For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 12/3/18)

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LewishM
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 4-1-16)

Post by LewishM » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:03 am

I'm really sad this never finished, but all I can say is I'm glad I read what I did of it. Truly an amazing fanfic

ProfAllister
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 4-1-16)

Post by ProfAllister » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:07 pm

A rhythmic series of beeps, clicks, and whirrs. Either I'm still alive, or heaven made an extremely short-sighted decision when trading in their harps for something more modern. I'm betting on the former.

I open my eyes. As expected, I find the depressingly familiar features of the nurse's office. It's dark, with the exception of the nurse's computer screen and small desk lamp.

“Welcome back to the land of the living, Nakai.”

How did he know I'm awake without even looking at me? He didn't even slow down with his typing.

Turning to face me, he nods his head toward the computer screen. “I usually tell people that I know when someone's waking up because I'm watching the vital signs and other readings, but we both know the truth. I'm a wizard.”

Clearly, it's too late, or too early, or too something, because I just stare at him.

“Not buying it, huh?” He chuckles. “Fair enough. I'll just share the bizarre and whimsical secret world of wizards with someone more gullible. You're a lucky man, Nakai. Miss Mikado did an admirable job. She had the presence of mind to do exactly what was needed and to do it right. That's a rare thing. There's a good chance she saved your life.”

The mention of Misha brings me back to reality much better than that joke about wizards. At least, I hope it's a joke. My life's been upended enough as it is.

“Is she okay?”

His smile is surprisingly gentle. “She's fine. She just had a little scare. In fact,” he adds, returning to his usual smirk, “you've amassed a small collection of guardian angels who are worried about you.”

Following his glance, I see three sleeping forms huddled together in the corner - Misha against the wall, Rin against Misha, and Emi against them both.

And now for the part I’m afraid of…

“What about me?”

My attempt to shift into a more comfortable sitting position is cut short by a sharp pain in my side.

“That would be the bad news,” he replies, wincing slightly at my obvious discomfort. “Part of Mikado doing a good job is that there’s a fair chance that you’re going to at least be a little uncomfortable for a few days. There’s also the possibility that you have a couple broken ribs, but that’s not especially likely. We could take some X-rays, but there isn’t much point - whether they’re broken or not, the treatment’s essentially the same - take it easy until you’re healed, and I can get you some pills for the pain.”

“... and my heart?”

He gives me a broad smile. “That’s the good news. Best as I can tell, you dodged a bullet. No signs of cardiac arrest, no lost consciousness, just a bad case of shock.”

“So I’m fine?”

“That might be overstating it a bit. You had quite a fright, you’ve potentially got some broken ribs, and I’m afraid I’ll have to recommend you spend your break here on campus, just in case it’s worse than it looks.”

And there it is. The sickening crash back to reality - that I’m broken. Right when I was almost able to convince myself that I might be able to have a passably normal life.

“Don’t look so down. I’m not confining you to bed. In fact, I’m not confining you at all. You’d be ignoring my recommendation at your own peril, but I’m not going to stop you if you decide to go against it. I’ll just disapprove. Quite strongly.”

I can’t quite tell if that stern look is serious, or a joke. Both, perhaps?

“Whatever you choose, I’d recommend you get some sleep first. The middle of the night is a terrible time to make a big decision. Get some sleep, and make your decision in the morning. Besides, your parents might want to have a say in the matter.”

“Why would-”

“They wanted to surprise you by coming to meet you and presumably take you home for the break.” He chuckles drily. “I guess you beat them to the punch. Given the circumstances, the school is putting them up in a hotel in town for the night. I’m sure you’ll be eager to see each other in the morning.”

With that, he turns his attention back to his computer, and I can only assume the conversation is over.

All in all, it’s a lot to take in. I didn’t die, which is always a plus. Things could be better, but they could also be a lot worse. One thing’s for sure - I likely won’t be accompanying Misha and Shizune on their trip anymore. But why did my parents all of a sudden decide to take an interest in my life? And in such an uncharacteristic way, too? Everything is planned with them.

Everything.

Maybe it will make more sense in the morning.

Act 3 Scene 7 Part 2 | Act 3 Scene 8 Part 2
Last edited by ProfAllister on Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Peorth
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Happy Birthday, Misha!

Post by Peorth » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:21 pm

Yes, Hisao. Not dying is alaways a plus.
Even if the author is silenced, the performance is stopped, the story will not end.

Whether it's a comedy or a tragedy, if there is cheering, the story will continue on.
Just like the many lives.
For the us who are still in it and still in the journey, send warm blessings.

---We will continue to walk down this path until eternity.

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Happy Birthday, Misha!

Post by QuietlySomething » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:59 pm

Wow, a new update after a year and a half? That's so cool. Seems like the forums have been getting a sudden resurgence of activity lately.

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Happy Birthday, Misha!

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:03 pm

Peorth wrote:Yes, Hisao. Not dying is alaways a plus.
Speak for yourself *joke*

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Happy Birthday, Misha!

Post by brythain » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:52 am

That was a rather long cliff-hanger, what with all the medical discussion in between and all. Glad to see this route resume, 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 (Happy Birthday, Misha!

Post by kayeskay » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:27 am

Woohoo! Finally another chapter! I was so scared that this was dead after such a long gap, because I'm really enjoying this fic.

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WillDfly
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Happy Birthday, Misha!

Post by WillDfly » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:54 am

brythain wrote:That was a rather long cliff-hanger, what with all the medical discussion in between and all. Glad to see this route resume, ProfA!
Cliff-hanger? More like a cliff-clothesline, amIright?

But seriously, really glad you're continuing one of the longer running series around, it gives a new breath of hope for all of us. *checks out Tomorrow's Doom*
Anyways, great stuff as usual and see you next.
Image JK :mrgreen:
Last edited by WillDfly on Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Happy Birthday, Misha!

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:20 pm

Mirage wrote:Long hiatus. Might be a record - so far...
And you broke it yourself... I hypothesize that you only took so long to do just that :-)

Welcome back to the forums!

Are you going to continue this story or did you just drop by to resolve this cliffhanger?
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 (Happy Birthday, Misha!

Post by ProfAllister » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:34 pm

Believe it or not, this was supposed to go up about a week after the last entry. But life happened.

Similarly, I intend to use NaNoWriMo as an excuse to continue and eventually finish this, but I don't want to make any promises and get anyone's hopes up (that and the 30-day total of 30k words only translates to something like half of one of my chapters...)
Current Project: Misha Pseudo-Route

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Happy Birthday, Misha!

Post by Zerebos » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:25 am

What a way to return Prof, you end the cliffhanger but tease us with his parents being in town and him unable to leave for break. I've never had such mixed feelings for a chapter before. I probably didn't have as much of a rollercoaster as Hisao being messed with by the Nurse going back and forth between "dodged a bullet" and "you're not fine".

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route

Post by Craftyatom » Sun Jun 03, 2018 4:02 pm

One hell of a ride. Loved it from start to finish.

In 1977, the deadliest aviation disaster in history occurred on a runway in Tenerife. And if you've heard the story once, it hurts every time you hear it again. Every sentence brings the disaster closer, and you wish that even one thing would change, and stop it from happening. That's what Act 2 was like for me. Hisao joins the student council - lots of traffic is diverted to Tenerife airport. Hisao and Misha are both incredibly imperceptive - a thick fog obscures vision at the airport. Hisao misunderstands Misha's question of whether he 'likes' Shizune, and she misunderstands his answer - the flight crew misunderstands Air Traffic Control, and a radio error happens to block two subsequent messages that would each have prevented disaster. Misha and Hisao kiss - two fully-loaded 747s collide at 160mph.

Fortunately, your Shizune is an absolute gem. She joins the list of incredibly well-written Shizunes on this forum, all of whom I'd love a full route for. The sheer amount of work she does for Hisao and Misha, the amount of control she has over the situation, the fact that she actually gets emotional... I was a bit surprised, at the end of Act 2, that she acted so unfazed, but of course that got put to rest in Act 3. I really appreciated the way you wrote her. I also liked that there was actually some resolution to the Lilly line of things - it's not perfect, but it wouldn't be. Definitely a plot point you didn't have to use, but that you made the most of, in my opinion.

One thing I was a bit surprised by was how humorous the writing was. It bordered on memey at times, especially with the references to canon (which I'm well aware not everyone enjoys), but overall I quite liked that style. The future conditional tense joke had me doubled over for a bit. And of course, there were meta references to Hisao's own social ineptitude, as well as the old "all girls crush on Hisao" trope - again, not everyone's cup of tea, but I can appreciate them when they're well-done.

This story definitely deserves a spot on my favorites list, especially since it's so well-developed (took me about 5 hours total). I'm a little surprised I never got to reading it back in 2013, but hey, better late than never!
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots
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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Happy Birthday, Misha!)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:08 pm

Been reading this and I enjoy it quite a bit. Wanted to say that and also:

Once again we find ourselves at the split between the dorms. Misha's hands are full with Rin's painting, so just just smiles at me. “Good night, Hicchan~! I'll see you in the morning!”

Caught this typo near the end of Act 2 Scene 5. It's a little thing, 6 years too late, but I'm too OCD not to do it.

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Happy Birthday, Misha!)

Post by ProfAllister » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:06 pm

The first thing to greet me when I wake up is a pair of arms wrapping themselves around my head.

“Hicchan~! You’re okay! I was so worried~!”

It takes me a moment, since I’m still waking up, but I quickly realize that this isn’t Misha hugging me.

It’s my mom.

With that established, the next voice I hear comes as no surprise.

“That’s enough, dear. We want the boy to breathe, after all.”

“Oh, right~,” she responds, letting me go, “I guess I forgot myself there. Sorry, Hicchan~.”

“Honestly! The boy’s nearly an adult. You should be calling him by his name.”

“I don’t care how old he is, he’ll always be my Hicchan~.”

I hear a defeated sigh. “Could you at least save it for when we’re alone?”

“We’re alone right now~.”

While they’re having this exchange, I glance around. It’s barely light out - I’m still in the habit of waking up early, traumatic event or no. It makes me wonder how much sleep my parents got, if any. They look to have been here a while - my dad is sitting in a chair next to the nurse's desk with a book in his lap, now that he's no longer reading it. Similarly, there's another empty chair with my mom's purse sitting next to it.

Speaking of sleep, the three girls are still piled up in the corner. A puddle of Misha’s drool looks like it’s collected in Rin’s mess of hair. That won’t be pleasant to wake up to. Or it might be, considering it’s Rin. I never can tell with her.

Sure enough, the nurse is out. Whether on an errand or to give us some privacy, I couldn't say.

“Mom? Dad? I’m sorry.”

“For what?” my dad snorts. “Accidents happen. And I doubt this one was your fault.”

“What matters is that you’re alive, Hicchan. I don’t know what I’d do if we lost you~!”

On saying this, my mom wraps her arms around me again, as if I might disappear is she went too long without touching me. This behavior seems highly unusual for them. They didn’t act like this when I had my first heart attack. Then again, I think we were all pretty numb from the shock.

“I know this is going to sound rude and ungrateful, but-”

“But why did we decide to come?” my dad interrupts. “We weren’t planning on it, but after your phone call, your mother realised how much she missed you.”

“Don’t let him lie to you like that, Hicchan. We both missed you. Your father was ready to buy tickets before the phone call was over~! Ohohohohoho~!”

She covers her mouth and laughs in a manner that’s completely appropriate for a lady her age, but something about it gives me the strangest sense of deja vu. Whatever it is, my mind refuses to make the connection.

“Also~! We wanted to meet the girl who borrowed your phone. She sent us the sweetest note~!”

Biting her thumb, she glances at the three girls in the corner. “I, ah, wasn’t expecting there to be so many…”

Coming to a decision, she hands me a surprisingly large wad of bills. “Whoever it was,she also sent us more money than she needed to to pay the bill. A lot more. There’s no way we could accept all of this, but it would also be rude to just return it. Embarrassing, too~. Since you seem to be good friends, do you think you could maybe sneak a few bills into her bag at a time? Make her think she just forgot about putting money there?”

I don't think I can refuse the request, even if it is a little silly, so I just nod.

“The head nurse told us about his recommendation that you stay here over the break. We'd like you to come home with us, but we anticipated you might already have plans, us coming on such short notice. We haven't bought a ticket for you yet, so it's really your decision.”

I know that what I want to do is spend the break with Misha and Shizune, but the last thing is want is to have some complication and ruin their vacations, too. So it looks like the decision’s been made for me.

“I'd really like to go back home, but I think it would be best if I took the nurse's advice and stayed here.”

Dad nods as if he were expecting this answer. Mom looks a little disappointed, but she nods as well.

“As it is, we can stick around a day or two before we have to go back. At the very least, it would be nice to spend a little time with you.”

It's only a little thing, but I'm surprised at how much that suggestion appeals to me. I guess with how busy they are all the time, I just gave up on the idea of them having time for me.

“I'm on the Student Council. Maybe I can get a hold of the president and we could give you the official tour. There are classes today, but it’s just a formality because exams are over, so I'm sure we can figure something out.”

It's not much, but it's the first thing that comes to mind. Evidently, it was enough, because my mom lights up, claps her hands, and hugs me once again.

“The Student Council~? So responsible~! I'm so proud!”

As she hugs me, I notice movement in the corner of my eye. Sure enough, Misha has woken up and is gently extricating herself from the pile of sleeping bodies.

...And now it looks like Emi will wake up with a faceful of drool.

“Hello~!” Misha shouts, in stark contrast to the care she used in getting out from under Rin and Emi. If my parents hadn’t noticed her before, she certainly has their attention now. “You must be Hicchan’s parents~!”

“Mom, Dad,” I begin, “This is-”

“I’m Misha~!”

Or that. You can introduce yourself. But you’re the one who’s going to explain your name, too.

“My, my~! You're certainly a, ah, colorful one. I'm, ah, you can just call me Mrs. Nakai.”

“Okay, Mrs. Hicchan’s mom~!”

Mom is starting to look visibly uncomfortable at the total lack of protocol, but I think I see the hint of a grin forming at the corners of my dad's mouth.

“Yes, well~! Miss, ah, Misha? Hisao was just telling me that he's on the Student Council. Are you a member, too?”

“Yup~! That's me, Student Council Vice President extra- ordinary~!”

I notice that mom winces every time Misha talks. She keeps her professional business smile, but I can tell it's starting to get strained.

Just then, we hear a dull thud.

“Owww…”

“Sorry, Emi.”

It appears that Rin woke up, shoved Emi off her, and is now apologizing as if she expected Emi to float in place. Standing up in her almost unnatural way, she turns to me. “The nurse said your heart wasn't going to kill you, but no one else left, so I decided to stay here.”

With some degree of effort, Emi picks herself up, still off balance from her rude awakening. “Not everyone stayed. Shizune left.”

“That was later. After everyone decided to stay. And when she left, I was warm and tired, so I slept.”

Finally seeming to notice the unfamiliar faces, Rin turns to address my parents. “Hello. I haven't met you before, and there's a good chance that I'll never see you again, so I think we should forgo the trouble of learning each other's names. It's morning now, so I should go eat.”

Without another word, she turns to face the door. Fortunately, while the rest of us are too stunned to say anything, my dad at least has the presence of mind to open the door for her, if only to avoid any further awkwardness. With a nod of thanks, Rin leaves.

In the stunned silence that follows, Emi takes a look around, then speaks up herself. “Yeah… I'm with her. I should go, too.”

No one objects as she lets herself out.

The spell hangs over the rest of us for a moment longer, until my dad clearly his throat.

“So, Miss Vice President, I assume you have latitude to make decisions on the president's behalf?”

Misha stares blankly at him for a second. I can imagine the gears in her head turning as she tries to puzzle out the meaning. “I… think so~?”

She glances at me with the question in her eyes, and I sign an answer to her: [You get to make decisions for Shizune?]

Her eyes light up as she understands the question. “Yup! I have all the latitudes~! Wahahahahaha~!”

My parents are clearly surprised by the laughter, but, given the recent strangeness, handle it surprisingly well.

“Yes. Well. Hisao was just saying that the student council offers a special tour to visiting parents, and that today would be a good day for it.”

“Yup~! That's right, Mr. Hicchan's dad!”

“Please, just Mr. Nakai.”

“But~!” she adds, biting her lip, “I don't know if today is a good day. We have to be a good example for the rest of the Student Body and attend classes, and that's very~ important!”

Misha stands there, clearly torn. Finally, she comes to a decision. “I need to go ask Shicchan.”

Without another word, she dashes out, leaving me and my parents. Seeing their confusion, I answer the hanging question. “Shicchan is Shizune Hakamichi, the president.”

As they nod in understanding, my stomach growls loudly.

Chuckling, my dad speaks up. “I guess that answers the question of what we do now. The head nurse said you're free to go whenever you wake up. He also gave me these to give to you.”

He tosses me a bottle of pills. “For any pain you might have.”

As my dad leaves the room, my mom hangs back to help me out of bed - just in case.

“Hicchan~, that girl, Misha. Is she-”

I brace myself for one of a hundred awkward questions.

“-deaf?”

… What?

“Mom, she was just talking to you.”

“Ohohoho~, I know that~.”

Taking on a more stern expression, she looks me in the eyes. “Your mother's not as ignorant as she looks, Hicchan~. I know there's all kinds of technology that can do amazing things like make the deaf hear. But I did notice how loud she is, the slightly odd way she speaks, she doesn't seem to hear half of what we say, and, by the way,” she gives me a sly grin “the fact that you two were signing everything we said~.”

Now that she puts it that way, I must admit that I can't be sure. I don't expect that Misha would try to hide something like that, but she hasn't said anything. And I don't recall seeing anything around her ears, but I haven't been looking, either.

“It's okay, Hicchan~. I understand if she's sensitive about it. I would be too, in her shoes. Now let's go get some breakfast~!”

As we leave the nurse's office, I vaguely remember my parents saying they toured the school back when I was in the hospital. It seems odd that they'd want the tour again.

Act 3 Scene 8 Part 1 | Act 3 Scene 8 Part 3
Last edited by ProfAllister on Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current Project: Misha Pseudo-Route

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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Happy Birthday, Misha!)

Post by ProfAllister » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:11 pm

The relative quiet of the trip to the cafeteria and the cafeteria itself remind me that it's still quite early. As soon as we enter, a familiar pink figure makes a beeline toward us.

“Good news, Hicchan~! Shicchan said that this is an important chance to represent the school! So~! I get to give you all the Grand Tour~!”

The way my parents smile at this news gives me the impression that they aren't exactly looking forward to spending that much time with her volume level.

Misha wastes no time in ushering us to the line for food, rattling off a memorised script of everything you'd ever care to know about Yamaku’s food service, stocking both her tray and my own as she speaks.

This continues up until we sit down at a table.

“... And all the portions are measured out as multiples of twelve, so they can easily be divided in half, in thirds, or quarters~! Okay, now let's eat~!”

And nearly as soon as she's done speaking, she's shoveling food into her mouth. She probably hasn't eaten much since lunch yesterday. As it is, the sight and smell of food reminds me that I'm quite hungry myself.

My parents seem to still be processing everything that Misha said.

“My, my. That's certainly a lot~ of information about the food service here…”

“Speaking of food,” my dad cuts in, “I take it you two eat together often?”

With impeccable timing, Misha had just managed to stuff in another mouthful right at that moment. She glances at me, inviting me to answer.

“We're usually working on student council work through meals, so yeah. We also exercise together in the morning.”

“Yup~!” Misha adds, swallowing her food. “Yup~! Swimming together nearly every day~! I'm like his personal trainer~!”

“So you're the one we should thank that he looks so much healthier than he did two months ago?”

Misha pauses for a moment to check on the top of her spoon in thought. “Has it really only been two months? I guess it has~! I must've been riding you pretty hard, Hicchan~! Wahahahahaha~!”

My parents wince at the loud outburst, clearly not getting used to her volume. At the same time, I notice my mom whisper into my dad's ear, and he nods. So that means they both think Misha's deaf now. Admittedly, I can't say for certain that they're wrong, but I still expect she'd have told me if that were the case.

Two months. It sounds like such a small amount of time. I spent more time in the hospital, after all. But for all that, it feels like I'm practically a different person now. How can so much happen in such a short time?

“Hicchan?”

A sharp poke in the ribs brings me back to reality. The good news is that my ribs are fine where I was poked. It still hurts a little, though. I glance over at the source of the poke to see an annoyed-looking Misha.

My dad clears his throat. “Your girlfriend was suggesting that you go to your respective dorms to freshen up before we continue the tour. I recommend you take her up on that suggestion.”

“Oh, right. That sounds like a good idea.”

***

We split up in front of the dorms, with my parents following me to the lobby to wait while I take a shower and get dressed.

As the water runs over me, I finally have a chance to digest everything that's happened. I almost died. Again. But luck was in my side. Again. This is the balance I'm going to have to live with, it seems - I'm able to improve, but the danger’s going to accompany me until it finally drags me to the grave. But it's not all doom and gloom. I've made a lot of progress over the past two months; this is just a reminder that I am who I am, and there's not going to be a quick fix to that.

As I leave the bathroom, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

I look… healthy.

***

Two months.

As I get dressed, that keeps coming to the forefront of my thoughts. When you say it that way, it sounds like such a short time. Just about sixty days. It's true that Misha and I have spent nearly every waking moment of that time together, but does that justify how close we've become? Misha said that we don't really know each other. I'd like to imagine that we've made efforts to learn more since that observation, but it still feels like we've barely gone past the surface. On the other hand, how much do I really need to know about her past, or she about mine? Isn't the present enough?

***

After meeting up with my parents and Misha, the tour continues. Normally, I'd be bored to tears by the rapid-fire flurry of academic programs and historical details that I don't care about in the slightest, but since it's coming from Misha, I find I don't mind all that much.

My parents seem to be enjoying the tour, or at least presenting a polite not-really-interested interest.

“... and because the school is on a hill, the buildings are on uneven ground~, so they have a ground floor, then a first floor, a second floor, and so on~, with entrances on both the ground floors and the first floors~! The boys’ dorm has a ground floor, a first floor, and a second floor, while the girls’ dorm is slightly larger~, with a ground floor, a first floor, - Oh, hi Lilly~!”

The sudden subject change jolts me from my reverie and I look to see that Lilly is in fact coming this way. A little odd, since classes are in session.

“Hello, Misha. You’re clearly busy with important duties, so I apologise for the intrusion. I won’t take but a moment of your time. Might you know where I could find Hisao?”

Before I can speak up, Misha bursts out laughing. “Wahahahahahaha~! Ahahahahahaha~! I Might~! Ahahahahahaha~! Hicchan’s right here in front of you~!”

Lilly’s smile tightens in that characteristic way, making it clear that she wants to scowl, but to do so would be a horrible breach of protocol. Something tells me that it has more to do with Misha’s volume than the relative insensitivity of the remark. “Yes. Thank you, Misha. I imagine the other two are Hisao’s parents, correct?”

Mom gives a surprised gasp, while dad clears his throat in his trademark indication that he’s impressed. “Indeed we are. But I’m afraid you have us at a disadvantage, miss…?”

“My apologies,” Lilly replies, with just the right amount of formality, “I am Miss Lilly Satou. If it pleases you, I would have a quick word with your son.”

The last thing I want is another of her judgmental lectures, so I speak up. “Whatever you have to say to me, I’m sure you can say in front of them.”

Another tight smile as she turns to face me. “Indeed. It has come to my attention that, in our previous encounter, I made some comments that may have been prone to misinterpretation in an unflattering manner. Rather than risk the possibility that our final exchange be on a sour note, I wish to express my sincerest assurance that no offense was intended from my prior statements.”

Our final exchange? Great, so she feels bad because she thinks I could die any moment, and wants a clear conscience. Well, I’m not going to give her the satisfaction. “To allay your concerns, I wish to assure you that I fully understood the intent of your earlier statements. There was no need to provide any clarification.”

Her brow furrows slightly. Message received. “...I understand. In that case, I apologise for wasting your time.” She turns back towards my father. “And yours.”

As she walks toward the girls’ dorm, she calls back to me over her shoulder, “Take care of yourself, Hisao.”

“So,” my dad says, stroking his chin, “friend of yours?”

“Ahahaha~, yup! Lilly’s the class rep for 3-2! But I wonder why she wasn’t in class~... Now, where was I~? That’s right~! Yup, yup, yup~! -a second floor, and a third floor…”

***

“...The auxiliary building houses the school's medical facilities, indoor exercise facilities, and administrative offices~! There's a pool, too~! Right here, we have the office of the head nurse, Mr.-”

The nurse clears his throat. “I've already met Nakai’s parents, Mikado.”

“Wahahaha~, that's right~! Silly Misha~! Anyway~, he's been with us a couple years now, coming with over a decade of physical therapy experience. He's widely regarded in his field as a miracle worker~!”

The nurse smiles, but seems a little bashful. “Frankly, it's the patients that have been miracles. I was just lucky enough to be the one treating them.”

“Up next, we have the pool~! Built for physical therapy, it is temperature-regulated, and divided into several regions of appropriate for for the assorted aquatic therapy exercises…”

***

“...and this is the faculty lounge~! You need to be sure to be quiet here, because the teachers are working~! Hi, Mr. Mutou!”

It should go without saying, but Misha discloses this information as loud as humanly possible. Making a sound somewhere between a groan and a sigh, Mutou rises from his desk to greet us.

“As a reminder, Mikado, that rule applies to you as well.”

His tone implies that the rule was written especially for her.

“Eheheheh~, silly Misha~!”

Looking skyward for hidden reserves of patience, Mutou turns his attention towards the rest of us.

“Hello, you must be Nakai’s parents? I’m Akio Mutou, homeroom teacher for class 3-3.”

Mom avoids Mutou’s gaze while dad clears his throat nervously.

“Yes, we met you, back in May.”

Mutou plasters on one of his trademark awkward smiles as he tries to brush off his faux pas.

“Erm, yes… well… Nakai? I understand you had a bit of a scare yesterday. Are you feeling better?”

“More or less.”

He smiles in a way that almost looks natural. “That’s good to hear. I expect that means I’ll see you in class tomorrow?”

Turning his attention back to Misha, he adds “Both of you?”

“Ahaha~! Yup~! Yup~ yup~ yup~!”

Grimacing at Misha’s volume, he nods, “Yes, well, be sure you do. Unfortunately, I have a pressing deadline, so I must take my leave. If you’ll excuse me…”

...Wait, did dad refer to Misha as my girlfriend?

One less thing to worry about telling them, I guess.

***

Amazingly enough, the tour is so dense and so thorough that it ends up taking the entire day, with only a short break to grab a small lunch. After Misha finished, mom and dad invited us to join them for an early dinner at “a cute teahouse” they saw on the way up.

So here we are at the Shanghai. A part of me wants to see what other restaurants are in the area someday. Yuuko isn’t working today, which is probably for the best, considering what happened when we met her during our tour of the library…

Mom and Dad don’t seem bothered by the apparent lack of menus. They order the special, and I follow suit. After thinking on it out loud, Misha does the same.

Dinner conversation largely consists of my parents battering Misha with questions while she tries to answer between bites of food. Nothing I haven’t already talked with her about - family, interests, et cetera. Frankly, after all the attention I’ve received today following yesterday’s episode, I’m glad to no longer be the center of attention.

Eventually, Misha has to excuse herself to the “little girls’ room” - her words. Without any other target, my parents turn their attention back to me.

“Well~, she seems nice. A little, ah, unorthodox, but a nice girl~.”

Dad nods. “Indeed. I assume you're taking necessary precautions?”

Mom's eyes widen as she turns on dad. “How could you accuse our little Hicchan of something like that~!?”

“I keep telling you, he's a grown man now.”

“It's okay,” I cut in, “you don't need to worry about that.”

Misha said she took precautions, so I'm not lying. I'm just giving a slightly ambiguous answer. However they interpreted it, my answer seems to have satisfied them.

“Anyway, your mother and I have been thinking about our plans, and-”

“We don't want to be getting in the way~, so we're going to head home early tomorrow~.”

Part of me is disappointed - I've really enjoyed the experience of them taking time out of their schedules just for me - especially since they decided to come independently of my having a life-threatening accident. But it is true that they have their own responsibilities, and I'll be tied up most of tomorrow. If I'm not going home with them, there's little point for them to stick around.

“I understand. Thanks for coming to visit. It means a lot.”

***

And now I'm back in my room, in my bed. For the first time in… several days, it seems.

After dinner, we went back to the dorms, Misha vanishing into the girls’ dorm, mom fussing over saying goodbye. When all was said and done, the sun was just starting to set. I wasn't tired, so I tried to get some reading done, but got bored rather quickly.

So here I am, lying on my bed, waiting to feel ready to go to sleep. It almost makes me want to hang out with Kenji, if only to convince myself that it could be worse.

As if on cue, there's a loud knock on my door. I sigh, pulling myself out of bed. Maybe I can make a game of counting the number of times he says “bitch.”

Taking into account my relative experience with people opening my door the moment it’s unlocked, I make sure to stand clear of the door as I release the catch. As expected, the door flies open immediately. Somewhat less expected is misha darting in and wrapping her arms around my waist, burying her head in my chest. Given my recent history, I should be less surprised about this.

“Shii-”

“Don’t say anything, Hicchan~,” she whispers, “Just tell me that you’re really here right now~.”

I’m mildly taken aback by the contradictory requests, but it’s pretty obvious that now isn’t the time to be splitting hairs, so I wordlessly hug her closer to my chest.

“I was so scared, Hicchan~. You were dying and I didn’t know what to do~. I felt so helpless~”

Oddly enough, she still has that cheerful, musical lilt to her voice. She’s just very, very quiet.

I stroke the back of her head, running my fingers through her hair. I’m constantly amazed with how soft it is. “Don’t be so hard on yourself, Shiina. The nurse said you did exactly what you were supposed to do. There’s a good chance you saved my life.”

Misha pulls her head back up to look at me. She’s wearing her glasses. “I’m not stupid, Hicchan~. I know that the success rate of CPR is so low that doctors and paramedics joke that it stands for ‘check pockets and run~.’”

Putting her head back against my scar, she continues. “I’m such an idiot~! I should’ve at least checked for a pulse~! When we set up the AED, it said you were fine~! I was so embarrassed~...”

I can feel my shirt getting wet now. I hold her close. “You can’t blame yourself for that. What if I really was in trouble and you couldn’t tell when checking for a pulse? What if it was your quick action, and the A- uh… thing was just saying ‘good job?’ I get that you may have made mistakes, but your quick action could easily have been the difference between life and death for me. I know you may not think it, but you were very brave. And for what it’s worth, I’d say that makes you a hero in my book.”

When she looks back up at me, I can see that her eyes are red and her cheeks are wet. That makes the green of her natural eye color all the more striking. “I don’t think I agree with you, Hicchan~, but it’s still nice to hear you say it~. I still feel pretty stupid about it. Did I… Did I hurt you?”
Now that she mentions it, I haven’t noticed anything since the soreness this morning. “I don’t… think so?”

On hearing this, she squeezes me tighter. “I wanted to hold you like this and be close to you all day~. It was nice to meet your parents, though~.”

“Yeah, it was. That’s the most time I’ve spent with them in one go in… a long time.”

“That’s so sad, Hicchan~. I still don’t understand how you lived like that~.”

“To be fair, it’s all I’ve known.”

“Oh yeah!” she shouts, pulling away, “I had another reason to come here! Shicchan told me that we’re moving up our schedule!”

“Huh?”

“We were planning on going to Shicchan’s house on Saturday morning~, but it turns out that Lilly and Akira are going there tomorrow~! What a coincidence, right? Right~! So Shicchan said that we should all go together~!”

That means even less time before she leaves. I’m a little disappointed, but I put on a smile. “That sounds exciting! I guess you have to pack up tonight, then, huh?”

She returns my smile with a bigger one. “Eheheheh~, Nope~! Already done~!”

There she is, one step ahead. Like always. “...Does this mean you were hoping to spend the night here?”

She flutters her eyelashes innocently. “I wasn’t going to ask, Hicchan~, but~! If you’re inviting me, then I accept~! Wahahahahaha~!”

Well, at least she’s back to her normal, loud self.

Sitting herself on the edge of my bed, she looks toward me expectantly. “Do you want to help me get ready for bed?”

Act 3 Scene 8 Part 2 | Act 3 Scene 8 Part 4 (18+) (Disable Adult Content)
Last edited by ProfAllister on Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current Project: Misha Pseudo-Route

Discord ID: ProfAllister#9754

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