Can You Confront the Past? - Post-Hanako Good Ending

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JustAFerret
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Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:25 pm

Re: Can You Confront the Past? - Post-Hanako Good Ending

Post by JustAFerret » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:24 pm

Hello everyone! Again, thank you for giving my story the time of day. I'm very grateful for the words of encouragement and the feedback you've given me. So without further ado, here's the next chapter.
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Chapter 3: Growing Close

Hisao’s pencil danced along his paper, putting the finishing touches on his group assignment. The murmurs of his classmates’ chatter were a faint whisper as he concentrated on his work. Beside him, Hanako kept her eyes firmly planted on the paper, trying her hardest not to attract any undue attention. Thankfully, Mutou’s leniency to Hanako’s sporadic absences extended to allowing her and Hisao to work together without a third partner.

“You all finished?” Hisao asked her. Hanako tore herself away from her work, responding with a slow nod.

“Y-yes,” Hanako replied. Hisao couldn’t help but peek at her worksheet, a small, proud smile growing on his face. He began to notice how much more effort Hanako put into her schoolwork. There were even a few moments where she came up with the answer before he did. Contrary to what the others may think, underneath her skittish exterior was a bright and sharp mind, and Hisao was ecstatic that it was finally breaking through.

The clamorous ringing of the bell shattered the class’ silence to pieces. Mutou looked up from the papers he was grading, “If you didn’t finish the problems, I expect them by tomorrow. Otherwise, hand them in.”

Hisao and Hanako both rose from their seats and slipped their papers on his desk. Mutou gave each of them a firm nod with, curiously, a crooked smile. The two retreated to their seats and gathered their belongings as the rest of the class emptied out into the halls. The only ones left in the room were the student council, who were busying themselves by chatting with another classmate. Hisao, not wanting to risk an interrogation from the duo, led Hanako out of the room before they could get the chance.

The overflow of students had lessened to a slightly more manageable state. A few stragglers and groups still dotted the corridors, but most had gone to the cafeteria or some other location to spend their lunch time.

Together, Hisao and Hanako navigated the halls towards the classroom they often visited. Lilly would have already made her way there by the time they reached it. After turning the corner, Hisao came to an immediate halt, grabbing Hanako’s hand to stop her from continuing. She turned to face him, unaware of why he stopped.

“What’s wrong?” she asked him. Hisao stared straight ahead at the lone figure standing in the middle of the large hall. He didn't expect to see Takeo so soon after how their conversation ended on a low note.

Takeo didn't seem to notice their presence. He aimlessly shambled through the halls like a zombie, going to turn one corner before hesitating and changing direction. Hisao didn't know whether to talk to him or keep moving for fear of another abrupt, awkward moment. Before he could come to a conclusion, however, Hanako broke his train of thought, “I-Is that…Isn't that the boy from the airport?”

Hisao sighed. He hoped that Hanako wouldn't notice who he was. In truth, she probably wanted to steer clear of him after their short but memorable encounter. Maybe it was how awkward Takeo had presented himself or the way he moved about with as much direction as a blank map, but Hisao felt genuinely sorry for him. He waited for a few more seconds before walking towards the wayward student, pulling Hanako the entire way. What he was about to do was nothing short of a gamble, but his inner voice told him to at least try, “Yeah, it is. Why don’t we go talk to him? I met him yesterday; he seems like a nice guy.”

Hanako’s eyes widened. Hisao could feel the muscles tense in her body as he practically dragged her, “I-I don’t know, Hisao. Last time we saw each other d-didn't go over so well.”

“Trust me, I think you’re more hung up about it than he is.” Hisao offered her a comforting smile, loosening his grip on her hand as he spoke, “If you don’t want to, then that’s fine. We’re keeping Lilly waiting anyways. I just thought that we could be hospitable to a new student.”

Hisao kept quiet to wait for her reply. Hanako bit her lower lip while mulling things over in her head. She peeked over Hisao’s shoulder to look at Takeo again, who was still looking in every direction besides their own. She took notice of the bandages on his head and shuddered. They reminded of when she herself had to wear those, but she quickly shoved those thought aside, refocusing herself on Takeo. He appeared to be lost. The fact that hardly a soul was around seemed to back up that observation.

Hanako weighed the options carefully. Her instincts told her to say ‘no’, to avoid Takeo for fear of history repeating itself. It was the response she always fell back to during times like these. Even now, after coming so far from the nervous wreck she used to be, she still felt the urge to stick to the people she knew. Her previous encounter with Takeo proved that other people would still stare at her, no matter how many friends she made.

On the other hand, both Lilly and Hisao always suggested to Hanako to expand her borders. She couldn't deny that the idea of having another friend join what she considered her only family was appealing. In the long run, it’d certainly be healthier. And this way, it’d be her turn to help someone else for a change.
In the end, Hanako gave an anxious nod. Hisao patted her on the shoulder as they walked towards Takeo. Hisao stopped just short of running into him before tapping him on the shoulder.

“Hm?” Takeo looked over his shoulder.

“Hey Takeo, you alright?” Hisao asked. He fully turned to face him, looking a little disheveled. Even though he was dressed prim and proper in his uniform, his eyes were hauntingly vacant. Regardless, Takeo gave a subdued shrug and a meek smile that disappeared the moment it arrived.

“I’m doing better at least,” Hisao knew almost automatically that it wasn't the case. Takeo looked absolutely bleak. Like a plastic flower in a barren wasteland, the words in Takeo’s empty dismissal were only made to redirect from a bigger problem. But it wasn't Hisao’s place to try and fix his problems. He learned that lesson well after his painful reconciliation with Hanako, “Sorry about bailing on you yesterday. I’m still trying to get used to all this. And…I’m not entirely comfortable talking about my disability if it’s alright with you.”

“Don’t worry about it. Truth be told, I was like that too when I first came here.” Hisao replied. Takeo’s former smirk returned for a second longer.

“Glad to see I’m not the only one. Umm...is there something you wanted?” he asked. Hisao suddenly became aware of Hanako leaning against his back. Was she hiding behind him the entire time? Hisao suppressed a grimace and took his attention back to Takeo.

“Yes actually. We saw you wandering around. You looked kinda lost so we thought you’d be interested in joining us for lunch.” Hisao asked. Takeo looked over Hisao’s shoulder at Hanako. The girl stood up straighter, trying her hardest to assert her confidence. She had to be strong. She had made it too far to slip back now.

The fringe of her hair flowed lazily as she nodded in agreement with Hisao’s offer. Then her worst fear came true. Takeo stared at her in curiosity, his eyes narrowing slightly as he silently observed her. Hisao frowned. He could feel the tiny but terrible shivers crossing from her hand to his shoulder. He had become a support beam for her before he even knew it. Despite the relaxed calm Hisao exuded, Hanako still had trouble trying to stand up to nothing but an analytical stare.

Stand your ground, Hanako. Use the strength you’ve always had.

He heard a faint gulping coming from behind him. Every nerve in his body wound up to impossible limits. His breath stayed still as he watched and waited. He threw his girlfriend into the deep end, but he knew she could do it. A few lengthy breaths reached his ear. The sound that followed worked in conjunction with her softening grip, “Um…we like to go to an empty classroom for lunch. We usually bring our own f-food too, but we…we can share if you don’t h-have any.”

Hisao watched in silent awe as Takeo stopped staring and redirected his gaze. It no longer loitered on the thing that used to define Hanako, but on Hanako herself; not on the physical nametag written on the body, but on the person the body belonged to.

Takeo said nothing at first. But Hisao could catch the faint red color on his cheeks. Takeo cleared his throat awkwardly, looking apologetic. He mentally kicked himself after rubbing his arm.

For the love of…stop staring. You should be thankful she didn’t slap you. You seriously deserve it at this point.

“I-I’d be honored to join you two. Thank you for bringing me along,” He said in a failing effort to sound casual. The grip on Hisao’s shoulder disappeared and migrated to his hand, cradling it tenderly; proudly.

“Good to hear. Come on, it’s this way,”

Hisao led the way with Hanako standing by his side. Takeo moved to his other side, staying a few steps back. While they were retracing their steps, Hisao leaned towards Hanako and whispered, “You’re an amazing person.”

Hanako blushed and leaned closer into him, reveling in his warmth. She quickly planted a small peck on his cheek, “T-thank you. It felt good…getting to talk like that with a stranger.”

Hanako stared down at the tiles, pondering for a moment before asking, “Why doesn’t he remember me?”

Hisao wrapped an arm around her, “I think it’s better if he told the story himself.”



After a quick detour for Takeo to grab a drink from a vending machine, the three soon came to the unused classroom that had served as their refuge. Hisao could hear a metallic clinking coming from inside as he approached the door. His hand tentatively pressed against the door and pushed it open, revealing a brightly-lit room with a table set against the far wall. The sole occupant of the room stood off in the corner, brewing what looked to be a modest sized pot of tea. Her blonde hair swayed lightly from the breeze gliding out the open window.

“Hey Lilly,” Hisao said into the open room. Lilly perked up and turned towards the general direction of the voice, a small smile growing on her lips.

“Hello Hisao. I’m glad you could make it. Is Hanako with you?” she asked. Hanako walked out of Hisao’s shadow and entered the room.

“I’m right here, Lilly,” Hanako stopped just short of the table and set to work laying out the food she brought with her. Meanwhile, Takeo took a cautious step inside, unsure of what to make of their hangout and the girl still hovering over the tea.

“Splendid. Shall we settle ourselves, then?” Lilly carefully wrapped her fingers around the edges of the plate the pot sat on. She took careful and measured steps before coming to a halt, delicately setting the pot in the center of the table as she spoke, “You two arrived late. I was worried I was being stood up.”

Lilly gave a grin, signaling her jest. Hisao pulled out a chair for Hanako before seating himself, “Sorry about the wait, Lilly. We just ran into somebody on the way here.”

Hisao motioned for Takeo to come closer. With an affirmative nod, Takeo cleared his throat, “Hey, I’m Takeo Kato. I just transferred in yesterday.”

Lilly’s eyes opened, turning their sapphire gaze towards Takeo’s direction. She looked surprised for a moment before reverting back to her welcoming mannerisms, “Well I’m certainly open to more company. Would you care to take a seat?”

Takeo grabbed a nearby chair and sat down in the only available space, next to Lilly. A faint hiss escaped his throat as a dull throbbing ran up his side. Takeo hadn't slept well, and what little sleep he could catch was worsened by the fact that Takeo had fallen asleep with his entire upper body propped against the wall.

“Is everything alright?”

Takeo glanced to his side to see a concerned look written on Lilly’s face, “Yeah, just getting over a sore back. I…didn't sleep so well last night.”

For a moment, he looked back into her cloudy eyes. It didn't take him long to notice she was blind. If she hadn't kept her eyes closed when he first saw her, Takeo would have assumed she had an internal problem like him.

However, he was impressed with her soft-spoken demeanor and the calm air that seemed to radiate from her. Everything about her pointed towards the only word he could think to describe her: grace.

Lilly looked stayed deep in thought for a moment longer before resigning herself. A period of silence followed as food was spread around the table. Hanako held up the tea pot and poured a generous amount into each cup. Lilly nodded her appreciation to her before turning to Takeo, “Would you like a cup?”

“Ah, no thank you. I brought something for myself,” Takeo popped open the compartment of the juice carton in his hand. A sweet, berry smell wafted from its opening as Takeo took a small sip. After dividing the tea evenly, sandwiches were passed around. Hanako held one out to Takeo, who took it graciously with a quiet ‘thank you’.

“So would you care to tell us a little bit about yourself, Takeo?” Lilly piped up. Takeo stopped mid-chew and exchanged an awkward look with Hisao. He swallowed his mouthful of food before setting his sandwich down, scratching his head in that awkward habit of his. A low ‘uhhhh’ reverberated in his throat as he thought up an acceptable answer.

“Honestly, you guys know about as much as I do.” He said with a forced chuckle. His response drew a curious look from both Hanako and Lilly. Takeo took another drink of his juice, sighing as he set it back down. Lilly clasped her hands together, hesitating slightly as she spoke.

“I’m…afraid I don’t understand.” Takeo tented his fingers. He took a deep breath of the fresh air coming in shorts breezes through the window. The stark scent of the summer air felt comforting to him despite the ball of anxiety sprouting in his chest.

“I should probably elaborate,” he finally said. He took a moment to gather his thoughts. He spent the next few minutes recounting the events leading up to his attendance to Yamaku. His accident, his lost memory, and the lack of any idea where his family was were all explained in explicit detail. The others stayed silent as he spoke, preferring to wait until he finished speaking before offering their comments.

“I see. It must…be troubling to have to endure this,” Lilly said. Takeo gave a polite laugh and brought the carton of juice up to his lips again.

“A little, yeah. I woke up this morning still thinking the entire thing was a dream, only to find my meds on the table and my head still wrapped up like a Christmas present. But I have to admit, I’m a little more concerned about what I’m supposed to be doing in a place like this. I’m…not well-versed in interacting with other people in regards to…you know,” he said, taking another drink once he finished his sentence. His inexperience in dealing with the other students of Yamaku drew a smirk from Hisao. He remembered it wasn’t such a long time ago when he felt the same way. There were plenty of moments where Hisao bumbled into one social landmine after another. He recalled chastising himself after meeting every person he knew at Yamaku. But over time he learned the social norms and courtesies Yamaku expected when it came to interacting with the other students. Which turned out to be not so different than he thought.

It was Lilly’s turn to laugh. She beamed her impish smile, dismissing his musing, “Don’t sell yourself so short. After all, you’re talking to all of us normally.”

“Well, you got me there,” Takeo said with a halfhearted smirk, “But I still don’t know how to assimilate myself in a place like this. It feels like I’m on a different planet…if that makes any sense. I think I’d be better off keeping my head down until my memory comes back.”

“Maybe you can try and join a club? It could help you make some friends,” Hisao suggested. Takeo shrugged, idly shaking the carton in his hand as he thought hard about Hisao’s proposal, “It’s what I tried to do when I came here. Didn’t work out for me so much, but maybe you can find something that’ll catch your interest.”

I’m starting to sound like Mutou. Hisao thought.

“I guess that’s a good a place to start as any. Do you guys have any recommendations?” he asked.

“I would say that your best option is to look for something that you enjoy. Is there anything specific you’re interested in?” Lilly asked him.

“I’m not sure. I mean, there's still some things I'm trying to figure out for myself. But it can't hurt to try, I guess. Hopefully I’ll get interested in one of them. If not, well I could always hide in my room for the rest of the year,” Takeo said, “Thanks for the advice, guys."

“No problem. The least we can do for a new student, right?” Hisao said. Takeo smiled in return and diverted his attention back to his lunch, feeling a little better about his place in the school. It would take a while longer for him to feel fully comfortable in such a foreign place, but he could take solace in the fact that he was taking a step in the right direction. The rest of the lunch period passed with bits of idle conversation between the four. For the most part, Takeo kept himself reserved; more for the sake of not having anything to add to the subject than any kind of shyness. Before any in-depth subject could take place, the lunch bell rang out across the school. After a quick farewell, everyone returned to their classes.



Hisao opened his closet and fished out the sweater vest lying within. School had ended a few hours ago and he didn’t want to waste any time getting ready for his date with Hanako. A flush of orange permeated through his window, washing every inch of his room in the light of the departing sun. After taking a moment to dress himself, he gathered his phone and wallet and walked out the door, taking extra care not to alert Kenji.

A slight breeze greeted him as he walked outside. A few students could be seen loitering around the courtyard in front of the school. Hisao entered the halls of the girl’s dorm and made a beeline for Hanako’s room. Hisao could hear the TV blaring loudly from the common room as he knocked lightly on her door. A faint shuffling noise could be heard through the wooden door before it opened slightly. A single violet eye stared back at him through the slim opening. It only took a second for Hanako to recognize him and smile.

“H-Hello Hisao,” Hanako opened the door to its full ability and stepped back for him to come inside. Hisao took a few steps inside and closed the door behind him. Hanako wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a warm embrace. It took a second for Hisao to get his bearings before he gladly returned her hug. Just holding her in his arms was enough for his heart to skip a beat. Figuratively, of course.

“You ready to go?” he asked. Hanako released her hold on him and grabbed the dark cap sitting on her bed.

“Ready.” Hanako straightened her jacket and followed Hisao out of her room, a small smile glowing on her face, “So where are we going?”

“I figured we could go to the Shanghai for dinner. There shouldn’t be a lot of people this time of day.” Hisao replied. Admittedly, the Shanghai wasn’t the most lavish or thrilling idea for a date, but the serene atmosphere would work well to ease them both into their new relationship. His hand reached out and took Hanako’s, affectionately running a thumb over her hand. Together, they walked out of the girl dormitory and out into the street heading towards town.

“So...our first date,” Hisao mumbled as they descended the steep hill. Hanako lifted the brim of her cap, letting the warm sunlight wash over her face.

“Y-yeah. I…I’m not really sure what to do.” Hanako replied. She peered at Hisao through her fringe. She had never had a relationship before in her life. Were they supposed to act differently? Was she supposed to be more outgoing and fun? TV shows and the countless novels she read made it look so easy, but real life obviously played by a different set of rules.

“If it makes you feel better, neither do I. We’re both just a couple of hopeless idiots, huh?” Hisao said with an amused chuckle. Hanako couldn’t resist a giggle of her own.

“T-that’s okay. Ignorance is bliss…right?”

“If that’s the case, I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Hisao let go of Hanako’s hand before wrapping an arm around her shoulder, giving her a tight squeeze,
Hanako could feel the rush of blood running to her cheeks. She never told him, but she loved the little gestures of affection he made. It always reminded her how close they’d grown. A few months ago she barely spoke to anyone outside of Lilly and Akira and would have bolted from the mere prospect of physical contact. Seeing herself walking to town with her boyfriend, huddled in his arm like it was the most natural thing in the world, brought an uplifting sense of pride.

By the time they reached the Shanghai, the sun drifted to the lowest point in the horizon. Streaks of orange were met with broad brushes of the night sky. An inviting light glowed from the Shanghai’s windows as they pushed the front door open.

A small bell rang above them, signaling their arrival. The faint murmurs of what few patrons were there were accompanied by a frantic sound in the kitchen. A surprised yelp rang out from the back room before a disordered Yuuko came scurrying out, her hair an unkempt mess. She looked worn down, no doubt from having to cater to the large amount of customers.

The librarian-turned-waitress tried to fix her hair while attending to her new guests, giving Hisao and Hanako a sharp bow as she did, “Welcome to the Shanghai. Please come with me so that you may be seated.”

Yuuko hastily escorted them to a booth in the corner of the restaurant. Hisao and Hanako took their seats while Yuuko whipped out a notepad from her apron pocket.

“What would you like to order?” she said in her best attempt at professionalism; although the pen shaking in her hand was evident to her frayed nerves. Hisao and Hanako took a moment before ordering their meals. Yuuko took longer trying to jot down their orders, scratching out entire words as she did.

With another quick and practiced bow, Yuuko hurried back to the kitchen to prepare their meals, checking up on other customers on the way.

Hisao stared out the window. An occasional elderly couple or a lone pedestrian walked by them on their way home after a long day. Meanwhile, a few people in the booths around them noticed the time and showed themselves out, leaving their money on the table. A familiar quiet fell between him and Hanako. It was the one that accompanied them in the library and the tea room and many other places. It wasn’t the least bit awkward. Even before their recent relationship upgrade, Hisao and Hanako spent a lot of time just enjoying each other’s presence. Come to think of it, even though they were boyfriend and girlfriend now, the way they behaved around each other didn’t change all that much.

Hisao heard a lengthy sigh coming from the person in front of him. Hanako was staring down at the tabletop, the brim of her cap covering her eyes.

“What’s up?” Hisao asked her. A single amethyst eye stared back at him. Hanako rubbed her arm, averting her gaze towards anywhere except to Hisao.

“Ummm…I was just thinking…n-nevermind,” She muttered. Hisao crossed his arms and leaned them against the table, a small, understanding smile on his face.

“You sure? Looks like you have something on your mind,” He said. Hanako eyes fell back on him. Her gaze lingered on his brown eyes before another sigh escaped her lips. Her hand came up and removed her cap, setting it down on the table in front of her.

Hisao looked at Hanako, then the cap, then back at her. She appeared to be lost in thought, her hands splayed out in front of her, drawing imaginary lines on the table top.

Hanako absently bit her lower lip. She couldn’t be sure if bringing it up to Hisao right now would be the most appropriate thing to do. It was in the past and they had forgiven each other, but Hanako still held a lingering feeling of guilt for all the trouble she caused him. The last thing she wanted to do was bring it up again, during their first date no less.

Hanako steeled herself for her response but a clattering sound broke the silence before she could. Yuuko stepped carefully in front of their table, dropping their respective meals before them with an unceremonious rattle.

With nothing to add, Yuuko made another bow before running off. Hisao exchanged a glance between his food and Hanako before giving a small smile, “Well I won’t pry if you don’t want to talk about it.”

Hanako slightly fidgeted in her seat, giving a timid nod in response. She stared down at her food, curry served with a slice of pork and rice. The sweet and tangy aroma wafted through the air, making her stomach growl. Without further ado, Hanako grabbed her utensils and dug in, not realizing how hungry she was until she took the first bite.

A comfortable silence returned as the two busied themselves with their dinner. Hisao took a bite out of a steamed piece of beef and stole a quick look at Hanako. She definitely piqued his interest, but he wasn’t going to push his luck. If she had something she wanted to say, she’ll tell him. Until then, he just had to respect her privacy.

“Hisao…?”

Hisao looked up from his massacred food. Hanako patted her mouth with a napkin and set it down, never once faltering from her blank expression, “C-can I ask you something?”

“Of course,” Hisao said. Hanako opened her mouth but said nothing. Her cheeks were flushed as she stumbled over her words.

“Please be honest with me. Why are you…with me?” she asked. Hisao visibly flinched at the question. He wasn’t expecting Hanako to be so straightforward with her question. Though it did give him some pause. For a brief moment, he was reminded of when Lilly asked why he chose to befriend her. But this question dug deeper than that. She wasn’t asking about something platonic. She asked about something purely in a romantic sense.

Hisao said nothing. There were a bunch of little reasons why he wanted to be with her, too many for him to count, but would that be a good enough answer for her? Indeed, ever since they started their friendship, Hisao had been trying to understand her. The first time was almost disastrous, with Hisao almost ruining not just his chances of pursing her but also her friendship entirely. Ever since then he’d been cautious about how he viewed her. He still wasn’t sure if his answer would be enough, but it was better than no answer at all.

“I…it’s a lot reasons. There’s not really one huge thing that I like about you. It’s…all the little things about you and the little things we do together. They add up to be this wonderful thing I’ve never experienced before. And I…I want to keep it going,” Hisao watched her intently for any response. Hanako’s arms twitched slightly as she took it all in. She blushed heavily. She couldn’t resist the smile that grew on her face, mirroring Hisao’s own.

“Umm…thank you, Hisao,” Hanako said, still beaming from his answer, "I-I'm sorry. I should have more...f-faith in you."

"No worries. I enjoy spending time with you, Hanako. It's something I'll always enjoy," Hisao said. Hanako gave him a firm nod and another cute smile.

"I…wasn’t sure what to expect when I asked you that," she admitted.

“I guess I’m just full of surprises,” Hisao replied with a knowing smirk. Hanako couldn’t stop herself from giggling.

“I-I suppose so, but…” Hanako brought up a hand and put a piece of beef in her mouth, “so am I.”

Hisao smiled again before noticing what she meant. He looked down at his plate to find a piece of his meal missing. He looked back up to find Hanako giving him a triumphant grin.

“Clever,” Hisao muttered in his best attempt to sound irritated, but the urge to snicker broke his illusion. Hanako blushed and joined him in his quiet laughter. Hanako reached out and squeezed his hand before returning to her meal. Hisao returned her squeeze and did the same. The silence returned as they finished their meals.

Hisao patted his stomach, staring at the empty plate sitting in front of him. A welcoming light shined off the tabletop from the lamps on the ceiling above, hinting at the sun’s departure. Hisao checked his watch to see that it was almost ten o’ clock. Meanwhile, Hanako dabbed herself with a napkin a content sigh escaping her lips, “Th-that was really good.”

“Yeah, nice change of pace from the usual sandwiches,” Hisao pulled out his wallet and skimmed over the bills sitting inside its leather folds. He spotted Yuuko collapsed in a chair near the kitchen, wiping her forehead with a piece of cloth. Once he caught her attention, he waved her over. Yuuko made a nervous laugh and hurried to their table.

“Yes? Is there anything else I can do for you? The food wasn’t bad, was it?”

“No, no, it was very filling. How much do I owe you?” Hisao asked while pulling out a handful of yen. As Hisao and Yuuko exchanged a few words, Hanako glanced around the room, lost in her thoughts. Going on a trip to the town, having dinner with Hisao, and sharing a few tender moments was definitely something she wouldn’t mind doing more often. There was something endearing about Hisao and her sharing something nobody else had. It made her feel special; something she never thought she’d know the feeling of. For a long time Hanako thought that she mattered to no one. A decade of ridicule had a way of making you believe all the harsh words ever uttered in your direction.

Their piercing words hurt more than sticks or stones ever could. Day after hopeless day would pass with rumors and slander being made fact not just in the latest gossip, but to her. Over the course of what felt like a night, she went from being a normal and accepted girl in society to being the school’s horror story. Nothing felt worse than having your entire life being engulfed in flames in more ways than one.

When she came to Yamaku, she had hoped things would finally look up for her. A school where the students treated each other as equals and as living people sounded like a sanctuary to her. Kids who would treat each other with no difference because of their problems were what Yamaku prided itself on. And for the most part, it rang true. It’s just that, no matter what, there would always be people staring. There would always be the ones talking about her, snickering and giggling at the jokes and teasing inspired by everything about her she wanted to hide. The only difference being that the kids at Yamaku had the courtesy to do it behind her back.

At least, that was how she used to feel. After the past couple of months, ever since Hisao arrived, those things she took as fact seemed to crumble. The poison passed as the unshakeable and undisputed truth purged itself as Hanako spent more and more time with him. She rediscovered the sheer force of will buried beneath years of torment. Whether she would have found it anyway didn’t matter to her. All that mattered was that she found it again through the support of those she cared about most; the two people who meant everything to her.

Hanako felt something nudge her shoulder. She looked away from the glass to see Hisao standing in front of her, holding his hand out to her, “Come on, it’d be rude of me to leave you here.”

Hanako blushed and took his hand. Hisao lightly tugged her up to her feet. Hanako turned back and grabbed her cap, putting it back where it belonged. The warmth of the sun seemed to have disappeared as they stepped out, instead replaced by a stealthy chill. Hanako shivered from a heavy breeze, inadvertently pressing against Hisao as she tried to shelter herself from the cold.

A warm aura seemed to jump out from Hisao’s body to hers. Hanako looked up at Hisao and smiled. The grimace as he endured the cold without a jacket was hard to miss, “You…should have brought a coat.”

Hisao gave her a mock-hurt expression in response, “I can take a few weak breezes.”

Hanako poked him in the gut, a small smirk on her lips, “Y-your sweater vest won’t help you, Hisao.”

Hisao puffed out his chest with a cocky smile, “It’s what a sweater vest is made for. It’s in its natural habitat.”

Another windy gust hit them from behind. This time the shivers were unmistakable. Hanako placed a hand over her mouth to keep herself from laughing at Hisao’s expense, “S-see? I told you…”

Hisao visibly deflated at his loss. Hanako stared down at the pavement once her urge to laugh died down. She could feel the blood rushing to her cheeks. The back and forth between Hisao and herself came naturally; so much so that she almost didn’t notice it. Hanako took Hisao’s hand and led him back towards Yamaku with a noticeable spring in her step.

The moon hung high over the sky by the time they reached the dorms. Not a soul could be seen in the still courtyard. The raucous noise from the bristling branches were their only welcome as they approached the girl’s dorm. Hanako stop at the top of the small flight of stairs and turned back to Hisao.

“Th-thank you, I…really enjoyed myself,” Hanako said with a genuine smile. Hisao returned her smile and nodded.

“I’m glad I could show you a good time. See you in class?”

“D-definitely,” Hanako reached for the door handle. A sudden thought entered her mind when her fingertips grazed the freezing metal. She turned back to Hisao and met him at the bottom of the stairs, her eyes locked on him the entire time.

“Is there something wro-“

Hisao’s question was left hanging in the air as Hanako gingerly took his hand in hers. Hanako never noticed how much she enjoyed physical contact until they started dating, but that wasn’t the reason why she held onto him. She had come a long way, now she wanted to prove not only to Hisao but to herself how much she grew.

Hanako breathed deeply before reached up with her free hand and brushing aside her violet fringe. Hisao stayed silent, his eyes watching softly at her marred visage. It wasn’t the first time he’d seen her entire face, recalling the…difficult night the two shared in her room, but it was the first time he’d seen it with a clear mind. His eyes fixed on her scars, taking in her exposed cheek and neck. Just like he remembered, her skin was stretched and tightly drawn. The pale red of her right cheek contrasted with her bright complexion.

Hanako brought up his hand and laid it on her bare cheek, keeping her hand over his. Hisao kept his face neutral as his finger ran along her cheek. He watched her intently for any sign of discomfort, but she kept her eyes on him, silently telling him to go on.

“Why did you decide to do this?” Hisao asked as he stroked her cheek with his thumb. Hanako shuddered slightly but kept her composure.

“I…I’ve been thinking about…about us and…I want this,” Hanako pointed at her face as she held Hisao’s hand tighter, “to be something I could sh-share with you. O-only you.”

Hisao ran his thumb over her cheek one last time before pulling away. Hanako brushed her hair forward, hiding her scarred half once more, “I’ve never shown a-anyone that part of me. Lilly had touched my face before, b-but only after we’ve known each other for a long time. I-I wanted for us to have something s-special between us. L-like when you showed me your scar.”

Hisao said nothing at first. It made sense that she would have done the same with Lilly. Her blindness would have played a part in making Hanako more comfortable around her. Nevertheless, he didn’t hesitate to wrap his arms around her and coax her into a gentle embrace.

They stayed in each other’s arms for what seemed like an eternity; just sharing body warmth to fend off the night’s cold air. Hisao finally unraveled himself from Hanako’s grasp and kissed her on the forehead.

“So, I’ll see you tomorrow?” Hanako nodded and slowly walked backwards up the stairs.

“N-night.”

“Night.”

And with that, Hanako entered the girl’s dorm. Hisao took a deep breath and headed the opposite way towards his own room. Being careful not to alert Kenji as he stepped inside and turned in for the night.



Takeo tossed and turned in the dark of his room. His entire body moved in tandem, trying in vain to find a comfortable position. He sat up and ran a hand over his hair, his palm grazing the rough bandages on his head. Restless, he crawled out of bed. His body shook as his bare skin hit the cold air. He was in nothing but a pair of pajama pants as he stopped in front of his window. He stared out wistfully at the rattling trees, his mind jumping from one thing to another.
The picture sat on his empty desk. Takeo had spent the better part of the day looking at it, trying to make some, if any, sense out of its story. His fingertips touched the glass pane. The freezing sensation ran up and down his hand before withdrawing it.

His mind was a jumble of different thoughts. Takeo opened his closet and pulled out two shirts and a pair of dark jeans. Maybe a quick walk would clear his head. He slipped on the red T-shirt and wore a white button-up shirt over it before putting on his jeans. Out of the corner of his eye he spotted the black hoodie where he found the picture. He hesitated briefly before pulling it out as well, zipping it all the way up before grabbing the picture and sneaking out the door.

If some fresh air wouldn’t clear his head, nothing would.

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Can You Confront the Past? - Post-Hanako Good Ending

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:02 am

Hanako breathed deeply before reached up with her free hand and brushing aside her violet fringe. Hisao stayed silent, his eyes watching softly at her marred visage.
A missing word in the beginning and one too much in the end.
His entire body moved in tandem...
In tandem with what?

You use internal monologue in a few places. You can't usually do that in a third person narrative.

Otherwise fine chapter!
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Can You Confront the Past? - Post-Hanako Good Ending

Post by poopooface » Wed May 14, 2014 10:08 pm

The beginning is directly copy pasted from another fan-fic, I think it's Sisterhood, but if not it's still definitely copied, believe me in the last 2 weeks I've read 200 fanfics. :evil:
Hanako>Lilly>Emi>Rin>Shizune

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Re: Can You Confront the Past? - Post-Hanako Good Ending

Post by Guest Poster » Thu May 15, 2014 1:15 am

It sure as hell isn't copied from Sisterhood, because Sisterhood starts in Inverness and Hisao and Hanako eventually welcome Lilly on Yamaku's parking lot rather than the airport. The scene is partially drawn from the welcoming scene in Lilly's route though, but it's not uncommon for fanfics to partially replicate an existing scene.
Sisterhood: True Edition. Hanako epilogue I wrote. Now expanded with additional chapters.

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Re: Can You Confront the Past? - Post-Hanako Good Ending

Post by Silentcook » Thu May 15, 2014 2:40 am

poopooface wrote:The beginning is directly copy pasted from another fan-fic, I think it's Sisterhood, but if not it's still definitely copied, believe me in the last 2 weeks I've read 200 fanfics. :evil:
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Re: Can You Confront the Past? - Post-Hanako Good Ending

Post by dewelar » Thu May 15, 2014 3:11 am

Google says this story was originally posted on fanfiction.net last year. Perhaps that's what he's thinking of?
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: Can You Confront the Past? - Post-Hanako Good Ending

Post by forgetmenot » Thu May 15, 2014 3:16 am

dewelar wrote:Google says this story was originally posted on fanfiction.net last year. Perhaps that's what he's thinking of?
JustAFerret wrote:Alright so to give some explanation, I had originally written this for FanFiction.Net until it was suggested to me that I post it here. So here I am! Hello all, how are ya doing?
Jesus flaming Christ on a stick, people, it's right at the top of the OP. :evil:

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Re: Can You Confront the Past? - Post-Hanako Good Ending

Post by dewelar » Thu May 15, 2014 3:37 am

forgetmenot wrote:
dewelar wrote:Google says this story was originally posted on fanfiction.net last year. Perhaps that's what he's thinking of?
JustAFerret wrote:Alright so to give some explanation, I had originally written this for FanFiction.Net until it was suggested to me that I post it here. So here I am! Hello all, how are ya doing?
Jesus flaming Christ on a stick, people, it's right at the top of the OP. :evil:
I blame still being awake at 3-freakin'-30 AM. :oops:
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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