Disheveled [Ch. 3, 9/18] (undergoing revisions)

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Umber
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Disheveled [Ch. 3, 9/18] (undergoing revisions)

Post by Umber » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:29 am

notice, [07/27]: revisions are fun, aren't they?
***

My opening act as a first-time writer of fanfiction. There isn't much to add to that, really, without completely making a fool of myself.

But I can say that the main character of this story is Natsume Ooe, a student in Yamaku who sits in the very back of class 3-3. Afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis, as well as low vision in her right eye, said character is acquaintances with a classmate, specifically an epileptic by the name of Naomi Inoue. They are both, according to the 3-3 class picture (which also presents their disabilities), in the newspaper club, and their working together implies some sort of positive relationship between the two.

It wasn't until a few months ago that I'd stumbled upon some discussion about their sexualities, and considering that the discussion concerned two characters that were meant for background and served very little purpose in Katawa Shoujo whatsoever (outside of Lilly Satou's arc), it devolved into drivel and all that which drivel entails, which is mostly foolishness.

In a sense, this fiction will be my own take on Natsume, as well as her character and the characters - or rather, the people - that surround her.

Let's see where this goes.

To the community: Enjoy, whenever possible.

note [7/27]: some revisions will be done on chapters one through three before continuing to chapter four. I doubt this story has had any followers with such little content out right now so sporadically released but stay tuned! Fingers crossed over here.


***

Chapter 1: Lenses
-We spend more time deciding whether or not to clean our glasses instead of actually doing something about it.

Chapter 2: Morning
-Don't forget that the day's just started.

Chapter 3: Joseki
-One turn at a time.
Last edited by Umber on Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:18 am, edited 38 times in total.
-An occasional art thread.
pig dissections and cadaver examinations.

User avatar
Umber
Posts: 989
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:59 pm
Location: California

Disheveled: Chapter One

Post by Umber » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:31 am

Chapter 1: Lenses

Tak. Tak, tak tak.

Takkity-tak-tak-tak.


“No, wait. That's spelled wrong.”

“Just fixed it, Naomi.”

Tak-tak. Tak --

“Are you sure that's fixed?”

“Yes. I'm sure. I think I'm sure.” Tak. Tak-tak-takkity-tak – “Ow, ow.”

“Are you okay?”

“I'm fine. Fine. It's just the usual.”

“...Is your arthritis kicking in?”

“Yeah, but I think I'll manage for a little while, though.”

“Well, if you say so.”

“I do say so.”

“Oh, shush, Ooe.”

“Heh heh.”

Tak, tak-tak. Tak-tak, tak. Click.

“Er, never mind, Naomi. I lied. I think that's it for today, I'm really beat.”

“Aww. You're going to leave me here alone, all by myself?”

“Hey, we made progress. And I'll be back tomorrow, if that's anything.”

“Funny. Alright, I'll catch up to you in class, then. Later, Natsume!”

“Later.”

Stuffing the laptop in my duffel bag, I shut the door behind me, entering a relatively empty hallway of Yamaku. Empty, save for a few dust particles shining in the window-light. The faint voices of chatter—student conversations—echo through the walls, the din of the cafeteria's bustling crowd audibly spreading far from the origin itself. Poor souls, having to spend lunch battling hordes of like-minded students for a tray of food. A necessary waste of time, kind of.

That's one of the benefits of being in a school club, though. An output for free time. Time is money, or so they say. And frugality's never been a bad thing, though it does get in the way of some of our guilty pleasures. Even if newspaper work's hardly guilty, as far as I know. Or would like to admit.

Still, benefits don't come without consequences, I think to myself, frowning at my throbbing left hand. I'd kill for hired help in the newspaper club, considering my condition. Often times, I'd think that more people would love to write about current events, public issues, district affairs, teachers' corner, the occasional sex-related column. Guess students have their lives to live, and I have mine to spend typing up everything no one knows or cares about. Kind of sucks, but...

...Eh. I shouldn't worry. Unimportant train of thought. Maybe I should head over to 3-3, lunch should be ending soon, and Mutou usually stays in his homeroom during student breaks. Yeah.

Hey, yeah, that's a good idea. Maybe he's having an affair, and he's hiding all the juicy details. Heh, that'd be really sweet. Who could it be? I wouldn't be able to use that in the newspaper, but it'd make for a nice conversation, even if I don't converse with many.

Maybe he'd tell me, or Naomi. She would be better at flirting – I mean, uh. Chatting, with him. Well, I am a friend of Mutou's, we've chatted lots, but Naomi's a nice – a better – flirt. That, and she's quite the charmer, too. Not that I would know, but, uh. Wait, I do know. Hm...

...How did I get to thinking this, again? Huh. That's my second unimportant train of thought for today. At this rate, I'll fly past my quota.

Should just stop myself while I'm ahead and get to class.

***

Trying the door to 3-3, it fails to give way, though student voices bleed through the wooden slab. Mutou must be lecturing or something.

During lunch.

Free time.

I flash a tired smile. Looks like he's got nothing better to do either, but he's being busy about it. That's pointless efficiency, if there ever was something like that. Better get comfy with the wall, looks like a nice place to lean on while I wait for –

Click.

Chak.

Creaaaaaaaak.

I wince. Those hinges could use some WD-40.

A figure donned in a coat-and-tie presents itself, via the opening of 3-3's shoddy classroom door. It swivels, scanning the hallway, the face of my teacher, Mutou, facing my own.

“Feel free to come on in, now,” he says, tiredly gesturing to the inside of his classroom. “And hi there, Natsume. It's refreshing to see you here for once.”

“Eheh. Likewise,” I reply. Refreshing's a good way to describe it. Refreshing to see that I'm not the only one getting exhausted in the middle of the day – but considering how Mutou's always running on low battery, that might not mean much.

“Good, good. Um, one second. Hold the door, please.”

“Sure.”

Mutou steps back into the classroom as I take a step back, allowing Misaki, Suzu, and Miki to pass into the hallway before entering the classroom myself. Greeted by the sight of Akio and Ikuno, both of whom are perfectly comfortable spending their lunch period as living background, I wave my hand to my fellow classmates while walking towards the teacher's desk, its occupant flipping through the pages of a physics book. He'd managed to get lost in the written proofs of sciences behind quantum entanglement in the short ten seconds I'd been in class.

“So, Mutou.”

“That would be me,” he says, without looking up from his literary venture. “You're normally not here during lunch. Why the random change in routine?”

He puts his book down to his lap. Everyday aged suit, everyday tired facial expression, everyday tired, aging hands. And his irises, dark and gray and filled with knowledge hidden behind a barrier of dimmed curiosity. Curious, due to nature, dulled by his profession. Often, I feel like the only person who seems to see him like this. Oh, how I wish he'd find a whetstone and sharpen his mind. His lectures would be millions of times more interesting.

But Natsume, the voice in my head says, multiplying zero by anything will always equal --

“I'm still here, you know.” Mutou frowns, tired of having to deal with my zoning out, whether or not it's class hours. “What brings me the pleasure of your company this fine afternoon, Ms. Ooe?”

“You flatter me,” I say, grinning. “I'm on a mission of some sort, and I wanted to ask you something.”

“Shoot. I hope it's physics related.”

“Eh.” Eh. That's code word for nope. “You hope for such absurdities.”

“Mm. Where would I be, professionally, if I didn't?”

Since when does hope have anything to do with teaching? Aside from dashing my own when I can't answer the first question on a pop quiz. “Er. I don't know.”

“Well, I'll teach you something, being a teacher: neither do I.”

“Ha. I get it.” No, I don't. Like most things he says, but that's with most adults to begin with. “Anyways. Naomi and I are working on an article, on something. Thought you might want to help us. That's why I'm here.”

Pondering, he taps a steady tempo on his book cover with his fingers, sifting through thoughts in the realms of his brain. “And what might this something be?”

“Just some...statistics,” I say, pulling out a number of papers, fanning myself with them. “Of Yamaku's resources. And how they're being distributed to each department.”

“So, money.”

To put it bluntly. And in a way that doesn't make me sound sophisticated.

“Essentially, yeah.” I shrug. “Delving into the topic of our school's budget is sort of a rookie thing to do, but that's what my club's decided on, as you can see clearly. Unless you're secretly partially blind.”

“Blind?”

“Y'know, like me, except...secretly.”

Mutou's eyes glance upward, a smirk on his lips, before taking the papers and giving it a quick scan. Chin in hand, he calmly turns the pages from one to the other, back and forth.

“Huh,” he mutters, holding back the surprise inching into his voice. “Not bad...Well, I've only skimmed this, but – but it looks like a decent piece of work, even though it's incomplete. I'd be somewhat comfortable in assisting you.”

“Somewhat.”

“Yes. Somewhat. Consider this a thank you for paying attention in class.”

“Heh.” It's funny because I don't. Most of the time. “Well, thank you. Thank you, thank you, a lot.”

“Anytime.”

"Really? Anyti–”

“Please, no,” he interrupts, already aware of my now foiled plan. “It's a figure of speech – but I admire that you tried. I'm helping you now, so why try and fish any more favors out of me?”

Shrug. “I work hard to be lazy."

“Indeed,” he says, an eyebrow cocked and a growing smile. “Your test grades prove so. How're your study habits?”

“Mostly nonexistent.” I can't help but match his smile as he chuckles to himself, stowing the papers away in his desk drawer.

It's often times like these where I'm having a great talk with my teacher or some other animate-inanimate entity that I realize that being a teenager doesn't quite suck as much as I expected it to. Yes, video games are fun, homework isn't, and neither is arthritis. Neither is being able to count the number of friends I have on my fingers. But, as I look back at Mutou as he toys with his pencil, engrossed in his book on Quantum entanglement...well, the few occasions I get to talk to him outside of class periods, we actually connect. He's nice and he's mature – for a man, at least. And I admire that.

Though when he's a teacher, he's a practitioner of the dark arts of awkward-mancy. Miasmas of uncomfortable silence, even – but I guess I don't blame him. I can't blame him. He's only Mutou, after all. And I like him how he is.

Not because of the mutual awkwardness in our personalities, of course.

But that might be a factor.

Mutou waves his hand to get my attention. “Oh, Natsume. I suggest you use three significant figures in your statistics, as you do in physics.” He smiles like the science geek he is, somewhere deep down in there. “Also, class is going to start soon, and I have to ready today's lecture. Swing by tomorrow, or whenever you've got free time this week, to talk to me about the budget. I'll have some things ready for you by then.”

He jots down quick sketches of a series and a parallel circuit on the board before turning back to me.

“Just to let you know, you're a student, but you're a, ah – I believe it's called a friend. Those things are unheard of within the scientific community, so – hey, hey, I'm kidding,” he adds, noticing the expression of surprise on my face. “Relax. I'm kidding. To an extent, I think. Regardless, if you think you're being a burden, you are. But I don't mind. My job isn't to teach you, it's to get you going.”

I think I see where he's getting at, but sight's never been my strong point. That, and Mutou cracking jokes took me off guard. “Going where, again?”

“Don't you have a career in mind?”

“A career. Like, a job.”

“Yes, a career. A job, Natsume.”

“Um.” Lie. “Eventually, I will.”

“How about a major?”

“Maybe journalism, but...” My voice trails off into awkward nothingness.

“But...?” he asks.

Bleh. What I've learned through my newspaper career is that you should never ask a teenager about his or her future, because the answers are all the same if you read between the lines.

“I, uh. I don't know.”

“...Mm.” he mutters. “Too early, I guess. Alright, then, well. Well, eh, if you need anything, if you need someone to talk to, I'll be here. Classroom 3-3. As always, okay?” He chuckles, pulling his book out again. “Now get ready for class, you have three minutes.”

I give him the thumbs up. “Um, m'kay. Will do,” I mumble. Walking to my desk, I pull my notebook out of my duffel bag, turning to a fresh page for the notes soon to come.

Naomi waltzes in at that moment, cheerfully throwing her arms around me, grinning as I inform her of our teacher's reluctant willingness to help us.

Akio sighs, making his usually insignificant presence known, trying to ignore Naomi's display of affection, unnecessarily burying his face into his book.

Ikuno silently continues taking notes, as usual.

Mutou's adjusting his watch.

And life's pretty much the same.

**

“So, what happened to literature club? Thought you guys met up during lunch, and whenever.”

The windows in the hallways of Yamaku filter through the late afternoon light, orange light on the checkered floor, on the uniforms of the students passing by, passersby headed for their dorms or God-knows-where. Some shuffling by reluctantly, hoping to delay having to greet their homework, reminiscing on the joy of hearing the end of the day bell ringing in the classroom. Others, chatting away their free time, walking towards the town district, said free time either worked for or borrowed from an upcoming date on their calendars. Procrastinators, ahoy.

Akio sips on a can of grape juice, sighing out the carbonation. “Yuuko closed the library, for some reason. I'd like to think that she believes someone took a book without registering it. Opinions say another bout of paranoia. That's what Miki told me Suzu said, after dragging Suzu back to 3-3.”

I tug the strap on my duffel bag. They'll never make a strap that doesn't make your shoulders ache after ten minutes. Or accentuate your chest. “Narcolepsy's a pain, ain't it.”

“Everything's a pain. You've just got a different lifestyle to go through because of whatever you've got.” The sound of his cane hitting the ground seems to be more audible after this statement. I fight the sudden uncontrollable need to push my glasses up the bridge of my nose.

Naomi throws an arm around my shoulder, resting her head against mine. It makes for an awkward gait, but I can deal with it.

“Mm, if it wasn't for what I've got, I wouldn't have met you guys,” she says, nuzzling closer to me. “Yamaku's a nice place. Tries to make us feel normal.”

Akio grins skeptically. “Happily oblivious you are, Naomi – it's almost cliché. Being placed into Yamaku implies something's wrong with us, to our society. Yamaku's filled with understanding people, relatively understandable teenagers. Different's all we are, not irregular, nothing's 'wrong' with us enough that people built a school to make us 'feel normal' –”

“And you call me cliché, eh,” she interrupts, cutting off his rant, muttering into my neck. “Aren't you quite the optimist.”

“Not optimistic,” Akio rebukes. “Realistic.”

“That's debatable,” I say. “But everyone's got different views on something, so a debate would be pointless. That's how controversy's created in the news these days.”

“Neutral party as always, Natsume.”

“Yep. We should hop off this train, and, and – mnff, Naomi. Bleh. Your hair's in my face.”

“Oh, sorry,” she says apologetically.

“Don't worry, I don't mind the smell of orange shampoo.” As Naomi separates from me, I roll my shoulder around. “And there's nothing wrong with a little cuddling every now and then.”

“Normally, it's your hair in my face.” She winces, rubbing my side to comfort me. Feels nice. “Is there a problem?”

I nod. Problems as usual, plural. “Just my left hand and a heavy duffel bag. No worries.”

We walk a few more steps down the hallway, then Akio moves ahead, propping a door open with his cane.

“What a shame,” he says, taking a sip from his drink. “Such a cuddling person, her best friend unable to accept such treatment half the time due to her genetic ailment. Irony.”

“Your loss that she gets such treatment at all, over you,” she retorts defensively as we pass by. “Jealous?”

He huffs, pulling away his cane, the door swinging back and forth. “Sort of, but I've got my ways to cope and take care of myself.”

“Pfft! – Oh, really?”

Naomi and I laugh. The millions of things one could say to a teenage male as a response. How I'd love to make fun of his right hand right about now, but I'll save that for later.

Realizing the gist of his words, he shakes his head. “Females,” Akio mutters aloud.

“You don't know them well enough,” I whisper to him, patting a giggling Naomi on the back.

“Well, your gender has done a very good job at making that the case for the past how-many generations,” he says, in a tongue-in-cheek manner. “You should see my neighbor in the boys' dorms. He could rant on and on about the opposite sex. It's crazy – he's crazy.”

We walk across the outside of the school building, afternoon air filling our lungs. A student's natural relief, other than sleep and free time. Refreshing, but probably not as much as Akio's drink. I hadn't any yen on my person when he'd bought that.

“I think I know who you're talking about, but I'm not so sure on his name,” Naomi says, sifting through her thoughts. “He's legally blind, and probably insane. Did you know he went over to the student council room and shouted at Shizune for fifteen minutes?”

Akio shrugs. “Harsh. Without knowing she was deaf?”

“Yep. Didn't do his homework like he should've.”

“Mm,” I slide in. “I wouldn't have turned the homework in, if it meant arguing with Shizune. I might not walk out of 3-3 alive.”

Naomi looks in my direction. “Alone in a room with her, no Misha, no paper, it would be a one-person argument verbally. And didn't you just say that arguing, er – debating was pointless?”

“That was the idea.”

“But not yours.”

“As of your statement.” At least, I think. “It was mine somewhere down the road.”

“Somewhere up the road, you mean,” Akio says. Three-way jousting, what fun.

I think about it for a while as we walk, pursing my lips together. “Mm...Let's say that we move up a mountain as our conversation goes on. Then it's technically down the road.”

Akio closes his eyes, searching for a rebuttal. “But more of moving down the mountain, not the road itself. It depends on the direction of the road.”

“Roads have two sides and two ways, Akio.”

“Not all.”

“Most.”

“Not. All,” he repeats, accentuating his words.

“How about a one-way?” Naomi chimes in.

“We can't know that this mountain's got a one-way road, either, much less going the right direction,” Akio replies, frowning.

“Well, that makes this all banter rather useless, then,” she points out, frustrated. “How do we even know that this mountain has a road to begin with?”

Akio and I ponder silently. Wow. Ten points to Inoue.

“Good point.”

“Didn't catch that.”

Naomi puts on a confident grin. “Success,” she congratulates herself. “Success is a sweet, sweet pleasure.”

“Enjoy that while it lasts. I'll stick to my drink.” Akio sighs, bringing the can to his lips, unknowingly taking his final swig. He tilts the can upside-down, the sound of the residue dripping silently inside – the sound of emptiness. “Eh, well. Never mind.”

“There's always more of that somewhere.” If you remember to bring your yen, like how a certain someone didn't. I pat Akio on the back, just to let him know that I care about him on occasion. When he's not a total jerk.

He takes a deep breath, the type one does when preparing to go to bed, stretching out an arm in the afternoon air.

“Yeah, I know. Welp. Time to part ways, I've some reading to do,” he says, turning for the boys' dorms, his cane sounding a hollow knock across the school grounds. “Let's climb this mountain another time to figure this stuff out.”

“You mean descend from, not climb,” I shout on over to him.

“...Uhuh.” Shaking his head once more, he opens the door to the boys' dorms. “Females,” he mutters.

Heh heh. Mission accomplished.

Naomi and I giggle to ourselves, entering the girls' dorms, talking about whatever as we make our way to our respective rooms. Homework, gossip – Kenji, once we figured his name out. We trade papers, wondering whether or not to confront Nomiya or Shizune with the request for assistance, though mostly ignoring the latter possibility, while reading the notes we'd researched for in the newspaper room.

“Fun day, wasn't it?” Naomi asks, sliding her key into the doorknob of her dorm.

“Mm,” I reply, shuffling sheets in and out of folders. The dim hallway light isn't helping; I can hardly tell one wall of text from another in this mess. “Hey, can you help me out here? I can't really –”

Naomi skillfully plucks several papers from underneath my arm, scans the headers and the page numbers, and organizes them back into my folder, giving me a warm smile and a pat on the back.

I think I blinked twice during all of that. “Oh, thanks. That was, uh. You didn't need to –”

She inflates, giggling, squeezing my shoulder in an unnecessarily loving manner. “Shut up, I'm here for a reason. How's your hand?”

“It's doing fairly well, considering the hefty amount of notes we took in class today.”

“Are you sure?”

“Only a hundred and ten percent.” That's a lie. My hand really could use a massage...and maybe the rest of my body as well. But I'm not sure if that's the best thing to ask from Naomi, of all people.

She opens the door, a satisfying click, to mark her start of the official end of the school day; the return to one's sanctuary. Bliss for her, maybe. My turn has yet to come.

“Wanna come in?” she asks, gesturing to the inside of her dorm.

“Um.” I take a peek into Inoue's natural habitat. Piles upon piles of papers scattered on her desk, surrounded by numerous clocks, with a laptop whirring away in the center of the clutter. A single calendar hangs on the wall to the side of her bed, worn from the endless amounts of sharpie marks sketched upon each boxed-in date. Far from messy; ordered chaos, every out-of-place item out-of-place for a strategic reason. The occasional collision between hard work and laziness, in a nutshell. Reminds me of Suzu's dorm, except with a lot less plushy stuff...everywhere.

“I think I'll pass. Your room hasn't changed, Naomi."

“And neither has your decision, has it?”

“Decision?”

She stays silent, letting her question sink in. Memories hit me like a hot iron to the face – or something similarly forceful and uncomfortable.

“Oh.” I pout, coming to a realization. This again. “Nope. Not yet.”

She laughs silently to herself – albeit with a touch of hollowness vibrating in the air.

“Yeah, I thought so...” She trails off, an expression of longing in her eyes. “...Here.”

Naomi steps inside her dorm, shuffling some items around her desk, her back towards me. Whether or not she's trying to hide the emotions I know are running across her mind, I can't tell, but either way, it's mostly my fault, if not all.

Dusting off the papers previously underneath her laptop, she meticulously removes the many post-it notes attached before handing them off to me.

“Once you're done revising, send a digital copy to Akio. He should be awake long enough to give it a read tonight, maybe long enough for a reply through e-mail.”

I nod, taking the items, stuffing them into my duffel bag. The already filled schoolwork-sack groans in protest, much to my amusement. It's had much worse.

“And, uh, can I just say something really quickly?” she asks.

Naomi rubs her hands, her gaze towards the floor, her feet shuffling underneath her. Intuition and instinct push me towards saying no, the lump in my chest urges yes. I reluctantly follow the latter.

She takes a deep breath in preparation. “I just want to say that – that I'm getting tired. Tired of...waiting. And that I want you to – I want to help you make a choice.”

Her hand squeezes my shoulder again. “Y'know, I can't tell if you're trying to build suspense or if you're really that indecisive. It's starting to make me worry.”

“That's not my intention.”

“I wouldn't think it'd be,” she says. “But only a sadist would do something like this on purpose, and you're hardly that. So I'm confused. And continuously waiting. Y'know. The usual.”

“The usual,” I reply, and it manages to squeeze out a chuckle from my chest. Naomi does the same, relaxing her tensed shoulders.

She opens her arms wide, patiently, expectantly – code for expressing the need of a hug. Sighing in relief, considering this wasn't as unnecessarily painful as I expected it to be, I wrap my arms around her back as she pats my own.

“Just give me some time,” I tell her. “I'll...think of something eventually.”

“Think faster,” she giggles. “I'm getting impatient.”

I hug her a little tighter, to comfort her. To let her know that I really do care, and that I care a lot about her and how she feels. That I just suck at making decisions like these, too, if a hug could transfer that kind of information.

“You forget that patience is a virtue.”

“To hell with virtue,” she mumbles. “Time management should be a virtue.”

Low blow. “Ouch.”

“Hey, I didn't mean it like that. I was kidding.”

“Yeah, I know. I have a built in sarcasm detector.”

“And I'd like to know under which undergarment you hide it.”

She grins suggestively, much to my embarrassed blushing. One can only take so much physical contact on top of some innuendos strewn about here and there.

“Um, yeah,” I say, swallowing, nervously pushing my glasses back up. Now's a good time to get out of here. “I'll just, uh, be heading to my dorm now. To revise papers, talk to Akio...work, and s-stuff, on my bed. Alone. Secluded. Comfy.”

She breaks off the hug, laughing all the while with a hand over her mouth, eyes threatening to spout tears at my self-consciousness. “Natsume, you're so easy to tease, you know that?”

“Al-alone...” I stammer, quickly pacing towards my neighboring dorm room. I don't want to deal with this, I really don't – and she loves that. “Later, Naomi...”

“Really, really easy!” She sticks her tongue out, winking with unforgivable cuteness.

“Secluded!” I shout, jamming my key into the doorknob.

“There's nothing wrong with friendly teases, Natsume!”

I get ready to slam the door as hard as I can, grasping the handle firmly. “See you tomorrow!”

“Nothing wrong at all!”

“Bye-bye!”

“I love y – !”

Thud.

Her laughter seeps through the walls, hardly audible past my heavy breathing. I quickly check to see if my tie's fastened correctly, if my shirt's buttons've stayed where they should've.

One of these days, I'm going to murder that girl, and the only part that worries me is that I might enjoy it.

You know, it might not worry me at all.

I throw my duffel bag onto the bed and flop down beside it, opening up the messenger on my laptop and plugging in Naomi's USB. Akio's face greets me, disdained as always, as I search through the files on my computer.

“Hello, Natsume.” His slightly mechanized voice meshes together as it travels through my laptop's aged speakers. “You look a tad...flushed.”

I loosen my tie, fanning myself with my collar. “Yeah, give it a guess.”

“Alright, I'll bite...Naomi?”

“Naomi,” I sigh.

His eyebrows raise, his lips pursed tight and spread wide – bored and expecting. Nothing new.

“Yeah, I gathered that much. I'll guess that I'm going to have to review your article sometime soon, huh?”

“Mm. Of course. Who else would be only so willing?”

I let the sarcasm sink in. It's his turn to sigh, as he runs his hand through his hair. Something of a trademark gesture, almost.

“Damn it,” he says. “Why the hell do I review for you guys when I've got my own shit to read? Suzu's going to be pissed I haven't done jack, Lezard's gonna – ”

“Lezard can go shout at Shizune if he's mad,” I interrupt, closing my eyes in frustration. Every damn time he has to review, every time. “And Suzu's too nice to be angry, she'd be too busy sleeping to be angry at you.”

“I'm not exactly her cuddle toy,” he drawls. “Nor am I great friends with my friends. Proof of point.”

He taps his webcam, smirking at his little quip. I roll my eyes and smile at the fact that he knows he's right.

“Okay, you win. I'll give you that.”

“And by that, you mean the article, yes?”

“Both the article and your witty pessimism. The former in about an hour or two, I have to revise it before you annotate.”

“Alright,” he says. He pulls out a book, Footprints of God, and prepares for a one-to-one session with literature. “Should give me enough time to finish this...Hey, Natsume?”

“Mm.”

“Ever imagine having your brain scanned in a super MRI and being resurrected after death via data transfer into the world's most advanced super computer?” He taps his book, wearing a legitimately curious expression.

“Hm, let me think...” I pause, pretending to ponder. “Would I ever go on a date with Kenji on the rooftop?”

“Oh, go screw yourself. The one time I try to be nice and – ” He stops short, looking over his shoulder, listening for something inaudible to my ears. “Uh, hey, I'll see you later. Takashi's at the door, I think he wants to study or something. Males only. Gonna close chat, okay?”

“Okay. Have fun,” I lull in a motherly fashion. “Be nice and be safe, I hear cockfights are illegal in Japan.”

He raises his middle finger to the webcam, shutting off the applications on his computer with his other hand. I make sure the last image he sees of me for today is my loving smirk as he clicks the messenger closed.

Silence.

And serenity.

And blankets.

Welp, time for business.

I wave my mouse over the article's file name, looking over at the document details.

Last edited by: Naomi Inoue, 20 hours ago.
Description: Work hard, give me your best. You're more than I could ask for from a friend.


Shoving the growing lump in my throat deep down inside, I open the article, skimming over the walls of texts flashing past my glasses as I scroll across the pages. No doubt that note was for me. I mean, who else, really? Akio?

Eurgh. I don't want to think about that.

I click on the document description text box, still fighting the feeling in my chest threatening to rise. Most important edits first.

Last edited by: Natsume Ooe, a few seconds ago.
Description: We have to meet with Mutou tomorrow. Get your notes and paper ready for an interview during lunch.


Biting my lip, I decide to add a little special something for her – a little tease. It's what friends do, after all.

Last edited by: Natsume Ooe, a few seconds ago.
Description: We have to meet with Mutou tomorrow. Get your notes and paper ready for an interview during lunch. It's a date. Dress properly. Perfume optional but recommended.


I chuckle, then sigh, pushing my glasses back up, my back against the wall, staring at the remnants of the dim afternoon light just outside of my window.

It's what friends do.

Friends, I tell myself.

And life's pretty much the same, says the swelling lump in my throat.
Last edited by Umber on Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:18 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/5]

Post by SpecimenSix » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:49 am

Interesting approach on Natsume. It's a little different than I've pictured her from KS, but I like it. Hopefully Natsume doesn't wait too long to decide, otherwise Akio may snatch Naomi away. :lol:

I look forward to seeing where you take this from here. :D
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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/6]

Post by Silentcook » Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:44 am

So many.

Sentence fragments.

Stacked.

Like this.

I understand this is a matter of style, but you overuse it a bit at times. On the other hand, props for the dialogue - it's refreshing to see some decently done back-and-forth after so many people who are afraid to not have character tags preceding the spoken lines.
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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/6]

Post by DanjaDoom » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:10 am

What rhymes with discreet lesbianism?

Fun!

If that was your intention, I mean. If it wasn't, then I deeply apologize.
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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/6]

Post by nemz » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:33 am

DanjaDoom wrote:discreet lesbianism?
I think you meant potential discreet lesbianism, since she seems unsure about whether to go for it or not. Then again, she also may be hot for teacher...?
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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/6]

Post by BlackWaltzTheThird » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:37 am

nemz wrote:I think you meant potential discreet lesbianism, since she seems unsure about whether to go for it or not.
It doesn't have to go both ways for it to be lesbianism. There's plenty of it coming from Naomi, you can be sure of that.
Silentcook wrote:On the other hand, props for the dialogue - it's refreshing to see some decently done back-and-forth after so many people who are afraid to not have character tags preceding the spoken lines.
Agreed. I very much enjoyed the banter between Natsume, Naomi and Akio. Though, it did seem a bit inconsistent as two how people referred to each other. Remember, Japan is a rather formal country, so people typically use last names when speaking to others. Only particularly close friends or people with no regard for manners use first names. Other than that, I was more than sufficiently entertained reading this. This is a good first impression to make. I'm eager to see that impression validated in the future.
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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/6]

Post by Umber » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:15 pm

What rhymes with discreet lesbianism?

Fun!
Must be some kind of English I've never seen.
So many.

Sentence fragments.

Stacked.

Like this.

I understand this is a matter of style, but you overuse it a bit at times. On the other hand, props for the dialogue - it's refreshing to see some decently done back-and-forth after so many people who are afraid to not have character tags preceding the spoken lines.
Duly noted. Thanks, chef.

I prefer your second hand but I'll get nowhere without the first one.
I very much enjoyed the banter between Natsume, Naomi and Akio. Though, it did seem a bit inconsistent as to how people referred to each other. Remember, Japan is a rather formal country, so people typically use last names when speaking to others. Only particularly close friends or people with no regard for manners use first names.
I'm far from savvy with Japanese culture, so if I swing at something that I'm not supposed to, pointing it out would be lovely. Accuracy and respectfulness in mind, but that's sort of a given. Usually.
Other than that, I was more than sufficiently entertained reading this. This is a good first impression to make. I'm eager to see that impression validated in the future.
To many more like impressions! *cheers*
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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/6]

Post by KeiichiO » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:28 am

Why Lenses?

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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/6]

Post by Umber » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:38 am

KeiichiO wrote:Why Lenses?
If anyone's ever experienced a bout of laziness before (and I'm pretty sure we all have but that's beside the point), there's sometimes that little nudge that tells you to do something, but you don't. You do everything but, telling yourself to succumb to the nudging, and then you still don't. You wonder why you don't, and then you say you should – in the end, nothing happens. Speaking from experience, mind.

I wanted to connect this kind of indecisiveness to Natsume and her...predicament, for lack of a better term, with Naomi. In a relatable context that vaguely lined up with the chapter and everything I previously said.

That, and Natsume wears glasses. Fun fact of the day.
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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/6]

Post by KeiichiO » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:43 am

Umber wrote:
KeiichiO wrote:Why Lenses?
If anyone's ever experienced a bout of laziness before (and I'm pretty sure we all have but that's beside the point), there's sometimes that little nudge that tells you to do something, but you don't. You do everything but, telling yourself to succumb to the nudging, and then you still don't. You wonder why you don't, and then you say you should – in the end, nothing happens. Speaking from experience, mind.

I wanted to connect this kind of indecisiveness to Natsume and her...predicament, for lack of a better term, with Naomi. In a relatable context that vaguely lined up with the chapter and everything I previously said.

That, and Natsume wears glasses. Fun fact of the day.
Uhhhhh-uh. Well. I most certainly wasn't expecting this type of answer. Y'know. The type of answer that isn't really an answer. Or, at least, not the answer I was looking for. Or hoping for, rather.

---------
Very peculiar fic, by the way.

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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/6]

Post by Umber » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:43 pm

The type of answer that isn't really an answer.
Ouch.

That's really the clearest I could put it, disregarding the fact that I'm terrible at explaining things (at least the things that I create), so any confusion on your end will be mostly my fault. But it's not like I can do much about said confusion without an unnecessarily lengthy PM.

Or - or someone else could swoop on in here and save the day. Someone like Stumpfist, maybe.
Very peculiar fic, by the way.
Not sure if that was the right word you were aiming for, but if so, then [/indifferentsmilingandnodding.jpeg]
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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/6]

Post by Steinherz » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:21 am

I never properly reviewed didn't I? Well I like it so far :lol:
Also:
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I also draw, kind of.
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Re: Disheveled [Ch. 1, 6/6]

Post by Kimori16 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:59 am

Pretty decent chapter.
I shall be waiting for the next update.
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Re: Disheveled: A Natsume fic [6/6]

Post by KeiichiO » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:46 am

Umber wrote:
Very peculiar fic, by the way.
Not sure if that was the right word you were aiming for, but if so, then [/indifferentsmilingandnodding.jpeg]
Nah, I meant to use such a term.

It's a good kinda peculiar, by the way.

Just wanted to make that clear. Hopefully it's clearer than my room...

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