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

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Yukarin
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 37 up 3/

Post by Yukarin » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:14 pm

I spent the last 3 hours reading the whole of this. Now it's 4:15 am.

I'm loving this fic very much and I can't wait for what will happen next.

aww yea dis gon be good

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 37 up 3/

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:39 pm

but at the cost of causing a misstep with Hanako and Lilly.
We don't know if there is a special history between Hanako and Noriko, but I don't see either Hanako or Lilly as so shallow that they would fall out with Hisao just for being friendly with Noriko.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Mahorfeus
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 37 up 3/

Post by Mahorfeus » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:50 pm

I'm sure that Hanako (and maybe Lilly) is/are aware of Noriko's reputation (assuming she has one), but I at least hope that they don't jump to the conclusion that Hisao is screwing her.
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Hanako > Rin > Emi > Lilly = Shizune

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Oscar Wildecat
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 37 up 3/

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:23 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
but at the cost of causing a misstep with Hanako and Lilly.
We don't know if there is a special history between Hanako and Noriko, but I don't see either Hanako or Lilly as so shallow that they would fall out with Hisao just for being friendly with Noriko.
I had intended to that statement to read ...a possible misstep... Anyway, what's been omitted has been omitted.

That's also the possibility of the misstep for Hisao: If he keeps up the "open mouth/closed zipper" policy he's been following in regards with Noriko to date, I don't see any harm coming from a friendship. However, if he starts keeping information from Hanako and or Lilly (or even Emi) to spare their feelings; I can just see the Yamaku rumor mill coming back to bite him on the bottom. (Actually, that statement can apply to his situation as a whole, and not just with Noriko...)
Mahorfeus wrote:I'm sure that Hanako (and maybe Lilly) is/are aware of Noriko's reputation (assuming she has one), but I at least hope that they don't jump to the conclusion that Hisao is screwing her.
From Chapter 36:
"Yoshimura..." Hisao says quietly, as if trying to retrieve a memory. I have only a vague recollection of her myself. I know she's a second year who had quite the time of it with the infamous Yamaku rumour mill. She rarely spoke with me, and I got the impression she didn't much like either Hanako or me, but I never understood why.
So Lilly, at least, does know of Noriko's reputation.
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 37 up 3/

Post by PlayNemesis » Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:46 am

Dewelar,
Thank you for what you have written. I gorged on all 37 chapters in one sitting. That may have been a mistake.
I think your story is wonderful and overall well done, but as much as I hate to say it, Hisao seems to be way more "Charlie Brown" here than in the VN. I can understand why, since he's still sorting out all those feels, but I hope that changes for him soon. We'd all hate to see him friendzone the entire female populace of Yamaku in the finale.

[REDACTED]

I'll go back to lurking now!
Last edited by PlayNemesis on Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 37 up 3/

Post by bhtooefr » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:31 am

Just because she doesn't wear athletic shoes doesn't mean she doesn't wear athletic clothing, though.

Hence the T-shirt and bloomers she wears when she's going to be running at the track, as opposed to her casual wear or her school uniform.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 37 up 3/

Post by PlayNemesis » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:58 am

Bhtooefr, thanks for pointing that out. I swear I read that a half a dozen times and it said 'running shoes'. I guess I need to choose drinking or reading fan fiction, and not try to do both at the same time.

I stand corrected (and redacted since I can't strikethrough). :)

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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 37 up 3/

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:41 am

PlayNemesis wrote:Bhtooefr, thanks for pointing that out. I swear I read that a half a dozen times and it said 'running shoes'. I guess I need to choose drinking or reading fan fiction, and not try to do both at the same time.

I stand corrected (and redacted since I can't strikethrough). :)
Yes, you can.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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dewelar
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Developments, Chapter 38

Post by dewelar » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:57 pm

Hisao walks into the nurse's office, and damn it, I still can't look at him. Now I'm stuck out here, and all I can do is pace up and down this stupid hallway. Why did I let him go in first, anyway? The fifth time I go past the office door I open my ears, and I can sort of hear them talking in there. I just know Nurse is pressing Hisao about how I'm doing, and I know Hisao is saying "Yeah, I can tell she isn't sleeping, but she won't talk to me," and ugh. I have no right to complain, though, because I signed up to do the exact same thing in reverse, but still. Back to pacing.

Finally, after who knows how long, I hear the door open and I stop. I turn around to see Hisao coming out. "Your turn," he says, then walks over and puts his hand on my shoulder, which threatens to set me fidgeting again. "Better watch out, he's in one of his moods today."

Oh, great, that's just what I needed.

The last thing I wanted was for the nurse to get on my case, and I can only hope that I can manage another daring escape like yesterday. "Yeah," I reply, trying to kick-start my smile generator. "I'll...see you tomorrow, Hisao..."

Apparently, it's still not fully functional, and I can't even finish my sentence without losing steam. Instead, Hisao finishes it for me. "Morning run, don't forget?"

Normally, that kind of thing is super-annoying, but there's just something about the way he says it that starts the water boiling again. "I won't if you won't! Later, Hisao!" I say, dashing into the nurse's office.

The moment I step inside, I can tell just from the way Nurse looks at me that Hisao was right on the nose. If I'm going to deal with that, I need to take care of something first. Before he even opens his mouth, I say, "I'm just gonna run into the bathroom for a second, okay?"

"Take your time," I hear him say as I run in and close the door behind me. I turn on the cold water, plug up the sink, and once it's full I plunge my face straight in.

I guess the second day is the hardest for other things, too...someone needed to warn me about that.

When I came up with this idea yesterday, the plan was to keep Hisao running and get him as healthy as possible while keeping him at arm's length. It would take however long it took, and if that meant he wound up with Hanako in the meantime, then maybe that's what was meant to be. On the other hand, if he wound up with Lilly again, that wouldn't be good, since being with her dragged him down pretty bad the first time around. That's why I want him to make sure he doesn't love her any more, but then he had to go and look at me right then and remind me of how much I want to just be with him, and...

Yeah, I really set myself up for that, didn't I?

It figures that the moment Lilly comes back is the moment Hisao gets all out of whack again. I take a good look at myself in the mirror, because I know that if I keep this up, I'm going to be in a world of hurt for a while yet. First up, I have to deal with whatever hurt Nurse is going to lay on me, so I dry myself off and head out into the office.

After a thankfully quick examination, he goes right for the jugular. "So, are you going to tell me what happened, or are you going to run out of here like you did yesterday?"

Even though I knew this was coming, it still bothers me. "Still on about that, I see."

"I've picked up a few things from you over the years, too," he says with a wink. "I never used to be this stubborn, you know. So, are you going to tell me or not?"

I sigh, because I know where this is probably going, but I'm not going down without a fight. "Okay, I'm not," I say, sticking my tongue out for emphasis.

"Well, okay, you don't have to tell me," he says, and I can tell from the look on his face that he's got something up his sleeve. "But you know, if that happens, the next time I talk to your mother, something might slip out about things...you know, that there might be a medical issue involved..."

"That's dirty pool," I say with a growl.

"Yes, I know," he says with that stupid grin of his. "But I need to make sure you're not doing anything stupid again. That's kind of my job, you know."

I look down at the floor, because I don't want to see that grin any more. "Fine, I'll tell you, but you won't like it. I had a vision of me...killing Hisao."

I say the last words very quietly, but he obviously hears them, because he shuts up for a few seconds. When he's done blinking, he says, "Did you mean that metaphorically, or am I going to have to call someone to check your dorm room for weapons?"

I realize that was meant as a joke, but I'm not in the mood. "I meant what I said, that Hisao was dead and I was the one who caused it."

The nurse finally starts to look serious, which is both good and bad. "Okay, so what exactly did you see happening?"

I give the nurse my best puppy-dog eyes and say, "Do I have to tell you that part?"

Immediately, the asshole pulls out his cell phone and puts it to his ear and says, "Hello, Meiko? Yes, your daughter took a fall and won't tell me anything about it..."

Damn it, why does he have to be immune to that? Someday, I will find his weakness...

"All right! I get it!" The nurse has the nerve to grin at me again as I cross my arms and glare wakizashi at him. He sits on his desk and waits for me to start talking, but I need to figure out how to say this. Before I even start, my mouth starts moving full speed ahead without me.

"Well you know I'm trying to get Hisao healthier but first I ran him over in the hallway and then I finally got him to start running and he almost ran himself into the ground and then I fell on him and hit him in the chest and I just kept seeing it over and over and over and over and—"

"Whoa there, lightning bolt! Just keep your legs on, all right? So let me see if I've got it: you've been seeing all the times that Hisao has had flutters, and you're worried because you think you're causing them. That sound about right?"

"Sort of. More like...I'm worried that if things keep going like this, I'll cause one that'll be really bad and maybe even...well, kill him."

Nurse moves into his chair, still looking serious. "I did warn you to be careful, but it seems to me you might be overreacting a bit. This last time, when you fell into him, it didn't even trigger a flutter. I haven't heard anything unusual these past few days, either."

"It's only been a few days since I had to drag him back here! What about the next time something happens? How can it be overreacting if anything I do really could set him off?"

Nurse looks up at the ceiling. "That's a serious exaggeration, and you know it. Look, sunshine, I know you're worried about Hisao. Right now, I think you're doing the best thing you can for him by trying to keep him healthy. I sleep better at night knowing I picked the right spy for that job." Yeah, okay, I feel a little better hearing that...enough to excuse the fact that the stupid grin is back. Of course, he has to go and ruin it when he says, "He worries about you, too, you know."

"Yeah, I know. I still wish he wouldn't."

"Well, now, that's a problem, because he's not going to stop, any more than you will. I know this is a sore subject for you and all, but it wouldn't hurt you to have someone to watch out for you, too."

I roll my eyes, because I'm tired of running this particular track. "Yes, it would," I say. "It would if it meant I thought I didn't have to watch out for myself so much."

"I know, because you can't trust anyone else to do it, right?"

I...can't...can I? This is one I can't let be "if"...

"No...no, I can't..."

At least not yet...

"Well, then I guess that's all there is to say." The nurse says, looking doubtful. I can't blame him, because I feel like a big ball of doubt right now myself.

Without saying another word, I put my blades back on, leave the office and head back to the dorms. I'm really looking forward to my shower right now, but on my way down the hall, I see Misaki coming out. She raises an eyebrow at me and says, "Emi? No, wait, that can't be Emi, because that person is walking."

"Very funny, Kawana," is the best retort I can come up with right now, and it is a sad one.

Misaki stops and watches me walk past. "You all right, Emi?"

Oh, great. It's sad enough that even Misaki notices.

"I'm fine, I'm fine," I say without bothering to turn around. I don't need her to see my stupid face right now. I just need to see if this will wash off. "Just be happy you didn't have to dodge today."

I've just gotten myself settled in the shower chair when I hear Misaki talking to me from outside. "Emi, you know that if you ever need someone to talk to, I'm here, right? I know it's hard to talk to Tezuka..."

"Her name is Rin, Misaki. You've known her just as long as I have, and I know she doesn't care what you call her, but she could use all the friends she can get." Especially since I've been such a lousy one lately.

"Can you just let this be about you for once?" Misaki half-shouts. "I can see something's bothering you, so..."

"Yeah, I know, Misaki. I appreciate it, but it isn't something..."

"...something I need to worry about, yeah, fine. Well, you can't say I didn't try. Again." Even with the shower running, I hear Misaki sigh. "Anyway, I have something I wanted to show you, so stop by when you get a chance."

"I will," I say, knowing that I'll be putting that off as long as possible. At least Misaki leaves me alone to finish my shower. It helps. A little. I head back to my room, get dressed, and grab the lunches I made for me and Rin and head back out. That part of what I told Hisao was true, at least. I was supposed to do this yesterday, to make up for bringing Hisao along for the shopping, but obviously that didn't happen, so it's today. No doubt I'll wind up eating half of hers again, too.

Rin's door is open a crack, so I give it a couple of quick kicks. "Hey, Rin! I've got your lunch!"

"I don't think it's my lunch until you give it to me," Rin says from inside.

"Well, then, can I come in so that I can give it to you?"

"If that's how it needs to happen," she replies.

With standard procedures completed, I nudge the door open the rest of the way, and I see Rin putting the stuff we bought the other day to use. At least, I think she must have bought it then, because I don't remember her ever working on...scrolls? Yep, one of those hanging scrolls like my grandmother has in her house. "What's up with all this? Are you working on something for the art club?"

"No. Something for Hisao."

"Huh? But you already gave him something!"

Rin nods. "That was something I'd done for something else. I thought maybe I should give him something I did for him, too. Wasn't that what you said he asked you for?"

"Yeeeeeah," I say, looking at what she's doing. It doesn't look like her usual stuff, either. It looks too...normal. "But...I think he'd want something you'd normally do, you know?"

"I don't think so," Rin monotones. "I only do that for people when I don't know what to do for them. Like Nomiya. Besides, he picked this out, so he probably does like it after all."

"Like what?"

"The me school. The school of me. Me-pa."

"Ohhhhhh...you mean the poster he bought the other day. You know, that might be a really good idea, because...um...it...kindagottorninhalf."

When I say that, Rin jumps a little and stops her painting in mid-stroke, which she almost never does. She looks at me, brush in foot hovering over the scroll, and if I didn't know better I'd say she looks a little scared. I have no idea why. "Is he going to get another one?"

"Well...it was kinda my fault, so I promised to get him a new one..."

"Good," she says with a nod and one of her weird smiles. Then she turns back to the scroll and says, "You should do it soon. I should finish this even sooner, so leave the lunch here." She starts to move the brush like she never stopped at all, then says, "Maybe when I get my haircut on Monday. Hisao likes green, right?"

"Yeah, but..."

Rin nods without turning and says, "Thought so." And with that, her eyes tell me that she has officially entered the Rin Zone. I set her lunch on her desk, even though she probably won't even eat it now. I quickly douse myself with brain-bleach to erase the picture of Rin with green hair from my memory as I walk back to my room.

I finish my lunch in a handful of eyeblinks, then wonder what I really should do with the rest of the day. Maybe I should go home, if for no other reason than to get away from this place where all the things that I'm trying to avoid are. It's even tempting not to bother coming back until after break, but I know I can't do that.

A few minutes later, I'm on my way to the front gate. Akinori rolls past me on the way to the dorms, and I wave to him. His team's season is coming up, and with everything that's been going on I'd forgotten that the track captain had asked me to help out with coaching for them, too. I probably forgot because I didn't think I'd have time, but with the way things are going I might after all.

I get to the stop, and after a few minutes I'm already pacing again. I try to stand still, but find myself bouncing up and down even though I'm not on my blades. "Come on, bus, show up already," I say out loud, but it doesn't work until about another ten minutes go by. I get on and slide my card, but just as I'm sitting down, I hear someone getting on behind me. The door closes, followed by the best and worst sound in the world. "Emi?"

Should've figured.

And the smile goes on. "Hey, Hisao! You headed into the city, too?"

"Yeah, I needed to get out for a while," he says, sitting down next to me. He must've run for the bus, because his breathing's a little ragged. Still needs to get his form back, I see. "Since this morning, things have gotten even more off track." My smile turns a little more real at how appropriate that phrase is. "On the way back from the nurse, I ran into Lilly. On top of everything else that happened last night, it seems that Hanako thinks Lilly wants to get back together with me."

Oh, shit, I hope not...

"But...you don't think so?"

Hisao lets out what I think is a sigh. "I doubt it. If she did, I don't think she would have gone so far out of her way to deny it this morning. If anything, I get the impression that she wants me to get together with Hanako. That's kind of...disconcerting, to say the least."

"I'll bet," I reply. I kinda feel the same way. "I know Lilly and Hanako are really close, but that's still a little weird. What makes you think that, anyway?"

"Well, when I told Lilly I wanted to talk to her about something, she asked me if it was about me and Hanako. When she said it, she had one of those knowing smiles on her face, you know?"

I roll my eyes. "Yeah, I know just the look you mean. Mom gives me one every time I talk about..."

Crap! Course change!

"...any guy I happen to meet. She's been antsy about me having a boyfriend for a while, and every time I even mention a guy, she starts mooning and talking about grandchildren. Ugh!"

"Yours too, huh?" Hisao says, laughing. "When I was first in the hospital, any time Iwanako showed up, she'd say "Well, I'll leave you two to talk," and then grill me about it later. After a while, she figured out that we weren't really talking, or doing anything else, after all. Once Iwanako stopped visiting, my mother never mentioned her again."

Hisao looks a little sad as he says this, and I can't help but try and turn it around. I smile at him sincerely and say, "Well, at least that got her off your case, right?"

"Heh, yeah, I suppose that's true," Hisao says, and I can tell his mood is already back on the upswing. "One bonus of living so far away from them now is that I don't have to hear that kind of thing anymore. Anyway, that wasn't the only strange thing that happened since this morning. Right before I came down to the bus stop, I had lunch with Noriko Yoshimura."

Okay, this conversational direction I can handle. "Even after I told you about her reputation?" I say with a wink. "Come on, Hisao, I know you're not that desperate."

He looks away, his face turning red. I grin, because that's still damn cute. "It was just lunch, and it's not like I invited her or anything. She just came over and sat with me, and then we talked for a while." He pauses for a second before looking back at me. "She wasn't exactly what I expected, either. Have you ever talked to her?"

I think about that for a second. "Not really, I guess. I only know her by reputation. Why?"

Hisao shrugs. "I was just wondering about some of the things she said. Do you know anything about why she's at Yamaku?"

"Can't say I do, sorry. I could ask Rin, I suppose, since she, you know collects people." Hisao grimaces, and when I remember what Rin originally thought his problem was, so do I. "So what did she say that's got you all curious, Hisao?"

"You mean after she asked me if I wanted to have sex with her?" My eyes go wide when he says that, then narrow almost instinctively. Hisao has the nerve to laugh as he continues, "Don't worry, I declined." I roll my eyes, because he got me where it hurts on that one, in more ways than one. "So I guess the rumor mill got one right for once. Anyway, she said that whatever's wrong with her, she's going to be dead in a few years." He puts his right hand to his chest and rubs it. "Not could be, but will be. It put my own issues in perspective a little bit, you know?"

"Perspective..." As Hisao says all this, I'm doing my best to keep from freaking out. I was handling Hisao being here, but having him here talking about dying is probably gonna make my nightmare highlight reel tonight. "That's good...I think..." I say, trying my best to keep my smile up.

It doesn't work, because Hisao looks worried again. "I thought so, too." Now he's trying to smile. "You know, she said something else that made me think, too. Right before she left, she said that I should start thinking more about living as much as I can, not just as long as I can. That sounded...a little familiar."

Damn it, if I'd known this was the direction we were going to go, I'd've gotten off at the last stop. Time for one last-ditch effort to save my sanity. "Heh, maybe. So what are you planning on doing in town, Hisao?"

Hisao sits back in his seat with a sigh. "Nothing much, really. I thought I'd check out a couple of book stores I saw when I was there before."

Wow...it...actually worked? Okay, Ibarazaki, worry about that later, but for now don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

"Good thing you're going today. I hear one of the big ones is closed on Saturdays now." I turn my head to look out the window. "I hope you brought an umbrella, too. Looks like rain's coming in."

"Huh, yeah, I guess so. Well, I suppose I can buy one in the city somewhere, or I can always hang around whatever store I'm in and read."

I nod in response, still looking out the window. Neither of us says anything as the bus keeps making its stops. I can feel Hisao shifting restlessly, and I just know he's itching to ask me what's bothering me. I've been waiting since yesterday for him to ask, because I've got an answer ready. The problem is that my stop's next, and he hasn't asked me.

I get up from my seat, and I feel Hisao's hand on my arm. "Emi, I..." he starts to say, but I can't wait for him to finish.

"Hisao, I know you want to know what's bothering me, so I'll tell you straight. It's you, Hisao. You're bothering me. And...and I just wish you'd stop." It's not really a lie, but if he takes it the way I want him to take it, then it kind of is. It's easier that way. The bus stops, and I make my dash to the front and slide my card without even stopping. I don't look back because...well, I just can't. I just walk slowly toward my house until the bus is out of sight, and...damn it, I can picture Hisao's face in my head anyway.

If I trusted myself to run without breaking down right now, I'd head for the track at my old junior high school. Instead, I head for another place I haven't used in years. In the block before I get to my house, there's a parking garage. The roof is supposed to be closed off, but the lock on the door has been broken forever.

Heh...people probably used to eat lunch there, too.

I used to go there to practice running before I was even supposed to be running yet. Even Mom didn't know I came up here, and if she did she probably would've grounded me for forever. It's pretty much the only place I know that I can be by myself without anyone randomly popping up, so it's where I go when I want to un-clear my head.

I slip into the garage and head for the stairs. At the top, I see the same door, with the same broken lock. I open it carefully just in case, but even from here I can see that nothing's changed. I didn't bring my blades, so I can't really run, but it doesn't hurt to stretch out a little bit, so that's what I do. I probably won't get to stay up here too long, because the clouds are looming, but I'm definitely not ready to face Mom just yet.

This is partially her fault anyway.

I mean, Mom was the one who compared Hisao to Dad, right? That's got to be why I can't think of Hisao without thinking about Dad...about the accident...right?

Nice try, Ibarazaki. You were the fool that thought that he'd be there. For that one moment, you let go of yourself, because in that one moment, you knew that you loved him. This is the price you pay for thinking you could rely on someone besides yourself.

It was always going to be when. Always. Why the hell did you let yourself think it could be if?


So, which hurt do I pick? Do I keep running with him, and keep pushing everything down? Do I stop running with him, and wonder if he's going to die if I'm not there? Or do I just say screw it and go all in?

And then what? Be the one that kills him after all? Or maybe you really DO think you can put his heart back together?

As I'm standing there, trying to figure out if there's some way to make when be if, I feel a drop of rain on my cheek. Like, I'm the one that's in the movie, now.

Okay, fine, NOW you can cry, Ibarazaki. Happy?

I look up at the clouds and yell, "Damn it, universe! Stop mocking me already!" When I look back down, I realize that I kinda deserve to be mocked. I'm taking this second chance that the universe gave me and ruining it because I couldn't deal with what got handed to me. I go to the door, throw it open, and run down the stairs, walking legs be damned, and keep right on going out onto the street.

"Wherever you are, Hisao, I hope you bought that damn umbrella, or you're going to hear it from me tomorrow!"

And now I can't help but laugh at myself, as I start heading for home. Despite the rain getting heavier and the fact that it's only a few dozen meters to my house, I slow down, trying to delay the inevitable. When I do get to the door to my house I stop, and as I'm seriously considering turning around and running to the bus stop, I hear Mom call, "Dear, is that you?"

Well, here goes nothing. "Yeah, it's me."

Mom opens the door and goes to give me a hug, then pulls back. "Oh, Emi, you're soaked through! How long have you been out there?"

"Not that long...I'm going to change, okay?"

"Of course. Do you want anything to eat?"

"Not right now, thanks!" I call back over my shoulder as I head down to my room. I take my sweet time changing, because I need to figure out how to say things. Mom's the one that connected these dots, and I need to figure out what the picture's supposed to be.

After about a half-hour, I come out into the kitchen. Even though I didn't bother to cover up my arms or my knee, Mom doesn't say anything about anything right away. She says something about the rain, and asks me how Rin is doing, blah blah blah, but what she's really doing is trying to wait me out, to see if I'll say something first. For once, she's going to get her wish, but not the way she thinks.

Okay, starter's pistol, bang...

"Mom, can I ask you something?"

"Of course, dear."

Okay, I have to say this just right to get the answer I need. "If you knew, before you married Dad, that...the accident would happen, but you didn't know anything else about the future, would you still have done it?"

Mom looks at me curiously. "What brought this on all of a sudden?"

I can't blame her for asking, since I usually don't want to talk about this, but I don't want to let myself get distracted. "Please, just...answer the question without getting all weird on me, okay? It's...kinda important."

I can tell this makes her even more curious, but she doesn't push any more. Instead, she takes a deep breath and thinks for a minute. "Remembering how I felt back then...yes, I would. I would have wanted your father to have the happiest life he could, no matter how long it was."

I knew she'd say something like that, but there's another piece I need. "Even knowing...how you felt after the accident?"

Mom breathes in with a hiss, and her face goes white. I apologize in my head for crossing that line, but right now I need to know this. If the accident is the one thing I don't want to talk about, what happened to her while I was in the hospital afterwards is the same thing for her. I don't know the whole story, I only know the little bits the nurse has let slip, but those are bad enough. I also know what I saw in Mom's eyes those first few months, and that that drove me as much as anything to get back on my feet, or whatever it was I'd be standing on. I wanted her to stop having to worry about me – not that it ever did any good.

Just like Hisao...you'd think I'd learn.

When Mom finally answers, the look on her face is almost Rin-like in its blankness. It's...kinda impressive, actually. "Yes, even knowing what came afterwards. I think...maybe something like that is inevitable. I know I said back then that I never wanted you to go through anything like that, but...if you're asking me for the reason I think you are, then..." Mom comes over to me and gives me a hug, and I can feel her trying not to cry. "Emi, you have something that I never did, which is the greatest strength of will in the world. I have no doubt that you would be able to handle it much better than I did, or ever could."

...enough power to light all of Japan...

Despite myself, I can't help but smile at that. I try to open my mouth to ask the biggest question, but I can't say it. What comes out instead is, "Thanks, Mom...but...it could happen tomorrow, or never, and...I know these things happen, but..."

...but what if you'd been the reason he died?

Mom pulls away from me to look at me. "Emi, if you're this serious, I really do hope that you'll let me meet this Hisao boy soon." Yeah, I figured Mom would know. No big surprise there. "If you want me to give you any real advice about this, I need to know who this boy is. It might help you, too."

Whether it would help or not, I've been waiting for Hisao to figure himself out first. "Yeah, maybe," I say, "I...have some stuff to think about, I guess. Call me to help with dinner, okay?"

Mom just smiles and gives me another hug. "You know I love you, no matter what happens. I know you'll do what you think is right."

"I love you, too, Mom." When we break off again, I start heading for my room, but then turn around and say, "You know I'm going to count that as embarrassing me, right?" Mom just laughs, and I continue down the hall. Once I get to my room, my brain won't shut off. Some of the stuff Mom said keeps bouncing around in there.

"...the happiest life he could..."

You really are a mess, Ibarazaki. Maybe Hisao really would be better off with Hanako. He'll live longer, and he won't have to deal with all your baggage.

...and...she'd be better off with him.

"...you'll do what you think is right..."


I can't do that, though, because I had to make that stupid promise not to give him up for her.

Well, I guess I just need to get him to give me up. That, at least, is an area I have some experience in.

I just need to get history to repeat itself.

~~~~

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Last edited by dewelar on Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:43 pm, edited 3 times 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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brythain
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 38 up 4/

Post by brythain » Thu Apr 10, 2014 3:06 pm

Bravo! Emi at her Emi-est, in some particular ways. It feels a lot more substantial than some of the thinner bits earlier. Emi is so real. She's like the Emi that comes and hangs around in my room when I'm trying to write Misha. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 38 up 4/

Post by bhtooefr » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:39 pm

Ouch. That hurt to read.

You know, there is a way to not break that promise, if she wants to be self-destructive like that.

The promise was that Emi wouldn't ask Hanako to give up, Hanako wouldn't ask Emi to give up. And, it could be added that Hanako explicitly didn't want Emi to give up for her sake.

Nothing in the promise said that Emi couldn't give up on her own. And, then, it wouldn't even be giving up for Hanako's sake, it'd be giving up for Hisao's sake, if that's what she's worried about. (Mind you, that's rules-lawyering with the benefit of written text to go back to, whereas she's got faulty memory to go back to.)

In any case, I'm really worried about Emi's mental health, right now. I'm suspecting that she's not going to be receptive to any voluntary forms of professional treatment, sadly, and I don't think Nurse quite heard enough to recommend involuntary treatment... but I think I see where this might be going. And Hanako may get a career path and a closer friend than Lilly ever was, out of this clusterfuck...
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 38 up 4/

Post by monkeywitha6pack » Thu Apr 10, 2014 5:06 pm

Some interesting "developments" in this chapter, I can't help but feel that Rin might have some feelings for Hisao after this chapter. Just a gut feeling
Wahahaha~.
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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 38 up 4/

Post by cake307 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:47 pm

Well, this chapter has made my hopes rely on Hisao, and that's never a good place to be, so that's troubling. Luckily there's still a lot of story to go, it seems, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Emi gets to where she was towards the good end of her route somehow!

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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 38 up 4/

Post by dewelar » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:10 pm

First of all, thanks to all who left kind words since my last time through. Also, thanks very much to Mirage for summoning the proper counter-jinx and allowing me to keep my posting schedule, at least for this chapter! :D Also, to those who were looking forward to the shopping trip...that's on the docket for the next chapter, so just hang in there!
brythain wrote:Bravo! Emi at her Emi-est, in some particular ways. It feels a lot more substantial than some of the thinner bits earlier. Emi is so real. She's like the Emi that comes and hangs around in my room when I'm trying to write Misha. :)
Thanks! Our conversation a few weeks back gave me an incentive on that account, I think. I didn't want to fail to live up to my own advice :) .
bhtooefr wrote:Ouch. That hurt to read.
I can imagine. My friend to whom I've been reading this was close to tears, if not actually in tears, by the end, and said something like "how could you do that to poor Emi?" Of course, she's biased, but still:
cake307 wrote:...there's still a lot of story to go, it seems...
Indeed.
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Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: Developments (Post-Lilly Neutral End) - Chapter 38 up 4/

Post by Deadpool021 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:51 pm

Nice chapter. Nice read.
I get up from my seat, and I feel Hisao's hand on my arm. "Emi, I..." he starts to say, but I can't wait for him to finish.
I wonder what Hisao was going to say there........

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