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

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

Post by TacticalBacon » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:45 am

Steinherz wrote: Apparently lots of people like Hisako.
Who doesn't?
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Carighan
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by Carighan » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:12 am

There's some really sweet Emi x Hisao stories, too. Hence my first idea from a few pages back was Emi x Hanako, for variety. :)
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by Blasphemy » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:41 am

Steinherz wrote: Apparently lots of people like Hisako.
After having recently read a certain fanfic my answer has to be: Iwanako surely does :shock:

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

Post by dewelar » Thu Sep 12, 2013 12:41 pm

A quick update, given that this will soon become the longest I've gone between posting chapters.

I expect Chapter 14 to be ready within a day or two. I've been rewriting my outline over the last few days, mainly because this story as a whole has wound up with a different structure than I originally intended. Sorry for the delay.
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 13 up 9/8]

Post by TacticalBacon » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:13 pm

dewelar wrote:A quick update, given that this will soon become the longest I've gone between posting chapters.

I expect Chapter 14 to be ready within a day or two. I've been rewriting my outline over the last few days, mainly because this story as a whole has wound up with a different structure than I originally intended. Sorry for the delay.
A delayed but perfectly written fic is always better than a rushed one. Take all the time ya' need.
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Developments, Chapter 14

Post by dewelar » Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:38 pm

"Dear, are you sure you don't need help with anything?"

"No, Mom, it's fine."

"You're making an awful lot for just you, and I know Rin doesn't eat much..."

"It's not for Rin. I promised I'd make something for my new running partner."

"I see. So, am I going to get to meet this one?"

"Mom, it's not like that..."

Wait...is it like that? Well, not yet, at least, so it's not a lie. Not really.

"Oh, Emi, you and Rin make a cute couple and all, but I would like to have grandchildren someday."

Wha...? Me and Rin? Did she just...what does she...?

Then, Mom starts laughing. "Mo-om! That was evil!"

"I'm sorry, dear. I just couldn't help it. It's every mother's right to embarrass her daughter..."

"...once a day, yeah, I know. So now that you've used yours up, I need to catch the bus. See you later!"

"Bye, dear!"

I run out the door to the bus stop, my bag a little heavier with lunches and some things I want to drop off at the dorm. When I arrive, my brain finally decides to process the rest of what Mom said.

Grandchildren...I don't even want to think about that, Mom. I don't plan that far ahead.

This morning, I'm at the track first again. I go through the routine of changing to my blades while waiting for Hisao, and after a while I see him coming down. He looks pretty tired, too.

"Hey, Hisao!" I call up to him. "You have another rough night sleeping?"

"Sort of," he says as he starts stretching out. He's looking stiffer than usual as he does. "Rough day overall, really."

"Yeah, I can tell. Hanako must've worn you out," I say, winking. Instead of the smile I expect in return, Hisao glares at me like I ate his children. "Hey! I was kidding!"

Hisao looks away, sighing. "I know. Guess I'm just a little on edge. Listen, let's just get this run going, and we can talk afterwards."

"Sounds good. I'm always ready to run," I say with a smile, trying to lighten things up again. Hisao continues to scowl as we walk out onto the track.

Not working. Okay, need a plan B...or maybe C.

The two of us start off, and I can tell immediately that there's something wrong beyond Hisao just being tired. He's trying, which is good, but his body's just not moving like it should.

"Come on, Hisao! Slow it down if you need to!"

This must sound weird coming from me, because now he's got a puzzled expression on his face. He does slow things down, but it doesn't seem to be helping. We're not even through the first lap, and he looks like he's about to break down. I slow down to...well, not even run but half-walk, half-jog next to him.

"I'm sorry, Emi...I just can't get myself going today."

I can hear the frustration in his voice, and once again I find myself doing something I don't like doing. "All right, Hisao, just...let's walk it for a lap, see how you feel."

Hisao seems relieved, as he immediately slows down. On the other hand, I'm not relieved at all. I slow myself down even more to walk with him. "Okay, Hisao, something's definitely up with you physically. Do you want to tell me about it, or do you want to tell the nurse?"

"It's that obvious, huh?"

"Hisao, you're not just talking to the Fastest Thing on No Legs, but to someone who just spent a week helping the other track team members with their form. I think I can tell when something's off."

Okay, THERE'S a smile!

"Besides, did you think you're the only one who's been staring at his running partner these past few days?"

AND a blush! Now I can relax. A little.

"Well, that is what we're supposed to be doing, right? Keeping an eye on each other?"

"Heh...yeah, I guess we are." He turns to me and grins, with what I'm pretty sure is a hint of lust thrown in.

Bad timing, Hisao, but I suppose after the teasing I just gave you I deserve it.

I smile back, trying to keep from sounding worried. "So, what stupid thing did you do yesterday while I was neglecting my duty to make sure you don't do stupid things?"

"Well...I didn't think it was stupid at the time, but after my lunch with Hanako, I walked with her down to the convenience store to get some things she needed."

"You...walked into town?" Hisao nods, and I glare at him. "After you'd already pushed yourself in the morning? Well, no wonder you're all out of whack! That's a lot of work to be putting your body through right now."

"Heh...you could've told me that yesterday."

"I would have, if you'd told me that's what you were going to do!"

Hisao gets that frustrated look on his face again. "I thought if I took it slow enough, just walking wouldn't be a problem."

Something about the way he said that sets me wondering. I soften my glare, but only a little. "Well, at least you weren't totally stupid. That's good. Has walking been a problem before, then?"

Hisao winces. "Unfortunately, yeah. On the first day of that trip to Hokkaido, we tried to walk to the nearby town. It was only a mile or so, but it was very hot, and I…well, I collapsed about halfway there. Lilly and Hanako had to help me back to the house where we were staying."

"Ohhhhh...well, I guess I owe Rin 500 yen."

"Why's that?"

"Well, I'd bet her that the incident you mentioned to the nurse had something to do with sex."

Hisao turns seriously red now. "Actually...that one happened after I talked to the nurse."

My jaw drops for a second. "Seriously?!" When he nods sheepishly, I shake my head and laugh. "Well, I can see why you're so keen on getting yourself healthier, then. Wouldn't want your next partner to have to deal with that kind of thing, after all."

Especially if it's me.

Hisao doesn't answer, looking off into the distance. Yeah, that's probably a sore subject. "So," I continue, "why take the chance, then?"

I have other reasons to want to hear his answer, of course. If he is suspicious, though, he doesn't show it. "Well, Hanako's not exactly comfortable around people, and she used to go with Lilly. I don't think she really trusts anyone else."

"Right, but I'd have thought she'd have everything for her trip by now."

"Heh...that's right, I only found out about that yesterday, too. She decided to postpone leaving for a while."

Not quite so mysterious. I still wonder why she waited to tell him, though.

"Any idea why?"

"She said she stayed because she didn't want me to be alone after the whole deal with Lilly." He lets out a long breath. "I think it might also be about not wanting to go to Hokkaido."

Hokkaido again. That must have been some trip. "That's right, you mentioned that's where she was supposed to be going this week. Why would that make a difference to her, though?"

Hisao looks a little uncomfortable at the question. "Well, Hanako seemed really happy about Lilly and I getting together while we were there. It was shortly after that that she started being more outgoing – joining study groups in class, working with the newspaper club, that sort of thing. I think seeing us happy helped her loosen up a little, you know?"

"Okay, that...kinda makes sense. So what's the problem?"

"Well...the problem is that Hanako had some kind of attack while we were in town. Between that and postponing the trip, I've got this feeling that me and Lilly breaking up might have caused, I don't know, some kind of setback for her."

"Do you think that's possible?" That's...honestly kind of a scary thought. I don't know much about Hanako or her situation, but she always seemed pretty fragile. I could definitely see her two best friends breaking up causing her some issues.

Hisao shakes his head, looking a little exasperated. "I wish I knew. I mean, the night Lilly left Yamaku, Hanako was as open and straightforward with me as I've ever seen her. Yesterday was the same, right up until...whatever happened."

"I really wish I could help, Hisao. I just hate to see you getting all worked up like this." We're now done walking the four laps Hisao was supposed to run, and a thought strikes me. "Since she's sticking around, I assume you're going to get together with her again."

Hisao looks almost guilty now. In a strange way, I...think I like that. "Yeah, she wanted to make lunch for me today, but I told her I'd promised you, so we're doing it tomorrow instead."

Making lunch for him. Maybe this is interesting after all.

"Well, then, you should talk to her about it then, right? When you're not feeling like you're going to collapse."

"Heh..." Hisao rubs the back of his neck. "That's probably a good idea."

"In the meantime, you need to go relax. I've got my sprints to do, and then I'm going to go take a shower. I've got some stuff to put away in my dorm, so I'll come by your room when I'm done so we can have lunch."

"Sounds good. I need to take my medications anyway. See you in a couple hours or so?"

"You got it! What's your room number?"

"One-one-nine. I think I'm the only one in my hallway who stayed here over break, so don't worry about noise or anything."

"Got it! See you later, Hisao!" He waves to me as he heads back to the dorms.

After my sprints and a quick visit to the nurse, I make my way up to the girls' dorm. As I open the door to my room, a familiar voice Rins out from down the hall.

"Did the break end, then? It still tastes like August."

Without turning around, I reply "That's because it is August, Rin. I'm just here to drop off a few things and take a shower."

"Are these things that decided they didn't want to live with you anymore?"

I turn around to face my hallmate, who is eying my duffel bag with interest. "I don't know. I haven't asked them. I just decided I wanted them here, because I'm going to be spending more time here than I thought I was."

"Maybe they're just making you think that, so that you'd bring them here."

I try to think of a response to that as I put my bag on the bed and pick up my shower caddy and towels.

A-ha!

"I'm pretty sure they weren't there when I made the decision. Besides, if they didn't want to live with me, why would they have also convinced me to spend more time here?"

Rin thinks about that for a moment, then shrugs. "Hmmm...that's true. I'd still be careful, though."

"I'll do that, thanks." Rin train officially derailed. I close my door, then ask "Do you need anything yet? I know it's only been a couple days..." but by then, Rin has already wandered back into her room, so I head down to the bathroom.

Once I'm back, I pull a shirt, shorts and socks out of my bag to wear, and put away the rest of the clothes I brought. As I do, I start going over what Hisao said about Hanako. Parts of it make sense, yeah, but it still feels like there's some missing pieces to what's going on.

Either Hisao's not telling me something – which I doubt, because he seems confused himself – or Hanako's not telling him something.

Well, thinking about it isn't going to help, and in the end it's probably none of my business anyway. I pick up my bag and cover the distance between the dorm buildings quickly. It takes me a couple minutes to find the right hallway, and once I do I knock on the door. Hisao opens it, and I see that he's changed into one of those sweater vests he likes so much.

"Can I come in? I brought lunch!"

"Um...do you really want to eat in here?"

"Nah, not really. I just haven't seen your room before." I try to look in over his shoulder, but all I can see is the drab stuff the school puts up for you.

"Well, if you want to, I guess. Not much to see, really, unless you like looking at medicine bottles."

He opens the door the rest of the way, and I step in and look around. "Huh, you weren't kidding. You've been here two months already, I'd have thought you'd have at least put up a poster or two. A little color wouldn't hurt either. You want me to send Rin over to paint the place?"

Hisao gets a look of exaggerated horror on his face. "Oh, no! I have enough trouble sleeping without having...whatever those things were on her mural staring at me all night."

I laugh at that. "I can't blame you. She does other stuff, too, though. She did a couple of sketches of me for class, and I thought they looked pretty good."

"Hmmm...maybe I'll stick with the mural."

I smack Hisao on the arm. He must still be feeling sore from this morning, because I can see his knees actually buckle a little. "Sorry, sorry! I didn't think I'd hit you that hard!"

"No, you didn't, I'm just..."

Fortunately, I came prepared. "Hang on, Hisao. I think I might have just what you need." I go over to my bag and pick a bottle out of it, flashing a bit of an evil grin. "Take your pants off."

"Uhhhh...what now?"

I just couldn't resist that one. He's so cute when he blushes.

I hold up the bottle. "I figured your legs could probably use a little massage." He lets out his breath, then raises an eyebrow at me. "Another thing I picked up being on the track team. I'm not exactly a professional, but I've been told I'm pretty good at working out the kinks."

He grins a bit back at me. "I'm not surprised."

I stick out my tongue at him. "So where do you keep your towels? I'm going to need a couple."

After a bit of maneuvering, Hisao is lying face down on the bed, a towel underneath his legs and one over his backside. I get some oil onto my hands and rub them together to warm things up, then start the process.

Well, his muscle tone's not the best, but considering he hasn't been doing much exercising it's not bad. We can improve that soon enough, though.

"That feels really nice..."

"Just relax, Hisao." I can feel serious tension in his calf muscles. I wish I'd thought of this earlier. "You must have really done a number on yourself yesterday. I'm surprised you could walk straight."

Hisao groans, although I'm not sure if it's in response to the question or the massage. I'm trying not to put too much pressure on, but there's some serious knots in there. I keep working for a while, and eventually I can feel things starting to loosen up.

Once I feel like I've done everything I can do, I stand up and ask, "Feel better, Hisao?"

"Yeah, I do. Thanks, Emi."

I give Hisao a slap on the backside, which causes him to jump a little. "You can thank me by not doing that again!"

"Okay, okay! I promise!"

"Good!" I say with a grin. "Now, we can start in on this lunch I made! I'm starving!"

Hisao gives me a devious look. "Already? Didn't you have breakfast this morning?"

"That I did! But then, I actually ran, so I burned more energy off!"

He sighs, defeated by my flawless logic. "Fine. I'm actually a little hungry, too." He starts to get up, but then hesitates, hanging onto the towel around his midsection. "Um...would you mind...turning around?"

Heh. I had a feeling this would happen. He really did need the massage, but when you're not used to that kind of contact, you're going to...well, react.

Who are you kidding, Ibarazaki? You're feeling a bit flushed yourself.

I bend over Hisao and wink at him. "Why don't I just go find a vending machine for some drinks? Be back soon!"

I head out into the hallway, closing Hisao's door behind me. I let out a deep breath as I lean against the wall.

This, I think I can handle.

~~~~

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Last edited by dewelar on Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:04 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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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 14 up 9/13

Post by Finn Solomon » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:48 am

Yay new chapter! Possible grammar error here below.
After my sprints and a quick visit to the nurse, I make my way up to the girls' dorm. As I open the door to my room, a familiar voice Rins out from across the hall.
Things are heating up, but I guess Emi would be driven to massage Hisao if she felt Hanako was moving in on 'her' territory. The question is, will Hanako freak out if she hears about it?

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dewelar
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 14 up 9/13

Post by dewelar » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:42 am

Finn Solomon wrote:Yay new chapter! Possible grammar error here below.
After my sprints and a quick visit to the nurse, I make my way up to the girls' dorm. As I open the door to my room, a familiar voice Rins out from across the hall.
Totally intentional. :)

On an unrelated note: This whole board has been oddly quiet these past 24 hours or so. Did everyone come down with a severe case of paraskevidekatriaphobia?
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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 14 up 9/13

Post by TacticalBacon » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:22 am

dewelar wrote:
On an unrelated note: This whole board has been oddly quiet these past 24 hours or so. Did everyone come down with a severe case of paraskevidekatriaphobia?
been busy playing the games i got off the humble indie bundle
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 14 up 9/13

Post by Blasphemy » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:44 am

dewelar wrote:
On an unrelated note: This whole board has been oddly quiet these past 24 hours or so. Did everyone come down with a severe case of paraskevidekatriaphobia?
I decided to take this as a little reward for doing some work first ;p

Cannot say too much other than that was another enjoyable chapter. Rin part was short but fun (Rin thinking of lifeless objects having a mind of their own, typical). I quite like that Hisao wasn't able to run the morning. After my 'running-rant' a couple posts ago it's nice to see his overexertion causing him some realistic issues.
And well overall the plot progresses nicely as Emi starts to get a grip on what's going on with Hanako, makes her own advances (I really want a leg message after my next run now >:o) and 'poor' Hisao must be pretty confused/conflicted considering all the girl and relationship input he has gotten lately. Laying there with a boner after the message surely isn't helping his cause :D

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dewelar
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 14 up 9/13

Post by dewelar » Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:14 am

TacticalBacon wrote:
dewelar wrote:
On an unrelated note: This whole board has been oddly quiet these past 24 hours or so. Did everyone come down with a severe case of paraskevidekatriaphobia?
been busy playing the games i got off the humble indie bundle
Oh, yeah, new one came out Wednesday. A worthy endeavor, then :) .
Blasphemy wrote:I quite like that Hisao wasn't able to run the morning. After my 'running-rant' a couple posts ago it's nice to see his overexertion causing him some realistic issues.
*nods* I reworked these last couple chapters in response to that rant. I think they wound up better than they otherwise would have, so thanks :) .
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 14 up 9/13

Post by Lost In The Fire » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:15 am

Its really entertaining to see the various characters piece everything together at their different speeds. I want to read the next chapter to see who figures out what next.
Some one-shots.
He Didn't Listen - Hanako Bad End
Observations - OC POV
Mmmmm'yep.

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

Post by Endofone » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:50 pm

I love this fic. I just know i'll hate the feels coming up eventually. And Hisao you goddamned lucky think headed mother of a bastard. Even I would of picked up on their feelings. XD

On a side note-
Blasphemy wrote:
Steinherz wrote: Apparently lots of people like Hisako.
After having recently read a certain fanfic my answer has to be: Iwanako surely does :shock:
Oh gawd... Nooo NOOO. XD

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Developments, Chapter 15 (Notes at end)

Post by dewelar » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:21 am

"Why don't I just go find a vending machine for some drinks? Be back soon!"

With that and a wink, Emi thankfully leaves the room, giving me the opportunity to put my pants back on without further embarrassment. I let out a long breath as I stand up.

What's been going on with me today? Maybe I'm just tired...well, I KNOW I'm tired. I just feel a little...lost.

When I got up this morning, my head was spinning. For once, I don't think it was about the medication, although that probably didn't help. Instead, it was more about how my life had suddenly started to get very, very complicated.

I get up to look out the window, watching the leaves quivering in the gentle summer breeze. These past couple days, I've felt about as unsteady as those leaves, as if I'd be ready to fall at any moment. I've also felt about as helpless as one of those leaves, like I'm being carried on the wind of events.

The problem is that I haven't really been either of those things. I made a promise to myself that, after what happened with Lilly, I wouldn't allow my life to stand still any more. Now, I'm allowing myself to be swept along from day to day instead, which is really no better. I'm still not doing anything about it.

I wish I could have gotten myself running this morning, but not because of the exercise. Mostly, I still need to clear my head, but I wound up just fogging it up more. Now, I feel like I'm not only having to clear the constant presence of Lilly, but also my failure to help Hanako, and now the conflicting feelings I have for Emi.

Emi has been a great friend to me since Lilly and I broke up. She's fun to hang around with, and I know I'm attracted to her. After the past few days, I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual.

So why am I keeping her at arm's length? Is it because she's the one person pushing me to do something?

I don't get much further than that before there's a knock on the door. I let Emi in, carrying a couple of juice boxes. "So," I say, "are we eating here after all?"

She laughs as she hands me the drinks and picks up her bag. "Nah, it's too nice outside. Let's go!"

"You sure I can handle climbing down those stairs?" I ask playfully. "I'm in pretty poor shape, you know."

"That's true," she says with a wink, "but I think you can manage to walk a few dozen meters without keeling over."

I wish I was so confident of that sometimes.

"In that case, ladies first." She looks at me quizzically. "That way, if I do keel over, I'll take you with me on the way down."

Emi stops long enough to stick out her tongue at me before exiting the room. We walk out of the dorms toward the grassy area between them and the main building. I follow Emi to a spot about halfway down the path. She stops, surveys the area with great seriousness, nods, then takes a couple steps off the path and sits down. I half-expect to have difficulty sitting myself, but my legs still feel pretty good.

Upon telling Emi as much, she replies, "Yeah, you should be good for the rest of the day. You might be a little sore in the morning, but a little stretching and a good run should take care of that."

Ah, yes, Emi's answer to most things. I really must have looked bad this morning.

Emi unpacks the food and is already digging in by the time I'm settled enough to even pick up some bread. This isn't the first time I've eaten something prepared by her, but the last time it was her own leftover lunch. "Pretty good," I comment between bites. She just beams, probably not wanting to stop eating long enough to respond.

Once we've finished – with Emi having eaten about two-thirds of what she brought -- both of us lie back on the grass, contented. After a couple minutes, Emi says "Seriously, Hisao, we need to do something about your room. You're gonna be living there another eight months. It needs something in it besides gray. Gray is such a depressing color."

"Well, I...hang on, did you say "we" need to do something?"

"Yep. It's obvious you're not going to do anything about it, so someone has to do something to help keep you from brooding." I sigh, defeated again. "So, what kind of stuff did you have on your walls at home?"

I chuckle at that. "Not much, really. They were mostly covered with shelves. Some video game posters, I guess."

"Hmmm...well, it's a start. I know some good shops in town where we could get posters. That art store Rin likes has some cool stuff. The music store, too. I'm going to guess Lilly wasn't much help with helping you look around town."

"Well, the two of us did go shopping occasionally with Hanako. It was mostly for clothes, though, and I was kind of dragged along to play pack mule. Lilly didn't exactly decorate her room, and Hanako mostly helped Lilly pick things out."

"And you never bought anything for yourself?"

"Nah, I bought what I needed before I came to Yamaku."

Emi looks at me incredulously, but says nothing. "Well, once you've built up a little stamina, we should definitely go into town. I'll talk to the nurse, but it probably won't be until next week some time."

I turn my head sideways towards Emi with a hopeful look. "We could always skip the morning run and do it this week." Emi snorts derisively. I turn back to face the sky and sigh in an exaggerated manner. "I suppose my room will survive in its plainness for another week, then."

I close my eyes, enjoying the feeling of relaxation brought on by Emi's massage and the first decent food I've eaten in a while. The next thing I know, I feel my shoulder being shaken. "Hisao, if you're going to take a nap, you should head back inside, unless you really want to be sore when you wake up."

I open my eyes, and see Emi looming over me. "Sorry about that. The past few nights my sleeping patterns have been even worse than usual. Part of it's probably my medications, but everything that happened yesterday didn't help."

"Yeah, I think you're just lazy, Hisao," Emi says with a wink. Before I can make a retort, she continues "Actually, you probably should take it easy the rest of the day. After all, you need to be at the track bright and early for our morning run!"

I sit up, stretching. "Wouldn't miss it."

Emi looks at me doubtfully. "I'd be more likely to believe you if you weren't just trying to get out of it, you know. Remember, I know where you live now, and you told me not to worry about noise..."

I groan at that. "I should have known that was a mistake."

Emi grins at the comment. "As far as after the run goes, if Hanako gets it into her head to go rock climbing or something, you're just going to watch, right?"

I laugh at that, saying "I don't think you need to worry about that." Emi doesn't say anything right away, and she looks like she's thinking. "Something on your mind?"

"Yeah, I was just thinking about Hanako." Emi shifts uncomfortably. "I feel...kinda bad about her situation, you know? I mean, she's here to keep you company, right? So, you should probably be hanging out with her, at least until she leaves."

I look at Emi, and she's smiling now, if a bit sadly. "I'm not sure I follow."

"Think about it, Hisao. Rin's here, and I can go into the city whenever I want to see Mom, so I've got stuff I can do. She's only got you, especially once the library closes." I nod. I see where this is going now, but I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. "You know I want to spend time with you, but we've got the whole rest of the break to do that. I'd suggest that the three of us hang out together, but I don't know if that would work."

"Heh, you never know. She's surprised me often enough, so it wouldn't hurt to try."

Emi purses her lips in thought. "I dunno...maybe the three of us could go into the city one day. That way we could take the bus instead of walk, and there's more places to rest there. What does she like to do besides shopping?"

I think about that for a moment. "Well, she likes to read, and play chess, and she's learning how to cook. As far as stuff to do in the city, I'm not really sure, although Lilly did mention they used to do karaoke."

Emi makes a sour face. "Not really a fan. I can't carry a tune to save my life anyway." Her smile quickly returns as she says "Just...figure out something fun to do instead of sitting around here all day, you know?" She nudges my shoulder, continuing "It wouldn't hurt you to have some fun, either."

"Heh, I suppose not. Yesterday definitely did not qualify as fun. I'm not even sure today qualifies as fun." I laugh ruefully. "Sorry about that."

"Hey! Are you saying just hanging out with me isn't fun? That might be a pout-worthy offense, Hisao!"

I quickly cover my face with my hands. "No! That's not what I meant! I take it back!" After a few seconds, I hesitantly peek out between my fingers, and Emi is just grinning. Thus having been spared, I relax. "Actually, I just didn't think this was fun for you, either."

"Well, it may not have been what I was expecting to do today, but I still enjoyed it."

I raise an eyebrow. "What were you expecting, exactly?"

"Well, mostly I was hoping to eat somewhere other than Yamaku, you know? Still, it could've been worse. You weren't too much of a jerk today, Hisao."

"And you didn't steal too much of my food, either, so I guess we're square."

Emi laughs, then starts to gather the trash from our lunch. "Since you're obviously delusional about this whole stealing food thing, I definitely think you need to get some rest."

"You're probably right," I say as I do the same. After we dispose of everything, Emi picks up her bag, now mostly empty, and we start walking back toward the dorms. As we reach the door to the boys' building, I realize something that I probably should have figured out a lot sooner. "Emi...about what you said before, what you expected. Did you intend for this to be...a date?"

Emi hesitates, and a troubled expression briefly crosses her face before she answers. "Hisao...you probably shouldn't ask me that until you're sure you're ready to hear the answer."

I blink a couple of times, letting that sink in. "You're probably right," I say with a sigh. "I'm working on that, though."

And now I have incentive to work a little harder.

Emi smiles shyly, something she doesn't do very often. "I know. When you figure it out, let me know. In the meantime," she says, putting a hand on my shoulder, "you've got Hanako to worry about. Just remember, if there's anything you need, let me know. Okay?"

Emi is looking straight into my eyes as she says this, and for a second I just want to lose myself in there. I finally manage a nod, saying "Okay."

Then, just as quickly, the spell is broken, as Emi leans back with her trademark brilliant grin. "Now, don't think this means I'm letting you off the hook for running! We still need to get you in shape, after all! So I'm still going to be here every morning to make sure you don't slack off!"

I smile back, and for the first time today, my head feels just a little clearer. "Aye, aye, captain!"

She leans in a bit and says, "And if ye plan on doing anything that involves walking, let me know before we run. Otherwise, what ye'll be walking is the plank!" We both laugh at that, and then Emi takes off at a run. "See you in the morning, Hisao," she calls back over her shoulder.

After she leaves, I make my way back up to the dorm. While a part of me is happy that I wasn't wrong about how Emi feels, I know it's not something I can act on right now.

I think this is what they call "bittersweet". I never really understood that term before, but now I think I do.

Unable to keep myself from thinking about Emi, I decide to try some reading, so I pick up one of the ever-shrinking pile of books on my desk. The library closes for the rest of the break in a couple days, so I need to try and finish these so I can return them. Otherwise, I'd have to explain to Yuuko, which is always a daunting prospect.

At some point I finally do fall asleep for a couple of somewhat restless hours. When I do, my mind starts up again immediately. This time, though, it strays into the other danger zone: Hanako.

Tomorrow, I have to face the aftermath of what happened with her yesterday. I still don't know exactly what to make of the attack, but I think if I knew what triggered it, I'd feel a lot better. I was so preoccupied with my own issues that I didn't even talk to her about it beyond making sure she was okay. I thought it was the right thing to do at the time, but now I wonder.

She was depending on me, and I failed.

The more I think about it, I feel almost angry with Lilly for not giving me more guidance on how to deal with Hanako at these times. I think back to her birthday, and how she totally withdrew from everyone. I remember how helpless I felt then, and how grateful I was to have Lilly's help. Yesterday was different, even a bit scarier, because I was there when it started, and still felt helpless. Maybe having someone else along next time might be a good idea after all.

Still feeling a bit restless, I go down to the vending machine for some coffee so I can stay awake long enough to finish my book. Just as I'm about to start the last chapter, my cell phone rings. It takes me a moment to recognize the number, and I almost don't answer. Still, I doubt there'll be a better time anytime soon.

"Hi, Lilly."

~~~~

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NOTES:

Sorry for the delay again. This time, I blame the onslaught of allergy season. My head's been swimming for the past few days. Anyway, expect updates to this story to be a bit more irregular over the next few weeks until it passes.

Thanks again for all the kind words thus far. As always, feedback is welcome.
Last edited by dewelar on Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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TacticalBacon
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Re: Developments (Lilly Bad End Continuation) [Ch 15 up 9/18

Post by TacticalBacon » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:25 pm

Lillybros assemble

Great chapter (as always), looking forward to see how this goes on

also, do you update this on a schedule or are you just updating it whenever you feel like it? Cuz' im'a be leaving for a school trip and i have limited internet access
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