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Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 6/9/18)

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:25 pm
by AlexFDSR
ProfAllister wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:54 pm
Keiko destroying Hisao
Act 3 Scene 8 Part 4 (18+) (Disable Adult Content) | Act 3 Scene 10
You've managed to perfectly capture what I want to say to Hisao in every version of KS and fanficition where he blames Iwanako during his musings. Bravo.

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 7/5/18)

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:27 am
by Craftyatom
A good chapter, overall. Emi and Natsume were very well-written, and I really enjoyed both of their parts. Keiko, however, just felt off to me, partly when discussing her "deal" with the student council (which itself made very little sense to me), but mostly when talking about the letter. It was as if she was trying to figure out exactly how far she could push Hisao without him doing anything about it, but the answer happened to be "forever and a day" because he was in a bit of a funk. He absentmindedly let her read over it, but then she kept poking for details, and when he opened up and talked about everything, she provided basically a single nugget of advice in the most condescending way possible. To be fair, that may well be part of her characterization, but even if it is "tough love", I still would've preferred that this conversation happen with a more understanding character - Natsume comes to mind. Just my personal thoughts on that segment.

Jigoro was humorously over-the-top, as one would expect. I almost feel sad that this seems like all we'll see of him... almost. Anyways, after that entire ordeal, I found it strange that Hisao gave up on the reason he was originally calling. I understand that his train of thought was interrupted, and that he's got a lot to think about, but even so, it was quite the reversal. Even if he decided not to go through Misha, I still think he should've texted Shizune; his thoughts about why it probably wasn't a simple mistake should push him to do that much.

Anyways, despite my qualms with the second half of this segment, I still liked it as a whole. I saw no memorable issues with syntax, and your writing was excellent, as usual.

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 7/5/18)

Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:18 pm
by Kain
I just found this fic today and I read it all in one go. This is extremely awesome in every way. I've always felt that Misha deserved her own route, and you are doing it masterfully, good lady! I hope that your life is going well, and I have bookmarked this story, here's hoping for an update soon!

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 7/5/18)

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:17 pm
by Mader Levap
I have suspicion he should contact Shizune directly, without Misha as middleman.

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 7/5/18)

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 8:26 pm
by powercore007
looking forward to the next updates keep up the good work

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 7/5/18)

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:14 pm
by ProfAllister
Sunday morning. No swimming today, but the habit of early mornings is pretty solidly established now. Since it’s my routine every other day of the week, I’ve taken a liking to wandering the grounds early Sunday mornings.

While it’s normally deserted at this time anyway, it somehow feels even more deserted now that most of the students are gone - even if they would be sleeping anyway.

Every once in a while, I see a security guard making his rounds. Shift changes around six thirty, so they’re pretty much ready to be done by now. Best I can tell, they’re used to seeing me by now - they barely give me a second glance, even out of uniform.

With nothing better to do, I aimlessly wander the empty grounds, letting my thoughts drift with equal abandon.

As August winds on, the days are slowly getting shorter - it’s a little darker in the mornings, and night time comes a little faster. It’s still the middle of summer, and the days are still long; they’re just not quite as long as they were a couple of weeks past.

In the days since the incident, the nurse seems to be convinced that it was a false alarm and nothing to worry about, but it felt real. And besides, that just means I was lucky. Every day, I stand on death’s doorstep, one unfortunate accident from tragedy.

At the same time, Misha was there for me. They all were. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Having someone to look out for you? After all, isn’t that why Emi’s covering for Misha as a swim partner? Even though she hates swimming? I really should ask her about that tomorrow.

But then what do I make of this whole business with the letter? Everything points to Shizune being the reason why I didn’t get the letter, and it’s still hard to believe that it was by accident or oversight. I’d like to talk to her now, but getting Misha involved would make things… complicated. And I don’t trust text messages for this kind of discussion. Come to think of it, I can’t recall Shizune ever even looking at her phone other than the times she was making an excuse to leave Misha and me alone together. I don’t really have a choice other than waiting.

And then there's Keiko. I'm not sure what to make of her now. On the one hand, everything I thought I knew about her was just a facade to keep Shizune happy. On the other, she seemed to be under the impression that I was aware of the probationary period, and there seems to have been no ill intent. She was also very straightforward and helpful with giving me a second opinion on Iwanako's letter. Perhaps a bit too straightforward, but nothing she said was wrong. A part of me is still surprised that I opened myself up to her so much, but it all seems to have worked out for the best.

As for Iwanako herself, Keiko's right - I was unfair to her. Cruel, in fact. I was probably that way to all my friends. No wonder they stopped visiting. I owe them all an apology.
...And here I am by the bench in the gardens. Yeah, that one. I seem to gravitate here whenever I’m in deep thought. I guess you could call it my thoughtful spot. May as well sit and think.

“Solving world hunger?”


The sudden voice startles me out of my reverie. Collecting myself, I turn my attention toward the source of the voice - Natsume.

Giggling, she explains herself.

“You looked so serious, so I figured you were having deep Important Thoughts.”

I chuckle. “No such luck. Just ordinary everyday thoughts.”

“Like what?”

Acting as if it were the most natural thing in the world, she takes a seat next to me and looks at me expectantly. Her cheerful demeanor is so disarming that I find myself talking before I can think better of it.

“Well, yesterday I got a letter-”

“Ignore it.”


Her eyes meet mine, surprisingly stern. “Some ghost from your past suddenly appears, dredging up thoughts and feelings you thought you had resolved?”

She takes my surprised reaction as a confirmation. “You’re not the first to get a letter like that. I would’ve told you to burn it without even reading, but we’re past that point now. I’m guessing that’s why that underclassmen was in your room yesterday? Keiko, right?”

I feel like I should be used to it by now, but I’m constantly surprised by the near-total lack of privacy we have at this school. “Nothing gets by you, huh?”

Another giggle. “I told you: most of us don’t have anything better to do.” Returning to seriousness, she locks her eyes with mine. “But you do. You have a girlfriend - a whole group of friends, in fact. Let the past worry about itself - you’ve got the present to take care of. Life’s too short to waste on should’ves, could’ves, would’ves, or anything like that!”
“I should’ve expected that from you, huh?”

She sticks her tongue out playfully. “Doesn’t matter. It’s in the past. It’s the present now, and what you should do in the present is buy me breakfast for being such a good friend!”


I end up spending most of the morning with Natsume, hanging out in the lobby of the girls’ dorm, playing board and card games. They feel quite a bit less intense when Shizune's not around, I've noticed. On the other hand, Shizune wouldn't be Shizune if she weren't giving 110% on everything.

Around 11, I excuse myself. All the board games were making me think of the Student Council, so I figured I should drop by and offer to help.

It seems quiet when I arrive at the door to the student council room, but my knock triggers a flurry of activity from inside.

A moment later, the door cracks open wide enough for Aoi to peek her face through. Her expression is one of pleasant surprise, followed by a somewhat more stern question as to why I'm here.

“I figured you two might want some help with the planning and preparation.”

Aoi shakes her head emphatically, and begins to close the door when I hear Keiko speak up from inside.

“Is that Hisao? Why aren't you letting him in?”

Holding the door with one hand, Aoi turns around, leaving me facing her back. As if it were a phone conversation, I'm only hearing one side.

“Don't give me that. You know as well as I do that we can use all the help we can get.

“I don't care what Hakamichi said before - she gave us free reign to get ready as we saw fit.

“Now you're just making excuses. Besides, weren't you complaining the other day that we could really use a strong back and a cute butt?

“If you're so concerned about what he's going to hear, you should just give up and let him in, or at least come up with a better excuse.”

After what I can only imagine is a wordless string of profanities, Aoi turns back to face me, looking a little sheepish and blushing furiously. Trying to disappear behind the door, she lets me in.

As with the cultural festival and Tanabata, the room is full of all sorts of clutter. It's a different flavor of clutter, though. Aoi and Keiko seem to have taken the initiative to make the room their own - cleaning up and rearranging everything to their liking. Even Shizune's assortment of games has been neatly organised, filling one of the shelves against the wall with an impressive economy of space. Evidently, one of these girls missed their calling as a stonemason.

Somewhat surprisingly, it looks as if they discovered an ancient-looking computer, which Aoi is busily using for data entry of the assorted bits of paperwork surrounding her. Keiko, meanwhile, seems to be poring over a stack of regulations and bylaws. Looking up, she gives me a warm smile.

“Nothing better to do with your break?”

I shrug. “Never hurts to be helpful.”

She returns my shrug. “Suit yourself. I was serious about the heavy lifting. Last chance to back out.”


I'll admit that I got fair warning, but my body still kind of regrets volunteering. For all their differences with Shizune and Misha, these girls are just as good at working me to the bone. Fortunately, there's no looming deadline, so they let me go before too long. I grab an early dinner, then make my way back to my room. Misha said that this evening would be a good time to call, and I don't want to disappoint.


As the week rolls on, I find myself gradually settling into a routine - swim in the morning with Emi, play games and watch bad movies with Natsume until lunch, spend the afternoon helping Aoi and Keiko with their preparations, then call Misha in the evening.


“So, Emi, the other day you said you hated swimming. What was that all about?”

Emi sighs. Clearly, she’d rather I have left this alone. “Don’t worry about it. It’s just a personal hang-up.”

In spite of her dismissive reply, and my own silence, she continues. “It just reminds me of physical therapy,” she says, tapping the premature end of her leg for emphasis, “I get that ‘it’s an important part of the recovery process,’ but water therapy just feels like giving up, you know? Pushing yourself is too hard, so you just take it slow. But then it’s too easy, so you just stop trying and end of going nowhere. I don’t have time for that! If you aren’t trying your hardest, you aren’t trying at all!”

I can’t say I agree. A mindset like that would probably kill me. I don’t want to get into an argument though, so I just shrug and dive into the water.


“So, Hicchan~, you’ve been spending a lot of time with Natsu, huh~?”

“I guess so.”

It’s probably more fair to say she’s been spending a lot of time with me, considering it feels like she’s always seeking me out.

“It kind of makes sense, considering we’re both orphans.”

“Hicchan~, I met your parents.”

“No, not that kind of orphan. Natsu said it’s a term they use for the students who stay on campus for the break.”


“Yeah, the, uh, YHoOS.”

“Ahaha~! You aren’t making any sense, Hicchan~. But~! Do you think she’s pretty, Hicchan~?”

Her question puts me on high alert. That’s not a question you want to have to answer, especially not when it’s your girlfriend asking.

“Given that special definition of ‘pretty’ you taught me, I can honestly say I have no idea.”

“Wahahahahaha~! Good one, Hicchan~! I’m not trying to trick you, Hicchan~. I trust you~. But~! Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you can’t look at the menu, right~? Right~, right~! So~... do you think Natsu is pretty~? Regular pretty~?”

This… is not a direction I would’ve expected this conversation to go. Luckily, there’s one final gambit I can use to escape.
“I can tell you, but in return, you need to tell me what guys you find attractive, just to be fair.”

“Wahahahaha~! Okay, Hicchan~! You go first!”

This… did not go as planned. Better to admit defeat now than dig myself deeper.

“ I guess she’s kind of pretty…”

“Prettier than Mimi~?”

“...maybe? I haven’t really given it much thought.”

“What about Shicchan~?”

“Are you going to ask me this about every girl in the school?”

“Ahahaha~! It’s okay, Hicchan~, I know you like long hair~!”

...I don’t really follow the logic there, but it seems her mini-inquisition is over.

“Okay, now it’s your turn. Are there any boys in our class that you find attractive?”

“Well~... I guess~ I’d have to say that Akio is pretty cute…”

And now I know I didn’t think this through. It occurs to me that I know most of the boys in our class by their last name. Still, the name ‘Akio’ sounds familiar.

And then it hits my why it’s familiar. No. That can’t be. Can it?


The squeal on the other side is particularly painful, even for Misha.

“Eeeeeewwww~! Our teacher~?! Don’t be gross~! Ew ew ew ew ew ew~! I was talking about Hayashi! You know~, the boy that sits behind Shicchan~?”

Right. Hayashi. Walks with a cane and breaks bones so often you’d think it’s a hobby. So that’s her type?

“Why would you think of Mr. Mutou, Hicchan~? Who even thinks perverted things like that? Yeah, he’s got that ‘older experienced man who will treat you like a special princess’ thing going, but still~! He’s our teacher~!”

‘Older experienced man who will treat you like a special princess’? I think I may have learned a bit more about my girlfriend than I’m comfortable knowing.

“...don’t you think you’re oversharing a bit? A little too much information?”

“Ahahaha~! No, Hicchan, oversharing would be telling you about the girls I find attractive~! Ahahah-!”

Her laughter cuts off suddenly.

“Did I… Did I just say that out loud, Hicchan~?”

“Yeah. Yeah, you did.”

I was going to pass it off as a joke. A Strange joke, but a joke. But she sounds pretty serious about this.

“Hicchan~? Does that make me weird?”

Honestly, I’m not sure how to take this new… whatever it is. But It’s pretty clear this isn’t about me; I need to reassure her.

“No, Shiina, it just means that you’re you. You’re my girlfriend, and I trust you. You’re comfortable with me finding other girls pretty, so it’s only fair that I be comfortable with you finding other guys - or girls - attractive.”

“Are you sure, Hicchan~? You aren’t just saying that?”

“You can’t help the thoughts that pop into your head. They are what they are. It doesn’t make you weird because you can’t control where your mind wanders.”

I’ll admit, that’s partially for her, but it’s also something I want to believe for my own sake. Otherwise I’d have to have some seriously uncomfortable reflection regarding that dream I had where I was pregnant with Kenji’s baby…

“Huh~. I guess you’re right, Hicchan~. I never thought about it like that~! Wahahahaha~, thanks, Hicchan~!”

And she’s back to her cheerful self. It feels a little jarring how quickly she does that, but I’ve gotten used to the fact that that’s just how she is.

Act 3 Scene 9 | Act 3 Scene 11

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 9/5/18)

Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:47 pm
by AJT135
Otherwise I’d have to have some seriously uncomfortable reflection regarding that dream I had where I was pregnant with Kenji’s baby…
That... is not an image I needed in my head.

That aside, this was a decent chapter. Not much going on, but there doesn't exactly need to be for every chapter.

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 9/5/18)

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 2:21 am
by Hanako Fancopter
The main event of interest, to me, was Misha's little slip regarding her gender preferences. Hisao of course responds as any self respecting boyfriend should i.e. "i support this completely and absolutely." I was wondering when it would come up, as this is around the time in the VN that Misha tells Hisao about her past with Shizune (near the end of Act 3). It didn't do much in this chapter but it'll be interesting to see what role it might play in Act 4.

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 7/5/18)

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:19 am
by AlexFDSR
ProfAllister wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:14 pm
“Yeah, the, uh, YHoOS.”
The what?
ProfAllister wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:14 pm
I’ll admit, that’s partially for her, but it’s also something I want to believe for my own sake. Otherwise I’d have to have some seriously uncomfortable reflection regarding that dream I had where I was pregnant with Kenji’s baby…
That's enough Internet for today...

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 7/5/18)

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:55 am
by ProfAllister
AlexFDSR wrote:
Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:19 am
ProfAllister wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:14 pm
“Yeah, the, uh, YHoOS.”
The what?

Skip down to Hisao talking to Natsume.

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 9/5/18)

Posted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:25 am
by brythain
Ah. The best moment of my internet day, new material from ProfA.

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 7/5/18)

Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:51 am
by Craftyatom
Craftyatom wrote:
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:27 am
I still would've preferred that this conversation happen with a more understanding character - Natsume comes to mind.
Well what do you know? She was a bit forward, but overall a lot more understanding, at least from my point of view. I like the contrast - Hisao's no longer fighting internally between himself and others (a battle none should win easily), but rather, between two different third parties. Makes it a lot harder, but I'd wager that it produces better results.
ProfAllister wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:14 pm
"If you aren’t trying your hardest, you aren’t trying at all!”

I can’t say I agree. A mindset like that would probably kill me.
Good reference, made me chuckle.
ProfAllister wrote:
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:14 pm
“You can’t help the thoughts that pop into your head. They are what they are. It doesn’t make you weird because you can’t control where your mind wanders.”
I'm not sure if this was intentional, but I read this quote as meaning that Hisao thinks that what Misha said was just a slip of the tongue, not her actually revealing anything about herself. It's obvious in context that it is an important revelation, based on her reaction, but given how boneheaded Hisao can be (not just in this story, mind you), it's easy to imagine him assuming that Misha simply misspoke. The worst part is that there's no real way for us to know - he doesn't have any internal monologue about it besides relating it to a dream of his, and Misha certainly seems to think the issue has been dealt with, so with both of them content, it might never come up again. Luckily (at least for the reader), I think it will have to, when they eventually discuss how Shizune and Misha came to know each other. All in good time, I suppose.

Good writing overall, as per usual. The dialogue felt spot-on in this installment.

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 9/5/18)

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:03 pm
by ProfAllister
Finally satisfied, I place my pen down and review the end result:
Dear Iwanako,

I’m sorry it took so long to write back. There are several excuses I could make as to why, but the most honest answer is that I simply wasn’t ready.

Thank you for the news about our class - it’s good to hear how everyone is doing. If you see him, tell Takumi that I owe him 500 yen - I also bet that Mr. Tachibana was going to retire.

Even though I started late, I’ve managed to fit in well enough among the students here. I even joined the Student Council. Would you believe it? Me, on the student Council? I still wonder how it happened myself. It’s a pretty small club - there were only two members before I joined, but we’re already up to five, so I guess it can only get better from here!

To be honest, I haven’t had enough time to reflect on the fact that we’re seniors - it still doesn’t feel real to me. Our teachers haven’t pushed very hard on finals, but I think that’s because they don’t have any reason to. Nearly everyone I’ve met already has a plan for the future - I almost feel left out.

One of the biggest differences between this new school and the school back home is the environment. We aren’t in the middle of nowhere, but it’s pretty close - the nearest city is an hour bus ride away! You might want to visit sometime, just to see the beauty of it all.

But the main reason I’m writing this letter is to apologise. I’m sorry I’m not the person you thought I was. I was so wrapped up in my own misery that I didn’t pay attention to what was right in front of me. I never told you that that worst day of my life was also the best day of my life. I had wanted to ask you out ever since I first started liking girls, even though we never talked. I never told you how much I enjoyed your visits - how they were the only thing I looked forward to during my stay in the hospital. You were there to support me through such a terrible time, and all I did in return was hurt you and push you away.

I had thought you hated me. That everyone in school hated me - or at least didn’t care. Given my behavior, you certainly had every reason to hate me. It’s probably better that way - it gave me a reason to build a new life at my new school, rather than feel remorse over what I had lost. So I made new friends. I even found new love.

And that brings me to what I really need to say. Please don’t put your life on hold for my sake. You deserve far better than me - I never once deserved the kindness you regularly showed me. I don’t blame you. For anything. Even if you said what you wanted to say, I don’t think I would have listened. It would have just been another opportunity for me to hurt you.

So, once again, I’m sorry. In another world things could have turned out differently - I could have been a better person, or at least have had a working heart. But we live in the world as it is, not the world as we wish it was.

If you want to write back, I’ll do my best to reply, but I understand if you want nothing more to do with me. As you said, perhaps it’s for the best if we never meet again.

Best Wishes, Hisao
And for the twentieth time looking over this letter, I hesitate.

I even found new love.

Is that true? I mean, I definitely don’t think it’s false, but are we really at that point? Do I love Misha?

I enjoy spending time with her. I’m thrilled that she’s my girlfriend. We’ve even had sex. It would be pretty terrible to decide that I don’t love her. But is that all that love is? I feel like there should be something deeper, but I have no idea what that would be.

The sudden ringing of my phone jolts me out of my reverie. It’s Misha. A little earlier than usual, to say nothing of the fact that it’s usually me calling her.

“Hello, Shiina.”

“Hi, Hicchan~! Guess what~?”

“I have no idea, what?”

“I can’t just tell you, Hicchan~. That’s not how this works. You need to guess~!”

“...Why do I need to guess?”

“Because~, Hicchan, it’s a surprise~!”

“You’re coming back tomorrow, so you can surprise me then.”

“Wahahahaha~! Okay, Hicchan, if you insist~! But~! That’s not the real reason I called.”

She hesitates, takes a deep breath, then resumes, her volume dropping to a whisper. “Last night~... I had a dream... It scared me~...”

The line goes silent. Right as I’m about to ask her to continue, she rushes out a whispered question.

“What would happen if I cheated on you?”

Now it’s my turn to be struck dumb.

“...You don’t need to answer, Hicchan~. It was a stupid question. I’m just being needy and dumb~.”

“No, Shiina, that’s not it. I just…”

The letter I was writing catches my eye. I’m suddenly reminded of what I was thinking before Misha called:

I even found new love.

“I’m trying to think of how to answer because I don’t believe that would happen. I trust you, Shiina. You aren’t the sort of person who would cheat. And… even if it did happen… I honestly don’t know. They say a betrayal like that doesn’t happen just once, and you should end it, but… I don’t know if I could.”

I take a deep breath. This is it. Now or never.

“I love you, Shiina.”

There. I said it. Now to see how she responds.


Did I jump the gun? Is this not what she wants? Or is my mind racing so fast that a few seconds feel like an eternity?.

“I… I love you too, Hicchan~.”

Barely a whisper. So soft I almost didn’t hear it. But I did hear it, and she did say it.

“Well, there you have it. If you love me, you wouldn’t do something like that. You said it yourself.”

“Ahahahaha~,” she laughs, slowly picking up in volume, but still not quite to her normal level, “I guess so, didn’t I, Hicchan~? Thanks, Hicchan~! I’ll see you tomorrow~! Bye~!”

And with that, she hangs up.

That answers that question. I do love Misha. Presented the question that way, I don’t think there’s any doubt. And she loves me, too. Hearing those words, I feel absolutely lightheaded.

...Except now I’m wondering if this letter back to Iwanako is the right thing to do. It reads like she’s moved on, but what if she hasn’t? It would be pretty cruel to up and tell her that I love someone else, wouldn’t it?

I’ll sleep on it, and maybe decide in the morning.

Act 3 Scene 10 | Act 3 Scene 12

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 10/4/18)

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:24 pm
by Craftyatom
Two unusual and possibly-deeper-than-they-first-seem subjects brough up by Misha in as many chapters? Interesting. Hisao's letter fit his attitude over the past two chapters, and his internal strife was a nice normal relationship worry, even if the resolution was a bit circuitous. Your writing was good, as per usual, though I found a pair of simple errors:
still not quitte to her normal level
I definitely don’t think it’s false, but are really at that point?
Overall, a good installment!

Re: For Want of a Nail - Misha Route (Updated 10/4/18)

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 12:56 am
by Hanako Fancopter
Now the real question is, theoretically, if Misha were to cheat on Hisao--and this is theoretical, of course, because Misha would never do anything like that--would it be with a girl? And if so... what would Hisao's response be? Would he get mad (wrong answer)? Or would he say... "it's cool but just let me watch" (right answer)?