An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

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Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:19 pm

sloth4 wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:44 am
There were a lot of quotable sections in this, especially from Rin. :mrgreen:
It was a major lenny face chapter ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

---

Chapter 44

“Hm hee hmm~ ha hee hoo hmm~ hmm~… oh~!”

Hanako’s squeeze on her knee quieted Misha’s humming.

“Sorry, Hacchan~. I’m just nervous.”

“I kn-know. You’re making me nervous too…”

“Ah, your hand…”

Feeling the slight tremble in Hanako’s fingers, Misha gripped them between her own to still them. Hanako hit a key on her phone to bring the screen back to life, anxiously checking for any updates even though she knew there wouldn’t be any. Lilly wasn’t the type to send little notices such as “on my way.” There hadn’t been any new messages since the one she received yesterday.

Hello Hanako. I hope this message finds you well. I will return to Yamaku tomorrow afternoon, assuming that my travel goes according to schedule. I would like to invite you and Misha to join me after class, in the tea room. I look forward to seeing you both.
--Lilly


It never ceased to amuse Hanako how formal her texts were, like she was writing an old-fashioned letter. The length of this one split it into two separate messages. Another tendency of Lilly’s was to play somewhat loosely with time, an inevitable consequence of her inability to glance casually at the clock like most people would. That was probably why she’d only said “after class.” Normally it wasn’t a bother but at a time like this… they’d been sitting here fifteen minutes already, and Misha was starting to hum again for the seventh time. Or was it eight?

Hanako stopped her again, this time because she heard something. The sound was faint but unmistakable—approaching shoetaps, mixed in with another tapping rhythm. Misha perked up like a cat when she picked it up. She stayed frozen when Lilly appeared in the doorway, no cheerful “Hi, Lilly-chan~!” to greet her. Fortunately there was another person beside Lilly to take care of the introductions.

“They’re here, Lilly,” Shizune said. She gave Hanako and Misha a curt smile before turning to walk away. Lilly entered the room with a soft smile of her own, navigating its space with deft familiarity.

“Shall we have some tea?” Lilly asked.

She was already getting the kettle ready anyways.

“Sure, Lilly~! Sure~!” Misha said, falling back into herself. “Uhh! How is your aunt? I hope she’s okay?”

“Yes, she was able to leave the hospital. Thank you, Misha.”

“That’s good, L-Lilly…” Hanako said. “I’m, umm… glad you’re back.”

“Me too, Hanako.”

Hanako and Misha sat in silence as Lilly busied herself making the tea. They looked around pretending to be interested in various objects, tapped on the table, or checked their phones, neither one knowing quite what to say next. In contrast to their awkwardness, Lilly hummed a tune as she went through the motions with practiced ease. Hanako wasn’t sure that she’d ever heard Lilly hum before, though she had mentioned being interested in music when she was younger. True to that claim, her tune was light and melodious, nothing like Misha’s high-strung dittering.

At last, the tea was set and Lilly sat down. She punctuated the end of her tune with a sigh.

“Thank you again for seeing me today. I know we have some… things to talk about,” Lilly said.

“L-Lilly, we… M-Misha and I, err…”

Hanako’s voice died in her throat. Misha gave a short “Waha~,” the sound entirely hollow. Lilly held up a hand to stop them before they could go any further.

“I think… that we… should remain friends,” Lilly said. “…only friends.”

Misha and Hanako sighed in unison, the tension in the air popping like a bubble.

“Ahh~, yeah, yeah~! Friends are great!” Misha agreed. “Yay, friends, yay~!”

“I th-think we feel the same way, Lilly,” Hanako said.

“I expected as much, but I thought it best to address the matter directly,” Lilly said. “Lessons learned, and such. What happened between us, Hanako, and how I felt… that will always be a part of me, but it was never my place to impose any of it on you. Nor you, Misha. You have your own life to live. My place in it shouldn’t be any different now than it was before.”

“Lilly, that’s…” Misha started.

“It sounds like you really th-thought about that, Lilly,” Hanako said. “I’m gl-glad… we tried to talk about it, or think of what to say, b-but… you really said it better than I could.”

“Or me~!” Misha said.

“I did really think about it. My trip gave me… several things to think about. Reasons to consider my future more carefully. I decided that I couldn’t allow myself to make another selfish mistake, as I did… before.”

“That’s good, Lilly, that’s good~! Micchan’s gonna be disappointed, though. Wahaha~!”

“…Micchan?” Lilly asked. “You’re not… speaking in third person, are you? Who…”

“Whoops~!”

“M-Misha! There you go a-again!”

“…Miki?” Lilly deduced. “And what does she have to do with this?”

“Ahehe, we might have, uhh…”

“We, umm… asked some friends, for ad-advice? We really didn’t know what to do, Lilly. I hope that’s okay,” Hanako explained.

Lilly furrowed her brow and sipped from her tea, considering for a moment.

“No, that’s fine, as I’m sure it was in confidence. Though I don’t see how you settled on Miss Miura as the right one to ask…”

“Ahaha~! We meant to ask Emirin, but we kinda screwed up, and Miki-chan was there too. She, err… well~! We didn’t take her advice! Wahaha~!”

“I can only imagine what it was. I don’t know Miki well personally, but her reputation certainly precedes her…” Lilly said with a slight grimace. “Anyways. I suppose it’s only fair that you sought advice. I’ll confess that… I did as well.”

“Aww~, you talked to Akira, didn’t you? We should have just asked her too!”

“Yeah, I bet she kn-knew just what to do…” Hanako said, thinking it was no wonder Lilly’s course of action was so mature today.

“Actually, no. Akira was… preoccupied. She has a lot on her mind right now, as well. I didn’t think it would be wise to trouble her over it. Instead, I found myself speaking with Shizune.”

“Shicchan~? She went with you?!”

“M-Misha, she’s been in class all week!” Hanako pointed out.

“Ahaha~! Right, of course!”

“We exchanged quite a few messages over the phone. You know that we used to be much closer, before things fell apart with the Student Council. I don’t know if we’ve fully reversed that, but we did manage to resume speaking terms before I went to Scotland. I suppose I found that her ear was the most readily available. Ah, metaphorically speaking, that is,” Lilly explained.

“That’s funny, I didn’t want to tell Shicchan because I wasn’t sure if you guys were totally done fighting yet. But you did it for me anyways~!” Misha said.

“It would have been pretty s-silly if we ended up both talking to Shicchan about it,” Hanako said.

“She did have a couple things to say about you. She said that your giving nature makes it too hard for you to say no to things, Misha. And she felt that your judgment towards me was clouded by our friendship, Hanako,” Lilly said.

“L-Lilly, should you really be telling us that? Maybe Shicchan didn’t want us to hear that stuff…” Hanako said.

“Nah~, Shicchan would say it right to us if we asked her, Hacchan,” Misha said.

“She gave me explicit permission to share those opinions, in fact,” Lilly said. “I knew that she was right as soon as I spoke to her. She had several things to say that I think I needed to hear. Perhaps… in the past, I wasn’t in the right mindset to hear them, but that talk we had before I left, as well as the events of my trip… I finally realized that I had to make some changes.”

“Do you think maybe that’s why you and Shicchan were fighting, Lilly~? Because you didn’t destroy yourself yet?”

“Destroy… myself? My my, I hope I haven’t done that…” Lilly said.

“Wh-what Misha means is, it’s something R-Rin told us about… she probably gave us the best ad-advice, actually,” Hanako clarified.

“Yeah~! Ricchan is super smart! She might be almost as smart as Shicchan, even~!” Misha agreed.

Almost as smart? Goodness, that is high praise indeed. Well, I’m afraid you’ll have to explain the concept of ‘destroying oneself’ to me. Rin’s ideas aren’t exactly the most… clear-cut,” Lilly said.

“It’s like… hmm~, maybe like a bomb! If you’re stuck in your life, and there is a big rock in the way, you have to blow it up to go past it. It hurts, but then you can go forward after you explode the wall open~!” Misha explained. “That’s why I got these! See, they’re even like little bombs! Boing, boing~!” she emphasized, tugging on the ends of her drills to bounce them.

“Erm… I suppose…” Lilly said, not sounding convinced. “I don’t think I have it in me to dye my hair blue and reshape it into makeshift grenades, I’m afraid…”

“Wahaha~! You don’t have to go as far as blue, Lilly-chan. I think red would look really good on you! Don’t lots of people have red hair in Scotland?”

“I th-think that’s Ireland, Misha…” Hanako corrected her. “It’s not really about, dyeing your h-hair, or anything like that… but Misha got the first part right. Rin said, when she had a pr-problem she didn’t think she could face, she had to sort of make a new v-version of herself. I think, with this, it was harder for me and M-Misha, because… we’re two people, so we can’t just ch-change together very easily.”

“Yeah, Hacchan~, that’s right. We talked and talked, but it felt like we couldn’t really get anywhere,” Misha said.

“Neither one of you wanted to decide for the other,” Lilly observed. “But, as I’m only myself… I suppose it was easier for me to detonate my inner bomb, so to speak, without worrying about how it might affect my non-existent partner. That makes sense. I certainly do feel like a bomb went off, in a sense…”

“Ahehe, yeah~, things got pretty weird for a minute there, huh?” Misha agreed.

“Ah, n-no—well, yes, but that’s actually not what I meant. I meant to refer to my trip. There’s… something else I wanted to tell you today.”

“Oh~? Did you meet a cute redhead in Scotland, Lilly?” Misha asked.

Hanako smacked her elbow.

“Aha~, sorry!”

“No, not yet, at least. But I suppose the odds of that happening are higher than you might think. You see… when me and Akira were there, with our parents, that was the first time… the first time we’d been together as a family since they left Japan. They made me and Akira an offer to re-unite that family. An offer to join them in Scotland… permanently,” Lilly said.

“Lilly~!”

“L-Lilly!”

“Did you…?”

“…I decided to accept that offer, yes.”

“Ahh, L-Lilly, no! You c-can’t! Not just because… b-because of me…” Hanako said, suddenly quite upset.

“No, Hanako. This has nothing to do with… what happened. If I wanted to flee from you, I wouldn’t have returned here at all. I could have simply stayed there—my parents would have been able to arrange it. But I wanted to finish this semester. I’m back here because I can’t just leave you behind, or Yamaku as a whole. Not like that,” Lilly said.

“Okay…”

“I guess I can’t blame you a lot, Lilly-chan, but~, I’m definitely sad. We’ll miss you for sure~,” Misha said.

“L-Lilly, what… do you really j-just need… to go?” Hanako asked, still sounding forlorn.

“I thought… I haven’t seen my parents in years, Hanako. I suppose I didn’t realize how much I’d missed them until I met them again. And it did feel like meeting them for the first time, somehow. I can see what Rin means by destroying oneself when I put it like that. I’m no longer the child that they once raised. I’m a young woman now, a different person, yet we barely had time to catch up on all that’s changed,” Lilly said.

“Ah, I… I guess I un-understand…”

When Lilly put it that way, Hanako could hardly contest her reasoning. If there were a way for her to see her parents again, she couldn’t say that she wouldn’t take it as well.

“You have to do what will make you happy, Lilly. Even though it makes us sad~. That was something that Emi-chan said… I think that was her best advice,” Misha said. “What will you do in Scotland? Work for Akira?”

“Aha, no, though I suppose I may end up working with Akira, if I follow in her footsteps. Truthfully, I haven’t decided yet. I can’t deny that I want to attend university at some point, though my parents would obviously prefer that I go to work for the company when I graduate. Whatever I decide… the important thing is that I’ll build a life for myself,” Lilly said.

“You b-built a life here, too…” Hanako said.

“Did I?” Lilly asked, the question seeming aimed at herself as much as anyone else. “Perhaps, for a time. This past year… if anything, I think I’ve spent it imposing on others or driving them away, isolating myself. Shizune told me about her own thoughts when she suspended you from the council, Misha. She said that—”

“—That we couldn’t rely on each other so much,” Misha finished for her, remembering when she’d told Lilly about that sentiment herself. “That we were moving apart, and that was why we had to be apart, so we would make our own lives.”

“I regret that I didn’t understand that sooner. I feel like… I just clung onto things, when I should have let them go. The old Student Council, my feuding with Shizune, even my friendship with you, Hanako… I thought of Shizune as so unreasonable, of myself as so sensible, yet in the end, I fear that I may have been the fool. Still, I suppose things could’ve turned out worse…”

“Yeah~. We could have been in a sandwich right now if you had listened to me!” Misha said.

“A… sandwich? Is this another Rin-ism?” Lilly asked.

“N-n-no! It’s a… M-Misha-i-ism!” Hanako said. “No s-sandwiching, Misha! We b-b-banned that word, remember?”

“Wahahaha~! Yeah~, I guess it wasn’t my greatest idea, to do a sandw—I mean! Ahaha~! Sorry, Hacchan!”

Lilly just shook her head, deciding not to try and decipher this interaction. She drank from her tea instead of commenting on it. That prompted Hanako to remember her own teacup, which still sat full on the table in front of her. It might have actually been a couple weeks since she drank tea at all, whereas she used to drink it with Lilly at least once a day. Just another thing that had changed over this past year. Even if those times were probably gone, it felt good to be back here, in this room, drinking this tea with Lilly, at least for one more day.

“You’re right, Lilly. After everything, we’re still… we’re still here t-together,” Hanako said, sipping her tea.

“Mmhmm~! Don’t worry, Lilly-chan. We’ll still drink tea with you~!” Misha said.

“Very kind of you,” Lilly said with a small laugh. “I do hope to do more than just drink tea in my last semester, though. I’ve actually thought that I would like to re-join the Student Council.”

“Wow~! I guess you and Shicchan really did make up, huh~?”

“To some extent, yes. Maybe I want to re-join it so I can repair that relationship fully. This may be the last time in our lives that we live in the same country, after all, much less attend the same school.”

“I think that’s a great idea, L-Lilly,” Hanako said. “You could still join the Newspaper Club, if you want, but I’m sure Sh-Shicchan would like to have you too.”

“Maybe you could sort of do both! That’s what I’m gonna do!” Misha said.

“Going to do?” Lilly asked.

“Well~! When I’m vice president again. It’s just about been a month… I think~! Wahaha~!”

“Ah, that’s right…” Lilly said. “…You’re going to juggle both clubs, while being vice president of one? And the Student Council, no less… well. If I re-join, perhaps I can help with some of your workload.”

“Thanks, Lilly~. I might need it! You’re the old vice president, so maybe you can show me how to be a good one!”

“I’m sure you did well as a vice president without need of my advice, Misha.”

“Maybe, Lilly, maybe~. I did get suspended! Ahaha~!”

“Whereas I merely quit over a personal dispute…”

“St-stop it, both of you. You’re both good pr-presidents…” Hanako said.

“Maybe you should be the president, Hacchan. You did better in the Newspaper Club than either of us in the Student Council! If we had a president for our club, I’d vote for you, for sure~!” Misha said.

“N-no, I think it should probably be Natsume… or N-Naomi…”

“Natsu-nyan can’t move very well, Hacchan. You’ve got to have a lot of energy if you’re going to be president! Presidents are always moving around, and doing lots of things!”

“Ahh, do I… I don’t kn-know if I have that much energy either…”

“Perhaps it’s better not to have such positions in a small club anyways. It avoids the… politics,” Lilly observed.

“I think it’s better to do politics on a game instead of for real. Like with our old cannon game~!” Misha said.

“C-cannon game?… Risk?” Hanako asked.

“Dear me, I had nearly forgotten about that game. I only played it the once… you know, I didn’t care for it at the time, but now it feels like a good memory. I suppose we all managed to have fun with it, even though I doubt anyone other than Shizune truly wanted to play,” Lilly said.

“I totally wanted to play! I just wasn’t very good, but~! Hana-chan pulled us up onto her back and carried us. Ahaha~, she’s good like that!” Misha said.

“M-maybe… I think Shicchan kind of b-beat herself, really, because she wouldn’t make any t-teams…” Hanako said.

“She is stubborn in that way. Speaking of board games, shall we play a round of chess?” Lilly asked. “It’s been quite a while.”

“It h-has! Yes, let’s play, Lilly… ah, is that okay, M-Misha?”

“Sure, sure~! Maybe if I watch you guys for a while, I can learn how to really play!” Misha said.

“Okay Misha. The first th-thing to remember, is that the pieces are called knights and bishops, not… h-horseys and p-p-pointy heads,” Hanako advised her.

“Ahh, right, right! Let me see, hmmm~!”

Misha grabbed the chess set from its resting place and opened it up, placing a bishop down in front of Hanako.

“…This is the knight, right?!” she asked hopefully.

“N-no, that’s a bishop…”

“Aww~! But he’s wearing a helmet! How does that work!”

“…You know, she has a point,” Lilly said. “Maybe we’re the ones who have been getting the pieces wrong all this time…”

“I think you’re outvoted, Hacchan. It’s a knight after all~!”

“L-Lilly! Not you too!”

“Wahaha~!”

Chapter 43 | Chapter 45
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

powercore007
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:38 pm
Location: Canada

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by powercore007 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:00 pm

I'm glad you didn't go down the poly relationship route (well you still could) don't feel like that's a lily-like a thing to do, but you also made her gay or at least Bi, if you do end up going down the poly relationship route I just hope you do it well but that IF you do

Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:42 pm

powercore007 wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:00 pm
I'm glad you didn't go down the poly relationship route (well you still could) don't feel like that's a lily-like a thing to do, but you also made her gay or at least Bi, if you do end up going down the poly relationship route I just hope you do it well but that IF you do
Yeah I definitely don't think it would have been the right direction. I never really intended to go through with it. Originally this idea wouldn't have even been mentioned, but when I wrote the scene where Misha addresses the issue, I had to think of how she'd respond and how she'd work through it--I figured maybe her flaw would be that she's too giving to just do what she needs to and reject Lilly outright, instead making this awkward and bad suggestion that probably would have messed them all up if Lilly actually agreed to it. I felt pretty iffy about the whole thing for a while there but it set me up for that highly memey chapter 43 so I think I'm happy with it in the end.

Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:46 pm

Chapter 45

Hanako shrank back into herself a bit as she and Misha walked into the classroom. The act of walking in wasn’t itself the problem, it was more the fact they were doing it nearly fifteen minutes late. One of the minor drawbacks of staying the night in Misha’s room… no one looked up when Hanako walked in late by herself, but she and Misha hand in hand, that brought Mutou to a full stop as he and the rest of 3-3 stared at them awkwardly.

“Wahaha~! Good morning, everyone!” Misha boomed.

A few people visibly winced at the volume, Mutou included. Even Hanako herself had to admit that early morning wasn’t necessarily the most pleasant time to hear something so loud. She tried to hide herself halfway behind Misha, as if her girlfriend’s shameless bravado would protect her.

“You’re late, Mikado. Again,” Mutou observed, a hint of annoyance slipping through in his voice.

“Ahaha~! Sorry, sorry! We just, uhh! Got turned around and got lost!”

That wasn’t true. One of Misha’s drills didn’t want to behave and took some extra attention, with Hanako finally having to step in and help her finish it up. Most of the class just looked amused, though Shizune was clearly less than pleased. Misha was probably in for another silent tirade about the importance of punctuality at the lunch break… Shizune always seemed to focus her ire on Misha over things like this, rather than Hanako. To be fair, that intuition was usually correct.

One thing that was new today, Takashi was sitting in Misha’s seat, leaving his own open. He gave Misha an apologetic look as she sat down at his former desk.

[I thought he could try it today, since you weren’t here yet.] Shizune signed to Misha as Mutou resumed his lecture.

[That’s okay! Good luck Tacchan!] Misha sent back, cheerful as ever.

Though she didn’t know sign language, Hanako could grasp the basics of this interaction from the context; Takashi was translating for Shizune today and Misha was okay with it. Hanako imagined this might have something to do with the position of this new seat, as it placed Misha right in front of her. Combined with the fact that Misha’s hands and attention were now freed from translating duties, there was a lot of potential for mischief in this new arrangement. Instead of indulging in any of it, Misha just opened her notebook and got right down to scribbling in it… maybe she intended to make up for her tardiness?

Naomi, on the other hand, shot a few curious glances to her left after Hanako sat down, clearly wanting to say something. After a few minutes she could no longer contain herself.

“Hey! Hana! Where were you guys really?” Naomi whispered, poking her elbow.

“Umm… Misha had a k-kink, in her hair…”

“Bet that wasn’t the only kink to work out,” Natsume chimed in, leaning as far over as her hips would allow.

Hanako gave her a petulant frown.

“Excuse me? Ladies?” Mutou said, looking directly at their corner.

“Ah!” Naomi gasped, jumping a bit and looking embarrassed.

Hanako looked down at her desk and tried to concentrate on her notes, letting her long hair shield her face. She heard Natsume stifling a giggle to her right as Mutou resumed lecturing. There was barely time for the redness to leave her cheeks before a small object landed right on top of her papers, startling her slightly. A folded up note… Hanako unfolded it to see a crude drawing of four girls sitting in a square, all with goofy grins on their faces, with the accompanying text in Misha’s trademark pink:

Now our club is all sitting together! Yayy!

Misha hadn’t been taking notes, she’d been drawing this. Of course. She had even turned the rod on the exclamation points into a drill; Hanako had to grin at that. It probably wasn’t worth pointing out that they weren’t actually sitting in a square, they were sitting in an L-shape. Although, actually…

Yes, but you got our shape wrong, Misha. We’re not a square, we’re an L—like a knight moves in chess. Hanako wrote back.

Upon receiving the reply, Misha turned around and examined the three seats behind her at length, as if to confirm that they did in fact shape up to an L in combination with her own. Naomi gave her a look with the appropriate amount of confusion while Natsume stifled another laugh. Hanako noticed Mutou staring at them again with a sort of frustrated resignation in his eyes. All of a sudden she caught herself chuckling a bit as well, quickly looking down and covering her face to hide it. She only got a moment’s reprieve before another note landed.

You’re not laughing at me, are you, Hacchan? That’s mean!!

This was going to be a long day.

***

Sure enough, Shizune had some choice words for Misha as soon as they broke for lunch, or rather some choice signs. Misha joined the rest of the Newspaper Club about ten minutes later. That was a really long lecture, even for Shizune, Natsume said—but Misha explained that she’d barely spent any time on the reprimand, actually wanting to talk about Lilly instead.

This made Hanako nervous for a moment until Misha clarified the subject, explaining that Lilly’s re-entry to the Student Council was “under consideration” by Shizune. This satisfied Naomi and Natsume, who set right to gossiping furiously about it. Misha made a bad excuse about needing help with something or other, then led Hanako out into the hall. Once free of their fellow club members, she told Hanako that Shizune was particularly interested in the talk they’d had with Lilly in the tea room. Shizune hadn’t asked for specifics but seemed to want to know whether it went well or not, whether things were “okay.” They speculated that she was probing to see whether or not it might bother Misha to have Lilly back on the council, given everything that had happened.

Naomi snapped right to attention when they came back in.

“Oh, you’re back! Perfect timing! Okay, okay! It. Is. Ready!” Naomi declared triumphantly.

“What is, Naocchan?” Misha asked.

“The paper, of course!” Naomi answered with a flourish.

“Umm… where is it?” Hanako asked.

“Ah, that’s right! This is you guys’ first issue! We use the big printer down the hall to run all the copies off. But we definitely need your help to get them all ready! If we’re fast, we can get the ones for our class before lunch is over!”

“The rest will go out tomorrow. Could probably use some help then, too,” Natsume added.

“Of course! Let’s go~!” Misha said.

“B-but what about e-eating?” Hanako asked, somewhat dejectedly.

“No time for that right now, Hacchan. We can eat when we’re dead~!” Misha told her, grabbing her hand and leading her out of the room after Naomi.

“J-just because you ate all yours so fast, that doesn’t m-mean—I’m not d-done yet!”

Too late, of course. Misha had already pulled her out the door with a booming laugh.

“We can eat when we’re—I dunno if that one really works…” Natsume grumbled, ambling up the rear.

***

The afternoon class went much like the morning; plenty of note passing, conspicuous behavior from Misha, and general shenanigans. The whole class was a bit restless after the surprise midday arrival of the newspaper’s newest issue, with several students making poorly-hidden attempts to read it during class. Seeming to give up on making much progress for the day, Mutou dismissed everyone a bit early. Shizune immediately made her way to the corner where the Newspaper Club sat, collecting Takashi as well with a pointed look.

“This is what I’ve been waiting for. It’s time!” Shizune announced, looking at the four of them as if they were supposed to know what that meant.

“Uhh…” Naomi stalled, giving Shizune a forced smile. Hanako looked down, while Natsume just waited. Shizune adjusted her glasses before speaking again.

“The Student Council President is now ready… to review the Newspaper Club’s progress!” she explained, slapping a copy of the paper down on Naomi’s desk.

“Err…”

Naomi still didn’t look like she had any idea what to do. Natsume ribbed her, causing her to jump back to life, while giving Shizune a smile.

“About time. Lead the way?” Natsume asked.

Shizune nodded in approval, snatching the paper back up and marching off with Takashi close by, a sign conversation starting up between them. Naomi helped Natsume up and walked along with her behind Shizune, uncharacteristically silent. Normally it was a competition between she and Misha as to who would be a bigger chatterbox. Today, not so much. Hanako noticed the nervous way she tapped her fingers against her side, the tense hunching of her shoulders. She must really care about impressing Shizune, Hanako thought.

“Hey, Naomi…” Hanako said, taking up stride alongside her.

“Ah! Hey, Hana! What’s up!”

“You’re st-stepping on all the wrong tiles… look…”

Hanako pointed down at their feet, showing how hers only touched the light tiles on the floor. Naomi’s hit light and dark indiscriminately, often landing on cracks.

“You’ll never have good luck th-that way,” Hanako advised her.

“Oh, is that so, Hana? Thanks for the tip! Let’s see!” Naomi said, carefully matching Hanako’s caution with the tiles.

“What happens if you step on the dark tiles?” Natsume asked.

“Hm… something bad, I’m sure…” Hanako wondered.

“Maybe it means the Shanghai will be out of strawberries next time you go!” Misha suggested.

“That really would be a tragedy,” Natsume said dryly. “Guess I’ll just have to make due without them. I’m already slow enough without trying to walk all funny.”

“Aw, c’mon, Natsu-nyan!” Naomi implored her, sarcastically borrowing Misha’s nickname. “If they’re out, then none of us can get any either. You’ll ruin it for everyone!… Actually, what would we be ruining? I don’t know that I’ve ever gotten strawberries at the Shanghai. Do they serve fruit bowls or something?”

“No…” Hanako explained, “They’re an in-ingredient… for something Misha really likes. Something that doesn’t st-start with ‘p’…”

“Wait… doesn’t start with p? So it can’t be parfait? Huh…” Naomi wondered, entirely genuine in her wonderment.

“Yeah, what would that be, Hacchan? I always get a parfait there~!” Misha agreed, no less aware.

Natsume shook her head and chuckled as they came up on the council room. After they all shuffled inside, Shizune motioned imperiously for everyone else to wait while she took a copy of the newspaper and began to examine it closely. The rest of the room watched with bated breath as the president’s eyes scanned back and forth for one moment… another… another again… a pause and a glance as Rin sauntered into the room… eventually, Shizune turned the page. The first one.

“Well then,” Natsume said, settling herself into a seat nearby. Everyone else followed her lead, relaxing into a loose circle to wait on Shizune’s assessment.

“So, what were you guys up to at lunch?” Naomi asked Misha.

“We had a bet on that,” Natsume added. “I figured you two went and found a nice corner bathroom stall for yourselves.”

“Natsu! You’re not supposed to just say that!” Naomi protested. “Anyways! I bet not! The Newspaper Club is more responsible than that!” she said, glancing nervously towards Shizune.

“Why would they need to go to the bathroom together? They’re not me,” Rin asked.

Natsume looked pointedly at Misha and Hanako’s joined hands.

“Same reason any couple would, I imagine,” she explained.

“Ahh! N-no, we d-didn’t!” Hanako said, blushing and placing a hand over her face.

“Maybe we should have, though. Maybe~! It’s a pretty good idea!”

“M-Misha!”

“Wahaha~!”

Rin shrugged.

“I still don’t get it.”

Takashi shook his head, touching his forehead with a look of exasperation.

“Rin, pay no mind to these crass remarks. They’re referring to… carnal activities, pleasures of the flesh,” he explained.

Rin’s eyes lit up like a light bulb at that.

“Oh. Is that what you and Shizune were doing yesterday?”

“What?!” Takashi blurted, jumping a bit. “Wh-when? How?”

“You took thirty minutes to go to the drink machine. The drink machine isn’t thirty minutes away.”

“Yes, w-well, she, I mean… the president merely wished me to give her an adequate tour of the art room!”

“I’m sure you gave her the full experience,” Natsume said with a smirk.

“Ahahaha~! Tacchan, you’re blushing worse than Hacchan! Wahaha~!”

“Of course I am! I’ve a whole gaggle of women persecuting my honor!”

Shizune’s snap cut through the laughter like a sword, turning all six heads at once. She looked suspiciously from the blushes of Hanako and Takashi, to the lingering giggles of Misha and the forced smile of innonence on Naomi… then she adjusted her glasses and began, satisfied that she had quelled the silliness for now.

“This edition is twice as long as the last one. It came out early instead of late. Plus your style is much better,” Shizune said, holding up the paper. Misha jumped a bit and poked Hanako in the side on that last comment, as that part was entirely her girlfriend’s contribution. “Good work. The Student Council takes notice of your effort,” Shizune continued.

“Yay, yay~! Ahaha~! I told you Shicchan would like it!” Misha cheered. Naomi clutched her hands together excitedly, then held one out to give Natsume a—very gentle—high five. Even Hanako managed to smile. Shizune allowed them to bask in her approval for only a moment before her eyes narrowed and a hand flashed back to her glasses.

“Even though you did well, never stop working hard and trying to improve!” Shizune advised them.

“Ah! Right! Of course! We will!” Naomi responded.

“Don’t forget to salute and stand at attention,” Natsume said, drawing a glare from Naomi.

“Wahaha~!”

“Now! This isn’t empty praise! Beginning today, the Newspaper Club and the Student Council will work together to communicate more effectively with the student body,” Shizune said.

“Just like we were always supposed to…” Natsume grumbled. Naomi slapped her shoulder lightly, returning the favor for Natsume’s joke a moment ago.

“Who is your Artistic Director?” Shizune asked the two of them.

They stared at her blankly.

“I’m the council’s Artistic Director,” Rin commented. “I guess everybody is supposed to have one.”

“Hm~… it used to be Rika!” Misha observed, tapping her chin. “But we didn’t have one for a while. Although~! I guess it was me, because of being the only other club person, when it was just me and Shicchan. Ahaha~!”

“Our artsy person is… uhh, Hanako, of c-course! And Misha! Artsy people! Plural!” Naomi decided. Natsume shrugged in agreement.

“Okay. Rin, review the design with them. Takashi!” Shizune commanded.

Hearing his name jolted him out of his seat, the boy having been busy drawing something in his notebook. The council president snatched the sketch up, examining it with glasses held high. Hanako could see it from the corner of her eye: it was a picture of Shizune in one of the commanding poses she’d used just now. Only an outline of her upper torso was done, but it was already shockingly accurate and high-detail for something that couldn’t have been started more than a few minutes ago.

“My apologies, Madame President!” Takashi said, standing straight as if he actually were a soldier at attention. “I was struck by a sudden fit of inspiration, and my pen simply moved on its own!”

Shizune was still looking at the drawing instead of his lips, so she saw none of this.

“We should do a portrait series in the paper. You will draw them, Takashi. The first profile will be mine, of course!” Shizune decided, peering out over the top of the paper at him.

“Oh, ah—of course! As you command, Madame President!”

Shizune lowered the paper and glowered at him as Misha cracked up nearby.

“No ‘Madame President!’ Not—here!” Shizune said. Hanako wasn’t sure she was really seeing it but it looked like Shizune was actually the one blushing for once.

“What?” Takashi said, confused. “You didn’t mind when… umm… y-yes! Of course, Mad—I m-mean! Shizune!”

“Ahahahaha~! Tacchan, stop it! I’m gonna cry~!”

“Let’s get to work!” Shizune said pointedly, trying to bull through any further awkwardness. “Takashi—let’s discuss with Naomi and Natsume!”

“Yes, yes… so, in addition to the just-proposed portrait series, we thought it might be useful to implement a bulletin page for important school-wide announcements…”

As Takashi began to talk with Naomi and Natsume, Misha and Hanako turned to Rin, who had watched all of the goings-on with little more than a blank stare.

“Hi, Rin, hi~! It’s good to see you again!” Misha said. “So~! What are we looking at?”

Rin shrugged.

“I’m not sure. Shizune said review the paper’s artistic design. I guess we should do that.”

Misha withdrew her copy of the paper from her bag, flipping through to Misha’s Delicious Cooking Corner !! Apparently, Misha took it for granted that this page had the best artwork. The onigiri recipe stared up at them, a list of ingredients and a few brief lines of instruction, its text intentionally sparse so as to leave lots of room for the mouth-watering illustration Misha had picked out. She had insisted on including a picture of the final product, “so people will be really excited to try it when they see what it will make!”

“Wh-what do we need to do, then?” Hanako asked.

“That’s a good question,” Rin observed.

“Rin! You’re supposed to be the director person~!” Misha admonished her.

“Alright. I think there’s some good art here,” Rin said.

“See~! Rin likes looking at it too. Wahaha~!” Misha said.

“C-cooking is art,” Hanako said, recalling that exchange Rin had with Lilly.

“All sorts of stuff can be art. Drawing and painting, but also cooking and writing~!” Misha said. “Everyone does their own kind of art!”

“I think that’s right,” Rin agreed. “That, and this cooking column, reminds me of something I was thinking about. People treat art like it is special, or they treated my art that way. To me, it’s just something I do. It’s not different from the things other people do. It’s like—Emi runs, Hanako reads, and you laugh, Misha. People do the things that make them more themselves.”

“Hey~! I do more than just laugh at stuff, you know!” Misha protested.

“Yeah, you like to eat st-stuff too,” Hanako said.

“Bah~! Hacchan! You too?!” Misha pouted.

“It’s okay if you just like to laugh and eat,” Rin said. “You do it because it’s what you do, not because of other people. That’s why I had to quit the art club, because Nomiya wanted me to paint for everyone, but I can only paint for me.”

“I dunno what you’re talking about, Rin, but it definitely sounds smart!” Misha agreed.

“Sh-she means… hobbies, I th-think. Like st-stuff that you just do because it makes you happy, not because you h-have to,” Hanako explained.

“Ah, yeah. I guess laughing and eating are my hobbies then! Wahaha~! Well, I’m glad you like it, Rin. It took us a really, really~ long time!”

“Only because you wanted to look at all the pictures of food instead of just p-picking one…” Hanako said.

“Wahaha~! They looked too tasty, Hacchan. I couldn’t help it!”

“If you do a parfait one, you have to let me pick the ph-photo, or you’ll never finish it.”

“Ahahaha~! As long as I get to scroll as much as I want after you pick one. You know, you should have a line on here somewhere, as the helper, or something~!”

“Well, uhh…”

Hanako took the paper and flipped back to its cover, pointing to a small line near the bottom of the front page that named “Hanako Ikezawa” as the paper’s editor.

“Th-there I am, Misha.”

“Oh wow~, you get a line on the front! I guess that makes sense, Hacchan. You did put it all together! But~! Where’s your article?”

“M-my article? Umm… I guess I don’t h-have one?”

“You didn’t write anything?” Rin asked.

Misha flipped quickly through the little newspaper, searching confusedly. Even with its increased volume, the whole thing was still barely ten pages… there weren’t that many stories to look through. And sure enough, none penned by Hanako Ikezawa.

“That can’t be right, Hacchan. It just can’t~! Did your story get left out!?”

“No, Misha, I g-guess… I guess I just didn’t f-feel like writing one…”

“But Hacchan! You said you like writing! There’s no way I should have one but you don’t!”

“I only tried a few little st-stories… I never even sh-showed anyone… and they were f-fiction…”

“So~? Put a fictional column in the next issue. I added a cooking spot!”

“I think you could try,” Rin agreed. “I’d review it for you if you want. Well, if I knew how. Hmm. I don’t know if this counts as a good enough art review. I really don’t know how to review art. I guess making it is my hobby, not looking at it,” Rin said.

“Well, what kind of art should we add to the paper, Rin?” Misha asked. “Like~… I was thinking about adding some rainbows as the border lines! But I’m too bad at using the computer to do it…”

“That’s one thing you could do. What if you made riceballs and passed one out with every paper? Then it’s like giving everyone their own piece of art,” Rin suggested.

“That would be a lot of r-riceballs, though,” Hanako pointed out. “Maybe too m-many, if they were for the whole school.”

“Maybe they can be just for the club members! Ahaha~!” Misha said hopefully.

“What if I just say your art design is good? I don’t know how to tell you what to do with it,” Rin said.

“Okay, Rin. If you’re sure… thanks,” Hanako said. “M-maybe… if you paint something, we can have it on a page, with a little st-story about it. Like Misha’s cooking spot, you could have a painting sp-spot…”

“Oh,” Rin responded, perking up a bit. “I think I could do something like that. That’s a good idea. Maybe I could paint a newspaper.”

“You’d put another newspaper inside the newspaper? You’re too silly, Rin~!” Misha said.

“That would make people want to read wh-why, yeah,” Hanako said. “I like it.”

“You should draw a parfait~!” Misha suggested.

“Why would I draw that?” Rin asked.

“Of c-course you want to see th-that, Misha. Not everything has to be p-p-parfaits!”

“That’s where you’re wrooong~, Hana-chan! Wahahaha~!”

The meeting went on for a while, Takashi and Shizune’s interactions with Naomi and Natsume taking considerably longer than Rin’s “art review.” Hanako watched them from the corner of her eye while Misha bounced random questions off of Rin, each non-answer that Rin gave prompting the next question in a never-ending recursive loop. By the time Shizune finished relaying her list of demands, agenda items, and suggestions for the paper, Naomi and Natsume were clearly a bit frazzled. Hanako liked Shizune but she was secretly a bit glad that she wasn’t the one having to deal with that side of her today.

Rin and Misha, on the other hand, looked like they could keep going the same way for hours if she let them.

“I think they’re almost d-done…” Hanako said to her two companions, getting their attention just as they were debating the finer points of whether missing an arm, as opposed to a leg, made you a half pirate or a full-fledged one (and if the former, whether two missing arms still qualified one as a proper pirate via properties of addition).

“But~, Ricchan, having two peggie legs wouldn’t make you a double pirate, so—aha, oops~! Sorry, I forgot not to say Ricchan!”

“It’s okay. I think our friendship might be at a -chan point. Let’s see what they’re doing.”

The three girls inserted themselves into the other conversation just in time for Shizune to clap her hands twice, the sound even more unnaturally loud than her snaps. Everyone winced but it did its job, quieting any ongoing chatter.

“Alright. The First Annual Review of the Newspaper Club is hereby concluded!” Shizune declared, signing for Takashi to add it to their event calendar. He nodded, already writing in a small notebook.

“Great! Thanks! We’ll uhh! Be in touch!” Naomi replied, waving continuously in an attempt to speed up the farewell process. Natsume’s silent nod seemed to be more effective in this regard. Shizune returned it, then headed for the door, stopping to look back at her underlings one more time.

“No further business today, Rin,” she said, signing something to Takashi. Whatever it was, he hopped up from his seat and followed her into the hall with considerable speed.

“That sure seemed like they had more business…” Naomi speculated.

“Wh-what did she tell him?” Hanako asked, turning to Misha.

“Shicchan said, it was time for Tacchan’s sign language practice!” Misha said.

“I bet that’s not all she’s teaching him,” Natsume said.

“Ahaha~! Maybe, Natsu-nyan~!”

“…Nyan? Not -chan?” Rin wondered.

“Don’t worry about it, Ricchan! What is everyone doing now? We should go the Shanghai to celebrate!” Misha suggested.

“Hey, that’s a good idea! I don’t feel up to more work today. Shizune ran us ragged, plus, I think we earned a day off!” Naomi said.

“I’ll go if Natsume does. I need to figure out how she became a -nyan,” Rin said.

“…I don’t know if I can help you with that, but we can stick our heads together and try,” Natsume said.

“Wahaha~! You’ll never learn my secrets! Let’s go~!” Misha said. “Make careful to only step on the white squares. We’ve gotta be sure Yucchan has strawberries~!”

“…What?” Rin said.

“H-here we go again…” Hanako said, already seeing the gears turn in Rin’s head at these cryptic statements.

Chapter 44 | Chapter 46
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Scroff
Posts: 48
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Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Scroff » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:46 pm

The exuberance of your writing never fails to bring a smile to my face, a great antidote to a gloomy mood!

Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:36 pm

Chapter 46

“Alright everyone, review chapters nine and ten for tomorrow. And as a reminder—passing notes during class is distracting to those around you,” Mutou said, looking squarely at Misha.

She wasn’t paying attention to him, too busy getting up and stretching out her back with a series of pops and cracks.

“Hey, M-Misha…” Hanako started, touching her arm to get her attention. “You let T-Takashi translate again, even though we weren’t late today…”

“Mmhmm~!” Misha confirmed.

“Did you guys… t-talk about it, or… ?”

If they had, Hanako certainly hadn’t seen it. Misha and Takashi had sort of given each other a weird look before class started, but then Misha just sat down in front of Hanako again and that seemed to be that.

“Nope~. I dunno, Hacchan! I guess it’s good for Tacchan to practice. Ahaha~!”

“Admit it. You just want to sit with us,” Naomi piped up, tossing a small paper ball at Misha. It smacked into the side of Misha’s head and lodged itself squarely into a drill.

“Score!” Naomi exclaimed, pumping a fist in the air with a small whoop.

“Nice shot!” Natsume agreed.

“H-hey!” Hanako protested.

“Yeah, yeah~! My hair’s not a goal post! You guys are upsetting Hacchan!” Misha said, fishing the offending object out of her hair.

“I was going to say… I want to tr-try next!” Hanako clarified.

“Wha~?! Hacchan! That’s bad, very bad~! If I were still the vice president, I’d have to discipline you very badly! Hmm~…”

Misha stroked her chin and squinted at Hanako, pretending to consider her punishment in an exaggerated manner while tossing the paper ball up and catching it. After the first couple catches it failed to come back down, causing Misha to look around in confusion. Shizune stood next to her, shaking her head in disapproval as she stuffed the paper ball into her bag for later disposal in a proper waste receptacle.

“Ehehe…”

The other three girls looked away sheepishly as Shizune began signing to Misha, assuming that some rules infraction or another had occurred. The lack of a frown from Misha said otherwise, though.

“Okay, okay~! Today’s the day!” Misha said excitedly. “I have to go with Shicchan now. For~! Official Student Council business! Wahaha~!”

“Oh, okay,” Hanako said, a bit disappointed but understanding the situation, “… s-see you later?”

“Of course, Hacchan! Of course~!”

Despite her apparent cheerfulness, Hanako could tell that Misha was forcing it a bit. Whether it was for her benefit or Shizune’s, she wasn’t sure. Maybe both. Misha gave Hanako a brief, wistful glance and a wave just before disappearing through the doorway.

“What was that about?” Naomi asked.

“I th-think Misha’s suspension is over,” Hanako said. “So she’s going to be the vice pr-president again.”

“Huh. Thought she’d be hopping like a horsefly over that, but she didn’t look too eager,” Natsume observed.

“Well, we’re definitely going to miss her. She had only just started with the one column. Kind of a bummer… guess she’ll be missing us, too,” Naomi said.

“She kept saying she would do both cl-clubs,” Hanako said. “Maybe that’s what they’re going to t-talk about.”

“Only so much time in the day, and all the clubs meet at the same one,” Natsume said. “Gonna be tough to pull double duty.”

“Well, if anyone has enough energy to do it, it’s probably Misha!” Naomi said.

“Aha, yeah…” Hanako agreed.

***

[Where are we going, Shicchan? The council room is the other way!]

[We’re not going to the council room. Not yet.]

[Oh! Are we going to get a drink first?! I want some lemonade!]

[…Not that either. Actually, there is something to drink in here.]

[Shicchan, what do you—]

“Oh.”

[I’m sure tea will be served.] Shizune said, opening the door to Lilly’s tea room.

Sure enough, Lilly sat with three teacups already arranged and full, waiting for her guests before taking her first sip.

“Hi, Lilly-chan~!”

“Hello, Misha.”

“Err!”

Misha’s voice stuttered to a stop, unable to get any farther than a standard exuberant greeting.

[What’s going on, Shicchan?] she signed.

“You know Lilly is under review to join the Student Council again,” Shizune started, sitting down at the table. “I thought the vice president should weigh in. The timing of your re-instatement is perfect for it.”

“Oh. Oh! Oh~! Okay, okay~!”

Shizune’s switch to spoken language made sense, as otherwise Lilly could not be fully included in the conversation. More strange was that Shizune seated herself next to Lilly, leaving Misha to face both of them from across the table. It did make her feel a bit nervous, sort of like she was the one that was really under review here, and by two of the school’s most venerable personalities at that. Just how much had they been talking?

“Ehehe. Well~! Uhh!”

Misha really had no idea what to say. Lilly took the first sip of tea, looking characteristically calm. Shizune cut through Misha’s verbal stumbling with a snap.

“This is a unique situation for the council,” Shizune said. “No member that has quit has ever asked for re-admission, much less under such… complicating circumstances. For one, the parting was… not friendly. For another, I am related to Lilly by blood. I cannot make a fully unbiased judgment.”

Not to mention Lilly’s complex relation to Hanako and Misha herself. Even if that had resolved fairly well, in this situation it felt like just another consideration weighing Misha’s mind down. This really was more things to think about than she cared to sort out. Not because she couldn’t, but… it just made Misha anxious, trying to work through it all in some kind of official, authoritative capacity.

That was something Shizune did. Misha didn’t want to do that.

“Thoughts?” Shizune prompted, as if she wasn’t already swimming in too many of those. Misha found herself looking down and wringing her hands, habits picked up from her girlfriend. Lilly sighed, seeming to sense Misha’s anxiety even without seeing it.

“Perhaps we shouldn’t make Misha feel like a deciding vote,” Lilly said, touching Shizune’s shoulder to ensure she caught the words. “She knows how I feel about my previous actions in the council. I only wish to help, in whatever way I’m able. I don’t want that to be a source of more worry.”

Misha glanced up at Lilly, seeing a slight frown on her face. She got the impression that Lilly wasn’t enjoying this meeting much more than she was. Shizune had probably insisted on it, though. With Shizune, there was never any quiet acceptance, there had to be some kind of confrontation or open acknowledgment. At times Misha really appreciated that about her, at others… maybe not as much.

“Well, of course,” Shizune said. “The vice president’s advice is valued and appreciated, but not necessarily a decisive factor. Ultimately, re-admission is under sole discretion of the Student Council president.”

“You’re using a lot of big words today, Shicchan. You’ve been hanging out with Tacchan too much~!”

Shizune looked utterly flustered by this sudden line of attack.

“My, I daresay Misha is right,” Lilly agreed, sensing Misha’s attempt to shift the mood.

“I have—have not!” Shizune disagreed, slipping back into simultaneous sign language as her cheeks reddened.

“Ahahaha~! I knew it, I knew it! You really like him, huh~?” Misha continued.

Lilly’s eyes widened a bit and she used a tea sip as an excuse to look away.

“I—we—”

Shizune’s hands flopped around as she tried to get her composure back. Finally, one went to her glasses, and the other to her hip as she stood up to take command back.

“Don’t distract, Misha! This is no time for jokes. We’re dealing with official Student Council business right now!”

“Oh, are we, Shicchan~?”

“Yes! Yes, we are! We are discussing Lilly’s re-admission into the council. Not my… relationship… to any current council members!”

“So you do have a relationship with him! Wahaha~! Got you, Shicchan!”

“Hmph!”

Shizune paused, glancing aside to re-consider her strategy. Lilly looked thoroughly amused by now.

“Well. I have been… tutoring Takashi, in sign language, as you know. And in return, he helps me practice speaking. We may have gotten a little… close,” Shizune admitted, making a tactical retreat in hopes of regaining the initiative. “Does that satisfy your curiosity?”

“Ahaha~, I guess, Shicchan, I guess~! So! Did you already decide about Lilly-chan coming back, then?” Misha asked, feeling much more comfortable now that she’d gotten some silliness in to lighten the mood.

Shizune’s eyes flashed as she sat back down.

“I can’t tell you that. It would bias your own thoughts on the matter, of course,” she explained with a slight smirk.

Shizune got her there. Misha should’ve expected that, she thought.

“Okay~! I think Lilly-chan should definitely come back and be on the council again. For sure~!” Misha said. “She’ll do a great job!”

“Hmm. Thank you for your input, Misha,” Shizune said, looking slightly deflated that her friend had simply given up the game so easily. But when the game was over, it was over. “Anyways, yes, I had decided to re-instate Lilly already. I sought your opinion as confirmation of my own.”

Lilly sighed in relief.

“Thank you. Both of you,” she said. “I hope to come back into the council with a fresh set of eyes.”

“A fresh set of—hey~! You did that on purpose!” Misha accused her.

Lilly simply gave her a mischievous smile.

“And as of this moment, you are also re-instated as the vice president, Misha,” Shizune said.

“Congratulations,” Lilly said.

“Uhh! Thanks, thanks! I’m back! Yay~!”

Misha still wasn’t sure how happy she truly felt about that. It felt like a more intimidating duty with five people in the council, compared to back when she was just working with Shizune by herself. There wasn’t much else to do besides go for it, though.

“Of course, our first order of business together will be to assign duties to the two of you. We’ll have more people now than… well, since last year, it seems. We must delegate!” Shizune declared.

“Ah! Okay, okay! This is good!” Misha said, trying to think through what she wanted to do. “Umm! Can I… I was thinking, Shicchan. I really, really~ like the Newspaper Club, so~, I don’t want to quit, even though I’m vice president again, and…”

Shizune looked at her expectantly, waiting for her to finish.

“Ahehe~! I guess what I’m saying is… could I sort of… be in both clubs?”

Shizune frowned immediately. Misha winced, having expected this disapproval.

“The position of vice president is an important one, Misha. An officer of the Student Council should devote herself completely to it!”

“Ah… I guess it would be too hard to do them both together…”

“No one is more devoted to the Student Council than you, Shizune,” Lilly said. “So maybe you could understand… if Misha feels that same devotion to her other club?”

Misha gave Shizune a hopeful look, bolstered by this unexpected reinforcement. Shizune’s frown didn’t relent but she did take a moment to measure her response.

“I do understand that,” Shizune said. “Misha’s effort is admirable. She has always given her all and I respect that. I simply have to… question if even she can balance both of these responsibilities.”

Misha felt her chest flutter a bit at such a direct compliment from Shizune.

“Then, perhaps I could assist her as part of my own duties?” Lilly proposed. “If that is the problem at hand, I would like to help solve it.”

“You mean…”

Shizune tapped the side of her glasses for a moment, her equivalent of a long “hmm.”

“…You would be willing to fill in for Misha when she is with the Newspaper Club?” Shizune asked.

“Lilly-chan was the old vice president. She definitely knows how to do everything. Better than I do, probably!” Misha added.

“I would do my best,” Lilly said.

“…Then maybe we can try this arrangement. As a… trial run,” Shizune ceded.

“Aha! Ahahaha~! Yay, yay~! Thank you, Shicchan! Oh, and you too, Lilly! Thanks both!” Misha said, bouncing a bit in excitement.

“I should thank the two of you,” Lilly said.

“Remember, Misha. I’m only allowing this on a trial basis! You can’t use it to slack off!” Shizune insisted.

“Of course, Shicchan, of course. I would never do anything like that! Wahaha~!”

Shizune scowled knowingly at her.

“I’ll be sure to keep her busy,” Lilly said. “Someone must ensure that braille copies of the newspaper are available for classes such as mine, after all. That seems a most appropriate task for Misha and I.”

“Yes,” Shizune agreed, nodding in approval.

“And~! Lilly is super duper good at cooking, so~! She can help me with my Cooking Corner!” Misha added.

“That’s right. Perhaps we can even recruit Rin for another group cooking session,” Lilly said.

“Excellent ideas,” Shizune said. “This is encouraging. Shall we move on to the club room?”

“Oh, are we keeping Ricchan and Tacchan waiting?” Misha asked.

“I believe so,” Lilly said. “Going straight to the council room after class is standard procedure, if I recall.”

“Don’t worry, I gave them work to keep them busy. Plenty of papers to be filed,” Shizune said.

“Shicchan, you gave Rin paper-filing stuff? That doesn’t seem right!” Misha objected.

“All the more reason for you to show up and help!” Shizune retorted.

“Waha~! I guess so, I guess!”

Misha took her teacup and finished off its contents with a loud sigh before getting up. Shizune was already halfway to the door; Misha followed her out with Lilly bringing up the rear. Lilly paused with her hand on the doorknob, turning her head halfway back towards the now-empty tea room. Misha felt almost like she was looking back into it for a moment. Even though she couldn’t actually see the room, maybe Lilly just felt like it was a place she was about to leave behind. Then the moment passed; Lilly closed the door and held her hand out towards Misha.

“Misha? May I?”

“Sure, Lilly-chan!”

Misha offered a sleeve for her to hold onto as they set off down the hall and towards the stairs. Everyone had moved forward in one way or another over this year, Misha thought. It made her happy to think that Lilly was coming along and catching up with them.

Chapter 45 | Chapter 47
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:54 am

Chapter 47

Time passed and things started to feel familiar again. Since meeting Misha, Hanako’s life had been in a continuous state of rapid change and growth. While that change was very much for the better, it also got exhausting after a while. Before Misha, Hanako couldn’t say she had been happy, but she had achieved a routine whose familiarity brought her a degree of comfort. Part of her was grateful to have that stability back. Go to breakfast with Misha, try not to let Misha clown too much in class, eat lunch with Misha, hang out in the club room with Misha, eat dinner with Misha, go to sleep with Misha.

Sometimes Misha went to work with the Student Council instead, giving them some time apart, and that was good too. They didn’t have to be together every single moment of every single day, though Hanako felt like Misha wouldn’t mind if they were. That prospect was tempting to Hanako as well, truth be told. In the long term, she knew it would be healthier to try and avoid falling into total co-dependence. Most important was that they remained comfortable with each other and with those around them. Perhaps, finally, Hanako was happy. At least something close to it.

“Misha to Hacchan! Come in, Hana-chan~! Over!”

“Wh-wha? Oh… ehe, sorry.”

Hanako felt the sponge still moving gently up and down her right side as the jets of hot water ran over her body. Misha’s other hand waved in front of her face from behind… then swooped in and covered her eyes in typical Misha fashion.

“Guess what, Hacchan~!”

“Ahh! It’s y-you, Misha!”

“No, no! I mean, yeah, but~! It’s guess what, not who~!”

“Crap… uhh… I don’t kn-know!”

“Sneak attack~! That’s what!”

Misha’s hand turned Hanako’s head sideways, guiding her lips into a kiss with Misha’s.

“Ahaha~!”

“You g-got me… was that my punishment, for sp-spacing out?” Hanako asked.

“Oh? Maybe~! Really, I just wanted to steal a smooch! But you were kinda spacey, Hacchan, that’s right. Whatcha thinkin’ about? It better be me! Wahaha~!”

Her girlfriend’s gentle touch combined with the warmth of the shower had lulled Hanako into her own thoughts for a moment, she supposed. Misha moved down to Hanako’s legs next, washing them thoroughly with extra care on the right one’s scar tissue. It had always been a pain to try and reach the scarring on her backside, often forcing Hanako to stretch her contractures painfully if she wanted to take care of it. Just another thing she was grateful to Misha for, who had assured Hanako that she was more than happy to look after her backside.

“I was just th-thinking, Misha. I feel… hmm, how would I say it? I feel c-comfortable, I guess. Yeah. Comfy.”

“Mm, yeah, the shower does feel good, huh~?”

“I mean comfortable, l-like… in life? Does that sound weird, M-Misha?”

“Hmm? Comfortable… in life?”

“Yeah, Misha. With you. I guess I was just thinking… I’m really lucky, M-Misha. That’s all.”

“Oh~?”

The sponge left Hanako’s skin as Misha dropped it, then Hanako felt herself spun around to face Misha, their noses nearly touching. Even through the curtains of pink hair that covered Misha’s own face, Hanako could see the spark in her eyes.

“That makes me really happy, Hacchan.”

Misha gave Hanako another kiss, deeper this time, followed by a tight hug.

“I’m really comfortable with you too,” Misha said into her ear.

“Ah…”

Hanako realized that she wasn’t only comfortable socially now, but with Misha, she felt comfortable physically too. They were in the shower together, Hanako’s scars fully exposed, yet she felt no anxiety. She didn’t shy away from Misha’s touch or feel the need to distract herself with more intimate activities. There was no telling when Misha might suddenly decide she wanted to do that, but they didn’t have to, and they both knew it. It was a nice feeling. It was safe. It was something Hanako used to believe she could never have with another person.

She squeezed Misha gently and broke off the hug, turning to present her back once more.

“Don’t sl-slack off…” Hanako admonished her, looking at Misha over her right shoulder while running a hand down the corresponding thigh.

“Sorry, Hacchan, sorry~! Do you want me to give you a massage to make up for it?”

Hanako narrowed her eyes suspiciously.

“What kind of… m-massage?”

“I dunnooo~, Hacchan.”

Misha joined her hands around Hanako’s waist, moving them just low enough to be suggestive without quite getting there.

“Maaaybe~ a special one?”

“Aha… I think you want to give me a m-massage more than I want to get one, Misha.”

“Wahaha~! Maybe, Hacchan! Maybe you caught me! You know…”

Resting her head on Hanako’s shoulder, Misha turned her gaze up to the detachable showerhead just above them.

“…I bet you don’t even need me here when you’ve got one of those. You’ve probably used it before, huh~?”

“Wh-what? The… shower?”

It took Hanako a moment to realize what Misha was suggesting.

“Oh. O-oh! Uhhh!”

Even through the heat of the shower, she could feel her cheeks getting hot.

“I knew it, I knew it! So naughty, Hacchan~!” Misha exclaimed, giving her a light smack on the rear.

“N-n-no! I haven’t! You’re the b-bad one, Misha!”

“Am I? How’s that~?”

“Well… you wouldn’t ask me about, about th-that… if you didn’t try it y-yourself!”

“Ah! Ahahaha~! Ahhh… maybe, Hacchan. Just maybe~!”

“S-see! Caught you a-again!”

“You know, Hacchan, I could show you what to do with it. I have an idea about life—you have to try everything once! It’s like a rule!”

“Try e-everything… even… umm… ermm…”

“Wahahaha~! Your face, Hacchan. Your face! Mwah~! You’re so embarrassed! Too cute!”

Then just like that, Misha finally let go of Hanako’s waist, kneeling down and retrieving the sponge to resume washing Hanako’s lower body. She transitioned seamlessly from teasing back into caring, humming airily as she went along with her task. Hanako allowed herself a small sigh of relief that it was just a joke… though, knowing her girlfriend, it was just as likely that Misha put the idea forward to feel out whether or not Hanako wanted to do it. Part of her was a bit curious… maybe another day…

“Okay, Hacchan~! All done! How’s this?”

***

Hanako laid down on her stomach, letting her body rest on the layer of towels set down to cover the bed. Misha had insisted on giving her a massage anyways—a normal one—and Hanako could hardly turn her down. Come to think of it, this was what, the third time this week? No, fourth… it was more common to do this after they showered than not, it seemed like. Hanako couldn’t quite remember when that started, it just felt like something that had naturally happened. Misha had that effect, she supposed.

“So, Hacchan~. What made you say you were so lucky just now?” Misha asked.

Hanako felt Misha’s weight settle onto her lower back, felt Misha’s fingers dig firmly into her neck and shoulders. She sighed in contentment at the pleasant pressure on her muscles and nerves.

“Ah… you don’t have to say if you don’t want, Hacchan.”

“Oh, s-sorry, I didn’t mean to… about th-that… umm… I guess… what makes you a-ask?”

“I dunno~, Hacchan. You just… you seem like you don’t say that kind of stuff very much. I always want to know more about you, always~, so…”

“What… k-kind of stuff, Misha?”

“Hmm~. Stuff about how you’re feeling, maybe? Yeah, like… you never say that you’re feeling sad or you’re feeling happy, like I do. I can tell, a lot of times, if you’re happy or not, but you don’t really tell me out loud. So that made me think, you must really have a reason to say something like that.”

Misha’s hands worked on their own as she spoke, their movements familiar and practiced. By now she knew all the nooks and crannies in Hanako’s back, just where her touch was wanted and where it wasn’t. Normally Hanako would start getting aroused at this point—probably why Misha always wanted to do this routine, she thought—but this conversation was taking an unexpected turn, pushing other thoughts aside for the moment.

“I was thinking about… ab-about… well, us, but. Not j-just us, Misha. I’m happy that… th-that… I don’t know. You kn-know, Misha, I always felt like… like I was c-cursed, in life. Not just because people said it. Even before… b-before the bullying… I believed it. I thought, everyone else got to have n-normal, happy lives, and mine was just always going to be miserable…”

“Hacchan… that doesn’t sound like lucky happy thoughts…”

“What I mean, Misha, was… I realized I don’t really feel like that anymore. I always hated my sc-scars, I hated them so much, but… they’re not like… they just… look different. They don’t get in my way, or a-anything, not too much. So many people here, they have things that are so much, so much w-worse… I can still walk, and talk, and see, and… even y-you, with your ear, I can hear n-normally… so really, I’m kind of lucky after all, I g-guess.”

“Aww~. I don’t think about… I like your scars, Hacchan. They’re part of you.”

Hanako felt Misha’s fingers run down the length of her scarring, from shoulder to hip, their tips pressing in just enough that Hanako could feel it under the dead nerve endings near the top of the epidermis. Misha knew just how hard to press so that she could feel it, Hanako realized, without pressing so hard that it hurt.

“I know they… I know you don’t like them, Hacchan. But… I think… they’re beautiful. Just like every other part of you. Is that okay~?”

Hanako suppressed the sudden urge to choke up at hearing that. She turned her head up enough that Misha could see her right eye, their faces meeting for a moment.

“It’s more than just okay. Even if a lot of bad things have happened to me, in the p-past… that’s why I thought I’m so lucky, Misha. Because you’re there to say th-that.”

“I’m not just saying it, Hacchan. I believe it, you know? You know I think you’re pretty.”

“I know, Misha. I know. I’m so lucky for that.”

“You’re not the only lucky one. I’m lucky too. I get to wait on Queen Hana-chan~! Hand and foot! Wahaha~!”

“Qu-queen Hana-chan, huh?”

Hanako smiled into the bed under her face.

“You do make me feel pretty sp-special, Misha. I hope… I just hope I can be like that for you, too.”

“Of course you are.”

Misha leaned forward over Hanako and hugged her for a moment, her front pressing into Hanako’s back.

“I love you, Hanako,” she said, her lips close enough to brush Hanako’s ear.

“I love you too,” Hanako answered, her reply immediate and thoughtless.

Hanako would be alright with just staying like this for a while, snug and warm under Misha. Misha still had too much energy for that, though. Hanako heard the snap of a plastic bottle cap as Misha sat back up, then felt the weight lift off of her lower back and hips. Misha stood up off the bed, pouring a bit of skin lotion onto her palm as Hanako rolled over onto her left side, presenting her scarred right to the open air. A familiar part of the routine. The other day, Nurse had complimented her on applying her lotion more regularly these days. Hanako hadn’t told him exactly why she found the lotion so much easier to use now, but she had definitely blushed when he flashed her that knowing smile.

“So~, what’re we gonna do now, Hacchan? There’s still a little time before it gets dark.”

“Hmm…”

Hanako contemplated the possibilities as Misha’s fingers dug once more into her scarring, rubbing the lotion steadily in without missing a single inch.

“Maybe… we could watch some more of those c-cooking videos, on the computer? That was pretty fun. You could find a cooking column idea.”

“That’s not a bad idea, Hacchan! We just did that yesterday, though. Let’s see~. I kind of want to go on an adventure, Hacchan!”

“An… ad-adventure?”

That was often a euphemism for something fairly specific.

“A… bed adventure?”

“Aha~! Maybe later, Hacchan. I meant a real adventure! Out in the wild wilderness. Two young women struggling to survive, far away from cities. Just like in a book~!”

“That does sound ex-exciting, Misha, but… I don’t know if we can fit that in before curfew…”

“Yeah, probably not, but~! We could at least go hang out on that flower hill Ricchan showed us. And play like we’re pioneers~! Right, right?! Come on, let’s! I want to talk about life in the woods on the sunset! It’s like, a special life dream I have!”

“I th-think it’s a special life goal that you made up just now, Misha. But it’s a fun idea, yeah. Let’s… let’s do it!”

“Okay, great! Yay~! Wahoo~!”

Misha gave Hanako’s rump a few light slaps of excitement, then bounced into the bathroom to wash her hands. Hanako took a moment to admire the rear view while shaking her head at Misha’s goofiness. When Misha re-joined her, Hanako had her underwear back on and her shirt halfway over her head.

“Hold up, hold up now, Hacchan! What are you doing?” Misha demanded.

“Umm… I thought you s-said… we weren’t doing… bed st-stuff?” Hanako asked, pulling the shirt back up just enough to see Misha.

“No, but~, you have to do your stretchy exercises still! Can’t skip those, remember?”

“Yeah, b-but I can do those with my clothes on…”

“Surrre~, you can, but why would you? Where’s the fun in that, Hacchan~!”

Misha took hold of the shirt and started to wrestle it back up and off of Hanako’s arms.

“Ahh~! M-Misha! You w-would!”

“Wahaha~!”

Chapter 46 | Chapter 48
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Wed Oct 24, 2018 3:51 pm

Chapter 48

[ADULT CONTENT WARNING]

“Isn’t this the greatest, Hacchan?!”

Misha emerged from the woods and onto the hilltop, stretching her arms out as if to hug the scene before her. Fading orange light cast the dandelions in a soft glow as the sun sank low in the sky. Hanako had to admit, it was a beautiful sight. Though perhaps not as beautiful as the girl who dragged her out to it.

“All this fluffiness! It’s like a really huge pillow~! Wahah—Oof~!”

Seeming to get a bit too carried away with the “pillow” concept, Misha threw herself down into the dandelions. The ground was unfortunately still the ground, even if it looked like a fluffy cushion.

“Are you o-okay?” Hanako asked, standing over her.

Misha flipped over onto her back and held her hands up, showing that they’d taken the brunt of the damage. They might be a little bruised but they’d be fine. Misha always seemed to have a random bruise or two on her from something like this anyways. Other than an uncanny commitment to keeping her hair in its proper form, she didn’t seem to worry too much about her appearance, another aspect of her which Hanako appreciated. Right now she’d managed to get white dandelion fluff all over herself, including her hair and her face.

“A-choo~!” Misha sneezed, blowing a puff of the stuff up into the air.

“Ahaha… careful Misha, you’ll blow it on me!” Hanako warned her.

“You’re about to be all up in it anyways! Come here~!”

“Ahh! M-Misha! Be careful!”

Misha sprung up and gripped Hanako around her waist, pulling her down into the dandelions. Hanako noticed how Misha was careful to take the fall on her own back, avoiding any damage to Hanako, and it didn’t seem to hurt her either. One of Misha’s many funny little traits that Hanako had noticed, she didn’t even seem to notice minor injuries. It reminded Hanako of the dog they’d had back at the orphanage… sometimes it would slip and fall off of furniture clumsily, but every time, it would be right back on its feet panting happily with no apparent damage afterwards.

“Wahaha~! Sorry, sorry~! You know I had to, Hacchan! Are you okay?”

“I’m f-fine. You’re just so r-rough…” Hanako said, putting an extra hint of mock innocence into her last remark.

“Buuut~ you like it rough, don’t you?” Misha remarked, hitting the ball that Hanako had thrown out just like Hanako knew she would. “Ahaha~!”

“M-maybe if you win me over…” Hanako suggested. “I’m not a qu-queen. I’m a princess! You have to… f-f-fight for me!”

“Oho~! Do I have to slay for a dragon for you, Princess Hacchan?”

“No… just make me laugh, and take care of m-me, and… st-start out gentle with me…”

“Gentle, hm~? Like this~?”

Misha leaned in close to Hanako’s face… but instead of kissing her, she just rubbed their noses together in a way that tickled.

“Ah… ahh… ah-choo!!” Hanako exclaimed, turning aside to let out the sneeze Misha had tickled her into.

“Ahahahaha~! Got you, Hacchan!”

“You did g-get me…”

Misha rolled them over so that Hanako was the one laying on her back with Misha on top, then started planting a flurry of kisses all over Hanako’s face.

“Mwah! Mwah! Mwah~!”

“M-M-Misha! It-it t-t-tickles! All the—fl-fluff! Eeee!”

“Waha~!”

Misha gave Hanako one final kiss on the lips before rolling off of her, leaving Hanako to brush hair and fluff out of her face. Misha propped herself up on an elbow beside Hanako, picking a nearby dandelion and holding its white sphere above Hanako’s face with an evil smirk.

“D-don’t you dare! M-Misha!”

“Hmm~. I’ll let you live this time, Queen Hacchan! Make a wish~!”

Misha went ahead and blew the dandelion onto the wind before Hanako could respond.

“I w-wish… to watch the s-sunset, in a field, with my girlfriend. H-how’s that?” Hanako asked.

“I have a funny feeling that someone out there is going to grant your wish, Hacchan! It’s a good one~!” Misha reassured her, falling halfway over Hanako to draw her into an embrace. She buried her nose in Hanako’s hair and squeezed her torso for a moment, then unfurled herself out onto her back beside Hanako, keeping one arm around Hanako’s waist to hold her close as they looked out into the sky together.

The orange hue washing through the sky faded out to purple as it got farther away from its source, with the last hints of a golden yellow remaining just above the horizon. Hanako looked through the clouds, remembering when she and Misha had once laid here watching them at Rin’s suggestion. Had that been the first time that she physically touched Misha? It was the first time that stood out, at least. The first time that was more than some kind of social formality, the first time that meant something.

“Mmm~. It’s really pretty, Hacchan.”

“Yeah. Yeah, it is. I’m glad you thought of th-this, Misha.”

“I’m glad too. I’m glad we got to do it. I used to think about this, you know~?”

“Think about… watching the sunset?”

“Yeah~! But~! Not just that. Watching it here, watching it with you, Hacchan. When we went on our picnic here, and we laid out like this, I just thought, ‘I wish I could stay here with Hacchan like this, until the sun goes down.’ I didn’t know that you liked me yet, not for sure, so I just had to wish for it. But I wished it on a dandelion, secretly, to myself, and~!”

“H-here we are…”

Hanako felt her heartrate increase as emotions welled up in her chest. Knowing that even then, their thoughts were already joined…

“Ack~! Hacchan! What are you doing!”

She had rolled herself over on top of Misha, straddling her, with her hands on Misha’s shoulders. Hanako only realized that she’d done it after she did it. She felt that she was acting on her feelings now, letting them take the lead for once, instead of having to guard and think and weigh every single word or gesture. She could let herself out, here with Misha, away from anyone else. It was a truly open space.

“You’re blocking the vi—mmphh!”

Hanako interrupted Misha with a passionate kiss, holding their faces firmly together. Still caught a bit off guard, Misha assumed they would break away after a moment, only to find that Hanako’s hands gripped her cheeks insistently. Misha kissed her back, allowing herself to share in Hanako’s intentions and synchronize with them, their bodies beginning to shift slightly as desires awakened. Finally, Misha had to force her lips away from Hanako’s, their joining so deep that she’d had trouble breathing.

“Ah, whew, Hacchan~! Let me come up for air!”

Hanako’s face remained sultry, not moved to any joking or play. Eyes focused, lips still parted, hair strewn and breathing heavy, her intentions were clear.

“I want you, Misha. That’s what I used to dream about,” Hanako whispered, leaning in close to inject the words into Misha’s ear before biting it lightly.

“Hanako…”

Sitting back up, Hanako reached to Misha’s blouse and began to undo the buttons, her fingers steady and her eyes never leaving Misha’s. Misha raised her arms to pull it off, only to find that Hanako had already reached inside of it and around her body, feeling for her bra’s clasp. Misha gasped in surprise at so much initiative from her girlfriend, lifting her back up to let Hanako pull the bra off. Hanako tossed it aside, then pulled Misha’s blouse apart without bothering to remove it fully, planting her lips onto one breast and then the other. She moved with neither hesitation nor hurry, each kiss deliberate, without any of the usual pauses to see how Misha was reacting, or if she was doing anything wrong.

That intentionality, the realization that Hanako was finally indulging herself fully, made Misha’s head spin and soar—the idea of a lover that simply took her, no questions asked, knowing already that the lust was mutual. It was one desire Hanako had never managed to fulfill, not until now at least. Misha closed her eyes and ran her fingers through Hanako’s hair, taking in the feel of Hanako’s lips on her chest, her hands on her waist, her fingers moving between her thighs…

“Ah—ahhh!!”

Misha let out a cry as those fingers slipped right under the thin fabric and inside of her, diving as deep as they could go in a single thrust before pulling back out. For a moment Misha worried that Hanako might have lost her nerve, then she felt the fingers gripping her panties from the top and pulling them down. They were back to work in an instant, sending spasms through her in a steady rhythm, each flexing of their lengths accompanied by a moan from Misha.

Those moans were muffled momentarily as Hanako’s mouth covered Misha’s own, her tongue moving in tempo with her other motions. Her technique was the same as always, the same one she’d learned from Misha, but this time it was rough and forceful, holding nothing back. It was what Misha had wanted, but been too shy to ask for. Now that she had it, it was every bit as good as she’d dreamed about, her moans fading into whimpers as Hanako pushed her to the edge and then right over it.

When she felt Misha’s climax, Hanako pulled her head back up to look her girlfriend in the face as it happened, clearly reveling in what she saw. She cupped one of Misha’s cheeks with her free hand as Misha’s back arched, rubbing her thumb gently into Misha’s quivering lower lip as her breath hitched in her throat. Misha brought her own hand up and gripped it over Hanako’s, squeezing it in tandem with each contraction of her body. It felt like it went on forever, the exhilaration of the experience giving it an extended impact in Misha’s head.

Finally, sadly, unfortunately… it did end.

The experience had left Hanako breathing heavily as well, her own arousal burning hot in response to her efforts with Misha. But instead of letting Misha take over as she usually did, Hanako did something else: She grabbed hold of Misha’s skirt and pushed it up onto her stomach, lifting its fabric to expose what lay beneath.

“Ahhh… Hacchan… I… wh-what are you… ahh!”

Without any kind of build-up, she pushed Misha’s thighs apart and kissed the area between them, one pair of lips meeting with another. The feeling had yet to return to Misha’s extremities when Hanako’s tongue found its target, lighting the fire anew.

“Mmmm~!”

Misha’s legs closed instinctively but Hanako held them back, gripping each one just above the knee and pushing them aside. More than willing to accept this fate, Misha closed her eyes and laid back, placing one hand on Hanako’s head as it bobbed back and forth below her belly. It took a moment to ease back into things when she’d thought they was done, but… it only took that, a moment. Hanako was persistent and unrelenting, determined not to let Misha rest so easily.

Soon Misha felt her head humming again, her breath once again growing ragged and her legs shaking with a familiar anticipation. Hanako had gotten surprisingly good at this, but if she just moved a little ways over…

“H-Hacchan, uhh… h-here…” Misha gasped out, pushing Hanako’s head ever so slightly to the side.

Hanako followed Misha’s lead, knowing that she’d succeeded as she felt a powerful shudder run through her partner. She redoubled her efforts, feeling both of Misha’s hands press on the back of her head, hearing Misha’s voice slip into a strained whimper.

“Y-y-yes, there—H-Hacchan, don’t st-stop—nnnghh!!”

Misha’s blood pounded in her ears as she reached climax. Her legs tried to close again, an involuntary reaction, but Hanako pinned them down forcefully and kept going, fueling Misha on as long as she could.

“Haaa! Hacchaaan~!! Ahhhn!” Misha cried out, one hand coming up to massage a breast in lieu of being able to reach Hanako’s. The other hand pawed feebly at Hanako’s head before going up to cover Misha’s mouth, stifling the urge to scream as her hips shook again and again. By the time this one ended, Misha was quite sure that it was the most intense orgasm she’d ever experienced. Her toes curled and her muscles tensed one final time before she felt herself collapse, completely spent.

Gentle kisses planted themselves on Misha’s body as she rested—her torso, her chest, her neck. Misha managed to cradle one arm around Hanako as her lover’s face appeared in her field of view. Hanako gave Misha another kiss on the forehead before sitting up and straddling Misha, seeming to enjoy the view laid out below her. Technically Misha was still wearing her clothes, she was just missing her underwear, but… blouse ripped open and skirt pulled up past her navel, her hair a mess and her breathing still labored… she must look like a mess, and Hanako seemed into it. Her lover was breathing hard as well, her purple hair slightly askew, the lovemaking having taken its own toll on her.

“Hi, Hacchan~. I think we missed the sunset.”

“I wanted you more than the sunset, Misha.”

“Uh-huh. I think I figured that out. Wahaha~.”

Hanako laid down beside Misha, resting her head on one exposed breast while tracing her finger idly around the other. So much for putting her clothes back on properly, Misha thought.

“Okay, Hacchan~… roll over, I’ll… I’ll do your turn…”

“Mmm nnmm,” Hanako said, the intonation making it a clear sound of denial. “Maybe later, Misha. I got… I got what I wanted. I don’t want you to do me. I just want… this.”

Misha was inwardly relieved. Hanako hadn’t left her with enough energy to really do her best; she was only just now recovering some feeling in her fingers. Misha sighed happily, running her fingers through Hanako’s hair as her girlfriend continued to cuddle her in the flowers, feeling supremely content in the cool dim of the early evening.

“So, Hacchan, uhh… I just wanted to say, I guess… you really messed me up good, huh~? You know, like… really really good. Ahaha~.”

“Yeah, Misha. I did.”

“Hmm~, I wonder… who taught you how to do stuff like that? She must really be something else, whoever she is!”

Hanako lifted her head just enough to meet Misha’s smirk, her one visible eye narrowing as she considered her retort.

“She’s a real piece of w-work, yep. She’s goofy, and loud, and silly, and… a really good person. She’s very important to me,” Hanako said.

“Wow, Hacchan~. She sounds like a keeper.”

“…I th-think she is.”

Misha ruffled Hanako’s hair playfully. Hanako gave her a retaliatory peck on her nipple before laying her head back over the other one, apparently finding it quite a comfy pillow. Misha couldn’t really hold that against her, boobs were definitely funny enough to be worth pillowing. Hanako’s weren’t quite as big as hers, but they could probably serve in a pinch…

“I wish we could lay like this all night, Misha.”

“Me too, Hacchan~. Maybe we can. What’s stopping us, huh~?”

“Mmm nnmm,” Hanako disagreed, making that sound of denial again. “It’ll keep getting darker. There might be bugs and stuff. We don’t want to move, but the world will move on anyways. We have to go with it.”

“I guess we do, Hacchan. I guess we do. We should probably get up then, huh~? It’s already kinda dark. We really don’t wanna be in the woods with it getting any darker… and, uhh… I could kinda use another shower… ehehe…”

“That sounds good, Misha. Maybe I’ll give you a massage?”

“Oh~, a massage? What kinda massage, huh? I dunno how much more massaging I can handle today…”

Hanako looked up at Misha with a playful grin.

“You’ll just have to wait and s-see!”

“Waha~! Okay, Hacchan, okay~! I can’t wait! Let’s go!”

Hanako laughed along with Misha, amused by how quickly her energy had returned.

“I c-couldn’t keep you down for long, huh?” Hanako observed, getting up and offering a hand to help pull Misha to her feet.

“Nope, I’m too—whoa-hoaa~! Ack!”

Misha stumbled and nearly fell back down as her knees buckled, refusing to work properly just yet.

“Ehehe! My legs still feel pretty funny, Hacchan. But~! I’m okay! Let’s go, let’s go!”

As if to prove that she was still as bouncy as ever, Misha took the lead, limping slightly at first but quickly regaining her stride.

“M-M-Misha! Wait up!”

“Oh~? What is it, Hacchan? Did you change your m—”

“Y-your cl-clothes!” Hanako interjected, running a hand across Misha’s bare chest to emphasize her point. Misha smacked her forehead loudly.

“Duh~! Ahaha~, whoopsie! Sorry, girls! Let’s get you back inside!”

Hanako giggled at that too, the suggestion that Misha’s boobs were a pair of kids she needed to bring in for dinner. It didn’t take long to find the discarded items, their bright pink hue standing out against the white of the field, though Misha did observe that she’d probably have dandelion fluff in places that she’d rather not have it until she could get back to the dorm and change. She worked on doing her buttons back up as they walked across the field.

They were almost to the trees when a splash of red in the dandelions’ white caused Misha to pause in curiosity. Was that—a couple more steps and she would’ve trod on Rin!

“Ricchan~! What are you doing!!”

“Umm. Cloud watching?” Rin offered, a hint of awkwardness creeping into her otherwise detached voice. Even she realized this was a bit of an embarrassing situation.

“H-h-how long have you been laying th-there!” Hanako yelled, more an accusation than a question. “D-did you—eeekk!” she exclaimed, jumping back and covering herself, even though she was still fully clothed.

“Did I… hear?” Rin filled in. “Ermm. Yeah,” she admitted.

“Ricchan~! Why didn’t you say anything!” Misha demanded, pointing a finger down at the offending girl.

“Well, I didn’t want to get up yet, because there was a cloud. Then when you, err, got started. I didn’t want to… interrupt. You weren’t supposed to find me, you know. I was planning to just lay here in safety. But I guess you foiled my master plan. Congratulations, brave heroes.”

Rin raised her stubs as if to offer them for handcuffing.

“You can take me into custody if you want.”

“Wahaha~! Come on, get up, sillyface!” Misha said, taking hold of one stub to pull Rin to her feet. “You can’t stay out here anymore now that we found you. It’s getting too dark!”

“That is true. Emi will probably want to find me.”

“Just how long were you laying out here, Ricchan?”

“Hmm… well, the sun wasn’t all the way up yet when I walked out, so… pretty long. I think.”

“All d-day?!” Hanako asked in surprise. “H-haven’t you… eaten?”

Rin paused to think about it.

“…No.”

“G-goodness, Rin. Maybe you can eat with us. You, umm… won’t t-tell anyone? Will y-you?” Hanako asked.

“Tell them what? That you two have sex? I think people knew that already. I didn’t tell them, either. I promise,” Rin answered.

“R-R-Rin!” Hanako stuttered at her, covering her face and blushing.

“Wahaha~!”

“Oh, sorry. Did I say a thing?” Rin asked.

“N-no, I mean, y-yes, I… just, don’t w-worry about it,” Hanako said. “S-sorry you, umm, had to… h-hear us…” she added sheepishly.

Rin shrugged.

“It doesn’t bother me. You’re still not as loud as Emi.”

“Aha—wahahaha~! I’ll have to do better next time, I guess. I can’t have Emi-chan beating me at voice stuff!” Misha said.

“You have her beat in some things,” Rin said.

“Well~! I am taller, I guess!” Misha said.

“And. Bigger,” Rin added, nodding pointedly at Misha’s chest, which was still mostly exposed by her halfway-unbuttoned blouse.

“Whoops~, left that open, huh! Aha~, enjoying the view, are you Ricchan?” Misha asked, leaning forward suggestively.

“M-M-Misha!” Hanako scolded her, smacking her shoulder. “So n-naughty!”

“What? Ricchan’s already been here the whole time. Maybe she wants in on the fun~!”

“Qu-quit it, Misha! Sorry, Rin. Just ig-ignore her.”

“I don’t mind seeing boobs, either. I see mine every day, after all. And Emi’s.”

“Emi’s? Why are you seeing her girls, huh~? You always said you weren’t in love with her, Ricchan~!” Misha said.

“I’m… not? We take showers and get dressed together. I can hold a lot of stuff with my toes, but a bar of soap just isn’t one of them. I’m not very good with shampoo either. Wait…”

Rin’s expression, utterly unmoved thus far, suddenly grew concerned.

“…You’re not going to ask me to try a threesome now, are you?” she asked.

“R-R-Rin! You’re w-worse than sh-she is!”

“Ahahahaha~!”

“Is that no? I think that means no.”

“N-n-no, Rin! I m-mean, yes, it means n-no! N-n-no… no thr-threes! None of th-that!” Hanako assured her.

Rin sighed in relief.

“Good. Our friendship may be at a high level by now, but I still don’t think it’s on that one.”

Hanako raised her eyebrows warily at this, as it implied that there was some level of friendship with Rin where she would engage in that. Part of her wondered what kind of “friendship level” she had with Emi, but a bigger part of her really thought it best not to pursue the subject. Misha had finally finished laughing for now and reverted back to a happy hum. Hanako looked over at her and resisted the urge to facepalm.

“M-Misha, your sh-shirt…”

It was still open. Hanako wondered if Misha had actually been that distracted, or if this was purposeful…

“Oh, oopsie~! Can you help me with it, Hacchan? I can’t see the buttons, it’s too dark! Wahaha~!”

Definitely on purpose.

“If you can’t see th-them, I can’t either, Misha!”

“I can see them,” Rin said. “I’d help you out, but. I’m not sure if you want my feet on your boobs.”

“R-Rin! She can see them, she’s just being d-dumb!”

“Can you really button a shirt with your feet, Ricchan? I kinda want to see if you can do it!” Misha said.

“Ahh! You t-two together are just—I g-give up!”

“Wahahahaha~!”

[ADULT CONTENT WARNING]

Chapter 47 | Chapter 49
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:59 am, edited 3 times in total.

Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:06 am

I suppose I'll post this here--this is a Halloween one-shot I wrote for the KS Discord Halloween contest, set within this fanfic. It's only halfway serious and kind of just a little side story. It did end up winning the contest (somehow) and it's content related to the fic so here it is.

---

Bonus Chapter: An Unusual Halloween


“Is it… is it d-done yet, Misha?”

“Almost, Hacchan! Almost~! Just one more around—here~!”

“Eeek! M-my eye!”

“Ah! I didn’t hurt it, did I, Hacchan?”

“No, I j-just… didn’t expect to cover one…”

“We can undo it if you want!”

“It’s fine. I can see f-fine. Is that it th-then?”

Hanako had been standing in place for the better part of an hour now, waiting for Misha to finish wrapping her up in this “mummy” costume. When Misha first suggested it she had kind of just agreed without really thinking about what it would entail. Getting all of these bandages off would probably be just as tedious as putting them on… come to think of it, that was almost certainly why Misha wanted to do it. So she had an excuse to spend thirty minutes pulling fabric off of Hanako’s body until she was left naked. That part would be more fun than this had been, Hanako imagined, for the both of them.

“H-How do I look?” Hanako asked, holding her hands up in what she hoped was an appropriate mummy pose.

“Super duper spooky! Wahaha~! Make a mummy noise!”

“Wh-what noise do they make?”

“I dunno, Hacchan~! Just do something!”

“O-okay… umm… mmmmmaaaahhh…” Hanako moaned, pawing slowly at Misha with her bandaged hands.

“Eeheehehe~! That’s so cute! Perfect, Hacchan, it’s perfect~!” Misha exclaimed, bouncing and clapping her hands. “Let’s go!”

Misha grabbed Hanako’s hand and dragged her out the door, into the hallway of the girls’ dorm.

“M-Misha, you’re running t-t-too f-fast! Fr-Frankenst-stein is supposed to be… sl-slow!”

“Oh, oh, oh! Whoops~! Okay, okay!”

Misha halted so suddenly that Hanako ran halfway into her. She seemed not to notice, closing her eyes and focusing for a moment as Hanako regained her balance. Turning around slowly, with jerky, robotic motions, Misha spoke.

“Oookay, Hacchaaan… how about… nooow?” she slurred, sounding more like she was drunk than anything else.

“Aha, ahaha! M-Misha! That’s… that’s g-good!”

“Hey! Don’t laugh! It’s supposed to be spooky!” Misha disagreed.

“N-no, Misha, you have to stay in ch-character!” Hanako insisted.

“Just what is a Frankenthingie anyways? I never heard of this monster, Hacchan!”

“I told you, it’s from an English st-story. If we’re going to celebrate H-Halloween, then we can use W-Western costumes, too.”

“Hmmm~. I know, Hacchan, but~! Well! I guess I’m stuck wearing it now!” Misha said, fiddling with the two large “metal” (actually plastic) knobs on the side of her head.

“Don’t mess with th-them, they’ll come off,” Hanako said, pulling her hands back down.

“And why am I all green? I dunno if I like green, Hacchan. I wanted to be pink! My hair needs to be pink again, too, not black! I think you just wanted to put me in something funny looking for you to laugh at!”

“Well, uhh… d-didn’t you? You just wanted to see me do this… mmmmmaaaahhh…”

“Wahahaha~! Maybe, Hacchan. Maybe~!”

Misha deflected the point with a kiss, pushing bandages up to get at Hanako’s lips. It only lasted a moment before a sharp snap interrupted it.

“Eeek!” Hanako squealed, having forgotten for a moment that they were just standing in the hallway where anyone could see. She jumped back from Misha, looking away and wiping her lips as Shizune scolded them.

“Can’t do that when she’s around,” Rin said, having appeared alongside Shizune.

Shizune turned to scowl at Rin in turn as Misha translated this comment.

“Oh. Sorry. What I meant to say was, public displays of affection are not allowed in common areas,” Rin recited. “Did I remember it right?”

This earned a nod of approval from the president.

“Boo~! No fun!” Misha protested. “Isn’t this supposed to be a party? Let us have some fun!”

“Not a party. Halloween,” Rin corrected her. “I looked up this ‘Halloween’ ritual. Apparently, it’s celebrated at the end of October. This is the second week of August. And when you go ‘tricking and treating,’ there’s supposed to be candy. I don’t think we bought any candy.”

Shizune waved her hand flippantly as if to say “details, details.”

“Wait, we skipped out on candy?! Shicchan~!” Misha pouted.

The whole affair had been the council president’s idea and project. Hanako was glad they’d skipped out on candy, since Misha would probably eat herself sick if there was a supply available. Where Shizune first heard of this was anyone’s guess, but once she had the idea in her head, she had insisted that they were going to do it. To “celebrate the progress of the student body” and “explore diverse foreign cultures” and other such excuses. Really she just needed something to work on, was Hanako’s guess.

She had certainly done a lot of work with her costume, a highly detailed witch outfit complete with a long dress, a black cloak, a huge hat, and a pair of flashy half-moon earrings. When she’d first declared her intention to be a witch, Misha had said that she should be “like one of those magical girls from anime shows,” but Shizune’s witch was decidedly less colorful and more Western. Instead of a wand or other fanciful weapon, she carried a simple broom.

Rin’s “costume” stood in stark contrast to the effort displayed by Shizune’s, consisting of a plain shirt with the word “costume” written on it in crude handwriting.

“Rin, is that a… j-joke?” Hanako asked, indicating the word on her shirt.

“No. I don’t think so. No one laughed at it so far, at least…”

“That’s your… c-costume?”

Rin looked down at her chest, as if remembering what she was wearing and why.

“Well I didn’t know what my costume would be so I thought maybe it should be a pirate because I don’t have arms but then Emi was going as a pirate so I decided I can’t use that because she would be mad and I didn’t know what to do then so I saw a cloud that made me think about what is a costume anyways it’s just a word and a concept and it could be anything because it’s all abstract and—”

“Ricchan~! Slow down! No one understands that!” Misha said.

“I th-think we get it, Rin,” Hanako said with a small giggle.

“Ahaha~! There, Ricchan! Someone laughed at your joke now!”

“It’s not a joke…” Rin muttered again.

“So now what do we do?” Hanako asked.

“Trick or treat!” Shizune declared, holding her broom up to emphasize the point.

“Okay, okay~! But which one, Shicchan?”

“It depends on the person you ask. If it’s ‘treat’ then they give you candy. I’m not sure what ‘trick’ means, though,” Rin clarified.

Hanako shook her head. She was a bit more familiar with Halloween from reading so often—she’d come across the concept in several Western novels, then looked into it from there—and found her classmates’ limited understanding of the holiday rather amusing. As if in response to Misha’s question of “which one,” the lights in the hallway suddenly died with a loud crack as their power cut out all at once.

“Eeek!”

“Whoaa!”

Even Shizune yelped at this.

“Is this what trick means?” Rin asked dryly.

The building’s emergency lights slowly came to life, casting the girls in a dim red glow. It was enough illumination to leave them out of total darkness, but there were still deep shadows between each light fixture, leaving pools of black surrounding each point of dark red illumination. The lights were almost the color of blood, Hanako thought. The overall effect was pretty spooky, she had to admit. Shizune had really gone over and above for this.

“Umm… th-this is… part of the ev-event, right? Sh-Shicchan?” Hanako asked.

Shizune looked at her with a grave expression, then slowly shook her head no.

“Ahh… uhh…”

“This is too spooky~! What’s going on?!” Misha asked.

“I guess it’s a trick,” Rin insisted.

“It’s not a tr-trick, Rin!” Hanako said, her voice rising in pitch.

They all looked to Shizune for guidance… only to find that Shizune was gone.

“Hey! Shicchan! Where’d you go?!” Misha called out, as if she might actually hear her and answer.

“O-o-okay, M-Misha…” Hanako said, clutching onto her arm and beginning to shake. “I’m actually sc-scared… th-this isn’t a j-joke, right?”

Misha rubbed her back to reassure her.

“If it is, I’m not in on it, Hacchan. I can’t see Shicchan anywhere… jeez, what do we do now? I know Halloween was supposed to be for scary stuff, but this is too much! I better get some candy out of this somewhere!”

“R-R-Rin? You’re here, r-right?”

“I am,” Rin acknowledged, looking utterly unfazed by any of these developments.

“Ah! Yeah! Ricchan~! What do we do!” Misha asked, latching on to another person for instructions now that Shizune had disappeared.

Rin shrugged.

“Go trick or treating?” she suggested.

“R-Rin!” Hanako said, her voice growing shrill.

“Ah. Sorry. Hmm. I suppose we should try to find other students.”

“Right! Right! Other students! So~!”

Misha smacked her face a couple times, as if to work herself up to action. Just as she puffed her chest up and got ready to set off into the shadows, a sound rang out in the empty hallway, standing out in the silence. It was a long, slow creaking… the sound of door hinges swinging open. All three girls froze in place, turning to face it with bated breath… from the depths of the hall came a pale figure, tall and graceful, seeming to glide forward into the glow of a nearby light. The figure was stunningly beautiful yet not quite human in appearance, its flesh the color of a ghost, its unseeing eyes bright red, its footsteps accompanied by a low, rhythmic tapping…

“Hanako? Misha? Are you there?” Lilly called out, walking slowly toward them.

“Ack! L-Lilly! Your eyes!” Hanako exclaimed.

“Hm? Oh, yes. The colored contacts. They weren’t easy to put in, but, since I don’t need my eyes anyways… I thought I should make use of them. I hope I haven’t applied them improperly?”

“Aha~! They look good, Lilly. You look good! You look spooky!” Misha said.

“Thank you, Misha.”

Lilly’s costume was that of a regal vampire, her skin done over with some type of makeup that made it even paler than usual. The high-collared cape she wore rivaled the voluminous cloak Shizune had chosen, probably not a coincidence, Hanako thought. If things were going normally right now, the two of them would probably be comparing sizes to see whose was bigger. It looked like Lilly had even found some kind of little skull ornament to place over the top of her cane. Another touch she really could have taken more time to appreciate if she weren’t so worried right now.

“Did something happen?” Lilly asked. “I heard a strange noise, then some concern in your voices.”

“Yes, L-Lilly! The lights went o-out!” Hanako explained. “Then Sh-Shicchan… d-d-disappeared!”

“…Disappeared? Oh my… this better not be her idea of a joke…” Lilly commented.

“Shicchan wouldn’t make a joke like this, one that really scares us,” Misha said.

“Likely true…” Lilly admitted. “Nor would she miss the opportunity to flaunt her costume to me… hmm… this is concerning indeed. Is someone else here? I thought I heard a third voice.”

“Me?” Rin offered.

“Ah. Rin. I knew it was a familiar sound. I wish I could be of more help, but I’m not sure what I can do. Do try to remain calm, I suppose,” Lilly said.

“W-wait, Lilly. Can you… l-lead us outside, m-maybe?” Hanako asked. “You know where to g-go, and… you can h-hear if anyone else is around…”

“Hey! That’s a good idea, Hacchan!” Misha exclaimed, hopping over to take Lilly onto her other arm. “Lead on, Lilly-chan!”

“My my, I don’t know if I’m up to this, but… okay. I’ll do my best. Stay close to me, Rin?”

Rin nodded.

“…Rin?” Lilly asked again.

“Oh. Sorry. Yes. I’m here.”

“Okay. Here we go…”

Hanako clutched tight onto Misha’s arm as they moved slowly down the hallways, forming an awkward chain with Lilly at its head, followed by Misha as a conjoining link to Hanako, with Rin bringing up the rear. Every time they moved through the dark patch between two emergency lights, Hanako began to tremble, irrationally fearing that someone or something would emerge from the darkness to attack. Misha clutched her forearm tightly and gave her a reassuring smile as they approached the door into the lobby.

“It’s okay, Hacchan. We’re the monsters tonight, remember? You’re not Hacchan. You’re a spooky mummy! Just think about that~!”

“Mmmm… okay Misha, I’ll tr-try…”

The door into the lobby opened with another slow, echoing creak as Lilly pushed it open.

“Okay… here we are,” she said, stepping gingerly into the room. “How does it look in here?… Umm? Excuse me?”

Lilly squeezed Misha’s arm for a response. If she could see her companions, she would’ve seen Misha and Hanako frozen in terror, staring past her shoulders at two specific things in the lobby. Two specific people, rather. Naomi and Natsume were laid out on the room’s two couches in a grisly state: Naomi’s hands were still clutched around her neck, from which spilled a shade of red deeper than the backup lighting, while the handle of a large blade protruded from Natsume’s chest. Her cane sat on the floor beside her in what appeared to be a pool of her blood.

“Err… R-Rin… don’t look…” Misha breathed out carefully.

“Eeeeeeee!” Hanako screamed, turning and rushing back down the hallway.

She heard Misha and Lilly calling after her, yelling her name, but she couldn’t respond. She couldn’t think right now. Her body had gone into full-on panic, fight or flight, and there was nothing for her to fight, so flight it was. Not that she would fight even if she could see the threat in front of her. Hanako didn’t know where she was going or what she was doing, she just had to be away from… those bodies in the lobby. This couldn’t be happening, she told herself. It couldn’t be real.

Yet the panic deep in her gut told her that it was.

Nearly blind with fear, she stumbled and loped her way through the empty halls, trying not to trip over the loose bandages whirling around her feet. She had no idea where she was anymore. The building seemed to go on forever, like a maze… what if there was—

Thonk.

Hanako’s journey came to an abrupt, painful end as she rounded a corner and slammed into another person head-on. She shrieked again and flailed with her arms, feeling them smack and slap against somebody. A strong hand took one wrist in an iron grip, while a knee came down on her other shoulder, pinning her to the floor and stopping her from fighting back. Hanako squeezed her eyes shut as tight as she could, trying to be brave in her last few moments of life…

“Hana! Hana, you dummy, quit! The hell are you doing!”

When no blade buried itself between her ribs, she slowly forced her eyelids apart, seeing a large pair of tanned breasts dangling over her face, barely contained by a shirt that looked several sizes too small for the person wearing it. Hanako followed the cleavage sheepishly up to the face of the person it belonged to, already knowing who it was.

“M-M-Miki…” she breathed out, feeling tears of joy welling up in her eyes.

“Enjoying the view, gaylord?” Miki asked, giving her sizeable boobs a slight shake.

“A-ahh!! N-no, I wasn’t!”

“C’mon, I’m just teasing. What the hell’s gotten into you? You looked like some kinda serial killer was after you.”

“M-M-Miki! Th-there… I think there is! I-in, in the… the l-l-lobby…”

“What? What’s in the lobby?” Emi asked, sitting up alongside Hanako while rubbing her head. “Can’t be more dangerous than you, shooting down the hall in the dark like that. Guess now I know what it feels like…”

“Heh, yeah, you really bowled her over,” Miki said. “Serves her right.”

Emi stuck her tongue out at Miki while the larger girl helped both of them to their feet. The two runners were both done up as pirates: Miki wore a bandana in her hair and a set of loose, worn-looking trousers, with a rubber parrot attached to her shoulder. The most notable part of her costume was the hook attached to her stump. Emi wore a pinstriped shirt with a colorful coat and very short shorts, a huge captain’s hat resting on her head. It would have looked ridiculous if Hanako was in any mindset to be amused. Emi also seemed to have an actual wooden peg-leg attached to one knee in lieu of a prosthetic… Hanako hoped she could still move quickly with that on.

“Seriously, what’s going on?” Emi asked.

“I d-don’t know, I just think, something h-horrible is happening…” Hanako said. “It’s not… s-s-safe…”

“Not… safe?” Miki asked. “Did someone get hurt or something?”

Hanako nodded, gulping back the anxiety in her throat.

“Shit. We kinda just thought the lights going out was part of the party. We were wandering around looking for you guys when we heard a scream,” Miki explained. “Where’s the others?”

“I don’t kn-know… I hope they’re okay…” Hanako said.

“Now I wish we had gotten real swords to go with these…” Emi said, looking down at her costume.

“Don’t worry. They come after us, I’ll stick ‘em good!” Miki said, holding out her hook.

“Miki, that thing’s plastic.”

“They don’t know that! At least I don’t have a freakin’ wooden leg. Some killer comes up on you, you’re not goin’ anywhere.”

Emi rolled her eyes.

“I told you I was going as a pirate! Why did you have to steal my idea?!”

“Steal it? Who says you didn’t steal it from me?”

“E-E-Emi! M-Miki! Please!” Hanako said.

“Sorry, sorry… uhh…”

Miki looked up and down the hallway, its length still barren. Or rather, barren at first glance, but upon looking closer…

“Hey… do you guys, umm… see that?”

Miki pointed with her hook down to one end of the hallway, where a dark shape seemed to crouch close against the wall. It was in a black patch outside the red rings of light, but it stood out just enough to be visible. It shifted its head, two huge, round eyes glinting in the dark like a cat’s eyes, then darted back around a corner.

“Holy—holy shit!” Emi said, jumping onto Hanako and hugging her instinctively.

“What the fuck was that?” Miki asked, her jovial voice growing serious in a heartbeat.

“It was… b-b-big…” Hanako said. “T-tall, Miki… like y-you…”

“I know, I know! Shit, shit!”

Hanako could feel Emi shaking a bit, just like she was. She clutched Emi in return, slightly comforted to at least have other people with her to face this threat. Now she was starting to feel slightly ashamed of running away from Misha and her other friends, just leaving them behind like that. What if they needed help? Although Hanako didn’t honestly know what she could do to help at this point… if anything, she felt like she would just get in someone’s way…

“Okay, think, think… let’s try to find the other gals, yeah?” Emi said nervously. “Back the way you came, Hanako? We’ll stay together… if we have to, we’ll fight together… okay?”

“O-Okay…” Hanako agreed, trying to steel herself.

“Worst comes to worst, I’ll hold it off and you guys make a break for it,” Miki said, stepping in front of them to take the lead.

“Miki, no!” Emi said. “We’re staying together!”

“Not if someone attacks us. I’m bigger and stronger than you two. I don’t know if I can throw down with a grown man, but I’ve got a better chance. Just run and try to get help. Now let’s saddle up.”

Miki began to move cautiously back down the hallway, holding her hook out in front of her as if it would do her any good. Hanako supposed it did actually look pretty dangerous if you didn’t know any better. Emi clunked along at her side, holding on to her pretty heavily for support. It seemed like the peg leg made it tough to her move after all. Hanako looked down at it.

“Emi, that l-leg… you can’t r-run, can you?”

“Ha, no, I can’t. Didn’t think the damn thing would be this much of a pain. I thought it would be funny, y’know? That’s just my luck, putting this on for the one night when I might need to literally run for my life.”

“Don’t say st-stuff like that… we’ll be okay…”

Hanako felt like she was trying to convince herself more than Emi. As they came up on an intersection, the sound of footsteps could be heard shuffling nearby.

“Hey! Who’s there! Lilly? Misha?” Miki called out.

“Hahahaha!” came the reply, a loud voice booming through the building. It seemed to bounce off the walls and come in from all directions; everything else was so quiet, it made the voice feel deafening in Hanako’s head. It was laughing hysterically, but it wasn’t Misha. It definitely wasn’t Misha.

“They can’t help you now, woman. You’ll join them soon enough!”

“Who are you? Who the hell are you?!” Miki demanded angrily, stepping out into the intersection and brandishing her fist around.

“Miki! Be careful!” Emi called out.

“I am your death! Your DEATH!” the voice called out. “Soon my blade will drink once more! Ahahahaha!”

“Fuck you, you fucking sicko! I’ll mess you up—aghh!”

A figure flew out of the darkness at Miki, tackling her from the side. The force of the hit took them out of the circle of light she’d been standing in, their two bodies disappearing into a patch of shadow. Hanako and Emi screamed as maniacal laughter sounded all around them. Above the chaos, they could just barely make out Miki’s voice, yelling desperately at them.

“Run! Run, fucking dammit, run!”

“Ahhhh!!”

“Eeeeeeek!”

Emi and Hanako screamed together as they retreated, moving as quickly as Emi’s peg-leg would allow. Hanako felt like they were trying to run a three-legged race, their movements made all the more difficult by the substantial height difference between them. Behind them, Miki’s own screams mixed in with the laughter. Hanako tried to sprint forward at hearing that, her desperate effort messing up her rhythm with Emi. The both of them toppled forward and hit the floor in a heap of limbs.

“Aghh! Shitfuck!” Emi yelled.

“Oh god oh god oh god no…” Hanako muttered to herself.

The accessories on their costumes, their panic, the darkness, all of it contributed to make getting up feel like a herculean task. By the time it was finally accomplished, the crazy laughter had stopped. Things had gone deadly quiet once more. Hanako leaned down to pick Emi up, only for her to feel like dead weight when Hanako tried to pull her up.

“Emi… your l-leg…”

The peg leg sat on the floor beside Emi, having come detached in their fall.

“Goddammit!” Emi cursed.

She grabbed the thing and started fiddling with it, trying to get it back on. As she did so, Hanako noticed something tall approaching in the darkness behind her: A familiar outline with huge glinting eyes. It drew close and came to a stop just outside the little ring of red light they occupied.

“E-E-Emi…” Hanako stuttered.

Without even turning around, Emi could tell what was behind her. She could tell from the look on Hanako’s face.

“Hanako… run, just… just fucking run…” Emi breathed.

Every molecule in Hanako’s body wanted to do that, but for some reason, she couldn’t. No… she wouldn’t. The figure stepped slowly, deliberately, forward into the light… it was a person after all, someone dressed head to toe in pitch black body wrappings, including a mask that covered their whole face but for the eyes, which were in turn covered by some kind of reflective goggles. If she didn’t know any better, Hanako would’ve thought they were a trick-or-treater dressed up as a ninja. This impression was fueled by the glinting katana they held out before them.

The figure seemed to look Hanako right in the eyes as it turned the blade down at Emi, then raised it up, preparing to claim another victim.

“H-hey!” Hanako yelled out at it. “…St-stop! I won’t—I won’t l-let you!”

The blade turned again, now pointing at Hanako. Emi looked between the two of them, hardly daring to breathe.

“What… what are you?” the figure asked, sounding cautious now, its manic confidence suddenly gone. “Where did you come from? Did they raise you?!”

Hanako looked down at herself, her bandages.

“I’m a… I’m a m-mummy!” she declared, feeling utterly ridiculous, feeling like she was going insane. What did it matter at this point? “I’m a monster!” she yelled, her voice growing strong as she accepted the absurdity of the situation. “I’ll… I’ll f-f-f-fuck you up!” Hanako shrieked, the madness she felt in her mind now showing in her voice.

The figure backed up, now halfway out of the light. Its face was completely hidden, but Hanako could swear she saw fear in its movements. How was any of this even happening? It didn’t matter. She didn’t care anymore. Hanako remembered what Misha had said. She was the monster tonight.

“Mmmmmaaaahhh!” Hanako halfway screamed, halfway moaned at the person, lunging forward with her hands raised in her “mummy pose.”

…The figure let out a surprisingly high pitched yell and beat a hasty retreat. Hanako could hear him muttering to himself about “being too late” and “couldn’t stop the ritual.” He got halfway back down the hall before the lights suddenly flicked back on, causing him to stop dead in his tracks. Emi and Hanako stared at his back a short distance away. Facing him from the other end of the hall was Shizune, one hand on the light switch and the other on her broom, which she pointed accusingly at the figure. The president’s mouth snarled angrily, looking like she was holding back a furious roar.

“Curses! Foiled again! You she-devils might have raised a new servant this time, but I’ll get you next year! Next year, you’re all mine, you hear me?!” the black-clad figure called out, sounding crazier than ever. He waved his katana around wildly as he turned in the middle of the hallway, trying to face all the different girls that were closing in on him. Emi had managed to get her leg back on and the situation no longer seemed like one that she needed to run from.

In the full light, the “ninja” garb looked remarkably shabby and poorly-constructed. It seemed to literally consist of patches of black fabric duct-taped together all over the person’s body. The getup looked silly now that she could see it properly. The “goggles” covering the person’s face were just a pair of glasses over their mask, and now she could also see that his sword was a prop, made of the same fake material as Miki’s hook. It was slowly dawning on her that they may have never been in any true danger. But then, how… ?

“You harpies think you have me surrounded, huh? You think you’ve won? Ha! Hardly! This is just one battle. I’ll win the war, feminist scum! You’ll see! You’ll all see! You’ll never take me alive!”

The man—boy?—turned to a nearby window and flung it open, then dove through. Hanako trotted up to the window, looking through it to see him running across the school grounds toward who knew where, weird little kicks and poor attempts at spin-flip-things thrown into his movements. He reminded Hanako of a child pretending to be a ninja, doing that. Where he went now or who he was, she didn’t really care. She was just glad that this nightmare was over, that everything was okay… or at least, not as awful as she thought it was. Miki suddenly appeared alongside her, looking at the retreating figure while rubbing one of breasts.

“Fuck, he got away! That motherfucker! If I ever find out who that was, I’m gonna put his ass in the hospital!”

“M-Miki! Ahh!! Wh-what are you doing!” Hanako yelped, jumping away at her suspect behavior.

“Oh, shit, sorry!” she said, reluctantly pulling a hand off her bosom. “Dude put frickin’ itching powder down my shirt! Itching powder! Can you believe that?! I mean, I think that’s what it was. He yelled some shit about ‘his secret weapon’ and poured it all over me! Luckily these gals were big enough to take the hit, but, sheesh, it itches like a bitch!” Miki explained, pulling her shirt down to show Hanako how they were already turning an angry shade of red, looking like they had started to develop a nasty rash.

“What in the…” Emi started, walking up to them. “…what just happened?”

“Some kind of nutjob, I guess,” Miki said, a hand absently wandering back to her chest. “If this was someone’s idea of a prank… well, like I said, they better fucking hope I never find them.”

Shizune joined in as well, using her voice since Misha had yet to re-appear.

“Flipped the breaker back on,” she said. “Someone hit it. Probably him.”

“Is that… wh-where you went?” Hanako asked her.

“Yes, didn’t Misha tell you? Told her I was going to check breaker, would be right back. Came back and you were all gone somewhere else. Where’d you go?”

“We didn’t kn-know what happened to you! You were just g-gone!” Hanako said.

“…Misha must not have seen my signs. Too dark. Sorry…” Shizune said, signing the word for “sorry” as well to emphasize the point.

“I’m just glad we’re all alive,” Emi said. “I didn’t know what was happening! I thought some kind of actual monster or something was after us! I mean, I hope we’re all alive! Hanako said someone got hurt!”

“Y-y-yes! In the l-lobby, there were…”

“What was in the lobby, Hacchan~?”

Misha’s voice cut in as she walked up to them from the direction Hanako had come, an entourage of girls following in her wake: Lilly, Rin, Naomi, and Natsume.

“N-N-Naomi! N-Natsume! You’re… al-alive!” Hanako called out.

“Uhh. Why wouldn’t we be? I feel like we missed out on something,” Naomi said.

“Yeah, what’s going on? Sounded like people were running around with their heads cut off,” Natsume added.

“Can someone make noise if their head’s cut off?” Rin wondered aloud.

“N-Natsume, your ch-chest!” Hanako said, indicating the knife still protruding from it, the blood still soaking her shirt.

“Oh, this?” Natsume said, moving her torso back and forth to show how the rubber “knife” flopped around. “It’s our costume! We thought we’d scare you guys. It was supposed to be funny, but I guess we made it a bit too real, huh?”

“I do imagine you’ll have to mop up that fake blood,” Lilly remarked. “But I must admit, it was highly effective, yes. I was frightened out of my mind for a moment, before you started moving.”

“We thought you guys cut out the lights, like, to make the atmosphere spooky, or something,” Naomi commented. “We didn’t know that wasn’t supposed to happen. I guess it made our little joke not so funny after all.”

“Yeah, they really got us good! Sorry they scared you so much, Hacchan. You ran away before you could see they weren’t really dead!” Misha said.

Hanako sighed in relief, feeling the last vestiges of panic recede from her mind. She started to giggle, the sound escalating into a hysterical laugh that sounded not too distant from Misha’s.

“I c-can’t… I can’t b-believe it…” she said, as much to herself as anyone else.

“Believe what, Hacchan?” Misha asked innocently.

“N-nothing… I’ll t-tell you in a bit… let’s go r-rest, okay?” Hanako said, taking Misha’s hand and leaning her head onto Misha’s shoulder.

“Rest? Rest?! No way~! The party’s just getting started, Hacchan! We haven’t even tricked or treated yet!” Misha protested.

“I think we got tricked pretty badly,” Rin observed.

“Ha, yeah. You guys can do whatever you want, I think I’m gonna get this stupid wooden thing off and lay down a bit,” Emi said. “This was a bit more than I signed up for.”

Murmurs of agreement went around the group. Shizune looked displeased, but understanding.

“I need to go report the incident. If anyone needs anything, Lilly or Misha can help you,” Shizune said. “I’m sorry our event got ruined, but I’d still like to thank everyone for participating. If nothing else, we showed our school’s resolve in the face of adversity. You should all be proud of yourselves and hold your head high.”

“Well, I don’t feel proud. I feel pissed off. And kinda violated,” Miki said, still scratching thoroughly under one breast.

“Wahaha~! Miki-chan, quit feeling yourself like that! Go get Succhan to help you!”

Miki scowled at her and brandished the hook.

“Stop engaging in lewd behavior. Get a hot shower,” Shizune advised Miki, with a disapproving eye towards her self-fondling. Apparently satisfied with her response to everything, the president turned to walk away and the girls began to disperse.

“Whew… M-Misha, I’m sorry I just wanna turn in, but… I need someone to help me take these off. Would you?” Hanako asked, holding up her arms to indicate her bandages.

“Oh, would I! Would I, Hacchan~! Ahaha~! Come on, come on! Let’s get you unwrapped! Wahaha~!”

Hanako smiled happily as her girlfriend took her hand, leading her off once more. Even though it had turned out this way, the fact remained that for those few fleeting moments, she had faced that person down and stood up to them… when she had legitimately thought that she was facing a killer, that she was going to die. And no matter how scared she had been, she hadn’t backed down. It felt good to know that about herself. Even if it hadn’t been a real showdown with death after all… Hanako had faced that fate once before, and it took everything from her. Everything but her own life, which it very nearly took as well.

It felt good to know that she had the strength in her to face it again, when it came.

Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:54 pm

Penultimate chapter. Number 50 will be the end--epilogue may or may not follow, depending on whether or not I feel like it. A major thanks to anyone still reading! The story is pretty much over at this point and I'm just feeling motivated to put a nice little bow on it.

---

Chapter 49

“Okay, Hacchan~! Come on, come on, come on! Come look!” Misha said, waving Hanako eagerly towards the bathroom door and the mirror waiting inside.

“Uhh…”

Hanako held her hands near her chin, looking nervously down at herself.

“I’m not s-sure Misha… is it r-really… ?”

“Don’t be so shaky, Hacchan~. It looks great on you! Great~!”

“But I’ve n-never… I’ve never worn a y-yukata before…”

“That’s not a—wait. Really, Hacchan~?”

“No… I never really, well…”

“Hacchan, does that mean you’ve never… ?”

Hanako’s eyes turned up to look at Misha as she nodded sheepishly.

“I never actually went to… T-Tanabata… too many people…”

“Awww~! Well that’s just more reason you have to come and look and see yourself. You’re gonna look really great for your first time. Better than I did~!”

“Ahh, M-Misha…”

Misha grabbed Hanako’s hand and pulled her into the bathroom, Hanako stumbling along after her. She shut her eyes tight and looked away at first, with Misha waiting patiently at her side, until she felt ready to face herself. Hanako slowly opened her eyes to find that she didn’t flinch away from what she saw. What Hanako saw looking back at her was a young girl in a deep purple yukata, a blue ribbon tied tightly around her slim waist, one visible eye framed by shadowy mascara and a white flower pinned in her hair across from it.

The scars were there, if she looked for them, but somehow they didn’t seem to matter. Hanako found herself smiling at the girl in the mirror—at both of them, in fact. Misha was done up in a similar manner, her yukata pink and her bow red. Her makeup favored blush on her cheeks without as much work on the eyes, giving her a bright appearance in contrast to Hanako’s darker style. Somewhere in the back of her head, she thought she remembered Lilly mentioning that red didn’t go with pink. Maybe purple didn’t go with blue either. Hanako didn’t really care whether she matched, she decided.

“See, Hacchan? You look great~!” Misha assured her, rubbing her shoulder in reassurance.

“Mmm hmm,” Hanako nodded. “We both do!”

“Ah! Ahaha~! I don’t think I really look as cute as you, but thanks. I guess some of your cute has to rub off on me! Wahaha~!”

“Here… have some m-more…” Hanako offered, turning to kiss Misha. “There, now I gave you s-some!”

“Ohh! Thanks, Hacchan, thanks~! I think I need even more. I’m feeling hungry all of a sudden!”

“N-naughty… wait until later…”

“Wahaha~! Yeah, we should get going, huh?”

The two of them locked arms and walked out into the hall together, where Shizune and Lilly were already waiting for them, their arms joined in similar fashion. This was more for Lilly’s benefit than as a gesture of romantic affection, of course, but Hanako supposed it still did show some familial affection between the two. She couldn’t remember if she had ever seen Lilly allowing Shizune to lead her in such a manner before. Shizune gave them a smile and a nod while Lilly greeted them verbally.

“Hello, Misha, Hanako,” she said.

“Hi Lilly, hi Shicchan, hi hi~!” Misha said.

“Hello,” Hanako added.

“You look good,” Shizune commented, the compliment aimed at Hanako and Misha as a pair.

“Thanks, Shicchan! You too~! And Lilly-chan of course!”

“Yes, everyone looks—ahh…”

Hanako stopped abruptly on the word “looks,” with a guilty glance towards Lilly. Sensing the reason for her awkwardness, Lilly gave her a reassuring smile.

“It’s alright, Hanako. I may not be able to see what everyone’s wearing, but”—here she paused to sniff the air—“you do, err… smell quite nice. Is it… strange, if I say that?”

“Wahaha~!”

“Misha did pick out a special p-perfume…” Hanako acknowledged.

“Strawberry!” Shizune said, sticking a finger in the air like she was rushing to give the correct answer to a question in class.

“Yep, yep~! Strawberries are always best!” Misha explained. “Let’s go!”

“You do look nice, L-Lilly,” Hanako said as they began to walk down the hall. Lilly’s yukata was a plain white tied in a golden bow, unremarkable in design, but the person wearing it made up for that in the way it clung to her figure. Hanako wondered if she’d wanted something simple because she couldn’t see it anyways. Regardless of the reason, it suited her, giving her a sort of angelic appearance with her matching blonde hair, tall stature, and graceful demeanor.

“What about me?” Shizune asked Hanako, giving her a mock glare of accusation.

“Ahh! Of c-course you look good too, Sh-Shicchan!” Hanako said, nodding at her red yukata with its purple bow, nearly an inversion of Misha’s outfit. “It has a n-nice… floral p-pattern!” she stammered out.

“Shicchan! Leave poor Hacchan alone!” Misha reprimanded her.

“Hmph. I agree. We shouldn’t chastise Hanako for simply being drawn first to the true beauty in the room,” Lilly said, turning her head up haughtily.

“True beauty? Well! We’ll see who gets more eyes out there, won’t we!” Shizune challenged her.

Lilly’s head tilted ever so slightly towards Shizune.

“I suppose we shall,” she agreed, maintaining the fake snooty tone in her voice.

Hanako couldn’t quite tell which of them was upset, or if either one of them were… but their arms remained locked snugly together, their strides still in step. Perhaps they really had learned to tease each other without fighting seriously.

“That’s a dumb contest. Hacchan will get all the eyes! Wahaha~!” Misha chimed in.

“M-Misha! Don’t start!” Hanako warned her.

Misha bounded forward with her and burst out of the hallway, ignoring her admonishments. The rest of their crowd was assembled in the lobby. Hanako swept her eyes over all of them: Emi, Rin, Miki, Suzu, Naomi, Natsume… even Takashi was here. It was only then that Hanako realized they had all quit chattering to look at Misha and her. Her mind instinctively told her to squeal in embarrassment and hide behind Misha, but instead she just found herself grinning stupidly at all of them. Just grinning at her friends, she thought, like anyone else.

“Hey guys!” Emi said, bouncing over to greet them. “I like your flower, Hanako. Very pretty!”

“Thanks, Emi. I’ve never seen your hair down before,” Hanako replied.

“Aha, yep!” Emi said, swinging her head to flip it around side to side. “It’s fun to have it out for once!”

“I didn’t know it was so long, Emi-chan. I bet I could make a couple drills outta it~!” Misha said.

“Whoa there, let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” Emi said.

“I dunno, you’d look pretty good with little drills instead of those pigtails, don’t’cha think?” Miki said, approaching next to Emi. “Make yourself into a little mini-Misha? You’ve definitely got the eating part down already, just gotta practice your belly laughs,” she continued, grinding her stump into Emi’s head to give her a noogie.

“Now wait a minute! I only eat a lot because I burn so many calories. And I eat healthy,” Emi retorted. “No parfaits or ice cream or anything like that!”

“No parfaits?!” Misha blurted out, like this was a high crime. “What’s wrong with parfaits…”

“Cut it out,” came another voice, this one belonging to Miki’s girlfriend. “Lay off her for one night, yeah?” Suzu said, her tone very much that of the annoyed adult watching over a small child.

“Maaaan. Fine, but only if you make it worth my while,” Miki conceded, giving Suzu a pat on her rear. The smaller girl rolled her eyes at this, but she was smiling.

“We’ll see,” she said, taking Miki’s stump and beginning to lead her towards the door. “Maybe if you’ll do a better job keeping me awake this time.”

“Sssss!” Miki hissed, leaning down and clutching at her stomach like she’d been stabbed. “Ouch, dude!”

“Yikes!” Emi added, stifling her laughter. Misha was not so good at containing it.

“Pwahahahaha~!” she burst out.

Hanako just shook her head. She still hadn’t interacted much with Suzu, but even in what little that she had, she’d already seen where Miki learned her insults from. Misha lead her on behind the two of them, joining in the procession of couples. Lilly handed Shizune off to Takashi while Rin stepped in to take her place, offering one loose sleeve for Lilly to hold onto. Naomi and Natsume had their arms linked as well. It could be to help support Natsume’s movements, Hanako thought, but it also just seemed pretty appropriate given that everyone else had a partner as well, whether romantic or platonic.

Well, almost everyone else. Hanako felt a sudden tugging on one sleeve, looking down to see Emi staring up at her with puppy-dog eyes out in full force.

“Err… everyone else has an arm buddy…” Emi pointed out, her cheeks flushing a bit.

“Yeah, I guess so,” Hanako agreed, before holding her free arm out for Emi to take. “Don’t worry, Emi. I can handle two arm buddies.”

“Careful now Emi-chan~! I’m only putting Hacchan on loan for you, ‘cause you’re so lonely tonight. Don’t try anything funny, honey~!” Misha warned.

Hanako cracked up at her random rhyme while Emi looked across her chest to pout at Misha.

“Don’t get your drills in a bunch over there. Heck, I’ll hang onto your arm instead, if it’ll make you feel better,” Emi offered.

“Wahaha~! Maybe we’ll switch later! But~!” Misha said, pausing to consider her wording as they stepped outside and began walking across the grounds together. “I hope it’s not too weird for me to ask, but, but~! You are by yourself, huh? You never could steal Micchan away from Succhan?”

“Hey, don’t rub it in!” Emi said. “Yeah, things were a bit, well… ran a bit dry, this year,” she said. “I don’t know if I could handle Miki anyways…” she muttered. Hanako thought she caught Emi giving Miki’s rear a thorough glance at that comment, though it was hard to be sure out of the corner of her eye. “But yeah. Not my best year, relationship-wise. It’s… I’m not thrilled about it, sure, but it is what it is, you know? Things come and go. I try to focus on all the stuff I do have.”

“I know what you mean,” Hanako agreed. “It’s easy to think too much about what you’re missing in life, but we have a lot we are lucky for, too. Sometimes… I just think about everyone that is here, with me, with us. We have a whole school full of people that love us and take care of us. Even if we’re… if we’re d-different, we still have each other,” Hanako explained.

Emi looked at her with contemplation and a bit of awe. Hanako had even surprised herself, saying something like that and really putting it all into words the way she had it in her head. She felt Misha squeeze her forearm through the sleeves of their yukata, sensing instinctively that it was a gesture of approval at her words. It was a perfect moment, she thought, to be here with these people and to have this connection.

“Don’t worry, Emi. You still get to see someone naked every day,” Rin said, joining in to ruin the moment. Everyone but Emi burst out laughing.

“Rin! That’s not—that’s not what I meant!” Emi pouted at her.

“I know,” Rin agreed. “But we are still here for each other. Even if we don’t have sex. That’s what I like to think, at least.”

Rin raised the free sleeve of her yukata, its fabric dangling out towards Emi.

“You can be my arm buddy if you want. Or sleeve buddy, I guess,” Rin said.

“Awww. Thanks Rin,” Emi said. “Nothing personal, Hanako. It’s just, how could I refuse that?” she said, switching over to hold onto Rin’s sleeve instead.

“You two do have a rather special relationship, don’t you?” Lilly said from Rin’s other side, giving Emi a grin of false innocence.

Rin nodded in agreement.

“Very special. I let Emi do things to me that I won’t let anyone else do,” she said.

“R-Rin! Quit it!” Emi protested.

Rin gave her a grin as well, more sincere than Lilly’s with a hint of smug still showing through.

“Really though Emi. I know we’re joking, but what Hanako said is true. You’re a pretty good friend for me. Thanks for that. I don’t know if I’ve ever actually said that before, so I thought I should say it while I’m thinking about it.”

“Awww~! Ricchan, that’s so sweet!” Misha said.

“Thanks, Rin. That… that means a lot to me. You’re a good friend, too,” Emi said, looking away and sniffing. Rin rattled her empty sleeve down at Emi.

“No crying. We’re supposed to be having fun. It’s a festival,” Rin said.

“…Right. Yeah, it is, isn’t it? I know we’re gonna have fun,” Emi said. “With you guys… definitely.”

“As Student Council vice president, I think Shizune would want me to remind everyone that they are obligated to have fun. I believe that’s how this works, at least according to Misha,” Lilly said.

“W-wait… vice pr-president?” Hanako asked, looking between she and Misha.

Misha shrugged.

“We’re kinda like both vice president? I dunno Hacchan. Lilly does more work than me now, really. We’re sorta like a team!”

“You h-have been hanging out with us more…” Hanako said, recalling the extra efforts Misha was putting into her latest cooking column. This one was on the fabled pink drill parfait, a legendary treat which Misha was now determined to create for herself, and so she’d been spending considerably more time with the Newspaper Club than the Student Council. “I hope everything is alright, though?” Hanako asked.

“Of course, Hacchan. Of course~!”

“Shizune doesn’t mind how we delegate so long as our duties are fulfilled,” Lilly said. “I’m glad to be of help, and I think Misha has been of help to me, teaching me… a new mindset, let’s say, towards being vice president.”

“That’s right~! I told Lilly, the number one rule of being vice president…”

“…is that the president is always, always right,” Lilly finished for her with a nod. “Generally good advice, it turns out.”

Hanako giggled.

“Yeah, she usually is, isn’t she?”

Almost as if she’d heard them, Shizune turned back to face everyone and opened her arms wide. They’d arrived at the front gate of the school and Shizune had placed herself directly underneath it.

“This is our last Tanabata together at Yamaku. Past this point, everyone is required to have fun!” she announced, waving her arms to indicate the gate. Takashi stood slightly to the side, clapping for her after she was done, and then they all kept moving. Hanako moved her hand down to lock its fingers into Misha’s as they stepped through the gate together.

***

The group split up shortly after reaching town, with an agreement to meet up again in an hour or so at the Shanghai. Misha imagined that Shizune wanted to have some time with just Takashi, as they’d wandered off alone. Miki and Suzu had done the same… they were much more suspicious, Misha thought. There was no telling what kind of trouble they wanted to go and get into, away from the Student Council’s prying eyes. Misha just hoped she didn’t see any of it, she didn’t want to have to come down on them, now that she was back to being on the council and everything.

They didn’t necessarily have to go into town, of course. There was plenty to do on the school grounds themselves. Many clubs set up stands or activities of some kind, and there were plenty of decorations, including rows of bamboo for tanzaku papers. When Shizune had organized this outing, though, she’d stated that they clearly had to start in town and work their way back to the campus. That way, they’d already be close to the dorms when they were done, or something along those lines.

Misha hadn’t truthfully paid too much attention to the details. Her first goal for the night, to have fun with everyone, seemed pretty guaranteed at this point. Her second goal was to get a parfait or similar treat. Her third goal would have to wait until she and Hanako were back in her room again, but she liked her odds on achieving that one, too. Now they were in the middle of town, amidst the various attractions, stands and games set up, so Misha had her eyes peeled for sweets of any sort.

“Oh, hey! There’s one of those little fish-catching games! C’mon, c’mon, I wanna try!” Emi said, sounding like an eager little kid. No one else seemed to really match her enthusiasm at the idea, so she turned to Misha, who was normally the most excitable of the lot. “Misha? You don’t want a Mr. Fish-chan to take care of?”

“Wahaha~! Not really, Emi, not really. I’ve already got someone I take care of!” Misha said, squeezing Hanako around the waist.

“Aww…” Emi whined. For a moment Misha worried she was going to use the puppy eyes, a weapon she didn’t know if she was capable of deflecting, but instead Emi turned her attention over to her sleeve-buddy. “What about you, Rin? You want a fish, right? Right?”

“Hmm.”

Rin took a moment to think about it.

“Is a jellyfish a fish?” she asked.

“Uhh…” Emi started, not knowing how to respond to that.

“I suppose so,” Lilly filled in for her. “Jellyfish does have the word ‘fish’ in it.”

“Okay then. I think I’d like a fish, if it were a jellyfish. I don’t really understand jellyfish. But I think they would be nice to look at,” Rin explained.

“Well, I don’t think they have jellyfish, Rin. Just… little regular fishes,” Emi said.

“You didn’t specify that part. I don’t think I really need one of those.”

“Yeah, well. I do, so! We’re gonna get one! Come on!”

Emi took off towards the game, dragging Rin along with her, who in turn pulled Lilly up the rear.

“Ah! Lilly, be c-careful!” Hanako called out, not wanting her to trip or anything.

“I’m okay! I think!” Lilly responded, doing a fairly good job of keeping up with the other two girls. “Maybe I’ll get a little fish-chan, too!”

Misha laughed as she watched them go, leaving she and Hanako alone with Naomi and Natsume, who had also watched the whole exchange with a fair degree of amusement.

“It really doesn’t seem like the best game for Emi to take them off to. Rin and Lilly would have problems catching the fish, wouldn’t they? With their, you know? Conditions?” Naomi asked.

“They’ll be fine,” Natsume said. “I think they’re okay just going along for the ride.”

“Yep~! Ricchan won’t mind! Do you guys know that she once laid out in a field staring at clouds allll~ day long?” Misha said. “From sun up to sun down! Not moving at all!”

“She’s kind of like a c-cat, isn’t she?” Hanako observed. “She’s happy just staying in one place and watching everybody. Or just sleeping.”

“She’s so chilled out. I’m kind of jealous of that…” Naomi said.

“Wait, how would you know Rin once laid out in a field all day?” Natsume asked. “Were you out there with her or something?”

“Ummm, well! You see~! Errr~!” Misha fumbled around.

“She t-told us, of c-course!” Hanako said.

Technically this was true.

“Huh. Well, it does sound like something she would do. She’s a tough nut to crack, that one,” Natsume continued.

“Maybe she can be our next portrait profile thing-a-ma-bob!” Naomi said, lighting up with the idea. “Tezuka Rin, Yamaku’s enigmatic prodigy! Brilliant as she is, no one can figure out what motivates her. Not even herself!”

“Wahaha~! That sounds about right, Naocchan!”

“I thought we were still working on Sh-Shicchan’s profile…” Hanako said.

“Well. We are,” Naomi said with a frown. “She’s forcing us to run the whole thing by her before we can publish it, and she keeps asking for so many revisions… I know she wants to get it just right, ‘cause it’s her life on the page and everything, but it is getting to my nerves a bit.”

“Don’t know how you deal with that. Me, I’d just tell her to write the article herself, if she’s gonna be that persnickety about it,” Natsume said.

“Maybe I can talk to her,” Hanako offered. “I th-think she’ll understand, if I bring it up.”

“Thanks, Hana. That’d be pretty cool of you,” Naomi said. “I dunno, I know I should just talk to her about it myself, but… Shizune always gets me so flustered… I kinda just end up shutting my mouth and nodding along to whatever she says.”

“Aha~! I think I get it, Naocchan. Shicchan likes to always be right, but! It’s definitely still good to talk to her about stuff. She’ll try and find a way that you can both be right, if you tell her what you’re worried about!” Misha said.

“Yeah… it might be hard, but I think it’s good to talk to people directly, if you c-can,” Hanako said. “You don’t want to hide from st-stuff.”

Misha felt a look of silent understanding pass between them as they both espoused that familiar lesson.

“Sounds like good advice,” Natsume agreed.

“Hey M-Misha…” Hanako started.

Misha felt Hanako brace herself slightly, as if preparing for some kind of big reaction out of Misha, before pointing to a certain stall a little ways off.

“I think that one has… sn-snow cones…”

“Oh? Oh. Oh! Ohh~! Yay, yay~! Wahaha~!”

“Ahh! Sl-slow down!”

Misha just laughed louder as she dragged Hanako along behind her, rushing over to the frozen treats at a speed that would make Emi jealous. They weren’t parfaits, but that was one of Misha’s secrets. She didn’t only like parfaits—all kinds of sweets things were good!

“Mmm, mmm~! They look so tasty, Hacchan!”

You look tasty…”

“What was that, Hacchan?”

“N-nothing! Umm… what flavor should we get?”

“I dunno, Hacchan, I dunno! I want to get them all! Can you do a rainbow mix?!” Misha asked the man behind the stand.

He shook his head as Hanako continued looking over her options.

“Drat…” Misha muttered. “Well… maybe pink is still okay…”

“H-how about… blue?” Hanako asked, as if wanting Misha’s approval.

“Don’t be silly, Hacchan. Blue isn’t a flavor! At least, that’s what Shicchan told me last year! Wahaha~!”

“Oh, but… didn’t you say you’re getting p-pink? That’s not a flavor then, either, hm?”

“Why wouldn’t it be, Hacchan?”

“Well… if my color isn’t, then…” Hanako started, trying to work out how to get her logic through to Misha.

Misha could kind of see her point, but teasing her was more fun than just agreeing with everything. That was another thing she learned from Shizune. The man running the stall was looking at them with a bit of annoyance now, clearly growing impatient with their antics as a small line started to form behind them.

“Okay, okay~! We’ll have one blue one and one pink one! That’ll be, how much? Alright, and… here you go… oops, uhh… there! There, that’s enough, right? Ahaha~! Thanks, thanks!”

Misha took the two cones and handed Hanako hers, walking away without bothering to get the change.

“Thanks, Misha. You didn’t have to pay for mine,” Hanako said, trotting along after her.

“Welp! I don’t mind, but~! I didn’t pay for it, either. The Student Council did! Wahahaha~!”

“Oh… Shizune made a fund for the event again… that figures…”

“It’s nice of her, isn’t it?”

“I guess if it gets us these… mmm! It’s good!” Hanako remarked, taking her first bite.

“Yep, yep~! Really good! I think mine is watermelon. Let me try yours!”

Instead of taking a bite out of Hanako’s snow cone to do this, Misha gave her a surprise kiss, pulling her in so quickly that Hanako nearly dropped her cone.

“Ahh! C-careful!”

“Whoops~! Sorry, I wanted to do a sneak attack. Yours is… uhh… I dunno. But you sure did taste good~! Wahaha~!”

“M-M-Misha! You’re having way too much f-fun!” Hanako reprimanded her.

“Of course I am. I have my Hacchan and my sweet treat and it’s festival time. Everyone should be having fun!”

“You’re probably right about that. Here… let’s take a rest… it’s easier to eat it sitting down, anyways.”

“What’s easier to eat sitting down, Hana-chan~?”

“The snow cone! Of course! You d-dummy!” Hanako shot back, giving Misha a playful smack on her shoulder.

“Ahaha~!”

The two of them came to rest on a bench, watching the people of the festival go back and forth in front of them, observing the world as it turned around them. They’d lost Naomi and Natsume by now. That was okay—they’d all meet up again just like they planned, and Misha wanted to get Hanako alone for a while, just like the other couples had done. The other members of the Newspaper Club probably sensed her intentions and went along with them. It was nice to have friends that you knew well enough for stuff like that to happen, Misha thought, that she could just do things and they understood what she wanted. She rested her head on Hanako’s shoulder as the two of them lapped away at their treats, Misha’s disappearing much more quickly than her girlfriend’s.

“Hey, Misha. Can I ask you something?”

“Always, Hacchan~.”

“What do you think it means… to be h-happy?”

“Hmm~? Well. Uhh… I don’t know, Hacchan.”

“But… you seem really happy all the time, Misha. That seems weird, that you wouldn’t kn-know.”

“I guess, maybe I could know, but I would have to stop and think. That’s a hard question, Hacchan. It’s like… really big, you know? It’s like asking how something sweet tastes!”

“How… something tastes? How’s that?”

“Well! Think of something you really, really like to eat, and try to tell me how it tastes. Like… this snow cone!”

“Okay, uhh… it does taste good, and… it is really sweet, isn’t it? I g-guess that’s how it tastes, kind of like candy, but it’s also ice.”

“Right, right! But~! How does sweet taste? Can you describe that?”

“It’s like… sweet… it’s a… good feeling on your tongue? Ahh, I don’t know, Misha…”

“It’s hard, isn’t it? I think it’s like that. You definitely know it when you feel it, but you can’t just put a fancy description on it, like from a book or something. I think that’s what being happy is like! It’s a good feeling in your heart~!”

“Hmm… that sounds right…”

“Why are you asking, Hacchan? You seem pretty happy a lot of times now, too. Definitely more than when I first met you. But~, you probably don’t need me to tell you that, do you?”

“No, Misha, I don’t, and you’re right. I think I am happier now, after… well, for a long time, I wasn’t happy, but now I think I am. I was just thinking about why that is. Maybe… about why I wasn’t happy for so long, and why I think I can be now.”

“Wow, Hacchan. You’re having big thoughts about big stuff, huh? You’ve got a lot going on up there~!” Misha said, tapping gently on Hanako’s head.

“Ahh! I’m sorry if it’s, w-weird to be talking about…”

“No, no! Not at all~! I’m glad to talk about stuff like this, Hacchan. Sometimes I wish people could talk like this more often, so I’m glad I can with you, at least. You know, I can think of one really big reason you’re all happy inside now…” Misha said, lowering her voice seductively and bringing her lips closer to Hanako’s ear on the last statement.

Hanako blushed and pressed her legs together, understanding and agreeing with Misha’s implication, but not yet distracted from the subject.

“You did help me a lot, Misha. Really, you did, but… I was just thinking about how you were always happy, even before we were together, when you weren’t with anybody. You were still so bright all the time, and you always saw good in people, even in me, even when… even when I wasn’t always nice to you…”

“Aww~, Hacchan. That’s nice of you to say. But you know I’m not really like that, don’t you? You know I have to cry sometimes, too.”

“I know, Misha. Even then, you just… got it out, then you were happy again. Like you recharged your battery, or something. I don’t know, I just… I wanted to understand how you could be that way, I guess.”

“What way?”

“Loud, and friendly, and goofy, and k-kind, and… like you’re always having fun, no matter what.”

“Huh.”

Misha put a finger to her chin and looked skyward for a moment, thinking about this.

“I think it’s because I want to make other people happy, Hacchan. I remember one of the times that I was the most upset. It was after… after the festival, and what happened when we were in the council room, and… that night and the next day, you were so upset, it made me so worried, Hacchan. I didn’t know if you were going to be okay or not. It made me really upset too, and you saw how I was when I finally came to see you. I definitely wasn’t happy then.”

“Yeah… neither of us were…”

“But then when I thought that you were going to be okay after all, that was when I started to feel better, too. I think we kind of made each other okay, you know? I think for me, that is when I’m happy, if everyone else around me is happy.”

“So… when you saw me happy, that was what made you feel happy?”

“I guess so, Hacchan. Yeah~.”

“That’s interesting, Misha. I feel like… I’ve always seen people around me who are happy, or happier than me, at least. And I don’t think it ever helped me feel any better. For me… I knew I shouldn’t feel this way, but a lot of times it made me even more sad, that I could see other people having so much fun with their lives when I was alone, and not doing anything…”

“Ah. Hacchan… you can’t compare yourself to other people like that, you know? I’ll never be as pretty as Lilly, or as fast as Emi, or as smart as Shicchan, or as funny as Rin… but that’s okay. I’m just happy if I can cheer them on. And I want to cheer for you most of all, of course. I’ll never be able to read or write like you can, Hacchan.”

“Thanks, M-Misha. You don’t have to say any of th-that for me, but I know what you mean. I just always thought you were supposed to rely on yourself to be happy, and I always wanted to do that, I tried, but I just… I never could. And you’re probably the happiest person I ever met, and… now you’re saying it all comes from other people, not from yourself. Do you think someone can be happy on their own, Misha?”

“I think… hrmm~… I guess… no, Hacchan. No, I don’t. You have to have connections to other people, right? Maybe that’s why you couldn’t feel happy, even when everyone else around you was. You weren’t relating with them. You were by yourself, not talking to them, or being with them. I think everyone has to have someone that cares about them, and someone that they care about. If you don’t, then you just have something missing, don’t you?”

Hanako stroked Misha’s hair in silence for a moment, enjoying the comforting weight of Misha’s head against her shoulder. The snow cone cup sat empty and discarded at her side.

“I think you’re right, Misha.”

Misha made a happy little sound of acknowledgment and snuggled closer to Hanako, each girl feeling the other’s shape through the folds of their yukata. Misha was definitely happy right now, she thought, and the main reason why was because she could be here with Hanako. She let out a sigh of contentment, her eyes fluttering closed as she basked in the moment for as long as it would last. It didn’t last long, but that was okay. There would be many more moments like it.

“I th-think I saw a tanzaku tree over there, Misha. Do you want to hang a wish? I’ve never done one before!” Hanako said, sounding rather excited by the prospect.

“Of course, Hacchan, of course! Everyone should make wishes. Let’s go~!”

---

Chapter 48 | Chapter 50
Last edited by Hanako Fancopter on Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

CurioTwitch
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:25 am

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by CurioTwitch » Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:31 am

Hope you are doing well! Just caught up, and I am so happy with the fic. Thank you so much for writing it, it’ll be bittersweet to see it end.

Hanako Fancopter
Posts: 148
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:57 am

CurioTwitch wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:31 am
Hope you are doing well! Just caught up, and I am so happy with the fic. Thank you so much for writing it, it’ll be bittersweet to see it end.
And thank you! I am glad to see you enjoyed it!

Okay. It's here--the final chapter. It's nothing too crazy, like the last chapter, it's just tying a neat little bow on the whole story. There will be an epilogue as well, so I guess that will be the final final chapter. Once more, a big thanks to everyone who read and left comments, even the negative ones. It was quite a journey to write this over the past six months (I think technically I'm closer to 5 months and a week in how long the whole thing took, from start to finish). I never imagined I would really go all the way like this, but I'm definitely glad I did. Even if the story is lacking in places, I think I can be proud of it overall. It doesn't even feel bitter to see it end, just sweet, since it's hardly the end of my KS writings--I have way too many more ideas for those, if I want them to continue.

---

Chapter 50

A chorus of sounds went up from the student body as the graduation ceremony finally ended—some yelled thanks or class jokes to their teachers, while some simply whooped happily. Misha got plenty of “Wahaha~!’s” and “Yay~!’s” out while Hanako breathed a long sigh of relief. The prospect of graduation had been one that terrified Hanako for a long time. While she didn’t feel much anxiety about it any longer, she was still happy to get the formal parts over with. Now she could relax with everyone else.

The atmosphere was festive as the third years filed out of the gymnasium and back down the halls to their homerooms. Now there would be time for pictures and passing yearbooks around, a final little celebration before they left Yamaku for good. Hanako spotted the spark of mischief in Misha’s eye as she saw Miki and Suzu walking just ahead of them. Before she could do anything to stop it, Misha skipped forward and hurled herself onto Miki’s back.

“Sneak attack!! Guess who~!” Misha declared, laughing as Miki hunched over in surprise, reaching back to thwomp Misha on the head with her stump. The blow only seemed to make her laugh harder.

“Aghh! Gerroff, you!” Miki said, dancing around and trying to shake her attacker off. “You two! What are you doing! Help me!” she demanded, looking to Hanako and Suzu.

Suzu gave a pointed and exaggerated yawn, otherwise continuing to watch in silence. Hanako figured she’d have to come to the rescue.

“M-M-Misha! Leave her alone!” Hanako commanded. “You’re m-messing up her hair!”

“Oh! Oh~! Sorry, Micchan, sorry!” Misha said, dismounting immediately.

Miki didn’t give the first damn about her hair, but it was a concern that Hanako knew Misha would immediately sympathize with. She gave Suzu a silent look of apology for Misha’s antics, though Suzu just shook her head in disappointment.

“C’mon, Hanako. You didn’t want to see them go at it a bit longer?” Suzu asked her.

“Ahh, aha, I… well…” Hanako started, trailing off as Miki turned around and put Misha into a headlock, delivering a trademark stump-noogie as revenge for the sneak attack. “…it l-looks they’re not done yet, anyways,” Hanako finished saying.

“Micchan! Cut it out! My drills, my drills!” Misha protested. “You’re squishing them~!”

“Yeah, and you squished my spine, you nutter!” Miki countered, finally releasing her from the hold. “Man! I get it bad enough from Suzu without you piling on, y’know.”

“Succhan’s too little to bother you, Micchan. You need someone your own size to pick on you! Wahaha~!”

Suzu pouted at the comment about her height.

“Least I’ve still got Ibarazaki beat,” she pointed out. “Come on, we’re falling behind.”

As they rejoined the back of the student procession, Miki cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled out ahead of them.

“You hear that, Emi? Suzu said she could take you in a—”

Suzu reached up and clapped a hand over Miki’s mouth, silencing her with a glare.

“Hey! Don’t make her think I—ah! Hey there, Emi!” Suzu said.

“Wow, Emi-chan. You sure ran over fast! Wahaha~!” Misha observed.

“The f-fastest thing on no legs…” Hanako muttered, chuckling to herself.

“I figured Miura would be talking trash back here, but you too, Suzu?” Emi asked Suzu, making a playful impression of being hurt.

Suzu rolled her eyes.

“I just—said I’m still taller than you, that’s all,” Suzu admitted.

“What? Are not!” Emi insisted, immediately hopping to Suzu to compare their heights as Miki watched on with a snicker.

“Nope. She is still taller,” Rin said, having wandered back after Emi. “Why did we come back here? Homeroom is the other way.”

“Miki had to see me one more time before we get outta here, of course,” Emi said, ignoring the height competition now that she had lost it. “And Hana and Misha, too! Hey guys!”

“Hi, hi~!”

“I did kinda want to see you both,” Hanako said. “I’m going… I’m going to miss everyone, I think. It feels sad that this is goodbye…”

The previously cheerful mood in the air turned somber in an instant, each girl pondering over the fact that they wouldn’t be living or studying together anymore after this.

“Aww, Hana. We’ll miss you too!” Emi said. “Come see our class in a bit?” she asked.

“Mmhmm,” Hanako nodded. “Umm… I was also wondering… what are you and Rin going to do, now that we’ve graduated? I was hoping we could all stay in touch, somehow, and maybe even hang out again sometime.”

“That’s a damn good idea, now that you mention it,” Miki said.

“Yeah. Messing with her gets old if no one else is around to see it,” Suzu added, ribbing her girlfriend, which earned her a hair tussle in return.

“Well! I don’t know about you guys, but! I already have some scholarship offers, as long as I scored well enough on the exams!” Emi said.

“Yep. Running scholarships,” Rin clarified.

“You already took the tests? Pffft. Try-hard,” Miki said.

Emi stuck her tongue out at her.

“You’ll never get ahead without trying, y’know. I’m sure I can get in somewhere. I think I’m gonna study physical therapy,” Emi said. “Already have plenty of hands-on experience!”

“What about running, Emi-chan? Can’t you be a runner?” Misha asked.

“Like, as a job?” Emi asked. “Maybe? I dunno. Running is a sport… I love it, but I don’t think it’s going to be more than that for me.”

“That makes sense,” Hanako agreed. “I like writing fiction, but I don’t think I could ever do it professionally…”

“Hey, don’t say that!” Emi disagreed. “You’re a great writer, Hana! Everyone knows the school paper’s been a hell of a lot better this year—ah, oops! Uhh! Don’t tell Naomi or Natsu I said that!”

“Ahaha~!”

“Thanks, Emi,” Hanako said, blushing at the praise. “What about you?” she asked, looking to Rin, Miki and Suzu collectively. The latter two looked at each other, then at Rin, as if in silent agreement on who should go next. After a moment Rin finally seemed to get the message.

“Oh. Am I supposed to say what I’m going to do now? Well. I don’t really know. I’ll figure something out,” Rin said. “Nomiya wanted me to go to an art school, before I quit the club. I guess I’m supposed to do that. I still don’t know if I can.”

“You don’t want to paint, Ricchan?” Misha asked. “Emi doesn’t want to run, and you don’t want to paint. Hmm~. What’s up with everyone?!”

“Well, what about you, Misha?” Miki asked. “Gonna be a professional parfait connoisseur?”

“Mmmm~! I can do that?!” Misha asked.

“Aha, n-no, Misha, I don’t think so,” Hanako said.

“Oh, good. I didn’t wanna have to choose between that and journaling, Hacchan~!”

“Journaling?” Suzu asked.

“She means to say journalism,” Hanako said with a laugh. “We’re hoping to both study journalism together. But I think we’re going to take a year off to study for the exams first, to really be sure we can get in.”

“Yeah. I’m no good at tests, you know. I need the extra time!” Misha explained.

“I hear that. Tests suck, that’s for sure. Me, I think I’m just gonna pass on all that noise,” Miki said, waving her hand dismissively. “School is boring as hell. I think I’m done with it. Suzu still wants to go to uni, though. Guess someone’s gonna have to bring home the bread.”

Suzu tsked at her.

“Yeah, you know that’s gonna be you, right? If you’re not studying? You’re gonna have to get some kind of job or another.”

“Yes, mom,” Miki conceded. “Honestly, I think it’ll be easier for us to stay near each other if only one of us has to worry about uni.”

“If that works for you guys!” Emi said. “Oh, here we are. Alright! See you in a bit!” she continued, leading Rin off into their homeroom as they neared it.

The other girls walked into their own classroom nearby, where the rest of 3-3 was already gathered. Mutou had been roped into taking pictures, it seemed, and watching him try to awkwardly pose for them with different students was quite amusing. The other students were busy looking at yearbook pictures together or taking their own photos; Miki and Suzu quickly wandered into the fray. Hanako supposed she should put her own camera to work, as an aspiring journalist, but there would be plenty of time for that in a bit. Right now, Naomi and Natsume had come over.

“There you two are! We were looking for you!” Naomi said. “The yearbooks came out great. Here’s yours!” she continued, handing a copy each to Hanako and Misha.

“Aha~! Yeah, it looks really good. And—there, there~! There you are, Hacchan!” Misha said, pointing excitedly to a brief foreword in the first few pages of the book. It was only a few paragraphs, but it was indeed signed Hanako Ikezawa, reminiscing about her time at Yamaku, thanking the school and its faculty for the growth she and her classmates had achieved, and closing with an optimistic statement about the future. The Student Council and the Newspaper Club had collaborated with some of the staff to put the yearbook together, and she felt an undeniable sense of pride at her contribution.

“Yep… and there you are, Misha!” Hanako said, pointing to a featured photo where Misha had her arms around Lilly and Hanako, pulling the three of them together for the shot.

“That’s me alright. You write, and I take pictures with big smiles. That’s us! Wahaha~!”

“Check out our profile pictures! Yours is really pretty, Misha. And you, Natsu! I dunno about mine… I just couldn’t quite get my hair right that day…” Naomi lamented, running a finger wistfully over her photo. It didn’t look any different to how it always did, as far as Hanako could tell.

“Don’t be silly, Naocchan. You look good too! Not as good as Hacchan, though. Sor-ry~!” Misha teased.

“Yeah, I wish my hair could be as beautiful as yours, Hana,” Naomi said.

“Ahh…”

Hanako blushed even more deeply now, shrinking back a bit and resisting the urge to cover her scars. It was only a weak compulsion and it passed quickly enough. Another brief twinge of anxiety ran through her as Misha and the others looked at her own profile photo—it featured Hanako looking straight into the camera, hands down, scars fully visible. It had taken a bit of psyching up for her to take that picture, but again… not too much. The scars that had once devastated her so thoroughly just didn’t seem so crippling anymore.

“Th-thanks, Naomi. Yours is really pretty too… even if you don’t think so. I think every girl gets fed up with her hair sometimes…”

“Yeah, imagine how much work Misha puts into those,” Natsume said, nodding at the drills.

“I know, Natsu-nyan, I know! And Micchan went and squished them all around! Ughh~!” Misha complained, pulling at them to try and stretch them back into shape.

“Well. Seems we’re adults now, huh?” Natsume said. “Do you guys feel any different? Don’t really do, myself. Mostly I’m just looking forward to our trip.”

“Aha, me too,” Hanako said, smiling at the thought of traveling Japan with the other members of the club over their summer break. “I don’t think we’re really adults yet, when we still have a big vacation ahead of us. We still get to be kids for a few more months.”

“Hm. Guess that’s one way to look at it,” Natsume said. “Well, if this was being a kid, I can’t imagine how sore I’m gonna be as an adult. Better live it up while I still can.”

“That’s exactly right! I’m gonna have a parfait… every. Single. Day~! Aha~!” Misha declared.

“If we have money for that, you mean,” Hanako reminded her.

“Right, right. Little parfaits!” Misha said.

“We’re going to have to budget ourselves a bit now that we can’t share funds with the Student Council,” Hanako continued.

“Yeah… we’re supposed to actually have our own money now…” Naomi said dejectedly, as if the drawbacks of adulthood were already setting in.

“Where are we gonna get money?” Natsume wondered. “I know your parents are helping out for this trip, Naomi, but not everyone’s family can just shell out for—ahh…”

Her voice trailed off with a guilty glance towards Hanako.

“Well… I get a good bit of money from uhh, the government…” Hanako said, her voice and posture steady. “It’s, uhh… actually a lot…” she said with a nervous laugh, feeling the atmosphere lighten back up as the other girls chuckled along with her. “But you know, I have to be careful with it. We still have all of university to get through together. I can use some in an emergency… but parfaits aren’t an emergency,” she reminded Misha.

“Yep, yep~! It’ll work out!” Misha agreed. “As long as we stay together. That’s the most important thing!”

“Mmhmm,” Naomi agreed.

“Say, where’s Shicchan? I bet she already has all this adult stuff planned out!” Misha speculated, looking around the room and quickly meeting eyes with Shizune, who was caught up in a sign conversation with Takashi. The two of them came over as Misha waved to them, with Shizune giving a smile and a wave of greeting.

“A momentous occasion!” Takashi announced, holding his arms wide like a conquering general. “And to think. It’s still only the beginning!”

“Only the beginning of what, Tacchan? Our school just ended, silly!” Misha said.

“One path ends, a new one begins. This is just the beginning of what we can achieve!” Takashi said.

He stood up to his full posture, puffed out his chest, and inhaled deeply with his eyes closed, as if tasting the success in the air. Shizune hid a silent laugh behind her hand while he did it, retracting it quickly enough to avoid Takashi seeing it.

“And what are you going to achieve, Takashi?” Naomi asked. “Hoping to run for president?”

“Ha! Hardly! Politics is for the petty and small-minded,” Takashi said. “We plan to pursue a higher calling!”

“Oh~? How’s that?” Misha asked.

“Phil-an-thro-py!” Shizune said, carefully enunciating the long word.

“Philanthrawhat? Wahaha~!” Misha said.

“Charitable giving,” Natsume clarified. “That’s awful kindly of you, but uhh, aren’t you putting the cart before the horse? You gotta get a lot of money before you can give it all away…”

Shizune waved this off dismissively.

“It’s important to have a goal that you work for,” she explained. “Even if you don’t get there, it gives you purpose for right now.”

“Philanthropy isn’t limited to millionaires and billionaires,” Takashi added. “It’s a philosophy of life! For instance, Shizune has already practiced it quite thoroughly, bestowing the whole school with the tireless service of the Student Council!”

“She definitely did do a lot of work…” Naomi agreed tacitly, raising an eyebrow at this claim. Hanako giggled, even though it was true that Shizune had done a lot for them. It was just that most of the students, who didn’t know Shizune all that well, probably didn’t really see it that way.

“And!” Shizune added, sticking a finger in the air and sounding almost like Misha. “Tonight, the Student Council gives one last time. We are going to the Shanghai! My treat, and my last act as president!” she announced.

“Well then. I think the philanthropy thing suits you after all,” Natsume said.

“Wahahaha~! Yay, yay~!”

“Wow! Thanks!” Naomi said.

“Hard work deserves a fitting reward,” Takashi. “Now, I would like to see Ms. Tezuka one more time, while I’ve still the chance. Perhaps she can still be convinced to pursue her gift…”

“Yeah, we were going to take pictures with her and Emi, too,” Hanako said.

“And we have to find Lilly-chan if we can!” Misha said.

“See you in a bit?” Hanako asked Naomi and Natsume.

“Sure thing!” Naomi said.

“We’ll be around,” Natsume agreed.

Shizune and Takashi marched out of the room, with Hanako and Misha following a ways after them. Hanako hummed to herself as they walked along, looking down to make sure she stepped only on the dark tiles. Misha, in turn, kept her footsteps on the light ones. They had to carefully synchronize their steps to stay together, creating a little cooperative game that they played sometimes. Misha took Hanako’s hand and squeezed it, prompting her to look back up and meet her girlfriend’s eyes.

“Hacchan~. Do you remember our wishes we made back on Tanabata?” Misha asked.

“Hmm? Yeah, Misha. Why?”

“I dunno. I was just thinking about my wish, and how… I really think it can come true now. I’ve just got a good feeling, I guess~! Ahaha~!”

“Oh… well, what was it?”

“Ah ah ah! You can never tell anyone what your wish was, Hacchan. Only if it comes true!” Misha reminded her.

“Aha, that’s right. Well… I think I like my wish, too. We really can’t tell anyone? Not even each other?”

Hanako remembered that night, when they hung those tanzaku papers from a bamboo tree in town. It was such a small act, but looking back she thought she could identify that as the turning point, the time where she really and finally left her old self behind. It was something she had been doing slowly ever since she met Misha; that night she felt was the one where she finally completed the metamorphosis, just like Rin had always talked about. She hadn’t done it as quickly or as visibly as Misha had, but she’d done it, all the same.

“Not even each other~!” Misha insisted.

“Okay then. Let’s just remember them for a moment and hope they come true, then,” Hanako said.

“Alright~!”

Misha recalled what she had wished for.

I want to make Hanako happy.

Hanako remembered her wish.

I want to be with Misha.

Even though neither one of them knew the other’s thoughts, they both felt confident that their wishes would come true.

Chapter 49 | Epilogue

CurioTwitch
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:25 am

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by CurioTwitch » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:13 am

That was very sweet, thank you for completing your fic!
I love to see how different authors arc characters differently. It’s probably jarring for some to break away from established headcannons, but this was a joy for me to read. In no small part to the uniqueness of the pair.
There was a lot of personalization with a lot of characters involved, and I was always pleased when the company was mixed, I feel that your additions were welcome.

Well done again, and I hope to see you write more!

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NoticeMeOppai
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:11 pm

Re: An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako)

Post by NoticeMeOppai » Fri Dec 07, 2018 2:31 pm

Congratulations on finishing a full story! You took a decidedly crack-fic pairing and turned it into a surprisingly sweet romance. I really enjoyed the interactions between all the girls, but especially Misha and Hanako in that last chapter. They seem like a couple that would be a lot of fun to hang out with.

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