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Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:37 am
by Hoitash
I think I might have some sort of disease. Is fanfictionitis a thing? I think it’s a thing.

Welp, even if it’s just me, Mirage, and Silentcook, long live yuri! Also enjoy the debut of a KS character in this series!

Yeah I know it’s really late. I regret nothing!


USM Summer Special: Fireworks and Fun

There would come a day when Lynda Long would not need her girlfriend’s mother to help her don traditional Japanese clothing.

That day was not soon, unfortunately, so Lynda once again endured the odd feeling that comes from having someone else fit and ready their clothing for them. As Mrs. Mikado put the finishing touches on Lynda’s yukata, she couldn’t quite shake the doll-like sentiment such efforts brought.

“Almost done,” Mrs. Mikado assured the younger girl in excellent English.

“How do I look?” Lynda asked, her Japanese decent if not fluent.

“I think you look lovely, and I’m sure Shiina will think the same. This is your first summer festival, correct?”

“My first Japanese one,” Lynda replied, “I’ve been to several fairs for the Fourth of July and Canada Day, although never with a crowd like todays.”

Mrs. Mikado chuckled, “Hakamichis don’t do things by halves, and neither do Satous.”

Lynda smirked, “I have noticed that.”

A few moments later, Mrs. Mikado declared Lynda’s outfit complete. Similar to her New Year’s kimono, the purple and black yukata matched her black hair, tied up in a bun and held in place with silver chopsticks. A pair of silver earrings and a necklace complimented the outfit, as did her purple bag.

Though she knew she looked good, her leaner frame did not fill out the summer garb nearly as well as the she would have liked, and knowing how well Misha would fit in her own clothes stirred multiple emotions within her. Emotions she quickly stopped thinking about while said woman’s mother was within line of sight of Lynda’s face.

Mrs. Mikado was not nearly that stupid, of course.

“You look lovely,” she declared, “it’s so refreshing to see a young girl so good at color coordination.”

Lynda managed a small smile; she’d seen pictures of Misha in pink hair and saw the after-effects of the dye while her hair re-grew.

“I took an art appreciation class for an easy A,” she explained, “although knowing the color wheel made painting my models a lot more fun.”

Mrs. Mikado chuckled again, “I’m sure. Well, now that you’re ready there’s no reason to keep me company.”

Lynda nodded and bowed to the older woman, “Thank you once again for all your help, Mikado-san.”

Mrs. Mikado smiled, “Anytime, Lynda. Now off you go, hop-hop!”

Lynda blinked at the phrasing but did as Misha’s mother asked, slowly plodding her way to the door in her sandals.

Misha, waiting by the front door in her own golden brown yukata, its accents a deep amber to match her eyes. Mr. Mikado, reading a newspaper nearby, occasionally grunted at the news as he read. When Lynda finally appeared in the stairway Misha squealed and, not having donned her shoes yet, trotted over to the bottom of the steps.

Grabbing Lynda in a hug, she squealed, “You look so gooood~, Lycchan!”

Lynda returned the hug, grinning as she said, “Thanks, Misha. You’re beautiful, too, you know.”

Misha giggled and pulled away, doing her best to ignore her mother’s teasing smirk.

“You two have fun now,” Mrs. Mikado said.

Misha grinned, “We will~! Thanks Mom.”

Lynda bowed to Misha’s mother once again, “Thank you again, Mrs. Mikado.”

Mrs. Mikado rolled her eyes, “Oh go on, before you keep them waiting.”

With a final bow of farewell, the two left the house for the awaiting festival.

Lynda checked her phone for the time, “Looks like we’re still on time. We’re meeting them not far from here, right?”

Misha nodded, “Yep~!”

Lynda smiled and moved to grab her hand, but paused when she remembered which country she was in. Noticing her hesitation, Misha grinned and grabbed Lynda’s hand instead.

Lynda returned the grin, “Good thing we can walk there, huh?”

Misha nodded, “Yeah….”

Lynda raised an eyebrow, “Somethin’ on your mind?”

Misha nodded, looking oddly serious as she said, “This is our first festival together, so I wanna make sure you enjoy~ it.”

“Thanks,” Lynda said, “but don’t over-think it –that’s my job, remember?”

Smiling, Misha nodded, and the two made their way to the waiting festival. Outside the bustling festivities, however, waited the rest of their group.

Shizune and Hisao waved as Misha and Lynda approached, Shizune wearing the same yukata she wore back at Yamaku, and Hisao a blazer over his standard day clothes. Next to them stood Akira, Hideaki, and Lilly. Akira wore her usual suit and grinned and waved at the two. Hideaki, wearing his school blazer over day clothes, waved as well. Lilly, wearing a blue and black yukata that did interesting things with her figure, tilted her head to try and catch the two’s arrival. Behind her stood a young woman in a violet yukata, her matching hair done up in a ponytail similar to Lilly’s, except it was held in place with silver chopsticks instead of a ribbon.

Akira spoke first, grinning as the two entered conversation distance, “Yo! How you two doin’?”

Lynda returned the grin at her technical kinsman, “We’re doing well, and hello yourself. I’m glad you could all make it –er, almost all. Where’s your boyfriend again?”

Akira grimaced, “He took on some of his coworker’s assignments so they could take some extra time off. He owes me a week in Hawaii for it, too.”

“I’m sure I’ll meet him someday,” Lynda remarked.

Akira grinned, “Here’s hoping! Speaking of, I don’t think you’ve met Hanako yet?”

The young woman in violet took a small step away from Lilly. Folding her hands in front of her, she gave a low, quick bow before introducing herself in passable English interspersed with a nervous stutter.

Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:38 am
by Hoitash
Part II:

“H-hello, my n-name is Hanako Ikezawa. It is a p-pleasure to m-meet you.”

Lynda, who thanks to an extended family full of war veterans didn’t mind the woman’s clear burn scars, smiled and returned the bow, “Hello. I’m Lynda Long. Please just call me Lynda, and nice to meet you, too –love the yukata, by the way.”

Hanako, her face flushing from the compliment, smiled and turned slightly toward Misha.

“Hello, Misha,” she said in Japanese, “It’s nice to see you again.”

Misha beamed at the taller woman, “Same here~!,” turning to Lynda, she explained, “Hanako went to Yamaku, too, and is Lilly’s best friend. She’s also a really~ good doujin writer.”

Lynda’s eyes widened, “Cool! May I ask your pen name? I have some friends back in the States who might have read your work.”

Hanako, flushing brightly at the attention, smiled despite the situation as she replied in Japanese, “L-Lilly Hana.”

Akira smirked and elbowed her sister. Lilly gave her a disproving frown, but said nothing.

Lynda’s eyes lit up in recognition, “I’ve heard of her! Er, you, um… a friend of one of my brother’s friends is a fan, I mean. Nice to meet you.”

Still clearly flustered, Hanako managed a weak giggle before making a small bow, “Nice to m-meet you. A-again. If-if you remind m-me later, I c-can g-give you an-autograph.”

“Thank you,” Lynda said.

She considered asking for a picture as well, but decided against it; the other woman looked incredibly flustered from the attention, and, if what she remembered from Misha’s stories was still accurate, Hanako did not like attention. Best to quit while she was ahead.

Shizune, bored with the conversation as Hisao translated it, started furiously signing.

“Shizune wants to get to the festival,” he translated, “‘those games won’t win themselves, after all.’”

“She’s got a point!” Akira remarked. Turning toward the festival entrance she declared, “Let’s get going!”

With a quick glance to each other, Lynda and Misha joined the group and together they entered the festival.

The sounds, smells, and sights of the festival hit them all like a wall. Misha’s ear rang uncomfortably. Lynda, seeing her discomfort, gave her hand a quick reassuring squeeze. Misha managed a grin as the ringing slowly faded.

Lilly likewise needed a moment to adjust, the sheer cacophony of the evening slowing her already sedate pace. As with Misha, Hanako immediately sidled up the blonde, holding her hand and giving it a reassuring squeeze as she slowly guided her forward.

Lilly huffed but let the slightly shorter woman guide her. Lynda found the display familiar, but refrained from saying anything.

Once everyone adjusted the lights and noise, they started looking around, trying to decide what to do first.

“So,” Akira asked, “where should we go first? The smoking area?”

“Funny,” Hisao remarked, signing as he said, [“you know Shizune’s vote is going to be for one of the game booths.”]

His hands barely stopped before Shizune nodded, grinning as she furiously signed her order of preference. As she signed away Hideaki chimed in that he wanted food. Akira agreed, which in turn started another flurry of signing from Shizune on stall preferences.

While Shizune, Hideaki, and Akira bantered, Lynda scanned the festival, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells while keeping pace with the group, which kept moving to keep from blocking the flow of foot traffic and because Shizune refused to stand idle. Despite the gathering’s noise the three’s conversation was largely silent, allowing Lynda to observe their argument and overhear the stall owners hawking their games and food.

“Hey!” one of the booth owners shouted, “Lucky guy with all the girls!”

Hisao sighed, stopped, and turned toward the booth owner. The man in question, an older fellow who looked so much like a stereotypical festival booth owner it was almost farcical, grinned at the potential bite to his hook.

The booth was, of course, a ball tossing booth.

“Hey there!” the man shouted, “You got a good arm, right? Why not take a crack and earn a prize for all those lucky girls!”

Hisao, ignoring Akira’s smirk, shrugged and said, [“Why not? Anyone else want a go at the ball tossing booth?”]

Lynda nodded, “I’ll give it a try.”

“Yay!” Misha cheered, “Win me a good prize, okay?”

Lynda grinned at the shorter woman, “I’ll see what I can do.”

Akira chuckled, “Good luck you two. Hey Squirt, you should have a go at it as well –isn’t there that weird girl in the occult club you have your eye on? Bet she’d love a festival prize.”

Hideaki sighed, “I’m not much of a thrower. I prefer the string game.”

“Why not get something for The Boyfriend?” Hisao suggested.

Akira took a moment to think the idea before shrugging, “Sure, why not.”

“Oho!” the stall owner grinned, “three customers at once, and two of them pretty foreigners? Today must be my lucky day! How about you, you got a good eye, I can tell!”

The recipient of the stall owner’s latest pitch squeaked, and, after a moment, Hanako slowly pulled away from Lilly. If her scarring bothered the booth owner he didn’t show it, and maybe that was why, blushing but determined, she gave a small nod.

“O-okay,” she replied, “I’ll t-try a-after e-everyone else.”

“So who’s on first?” Akira asked.

Lynda smirked at the joke, but she was the only one who got it besides Lilly, who merely sighed at her sister’s antics.

Hisao, meanwhile, turned to Lynda, “This is your first festival, right? Seems fair you go first?”

“Oh-ho!” the stall owner chimed in, “Your first summer festival! I’ll give you an extra shot for free if you go first. Good deal, no?”

Lynda grinned at the older man, “Sure, and thank you.”

Accepting the balls with a small bow, Lynda carefully eyed up her targets. The balls felt light and puffy in her hands, and the stacked cups loomed sturdy and resolute against her. After taking a moment to line up her shot, Lynda tossed the first ball as hard as she could… and ended up at least an inch too far to the right.

Grimacing, she adjusted her aim and fired again. This time she hit the cups, but her stubborn target held firm. Her third shot likewise failed to dislodge the cups, and the fourth went high, glancing off her target and failing to topple the tower.

Lynda sighed, “Never was good at handling balls.”

Akira, as the oldest, most mature member of the group, snickered loudly. The stall owner smiled and held out a small Hello Kitty! Keychain.

“Good effort, though!” he said, “Have this to commemorate your first booth!”

Lynda smiled and accepted the gift with a small bow. Turning to the group, she asked, “Who’s next?”

Akira raised her hand, “I’ll give it a go.”

While Akira stepped up to the metaphorical plate, Lynda handed the little pink and white keychain to Misha, which earned her a quick hug. Akira, meanwhile carefully aimed her shots before accidently hitting the stall owner.

“Shit!” she said, “Sorry about that!”

The owner grinned and waved her apology away, “No worries! No prizes for hitting me, though!”

Akira gave a sheepish grin and adjusted her aim. It took both shots, but she managed to topple one of the lesser cup towers. The stall owner grinned and pointed to the available prize options. After a quick scan Akira chose the novelty back scratcher.

Twirling the prize in her hand, she grinned and said, “He’s been wanting one of these for ages.”

“My turn then,” Hisao declared.

Shizune grinned and signed, [Show them what you can do!]

[I’ll do my best.]

[I’ll get mad if you don’t.]

Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:39 am
by Hoitash
Part III:

Akira stepped aside so Hisao, smirking at his girlfriend’s playful banter, could take her place. While Hisao readied his throws, Lynda’s eyes started wandering to the food stalls. Tapping Misha’s shoulder, she signed if maybe they should get some food next, a query that earned her a flurry of sign language unleashed so quickly she only got the gist of it.

The gist was an enthusiastic yes, though, so it worked out in the end. Having a foodie for a girlfriend has its advantages.

Hisao managed, after careful aiming and prayer to the God-Emperor, to take out a slightly better tower than Akira had. This allowed him to pick a stuffed black cat toy to keep Shizune’s purple cat company.

“Excellent choice!” the stall owner crowed, “Gonna give it a name?”

Shizune, hugging the toy like a first grader, grinned and signed with one hand. Hisao smirked and translated, “The cat’s name is Jiji.”

Lynda sighed, “Rest in peace, Phil Hartman.”

“Pretty lady!” the stall owner called to Hanako, “You still want your shot? For being so patient, I’ll give you a fourth ball for free? Good deal, right?”

Blushing at the attention, Hanako nodded and meekly took her place. She took her time aiming, her hands shaking and teeth chewing her lower lip. Lynda saw Lilly grip her bag so tight her knuckles turned white.

“You can do it, Hanako,” the blonde whispered in English.

Lynda watched as the purple haired woman slowly, achingly slowly, readied her shots. The stall owner gave her an encouraging smile, a smile that faltered slightly when she sent most of the tower hurtling to the ground.

For her prize, Hanako chose a large stuffed teddy bear she decided to name Kuma.

Lynda glanced to the food stalls, “Would it be alright if we got some food next? I don’t think Misha’s inner foodie can hold out much longer.”

“Food sounds good,” Akira declared, “I was wondering if my favorite takoyaki stall was here again.”

“Food sounds like a delightful idea,” Lilly added, “I for one smell ice cream somewhere ahead of us.”

Shizune rolled her eyes, earning her a reproving glare from both Hisao and Misha. After a quick discussion, the group split up to grab their desired food, cell phones set to vibrate as they momentarily dispersed.

Misha grabbed Lynda’s hand, ostensibly so they could keep track of each through the crowd, “Having fun so far?”

Lynda nodded, “Definitely a festival… um… I didn’t freak Hanako out, did I?”

“Everything freaks Hanako out,” Hisao, who was travelling with them, explained, “She’s not much of a people person. I’m kind of surprised she came, honestly. Ooh, okonomiyaki.”

Lynda joined Hisao at the okonomiyaki stall, while Shizune opted for some skewers. Misha got takoyaki. Rather than rejoin the others right away, they opted to eat first so that sign-based communication wouldn’t suffer.

Once they finished their food, and Misha bought her and Lynda a candied apple each, they rejoined the others, several of them nibbling on various candies.

“So what next?” Akira asked, “If you guys just wanna wander around I wouldn’t mind, either; it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to enjoy a festival.”

“Wandering sounds nice,” Lilly replied.

Hideaki shrugged, “I wanna hit up the string game, but besides that why not? We should stick together as much as possible, at least.”

“Ooh!” Misha chirped, “I like wandering around, too, but I just had an idea! We should all do some diecutting! Thanks to our sign language training our fingers are all super nimble, so I bet we could get great~ prizes!”

Shizune grinned, [I agree! Let’s show the kids how it’s done and make them envy our superior finger techniques!]

Akira couldn’t resist, “Yeah, I bet you’ve gotten really good with your hands.”

Lilly sighed, and, in deliberately formal Japanese, muttered, “Sister, please, we’re in public.”

“It’s fine!” Misha declared, “Lynda’s a great~ teacher.”

“So!” Hisao cut in, “Diecutting it is! Onward, for the Emperor!”

“I’ll pass,” Hideaki said, “I suck at diecutting. Hanako, wanna try and catch goldfish? Dad keeps fishing in our koi pond so I need to resupply it.”

“Um… o-okay,” Hanako replied, “l-let’s go, then.”

The two went off on their own, and Akira naturally slid into Hanako’s place as Lilly’s guide.

As Misha predicted, when it came the diecutting they did excellently, except Lilly, who found her lack of success adorably distressing. Akira bought her a beer, which earned another bemused expression from the younger sister.

“Though appreciated,” she insisted, “I think I’m old enough that you don’t have to buy me something when I fail.”

Akira grinned and ruffled Lilly’s hair, her own beer held in the other hand as she said, “It’s not that –I just wanna see you let your hair down a bit.”

Lilly huffed as she sipped her drink, “Are Hideaki and Hanako still fishing?”

“They’re over there,” Hisao said, pointing for the benefit of the others, “Looks like Hideaki cracked the string game code.”

A few moments later, Hideaki, laden with prizes and Hanako, carrying several goldfish of various size, rejoined the group.

“Lilly,” Hanako said, “s-sorry, but my hands are f-full now.”

Lilly smiled, “It’s fine. I seem to find my own somewhat occupied right now as well.”

“So,” Lynda took a sip from Misha’s beer –she’d picked one up with Akira, “time for wandering?”

Hisao shrugged, “Sure, why not.”

The group proceeded to walk randomly about the festival, one or two occasionally breaking off for a moment to buy a snack or trinket.

[“Are there fireworks at this festival?”] Lynda asked after a little while of wandering.

Misha scrunched her face in thought, while Shizune smiled and started signing with one hand, the other holding one of the goldfish Hideaki acquired for the family koi pond.

[There are,] she replied, [and I happen to know an excellent spot to watch them!]

[“Cool”], Lynda said. For Lilly’s benefit she added, “Shizune said she knows a good spot to watch them from.”

Lilly nodded, “Shizune has always been rather fond of heights.”

“What time do they start?” Lynda asked.

Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:39 am
by Hoitash
Part IV:

Shizune signed her reply, and Lynda fished out her cell phone to check the time. Hisao, wearing a watch, beat her to it.

“Then we have time to keep lookin’ around,” Akira stated, “Hmm… anyone got anything specific they wanna try?”

As if in answer to her question, a nearby stall owner shouted in English, “Hey, pretty foreigner! Do you feel lucky?”

Akira turned toward the voice to see a younger man with short black hair manning an air rifle booth.

“You talkin’ to me?” she replied in Japanese.

Not missing a beat, the owner grinned and nodded. In Japanese, he responded, “Yeah, you and the pretty girl with black hair! And your sister, too! Wanna take a shot and earn a prize for your lucky man?”

Lilly smirked and turned to her sister, “What sort of booth is it?”

“Air rifle,” Lynda replied.

“I’ll pass,” Lilly declared, “but Akira, you always had a good arm with our Aunt’s shotgun.”

Lynda raised an eyebrow, “Your Aunt owned a shotgun?”

Akira shrugged, “Some sides of our family are hardcore Scottish Independents. Imagine the barn in Hot Fuzz and you get the general idea. What about you, you’re American.”

Lynda rolled her eyes, “I haven’t been skeet shooting in about ten years, and the recoil on those cork guns is way different, but sure I’m game.”

“Count me in,” Hideaki interjected, “I need to regain my honor from the last time Hisao owned me at Call of Duty.”

Hisao smirked, “I beat you there, I’ll beat you at this, too. Hanako, you want in? You like arcade shooters, right?”

Hanako, a pace behind Lilly, nodded, “I w-would, but my h-hands are full.”

“I can take the fish,” Misha stated, “I wanna see you shoot.”

Lynda gave her partner a fake pout, “What about me?”

Misha grinned, “You’re American and your Dad’s a soldier.”

“He didn’t get to take his rifle home, you know. They stopped letting soldiers do that after Korea.”

“So who wants to go first?” Akira asked.

Shizune, kept abreast of the situation thanks to Hisao and Misha, grinned and signed, [You should go first! He called you out and you must defend your honor! And the honor of the family! Your side of the family, I mean!]

Akira, smirking and rolling her eyes, sauntered over to the booth.

“Alright, kid, gimme some corks.”

“You get three shots,” the owner said as she handed over the money, “Knock over the target, you get the prize above it. Simple, right?”

“Sure,” Akira hefted the rifle and carefully examined it, her finger well clear of the trigger, “cork versus metal, how hard can it be?”

The owner grinned, “All part of the fun!”

Akira took a moment to eye the prizes before leveling the gun and readying her shot. The first cork dinged off the edge of her chosen target, the second struck closer to the center, and the third just managed to knock it over.

Akira grinned as she set down the gun and accepted her prize of a novelty bottle opener.

“Good shooting,” Lynda complimented.

Akira stepped away from the booth, grinning sheepishly, “I was actually aiming above that one, but when the shot hit that target instead I figured it was easier to aim at. You wanna go next?”

“Unless someone else wants to?”

No one else did, so Lynda took up position at the booth, paid for her corks, and eyed the prizes. Determined to win a proper prize for Misha, she carefully eyed the targets before leveling the gun and taking aim.

The first shot dinged off the edge, just as Akira’s did. Frowning, Lynda carefully readjusted her aim, and with a small exhale, fired the second cork. The target gave way, earning her a round of congratulations from the group.

The stall owner grinned as he handed her the squeaky enchanted baseball bat toy, which she promptly handed to Misha.

“Just like I promised!” Lynda declared, “Now if Will bothers you, you can bonk him while pretending to be a magical girl! Just don’t listen to any talking cats, okay? Unless they’re voiced by Phil Hartman, I mean.”

“Shouldn’t she avoid cats talking like dead people?” Hideaki countered.

Akira grinned and patted the young man’s head, “You really have been spending too much time with that girl.”

Hideaki sighed and moved to take Lynda’s place.

“Unless you want your last shot?”

Lynda shrugged, “I’m good. Good luck.”

Hideaki gave her a small smirk, but unfortunately his aim in the real world needed improvement. After failing to hit a target, he consoled himself with a candied apple while Hisao took his place.

Lynda smirked as Hisao took aim, “Don’t forget your Leadership roll for First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire.”

Hisao grinned, his eyes forward as he remarked, “Very funny, you pointy-eared git.”

Unfortunately, the God-Emperor was not with Hisao, who only managed to glance a target with his final shot. Sighing in defeat, he stepped aside so Hanako could have her turn. Shizune, for her part, consoled Hisao in her usual way.

[You can avenge this dishonor next year,] she assured him.

Hisao smirked, [That’s the plan.]

The care and focus Hanako exhibited with her shots impressed Lynda; even though she likely had no experience with a real firearm, her treatment of the cork gun mirrored Lynda’s respectful handling of the weapon.

With great care, the young woman managed to blast her target, securing the prize of a fluffy stuffed dog. When the stall owner handed over the prize, Misha asked her for the dog’s name.

Hanako looked to the fluffy white dog.

“Ezo, I think,” she replied, “because it reminds me of an Ezo wolf.”

Lilly smiled, “That is a lovely name. May I pet Ezo?”

Hanako smiled, “O-of course,” she turned to the stall owner and bowed, “Th-thank you.”

The owner grinned, “You’re very welcome, young lady. Enjoy your evening, all of you!”

The group stepped off to the side out of the way of the booth. Once clear of the booth and the flow of traffic, Lilly gently rubbed the stuffed toy’s fur, eventually reaching the ears and giving them a good scratch.

Lilly smiled, “Thank you, Hanako; it is quite the prize you have won.”

Hisao nodded, “I knew you were good at video games, but you have yourself quite the haul today.”

Hanako blushed and said, “I-I’m j-just g-good at p-pattern r-r-recognition. Is-is it almost time for the f-fireworks?”

Hisao checked his watch, “Just about.”

Misha turned to Shizune, [Where’s that spot of yours? It’s almost fireworks time and it’s been so long I forgot.]

Shizune grinned and signed back, [Up the slope there’s a couple of benches near the path to a shrine. If you stand on the benches you can see over most of the trees.]

Misha translated Shizune’s reply for the rest, who turned their heads to look up towards the indicated spot.

“Huh,” Hideaki grunted, “I never thought of that.”

“I didn’t even notice the spot until Shizune pointed it out for me,” Hisao replied, “then again, I can barely find the trail in the first place.”

Akira gave an amused snort, “You guys go on ahead –I’m gonna take a quick smoke and join you in a bit.”

Hideaki raised an eyebrow, “How will you find us?”

“Life… finds a way,” she replied before wandering off on her own.

Hanako frowned and shuffled closer to Lilly, “W-we sh-should g-go b-before someone else t-takes the spot.”

Lilly nodded, “Indeed. Is the path even, I hope?”

Misha nodded out of habit, “It’s pretty level~,” to Shizune she signed, [Lilly’s concerned about walking up the hill.]

Shizune rolled her eyes and grabbed Lilly’s hand. The taller cousin started slightly at the unsuspecting touch. Shizune quickly palmed out something in deaf-blind sign language, and, after a moment, pointed dramatically up the hill.

Misha grinned and matched her dramatic pose, “Shicchan will lead the way!”

Hisao sighed and signed to his girlfriend, [You’ve been hanging out with Kenji too much.]

Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

Posted: Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:40 am
by Hoitash
Part V:

Misha giggled as Shizune started marching. As the group headed up the hill, Misha sidled over next to Lynda.

Lynda smiled at the shorter woman, and, after making sure they’d left the crowds of the festival, gently kissed the top of her head before saying in English, “Hey.”

Misha smiled and returned the greeting in Japanese, “Hey. Having fun?”

Lynda nodded, “I’m glad we finally got to do this.”

“Me, too~,” Misha agreed. Looking the taller woman up and down, she added, “I’m also glad I final~ly~ got to see you in a yukata.”

“Same here,” Lynda said, “although I think you look a lot better in yours –the whole athletic slender look doesn’t seem to suit Japanese clothes. Or maybe it’s just my height.”

Hanako, staying close to Lilly, managed to stutter, “I th-think you both l-look very p-pretty. E-especially since you l-let your hair g-grow out a-again, Misha.”

Misha beamed at the other woman, “Thanks, Hanachan!”

Lynda smirked as they continued their ascent, “I’ll be honest –I can’t really imagine you with the drills, even with the pictures I’ve seen.”

“It was a very…” Hisao struggled for a moment to find the right words as he signed the conversation with his free hand for Shizune, “distinctive look.”

“Shicchan’s dad said I looked like a judge!”

Hideaki snorted, “Dad’s opinion should be taken with a barrel of salt.”

Shizune frowned and used her free hand to sign, [It took her forever to get her hair ready in the morning. I still think that’s why she hated staying up late.]

Misha chuckled at her friend’s remark, [“Maybe~!”]

Lynda smirked at Shizune’s response as they continued their ascent. The trail was gentle enough Hisao had no trouble during the trek, and it didn’t take long for them to run into the benches Shizune had mentioned. Their locations seemed to mark the halfway point to the shrine itself, and an old lamppost helped mark the spot.

[“So,”] Hideaki said and signed as he eyed the worn stone benches, [“we just need to stand on these to see the show best?”]

Shizune grinned and nodded as she adjusted her glasses with her free hand.

“Are there enough benches for everyone?” Lilly asked, “I’m content to just stand on the ground.”

Lynda did a quick look of the benches. Simple stone constructs just to the side of the trail, each one looked like they could support two people without risk of them knocking each other over. There were three of them.

“Looks like we can have six people on the benches,” Lynda said. Glancing to the impressive view awaiting them, she added, “and I vote Akira stands because she’s not here to say anything about it.”

“Seconded,” Hideaki said.

“Thirded,” Hisao added, “Motion carries.”

While Shizune and Hisao hefted themselves onto one of the benches, Lynda did the same, offering her hand to help Misha up. Thanks to the open view before them, and the cement bench, the shorter woman had no trouble seeing as far as the stars and flickering lights below allowed.

“P-pretty,” Hanako breathed from her shared bench with Hideaki.

“Yeah….” Misha agreed, “When do the fireworks start?”

Hisao checked his watch, “Soon. Any idea when Akira will join us?”

“You rang?”

The six on the benches turned to see Akira standing nearby, a six pack of Sapporo in one hand and various festival goodies in the other.

“I thought you’d call,” Hisao remarked.

Akira shrugged, “Found you guys easy enough.”

Lynda focused on the six pack, “Where’d you get the beer?”

Akira just shrugged as she sauntered over to the group, “There’s a 7-Eleven not far from here. I figured you’d want a drink during the show.”

Hideaki rolled his eyes, “You mean you wanted a beer.”

“Semantics. You want one, too, or not? You and Hana’ll have to share.”

Hideaki shrugged, “Fine with me.”

Hanako nodded, her eyes focused on the city light below.

“We’ll split one, too,” Lynda said, “alcohol messes with my meds.”

Beers in hand, they settled in to watch the fireworks. Away from the crowds, Misha gently entwined her fingers around Lynda’s, slowly rubbing the taller woman’s knuckles. Lynda smiled down at her, and she returned the smile.

Meanwhile, one hand holding Lilly’s so they could communicate, Shizune held Hisao’s hand with the other. Although Hisao didn’t know deaf-blind sign, words could wait.

Not long after Akira’s arrival, the sky finally dark enough, the fireworks began. As most such displays started, first a lone screech and burst of green light pierced the sky, then, after several more, the show began.

Dazzling bursts of light followed, one after the other, as the group watched. The height of the mountain, coupled with the clearing before them allowed for an exceptional view. As the show continued Lynda eased her head against Misha’s, who couldn’t help but yawn from weariness and jet lag.

[Are they pretty?] Lilly asked.

[Very], Shizune replied, [Do they hurt to hear?]

[A little], Lilly admitted, [but I’m glad we came.]

[Me, too.]

Eventually the display released its final series of fireworks, a massive fusillade of reds, greens, and all sorts of other colors that nearly sent Lilly reeling from the noise.

The silence after the display seemed to blanket those of the group who could hear. With a gentle squeeze to both Lilly and Hisao, Shizune let go of their hands and hopped off the bench.

Grinning widely, she declared, [That was much more impressive than last year!]

Hideaki nodded, “Yeah, it was. You okay, Lilly? Sis said the show was bigger this year than last.”

Despite her discomfort, Lilly managed a smile as she replied, “It did seem to last longer this year. Hanako, did you enjoy the show?”

Hanako, looking rather dazed, blinked several times as she slowly nodded.

Misha yawned again, and Lynda lifted her head and eased herself off the bench, using their still entwined fingers to help the shorter woman down before finally, reluctantly, letting go.

“You okay?” Lynda asked.

Misha smiled, “Just tired~.”

Hisao checked his watch, then gave up because the old device lacked any glowing bits to help him see. Akira, pulling out her phone, nodded to herself at the time and put it back in her pocket.

“It’s that time alright,” she said, “Best get you kids into bed.”

“Ha-ha,” Hideaki deadpanned.

[“We should head home, though,”] Hisao remarked.

Shinzune nodded and started heading for the trail. Hanako resumed her place guiding Lilly with her free hand, the other holding prizes and the beer. Lynda and Misha took up the end of the line, Misha holding the taller woman’s hand as long as she could.

“Did you have fun?” Misha asked her.

Lynda nodded, “Yeah. Glad we finally did it. Thanks.”

Misha grinned, “Any~time!”

Lynda returned the smile, and, with the few moments they had before returning to the crowds, gave her a gentle kiss on the top of her head.

“Love you.”

“Love you, too.”

Reluctantly separating their hands, the group rejoined the departing crowds as they left the festival.


I don’t care if it’s late, it’s still summer, dammit!

Okay, what’s next on the docket… hmm… Hana! Sonny! Which one of you wants to build a snowman?

Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:17 am
by Mirage_GSM
Couple of remarks:
- Nobody would ask why someone named a teddy bear "Kuma". Kuma means bear in Japanese.
- How would a Japanese person like Hideaki know who Phil Hartman is? The reference is obscure enough even for English speaking audiences.
- And finally I have no idea what "diecutting" is supposed to be in the context of a festival game. I know the term as an industrial process or a handicraft, but I'm not sure how it could be turned into a game...

Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:29 am
by Hoitash
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:17 am
Couple of remarks:
- Nobody would ask why someone named a teddy bear "Kuma". Kuma means bear in Japanese.
Well specifically she's naming it after Teddie from Persona 4, and Hanako isn't entirely sure how good Lynda's Japanese is.
- How would a Japanese person like Hideaki know who Phil Hartman is? The reference is obscure enough even for English speaking audiences.
My Hideaki is based partially on DanjaDoom's, so he's something of a pop culture dork. Granted it's weird for him to be a Western pop culture dork, but there it is.
- And finally I have no idea what "diecutting" is supposed to be in the context of a festival game. I know the term as an industrial process or a handicraft, but I'm not sure how it could be turned into a game...
Katanuki. "Diecutting" was the closest translation I could think of at the time, though "candy cutting" makes more sense in hindsight.

Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:52 pm
by Mirage_GSM
I know. Teddie's name in the original version is "Kuma". My point was that if she named her teddie "kuma" nobody would think it strange and ask about it so she wouldn't have any reason to extrapolate.

And I never heard of Katanuki before. Seems strange for something to do as a festival game, since you probably need a lot of room and time for it...

Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:00 pm
by Hoitash
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:52 pm
I know. Teddie's name in the original version is "Kuma". My point was that if she named her teddie "kuma" nobody would think it strange and ask about it so she wouldn't have any reason to extrapolate.
Fair enough. Besides, playing Persona 4 without Yukicakes is just silly.

Re: My USM One Shot Thread with Summer Update

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:06 pm
by Mirage_GSM
Agreed. I also thought he was kind of useless most of the time.