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Shizune - Dinner with Jigoro

Sep 11th, 2012
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  1. (This is just a short scene I wanted to write. I feel like Shizune and Hisao don't do enough of the traditional things for girlfriend stories, such as having to break the news to the parents. Anyway, hope you like it. Send comments to KSFFWriter@gmail.com )
  2.  
  3. [You should come visit.]
  4.  
  5. It sounded nice, seeing Shizune over a web cam, signing at me. Come visit her home again between semesters of university? She would be at home for two weeks, and though Misha would be arriving shortly after I did, Shizune was wanting to see me at least. Conversing through text or occasional video chat had been limiting for us. It's difficult to feel like I'm dating someone if we never spend time together in any physical way.
  6.  
  7. If it sounds so nice, why is my stomach turning knots as the taxi we share takes us from the train station to her home? I look over to Shizune, and she smiles warmly at me. She seems to be in a good mood, looking much like she did before we left Yamaku. Same short, barely-feminine hair, oval glasses, thin frame. There's a hint of nervousness in her smile though.
  8.  
  9. I guess she's remembering the previous trip here as well.
  10.  
  11. Still, it's great to see her, and the feeling of her hand in mine as we ride in the relative silence of the cab is wonderful. I think being parted for the past four months has gotten to her. She was rarely exactly affectionate, and this is a nice change.
  12.  
  13. As we pull up to the house, Shizune takes her hand from me and passes the driver his fare as well as a modest tip. We both exit the cab, and I retrieve my luggage before turning to Shizune as the cab speeds off. I look around the yard and driveway for a moment. [Is your fath-- is your family home?]
  14.  
  15. Shizune makes a somewhat pained looking expression. [His car is here. Hidaeki never leaves anyway, since Akira Satou left, he doesn't go out much.]
  16.  
  17. I look out over the house again, almost expecting to hear yelling about nothing already. [So no affection then? I don't want to annoy him and get into a shouting match.]
  18.  
  19. A dangerous glint appears in Shizune's eyes, and a devious smile twitches at the corners of her lips. [Is it a dare? To see if we can do things without getting noticed?]
  20.  
  21. [No.] And to emphasize, again. [No, not at all.]
  22.  
  23. "That sign means no."
  24.  
  25. I jump, startled at the sudden voice and appearance of Hidaeki on the other side of the fence. He just stares back at me with his blank expression. He's dressed in what I would assume to be some of Shizune's old clothing. Does he not realize the gender difference? "Doesn't it? This one." [No.]
  26.  
  27. Shizune catches my eye. [What is he saying?]
  28.  
  29. I sign as I speak. "Yeah. It means no. This one means yes."
  30.  
  31. Hidaeki nods, imitating the gesture reasonably well. "Yes. Okay. You can both come in. Father is in the parlor waiting for Shizune to come back."
  32.  
  33. I find myself automatically translating what Hidaeki says. I'm no Misha, but my signing has gotten to the level where I can comfortably do this at least. I heft my luggage and walk with Shizune, through the gate, and down the walkway. The door seems more impassable than it should.
  34.  
  35. Shizune smiles tightly at me. [Don't be so nervous. He won't kill you. Probably.]
  36.  
  37. My expression responds to her joke more honestly than signing could, and she shakes her head and waves her hands as if to dispel what she said. [Never mind. Let's just go in.]
  38.  
  39. ---------
  40.  
  41. She opens the door and we step inside, being met with Jigoro standing in the middle of the overly lavish parlor, wearing a loud Hawaiian print shirt. He scowls at us as soon as he spots me. He stops twirling his sword around and sheathes it, as I set the luggage on the floor by the door and remove my shoes before entering. I try to keep my voice civil and even despite my nervousness and already building frustration at seeing this man again. I sign as I speak, to keep Shizune aware of the conversation. "Hello, Mister Hakamichi. Thank you for welcoming me into your home."
  42.  
  43. The man grimaces. "I haven't welcomed you yet, boy. Don't presume that someone will invite you. What are those? Argyle socks? Insulting."
  44.  
  45. Shizune frowns upon translation, but I respond without translating her angrily-worded response. "I didn't mean to insult you with my socks. Which room should I use, Mr. Hakamichi?"
  46.  
  47. He doesn't answer my question, but starts barking his words in a loud, abrasive manner. "What have you been doing? Do you have a job? I doubt it. Useless. Even my daughter has found work."
  48.  
  49. I don't think answering will matter at this point, really. But I do it anyway. "I assist in the chemical laboratories at my university."
  50.  
  51. [He works too much.] Shizune's signing is a little heavy, showing that she's irritated. I don't translate for her however, it would come across as bragging.
  52.  
  53. Jigoro glances at Shizune's signing, a tinge of some emotion flitting across his features before the hardened, angry look returns. "An assistant. Pathetic. Have more ambition. Take your luggage to your room. It's in the same place as before. I have things to do."
  54.  
  55. He abruptly turns and walks out of the room, towards the kitchen. An awkward moment of silence passes between the three of us, before Hidaeki breaks it. "Do you remember where the room is?"
  56.  
  57. I sigh and nod before signing and speaking my response. "Yeah. I'll take these things up there for now."
  58.  
  59. ---------
  60.  
  61. [I will poison the food.]
  62.  
  63. Shizune's face makes it apparent that she is livid, and only half joking.
  64.  
  65. I sigh, putting away the few articles of clothing I brought for this short trip. [Don't be ridiculous. He's too large to die from poison.]
  66.  
  67. She gives me an exasperated look.
  68.  
  69. I've had enough angry arguing with people today anyway, and just lean over and kiss her forehead. The subsequent red blush and expression of surprise makes it worth her immediate switch to a faked angry glare. [Don't do that. He could open the door. Or Hidaeki.]
  70.  
  71. [It didn't stop you last time.]
  72.  
  73. Another blush, and then another glare that is significantly less faked. I raise my hands, palms toward her in surrender. Shizune smiles and adjusts her glasses. [Maybe he will be gone often. Like last time.]
  74.  
  75. [Maybe. Or I can just go shopping with you and Misha instead of being left behind the whole time.]
  76.  
  77. Shizune looks aside for a moment, and then returns, signing a little uncertainly. [It was awkward. After that. I won't run away this time.]
  78.  
  79. I want to tease her over it, but I know she doesn't like to admit to running away from anything, so instead I just lean in and give her a quick kiss on the lips, before pulling back again. She doesn't fake irritation this time, just smiling at me. [Finish unpacking. Misha sent a text before we got to the room, she will be here soon.]
  80.  
  81. No later does she finish signing it do I hear a loud voice in the hallway, with a familiar lilting tone and a slightly teasing attitude. "Shicchan~! I'm coming down the hall~!"
  82.  
  83. Shizune sees my face, and then turns toward the door, knowing I heard Misha. For all her statements to the contrary, she's remarkably adept at reading people. It's only a couple seconds later that the door creaks open slowly, with a girl peeking around the edge. I guess it didn't occur to me that she might not realize that we wouldn't yell back out if we weren't busy. The girl smiles, and then throws open the door, rushing in and hugging Shizune tightly. Shizune tries not to act too shocked, and quickly settles into the hug as well, giving me a moment to look at Misha.
  84.  
  85. She's been growing her hair out again, it seems. She's also dyed it brown, the color looks like the pictures I've seen from before she dyed it pink to start with. The style is still short, but cute in its own way. Another hug is soon directed my way, but this one is much shorter and more awkward than the hug Shizune got. I guess there's still some weirdness there. "Hi, Misha. It's good to see you too."
  86.  
  87. I forget to sign it, and I notice that Misha doesn't sign it either, even though she smiles at me. "Thanks, Hicchan~. It's been a long time."
  88.  
  89. A look from Shizune reminds me to translate this, and then Misha laughs when she realizes she hasn't been doing it either.
  90.  
  91. We spend an hour or two catching up, and before long, Misha is back to her old skill at sign, effortlessly speaking and signing at once. I still can't help but envy her.
  92.  
  93. ---------
  94.  
  95. "Are you going to tell me you don't eat shark, boy?"
  96.  
  97. Dinner starts off tense and I don't predict it getting any better. I don't mind the fish, but I prefer it cooked properly. This isn't raw and prepared like sushi, it's just half-cooked. Everyone else's looks fine. ... Shizune may be cooking hers further with her angry glaring.
  98.  
  99. "I do. It's fine." I try to speak calmly. I can't let myself be drawn into his game.
  100.  
  101. "'Its fine'. So rude. Do you know how expensive this is? Of course not. Uncultured youth. This is the Japan other nations see." Jigoro lights into a rant, which I mostly tune out. I pick at the side dishes as Misha weakly tries to lighten the mood with her idle banter. Jigoro doesn't take the bait, but quiets down as Hidaeki and Shizune chat through and with Misha.
  102.  
  103. In between bites of unadorned rice, I see Jigoro staring at me. Misha and Hidaeki have gone quiet, everyone focusing on eating for a moment. He has to have seen me notice the staring, but I don't take him up on it. I'm not going to start an argument. I even try the undercooked fish, which is predictably awful in all ways. I don't know how you get scales in a shark dish, they don't even have scales.
  104.  
  105. Shizune drums her fingers on the table, and I look up to see her watching me. [Don't eat that.]
  106.  
  107. [Why? I can't just not eat when he cooks badly. I'll starve to death.] My signing is more harsh than is necessary. I guess he's getting to me.
  108.  
  109. [Because he only ruined yours. It's insulting.] She fires a glare over to Jigoro, who is watching us with an expression more annoyed than his usual one. I guess he doesn't like being left out of conversations.
  110.  
  111. I sign back again, let Jigoro stew for a minute. [I don't want to get into a fight again. I am tired of them]
  112.  
  113. "What are you saying." The sentence is spoken loudly, making everyone except Shizune at the table jump slightly at the interruption. It's more of a statement than a question. Misha translates Jigoro's speech on automatic again, but I speak before Shizune can respond.
  114.  
  115. "We're talking about your cooking." I try to keep my tone neutral, but a little venom creeps in.
  116.  
  117. Jigoro's expression sours even more. "Everyone else ate theirs. Only you leave it on the plate. Rude. Do you enjoy wasting my money?"
  118.  
  119. Shizune's signing is hard to read at her speed, but Misha translates in something less than her normal bubbly tone. "Shicchan says to stop insulting her boyfriend."
  120.  
  121. The man visibly stiffens at the word, and I can't help smirking slightly. I can see Shizune fighting her own smile, though only Misha and I would be able to tell. "You didn't ask her father's permission. Disgraceful."
  122.  
  123. Something in his tone, maybe everything in his tone, makes me bristle. "I don't have to. She's old enough to make her own decisions."
  124.  
  125. Shizune signs again, though I can't make it out as I speak with Jigoro. Misha's voice sounds slightly strained, I guess she's not as oblivious as she was at Yamaku. "Shicchan says--"
  126.  
  127. Jigoro cuts her speech off without concern. "I won't have some glue-huffing lab assistant dating my daughter. I forbid it."
  128.  
  129. Hidaeki looks petrified, completely overwhelmed by the change in tone. Shizune is as furious as I've ever seen her, and Misha just looks exceedingly uncomfortable. Maybe this has gone on long enough, for a miserable dinner no one wants to continue any longer. I stand up, and push my chair in. I'll just end it before it gets any worse. "Thank you for the meal. I will be leaving to my room."
  130.  
  131. Jigoro stands up quickly, his chair clattering loudly to the floor. Damn, you don't realize how large someone is until they are looking down at you in anger. He's got a foot of height and easily half again my body weight on me. His voice is more disgusted than angry, but just as insulting either way. "Don't stand before your betters, boy."
  132.  
  133. I can feel my body tensing. This has to be intentional. He's goading me, and I don't know why. I try to keep my voice even. I don't want to start a fight that will last my entire stay. "I'm just going to go to my room."
  134.  
  135. "Useless. Look at you. You think you can take Shizune? What good are you? Skinny, weak, no better than that vacuous friend of hers, or my useless daughter herse--"
  136.  
  137. Sometimes, a man's body moves without asking his brain's permission. Sometimes, it acts on an instinct without making sure the instinct makes any sense.
  138.  
  139. Sometimes, a man's brain will slow everything down, just so he can see how badly he's about to screw up.
  140.  
  141. I can feel my back muscles move over one another as I raise my arm. I can feel my own inexperience showing, putting my limited power into the motion with my back and my hips, but no discipline. No finesse. I almost have time to regret it as I see my fist moving toward him, and I almost have time to enjoy feeling the skin and cartilage of his nose bend under my knuckles. Almost.
  142.  
  143. Suddenly, I find myself standing in front of a man who could easily kill me, as a thin red line follows the drop of blood down from his nose, to his lip. The room is deathly silent, and I find myself noticing Shizune's shocked expression reflected in the windowpane behind Jigoro. Seconds pass, the longest seconds I have ever had to wait through. I'm not sure my heart is beating. The throbbing of my hand, almost injured from the impact, seems to imply as much.
  144.  
  145. Jigoro raises his hand to his lip, and presses his finger to the blood, looking at it for a moment. I can't help eying the sword he keeps on his belt. He looks at me, and I do my best to look back without showing my panic.
  146.  
  147. Suddenly, the dead silence of the room is broken by Jigoro's loud, hearty laugh. He takes a step forward and slaps me hard on the back, in what I think was supposed to be a forced friendly gesture. I try not to let it show how much my heart disapproves of the impact.
  148.  
  149. "Ha! So the stupid kid has something behind the sweater vest after all."
  150.  
  151. His smile fades.
  152.  
  153. "Hit me again and I'll gut you. I don't think you're good enough for her. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe not. I'm going out drinking, I won't be back until three or four. Don't damage my property."
  154.  
  155. With that, he turns and leaves, rubbing the blood from his lip with the back of his hand. A moment later, a door opens and closes, and I hear his car start and drive into the distance. A few seconds pass before anyone says anything.
  156.  
  157. "Wahaha~! Hicchan!" A heavy girl suddenly grabs me from behind in a silly, boisterous hug. "That was great!"
  158.  
  159. I react slowly, still a bit frozen at his less-than-idle threat before he left. Misha releases me, still grinning widely, and I turn to see Shizune regarding me with an analytical expression, while she adjusts her glasses. Hidaeki doesn't seem to know how to react. "Great? I thought he was going to kill me."
  160.  
  161. Hidaeki speaks, in his usual strange monotone. "I think a lot of people want to hit him. It was fun to see it happen."
  162.  
  163. Shizune stands up and snaps her fingers, the loud crack shaking everyone out of their awkward congratulations. [We should play a game. The four of us.]
  164.  
  165. ---------
  166.  
  167. The matter of my impulsive punching of Shizune's father is dropped, as we spend the next few hours playing various board games, until Misha leaves for bed, and Hidaeki suddenly declares that he's bored of games. Hidaeki leaves for his room to study, while Shizune and I clean up the abandoned game in silence. After we're done, I sign that I'm going to bed.
  168.  
  169. Halfway there, she doesn't turn toward the hallway toward her own room, and just smirks dangerously at me when I look back at her. Well, I won't complain.
  170.  
  171. As soon as the door closes behind her, she throws her arms around me in an almost desperate hug, her lips pressing to mine before parting, a deep, hungry kiss. We stay together for a long time, but it's never long enough. After a moment she breaks the kiss, but keeps the tight hug for a few more seconds. She looks radiantly happy.
  172.  
  173. Finally, she pulls away so she can talk again. [Thank you.]
  174.  
  175. [For what?]
  176.  
  177. She smirks again. [For hitting him. For standing up for me. For loving me.] The last few words are slower, more uncertain.
  178.  
  179. I kiss her lips again, and smile at her uncertainty. [I do love you. And I won't let him stop me from dating you.]
  180.  
  181. Another kiss. I sign at her with a smile on my face. [Maybe I should hit him more often.]
  182.  
  183. [No, I like you better alive. But once was good.] Something about her expression makes it seem like she's not entirely joking.
  184.  
  185. I see her eyes glance over to the chair, and feel my own cheeks color at the memory. Shizune reaches behind her and clicks the lock on the door, and when she looks back to me, she looks almost predatory.
  186.  
  187. ...
  188.  
  189. By the end of the night, I find myself almost ready to thank Jigoro.
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