Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 11/28)

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Hesmiyu » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:34 pm

Eurobeatjester wrote:Woo, got a new job!

Also, new chapter should be finished this week or early next. Being out of work due to injury has really upped my writing pace.
Yay for faster pace. Sucks that your injured hope for a speedy recovery
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Blackmambauk » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:31 pm

Looking foreword to seeing the next chapter soon.

Also congrats on getting a new job, hope it makes you happy and will not deprive you of too much time and energy to write.
"I think the greatest skill a writer can have is simply having confidence in themselves to tell the story they want to tell, and to have confidence that their audience will make up their own minds on their story and characters." Blackmambauk

Favourite Route= All the Routes were done well. Each had it's strengths and weak points. But none were bad, a brilliant achievement by the KS Team.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:00 am

Big thanks!

It's kindof daunting for me because I know where I want to go with this act, but right now there's more than one way to get there. I'm having a hard time choosing which way to go with it.

I have to say this is something Mirage warned me about a long time ago, but its a fun challenge to overcome.
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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Eurobeatjester wrote:I doubt my ability to write convincing lesbian erotica
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Hesmiyu » Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:30 am

Eurobeatjester wrote:Big thanks!

It's kindof daunting for me because I know where I want to go with this act, but right now there's more than one way to get there. I'm having a hard time choosing which way to go with it.

I have to say this is something Mirage warned me about a long time ago, but its a fun challenge to overcome.
Run both ideas/story parts through your beta readers?
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:29 am

Eurobeatjester wrote:I have to say this is something Mirage warned me about a long time ago, but its a fun challenge to overcome.
Well, I might as well take up Cassandra as my middle name, so I don't really know which warning you're referring to, but if you're giving it consideration, then that's reassuring :-)
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Yukarin » Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:46 pm

First time I'm ever going to comment here in this thread, so here' something I'd like you to know.

I've reread all the chapters at least once a day this past week. I CANNOT GET ENOUGH AAAAH

I love your Saki, as well as Chisato and your other characters. They're incredibly memorable, and really cute and endearing in their own way.

I'm really looking forward for the next chapter.. I love this fic so so much!

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon Aug 29, 2016 1:42 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Eurobeatjester wrote:I have to say this is something Mirage warned me about a long time ago, but its a fun challenge to overcome.
Well, I might as well take up Cassandra as my middle name, so I don't really know which warning you're referring to, but if you're giving it consideration, then that's reassuring :-)
Probably should have specified :lol:

Many chapters ago I mentioned I hadn't completely decided on the motivations for some of the cast of characters yet. You mentioned to be careful as it could come back to bite me :P

It's not at that point just yet, but it's something I have to look out for now more than I did in Act 2!
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:38 am

New chapter is on hold until the end of the month, for three reasons.

I've had a total of six surgical procedures on my back in the last two months and my medications are killing me until I can switch to something a little less "take these two pills and smell colors for the rest of the day" and more "these will actually help you work through the pain you're having," next week. Opiates are amazing for brainstorming, but not so much for actually solidifying and fleshing out ideas.

Second reason - I got a last minute offer to be a vendor at one of the largest conventions in my area, and if things go well there I may be able to transition to the largest one and stand a chance at making a living based on my artwork. I've been spending nearly all my free time working on making art for the show. I've had to resign from my main job (and entire career) due to the injuries in my back that are sadly more permanent than I and my doctors thought they'd be. I'm still writing a page here and there and rewriting them constantly, but it's had to take a back seat until the last week of October when I can fully focus on it. The timing of the show is horrible because of my medical issues but it's an opportunity I'll have to wait at least a year to try for again if I don't do it now.

Third, as I kinda mentioned earlier...the next two chapters are pivotal in the story taking on a much more serious tone that I've been trying to build for, and I want to take the time to do them right and release both of them at once or a very short distance apart.

Thanks for the patience! I promise to make it worth the wait :D
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by brythain » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:50 am

Eurobeatjester wrote:Thanks for the patience! I promise to make it worth the wait :D
Glad to hear from you again! All the best for future developments. :)
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Dash9 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:15 am

No worries on the delay, but many thanks for the update. Good luck at the convention!

--Dash

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Blackmambauk » Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:36 am

Take as much time as you need to do the chapters.

We are very patient and more than respect that RL must always come before our reading pleasure.

Hope your back get's better soon and that the medication doesn't continue to be a massive pain in the ass to deal with.

Hope the convention goes well for you and that you sell some pieces to cover your costs.

Done any pieces relating to KS (privates ones I mean not ones you would sell?)

Don't push yourself too hard at either the convention and writing the fic.

We know the wait will be more than worth it.

Blackmambauk
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Favourite Route= All the Routes were done well. Each had it's strengths and weak points. But none were bad, a brilliant achievement by the KS Team.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Texaboose » Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:37 pm

Throwing in my support and patience. You do great work and we all appreciate it!
Currently reading (and being thoroughly depressed by): After the Dream by brythain
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Learning to Fly by Eurobeatjester
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:52 am

Yay! Told you all I'd get it done by the end of the month. Happy Halloween, everyone!

First off, the convention went well, and I'm guaranteed a spot in the big one next year :wink: I'll try not to let it affect my writing too much. :mrgreen:

This chapter took a long time to write between life and medical complications as I stated earlier, but I'm happy with how it came out. It's also much longer than the previous chapter was, at 8600+ words and 19 pages.

Feedback and comments appreciated as always!

The title and theme of this chapter comes from a track by the amazingly talented Josh Vietti.

Act 3: Ignition

Scene 4: Black & Yellow


“How are you doing back there?” Saki asks. “I can move the seat up a bit if you want.”

I wriggle a bit to find a more comfortable position. “Only a little bit, if that's okay.”

With a muted clunk, the seat moves forward a few centimeters. The relief on my hips and knees is instantaneous and much welcome.

There are five of us in the car. Mrs. Sakamoto's driving, and since Saki invoked the sacred incantation known as “shotgun,” I'm crammed in the backseat with Noriko and Chisato. After a few more moments of readjusting to make sure there are no elbows painfully jabbing where they don't belong, Mrs. Sakamoto puts the car in gear and we drive off.

The morning has gone well, much like the first time we ventured down into the city like this, except for a few key differences. This time, I thought to grab a proper breakfast first. More seriously however, is the air of expectation that we have. Today is the day that Saki and Chisato are going to start recording the music that they've spent the last few months working on together. While Noriko and I are merely along for support, the vibe of excitement coming from the other three is contagious.

“Takamura said he was on his way when I called him earlier,” the teacher says as she merges into traffic at the bottom of the hill. “When we get there, you might have to wait a while while he sets up the equipment for today.”

“That's okay,” Chisato answers. “It's probably going to take me just as much time to warm up to playing that Yamaha.”

“I'll be tuning my violin, so I'm fine.”

“I have my book.”

I can feel Saki's eyes rolling before she cranes her head back to look at me. “You're serious? You actually brought a book?”

“I told you I was going to.”

“What about you, Noriko?” the older woman asks, smoothly heading off an argument before it can get the chance to start.

“Um, I'd actually like to watch Mr. Takamura, if that's okay. Do you think he'd have a problem with that?”

“No, but you might. He's pretty passionate about what he does and if someone shows interest in it, he'll push it as far as you let him,” Mrs. Sakamoto replies with an amused undertone to her voice.

Hmm, I wonder why that sounds so familiar.

Noriko shifts a bit against me. “Well, when you told me what you were planning for recording with the computers, I just think it would be neat to see how he does it.”

“I can't wait to see it either,” Chisato pipes up. “I know you've explained it a few times but I just can't seem to wrap my head around it.”

“Don't worry. You'll see how it works when we get there. Takamura's been doing this for longer than all of you have been alive, and he's one of the best at it.”

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

Upon exiting the car, my back pops as I stand up to stretch. I take Noriko's hand to help her out of the backseat, then move to open Saki's door to do the same. She thanks me as she stands upright, adjusting her skirt and brushing her hair back. Mrs. Sakamoto is a bit slower to get out of the car, taking a minute to compose herself.

Chisato, in her ever present enthusiasm, is already behind the car waiting for her teacher to open the trunk so she can grab her backpack.

“Well hello there!” I hear a man shout, and turn to look.

I'm greeted by the sight of a tall, muscular man wearing dark blue jeans, a tan shirt, and a black sports blazer. He has a pair of sunglasses perched on top of his forehead, above which is a shock of jet black hair styled into a pompadour. My immediate impression is to be taken aback, as he gives off the feel of an older biker that you definitely wouldn't want to meet while walking down a dark street.

“Hello Shogo,” Mrs. Sakamoto addresses him warmly as he makes his way towards us with quick, assured strides. The two share a quick embrace, and I'm in awe how his aura of intimidation melts away with that one simple gesture.

“And to you two!” the man continues, nodding towards Chisato and Saki. “It's been a while. And who might the rest of you be?”

Noriko introduces herself first. “My name is Noriko Mimura. It's a pleasure to meet you,” she formally says, bowing slightly.

“Hisao Nakai,” I state, mimicking her motions.

“Shogo Takamura,” he replies, nodding towards both of us. “Hana may have told you that I run this little joint and the one next to it. The pleasure's mine.”

“Sensei, can you open the trunk?” Chisato says, completely oblivious to the formalities taking place, or choosing not to care. It's rather endearing, in a way.

Mrs. Sakamoto complies, but not without a look of partially feigned annoyance. “There's no big rush, we're here all day.”

“I know, but I'm just so excited to get started!”

“Down, girl,” Saki admonishes, reaching in to grab her violin. She hands it to me with a small smile of gratitude as I gladly take it from her.

All of start having various conversations among ourselves as we finally make our way into the studio. Unlike the last time we were here, the lights of about a dozen electronics are powered on and glittering, ready for action.

Chisato drops her backpack in a place that's just far enough out of the way to not inconvenience everyone else and heads straight for the piano. It's shining bright under the lights, the dark wood polished to a mirrored finish. She hovers around it like a hummingbird trying to figure out the best angle to attack a feeder from.

This prompts a laugh from Takamura. “Were you afraid it wasn't going to be here?”

“Well, no,” she says sheepishly, turning pink. “But...come on! How can you not love this?”

“I'll love it more when I finish paying it off,” he answers. When he sees the look of shock on Chisato's face, he quickly amends his statement. “Don't worry, it's insured.”

Saki moves to the violin case where I put it down and opens it. “I'll be ready in a few minutes.”

“Take your time. I haven't finished turning on all the equipment yet,” Takamura says.

“Can I help?” Noriko asks with a small voice, looking up at him. “Or see at least? I'd like to do that.”

Takamura crosses his arms in front of his barrel of a chest, with the same glint in his eye I saw Nomiya give when he thought I might join the art club, or when Mutou has someone ask him a science related question.

“Would you like to see how I set up the board to record?” he asks with a wink.

“Very much so!” Noriko says, giving a small hop in place of excitement.

Takamura grins ear to ear, and holds out his arm to indicate the way to the engineering booth that was locked the first time we were here.

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

The intercom crackles. “Testing, one two. Chisato, give me a quick bar.”

Chisato nods and plays a few notes on the piano, sliding up and down the scale. Two microphones are suspended above it from long poles, and it seems these are the focus of Takamura's attention.

He picks two dials in the metal forest laid out before him and fusses with them before turning and whispering something to Noriko that I can't make out.

He turns his attention back towards the intercom. “One more time, if you could.” Chisato repeats her earlier action and the large man gives her a thumbs up. “Okay Saki, your turn.”

Saki rests her violin in the crook of her chin and plays the same tones that Chisato just played. Takamura nods, and he asks her to do it one more time to be sure.

“Alright. You should be able to hear the metronome in your headphones. Are you two ready to record your first piece?”

Both of them dip their heads in approval.

“Okay then. From eight. Seven, six, five, four...”

Takamura's voice trails off and doesn't speak the last few numbers aloud, letting Chisato and Saki look at each other. A few seconds later, right on cue together, they start playing. Three notes in and I can tell it's the same music they played together at the festival. Pachelbel? I think that was the name of it.

Both of their hands dance across their instruments, and I'm once completely under the spell they weave. The intimate setting, the low light from the studio itself, the warm colors and tones surrounding me...it all combines to make an even more profound effect than it was at the festival.

That was a concert. This is a private show.

The music stirs up memories in me, not just the original ones that I felt when I heard them play for the first time, but the memory of the event itself...and that leads into everything that's happened the last few weeks since that day Saki asked me to watch her play at the festival.

The first time we went swimming. The first time we went into town together. The first time we opened up to each other. Our first kiss. Just walking together, laughing, talking, enjoying each other and the shared warmth of our mutual presence.

I've always thought it was a bit corny when someone defined a person or a relationship with a song, until I'm hearing this now and all the thoughts it invokes in me.

I get it. And I'm so glad I do.

(continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:57 am

The ending of the song fades out, and after the two of them finish, you could hear a pin drop in the studio. Takamura quietly raises three fingers for everyone to see, counts them down, and hits a button on the control board.

“That was great for a first take,” he says, and turns towards Mrs. Sakamoto to get her opinion. She nods enthusiastically, agreeing with him. “How do the two of you feel? Warming up to it?”

They're both beaming back at us, as if it's finally sinking in that the two of them are doing this.

“It's incredible,” Chisato says, her voice excited. “How did it sound in there?”

“Well, we'll want to record it again to make sure. We can do it now, or we can go back to it. Is there anything else you want to play together right now?”

Saki and Chisato whisper to each other, too low for any of us to make out. They both reach an agreement and nod to the rest of us behind the glass. “We're going to try a different one, is that okay?”

“Sure. Just let me know what you want the metronome set at.”

“Ninety.”

“What's that mean?” Noriko leans over to whisper to her teacher.

“There's a beat playing in their headphones so they can keep in time with each other. He's asking how many beats per minute they want it to have. Ninety would be three beats every two seconds.”

She nods at the explanation, and after Takamura gives his usual countdown, the two of them immediately launch into another piece...one more uplifting than the first and at a faster pace. While a look at Chisato shows she's drawn into it with a smile on her face, Saki's expression changes from a similar one to one of intense concentration about halfway through the song.

Another thirty seconds or so go by with the two of them playing back and forth and off of each other, when something unexpected happens.

All of us watching her hear it, and wince when we do.

Saki misses a note.

Takamura sees the sudden crestfallen look on her face and keys the intercom. “Hold it, something's off.”

Chisato stops playing, confused for a moment. It seems she was so into her half of the music she may have missed what just happened with Saki, but when she sees how Saki looks, she looks at her friend in concern.

“Are you okay?”

“Yes,” Saki says, forcing a smile. “Don't worry. The bow just slipped is all.” She looks towards all of us. “Mr. Takamura? Can we try that again?”

“No problem,” he says, pushing his glasses higher up on his forehead. “Can we start from the beginning?”

“That's fine,” Saki answers, both for Chisato and herself, and brings the violin back into position.

“Okay then. Recording. Eight, seven, six, five, four...”

The song begins again, sounding like it did before, with the twin harmonies dancing around each other. This time, however, Saki's wearing her intense demeanor right from the start, and it's quite a startling contrast to the nature of the tune the two of them are playing.

As we approach the part of the song that stopped the recording last time, I turn to look at Mrs. Sakamoto. She's concentrating on Saki just as hard as Saki's concentrating on her playing.

It happens again, a few seconds sooner than it did the first time. Chisato notices it right away, and stops playing as soon as she hears it. In the silence that follows, we all clearly hear the microphone pick up Saki's curse under her breath.

Mrs. Sakamoto steps forward before Mr. Takamura can say anything and leans forward to speak into the intercom. “It's alright, Saki, calm down. Let's set the metronome to eighty this time and then ramp it up when you're a bit more familiar with it.”

When the intercom clicks off, Noriko speaks up. “Sensei, is everything okay?”

Her teacher purses her lips. “Saki's frustrated right now. I was afraid of this. She might be able to pull it back, though.”

“Let's try it one more time,” Takamura says, moving back into position. “I've set the metronome to eighty. Just relax, it can take some time to adjust.”

Saki nods, but I can tell that none of what he just said got through. It's almost painful to watch as she yet again brings her violin up, because this time her motions are stiff and disjointed with none of the casual grace she usually has when playing.

Takamura counts down and the girls begin once more, and both are right on point, even if the pace is a bit slower. I watch Saki's brow furrow as we reach that part of the song for the third time, and for a moment, it looks like she makes it past the part that was giving her such a hard time. I just start to release the breath I'm holding when I hear her violin screech.

“God damn it!” Saki exclaims, slashing the bow away from her body in anger as if she's brandishing a sword. Chisato tries to clap her hands to her ears, but instead slaps the plastic on either side of her head.

“She's lost her focus,” I hear Mrs. Sakamoto say with a resigned sigh. “Her mind isn't here right now.” She steps away from us and out of the engineering booth, moving towards the two girls. I start to follow.

With controlled, deliberate, but no less furious motions, Saki manages to put down her violin and bow next to her. It seems she's doing all that she can to not throw the thing across the room and turn it into a pile of splinters.

“What is with you?” Chisato asks, removing her headphones and setting them down. “You don't have to shout like that! That hurt!”

“I'm sorry, okay?” Saki fires back, with more fire than she intended.

“Alright, alright,” Mrs. Sakamoto says, having reached them both and holding out a hand towards both of them in a soothing gesture. “Calm down, both of you. It was an accident.”

“That was my bad, Ms. Souma,” I hear Takamura say through the overhead speaker. “I didn't realize how loud I turned up the volume so you could hear each other playing. Let's take a break while I adjust the equipment, okay?”

“I'm sorry,” Saki explains, her voice teetering between anger and self-loathing. “I'm having some problems with that one part of the song.” She hangs her head and gives a ragged sigh.

“You didn't have a problem playing that before though.”

A dark look flashes across Saki's face as her head snaps in Chisato's direction, eyes burning with accusation...and pain. Chisato's face is instantly painted with regret as she realizes what she just said, and the mood of the room drops several degrees.

“Saki, I-”

“Just forget it,” Saki barks, in a clipped tone dripping such anger and hurt that it leaves absolutely no room for discussion. She grabs her cane, turns on her heel, and briskly walks out of the studio, the sunlight from the door opening blinding all of us temporarily.

Chisato starts to stand up from the piano bench, but is stopped by a hand on the shoulder from her teacher. When she looks up at her in confusion, Mrs. Sakamoto simply shakes her head.

“Take ten, everyone,” Takamura voice sounds over the intercom, breaking the awkward silence.

“I'm sorry,” Chisato starts to explain, her voice small. “I didn't-”

“I know you didn't,” the older woman replies. “But give her a few minutes.” When she looks at me, she sees the unasked question written across my face and gives me one small nod. Noriko and I both move at the same time; her to Chisato's side, and myself out the door.

It takes my eyes a second to adjust to the light after being in the darkened studio for most of the morning, but when I do, I see Saki sitting on the bench a few feet away from the door. As I take a few steps closer, she doesn't give any indication that she knows I'm there, or she doesn't care. Her head hangs low, the bangs of her hair covering her eyes.

I want to say something to her, but everything I can think of seems wrong and dies unsaid. I get the feeling that talking about what just happened would be a bad thing, but I can't say something simple like a comment on the weather.

Instead, I try to go towards neutral yet related territory.

“Takamura said he needs a few minutes...want to grab a drink?” I ask. “I was going to get a coffee from the cafe.”

Saki looks up at me, her eyes red and lost. She takes a few seconds to regain her composure before nodding shakily. Without missing a beat, I reach down to offer her my help, and in a few short seconds, we start to make our way across the parking lot.

When we make our way inside, I order coffee for both of us. Saki doesn't make any objections, or any noise at all, really.

(continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 8/9)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:00 am

We sit together in silence for a bit, neither one of us seeming to know what to say. Over the last few minutes, the spirit seems to have just drained out of her, replaced with...something I'm not too sure of. Her body language and the emotions that show in her eyes vary wildly.

I see pain.

I see depression.

I see anger, and embarrassment.

I startle her when she feels my hand close over hers. For the first time in a few minutes, she seems to remember I'm there.

“You okay?” I ask, knowing that she isn't. She pulls her hand out from under mine.

That hurts.

“I'm sorry.” Saki says in exasperation, with a quiet frenzy in her voice building as she frantically rubs her temples. “It just makes me so mad that I can't...argh!” she finishes with a frustrated growl that causes several of the other patrons to glance over in alarm.

I watch as she moves her hand and uses her wristband to dab away at the angry tears that are forming in the corner of her eyes. As quickly as it had peaked, the fire cools and her shoulders slump in something far more than just defeat.

I reach out, thinking to put a hand on her shoulder, but it's almost as if the anger is enough to physically repel me. I wish I knew what to say, but I don't know anything about music. I don't know anything about the difficulties of playing a violin, or any other challenges that could come with it from Saki's condition. I don't know anything about the technology they're using so I can't make any suggestions.

But I can at least push her coffee over towards her.

“I love her like a sister,” Saki starts hesitantly, “but sometimes I just want to strangle her.” She flashes me a sorrowful look. “I know she means well. Some best friend I am, right?”

“I don't know, I think that's natural with siblings,” I say, trying to lighten the mood.

She gives a short laugh with no enthusiasm behind it before taking a sip. “I guess that's true. At least it is with my brother.”

I perk up with newfound interest. “Brother? I didn't know you had a brother.”

Saki nods once. “I do. He lives back in Osaka with our parents.”

There's something in the way she phrases that...it could be the way the doesn't offer his name, the way she doesn't refer to Osaka as “home,” or really, the fact she didn't offer up any information except the bare minimum.

Combine that with what I know, or rather don't know about her father and family, and something tells me this falls under the category of things she said she would tell me about...eventually.

As such, I don't press the issue, and we lapse back into silence to drink our coffee.

“Can I admit something?” Saki asks suddenly.

I set my cup down and look at her, waiting for her to continue.

“Hisao...I'm scared.”

“Of what?” I ask, concerned.

“I'm...scared I might be holding Chisato back.”

“Because of what just happened in the studio? I don't think anyone thinks that or believes it.”

“I know that,” she quickly replies. “Maybe not consciously, but...she's so into it, and I know that a big part of her future and what she wants to do with it is riding on this...”

I frown, thinking of how to phrase what I want to say.

“Saki...I don't know what happened leading up to this, or how long you've been planning this. But it looks to me that you're working just as hard as she is, and you seem just as eager to do this too, right?”

“No no, I'm working as hard as I can on this, and I want to do it as much as she does.” She sighs. “It's just...I think our reasons for wanting to do it are different. And when we get into an argument about it, it just makes me wonder that my reason is wrong or not as important as hers is...you know?”

Saki breaks eye contact with me to stare down at the cup cradled in her hands, as if waiting for me to bring up an objection, or an argument, or tell her she's wrong.

“Well...I don't know what your reason is...but I guess I've always thought that when you work together with someone on something, as long as it's something you both want to do, that's more important than the reason itself,” I say, but then give my own weak smile. “Wow. Hearing that out loud kind of makes it sound naive, doesn't it?”

Saki chuckles, but there's a bit of warmth to it. “No. Well, yes...maybe. But...it's good to be naive sometimes,” she finishes, looking at me again.

My heart skips a beat under the tenderness of that gaze. I quickly lose myself in my drink to compensate, something I seem to make a habit of doing. But when I see her smile at my actions, I think I'm doing it as much out of habit as I am to get that reaction out of her.

After a few more minutes, we find ourselves with two empty cups. I'd be content to just get a refill or three and remain like this with Saki for the rest of the day, but there's a reason we came down here.

“Ready to go?” she asks.

I nod and go through another familiar habit of standing up first to help her to her feet. We head up to the front of the cafe to settle the bill, and I pull out my wallet.

“No, let me get it,” Saki says, putting a hand on my arm. “It's the least I can do for just storming out like that.”

I think about objecting, but after our conversation the last thing I want to do is shut Saki down, having gotten her to open up a bit in the last few minutes again. She digs around in her purse for her card and hands it to the cashier.

I check my watch. It's been about fifteen minutes. “Takamura should be ready by now, I think.”

“Mrs. Sakamoto told me it takes him a few minutes to set up the computer to record my violin. I knew he'd have to do it earlier, I just...didn't think he'd need to do it right now.”

Before I can reply, I hear the woman at the register call out to Saki in a low, apologetic voice. “I'm sorry ma'am, but your card was declined.”

Saki's demeanor changes so alarmingly fast that even though I'm looking right at her, I still don't see the switch flip. Her face instantly turns red again, flush with anger and more than a touch of embarrassment. “Great. Just great.”

“Here,” I say, quickly slipping the woman a few paper notes before the situation can escalate. I make a gesture with my hand to show she can keep the change, and Saki snatches her card from the top of the register with a fierce chopping motion.

“Can we go now?” she delivers in a curt voice, but not without a hint of humiliation bleeding through.

“Um, sure,” I say, taking a few steps to keep up with her as she's already halfway out the door, having not waited for my answer. Her cane stabs out an angry cadence on the sidewalk as we start back towards the recording studio.

Clack. Clack. Clack.

(continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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Eurobeatjester wrote:I doubt my ability to write convincing lesbian erotica
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