A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika) [Complete]

WORDS WORDS WORDS
User avatar
forgetmenot
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest.

A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika) [Complete]

Post by forgetmenot » Fri May 16, 2014 2:17 am

So, the other night I had a little bit of an idea for a story involving two of our favorite non-characters. It turned out better than expected, so I thought I'd give it its own topic. There's a grand total of three parts, the first of which is contained in this post.

For those of you who aren't aware, Saki Enomoto and Rika Katayama are two "fake" characters, created by the KS devs for this particular April Fools' day post. However, the characters have grown to be incorporated into a large part of KS "fanon" since then.

In case you're too lazy to click on the link above, here's what you need to know:

Saki Enomoto - A 3rd year at the time of the original VN, Saki suffers from spinocerebellar ataxia, which is a muscular degenerative disorder with no cure. Saki will eventually lose all muscle control, stop breathing, and die. However, at Yamaku, she gets around with merely the assistance of a cane and her cute, frank personality.

Rika Katayama - A 2nd year, one year behind all the rest of the main VN characters, Rika was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition that left her in a similar state to Hisao after his heart attack - granted, as an infant. She, too, shares the same large scar up her sternum. Rika is best described as aloof, but not unfriendly.

That's it! Now you're up to speed. Enjoy!

A Birthday Wish

Part 1 (This post)
Part 2
Part 3

Part 1:

It is now midnight, and all is not right with the world. On any other night, at any other midnight, it would, perhaps, be a different story. However, this particular midnight is different. On this particular midnight, it is Rika Katayama’s twentieth birthday.

“Rika!” I say, annoyance growing in my voice as I pound on my roommate’s locked door. “Come out of there. You promised.”

“One, I made no such promise,” comes the reply. “And two, in case you weren’t aware, final exams start on Monday, and I am nowhere near prepared. I assume you are in the same position as well.”

I try my best to make my pout heard through the wooden barrier between us. “It’s your birthday, for crying out loud. And it’s Friday night! We still have a whole weekend to study!”

“A mere weekend cannot make up for an entire trimester’s procrastination, Saki.”

“Well, in that case, what good is studying at all? Let’s go out, please~?” I plead, laying on the saccharin thickly. Being cute has its advantages with girls, too.

Rika answers with a loud groan. “No, Saki. I know it’s my birthday, but we will just have to do something small after finals.”

Drat. I suppose the advantages of being cute are muted somewhat with the fairer sex. A different tactic will have to do. I opt for a louder knock.

“Rika.”

No response.

“Rika!”

Still nothing.

“Rika Katayama did you put headphones on in an attempt to ignore me?” I shout.

“No, but that’s an excellent idea! I knew I kept you around for some reason,” she retorts.

I begin to moan dramatically in protest. “Rika~ that’s not fair~! Don’t ignore me! I even baked you a cake and everything!”

For a moment I think I’ve lost her, but then I hear her chair slide out from under her desk, and the soft patter of feet on tile floor before the lock turns and the door swings inward.

Rika stands before me, her silver hair tied back in its traditional braid, but this time hidden underneath a rather garish purple-and-yellow handkerchief, which has gone rather askew on her forehead. Her tank top and sweatpants suggest she is indeed not planning on going out for her birthday.

A pair of red eyes glower incredulously from her thin face. “You,” she says, punctuating the syllable. “Baked me a cake.”

I fidget a slight amount. “I… bought you a cake?”

“You bought me a cake.”

A sigh of defeat escapes my mouth. “Okay, no, I didn’t buy you a cake yet. I was planning on it, but I couldn’t remember if you liked chocolate or not, and I…”

Rika raises a thin finger, cutting me off. “You are the worst, Saki Enomoto. Try and distract me from my studies, and then tempt me with nonexistent cake? For shame.”

I muster as innocent-looking of a smile as I can. “Well, it got you out of your room, didn’t it?”

“For all of fifteen seconds, so well done on that front,” she says, her voice dripping with finality. “Oh, and for the record?” she adds, leaning toward me slightly, “I love chocolate.”

The door slams dramatically in my face, and is quickly locked from the other side. Smooth, Enomoto.

I suppose now would be where most people give up. After all, Rika is particularly strong-willed. But I am not most people. And this is not just any other night. Rika is my best friend, and she will have fun tonight, even if I have to drag her kicking and screaming the whole way.

I make my way to my closet, a plan formulating in the back of my mind. No, not this one – it’s too small for her. Maybe this one… ugh, that’s an ugly stain. Why haven’t I thrown that away yet? What about… a-ha! Yes. This is perfect for Rika.

It takes only moments for me to grab a spare shoebox and some wrapping paper from a lower shelf in the closet and box Rika’s gift. I take a moment to admire my handiwork. Let it never be said of me that I wasn’t girly when it counted.

A mere few seconds later, I’m back at Rika’s door, knocking again.

“Saki, I told you! No!” she half-shouts.

“Chill out, hothead. I wasn’t knocking about that. Also, how did you hear me with your headphones on?”

Some of us listen to music at acceptable, non-damaging volumes, you know. Also, you have a knock akin to the Incredible Hulk’s,” she retorts.

“Ouch,” I say, fake-clutching my heart even though the door is closed. “You’re rude. Come on out, I got you something.”

“Something real?”

My eyes roll involuntarily. “Yes, something real. I’m holding it in my hands right now.”

The door opens just a crack as Rika peers out from behind. I hold the gift-wrapped box out as a gesture of good faith. Satisfied, she opens it the rest of the way and gingerly takes the box from my hands.

I give a toothy smile. “Happy birthday, roomie.”

It takes a moment, but the silver-haired wisp’s guard drops, and she allows herself to smile genuinely in return. “Thanks, Saki.”

She holds the package for a moment, shaking it carefully to determine its weight and type of contents. “Clothes?”

“Open it and see, dummy. You don’t have to wait.”

A few seconds later, and the paper and bow are neatly removed and placed on the foot of her bed. She smirks at the sight of the old shoebox but doesn’t say anything before lifting the lid.

Peering inside, she emits a small gasp before reaching inside and pulling out a crimson waterfall of fabric. Immediately, she holds the dress up to her shoulders, tossing the box next to the wrapping paper. The skirt ends just above her knees – perfect judgment, Saki. You’ve still got it, girl.

“I hope it fits,” I say, craning my neck to see as Rika swirls around once or twice, the dress lagging behind slightly in its rotations.

Rika stops spinning and smiles warmly at me. “Thank you, Saki. It’s lovely.”

“What can I say? I know you better than…”

“It’s also from your closet,” she adds, a mischievous glint in her eye. “You didn’t really expect to get away with something like this, did you?”

Rats. I’m caught. I hold up my hands in protest. “In my defense, I don’t really wear it. I mostly prefer slacks anyhow these days; you know that.”

Rika’s smile falters slightly, but she recovers quickly and with grace. “Well, thank you all the same. I’m sure it’ll fit fine.”

“You should try it on now, just to see~.”

She begins to protest, but I’ve preemptively begun to pout. In response, her lips close, and she screws up her mouth to one side. Yes! The telltale sign she’s about to give up. There are just some battles you can’t win, Katayama.

“Okay, I guess. But just really quickly, okay?”

“Won’t take more than a few minutes,” I lie, crossing my heart loosely with my finger.

While Rika changes into her outfit for the evening, I stealthily retreat to the bathroom and grab a small pair of cinnabar earrings from my jewelry box. These will look lovely with that dress. I briefly consider reaching for a tube of ruby-red lipstick from the medicine cabinet… eh, not worth it. Rika’s pale enough as it is without red lips to match the whole… vampire vibe.

I return just before Rika opens the door again. She glances at me, then herself, then me again. “What do you think? Do you like it?”

“Wow! You look hot.” And it’s true; she’s an absolute vision in that dress, especially since she’s wisely chosen to remove that hideous handkerchief from her head. It sits effortlessly upon her long, slender figure, flattering her somewhat small behind in the process.

Rika starts to blush nervously. “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to wear this anywhere, though.”

“Wait, what? Why not?”

She doesn’t respond, but instead points to the lowest part of the dress’s neckline. Which is low, mind you, but tasteful, especially when you’re not really that busty like Rika… oh. I see what she’s pointing at.

“Your scar?” I ask, attempting to confirm my suspicions.

“Yeah,” she says disappointedly. “It’s really noticeable with how low-cut this is.”

“Oh, it’s not that noticeable. I can’t even see it from here.”

My attempt at consolation is met with a halfhearted smile and a shake of the head. “Saki, you have to be at least eye-level in order to…”

“Hey,” I interrupt. “Is that a height joke? I’m not that low to the ground,” I cross my arms and huff facetiously. Sometimes this is the only way to lighten the mood, and if I want Rika to have any fun at all tonight, we need to turn this ship around. Fast.

Thankfully, she smiles. “Maybe.”

“Maybe?” I exclaim. This is good, keep it going. “Well maybe I was going to lend you my special earrings to wear with your new dress.”

Now it’s Rika’s turn to look incredulous. “Maybe? What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well, there’s kind of a height limit for the earrings, and you’re too tall.” I turn my nose up into the air and close my eyes. “…and too bitchy.”

Rika smolders for a moment – the kind of look she gets when she’s deciding how best to razz me – and says, “Bitchy? Many have uttered such disparagements against my name. Where are they now? They are lost to the annals of history. But too tall?”

She takes a step forward. “You’ve crossed the line, Enomoto. Your demise shall be told from generation to generation. Nobody calls me too tall and gets away with it.”

“Nobody, huh?” I retort, sticking out my tongue. “What are you gonna do about it?”

“I- I hadn’t gotten that far, actually,” she says, dropping the grandeur and scratching her chin perplexedly. It makes me break into a laugh I can’t control. Rika attempts to maintain a poker face, but eventually she cracks and joins in the mirth.

After a minute, the laughter dies down a bit, enough for me to wipe the damp from my eyes a bit and hold out my hand towards Rika. “C’mon, let’s go out. It’s your birthday. Nobody should be alone on their birthday. And you look so pretty. Here, put on the earrings.”

Rika says nothing, but takes the earrings from my hand and puts them in silently. After she’s finished, she turns to me and gives a demure smile.

“See? You’re gorgeous and all dressed up with nowhere to go. Let’s fix that and go get a drink. Especially now that you’re legal and all.”

“I knew that’s what you were trying to do,” she says defeatedly, shaking her head. “I just knew it, but I went along with it anyhow because I’m too trusting.”

I crack a small smile. “And that will be your downfall, Katayama. Eventually. For now, screw studying and let’s go have fun.”

“But the neckline…” she says, pointing once again at the top of her scar.

“But nothing. Any boys that we meet should be looking at your gorgeous face, not your rack. If I catch any oglers, I’ll punch ‘em square in the manhood for ya.”

Rika laughs quietly. “I really hope you don’t actually do that.” She seems happier, but a modicum of hesitance remains in her voice.

I gesture for her to come closer to me. As she does, I reach around her back and pull her braid from behind her head, placing it deftly in the middle of her cleavage. “There. Now nobody can tell.”

“You’re a good friend, Saki,” Rika says, smiling.

I can’t help but beam. “I know it. Now come on, let’s scoot. First round is on me.”

Rika sighs for the last time. “Fine. You win. Lead the way, maestro. I’ll get the coats from the front closet.”

“Yes!” I say, pumping my fist in the air. I quickly turn my motorized wheelchair in the direction of the foyer and proceed down the hall, a begrudged – but present – Rika in tow.

“You have enough battery in that thing?” Rika asks as she fetches the necessary winter wear from the front closet.

“I checked on it this afternoon. Should be enough to get me around the block and back. Besides, don’t worry about me. It’s your birthday.”

“It’s my job to worry about you. Here, do you need help putting on the mittens?”

I swipe said mittens from Rika’s grasp. “No. Not today, anyhow. This new anti-tremor medication they’ve got me on is working wonders for my symptoms. Look at this!” I hold my arm out for emphasis. It shakes a fair deal, but it’s obviously better than what it was a few months ago.

Rika smiles. “Well, that explains how my present was wrapped so well, at the very least.”

“Astute observation,” I comment, tugging the mittens onto my hands and beginning on the coat. “Come on, we’ve already burnt at least half an hour! Time is precious!”

“All right, all right, minutes are diamonds, hours are golden, et cetera. I get it,” Rika replies sarcastically, opening the door in front of us.

“To be fair, I haven’t said that since high school,” I retort, wheeling shortly after her.

~^~

The snow on the sidewalk crunches continuously underneath the wheels of my motorized chair. Thankfully, it’s powerful enough to maintain walking pace without much trouble, a fact for which I’m sure Rika is grateful, even though she’s far too polite to say anything if that weren’t the case.

We travel in relative silence for a block or so – I imagine it’s more to do with the cold than anything else. More than once I glance over at Rika, the last time during which she opens her mouth, as if about to speak, but then closes it, like she decided against it. Well, that simply won’t do at all. Not on my watch, anyhow.

“Out with it.”

“Mm?”

“You were going to say something. Out with it.”

Rika fumbles for words a bit before she slips on a patch of black ice and loses her balance for a few moments, flailing in an attempt to keep her footing. “Damn it,” she curses after finally regaining control of her legs. “Okay, okay. Since you seem to be doing better, I… was going to ask if you had tried… standing… recently.”

I puff my cheeks out and exhale loudly. “Umm, I… well, I tried yesterday. In the shower.” Due to embarrassment, I stop momentarily, but the look Rika is shooting me makes me think I should provide at least a little more detail. “When you asked me what that thud was? I… didn’t drop the shampoo. Like I said I did.”

She turns back with almost a searching look in her eyes. “Why didn’t you call for me? It’s not like I haven’t helped you out with that kind of stuff before.”

“I dunno. Didn’t seem… that important at the time. I just pulled myself back up onto the seat, and that was that. I just… can’t really stand up anymore.”

Rika remains silent as we continue our walk.

“Look, it’s not that big of a deal. I knew this would happen eventually, especially after I got the chair for stuff outside the apartment. Don’t worry about it, okay?”

“I… I just worry about you.”

“I know, like it’s your job,” I say, grinning. “Well, you know what? Tonight, I relieve you of your job. It is now my job to worry about you after you’ve had your birthday shots.”

Rika’s expression turns from somber to inquisitive in a split-second. “Shots? As in plural?”

“Yes, dummy, as in plural. You only turn twenty once, after all! Remember my twentieth birthday?”

“Do you?”

I bite my lip innocently. “Parts of it! I really liked the cheese platter, even if I did end up spilling the whole thing.”

Rika chuckles, and shakes her head. “Just… just promise me you’ll keep me in the loop? And then I’ll drop it, and we’ll have fun.”

“Fine,” I say, rolling my eyes. “I promise to keep you better informed.”

“Good,” Rika replies, smiling and straightening her back, renewed spring in her step. There’s my Rika.

“There’s the place, right up ahead!” I say, pointing in the direction of a small tavern with a few neon signs hanging in the window.

Rika shivers, and not from the cold. “Ugh. Jägermeister. No, thank you. How anyone drinks that stuff is beyond me.”

I smile deviously. “And for our first drink of the night, we’ll be doing Jäger bombs. You don’t get a choice.”

“No no no, please, not that,” Rika whines. “There’s so much sugar in Jäger and Red Bull that I’m going to become you if I drink it. Why not just a quiet glass of wine?” Her eyes almost plead her case for her, shimmering with worry.

A devilish smile spreads across my face. I might be cute, but I can be other things as well. “I’m not that sweet, sugar. Quiet is not on the menu tonight.”

_____
Next
Last edited by forgetmenot on Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:09 pm, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3483
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika)

Post by brythain » Fri May 16, 2014 2:24 am

I love this. Two of my favourite characters, in one. Saki's never-give-up persistence and Rika's sense of high drama. And the air of sad mystery around what would otherwise be two normal girls having a night out despite exams. Awww, the feels. Thanks so much for this piece. And any other pieces that may come with it. :)
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)

User avatar
Munchenhausen
Posts: 1874
Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:43 am
Location: Leicester, UK

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika)

Post by Munchenhausen » Fri May 16, 2014 8:30 am

Let me tell you the relief I felt upon realising this was based on Rika's Birthday... I don't think my heart would be able to take whatever Saki's birthday wish would be :lol:

Although I find Saki generally quite a depressing character to focus on, I think I can stick around for this one ;)
and i'm not just saying that because Rika's about to get wankered on Jäger
Like stupid, silly doodles with no point? You've come to the right place, friend :^)
I also occasionally write oneshots. Why not have a skimread?
Miki fic? Miki fic!
---
"We are a small country full of the most stubborn bastards on the planet. You might want to rethink your actions." - Anon

User avatar
dewelar
Posts: 1228
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:09 pm
Location: The Fifth Thing

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika)

Post by dewelar » Fri May 16, 2014 11:11 am

Very nice. It would have been nicer if I could have gotten "the cake is a lie" out of my head, but that's only a criticism if it was intentional :wink:.
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

User avatar
forgetmenot
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest.

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika)

Post by forgetmenot » Fri May 16, 2014 4:28 pm

brythain wrote:I love this. Two of my favourite characters, in one. Saki's never-give-up persistence and Rika's sense of high drama. And the air of sad mystery around what would otherwise be two normal girls having a night out despite exams. Awww, the feels. Thanks so much for this piece. And any other pieces that may come with it. :)
Glad you like it! I tried to take the characters as far back to their original (brief) descriptions as I could get them, and then extrapolate a bit from there. Good to see that it works.
Munchenhausen wrote:Let me tell you the relief I felt upon realising this was based on Rika's Birthday... I don't think my heart would be able to take whatever Saki's birthday wish would be :lol:

Although I find Saki generally quite a depressing character to focus on, I think I can stick around for this one ;)
and i'm not just saying that because Rika's about to get wankered on Jäger
I quickly realized that the only way this would actually work as something enjoyable to read and not an all-out depress-fest was if Saki was narrating and she was obviously not preoccupied with her disability whatsoever. Having it be Rika's birthday is mostly just a convenient excuse for Saki to focus on Rika and it not be too jarring.
She's gonna be fookin' wasted m8
dewelar wrote:Very nice. It would have been nicer if I could have gotten "the cake is a lie" out of my head, but that's only a criticism if it was intentional :wink:.
It did pop into my head, but it was during the second round of edits and not while writing it. That joke stopped being funny about fifteen minutes after I finished Portal. And honestly I thought if anything was going to be mentioned about the cake, it would be the 'chocolate' in-joke. Although it isn't Hanako.

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 5946
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri May 16, 2014 4:33 pm

dewelar wrote:It would have been nicer if I could have gotten "the cake is a lie" out of my head, but that's only a criticism if it was intentional :wink:.
I actually missed that one, but that means it wasn't intrusive at all, and thus I wouldn't comlain even if it had been intentional ;-)
I agree with the general consensus: Nice story.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

User avatar
dewelar
Posts: 1228
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:09 pm
Location: The Fifth Thing

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika)

Post by dewelar » Fri May 16, 2014 4:37 pm

forgetmenot wrote:
dewelar wrote:Very nice. It would have been nicer if I could have gotten "the cake is a lie" out of my head, but that's only a criticism if it was intentional :wink:.
It did pop into my head, but it was during the second round of edits and not while writing it. That joke stopped being funny about fifteen minutes after I finished Portal.
*nods* The only reason it stood out for me is that at the time, a friend of mine Would. Not. Shut. Up. about it, and it haunts me to this day. Not your fault that someone else ruined your story for me :|.
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

User avatar
Oddball
Posts: 2803
Joined: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:05 pm

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika)

Post by Oddball » Sat May 17, 2014 3:14 pm

I enjoyed the story, sweet and sentimental without being pure fluff. I was worried you were going to take it into a yuri route at one point, which I feel would have cheapened it somewhat, but you kept them just good friends. Somehow that just feels more special.

And the cake is a lie jokes do definitely need to die.
Not Dead Yet

User avatar
hyroglyphixs
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:01 am

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika)

Post by hyroglyphixs » Sat May 17, 2014 6:40 pm

Great story! More people need to write Saki and Rika fics :D

Keep up the good work!
"No one knows what the future holds. That's why its potential is infinite" - Okabe Rintarou
El. Psy. Congroo~

User avatar
AntonSlavik020
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:03 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Tue May 20, 2014 10:33 am

Great story. Unlike some people, I'm very rarely a Rika fan(smoking is a major turn off for me, but that's another discussion entirely) and I didn't like Saki in the one route she has so far, but I liked them in this one so kudos for that. I think a large part of the reason why is because you concentrated on Saki's cute factor and not her depression factor.
Best girl
Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

Best route
Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

User avatar
forgetmenot
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest.

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika)

Post by forgetmenot » Tue May 20, 2014 5:27 pm

Oddball wrote:I enjoyed the story, sweet and sentimental without being pure fluff. I was worried you were going to take it into a yuri route at one point, which I feel would have cheapened it somewhat, but you kept them just good friends. Somehow that just feels more special.
Well you'll feel relieved to know that there is no Yuri planned for the rest of this story. I agree that keeping them friends is definitively more special.
AntonSlavik020 wrote:Great story. Unlike some people, I'm very rarely a Rika fan(smoking is a major turn off for me, but that's another discussion entirely) and I didn't like Saki in the one route she has so far, but I liked them in this one so kudos for that. I think a large part of the reason why is because you concentrated on Saki's cute factor and not her depression factor.
Glad you found it to your liking! I realized pretty early on when I started writing this that I couldn't legitimately include Saki and Rika as they appear in other fics (admittedly, even in my own other works). To do so would cheapen them as characters, somewhat. I did like the idea of Saki being somewhat more cheerful, though. It seems to fit her as a character, rather than someone who mopes around all the time. I'm pretty sure Rika wouldn't put up with that in the first place, anyhow. Also, rest assured that this version of Rika doesn't smoke (I briefly thought about it, but again, there's no real reason for it other than that's how she was in Rikabro's story).

Thanks for reading, everyone! The next part will be up soon!

User avatar
forgetmenot
Posts: 375
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:33 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest.

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika)

Post by forgetmenot » Sun May 25, 2014 5:30 am

Part 2:

The bar has grown steadily busier in the small amount of time we’ve been here, which is actually surprising me a good bit. Even though it’s freezing cold outside, it’s already after midnight, and finals begin on Monday, I guess you can’t keep the college drinking crowd from doing what comes naturally.

And besides, Rika and I showed up, too. To argue anything against that point would be hypocritical at best.

We’re seated near the front of the establishment, facing away from the door, which blows cold gusts of air across our backs as people enter and exit. It’s not the most ideal situation, but this area has a lower bar surface than the rest of the place, which is perfect for me. Barstools and I do not agree – I need back support.

These seats are also good for one other thing: people watching. In particular, bugging Rika about her very specific tastes in men.

“Okay, well, what about that one?” I ask, pointing at one of several male patrons at a table in the far corner of the bar.

Rika shakes her head again. “Nope. Not at all.”

I throw my hands up in frustration. “Rika, you’re giving me nothing to work with. Why not?”

She shoots another once-over in the subject’s direction, and then turns her attention to her drink. “Too thin.”

“You are the epitome of thin,” I retort.

“That doesn’t mean I have to like it! Frailty is not a desirable trait in men, I find,” she says, almost gravely serious.

I sigh loudly, making sure Rika feels the brunt of my annoyance. Let’s see who else we can find. Scanning the room turns up a fair number of prospective matches, but I can almost hear them failing Rika’s litmus test in some sort of way or another. I mentally strike each from the list – too tall, facial hair, eyebrow piercing, tattoos… wait, there’s one!

“Okay, miss picky. That one at the end of the bar. In the leather jacket.”

Rika sticks her tongue out in response.

“Seriously? You’re killing me. What’s wrong with this one?”

“Couldn’t say,” she answers, biting her lip. “I guess… he seems too much like Nurse. From Yamaku.”

“Oh, come on,” I begin to protest, but quickly take a second glance and discover that she’s alarmingly correct in her assessment.

Rika picks up on my realization. “Ha. I’m right, aren’t I?”

A sour look spreads across my face. “Hush up. What was so wrong with Nurse, anyhow?”

“Nothing, I guess. He was just that, though. My nurse.”

“Huh?”

Rika sighs and rolls her eyes. “There’s a line there, and as much as my caregivers have tried to maintain a professional demeanor, I have also tried to do the same.”

I briefly think back to a number of my tenures in various hospitals – albeit, brief ones – and it puts an interesting thought in my head. “So you’re saying that in all your time in hospitals and doctor’s offices, you’ve never been the tiniest bit attracted to any of your doctors or nurses?”

Another head shake. “Nope. Not that I can remember.”

I lean forward and take a few sips from my straw, remembering a particularly attractive doctor from a few months ago. “Bullshit.”

Rika places a hand over her chest and shoots me an incredulous look. “Excuse me, Miss Enomoto?”

“You heard me. Bullshit.” I take another lengthy sip to punctuate the swearing. “There is no way you didn’t run into at least one hottie in the doctor’s office.”

“I take great offense to your allegations as well as your candor, Saki,” she says, continuing the haughty act.

“Really. Not even other patients?” I ask.

“Nope,” she says hastily. She then opens her mouth slightly and glances up to the left, as if she were about to add something, but instead just sighs.

“I saw that!” I exclaim, pointing at her now-reddening face. “You paused and gave a look. You were attracted to one of your fellow patients! Who, who, who? And when? Do I know them?”

“I-it’s nothing.” Aww, Rika. You are so cute when you’re flustered. Almost enough to make me let you off the hook.

“Nothing, my ass. C’mon, spill. You know you’re horrible at keeping secrets anyhow.”

“No,” she replies, somewhat more succinctly than before. “You’ll think I’m…”

“What?” I ask hurriedly. “I’ll think you’re weird? You’re attracted to who you’re attracted to, Rika. No shame in that. I’m honestly relieved just to hear it.”

She fidgets awkwardly, taking a long drink from the highball glass in front of her. “It’s not weird, so much as… well, I suppose it’s a tad bit morbid, actually, in hindsight.”

Now I’m really curious. “You seriously can’t drop the word ‘morbid’ specifically and then expect to not have to tell me.”

“I know, I know,” she says, waving her hands in front of her face for a few seconds. “Just let me build up the courage for a few seconds, okay? It’s sort of embarrassing!” She takes her drink in hand once more, quickly downs what’s left of it, and places it back on the bar rather aggressively.

“Okay,” she starts. “So it was at Yamaku, at the beginning of second term, second year. Your third year.”

“Uh-huh.” I nod succinctly while Rika collects her thoughts. I’ve learned that it’s best not to rush her while she’s telling a story. She’s got a natural sense of pacing if you let her take her own time.

“I met… a boy. We were in Nurse’s office together. I had a flutter that morning – I don’t remember why – and was resting, when Ibarazaki brings in a boy from outside, out by the track. He had collapsed while running. I… listened in, and found out that he had a heart problem, too. Like me.

“So Nurse did all of his cursory examinations, and then left to let him get some rest. I was feeling better, so I decided to go back to my room and study. But I parted the curtain, and he was awake. He was awake and looking right at me. And he didn’t start or anything at the sight of me, he just said, ‘Hello.’

“That was it. So I bowed and said hello back. We introduced ourselves and made some small talk. Nothing much. Our mutual heart problems came up at some point, but he didn’t seem too keen to dwell on it. I ended up leaving shortly after.”

“Doesn’t seem very romantic. Or noteworthy,” I comment, having come up from my drink for a bit of air.

Rika smiles, almost to herself. “I suppose not, when I tell it. There was something… kind, I suppose, about his smile. He had a sort of warmness in his eyes. You know sometimes, when you meet someone and you just know they’re a good person? That was the impression I got from him.”

“So, now the obvious question,” I say, having finished my drink and waved to the bartender fruitlessly for a few moments. “What happened after? Did you meet again?”

“I’m getting there, miss hasty. Hold on.”

“Sorry, sorry,” I say, returning to my drink.

“As I was saying,” she continues, “I saw him a few times that week, in passing. We didn’t talk again until later that week, when I was outside helping to assemble 2-3’s stall for the festival that weekend. Apparently he had been conscripted by 3-3’s class representative to help with the construction.

“We made some more small talk at first. I asked about his heart, which he said had been doing better. I remember he voiced concern about the amount of medication that comes with a heart problem. He seemed… scared, or frustrated, I suppose. I thought I could help with some of that, considering that I have a similar problem, I just have had it for longer, and he was cute… so I asked him to be my date to the festival that Sunday.”

“You? Asked a boy? On an actual date?” I interject.

“Hush up. I can be appropriately forward when I wish to be,” she says, taking a long pause. “Anyhow, it doesn’t matter. He stood me up. I waited for almost an hour near the dorm entrances, and he never showed. So I left to have fun on my own.”

“Aww, I’m sorry,” I say, reaching out and patting my friend on the shoulder. “He’s a jerk anyhow.”

Rika doesn’t respond. I can tell something is gnawing at her on the inside, but she doesn’t know how to bring it up.

“Hey,” I say, remembering something from earlier on. “You said I’d think you were morbid. Why would I think that?”

She bites her lip, looking to the side for a few moments. “Because… because they found his body on the sidewalk Monday morning.”

My right hand jumps to my mouth in shock. “Oh! So, you mean…?”

“It’s true. I had a crush on the boy that fell off the roof,” she says, blinking slowly.

I sit in stunned silence for a few moments – a rare occurrence, mind you – while Rika somehow achieves the impossible and orders us two more drinks with a willowy wave towards the bartender. Perks of being tall, I suppose.

“Rika, that’s terrible,” I manage to say when I finally recover.

I receive a somber nod in return. “Indeed. Who knows what might have happened otherwise. Maybe if he had shown up, or if I had waited longer…” she trails off.

“You can’t beat yourself up for something like that. It wasn’t your fault. They found empty bottles of whiskey on the roof anyhow. He was just a drunk high schooler that got unlucky.”

“Hmm,” is all I receive in response.

“Seriously. Besides, you’re a much better date than Jack Daniels. His loss.”

Rika shakes her head, as if to rid herself of unpleasant memories. “Anyhow, I try not to think about it too much.” She receives our drinks from the bartender and passes mine over to me, swapping the straw from the old glass to the new one with ease and grace.

“Thanks,” I say before I begin on the new drink in front of me. “Raspberry vodka?”

“Mhmm. If I’m not allowed to drink wine, this is the next best thing. Much better than those Jäger shots you made me take earlier.”

“Hey, I’m not complaining.” I punctuate this with another long sip.

Rika leans back in her chair and smiles wistfully. “Anyhow, that was a long time ago. Before you and I met, even.”

“Ha, true. That wasn’t until Tanabata, right?”

“Mhmm. You were on a date with that boy from 3-3, the one with tinnitus.”

I wince as I recall that particular evening. “Takashi? What an absolute dick. All night I could tell all he wanted was to get in my pants.”

In response, Rika shoots me a curious look. “Um, Saki… didn’t you… um…?”

“Well, yeah,” I say, shrugging. “Girl’s gotta get hers when she can, after all.”

“I will never understand your cavalier attitude toward sex,” she says, a fair bit of condescension in her voice.

I bristle at the allegation. “Hey, now. It’s not like I’m in the market to take it slow, y’know. I mean, look at me. I haven’t gotten any in six months because of stupid boys and their hang-ups about wheelchairs. Imagine how much of a wreck I’d be if I were still a virgin.”

“Hey now, yourself,” Rika responds. “Some of us are perfectly content with being virgins.”

I roll my eyes. “You have a medical excuse, as lame as you may be in real life.”

To my chagrin, Rika looks genuinely hurt by this statement; she winces slightly and shifts her glass from her left to right hand. Apparently her virginity is a little more sensitive of a topic than she lets on normally.

“Hey, I didn’t mean anything by…”

“I know you didn’t, Saki. I don’t take any offense.”

Rika isn’t a very good liar. I can still tell she’s hurt, even if she says she’s not. “Hey, just so you’re aware, sex isn’t everything. I’m not exactly good at holding onto guys for any significant amount of time, regardless of whether or not we have sex.”

“I guess. I just… wonder sometimes. It’s really not a big deal.”

I reach up and gently rub her shoulder, attempting some small comfort. “Seriously, Rika. You’re not missing anything too Earth-shattering. Yeah, it feels good, but if you’re not careful, things in the relationship department get messy fast. In some ways I’m actually kind of envious of your situation.”

“Like when you were dating two guys at once for a month last year?” she jabs.

I remove my hand from her shoulder, crossing my arms and pouting. “Are you ever going to let me live that down? I learned my lesson.”

Rika smiles genuinely. “I like giving you a hard time about it, so probably not. Think of it as payback for all the times you call me lame. Lame is good sometimes.”

“Sometimes. And you are lame.” I playfully nudge her elbow with my own.

Thankfully, Rika’s mood seems to have bounced back. “Am I?” she says devilishly. Uh-oh. I fear I may have awoken the beast. She grins and says, “I’ll show you lame,” before leaning across the bar and ordering two shots, the names of which I don’t hear.

The alcohol arrives in short order, and Rika slides one of the glasses over to my waiting right hand. Thankfully, taking shots is still in the repertoire of things I can do myself. I will rue the day when Rika or anyone else will have to pour alcohol down my invalid throat.

I raise my glass ever so slightly off of the bar. “To Rika Katayama. May she, someday, find someone whom she is willing to fuck.”

Rika’s red eyes smolder as they narrow into slits. “Okay, wiseass. To Saki Enomoto. May she, someday, find someone who is willing to fuck her.”

“Rika! That’s terribly mean!” I half-shout. “And so profane! I’m just mortified to hear such terrible things from you.” I shake my head dramatically. “Just mortified. And also delighted.”

She smiles in return, but also gives an exasperated sigh. “This stuff really does lower inhibitions, doesn’t it? I suppose we’ve hit the point of no return, then. There go my hopes of getting any studying done tomorrow, too. Oh, well.”

I give as innocent of a giggle as I can. “Okay, so seriously. What are we drinking to?”

Rika thinks for a moment before snapping her fingers loudly. “Got it. To Hisao Nakai, the boy who got too drunk at the school festival and fell off the roof.”

“Agreed! May he turn from his dickish ways and find true romance in the absence of his beloved Rika, wherever he may be in the afterlife.”

“And may neither of us get so drunk tonight that we fall off the top of a building!” she adds with a flourish.

“Doubtful. I don’t know of too many buildings around here that would have wheelchair access to the roof.”

Rika laughs and shakes her head. “Just drink, Saki.”

~^~

Several drinks later, Rika is all but splayed across the bar in front of her, giggling. She cradles her head in her hands, sipping some fruity concoction I convinced her to get instead of another highball. While I’m not exactly the most qualified person to judge when someone wants to continue drinking, at least a Mai Tai or whatever will be a lower amount of alcohol than a vodka cranberry. I think.

I, on the other hand, have managed to keep my composure somewhat. I think that sandwich I had around eleven may have had something to do with it. That, and the fact that Rika has had at least four more drinks than I have.

This is a fact I think Rika is slowly coming to grips with. She tilts her head awkwardly in my direction. “Saki,” she slurs. “I am very drunk.”

“I know you are, sweetie,” I reply, giggling a little bit.

Rika blinks lengthily. “S’not fair. You aren’t drunk.”

“Well, I wouldn’t say I’m exactly sober, either.”

“No. Not an excuse. You need to drink m-more. I am the birthday girl and I get to dictate these… things.” Rika raises a finger in the air and waves it loosely.

“Hoo boy,” I say somewhat under my breath. She is gonna feel it tomorrow. But perhaps if I can get her to eat, it might not be as bad. “Maybe we should get some food in you before we head back. How does that sound?”

Rika’s head snaps away from her drink at this. “I-I would literally kill for takoyaki right now.”

“Then it’s settled. Finish up your… whatever… and let’s hit the road,” I say, waving to the bartender for our check.

“Sex on the beach,” Rika replies, somehow managing words while her teeth are holding onto the straw in her drink.

“Excuse me?” I ask sarcastically, deciding to have a little fun with my drunk roommate. “It’s the middle of winter, Rika. Plus, I’m just not that into girls, sorry.”

“Eww, gross!” she half-yells. “Not with you! That’s the name of the drink, dummy!”

I can feel a smile grow across my face. She took that too well. I must continue. “That doesn’t make any sense. If that were the name of the drink, it would be all sandy in the wrong places. And would get you arrested for public indecency.”

Rika responds with nary but a squint and a half-agape mouth. There’s the reaction I was hoping for. She continues to look absolutely dumbfounded while the bartender brings the check and I pay for our drinks.

“It’s obvious, really. You want to have sex with me, on a beach. Just admit it,” I say as I finish replacing my billfold inside my purse.

“What is happening right now,” Rika says, more of a general statement of confusion than an actual question. “I was promised takoyaki and now I have to have sex with you on a beach? How is that fair?”

Her last statement is too much for me, and I burst out laughing, the alcohol only contributing to my giggling fit. Rika continues her stare of utter disbelief, which does nothing to help me quiet my laughter.

Eventually I manage to begin to get myself under control. “Only kidding, Rika,” is all I can manage at first, though.

“Y-you have a weird sense of humor sometimes, Saki. Maybe you are as drunk as me.” However, immediately after she finishes her sentence, she hiccups loudly. This, of course, sends me into another laughing fit.

It takes a few moments for Rika to get her hiccups under control, but eventually she’s able to hold her breath for long enough that they go away. “Okay, enough of that,” I state, a shot of determination entering my voice. “It is time. Time for us to venture out on a drunken quest for fried food, and regret it in the morning!”

“Yes please,” Rika moans. “So… hungry…”

It takes us but a few moments to don our hats, coats, and mittens and step outside into the bitter late-night cold. As I wheel out onto the sidewalk, I try my best to recall the location of the closest place that both serves fried fare and is open this late on a Friday night. Hmm, I seem to remember going this way last time…

As I turn my chair in the direction my memory is pointing me, I see a flashing neon sign not a block away. “Of course! I can’t believe I didn’t remember they stayed open past midnight on the weekends!”

“Who? Er, what? Where?” Rika mumbles, sniffling from the cold behind me.

“Hachisame’s, dummy!”

“No, not there! I got food poisoning last time we ordered takeout!” she protests.

I spin around quickly. “Do you want takoyaki or not? Because this is the only way to get it.”

Her shoulders slump slightly. “I want takoyaki.”

“That’s what I thought. Now follow me, drunk pants,” I state, whirling around again and continuing our one-block journey to fried food.

Rika shuffles closely behind, bracing herself against the cold. “Wish I were wearing pants. This dress is thin.”

We arrive at the restaurant in short order. Rika promptly takes a seat near the front of the restaurant and slumps over the table, leaving me to wheel up to the counter and order.

As I come back to the table – with a glass of water for Rika – she seems to perk up a bit. “What’d you order?”

“Takoyaki for you,” I say, placing the water in front of her. “I got some miso soup to warm me up.”

After she guzzles the majority of the water, Rika looks directly at me and smiles widely. “Thanks for making me come out on my birthday, Saki. S’not a lot of people who’d trick me into having a good time, y’know? You’re a good friend. You’re a good friend and I love you.”

“Aww, you’re sweet. I love you too, you old sentimental fool.”

“I’m not that sentimental! I’m just… grateful for what I have. You take care of me just as… just as much as I take care of you. Don’t think I don’t n-notice.”

“Rika, you sound so drunk right now,” I say, laughing slightly.

She crosses her arms. “Good! Because I need to say this, so maybe I should sound drunk all the time! But don’t think I don’t notice when you go out of your way to cheer me up, or when you try to set me up with boys you think I’ll like, or when you make me little sandwiches when I have classes through lunch on W-Wednesdays…”

“Thursdays,” I interrupt.

“Thursdays,” Rika echoes. “Anyway, the point is that… you are always there for me. No matter what.”

“Well, yeah, dummy. I’m your best friend. That’s what I do. That’s my job.”

Rika shakes her head. “Well, it doesn’t go unnoticed is all I’m trying to say. I know sometimes I can be a pain…”

“Rika, stop. You’re not a pain.”

“But I am, sometimes! I can be really bitchy when I do lousy on homework or when I get my period or…”

“Just let me stop you right there,” I say, waving my hand in the air. “Rika, you are my absolute best friend. And as such, you are entitled to occasional bouts of bitchiness. You have your moments, sure, but you are not, on the whole, a pain. I hang around you because I like you, okay?”

She fidgets a bit in her seat, twiddling her thumbs, but eventually cracks a small, cute smile. “Okay. You really are the best.”

“Thanks, Rika. You’re pretty great yourself.”

Just then, the food arrives from the kitchen. Rika consumes her dish with the fervor of a drunken school of piranhas, taking only a few minutes before she’s all but licked the plate clean. Afterward, she stares hungrily at my soup for a while before I finally relent and push the bowl towards her with an eye roll. I suppose I’ve had enough, anyhow.

Soon, Rika finishes the soup and it’s time to begin our walk back to our apartment. Pulling on our various pieces of winter wear, we venture out into the cold once more. It’s started snowing – a pleasant sight, at least to me. Rika seems rather annoyed by the small white flakes drifting slowly past her face. She puffs her cheeks and attempts to blow the snowflakes away from her face, one by one.

Eventually, after we turn the corner onto our street, she gives up her pursuit and skips up next to me. “Hey, Saki?”

“Yeah?”

“Thanks again. For taking me out for my birthday. I had a good time.”

I smile widely and look up at my best friend. “Glad to hear it. C’mon, let’s go upstairs. I’m ready for bed.”

__________
Prev|Next
Last edited by forgetmenot on Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
brythain
Posts: 3483
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:58 pm
Location: East Asia
Contact:

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika) [Updated 5/25]

Post by brythain » Sun May 25, 2014 7:02 am

I have been so entertained, so amused! I laughed through the manly denouement part, sad to say. I couldn't help think of alternate universes, Rika, and a bar. And Hachisame's. And all that stuff. I feel intoxicated despite not having drunk a drop for about 20 hours. Wonderful! And also poignant. I was really made to wonder about what the future might hold for them in this world. Thanks!
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)

User avatar
AntonSlavik020
Posts: 607
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:03 pm
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika) [Updated 5/25]

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Sun May 25, 2014 10:07 am

Really enjoyed this chapter. I liked the conversation where Saki is trying to find a guy that Rika likes. Not too much else I can think of to say I didn't say after the first chapter, so good work so far.
Best girl
Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

Best route
Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

User avatar
dewelar
Posts: 1228
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:09 pm
Location: The Fifth Thing

Re: A Birthday Wish (Saki/Rika) [Updated 5/25]

Post by dewelar » Sun May 25, 2014 12:43 pm

That was fun. I don't say that about too many stories around here, but that was pretty much pure fun. Thanks :D .
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

Post Reply