Once More [Update: 9/26]

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

Post by Oddball » Fri May 17, 2013 9:37 pm

LegyPlegy wrote:
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
No. I'd say there are definitely moments when here's every bit as bad, if not worse, than Kenji.

The chocolate bread incident being an example.

Good story though.
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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 5/08]

Post by nemz » Fri May 17, 2013 10:52 pm

I can't take that chocolate thing seriously enough to even hold it against him though. That was the author having a derp moment, not the character.
Rin > Shizune > Emi > Hanako > Lilly

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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 5/08]

Post by Dr.Worm » Fri May 17, 2013 11:27 pm

Which reminds me.

The horrible joke has been edited out into a more believable ending. My shame has been lifted.

At least I hope it has.
Last edited by Dr.Worm on Tue May 21, 2013 12:08 pm, edited 1 time 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: 5/08]

Post by Oddball » Fri May 17, 2013 11:34 pm

He still comes off as boreline nuts.

Then again, he does that quite a bit.
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Re: Once More [Hisao x OC] [Update: 5/08]

Post by Dr.Worm » Wed May 29, 2013 3:35 pm

--- Chapter 7, Part 1: Friends

The bus is late.

It’s amazing that the old thing still runs, so I’m not that surprised that it’s late. I’m no stranger to waiting at this bus stop for it. But in the rare occurrence that it does actually get here on time, I make it a habit to always get here early. You only have to miss the bus once or twice to learn that lesson.

Emi and I aren't being very talkative. I mean… we’re just standing here at the bus stop, trying our damned hardest not to look at the other person. And here I was, hoping that the time we spent together last night would at least get us onto some form of even footing. At least as far as getting along for two days. But it’s pretty obvious that Emi’s dead –set on keeping the dead airwaves between us of the last year going. It’s not like I wanted to ask her out again. I mean, I kind of do. Part of me, at least. And that part is currently slamming against the insides of my boxers, begging for a chance to be let out. Hang in there little buddy. I can’t just whip you out at the bus stop.

Emi’s sitting down on the bench behind me, chin in her hand, music blaring into her ears again. I've currently preoccupied myself with staring at the school across the street from us. It’s Saturday afternoon, so there are still a bunch of teenagers milling around the grounds for clubs and stuff. Well, I assume. I never really stuck around for club activities when I was still in school. I didn't even try to join any clubs when I transferred into Yamaku at the start of my second year.

That’s the school I went to before Yamaku. I only went there for a year though. But that is the school where I developed an unhealthy schoolboy crush on Sachi Watanabe, the new girl. Where Nobou Maehara and I argued over death-matches between anime characters and then he punched me until I agreed with his decision. Where I put spent more time drawing potential giant robots than paying attention in class. Where I punched some second year in the crotch for stealing my glasses. And that's also the place where that second year shoved my head into a toilet for punching him in the crotch. The place where I tried to beat up Nobou when he mentioned that he liked Sachi too. There are a lot of memories in that school.

I hate that place.

Okay. I can’t take this silence anymore. And not just because Emi keeps stealing glances at me. Not because she’s stuck her tongue out at me three times. But because that horrible place is just looming there in front of me. I shiver. It’s too cold. Or at least my whole spine feels frozen. And that certainly isn’t from the wind that’s been sticking around since my cloud watching this morning with Rin. That’s just my anxiety creeping up my back again, ready to throttle me in its icy death grip for the rest of the day or at least until I’m left as a sobbing mess on the floor. Or I take my medication. Whatever comes first, I guess.

No more silence. I have to talk to someone now. Anything to keep my mind off the idea of burning that place to the ground. So I turn to the one other person at the bus stop with me. It’s not like I have much of a choice right now. Emi notices that I’m staring at her twenty seconds later.

“Yes?”

“Nothing. It’s just weird to see you here,” I shrug. “I planned to take you here after we graduated, you know.”

Emi’s annoyed look is replaced with a small frown. That’s unwanted territory for our conversation it seems. She turns to the school across the street from us, hiding her face from me.

“Is that your old school?”

“Yeah. That’s where I went to school before Yamaku.” Just a little bit under one measly year. I rub the stump of my arm. “For most of the year, at least.”

“I always thought that your school was some old wooden building.” Emi admits.

“What? Really?”

“Yeah. Like those old schools they always show on the television out in the country.”

“Oh. Well, the other two towns in the area send their kids here, so they sort of gave us a bit of an update.” I take a seat on the bench, making sure to keep a fair amount of space between my ex-girlfriend and me. “It’s still not a very big school. And a lot of the stuff inside is pretty old. I’m pretty sure the desks were made in the early eighteen-hundreds.”

“Oh. That’s cool.” Nothing about Emi’s tone remotely suggests that’s what she’s thinking. Hell, even I think that’s boring.

“So what’ve you been up to since you graduated?” Change of topic.

“Huh?” Emi keeps staring at the school.

“You know. Since I asked Rin last night what she was up to. It’s polite to ask you too, right?”

“I’m uh… staying at home with my Mom.” Emi’s voice wavers as the words come out. Don’t tell me she’s uncomfortable talking about this too.

“Oh. You’re looking for a college or something though right?” I mean, she can’t just be mooching off her mother.

“Not really. I sort of bombed the entrance exams for the one the Nurse picked out for me.”

“The nurse picked a college for you? Why didn't you pick your own?”

“I didn't feel like it.” Her voice is getting edgy again. I’m pushing it. But this is far too interesting to pass up. Emi bombed her entrance exams. Which means… OH. OH MAN.

“You’re a ronin?” I don’t even try to hide the laugh that accompanies that.

“S-Shut your stupid face, Katsuo.” Emi turns to me, fury flashing across her face.

“S-Sorry. I just didn't think you’d bomb an entrance exam.” I scratch the back of my neck. “What’d you write for that career evaluation thing? It's tailored to help pick you pick potential colleges. Didn't you pick any from that list you got back or whatever?”

Emi shrugs. “I didn't get any, really. I wrote pirate.”


“You what?” I cup my hand to my ear. I heard her just fine. I just want to rub in how stupid her answer was.

“I… I put down that I wanted to be a pirate.” Emi crosses her arms over her chest and hunches forward. Is she pouting? Oh my god, she’s pouting. I once again do nothing to stop myself from laughing.

“You put down that you wanted to be a pirate? You’re joking, right?”

“No.” She sounds like she’s bathing in embarrassment. Hell, I would be too, especially since I can’t stop laughing at her. I’m not even trying to stop myself either.

“Emi… That’s stupid! That’s really stupid!”

“You told me you wrote down that you wanted to pilot a giant robot!” She stands up. Oh man. Emi is pissed. She’s beyond pissed. She’s livid. She’s embarrassed and I’m just pushing her buttons by laughing at her. But… this is just priceless. This is totally something I can lord over her for the rest of her life. And hell, it’s making me feel so much better about my shitty choices over the last year.

“Emi! I was joking! I wouldn't actually put that down! That’s stupid! That’s like writing that I want to be a superhero or…” I can’t manage to get the rest out through my choking laughter. Emi shoves me with both hands. She’s pretty strong for being so tiny, but I only stumble back a few feet. I’m still laughing.

“I should have just stayed at your stupid house!”

I hold up a hand and slowly let my chuckling wink out of existence. Okay. Okay. Keep it together, Katsuo. Don’t start laughing again.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry! That’s just… Oh boy.” I wipe a few tears from the corners of my eyes.

“I can’t believe I agreed to come with you. This was a stupid idea.” Emi turns away from me again, arms crossed over her chest. Is she trying to give me the cold shoulder or is she just goading me on again? The hilarity drains from me when I realize that I've been laughing at Emi’s failed attempts at getting into college and doing something with her life.

Shit. That’s pretty mean, I guess. I wouldn't blame her for being just a tad upset with me. She sits down on the bench again and glares at the sidewalk.

“Why’d you agree to come with me anyway?” There. An attempt at changing the conversation. Let’s just forget the last few minutes, alright Emi?

“Well I wasn't going to stay there. Your fat ass was the only choice I had.”

Well I’m glad that you’re taking this opportunity to stab me in the gut there. I sigh and run my hand over my mouth. I’m done with this. Okay. I can’t take another fat-ass comment from her. I’m done with sucker-punching each other at any opening we get.

“Look. Can we just drop this?”

“Drop what?”

“This.” I wave my hand between the two of us. “This crappy air that’s flowing between us. We said we’d play nicely and we've just been taking cheap shots at each other the whole time.” Well, mostly you, Emi. I’ve been pretty damn nice, considering everything. Well, okay. Except laughing at your complete failure about a minute ago.

“I will be the perfect gentleman if you stop calling me fat. It’s been a year. I think it’s time we stop acting like children and just accept that we hurt each other.”

The girl sitting down just stares at me. Emi’s expression changes rapidly from mild annoyance to, I assume, being shocked at my choice of words and then to just pure, unfiltered outrage. Emi suddenly right there in front of me and shoves her finger into my chest. Okay. I’ve apparently said the wrong thing. I can actually see the steam coming out of her ears.

“Accept that we hurt each other? That we hurt each other?” I didn’t know something that small could be so loud. Emi is actually shaking. I’ve seen her angry like this only once before and I know how that ended. I brace myself for the punch that I should have seen coming.

“What the hell do you think I did to you, Katsuo?”

Huh. No punch. Surprising.

What did you do to me?

Nothing. I guess. Hold on. Let me just… think about that for a second.

Yeah. There are a couple things I can mention, I think.

You shut me out of your life entirely, keeping every single detail about you to yourself. I had to practically interrogate you to find out what day your birthday fell on. And this was after we had started dating. You basically used me and held everything about yourself back. I get that there’s things people don’t want to talk about, but hell… I didn't even know your mom’s name until the day we broke up! How was I supposed to keep going in our relationship if I had nothing but… well, nothing? It’s just as bad as lying about everything! I fell in love with you and you gave me not a single scrap of emotional attachment back, as far as I’m concerned.

I know nothing about you, beyond what is obvious. All I really know about you for sure is that you like running, you lost your father in a car accident, your birthday is March 14th and Rin is your best friend. So yeah. I guess that’s how you hurt me.

You’re to blame for my total lack of courage and willingness to pursue the opposite sex. You’re the reason I locked myself in my room again, spending every waking second talking to other social rejects online and watching old movies, completely cutting myself off from the real world and face to face social interaction. You brought me out into the daylight and then shoved me back into my box when you were done with me.

Oh, and you fucking punched me in the jaw.

So I guess, yeah, we hurt each other.

Jesus. I'm venting to myself in my head. I'm becoming more like my mother every day.

But whatever, Emi. Live in your fantasy world. As long as it keeps you from being a complete bitch this weekend.

I realize that I’m digging my nails deep into my palm so hard that I’m pretty sure I’ll start bleeding if I keep it up. Emi’s just glaring at me. She’s waiting for me to open my mouth and say something else. Probably something stupid. That’s what she’s waiting for, isn’t it? Another chance to yell at me. I close my eyes.

Alright. Just hold your composure. You can totally do this, Katsuo. You’re going to win and you’re going to do it calmly and pleasantly. Well, maybe as pleasantly as one can be when telling his ex-girlfriend that she completely messed you up. Just be nice and calm and pleasant for another day and this can all be shoved into the back of your mind where it can fester as an aneurysm for years and years until you just drop dead in the middle of a shark fight. Just try not to concentrate on how even when Emi is pissed off, you want to rip her clothes off.

“Do you want me to apologize, Emi?” My voice is barely there. I’m not scared. I’m not even nervous. I’m just barely holding back a year of pain and rage behind this thin sheet of calm. Thank god it’s so damn quiet here. I’m not sure Emi would have heard me otherwise.

“You can’t just apologize for going behind my back like that.” Emi digs her finger even deeper into my sternum. It’s good that she thinks that though. Because I’m sure as hell not going to apologize for taking the only option I had left. She didn't want to open up to me. So I had to find everything out on my own. And all I wanted to know was her parents’ names. And maybe something about her past.

Okay. I wanted to know everything about her. I mean, I was totally crazy about Emi. And not knowing was slowly killing me. That’s understandable right?

“Then can you accept that I did it and move on?” I ask. With the look she’s giving me now, you’d think I’d told her that I’d just made out with Rin or something.

“Yeah. I went behind your back to find something out about you.” I gently wrap my fingers around her hand and move away from my heart. Her finger digging into me was starting to hurt. Also, I admit, I’m a bit scared she’ll rip my heart from my chest like a finishing move from Mortal Kombat. Or even better, Temple of Doom style.

KALI-MA! KAAAALLLIII MAAAAA!

“But it’s been a year. Why are you still angry? I’m sure there are a ton of guys interested in you that are just lining up the block for a chance to make you fall for them. So what does it matter what some stupid kid did to you in high school? ” I can’t believe I just said that. Those words actually manage to slip the knife right between my ribs and hit my heart in all the wrong places. Why do I do this to myself?

“So just drop it already. I mean I thought we’d have buried the proverbial hatchet last night, but you keep dropping the fat ass comments left and right.” Emi can’t even look at me anymore. Is she tearing up? I let go of her hand.

It’s hard to tell when I’m trying not to look at her. Seeing her cry would probably break me down into a million pieces since I’m still trying to figure out if I’m still that attracted to her or just lonely and… well, horny? Hey. Every guy is stupid enough to listen to his penis over his heart and his head every so often. And mine is getting pissed off at having its needs being neglected for so long. And I’m going to have to keep neglecting it this weekend. Sadly, for Mr. Penis, Mr. Brain and Mr. Heart have to win right now.

“So, until you leave tomorrow… Let’s try to just be friends. Hell, let’s just be civil with each other. I’m not asking you to go on a date with me. I’m not asking to get back together. You’re stuck here at my house with me for another day. I’m just asking that we tolerate each other or maybe even be genuinely nice, since we’re headed into public and all. Is that alright? Do you think you can do that?”

The bus, like a godsend, appears over the horizon. I stick my hand out to Emi, palm up. Emi looks up. Those are tears forming in the corners of her eyes. My knees want to give out from under me. Emi. I’m sorry that you had to find out that way, but I couldn’t be in the dark anymore. I understand that there had to be some things you didn’t want to talk about. Your accident, for one. And I wasn’t trying to find out about that. I mean, I certainly don’t like talking about mine. No one in my family does. But how can you just not tell anyone anything about yourself?

Emi. You’re still a complete stranger to me. You’re like a series of one night stands. I barely know you and I spent practically every day with you in my third year.

Emi lowers her head. She places her hand in mine.

“O-Okay. I’ll try.” Her voice still has a hint of that anger in it. But I guess that I took the wind out of her sails.

We shake on it.
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: 5/08]

Post by Dr.Worm » Wed May 29, 2013 3:37 pm

--- Chapter 7, Part 2: Friends

With each bump on the old road, the ancient bus rattles and jolts. This thing needs to be shut down soon. Before it implodes in on itself with all these nice people aboard. I’m used to it. I used to ride this thing into the city every weekend when I was a kid.

What I’m still not used to is the clanking and creaking coming from Emi’s legs with each bump. And apparently, neither are any of the other passengers. With the age of the bus, I think some of them are starting to wonder if it’s falling apart. Emi, so far, is blissfully unaware of it all. She’s got her headphones on again. That and I’m sure that she’s learned to not care about the various noises that her legs create after all these years. Unfortunately, no one else on the bus is used to it. So they’re freaking out and trying to find out what’s creating all those strange noises. And I’m just sitting here, trying to not glance at Emi’s legs every time they knock together. I’d hate to give away that she’s the one making them.

With her robot legs.

Well, not really robotic, but definitely artificial. But how cool would robot legs be? Emi could jump fifty feet into the air like nothing! She could break down walls with one kick! Oh man! Jets in her feet! That’s way better!

The bus screeches to a halt and I lightly smack Emi in the shoulder. This is our stop thankfully. I’ll just be glad to get off the bus before anyone notices that those noises have been drifting from the tiny girl three rows from the back.

Emi slips out of the seat and I follow her off the bus.

When I was still living at home, I spent almost every weekend in the city with my friends. It’s nice to see that it’s still under construction today. I think it’s just always going to be in the middle of being built though. A lot of companies have started some sort of venture out here, before being bought out and then having their plans scrapped or reformatted. The most famous of all the scrapped projects is something the locals call “The Skeleton Skyscraper”. It’s the largest building in the city. You can pretty much see it from any point in the area. It’s the giant half-finished building that dominates the skyline. Over the years, various companies have bought the property, intending to open up some sort of branch up here in the I think for a while Nintendo was thinking of finishing the building, but that might have been a rumor.

Otherwise, it’s like every other damn city in Japan. Streets. Stores. Apartments. Alleyways. People. Sidewalks.

There are some trees…

I hope I never have to describe this place to anyone, because all I’m going to have to say about it is that giant eye-sore looming over us.

The bus rumbles away. Hopefully the remaining passengers start calming down, since Emi’s left.

I point at the skeleton on the horizon.

“That’s been under construction since I was six.”

Emi frowns.

“It’s hideous.”

“Oh. I know.” I stretch my arms over my head. Okay. We’re here now. What the crap are we going to do? I didn't actually think this far.

“You hungry?”

“We just ate like two hours ago.”

“Oh yeah. You ate my chocolate bread, you horrible, awful monster.”

Emi shakes her head. I hope she’s fighting off a case of the giggles and doesn't just think I’m being an ass. I mean, I am being an ass. But that’s totally not the point here.

“I forgot how weird you are.” Emi rolls her eyes to add her exhaustion to the statement.

Yeah, well I forgot how cute you are and how even that awkward giggle you give me so I’ll stop doing something melts my insides into goo.

“I’m not weird. I’m quirky. Like the girls in the movies.”

Emi rolls her eyes again, but the smallest hint of a smile graces her lips. That’s a good sign, right? At least I can still do that. I know it’s a long road to actually being truly nice to each other, but at least we’re tolerating each other. I can live with tolerance.

“So what do you want to do?”

My companion shrugs. Ah. Right. The plight of all girls. Indecisiveness.

“You’re the one who invited me.”

Huh. That’s true. But I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with you, Emi. I've taken you on dates with minimal fucking up before. Well, maybe once or twice. But now that we’re being “friends”, and I use that term quite loosely, what am I supposed to do with you? Treat you like I would treat Hisao?

That’s actually not a bad idea. I mean, I know where I’d take Hisao. I’d show him all the weird places I hung out at as a kid. If they’re still open, that is. It’s been a few years, after all. When I went to Yamaku, I stopped coming out here during the summers. I just sat in my room with the air-conditioning on at full blast. So, hopefully, Emi doesn’t mind arcades and comic shops and maybe getting some food later.

“There’s an arcade not too far from here where I used to kick ass all over the place. I was thinking about stopping in and seeing if anyone I know still hangs out there… after six years or so.” I scratch the back of my neck. I’d actually be pretty amazed if anyone still stuck around in that cesspool of teenagers and unwashed losers.

“You want to take me to an arcade?” By the look Emi is giving me, I imagine she must be picturing the unwashed losers.

They’re pretty bad.

“Is there a problem with that?”

“Yes!” Emi’s face turns back into that twisted fusion of hatred and annoyance and confusion. Mostly annoyance this time.

I continue to scratch the back of my neck as we stare at each other. One of us will have to give into the other eventually, but I don’t want it to be me.

“I’m a girl.” Emi whines.

Oh. So she’s worried she’ll be the only girl there.

“There are girls there.”

Emi just continues to give me that stare. What am I doing that’s so upsetting? I’m taking her away from Hisao and Rin’s sexytime sex noises. She should be grateful for that!

“I think there are at least.” It has been a while since I last went there.

“Katsuo! I don’t like arcades!” Emi shouts. It gains the attention of the many others that are currently sharing this sidewalk with us. I stare back at them until they avert their gazes. There’s nothing to see here. Move along, people. Just some dude with one arm arguing with a girl with no legs. Completely normal.

Oh. Ohhhh. Okay, that makes a lot more sense.

And also, tough shit, Emi.

“Yeah. But I do. And it’s just like two blocks that way.” I point down the street behind Emi. At least I’m pretty sure it is.

“Can’t we go someplace else?” Why is she whining so much?

“I’d really like to stop at the arcade.” I insist. There’s no way I’m moving from that. I have a friend who would probably still be there. I mean, I don’t think he has any real hobbies besides videogames. And there are a probably a few people at the arcade that I would want to avoid, but I’m sure that they won’t recognize me. Or they probably will. I’ve been wearing the same sort of thick, large glasses since I was seven.

“Well, I want to go shopping.” Emi pouts. Yep. Even that makes my insides feel all… gooey.

But still. Shopping? Ugh.

“Oh god, you’re such a girl.” I groan. “Can’t you just shop online like a normal person?”

“Who would do all their shopping online?”

“I do.”

“Well that’s weird! How do you know if stuff fits if you don’t try it on at the store?”

“By knowing what size I am.”

“Different brands fit differently!”

“They have the measurements listed on the site and WILL YOU PLEASE STOP STARING AT US?” I wheel on the man sitting on the bench behind Emi. He immediately gets up and walks away. I think I scared him. That’s understandable. I did just yell at him out of nowhere.

“Don’t shout! You’re making more people stare!” Emi shoves me in the chest. She’s thoroughly embarrassed. I can tell. She’s shoved me hard enough to almost stumble back into the street.

“Okay. Geez. Sorry.” I dust the front of my jacket off.

“Can you just take me to the shopping center or something?”

I shake my head. “No way. That’s in the complete opposite direction of Shogun’s Castle. I’d have to double back and come get you later.”

Emi groans.

“Look. If you come with me to Shogun’s Castle for just an hour or something, then I promise I’ll take you to the shopping center and you can go buy dresses or stickers or glitter. Whatever it is that girls do. Then, if you’re nice, we can go get ice cream or something.”

Emi frowns. “I don’t want to go to the stupid arcade.”

“And I don’t want to go to the stupid shopping center, but I suppose we’ll both just have to suck it up for a little while.”

Emi’s frown stays put as she sizes me up. I wish she’d just hurry up and give in. We’re starting to get stares again. After all, we’re just standing here, awkwardly staring at each other, and I do not want to yell at this old woman staring at us now. Yes. Hi. I’m missing an arm. I don’t need you to stare at me and remind me. I’m very aware of it.

“This sounds an awful lot like a date.” Emi gives me a very suspicious look.

“It isn’t. If it was, I’d probably give you a choice in going to the arcade or not.” I reply, very matter-of-factly. And with that, I step around my ex-girlfriend and head down the street.

I can hear Emi let out a long, frustrated groan from behind me. But I break out into a smile as she jogs to catch up with me.

“You’re so frustrating.”

“Whatever. You’re going to love the arcade.”
Last edited by Dr.Worm on Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:41 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: 5/08]

Post by Dr.Worm » Wed May 29, 2013 3:41 pm

--- Chapter 7, Part 3: Friends
Emi trails just behind me as we weave our way through the others crowding the sidewalk. It doesn’t take us very long until we arrive at the stairway that leads down into Shogun’s Castle. Over the double glass doors, there’s a bright neon sign that clearly displays the name of the establishment in bright pink neon. There’s a crude castle tangle of lights next to it. They’re blue.

I can already smell the sweat and stale cigarette odors wafting out of the place. Emi’s holding her nose and trying her best not to gag. I push my way past a group of teenagers hanging around by the top of the stairs and descend into one of the fonder memories of my childhood. The smells are even stronger once we pass through the threshold and into the belly of the arcade itself.

At least this place is doing alright.

Nothing has changed much since I was last here. It’s still dimly lit, with mostly neon lighting. There are all the same machines, a corner solely dedicated to those shoot ‘em up games. The middle of the giant open room is dominated by a few of those dance machines. I’ve never spent much time there. I’m terrible at them. Then there are just various other rhythm games and prize games littered all over the place. But I’m not here for them. I’m here for the Street Fighter corner. If anything, I’ll find Nobou there. I mean, if he’s still around this place. I’d imagine he’s gone off to college like I did.

But still. There’s always hope.

The chip-tune music is new though. It’s a nice touch though. Videogame music to play arcade games to. It doesn’t take a genius to mash those together.

I wave my hand, signaling Emi to follow me further inside. She shakes her head in protest.

“Katsuo, it smells terrible in here.” She hisses. Emi’s still pinching her nose.

“Oh, don’t be such a baby. You’ll get used to it.” I grab her by the arm and pull her after me. There’s probably nothing worse I could do than just leave her here alone. Who knows what these animals would do to her. I manage to pull her hand off her nose as we near the back of the arcade. There are a few things that I’m sure not even Emi can resist playing back here.

Like air hockey.

“You can play air hockey, right? That’s not too beneath you, is it?”

“I can play air hockey.” Emi grumbles.

Awww’h. She’s not having fun. But the day has just started, Emi. And you have no idea of the wonder and adventures that await you in Shogun’s Castle. Why there’s dancing and air hockey and fighting and drums and…

I guess none of that is going to happen if we don’t have any tokens. But I haven’t seen any of the change machines since we walked in through the front doors.

“Son of a bitch. Do they all take coins now?”

“What?” Emi shouts. I guess she can’t hear me over the blaring music. Oh right. I should have probably mentioned that the arcade would rupture her ear drums.

“See if you can find a change machine! We need tokens!”

Emi just shrugs.

“What does a change machine look like?”

What the- She doesn’t know what a change machine looks like? Who doesn’t know what a change machine looks like? Has Emi been living in a cave these last two years? It’s a change machine! It looks like a… Well. It looks sort of like a box with a slot in it and…

Forget it.

“I don’t know! It looks like a change machine!”

As though the god of arcade machines has heard our cries of anguish, one of the arcade employees taps me on the shoulder.

“You were looking for the token machines, man?”

This guy is shorter than me and sports an awesome thick beard. I can’t tell how old he is with the dim lighting, but I can tell that he’s built like a solid wall. I don’t think I’d be able to push him over. He runs a hand through his equally thick dark hair.

I nod.

“We switched off the token thing last year after some assholes figured out how to trick them into giving them free tokens! We use these now.” He produces a plastic card from his apron and holds it up. It has a picture of a cartoon Shogun on it standing in front of a castle.

“We load them up with whatever cash you give us and you can refill them if you want.”

Oh. How futuristic. But how lame! I want my tokens back. There’s nothing like scrounging up all the loose change in your house so that you can feed them into those machines. But still, progress is progress, I suppose.

“Cool. Can you do that now? Like right where we’re standing?”

He nods and points to a little card machine on his belt. I let out a low whistle for my own enjoyment. Fa-ah-an-see.

“Hand me some cash man and I can put it on two cards for you and your little lady girl.” He points at Emi.

I dig my wallet out of my back pocket and nearly drop it as I open it. Instinctively, my right arm tries to scoop it out of the air. But, since it sort of just stops short past my elbow, my wallet falls to the ground.

“Son of a bitch.” I mutter, before stooping to pick it up.

“Katsuo?”

I glance up at the man standing in front of me.

“Huh?”

He snaps his fingers and breaks out into the biggest grin I’ve ever seen a man working at an arcade produce.

“I should have known it was you from those terrible glasses man!”

I scoop up my wallet and stand up.

“Uhh…” I glance to Emi. Do we know this guy from Yamaku? Emi apparently can read minds. She just gives me another shrug of her shoulders.

I guess it beats her too.

The man slaps me on the shoulder.

“You moron! It’s me! Nobou!”

It all rushes back to me. Years of mock battles between our favorite characters. Hours spent at the arcade. Trading manga and videogames. Fighting that one time in middle school because we both liked Sachi. I guess he realized who I was when I tried to catch my wallet with my gimpy-arm. I mean, he knew about the accident and all but… I don’t think we spent much time together after I lost that part of my arm. We probably hung out once or twice and I bet it was spent avoiding mentioning the elephant in the room. It wasn’t long after that I was shipped off to Yamaku.

I don’t waste any time in throwing my arm around one of my old friends in what passes for a hug between two men. We make sure to keep our crotches yards away from each other. We both push away from each other quickly, grinning from ear to ear.

“You fat son of a bitch! What happened to your gut?” I thump my hand against his stomach. Yep. Rock solid. Lucky bastard.

“Sachi made me work out more. I lost it over my second year summer. She makes me keep it off now too.” He laughs. “What the hell have you been up to? I haven’t seen you here in ages!”

Oh good. They did end up together. I always thought they would anyway.

I glance back at Emi. She’s already wandered off just a bit, watching some kids playing a rhythm drumming game. Good . That should keep her busy while we catch up.

“I’m in college in Tokyo.” I scratch the back of my neck.

Nobou laughs. “You’re in college? What happened to the guy who wanted to build robots and fight monsters?”

Okay. Why does everyone have to bring that up?

“He realized that won’t pay his bills.” I give him a helpless shrug. “What’s with the face carpet? You look like an old man!”

“I happen to think it makes me look very tough and manly, thank you very much.” He elbows me in the ribs, eyes glued to Emi’s back.

“Look at you. That’s a cute girlfriend you've got there, buddy.”

I give him a weak smile. I don’t have the heart to correct him. Besides. She is cute.

“Thanks. So what? You’re working here now? Did you just get a job because you practically lived here or what?”

Nobou laughs again. His laugh is raspy and sounds like he’s been chain smoking for years. But it’s always sounded like that. For such a thickly built pile of crap, Nobou’s always had a weasel-ish little laugh.

“Katsuo! I own this place! I bought it last year with a loan from the bank. And that’s already paid off now that I got this card system. It’s practically impossible to cheat these.”

Ho-lee shit. Nobou. The small business owner. And I’m just sitting in my room, downloading movies. Well, okay. I’m in college too. So there’s that. And I've got that tv show thing with Hisao. I can’t forget that.

“They gave you a loan without a business degree or anything?”

“Sort of. They gave my folks one.” He admits with another grin. “You want to play some games or what man?”

“Ah shit. Okay. Here, I've got some cash he-“

“Like I’m taking your money, Katsuo. It’s on me.” He says before tapping a few buttons on the machine on his hip.

“Oh, Nobou. I couldn't possib-“ Come on man! You've got a business to run! You've got overheads and fees and bribes to pay. I think I can stand to lose some of my pocket money.

“Shut up and take the cards.” He stops me short and swipes two cards through the thing on his hip.

“That should keep you covered for the rest of the day. Here are two cards for you and your girlfriend.”

“She’s not actuall-”

The music cuts me off as it swells into a video-game noise filled mess. Nobou cups a hand to his ear in an attempt to hear me and I just shake it off.

“Alright alright.” I surrender and take the cards from my old friend’s hands. He pats me on the shoulder as he walks past me.

“Have fun, Katsuo.”

I stare at the cards in my hands and slowly let my gaze travel up to the girl staring at the drum rhythm game in front of me. Emi turns around and cocks an eyebrow. I know what she’s thinking.

Why am I staring at her? Because I didn't try very hard to correct Nobou on how she wasn't my girlfriend? Because, technically, this does pass for a date? Because she’s pretty? Because staring at pretty girls prevents retina deterioration?

Because I’m trying to be nice?

No.

Because I want to be nice. I want to make sure that we get along and Hisao and Rin have a nice time at my house without us for a while.

I flash Emi the cards in my hand and a cheesy grin.

“You want to play air hockey?”
At least I still have The Worst Miki

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Re: Once More [Update: 5/29]

Post by nemz » Wed May 29, 2013 4:50 pm

So his mistake was more or less the same one Hisao can make on her route, eh? That works. I'm liking this guy, and liking the fic in general. Good stuff, Worm.
Rin > Shizune > Emi > Hanako > Lilly

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Re: Once More [Update: 5/29]

Post by Dr.Worm » Wed May 29, 2013 5:21 pm

nemz wrote:Good stuff, Worm.
Thank you very much!

However, I now immediately regret my username. That just made you sound like my robotic overlord.

Did I say overlord? I meant "Protector".
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Re: Once More [Update: 5/29]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed May 29, 2013 7:07 pm

I can already smell the sweat and stale cigarette odors wafting out of the place.
Given Japan's policy towards smokers, it's very unlikely you'll find any arcade where you'd be allowed to smoke indoors...

Anyway, I have a real problem understanding your OC's thoughts.
He thinks that he wants to be nice to Emi over and over and it's always followed at most two paragraphs later be him being an asshole to her. And in his inner monologue he insists that he's been nice...
I really don't know if he wants to be nice and is just a complete moron or if he's just being mean for the heck of it.
Or maybe he's suffering from some strange form of shizophrenia?
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Once More [Update: 5/29]

Post by nemz » Wed May 29, 2013 7:23 pm

I suspect that comes down to the line between good-natured teasing and being an ass, and how one frames the situation can change that drastically.
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Re: Once More [Update: 5/29]

Post by Umber » Fri May 31, 2013 4:26 am

Mirage_GSM wrote: He thinks that he wants to be nice to Emi over and over and it's always followed at most two paragraphs later be him being an asshole to her. And in his inner monologue he insists that he's been nice...
I initially got the impression that it was just one of the OC's traits. What nemz said - just a blurry line somewhere in the middle.
I really don't know if he wants to be nice and is just a complete moron or if he's just being mean for the heck of it.
Everything but the moron part. He's trying. At least he's not going insane over how to make everything right, he takes a few cheap shots when he can for its own sake, and for Emi's. She has to see the other perspective eventually.
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Re: Once More [Update: 5/29]

Post by Dr.Worm » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:31 pm

I have discovered that there is nothing more mind numbing for me than writing about two people playing a fighter on an arcade cabinet.

--- Chapter 8, Part 1: Showdown at Shogun's Castle

The puck bounces off the right wall and I swing my mallet across the table to meet it. The plastic disc ricochets off my mallet and zips right down the table. Emi goes right on the attack and slaps it towards the left wall. The puck slips right past my mallet as I try to block and neatly clunks into my goal.

“Son of a…”

“YES!” Emi thrusts her arms above her head. She’s just scored the winning goal. I swear I used to be a hell of a lot better at this game.

“I win again!” Emi points across the air hockey table at me. “You’re buying the ice cream!”

Ice cream? What? No. I most certainly am not. I’m not buying anything. We didn’t bet on anything.

“Woah woah woah. We never agreed to that.” I place my mallet down on the table. There was never any mention of a bet. Not even a gentleman’s bet. And I’m not about to buy Emi ice cream just because she’s managed to win four games of air hockey in a row.

“I won four games in a row. Don’t you usually bet on your games?” Emi slides her mallet back and forth between her hands.

Well, I’m glad she remembers that about me. Still, don’t get cocky now, Emi. This is just air hockey. I’m meant to shine in other areas.

“Yeah, but the bet is usually agreed on before we start playing.” I push my glasses up on my nose. They keep sliding down when I’m hunched over the table like this. “So you can get your own damn ice cream.”

Emi smirks at me from across the table.

“Someone’s a sore loser.”

A sore loser? A sore loser? Really? REALLY? You did not just go there. This is my castle. This is my domain. My plane of existence. My powers are at full swing in this arcade. Are you trying to bring the thunder? Because I will bring you the thunder, Emi. I will bring the thunder and the lightning and then I will make it rain.

“Please, Emi. Anyone can play air hockey.” I turn my nose in the air towards her.

“Says the guy who just lost four games in a row.”

“Shut up. Air hockey just happens to be my worst game. I’d be whooping you up and down the block if we played something else.”

“What, like the dance games?”

“Ugh. No. I’m not a fourteen year old girl.” I make a few fake retching noises to add to my disgust that she would even suggest those abominations. “I meant a real game.”

Emi holds her arms up and out. “Fine then, Katsuo. If you’re so sick of losing to me here, you pick what we play next. And I’ll just beat you there and you can cry all the way back to your house.”

Wh-What? Is she serious? I get to pick? She challenges me here? And she’s letting me pick the game? Oh ho ho. Emi. You stupid, stupid girl. You just activated my trap card. You don’t get it, do you? I’m all powerful here. I’m the king. I am a God. You don’t just let me pick the game. I will destroy you and then you’ll be the one crying all the way back to my house.

“Fine. You want the thunder? I’ll bring the fucking thunder.” I dig the token card out of my pocket and grin at her. If I truly were evil, I’d be cackling right now. Cackling at just how easily I am going to murder her.

“We’re going to play street fighter.”

“Street fighter? How are you going to play street fighter?” Emi holds up her right hand and points at it. “I think you’re missing a valuable asset to playing that.”

“Have you ever played?”

“Like twice. When I was a kid.”

“Then I only need one hand. So quit stalling. Your defeat is inevitable.”

And then I let out my evil laugh. I even throw my head back for it. I go all out for these intimidation tactics.

I only stop when Emi starts pushing me across the arcade.

“Would you stop embarrassing me?” She hisses at me. Her hands are firmly planted against my back. The tiny powerhouse propels me across the floor quickly, towards to the street fighter corner. Haha. Someone wants to get her destruction with over already, doesn’t she? No no no, Emi. I have to savor this.

I step away from her and up to the Super Street Fighter II cabinet. The game of gentleman. The game of the masters. The game that I will cream this little snot girl in over and over again.

Emi digs her card out of her pocket and I grab her wrist before she has a chance to swipe it.

“Oh no no no. Allow me.” I slide my hand over the buttons and sticks. The images on the cabinet aren’t very faded, but they’re definitely starting to peel off. The buttons are pretty off-color now. So are the tops of the sticks. The black knob at the top has turned gray from use. Still, she’s in pretty good condition. I guess Nobou takes pretty good care of his machines. Ah. Hello again my old friend. Will you be here to let me shove this girl’s ego back down her throat? Will you help me do that?

“I don’t understand how you’re going to even move your character around.” Emi continues her pointless tirade. Is she trying to get out of this because I’m being so confident? No, Emi. You dug your grave. You’re going to lie in it now.

Still, that is a good question. I guess I can’t really grab the control stick if I’m missing my hand. That was sort of the reason I stopped playing this in the first place.

“Uh, well…” I should probably figure that out now. I mean, I’ll definitely need to block at the very least. Otherwise, once Emi figures out how to do anything like a hadoken, I’m doomed. It wouldn’t be very efficient to keep switching my hand to the stick to block, since that’ll get us nowhere.

I guess if I just sort of apply pressure to the stick with my arm I can kind of move it. I place my stumped arm on the top of the stick and push down on it. Nope. This is way too uncomfortable to do for a prolonged period of time. Damn. There has to be a way to make it more comfortable.

Well, I guess if… Ohhhh. Oh ho ho. Yes. That should work.

“What are you doing?” Emi’s probably confused as to why I’m chuckling to myself as I unpin the rolled up sleeve of my right arm.

“Arranging your doom.” I repin the sleeve further up my arm so that I have a bit more cushion on my arm. I press it back against the stick and give it a few test moves. It slides around against my jacket’s material, but it should work decently enough.

I swipe my token card through the machine twice.

“Come meet your maker, Emi.”
Last edited by Dr.Worm on Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Once More [Update: 5/29]

Post by Dr.Worm » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:35 pm

--- Chapter 8, Part 2: Showdown at Shogun's Castle

Emi rolls her eyes and steps up to the second player side of the cabinet. She slides her cursor over to Chun-Li’s portrait on the character select screen.

“Chun-li?”

“She’s the only girl.” Emi whines.

“What about Cammy?”

“Who?”

“Nevermind.”

I pick E.Honda, just to be an ass. I figure it’ll be pretty funny for me to beat her with the fat guy. Especially since Chun-Li is basically all kicks and Emi…

Such an ironic battle.

As it turns out, Emi wasn’t lying when she said the last time she had ever played this was when she was a kid. I manage to beat her through the first round with only taking a few cheap kicks from her as my arm slips off the control. The rest of the time, I just continue to spam Hyakuretsu Harite against her. The two rounds don’t last very long.

“Well anyone can win if they just use the same move over and over again.” Emi grumbles. She pushes a few buttons, pouting.

I can’t stop myself from letting out a harsh laugh.

“You can’t win by spamming the same move over and over. That’s probably the best way to lose. But I guess an amateur like you would think like that.”

The girl next to me just stares directly at me. I’m being sort of a dick, aren’t I? I can’t really tell. Usually when I step over the line, Hisao punches me in the arm or tells me to stop.

“I thought you said you’d be the perfect gentleman.” Emi prods me in the chest with a lone finger.

“Alright. Alright.” I hold my hand up in defeat. “How about you get a free lesson from the master then?”

I step to the side and motion for Emi to take my place. She raises an eyebrow at me. I roll my eyes and pat the player one section. Do I have to spell it out for you? Take my spot and I’ll show you how to play the stupid game. You know, as an apology. Then, once you get some practice in and learn how to pull off a few combos, I’ll just kick your ass again.

It’ll be hilarious.

Emi sighs and eventually sidles right up next to me. She wraps her hand around the top of the control stick. I groan at her lack of form. I groan quite loudly.

“What?” Emi turns to me. “You have a problem with how I hold it?”

Really? Don’t you think you could have phrased that a little bit better? You’re just asking for a joke there. You’re just lucky that I’m being a perfect gentleman. I raise an eyebrow at her and hold the look until she turns away. That’s when I start giggling like a schoolgirl.

“Katsuo!”

“I didn’t say anything.” I swipe my card through the machine a few times to build up some continues for Emi and pat the console again. “Come on. I’ll teach you how to be a mean, lean button-pushing machine.”

Emi wraps her hand around the stick again, causing me to groan even louder.

“What am I doing so wrong?”

“You’re holding it too tightly! Just place your hand like this on it.”

I grab her hand and pry it open. Emi’s mouth opens to protest, but I don’t even care. I’m just trying to teach her how to stop sucking at this so much. I place her hand back down on the stick, and press her first two fingers down.

“Secure it with your thumb. Let your palm do most of the pushing for you. You don’t want to twist your whole arm to pull off combos. You’ll keep bumping into the guy next to you.” I lift my hand off her own and point at the screen.

“Choose Chun-Li again. Quickly quickly.”

Emi does as I command. I shift my feet so we’re not pressed directly next to each other at the cabinet. These things don’t leave you too much comfort room when you’re playing with someone.

“Okay, so you’re going to play the computer in a tournament now. I’ll walk you through how to do most of the combos and how to string them together. Don’t worry if you get totaled, I bought some continues.”

Emi nods and her fingers tighten around the control.

And that’s how we spend the next half an hour. Emi manages to use up all her continues by the third match. She tries to walk away from the machine, complaining that it’s pointless to even play something she’ll never touch again, but I stop her and swipe my card a few more times. She grumbles as I guide her back to the cabinet but does pick up right where she left off. It isn’t long before she’s pulling off combos well enough for me to consider her as an actual challenge.

By the time she makes it to Sagat, I’ve stopped telling Emi what to do. She’s actually doing pretty well on her own. Unfortunately, she’s on her last continue and Sagat is dishing out twice the amount of pain she’s giving out. He knocks her out of the tournament with one last Tiger Uppercut. Emi slams her fists down on the cabinet, causing the whole machine to shake.

“You asshole!”

I pat the girl on the shoulder. “Hey. Take it easy, it’s just a game,” I give her shoulder a little squeeze.

“Besides, for your first actual time playing, you’re doing pretty well.”

Emi lets out a tiny groan of her frustration before pouting. “It’s a stupid game anyway.”

“Ugh. Are you two done hogging the damn machine?”

Both Emi and I turn around to the rather annoyed voice that just addressed us. The offended man has to be around my age. He’s got long dyed-electric blue hair and a heavy looking pair of headphones around his neck. He takes his hands out of the pockets of his leather jacket. He looks kind of familiar, but I can’t place him anywhere. I probably know him from school or something.

“You’ve been there for half an hour and you didn’t even beat the stupid tournament? What’s wrong with you?”

I immediately hate everything about this guy.

“Hey man, I was just teaching her how to play.”

He brushes his hair out of his face with the back of his hand and just glares at Emi. Emi’s glaring back. If there’s one thing I know about Emi, it’s that she doesn’t hide when she’s angry with someone. I’m pretty tempted to just let her slug this guy in the jaw. I’ve just met him and I already want to punch him.

“Well she stinks.”

“It was her first time playing, man. Cut her some slack.” I try my best to defend Emi. But years of being unable to defend even myself against most bullies hasn’t left me with even enough confidence to tell off some jackass at an arcade.

“Well could you both friggin’ move then?” He points away from the machine. “I’ve been waiting to play my machine forever now.”

“You don’t have to be such an asshole.” Emi growls.

“Y-Yeah.” I manage to stutter my addition to Emi’s insult.

Both of them turn to me with looks that clearly say that I should stay out of this. I turn my gaze to the floor. Is that gum?

“You want to play on this? Why don’t you fight me for it then?”

My eyes shoot up from the floor and to the girl next to me. Blue-Hair starts laughing.

“Emi, that’s not going to end well for you.” I warn.

“Shut up, Katsuo. I want to murder this guy.” I’ve seen that look on Emi’s face. It’s the look she gets before a run. She’s ready to compete. I don’t know if she’ll be able to take this guy on, of course. I mean, she’s just been playing for half an hour and while she did fine… I’m pretty sure this guy lives on this machine.

Why am I bringing out this “ready to fight” side in Emi? Is she just trying to direct her anger at me somewhere else?

“Katsuo?” The blue-haired jackass scoffs. “You’re Katsuo Yoshida? The chubby little shit who thought he was so great at street fighter? I thought I kicked your ass out of here years ago. I can’t believe that I didn’t know it was you from the missing right arm.”

Oh son of a- I was right to hate this guy. I can’t believe my luck. I remember this asshole. He’s three years older than me and went to school somewhere in the city. The blue hair is new, but those headphones and that shitty entitled attitude is familiar. Is it just the day where everyone I ever knew in middle school shows up? I mean, I was happy to see Nobou. I like him. But this guy? Ugh. I’d rather lose my other arm.

Well, not really. But still. I really hate this fucking guy.
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Re: Once More [Update: 5/29]

Post by Dr.Worm » Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:40 pm

--- Chapter 8, Part 3: Showdown at Shogun's Castle

“Hayate.” I let the name slither out my mouth like garbage. Because that’s what he is. Garbage. The sort of guy who thinks just because he can play a video game that he’s better than everyone who even touches it. He’s the kind of guy who makes excuses when a kind who’s two years younger than him beats him on “his” machine. The sort that shoves you at the machine when he’s losing. The sort of loser who picks on a kid in an arcade when he’s trying to play street fighter with one arm.

He’s the reason I stopped coming to Shogun’s Castle.

“You come back for a rematch or something?” He grins. It isn’t friendly. He’s mocking me.

I roll my eyes. “No, I did not.”

“Scared?”

Jesus. I’m not scared of this guy. I just detest him. I’m not some wimpy little chubby kid anymore. I’m a wimpy grown man.

“Man. It’s been like… five years. I’m not scared of some guy who just hangs around in an arcade his whole life.” I rub the back of my neck before nudging Emi with my elbow. “Let’s just leave this asshole alone, Emi. He isn’t worth it.”

Emi doesn’t budge. She just pulls her card out of her pocket and slaps it down on the cabinet.

“I bet the rest of the money on my card that I’ll win.”

If I had a drink, I’d have done a spit take. She’s betting the token card? I don’t think Nobou actually put a real limit on those! She could basically take a huge chunk out of his business by letting that thing circle around. I grab her card off the cabinet and turn to Hayate.

“One second, Hayate.” I have to force myself to not say “Jackass” instead of his name. Emi grumbles as I pull her away from the street fighter machine and out of ear-shot. We wedge ourselves between a prize machine and a racing game.

“Are you crazy? Nobou didn’t actually take any money from me to put on those things! I don’t think he put a reasonable limit on them either.” I wave the token card under her nose. “And he is going to absolutely cream you! I can’t even beat him anymore.”

Emi just stares up at me, that look of hunger still in her eyes. Great. She’s got the bloodlust. She wants to berserker barrage all up in this bitch. But she’s nowhere near ready to fight him. And this is how an obsession starts. He beats her and she swears to get revenge one day and I have to train her to beat my greatest rival. This has the makings of a terrible kung-fu movie built right in. Except that it’s about street fighter. I guess a parody film would- OH GODDAMNIT. FOCUS KATSUO.

“Just bet some actual money if you’re that determined to lose.”

“I didn’t bring any.”



“You what?”

“Well, I didn’t want to run back into the house since you were in such a hurry to catch the bus. My bag was in my room,” Emi explains. She sticks her hands into her jacket pocket and stares up at me. I can’t tell if she’s still pissed at Hayate or pissed at me for dragging her away like that. “I just had enough in my pocket for the bus.”

Gah. Son of a bitch. This is just great.

“Fine, look. We’ll just slip out the front now that he’s distracted and-“

“I’m going to play him, Katsuo.” Emi tries to push past me, but I grab her arm again.

“He’s going to wipe the floor with you, Emi.”

“Then help me! You said you couldn’t beat him anymore. Is that because you lost your other hand?”

I glance down at my stumped right arm. “Y-yeah. But that’s ancient history, Emi. He’s just some asshole who picked on me when I was a little kid. I don’t really care about it anymore.”

“If he’s just some asshole in an arcade, then why won’t you look him in the eye when you talk to him? You’re still scared of him, aren’t you?”

I shake my head. I’m not scared of him. I just… Ugh.

“Emi, I appreciate what you’re trying to do. I’m not scared of Hayate anymore. He’s just… Look, after I lost my arm it took a lot of courage for me to come back here. And I wasn’t even here for ten minutes before he started laying into me about how I had become a cripple.” I drop my gaze down to my right arm again.

“He said what?”

“He dragged me over to the street fighter machine and just stomped me over and over in front of his friends because he finally could. And… It kind of destroyed thirteen year old me.”

Emi says nothing as I continue to stare at my right stump.

“I fucking hate that guy, Emi. I hate him more than anyone I’ve ever met. I knew deep down that he was just some loser that picked on little kids, but I was scared of him for so long, Emi. I was scared of him until I went to Yamaku. At least there he was far, far away and I didn’t have to worry about seeing him all the time. I almost completely forgot about him until he showed up today. But he's my... nemesis, I guess. The Big Fire to my Giant Robo. The Lo Pan to my Jack Burton. The Cobra Kai to my Karate Kid.”

“I don't know what those are... You’re shaking.” Emi puts a hand on my shoulder. If I wasn’t so upset with the reappearance of my childhood bully, I’d actually be excited about this contact with Emi. But there isn’t room in my noggin for that right now. It just keeps flashing back to that day, playing it over and over in my head.I shake my head to attempt to clear it. Hayate's sneer is the only thing left in there.

“I know. I don’t like to think about him.” Or anything about that three month stretch before Yamaku, really.

He was the first person to really make me feel like a freak.

It’s silly. I know. It’s a damn arcade. There are a million of them littered all over Japan. But this is Shogun’s Castle. This is my damn arcade. This is where I spent my childhood with Nobou. And that asshole took it all away from me. It's been six years and I'm still shaken by even talking to him? This is pathetic. I can't be scared of some idiot in an arcade my whole life.

And Emi is offering me a chance to destroy him.

“We can go if you-“

“He wears headphones when he plays. He says his music helps him play better or some shit like that.” I mutter.

“What?”

“And he’ll play as Ken. I know you just played as Chun-LI, but play as Dhalsim. Hayate can’t play for shit as him and I used to play as him all the time. It’ll piss him off.”

Emi just stares at me, confused.

“You want to beat him, right?” I ask.

She nods. Good. You’re about to become the instrument of my revenge, Emi.

“Do everything I say and let’s kick his ass. Now, listen carefully. These are Dhalsim's special moves...”

---

True to my word, Hayate pulls his headphones over his ears as Emi takes her place at the first player side again. I see the flicker of annoyance that crosses his face as Emi selects Dhalsim as her character. He scowls before selecting Ken. Jesus. This guy really hasn’t changed in the last six years, has he?

I take my position at Emi’s side as the India stage comes up. Good. Home field advantage. Okay, so it’s not a real thing but it’s the spirit of it, alright?

Hayate starts it off with a hadoken. I get what he’s doing. Emi’s a girl and he just saw her lose pretty badly to Sagat in the tournament mode. He thinks that he can just take Emi out without even trying.. How stupid is he? He knows that I’m standing right here. Wipe that shit eating grin off your face, Hayate.

Emi’s got the master on her side.

“Jump. Down, Heavy punch.” I command. Emi’s hands move before I even finish.

Dhalsim jumps and dives into Ken, headfirst. Hayate’s cocky smile drops as Emi gets in the first attack. Emi starts wailing on Kenwithout me telling her anything. Hayate blocks every attack, but Emi doesn’t let up. He breaks through one of the gaps between her attacks and pushes her back.

“Block. Block. Block.”

Emi’s face twists in anger as Hayate pulls off a series of punches and kicks before she can even block once.

He takes her down ten seconds later with Tatsymaki Senpuukyaku. It hits her all five times. Emi turns to me and I wave her off. Keep focused. So he won the first match. That doesn’t mean anything. Still, Emi’s looking nervous. I don’t know why she’d be nervous. She’s not betting actual money. I guess my little talk with her did a little more than I thought it would.

I place my hand against Emi’s face and turn her to face me. I wipe an imaginary bloodstain off her cheek with my thumb.

“Sweep the leg.”

“What?”

“Do you have a- It’s from a movie. Nevermind,” I let go of her and point to the screen. “Just concentrate and keep loose. Try to dodge most of his attacks like you did against Blanka as Chun-Li. Don’t rely on the block so much. Dhalsim has a low damage output. Just keep him away from you and you’ll do fine.”

And also because you can’t block to save your life… literally, I suppose. But I’m not about to tell you that.

The second match starts off with Hayate slowly closing the distance between the two characters. Without any instruction from me, Emi teleports behind his back and starts to bring the pain. Hayate’s face immediately twists into pure hatred. Ha. Yeah. I used to do that to him all the time. They trade a few small combos before Emi starts to take the upperhand again. Hayate shifts in place and continues to get incredibly irritated as my protégé just lays the smack down. What is he doing? He’s almost leaning into Emi.

I glance down and have to cover my mouth with my hand to stop from laughing.

In a futile effort to cheat, he’s stepping on Emi’s foot. Not just stepping, he’s putting all his weight into it.

What an asshole.

Emi wins the second round with a close range yoga fire. She throws her hands over her head and turns to me. As cute as that look of victory is, Emi, don’t celebrate now! You’re not done! And now that Hayate’s lost a round, he’s going to be an even bigger asshole in this round.

“Keep cool. There’s still one more round.”

Emi’s look immediately flattens and she nods solemnly. Is that some apprehension I see in her face?

“Nervous?”

Emi shakes her head and turns back to the cabinet. I dig my token card from my pocket and slap it down on the cabinet next to Emi’s. Hayate pulls his headphones off and glares at me.

“You let me help her and if you beat us you can have both our token cards.” I return his glare with what I hope is a very confident look. This is a pretty stupid idea after all. Two people playing one character? It’ll work if Emi listens to me every step of the way, but that’s the only way.

“I don’t need help, Katsuo.” Emi mutters.

“It’s not for you.” I state calmly in return. Hayate and I never break eye contact.

He just nods and pulls his headphones back on. “Whatever.”
Last edited by Dr.Worm on Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:58 am, 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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