Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 1/12)

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New artwork 5/15)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:33 am

Wooo, update! Things start to turn serious.

Name of the chapter will be self evident at the end of it :) Again, apologies this took so long to get out. It's only around six thousand words, but I hope you enjoy it!

I also want to thank everyone who keeps reading. This fic is now at over 30,000 views. I had no idea that would ever happen. Thank you so much!

As always, comments and feedback appreciated :)

Act 2: Countdown

Scene 6: I'm Feeling Lucky


Saki's not at the pool this morning.

I don't think it's even fair to say that I'm here, either. I didn't wake up early enough to go to the pool for my usual swim, but I did manage to swing by to see if Saki was here.

The water is calm, with only the low hum of the pool pumps breaking the early morning silence.

In retrospect, I don't even know why I came here. Habit, I guess. I didn't get much sleep last night. I showered and tried, but when that didn't work I tried to do some reading. I thought that if I exhausted my body, my mind would follow, but it didn't work out like that. I only managed to doze off.

My phone finally vibrated a bit after midnight. I was alert to it before the first buzz even stopped, fumbling blindly for it. I opened it and my eyes focused on a single text message.

Out of the hospital. Heading back to Yamaku.

Are you okay? I managed to type back. I already knew the answer to that question on more than one level, but I couldn't actually think of anything more meaningful to say.

Nothing broken.

I hesitated here. I wanted to ask for more details...but...something told me I shouldn't. I just knew that if she wanted to share them, she would have.

After a few long minutes, I sent another message just as inadequate as my first.

Glad you're okay. Get some sleep.

My phone stayed silent after that. I don't even remember falling asleep. I just remember the alarm waking me up.

The breeze from the overhead vents combined with the humidity from the room chills me. I pull my phone out of my pocket and browse through that short exchange again, and think about last night. When I replay the scene in my head, something isn't right.

Saki was hurt, to be sure, but she seemed just as equally scared and frustrated. She was definitely in some serious pain – the marks she left in my arm while digging her fingers into it prove that well enough – but there was something deeper there. When Noriko suggested going to get the school to get help, she loudly protested. At the time, I had thought it was just her not wanting to admit how badly she had hurt herself, but Chisato's reaction to that...first understanding, but then having to use it almost as a threat to get Saki to move.

What happened there?

And then there was her attitude as soon as Nurse actually did show up. If I was in that situation, I would probably feel relief that someone had come to help. But Saki didn't behave like that. She just seemed...defeated. And not from the physical pain of her ankle. It was like all the life had gone out of her the second she saw him.

That's not a normal response to the situation. What makes it feel so startling is that it feels so similar to some of my own reactions when I was in the hospital, coming to grips with what had happened to me.

I shake my head and snap my phone closed with an audible clack. I'm either about to read way too much into this, or I'm about to let my mind wander to something equally unpleasant. Either way, I don't want to go down that road right now.

I turn and leave the pool area, the squeaking of my shoes on the tile the loudest sound the room will hear this morning.

-------------

We're about ten minutes away from class starting when Mutou stomps in, his heavy footsteps announcing his arrival before he appears in the doorway. Given that he's here before half the class has shown up, all of us are just as shocked as I am to see him. He scans the room and sees our faces, giving a small smile.

“Don't look so shocked,” he chides us. “This does happen from time to time, you know.”

Every student that was staring suddenly finds something else to look at. I hear the older man chuckle as he sets his bookbag down on his desk, almost delicately. He leans backwards, stretching his back, and his eyes settle on me.

Uh-oh.

“Ah, Nakai. I was hoping you'd be here. Can I talk to you for a minute?”

The attention the class was giving to Mutou is now firmly affixed on me. I feel the weight of it, and it triggers some rather unpleasant assumptions as to what this talk could be about.

“Sure,” I say, pushing my chair back and standing up.

I follow him out into the hallway, with the door closing behind us. Seeing as how there's still a few students that need to show up, I'm wondering just how private this conversation can actually be.

“I heard through the grapevine you had a rough day yesterday,” he starts, with little preamble.

I grimace. I shouldn't be surprised that the faculty would know about it, and soon enough, the rest of the school will probably follow suit. Having a student go to the hospital, combined with all the theatrics involved like an ambulance showing up is bound to have that kind of effect. Even in a school like Yamaku.

Probably especially in a school like Yamaku.

“You could say that,” I say, swallowing hard to quench my suddenly parched throat.

“I heard a little bit about it from Nurse. He's the reason I'm talking to you. He wants you to stop by and see him today.”

I try to keep a neutral look on my face, although my body language betrays me as Mutou sees me deflate slightly.

“Do I need to go now?”

“He said it was up to me, actually,” the teacher says, folding his arms. “I can see how tired you are. We're starting a group project today that will last for the rest of the week, so if you wanted to ditch today you should have no problem catching up with a random group when you get back to class tomorrow.”

Before I can answer, our conversation is cut short as I notice Hanako a few feet from us, arriving at class. Both myself and Mutou sidestep to allow her to pass, the older man inclining his head in acknowledgment. Hanako looks down and takes a few quick steps through the door, without so much a glance at either of us.

“Anyway,” Mutou goes on, “class is about to start. Do you want to go now, or later?”

I'm not sure I want to face Nurse just yet. I have a pretty good idea that it won't be a standard social call, given what happened to Saki – and myself – last night. I don't know if putting it off will change my apprehension about it, but it won't hurt to try.

“I'll stay. I'll go there after class.”

Mutou nods, the question settled in his mind. He holds open the door for me.

A few minutes later, the last few stragglers make it to class and take their seats, most of which are surprised to see their habitually late teacher at his post. While the energy in the room is definitely not as low as it was after the festival, there's a marked drop after the weekend. When Mutou stands up to take his place in front of the blackboard, as if by unspoken agreement, everyone seems to decide at the same instant to either straighten their chairs, their clothing, or their postures.

“Good morning, everyone,” he says, clearing his throat and smiling. “I trust everyone had a good weekend?”

Various murmurs of assent drift to the front of the room.

“Good. I'll be handing back the tests you took last week later during the class. Most of you did fairly well, but there's definitely some room for improvement. So,” he pauses, holding up a ream of papers, “I thought we'd do some group work over the next few days to see if that helps. I have a packet here for each group that covers everything we'll be going over the rest of the week. Each group gets one. There's a few questions at the end of each page that you'll answer, then turn the packet in at the end of the week...yes, Mikado?”

I turn to look at Misha as she puts her hand down. “The group only needs to turn in one packet, right?” she asks, with a bright smile.

Mutou flashes it right back at her. “Yes...but before you get any ideas, at the end of the week we're going to have another quiz on what you covered in the packet. So that means everyone in the group will have to contribute equally to learn the material.”

I can visually see Misha's spirit drain out of her with that comment. Poor Misha.

Mutou glances at the top sheet in his hand. “Listen for your name and the group you're in. One group will be a bit short. Afterwards, feel free to move around the classroom.”

All of us start to look around, and I can see everyone making mental notes in their head of who they want to be matched with - and who they desperately want to avoid - judging by the look on some faces.

“First group! Suzumiya, Komaki, Kawana.”

Two students at the front of the class near the door turn to look at each other, then behind themselves. I'm not sure I know who is who.

“Group two. Ooe, Inoue, Ikezawa.”

Hanako's the only one I know from that group...come to think of it, I should probably pay attention to who's being called because I still don't know the names of half of my class.

“Third group. Kapur, Miura, Suzuki.”

Okay...maybe saying I know the names of half my class would be a bit generous. Maybe a third. I feel confident with a third.

Suzuki's the one with blue hair, right?

“Fourth group. Nakai, Mikado, Hakamichi, Maeda.”

My attention perks up as my name is called. I turn to see Misha and Shizune already looking at me, then glance over beyond them to see Maeda. Takashi Maeda. I remember his first name. We make eye contact for a brief moment, and he closes his eyes and sighs heavily in boredom. It's the same sigh Shizune gives from time to time when she gets exasperated with myself or Misha, but unlike with her, this expression instantly comes off as annoying I can't put my finger on why.

Mutou is calling out other names, but now that mine has already been called, I only hear sounds and not the words they're actually meant to form.

Shizune is already rapidly signing something to Misha, and both their hands are a blur. I idly wonder if the two of them ever get scolded by Mutou for talking among themselves, even when there's no actual noise to disrupt the class.

After the names are called, there's a brief rattling of chairs and desks as we all move into a rough approximation of our groups. Takashi stands up and moves to the row in front of us, sitting backwards on a chair to rest his arms and head on the backrest. Mutou makes his way around, passing a thick pack of papers to each group. He hands ours directly to Shizune, who passes it around to each of us after a quick inspection. When it gets to me, I spend a few quick moments flipping through it.

(continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:01 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New artwork 5/15)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:37 am

“There has to be what, thirty pages here?” I say, my heart sinking. I thought that this type of independent study might be a bit easier than what we usually have to deal with, but it looks like that was wishful thinking on my part.

“I don't see what the point is of only having one packet if we're all getting tested on this,” Takashi sighs, folding his arms across his chest.

“'It's to make sure we all have a proper understanding of the material and that we work together as a team,'” Shizune offers, the look on her face giving the admonishment that Misha's voice can't match.

Takashi scoffs. “So what, are we supposed to quiz each other? We don't even have the answers to the packet yet.” He snatches it off Shizune's desk where I set it down and starts flipping through it. “There's probably two hundred questions here.”

“We have a few days to fill it in,” I say, trying to reassure him.

“So that's what Mutou's going to have us do the whole class? I should have told him I was sick.”

Misha scowls at him. “You know, I know you just got out of surgery last week and your new implant probably hurts, but that's no reason to act like a jerk to all of us.”

He rolls his eyes. “Fine. I'm sorry. Happy now?”

“So,” I say, trying to get back on track, “how exactly do you want to split this work up?”

“We could try to answer all the questions together using the text book,” Misha says, with absolutely no enthusiasm in her voice except that which comes from the hope that someone has a better suggestion.

“'We should split up the packet evenly and each work on a section. Then each night, we'll trade which sections we have so we study something new but not all of it at once.' Hey, that's a good idea, Shicchan!”

“Let's just go with that, then.” Takashi agrees. “It's a good idea and she'll just overrule us on anything else we come up with.”

As the tension mounts from Takeshi's obviously foul mood, Shizune decides to separate the packet into several chunks and hand each one to us. I quickly notice something.

“Hey, wait a minute. How come you two have the same number of pages as us?”

“We're a team, Hiichan.” Misha says with a mischievous lilt to her voice. Shizune has the same look in her eyes.

I'm not falling for it. “That's not fair, and you know it.”

“Okay, okay...”

“'Let's just get started.'”

With all the stress of yesterday, and the weight of the upcoming meeting with Nurse looming, I'm actually quite glad I have some work to throw myself into. In fact, the earnestness I'm faking almost turns into genuine interest in the subject. The background scratching of pencils on paper and low murmurs from other groups forms a nice white noise and helps me to focus.

I'm so in the zone that I physically flinch when I hear Mutou address the class.

“Sorry about this. Continue studying among yourselves. I'll be back in a moment,” he says, his voice as disruptive to me as a gunshot. I blink twice hard to orient myself, and see him staring at the screen of his phone. With a few quick strides, he's at the door and walking through it without so much as a backwards glance at the class.

In true form, the students do exactly the opposite of what he asked the second he's out of sight. Volume levels rise, several students stand up or stretch, and I find myself yawning loudly as a wave of exhaustion hits me.

“Ugh, this is so haaaard,” Misha whines, closing her book. “I'll work more on it later. My brain feels funny.”

I can see from her face that she's completely out of her element with the subject matter. I'm wondering if the only reason I don't see smoke pouring out of her head is that it's currently trapped in those drills.

“Count me in,” Takashi says, pushing his seat back to stretch out his legs. “I'll finish it tonight.”

“'There's no reason we can't keep working for the last ten minutes of class,'” Shizune indignantly signs. “'If you insist on waiting until tonight, at least it would give you less to distract you from your other studies.'”

Takashi snorts derisively. Shizune doesn't hear it, but she's like a hawk when it comes to picking up Misha's body language in reaction to it. She looks at me with an expectant glare on her face, which I think means she wants me to back her up.

“I'm with those two on this. I'm burned out right now.”

“'I'm surprised at you. I thought that you would be the most motivated here, given that you said science was your favorite subject.'”

I look down at my portion and see I'm a full page ahead in the answer column than the two girls are, combined. That fact alone fills me with enough confidence to get away with my next statement.

“Sorry Shizune. Three to one. You're outvoted. I'll finish my part tonight, but right now I'm so tired I just can't focus anymore on this,” I explain. I involuntarily punctuate this with another long yawn.

“What kept you so busy last night, Hiichan?” Misha says, her lips curling into a dangerous and knowing smile.

Oh no. I get enough of it from Chisato. I don't need you starting in on me too.

“Went into the city to get some shopping done, and got back pretty late.”

“'You went by yourself?'” Shizune signs in concern, a look of mild shock on her face.

“No,” I reassure her. “Saki and a few of her friends invited me along.”

At the mention of Saki's name, Takashi closes his eyes and exhales through his nose a bit heavier than normal, shifting in his seat.

Misha, on the other hand, has a completely different and unexpected reaction. Her eyes go wide before settling on confusion. “Wait, Saki? Is she okay? I saw her in the dorms this morning when I was on my way to meet Shiichan and she was in a wheelchair.”

My blood runs cold when I hear her say that. It's like all the guilt I felt last night and this morning but managed to temporarily forget with the classwork comes back and hits me full force.

I don't know how to answer this. I don't know if I even should answer this.

My immediate instinct, my gut feeling, is that doing so would be a breach of trust.

At the same time though, there isn't a logical reason to not give an answer.

As the silence pans out for a beat or two longer than it should, the looks of concern on Misha and Shizune's faces deepen. I really should calm them both by letting them know that Saki's okay, she just twisted her ankle and had to go get it looked at last ni-

“So, I guess that's finally happened, huh?”

The voice is Takashi's, said low enough to not be directed at anyone in particular, but loud enough for us to catch it.

The words, and more importantly, the finality his tone carries when he says them, tickle something urgent in my brain. Something unpleasant. Before I can stop myself from speaking, or maybe to say something in self defense to keep my mind from wandering, I quickly answer the girls.

“She twisted her ankle when we were out yesterday. She already texted me this morning to let me know that everything was fine.”

Well...not exactly. She just said that nothing was broken. She didn't mention anything about being in a wheelchair...and that probably doesn't count as “fine” in any situation.

Even as a look of relief washes over Misha and Shizune, the pit in my stomach grows. Did I tell that white lie for their sake, or for my own?

I don't know the answer to that.

Isn't that all the answer I need?

“That's good,” Misha says, smiling again, accepting my answer at face value. “Do you know how long she's going to be using it?”

“N-no, she didn't-”

The bell rings, making all of us jump. Mutou isn't back yet, and the period just ended. As we all look around wondering what we should do, he steps back into the room just far enough to be seen.

“Sorry, I didn't realize how late it was,” he apologizes, glancing at the clock above the blackboard. “We'll pick it up from here tomorrow. Make sure that whoever in your group ends up with your packet doesn't forget to bring it! Dismissed!”

And with that, he's gone again, leaving half the class even more confused and the other half with no qualms about leaving.

Takashi stands up quickly without a word to any of us, taking a second to push the chair back in under the desk before walking back to his. My eyes follow him as he stops at his own desk just long enough to stuff his papers into his bag and make a hasty exit, the perpetual not-quite-a-frown, not-quite-a-scowl look cemented on his face under that beret.

My head hurts. It could be because of the physical exhaustion of the previous day and night, or the emotional exhaustion of the last five minutes. I can't say. Probably a combination of the two. Ever since I heard Takashi make that last statement, my mind is racing, trying to put together pieces of a puzzle I didn't even know I was trying to solve. Whether I stop it from spinning or sit down to figure it out, I know can't do it here.

I decide I'm going to the Nurse's office now. As in, right now. I know that Misha and Shizune may give me grief for it later, but what the hell. Mutou basically gave me a free pass to ditch classes today if I wanted to. I don't really have a desire to ditch, but I do have a very strong desire to get out of the classroom.

--------------

I crack open the door after a quick knock, peering inside the office. Nurse is seated at his desk working on his computer. He looks up to see me, smiles, and then beckons me in.

“Hey there, Nakai. Surprised to see you here so early. I would have thought I'd see you after classes, when you didn't come in before your first period.”

“I thought I'd try to stick it out through today's classes, but I didn't realize how bad I was feeling until a few minutes ago,” I reply. I move into the room and take a seat on the edge of the examination table, seeing as that's where I usually end up when I come here.

“I'm torn now between making this quick so you can get back to class and drawing it out to give you the rest of the day off,” Nurse says, stroking his chin.

“I'm sorry,” I say, my voice betraying my exhaustion, “but can we make it quick so I can have the rest of the day off? I didn't get much sleep last night.”

“Understandable. Best of both worlds then,” he relents, grabbing a notepad and a pen from the clutter, the top page of which has some hastily scribbled notes. “I wanted to ask you a bit about yesterday. Last night was pretty hectic, so I wanted to get a more complete picture of it.”

I nod dumbly. I knew this was coming.

(continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:28 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New artwork 5/15)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:44 am

“You don't have to give me all the details,” he says, “just things that might be relevant leading up to Saki falling last night.”

I briefly recap about how we went into the city, and when pressed, clarify that we did indeed spend most of the afternoon walking around. Nurse asks if I noticed Saki having any difficulty, and I mention that I didn't notice any before we were walking back up the hill.

“Why are you asking me? You were in here with Noriko and Chisato last night. They could tell you what happened just as well as I could.”

“Well, when you're trying to reconstruct something that happened, it helps to get the details from everyone involved, as they saw it,” Nurse explains. “For example, maybe only one person was actually looking at her when she fell and noticed that she stepped on a rock and slipped, or something. By the way, did you notice one?”

“No,” I say, shaking my head. “She turned to talk to us and her leg just...went.”

He nods and makes a few more notes. My thoughts are swirling again to what happened last night, and really, everything the last week, except now Takashi's words are trying hard to fill in some of the gaps.

“Is Saki okay?” I ask. I realize that should have been the first thing I asked him when he brought last night up. I feel a bit guilty that I didn't.

“She should be,” he answers, looking up. “After we all calmed down for a few minutes in here, it didn't look like we needed to call an ambulance. I took her to the hospital to get her ankle looked at. Fortunately, all she has is a sprain and some road rash on her leg. She'll be back to normal in a week or two.”

So, I guess that's finally happened, huh?

That finally happened.

What finally happened?

“Is...” I start to say, knowing I shouldn't ask the question but I can't stop myself. “Is what happened last night because of her condition? Her ataxia?”

Nurse regards me for a long moment before closing his eyes. “I'm sorry, Nakai. Patient confidentiality. I'm not really in a position to talk about it.” He takes a deep breath and lets it out before continuing. “Besides, I'm not the one you should be talking about it with, am I?”

“I understand,” I say, my feelings sinking as fast as my pang of guilt is rising.

“Look at it this way,” he explains, driving home the point. “If one of your classmates came in here and wanted to know what your heart condition was, it wouldn't be very professional of me if I told them, would it?”

I shake my head. I do understand what he's saying.

“Speaking of which, Saki wasn't the only reason I called you in. I wanted to ask if you were sure you're alright after last night. I didn't have the time to really give you a lot of attention, and you looked like you were breathing pretty hard.”

“I was okay. I think you were right, that the adrenaline kept me going,” I say, breathing a sigh of relief.

“No pains, no abnormalities, flutters, anything like that?”

“No. I'm just really tired. I think you can understand why I didn't sleep well last night.”

“That's good,” he says, nodding and smiling. “That's probably the most physical stress you've been under since your heart attack, and you handled it really well. I don't mean just physically, either.”

The praise in his voice feels a bit odd, but it's welcomed.

“By the way,” I stammer out, “thank you.”

“What for?” Nurse asks, his eyebrow raising.

“For...not bringing up my condition in front of the girls last night.”

Nurse stares at me for another long pause before setting down his notepad and pen with a sigh. “You know, Nakai, just because I can't tell them doesn't mean that they shouldn't know. Have you told any of them about it yet?”

Saki knows because I told her, and it's probably a safe bet to assume Chisato and Noriko do if Saki gossips as much as rumors suggest...but I don't know for sure.

“Saki knows,” I say, rubbing the back of my neck. “I haven't told the other two, but she might have.”

“Have any of them told you about theirs yet?”

“I know about Saki and Chisato.”

The older man nods. “Alright, humor me for a minute. Has Chisato told you what to do in case she has any issues or complications?”

I think back to the conversation we had last week in the cafeteria. She mentioned what to do in a humorous way, but at the same time, she was serious enough to get her point across.

Nurse sees my eyebrows knitting and starts to speak, as if he's reading my thoughts.

“What I'm about to tell you isn't an official policy here at Yamaku, but more of a recommendation. It's a good one though, so I would listen,” he says, steepling his fingers underneath his chin for added effect.

“I admit, I haven't been entirely honest with you regarding why I'm happy you're becoming sociable. There's another reason kind of unique to this school, one I hope you may have picked up on already. The truth is, Nakai, that we want everyone here to have as normal a life as they want to have. We don't place restrictions on where students can go or what they can do, except in certain circumstances. But in the moment, it can be easy to push yourself too far and have something happen.”

I stare at the floor. I don't like being reminded of the things that limit me, but they will forever be a part of me now and there's nothing I can do to change that.

“Hey now,” Nurse says, seeing my mood change. “I'm not lecturing you. Just pointing something out. Let's say, god forbid, that something happened to you instead of Saki coming up the hill. If you had a problem with your heart, would any of the girls have known enough to realize what was happening and known to run and get help?”

I grimace. “No, not when you put it like that.”

“I'm not saying you should announce it to the world, Nakai. But when you make friends with people here, it's a good idea to tell them anything that might happen so they know what to do if something does happen, especially if you're off school grounds or around people that don't know. Think of it as a buddy system.”

I nod my head weakly. “That makes sense. It's just hard to open up about it, you know?”

“Believe me, I understand,” he says, smiling. “But really, Nakai, for better or for worse, it's only as difficult as you choose to make it. I don't think you'll have to worry about anyone here being put off by you telling them. We're all kind of unique here like that.”

“You're right. I promise I'll try to work on it.”

“Can't ask for more than that,” Nurse exclaims, clapping his hands on his thighs and standing up. “You want me to write a note to get you out of classes the rest of the day?”

“Didn't you just give me a whole speech on professionalism?”

Nurse laughs out loud at this. “Huh, I guess I did, didn't I? Well, it's alright to break the rules every once in a while. Just look at it as reward for your quick thinking last night.”

------------

The library is quiet this time of morning.

I have the note Nurse wrote for me in my back pocket, so I can pull it out in case anyone questions why I'm here and not at class. I don't think this is exactly what Nurse or Mutou had in mind when they pressured me to take the rest of the day off, but I can just say I came here to find a quiet place to work on Mutou's behemoth of a project. I mean, it's not a total lie if I have my part of the packet with me in my bag.

I don't think I need to be worried. There are a few students in the library with me, either studying at the few desks or lounging in the bean bag chairs. One girl has a book over her eyes, snoring lightly.

I sit down for a few minutes with my textbook and the packet, trying to pick up where I left off. I flip the pages back to the questions I haven't answered yet, and do my best to answer them.

.........

......

...

Ten minutes goes by and I've barely managed to answer two questions. This isn't working. The subject is easy, but I can't focus.

I know why I can't focus. It's painfully obvious why I can't focus.

Saki, what happened?

Nothing broken.

I'm not the one you should be talking about it with, am I?

She was in a wheelchair.

You went by yourself?

Tell them anything that might happen.

Have any of them told you about theirs, yet?

So I guess that's finally happened, huh?


Frustrated, I close the textbook harder than I mean to, but I don't care. I stand up and push my chair in, throwing the packet and book into my bag. I have to get out of here, take a walk, get some fresh air, get something to eat, just something.

I'm heading towards the door, glancing to each side to see if my rather hasty display ended up getting anyone's attention. I'm almost there when a look down an alcove makes me pause.

It's the computer stations. I haven't used them yet, but the library has three computers set up in their own cubbyholes near the door, each offering a bit of privacy. None of them are being used at the moment. Brightly colored balls bounce around on the monitors.

I make my way over to one and sit down. I touch the mouse and the vivid splashes of color fade out, leaving a browser window in its place. The cursor blinks in a text box in the middle of the screen, ready for me to type in something to search.

My mind has stopped racing. It seems to be waiting for me to make a decision. And I know that as soon as I make it, my mind will take off again, no matter what it is.

I bring my hands to to the keyboard and start to type. I don't know exactly how to spell it, but the search engine begins to make guesses as I enter it. The second suggestion that pops up as I'm typing is what I'm looking for. I click it and it automatically is entered into the search parameter box.

spinocerebellar ataxia

I shouldn't be doing this. Not this way. I should ask Saki about this. She's said as much in the past. Nurse just told me less than an hour ago.

On the other hand, I'm just doing research. I mean, would I have the right to be upset if someone who learned I had arrhythmia looked up information on it?

Then again, I can count on one hand the number of people I've volunteered that information to. How would I feel if Misha or Shizune looked it up on their own after finding out? Kenji?

Saki?

All the justifications in the world aren't making this any easier.

So, I guess that's finally happened, huh?

“The hell with it,” I mutter to myself, clicking on the “search” button.

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Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:09 am

I couldn't come up with a name for this chapter until I went to post it. Google was open on my second monitor and I saw how absolutely horrifically perfect it was. :mrgreen:
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by brythain » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:16 am

Eurobeatjester wrote:I couldn't come up with a name for this chapter until I went to post it. Google was open on my second monitor and I saw how absolutely horrifically perfect it was. :mrgreen:
Horrific is the right description, poor guy. Next up: how to distinguish between the varieties--Hisao spends the night worrying about which SCA it is. :D
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: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by Peorth » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:30 am

Friend of mine has Freidrich's Ataxia. Hm.
Even if the author is silenced, the performance is stopped, the story will not end.

Whether it's a comedy or a tragedy, if there is cheering, the story will continue on.
Just like the many lives.
For the us who are still in it and still in the journey, send warm blessings.

---We will continue to walk down this path until eternity.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by Alpacalypse » Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:23 am

Eurobeatjester wrote:“The hell with it,” I mutter to myself, clicking on the “search” button.
NOOOOOO! DON'T DO IT! EVERYTHING WILL GO WRONG!
After all, this is the Master of Romance we're talking about.
On a related note, I'm seeing that Saki is beginning to monopolise Hisao's thought processes. First step towards romance. :)

Dammit, left us on a cliffhanger, too. I can't wait :mrgreen:

Excellent work, as usual, EBJ. The hype train did not disappoint!
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:22 am

I'm not sure what is so bad about looking up her condition...
She told him about it herself, so wouldn't it be the natural thing to do to look it up the next time you get access to the internet?
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by Alpacalypse » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:33 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:I'm not sure what is so bad about looking up her condition...
She told him about it herself, so wouldn't it be the natural thing to do to look it up the next time you get access to the internet?
I think it's more of a trust thing. The fact that he looked it up himself demonstrates that he doesn't trust her enough to ask and he knows that he'd rather somebody not look up his condition in the same circumstances. It's not a little hypocritical of him. And let's not forget Hisao's white knight tendencies, which I would expect to come into play full-force once he finds out. Pity would also be another likely reaction, something that I sincerely doubt Saki will appreciate.

Besides which, it looks like Saki's already clammed up after her trip to the hospital and I doubt that she'd want to talk about it anyway. Every indication was that she's either mightily pissed off about the whole affair or pretty depressed. Either way, it looks like she wants space, not questions.

There's my reasoning, anyway :P
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by brythain » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:33 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:I'm not sure what is so bad about looking up her condition...
She told him about it herself, so wouldn't it be the natural thing to do to look it up the next time you get access to the internet?
I think the main problem is that there are so many SCAs. So he won't know whether it's one of the really lethal ones or whether there's the ghost of a hope; he doesn't know if she'll fade quickly or very slowly, or just drop dead, or be disabled for a very long time. He'll still have to ask her...
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: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:06 am

Either way, it looks like she wants space, not questions.
Isn't that one more reason to look it up instead of asking her about it directly?
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:16 am

I can see both sides of this. You have where you can try to save her all the questions that would be painful to answer just by researching it to get an idea. However, you also the side where it's kind of like the Kagami fanfic, where Hisao reads her diary without her knowing.

I just see it as a Knowledge vs Trust sort of thing.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by Alpacalypse » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:31 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Either way, it looks like she wants space, not questions.
Isn't that one more reason to look it up instead of asking her about it directly?
A better idea would be to wait until she's ready to answer his questions (didn't clarify that :P ). That way, she's able to explain how she feels about it - something Hisao wouldn't get from online research - and there's no need to (as I see it) betray her trust. Looking it up will give him the information, but, with the way he is, I doubt Hisao will react to it in a favourable or sensible way.

Also:
brythain wrote:I think the main problem is that there are so many SCAs. So he won't know whether it's one of the really lethal ones or whether there's the ghost of a hope; he doesn't know if she'll fade quickly or very slowly, or just drop dead, or be disabled for a very long time. He'll still have to ask her...
There have been clues (that Hisao has noticed) that Saki won't be living for very long - the best example being when Saki started looking upset when the other girls commented on being as nice as Sakamoto once they reach her age. Hisao may lack common sense, but he's probably smart enough to piece it together. He might hold out hope, but I think he'd know even without asking.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:53 am

Well, to me at least reading a diary is WAY more private than looking something up on wikipedia, but maybe I'm just strange that way ^^°

There are plenty of perfectly good reasons to want to know about a friend's condition - nures mentioned that buddy-system in this very chapter - and the most surprising thing in this chapter to me would be that he didn't look it up as soon as she told him about her condition.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/17)

Post by Alpacalypse » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:02 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:There are plenty of perfectly good reasons to want to know about a friend's condition - nures mentioned that buddy-system in this very chapter - and the most surprising thing in this chapter to me would be that he didn't look it up as soon as she told him about her condition.
I'm not saying that it's not a natural reaction. I'm saying that Hisao is bound to pull a Master of Romance once he actually finds the information, due to his tendency to white knight and/or potentially pity Saki for it (he said as much in "The Life Aquatic").
He's not exactly the most sensible protagonist ever. :wink:
I am the harbinger of your destruction... By herbivorous, mountain dwelling quadrupeds... fear me
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