, but she gently wraps her arms around my back, soon followed by the press of her lips against my own. I’m so caught up in the feel of her barely-clothed body against me and the warmth of her breath, I don’t realise it’s a trap until it’s too late. The door’s already opened, and with the help of a gentle shove, I find myself on the wrong side of it.

“Okay~, that’s long enough!” As she closes the door, she says one last thing. “See you at the pool~!”

...And now I’m standing in the middle of the hall of the girls’ dorm at an ungodly hour of the morning. It’s a small consolation, but at least I’m not likely to run into anyone.

I carefully pick my way through the hallways, peeking around corners to minimise my chances of being found. Which, of course, would make it all the more incriminating it I do get caught. Fortunately, there aren’t any signs of life between me and the exit.

As I walk out the front door, I feel home free, confident that, once again, we’ve beaten the System.

That lasts about five seconds.

“Hey! You there!”

The security guard’s voice is accompanied by a flashlight. The morning light is already starting to show, but it’s still dark enough that a flashlight is useful. Especially when shined into someone’s eyes.

With my heart, I doubt I’d be able to run away, even after these past months of training. More importantly, where would I go? To the dorms? With no other choice, I resign myself to my fate.

“You a student here?”

“Y-yes, sir.”

“Okay.”

He lowers his flashlight and promptly forgets about me.

“...I’m on official Student Council business!”

He looks over his shoulder at me, almost annoyed that I’m continuing the interaction. “Good for you. Why the hell should I care?”

“I-Isn’t it your job to enforce curfew?”

He shrugs, then spits into the grass. “News to me. I just keep out the freaks and weirdos.” He pauses for a second, glancing in my direction, then adds, “The ones that aren’t supposed to be here.”

Satisfied that there’s no reason for me to talk to him ever again, he goes back to his rounds.

Thanking my good fortune, or whatever that was, I head back to the boys’ dorms.

Finally able to relax, I head for my room. The common area is clear, the hallways are clear, and no sign of Kenji as I open my door.

***

The funny thing about a routine is that it makes everything feel normal, no matter how extraordinary the events surrounding it. I get to the pool, Misha teases me for being late, we swim our laps, I stop by the nurse, and he makes his usual lame jokes. If he suspects anything about last night, he doesn’t say a word.

And so here I am, in the pool showers, beginning to wonder if it was all in my head. I remember it, and it all seems like it was so real, but none of this seems to add up.

The nurse didn’t say anything. It’s his job to care about the students’ health, so if he suspected anything, he’d say something about safe sex and STDs and pregnancy, right?

...Crap.

If it did actually happen, I didn’t take any precautions. I just did what comes naturally. Misha seemed like she actually had it all planned out, though, so maybe she did something. Or maybe it was all in my head after all.

I'm still trying to figure her out. There's obviously a lot she doesn't like about herself, and she seems to blame herself when anything goes wrong. Did something happen to her? Was she bullied? Or is it just that she's always comparing herself to others, exaggerating their strengths and her own weaknesses?

On the other hand, her happiness seems to be real. The laughs and the smiles aren't hiding how she really feels - as far as I can tell, she really is that happy. When she is happy, that is.

But then the serious moments come up - when she acts insecure, uncertain, and self-critical. I'll admit, that's what first caught my attention. Before that, I just assumed she was some airheaded bimbo.

I'm glad I was wrong.

Any further thought is cut off by a pair of hands over my eyes.

"Heheheh, guess who~, Hicchan!"

It takes me a second to realise exactly how wrong this is.

"Misha? This is the boys' bathroom! A public boys' bathroom!"

I keep my voice low, but I make sure that there's a clear undertone of "what the hell do you think you're doing?"

In spite of my harsh tone, she's smiling when she uncovers my eyes. And naked. Which makes sense in the shower, of course. What doesn't make sense is why she's in this shower.

"You've been doing this for months, Hicchan~. No one else comes here this early. Most of the students forget that it even exists~!"

"Besides~," she adds with a mischievous grin, "there's no rule against it."

If that's true, I'm sure it was just an oversight. That's one of those rules that's universal.

I want to argue the point, but I can think of every answer she'd give for every objection. No matter how right I am, I don't think she'll let me win this one.

Sensing my defeat, she reaches forward and grabs me, pulling me in tight. The shower stalls are a little large, in order to accommodate the various students' disabilities, but they still weren't designed for two people. As a result, space is a little tight, emphasising the closeness of our bodies.

"This is also the first time I've gotten to see you without a shirt~," she adds, blushing.

I am suddenly extremely aware of my shirtlessness, never mind the lack of any other clothes. Predictably, Misha's fingers come to rest on my scar.

She looks into my eyes. "Surgery?"

It's not really a question, but I nod anyway.

She looks down at it, then back to me. "Does it hurt?"

"Only when evil wizards are nearby," I joke.

She returns my goofy grin with a blank expression. Evidently, she never read that book. Fumbling for a follow-up, I blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.

"Do you have any? Scars, not wizards."

She smiles, but shakes her head.

"No scars. Just lots of needle marks. But they don't show as much~."

We spend a moment just looking at each other. With the shower running, it's vaguely reminiscent of that day so many weeks ago in the rain. Except, well, the obvious. The water decorates her hair much as it did back then, but it also runs down the contours of her body, emphasizing her curves.

Suddenly, Misha shivers, breaking the moment. Reaching for the temperature controls, she turns up the heat - to the point where it's a little unpleasant.

"You make the water too cold, Hicchan~."

Turning back to me, she holds out a green comb.

"Do you think you could brush my hair, Hicchan~?"

"I can try, but I've never done it before."

She gives me another of her infectious smiles. "It's easy! You just start at the bottom~, then work your way up~!"

As it turns out, her hair is so long that I do in fact start pretty close to her bottom. Taking a couple inches of hair, I run the comb through it. Simple enough. Steadily, I repeat this process, but run into a snag when I, well, run into a snag. Rather than sliding through like it had the past few strikes, the comb catches, pulling her hair.

"Don't just pull it, Hicchan. You'll break it that way. You need to work it out gently~."

Taking her advice (or trying, at least), I move the comb back and forth around the knot, gradually loosening it until the strands separate from each other.

This continues for a while as I steadily progress up to her scalp. Ever so often, she tells me to do something different, or to attack a problem spot from a different angle. Eventually, I decide that I've managed to clear out all the knots.

That was surprisingly relaxing. And, well, intimate, odd as that sounds. I guess that must be why girls consider "doing each others' hair" a social activity.

Taking advantage of my position, I reach my arms under hers and across her chest, pulling her close.

"Mmmmm," she sighs contentedly, "I like it when you hold me, Hicchan~."

"But~," she adds, somewhat reluctantly, "We do need to get going. If we're late, people might talk~!"

Pulling away from me, she steps out of the shower. I'm a little disappointed, but she's right. If there's anything this school's students do, it's talk. Well, the deaf students don't talk, but word certainly gets around. I turn off the water, then follow her lead.

"I'm sorry about earlier this morning, Hicchan~."

As she dries herself off, she elaborates. "I was afraid someone might see you, so I panicked."

I'm not sure that that really explains her behavior, but panic does work in strange ways.

"You go on ahead, Hicchan~. I still need to do a couple things, then I'll meet you at the cafeteria, okay~? Okay!"

You know, Misha, when most people ask for agreement, they're asking someone else to agree with them, not themselves.

***

Almost immediately after entering the cafeteria, I spot Shizune waving to me, signaling for me to join her. She must have been waiting for me. Or for us, more likely. It's not like I can give her any reason why I'd want to avoid her, so I make my way over to join her.

[Hello, Hicchan.]

[Hello, Shizune.]

[Where is Misha?]

A fair question. [She said she had to do a few things, but she'd catch up.]

[Are you waiting for her to get food?]

I hadn't been planning on it, but, now that I think about it, that's probably a good idea.

[I don't want to make her uncomfortable by watching her eat when I've already finished.]

[So I get special treatment?]

Another case of speaking - or signing - without thinking. Fortunately, Shizune was just teasing me, judging by her smile.

[It's a cold breakfast, so I can wait for you and Misha to get food.]

I smile back, but don't have anything to say, so we sit in silence - well, "silence," considering we weren't actually talking in the first place...

It's not long at all before she starts fidgeting, though. After a couple abortive attempts, she starts signing again.

[Did you and Misha have a good Tanabata?]

Did we ever. I can't really tell Shizune that, though.

[It was fun.]

She seems to be struggling between avoiding my eyes and looking at me head-on. Something must be bothering her.

[I'm sorry I wasn't there with you two. I had- something else came up.]

[A little bird told me that you were with a boy.]

Her blush is immediate and pronounced, but she keeps her composure. Not enough to suppress a smile, though.

[I was.]

[Your brother?]

She scowls at my question.

[Are you implying that I'm incapable of having a romantic encounter?]

This is a rare opportunity. She's usually more guarded. [So you're saying it was a romantic encounter?]

Her eyes widen in surprise, but she recovers quickly, and her eyes narrow. Her competitive grin seals the deal - now she's playing for keeps.

[A lady does not kiss and tell.]

[So you kissed?]

[That's just a figure of speech.]

[I know that, but you didn't answer the question.]

[You're right, I didn't answer.]

[Did you?]

[Answer? I just told you that I didn't.]

I can see that this is just going to go on in circles, so I raise my hands up in defeat.

Shizune accepts my concession with all the grace and dignity I've come to expect from her victories - that is, none at all. She doesn't do a dance or anything, but the message of her body language is clear: "You were a fool if you thought it could end any other way."

Unfortunately, her victory also killed the conversation. Shizune doesn't notice or care at first, still basking in the glory of her win, but it quickly becomes hard to ignore.

Personally, I don't mind the chance to just sit for a minute without the need to rush somewhere. On the other hand, Shizune looks visibly uncomfortable. She looks like she wants to say something, and even brings her hands up a few times before putting them back down. Finally, she gathers the will to say what's on her mind.

[IknowIcan'tstopyouandI'mnotevensureI'dwanttoifIcouldbutpleasegivemesomekindofwarningwhenyouandMishadecideto...inherroom.]

I blink. That's easily the fastest I've ever seen her sign when it was directed at me. She's signed even faster on occasion when talking to Misha. Frankly, I'm a little proud of myself that I was able to catch it all. There was one sign I didn't recognize, but the context makes its meaning pretty clear.

[Don't try to deny it. I-]

She pauses, blushing.

[I saw you two in her bed this morning. Before you woke up.]

I'm not sure what to say. I certainly didn't expect something like this to happen. I sign the first thought that comes to mind.

[What were you doing in her room that early?]

She shoots me a skeptical look, but it softens as she realizes that I'm genuinely confused.

[You really have no clue?]

I shake my head. [Apparently not.]

[So you mean to tell me that you two have been doing this for nearly a month, and you don't have the slightest clue what I'd be doing?]

Why do I get the sense that I'm going to feel like a total idiot before this conversation is over?

Taking my silence as confirmation, she continues.

[Who wakes up first? You or her?]

[I do.]

[Do you try to wake her up?]

[Not really. She's a pretty deep sleeper, but she wakes up on her own once I turn the light on.]

She studies my face in that judging, analytical fashion I've come to know so well.

[Are your lights set up to respond to sound?]

[Yeah, Misha set them up like that. But what does that have to do with anything.]

Shizune exhales heavily. If it were anyone else, I'd call it a sigh, but since she's deaf... Well, I'm not sure. Looking me straight in the eyes, she extends her arm, and snaps.

Its as loud as ever, and even causes a few people from other takes to look at us for a moment.

[What was that for?]

[That,] she signs pointedly, [is Misha's alarm clock.]

It takes me a few moments for it to sink in.

[You wake Misha up?]

[Every day.] She makes a face. [With a few notable exceptions, as of late.]

There's a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

[But you haven't reported it?]

I don't have any reason to believe she'd look the other way for this kind of offense, but her guilty expression gives me the answer long before she makes the signs.

[I have not.]

In a flash, the guilt is gone, replaced by sternness.

[But that doesn't mean I approve of it. It's dangerous, irresponsible, and will cause a scandal if anyone finds out!]

[If you don't approve, then why-]

[Because I can't do that to Misha.]

Her response is forceful, but she looks resigned. I'm not used to seeing Shizune defeated.

[Misha has been more than willing to give everything to me, and I've been just as willing to accept it. I kept telling myself that I'd find some way to pay her back, but something always came up, so I just ended up taking her for granted. Then you came along.]

[What do I-]

She cuts me off abruptly. [Let me finish!]

In spite of her insistence, she makes no move. Finally, with slumped shoulders, she continues.

[Misha won.]

Her pause is just long enough for me to ask what she means when she continues.

[She wasn't even trying to win, and she still won. She didn't even want to play, but she still won. Kind of like your tournament a little while ago.]

[What do you mean by that?]

We've been looking at each other's face this whole time, but Shizune has a talent for seizing your whole attention - like a snake charmer. [She was trying to lose, Hicchan. You know that she's familiar with chess, but she walked right into a Fool's Mate.]

[That was a little odd,] I admit, [but what about Battleship?]

[What can I say? Misha's extremely lucky. But you'd agree that no same person would play the way she did.]

[It certainly worked well enough,] I reply, my ego still rather bruised by that humiliation. [And what about Go?]

[She respects the game too much to simply throw a match. And she's good. Extremely good. I almost think she was testing you.]

[But she lost.]

[She made a mistake. Intentionally. She knew the right move, but she wanted you to win. So she choose the wrong one.]

This all seems to make sense, but I'm still not convinced. [How do you know all this? And why would she be losing on purpose? And what does any of this have to do with what happened last night?]

She looks a little chastened by my barrage of questions, but she rises to meet the challenge.

[I don't know this for certain, but we've been together for a long time. I'd like to imagine I have some idea what she's thinking when she does things. And you know how I feel about games as a tool to learn about someone.]

The first question answered, she slumps down in her chair. Clearly, she's less up to the challenge of the other two.

[As for why she loses on purpose, I don't really know. For as close as we are, she keeps a lot of stuff to herself. Too much, if you ask me.]

Again she stops. And again, right before I prompt her to continue, she starts.

[So, as I was saying, Misha gives everything to me. And I take it. But then something happened.]

Surprisingly, she drops her eyes, focusing intently on her own hands.

[There was something both of us wanted. She tried to convince herself that she didn't want it, that she wanted me to have it, but it didn't matter. No matter what I did to win, no matter what she did to lose, she kept winning, and I kept losing. I could see it happening long before I stopped trying, but I didn't want to admit defeat. This time, I wanted to win more than I had wanted anything else. But it was hopeless, and I knew it. So I let her win. She deserves to win, just this once.]

I feel like that should be a big revelation, but it just left me confused.

[I don't understand.]

[I'm sorry, Hicchan. I was being unclear on purpose. To be perfectly honest, it wasn't something we both wanted. It was someone.]

Shizune lifts her eyes back up, and now I can see why. She's wearing a brave smile, but her eyes are full of tears.

[You.]

I'm speechless, and for good reason. What are you supposed to say when your girlfriend's best friend confesses?

Without thinking, I sign the first question that pops into my head. [When?]

Now that she's come clean, she looks visibly more relaxed. [Right away. Your ridiculous introduction, the bold - but futile - assault of the Grand Army of Kamchatka, the way you stood up to us when we pushed too far.]

She blushes slightly. [It would take much less time to list what wasn't appealing.]

Pausing for a minute, she wipes her eyes with her sleeves, then adjusts her glasses. When she resumes her signing, it feels a little more somber.

[It became obvious that I had lost almost as quickly. I had high hopes during the festival, but, somewhere inside, I knew it was over when I saw you two watching the fireworks. I didn't give up, but it was pretty hopeless by that point.]

I'm not sure what to say. I kind of feel bad for her. And, I admit, the thought enters my head that we could have ended up together, if things were a little different. Not that I'm unhappy about being with Misha, of course.

[I'm sorr-]

[Don't.]

She sternly glares at me.

[Don't be sorry about who you are, who you like, or the decisions you've made. I lost. I'm okay with that. You can't have winners without losers. And she won.]

[You know, I don't think I appreciate you taking about me like I'm some kind of object.]

I'm saying it in good fun, but it's also kind of true. At the very least, it feels a little weird.

Picking up on my playful tone, Shizune rolls her eyes.

[Grow up, Hicchan. You know that's not what I meant. But the analogy works. We both wanted your affection, and it was a competition because only one of us could have it. The fact that we couldn't control the outcome just means it's like a game of chance.]

[So you're saying that my choices are completely random, and it's just a matter of luck that I like Misha?]

She shrugs.

[Luck can be a kind of skill. Besides,] she adds, smirking, [nothing's completely random. Physics dictates the face that a die will land on long before it stops moving.]

It figures that the second-best student in Mutou's class would give me a lecture on scientific principles at the first opportunity. Especially considering who it is.

I don't really have anything to say as a follow-up, and Shizune seems to be equally at a loss for words. I'm a little surprised that Misha hasn't arrived, yet. I'm about to ask Shizune about it when she chooses that same moment to say something herself.

[I need to apologise to you, Hicchan.]

[For what?]

[For avoiding you. And Misha. It's not fair to either of you.]

I have no idea what to say. Especially considering that I didn't even notice.

[You've been avoiding us?]

She looks skeptical. [Surely you're not that oblivious.]

I guess I am, and my expression says as much. Shizune angrily puffs out her cheeks.

[Let me rephrase that. Do you really think I was busy with an overwhelming amount of student council work that I wouldn't trust either of you to handle?]

[You trust us?]

Bad move. Now she looks hurt. In fairness, it wasn't my kindest response.

[If I didn't trust you, I wouldn't waste your time or mine by trying to get you to do it. You're my friends. And friends trust each other.]

The way she says that, it's clear that it's not just what friends do; it's what friends are.

[...and you weren't making up all that work, were you?]

[I was not.]

The Student Council already has too much work for the few of the members it does have. And she was pulling it all on herself?

[So you were doing it so Misha and I would have more free time?]

Her answer is swift and decisive.

[No!]

After a moment, though, she makes a sheepish addition.

[And yes.]

Anticipating my confusion, she elaborates.

[I know that you and Misha like Student Council as much as I do, and that work is much better when you're doing it with friends. I wouldn't want to take that away from you.]

She exhales deeply. I think that's the closest I've ever come to hearing her voice.

[I was being selfish. I tried to ignore it, but it was too hard. To spend so much time with someone, falling more in love with every moment, but knowing that they'll never feel the same about you.]

She pauses to lift her glasses with one hand and wipe her eyes with the cuff of the other.

[I know it's not fair to tell you all this. I'm not even sure why I'm doing it? A desperate attempt to make you feel sorry for me?]

Another breath. Not quite a sigh, but close.

[I'm so pathetic.]

[No you're not!]

My forceful response seems to have shocked her back to alertness. To be honest, it surprised me, too.

[You just said that friends trust each other. And you're my friend. You felt bad about how you were treating us, so you confessed. And now it's my job as a friend to forgive you. Which I do.]

Now that she's recovered, she's back to her usual approach - studying and evaluating my every move.

[So you're forgiving me out of obligation?]

As harsh as the question is, she's maintaining a very controlled expression.

[No, I'm forgiving you because I want to. Because friends don't just trust each other - they forgive each other, too.]

That seems to be a new idea to her.

[People make mistakes, Shizune. It's what we do. This can't be entirely new to you - you didn't have any trouble forgiving Lilly.]

At last, I don't think she did. Given Lilly's behavior last night, I'm not so sure anymore.

[Lilly is family. It's different.]

[You forgave her out of obligation?]

[I did no such thing. We negotiated a cease-fire. If we find that we can tolerate each other, we can perhaps make peace. If not, well,] she grins playfully, [I'll have to give her the noisy treatment.]

The "noisy treatment"? That's new. Then again, Lilly does seen to have sensitive ears.

[Careful,] I warn, [she might retaliate by making herself unbearable to look at.]

Amused, she covers her mouth and shakes with silent laughter.

[She already does that, Hicchan.]

Taking a more serious tone, she returns to the previous subject.

[There are different rules with family. No matter what they do, they're still family, whether you like it or not. Besides, it was something that needed to be done, considering-]

She stops, rethinking what she was about to say.

[No, never mind. You don't need to worry about that.]

I'm seriously tempted to ask what I shouldn't be worried about, but some battles are lost before they even begin. So I don't bother.

Shizune makes no move to pick the conversation back up, so we continue to sit in, well, silence. Just before I consider grabbing a book from my bag, Shizune starts signing again.

[Misha will be here soon.]

[I'm surprised she isn't here already.]

[I'm not.]

Normally, I'd just ignore Shizune's one-upsmanship, but something about her knowing grin makes me wonder just what exactly is going on inside her head.

[I can't let her see me like this.]

I hadn't really been paying attention, but she's quite a mess. Her make-up is smudged and runny and whatever else there is to ruined make-up, with a good deal smeared onto her sleeves and cuffs. The disheveled hair and red eyes are so un-Shizune that they hadn't even registered.

[I'll be back in a moment. I just need to freshen up.]

She doesn't give me a chance to respond - by the time she's done signing, she's already out of her seat, and its only an instant later that she has her back to me. I'd have to chase her to get her attention now. Or throw something at her. Clearly, she knows that its not with the effort to even try. So I let her go.

Left to wait for Misha to arrive or Shizune to return, I consider pulling out a book to read. On the one hand, with my luck, Misha will come up behind me with her trademark "Guess who~?" the moment I start reading. On the other, if I never pull it out, there will be some sort of unexpected delay and I'll be sitting here anticipating a surprise that never comes.

... And now that I've thought it through, its going to be whichever I don't want to happen.

Since my choice doesn't matter, I figure that having my reading interrupted is a better idea than waiting around doing nothing, and it won't be as boring.

Sure enough, I'm just starting to get absorbed in the story when the hands appear.

"Guess who, Hicchan~?"

I wish she'd make it a little harder, especially considering this is the second time today.

"Hello again, Misha."

The hands don't move.

"Haha~, hi, Hicchan~! But it's not me! Try again~!"

Now that I take a moment to think about it, these aren't Misha's hands. It looks like she's decided to make this a little more difficult.

"Shizune?" I ask, signing the same.

"Hahahaha~, nope! Do you give up?"

Well, there go the obvious answers. But she's running out of options - there aren't too many people who would be willing to go along with Misha's game and stay quiet. In fact, I can only think of one person.

"Well, then it's got to be Aoi."

"Wahahahaha~! Wrong again, Hicchan~! You lose!"

As the hands come off, I turn around to see the face of my assailant.

Keiko. Wearing a smug grin that makes it clear that she knows I would've never guessed it was her. And, worst of all, she's right. Without a word, she turns away, presumably to join Aoi for breakfast.

As Keiko departs, Misha plops down in the chair next to me. Drills again. Not that it's a surprise.

"You know, Hicchan," she says, eying Shizune's tray of food, "you could have waited for me so we could get some hot food together."

I shrug. "You're right. In fact, that's exactly what I did. That's Shizune's food, not mine."

On hearing Shizune's name, her ears perk up. "Shicchan's here? Then why isn't she... here?"

The answer is "Because she doesn't want you to know that she has feelings for me," but there are all sorts of reasons I can't tell her that.

"She said she had to take care of something real quick. She'll be back."

Misha takes a moment to digest this information before responding.

"Okay~! You stand guard and I'll get some breakfast for both of us~."

Not waiting for a response, she runs off, leaving me to "guard" Shizune's food. From what? Does Yamaku suffer from cafeteria bandits or something?

Pointless as this "guard duty" is, I'm a little disappointed that Shizune arrives so soon after Misha leaves. I didn't even get a chance to make up a story about fending off armed thugs intent on stealing Shizune's Cheerios.

[Hi.]

[Hi.]

She certainly looks more presentable now. She must've been in a hurry, though, because I'm pretty sure she just washed her make-up off rather than fixing it.

[Misha's here. She went to get food for us.]

[I saw.]

This conversation's certainly going nowhere fast. Better to not press the issue, though - she's probably doing her best just to keep it together.

Thankfully, Misha comes back before it gets even more uncomfortable, loaded down with food for the two of us.

Once her hands are free, she immediately begins signing to Shizune.

[Hi, Shicchan!]

[Good morning.]

[We missed you last night.]

[I'm sure you managed.]

[Yeah, but it wasn't the same without you. More importantly, the one who never talks said that she saw you with a boy. A boy-boy.]

I'm guessing Aoi is who she means by "the one who never talks."

Shizune blushes slightly before replying. [There may be some truth to-]

Stopping abruptly, Shizune's eyes dart in my direction before returning to Misha. With no further cue, she starts using their secret signs.

Taking the hint, I turn my attention to the food in front of me. My first thought is that the meal seems odd, precisely because it isn't. Odd, that is. Its probably the most normal breakfast Misha's ever gotten for me. Right as I'm about to stop admiring it and start eating, I feel a sharp jab in my side.

Turning toward the obvious culprit, I'm about to give Misha a lecture about the proper way to get someone's attention when she nods her head in Shizune's direction. And then I realize they're both wearing their signature "we're plotting something that you probably won't like, but will still go along with anyway" smiles.

I've learned to hate that smile, because it's always right.

Satisfied that she has my attention, Shizune begins signing. [What are you planning on doing during the break?]

I get a sinking feeling as it occurs to me that I hadn't given the upcoming break a second thought. And of course, she'd see right through any attempt to make something up. Best to be honest and prepare for the worst.

[Nothing, really. I figure I'll take the train back home and spend it with my family.]

[BORING!]

Shizune frowns at my disappointing response, but it quickly becomes a smile again.

[You should join us, and we can all take our break together!]

That does sound kind of appealing, if a little awkward, given the recent revelation. Except for one very important question...

[What are you two planning on doing?]

Skydiving? Board games? An African safari? Skydiving into the African wilderness to play board games?

No, that's a bit farfetched, especially since I already know the answer. Student Council work.

[We're going to take a train to go visit Shicchan's family!]

My shock at Misha's unexpected response almost manages to distract me from the obvious hypocrisy.

[Why is my family boring when yours isn't?]

[Because it will be the three of us together.]

[Misha might be one thing, but I don't think your parents would approve of a boy staying over.]

[Don't be ridiculous. You'll be staying in the guest room.]

Her family has a guest room? I guess that makes sense; Misha had said that most of the students are rich. That obviously includes Shizune.

[But wouldn't Misha be using the guest room if I didn't come? I'd hate to kick her out.]

Rather than make the obvious jab, her response is simple and to the point. [Misha is using the other guest room.]

[... How many guest rooms do you have?]

[Enough.]

She looks annoyed at my last question, but it doesn't last.

[Don't you think spending the summer with two cute girls would be more fun than being alone at home?]

I can't really argue with that, and it does sound like a good idea in general, but it still makes me uncomfortable. Especially since those smiles have never been wrong before. Not that they helped me avoid it, but I at least knew what I was in for.

And, of course, there's also Shizune's confession, which just happened less than an hour ago. What's going through her head right now? Does she have some sort of ulterior motive?

On the other hand, that's not the most important thing she said this morning. "Friends trust each other."

[Okay,] I relent, [you've convinced me.]

[But,] I add, cutting off their initial celebration, [I still need to convince my parents. Especially if they already bought a ticket.]

Act 3 Scene 6 Part 5 (18+) (Disable Adult Content) | Act 3 Scene 7 Part 2
Last edited by ProfAllister on Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:41 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Current Project: Misha Pseudo-Route

Discord ID: ProfAllister#9754

ProfAllister
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (April 1 "Update")

Post by ProfAllister » Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:22 am

So, here we are nearly a year later without a real update. Life's been hell, and busier than you can probably imagine. Among other things, the number of children I have has doubled (that's two production babies for this project, if you're keeping count.)

I've been working, but it's been slow. I have something to show, even though this newest chapter isn't quite done yet. As a bit of an impulse thing, this is also probably a little less polished than previous entries, since I haven't really run it by my editor(s). But it's something, and it's here. I know it kind of pales next to a Dev-written Miki Route, but here you go.

Merry Christmas!
Current Project: Misha Pseudo-Route

Discord ID: ProfAllister#9754

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brythain
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 12-25-14)

Post by brythain » Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:45 am

ProfAllister wrote:So, here we are nearly a year later without a real update. Life's been hell, and busier than you can probably imagine. Among other things, the number of children I have has doubled (that's two production babies for this project, if you're keeping count.)

I've been working, but it's been slow. I have something to show, even though this newest chapter isn't quite done yet. As a bit of an impulse thing, this is also probably a little less polished than previous entries, since I haven't really run it by my editor(s). But it's something, and it's here. I know it kind of pales next to a Dev-written Miki Route, but here you go.

Merry Christmas!
There are a few little editor-seeking thingies, but I am overjoyed to see this instalment. Just when I thought Christmas couldn't get any better, here we are with Shizune 'saying it as it is' (by itself worth the price of admission) and more Misha. Lovely. All the best for the rest of December and the new year ahead, ProfA!
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 12-25-14)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:16 am

Loved the whole Shizune conversation. Interesting to see that just because Hisao didn't fall for her, doesn't mean she didn't fall for him. I also just really enjoy seeing a conversation with Shizune with her as a friend instead of girlfriend, maybe because because she's the only girl in the game who you can befriend without dating. This update also reminded me how much I dislike this version of Keiko, but thats neither here nor there.

Anyways, Merry Christmas everyone!
Best girl
Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

Best route
Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 12-25-14)

Post by nahbutualright » Thu Dec 25, 2014 11:42 am

I read this story a while ago and really loved it, but I can't remember many of the finer details, so I have a question. Was Hisao always such a... I'm trying to think of something less crude than "useless pussy" but nothing's really coming to me that matches how much I disliked him in this chapter. It felt like he spent the whole chapter being overridden or verbally slapped down by both Misha and Shizune every time he opened his mouth (or even before in a couple of places, where he just decides responding is futile), and it got kind of hard to read after a point.

He had his one shining moment when he was talking to Shizune but then goes back to accepting whatever the others say, and by the end of it I was having a hard time picturing Hisao maintaining eye contact with either of girls for fear of offending them. Its strange, since I remember really liking the conversations and banter from this story before. Where the conversations always so one sided, or is it a new thing?

The writing was good as always, it honestly feels kind of moot bringing it up at this point, and I didn't really notice any lack of polish (but I'm not great at proof reading so that opinion probably isn't worth much). It just felt like Hisao had no agency in any of the scenes, and any complaints or opinions he had about anything where brushed off completely effortlessly by Misha and Shizune, apart from his 'friends forgive each other' speech, which was the highlight of the chapter.

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 12-25-14)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Dec 25, 2014 1:53 pm

Well, this Christmas certainly isn't short on surprises…

There were one ot two things I would have commented on if you had sent it by for editing, but nothing that would have warranted a change - guess in one year you did enough polishing on your own :-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (April 1 "Update")

Post by minimike96 » Fri Dec 26, 2014 1:13 am

ProfAllister wrote: [But wouldn't Misha be using the guest room if I didn't come? If hate to kick her out.]
Otherwise, amazing job as always. I know your're human so mistakes like this are easy to miss, just wanted to point it out.
As for the story, you did a great job! Glad to see another post. You definitely made my favorite Fan-Route so far (And I've read a fair amount of them :wink: )
Keep up your great work!

I find it funny that I enjoy this story so much since I liked Shizune more than Misha. Maybe it's the way Shizune loses, or maybe you're just a kick ass story teller. Either way, Love the story!
That one guy who likes Shizune more than the others.
Shizune>>Emi≥Rin≥Misha>Hanako>Lily

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Chaoxdriver
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 12-25-14)

Post by Chaoxdriver » Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:15 am

Oh yay, an update! This was a great Christmas present that I wasn't expecting. I devoured this chapter, and I'm super interested to see where the story goes now that the main conflicts have taken center stage. Your writing is great as always; I'm not exaggerating when I say that you are truly one of the best writers that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. This fanfic is good enough that it feels like it could have been an official Misha route in the game!

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, and to everyone else. Here's hoping that the new year is a little less stressful for you!
Pinkie Pie is best pony, Misha is best human... What would happen if the two met~? @.@

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 12-25-14)

Post by Bagheera » Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:44 am

Wow, between this and Suriko's Miki route I'm getting all nostalgic for KS again. Thanks for the update, Prof!
Girls: Emi = Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Shizune = Rin
Routes: Rin = Shizune > Emi > Lilly = Hanako


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