After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete)

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brythain
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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete 20140523)

Post by brythain » Fri May 23, 2014 8:28 pm

Yukarin wrote:Hmmm, so it means that Hanako's the oldest of the bunch then?

But yea, that was hella deep holy shit

Eagerly awaiting Natsume's part yay.
Not quite… Hanako lives to age 95 before undergoing a Zelazny translation. Nobody knows what happens then. :)

Haha, 'hella deep holy shit' is a very confusing phrase. :D

Natsume's part??? *looks around furtively* no, no… don't tell her.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete 20140523)

Post by brythain » Fri May 23, 2014 8:31 pm

griffon8 wrote:After hearing some about some scandals where families were collecting government checks for relatives over 100 years old who were actually dead, I wonder if the averages are skewed a little high…
Maybe a tiny bit. With 127m population and 1m deaths a year, the skew would be significant only if there are a helluva lot of checks… :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete)

Post by Frankyo » Sun May 25, 2014 12:43 am

Bravo, you've created your own beautiful world with your arcs. The feels, man, the feels. very good, as always. All your characters feel so realistic and human. So Miki gets cancer'ed :cry:

I have not read his works, but are you secretly George R.R. Martin?
Last edited by Frankyo on Sun May 25, 2014 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
Girls: Hanako/Misha > Lilly > Emi > Shizune/Rin
Routes: I realized that every route has its own charms, but felt that Shizune's was lacklustre. It has Misha though!

"No masters or kings, when the ritual begins"

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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete)

Post by brythain » Sun May 25, 2014 3:22 am

Frankyo wrote:Bravo, you've created your own beautiful world with your arcs. The feels, man, the feels. very good, as always. All your characters feel so realistic and human. So Miki gets cancer'ed :cry:

I have not read his works, but are you secretly George R.R. Martin?
Awww… thanks very much. I've tried to make that world work, and I'm glad it works for you! No, I'm not that person. Really. :D
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Interlude (20140604)

Post by brythain » Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:04 am

These have been really busy days for me. Work is blossoming all over the world of international education, and I'm one of the poor sods stuck in the garden as the rain comes down.

Which is why, although I welcome mysterious characters in the night more so than is prudent, I come alert and reach for a weapon the moment I hear the sound. Crack. The sound of someone loosening their knuckles or of my old ankles when I get out of bed. So I stay in bed.

"Colleague, it's noon. Why still in bed?"

She's petite and practically-dressed, in her usual white cotton blouse and mid-length blue skirt. She's a dark honey-blonde now, as she's always wanted to be. Not so tall, but neatly put together. And judging from the pained irritation in her bi-coloured gaze (who can forget her eyes of flame and shadow?) she is suffering from sore knees again. That guess is confirmed when she sits down with an audible sigh of relief, on her favourite corner of my bedspread.

"Hello, Natsume. Miki happy with our work?"

"Oh, happy. In fact, only too glad to be given 'leave of absence', as she puts it. But I have other matters to discuss with you."

I am immediately alert as the adrenaline surges through my veins. Sitting up so that I can look her straight in the eyes (a taxing experience, if you have not met the heterochromic before), I ask the question.

"Natsume, what would your honoured self like this poor pen-wielder to write?"

It's not framed as politely as it should be, but it will serve, I think.

"Aha. Well, there are always stories. But my concern is for the factual basis of such narratives. There are things you can write about. I will have final edit."

"Really?"

Actually, I am thrilled to be back on one of my favourite drugs. I have the writing disease, it's one of my disabilities.

"I know. I can see it in you," she responds, giving a short, low laugh.

Did I actually say that bit about my disease out loud?

"Colleague, if it's a deal, you may have more to say soon," Natsume continues.

She holds out a bony hand.

I take it gently.

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

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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete)

Post by YutoTheOrc » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:51 am

and butterflies fly in the wind.. :)

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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete)

Post by brythain » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:05 am

YutoTheOrc wrote:and butterflies fly in the wind.. :)
See? It's not all sad, and I'm not a monster! :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete)

Post by YutoTheOrc » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:32 am

That scene with all the commentary, most I've ever blushed when reading someone narrate a sex scene. Bravo puppeteer! I think all I have left is:Natsume, Rika, and the remaining bits of Kenji. As usual I love your work. I'll finish tomorrow, I swear on little Kiri's soul HaHa :lol:

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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete)

Post by brythain » Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:11 am

YutoTheOrc wrote:That scene with all the commentary, most I've ever blushed when reading someone narrate a sex scene. Bravo puppeteer! I think all I have left is:Natsume, Rika, and the remaining bits of Kenji. As usual I love your work. I'll finish tomorrow, I swear on little Kiri's soul HaHa :lol:
WHAT? I don't think I've ever… oops. 8) Thank you, I think...
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Letting Go (up 20141205)

Post by brythain » Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:05 am

Getting into a head that some think of as particularly thick? It's not an easy task.
But sometimes, things happen that make it possible.
Here is a very short little tale of a long friendship.
It's a side-story, I suppose, to Rin's arc.



Letting Go (2012-14)

She’s still damn infuriating sometimes, but she is all I have left, and soon, she’ll be gone too. And then I will have to take her advice. It was that long ago? Yes. I should write it down. I never had to write things down before.

*****

“Why was this place ever called the 19th Hole?” I wonder out aloud. I think she has told me before, but I have forgotten. Also, sometimes I need her to tell the old stories, because if I told them to myself, I would go mad.

She adjusts her spectacles, her lips opening to release the faint and comfortable smell of tobacco. “It’s on the 19th corner of this road. And it’s a joke about that stupid game with the eighteen holes. A person who plays that game would never come here. He would not think it existed.”

“As always, you are a fount of information.” I do not mean it sarcastically. But I am not good with words, I always sound wrong. Thank the gods for people who understand me.

She dimples a little, shifts in her seat. Seated, she is as tall as I am, but half the thickness. Standing, she can be taller. “Shinichi,” she says firmly, “we need to talk.”

Oh gods. We needed to talk years ago. Twenty-five damn years, I would say. What is there to talk about in this need-to-talk kind of way?

“Are you having second thoughts about Tezuka?”

I think they would be more like fourth or fifth thoughts. That girl… my best talent ever, but she keeps running away. Still hanging out with that Mutou-acolyte, I suppose. Damn him. Or hims, if that is a word for two men. Him and his master.

“She’ll have to go.”

“What?! Why?!” I’m not good with shocks like that.

“Shinichi.” She places one of her long thin hands on my arm. This always shuts me up. She has long, cool, beautiful fingers. I have known that for a very long time, and it always does this to me.

In our group, everyone knew the tall, slim, beautiful Miss Saionji with the cigarette-holder. But nobody dared to really know her. Until she stopped ignoring all of us and fell in love with my best friend. That’s how I got to meet her and find out for myself who she really was.

“Shinichi,” she repeats herself. It shakes me out of my old-man dreams.

“Why does Tezuka have to go?” I ask, puzzled. Rin Tezuka and Sae Saionji, they get along very well, I think.

“Because I’m dying, Nomiya-san. And I only have one friend to tell it to, and that’s you. And when I can’t look after Tezuka, I am afraid of what might happen to her.”

“Oh gods,” I say. I sound stupid to myself. I always do. I hate it. But there isn’t anything else to say. “Have you told Tezuka?”

“I don’t think she understands me, but I will tell her.”

Sae’s fine features are only a little gaunt. If she had not told me, I would not have noticed. Her face has always been long and striking. Her elegant glasses make her eyes seem rounder, but even if they weren’t like that, people can lose themselves in that gaze. I have been lost in them before. But not for almost twenty-five years—I owe my late friend Ishihara that much.

“You’re dying?” It comes out like a complaint, as if the food is no good or the beer is foxed.

Her hand remains on my arm. “Yes. Too many cigarettes, I think.”

My insane mind suddenly imagines a collage: Sae defined by cigarette lighters, cigarette holders, foreign cigarettes, cigarillos, Indonesian clove smokes, the warnings on cigarette packs. The warnings. The pictures. And Sae, beautiful elegant Sae, going that way.

“No. They can do something, right? Treatment?”

“Unlikely. Stage 4. I didn’t guess. I thought I was just tired.”

“When did you know?”

“Some time back. I tried the new drugs. They’re holding me in place, but they’re expensive, and I don’t think I can afford the gallery anymore. Not with all the work and talking to people. If I had any money left, I’d just keep the atelier.”

“But… dammit… the gallery, the atelier… it’s been all our lives, our memories, Ishi’s memory…” I’m babbling. I babble when I’m angry, sad, when the thin pipe that connects logic to feeling is broken.

“Shhh.” She looks at my beer and I automatically take a swig. “I can’t even afford the rent on my apartment, now. I guess it’s back to being poor again. It’s okay, we should all learn to let go.”

No. No! This won’t happen. It can’t happen to Sae. It is not right, it isn’t! My old dead friend, his sardonic grin, his sharp laughter… they pursue me.

“Come live with me,” I hear myself saying. I once imagined I asked her that, but I never did. And now it means everything that is different from what it would have meant then.

She looks at me, her thin-lipped half-smile just a little uncertain. “Shinichi?”

“Not like that. But you know I have a spare room.”

“I don’t know anything about that.”

“Oh? Sorry. I thought you did.”

“I don’t want to leave the atelier. But I’m putting up all the paintings for sale. It will be like one of those autumn sales when all the department stores clear stock before Christmas.”

It’s like someone has stabbed me with a palette knife and all my colours are coming out. It smells like cheap poster paint in my head.

“Maybe we can try to get Tezuka into school again. A scholarship, some hostel in the university?”

“She won’t go for it, I think. But we can try one last time.”

“I’ll pay for it if I must.”

“And support your dying friend at the same time?” she says in a mocking way, but gently. I guess she’s trying to make a joke out of it.

“No joking, Sae! She’ll be grateful in the end when she becomes someone. When she becomes at least half as good as…”

“Shinichi, no, don’t say it. Once in a while, a bright star falls. There are sometimes no other stars that bright, and sometimes, no other stars that fall.”

“But…”

“No. If she can be protected, we can let her go.”

I realize that Sae is my last friend, my only friend. Maybe, I am hers too. I am full of regret, but all I can smell is brushes soaking in turpentine. And smoke.

“What’s left in the atelier?”

She knows what I mean. “Nothing, really. The pieces we sold to buy the gallery? Those were sold a long time ago. I have some sketchbooks at my apartment.”

“You kept nothing?”

“Nothing. How could I? I was poor, I had no family, no friends.”

“Why didn’t you ask?” I groan. Twenty-five damn years, almost, and all she had to do was ask!

“Why didn’t you offer? I could never have asked.”

“What? We’re artists, we don’t have to follow rules.”

“No. He was an artist. You’re an art teacher. I’m just a businesswoman. You’re like him with one arm tied behind his back. I’m like him without any arms at all.”

“Is that why you get along so well with Tezuka?” That sounds bitter even to me, but too late, I have said it.

“Maybe. I admire her. She has no arms and is better than both of us combined.” Her tone is chiding. She doesn’t scold me. Just her displeasure, and I am weak.

“I’m sorry, Sae.”

“You’re being you. It’s okay. We’re friends.”

There’s a silence. Then she absent-mindedly downs the rest of her beer. “I guess I’ll just have to let everything go. It’s the 22nd year since things ended, you know. How appropriate to let the 22nd Corner Gallery go on that note.”

I’ve been selfish. I’m also scared. Me, big rough Shinichi, Nomiya-sensei as my students call me. I’m scared that I will lose my last friend, my only friend. My last and only friend: it is like a refrain in my head, now that it has got inside. If I could paint the idea of Sae, I would. But now I can’t paint, I won’t paint at all.

But even a coward can be brave once, right?

“Sae…” I say, like stepping on thin ice. “Please come and live with me. I have a spare room. It is no difficulty to me.”

“Are you sure? I don’t know how long it will be. You might have to look after me towards the end.”

She is always so blunt with me, especially with things that are painful. Her face is hard to look at, as I remember when it was the easiest thing to look at.

I have to tell her. Surely she will not break our friendship now?

“My spare room, it’s…” I stop. It’s hard to say. Twenty-five years of friendship.

“Shinichi?”

“I have...” I sip the last dregs of my beer before I can say more. “I have a last painting of my own. In the room.”

“You never told me. Again. Why do you keep secrets from me like that? I would have loved to see an original Nomiya. But you got rid of them, didn’t you? I used to love looking at your bird drawings.” Her eyes are flashing like those of the young lady I used to know, like dark brown onyxes, the eyes of a bird.

“Oh. My paintings? I keep a few at the school. They’re something my beginners can aspire to reach. My better students, they’re better than that.” Babbling again, anything to avoid truth.

“You should show them to me. I’m qualified to judge, you know.”

She lights up another cigarette. I stare at her. She stares back, as if to say, What? I’m already dead, no point stopping now. But she stubs it out.

“So, no more smokes when Shinichi’s around, eh?” she says, her sweet voice covered up and roughened by decades of tobacco fumes. “Tell me about the one you keep at home. So I can decide if I want to share a room with it.”

“I… I named it ‘Friendship’.”

“How abstract. Normally they’re named Grus Japonensis or something. You were a very good biology textbook illustrator, I used to think. All the Latin names.”

I wince. I had dreams of being a scientist. But they only wanted numbers and formulae, not like the old days when observation and pictorial description were important. I think of Akio Mutou with his stinky labcoat and exact answers, and feel like spitting.

“Don’t tell anybody that. I’m just an art teacher now.”

“Tell me about ‘Friendship’.” She has a bit of a teasing look on her face. Does she mean ‘friendship’ or ‘Friendship’? I’m not very sure. But here’s where it all ends, I suppose.

“It shows three people. Two men and a woman. Art students. In a silly pose, each one raising a fist into the air, as if celebrating success or an exhibition launch or something.”

“Oh. How conventional. That’s very sweet.” She seems disappointed, and I am not sure how to continue. But I have to go on.

“I didn’t paint it. Ishi did.”

It is as if nobody is left in the joint. Her eyes catch the yellow light and she looks like a dark phoenix, suddenly.

“Bastard!”

With a sinking heart, I feel as if I have let go of the last thing of my life outside school. Like a balloon floating up into the sky forever until it bursts.

“Bring me home. Right now,” she hisses. She doesn’t raise her voice even when almost shouting at me. My mind wonders how she does it. I automatically reach for my wallet and my car keys.

“I’m sorry, Sae. Do you need to drop by the gallery before we head west?”

“West? Whatever for? Your home!”

*****

It’s a year later, maybe a bit more.

“Everyone has to go sometime, Shinichi. Let me go.”

“Don’t go, Sae.”

Two people, in a room with a painting. The man is sitting in a chair next to a bed. The woman is lying in the bed. She used to have long, lovely hair; in her later years, that hair was left carelessly pinned back. Apart from the painting, there is hardly any colour left in the room.

The painting has three people in it. The woman is heartbreakingly beautiful, tall but full-figured, elegant, standing slightly to one side and looking cool. The two men, obviously good friends, slap each other’s backs and raise their fists in salute. They are young, happy, starting out fresh. They don’t need anyone else.

The light captured in the canvas is brilliant. It is morning, or early afternoon. It will always be bright, even when evening finally comes.
Last edited by brythain on Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete; Letting

Post by spamholderman » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:46 am

Oh my god, you made me feel for Nomiya.

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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete; Letting

Post by brythain » Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:43 am

spamholderman wrote:Oh my god, you made me feel for Nomiya.
I was re-doing the Rin routes on KS when I noticed that Nomiya isn't really that bad after all. He's thick-skulled but genuinely passionate about his work, and he's a tragic figure in some ways. Actually, his response to Rin is a lot like some people's response to Rin when they're playing Hisao. :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete; Letting

Post by Frankyo » Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:41 am

Fan-fic at it's best. Like I said before, your characters feel so real.
Girls: Hanako/Misha > Lilly > Emi > Shizune/Rin
Routes: I realized that every route has its own charms, but felt that Shizune's was lacklustre. It has Misha though!

"No masters or kings, when the ritual begins"

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Re: After the Dream—Rin's Arc/Miki's Arc (Complete; Letting

Post by brythain » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:34 am

Frankyo wrote:Fan-fic at it's best. Like I said before, your characters feel so real.
Thank you! Perhaps it's because they are... :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Interlude (20150219)

Post by brythain » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:12 am

"Who?" I must be getting old. I don't recognise this one at all. I rub my eyes, clouded by a night that's run too late and is now limping towards morning.

"Me!" I look harder. Richly piled cloud of black hair, a tanned complexion somewhat disguised by foundation, glasses with large frames. A formal slightly off-white blouse. Long legs.

"Hey..." a thought swims up into the light of my consciousness. "Hi, Miki. You're looking unusually formal. Um, happy birthday?"

"Yes! I had a bet as to whether you'd remember. Shizune lost. Haha, she'll be so pissed!"

I wave a tired hand in her direction. Her well-cut charcoal-grey skirt sways slightly as she recrosses her legs. "Congratulations. Have you just come from the office?"

"Yeah. Had a presentation at a C-level meeting. Halfway through, I turned sideways in my head to visit you. Need advice."

"Sure. How can I help you?"

"In English. Is the word 'bastard' anything to do with 'basted'? Are they supposed to sound the same? How about 'baka' and 'baker'?"

My head aches. Do they? Are they?

"No, marvellous Miss Miura, I don't think they're related. But why do you want to know?"

"I'm dealing with some Asians who aren't Japanese and whose first language is English. I need to make up some naughty rhymes about them because they're such screw-ups. Am I allowed to say 'fuckward'? Is that a word? You know, like 'backward' and 'forward' but indicating direction is all fucked up?"

"Errr... I suppose you could, but it's not a word."

"I've heard people say it before. It's cool. Can I whisper it fifty times into your ear? I could shade it different each time... Haha!"

I groan. Fifty of anything is taboo on my list these days. And that is way too suggestive a suggestion.

"Happy birthday, Miki. Enjoy your presentation."

"Yeah! I will. I've got some great ideas now. Thanks!" She gives me a wicked, almost salacious grin... and winks once before she winks out.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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