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Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 6th March)

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:55 pm
by ChaosWolf
...Yeesh... I would STRONGLY suggest putting that last one behind some sort of spoiler-block or something so folks who don't want to read it don't have to, even just in the course of scrolling down the page.

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 6th March)

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:51 am
by BlackWaltzTheThird
While your concern for others is nice and all, I don't think action that drastic is necessary. There is adequate warning both on the contents page and the story header. People generally don't scroll so slowly as to read any noteworthy amount of a post they may be trying to avoid.
Doomish wrote:I like that Misha suddenly gets calm and collected enough to have a deep and involved conversation with Hisao after he just raped her and murdered Shizune. EDIT: And I like that Misha just for some reason happened to have Hisao's parents' number. :wink:
Eh what can I say, it's not meant to be a particularly accurate story. One may assume there had been previous contact between the Misha and the Nakai's due to Hisao's trial and Misha's compensation arrangements. Again, it's not meant to be accurate. I just wrote as it came to me. Thanks for the nightmare fuel, by the way. I need to find something really saccharine to counteract that so I can finish what I'm supposed to be writing now.

After I finish my homework.


Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 6th March)

Posted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:48 am
by Carighan
I dread to think how your homework turns out. ;)

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 18th March)

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:03 am
by BlackWaltzTheThird
The Purest Form of Love - Chapter 2: Dinner Conversation
First | Next


“Let’s see… oh! There it is. Rin, get over here and quit knocking on other people’s doors!”

“You told me you had to knock before you go into someone’s room. So I’m knocking.”

“Yeah, but we’re not going to those rooms. We’re going to Satou’s room.”

“You’re going to Satou’s room. I’m not going to Satou’s room. I’m just following you because you told me to come with you. If I happen to end up there then that’s the way it is. Or I could end up somewhere else, which is why I’m knocking on these doors, because if I end up in someone else’s room they will have wanted me to knock first. It’s polite.”

“It’s not polite to bother people for no reason, though. C’mon, you don’t wanna miss dinner, do you?”

“I don’t really mind. Dinner usually misses me, so I don’t think it will mind if I miss it back.”

I stare hard into Rin’s eyes, hands on my hips, trying my best to convey my displeasure. Her neutral stare remains unchanged, so I give up and knock on the door before me. A refined voice rings out from within.

“The door is unlocked; please come in.”

I turn the doorhandle and push the door open slowly, poking my head through the gap as I enter. The room inside is immaculate and well-ordered, as one would expect of a blind girl’s room; you gotta minimise trip hazards and all that jazz.

In the centre of the room lies a small table, on which rests a floral teapot and several matching teacups. Seated at the left side of the table, and dressed in some pretty flattering dark pyjamas, is the blonde amazon, Lilly Satou.

“We’re not early, are we?”

Lilly smiles in my general direction and covers a slight giggle.

“Not at all. You’re just in time I’d say. Hanako should be returning with dinner shortly.”

I rub my hands together in eager anticipation, and take a seat on the far side of the table, to Lilly’s left. Noticing that Rin is still standing outside, staring at something in the distance, I call out.

“C’mon Rin, don’t just stand out there. Come sit down!”

Rin ambles through the doorway without even looking away from whatever holds her interest, and somehow manages to take her place opposite Lilly without tripping on anything.

“My, my, I wasn’t expecting to have two extra guests tonight, though I can’t say I’m surprised. Welcome.”

Rin ignores Lilly’s greeting, instead choosing to take in the unfamiliar room. I jab her in the ribs with my elbow to catch her attention.

“Oh. Hello. I wasn’t expecting to have two guests either. I was dragged away from my room, which might be why I’m a guest myself, so I wouldn’t know if I have any guests. I don’t usually have guests. Except Emi, but she’s your guest right now. So I don’t have any guests after all. What a shame.”

Clearly Lilly has no idea how to respond to Rin’s nonsense. I don’t really have much of an idea myself. I usually tend to ignore it. Thankfully the awkward silence is broken by a knock at the door, which opens shortly after to reveal Hanako with her arms full of an assortment of plastic containers.

I catch her eye and wave, which she returns with a smile before stepping over to the table and setting down her load. As she unpacks the food, I notice that her nightie, while showing more of her scars than the school uniform, is quite conservative. It makes a strange contrast to Lilly’s attire, as well as my own nightshirt and boxer shorts, and reminds me somewhat of that day at the beach.

Before long, Hanako has finished setting out the food, and I take in the sights and smells of the various dishes with vigour. Lilly, being unable to see the food, takes several long breaths, savouring each flavour in its odour form.

“Would you like to tell us what you’ve made, Hanako?”

“S-sure. On your right are s-some miso onigiri… um, I decorated them with some c-cute faces, but you… um, never mind. On your left is a fish c-curry with onions and t-tomatoes. There’s some rice n-next to it if you want, as well. A-and on the other side of the t-teapot is a bowl of curly fr— oh, um…”

Hanako holds up her hand in a feeble half-withdrawn-half-reaching pose, as Rin looks up like a deer in headlights, mouth open and toes holding several curly fries before her mouth.

“Oh. Were we not supposed to eat these yet? I’ll put them back.”

“N-no, that’s okay…”

Rin shrugs and stuffs the fries into her mouth. Her expression indicates that she likes them. Without further ado, I take several fries and chomp them down myself.

“Hey, these are pretty good! Shame they’re so fattening though, I’m gonna have to run twice as hard tomorrow to work these off. Well, may as well enjoy myself while I can!”

I take a plate and start loading it up with piles of the different dishes, sampling pieces as I go. I notice that, while Lilly has her plate filled, she has not yet touched any food.

“How come you haven’t had any yet, Lilly? You’re missing out; this stuff is beyond delicious!”

Lilly hums quietly, a light smile perched on her lips.

“Oh, I was just waiting for it to cool a little. I’m glad you’re enjoying it.”

Lilly then takes a mouthful of the curry, chewing slowly, apparently savouring the taste. Next to her, Hanako watches as Lilly’s expression turns to one of enjoyment.

“It’s delicious, Hanako. Thank you.”

Hanako beams at Lilly’s approval, squeaking ‘great!’, and starts on her own food. Soon enough, the four of us have consumed the lot, crockery licked clean. Well, I lick mine clean anyway, which elicits a giggle from Hanako as I do so.

Lilly serves us all tea to wash down our meal, which I drink out of respect. I never was one for tea, and the caffeine… ugh. A bit of saturated fat can be run off easily enough, but caffeinated energy sticks around for a while. Nevertheless, it’s quite nicely flavoured. Lemon, I think.

From over the top of the cup I watch the others. Lilly sips her tea with her pinky finger out, while Hanako wraps her hands around her cup. Rin, on the other hand…

“Could I have a straw? Teacups don’t agree with my feet. That’s not to say they disagree, because teacups can’t hold nor express opinions, but it doesn’t work very well.”

Hanako sets down her cup, eyes wide, and hops to her feet.

“Oh! S-sorry, I’ll go get one from the c-common room. I’ll be right b-back.”

Hanako dashes out the door, leaving it open. I take the opportunity to get something off my mind.

“Hey, Lilly, you seemed kinda hesitant to tuck into that grub before.”

Lilly frowns and shuffles nervously.

“Yes, well… let me just say that Hanako likes to experiment, and that not every meal comes out as well as that one did.”

“Huh. Say, do you reckon Hanako’d wanna come over and cook with my mom? She cooks all kinds of great stuff.”

“It’s a possibility. Why don’t you ask her?”

I don’t notice the footsteps in the doorway until the voice of their owner speaks up.

“Ask me what?”

I find myself stammering for no good reason. Maybe it’s just the feeling of being caught out talking about Hanako behind her back.

“Oh, I… uh… I was just telling Lilly about the great stuff my mom cooks, and I wondered if… if you wanted to come round and cook with her sometime.”

Hanako’s face takes on a surprised expression, cheeks flushed bright red. Her right hand nervously fiddles with her nightie, while her left clutches her arm. Her eyes flick between Lilly, Rin and me before she makes up her mind.

“Um… s-sure.”

“Great! I usually head home on the weekends, so you can come with me then if you want. Otherwise we can organise something that suits you.”

“The weekend is o-okay.”

“Awesome. Now how about some more of that lemon-y tea?”


The bus comes to a lurching stop, and I make my way to the front and out of its confines. I’m glad to be out of the hot, cramped space. I crinkle my nose at the heavy city air, and turn around to beckon Hanako onto the street with me.

I gotta hand it to her; she scrubs up pretty well when she wants to. She’s got a real fashionista look about her, with her ruffle-collared shirt, denim jacket, and matching black jeans and hat. She’d probably get along well with the girl that runs the fashion club – what was her name? Saki, I think, from the year below us.

I lead her the few blocks to my place, the exterior of which she takes in briefly before following me inside. I call out across the house.

“Mom, we’re here!”

“I’m in the living room, dear!”

We enter the living room, where mom is reclining on a chair, reading a women’s magazine.

“Hey, mom. This is Hanako. Hanako, mom. Mom, Hanako.”

Hanako gives a nervous wave and a slightly more confident ‘hi’, while mom gets out of her chair to greet Hanako properly. Thankfully, she seems to take no notice of – or ignores – the scarring that Hanako is habitually hiding.

“Well, aren’t you gorgeous? I love your outfit; it suits you very nicely. It reminds me of the stuff I used to wear when I was young and pretty. You can call me Meiko, or Mrs. Ibarazaki if that’s too casual for you.”

Hanako blushes slightly before mom continues.

“Did you want something to drink? It’s quite hot out there after all.”

“N-no, thanks. I’m fine.”

“Okay, great! It’s only quarter to six, so if you want to relax for a bit before we get started, then I’d be happy to put on a movie or something. Otherwise, we can get started now and leave plenty of time for dessert.”

Hanako appears to be caught off guard at having the choice deferred to her. She makes that pose where she clutches her elbow and shirt again; it must be a nervous thing.

“Um… I’d like to start n-now, if that’s alright.”

Mom beams and makes an exaggerated dismissive wave when she responds. Gee, mom, way to be embarrassing.

“Oh, of course, sweetheart. C’mon, the kitchen’s this way.”

The kitchen is only a short walk away from the living room. I note that mom has a spread of different things prepared on the bench. I guess her definition of ‘just get a few different things to try’ is vastly different to mine. She opens and uncovers various containers in turn as Hanako inspects the contents.

“I wasn’t sure what you liked, so I made sure there were a lot of options we can take a look at. I have a few recipes in mind, but if you want to try something specific then I have a fair few things in the pantry.”

“S-sure. Do you have a n-notepad? I’d like to write a few things d-down.”

I take a seat at the table while Mom and Hanako discuss various potential dishes and flavour combinations. I kinda lose track of what they’re talking about after a bit, with all the foreign words they’re throwing around – oh hey, I know what sauté means – but just from looking, it looks like there’s to be a lot of dishes to wash afterwards.

With the menu sorted out, Hanako begins cutting some vegetables. Mom steps into the dining area and over to the battered cassette player she keeps on the crockery cabinet. Oh no. Really, mom?

“Hanako, dear, do you mind if I put on some music? I find cooking to be much more enjoyable with some fun tunes to cook to.”

“Oh, um, n-not at all. What sort of music is it?”

“You’ll see~,” mom adds, shooting a coy wink my way. Yup. She’s doing it alright.

I roll my eyes and sigh in response. She knows I can’t stand her old people music. She insists the seventies and eighties weren’t that long ago, but I have to disagree. Music from before I was born has no place in a modern kitchen. Nevertheless, the infuriatingly catchy melody forces me to hum along.

Back in the kitchen, I notice Hanako mouthing the words while she scores what looks like several chicken fillets and inserts some kind of herb into the gash. Mom, too, sings along, albeit audibly. Mom’s singing is usually pretty good, actually, but oh God is it embarrassing right now.

The vocal taboo broken, Hanako joins mom in letting her voice be heard. Did I say mom’s singing was pretty good? Hanako’s voice makes mom’s singing sound as bad as mine. Hanako hits all the highs with perfection, and belts out the choruses with passion.

At the same time, she slices, dices, fries – no, sautés – and grills various meals into existence. The smell wafting from the kitchen is as infuriatingly tempting as the foreign pop music blasting from the cassette player. So much for a Jack of all trades being a master of none.

I guess I was partly right with all of the silly nicknames I suggested at the beach. ‘Hanako Ikezawa, the mighty Iron Chef-slash-rough ‘n’ tough pop-rock princess of Yamaku Academy!’ Man, what a mouthful. She certainly seems in her element, though. ‘Hanako at her Hanakoest,’ Rin would say.

In due time, the sounds from the kitchen die down as the dishes are completed, and shortly thereafter the cassette reaches its end. Aww. I mean, thank God.

I look with eager eyes as mom and Hanako bring over the assortment of concoctions. There is definitely too much here for two young women and one seventies dinosaur to consume. Hanako explains what exactly it is they’ve made, but it’s full of foreign words again and amounts to something like ‘seasoned chicken breast with saucy vegetables; chilli-flavoured rice, meat and vegetable mush; and unwrapped chicken burrito’.

All of it is delicious. And fattening. But delicious. Oh, Hanako, why must you tempt me so? I’m gonna have to run double to run this dinner off as well. And yet, I can’t help but shovel more and more of the gourmet grub into my gob. I notice Hanako staring at my piggish eating habits, and smile through a mouthful of food, causing her to giggle.

Despite my valiant efforts, quite a bit of food remains uneaten by the time we’re done. Mom packs the leftovers into several plastic containers, and we settle down to make some room for dessert. A rumbling in my belly takes me by surprise, and I involuntarily let out an ear-shattering burp. The silence that follows only lasts a few seconds before mom and Hanako burst into laughter.

“Goodness, it sounds like you enjoyed yourself, dear,” mom sputters between giggles.

“It’s a compliment! It was pretty awesome, after all. Hanako, what did you say that rice thing was called again? It was damn good.”

“It’s called p-paella. It’s a Spanish dish… but I added m-my own ideas as well.”

“Well, you’ve got some great ideas, then. I’m glad you made it.”

Hanako blushes and a small, prideful smile emerges on her face.

“Th-thanks. I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

“Now, dears, let’s not forget who the head chef was~,” mom teases.

“Ah shaddup mom, you spent more time singing than cooking.”

“Ohoho maybe, but I did most of the preparation!”

“Yeah, on a recipe that Hanako wrote.”

“You should be more appreciative of your mother.”

“You should be more appreciative of our guest.”

I gesture towards Hanako for effect. I notice she looks something between confused and scared at our teasing debate. Mom follows my gaze and takes note as well, before repeating the dismissive hand wave from before.

“Oh pish posh, you know I kid.”

She turns to address Hanako, hand covering her mouth as if to prevent me from hearing, even though she makes no such effort.

“Never you mind, sweetheart. Something you should know about Emi is that she likes to get into silly debates with people.”

“Hey! Mom! No way! You’re always the one that starts it…”

“Don’t listen to her, Hanako, she’s a born liar.”

“Oh, sure… just another thing I get inherited from you.”

“Now that’s just nonsense. I’ll have to have a talk to the nurse about corrupting my daughter.”

Unable to think of a witty comeback, I resort to crossing my arms, sticking my tongue out, and muttering ‘ass’ under my breath. Hanako giggles heartily at my defeat, to which I roll my eyes. In the kitchen, a light ‘ding’ signals the timer in the oven elapsing. Hanako hops out of her chair and skips over to it to remove whatever goodies lie within. Smiling with an comparitively large grin, she holds out a tray full of some kind of chocolate pastries.

“S-so, who’s ready for dessert?”

First | Next


Lord almighty this is sickly sweet. Yuck. Nah, I kid. It's alright. Much better than that grimdark nonsense from nearly two weeks ago. But, it presents a problem for me. It's a sequel to a oneshot. Dafuq do I call that? A twoshot? And where do I put it on my contents page? Grr, this is annoying. I think I've done it right. If anyone has a better arrangement, please tell me.

Anyway, this took so long because I had to rewrite it. It started going sadfic shortly after Emi and Hanako arrived at the former's house. It could have worked, maybe, but I got stuck for several days writing it and decided to scrap the idea. Instead, you guys get some delicious foodfic. Also I'm thinking about a part three. Maybe. Not sure where it would go just yet, but I'm kinda conflicted about whether or not to make it lewd. I guess it all depends on what I end up writing. Until then, cya!

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 18th March)

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:30 am
by Carighan
Aw, that's an adorable little story. Did you try to make up for the previous one? :D

Really cool though. I like how Rin got caught already eating. :)

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 18th March)

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:42 am
by MutilatedManequin
On three everyone.
Great story. I couldn't even read that cried wolf story. Either way, well done.

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 18th March)

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:21 pm
by ChaosWolf
Dammit, now I'm hungry. Fics shouldn't do that. Especially when I lack the ingredients and time (and talent) to try and make some of those dishes.

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 18th March)

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:08 pm
by Mirage_GSM
Seated at the left side of the table, and dressed in some pretty flattering dark pyjamas, is the blonde amazoness, Lilly Satou.
Amazoness? Really?

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 18th March)

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:00 pm
by BlackWaltzTheThird
Mirage_GSM wrote:Amazoness? Really?
...Okay, you got me. Fixed.
ChaosWolf wrote:Dammit, now I'm hungry. Fics shouldn't do that. Especially when I lack the ingredients and time (and talent) to try and make some of those dishes.
Heh. My bad. But you should give it a shot, there's not really much in the way of practical skills one needs to fine tune in order to cook most dishes. If you can follow a recipe, then you're all good.
Carighan wrote:Aw, that's an adorable little story. Did you try to make up for the previous one? :D
Well, not exactly... I had already started it before I wrote that, so it's merely a happy coincidence. But you can think of it like that if you want.

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 18th March)

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:07 am
by CptSalsa
muttering ‘ass’ under my breath
Called it.

Nice story, your Emi seemed in character, although your Hanako is in her late stages, since she is open to much more hostile environments. Can I have clarification when this story took place, because it seems to have happened after Hisao settled in Yamaku.
“My, my, I wasn’t expecting to have two extra guests tonight,
I was confused, do you mean that she was only expecting one, I see it is the only logical conclusion, but I've never quite caught that the two were actually invited before that. Wait nevermind disregard the latter I kind of see the connection.
squeaking ‘great!’
Ohhh I hate these. It's the way I was taught but if you say something it should be in proper quotations.

Nice story though. I give it a double high five.

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 18th March)

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 4:29 am
by BlackWaltzTheThird
CptSalsa wrote:Can I have clarification when this story took place, because it seems to have happened after Hisao settled in Yamaku.
Does there need to be a solid date? Furthermore, does it need to lie within canon?
CptSalsa wrote:although your Hanako is in her late stages, since she is open to much more hostile environments.

I was confused, do you mean that she was only expecting one, I see it is the only logical conclusion, but I've never quite caught that the two were actually invited before that. Wait nevermind disregard the latter I kind of see the connection.
I'd suggest you read the previous one again.

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 18th March)

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 9:58 am
by CptSalsa
I'd suggest you read the previous one
I don't understand. I feel like there's an inside joke here and I'm not privy to it. Also not a big fan of analyzing works when they continually scream rape in my face. Although if it had a different ending I would have accepted that.
EDIT: Yep not seeing it. Not trying again either. But I think you're a nice guy, and yeah.

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 18th March)

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:07 am
by griffon8
CptSalsa wrote:
I'd suggest you read the previous one
I don't understand. I feel like there's an inside joke here and I'm not privy to it. Also not a big fan of analyzing works when they continually scream rape in my face. Although if it had a different ending I would have accepted that.
EDIT: Yep not seeing it. Not trying again either. But I think you're a nice guy, and yeah.
That that one! The previous part of the latest story; it's a sequel. Hanako told Lilly that Emi would be joining them.

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 18th March)

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:03 pm
by CptSalsa
That that one! The previous part of the latest story; it's a sequel. Hanako told Lilly that Emi would be joining them.

Re: BlackWaltz's One-stop Oneshot Shop (New: 25th March)

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:35 am
by BlackWaltzTheThird
The Purest Form of Love - Chapter 3: Ohana
First | Previous | Next


“Good night, girls. Don’t be up too late, and no funny business, you hear?”

Emi sighs and rolls her eyes. “’Night, mom,” she replies, her tone matching that of the actions preceding it.

“G-good night,” I add.

I have no idea what kind of funny business might occur that would require Mrs. Ibarazaki to warn Emi and me against it, but then again, I don’t really have any idea what kind of business would occur at a sleepover, period. Especially this one. I always thought sleepovers were the domain of little kids.

How did I even end up taking part in a sleepover? I can’t really make the connection. First, I was enjoying dessert with Emi and her mom. Then there was something about me being a better guest than Emi and the late bus being a bit dodgy. And now, here I am, lying on a futon in Emi’s room wearing a nightie designed for a much curvier woman than me. It’s a bit surreal.

I take a look at my surrounds. It’s a bit hard, in the near-darkness, but I can make out the general shape of several furniture units, and the things that occupy their space. It strikes me that I’ve never really seen many others’ bedrooms before. There’s mine and Lilly’s, of course, and there was that one time I saw Misha’s room, but other than that…

“Whatcha thinkin’ about?” Emi whispers, leaning on her arm to look down from her bed.

“Oh, n-nothing… I just realised I’ve never really been to a sleepover before.”

“Really? Never?”

“Never. There w-wasn’t much opportunity when I was r-really little, and then… well, what opportunities there were d-disappeared shortly after.”


I can tell she’s contemplating my answer. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what I mean. Then again, Emi doesn’t have the strongest reputation for being the academic type. I decide to change the topic before the questions come.

“W-what do you even do at a sleepover?”

“I dunno. Girl stuff. Talk about boys, trade gossip, do makeovers… that sorta thing?”

“Aren’t we a b-bit old for that stuff?”

“Pfft no way! I could totally give you a makeover.”

“I… don’t really w-want a makeover…”

“Didn’t think you would. I was bluffing about being able to, anyway. I don’t usually do the whole ‘makeup’ shebang.”

“M-me neither. Lilly does, which is kind of impressive considering she… a-anyway, it doesn’t really serve much p-purpose for me.”

“Hmm… well, there’s still hair styling. I bet you’d look great if you put your hair in twin tails like me!”

To emphasise the point, she takes hold of her hair, which she’d let down for the night, and holds it up in a rough approximation of her usual style. The cheesy grin and wink that accompanies it makes me giggle slightly.

“Oh, I d-don’t think so. I’ll keep my hair the w-way it is, thanks.”

“Aww, c’mon, I’ll do my hair like yours if you do yours like mine!”

She releases her almost-twin tails and rearranges her hair into an amusingly inaccurate impression of mine. I smile and shake my head disdainfully.

“That’s not how you d-do it… the fringe has to c-cover your eye more; h-here, like this…”

I reach up and fix Emi’s fringe so that it sweeps to the right. Since it’s not as long as mine, I also shift some of what’s normally in a twin tail to achieve more or less the same effect. Emi takes a look at herself in a little mirror on her side table and makes an impressed face.

“I’m Hanako Ikezawa,” she forces out between giggles, “and I’ve gotta go do something!”

“Oh, is that r-right? W-well then, I’m Emi Ibarazaki, and I’ve gotta go fast,” I retort, mimicking Emi’s previous twin tails approximation.

“Oh yeah? Well I’m Lilly Satou, and I drink fancy tea because I’m classy and European,” Emi returns, now holding her hair in a ponytail and drinking from an invisible teacup.

I tuck my hair into my borrowed nightie and slip my arms inside the sleeve.

“I’m Rin Tezuka, and I p-paint with my feet and say c-confusing things that might a-actually be really deep.”

Emi stuffs a small pillow into her nightshirt and puffs out her chest, winking and making a kissing motion.

“I’m Meiko Ibarazaki and I sing trashy old music just to embarrass my daughter in front of her friends,” Emi says, with a wistful sigh.

A sudden wave of nostalgia washes over me and a memory of a time long since past plays in my mind’s eye; a memory of a time when things were very different. I return my hair to its usual style, save for the sides, which I hold together at the back due to my lack of a hair tie.

“I’m Naoki Ikezawa, and I used to s-sing classic rock music to my daughter while I c-cooked exotic food for us to try,” I whisper, closing my eyes.

I can’t see it, but I can tell Emi’s face has ‘realisation’ written all over it. I release my hair and curl my knees up to my chest, wrapping my arms around them and staring into the infinite space beyond my eyelids.

“Oh, hey, I’m sorry… I didn’t realise…”

I sniff back unshed tears and give Emi a reassuring smile that probably isn’t as reassuring as I want it to be.

“I-it’s alright. You c-couldn’t have known. Not many people know m-much of anything about me.”

“Not many people know much about me, either. People think my favourite colour is pink, can you believe that? Bleh. You just have to talk to people more, I s’pose.”

“W-well… what is your favourite colour?”

“Huh? Oh, it’s blue. I don’t usually bother to correct people because it’s so minor, but it just annoys me how people assume instead of asking. Sometimes I think mom, dad and the nurse are the only people who actually know me.”

“I can’t even s-say that much about Lilly.”

“What about your family, though? Surely they would?”

I turn away from Emi to look at an unspecified point in the distance. She had no way of knowing. It’s not her fault.

“Lilly is the only f-family I have, now.”

“Wait… you don’t mean…?”


“Man, that’s pretty heavy. No wonder you don’t talk much.”

I make no effort to respond. I don’t feel like it anymore. Emi doesn’t seem to have anything more to say either, so we lie down in silence for several long minutes. I don’t blame her for not wanting to talk; the topic is, as she so eloquently put it, ‘pretty heavy’.

Instead, I indulge myself in fond memories of my past. One particular memory comes to mind; a memory of a golden sunset atop a small mountain back home. So vivid is the memory that I almost forget where I am. As a result, I’m somewhat surprised when Emi speaks up again.

“I lost someone too, once. A long time ago.”

I open my eyes and sit up. Emi lies on her back, head inclined slightly from the pillows and her joined hands beneath it. She crosses one leg over the other, though the pose looks a little unusual given her lack of lower legs. She looks… contemplative.

“My dad was a brilliant athlete. Real top-class, you know? They even considered him for the Olympics at one point. So, it was only natural that his first-born child was to be as athletic as him. Everywhere dad went, little Emi went as well. Eventually I started training with him, and not long after, started competing in junior track meets.”

Emi gestures towards a row of trophies and medals aligned on a chest of drawers by the wall to my side. I can’t read what they’re for in the semi-darkness, but I could hazard a guess.

“After every meet, the two of us would stop by this one ice cream parlour a short distance from where we lived at the time. They have the best sundaes; I can’t even describe how good they are.

“Anyway, after one particularly successful meet, we headed over to the ice cream parlour, as usual. The way we came from, we had to turn across the incoming lane to get in. The roads were pretty busy that day, but we got our chance when the lights changed. We started turning across to the car park, but someone on the other side of the intersection ran the red light straight towards us.

“There was nothing we could do. The car hit ours on the driver’s side. Hard. Our car was totalled. When I remember it, it all seems like it’s in slow motion. The truth is it lasted all of two seconds. Two seconds was all it took for a speeding driver to take my dad away.”

Emi’s voice starts to crack as she utters the bombshell line. I desperately want to tell her she can stop, if she wants, but I dare not interrupt her. Something tells me she wouldn’t dream of stopping even if I did.

“I woke up in a hospital bed nearly a month later. They told me my dad died on impact. I hope so. I wouldn’t want him to have suffered. They thought I was paralysed for some time, but it turns out it was just shock from losing my legs and my dad. Personally, I think it was dad that got me to walk again.

“That was the hardest part. I guess it’s kind of like learning to walk on stilts. I toughed it out though. They said it could take up to three years before my injuries healed completely and I could learn to run with prosthetics. I did it in one. Course, that meant I was a year behind in school.

“After a while, one of my nurses suggested I go to a school he’d been filling in at, called Yamaku. Once I finished middle school, over I came. Which brings us to now. Some story, huh?”

I’m at a loss as to how I should respond. How do you respond to someone telling you such a painful secret? I stutter out a feeble ‘y-yeah’, and look back down at the space in front of me.

That was a courageous thing Emi just did. I doubt Rin knows about this. Heck, I doubt many people at all know about this. And yet, Emi believed she could confide in me. I’m not sure that I deserve to have been her confidant after being friends for such a short time, but the least I can do is return the favour.

“I was eight years old.”

Emi looks over to me and sits up. Now it’s her turn to listen.

“Only j-just eight years old, in fact. That same day had been my birthday p-party. My parents decided against cleaning up the m-mess, too tired from managing all the tiny party g-guests. Instead, we c-curled up in front of the TV in the living room, and fell asleep watching a newly released anime dad h-had videotaped at the cinema.

“We were sleeping when the fire st-started. I don’t know what caused it. They didn’t tell me b-back then, if they even knew, and there probably wasn’t much use in d-doing so later on. All I know is that something n-near the other side of the house caught fire. Whatever it w-was, the fire spread fast.

“I can’t remember if it was the smoke or the h-heat that woke me up. All I remember is c-coughing and calling out for my mom. Dad had already w-woken, not long before me, and noticed the fire. He woke my m-mom and carried me into the hall.

“The roof had collapsed. P-pieces of the ceiling lay burning in a heap b-before us, blocking the passage to the front d-door. Behind us, the fire engulfed the b-back half of the house. We were trapped. There was only one way to g-go; an adjoining hall leading to the bathroom.

“We b-barricaded ourselves in there, and turned on all of the taps. We thought that we c-could stop the fire from getting in if the room was w-wet. I was crying, and mom began to sing to c-comfort me. With all the smoke, she could barely g-go a whole line without coughing. But she k-kept singing, to keep me calm.

“Dad p-passed out first. He was a long-time smoker; his lungs simply c-couldn’t get enough oxygen out of the smoky air. I went next. As I was blacking out I heard a d-deafening roar and a searing heat swept across the room. My m-mom shielded me from as much as she could. It’s thanks to her I s-survived.

“After that is a big blur. Most of what I remember is b-being in incredible pain all the time. I had b-burns to about a quarter of my body, and s-spent the next three months in hospital. I don’t think I spoke more than f-five words that whole time. When I was released, I had nothing left to g-go back to.

“I was made a ward of the st-state, and set up in a little orphanage near my old school. Things… didn’t g-go well when I returned. The people I used to call my friends turned against me, calling me things like ‘scar f-freak’. Middle school was better, if only b-because the teasing wasn’t coming from those I used to call my f-friends.

“Eventually the people from the orphanage g-gave me some options about my future. They told me about a p-place called Yamaku, a boarding school for kids with medical c-conditions. I said ‘yes’ right away. What b-better chance did I have to escape the t-torment I experienced every day?

“So I ended up at Yamaku. I met some p-people, like Lilly and you and Rin, but mostly I still couldn’t b-bring myself to make friends. It just wasn’t worth the effort. But, t-tonight… I think tonight has changed that. Thank you, Emi, for showing me that I’m not a-alone.”

Emi sits in silence, pensive, as she processes everything I’ve said. When she responds, it’s with little of her usual pep.

“You’re… thanking me? After that tear-fest? Jeez, not exactly the reaction I expected.”


“Don’t be. Why even be sorry? For what? ‘I’m sorry some jackass couldn’t wait for a green light’? ‘I’m sorry fate decided to burn down the Ikezawa house one night’?”

“I… it’s just, b-being here reminded me of how things were with mom and dad before the f-fire. It makes me wish my p-parents were still here.”

“I know how you feel. But you can’t change the past. You want some advice? ‘These things happen’. I have no idea who said that, but they were right. You can’t dwell on the past. We can’t dwell on the past. We can make our own future.”


“Lilly doesn’t have to be your only family anymore. You know why my mom insisted you stay the night? It was because she liked having you around. I gotta say I did as well. There was an energy in this house tonight. It was like having my dad back. You’re a pretty cool girl, Hanako Ikezawa, and you’re welcome here whenever you want. This can be your house too.”

I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. The magnitude of Emi’s words leave me speechless and immobile. I don’t even reach up to wipe the joyful tears welling in my eyes. All I can do is smile bittersweetly at the girl who would welcome me into her family.

Emi smiles back, and hops off her bed to crawl over to me and wrap me in a soft, warm, slightly strawberry-scented hug. I’m able to unfreeze long enough to embrace Emi in return, as a single tear rolls down my cheek and is absorbed by Emi’s nightshirt.

I’ll never have to be alone.

I'll be with my family.

“‘Ohana’ means family; family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” -Lilo and Stitch, 2002.

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There. Part three. And still no lewds. Damnit, at this rate I'll never get any done. At least I wrote what I wanted to write pretty easily this time. Granted I threw out a good two thousand words (gee, that's almost this whole story over again), but everything else still came to mind without much effort. Maybe I can reuse those ideas for the next part, like I reused ideas I scrapped from the last part for this one. Anyway, that's all for tonight. TTFN; ta-ta for now!