Developments (Post-Lilly NE) [Complete, 2015-08-11]

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dewelar
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Developments, Interlude (Tanabata Drabbles) (Notes at End)

Post by dewelar » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:02 pm

Crimson has created a piece of music to reflect this interlude: Tanabata. Please do him, and me, the honor of listening to it.

== Seven for the Seventh ==

Sasa no ha sara-sara

"So, Hisao, you've decided to try running again."

"Well, after all that's happened, I thought this would be a good time."

"The good time would have been the first time. The longer you wait, the harder it will be."

"I know. I just don't think I was ready for that kind of change back then. Now...given all that's going on, adding one more change isn't going to make that much difference."

"Hmmm...let's just see how it goes. While you're at it, I was wondering if you could also keep an eye on Emi. She doesn't tell me everything, you know..."

Nokiba ni yureru

I knock on Lilly's door. I hate coming so early on a holiday, but I need to ask something. From within, I hear some bumping sounds, then a croaking voice. "Who is it?"

"It's me."

"Hanako? What is it?"

"L-lilly, since I'm s-staying here next week, I n-need to go to the convenience store. I thought m-maybe, before too many p-people..."

"Ah, of course. Just...give me some time to get myself together..."

After a few minutes, she opens the door. A flash of light blue catches my eye -- a yukata, folded up neatly, sitting in an otherwise empty suitcase.

Ohoshi-sama kira-kira

[It really is a shame we couldn't get more help with these.]

[I know, Shicchan! Even Hicchan wouldn't help! I don't understand!]

[Hisao has been preoccupied. That will be changing soon. I just hope he wasn't hurt too badly.]

[You do still worry about him, don't you, Shicchan?]

[Of course. I failed to keep him away from the 3-2 class rep, after all. Given her attitude, I knew it was unlikely to go well.]

[Aw, but they were so cute together. Maybe there's still a chance they can work things out.]

[...]

[What are you thinking, Shicchan?]

[I have a plan.]

Kingin sunago

"Man, I'm glad to see you've come to your senses. You can't be goin' to these festivals!"

"I know."

"And, ya finally ditched the Satou chick. I'm tellin' ya, I still say she's connected somehow. My sources tell me she's been seen with that guy in the pinstripe suit all around town."

"Uh-huh."

"Right. Of course you know that. You've been keepin' your eyes open. Good man. So, have ya met him? Was he the one who told you to stop seeing Satou? ‘Cause I could totally see that happening. Like one of those TV dramas."

"I need to go."

Goshiki no tanzaku

As we made our way back, Lilly and I came upon Yamaku's Wish Tree among the stalls. Since it's still early, there are only a few papers hanging off it.

"Is there anything you want to w-wish for, Lilly?"

"I'm...not sure."

"Do you m-mind if I make one?"

"Of course not. Don't give up on your wishes on my account."

I take a piece of paper and a pen, and start to write, but I don't know exactly how to word my wish.

Just as I finish, I see Lilly reach into her bag, pulling out her slate and stylus...

watashi ga kaita

Hello.

I didn't think this was supposed to involve me. (That crack looks like a swordfish.) {What does an earthset look like on the Sun?} <I need new sandals.>

You're probably looking for Emi, right? She went that way. (I need to remember the color of that leaf.) {Why do some people think blue isn't a flavor?} <The heel on the left one is coming apart.>

At least, I think she did. (That would go well in the third empty space from the bottom.) {Why is this person still staring at me? This part is just about over.} <Definitely sunglasses.>

Ohoshi-sama kirakira

I'd never had much interest in Tanabata, I guess because of when it is. Of course, not having anyone to go with hasn't helped, either. Not that I even have a yukata to wear if I'd wanted to. Mom stopped trying to buy them for me years ago.

This year, Rin decided she wanted to see if there was anything "interesting" happening. So, we wandered around and got separated. So where do I find myself? At the town's Wish Tree, of course.

She did this on purpose, I'll bet.

Huh.

Maybe it wouldn't hurt to send the universe a reminder...

sora kara miteiru

~~~~

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====

NOTES:

So, when I first started writing this story, I had already decided that Hisao wouldn't be going to Tanabata. Given my timeline interpretation, canon pretty much nixes it. Since Lilly would likely spend the day with Hanako, and I just did an Emi-POV chapter, this is how I chose to handle the day. For the night of the seventh, I present seven drabbles (stories in exactly 100 words), separated by lines of a traditional song for the day. I hope nobody's too disappointed.

No promises on when Chapter 5 will be ready, but barring any major issues I hope to have it up within the next couple of days.
Last edited by dewelar on Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Updated 8/12]

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:43 pm

I hope nobody's too disappointed.
Nope. I'm not at least. (Although, I do want to see Hisao, Hanako, and Emi skipping to "We're Off to See the Wizard" at some point. :P )
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Updated 8/12]

Post by dewelar » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:47 pm

Oscar Wildecat wrote:
I hope nobody's too disappointed.
Nope. I'm not at least. (Although, I do want to see Hisao, Hanako, and Emi skipping to "We're Off to See the Wizard" at some point. :P )
Hmmm...two of those are obvious...does Emi want a brain, or to go home?
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Updated 8/12]

Post by Minion of Chaos » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:50 pm

dewelar wrote:
Oscar Wildecat wrote:
I hope nobody's too disappointed.
Nope. I'm not at least. (Although, I do want to see Hisao, Hanako, and Emi skipping to "We're Off to See the Wizard" at some point. :P )
Hmmm...two of those are obvious...does Emi want a brain, or to go home?
I think Emi would want to go home, since a large portion of us are sure Hisao is (usually) lacking a brain :lol:

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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Updated 8/12]

Post by Kurara » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:14 pm

Hanako would be the cowardly lion, for sure. :)

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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Updated 8/12]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:25 pm

Traditional Japanese sure is hard^^°

Nice chapter. Interesting as well - especially Rin's part. 8)
I always thought drabbles were a way of limiting one's writing needlessly, but it can be a challenge nevertheless.
Now let's wait to see what Shizune's plan is...
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Updated 8/12]

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:40 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:I always thought drabbles were a way of limiting one's writing needlessly, but it can be a challenge nevertheless.
Now let's wait to see what Shizune's plan is...
I like the artform of the drabble, myself.
I find it interesting that Shizune considered HisaoxLilly a failure on her part....
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Updated 8/12]

Post by dewelar » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:02 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:I always thought drabbles were a way of limiting one's writing needlessly, but it can be a challenge nevertheless.
Just so. None of these needed to be drabbles, but I figured, why not do something different? This is actually the first time I've tried them (I didn't even know the term until reading WaH), I felt pretty good about how they came out.

Anyway, as Rin herself would tell you, any time you put your thoughts into a medium, you're limiting yourself. It's just a matter of degree.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Updated 8/12]

Post by Guestimate » Mon Aug 12, 2013 6:36 pm

heh, I find it somehow appropriate that Rin cares not for the fourth wall.

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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Updated 8/12]

Post by Lost In The Fire » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:27 pm

Welp. My predictions just got shot down.

I couldn't help but imagine a "dun dun dun" plying in the background when Shizune mentioned she has plans.
Some one-shots.
He Didn't Listen - Hanako Bad End
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Developments, Chapter 5 (Notes at end)

Post by dewelar » Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:05 pm

It's Wednesday, and I'm in the newspaper club room finishing the work I'm doing for the last issue before summer break. Because I have some experience with computers, Naomi has me translating the hand-drawn layout into graphic form, which mostly involves resizing images to fit where they're supposed to fit. It's fairly easy, actually, but one side benefit is having access to the image library.

I've spent most of my free time at Yamaku reading, or more recently playing chess with Lilly or Hisao. Of late, I've added going through pictures of various places I'd like to visit to my list of things to fill the time, and the club's database has a lot of those. I've lately become more interested in traveling, and perhaps someday actually seeing the places about which I've only read up until now.

Maybe even being the one writing about it...or taking the pictures...

This summer was supposed to be the start of that. Instead, I find myself wanting to stay at Yamaku again. The more I think about it, the more I realize that I really do want to help Hisao through at least this next week. In the past, that would have been an excuse to cover the fact that I was giving in to my fears, but this time, something feels different. I know that this time, it's only going to be temporary. Someday soon, I'm going to go further than the city.

And maybe, just maybe, it won't just be with Naomi. Maybe Hisao will want to come with me, too.

First, though, I actually have to get Hisao to talk to me again. Yesterday was the Tanabata festival, so there was no chance to catch him in class. At least Lilly and I were able to spend some time together, though. We spent most of the day in her room, just talking, like we often used to.

Today was a lot like Monday, in that Hisao did his best to avoid me. I didn't try too hard to talk to him, because if he has some idea of how to get through this, it's easier to wait for him to initiate a conversation. I just hope he can.

Lilly and I played chess at lunch, and we talked about all the work she was doing, and we made plans to spend Saturday afternoon in the city together. I'm really looking forward to that. We haven't taken a trip into the city since the spring.

My mind wandered to what we might do in the city during afternoon classes, so I missed any chance to catch Hisao then. I came down to the newspaper club room and got right to work, because I knew I wanted to finish early so that I could talk to Naomi. I thought, if I can work up enough courage, I might even ask her to help me figure out how to get things straightened out between Lilly and Hisao. She gets along much better with people than I ever could.

The other part of working here that I appreciate is that I'm pretty much left to myself while I'm doing it. Without that, I probably wouldn't have lasted the first day. So, when I finish my task early, I can either browse the database or read for a while until Naomi comes over to check in. Today, I'm trying to do the latter, but I can't concentrate because of what I want to say. I'm working up something, but it isn't courage.

"Hey, Ikezawa. You have those layouts done?"

"Y-yes. Here." I hand her the disk containing my files.

"Thanks." Naomi definitely sounds relieved, and I can't blame her. With finals over, and break coming, most of the club members haven't exactly put their all into this issue. I've been asked to take on some additional tasks, like the layout work I did today, but I haven't minded.

I nod in reply. "It's okay. I'm happy to h-help."

"I don't suppose I could convince you to help out a little more, then. With the break coming up, everybody's making excuses. I'm beginning to think you and me are the only ones who want to get this thing done."

I giggle a little, thinking about being another two-person club like the Student Council. "I think I c-can help out for a l-little bit longer." Given what I'm about to tell Naomi, I feel like I owe her that much.

Naomi claps loudly. It startles me just a little, but she doesn't seem to notice. "You're a life-saver, Ikezawa! I'll bet even if it is just the two of us, we'll get this thing out in time for the people to have reading material for the break! Then, it's off to see Japan!"

I open my mouth to respond, but nothing comes out at first. Naomi looks at me for a moment, and I can feel myself tensing up again.

I wasn't ready...I can't do this...

"Hey, did I say something wrong?"

I try my best to fight back the panic. "Not r-really. I j-just..." Naomi looks away from me, and I gather myself. She goes out into the main room and comes back with a chair and sets it down a few meters away from mine before sitting in it.

"Hey, I got time. I know you got something you want to say, so I'll just wait until you...unlock. Okay?"

Naomi means well, I know, but some of the phrases she uses can be jarring.

I should have never agreed to let you come with me...now I'm going to have to disappoint you, too.

I quickly glance at Naomi, and her gaze is distinctly focused on the printer in the corner. This is a thing she does to try and help me talk to her: make sure I know she's not looking at me. Mutou does something similar sometimes, when he's asking a question in class. It can definitely be helpful, sometimes.

"N-Naomi...I'm n-not going to be able to g-go to Hokkaido with you."

Although I can see her flinch a bit, she doesn't otherwise react, which is a blessing. "Oh? Why not?"

She tries her best to keep her tone neutral, but I can tell she's not happy. Even though I knew she'd ask, I freeze at the idea of answering. I can't tell her the real reason, and I don't want to lie about it, but it feels like anything I'd say would make this even harder. I settle for being vague. "S-something...came up."

"Coming from anyone but you, Ikezawa, and I'd think you were just blowing me off. Is it a money thing? Because I could probably..."

"No! No, it's...not that. I just..." I just wish I could talk to you, Naomi. You've been nothing but nice to me since I joined the newspaper club. I'm just a wreck right now, and I can't risk it. "I j-just need to wait for a l-little while. I m-might be able to go a-after... next week."

"Huh. OK, well, I could just wait for you to be ready. I'd have to see about switching some of my reservations..."

So much for being vague. I should have known it wouldn't work. Naomi's a very straightforward person.

"A-actually, I was thinking I m-might just skip H-Hokkaido."

There. I said it. At least, that part of it.

"Gotcha. I could just hang out here for a week..." She looks at me out of the corner of her eye, and I know she can see me doing my best to shrink down into my chair as she continues to talk. That must be why she finally gives up and looks away again. "...or I could just go by myself, I guess. I've never been up that way. Would've been nice to have some company, but I won't push. Maybe I can see if Natsume is still interested. She still wasn't sure when I talked to her earlier."

"Th-thanks, Naomi. I-I'm sorry. I'll try and j-join you after that."

"No problem. I'll see what I can do about swinging back to the city on my way down from Hokkaido. You have my phone number, right?"

"Y-yes."

"Don't worry about it, then." Naomi pauses for a moment. "Is there something else you wanna talk about, Ikezawa?"

There is, but I'm way too tensed up to even try and talk to Naomi about anything right now. "Nothing...i-it's nothing."

She stays quiet for another moment, still trying to look at me out of the corner of her eye. I'm pretty sure she doesn't believe it, but thankfully she doesn't press the issue. "If you say so. I'll check in with ya before I leave. See ya later!"

"R-right. Later."

As Naomi walks away, I shut down the computer on which I was working. She really does try and understand me, I know. I just don't think she's quite built for the task.

At least I told her I couldn't go with her. What made me think I could go traveling with her? How could I spend weeks alone with someone I can't even look in the eye when I'm talking about anything outside of school assignments?

Never mind. I already know the answer to that. I was doing it for my two best friends, to give them a chance to be together without having to worry about me, like they always did. Now that they don't need me to do that anymore, it's like they expect things to carry on that way, like I can just stop being useless.

I leave the club room and decide to head up to the library. Since Lilly will be working on transferring her class representative duties today, I thought I'd take the opportunity to talk to Yuuko. We've talked a fair amount before, and she always seems to have good advice, even though she never gives herself enough credit.

The library is empty, as it's been most days since exams ended. I wait by the desk for a few moments, and it isn't long before Yuuko appears.

"Hi, Hanako."

"Hi, Yuuko."

She starts fidgeting in that way she has when she wants to say something but doesn't know if she should. "Can I help you find something? You usually don't need my help, but today you kind of look lost. Is there something you couldn't find? I've been trying to get everything back in order since exams, but there are still some books that I can't find. I'm sorry!"

"N-no, Yuuko, it's not that. I was just w-wondering if I could t-talk to you about something."

"Oh. Well, I guess so. I mean, we're talking now, right?"

I giggle a little, which seems to startle Yuuko. She doesn't back away, so I reply. "Right. Well, it's about..." Immediately, I realize my quandary. There's no way to ask anything without her knowing it's about Hisao and Lilly.

Everywhere I turn, there are walls of my own making. And I just keep hitting them, because I don't know what else to do.

As I'm trying to work this out in my head, I notice Yuuko looking past me into the hall, and I pause in my thoughts. I can hear Lilly approaching in the hallway.

Too late now.

I turn around, and she has a look of frustration on her face. As she approaches the desk, she says quietly "Yuuko? Are you here?"

"Yes, and Hanako, too."

"Hi, Lilly."

Her face relaxes visibly. "Ah, good. Actually, I was looking for both of you. Yuuko, would you excuse us for a moment?"

"Of course. I'll just...work on something over here."

Lilly draws me over to a nearby table, where she sits down across from me. "I'm sorry, Hanako, but it would appear that I will be unable to go into the city with you on Saturday afternoon. It seems that our esteemed Student Council President will not have the necessary information for me to complete my class representative tasks until that morning, and thus I will have to perform the entirety of it in the few hours before I leave."

"Oh." Lilly's words are much more pointed than usual. I can't blame her for being upset, but I can't imagine it's intentional, given Shizune's dedication to the Student Council. "Is that normal?"

Lilly shakes her head sadly. "I suppose nothing is normal right now, for any of us. After all, in the past I could always perform my duties during summer break, but now they must be complete before I leave."

"I...understand."

"We can talk more about this later, of course, but for now I have some library-related business to discuss with Yuuko. I will do whatever I can to make some time for us to spend together, but I fear it might now be out of the question."

"Right, we'll talk l-later."

Lilly looks at me with a sad expression, putting her hand on mine briefly before going to talk to Yuuko. As I make my way back to my usual beanbag, I can just make out Lilly talking to her about finding someone new to help with Braille books.

After a few minutes, I hear Lilly leave. I try to once again allow myself to become lost in the words that I'm reading, but I find my mind starting to spiral again. I close my book quietly and bury my face in my hands.

Even when I TRY to help my friends...I just...CAN'T. This isn't how this was supposed to be!

The thing that I've most wanted to be able to do still lies agonizingly outside of my reach. Maybe this was all just a mistake from the beginning. I thought, back on that day in Hokkaido, that I could move forward on my own, and I think I even had both of them convinced. Now, Lilly's going to be halfway around the world in a few days, and Hisao won't even talk to me.

Everything's falling apart, and all because I tried to be a real friend, or at least do what I thought a real friend would do.

Maybe we would all be better off by ourselves...


With that thought, I leave the library, and head back to my room.

~~~~

Previous | Next

====

NOTES:

This is the first time I've given a voice to a character who didn't have one in the game. I tried not to let other portrayals of Naomi color mine too much, but I doubt my take is entirely fresh :) .

This was meant to be something of a transitional chapter, and maybe that's why I found it more difficult to write than the first four. This is also the last of the material, chronologically, that was generally complete as of a few days ago. It may be a few more days before Chapter 6 is released -- it's currently about halfway done -- so be patient :) .
Last edited by dewelar on Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 5 up 8/14]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:20 am

So Hanako's "improvements" in Lilly's route were mostly for show...
Interesting interpretation, but somehow really plausible. I always thought Hanako making other friends so fast in Lilly's route was more of a storytelling device to remove her from the focus of the story a bit than believable character development.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 5 up 8/14]

Post by bpgbcg » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:07 am

After reading the first chapter I felt a bit of trepidation about your Lilly (for the reason Mirage pointed out).

However, the chapters have gotten better and better with each one, and I think this is on the way to becoming something really good. The writing seems very well done.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 5 up 8/14]

Post by Guest Poster » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:30 pm

So Hanako's "improvements" in Lilly's route were mostly for show...
Truth be told, that's what I've always believed too, to some degree. It makes sense to prevent her issues from hogging the spotlight since even at her best moments, Hanako's problems still overshadow Lilly's. But when you learn about how deep Hanako's issues run, it's difficult to believe she'd simply shake them off merely through Hisao/Lilly distancing themselves from her a bit and her membership in the newspaper club.

That said, Hanako's condition is always swaying back and forth. Even in her own route, you see her make a little bit of progress, have a relapse, make some more progress and then have another relapse. It's fairly believable that she made some genuine progress after the Hokkaido trip, only to have her anxieties take over again the moment her life turns stressful.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 5 up 8/14]

Post by dewelar » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:54 pm

bpgbcg wrote:After reading the first chapter I felt a bit of trepidation about your Lilly (for the reason Mirage pointed out).

However, the chapters have gotten better and better with each one, and I think this is on the way to becoming something really good. The writing seems very well done.
Glad you're enjoying it.
Guest Poster wrote:
So Hanako's "improvements" in Lilly's route were mostly for show...
Truth be told, that's what I've always believed too, to some degree [...] It's fairly believable that she made some genuine progress after the Hokkaido trip, only to have her anxieties take over again the moment her life turns stressful.
*nods* This is one of the major issues that I really wanted to explore with this story - how much of the progress that was shown is real? Sometimes it surprises me that, given how much has been written about Hanako, there's still so much fertile ground yet to be sown.
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