Sep 28th, 2012
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  1. (A continuance from Hanako's good ending, in Katawa Shoujo. The previous chapters are in my profile. Obviously spoilers if you haven't done her route. Please leave comments in the thread if I've posted this there or email them to KSFFWriter@gmail.com . Enjoy)
  3. Act 5: Cues - Part 4: Happiness
  5. Afternoon classes drag by in the same manner as the morning classes. Everyone is paying close attention, writing notes with an intense fervor. I guess even in Yamaku exams are a big part of everyone's lives right now. I'm forced to actually pay attention in this class as well, English was never my strongest subject.
  7. I wish Lilly was here. If anyone could help me with this, it would be her. I idly wonder how her trip is going. The last time we spoke was Hanako's birthday, and it has been quite a while since then. Her promise of 'one or two weeks' seems to have been forgotten, so probably the trip isn't exactly going as planned. Thinking about Lilly reminds me that I'll still have to talk to her about my dating Hanako now, and about that first night together. I'm not looking forward to it.
  9. Misha pokes me with a note again, and I sigh before taking it. It's written in excessively neat and tidy writing, in blue pen. Obviously Shizune then. Maybe it's in reference to asking how they were earlier. I look to the english teacher, but it appears she didn't see the note get passed. Well that's good.
  11. "Hisao- Misha and I have been doing well lately. We are not avoiding you or trying to stop being friends. Misha was worried about this as well. I thought it would be good to give you and Hanako time to figure things out. We don't want to upset her again. If you need to see us, we are very busy with student council work lately. You can come do some work as well if you like."
  13. A heavy line is drawn on the paper, and then what amounts to a post script: "You both seem happy. I approve."
  15. I look back to Shizune, and she just smiles at me before adjusting her glasses and turning back to the lecture. I place the note between two random pages in my book, and return to taking notes as well. They're treating Hanako pretty delicately, but I can't blame them. I used to do the same thing. Maybe I still do, a little. For some reason, I'm glad to have Shizune's expressed approval of my dating Hanako. Especially after hearing that she had some slight interest in me before. Maybe I was more worried about losing friends than I thought.
  17. The rest of the class passes without incident, and Hanako and I leave the classroom together, as usual. I stop by one of the vending machines and buy a can of coffee for later. Hanako and I walk slowly to the track together, hand in hand. The weather is still pleasant and sunny, and I can't think of any better time for sitting around studying. Miki is running on the track when we arrive, dressed again in her uniform top and gym shorts. she must have dashed out here immediately from class.
  19. Hanako and I sit by the tree, and I pull out my textbooks, looking over the material around where Miki and I stopped yesterday. Hanako seems a little distant, just watching Miki run for a while. It's quiet and pleasant to sit with her like this, just two normal high school students on a normal day. Miki notices us as she rounds the bend, and waves, but continues running for a few more laps. I take Hanako's hand, and she smiles at me.
  21. Sometimes, my life is really great.
  23. We sit like that until Miki finishes her run and her cooldown lap. When she starts sauntering up the hill to the tree, Hanako releases my hand with a blush and returns to looking over her science notes. Miki grins as she approaches. "You showed up!"
  25. I laugh, and Hanako bashfully smiles. "Yeah, I said I would, right? Besides, I need to go over some of this stuff too. It's been a while since I last looked at it."
  27. Miki sits down next to Hanako, and grins at her as well. "You don't really need this either do you, Hanako? You seem to get pretty good grades in Mutou's class."
  29. Hanako instinctively raises her hand to cover half of her face, but responds with a more even voice than I would have expected. "I-i'm not that good. But I'm d-doing well enough."
  31. With greetings out of the way, we quickly settle down into another protracted study/tutoring session. It's a little bit closer to an actual study group this time, with Hanako learning some new things and also helping explain concepts she grasps more clearly than Miki. It takes her nearly an hour before she's really speaking smoothly with Miki, but that's a lot faster than I would have expected. To Miki's credit, she doesn't treat Hanako like she's about to break. She mostly just acts the same as I've seen her act with me. Less teasing, less jokes and jabs, but overall she treats Hanako like any other person.
  33. It feels good seeing Hanako giggle and smile as they talk. I crack open my canned coffee, which ends up being louder than I expected. Miki and Hanako stop their chatter about friction for a moment, and then Miki grins again. "Hey, break time already? I brought some juice, if you guys want it. It's probably warm by now though."
  35. Hanako accepts Miki's offer, and we sit together drinking our beverages for a few minutes, before Miki speaks up, her tone a little soft and almost wistful. "I wish I knew this stuff like you guys. It must be nice to be good at something like this."
  37. I start to say something in response, I'm not sure what. But instead, Hanako speaks. "B-but you're very good with running, and o-other sports. I was w-watching um... wh-when we first arrived."
  39. Miki laughs and shakes her head. "I'm not that good. Emi beats me every time on the track, and besides, I can't make a living with my body after school's over."
  41. It takes effort not to suddenly picture Miki making money with her body. I feel like a pervert.
  43. Miki stretches her back, gripping her bandaged wrist with her other hand as she raises both over her head. "But I like running. It's good for you too. Have you ever tried playing sports or anything, Hanako? Hisao?"
  45. Hanako shakes her head quickly, and I follow suit before speaking. "Nah, not really. I played soccer a bit before coming here, but I can't do it now. I even tried running in the mornings with Emi once, but I couldn't keep up."
  47. Miki laughs at this. "No one can keep up with that girl."
  49. Hanako just looks to me in slight surprise. "Y-you tried running? I d-didn't know you did that kind of th-thing."
  51. I scratch the back of my neck, a bit embarrassed to be mentioning it. "Uh, yeah. Just once, because the nurse was on me to start exercising. But it was such a pain that I didn't bother going back. I guess I decided it wasn't that important."
  53. Wow, that sounded a lot more pathetic than I thought at the time. Was I really so fatalistic when I first arrived here? It feels like it was a long time ago, even though it's only been a couple months. Suddenly I catch a worried expression on Hanako's face.
  55. "Y-you're supposed to be exercising? F-for your heart?"
  57. Hanako's voice is quiet, and she almost sounds hurt. Ahh... maybe I should be more careful with what I say. Miki is just grinning at me like a cat playing with a mouse. I think she likes to make people squirm. "Well, yes. But I do walk to town sometimes, right? We can go on more dates, that should be enough exercise."
  59. Her expression doesn't lighten with my weak joke, and Miki's grin only widens. Hanako fidgets nervously, as always when she's about to ask me to do something. "P-please try again, Hisao. E-emi would p-probably give you another chance, I d-don't want you ignoring the Nurse's orders."
  61. Miki shakes her head. "Not with Emi, she'll run you to death. You know how she is, she doesn't like anyone not working until they pass out. How about with me? I usually do my runs in the evening, around nine. It's dark out then and nice and cool and everything. I have to repay you for all this studying, right?"
  63. The two girls look at me expectantly. For a moment Miki's confident grin and Hanako's slight smile almost feel superimposed on a pink-haired girl and smug glasses-wearing council president. Maybe it's just my lot in life to be cornered by pairs of women. It's not like it's a bad fate. I sigh, defeated. "Alright! Alright, I'll try again. I can't say no to you anyway, Hanako."
  65. This draws a bright blush from her, and a snicker from Miki. Miki claps her hand on Hanako's shoulder. "Don't worry, Hanako. I'll take good care of your boyfriend. He won't get out of it as easily this time."
  67. Hanako's blush remains, but she smiles at Miki. "A-alright. B-be careful with him, h-he's... important."
  69. I feel my cheeks redden as well, and Miki laughs.
  71. It's nice to have friends like this.
  73. ----------------
  75. The rest of the studying goes on without any problems, all of us talking and laughing together. Eventually we break for dinner, and then Miki tells me we'll start my running tomorrow at the track at nine PM, after the study group meets again for the third day straight. Hanako tells her she'll make sure I show up, and then blushes as she realizes her own implication that we'd be together that late in the evening anyway.
  77. Eating dinner with these two girls is fun as well, even if it's just the cafeteria food with its normal low quality. Miki takes off from dinner a little early, saying that she needs to meet some other track team students. She gives me a knowing wink before she leaves, however. This woman is unable to resist teasing people.
  79. Hanako and I take our time with the rest of our meal, and then she takes my hand as we walk slowly back to the dormitories in the gathering twilight. Hanako is smiling, and it proves infectious. We skip our normal long walk around the gardens, as it's getting late anyway. When we get to the point where we normally part ways, Hanako doesn't let go of my hand. Not that I'm complaining.
  81. We walk together to the girls' dormitory, and then quickly past the common area and to Hanako's door. She fumbles with her key a moment, obviously nervous, but we get through quickly enough. Her room is of course the same as always: blank, unadorned, nearly hospital-like in its sterile greyness. I turn around to see Hanako locking the door, and then she nearly throws herself against me, pulling me into a lingering kiss. My shock fades quickly, and I wrap my arms around her waist while we press together for a moment.
  83. Eventually, she pulls back, her cheeks pink. "T-today was really fun."
  85. I smile at her, and kiss her forehead. "It was. You and Miki got along really well."
  87. Hanako hugs me tightly, still blushing. It's strange seeing her this excited, and I can't help but wonder what brought this on. Her voice is muffled a little by virtue of her face being pressed to my chest. "You and M-miki seemed like friends, and i-if you like her, I thought maybe I could... and I d-did it. I s-spoke with someone I b-barely knew and everything was okay."
  89. I smile again, and hold her close, one hand pressing to her soft hair as we stand together in her room. I don't know what to say to her revelation that she can talk to other people without everything going wrong, so I don't say anything. I just hold her, and I can almost feel her smile even though I can't see her face. After a few more moments, she pulls away, still smiling. "C-can we stay here tonight? I kn-know you have to go back and get your pills first, and your pajamas."
  91. Her continued nervousness talking to me would bother me if it wasn't so cute. "Sure, I'll be right back."
  93. I walk back over to my room, gather a few things, and take my medicine a little early. We're still an hour short of curfew, so it shouldn't be too bad to see me carrying a nondescript plastic bag full of stuff over to the girls' dorms, right? No one seems to care anyway, as I walk back at a slow pace, trying to look casual. I feel a little silly.
  95. After climbing to the second floor, I end up face to face with a girl standing in the doorway to the halls. Her eyes widen slightly at my approach, and she adjusts her glasses as if that gives her a pause before saying anything. I cough into my hand, avoiding Shizune's eyes for the moment. She must live on the other wing of the same floor. "Uh... Hi, Shizune."
  97. I look back, and she's frowning slightly. Oh, right. Can't really talk, can we? I look around for Misha, which only deepens Shizune's frown. I guess I wasn't very sneaky.
  99. Shizune regards me for a moment with that analytical stare she has, her eyes darting to my bag and then back to my face. It's not a school bag, and she knows it. Another beat passes, before she just shakes her head and smiles at me. She makes a few signs before seemingly realizing that it's pointless, and then shakes her head again. Finally she points to me, then down the hall, wearing an expression that says "I didn't see you, hurry up so no one else does."
  101. I do so. How uncomfortable.
  103. Hanako's door is unlocked, and I step back in, feeling relieved. Hanako isn't there, however. I set my things down on the floor, and then look around the room. Same as always. My school bag has been pushed to the foot of the bed. I just sit down on Hanako's desk chair and wait.
  105. It's not long before the door opens again, and Hanako comes in dressed for bed, in her oversized pink pajamas. She blushes as she sees me, and quickly closes the door behind her, placing her dirty clothing in her laundry basket. Her hair is damp, and she smells freshly showered. It's... she smells nice. I push those thoughts out of my head. Not doing that again any time soon, if I have anything to say about it.
  107. She sits down on the bed, and looks at my school bag for a half-second. "Wh-what were you and Shizune talking about?"
  109. I stiffen, before I realize she probably means the note in class. Hah,calm down, Hisao. "Oh, the note? Just... I thought she was avoiding me, because of everything that has changed lately. She was just telling me that wasn't the case, and that she thought we might need a little time."
  111. Hanako blushes and nods, but she's still got that curious expression. She looks at my bag again, and then reaches down and parts a zipper that wasn't completely closed, before withdrawing a small box-- Hanako blushes deeply as she realizes what she's holding, and drops the box to the floor, as if it had physically shocked her.
  113. "Ahaha... sorry, Hanako. Forgot I was carrying those."
  115. I bend down and pick up the box, before stuffing it back into my bag. "Uh... the nurse heard we were dating, somehow, and gave me these during my checkup. I didn't bring them over here intentionally or anything."
  117. Hanako's blush hasn't faded, but she nods quickly. "I-it's good you have them a-anyway. I-in case um... s-something like that... h-happens."
  119. A heavy pause in the air. I'm really not sure how to respond to that.
  121. Hanako's voice is quiet when she speaks again. "D-do you want something like that to happen?"
  123. How do I answer that? I can't just say no. Aside from being a lie, it makes it sound like I don't want our relationship to go any further. But I can't say yes, can I? That makes it sound like I just want her for sex, or at least that I'd never be happy unless we were doing that too.
  125. "I think when we're both ready, really ready, to do that sort of thing... I'd like it to happen again. You're really beautiful, Hanako, and it's hard not to think about it, sometimes." Was that enough of a half-measure to do it? Was the compliment too much?
  127. Hanako's blush deepens, and her lips move slightly as she tries to make herself say something. I give her time, this is a really awkward conversation anyway. After a few moments, a nearly inaudible, nervous voice breaks the silence. "I th-think... I w-want that to happen again too. Wh-when we're both ready."
  129. I smile at her. "Good, then we can get to that when we get to that."
  131. My light tone seems to help her a bit, and she smiles back. "D-did you take your medicine?"
  133. I nod, trying to keep from frowning as I often do at the mention of my pills. "Yes. I managed to remember most days before you found out about them, you know."
  135. Hanako nods again, giggling nervously. It's a cute sound from her. "I j-just... I d-don't want to lose you."
  137. I get up from the chair and sit down next to Hanako on the bed, cuddling her closely. "You aren't going to. I'll start running tomorrow, and before you know it, I'll be as healthy as I ever was."
  139. Careful wording. I've always had arrythmia, after all. But I do want to comfort her, I don't want her fretting and worrying over my condition all the time. It's really still something I hate being reminded of.
  141. It seems to work, and Hanako relaxes, just leaning against me with her head on my shoulder. She smiles a little, and pushes me slightly. I take the hint and lay back on the bed. Hanako snuggles up next to me, and rests her head on my chest. I can feel her damp hair through my uniform. She closes her eyes, and I can tell she's listening to my heartbeat. I know it's not a normal one, and it's obvious she does too.
  143. But after a moment's concern, her face softens and looks peaceful. I reach one hand up and gently pet her hair as she lays her head on my chest. Is this relationship moving too fast? I guess most couples don't end up cuddling in bed after only a week and a half. Then again... most couples don't do most of the things we have. It's grim to think about, but I guess most couples have more time than I do.
  145. I push that line of thought away for the moment. Too fast, too slow, these are terms that don't apply to Hanako and I. We'll take this as it comes, and I know that I'll do everything I can to make this girl happy. She looks up at me from my chest, with only a slight blush on her cheeks. "I sh-should let you change for bed. D-do you... normally wear pajamas?"
  147. I hesitate before answering, but I don't want to get into the habit of lying to her. "Ah... not really. Normally just the pants, lately. I don't mind wearing more though."
  149. Hanako shakes her head quickly. "No, I like it. I um... I would like it if you just wore that."
  151. Haha... too fast, was it? I quickly remove my uniform top, and Hanako politely averts her eyes as I remove the pants as well, leaving both articles of clothing in a crumpled mess on the floor. I open the overnight bag, and dress in my loose pajama pants, before turning off the light and joining Hanako in her bed. I can't help remembering the last time we were together here, but the feeling this time is very different. Much better, actually.
  153. Hanako pulls the covers up around us, and snuggles up to me much like she had before, with her head on my chest. She opens her eyes, and softly trails her fingertip along my scar. I just watch her, transfixed by the sight of this girl laying against my bare chest. I can't believe I had ever thought that my life was over when I was transferred to Yamaku. Lately, I feel like my life is only just beginning.
  155. I smile down at Hanako, and she looks up at me and returns my smile. "Th-thank you, Hisao."
  157. "For what?"
  159. Hanako blushes slightly, and lays her head on my chest again, not meeting my eyes. "F-for being there for me. All this time. I know I'm h-hard to talk to sometimes. B-but you kept trying, and you n-never gave up on me. It's..."
  161. I feel a teardrop land on my chest, and I pet her hair in what I hope is a comforting gesture.
  163. "I-I've never been this happy before. I j-just want everything to stay this way f-forever."
  165. I gently brush Hanako's bangs back, smiling down at her when she looks up to me. "We both know it can't stay this way, Hanako, but everything will get better. I've never been happier either, and I promise. I'll always be here for you, if you'll always be here for me."
  167. Hanako smiles and moves a little, kissing me briefly, but lovingly. "I w-will."
  169. We fall quiet, just holding one another in the silent darkness of Hanako's room. Only a few minutes pass before I feel Hanako's body relax, her breathing becoming even. I smile down at her, watching her sleep peacefully against me. No matter the exact wording, we've just promised to stay together forever. Looking at her now... I can't imagine life any other way. I give Hanako a gentle squeeze, and close my eyes.
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