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

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HoneyBakedHam
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 25th)

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:59 am

Eh, I'm not complaining. If anything, I like it. Definitely makes your choices have weight to them that carries over to further chapters instead of just making it affect one chapter then back to the original line.

A good story with options should look like a tree, not a snake with a full tummy.

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 25th)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Dec 27, 2014 6:54 am

The difference between a VN and a medium like this forum is that in a VN you are taken to the correct place in the story automatically, while in this case you have to scroll back, reread the end of the previous chapter(s) etc. Also you are thrown back and forth between different paths constantly, i.e. you get a chapter of path A then a chapter of path B etc, while you can read one path to the end in the VN before starting the next.
Plus the already mentioned bonus of getting to skip redundant stuff.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 25th)

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:50 am

To each his/her own, I guess.

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 25th)

Post by SirKaid » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:18 am

Personally, I find the "variations on a theme" style repetitions kind of interesting. Sure, the same basic events happened in both paths - Miki raced and got second to Emi in everything, she was convinced to help the other team, she bailed on the awards ceremony - but the reasons and emotions were different. It was kind of like a character study in a way: "How does Miki Miura react to the scenario when she's open and honest versus when she's more closed off and secretive?"

So long as it isn't just copy-paste but instead has the variations in how she thinks and feels it should remain interesting, I think.

It would probably be helpful if the chapter titles included if it was Path A or Path B though.

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 25th)

Post by Mader Levap » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:47 pm

This was a good reading, but unfortunately I must agree with Mirage_GSM - choices do not work out in fanfic format.

This could work better if story split completely after choice (like *cough* THAT other Miki not-pseudo-route).
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 25th)

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:37 pm

Well, I'm glad that peope seemed to enjoy the content, if not the format, of this release - but on to the problems.
Mirage_GSM wrote:See that's why I hate branches in fanfictions.
Mader Levap wrote:This was a good reading, but unfortunately I must agree with Mirage_GSM - choices do not work out in fanfic format.
I'll admit that this doesn't flow nearly as smoothly as it does in an actual VN - without stored values and the like, decisions have to branch at one point, and converging again requires that the story be completely the same from then on. This is not optimal, but I have a feeling that if I released this story as a program that scrolled through text and did decisions properly, very few people would be interested in trying it out, because it's not nearly as accessible.

So, my job is to make the best of this forum's format, and as such, I'm going to make a change. When I first diverged, I said that I would post the scenes from both sides of the decision simultaneously - this was to avoid resembling a CYOA and to ensure readers that their input wasn't somehow affecting the outcomes. Since the paths will become quite different past this point, however, and since it's now fairly obvious that this isn't breaching any forum rules, I will release the scenes one at a time, to avoid confusion about which one goes where, where things differ, etc.

I will say, however, that this is in a format designed to help the reader that reads all the way through - which is possibly why there were problems releasing it in stages in the same format. Mirage mentioned having to go back and figure out which scene went where; this wouldn't be as much of a problem for someone who was reading one line from start to finish, as they'd just have to click the links, but I can see how it would be an issue for people who are following update-by-update (and y'all are my favorites, so I shouldn't shun you).

I will rejigger some of the formatting in an attempt to make things clearer, and I do believe that from this point on there won't be nearly as much repeated text or plot, so hopefully any issues we've had are only temporary. Next release will be the continuation of "Vigil" from the 'Keep Your Secret' decision.
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 25th)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:38 am

this wouldn't be as much of a problem for someone who was reading one line from start to finish, as they'd just have to click the links,
Not necessarily. Even if I come late to a story, I don't use the links, because that way I would miss all the commentary - for one thing it is occasionally interesting and for the other I like to comment myself and don't want to repeat points others already made.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 25th)

Post by Oddball » Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:04 am

So far this has been a pretty cool story. Hisao comes across as extremely weak willed and some what pathetic here at times, but otherwise all the characters feel strong and likeable.

Miki's reasoning for some of the things that she's doing doesn't always make sense but that could easily just be explained away as a character trait rather than a problem with the story.

I'm also glad you've dropped (or at least lessened) the “Suzu randomly collapses asleep” stuff.

I'm also with Mirage about the choices. I don't much care for them in stories (even though I used one myself, but that was for humor's sake).
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 25th)

Post by Serbian Gamer » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:19 am

Excellent job! Can not wait to see more! I'll definitely be keeping up with this fic.

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Dec 25th)

Post by Craftyatom » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:57 am

Well, here I am. It's been over eight months. I hope nobody sat around the whole time waiting for a new update. By now y'all should know better than to expect me to stick to a schedule - if not, I'm really, really sorry.

Perhaps people thought that I had abandoned this story. The truth is that I couldn't possibly leave it here, because it has loose ends. Things are left unfinished - we don't even know which decision goes where. So I had to come back, because leaving people with a cliffhanger like that is just mean on my part. Yes, even meaner than coming back after 8 months of silence.

Unfortunately, I completed the bad end first. This is by design - the bad end finishes much sooner, and as such is much easier to complete. The other part, the good path, will hopefully receive more updates in the future, because I wouldn't want my final update to be something this somber. That said, it's certainly not the saddest a bad end can be - looking at you, Scissorlips - but it's not exactly a stroll in the park. I'm hoping it lives up to expectations, as I don't think it's anything special, but it is an idea that I've toyed with for quite a while.
Oddball wrote:So far this has been a pretty cool story. Hisao comes across as extremely weak willed and some what pathetic here at times, but otherwise all the characters feel strong and likeable.

Miki's reasoning for some of the things that she's doing doesn't always make sense but that could easily just be explained away as a character trait rather than a problem with the story.

I'm also glad you've dropped (or at least lessened) the “Suzu randomly collapses asleep” stuff.

I'm also with Mirage about the choices. I don't much care for them in stories (even though I used one myself, but that was for humor's sake).
Thanks for the kind words, Hisao is rather pathetic by design (it's just how I write him in this fic, it's to do with my take on his emotions going into Yamaku), Miki's poor reasoning is generally because she's under pressure and is instinctively biased towards self-defense, Suzu randomly falling asleep in the first few scenes was a mistake on my part and I will go back and fix those later but yes by this point her narcolepsy should be much more realistic, and sorry to everyone about the choices but I did really want to give the reader this option. I will take your opinions into account when considering adding another choice to the story further down the line, if/when we get there.

Anyways, I'm sorry for the wait, but let's tie off a loose end.
Last edited by Craftyatom on Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Freefall (1/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:58 am

>Freefall<
Wearing some nice casual clothes and feeling extremely well-rested, I saunter into the cafeteria, and spot Hisao and Suzu right away. They’re both in school uniform, of course; they had to go to class today. Well, I guess I ‘had’ to as well. But I didn’t. Between staying up all of last night - wait, no, not last night, the night before. Or something. Either way, between not sleeping that one night and the track meet yesterday, I wouldn’t have gone to class this morning even if Mutou had paid me. Having slept in, though, and spending some time this morning showering, stretching, and relaxing, I felt fine by the time the lunch bell rang, so now I’m here, walking over to my friends with a pile of food.

When I finally sit down next to Suzu, she’s in the middle of discussing something with Hisao, from the sound of it something about today’s lecture. Once she finishes her sentence, though, she looks angrily at me and adds, “Of course, that only applies to people who actually show up to class.”

I roll my eyes. “C’mon, I show up to class, just not on days after races.”

She’s not convinced. “Oh, don’t try to pull that on me, you went to sleep as soon as you got back, you definitely could’ve woken up this morning on time, you just wanted to spend the day off.”

Well, she’s not wrong about me passing out - I did fall asleep pretty much instantly once I got back after the race, and under normal circumstances, that would be more than enough sleep to keep me going for the next school day. She doesn’t know how late I was up the night before, though. I consider mentioning it, especially since Hisao could vouch for me because he was up texting me in the middle of the night, but something tells me that bringing up all of that with Suzu would just leave me digging a hole for myself. Instead, I sigh, mumble something about being really tired, and start eating.

Suzu, giving up on the point, and Hisao, without our small argument to capture his attention, go back to eating as well, and for a little bit we’re all just quiet, which I have to admit is kind of nice. Eventually, though, something comes to mind.

I swallow the mouthful of food I was on and address Hisao. “Hey, so are you free after class today? I was hoping we could fit some tutoring in - I kind of want to catch up on anything I missed today.”

Suzu jumps right on this, which I really should’ve expected. “What? You don’t go to class, and then expect to just learn everything from Hisao?”

I groan, annoyed. “I just want to catch up on whatever we’re learning, okay? Is that too much to ask?”

“Well then you should’ve bothered to show up to class then! Instead you’re just trying to make Hisao do all the work for you.”

“I would’ve shown up to class if my legs weren’t aching a ton!” It’s true, they do hurt a fair bit, although I actually don’t mind very much; the slight pain is less of a nuisance than it is a reminder that I managed to place so well yesterday. Speaking of which, I need to remember to pick up my medals from the office later on - I would’ve picked them up earlier, after showering and the like, but I have a feeling that showing up in casual clothing during class hours would raise some eyebrows.

Without a good counter to my point about muscle aches, Suzu just pouts and rests her chin on one hand. She’s right, I really should’ve been able to go to class today, but compounded with my phantom pains and stuff, it just got to be a bit much.

I decide that I should probably be a little less stubborn about all this, since I’m certainly not trying to annoy her. “Look, I promise I’ll be in class for at least the next few weeks, today was just really tough.” She’s still frowning. “Heck, I can help you with homework or something, promise.”

She considers this proposition for a second, but quickly turns it down. “Nah, I’ll be fine. I wouldn’t say no to some of that tutoring you’re getting from Hisao, though.” I look at Hisao, who has stopped mid-bite of some of his food, and as such can only really respond with a shrug.

Come to think of it, having Suzu along might be a good idea. She’s pretty smart, and although she’s tired a lot, I’m sure she’d be willing to make a big effort for some help with grades. I decide to further this plan. “Well, I mean, I wouldn’t be opposed - if Hisao’s okay with it, then you could definitely come along.”

Hisao, who by this point has finished chewing, adds “I’d be fine with that, three is still a pretty small group, so it would probably work out.”

We both turn to Suzu, the final decision being hers, and after thinking for a moment she says “W-Well, sure, I guess... I wasn’t expecting you guys to actually let me join, but it would probably help me out at least a little.” She nods, but then quickly adds “Oh, but not today, though, I promised Lezard and Akio that I’d help them with some literature club stuff... We’re really behind on our schedule for the whole book donation drive thing.”

Oh well. “No problem, you can come along some other time.” And just like that, my day is back to normal. Well, kind of normal. Normal-ish.

We continue eating, some light conversation passing between the three of us, which is yet another reason that I think we’d probably make a good study group - we all connect with each other, in different ways. We fit.

Eventually, though, time runs out, and the ringing of the school bell signals that it’s time to go back to class - or, at least, it’s time for Suzu and Hisao to go back to class. I part ways with them just outside of the school building, checking with Hisao that we’ll meet this afternoon at the library, and head back to my room to relax a bit more. I’m kind of expecting Suzu to throw me a dirty look, but her disposition towards my truancy has evidently softened, because she waves goodbye and promises to see me later.

As I walk back home, I can’t help but think that today feels good. Not perfect, but all things considered, pretty good.

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Freefall (2/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:59 am

Looking up at the cloudy sky one last time before I duck into the school building, I wonder whether I should’ve brought an umbrella - it’s looking like rain. It’s nice enough out that I didn’t need a jacket to keep warm, but that means that I’m even less protected from the rain. I guess these aren’t exactly nice clothes, though, so getting them wet wouldn’t be too bad. The notebook I brought with me, currently tucked in my left arm, might be an issue, but I’m sure I can keep it somewhat dry.

Heading for the library, I wonder if Hisao brought an umbrella - hopefully one big enough to share. I wouldn’t mind having to run back home through the rain, but it might be nice to make it back somewhat dry.

When I finally turn into the hall containing the library, I notice that something is off – the doors to the library are closed, and a figure is standing outside, head buried in a book. It only takes me a second to recognize Hisao, who’s still in his school uniform. He’s reading from a textbook, which for anyone else I would consider strange, but with him, I’ve gotten used to it.

“Hey,” I call out as I approach him, and he looks up, taking a second to recognize me, and then closing his book. He waves in return, and begins walking towards me as well.

When we’re close enough for actual conversation, he explains what’s going on. “Hey, turns out that the library’s closed today, so we can’t do the usual tutoring thing. I figured I’d stick around for a bit to let you know.”

Damn, and today was going so well, too. I wouldn’t normally be very worried about class stuff, but given that I missed today, I just know that Mutou introduced something new that I’m going to be completely lost on if I come into class tomorrow without preparing. “If the library’s closed, can we do this somewhere else? I really need an update on what’s happening in class.”

Hisao strokes his chin in thought. “Well, I guess so… I’m not quite sure where we could go, though.” After a few more seconds, he adds “It’s usually pretty quiet in some of the grassy areas outside, we could go there, I guess.”

“Nah, I was just outside, and it looks like it’s about to rain, so we probably shouldn’t stay out for too long.” That said, though, I don’t really have any ideas myself – studying isn’t a big hobby of mine, so I’m not really sure where good studying spots are. I consider asking Hisao if we could use his room, it’s probably pretty quiet, but then I remember that he’s weird about letting people into his room.

Wait a minute… We can’t use his room, but I’m fine with using my room, why not go there? “If you want, we can use my room, it’s not very big but the dorms are usually pretty quiet.”

He seems a bit surprised at first, but doesn’t disagree. “Yeah, that’d work, if you’re okay with it.”

I consider saying something about how there’s no reason I wouldn’t be okay with having a friend in my room, but realize that it might come off as poking fun at him, so I settle for “Yeah, it’s fine by me.”

It occurs to me that I’ve become quite good at working around Hisao’s insecurities – maybe it’s all this time that we’ve been studying and walking together, but I think I’ve good a pretty good handle on the things that he does and does not want to talk about. As we begin walking to the girls’ dorms, I wonder if maybe I won’t ever have to see an expression like the one I saw last weekend – defeated, depressed, all because of something I’ve said to bury him in his past sorrows. Maybe, from here on out, I can keep him safe.

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

When we both arrive at my room, I unlock the door and swing it open, motioning Hisao inside before going in myself. I suppose an added benefit of studying here is that I won’t have to walk back in the rain if the weather does turn bad.

Hisao stands there, holding his book, and I walk past him and take a seat on my bed. He follows suit, sitting down next to me and opening up the textbook he’s been carrying, flipping through to try and find a particular page. I look up at the clock to see how much time we have, and find that we didn’t take long to get here; unfortunately, something occurs to me.

“Oh, shoot.”

“What’s the matter?”

“Oh, I had just planned on picking up my medal this afternoon, but the school office closes soon, and I’d rather not spend time tomorrow getting it.” I sigh, then look over at Hisao. “Do you mind if I run over there and pick up my medals? I won’t be long, I just want to get this out of the way before I forget.”

Hisao nods. “Yeah, sure, I don’t mind. Plus, I’ve seen how fast you run, I know you won’t be long.” This last part causes me to blush a little, so I quickly mumble something like “be right back” and rush out of the door.

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

Turns out my timing was perfect – just as I step through the front door of the girls’ dorms, right hand clutching an assortment of medals, including a nice gold-colored one, a few droplets of rain have landed on my head. As I get inside, I can hear the drizzle outside turning into full-blown rain, and I exhale, glad that I actually did sprint most of the way there and back.

I walk up to my room and open the door, though it takes me a little longer because of the medals I’m carrying, and quickly see Hisao, who is-

Who is not on the bed. He’s standing over to one side of my room, his head bent down and his arms in front of him, as if he’s holding something. Confused, I ask “Everything okay?”

He spins around, his eyes wide, and for a moment I catch a glimpse of what he’s holding: a black sweater. After a moment of shock on both our parts, I drop the medals hanging from my right hand and rush over to where he’s standing, grabbing the sweater from him before he even has a chance to say anything. This whole room suddenly seeming much too quiet, I feel the need to say something, and angrily stammer “What the hell, were you going through my stuff?”

Hisao, slowly coming out of the shock he seemed to be in earlier, mutters “N-No, I wasn’t-“

I cut him off, tossing the sweater into the back of my closet. “Geez, I wouldn’t have expected you of all people to go snooping…”

He looks indignant. “I-I wasn’t snooping, it was just on the floor, I saw it and thought…”

Realization hits me hard. I did just leave it on the floor after deciding not to go out the night before the meet… Oh well, I guess it’s my fault, then. No big deal, though – I walk over, sit down on the bed, and take out my notebook, ready to study. Hisao, however, hasn’t moved from his spot on the other side of the room, though his eyes are now trained on me instead of staring blankly at his hands.

“Hisao, c’mon, let’s study.”

Nothing. Just a glare from him.

“Hisao, seriously, I need your help.”

Finally he speaks. “Miki, what… Why do you have that sweater?”

Not good. “It’s nothing, just a sweater.” His eyes show that he doesn’t believe me, so I give up the act, roll my eyes, and just say “Look, it’s personal, okay? It doesn’t concern you.”

His face tightens. “It doesn’t concern me? I would think that it does, considering that I almost fucking died!”

Okay, red alert. Begin damage control. “Y-You weren’t going to die, Hisao.”

“Oh, so you’re the heart expert now? You’re the one who knows what a heart attack feels like, huh?”

I squeeze the bridge of my nose with my index finger and thumb. “No, I’m not an expert, but I knew that you would be fine-“

“So you didn’t even bother to get help? I’d just had a near-death experience and you, what, hold my hand? Take me home, let me just sleep off a fucking cardiac arrest?”

Thinking back, that is pretty much how I had justified it, and it wasn’t until the day after that I realized how stupid a decision that had been. “Look, I’m sorry, but I have to keep this a secret, and I couldn’t risk being found out by you or the nursing staff… Do you have any idea what they’d do to me if they found out?”

He pauses for a moment, astounded. “So that was the tradeoff? You had to choose between getting reprimanded by the school and watching me die? Oh, yeah, I’m sure that spending a few hours in detention is way worse than taking my life.”

That... Is that really the choice I made? Now that he puts it so clearly, it seems so obvious that what I did was wrong. My stomach sinks, and my eyes fall to the floor in front of me, though it doesn’t take my mind off of Hisao - off of his mortality. How could I possibly toy with one of my best friends just dying?

The chance of him dying wasn’t- He could be dead.

The school would know about all the other times you’ve- He could be dead.

It was a split-second decision, you- He could be dead.

The clarity and sadness of the situation permeating every part of me, I feel like curling up and doing nothing, but I remember that Hisao is still there, and raise my head again to tell Hisao that I messed up, that I made a mistake, and most importantly, that I’m sorry. But despite feeling like i want to cry, like I’m a horrible person for having done what I did, like Hisao has more than won this argument, his face reminds me that he hasn’t shared in any of my revelations. Luckily for me, though, he at least looks willing to hear what I have to say.

“Hisao, I’m... I’m sorry.”

He rolls his eyes, then speaks, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “Great. Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind.” With that, he turns and heads for the door. I come to the sudden realization that I can’t let him go, not just because he knows my secret, but because he might never come back if he does.

I leap off of my bed and grab his left wrist with my hand, but he doesn’t stop. I begin to plead with him, trying to explain, so confused that I’m not even sure what I’m saying anymore, only that it’s loud enough to drown out anything coming from him. I can feel my eyes watering – this is happening too fast. I keep tugging on Hisao, eventually bracing myself against the doorway, and it’s enough to keep him in place. He tugs against my grip a few times, and I keep telling him that it was my fault, that I didn’t mean to hurt him, but eventually he manages to shout one thing over me:

“MIKI, SHUT UP!” I freeze, and Hisao flicks his arm, dislodging my now-weakened grip, and grumbles “And get your filthy hands off of me.”

Our eyes meet, and there are tears coming from mine, because I just want to think, to let him know just how bad I feel, but everything’s moving too fast to let me. Hisao’s eyes are unyielding, unwilling or unable to forgive me - to be fair, I’m not sure I can forgive myself at this point. A grim smile appears on his face, though, and he adds “Oh, I’m sorry – hand.”

Either time slows down, or I really do stop breathing for a moment, all life purged from my body, the world against me. And it should be. Look at me. Look at where I’ve gotten myself. But as much as my brain wants to fall over and curl up on the ground, my instincts know that when everything’s against me, it comes down to fight or flight - and with Hisao standing in my doorway, there’s nowhere to run.

Hisao. Right. As worthless as I feel in the wake of the past few seconds, I feel angry, too. His words didn’t hurt, but the smile on his face, the tone of his voice... Perhaps he’s just as bad as me. I try to take some time to think, to wonder, to calm myself, but before I get a chance, my fist has struck him square across the face. He falls backwards, and knocks his head against my slightly-open door before crumpling onto the ground.

My body heaves up and down, my breathing heavy. Decision made. I ready myself for when he gets up, prepared to knock him back to the ground again.

But he doesn’t get up.

He just lies there.

...

Shit.
Last edited by Craftyatom on Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Freefall (3/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:59 am

Turns out I was right about the rain. As if sprinting across campus with a rather heavy dude slung over my shoulder wasn’t hard enough, now I get to do it while being blinded by the water in my face, fighting against the wind, and getting chilled to the bone.

Then again, this mess is my fault, after all, so maybe it’s kind of fitting. At least, it would feel that way if I wasn’t going to get punished enough already. My first instinct after knocking Hisao out was to hide in my room, but I realized that I was making the same mistake twice - Hisao needed help, and I wasn’t about to just leave him without it for the second time in a row.

As nice as it is to know that I’m doing the right thing, however, I still haven’t figured out what I’m supposed to say to the nurse. “Hey, I punched him in the head”? Probably not. I don’t want to lie when Hisao’s safety is involved, but I also can’t bring myself to just throw my hands up and surrender. Surely my lying won’t change how the nurse treats him, so it should be fine, right? I get off without any punishment, and Hisao gets to live. It’s a win-win.

Having decided, at the very least, that I’m going to lie about what happened, I come to my next obstacle - the door leading indoors, to a hallway with a door that leads to the nurse’s office. My hand still hurts like hell from that punch, I put way more into it than I should’ve, but I’m guessing that that’s the least of my worries right now.

I manage to slow down and reach for the door handle, fiddling with it for a moment as both the metal and my hand are wet. The adrenaline that kept me running all the way here is starting to lose its edge, so the process seems to take quite a while. Eventually the handle clicks and I swing the door open, then jump inside, almost slipping on the floor before making my way to the nurse’s office. It’s been a little while since I’ve been here - actually, I haven’t been since the first time I talked to Hisao. I wish I could laugh at that memory, but at the moment, all of my focus is being channeled into bursting through the door.

The nurse, wide-eyed, stares up at me for a second from his desk before quickly standing up and helping to take Hisao off my shoulder. I gather that we’re going to put him down on the examination table, and then I hear the nurse speak: “What happened?”

Well, here goes the lying part. “H-He fell.” Actually, that’s technically true. He did fall. After I hit him. The nurse doesn’t show any signs of objection, though - he’s focused on examining Hisao, checking on his heart, listening to his breathing, looking around to make sure he’s not bleeding. After only a minute or so, he breathes a sigh of relief, then turns to me. “Luckily, it seems like his heart is doing fine, and it doesn’t look like anything urgent is going on.”

“So... He’ll be okay?”

“He’s not going to keel over on us, but I need to do some more checks to make sure I’m not missing anything minor... Starting with asking some more about what happened. You said he fell?”

I try my best to look sad, which isn’t hard at this point. “Yeah.”

After a bit of silence, the nurse asks “So... Where?”

Oh, right. He wants more detail. I need to lie. Falling... People fall on stairs, right? Yeah, stairs will do. “We were going down some stairs from the library - we were supposed to study there, but it was closed - and he tripped and fell, so I carried him here.”

The nurse gives me a rather piercing look, and if I weren’t covered in rain, I’m sure he’d see me sweating. He raises one eyebrow. “You, of all people, were going to the library to study?”

I’m initially confused, but then feel rather offended. Is it really that much of a surprise? “Yeah, Hisao’s been tutoring me. Why?”

He shrugs. “Fair enough, I suppose.” As he turns around to examine Hisao some more, I hear him mutter something about a ‘miracle worker,’ but I decide to let it go. I’d rather stay on his good side, given that it’ll probably help me get away from this whole ordeal unscathed.

Now if only it were that easy to make amends with the guy on the table.

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

After poking and listening to Hisao for a bit longer, the nurse said that Hisao should be fine, though we’d have to wait until he woke up to be sure. We hoisted Hisao off of the examination table and onto the bed at the back of the office, to let him rest properly. I took a seat next to him and waited. The nurse had to mess with some stuff on his desk, and Hisao was out cold, so it got pretty quiet. Just as I was reaching the point of being unable to take it any longer, though, a first-year came into the office looking for the nurse. So he pulled the privacy curtains across the room, leaving him and his patient on one side and Hisao and me on the other.

So here I am now. Whoever it was that came in has left, and the nurse, occupied with paperwork, has decided to keep the curtains drawn. Looking down at Hisao, I can see that he’s still pretty wet; then again, so am I. Luckily, it sounds like the rain has stopped outside. It may still be grey and cloudy, but at least we won’t have to get rained on again. I hope.

I run my eyes from Hisao’s face down to his chest. His heart. The reason he gets sad, and the reason he can’t run, and the reason he’s here at Yamaku... I almost consider blaming it for the events of the past hour or so, but realize that it’s just one of many factors. His heart, my hand, the both of us coming here, him tutoring me, me running with the track team... Everything just sorta conspired against us. And ended up making today.

Then again, maybe that’s too short-sighted. Today doesn’t have to be an ending. Sure, we made some mistakes, said some things, did some things... But what’s a little fight between friends? It’s not like-

Movement. Hisao stirs, just a little. He’s waking up, slowly. One second it’s his head rolling a few degrees, then his eyelids flutter. I should be ecstatic, but something occurs to me: the nurse is going to talk to him about what happened. And I just lied about what happened. We’re going to need to coordinate.

As I catch glimpses here and there of the whites of his eyes, I lean down close to the side of his head and whisper “Hisao, are you awake?”

No response.

I try again, a bit louder, though still whispering. “Hisao!”

He groans, and rolls over a little. The nurse could easily have heard that. I have to act quickly. I grab his head and face it towards me, and the motion causes his eyes to jerk open, his pupils contracting as they adjust to the harsh light of the nurse’s office. Still, he’s looking me in the eyes. Good enough.

“Hisao, we were walking from the library, and you fell down the stairs, alright?”

He blinks a few times, his brain evidently still needing a little bit of time to wake up.

“Hisao, you fell down the stairs, do you understand?”

He’s still confused, but he nods, slowly. At this point, I gently lay his head back down, wait a moment, and then exclaim “Hisao, you’re awake!”

As expected, this draws the attention of the nurse, who I hear get up, walk over to the curtain, and pull it aside. He stands there for a few seconds, looking at the newly-conscious boy on the bed. “I think ‘awake’ is a bit of an overstatement.”

He and I laugh, and Hisao manages to chuckle a little, then sit up. The nurse walks over to him, then turns to me. “Miss Miura, I need to do a few more checks on Hisao - could you wait outside for a few minutes?”

I nod and comply, walking outside and taking a seat on one of the benches in the hallway.

Luckily, it’s not too long before Hisao re-emerges; even more luckily, the nurse smiles and waves at the two of us, and warns us to “Be careful!” before heading back into his office. Hisao, his head drooping a little but his eyes fully awake by now, starts walking towards the door leading outside, and I follow, eventually catching up and falling in stride with him.

As we go outside, I notice that it has indeed stopped raining, though the sun is nowhere to be seen due to the overcast canopy above us. Hisao and I walk, side-by-side, towards the dorms, though neither of us is saying anything. I’m not quite sure what he’s feeling like at the moment - part of his poor posture and expressionless face might just be fatigue from what he’s just been through, but then, at least some of it might still be from resentment towards me.

I need to talk to him, but I don’t want to agitate any of that possible resentment - I have to be gentle. Especially with Hisao. He’s already been through so much.

Time, however, is working against me; we approach a fork in the path, and I stop, but he keeps on walking in the direction of the boys’ dorm. I said that I needed to be gentle, but instinct drives me to lunge out and grab one of his hands with mine, just to get him to stay, to talk for a moment.

He spins around, though, as if my touch has shocked him, and although he doesn’t try to pull away from me like before, his face stops me before I can get a single word out. His eyes, wide with fear, stare directly into mine. He’s shaking, nervous, afraid - afraid of me.

Hardly able to comprehend, my grip on him fails, and my right arm falls limp by my side. Hisao withdraws the hand I was holding on to, takes a few tentative steps backwards, and then, after staring into my eyes for a second, he turns and begins to hurriedly walk away.

I’m not sure how long I stand there for, but by the time I return to my room, the sun has set. I change, I lay down in bed, and then stare at the ceiling, alternating between thinking too hard about my day and trying my best not to think at all.

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Last edited by Craftyatom on Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Main route: COM(promise)
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Lithobraking (1/2)

Post by Craftyatom » Sat Aug 29, 2015 4:59 am

>Lithobraking<

I’m roused from sleep by someone knocking on my door. Checking the clock, it’s about lunchtime. I’m almost worried until I remember that I turned my alarm off myself last night - it got to about 4am and I realized that I probably wouldn’t be ready for school in the morning. Of course, on top of that, going to class would mean being in a room with Hisao, which somehow feels like it would make things even worse.

But I’m awake now, and should probably answer the door. As I get up, it occurs to me that it might be Hisao. Actually, that could be nice, maybe he’s come to talk things through.

Hoping that such a thought isn’t too good to be true, I walk over and open the door only to find Suzu outside. At first I’m worried that she’s here to reprimand me for missing class after I told her I would definitely be in class today, but she doesn’t look angry; in fact, she has a really weird look on her face, a slight smile with one eyebrow raised.

“Uh... Hi?” I mumble, still a bit groggy.

“Can I come in?”

“Sure.” I move to the side of my door, giving her room to walk past.

She drops her strange expression, now looking a bit confused. “Oh. Okay.” She walks past and into my room, looking around for a few seconds. She then walks over to my bed and quickly ducks down to check under it. Finding nothing but old clothes and crumpled paper, she stands back up, then sits down on the bed. Completely lost as to what’s going on, I walk over and sit down next to her.

“So what brings you to my room?”

“Huh? Oh, yeah, you weren’t in class, so I figured I’d come see what was up.” So this is about what I promised her yesterday.

“Yeah, sorry, I know I said I’d be in today, but-”

She stops me. “No, no, it’s fine - I understand if you’ve got, y’know, stuff to do.” She winks at me, or at least it looks like it; maybe she was just blinking weirdly.

“Stuff? I was asleep until you knocked, what do you mean?”

She scoffs. “You mean to tell me it’s a coincidence that both you and Hisao are out today?”

My eyes go wide. Well, there’s the reason Suzu’s been acting so strangely. It takes me a second to figure out how to respond, given that in no way did I see this coming. “W-What? You thought I wasn’t in because I was doing ‘stuff’ with Hisao?”

“Well, I mean, you two have been together a lot lately, and watching the two if you, it just kinda seemed... And then, today, what with the both of you out for pretty much no reason, especially since Hisao seems like the type not to miss class... I just kinda assumed there was some sort of stuff going on between the two of you.”

Well, I guess I can see what she means; Hisao really isn’t the type to miss class, but then, given what happened yesterday... Oh god. He’s not in class because he didn’t want to see me. Just as this begins to sink in, Suzu lets out an excited gasp. When I look over at her, she’s holding a notebook, though it doesn’t look like one of mine, which means-

“This is Hisao’s notebook!” She examines it for a second, then looks at the pile of other books on the floor, then up at me with a knowing glance. “I knew there was something going on.”

“No, there’s not.”

“And what about the books? Yeah, I’m sure they walked here all on their own.”

“No, Hisao was here yesterday tutoring me.”

“Oh, he was, huh? And what kind of ‘tutoring’ did the two of you get up to?” I try to hide my face in the palm of my hand, but Suzu keeps on rambling. “Maybe he was giving you a special lesson on-”

“SUZU!” I yell, grabbing her attention, as she stares at me, eyes wide. Suddenly painful images of Hisao’s fearful eyes from yesterday start flooding my brain, and I force myself to calm down for a moment. You don’t have to be angry, just explain things to Suzu. I consider telling her the whole story, but realize that it probably wouldn’t end well. “Look, Hisao... Hisao came here to tutor me yesterday because the library was closed, and we studied, and then he left, and I guess he accidentally left some of his books here, but I haven’t seen him since. Okay?”

“O-Okay.” Suzu sits still for a moment. “So... Why didn’t you come in today?”

“I’m not feeling well. Stayed up too late last night, and I’ve got a lot on my mind, and just... I’m sorry. I couldn’t, not today.”

Suzu sighs. “And Hisao, did he say why he wasn’t coming in?”

“No. I have no idea.”

“Oh. Oh well, then.” She gets up. “I should probably get back to class, then.”

Before she can start to leave, I call her back. “Wait, uh... Could you take Hisao’s books back to him?”

She looks confused again. “Can’t you do that, since you’re not going back to class?”

If only. “No, I... I can’t go over there. Please, Suzu, just... Just take them.”

She stares at me for a bit longer, then rolls her eyes. “Okay, fine, but I had better get a decent explanation for this later.” She picks up the books as I mumble something about maybe telling her eventually, then leaves, and I’m alone again.

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Lithobraking (2/2)

Post by Craftyatom » Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:00 am

I set my alarm for this morning, but haven’t moved since turning it off. I’m awake, but not willing to go to class. On top of that, I barely feel like moving, let alone getting dressed and getting ready. As such, I lie still until someone knocks on my door - probably Suzu. I make myself get up and go over to the door, and find Suzu on the other side, as expected.

“Hey, uh... Coming to class?”

“No, sorry.”

“Okay... Everything alright?”

I... “Yeah. I’ll be fine.”

“Are... Are you sure you don’t want to come to lunch?”

Even the thought of going to lunch and having to sit across from Hisao makes me a bit queasy. If Suzu needs proof that I’m not feeling well, I’m sure I can provide, so long as we keep discussing bad ideas like this. “Nah.”

“You have eaten something since yesterday, right?”

“Uh...” I honestly can’t remember at the moment. Suzu looks pretty concerned about it, though. “Yeah, of course.”

“Well, alright. I hope you feel better, and I’ll come see you after class, okay?” I manage to nod, then wave goodbye to her as she turns and walks away, heading for class.

I close my door and slump back onto my bed.

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

Late in the afternoon, with the sun almost ready to set outside, there’s another knock on my door, though it sounds more urgent than Suzu’s knock earlier. I briefly consider the possibility that it’s Hisao, and my stomach churns. Luckily for my butterflies, however, Suzu’s impatient voice sounds from through the door. “Miki, I know you’re in there!”

Unsure why Suzu would be so angry, I get up and open the door, only for the short, blue-haired girl to storm past me. I close the door behind her, confused, and look at her expectantly.

“What the hell did you do to Hisao?”

Ugh, and here I was hoping for something to take my mind off of this mess. “What do you mean?”

“He showed up to lunch today, and I was excited to have him back. Then I actually tried to talk to him, but he was acting all weird and quiet. So I asked him what was wrong, and he told me to ask you. I pried and pried, but all he would say is that I should ask you because it was ‘your problem’.”

I sigh, then suddenly regret doing so, because it means I know exactly what Suzu’s talking about, and she knows that. Before I can begin to formulate an answer, though, Suzu speaks again.

“Is this related to you missing class?”

“C’mon, Suzu, I miss class all the time.”

“You promised me you’d show up this week, and you meant it when you said it. Something changed that, and I’m willing to bet it’s the reason Hisao has been so off recently.”

Well, let’s start with the basics. “Yeah. You’re right. I...” I’ve had so much time to think this stuff over, why is it so hard to get out? “This might take a while.”

Suzu crosses her arms and sits down on my bed. I follow suit, and slowly try to piece together the happenings of the past few days.

“We were supposed to study in the library, but the library was closed. I suggested coming to my room instead. We got here, and then Hisao... I...” Another sigh. “We got into a fight.”

Suzu looks at me with mild disbelief. “That’s it? Come on, Miki, it’s not like you to care about-”

“No, Suzu, I mean... I hit him. We were arguing, and we both got angry, and I hit him.”

This seems to drive the point home for Suzu, who exhales, deep in thought. “That’s pretty bad.” I nod.

“I wish I could’ve taken the punch. Physical pain, a hit to the face, who cares? I could deal with that. But his face, the fear in his eyes when he came to and I tried to talk to him... It was too much.” I drop my head into my hands. “Suzu, I feel like a monster. I thought I was better than this, that I was past being the hot-headed tomboy... I guess not.”

I feel an arm come around my shoulders. “Miki, this is different. You know that what you did is wrong. Am I right in thinking that you’d take it back if you had the chance?”

I scoff. “Of course.”

She gets up. “Well, then, let’s go tell Hisao that.”

A shot of adrenaline shoots me off the bed and onto Suzu, holding her back, lest she try to actually talk to Hisao. “I can’t do that, Suzu. I can’t.”

She rolls her eyes. “You’re in the same class, and he was back in school today, after I told him you hadn’t been in yesterday. Either you’re gonna have to live with him, or there’s no point in you staying at this school.”

“Well, I... I can go to class without talking to him. I can do that much.”

Suzu shakes her head. “Miki, if I understand everything correctly, you got into all this because you weren’t willing to talk things out between yourselves. You’re not going to fix things by repeating that mistake.”

I know she’s right before I even get a chance to think about it. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I wish I had simply sat down and spoken to Hisao.

I could’ve told him it was me that night I ran into him. I could’ve told him why I was up so late. I could’ve told him all these different things I felt, all these secrets that I’ve been so desperate to keep... Then maybe things would’ve turned out better.

But there’s no point dwelling on what could’ve been done. For now I have to focus on fixing the future.

“Suzu, you’re right. I will talk to him, I have to. But first...”

I take a deep breath and reach down to the floor to pick up a familiar black sweater from the corner it’s been crumpled up in for the past two days.

“First, I have a confession to make.”

END.

Previous: Freefall
Last edited by Craftyatom on Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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