Our Holiday Vacation — A Shizune One-shot & 8S Submission

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Zerebos
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Our Holiday Vacation — A Shizune One-shot & 8S Submission

Post by Zerebos » Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:18 am

Your Prompt: Hisao and Shizune go on a trip to (someplace not near Yamaku, urban enough to have like...a mall or something idk), temperatures drop really quick so they have to go shopping for temporary winter clothes to survive their trip. Fluffy waterside scene with snow and stuff encouraged but not required.

Victim: Riakai

-----

I hope I did justice to Shizune for Ria. I’m honestly not a big fan of her, but I really enjoyed writing this piece. It clocks in at about 2.7K words which I generated from 500 words of my incoherent babbling for planning. The writing took me some time due to some uncontrollable circumstances in the real world, but here it is nonetheless.

-----

Our Holiday Vacation

This bench isn’t that comfortable, but sitting here with her makes it worthwhile. It’s amazing to think this beautiful park is here perched on the edge of the city. The view is breathtaking, looking out on the water on a cloudy but dimly lit evening. The view only gets better as I look to my side and see her nuzzled up against me. I knew a holiday vacation was a good idea, but this place has really outdone itself. My mind starts to wonder about this new city but is interrupted by her readjusting and snuggling up next to me. I let the embrace wash over me. This is nice. My hand squeezes hers as I look her over.

Holding hands, such a commonplace act for most people as a sign of affection. But for us, for her that means so much more. For us it shows how close we’ve become and how comfortable we are with one another to be able to share the silence. For her it symbolizes being able to let her guard down—a huge step for her. She starts to adjust herself yet again but suddenly she pulls her hand from mine and I know the silence has come to an end. I turn my head to hers, our eyes meeting. She scoots slightly down the bench and brings her hands up to speak.

[Hisao, I’m starting to get cold.]

I take a second before responding; with her heat gone from me, I’m starting to feel cold too.

[I am too,] I respond.

Well it makes sense. Looking at what we’re wearing it doesn’t seem like we were particularly prepared for this weather. I’m wearing basic slacks, a short-sleeve t-shirt with a light jacket overtop. Shizune’s wearing—aside from her glasses—a nice blouse, some thin pants with a special name that eludes me, and a pea coat. How can I remember it’s called a pea coat but not what style of pants they are? Why do I care about that? I shake the thought from my head bringing my attention back to her.

[I thought it wasn’t supposed to get this cold while we were away.]

I rub the back of my neck embarrassedly. It was my job to check the weather.

[That’s what the weather reports said.] I pause briefly to measure up the cold. [But, this isn’t that bad,] I sign, ending with a shrug.

As if the world wanted to spite me, the clouds above start pouring down their reservoir of—She cuts my thought off waving her hand in front of my eyes to grab my attention.

[I told you it would snow.] She smirks and pushes her glasses up on her face.

I hate it when she does that—it usually spells bad things for me. I take a deep breath and sigh. [Yeah.. you were right.] I turn away and mutter, “as always.”

[Did you say something?] She gives me a puzzled look.

I bring my hands up to sign and try to explain myself but resign with a head shake. Her brows furrowed in question but I wave it off. Her playful grin wavers showing concern for what I said.

[Did you pack our winter clothes?] She asks the question, but the expression remains one of concern from before. For her this is significant—facial expressions are the grammar of sign language. To still have the look of concern, and not a questioning one means something is really bothering her. I shrug it off for now, I couldn’t have upset her that much by mumbling to myself.

[No I didn’t. I didn’t think it would snow remember?]

She seems to ponder this a moment, tapping her finger to her chin, before closing her eyes and smirking.

[I guess that means you’ll have to buy me some new clothes.]

Although I am relieved about her smirking, I was right about the glasses, bad things awaited me.

[I guess I will,] I sign, returning her smirk. [Let’s head to the nearby mall.]

I reach my hand out for hers. She fingerspells [O-K] with her non-dominant hand as she reaches for mine with the other. Our fingers interlock and we head away from the park to the mall.

We walk slowly side by side back into the heart of the city towards the mall. As we exit the park onto the streets, the hum of the city comes back into my ears—something she’ll never understand. My gaze finds its way to her to see how she takes in the bright lights of the city. Her eyes are looking directly downwards with a sad but somehow neutral look. I catch her attention squeezing her hand in mine, she looks up at me curiously.

With my free hand I sign, [are you okay?]

She looks at me more curiously and pauses before responding, [yes.]

She quickly returns to her previous demeanor and we continue walking. Not wanting to push the issue, taking a deep breath to calm the nerves. As I exhale I see a bit of my breath in the air. Yup, it’s cold. I quicken my pace a bit not wanting to be stuck out in these clothes. She follows suit.

My thoughts continue to drift to Shizune as we walk towards the mall. She doesn’t seem herself, moreover she seems upset with me. I can’t think of anything I’ve done that could have caused this. Well actually… she seemed upset earlier when I spoke aloud to myself. But she can’t hear so that doesn’t make sense right? Right. I guess she could still see that I motioned my lips like talking and made a face. That probably doesn’t help my case for not having done anything. But that shouldn’t be enough to make her this upset right? Right.

I look over to her, her face unchanged. Okay psyching myself up didn’t work, I still feel bad. There’s not much I can do about it now. How could I even bring up that subject? “Hey Shizune, remember when I said something aloud to myself, yeah I was just mumbling frustrations about you, no big deal.” Yeah that would go over really well. I’d probably spend the rest of the vacation alone, that’s the furthest thing possible from what I want. I guess I’ll just have to remedy this later some other way.

As I clear my thoughts we arrive at the front of the mall. We enter together through the automatic doors and approach the mall map sign.

[Where do you want to go?] I ask her.

She points to a spot on the map rather than spell the whole name out.

[Sounds good to me.] I give her a big smile and reach for her hand again.

She returns the gesture grabbing my hand and giving me a small smile—a good sign. We set a brisk pace towards the store. I can’t help but notice how everyone else seems to be wearing heavier jackets and thicker pants. I guess I was the only one with the wrong forecast. I glance over at Shizune. This time she isn’t staring down at the ground; she’s looking all over the place, I can’t tell if it’s the people or the stores. Either way I’m happy to see her like this.

We arrive at the front of the store on the opposite end of the mall. It was a long walk but at least it was indoors and heated. We head inside the store and unsurprisingly I’m dragged towards the women’s department. She starts browsing through items at a rapid pace. I’m left idly looking through some clothing showing one here and there to Shizune I think she might like.

After selecting a handful of jackets, shirts, and pants she seems satisfied with her picks.

[Do you want to try them on?]

[No, they’re all my size, they should be fine.]

[Aww, no fashion show?] I reply with a sly smile.

She rolls her eyes at me, [really?]

I nod my head enthusiastically continuing my smile. She relents and heads towards the dressing room, myself following close behind. She enters and I wait outside for her to show off her new outfits. In a couple minutes she comes out in a completely different outfit that looks fantastic on her. I give her a thumbs up and bounce my eyebrows up and down like those terrible seductive faces you see on TV. She looks at me, shakes her head, and turns back into the dressing room. The next couple outfits I react to in a similar way.

[C’mon, wasn’t that fun?]

[Aside from you being a dork, sure,] she returns with a smile.

Her smile reminds me that I have something important to do.

[Hey, I have to use the restroom, I’ll meet you over at the men’s department.]

[Okay]

And with that I head off towards the bathroom. Once I’m out of sight, I take a detour back into the interior of the mall. I check the nearest mall map sign, the store I want is near here. I set out rounding the corner from the department store and begin to power walk to save time and not arouse suspicion from Shizune.

Under a minute later I’m there—the jewelry store. I walk inside and head to the register in the back.

“May I help you sir?” asks an older man. He’s got gray balding hair and a nice black suit, a typical jeweler.

[Yes, I’d like to pick up—]. I’m cut off by the man.

“Uhm, I’m sorry but none of us are, err… none of us can—” This time I cut him off.

“Sorry about that, I’m here to pick up a ring.” I notice halfway through my sentence I’m still signing along as I speak.

The man looks relieved as he speaks, “It’s no problem, though I was worried for a minute there.” He chuckles before continuing, “So you said you were here to pick up a ring? What’s the name on the order?”

“Nakai, Hisao.”

The man types something into the computer. “Ahh yes, the order that got shipped from another store up to here. Must be a story behind that.”

“Yeah, the short of it is that we’re on vacation and I decided the time was right.”

The man smiles at my explanation. “Young love, what an amazing thing. I’ll be right back, it’s held in the back room.”

He enters the room through a door in the back. In the interim I’m left to peruse the store. There’s a lot of nice rings here, but I think the one I found is just perfect. I check over a couple pairs of earrings as possible holiday gifts, but at that moment the man returned from the back room.

“Here it is Mr. Nakai.” He opens up the box and lifts out the ring for me to inspect. “And what a mighty fine ring it is too.”

“Thank you. I think, no I know it’s the perfect ring for her.”

“She must be lovely.” He smiles. “Well Mr. Nakai, you already paid for this ahead of time, so you’re all set. But before you go,” he pauses and reaches under the counter, “have this, it’s the holiday season after all.”

I grab the box from him, inside is a beautiful pendant necklace. The pendant is a sapphire “S.”

“It’s beautiful, but how much is it?”

“No charge,” the man says, smiling.

“But—”

“No, no, it’s free. Now go on and get out of here before I change my mind.”

I look at the man, his face wide with a big grin. “Thank you.”

The man simply nods. I grab the two boxes, slipping them into either jacket pocket and head back to the department store. As I round the corner back to the store I see the clock on the wall and see that I’ve been gone about ten minutes. Crap, she’ll be suspicious.

I work my way back to the men’s department and see Shizune picking through clothes for me on the racks. Seeing me she walks towards me and starts to sign with her free hand, her other carrying clothes for me. She fumbles through the two handed signs and gives up placing the clothes on a nearby rack.

[What took so long?]

Thinking quick on my feet I decide to play dumb. [It was a long walk.]

[But the bathrooms are just the other side of the store.]

I play along, looking around the store to see what she means. [They have them here in the store? I went to the ones in the mall itself.]

She shakes her head at me before responding, [you’re a genius.]

I make an unamused face at her which makes her smile.

[Here try these on.] She hands me the clothes she picked out from the rack.

[Fashion show?] I ask playfully.

Now she give me the unamused look. [No.]

[Fine.] I pout at her, grabbing the clothes and heading towards the dressing room.

Quickly I try on all the outfits. Thankfully they all fit fine and are actually stuff I would have picked out myself. That girl is good. I change back into my own clothes, and leave the dressing room. I look at Shizune and point my head at the nearby register, she nods and we head over.

The lady at the register rings up all our clothing and tells me the total. My eyes go wide, that’s a decent chunk of my paycheck. I guess it is my fault after all. I look to my right and see Shizune smiling at me, I smile back and hand my card to the clerk. We finish the transaction and each take a bag in one hand, linking hands again in the other and set out back into the mall. Shizune slings her bag up on her arm and looks at me, she must want to sign something so I release her hand.

[It’s getting late we should probably get back to the hotel.]

[We should also put our new jackets on,] I respond looking out the window at the snow.

We drop our bags and put on our new heavier jackets. While she’s still putting her jacket on I switch the necklace and ring into my new winter coat. As she finishes up I decide to ask her a question.

[Want to take the scenic route back through the park?]

[But Hisao it’s cold.]

[I know but I really like the park, plus we have these new jackets.] She doesn’t respond right away so I continue. [Plus you can steal all of my heat.]

She smiles at this comment and nods, agreeing. Our fingers interlock once more and we make our way out of the mall and through the streets towards the park.

The walk feels much shorter this time, probably because I’m not freezing any more. Either that or because the mood between us has improved. As we enter the park, we both slow our pace to enjoy the surroundings. On our right is the waterfront of the local lake separated from us by just railings. Our walk comes to a stop as we near the bench. I look over at Shizune and she looks sad again.

[Are you okay?] I ask her.

She picks her eyes up from the ground to look at me.

[Hisao… lately you’ve been distant, you’ve seemed preoccupied with something else.] Her face turns to one big frown.

[You know, you’re right, Shizune. You’re right, I have been preoccupied with something, something important.] Her brows furrow at this.

[What could you have been so preoccupied with?]

I smile at her, grab her free hand and drop my bag down to the ground. I kiss her hand as I get down onto one knee rotating to face her, then let it go so I can speak. Her eyes grow wide as I get my hands in position to ask her a question.

[Hakamichi Shizune, will you marry me?] I finish signing and reach into my jacket pocket for the ring, pull it out and open the box for her to see.

She gasps audibly, dropping her bag at her side and bringing her hands up to her cheeks. Her eyes start to tear up, and she drops down to her knees. She lets her hands fall to her thighs as she looks into my eyes and starts to nod slowly. Quickly she wraps herself around me letting out her tears on my shoulder. I return the embrace in kind, stroking her hair while holding her.

What a way to spend our holiday vacation together—engaged.
Last edited by Zerebos on Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Riakai
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Re: Our Holiday Vacation — 8S Submission

Post by Riakai » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:13 am

hell yeah you did'er justice

just the brand of comfy shit I needed & wanted out of the prompt when I submitted it ^^

The bit about Hisao trying to sign to the jeweler made me laugh. Very good one off!

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Re: Our Holiday Vacation — 8S Submission

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:17 am

I agree - a very nice story. And extra points for catering to some very specific story prompts :-)
Oh, and it seems your not the last to submit their story by a long shot. About half are still to be sent in...
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scratchminus
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Re: Our Holiday Vacation — 8S Submission

Post by scratchminus » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:55 pm

Even though I'm not the biggest fan of Shizune, I really enjoyed this story. I think the characterization was spot on, I laughed at all the right times, and the ending was super adorable.

Overall, nice work Zere. :wink:

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Re: Our Holiday Vacation — 8S Submission

Post by Oddball » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:50 pm

That's a lot better story than I would have expected given the prompt.

Likewise, I love the characterization of Shizune here.
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Re: Our Holiday Vacation — 8S Submission

Post by Riakai » Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:51 pm

Oddball wrote:That's a lot better story than I would have expected given the prompt.
FIGHT ME ODDBALL
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Re: Our Holiday Vacation — 8S Submission

Post by Craftyatom » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:44 pm

I've said before (though perhaps not on this forum) that a really well-done Shizune story can be absolutely amazing. I wasn't a huge fan of her in-game route, but I love the directions other people have taken her - maybe it's just a sense of "doing the character justice", but for whatever reason, I'm always enthralled when someone writes a good story about her, and this was no exception.

From an objective standpoint, your characters worked very well, the plot was logical, and you stuck to the prompt. I had a few nitpicks - the fact that Hisao did the whole transfer thing made it seem like he was dealing with important matters by the seat of his pants (I would've written him as ordering it from a store near his home from the beginning), and as some have mentioned, the "S" seemed a bit off (not that I've ever shopped in a jewelry store, so how would I know), but those were the exception to otherwise good details.

Personally, I loved how sweet and comfy this story was, because I'm a sucker for heartwarming romance any day of the week. This was a brilliant one to read while curled up under a blanket late at night. Excellent work!
Riakai wrote:
Oddball wrote:That's a lot better story than I would have expected given the prompt.
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Re: Our Holiday Vacation — 8S Submission

Post by brythain » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:30 pm

That's a very Shizune story, much appreciated. In the middle, that sapphire 'S'? I could only think about how much it was worth! :)
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Re: Our Holiday Vacation — 8S Submission

Post by Zerebos » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:10 pm

First, I want to say thank you to everyone for the kind words. I really didn't think this would be so well received as I've never written Shizune before nor do I usually do such fluffy pieces.That said, I rather enjoyed writing it and might have to think about doing happier writing in the future in contrast to FTtM.


Riakai wrote:hell yeah you did'er justice
I'm going to take your word on that and just be glad you enjoyed what I wrote!
Riakai wrote:The bit about Hisao trying to sign to the jeweler made me laugh. Very good one off!
Have to sneak in the humour somehow, even if it comes from similar real world experiences. :oops:


Mirage_GSM wrote:I agree - a very nice story. And extra points for catering to some very specific story prompts :-)
Oh, and it seems your not the last to submit their story by a long shot. About half are still to be sent in...
Thanks Mirage :D I was worried about the prompt at first, but once I had my initial babbling written the story just came together around it. Also, I'm just glad I wasn't the last one to submit. :lol:


scratchminus wrote:Even though I'm not the biggest fan of Shizune, I really enjoyed this story. I think the characterization was spot on, I laughed at all the right times, and the ending was super adorable.

Overall, nice work Zere. :wink:
Thanks, Scratchy! As I said in the original post I'm not the biggest Shizune fan, so I tried to combine what I would want her to be with who she is to create who she became in this work.


Oddball wrote:That's a lot better story than I would have expected given the prompt.

Likewise, I love the characterization of Shizune here.
Thank you, Oddball!


Craftyatom wrote:the fact that Hisao did the whole transfer thing made it seem like he was dealing with important matters by the seat of his pants
In my headcanon Hisao ordered it at the store near their home as a special order, but it was arriving later than their departure for this trip so he had it transferred to this location. I had explained it better but I removed that section as it seemed unimportant at the time.
Craftyatom wrote:the "S" seemed a bit off
My headcanon here was that his parents found out that he was going to propose via the local store calling to say the order came in and they were shipping it to the other store. His parents, caring much about the two of them, then decided to have the necklace sent off with it as a gift. I would have included this in the fic, but I didn't want it getting too long—I probably would have missed the deadline.


brythain wrote:In the middle, that sapphire 'S'? I could only think about how much it was worth!
For them at least, it's priceless!



Again thank you to everyone for being so kind and for taking the time to read it!

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