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Hanako-Act5-Part7:Progress

Dec 31st, 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)
  2.  
  3. Act 5: Cues - Part 7: Progress
  4.  
  5. Wake up. Get out of bed. Take my pills. Take a shower. Get dressed. Go to class.
  6.  
  7. It's amazing how dull and routine everything becomes even when everything in my life feels like it's in a state of flux. I can't do anything but think about Hanako, Lilly, Miki, Shizune, Misha... all these people all around me, all these things are happening, but it all still ends up being routine somehow.
  8.  
  9. I didn't sleep well. Something about the ending of that phone conversation with Hanako was off-putting, and I'm not sure what it was. I feel guilty for keeping the fact that I was a little bothered a secret, but what would be the point of telling her? I don't want to upset her by fussing about something so minor as her reminding me to take my medication.
  10.  
  11. I get to class a few minutes earlier than normal, settling into my desk in the quiet, mostly empty classroom. I watch the students trickle in as time passes. Hanako smiles at me when she walks in, and quickly turns to go sit at her desk. Naomi immediately strikes up a conversation, and Hanako looks... not entirely comfortable, but at least fairly willing to talk with the girl she only barely knows.
  12.  
  13. By the time Mutou comes in, just after the bell, the only notable absences are the student council. Given their cavalier attitude toward missing classes in favor of their paperwork, it's not a big surprise. I find myself zoning out a bit as class begins, staring out the window and only automatically writing what Mutou says. This period is only another review class, and I'm still tired from the run yesterday followed by a night of poor sleep.
  14.  
  15. After a while, I notice that Mutou has stopped talking. I look up to the board to find a list of problems from the book, and I look around to see everyone else working individually on them. If Mutou notices my inattention, he doesn't mention it. I open my book and join the rest of the class in dull tedium.
  16.  
  17. Lunch passes without incident, Hanako and I sitting together in the tea room with cafeteria food. We don't talk too much, as there isn't much to talk about at the moment. Just being together for an hour in the middle of the day is enough. Hanako tells me that Naomi has asked her to come help with the newspaper club after classes, and apologizes for being absent from the studying this afternoon. I tell her it's no problem and she doesn't have to say she's sorry.
  18.  
  19. Afternoon classes go as well as can be expected, and I force myself to pay attention through the English reviews. It doesn't help much. I'm called on to answer a question halfway through class and I can only sputter nonsense. I should have spent more time studying this, but it's quickly approaching the point where it's too late to bother.
  20.  
  21. Miki and I leave class together as Hanako is willingly dragged away by Naomi and her friends. She still manages to give me a smile as she leaves, and I feel much happier at that small gesture than I feel like I should. Hanako has become a very important person to me very quickly.
  22.  
  23. Not that Miki will let me bask in that happiness for long. Her playful taunting over Hanako starts in the hallways and continues through the walk to the track. Math and science barely hold her interest today, even with a classmate instead of a teacher. We drift a bit, over history and into English, but she doesn't exactly excel in any subject. The warm sun and inattentive partner make the studying difficult, and we end up just idly chatting for an hour before parting with promises to try again tomorrow.
  24.  
  25. Back in my room, studying is much easier, and I lose track of time for a while. When I remember to look at my clock, it's already 6:50. A surge of panic runs through me before I realize that it hardly matters if I'm a few minutes late for tea. I still end up rushing quickly, and feeling almost proud that I'm not out of breath when I pause in front of Lilly's door.
  26.  
  27. -----------------
  28.  
  29. I take a moment to collect myself, and then rap my knuckles on the door. A few muffled footsteps later, the door opens to reveal Hanako in her pink pajama robe, smiling at me. "Hi, Hanako. Sorry I'm late."
  30.  
  31. Hanako shakes her head quickly. "N-no, it's fine."
  32.  
  33. She fidgets for a moment, looking like she wants to kiss me hello, before deciding against it and turning to walk back to the table. I follow her into Lilly's room and close the door behind me. The room looks the same as always, largely unadorned, blank beige walls, that girly scent, the old-world furniture.
  34.  
  35. As well as the two girls.
  36.  
  37. Sometimes one must step back and take stock of one's life. I am a young man of eighteen, in a girl's bedroom with two very pretty girls in their pajamas. One of these girls is also my girlfriend. Sometimes I feel like a very lucky man indeed.
  38.  
  39. I can't help but take a moment to look at Lilly, now that she's back after so long. Her long blond hair is still just as exotic and interesting as ever, and her small smile as she waits for me to join them is pretty as always. Her top is open just enough to give a peek at her chest, and I tear my eyes away from her as I find myself looking over her legs again, and force myself to walk over to the tea table, taking my customary seat and smiling at Hanako before turning back to Lilly. "Hello, Lilly. It's good to see you again."
  40.  
  41. I really should learn to avoid that phrase. Lilly doesn't mind however, just allowing her polite smile to widen slightly. "I am glad you could join us. It has been too long since we have all been together."
  42.  
  43. "W-would you like some tea?"
  44.  
  45. Hanako asks this as she lifts the tea pot. I find myself looking her over as well. Her gown leaves a lot more to the imagination than Lilly's pajamas, but she's adorable in it anyway. It's too big for her, but the thin fabric settles well on her curves, and the color works well with her cute face and dark hair. ... And now I've been staring instead of answering her question. "Oh, uh, yes, please."
  46.  
  47. She smiles just slightly as she sets herself to pouring the tea for everyone. I speak up before the silence starts to get awkward. "So, Lilly, how are you feeling? No more jet lag?"
  48.  
  49. Lilly pauses a moment to take a sip from her tea before speaking. "Thank you for the tea, Hanako. I am doing well, Hisao. It has been... a long two weeks."
  50.  
  51. The momentary pause in her speech and her deflating posture make me believe what she's saying. I nod, as pointless a gesture as that is in this situation, and find myself sounding tired as well. "It has."
  52.  
  53. A flutter of pink beside me catches my eye, as Hanako seats herself after pouring our tea. She's sitting much closer than normal, her gown brushing my clothing. I decide not to mention it to Lilly. Hanako speaks quietly. "We b-both missed you, Lilly."
  54.  
  55. Lilly's smile takes on a slightly coy, teasing aspect. "My my, speaking for the both of you, Hanako?"
  56.  
  57. "I-it isn't that, I j-just... a l-lot of things happened, and I..."
  58.  
  59. Lilly reaches across the table, and squeezes Hanako's hand. Hanako calms quickly at Lilly's touch, and Lilly's voice is quiet as she speaks. "I'm sorry, Hanako. I was only teasing."
  60.  
  61. I interject, to avoid any unnecessary embarrassment for Hanako. "Did you have fun in Scotland, Lilly?"
  62.  
  63. Her smile falters for a half-second, but her voice is as polite and smooth as ever. "It was... nice. I hadn't met my family in a very long time. It was a wonderful reunion."
  64.  
  65. "Lilly's a-aunt recovered, too."
  66.  
  67. I smile and silently wrap an arm around Hanako, squeezing her gently. Hanako blushes madly from the gesture, looking to Lilly as though the girl could see what we were doing. "That's good to hear, too. Are you looking forward to exams?"
  68.  
  69. Lilly puffs her cheeks a little, that teasing lilt back in her voice. "I wouldn't say I was 'looking'..."
  70.  
  71. "L-lilly will do f-fine in her exams. She's v-very smart."
  72.  
  73. Despite the conviction in Hanako's voice, Lilly's expression shows that she doesn't share that confidence. "Well, Lilly, you can join our study group if you want. We've been doing mostly science and math, but I'd uh... like to try to work on English some as well."
  74.  
  75. Hanako giggles, but Lilly only keeps that polite smile. "The study group with Miss Miura?"
  76.  
  77. "Yeah, we meet together after classes. Though we didn't really get anything done today. I guess we were just too distracted."
  78.  
  79. The sound of Lilly's empty teacup against the saucer reminds me that I haven't started drinking mine. Hm. Lukewarm. Lilly speaks quietly, still smiling. "I will not be attending classes tomorrow, and there is only Tuesday's class before the exams begin. I will have to decline."
  80.  
  81. A few moments of silence pass as I sip at my tea. Hanako edges away from my arm and sips at hers as well, looking a little uncomfortable.
  82.  
  83. Lilly speaks quietly, the silence apparently as hard to break for her as for me. "Hanako, did you enjoy your introduction to the newspaper club today?"
  84.  
  85. Hanako smiles a little. "I-it was... really interesting. Naomi and her friends have b-been nice to m-me. I'm g-going to h-help with the computer w-work mostly, not interviewing people or i-investigating stories."
  86.  
  87. Investigations and interviews don't really seem like they'd go well with Hanako's personality anyway. Even though she's been trying to talk to people, I don't think she's ready for high-pressure situations like that. "You know how to do all that stuff? Newspaper layouts and graphic design and everything?"
  88.  
  89. She nods just slightly, retreating immediately away from anything approaching praise. "S-some of it. I um.. I t-try to do the parts I'm not s-sure about, and it w-works sometimes."
  90.  
  91. I smile at her. "It could be useful to be good with computers. There are a lot of jobs that need that kind of skill."
  92.  
  93. Hanako nods, but looks away and doesn't respond. We all spend a little time making casual conversation about Lilly's trip and how classes have been in the past two weeks. It seems like Hanako and Lilly both are doing their best to avoid anything approaching the topic of our relationship. Regardless of the metaphorical elephant in the room, it's nice to have time with these two again.
  94.  
  95. A slightly different tone in Lilly's voice shakes me out of my thoughts. "Hisao, Hanako and I are planning to spend this weekend at my family's summer home in Hokkaido. Would you like to join us?"
  96.  
  97. Join them for a trip to Hokkaido for a long weekend? I set the teacup down and swallow my tea, looking over to Hanako while I do so. She's staring down at the table with a bright blush on her cheeks. "Uh... Sure, yeah. I'd like to go with you, I've never been to Hokkaido anyway."
  98.  
  99. Lilly nods, her customary polite smile still on her lips. Hanako smiles as well, looking relieved. Did she expect me to say no? "I-it's not too far, and L-lilly says that it's a v-very calm and quiet area. I c-can try to help with y-your English while we're there, i-if you want me to."
  100.  
  101. "Sounds like a good idea. I really do need to work on it."
  102.  
  103. After smiling at me, Hanako lets out a small yawn, covering her mouth in embarrassment. Lilly just smiles. "My my, it's getting late, isn't it, Hanako? Hisao and I will clean up the tea, perhaps you should go to sleep."
  104.  
  105. She hesitates, but then Hanako nods, and leans over just a bit to hug me before standing up. "D-don't forget to--"
  106.  
  107. She pauses a half second. ".. r-run with Miki, later. It's p-probably close to nine."
  108.  
  109. What was that for? "Sure, I'll keep it in mind."
  110.  
  111. Hanako smiles and turns to leave, hesitating at the door just a moment before closing it behind her. I turn back to Lilly, who has poured herself another half-cup of lukewarm tea from the teapot. A few moments of silence pass, before I speak up. "So, I'm guessing-"
  112.  
  113. Lilly interrupts. "Hanako, it is impolite to listen at the door."
  114.  
  115. There's a click from the door as someone stops leaning on it, and then footsteps retreating down the hallway, ending in another door being opened and closed. I can't help but laugh quietly at this, even in the serious mood that has overtaken Lilly's room. I guess Lilly's hearing is better than I thought.
  116.  
  117. A moment passes, and Lilly speaks again, in a quiet voice. "Hanako assures me that you have been a gentleman, Hisao."
  118.  
  119. "I've been trying to be, yes. I don't think either of us really knows what we're doing when it comes to dating."
  120.  
  121. Lilly sips at her tea. "She is your first girlfriend? Not Iwanako?"
  122.  
  123. ... I guess Lilly and Hanako do speak about pretty personal topics. Even my pretty personal topics that don't have much to do with either of them. Either that, or "You were listening at the bar?"
  124.  
  125. Lilly pauses a moment before answering, as though she's not sure she should be admitting to it. "... Yes. Though Hanako discussed the name once or twice as well."
  126.  
  127. "Iwanako and I never dated, Lilly. Her confession to me was what caused my heart attack, before I came to Yamaku."
  128.  
  129. That did it. Lilly's polite facade cracks a bit, her smile dropping. I can't help smirking, though I force myself to drop the expression so it doesn't show in my voice. Lilly never seems to know how to react to matters regarding my heart. "I... see. I didn't mean to bring up such a personal topic, I..."
  130.  
  131. I interrupt before she gets too into apologizing. "It's alright, Lilly. But yes, Hanako is my first girlfriend. Hopefully the only one I'll ever have."
  132.  
  133. Lilly latches on to the change of topic readily, smiling and bringing a hand to her cheek. "Oh my, Only two weeks and already so devoted."
  134.  
  135. I nod, speaking carefully and with weight. "She means a lot to me. I want this to go right, even if we've already made a mistake or two."
  136.  
  137. Lilly nods, setting down her teacup. "I am aware of it. I do not blame you entirely, it was partially Hanako's fault and partially mine as well. I should have tried more forcefully to talk her out of showing herself to you."
  138.  
  139. "I don't intend on repeating that any time soon, Lilly. Hanako and I are going to wait until we are ready."
  140.  
  141. Lilly nods, though the strangeness of the conversation is obviously making her tense. "Yes, of course."
  142.  
  143. A beat of silence passes, before Lilly speaks again. "It is getting late, Hisao. You don't want to miss your run with Miss Miura."
  144.  
  145. I take her hint, and stand to leave. "Thank you for inviting me to tea, Lilly."
  146.  
  147. "Goodnight, Hisao."
  148.  
  149. --------------------------
  150.  
  151. I go back to my room, take my medicine, and change my clothes, before heading to the track again. I get there only five minutes early, and I'm unsurprised to see Miki there already running laps. Does she live on the track, or sleep in the shed or something? She waves as I come up, and we set to stretching in silence. The stretching gives me time to think, which I'm not entirely certain I want right now.
  152.  
  153. Was I too frank with Lilly? It certainly seemed like she didn't want to hear about Hanako and I making plans about sex. I'm not sure why I even told her, other than to assure her that I wasn't taking advantage of Hanako. Still though, it seems like the three of us can still talk and be friends even with Hanako and I in a relationship. That's one load of stress off, and another added on by going with them to a summer house. The day after tomorrow, no less.
  154.  
  155. What is expected of me there? If I wasn't dating either of them, it would be obvious. Go there, have fun with friends, come home. But I'm dating Hanako. We'll be sleeping in the same building for two nights. Would Lilly put us in the same bedroom? Absolutely not. I expect the temptation for sneaking around will be there, though. Just how good is Lilly's hearing anyway? I don't want, well, if Hanako and I do end up doing more than sleeping, I don't want Lilly to overhear it.
  156.  
  157. Hokkaido is by no means the warmest area of Japan, but I doubt it's exactly cool in the early summer. I guess I need to pack at least one change of clothes, and--
  158.  
  159. I notice Miki grinning at me, her stretching apparently finished. How long have I been spacing out?
  160.  
  161. "Hey, Hisao, something on your mind?"
  162.  
  163. I finish the stretch, feeling like I've been holding it too long. "Uh... nothing really. Just thinking."
  164.  
  165. That smile of Miki's would be dangerous for a man who wasn't already taken. "About Hanako? It's cute, Hisao, but you've got to keep focused."
  166.  
  167. "Hanako, yeah. Sorry, let's go."
  168.  
  169. I stand to start running, and Miki keeps pace beside me easily, despite her running before I got here. I set a comfortable pace, and Miki doesn't seem interested in pushing me to go any faster. Running is easier today than yesterday, though my legs are still sore and at the end of the four laps I'm panting heavily again. Still, I have that strange elation that always seems to accompany a good run. I find myself liking it more and more.
  170.  
  171. Miki and I slow to a walk. She's looking up at the sky as we walk together, seemingly distracted by something. I don't want to bother her, and I find my own mind wandering too. I don't know anything about Lilly's family's summer home. Is it on the coast? Should I bring a swimsuit?
  172.  
  173. Could I even force myself to walk around on the beach without a shirt on? My scar is pretty visible.
  174.  
  175. Not that I can imagine Hanako in a swimsuit. Well, I can imagine it, it's just... now I'm imagining it.
  176.  
  177. I do my best to force that image away, these shorts are pretty thin. But... I'll bring some swimming trunks then. Though I don't want to over pack. It's manly to travel light, isn't it? I wouldn't want to look silly with a huge suitcase or duffel bag. So that's... a change of clothes, pills, swimming trunks, I guess a toothbrush, maybe... some playing cards or something for the trip. And I guess it's the responsible thing to be prepared if Hanako and I do end up doing more than sleeping.
  178.  
  179. ... and maybe some textbooks. English at least.
  180.  
  181. Now that my list is finished, I look to Miki again. She's just looking forward, walking with her hands behind her head. Hand and wrist. After a moment, she looks back at me, and grins. "Welcome back, Hisao. You're lucky I'm used to spacey people."
  182.  
  183. I laugh, maybe a bit nervously. "Are you? But yeah, sorry, I'm going on a trip with Hanako and Lilly soon, I guess I'm a little preoccupied."
  184.  
  185. Her grin widens a bit. "A trip? Just the three of you? Wow, Hisao, I didn't think you'd end up with both of them."
  186.  
  187. That's so preposterous that I can't even get offended. "I'm just that charming. But really, it's probably going to be kind of awkward. I don't know what's going to happen or anything."
  188.  
  189. Miki doesn't seem put off at my lack of reaction to her teasing. "It'll be fine. You and Hanako got this far, right?"
  190.  
  191. "Yeah. Yeah, I guess we did."
  192.  
  193. I haven't thought about it that way. I guess whatever reasons exist or don't exist, Hanako and I get along. We've gotten along thus far, we're dating and she loves me. If I just keep acting like myself, then there's nothing to worry about. Even knowing that, though, I feel nervous.
  194.  
  195. "I'm going to ask Hanako all about it when you three get back." Miki says this with a grin, but something tells me she's actually looking forward to trying to chat with Hanako about this kind of thing. I don't say anything in response, and a moment later Miki launches into some silly classroom gossip about two of our classmates that I barely know. I listen politely as we finish our cool down lap, and then break to go back to our rooms.
  196.  
  197. Halfway back I get a message on my phone, from Hanako. 'Can you stay here tonight?'
  198.  
  199. Well, what kind of man would I be if I said no?
  200.  
  201. -----------------------
  202.  
  203. I hurry back to my room, gather a few things, take my pills, change into my school uniform, and then make my way somewhat-stealthily to Hanako's room. No one stops me or questions me, anyway, so I guess I was stealthy enough. I move to knock on the door, but it opens quickly before I can do so, Hanako motioning silently for me to come in.
  204.  
  205. Her actions make me feel paranoid. I look up and down the hall. No one is watching, and I quickly slip into her room. Hanako is in her pink robe still, I guess she hasn't changed from the tea party. She closes the door quietly behind me, and then pulls me into a warm hug. I hold her close, and we stay like that for a few moments, just breathing one another in. I imagine I don't smell that good, after running.
  206.  
  207. After a few seconds she pulls away a little, blushing but smiling. She speaks in an overly quiet whisper. "Y-you're sweaty."
  208.  
  209. I match her low tone. I'm not sure why she's suddenly so paranoid, I've been over here before. "Yeah, I just finished running. And listening to Miki gossiping."
  210.  
  211. "D-did you..."
  212.  
  213. Hanako trails off. But I think I know what she was going to ask, and I answer, carefully avoiding sounding bitter. "I took my pills before I came over. Why are we being so quiet?"
  214.  
  215. She looks over toward the wall, not that there's anything there. "L-lilly is back. I d-don't want her to know y-you stay here s-sometimes."
  216.  
  217. Oh, right. "Why? Are we going to be doing something she might overhear?"
  218.  
  219. Hanako blushes madly at my implication. Maybe I've been around Miki too much lately, I wouldn't normally tease her so much. Hanako really isn't the type to be able to take that kind of thing very well. Just before I start to apologize, Hanako leans tilts her face upward and kisses me. Our lips part, and then press together again.
  220.  
  221. The atmosphere of the room shifts, and Hanako's arms slide loosely around my neck. Instinctively I move my hands to her hips, pulling her close as we kiss again and again. This is... different. The last time we kissed like this, it didn't end too well. But then, I was doing it all. Now, Hanako is initiating things. It's better. A lot better.
  222.  
  223. Hanako's lips part slightly, and the kissing deepens. I'm not sure what I'm doing here, and my mind is more than a little fuzzy. Somewhere deep beneath all the hormones and rapid heartbeat, a little voice is telling me that this might be too soon still. I'm surprised how easily I can ignore that voice right now.
  224.  
  225. It's amazing how much nicer this is, with Hanako showing interest. Everything about her body language is different than last time. I almost want to hit myself for not realizing how reluctant she was then. But I can't focus enough now to worry about it. Hanako breaks the kissing after a few more moments. Her hands move to the front of my shirt, and I feel her struggling with the buttons. I reach up to help, but she shakes her head quickly, her hair swishing about a little. After a little more work she manages to undo the top one, and the rest go much faster.
  226.  
  227. Hanako looks me over as she removes my shirt, and runs her hands over my chest. I lean in and kiss her hair, unable to stay away from her any longer. She looks up into my eyes again, I can see she's nervous, I am too. But maybe she's actually ready this--
  228.  
  229. A knock on Hanako's door makes us both jump, and her eyes widen in shock. I look around the room for a place to hide, but the only thing I can see is white walls and endless nothing. Hanako seems to be doing the same thing, and then just pushes me toward the closet. My deadened brain jumps into gear, and I manage to quickly grab my shirt and step over to her closet, and she closes the door after I step inside. I quickly don my shirt again, buttoning up in the dark.
  230.  
  231. I hear Hanako open the door after a few seconds. It's frustrating not to be able to see anything in the pitch black of the closet. My mind vaguely wonders if this is how Lilly sees the world. I don't need to see to recognize the voice addressing Hanako, though. "Hi, Hanako."
  232.  
  233. It's Emi.
  234.  
  235. "H-hello, M-miss Ibarazaki."
  236.  
  237. "You can just call me Emi, we're in the same grade."
  238.  
  239. Why is she here.
  240.  
  241. "S-sorry, E-emi. Wh-what um... wh-what do.. d-do you..."
  242.  
  243. Ah, her stuttering is really bad. Hanako must be mortified, being interrupted in the middle of... whatever it was we were about to do.
  244.  
  245. "I just stopped by because... you're dating Hisao, aren't you?"
  246.  
  247. A momentary silence. I guess she's nodding.
  248.  
  249. "Did you know he's been running at night with Miki?"
  250.  
  251. Oh, dammit.
  252.  
  253. "Y-yes. I-it's for his hear-- his h-health."
  254.  
  255. "Really? Because the nurse tried to make him run with me when he first got here. I think they're messing around, Hanako. You don't know Miki."
  256.  
  257. "Wh-what?"
  258.  
  259. "I see them alone in the afternoons sometimes, and I saw them together in the morning, at the nurse. Hisao's cheating-"
  260.  
  261. "Th-they aren't d-doing anything like that! I-it was my idea f-for him to run with her a-anyway, and h-he wouldn't d-do that. M-miki wouldn't either. She's m-my... my f-friend."
  262.  
  263. I wince a bit. The way Hanako says that... I know she doesn't like the word. She barely believes she can really even have friends. For her to so readily call Miki her friend, Miki must have made a very good impression.
  264.  
  265. Emi is quiet for a second, I guess Hanako's interruption was unexpected. "Wait, you know Miki? I mean I know she's in your class, but you're actually friends with her?"
  266.  
  267. A momentary silence again. Nodding?
  268.  
  269. "And you know they sit alone together in the afternoon, and they run together and everything?"
  270.  
  271. "Y-yes, th-they're studying together. I d-do it with them s-sometimes. I th-think I saw them after they w-went to the nurse, i-it was so Miki would kn-know how much Hisao c-could run."
  272.  
  273. I can almost hear Emi's built-up frustration with Miki and I leaving her as Hanako refuses to get angry. Did she really think we were doing that? I guess so, if she bothered to show up here. Maybe she expected that Hanako would side with her. Maybe she's just lonely, or jealous. Wait, that sounded more conceited than I meant it to be. I don't think she wants me, but maybe she just wants anyone. Maybe I'm overthinking this.
  274.  
  275. I can almost hear the pouting expression in her voice. "Well... fine. Whatever, I just wanted to tell you. If you trust them, then I won't bother you about it. You're sure?"
  276.  
  277. Another short silence, and then Hanako speaks, very quietly but certainly. "I-i trust Hisao m-more than anyone in the w-world."
  278.  
  279. Emi hesitates, but then sounds genuinely pleased. "Really? Okay, Hanako. He seems like a nice guy, I just... anyway. I hope you two stay happy. Come eat lunch with Rin and me on the roof sometime, okay?"
  280.  
  281. "A-alright, but... i-it's kind of late..."
  282.  
  283. "Oh, right. Night, Hanako."
  284.  
  285. "G-goodnight."
  286.  
  287. The door clicks shut, and I hear Hanako let out a sigh of relief as she has the room to herself again. A moment later, the closet door opens. Hanako's blush is gone, but she doesn't seem any worse for the wear of the weird conversation. I step out of the closet, and she draws me into another hug. I hold her close, before speaking softly. "Sorry, Miki said that might happen. I meant to warn you."
  288.  
  289. Hanako shakes her head, still hugging me. "I-it's fine. I kn-know you wouldn't d-do that. Y-you wouldn't, right?"
  290.  
  291. "Of course not. You are the only woman I'll ever be interested in." I punctuate this statement with a gentle kiss to her hair. The mood is entirely wrong to continue our previous activity now. I try to keep myself from feeling too disappointed.
  292.  
  293. Hanako's tone is a little apologetic. "I-is it okay if w-we just go to s-sleep?"
  294.  
  295. I smile at her. "Sure. We don't have any... I mean it wouldn't really be safe, anyway."
  296.  
  297. Hanako nods, blushing again, and sits down on the edge of her bed, watching me. It's a bit weird still, being watched, but I go ahead and strip down to what I wore last time we slept together like this. I pull on the pajama pants and then crawl into bed with Hanako.
  298.  
  299. She cuddles up to me as though it was the most natural thing in the world. Maybe it is, it certainly feels natural to slide my arms around her. We hold each other close, the bed is a little small for two people. Hanako lets out another happy sigh, her eyes closed as she lays with me. She's remarkably comfortable with me already, but then again I feel completely comfortable like this too. "G-goodnight, Hisao."
  300.  
  301. I squeeze her gently. "Goodnight, Hanako."
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