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Shizune's Favor

Posted: Tue May 14, 2013 5:28 pm
by Some Old Guy
Another day, and another random idea. Just a good ol' story about friends, close friends, and the things we do for them. And about whether or not the end justifies the means. Maybe.

And stealing. Lots and lots of stealing. That's a definite.

I hate to be vague, but I suck at explaining things without spoiling them.

To keep things simple, [Signing is in brackets, b/c that's how it was done in the game.]

Criticism welcome and appreciated.

Part One: The Great Track Shed Robbery

It was cold. Really cold.

Normally, it wouldn't be that bad, but normally at three in the morning, Hisao would be in bed, especially when he had an exam the next day. There was a fresh layer of dew on the grass, and it was slowly seeping into his shoes, getting his socks soaked. The leaves on the bush he was in were wet as well, dripping slowly onto his hair. He had always wondered why water torture was so terrible. Sure, he understood that it was bad, but that was only because any movie or book had said it was. He didn't truly understand until he was subject to it himself. The fact that it was self-inflicted didn't make it any better.

He shifted his position, trying to get some feeling back in his feet and legs, when he felt something start to slowly crawl down his back, underneath his shirt. He hoped that it was just his imagination, but it wouldn't stop. His eyes started to get wide, but he tried to keep the rest of himself composed. He casually reached back, patting at whatever it was, but that only made it crawl faster. That made him go faster, then faster, and then he felt the crawling thing start to scratch him. That was it. His hands flew to the bottom of his shirt, clawing underneath it, his breath starting to hitch. He didn't care if he was making noise, he felt the crawling thing start to move all around, scratching at him, getting ready to...

"Mrmph, hrmph, hee hee, mrmph..."

He felt something warm on his bare skin, and he started to arch forward in panic, until he saw a hand had moved right in front of his face, holding a small leaf.

"It... mrmph... it fell off... ha ha~...," Misha was fighting a losing battle against her laughs, "And fell down your... heh-ha~..." There was a slapping noise as she clasped her other hand across her mouth when Hisao turned to her with a tic in his eye. They stared each other down for a few seconds, until Misha removed her hand and started to tease, "Sooooo~, does Hicchan have a problem with bugs~?"

"Not funny. Not even a little bit."

"Oh, come on, I helped you, I didn't do it...," she shut up when Shizune grabbed her shoulder and muscled her way in, looking furious. Her heavy breathing was making her shoulders move up and down, and she help up her pointer finger over her lips. Hisao and Misha both gave her an apology, then looked out through the bush at the track shed.

The ultimate goal was the small lights that belonged to the track team. Shizune wanted the lights so she could keep working on the festival stalls at night, since the three of them had started to fall behind schedule. Of course, she blamed the entire thing on Hisao "dragging his feet" when it came to joining the Student Council. Hisao countered her by saying that she and Misha constantly skipped class and ran off to the Shanghai anyway, then the argument had escalated, then he started a game of Risk with her, and now he was hiding in a bush when he had an exam the next day. He clasped his head in his hands. His father was right, he really did let women lead him around by the... ear.

He barely stifled his yelp when he felt Shizune flick the back of his head. He wheeled on her, but didn't sign anything. His face said it all. Shizune rolled her eyes and signed, [Well, you keep looking like you're going to pass out. What do you want me to do?]

Hisao started to retort, [Respect people's personal space. Not hit them. Don't drag them outside on a...]

Shizune sighed, [You complain like a little girl.]

[Hey, you are a girl.]

[That's what makes it so sad.]

He had nothing to counter that, so he went back to sulking/reconnoitering. The three of them were waiting for just the right moment to make the dash. Shizune had spent a ridiculous amount of time preparing for their little "mission." She had mapped out every patrol that the campus watch made, when they made them, and had even gotten a few of their names. Even Kenji would have been impressed. Every minute detail had been worked out; she had the perfect place to stash the lights. Hisao had been tempted to say that the lights would be just a bit visible when they used them at night, but at this point it just seemed like Shizune wanted them for the sake of having them. And getting back at the track captain, who had told her that the lights weren't his to lend out, she'd have to ask the school, and that the whole thing was a ridiculous idea anyway. But it wasn't like she was being petty or anything.

Maybe just a little.

Shizune tapped both Misha and Hisao's shoulders, [It's time. 3, 2, 1... GO!] With a sharp swing of her arm, she bolted out of the bush, slipping and stumbling on the wet grass towards the track shed. Misha still had her school shoes on, which had a decent heel, so she took her time, but every step was more like a bounce, and she "ran"... well, like a girl, with her hands up and swaying. Hisao just walked after them, with his hands in his pockets, grumbling.

All three of them lined up in front of the locked door, but Hisao felt less like a trained soldier and more like a trained seal. Shizune produced a flat-head screwdriver, and started to slam it into the padlock. Misha kept pivoting her head about, causing her "drills" to smack into her friends occasionally. There were some rustling sounds coming from the other side of the door, but no matter what Misha and Hisao said, Shizune would just brush them off. After a few minutes of this, there was a click, and Shizune turned back to her co-conspirators, peeking a shark smile over her shoulder. The lock clattered to the ground, and Shizune grabbed the handle. All three of them took a deep breath, and then Shizune flung the door open.

Nothing could have prepared them for what they saw. Nothing. The squealing, the thrashing about, the terrified eyes... oh, those terrified eyes. And the clawing. The clawing.

The three of them just trudged back to the dorms, empty-handed. One of the watch tried to say something to them when they traipsed past him, but he was ignored.

The next morning, they all met up in the library, all of them silently agreeing to try to figure out just what it was they saw. They'd never seen anything like it. They didn't even think that they would ever see anything like that. They spent over an hour just researching, poring over encyclopedias, then trivia, even pulling out picture books of animals. Then, finally, they figured it out. It wasn't a tanuki, but an actual North American Raccoon. Apparently, in the seventies, one had been featured on a TV show or something, so a craze started where people just had to have one. It seemed very similar to another myth about alligators living in the sewers of New York City, except that the raccoons had fled to Japanese garbage bins. And track sheds.

"Wait, so what did you think it was at first~?"

Hisao slowly opened his eyes, pulling himself out of his memories. Oh yes, "The Great Track Shed Robbery," also known as "The Student Council Heist." Back when he was still so much of a boy, before he became a slightly older one. Well, at least he was graduating college soon. So were his former partners in crime sitting with him in the cafe booth. Even though he and Shizune had called it quits after they went off to college, all three of them were still good friends, and as close as friends could ever be. They met up whenever they could, traveling back to the good ol' days, and talking about recent developments as well. It was all well and good when they had a group video chat, but they all loved the "live" meetings. Nothing could ever beat 'em.

Except that day.

"Hisao?" Misha tried to reach him again, "I... I asked you what you thought it was at first."

No "Hicchan." So she was upset too. Goody.

"I kinda thought I was gonna die," Hisao said, not bothering to sign, and keeping his eyes on the ceiling. Misha had been translating for him while he had been doing that, and it was really annoying Shizune. Good.

"Come on Hisao, talk with me. Us. Please. At least look at me."

Hisao sighed, and faced the two of them. Misha's hair was still short, and back to brown, and she was dressed down in shorts and a T-shirt. Shizune had a somewhat long ponytail, and dressed down as well. In a way. She usually was so fashionable, but in the baseball cap, large sunglasses, baggy hoodie and jeans, she looked like she was going to hold up a liquor store. At least she didn't wear a tan overcoat and fedora. He understood that she didn't want to be spotted, but all that was missing was the newspaper that she would be pretending to read. Still, he followed her request, and didn't dress in an "attention-grabbing way." The situation was quite dire, after all. "Alright," he finally acknowledged, "But Misha? Do me a favor and translate everything I say."

"But why can't you...?"

"Because I need my hands to do this." Hisao propped his elbows on the table and held his head in his hands, staring into a cup of coffee that he hadn't taken a single sip out of yet. Taking a deep breath, he began, "Now, Shizune, we've been friends for a while, and stayed friends through some really nasty parts in each others lives. I honestly feel like I might actually owe you my life. And yes, I think you should be able to come to me when you need help." Hisao decided to at least try the coffee he ordered fifteen minutes ago. After getting over the disappointment, he continued, "But I'm just a little concerned that you would re-tell the tale of the 'Student Council Heist,' right after you just got done telling us you lost nearly four million yen in a poker game with the yakuza."


Edit 5/15/13: Fixed some grammar. Will fix transition and another nasty sentence later, when my brain is fully working. :(

Re: Shizune's Favor

Posted: Wed May 15, 2013 9:45 am
by Mirage_GSM
I honestly have no idea what this story is about...
What is so special about a racoon?
And what is going on in the last paragraphs?
What does Hisao need his hands for and what does all of this have to do with the Yakuza?

Re: Shizune's Favor

Posted: Wed May 15, 2013 9:54 am
by Carighan
The only part I didn't get was the hands part, I was sure he'd slap her or something.

Fun story though, do you intend to do a second half where Shizune tries to explain it and they plan an Oceans 11 style run? :D

Re: Shizune's Favor

Posted: Wed May 15, 2013 10:43 am
by Some Old Guy
Mirage_GSM wrote: 1. What is so special about a racoon?
2. And what is going on in the last paragraphs?
3. What does Hisao need his hands for...?
1. Originally, there were going to be people in the track shed, doing... things. I decided that was a bit much, so I changed it to a raccoon, and I tried to be as vague as possible, being that I figured that I wasn't the only one who's mind was in the gutter. Now, I feel kinda alone :cry:

2. Argh, I guess the transition was too rough. My fault. The first part is a flashback, setting up who the main players are in this. I wanted to do this to avoid the whole "This takes place after [insert route ending here]," and pretty much set the scene and tone, as well as what is going to happen:
Carighan wrote: they plan an Oceans 11 style run? :D
Which is that. Maybe not entirely Oceans 11, though.

3. Hold his head in his hands? He's being pretty pissy here (Hisao, not you, please don't hit me *cowers*). He couldn't look Shizune in the eye b/c of how outrageous the situation was, and was somewhat freaking out.

Note to self: don't be so vague. Might have tried a bit too much here, but if I don't try, I'm not gonna learn anything. *shrugs*

Oh, and thanks! No seriously, I will try to be less confusing, though I think half the problem is I know where this is going and no one else does yet. :?

Re: Shizune's Favor

Posted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:31 pm
by Mirage_GSM
1. Originally, there were going to be people in the track shed, doing... things. I decided that was a bit much, so I changed it to a raccoon, and I tried to be as vague as possible, being that I figured that I wasn't the only one who's mind was in the gutter. Now, I feel kinda alone.
Actually this was totally what I was expecting.
I was wondering if the raccoon was somehow to be a metaphor for that, but then the whole researching thing would have been laying it on too thick.
Then I was wondering if your story had taken a turn into bizarro country, but it continued otherwise normally.
Then I was out of ideas.
Argh, I guess the transition was too rough. My fault. The first part is a flashback, setting up who the main players are in this.
No, that part was okay. the transition was perfectly recognizable.
What I didn't understand was what that flashback story has to do with losing money to the Yakuza.
I went over that part again, and I think you meant that part literally: Shizune really did lose money to the Yakuza - I probably was still thinking in metaphors too much^^° - and now she was suggesting they steal the money back?
In that case let me point out that while 4 million yen is no meagre sum, it would probably hardly scratch the Hakamichi fortunes.

Re: Shizune's Favor

Posted: Wed May 15, 2013 12:42 pm
by nemz
Yeah, I just don't get this. I mean I understand what has happened, but not why any of it matters or why I should care. It's a largely pointless anecdote (that in no way suggests the three of them are even remotely capable of pulling off some sort of actual heist) and you completely buried the actual 'hook' of the story in telling it.

It's sloppy.

Re: Shizune's Favor

Posted: Wed May 15, 2013 3:54 pm
by Silentcook
Mirage_GSM wrote:I was wondering if the raccoon was somehow to be a metaphor for that, but then the whole researching thing would have been laying it on too thick.
Might it be that you have not tried researching raccoons?
I found it about as scarring as the narrated experience, and you might even get extra mileage. :(

Re: Shizune's Favor

Posted: Wed May 15, 2013 5:20 pm
by Oddball
I had no problem with the raccoon. Then again, I am from the country so I've actually had encounters like that.

I've read the part about what Hisao is doing with his hands at the end there and I still can't quite figure that part out.