The Brownie of Yamaku, -snippets-

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TheTealeaf
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The Brownie of Yamaku, -snippets-

Post by TheTealeaf » Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:29 pm

A one shot that popped into my head. -Shakes fist at cloud- Anyway, took a quick break from scene 12 and hammered this out.

Dedicated to my beta readers, Mirage and eduril for wrestling with my atrocious comma usage and grammar.

Anyway... enjoy! This may go further, I don't know. I don't like writing from Hisao's P.O.V it feels a little stilted but oh well.

(Mochi are small filled rice cakes, think a little like doughnuts)

*****

The brownie of Yamaku.

I’ve been here just over a week and just like my heart, my console has decided to partially give up on life.

I sigh and look down at my DS and tap the buttons. Nothing. Not a single response.

I let my head hit my desk. At least I still have my books to occupy me.

“What’s got you lookin so down, new guy?”

The voice in the practically empty classroom cuts through my apathy. I regard the owner of the voice warily.

Tanned skin, black hair… one arm terminating at the wrist with bandages and the ever-present cat like grin.

I struggle to remember my classmates name and then it leaps to the front of my brain. “Good morning Miura” I greet her softly.

“Hey, easy with the formality, it’s Miki.” She says with an easy grin.

“Then I’m Hisao”

“Ah I thought it was something like that!” Miki says with a click of her fingers. “All I could remember was Misha calling you Hicchan.”

“Hisao, please.” I say firmly. My name is Hisao, not Hicchan!

“Gotcha!” Miki says with a smile, “So what’s got you down?”

I wave my DS in front of her. “My game consoles died on me. I forgot it and my parents sent it to me, arrived a couple of days ago and now it won’t work.”

“Oh!” Miki says with another wide grin, “In that case, you need to see the brownie of Yamaku!”

“The… brownie? Isn’t that an American cake?” I ask quizzically.

“It is,” Miki says with a smirk, “But it’s also the nickname of our resident electronics specialist here.”

“So why the nickname?”

“Some smartass part European kid talked about a fairytale from back home. Leave sweet treats out overnight and the brownies would clean and fix your house up.” Miki leans in closer, voice dropping as if she’s imparting some great secret. “The brownie likes cookies, so combined with the kids story she earned the name ‘the brownie of Yamaku’.”

She pulls back and gives me a wink. “See me after school and we’ll go see the brownie, make sure you bring cookies and a sweet drink!”

And with that she saunters back to her seat.

Cookies, a sweet drink… and the brownie of Yamaku? Just when I thought I was getting used to this school, something new gets thrown at me.

Although part of me is curious about this… brownie.

***
During lunch, - after I dodge the student council – I make sure to buy an extra can of soda and buy several cookies and a small bag of mochi for good measure from the cafeteria.

The rest of my school day vanishes into the afternoon sunlight in the dusty classroom. Even with science, I pay little to no attention to the lecture, or to Misha’s repeated attempts to draw my focus.

Instead my mind wanders to the girl Miki spoke of, this… brownie.

What is she like? What does she look like?

For some bizarre reason my brain conjures up an image of a female Kenji and I shudder in revulsion.

I think I can only withstand that particular brand of insanity for a small amount of time.

The lecture draws to a close and Miki saunters over to my desk with a grin on her face and swagger in her step. “Ready to roll Hisao?” She asks, jerking her thumb over her shoulder.

“Where are you off to Hicchan?” Misha asks, Shizune hovering at her shoulder.

“We’re off to see the brownie.” Miki interjects before I can open my mouth. “Hisao has a broken gadget that he wants the brownie to look at.”

Shizune signs rapidly, “Her. If she’s in please tell her that her homeroom teacher wants to see her. She’s missed a lot of classes last week which is unacceptable!” and of course, her ever-faithful sidekick translates for her.

“Sure, sure” Miki says nonchalantly, the expression on her clearly indicating the opposite. “C’mon Hisao, lets go!”

She drags me out of the classroom and out into the corridors, rapidly heading down and out into the school courtyard and then over to the girl’s dormitories.

She leads me in, past the lounge and kitchen and down onto the ground floor corridor. Miki keeps tugging me down the corridor to the door right at the end.

There is a door there with a small hand written note stuck to the door that reads, ‘The brownie of Yamaku, you need it fixed, I’ll fix it… for the appropriate tribute’.

For the appropriate tribute? I slide a glance over to Miki and she smirks. “Got the stuff?” I nod mutely, suddenly feeling my nerves jangle with anticipation. Miki raises her good hand and gives three sharp raps to the door.

“Come in!” The voice behind the door is oddly sweet sounding, a little like a clear bell.

Miki pushes the door open. The first thing I notice is the smell, a slight acrid burning smell. As the door opens further, I notice the curtains are drawn, the room dim, the only source of light coming from a bright desk lamp.

There is a slim, slight girl at the desk, surrounded by mounds of wires, circuitry, components and various tools that I can’t name and lots and lots of batteries.

The girl has her back towards me and I can see that she has dark hair, cut in a short cut, just reaching her shoulder, dotted with streaks of crimson and what looks like flecks of dust and other unidentifiable small items.

She’s a slight figure, looking quite short. She turns in her chair and Miki raises her hand in greeting, stump on her waist. “Yo, red, how’s tricks?”

The girl – red as Miki referred to her – is a delicate looking girl. Pale skin, petite, wearing a red shirt and black trousers but her most striking feature is her pair of goggles over her eyes. They’re a matt-black reflective looking professional pair, something you might see in industry if that person was wielding a welder or a blow torch.

She pulls the goggles up to reveal a pair of grey-blue eyes. “Business is good Miki. What’re you here for?”

“New guy wants his gizmo fixed.” And with her piece said, Miki goes and loiters out in the corridor.

The eyes swivel and focus on me. “Hi there!” She chirps, giving me a wave and bouncing out of her seat. She winces as she steps towards me, appearing to be in pain.

“You alright?” I ask.

“Mmmm hmmm” She replies, rubbing her legs. “Just my condition acting up, nothing to worry about!” she tries to assure me, whilst still biting her lip in pain.

“I’m Nakai Hisao,” I say, deciding on the formalities first.

“I’m Mori Akane,” She says, taking my hand and giving it a firm shake, even though it feels as though my hand dwarfs hers. “Also go by the names Red and the Brownie, depending on who you ask.” Miki chuckles from the corridor at this comment.

“Well Mori –“

“Akane please,” she interrupts. “Never been good on the whole formal thing.” She pulls a face as if she's just bitten into a lemon.

“Then call me Hisao,” I say with a smile.

“Sure!” Her whole face breaks into a smile. “So what have you got for me and have you got the right tribute?”

I offer her my DS and the treats I procured earlier in the day. Her eyes light up with child like glee. “Oooooo! You brought me mochi!” she chomps into one enthusiastically and squeals with her mouthful. “Mango! My favourite! How did you know?”

“Lucky guess.”

She coughs, a light rouge blush covering her cheeks. “The tribute is accepted Hisao. It is more than acceptable.” She tries to be serious but she fails, just looking adorable instead. She looks over my DS briefly, then sits back in her desk chair and spins around, doing… something with it.

“I can fix this.” She announces, “I’ll just need some parts. You ok with parting with some yen?”

“Depends how much,” I respond evenly. She names the figure. It’s reasonable and far cheaper than buying a whole new console. “No problem.”

“Great!” She chirps again, “I’ll place the order, might be up to a week?”

“That’s fine,” I say with a small smile, then a small bow. “Thank you for all your help.”

“Why are you bowing? This is a minor thing,” she waves it off.

“Oh! The council president said something about your homeroom teacher looking for you!” I say with a click of my fingers.

“Really? What day is it?” Akane asks, tilting her head to one side, goggles back on.

I tell her and she slumps in her seat. “Oh boy… I’ve missed two days of school. Teacher’s gonna be so mad!” she wails like a child that’s just been caught with their hand in the cookie jar.

“Thank you,” I say again, as I head to the door, Miki waiting by the door. “I’ll bring you the money tomorrow!”

There is a noise of agreement and then her door shuts leaving Miki and me in the corridor.

She seemed almost ethereal, not quite all there.

An interesting character even for the setting I find myself in.

“So,” Miki says with a chuckle, “you’ve met the brownie of Yamaku. What do you think?”

The question catches me by surprise and I blurt out, “odd but cute, seemed a little like a fairy.”

Miki’s laughter follows me all the way back to the boys dorms.

End.
Last edited by TheTealeaf on Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:53 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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CloudGrain
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Re: The Brownie of Yamaku (One Shot)

Post by CloudGrain » Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:55 pm

I feel like there are references I'm missing here. Beyond simply the foodstuffs and the character you're introducing. Regardless, I'm now completely feeling the need to get more explanation of, background for, and interaction with this character. -Shakes thermonuclear warhead detonator in a vaguely threatening manner at Tealeaf, momentarily dropping it before scooping it up and redoubling my efforts of making the necessity of elaboration required-

That's... My honest criticism and critique of it. There's a little bit of fairly enjoyable substance, but not quite enough to get an entire bite out of. Enough to pique interest but not quite feed it. Essentially you're now making me feel guilty for all the short ficlets I've made and been unable to expound upon. Otherwise, definitely an enjoyable little snippet of interaction with what might be another of Hisao's unknown peers.
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AntonSlavik020
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Re: The Brownie of Yamaku (One Shot)

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:34 pm

That was fun. Little one-shots like this are always nice.
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Re: The Brownie of Yamaku (One Shot)

Post by Craftyatom » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:19 pm

This was a spectacular read, and the premise is an exciting one to say the least. Red's character feels really well done, and isn't something I personally have heard/read before.

Props for the good work!
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forgetmenot
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Re: The Brownie of Yamaku (One Shot)

Post by forgetmenot » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:46 am

This is well-written. I'm not entirely sure what purpose it has as a one-shot, since it does nothing more than introduce a new character, but that's neither here nor there. It was entertaining, and short enough where we don't really have to ask bigger questions.

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Re: The Brownie of Yamaku (One Shot)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Oct 14, 2014 6:41 am

I agree with forgetmenot.
This would be a good start to a new route, but as a one-shot it doesn't really work - except if you want to use the character in your other fic, but I don't think she would fit in there either.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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TheTealeaf
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The Brownie of Yamaku pt2

Post by TheTealeaf » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:14 pm

Oh my god I got a review from forgetmenot! -must not squeal like a fanboy-

I should not check this before heading to work. THE WHOLE SCHOOL DAY AKANE AND AYANE HAVE BEEN ARGUING ABOUT WHO GETS WRITTEN NEXT! Do you know how distracting that was whilst I was trying to teach with those two prancing and bitching round my mind scape?

I blame you cloud ><

This has officially turned into my next project now... -sigh-. Updates will take place AFTER I finish learning the blues (which you need to review cloud :P)

Anyways, enjoy this small next scene, but this thread will likely go quiet until learning the blues is finished.

********

The brownie of Yamaku

Act 1

Scene 2


Time to refuel.

Showing up late to class, especially with curious members of my class is never a good idea.

Somehow I’d had the bright idea to try and keep up with ‘the fastest thing on no legs’ and as a result my heart had a flutter.

Not a great start to the day. Not a great start to anyone’s day.

So showing up to class and then getting pestered by Misha…Well needless to say it was not conductive my temper.

I blew up.

“No Misha, I had a HEART ATTACK, so no I was not having fun, as you put it!” The bubbly, bright haired girl’s eyes widen as I deliver the final nail in the coffin. “So I would appreciate it, if you left me alone!”

The silence afterwards is very, very final, Misha and the whole classroom bathed in the tense quiet.

I’ve made a mistake.

As the bell rings for lunch, I rise to follow Misha and Shizune and apologise for my outburst but a hand on my shoulder restrains me. “Don’t.” Is the command from Miki.

“Don’t?” I query.

She shakes her head, “not worth it man, everyone could see she was bugging you, no need to apologise. Surprised you held out that long.” Her words are rather casual but she seems to be asking something else.

“I shouldn’t have lost my temper,” I say sullenly, shoulders drooping, no wonder I can’t make any friends here, I scare them all away!

Miki shrugs pragmatically, “not your fault man. Everyone could see that you didn’t want to talk about it but she kept pushin’. Seriously Hisao don’t chase them.”

“Then who am I going to eat lunch with?”

The grin Miki gives me is wide and almost shark like. “Why with us of course!”

“Who is us?” I ask with curiosity.

Miki jabs a thumb behind her at a sleeping blue haired girl on a desk. “With me and sleepy Suzu of course!”

Seeing as I scared off my other lunch partners, I see no reason as to why I shouldn’t accept. As soon as I agree, Miki flashes me another grin and gently shakes Suzu awake.

We head down to the cafeteria for lunch as none of us have brought anything to have for lunch.

As we head into the bustle of the canteen, I see a head of black hair with red highlights sitting at a table on their own. “Miki,” I say catching the tan girls attention, “isn’t that Akane?” I ask.

Miki follows my gaze and spots her. “Hey red!” she yells across the cafeteria.

Said girls head jerks up from what she was doing and her goggled eyes focus on us.

She’s still wearing the goggles? Part of me wonders how on earth she can see through them. The three of us, Miki, Suzu and I, all make our purchases and walk towards the table where Akane sits.

It’s a small table, big enough only for four people really. Miki and Suzu slide in at one side of the table leaving me to sit next to Akane. She looks up from what she was fiddling with, a rather complicated looking circuit board with various buttons and lights.

She almost seems surprised that people are sitting with her. “Hi!” She chirps as she removes her goggles, that cheerful bell like voice ringing clear in my ear. “What can I do for you?” she asks.

There is silence for a moment and Suzu places her head on the cafeteria table. “We’re sitting and eating lunch with you?” I state questioningly. Doesn’t this girl realise that?

“Oh.” She says, hands fidgeting with the circuit board. “Not many people do that,” she admits, “most people want me to fix things, which I’m good at!”

“Red, how many times have I said this now?” Miki asks, “I’m your friend Red and we just want to eat lunch with you. Not fix anything.”

“Oh…right. Eh…you’ve said it a lot? I’m kinda forgetful with some things!” Akane shifts around like a guilty child in her seat and picks at her food.

Miki sighs and rolls her eyes. "Red, how long have I known you now?”

“Two and bit years,” is the swift response.

“And how often do I eat lunch with you?”

“Pretty regularly, every time you see me?”

“When you remember to come out from your room you mean,” is Miki’s gentle rebuke.

“Not my fault my electronics are more interesting than the boooooooring teachers!” is the childlike whine from Akane.

“Education is important.” I can’t help myself and chip into the conversation.

Akane’s silvery blue eyes meet mine. “I know it’s important, everyone tells me it’s important…I just struggle sometimes.” She fidgets for a moment more then smiles widely, “but hey I’m in classes today, it’s a start isn’t it?”

The smile she gives me is so wide eyed and innocent I can’t help but smile back. “I suppose it is,” I murmur in agreement as I tuck into the lunch I brought.

I watch Akane from the corner of my eye as I eat. The best way to describe her would be akin to a live wire. She’s constantly doing something, either her hands moving, making gestures or just generally fiddling with something.

“Something on my face?” She asks suddenly and I realise that I’ve been caught staring.

I feel heat creep into my cheeks as I stutter, “N-nothing on your face,” I deny hastily, “I was just curious about you.”

Her head tilts to one side. “Curious? What about?”

“Hisao here likened you to fairy the other day,” Miki says grinning at the horrified expression on my face.

Akane finds this hilarious and doubles over in laughter. “A fairy? I’d rather be a kickass ninja!” she cheers as she makes some vague karate chopping actions with her arms. She stops suddenly and cringes in pain suddenly and looks at me with unshed tears in her eyes, “Sorry Hisao, could you move out of the way please?” she whimpers.

I move out of the way, sliding off the seat and standing up. Akane moves past me and begins to pace by the table. I can’t help myself and blurt out a question. “Why are you doing that?”

She gives me a watery grin as she paces. “I’ve got something called RLS, or to give it it’s full title, restless leg syndrome.”

“Restless leg syndrome?” I parrot back in a confused tone.

“I suffer from nerve damage in my legs, walking helps but sometimes I can suffer from crippling spasms and I can’t move for minutes, sometimes hours from the pain.” She tries to remain cheerful as she paces and talks but I can see that she’s fighting through the agony her condition is causing her.

“Miki,” Akane suddenly asks, “can you walk with me?” She looks to Miki for help and then her face falls when she realises that Miki is looking after Suzu who’s fallen asleep on the cafeteria table.

“I’ll go with you,” I say suddenly, standing up. “Nurse ordered me to keep myself healthy and a walk sounds like a good idea.”

She stops mid stride, eyes widening. “Ok, lets go!” she says suddenly. She grabs my hand chanting, “Comeoncomeon!” I have a second to wave at Miki and then I’m dragged out of the canteen.

** *

Akane drags me out of the cafeteria and we head out of the side gate into the forested area next to Yamaku.

I didn’t even know that there was this path until now and Akane is setting a moderate pace, easy enough for to keep up with but without overly straining myself. One heart flutter is enough for today.

She never lets go of my hand and we walk through the shady forest, heading further and further uphill. We reach a hill with a carpet spread of yellow dandelions and some of the tension in Akane seems to melt away. She lets go of my hand and giggles, walking into the thick grass.

“Thank you Hisao!” Akane says, turning on the spot. “My legs feel better now.” She smiles and her whole face lights up, her pale skin shining in the afternoon light.

Up here, with the blue sky and dandelions at her feet, she really does look like some ethereal fairy tale creature.

She seems fragile, carefree and endlessly buzzing with energy.

An odd and dainty resident of Yamaku this brownie is.

As she stands and laughs in amongst the sun and flowers, I feel an odd urge.

I want to understand this elusive, unique girl.

End scene 2.
Last edited by TheTealeaf on Wed Oct 15, 2014 12:24 pm, edited 1 time 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: The Brownie of Yamaku pt2

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:39 pm

Awesome to see this continued, and for some reason I feel like Ayane would win an argument with Akane. This also reminds me of one of the few scenes in KS that annoyed me, and that was this path to the bad ending. I wanted to tell Misha and Shizune what happened, with maybe some annoyance, but not yell at them like that.

With that said, one problem I did notice was the writing was repetitive at times. Case in point,
TheTealeaf wrote:“I suffer from nerve pain in my legs, walking helps but sometimes I suffer from crippling pain and I can’t move for minutes, sometimes hours from the pain.” She tries to remain cheerful as she paces and talks but I can see that she’s fighting through the pain. ]
the word "pain" is used too many times.

Besides that, fun read, though if this is gonna be another fullblown story, the pace seems pretty fast again. I don't know if you meant it like this or not, but it seems like Hisao already has a crush on Akane. Fine for real life(my crushes have almost all been day one), not so much for a story. Looking forward to more!
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Re: The Brownie of Yamaku, no longer a one shot...

Post by CloudGrain » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:24 pm

TheTealeaf wrote: I blame you cloud ><

This has officially turned into my next project now... -sigh-. Updates will take place AFTER I finish learning the blues (which you need to review cloud :P)

Anyways, enjoy this small next scene, but this thread will likely go quiet until learning the blues is finished.
I can deal with the nigh-on unbearable guilt of your continuation of this. Somehow, some way, I'll find a way to cope with this burden fit for Atlas.

Enjoying very much how the character-portrayal is progressing, the expansion upon some of the other characters and introduction of new ones entirely. I'll definitely look forwards to it when you've got the time and energy to put into it as another route.

In regards to Learning the Blues; apologies for a lack of recent reviews on my own behalf. Work's been busy, been actually somewhat busy socially for once, and busy getting some stuff lined up for the future all at the same time... What little free time for creative-enterprise seems to be devoted to my own thoughts on top of everything else. But it's still easy to crack open a nice little snippet like this rather than digging into (with intent) the much more formidable segments you tend to put up in Learning the Blues. Was hoping the get into it tomorrow evening, should be able to give an appraisal then. :D Cheers!
The mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a beautiful thing to lose.

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Valjean Lafitte
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Re: The Brownie of Yamaku, no longer a one shot...

Post by Valjean Lafitte » Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:22 am

This is really good so far! I like how you implemented the heart flutter from Emi's route. The only thing holding it back from feeling like it could be a KS route, in my opinion, is the DS reference. Katawa Shoujo rarely references any real world brand names, so it felt kind of odd reading about Hisao having trouble with a DS. Then again, I don't know what the generic term would be for that--a "game handheld"? Sounds weird, so I probably would have gone with DS as well, or invented a name that parodied it. Other than that one nitpick, great job! I'm really looking forward to the next chapter.
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TheTealeaf
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Re: The Brownie of Yamaku, no longer a one shot...

Post by TheTealeaf » Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:51 pm

Another one shot of this future route as a small break from the blues. Once this gets off the ground, the gap between the festival and spending time with Akanes Family would be expanded on but as this is a little snippet, I didn't expand it. Enjoy!

-laughs- :twisted:

******
The brownie of Yamaku

Shot 3


The light fantastic

I hadn’t made any definite plans for the festival.

In fact the only plans I had made was to sleep in, get something to eat and then read until I passed out. I do have an attractive looking pile of books on my desk to read, and a day of uninterrupted reading would get me through two of them at least.

Well at least that was the plan until about fifteen minutes ago.

Fifteen minutes ago I was asleep.

Until someone tried to knock my door down, well at least that’s what it sounded like at the time…

***
Knockknockknockknockknockkncokknockknock

Rapid fire hammering on my bedroom door is not the most pleasant way to be woken up.

Even more so when I only managed about four hours of sleep the night before, as my medication’s side effects are still working wonders on my sleeping pattern.

I’m still half asleep as I stumble out of bed, and stagger to the door. I pull my door open, expecting Kenji, only to find a red faced Akane facing me.

“M-m-morning!” She squeaks out.

“Akane?” I ask blearily, still befuddled by sleep.

Her eyes dart from side to side, like a nervous rabbits before she looks and her feet, mumbling about a shirt.

A shirt?

I then realise that I answered my door minus my shirt. It had been far too hot the night before, so I had slept without one. Sleep flees me instantly.

“Ah. Sorry. Give me a minute.” I retreat into my room and hurriedly put a t-shirt on. While the door is shut I also quickly take my medication, using a bottle of water I brought the night before to wash the pills down.

Wearing a shirt now and covering my scar up, I open the door to talk to Akane properly.

She looks up from her boot-clad feet, no longer a flaming red in her face but still lightly blushing. It’s even more noticeable on her pale skin. “Mornin Hisao!”

“Good morning,” I respond, hoping that I don’t sound grumpy.

She moves closer to me and stands on tip toes, looking at my eyes. “You sleepin alright?” she asks, “You look a little like a panda.”

“Thanks,” I reply dryly.

“Oh did I wake you up? Ooops, sorry!” she rubs her knuckles on her forehead as she says this, sticking the tip of her tongue out.

I restrain a sigh. “It’s fine, I was only half asleep.” I take stock for a moment and realise that she’s in – what I assume - is her casual wear. She’s wearing a frilly looking black and red blouse and skirt – mainly black but the bottom of the skirt has red ruffles to it- but there is what I can only describe as red shoelaces running across portions of her top under her bust. It’s an odd contrast to her heavy looking boots that she has on.

I’d never placed Akane as a girly girl.

She still has her goggles on around her neck though.

“What can I do for you this morning?”

She grins sheepishly and scuffs her feet, “I wanted your help and to bring you this! Ta-da!” She hands over my handheld console, fixed and looking better than when I brought it originally.

“Thank you.” I’m oddly touched by the fact that the elusive creature before me brought my console back to me personally. “What kind of help are you looking for?”

“Weeellll” she drawls sweetly, “Miki’s not around, she’s helping a stall out and I can’t really rely on Suzu for what I want.”

“And what is it you want?”

“Someone to help me with my tools!” She gives me a bright grin and snaps her goggles into place. “I’ll treat you to lunch and some festival games afterwards as well!” I consider it and she gives me a beaming smile, saying, “Preeeeeety please with a cherry on top?”

I cave.

“Sure, I’ll help out. Just let me get dressed properly,” I add.

She nods, a blush creeping into her cheeks again. “Yeah wouldn’t want to give anyone else a free show would we?”

As I close the door, I think I hear her say; “Glad I got to see the free show though.”

Pretty sure I misheard it though.

***
I dress quickly and venture out of the dorms, to find Akane waiting on the steps, near Rin’s mural.

“What do you think of the mural?” I ask.

“It’s like Tezuka,” she chirrups in her bell like voice. “Not easily understandable.”

That is a fair enough assessment of the armless artist.

“First things first!” she cheers, “Satou has asked me to give her classes food stall a once over for the electronics, last year they had a horrific break down.”

“So we’re going to each stall?” I ask with some trepidation.

“Only the ones with major electronics and other parts, so just the food stalls. Student Council gave me a list.”

She waves a hand written list around. “Oh from Shizune and Misha?” I ask.

“Yup, anyway we’re wasting time, I want to enjoy the festival!” is the enthusiastic cheer.

“It’s just a festival,” I remark, as I lift the lighter of the bags and move off the steps.

Akane turns around and pokes me in the chest. “Just a festival?” she says, stunned, “but! But! But! The games and the food and THE FIREWORKS!” she spins around on the spot and frowns at me. “You’re not a party pooper are you Hisao?”

I don’t know how to respond to that statement and her frown deepens, before a ‘eureka’ moment happens. “Right!” She declares boldly – and loudly – drawing the attention of people nearby. “After we’re done checking the stalls, you are spending the rest of the festival with me!”

“Do I get a choice in the matter?” I ask.

“Nuh-uh,” is the swift and cheeky response, “no choice! You’re going to learn how to have fun mister!”

And with the declaration – and my plans out of the window – we troop off to the first stall.

****
The ‘work’ Akane recruited me for is surprisingly easy. Poke a couple of things into places she points out, call the number out that the machine blips at me or pass her the tools she wants.

It’s pretty quick too, and we finish up a number of stalls in rapid order only spending a few minutes at each stall. Akane is in her element, happily humming and whistling to herself as she works.

I’m more a bystander to her and for a few minutes, I wonder precisely why she needs me.

I get my answer shortly, just after we leave Lilly’s stall. Akane grimaces and stops what she’s doing. She drops to the ground, sitting with her back to the stall and begins to rubs her legs. “Sorry,” she whimpers. “Can you go into the second bag please? There’s an icepack, a bottle of water and some painkillers. Can I… have them please?”

I root around the bag and pass the painkillers and water to Akane who takes them gratefully. “Where does it hurt?” I ask.

With the bottle in her mouth, she gestures at her calf. I take the ice pack, roll down her knee high socks and place the ice pack against her calf. Akane hisses in appreciation, and relaxes against the stall.

“Thank you,” is the barely heard whisper from her.

It’s a disheartening thing to see, from Akane, her going from bright and bubbly to clutching herself in pain. During the days I’ve known her, I’ve seen her go down with these attacks at random intervals.

Some days she’ll have none and other days she’ll have several and they all vary in levels of pain intensity.

This one seems to be a fairly serious one.

I’d been curious after our walk in the woods earlier in the week and had visited the library and read some books on how to help manage pain.

Although Akane had stated that she suffered from a nerve condition, I had hoped that one of the techniques I had read about would help.

I slowly place the ice block back in the bag, and instead of the ice, slowly place my hands on Akane’s calf. I hear her draw in a breath but I ignore it, tune it out.

Her skin is soft and supple under my touch, warm and fragrant. I gently knead the tense muscles under my fingertips, hoping to assuage the pain that Akane is in.

She sucks in a breath as I work at my very amateur technique. I concentrate my all on the task focusing on nothing else, being gentle the whole time.

I stop just after two minutes, fingertips beginning to cramp. I look up from where I had bowed my head over Akane’s leg to find her watching me very intently.

Her whole face is again, a very vibrant cherry red and her breath is coming in shorter gasps than normal.

“Why did you do that?” she asks, tone awed and amazed.

‘I wanted to help,” I say sheepishly, rolling her sock back up, “I went and did some reading after the day in the cafeteria.”

Her eyes go very wide. “No-ones ever done anything like that” she whispers.

I feel heat in my own face rising. “I just hoped it would help.”

“It did,” she confesses, “it did help.”

I smile and rise from my kneeling position. “Glad it helped, wasn’t sure it would as you said it was a nerve thing.”

She giggles quietly behind a hand, “It felt nice, distracted me from the pain.” She whispers it as though admitting to some great sin.

I giver her my hand and she takes it, rising from the floor. “How much more have we got to do boss?” I ask.

“Boss… I like that!” she gives me one of her dazzling grins again and it makes the small sacrifice to my pride worth it. “We’ve got another four stalls to look at on the list, and once we’ve done that we’re free to enjoy the festival of awesome!”

Her mood is highly infectious and I get swept up alongside it, and we finish checking the stalls in rapid order.

***
Once we have visited all the stalls we make a quick stop at Akane’s room and drop off her toolbox we head back out into the thrum of the festival.

It’s just past midday and the sun is high and it is hot and the crowds are busy, busy, and more busy.

“Can we get something to drink?” I ask, pulling at my collar.

“Sure! My treat, thanks for all the help you gave me! Stay right there!” She slips into the crowd like a fish and vanishes out of sight.

I find a bench and sit under the shade of a tree, and simply crowd watch.

Akane emerges from the crowds carrying two plastic cups. She gives one to me and I see a rather lurid shade of green shaved ice. She hands me a small plastic spoon as well and I tuck into the cold treat slowly.

Lime.

“Why’d you get me lime?” I ask, after my second mouthful.

Akane pauses mid bite, leaving her spoon in her mouth. “You remind me of lime. I like limes, but at the same time they can be very sour to those who aren’t used to them.”

I look at her cup and it’s a concoction of yellowy orange and green stripes. “Mango and lime?”

“Yup!” is the cheerful reply, “how’d you know?”

“You mentioned mango is your favourite earlier in the week and you just said you liked lime too.”

“Silly me!” she pulls another face and then proceeds to take a large bite of the frozen treat.

“Careful,” I warn, “Or you’ll get –“ Akane winces as I speak – “Brain freeze," I trail off lamely as Akane continues to wince in pain and still eat.

“Owie!” is the small whimper from her as she rubs her forehead.

I sigh. “Did try to warn you.”

“But I wanna eat it before it melts!” She pouts and stares at her cold treat before shrugging and scoffing it down, even with suffering from brain freeze.

Akane never seems to do anything by half.

Still it is rather warm; so I do finish the lime flavoured treat fairly quickly myself even risking the twinge of brain freeze.

Once we’re finished and the heat feels more bearable now, Akane grabs me by my hand and leads me into the festival properly.

“I want to win a prize!” is the only explanation I get before she stops in front of a ‘knock the cans down’ game. She’s gazing with adoration at the soft prizes.

She is almost drooling and starry eyed over a wolf plushie.

The stall owner, a fellow student, gives me a chuckle and a wink as Akane hands over some yen, and takes the three balls handed over.

She skips back a few steps, sticks her tongue out as she concentrates and then takes another step back.

The student running the stall has a sudden nervous look on his face, and ducks down under the stall for cover.

I have the sudden feeling I should find cover too!

Akane winds her arm up, almost like a baseball pitcher and then lets loose with a blinding fastball.

CRASH!

The cans aren’t toppled, they go flying everywhere and one nearly hits me in the head.

“I win!” Akane cheers, dancing on the spot whilst I stare at her in open amazement. The student hands over the wolf toy and then as she steps back to take another swing he cries out in fear and she stops, confused. “I still have two more throws!”

“Just take two toys! You’ll easily win anyway! Just take them!”

Akane blinks in surprise then cheers and picks two more, one a large dinosaur and the other an angel sitting on a large cloud.

She then promptly hands me the dinosaur.

“Thank you?” I look down in confusion at the bright green dinosaur, its lurid purple polka dots, and bright white teeth incongruous amongst the green fur..

“You remind me of it” she nods as she says this statement.

“The dinosaur?”

“Mmmmmhmmmm. Kinda grumpy looking like he is,” – and here she points at the dinosaur in my arms – “but dinosaurs are cool and that makes you cool too!”

The childlike explanation only makes me smile more as she takes it seriously and oddly I also feel very flattered.

It’s out of the corner of my eye I notice a stand selling sweets. I feel…obligated in a way, so I tell Akane to stay where she is and wander over to the stall.

There are bags of mochi on the stall and I pick the biggest one and pay the cashier. I head back into the crowds and find Akane kicking her feet under a tree, sitting on a bench.

Her eyes widen at the large bag I have in my hands.

“For me?” I grin and nod and throw her the bag and she catches it, ripping it open and stuffing three in her mouth at once, cheeks puffing up like a hamster. “Fank oo!” comes from her, as she stuffs herself with mochi.

She looks down at the bag and then offers me the bag. I take one and have just popped it in my mouth when I hear a female voice say in amazement.

“My, my, our little Akane sharing sweets? It must be love!” I turn, mouth still full of the soft, sweet mochi and regard the speaker.

She is a red head, a really deep red in long waves, and has the same build as Miki only… this lady is bigger in one regard. She’s dressed in a pale yellow skirt and shirt combo, with a large pair of sunglasses and a large straw hat.

I then notice she’s wearing the same boots as Akane.

Akane swallows her mouthful – barely chewed – and then rushes the woman in a hug crying aloud, “Auntie Yang! You came to visit!”

Auntie Yang then ruffles Akane’s hair and chuckles, “Hey kiddo, how you doing?”

“Good!” is the muffled response from Yang’s generous chest where Akane has her head buried from the hug. Akane pulls her head back and then asks, “so where’s Uncle Kumo?”

“Right here.” My attention is caught by another new addition, a man. He’s dark haired man, slim and a little taller than me. He’s wearing a pair of sunglasses too and is dressed in light cargo trousers and a white t-shirt. He strides forward and also ruffles Akane’s hair as well and she mock glares at him.

“Easy tiger,” is said as he raises his hands in mock defence. “So what’s this about Akane sharing sweets?”

Yang – Auntie Yang – points at me and I feel a horrible premonition of fear travel up my spine. “She was sharing them with this handsome gentlemen.”

Even though I can’t see the man’s eyes clearly, I can feel him analyse me. “Oh really?” he drawls, “Does this gentlemen have a name?”

“Nakai Hisao, pleased to meet you. I brought the mochi for her, as thanks for the… dinosaur.” That sentence didn’t sound right.

“I won it for him!” Akane adds, grinning at Yang.

“Won it?” Yang asks.

“She scared the guy running it with her first throw, he gave her two more prizes just so she wouldn’t make another throw,” I explain.

“That sounds like Akane,” the man – Uncle Kumo – says with a laugh. “Just odd to see her sharing sweets. She has quite the sweet tooth.”

“I’ve realised that.”

“Ha! I like him! Can we keep him?” Yang asks.

“No my dear, we cannot go around keeping random people. The last one still won’t leave.” Akane stamps her foot and huffs at the last remark and all I can do is laugh at her annoyed expression.

“What are you doing here?” Akane asks, still quietly fuming.

“Came to see you of course!” Yang says, grabbing Akane in a headlock. “And now to interrogate you about your love life!”

I feel my face heat up and Akane’s face lights up as well as she wriggles against her Aunt’s grip.

“Hmmm. Well, I’m guessing you’re all done for the day then?” this question is directed and me and I start at the question from Akane’s uncle Kumo.

I nod and then elaborate, “helped Akane with her rounds at the stalls and was just, hanging around with her.”

He nods slowly, takes his sunglasses off. His brown eyes regard me intently and he seems to find something as he gives a nod. “Yang my dear, it’s your turn to drive. We’re taking the kids into town after we explore the festival.”

“Are we going to eat out?” Akane asks.

“Yes we are,” Kumo says with a grin. At this Akane and Yang burst into cheers and leap out of the headlock and give each other a high five.

“Don’t worry, I get exhausted from watching them too,” he confides in me with a whisper and I realise I must’ve shown something in my expression.

“Festival!” Yang cheers, pumping her fist, echoed by Akane.

Kumo - if that is even his real name - shares the look of long suffering males the world over with me and I return the look. "Ready for the longest afternoon of your life kid?"

I groan in mock horror and he grins, sliding his sunglasses back up his nose. "That's the spirit kid!"

The women are definitely in charge here and we are lead our merry way around the festival, Akane sampling sweets from most stalls, her Aunt sometimes joining her in sampling the goods. No more games are played though, as words seems to have spread from the shell shocked student manning the can game stall and some stalls simply refuse us, and the ones that don't Akane deems as 'too boring'.

It takes a good couple of hours to wind our way around the festival and explore the grounds a little, Akane acting as tour guide and showing her Aunt and Uncle around.

The tour helps me though as I see parts of the academy that I didn't even realise existed.

We've just finished looking at the auditorium when Yang's stomach rumbles audibly. She rubs the back of her head and grins sheepishly, whilst Akane's Uncle rolls his eyes.

"Alright the, lets get to the car and get something to eat. I want a proper meal not festival snacks." I make to leave when the Uncle calls out, "Invitation was for you too Nakai!"

I stop, embarrassed by my mistake, "I didn't want to intrude on a family reunion," is the lame excuse I offer.

Akane slowly walks over, then stands on her tip-toes and flicks me on the forehead. "Dummy."

"Sorry," I give her a small shrug.

"Car!" is the demand from Akane's Aunt. "I'm getting hungry!"

"Trust me you don't want to see her when she's really hungry, never a pretty sight," is the stage whisper from Kumo.

Yang then proceeds to punch, what I assume is her husband in the shoulder, and take the car keys walking off from him.

"Hehe, guess we'd better catch up."

***
Yang drives us into the city further out from the town just below Yamaku and Akane directs us to her favourite restaurant.

It's a ramen place.

It oddly seems to fit to Akane.

The inside is bright and colourful, well furnished with excellent seating and rather expansive choice of ramen.

"You didn't have to pick somewhere so cheap," Kumo says perplexed as he looks at the menu.

"Best ramen in town!" Akane chirps, just before placing her order. She orders the beef bowl and I order the same, while her Uncle and Aunt order a miso and a chicken bowl.

The dishes come out and the bowls are huge, full of steaming broth, noodles and meat. It smells delicious and I hope it tastes just as good.

Chopsticks are snapped open and we tuck in and to my surprise the ramen is excellent! Akane sees my look and just give me a smug grin before tucking into her bowl as well.

There are a few minutes of silence as we all tuck in and during the silence I ask the question that's been bugging me since I met the Aunt and Uncle.

"Can I ask why you're known as Yang? It would be more common in China than here in Japan."

The woman in question grins and slurps up her mouthful of noodles before answering. She nods towards Akane. "I'm her mum's sister. Twins, but I'm the polar opposite of her and we got known as Yin and Yang. Name stuck and I've been using it most of my life. My actual name is Mori Choko." I nod. "I insist you call me Auntie Yang though!"

I just blink in surprise and she smirks and goes back to eating her food. I turn to Kumo and open my mouth and he beats me to it. "No my actual name is not 'Cloud'" He says with a sigh. "It was the name I got saddled with after meeting the light of my life here."

"He was cloud watching when I tripped over him on a run," Yang supplies.

I shake my head in disbelief. "Some context please."

Choko thumbs her chest. "I'm a personal trainer, was out with a client on a run in a local park and actually did trip over him," - she jabs her chopsticks at Kumo - "and the first thing he says, is 'hey, I was watching those clouds!'." she give a grin at at the man in question and takes his hand, "and things went from there. We're getting married soon and I've never been happier."

She gazes at him with such open and obvious love, I think it's a little sweet but I can see Akane rolling her eyes. She seems to be used to it.

"Anyway," Kumo says hastily, "I'm Yoshida Ko, also known as Kumo by these two here. Journalist and part time novelist."

"You mean you wish you were a novelist darling," is Choko's jab.

"Hey my first draft is done!"

The rest of the meal passes, in a mixture of friendly jabs and anecdotes from all three of them. Good food and good company.

Not much more a man can ask for.
***
Feeling pleasantly full after the delicious meal we were treated to, Akane insists on one last thing before we call it a day.

I don’t have the heart to deny her and follow her up to the school roof. For some odd reason there is a pile of blankets in the corner but we already have our own blanket.

We settle down on the blanket and Akane insists we stay silent until ‘it’ begins.

What ‘it’ we are waiting for is answered soon, as fireworks begin to streak into the sky.

The sky lights up in a dazzling display of riotous sound and colours. Akane laughs in delight, her bell tone making it sound even sweeter as she stands and dances under the lights and colours.

For a moment I almost believe that she could reach up and join the dance of light and colours.

Unfortunately the show is all too brief and dark returns to the night sky. It is a stark contrast to the sound and lights a few moments earlier.

“It always ends too soon,” Akane, comments, staring at the stars.

“We’re like fireworks in a way,” I remark in an oddly philosophical moment. “We get a brief moment to light the sky up, guess we should make it as loud as possible.”

Akane nods and then darts forward and kisses me on the cheek, the heat feeling almost searing on my cheek. She dances back and whirls on the spot. “That’s my firework moment. See you tomorrow?”

That is a loaded question.

I leave my hand on my cheek and look intently at her. Miki said she didn’t have many friends and I think she already counts me as one.

I’ve grown attached to this ‘Brownie of Yamaku’.

“Of course,” I smile in the dark, “you’ll see me tomorrow Akane, and thank you for today.”

“Thank you too Hisao, I... I've never had a friend like you" is the soft confession.

I simply smile and take her hand, setting her on the blanket once more.

We spend another hour in the dark, sharing mochi in the starlight and leaning against each other on the roof.

End snippet 3
Last edited by TheTealeaf on Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:52 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: The Brownie of Yamaku, no longer a one shot...

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:15 pm

TheTealeaf wrote:in the canteen
You did it again :)

Anyways, I really like her uncle and aunt. And Akane herself is fun as always. That ball throwing scene was funny. Looking forward to more!
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Re: The Brownie of Yamaku, no longer a one shot...

Post by Craftyatom » Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:05 am

TheTealeaf wrote:I don’t know how to respond to that statement and her frown depends, before a ‘eureka’ moment happens.
Pretty sure you mean 'deepens', or if not, then at least something other than 'depends', just saying.

Disregarding that, however, this tidbit felt nice! I had to take a look back and kind of remind myself of how Red (I'm going to be calling her that this whole time, huh) acts as a character (got my tropes a little confused there), but everything fits together now, and pretty damn well, too. I enjoyed seeing these two together, which bodes well for you writing more on them :P

If I had one complaint it's that you didn't use as many commas as I would've liked, but then again, I don't think anyone uses as many commas as I would like, not even me, so I wouldn't be worried.
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Re: The Brownie of Yamaku, -snippets-

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Oct 22, 2014 5:36 am

Whilst the door is shut
I did a bit of research on this "whilst" of yours...
Apparently it really is sometimes used by some British, but mostly if they want to sound posh or well educated. (This might explain why you've heard it from English teachers.) So in the context of KS-fiction Lilly is probably the only character who might be expected to talk like that.
“Setou has asked me to give her classes food stall a once over for the electronics,
I think this should be "Satou" - or Kenji had a sex-change ;-)
and her frown depends
I guess it "deepens"...
“You’re not a party pooper are you Hisao?... ...After we’re done checking the stalls, you are spending the rest of the festival with me! ... ...no choice! You’re going to learn how to have fun mister!”
Is this the same Akane we met in the first chapters or has she been replaced by her hyper twin?
“She was sharing them with this handsome gentlemean.”
Yang & Kumo
Interesting names... Yang is usually a Chinese surname rather than a Japanese given one. Could be a nickname, though.
Kumo almost certainly is, though his appearance doesn't seem to be bear-like at all.

As for the chapter as a whole, it didn't really feel like there was much missing in between this and the previous chapter, but I wonder why you bothered to introduce her aunt and uncle if you were going to gloss over the whole time they spent together with them... Doesn't really make sense from a storytelling perspective.
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Re: The Brownie of Yamaku, -snippets-

Post by TheTealeaf » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:35 pm

THE PREVIOUS SNIPPET HAS BEEN EXPANDED.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Is this the same Akane we met in the first chapters or has she been replaced by her hyper twin?
She likes festivals. First chapter you saw her when she was focused, this is her normally.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Interesting names... Yang is usually a Chinese surname rather than a Japanese given one. Could be a nickname, though.
Kumo almost certainly is, though his appearance doesn't seem to be bear-like at all.
Explained, and you were correct on the nickname front! Although the Kumo I was going for was 'Cloud' not bear.

Thanks for pointing out the typos too, expanded on the time as well.
Craftyatom wrote:Disregarding that, however, this tidbit felt nice! I had to take a look back and kind of remind myself of how Red (I'm going to be calling her that this whole time, huh) acts as a character (got my tropes a little confused there), but everything fits together now, and pretty damn well, too. I enjoyed seeing these two together, which bodes well for you writing more on them :P
Thank you! She's a little bit hyper (as you've seen) could be described as child like too?
AntonSlavik020 wrote:in the canteen

You did it again
Damn it.

Fixed.

Other than that glad you're enjoying it!
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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