Once More [Update: 9/26]

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/12]

Post by Dr.Worm » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:08 pm

---Chapter 4, Part 2: Reunion
With the aid of a cab, Hisao left to pick up his ladyfriend, Rin, from the train-station. Hisao said that it was a short trip and it seemed silly for both of us to leave the house to go get just one girl. Besides, I was already set on making stir-fry for dinner and it'll be almost done by the time he gets back. Then we can sit down and have a nice romantic dinner for three. During which I can drop the bombshell on this "Rin" that Hisao and I have become lovers in the night and she needs to be okay with it.

I hope that she has a sense of humor.

I really hope this horse doesn't die completely soon. I need to at least get seven more jokes out of this pony before it's put out to pasture.

Actually, I just hope we get along. She's catching the last train of the day here and it doesn't run on Sundays out to this part of the country. So after this, she’s stuck here until, at the very earliest, Monday morning.

I haven't asked Hisao what his girlfriend was like or even her full name. I just know her so far as "Rin". Which is a pretty common name. Is that rude? I mean, I suppose I should care, considering he's my best friend and she's about to stay at my house for the next two nights. And I do want to know what she's like. But it's a bit too late now, considering Hisao has left already. But she'll be here in a little bit. I guess I can just wait.

Besides, what're the odds that it's Rin? That'd just be one huge, stupid coincidence that would absolutely change the mood of this weekend. I really need to stop being such a worrywart. I’m sure she’s a nice girl who treats my boy right. And if not, I’ll say something. Hisao doesn’t need a bitch. He deserves a nice girl who will treat him right and massage his feet and…

I don’t think I want to go down this particular train of thought.

The house is really quiet. After all, it's just Nori and I now, since Hisao left. My parents took off not even twenty minutes after we got here. It makes sense. I wouldn't want to be driving all night. Chieko lives pretty far away. I started at Yamaku two years after Chieko left the house for college, but even so, the house is still the same. I guess Mom and Dad don't want to really change much anymore. They're comfortable. They have their dream home in the suburbs with no kids and a bunch of free time. It's just time to grow gray, old and fat.

Well, I guess in Dad's case it's "fatter".

I haven't been home alone in a long time. Granted, I haven't been home in a while either. Not since last summer. And I spent the entirety of my visit locked in my room, avoiding real human contact like it was a flesh eating disease. That was when I met Efreet. Well, met him online at least.

I spent about half an hour showing Hisao around the house. He and Rin are staying in the guest bedroom, the first door on the right of the downstairs hall. No one has to use Chieko’s room, thankfully. Yeah, the house has four bedrooms. My parents do pretty well for themselves. I’ll be in my old room, which if I’m going to go by the décor of the rest of the house, hasn’t been touched since I left.

Sure enough, it hasn’t. There’s my desk still piled high with dvd cases and manga. My sheets are still the same plaid pattern I had when I was twelve. There are all my mecha anime posters on the walls, along with a small television and a playstation hooked up to it.

I haven’t touched that playstation in about six or seven years. I don’t even know where most of my games are anymore.

We killed another two hours with television and cards again. I am proud to announce that I now know how to play poker and that I have consumed enough chocolate to safely assume that I’ve contracted diabetes.

"Nori. Get off the counter, you fat jerk." I mutter to the cat as he saunters over to me. He's been practically attached to me since I got back. I guess the tub of lard missed me. I scratch him behind the ears before hoisting him up and putting him back on the floor. He swats at my leg, offended that I move him when he's being so friendly and scampers to the back of the house. Dad said he had taken up to spending all his time curled up on my bed since I left for Yamaku. Poor little guy.

Well, okay. Poor fatty fat cat.

True to her word, Mom's cut up a bunch of vegetables and stuff for me to use for dinner. I can cook some dishes, but holding a knife and whatever I'm intending to cut is pretty much impossible since I can't lift my partial arm up very high without it hurting. That's the problem with having pins holding your bones together.

Only a few more years until I can get them removed.

Oh right. And I only have one hand.

I pull out the container of vegetables for the seafood stir-fry out of the fridge. Mom taught me how to cook so I already know everything's cut up to the right size so that everything cooks evenly.

Let's see. We've got the shrimp. There's mushrooms, onion, bell peppers and zucchini cut up in this container. Enough for a large meal, complete with left-overs. Good old Mom. Always trying to fatten me up. Bless her heart. She truly understands the plight of the starving college student. There's a jar of minced garlic in the back of the fridge. I'll have to use that since... You know.

She even de-shelled the shrimp! I thought I'd have to struggle to do that myself once Hisao left.

Mom started teaching me to cook when I was twelve. I didn't learn how to make a whole lot of meals, but she taught me to make a handful of dishes well. She said it was so I could feed myself something other than microwaveable meals and melon bread when I was a teenager. A few months later, when Chieko told my parents about a girl at school I had a crush on, Mom told me another reason she wanted me to learn to cook. To impress girls. Apparently, women find that men who can cook something from scratch attractive. And considering I was a twelve year old boy who still held onto the idea that he'd grow up to be a superhero, who could summon a giant metal robot to combat monsters that threatened Tokyo, I probably needed all the help I could.

And because Dad couldn't cook and she wasn't going to let end up like him.

I fry the shrimp up first in garlic and butter and eventually squeeze a lemon over it all. That was a good minute fight to cut that lemon in half, trying to hold it steady on the chopping board with my right arm. Eventually I just have to put it on the counter against the wall while I hold it against it with my right arm. Only then can I get the knife through the rind, instead of sending the lemon rolling across the counter.

In another pan, I start on the vegetables, adding them to the pan in order of how long they need to cook. Eventually, the shrimp has to go into this pan with the vegetables. I have to watch the shrimp so that it doesn't cook for too long. As soon as it changes color, it's time to stop cooking.

It takes me a little bit longer than most people to cook anything. If you don't know why, try cooking your next dinner with one arm behind your back. Yeah. Exactly. It's stupid and hard.But you have a choice in the matter. So shut up, Hisao.

I mean, that's what I would have told him if he had mentioned it.

Nori comes bounding back into the kitchen as I add the shrimp into the pan of vegetables and cashews. He collides with my leg, attempting to take me down to the floor, instead of gently rub himself against it. I push him aside with my foot before he knocks me off balance. That black ball of fur has enough mass to knock me to the ground if he tried hard enough.

"Come on, Nori. Knock it off." I push him away again. He wastes no time in throwing his entire weight into my leg.

Oh jeez.

"You're hungry aren't you?"

Nori seems to understand the word "hungry" and flops on his back. He stares up at me with his bright yellow eyes, pupils widened to the absolute brink of cuteness. I can't resist. I never could resist the big eyes of any cat... or girl, I suppose.

"Alright. Alright. Come on." I mutter, mostly for the cat's sake

Nori bounds ahead of me as I walk down the hall. He obviously knows what's going on. It's only proven when I hear him batting his empty food dish around in the bathroom. I walk in to him flopped over again next to the metal dish. Shaking my head, I pull his food out of the bathroom cabinet and pour it into the bowl for him. He flips over and has his face in the bowl as the first dry nugget of food clinks against the pan.

Unfortunately, this causes a lot of his food to hit the back of his head and spill all over the floor.

"Damn it. Move your fat-ass." I mutter, nudging him with my foot. He doesn't seem to notice as he continues inhaling every morsel that's in the bowl. Oh well. I guess I don't have to worry about cleaning up after him then. I'm sure he'll wolf down everything on the floor anyway.

I shove the bag of food back into the cabinet and head back down to the kitchen.

Time to add soy sauce.

I pour a generous helping of soy sauce all over the pile of food in the pan. Then salt, pepper and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. For flavor.

As much as I rave about instant ramen and the noodle cart, when I do actually cook, I go all out.

Over the sizzle of the stir-fry, I hear the front door click open. Dad must have forgotten something. There's no way Hisao's back with Rin already.

"We're back!" Hisao's voice booms through my house.

I stand corrected. Well, he certainly sounds much more cheerful than he did less than an hour ago.

I glance at the clock. Huh. Forty-seven minutes. That didn't take him long at all.

"I'm in the kitchen!" I call out, busying myself with flipping the stir-fry in the pan. One handed. Yeah. I'm pretty pro.

I can hear his feet padding against the hardwood floor until he joins me at the stove. Hisao's attention is completely focused on the pan in front of me. I know. It all looks really good, doesn't it buddy? Because it is. You best buckle your taste-buds in, Hisao. Because I'm about to take them for one hell of a ride.

"That's packaged? It smells great."

"Uh no. It's not. I made it." How offensive.

Hisao turns to me, confused. "You can cook?"

"Yeah." I reply, before popping a piece of red pepper into my mouth. It crunches as I bite down on it.

"Why do we always eat out then?" Hisao asks.

I blink a few times. Chew, chew and swallow.

"Because I don't have a kitchen at the college." I state, flatly. Geez. Hisao, quit being a moron.

"Oh. Right."

"And the noodle cart is delicious." I add. Another piece of pepper goes into my mouth. Crunch crunch crunch.

"It gets old after a while."

"Well, I'm not your personal chef, you jackass." I finish.

"It looks good."

"It is. It's going to kick your ass. You'll never want to eat anything else ever again." I boast. I push him away.

"Quit standing so close to me. You'll make your old lady wonder."

Six more.

Hisao laughs.

"I don't think she will."

"Well she should because you and I are sharing a room tonight, if you know what I meaaaaan."

Five more.

Speaking of your girlfriend, Hisao...

"So where is she?"

Hisao turns around.


She's been quiet this whole time? Well, he did mention she was from Yamaku. She could be deaf or something. I get why she would hang back when first meeting me. Hisao and I have brought her here, alone. With two dudes. Maybe Hisao's trying to arrange a Devil's threesome.

Alright Rin. Prepare to be met.

I turn around.


"Katsuo, this is my girlfriend, Rin Tezu-"

"We know each other." I give her a tight-lipped smile.

I don't necessarily have a problem with Rin. She and I just don't seem to have much to talk about. Conversations with Rin usually ended with me holding more questions than I went into it with and a massive headache. If I wanted to be confused all day with a migraine, I'd have just gotten drunk.

Good thing there was usually a buffer between us.

The girl and I stare at each other across my kitchen counter. It's that same vacant look, the Rin look, which she always gave me back at Yamaku. Her auburn hair is chopped shorter than the last time I saw her almost a year and a half ago, but it's still messy. She's got on a bright blue hoodie with the sleeves tied under her little bit of her arms, just like she would have with the uniform shirt in high school. With the size of it on her, it's a pretty safe assumption that it's actually Hisao's jacket.

She looks tired. The rings under her eyes are pretty dark.

"Hi Rin."

"Yo." She replies, staring back at me.

Hisao. Really? Her? You had to date Rin Tezuka? Ugh. No wonder you drip mope-juice everywhere we go.

"You two know each other?" Hisao asks, turning his head back and forth between us.

"Yeah. Sort of." I say back. I know of Rin. We've spoken quite a lot. But I don't think anyone knows Rin. Okay. Maybe Hisao does now. Or at least he knows her carnally. Well, here's to the start of an awkward reunion weekend.

Hisao turns to Rin. "I told you his name."

"You said Katsuo." She replies. Rin's attention is already focused on something else. A picture on the wall of the kitchen. Yep. Same space cadet Rin.

"There are lots of people named Katsuo." She says with a shrug. Ugh. That same deadpan tone.

Hisao turns back to me. "I told you her name was Rin!"

"Uh yeah. That's a really common name. I have a cousin named Rin." No, I don't. I scratch the back of my neck. "I was going to ask what her last name was on the train, but you started dealing out cards again."

"You didn’t ask because I started dealing cards out again?" Hisao repeats back to me, disbelief dripping from each word.

I just give him a helpless shrug.

Hisao shakes his head and turns back to Rin.

"Okay, but I said he was from Yamaku." Hisao must be desperate to win this conversation.

"There are probably a lot of guys from Yamaku named Katsuo." Another shrug from Rin as she looks around my kitchen.

I nod. "She's got a point. There were two other guys with my name in my year. One was in my class."

No. There wasn't. I just want to look less stupid.

How did he not mention my last name? How did he not mention her last name? Damn us Yamaku kids for being so informal!

Why didn't I just ask?

I really am stupid.

Hisao is shocked, still switching his gaze between Rin and I.

"Uh you two didn't... date or anything, right?"

"Oh no. No no no." I say quietly. We did not. We most certainly did not.

Rin would have driven me insane.

"Who's the girl in the picture?" Rin tilts her head to the family portrait in the kitchen.

Mom hasn't put up any since Chieko left. Or since I went to Yamaku.

"My sister, Chieko. She doesn’t live here anymore."

"And the chubby boy is you?"

"Yes." I give her a short nod. The chubby kid is me. Before I went to the hospital.

"You looked different at school. Like a skeleton."

"I lost a lot of weight in the hospital. And then when I got out."

It took a while to get used to the various medications I had to take. And they tended to not agree with my stomach about holding food down. I'm pretty sure I burned my tonsils out with stomach acid.

Rin just nods.

Well, I certainly am going to spend as much time away from Rin and Hisao this weekend. No need to worry about me being a third wheel now, buddy boy.

Hisao turns back to me. "Oh. Okay. That's good." He suddenly brightens up again and clasps my shoulder with one hand.

"Well then, I suppose we have a surprise for you." Hisao sounds absolute delighted. Which probably means this next part is going to sting like a bitch.

Rin, no longer concerned with the picture, suddenly turns to Hisao again. "Hisao. I think maybe we..." She trails off into nothingness as Hisao holds his hand out to the entryway to the living room. She gives me a glance and shuffles away from Hisao and I. Well that's certainly a bad sign.

If Rin seems uncomfortable, this has to be awful.

"I know you said you were okay with being a third wheel, but I still didn't feel right about it."


"Hisao, I said it was fine." Please stop... stop talking right now, Hisao. I don't think that after seeing Rin that I'm going to like whatever comes out of your mouth next.

I hear the front door open and shut again.

Who else would-

Hisao. You son of a bitch. No.

"So, after a lot of pleading on my part, Rin agreed to bring a friend along. I thought maybe you two would hit it off."

Hisao. Please.

I clench my eyes shut. Please no. I know it is, but please for some reason just let it be someone from the art club or a friend Rin made after she graduated.

"Helloooo? Anyone here? Hisao? Rin?" A high pitched voice cuts the silence between Hisao and I.

Oh god. My stomach greets my heart as it plummets down. No no no no.

"In the kitchen!" Hisao calls out to the girl's voice.

Rin mumbles something that could be an apology from across the kitchen. Or an excuse about having to go watch clouds. It doesn't matter, I'm not listening.

I crack open one of my eyes just in time to see a small frame round about the corner.

She freezes in the entryway as she spots us. Well, mostly me.

She doesn't have her hair up in those twin tails, like she used to. It's loose today. Has she started doing that now? A new look now that she's left high school? That'd be weird, considering her get-up is practically the same as the last time I saw her. Those are the same brown shorts I've seen her in numerous times. She's got a button up on today, rolled up to the elbows. It's white. Under it is a pale pink tank-top. And the socks. Oh god, the socks. They're the same striped ones she used to cover up her prosthetics.

My knees want to buckle out from under me. I’m torn between wanting to kiss her and wanting to shove my head down the garbage disposal.

I know that I've got more hair now and desperately need a shave, but there's no way she won't recognize me. Hell, she’s seen me naked.

Her bright green eyes widen as our gazes meet. Yeah.

You and me both, dear.

"Katsuo, this is Emi."

"We've met." I say flatly.

"Oh. Well, I guess that makes sense if you know Rin and-" Hisao stops, suddenly noticing the chill in the air it seems as Emi and I stare across the room at each other. Hisao's hand drops from my shoulder and he takes a step away from me.

Well this is certainly the most awkward moment of the day.

"Oh no. You two didn't..."

Emi gives me a weak, very forced smile. That makes sense. We didn't leave on the best of terms.

"Katsuo." Her voice wavers as it gets out of her throat. There's an edge to it.

She's thinking about when she punched me. I'm thinking about when she punched me.

Please don't punch me again, Emi. My jaw still doesn't sit right... I think.

"Hello Emi." I say, just as flatly as before. I'm definitely going to lock myself in my room this weekend.

Yes, Hisao. Congratulations.

You've brought my ex-girlfriend to my house for the weekend.
Last edited by Dr.Worm on Fri May 10, 2013 10:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
At least I still have The Worst Miki

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Also, I write Fanfiction, apparently. [Once More] & [Breaking the Sound Barrier]

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/25]

Post by forgetmenot » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:25 pm

Oh, shit. This just got interesting. Definitely one of the most unique OC fics I've ever read. I can't wait to see where you take it from here.
He slaps his cards down in front of him and returns my steely gaze with a annoyed one of his own.
Should be an.
It takes me a little bit longer than most people to cook than most people. If you don't know why, try cooking your next dinner with one arm behind your back. Yeah. Exactly. It's stupid and hard.But you have a choice in the matter. So shut up.
I'm not sure if you want to break the 4th wall here or not, but if anyone, Katsuo seems like the type to do it. So I guess it works.

Altogether, it's really solid. Good work!

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/25]

Post by Dr.Worm » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:32 pm

forgetmenot wrote:Everything you said.
Thank you!

I was anxious about breaking the 4th wall, but as you said, I thought Katsuo would be the type to do it. And also, I'm pretty sure he's just arguing with himself in his head.

"Isn't that right Katsuo? Right you are, Other-Katsuo."

Now, I have to go back to frantically tearing through your story and shoving my feels into the bottom of my stomach.
At least I still have The Worst Miki

I'll leave the front unlocked because I can't hear the doorbell.
Also, I write Fanfiction, apparently. [Once More] & [Breaking the Sound Barrier]

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/25]

Post by forgetmenot » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:07 pm

"Isn't that right Katsuo? Right you are, Other-Katsuo."
Danger Zooooonnneeee
Now, I have to go back to frantically tearing through your story and shoving my feels into the bottom of my stomach.
You're too kind. :) Thanks for reading!

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/25]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:14 am

It takes me a little bit longer than most people to cook than most people.
That is more people than are needed for this sentence.
If you don't know why, try cooking your next dinner with one arm behind your back. Yeah. Exactly. It's stupid and hard.But you have a choice in the matter. So shut up.
I think this is the first time your OC directly addresses the reader. It's a bit jarring, since it's so out of the blue...
One or two missing words... I should have written it down immediately, since I can't find it again^^°

Anyway, nice chapter. I would have expected him to invite the waitress form the café, but Emi works as well ;-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/25]

Post by nemz » Fri Apr 26, 2013 9:42 am

Heh! Somehow I just had a feeling this might be the angle you were going with as soon as you were all "it can't be that Rin..." Between that and the constant cake orders it just seemed to make sense.
Rin > Shizune > Emi > Hanako > Lilly

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/25]

Post by Dr.Worm » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:44 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Everything you wrote.
Thank you as always for the feedback! It's greatly appreciated.

I went ahead and cut the 4th wall bit. After reading through it all again, it's very jarring for the sake of a joke.

I'll read through the piece again and look for the missing words.
nemz wrote:And everything you wrote.
What a stupid coincidence right? What are the odds? What are the odds?

I'm debating on finishing up the next chapter or a stand-alone about Katsuo and Emi meeting.
At least I still have The Worst Miki

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Also, I write Fanfiction, apparently. [Once More] & [Breaking the Sound Barrier]

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/25]

Post by Dr.Worm » Wed May 01, 2013 2:27 am

--- Chapter 5, Part 1: Dinner and a Movie

I grab Hisao by his stupid sweater-vest as soon as the door shuts behind us. There is no word to describe just how furious I am.

Oh wait.

There totally is.


Yeah. That'll work. I'm incredi-fucking-bly furious right now. I'd slam him up against my bedroom door, but I'm not about to irritate that stupid heart of his. So instead, I just stand there in front of him, awkwardly holding him with my one good arm in place.


That's the only word I can get out through my clenched teeth. It took me exactly five seconds to say "Excuse us" to Rin and her and drag Hisao down the hall. That's the best I can come up with now? Why? Am I really unable to fully articulate just how badly I want to kill Hisao for his random act of kindness? I suppose I could say "If I had both my hands I would strangle you."

Wait. Yeah. That works.

"Hisao, if I had both my hands, I would strangle you right now." I add.

Hisao holds his hands up, trying to back away from me. I wrap my fingers into his trademark argyle piece of clothing. "How was I supposed to know that you and Emi-"

"Why would you even ask someone to come with us?" I throw out. You don't get to use that. You crossed the lines man. You're out of bounds!
This is my house! You shouldn't just ask someone I don't know to come to my house. And not just because sometimes that person might be my ex-girlfriend, who, by the way, I did not leave on the best terms with. You just shouldn’t because it’s incredibly rude! Especially with how bad you made me feel on the train for forgetting your girlfriend’s stupid name.

"I don't know! I just thought maybe you'd be awkward if I was spending all my time with Rin and-"

"I'M ALREADY AWKWARD! ALL THE FUCKING TIME, HISAO!" I shout. Haven't you noticed this man? You're my best friend. We hang out every day now. We eat at the same stupid cafe every day for lunch. You should know how awkward I am already. Even when I hang out with you, I'm not ever fully comfortable. You may be the King of putting your foot in your mouth, Hisao. But, damnit, I'm the fucking Messiah. I will put you to shame. You don't know what I'm capable of. You don't know my backstory. You don't know High-School Katsuo. I didn't just graduate and gain the miniscule amount of confidence that I have now. I scraped that up over years. I raised these crops from the dirt. And I'm still starving.

Hisao cringes at the sudden increase in my volume. He pushes away from me finally and straightens out his vest. Ohhhh… He looks mad. Who cares? I’m incredi-fucking-bly furious. I win. I win to his annoyance at me yelling at him.

"I was just trying to do something nice!"

"Well a fat lot of good that did! The next time you want to do something nice for me, just drop it! Don't do it! I don't need any favors, Hisao."

Hisao groans. "I'm not going to sit around and wait for you to never ask out Arai. I just thought maybe you might like to spend some time with someone besides me."

I open my mouth to object. But... damnit. He didn't mean for this all to happen. I clench my hand into a fist and slam it into the wall next to us. I've never thrown a punch before. And I just found out that it hurts a lot more than you would think. Especially the knuckles. Especially when the thing you're punching is a solid wood wall.

"You okay?"

"No. That really fucking hurt." I whimper. Shaking my fist doesn't help to get rid of the pain. I bury it into my side instead.

Hisao lets out a tiny sigh. "Katsuo. I'm sorry, alright? I didn't know that you and Emi knew each other. I just thought that she was pretty easy to get along with and-"

"Couldn't you have just asked Arai? At least you know I like her." I whine. Well, I like looking at her. That much I know for certain. I flop onto my bed and stare up at the ceiling. Oh. We'll be playing the game tonight, my old friend. You know we will. And it's going to be one long, long game tonight.

Hisao scuffs his foot against the floor. Is he trying not to look at me?

"You didn't."

Hisao gives me a sheepish grin and a shrug.

"I did. She had to work. And then I figured, "Hey. Why not Emi?"


"What gives? Did you guys end badly or something?"

Haha. Oh man. If only you knew.

"To say that it was a complete and utter catastrophe would be a phenomenal understatement." Wow. I didn't know I could say anything so completely deadpan. It's like I've been taking lessons from Rin. Ha. Go me.

"You're overreacting."

"She hit me."

Hisao scoffs. "Okay. She slapped you."

"No no no. She hit me. As in punched. Uppercut. Shoryuken." I sit up and place my fist against my jaw. Hisao just stares at me.

"Right here. I think it gave me crossbite."


He laughs.

"What the hell did you do to her?"

I shrug. "I dunno. Love her." I sound like a sulking teenager. Oh god. That's what I am. I'm a sulking teenager.

"You loved her so she punched you." Hisao repeats.

Wow. That does sounds stupid.

"I don't know. I just... It's a long story man." I sigh.

Hisao crosses his arms over his chest. "I think we can make the time. Rin and Emi can entertain themselves. If this is upsetting you, we can talk. I mean... it's the least I can do since I... You know"

Well, he's certainly stepping out of his comfort zone.

I smile at the floor.

"That's a polite way for me to say that I don't want to talk about it, buddy. Also, stop being such a girl." I chuckle. There's nothing happy about my chuckle. That is the chuckle of a sad man. A man who now feels uncomfortable in his own home. And sorry Hisao. I just couldn't resist that one little punch.

Hisao just nods, letting his hands drop to his side. Finally, he tilts his head to my door.

"So are we going to just let dinner burn?"




I'm out that door before Hisao.


Thankfully, it's not burnt. In fact, it's pretty perfect. It's a good thing I'm so amazing at just about everything I ever do ever. Hisao left me alone in the kitchen to smooth things over with Emi and Rin. I just want him to make it obvious that I didn't know she was coming nor did I have any part in planning it. The last thing I need is for her to think I'm somehow manipulating things to force us together. No. That's all Hisao's doing. Like he's the Sorceror of Stupid Ideas or something. A Mystical Dumbass. A Moron Magician. Oh! That's it. That's the best one.

Shark-Figher and the Moron Magician. Fighting injustice in a fantasy world.

I wouldn't want to be Hisao right now. Mostly because he's going to have to tell Emi that she's stuck here. With me. For the weekend. I'm not even remotely overjoyed at that prospect.

I've decided to play nice. Even though I think it would be so much more satisfying to be a complete asshole to her all weekend. I'm not doing it for her. I'm just going to keep things remotely civil so that Hisao and Rin have a nice weekend.

He might have been the idiot that did this, but Hisao is still my boy. I am going to make sure he has a good weekend and stops being such a sulker at school. He's no fun being so introspective all the time. Besides, I'm much better at favors than he is.

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I haven't imagined what it would be like if I ever met Emi again. I spent an entire summer doing that. And this certainly wasn't it. For one, I'm not rich. Two, I don't have my robot arm or my giant mecha. Something like The Big-O. That's the sort of robot I want. Three, I'm not ripped and handsome and perfect. I couldn't even properly shave for her arrival. Well, I couldn't really have done that. I mean, I didn't know she'd be here. I should probably stop worrying about this.

Nori flops over at my feet. I know what he's up to. He's hoping I drop a piece of shrimp while I dole out dinner onto my parent's weird, square plates. I pick one out of the pan and drop it on his stomach. He attempts to pounce on himself, but ends up batting the shrimp across the kitchen floor. In one quick motion, he flips right over and bounds after it. I wish that cats could chortle, because Nori would be chortling right now. And while I'm at it, I wish I knew what chortling was. Because it sounds awesome.

Hisao pads back into the kitchen, bridge of his nose pinched between his forefinger and thumb. He lets out a tiny sigh and then takes a deep breath before looking at me.

"Ah. I see that she's completely understanding of the situation and that we're going to get along." I give him a fake grin.

He rolls his eyes. "Yeah. It went over just as well as you think it did."

I hold out a plate to him. "Here. Take these to the girls and I'll eat in my room."

"Emi said she doesn't want anything you made."

Ha. Of course she's going to be like this.

"Tell her it's either this or she walks to the city to get food."

"She'll probably choose to walk." Hisao mutters, sticking his hands into his pockets. "What the hell did you do exactly?"

I groan loudly and place the plate back down on the counter.

"Why is she so fucking stubborn?" I hiss. Dinner is going to get cold. And I worked hard on this. She should be happy that I'm trying to be nice and feed her. Nori walks over my feet, a half-eaten shrimp in his mouth. I push him away with one of my feet.

I am in no mood for your cuteness, cat.

"That's just how Emi is." Hisao replies.

I roll my eyes. "I know. It was a rhetorical question." I shake my head and walk past him.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm going to talk to her. Wait here." I say sternly. I am your father, Hisao. Listen to me. That's the kind of voice I have right now.

He frowns. "Is that a good idea?"

"Ha. No. It's probably not. But I am not going to waste food." Because I spent so much time working on it. There's no way I'm letting any of this get cold.

I leave the kitchen and head through the dining room and into the living room.

Emi and Rin are seated on the deep brown suede couch that dominates the room. Emi glares at me as I enter. If there was such a thing as hate vision, that would be Emi's super power. Rin doesn't even seem to notice, or care, that I'm here. No. She's focused on the window to the front yard. Or rather, what's outside the window. At least she isn't going through the family photo albums. If she thought I was chubby in that picture in the kitchen, she shouldn't look at my elementary school years. I was full blown fat.

"Rin. You should go." It's a very quiet suggestion. I may be aiming at Rin, but my eyes are locked on the girl trying very hard to use her powers to blow up my head. I think that's what she's doing. Hate vision and all. Bring it on Emi.

Let's dance.

She turns her gaze to me slowly. "Go where?"

"Somewhere that isn't here. Maybe go check on Hisao. I don't really care where you go, but I need to speak to Emi."

Rin turns back to the window. "Don't let me stop you."

"In private, Rin."

"There's a cloud outside."

"There are always clouds outside."

"This is different."

I groan, clenching and unclenching a fist. This is why I hate dealing with Rin. She doesn't deal. She just does what she always does. And I have always been unable to figure out just WHAT that is. It changes on the hour or just whenever the hell Rin feels like it.

Okay. Change of plans.

I walk across the room and grab the bag sitting at Emi's feet. She jumps up as I start lugging it behind me.

"What are you doing?"

"Let me show you to your room then." I manage to get that out through clenching my teeth.

Emi trails after me down the hall. If I stop, I'm sure she'll rip the suitcase out of my hand and beat me over the head with it. I certainly don't want that. There's not really any choice but to put her in Chieko's room. Well, I guess I could make her sleep on the couch, but...

I said I'd be nice so I should actually try to be nice.

I push open the door with my foot and head inside. Emi fails to catch on that she should shut the door behind us. With a groan to properly express my irritation, I toss her bag onto my sister's old bed. Chieko took most of her stuff when she moved out, so the room is basically a bed, a lamp, an end table and a desk. There's a clock too. Oh and some boxes my parents are storing. I guess that's all she really needs, right?

"Emi." I begin. I stop myself from going any further. Shut the door, Emi. Come on shut the door.

She just stands there, expression a mixture of anger and confusion. Haha. Yeah. I know that feeling. I shake my head and walk past her. Do I have to do everything myself? The door slams into place with the force I shove it with.

"Katsuo I do-"

"You're staying here. You're eating the food I made." I try to force that edge of authority into my voice. It doesn't quite get there.
Probably because I'm imagining Emi naked again.

It's been a while. It's my damn brain. I can do whatever I want with it.

She just crosses her arms over her chest and continues the onslaught of anger. Okay. So, talking to her like this isn't going to get us anywhere. I figured as much. Emi shoved me out of her life a year ago and it isn't like she's just going to let me waltz back in. Not that I want to. Well, maybe a little. But certainly not like this.


"I'd rather sleep outside than stay here with you."

Ignoring that.


"And your food is probably terrible."

It isn't. Ignoring that as well.


"What?" She could cut a man in half with that edge in her voice.

"I'm sorry."

Emi blinks at me. Her mouth opens. Oh! I know this! I do this all the time! Her brain is trying to process what's going on and it isn't doing a great job at that. Yeah. I know that feeling pretty well. I did that for a straight hour once when Emi agreed to go on a date with me for the first time.

"You... what?"

"I'm sorry." I say again. I drop the forceful act. It's obvious that just getting angry and frustrated with her stubborn ass isn't going to do me any good.

Her brain apparently catches up faster than mine did. She turns her head from me, as though I slapped her.

"You can't just apologize after what you've done and expect-"

"I'm not apologizing for that." I stop her short. Don't bring that up. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want to think about it. Oh great. I'm thinking about it.

She just keeps looking at the wall.

"I'm sorry that you got dragged out here and had to see me again." I rub the back of my neck. I don't dare take a step closer to her, even though that's what they'd do in the movies. I've learned that movies don't accurately reflect reality as much as I want them too. In fact, they're usually really bad at it. Don't take advice from them. It just leads to... this.

Emi turns back to me.

"I know that..." I trail off. I don't know what I'm going to say. What does someone say here?

"Look, I'm just sorry." I point in the general direction of the living room.

"I just wanted Hisao and Rin to have a weekend together. I didn't know he was going to bring you and if he had told me, I would have put a stop to it, alright? So stop being so damn stubborn. It's irritating." Trust me Emi, I totally would have.

Emi glowers at me. "You don't have to be so mean."

"Mean? You're the one who's refusing to eat the food I worked pretty hard to make." I lift my right arm. "Twice as hard as anyone else would have had to work, I might add."

It's a little low to play the guilt card like that, but...

"Now, seeing as you're stuck here for the next two days, we can try to be nice to each other so that Hisao doesn't ruin his weekend with
Rin. I'm kind of tired of him moping and whining about everything anyway."

"I could catch the train ba-"

"The trains don't run out here on Sunday."

"Well I could catch a cab to the city and stay in a ho-"

"Hisao paid out his ass to get that cab. It'd have to drive here from the city to pick you up and then take you back. Do you have enough money for that, two nights at a hotel and then enough for the cab back to the train station? Oh and let’s not forget that you have to buy food too."

You silly city kids. You have no idea how things operate out here in the country.

The girl in front of me lowers her arms, letting them hang loose at her side. Oh? Has she admitted defeat that easily? Impossible. This is
Emi. This is a girl who would drag me kicking and screaming down to the track every morning to do something I didn't want to do anymore.
There has to be something else. The final boss doesn't go down this easily.

Where's your second form?

After twenty seconds of complete silence, it's apparent that she's done for now. I must not be at the end of the dungeon.

"Are we going to be cool this weekend?" I finally ask.

It takes a while, but finally she gives me a tiny nod.


We stand there, staring at each other for a few seconds.

"Anything else you want to say?"

Emi nods.

"You're an ass."

I shrug. "Duly noted. Let's go. Dinner'll get cold if we try to stand here and work through all our problems."
Last edited by Dr.Worm on Wed May 01, 2013 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/25]

Post by Dr.Worm » Wed May 01, 2013 2:33 am

--- Chapter 5, Part 2: Dinner and a Movie


Hisao breaks the uncomfortable silence that grew between the four of us. Emi and I haven't said anything to each other since we emerged from my room. Now, we're sitting directly across from each other, staring at the plates on the floor in front of us. I keep pushing my food around the plate with my chopsticks, not really that interested in eating anymore. I know what I said to Emi about not wanting to let this food go to waste, but it sort of just hit me after our little talk that Emi would actually be staying here with me for the next two nights. I've never had a girl over to my house before. And granted, yes, we did spend the night in each other's dorm rooms back in Yamaku, we were technically only dating for three months out of the year we spent together? Maybe less? I can't remember anymore. That year has started to blend together so seamlessly in my mind. One continuing frame after another. Maybe that was the problem? We developed a routine?

"She's staying." I reply, before shoving a piece of green pepper into my mouth.

More silence.

I glance up at the girl seated across me. She's currently holding a shrimp between her chopsticks and dangling it above the cat.

Considering that it would be difficult for Rin to eat with us at the dining room table, we're sitting on the kitchen floor for dinner tonight. I raise an eyebrow at the scene before me, holding my gaze. Emi eventually notices that I'm watching her. She frowns.

"If you do that, he won't leave you alone all weekend." I chide.

"I'm okay with that." Emi replies, dropping the shrimp to the floor. It bounces off Nori's head and he scampers after it. He bats it around a few times, not entirely on purpose, I assume, before he finally bites into it.

"Your funeral." I mutter.

Emi's frown only deepens and she focuses on the food in front of her.

Hisao tries to exchange a look with Rin. Alas, his girlfriend is currently staring at the abrupt ending to my right arm. Again.

Ah. Of course. I know what's about to come up. But I'll have to give her time.

"So the bus into the city should still run tomorrow. You gonna check out the city? Or you guys could head into town, if you wanted to be bored to death by old people. Or go to the convenience store." Oh and don't try the local thing. There's a reason it's local. It isn't a delicacy. It's shit, Hisao. That's why it hasn't made it into the city yet. My cooking is a million times better.

Too bad you're on your own for breakfast tomorrow. I can't do breakfast foods to save my life.

"I don't know. We'll decide tomorrow, I guess."

I nod and we all focus on our food again. This weekend is going to go very well for my main man if Emi and I don't give them some space. I'm sure Hisao still feels terrible about dragging Emi up here and bringing all this stuff out to the surface again.

"A sword fight."

Hisao and Emi, both in the middle of bringing food up to their mouths, turn to Rin. The red-head stabs her stir-fry with a fork held between her toes and shoves it into her mouth. As she chews, she slowly looks up from my arm to my face. Is she trying to gauge my reaction?

I smile.

"No. Though that's the most interesting one you've come up with yet."

"You're still doing that, Rin?" Emi asks.

Hisao lowers his food and looks at Emi and I. Yeah. You're the only one not in the loop. I know, it's pretty confusing isn't it? Surprise! I know these girls too and there's going to be some history you're not aware of.

"I haven't gotten it right yet." She explains. Rin continues to eat. I shake my head and join her. Thank you Rin. You've managed to somewhat break the stale air that's surrounded this meal for the moment.

"What's going on?" Hisao finally asks.

I guess someone doesn't like mysteries.

"She's trying to guess how Katsuo lost his arm." Emi says quietly. I nod at her. She responds by throwing another piece of shrimp at my cat.

Damn it. That food is for you, Emi. Stop giving it to my fat cat.

Hisao blinks. He's tried really hard for the last two months to not look at my right arm, but he's openly staring at it now. I haven't told him either.

"That... Really?"

I shrug.

"Yeah. It's lots of fun." More food into my mouth.

It isn't fun actually. Well, not for me at least. Though it is mildly amusing to hear Rin's theories. She avoids the obvious choices, probably convinced that if it was something normal, I'd have told everyone. Not everyone is as open about how their disabilities as you are Rin.

"How did you lose your arm anyway? You joke about it all the time.” Hisao’s made the most progress on his meal. I’m already full of chocolate and whatever I scarfed down while I was cooking.

Yeah. I joke about it all the time. But there's a reason I haven't told you how I lost it, Hisao.

"Ah. Well, I can't tell you. That would ruin Rin's game." I point out, smiling. Thank god for that out. I don't feel like having an awkward "YOU AREN'T READY GRASSHOPPER" conversation at dinner. There's already the whole mess of problems sitting across from me. I don't need to drag anything else out into the open right now.

"Oh. Right." Hisao mutters. Is he embarrassed? Oh come on. It’s not as though this should be common knowledge. He looks at his girlfriend sitting next to him. She just gives him a very serious nod of her head.

Sorry buddy. I know that was a cop out. But… Well…


We continue the trend of eating in silence. This wasn't at all what I wanted to happen. I wanted Hisao and Rin and I to be eating together and laughing at my hillarious jokes. Well, at least until I knew that Rin was Rin Tezuka. Is she had just been some normal-ish girl from Yamaku, this would have all worked out so well! In fact, they would have been perfect. Why couldn't you leave my plans alone, Hisao? They were perfect until you stuck your hand into them. You fool!

Okay. I can't take this silence anymore. I'm going to have to do something drastic here.

"So, Rin..."

The girl continues eating. She doesn't look at me. She doesn't even give me any indication that she's still listening to me.

"What have you been up to since I graduated? Besides shacking up with the Heartbreaker here."

Rin actually turns her head to me. She's going to look at me while she talks? That's different.

"Painting." She drolls out in monotone. I guess for Rin this is a pretty boring subject. Hell, even I could have guessed that she would be painting still. No. I want something new. Something for us to talk about and ignore the elephant in the room.

"Did you paint anything interesting?" I continue this pointless line of questioning. I'm not even sure why I’m not just trying to talk to Hisao.

Rin turns away from me, frowning.

"I don't know. Wouldn't that be up to you to decide?"

Ugh. The question game. I hate this game.

"I was asking if you thought you had done anything interesting." Her mouth forms a perfectly flat line at my choice of words.

"That's not what you said."

"Right. Nevermind."

"She did a mural at the school festival. I thought it was really good." Emi pipes up finally. "And then she had an art show at this gallery in the city."

Hisao gives Emi a look that clearly says she should stop right there. Emi does so immediately, going back into her food again.

I don't know if she was talking for my benefit or to get Rin out of the hole that we were digging for each other. Either way, something happened at that gallery that I shouldn't know about.

We finish eating the rest of our meal in silence. Hisao picks up his plate and Rin's to take them to the kitchen without saying anything.

Rin sits there for a few seconds after he leaves before vanishing into the living room again. I don't ask what she's up to, out of fear that it's going to lead into one of those uncomfortable Rin conversations again. I need a word for that.


Yeah, that'll work.

So that just leaves Emi and me sitting here. And Nori, I guess. He's flopped over next to Emi, staring at the remnants of stir-fry on her plate. She pushes it around on her plate with her chopsticks. This is sort of like that first time I took her to someplace that wasn't the Shanghai. I made the mistake of asking her about her home life, after talking about my parents for about twenty minutes. When she looks up, I turn away. I don't need her to know that I'm staring at her. That I'm reminiscing. That I’m remembering how taut her body is and-


Whoops. Reality check.

"Nothing." I give her a shrug. Right. Time to go before this gets even worse. I shove myself onto one knee. I can't exactly stand and bend over to pick up my plate. That would basically snap me in half.

"How did you lose your arm anyway?"

I stop in place, hand over my plate. I had intended to pick it up, take it to the kitchen and then lock myself in my room. Emi, however, actually wants to talk to me. Or at least sate her curiosity about an ancient mystery.


"You never told me how you lost your arm. You know about my-"

"I thought I told you." I cut her off. I don't want to talk about her accident or anything we used to do or anything like that. I just want to get through this weekend.

Emi shakes her head. "No. You haven't."

“That’d ruin Rin’s game.”

“I won’t tell her.”

“Yes, you will.”

“She wouldn’t let me ruin that game you two play.”

Just stop talking already.

"Well it's a long story."

"I am stuck here all weekend."

Would you drop it? I don’t care how curious you are.

"That's a polite way to say I don't want to talk about it, Emi." I say rather sourly. What is with you and Hisao not getting the hint? I pick up my plate and walk out of the dining room.

"I thought you of all people would understand that."
Last edited by Dr.Worm on Thu May 09, 2013 6:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/25]

Post by Ranger296 » Wed May 01, 2013 3:53 am

Dr.Worm wrote:--- Chapter 5, Part 1: Dinner and a Movie

elementary school years. I was full blown fat.
Minor correction that I noticed. Just commentating to say that I enjoy this thread thouroughly and can't wait for more. :D

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/30]

Post by CaptainFalcon » Wed May 01, 2013 7:53 am

Wow, I really, really want to know what happened between Emi and Katsuo to cause such a violent break up. You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.
I look forward to the next chapter!

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/30]

Post by nemz » Wed May 01, 2013 9:41 am

Hmm. I'm assuming he made a similar blunder to Hisao's bad end with her, something about her dad. Can't immagine much else that would make her angry enough to punch someone other than some sort of bullying or harrasment, and Katsuo doesn't seem the type.

I'm a bit disappointed there isn't more Hisao/Rin goodness going on, but what is here is really good stuff too. The whole situation and the lingering emotional cocktail of anger/lust/sadness/nostaligia rings very true to life. I've certainly felt somewhat the same when dealing with exes in the past, letting anger and bitterness get the best of me because it's easier than admitting how much you miss the way it used to be, even in cases where I was the one who broke it off.

Hisao not being comfortable with secrets and doing 'good deeds' that nobody wanted or needed from him seems very much in line with the version of him from Rin's path. A bit less needy and whiny though, but then I guess he got the good end so he has less reason to annoy the hell out of me with his constant validation seeking bullshit.
Rin > Shizune > Emi > Hanako > Lilly

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/30]

Post by Dr.Worm » Wed May 01, 2013 5:29 pm

---Chapter 5, Part 3: Dinner and a Movie
Hello again, ceiling. I'd love to say that it's nice to see you again, but... well, it's not. I've never particularly enjoyed staring at you last year. I don't particularly enjoy staring at you now.

I let out a tiny sigh as I try closing my eyes again. They stay shut for about ten seconds. I lost count of how many times I've tried hours ago. I know that I'm not going to get a wink of sleep tonight, no matter how much I try. It's not just the throbbing pain in my chest and sour feeling in my stomach from seeing Emi again. I managed to deal with that feeling quite well back when I was in Yamaku by sobbing uncontrollably into my pillow until I was too exhausted to do it anymore.

You know. Like a man.

No. Tonight, I've got those two keeping me awake and an even older, unwelcome guest. I rub at the end of my right arm.

There's this feeling where someone is walking down the stairs at night and they take that ghost step. The step that they think is there, but it isn't. And you they that uncertain, uneasy feeling as they stumble forward and their heart jumps. And their brain screams something like: "Oh god, is this how I die?"

Yeah. It's nothing like that. They should be ashamed for thinking like that. I don't even know who they are, but they should be ashamed.

No. It just something that isn't there that hurts. Doctors say it's pretty much something all in my head. That's fine. It still fucking hurts.

It's hard to explain to anyone that isn't missing a bit of themselves. For one, it burns. It's like that bit of my arm that's been lopped off is on fire. And I want to do something about it, but I can't. I can't fill up the sink with water and dunk my burning arm into it. Because it isn't really there. And then it feels about six inches longer than it should be. So there's even more of it on fire.

I've already popped the recommended number of pain killers that I can tonight. Guess what. They aren't helping. It's why I'm still playing this game with the ceiling. I've read a few articles about how Biofeedback is supposed to help. Alas, I didn't care enough to actually look up what biofeedback is. Which is stupid of me because, based on name alone, biofeedback sounds incredibly awesome. Like a doctor was going to make me eat toxic waste or something. Maybe it would give me super powers. I’d like that a lot. Or maybe it’ll make my arm grow back? Yeah! Though, with my luck, I’d probably get some sort of weird tentacle or something.

At least then I’d have a promising career in the special interest porn industry.

My pillow is already soaked in sweat from tossing and turning.

I already tried putting some movie on my laptop and concentrating on that. But my arm is on fire. So it's pretty difficult to focus right now. It helps when you have someone there with you. Talking keeps you focused on the conversation and away from the invisible limb on fire. Too bad Hisao is already asleep. Besides, I shouldn't interrupt him when he's spending the night with Rin. And really, I'd just rather not walk in on them mid-coitus or something. Though, I assume I’d be able to hear them as I walked down the hall.

Hell, I would be fine with just a name on a computer screen to chat with right now.

Yet not as single one of my internet friends was online. Not even Efreet. And he's always online. He’s got an even smaller social life than I do. Hell, if Rin was up, I might even resort to talking to her. At least the headache would make it harder to focus on my arm.

God fucking damn it, Hisao. This was a terrible way to spend a weekend. Why did I let you talk me into coming here?

I flip over my pillow and tuck my left arm behind my head.

Right after Hisao and I finished washing the dishes and putting away the leftovers, I pointed out where the bathroom was for everyone. Then I locked myself in my room. I haven't left since. I tried turning the playstation in my room. It doesn't work anymore, apparently. I don't know what I would have done with it anyway. I can't play anything on it anymore. It's now three in the morning and I'm pretty sure everyone's gone to bed. So it's just me and limb pain up tonight.

And that's why I'm playing this game.

Come on ceiling. You're not even trying. I'm supposed to be the professional with no enthusiasm for the sport anymore. You're supposed to be the plucky guy who's going up against his arch-nemesis. The underdog. That's just basic sports movie logic. Ugh. You are no fun.

I throw myself out of the bed, intent on washing my face in the bathroom sink. I feel absolutely terrible and gross in this sheen of old, stale sweat. My pillow is dark and damp from where I was laying on it. Ugh. Gross. Glad I don't have to clean that. I shake my head and grab the glasses off my bedside table.

The house is completely silent as I slip out of my room and walk down the hall. I guess Hisao and Rin aren't going at it like rabbits. I figured they would. Hisao has missed her over the last two months after all. But hey. Maybe he's being polite to the two other beings in the house that aren't going to be hooking up after all. I'm sure he's still going to keep apologizing when we get back to school.

The light stings when I hit the switch in the bathroom. God. It even somehow stings my tongue and gets my ears ringing. Why do I do this to myself? I manage to splash some cold water on my face before tugging my glasses on. Ugh. My reflection looks terrible. These dark rings under my eyes are never going to go away, are they?

No time for that now.

I splash some cold water on my stump. Just for kicks.I already know that doesn't work.

With a sigh, I click the lights off and head back into the hallway.

Chieko's old room is right next to mine. I wonder if Emi might still be up. Not that I want to talk to her. But it's a healthy curiosity. I know it's stupid, but I stop outside of her door.

My stomach attempts to twist around itself. Why am I so concerned with Emi? Who cares that she’s probably in her pajamas in there and I used to see that on a daily basis and I want to see that again.

Oh fate. You are a cruel, cruel mistress.

She certainly hasn't gotten fat and ugly like all my wishing wanted her to. Maybe I didn't try hard enough. I could have sacrificed a goat or two or something at least. It isn't really trying my best until I get the dark arts involved, I suppose. But no, Emi somehow became even cuter in the year that we've spent apart. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? Well, at least for me it did. Emi appears to have just grown to hate me more. Then again, while I started our little peace treaty and decided to play nice, I haven’t been genuinely nice so far. But it’s just… It feels better to be mean. I can’t explain why. It just does.

I get that I screwed up a long time ago. I've come to accept that part of the breakup. And, frankly, I thought that after a year I was finally ready to move onto a new part of my life. I had managed to pick up a new best bud in Hisao. I wasn't addicted to online chat rooms anymore. I was going out to places and talking to people while actually looking at their faces. And then we had to take this stupid vacation. And Hisao had to try to play matchmaker.

I am never asking that guy to do me a solid ever again.

At least she hasn't punched me. Well, yet. The weekend is still young, after all. And we are sort of stranded here.

Why am I still standing out here? This is creepy. I need to get back to the room and get my ceiling staring back on.

I lift my foot and immediately put it back down as something hits my ears.

A choked sob. The shifting of bed-springs. Whimpering.

Now, it could have been a hundred years instead of one year and I would still know those sounds.

I guess I'm not the only one having trouble sleeping.

I turn back to the door and bite my lip.

Okay. She's awake. I'm awake.And I know for a fact that stress tends to bring on what I'm experiencing now. And that it sucks to have to do it alone.

But she did punch me. And she hasn't been nice to me since we met again this morning. Though, that is understandable.

Don't do it, Katsuo. You're only setting yourself up to get hurt again. Because you know where this is going to take you. You've been down this path, man. It leads to crying. It leads to locking yourself in your room and never hanging out with Hisao again.

Another choked sob hits me.

God. Fucking. Damn. It. I hate being nice.

A few minutes later, I'm standing outside of Emi's door with some supplies from my room. I am not happy with myself at all.

Best case scenario? Emi doesn't let me in.

Worst case scenario? Everything goes according to plan.

I shift the thermos in my arm so that I can use my hand to actually knock on the door. I must be crazy to do this. I drop my hand again. I am crazy. This is stupid. I'm just going to get us into a shouting match and wake Rin and Hisao up and possibly my neighbors. The bedsprings shift again, pulling me out of my argument with myself.

I can do this. I can be nice. It'll help me too. I'll be able to deal with my arm.

I raise my hand again. Before I get the chance to knock, the door swings open.

Emi stands there in doorway, illuminated by the moonlight from the window behind her. Her hair is still down, messy from tossing and turning in bed. She's covered in sweat. I probably look just the same way. We've both had to help each other at night like this before. She's wearing a plain white shirt and some green pajama shorts. Her prosthetic legs are free from the striped socks she usually covers them up in. The metal and plastic is a harsh ending to the flesh of the girl they're connected to.

She hasn't even seen me yet. She's too busy rubbing at her right eye with her hand. Judging by the state of her right eye, she's been crying too. I try to look at anything but her face. It's not going so well because despite the sweat and the crying and our history, she's very pretty and I'm a stupid boy.

I've... I've missed waking up to that. Is that pathetic? It is, isn't it?

God. I'm pathetic.

Emi finally opens those green saucers and sees me standing there in front of her. Too bad I'm not Rin. That would probably be better for her. Her expression immediately darkens.


"Hi Emi."

"What do you want?"

Well there are a lot of things that I want. Some of them involve you. Some involve sharks. A few of them have you and shark things overlap and not all of them end with us kissing again. I should just turn and run back to my room. Abandon the mission. This isn't going to go well. Why am I even trying?

"I just..."

Want to help. Want to scream at you. Want to kiss you all over your stupid, cute face. Oh god, why does my brain do this to me?

I frown. Come on words. Come back. We can do this.

"Well then get out my way." She snaps.

I shake my head and pull the thermos clutched against my chest out. I shove it into Emi's hands. Next is the pill bottle.

"Take two. There's water in the thermos to help swallow them."

Emi opens her mouth to say something. I stop her by holding up my hand.

"Don't start with me. I could hear you crying from the hall." I say, quietly. The words are a lot sterner than I thought I was possible of being. "Come on now."

I put my hand on her shoulder and gently guide her back into the room. I shut the door with my foot behind me.

Emi clamps her jaw shut. If I thought she was pissed when we first spotted each other again, then I'm sure I'm looking into the face of death herself now. But I’ve got to complete the mission. I pull the curtains shut so that there's no glare on my on the screen that I'll have out in a few seconds. Emi starts to sputter about how I need to get out and how "that" isn't going to happen.

"Seriously Emi. Just stop talking." I manage to push the words out through my clenched jaw. Sure, I have to be a nice guy. But that doesn't mean I have to actually be nice about it all. It’s still feeling pretty good to be kind of a jerk.

I swing my messenger bag around and pull my laptop out. I set it down on the bedside table. Neither of us says anything as I open it and pull up an old black and white movie.

Planet Prince.

It's about an hour long. One of those superhero movies from the late 1950's. Some aliens invade Japan and the hero, who is invincible to their weapons, fights them off. I never understood why he still flinches and tries to dodge their weapon fire if he's invulnerable to them. But I then I think to myself that it's just a show and that I should really just relax.

Besides, it's an atrocious movie. I've seen it about twenty times. Because I love it.

I plop down on the floor with my back against the bed as the movie starts.

"What are you-"

"Just shut up." I cut her off, not bothering to look at her. I can feel the hate radiating off her.

"I can't sleep. You can't sleep. I have a movie." I point at my computer screen.

"I don't need you to sit with me through my limb pain, Katsuo."

"I know."

"You're the last person I want in here."

"I know."

Emi stops again. I reach into my bag again and hold out a small bag.


It takes her a second to pull the bag gently from my hands.

"Why are you-"

"Shut up and watch the movie, Emi." I growl.

She lets out a little harrumph of her begrudging acceptance before she climbs back into the bed. But, she doesn't say anything else. This isn't the first time we've sat up all night trying to ignore the pain together. I'd gotten in trouble with the Student Council a few times for staying in the Girl's Dormitory when we were dating. Emi and I used to sit up and watch bad movies like this all the time, even when we were just friends. I know she'll probably think I'm trying to get her to relive these old memories, but… I'm not. I just don't know what else that I can do to help. Besides, I'm sitting on the floor and very pointedly letting her know how uncomfortable this makes me feel.

About ten minutes later, I'm rewarded with her pushing the thermos against my cheek.

"I can't open it."

I grunt and take it from her. It takes me exactly three seconds to twist the top open. Mostly because she loosened it up for me. I'm not about to tell her that. I hold it out to her without letting my eyes drift from the computer screen. I glance over as she places her prosthetics up against the wall next to the bed. Finally she takes the thermos from my outstretched hand.


I grunt again.

"You know you're an ass, right?"

I lean my head back to give Emi my best look of nonchalance.

Emi's still staring at the computer screen. She pops a couple of the pain killers into her mouth and downs a good portion of the water in the thermos. I know I'm staring, but I can't help it. It's been over a year since I've seen Emi awash in the glow of my computer screen. It's not particularly romantic for most guys. The moonlight would have probably been more cliché and more fitting for a harlequin romance novel. But this brings that faint heat to my face. My head gets fuzzy again. I remember this feeling.

This is the little bit of Emi I thought I'd never see again. The one I missed the most.

Emi's eyes are focused on the movie. Her mouth, though set in a dead grimace, is twitching. She wants to smile. The movie is stupid enough to cause laughter. But I know she isn't going to laugh tonight. This isn't Yamaku. I'm not her boyfriend. I'm just an ass who has an old movie.

She puts the thermos on her bedside table before finally noticing that I'm staring. We don't say anything as we just look at each other. What is that look she's giving me? I mean, I get the whole frown her mouth is set on giving me. The narrowed eyebrows do say that she's upset that I'm still sitting here. Do I maybe see a bit of sadness in her eyes? Or is that just from the aches I know we're both feeling around the areas of our stumps? Or is it hope? Maybe indigestion?



"Why are you staring at me?"

I blink. Right. I'm staring. My mind reaches around in the dark and tries to grab something to say. There has to be the right combination of words to let her know that I still think she's pretty and to accurately convey that I would sooner die than admit it.

Before I have a chance to stutter out something, a laugh erupts from my computer.

Phantom's, the main villain, trademark laugh. "HEH HA HA HA HA HA."

Emi and I stare at each other for another second. A small giggle escapes me.

Emi's mouth twitches.

I try to keep my lips shut around another giggle, but it pushes its way out. Emi covers her mouth with one hand.

And then we both lose it all.

I turn away as I start laughing. I don't even care how late it is and that the other two might be sleeping. Emi's laughing along with me. This is good, right? We're laughing!

It all comes to an abrupt halt as we meet eyes again. Emi turns away and I cover my mouth with a fist before coughing into it.

"We should probably keep it down since Rin and Hisao are just down the hall." Emi says quietly.

I nod and grunt again. Okay. Maybe I should be a little nicer. As long as she keeps it civil, I’ll keep my tongue in check. After all this is kind of... nice? Well, no. I mean, I'm not particularly enjoying the idea of sitting here with Emi right now. In fact, it's... a bit depressing. It's probably the last time I'll ever get to do this with her. But maybe this could be the closure I never got at the end of our relationship.

Another ten minutes pass before either of us speaks again.

"Do you still go running?"

I shake my head, eyes focused on the movie.

"My back's gotten better since Graduation. I don't know if I need to run anymore. I take a lot of long walks with Hisao." And also, No, because the only reason I ever started running was because the Nurse forced me to. And I kept with it only to impress you. And what a fat lot of good that did me.

"You've gotten fatter." Emi says flatly.

I... Wait, what? How dare she say that! I turn my head back to her.

"For your information, I very clearly avoided the freshman fifteen. I actually lost weight. I just don't have definition anymore."

"Because you stopped running." Emi shoots back.


"Hisao said you basically have cake like every day at that cafe."

"It's delicious and I'm fine. I don't have time to go running every day anyway."

Emi frowns.

"No excuses, Katsuo." She turns back to the computer. "Nurse said that running would be the best thing for your back pain and-"

"Emi. Movie." I point at the screen in front of us.

Emi's mouth clamps shut again as I turn back to the computer. We aren't at Yamaku anymore. I don't have to listen to the Nurse. And I certainly don't have to listen to Emi.

"I'm not in the mood for a lecture. Especially not from you."

"You can't just-"

"Emi, please? Can you just drop it? There's a movie on." I plead. Maybe the slight desperation in my voice makes it clear just how uncomfortable I am with this. She gives me a tiny nod.

"Yeah. Okay."

The last fifteen minutes go by in complete silence and the movie ends. I grunt as I push myself up off the floor. There. That's what she gets.

"Isn't there a sequel?"

There is. I turn to face her. How does she know that? Oh. Well, there is THAT possibility.

"I've shown you this movie before, haven't I?"

"Four times."

So why are you even asking about the sequel? You know it exists. You know I have it. I own every bad movie Japan has ever made. Ever. I nod once.

"And you have it, right?"

I nod again. Of course I have it. Why would you ask if I ha-

Oh. Ohhhhh. No. You only get one. That was the agreement that I came up with in my head and didn't let you know about. I'm not about to go back on my
word. A man's only as good as his word.

She just stares up at me. Is she... Oh god she is. It's the look. The look that melts the hearts of men. And she's doing it on purpose. And she knows I can't resist.

"If I put this on, you can't tell me I'm fat again. Alright?"

"I wouldn't have to tell you if you kept in shape."

I bring up the sequel to Planet Prince and stretch.

"I'm going to go get a pillow for my back."

Emi shifts on the bed, staring at me. I shake my head before wandering to the door. My fingertips graze the doorknob and something soft hits my back. I turn around. It's one of Emi's pillows.

"Since you're already here and brought the movie...You can use that if you want."

I pick the pillow up.

Well, someone's certainly being nice now. I nod before taking my seat again and shoving the pillow between my lower back and the bed. The movie picks up in pretty much the same way as its predecessor. Aliens. Kids. A whispy-built masked super-hero. Everything is ridiculous. About two minutes into the first fight, Emi speaks again.


I grunt to assure her that I'm at least somewhat listening.

"Thanks. For this."

"Don't mention it." I reply, crossing my arms across my chest.

"It's just that-"

"Seriously. Don't mention it, Emi. I'm only doing this because I know how much it sucks. So, could you drop it, please?" I cut her off again and hold up my hand.

She eventually gives me a tiny nod.

"Pass me the cookies, will you?"

Emi pushes the bag into my hand. It's rather light. Oh boy.

"Did you eat all the cookies?"


"What was that you were saying about me eating cake every day?"

"Hey! I'm in better shape than you. And besides... They were really good."

"You're going to have to run six-times as hard tomorrow."

[Movie Sign]
Last edited by Dr.Worm on Thu May 09, 2013 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
At least I still have The Worst Miki

I'll leave the front unlocked because I can't hear the doorbell.
Also, I write Fanfiction, apparently. [Once More] & [Breaking the Sound Barrier]

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/30]

Post by LegyPlegy » Wed May 01, 2013 8:02 pm

I couldn't help but grin like a smug bastard during the movie scene with Emi XD
Man, Katsuo has to be pretty damn lucky.

I love the story, especially the fact that there's a cool, relatable, and not-insane bro for Hisao. Can't wait for the next parts! :D
Damn paper trails

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Location: Pacific Northwest.

Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 4/30]

Post by forgetmenot » Wed May 01, 2013 8:11 pm

Whatever that may be for Rin and Hisao.
I've got one guess as to what that may be.

Great chapter. Some grammar things here and there, but nothing to be nitpicky about. On the whole, your writing just keeps getting better and better, and Katsuo is only getting stronger as a character. Keep it up.

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