My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

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Hoitash
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My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

Post by Hoitash » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:54 am

Well, it’s November First, which is a certain someone’s birthday. To celebrate said birthday, because apparently I became an Otaku when I wasn’t looking, I now present to you a one-shot that follows my United States of Misha fan fiction.

For those of you unfamiliar with said fic, it’s in my signature, read it. If you don’t wanna, it basically follows Misha after Shizune’s Good Ending route. She attends New York University to study sign language and disability education. Along the way she makes friends, finds love, and all that other sappy stuff. While generally lauded, the fic was criticized for its lack of decent characterization. I hope this fic will fix that in some regard. For those curious as to the time frame, it follows the Epilogue of USM.

Happy Birthday, Miss Mikado. In addition to this fic, I offer you another present: the following quote. May it help you in life to find some peace.

Major thanks to Helbereth, who may or may not have been hospitalized from an aneurism as a result of editing and proofreading this for me. Thanks a bunch!

"There is indeed a season for all things and now that I see you flesh-to-flesh and blood-to-blood, I know I cannot raise my hand against you. But know this, you are my greatest disappointment. Does your master hear me? Atlas! You can kill me, but you will never have my city. My strength is not in steel and fire, that is what the parasites will never understand. A season for all things! A time to live and a time to die, a time to build... and a time to destroy!" -Andrew Ryan


Upon the Precipice: A USM One-Shot


Late one night, four young people huddled on the floor in the light-blue painted bedroom of a New York apartment. Dimly lit by a few standing lamps, the quiet was only broken by the incessant tick of a wall clock, endlessly counting out the seconds. They had all done this before, of course, but never all together like this. Today it was Shiina "Misha" Mikado’s birthday, and all her closest friends, old and new, were gathering, some via the magic of the internet, for a celebratory game of Risk.

Dressed casually for an evening in, Misha wore pink while Lynda preferred purple, but both wore their golden wedding bands prominently. The two young women leaned against each-other, Misha's light brown locks falling over her partner's shoulder, mingling with Lynda's straight black hair. Blinking her golden eyes repeatedly, Misha tried hopelessly to stay alert while Lynda's piercing brown eyes remained closed; they had already been waiting for what seemed like an eternity.

Across from them were two young men. Will Benson, Lynda's step-brother, wore archaic-looking silver-framed, round glasses. His long dark-brown hair was held out of his face by a gray Commissar cap, though it still managed to sweep along his shoulders whenever his head moved. Beside him, Henry Donovan, the older of the two, had short auburn hair and brown eyes that continually glanced around the room uncomfortably. The boredom etched into both their faces easily matched the girls' lethargy.

Between the four were two laptops, each placed on top of a small stack of books. Webcams clipped on top were aimed at each pair, while a third camera, on a tripod off to the side, focused on the prepared Risk game board. The players were set, the game was laid out, and the pieces were waiting in their little plastic containers; all that remained was for two guests to start up the Skype call.

Will smirked at Misha's dozing face, glancing up at the From Russia with Love poster –from her favourite Bond movie- hanging on her wall for a brief distraction. “You still awake?" he called, nodding toward her, "It’s almost time.”

“I’m Awaaaake~,” Misha muttered, a loud yawn interrupting her statement. Shaking her head slowly, she looked down to her sleeping -wife? Life partner? The term didn’t really matter- and whispered, “It’s almost time, Lycchan~.”

“Five more minutes, Mommy,” Lynda grumbled.

Smirking, Henry pointed out, “You said that ten minutes ago.”

Still grumbling, Lynda slowly righted herself. Keeping her eyes closed, she shook her head and groaned.

Misha tilted her head in concern, prompting, “You okay?”

Lynda opened her eyes and smiled weakly. “Yeah," she said to reassure her partner, "I just had to hold an emergency counselling session after work last night. Never mind I’m apparently the only one in the department who can read nineteenth century Slavic dialects, I’m also the LGBT’s go-to girl for when parents throw their kids out of the house.”

“You love it and you know it,” Will chided across from her.

Yawning, Lynda nodded. "True enough," she agreed. Turning to Misha, she inquired, "How are you doing, Micchan? That long commute getting to you again?”

Shrugging, Misha replied, “I can handle~ it.”

“You’d think they’d have found a school closer for you to get your certificate training,” Henry said.

Misha sighed, “It was the closest school with a sign language class the school could find for me.”

Lynda yawned and sighed, “You know, if we were in Japan, we wouldn’t have to deal with the time zones.”

“Please~," Misha groaned softly, "don’t bring that up again.”

“Like they won’t?" Lynda lamented, sighing as she continued, "we need to make a decision, and we need to make it soon.”

“Can’t it wait until I get my certificate and you get your Masters,” Misha suggested, her pleasant tone starting to sound irate.

Lynda sighed and smiled at her partner, patting the air to calm her down. “You know we need to make up our minds before then," she said calmly, "these things take time.”

The two exchanged a cold look for a moment before averting their eyes, their sleep-deprived faces already weary from arguing. The past few months had seen this point of contention resurface multiple times, and neither of them really had the ambition to bicker about it anymore. They both knew the subject would continue resurfacing until they dealt with it, but it always ended in a stalemate; usually only after an extensive shouting match.

“Well, this is getting awkward,” Will remarked, leaning forward as if to stand, “so I think I’ll be going.”

“No, you’re not. Sit," Lynda commanded.

Will sighed and rubbed his forehead, folding his arms defensively as he settled back down. “Why am I even here?" he lamented, "I’m the only one who doesn’t speak Japanese or know JSL.”

Lynda sighed and rolled her eyes. "Duh!" she chided, “Because your family!”

“If anyone shouldn’t be here, it’s me,” Henry added.

“You’re family, too,” Misha rebutted.

Smiling sweetly, though somewhat mockingly, Lynda added, “And we need your webcam for the game.”

Before anyone else could say anything more, two new screens popped up on the laptops. Hisao Nakai's smiling face and messy, light brown hair appeared in one window while his wife's narrow grin, deep blue eyes and dark hair appeared in the other. The angle on each was set back far enough to see their hands, so it was easy to see Shizune had her relatively long black hair in a ponytail, with black half-framed glassed perched on her nose and a black sweater. Hisao, like always, was dressed in an argyle sweater-vest and white dress-shirt, though he omitted the usual tie.

[“Happy Birthday, Misha!”] Hisao said, signing and speaking at the same time.

[Happy Birthday, Misha] Shizune signed from her screen.

[“Thanks you two~!”] Misha signed and spoke back. She was signing in JSL, but speaking in English for Will’s benefit.

[“Hey”] Lynda said and signed, fumbling her hand gestures a bit.

[“Good evening, you two”] Henry said and signed as he sat across from Misha.

[“You two remember Henry, right? He was the guy in that video we sent after we eloped”] Misha said.

Shizune nodded, [We remember. Hello, Mr. Donovan,] Shizune smirked lightly, [it’s not exactly evening here, however.]

[“Fair enough,”] Henry conceded with a shrug, [“Speaking of videos,”] he added, glancing at Will, [“the guy next to me was their other witness, Will.”]

“Good morning, Mr. and Mrs. Nakai,” Will greeted, adjusting his glasses slightly, “glad you could make it tonight.”

When Misha was done translating for Will, Hisao, noticing Will’s hat, chuckled and held up his right hand. He palmed his thumb and held out the hand so his fingers pointed to his right, forming the sign of the Aquila. Will blinked and returned the gesture.

Shizune rolled her eyes, signing, [Dork.]

Hisao chuckled again as Shizune glanced down at the Risk board in front of the laptops. [Before we get started playing,] she signed, her expression assuming a more serious look, [there’s something Hisao and I wanted to ask you and Lynda.]

The two young women glanced at each other as Misha slowly answered, [“What is it?”]

Hisao glanced to his left, and Shizune to her right; they were likely sitting next to each other. Hisao spoke first, [“We were just wondering if you’ve decided if you’re going to stay in New York or not.”]

“Told you they’d mention it,” Lynda muttered to Misha.

[“We’ve been discussing that since we got married~,”] Misha sighed, [“in August.”]

[And?] Shizune signed, her expression somewhere between impatience and concern.

The two women shrugged.

[“We’re deadlocked, is the short version.”] Lynda signed, having to repeat a few words for clarity.

Hisao raised an eyebrow, [“What do you mean; deadlocked?”]

[“We both have different ideas about what to do,”] Misha explained with a resigned sigh, [“and while we’ve agreed they're good options, neither of us can convince the other to agree on one option~.]

“They also won’t listen to me and my third option,” Will interjected, “and seem to be rather flippant about US Immigration law.”

[“We have, too!”] Lynda protested.

After translating Will's statement for the Nakai’s benefit, Misha added, [“But we need to assess our options first~.”]

“And immigration has been very understanding,” Lynda added, turning a cold look on Will.

Conceding the point with a shrug, Will retorted, “I still say your just being stubborn about it.”

[What are your options?] Shizune asked, frowning, [and why am I only learning about this now?]

[“We didn’t want to involve you in our relationship squabbles,”] Misha replied, smiling sheepishly.

[“As to our options,”] Lynda added, [“I think our best bet is for us to move to Japan. I can get citizenship there, and she won’t have any problem getting a job with her credentials. Hell, between her grades, the letters of recommendation she could get, and the fact that the Japanese Universities were practically begging her to apply, she could get a job at a school like Yamaku no problem.”]

[“Is uprooting yourselves like that really a good idea?”] Hisao asked, [“I mean, you’ve made lives for yourself there; seems kinda dumb to yank it all away.”]

[“That’s what I said!”] Misha replied, [“not to mention Lynda would have a lot of trouble starting her career.”]

Lynda nodded lightly, [“Not a lot of need for linguists who specialize in nineteenth century Slavic dialects in Japan; I’ve looked.”]

“There are a few jobs,” Will cut in, “but you’re under-qualified.”

The others gave him strange looks, so he added, “In the interest of family cohesion, I’ve been looking into their options as an extra pair of eyes and hands.”

[I can see how you might have to relocate once you’ve earned your graduate degrees] Shizune signed, [but coming all the way back here does seem a bit extreme.]

[“And what about Lynda’s family in Canada?”] Hisao asked.

[“Fuck Canada”] Lynda spat out, her hand gestures furious and wide.

[“Okay,”] Hisao said, recovering slowly from Lynda’s vehemence, [“what’s your idea, Misha?”]

[“I get a job somewhere around here. I’m already teaching ASL, working toward my certificate. It shouldn’t be too hard for me to find a job, and there are enough archives and libraries around; Lynda could get an entry level job for her work, too.”]

[“The downside to that being the expense of constantly visiting you two,”] Lynda added.

Shizune smiled, [“You know my father and I have no problem paying for your winter flight.”]

[“My parents are okay paying for a flight,”] Misha added, glancing at Lynda.

[“And we can cover the third flight on our own,”] Lynda said, [“it’s still not fair to you two.”]

[“We’re supposed to be building a life for ourselves, not our friends!”] Misha said.

[“Your friends are important to you, and you have a right to be where you’re happy.”]

[“I’m happy here~!”]

[“Yes, but it’ll be easier for you to get a job in Japan.”]

[“And more difficult for you~!”]

[“What’s the third option?”] Hisao asked, apparently hoping to prevent an argument. It managed to work, as the couple stopped debating to look towards their step-brother/step-brother in law.

Will sighed and cleared his throat, “I suggested they simply look for work on the West Coast once Lynda has her Masters and Misha has her teaching certificate. Several charter schools in California and Oregon are being built, and a few of them have academic goals similar to that of Yamaku. Furthermore, with plenty of highly esteemed Universities, Lynda could probably get low level work at an archive or library. Both of them could also pursue further education, should they desire it for their careers.”

Hisao and Shizune looked at each other again. They both raised their eyebrows before turning back to their screens.

[“Why not just do that, then?”] Hisao asked. Shizune looked like she was trying not to roll her eyes.

[“Two reasons,”] Lynda responded, [“one, it doesn’t so much solve all our problems as lessen them. That’s actually not a big deal, though. The main reason is that there’s no guarantee we can get jobs out West. Here I could easily get a job, and Misha has a lot of good ins with local disability education groups and schools. In Japan, Misha could probably just ask for a job and get it.”]

Misha sighed and smiled. [“You’re overselling my skills, Lycchan,”] she stated.

Shrugging, Lynda replied, [“still, the West isn’t as certain as our other options.”]

[“We're going to pursue that option, though,”] Misha added, [“as soon as we figure out if we’re going to focus on finding work here, or me applying to schools in Japan.”]

[“You could always pursue all three,”] Hisao suggested.

[“No way,”] Lynda said, [“I’m not giving her an excuse to stay here.”]

Misha groaned, [“I don’t need an excuse, I have you!”]

Lynda opened her mouth to start speaking, but before she could say anything, a loud snap cracked out from Shizune’s screen, causing everyone except Will to flinch. Turning towards her screen, they waited for her to lower her hand and start signing.

[I thought I was stubborn,] she signed, smirking inwardly, [but, if you two can’t come to a consensus, why don’t you just play for it?]

Hisao sighed and shook his head in bemusement, but Lynda was nodding.

[“Good idea,”] she said.

[“It is?”] everyone else asked.

[“Why not?”] Lynda asked, [“you don’t want to move back to Japan, I don’t think it’s fair for you to stay here, and Will’s third option isn’t a sure thing. This may be the best way to find a solution.”]

[“Is it really a good idea?”] Henry sighed and pinched his nose, [“I mean, you’re essentially forcing the loser to accept a decision they don’t want.”]

“Although,” Will said, “they’ve been having this argument for months. If they’re both okay with it, it might be the best solution. Since they won’t listen to me.”

“We are~ listening to you,” Misha said, not bothering to sign as Henry had it covered, “but it has a lot of uncert-ainties with it, is all.”

“Fair enough,” Will shrugged as he continued, “do you think playing for it is a good idea?”

[You could do it now,] Shizune signed, the competitive glint in her eyes, [whichever one of you lasts longest in the game, their choice is what you go with.]

Misha looked at Lynda. Lynda’s assertive nature was plain in her rigid stature and steely gaze. Misha fiddled with her long hair, thinking.

“If you don’t want to do it, we won’t,” Lynda said.

Misha smiled, [“but you’re right~, there doesn’t seem to be another choice.”]

“You two could be less stubborn,” Henry muttered.

“I blame Lynda for that,” Will interjected.

Henry nodded as Lynda stuck her tongue out at Will. Shizune snapped her fingers again, and, again, everyone except Will flinched as they all turned back to her screen.

[Since you two agree it’s a good idea, we need to set some rules for the challenge], Shizune signed, ignoring her husband’s eye roll, [first, you two need to be on equal footing. Since only two continents have the same number of bonus armies, one of you needs to play as Europe, and the other as North America.]

“To keep things neutral,” Will said, “you should toss a coin for it.”

Once Henry had relayed Will's suggestion, Shizune added, [Or play rock-paper-scissors.]

Lynda shrugged, [“I usually play Europe anyway, so if Misha doesn’t mind, she can be North America.”]

Misha shrugged, [“I don’t mind being North America.”]

Shizune deflated a bit at her fun being undermined, but she rallied quickly, adjusting her glasses and continuing, [Okay, now that that’s settled, there is one other issue before the rest of us can pick our continents. Since this game is a game of strategy as much as tactics, it is only natural for alliances to be declared and broken as the situation demands. Since we all have a stake in your decision, we must avoid getting involved in your fight. That way, we can’t influence the outcome.]

[“Agreed,”] everyone else said.

[“There’s one other thing,”] Hisao added, sighing lightly as he resigned himself to the stakes ahead, [“Australia is an easily defensible position, and since it has been used in the past,”] Hisao glanced sideways at his wife, who smirked and ignored him, [“as a tool for manipulation, a neutral party should control it, so that it can’t be used as an instrument in your argument. Although normally I play as Australia, I’ll play as a different country so Henry can play as it.”]

[“What? Why me?”] Henry asked, his face twisted in confusion.

[You’re the closest thing we have to a neutral party,] Shizune responded. When Hisao nodded, she continued, [Will is a relative of Lynda by marriage, and Misha by proxy, so he is clearly not trustworthy-]

“I’d take offense to that if it weren’t the truth,” Will cut in once Henry had translated Shizune's cautions.

[And as Misha's long-time friends,] Shizune added, [we clearly have an interest in the outcome of the game, too-]

[“Though personally I think you should stay in the US,”] Hisao stated.

Shizune frowned at the interruption and continued, [since you are related to neither party, nor have a long-standing friendship-]

[“I consider four years pretty long,”] Henry said.

If Shizune wanted to, she probably would’ve groaned. As it was, she settled for slamming her fist on the desk, [The point is, you are the closest thing we have to a neutral party, so you should play as the most contentious continent.]

Henry raised an eyebrow and shrugged. [“Fine with me,"] he agreed, ["Can we actually start playing now?”]

Nodding, Shizune smiled and signed, [We may begin.]

Once everyone else had selected their starting location -Hisao taking Africa, Will deciding on South America, and Shizune starting with Asia- they each rolled a die to determine their movement order. Shizune and Hisao used a board set up on their side of the planet for dice and ease of reference. With the continents and order decided, the game began.

Unable to attack Europe or North America, Shizune focused her efforts between Africa and Australia. Hisao defended well against his wife’s tactics and aggression, making inroads into South America and southern Asia. Henry defended Australia vigorously, countering Shizune’s efforts to her enjoyable frustration. Will defended South America as best he could, though the aggressive nature of his Warhammer 40,000 armies were ill-suited to a defensive posture. These skirmishes, however, were nothing compared to the war further north.

Misha and Lynda’s assaults on each other were bold and fierce. Iceland, the only link between the two, exchanged ownership again and again. Misha would try and capture Scandinavia or Great Britain, only to be forced back as Lynda fought for a foothold at Greenland. When Misha was able to secure a hold on Scandinavia for more than two turns, Lynda changed tactics, moving south into Africa in a flanking manoeuvre.

[“Do the rules say anything about when neutral nations are dragged in against their will?”] Hisao asked when Lynda captured North Africa using a fifth of her forces.

“I believe it’s called a war crime,” Will remarked.

[Fight if attacked,] Shizune shrugged, clearly enjoying the game, [but only to reclaim what was lost. Or just go with it; they seem to be enjoying it, and it’s cheaper than a counsellor.]

[“We don’t need a counsellor,”] Lynda cut in, smirking, [“we both currently see psychological help for completely separate reasons.”]

[“Although it did~ get tense a few weeks ago,”] Misha admitted, [“until we decided we wouldn’t discuss it for a while.”]

[“We~ didn’t decide not to discuss it; you refused to,”] Lynda sighed, [“And for that, your people will wallow in the ashes of their ruined homes and cities.”]

Misha grinned and retorted, [“Not if I burn your lands to the ground first~.”]

“Is anyone else unsettled?” Will asked, looking to the others.

Hisao nodded, an eyebrow raised as he watched Misha charge south into Venezuela.

“I saw that coming,” Will said, and he quickly forced Misha back while fortifying Brazil.

Hisao took a defensive stance and began fortifying southern Africa, while constantly skirmishing with Shizune in southern Asia. With most of northern Africa secure, Lynda advanced into South America, where Will easily repelled her, though at the expense of Peru; Misha was attempting a counter-flank.

“Clever girl,” Will said when he noticed this, using the best Australian accent he could manage.

“As the duly appointed representative of Australia,” Henry said to him, “I take offense at that accent.”

Will shrugged. “Don’t like it,” he retorted, “come on over and say so to my face.”

Henry grinned and threatened, “Watch me.”

Henry thrust out of Australia into South East Asia, surprising both Shizune and Hisao. Though Henry had fewer forces, Hisao had managed to split Asia via India, China, and Siberia. Lynda had taken the chance to move east in an effort to reach Misha via Alaska. Shizune rallied quickly, however. In only a few turns she had forced Hisao back into Africa, and left Henry only a tenuous grasp in Siam.

Will, meanwhile, was caught in the least appealing three-way imaginable as his step sister and her partner continued to strike against him in an effort to flank and counter flank. Having placed the bulk of his forces in Brazil, a massive frontal assault from Lynda took out most of his armies, leaving him only a few armies holding out in Argentina.

“This must be the Risk equivalent of playing against Necrons,” Will mused.

“While playing as Tyranids,” Lynda added.

“Great,” Will lamented, “now I’m hungry.”

Lynda’s advance into Asia was pushed back by Shizune, but in the process she lost China to Henry. Hisao continued to block Shizune, but his efforts to force Lynda back failed. She was focusing so much on flanking Misha, she was taken by surprise when Misha captured the Ukraine.

[“Crap…”] Lynda muttered.

Misha smiled and threatened, [“Give me North Africa and I’ll spare your brother.”]

“What?” Will asked.

Lynda grinned and taunted, [“Surrender Scandinavia and I’ll spare your best friend’s husband.”]

Will sighed and glanced at Hisao, the two exchanging looks of understanding as they became dragged into the spousal war.

“Again, I blame Lynda,” Will said.

“It takes two to tango,” Henry muttered to him.

“I heard~ that,” Misha said, smiling weakly, “and sorry if our fighting has upset you two.”

Shrugging resignedly, Henry sighed, “Will’s been the worst of it; he won’t stop bugging me about how awesome his plan is.”

“It is!” Will protested, “And I’ll prove it if I have to salt three continents to do it!”

Will’s new offensive forced Misha back from South America at the same time Shizune started picking off southern Africa. Thanks to a boost in troops, she quickly moved to force Henry back into Australia. Unfortunately, the amount of force he was able to bring to the fight kept them stalemated. Lynda was too busy retaking the Ukraine back to take advantage of Shizune being distracted, however.

Misha abandoned her efforts in South America for an offense into Asia. Though a war on four fronts was clearly taxing her army supply, Shizune deftly held Henry, Lynda, and Misha at bay, while also managing, after some fortunate dice rolls, to capture Hisao’s last stronghold of Madagascar.

[Sorry, dear,] Shizune said when she knocked him out of the game.

[“Don’t apologize,”] Hisao said, smiling and shaking his head, [“Although if it weren’t for your impromptu marriage counselling, I could’ve taken Western Europe and Great Britain before they were defended.”]

[True. Though since I almost always win anyway,] Shizune smirked as she continued, [I doubt it would’ve helped much.]

“Does anyone other than Shizune ever win?” Will asked, somewhat sarcastically.

[“I win occasionally,”] Hisao said, [“and Lynda tends to win every now and then as well. There are also a few associates from work that beat her when they gang up on her.”]

Shizune smiled and replied, [Defeat is part of growth and expansion. It is how we learn our faults and how to overcome them.]

“’That which does not kill you, makes you stronger,’” Will quoted, once Henry had translated Shizune’s statement.

After Henry translated Will's statement, Shizune smiled and nodded, impressed.

When Misha’s turn came, she looked over the map and then up at Lynda. [“It looks like if I don’t manage a major~ offensive this round,”] she lamented, offering a determined pout, [“you or Will could finish me off.”]

[“Sure looks that way,”] Lynda agreed, nodding slowly. Turning up from the board to look Misha in the eye, she suggested, [“We don’t have to go through with this if you don’t want to.”]

Misha sighed and gave a tired smile. [“If you’re okay with the results,”] she said, taking a deep breath before adding, [“I am, too.”]

Lynda smiled, but frowned before she spoke next, [“You know I just want what’s best for you, right?”]

Nodding, Misha sighed, [“I know, Lycchan~. I want the same thing, too.”]

They heard a quiet cough and turned to Hisao’s screen. [“It might not be a bad idea to pay more attention to your mutual needs,”] he advised, [“and not just those of your partner.”]

[“What he said,”] Henry added, while Shizune smiled and nodded.

The two women looked back to each other and sighed, smirking together in bemusement. Misha spoke first, [“I guess we’ve focused too much on each other’s needs, and not enough on us as a couple.”]

“I coulda told you that,” Will muttered.

Lynda leered at Will before answering Misha, [“Well, we do rely on each other a lot, so it makes sense. From now on, though, we need to think more like a couple, and less like two people in a relationship… if that makes any sense.”]

[“You haven’t been married long,”] Hisao said, [“and it does change a relationship. That change takes time.”]

[Whatever you do or wherever you go, as long as you two are together, you’ll be fine,] a smiling Shizune added.

Lynda grinned and groaned lightly, [“Could we get any cornier?”]

Misha giggled, [“You used~ to like corny romance.”]

Lynda nodded, [“I guess I still do. So, you ready to play?”]

Misha nodded, smiled, and made her move.

+++

Yup, I ended my one-shot on a cliffhanger. You guys aren’t afraid to let me know when I tick you off, so I wasn’t worried. Feedback appreciated as always, and again, thanks Helbereth, I owe you a muffin basket when they start holding conventions in our honor.
Last edited by Hoitash on Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:52 am, edited 19 times in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: Upon the Precipice: A USM One-Shot

Post by Daioh » Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:50 am

Great,Well done!

Again,Happy Birthday Misha!!! :3 Wahaha!!!

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Hoitash
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Re: Upon the Precipice: A USM One-Shot

Post by Hoitash » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:02 pm

Daioh wrote:Great,Well done!
Thanks, I do what I can :).
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: Upon the Precipice: A USM One-Shot

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:56 pm

Fun to read, but I wonder...
Did you ever actually play Risk?
[“Australia is an easily defensible position, and since it has been used in the past, as a tool for manipulation, a neutral party should control it, so that it can’t be used as an instrument in your argument...”]
Yes, put the neutral party as far away from the conflict as possible^^°
Shizune starting with Asia
Give the largest continent to the strongest player....
Henry defended Australia vigorously, countering Shizune’s efforts to her enjoyable frustration.
leaving [Will] only a few armies holding out in Argentina.
...
Will’s new offensive forced Misha back from South America
Yeah, sure :-)
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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Hoitash
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Re: Upon the Precipice: A USM One-Shot

Post by Hoitash » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:12 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Fun to read, but I wonder...
Did you ever actually play Risk?
A few times. Last time was sophmore year with my stoner roomate and his buddies. One guy had a mini freak-out after he lost and spent some time chilling on the couch with a backpack on his head :)
Yes, put the neutral party as far away from the conflict as possible^^°
He really didn't want to get involved, so I figured keeping him isolated also kept him out of the bigger squabble a bit.
Give the largest continent to the strongest player....
Yeah, that was dumb, however, it did become a four on one fight for a while :)
Henry defended Australia vigorously, countering Shizune’s efforts to her enjoyable frustration.
leaving [Will] only a few armies holding out in Argentina.
...
Will’s new offensive forced Misha back from South America
Yeah, sure :-)[/quote]

Do not question the might of His Divine Majesty's forces, and never, ever, question an Australian's martial prowess.

Good points all, and you're right, it's been a few years since I played (I did have a board handy for the game though, so at least I knew which provinces were where and how they connected.) Glad you still enjoyed, it, and thanks for reading/commenting!
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: Upon the Precipice: A USM One-Shot

Post by Helbereth » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:45 pm

I kind of wish I knew more about Risk... I basically had to take the material as is and not supply any input on the game itself because I've literally never even seen the game board. Given that I don't like RTS games, and they're loosely based on games like Risk, I've always assumed I wouldn't find the game enjoyable.

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Re: Upon the Precipice: A USM One-Shot

Post by Hoitash » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:51 pm

Helbereth wrote:I kind of wish I knew more about Risk... I basically had to take the material as is and not supply any input on the game itself because I've literally never even seen the game board. Given that I don't like RTS games, and they're loosely based on games like Risk, I've always assumed I wouldn't find the game enjoyable.
I knew there was a risk (lol) of that going in, but, all in all, it seems to have worked out rather well.

Had I been bothered to legit play the game out, it mighta helped, too. I was worried doing that might bog the story down with too much technical stuff if I wasn't careful, though (especially if you weren't sure what was going on, which proved to be the case.)
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: Upon the Precipice: A USM One-Shot

Post by ProfAllister » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:03 pm

Well, looks like you specifically want feedback on characterization, so here we go:

Henry: Seems to be a bit of a non-entity, to the point where the other characters fall just short of calling him a C-List character themselves.

Will: Looks to have been demoted just a little bit. He has some plot relevance, but he mostly seems to be a Greek Chorus adding color commentary.

Hisao and Shizune: Are more or less on par with their previous characterizations, with Hisao fading to the background a bit more this time. Not really a bad thing, and it's always hard to have a solid character when he's confined to a tiny box.

Lynda: She comes off as a bit less crazy and domineering here. In fact, I'd be inclined to say that her plan's the most sensible of the three, but that's just me.

Misha: More or less the same Misha we left off with, so you have consistency.

As for the storytelling:

It's clear that you haven't played Risk much, since your write-up implies that it (a) has strategic depth and (b) is enjoyable. I'm a little biased, though.

From my experience, Risk setup was a Round Robin claiming of provinces, rather than handing out entire continents. I guess that could be an alternative setup, but that's really setting up Australia as a sacrificial lamb for the already advantaged Asia.

The last turns come out a little confusing. Misha's opening up a third front to attack Shizune, Will repulsed Misha out of South America, and Lynda's preoccupied with reclaiming the Ukraine (from Shizune? It's not clear), her easternmost province. And then it says Misha's back is up against the wall? I guess it's possible that Lynda was capturing Canada, or Will was pushing into North America, but I imagine that's something you'd explicitly mention. With all the province trading, it's reasonable to assume that the Rink card bonuses are escalating rapidly, but if Misha's concern was being card-bombed, a major offensive wouldn't be much help regardless.

Also, Your translation convention is a little confusing. I'm guessing Brackets + Quotes means spoken and signed. You also have the third element of two spoken languages, further confusing things. Corner Brackets (「 and 」) are often used to signify speech in Japanese, for what it's worth. Pretty sure KS only used the sign language brackets when things were only signed, not spoken, and used regular quotes otherwise, with the implication that Misha (or Hisao) was signing everything unless specifically noted otherwise.

Or, out of spite, you could have Lynda and Will pepper their speech with French phrases to add a fourth language to the confusion.
Current Project: Misha Pseudo-Route

Discord ID: ProfAllister#9754

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Re: Upon the Precipice: A USM One-Shot

Post by Hoitash » Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:51 am

Thanks for the feedback, and for reading :)
ProfAllister wrote:Well, looks like you specifically want feedback on characterization, so here we go:

Henry: Seems to be a bit of a non-entity, to the point where the other characters fall just short of calling him a C-List character themselves.

Will: Looks to have been demoted just a little bit. He has some plot relevance, but he mostly seems to be a Greek Chorus adding color commentary.
Craaaaappppp. Well, I tried. In my defense, this was more about Lynda and Misha -the two guys are there more or less cuz they live in the same apartment, and, well, birthday party. and comedy relief.
Hisao and Shizune: Are more or less on par with their previous characterizations, with Hisao fading to the background a bit more this time. Not really a bad thing, and it's always hard to have a solid character when he's confined to a tiny box.
Thanks, glad we got that right :)
Lynda: She comes off as a bit less crazy and domineering here. In fact, I'd be inclined to say that her plan's the most sensible of the three, but that's just me.
That was a major goal for me, so I'm really glad that worked out.

Personally I like Will's plan, but that's probably because he's my Author Avatar :wink:
Misha: More or less the same Misha we left off with, so you have consistency.
Yay :)
As for the storytelling
Yeah, it's been a while since I played Risk. I wanted to use the game as a backdrop for the story, without being overly technical or specific about the game, in case people weren't familar with it (like say, my editor.) Personally I enjoy the game, but that might be because I play with stoners :wink:

Card-bombing was involved, or at least, the threat of it. I shoulda read the rules and played the game out, but I was worried it'd bog down the story (how many times have I tossed out that excuse?) So I apologize for that.
Also, Your translation convention is a little confusing.
Most fics here tend to use brackets and quotes for sign and speech, so I went with that. The only difference is some are speaking in English, and its pretty apparent who, though I'll keep that special bracket in mind for the future (if I can find it, that is :))
Or, out of spite, you could have Lynda and Will pepper their speech with French phrases to add a fourth language to the confusion.
Problem there is Will is from New York, and Lynda is from Ontario. Neither of them speak French (though Will does speak Turkish and some Arabic.)

Woulda been hilariously vindictive, though :)
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: Upon the Precipice: A USM One-Shot

Post by Hoitash » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:52 pm

For certain parts of the world, such as the part I am in right now (the Golden Throne; yep, The God-Emperor celebrates Thanksgiving, go figure) November is a time of being grateful and giving thanks for what you have. If I may, I would like to enter Serious Mode and do such a thing (sets bottle of scotch down.) Ahem:

Thank you, everyone who has read my writing, written something I have read, commented, criticized, proof-read, and edited something I have read. I write for myself, but I keep writing because of you. All of you. Over six months ago I started writing fan fiction, and I’ve never looked back. Good times and bad, I am a better writer and a better man for the time I have been here, so again, I thank all of you for your contribution in that.

Also, thank you, developers and creators of Katawa Shoujo. Without you, none of us would be here. I wouldn’t be branching out my writing genres and publication methods, and I wouldn’t be drinking tea and running three times a week, either.

(Raises scotch bottle and chugs it down in salute.)

Okay, Serious Mode off. For those of you who remember my United States of Misha fic, I draw your attention to Chapter Thirteen: Sleepless in Sendai. Within that chapter, Lynda Long, our plucky highly disliked Canadian émigré, met the parents of one Shiina “Misha” Mikado. For various reasons, I did not write out the dinner scene that should have followed that meeting. Since I’m taking the week off writing the half dozen papers I have due in a couple weeks, I present to you that dinner. It’s not a Thanksgiving Day meal, and the first half is a bit clunky, but, it is my way of saying thanks, to all of you.

(Spikes scotch bottle on the floor) Let’s do this. FICS FOR THE FIC GOD! TROPES FOR THE TROPE THRONE!

Everyone Expects the Dinner Inquisition! –A USM One Shot



Stepping out of the airport, dragging her limited luggage with her, Lynda watched Hisao Nakai and Shizune Hakamichi sign quickly to Misha before splitting off from the group. Misha gave them a cheery wave before turning to Lynda.

“They’re going to grab a cab,” Misha explained, in English, “and meet us at the restaurant~.”

Lynda smiled and nodded, brushing some loose black hair from her face as she clutched her black coat, “so they’re having dinner with us?”

Misha shook her head, a look of concern etched on her features, “yes and no. We’re going to the same place, but my parents got us a private~ room, so we could talk in private. Shicchan insisted she go to the same restaurant as us, for 'morale related reasons.'"

Lynda gulped and looked up at Mr. and Mrs. Mikado, who had paused so Mr. Mikado could light a mini cigar. Mr. Mikado was a tweedy man in a cheap brown suit and slightly taller than Lynda, who was average height. His eyes were the same color as Misha’s, but they had a shifty gaze that made Lynda uncomfortable when he looked at her, which seemed to be more often that was natural. The rest of his face was unremarkable, though his nose looked like it had been broken once or twice.

Mrs. Mikado, who was roughly the same height as her daughter –barely over five feet- had the same brown hair as Misha, though it was cropped short and ended at her collar. She was wearing a more expensive looking dark green petticoat. When Mr. Mikado was finished lighting the mini cigar, he started walking toward a parking garage a block or two away from the main entrance of the airport they had just left. His wife took up pace next to him, and the two younger women quickly followed.

“So,” Mr. Mikado said in Japanese, turning his head slightly so he could glance at Lynda, a stream of smoke briefly forming a cloud around his head before dissipating, “this is the girlfriend.”

“My girlfriend, Daddy,” Misha corrected, “her name is Lynda, remember?”

“Right,” he grunted, removing the mini cigar from his mouth, “Lynda, you’re Japanese is well spoken.”

Slow, exaggeratedly enunciated, and accented with Lynda’s mild Yooper dialect, but easily understood and well pronounced. Much more so then her earlier attempts at parroting a few Japanese words she’d picked up from Misha and her tutor Henry, at least.

“Thank you, Mr. Mikado,” Lynda replied reflexively, looking pointedly at the sidewalk out of nerves as the group walked away from the airport.

Misha tilted her head in surprise; apparently Lynda had been kidding when she said she only knew enough Japanese to introduce herself.

“How familiar with the language are you?” Mrs. Mikado asked. Her voice wasn’t quite as lilting as her daughters, but there was a lyrical quality to it.

Lynda balked and gave Misha a pleading look. Misha, repressing a giggle at the contrite expression, repeated the question in English.

Lynda nodded her thanks and muttered, “Thought that’s what she asked,” before turning her head to look at the backs of Mrs. Mikado’s heels, “I just memorized a tourist guide book for the language.”

“Shiina mentioned you were studying linguistics,” Mr. Mikado remarked, pausing outside of the parking garage to smoke, “though she said you were studying something Slavic?”

It took a second for Lynda to realize who he was referring too; only Misha’s roommate Carla used her real first name. When realization and the translation had kicked in, Lynda nodded and responded, “That’s correct. I’m actually studying the evolution of the Rusyn language and its localized dialects throughout the nineteenth century. However, most languages have enough mechanical basics that once you get the basics, you can apply them to other languages. Though Japanese having an extra ‘o’ sound, and being from a completely different language tree was an issue –as was the use of Chinese kanji, but that can’t be helped.”

Lynda had rattled off her response so fast that she had stunned the other three, and it took a few moments for Misha to translate everything she had said.

“You’re going to be an academic, then?” Mr. Mikado eventually asked.

Once Misha had translated that, Lynda nodded and responded in Japanese, “that’s more or less the plan, sir.”

“Mr. Mikado will do,” he replied as he flicked some ash onto the sidewalk. He looked up from putting out his cigar to smile at Lynda. His smile was a cheery, bright, toothy grin that Lynda recognized immediately.

It was Misha’s smile, and it was a much warmer gesture then she expected from the man.

Once he had pocketed his unfinished cigar he checked his wristwatch and grunted, “Great, if we’re late I’ll never see the end of it from that woman.”

Misha giggled, causing Lynda to tilt her head, “he’s complaining about Shicchan,” she explained, “they don’t really~ get along- Daddy thinks she’s a domineering bitch.”

“You insisted on smoking on the way,” Mrs. Mikado chided as the group started walking into the garage, engines, voices, and the group’s footsteps echoing loudly in the gray concrete structure. Misha frowned and shook her head, trying to keep the sounds separated in her mind.

Mr. Mikado shrugged, “Didn’t wanna be on edge when I met the girlfriend.”

“Lynda,” Misha corrected. Sparing a glance to the mentioned woman, she added in a hushed tone, “they’re fighting about his smoking on the way~.”

Lynda smirked and nodded; her step-father smoked, too, and it was a source of conflict, even though her parents hardly ever saw each other.

As the group continued up the parking garage, somewhere in the concrete depths a car honked, echoing loudly through the building. It resonated within the vast concrete building, making Misha groan and clutch her ears as they began to painfully ring and throb.

Lynda quickly pivoted to face her girlfriend and look her over. Misha was leaning forward, her eyes screwed shut as she willed her ears to stop ringing. Her parents had heard the two women’s footsteps cease, and glanced behind them to see what was wrong.

“Shii-chan?” Mrs. Mikado asked.

Lynda glanced up and said the few extra words of Japanese she knew, “inner ear problem. Taking care of it has made it a bit sensitive. She will be fine in a moment.”

“I’m fine~,” Misha muttered, opening her eyes and looking at her girlfriend as she tried to shake the ringing away. It didn’t go away completely, but she could at least hear over it. Seeing the concerned expression still on Lynda’s face as she watched her, Misha grimaced and added, “thanks for checking, though~.”

Lynda returned the grimace, trying to twist it into a genuine smile, “No problem. You want your earplugs?”

Misha shook her head and looked at her parents, “we better get going, right Daddy~?”

Mr. Mikado nodded, but, before he started walking again, he grinned that bright, toothy grin at Lynda again. Lynda returned the smile and bowed quickly, acknowledging the unspoken gratitude. The group walked in silence for nearly a minute before Mr. Mikado grinned and pointed ahead.

In a low voice, he proclaimed, “There she is!” She being a 1967 red Mustang coupe.

“Nice car,” Lynda blurted out, smirking at the contrast between it and the more modern cars filling the structure.

Misha grinned and repeated the compliment, which earned Lynda another toothy grin, and a quick response from Mr. Mikado, “yeah, though driving it on the left side of the road is a pain in the ass.”

Once they reached the car, Mr. Mikado unlocked it so the two younger women could squeeze themselves into the back after shoving the luggage into the trunk. Once they were seated, Misha’s parents followed. Mr. Mikado was driving, and he was the first to speak once the car left the garage.

“Do you drive, Lynda?” he asked.

Misha rolled her eyes as she translated the question, adding, “Daddy’s a car salesman, and he always said that you can tell a lot~ about a person by the kind of car they drive.”

Lynda nodded, “I don’t have a license, so no. My brother Will has an ’82 Buick, though.”

Mr. Mikado grunted when that was translated, “Buicks. Junky, but durable. Better then those new cars loaded with computers.”

“Dear,” Mrs. Mikado chided.

“What?” Mr. Mikado asked, his eyes shifting between the road and his wife a she continued, “Look at this thing! All I need is a box of tools, a Chilton’s manual, and an ebay account to keep this thing running! I don’t need some super-educated grease monkey treating my car like HAL!”

Misha was giggling too hard to translate any of that, but Lynda got the gist from his tone and use of English brands.

“Every time something’s wrong with the Subaru,” Mr. Mikado was still ranting, “it costs a goddamn fortune!”

“We agreed Shii-chan should learn to drive a modern car,” Mrs. Mikado stated.

Lynda tilted her head to glance at Misha, who paraphrased what her mother had said.

“You have a driver license?” Lynda asked.

Misha nodded, “Uh-huh! Though I think it expired. I never liked driving~.”

Conversation dropped off as they continued travelling, but, as they rode deeper into the city, Mrs. Mikado, who had been fidgeting slightly along the way, turned to face Lynda, who was sitting behind Mr. Mikado, “we’re almost there, but I wanted to thank you, for looking after our daughter and helping her acclimate to such a new culture, language, and…lifestyle.”

Mr. Mikado grunted and nodded in agreement, while Misha translated the statement.

“You are very welcome,” Lynda responded in Japanese. While Mr. Mikado slowed the car and turned into the parking lot of what looked like a somewhat formal restaurant, Lynda leaned sideways to whisper to Misha, “Speaking of lifestyle, how did your father react when you told him about us?”

“Er…” Misha grimaced, “He… almost hit a telephone pole.”

Lynda suppressed a chuckle, but her expression turned to concern when she asked, “and how’d he take it when you told him you were gay or bi or whatever?”

Misha continued to grimace as the car was eased into a parking spot, “I er, told him that when I told him about us, which was a few days ago.”

“Really?” Lynda balked.

“I wanted to tell him in person~,” Misha stated.

Lynda nodded, “Makes sense. He seems to be taking it well.”

Having been told so recently at least explained his behavior somewhat; he was still sorting through his own thoughts after the double whammy. Lynda mulled that over a bit while they parked and piled out of the car. Mr. Mikado checked his watch and grumbled for a bit before they started walking towards the restaurant.

“A coworker recommended this place,” Mrs. Mikado remarked, “Said they had a good mix of traditional and contemporary meals, and good prices despite the stuffy atmosphere.”

“It’s alright,” Mr. Mikado stated, “Better prices then where you work, at least.”

Misha translated that for Lynda, who nodded a thanks and asked, “is the restaurant you work at nearby, Mrs. Mikado?”

Mrs. Mikado shook her head, “its closer to the suburbs on the north side of town. We don’t actually live in the city proper.”

“No fun having a cool car if you don’t need to use it,” Mr. Mikado declared with a grin.

As the four stepped onto the sidewalk to get to the front door, they took a moment to examine the building. It had a Western style garishness to it, with more traditional Japanese decoration on the façade, which managed to give it an air of formality and welcome. The four filed through the brown door with red and gold design, and into the restaurant itself.

Somehow, the inside managed to strike a balance between formal setting and casual atmosphere. The tables were Western, with red cloths draped over them and the occasional candle burning dimly in the center. The lighting was provided by overhanging Japanese style lanterns –made of metal, not paper. They were bright and welcoming, and it was perhaps their presence that provided the casual atmosphere. That, or the tourists grumbling at the large television placed by the bar. The bar was set up on the right, with ornately carved wooden stools along its length. A bartender in black pants and a matching buttoned shirt glanced up at the four and nodded. A similarly dressed man next to the entrance approached the group and bowed.

“Good evening! How many in your party?” he asked.

“We reserved a room,” Mr. Mikado said, “under Mikado.”

The man’s smile faltered for a moment, but he recovered quickly, “ah yes. A very… animated young woman was enquiring when you would be arriving. Her table is on the way to the dining room.”

The maitre ‘d barked at a nearby waiter, who quickly scooped up several menus and gestured for the group to follow him. On the way he grabbed something from a nearby stack of menus as the group followed him through the arrayed tables.

As they walked, Lynda apprehensively glanced around to examine the patrons. Most of them looked to be tourists and traveling businesspeople, chattering in various languages. Some of them were dressed to match the formal wear of the staff, but most had opted for casual business clothing.

Misha glanced at her girlfriend as her eyes darted everywhere. Supresing a sigh and smiling reassuringly, she whispered, “Lycchan, please relax a little~?”

Lynda nodded and slowly exhaled. Some of the tension left her body, and her shoulders relaxed a fraction. They tensed right back up, however, when Mr. Mikado started grumbling again.

“Shiina, what’s she saying?” he asked, turning to face his daughter.

Misha tilted her head, “huh~?”

Mr. Mikado pointed to a table near a row of doors along the back wall. Shizune was signing furiously in their direction. Hisao, unwilling to yell, simply sat and sipped at a cup of coffee. Both of them were ignoring the small gaggle of odd glances and whispers Shizune’s efforts were generating.

“She’s yelling at you for being late,” Misha stated, “and she says that you being late has interrupted and disrupted the plans of others, and is disrespectful to everyone involved.”

Mr. Mikado sighed and rubbed his right temple, “tell her I’m sorry, then.”

Misha darted through the group and quickly signed her father’s apology. Shizune smirked and signed [he’s forgiven. This time. Good luck.]

Misha returned the smirk, though again it was more of a grimace [Thanks, but I think Lynda needs it more than me.]

With the commotion dealt with, the four turned their attention back to the waiting waiter. He was standing next to one of the red and brown doors along the wall, and trying very hard not to look disconcerted by the boisterous signing he had witnessed, “This is your reserved room.”

The waiter opened the door and the four walked in, the waiter following behind. The room was cozy, with dark wooden walls with a few tasteful paintings hung around the lone table. Square with a red cloth draped over it, Lynda couldn’t help feeling unsettled at the seating arrangement; two chairs on each end along the longer walls. Adding to the affect, a lone, somewhat ornate lamp hung above the table, bathing it in a white glow.

The only thing missing was a two-way mirror and the badges.

Mr. and Mrs. Mikado sat against the wall, so at least the younger couple had an escape avenue. Misha had considered discussing an emergency evacuation scenario with Shizune, but decided it was better to face the music and risk her parents disowning her, rather than fleeing like a coward. Once everyone was seated, the waiter handed out the menus. When he reached Lynda he also presented the extra menu he had grabbed. Glancing at it, Lynda couldn’t help but grin at the English letters arrayed before her.

Misha leaned over slightly to whisper, “Another reason my parents chose this place is they get a lot of tourists, so they have menus in English.”

The waiter smiled and bowed, “We also have them in Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and French.”

Lynda thanked the waiter, who nodded and started taking drink orders. Besides waters all around, Mr. Mikado settled for coffee, while his wife and daughter ordered some tea. Lynda settled for a soda. The waiter retreated, leaving the four alone.

Mrs. Mikado glanced at her husband, who spoke first, “Lynda, it’s a pleasure to meet you, and no doubt you’re wondering why I’m not ranting and raving about my family being dishonored and that my daughter is dead to me, and such other melodramatic ramblings.”

Misha coughed to hide a chuckle before translating that. When she was done, Lynda merely shrugged, “It wouldn’t be the first time; I’ve dealt with the after affects of when that happens more than once.”

Mrs. Mikado nodded at that, “Shii-chan mentioned you did some peer counseling work at Toronto.”

When Misha translated that, Lynda asked her, “What have you told them, so far?”

Misha paused a moment to think, the waiter’s arrival with the drinks giving her some time. When a starting platter had been ordered he drifted away, and Misha answered her girlfriend, “just that you’re from Canada, and have a step-brother who works with my senior mentor~. Oh, and that we met through him, and have been dating seriously for about two months, and knew each other several weeks before that.”

Lynda nodded and turned to face Misha’s parents, “Misha was just telling me what you already knew about me and us. What else would you –wait, you said step-brother?”

Misha nodded, “I didn’t mention your Dad, though~. It’s not my place.”

Lynda slowly nodded, “Okay. Well, I guess they want that explained?”

“Only if you want to,” Misha replied.

Lynda sighed, “I do. They should get the whole picture if we’re going to go through the trouble of being here with them.”

Misha nodded and told her parents, “Remember when I mentioned her step-brother?”

Her parents nodded, Mr. Mikado stating, “You also said it wasn’t your place to talk about her family when we asked.”

“When you asked, dear,” Mrs. Mikado corrected.

Her husband shrugged, stating, “Oh, and at some point we need to get back to my earlier remark.”

“Right Daddy,” Misha said, turning to Lynda and telling her she could go ahead.

Lynda sipped her soda to collect her thoughts before speaking, “Will is my brother by marriage of his biological father and my biological mother. My biological father died when I was six.” Lynda paused; Misha had told Lynda about her parent’s work, so she decided to add, “My mother is an advertising artist, and my father is a Master Sergeant in the United States Army, currently deployed in Iraq with an armored division.”

While the Mikado’s digested that, the waiter arrived with their platter and took their orders, disappearing as quickly as he had before. Once everyone had picked some food, Mr. Mikado spoke up.

“Thank you for the clarification,” he said after swallowing a takoyaki ball, “now, as to our reaction, or rather a lock of one. I’ll admit I may have overreacted at first-”

“You almost crashed the car, dear,” Mrs. Mikado stated with a smirk.

Mr. Mikado sighed, “Okay, I overreacted a lot. Considering the circumstances, I think I did quite well. Anyway, once the shock wore off, my wife and I talked it over, and we realized how happy Shiina was. Between our son running off to Russia, and her issues with middle school, she had never been quite the same.”

Mrs. Mikado chimed in with, “We were actually worried she wouldn’t be able to handle living alone at Yamaku. She had to work pretty hard to convince us she could handle it.”

Lynda smirked at that, glancing at a slightly sheepish looking Misha pick at her food, “well, I’m glad I was there to help her, and that her parents are so understanding.”

Mr. Mikado shrugged, “Mostly her mother more then me; I just surrender to the inevitable and go along for the ride. Helps keep my hair from going gray.”

Lynda smirked at that once it was translated. Mrs. Mikado spoke next, asking, “Lynda, you two have known each other for some time, and though you haven’t been dating long, I was wondering where you thought the relationship might be headed?”

Crap.

Lynda tried to hide her discomfort by looking down at her plate. It was a valid question, and, judging by the now grimacing Misha –also looking down at her plate- she was just as unsure of what to say. The two hadn’t been dating long, and most of it was because Lynda had more or less pushed Misha into it. Adding to the problem, Lynda had confessed her love to Misha, while Misha herself was too unsure of her feelings to reciprocate. The two hadn’t discussed it, but it was in the back of Lynda’s mind, and made her worry if she thought about it too much.

At least the question showed support of the relationship as a long-term endeavor. The question, then, was whether or not the relationship was a long term endeavor. Lynda, desperate for some time to think, faked dropping her napkin to duck down under the table for a second. Misha did the same thing with one of her chopsticks, and the two quickly made eye contact when they noticed what the other had done.

“How the hell am I supposed to answer that?” Lynda demanded in a hushed whisper.

“Honestly~” Misha stated, also whispering –one of the benefits of looking after her inner ear problem, “Daddy can always tell when someone’s lying.”

Lynda glared at her girlfriend, “That doesn’t help. Why didn’t they ask you first?”

Misha shrugged, “They already did~.”

“And?” Lynda prompted.

Misha shrugged, “I just said the relationship was still new, but that I really~ enjoyed spending time with you, and that you’re a great listener~.”

Lynda couldn’t help smiling at the praise, but at the same time Misha had omitted the same thing that Lynda had just thought about; the love confession. Now wasn’t the time to worry about it, though. Still smiling, Lynda sat up straight to try and answer the question.

“Well, I could certainly see it being a long-term relationship, but it is rather soon, and I I’m not sure Misha is in a place right now to be thinking about those kinds of matters –sorry Micchan.”

Misha smiled, “its okay~, though this is getting kinda awkward~.”

Misha translated Lynda’s statement at the same time the dinners arrived. Conversation died for a moment as everyone received their orders and started eating. It wasn’t long, however, before Misha’s parents started to once again question Lynda. Most of the questions revolved around her hobbies, work, and school; normal getting to know you stuff. With the main question dealt with for the time being, the rest was simple short responses, most of which Lynda could answer herself. As she did so, though, she couldn’t help but think back to Mrs. Mikado’s question, and the related unreciprocated confession.

Did Misha love her? Was she capable of such an emotion at this point? Or was Lynda merely a trial run; someone to get her comfortable with her orientation and then discarded when Misha was ready to strike out on her own?

That idea caused Lynda to shake her head, which she quickly stated was to move her hair. Misha wouldn’t do something like that, even if Lynda had more or less dragged her into the relationship.

Misha was having a similar line of thought, especially now that her mind wasn’t occupied as much with translating. Did she love Lynda? She thought she did, but their relationship wasn’t a very good benchmark for normal. If she was more experienced at this kind of thing, maybe she would be surer of herself. She could always talk to her therapist about it, or someone at the LGBT group –they had been in the same boat themselves, after all.

Fortunately for the young couple, the conversation kept towards idle chatter as they ate their meals and had some after-dinner coffee, otherwise their distracted minds might have been their undoing. Misha was especially nervous about that; her mother kept glancing sideways at her, even as she spoke to Lynda. Eventually, Misha yielded to the unasked look during a lull in conversation.

“Something you wanna ask me, Mom~?” she asked.

Mrs. Mikado grinned, “You’re thinking. You look just like you’re father when you do it, so don’t bother denying it.”

Mr. Mikado glanced to his wife, “We’re giving the girlfriend the Third Degree; she has a lot to think about.”

“Lynda,” Misha corrected, “and it’s nothing serious –just thinking about our relationship, and how it can still grow and develop~.”

That was true enough that Misha didn’t mind saying it, and her mother gave a solemn nod in response. Still, her suspicions had been raised, and if hers were, it was likely Lynda’s were as well.

Sooner or later, Lynda would confront Misha about her feelings. Misha would have to sort them out before then. Maybe if she could, she could say something before Lynda brought it up.

As the dinner drew to a close, the two women tried to refocus their minds to less emotionally taxing thoughts. Worrying about the future would only make things worse. Right now they could still enjoy the early stages of their relationship, and sort out the problems as they came.

Lynda was more comfortable with that thought then Misha, but only because she had more experience. The two were quiet on the drive to the hotel, but Misha’s worry had remained visible in her features, even though she had denied it was anything serious. No one brought it up, though; whether it was out of curtsey, or fear, was hard to say.

As the hotels towering and welcoming walled silhouette came into view, Lynda reached for Misha’s hand and gave it a light squeeze. Looking up at her girlfriend, Misha tried to smile a thanks, but it came out as more of a grimace. Lynda returned the gesture with a slightly more convincing smile. Both were content with the status quo, at least partially. Soon, though, things would need to be discussed.

“We’re here,” Mr. Mikado announced, stopping the car in front of the hotel’s lobby. He had stopped the car under a red awning placed over a roundabout for hotel traffic. Shizune and Hisao were waiting inside, just visible beyond the glass sliding doors that led into the tiled and wood adorned lobby.

The four quickly hopped out of the car and Lynda grabbed her luggage from the popped trunk. She joined Misha on the sidewalk as they said their goodbyes. Bowing deeply, she carefully and slowly stated, “thank you very much for dinner and for accepting me as your daughter’s partner. I will do my best to make sure she is happy and well adjusted to life in America.”

Mr. Mikado chuckled, “you’ve done a very good job of that so far.”

Mrs. Mikado nodded along to that, and grabbed Lynda in a tight hug. Jumping slightly from the contact, she almost missed Misha’s mother whisper, “thank you for taking care of our Schii-chan.”

Mrs. Mikado let go and sniffed as she turned to her daughter, whose expression was somewhere between surprise and amusement, “you have excellent taste in… partners, Shii-chan.”

“Don’t screw it up,” Mr. Mikado advised. Glancing at Lynda, he added, “either of you.”

Lynda didn’t quite catch all of that, but the unsettling look Mr. Mikado gave her managed to convey the gist of his statement; the typical “I have a shotgun and know how to use it” routine.

“We won’t,” Misha and Lynda promised. After a hug from her daughter, and a toothy grin from her father, the Mikado’s returned to their car and drove off, waving back to an energetically waving Misha and a more cautiously waving Lynda.

Lynda relaxed and sighed with relief, “That went well.”

Misha rounded on her girlfriend to give her a quick kiss on the cheek, “I knew they’d like you~.”

Lynda raised an eyebrow, “really?”

Misha smiled and shrugged, “no. But they did, so it worked out, right~?”

Lynda sighed again, “I guess.” Glancing at the waiting couple inside, she added, “We better head in before Shizune bursts a blood vessel.”

Misha giggled and nodded, and the two slowly strode forward into the hotel, finally able to focus their minds on the present, and not the tumultuous future that may or may not be awaiting them.

+++

Until Christmas, then, folks. Thanks for reading, and feedback is, as always, appreciated. So’s booze if you got it. Seriously, I’ve been out of hard liquor for three months now. I’m starting to have emotions again, and its freaking me out, man!

Mood. Killed :twisted:
Last edited by Hoitash on Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Thanksgiving Update!

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:35 am

Well, it seemed a bit strange for them to invite Shizune and Hisao to the same restaurant and then sit in a seperate room. All the more so since there didn't seem to be a requirement storywise for them to go to the same restaurant except for the short "scene" Shizune made when they arrived.

Also, the main foreign languages that are catered to when you are in Japan are English, Korean and Chinese. In public places that is. In restaurants it is not common to have foreign menus in languages other than English.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Thanksgiving Update!

Post by Hoitash » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:52 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:Well, it seemed a bit strange for them to invite Shizune and Hisao to the same restaurant...
The idea I think I was going for there was that the same restaurant thing was more Shizune's idea then anyone else's (so she kinda invited herself.) In case Misha needed backup. I might tinker a bit to make that more obvious.
Also, the main foreign languages that are catered to when you are in Japan are English, Korean and Chinese....
I knew I forgot one. You'd think, since my Master's Thesis is nineteenth century US/Japanese relations, I'd remember the Big Three (well Dutch instead of Korean, but you get the idea.)

So that's fixed, now. Thanks for noticing and reading :)
...In public places that is. In restaurants it is not common to have foreign menus in languages other than English.
The idea there is this place gets a lot of traveling businesspeople, so it deals with the major languages in the area, plus any South/Central Americans either involved in Japan or China.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
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Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Thanksgiving Update!

Post by Hoitash » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:24 pm

I frakin’ love Christmas. I hope I can instill some Christmas spirit up in this house, so have a Christmas Special. Oh, this fic follows the end of Chapter Nineteen, but takes place before the Epilogue (so December of Misha’s sophomore year. Er, that’s the second year of a four year program, for those of you not up on the English terminology.)

Merry Christmas to all who desire it, and Happy Holidays to those who do not. Hmm, this shot probably needs a PSA, so:

The views expressed within his fic are meant as part of a Templar plot and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Commissariat. Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

“Come back with this shield or on it.” –A Spartan woman equips her son

All the Queen’s Daughters- A USM One Shot



New York City was normally awash with lights. They blotted out the stars with their vibrance as they mixed and mingled with the city’s neon. Some people disliked the ambient light, but Misha loved it. The sheer scope and size of the city enthralled her, and no more was that size more apparent then December evenings.

Wrapped in a simple black coat and a long brown skirt, Misha hung close to her girlfriend Lynda as they looked up at the massive Christmas tree displayed in the Rockefeller Center. While Misha gazed in awe at the dazzling sight, Lynda seemed distracted, her normally bright brown eyes glazed over and unfocused as she looked up at the glittering white lights.

“Lycchan~?” Misha asked, tilting her head quizzically.

Lynda glanced at Misha, her eyes still unfocused even as she smiled at the brunette’s adorable expression, “Daddy loved Christmas.”

Misha raised an eyebrow; only Lynda’s biological father was “Daddy.” Her stepfather was always “Dad.” He was also rarely mentioned; Misha could count how often Lynda had mentioned her biological father on one hand. That included when she first said he was killed by a drunk driver, and when she had told Misha’s parents he had died when Lynda was six.

“He did~?” Misha asked, fishing for information as she glanced at the gathered crowd. The city was an excellent place to be who you truly were, but it still had its dangers, be they judgmental citizens or potential pickpockets.

Lynda nodded slowly, a few strands of long black hair getting loose in the process, “yup. He loved the lights, the TV specials, the atmosphere of love and generosity… all of it. He’d donate toys and food… he used to say ‘just because the government is doing it is no excuse to not be a good...”

Lynda sniffed and trailed off, and Misha didn’t prod her. She had already learned more about Lynda’s father in the last two minutes than in the last year. She did grab her hand and give it a reassuring squeeze, however. Lynda smiled at the gesture, but her unsteady focus remained on the tree.

“We went here once, when he was alive,” she said after a while, drawing Misha’s attention, “when I was four. He said it was a great Christmas thing to do.”

“It is,” Misha replied with a genial smile.

Lynda nodded, returning the smile with a much more wistful expression, “we had a lot of fun that trip; it’s one of my earliest memories of us doing anything meaningful together. The next year we went to the Niagara Falls Festival of Lights.”

“Sounds like fun~,” Misha stated, not that her input was really necessary.

Lynda nodded and sniffed again, “it was. They have lights reflect off the Falls and it’s… so beautiful…” Lynda turned to Misha, “we’ll have to go there someday.”

Misha nodded enthusiastically, “sure, sure~.”

Lynda sighed and turned back to the tree, shifting her feet slightly to fight the cold, “the year after that, we went to the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Wonderland Walk… That was our last Christmas together.”

Misha squeezed Lynda’s hand again as a tear managed to work itself away from Lynda’s watering eyes. She sniffed again as she turned to face her girlfriend, “sorry for boring you with my past.”

Misha pouted and shook her head, “you’re not boring. Besides, I do the same with you, so it’s about time you returned the favor~.”

Lynda gave a dry chuckle at that, “I guess. You wanna go grab something somewhere? I know a place nearby that doesn’t card.”

Misha frowned and raised an eyebrow in response.

Lynda sighed, “Just a thought.”

“We’re not in Canada~” Misha replied. Smiling, she added, “Some coffee would be nice, though.”

Lynda nodded, “I know a place nearby for that, too.”

Lynda started walking to the two’s left, nearly dragging Misha along as they trotted towards their new destination. Occasionally someone would give them a sidelong glance, and Misha would grin and wave cheerily at them as they passed.

“Having fun?” Lynda asked as they moved through the crowd, Lynda eventually slowing down and allowing Misha to walk next to her, their hands still clasped together.

Misha smiled and nodded, her golden eyes nearly as bright at the tree lights, “uh-huh~! Christmas is such a big deal here, it’s really nice to see all the lights and displays around~.”

Lynda nodded, “yeah, I guess.”

Misha tilted her head, “you guess? Is something bothering you~?”

The two turned onto the sidewalk and started heading south, the lights of the tree already drowned out by those of the city. Lynda shrugged, “Daddy was rather more… serious about the holiday’s more… traditional side.”

Misha rolled her eyes, “you can say he was religious, Lycchan~.”

Lynda shrugged, “okay, he was. In general, too, not just during the holidays, at least from what my mother told me –I don’t remember much about that side of him. Well, I remember us going to church every Sunday, and going on Christmas Eve. Other then that, I don’t remember much,” Lynda smirked and glanced at Misha, “Kinda ironic, when you think about it.”

“How so?” Misha asked.

Lynda’s smirk continued as she responded, “he probably wouldn’t approve of our relationship….” Lynda trailed off and looked up at the light-bleached sky, “although he might’ve; hard to say without having known him better.”

Misha wasn’t sure how to respond to that, so she settled for a smile and a nod, which seemed to work. Lynda pointed silently across the street and down a block. One of the Center’s buildings loomed before them, but it didn’t give Misha a good idea of where they were going. Misha thought for a moment, trying to recall a map of the place. When she did, she realized where they were going and smiled.

“Blue Bottle?” Misha asked.

Lynda smiled and nodded. Her eyes were unfocused again, but the small smile on her face reassured Misha that she wasn’t reminiscing about anything too painful. As the two crossed the street and made their way into the massive concrete and glass Rockefeller Plaza, Lynda started humming a Christmas carol. It sounded familiar to Misha, but not enough that she recognized it.

As the two worked their way to the coffee shop, Misha started thinking back to what Lynda had said about going to Canada someday. Unsure if she wanted to bring it up, she mulled it over as the two eventually reached their destination, ordered some coffee, and managed to find a seat at a small table despite the throngs of shoppers and tourists.

Taking a sip from her coffee, Misha glanced at Lynda and asked, “what’re your plans for Christmas~?”

Lynda shrugged as she set her recently sipped coffee down, “Will’s going to Dad’s this year, so I’ll be staying with him. Their family is meeting up in Michigan again, so I figured I’d go with them. What about you?”

“Back to Japan,” Misha replied, “Shicchan and Hicchan wanna do the hotel thing again, and my parents really~ miss me.”

Lynda nodded, “right, they sent me the info for that, too. I should be able to run off for a weekend before heading back to Dad’s. Speaking of which, do you think you could make it back in time to swing over? Dad really likes you, you know.”

Misha suspected that was because she didn’t mind the sight of his swinging gait; a side-effect of a bomb that had blown off his left leg above the knee. Misha sipped her coffee as she thought it over, “I think I could~. I can spend a couple weeks with my parents before heading back here. Shicchan’s Dad wants to have me over once, though.”

Lynda raised an eyebrow, “why?”

Misha shrugged, “no idea~.”

They were dancing around what Misha really wanted to talk about, but she didn’t want to push the subject. Not too hard, at least.

“Shizune doesn’t talk about her dad much, I’ve noticed,” Lynda remarked.

“The two don’t get along very well,” Misha replied, “he’s one of those traditional types who cares but refuses to let anyone know it.”

Lynda nodded, and the two went back to their coffee. Watching the people pass by, Lynda’s gaze was once again unfocused as her eyes wandered around. Deciding to take the initiative, Misha asked, “So you’re not going to visit your mom this year?”

Lynda stopped mid sip to look Misha in the eye, “no.”

Misha raised an eyebrow, “you sure~?”

“Yes,” Lynda replied, her tone working very hard to say “drop it.”

Before, Misha wouldn’t have picked up on the hidden meaning of her tone. This time, she heard it, but needed to fight through it to find out why, “why not?”

Lynda sighed and glared at her girlfriend, “drop it. Please, Micchan?”

Misha shrugged, “that’s up to you~.”

Lynda’s expression turned from firm to stern as she continued to glare, “Shiina. Drop. It.”

Misha balked at the use of her first name. Conceding that Lynda wasn’t in the mood to talk about it, she sighed and nodded, “okay, I will. For now.”

Misha sipped at her coffee, watching people wander to and fro or chatter with each other. While she did that, she placed her hand over Lynda’s again.

Lynda sighed and caught Misha’s eye, “why do you want to know so much?”

Misha kept eye contact as she responded, “well, I know it helped when I talked to someone about my past~. I don’t know if you had someone to talk to, so I thought maybe I could be that person.”

Lynda slowly nodded, “that makes sense… I do know more about your past then you do mine…”

Misha tilted her head in thought. Lynda knew about Misha’s past with Shizune, and a rough outline of her problems before high school. Most of what Misha knew about Lynda came from her stepbrother, though. Lynda herself was rather guarded about personal details, though she didn’t mind telling superficial things. It was probably even, then, and Misha said as much.

Lynda nodded slowly again, but finished it off with a shrug, “still, I think you deserve to know. I know about your past pains, but you don’t really know mine very well. So…”

“You don’t have to, if you don’t want to~,” Misha stated. She really wanted to know, though she wasn’t entirely sure why. Knowing her past was certainly part of it, but she suspected there was more involved. Still, she didn’t want to push Lynda; she had been patient with her, after all.

Lynda shook her head, “it’s okay, I overreacted. It’s an old wound, and talking about it might help. Especially with you.”

Lynda sighed and sipped her coffee, thinking. Misha quietly waited for her to respond; it was enough that she was willing to discuss it, coaxed as that willingness was. She could wait for her. She always would, because Lynda always waited for her.

After another sip, she started speaking, her voice low and her thoughts carefully thought out, “Mom never came to grips with my sexual orientation. In the beginning she just attributed it my bipolar disorder. Which made some sense considering my early issues, but when I managed to sort things out she realized it wasn’t the disorder. When that happened, she did her best to be supportive, but mom had her streak of social conservatism, just like Daddy probably had. I thought we could work through it, like you did with your parents -it’s obvious your Dad doesn’t approve of us-”

“He approves of you, and that’s enough,” Misha interjected, “and don’t turn this on me.”

“I’m not, I’m just making the comparison,” Lynda stated, “anyway, you’ve noticed how little time I actually spend in Canada since Mom moved?” Lynda waited for Misha to nod before continuing, “That’s part of it. The other part of it is Mom’s never home. She’s either working or sleeping, it seems. How do you work something out when you’re never around to talk about it?”

“You could make the effort to talk about it,” Misha retorted.

Lynda started a bit at that; she hadn’t expected an answer, “why bother, I’m never home anyway. I’m just as bad as her. Hell, I spend more time with Dad then with her!”

Probably because he was closer, Misha thought. No sense stating the obvious, though. Instead, Misha stated, “so you both screwed up~. That doesn’t mean you can’t fix it.”

Lynda sighed, “Why bother? I’m here, she’s there. My life was in Toronto, not Vancouver,” Lynda sighed again and reached for her coffee, “If she hadn’t moved, maybe I’d have a reason to go back.”

“You’re mother’s not a good enough reason?” Misha asked.

Lynda sipped her coffee, thinking. Eventually, she managed to grumble a simple, “no.”

Misha leered at her girlfriend, “you don’t mean that~.”

Lynda nodded, “I do. I had a life in Toronto, sure, but wrapping that up took half my summer. My mom and I just aren’t that close. We never really were, I guess.”

Misha didn’t know how to respond to that, so she settled for saying nothing. Lynda didn’t feel like saying anything more, so the two spent some time just drinking their cooling coffee in silence.

Observing Lynda, Misha noticed her dour expression rather easily. Whatever she had said, she wasn’t as distanced from her mother as she truly thought she was, or wanted to be. Although her mood might have had something to do with Misha’s coaxing. Smiling gently, Misha placed her hand on Lynda’s again.

When Lynda slowly looked up, blinking her mind clear as her brown eyes met Misha’s gold, Misha softly stated, “thank you for talking with me, even though you didn’t want to~.”

Lynda smiled weakly, “Thank you for listening, and for making me talk it out. Though try not to make a habit out of it.”

Misha grinned, “I promise to only use my powers for good.”

Lynda chuckled, “you’d better, or I’ll sic Hisao on you.”

Misha’s eyes widened in mock-horror, “not that~! I still haven’t recovered from before your transfer to NYU~!”

“Well than behave yourself,” Lynda stated.

“You first,” Misha retorted.

The two giggled over their absurdity for a bit, before finishing their coffees and moving back out into the wintery night.

“Ready to head back?” Misha asked, “or do you wanna go to my place~?”

Lynda shrugged, “you pick.”

“Dorm’s are closer~,” Misha stated.

Lynda nodded, and the two started the trek back to NYU’s dormitories. The cold wasn’t too harsh as they made there way, and it gave Misha a chance to once again marvel at the blazing lights and neon, now intensified with Christmas decorations. Lynda joined Misha in enjoying the dazzling displays. Reminded of their conversation, Lynda asked, “why the sudden interest in my mother's and my relationship?”

Misha had been able to muse on that, and she was pretty sure she had the real reason thought out. Grimacing slightly, Misha replied “I wanted to know if you were running from your problems, like I did when I came here~.”

Lynda tilted her head in thought, “I don’t think you came here to run. I think you just wanted a new perspective, and a change of environment.”

Misha shrugged, “It was all three, I think. Is that why you’re avoiding Canada~?”

Lynda sighed, “You know the answer to that.”

Misha nodded, “I want you to admit it. Acceptance is the first step, you know~.”

Lynda rolled her eyes and sighed again. Glancing at the determined expression Misha was giving her, Lynda gave in, “alright, fine. I’m running from my mother and our inability to communicate with each other. I’m a terrible daughter and will be reincarnated as a toilet brush, and she is an old fashioned workaholic that never listened.”

Misha giggled at Lynda’s outburst, which earned her a feigned glare of anger that lasted half of a block before Lynda broke down into her own giggles. The two silently continued onward, Misha distracted by the lights, and Lynda wondering if she could ever bring herself to talk to her mother again.

“Sorry, by the way,” Misha said. When Lynda raised an eyebrow at her, she added, “I never actually~ apolo-gized for making you talk to me.”

Lynda kissed Misha on the cheek as they walked, “you’re forgiven. Like I said, though, just don’t make a habit of it.”

Misha smirked and nodded, “I won’t~, but what if your mother calls you?”

“She won’t,” Lynda replied, “she doesn’t have anything worth saying. Not anymore.”

“But if she did, would you talk to her?” Misha asked.

Lynda paused to think, her walking pace shortened slightly. Misha matched the pace as Lynda thought through her answer. Trying to avoid making eye contact with Misha’s bright, golden orbs, she wondered; if she wasn’t willing to take the first step, could she make the second?

After another half a block, Lynda picked up her pace and slowly nodded, “if she called, I think I’d have to. If for no other reason than because Daddy would want me to.”

Misha grinned and pecked Lynda on the cheek, “see, see~, there’s hope yet~!”

Lynda snorted, “yeah, sure. Like she’ll call in the first place.”

Misha opened her mouth to respond, but the sound of Lynda’s phone ringing cut her off. Lynda quickly started digging through her purse, grumbling lightly as she fished for it. Finally yanking it free, she looked at the caller ID and balked.

“Holy shit…” she whispered, “It’s my mother.”

Lynda warily glanced at Misha, expecting her to say something. She stayed silent, though, finally content to let Lynda handle the matter. Lynda had been there to help her sort through things, and now that Misha had returned the favor, the real work was up to her.

Sighing at the ringing phone, Lynda grimaced and flipped it open.

++++

Christmas should be a time of family. Even if you can’t go home again.

Happy Holidays!
Last edited by Hoitash on Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Christmas Update

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:48 pm

...I know a place nearby that doesn’t card.”
What does that mean?
“why the sudden interest in my mother and I’s relationship?”
"...my mother's and my relationship"

Other than that a few then/than mishaps and one instance of your/you're confusion.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
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Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Christmas Update

Post by Hoitash » Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:02 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
...I know a place nearby that doesn’t card.”
What does that mean?
In the US you have to present a photo ID when purchasing alcoholic beverages. This is known as "being carded." Some states require it of bars and resturaunts no matter how old you look. Others do it if you look young, some don't bother in the first place. It varies by state, how old you look, and how reputable the establishment (yay federalism.)

Since Lynda would be 21 and Misha only 20, it was essentially Lynda saying "I need a drink, wanna come?" and Misha responded, "nope."

(Sure she coulda just gone and not ordered anything alcoholic, but Lynda and alcohol have a sordid history, so Misha made a judgement call.)
“why the sudden interest in my mother and I’s relationship?”
"...my mother's and my relationship"
I'm getting deja vu, for some reason :)

(Fixed, btw, and thanks.)
Other than that a few then/than mishaps and one instance of your/you're confusion.
I'll go fish them out when I have the time; this paper won't write itself, sadly.

Thanks for reading and feedbacking :D
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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