Saki meets Rika

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Oddball
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Saki meets Rika

Post by Oddball » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:00 am

Saki meets Rika


Rika sat there at the bus stop. She was still new to the school and the area so she wasn't sure when the bus actually arrived. Really, she didn't care, as long as she arrived at the city sometime that day. To pass the time she watched a particularity large insert scurry around on the pavement.

She didn't normally take an interest in bugs; in fact, she knew almost nothing about them, but something about the thing had caught her attention. As she watched she wondered to herself what it must be like to be a bug. Were they aware of how huge the world actually was and how much of it they'd never get to see? They traveled so they had to have some idea of what distance was, but how exactly far was “far away” to them.

They didn't live long either. She knew that much, although she didn't remember how long they had, days? Weeks? It didn't matter much. It was short. Was that something they ever thought about? Something as simple as a paper bag left by the side of the road for days must be something ancient to the generations that came and went before it was picked up and tossed away.

Did they ever feel that their lives where too short? That it wasn't fair?

Saki saw the girl sitting at the bus stop as she approached. Her head was tilting down looking at the pavement and seemingly oblivious to anything going on around her. The girl was pale, not fashionably pale, not even “doesn't get out enough” pale, but a sickly pale. Her skin tone and her light blue-ish gray hair made her look more like some ghost that had yet to move on.

Saki noticed the girl was wearing a black t-shirt with teal lining at the neck and sleeves. She also wore below-knee length cargo shorts, also black with thin light blue lining. They almost matched, but not quite. The black of the shirt was darker than the somewhat faded shorts, but the blue on the shorts was a darker blue than the teal of the shirt. If she color coordinated just a tad bit better, it would be a rather striking look, Saki thought, but the girl hadn't, so instead it looked sloppy.

“Scoot over and give me a seat,” Saki said.

Rika looked up. She took less notice in this new girl's appearance than the girl had taken in hers. Well dressed, pink and white outfit, layered, it wasn't worth paying any real attention to. There was also the matter of the cane the girl used and how she seemed to twitch and shake on occasion. The shakes seemed to be somewhat random in both their time and what it was affecting. That was harder to ignore. Rika slid over to the side of the bench without saying a word. Saki sat down beside her and leaned her cane against the side of the bench.

“You haven't seen anybody else here have you? Guy in one of those idiotic French hats? Girl with her hair in a bun?” Saki asked.

“Not really, and I've been here for a while too,” Rika said. She felt disappointed that her watch over the crawling black insert was interrupted. She really wasn't in the mood for conversation. It was more of a “be-by-myself” kinda day. Of course to her, most days were that way. It's not that she didn't like people, she just often preferred not being around them if she didn't have to be.

“Those bitches ditched me,” Saki said as if she couldn't believe it had just happened. “Oh well. What happens happens,” she said with a sigh. “Enomoto. Second year,” Saki said introducing herself with a slight bow of the head.

“Katayama. First year,” Rika offered in reply. She straighten up in her seat, almost stiffly and returned a much more formal bow.

“It's a small world. I used to know a Katayama at the hospital I went to. She was a bitch,” Saki said mater-of-factly.

“Then it's Rika, if you prefer,” the pale girl said. “You don't need me to call you 'Senior' or anything stuffy like that do you?” Saki waved her hand to indicate a 'no'.

“If we're going to go all casual, then I'm Saki. Charmed,” the blonde girl with the cane said.

Rika looked over at her, she wasn't sure if the 'charmed' comment was meant to indicate that Saki was charmed to meet her, that she should be charmed to meet Saki, or that Saki was saying she was just charmed in general. She decided it didn't matter in the end. “You don't know when this bus is going to get here, do you?” she decided to ask instead.

“We've got a few more minutes. You'll be able to see it coming up the hill,” Saki said. Her words where interrupted by a beeping sound as Rika's watch alarm went off.

Rika reached into her pocket and pulled out a small medicine bottle. She took two pills out and crushed them between her teeth before swallowing. She shuddered at the bitterness of them as they went down. “Sorry about that,” she said. With the pills taken care of, she put the cap back on the bottle and turned the alarm on her watch back off. “The blue pill I take every six hours. The green is thankfully just a once a day.”

“Out of curiosity, for what?” Saki asked.

“Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome,” Rika said. “These pills are to help recover from my latest surgery. They're not that bad, almost like caffeine pills except your mouth ends up drier than a desert.”

“Interesting,” Saki said. There was a slight trace of a grin on her face. “Spinocerebellar ataxia, a degenerative muscular condition,” Saki replied as though it was a challenge.

“Sounds rough,” Rika said, already unable to remember exactly how to pronounce her companions condition. She wondered if perhaps Saki was having the same problems with hers, even though it was a much easier one to remember. “I've been in and out of surgeries since I was young. It's fatal if not treated, you know, and I've had complications more than a few times.”

“I'm going to gradually lose control over my body, including the ability to eat, drink, and even breath. I'm in all likelihood going to die with tubes running out of every part of me as I lay there in a hospital shitting myself,” Saki said. At no point did her tone change from the happy-go-lucky voice she had been using all this time.

“You win,” Rika said back to her.

“And yet, I lose in the end,” Saki said.

“What happens happens,” Rika said returning the comment Saki had made earlier. There was a quiet moment as they each realized this conversation had gone as far as it could go for the moment, yet the bus still wasn't here. Rika looked back at the bug she had been watching. At some point during her conversation, the insect had found part of a french fry and was now eating it. For a moment she considered reaching down and taking the morsel of food away just so it would have to start moving again and she would have something to watch. “You don't know where there's a good video store at, do you?” Rika casually asked.

“Is that what you were going to town for?” Saki asked back, not bothering to answer her question. Rika just nodded. “Actually there's one in the mall I was headed to. I can show you where it's at while I shop. I'm somewhat lagging behind on summer fashions this year. Just look at this old thing.”

“Thanks,” Rika said. She looked over at her companions outfit again. “And for what it's worth, I the outfit is cute. Light colors work on you.”

“You're not interested in fucking other girls are you?” Saki asked.

“Excuse me?” Rika said visible pulling away, shocked at where this conversation had suddenly went. Rika wasn't a person to get surprised easily and did a god job at hiding it when it happened, but this managed to break through her carefully crafted appearance of indifference. She wasn't sure if she was being insulted or propositioned. Either way, the bluntness of it hit her like a punch.

“I mean you're not trying to get me back into your room to start banging are you?” Saki asked. Again, Saki's voice never seemed to change from her cheerful casual tone.

“What's ...?” Rika's voice trialed off letting the question hang in the air unfinished. Her first thought had been to ask 'What's wrong with you?' but somehow that question didn't seem to fit. “

“I'm just checking. I was trying to make sure this wasn't your idea of flirting with me. I wanted to make sure we were both on the same page,” Saki said with a clownish smile.

“I assure you, I'm essentially asexual,” Rika said firmly. Saki's confused look made her elaborate further. “I'm not interested in sex at all, with either gender.”

“A sexual? That's a strange name for that,” Saki said more to herself than to Rika.

“That's what I am,” Rika reconfirmed.

“To each her own, then. Personally, I prefer guys, but really I don't have long to live, so I'll try anything twice,” Saki said.

“Twice?”

“I hear nobody actually enjoys their first time,” Saki said. She seemed to put a bit more humor in her tone this time than previously. Rika tried to think up a witty reply to that, but she couldn't come up with anything. She considered asking if Saki asked everybody they talked to if they wanted to do her, but that was something she really wasn't sure she needed to know. Also, she was worried that it might make her sound interested when she clearly was not.

Saki grinned. This new girl was quite entertaining. She tried so hard to give the impression she wasn't affected by anything, but all it was all too easy to take her completely off guard.

“The bus is coming,” Rika said as she looked down the hill.

“Cool,” Saki said as she stood up and grabbed her cane. “While we're out, we should get you something that's a bit more 'in'.”

“There's nothing wrong with my clothes,” Rika said, pulling the bottom of her shirt out to get a better look at it. “I like them.”

“Don't give me that, 'I don't care what I look like, I'm me,' crap. Every girl likes nice clothes.” Saki said. “You can even keep the style; it fits you. We just need to add some class to it.”

“Maybe some new shorts,” Rika allowed her that compromise. Inwardly, she groaned. Saki was an interesting person, but she wasn't going to let anyone play Little-Miss-Dress-up with her. Once they got to the mall, she'd have to come up with some excuse to ditch her.

“Let's roll, girl,” Saki said as the bus pulled up in front of them and opened the door. Looking down at the pavement by their feet, Saki spotted a large black insect chewing on a discarded piece of food. With a short exclamation of 'ewww' she used her cane to crush it.
Last edited by Oddball on Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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brythain
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Re: Saki meets Rika

Post by brythain » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:47 am

Wonderful! I love the careful characterisation.

(With a couple of typos... for example:
“And for what it's worth, I the outfit is cute. Light colors work on you.”
Rika wasn't a person to get surprised easily and did a god job at hiding it when it happened.
)
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Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
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Re: Saki meets Rika

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:15 am

Fun little story. In the beginning I was a bit confused by there being two point of view characters at the same time, but it got better towards the end.

Saki being obsessed with fashion seems to be a trope that she can't shake...

One more typo:
To pass the time she watched a particularity large insert scurry around on the pavement.
I'll leave you to find the rest yourself :-)
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Oddball
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Re: Saki meets Rika

Post by Oddball » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:57 am

Saki being obsessed with fashion seems to be a trope that she can't shake...
We've got a paragraph of info about her total and it mentions fashion twice. I think it's justified.
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Leaty
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Re: Saki meets Rika

Post by Leaty » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:02 pm

Nice. I enjoy Rika/Saki dyad stories.

I really like the way you open this one-shot, with the bugs—the third-person narration works particularly well with Rika's interior monologue, and thematically it sets the stage for the rest of the scene in a really elegant fashion.

One bit of constructive criticism I have to offer is that the dialogue feels... compressed. Like this whole exchange seems rather fast, and not in a "the story is too short," kind of way, but in a "there is too much content in each spoken sentence" way. It's just kind of jarring, the way they get around to talking so candidly about their disabilities so quickly, and then they jump to something as personal as sexuality. Maybe it's more normal than it feels, and I'm just not used to it in this fandom? I'm not really sure. It just seems weird for their first meeting.

The pacing of the dialogue reminds me a bit of the exchanges between characters in forum play-by-post RPs—neither player wants to waste an entire post on a short, linking reply, so the exchange gets a little more front-loaded with background exposition than you'd see naturally in real life. Maybe that's fine—maybe not all dialogue should be as decompressed as it is in real life—but like I mentioned, it was a bit jarring.

That's really my only major criticism, though. This is a good story overall and thank you for it.

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Oddball
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Re: Saki meets Rika

Post by Oddball » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:10 am

Fair enough.

It's just my take that they are both two very blunt and direct individuals although in different ways.
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Re: Saki meets Rika

Post by Mahorfeus » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:15 am

Live fast, die young, bad girls do it well? *runs out the back door*

I liked it. I feel like these two are always paired together as another one of the VN's duos but their dynamic here is completely different from that between any of the other girls. For some reason I got a Mean Girls or Heathers vibe from it.
Oddball wrote:“You don't need me to call you 'Senior' or anything stuffy like that do you?”
Maybe I'm not reading into this right, but this strikes me as one of those times that deliberately avoiding the use of honorifics just seems kind of, well... odd.
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AntonSlavik020
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Re: Saki meets Rika

Post by AntonSlavik020 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:25 pm

Honestly, most of the time I don't like either girl very much. They both tend to swim in pessimism and fatalism, making them very unenjoyable to me. This is one of the few Rikas I don't immediately dislike, so theres that. Saki's also not bad here. A little blunt for my tastes, but not unlikeable. Overall I thought it was decent.
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Oddball
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Re: Saki meets Rika

Post by Oddball » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:52 pm

Apparently there were comments here I missed until now.
Honestly, most of the time I don't like either girl very much. They both tend to swim in pessimism and fatalism, making them very unenjoyable to me. This is one of the few Rikas I don't immediately dislike, so theres that. Saki's also not bad here. A little blunt for my tastes, but not unlikeable. Overall I thought it was decent.
This may seem like a strange statement, but I don't like unlikeable characters. If you don't give me a reason to care about the characters, then I won't care.

What I tried here to make the characters somewhat likable and sympathetic, but still make it obvious why some people wouldn't care for their attitudes.
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Re: Saki meets Rika

Post by Sharp-O » Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:16 am

I agree with Anton, these pair always seem to have the most variation depending on writer but I think I kind of like this version of Saki over some others. She's direct but I don't get the sense of fatalism that she sometimes has.

Rika is an odd one. I'm usually not a fan of this type of character with one exception, Yuki Nagato, and I can see this Rika developing much like she did.

I also agree with the pacing and unclear dialogue issues but they right themselves by the end.

All in all, a nice little one-shot.

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