WTF 80K. You're supposed be working on intertwined.
Yes master. I'm sorry but the plot bunny was taunting me. I just had to.
I think the basic idea has been used before in another fic here, but that one sort of went in a different direction than what my idea is.
Warning: not entirely a happy story.
There's a reason I prefer to spend my weekends at home. Or more accurately, there are countless reasons to spend my weekends at home, and not nearly enough reasons not to. For starters, there is nothing outside of my house to coerce me into leaving. Everything I could think of that I could do outside, I could just as easily do at home.
Think about it. What is there to do in town anyway? Restaurant? There's food in the cupboard. Arcade? I have a new game in my room, and it's a pretty good one. Library? I still have an unread light novel from last month. Friends? Hah, no. The list goes on.
So when my dear little sister Komachi barges into my room, interrupting my game and requesting that I go to town and fetch her some ingredients for a chocolate cake recipe she wanted to try, you can already guess what I'm going to say in response.
"Please, Onii-chan!" Komachi begs pathetically.
"I just said no." I repeat myself. I don't like to take an irritated tone with her but if she persists any further, it might seep out.
I sigh heavily. "Why can't you do it yourself?"
"Because, Onii-chan. I have my reasons."
What kind of reasoning is that? Who are you going to convince with that sort of argument?
"If you don't tell me the reasons, I won't go."
In the first place, I was enjoying a visual novel on my PS4. You didn't seem to be doing anything at all.
"Because I love you, Onii-chan." As she says this, she tilts her head down and looks up at me shyly. Oi, don't play with my heart like that.
"Ah, I just earned a ton of points!" She exclaims.
"Points deducted for foul intentions." I deadpan.
"Onii-chan, I never ask you for favors. Please, just this once?"
First of all, that's completely untrue. You get me to everything you can't be bothered to do. Secondly, I already said no.
"What's in it for me?"
"A delicious cake, and I won't date any boys until I graduate middle school!" She beams happily.
Oh, actually that's a pretty good deal. Something to eat, and a worry off my mind.
"...So I just have to go to the shop and buy this stuff, right?" I gesture to the shopping list that she gave me before she started begging me to go and fetch the items on said list.
"That's right! So you'll do it?" She leans forward and asks excitedly, with sparkles in her eyes. Dammit, I've been had. My guard went down for just a moment, and she went in for the kill.
"I guess I could do it."
"Thank you so much, Onii-chan!" She leaps onto me, and squeezes me with all the strength her noodly little arms will allow. So cute.
"Yeah, yeah. Let me go get ready." I resist hugging her back, and wait for her to either let go or fall off. If I hugged her back, it'd be creepy. It's not fair how she gets away with so many things I can't just because she's cute.
So I'm on the train heading to town. I hear people complaining about public transport in Japan all the time, but I couldn't appreciate it more, at least, when it's not overpacked. It's a cheap and convenient way to get across the city, or even the country, and gives you the freedom to alternate between standing and sitting which is good for your legs, unlike buses which require you to stay seated, all facing the same direction the entire time.
Worse still is that if a bus is filled to capacity, you are forced to invade the intimate space of a total stranger, earning disgusted looks, and sometimes even provoking hurtful responses like "Why did you have to sit here?" or "Please don't sit too close" or even "You're gross, don't look at me".
Source: Um, I saw it on TV.
On the other hand, if a train is crowded, your only issue is that you have to stand up, and perhaps have to press yourself up to the wall. Ah, but there was that one time there was a groper on the train, and some girl screamed, and all the 'gentleman' on the train immediately scrutinized m-...the wrong person, and he was almost wrongfully arrested.
But when the train is somewhat vacant like now, it's the premier way to travel. It's a smooth ride too, so if I wanted to, I could pull out my pocket-sized light novel from my sweater and read peacefully. The ride is short, though, about 15 minutes. So I decide not to get immersed.
I get off the train, and it's a short walk from the market where I'm headed. I'm there in no time and decide to waste no time in getting the ingredients.
As I'm in the baking aisle, I look across the aisle and spot Yuigahama. What a coincidence. I wonder if...yep. There's Yukinoshita, being pulled along as she usually is. I wonder what they're doing here. On second thought, I don't really. I've tried joining them in their free time. They do such uninteresting and girlish things that I end up simply leaving almost every time.
I turn around and decide to go the other way in my quest for ingredients.
I sigh. Slowly turning around, I see Yuigahama skipping towards me. Yukinoshita on the other hand, is still at the end of the aisle and it looks like she has no intention of approaching me. Fine by me, stay over there. I don't need a verbal beatdown right now anyway.
"Hi Hikki!" Yuigahama says. Hey, how come I'm the only one who doesn't get a 'yahallo'?
"Yo." I offer lamely.
"How come you're here?" She asks rudely.
After realizing how rude she was, she makes an embarrassed face.
"Ah, I mean, it's like, you're usually such a shut-in, so it's weird seeing you here."
Excellent retcon, Yuigahama. That was much less rude the second time around.
"I'm allowed to go to the market and buy ingredients, aren't I?" I say defensively.
"Eh? I thought Komachi was gonna do that."
Wait, what? What a suspicious statement. Could I have been set up?
"Why would you think that?" I ask accusingly.
"Because I was messaging her, duh. She said she was in town shopping, and that she was here in this shop. So we came looking for her!"
I've definitely been had. Darn it Komachi, stop complicating my relationships!
"...I see. Out of curiosity, when did she tell you this?"
"About 5 minutes ago." She answers obliviously.
I see. I thought it was suspicious that I had to come all the way to this market. There's a shop closer to our house that sells the same ingredients at slightly inflated prices. I had foolishly assumed that she had considered that shop already, and concluded that this shop was the better choice overall. If only I had asked more questions and defended myself from her imouto-beam.
"Sorry to break it to you, but you've been bamboozled, and so have I."
"Huh? What does that mean?"
For your sake, I hope you mean 'how have I been bamboozled?' and not 'what does bamboozled mean?'
"Komachi sent me here almost 20 minutes ago."
She gives me a curious stare for a moment. Then, she gasps.
"Uwah! So she wanted us to meet up?" She exclaims in a way that mildly irritates me.
Before I can reply, somebody else does.
"It seems Komachi-san holds some manner of grudge towards us, if she intended for us to encounter the likes of you." Yukinoshita had at some point, decided to butt in.
Oi, what happened to staying over there? Was that just to make a point? It defeats the purpose if you come over here anyway.
"It doesn't matter. I'm getting these ingredients and going straight home. Bye." I offer curtly, and turn to leave.
"Ah-" Yukinoshita seems like she had something else to say.
Her clipped sound catches my attention, and I turn around. She doesn't say anything when I do.
"...You need something?"
Yuigahama answers for her. "Well, wouldn't it be a shame to just leave after such a coincidence?"
What coincidence? This was all a scheme, remember?
"Why would it be a shame? I see you two at school every weekday."
Yuigahama pouts. "But that's at school! Those are work hours, right now is time to enjoy ourselves and do what we want."
"Well said, Yuigahama. That's why I'm going straight home after this."
"No, you can't! I'm telling Komachi!" She huffs, and whips out her phone.
You're gonna tell Komachi? She's not my mother, you know. If anything, it's the opposite. I'm the one who greeted her every day when she got home from school. I'm the one who watched her grow and taught her the hard truth about how the world works. I'm the one she came to when she wanted to talk to about her problems. I basically raised her, with a little help from some anonymous benefactors who refer to themselves as our parents.
"Ah, wait. Don't..." I mutter without thinking. Hang on, mouth. Why are you betraying my thoughts?
Ah but actually, I don't really want her to complain about me to Komachi. She tolerates my anti-social behavior about as much as I compromise it for her. If she heard from Yui that I blew her off, she might give me the silent treatment again. I've seen what happens when exposed to the silent treatment for too long. I don't wanna end up like my old man.
Yuigahama smirks, as if she somehow backed me into a corner using her own wits. Get real, you threatened me with someone else's authority. You're acting like those snobby rich kids who always end up getting their own way.
Speaking of snobs, Yukinoshita voices her complaints. "Must we really tolerate his presence on a day off?" She sighs and closes her eyes, as if losing patience with someone. I feel like mirroring her actions.
"You think I want to spend my free time being disrespected by some snooty rich girl?" I remark.
She looks at me with contempt. "You say that, but in reality you're excited to spend your weekend with two beautiful girls, aren't you Hikicreeper-kun?"
Before I can make a retort, she interrupts me. "On the other hand, what do we receive for gracing you with our presence? Besides foreign bacteria, that is."
The nerve of this girl. "Just tell Komachi you never saw me then. That way, I can go home and you two can get back to your date."
Yukinoshita's face flushes a little. Seems like I hit a weak point. "P-preposterous! We're simply out on an excursion, we're not-"
This time, I interrupt her. "Don't care."
She doesn't have anything to say after that. That's one foe down. Next up is the pushy one.
"So what do you say, Yuigahama? Let's pretend we never saw each other and go our separate ways." I offer in a negotiating tone.
Perhaps it was a poor choice of words, or perhaps it was my unfriendly tone. But regardless of the reason, Yuigahama gives me a heartbroken look in response. Her eyes begin to water and I think I see her facial muscles trying not to contort into a crying expression.
"Why...why would you say that?" She asks shakily.
I don't understand her reaction. But the expression on her face makes me feel weak.
"Yuigahama-san?" Yukinoshita seems concerned.
"Oi, don't cry..." I make a weak attempt to calm Yuigahama.
"Do you hate us, Hikki?" She asks in an accusing, almost angry tone.
"What? No, of course I don't."
"Then why?" Her tone goes from accusing to almost...pleading.
I try to justify myself. "I just," I sigh, "look. I was kind of looking forward to some time alone after a long week, but I can tag along with you two if it makes you happy."
Eyes still watery, she frowns and looks away. "Forget it. It's pointless if you don't want to."
The way she says that breaks my heart.
Yukinoshita seems to feel the way I do.
I can't find the right words to use. Silence blankets the atmosphere.
After a tense moment, Yuigahama turns around.
"Let's go, Yukinon."
Yukinoshita looks at me and furrows her brow, as if trying to say to me 'fix this'. I want to, but how?
"Yuigahama." I begin, not knowing how to continue.
She stops walking. "I'll tell Komachi-chan we missed each other."
"Wait, please." My mouth produces words without my permission.
"Go home, Hikki." And with that, she walks off.
I don't know what to say to stop her. So I don't.
Yukinoshita gives me one final look. It looks something like a combination of disappointment and pity. Then she turns to leave too.
I stay there for a moment and stew over what just happened.
Why did Yuigahama seem so crestfallen? Because I chose not to hang out with her? If she wanted my company that bad, why didn't she invite me out in the first place?
No, that wouldn't have worked, and she knows it. She knows full well I don't like to go out on weekends. But if she knew that, why was she so unhappy about it? Or was she unhappy about something else?
I can't figure it out at all. And decidedly, it pisses me off. I don't know what I'm pissed off about, and that pisses me off even more.
This is why I prefer to be a loner. I was fine before I had this sort of aggravation in my life.
"Tch. Whatever." I find the ingredient I was looking for, and slam it into my basket.
With my mood soured and my objective complete, I head home. The entire walk to the station, I'm replaying the encounter in my head. Was it my fault? How could it have possibly been my fault? If it was, what should I have done? Dammit, this is so annoying.
Not looking where I'm going, I bump into someone. In my current mood, it tips my anger beyond my patience.
A gruff, heavy voice berates me. "Watch where you're going, punk."
I look up. The guy is beyond suspicious. Thick brown trenchcoat and a wide-brimmed hat. You want sunglasses and a fake beard with that, asshole?
"Watch it yourself." I spit with irritation. "Punk." I remark snidely.
"Grr." He emits a low growl, but I couldn't care less. I just head to the train station.
After the usual ticket/security process, I take a seat on the train, and finally my mood starts mellow out.
I let out a sigh. I wonder what I should say to Yuigahama on Monday? Or should I message her later on today? Maybe I should wait until tomorrow, let her cool off.
In the first place, what's her damn problem? I can't solve a problem I don't understand. You have to help me out here, you know.
"Ew. You're totally gross mister, don't sit next to us." An airy voice interrupts my internal conflict.
I look to my right. Two young girls, around Komachi's age, are looking at me with contempt and disgust. What the hell? Are you talking to me? I briefly scan the train, there are a lot of vacant seats available.
Looking back at the two girls, I register their details. The one who spoke to me looks strikingly similar to Orimoto back in middle school, right down to the hairstyle, though her fierce eyes are more reminiscent of Miura. Her friend, on the other hand, I can't make any resemblances to. Her hair is short and black, and her face is unassuming. If she weren't giving me such a nasty look, I'd probably think she had the face of a nice person.
Normally I would just submit, and wordlessly find another seat without making a fuss. But I'm not in the mood for that today.
"You move then. I'm not in the mood." I reply in an annoyed tone.
Unfortunately, the one talking to me seems to be the bossy type. "Hah? No way. We were here first, loser. Take your shopping and move your ass to another seat."
I snap. "Shut up." I growl.
She doesn't have a response straight away. I think I caught her off guard. Good.
After a moment, she responds. "Don't tell me to shut up! Get out of here, creep! I'll scream."
Dammit. The 'defenseless young girl' card. Clever as I am, there's not much I can do to combat that sort of play on such short notice.
I sigh. "Fine, whatever. I'll move."
It really is unfair how even though she's clearly in the wrong, we both know she'll get her way just because she's pretty and I have rotten eyes. Curse these eyes of mine.
I stand up and take a seat on the opposite side.
"Further." She demands.
"No." I answer with irritation. I'm safe here. Even if she were to scream now, people clearly saw me move over here, so they'd know it wasn't my fault,
She doesn't seem to press the issue, so I settle in at my new spot. After a minute or two, I consider reading my pocket novel to distract myself. If I didn't, then I'd have brought it along for no reason.
Before I can decide, out of nowhere, a woman screams at the top of her voice.
I snap to the source, and a man is waving a handgun around. I can't see his face, but there's no mistaking that it's the same guy I bumped into earlier.
Is that gun real? It couldn't be. For starters, how could he possibly-
Holy shit. It's real. It's definitely real. He just fired a shot out of the window. The window exploded, and the passengers began to scream. The entire carriage went into a frenzy.
"SHUT THE FUCK UP!" The gunman bellows with a mighty voice.
I'm overcome with terror. I think everyone is.
Once he has everyone's attention, he speaks up.
"Alright, here's the deal. One by one, you're all gonna fork over your cash and your valuables. We do that, and nobody gets killed here today." He shakes his pistol within his grip, emphasizing his point.
With his free hand, he pulls what looks like an old pillow case out of his coat. "Money goes in here. Got it?"
He doesn't get a response, and of course he wouldn't. Everyone's too afraid to speak.
He snaps his pistol to the nearest passenger, a woman. I think it's the same one that screamed in the first place. She squeals in response to the sudden movement.
"You first. Money. Now."
Quivering in terror, she shakily reaches into her purse and grabs her wallet. Looking inside, she clutches all the notes she has. She puts her head down and extends her hand out. Her arm is shaking violently.
"In. The bag. Bitch." He threatens her again. He's firmly aiming his firearm at the woman.
She lifts her gaze just enough to see where the bag is. She puts her arm in carefully, and drops the money inside.
"Alright. Get in the fucking corner." He points to the farthest corner of the train, which is vacant. He uses his pistol to point at the corner. If anyone had the guts, right now would be a good time to take him down. But most likely, nobody here has ever experienced an armed robbery before. Firearms are impossibly rare in Japan, after all.
She pauses for a moment. Slowly, she walks sideways to where he pointed. After she gets some distance, she breaks into a run. When she reaches the corner, she leans on the wall and sinks to the floor. She then begins to sob quietly.
...Even terrified, I can't help but wonder. Did he really think this would work out for him? In the first place, this train is on a railway suspended twenty feet over the ground. If someone pulls the emergency break, he's trapped on the train, unless he wants to try tight-walking across the train line in broad daylight holding a handgun and a pillowcase full of money.
And even if he got off the train with the money, how is he going to get away from the police? In this day and age, alerting the authorities is as easy as pressing a button on your cellphone. They even have government-endorsed apps that silently alert authorities for situations like this.
This guy must have been at the end of his rope to do something as desperate and insane as this without thinking it through.
I'm broken out of my thoughts again by what sounds like a camera shutter.
Everybody present, including the gunman, turns to the source.
The girl, the black haired friend of the one who shooed me off before, is holding her cellphone in front of her, and it looks like she just snapped a picture.
You stupid, stupid girl.
Do you realize what you just did? Why would you do that? she's right in front of him, and she has the nerve to snap a friggin' picture? Even worse, she didn't turn off the shutter sound. Why? Why would you do that!?
Her face is so terrified that it invokes terror in myself.
"A-...Aya-chan..." Her friend mutters. "Wh-why did-"
"YOU FUCKING BITCH!" The gunman snaps. "YOU JUST TOOK A PICTURE DIDN'T YOU!?"
He points the gun right at her head.
I can't even describe the terror on her face.
Why is nobody stopping him?
She doesn't move. She's paralyzed with fear.
"Delete it now OR I'LL BLOW YOUR FUCKING HEAD OFF!" He spits when he talks.
Still, she's unable to move.
He's going to kill her.
Why won't anybody do anything?
"Fine. Have it your way, bitch."
Even her friend won't do or say anything to defend her.
That girl is an idiot. She's staring down the barrel of a gun because of her own stupidity. She underestimated the gravity of the situation and is about to pay the ultimate price. Honestly, she needs a hard lesson to shape her up.
But she doesn't deserve to die.
I have to do something.
Somehow finding the courage to move, I begin to walk up to him. What am I even going to do? I have no idea how to deal with an armed robber. I couldn't even deal with an unarmed robber. What am I doing? This is insane.
He cocks his gun.
I'm out of time. I have to act.
"Hey!" I shout at him.
Immediately, he snaps both his gaze and...his gun in my direction.
I think I jumped at him.
I think I tried to grab the gun.
I think he yelled something.
What I do know, is that I heard a gunshot.
A little jolt.
I look at him with confusion.
He doesn't look angry anymore. He looks frightened. What happened?
"I-...He jumped at me! I panicked! You all saw that, right!?"
What is he talking about?
I look down. Blood. On my abdomen.
It hurts. It hurts so much.
It hurts it hurts it hurTS IT HURTS IT HURTS IT HURTS!
I collapse in pain. Despite the pain, I'm unable to scream.
He drops his handgun, and stumbles backwards.
After another moment, the passengers of the train roar in righteous fury.
He gets jumped by a lot of people. Or, I think he does. I'm not focusing on him right now.
A guy checks up on me. Or, he tries to.
"Hey kid! Are you okay!?" He tries to examine me. He moves my hands from my gut.
Even though he doesn't touch the wound, the change in pressure exacerbates the pain, and I hiss in exasperation, spitting on the floor through clenched teeth.
He recoils in shock. "Shit! I'm sorry!" He sputters. "What should I do?"
How should I know, I've never seen someone get shot in real life before. Have you?
I can't articulate at the moment, though. All I can do is curl up on the floor and desperately try not to think about the pain.
The pain is so intense I wish I would just pass out already.
Some more people come to check on me. Seems like the bad guy was taken care of. I kind of want to see what they did to him, but he's behind me, and I lack the capacity to do something as simple as roll over and face the other direction.
"Oh my god!"
"Is he gonna be okay?"
"What should we do?"
Useless. The lot of you. Doesn't even one of you know first aid or something? I thought working adults were required to know that sort of stuff.
Then again, I don't think they cover gunshots in Japanese first aid courses.
The bleeding won't stop.
Am I going to die here?
Am I going to die on the way home from a shopping errand?
Am I going to die after wasting my entire life in school?
Am I going to die without ever seeing life after adolescence?
Am I going to die on bad terms with my clubmates?
Oh. I get it. I realize why Yuigahama was so unhappy before. It hurts to think the people you care about don't feel the same way. I'm such an idiot. I wish I could say sorry. I wish I went out with them today. I wish I had spent more time with them and told them how much I care about them.
Heh, if I die here, then I'd have died like I lived.
Full of regrets.
Well, I don't regret saving a life, at least.
It doesn't hurt anymore.
I feel kind of peaceful.
The people around me are still shouting, I can't hear what they're saying.
I see a mirage. My clubmates are standing in front of a bright light. Their arms are outstretched towards me. They're smiling so warmly. See, Yuigahama, that's the face I like to see on you. Yukinoshita, you should really smile more. It looks good on you.
I feel sleepy.
I'm so exhausted. Where am I? I can't see or hear anything. I must be dreaming. I think I'll go back to sleep.
WTF BOSS YOU CAN'T DIE
Okay, so whether this one will continue...yes, at least for now. I have maybe another chapter or two worth of ideas which I will definitely write even if nobody likes this story, and we will see if I develop more after I have written those.
You might not trust me given how I put Obsession on the backburner, but the thing is with that fic I had absolutely nothing planned after that cliffhanger. It was supposed to be a oneshot you see. If I ever get any good ideas for that one, I'll write it up immediately.
I haven't taken any less consideration to Intertwined, which btw, huge thank you to all the positive reviews on that one. You have no idea how satisfying it is to hear about how much people love your story. Or maybe you do. Anyway, I'm just trying to work out how to tackle the next part in that story. In fact, this idea came to my head while I was brainstorming and it wouldn't go away.
Also, do you guys think my 8man is more accurate in this one? He's intentionally OOC in the other one and will only get more OOC, so I had no idea if I had the capacity to write his character.
 reference to mikuru beam from Haruhi.