Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 04/02)

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TonyTwoFingers
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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/03)

Post by TonyTwoFingers » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:13 pm

OtakuNinja wrote:A great chapter. Looking forward to the next. :D
Thank you! As always, appreciate the feedback. Looking forward to writing more!

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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/10)

Post by TonyTwoFingers » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:30 pm

I back towards the doorway, Hanako’s eyes following me the whole way. “Again, thanks for having me,” I offer sheepishly, slipping through the door. Lilly calls out from the table.

“It was a pleasure having you!”

The door clicks shut as Misha beams at me - a stark contrast next to Shizune’s slight scowl. “Nice of you to join me,” I dig. Misha frowns.

“Now Yori-chan, that’s not fair! I told you already, Shicchan and I had to go get a homework assignment!”

“What was that homework assignment, anyway?” Misha’s eyes dart over to Shizune, searching desperately for an answer. The two sign something quickly.

“Mutou wasn’t there when we arrived! We’ll have to go back and get it later!” Misha exclaims, quickly shooting Shizune a satisfied glance.

“Right.”

Misha clicks her heels together and stares at her toes, until Shizune taps her on the shoulder and signs something. Misha’s expression brightens as she turns to me. “You delivered the book, Yori-chan?”

“Yeah, Lilly has it.”

“Good! Because Shicchan wants to move on with the tour~!” she proclaims vivaciously, starting down the hallway in a half-skip. Shizune looks from the spectacle to my eyes with an exasperated glaze. I nod understandingly and motion for her to lead on. They lead me to a small stairwell on the top floor, where Misha stops with a mischievous grin on her face.

“I thought this was the top floor?” I ask, doing my best to ignore the dull throbbing pain in my legs. I haven’t been on my feet for this long in some time. “What gives?”

“I’m not telling~!” Misha teases, bounding up every second stair. She stops on the landing as Shizune follows at her own pace. “You’ll have to come up and see for yourself!” she hollers, bursting through the door at the apex. I begrudgingly lumber up the staircase, unsure of what to expect. On the door is an unhinged latch with a padlock left loosely dangling from it - key still in place. I rotate the handle, and am surprised by a gentle gust of wind, which is crisp and alive with sound. It’s the rooftop - coated in pebbles and enclosed by a chest-high chain link fence. The sun sits low in the sky, hovering just above the horizon. The view is impressive, rising just above the treetops, revealing a grand vista of breathtaking fall colors. Misha stands a few feet ahead, chortling to herself as Shizune stares into the setting sun. “What do you think, Yori-chan?”

“Nice view.”

“Wahahaha~! The nicest!”

“I’m guessing you two noticed the lock on the door, right?” Misha frowns slightly.

“Don’t be such a stick in the mud, Yori-chan! We’re not hurting anything!” I walk over to the fence, resting my hands along the railing.

“Relax, I’m just playing with you.”

Misha and Shizune stand to my left, sharing the grand view with me. “So what do you think of Yamaku, Yori-chan?” I let the words sink in. What do I think of Yamaku? It’s certainly not... normal. But then again, it is. Completely, utterly, irrefutably normal. There’s loud kids, quiet kids, kids in between.

“It’s... new.”

We sit in silence for several minutes while the sun sets. As it dips just beyond the precipice, I wave goodbye to the day - a silly little ritual my father and I used to go through after long days of camping. Turn to the west, eyes up, arm out, wave goodbye.

“Wahaha~! What are you doing Yori-chan?”

I chuckle at myself, standing up straight. “Nothing. Just some stupid old thing.” A cold breeze cuts through the rapidly darkening sky, sending Misha into a shudder. Shizune signs something with haste and purpose.

“Shicchan thinks we should go inside.”

“Yeah, I can’t really argue with that. It’s freezing.”

We slowly tread back into the school, letting the rooftop door click shut behind us. Misha and Shizune wait for me at the base of the stairs as I slowly make my way down. My legs are remarkably stiff - that hospital stay must be catching up with me. “Yori-chan, it’s almost dinnertime. Do you want us to show you to the cafeteria?”

“That’s okay, I think I’m going to head back to my room, lie down for a bit. I think I’ve been on my feet a bit too long.” Misha nods understandingly as she translates for Shizune, who merely adjusts her glasses.

“Of course Yori-chan. It’s been a long day for you! You really should eat something, though. Three meals a day!” She wags her finger at me jokingly. “Got it?”

“I’ll keep that in mind. Hey, thanks for showing me around today. I really appreciate you guys going the extra mile.” Misha grins widely.
“Wahaha~! It was our pleasure Yori-chan! We’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”

“Sounds like a plan. Don’t work too hard.” Misha laughs before skittishly half-walking, half-galloping down the hallway with Shizune in pull, both of them turning at the last moment to wave goodbye before disappearing around the corner.


My stomach growls as I lie face down on my bed. Misha was right - three meals a day. I sit up, glancing at the clock. Not too late, but probably beyond cafeteria serving hours. Maybe Kenji has some food... a heavy thud from somewhere in the building precedes an angry but muffled outburst from the floor beneath me, interrupting my train of thought.

“Damn it!”

Right, probably shouldn’t ask Kenji. Still, my stomach hurts more than my legs do now. I pull my jacket off the wall, freezing as something falls from one of its pockets. It’s the crayon that Tomomi had given me back in the hospital. Royal Purple. A smile spreads across my face as I turn it over in my fingers. On a whim, I tear out a sheet of paper from my notebook and begin to draw a monochrome landscape - a long road converging on a single point on the purple horizon, with a few trees running along either side. I alternate my gaze between the embarrassingly simple drawing and my bare walls. “Why not?” I ask myself, fishing out a thumbtack from the desk drawer. The picture dangles limply from the wall, front and center. It looks as though a stiff breeze could take it down, but it’s an improvement. I set the crayon down on the nightstand and pull on my jacket. “Make a house a home,” I recite to myself, stepping out the door.

I creep past the first floor rooms on the way to the exit, only for Kenji’s door to swing open. “Yori, thank god. I was panicking.”

“Hey, was that you earlier? Did you drop something?”

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I need some milk. And super glue. About three tubes of it should do. You look like you’re about to hit the town, mind picking the stuff up for me?”

“You need milk and... super glue?”

Kenji nods, adjusting his glasses. “Good, you were listening. Shouldn’t be more than 2000 yen. Appreciate it, buddy,” he says, clapping me on the shoulder before slamming the door shut. Two 1000 yen bills are slid under the door. Kenji’s muffled voice emanates from behind the door. “I’m expecting change.”

“I was just going to get some food...”

“Thanks man! Owe you one!”


The wind has picked up considerably since earlier. Leaves are blown from the trees, littering the walkways. It’s cold - the kind of cold that slowly cuts through your clothes and seeps into your bones. But I’ve made it to the cold iron gate. The same iron gate that only yesterday welcomed me to Yamaku. I half expect to see my family parked on the curb, waiting to take me home. Tomomi would be clutching some picture book that she had scribbled in. My mother and father would be holding each other, key already in the car ignition. No need to go get your things - let’s just leave them and go home. But nobody is in front of the gate, let alone my family. I stop in the street. Town looks further away than it did before - a small glowing hub on the otherwise dark panorama. And my legs are stiffening up again. And it’s only getting colder. But for some unknowable reason, responding to some cosmic dictation, my legs carry me forward. One foot in front of the other. Left, left, left, right, left. The faint din of the night is my companion, and it whispers me words of encouragement. I reluctantly march headfirst into the biting darkness. Only after a few minutes of walking, I begin to catch up with a solitary silhouette walking in the same direction towards town. A faint tapping grows increasingly audible as I draw closer and closer to the figure. “Hello?” she calls out with a delicately feminine voice, stopping her forward progress. “Who’s there?”

“Hey Lilly, it’s Yori. We just met today?” I’m embarrassed. It feels weird, and slightly creepy to run into her like this.

“Ah yes, I remember. I appreciate you bringing the book to me. I’ve already started reading it!” I reach her, and stop to talk.

“Honestly, it was no trouble. What brings you all the way out here? And so late?” Lilly smiles at my questions.

“I could ask the same of you!”

I blush uncomfortably, tripping over my words. “Yeah, well uh... I’m just...” Lilly laughs at my awkwardness.

“I’m headed into town to purchase some tea. There’s a delightful café that sells a blend that I’m fond of.”

Still a little uncomfortable with the situation, I blurt out. “I’m looking for milk and superglue.” Lilly takes on a shocked expression before laughing more. I’m not sure if she’s laughing with me or at me.

“Milk and superglue?”

My face heats up. “Milk and superglue. And some food.”

Lilly’s laughter subsides, melting into the atmosphere. The air feels warmer with her around. “Well, seeing as you’re new, I imagine you’re not very familiar with the town layout.”

I hadn’t thought of that. “Well... yeah. I guess you could say that.”

“Would you like me to show you around? It’s the least I can do after your delivery this afternoon.”

A blind girl giving me a tour of the town. It’s like the start to a bad joke. That being said, I did just arrive yesterday. And so far, directions haven’t been my strong suit. “I’d really appreciate that.”

Lilly begins moving forward, smiling and probing the ground with her cane. “Well then, let’s be off!”

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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/10)

Post by OtakuNinja » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:38 pm

Another good chapter. :) I especially liked this part:
I blush uncomfortably, tripping over my words. “Yeah, well uh... I’m just...” Lilly laughs at my awkwardness.

“I’m headed into town to purchase some tea. There’s a delightful café that sells a blend that I’m fond of.”

Still a little uncomfortable with the situation, I blurt out. “I’m looking for milk and superglue.” Lilly takes on a shocked expression before laughing more. I’m not sure if she’s laughing with me or at me.

“Milk and superglue?”
I'd probably have ended up doing exactly the same thing. :lol:
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Guestimate
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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/10)

Post by Guestimate » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:05 pm

And so the plot begins to move. Heh, milk and superglue.... actually, I probably don't want to know. Anyhow, looking forward to where you take this.

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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/10)

Post by Doloni » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:01 pm

TonyTwoFingers wrote:But for some unknowable reason, responding to some cosmic dictation, my legs carry me forward. One foot in front of the other. Left, left, left, right, left.
Wut.

Other than that little slip, good work man! This is already very promising, the style is good and it's quite comfortable to read. Keep it up!

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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/10)

Post by Oddball » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:28 pm

Doloni wrote:
TonyTwoFingers wrote:But for some unknowable reason, responding to some cosmic dictation, my legs carry me forward. One foot in front of the other. Left, left, left, right, left.
Wut.
Military cadence style.
Not Dead Yet

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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/10)

Post by TonyTwoFingers » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:16 pm

Thanks for the kind words everyone!
Guestimate wrote:And so the plot begins to move...
Well hell, it had to happen sometime! Sorry for being the millionth-billionth person to begin a fanfic with an arrival at Yamaku. It's unoriginal and boring, but it felt like the best way to open things up, especially with Ken's character. If I could've found a better way to open it up, I would've.
Oddball wrote:
Doloni wrote:
TonyTwoFingers wrote:But for some unknowable reason, responding to some cosmic dictation, my legs carry me forward. One foot in front of the other. Left, left, left, right, left.
Wut.
Military cadence style.
What this guy said. Sorry if it's a little too obscure or too "Americanized." I don't really know how common this cadence is elsewhere.
Doloni wrote:Other than that little slip, good work man! This is already very promising, the style is good and it's quite comfortable to read. Keep it up!
Thank you! I'll do my best to keep writing at a steady yet reasonable clip.

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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/22)

Post by TonyTwoFingers » Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:42 am

Hey everyone, sorry for such a long wait on this update. Writer's block to the max on this one, and I needed to cleanly wrap up the chapter in a way that felt somewhat organic and conclusive.

Please, any criticism is welcome, and seriously appreciated. Constructive would be helpful! Nothing is too nitpicky - I'm here to tell a story, and hopefully tell it well. Your help is requested!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“So, Hanako didn’t feel like coming with you?” I ask, desperately trying to avoid sabotaging my own serendipity. Lilly looses a slight sigh.

“No, I’m afraid not. Hanako... doesn’t much care for joining me on these town excursions.” I should’ve figured, given the way that she’d reacted to my visit earlier today.

“Oh, I understand. Sorry for, you know... bringing it up. I’m still kind of new to dealing with all of this.” She nods her head and smiles.

“Don’t worry yourself, Yori. There’s no need to be sorry.” Sure, there may not be a need to be sorry, but I feel like there is. My stomach is in knots. I clear my throat.

“Thanks. So, tea huh? That’s... cool.” Smooth. Even so, Lilly stifles a laugh.

“Is it?”


“Well... I think so.” Another laugh.


 “That’s nice of you to say.” For a while, we walk in silence. I sneak peeks at Lilly between staring at my feet and watching the road. Even though I know she can’t see it, I feel the need to pull my gaze away from her after every few seconds. Afraid of being caught like some child with his hand in the cookie jar. It’s hard getting used to seeing someone navigate so flawlessly with her eyes closed. When she does open her eyes, it is a fleeting, yet strangely exhilarating experience. Like seeing a flash of blue sky in the midst of a thunderstorm, only to quickly vanish. “We should be getting close,” Lilly states matter-of-factly. Good ears. We’re right on the edge of the sleepy town, with its drawn shades and its empty streets. “The café is closer than the convenience store, so I hope you won’t mind if we stop there first.”


“Of course not.”


“Thank you,” Lilly says with a gentle smile, before taking on a more serious countenance. “Yori,” she begins. “Please tell me something about yourself.”


 “Myself?”

Lilly nods in confirmation, turning a light salmon. “Well, it just occurred to me that I’ve been doing so much of the talking, and I know so little about you! Apart from the fact that you once read David Copperfield for a book report, that is,” she adds with a giggle. She remembered that?


“Really, there’s not much to tell.” Again, she puts on a serious expression.


“Now Yori, everybody has a story to tell. What makes you unique?”


“Honestly, I’m pretty boring. Small family, I like baseball, reading, and music.” My legs ache and throb. My mind yanks me back to the hospital, to the tests, to the diagnoses. I can’t tell her about that. Not now. It’s not the time. “That’s about it.” Lilly’s lips curl into a smile as she nods her approval.


“Thank you for sharing, Yori. I’m glad you did.” Always so polite. It was a curt self-description forced into two sentences, but she made me feel as though I’d just spilled my guts to her. Like I’d just recounted my life story. She slows to a stop in front of a small building. “This should be it,” she declares, stepping toward a door labeled “Shanghai Café”.


“You know that just from experience?”


“Well, that and, if you’re attentive, you can smell the brewing tea,” Lilly confesses sheepishly. I jump forward to hold the door for Lilly as she enters, thanking me. Classical music plays softly over the clatter of busboys clearing the last dishes of the day. Lilly expertly navigates her way to the cash register, and waits to be helped. An older woman donning a frilly uniform hurries from the kitchen to help us.

“Welcome to the Shanghai Café! May I help you?” she asks with a sales smile plastered on her face.


“Yes, please. Would you happen to have any of your French Vanilla blend in stock?” Lilly asks politely. The cashier turns and plucks a yellow box from a shelf and places it on the counter.


 “Yes, we have some. Will that be everything?” The cashier asks as Lilly turns to face me.


“Is there anything you’d like, Yori?” she asks. “I’m sure we could find something you’d enjoy.”


 “Oh, no, no thank you.”


“Very well then. That’s everything, then,” Lilly says, reaching into her purse.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Lilly guides me through the doors of the convenience store, which is, apart from an aging gentleman working the till, empty. “What was it that you needed?” Lilly asks. “Milk and superglue?”


I’m not sure whether to be happy or upset that she’s with me to get this stuff. The last thing I want is for her to get weirded out. “Yeah... Kenji was hoping I could get him that stuff.” Lilly chuckles.

“Yes, that does sound a lot like Kenji. He’s a bit eccentric from time to time, isn’t he?” A bit would be an understatement.

“Yeah, a bit. How do you know him?” I ask, pulling a small carton of milk from the refrigerated section.


“Kenji is in Class 3-2 along with myself and other visually impaired students,” Lilly explains. She momentarily opens her eyes in a moment of inquiry. “You’re in Class 3-3, aren’t you Yori?”


“Yeah, that’s right. How’d you guess?”

“I thought I’d heard Misha with you in the hallway today. I know that she often accompanies Shizune around school, and that she’s the class representative for Class 3-3. And, seeing as you’re new, it’d only make sense for your class representative to give you a tour.”

“... That’s pretty solid deductive reasoning, Lilly.”

She blushes and covers her face with one hand. “Oh, thank you Yori. To be fair, I’ve had quite a bit of time to think about it, haven’t I?”


“That’s true,” I concede, leading Lilly down the miscellaneous goods isle and searching for a tube of superglue. “Still impressive, though.” I bend over and grab a tube of something called Eterna-stick. Close enough. “Is there anything you need, Lilly? Otherwise we’re all set.”

“No, no thank you. Didn’t you want to get something to eat?” she asks. My stomach loudly applauds her reminder. In all the business, I had totally forgotten.

“Yeah, I’ll just grab some instant noodles or something at the register.”

Lilly frowns. “You don’t want something a bit more... substantial?”

“No, I’ll be okay. Plus, it’s getting late. We really should be getting back.”

“If you’re absolutely certain...”

“Don’t worry about it, Lilly. I’ll be fine.”


The walk back to Yamaku is decidedly more strenuous than the walk down. I find it progressively harder to keep up with Lilly’s impressive pace as my legs stiffen to the point of pain. The sky is hollow, save for the ivory light shed by the moon and the stars. It’s the kind of night meant for fireside chats and warm cocoa... or tea. But, I am not inside. I am not by a glowing fireplace. And I am not nursing a cup of warm... anything. Yet I’m happy. This little adventure for superglue and milk could beat just about anything right now. For the first time since I’ve arrived, I feel... like everything is going to be okay. Lilly smiles with her eyes closed. “Thank you for accompanying me tonight, Yori. I had a wonderful time.”

For more than the second time tonight, I am glad Lilly can’t see me blush. Though I know she’s more perceptive than she lets on. “Nah, thanks for showing me around. I really appreciate the help.”

“It was my pleasure.”

Silence is an interesting creature. It can signal either total discomfort in a situation, or total comfort. Fish out of water, or man in his element. It shows that two people know either nothing about each other, or everything. I know nothing about Lilly. Nothing of any significance. But this silence is not strange or uncomfortable to me. I feel totally natural, as though my words aren’t needed. I feel at home.


Silence reigns until we reach the iron gate of Yamaku. Lilly is the first to brave speaking. “Well, thank you again for escorting me, Yori. Unfortunately, it is rather late, and the day is catching up with me.”

“Oh, don’t feel like you have to stick on my account. I’m probably going to retire soon too.”

Lilly nods, slightly hazy with fatigue. For a brief instant, before turning to walk to her dorm, she opens her brilliant blue-sky eyes. “Well then, I suppose this is good night.”

“Seems that way. Enjoy your rest, Lilly,” I respond, unsure how to proceed. Do I shake her hand? Hug her? The situation is totally alien. Uncharted territory. But before I can figure out what it is I’m supposed to do, Lilly has already begun to trek toward her dorm.

“You as well, Yori.” Time waits for no man.


My legs throb with strain as I sip cup noodles on my bed. Kenji assured me he’d return the favor for the delivery, but I feel like I owe him, if anything. It had been a cold, hungry, and stiff night. But it had also been one of the best nights I’ve had in a long time. Since before the hospital. I undress and turn of the light, discarding the cheap plastic canister of noodles. Lying in bed, my eyes grow heavy with wear. My purple masterpiece barely hanging from the wall stares back at me. A never-ending road of purple. How I wish to’ve been on that road tonight. Because for the first time in a long time, I felt like I belonged.


Truly at home.
Last edited by TonyTwoFingers on Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/22)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:37 am

Not much to do but nitpicking...
“Still impressive, though.”
It actually isn't. She heard him with Misha who is in class 3-3, so it would be natural to assume he is, too. But maybe he is just laying it on thick here.
And Lilly bought tea at the Shanghai to tkae home with her instead of sitting down to drik it. I had to read this section again, because suddenly they were both at the store when I was expecting them to still sit in the Shanghai. You might want to make the transition more clear.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/22)

Post by edruil » Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:39 am

So I'm a bit late to the party with this one, but hoo boy...right in the feels. I actually have a dad with ALS. Just thought I'd do my part as a bit of an expert on the subject:
TonyTwoFingers wrote:But I know - I’m living on borrowed time. A few decades, tops - and then nothing.
That would be an exceedingly optimistic prognosis for ALS. ALS patients typically have 3-5 years, and a bit longer in luckier cases. Guys like Stephen Hawking are real outliers in the data pool. So it might be more accurate to say "a decade, tops" instead.

The quality of writing is quite good, so no qualms there. But depending on how you handle your OC's illness, it remains to be seen if this is something I can continue to read. The feels man, the feels D:

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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/22)

Post by TonyTwoFingers » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:57 am

First of all, big thanks to everyone for taking the time to read.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
“Still impressive, though.”
It actually isn't. She heard him with Misha who is in class 3-3, so it would be natural to assume he is, too. But maybe he is just laying it on thick here.
Yeah, it's not really the most impressive logical progression. I'd rather leave it to you (or, preferably my writing) to decide for yourself if he was laying it on thick, or if he's incredibly poorly-suited for a career as a detective :).
Mirage_GSM wrote:And Lilly bought tea at the Shanghai to tkae home with her instead of sitting down to drik it. I had to read this section again, because suddenly they were both at the store when I was expecting them to still sit in the Shanghai. You might want to make the transition more clear.
Noted. Transitions appear to be a consistently weak part of my writing. I'll do my best to smooth them over in coming installments. Also added something to make the change a bit more obvious.
edruil wrote:So I'm a bit late to the party with this one, but hoo boy...right in the feels. I actually have a dad with ALS.
First of all, my condolences. I hope only to approach the disease in a most respectful and tasteful manner. Best wishes to your father and your family.
edruil wrote: That would be an exceedingly optimistic prognosis for ALS. ALS patients typically have 3-5 years, and a bit longer in luckier cases
I won't pretend that I'm an expert on the subject, because I most certainly am not. And saying "Well, willing suspension of disbelief, right?" has always struck me as something best left to an audience to do on their own, not commanded by the writer :). I dropped the ball with this line, and I assume full responsibility for that. That being said, I don't intend to drag this story out over several years (it has enough purple prose as it is).
edruil wrote:The quality of writing is quite good, so no qualms there. But depending on how you handle your OC's illness, it remains to be seen if this is something I can continue to read. The feels man, the feels D:
Glad to hear the quality is up to par. Understood if the subject matter is a little too touchy for your comfort. All I can say at this point is that the illness will be present in the story, and touched base on more than once. Again, hope I have your blessing for the story, and best wishes to your family.

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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 03/01)

Post by TonyTwoFingers » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:49 am

CHAPTER TWO: PIANISSIMO


The sun wakes me up before the alarm goes off. Last night feels like a vivid dream - a hazy memory that may or may not have happened. I shake my vision into focus and stand out of bed. I’m surprised by a knock at the door just as I finish getting dressed. “Hello?” I ask as I open the door. A tall, middle-aged woman with her dark hair pulled back into a loose bun stands before me, clad in a slate suit.

“Yori Kuroki?” she asks with a dry rasp in her voice.

“Yes?”

“Nice to meet you, I’m your nutritionist, Megumi Suzuki,” she states in some fashion close to warmth.

“My... nutritionist?” This was news to me. Then again, it feels like I’ve been consulted on very few things since my stint in the hospital. Which hurts.

“That’s right. Well, nutritionist and medical consultant.”

“That isn’t the nurse’s job?” I ask, cringing inwardly at how rude I’d come across.

“Well, as you know Yori, your situation and needs are unique, just like those of your fellow students...” Oh terrific. Not only had the uncomfortable sidestepping of my “situation” re-emerged, but I’d basically just been called an exception in an unusually large sea of exceptions. “So it’s important to eat well and often.”

“Sorry, I just woke up. What was that about eating?”

“Well, it’s very important for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis to eat well. Your body needs the extra caloric intake.” This is an awfully strange conversation to be having in a doorway. Then again, I suppose it’s as good as anywhere.

“So... what? I have to keep my weight up?”

Suzuki nods plainly. “Yes, but it’s not always that easy for patients with your condition.”

“I’m sorry?”

“You’ve been eating well, right?” she asks, blowing off the question, and shifting to a noticeably more casual tone. I guess she has to ease into conversations too. I’m still a little groggy at this point, so it’s hard to keep up with her brisk conversational pace.

“... I’m sorry?”

“Well, you don’t look like you’re skin and bones... you exercise, Yori?”

“Erm, not... really, why?”

“Just the questions I have to ask,” she explains matter-of-factly, producing a tape recorder from her breast pocket. “Good for getting to know the patient on a personal basis,” she tosses in with a manufactured smile. She’s got the act down pat - the hallmark of someone who does this sort of emotionally demanding work for a living.

“Wait... you’ve been recording this whole thing?”

“Well, it’s nice to see you’re holding up, Yori. Do me a favor, here’s my card. It has my email, phone number, and fax...” People still fax? “If there’s any big change in your appetite or your physical state, just give me a ring. I’ll also swing by at the end of every week for routine checkups. Don’t worry, you’ll hardly know I’m there!” I find that somehow hard to believe. “Any questions?”

“... I don’t think so...”

“Great! We’ll call it a wrap for today because you’re a busy kid and I wouldn’t want to hog you. I’ll come by for our regularly scheduled appointment Friday, at about four o’clock. Does that work for you?”

I toss my hands up. She’s already halfway down the hall, it’s not as though she’s inviting me to check my day planner. “Works for me.”

“Awesome. Sorry to have to cut out so early, but I’m looking forward to getting to know you better!” she yells from the end of the hallway. I feel bad for the kids who were hoping to sleep in.

“Thanks, you too...” I respond, far too late to reach the woman who has already disappeared down the stairwell.


I always walked to class back at my old school. Knocking the sleep out of my legs always felt like a good way to start the morning, and I actually enjoyed the coolness of fall and winter mornings. Just a little sting to remind me I was alive. I skip breakfast, still feeling a little full from the instant noodles from last night, and make my way straight to class. A redheaded girl with mop hair and sleeves tied into knots around her truncated arms inhales and exhales deeply in front of the main building. I shouldn’t bother her, but the temptation is too great. Plus, maybe it’s about time I started making some new friends around here. “Mind if I ask what you’re doing?”

The girl shoots me a quizzical look, as though the answer was obvious. “Making clouds.”

“You sure that’s how it works?”

She exhales again, watching the small trail of vapor float up before her. “Nope.” Fair enough.

“I’m Yori Kuroki, nice to meet you.” I only briefly begin to extend my hand for a handshake before catching myself. Still not 100% acclimated, I guess.

“Nice to meet you too,” the girl responds with a lazy smile. “I’m Rin Tezuka.”

“Right.”

“So, what’s wrong with you?”

“Pardon?”

“Well, most people who come here have something wrong with them. Some don’t. But you look like you do.”

“I do?”

“Mmmmm...” she trails off with a distant look in her eyes. “You look like you’ve got a crisp on your shoulder.”

“A crisp... on my shoulder?”

She nods. “Yup. You know, the potato snack?”

“... You mean a chip? I have a chip on my shoulder?”

Rin shrugs nonchalantly. “I’ve heard it both ways. Did I ask you something?” she asks, appearing to have honestly forgotten.

“... Nope.”

“Huh. I could’ve sworn I asked something...” She suddenly stands up. “I need to go.”

“Something wrong?”

“I need to go think. If I forget something, it kicks around in my head all day... like that ball bearing in a spray paint can... you know what I mean?”

“... Kind of.”

“Hm.”

The bell rings, calling students to class. “Well, I’ve got to go too. Nice meeting you, Tezuka.”

“Hmmmmmm...” she acknowledges, just barely. “Nice to meet you too.”


Time passes sluggishly in class. The challenging equations Mutou scrawls on the board in his barely legible shorthand aren’t enough to rein in my wandering thoughts. So much has changed in so little time - it’s like living on fast forward. Even the leaves outside seem to be falling off sooner than they usually do. Can I really keep up with this pace? Every few months meeting someone new whose job it is to cater to my steadily increasing list of needs? Every few months increasing my medication dosage? Is that really better living through chemistry? Mercifully, the bell rings before my sanity begins to slip too far. As I pack my things up, Misha bounds up to me beaming a megawatt smile. “Yori-chan~!” she enthusiastically salutes. “Did you get the rest you needed?”

“Yeah, I’m all caught up on beauty rest. How’re you doing, Misha?”

“Wahaha~! I’m fantastic! Though Shicchan and I were sorry you couldn’t join us yesterday,” she answers with something between concern and pout in her voice. Shizune finishes organizing her belongings and hovers over to my desk to join Misha. “Hey, Shicchan, maybe he’ll join us for lunch today!” Misha exclaims with more excitement than the prospect deserved, simultaneously signing with an equal level of energy. Shizune signs something back with considerably less energy, even shooting her a disapproving look. “Shicchan wants me to apologize for making you feel obligated to come to lunch with us,” Misha grumbles like a scolded child.

“Don’t worry about it, I appreciate the offer. I’d love to join you two.” Why not? I have a feeling that even if I wanted to brush the two off, Misha wouldn’t let me.

“Wahaha~! Great!” Misha laughs with gusto. Even Shizune smiles warmly.

“You know, stairs aren’t really my thing,” I wheeze on my way up the flight of stairs to the roof. Normally I could do it pretty easily, but last night’s hike still resonates in my legs. “Would it kill you to slow down just a little? You practically sprinted here!”

“Wahaha~!” Misha laughs from the landing. “Shicchan and I don’t believe in slowing down!” Shizune cracks a small smile at Misha’s encouragement and my own lack of willpower... and apparently cardio.

“I’m not asking you to believe in it, I’m asking you to practice it.”

“Wahaha~! Come on Yori-chan, quit being such a slowpoke!”

“I’m coming, I’m coming...” I huff. Thankfully, the flight isn’t very long, and I manage to get up them without my legs dropping off. The view is as magnificent as it had been the other day, and the afternoon sun loans some of its heat to the otherwise brisk day. We’re surprised to see that we’re not the first there.

“Miss Tezuka,” Misha begins on Shizune’s behalf. “We didn’t know you were up here!”

Rin stares wide-eyed at the sudden excitement. “Lots of people don’t know I’m up here. Probably most of them, actually.”

“Hey Rin,” I offer with a casual wave. “What’re you doing up here?”

“Hey Yori. Still thinking.” Still thinking from... this morning? She’s been here the whole time?

“You’ve been up here since we talked earlier?”

“You two have already met?” Misha asks, struggling to keep up. Even Shizune is slightly bewildered.

“Mmm... Yori ran into me this morning and made me think about something.”

“Wahaha~! What did he make you think about?”

Rin’s face takes on a conflicted shadow. “I don’t remember.” A knot sits in my stomach. I didn’t think she’d actually think about that. It’s... pretty strange behavior, but I can’t help but feel somewhat responsible.

“It was nothing,” I cover up hastily. “I think I just got confused or something earlier. Nothing to worry about, Rin.”

“It’s nice to hear I’m not the only one who gets confused,” Rin states bluntly. Despite the oddness of the encounter, Misha and Shizune have already begun spreading out a good-sized meal, adequate for three. Rin sets herself down heavily, eying the food.

“Sorry Miss Tezuka, we didn’t pack enough food for all four of us!” Misha relays with an optimism that belies the circumstances. Rin’s emotionless face rises from the spread.

“Right, that makes sense," she brushes off. I feel pretty bad about inadvertently making her spent so much time... thinking, so I interject.

“Hey Misha, I’m not all that hungry anyway. Why don’t you let Rin have whatever food was meant for me?” It’s sort of true. The instant ramen from last night filled me up well, apparently. Misha looks puzzled and distressed by the proposal, and turns to Shizune for guidance, who merely shrugs before signing back. Even I know what that means.

“Shicchan says you’re our guest, so whatever would make you happy...” Rin barely waits for the words to leave Misha’s mouth before removing her sandals like unsheathing a knife.

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OtakuNinja
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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/22)

Post by OtakuNinja » Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:31 pm

Nice chapter. I really like how he became friends with Rin that quickly. :D
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Emibro, Hanabro, [Lilly Lover], Rin Kin, Feminist, Two-timer

TonyTwoFingers
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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 02/22)

Post by TonyTwoFingers » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:56 pm

OtakuNinja wrote:Nice chapter. I really like how he became friends with Rin that quickly. :D
Thanks so much for the feedback. Hope you're enjoying it so far!

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griffon8
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Re: Golden Slumbers [OC x Lilly] (UPDATED 03/01)

Post by griffon8 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:38 pm

Okay, now Yori is just being the stupidest he can be. He's just been told that he needs to keep eating, then skips breakfast and lunch.
I found out about Katawa Shoujo through the forums of Misfile. There, I am the editor of Misfiled Dreams.

Completed: 100%, including bonus picture. Shizune>Emi>Lilly>Hanako>Rin

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