COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Oct 15th, 2018)

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Craftyatom
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COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Oct 15th, 2018)

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:36 am

Hello! My name is Crafty, and in this thread, I've got a story to tell you about a girl named Miki, who is missing her left hand. It's based on the setting and characters from Katawa Shoujo (as is standard on this forum), so if you haven't played through at least the first three scenes of that visual novel, you should probably do that first. This story also draws a lot of inspiration from another piece on this forum: Scissorlips' Pseudo-Pseudo Suzu Route. You don't have to have read that story to understand this one, though; in fact, the two are radically different in many ways. I say that it's my "inspiration" because it created a template for how some characters act/interact, not because I copied all the good parts or anything.

The next few paragraphs are just various notes about this story and its history, so you don't have to read those either if you don't want to - you can scroll down to the scene library to pick a specific scene, or just keep scrolling to start from the beginning.

When I first started this route, I did so because I wanted to write a story - I had been inspired by Scissorlips' work, linked above. However, I was somewhat "egged on" by something else: "The Curse of Miura". When I started planning and writing this story back in September 2013, there were no finished Miki Routes. There were lots of completed short stories, but it seemed that, whenever someone tried to write a full route (covering an entire relationship, similar to the various routes within the base game), they ended up having to stop after only a few releases, sometimes for odd reasons. Not one to turn down a challenge, I vowed to finish a complete route about Miki.

It might seem silly to have acted on such a superstition, but there's a little bit of method hidden in the madness: because nobody ever got too far with a Miki route, there was actually very little Miki content at all, and I was more than happy to try and fill the gap. So, for exactly a year, I was in charge of one of the most-complete Miki routes on the market. Then, on Christmas Eve 2014, just a few hours before I was about to release a pair of new scenes, a new story called Summer's Clover was released in a single update (as opposed to scene-by-scene, as myself and many others often do). It was a complete Miki route written by none other than Suriko, who you may know as the writer responsible for Lilly's route in Katawa Shoujo.

That, in my mind, is when "The Curse of Miura" was broken. It's fitting, really, that such a feat was accomplished by a writer who I personally hold in such high regard. I quickly released my Christmas update, then spent a long time trying to build up the courage to read Summer's Clover. It was brilliant, just as expected. I was quite humbled by the fact that one of my heroes had just written a story similar to one of my own, but I also realized that Suriko was portraying a much different set of characters than I was. His Hisao, Miki, and Suzu were well-written, but they were also quite different from the ones I was writing about. As such, I decided to keep working on my route (much to the delight of those who had come to enjoy following it). The curse might be dead, but I think that my work should live on.

Of course, deciding to keep writing and actually doing that writing are two very different things. Throughout the course of my work, I've had a number of long hiatuses. In early 2014, I was undergoing preliminary treatment for my depression: 146 days between updates. For most of 2015, I was dealing with further depression related to college, which eventually led to me dropping out: 248 days between releases. Late 2015 to early 2017, I spent most of my time at a job which, though well-paying, destroyed my free time and ate at my soul a bit: 669 days between releases. You can see that I haven't exactly been consistent - for more details, you can check out a spreadsheet that I keep updated with these statistics.

For some people, this has probably been too long. I won't blame anyone for choosing to stay away, wanting to avoid another massive hiatus. However, I will continue to do my best. I really do enjoy writing this story and releasing it for people to read, and I know that there are at least a few people who enjoy reading it. We're a long way from the end, and I can't guarantee that I'll be able to make it all the way there, but I can guarantee that I'll be trying my best to provide well-written content whenever possible. If you'd like to join me along the way, you're more than welcome to. :)

Anyways, with all that boring stuff out of the way, let's read a Miki route, shall we?
  • Act 1: Commoners
  • Landfall - There's a new kid in class, but things remain mostly the same for Suzu and Miki. Mostly.
  • Amends and Amenities - Most doors, once closed, can be re-opened. Hisao needs some help with this concept.
  • Act 2: Adventurers
  • Body and Spirit - Hisao saves Miki from the present, Miki saves Hisao from his past, and they both plan for the future.
  • Tossing and Turning - Miki deals with her phantom pains decisively, and cools down with Hisao for the first time.
  • Impact - Miki sets out to battle phantom pains, but ends up dealing with a different problem entirely.
  • Converse Appropriation - Hisao is prepared for class, and Miki is decidedly not. Luckily, she's got friends in smart places.
  • Little Angels - Miki and Hisao take a Sunday trip to the city, complete with conversation and dessert.
  • Self-Insufficient - Miki isn't making the grade, so help is enlisted, and turns out to be more pertinent than expected.
  • Cover - The track meet is almost here, but sailing is far from smooth.
  • Path A: Keep your secret
  • Vigil - Miki has been up all night, which is a suboptimal way to prepare for a track meet.
  • Freefall - Having run her races, Miki focuses on studying with a partner who ends up learning more than just chemistry.
  • Lithobraking - Best friends know when they're needed, and Miki needs Suzu now more than ever.
  • Path B: Tell your story
  • Structural Integrity - Miki and Hisao have a lot in common - they just need to show it.
  • Weightlessness - With the track meet over, Miki has even more time to talk with her friends than expected.
  • Coelliptic - Miki worries about Hisao, but he has much more important things on his mind.
  • Rendezvous - Miki and Hisao have spent more than enough time back-to-back. Finally, they end up face-to-face.
  • Act 3: Protectors
  • Layover - Miki steps in to help Hisao twice, and ends up surprised both times.
  • Contact Light - Suzu clutters Miki's mind, but Hisao does his best to clear it.
  • Uplink, Downlink - Miki and Hisao tell Suzu their secrets, one of which is no longer secret.
Last edited by Craftyatom on Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:51 am, edited 36 times in total.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots
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Landfall (1/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:37 am

Act 1: Commoners

>Landfall<
I can’t believe him.

I make all this effort to get up and get to class on time, and the teacher’s the one who’s late. I could’ve slept in for at least another 5 minutes if I had known this was going to happen. It looks like someone’s determined to get that extra 5 minutes anyways, though: Suzu’s asleep, unsurprisingly.

Finally the door swings open, and in comes Mutou, though there’s someone else following him. “Good morning everyone, sorry I’m late again.” He drops a few papers onto his desk before turning to the class.

As angry as I am about Mutou wasting my morning, I can’t help but be intrigued by the boy behind him. He’s got scruffy brown hair, dark-ish eyes, slightly on the tall side. It looks like he’s roughly the right build for track, though I can’t tell if he’s fit due to the jacket he’s wearing.

He seems really scared, or at least confused. Then again, he probably hasn’t seen a class quite like this before. It doesn’t even look like there’s anything really wrong with him on the outside, either, so it’s not like he knows what it feels like. The strange feeling that no matter where you go, everyone’s staring-

At me. He’s staring at me. The look on his face, god, he really isn’t used to this, is he. Much as it would be funny to see him try to squirm out of a staring contest, I decide instead to stare off into the distance, rubbing the back of my neck with the stump on the end of my left arm. With any luck, that should at least-

“...please welcome our newest classmate.” Oh, Mutou’s done. Everyone starts to clap, hooray. This gives the new guy a chance to take his eyes off of the class while he bows. Don’t act like I didn’t notice you staring at me… whatever your name is.

“So… I’m Hisao Nakai.” There we go.

He’s so nervous, it’s almost infectious. I look over to see if Suzu’s having as much fun with this as I am, but apparently not, as her face is still buried in her desk. Come on, you’re missing out.

I kick her desk lightly, and she finally looks up, clears her eyes, and looks over at me. I wink at her, then motion to the chalkboard, where new guy is writing some stuff. She seems to contemplate him for a bit, but eventually looks back to me with one eyebrow raised. What’s that supposed to mean?

I shrug and turn back to… what was it? Oh, right, ‘Hisao’, he wrote it on the board. Finally, Mutou finishes up the speech he was apparently giving about accepting our new classmate. This time I applaud along with the class, clapping my right hand against my left wrist.

Mutou says a few words to him, and then he’s walking to his seat, looking horribly confused, though a bit relieved that he doesn’t have to stand up in front of everyone anymore.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next day, as the lunch bell rings, Lezard follows Suzu and me to lunch, though he only needs to talk to Suzu. “Anyways, the Literature Club is going to have to start collecting books soon, even though the deadline for the book drive is a few weeks away, otherwise… Suzu, are you even listening?”

She’s leaning on my arm a little, evidently not completely awake, but manages to turn her head to face Lezard. “Huh? Oh, yeah, books. We’ll, uh… do that.”

As we begin to descend the stairs, Lezard becomes visibly irritated. “Suzu, this is important! If we don’t get the donations in time, the student council’s going to start bothering us, and another run-in with Shizune is the last thing I need.”

“Wait, the donations, isn’t that not for a while?” By this point Suzu is well and truly putting her weight on me.

Lezard slaps his face with his palm. “Yes, but that’s what I was saying, we need to start soon even though the deadline is far off. Things like this tend to sneak up on us, and we...“ At this point, he realizes that Suzu has stopped looking at him, instead resting her head on my shoulder. She managed to keep her eyes open until we got to the bottom of the stairs, but now that it’s a straight walk to the cafeteria, she’s decided to put herself in my care.

I look back over at Lezard, who is clearly not happy about the situation, and give him a sympathetic shrug with my free shoulder. He turns away, but I manage to see him roll his eyes anyways. He knows it’s not Suzu’s fault - her narcolepsy is just a fact of life - but that doesn’t mean he has to be happy about it, I suppose. Personally, I no longer bat an eyelid at Suzu’s occasional spells of fatigue; we’ve known each other for so long, and spent so much time together, that guiding her around as she rests on my arm is now second nature to me.

With Suzu more than half-asleep, Lezard quickly decides that there’s no reason to stick around, and picks up his pace, leaving us behind in what I can only assume is an attempt to get some good food from the cafeteria before it’s all gone. There’s plenty of stuff to eat, but getting something that’s tasty rather than just filling can be a challenge. Suzu and I will likely end up with something on the less appetizing end of the spectrum - assuming Suzu even bothers. She might just sleep through the whole lunch period.

Oh well, she’ll make up for it at dinner.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As the week goes by, things all but go back to normal in the wake of the new guy. Today, however, class may get restless again; the festival is now only two days away, and that’s just about close enough to drain everyone’s will to do work. So, as Suzu and I walk to class, it’s possible for once to take my mind off of lectures and tests, and focus on other stuff, like-

“No, there is no way that I would ever join the literature club.”

“But it’s fun!”

“I refuse to believe that. There is no way that a bunch of people sitting in the back room of the library talking about some random book is fun.”

“But we talk about the interesting parts of the book! The action and stuff!”

“And you couldn’t just read those bits and then not talk about them?”

“Well, you do, but then you talk about them as well! Trust me, it’s fun.”

“Trust you? On the matter of fun? No offense, Suzu, but I’m way better at fun than you.”

“What? Fun is subjective! You can’t be ‘good’ at having fun, either you have fun or you don’t!” Well that’s just absurd.

“Oh please. You know when somebody’s a fun person. It’s something you can tell about them, from what they do, how they talk, stuff like that. And I’m way better at fun stuff than you. I, for one, have never slept through an entire party.”

“Hey, that was a boring party and you know it. Even thinking about it just...” Her sentence trails off as she yawns, and it’s contagious, causing me to yawn too. After closing my jaw and wiping my eyes, I realize that Suzu has begun to lean on me.

“Hey, c’mon, keep up. Once we get to class, you can sleep all you want, but we gotta get there first.”

Her eyelids droop as her head digs into my arm a bit. “You can take me to class, it’s fine.”

I groan. “We still have to go up the stairs. You can’t do those while you’re asleep.”

“Well... Carry me.” With this, she closes her eyes, and I roll mine before focusing on her again.

“I’m not going to carry you up two flights of stairs. You’re going to have to do that yourself.”

No response.

“Suzu, seriously.” I flick her cheek a few times, eliciting an annoyed grunt but not much else. “Ugh, fine, we’ll take the elevator.” I don’t like using the elevator. It’s supposed to be for students who can’t use the stairs, like those in wheelchairs or with knee problems, so it feels wrong for us to use it when Suzu’s legs work just fine and I’m a member of the track team. I’ll be damned if I’m going to carry Suzu up two whole flights of stairs, though.

Unfortunately, throughout this whole exchange, neither of us have been watching where we’re going, and just as I take my eyes off of Suzu, she collides with a chubby first-year in a wheelchair coming the other way. He’s mostly unfazed, but Suzu’s legs are taken out from under her. I manage to grab onto her upper arm with my hand, keeping her shoulders and head up for a bit, but her legs hit the concrete path pretty hard.

Slowly, I lay her down the rest of the way, being careful not to bump her head. I can see her eyebrows furrowed and jaw clenched in mild pain - one look at her legs shows that she’s scraped them. On the plus side, that looks like the only-

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry!” says the first-year in a wheelchair, now looking down at Suzu, as is the short girl who had been walking next to him. “I was talking to Makoto, and not looking where I was going, and...”

I smile and wave him off with my hand. “Don’t worry about it, we should’ve been paying attention too. It’s fine.”

He wrings his hands. “Is she going to be okay?”

I turn to Suzu, and flick her in the cheek again, causing her to grumble. “Yeah, she’s fine, just tired.” I look back at the first-year. “How about you?”

“Me?” He looks confused for a moment, then realizes what I mean. “Oh, yeah, I’m fine. Just a bit startled.”

“Okay, good.” I look back at Suzu, who is now breathing calmly. Evidently her tumble didn’t warrant waking up. She’ll be fine, but the scratches on her knees are red - not big enough to be bleeding, but more than big enough that they should be cleaned. “Guess I should take her to the nurse’s office.”

The short girl, who had been quiet up until now, finally speaks up. “Do you need help with that?”

I shake my head. “Nah, I’ll be fine. Got plenty of practice carrying her myself.” I kneel down and pull Suzu up over my left shoulder, then heave myself up into a standing position, my stump resting on her back and keeping her in place. The two first-years are astonished, which makes me grin. Suzu’s pretty light, but they still probably weren’t expecting me to pick her up just like that. “Well, I’m going to the nurse. You two take care!”

As I turn to leave, the boy in the wheelchair calls out “Sorry again!”

“Don’t worry about it!” I say back over my right shoulder.

Well, I guess I ended up carrying Suzu anyways. At least this way I might miss some class.
Last edited by Craftyatom on Tue Jul 25, 2017 2:09 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Landfall (2/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:37 am

I didn’t miss very much, mostly because Mutou was almost as late as I was. Suzu didn’t show up to class at all, so I guess she was having a good time, relative to me at least. Strangely enough, Hisao was absent too. Not that I necessarily blame him, but he hasn’t even been at Yamaku for a week yet, and he’s already missing class.

On the other hand, maybe his condition limits him. He looked fine on the outside, but maybe he has… I don’t know, explosive diarrhea or something.

Right. Explosive diarrhea. Good one, Miki. Thanks, Miki.

But he could be like Naomi – she looks perfectly fine on the outside, but once you see her have a seizure, you’re more than willing to forgive her for taking the rest of the day off. Still, missing class after only a few days is pretty unlucky.

As the class spills out of the room to head to lunch, I instead turn to head towards the nurse’s office. Hopefully Suzu’s awake by now.

As I approach the door to the office, I can hear talking from inside. I don’t have to go to the nurse’s office as often as some, but I’ve been here enough to recognize the nurse’s voice. As I reach the door, I manage to make out “Try to breathe normally for me.” Strange, that doesn’t sound like something Suzu-

Oh.

Before me, just inside the door, the nurse is hunched over a shirtless Hisao, stethoscope held to his chest.

“Ah, Miss Miura! You’ve come by to check on your friend, I assume?” The nurse smiles, but underneath him Hisao looks absolutely mortified.

“Yeah, is she awake yet?” I manage to keep my eyes on the nurse, but even in my peripheral vision I can tell that Hisao is fidgeting.

“I’m afraid not, she’s still asleep in the back.” He looks back down to Hisao, then gasps. “Oh, I had completely forgotten. Miss Miura, this is-“

“Hisao Nakai, yeah. He’s-“

“In your class, isn’t he. I’m forgetting things all over the place today.” He chuckles, then gets up and tosses Hisao a purple t-shirt. Hisao rushes to put it on, but accidentally gets it on backwards, and has to start over.

“It’s okay, we still haven’t been properly introduced.” I walk up to him and extend my right hand. He hasn’t managed to get his shirt on yet, so instead he balls it up and holds it over his chest with his left hand before extending his right.

“H-Hisao Nakai.”

I grab his hand and shake it. “Miki Miura.”

“Nice to meet you, Miura.”

“Oh, just call me Miki. ‘Miura’ makes it sound like you’re about to give me homework.”

“Fine by me. And sorry about not having spoken to you before, it’s just that the student council can be quite… demanding.” So that’s what’s gotten into him.

“Ah. You know that they go away if you ignore them, right?”

“I wondered about that, but ignoring them isn’t exactly easy, especially given where I sit.” Oh, right, he’s next to Misha.

“But you went to lunch with them yesterday too, right? That’s just asking for extra work.”

“I did, but it wasn’t quite... voluntary.”

“Well, if you’re looking for an out, I can kidnap you for lunch today.”

He seems to debate the idea heavily, but finally decides that he’d rather not hang around with Shizune and co. “Alright then, I’ll give myself up.”

The nurse laughs. “You two do know that, as a school official, I’m required to report any strange happenings, right?” I laugh, but it takes Hisao a second to realize that the nurse was joking, after which he forces a laugh.

“Of course I’ll only be doing the kidnapping if he’s healthy enough to leave.” I look expectantly at the nurse.

“Oh, yes, Hisao here should be just fine to go.” Excellent, just one thing left.

“I’ll just grab Suzu, then, and we’ll be on-“ The nurse stands up and blocks my path to the curtain behind which Suzu is sleeping, his expression suddenly becoming much more serious.

“Sorry, but I'd like to keep Ms. Suzuki here for a bit. I've been meaning to have her come in for a proper checkup, and this seems like an ideal opportunity - at least, once she does wake up.”

There go my lunch plans - I guess Hisao will have to stand in for Suzu. "Well, tell her I said hi when she does come to.” The nurse nods, and I turn to my replacement lunch partner. “So, you coming or what?”

He stares at me blankly for a second, then fumbles with the lump of fabric in his hands. “Oh, right, yeah, just let me, you know, shirt.” He stands up, still pressing the shirt to his chest, and turns around to face away from me before putting it on.

Umm… Okay, Hisao. Whatever.

Finally getting his clothes straight, he turns back to me.

“Alright then, I’m ready to be kidnapped.” He turns to the nurse. “Thanks for the help.”

“No, problem. Just… Do try to be a bit more sensible out there.”

Hisao hangs his head. “Sorry… I will.” Having apologized for… whatever landed him in the nurse’s office, probably, he heads for the door. I turn to the nurse for answers, but he just smiles and waves, at which point I give up and walk out behind Hisao, the door closing behind us.

“So, what’s with the outfit?” I originally just meant his purple shirt, but upon closer inspection he’s actually wearing a pair of black athletic shorts as well.

“Oh, this.” He looks down at his attire. “I went running.” So he does run! Excellent.

“You weren’t in class because you were running? Hell, if that’s a proper excuse, sign me up!”

“I wasn’t running during class, I was running this morning before class.” I wait for an explanation, but he says nothing.

“You were running before class… And then weren’t in class. So what happened?”

“I, uh… I had to go to the nurse’s office.”

“Well obviously. Why?”

“I… Had an accident, is all.” Again I wait for a further explanation, but he remains silent.

“What kind of accident?” Before I can listen for his reply, he makes a sudden right turn. “Hey, where are you going?”

He turns back to me, surprised that I called him out. “I’m going to my room, I need to change into school clothes.”

“No you don’t! We’re going to lunch, not class, remember? You can go to your room afterwards.” He opens his mouth to protest, but suddenly frowns, then puts a hand on his stomach.

“I do feel really hungry.” He looks over at the boys’ dorms, then finally makes up his mind and walks back over to me.

“Besides,” I add as we continue our walk to the cafeteria, “if you go to your room after lunch you might be really unlucky and accidentally miss some class.” I give him a giant wink to emphasize my point, but he frowns again and stops.

“You’re right, I should-” I grab his arm and begin dragging him behind me.

“This is a kidnapping, remember? You technically don’t even have a say in the matter.” For once he smiles, then begins to walk beside me again, though his steps still seem a bit reluctant.

“Now, this accident you mentioned. What kind of accident was it?” His smile vanishes, a look of awkward terror replacing it. Is that the only face he ever makes? It seems like every time I see him he’s got it on.

“It’s, uh… I’d rather not talk about it.” He stuffs his hands in his pockets and stares at his feet as we walk.

Suddenly explosive diarrhea is looking like a viable option.
Last edited by Craftyatom on Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Landfall (3/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:38 am

Hisao spends the rest of the walk there staring at the ground. I consider trying to start the conversation again, but he seems pretty down, so I decide to leave it be.

Finally getting to the cafeteria doors, I stop and grab his arm, then motion for him to be quiet. I peek around the corner, and instantly notice Shizune and Misha in their normal spot. Luckily for us, Lezard and the rest of our small group from 3-3 are all sat closer to the door than the student council is. I turn back to Hisao and wave for him to follow me, then crouch down. He gives me a quizzical look, but eventually crouches down as well.

I make sure to take a winding, hidden path behind trash cans and between tables, finally getting to my usual spot and sitting down, breathing a sigh of relief. Hisao sits to my right, still a bit tense.

“So… Is it safe to talk now?”

“Yeah, I think so.”

He stares at the table for a bit, not taking advantage of his recovered ability to speak until he asks “Was that really necessary?” I laugh.

“Not at all! But it was fun, right?”

“No… I was scared.”

“What? What were you possibly scared of? Did you think Shizune would torture you in her dungeon if she caught you at lunch with someone else?” He looks at me desperately.

“I don’t know! It seemed like you were really serious about it!” He slumps his shoulders and sighs in my direction. “Miki, I still have no idea how the hell this school works. If you tell me that the student council president is going to torture me in her dungeon, I’m going to run first and ask questions later.”

He folds his arms on the table, and drops his face onto them. I’m about to ask if he’s okay before he turns his head, uncovering one eye to look at me with. “She doesn’t actually have a torture dungeon… right?”

I grin. “There have been rumors, but if it does exist, I’ve never seen it.” He takes it as enough of an answer and slumps back down again.

After a minute or two my stomach growls. I shake Hisao’s shoulder, and he looks up at me, eyes taking a second to adjust to the light.

“C’mon, let’s get something to eat.”

Making our way up to whatever food is left up front, I wedge a plate between my left arm and my stomach, and begin to scavenge for something good. Pickings are slim given that we’re practically the last people here, but I manage to grab assorted bits and pieces that look nice.

Hisao reaches for a fairly enticing sandwich wrapped in a plastic package, with a small orange sticker on top.

“Hey, hey, no, don’t.” He raises an eyebrow at my objection. “Trust me, you don’t want that sandwich.”

“Why not? It looks fine to me.”

“I’ll explain when we get back to the table, for now just take some other stuff.” He shrugs and moves on.

I finish getting my food and transfer my plate to my right hand, then turn to Hisao, waiting for him to finish. He’s almost done when he reaches the bottle of soy sauce at the end, and his eyes suddenly grow wide. He grabs it and pours a small puddle onto his plate.

Make that a medium-sized puddle. Actually…

“Woah there, careful you don’t drown your food.” He stops pouring, looks up at me, then looks back down at his plate.

“Oh… That is kind of a lot, huh.” He carefully replaces the bottle, then begins to walk back to where we were sitting before.

When we finally sit back down, he turns to look at me. “Okay, so what was with the sandwich?”

“I’ll tell you if you tell me what you were doing with that soy sauce.”

“Deal.”

“Alright, well, it had that orange sticker on the top, right?”

“Yeah… Why?”

“Well, the orange label means that it’s gluten-free, to accommodate students with intolerances.” Understanding slowly dawns on him. “It might look the same, and I know they’re supposed to taste the same, but I have tried every food in this cafeteria, and trust me, it’s just not the same.”

“Huh. Well, thanks for warning me.”

“No problem, scrub. Now, what’s with all the sauce?”

He sighs and looks down at his plate. At first he looks disgusted, but he seems to slowly warm up to the food in front of him. “I don’t know, I just saw it and sort of… wanted it, you know?” I shake my head. I certainly do not know, so he tries again to explain.

“I just… The sauce just looked really good, I guess.” Suddenly something comes to mind, and I lean in to take a closer look at his food.

“Oh, I see now.” I look back up at him. “Everything on that plate is salty. You’re craving salt after exercise is all.” He thinks about this for a moment, then seems to realize something, which piques my curiosity. “What’s up?”

“Oh, nothing, it’s just that the nurse mentioned eating salty foods to-“ He stops himself. “Yeah, salty food. I get it now.”

I sigh. “Look, if you don’t want to talk about whatever happened, you don’t have to.” I’m going to try and find out myself anyways, but he doesn’t need to worry about that right now.

For the first time I can think of he seems to relax. “Thanks.” He begins to eat his soy-soaked jumble of food, and I dig into my lunch as well.

While neither of us is being particularly neat, or saying anything, it’s still kind of nice. When Suzu’s here, I have to stop eating every few seconds to continue a conversation. When she’s not here, it’s boring and lonely. Right now, though, it feels like I’m stuffing my face in good company.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Eventually Hisao finishes his lunch, and gets up to throw his plate away.

“Hrrm, mmrrg-“ chew, swallow, then talk- “Hey, wait.”

“Hmm?”

“Can you take my stuff too?” I quickly stuff the last few pieces of food into my mouth and hand Hisao the empty plate. He nods and takes it from me, then heads up to throw the pile of trash away.

After getting rid of the garbage, however, he turns and walks towards the door without so much as a look at me. Wait… Hey!

I jump up and rush over to him, catching up to him just as he reaches the cafeteria doors.

“And where do you think you’re going?” He gives me a blank stare.

“To my room. To change.” He tugs on his purple shirt a little to emphasize his point.

“And you were just going to leave me here by myself?” He opens his mouth to say something, then stops.

“Okay, you can come with me, I suppose.”

“You ‘suppose’? Aren’t you excited about the prospect of having a beautiful girl watching you change?” I smile, but he tenses up, and suddenly seems very worried. Oh, right, like back at the nurse’s, when he wouldn’t show me his chest. I guess he’s kind of sensitive about this stuff.

“I’m just kidding!” I say, giving him a light punch on the shoulder, though he flinches as I do it.

Neither of us says anything the rest of the way to his room, mostly because I feel like if I did he’d get startled and run away. Not that I couldn’t catch him; I just don’t feel like making him any more stressed than he already is.

When we finally get to his door, he opens it, apparently without having to unlock it.

“You don’t lock your door?” I say, quietly so nobody hears. After putting one foot across the threshold, he turns back to answer me.

“I didn’t think I’d be gone for more than 30 minutes, and it was really early in the morning, so nobody was even awake.”

He squeezes through the gap between the doorway and the door, keeping it almost closed, with only just enough room for him to fit through. As I go to follow him, he almost closes the door into my face, but I manage to stop it with my right arm.

“Can’t I come in?” He looks really taken aback again.

“… No.”

He puts more pressure on the door, but I keep it open a bit longer.

“Are you sure?”

“… Yes.”

“Because it seems like-“

He winds up large push, catching me off guard, and manages to close and then lock the door, leaving me alone in the hallway, bewildered.

Wow.

Wow.

Next: Amends and Amenities
Last edited by Craftyatom on Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:04 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Amends and Amenities (1/4)

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:39 am

>Amends and Amenities<
Hisao didn’t actually show up to class for the rest of the day yesterday, but he’s back today. I saw him talk to Mutou as he came in, and it sounded like whatever excuse he used worked.

We break into groups halfway through class, and out of the corner of my eye I can see Shizune signing furiously at Misha, who is in turn talking to Hisao, though I doubt her bubbly tone is quite capturing the anger in Shizune’s words. What could she possibly be so angry abou- oh. Right. Lunch. Well, I doubt she’ll have to worry about that again.

I begin putting my stuff away as the lunch bell rings, then turn to talk to Suzu, who looks fairly… Well, relatively awake.

“Ready for lunch?” I ask.

She stares at her desk for a second before responding. “Actually, go ahead without me, I’ll catch you up.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, I’ll only be a few minutes, then I’ll meet you in the cafeteria like usual.”

“Okay, I guess.” I have no idea what exactly she’s going to be doing, but it sounds like she’s got it all planned out. “See you in a bit!”

I get to the cafeteria in time to grab some decent food, and sit down at the usual table, waiting for Suzu. Finally I hear someone sit down to my right.

“Suzu, you-” when I look up, though, I realize that it’s not Suzu, but Lezard sitting next to me. “Oh, hey Lezard. What’s up?”

He takes a bite of his lunch. “Not much. How about you?”

“Same, just waiting for Suzu.” He nods in acknowledgement, then goes back to eating without a word.

After a few more minutes, I see Suzu walk through the lunchroom doors, followed by… Hisao.

Wonderful.

Lezard gets up, to my surprise.

“Well, I’ll let you guys talk.”

“You know you can stay if you…” He’s already walking over to join Akio and some others in a cluster further down the table.

He’s so weird… It seems like he should be really awkward, but he always looks confident, or… defiant?

Looking back over at Suzu and Hisao, I can see her point over to at the table where I’m sitting. I follow Hisao’s eyes as he looks over at me, realization slowly creeping onto his face as he taps Suzu on the shoulder and stutters something.

She laughs, then continues walking towards me. When she realizes that Hisao’s not moving, she grabs him by the arm and starts dragging him towards the table, the two of them eventually sitting down, her with a ‘thump’ and him in a significantly more reluctant manner.

“Hey Miki.” She points at Hisao. “I don’t believe you two have met.”

“Actually,” I reply, eyes lowered, “I think we have.”

We’re all quiet for a second or two, Hisao in fear, Suzu in confusion, and me in mild indignation. Eventually, Suzu slowly raises an eyebrow. “So, Miki... I’m gonna go get some food. Want to come along?”

I know exactly what she’s doing, especially since I already have my lunch in front of me, but I may as well follow her lead. “Sure thing.”

We both stand up, but before Hisao gets a chance to follow us, Suzu turns to talk to him. “Say, Hisao, want us to get you anything while we’re up?”

Hisao, still noticeably nervous, just asks for “Rice, and some fruit, if there’s any left.” Suzu nods, and then the two of us head over to where the cafeteria’s food is laid out.

As expected, we don’t get far before Suzu starts questioning. “What the hell, Miki?”

“What?”

“Hisao hasn’t even been here a week! When did you possibly find time to get a grudge against him?”

I sigh. “Yesterday, when I went to the nurse’s office at lunch to see if you were awake, I ran into Hisao, and we got lunch together.”

“Okay, and?”

“And then he went back to his room to get changed into his school clothes, and I tagged along.”

“Hmm...” She thinks about this for a second. “And then?”

“He seemed really nervous, especially about his room, but when I tried to ask him about it, he slammed the door in my face.”

Suzu groans. “And that’s what you’ve got against him? Really?”

“Well c’mon, Suzu, it was pretty rude.”

“Yeah, but he’s been here for six days! He’s like a fish out of water. Cut him some slack!” Before I can think too much about it, she adds “You certainly weren’t adjusted to Yamaku after your first week.”

That comment causes me to roll my eyes, but she’s right, it took me a fair while to really felt like I belonged here. I know exactly how hard it is to be dropped into this school halfway. “Fine, I’ll give him a second chance.”

Suzu smiles. “Wonderful! He’s a really nice guy, I think you two will actually get along.”

Her words pique my interest. “So, why did you decide to invite him to lunch, anyways?”

Her contented smile is replaced with a mischievous grin. “That boy belongs in the literature club, I’m sure of it.”

“Uh huh... You’re sure about this?”

“Positive. The boy’s an avid reader, I can feel it. And, now that the student council seems to have given up trying to recruit him, he’s ripe for the taking.”

I chuckle. “Well, I hate to break it to you, but I think you’re mistaken. Hisao’s a runner.”

Suzu’s gleeful expression is gone in an instant. “You’re sure about this?”

“Yup, he told me himself that he went running yesterday morning.” Of course, I haven’t spoken to him about it since - he seemed more than eager to avoid the topic - but that doesn’t change the facts.

“Damn. Well... Maybe he does both?” Something tells me that’s unlikely, but without any way of knowing for sure, I just shrug.

After Suzu grabs a small selection of food for herself and I pick out some for Hisao, we head back and sit down across from him, then I slide him his food. “Sorry for being so rough with you earlier, Hisao.”

“Oh.” He seems taken aback, though he accepts the food. “It’s okay. I’m... sorry for slamming the door on you.”

I shrug. “It’s no big deal. You’re new, so you’re still getting used to the place. I should’ve known better.”

“Damn straight you should’ve,” says Suzu, her mouth half-full of food and her lips in a grin, “given how much trouble you had fitting in when you first got here.”

I shoot her a dirty look, but soon have my attention dragged away by a noise from across the table - Hisao is chuckling. I suddenly realize that I haven’t heard him actually laugh at something before. Evidently Suzu’s better at this than I am.

After a moment, Hisao looks back up at us, a smile on his face. “So I take it you two have known each other for a long time?”

I nod. “Yeah, Suzu and I met not too long after I first came to Yamaku. We’ve been friends ever since.”

Something crosses his mind. “That reminds me - Miki, when I saw you in the nurse’s office yesterday, you said you were there to pick up Suzu?”

I’m about to mention how Suzu had scraped her knees that morning, but she decides to answer herself. “Yeah, yesterday morning I fell asleep on the way to class and scraped my knees up pretty badly, so Miki took me to the nurse’s.”

“O-Oh.” Hisao seems nervous, but also curious - the look on his face says he wants to know why Suzu just ‘fell asleep’.

Luckily for him, Suzu’s never been one to shy away from her condition. “Yeah, narcolepsy sucks.” She shrugs. “This kind of stuff just happens sometimes. Nothing to do except brush it off and keep going.”

“Huh.” Hisao seems to think about this quite a bit, as if he’s analyzing Suzu’s words, trying to find a hidden meaning. After a few seconds of contemplation, though, he goes back to eating, and Suzu and I follow suit.

Eventually the bell rings to signal the end of lunch, and we all get up to leave.

Suzu smiles at the boy across the table. “Thanks for having lunch with us, Hisao.”

He nods back. “Thanks for inviting me, it was fun.”

“Of course - you can come sit with us any time.”

“You know...” He looks around for a second, as if to check he’s not being followed. “I might take you up on that.”

I chuckle when I realize what he’s thinking. “Worried about the student council?”

A sheepish grin makes its way onto his face. “A little, yeah.”

I wave my hand dismissively. “Don’t be, they won’t really bother you if you hang around with us.”

“Yeah,” says Suzu, “and if they do, we’ll make ‘em pay for it.” She makes a fist with one hand, then punches her other hand in emphasis, causing all three of us to burst into laughter.

It’s strange to think that, just this morning, I was angry at Hisao. Furthermore, I had barely seen him smile, let alone laugh, and yet here he is, joking around with us.

I have no idea what Suzu did, but I need to remember to thank her for it later.
Last edited by Craftyatom on Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:50 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Amends and Amenities (2/4)

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:40 am

I wake up to see light coming in through the curtains drawn over my window. It’s always nice to wake up like this. Sure, my alarm works fine on weekdays, but being able to get up at my own pace, to let my mind slowly take in the room… It’s nice.

Today’s even better than a normal Sunday, too, because it’s the day of the festival. As well as that, I’m excited, because although I did go to last year’s, I don’t remember much of it. Hopefully this one will jog my memory a bit.

I gradually get up, stretching my arms out, then grab Suzu’s spare door key from off of my bedside table and head over to her room. Normally I’d let her sleep in, but I feel like she’ll want to see the festival, especially since it’s her last one.

As I open it, however, Suzu’s standing inside, in full school uniform. “Oh, hey, you’re up!”

She swivels around to look at me, a bit surprised. “Oh, yeah… Festival and all. Wouldn’t want to miss it.”

“And here I thought I was going to have to talk you into coming! I’m going to go get dressed, you wait here.” Heading back to my room, I rummage through my shirts, eventually finding one that’s nice but not too worn. Looking at myself in the mirror, though, I decide that these shorts don’t fit too well with it, and change into a darker, slightly longer pair.

After quickly running to the bathroom and brushing my teeth, I head back to Suzu’s room, where she… has fallen asleep on her bed. Wonderful. Well, as much as I hate to leave her here, better one of us miss out on the festival than both of us. Besides, I’m sure she’ll be able to find me later.

First stop: someplace with breakfast. Well, maybe it isn’t really breakfast anymore. By now it’s at least brunch. Nevertheless, there must be brunch around here somewhere.

After passing through a rather empty area outside of the girls’ dorms, and then the row of stalls with assorted carnival games, I reach what seems to be the food section. Now, let’s see… I can’t remember last year’s festival very well, but I remember Suzu warning me about a particular food stand, something about… Smiley faces? Before I can try to remember how that relates to anything, I recognize Hisao in a fairly long line at one of the stalls, and head over to meet him.

“Hisao!” I wave as I approach him, and he turns at the sound of his name, using his hand to shield his eyes from the sun before finally recognizing me.

“Oh, hey Miki. I should’ve guessed I’d see you around. How’s it going?”

“I don’t have much to go on so far, I only woke up like twenty minutes ago. You?”

“Eh, not great…”

“Oh?”

He sighs. “I just had bigger expectations. There was all of this... festival hype, I guess, but now I’m just kind of disappointed.”

“Well, what have you done so far that’s been so disappointing?”

He opens his mouth to say something, but stops, then rubs his chin in thought. “Nothing, actually.”

“Nothing’s disappointing?”

“No, I mean I haven’t done anything yet.”

“So you haven’t tried out a single piece of the festival and you’re already disappointed by it.”

“Well… I guess so.”

I scoff. “Of course you’re not going to like it if you never try any of it!”

“Okay, point taken. So what do I try first?”

“Well, we’re currently in line for food of some sort, so I guess we’ll start there. Judging by the menu, they serve-“ Looking at the stall’s menu, I suddenly remember what Suzu meant. “… oh no.”

“What’s wrong?”

“Well, I’m pretty sure the food here is… not great.”

“How come?”

“Oh, just something Suzu said about ‘that one stand with the smiley faces on the menu’.” I really hope I’m remembering that right.

He squints to try to make out the menu before giving a matter-of-fact “Yep. There are in fact smiley faces on- no, all over that menu. So you think we should eat somewhere else?”

“Well, it’s not like we don’t have a lot of options.” I gesture at the row of food stalls around us.

He shrugs. “Fair enough. Any idea which of these to try?”

“Well, what do you want to eat?”

“I don’t know… Anything, I guess. Your choice.” Why am I not surprised.

“Fine, but don’t blame me if we end up eating at someplace with bad food.”

“No blame, deal.”

“Alright then, let’s see what we’ve got.” I leave the line for the smiley face noodle stall and head for what feels like the middle of the food stalls. Luckily, Hisao follows me, I was a little afraid he was going to stand there on his own again. Looking around, there are at least 10 different stalls to choose from, each with their own little designs on banners over the cashiers. Nothing looks particularly good, except- Ooh. “I think I’ve got it.”

“Okay, where to?”

“Follow me.” I start over towards a stall whose banner has flames drawn all over it. Maybe it’s just me, but fire seems to be a good enough indicator of deliciousness.

Halfway there, Hisao chimes in. “Are we heading for the stall named ‘Food to Die For’?” I hadn’t noticed the name, but now that he mentions it, that is what it’s called.

“Is that a problem?”

“Well… I guess not, I’m just, uh… I’m not a big fan of dying. Even for food.”

I laugh. “I’m sure they have a kid’s menu or something you can order off of.” He laughs too, but nervously.

Finally we make it to the small line in front of the stall, and I take a look at the menu. It seems that they’ve got mostly spicy food and grilled meat, both of which are fine by me. I decide to try what’s described as ‘beef cooked in your choice of sauce, with a side of peppers’, but Hisao seems to have a bit more trouble deciding.

“Is everything on this menu spicy?”

“Probably. Why, is that not your thing?”

“Well, I mean, I’ve never really had it…”

“So then now is the perfect chance to try it! Come on, live a little!”

He thinks for a moment before looking back over at the menu intently, finally deciding on something. Luckily for us, in the time it took to discuss menu decisions, we’ve made it to the front of the line, where a tall boy with light hair is working the cash register.

“Hey there! What can I get for you?”

Although Hisao and I were standing roughly next to each other in line, I step up and order first, given that I’m a little more confident about my decision. “I’ll have the ‘Blast Furnace Beef’, please.”

“Alright then, which sauce would you like with that?”

“What are my choices?” He points to 4 small cups on the table in front of him, labeled ‘Mild’, ‘Medium’, ‘Hot’, and ‘Cataclysmic’, each with what’s presumably a sample the sauce. I’m not one to back down from a challenge, of course. “Cataclysmic it is, then!”

He raises his eyebrows. “Are you sure? It’s pretty damn spicy. You can try it first if you want.” He gestures down at the cups again.

“No, that’s okay. I like surprises.”

He shrugs. “If you insist.” Having inferred by this point that Hisao and I are a party, he turns and asks “And for you?”

“I’ll have, uh…” Hisao looks at the menu again, as if he was going to forget his order. “The ‘Dipping Basket’, please.”

“And which sauce would you like on the side?”

“Mild, please.” I consider snickering, but stop myself.

Evidently the cashier doesn’t have quite as much restraint as I do, as he scoffs before saying “That’s a bit of a weak choice, isn’t it?”

Hisao gets fidgety, and I’m about to say something in his defense, but a girl with short black hair working a frying pan nearby yells “Nobu, if you don’t stop making fun of customers, I’m going to take over the cash register, and you can cook.”

The boy opens his mouth, a little angry, but stops and shakes his head, perhaps realizing the futility of arguing, and turns back to Hisao. “Sorry. Mild it is, then.” He punches some numbers into a calculator in front of him. “That will be 700 yen for the beef, and 400 yen for the basket.”

I reach back into my pocket and pull out- wait a minute. “Oh… Shoot.”

Hisao looks up. “What’s wrong?”

“Oh, it’s just that I left all my money in a different pair of shorts.” I sigh and go to tell the cashier to cancel my order, but Hisao speaks up.

“Here, I’ll get it.” He hands the cashier 1500 yen, which is quickly stowed in a safe box, the change swiftly being returned to Hisao’s hand.

“Your order will be out shortly, you can pick it up over there,” the boy says as he points to the other end of the stall.

“Hisao and I nod, and then walk over to the edge of the path to wait for our food. There aren’t any benches nearby, but judging by how short the line was, we shouldn’t be waiting long.

I exhale heavily. “Thanks for spotting me there.”

“Hmm? Oh, no problem. Just helping out a friend is all.”

“Remind me to pay you back, by the way.”

“You don’t have to.”

“But what kind of a friend would that make me?” I grin, and he smiles a little.
Last edited by Craftyatom on Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Amends and Amenities (3/4)

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:40 am

Our food comes up, and I manage to balance what’s actually quite a sizeable plate of meat on my left arm as we search for someplace to sit. Most of the benches are taken, so we eventually decide just to sit on top of a small brick wall. The entire time we were walking, the smell of my food was teasing me, so when we finally sit down, I immediately grab a mouthful and stuff my face.

It’s actually pretty spicy, for sure, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Hisao gets a dab of sauce on one of the small bread triangles that came with the platter and slowly edges it into his mouth, but seems quite pleased with the result.

“Huh. This is actually pretty good.”

“See? Try something new, and you might like it!”

“I guess so. Speaking of which, uh…” I wait for him to finish, but figure out what he wants to say pretty quickly once I realize that he’s staring at my food.

“Yes, you may have some of my beef.”

He smiles. “Thank-“

If you let me have some of your bread.”

He shrugs. “Sure, it’s only fair.” Our agreement made, he carefully grabs a chunk of my beef and pops it into his mouth. After a few short seconds, though, his eyes fly open, and he makes a muffled groaning sound. I can only laugh, almost knocking my plate to the ground, as he clutches his mouth, finally swallowing the offending object and panting to try and remove the spiciness from his mouth.

Eventually he manages to work through the taste, his eyes watering as my laugh dies down to a giggle. “Are they all like that?”

“Yep!”

“And you eat them?”

“Yep! My grandmother makes amazing curry whenever she comes to visit my parents, so I’ve been eating spicy food my whole life.”

He thinks for a moment, face slightly red. “So what you’re saying is that you have an unfair advantage, and I shouldn’t be worried?”

“Well, if you feel the need to justify your wimpiness, then yes, go right ahead.” I giggle as I say it, and for once, he laughs along with me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We see assorted sights around the festival, including some games and a… Well, an interesting painting, to say the least. Eventually the sky starts to turn brilliant shades of yellow and orange, and I decide to check up on Suzu. It sucks that she missed today, but this kind of stuff just happens sometimes. Best we can do is accept it and move on - something Suzu is no stranger to.

Hisao and I get to the girls’ dorm, but he seems to tense up as we step inside.

“What’s up?”

“Oh, uh… I’ve just never been in this building before.” He stops for a moment, and I’m about to shrug it off, but he goes further. “It feels kind of wrong, you know? Being a boy in the girls’ dorm? Like I don’t belong.”

I chuckle. “What’s the matter, afraid you’re going to get mobbed by hungry schoolgirls?”

“D-does that happen?” he asks nervously.

“Only on Tuesdays.” I wink and nudge him in the stomach, but he’s still not quite convinced that this is where he’s supposed to be.

Just as we make it inside, however, I spot two oddly familiar figures in the front lobby. Two adults, a man and a-

“Oh! Mr. and Mrs. Suzuki!” I call, and they turn around before smiling.

“Miki!” Suzu’s dad calls. “Just who we were looking for.”

I hurry over to greet them, and hug Suzu’s mom, then shake hands with her dad.

Her mom addresses me matter-of-factly. “We’ve been looking for Suzu for a bit, but we couldn’t see her anywhere on the grounds.”

“We were just about to check her room,” adds her dad.

“Oh, yeah,” I reply, “that’s the last place I saw her. I was going to get her anyways, so if you stay here I’ll bring her down.”

Her dad smiles. “That sounds like an excuse not to let us see her room to me.”

I laugh. That’s not the whole reason, of course; I just doubt she wants to wake up to her parents in her room. “What’s the worst you’d find, black market pillows?” Her dad chuckles as I head up the stairs to Suzu’s room.

Hisao stays behind, and it looks like Suzu’s parents are about to start asking him all manner of questions about who he is and how he knows me. I consider asking him about coming with me to get Suzu, but decide against it after imagining the combination of his panic regarding rooms and his nervousness about the girls’ dorms.

Finally, I get to Suzu’s door, and knock first, getting no reply. I open it with my key to find Suzu asleep in bed. I walk over and sit down next to her, then begin to gently but persistently push her. “C’mon, Suzu, wake up.”

She tosses and turns a few times, but eventually opens her eyes and looks up at me. “Wha… what time is it?”

“It’s…” I turn and check the clock behind me. “7 p.m.”

She groans. “Did I miss the festival?”

I sigh, “Yes, unfortunately, you missed most of the festival.”

She doesn’t seem particularly annoyed at the fact that she slept through almost the whole thing, but she’s not happy, either. “Why are you waking me up now?”

“Because your parents are here and I told them I’d come get you.”

She groans even louder, and pushes her face against the pillow. “Tell them I died,” she says with a muffled voice, “Or fell asleep. Either one.”

“Suzu, they came all the way out here just to see you, and I’m not going to let you avoid them. Come on, what’s the worst that could happen?”

“They could try to have a serious conversation with me… Miki, would you doom me to that?”

I laugh. “Suzu, I’d rather make you talk to your parents than make you suffer whatever they’d do to you later. Now get up before I get you up.”

After more groaning and wriggling, Suzu manages to push herself up, then sits on the edge of the bed with me. She looks down at her shirt and scrunches her face up. “Let me change first, okay?”

I get up and head for the door. “Alright, but if you’re not out in 5 minutes, I’m coming back in.”

In the time it takes her to change, I dash back into my own room and grab the money I owe Hisao, plus a bit more in case I decide to buy anything else. Just as I come back out of my room, Suzu’s door opens, and she walks out wearing what I can only assume is a different set of school clothes. We head back down to the lobby, where Suzu’s dad has apparently just made a joke, and Hisao is laughing along.

“I found her!” I say triumphantly, and Suzu’s parents seem overjoyed.

“Excellent!” her dad replies. “It’s great to see you again, Suzu.”

Suzu hugs each of her parents, and I go over and grab Hisao’s shoulder. “Well, you guys must have a lot of catching up to do, so Hisao and I will find something else to occupy ourselves with.”

Suzu gives me a mortified look, as if she was expecting my help with her parents, but I just smile and pull Hisao to his feet.

“Well, in case we don’t run into you two again tonight, Miki, it was great seeing you, and Hisao, it was great meeting you,” says Suzu’s mom, and her dad nods in agreement.

“Same!” Hisao and I reply, almost in unison, before I turn and drag him out the door with me, pulling the small amount I owe him out of my pocket.
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Amends and Amenities (4/4)

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:41 am

After walking around a bit as the sun goes down and the pathway lights come on, Hisao and I get ice cream from a stall that was about to close. Apparently he’s into chocolate, I go for strawberry, but only because there are so few choices left.

We spend some time looking for a bench or the like to sit on, but it seems like all of the prime spots are taken. Finally giving up, we decide just to sit on one of the grassy areas, though by this point we’ve eaten the majority of our ice cream. Not wanting to bother with having to keep it upright while sitting down, I just stuff the remainder in my mouth, to Hisao’s surprise.

“Wow, you really tore that last part up, huh.”

“It deserved it for being so melty.”

My joke at least seems to amuse him a little, which at this point is really all I can hope for. I need to lighten him up, because I’ve got a big request for him, eventually.

“So are you still disappointed?”

“Hmm?” he replies, mouth still full of ice cream.

“The festival, is it still disappointing?”

“Mmm, mm-“ he swallows- “No, actually, it’s been fun.” He stares into the distance for a second. “Thanks for that, by the way.”

“The festival? Oh, don’t thank me; all I did was drag you around.”

“Well, yeah, but… I guess I needed dragging.” He turns to face me. “And you did take the time to do that dragging.”

“If you want to look at it that way, I guess so. But I would’ve been all lonely and bored the whole time if you hadn’t been here, so it wasn’t all selfless.”

He shrugs and looks at the sky. A few stars are coming out already. Perhaps this is the right time.

“Hisao, I have a question for you.”

He furrows his brow. “… Okay, shoot.”

“Do you want to join the track team?”

His eyes go wide, and he stutters a bit. I almost laugh, but barely manage to contain myself. Finally, it looks like he’s at least comprehended the situation.

“You want me to join the track team?”

“Mmhmm.”

“Why?”

“Well, you look like a runner, and you said that you ran, so I figured you might want to hang with us a bit, maybe come to some practices.” I probably shouldn’t be the one telling him about practices, given that I don’t attend a lot of them, but he’d have to show up to at least a few to be considered a part of the team, and I’d probably be the one to make him go.

“Oh, that, uh… I…” This is going much less smoothly than expected. I at least thought he’d have an excuse I could argue with, but he can’t even form a complete sentence. “It’s… I just…”

I roll my eyes. “Take your time, then.”

He’s shocked, but finally puts his head in his hands and sighs. “Miki, I can’t run.”

“Huh?”

“I-I can’t.”

“Sure you can! You might not be the fastest or anything, but that doesn’t mean-“

“No, I mean I physically can’t run.” Um… What?

“What do you mean?”

He looks up at the newly-blackened sky for a bit, almost as if he’s praying, then turns to me. “Miki, why do you think I’m here?”

“Here as in…”

“At Yamaku.”

“Well, I’m guessing you have a disability of some sort, like the rest of us.”

“Do you know what it is?”

“No, but it doesn’t look like it affects you too much… You don’t seem any different than anyone else in day-to-day life.”

“That’s… not exactly true.” He sighs again. “I have a heart condition. Arrhythmia. There are a lot of details, but basically, my heart doesn’t beat quite right, and so if I overexert myself, it beats more and more out of sync, and eventually I have a heart attack.”

I’m speechless for a while, still taking his words in. “So you were in the nurse’s office that day… Because you had a heart attack?”

“Well, no… I had a heart ‘flutter’. It’s not a full-blown heart attack, but it’s still not good.”

“But it only happens when you run?”

“No, it’s any sort of physical activity, like playing soccer and stuff.”

“Well, I mean, I guess that makes sense, given that-“

“Also, getting hit in the chest, even relatively gentle bumps, can cause problems. And even just…” He trails off, hanging his head and closing his eyes. I’m about to say something, but his shaky voice comes through just in time.

“Even stairs.” He looks up at me, eyes slightly more laden than usual. “I can’t even go up stairs without getting winded.” Another long pause. “That’s why I decided to try running in the first place. The nurse said that routine walking would be fine for exercise, but I chose running because it actually sounded like real training, like something that could actually make me stronger. But I couldn’t do it, and it feels like…” He pauses and stares at the ground again.

“It feels like you can’t do anything, doesn’t it.”

“… Yeah.”

I put my right hand on his shoulder. “Hisao.” He turns his head to look at me, though his expression doesn’t look hopeful. I put my left arm between us. “You see this?”

He’s a little taken aback, but nods slowly. “I didn’t just wake up one morning missing a hand. I was in the hospital for a while. And not just for simple stuff like bandages, either; I had to go to meetings with a psychiatrist and everything. But no matter who I talked to, I always got the same cheery piece of news: once I left the hospital, I could live a completely normal life. I could do everyday things, like making food and having a job. I could be just like everybody else.”

I lean back a bit, focusing wistfully on the night sky. “So I tried. I went home and tried, really, really hard, to live my life again. I did all the normal things I was used to. But the ‘experts’ were wrong. No matter what they had said, I just wasn’t as good at stuff as I used to be. Having just one hand made everything so much harder. Coming to Yamaku didn’t help, either. How was I supposed to be ‘normal’ when I attended a school for disabled kids? That’s why I hated this place so much when I started: it was just another reminder that my life could never go back to the way it was before.”

I turn back to face Hisao. “And I’m guessing that the exact same thing happened to you. Everyone said you could be a normal, average person, but you’ve figured out that you can’t, and it sucks beyond belief.” He slowly nods again, though he looks a bit less sad and a bit more surprised. “So, Hisao, do you want to know what I realized? What finally let me move on?”

It takes a while, but finally he lets out an inquisitive “… what?”

“All that time, every day since I lost my hand, everyone had told me how normal I could be. But not one person, not my parents, not the doctors, not the therapists, nobody ever told me that I could be special. They were so worried about making me ‘normal’ again that they never bothered to tell me that I could be anything else. And so all I wanted to be was normal, and I figured that if I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t do anything at all.” I close my eyes and think back. “But eventually, with a bit of help, I realized that I could be special. I could do extraordinary things. Just because I’m not like everyone else doesn’t mean that I can’t do something amazing.”

“So there’s the secret. If you try to be ‘normal’ like everyone else, you’re just going to fail, because you’re missing a limb, or you have heart attacks, or you sleep all damn day. But if you try to be the best at something, to focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses, it shows you that you are worth something, and that you can live a happy life, even if it’s not going to be as ‘normal’ as everyone else’s.”

I smile, punctuating my short speech, and pat the shoulder I had been holding. Hisao seems pretty amazed, and looks up at the stars, eyes wide, for a while. Finally, he turns back to me.

“Wow, that...” He’s stuttering again. “Miki, my god, thank you, for that, and, and-“

“Shh.” I cut him off and point upwards as a faint whistling sound becomes audible.

After a short delay, brilliant explosions of color fill the night sky above us, bright enough to illuminate the landscape. The fireworks are gorgeous, and when I spare a moment to look over at Hisao, I can see their glow reflected in his awestruck eyes.

END ACT 1.

Previous: Landfall ~ Next: Body and Spirit
Last edited by Craftyatom on Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:46 am, edited 4 times in total.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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TheGoatman
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route

Post by TheGoatman » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:09 am

Time for my usual route warning - this is literally copy pasted from the last guys route attempt so some of it may seem out of context, but you should get the idea.

Iirc "Blossom" is the farthest along Miki route and it still appears to be ongoing rather than abandoned, I can't say I've seen 2 routes of the same character ever exist that were both finished but you're welcome to try. I personally haven't read Blossom, as my headcanon still sees Miki in a yuri-favoring light(that is, Lesbian) if Blossom makes it to act 4 I will be required by goat impulse to read it regardless. You should take note however - that since Blossom is the main route in progress for Miki, your fic will be constantly compared to it and judged based off of it. With that in mind - if your work was based off of Blossom in any way or had a strong similarity, I don't think it would end well, keep it original and you should be fine. Just saying, in the Realm of Originality there's not much in the way of yuri out there
___________________________________
Now, back to the "route warning" I must give every aspiring route writer. You probably won't do it, as an optimist I really hate to say it, but I've seen countless route attempts go up and countless fall down. I can quite literally count on one hand how many have made it to the end so far, I have hopes of some routes still finishing, such as the Kagame route, and some routes are almost guaranteed to finish, such as the Akira-psuedo route, other than that I believe there is very few to have finished. It's a ton of work to write one, and even more to write a good one, you need a beginning to get things going, a long middle to develop story(You can't have them meet one day and have sex the next, unless your character is a prostitute*(would make an interesting story actually, just not with Akira lest the fans maul you from these forums)) and in general a route is the largest fanfic project you can make for K.S. While I wouldn't hesitate to read a new route story I have no expectations of them finishing unless they are already 20-30 updates in(act 3/4) even then it's iffy.

If this is just on a whim, don't do it.
If this is just because someone suggested you do it, don't do it.
If this is your first time writing, don't do it.
If you're not sure you want to do it, don't do it.

If you have any doubts, get some practice in, write some short stories/side stories, if after a while you still want to do it, then give it a shot


This is a huge project and it's alot of work, if you're not confident in your abilities, don't do it, abandoned stories are both the most beautiful and the most distasteful things on these forums, routes being the latter.
Last edited by TheGoatman on Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
I'm just a rusty old goat and a poor writer by anyone's standards, so no need to take my advice to heart, and when you do, take a handful of salt with it.

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AntonSlavik020
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Wed Dec 25, 2013 2:38 am

I have to say, you have my attention. Really like the Miki perspective. It's always a bonus when the story isn't from Hisao's POV.
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Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route

Post by Guest Poster » Wed Dec 25, 2013 5:32 am

Your OC is an overused American to Yamako type, I suggest changing it if you can(If you want an English character, try Britain, or Australia, but these American OCs are a -10 points to your story off the bat)

Change the title, I have said it once and I shall say it again, there is a far larger story that looks to be nearly finished that is one of the most popular stories on this thread with the same title, that predates yours by at least a year. It just looks bad to see you copying its name.

Be original, if I read this and read the original Akira route, and anything seems similar, it's going to look awful and get pointed out by half a dozen people or more. (Personal Opinion: If you really want to be original, try a Yuri route, god knows I'd love to see one of those, and I haven't seen one yet other than shorts and smut stories, but an actual route hasn't even attempted to show up yet)

Change your opening post, after changing title, and just.. delete it, it gives a bad impression, between your title and first post you're -50 points and I haven't even read your story yet.

Please for the love of god don't make this one of the many examples of an author writing an idealized version of himself into the story(no semi-perfect char either, I believe someone mentioned this as being a Mary Sue? Need clarification on that)
I suggest taking this part out, unless you want to thoroughly confuse the poor guy.
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route

Post by Numb » Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:20 am

I haven't read this yet, I'll likely have a better chance tonight when the Christmas festivities have reached the drunken family stage, but this is an idea that I toyed with back when I was first planning my own Miki route, which as Goat said is the furthest developed on the forums. I didn't realise that until today, so that was a nice thing to wake up to.

I'll always offer any support you might need at a later date, involving proofreading and dealing with difficult scenes or OCs, as I've had plenty of time to develop my abilities with the,. However, as Goat said, if this is your first time writing, then I highly recommend waiting, perhaps writing oneshots based around each on of your characters. My last piece of advice; if something seems impossible, simply approach it from a different angle. You could be on one side of an impenetrable wall and have no way of ever making it into the fortress, but for all you know, the wall is softer and easier to break from another direction. Apologies for the bad metaphor, but as I said, I just woke up and saw this. Again, if you ever need help, just shoot me a PM and I'll try my best to reply in a short time frame. Happy holidays! :D
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I did KS and other songs on note blocks in Minecraft: Playlist here
Old works| Rooftops - An Emi Story| Christmas with the Hakamichis | Not Like Him - Rin Perspective|Blossom - A Miki pseudo-route

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route

Post by TheGoatman » Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:34 am

Guest Poster wrote:
I suggest taking this part out, unless you want to thoroughly confuse the poor guy.
Fixed.

I'm off to try and salvage something of this christmas, preferably a good yuri writing somewhere, going to check FFN, if anyone knows a good one on the KSF please let me know, becoming an annoying obsession lately that can only be cured by overdose. The only ones I've found here were Broken Dolls(closest I've seen to a yuri route on here) and some writings by DanjaDoom, and to some extent - Bandas smut writing(not sure if it counts as yuri though)

Goodluck with the fanfic OP.
I'm just a rusty old goat and a poor writer by anyone's standards, so no need to take my advice to heart, and when you do, take a handful of salt with it.

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:53 am

I think we can skip the route warning for this one. From what I read so far you obviously know what you're doing, and it's certainly not your first time writing a larger piece of fiction.
But while I also think Scissorlips' story is a good one (though it had a few lengths in the middle) I wish people wouldn't always copy his ridiculous depiction of Suzu's narcolepsy. The Professor posted a very informative section about narcolepsy (I think it was in Scissorlips' thread) but people seem to either not have read it or they ignore it deliberately^^°

I don't see any reason to compare this story to blossom either. They are different enough to stand on their own merits.
Oh, and @ Goatman: If you copy a post from another thread, please at least change the references to an Anerican OC or an Akira route etc. More than half of that post is not even applicable to this story^^°

I have a small nitpick about the first chapters, but it's just minor stuff about pacing:
The next day, as the lunch bell rings, ...
...
he hasn’t even been at Yamaku for a week yet, and he’s already missing class.
...
...after only a few days is pretty unlucky.
If I didn't miss a time-skip somewhere this should be his second day... Technically it's also less than a week, but "a few days" doesn't fit.
...
Okay, since Hisao had his heart attack while running, it seems you made a time skip to Friday somewhere. That should be more clear.

Otherwise a great story so far. I agree Miki perspective is a big plus, and the personality you gave her is also great.
Now if you would just tune down Suzu's narcolepsy...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Req
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route

Post by Req » Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:20 am

looks like a great start, like Numb, I wish ya good luck in writing this route and hope the curse won't hit ya.
also, Goat, Blossom isn't the furthest along, just the furthest one on this board :p

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