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

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HoneyBakedHam
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/17)

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:55 pm

I saw the word "may". I'm too used to Rockstar rumors about heists where "may" means "may not happen". Please prove me wrong.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/17)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:53 am

This piece isn't a commission, so I don't know how long it's going to take. That's why I said "may" - as in I might come back to it and add it later or wait if it's only going to take a little while :)
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 10/17)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:32 am

New piece by Omnirhythm on Deviantart: Saki in her swimsuit! Not the typical KS style but I like it a lot and it's a fun change of pace.

Image

This is NOT the artwork for the new chapter, but I wanted to share :)
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 10/17)

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Mon Dec 22, 2014 3:02 pm

I could see why Hisao had trouble keeping it in his pants haha

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New artwork 12/22

Post by monkeywitha6pack » Sun Dec 28, 2014 11:22 am

Fan art can really tie a peice of work together, very nice!
Wahahaha~.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New artwork 12/22

Post by Solistor » Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:04 am

Nice art! Looking forward to what's in store down the line. No rush, no push, just stopping in. I tend to get disheartened on a work when I don't feel like anyone's behind me, so consider this my declaration of being behind you. No bad manners or impatience, only good vibrations. I'm posting this while running on fumes, apologies for any confusing messages my writing exudes.

I should stop before I make a fool of myself if I haven't already. I'm rooting for you. Peace.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New artwork 12/22

Post by Peorth » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:39 am

Liking what I'm seeing so far, keep up the good work!
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 (New artwork 12/22

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:15 am

WOOO! NEW CHAPTER!

Long one too! This pushes the word count to just over 48k.

Artwork for this chapter done by the amazing Req-uestor on Deviantart. I am so happy they made this for me!

Chapter title and chapter theme music comes from Hot Club Of Detroit's version of a well known song :) Check it out, it's an amazing piece and I think it captures the mood perfectly!

Act 2: Countdown

Scene 4: Valse A Rosenthal


Amazing how time flies.

It's already the weekend, the day that we had all planned to go into the city on. And like most days now, it started too early. I still don't have a good sleep schedule down yet, but general excitement about the coming day acts as well as a cup of coffee to make sure I'm awake.

At least, until I can get an actual cup of coffee later today.

I flip open my phone and re-read the text message Saki sent me last night. Meeting by the music room at 8, taking sensei's car into the city.

All well and good, except this early and on the weekend, nobody's unlocked the Arts building so I can't go inside even if I wanted to. The cafeteria isn't even open yet, so I can't kill time by getting breakfast.

I stick a finger in the collar of my shirt and stretch the fabric out, trying to get some air circulation against my chest. Even though I'm wearing a short sleeve shirt, the checkered sweater vest I've donned isn't doing me any favors. I've settled on leaning against the wall, trying to avoid the rays of the sun as it comes up. Summer sure did come early this year.

I pat the pockets of my pants, making sure I've got my wallet and anything else I might need. As my hands run over the fabric, I realize I may need to get some new clothes while I'm shopping today, if I can find something that fits my budget. This is the first time I've worn this outfit since my heart attack, and it feels strange to me for a few reasons. After the time in the hospital, I've grown a centimeter or two. I've also lost some weight. I had to cinch my belt one notch further just to make sure these pants stayed firmly where they're supposed to be. The rest of the clothing is just as loose, but not uncomfortably so.

What makes it uncomfortable is the throwback to my old life, and all the uneasiness wearing the outfit is presenting me. I can't remember how many times I wore this look when hanging out with my friends, and the fact it doesn't really fit me in more ways than one is not lost on me.

I guess it's just one of those things that will sort itself out, as I get healthier and put the weight back on. Then again, maybe I should keep the weight off. It may be easier to get a new set of casual clothes than it will be to completely replace my school uniforms which are sized to my new waistline.

I'm not left in my own thoughts for long before I hear someone calling my name. My head snaps up towards the sound, and I see two figures walking towards me. I wave a greeting as they get closer.

Saki and Chisato are walking side by side, having most likely left the dorms together. There's a brief moment when we all get close enough where we scrutinize each others' outfits.

Chisato's dressed fairly conservatively in a knee length skirt made out of a dark brown fabric, and a green jacket zipped up over her torso that matches the color of her eyes. Black knee socks end in brown shoes, and a pair of sunglasses is perched on her raven-colored locks holding them out of her face. I can't see any telltale bump on her waist from her insulin pump. She has a handbag with her, although it does seem pretty large. I guess it would have to be in order to carry everything she needs along with the standard items any girl her age lugs around.

Saki's dressed a bit more for the warmer weather, with delicate sandals around her bare feet, and light blue denim shorts that show off plenty of leg. Her blouse is white with blue patterned dots, flowing to several layers overlapping at her waist to create a flowery look. The strap of a small purse is slung over one shoulder, and she grips it with a hand adorned with a thick pink wristband. She finishes her ensemble with a thin black cardigan that wraps around her shoulders, more for style than warmth.

They both look amazing.

I notice the girls are giving me the same stare I'm giving them. Chisato doesn't give anything away but Saki raises an eyebrow.

“...what?” I ask, suddenly self conscious.

“Not...bad...” Saki says, drawing out the words in a way that tells me she's still trying to convince herself of what she's saying. “Looks a bit warm for this weather though.”

“Give me a break. Clothes shopping wasn't exactly on my list of priorities the last few months.”

“I don't know if I'd wear a sweater vest this time of year, but it does match your shirt and pants,” she replies approvingly. “You should undo that top button though. It will make the whole thing look more casual and you should be able to breathe better too.”

“I wasn't aware you were such a fashion expert,” I sigh resignedly, reaching up to wrestle with the stubborn closure.

“You can't tell?” Saki says, and spins around once for all of us to see, her cane looping around her in a lazy circle.

Chisato laughs at her antics. “You'll have to help me pick out some more clothes today, Saki,” she says.

“No problem,” Saki answers, rebalancing herself. “We have a pack mule with us today.”

“Now wait a minute-”

“Oh look, here comes Mrs. Sakamoto!” Saki says, effectively cutting me off. I turn to look and see the music teacher walking towards us, wearing a long white flowing skirt that comes to her ankles, and a floral patterned blouse with short sleeves. She's not alone.

“Is that Noriko?” I ask, squinting.

“Looks like it,” Chisato says. “I didn't think she was going to come today.”

“Me neither,” Saki muses, “but oh my god, that dress...”

I don't know much about fashion, but Noriko does look stunning. Her outfit is probably the simplest out of all of us – a plain blue sundress, but a look that seems to fit her very, very well.

“Damn, I have to find out where she got that, and if they have it in yellow,” Saki mumbles in a fierce jealousy.

“Hello you three!” Mrs. Sakamoto says cheerfully when she reaches us. “Goodness, I didn't think we would be the last ones here.”

“Hisao was the first,” Chisato says, jerking a thumb in my direction.

“Yeah, and it's a miracle because I never get up this early on the weekends,” I reply. “If I had known I was going to be waiting as long as I was, I could have gone for my morning swim.”

“You should have known better. Women never show up on time, and there's four of us.” Chisato answers. Saki punches her in the arm, Noriko giggles, but Mrs. Sakamoto lets out a full volume laugh.

“So, you must be Hisao Nakai. Pleased to make your acquaintance. Miss Enomoto told me she wanted to bring a friend along today,” she says with a gracious bow.

I return the gesture, bowing deeper as a sign of respect. “Mrs. Sakamoto, you're the music teacher, correct? I remember seeing you on stage at the festival, and Saki and Chisato have told me about you.”

“Only good things, I hope,” she jokes.

“So...what exactly are we doing today? Chisato was a bit...vague...” Noriko asks in her quiet voice. From what I've seen of her during and since the festival, she seems like a fairly shy person. I've seen her interacting a few times with Saki and Chisato, but it seems she goes out of her way to not be noticed. Glancing at her dress again, it's a bit of a paradox. I wouldn't expect this girl to be wearing the type of outfit.

“Well,” Saki starts hesitantly, looking at Mrs. Sakamoto for confirmation. “We were going to the studio first to check it out, then go to the shopping district, right?”

“It's up to you,” Mrs. Sakamoto says. “We have the car for most of the day today, as long as we get back at a decent time.”

“Alright then!” Chisato cheers. “I've been looking forward to seeing this place! You said they had an actual piano and not a keyboard?”

“That's right,” the teacher answers, starting to walk down the pathway towards the parking lot. The rest of us unconsciously follow. “It's not very large, but the owner likes to make sure he has the best equipment he can afford, including a real piano.”

“Awesome!”

Saki pauses in mid stride, looking confused. “Should we go back and grab my violin, then?”

“Oh no,” Mrs. Sakamoto reassures her, looking over her shoulder but not stopping. “We're just going there so you two can see the place.”

“All right,” Saki accepts, relieved. “I thought I would have had to run all the way back to the dorm for it.”

“Just send Hisao to grab it,” Chisato giggles.

“No thank you. I don't want to have to explain why I would be leaving the female dorm this early in the morning if anyone sees me,” I say, drawing a laugh from everyone.

In a few short moments we've reached the car, a sedan that looks to be as old as I am. Despite its apparent age, it's clean and very well upkept. Chisato speeds up to reach the passenger side before the rest of us.

“Shotgun!”

Saki rolls her eyes. “Making the girl with the cane sit in the back? Shame on you.”

“I'll move the seat up for you,” Chisato consoles, completely unconcerned.

I hold open one of the rear doors, and Noriko jumps in, tucking her dress underneath her as she sits down. She thanks me as I check to make sure her legs are clear before closing the door. Saki moves with me to the other side.

“Go ahead,” Saki motions when I hold open the other door for her. “Sit in the middle.”

“You sure?”

“It's easier,” she answers, placing her hand on the door to replace mine.

I decide not to argue with her, and scoot into the backseat next to Noriko. Saki climbs in after me, reaching down with her arms to pull in her leg. She places her cane on the seat next to us, its length resting between the driver seat and center console.

Mrs. Sakamoto closes the door before getting into the drivers seat and starting the car. All three of us in the back squirm to find comfortable positions as she backs out of the parking space.

---------------
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Sun May 31, 2015 9:09 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New artwork 12/22

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:21 am

The area around us is filled with knickknack shops, a teahouse, a cafe, and a brightly colored karaoke establishment. We're just off from the main downtown district, close enough to still feel like a part of it but far enough away to escape its bustle and relax a bit. The ride from Yamaku was a pleasant one, and it sure did feel nice to be in a car instead of having to take the bus with all the inconveniences that come with it.

Off to one side of the little strip mall we find ourselves in is a plain storefront with the words “Takamura Recording” on a small, unassuming sign. No doubt the business probably does well here, fueled by karaoke patrons with more alcohol than common sense who think they can be the next idol and have to record their caterwauling.

We arrived a few minutes ago, with Chisato barely able to contain her excitement. I think she was outside of the car before it came to a complete stop. It took a bit longer for the rest of us to extract ourselves, brushing our clothes straight and making sure we had everything with us.

“Wait up!” Saki shouts ahead to Chisato, who's practically bouncing ahead of us. She turns around, her skirt swirling around her legs and shouts back.

“No, you hurry up!”

“I swear, I'm going to kill her,” Saki growls, moving as fast as she can, her legs and cane a well-coordinated blur. I'm having to take long strides to keep up, and I can see that her balance is suffering at this speed.

Nobody's going to hurry up because nobody's going to get in until I open the door, Miss Souma!” Mrs. Sakamoto roars out from behind us. The sheer volume of her declaration makes me turn my head in wonder that it came from such a small frame. Noriko's walking alongside her, looking a little embarrassed for all our sakes. She glances around to see if anyone heard that exchange.

Chisato comes up short of the door and turns back, nearly standing at attention as she waits for the rest of our troupe to catch up. There's no way this isn't intentional on her part.

The rest of us finally catch up and come to a stop in front of the door while Mrs. Sakamoto starts to fumble with a set of keys. The room beyond the window is dark, not giving any indication that it's open. A quick glance at a nearby sign lists the hours of business and reveals it's only open on the weekends.

Cursing to herself under her breath, she finally succeeds. With a rattle of metal, she turns the knob and opens the door. We step into a dark room, the air around us cool and smelling of...what is that? Old books, teak oil, the acrid aroma of electronics...I pick it all up in that first breath. My brow furrows. That's quite an odd combination, and it piques my curiosity.

“Where's the light?” Noriko asks, and I can hear a very slight echo through the silence.

“Hang on,” Mrs. Sakamoto says. “It's here some-ah, there it is.”

There's a click and a muted electrical hum as the lights start to come on one at a time, flickering and bathing the room in a staggered, warm glow. I've never been in a recording studio before. I don't know what I was expecting, but I know this wasn't it.

Image

The first thing I notice about the room is the dark tones. From the paneling on the walls, to the hardwood floor, to the various pieces of audio equipment I see around. Cables snake across the floor to things I recognize and objects I can only guess at. There are microphone stands set up near the back wall, chairs next to guitar stands, keyboards, a drum set, and the centerpiece of it all, a full scale piano.

Every wall is decorated with framed pictures of people I don't recognize, half of which are signed.

It's a very inviting atmosphere, and one that shows the owner has put a lot of thought into creating it, even if it is a bit haphazard. Everything might be out in the open, but everything is in its place.

Noriko and Saki are giving the room the same appraisal I am, with similar emotions on their faces. Chisato, however, has made a beeline for the piano.

“Oh my god,” she says, her voice in awed disbelief. “That's a Yamaha S Series.”

“Yes, it is,” Mrs Sakamoto says behind us, having returned the keys to her purse and closed the door.

“How...how did you...did he...I mean...” Chisato splutters out, still unable to form words.

“Is that good?” I ask.

“Is that good? Is that good?” Chisato blurts incredulously, whirling on me. “It's only like, one of the best pianos in the world! What do you mean, 'is that good'?”

“Well, not the best,” Mrs. Sakamoto says, “But definitely in the same category. Poor Takamura couldn't afford anything better, I'm afraid. But he got a good deal on it through a mutual acquaintance, so he decided to take it.”

“How much did he pay?”

“He paid around five million yen for it, if I remember correctly.”

I'm absolutely floored. New cars don't even cost that much. I look at the instrument again in a new found sense of wonder.

“Can I touch it?” Chisato asks.

“Sure,” her teacher assures. “After all, you're going to be recording on it, aren't you?”

“Yeah, but...I thought it would be a standard keyboard or something like the piano we have in the band room, just not this.

“Oh, just sit down and shut up,” Mrs. Sakamoto sighs in mock exasperation before turning towards Saki. “I'm sorry, but Takamura doesn't usually record many string instruments, so you'll have to use your own violin.”

“What,” Saki pouts. “He doesn't have a Stradivarius hidden in a cabinet somewhere?”

The piano plays a few shy, tentative notes as Chisato's fingers brush over the keys. She's caressing it almost the way someone would do to a newborn – a feather touch eliciting only the smallest and purest of sounds. Even to me, the sound is entirely different from what I heard her play at the festival. I don't know if it's the quality of the instrument or the atmosphere itself that's making it so wonderful, but I suspect it's a bit of both.

Her lips set in determination as her hands start to move faster, and with more confidence. She begins to play a lighthearted melody, feeling out the precision of the finely honed piece of art. It's just as mesmerizing to listen to as her performance at the school was. I only wish I could hear Saki's violin along with it. I can't imagine what the two of them would sound like together in this room, but I really hope I get to hear it when it happens.

Chisato's playing comes to a close with a few final, light chords. She sits back, stunned.

“I never imagined it would sound so good...”

“An instrument is nothing without the artist to play it,” Mrs. Sakamoto lectures, placing a hand on her student's shoulder. “Without the passion you have, that piano is useless.”

Chisato gives her teacher's hand a squeeze and whispers. “Thank you.”

The mood is broken by Mrs. Sakamoto moving her arm up to tousle Chisato's hair, causing the younger girl to yelp. “Oh relax,” she says. “No need to treat it like a church alter. Scratch the paint though, and you'll have to pay to get it repaired.”

I didn't think Chisato's eyes could get any wider than they did when she first saw the piano, but I was wrong.

“What will you be recording here?” Noriko asks, still looking around the room.

“Well, it's...” Saki starts, before Chisato can answer. But her enthusiasm falters as the same embarrassed look crosses her face as she gave me the first day at the pool.

“...I guess, an album?” she finally offers.

“Oh wow,” I say, and mean it. “That sounds like it would be pretty neat.”

Chisato picks up the explanation. “It was Mrs. Sakamoto's idea. She mentioned it last year to us and it's definitely something I was hoping we could do, once she talked to us about it.”

“Why an album, though?” Noriko ponders aloud. “And why now?”

Chisato answers, her smile disappearing into a hint of sadness. “None of us really know where we're going to be in a year or two...so the only time we know for sure we can do this is now.”

“Because we're third years?” I say.

“Yes, because this is our last year together,” Saki quickly replies.

That takes me aback a bit. I've only been here for a few short weeks, so I haven't had the time to build the connections that others here have. But when I think about how a similar situation would have happened with my friends in my old school, I try to feel empathy for the situation, but shockingly, I find I can't relate because I don't have a similar frame of reference.

I didn't even have the time to prepare to lament the idea I may lose my friendships and that I only had a limited amount of time to make memories. It was thrust on me without warning and lasted for a few excruciating months.

My brow furrows slightly as I think about how quickly my mind just took that angle, and why. I thought I was doing better, but little things that that make me doubt my own progress.

I need to think about this some more. I guess I'm not as far along as I thought I was.

I'm shaken out of my thoughts by Mrs. Sakamoto clapping her hands together. “Do you girls like it?”

“It's wonderful!” Chisato cheers, back to full intensity. “I never thought I'd get to play on one of these!”

“Where's the processing room?” Saki asks, looking around the room again.

“Other side of that mirror,” the teacher explains, pointing at one wall. “Everything needed to record and edit, including that trick you wanted to work on,” she says.

Saki glances at me and looks uncomfortable, but I haven't the faintest idea why.

“Thank you,” she says. “Can I check it out?”

“That room I don't have the key for, unfortunately.”

“Aw.”
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Wed May 27, 2020 5:06 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 (New artwork 12/22

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:23 am

“Takamura doesn't trust me that much just yet,” Mrs. Sakamoto says with a wink. “I don't blame him. With how much he spent on that piano, I can only imagine how much he spent on all the equipment in there.”

“Next time then?”

“We'll need to work on when Takamura will be here, but we can do that as soon as the two of you feel you're ready.”

“We should be ready by the summer holidays, I think?” Chisato states, looking to Saki for confirmation.

“I hope so, but yeah, if nothing goes wrong.”

“Does Mr. Takamura only record instruments?” Noriko asks, eyeing the group of microphone stands in the back.

“Oh no,” Mrs. Sakamoto laughs. “Actually, it's the opposite. He rarely records instruments at all. He gets most of his business on weekend nights from the karaoke hangout next door and people who decide they have to record something together. That's why there are four stands set up like that.”

Looks like I was correct in my suspicions. I admire the cunning marketing strategy.

“Seems like it's a waste, with all this equipment here. I mean, doesn't the karaoke place have recorders? Every one I've ever been to lets you record yourself,” I observe.

“He still has to pay the bills. We don't see too many people of the caliber of our duo over here, but he has a reputation for being very good. You don't need a Yamaha to record someone singing pop songs, so he usually leaves it covered,” Mrs. Sakamoto finishes, glancing at her watch. “I just wanted to show you the place. Are we ready to eat?”

“I'm starving!” Saki says, brightening up. “I haven't eaten all day!”

“If you woke up before I was pounding on your door, it wouldn't have been a problem, Saki!” Chisato chides, while standing up and closing the piano lid over the keys.

“Unlike some of us, I need my beauty sleep.”

“Pfff. You're up at six every morning and the day we're supposed to go into town is the one day you suddenly can't wake up? Yeah right,” Chisato huffs, rolling her eyes.

“Well yeah. I hadn't eaten yet, so I didn't have energy. That's why I didn't wake up,” Saki says, either completely oblivious to or fully aware of what she just said and choosing not to care.

“I...I can't even begin to describe what's wrong with that sentence,” I say, shaking my head.

“Can try that little cafe that's down a few doors?” Noriko asks.

“It's as good a place as any,” Saki says. “I'm still hungry.”

“Can't you wait until we get to the shopping district?” Chisato whines.

“Excuse me,” Saki responds in astonishment, “but is the diabetic teaching me the merits of holding off when she needs to eat?”

Chisato gives her friend a light punch in the shoulder, not even enough to make Saki's balance sway, but enough to drive home the point as both girls laugh.

“The cafe will probably be less expensive too,” Mrs. Sakamoto says, very subtly but firmly herding us to the door with an efficiency that only teachers can.

“I agree with Mrs. Sakamoto,” I pipe up, tilting the odds four to one in our favor. I had to side with the teacher on this one, if for no other sake than I'm already dreading the pounding my wallet is going to take today.

“Ugh, fine,” Chisato says, resigned. “But we're going to swing by that shop I like for some ice cream.”

In short order, all five of us are outside. Mrs. Sakamoto locks the door behind her and places her keys into her purse. “Cheer up, Ms. Souma,” she says. “I'll buy that ice cream if you promise not to drag me around too much today.”

“Okay!”

I'm amazed. Every one of them can seem to change their moods at the drop of a hat. Even Noriko seems uplifted. I don't know her that well, but that just shows what a marked effect this day is having on her.

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

“Here are your orders,” the young woman says, expertly placing our cups and glasses on the table we've surrounded. Once each item has been claimed by its prospective owner and moved, she sets down the small plates of food several of us have ordered in similar fashion. We all thank her when she bows, and she rapidly vanishes.

The cafe has a modern look, clean and utilitarian with a minimum of decorum on the walls. The light colors make the space seem more open than it is, a look that is helped by the many windows that stretch from ceiling to floor and the light they let in.

The problem with modern looking cafes, however, is that their chairs aren't very comfortable to sit in. I suppose that's universal no matter what part of the country you visit.

“So, I have to ask,” I address the teacher, “what made you think that Saki and Chisato should make an album together?”

“You said you were at the festival, and saw the band performance, right?”

“Yes, I did.”

“If you saw those two, then you should have all the answers you need,” she says, picking up her steaming cup and having a sip. “We don't see many students in the music program on their level, and rarely do we get two that work together so well.”

“Is that so?” I muse, while both of us glance towards the two in question. Both look modestly embarrassed, but happy at the praise they're receiving.

“Yes. I gave them the idea last year. It's still a lot of work, having to write music in addition to playing it. But it's a challenge I think they'll be able to handle just fine.”

“I can play,” Chisato says, “but I can't write. Most of the time I just try to record what I play in my head and then go back and write it down, but it never really comes out that well.”

“I'm the same way,” Saki agrees, stirring the contents of a sugar packet into the coffee she ordered. “Probably explains why my grades are so bad.”

“You're fine. I told you, you need to stop underselling yourselves. You have talent that you're both good at, and you should take it as far as you can, for as long as you can.”

That's...an interesting choice of words. I can't say why, exactly, because it sounds like the type of thing that you would hear in any motivational speech. But Mrs. Sakamoto doesn't strike me as a person who says empty words, so to hear something that stereotypical seems off.

“How long have you taught at Yamaku?” Noriko asks, between two bites of her sandwich.

“This will be my seventh year of being the music director,” she answers.

“Have you always lived here?” I inquire.

“Oh no,” Mrs. Sakamoto says, losing herself in thought. “Let's see...my husband and I moved here, when was it? A little over ten years ago.” Her expression softens as she relives the memory. “We lived outside of Tokyo and wanted to find someplace quieter to settle down. So, we moved here.”

During the festival, many of the older guests gave me the impression of what she just revealed. But it doesn't sound like she was a teacher at the time she moved.

“Did you go to university in Tokyo to become a teacher?” I ask her, genuinely curious.

She chuckles. “No, I never took a class for it in my life.” She takes another sip of her tea before continuing. “After moving here, there was an article in the paper about how the previous teacher at Yamaku was retiring and my husband said that I should apply. I humored him and applied for the job.”

“If you weren't a teacher, what did you do in Tokyo before you moved out here?” Noriko questions, just as puzzled as I am.

“I was a member of the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra,” Mrs. Sakamoto replies, with a smile and more than a hint of pride in her voice.

“Really!” I exclaim. I don't know much about music, but even I can figure out what a large deal that is.

“Yes. I started out a second violin, then moved up. I was with them for almost twenty years,” she explains.

“That's incredible,” Noriko says.

Saki and Chisato are giving polite attention. They must already know this story, but it's plain they enjoy hearing the enthusiasm and fire it adds to their teacher's voice when retelling it.

“It was a lot of fun in its own way. But this is nice too. I get to share my love of music with my students. I get the joy of watching them grow. I've met some truly talented people. I loved doing what I did in Tokyo, and I wouldn't trade that time for anything, but this is much more fulfilling,” she says, glancing towards Saki and Chisato, who smile and turn their heads slightly in embarrassment.

“Do your children ever share your passion for music?” I question.

The light in her eyes dims ever so slightly before answering. “I wouldn't know. Somehow in all the stress of daily life, and trying to get stable, my husband and I just never got around to having children when we were younger. We always talked about it, but the timing was never right. By the time things settled down enough and we moved here, well...it was a little too late,” she finishes, the wistful look on her face changing to encompass the memories of more years than I've been alive.

“I'm sorry,” I say, in a muted voice. “I didn't mean-”

“Don't be!” she dismisses with a wave. “I have plenty of nieces and nephews. And I have all of my students, year after year.” She pauses for a few seconds before going on. “You know, I think that's why Eji pushed me to take the job in the first place. I'm actually really glad he did.”

The conversation cuts off as Mrs. Sakamoto's phone rings in her purse. With an apologetic glace at all of us, she pulls it out and looks at the display. She excuses herself and steps outside of the cafe as she holds the phone up to her ear.

“I think she's on the phone with her husband,” Noriko says. “Whoever she's talking with, she sure seems happy.”

A quick look over and it turns out she's right about the second part, at least. Mrs. Sakamoto's eyes are sparkling as she laughs at something the other party said. It's nice to see her like this, after how serious she seemed to be just moments ago.
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:04 pm, edited 4 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 (New artwork 12/22

Post by Peorth » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:25 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 (New artwork 12/22

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:27 am

“So, Hisao,” Saki asks, grabbing my attention. “Did you have a better idea about what type of swimsuit you wanted to get? There's a few stores where we're going and they sell all kinds of different types.”

“No...not really,” I say with difficulty, bringing my cup of coffee up to my lips and taking another sip. I feel the warmth spreading through my mouth and hope it can unfreeze my tongue. “Something cheap and functional,” I amend, noticing that I was only partially successful.

“Aw, you're no fun,” Chisato smirks. “No Speedo?”

“God, no,” I say, my face settling into disgust before my cheeks have a chance to turn red.

“I was thinking of getting a new suit too,” Saki says. “There's some good sales going on right now for summer.”

“You outgrow that bikini from last year already?” Chisato teases.

“No, but any excuse I have to buy a new one, I take it.”

“You don't know the half of it,” Chisato says, lowering her voice, turning her attention to Noriko and myself. “We went to the beach or the waterpark last year, what...five times?”

“Six,” Saki corrects.

“Right, six. Girl had a different swimsuit every single time we went. And not just a new one for the trip. I swear she had a new one for every day.

“Completely untrue. They weren't new, I just packed enough where I didn't have to wear one more than once.”

“That's...weird,” Noriko says.

“Oh please, why should a swimsuit be any different than other pieces of clothing? I mean it's not like you would wear the same outfit two or three days in a row, so why would you do the same with a swimsuit?”

Please don't look at me. Please don't look at me. Please don't lo-

“Right, Hisao?”

Damnit.

I imagine all the identical orderly clothing in my closet. Even aside from school uniforms, I don't have much, and I'm wearing most of it.

“Don't look at me,” I say with a shrug. “Normal clothes, yeah, but a swimsuit...just hang it on the shower curtain rod and it's ready to go the next day.”

“Ugh, boys,” Saki says with a horrified shudder. This causes the other two to laugh.

Mrs. Sakamoto comes back to the table and sits down.

“Is everything alright?” Chisato asks.

“Oh, yes, everything is fine,” Mrs. Sakamoto replies. “That was just my husband. It seems his boss let him out of work early today. He called me to see where I was.”

“Oh?” Saki asks.

“Yes. He knew I was taking our car today but I don't think he realized he would be off so soon.”

“Does he work near here?” I ask.

“Not too far, just further downtown.”

“Hmmm...” Chisato hums thoughtfully before tugging on Saki's sleeve. The two of them start whispering to each other in hushed tones. Mrs. Sakamoto takes no notice as she continues to drink her tea.

“I'm sorry,” I say out of reflex. “Were you going to pick him up today?”

“No. He normally takes the car, but I took it today so we could all come down here. He took transit today.”

“Sensei,” Chisato asks, having finished her conversation with Saki. “When was the last time you and your husband were able to spend some time together in the city?”

“Oh my,” the older woman ponders, giving it a few moments before answering. “It's been quite a while.”

“Well...” Saki starts. She looks to Chisato again, who nods for her to continue. “You already showed us the studio today. We were just going to go shopping for a while before we all went back...we'll be fine on our own. If you want, you can go surprise your husband and go have dinner together.”

This catches both myself and the teacher off guard, although I manage to do a better job of hiding it.

“I couldn't do that!” she exclaims, shaking her head. “I brought you all here!”

“Don't worry about it,” Chisato says. “We're down here all the time anyway, we know our way around. We can just take the bus back like we always do.”

Mrs. Sakamoto spends a minute thinking this over. I can tell she's torn between being wanting to go and being the responsible adult.

“I wouldn't want anything to happen to you...” she offers feebly.

“We have Hisao here to protect us,” Saki says with a wink.

I roll my eyes. Yeah, let the guy with the heart problem babysit the three damsels in distress. None of this would help Saki's argument, so I keep my mouth shut.

“If all of you are absolutely sure...”

“It's alright with me,” Saki says.

“It was my idea,” Chisato seconds.

“Go and have a good time!” Noriko says, adding her voice to the chorus of affirmation, causing all four of the other people at the table to look at me expectantly.

Yeah, like I'm really gonna say no at a time like this?

“Well, none of my friends could beat me at Street Fighter. Anyone bothers us, I'll just hadouken them and we can all run away,” I boast, cupping my hands in front of me in the signature move.

Noriko stifles a giggle while Chisato rolls her eyes.

Huh. Thought that would have gone over better.

The person most receptive to my performance is Mrs. Sakamoto, who's face changes to one of relieved gratitude.

“Alright, I will. And thank you. Don't stay out too late tonight, alright?”

“We'll be back well before curfew,” Saki answers.

Mrs. Sakamoto takes both her billfold and her phone out of her purse, opening the first to pull out a few slips of paper. Noriko moves to object, but the teacher silences her with a stern look.

“No argument. Lunch is on me. But you four are on your own for dinner.”

“Deal,” Chisato says.

“Enjoy your evening,” I say. “And thank you for everything earlier today.”

Mrs. Sakamoto bows lightly, dropping the notes on the table. With one final look of gratitude towards us, she starts to dial numbers on the phone and walk towards the door, leaving the four of us alone. All we can do is watch her for a few seconds, her posture and movements reflecting the happy mood that she's in.

“I hope I'm like that when I'm her age,” Noriko muses.

“Me too,” Chisato agrees.

A sad look flashes for an instant across Saki's eyes as she gives a small smile. “I'm sure you will be.” The corners of her mouth curl up into a more sarcastic grin. “If you can find someone to put up with you, that is.”

“Which one of us has a boyfriend again?” Chisato instantly fires back.

“How long have you been going out with Mitsuru? Three months?” Saki banters.

“Three and a half. That's an eternity for a high school relationship. Besides, Maeda-

“Finish that sentence and they'll never find your body.”

“Honestly,” the dark haired girl continues teasing. “What you saw in him I'll never guess.”

“Okay, I lied. They may find your body. Parts of it, anyway. But they'll never find the whole thing.”

“Oh lighten up. It's not like my track record is any better,” Chisato reassures, taking a second to shudder, no doubt reliving some of her own bad memories regarding the opposite sex. She suddenly turns her attention to me. “What about you, Hisao? Any ex girlfriends we can gossip about so we all feel better together?”

Did I notice earlier that these chairs were really uncomfortable? I think I did, but I can't remember. These chairs are really uncomfortable.

“No, not really,” I say, trying to diffuse the question but realizing too late that answer gives the completely opposite reaction.

“No ex girlfriends at all?” Chisato asks me, her eyebrows raising like the pitch of her voice to signal her disbelief. “Don't tell me you've never had a girlfriend!”

Saki and Noriko are both looking at me now, with more interest than when Chisato posed her first question to me.

“No,” I sigh. “There was someone that might have been, but...circumstances,” I finish a little more bitterly than I intended. I pick up my cup of coffee and take a long drink, hoping that my tone and body language will signal how much I really don't want to continue this line of questioning.

It works.

“Meh, life happens,” Chisato says, dropping the subject. “If everyone's finished, can we go get my ice cream now?”

“Shouldn't you test your blood sugar?” Noriko asks, concerned.

“Tested it in the bathroom when we first got here,” Chisato answers. I imagine it would probably be natural to do so, since unrolling the kit can draw quite a bit of attention. “Right where it should be.”

“You're not going to force us to try some of that sugar-free crap you call ice cream, are you?” Saki shudders. “I'm sorry, but I'd rather eat no ice cream than have to try that disgusting stuff again.”

“Oh come on, it isn't that bad,” Chisato taunts, while standing up and pushing in her chair.

“The last time you said I should try it, I did, and I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth for hours.”

“I happen to like the taste.”

Saki laughs. “I think I just figured out why your cooking is so bad.”

“Stop changing the subject,” Chisato pouts. “Ice cream. Then shopping.”

“On the second, we agree,” Saki affirms, taking her cane in hand and using it to help lever herself to a standing position. “Noriko, was there anything you wanted to get today?”

“Not really. I know I want to buy something, but I don't know what.”

“Oh,” Saki exclaims, holding her hand over her heart in a completely dramatic fashion. “I feel your pain! That's one of the worst feelings to have.”

“I'm good with anything, as long as we can stop by a department store,” I offer. “Something cheap and that also sells fishtank supplies.”

“Maybe not the same store,” Saki states, “but we should have no problem finding either of those.”

Of the four of us, those that haven't already stood do so now. I stretch while the girls adjust their purses to more comfortable positions on their shoulders and hips.

“The ice cream shop is only a few blocks over,” Chisato says as soon as we step out into the bright afternoon sun. The air smells clean and invigorating.

“The sooner we fill you full of chemicals the sooner I can be trying on new swimsuits,” Saki laughs. “Alright, let's go.”

And with that, the four of us start heading towards the shopping district and the second half of our day.

Image
<<Art by Reqqles>>

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Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Wed May 27, 2020 5:08 am, edited 6 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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Eurobeatjester wrote:I doubt my ability to write convincing lesbian erotica
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Update and Art 1/

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:35 am

Whoof! That one took a while!
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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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Update and Art 1/

Post by azumeow » Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:54 am

THE HYPE IS REEEAAAALLLLL!!!!

Ahhhhhhhh, I love it when a fic I'm following updates. This was just what the doctor ordered! Lovedddddd iiiittttt. I like the subtle mentions of Saki's....position.
"I don’t want to be here anymore, I know there’s nothing left worth staying for.
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore, I’m listening with one foot out the door
And something has to die to be reborn-I don’t want to be here anymore"

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Update and Art 1/

Post by brythain » Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:52 am

Ah, lovely, and that nice sunny piece of artwork is out too!

I can't help but wonder if Mrs Sakamoto is related to this famous gentleman.
It's nice to see everyone having a guilt-free and enjoyable time together. So much life!
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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