Learning the blues. Act 3: Scene 2 revives from the grave

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TheTealeaf
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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 5 up!

Post by TheTealeaf » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:41 pm

AN: 6k, in two chunks. Here we see some of the family dynamics begin to emerge from the woodwork and Hisao gives Ayane a small telling off. (A gyoza is a type of Japanese filled dumpling)

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Act 2

Scene 6

“Don’t have to settle no goddamn score”

I’m awoken at half past eight in the freaking morning by a thunderous knocking on my dormitory door. I scowl and rise slowly from bed, slipping into my dressing gown as I do. I suspect the knocker isn’t male but either way better safe than sorry. Learnt that lesson after Hisao got a free show.

The knocking continues and I curse. “Hold your fucking horses, I’m coming!”

The knocking stops and Mishas distinctive voice comes from the other side “Mail call Ayachan! Shizune asks that you don’t swear though!”

Mail call on a Sunday? Unusual, but I still grumble under my breath, feeling rather sleepy as I open the door. I open my door and the student council greet me with morning greetings. I simply rub my eyes and sloppily sign [Morning] at the pair of them.

I get two letters thrust into my hand and I yawn widely. “Looks important Ayachan!” Misha chirps, signing at the same time, “Look at all the shiny gold letters!”

My heart drops like a stone at the sight of the envelops in my hands as Shizune signs [They look very important. Are they?]

“Probably” My tone is despondent and Misha looks worried.

“Bad news?” Misha asks softly.

I shake my head “No, just an obligation that’s more trouble than it’s worth. Some bad memories with it too” I admit. Misha still looks concerned but I just smile and then say enigmatically, “Best ask Shizune if she knows how to dance!” The pair’s confused expressions as I shut the door on them are priceless and I let out a small snigger as I go to my desk.

The two envelopes are a rich burgundy colour, the colour of spilled wine; made from a rich luxuriant paper, the envelopes almost feel like velvet under my hands. The gold embossed kanji on the front of both letters simply reads ‘For the attention of Tsukino Ayane, Yamaku academy’

I already know what lurks in these envelopes and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I sigh and open the smaller of the envelopes with a table knife I have lurking on my desk. Rich creamy white folded paper tumbles to my desk. There is more gold detailing on the paper, an embossed border around the edges of the paper that I can see even through the back of the paper.

I pick up the paper, which is just as soft to the touch as the envelope and unfurl it. It’s a hand written letter from my mother.

My dearest daughter Ayane,

I am writing to you hoping that you are in good health and doing well academically at Yamaku. I realise that we exchange emails regularly daughter dearest and by the time this gets to you, I know that I may have already learned how you have fared.

As you may have realized it is coming up to that time of year again Ayane. The time to fulfil certain familial obligations is upon you, Arashi and your half siblings and I expect you to fulfil them to the highest of standards.

Do not misunderstand me daughter there is no room for negotiation or disobedience here. This year you attend or face consequences. The same goes for all of your siblings as well. No more petty rebellions or teenage tantrums, this year you attend.

Enclosed in the second envelope are two invitations and two first class train tickets home dated for the evening before the three-day weekend, seven pm sharp. Your second invite is for a plus one daughter; I am giving you a small freedom in choosing your dance partner for the weekend. A small suggestion this time; daughter I highly recommend that you do not bring Jakuzure this time as your ball partner. It sends the wrong message.

Ideally speaking daughter, bring home a nice young man of good class. Yamaku academy is expensive so I am certain that there will be young men of a certain background (even with their possible... ailments) to choose from. Your uncles and grandparents would be most pleased at this turn of events.

This is your last and only warning daughter dearest.

Do not waste it.

Yours truly,
Your ever-loving mother,
Tsukino Tomiko


I snort with disgust and throw the letter down. As much as she is my blood mother I feel little to no affection towards her and this is one the reasons why. Thinly veiled insults towards my friends and myself and blatant obvious threats towards my education.

‘Fulfil familial obligations’. Translation: shut up and do as I tell you or you will suffer. She will follow through on that threat though I know she would and could follow through. I guess I have little to no choice this year, looks like my three-day weekend will be spent at the familial home and at the masquerade ball. Joy. Three days in the company of my delightfully toxic mother and rich stuffy snobs (Or as Akihiro would call them, a bunch of dull fuck wits who wouldn’t know which way to wipe their behind unless someone told them or did it for them)

Three whole stinking days with those people and their company. It’s going to be so much fun and joy of joys; it looks like my uncles will be there as well.

Yay.

Even more toxic members of my family I will have to spend time with. It’s like the saying goes; ‘You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family’.

I know that all too well. Sometimes I wish that select members of my family would go die in a fire. Harsh I know but unfortunately all too true.

I open the second envelope. I already know what it contains. Two embossed, rigid pieces of card fall from the envelope and flutter to the top of my desk. One reads in delicate gold leaf; ‘Admit one Tsukino Ayane to the Tsukino charity masquerade ball’ There are fancy curling vines leaf motifs in each corner and the invitation smells of my mothers citrus perfume she likes. In my room its almost overpowering and I gag slightly at the smell.

The other invitation reads; ‘Admit one in the company of Tsukino Ayane to the Tsukino charity masquerade ball’ in the same fancy golden writing. I think it’s gold leaf and I cringe at the over the top display of wealth. Just like mother to show off. There is another envelope and it contains two first class train tickets dated for the evening before the three-day weekend, the train leaving at seven pm just like the letter stated.

It is way to early to be dealing with this stuff. Part of me is very tempted to simply burn the invitations and tickets then bury and dance on the ashes. That would cause more problems than it would solve though, I would simply be burying my head in the sand.

Better to grin and bear it for the three days. I only need to show my face for the ball, the rest of the time can be spent out of the house and in the city nearby well away from my mother and uncles. Cinema trips and other frivolities can eat up time away from home. The less time spent in the house the better especially for my sanity levels.

I then consider the other issue. I eye the ‘plus one’ invitation as one would eye a land mine, with great care and deliberation just so you don’t blow your own damn leg off. I think if I asked Hisao he would say yes to the invitation but would he be able to deal with my radioactive family? I have no doubt that mother would likely not approve of him and make Hisaos stay a difficult one but she can be a capricious individual at the best of times.

My extended family, apart from my siblings, is incredibly complicated. I know that there are massive skeletons lurking in closets, especially in regards to the relationship my mother and father had before Akiho and Akihiros mother died. There’s also the fact that most of my mothers relatives are incredibly shady. I know it sounds like something out of a bad soap opera but a lot of my uncles make a lot of money but no one has ever said exactly what it is they do.

I mean yes I’ve never asked and I’m sure they would have a perfectly good explanation if I asked but they’re the kind of people I would rather not talk to.

If I invite Hisao along I have no doubt that he may be dragged into family politics and possibly be used against me or vice versa.

I stalk over to my bed and flop down with a huff holding the invite in one hand. Difficult. Again if I do ask Hisao, he’d need a suit, he’d need to learn how to dance passably at least. I mean I’m sure Akiho and Akihiro would be willing to provide those things and I would chip in too but I’m not sure how Hisao would feel about charity.

I get the feeling that Hisao would equate charity to pity and my gut tells me Hisao doesn’t want anyone pitying him, as he’s had quite enough over the past few months.

My phone buzzes from my desk and I pick it up. Arashi.

His text reads ‘Just had post, assuming you’ve got the same. Put some tea on I’m coming over’. Ah. Brother wants to talk about this. I think it would be a good idea if we did.

I wander over my table and set some water boiling and rummage around on my desk for the lonely box of tea bags that I have. I find it and pop it in a mug, whilst preparing myself a coffee. I’ve just finished brewing the tea and taking my pills when there is a knock at my door. I stride over to the door and open it. Arashi looks a mess. His hairs all over the place, bloodshot eyes and his clothes are rather rumpled, looks like he came over in a hurry.

He seems rather agitated and stalks in, almost throwing himself into my desk chair. I raise one eyebrow at him and he just huffs a breath out and gestures at the kettle “It’s nearly there, just letting it brew” I assure him, finishing my coffee off with a loud gulp. “You get invitations too?”

Arashi nods and flashes two identical envelops at me. I nod and then ask “So what’s got you in a knot?” Arashi hands his letter over to me and I skim over it. It’s essentially the same as mine, blah, blah, blah… oh. I reread the last few paragraphs. “Is she serious?” I ask incredulously. Arashi nods and gives a silent sigh. “They’re thinking about possibly arranging a marriage for you? For a business merger?”

Arashi puts his head in his hands and does something I haven’t seen him do in a long time. He cries. Arashi cries in silence due to his muteness and it is always a heart-wrenching thing to see. I scoot over to him and wrap him in a hug. I can feel his whole body wrenching with shudders as he cries in my arms. I haven’t seen Arashi cry since the day of dads’ funeral, where I sung for the last time. I pat his back and just hold him until his great, shuddering sobs still under me. I finish preparing his tea and give it to him and he gives me a small grateful smile, his eyes even more bloodshot and red rimmed now. He drinks his tea as I ask softly “Feeling better now?”

Arashi slowly puts his tea down and then signs [A little. I still want to punch something though] he admits. [Just my luck] He signs suddenly. [Things are just starting to turn round with Shizune and then this hits me in the face]

“Whoa” I say holding my hands up, “As much as mother can be a giant bitch, she’s only saying it’s a possibility. Don’t start moping yet. Besides I’m assuming you have a plus one invitation in there too? So, mother mother must be at least hinting bring along someone, someone that she would approve of or not. Either way you can still bring someone, she's not married you off just yet!” Arashi gives me a single hesitant nod. “Then ask Shizune to the ball. I’m sure she’d be thrilled”

[I’m not going to ask her] He signs, a defiant look on his face.

“Why the hell not?” I splutter in disbelief.

[I haven’t even been on a date with her! I can’t just ask her to a fancy masquerade ball!] He exclaims throwing his arms in the air. [Are you going to invite your boy toy?] He asks, watching me through narrowed eyes.

“I’m not sure,” I admit. “I know he’d say yes if I asked him but I’m not sure it would be wise for Hisao to meet the rest of our delightful family”

Arashi signs his face falling further. He then gives one of his silent laughs and signs [if you ask Hisao to the ball, I’ll kiss Shizune in the middle of the cafeteria!]

The change of topic spins my head slightly, but I gain a devilish grin and sign [Shake on it!] Arashi looks vaguely bemused and then shakes my hand and the deal is sealed.

“Getting back on track,” I murmur, getting back to the original topic. “If I remember rightly, I remember hearing a rumour that Shizunes father is some big business big shot, rakes the money in. I’m pretty sure mother would approve. The only problem I can see occurring is well…” I trail off with a shrug as if to say ‘you know what I mean but I don’t want to say it’.

Arashi has no qualms about finishing the sentence. [The only problem is she’s like us.] There is a moment where he stops signing. [She’s like us. Crippled according to mother and we both know that mother is ashamed of us, it’s why she agreed with Dad about sending us here]

“Dad wanted what was best for us!” My voice has risen in volume and I can feel my teeth clenching and grinding.

[Mother had Dad wrapped around her little finger and you know it!] Arashi signs, rising to his feet, glaring daggers at me. [After you had your accident and lost your right eye, mother was ashamed of what had happened, so when Dad suggested we go here she jumped at the suggestion] I can feel myself trembling as he finishes the blow with [Lets face it both mother and father were ashamed of us, the cripple twins!]

“STOP IT!” I scream at him my voice rising in pitch. “STOP FUCKING TALKING! DAD WAS NEVER ASHAMED OF US!” Arashi reels from my voice and I can feel myself shaking my hands curled into fists. “Dad loved us Arashi,” I whisper into the stunned silence. “He loved us. He learned to sign for you along with me. He stormed into school when you were bullied, he held us when we cried, he helped us when we couldn’t carry on he was never, ever ashamed of us, so don’t you dare even suggest that. Mother is the one who is ashamed of our ailments and us; all Dads ever wanted was what was best for us! That’s why he sent us here so we could have the best opportunities we could have, so you could be in a school where you weren’t mocked at every turn!”

Arashi sits down with a thump and I can feel my left eye watering with tears. “Get out” I whisper. He looks at me blankly. ‘Get out” I say a little louder pointing at the door. “You’re my brother Arashi and I love you dearly but at the moment I am far too angry to be rational. Leave, now before I say something we’ll both regret” I point at the door and Arashi leaves quickly.

As he leaves he simply signs [I’m sorry]

As my door closes I bitterly whisper “Too fucking late for that brother” I glance over at the desk and his half full cup of tea is still on the desk. I feel a scream rising in my throat and in a sudden violent fit of rage; I grab the mug and hurl it against my wall. It shatters into pieces and the hot liquid sprays across my floor.

I sink to my carpet; my rage abating suddenly feeling oddly hollow as it deserts me. I haven’t argued with Arashi in years. As I sob into my hands, I feel a sudden stomach cramp flash across my abdomen.

Wonderful. As if I didn’t have enough to deal with Mother Nature decides it’s time for shark week.

I’m still kneeling on my floor when my door opens. I hear a gasp and I’m suddenly enveloped in Fujikos warm embrace. I turn in her arms and grasp her back, feeling my lips wobble as I try to hold back a sob. “I heard something breaking” Fuji says softly. “It woke me up and I thought you might be suddenly having a fit”

“S’not my epilepsy” I sniff.

“I can see that” Fujiko says dryly, “As you’re not having a seizure across your floor and I’m not screaming for the nurse” Her wry tone draws a small chuckle/sob from me and she runs her hand across my hair, trying to soothe me. “What happened?”

“Had a fight with Arashi” I say softly. “Bad one. He said something’s about Dad that I didn’t agree with”

Fujiko makes a noise of comprehension as I continue, “I told him to leave before I said something that we’d both regret, then smashed the mug he’d been using” I glance at the wall. There’s a dent and a stain and the tea has soaked into the carpet.

“Lets get you into the shower” Fujiko says softly, helping me to my feet. She gathers my toiletries for me and helps me into the shower. I’m standing under the water and she leaves me to wash, mentioning she needs to get something. I stand under the water blankly for a few moments wondering if Arashi had always felt that way about Dad. Had always held that feeling. Whilst I cried and wailed over memories of dad, had Arashi hated him for sending us here? Did he really think that Dad was ashamed of who we are?

There’s only one person whom can answer that question but I’m still too angry and bitter to ask him about it.

Was it only yesterday that I had been smiling and kissing Hisao? Guess the universe owed me some bad karma and now its being paid with interest. I shake my head as I lather my hair with shampoo. The situation with Arashi I will deal with once I’m calmer. He’s my brother and I love him but I need to reign in my own temper before I speak to him.

I’ll cool my jets for twenty-four hours and then after school tomorrow, we’ll talk. It seems like there are some things that need airing and discussing.

I towel myself down and walk back into my room to find Misha and Fujiko cleaning the cup and mess up. “Made a mess here!” Misha chirps, sponging something into my carpet. It smells like something you’d find in a hospital but it seems to be clearing the stain out of my carpet pretty well.

“Yeah” I say still mildly stunned, “Lost my temper and well you can see the result”

“Losing your temper eh Ayachan?” Misha says wagging one finger. I sigh and nod and she gives a small giggle. “It happens to the best of us. I saw Fuchan getting the cleaning bits so I decided to help her.”

“I thought Shizune would’ve been with you too” I remark.

“She went after Arachan” Misha says sadly “We saw him leave the dorms crying, so Shizune went after him” I wince and Misha sees so she just simply says “Ah. Family argument?” I nod stiffly.

“Happened because of the news we received today,” I said gruffly. “Summons to a family thing and Arashi got some startling information. He said something and it set me off. I told him to leave”

Misha nods slowly as Fujiko dumps shards of mug in the bin. “Bad news?”

“In a way” My tone of voice brooks no more enquiries and Misha falls silent and finishes cleaning my floor. “Thank you” I say. “Let me get dressed and I’ll make you breakfast as thanks”

“Oh you don’t –“

“I insist,” I say firmly as I dress.

Misha giggles and says impishly, “I can see why Fuchan says you have a nice butt Ayachan!” I feel myself flush crimson at the cheeky grin she has and I hurriedly dress myself to cover my body from Mishas roaming eyes.

I pin Fujiko with a look and she shrugs unrepentantly “What? I’m only stating the truth,” she says innocently. “But breakfast would be nice” I grunt and pull on a t-shirt and dress for the morning.

We leave my room and head to the dorm kitchen and I begin to whip something up for breakfast. It’s not much, some grilled fish and vegetables, some rice and some reheated miso soup. Fujiko makes us all some green tea whilst I work and we dig into breakfast at the table once it’s ready. The dorm is still fairly quiet as it’s not quite quarter past nine just yet and we eat in the quiet of the morning.

I finish eating first and wash my dishes up. I quickly head back to my room and break out some of my own ingredients from my very small fridge and head back to the kitchen. Misha and Fujiko have just finished washing their own dishes and are quietly conversing. I tune out the conversation and focus on preparing dishes. Nothing complex or show stopping just some good food for Hisao and me to share after the track meet.

I make some gyoza, fried rice and grill some more fish to go with the fried rice. I make some omelettes as an after thought and then cringing as I cheat, cook some ready prepared meat buns. I turn to find Misha and Fujiko simply watching me. “What?” I ask slightly gruffly, a little bemused by their looks.

“Did your brother teach you?” Misha asks, as she watches my hands work.

“Some” I say with a small shrug as I turn the gyoza over in the wok with some chopsticks. “A lot I learnt from my Dad. Akihiro learnt from Dad too. We all learnt a least a little from Dad. He insisted that we all know how to feed ourselves. I did a little work during holidays in one of Dads restaurants so I learnt a lot then too” I do not mention that it was in the very same restaurant where I lost the use of my right eye.

“Your Dad was a chef?” Misha asks.

“He was” Fujiko interjects. “Ayane has told me that her Dad ran several restaurants in England too, then opened up several restaurants in Japan when he emigrated. They’re still under Tsukino management I believe.” I nod in confirmation and Mishas mouth drops open in surprise.

“That’s a lot of restaurants Ayachan!” Misha exclaims.

I say nothing and eye Fujiko lightly. I know what she’s trying to do and in small drips and drabs I’m giving up more information about my father to other people. I pack up what I’ve cooked into boxes and stash them in the fridge. I can hear other people waking in the dorm so I finish washing my dishes and utensils and leave a note on my food. I’ll pick it up later I decide. I yawn and bid Fujiko and Misha goodbye and head back to my room.

End part one of: Don't have to settle no goddamn score
Last edited by TheTealeaf on Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:35 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Tealeaf. Old cockney rhyming slang for 'thief'. That is what KS did to me. It tealeafed my heart straight from my chest. Especially you Rin. Especially you.

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well if one has not dined well
- Virginia Woolf

Cooking is like love. Enter with abandon or not at all

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TheTealeaf
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Location: England

Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 5 up!

Post by TheTealeaf » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:46 pm

Part two of scene six: Don't have to settle no goddamn score

My phone is flashing when I get back to my room and I flip it open. It’s a text from Hisao. The phantom sensations of his lips on mine flitter across my skin and I feel a smile tugging the corners of my mouth. The text is short and sweet. It simply reads; “Good morning! If you come outside there’s a coffee with your name on it!” Well how can I resist that invitation? I slip some shoes on and hurry outside.

Hisao stands outside the girls’ dorm, two cans of coffee in his hands. He hands one to me and I give him a wide smile. I seize him in a quick hug and we sit on a bench nearby. I crack open the can and let the steam escape for a few moments before taking a small sip. “You sure know the way to girls heart Hisao” He gives me a small laugh in response and we drink our coffee in the morning light.

“Is everything alright?” Hisao asks softly as I bin my can.

I sigh softly “Let me guess, you’ve seen Arashi this morning?”

Hisao nods softly, “I saw him with Shizune outside the boys’ dorm.” He looks at me in both my eyes unflinching. “He was crying Ayane. What happened?”

I feel so conflicted. Part of me is stunned and proud that Hisao can meet my gaze like that especially when I haven’t got my eye patch on. Another part of me is squirming under his firm eyes, feeling like a naughty child. “We had an argument,” I confess, blurting it out. “Arashi said… he said that Dad had been ashamed of us, that it was why we were sent here.” I swallow, my throat and mouth feeling dry suddenly, “I disagreed, I told him to leave before I said something stupid and hurtful.”

“Something else started this though,” Hisao states firmly.

I nod. It would be better to show Hisao rather than tell him. Do I invite him up? No not with this newness between us. “Wait here” I tell him and bolt from the bench, hurtling back up to my room. I scoop the invitations up from my desk, avoiding the drying wet patch on my floor, make sure to grab my mothers letter and then bound back outside again, to see a bemused Hisao finishing his coffee as I slow down my trot to a walk.

I sit down next to him and wordlessly hand him the letter and the ‘plus one’ invite. Hisao reads the letter quickly a frown on his face forming and deepening as he finishes the letter. After he finishes reading a twist forms in his mouth like he’s just bitten into a particularly sour lemon. “I guess this,” He says waving the letter around “Means that you’re not going to date me?”

I sit there stunned. “Are you fucking stupid Hisao?” I finally say and he appears shocked at my vulgarity. “I don’t give a shit what my mother thinks about you. I like you Hisao, do I have to stamp it on your forehead?” He shakes his head numbly. I take a breath. “I’ve been debating since I got the invite and the letter.”

“Debating what?” Hisao asks, giving my hand a squeeze.

“Debating if you’d be strong enough to meet my family,” I state bluntly. Hisao winces and I see the hurt in his eyes “Hisao” I say softly, “My family is toxic and I am loath to expose you to them. I don’t think I could bear to see them hurt you and they would try Hisao, they would try” I wrap him in a hug that he returns hesitantly and I confess, “Hisao I want nothing more than to be in the ballroom with you to face my mother. I want you to help me with my memories of my home and my dad. I’m just worried that my selfishness will wind up with you getting hurt.”

Hisao heaves a deep breath and steadies himself. “Ask me” He says.

I’m confused for a moment and then the cogs click into place. “Are you sure?” I ask him softly. “Saying my family is a minefield is an understatement. I…” I let out a deep sigh. “I should’ve told you this sooner”

“How sooner?” Hisao asks rhetorically, “We’ve known each other just over two weeks!”

A small laugh comes from me. “I’ll give you that one,” I say softly. “It’ll be a messy situation Hisao”

“I realized it wouldn’t be easy the night you broke down on me.” Hisao confesses. “I can do this Ayane. I need to do it, not just for you but for me as well I think.” Hisao is meeting my gaze again I feel so proud of him.

“Last chance,” I say, half jokingly, half not. Hisao shakes his head in defiance. I let out a breath and the nerves I didn’t know I had vanished and free the knots in my stomach. “Then Nakai Hisao, will you do me, Tsukino Ayane, the honour of accompanying me to the Tsukino masquerade ball?” I say it awfully pompously to break the mood but Hisao treats the situation seriously.

Hisao nods gravely and holds his hand out for the invite, which he takes gently. “Ms Tsukino” He says voice serious, “The pleasure of accompanying you to this ball will gratefully mine”, I can’t resist and I give into the temptation that’s been plaguing me since Hisao sent me his text. I kiss him, softly and sweetly, trying to tell him what I can’t say, what I can’t vocalize.

Hisao is a good man, a kind one. I don't want my family to corrupt him.

I worry that Hisao has just willingly placed himself in a den of vipers.

I push that worry to the back of my mind and pull back from the kiss. “That was a thank you,” I say primly.

“Oh” Hisao says, smiling. “Is there anything I’m going to need?”

Ah. Now to give Hisao some bad news. “A suit and dance lessons” I say and watch Hisaos face fall.

“Dance lessons?” He asks.

“Mother loves European culture” I say, twirling a lock of hair “Which means the dances are often waltzes and other ballroom dances. I’m a little rusty so I’ll need lessons too. Oh and here’s the best part” I add, “Akiho and Akihiro will have to teach us or organise a teacher. Don’t worry about the suit, Tsukino money will sort that and a mask will be provided at the ball.”

Hisao groans, “Face your brother, again?”

“I know but Hisao one way to impress my mother will be being able to dance” He looks at me surprised and I nod “It doesn’t matter either way but it will make our lives easier if we can impress her. Arashi will have a harder time I’m afraid”

“Why?”

“Because he wants to take Shizune and mother IS ashamed of our… conditions. Arashis especially, Akiho thinks it’s because he was born mute and she’s horrified that she could give birth to such a defect. Shizune is deaf and mute and in mothers eyes, twice as bad” I sigh heavily, “It will be hard for both of them” I pause and look skyward. “That was when the argument began.”

“I see” is the slow answer and I can hear the horror and disbelief in Hisaos voice.

“Not until you meet my mother will you see I’m afraid” I sigh and lean back on the bench. We sit in a heavy silence for a few minutes. “I’m sorry” I say eventually, “I’ve made this morning a little heavy”

“Not your fault” Hisao assures me. “It’s not like you planned it. That’s your mothers fault”

I laugh softly and realise that fair amount of time has passed. People are filtering onto the academy grounds. Guess people are turning up for the track meet must start soon. “I made some lunch earlier.” I comment. “Thought we could have a picnic after the track meet”

“Sounds good” Hisao says, “Need a hand packing it?”

“Sure” I agree good naturedly, even though underneath I’m still a rolling ball of worry. We venture into the girls dorm kitchen and pack the prepared food in boxes into a hamper. Even though our little excursion to pack the hamper takes only twenty minutes, when we head back outside there are plenty of people in the grounds.

We follow the crowd to the athletics track and take seats in the middle row. It’s not long before the athletes emerge onto the track and take positions. As much as I have a grudge against Ibarazaki, I have to admit she is a hell of a runner. As she sits there on the starting blocks, like a coiled spring, I can feel the potential energy humming in the air. I guess the science stuff from Hisao really did sink in if I’m talking about potential energy.

The crack of the starting gun and the runners are off out the blocks, Ibarazaki at the front of the pack. The energy in the air and the roar of the crowd is fantastic and I get swept up in the electric atmosphere. A win for Yamaku is a win for Yamaku after all. The race is over in seconds, Ibarazaki leaving everyone else in the dust. “Wow” Hisao says from beside me. “I know I’ve seen her sprint in the mornings but she left everyone behind!” I make a noise of agreement. The second race and the third are much the same, Ibarazaki leaving everyone behind as she sprints her heart out.

The relay is next and I think I spot Miura in the relay team. Once again, it’s a win for Yamaku, Ibarazaki running last and taking home the prize. As the relay winds down a voice from behind makes me shriek and jump. “Ah, now I owe Emi money” The owner of the voice is the red-haired artist of Yamaku, one Tezuka Rin. Her green eyes seemingly lock onto Hisao. “Emi thought you’d come, I didn’t, now I owe Emi money”

“You bet on me showing up?” Hisao asks indignantly. Tezuka nods, her gaze focused on the clouds.

“Five hundred yen” Tezuka says with a vague nod. “We should go down and crown the victor with laurel wreath”

“I don’t see any laurel wreaths around here” I remark.

“Oh? That is a problem then. Still you’ve seen Emi at her Emiest, I think now is when we should go say well done. That is what you do when someone’s done well isn’t it?” Tezuka questions.

I really don’t know what to say to that, but Hisao and me follow her form the seats into the sea of runners and people. We’re halfway through when I realise I’ve left the food behind. Hisao and Tezuka vanish into the crowd and I curse.

I wade back through the crowd and find the food basket, picking it up and heading back down the steps. The crowd has thinned out a little and I manage to spot Hisaos distinctive hair. I manage to make my way to him just in time to hear the tail end of the conversation and my feet root to the spot behind Hisao.

Ibarazakis chirpy voice asks “So as we have school tomorrow, how about we do something next weekend? You know to celebrate my win” I feel my stomach drop. Not again. Please, please not again.

My feet unfreeze and I lurch forward to be beside Hisao, the basket banging into my knees. Ibarazakis focuses on the basket I’m carrying and I faintly hear her make a small ‘oh’ sound. Hisao shifts nervously besides me and I am trying desperately not to glare at Ibarazaki. I bite my tongue and the pain helps me focus; stop me from doing anything stupid as I can feel my temper flaring. “Will, will you be free next weekend?” Ibarazaki asks and I feel a growl begin to claw its way up from my throat.

Hisaos hand in mine stops me. “I’m having dancing lessons next weekend I’m afraid Emi” Hisao says softly. “Maybe some other time”

“Dance lessons?” Ibarazaki asks, eyes widening.

I want to wipe that damn pout of her face so I smile sweetly and say “Hisao has agreed to accompany me to my families annual masquerade ball in a few weeks time” The look on Ibarazakis face is something that I will treasure for a long time.

Revenge is a dish best served cold and although this is entirely by accident, I can’t help but savour a small amount of the feeling. I guess a small part of me is my mothers’ daughter after all. “Well done on your wins” I add. It is a sincere congratulations and it flusters Ibarazaki even more.

“I… the medal ceremony start soon! I need to attend! Catch you tomorrow Hisao!” She jogs off and Hisao sighs beside me and takes the basket.

We walk off, Tezuka going in her own direction mumbling something about a painting as Hisao says to me “You could’ve sounded less smug”

Ouch.

I feel guilty as soon as he says it “I’m sorry.”

“I know you didn’t totally mean it” Sorry Hisao but I did in a way. “But I was about to let her down gently.” He finishes. “I know you two have a history but you did just hurt her”

“I…” I let out a sigh and then look Hisao dead on. “When I next see her I’ll apologise” Hisao nods and the subject is dropped.

We go to lunch and enjoy the rest of the day together with soft stolen kisses but the guilt gnaws at me later in the evening.

Guess I have two people to apologise to tomorrow.

End scene six.
Tealeaf. Old cockney rhyming slang for 'thief'. That is what KS did to me. It tealeafed my heart straight from my chest. Especially you Rin. Especially you.

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well if one has not dined well
- Virginia Woolf

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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 6 up!

Post by brythain » Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:20 pm

Oh no! You made Emi Ibarazaki pout! :shock:

Otherwise, I'm enjoying your progress, story-wise. :)
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: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 6 up!

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:32 pm

Wow, Ayane's mother hasn't even made an appearance yet and I already hate her as much as I think is possible. To me, she is the worst sort of human outside of the actual evil ones(like Hitler and the like). Why are OC mothers in fanfics always so terrible?

Honestly, that thought process dominated my mind so much I don't have anything else to say about this chapter.
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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 6 up!

Post by brythain » Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:47 pm

AntonSlavik020 wrote:Wow, Ayane's mother hasn't even made an appearance yet and I already hate her as much as I think is possible. To me, she is the worst sort of human outside of the actual evil ones(like Hitler and the like). Why are OC mothers in fanfics always so terrible?

Honestly, that thought process dominated my mind so much I don't have anything else to say about this chapter.
Terrible OC mothers spawn terrible OC offspring. Evidence:
I want to wipe that damn pout off her face, so I smile sweetly and say, “Hisao has agreed to accompany me to my family's annual masquerade ball in a few weeks' time.” The look on Ibarazaki's face is something that I will treasure for a long time.
Punctuation and corrections mine. I think the original writing needs a lot of that...
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 6 up!

Post by TheTealeaf » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:49 am

brythain wrote:
AntonSlavik020 wrote:Wow, Ayane's mother hasn't even made an appearance yet and I already hate her as much as I think is possible. To me, she is the worst sort of human outside of the actual evil ones(like Hitler and the like). Why are OC mothers in fanfics always so terrible?

Honestly, that thought process dominated my mind so much I don't have anything else to say about this chapter.
Terrible OC mothers spawn terrible OC offspring. Evidence:
I want to wipe that damn pout off her face, so I smile sweetly and say, “Hisao has agreed to accompany me to my family's annual masquerade ball in a few weeks' time.” The look on Ibarazaki's face is something that I will treasure for a long time.
Punctuation and corrections mine. I think the original writing needs a lot of that...
Um... Ouch? I know my grammar is probably fairly atrocious but I am working on it :(

And yes I know it's a little clichéd and hackneyed but the mother is very concerned about 'image' don't fear more will be revealed soon!

Anton: I do hate to say it but the mother is based off a relative of mine. When she found out her first son was gay she disowned from the family and told him to never come back, didn't even come to his funeral after he was stabbed. I overheard her at a reunion mention to another charming relative (they were discussing the Down syndrome child that my cousin had) 'if any of my children were crippled I would send them out of sight'.

Yes I have first hand knowledge of toxic family members as I have some of my own too!
Tealeaf. Old cockney rhyming slang for 'thief'. That is what KS did to me. It tealeafed my heart straight from my chest. Especially you Rin. Especially you.

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well if one has not dined well
- Virginia Woolf

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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 6 up!

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:54 am

I’ve just finished brewing the tea and taking my pills when the door knocks.
It does? Interesting doors they have there ;-)
Besides I’m assuming you have a plus one invitation in there too?” Arashi gives me a single hesitant nod.
Not a wise move if she intends to marry him off to somepne particular...
[if you ask Hisao to the ball, I’ll kiss Shizune in the middle of the cafeteria!]
This bet is even less wise :lol:
She’s like us. Crippled according to mother and we both know that mother is ashamed of us,
And still she suggested Ayane find a nice, rich boyfriend at Yamaku? Seems like she's more interested in money than in disabilities.

Regarding grammar, I suggest you especially look at the genitive ' and maybe a few missing commas. Most other issues I would say are just typos and probably due to your fast update schedule...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 6 up!

Post by TheTealeaf » Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:52 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
I’ve just finished brewing the tea and taking my pills when the door knocks.
It does? Interesting doors they have there ;-)
Besides I’m assuming you have a plus one invitation in there too?” Arashi gives me a single hesitant nod.
Not a wise move if she intends to marry him off to somepne particular...
[if you ask Hisao to the ball, I’ll kiss Shizune in the middle of the cafeteria!]
This bet is even less wise :lol:
She’s like us. Crippled according to mother and we both know that mother is ashamed of us,
And still she suggested Ayane find a nice, rich boyfriend at Yamaku? Seems like she's more interested in money than in disabilities.

Regarding grammar, I suggest you especially look at the genitive ' and maybe a few missing commas. Most other issues I would say are just typos and probably due to your fast update schedule...
Door thing: Fixed.

Invite: Mother likes to play games. Think a really, really evil Shizune!

Bet: BWHAHAHAHA. Yes, yes it is.

Mother: Yup, money hit the nail on the head. She's more ashamed that she birthed them. She hates the fact her body produced these defects. (according to her)

Grammar: ugh genitive ' all I remember from English class is Mr Massi saying "if it's missing a letter use a '. Always have struggled with them ><. I'm always worried I'm being over generous with my commas and my grammar check always flags me up on unnecessary commas, bah I can never win! :oops:
Tealeaf. Old cockney rhyming slang for 'thief'. That is what KS did to me. It tealeafed my heart straight from my chest. Especially you Rin. Especially you.

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well if one has not dined well
- Virginia Woolf

Cooking is like love. Enter with abandon or not at all

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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 6 up!

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:19 pm

I wanted to drop by and say that I've been enjoying the story to date. (For some reason, I keep reading Akihiro in Gordon Ramsay's voice...)

Anyway, It's always good to have decent KS fanfiction to read.
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
"Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." - Mark Twain
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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 6 up!

Post by TheTealeaf » Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:34 pm

Oscar Wildecat wrote:I wanted to drop by and say that I've been enjoying the story to date. (For some reason, I keep reading Akihiro in Gordon Ramsay's voice...)

Anyway, It's always good to have decent KS fanfiction to read.
-falls over laughing- Oh god, now I can't get that mental image of Hisao being in Hells kitchen, Ramsey giving him a heart attack over some under cooked beef! Oh thank you for the laugh!

Still oscar, thank you very much!

Scene 7 will be out shortly (In the next hour or so actually) so I hope you keep reading and enjoying!
Tealeaf. Old cockney rhyming slang for 'thief'. That is what KS did to me. It tealeafed my heart straight from my chest. Especially you Rin. Especially you.

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well if one has not dined well
- Virginia Woolf

Cooking is like love. Enter with abandon or not at all

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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 6 up!

Post by TheTealeaf » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:15 pm

This scene was brought to you via the musical strains of Globus and their Epicon album and Heavenly and their Virus album.

Enjoy!

(Also I got distracted by Mirages fics)

Next update will likely be wednesday!

-------------------------
Act 2

Scene 7


‘Shake, rattle and roll’

It’s another night of broken sleep. This is not good for my health. Broken sleep patterns for me can lead to very bad things.

I do manage to catch a couple of hours sleep but when my alarm wakes me at half past five, I wake shivering from the sweat sticking to me. I feel awful; my skin is clammy and damp, t-shirt sticking to my petite curves. It doesn’t help I’m suffering from lightning bolt like stomach cramps. I lie in bed for a few moments and rub my tender abdomen.

Mother Nature. Giving crappy gifts to women since the dawn of time.

Another cramp flashes through me and I moan aloud with the pain. Hot shower, hot shower I mentally chant as I stagger up and off my bed. I fumble and stumble my way into the bathroom and as soon as the hot water touches my skin it is bliss. The ache in my tummy vanishes and the clammy, sticky sensation on my skin is soothed away by the running water.

After the shower I decide to have some time in the bath. I’m up early, so I do have time to kick back and relax a little. Sinking into the water feels so soothing and I groan in relief. This was exactly what the doctor ordered. For a long, long moment I float in the water and let my mind think of exactly nothing.

I hear the bathroom door open and Fujiko strolls in, naked as the day she was born. She appears half asleep, exactly how I felt a few short minutes ago and she simply stands under the shower, letting the water run over her.

“Morning!” My voice echoes off the tiles and Fujiko shrieks and spins, falling flat on her behind under the shower. I hurriedly remove myself from the bath and help Fujiko up, water rivulets running over both our bodies. “You ok?” I ask rather lamely, feeling guilty for causing the fall.

“Nothing hurt but my pride and bum” Fujiko says ruefully, rubbing said abused posterior, “Wasn’t expecting anyone else in the shower at this time in the morning, especially you Ayane! Why are you up so early?”

I shrug, leaving the hot water of the shower and move away from the bathing area, beginning to towel myself down. “I owe some people apologies. I’m going to bite the bullet and do it sooner rather than later, get it over and done with before school so it doesn’t distract me in class” I admit.

“Who is it?” Fujiko asks, voice muffled as my towel is over my head.

“My brother for one and” I huff “Ibarazaki… I was a little spiteful towards her yesterday at the track meet”

“Oh?”

I wrap the towel around myself and sigh, “She asked Hisao to do something with her next weekend. Hisao let her down gently by mentioning he’d be taking dance classes next weekend. I butted in and told her Hisao had accepted my invitation to the Tsukino masquerade ball.” There is beat of silence as I ponder my next words, “There may have been a little… gloating involved. Hisao called me out on it later…” I trail off, a slight echo on the tiles.

I hear Fujiko splashing behind me as she says; “At least you’ve made it clear to Ibarazaki though I guess?”

“I didn’t have to be such a bitch about it though”

“True but you can hold a grudge for a long time Ayane.” I acknowledge this fact. Fujiko has known me long enough to know that I really can hold a grudge. It’s my main sin in a way I suppose but instead of my wrath burning hot and quick it simmers for a long time before being delivered.

I’m not perfect, far, far from it, after all we are all flawed in our own unique ways. I’m only human after all.

I wave goodbye to Fujiko as she slips into the bath and hustle back into my room. I pull on my uniform but not before taking precautions against Mother Nature. I dress, grab a book and my bag for the day and leave the dorms.

Although its sunny, there is still a small chill in the air and I shiver and wish I’d brought a cardigan or jumper out with me. I debate turning back and retrieving one but if I turn around now I will chicken out. I straighten up my shoulders and suck in a fortifying breath before crossing the rest of the academies grounds.

My destination is the running track.

It only takes me a few minutes to make my way there but it almost feels like a lifetime. When I get there in the early morning sunshine there is a lone figure running the track.

Ibarazaki Emi. I sigh and wipe my forehead, my skins feeling clammy and icky again. I wander nearer the track and stand under a tree that’s near the track. I decide to wait, let Ibarazaki spot me. I’m feeling too nervous to approach her directly.

Three laps later I see Ibarazaki begin to slow and as she rounds one of the track corners, I realise that she’s spotted me. She slows further and pulls up to a stop near me.

“What’re you here for Tsukino?” She asks bitterly, “Come to gloat some more? Save it, I don’t want to hear it”

If looks could kill, I think I would be dead right now. Ibarazaki glaring is unnatural. She’s well known as chirpy and cheerful round school so to see her glaring is really, really weird.

I do deserve it though.

I clear my throat and shuffle my feet. This is harder than it looks Hisao, I think, struggling to find the right words. “No Ibarazaki…” I say softly, not being able to meet her gaze, “I came to apologise” I look up from my feet and her mouth is open, looking as though she was about to yell at me but my apology has completely pulled the wind from her sails.

“Apologise?” She splutters, stunned by the turn of events, “Why would you apologise you’ve hated me since halfway through first year! Yet… you’ve won! Won before I even had a chance and you came here to apologise?”

I wince at the verbal barrage. “It… it wasn’t my intention to rub it in your face. I didn’t know that you… cared for Hisao until you asked him to do something next weekend. It… did get my hackles up especially due to uh… what happened in first year” I rub the back of my head sheepishly.

“I’m pretty sure you knew I’m his running partner” is the next accusation.

I nod, “I knew you were his running partner, Hisao had mentioned it. Also mentioned that Nurse had suggested it to help better his condition” I suck in a breath and look Ibarazaki square on. “I may not be your biggest fan Ibarazaki but I’m not going to stop Hisao from doing something that makes him healthier. I’d have to be a cold hearted bitch to do that”

That draws a snort from her “Funny, I always thought you were a cold hearted bitch”

Ok, enough is enough. “Look Ibarazaki, we don’t like each other but lets face it, with you being Hisao’s running partner and friend we are going to be seeing a lot more of each other. I know that Hisao wouldn’t want us to fight so can’t we just let bygones be bygones?” I ask, a pleading note in my voice.

“What bygones?” Ibarazaki huffs, “I’ve never done anything to you! Partway through first year you suddenly started hating my guts!”

That stops me in my tracks, making me swallow my angry retort. “Shinji” That name stops her dead in the water. “Kusanagi Shinji. Do you remember that name?” I ask. There is a hesitant nod. “He was a third year when I met him” I begin watching her facial expression closely as I talk, “he was on the track and field team, good at the marathon and swimming events. Started talking to me at lunches in the swimming pool, after a while he asked me out.” I suck in a breath. “Then my Dad died and I fell into little fucking pieces. I was out of school for several weeks and you know what I find when I come back?” I lean closer to her and hiss “Nothing. As soon as I got back he dumped me, then I find out he’d been seen flirting with you. Then two days, two days after he dumped me, I hear that he begins dating you.” I step back. “That’s why I’m not a fan Ibarazaki. I needed him at the time and instead you take him away. Let me be very, very clear Ibarazaki.” This time I get close and whisper like a razor “I’m not going to let it happen again” I spin on my heel and begin to walk away, fuming. Fuck my apology she can shove it in her ear and blow smoke with it. If she’s going to deny all knowledge…

“Wait! He never told me! I never knew!” Ibarazaki calls.

I stop and slowly turn. “Do you really expect me to believe that?” I ask mockingly, shaking my head. “I’m not stupid”

“No I really do mean it! It’s the truth, Shinji never said a thing about you and no-one mentioned it to me either!” There is a note of something, a tone in her voice that makes me hesitate and I feel the furnace of my wrath inside me quench with a hiss. I gesture at her to continue. “He just appeared when I was running, wanted some help with his sprinting as he was a marathon specialist and wanted some advice on sprinting finishes. I never knew he was dating you Tsukino, at least not until today” the sincerity in her voice rings true.

“And I never confronted you about it” I finish, my brain putting facts together for me, “I just fumed and grumbled and was hostile to you” I placed my head in my hands “What a mess”

“If I had known…” Her voice trails off.

“I know.” I say softly. “It’s not your fault. He was the prick” that draws a small giggle from Ibarazaki. I straighten up right “Ok, first, let me apologise for being such an idiot about the whole thing” I sigh and then stick my hand out “Tsukino Ayane, a pleasure to meet you”

“Ibarazaki Emi, the fastest thing on no legs!” is the greeting I’m given as she pumps my hand up and down. “But… just call me Emi” She adds. “You always sounds angry when you say ‘Ibarazaki!’” She gives a mock imitation of my slightly deeper voice and I snort a beat of laughter from my nose and she grins at me, eye twinkling.

“Alright Emi” I say, the word tasting and feeling unusual on my tongue, “So long as you return the favour and call me Ayane”

She nods and then her expression gets serious. “You were being honest yesterday weren’t you? Hisao really is going to this ball with you” There is a note of sadness in her voice and I wince. Yup, I was not a nice person towards her yesterday and as it turns out all over something that could’ve been rectified in first year. Way to go Ayane!

I nod and then add gently “We had been on a date the evening before as well. We’re… well we really like each other. I’m sorry Emi” I say it as gently as I can and I see her nod.

“You just treat my running partner right you hear me Ayane? Or… or I’ll find my spare set of legs and do something drastic with them!”

The threat makes me smile as she waves her arms around in exaggerated gestures. “I plan on doing nothing but treat him right” I say, a small smile on my face.

Emi nods firmly. “Good” She states, hands on hips. “He might act all tough but under that he’s pretty delicate” I nod, I knew what she meant. The look in his eyes he gets sometimes, the soft touches to his chest, the small comments he makes about hospital food, coffee, lack of friends, laughter and smiling, they all paint a not-so-very-pretty picture.

“Don’t worry,” I say with a smile. “He’s in good hands”

“Who’s in good hands?” Both of us jump in surprise and I turn to find Hisao behind me in his running gear, the red shorts and white t-shirt. “Are you two getting on?” There is a note of worry in his voice as he watches the pair of us.

Surprisingly it is Emi who answers Hisao. “We cleared the air and Ayane apologised to me”

Hisao seems surprised but a smile appears on his face. “Good! That’s good!”

Emi asks “Is it alright if I steal Hisao now? We’ve got running to do!”

I frown at her phrasing but answer, “Sure, so long as you don’t mind me hanging around. I’m going to need Hisao afterwards. I need to speak to my brother and Hisao can get me into the dorms”

“Sure” Emi says, “but you’ll probably be pretty bored just watching the slow poke here”

I smile and pat the bag I’ve got with me. “Don’t worry, I’ve got some literature to keep me entertained. You two go ahead and do your routine thing, or whatever you call it” I plonk myself down on the ground and open my book. The sound of footsteps moves away from me and then I hear the distinctive sound of Emis’ running begins, followed closely by the sound of Hisaos footfalls.

I lose myself in a book again, wandering the corridors of fantasy worlds and magic, battling evil monsters and banishing demons. I lose myself so much in the book, it’s only when Hisao removes the book from my hands that I realise he’s been talking to me. “Uh, sorry” I admit with a small chuckle, “Wasn’t paying attention, could you repeat what you said please?”

Hisao smiles indulgently and says, “I go to the nurse after every run, if you wait for me outside the boys’ dorms, after my appointment I’ll let you in and you can speak to Arashi” I bobble my head up and down in agreement and head over in the direction of the boys dorm whilst Hisao walks off with Emi in the direction of the nurses office.

End part one of: Shake, rattle and role.
Last edited by TheTealeaf on Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Tealeaf. Old cockney rhyming slang for 'thief'. That is what KS did to me. It tealeafed my heart straight from my chest. Especially you Rin. Especially you.

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well if one has not dined well
- Virginia Woolf

Cooking is like love. Enter with abandon or not at all

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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 6 up!

Post by TheTealeaf » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:25 pm

Part two of Shake, rattle and roll

I must look an odd sight, sitting on the boys’ dorm steps, reading an English fantasy novel. I only manage half a chapter before Hisao gets back from the nurses office. “That was quick” I remark as he opens the door for me.

“It’s just a check up, make sure I’m not over exerting myself” Hisao says with a shrug. He leads me into the dorms and heads to his room. Arashi is in the same corridor as Hisao but on the other side. “I’m going to get a shower” Hisao says, “Little sweaty from the run, I hope you can sort things”

“I hope so too” I say a little morosely as Hisao waves good bye, darting into his room, grabbing his stuff and going back down the hallway to what I presume is the bathroom. I stare in that direction for a moment then turn and face Arashis door. I raise my fist and give three quick, sharp raps on the door, then step back a pace.

No answer.

Ok, he may still be asleep. Attempt number two, I knock a little harder. Thirty seconds later, still no response and I can’t hear movement either. I can feel a blood vessel above my eye twitching. Come on Arashi, you’re mute, not deaf so stop acting like a petulant child!

I step back and am about to begin really hammering on his door when I feel something hit my blind side. I turn to the right and Arashi is standing there, messily dressed a steaming mug of what smells likes green tea held in one hand. We simply stare at each other for a moment. “Can I come in?” I ask hesitantly. Arashi simply stares and then gives one long, slow nod. He moves past me and opens his door and gestures for me to enter.

Arashis room is always incredibly neat. Everything has it’s own little spot and placement, fastidiously neat and orderly. Even his dirty clothes are folded. It’s a rather different atmosphere from my room. There are no posters on the wall but he has some framed art up, reprints or replicas I think. He has a wide selection of books too but his tastes veer towards murder mystery and thriller along with his not-so-secret stash of romance novels. Lots of music CDs, a few DVDs and a laptop all lurk on his desk along with a small stereo and large set of headphones.

The door shuts behind me and Arashi moves further into his room. He sits on his bed and then gestures at his desk chair. I sit down at his invitation and fiddle for a moment, debating what to say to him as he takes a long slow sip of tea. Finally I settle with the obvious. “I’m sorry”. The phrase hangs in the still air of the room, Arashi and his inscrutable dark eyes never leaving mine.

Arashi slowly puts down his mug and signs [So am I]

I can feel my lips wobbling so I shakily sign back [Idiot! I hate fighting with you! We haven’t fought since we were eleven!]

[I know. I’m sorry] is all he signs before he grabs me in a hug. I can feel him shuddering against me and I can feel tears soaking into the shoulder of my uniform. I’m crying on his shoulder too, so we both end up with wet uniforms.

Eventually the tears stop and we wipe our eyes. [I’m sorry what I said about Dad. You’re right; he always wanted the best for us]

“Then why’d you say it?” I ask aloud. “You know exactly what I’m like Arashi, you know what triggers I have, so why do it?”

His shoulders heave up and down. A silent sigh and then his hands begin slowly moving almost reluctantly. He admits and I feel a sharp spike of pain go through my heart. Oh Arashi. [He taught you those songs, took you to shows, he doted on you]

I move forward and grasp Arashis hands. “He loved both of us,” I say fervently. “He learnt sign for you, it was his suggestion. He took you to all your sport events and do you remember when he decked that parent of that snot nosed kid that was always bothering you?” Arashi looks at me, long and hard and I press on. “Do you know why Dad taught me in private?” There is a shake of his head. “Because he felt that because you didn’t have a voice it would upset you. He was always worrying about you brother, constantly. Akihiro told me when you transferred into that new school he wouldn’t leave his office for fear he’d miss a phone call.” I take a deep breath. “That doesn’t mean he was perfect. We know he wasn’t.”

Arashi pulls his hands from mine signing [Short tempered]

“Loud”

[Always had to be right]

I grin weakly. “But he loved us Arashi. Loved us very much.”

Arashi hangs his head and signs [I know. I lost my temper]

“Something we have in common. It’s over and done with, I forgive you brother”

He signs, eyes watering again.

“Don’t start leaking on me again,” I warn mockingly before grasping him in a hug. We hug for a few more moments then withdraw from each other. “You’re the second person I’ve apologised to today.” A querying eyebrow is raised. “I also apologised to Ibarazaki… Emi, I was pretty mean to her yesterday, Hisao called me out on it”

[If he can get you to apologise, especially to the little runner, then I most definitely approve of cowlick]

“His hair is not that bad” I defend Hisaos adorable hair from my brother.

He simply gives a silent snort of laughter and then signs [I need to finish getting ready for school so unless you have some kind of…]

“Yuck! Going! See you at lunch!” I call out as I hurriedly leave Arashi’s room. Hisaos door beckons from across the hallway. I check the time. I still have nearly fifteen minutes before class. In four swift steps I’m across the hallway and knocking on his door.

“Who is it?” Hisao’s querying voice makes me giggle and then I faintly hear his footsteps across his floor, moving towards the door. “Its too early for council stuff” His door is yanked open and his eyes meet mine. “Oh. Good morning” He seems a little surprised.

“Morning again” I say with a grin, “Did you forget I was visiting my brother across the hall?” The sheepish grin is all the answer I need. “Can I come in?” I ask. Hisao doesn’t answer verbally; instead he steps to one side. I move into Hisao’s room. It’s his sanctuary from the outside world and student life, however it’s a little bare and bland. There are no posters or pictures around, no CDs, no DVDs, just a desk scattered with a few library books and…

That is a lot of medication. I do have a vague memory of Hisao mentioning he took a lot of medication but seeing it for myself is another matter. “It’s a lot isn’t it?” Hisao’s voice is rather melancholy as I turn to face him. He’s shut his room door and is facing me but his eyes are roaming over his pills. “Needed though. It’s all that’s stopping me from dropping dead on the spot” There is a dark look in Hisao’s eyes; the same one I saw when I first met him.

I hate that look, it’s an ugly defeatist look and one I see in my mirror some mornings, one that I know Hisao saw on me when I cried in his arms that evening. I say nothing and move closer to him, drawing him down into a kiss. He seems surprised and resists for a brief second before his arms draw me close to him and he returns the kiss with quite a need.

I find myself pinned against his wall, his lips hungrily devouring mine, with me returning the favour just. His hands stay on my waist, not venturing from there, which is good; kissing is one thing, groping another, something I’m not ready for.

I kiss him back just as hard, one hand tangling in his hair. He tastes so damn good. Tastes of his toothpaste, more than slightly minty but I’m getting something a little tart as well. I run my tongue across his lips and with a small intake of breath through his nose, his mouth opens. My tongue darts inside and I feel him shiver through the grip he has on my waist. Yes he tastes good, so good.

I think the tartness is pomegranate. Juice he had this morning maybe? I withdraw from Hisao, feeling a flush and a rush of light-headedness shoot through me. We pull back from each other our breath coming in short, slightly ragged gasps. “Wow” Is all Hisao says.

“Wow indeed” I giggle. Hisao runs one hand through my hair and I see he wants to kiss me again. I let him but this time, I return the favour and gently press him to his wall. This time is tongue explores my mouth and I actually feel a little week in the knees.

This is real life Ayane, not some stupid romance manga; you are not getting weak at your knees and euphoric from a kiss!

We are saved, or interrupted, personally I prefer interrupted, by the warning bell for class. We pull back from each other, both of our hair in totally disarray, I feel that my lips are bruised and slightly swollen and certainly rather red. Hisao is in much the same condition. We trade a look. “I think Shizune is going to interrogate me?” He says with a sigh.

“You think Shizune is bad? You should try Fujiko, she’ll try and get every little detail out of me!” I say in mock horror. We attempt to straighten ourselves up but we only sort the hair and slightly rumpled uniforms out. I dart out of Hisaos room and grab my brother as he leaves his room. “I was talking to you,” I say, grabbing Arashi. “I was talking to you and I was never in HIsaos room, clear?” He frowns but gives me a nod and we all leave the dorms, fortunately not running into anyone else and make it to class.

Classes pass with in a blur. I get my science exam back and miracle upon miracles I passed! I think I owe Hisao some more kisses for working his science voodoo upon my poor brain.

In English, Ms Miyagi informs us our new teacher will be popping in on Friday to have us for one lesson to introduce ourselves.

Lunchtime comes upon us in a rush. I didn’t make lunch this morning and neither did Arashi so Fujiko and I grab the boys, Shizune and Misha joining us down in the cafeteria. I need food; I’ve been feeling light headed all day, slightly wobbly.

We find some seats amongst the hustle and bustle of fellow students. Food is rapidly ordered and we sit down and eat the bland but filling food. There is some banter between Fujiko and Misha, with Fujiko also lightly teasing Hisao as she did interrogate me during teacher swaps this morning. Arashi is talking to Shizune and I feel a wickedly delicious idea emerge from the froth in my brain.

“Arashi” I call during a lull from the conversation. He looks up at me, a questioning expression on his face. “Remember the bet you made with me yesterday?” His face goes pale and I have to resist the urge to cackle madly. I make a ‘gimmie’ gesture with one hand. “Well I went through with it, so time to pay up brother dearest” I can see Misha translating for Shizune and she has an expression of approval on her face as I speak to Arashi.

Oh if only you knew the context Shizune. If only you knew.

“Not going to chicken out are we?” I say with a smirk. I feel my legs twitch under the table and I frown at the sensation.

Arashi has still gone deathly pale and then thumps his head on the canteen table. He quickly reaches into his bag, pulls out pen and paper, scribbles rapidly on it, folds it, scribbles on the front and then hands it to Hisao, who reads aloud, “The last will of Tsukino Arashi?” There is a confused tone to Hisaos voice and even Shizune looks lost when Misha translates.

[It’s for when Shizune kills me] Arashi signs flatly. He’s giving me a pleading begging look but I’m not going to let him wriggle out of this one. Oh no. No wiggle room here.

[Why would I kill you and what for?] Shizune signs, looking at Arashi curiosity all over her expression.

He gives one of those silent sighs again and then signs [For this]. He pulls Shizune into a kiss in the middle of the cafeteria just as agreed. He has one hand on the back of her head, another on her waist and you can hear a pin drop in the silence of the cafeteria. “Oh my” Fujiko says and the spell is broken. Shizune rears back from the kiss her expression oddly… triumphant.

Misha looks nearly unconsolable.

My brother just looks happy to be alive. [Finally!] Shizune signs, throwing her hands in the air [It only took you six months and a bet with your sister!] She then proceeds to grab my brother who was sitting next to her by the back of his head and then kiss him senseless!

My jaw drops, as does everyone else’s. There is a hushed stunned silence from the room. The Shizune, sometimes unkindly known as 'Deaf charge' by her peers, engaging in a public display of affection? This will be all over school before lunch ends!

What the… I look away from the sight. I do not want to see my brother getting his mouth inspected by Shizune at lunch. Fujiko pushes her plate away “I’ve just lost my appetite” She murmurs, turning her good eye from the spectacle. Misha looks fairly appalled as well.

“Ow!” Misha suddenly cries out, her eyes watering. “Ayachan why’d you kick me?”

“I didn’t!”

“Yes you did!” Misha reaches for her shin under the table and starts rubbing it. “That hurts! You’ve been twitching against my foot since we sat down!”

My blood runs cold. Shit. No, no, no, please not now, how can I have been so stupid? The light headedness and euphoria are all signs, my sleeping pattern has been bad, I think I forgot my medication this morning and it's that time of the month. Everything points in one direction.

I feel my leg jerk forward again and it impacts besides Mishas leg, hitting the seating instead. I don't feel the pain like I should, another neon warning sign.

“Ayachan stop it!”

I suddenly feel a horrific itch in my right eye and I rip my eye patch off, holding a hand over my eye. Even with my hand over my eye I can still see colours beginning to swarm and swirl around people nearby.

It’s hard to describe. If you were a spiritual person you might call it an aura but I know it as one of the signs I’m about to have a seizure.

I try to stand but my legs give way under me and I slam back down into my seat. I can faintly hear people talking to me but I can’t make it out. There’s a roaring, pounding noise in my head.

I can feel my chest tightening and I croak out “G-g-get the nurse!” My voice is strangled wheezy sound.

One of my arms has gone numb and my teeth are chattering. This is it, game over and checkout time from reality for some time.

I try to stand again and succeed for brief, brief moment and then I feel myself falling into darkness.

Going.

Going.

Gone.

And then there is only blackness.

End scene seven.
Last edited by TheTealeaf on Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Tealeaf. Old cockney rhyming slang for 'thief'. That is what KS did to me. It tealeafed my heart straight from my chest. Especially you Rin. Especially you.

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well if one has not dined well
- Virginia Woolf

Cooking is like love. Enter with abandon or not at all

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AntonSlavik020
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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 7 up!

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:54 pm

Really enjoyed the talk between Ayane and Emi. Glad to see they've reconciled things.

Also, I had a huge smile on my face when Ayane brought up the bet she made with her brother, and his reaction prior to the kiss was hilarious. Shizune's reaction is a little over the top(kissing him back is fine, but mounting him in the cafeteria is a little much), but I still enjoyed it.
Best girl
Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

Best route
Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

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TheTealeaf
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Location: England

Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 7 up!

Post by TheTealeaf » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:09 pm

AntonSlavik020 wrote:Really enjoyed the talk between Ayane and Emi. Glad to see they've reconciled things.

Also, I had a huge smile on my face when Ayane brought up the bet she made with her brother, and his reaction prior to the kiss was hilarious. Shizune's reaction is a little over the top(kissing him back is fine, but mounting him in the cafeteria is a little much), but I still enjoyed it.
Ah I blame the fact that I've just replayed Shizunes route. I can't get that first H-scene out of my head and it came through in my writing.

The little will thing has been bouncing in my head since the characters developed. It was one of the first scenes I'd had down on paper. It's changed and evolved since then but it's always been part of it.

I knew you would like the Shizune part Anton.

As always, thank you for your kind words! :D
Tealeaf. Old cockney rhyming slang for 'thief'. That is what KS did to me. It tealeafed my heart straight from my chest. Especially you Rin. Especially you.

One cannot think well, sleep well, love well if one has not dined well
- Virginia Woolf

Cooking is like love. Enter with abandon or not at all

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griffon8
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Re: Learning the blues. Act 2 Scene 7 up!

Post by griffon8 » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:47 pm

Agreed that Shizune’s reaction is over the top. Japan has a strong social pressure against such public displays of affection.

As people have mentioned before, your writing is quite good, but could use polishing. It’s never to the point that your meaning isn’t clear, but it does draw me a bit out of the story. Perhaps a small revision would be in order when you’re done, for the benefit of future readers.
I found out about Katawa Shoujo through the forums of Misfile. There, I am the editor of Misfiled Dreams.

Completed: 100%, including bonus picture. Shizune>Emi>Lilly>Hanako>Rin

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