Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated/New Art 5/26)

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Hanako Fancopter
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 4/15)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:36 pm

Obviously I have been looking forward to this chapter and you know why ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

But that aside, while it is quite sad in many ways, it also feels hopeful in that Hisao and Saki are more comfortable with each other and able to find solace together. Even if they are both suffering, they are at a point where they know how to do it together.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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Razoredge
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 4/15)

Post by Razoredge » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:46 pm

Once again, it was a really pleasant reading. I don't know how you achieve to do it, but mixing sad feelings with happy feelings like that, it's amazing. There's sadness in this story, but also hope, and I try to hold on to that hope. I hope too, as HF, that they will find peace and solace together. That being said, as always, you have written a little flawless masterpiece. It's really nice to read your updates, buddy.
Lilly = Akira > Miki = Hanako > Emi > Rin > Shizune

Stuff I'm currently writing : Beyond the haze : A Lilly Satou pseudo-route, Razor's One Shots & misc. & Sakura Blossom

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 4/15)

Post by yanivp » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:49 pm

Top tier snu-snu, and everything else.

For real though, the sex scene was PERFECT. I've been through that experience, that reaction from the girl for the same thing, every little bit. It really hit home that - the sense of (ironic) impotency as you try to calm to someone that feel they've hurt you, and frankly put, did. So so so good.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 4/15)

Post by Akko2099 » Sat Apr 25, 2020 8:06 pm

I found the link to this is on a Reddit post. Barely a day after discovering Saki and other stuff about the game. Already finished it, but I needed more.

Your story was that more I needed.
Very nice writing, engaging and emotional story.

I was hoping it would be already finished... but anyway. I'll be coming back for more.

Keep up the good work.

Made this account just to comment here.
Rin > Hanako > Lilly > Emi > Misha > Saki > Miki > Yuuko > Akira > Hideaki > Kenji > Shizune

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Eurobeatjester
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 4/15)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon May 04, 2020 4:55 pm

Thanks for all the feedback, everyone! It was a really fun chapter to write :)

I'm a few pages into the next one which won't be nearly as long, but the one after will probably be as long as Electric Daisies 1 and 2 combined.

I just moved into a new place and finally have it set up the way I want it which makes me happy. First time living on my own in a couple of years, but the change is needed and much appreciated.

Also, LtF is about 100 views away from 300k! :shock: Kuuritama (who did the art of Saki and Hisao lying in the hospital bed) is doing another commission - I wanted it to be a thank you to everyone who's read this and continues to read it. Hopefully it will be done soon!

In the meantime though, Clover on the discord server did another piece for the latest chapter! It came out great!

Image

I'm going back to put it into the story at the appropriate place, then taking some time to fix all the broken links and give the story an editing pass leading into the final few chapters. Gotta do something with all this quarantined time!

Stay safe, everyone.
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 (New Art 5/4)

Post by brythain » Mon May 04, 2020 10:39 pm

Congrats. 300k for a pseudo-katawa pseudo-route—I don't mean that in a denigratory sense. It's been quite a trip for us, readers, thus far. Happy that it continues to prosper!
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.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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NuclearStudent
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New Art 5/4)

Post by NuclearStudent » Tue May 05, 2020 2:57 am

the halogen pond is a lovely blue

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Razoredge
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New Art 5/4)

Post by Razoredge » Wed May 06, 2020 8:16 am

That's a very cute art, to be honest. I love it.
Lilly = Akira > Miki = Hanako > Emi > Rin > Shizune

Stuff I'm currently writing : Beyond the haze : A Lilly Satou pseudo-route, Razor's One Shots & misc. & Sakura Blossom

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 5/26)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Tue May 26, 2020 3:14 am

One more down, four to go!

Quarantine has given me some free time, along with actually being sick for the last few days. Hoping my fever breaks soon - it hasn't been a fun time, to say the least. Hopefully it's nothing more serious, but hey, gotta do what you gotta do and hope for the best with the way the world is right now.

This chapter clocks in at a little over 8200 words. After posting it, I'm going to go back and do one more final editing pass on the whole story fixing up broken links, moving pictures to different servers so they'll hopefully stay up this time, and fixing inconsistencies and errors that I noticed but haven't gotten around to fixing. 260k words can be a lot to keep track of.

Thank you guys for all the feedback, constructive criticism, and support you all continue to give. It makes me really happy and gives me the confidence to push forward to the end of this behemoth.

The title for this chapter comes from the song "Antigravity" by Starset.

I hope you guys enjoy this chapter and you're all staying safe, however you're all riding out this storm.

Act 4: Liftoff

Scene 9: Antigravity

“How are you feeling?” I ask.

Saki fidgets with the head of her cane. “I’m...I’m a little scared.”

I place a hand over hers and give a reassuring squeeze, not saying anything. I could tell her things will be fine, or that they’ll all work out somehow, but anything I say would sound contrived. All I can do is acknowledge her fear.

Noriko surprises both of us by putting her hand on ours. “Whatever happens, we’re here.”

Saki nods a bit, still clearly nervous. She seemed to be just fine this morning when we woke up, but after we both got dressed and actually made our way down to the bus stop at the bottom of the hill, it was pretty clear that it was more of a facade than she was letting on. When Noriko met us at the station, things seemed to pick up again, but that was short lived; the closer we get to noon, the more anxious she becomes. She’s been checking her watch every few minutes for the last half hour

All I can do is what I’ve been doing; let her know I’m there for support.

“Besides, we get to eat ramen afterwards!” her friend says, bright and chipper as ever. It’s enough to make Saki laugh, and when she settles down, she’s able to let go of a bit of her tension.

We pass the final few minutes in silence until the numbered train we’re waiting for pulls up to the platform. There’s a large squeal and a hissing noise as it comes to a stop, and an electronic buzzer announces the doors automatically opening. I stand up so I can get a better view, looking down along the length of the platform to see if I can recognize Chisato in the waves of people stepping down onto the concrete.

It doesn’t take long to spot her, two doors down the platform. She pauses, looking first the other direction, then our way. I raise my hand and lift up onto my toes to try and get her attention, and it works. I see her smile a bit before pulling her backpack a bit higher onto her shoulders and starting to walk towards us.

“Hey Chisato,” I say by way of greeting when she reaches us. She puts her arms around me and gives me a large hug.

“It’s good to see you, Hisao. You’re looking pretty good for someone that just had a machine put in his body.”

“You too, except the machine part,” I answer her, and I genuinely mean it.

I step aside so Noriko can give her a hug and exchange similar pleasantries, and then it’s Saki’s turn. She’s standing with the rest of us, holding back a bit. The two of them stop about a meter apart from each other.

“H...hey,” Saki says, trying to give a smile that doesn’t quite match the fear in her eyes.

The two of them hold their gaze for a few heartbeats, then both go in for a timid embrace. I can tell Saki wants nothing more than to hug her friend earnestly, but neither of them do. It’s stiff and awkward, but it’s there.

“I’m glad you’re here,” Chisato says.

Noriko and I cast a quick glance at each other, both of us letting out the breaths we didn’t know we were holding.

“Chisato, I’m sorry-” Saki starts, but is immediately cut off.

“Don’t. Not right now. Later,” Chisato says, her tone turning a few degrees cooler.

Saki dips her chin, and doesn’t say anything else.

“Got everything you need for tomorrow night?” I ask, trying to lighten the mood.

“Most of it. All my stuff is still back in the dorms, so the only things in my backpack are the clothes I took home with me. I need to grab something else while we’re here today though."

“What’s that? Noriko asks.

“I couldn’t find a tie I liked for my outfit tomorrow. I’m hoping that I can find one down here that works.”

“You could just borrow one of mine if you want,” I frown.

Chisato shakes her head. “Nah, that won’t work. I need a striped one to go with the vest and pants.”

The four of us start walking the few blocks to the plaza, Noriko and Chisato in front, and Saki and myself bringing up the rear. Her hand grips mine, but there’s not the usual strength there - her entire body and spirit seems to be subdued, and her eyes tend to remain focused on the ground in front of her. We make various efforts at small talk for the ten minute journey, some more successful than others.

When we finally reach the open city center, all of us slowly drift to a stop, the tension settling over all of us again as we seem to run out of things to say. The silence doesn’t last long, however.

Chisato takes a deep breath and looks around. “So, Saki. Where are we doing this?”

“N...Nagina has free refills on coffee,” Saki answers timidly, trying to make an attempt at humor. It chips away at Chisato’s exterior though, and I see the other girl smirk.

“Okay.”

I look again at Noriko, both of us agreeing beforehand about this.

“We’ll catch up with you later, then?” I ask.

“We’ll text you when you’re done,” Chisato says.

“Okay then.”

Saki glances at me one last time, an optimistic yet pained look on her face. She returns my brief wave, and the lines of her mouth settle into a hard line for a fraction of a second. Without another word, both her and Chisato turn away from us and make their way across the plaza to the cafe. Noriko and I watch Chisato hold open the door for Saki, and the two of them are gone.

Well, for better or for worse, one way or another, the two of them are talking. All the rest of us can do is simply wait to see what happens.

“I could use some caffeine myself,” I tell Noriko.

“There’s another cafe right around the corner,” she says. “I haven’t tried their coffee, but their tea is good.”

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

Twenty minutes later, we’re seated at an outdoor table, the waitress bringing both of us a refill. Once she leaves, I take a sip and my mouth puckers a bit.

“Nope, I’m sure of it now. This coffee isn’t as good as the stuff at Nagina. Good thing the two of us are here instead of them.”

Noriko fidgets a bit as she takes a sip of her tea. “Maybe it’s for the best, then.”

I look back in the general direction of the plaza, even though I won’t even be able to see the restaurant where the two of them are. “I’m worried. I know they’ve been talking, but Chisato seemed a little..cold.”

“I don’t think I blame her. She’s hurt. They both are.”

I nod, but I’m not nearly as assured as she is. “After the fight the two of them had in the dean’s office that day...it was pretty bad.”

The conversation we had the last few minutes was fairly easy and inconsequential, but like Saki and Chisato, eventually we knew we’d circle around to this topic.

“Saki kind of told me, well...everything...earlier this week when I was staying over.”

I stare down at my own cup, the dark liquid reflecting the impassive look on my face. “She did, huh…”

Her voice is timid, yet doesn’t waver. “It’s been really hard for her since she’s been back. She kept telling me how much she missed you.”

I sigh. “Trust me, the feeling was mutual.”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Hm?”

“Do you think it was worth it?”

“What do you mean?” I ask, following her eyes to my chest. “The pacemaker?”

“Yeah,” she says. “You didn’t have to do it. You could have stayed up here, or at least come back a lot sooner and spent time with us.”

“I could have, but everyone left after Christmas, so...I’m here now, and that’s what matters to me.”

“I don’t know if I could ever ask a doctor to push up surgery...just the thought of any kind of surgery scares me…”

Noriko’s voice falters a bit when she mentions this, and she immediately looks apologetic.

“I’m sorry. That came out as really insensitive-”

“-not at all,” I say, cutting her off. “Why would you think that?”

She hesitates for a second, clearly uncomfortable, but answers. “I’m here talking about how much surgery, and medical stuff scares me...when people like you and Saki and others don’t have a choice. It makes me feel like a hypocrite and coward.”

I drum my fingers on the table, trying to think of a response. “Being scared doesn’t mean that you’re a coward. It just means you’re scared. There’s a difference.” I shrug. “I mean, I talked myself into it. There were reasons for it. But no matter how much you convince yourself, it’s still scary.”

“Still hypocritical, though.”

I grin. “Only a little. But seriously, it’s okay. You never did wrong by me.”

She nods and smiles, even if I can tell she’s not entirely convinced. “I can’t believe we graduate in two days. It didn’t feel real until the first rehearsal yesterday.”

“I know what you mean. I feel like I couldn’t wait to get here and now that I am, it’s like I missed something along the way,” I muse.

Noriko goes to take another sip of her coffee, then pauses. “I feel the same way. It’s...weird.”

“How so?”

“I guess I didn’t expect to really feel this way about it. Yamaku. I didn’t really like coming here, when I first started.”

I chuckle a bit. “I’m pretty sure we all felt the same way, Noriko.”

She shakes her head. “No, not because of that, but...sorry, there’s no way I can say this without it sounding bad,” she grimaces. “I was normal.”

I try to brush off the mood with humor. “What counts as normal, anyway?” When she shoots me a look, I can tell I missed the mark.

“You know what I mean, Hisao.”

I nod. “Yeah, I do, sorry. So by being normal, you’re the only one who wasn’t?”

Noriko sighs, lost in the memories of those first months. “I guess...normal is what you’re used to. There were a few people that were kind, but none of them were really friendly. Not until I met Saki and Chisato.”

“They must have cared,” I say with a smile.

She shakes her head. “They didn’t, that was the thing...and that’s what I needed,” she finishes, returning it.

I look again down the street, trying not to let my anxiety show but pretty sure I do a poor job. “How do you think they’re doing? You’ve known them longer than I have.”

(...continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Tue May 26, 2020 3:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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 5/26)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Tue May 26, 2020 3:16 am

She pauses for a moment. “I think Saki really wants to make things right, but I don’t think she knows how.”

I frown. “I mean, Chisato said she wanted to get together with everyone after, um, this. I don’t think she’d say that if she expected things to go badly.”

“I think they’ll be okay. It’s not going to be the same, though.”

I sigh. “Well...I guess everything is changing, so why not this too?”

Noriko takes another sip. “Can I ask one more question?”

“Fire away.”

“What did you decide on? You and Saki, I mean.”

I hesitate for a few seconds. “I think we’re going to give it a try,” I say, lifting and draining the rest of my cup.

“You are?”

I nod. “Yeah. It’s going to be hard, with her in Osaka. She might be able to come visit, or I might be able to move eventually, but I don’t know,” I admit. I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. “If she was able to move to Tokyo like she wanted, that would have made things a lot easier, but…”

Her face twists again. “It’s her dad, right?”

“It’s not just that. She was supposed to get into the same school Chisato got accepted into. After Christmas though, Saki had to go home and she missed the deadline to finish her recording.”

“She worked so hard on it. I saw how great she got with playing in time with the computer. Mr. Takamura spent a lot of time helping her with that.”

“So did you,” I say. “Mrs. Sakamoto says he doesn’t just let anyone touch that board.”

“Chisato got in, it’s so unfair,” Noriko says, her demeanor changing enough for me to take notice. “Saki would have gotten in for sure if she was just able to record her half.”

I think about what Mrs. Sakamoto had told me two days ago, about how it might not quite be over yet. But with the performance tomorrow and graduation the day after that, what can she do? Record something else? Re-record with Saki’s pieces so she can at least get them down? Even without it being used as an application, to think that Saki might not be able to record anything after all that work and effort - to end up with nothing from it - seems unnecessarily cruel.

I haven’t heard anything from Saki or from Mrs. Sakamoto yet that sounds surprising, so all I can do is hope that the teacher is still working on...whatever it is she’s trying to plan.

“So what is she going to do?” Noriko asks me, shaking me from my thoughts and back to the present.

I breathe in again, and try to let it out as slowly as the last one. I almost manage to do so.

“Like I said, she’s stuck down there in Osaka. Her father doesn’t want her rocking the boat. It’s been really stressful for her, and I just…I…”

A wave of emotion crashes into me, so intense and raw that I get physically dizzy. I place my palms against my forehead, rubbing my eyes so hard I see sparks.

“I...I don’t know,” I choke out. “I don’t know about any of it, Noriko.”

“Hisao?” she asks, concerned.

I take another shaky breath. “I want to figure out a way where we can stay together, but I don’t know how.” I shake my head a bit. “With her father being the way he is, and with that threat he made, I just...I don’t know. I wish there was something I could do. I feel so damned helpless and useless here,” I finish, my eyes burning with the tears forming there.

She reaches her hand out and places it on my arm. “If she does what he wants, do you think he’d ever ease up on her?”

“I don’t know if he would. I don’t even know if it would matter. She’s always going to have that lingering over her, and with her ataxia the way it is...god damnit.

“Hisao, don’t-”

“-I’m sorry,” I say, letting my arms fold onto the tabletop so I can bury my face in them. My eyes are blurry and my cheeks are hot, and I don’t want anyone to see me like this right now.

“Could she fight it?”

I mumble a reply. “She says she can, and she will, but...she shouldn’t have to. She’s already had her shot at Tokyo taken away from her, and she only has a few more years before...look, she’s fought hard enough.”

“There has to be something. Could her brother step in and do anything?”

“No. He’s family, but he won’t outrank their father, if he did take Saki’s side.”

“Well if it’s a family thing, wouldn’t-”

Noriko stops her sentence so abruptly it causes me to lift my head off the table and look at her. The hand she had on my arm has moved over her mouth, a startled expression on her face. When I furrow my brow in confusion, she seems to wince.

“What was that?” I ask.

“I’m sorry, I just, I had an idea but…”

“Tell me, Noriko. Please.”

Noriko pauses for a few long seconds, debating with herself. Her eyes finally soften, and revere me with a tint of sadness.

“If it’s a family thing, wouldn’t Saki’s husband have first say in things like that?”

My eyebrows knit together. “What?”

She continues, her voice strangely subdued. “Her father is trying to threaten that he’ll sue for protective custody, and that he’ll be able to make all her medical decisions for her as she gets worse, right? If she was married, her husband should be the one that would be making those decisions.”

No. I heard her the first time. I think I just needed to hear it a second time to remove all doubt as to what she just said.

She’s right. Her father wouldn’t be able to do anything, and if he tried, she’d have another legal shield. What Noriko said burrows itself deep into my brain, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

There’s only so much I can do as her boyfriend, but if I was more than that…

Noriko winces when she sees the realization and its implications fully hit me. “You did ask me to tell you.”

I sit back up, brushing my hair out of my eyes. “Yeah, I did. I’m glad you did, but...I’m not going to lie, there’s a part of me that wishes you hadn’t, as long as we’re both being honest.”

“Hisao, I’m sorry, I was just thinking out loud…”

As soon as I allow myself to entertain the thought, a flood of doubts make themselves known, but they can’t drown the idea.

I bring a hand up to my mouth, my mind whirling. “That would be true, wouldn’t it? But, even if it is true, we wouldn’t be able to until we were twenty, and...and holy shit, am I actually talking about this?”

Noriko puts her hand back on my arm. “I mean...do you think she would, if you asked?”

Every reason that immediately pops up, either for or against, is immediately replaced by two counter arguments rapidly numbing my thought process. It all too quickly becomes a chaotic buzz that I can’t make sense of.

“I...I don’t know. That’s a really heavy question,” I say.

Noriko tries to smile. “Well...you’d have a little over a year to figure it out.”

“Saki-”

My phone chirps in my pocket, causing me to jump slightly. When I see Saki’s name on the display, I open it and read the text she sent me.

“It...uh...looks like they’re done.”

“Are we?” Noriko asks, scanning around her table to see if there’s any piece of trash she missed.

“Yeah, we are,” I answer, bracing my hand on the table for a few seconds. “I just...kind of need to shift gears here.” When I finally stand, I take a deep breath and my lungs manage to cooperate this time.

“Hisao, I’m sorry. I won’t say anything about what I said, or what we talked about, to Saki.”

“Th...thanks,” I say. “I appreciate it. I’m uh, going to have to do a lot more thinking about this.”

“Call me or text me later if you need to, okay?”

I nod. “I think I’m going to have to.”

Once we sort out our bill, we walk back into the blinding light of the plaza. The sun is lower in the sky but the area itself is brighter from the light reflected off the steel and glass surrounding it. It takes a few seconds for our eyes to adjust, but when they do, I can see Saki and Chisato standing on the other side of it.

Both of our groups walk towards each other and end up meeting right in the middle, where the ice rink was several months ago.

I can already see in their body language that the two of them are feeling some kind of relief. Neither of them are nearly as stiff as they were when we all met earlier, and every motion they make as they walk towards us shows us how weary the two of them are feeling. Saki’s leaning rather heavily on her cane, and I automatically move next to her side.

“H...how’s it going?” Noriko tentatively asks, trying to broach the subject delicately.

Saki and Chisato glance at each other, the former with a small amount of apprehension on her face. It’s not her place to answer, and she’s not going to.

Chisato turns towards the two of us and gives a small smile. “We’re good.”

I feel my shoulders sag slightly, and sense Noriko doing the same next to me. Once the tension breaks, all four of us can seem to relax just a little bit. Not nearly as much as we were before, but what we do have there seems to be something we’re all grateful to hang on to. Saki links her fingers in mine and gives a hard squeeze.

Chisato turns her wrist up to glance at her watch. “We have about twenty minutes to kill before Mitsuru gets here. Anyone have a store they want to check out? I still need that tie.”

“I think I’d like to walk through Plus Two again, if that’s okay,” Saki says.

“Sounds good. I can look at another season’s worth of clothes I’ll never be able to afford,” I agree.

Noriko and Chisato make no objections, so we make our way through the throngs of people making up the palisade around the outer edge of the plaza. Less than two minutes later, I’m holding the door open.

With a practiced precision, the three girls break away from each other almost instantly to descend on different parts of the store. I’m left alone at the front, once again gazing upon a series of mannequins vying for my attention.

I take a look at the one meant to represent my demographic, apparently; a faded shirt and ripped up denim pants. A quick glance at the price tag both infuriates me and strangely doesn’t surprise me at all. I could buy half a dozen sets of jeans and shirts and just wear them a few months to get the same look. If there’s one thing I’m confident I’m never going to understand, it’s fashion. We never come in here without one of the girls asking me for my opinion on an outfit or two, and I am unqualified to give any answer except “it looks good.”

I wander deeper into the store, past the display near the front. I turn the corner past a rack of black shirts and end up fairly close to the jewelry counter. I always take a look whenever we come here, but it’s more out of sense of the idle curiosity I treat everything in here with. This time though, my eyes linger a few seconds longer. There’s a large variety of necklaces, earrings, and piercings - some of which make me cringe when I try to figure out just how they’re supposed to work - and a smaller selection of rings in the bottom case. They’re all a bit gaudy, and not very traditional at all...

I turn to look at Saki, halfway across the store. She’s chatting excitedly with Noriko, her eyes lit up and sparkling. Just seeing the way her face beams when she’s doing something as simple as talking about clothes is enough to make my heart hurt.

So, what am I supposed to do?

What if she says no?

What if she says yes?

Is this something that I really want?

I face away from her, staring at the plate glass window and my reflection in it. I take a moment to stare - really stare - at the person looking back at me.

I hardly recognize him.

This person is taller and he carries himself better. He smiles more. He laughs more. A bit more compulsive in some ways, a bit less in others.

We both smirk at the same time. How did I manage to change so much?

I sigh, and admit to myself I’m not going to be able to wrap my head around this tonight. It’s probably going to take at least a few days to figure out what I think about the whole situation, and I absolutely would need to talk to Saki about it, but...as much as it makes me feel bad to admit it, I’m glad there’s not exactly a pressing need to bring it up right away. Saki has enough to worry about right now, having just patched things up with Chisato and focusing on the long day that tomorrow promises to be.

(...continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Tue May 26, 2020 5:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 5/26)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Tue May 26, 2020 3:17 am

Dealing with her father, the recital, and then graduation the next day is already enough without whatever her teacher might have planned; I can’t talk with her about this right now and put even more pressure on her.

Even as I tell myself that, I know it’s as much of an excuse as it is a reason. I think I’m okay with that, for once. At least the guy looking back at me has learned how to go easier on himself the last year.

Stepping back from the glass, I look around and see all three of my friends have converged in a lively discussion over two green dresses. Chisato looks up and makes eye contact, when she does, it’s all over. I resignedly start to walk towards them when she beckons to me, accepting my fate.

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

“I’m going to miss this place,” Noriko says wistfully. “I’m glad we got to come back here tonight.”

My nerves are a bit calmer than they were earlier, but I think having a stomach full of ramen is helping with that. “It’s better than I remember every time we come down here.”

The five of us are sitting at the counter of the ramen stand, taking up most of the seating. We didn’t have much conversation while eating, so the five of us push back in unison while the chef takes away our empty bowls. There’s not exactly a line behind us, but no sooner do we vacate our stools than another group comes up to take them. We all move to a nearby empty bench where Saki, Noriko, and myself take a seat. Mitsuru stands behind Chisato wearing her backpack for her, leaving his arms free to circle around her waist.

“So you liked the tie I got?” Chisato asks, craning her neck up to look at Mitsuru.

“I do. It looks good on you. You’re wearing it tomorrow night?” he replies.

“Yep! I think it’s going to look great with the vest and hat. Afterwards, if I don’t keep it I’ll probably give it to my dad.”

“Might as well go all out.”

“I’ll change before we start, I was going to get another hour or so of practice tomorrow anyway. I’ll be able to give you a hand with your dress if you need it, Saki.”

Saki appears a bit startled when her name is called, but quickly recovers. “Ahh, yeah.”

“Dress?” I ask.

She blushes a bit. “It’s the red one from Plus Two I bought last year...I never had a chance to wear it, but I want to tomorrow night.”

“I helped her try it on again a few days ago,” Noriko says. “You’re going to look great in it, Saki.”

Chisato clears her throat. “Just so we’re all clear, what are the plans for tomorrow?”

When nobody immediately speaks up, I decide to go first. “I have to get together with my parents for breakfast. They wanted to do some sightseeing in the town afterwards, so I might go with them or come back up. I haven’t decided yet.”

Saki grumbles. “I’m getting together with mine in the afternoon.”

Chisato continues. “The recital starts at five, so sensei wanted us there at four. I’ll probably get there a little after three.”

“I should be back in time, as long as my parents and brother just want to have lunch and not go on a tour to see all my teachers again…”

Mitsuru smiles nonchalantly. “I don’t have anything planned, so I’ll be doing whatever Chisato’s doing.”

Chisato tilts her head back into her boyfriend’s shoulder when he says this, closing her eyes.

“I’ll be there by the time the recital starts,” Noriko says, the last of our group to do so. “I should see you guys then,” she finishes, standing up.

“Are you leaving?”

“I have to catch my bus back,” she answers. “Besides, you all should hang out tonight. I’d just be a fifth wheel.” The rest of the group seems a bit confused, but Noriko looks me in the eye to let me know her mind is made up and what she’s getting at.

“Let’s all meet up tomorrow after the recital then,” I say. “It’s going to be our last night together before we graduate.”

Noriko rewards me with a small smile. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have to actually go back right now, but...she’s a good friend.

“If we’re doing that tomorrow, then…” Chisato starts, hesitating only slightly before continuing, “I’d like to have a date with my boyfriend tonight. Is that okay?”

A brief look of sadness crosses Saki’s face, but she nods. “All right.”

Mitsuru looks down at Chisato. “Want to go see a movie?”

“I’d like that. What about you two?”

Saki’s still a bit taken aback so I answer for the both of us. “I’m sure we’ll figure out something.”

Saki and I stand up, and all of us say our informal goodbyes. When Noriko gives me a hug, it’s a bit tighter than I would expect from her, but when I see the look in her eyes, I can tell she still feels a bit guilty about our conversation earlier.

Even though everyone is standing around, Saki and I seem to be the only ones who don’t leave. Mitsuru and Chisato disappear into the crowd, and Noriko quickly does the same while wandering off towards the bus station a few blocks from here.

“Looks like it’s just us,” I say, holding out my hand. She takes it and gives it a squeeze.

“I thought we were all going to be hanging out some more after this, but I guess not,” she answers, her tone one of sad disappointment. I get the feeling that Chisato and Mitsuru did indeed want to spend some time together tonight, but I also feel that Chisato had enough of being around Saki for the day.

“So,” I ask, trying to be as neutral as possible. “How’d it go?”

Saki pauses for a few moments. “It went...it went well. At least, better than I thought it was going to.”

“But?”

She shakes her head slightly, staring off into the middle distance. “She was so angry at me, Hisao. When she started to talk to me, I tried to defend myself but she just put her hand up and cut me off until she was done. And she had a lot to say,” she finishes with a sigh.

“What did she say, if it’s okay for me to ask?”

She nods, moving over to the bench to sit down. I sit next to her and put an arm around her shoulders, giving her a second to collect her thoughts.

“Chisato said the thing that hurt her the most was that I never came to her after Kayoko died,” she starts. “She had a right to know about the conversation and the fight with Maeda, and...she’s right. I told her she was, and that I was wrong to keep it from her.”

“What did she say to that?”

“She thanked me. She thanked me for acknowledging how hurt she was. And when she said that, we both...we both just started to cry…”

Saki tears up just remembering the conversation, and I pull her closer to me. She relaxes into my arms for a few seconds, letting the currents of emotion flow around and through her. She eventually takes a deep breath and continues, wiping her eyes with the back of her sleeve.

“She says she doesn’t blame me for what happened to Kayoko, but...it’s not the same anymore,” she continues, a sad tiredness in her speech. “She wants to try and still stay friends, but she wants me to give her some space while she figures out what that means.”

I arch my neck to gently place my chin on the top of her head and close my eyes. “She cares about you. You know that, right?”

She snuggles into me a bit closer. “I do. I don’t deserve friends like her and Noriko. Like you.”

“It sounds like you two have a chance.”

Saki pulls back a bit from me, and I see her face and body set in a brief, fierce determination. “I’m going to have to earn her trust again. But she’s giving me that chance. I will. I will.”

“So everything’s back on with the recital tomorrow?”

She nods. “We’re still going to play together. We both want to. I’m going to do the best I can.”

“That’s good. I can drop your dress off at the arts wing when I get back, since I’ll get back before you will. Will that work, or were you going to have enough time to change?”

Saki grumbles when I mention this, and I feel bad for doing so.

“It depends on what time my parents decide we need to get back. It would have just been easier to get breakfast but Shuya wouldn’t have been able to make it in time. So instead of just getting breakfast with them and doing something later with Shuya, we all have to go out at the same time and I have to rush to get back to the school.”

“You’re welcome to come with me tomorrow morning if you want. We can make up an excuse. I’m sure my parents would love to see you again.”

“No, spend the time with your parents,” she objects, closing her eyes and pressing herself into me again. “They’ll enjoy being able to see you. I’ll still see them tomorrow night.”

I frown a bit, but she’s right. There’s a part of me that wants to insist that Saki won’t be a bother, but I’m pretty sure one of the reasons she would turn me down is so she can prepare to meet her family.

“Alright. Should we stay in your room tonight, then? That way you can sleep in a bit and I can grab your dress.”

She nods gratefully. “Yeah. I’m...really going to need it,” she says. She presses against me a little harder and I can feel how exhausted she is both mentally and physically.

“We could go back now, if you want. Get a good night’s sleep,” I suggest.

“Are you sure? It’s probably going to be the last time we’ll be down here.”

I take a long look at my surroundings, etching the lines and curves of the concrete jungle into my mind. The plaza is busy with patrons bustling about, some with phones, some with shopping bags, all with some sort of purpose. The noodle stand has most of its seats full, and the other restaurants are starting to fill up as well. All the lights are on, but it’s still too bright in the early evening for them to make much of a difference.

“You know, now that you mention it, I have an idea,” I muse, fumbling for my wallet.

“What’s that?” she asks, sitting up fully so I can pull it out of my pocket.

I fish out a brightly colored plastic card. “I should still have some credits on here.”

“The arcade, huh?”

“What do you think? Spend a half hour or so, then catch the bus and be back by dark?”

She smiles. “That’s the best idea I’ve heard in awhile. Thank you.”

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

It takes a little bit more than half an hour to spend all of the credits I have left on my card, but there’s no real rush. Without the usual sense of competitiveness that pops up with all of us together in a group, instead we take a different approach and try to play a few different games that we usually don’t get a chance to. We finish out the card with a few games of skeeball, ending up with several dozen tickets spit out by the machine.

“What should we get?” Saki asks me, leaning up against the prize counter. We don’t have enough tickets for anything more than a few insignificant trinkets, but fortunately we both seem to be cheap dates.

(...continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Tue May 26, 2020 6:18 am, 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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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 5/26)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Tue May 26, 2020 3:18 am

“Hmmm,” I ponder, looking over the prizes on the bottom row - bouncy balls, erasers, pieces of candy, pencils, and a few other equally kichy items that don’t really catch my interest.

“How about these?” she says, pointing at a small basket of keychains featuring random non-descript anime mascots. “We should have enough tickets for two of them, right?”

I count them out. “We’ll even have some left over.”

She gives a small squeal of delight, getting the attention of the worker behind the counter. When Saki points out the basket, he grabs it out of the case and sets it down in front of us to rifle through.

“No, no, no,” she mumbles, her hands already a blur as she digs in. “Hmmm...no…”

“Looking for anything specific?” I ask.

“Not specific, but...ah! Here we go,” she replies triumphantly, pulling out a piece of plastic and holding it up for me to see. The graphic is a boy from something I don’t recognize, but...

“Doesn’t it look like you?”

I take a closer look. “Besides the red karate gi and the boxing gloves, it’s almost perfect.”

She pushes the basket towards me. “Oh come on, maybe you should pick up martial arts in addition to swimming.”

“No thank you, I’ll keep that idea filed away in wishful thinking where it belongs,” I say, laughing. “Hmmm…”

I try to find a character that looks like Saki, but nothing seems to be just right. I find a girl dressed up as a magician in a blue top hat and cape, and show it to her.

“Sadly, I think that’s the closest one in here.”

Saki takes it from me and inspects it. “The hair is too short, but the outfit is cute though.”

“Well, the one you got doesn’t have my hair right either.”

“How many tickets do we have left over?”

“Uh, about twenty. Why?”

Saki ignores my question, instead turning back towards the man behind the counter. “We’ll get these, and can I also get one of the small packs of markers?”

I look on with amused confusion, not knowing where she’s going with this but handing over the meager stack of tickets. We’re a few short, but he gives the markers to us anyway. She fumbles a bit while opening them, but manages to get the top off the box.

“Uh, Saki?”

She puts the two keychains on the counter, and pulls out a brown maker. Popping the cap off, she leans over the magician and intently starts to draw and color her hair into the right shape. It takes a few seconds and it looks godawful messy, but when she finishes she proudly stands up to admire her handiwork.

“See? That’s better. Behold, the result of two years in the art club.”

I crack up when she says this, shaking my head. I reach for and take the keychain meant to look like me, and the marker from her surprised hand. I draw a single line to represent that stupid forelock of hair I can never get to behave, no matter what I do.

“And there’s the extent of my artistic ability.”

Saki can’t stop herself from laughing, and even the man behind the counter is amused. “It’s perfect. Give it here.”

Once the two of us make it out into the open again, it’s definitely darker. The horizon is still glowing beautifully, turning the few high clouds into colorful pink and orange smears across a deep purple sky.

Yep. Just for the moment, it’s perfect.

The moment is cut short however when Saki’s phone goes off in her purse. I let go of Saki’s hand so she can pull it out, her eyes widening a bit as she sees who’s calling her.

“It’s sensei,” she explains, while opening the phone and putting it up to her ear.

Mrs. Sakamoto’s calling her?

“Hello, sensei!...I’m doing well. Are you...ah, no, we were all together earlier but not right now,” she starts, showing concern. She glances at me. “No, she’s with Mitsuru, and I’m down in the city with Hisao right now.”

Everything alright? I mouth.

Saki starts to nod, but stops halfway through as I hear her teacher start talking again. I can’t make out what she’s saying, but I can hear her tone is a bit serious.

“We’re heading back soon. Um, yeah. Okay. What time?...I’m not sure, my father and mother are taking me to lunch with them. I don’t know if I can be back by then...Chisato said she planned to be there at three, but you should cal-”

Whatever it is her teacher then says causes the look on her face to turn to shock.

“No. No, I mean, you shouldn’t-you don’t need to. N-not yet. Let me, um...please sensei, can I have a few minutes to call you back?...Okay. Call her. Let me call you back.”

“What’s going on?” I ask, seeing her confusion as she ends the call and closes the phone.

She stares at it. “Sensei wants me and Chisato to come in earlier tomorrow for the recital prep.”

“What time?”

“Two-thirty, but that’s an hour and a half before we’re supposed to be there.”

Does this have something to do with what her teacher was trying to plan?

“Did she say why?”

She shakes her head. “No, I just told her that I was going to be with my father and she offered to call him and tell him I really needed to be there.”

Yeah, this definitely has something to do with it.

“Let her,” I blurt out.

Saki looks at me with wide eyes. “I can’t! Not with him being here. If he has to get one more call from someone at the school-”

I momentarily panic. I might have overstepped myself, saying those two words. If the teacher didn’t tell her why, then I shouldn’t say anything, right? I don’t even know what I’m not not supposed to say because I have no idea what she’s up to…

I grab Saki’s hands, not just to calm her down, but to try and steady my own mind as well. She’s so caught up in what happened that I don’t think she notices.

“He’ll listen to her. He has before, right?”

“Yeah, he has, but…”

“She wouldn’t offer to run interference if it wasn’t important.”

Saki turns away from me, gripping her phone so hard the knuckles turn white. Her eyes go out of focus, her face making almost imperceptible twitches as she stands there in silence. She seems to be debating with herself about something very hard, and I choose not to say anything.

After a full thirty seconds of this, her eyes steel with resolve and she opens her phone again.

“Saki?” I ask.

She completely turns her back to me, dialing a number and waiting for whoever is on the other end to answer. I hear a male voice finally pick up after the third ring.

“Hello, father,” Saki says.

I instantly start to feel apprehensive.

“I am. Thank you. I wanted to let you know that I need to be back at Yamaku by two thirty tomorrow. I’m sorry I have to cut lunch short.”

There’s a steadiness to demeanor when she speaks. I think about putting my hand on her shoulder in support, but something about what I’m seeing and hearing stops me.

“Mrs. Sakamoto said she needs me to come in earlier to help get ready for the recital. Yes. I know. It’s...very important,” she says, stumbling a bit but regaining her composure. “You won’t have to change anything, I’ll take the bus back. I’ll leave at two and be able to make it back up here in time...yes, the recital starts at five. There’s still going to be seats for you, mother, and Shuya.”

Her father speaks a few sentences, Saki not responding. I have no idea what he’s saying, but I’m worried as to what it might be. I’ve never heard her be this assertive when talking with him before; she’s not asking him, she’s telling him.

“I understand. I’ll see you all late tomorrow morning. I will. Goodbye,” she finishes, hanging up the phone.

The call only lasted for about a minute, if that, but I can see from the look on Saki’s face when she turns back towards me how much it’s taken out of her.

This time, I do move in to hug her. She leans against me heavily, and my arms can feel her body trembling slightly.

“That’s the first time I’ve stood up to him since Christmas,” she mumbles into my shoulder. I hold her tighter in response, and keep doing so even after she calms down and relaxes into me.

Standing there under the streetlight, I reflect on everything that happened today. It’s been an emotional one, and as tired as I am, I can’t imagine what she’s feeling right now after dealing both with Chisato and her father…

I want to talk to her. I want to tell her that Mrs. Sakamoto is working on something for her sake, but I don’t know what it is. I want to tell her how proud I am of her for calling her father. I want to talk to her about what Noriko said, but…

No. Now isn’t the right time for either of us. I can’t unload something like that right now, not after everything else that happened today...and even without that, she needs to focus on her family tomorrow, the recital, whatever the reason is Mrs. Sakamoto needs her back early, and…

...and I have absolutely no idea how to even begin sorting out how convoluted my feelings are about it. I need to figure that out first before anything else.

I know that it’s going to have to be something we discuss. It’s inevitable if we want to try to stay together after Yamaku, but...I can afford to let it go tonight.

In reality, I can’t afford to not let it go tonight.

“One last thing to do,” Saki says, pulling away from me just enough to open her phone one more time and dial in a number. This time, with her so close, I can hear Mrs. Sakamoto’s voice when she answers.

“Saki?”

“Sensei, you said two-thirty tomorrow, right?”

“That’s right. Do you need me to talk to your family?”

“No. I just got off the phone with my father. I don’t need his permission...but I might be a few minutes late since I’ll have to take the bus back.”

The teacher pauses for a second. “All right. I left Chisato a message. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“I’ll be there,” she reiterates.

“One more thing, Saki?”

“What is it, sensei?”

“You sound exhausted. Get a good night’s sleep tonight, all right? You’re going to do a great tomorrow. I know you will.”

“...I will...thank you.”

The line goes dead, and Saki’s phone closes with a snap. To my surprise, she then holds the power button on the side of it for a few seconds until I hear it chime softly as it shuts off.

“I think...I think I’m just done with today, Hisao,” she tells me, looking up at me. She seems weary beyond measure at this point, but there’s a warm glow to her face and eyes that makes me smile gently at her.

“Well, you heard her. We should head back and get a good night’s sleep.”

“I would really, really like that.”

“That’s only part of what she said, you know.”

“What do you mean?”

“She said you’re going to do a great job tomorrow.”

A sparkle of her usual defiance radiates in her eyes. “I will. I’m going to give it everything I have.”

I take her face in my hands and press my lips to hers. She wraps her arms up around my waist, pulling herself closer against me. When the kiss ends, I’m left looking at the person I know I’ve completely, wholeheartedly, and irrevocably fallen for.

“Come on. Let’s go.”

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Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Wed May 27, 2020 4:43 am, 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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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 5/26)

Post by Peorth » Tue May 26, 2020 10:56 am

Hell yeah.
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 5/26)

Post by 1003powerloki » Tue May 26, 2020 11:09 am

Excelent chapter, glad to see Chisato be on better terms with Saki, she is one of my favorite characters and seeing her upset really hurts. Also damn, Hisao, what will be his choice and what would Saki say. I cant wait!

Hope you get better, I know we all will get trough this
Achivements 1)Getting the scene 'Slow Recovery' without a walktrough. 2)Getting every good ending on first try. 3)Playing without spoilers. 4)Playing without knowing the game was an Eroge.
Endings in order: Emi(GE) Emi(BE) Shizune(GE) Shizune(BE) ACT1(BE) Rin(GE) Rin(BE) Rin(NE) Lilly(GE) Lilly(NE) Hanako(GE) Hanako(BE) Hanako(NE)

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 5/26)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Tue May 26, 2020 11:39 am

A few hours after posting a new chapter, Kuriitama sent me a finished commission and surprised me! Saki and Hisao watching the fireworks at the festival.

Image

Hi-Resolution Clean Version

I commissioned this a few weeks ago in anticipation of LtF hitting 300k views.

Thank you so much to everyone for reading this. You guys are awesome, and I love you all :mrgreen:
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
Blank Mage wrote:
Eurobeatjester wrote:I doubt my ability to write convincing lesbian erotica
believe in yourself

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