Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 12/8)

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Eurobeatjester
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (New Artwork 10/25)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:49 am

Holy crap, 200,000 views? :shock: I'm so grateful that so many people have read this :)

The new chapter is almost done, but in order to celebrate and as a big thank you, I wanted to share a one-shot I discussed with brythian a long time ago in the headcanon thread. I finally got around to writing that Saki/Misha piece as a fun way to switch gears.

Just a little 1400 word blurb, but I hope you like it!

Is it canon to LtF? As canon as the first thirteen Dragonball Z movies :lol:

Double Take


“What..um...what exactly was this?” she asks, her voice small but clear.

Shit. I was really hoping I wouldn’t wake her up. Not yet, anyway.

I look back over my shoulder, and see her sitting up. She clutches the crumpled white sheet in front of herself, the thin fabric snaking down her body and pooling across her lap.

I can’t stand to look at the way her long chestnut hair cascades down her shoulders, disheveled and clinging to her skin where it touches. The way her hairline darkens from the sweat on her forehead. The two red marks on her collarbone that weren’t there a few hours ago. The plaintive look in her eyes, almost pleading with mine.

I wasn’t leaving. I was hungry, yeah. That’s it. I was going to go and get us breakfast and then come back here like a responsible person and then talk about...whatever it is that just happened.

“Saki?”

“I don’t know,” I sigh, looking around the floor trying to figure out just where the hell my clothes are. At least my cane is still leaning on the nightstand where I left it the night before.

I shift my hips to help me reach for it, struggling to rise off the edge of the bed. It’s hard enough to balance as it is like this, but it’s not being helped by how sore I am.

She’s looking at me, and I feel uneasy. I don’t know the reason why. Well, not the exact reason why. It’s hard to choose which one of the six going through my head is responsible.

“Are you going to tell Maeda?”

And there it is.

I quickly find and put on my underwear, then sit back down to keep from showing just how exhausted I am. Not just physically, but mentally. Emotionally.

“I don’t know, Misha.”

“What are you going to tell him?”

“I haven’t figured that out yet, either.”

She leans forward, tentatively reaching her hand out towards my shoulder...but right as she’s about to make contact, she draws away.

That makes me flinch more than I would have if she touched me.

“Then what-”

“Misha, I don’t know! Don’t you realize this was a mistake?”

She lowers her eyes at my verbal assault, avoiding my gaze. When she gives a small nod, it’s not one of agreement, but one of derisive understanding...and the subtle difference makes me feel horrible.

Great, Saki. Now there’s another person you care about that you’ve hurt.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that…”

Misha does nothing but hug her knees tighter to her chest and stare at the wall, shutting me off just as coldly as I deserve for saying that.

Just as cold as Maeda has been the last two weeks...

“It’s just...we’re still dating,” I offer up lamely.

She turns her head to look at me out of the corner of her eye. “I thought you said you two were on a break?”

If that’s what you can call it. He said he wanted space and I agreed. We never became official by saying we were together; it just kind of happened. Maybe the same thing happens when you break up, where you don’t say anything and somehow you just know.

I bite my bottom lip. “We are, but we haven’t actually broken up yet. Or maybe we have. I don’t know.”

It doesn’t matter if it was with Misha; I still technically cheated on him. And I’m scared that if I stop too hard to think about that right now, that I might not have as much of a problem with it as I probably should.

Even then, that pales in comparison to the other mistake that I just made. Of what I just did with - no, to - Misha. I should have never let things get as far as they did, with her as upset as she was. What does she think of me now?

She nods sadly, resting her chin on her folded arms. “Can I ask you a question?”

I run my hands through my hair to brush it out of my eyes. Maybe I’m about to find out.

“Go ahead.”

“When?”

“What?”

When did it start being a mistake?” she asks.

“I don’t-”

“Was it when you let me fall asleep? When you covered me with the blanket and brushed my hair? When I kissed you? When we…” she chokes up a little and clears her throat. She waves her hand, clearly implying everything else after that point.

I don’t know, Misha. Maybe when I opened the door to that classroom and saw how upset you were.

Maybe when I invited you over because I wanted to cheer you up.

Maybe it was when you told me Shizune rejected you.

Maybe it was when I told you that Maeda and I were fighting in empathy over how much relationships and everything about getting into and being in them just suck.

“All of it. None of it. I just...it can’t be anything more than this.”

“Why not?” she asks, her tone as small as it was before.

“What makes you so adamant about this?”

She looks away from me again. “I just...don’t want to be a mistake, I guess.”

Oh hell. That’s not fair.

“Misha, it’s not a mistake because of you. It’s because I’m still dating Maeda-”

“It’s not like you have to tell him-”

-and because I’m a horrible friend because you just got rejected by Shizune and I took advantage of that-”

“You think that you took advantage of me? Thanks Saki, that makes me feel a whole lot better.”

I flop over backwards onto the bed in frustration, rubbing my temples so hard I see sparks behind my eyes. I never imagined the aftermath of last night was going to be like this.

“Would you have done what you did last night if it wasn’t for Shizune?” I ask, not knowing how else to say it.

Would I have, if it wasn’t for Maeda?

“I don’t know…I mean, I didn’t know what you’d do, you didn’t push me away...”

No, I didn’t. I was surprised. I was confused. I was angry at Maeda. I might even have been a little curious. It wasn’t as different as I expected it to be, and I didn’t exactly hate it...

So, who here would have imagined that they might be learning something new about themselves about ten hours ago? Show of hands, class.

“...but if I didn’t do it because of her, would that be a bad thing?”

I wish she didn’t ask me that. I wish I had an honest answer.

“Maybe not,” I have to admit, “but it’s...complicated.”

“You’re right,” Misha says, giving a wry smile and trying to shake it all off. “I probably wouldn’t have. I always have the worst sense of timing.”

“You and me both.”

“Hey look, something else we have in common!”

I laugh, a sharp sound that cuts through the thick air and gives both of us some much needed breathing room. Misha starts to laugh too, and it’s a relief to have some of the oppressive weight of the room disappear.

I lazily reach in her direction, and she takes my hand in hers. I give it a reassuring squeeze.

“You’re going to be okay, right, Misha?” I ask. Not just because of Shizune, but because I may not be able to give her an answer she wants.

Misha nods, putting forth a bravado that she needs me to accept. “Yeah. Just give me a day or two. I’m...sorry if I kind of put you on the spot last night.”

“It’s not like I minded too much,” I smirk, realizing the truth of it the moment I do...and my cheeks start burning.

Misha starts making gentle circles on the back of my hand with her thumb. “If makes you feel any better, you were really good.”

And now they’re on fire. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

A smile tugs at the corner of my mouth and I turn my head to look at her, thinking hard about how I should phrase what I want to say.

“It might be a mistake right now...but it’s a mistake I think I’m glad I made.”

Misha smiles back. “Me too.”

~End~
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:25 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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Eurobeatjester wrote:I doubt my ability to write convincing lesbian erotica
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:02 am

It's canon to me. It wasn't a mistake Saki! (You were on the right path!) [Hisao was the mistake!]

Ahem. Excuse me. What I meant to say was, very well done and enjoyable! It left me wanting more, to see both what happened between them after--and right before--this scene, so that means it was effective.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by Blackmambauk » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:13 am

You earned those views mates with your brilliant writing :). I reckon you have a good chance of becoming the most viewed fic on this site considering you have another act to go yet and with the amount of comments you get from us.

Nice little one shot you done here that fitted both Saki and Misha as characters and shows them in a state of mind before the events of Learning to Fly. That fits into it's own sphere, but yet can broad stakes into LOF if the reader inclines.

Looks like you finally managed to write lesbian material that you felt unsure on for a while.

Nicely done mate as always.

Blackmambauk
"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 (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by AlexFDSR » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:39 am

"I doubt my ability to write convincing lesbian erotica"
You just convinced yourself wrong, that was good!
According to the forums, I post an hour into the future...
If Iwanako had a route/was the protagonist of KS, would the tagline be "Can you find it in your heart?"

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by Razoredge » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:49 am

If you can't write something convincing, nobody can.

Your writing is awesome, that's all.
Kenji > Lilly = Miki = Hanako > Emi > Rin > Shizune

Misha is a MOAB, she's out of the competition.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by PanzerKommander » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:49 am

I found my new favorite headcannon.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by yanivp » Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:20 pm

It works! This is superbly convincing lesbian erotica! I absolutely canonise this, yes, definitely, oh hell yes they banged, 10/10, good times. Lovely!

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:53 pm

Holy crap, 200,000 views? :shock: I'm so grateful that so many people have read this
Well, given how many posts there are in this thread, I might personally be responsible for about 800 of them...
Would be interesting to know how many distinct people this translates to - more interesting than the plain viewcount in any case.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by Takeusername » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:26 pm

This is sweet, Euro. You never fail to impress. :D
Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova
In the sky

Someday you will find me
Caught beneath the landslide
In a champagne supernova
A champagne supernova in the sky...

---------------------------------------------------------
Hanako > Shizune = Rin > Emi > Lilly

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:47 am

Woo, the beginning of Act 4!

I'm sorry this took a while to get out. I wanted to spend a lot of time consolidating my notes and making sure that my outline was complete and I was happy with it. When I got to the end of Act 3, I realized I couldn't do a lot of what I had penned out for Act 4, at least without making some significant changes.

Most of it involved running into a few walls while doing research, especially regarding what third-year students go through nearing graduation.

I'm hoping you'll like it :)

This is a fairly short chapter at only 5.5k words, but I'm already working on the next chapter and optimistically should be able to get it out by the end of the year or mid January after bouncing between it and my S9 story.

The title for this chapter is from Cage The Elephant.

Image

Act 4: Liftoff

Scene 1: Ain't No Rest For The Wicked


Try as I might, I can’t seem to focus on the words in front of me. The scribbles on the page are softening into a constant run-on blur, a sure sign that I’ve been at this for too long. Despite my earnestness earlier, I lean back from the desk with a sigh.

“Everything okay?” Saki asks from the bed a meter behind me. I rub my eyes and glance at her - lying on my bedspread at ease on her back, except for her right leg which is bent with her knee in the air.

“Yeah, I was in a groove earlier and I can’t seem to get back into it.”

“You didn’t have to wait for me to get out of band, you know. I wasn’t interrupting your homework, was I?”

“Not at all, it was nice to not be cooped up in here or the library for a change. I’m glad it went well with Mrs. Sakamoto.”

“I’m really excited! It was great listening to the recording,” she says in a cheerful voice.

Saki slides her heel back down along the bed, lowering her leg flat, After a few seconds, she repeats the motion with her left leg, switching off in a cycle she’ll complete three more times.

This is something I’ve grown used to seeing the last three months. Saki undergoes this ritual once a day, and twice on days where she doesn’t have therapy. It’s a program that her therapist has given her to help with her coordination. She’s about halfway through the first of three routines she’ll do in the next ten minutes or so. Saki says that it’s not something she does to stay in shape like swimming, but to help her visualize her body in three-dimensional space. I’m not too sure how it works, but according to her it seems that the discipline gained through repetition ends up being a great asset.

“Yeah?”

“Yep. I think I’ve almost got it down. At least Chisato and sensei seem to think so.”

Two weeks ago was our most recent trip to the recording studio. Chisato and Saki made the most of it, recording the latest iterations of a few songs they’ve been refining since the end of summer. Saki’s put a tremendous amount of effort into adapting her playing style to use the computer trick that Takamura has been using, which is a good thing to see after the first effort seemed like a disaster.

“That’s awesome. I’m glad you’re getting the hang of it. I’d like to hear it later.”

The first time Takamura tried recording them, it didn’t go too well. We all knew - and Saki accepted - that she was going to have a bit of a time getting used to it. What was unexpected though was how much Chisato was thrown off when she was recording her part; it seems without hearing Saki’s violin in her earphones, she was having a hard time keeping the flow of the piece. Saki took comfort in knowing she wasn’t the only one having problems, which of course meant ribbing her friend about it.

After the next session, both felt much better about it and it showed in their playing. I haven’t heard the latest recording that Takamura’s given her yet, but I’m looking forward to hearing what it sounds like with Chisato and Saki playing together again - playing together digitally at least. Both of them have put in some long hours in the band room, some of which I was there for.

“It’s in my bag. I can grab it in a minute,” Saki grunts, shifting her weight to sit up on the edge of the bed to begin her second set of exercises. She leans forward for a beat before standing up in a slow, controlled motion. Her hand barely hovers on the back of my chair so she can grab onto it if she needs to, but she goes slowly enough to where she doesn’t need it for support. Most days she’ll do this four times but sometimes she’ll skip the last repetition when she’s in a hurry.

If this were a normal therapy session, the therapist would give her another series of tasks involving drawing marks on a chalkboard. Saki hates doing it but complies anyway just to get it over with. It’s not like changing a minus sign into a plus sign requires anything near the coordination and dexterity that playing a violin does.

Again, according to her.

Seeing her practicing her violin, sitting in on her therapy sessions, watching her take a few minutes each day to go through this routine; I’ve done all of these things the last few months. Sometimes we talk during these activities. Sometimes she’s so focused that doing so would make me more of a distraction than a familiar presence.

I’m glad the understanding is mutual when I’m the one who’s focused. Sometimes it’s enough just to know the other person is there.

After the fourth time standing up, Saki reaches for her bag hanging on the back of the chair. I furrow my brow in puzzlement. Normally this is where she starts her final series of exercises, with the help of her mirror when she’s in her dorm room.

“Done already?”

She nods, digging for something. “Yeah, for today anyway. I’ll just swim an extra lap or two tomorrow.”

I look down at my textbook, deciding that now is as good a time as any to call it quits. “I think I’ll do the same thing.”

Saki triumphantly finds what she was looking for, and puts down a black CD case on my desk. “What do you want to do the rest of the night?”

“I thought I was going to study, but I think I’m getting pretty close to a burnout. You?”

She ponders this for a moment. “How about we go to the pool, since we didn’t go this morning?”

“Even though we’re going there tomorrow morning?”

“If I’m honest I was thinking more about the hot tub. Exam prep takes a lot out of me.”

“Tell me about it,” I groan.

With exams on the horizon again in a few weeks before the winter break, everyone seems to be buckling down even earlier than they did for the summer exams months ago. Since the national center test for university admission is set for mid January, the winter exam is pretty much our last test here at Yamaku and last chance to see what we need to cram in the short time between the two.

In fact, school for our year is pretty much over after winter break to give us as much time as possible.

A lot of students are feeling the pressure, and I’m no exception. After classes let out for the day, I knew I needed to get some more studying done, but I also wanted to spend time with Saki. I compromised, sitting in the foyer of the performing arts wing where Saki took me the day we first met. I might have spent my time waiting for her to get out of band furiously taking notes for later study, but I was appreciative for the change of scenery the few times I took a break to look around me and collect my thoughts.

We hadn’t really made plans for after we met up, so we ended up heading back to my room until we figured out what we wanted to do. So far we had come up with nothing, so Saki’s suggestion piques my interest.

“Want to stop by the cafeteria before we go to the pool and get something to eat?”

I’m not hungry at the moment, but it may be harder to get food later. If we don’t go there now we’d have to make a second trip, or go all the way into town just to get something from Aura Mart once the cafeteria closes. Normally I wouldn’t mind making the walk down the hill, but with the changing season the temperature sinks as early and as quickly as the sun does.

I stand and hold Saki’s blazer so she can slip her arms into it. “Sounds like a good idea. Want to drop the violin off when we swing by your room?”

She combs her hair out with her fingertips, freeing it where it’s trapped under her collar. “Either or. I don’t need it until tomorrow again, so I can swing by after class.”

“We can leave it here then. Give me a minute, I need to grab my trunks and towel.”

----

I sigh contentedly as the heat of the water envelops me up to my neck. They say you shouldn’t go swimming on an empty stomach, but I’m pretty sure hot tubs don’t count.

“That good, huh?” Saki asks.

“You have some of the best ideas.”

“I know I do,” she says, reaching up to tie back her hair. Since we aren’t actually going swimming, she’s settled on the less complicated option to keep her hair dry. She only wears the swim cap in the morning.

I close my eyes, and for a few seconds let my brain just hit the pause button. There’s a lot of stuff to think about as there always is, but I’ve been trying the last few months to enjoy moments of silence and peace when I come across them. With everything coming up, they’re becoming few and far between.

“God, I hate exams,” I exclaim wearily.

“So does everyone else. Except those few freaks who actually look forward to them.”

“It’s bad enough without another group project on top of it,” I grumble. Last week Mutou gave us another group project to work on, and yet again, I ended up matched with Shizune and Misha.

Unlike last time however, Maeda isn’t in our group.

It’s just as well. We’ve never really gotten along in general to begin with, and growing closer with Saki the last few months certainly hasn’t changed that. I know he has a big problem with her, and he’s clearly projecting some of that onto me. Since the day he hit me in the face with the door, we’ve spoken maybe two dozen words to each other except when required in the classroom - which has been just fine by me.

“I’m a little curious to see Shizune under that kind of pressure.”

(continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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Eurobeatjester wrote:I doubt my ability to write convincing lesbian erotica
believe in yourself

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:48 am

“Shizune’s been a lot more lively lately, maybe that’s why. Poor Misha, on the other hand…”

“How’s she holding up?”

“I know she’s had a few one-on-one talks with Mutou the last few weeks. Maybe it’s going over exam prep. She’ll probably do better than she thinks she will.”

“I wish I had that confidence,” Saki says. “It’s been easier, but there’s a lot of stuff I’m not sure about.”

“Your English is a lot better than mine is. You should do pretty well on that part.”

She smiles. “Well, I hope I’ve improved just as much with science as you have with your English.”

“You don’t have much to worry about there.”

“Thanks for your help,” she says, sliding up next to me. “I feel a lot better about it, even if I do still worry.”

Even though the two of us had laughed off my “tutoring” line a few months ago, that’s exactly what ended up happening. My science was stronger than Saki’s, and her English was a lot better than mine; it simply made sense. I mean, if you’re going to find a reason to justify spending more time together regardless, it might as well be a noble one.

“I hope we’ll still continue to have our study sessions together,” Saki mentions, the corner of her mouth curling up into a mischievous smile.

Mostly noble.

“I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to do after winter break,” I say. “My parents say that there’s no problem with me staying here until graduation, but I think that they’re expecting me to come home some time before then.”

“I’m sure at least a few students are going to stay. I know I am.”

“What, going home doesn’t seem like a good way to spend those few months?”

Saki shoots me a look so dark that I have to question myself that I was actually making a joke there.

“Gods no. If I have my way, I’ll only need to be there for a bit before getting shipped off to the next place. Besides, I’m staying until graduation so I can keep working with sensei and take the test too.”

That damned test.

I’ve been avoiding seriously thinking about the national test and graduation, because of all the implications. In reality, I had never really come up with a concrete plan for university, figuring that I’d be able to work it out during my third year of high school. There were a handful of universities that I had considered looking at during my first and second years, but when my heart attack and subsequent relocation happened, a lot of that went by the wayside out of necessity. Now it’s all but too late to attend university next year...or at least a good one.

There was a point in time when I would have balked at the idea of not trying as hard as I could to prepare for and take the national test my third year and go to university in the spring, and I had that response the first few times I allowed the thought of any other possibility to enter my head. I had finally settled on a mixture of promising myself that I’d think about it later and hoping that if I waited, the problem might go away.

It’s been a dark cloud over my thoughts for a while now. Saki knows it’s a sore subject with me.

She reads into my silence and apologizes. “I’m sorry. We can talk about something else if you want-”

“No,” I wave her off. “It’s something I’ve got to force myself to come to terms with since my last visit with Mr. Toshinori.”

“When you went back home a few weeks ago?”

I rub the back of my neck. “Yeah.”

“You told me that the visit went well though.”

I scoop up a small amount of water and splash the top of my head, smoothing back my hair out of my eyes. “It did, but I was hoping that I could maybe get some sort of idea about how the next appointment will go.”

“After Christmas, right?”

I nod.

Saki puts her head on my shoulder. “You’re still worried about the pacemaker, aren’t you?”

I sigh again. Logically, I don’t have a reason to be worried as long as no news is good news. The visit was just to run a few more tests and go over a few relatively small things; a walk in the park compared to the last one. I’m sure if anything was off, I would have been informed.

Still...with the appointment next month determining if I’m going to be getting a pacemaker around graduation or not, I was hoping to at least get some sort of read about the situation from him...and if I do need a pacemaker, then that makes attending any university a much harder feat in spring.

“He said that all I could do was to keep doing what I’m doing and we’d have to wait and see.”

Saki settles further against me, and I’m glad for the touch.

“A-anyway,” I stammer, “That was what made me start to actually think seriously about what to do with the national test coming up. I guess it was always a given that I’d be taking it, but with everything that’s happened this last year...”

Even now, there’s a pang of guilt admitting this. It’s a hard habit to break. It’s not helped by the fact that I haven’t really thought too hard about what it is I want to...do.

“You’re thinking about taking a year off?” Saki turns her head to glance up at me. There’s a look of concern there, and given how I’ve reacted whenever she brings the topic up it’s not unwarranted.

“I might not have a choice anymore.”

“If anyone has a reason to take a year off, it’s you, Hisao.”

Saki may be right. I had enough people in my old class catapult themselves into a continuing crisis over this exact subject right as the school year started. From what Mai told me the last time I spoke with her it’s only gotten worse; she mentioned Iwanako was taking it particularly hard. I probably would have been the same way if I was still there.

That’s the type of stress I could have expected under normal circumstances in a year that has been anything but. Realistically, the amount of stress I’d have to put myself through to make a serious attempt at going to a good university next year would be damned near suicidal, even if I had no health considerations.

“You do have a point. I guess it still feels a bit strange to actually think about doing it.”

Saki moves away from me again, only to seek out the nearest bubbler. “It’s not like taking a year for yourself is a bad thing. Maybe it’s a perfect fit for you.”

“I’m having a hard time believing that.”

“Okay, look at it this way,” she starts, the corner of her mouth turning up in a smirk. “You lost the end of your second year and the start of your third in a hospital bed, then everything else got screwed up when you had to move up here. You’d either have to be superhuman or stupid to seriously attempt the national exam.”

“I don’t know if I’m about to get praised or insulted.”

Saki laughs. “You’re amazing - and I love you - but I’m pretty sure you don’t have any superpowers.”

“Thanks...I think?”

“And you’re not stupid...even if you do have your moments at times,” she finishes with a wink. I slap the water in front of me in a half hearted attempt to splash her with minimal success.

“You really think that I should?”

“Why not? Take the national test, do the best that you can on it without killing yourself so you know what you need to work on. Then you have a year to figure out where you want to go and how to get there before really attacking it. That’s probably going to give you a really solid foundation, you know?”

“I can’t really say I’ve looked at it like that before.”

“It’s not like I’m blowing it off completely either,” she sighs. “I’ll still take that test, but right now I’m just trying to stay focused on this recording thing and then the ending recital.”

“I can see how much effort you’ve been putting into it,” I say, thankful for the previous conversation but still appreciating the change in subject.

Saki smiles wistfully. “I had my doubts, but Mr. Takamura was right. It’s taken some getting used to, but I actually feel like we’ll be able to do it.”

Her change over this has been fascinating to watch. When we first started talking she seemed almost bashful about this project, and now there’s sparks of passion behind her eyes when she speaks about it. This enthusiasm has been driving her for a while, and it’s been fun to be along for the ride.

“So what’s the next step?”

“We just practice some more and then...I guess we record the real thing over winter break,” she answers, her voice filled with a sense of awe and pride that she was able to make it this far.

“I wish I was able to be there to see it.”

“I know,” she says, moving back towards me. She sits halfway in my lap, wrapping her arms around my neck and resting her elbows on my shoulders. I place my forehead against hers and close my eyes, enjoying her presence.

“At least we get to spend Christmas Eve together.”

Winter break this year starts on the twenty-third, and sadly our plans can only line up for the first two days of it. Saki spends Christmas day recording with Chisato, and I spend the day travelling back home where I’ll be for the rest of the break.

“Was there anything specific you wanted to do that day?” she asks. It’s a given that we’ll be spending it together, but we haven’t discussed anything more concrete than that.

“I hadn’t really thought much about it yet...why, did you have something in mind?”

“Yeah,” she answers, her eyes lighting up. “Every year a few of the staff organize a trip down to the city on Christmas Eve. It’s for the students that stay here over the break.”

“Wait, really?”

“It’s not mandatory, and a lot of students stay here, but the option is there. I’ve never done it but Chisato has and she said it’s a lot of fun.”

It never occured to me how many people might be staying for the week of winter break, but I imagine the number would be much higher than in the summer. With no classes that week, it might not take much for a sense of cabin fever to set in. I’ve heard Shizune and Misha mumbling about a Christmas party, but since they gave up on their attempts to have me join the council, I’m never made privy to those discussions.

I fall into that category too. The only reason I’m not staying the entire week is because of my doctor’s appointment, and even if I’m fairly certain I’ll be coming back afterwards, I haven’t spoken at length with my parents about it yet.

“How does that work?”

(continued...)
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:50 am

“Chisato says that everyone takes the bus into the city in the early afternoon and find a place to eat at together. Then everyone kind of splits up and does their own thing.”

“It can’t be a late night,” I say. “We have the trip back into the city the next day.”

“I know. But we can still enjoy it. We can make it back on our own if we need to.”

“Just because something like that went well last time doesn’t mean you should jinx it.”

“See? We’re on a hot streak.”

I shake my head and look at her. “You really want to go?”

She pouts. “I do. It’s my last year here and I want to spend Christmas Eve with my friends and boyfriend.”

I laugh. “You didn’t have to make that face. I was going to say yes anyway.”

Saki gives a small squeal and kisses me. “I figured as much but I wanted to make sure.”

I slide down and let the water come up to my chin. Despite the time we’ve been dating and me being able to see right through that tactic, it still manages to work, and she knows it. Normally I’d be okay with simply staying in or avoiding the crowds that Christmas Eve would gather, but I’m intrigued by the idea. It could be a great way to blow off some steam after exams...and it might be the last time all of us get to do something like this.

Not just going into town on Christmas Eve, but getting together for another outing at all.

With everyone focused on exams, I don’t think our little group would be able to plan something else until afterwards...assuming we were all still around.

It’s a good chance to make some memories.

“What the hell,” I say. “I’m in.”

Saki splashes water at me. “You already said yes, dork.”

“I was quite literally talking to myself.”

“Oh whatever,” she giggles. “We’ll get back at a decent time and get up early enough to make sure you get to the train station, don’t worry. We might even be able to get lunch first before your train leaves.”

I nod and fall back into silence. One thing at a time. It’s really easy to be overwhelmed by everything that’s coming up, especially when you haven’t had the time to digest things that have already happened. University is one example, but another one that’s just as important - and similarly being avoided - is our relationship.

It’s crazy to think that if I didn’t come back here after winter break, the only time in the future we’d see each other again for sure without a lot of effort would be...graduation.

It wouldn’t mean the end of the relationship, but...I’m not sure how well a long distance relationship would work, or if the two of us would be capable of only seeing each other a few times a year. Even if I do what she suggests and take a year off to study and prioritize, it’s still going to be taking up most of my time, not to mention where I’m going to live during it.

I don’t know yet if graduation and what happens afterwards is a we problem, or something we’ll have to deal with individually as we go our own separate ways. I don’t really know how Saki feels about it either. We’ve steered away from the subject whenever we feel we’re coming close to it, but...I know we’re going to have to talk about it soon - the toll due for the last few months of relative ease and bliss.

All this back and forth about not knowing what to do with exams holds very real fears, but it may also simply be a metaphor for the only other thing that may be more painful for us to talk about.

For now though, there’s no place I’d rather be than in a hot tub with her, letting the heat and bubbles soothe away all my physical aches and chip away at my mental worries.

“We should talk to Chisato to get some more information about Christmas Eve,” I say.

“We don’t have to stay with the group the entire time. We could go off and do our own thing by ourselves, like see a movie or go to the arcade.”

“I’d like having that as an option.”

Saki smiles. “Well, no matter what we do, we’re spending the night together, right?”

“Absolutely.”

“What about tonight?”

“Better not. Two nights a week is pushing it already.”

“You're probably right,” Saki admits, even though she pouts again when she does so. Fortunately, the tactic isn’t as effective the second time around.

A chorus of voices comes from the hallway leading towards the locker rooms, causing both of us to turn and pay attention. The swimming club had already finished up by the time we got here, so I’m curious as to who might be using the pool this time of day. Maybe it’s another group that had the same idea we did to use the hot tub.

“We should probably head back,” I start to say, when I see two girls emerge into the pool area. Even though they’re wearing the standard school swimsuit, we all recognize each other at roughly the same instant.

Miki has her long unruly hair tied back into a high tail similar to Saki’s, with an arm playfully draped around Suzu’s shoulders. Suzu starts blushing slightly when she sees us and realizes the private display of affection from her girlfriend is now a public one.

“Hey Hisao! Hey Saki!” Miki exclaims when she sees the two of us, her voice echoing off the walls.

Suzu winces. “Damn, not so loud…”

“Shit, sorry. I forgot,” Miki replies, a grin on her face that shows she has no remorse at all.

“What are you two doing here?” Suzu asks us.

Saki snuggles close to me and gives the teal-haired girl a knowing grin. “Exactly what it looks like.”

“Hope there’s room for two more.”

“Sure, hop on in!”

Suzu gets in delicately. Miki just steps into the hot tub with almost no finesse, sending a wave of water towards us and getting a peal of laughter from Saki.

“You’re lucky she showed this to you, Hisao,” Miki says, once both she and the water are settled. “This is the best kept open secret at the school. Perfect to take a break from doing that damn project Mutou gave us.”

“I’ve never seen you here at the pool before,” I reply.

“Nah, I hate swimming. I try to do laps and just end up going in circles.”

“Uh…”

Relax, I’m just messin’ with you.” She glances back towards the locker rooms. “Where’s Maeda at? He was coming, right Sooze?”

Saki goes rigid against me when she hears this, her lips pressing into a hard thin line.

“Maeda’s supposed to be with you?”

“Ah shit,” I whisper to myself under my breath while pinching the bridge of my nose. Saki turns towards me with a mild glare to signal she’s aware that I know something she doesn’t.

I was so relieved I didn’t get put into another project with Maeda that I forgot who he was actually grouped up with. “They got Maeda as the third partner in their group,”

Saki’s expression softens, but not by much.

Miki, Suzu, and Maeda. If they were all studying together and choosing to take a break, then Miki might have coerced him into coming down here just based on principle.

“He said it might take about fifteen minutes. He had to stop by the art club before changing and coming over here,” Suzu explains.

Before I can speak up, Saki interjects. “We’ve already been here a while. We should let the two of you have the hot tub to yourselves for a bit before he shows up.”

Something in the way she makes that statement gives Miki pause for half a second. There’s a forced lightness in it; a poor facsimile of the playfulness it was meant to convey.

Suzu picks up on what’s going on faster than Miki does and wraps her arms around her girlfriend’s torso, snuggling close to her. “That sounds nice.”

“I wanted to grab something from the library before it closes,” I add, further strengthening the unspoken understanding that’s at play here.

Miki shrugs, then puts an arm around Suzu’s shoulders again to hold her in a tight hug. “Thanks for that,” she finishes with a wink.

I step out of the hot tub, water streaming off my body and onto the tile around me. Saki quickly follows suit with my help, and in a few moments we’re on the nearby bench toweling ourselves off. I can hear Suzu and Miki mumbling quietly to each other, punctuated by soft laughter.

“Those two are something else,” Saki says to me.

“They really are.”

“My ears are burning!” Miki exclaims loudly, craning her head as far as she can to look at us out of the corner of her eye. “You better not be saying anything bad about us!”

I laugh. “Saki’s just telling me she thinks the two of you make a nice couple.”

“Damn straight we do! What about you, loverboy? I thought your type was supposed to like this kind of thing?” she teases with a huge grin.

“My what?”

Suzu groans in embarrassment. “Oh my God, Miki, shut up.

“See you two in class tomorrow,” I say, standing up and wrapping my towel around my waist.

“You got it. Oh, hey! I have a question for the two of you!”

“What’s up?”

“Are you guys doing the city thing on Christmas Eve With everyone else?”

“Yeah we were, why?”

“We are too. Let us know what you’re doing. It would be fun being able to hang out if you guys wanted.”

Saki and I glance at each other. “We haven’t really made any plans yet...”

“Hey, don’t sweat it. Just let us know one way or the other, okay?”

“Sure.”

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Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Oneshot 11/15)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:51 am

For explanation sake, I had to learn about how the university system in Japan works and how third-year students handle the second half of that year.

In Japan, only schooling through junior high school is required, with high schools requiring an exam to get into. This is why so many shounen anime and manga with delinquents put them in junior high - anyone acting as brash as say, Yusuke or Kuwabara would be kicked out any high school they attended, if they would even care to get into one anyway. Teenagers that don’t get into high school can either enter the workforce (with some restrictions) or simply drop out of the school system all together.

Basically, anyone who puts in the effort to get into high school will most likely do the same when it comes to entering a university. Many universities in Japan use something called the National Center Test which is similar to the SATs as the first step when applying. If you’re trying to apply to a more prestigious university, you have to do well on the national test before they’ll allow you to take a more tailored exam for admission to that specific university.

In order to give students as much time as possible to prepare for this, for most Japanese third-years the academic year ends around winter break after what would traditionally be the midterms. Students are expected to use the time until graduation to first prepare for the national exam, and then any other entrance exams they might need to take. Clubs are usually still held after school but third years are basically free to come and go as they please, gathering together for graduation in March. It’s really common for senior trips to happen during this timeframe.

Since the only route in KS that approaches graduation is Shizune’s, I’m making the assumption/headcanon that Yamaku’s third-year students end up finishing their academic year with the week before winter break, and are free to either go home or remain living on campus for the remainder of the actual school year leading up to graduation.

I think I got all of that right - if anyone with experience with Japanese high schools can point out any major errors with this, please do!
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 12/8)

Post by Downix » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:23 am

Always a nice thing to wake up to more LtF.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 12/8)

Post by Blackmambauk » Sat Dec 08, 2018 11:41 am

Short chapter as you said, caught us up to speed quickly of where things were at with Hisoa and Saki and what was coming up in future chapters.

Was surprised at how much of a time skip you did for the story. 3 months is a long time and to go from end of summer to winter time was a bit jarring at first to read. But i got used to it quickly enough due to the fact we saw throughout chapter 3 of Hisao and Saki's relationship developing and of what we saw with the music sessions and so on. Plus, Shizune's route time skipped all the time and that's my favorite of the game.

Nice little cameo from Miki and Suzu at the end.

Not much else to comment on for this chapter.

Nice work as always Euro

Blackmambauk
"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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