Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated 10/2/15]

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:50 am

SC wrote:I'd like to point out that discussing this publically would be a very good example of tipping your hand too early.
Well, it wouldn't exactly have been a major plot point, and it wasn't going to be in the story anymore anyway...
My original plan was nothing because it was nearing a week since the last update and It completely slipped my mind to wrap that plot point up.
When I suggested changing the last sentence, I was thinking more of something like changing "I am so looking forward to sleeping for the next fourteen hours." to "I am so looking forward to having to retake the text now."
But of course this also works. :lol:

Mutou is really lenient, but then he didn't really specify a time for Hisao to be there, so maybe he feels guilty about that ;-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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

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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by Mohn_Jadden » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:33 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote: When I suggested changing the last sentence, I was thinking more of something like changing "I am so looking forward to sleeping for the next fourteen hours." to "I am so looking forward to having to retake the text now."
But of course this also works. :lol:

Mutou is really lenient, but then he didn't really specify a time for Hisao to be there, so maybe he feels guilty about that ;-)
Eh, by the time you had that pointed out we had already drafted most of the extension, so we decided to go with it.

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Bradycardia
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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by Bradycardia » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:22 am

Act 2 Part 4: Lunacentricism

Maybe I shouldn’t have slept for 14 hours.

Actually, I have no clue as to how long I’ve slept. I slapped my alarm clock off the nightstand two ‘wakeups’ ago. Judging by how sunlight is streaming through the window, I either had a terrible night’s sleep or I dropped into a coma somewhere around 2 P.M,

I rub my eyes, more as a confirmation that I’m still alive, than anything else. I feel like I probably should’ve done something today. Isn’t that what normal people do? Do things?

I think the fact that I’m now a functional paraplegic overshadows that for now. It feels like knives are cutting into my legs if I so much as dare to move them. I really hope Emi takes the weekends off, but deep in my broken heart I know that she’s two more missed-days away from breaking my door down.

I know it’s not healthy, but I can skip one day, right?

Still, moping around and developing bedsores isn’t going to help me in any-way. I gently push the covers off, glancing around the nearly empty room. It’s actually slightly off-putting how cold this room feels. Its even more dull than my room back home. Maybe I should spice it up a little, but how? I have no idea for posters or cut-outs I could plaster the walls with. Even with that apparent lack of inspiration, it couldn’t hurt to make this room at least somewhat lived in.

Then again, I couldn’t count my interests on two hands; Current goals include ‘not dying’ and ‘not flunking’. Granted, they’re pretty important interests, but I’d rather seem interesting to people. Sociopathic habits notwithstanding.

Maybe a welcome mat outside of the door. Something like, ‘Welcome to the home of that boring guy with absolutely no interests who has trouble fitting in here!’. At least then they’ll know who and what to expect.

I rotate so that I’m sitting on the edge of the bed, before taking a few unsteady steps toward the closet. As I throw it open, I realized to my half-hearted dismay that I had only one pair of clothes that wasn’t provided by the school. A blue-checkered sweater-vest stares back at me, as if daring me to wear it. A pair of dark slacks lies crumpled in the corner, somehow it managed to fall off it’s coat-hanger.

Well, if they didn’t think I was an awkward dork, they sure as hell would know now.

I sigh, pulling the unsightly outfit off the hanger, slipping it overtop my white T-shirt. I look out of the window yet again, as if confirming that I did indeed sleep that long. Honestly, the view isn’t all that bad. I was lucky enough to get a dorm facing outwards on the second floor. Through the leafy trees, I can just make out the valley that the school overlooks.

It’s absolutely covered in fog, a byproduct of the gale yesterday. It could’ve raged for the duration of my slumber and I wouldn’t have known.

Thinking of the sudden storm reminds me of yesterday. Honestly, I’m pretty proud of myself. I managed to not ruin a single potential friendship, not one!

It’s pretty depressing that in my eyes, that that was an accomplishment. Still, I didn’t completely ruin it, Perhaps I still have a chance.

Yesterday, and the day before have taught me that my mistakes are not necessarily permanent.

Of course, that train of thought brings me back to Aoi. I can’t help it, it was such a strange personality shift. She seemed bright and chipper that night at the festival, and recently she seemed… detached almost. Then again, I’ve had my own bad days where I think about nothing except how much of a loser I am, so I can’t really blame her.

Maybe I’m the crazy one.

A long, and prolonged growl emanating from my stomach brings me back to reality. I guess I finally rubberbanded from sleeping for… I’ll just say 16 hours to be safe.

I don’t think I can stomach the cafeteria food, if its even open today. My dorm room might as well be Ireland for the current famine that’s going on, and I don’t feel like bloating myself on snack cakes from the convenience store.

The light at the end of the tunnel is my wallet, currently in the possession of 2000 yen. I could buy a decent meal some place with that kind of money.

And from the pain pulsing from my midsection, I’m going to need it. I think it’s even overpowering the stinging in my legs at this point.

Eager to get moving, I throw on the pair of black slacks, thankfully remembering to zip up the fly. I search around for my shoes, finding them in the corner at the other-side of the room. I completely blanked out when I got back to my dorm, so I can’t remember how they got there.

Nevertheless, I fit them onto my feet, noticing that one of the laces is a tad bit frayed. At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if Yamaku had it’s own cobbler.

I hear fragments of conversation pass through the hall, reminding me that I’m not alone here. Something about something I don’t particularly care about. It fades out, passing through like it never even happened.

Finally, I stand up, moving towards the door. I’d better get a move on before this hunger consumes me alive.

●●●

I turn onto the next street, walking under the setting sun. It’s gotten surprisingly low. Depending how long I’m going to be there, I guess I might be walking back to Yamaku in the dark.

I pass by a few people, all town residents. Looks like most of them are hurrying home as the sun sets. It feels almost strange, this town. I don’t see too many cars pass through here, and all of the businesses and houses look like they’ve been standing for the past decade.

It’s almost like traveling back in time.

I look around, noticing that everything is either closed or closing. Shopkeepers lock their doors and walk home, content with another day’s worth of capitalism. They probably have more money in their pockets then I’ve owned in the past year.

This isn’t good news. I came down here in the hopes of finding some kind, any kind of restaurant to satisfy my self-consuming hunger. Now, it looks like everything’s either closed for the day, or is in the process of closing.

Terrific. My streak of luck has just been so kind to me lately.

I walk through an alternating pattern of both sunlight and shadow, as I dodge a telephone pole some sadistic planner decided would be best placed in the center of the sidewalk. Glancing around, all my eyes are met with are black, empty windows.

Maybe I should just go back to the dorm. I can probably survive a night without dinner at this point anyway, even if Emi would call me out on it.

I round the next corner, ready to walk back up the hill to my bed that’s probably considered my twin for how much of my DNA is embedded into the sheets. However, something in the corner of the eye makes me stop for but a moment.

I turn down the street, hoping that the Shanghai is still open. I make my way through an alleyway, past a grocery store, and down a small hill. Sure enough, the Shanghai is brightly lit, warm yellow light spilling onto the street outside the store. Thank God, it’s open.

I walk towards the front entrance of the Shanghai, peering inside through the wide windows. I see a few customers mulling about, but nothing exceptionally noteworthy. Then again, I don’t think anything noteworthy has happened in this town for quite a while. Maybe in the past 30 years.

In any case, I’m just glad that I’m not going to starve to death here.

I open the door to the Shanghai, walking into the restaurant and out of the cool air. My body immediately relaxes due to the temperature difference, I even feel goosebumps appearing along my arms. I sigh, feeling all the tensions and tribulations of the day fall off my shoulders. It’s almost as if I walked into an invisible blanket draped over the front entrance.

My stomach growls, reminding me of my current predicament. I begin to look around for an angel from the heavens…or a waitress. A quick scan of the surrounding area reveals nothing. As far as I remember from my time here with Shizune and Misha, this is the type of restaurant where you wait to be seated, so I remain still, not sure what I’m supposed to do. It seems like its been so long since I have been here that I forgot what the place even looked like, despite only having been gone for a little under two weeks.

Suddenly, a woman rounds one of the tall booths near the back of the restaurant. She’s balancing two platters loaded with dishes and glasses of all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, as the swaying and clacking of the dishes prove, she’s not particularly good at it. She walks over to the counter where she sets them down rather unceremoniously.

If that entire charade wasn’t enough to convince me who it was, the auburn hair certainly did. Yuuko, again, is waiting the tables. Between her job here and her job at Yamaku, I can’t imagine she gets much time off. I check my watch, just now realizing it’s nearly 7:30.

I clear my throat, desperate to alleviate my hunger. Thankfully, it manages to grab her attention. She jumps, and runs over to me, smoothing out one of the more frayed parts of her uniform.

“H-Hey Hisao! Do you want something? Of course you want something! Why else would you be here?” Yuuko’s eyes are as wide as saucers, and she’s doing all she can to appear normal in front of the few customers in here.

It’s not working.

“I...uh… yeah, I would.” I say, rubbing the back of my neck, trying to get this situation over as quickly as possible. I decide to censor the part about sleeping for 16 hours. I’m pretty sure I at least have some kind of filter.

“I uh… missed lunch.” Looking outside, I realized something else that might’ve been important. “...and dinner too.”

Her eyes drift to the floor for a brief moment, again losing herself in thought. Suddenly her head pops back up, her eyes fluttering from side to side nervously. For some reason I feel a sick sense of relief that I’m not the most awkward person in the room.

"What? Oh my gosh you-must-be-starving! Teenagers can’t go that long without eating!”

She begins to enter what appears to be the first stages of hyperventilation, and I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of panic attack is about to unfold.

I realize that I regret what I thought earlier, now that I feel like an EOD unit approaching a ticking time-bomb.

"Yuuko, it's fine, I skipped lunch…and dinner on purpose!" I say, giving her the most genuine smile I could muster. I probably shouldn’t have done that, given that I doubt any smile of mine in the last year could be considered anything near ‘genuine’. I really hope this random excuse I pulled out of the ether works.

Again she pauses, lost in thought once more. When she finally seems to have snapped out of it, she looks at me quizzically.

Crisis averted, I think.

"Well why would you do that?" She asks, crooking her head to the side.

"Wasn't hungry." I reply, giving a slight shrug. It's true, although it doesn't seem to ease Yuuko’s mind much. Instead she decides to fiddle with her fingers nervously, remaining silent. She stares blankly ahead. I wonder if this happens often. Sure seems like it does.

"Yuuko?"

Her head snaps up, flashing a nervous smile. She bows, I guess that’s etiquette here, and she quickly gestures with her hands.

“Ah, yes! Sorry! Follow me!” Yuuko turns around and starts walking stiffly down an aisle of seats. I look down and tug at my sweatervest, making sure that no wrinkles protrude from the fabric.

Looking upward, I begin to walk behind her, quickly picking up pace as she leaves me behind. No wonder she is able to stay awake… most of the time. She works both jobs at a full sprint rivaling some olympic athletes.

She seats me at a booth next to a large window overlooking the streets. For a brief moment I imagine that this may have been a great place to view the fireworks, it provides a great view of where they were launched over the forested valley. Too bad I’m graduating next year. I guess I’ll never know.

It isn’t long before Yuuko returns with a small notepad and pencil in hand, ready to jot down my order.

“What would you like? I can probably go and make something!”

The thought of Yuuko making everything strikes me as odd. Is she the only worker here? Looking around, I can’t see anyone else waiting the tables.

“Just a coffee and a turkey sandwich, please.”

Might as well ask her, my curiosity is practically bursting at the seams at this point.

“Hey Yuuko, are you the only one working here?”

Once she finishes writing the order she places the notepad in the front pocket of her uniform and places a napkin holder down in the center of the table.

Her face scrunches up, which pretty much answers my question.

“Yes I am. The owner of the diner had to cut a few employees due to the lack of customers recently.” She frowns, as she was probably one of the few the owners worked half to death.

Her eyes suddenly shoot wide open “Oh but I shouldn’t be telling customers that! I’m sorry I’m sorry! There isn’t anything wrong with our food, I assure you! It’s just fine!”

I can see Yuuko working herself up again, but before I can say anything she walks off to begin preparing the meal. I like Yuuko, but I think I have had as much of her I can bear for one day. Just being around her stresses me out, and I’m not even doing anything.

It isn’t long before she is back out with a fresh pot of coffee and a white mug, placing each on the table clumsily and scampering off to attend to the only other occupied table in the restaurant.

I follow her with my eyes to the table, and in my surprise I recognize the two girls sitting there. Keiko and Aoi sit at a table, only a stone’s throw away from me. From my angle, can only get a good look at Keiko. Her arm is on the table propping her head up. From what little I can see of Aoi, her head is looking downward, as if she was reading something. Yuuko finishes up their order, bows in the most ungraceful manner possible, and then leaves to go fetch their order.

It’s a small world I guess. I wonder if I should go talk to them? I mean they both seemed pretty nice earlier today, and the rain kinda prevented any conversation.

A loud crash in the back of the diner startles me. The sounds of pots and pans falling to the floor resonates from what I imagine is the kitchen, and Yuuko’s small cries can be heard throughout the resturant.

I guess the food might be a while...

I guess I might as well go talk to them. After all, we really never got to finish our lunch together. That, and the only thing I have to lose is becoming a social outcast again. Luckily I’m used to that kind of situation by now.

I stand up, grabbing my bag and coffee and straightening out my sweatervest, though all the straightening in the world isn’t going to make me look less like an absolute dork. I begin walking towards them, but before I reach their table Keiko looks up at me and smiles.

“Oh hey Hisao!” she says, waving me over to sit with her. I reach the table, finally able to get a good look at both of them.

Keiko sits at the far end of the booth, wearing a blue tanktop and blue jeans, while Aoi, sitting across from her, is wearing what appears to be a dark-brown vest, with a rather large V-neck, almost reaching the bottom of her rib-cage. Underneath it, she wears a simple grey t-shirt, covering what the vest doesn't.

To be honest, the differences in their attire are pretty jarring.

Aoi turns around, looking at me with tired eyes. She looks like she hasn’t slept at all, and her eyes are visibly darker than before. Almost unnaturally dark. Even though it’s the second time I’ve seen them, it still makes me pause for but a moment.

She has a book open in-front of her, and as she looks at me she slowly brings it inward towards her chest. I’m not sure if it was simply an unconscious reaction, or she didn’t want me to see what she was reading.

“Hey Keiko, hey Aoi. Good morning.” I reply, probably sounding bored already. Screw it, might as well go for it.

“Mind if I sit with you two?”

Keiko smiles warmly as she scoots over to the other end of the booth. She pats where she was sitting with her hand.

“Sure! I was just about to leave, but I can stick around a bit longer. We never got to talk much yesterday, did we?” She says with a grimace, probably just as sad as I was about it. I was actually looking forward to having lunch with someone. You know, try to pretend that I’m normal again. I guess this makes up for it, at least a little bit anyway.

I thank her and sit down, sliding into the booth and leaning into the soft cushiony seat. How does this place get so little business? I can practically sleep in this seat.

It’s been a while since the last time I was here with Shizune and Misha. It seems like so much has happened in the last two weeks that I have had enough adventure for an entire lifetime.

I hope for the life of me that this is as exciting as it’ll get.

“So, do you come here often?” I direct to the both of them, before immediately beginning to blush, embarrassed at my accidental pick-up line.

“Uh, I mean, not like that, you know like-” Both Aoi and Keiko giggle at me figuratively sticking my foot in my mouth. My cheeks are red hot now, and I regret being the first out of the three of us to open their mouth.

Aoi looks up at me, and again I notice how dark her eyes are. I wonder if she is wearing contacts? But why would she wear some so dark? We are inside, after all.

“Not usually, most of the time we order in.” She shrugs, placing her pale arms on the table. I figured just as much, not many people leave the campus regularly, and when they do it is usually to pick up some supplies at the local grocery store.

Yamaku is like a community of it’s own, complete with it’s own wide variety of groups so you can shun everyone else.

It’s so great to be a loner.

Before I can say more, I see Yuuko walking towards my previous booth, not knowing about my relocation. For a one-employee restaurant, they sure deliver the food quickly.

“Hey! Yuuko! Over here!” I call out, trying to get her attention. Luckily it works, but unluckily, however, it seems to have spooked her. Better bring out the disposal kit, H. Nakai, EOD unit.

I imagine getting yelled at when you’re as tired as she is isn’t a great situation to be in. Regardless, she begins to make her way over to the table with wide eyes, a trembling plate of food, and another cup of coffee.

“S-sorry about that! I didn’t realized you moved! Sorry, sorry!” She sits the plate and cup down on the table and takes a step back, fiddling with her fingers. I’m pretty sure she was born with the ‘deer in headlights’ look.
Last edited by Bradycardia on Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
Five.

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Bradycardia
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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by Bradycardia » Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:24 am

Act 2 Part 4 Lunacentricism -continued-

“Yuuko, its okay. I should have told you I was moving, I just saw these two and thought I could use some company.”

God this is awkward. I need to change the subject.

But before I get the chance to try and change the topic, I can faintly hear the sound of the front entrance opening. Yuuko certainly heard it, as her eyes once again shoot wide open.

“Coming, coming!” She yells before scurrying over towards the door. As if tethered by the same string, our eyes follow her before she disappears behind yet another corner. I can’t help but wonder when she gets off. I imagine she could use some sleep at this point.

We all look back at each other, simultaneously partaking in the awkward ambience. I can’t help but hope one of them starts talking, because I have no clue how to start a conversation with these two. I’m pulling a blank.

Luckily, it seems as if I won’t have to. Keiko turns and flicks Aoi’s vest, muttering something along the lines of ‘nerd jacket’. Aoi turns and gives her a faceful of mock indignation.

“It is not a nerd jacket!”

Or… actual indignation. Aoi moves her hands under the table and slouches down, hiding from the both of us. I almost find it funny before I look down at my own attire as well. I have always prefered the ‘approachable dork’ far more than a person of higher standing, but even I know that I look nerdy.

But even knowing that, I can’t let her comment slide.

“Are you calling my outfit ‘nerdy’ as well?” I direct towards Keiko, while pointing to my sweater-vest. She seems slightly surprised at my entrance to the conversation, as if she had forgotten I was here in the first place.

She grimaces a little. “No, no… Its just sad. Like, hand-me-down from grandma kind of sad.”

Ouch. Also, surprisingly accurate, but they don’t need to know that.

It doesn’t help that they both giggle after her burn.

“Besides, I call it a nerd jacket because Aoi is such a nerd!” Keiko continues.

“Am not!” Aoi pouts, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t cute.

“Says you with the book about black holes written by whoever.” Keiko jabs her finger towards the book Aoi had laid on the table.

And… Black holes? She doesn’t need to know, but I didn’t really see either of them as the kind to read much. Then again, Keiko is dating a book worm. Maybe I should stop making assumptions. Aoi snatches the book from the table, quickly flipping through the pages as she speaks.

“Hey! Kip Thorne is not a ‘whoever’. He’s written really great material! I mean like here he’s talking about two black holes colliding and how it affects time around it! Its really interesting stuff!” She points to a section in her book, following a large paragraph of gibberish with her finger as she relays it to us. She finishes her spiel of confusing terms and concepts and shuts the book, laying it back in her lap and looking up at us.

You could probably drop a pin on the table and I’d cover up my ears. Keiko looked like she had heard this all before, and sank in her seat slightly. I wasn’t sure of the reaction on my own face, but it was probably along the lines of ‘completely lost’

Seeing both of our reactions, Aoi giggled, placing the book in a small bag laying next to her on the booth.

“It’s okay. I’m having trouble with it too.” She says, pawing toward the rapidly cooling meal on the platter.

Of course, ‘having trouble’ implies you know enough to understand it, which would put her leagues ahead of where my knowledge idled at.

“Nerrrrrrrd…” Keiko mutters underneath her breath, only eliciting a frown from Aoi. I’m not sure if I agree with her, or if I am still totally lost on ‘escape velocity’ or whatever that was she just said. Still, it does seem like an interesting topic, none the less. Keiko looks at a small white watch on her wrist and frowns, shifting in her seat and then sitting up.

“Its ‘bout time for me to leave.” She says, grabbing a small coat and purse beside her and looking up at me. I nod and scoot towards the end of the booth, standing up and stretching. Again, my stomach growls, reminding me that I still haven’t touched the majority of my food.

“Awh, so soon?” Aoi says as I reach for my sandwich. Guess my hunger finally overpowered my manners.

“You know how it is. Hiko’ll have my hide if I don’t get there soon enough.”

“Does he really not trust himself with a stop-watch?” Aoi crooks her head. Apparently this is an issue for Hiko.

“Have you seen him run? He needs like five minutes afterward just to function.”

Definitely an issue for Hiko. Regardless, the thought of Hiko running in the dark seems odd to me, and I can't keep my mouth shut. I quickly finish the food in my mouth, which turned out to be delicious, and look over to Keiko who has busied herself taking the sleeves back out of her coat.

"Hiko runs in the dark?"

She looks back up at me, as if confused by the question at first. I guess to people who have lived here longer than I have, the layout of the school probably becomes familiar, but I don't remember seeing any lightposts by the track.

Then again I didn’t look very hard.

"They have a light post, and the school lets us borrow two giant work lights to light the rest of the track."

"Ah, I see. But why does he run in the night? Isn’t it cold?"

Keiko shrugs her shoulders before shouldering her coat, waving her goodbyes to Aoi. I guess you can't understand everything about a person, no matter who you are.

“Well, I gotta go. Bye Aoi.” She says before turning to me. “See you later, Hisao.” I wave back to her before she walks away, rounding the corner before I can hear the distinct sound of the door opening.

I look back over to see Aoi munching on what looks to be an egg sandwich. Might as well try to keep the conversation going, it’s not like this is going anywhere else.

“So.” I say, sitting back down in the vacant seat that Keiko left. "Hiko really runs in the dark, huh?"

Aoi sets down her sandwich on the plate, taking a sip of coffee before answering.

“Ah, Haruhiko’s training to be one of the star runners in the track and field club, and Keiko usually times him when he’s trying to beat a record.”

Huh, so that explains what they were doing that one afternoon. Also, it explains Hiko’s nearly omnipresent headband.

“Does Keiko run with him?”

Aoi grimaces a little, as if I had hit a particularly sensitive spot. My expression noticeably twists, indicating that I might’ve asked too much. Terrific, as if I haven’t had this happen to me enough lately.

“Her uhm… condition prevents her from engaging in any activity like that."

I nod my head slightly, content to leave it at that. I can almost feel sorry for Keiko. It must suck to watch your friend run every day. With her energy, I’d be surprised if she didn’t want to join him. Am I lucky that I wasn’t all that into sports before my diagnosis?

I don’t think any of us are lucky. After all, we’re all here because we all lost the genetic lottery. I can't help but think back to what Emi said. Even if we were given a chance like this, its not like we're the 'lucky ones' in this situation. We are the 'slightly luckier than a few others'.

Aoi takes another bite of her sandwich, prompting for me to do the same. My previous unnatural hunger begins to slink away after a few bites. I’m going to regret it if I don’t eat this entire thing. Unfortunately, I might’ve been a little too eager to indulge in my desire. I look up, and Aoi is covering up her mouth to stifle a giggle.

“Wharth?” I say, forgetting the mouthful I currently possessed.

“Nothing.” She says, before uncovering her mouth. She can’t hide the dimples, I knew she was laughing. “It’s just you eat like you haven’t had anything in 24 hours.”

“Well…” I say, not bothering to hide the truth for her sake. “You’d be more accurate if you said 32 hours.”

Aoi freezes in her tracks, coffee halfway toward her mouth. I guess that I was lucky that she wasn't sipping it, otherwise I’d be covered in flaming death right now.

All of a sudden, the all too familiar feeling of ‘I shouldn't have said that’ washes over me, and I find myself looking for a way out.

“Wait, no. No, I didn’t mean-”

But before I get the chance to redeem myself, I’m suddenly cut off with the melodic sound of laughter coming across the table. Aoi doesn’t bother covering it up, instead letting it all out to my complete and utter confusion.

It really only serves to remind me that I haven’t heard that sound in a long time.

She finishes, letting a last few giggles out before regaining her composure and opening her eyes. She catches my look that’s most likely between ‘very confused’ and ‘absolutely no idea’.

“What? We all have days like that.” She says, evidently trying to ease me back into conversation. “Hey, I didn’t wake up until 2 P.M today.”

I notice that she says the last line with a little bit of regret. Maybe she’s not as open about how little she’s done today as I am.

My hunger overpowers my manners yet again, and I find myself reaching for another life-sustaining bite.

●●●

The door rings as we leave the Shanghai, and the cool night air chills my face. I immediately regret not bringing my coat, and I can tell that Aoi feels the same way. Even though she’s brought an extra layer, the brown fabric doesn’t seem to be doing much to repel the chill.

Aoi crosses her arms and shivers slightly. Why is it this cold in summer? Even if it is night, it should still be warm, right? Water from yesterday’s storm makes the streets shine under the light of the resturant, glistening as we walk out of the diner. Despite the cold, I can’t help but notice how pretty the night sky is. Stars twinkle in the sky, tiny pinpricks of light on a vast, black canvas. Aoi looks up as well, admiring the sight. I imagine she does this often, given her interest in the subject.

Suddenly, she turns to me, holding out what I can only describe as a plain, white box.

“Hold this, please.” She says, looking at me expectantly. I can only oblige, but I’m still pretty curious as to her intentions.

As I relieve her of the mysterious white case, she looks back down before reaching up to her face and rubbing her eyes vigorously.

“You alright?” I ask, still watching as she looks down at the ground. For some odd reason, she brings her fingers abnormally close to her eye. I immediately come to the most obvious conclusion, just as she frees a tinted half-sphere from her eyeball.

Contact lenses?

She looks back up, her eyes a much lighter tint of gray than before. Tinted contacts? But why? She places the small, dark lenses inside the white case in my hand. She finishes up, retrieving the small white box and returning it to her pocket.

I pause for a second, not knowing whether to confront her about it or not. I don’t want to be too forward, but…is this something I should know?


[Ask her about it.]

>[Leave it be]



I decide to leave it be, not really wanting to push her any further. After all, it’s not like being forward with people here ever led me anywhere.

I imagine I will find out some day, anyway. I just hope it never becomes pertinent. Is that all I have at this point? Hope that neither of our underlying conditions will never act up in-front of one another?

In any case, I decide to pay it no mind, averting my eyes to look at my watch instead. It’s nearly 9:00, and curfew will be in effect shortly after. I look back at Aoi, who has finished wiping what appears to be tears from her eyes. To be honest, I would hate to have to wear contacts.

“You ready?”

She looks back up, smiling slightly and nodding.

I walk forward, crossing the street and stepping onto the sidewalk. Aoi follows silently behind me, stepping up to the sidewalk and looking down at her feet as we cross under the light post. Again, I look up, studying the stars and inhaling the fresh air of the ‘countryside’. I think back to my school life in the city, remembering all the classes I had.. It was so different back then.

Everything was, I guess. It was different to be able to live without taking 13 kinds of pills ever morning. It was different to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without chest pain.

I took it all for granted. Now it’s a luxury for me.

Studying the stars now reminds me that I never bothered to learn the constellations last year, and that my grade in the class was less-than-stellar. No pun intended.

Astronomy was such a strange class for me, and although I wasn't bored by the idea of space, it more or less confused me. The word ‘endless’ is one I can’t fathom for whatever reason. It never fit in my vocabulary book, or my general knowledge. I guess I just have a hard time comprehending how space… ‘works’.

Our pace slows down to a slow walk, and I can help but notice Aoi trailing behind me. It feels more like I’m leading her than the two of us actually walking together. I just hope we can find out way back in this gloom.

We turn the corner, thankfully stepping onto the long winding street that leads back to Yamaku. It isn't long before we almost come to a complete stop. I turn my head, looking to see Aoi sitting on the side rails along the edges of the road.

Behind her, a large drop off leads to an expansive valley overlooking the town below. In the background I can see the distant lights of homesteads nestled along the valley floor. It almost reminds me of when I ran into Lilly here. Aoi sighs, again, pointing her gaze towards the sky.

“On clear nights you can see Orion.” She says, breaking the silence. Aoi methodically scans the sky, her eyes twinkling under the stars. It strikes me as odd, but I never noticed how pretty she really is. I guess I have been so enveloped in other things recently I haven’t had time to think about the people I have been interacting with. The friends I have been making.

Maybe I wasn't as much of a social outcast as I thought I was. Maybe I should stop feeling sorry for myself.

“You really like this space stuff, don’t you?” I ask, breaking out of my own downward spiraling thoughts. I’m not sure why I even asked, it’s almost a given at this point.

She nods her head, observing back at me from the railing.

“My dad works at an observatory in the country. I guess he kinda rubbed off on me.”

I should have figured. If Aoi really is this into astronomy, it must have been for some reason. The conversation again dies down. The silence between us can’t exactly be considered awkward, but I feel like I should say something. Its off-putting, and she almost seems almost melancholic.

Looks like it’s up to me, yet again.

“What can you see now?”

This brings her out of her trance, and she looks at me quizzically.

“What?” She asks. I guess I should have been more specific.

I sigh. I guess if we really are going to be sitting here I should at least be comfortable. I move over and sit on the railing, a large gap in between Aoi and myself. I guess ‘comfortable’ is a relative term, as now I’d rather be sitting on a bed of nails. I keep my mind off the sharp edge jabbing me, and focus on the situation at hand.

I look back up at the stars, trying to think of the right words.

“I was never very good at understanding space. To me, all the stars look the same.” I say, looking down at my feet. “I don’t really know any of the names of the constellations off hand, and if I did, there’s no way I would be able to point them out.”

Aoi looks over at me, seemingly lost in thought before she again looks back up at the sky. A long silence splits between us, and all that can be heard are the crickets. I almost say something to continue the topic, but Aoi takes in a deep breath and begins to talk, her voice seemingly loud, but gentle against the gentle chirping of the nightlife.

“Gemini is right there.” She says, pointing to an undisclosed location in the sky. I can’t help but notice how her pale skin contrasts with the dark blue of the twilight sky. “See that box-like group of stars?”

I look up in the direction she is pointing. It’s a little difficult discerning a shape among the conglomerates of stars in the sky, but eventually my vision focuses on a group of about ten stars. It forms something along the lines of a ‘box with legs’.

“Yeah, what is it?” I ask, still clueless to the workings of the universe. That, or simple patterns. Unfortunately to my ego it’s looking more and more like the latter.

“A lot of people call them ‘The Twins’” She says, resting her hand on her lap.

“Back in ancient Greece, during the Trojan war, two twin brothers to two different fathers fought to rescue their sister.” She adopts an almost wistful tone in her voice, a rather strange thing to be found in a high-schooler.

She looks back down, attempting to recall the rest of the story. Despite being new to the whole ‘ancient astronomy’ thing, the story sounds familiar.

“When one of the brothers passed away, the other begged the Gods to reunite them. He couldn't live without his twin, so they agreed, and reunited them in the sky.” She finishes, ending the short story with a small sigh.

I imagine she studied this stuff quite a lot, and I find myself gazing up at the constellation which would have gone completely unknown to me for possibly ever if it wasn’t for the simple story.

“Or something like that…” Aoi finishes with a giggle. She stands up, patting herself off and straightening her vest. I do the same, and step away from the rails. She stifles a yawn with her hand, and blinks tightly. I look down at my watch, realizing that its nearly 9:30 now.

I’m probably not going to sleep until 5 A.M, but for her sake we’d better get back.

“You ready to go?” I ask, drawing her attention away from the sky one last time. She looks at me, and for a moment I almost see her brighten up.

“Yeah, lets go. I could use some sleep.” She says with a smile. I nod, and begin walking up the hill towards the school, noticing the distance between us has visibly shrunk.

I think I have finally found a place I can fit in.
Last edited by Bradycardia on Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Five.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:31 am

A pair of dark slacks lays crumpled in the corner
lies
This isn’t good news. I came down here in the hopes of finding some kind, any kind of restaurant to satisfy my self-consuming hunger. Now, it looks like everything’s either closed for the day, or is in the process of closing.
That's one danger you'll probably never face anywhere in Japan ;-)
I like Yuuko, but I think I have had as much of her I can bare for one day.
So he likes her enough to bare her, huh? :mrgreen:
“When one of the brothers past away,
"passed"

You know with three or four stories that started around the same time - and all quite good as well - I sometimes have problems remembering which event belongs to which story^^° Not your problem, though. :-)

Finally the female lead of the story gets some spotlight. I like what I see so far, but Hisao could be a little less slow on the uptake: Why would one wear tinted contact lenses...
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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

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Bradycardia
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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by Bradycardia » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:06 am

-Lies, bear, and passed-

Fixed! Thanks for the call outs, coach!
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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by azumeow » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:50 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote: Finally the female lead of the story gets some spotlight. I like what I see so far, but Hisao could be a little less slow on the uptake: Why would one wear tinted contact lenses...
The only thing I can imagine would be albinism, but the other symptoms of that would likely be much, much more telling.
"I don’t want to be here anymore, I know there’s nothing left worth staying for.
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore, I’m listening with one foot out the door
And something has to die to be reborn-I don’t want to be here anymore"

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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:01 pm

My first thought was sun blindness(I'm pretty sure thats a real thing).

As for the chapter itself, it was fun. I like how Hisao doesn't actually like his sweatervest, and how Aoi was wearing one too. Looking forward to more interaction between the two.
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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by TeknikRevolt » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:00 pm

AntonSlavik020 wrote:My first thought was sun blindness(I'm pretty sure thats a real thing).
Eh, sort of. I have light sensitivity, aka photophobia. It's extremely unpleasant to be around florescent lights. Or in the sun. I ended up moving to a place that got only 100 days of bright sun a year just for a few years of relief.

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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by Mohn_Jadden » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:22 pm

AntonSlavik020 wrote:My first thought was sun blindness(I'm pretty sure thats a real thing).

As for the chapter itself, it was fun. I like how Hisao doesn't actually like his sweatervest, and how Aoi was wearing one too. Looking forward to more interaction between the two.
Well, I never explicitly mentioned Aoi was wearing a sweater-vest, but yeah, she pretty much was.

Also... I sure hope you were hoping for more interaction with Aoi! It is her pseudo-route after all :D .

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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by SirKaid » Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:45 am

AntonSlavik020 wrote:My first thought was sun blindness(I'm pretty sure thats a real thing).
I can confirm that abnormal photosensitivity is a thing. I've got a mild case of it myself - it's painful to be out and about on a bright day, but it's not so bad that I can't just wear sunglasses and function or that computer screens become painful. Assuming Aoi has a more serious case, the contact lenses would be required if she didn't want to look like an asshole for wearing shades indoors. (I'm "lucky" in that I'm nearsighted as well, so I can get away with prescription sunglasses.)

It'd also explain why she was so tired yesterday compared to how she was during the festival - the easiest way of mitigating the condition is to sleep during the day. She would have been ready to go to bed yesterday but was staying awake to hang out with friends, while she would have woken up a few hours before the fireworks on the day of the festival. Her condition would have likely spurred on her interest in astronomy and reading as well - when bright light is painful and you're awake at night, what else are you going to do with access to telescopes and Dad's scientific literature?

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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by Mohn_Jadden » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:44 am

SirKaid wrote:
AntonSlavik020 wrote:My first thought was sun blindness(I'm pretty sure thats a real thing).
I can confirm that abnormal photosensitivity is a thing. I've got a mild case of it myself - it's painful to be out and about on a bright day, but it's not so bad that I can't just wear sunglasses and function or that computer screens become painful. Assuming Aoi has a more serious case, the contact lenses would be required if she didn't want to look like an asshole for wearing shades indoors. (I'm "lucky" in that I'm nearsighted as well, so I can get away with prescription sunglasses.)

It'd also explain why she was so tired yesterday compared to how she was during the festival - the easiest way of mitigating the condition is to sleep during the day. She would have been ready to go to bed yesterday but was staying awake to hang out with friends, while she would have woken up a few hours before the fireworks on the day of the festival. Her condition would have likely spurred on her interest in astronomy and reading as well - when bright light is painful and you're awake at night, what else are you going to do with access to telescopes and Dad's scientific literature?
Well, that's surprising to say the least. I guess photosensitivity is much more common than I had first thought.

Unfortunately, due to Aoi's schedule she can hardly afford to become nocturnal :D .

Eugh. If you smarties caught that, Brady and I are going to have trouble hiding the better parts of the plot from you guys, aren't we?

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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:03 am

Well, photosensitivity is not exactly something obscure... Everyone who has at one time squinted into bright sunlight can sympathize and has at least a vague inkling of what it it like...
And since most people have worn sunglasses sometime, they would have an idea of what purpose tinted contacts serve.
It's not exactly rocket science ;-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by brythain » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:17 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:Well, photosensitivity is not exactly something obscure... Everyone who has at one time squinted into bright sunlight can sympathize and has at least a vague inkling of what it it like...
And since most people have worn sunglasses sometime, they would have an idea of what purpose tinted contacts serve.
It's not exactly rocket science ;-)
I had to wear tinted glasses for more than a year after my eyes were photosensitised by exposure to 2-bromobenzyl bromide.
Not pleasant at all. Initially I thought I had suddenly gone myopic because things were blurring out in bright sunlight.
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: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by Mohn_Jadden » Sat Nov 22, 2014 7:49 pm

brythain wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:Well, photosensitivity is not exactly something obscure... Everyone who has at one time squinted into bright sunlight can sympathize and has at least a vague inkling of what it it like...
And since most people have worn sunglasses sometime, they would have an idea of what purpose tinted contacts serve.
It's not exactly rocket science ;-)
I had to wear tinted glasses for more than a year after my eyes were photosensitised by exposure to 2-bromobenzyl bromide.
Not pleasant at all. Initially I thought I had suddenly gone myopic because things were blurring out in bright sunlight.
Maybe I should join the crowd and give myself some serious head trauma!

Anyway, work on the next part is going a bit slowly, but we should have something for you guys come Tuesday.

I hope.

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