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

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Oddball
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Sep 5th, 2017)

Post by Oddball » Thu May 10, 2018 11:08 pm

sloth4 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:31 pm
This was really well written and I'm glad I found it.

I like the Bad Ending as well, it didn't depress me like a lot of them tend to do, but I like how it's A) Hisao breaking up and B) fixable, in that the relationship could be repaired (unlikely, but possible). That makes it fairly unique from what I've read.
I like the fault that the break up is just about 100% Miki's fault. There's a tendency to focus on how Hisao screws things up in relationships, but here's it's purely her.

I didn't notice much shift in tone, as "romance" doesn't seem to be a thing they focus much on. They still have pretty much the relationship they had, it's just all out in the open here.

I did like the explanation for Miki's injuries as well. You don't really see many people writer her accident as one that completely messed her up like that. On top of that, there's no real angst or pain in telling the story. It's just something that happened to her. Having her be in band was another unique but nice stroke.
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PKMNthiefChris
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Re: Rendezvous (1/3)

Post by PKMNthiefChris » Sun May 20, 2018 9:55 am

Craftyatom wrote:
Thu Jun 29, 2017 12:09 am
>Rendezvous<
So, to rephrase my question from yesterday: Miki, will you do science with me?”
I laughed at this, really hard. It was good really good and very... your Hisao. That's the best way I can put it. I only started reading this pseudo-route yesterday and basically binge read most of it after I got up this morning. I know it's been awhile since you updated and no worries I'm in the process of prepping for college and working part time so I have some idea how much life eats into ones free time. When this gets updated again, I will be here to binge it because... well this is great. Kinda that simple. It's great.

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Sep 5th, 2017)

Post by Craftyatom » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:46 pm

My, how time flies. I actually had most of this chapter done many months ago, but I took a few months off, first to write Dark Winter Sky for the S8 event, then to write Dreamy, which took way longer than I expected it to. However, I feel much more confident in myself after writing those pieces - they tested capabilities which I'll need in order to continue with this story. I do have concrete plans for at least the next few chapters, and will be working on them when I have the chance.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:09 pm
Not sure what you mean... I didn't feel too much of a tone shift this chapter.
Thank you for the reassurance - being confident that the story is flowing well helped me to write this chapter.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:09 pm
One thing I found strange was that Miki was the one who was tired at the end when she slept the whole night (with one short interruption) and Hisao was suffering from insomnia and sleeping on the floor. :-)
The technical answer to this question is "REM interruption", but the real answer is that even after more than two decades of human existence, I still have no idea what the exact relationship between sleep and fatigue is. :P
sloth4 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:31 pm
I like the Bad Ending as well, it didn't depress me like a lot of them tend to do, but I like how it's A) Hisao breaking up and B) fixable, in that the relationship could be repaired (unlikely, but possible). That makes it fairly unique from what I've read.
This bad end was certainly much "better" than others I've read. I didn't want to do something drastic like serious injury or death (those always seemed a bit too dramatic for my tastes), and since Miki and Hisao's relationship hadn't really progressed past friendship at that point, there wasn't an element of "I've lost the love of my life" that many of the VN's bad ends have. It was just a bunch of poor judgement between friends, which is rather common, especially in high school - but life goes on, which I wanted to show.
Oddball wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 11:08 pm
I like the fault that the break up is just about 100% Miki's fault. There's a tendency to focus on how Hisao screws things up in relationships, but here's it's purely her.
Part of that is because the story is from Miki's PoV; it doesn't make a huge amount of sense for the reader's choice to result in another character doing something bad enough to ruin everything (though Scissorlips did something similar with his first choice in PPS). The other part is that Miki has already seen the "worst" of Hisao, and is helping him improve, so it's unlikely that he'd manage to screw things up so royally that even Miki couldn't forgive him for it.
monkeywitha6pack wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:20 am
Haven't read any fics in well over a year, I chose a good one to come back to!
Zerebos wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:42 am
I really like the progression we see in these chapters, the interactions feel very real.
sloth4 wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:31 pm
This was really well written and I'm glad I found it.
PKMNthiefChris wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 9:55 am
When this gets updated again, I will be here to binge it because... well this is great. Kinda that simple. It's great.
Thank you all so much for the praise, and extra thanks to those who took time out of their busy days to provide feedback! Now, onto this next scene, which has possibly my favorite chapter name so far (it's a space reference double entendre, born from some jokes regarding flowery writing). I really enjoyed writing this one, and think it's a great addition to the story; let's find out why, shall we?
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Contact Light (1/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:46 pm

>Contact Light<
“Alright, that’s about as much as I can handle. Let’s call it here.”

For the third time in as many days, Hisao and I exhale deeply at Suzu’s words, glad to finally be escaping the library. We’ve gotten a lot of work and studying done, that’s for sure, but even the science-loving boy to my left looks a little bedraggled. He and Suzu have actually been here after school for the past four days - I was too tired to join their study session back on Tuesday.

I actually should’ve gone running yesterday, but Suzu pleaded for me to study again, and I couldn’t find it in me to say no. After all, she’s put so much effort into getting us all together and moving us all forward... This clearly matters a lot to her, though I have no idea why. She’s never seemed this gung-ho about studying before. Maybe something’s changed.

As we all begin packing our stuff up, Suzu addresses us again. “So, do you guys want to meet up tomorrow right after class, or wait until later in the day?”

Before I can think of a good way to say that I’d really rather not meet up at all, Hisao jumps in with the same idea. “Actually, I was thinking that maybe we could all take the weekend off?” After a questioning look from Suzu, he adds “It’s just that we don’t want to be too worn out. We can use the weekend to rest up, then study a lot harder Monday night, and still have energy left over for the test.”

Suzu frowns in thought for a moment, then sighs. “You’re right, maybe a break would be good. Monday after school, then?”

Hisao nods. “Yeah, sure. Miki?”

Still trying to figure out what kind of magic Hisao has pulled to save us from more torturous study sessions, I only manage an absent-minded “Sure.”

With that, the three of us continue getting our things together. Suzu picks up her stack of books and notebooks first, and I’m about to follow before Hisao catches my attention.

“Hey, Miki, can you stick around for a moment? I wanted to talk to you about something.”

For the cute boy who just saved me from spending my weekend studying, I’d do almost anything. “Yeah, of course.” I turn around and grin at Suzu. “That is, assuming our study partner can make it back to her room without trying to nap somewhere.”

Suzu rolls her eyes and heads for the library’s exit, grumbling a little along the way. She’s clearly not in a very humorous mood, but to be fair, a few minutes ago, neither was I.

After Suzu makes her way through the library doors and turns the corner, I look back at Hisao. “So, what’s up?”

He smiles at me, his eyes looking into mine, and I finally realize he didn’t keep me here to talk about school stuff. “It almost feels like I haven’t seen you in a few days.”

“I know what you mean.” All we’ve done after school this week is study. We’ve seen each other in class, and at lunch, but we can’t really talk about personal stuff in either of those situations. Worse, Suzu’s frantic demeanor has sucked all the usual fun out of our lunchtime conversations. “I don’t know what’s gotten into Suzu. She’s never acted like this before.”

Hisao furrows his brow. “Yeah, I noticed her acting differently, but couldn’t really tell why... I figured you might know, but if not, then I’m out of ideas.” He pauses for a moment, and I find myself hoping he’s got more to say. “But that’s not what I wanted to talk to you about.”

“Oh?”

He stands up a bit straighter. “I was just thinking that we could make up for some of the time we lost studying, and go out to dinner on Sunday.”

I perk up, then feel a twinge of doubt. “Dinner?” An image of a fancy restaurant comes to mind, with Hisao in a suit. “Where were you thinking of going?”

Luckily, he dispels that notion pretty quickly. “Well, that restaurant we ate at in the city was pretty good. We could go there again.”

“Oh, yeah, sure!” I grin. “Maybe this time we can talk about something a bit less depressing.”

We laugh - last time was important, but not exactly upbeat in terms of conversation topics. For a moment I wonder what we are going to talk about, but before I can get too far with that train of thought, Hisao continues with his planning. “So, we’ll meet at the front gate to catch the bus around five? We don’t want to be out too late, since we’ll be studying Monday and taking the test on Tuesday.”

I mentally groan at the thought of another studying session, but he’s right. “Sounds good to me!”

“Perfect!” He smiles at me for a moment, occasionally glancing to one side, before grabbing his books. “Well, I’ll, uh... I’ll see you then.”

His goodbye seems a little off, but I decide not to worry about it. “Yeah, definitely.”

He heads for the library doors, and it’s not until I turn to watch him go that I realize what, or rather who, he was looking at. Yuuko, sitting in her usual spot at the front desk, gives him a brief wave as he walks past, and he nods in return. It dawns on me that he was probably nervous about her seeing us.

Determined not to let that get in our way, I pick up my own stack of books and rush after him, catching up to him in the hallway outside. I look both ways along the corridor, making sure it’s empty, before reaching out and grabbing him in a hug. I had hoped to think of something to say, but can’t think of anything fitting, and end up remaining silent.

It takes a second or two, but Hisao eventually puts his arms around me as well, one hand flat against my back, the other resting on my neck. Much like our last hug a few days ago, I find myself almost trapped, loathe to leave, just like being in a warm shower on a cold day. I know we’ll have to part eventually, but I keep hoping that I won’t have to do it for a few more seconds.

Hisao is the one who ends up pulling away, and I grudgingly comply, putting my arms back at my sides, though I find myself smiling. “Thanks.”

He grins back. “Anytime.”
Last edited by Craftyatom on Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Contact Light (2/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:46 pm

I look at my phone again: 10 minutes until I have to meet Hisao. I double check that I have everything I need, then take a deep breath. Something about getting ready like this always makes me nervous, and I’m not entirely sure why. Deciding that the best way to move past it is just to get going, I head towards the door of my room - only to hear a knock from the other side.

That’s weird. Who would come to my room at this time on a Sunday? My first thought is Hisao, but we agreed to meet by the front of the school, and he hasn’t texted to change plans. Besides, I don’t think he even knows where my room is.

Before I can wonder any further, I open the door, and find a familiar face standing outside. “Oh, hey Suzu. What’s up?”

She shuffles her feet. “Hey, uh... can I come in for a bit?”

“Ah, shoot.” This was a pretty inopportune time for her to turn up. Then again, I never told her about my plans for today - or any of what’s happened between me and Hisao, for that matter - so it’s certainly not her fault. Still, I’m not about to cancel my date. “I was actually just heading out. Can you make it quick?”

“Heading out? Where to?”

“Just going into the city for a bit.” I pray she doesn’t ask why - or worse, whether she can come along.

“Oh... Okay. You’re busy, that’s fine. I’ll talk to you some other time?”

I nod. “Yeah, absolutely.” She turns around and heads back to her room, and I feel a twinge of guilt for blowing her off. “Sorry.”

She looks back at me, the door to her room still open, and smiles, though she’s clearly very tired. “It’s okay.”

With that, she disappears behind her door. It takes me a moment to remember what I was doing, but once I do, I check my phone to find that I still have 8 minutes. No need to rush.

Sure enough, I get to the front of the school in plenty of time, though Hisao’s already there. I sit down next to him on one of the benches placed around the main gate, and he smiles at me. “Long time no see.”

I chuckle - it has been a while since we got to unwind like this, thanks to... Suzu. Suddenly she’s back on my mind, and I once again start replaying the conversations we’ve had, wondering what’s changed. I think back, from our short conversation a few minutes ago through the past few days of studying. That brings me to last Sunday, and my first date with Hisao, which certainly didn’t involve much of Suzu.

While I’m thinking, the bus arrives, and Hisao and I follow a gaggle of other students inside. I slide into a window seat, and Hisao sits next to me as we pull away from the curb. Looking out the window as Yamaku disappears behind us, I try to rewind further back. Going through the week before our last date, I still can’t remember anything particularly noteworthy. And before that was the track meet.

In wondering whether Suzu seemed any different on the day of the meet - and she didn’t, as far as I could tell - I remember the conversation I had with Hisao that evening, about things we didn’t want Suzu to hear. I remember thinking to myself that I’d fill her in, when I got the chance. And then I remember all the times I’ve thought that since. Being caught out in the morning, having to stay behind and talk to Hisao, hoping she wouldn’t ask questions... I started this train of thought because I was in the dark about Suzu, but now I realize that she’s been just as clueless about me, these past few weeks.

As I begin to chew on that thought, I feel a hand on my shoulder, and flinch before realizing it’s Hisao, who raises an eyebrow. “Are you feeling okay? You seem... preoccupied.”

I nod. “Yeah, I’m fine. Just thinking.”

“Anything I can help with?”

Hisao’s offer makes me wonder - my problems with Suzu aren’t hard to solve. I already know how to fix them, I just need to make myself do it. The beginnings of a plan form in my head, and with each passing moment I become more convinced that it’s the right thing to do. “Actually, yeah, I think you might be able to help.”

“Oh? How so?”

“I’ll tell you when we get to dinner.” I grin. “It’s a bit of a long story.”

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

After a brief walk from the bus stop - which included a bit of hand-holding along the way - we arrive at Hotaru’s. It hasn’t changed much since we were here a few weeks ago, of course, but there are definitely more people eating here this time around. I guess it’s more of a ‘dinner’ place.

A young-looking waiter points us to a table, and once seated, we look over the menus. I think for a bit about whether I want to get the same dish as last time - which was good - or try something new. I eventually decide to go for something different, and look up to see that Hisao has already decided what he wants, and is looking back at me from across the table. He smiles, and it distracts me for a moment before I remember that we have things to discuss.

I take a deep breath. “We need to talk to Suzu.”

He’s a bit surprised. “About what?”

“About everything.”

He looks confused, but before he can say anything, the waiter from before comes to take our order. Once that’s done, Hisao turns back to me. “So... everything? That’s a lot to cover.”

I roll my eyes. “I mean everything we’ve kept secret. My phantom pains, and how I used to handle them, and how you help me with them now... and, you know, us.”

Somewhat surprisingly, he agrees without giving it any thought. “Makes sense. I’m actually kind of surprised you haven’t told her about us yet, to be honest.”

“I know, I know.” I sigh, and rest my head on my hand. “I just didn’t want to say anything too early, and then I didn’t want to say anything without thinking it through, and then we started this whole studying spree... I haven’t really had a chance.”

He nods. “So you want to set aside a specific time to talk to her about it, and in order to give her the whole story, you want to include some of the other stuff you’ve been keeping secret.”

“Exactly.”

“Fair enough. And you want me to come along?”

“Yeah, absolutely! I mean, she probably has questions for you, and I could use the moral support.” I think about it a bit more, and remember that his condition played into him learning about my midnight runs. “Also, you should probably tell her about your heart.”

I can see him tense up, just a little bit, at that prospect. In all the time I’ve known him, he’s never told anyone but me about his condition. But he’s changed a lot over the past few weeks, and even if it might be difficult, I think he knows that telling Suzu is the right thing to do. Sure enough, a few seconds later, his expression softens into a smile. “You’ll be there for moral support, right?”

I giggle. “Of course.”

“Alright, then. I’ll do it.”

We smile at each other, and I find myself glad that I decided to put this all together. Also, while thinking about Hisao’s condition, something comes to mind. “You know, she can probably relate to your insomnia.”

He chuckles, then notices my expression, and stops. “Wait, really?” I nod, and he grimaces. “Wow, that’s...” He sighs. “That’s rough.”

“Yeah, it is.” I shrug. “But she’s got awesome friends like us to make up for it!” That brings back his laughter, and this time I laugh along with him.

Not long afterwards, our food arrives, and I’m about to dig in when Hisao catches my attention. “Hey, so... When are we going to meet with Suzu?”

My first thought is to do it as soon as possible, but with the test on Tuesday, that’s probably not the best idea. “Maybe Tuesday afternoon, after the test? We could stop by her room once class is over.”

“Sounds good. I’ll have to follow you, though, since I have no idea where her room is.”

“Oh, sure.” It’s a bit strange, realizing that Hisao doesn’t know where our rooms are, especially since I’ve been to his room plenty of times. As we start eating, it crosses my mind that when we first met, he wouldn’t let me see his room, let alone invite me in.

We’ve come one hell of a long way.

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Contact Light (3/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:47 pm

After a full meal, the sky outside began to turn red, and Hisao and I caught the bus back to Yamaku. He ended up getting the window seat, so he’s enjoying a view of the sunset. At least, I think he is - maybe he’s lost in thought, like I was on the way here. Either way, I want to experience it with him.

Brushing my hair to one side, I lean my head over onto his shoulder and close my eyes. I feel his head shift, turning to look at me, before he puts one hand on the back of my head and starts running it through my hair. I can feel my body relax in response, and then remember that the last time this happened, I fell asleep on him. Hoping not to repeat that performance, I try to keep myself alert, and in doing so, I notice Hisao’s pulse.

I remember hearing it before, but it still manages to surprise me with its slightly irregular rhythm. After listening to it for a bit, it begins to feel strangely personal - like something shared between us. Sure, doctors and nurses might listen to it to try and see how his heart’s doing, but I just listen to it and know it’s Hisao. The boy I’m dating, and who’s dating me back. The thought washes over me, and elicits a contented sigh, which catches Hisao’s attention.

“Hmm?”

“Your pulse.” His left hand, which is still in the process of stroking my hair, stops for a fraction of a second, and I think I can hear his heart beating faster, and feel his shoulder tensing up. Not wanting to stress him out, I place my hand on his other shoulder to try and reassure him, which has the added bonus of pulling us together. “I like it.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, it’s unique. I know it belongs to you.”

He thinks about this for a bit before replying. “You know, I was going to say that it reminds me that I’m not normal...”

“But?”

“... but then I remembered that a wise woman once told me not to worry about being normal anyways.”

I can practically hear the grin on his face as I chuckle. “She must’ve been very wise.”

“Sure was. Not that great at chemistry, though.” I can feel his torso vibrate as he laughs at his own joke, and briefly consider sitting up to act indignant and maybe punch him in the arm. That would require leaving the comfortable position I’m in, though, so I settle for a groan and a promise that “I’ll get you back for that.”

Unfortunately, I can’t stay snuggled up next to Hisao forever, as the bus eventually arrives back at Yamaku, just as the sun dips over the horizon. I reluctantly get up, and lock my fingers between his as we leave our seats and step back onto the sidewalk by the front of the school. A few other students walk past us, all heading for their rooms, but I stand still, watching them leave, anchoring my science boy here with me.

After a brief wait, the bus leaves, and Hisao turns to look at me. “Well, Miki... I really enjoyed today.”

I did too. I want to tell him that, but I know that the sooner I do, the sooner we say goodbye, and the sooner I have to go back to boring old stuff like sleeping and studying and tests. I don’t want today to end, not so soon. “Can we hang around out here for a bit? We still have some time left before curfew.”

He smiles, and raises one sarcastic eyebrow. “I didn’t know you cared about curfew.”

I roll my eyes, then pull him over to one of the benches by the front gate while he giggles. I sit down, and he follows suit, and before I know it I’m resting my head on his shoulder again, trying my best to commit the feeling to memory, since I know it won’t last.

In fact, Hisao ends it even sooner than expected. “Don’t fall asleep on me again, I don’t think I could carry you all the way back.”

I sigh. “Yeah, you don’t even know where my room is.” I lift my head back up, the cool evening air surrounding me again, and look at Hisao, who simply shrugs an apology.

We stay like this for a few seconds, and it occurs to me that we’re staring. Staring into each others’ eyes, like we’ve done before, like we’re... like we’re about to kiss. I feel myself grow nervous, and I search around in Hisao’s eyes, hoping that at least one of us knows what we’re doing. And yet, after a few more moments of expectant silence, he turns away, and looks out at the horizon, where the last few patches of red sunlight are giving way to the deep blue of the night sky.

I feel a bit let down, but I know it’s not his fault. We know each other pretty well, but we’re not always on the same page. And there will be plenty of other opportunities in future. Still, as I look down at the ground in front of me, I can’t help but feel like I missed out. I got my hopes up, only to-

“Miki?”

Hisao’s voice brings me back into reality, and I look over at him, though he’s still gazing off into the distance. “Yeah?”

He swallows, then inhales deeply. “What do you do when you think you know the right thing to do, but you’re afraid you’ve got it wrong?”

I immediately recognize it as a loaded question, but it takes a few extra fractions of a second for it to click, in which time Hisao turns to look me in the eyes. The moment is back, begging to be taken, waiting for me to give the word. I smile, wider than I’ve smiled all week. “Go for it.”

Time seems to slow down, and I can see Hisao’s eyes widen a little in surprise. Next, his lips turn up into a smile as he understands. He reaches out and puts one hand on my cheek, and I wonder if he can tell how flushed it is. I breathe in, and my throat feels tight. In my stomach, butterflies flit about in a frenzy. But I ignore all of that, and focus on his face, which inches towards mine. I lean forward a little, his hand coaxing me on, bringing me in, as I close my eyes. And then, after just long enough to make me wonder if it’ll ever happen at all... contact.

Our lips remain still for a bit, and I realize how close we feel. Not just our lips, but our faces, our heads - I almost feel like I could hear his thoughts, if we were just a bit closer. Time returns to normal as he moves his lips, dragging them across mine. It feels better than it has any right to, and I immediately do my best to return the favor. My thoughts seem to grow quiet and fade away, as I focus instead on the feeling of Hisao being here with me.

As we continue, he moves his hands up to the sides of my head, his palms brushing against my ears, and the feeling seems to light up different parts of my brain. I almost instinctively reach forward and wrap my arms around him in reply, trying to pull the two of us closer together. His head tilts a little bit to one side, changing the angle between us. I cease to worry about when we’ll have to pull away from each other, instead making the most of each moment, paying Hisao back for every second he’ll give me.

When our movements do finally slow, and we loosen our grips on each other, I actually find myself feeling content, rather than wishing I could go back. I open my eyes to look at Hisao, who is staring back at me, his chest rising and falling in deep breaths, a big goofy grin plastered on his face. I grin back, deciding to return some of the jabs he took at me earlier. “You should’ve done that last time.”

His expression drops into a wary frown. “You mean when you fell asleep in my room?”

“Wha- No! When we were out walking, and you told me about your scar!”

He takes a second to think, then remembers. “Oh! Right, right...” He chuckles nervously. “I actually did think about it, but... I was afraid of getting it wrong.”

I put my hand on his cheek, and I can only just notice him blush in the dim sidewalk lighting. I’m about to reassure him, to tell him that he shouldn’t worry, that we’ve been on the same page this whole time - but then I realize that it would be easier, and a lot more enjoyable, to show rather than tell. So, after a single deep breath, I pounce forward, locking Hisao in another kiss.

He’s taken off guard, since I gave him no warning, but in no time at all I’ve warmed him back up to the pace we were at before, perhaps even more vigorous. I wrap my arms around him again, and this time he does the same, pressing his fingertips into my back. This simple accord only increases our confidence, and we both move faster, and press more firmly. Unlike last time, I can feel my body heating up. Whether it’s because we’re insulating each other, or because of the feeling of comfort, or because of my heart rate-

I suddenly remember Hisao’s heart, and worry for a moment that he might overdo it. I take a moment to focus on his breaths, each spilling warmly out of his nostrils and onto my cheeks, and thankfully find them to be deep, but not frantic. Then again, I realize, he’d let me know if he started having problems. I guess he’s not the only one who worries too much sometimes. Doing my best to take my own advice, I let myself get lost in each of the sensations that prove he’s here with me.

When I notice our pace slow once more, I pull away, wanting to make my point, even if I have to do it while catching my breath. As Hisao’s eyes open, I give him the most reassuring smile I can muster. “You don’t have to be afraid.” Then, after thinking over what crossed my mind before, I add “And neither do I.”

Hisao remains still, taking in what I’ve said, what we’ve done. I notice a bead of sweat on his forehead, which makes me realize that I’ve heated up as well, making the night air feel cold against my skin. Finally, after regaining his composure just enough, he places one hand on my cheek again.

“Miki, I love you.”

It sounds right when he says it. Any time before, there might’ve been remnants of hesitation, or uncertainty. And we still have a long way to go. But tonight, after the way we felt when given the chance to be so close to each other, there can be no doubt in my mind.

“I love you too.”

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Last edited by Craftyatom on Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:53 am, edited 3 times in total.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots
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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Jul 20th, 2018)

Post by monkeywitha6pack » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:46 pm

Normally I don't comment unless I feel I have something useful to say, but honestly I just love this fic, and the way you write these characters. Specifically Hisao. He comes off as calm and funny, this fic never fails to make me smile :D
Wahahaha~.
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Re: Contact Light (3/3)

Post by PKMNthiefChris » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:48 pm

Craftyatom wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:47 pm
Diabetes inducing sweetness
Someone get me something bitter, that isn't coffee. I need to counter act the sweetness!

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Re: Contact Light (3/3)

Post by PKMNthiefChris » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:54 pm

Craftyatom wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:47 pm

He swallows, than inhales deeply.

Previous: Layover
Should be then

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Re: Contact Light (3/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:16 pm

PKMNthiefChris wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:54 pm
Craftyatom wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:47 pm
He swallows, than inhales deeply.
Should be then
Fixed! Thanks for finding that, can't believe I let it slip through.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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Re: Contact Light (3/3)

Post by PKMNthiefChris » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:15 pm

Craftyatom wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 12:16 pm
PKMNthiefChris wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:54 pm
Craftyatom wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:47 pm
He swallows, than inhales deeply.
Should be then
Fixed! Thanks for finding that, can't believe I let it slip through.
No problem, honestly one letter mistakes in homonyms aren't hard to miss because as you read over it, it sounds the same and looks mostly the same.

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Re: COM(promise) - A Miki Route (Updated Jul 20th, 2018)

Post by Craftyatom » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:48 am

Three months since the last chapter... not great, but not terrible. In that time I also did a lot of planning for the future of the story, which is something I’ve seriously neglected in the past - until now, I’ve never planned more than one or two scenes ahead. Now, however, I have a good idea what the rest of Act 3 is going to look like, as well as plenty of concepts for Act 4. This is simultaneously empowering and terrifying; I love having a plan to follow, but that also means that if I find a problem with it, it’ll be a lot more difficult to fix. Still, I’m confident in it, and hope to be able to follow through with it, even if it looks like it’ll take a while. Speaking of taking a while, I’m thinking the next chapter might be released around Christmas, but that may well change if S8 2018 becomes a thing. We’ll see.
monkeywitha6pack wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:46 pm
Normally I don't comment unless I feel I have something useful to say, but honestly I just love this fic, and the way you write these characters. Specifically Hisao. He comes off as calm and funny, this fic never fails to make me smile :D
He’s grown on me a lot over the course of this fic. I always wanted him to develop as a character - to me, his progression is a very important part of KS - but I was surprised by just how well it went. I’ve got plans for more in-depth growth with other characters, which kind of starts in this chapter. Hopefully I can perform to expectations!

Anyways, enough fuzzy predictions, let’s see what I’ve put together!
Main route: COM(promise)
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Uplink, Downlink (1/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:49 am

>Uplink, Downlink<
Finally, after more than an hour, our last study session before the test has come to an end. The next time we get together, it will be mere minutes before the test begins.

Each of us is handling that fact differently. Hisao seems confident, which is pretty much what I’d expect. There’s a reason he’s the one tutoring us, and not the other way around. As for me, I’m cautiously optimistic - these sessions really seem to help the material sink in for me, so I’m hoping for a relatively smooth ride. And then there’s Suzu.

Last week, she was visibly worried about the test, almost frantic at times. At today’s session, however, she just seemed uneasy. If I had to guess, she’s still worried, but trying not to let it show. I’m not sure why - maybe she’s trying to keep herself calm, maybe she’s trying to calm us - but that’s just another question about her that I’m going to have to postpone. We’ll clear it all up tomorrow.

Or, at least, I hope we will. I haven’t actually talked to her about meeting up after school yet. As we leave the library and begin our trek back to the dorms, I decide that I should probably ask her now, so I’m not springing it on her tomorrow after the test.

“Hey, Suzu.”

“Hmm?”

“Tomorrow, after class is over, how about all three of us meet up to celebrate?”

She groans. “I’ll pass. I just want to take this test, maybe stay awake for the rest of the day’s classes, and then go home and pass out. You and Hisao can go celebrate or whatever, I’d rather not.”

“Actually, we were thinking we could hang out in your room, so we wouldn’t all have to go out someplace.”

She seems a bit surprised by this suggestion, but also receptive to it. “Well, I guess that’d work. I can’t promise I’ll stay awake for too long, though.”

“That’s okay, we’ll play it by ear.” Actually, her falling asleep would put a hole in our plans. There’s nothing we can do about it, though, so if it comes to that, we’ll just have to reschedule. I really do want to get this whole thing over and done with, though; until I do, I’ll be treading on eggshells around Suzu, trying not to bring up anything we haven’t gotten the chance to sit down and talk about yet.

As we get back to the dorms and head for our rooms, I switch gears and start thinking about dinner. “So, want to meet down here in a bit and go to the cafeteria?”

She lets out a tired sigh. “Nah, let’s just make instant noodles.”

I shrug. “Fine by me.” With that, we duck into our separate rooms to change out of our uniforms. One big advantage of eating here is that we can pretty much just wear whatever we’re going to sleep in - this holds a lot more value for Suzu, but I can’t deny that it’s a comfortable and convenient option. I’m halfway through putting on a baggy shirt when my phone buzzes once, heralding a text message.

I pick it up after I finish changing, and am surprised when I read the name on the screen: it’s from Emi.

<Congrats!>

Well that’s confusing. The only thing that comes to mind is the track meet, but that was weeks ago.

<What for?>

When she responds, I half expect it to be an apology for sending her message to the wrong person - after all, that’s a bit of a weird way to start a conversation - but instead, my eyes widen a little in shock.

<For getting yourself a boyfriend! A cute one, too :P>

Of all the things I was expecting, that certainly wasn’t one of them. I’ve spent the past few days wondering about how to break that news to my best friend, but now Emi, who I haven’t even spoken to since the track meet, is in on it. And given her reputation for gossip, I wouldn’t be surprised if the rest of the school knew by tomorrow. As I start to think about what that might mean for Hisao and me, I send back a simple, non-committal question.

<And how would you know about something like that?>

<A little bird told me you two were cuddled up on the bus back from the city yesterday :3>

Well, that explains that. I probably should’ve expected someone to find out; after all, we weren’t exactly being sneaky. On the plus side, it sounds like whoever relayed this information to Emi didn’t stick around long enough to see us kissing on the bench - that would be much more embarrassing. As it is, I’m a bit flustered, but the more I think about it, the less I mind. Our relationship is something to be proud of. I work this confidence in my reply to Emi, since I know she’d pounce on any hint of uncertainty.

<Guilty as charged!>

<You go, girl! You two make a great couple.>

<Thanks!>

I wait for a minute before breathing a sigh of relief that our conversation seems to be over.

Well, that could’ve gone worse. Sure, Emi knows about us, and she’s liable to tell people, but I guess I’m okay with that. It was bound to happen at some point anyways. I briefly consider texting Hisao to let him know, but decide not to stress him out, since the test is coming up. I’ll fill him in after class tomorrow.

Having made that decision, however, a chilling thought crosses my mind: are Hisao and I really any different than any of the other gossip-worthy relationships around here? This school’s a big place, and it’s not uncommon for new couples to come and... go. They’re immaterial and short-lived. Are we the same? I hope not - the past few weeks with Hisao have been amazing. There’s no doubt in my mind that I want to stay with him. But how long can we really last?

Just like that, my mind is dragged into thinking about the Future, with a capital F. Exams. Graduation. University. Those concepts were scary enough already, but using them as context for our relationship is truly terrifying. I don’t want to face them alone, but I also find myself questioning whether I can really imagine facing them together; sooner or later, it feels like, Hisao and I are going to have to split up. Otherwise, we’d have to be together forever, and that doesn’t sound right. I can barely plan for next week, let alone the rest of my life.

Before I can worry about all of that any further, however, there’s a knock at my door, followed by Suzu’s voice. “Miki, come on, I’m hungry.”

Right, dinner. Dinner first, and then everything else, eventually.

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Uplink, Downlink (2/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:49 am

When I woke up this morning, the first thing on my mind was the test. I went over to check that Suzu was up - not only was she awake, she looked like she was ready to fight the apocalypse bare-handed. She might’ve been worried during our study sessions, but now, as we walk to class, she seems ready to do or die. Hopefully the former. As for me, I’m just waiting to get it over with. I guess that’s one advantage of having a test first thing in the morning.

As we get into the classroom, I go to sit down, but Suzu grabs my hand and pulls me along until we’re standing at Hisao’s desk. After getting his attention, she speaks. “Miki and I wanted to thank you for helping us study.”

Good call. I should’ve thought of that. I nod in agreement, and Hisao smiles. His expression is a little tired, but also confident - not just in himself, but in us. He’s proud of the work we’ve done. “No problem!” Just as he says this, and I take a moment to appreciate the look on his face, Mutou enters the room, and everyone scurries to perform their last-minute preparations.

Only now, as Mutou begins to sort out the test papers on his desk and Suzu and I return to our seats, does a particular thought cross my mind: last night, once I found out that Emi knew Hisao and I were dating, I figured it wouldn’t be long before everyone else knew as well. But do they? Getting up and talking to Hisao before class, where everyone could see - were they thinking about us?

Misha and Shizune, sitting next to Hisao, didn’t seem too interested - they were focused on last-minute studying. I take a quick glance around the room, and find that most people are in a similar position. I guess that, with the test looming, everyone had better things to worry about than their regular gossip.

That’s a relief. Or, at least, I think it is. Part of me knows that it doesn’t matter, that what other people think isn’t a big deal. Another part of me is still worried about the questions I had last night, about what our relationship is, and where it’s going. Where we’re going.

Before I can ponder any further, a small stack of papers is placed onto my desk, and I do my best to clear my mind as the test begins.

After putting down my name, I open to the first page, preparing for the worst. Luckily, I recognize the style of problem immediately, as it’s one we worked on in some of our earlier study sessions. It’s also an easy one: just multiply to find both sides, figure out which is greater, and that’s the answer.

Okay, problem two. This one isn’t too bad either - not as easy as the first one, but perfectly doable. We memorized an equation to deal with these. Plug in the numbers, do some math, and that’s it.

The third problem doesn’t seem difficult either. Curious, I turn the page, and look through the rest of the test, to find that none of it looks particularly scary.

I had known, logically, that studying with Hisao and Suzu would help. But sitting here, seeing it happen, is something else entirely. For the first time, I feel like I’m going to do well on this test.

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Uplink, Downlink (3/3)

Post by Craftyatom » Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:49 am

It’s a huge relief to be done with class for the day. I mean, it’s usually a relief anyways, but especially today. The test this morning went better than expected, but it took a lot out of me, and the rest of the day was pretty much spent on autopilot. At lunch I found that Suzu felt the same - she said she “did well enough”, but also looked like a bit of a zombie. Hisao, on the other hand, looked no worse for wear. Even now, at the end of the day, he still looks pretty good. I guess I’m biased, though.

As the three of us walk to Suzu’s room, I decide that it’s probably good that at least one of us will be functioning during the upcoming conversation. I know roughly what I want to talk about, but I haven’t bothered with the specifics, figuring that I’d just wing it. It’s only now that I wonder if I’m not in great shape to be ‘winging’ anything... Ah well, better to just get it over with. The last thing I want is to delay all of this any longer.

Suzu opens the door to her room, and we follow her inside. She kicks her shoes off into one corner, then sits on the edge of her bed. I decide to sit next to her, while Hisao surveys the room. It’s actually a lot like his own - Suzu isn’t much of a decorator - but there are things here and there that make it distinctly hers. Various books are stacked in small piles against the walls, notebooks and loose paper sit with a folded-up sweater on her desk, and a sizeable collection of stuffed animals populate one corner of her bed. Having scanned over everything, Hisao decides to sit sideways on the chair at her desk, draping one arm over the backrest and facing us.

Not wanting to postpone things any longer, but also not entirely sure how to start, I open with “So, Suzu.”

“Hmm?”

“Hisao and I... had some stuff we wanted to talk to you about.”

She raises one eyebrow. “Is this an intervention? I know I sleep a lot, but I swear I can stop whenever I want.” Hisao laughs, and Suzu’s face breaks into a smile. I manage a chuckle, but quickly return to thinking about what to say next. Before I can figure it out, however, Suzu speaks again. “Seriously though, don’t worry about it. I already know.”

I freeze, and glance over at Hisao, who looks just as confused as I am. “Huh?”

Her grin is almost unsettling. “Come on, it’s pretty obvious you two are a thing.”

My cheeks suddenly feel hot, and my stomach tightens up. I guess that’s one less thing we need to tell her about. Hisao blushes, and wrings his hands nervously before replying. “Well... yes. We are dating. But we wanted to talk about some other stuff too.”

“Hmm...” She rubs her chin, then looks over at me. “If you’re asking for a threesome, then the answer is ‘maybe’.”

I burst out laughing, and Suzu follows suit. Hisao tries his best to stifle his laugh, but ends up joining us. I takes us all a bit to calm down, but once we do, I realize that the mood has changed. I was expecting this meeting to be very serious and somber, but Suzu’s jokes have reminded me that we’re friends, and there’s nothing to be afraid of. With that in mind, I decide to start the conversation.

“Okay, for real though, there are a few things we’ve kind of been keeping from you. We just wanted to get them all out in the open.”

She looks a bit puzzled, but nods. “Okay, shoot.”

Here goes nothing. “You know that I get phantom pains, right?” Another nod. I take a deep breath. “Well, they’re actually... They’re pretty bad. They’ll wake me up in the middle of the night sometimes, and I can’t get back to sleep until they calm down.” She’s about to say something, but I stop her. “So, way back when I first came to Yamaku, I started going out in the middle of the night and sprinting around campus, because it was the only way I knew how to deal with them.”

Suzu raises an eyebrow. “You’re kidding, right?”

I shake my head. “Nope, I’m serious. Bought a black outfit and everything so the night guards wouldn’t recognize me.”

She gives me a wide-eyed stare. “That is so cool.”

I roll my eyes, though I do feel a little flattered. “No, it was stupid, which is why I don’t do it anymore. It took me a while to realize that, partly because-” I consider talking about the time I ran into Hisao, but decide that it’s a relatively minor detail - he can bring it up if he wants to talk about it. “Because of Hisao. Speaking of which...” I gesture towards him, giving him his turn to talk.

Looking a little apprehensive, he begins. “I mostly just wanted to talk about why I’m here at Yamaku. I’ve got a heart condition, so being hit in the chest or exerting myself too much could cause a heart attack.” He stops for a moment, thinking of what to say next, but gets interrupted by Suzu.

“Wait, wait - the week you got here, Miki said you were a runner!” She shoots me an accusatory glance.

Hisao grins sheepishly, taking the heat off of me. “Actually, that first week, I kind of was. The nurse wanted me to start an exercise regime, so I started running, but it, uh... It was a bit too intense for me.” He points to me. “I ended up doing cooldown walks with Miki instead, which is more my pace.”

“Ah, okay.” Suzu nods. “And I’m guessing that’s how you two got to know each other so well?”

I don’t feel nearly as embarrassed at this second mention of our relationship, but I’m still glad when Hisao answers and I don’t have to. “That’s part of it. The other part is that my medications cause insomnia, so there were a couple of nights where I couldn’t sleep and Miki was up with phantom pains, and we ended up texting each other.”

“Insomnia, huh?”

“Yeah. I’ve been told that you’re experienced with it?”

Suzu smiles. “You could say that.”

We all sit around for a bit, not saying much, just kind of letting it sink in, until Hisao speaks again. “Well, I think that’s everything, since you already know about Miki and me. We’re trying to keep it kind of low-key for now, though, so...” He trails off as he notices me looking uneasy.

“About that.” I sigh. “Emi knows about us, and once she knows...”

Hisao looks surprised. “You told her?”

“Oh, no, I didn’t say anything. Apparently someone else saw us together on the bus on Sunday, and told her, and then she talked to me.”

Hisao nods, thinking that over, but Suzu is actually the next to speak. “Ah, right, Sunday.”

I wince. “Sorry. I know I kinda blew you off. But that’s why we decided to have this talk, so that it wouldn’t happen again.”

Suzu nods, then smiles. “Thanks.”

I reach over and pat her on the shoulder. “No problem. I couldn’t just keep my best friend in the dark, could I?”

She chuckles. “You meant you couldn’t do it any longer.”

I give an exaggerated shrug. “Details.”

Having said all we need to say, the three of us sit there for a bit, before Hisao notices the sky turning red outside. “Anyways, I should probably get going. Suzu, it was a pleasure talking to you.”

She nods. “Likewise.”

“I’ll see you two tomorrow, then.” He waves, and then heads out, leaving Suzu and me alone in her room.

I turn to Suzu. “Sorry again for not doing this earlier.”

“Don’t worry about it.” She waves dismissively. “Just remember that it’s not much of a secret. The part about you two dating, at least.”

“Yeah, I know. It’s gonna take a while to get used to it, though.”

Unexpectedly, Suzu sighs. “Heck, be glad you have something gossip-worthy - some of us have to live vicariously through our attractive friends.” It takes me a moment to figure out what she means, but before I can raise an objection, she continues, with an accusatory eyebrow raised. “Speaking of gossip-worthy, do you and Hisao really just text when you’re both up?”

“Oh, uh... Well, no, I usually sneak over to his room so we can talk in person.”

“Hmm.” A mischievous grin grows on Suzu’s face. “Right, late-night ‘talking’. I get it.” She winks at me, and I roll my eyes.

“Yes, just talking. Get your mind out of the gutter.” That said, last time I was over, we did engage in a bit of cuddling. Come to think of it, in the context of our last date, we could probably do even more.

Before I can begin to excite myself with that prospect, however, Suzu continues with her accusatory tone. “Right, like that time you two ‘talked’ all night, and you came home the morning after?”

“I-” I guess she did notice. Whoops. “Fine, I accidentally fell asleep in his room and ended up staying the night.” Her grin remains, and I have a feeling she’s about to continue her inquisition. “Come on, how many times have you fallen asleep in my room?”

“Oh, sure, I’ve conked out there plenty, but I’ve never fallen asleep in my lover’s warm embrace!”

I’m about to contest that, but realize that actually, that’s pretty much what happened. It sounds so strange when she puts it that way, though. “Look, he was very gentlemanly about it. He slept on the floor so I could have his bed.”

Suzu scoffs. “Figures he’d be a prude. I bet you two haven’t even kissed yet.”

I open my mouth to object, caught up in this tiny debate of ours, before catching myself and closing it again. It’s too late, though - Suzu’s eyes go wide, and smiles as she elicits an excited gasp. “You have kissed!”

I sigh. As much as I expected to share my secrets with Suzu today, I didn’t expect to go quite this far. “Yes, we have.”

I shouldn’t be caught off guard, given how the past minute has gone, but somehow she still catches me by surprise. “What was it like?”

“W-What?”

“I mean, it was good, right?”

I sit still for a moment, trying to wrap my head around that. I mean, it was good, but I don’t really want to have this conversation with Suzu. Instead, I cross my arms. “That’s personal.”

She grins. “I’ll take that as ‘very good’, then.”

Alright, now I’ve had it. I huff, and roll my eyes. “Look, if you’re done invading my private life, I’m gonna get dinner.”

I expect another prod at my relationship, but instead I feel Suzu slowly lean over onto me and sigh. “Sorry.” I turn to look at her, and it’s clear her mood has changed. Now that I’m not on the defensive any more, I realize that I probably shouldn’t have been so bothered by what she said - after all, at my old school, when one of my friends got into a relationship, I’d ask them all about it too. “I’m just excited for you guys. You make a really good couple, you know?”

That catches my attention. I’ve spent the past day wondering about where Hisao and I are headed, and having Suzu vouch for us makes me feel a bit better about it all. “You really think so?”

“Yeah, definitely.” She grins. “I’m only surprised you two didn’t happen sooner.”

I know she meant it as a bit of a joke, but I’m too pleased with her appraisal to care, and I find myself smiling back, before putting one arm around her. “Thanks... that means a lot.”

Previous: Contact Light
Last edited by Craftyatom on Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:52 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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