Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 7/30)

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 2/21)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:17 am

“That’s enough time if we start now,” Chisato says. “Hurry up, Mitsuru!”

“I’ll find a place on the bench for us to put our stuff,” I volunteer.

It only takes a few minutes, but in the end Saki and I end up guarding our bags. Miki and Suzu are skating side by side, their motions slow and deliberate. Chisato and Mitsuru are doing the same, but going a bit faster. Noriko’s having a heck of a time keeping her feet under her, but she manages to hang on to the wall for balance. Nurse is attentively leaning on the other side of that wall, looking out at and observing all the Yamaku students in his charge.

“I’m glad they’re having a good time out there,” I say to Saki, squeezing her hand.

She leans against my shoulder. “Hisao, would you like to go skating?” she asks, a playful lilt to her voice - something that always puts me on alert. A litany of objections start coming to mind.

“Uh...are you sure? You mean after the band me-”

She cuts me off by putting a finger to my lip, surprising me. “Shh. I’m asking if you would like to go skating.”

“If we can’t together-”

“If I could, which I assure you I can’t, would you like to?” she teases.

I look back out at the rink again, and at Chisato pulling Mitsuru along. A small smile tugs at the corner of my mouth. “Yeah, I’d like that.”

She shifts her body weight, bringing her hand to the back of my neck and pulling my head down. She gives me a quick kiss on my forehead, then presses hers against it to look into my eyes.

“Then get out there you idiot,” she laughs. “I’ll be fine here.”

I know I could ask her if she’s positive about this, but at this point her mind is made up and she’d get mad at me for questioning her...and besides, I do want to.

“If you insist,” I say, standing up. “Thank you.”

With a final wave from Saki, I head over to the rental tent and exchange one of my shoes for a pair of well-worn skates in my size. It only takes a few minutes to put them on, making sure the laces are tied as tight as possible. I can handle the circulation being cut off for a bit if it means I won’t roll my ankle. I did that one time years ago and vowed it would never happen again.

I expertly dodge a group of children careening around me on their way to turn their skates in, and less expertly step onto the ice. My legs instantly start to lock up as they overcompensate the balance issues I’m having...but thankfully, I manage to keep my grip on the wall and not fall.

“Wooo, go Hisao!” I hear Saki’s voice crying out. When I turn to look, I see her hands cupped around her mouth and a huge grin across her face. I also notice that everyone here from my class is staring at me, along with a few strangers.

My face turns red, but I smile anyway. Thanks, Saki. Fortunately, it only takes a few more tentative strides before the muscle memory kicks in, and I’m able to let go of the wall...still keeping it well within lunging distance.

Miki passes me on the left, laughing in my ear as she spins in place and pulls up short in front of me. “Look at you! Not bad!”

“I told you I’ve done this before.”

“Alright, I believe you! I thought you might have just been talking big for your girlfriend.”

“Maybe you were doing the same thing to Suzu,” I reply, but I know it’s a weak statement as I say it.

“Not a chance. We’ve done this every year together since we started going to Yamaku, right Sooz?”

Suzu easily glides up next to her girlfriend and slips an arm around her waist. “Well, not together together…”

“Heh,” Miki chuckles. “Sorry I made you wait so long,” she says, resting her chin on top of Suzu’s head.

Suzu nuzzles into it, holding her tighter. “You were worth the wait. Now come on, let’s do a few more laps.”

“Oh yeah, you wanted to hit up karaoke before we went back tonight, didn’t ya?”

Suzu skates backwards and grabs Miki’s hand, forcing her to speed up her pace.

“See ya!” she shouts over her shoulder.

We all skate for a few more minutes, my confidence on the ice increasing with every circuit I make. I don’t really keep pace with anyone specific, although I’ll match with Noriko for a few seconds every time I pass her. She’s also growing more sure of herself, but still shakes her arms jerkily every few seconds.

During the next pass I make, I notice Saki standing against the wall, trying to flag down Chisato and Mitsuru. I’m on the far side of the rink when those two come around to where she is, so I cut across the middle to reach them.

“That time already?” I ask.

“Afraid so,” Saki replies. “We’re heading up to the cafe, as soon as Chisato changes back into her shoes.”

“Already on it,” Chisato salutes, turning and skating back towards the entrance of the rink.

Saki turns back to Mitsuru. “Come up and meet us in about half an hour, okay?”

“We can do that. I would like to skate for a bit longer, if that’s alright?” Mitsuru asks. It seems he’s asking me as well as Saki for approval, something we have no problem in giving.

I shrug. “I wouldn’t mind doing a few more laps. It’s actually kind of fun, now that I remember how…”

Saki laughs and leans over to give me a quick kiss. “Make sure Noriko has fun too, alright? Give her a hand. Let her hold your arm or something for a lap or two. Poor girl’s trying as hard as she can but still looks like she’s going to fall over any minute.”

I laugh. “Alright.”

Saki waves as she turns around, the bells in her hair jingling. “See you all soon!”

Mitsuru turns to me. “Well, you heard the lady...”

We scan the ice to find Noriko and spot her across the rink. She’s doing better than she was but still not nearly as well as Mitsuru or I am...which in the case of myself is saying something. The two of us nod to each other and skate off in her direction, giving her a shock as we move up to either side of her.

“H-hey guys, what’s up?” she asks us nervously.

“Just gonna go around a few more times,” I answer. “You?”

“Probably...why?”

Mitsuru offers her his hand. “Need help?”

Noriko thinks about it for a second, then takes it. She does the same to me, and the three of us start to speed up - not as fast as Mitsuru or I were skating by ourselves, but much faster than she was managing. It only takes a few seconds before Noriko is laughing excitedly.

-----------

“Think they’re done yet?” I ask, the three of us walking in lockstep through the crowded intersection.

“If they aren’t, we can just stop by the karaoke club,” Mitsuru says.

“I still want to do that anyway!” Noriko exclaims, her enthusiasm evident. It’s no wonder, given how much fun she had the last time we went there. I wouldn’t mind it myself, and Miki went ahead with Suzu earlier. Maybe there’s a way we can talk Saki and Chisato into popping in for a song or two with our classmates.

Downtown is even more alive than it was earlier, a large throng of people making their way between the shops and restaurants, all of which are bustling with activity. The density drops a bit the further we get from the ice rink, but it’s still fairly crowded.

We turn the last corner and see the cafe lit up down the street, the flashing lights of Takamura’s karaoke club two doors down painting the dark night with a myriad of bright colors. There’s already a few people standing in small groups outside either, and I can barely make out Saki’s dress.

“Looks like they’re getting out now,” I say.

It takes another intersection to cross before we reach them, but when we finally do, Saki and Chisato are all smiles.

“Did you all have fun?” Mitsuru asks.

“I think everyone here did,” Chisato answers. “You?”

“Ask Noriko.”

Noriko nods cheerfully. “Yes! Did you guys want to go sing a few songs, now that you’re out?”

Saki laughs. “I wouldn’t mind. If you want to go I’ll join you guys in a few minutes.” She glances back at Mrs. Sakamoto, who is deep in a discussion with two other students. “Sensei was going to open up the studio so we’d be able to check that everything was ready for tomorrow.”

“That seems like a good idea. More time for us together tomorrow morning,” I say, moving next to Saki and draping an arm around her shoulders.

She leans against me gently. “That’s the plan.”

“How late were you going to stay, Noriko?”

Noriko checks her watch. “Probably another hour or so, or until everyone else starts to go back to the school…”

Saki picks up on her hesitation. “We’ll all head to the bus station to see you off.”

While it wasn’t something that we initially discussed, all of us immediately agree. Noriko smiles at this, even if there’s sadness behind it.

“Ah, hello again Hisao, Mitsuru,” I hear Mrs. Sakamoto’s voice, having wrapped up her previous conversation. “I hope I didn’t keep them from you for too long.”

“Oh, I’m sure they did just fine without us for a bit,” Saki teases.

The older woman shakes her head. “All right. Let’s get this done quickly so you can go back to having fun tonight.”

“Mind if we get a head start?” Chisato asks.

“We’re just dropping off the sheet music and making sure my violin is tuned,” Saki answers. “It should only take a few minutes, so go ahead. Just save me a spot in line, okay?”

“You got it!” Chisato winks. She grabs Mitsuru by the hand and the two of them start to walk over to the karaoke club. Noriko hesitates for a second before following them, giving us a small wave.

“You’re not going with them?” Saki asks me.

“Nah. I already ditched you once tonight. I’ll stick with you this time.”

“Only if you think the five minutes this will take makes up for it.”

“Excuse me? You were the one that insisted.”

Saki lowers her voice. “Well I guess you’ll just have to make it up to me later, won’t you?”

(continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 2/21)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:18 am

My face goes red, causing her to grin. She never fails at it, even after all these months together.

When we reach the door of the studio, Mrs. Sakamoto unlocks it and swings it open. I enter the darkened room right behind her, remembering where the light switch is. With a loud click and a muted hum, the lights flicker on and bathe the three of us in a harsh incandescent glow. Saki immediately sets her bag down on a table next to the piano, digging through it and pulling out the sheaf of papers I retrieved from the band room earlier.

“You’re sure this is the final draft for tomorrow, right?” Mrs. Sakamoto asks, taking the stack from Saki and thumbing through it.

“Yeah, I am. I think that’s everything,” Saki answers, her voice a little shaky. It’s so subtle yet unexpected that I pick up on it right away, and what I hear gives me concern.

I smile in an attempt to cheer her up. “Tomorrow’s the big day, huh?”

She takes a seat on the piano bench. “Y...yeah, I guess it is,” she says, adopting a tone equal parts relief and fascination. “It really is.”

Mrs. Sakamoto sits down next to her. “You should be proud. You’ve worked so hard for this and you absolutely deserve it. I can’t wait to hear what the two of you sound like tomorrow.”

Saki says nothing for a few seconds, but I can see tears welling up in her eyes. She gives a small smile before the slight motion causes her face to crack completely, collapsing into her hands in a light sob. “I’m sorry...I’m sorry…”

Saki’s mentor puts a patient hand on her shoulder, at once trying to comfort her. The gesture also seems to tell me that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I should let her live in this moment.

“It’s just…I never really thought that I’d make it to this point,” she manages to get out between her sniffles. “I owe you all so much, for helping me, for putting up with me, hell, just even believing in me…I know it sounds stupid, but...I’m really happy. I get to make something...leave something...and I would have never been able to if I wasn’t lucky enough to meet you…”

She breaks again as her tears renew, giving her teacher a tight hug. I can see her visibly trembling.

Making something. Leaving something.

I finally get it.

All this time, that was the missing piece. The reason she’s put so much effort into this from before I’ve even met her, while going through everything life has thrown at her. She’s been granted something most people in life might not get - the chance to leave something behind.

Something tangible. Something she created.

Something she never let life tell her she couldn’t have, after everything else it had forced upon her.

She knows exactly what this means. It’s both humbling and terrifying.

“You earned this,” Mrs. Sakamoto says.

Saki sits up and wipes the tears from her eyes with the back of her hand. “You’re goddamned right I did.”

Mrs. Sakamoto scowls, but there’s no malice in it. “Language, young lady.”

Saki laughs, pulling a tissue out of her pocket and using it to dab at her eyes. “You’re right. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t forget that.”

“You know…”

“Hm?”

Saki turns her head to look at me. “I...um...would you mind if I didn’t go to karaoke?”

“Why’s that?” I ask softly.

“I...kind of want to sit outside on the bench and play my violin...that’s not too strange, right?”

I put a hand on her other shoulder. “Nope, not at all.”

Saki nods. “Thank you. I just...thank you.”

“You okay?”

“Yeah,” she smiles, putting her hand on my arm so I can help her to her feet. When I do, she embraces me in a tight hug. “You better promise to sing a song with everyone though.”

“Are you telling me to ditch you again?”

“Yep. I’m going to put it on your tab.”

Mrs. Sakamoto clears her throat. “Just don’t take too long. I still have to lock up before I can go home tonight.”

“I won’t. I promise.”

“I think that will give me just enough time to go back and get another coffee.”

Saki bows. “Thank you.”

After Mrs. Sakamoto leaves, I hover near the door, one foot in the studio and the other on the concrete out front. I know Saki wants me to go with everyone else, but I hope she won’t begrudge me staying for an extra moment or two to help her.

“Where’d you leave your violin?”

“Mr. Takamura said he put it on one of the bottom shelves.”

I bend down near the large shelf along the back wall, and quickly locate Saki’s violin case sitting by itself. “Found it.”

“Oh good, right where he said it was.” Saki says, taking her cane from its resting spot against the piano and heading towards the door. I hold it open for her, and when she sits down on the bench, I set the case down next to her. “Thanks, Hisao.”

I can see the delicate precision she uses to open it and remove the instrument inside. She puts it up to the crook of her neck and draws the bow across the strings, making the violin sing a lone, solemn note. When I see her visibly relax at the sound, I can tell it’s my cue to leave.

“I’ll be back after a song or two, I promise.”

Saki laughs, fixing me with her gaze. “Take your time, I’m not going anywhere. Have fun.”

I turn and walk the short distance to the adjacent karaoke club, stepping through the propped-open door. The front lobby has a few students I recognize from earlier, along with Mutou sitting in one of the leather chairs. He nods to acknowledge me, no doubt trying to avoid shouting at the volume necessary to be hear clearly over what’s happening in the rooms right down the hallway. Apparently enough students have been coming and going to no longer phase him.

Walking down the hall, I can see handwritten signs taped to two of the doors, both saying that the rooms in question are reserved for the Yamaku party. I crack open the door of the first one right as a song dies down, squinting to make out the half dozen faces inside. The only two I recognise are Misaki and Maeda. When everyone turns to look at me, there’s a bit of confusion as they’re the only two who know who I am.

“Hey Hisao,” Misaki says. “What’s up?”

“Sorry,” I answer. “Was looking for someone else. You see Miki and Suzu anywhere?”

“Other room,” Maeda replies in a deadpan voice, turning his attention back to the song book in front of him. It doesn’t feel as much an act of interest as one of dismissal.

“Thanks,” I mumble, closing the door.

All right, I did say that if I ran into him, I wouldn’t leave the building, but instead give myself permission to go into a different room. Fortunately when I reach it and step in, the reception is much warmer.

“Hey Hisao! Glad you made it!” Miki says, a large binder balanced on her and Suzu’s laps.

I watch as Chisato and Noriko scoot over on the padded benches, giving me room to sit between them. “Hope I didn’t miss out on too much.”

“You can sing a duet with Noriko if you want,” Chisato grins. “Suzu and Miki sang one and I sang one with Mitsuru. You have perfect timing.”

“You know, I’m not too good at those…”

“You’ll do fine! I’ll pick an easy one!” Noriko says, apparently making the decision for both of us.

“Where’s Saki?” Chisato asks, leaning back and linking her fingers behind her head.

I watch as Noriko finds whatever song she’s looking for, and starts to enter the numbers into the remote. “She actually wanted to spend some time playing her violin. She’s sitting outside.”

“Do you think she’s nervous about tomorrow?”

“If she is, it’s only a small part of it. I just got the feeling she needed it, you know?”

“I think I’ll go check on her,” Chisato says, leaning forward and using the momentum to carry her to her feet.

“Aw, no fair! You’re going to miss our song!” Noriko protests.

“Don’t worry, I’ll be back before the first chorus,” her friend replies, before closing the door behind her.

“You better be,” Noriko pouts, causing Suzu and Miki to crack up at her reaction.

She rebounds quickly, tossing the second microphone to me as the first chords of the song start to play. It’s a generic pop hit from the last decade that almost everyone knows, and fortunately I’m included in that number. At least I know how it’s supposed to sound; whether that helps me actually make it sound like that is another thing entirely. Luckily I manage to stumble along in some semblance of passable singing...but it falters a bit when we first make it through the chorus, then second verse, and finally the entire five minute song without Chisato coming back.

After Miki and Suzu finish cheering the end of our song, Mitsuru and I exchange a brief glance. Maybe he sees my unease in my body language, because when he flicks his eyes towards the door, I can sense the message he’s trying to send me.

“I’m going to grab a drink from the vending machine,” I say, standing up. “Does anyone want anything?”

Suzu perks up and digs into her pocket for her wallet. “Can you please get me a ramune? You can keep the change,” she says, slipping me a few coins.

“You got it. Back in a second.”

When the door closes behind me, I take a minute to think. I can’t explain exactly why something doesn’t feel right. Could it be the way Saki acted earlier, and that there’s a sense I should be out there with her instead of in here? Perhaps Chisato just lost track of how long she was out talking with Saki or thought we wouldn’t mind. Either one of those would be a much more likely reason, but with how high emotions are tonight, I simply can’t shake how disquieted I am.

As soon as I step outside, my suspicions are confirmed, but not in any way I could have predicted.

(continued...)
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Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 2/21)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:20 am

I hear clipped angry voices in the middle of a heated argument...and they’re voices I recognize.

“-we all worked on it, Maeda-”

“-that doesn’t give you the right to record it, especially if you’re using it just to pad your damned admission-”

I move quicker than I have all night to cover the distance between the door and the bench, where I see Saki and Chisato facing off against Maeda. Chisato is slightly in front of her friend, her hands positioned on her hips. Maeda’s got his arms crossed in front of him, occasionally unfolding them to make a wild gesture with his hands. When I see Saki’s face and the angry tears running down it, I see red.

“Hey,” I say, placing a hand on Maeda’s shoulder and spinning him around to face me. “Back off.”

Whatever backbone I just found falters slightly as I see pain in his face - pain just as real as what I see in Saki’s.

“This doesn’t involve you, Nakai,” he growls out, keeping his eyes boring into mine - something he’s never done before, and something that makes me even madder.

“If you’re going to yell at my girlfriend, then yeah, it does involve me. She’s had enough shit to deal with the last few weeks without you acting-”

“Hisao!” Saki calls out to me, cutting me off.

“Oh, I know all about it,” Maeda spits out. “I know about the project they were working on.” He looks at Chisato. “You said you were recording it tomorrow, right?”

“What makes you think it has anything to do with you?” she shouts back.

Maeda’s face twists in a complex cascade of emotions. Anger, shock, sadness, and finally a strained disbelief. He turns towards Saki. “You’re kidding. They really have no idea, do they?”

“Maeda-”

“What are you talking about?”

“You didn’t even tell them what you said to her? What you talked about?” Maeda challenges. “Does your new boyfriend even know what happened to Kayoko?”

“Maeda, stop!” Saki shouts.

“What does it matter, Maeda? She’s gone,” Chisato fires back, her voice fracturing from distress.

“Yeah. She’s gone. If Saki hadn’t put the idea into Kayoko’s head-”

“It wasn’t like that!” Saki practically shrieks, the sheer force of which causes Maeda to pause in his fury for a few seconds.

The lingering silence on all of our parts is deafening.

“It...it wasn’t like that,” she starts again, her voice small. “W-we talked, but...”

More silence follows as she trails off.

I scan all of their faces, not knowing what else to do. Maeda is still glaring at Saki, but his demeanor has lost its edge. He’s still angry, but the look he gives is one fueled by an exhaustion and weariness. His eyes start to shine, tearing up from the sheer frustration he’s feeling.

Chisato’s glancing back and forth between the two of them, but her gaze eventually settles on Saki. Her face is a mixture of confusion and skepticism, her brow furrowing as she tries like me to process everything that’s happening.

Saki can’t look either of them in the eye. She’s completely shrunken into herself, her shoulders slumped and trembling. She doesn’t even glance in my direction, an alarming sign that stands out above everything else that’s currently happening right now.

I have to do something, but what? How-

“Saki.”

Chisato’s voice makes all of us snap towards her, but she hasn’t taken her eyes off Saki. Her friend looks at her with pleading eyes.

“What is Maeda talking about?” she asks, her tone firm.

Maeda starts to speak. “The same talk we had. She-”

Shut up, Maeda,” Chisato growls without even looking at him, leaving absolutely no room for argument or discussion. The combined assault of both her best friend and ex-boyfriend are too much for Saki to handle, and she wilts even further.

A sense of shock hits, a sudden clarity cutting through me so deeply that my chest instantly tightens up.

Oh God. Oh God.

I know what Saki talked to Kayoko about.

Saki’s voice trembles. “Chisato, I...I talked to her, but I never said that she should...I…told her what I told you, what we had talked about...when I get older. I didn’t,” she stumbles, tears at the corner of her eyes. “I didn’t think she would…”

Chisato still has a look of confusion, but it’s now underlied with anger. “You...no. You didn’t.

“Chisato,” I say and try to put a hand on her arm. She shakes me off without so much as a glance in my direction, taking another step forward.

“Why? Why?

“It wasn’t like that, Chisato,” Saki says, her cheeks stained a bright red from the shame she’s feeling, tears rolling down them freely. “We were talking and she asked me how...how I deal with it, you know? And I told her. I told her.” She fixes on Chisato’s glare, a desperate look in her eyes. “Please Chisato, I never would brought it up if she didn’t ask and if I ever thought she would do that to herself.”

I was right. I wish I wasn’t, but I am.

Chisato’s voice and face both crack simultaneously, spiderwebbing into edges of raw emotion and pain. “She never came to me. She never...why? Not once...?”

“Chisato,” I say again, this time with a bit more edge to my voice. I come up behind her and put my hands on her shoulders, and this time she doesn’t squirm away. Instead, she doesn’t react at all.

“When did you talk to her? How long before she had that episode in band?”

“Three weeks,” Saki answers, all her willfulness gone.

Chisato whirls on Maeda, equally as furious. “You knew about this too and you didn’t tell me after what had happened?”

Now it’s Maeda’s turn to look away, surprising me. “I couldn’t.”

When he doesn’t offer anything more, Chisato takes a step towards him. “What do you mean, you couldn’t?”

“I couldn’t tell you that she had talked to me about it.”

“What?” Saki asks under her breath, surprising me further. She didn’t know about this?

Chisato notices it too, and is clearly hurt further by it. “Why?”

Maeda looks at the ground in front of him and closes his eyes, taking a large breath that he holds for an eternity before letting it out in a labored sigh.

“Kayoko was looking for you when she bumped into me first. I’m the one she talked to.” He opens his eyes again and fixes Saki with such a hurt, contemptible stare that my blood goes cold. “Kayoko killed herself, and Saki’s the reason she did it.”

All at once, the fire explodes in Saki’s eyes. With a strangled, anguished cry, she reaches back and slaps Maeda across the face as hard as she can, nearly knocking off his beret and causing him to stumble back…

...right in front of Mutou, who seems to have chosen that exact second to step outside.

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Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/2)

Post by PKMNthiefChris » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:21 am

Wow... I mean I kind of had guessed that was what had happened but I didn't expect the scene where it came to light to go like that. I'm torn between pitying Maeda and wanting to punch his lights out and I kind of just want to give Saki a hug. I don't blame her for not telling them, that's something that really is only between her and Kayoko (and I guess Maeda). I can't blame her for what happened to Kayoko. She was asked and it's not like she considered it an immediate thing either. This was really good.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/2)

Post by Peorth » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:16 am

What a twist!
Even if the author is silenced, the performance is stopped, the story will not end.

Whether it's a comedy or a tragedy, if there is cheering, the story will continue on.
Just like the many lives.
For the us who are still in it and still in the journey, send warm blessings.

---We will continue to walk down this path until eternity.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/2)

Post by Blackmambauk » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:01 am

Only found that there was a new chapter this morning from fanfiction.net, not sure why this site sent no notification but hey ho.

Boy Euro, you always know how to deliver quite the chapter that's mixed with so much in it and balances levity, drama and other stuff in it.

I had that feeling there was something going to be revealed about Kayoko this chapter with the way Hisao built her up here on how Saki had still not told him about her very much. Nice foreshadowing to the moment that comes.

Really liked the school outing to the city, once again you take slice of life and really know how to make it so interesting to read, so in depth with little details of youngsters being youngsters. Of showing the Christmas spirit. Nice usage of Miki and Suzu once again, they are part of the chapter nicely and fitting to their characters but never overshadow anything or where out their welcome. Textbook example of how to use ensemble dark horses right and with the fanon/ semi canon pairing of them.

Really liked the bit of Hisao and Mitsuru helping Noriko on the ice staking. Really nice touch there of showing them all as friends and helping each other. Small stuff like that always goes a long way to adding to characters.

Very clever of you Euro to choose generic song everyone knows about description in there. Great way of letting readers decide on what they think the song is but leaving enough on what is the likely song Hisao is referring to. Well played sir.

Moment I saw Maeda that's when I know things were about to get out of hand with Saki outside and Chisato popping out.

Poor poor Chisato, she's truly not having any luck at the moment in the fic, first finding out her boyfriend is off to Korea. Having to deal with not seeing Noriko for a little while and now finding out something her best friend had kept from her, and in the most insensitive, emotional way anyone could find out about it. Lfie really has it in for her at the moment.

But poor Saki even more with what happened this chapter. It's going to get awkward now with her, Chisato and Hisao.

Boy, Maeda really really picked the worst time to vent and in a way that makes you feel for him on one hand and on another wanting to rip out their hearing aid and shove it up his arse Stepbrothers style.

And then Mutou enters the room to end the chapter after Saki slaps his student.

Golly, things are really going to escalate now between everyone.

A always sir, excellent job that leaves me hungry for more 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 (Updated 6/2)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:44 pm

Now this is ep... I mean uhh...

Not epic, this is very not epic

Poor Sockey...
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/2)

Post by Send Help » Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:05 pm

If there was ever a moment that Cold Iron would fit perfectly for in this fic, that last scene would be it. Shit has officially hit the fan.

Also, congratulations, you managed to make me feel kinda bad for Maeda (even though the other half of me still wants to strangle him due to the lovely moment that he picked to have this argument). That's quite the feat.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/2)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:42 am

Just a few comments on the latest chapter:
Instead, you’ll go to that teacher’s homeroom. I’ll be here tutoring science. You’ll go to Mrs. Miyagi’s classroom if you want help with English, and so on.”
In Japan teachers don't have their own classrooms. In fact that seems to be a US thing, because over here they don't have them either.
“A few of the first and second year teachers could use some aids,
Possible, but you probably meant "aides" (or just "aid")
There’s a short blurb saying that the cafeteria will keep the same hours, and things like the library and pool will remain open as well.
Well, obviously since the lower classes have to eat as well...
I throw a few paper notes down that more than cover my share, leaving a large tip for the staff that put up with our shenanigans.
There is no tipping in Japan.
In general I had a few problems getting the timeline here straight. Having dinner and then everyone goes anywhere for half an hour before moving to the next spot... At some point I kind of lost track...
Finally I wish you'd post this in smaller installments. With such a huge chunk 3-4 times a year it's hard to remember how the last chunk ended... Yeah, I know, old geezer with memory problems here :-)
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/2)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:01 pm

Woo, multireply time!

Thanks for the feedback on the last chapter. I was really nervous about it because it's the "Snape Kills Dumbledore" moment, and I guess after seeing how season 8 of Game Of Thrones ended and watching a lot of videos/reading articles dissecting it from a writing standpoint, I was paranoid that I hadn't "earned" things tipping off the deep end here.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:42 am
In Japan teachers don't have their own classrooms. In fact that seems to be a US thing, because over here they don't have them either.
I thought each teacher had their homeroom, same as the students - the room they start the day in. My assumption was that now that third years are essentially done, the third year teachers would change their schedule up accordingly to make tutoring available. Admittedly I didn't think that those faculty members could also be teaching the first and second years...
Possible, but you probably meant "aides" (or just "aid")
Whoops :lol:
Well, obviously since the lower classes have to eat as well...
That line was about the facilities over winter break, not the rest of the year.
There is no tipping in Japan.
I'll go back and change that line. :) Sometimes you just get into the flow when writing, and then making an editing pass at 3 in the morning...
In general I had a few problems getting the timeline here straight. Having dinner and then everyone goes anywhere for half an hour before moving to the next spot... At some point I kind of lost track...
Finally I wish you'd post this in smaller installments. With such a huge chunk 3-4 times a year it's hard to remember how the last chunk ended... Yeah, I know, old geezer with memory problems here :-)
Yeah, a lot happens in this chapter and I tried to keep it as straight as possible. The idea is that everyone goes to dinner, then half an hour later Mrs. Sakamoto specifically takes the band members out to the cafe, hence why people shift their positions. It might be easier to keep track of if it were in VN format with the shifting perspectives and BGs. I'll do another quick editing pass to see if I can make it a bit clearer about who does what and when.

I wish I could update more often but life gets in the way, as it always does. I'll try to get the next chapter out by the end of the summer.

I do hope overall you liked it :) I've always enjoyed your constructive criticism.
Send Help wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 4:05 pm
Also, congratulations, you managed to make me feel kinda bad for Maeda (even though the other half of me still wants to strangle him due to the lovely moment that he picked to have this argument). That's quite the feat.
I had a lot of people tell me that they thought I was depicting Maeda as too much of a callous asshole, so hopefully this chapter (and the next one or two) will help soften that or at least explain why he acts the way he does towards Saki and co.
Blackmambauk wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:01 am
Really liked the school outing to the city, once again you take slice of life and really know how to make it so interesting to read, so in depth with little details of youngsters being youngsters. Of showing the Christmas spirit. Nice usage of Miki and Suzu once again, they are part of the chapter nicely and fitting to their characters but never overshadow anything or where out their welcome. Textbook example of how to use ensemble dark horses right and with the fanon/ semi canon pairing of them.
Miki and Suzu are cute to write together, I had a lot of fun putting them in here :)
Poor poor Chisato, she's truly not having any luck at the moment in the fic, first finding out her boyfriend is off to Korea. Having to deal with not seeing Noriko for a little while and now finding out something her best friend had kept from her, and in the most insensitive, emotional way anyone could find out about it. Lfie really has it in for her at the moment.
She can't catch a break right now, especially since this doesn't bode well for the recording tomorrow...
PKMNthiefChris wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:21 am
Wow... I mean I kind of had guessed that was what had happened but I didn't expect the scene where it came to light to go like that. I'm torn between pitying Maeda and wanting to punch his lights out and I kind of just want to give Saki a hug. I don't blame her for not telling them, that's something that really is only between her and Kayoko (and I guess Maeda). I can't blame her for what happened to Kayoko. She was asked and it's not like she considered it an immediate thing either. This was really good.
Thank you for the kind words!

I don't think any of the following chapters are going to be as long as this one, excepting one or two. I have most of the outline for the next chapter done, so I'm shooting for next month or August for the update, unless some exceptionally good/bad things happen :mrgreen:
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 6/2)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:36 pm

Also forgot to mention...two more pieces of art being worked on! :)
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 (Updated 6/2)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:04 pm

Eurobeatjester wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:01 pm
I thought each teacher had their homeroom, same as the students - the room they start the day in. My assumption was that now that third years are essentially done, the third year teachers would change their schedule up accordingly to make tutoring available. Admittedly I didn't think that those faculty members could also be teaching the first and second years...
Disclaimer: I never went to shool in Japan!
From what I've seen or read in various media and heard from my Japanese teacher there is a common room for teachers where all teachers spend the hours where they don't have to teach any classes. That's the same system we have here in Germany.
In my school the only teachers with their own room were the headmaster and the department heads.
Of course this could be different in Yamaku with its apparent abundance of rooms, but then it should be something that strikes Hisao as not normal...
Thanks for the feedback on the last chapter. I was really nervous about it because it's the "Snape Kills Dumbledore" moment, and I guess after seeing how season 8 of Game Of Thrones ended and watching a lot of videos/reading articles dissecting it from a writing standpoint, I was paranoid that I hadn't "earned" things tipping off the deep end here.
TBH, to me it didn't make that big of an impression... Sure, I can see how Saki could blame herself for what happened to her friend; for not noticing what she planned to do, but in the end she did nothing wrong.
Maeda is being a dick again, but he has been since the beginning, and we don't know enough about his relationship to dead girl to judge...
In fact if dead girl talked to Maeda about her plans, wouldn't HE be the one to blame for not doing anything to prevent the suicide? (At least that's how I interpret the last few lines of dialogue... It is not 100% clear WHAT she told him, but if it had been anything else, then why would he even be after Saki?)
Finally it couldn't really be a "Snape Kills Dumbledore" moment, because for that it would have to concern an important character. Sure she was important to Saki (and probably to Maeda?) but for the reader she is someone who was mentioned a couple of times (in a chapter I read six months ago) and showed up in a photo. (I call her dead girl because I don't even remember her name...)
So any impact the circumstances of her death have on me are just from the impact Maedas accusations have on Saki.
Anyway short of adding some flashback chapters from Sakis perspective to get the reader to care more about that girl there's not really any way you could have prevented that, and I realize that that would have been a major deviation from the format of the rest of the story...
I do hope overall you liked it :) I've always enjoyed your constructive criticism.
Of course. Overall the chapter was excellent as always!
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/2)

Post by Resmyx » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:17 am

When I read there was a new chapter, your longest one yet... I waited to peek at the responses. I suspected there was good reason you went for length instead of making more smaller chapters like you did in act 2. At a glance, the responses seemed long and detailed, especially Blackmambauk's reply. So, I decided to reread LtF from the beginning, before reading this chapter. I'm late to the comments, but it was totally worth it.

Euro, you've got a masterful skill for subtle foreshadowing, then building that tension and suspense, before before dramatic climaxes occur. There's so many brilliantly hidden hints and clues in the relaxed scenes. They're easier to spot on a reread. When a dramatic scene happens, all of it clicks into place and we're blown away.

Out of them all, there's two lines of Saki's dialogue that really stick out to me as amazing. Remember in act 3, scene 12 when Saki opens up about how fatal her ataxia is? She mentions suicide being empowering. Then Hisao asked about Maeda and Saki's breakup...
Eurobeatjester wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:00 am

“Is this why you broke up with Maeda?” I ask, my tone a bit harsher than I intend. Saki picks up on it, and her shoulders slump even further.

“It wasn’t the only reason, but...no. I guess it was the only reason.”

“You told Maeda what you told me and either you or him decided that it wouldn’t work out.”

“I didn’t tell him everything I told you, but...he heard enough,” she says, her spirit cowed.
Saki isn't just talking just about her own suicide anymore, she's talking about Kayoko too isn't she?

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/2)

Post by Resmyx » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:43 am

By the way, I noticed some broken links while I was re-reading. I can't do anything about the broken image links to shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com, but I did what I could to help you fix the chapter links.

Dead link on page 15, act 2, scene 4
": Next Chapter >>" is not a link
Link To Post
Fixed Code:

Code: Select all

[url=http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=9187&p=224516#p224513][b][u]Next Chapter >>[/u][/b][/url]
broken link page 29, act 2, scene 7
Mishimmie image #4314
http://shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com/thumb/4314.jpg
Link To Post

broken image page 37, act 2, scene 9
middle of 3rd post down, first kiss
http://shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com/image/4015.jpg
Link To Post

Dead link on page 52, act 3, scene 6
" Next Chapter >>" is not a link
Link To Post
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[url=https://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=9187&start=780#p238777][b][u]Next Chapter >>[/u][/b][/url]
Broken image page 58, act 3, scene 10
bottom of 4th post, arcade elipsis
Mishimmie image #4220
http://shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com/thumb/4220.jpg
Link To Post

Incorrect Link page 58, act 3, scene 10
"Next Chapter >>" links to act 3, scene 10
Link To Post
Fixed Code:

Code: Select all

[url=https://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=9187&p=240625#p240621][b][u]Next Chapter >>[/u][/b][/url]
broken link page 65, act 4, scene 2
" Next Chapter >>" is not a link
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[url=https://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=9187&start=975#p243275][b][u]Next Chapter >>[/u][/b][/url]
broken link page 67, act 4, scene 3
" << Previous Chapter" is not a link
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[url=https://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=9187&start=960#p242360][b][u] << Previous Chapter[/u][/b][/url]

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/2)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:32 pm

Resmyx wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:43 am
By the way, I noticed some broken links while I was re-reading. I can't do anything about the broken image links to shimmie.katawa-shoujo.com, but I did what I could to help you fix the chapter links.
Thank you! That's a huge help. I'm on mobile at the moment but when I get home later tonight I'll do my best to fix them all up and get the missing images replaced. :)
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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