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

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 3/2)

Post by Craftyatom » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:05 pm

Well, the parts *I* proofread all looked good :P

I wasn't expecting much out of this chapter at first, if I'm honest - slice of life is nice, but I tend to find it boring if there isn't some underlying substance to it. However, the conversation between Hisao and Saki near the end made it all worthwhile. Having the characters examine/explain their past feelings and decisions (and comparing them to what I was thinking at the time) is interesting, and I personally quite enjoy it when stories employ this concept.

The smut lived up to your writing, although personally I think Hisao was a bit too accepting of being outdoors - it's a matter of characterization, and I can understand why he might be more open to it given how he's grown over the course of the story, but I'd need to think about it some more to decide for sure. Also, if there was one word I didn't expect to see in this chapter, it was "exhibitionist" - seems I need to change my expectations!

Good writing in general - your work is always a pleasure to read.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Path of Least Resistance, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 3/2)

Post by NoticeMeOppai » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:19 pm

Another great update on a fic I'm already very much enjoying!
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 3/2)

Post by Command13 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:29 pm

Have been away from the forums for quite a while, was really happy to see this was still going :) enjoying catching up, great job.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New Art 4/3)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:27 pm

Wahoo, new commission completed!

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 4/3)

Post by Blackmambauk » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:42 pm

If you ever wondered what Hisao would look like in a Dawson Creek way. The picture nails that impression.
"I think the greatest skill a writer can have is simply having confidence in themselves to tell the story they want to tell, and to have confidence that their audience will make up their own minds on their story and characters." Blackmambauk

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

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New Art 4/3)

Post by Cybermage » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:01 pm

Found your fic about a week ago and finally caught up, reading between classes and studying. I've enjoyed is a lot! Your version of Saki's character and quirks are very endearing for sure! The writing has been top tier.
Of course, this is bittersweet for me because now I have to wait for the rest but I'll certainly be looking forward to each new chapter. Speaking of which any updates on scene 10? :D Keep at it man you are very talented!

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New Art 4/3)

Post by Curio » Wed May 16, 2018 2:18 am

Hey, just wanted to say you've made a great fic so far and I've loved reading it for the first time. The added commissioned artwork is amazing and they're a great compliment to the story, even the KS style classroom pics tie places together.

Someone recommended your fic on r/katawashoujo with the recent influx of Saki posts and I’m so glad they did!

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New Art 4/3)

Post by TravelingMaster » Sun May 27, 2018 7:49 pm

I've read the story twice and enjoyed it both times, and I look forward to reading more! In my opinion, this is one of the best stories on these forums. The artwork is great, too. Keep up the good work :)

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New Art 4/3)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:32 am

Thank you for all the kind comments!

Here's the next chapter!

The title comes from a Smile.dk song featured in Dance Dance Revolution, for both its lyrics and because it's a song I absolutely love and the first I cleared on Expert when I got back into it :wink:

Feedback, as always, is appreciated!

Act 3: Ignition

Scene 10: Koko Soko Asoko

My bag hits the ground with enough force to cause a slight reverb through the room, followed quickly by Saki's – although I set that one down a little more gently as a courtesy. The frequencies seem to amplify each other, leaving a deafening silence in their wake.

“What do you have in that thing?” I ask, sitting down on one of the chairs and shrugging my shoulders to restore some bloodflow down my arms.

Saki strolls over and hands me the second keycard to the room, now that my hands are free.

“Well what do you expect? Everything I'm taking home with me for the summer is in there.”

“You did leave the fishtank on your dresser right? I'm not going to find it if I open this bag?”

“That's nothing,” Saki says with a laugh. “Just a few of my outfits I like to wear this time of year that I take to Yamaku with me.”

My own bag is heavier than usual but not by much. My parents had only packed a few non-uniform pieces of clothing when I went to Yamaku, and I wasn't in much shape to help them from a practical or emotional standpoint. I have the few pieces of clothing I've purchased in the last few months and the essentials, but I left the majority of my clothes hanging in my dorm closet. I should have plenty to wear when I get home in a few days, assuming my parents didn't clean out my room.

Honestly, when I spoke to them last night, they seemed happy to have me coming home, even if there was a bit of apprehension regarding this detour first. Every time I've spoken to them about it, there's been a slight tension there. They've raised objections in several ways; do I really know these people well enough for a trip like this, can I handle it physically, will I have enough medication with me, and so on. Even if they have the best intentions, the delicate worrying over any issues that might come up made me annoyed for reasons it took me a while to wrap my head around.

I didn't even realize how used to Yamaku's environment I had become. Every day I've been improving and it has taken a lot of effort on my part and understanding on the parts of others to get to where I'm at now. Nurse and others show concern, but they've never tried to use it as an excuse – or let me do so, for that matter.

Now when I'm in social situations that leave me treated like a piece of glass again, I find myself running out of tolerance very quickly. I know my parents' hearts are in the right place, which makes me feel a bit guilty for having that reaction to their concerns.

Exasperated though? Absolutely. At least they relented and gave me their best wishes for this trip. I just wonder how this is going to affect the time spent back home. I'm already apprehensive enough about that as is.

Saki rests her cane against the wall and flops down onto the bed, sighing contentedly. “It feels good to stretch out after that bus ride.”

“No kidding. Why did that ride feel longer than the one to get to the beach?”

“You were awake for it, that's probably why.”

“True. How long did you say we had until the next bus?”

“About twenty minutes. Then there's one more to the entrance of the park.”

“We should probably hurry up and get changed then.”

Saki sighs again, as if the burden of doing so is absolutely soul crushing. “Fiiiiine~”

Both of us start looking through our bags trying to find the swimwear we're both going to be wearing for the day. I finally find my trunks, along with a lightweight dark colored shirt. I might be able to swim without it with no issues at Yamaku or on the beach when it's somewhat deserted, but I'm not ready to do that just yet at a waterpark. Saki retreats to the bathroom to change into her swimsuit, which gives me some privacy of my own.

In about two minutes she reemerges, and she's accessorized her white suit with a long colorful towel wrapped around her waist like a flowing skirt. Like with all the other times before it and yet somehow an entirely new experience each time, I immediately think about how it's a great look for her.

A few short minutes later and we've joined Chisato and Noriko down in the lobby, the two of them similarly prepared for the day's activities. Chisato is wearing a much shorter piece of fabric around her waist than Saki is, her towel instead draped around her neck. Noriko has jean shorts on accompanied by a white shirt, the slightly darker outline of her swimsuit visible underneath it.

“Everyone got everything?” I ask, hefting my backpack up on my shoulder. I've consolidated everything Saki and I were taking to the waterpark together into that one bag, and Chisato must have done the same for herself and Noriko. An affirmative nod from the two of them confirms this.

“This is going to be so much fun!” Noriko says, excited. “I haven't been to a waterpark in years!”

“Me neither,” I say, sharing her enthusiasm. In spite of the summer heat becoming a bit oppressive over the last few weeks, it's something I've been looking forward to.

As soon as I finish that sentence, a blue bus pulls up to the curb to take us away.


“You're not getting me on that thing,” I say, my voice full of conviction.

“Oh come on, it won't be that bad,” Chisato chides.

“After what happened on the last ride?”

“You're supposed to stay in the tube, you know.”

I sigh, feeling more tired than I should.

After taking a few minutes to jam our bags into a locker and change out of the last pieces of clothing we needed to, we decided to slowly wander around the park while taking in the sights and thinking out loud about what we wanted to go on.

The park itself is a bit larger than I though it would be. There's an area designed for little kids to splash around in, surrounded by a lazy river that is definitely on my to-do list later. Just next to that is a large wavepool filled with an equal number of tubes and guests, happily jumping into and getting moved around by the waves that start at the back wall and eventually crash on the white concrete shoreline. A modest hill raises near the back corner of the park, and this is where all the slides seem to be. The four of us made our way up the hill, with Saki leaning on me for balance in the areas she didn't have a railing to steady herself.

We've only been here for about half an hour and already something's gone wrong.

As it so happened, the first ride we went on was a large slide that sent riders down one at a time in tubes. I had lost my balance at the last minute while trying to sit in mine, and I couldn't readjust in time before the water swept me down. I had made it three turns before the inflatable steed managed to buck me and go flying over my head, leaving me to enjoy the last half of the slide on my back until I was unceremoniously dumped into the pool. Noriko and Saki had already gone down before I did, so they were able to watch the entire thing. When I finally regained enough composure to get out of the way, part of me was hoping that Chisato would meet the same fate that I had when she came roaring down the slide a few moments later.

No such luck.

And now, looking up at the thing that Chisato has suggested we try next...I'm beginning to wonder if this was such a great idea after all.

A large, reverberating bang echoes, followed by the sounds of a rush of water and a pair of screams. While the logical part of my brain realizes that those screams turned into laughter after only two seconds, the caveman part that survives by decidedly running away from things that cause screaming is less convinced.

“This is new, they didn't have this last year!”

“I'm going,” Noriko says, looking towards us with a smile and then breaking into a swift trot for the base of the stairs.

“I swear Hisao, it's not as bad as it looks,” Saki says. “You'll have fun.”

“The floor drops out and dumps you into the slide! I didn't even know they made a ride like that.”

“That's so cool, right?”

“Hell no!”

Bang. Whoosh. More screams.

...and laughter.

“Uuuuugh,” I groan. “I really do not want to do this.”

“I'd really like to try it, if that's okay?”

Saki knows exactly what she's doing with that sentence. She knows I wouldn't leave her to climb a few flights of stairs on her own, so I'd inevitably end up at the top of the slide anyway with only one quick option to get down.

I relent, my body language causing her eyes to light up before I can even say anything. “All right. But once I'm up there I reserve the right to back out.”


A few people have gotten in line between us and the other two girls, but it doesn't take long for us to make our way near the top. Along the way I get a much closer look at the slide in question. It's a straight shot from near vertical at the top to the splash pool at the bottom, but the twist is that you stand on a platform that drops out from under you along with a deluge of water to start the descent.

Bang. Whoosh. Scream. Laughter. The last two sounds actually have a doppler effect as the person making them rockets past us.

Alright. I'll admit there's a little part of me that wants to try it. But it's a small part.

Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:04 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 Art 4/3)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:34 am

We finally make it to the top of the platform just in time to see Chisato and Noriko getting ready. The ride starts inside a pod that you stand in, looking like some sort of chamber they use to freeze people for a long voyage in a science fiction movie. Once the two of them nervously get in and listen to a few words from the park employee running the ride, clear lids close over them, sealing them inside.

“I changed my mind!” Chisato shouts, her voice muffled by the acrylic. Her arms are crossed over her chest and her face is a mixture of excitement and terror, the whites of her eyes completely visible around her irises. I can see her start to whisper to herself, and as soon as she closes her eyes, the floor drops out and she disappears with an echoing scream that hilariously fades after a few seconds.

Saki's laughing hysterically by my side, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't also get some amusement out of it.

Once two more pairs end up plunging down to the pool below, it's our turn. Saki takes my hand as I help her get to her pod, and then I gingerly step in mine.

“Keep your arms and legs crossed at all times on the way down, okay?” the attendant asks me. I nod at him and assume the position, and the lid slams down with the finality of a closing coffin. All I can hear is the rush of water beneath me and my own heartbeat in my ears...until it stops.

Wait, what? That heartbeat sound wasn't mine, but instead it was being played by speakers in the-


The floor drops out beneath me and a strangled cry forces its way out of my throat as I fall. The pulse pounding moment is quickly drowned by the water cascading around me, carrying me further down the slide and into the bright sun. I yell out as I pick up speed, fighting my instincts and trying to stay with my ankles and arms locked where they are.

In a few more seconds it's all over. I skid across the surface of the pool for a few meters when the slide dumps into it, before I have to start swimming to keep myself from sinking. The pool isn't that deep, but it's a bit disorienting until my feet find the bottom.

Saki's next to me, laughing and trying to brush her soaked hair out of her eyes. Chisato and Noriko reach down to help the two of us out. It happened so fast that I can barely believe that it happened at all.

“I want to do that again!” Noriko exclaims, her neck craning so she can look back up the slide. The next victim is already making their way down.

“Chisato, I can't believe you screamed that loud,” Saki teases.

“I was fine until they closed the lid,” she answers with a shy look on her face. “I don't think I want to ride that one again.”

“Oh come on, it was fun! Right Hisao?”

“It was so much fun I don't want to overdo it by riding it again,” I say, putting my hands on my knees and trying to regain my composure. It wasn't physically exerting, but that was one hell of a ride.

“What next?” Noriko asks, practically bubbling over with childish enthusiasm.

“That lazy river is starting to look more and more appealing,” I say, more to myself but loud enough where maybe someone else will agree with me. After the last two, I think I'm done with the thrill rides for a little bit.


“Good call on this,” Saki says, letting her head hang back off the tube she's riding so she can dip her hair in the water. I'm in the middle of my own, my arms folded on the top surface so my lower half is submerged. The water is cool but not overly so, which is a great contrast to the sun overhead.

I'm glad I remembered to put sunscreen on my shoulders this time.

“This is nice,” I say. “I could stay like this the rest of the day.”

“I hope not,” Saki laughs, splashing some water towards me. “I still want to try all those other slides. They have one that spins you into a big bowl and you come out the bottom like a funnel.”

I blanch slightly at the idea, but I might find it fun given what happened earlier. I just need a quick break between each one of those experiences. For my heart. In more ways than one.

“I'll give that a try,” I answer, surprising myself. It could be because Saki needs my help getting around and it's therefore easier to get her to convince me to try new things, or it could be because I'm becoming more adventurous on my own accord. Either way, I don't think this is something I would have done before.

Maybe the “old” me would have done it, but definitely not the person she helped find art supplies for that first day, or the person my parents dropped off at Yamaku several months ago.

I close my eyes and relax further, letting the current of the river carry me along. Go with the flow. Don't fight it. Try to direct it where you can, but don't try to fight it.

“I wonder how the other two are.”

Saki lifts her head to look at me. “Whatever they're doing, they're probably having fun.”

“I'm surprised at Chisato.”

“Why's that?”

“Well she was all excited to go on that last ride but I thought she wanted to chicken out at the last minute.”

“She's like that. She's having fun but she likes to talk herself up when it comes to things like this. I bet for her it ends up being even more fun if she scares herself first.”

“And you?”

She laughs. “I have enough that scares me in every day life. I don't need to inflate that to have fun.”

“I'm not slowing you down, am I?”

“Not at all. I was worried I'd be doing the same thing to you today. Thanks for letting me borrow you,” she finishes, reaching out and grabbing my hand.

“I guess it's a good thing that thrill rides aren't exactly my thing then, huh?”

“You still haven't said 'no' to anything today.”

“I will if you ask me to go on those first two rides again.”

“That's fair.”

“With that caveat, where to next?”

“How about that slide I mentioned earlier?”


Saki looks around and sees what I've already noticed - we just passed the exit to the lazy river about thirty seconds ago, and it's still going to take another few minutes to loop around to it.

“One more time around?”


“No flipping out this time, Hisao.”

“You do know that wasn't my fault, right?”

“So you say,” Saki grins. I shake my head and readjust the large two-rider tube on my shoulder.

All four of us have reunited a while ago, after Chisato and Noriko had enough fun on all the “thrill” slides. Saki and I went on a handful of them, but not nearly as many. As the day wears on, I can see that even though Saki's excited and having fun, she's starting to have a bit of difficulty getting around without her cane and only myself and various railings to use for support. It's not something you would notice unless you were looking for it, but it's there.

I made a promise to myself today that, unless something got exceptionally bad, I wouldn't bring this up. If it's getting to be too much, she'll let me know.

I hear Chisato and Noriko arguing up ahead of us as to which one of the two of them gets to sit in front. Since both of them are carrying it, neither seems to have the advantage.

“You can go first on the next one.”

“As if! This is the only two-person ride in the park.”

“They have the four-person one at the top of the hill.”

“That's not the same thing and you know it. Besides, it's not even covered!”

I lean in and whisper to Saki. “I assume I'm in the back when we go down.”

“It doesn't really matter to me,” she says. “Do you want to be in front?”

I glance back to where the other two girls are no closer to solving their problem.

“I have an idea.”

Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:11 pm, edited 3 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 (New Art 4/3)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:36 am

Several minutes later when we get to the top of the stairs on the slide platform, Chisato and the ride operator wrestle her tube into position in the small water-filled trough. She then eagerly flops into the front of it, pushing a small wave of water over the threshold and down the slide...a preview of what's to come.

“Give me a hand?” Saki asks, stepping forward but gripping my arm tightly. With a little finesse, I help her straddle the rear of the tube and lower herself into a seated position.

“All right,” the operator says, addressing Chisato. “Now lean back and wrap your arms around her legs.”

Chisato does so, helping to anchor Saki in place. The employee nudges them forward to the beginning of the slide, using his foot to stop them before it can start its decent. He then turns his attention to a large red light above the opening, waiting for it to signal that the pool at the bottom is clear.

“Have fun, you two,” Noriko teases, causing her friends to laugh back at her...a laugh that has just a bit of nervousness.

Even though I'm feeling the exact same thing, it still makes me enjoy seeing that I'm not exactly alone here in feeling that.

The light turns green.

“And go!”

The operator removes his foot and presses a button, causing the normal trickle of water filling the trough and spilling into the slide to increase in a dramatic rush. Chisato and Saki are carried away on this tide and disappear down the black maw of the slide. Two seconds later I hear both of them scream as they hit the first curve, becoming invisible and fully enveloped in the darkness.

“You two ready?” the operator asks me. Noriko is nervously excited, and I'm excitedly nervous.

Same as the two before us, we get the tube in position and climb into it with Noriko in front of me. I shiver slightly; either from the feeling of the cold water soaking the seat of my trunks or the gaping void in front of me that now seems to be twice as large as before.

A few agonizing seconds tick by, all three of us staring at the light waiting for it to change. When it finally does, the rush of water propels us past the tipping point and gravity takes over. The roar becomes louder in the enclosed space, and I can only make out our shadow ahead of us for a second before we get whipped around the first turn and into complete black.

With no way of knowing when the next turn is, we both let out a shout of surprise when we hit it, the forces pushing us back further into the tube and sideways on the wall. We both laugh loudly as we hit another curve, feeling the air rush around us as we pick up speed.

One more, then another. I can see a brief beam of light in the tunnel from a seam in the roof of it, and then it's gone in an instant as we blast through it at top speed. Noriko screams as we hit a particularly sharp curve immediately after, and I actually feel the center of gravity shift.

Oh shit, not again...

Fortunately, a second later the feeling passes as the next curve levels us out. My heart skips a beat and I let out the breath I was holding on to when I start to see a glow ahead of us.

One final turn, and we get ejected into the bright light of the sun, causing a flash of disorientation as our tube skips on the water of the splash pool. I finally let go of my death grip on the tube's handles and brush my hair back and out of my face.

“Wow!” I exclaim.

Noriko hasn't stopped laughing since we touched down, and tries to raise herself up enough to slip off of the tube. When this doesn't work, she looks back at me.

“Rock side to side!”

“Huh?” I ask, confused.

Noriko starts moving her hips, causing us to rock. I get the idea and match my movements to hers, and it's enough for the tube to flip over and dump us out into the pool. By the time we get out of the water, Chisato's already stacked their tube with the pile of others for people to grab, and I quickly follow suit. Saki takes my arm again; a comforting presence and ever present anchor.

“Thanks for that!” Chisato says, addressing the two of us. “I really wanted to be in front.”

“No problem,” I answer. “That was a lot of fun.”

“Now what, now what?” Noriko says. She must really be having a lot of fun today. It's infectious.

“Wave pool? It's the only area we haven't checked out yet.”

“I'm down if you guys all are,” Saki says. “It would feel nice to actually get to, you know, swim today too and not back at the hotel.”

“I want to grab another tube for it.”

“They have plenty of them floating in the pool, Noriko.”

“Oh, they do? I didn't see earlier.”

With more light banter, we make our way to the pool entrance. Right outside it is a large grassy area filled with picnic tables and lounge chairs, occupied by no less than two large birthday parties. The pool itself is fenced in with a gate that another employee is watching, along with a rack of lifevests for any children that might have any problems swimming. We get nodded in through the gate, and are soon up to our thighs in the cool clear water and moving even deeper into the pool towards the back wall.

“Keep your suit on this time, Saki,” I say, low enough to where only she can hear me. In response, she shoves me playfully and I lose my balance - but not before taking her down with me in a large splash. Now in her element, she quickly snakes her way behind me and drapes her arms over my shoulders in a loose hug around my neck.

“That wasn't very nice,” I scold.

“Deal with it,” she says, kissing my cheek quickly.

“I'm glad we came today.”

“Good. That makes me happy.”

“How are you feeling?”

“A bit tired. I might want to call it a day after not too much longer.”

It's late afternoon currently. The park is still open for a few more hours, but we've checked out all the rides we've wanted to before making the wavepool the last thing on the list. There might be a few slides we can go down a second time if we want to, but I don't have a strong opinion about it one way or the other.

She's right about being tired though. Between the sporadic adrenaline rushes and the hot summer sun, it's been a very exhausting day. With the exception of an earlier break where we stopped by the lockers so Chisato could check her insulin levels and have a snack, we've been going all day – time spent in the lazy river or here in this pool notwithstanding.

It still seems a bit too early to go back to the hotel though.

“You hungry yet?”

“I'm getting there,” she answers. “But I don't want to eat here though. Too expensive.”

“You thinking we should be leaving soon?”

“I wouldn't mind. We could go eat. Then maybe go see a movie or something?”

“What, catch the first bus back to the city and do something there before we end up back at the hotel?”

“That sounds great.”

“When does your bus leave tomorrow? I forgot.”

“A little after nine thirty. Yours?”

“Around eleven. At least I can keep the other girls company, unless Noriko wants to head back early. We should leave the hotel around eight thirty then, right?”

Saki settles against me a bit, lowering us further into the water. “I wouldn't want to leave any later than that.”

“Maybe we should rethink the movie idea then. We probably shouldn't make it too late of a night.”

As part of the trip planning for this weekend, all of us figured out exactly how we were supposed to get back to our respective destinations for the summer. From the main transit center in the city, Saki and Chisato are taking the same train and splitting up further south. Noriko is heading back up to her family near Yamaku, and I have a second bus to catch that takes me across town to another train station – the one I'll finally get on that will take me back home.

“We can decide what to do after we eat.”

“The more we talk about food, the more I realize how hungry I'm actually getting.”

“Let's head over to Chisato and Noriko and ask them what they think.”

I start to agree when I'm cutoff by the sound of a large foghorn blasting out. I've heard it several times throughout the day, but I didn't know what it was for. It's a lot louder here near the wavepool, and when I hear machinery start to spool up, that question is answered.

“Now might be a good time to do a lap or two, Hisao,” Saki says, slipping off my back.

“Right now?” I ask, looking towards the end of the pool where I hear a deep thrumming. I start to see waves forming in that area of the pool – small at first, but then gaining height as the wavepool winds up to full power.

“Just to the side wall and back. It can be fun swimming in this!”

My body rocks a bit as the first few waves reach us. In a few more seconds, we'll be fully caught up in them.

“Catch me if you can!” Saki shouts, not waiting for my answer. She slips under the surface of the water and pushes off from the bottom of the pool at an angle, propelling herself off like a shot. I take a deep breath and sink down to do the same, chasing after her.

Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:18 pm, 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 Art 4/3)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:38 am

Saki's already a few meters ahead of me, her angle taking her deeper to glide above the bottom of the pool. When I follow her, the pressure of the waves ceases as I skim mere centimeters off of the smooth white concrete, making swimming much easier.

Being underwater in the wavepool as it's running is a surreal experience. There's a large number of tubes on the surface casting eerie shadows as they bob and weave in the surface waves, along with a forest of torsos and legs dangling down like the stalactites of some weird alien cave. Even more amazing is seeing the ceiling of that cave rise and fall by a full meter with the waves, the equipment at the far end of the pool generating them with a low steady heartbeat that you can feel in your bones.

Saki makes it to the far wall far before I do and pushes off the bottom to come up for air. I end up behind her about five seconds later, scanning the surface for an area to breach where I won't get stuck in a tube or slam into someone.

“Do you see the two of them anywhere?” I ask after I've come up for air.

Saki finds a small space away from the wall where the waves aren't very prevalent and scans the surface, searching. It takes a few seconds because we have to wait for the waves to cooperate, but we finally see the two of them inside of a pair of tubes a small distance away. Since we're simply floating with just our heads above water, it's a lot less likely that they'll notice us.

I tense up to get ready to call out to them when Saki stops me with a hand on my shoulder. I look at her questioningly, and see she has an impish grin on her face.

“Follow me. I have an idea.”


Saki grins again, takes a deep breath, and disappears under the surface again. She kicks off the wall towards our friends, and I'm not far behind her. When she ends up swimming near the bottom of the pool, I get a vague idea of what she's trying to do and adjust my depth as well.

Saki slows down a bit so I can catch up, and the two of us grin like a pair of sharks hunting our prey. Chisato and Noriko are in the middle of a nest of rubber and bodies, hiding our approach from their eyes. When we end up beneath their legs (and take an extra second to make sure it really is the two of them) we stop.

In perfect unison, we both grab a pair of legs and pull hard.

There's a pair of surprised yelps that first are audible from above the surface, and then underneath it as both girls are overwhelmed and pulled under through the center of their tubes. The two of us back away from the rapidly kicking legs, and all four of us surface at the same time.

“Saki!” Noriko splutters out, trying to regain her bearings. “That wasn't very nice!”

“No, but it was funny!”

Noriko responds by diving, and in two seconds it's Saki's turn to give a truncated cry as she vanishes under the surface.

“You're not thinking of doing that to me, are you?” I ask Chisato.

“If I ended up with water in my nose, I would. You got lucky.”

“Hah, sorry. It's all in good fun.”

The other two surface, and the timing seems to be perfect given how the waves have started to shrink. The foghorn blasts out again and the background noise of the wave machine shuts off.

“Hisao and I were getting hungry.” Saki says. “What do you two think?”

“I had an apple earlier but that wore off a while ago,” Chisato answers.

“Did you guys go on everything you wanted to?”

Noriko glances towards the other end of the park. “I wouldn't mind doing that dead drop one again, but it looks like the line is getting pretty long for that one.”

In fact, now that the heat of the day has worn off but there's still plenty of daylight left, it seems at a glance that there are a lot more people in the park than there were when we got here earlier. Maybe these are locals who are smart enough not to get here right when the sun is about to be the hottest. Whatever the reason may be, most of the lines are a lot longer than they were earlier.

“Hisao thought it might be a good idea to get food in the city and then find something else to do before we go back to the hotel for the night,” Saki says.

“Technically, I think that was your idea,” I correct her.

“Yeah, but you agreed, so it's your idea too.”

“Actually, did you guys see that arcade near the bus stop?” Noriko asks us. “What do you guys think?”

“I haven't been to a good arcade in a while. There's the one down in the shopping district but they never get any new games,” Chisato says.

“I'm game.”

“That horrible pun aside, Hisao, I'm in too. We can at least check it out,” Saki agrees.

“What pu...oh.”

“I'd like to stay for one more round of the waves?” Noriko says. “They have them every fifteen minutes.”

“Okay,” Saki replies, looking towards me. “It's going to take me a bit longer to change anyway. Is that okay, Hisao?”

Given that I've figuratively and quite literally filled in for the role of Saki's cane today, I can tell she's asking in her own way for help getting back to the locker and restroom area.

“Sure. We'll see you when you get out, then?”

Chisato pouts. “I'm going to stay for the waves too. Someone interrupted our fun the last time.”

I know better than to argue with her on that, given how she spared me after doing what I did to her.

Overall...it's been a damned fun outing.

<<Art by NeoTwentyOne>>


“Oh no! My card won't work on this one!” Noriko wails.

“Card?” I ask.

“Yeah! When you play this game for the first time it lets you save your car on a paper card. You can use it again every time you play to upgrade it.”

Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Wed May 27, 2020 5:22 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 Art 4/3)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:41 am

“And you say it won't work...why?”

“Because this is the new version. We don't have this one back in the city.”

The four of us are making a preliminary pass through the video arcade, having just finished dinner at a cafe near the bus stop. The arcade is lit by the purple neon on its walls and the blue tinted glow of dozens of screens, but feels strangely dark since the room seems to drink any light from these sources. There's also a few blacklights scattered about, adding to the ambiance and giving the arcade a retro-futuristic vibe to it.


We've stopped in front of a bank of Initial D cabinets, which first grabbed Noriko's attention. Now though, they only draw a forlorn look from her.

“Damn,” she continues. “I really wanted to play this.”

“You can play it without a card though, right?”

Noriko pouts. “Yeah, I guess. I'd have to start over again though.”

“That would make it fair though,” Saki says. “Maybe then Chisato would be able to beat you.”

“Hey! I don't play as much as Noriko. Her car is just better than mine, that's all,” Chisato objects.

Noriko gives Chisato a look of fake indignation. “So you're saying the reason I beat you all the time is because I have a better car? Did I just hear you right?”


“That does it. Pick any car you want. I'll beat you with the AE85.”

Saki sighs as her friends can't seem to put money in the machine fast enough. They settle into the drivers seats and adjust them for comfort, clearly focused on the task at hand.

“Noriko reminds me of Shizune when she gets like this,” I whisper into Saki's ear.

“She does get a little competitive, but she won't try to get you to join the student council if you lose.”

I chortle. “That's a relief.”

The race lasts a few minutes, and right up until the end seems pretty close. Chisato and Noriko trade the lead a few times, but near the end of the course a series of very tight turns in succession throws Chisato off and gives Noriko not only the opportunity to pass but build a lead; the other girl simply can't overcome it by the time she crosses the finish line.

“Damnit, I shouldn't have let you pick the course!” Chisato grumbles as the game loudly announces that she is not the winner.

“I don't know why you always forget the end is like that.”

“I haven't played since the last time we raced.”

“When was that?” I ask Saki. Even though she says she's out of practice, I thought Chisato did a damned impressive job.

“It's been a few months since we went to the arcade in town,” she answers.

“At least I can still beat you on DDR,” Chisato continues, trying to reassert some dignity after losing to Noriko.

Saki grins. “Maybe not. Noriko told me she got some practice in on her last trip home.”

I try not to smile. First Saki was teasing Chisato about her inability to beat Noriko at a racing game. Now she's flipped it around so their positions are reversed, except this time involving something bemani related.

“I ended up buying a copy for my Playstation,” Noriko says, her ego deflating ever so slightly after her earlier win. She looks a bit unsure of herself once she's the one being put on the spot.

Chisato's expression makes it very clear she smells blood in the water.

My phone vibrates in my pocket before I can see how this is going to conclude, and with a look of concern, I take it out. When I check the caller ID, I see a number that looks familiar.

It's “my” house number.

“I have to take this,” I announce to everyone. “It's my parents. Back in a minute.”

Saki looks at me with an unwritten question on her face. I shake my head lightheartedly to let her know it's no big deal. I start to move towards the exit where there's fresh air and less noise.

“Hello?” I answer.

Hello son,” I hear my mom's voice say on the other end. “How are you?”

“Hey mom! I'm doing well! Give me a sec, I need to step outside.”


A few seconds later I've stepped out into the night air, the volume of the arcade diminished significantly behind me.

“Sorry about that. How are you?”

We're doing okay. Your father and I are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.”

“I am too.”

Are you having fun at the waterpark?”

“Ah, yeah we did. We just left about an hour ago and we're in the city at an arcade for a bit before we call it a night.”

You'll remember to take your medication tonight and tomorrow morning before the trip, won't you?”

I pinch the bridge of my nose and close my eyes. “Yes mom. Don't worry.”

I can't keep all of the annoyance out of my voice when I say that, and it's enough for her to pick up on. “Well I'm sorry. It's my job to worry, you know.” Her tone changes to one of cheer as she continues. “Your father went to the pharmacy yesterday and picked up all the medications that were on the list your doctor sent us.”

“Really? Thank you,” I say, making a much greater effort to mask my irritation this time. I'm not sure if it actually works or if my mom is deciding to humor me, but either way, the topic gets dropped as she moves on to the next one.

We both work tomorrow, but I just wanted to remind you that the spare key is in its usual hiding place, so you can let yourself in. We'll be home around five tomorrow night and then we'll all go out for dinner. Does that sound good?”

“Sure does!” I say, forcing an enthusiasm I'm definitely not feeling. “I'll call you when I leave tomorrow morning and then again when I get to the house.”

Also let us know if anything changes!” my mother says.

“I will. See you tomorrow, mom.”

Have a good night. Love you.”

“You too,” I finish, and close my phone, ending the call. The clack it makes as it slams shut gives me permission to let out a long sigh.

“Frustrating, isn't it?” I hear a familiar voice say behind me. When I turn around, Saki's standing there, leaning on her cane.

“Yeah, it is,” I say a bit sarcastically, but there's no malice behind it. Merely venting.

“Wanna chat about it for a minute?” she asks softly, moving to sit down on a nearby bench.

“No. I mean yes. I mean...I don't know,” I say, moving next to her and sitting down harder than I mean to. “It's just...going to be a very interesting few weeks being back home.”

“This is your first time going back there since your accident, isn't it?” Saki asks.

I nod.

“Try not to be too hard on them, okay?” she says, resting her head on my shoulder as a way to try and calm me down. I resist for a second, but then let the tension begin to leave my body.

“I...” I start, then trail off. Saki squeezes my hand, and the simple gesture helps me to make sense of the dark clouds at the edge of my thoughts. “I don't want to go back to being treated like...like I was the last time I was there, you know?”

“I know. But you have to remember, the last time they saw you, you were in a lot worse shape than you are now. They haven't had a chance to see how much you've improved yet.”

“I talk to them a few times a week. They get copies of everything my doctor sends me. In fact, they're usually the ones that forward stuff that he sends to them.

She shakes her head. “It's not the same, Hisao. People like us...the way we look the last time someone sees us is usually the picture that gets stuck in their head. There's nothing you can do about that until you see them again.”

“She even asked me if I would make sure to take my medication. Like I would have forgotten it.”

“You didn't seem to upset when Mitsuru asked you that at the beach.”

“That's different though.”


I'm stumped for a few seconds. When I answer again, I smile sheepishly. “All right. It's not too different from that.”

“It happens, Hisao. Honestly, they'll probably let up when they actually see that you're doing better this summer.”

Saki speaks with the conviction of someone who's gone through this before, and I guess her experience on such matters is something I should put faith in. But as soon as I have that thought, another chases it; what is it like to deal with that, but with a condition that's actually getting worse?

Much like her insight into other matters, Saki seems to instantly read whenever someone she's talking to has a potentially negative thought when it comes to her condition. She sees the look flash across my face and she shrugs in an 'oh well' gesture.

“As for myself,” she says, “I just need to hold it together for the next few weeks so my parents leave me alone for the rest of the year. Or at least, until next time.”

Now it's my turn to show concern. “Why is that?”

Saki shrugs again and looks down to her cane, idly playing with it in her hands. “My ataxia's worse every time I see them. I try not to show it for...obvious reasons. Hell, that's why I left my violin back at Yamaku. The last thing I want is to be practicing and having them overhear me screw up the way I did at the studio a few weeks ago.”

“I'm sorry,” I say, not knowing what else to.

“Don't be. It is what it is. Although a night out like this might not have been the best idea if I want to be walking in a straight line tomorrow.”

I decide to break my own rule that I had imposed on myself earlier. “You okay?”

“Yeah,” she says, smiling back up at me. “Don't worry. I'm just tired. It was worth it to spend time with everyone. And with you. Thanks for letting me borrow you all day.”


She looks down at her cane again before continuing. “I'll deal with my parents. I always do.” Her eyes move to meet mine and she smiles once again. “Just like you'll have to deal with yours.”

I can tell she's trying to lighten the mood from the rather dark turn it's taken, and I decide to play along for both of our sakes.

“You're right. Thanks, Saki,” I say, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her into a side hug. She gladly accepts. We sit there for a few moments like this before she gives a small laugh.

“Come on. Let's go see how the other two are doing.”

“We still have over an hour to kill before the last bus heads back towards the hotel.”

“We're not waiting for the last bus,” I say, my voice firm.

She checks her watch. “In that case, we have a little more than forty minutes.”

“Make it thirty,” I grumble as I stand up and offer her a hand to help her do the same. “I'm not taking any chances this time.”

“Oh come on, it wasn't all that bad, was it?” she says, lowering her lids and voice seductively. Even so, she takes my hand and gets to her feet.

“...you have a point there.”

“I know,” she says, grinning again. I laugh, hoping it will draw attention from the flush that's starting to creep onto my face.

When we get back inside, we're greeted to a very amusing sight. Chisato and Noriko are in the middle of a dance-off on the Dance Dance Revolution machine, their feet moving in a blur on the metal pad. Noriko stands and moves around freely, while Chisato has her hands extended behind her gripping the support bar. When I see the screen and the patterns of arrows flying dizzily up it, I see why. Chisato's playing at a higher level of difficulty than her friend is, with her feet moving much faster. Both of their faces are twisted in concentration, beaded sweat visible in flashing lights that sync with the pounding music.

<<Art by NoMoekko>>

I can't even follow what's happening on the screen.

I played this game a few times before but never was any good at it. I know they make this game for home video game systems, but since I don't own one the only time I would be able to play it is at an arcade...and it wasn't exactly a cheap game to play either.

“I'm out of breath just watching those two,” I mention to Saki in my astonishment.

“Chisato has a few different games and a pad for her Playstation at home. There's no way she's going to lose to Noriko if they play on the same difficulty.”

In about thirty seconds this is confirmed when the song ends, and Chisato ends up getting a higher rating than Noriko. Both hop off the pad, breathing heavily but excited.

“That's the first time I've ever passed that song at the arcade,” Chisato pants, wiping off her forehead with the back of her arm. “You almost got me with that one.”

“I've been practicing it at home,” Noriko says, just as out of breath. “I never beat it at that difficulty before either.”

“Damn. I'm really looking forward to a shower in a little bit. Speaking of which, how are we doing on time?”

“We have about half an hour before we have to catch the bus,” I answer, deciding to shave off a few more minutes off my estimate. Saki doesn't correct me.

“What do you think, Noriko? Three more songs?”

“Only if you race me again after.”

“Okay, but I get to pick the course this time.”

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Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Wed May 27, 2020 5:23 am, edited 9 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 (Updated 6/6)

Post by Downix » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:04 am

Now this was nice to wake up to.

Note, you have a (continued) in the middle of the text

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

Post by Eurobeatjester » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:22 am

Downix wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:04 am
Now this was nice to wake up to.

Note, you have a (continued) in the middle of the text
Fixed it! Not sure why the line break ended up there :P
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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