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

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AntonSlavik020
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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:26 pm

Still a weird name, even by Japanese standards. Names with only vowels just don't sound right.
Best girl
Hanako=Shizune>Misha>Lilly>Rin>Emi

Best route
Hanako>Lilly>Rin>Emi>Shizune

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

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:10 pm

Bradycardia wrote:And now is the time in which I get really disappointed with myself for not thinking about trying that before...
If you're wondering about other names, let me point you to this post.

For general pronunciation questions look here.
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 Dec 08, 2014 12:15 am

Yeah so progress update if anyone cares.

We're about halfway through Part 6, but school and life is keeping us both away from writing at the moment. We don't want to rush the next part, the both of us want to make sure that it can stand up to the other parts we've put out. That said, Part 6 is mostly going be leading up to Part 7... which leads up to Part 8... We have the rest of Act 2 planned out, but unfortunately that's not going to make it go any faster. Just expect some more interesting stuff from here on out. You know, introductions, revelations, actual freakin' character development. Standard fare, but we've put off some important character development in favor of trying to naturally incorporate our characters into the story. Time will tell if that was a worthy sacrifice.

Oh, right. Reddit user /u/Anagram-Daine made some more W.I.P art for the route. An act-card, in fact.

Image

(We're hoping this draws you away from the fact that we're now doing updates spaced 2 weeks apart, rather than weekly.)

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

Post by Mohn_Jadden » Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:02 am

Shit it's been almost three weeks.

Well, we haven't been sitting around doing nothing. Part 6 lies at a steady 5k words, which will probably turn into 7k when we publish it. Unfortunately, due to Brady's crippling nerdiness he already wrote out most of the remaining Part 6... physically. Right now he's doing finals or whatever so he hasn't been on all that often, and I don't really want to derail what I think is good material that he's producing by writing anything in his absense. Don't worry, I bug him every day on steam chat if he's even online.

We're sorry if you know, anyone actually checks up on this often. If you do, well, Act 2 will end on a strong note, but it's not necessarily a major tipping point thanks to the pacing Brady and I have decided on. Still, it'll end on a solid-ish note, with room for expansion.

Just don't expect the horizontal shuffle until like... late Act 4.

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

Post by Craftyatom » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:49 am

Well, I finally got around to reading this one - and I'll admit I'm surprised that I didn't do so earlier. After all, with act names that have to do with rocketry, and scene names that have to do with rocketry, and descriptions that mention Hohmann transfers and the Tsiolkovsky equation... I got a fuzzy feeling just reading your index way back when it was first posted, even if it's taken me all this time to actually go through it all. Please include the Oberth effect somewhere, I would probably get dizzy and have to go lie down for a bit
I like your Hisao, I think that your writing of him is very candid, stream-of-consciousness style. I've always favored the idea that he's depressed coming into Yamaku, and although things felt a bit off early on, when he simply disregarded all of the girls and gave up on sociability, the fact that he reconciles with them was a great addition.
Your other characters are working pretty well too, all relatable and logical. The only thing I do have a problem with is your occasional grammar faults - 2-5 had “Err, a bit to the right. You're right,” 2-3 had "are apart of the daily schedule here," and there was at least one "wouldn't of" that seems to have been fixed since I saw it - not major stuff, but the kind of thing that can be annoying. My only other complaint is that I think [Leave it] was the completely wrong thing to do, and I'm kinda peeved that it's been deemed the 'correct' thing to do, but I'm bad at this kind of stuff anyways.
Mohn_Jadden wrote:Shit it's been almost three weeks.
Don't worry, as long as you're still working on the story then you have our support. As I tend to tell people, it would take a lot of hypocrisy for users on this forum to start complaining about release timing.
Mohn_Jadden wrote:Just don't expect the horizontal shuffle until like... late Act 4.
That's kind of a while, but I suppose I can wait. I personally read (and live) for quiet cuddly moments moreso than the harder stuff, so hopefully we get one or two of those fairly soon, maybe start of act 3 - but that's just me.

Anyways, I can't wait to see more, good luck on finals Brady, and fly safe!
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Brief Exchanges, Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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

Post by Mohn_Jadden » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:31 pm

Please include the Oberth effect somewhere, I would probably get dizzy and have to go lie down for a bit.
Hmm, after looking at that wikipedia page I can totally work that in somewhere. I'm in the middle of trying to relate the part names to the content within, and just saying 'fuck it' and just making them all sciencey. Obviously I'm trying to go with the former.
My only other complaint is that I think [Leave it] was the completely wrong thing to do, and I'm kinda peeved that it's been deemed the 'correct' thing to do, but I'm bad at this kind of stuff anyways.
Well, technically yes. It would seem pretty important that in a school for the disabled that you know all your friend's disabilites as soon as possible. Still, I left that particular bit out because I at least want Hisao to have some tact. If we do flesh out the choices later on, that one won't have much of an impact on the story. It being there was more of a sign that says 'Yes, we're doing choices maybe!'
That's kind of a while, but I suppose I can wait. I personally read (and live) for quiet cuddly moments moreso than the harder stuff, so hopefully we get one or two of those fairly soon, maybe start of act 3 - but that's just me.
Let me clarify: By 'horizontal-shuffle' I meant like, fucking. Don't worry, we'll crowbar in some cuddles in there somewhere. Probably alot of cuddles. And... Start of act 3? We're finishing up Act 2 in Part 8, and that's just cementing Hisao's friendship with the rest of the group. Sure, we're going to conjure up a reason to get them together, but them actually getting together will probably land somewhere in the latter-half of Act 3, if not the finalie. I'm trying to avoid the pitfalls that came with Akira's pseudo route (It 4 bloody acts just to get to the good stuff, and by then I just got bored.) and Suzu's Pseudo Route. (Maybe it's because I haven't read it in a while, but most of the romance felt 'foggy' to me. Hell, most of the route didn't feel concrete to me.)

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

Post by Craftyatom » Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:55 pm

Mohn_Jadden wrote:Let me clarify: By 'horizontal-shuffle' I meant like, fucking.
Don't worry, I caught that :P
Mohn_Jadden wrote:Don't worry, we'll crowbar in some cuddles in there somewhere. Probably alot of cuddles. And... Start of act 3? We're finishing up Act 2 in Part 8, and that's just cementing Hisao's friendship with the rest of the group.
Sorry, it's tough for me to imagine these things in any sort of frame of reference - I can barely hold my own writing to a plan, let alone other people's. Obviously just take things at your own pace, I'm certainly not an expert, and your act partitioning is obviously something you've thought much more about than I have.

Oh, and I just remembered: coming from a British family, the potato famine joke slipped in earlier was absolutely fantastic, I had quite the chuckle.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Brief Exchanges, Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
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Re: Universal Gravitation: An Aoi Pseudo-Route [Updated: 11/

Post by Mohn_Jadden » Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:10 pm

Sorry, it's tough for me to imagine these things in any sort of frame of reference - I can barely hold my own writing to a plan, let alone other people's. Obviously just take things at your own pace, I'm certainly not an expert, and your act partitioning is obviously something you've thought much more about than I have.
Well, I mostly just keep a loose sembelence of events in my mind, with it becoming clearer as I progress through the plot. I do have most of the actually interesting stuff and the epilogue planned out though.

Also, pretty sure that potato joke is Brady's work, I don't remember writing it.

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

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:58 pm

Hey Mohn_Jadden and Brady, just wanted to say keep up the good work and that I finally registered after months of ghost reading the forums since some guys and I will be working together to write a fanfic and I got the teamwork inspiration from you guys.

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

Post by Bradycardia » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:02 am

Craftyatom wrote: My only other complaint is that I think [Leave it] was the completely wrong thing to do, and I'm kinda peeved that it's been deemed the 'correct' thing to do, but I'm bad at this kind of stuff anyways.
Thanks for the comment! I would like to address this as best I can without spoiling anything...

Which is impossible...

It seemed off putting because that's exactly what it was supposed to seem like. The fact that you're the only one to say something about this is actually a bit strange to me. I expected (and even hoped) that this was going to get a lot of flak, and I'm a bit disappointed that it didn't. Like I said, I don't want to spoil anything, but I will at least say this...

One of my favorite pianists, Billy Joel (he is one of the reasons I started learning piano) said something I really liked. I had to Google it to get the exact quote, but he said:

"I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool, not afraid of rejection."

Hisao is a thinker (at least ours is). Everything he does is pretty calculated. Here we have a character who just had everything taken from him. He lost all his friends, his life, his home, and his chance with a smoking hot girl. He came to Yamaku and was just barely able to patch things up before it was too late. He has been just as lucky as unlucky. Don't you think that he might be a bit, I dunno, careful with Aoi? In the last few weeks, Hisao has struggled and fought to re-create his old life. He has a home, a life outside of his studies, and some amazing friends. All the puzzle pieces fall pretty close together, and now there is only one piece missing. I know that I would be a bit cautious if I was that close to getting what I really wanted. He is trying to relive the past, and there is a reason this route is called "Can you live a new Dawn?"

We are not talking about Aoi.

But what do I know?

Also, thank you for the encouragement on the finals! I A'ced all of my exams! One more semester of High School left and I finally get to leave this place. Forever.

I could not possibly be more scared.

I digress, but I want to say one last thing...

There is a lot coming, and there are a lot of plot points we have yet to hit that are still up in the air. We will keep putting these things out as fast as we can, but sometimes after a long day of school and work, coming home and writing about school and work does not seem that appealing.

Thanks for reading! We love you guys!
Five.

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

Post by Bradycardia » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:12 am

HoneyBakedHam wrote:Hey Mohn_Jadden and Brady, just wanted to say keep up the good work and that I finally registered after months of ghost reading the forums since some guys and I will be working together to write a fanfic and I got the teamwork inspiration from you guys.
That's fantastic! I can't tell you how happy I am to hear someone say they were inspired by us. I'm not sure what it was, but we will try our best to keep inspiring!

One tip:

Working with a partner (or partners) is really a great thing. At first I didn't know how it would turn out, and for a while I actually kinda regretted it. Here I had a stranger taking part in MY story. It seemed absurd! But after you remember that the character is not yours to begin with, things become a lot more calm. It becomes much more of a shared experience.

Besides, after working with Mohn for a bit, I realized that I really needed him, and that the time I had spent writing was some of the best times EVER. He improved my writing ability just as I did his, and it made the experience much much better. And when we aren't writing, we get to run away from cannibal mutants or jump off buildings and shoot each other in video games. It becomes much more than just a writing gig.

Good luck on your fan fiction, and I hope you guys have just as much fun as I am!
Five.

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

Post by HoneyBakedHam » Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:26 am

Bradycardia wrote:
HoneyBakedHam wrote:Hey Mohn_Jadden and Brady, just wanted to say keep up the good work and that I finally registered after months of ghost reading the forums since some guys and I will be working together to write a fanfic and I got the teamwork inspiration from you guys.
That's fantastic! I can't tell you how happy I am to hear someone say they were inspired by us. I'm not sure what it was, but we will try our best to keep inspiring!

One tip:

Working with a partner (or partners) is really a great thing. At first I didn't know how it would turn out, and for a while I actually kinda regretted it. Here I had a stranger taking part in MY story. It seemed absurd! But after you remember that the character is not yours to begin with, things become a lot more calm. It becomes much more of a shared experience.

Besides, after working with Mohn for a bit, I realized that I really needed him, and that the time I had spent writing was some of the best times EVER. He improved my writing ability just as I did his, and it made the experience much much better. And when we aren't writing, we get to run away from cannibal mutants or jump off buildings and shoot each other in video games. It becomes much more than just a writing gig.

Good luck on your fan fiction, and I hope you guys have just as much fun as I am!
This, I do know. In a KS Fan Club group I'm in on Facebook, I mentioned to one of them this awesome idea I had for a fanfic, but no real way how to fill it. Told him how I'd want to start it, how to work all the major canon characters in (yet not end up being with one of them), and how I'd wanna end it. He said that sounds like an awesome story and that he wishes he could help and I said why not?

Knowing that I'd let others in, I set myself up to needing to be open. And before, I was skeptical of that. But, I see what you two can do and it makes me want to work with people with the idea of mine. So confident about it that, if ever worked on, would be anime worthy.

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

Post by Bradycardia » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:46 am

Act 2 Part 6: Pre-Flight Checks

I round the corner, my feet beating down on the crimson rubber surface. My mouth hangs perpetually open, trying in vain to cool down the rest of my body. I can’t necessarily feel it, but I’m more than likely covered with enough sweat that if I were to simply flop down on the ground I’d slide at last fifty feet before stopping.

And right about now, stopping feels like a goal just out of my grasp.

All of this makes me wonder why I’m out here in the early morning. I’m at the point where I should just keep my last will on me at all times whenever I run.

Why does cruel fate dictate that in-order to not die an early death, I have to risk an early death?

In any case, I can at least look forward to the end of this torture, that is, if the sight of Emi up ahead bouncing up and down like her prosthetics were made of springs is anything to look forward to. I’ve already learned my lesson about trying to race her, so there’s really no point in trying.

Besides, most people who race with Emi end up fighting for second-place. The only way to make it fair would to make her carry a pack of bricks or something. That or making her run on stilts.

Finally, after what seems like an eternity, I cross the arbitrary finish-line marked into the rubber. I let out a few haggard breaths, fighting the temptation to simply collapse onto the ground.

Emi jogs up behind me, the tic-tac’ing of her prosthetics barely audible against the sound of my gasping.

“Hey Hisao, need this?” She produces a bottle of water from her hand, which I quickly snap up to quench the cracked deserts of my throat.

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’!” Emi continues. I don’t have to turn around completely to see the slightly off-put expression on her face. She pauses for a moment, before draping a towel over my shoulder.

I finish milking every last drop, blindly attempting to hand the bottle back to her. Unfortunately, it seems as if she’s moved over to the bleachers, the empty bottle hitting the ground in her absence. Looking around, taking the rag and trying to rid as much sweat off of me as possible. Despite it being so early, a handful of students gather on the track, preparing for another round of laps. Again by the bleachers, I see Emi talking to another girl in a track uniform.

I think I recognize her, actually. She’s the dark-skinned girl that sits next to the sleepy one. I think they might be friends or something. Anyway, what was her name? Miura? Something like that. I listen in, just barely being able to hear snippets of their conversation.

“-which reminds me, how’s the practice for second place going? Planning on actually catching me this time?” Emi’s sing-song voice remains stalwart, yet even from here I can hear the playful tone in it.

“Yeah yeah, hopefully I’ll just get lucky and your snobbishness will weigh you down.” The girl sneers, taking a towel out of her bag and draping it over her shoulder.

“We’ll see who’ll be weighed down on Saturday, Miki.” Emi retorts, leaning back onto her prosthetics and peering up at the girl. Despite the harsh words, each retain their smiles as if it were merely political and not personal. It almost confuses me whether or not this is a serious argument or playful banter. It really is a weird situation, maybe this is just what a healthy competition is really like. Regardless, the word ‘Saturday catches my attention.

Maybe Hiko knows more about it. After all, he’s supposedly in the track and field club. Or at least, I assume he is. Why else would he be running at incredibly peculiar intervals with Keiko timing his laps?

In any case, I’m having lunch with them again, so I can ask him there. I’m pretty sure I can find the place where we last had lunch, no doubt they wondered where I was yesterday. In all, they seem pretty nice, but if Hiko makes me run again he’s going to be gravely disappointed. I wouldn’t run again today if a pack of hungry wolves were chasing me.

The sudden sound of rapid footsteps brings me back to reality. I look over just in time to see Emi and Miki rush past me, sprinting onto the track and past the first corner. The two rush forward, neck in neck, throwing caution to the wind as they attempt to gain the lead. The turn the second corner, Emi just barely gaining some distance. I was never one to enjoy watching others run, let alone running myself, but there is something really interesting in watching Emi overcoming someone like Miki.

Yet all of this comes unsurprisingly to me. After all, if there’s anything I’ve learned about Emi it’s that she’s as competitive as they come. As they continue along the track, other runners dodge out of the way, leaving the first two lanes open for the two speeding lunatics. Why are all the track team members seemingly preparing for war? First Hiko’s running at seemingly random times, hell, even at night, then Emi’s running against the Miura girl before the day has even begun.

Something’s going on, and if anyone can tell me what’s happening, it’s Hiko.

The two girls round the third corner, and neither show any sign of slowing down. They’re both seemingly even, each of their footfalls practically in sync.

I sigh, reaching for the cloth draped over my shoulder and rubbing my forehead with it to clear away all the sweat and grime seeping its way into my eyes. I turn around, stopping dead in my tracks as I finally take notice of the other presences.

Two familiar looking girls are perched on the bleachers, both with a glazed look in their eyes, and neither necessarily awake. Rin, and the sleepy, turquoise-haired girl from my class sit there, looking out as the two girls run their lungs out.

Seeing them here is surprising enough, especially the blue haired girl, since I’ve seen her more often asleep than awake. Despite the fact that it’s still a while before classes begin, both of the girls are already in uniform.

Maybe the blue haired girl is a morning person?

My thoughts are dismissed as soon as the girl begins to wobble back and forth, like a large building about to collapse. Rin doesn’t seem to notice, but she looks as if she is about to pass out too.

I am sure neither of these two girls get up this early regularly. Sure enough though, the blue haired girl flops onto her side and closes her eyes, drifting off into sleep almost immediately.

...What?

Rin takes notice, looking over at the slumped figure for a few seconds before returning her gaze to the track. The unused sleeves of her modified school uniform flap lazily in the breeze, a testament to the mentality of the girl herself.

The tick-tacking of Emi’s prosthetics brings me back to reality, and I look down the length of the track to see the two girls sprinting towards me, looks of dead determination in their eyes.

It is a truly awesome sight, one great enough to distract me from the fact that I am standing on the finish line.

“Woah!”

I jump to the side, narrowly avoiding a collision with Emi as she crosses over the finish line a mere second before Miki does. I land somewhere in the grass off of the pavement, hitting my butt hard on the wet ground.

“Yes!”

A short grunt escapes my lips, as I contemplate the events that occurred over the past second. From my nearly-prone position, I can see Emi wryly smiling at the other girl, who was currently doubled over in exhaustion.

“Ha ha! I did it!” She says, bouncing up and down on her prosthetics. Despite her recent run, it seems to have had no effect on her bubbly spirit.

“Oh man! That was fun, Miki! You’re gonna do good on Saturday!” Emi chimes, grabbing her towel that she disposed onto the ground and begins to walk over to where I lay. Miki looks up from her hunched-over pose, grunting between gasps.

Emi walks over to me, her small height offset by the fact that I’m still on the ground.

“Need a hand?” Her chipper tone cuts across the cool morning air, and she reaches out a hand toward my crumpled form.

I reach up and firmly grasp her out stretched hand. To my surprise, she demonstrates that her lower body-strength isn’t the only part of her. I soon find myself standing completely upright, staring down at Emi yet again.

Despite her short stature, she’s actually quite strong, although I would have guessed that to begin with.

“Er… thanks.” I say, rubbing the back of my neck.

“Sorry, it was my fault that I kinda knocked you down there.” She says, her face unwavering from her usual chipper facade. “Still, I won!”

No surprise, Emi’s always focused on the prize.

“Yeah, just barely!” Miki calls out, she herself stepping up the bleachers and stopping in-front of the other, unconscious girl. Evidently, Miki yelling right next to her didn’t bother waking the poor girl up.

She nudges the sleeping girl with her foot, a futile attempt to wake her from her slumber. Nope, not happening. I have seen Mutou try to wake her up, and let me tell you, it’s not eas-

Suddenly, Miki swabs her finger into her mouth, making sure her finger is nice and wet.

Oh God, should I try and warn her?

Not like I could do anything about it anyway. The girl is fast asleep, and it’s not like I’m in the position to whisk her up and carry her away.

Miki removes her finger from her mouth, leaning over the sleeping girl with a devious smile on her face. She turns around, peering over her shoulder at me.

“Check this out.”

Oh boy.

In a grotesque display, Miki digs her finger into the girl’s ear, making sure not to miss a single spot. Beside me, Emi attempts to stifle her laughter, only making it more obvious that she finds the situation hilarious. Despite the invasion, the girl only manages to squirm slightly before opening her eyes slowly.

Does…

Does she even realize?

My question is soon answered when her eyes go wide, and for a brief second, the world seems to nearly stop.

“Miki! I told you not to do that!” She screams, sitting up and shoving Miki away from her with one hand and cleaning out her ear with the other. The girl retreats back, digging out any residue left in her ears.

“Eww, why Miki? Errrgh!”

Miki takes the opportunity to sit down next to her, drying off her skin with a nearby towel. I expect Miki to say something about ‘missing her finish’, but instead she decides to prod the girl with her elbow.

“Oh well good mornin’ Snoozu! How was your nap?”

“Miki! That was gross! Why?” The girl says, placing the palm of her hand flat against her compromised ear and suction cupping it in a last attempt to rid herself of Miki’s spit.

Meanwhile, Rin watches the two girls with an indiscernible expression on her face, much like the girl herself. By now, Emi is in tears, leaning and giggling like a pack of monkeys.

“He he! Hi Suzu! Long time-”

She pauses to get another round of giggles out before continuing.

“-no see!” She finishes, barely, again flopping down onto the bleachers and giggling some more. I don’t think I have ever seen her laugh so hard, and yet I guess I haven’t known her for too long.

Really, the same can be said for anyone else I have met in this school. It seems like a lot of the students here really go out of their way to get to know the new guy, while others avoid me like the plague. It seems like it was just yesterday I was stumbling over a drunk Kenji, and now I’ve progressed to witnessing wet-willies. Outstanding.

Finally, the excitement dies down, ending with stifled giggles and groans. I still can’t help but wonder why Rin is here, as well as ...Suzu? I guess that’s her name. As if reading my mind, Emi begins to talk.

“I’m not sure why Rin came out here. Maybe she likes to watch me run!” She says, to which Rin turns and looks down at us both. Maybe I was staring?

“No, I like looking at the lines.” Rin replies, making her point by staring out at the track yet again. Honestly I can't tell if she was being sarcastic or genuine. Emi’s mouth scrunches, obviously it wasn’t the result she was looking for.

“Hrm... Well in any case, thanks for coming out Hisao.” Emi plasters her omnipresent smile on her face, and I can’t help but find that it’s infectious.

“Well.” I say while smiling. “If I didn’t, you’d drag me out here anyway.”

She giggles before a much more serious glint enters her eye. It only serves to remind me that Emi has only two settings. Joyful, and predatory. At this point, I’m not sure which one is more frightening.

“Nobody believes I can knock down a door, until it’s too late.”

Wait… what?

As if noticing my unbelieving expression, Emi laughs, attracting the attention of the two girls who were still perched on the bleachers. I can’t tell anything from Rin’s expression, but Suzu’s eyes seem to say something along the lines of; ‘She’s not lying.’

Note to self: Never skip out on another running session.

“Err… , heh, yeah. I'm sure you could.” I say, unfortunately not knowing what to say. It's times like these where maybe being a mute would come in handy. You wouldn’t have to say anything, and you just might be able to avoid having your door kicked in by Emi looking to do a dorm shake up 'mafia style'.

She titters once more before looking back at the track that seems to be filling up with more and more people, all of whom look like they’re on the track team. Some of the are running, some of them are jogging. All of them move with some sort of purpose, something that I haven’t felt in the longest time.

Something is happening on Saturday.
“I think I’m going to run with them. Wanna come?” Emi chirps, sticking a finger out toward the track.

Before I can even begin to formulate a response, she laughs once again, fortunately quickly regaining her composure. Still, the smile plays across her features, making me aware that I’ve never seen her frown.

I mean, other than her puppy dog pouting, but I don't believe that actually counts.

“It’s fine, you’ve done more than enough today. Go take a shower anyway, you need one!” She mocks plugging her nose and poking me in the side before running onto the track, waving to me as she goes.

I’m left standing there, the only thought crossing my mind is making a quick self-check that I indeed do smell that bad. I look down, not noticing anything jarring about my appearance. I’m not about to take a deep whiff to find out, however.

“She’s right.” An exclamation brings me out of my self-observation. Looking up, I see it’s Miki, standing on the edge of the bleachers and looking down on me. Her left… un-hand is poised on her hip, and a cat-like grin is plastered upon her face.

“I can smell you from here.” If it’s even possible, her grin gets even wider.

I mull it over for a moment, before deciding to fight fire with fire.

“Shouldn’t you be practicing for second-place?” I retort, trying to get the upper-hand in this verbal pseudo-battle of wits. I can’t stop the sly grin from filling my face.

She looks stunned for a moment, before squinting at me.

“Oh you son of a…” She starts, before turning and jogging down the bleachers, to which Suzu lazily turns her head. I consider the fact that she might actually be coming at me, before she reaches the bottom and starts jogging toward the track.

“You’re a dead man, Nakai!” She yells, before falling in line with a group of track-runners, each of them as determined as the other.

Suzu watches her disappear into the crowd before lazily turning toward me. It looks like she hasn’t exactly ‘woken up’ yet. Maybe she never does.

Jeez, that’s a depressing thought.

“Thanks. I’d high-five you, but I don’t feel like climbing down.” She settles for a simple thumbs up before leaning back on the bleachers, leaning her head on the seat behind her. It doesn’t look particularly comfortable, but she either doesn’t care, or she is actually comfortable there.

Who am I to judge?

Anyway, I should take a shower, if only to clear my head.


●●●

A soft breeze follows me as I walk through the rather large courtyard in the center of Yamaku. There are a few students enjoying their lunch break out here, but most of them gather far behind me in the center of the courtyard. Recently, I’ve noticed not too many students make their nests in this portion of the park.

Well that explains why Akio eats here. I’d imagine trying to read something in the middle of a loud crowd of students wouldn’t be the easiest thing.

As for the others… I don’t know. Social dynamics aren’t really my thing. Though I guess if anything, the tranquility is good.

I pass by a person with books tucked underneath his arm. He almost bumps into me, as if he didn’t notice me at all.

Maybe that's exactly it. Maybe I am hard to notice.

That would explain the absence of my old friends. Maybe I'm really just not that important to anyone.



No. I need to stop thinking like that. It’s not going to help me in any way. In fact, why am I thinking like this? Sure, just a week ago my life was pretty shitty, but look at me now. I managed to fix everything that I ruined since I arrived here, and now I’m going to have lunch with people who consider me a friend.

The path beneath me begins to dwindle away, being replaced by a large green park-like area. The smell of freshly cut grass blows in the breeze, and the tree where I had lunch with Keiko and Aoi last time sways in the wind. Soon enough, I am walking up to the familiar tree, the sound of idle conversation emanating from behind it.

I’m reminded of how on-edge I was, sprinting past the tree in some vain attempt to not lose the only friends that I had managed to keep. In hindsight, it was pretty ridiculous. Then again, you could say that for most of my attitude in the past week and you’d be surprisingly accurate.

I walk up to the tree, taking solace in the dark shade that the broad leaves provide. Of course, I know someone who might appreciate it much more than I can imagine. I’m surprised that she can even handle the outdoors, given her reaction to the lights inside.

Maybe it’s only direct light. Maybe it’s the kind of light.

These ‘maybes’ never stop, do they?

Coming closer, I can begin to make out a conversation. One of the voices is obviously male, and the other is female. Both, I’ve heard before.

“...I’m telling you, Hiko’s going to run himself into the ground.” Says Akio, his voice barely audible against the wind.

“Hrm… tell that to Keiko. She seems pretty adamant that he can handle it.” That one was definitely Aoi.

“Of course she thinks he can handle it.”

"You don't?"

"Well, no, it's not that...I don't know. But what if it happens again?"

I stop in my tracks, moving over to the right, hiding behind the tree. Whatever they're talking about, it must be serious, and I don't think barging my way in would be my best option at this point.

"What if? Hiko has fallen before and been fine. I mean if he wants to run tomorrow then nothing is going to stop him from doing so."

Hiko fell? I can't think of a reason for why this would be too big of a deal, yet I have only just begun to get to know him. Maybe he has a condition...

Maybe it is a big deal.

A brief silence splits the conversation, and for a moment I consider revealing myself, but Akio begins talking again, something he doesn't seem to do often.

"We could tell."

"What?"

"We could tell the nurse. Say Hiko isn’t fit to run on Saturday. Aoi, he isn't well. When he gets those 'bleeds' it could kill him. He's playing it off, I know it, and you know it."

Another silence. If it really is this serious of a situation, then maybe I shouldn't be listening in at all. I can't help but feel a little guilty about it, but the chances of them telling me this upfront are slim to none. Not many people are too talkative about these sorts of things here.

Me included.

Suddenly, Akio speaks in a hushed voice, and the sound of pages wrinkling emanate from behind the tree. I’m not even fazed that he’s reading while talking.

"Shh, someones coming."

A short silence, and I begin to hear it too. Despite the wind, two distinct voices can be heard coming from the trail on the other side of the tree.

"Hey guys!" Hiko shouts, still seemingly cheery, contrasting with the almost conspiratorial tones of the two others prior to his arrival.

"Hey Hiko, hi Keiko!" Aoi responds. I hide myself more behind the tree, hoping that they don't see me. Am I screwed? I know I’m not the sneakiest guy around, so I can’t hide here forever. Luckily, they sit down and begin to chatter, oblivious to my presence.

Guilt strikes me in the gut. I shouldn’t have eavesdropped on them like that. I begin to back away, keeping the tree in between me and the group of chattering friends. As long as they don't move around I could probably-

"Have you seen Hisao?"
Last edited by Bradycardia on Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:48 pm, edited 3 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 » Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:47 am

Act 2 Part 6: Pre-Flight Checks -continued-

The mention of my name stops me in my tracks. Aoi's asking about me? Why?

"Not recently. He was in class today, but he didn't walk with us. He just sorta skipped out when the bell rang." Hiko’s voice is accented with some kind of chewing noise.

"Hmmph. I hope he makes it."

'Hope he makes it.' The words ring around in my head, seemingly echoing around between my ears.

Screw it.

"He's probably just getting some-"

I round the corner of the tree, coming face to face with the gang of students.

“Hey guys.” I say, hoping with all my being that they wouldn't suspect me of my devious actions. I mean, I just emerged out from behind the tree, what else could I have been doing?

Aoi sits in the crook between two tree roots. Her lunch is spread out in-front of her, seemingly a sandwich and some sort of snack-cake. It seems much more filling than the granola bar I hastily purchased from a vending machine on the way here.

“H-hi, Hisao!” She slightly stutters, directing only her eyes up toward me, rather than her whole head. I notice that she still bears the metallic-blue ribbons in her hair, holding two miniature braids in place. How long does it take to groom that?

Aoi’s continues gazing at me, her silvery-blue gaze nullifying my negative thoughts from before.

"Hey Hisao!"
"Hey man!"
"Hello."

The barrage of greetings overwhelms me, only making the guilt I feel even heavier. I push the thought to the back of my mind. It's probably nothing, and I'm probably over reacting. I put on a smile and sit down between Aoi and Akio, leaning against the trunk of the tree and retrieving my granola bar out of my bag.

Akio moved his hand to pull a cane closer to him. It’s wooden, carved out of some dark wood I couldn’t name if my life depended on it. It’s pretty, to say the least, but I imagine Akio chose style over function when picking it.

Suddenly he turns, extending his hand out toward mine.

“I’m Akio Hayashi, we didn’t really get the chance to meet properly, did we?” His voice is slightly sophisticated, but not enough to sound pretentious.

I quickly take his hand, giving him a curt, but firm handshake.

"Yeah well, it’s hard to meet someone when they have their girlfriend’s head on their lap." I joke, getting a small giggle out of Aoi and a frown from Keiko. Akio blushes slightly, seemingly off-put by the remark. If anything, he deserved that for making my first meeting awkward.

Regardless, It's nice to make someone laugh every once in a while, even if it was only because of a corny joke.

"Is that all you brought?"

I look over to see Hiko and Akio gazing at me questioningly. I guess the joke about traffic wasn't really a joke at all. When the bell rings, the stampede of students in the halls proves nearly impossible to maneuver through. I'm lucky I escaped with the non-plethora of food I did manage to grab.

"Heh, yeah. Those halls are crazy once the bell rings." I say, tearing open the package with a crinkle. Before I can begin to indulge, however, Hiko begins speaking.

"Well hey, I still owe you a lunch. Let me just-"

With a grunt, Hiko leans over and reaches for his bag. Despite this, I can't help but wonder why he would believe he owes me lunch. Lost in my thoughts, I almost miss what is happening right in front of me.

Hiko leans over, just enough for his shirt to lift up, blown even further open by a brief gust of wind.

"Uh..." I say, raising my eyebrows quizzically.

A short gash shoots up and around his abdomen, stretching over to the end of his hip. Skin around the cut is a dark blue, bruised but otherwise intact. It doesn’t take long for me to realize that this is exactly what Aoi and Akio were talking about, but to me it doesn’t look that bad. It looks like it might heal in a day or so.

Despite the seemingly harmless scratch, Aoi gasps slightly and closes her hands over her mouth. Aside from the bruising, the cut isn’t very deep. But if he did this last night, shouldn't it have at least began to scab over? It looks like this happened only a few minutes ago.

Keiko looks over just as he begins rummaging through his bag, the wound still clearly visible.

"Where are ya, you little-"

Keiko’s looks over, her eyes opening wide.

"Hiko!" Keiko yells, quickly lunging over and pulling his shirt down, hiding the mark on his skin.

Hiko sits up quickly, abandoning his search in his bag and instinctively pulling the back of his shirt down.

"What? Like what you see?" He says with a slight smile. It quickly diminishes as he looks over to see the look on Keiko’s face. He looks down, just now noticing the part of his shirt that is still lopsided, revealing the very corner of his discolored skin.

"Oh... That." He says, slowly reaching to his side and pulling his shirt the rest of the way down. His eyes downcast, the silence and motionlessness between us divergent to the mood before. Hiko’s mouth twisted, and I can tell exactly what he’s thinking.

"I'm guessing you're gonna make me-"

"We're going to the nurse." Keiko interrupts, stopping him mid-sentence. Her voice is incredibly off-putting compared to her usual. chipper one. It’s like she just grew 15 years in the span of seconds. She rises to her feet, slinging her bag over her shoulder.

Hiko remains motionless, looking up at her with a sick look on his face. She looks back down at him, anger shooting across her face, and perhaps a smidgen of disappointment. At this point I can’t tell which one she’s feeling right now.

"Now."

Hiko looks down, gathering his things slowly and placing them back in his bag. A look of defeat begins to spread across his face, accented by a small sigh. It seems as if he realizes there’s no point in resisting her.

"Bossy today, aren’t we?" He says as he finishes up, making his way to his feet. Keiko huffs out of her nose, grabbing his arm to help him up.

"Why didn't you tell me it was that bad?"

"It's not that bad."

"It is that bad!"

Keiko looks over at us, as if just realizing that we were still here. She then scrunches her face up, looking at me as if apologizing for the two of them. For some reason, Hiko is smiling.

"C'mon. we’re going?."

For a brief moment, Hiko remains still, sporting a smug look on his face. Again, silence splits them apart, nothing but the brief gusts of wind making any sort of sound. She looks over at him, sighing, and then lunging over and snatching him by his arm.

"Ah, hey!!"

She begins walking away, forcefully dragging him with her in the direction of the nurse’s office. Hiko has to do his best to prevent himself from scraping the ground as she sets a breakneck pace.

"Okay okay! Jeez!" He wails as he stumbles forward, wrenching his hand out of her grasp. Keiko looks back, mainly focusing on Aoi who was busy watching the whole ordeal with a peculiar expression on her face.

"I'll see you in class as soon as I get my idiot brother to the nurse!" She yells, turning again on one heel to continue marching up the trail, her brother in tow right behind her. The word 'brother' catches my attention, but in the moment it seems almost irrelevant.

It takes me a few seconds to process what just happened, and luckily by the time I am done catching back up with the rest of reality, the two siblings are just out of hearing, dissapearing into the nurse’s building.

"I'm lost." I blurt out, not knowing at all what else to say.

Aoi leans back into the trunk of the tree, her fact contorting as she mulls over what happened in the last few seconds. Akio peers over the edge of his book, which he had promptly replaced in front of his face as soon as Hiko and Keiko had left.

One of these days I’m going to rip it right out of his hands.

"It's complicated." Akio responds shortly, as if I expected any other kind of answer from him.

"Is he gonna be okay? I mean it didn't look that serious." I ask, more than likely pushing my boundaries. Still, I haven’t been doing anything but ‘pushing my boundaries’ ever since I arrived here.

Instead of a response, Akio looks dubiously over to Aoi, who I notice has been looking back at him in a similar manner.

"I mean you don't have to-" I begin to back off, but Aoi waves her hand in front of her face dismissively. She pauses, looking back over to Akio.

"You don't think he'd care, would you?" Aoi asks, prompting Akio to sit up and look back at me. Am I being studied or being recruited into a cult?

"Probably not. After all, it is a liability if he doesn’t know." He says blankly, laying his book on his bag and looking back up at Aoi. He nods to her, giving her the stage.
Yeah I’m being recruited into a cult. Maybe a feminist cult, then Kenji can scream incoherently about how he was right.

"Well..." Aoi says, taking in a deep breath. The closer I get to hearing the truth, the more I wish I had never asked. If it is really this complicated then I don't even know if I want to be hearing it, let alone if I should be hearing it.

I have only been their friends for a few days, although this would be a personal best on how fast I could get a group of people to tell me anything at all about themselves at this school. I probably shouldn’t keep track of that anyway.

"I'm sure you're well acquainted with Keiko's excitability-" Aoi continues, looking blankly at the ground while speaking, looking like she’s trying to come up with the right words.

If anything that was an incredible understatement.

"And Hiko's determination to run tomorrow-"

I have only briefly noticed it. Still, with the random times he seems to run, I should’ve recognized it earlier.

"Well pair that with Hiko's haemophilia-"

Wait what?

"And with the fact that Hiko was already dead tired last night, theres no wonder he fell. The scratch doesn’t look that bad, sure, but it doesn’t have to." Akio leans up before she can continue.

"Internal bleeding is more common than external in people with haemophilia." Akio interrupts, garnering a nod from Aoi. The sudden barrage of information catches me off guard. I gather it all in my head. Siblings, haemophilia, track meet, if it all wasn't so obvious before, I don't know what it is now.

“Alright so… they’re also siblings?” I say, desperate to change the topic. Judging by the tenseness leaving both of their shoulders, Aoi and Akio seem thankful that I did.

“Heh, yeah. I can understand how it was hard for you to guess that. Keiko tells me that she took mostly after her father, while Hiko took mostly after his mother.” Aoi finishes the sentence with a nervous giggle, thankful that the awkward business from before is over.

“Mhmm.” I nod. “So does this mean Hiko isn’t taking part in the track meet tomorrow?”

At this, Akio looks up.

"Not sure. Apparently the coach really cracks down on the runners to make sure that they’re in prime condition…” He trails off, reaching for his book yet again.

“So Hiko probably won’t be running." I say, looking forward and trying to get a feel for the situation.

"How do you think he'll handle it?" I ask, hoping that one of these two could help fill in the rest of the gaps. Aoi shrugs, pulling a small container out of her bag.

"No clue. He'll probably just shake it off and move on. I mean its just one match." Akio says, taking a pair of chopsticks out of his insta-noodle container and breaking them apart. The aroma of the food around me immediately making me reach for my own 'food'.

"Still, he’s going to go if only to support his friends.” Aoi says

“I see.” At this point, it’s all I can really say, given that they just told me a bunch of information about a person that’s not even here, how can I respond? ‘Hey, I can’t even climb stairs anymore after a failed date kicked the shit out of my heart!’

Aoi finishes, slowly reaching for one half of her sandwich. My stomach protests at the sight, eliciting a hidden giggle from her, and a muted sound of disinterest from Akio.

“Here.” Aoi says, grasping the other half of her sandwich still in her container. She extends it out toward me, a slight grin gracing her lips.

“No, I…” But as hard as I try, I can’t completely voice my denial to her offer. A homemade sandwich wins every time when compared to a melted, half-crushed granola bar.

“Hey, c’mon. You look like you're starving!" Her smile widens as she enticingly shakes the sandwich half from side to side. I notice that she’s squinting slightly. Reminding me that the sun is behind me.

"You know you waaaant iiiit!" She says, giggling even more. I've noticed she tends to giggle quite a bit, much like Misha except lacking a full blown laugh.

I frown as I attempt to shake my thoughts away, particularly those of grabbing that delicious morsel and running off to a corner somewhere to eat it. Of course, this all serves to make me realize just how hungry I’ve been over the past few days. If I don’t want to faint in the next hour or so, I should probably take it.

Eh, why not. It’d be rude to refuse, anyway.

A half-mumbled thanks escapes my lips as I quickly grab the sandwich half, shoving it into my mouth before I get any second thoughts. Aoi chuckles at my apparent ravenous hunger, but at this point I couldn’t care less. The last thing I see is Aoi leaning back into the tree, shielding her eyes in the shadows.

...

Oh god.

I make a noise somewhere between a muffled cry and a choked sob as I realize that the sandwich she gave me was made from the elder god’s ambrosia. It feels like absolute flavor heaven in my mouth, every different taste and hint going perfectly with one another.

Either this is the best sandwich ever or I’ve been eating paste for the past few weeks. Either that or I've been eating absolutely nothing, which is very likely if not 100% true.

Aoi cocks her head, looking at me like I’ve just ingested poison. I might’ve well have, this flavor shock just nearly killed me. I swallow the midas morsel in my mouth, opening it for yet another bite.

At my reaction, Aoi giggles even more.

"Oh my God."

"You like it?"

I nod my head vigorously, trying to decide whether to swallow my food and praise her or swallow my food and immediately take another bite. Easily the most difficult decision of the day. I finish swallowing, looking back up in amazement.

"This is the best sandwich I have ever had. Where did you learn to cook like this?"

She giggles, a hint of a blush spreading across her pale features.

"You like it? My dad taught me how to slow cook roast beef and make a sandwich out of it a year ago. It's good, right?" She says picking up her own half of the sandwich and taking a bite.

"It's amazing! All I can make is cereal and coffee, and that's on a good day." I say, although it's not entirely true. Back home I had to make a lot of my meals when my parents were out of the house. Needless to say I got pretty good at making scrambled eggs and instant noodle dinners.

Anyway, this all makes me wonder how Aoi manages to slow-cook roast beef. She either spends all her waking hours in the common room or she has some kind of setup in her dorm room.

Hell, where did she even get roast-beef? The convenience store in the town didn’t seem to stock much in the way of fresh cuts of meat, so she probably keeps a selection in her room. Who’s supplying her?

Regardless, I could care less at this point. I only want to eat this sandwich for now and forever.

“Thanks!” Aoi replies, trying and failing to cover the growing blush on her face. She reaches into her bag, fishing around until she pulls out a small bag of chips, which she begins to munch on. Well, I’m glad I didn’t take her entire meal away.

“Speaking of the track meet, you guys are going, right?” At this Aoi and even Akio look up from what they were occupied with.

“Of course.” Akio says, his head slowly descending back into his book, as per usual.

Aoi looks deep in thought for some reason, staring into the empty space behind me. She makes a small sound of discomfort, snapping out of her idle train of thoughts and focusing on me again.

“Hmm. Akio, what time is the track meet at?”

“Three O'Clock I think. You’d have to check with Keiko though”

Aoi sighs, plucking some grass out of the ground and inspecting it in her hand. A sign of distress shoots across her face. Something is very clearly wrong, but I don’t have the courage to pipe up and ask her about it. I have already been pretty forward in the last few minutes, and I want to stay well within my boundaries.

Soon though, Aoi pokes her head up and drops the handful of grass.

“Hey Hisao, are you gonna be going to the track meet tomorrow?” She asks, still avoiding looking directly at me. Should I move? If the sun is really bothering her that much…

“Wouldn’t miss it. Why?” I ask, a little excited at the thought of getting to spend my Saturday doing something interesting, if only for a little while. Besides, even if I wanted to skip out of the meet Emi would probably use her SWAT tactics and break down my door.

“I was just wondering! Do you wanna tag along with me? Keiko is probably gonna be sitting with Hiko, and Akio…” At the mention of his name, Akio looks up from his book and raises his eyebrows questioningly. I have no reason to believe he has been listening, but then again I could always be wrong.

“I’ll be over there with Keiko.” He says, proving my point.

“Yeah, and I usually avoid the bleachers, er, in midday.” She says, looking down and plucking some more grass out of the ground. Despite being in the shadow of the tree, there is enough light for me to be able to see a small frown spreading across her lips.

Well, there’s no time like the present.

“Sure! Where do you usually sit?”

At this, she pipes just a bit more.

“Really? I usually just sit on the other side of the track. When do you wanna meet up?”

I ponder on the question for a moment, trying to think of a time suitable for the both of us. If it were any other day of the week, three O’Clock would be a pretty heavy deadline. However, Saturdays are short days…

“Two thirty sound good?” I ask, still trying to create a schedule in my head that isn’t revolved specifically around sleep and school. Before she can respond, however, the distant sound of the lunch bell ringing brings me out of the moment. The three of us look out towards the school, where students swarm out of the doors and run across the expansive grounds. Aoi looks back at me, a smile plastered on her face.

“Sounds good to me. Meet at the track?” She says, picking up her containers and placing them back in her bag. I stand up, noticing that Akio has already begun to walk away.

“Yeah, sure!” I say, still enticed by Akio’s antisocialness. I have never met someone as silent as he is, except maybe Hanako. Maybe the reason he is here has something to do with it.

I hate it when I think like that.

“He’s not a big talker, is he?” I ask, still trying to keep a conversation going. I pick up my bag and shoulder it, feeling the familiar weight of my books on my back. As appealing as the thought of returning to class sounds, staying here would be much less interesting without anyone to talk to.

“Yeah. He has a big mouth when he uses it.”

She shoulders her own bag, looking out at the distant boy.

“Hey, wait up you speed demon!” She yells, only eliciting a shrug from Akio. She sighs, as if just now realizing she had no chance getting to him to begin with.

“Well, c'mon. Don’t wanna be late for class.” I say, beginning to walk forward towards the trail. Aoi soon trailing at my side.

●●●

The school widens in our view, the commotion of the student life parallel to that of the lunch area. I sigh, missing the calm breeze versus the loud screams of students. Soon enough, the path splits into two segments, one heading to the main school building, the other splitting off to the dorms. Aoi stalls in the middle, as if lost in a train of thought.

“Forget something?” I ask, attempting to garner a response from her. Behind us, students sprint around in an attempt to get to class on time, or at least relatively close to ‘on time’. She turns back, looking down the path leading to the girls dormitory, her face a mixture of emotions that I can’t even begin to read.

“Everything alright?”

She looks up, as if just snapping out of a daze. I have noticed her do this once before. It’s like her fits of deep thought stop the rest of her body from functioning, like she’s frozen in time. She looks me in the eye, just now finally coming to her senses. She smiles, yet I can tell something is still bothering her.

“Yeah, sorry, just have a lot going on right now.” She says with a huff and a slump of her shoulders. I begin speaking without thinking.

“Well if you want anyone to talk to, feel free to chat me up!” I say, again blushing at my second accidental ‘pickup line’. I seem to be getting this annoying habit of blurting out my thoughts without thinking when I’m around Aoi. Maybe it’s just my imagination.

She giggles faintly, looking up at me one last time before yet again taking me completely by surprise.

She leans forward.

Way forward.

More forward than I can say that I’m comfortable with.

In what feels like an eternity, she reaches up, balancing on her tippy toes and planting a soft kiss on my cheek. Just as quickly as she leaned up, she leans back down, her cheeks a rosy red in contrast to her pale skin. I can feel my own cheeks burning hot as well, but with what just happened I couldn’t care less.

I feel as if I am wearing Herme’s own flying shoes.

“See ya around Hisao.” She says sweetly, turning on her heel and heading off in the direction of the girls dorm. I raise my arm in a awkward wave, not realizing or caring about the futility of it all.

“See ya…” I say under my breath, my entire body feeling lighter than air. I turn around, walking into the school, up the stairs, and into the classroom. I notice Shizune and Misha shooting me odd looks as I make my way towards my desk, but yet again, I couldn’t care less.

I sit down in my desk, head still twirling around from whatever the hell just happened. Dazedly, I rotate my head to look out the window, thinking of all the possibilities the next day may bring.
Five.


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