But... yeah, in the end, what can I do, really? The goal may be relaxation, but frankly, walking the streets this late at night feels excitingly frightening enough to completely forget about it - something that needs a fix - and not in the form of a baseball bat in the occiput - if I'm to actually at least dip my feet in Nirvana's waters. What, then? All the open places lure with music and sounds, as well as smells and tastes, but in the end, wouldn't entering any of them equal stepping into an even more dangerous zone? Devils' temptation at its best - come, take a seat! Pay a penny, and enjoy the most exquisite of lowly alcohols! And when your head is covered in a fuzzy haze, all the hounds shall gather to feast on your belongings... Back to hell with that, I've no intention of getting into any deep manure any more today - there's been enough unfortunate coincidences to fill my daily quota. To exceed it, would mean to exceed the limit of decency, and decency is a thing I'd like to retain at all costs. Sighing again, I draw my attention from all the enticing dens of obscenity, and direct my steps to the place that appears the most adequate to visit at such a time. Surely, the silence will do me good, and truth be told, I'm still a bit distressed about being outside so late at night.
'Ere we go, then! Into the sea of green, among oceans of grey! The park.
Now too, as before, the artificial grove greets me with both undisturbed silence, blocking out the din of the city, as well as delicate, barely audible, characteristic noises, only hearable in places such as this. Buzzing of leaves. Rustling of grass, when a small, invisible animal dashes through it, oblivious of the shivers it causes by doing so, to crawl down a lone highschooler's back. Really, this place indeed is calm, the serenity is exactly what I sought, but... For some reason, I can't relax at all. Blame the exuberant imagination, I can't help, but see the shadows as beings intent on slicing my neck the instant I turn my back at them. Nonsensical, childish fear, that can only be fought by braving forward, no regard for the danger the place might hold. Until I reach the familiar spot, where the impenetrable darkness, a creation of the lack of streetlights around, surrenders before a small bonfire. There, in the ring of warm light, I spot a girl, sitting on the grass, just like the last time, gazing at the flames with absent eyes. Of course, who else could it be? And just as before, she seems to be too lost in thought to notice someone sneaking around her little camp...
[ ] Come out of the shades, and mutter a greeting. [ ] I better leave her alone for now.
Just as promised at the beginning of the second thread, I'm not going to initiate any Fuku interaction without asking the obnoxious 'Do you really want to?' first.
[X] Come out of the shades, and mutter a greeting.
... someone who fortunately isn't anyone harmful. For someone with - I think - experience in being homeless, she betrays signs of incredible carelessness at times. Not that there are any grounds on which I could base that thesis, but do I really need to? Come to think of it, she might be lucky to have me here tonight - two people are much less likely to get attacked than one, let alone a lone, thin as a rack girl. A girl unable to fight back. Kind of ironic - how she survived so long when even a guy like me - not an incarnation of Hulk Hogan - was able to get her on the ground without exerting himself. ... is she stupid? Or simply unaware of the danger she's putting herself in? Unaware, just like she's unaware of someone spying on her exposed legs... Right, I should probably do something about that. For instance, walk into the ring of light, reveal myself. I wouldn't want to spook her, now would I? The reaction might be worth the effort, but honestly, the mood isn't quite right for such things. "Hello." A simplest greeting possible, as there's no need for anything else. She grants me a single, fleeting glance of miscoloured eyes, before returning them to the nothingness ahead. "May I...?" "..." Silence. Not even a nod, but as far as I'm concerned, lack of protests usually means agreement. Unless they're asleep - which she doesn't seem to be. I'll take that as a yes, then, and seat myself as close to the fire as possible, but keep the distance required by our relationship. A relationship based on waving a stun gun at each other's face, and exchanging a few words in between. Not enough of a basis to get too close, and I'm sure neither of us would really appreciate that. What am I thinking about? Instead of wasting the oxygen on fruitless wondering, I may as well get rid of it right ahead. The effect will still be the same in the end. "... ehh." I sigh. The air here, stale and somewhat dry, as opposed to it's polluted, but constantly moving city cousin, feels difficult to breathe. Ironically, considering how it's a freakin' park, and not a museum of dust and dirt, where no one cleaned for years, in fear of damaging the pieces. Or perhaps it's just the fault of the fire, I can't really tell. Fukuzai, in all her gloominess, remains silent. I didn't expect her to say anything anyway, but the silence can't go on forever. It's... uncomfortable. Urges the mind to concentrate on other things, on which I shouldn't focus. "... so, how was your day?" It would seem that despite keeping her cool on far beyond the average levels, she still feels inclined to at least respond. A good sign? Don't know about that. "... tiring." she says "... a lot of homework." "A lot, huh..." right. I was semi-absent at school today, there's no way I'd know about homework. "And other things? Everything okay?" It may have been just an illusion, but I think she flinched at that question. What, did I hit a nerve or what? "... okay." regardless, there's another brief answer "... nothing out of the ordinary." Nothing out of the ordinary... whether that forebodes well or not, I don't know, and somehow, I think asking for an explanation would be too much. But then again... This isn't a conversation. This isn't a goddamn conversation! I look up to the ceiling of treetops above and groan under my nose. Seriously, I came here to relax, and maybe chat a little bit, yet it would seem that this girl is keen on denying me both of the pleasures. No wonder she doesn't have any friends, and isn't familiar with anyone in the class - with this kind of personality and skill to keep up a conversation, she's bound to get shoved aside sooner or late, in favour of more interesting personae. Pitiable, but it's her own fault, she, of all people, should be the one striving to fix that. Yet here we are, listening to nought but the buzzing of leaves above, trying to make out as much as possible from the darkness. With our stupid, weak human eyes that can't distinguish a skunk from a marten, unless you place a halogen floodlight over a pair of specimen. Eyes, that I return to my quiet companion, only to have them meet with another - miscoloured - pair. The moment they realize they've been caught looking in this direction though, they immediately return to wherever they were staring before. Their owner's mouth mutters something I can't make out. That's kind of... irritating. This is what I was complaining about, see? "If you've got something to say," I voice my thoughts "Say it." "..." Nothing. Still nothing. How long do I have to talk to squeeze anything out? "Look," I say, out of patience at last "What's your problem?" Explosion. As if though the words I've just let out were incredibly offensive, she springs onto her legs, an annoyed scowl painted on her face. Having startled the crap out of me, she opens her mouth, as if to say something... "..." ... but ends up keeping silent. What the... "Stop," I mutter while squeezing the bridge of my nose "Making such sudden movements. It's distressi--" "Shut up." finally. After an eternity of cold indifference, her lips at last come up with something I can understand. "Shut up." she repeats, for reasons unknown. Still glaring at me like if I was a dog that's just peed on the carpet, and appears very glad about the fact, she clenches her fists. "Shut up." and one last time "... I thought you came here to apologize... but instead, you're just asking idiotic questions. Shut up." Wait, apologize? Why would I..." "What are you talking about?" "You forgot about me, then?!" "I what? What do you--" then it hits me. Right. I forgot. Thanks to everything that's happened today, I forgot about this simple promise I'd forced on her, and then completely let it's existence fade away. And yet here I am, smalltalking to the one who's suffered the repercussions of absent-mindedness. No, it's not like I could help it! For fuck's sake, the whole day looked like a nightmare, I'm justified in forgetting about something like that! "Yeah." I nod "I did forget. Many things happened." It's done, the scowl subsides, only to be once again substituted by the usual, indifferent expression. But instead of slumping to the ground, like I would expect her to, she remains firm upright. "... so you did forget." "Like I said," I butt in, intent on taking my excuses to an end. At least let me explain myself, damn it, before making accusations! "Many things happened. Aoi came to school ill, so I had to take her to a doctor... And our new nurse turned out to be a lunatic. I had to get her out of the school. Then she crashed at my place since there was no one at hers, and--" I pause for a moment "Sorry, okay? Many things happened, really. I'll do it tomorro-- OW?!"
The string of self-righteous promises gets cut off by the feeling of the ground suddenly jumping at my back. No, rather, it was my back which was forced to meet up with mother Earth, pushed down by someone's hand. Someone's, who is now sitting on my stomach like on a pillow, glaring mercilessly at my surprised face. I can't help, but notice, how her half-exposed legs adhere tightly to my torso. Almost like if she was gripping me in a vice. "... you're going to do it tomorrow..." she says, undisturbed, using the moment of my inattention "... just like you did it today?" "Hell, no!" I almost yell out, shocked by my own reaction. Why am I panicking? This is wrong, yeah, but... No, hell, NO! "I had a hard day today, I couldn't help it--!" "... what if tomorrow is hard as well." "I--" I click my tongue. If tomorrow decides to drop an avalanche upon my shoulders as well, I suppose... I'd forget again. "... look, I promise I'll--" "You promised once," she cuts in "... and we both see what came from that." "For the love of-- I told you I had a hard day!" I try to push her away, only to have my forearms get pinned to the ground. Before I can as much as scream, she shakes her head violently, as if to brush the hair off her face. Then bends down. "... I don't believe you." "What are you--" She's getting closer. "... I'll make you remember." And closer. I can feel the air she exhales on my lips. "Get off..." "... so that you won't forget."
My body, impotent like a doll, falls swiftly onto the mattress, sending creaks of springs to resonate around the room. It took me less than 20 minutes to get home, yet it felt like an eternity of rolling a giant ball of stone uphill. The worst thing... "... urgk." Even after having changed into my pajamas, my eyes refuse to close. It's already around 3AM, I need to sleep. Need to rest before tomorrow. "... god... damn it..." How am I supposed to fall asleep like this...?!
Her scent is... all over me...
Ring, ring, miss reality requests an immediate meeting with you, sir, and she's sent a messenger in form of an alarm clock to relay the message. To hell with it. I blindly flail my hand around in the general direction of the bedside table, in hopes of silencing the damn thing. "... gotcha." Is all I manage to mutter when the desired results show up at last. Still, I'm awake. Somehow, for some bizarre, twisted reason, I'm fully awake. No, in fact, I think I might have not fallen asleep at all. Even blinking takes indescribable amounts of energy. "... damn." I thought I'd set the alarm for 7AM? Yet it shows it's already around 8... How come... "Oh crap." I'm going to be late, if I don't get out of bed at once.
[ ] Screw that, stay at home. [ ] Call David I'll be late. There are other things to do before going to school. [ ] That's the fate of those who wander the streets at night. Burn your soles, idiot.
[X] Call David I'll be late. There are other things to do before going to school.
Get out of the bed, get dressed and skip breakfast just to not be late for school? I don't think so, there are things that have to be done in the morning and I'll be damned if I suddenly decide that school is more important than they are. Yawning as I get out of the bed I stretch, and... My eyes catch the sight of my cellphone lying on the table. Yeah, I should probably call somebody at the school to let them know I'm late. After all, skipping too many classes without an explanation can never result in anything good. I pick a number from speed-dial, and after few moments I hear a familiar voice. "Hey lover-boy, planning to boast with the most incredible day of your life?" Yes, sadly David is the only person I can call about this, having never gotten teacher's numbers, or those of anybody else in our class. "No, I just happened to sleep a bit late." "Oh-ho!" His voice grows bit more excited. "So you're going to tell me about that night you'll never forget, then?" "Is this all you can think about? Never heard about something called bad mornings?" I answer to him in annoyed tone, it's not like I need any more reminders of what happened... "And if I did happen to have an 'unforgetable night', I'd know better than call you about it." "Ooh~" His calm reply rings from the phone. "Well, I won't bother you anymore about the time you and Aoi spent together, I'm sure it was great." "Oh come on!" Nearly yelling to the phone I stand tense. "He was sick and I took him home! There was nothing more than that, alright?!" There is a moment of silence before David sighs and continues. "...Hey, you realize that it doesn't take much to get rumors started in our school, right? And looking at the company I hang out with in my free time, I really hear most of it." "..." I stay silent, only biting my lip. This isn't like his usual fooling around, he really has a point now. "Now imagine this: There is a student in the school, he's not too social save for few friends, not in any way remarkable person." He takes a dramatic pause. I already know where this story is heading to, but I let him continue. "But then, one day a transfer student walks into class. She's cute, but childish and doesn't really have any kind of bust to speak of. But for some reason the boy that was so unsocial earlier acts kind towards her, even going as far as spending lunch with her and showing her around school." By now I've moved to bathroom, tapping the sink while listening to Davey. "Maybe he had a change of heart? Who knows, it's not unheard of, apparently he helped a girl with heavy load of books earlier." That... Adahn, so somebody did hear of that. That's not entirely unexpected, but still annoying. "But it all gets better! So, the next day after first class the boy disappears. Somebody did see the girl too, but she never showed up for any of the classes. The logical explanation? They went off to spend the day together, and who knows what followed..." When it looks like he has nothing more to say, I finally talk. "...Is that what people are saying?" "It's what at least our class is saying. Most likely others know about it too, but they should have their own rumors." He sighs, this time sounding apologetic. "Seriously, I'm not buying the crap those guys are spouting, but you should know this. What did you call me about?" He can be nice guy sometimes, in his own way. "Just... I'll be a bit late to school, alright? Things to do, I just woke up." "Yeah yeah, I'll come up with something to say to Belmont. You'd better pray that Aoi isn't late too, though." Oh christ, he's still probably sick. "...If I've ever needed help from Lady Luck, it's now." "That bad huh? Later." A click, and the call ends. Well. This day is really starting in a magnificent manner. Fuku really did great job of wrapping me in whole lot her misfortune... No, I don't even want to think about it, first I should wash this smell off from me.
Being so late at the breakfast table I can spend the morning in peace. Mom and dad have already left for work, so only thing to greet me is a yellow post-it note on toaster. 'It is dangerous to go alone, use this.' I can't bring my palm to my face hard enough. Anyway, the note says that in my dad's handwriting, under which there are is some address along with phone number. '(if you can't tell yet, that's Aoi's number and address. use them well)' I won't even begin to think why or how he got those. Thanks dad, I couldn't do this without you. Not. So, I sit down to the table for some light breakfast. Not before pocketing the note though, mind you. As much as it annoys me it might prove useful. While munching on a sandwich, I decide on my next action which is...
[ ] I'll head to school right away after this. [ ] ...I should at least go check up on Aoi. [ ] I'm in despair! Pressure of the world has left me in despair, and only cure is to stay whole day in your house! ======================== >>76871 Poor Protagonist, David got Aoi before him. I guess it's time to change the target, huh? So work extra-hard to prevent this, alright!
[X] ...I should at least give Aoi a call. [X] I'll head to school right away after that.
Yeah, I should at least make sure that she's not horribly sick. I went this far to make sure she'd be alright, there's no turning back now. Picking up the piece of paper with the number written on it I input them to my cell. I did say make sure she's alright, but this should be enough for now. Like David said, I can't afford to be late for(or for that matter, skip) any more classes. Beep. That's how phone goes. It is deeply coded message that David apparently spent ages and many restless nights trying to crack, sweat most likely trickling down his forehead when he engaged in battle of wits with technology. Finally, one day he managed to do it, and in his triumph told me that it means 'wait'. Beep. Such a peculiar beep. Actually, what am I even waiting for? It's entirely possible that there isn't anybody home there right now, maybe Aoi already left for school? Bee- "This is Watarase residence. How may I help you?" Voice of a young woman comes from the phone. "Oh, hello." Just who is this, some kind of maid? "I'm uh, Aoi's friend from school. She didn't show up for morning class, so I was wondering if there was some problem? Could I speak with her?" A moment of silence, not even breath can be heard. "...Excuse me for a moment." A sound of handset being set down, most likely on a table. Christ, that's one old-fashioned house. Few moments of waiting in silence later, I hear woman's voice again. "Young master is still asleep, and I don't think I should... wake her up." That pause was weird, but never mind. "So she isn't going to come to school at all for today? Would it be okay if I came to check on her or-" "That won't be necessary." She cut me off in a stern voice. "I'll take care of her to best of my ability which should be more than enough." "Ah, uh..." Seriously, what's up with that house? It's like something from stereotypical high-school story... "...Alright, thanks for telling at least that." "It is only my duty." Yeah, sure it is. "Was there anything else?" "Well, if she happens to wake up, could you tell her that it'd be best for her to come to school? Having attendance rate like this just after transfer isn't good." "..." A sigh from the other side of the phone. "...That I shall do. I wish you'll have a nice day at school today." "Yeah, nice day to y-" Click.Duut, duut, duut... I set the phone down. Excellent work miss maid, you managed to be annoying as hell. If Aoi won't show up at school you can count on surprise visit from me.
After very eventless buss-ride and bit of walking, I find myself standing in front of my school's shoe lockers. From the look of hallways and time classes are, and will be on for at least good few minutes more.
[ ] Best way to ensure I won't be late for next class is to wait in front of it. Boring, but no time to waste. [ ] This morning is beautiful, I should wait outside for classes to end. [ ] Didn't I have something to do at the infirmary?
I guess we owe you an apology, but it's still best to say it here.
All Together at Once is over, or at best very iced. Number of things are to blame for this: 1. General disorder with the writers of the story. 2. That Aoi H-scene. Yes, I acknowledge that it sounds dickish to say this, but it basically ended the Aoi route prematurely. And even if you weren't on that yet, there's no way you wouldn't have ended on that soon since you were going for him. All the time. 3. Which brings us to the third point. It was all Aoi. Yeah, he was made an available target and you have every right to pursue him. But when point of the story is all protagonists/characters together, one getting all of the attention is really annoying, mostly to the writers.
>>83601 Basically, Kelvin served you on a golden tray what we were planning on serving you after you've deserved it, thus erasing the sole point of Aoi's route - the gay sex at the end. We - the writers who participated in this project - also realize that as long as Aoi is there, no other girl will gain any larger focus. We've been had - check-and-mated. Pinned down.
I told you a day after that I couldn't do anything, and that I gave up. Not updating after that point was entirely to blame on your own laziness; so please quit using me as a scapegoat. It makes me dislike you more and more every time you do so.