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

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YZQ
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 12 up 9/4]

Post by YZQ » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:37 pm

Well, dramatic irony happens in real life too. Reading history can be as entertaining.
"Nothing is beneath man. Everything is permitted."

"...since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved. However, it is important above all to avoid being hated."

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dewelar
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Developments, Chapter 13 (Notes at end)

Post by dewelar » Sun Sep 08, 2013 2:22 pm

"Hanako?"

I can hear Hisao's voice, piercing the haze in my mind. I'm trying my best to fight down the rising nausea, trying to control my breathing.

This can't be happening again...

I realize I've still got a bag of rice in my hand, and I finish putting it in my basket as carefully as I can. "It's...o-okay...Hisao. I h-have what I n-need."

I keep my eyes away from his. I don't want him to see that I'm starting to panic. Slowly, I take some bills out of my wallet, handing them to Hisao while trying to control the shaking of my hand. "C-could you..."

I can't let him see this...he'll go back to wanting to protect me...

Hisao looks at me, confused. I can't blame him. He doesn't understand what I'm feeling, because I haven't told him what it's like.

"Oh...sure, I'll take care of it. No problem."

I can't tell him...especially now, because he'd want to know why I reacted this way.

Thankfully, he turns and walks over to the register with our baskets, allowing me to slowly make my way out of the store so that I can try to get myself under control.

At least nobody else was around to look at me. Deep breaths...slow, deep breaths...

I try to find somewhere to sit down. There isn't anywhere in front of the store, so I go around the corner of the building and sit on the ground, out of sight of the entrance.

Things were going so well. Hisao was finally seeing me as someone he could share himself with, someone he could trust.

Now, it might already be too late. He's meeting Emi for lunch tomorrow. I know they've been having lunch on the roof again lately, and they started running together again...

I'm such an idiot...he's already moving on, and I can't keep up with him. I'm going right back to being useless.

Stop it! I need to focus...breathe...

After a few more minutes, the feeling starts to abate. Now that my heart is calming down, I need to stop my mind from racing, too. As I pick my head up and try to focus myself, I see that Hisao is standing a little way off, trying not to let me know that he's watching me. When I catch his eye, he comes over and sits down beside me.

"Are you all right?"

"I'm...better now."

Just seeing Hisao's face is helping me calm down. "Glad to hear it. I was getting a little tired, so resting for a while is probably a good idea. I was just thinking somewhere a little more comfortable might be better." He smiles at me warmly, which helps even more. "The Shanghai, maybe?"

That would be good. Someplace quiet and familiar. I wonder if he realizes the favor he's doing me. "S-sure."

Hisao gets up from the pavement and offers me his hand. I take it, and he helps me to get up as well. Despite myself, I feel the same sensation of being safe that I did when he took my hand earlier. As we start walking, I think about what Hisao said in the store.

Maybe I'm just jumping to conclusions. Maybe he doesn't see having lunch with Emi any differently than...

...than he sees what we're doing right now. Maybe it's just me that sees this as something more.

I wonder what Emi might be thinking, then.


We arrive at the Shanghai, and thankfully it's as empty as it usually is. Yuuko greets us at the door.

"Hello, welcome to the Shanghai!"

"Hi, Yuuko," Hisao says. "Is the library closed already? I didn't realize it was so late."

"Closed? Oh, because I'm here," Yuuko says nervously. "Yes, it's closed now. Did you tell me you needed something and I forgot? There are still some books that aren't back yet. I'm sorry!"

"No, Yuuko, it's okay, I was just...er, never mind. We'd just like to sit down."

"Oh, I should have already said that. Please, sit anywhere you like!"

Yuuko bows deeply, and Hisao walks toward the back. I follow him, still not able to look at him directly, and we sit at a booth that's not easily visible from the entrance. Yuuko is soon hovering over us, waiting to take our order.

"Just some tea, Yuuko, please," Hisao says, smiling.

"J-just tea for me, too, please."

The two of us sit in our booth in silence while we wait for Yuuko to bring our tea. I can tell that Hisao is doing his best not to stare at me or seem impatient. As for me, I'm still working on calming myself down.

Why do I keep feeling so anxious about this? I told myself I wouldn't let how I feel for Hisao surface yet. It just keeps happening every time we're together. This really was a bad idea.

Yuuko soon brings our tea to the table. She must notice how quiet we're both being, as she sets the tray down, bows, and leaves again without saying anything.

I take a sip of my tea, thinking idly to myself about how things escalated in my head so quickly. It was just last week that Hisao was having lunch with Emi and her friend Rin every day on the roof, and today the same thing is enough to cause an attack. Maybe...I've spent so much of my life in places where the days kind of blended into one another, I'd lost sight of how quickly things could change.

It's funny the things you can forget...

At the orphanage, nothing really changed except the faces of the other children. The taunting was always the same. My first year at Yamaku wasn't really much different. Even after I met Lilly, the slow pace of her life allowed me to slip into it fairly easily over time.

Now...things are upside-down. Things are blurring not from the sameness, but from the speed of the changes. Between Lilly leaving, Hisao avoiding me, and now my feelings for Hisao surfacing, I guess something had to give. As usual, that something was me.

I finally look up at Hisao as he's taking a sip of his tea, and I can tell he wasn't lying about being tired. His eyes are half-closed, and he's shifting restlessly on the bench. I suddenly feel like I've been quiet too long, like I need to say something to him about my attack.

"Hisao?" He opens his eyes to look directly at me for the first time since we sat down. It almost causes me to falter. "I'm...sorry."

"For what?"

"For making you...worry about me."

Hisao looks at me curiously for a moment. "Hanako, this isn't something you need to be sorry for. As a mutual friend of ours once told me, you should never apologize for who you are."

I remember Lilly telling me that, too. Somehow, it sounds different coming from Hisao. "That...does sound familiar."

We sit in silence for a while longer, drinking our tea and...well, I guess the best word for it is ‘recovering'. It reminds me a bit of the times when Hisao has come to the library, and the two of us sit on beanbags reading without feeling the need to talk to each other. There's a surprising amount of comfort in those silences.

I don't know how long we stay like that, but as we finish our tea Hisao finally looks relaxed. I know I'm feeling a lot better than I was when we came in, so I tentatively ask "D-do you think you're ready to...walk back?"

"Yeah," he says, stretching. "It's been kind of a long day. I wouldn't be surprised if I fall asleep the minute I walk into my room."

"I m-might do the same," I reply. It's no exaggeration, either. These incidents usually leave me feeling pretty tired, and this was no exception.

"So, you're sure you got everything you needed?" I nod. "In that case, I'll look forward to seeing what you come up with for lunch the day after tomorrow."

What? He...still wants to see me?

"R-really?"

"Unless you're busy. I'd be happy to eat whatever you make for me. Although, if you're just using me as a guinea pig like you did Lilly, let me know in advance so I can have a backup plan."

I know he's just teasing me, but that does sting a little. "Lilly...t-told you about that?" After a confirming nod from Hisao, I continue, "I've been p-practicing."

"I'm sure it'll be fine," he says with a smile. "Besides, it's not like I'm one to talk. Some of the stuff we picked up for you is stuff I wouldn't even want to try and use myself. Maybe you can show me a thing or two."

"Maybe. But...if you'd rather h-have lunch with Emi...I understand."

Hisao raises an eyebrow at my statement, looking puzzled. "If I wanted to have lunch with Emi, I wouldn't be asking you, right?"

Oh, Hisao, I was just settling myself down, and now the danger signs are flashing again. I so much want to take those words at face value, but I can't.

As he gets up, he continues, "Besides, I'd hate for you to have stayed here to help me not be alone, and then have me turn around and leave you high and dry."

Oh. That would make more sense, wouldn't it? I especially didn't want you to feel sorry for me, Hisao. I hope that's not what you meant, but it sure sounded like it.

"I suppose...that's true." To my ears, my voice comes out a little bitter, but Hisao doesn't react. "The day after t-tomorrow is fine."

We pay for our tea, and begin what I expect to be a difficult trip back to Yamaku. As we reach the edge of the town, I decide it would probably be good to be by myself tomorrow. Today has been a ball of confusion, and I'm going to need time to sort it out.

There's a bit more traffic on the way back, and despite my current uneasiness with Hisao, I find myself using him as a shield, just as I did on the way in.

He makes it so easy to depend on him, even when I don't want to.

Hisao is setting a slower pace, probably since we're walking uphill, and my nervousness is growing again. This time, I realize, it's not for myself. Instead, I'm starting to have flashbacks about our attempt to walk into town back in Hokkaido.

Could I even handle it if something happened to Hisao? I barely held myself together when Lilly was with us. But I promised Lilly I'd take care of him...and I promised myself, too.

About halfway up, I can tell Hisao's breathing is getting a bit ragged. "Hisao, d-do you want to s-stop for a while?"

He looks back at me, and must see the concern on my face. "Yeah, I probably should," he says with a sigh. "I may be working on getting myself stronger, but it's only been a couple days. I doubt I'm any better than I was the last time we tried something like this."

I can tell from the tone of his voice that he's frustrated by his own body betraying him. I can't blame him, really. I've been feeling the same way.

I shouldn't have asked him to do this. If I'd known he was going to be running this morning, I wouldn't have. When I found out, I should have waited. This whole thing has been way more difficult than I wanted it to be, and it's my fault.

The two of us move to the side of the road, where we lean against a convenient fence. "Some help I've been today," he says. "I can't even walk to and from town without feeling like I've been hit by a truck."

What is he saying? HE'S been no help? If he really believes that...

"Hisao, don't...say that. I could...never have done this alone today. If you...hadn't been with me, I m-might have been even worse." Just then, a horrible thought dawns on me, and I start to feel sick. "But...but if I hadn't decided to s-stay at school...y-you wouldn't have h-had to..." My voice trails off.

You wouldn't have had to come with me, and been in the state you're in now. If you do have an attack now, that will be my fault, too. I'm sorry, Hisao...very, very sorry...

Hisao leans back against the fence and lets out a long breath. "Maybe it would be easiest to just say that we both made mistakes. All right?"

I hesitate a bit, but the more I think about this the worse I feel. I reply with a subdued "Okay," hoping it's enough. It seems to be, as Hisao gives me a weak smile, then leans back, staring up at the sky. I just stare at the ground.

After a few more minutes, Hisao thrusts himself away from the fence. "Well, we'd better get moving." I nod, and the two of us start walking again. We pass the rest of the time in silence. Once again, I find myself trying to keep my mind from racing through everything, all the problems I've caused today, and I wonder what Hisao is thinking about.

I probably don't want to know.

After a couple of eternities, we finally reach Yamaku. There's barely any light in the sky, but I don't want to make Hisao walk any further than necessary. "I'll be...okay. Y-you need to rest."

"Are you sure?" I nod in response, looking anywhere but at Hisao. "In that case...thanks, Hanako. For everything."

I don't know what he could be thanking me for at this point, but I'm not about to ask, either. "G-good night, Hisao."

"Good night, Hanako."

I make my way to my room, and I can feel its emptiness reaching out to engulf me before I even open the door. I put my bag on my desk, then change into my nightgown. I sit down on the bed, drawing my knees to my chest, and stare at the opposite wall.

Hisao doesn't need me here. He's got Emi watching over him. Useless again. Why did I even bother hoping today was going to mean something? All I did was make things worse for myself and, worst of all, for Hisao.

A little while later, my phone rings. It's Naomi. I should have expected her to call, since we were supposed to be leaving tomorrow morning. I debate whether I should even answer it, but decide it would be rude not to.

"H-hello?"

"Hey, Ikezawa," says Naomi's overly loud voice on the other end. "I was just calling because, you know, I'm leaving first thing tomorrow, and I wanted to make sure you hadn't changed your mind again."

Oh, how tempting that is. Part of me would be all too happy to run away from the whole situation, to hide until I felt safe again. The problem is that I'd be running straight into a different kind of nightmare.

Better the devil you know...

Besides, I did promise to cook for Hisao. I might wish I could take that back, now, but he did agree.

Somehow, I'm going to prove that I can be the person he needs me to be.

"N-no, I'll...be fine."

"If you say so. Hey, by the way, Ooe decided to come with me, so I'll have some company after all. We'll be back in Sendai next week. I'll give you another call when we get there and see where your head's at, okay?"

I wince at Naomi's wording again. "Okay. T-talk to you then."

"Later, Ikezawa!"

I hang up my phone and collapse back onto my bed. I draw my blanket over me, curling up into a ball as I do.

Don't give up on me yet, Hisao...

~~~~

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====

NOTES:

Originally intended to let this chapter stand, but I realized that a piece of it didn't really mesh with canon, so have done some editing.
Last edited by dewelar on Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:21 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

Maradar
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by Maradar » Sun Sep 08, 2013 3:54 pm

Good job :) I enjoy how you have multiple perspectives and the characters do seem very KS-esque. Very well written. I look forward to the next installment.
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dewelar
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by dewelar » Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:18 pm

Maradar wrote:Good job :) I enjoy how you have multiple perspectives and the characters do seem very KS-esque. Very well written. I look forward to the next installment.
Thanks. As I noted above, I've edited the chapter a bit, because I forgot something I should have remembered.

I'll be honest...this was a weird chapter to write, because I felt Hanako's anxiety was reflecting back on me. I had the ideas in place for a while, but every time I re-read it I started getting worked up myself. There are also some...stylistic choices I made that may or may not be apparent. I just hope the quality didn't suffer for any of that. If anyone feels it has, my apologies.
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Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by Minion of Chaos » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:27 am

Noticed the few changes (stylistic mostly, as you said), but still conveying the same points and things. Looking forward to the continuation of this fic!

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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by TacticalBacon » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:34 am

Jesus christ hisao

TAKE A HINT
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Blasphemy
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by Blasphemy » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:05 am

TacticalBacon wrote:Jesus christ hisao

TAKE A HINT
What do you want him to do exactly?

If he was in love with her himself, which he doesn't quite seem to be (yet anyways), he could tell her it's mutual and they can be a couple or whatever. But right now he can't really do much? I mean would it be right to suddenly ditch Emi and tell Hanako they should have a relationship because she loves him and perhaps he may as well? That's the exact kind of (selfless) action Hanako wouldn't want him to take.

I mean perhaps he could tell her he knows how she feels but needs time or so but eh. It doesn't feel like him to do so, especially since he cannot be 100% sure about Hanako's feelings. After all he might think she only just panicked so badly because she realized she wasted her trip trying to help out Hisao (just as a friend) when he doesn't need that help as much in actuality. Hanako can react strongly to many things.

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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by Carighan » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:36 am

I'm going to feel bad for Emi when this develops. :'(
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:41 am

So far, neither Hanako nor Emi have sent any definite hints that Hisao could take...

Even if they had - so soon after breaking up with his girlfriend he could probably be excused for missing them.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by Finn Solomon » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:15 pm

Oh man, I love this fic. I like both Emi and Hanako, and it's strange to root for them both. I'm glad Hisao's making the choice and not me.

Although some part of me still holds out hope for a reconciliation with Lilly. Surely she should realise she still loves him, doesn't she?

Anyway with my luck it will probably be Kenji whom he ends up with in the end. But still, great chapter! I like the way your portray Hanako struggling with her feelings.

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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by Lost In The Fire » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:39 pm

Well now. Hisao seems to be ready to step on any number of land mines. It appears that he may already be well on his way to an event that will mirror Hanako's bad end and he may still have to deal with Emi's issues as well.

The plot thickens.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by griffon8 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:59 pm

Carighan wrote:I'm going to feel bad for Emi when this develops. :'(
Oh yeah? Well I'm rooting for Emi. There are enough Hanako/Hisao stories here; let's have some variation.

That said, I'd be happier with a Hanako/Hisao pairing than I'd be with a choice point.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by dewelar » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:29 pm

griffon8 wrote:That said, I'd be happier with a Hanako/Hisao pairing than I'd be with a choice point.
Rest assured, there will be no choice points in this story.

And to all, I want to say that I really appreciate all the great discussion this story has generated thus far. That's really all an author can ask for his work, I think. Many thanks.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:10 am

griffon8 wrote:
Carighan wrote:I'm going to feel bad for Emi when this develops. :'(
Oh yeah? Well I'm rooting for Emi. There are enough Hanako/Hisao stories here; let's have some variation.
You know, you've got a point there.
I'm by no means done with the research for the archive, but of the stories I've done so far, the vast majority is Hisao X Hanako - more than the two next most common pairings put together...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by Steinherz » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:44 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
griffon8 wrote:
Carighan wrote:I'm going to feel bad for Emi when this develops. :'(
Oh yeah? Well I'm rooting for Emi. There are enough Hanako/Hisao stories here; let's have some variation.
You know, you've got a point there.
I'm by no means done with the research for the archive, but of the stories I've done so far, the vast majority is Hisao X Hanako - more than the two next most common pairings put together...
Apparently lots of people like Hisako.
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