COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Sep 29th, 2019)

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Craftyatom
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Oct 9th)

Post by Craftyatom » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:28 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:That wasn't menat to be a complaint about the update schedule. I just wanted to express my doubt that having a choice point in the story will work any better than in any of the few dozen stories that tried it before...
Oh, my bad.

Well, if it's any consolation, I'll be trying my best not to let you down!
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Brief Exchanges, Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Oct 9th)

Post by Spiner909 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:12 pm

I eagerly await further chapters :D
You're pretty good. Keep it up!

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Oct 9th)

Post by Craftyatom » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:57 am

Hey, guess who just finished a scene? And not just any scene, either - first of all, this scene used to be something like 15k words, so I cut it into two, but more importantly, this is the first scene to include a choice! Now, I understand that y’all are probably a little less excited about that than I am, so allow me to explain myself.

A long time ago, people were discussing the dynamics of a Miki route, and one problem in particular came up: Hisao is often portrayed as a shoulder to cry on, and he gets to be so close with some of these girls because they open up to him about their problems. This doesn’t work with a Miki route because she’s generally characterized as very brash and headstrong, and thus is not really the type to need someone for emotional comfort. So far, stories I’ve read get around this in one of two ways: they either create an issue for Miki to have to deal with, or they simply glue Hisao and Miki together and make them out to be a good pair without needing much of a deeper reason behind the pairing.

Both of these methods have their benefits (the first creates some wonderfully emotional storylines, the second gets things moving real quick), but when I started writing this route I had a very different idea (or at least it felt different, if I’m not the first person to do it let me know): reverse the roles. I loved Lilly’s route, and although there were moments in said route where Hisao was a shoulder to cry on, for me it was more about Lilly helping Hisao with his problems than the other way around. This matched up with how I personally characterized Hisao at the start of the game - he’s super depressed, and Lilly’s route, I felt, paid much more attention to this fact.

So I decided to take a similar approach with my Miki route: instead of Hisao’s mindset improving because he was helping others, it would improve because someone went out of their way to help him. This does, however, introduce its own issue, namely the idea that nobody likes being babied. Scissorlips’ Suzu route addressed this head on: the first decision in that route was essentially “can you tell Hisao that you don’t need him to do everything for you?” If not, then things become very one-sided, and the dynamic breaks down. I wanted to do the same thing, but in the opposite direction: can Miki make it clear that she sees Hisao as an equal rather than someone who can't survive without her help?

I also think the way this pans out will answer a few lingering questions that people have had regarding the story so far. I plan on releasing the continuation of both choices simultaneously, though one will end significantly sooner than the other. I’m going to refrain from giving names to these paths, as to different people either choice may be 'correct', for reasons pertaining to how one views the relationship between Miki and Hisao.

Oh, and let me just say that writing a story about someone who is bored is seriously one of the most boring things ever. I got so bored I caved and added some spice just so it wouldn’t be as incredibly boring.

Next update will be a Christmas present in the form of a track meet and a hug or two, but until then, I hope you enjoy “Cover”!
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Brief Exchanges, Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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Cover (1/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:57 am

>Cover<
The temperature becomes milder as the week goes on, and by Saturday afternoon it’s pleasant and slightly breezy. It’s nice to be out on a day like this, the sun warming my back and the school week behind me, and not just because I’m done with class for the week, either. Class today actually went pretty well, I wouldn’t say I’m entirely caught up, but it’s becoming easier to understand what’s going on since Hisao started tutoring me.

Once class finished, I ate lunch with Suzu and Hisao, and after devouring my food and making sure that I would see Hisao on the track in half an hour and Suzu tomorrow at the track meet, I went to run. It hasn’t been much of a run, I’ve been taking it really slowly, but only because I’m being cautious; if I somehow manage to hurt myself, or get too tired, then I won’t be able to run at the meet tomorrow, and all this practice will have been for nothing.

Luckily, Hisao finally shows up, and I wave to him, signalling or him to come and meet me down on the track.

“You’re done already?”

“Yeah, I’m taking it easy to make sure I’m fresh for tomorrow. If it were up to Kenta, I wouldn’t be running at all today, but I figure I can jog for a few minutes without something going horribly wrong.”

“Kenta?”

“... Yeah?”

He gives me a quizzical stare for a moment. “Who’s he?”

Oh. “Oh, right, you haven’t... Kenta is the captain of the track team.” It’s strange that he’s never come up in all the time I’ve known Hisao... Then again, I haven’t actually seen Kenta in quite a while myself, what with practicing on my own and all.

Hisao nods. “Okay, that makes sense. Yeah, I’ve never met him.”

“He’s a cool guy, you two would get along.” That said, I’m not sure they share many interests; Hisao is a bookworm who can’t run and Kenta is a runner who, I’m guessing, has never read a book in his life, if his commentary on classwork is anything to go by.

Hisao and I start walking, and as I’ve come to expect, Hisao begins talking. “So do you think you’re ready for the meet tomorrow?”

“Yeah, I feel prepared.”

“Prepared enough to beat Emi?”

I roll my eyes, we’ve had this conversation before. “The meet is not about personal achievements, Hisao. It’s about representing your school, which I plan to do.” My tone is a little mocking, as I’m not sure anyone quite believes that personal placings don’t matter, but I know better than to go into a meet with the goal of beating someone. “Besides, Emi doesn’t run the 4x100, and I don’t run the 4x400, so we’re not even going to be competing for the two most important races.”

“Wait, how many races are there? I thought there were just one or two.”

“No, there are five girls’ races.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, 100, 200, and 400 meter dashes, and then the two relays, the 4x100 and the 4x400.”

“Huh... How many do you run in?”

“Emi and I run in all of the dashes, then I run the 100 meter relay and she runs the 400 meter relay.” We could probably both run in all of the races, but this arrangement lets us both finish the meet on the final legs of a relay, so we can go all out without having to worry about the next race.

Hisao looks surprised at the amount of running we’ll both be doing, but comes to terms with it. I’ll admit that the first time I heard about the rather close-knit scheduling of these races, I was a bit surprised as well, but it turns out not to be too bad.

“So will you be coming?”

“To the meet? Yeah, sure. I haven’t got much to do on Sunday, and you guys can always use a bigger crowd, right?”

“Well, I’m not sure if the crowd helps a ton, but it’ll be nice to have friends watching. You could sit with Suzu, she’ll probably be sitting near the front.” When Hisao looks at me, not sure why, I add “She’s worried about falling asleep and then accidentally falling off of the bleachers.”

Hisao cringes. “I can imagine, that sounds pretty bad. But yeah, I’ll look for her, it’ll be nice to have someone around who knows what’s going on.” I doubt Suzu actually knows that much about the meet, but at least she’s been to a few before, so she’s a step ahead of Hisao. I’m also glad that she’ll have some company - I know she feels obligated to turn out to the meets and support me, but it probably gets pretty boring without someone to talk to, and Suzu is not exactly a big fan of “boring”.

Well, I say that; she’s a big fan of a lot of things I consider boring, but she doesn’t actually like being bored. Probably.

In the time it takes me to wonder if anyone actually enjoys being bored, Hisao asks “So once the meet’s over and you don’t have to go running every day, do you still want to do the tutoring thing?”

“Yeah, of course!”

Hisao raises one eyebrow. “‘Of course?’”

“Well, I mean, look at the past week. Monday I had no idea what was going on, and now I almost understand the chapter we’re working on. I’d say that this tutoring thing is working pretty well.”

“But if you understand the material, why do you need to keep going?”

I think on this for a second. Inside, I feel like I’m probably not as ready as I should be, but that has more to do with me than our sessions. “Well the class doesn’t stop here, right? I mean, there’s another chapter after this one, and I’m going to need to learn that as well.”

“I don’t know that stuff yet either. It wouldn’t be tutoring, it would be more like... Group studying?”

I roll my eyes. “Fine, whatever you want to call it, but I’m still going to need your help.” I suddenly realize how bluntly that came off, and add “If you’re still up to it, that is. I won’t blame you for not wanting to have to drag me along with you.”

He laughs. “Don’t worry, I enjoy tutoring, it’s nice to be helping. Besides, I remember reading somewhere that teaching is the best way to learn, so it’s probably helping me too.” Ha, like he needs help. I doubt he can do much better than... Actually, he’s never told me what his grades were like. Mutou said he was ‘one of the top performers’ on that last quiz, but I never actually heard either of them say a percentage. I make a mental note to ask him about it sometime.

“I only ask,” he begins again, “because Mutou talked to me today, before class, about how things were going.”

Gulp. Or not, I’m not really sure, but I doubt teachers asking how I’m doing will ever feel like a good thing. “What did you say?”

“I told him that it was going well, and that you were picking up on stuff pretty quickly.” Well, it could be worse. Then again, does this mean he’s going to expect me to do well in class now? I hope not. That said, since when have I cared? I’ll get whatever grades I get, and if he’s not happy then that’s his fault.

Yeah.

“Yeah!” I accidentally say aloud, causing Hisao to jump.

“Yeah what?” he asks, confused.

“Um... Yeah, I’m super pumped for the track meet tomorrow?” I doubt Hisao is big fan of ‘screw what the teacher thinks’, so I decide to keep that part to myself.

“Oh... Well, okay.”

“Speaking of which, I’m pretty much cooled off, and I want to rest up tonight, so I’m gonna call it quits. I’ll see you tomorrow?”

He nods. “Yeah, Suzu and I will look for you once the races are over, we can celebrate or something.” I personally will probably be more concerned with getting something to eat than celebrating, but maybe we can do both. Celebratory food is one of the best types of food.

“Sounds good!” I call over my shoulder, trotting back to my room.

Today has been pretty good, but I’ve got a feeling that tomorrow is going to be even better.

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Cover (2/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:58 am

I hate seeing the contours of my room in the dark, but it takes me a second to remember why.

And, right on cue, my left hand begins to clench, and I swear I can feel my nails digging into my palms, the cries of my skin matching the seizing in my muscles. I’m pretty sure my hand never actually hurt this much back when it was still attached to my arm.

I swing my legs over the edge of the bed and lumber over to my closet, digging around for a familiar sweater. Once I have it in front of me, I go through the process of figuring out which side is the front, and although it doesn’t take me more than a second, it wakes my brain up just enough to remember something incredibly important: tomorrow - well, today, according to my alarm clock - is the track meet. I need to be rested. Wasting all my energy on running around in the middle of the night is the last thing I should be doing.

My left arm protests again, but the more I think about it, the more issues I can think of. What if I get caught? What if I get injured? I have to stay here. I have to be safe. Tomorrow, I can run all I want, but for right now, I need to rest, so I toss my black sweater onto the floor, make my way back under the covers, and close my eyes.

Not being able to see only makes the pain feel worse. Great.

10 more minutes of staring at the ceiling hasn’t helped a bit, and I’m beginning to get fed up with my hand. Seriously, of all the nights for something like this to-

Suddenly, I hear the familiar buzzing sound of my phone getting a text message on the other side of my room, which seems loud, but that’s probably just because it’s pretty quiet, being the middle of the night and all. Speaking of which, who in the hell is texting people at this hour?

My curiosity temporarily stealing attention away from the sharp pains running up my left arm, I get back out of bed and walk over to my phone, which is blinking to try and grab my attention. I flip it open and find the new message, which is from... Hisao? I stare at my phone for a second, confused, before opening the message.

<Hey, in case I don’t see you before the meet, good luck today.>

The tiny numbers in the top left of my phone’s screen confirm that today is, unfortunately, the day of the track meet, but the actual event won’t be for quite a while - the sun won’t be up for another few hours, and the track team gets together to stretch before the meet at 10. Still, with nothing much else to do, I text Hisao back.

<It’s a little early, but thanks?>

Waiting for a response, and in between clenching my teeth to try and ignore my phantom pains, I wonder why Hisao is up at this hour. I mean, he doesn’t have to run a race or anything tomorrow, for him it’s just another Sunday, but he doesn’t seem like the ‘stay up all night’ type... In fact, last Sunday, he said he got up really early. Hisao Nakai, what in heaven’s name are you doing up? Another vibration.

<Oh, I didn’t realize you were awake. I didn’t wake you up, did I?>

Wait, if he didn’t think I’d be up, why would he- no, first things first.

<No. What are you doing up so late?>

It’s only as I hit send that I wonder if it’s one of those things he doesn’t talk about, like his condition. Would heart problems keep you awake at night? I assume his heart still works while he’s asleep, otherwise he’d be dead. Or maybe... Maybe he just doesn’t sleep at all!

Wait no, that’s crazy. Luckily he responds before things can get any crazier.

<Insomnia is a side effect of the medications I take.>

Ah, so it does kind of have to do with his heart. Well, I guess I was close, except for the part about him never sleeping. Speaking of never sleeping, I’m tired, why aren’t I-

I clutch at the stump at the end of my left arm, dropping my phone down onto my stomach. Right. This is why. Stupid nonexistent hand. The pain subsides after a few seconds, and I’m brought back into reality by the vibration of my phone against my abdomen, which heralds another message from Hisao.

<What about you?>

Either I’m far too tired, he’s not making sense, or both.

<What about me?>

In the time it takes to get his reply, I think about his text. He’s never mentioned taking medication before, though I did find out on my own that night I carried him back to his room. Still, I wouldn’t have thought he’d be so open about it; he’s so private about his condition that I just wouldn’t expect him to be this forward. I am one of the few people he’s talked about it to, though, so I guess if he were going to tell anyone, I wouldn’t be a bad choice.

More buzzing. Another message.

<Why are you up so late?>

Why am I up so- Ow, ow, ow. Right. Phantom pains. Phantom pains that hurt like a bitch, and that I don’t really tell anyone about. Suzu knows that I get them, but I’ve never mentioned how I deal with them. Not even the nurse knows the kind of late-night episodes I go through - I learned in the hospital that this isn’t something curable. Well, not for everyone. Not for the unlucky ones like me.

Still, I guess I could just tell Hisao that I get phantom pains and leave it at that. He’s probably heard of them before, he’s a smart guy. He’s also not the type to go around telling people, either, so I don’t need to worry about this turning into a school-wide rumor. But then, it’s not like he needs to know, right? This has nothing to do with him, so why should he be in on it?

Path A: Lie about why you're up.
Path B: Tell him about your phantom pains.
Last edited by Craftyatom on Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Cover (3/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:59 am

>Lie about why you're up.<

I shouldn’t even be thinking about this, I keep these details secret for a reason. Even Suzu doesn’t know everything about this side of me, so why should Hisao? This is the kind of thing that’s better if I just keep it to myself; it’s been that way for as long as I’ve been at Yamaku. I’ll just give him some random excuse.

<I got up to go to the bathr-> No, that’s a little weird.

<I just got up to get some water.>

There we go, simple and believable. I drop my right arm back down to my side after hitting send, phone still in my hand, and think about what I’m even supposed to do for the rest of tonight. It doesn’t feel like I’m going to get to sleep any time soon, but I can’t go running. None of my friends are awake to text - well, Hisao is, apparently, but as far as he knows I’m going right back to sleep. My phone vibrates, another message from Hisao.

<Oh, OK. Good night.>

Well, there’s that.

<’Night.>

Now I just have to figure out how I’m supposed to get back to sleep with my left arm in pain; another sharp jolt reminds me that it’s not as easy as it sounds. Well, I can’t go running, but that doesn’t mean I have to stay in my room. I hop out of bed again and amble out of my room, taking a long look at Suzu’s door on my way out. Boy, it’d be nice to have her to talk to right now... Whatever. I’m not going to wake her up just so I have someone to talk to, and certainly not when I’m having to intermittently deal with sharp pain in my left arm. She’s asked about my phantom pains, and I know she really wants to help, but at the same time, I don’t want to burden her with this kind of stuff. She’s got enough to worry about, like school, and... Well, actually, really just school. But it’s still a lot, especially when she struggles to stay awake during class sometimes.

Remembering what I texted Hisao, I realize that I actually am kind of thirsty, so I walk to the nearest water fountain and take a long drink. My arm is still complaining, jumping in between outright pain and an annoying twinge, but I realize that despite my rough plan of “not staying in my room,” there really isn’t much to do out here either.

Great.

Okay, so... I guess I’ll try going back to bed?

That idea turns out to be just as effective as it was the first time, and once again I realize that I’m not going to get any sleep, so I end up sprawled on my bed in an awkward position, eyes wide open and stump trying to burrow into the mattress. I toss my left arm over the side of the bed, and it hits the floor with a mildly satisfying ‘thunk’.

Come on, think, there’s gotta be something to do besides laying here being bored and in pain. I could do homework... no, my brain is definitely not up to that. I suppose I could still go running, actually combat my pains... No, I was right when I said that I really shouldn’t be out the night before a race. It would be so easy just to slip outside and go running, but it wouldn’t be worth it, and knowing my luck, I’d break both legs. So no. No running.

Okay, no running, no homework, nobody awake to text or hang out with... Is there any food around?

Now we’re getting somewhere.

I jump out of bed and turn the lights on, beginning a hunt for something edible. At this point, almost anything will do. Preferably something with copious amounts of sugar in it, but beggars can’t be choosers, and so when I finally stumble upon a two-thirds-full box of crackers, I decide it will have to do, and sit down on my bed.

Okay, I probably shouldn’t stuff my face, I have to make these last - after all, apparently this is all I’ve got to do for the rest of the night. I look at my clock, and slowly do the math to figure out how long ‘the rest of the night’ is - turns out, I’ve got six hours until my alarm clock is going to wake me up for the meet. Six hours of eating crackers.

No, surely I’ll feel a bit more tired in a little while, even my phantom pains shouldn’t be able to keep me up the entire night. I take another bite, these crackers are salted but that doesn’t quite make up for the rather bland taste; that’s probably why I never finished them. I actually can’t remember when I bought these, but it’s not like they go off. These things keep forever.

Actually, I do remember buying them, if only because of that line - I can remember being with Suzu at the store and picking up this box.

“Aren’t those a little bland?” she asked.

“Yeah, probably, but they’ll keep forever.” And so we bought them.

Good thinking, Miki.

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

Some time later, I finish all the crackers in the box, and toss the empty container in the trash. I’m probably an expert on crackers by now. I could show up their factory and get a job. That’s just how intensely I had been studying the taste of those goddamn crispy bread circles. But now, with them all gone, I’m back where I started - my left arm burning, unable to sleep, and bored out of my mind.

Well, I could try sleeping again.

After a few minutes of laying on my back and closing my eyes, I find that although I am slightly more tired than before, my phantom pains are still keeping me up. Great.

Well, time to figure out what to do next. I consider admitting defeat and just laying in bed some more, but something occurs to me: I bet the bathroom’s completely empty, since nobody’s up. I showered yesterday, but it was a quick one - I’ve got hours to kill, which is more than enough time to get some deep cleaning done. I could wash my hair, it’s usually too time-consuming to do during the week, but I’ve got all the time in the world.

I suddenly realize that, since the track meet is tomorrow, all this cleaning will probably be for nothing; races are some of the sweatiest events there are, especially since the weather has been rather warm lately. Still, even if I just end up getting dirty again, at least showering will be something to do. Deciding that it’s better than just laying here the whole time, I hop up and begin undressing, starting with the bandages on my stump, which are looking a little rustled after all of the messing around my left arm has been doing.

Finally undressed, I grab my towel, and am about to wrap myself up before realizing that it’s still kind of damp from my shower yesterday, which I guess isn’t too surprising - it’s only been a few hours, and with this warm weather, the air is more humid than usual. Oh well, so it’s a little wet, I’m taking a shower, a little water won’t-

Geez, that’s cold. Obviously as a result of it still being damp. Well, I guess I’m just gonna have to suck it up and-

Wait a minute.

I open my door just bit, poke my head out, and look to the right. Nothing. To the left. Nothing. To the right again, still nothing.

Well, I suppose being up at this hour has some benefits. I wrap all of my shampoo and stuff up in my towel, wedge the fluffy bundle under my left arm, and after a few more cautious looks, swing my door open and sprint for the bathroom with my right arm over my chest, partly out of fear and partly because running would get kind of unwieldy otherwise.

The bathroom door doesn’t open quite as quickly as I would’ve liked, but it turns out not to matter - as expected, there wasn’t anyone out in the hallway, and nobody’s in here, either. Victory. I stride over to the showers, taking as much time as I want, laughing in the imaginary faces of other people who don’t get to shower because they’re too busy sleeping.

That said, I kind of wish I could be sleeping. I’d trade this shower for some sleep. And all those crackers I had. And... Whatever else I could possibly offer if it meant getting some shut-eye. Oh well.

I turn on the shower, and set it to be as hot as possible. After scorching myself a little when I try to step into the stream of water, I decide to turn it down a little, but not much, and a few careful alterations to the shower controls later, I finally begin to enjoy a long, hot shower.

Showering with phantom pains is a strange feeling - my left arm can feel water running along my stump, but also the pains where my left hand used to be, and the mixture of sensations is a strange one. Not that it helps very much, I still have to stop and clutch my left arm every once in a while, but during the calmer moments I can appreciate everything, including how quiet it is at this time of night, even with water splashing on and around me. Hell, if I weren’t in intense pain every now and then, this could be a rather serene moment.

One of the first things that comes to mind about showering with nobody around is that I could probably sing, but I decide against it - I might wake somebody up, and right now, I wouldn’t want to deny anyone sleep. I hope Hisao got to sleep, he mentioned insomnia but didn’t really say how bad it was, so he could be going through everything from waking up for a few minutes on occasion to... Well, to being awake all night with nothing to do. Except eat crackers and shower.

Let’s hope he’s not quite this bad.

Previous: Self-Insufficient ~ Next: Vigil
Last edited by Craftyatom on Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Brief Exchanges, Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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Cover (3/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:59 am

>Tell him about your phantom pains.<

Hisao is my friend, and my phantom pains aren’t that big a deal, so I decide to just tell him. Now all I’ve got to do is actually figure out what to say. I consider a lot of different phrasings, but eventually decide to just keep it short.

<Phantom pains.>

<Ouch. Are they bad?>

My left arm continues hurting, trying to answer for me.

<Yeah.>

There’s a longer silence this time, and I can’t tell if it’s because Hisao doesn’t know what to say next or if he’s afraid to ask any more questions. Or maybe he’s asleep. Luckily for me, he texts back before I can wonder what I’m supposed to do if he is.

<Can you stop them?>

A simple question, but the complete answer is actually rather complicated; the list of possible treatments is a long one, but none of them work for everyone, and there’s supposedly a lot of science behind why they would or wouldn’t, but the only part I ever cared about was the word they told me when I had exhausted the entire list and asked if there was anything, anything else I could try.

<No.>

I suppose my late-night running episodes technically do help, but I doubt that “Getting up and running around until you get tired and then going back to sleep” is a medically accepted form of treatment. Bzzzt. New message.

<Can I help?>

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting that. How sweet. For a moment I wonder how he expects to help when I’ve just told him that there’s no cure, but something occurs to me.

<Well, if you keep texting then at least I won’t die of boredom.>

At this point, anything to keep my mind occupied would help. So far the extent of this conversation has been me telling Hisao about my phantom pains, but I’m sure he has something else interesting to talk about. Hell, at this point, I’d be content to talk about chemistry, and that’s saying something. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess.

<I can’t just text you all night.>

<Why not?>

<Because then neither of us is going to get to sleep.>

Well, there goes that plan. So much for not being bored to death. Still, I guess he’s right. I might be up for a long time in pain either way, but texting with Hisao is only going to keep him awake. I don’t want to go this alone, but I also don’t want to keep him from getting a good night’s sleep just so I have something to keep me occupied.

I may not be happy about it, but I should heed his advice, if only for his sake.

<Fine. ‘Night, Hisao.>

<Good night.>

Well, that’s that. I drop my phone down onto my bed, defeated. Right on cue, my left arm begins hurting again. Well, phantom pains, it’s just you and me now. I wonder if this is payback for all the times I managed to just go running and make everything fine. My arm finally has me cornered, and now it’s going to make me regret ever losing my hand.

Geez, arm, that’s kind of harsh. It’s not like it was my fault.

A sharp twinge of pain, accompanied by the beginnings of a headache, lets me know that my arm doesn’t care. Alright, fine, you want to play dirty? I can break the rules too. I grab my phone off the bed, flip it open, and angrily tap out a message.

<Are you still awake?>

Unsurprisingly, it’s less than 30 seconds before I get a response.

<Yes. Stop texting and go to sleep.>

Sorry, Hisao, no dice.

<I can’t.>

I smile as I send that one, despite the fact that not being able to sleep is actually my biggest problem. Suck it, phantom pains, I’ve got a partner in crime.

<Well what do you usually do when your phantom pains keep you awake?>

Shit.

This isn’t really the direction I wanted the conversation to go, but it’s better than nothing. Still, I get the feeling that Hisao’s not just going to let me brush his question off, especially when I’m the one who wants to keep talking.

<I go outside.>

Whew, good thinking. It’s not technically a lie, either. Score one for the home team.

<That’s it?>

Uh oh. Abort, abort.

<I thought you said we should stop texting.>

This is definitely not the kind of stuff I wanted to be talking about. I’d rather be talking about schoolwork. I’m not sure if I’d rather not be talking at all, though; if that gets to be the case, I guess I’ll just turn my phone off and pretend to be asleep.

<Well I’d ask you in person, but the last time I went out in the middle of the night I almost died.>

Ouch. The pains in my arm have dulled for the moment, but that one hurt on the inside. Obviously that wasn’t Hisao’s intention, he was just making a rather dark joke, but I can’t help but feel guilty again. I let my right arm go limp, and my hand, clutching my phone, flops down onto my chest. After a minute or so of mulling things over, I decide to try and quell his fears about nighttime wandering.

<I go out at night all the time, and I do just fine.>

I’m not sure if that was quite the right thing to say, but I already have to deal with almost having killed him, and the thought that he’s actively worried about it happening again is almost too much, especially at this hour. Unfortunately, his response is the exact opposite of what I had hoped to see.

<Not everyone’s invincible like you.>

... That son of a bitch.

My grip on my phone tightens, and not because my pains have flared up again - this time, it’s pure anger. I didn’t think I could be angry at Hisao again, but what do you know, apparently this time of morning is magical or something. The fact that I’m laying here, in pain, sweating and unable to sleep, all because of my stupid hand, and he has the nerve, the audacity to just... I want to scream, I really do, but that’s probably not advisable at this time of night, people are trying to sleep. Other people, that is. I try to formulate some sort of response, but nothing comes to mind.

My left arm starts hurting again, and I accidentally drop my phone onto the ground, its light haphazardly bouncing around my room as it turns face up. The addition of another irritant isn’t helping matters. I decide to try and focus on my phone, rolling over and fumbling around for it with my right hand, my vision blurry as I alternate between looking around in the semi-dark and clenching my eyes shut in an attempt to block out the pain.

After a few fruitless grasps for the source of light, I reach too far, and slide off of my bed, landing on my stomach. The fall isn’t far, but I’m shocked, and it takes me a moment to realize that, right in front of my face, my phone is staring up at me. Hisao’s message is still on the screen, mocking the rough heap of a girl on the floor that I’ve turned into.

That’s it.

I snatch my phone up and quickly send a reply.

<Be awake in five minutes.>

With that, I flip my phone closed and toss it onto my bed. I storm across my room, plucking my black sweater from off of the ground, slipping into my shoes, and heading out of the door.

I may not know exactly what I plan to say to Hisao, but there is one thing I do know:

I may be strong, but I’m far from invincible.

Previous: Self-Insufficient ~ Next: Structural Integrity
Last edited by Craftyatom on Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Brief Exchanges, Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
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brythain
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 4th)

Post by brythain » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:35 am

Yay! A lovely brief powerful instalment. Sometimes I wish I could write Miki like that.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 4th)

Post by azumeow » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:40 am

I love how Miki takes Hisao's comment completely wrong. He's talking about how you can fucking bump into someone in the night and not immediately suffer a near-death experience.

Miki of all people should know better than to react the way she did. But it wouldn't be KS without everybody involved tossing the idiot ball everwhere.
"I don’t want to be here anymore, I know there’s nothing left worth staying for.
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore, I’m listening with one foot out the door
And something has to die to be reborn-I don’t want to be here anymore"

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 4th)

Post by acquireTigris » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:54 am

Ho, fellow Miki router! Glad to see you posting again. I wish I could read through this thread, but I'm scared that if I do I'll make too many similarities and parallels between our plots.

Instead, I'll leave you with well-wishes and the best of luck.
Dancing: My Miki Pseudo-route

acquireTigris, gotTiger, Tiger.

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 4th)

Post by Sperance » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:00 am

You know... For all she's angry, I actually think the telling option is the right one. Also, am I the only one who finds it funny just how much Miki overreacts, considering Hisao did the exact same thing in the game in some options (like the deciding to stop running one)?

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 4th)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 9:24 am

I like your idea of switching up the roles. Makes the fact that it's from Miki's perspective work even better. Really liked the texting scene(I made Miki tell the truth).

Also, shouldn't the dorms be locked at night? I've read numerous stories where they weren't, and maybe Yamaku doesn't because it's in a low population area, but that seems weird to me.
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Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

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Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 4th)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:11 pm

Not even the nurse knows the kind of late-night episodes I go through
Kind of stupid not to tell him - he might prescribe painkillers.
Besides, considering that the vast majority of amputees experience phantom limb pain to some degree it's not really a secret worth keeping...
Other than not being fond of choices in fanfiction in general, that is one reason why I'm not so thrilled about your bad-end path.
The good one is fine, though.

@acquire Tigris: I don't think you need to worry about that. Your Miki is sufficiently different from this one.

@AntonSlavik: Why should they be locked? That is a dorm where disabled students live and many of them might have problems leaving through a window in case of an emergency. Besides crime rates in Japan are so low that it's not really necessary to lock something like a public school dorm.

The next chapter should be interesting. I wonder what Miki is planning to do...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 4th)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:38 pm

It's probably just because of what I'm used to that it seems weird. I'm used to all doors that lead outside being locked at night. Your probably right though, that would be unnecessary in Japan.
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 4th)

Post by Craftyatom » Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:07 pm

brythain wrote:Yay! A lovely brief powerful instalment. Sometimes I wish I could write Miki like that.
From what I've read of your work, I think you certainly can! /fanboy
azumeow wrote:But it wouldn't be KS without everybody involved tossing the idiot ball everwhere.
I like this excuse. I'm not a fan of using it, and I'd prefer to say that the misunderstanding is a combination of fatigue and poor word choice, but whatever works, I suppose.
acquireTigris wrote:I wish I could read through this thread, but I'm scared that if I do I'll make too many similarities and parallels between our plots.
I actually thought the exact same thing when your work first came out, but a few days ago I was at a loss for what to read and decided I'd just go for it - turns out, Mirage is right, we've already gone down quite different roads. I think you could read mine if you wanted without much consequence, but it's up to you. Good luck to you too :)
Sperance wrote:For all she's angry, I actually think the telling option is the right one.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Other than not being fond of choices in fanfiction in general, that is one reason why I'm not so thrilled about your bad-end path.
The good one is fine, though.
I'll just reiterate that, technically, neither path is... Aww, sod it, who am I kidding. Don't worry, it will all pan out.
AntonSlavik020 wrote:Also, shouldn't the dorms be locked at night? I've read numerous stories where they weren't, and maybe Yamaku doesn't because it's in a low population area, but that seems weird to me.
This is actually kind of funny, I answer your question within the first four lines of the next scene - here, don't worry no spoilers: "The dorms are unlocked on the premise that if a student somehow ended up locked out during the night, being outside in the cold for so long could be a major health issue. Of course, there’s the nursing staff available at all hours, but they don’t have time to deal with every kid who didn’t quite make it back before curfew. It’s not really a breach of safety, either, because the night guards patrol the grounds and borders, which means that only students and staff should ever be on campus at night."
Mirage_GSM wrote:Kind of stupid not to tell him - he might prescribe painkillers.
Besides, considering that the vast majority of amputees experience phantom limb pain to some degree it's not really a secret worth keeping...
To clarify, the nurse is aware that Miki has in the past suffered from phantom pains, but she keeps the frequency and fashion in which she gets them now a secret because she believes she has it under control. Regarding relief, I suppose I should've moved this further up, but Miki attempted multiple types of possible treatment in the hospital directly after losing her hand, and none were found to work, so she refrains from going to the nurse for possible help because she believes she has exhausted all medical options. (If you'd like the pseudoscience as to why running works for her when all other methods do not, I've come up with it, but I remind you that I am a programmer at heart, not a doctor)
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Brief Exchanges, Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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