Cloud: It's important to note that this is not a novelisation of Tomoyo After, I've never played the game and I probably never will, these are my own events.
The After Stories are a project I will be working on along with The Original of Haruhi Suzumiya. They will cover what happens after each route of the game. If you haven't played the game or at least seen the OVAs then I suggest not reading them, as they will be extremely spoiler heavy on the other girls' routes. They'll probably only be a few chapters each, but I hope that they are enjoyable.
Clannad After Story: Tomoyo
She was lying there, still as a stone. I couldn't process what was in front of me. The only thing I saw was a man turning the corner of the alley way, calm as can be, hands in his pockets like nothing had happened. I knelt down at her side and cradled her head in my lap. After a quick pat down I found and removed the cell phone from her uniform.
My hands moved on their own, dialing the emergency number.
Please be okay.
I heard the woman on the other end of the line, but I couldn't fathom what she was actually saying to me. I gave her the address of the street we were on and hit the end button on the cell phone.
I looked up at the ominous building in front of me.
Hikarizaka Engineering School
"Tomoyo... what were you thinking?" I asked softly.
-4 Months ago-
Tomoyo sighed and leaned back, stretching and cracking her spine. She eyed the book in front of her with a slight apprehension. I smirked, "That attitude won't get you into College. You're lucky there's one close by, though it's not exactly the best you could have gone to."
"Enough of that," she said with a pout. I poured her a cup of steaming tea and set it on the small wooden table in front of her.
We lived in a small apartment that was cheap but clean. It housed one bedroom and a kitchen, it was enough for us for the time being. "It'll stop snowing soon," I said casually,pouring myself a cup of tea as well, "Do you need summer uniforms?"
"No," she said, shaking her head softly, "I have quite a few of them that still fit, I went and got them earlier this week."
"You know, you're probably the best thing that's happened to that school in a long time. If someone told me a couple of years ago that I would end up dating the student council president I would have laughed."
She smiled softly, "Even though your attendance fell back I'm glad you graduated. It'd be nice if we could get the stink of oil out of your work clothes easier."
"Is that supposed to be funny?"
"I don't know, is it?" she asked, smiling. "Dinner is on the counter if you're hungry, you've been working over time a lot lately."
"Supporting two people is a lot harder than it looks," I said, scratching the back of my head, "But it doesn't feel bad at all."
"So I'm a burden then?"
"Maybe," I said, "But I'd rather have a burden than live alone."
"I'm glad then."
Don't call me that.
I woke up slowly at first, my arm was laid out over my eyes. I let out a light yawn and looked around the small living room. I had fallen asleep watching TV again. It was only to be expected. I gritted my teeth and grasped my right shoulder in pain. It still hurt like hell, and I doubted it would subside any time soon. The doctor told me I wouldn't be able to lift my shoulder anymore.
I wouldn't be able to shoot.
I stood up and walked to the door, stepping over the drunken mound on the floor that was responsible for this. I left without a word, my feet carrying me up the hill towards the school. It was dark by the time I made it to the front gates, and there was obviously no one here. I climbed over the metal gate and made my way towards the east building, where there was a broken window I could easliy slip through.
It felt like my feet were moving in slow motion.
I didn't realize where I was going until I got there.
The double doors to the gym were in front of me.
I reached out and grasped the handle, pushing it down.
It was unlocked.
The bleachers on the east side of the court is where my feet took me. I peeked underneath and sure enough, there was a single basketball, tucked in the bottom. I always did this, whenever I felt like unwinding I would come to the school when no one was there, and I would play by myself. I would imagine my opponent, trying to stop me from making a basket.
My hands reached out and grabbed the basketball of their own accord.
I walked the the free throw line.
And I switched my primary hand.
I jumped and took the shot with my left hand instead, my right shoulder staying low enough to where I didn't make a full shot.
It was no good.
The ball was off by more than a small margin, it didn't even hit the back board.
I'm sure if I practiced I would become proficient in shooting with my left hand, but what would be the point? We only had a few games left, and ever since I was injured I just didn't feel like going back to it next year.
I stood there for what seemed like forever, staring up at the hoop.
Finally, my feet carried me back to the house.
I once again stepped over the drunken man and made my way up to my room. I laid down on my bed and went to sleep.
I didn't set my alarm for six.
No, I would be sleeping in.
"Tomoya, wake up."
My eyes snapped open, and I was greeted by a curtain of silver hair and a lovely face. "You get some sort of sick pleasure from waking me up in the mornings don't you?"
She smiled, and I suddenly didn't feel like complaining much, "Breakfast is ready, or we could just lay here with me on top of you until it's time for you to go to work."
I frowned, "I'm hungry," I said cruelly, putting two hands on her side and gently pushing her off me. She looked disappointed for a moment as I made my way out of the room. Then a smirked and turned on her as she followed me out, planting a kiss on her lips. As I turned back around I caught sight of a light blush on her face. I stretched before I went to my knees in front of our small table. "I could get used to this," I said with a yawn.
Her plate was next to mine, as she didn't care much for eating across from me. When she sat down we both grabbed our chopsticks. I grinned at her, "Itadakimasu," we both said at the same time.
When we finished eating she leaned on my shoulder and closed her eyes. This had been happening every morning for the past month. "You know," I said with a smirk, "This isn't exactly a normal morning routine."
"And what would normal be?" she asked softly, nuzzling into my shoulder.
I cleared my throat, "I would dawn my work clothes and grab my equipment bag after eating breakfast. You would greet me at the door, still wearing your apron, and say, 'Have a nice day dear,' as I left."
She looked up at me, raising an eyebrow, "Is that really how it's supposed to go?"
"Yep," I said sternly.
"Okay," she said, moving to remove herself from my shoulder.
"Ah ah ah," I said, pulling her back down to where she was, "I don't remember saying it was a bad thing."
She frowned, "You're making fun of me again."
A loud ring interrupted our bickering. This time I was the one frowning, as that ring happened to be the door bell, "Who the hell goes around ringing doorbells at six o' clock in the morning?" We both stood and she followed me to the door. I opened it up and blinked at the person standing in front of me. She was a lot shorter than I was, and had brown hair tied into a useless tail at the end. Her uniform spoke volumes, it was a girl from our school, and her green badge told me she was a first year. "Do I know you?"
"You seem awfully familier to Fuuko."
The girl nodded sternly, "Very very familier, I'll give you two."
Before I could protest she had shoved what looked like two wooden carvings into my hand. "Starfish?"
Wait, why did I think they were starfish?! They had none of the defining characteristics!
What the hell was this?
"Please, Fuuko would like you to attend her sister's wedding," she said sternly, bowing deeply.
I held out my hand, "Erm, you don't need to bow like that."
This girl was eerily familier. "Um... Fuuko was it? Who's your sister."
"She was a teacher at the school three years ago. Fuuko remembers it clearly. Fuuko has been going around the school and door to door handing out the invitations."
I looked down at the things that were supposed to be starfish and sighed, "When's the wedding?" For some odd reason I felt like asking.
"Fuuko is glad you asked, it is next Saturday at the school!"
"I guess I'll come if I have the time."
"Um... I'm not sure I can..."
I felt a nudge in my side. I turned to see Tomoyo egging me on, nodding firmly, "Yeah!" I suddenly said. Fuuko startled a bit before I continued, "I'll definately be there."
"Okazaki-san has a heart!" She shouted, running off in the other direction down the apartment walk.
"H... hey, how the hell do you know my name?!" I eyed the door, and sure enough Tomoyo hadn't put up my name plate, then how did she...
Tomoyo rested her head on my shoulder and laughed lightly, "That was Ibuki Fuuko, she just got out of the hospital and her sister is getting married."
"She was hospitalised? For how long?"
"I'm not sure, but it would be rude to turn down such an invitation. I know you're scheduled to work next Saturday."
I shook my head, "No, it's alright, I'll talk with the boss and work something out." I sighed and scratched the back of my head, "What a strange girl..."
I vaguely wondered when it became like this.
I had been fired from the recycling job. I now worked part time in an auto shop, working on people's cars, doing oil changes. The pay was decent, and I was well liked.
It seemed like an eternity had passed.
I was often the victim of oil leaks, but it was alright, anything to support Tomoyo. Her parents had agreed to pay for her college, and she was studying herself to the bone, so I had to work hard as well. She wasn't going to an esteemed university, but she was still going to a place that I couldn't hope to reach.
My hands were torn and bruised, the knuckles bloody and scraped.
Today was when I got my next paycheck, this paycheck was special, it wouldn't be going towards bills or rent, I had already paid those. It was actually a God send that I was fired. This job paid much better than the one I gained out of school.
I stood over his body, staring down at him. There was no regret... no guilt.
"Huh?" My head jerked up as my concentration was broken and I hit it on the oil pan I was removing, "Ow!"
My boss smirked, "When you get working you really concentrate don't you?"
I smiled sheepishly, "I guess so."
He was leaning down under the car, "We got that block heater guy coming in today, says his car won't start anymore and he needs one."
"He's overreacting," I said, "Probably just a low battery, don't over charge the poor sap."
His smirk turned to a grin, "Wouldn't even think of it!"
"We've also got another commercial bus coming in."
"Hey, not a lot of people drive in Japan, we've gotta make money somehow."
"I know I know."
The boss frowned, "speaking of which, you might want to start scouting for another job."
I sighed, "So the rumors were true, the bus station is changing then."
"Yeah," he said, "They're getting their own hub and everything. This shop's main profit comes from the commercial systems that the town uses. I'll reccomend you, don't forget to mention me on your resume, you're a good worker."
I sighed and laid my head back on the stroller, staring up at the oil pan I still had yet to remove, "I hope I can get some decent work."
"You pop the question yet?"
"What the hell... is this..."
On my way back to the apartment I was halted by several individuals. They seemed to be looking for trouble as far as I was concerned, and the fact that they were blocking my path only served to confirm my suspicions. It was before the train crossing that lead back to my apartment building. Three stood in front of the bar for the train crossing, and two more were behind me. "What do you guys want?" I asked.
The biggest one, in the middle of the group by the crossing, smirked and stepped forward, "So is it true?"
I scoffed, "Is what true?"
"You're fucking Sakagami."
My eyebrow twitched, "I don't see how it's any of your business if I am."
The punk grinned, "Well if you are then I have to give you a hand brat, that bitch is untouchable."
My eyebrow twitched again, these bastards were hitting all the right buttons, "If you have something to say then say it!"
"Hey now, no need to get hostile, we're just here to talk."
"I'm only going to ask one more time, what do you want?"
He frowned, "You've got guts talking to me like that kid."
"You looking to pick a fight or what?"
His croonies tried to step forward, but he held his arms out and stopped them, smirking, "You and me? I like the sound of that."
The shout came from behind them. My girlfriend, Tomoyo, stood on the other side of the crossing as it began to ring. "Speak of the devil," said one of the croonies.
"If you lay a hand on him..."
"Tomoyo, go back inside," I said.
"I thought you were done with fighting."
"I am, but..."
"If it's just one I can handle it, go back inside!"
The thug smirked and cracked his knuckles, "Let's get this show on the road then."
"Don't you think it's a little immature for tech school students to go around beating on innocent people? Why do you think Tomoyo paved your face into the ground in the first place?" I snapped. I looked behind the thug and saw that Tomoyo was still standing at the other end of the train crossing. Just as the train passed the thug charged forward.
I was no expert, but I had been in my fair share of fights at school, and despite his intimidating size, my current opponent was slow. His first blow was a punch, cocked all the way behind his head like this was some cheesy anime. When he brought it down it went past my ear as I stepped forward, kneeing him in the gut. He coughed and stepped back before coming in with another blow. This one was faster, and he landed a solid hit on my cheek.
I ignored the pain and plowed forward, hooking him in the jaw with my right fist. I brought my other fist to his stomach and pushed forward. he train finished passing as he stumbled backwards onto the track. A moment of fright crossed his face, he knew he could have died. He jerked his head to his two croonies, the moved in and held me, tripping me down to the ground as the other two came to watch. The lead thug regained himself and the crossing bars snapped up.
He slugged me in my stomach. I coughed, suddenly finding it hard to breath.
"Is that... all you got... bastard."
Another slug to the stomach. I inhaled as best I could, gasping for air, "C'MON!" I shouted.
Everything was going black.
I saw her running.
My vision was getting fuzzy.
The lead thug was the first to go down, but I couldn't see what she did to the other four. I coughed again, feeling something warm fly out of my mouth. I brought my hand to it and wiped it away. It was warm and wet. As my vision slowly cleared I saw Tomoyo kneel down beside me, tears in her eyes, "You idiot," she whispered to me. "They came here for me."
"Why do they... hate you so much?"
"C'mon," she urged, "Let's get you inside."
I savored the tea, feeling its warmth spread through my stomach eased the remaining pain. Getting back to work the next day wouldn't be a problem. Tomoyo sat across from me instead of next to me, that was my first hint that something was wrong. She looked worried, and scared. "Thanks, I feel better."
The silence was dreadful.
"Tomoyo," I said softly. "Well... we're living together now, and maybe we're going to..." I swallowed, "Start a family one day. Don't you think it's about time that you told me what happened?"
"A family," she said softly, "I would like that." She fiddled with her tea cup. After a moment of hesitation she looked me dead in the eye, "Tomoya... I trust you."
It was a simple phrase, but it made me feel warm, like the tea had. "I trust you," I repeated.
She sighed and brushed some hair out of her face, "I told you... that I never really got along with my family. My parents would always fight, and I was distant from my brother. I was angry, I was frustrated, I just wanted to take it out on something. I was kicked out of my karate classes because of it, my grades plummeted."
I tried to imagine Tomoyo with bad grades in school, it was difficult, even now she was an ace student.
"I started beating up the local thugs, thinking that they deserved it for causing mischief and strife. And one night, I saw something that changed me. I was on my way home after one of my runs, it was under the Sakura trees on the route to school. It was a man... and a girl from our school. He had her pinned up against the tree, and she looked... so scared."
"He was raping her."
She nodded, "I noticed that he was tearing her clothes off. I acted without hesitation, before I knew it he was at my feet, and the girl had long since ran. He had a jacket on, from the engineering school. I had heard rumors that there were a lot of hoodlums from that school. Even the teachers and mentors were questionable. As far as I was concerned it wasn't worthy of even being on the map. I went on a rampage, taking them out one by one. When I got home I was torn apart, physically and mentally. My parents yelled at me. The next day Hikarizaka Engineering School was shut down for a week, it was all over the news and I was taken in for questioning. I was let off with a slap on the wrist, but the damage was already done.
"My parents' voices got louder and louder. My mom stopped cooking dinner and was even more distant than she was in the beginning. All they did was yell and fight, and I couldn't help but think that it was my fault they were this way. My fault that things were worse, when I already thought they were as bad as they could be. I was just... so selfish. A couple of weeks later, nii-san threw himself into traffic and was hospitalised. Our broken family was brought back together by his sacrafice. I learned a lot that day. I started to look after my brother, we began to act like brother and sister. My mom started making me boxed lunches again, my dad would greet me with a smile, waving the morning paper around and telling me I needed to work hard.
"I started going back to school again. I would take my brother on strolls outside the hospital, pushing him along in his wheel chair. He always wanted to walk underneath the sakura trees on the way to school, saying he couldn't wait until he graduated and was able to walk to school with me. The trees were his favorite. I found out that they were going to be cut down in favor of some shops, placed to be convinient for the students and faculty of the school. I thought to myself, 'Isn't it sad, something so beautiful has to be destroyed.'
"He loved those trees, and so I promised him, I promised him that I would work hard to make sure that at least they stayed the same. Even if the rest of the town changes, those trees have to stay the same. And... that's when I met you... Tomoya. I was still weak, but you made me strong. Even after you broke up with me, I knew I would want to meet you again. I didn't want it to end like that. I don't want to be a prodigy, I just want to go to a normal college, and I want to have a normal career, and a loving family, that's all I ever wanted."
Her voice trailed off until she became silent, I set my cup down and found myself standing. I walked around the table and sat cross legged next to her. I leaned forward and took her in my arms, inhaling the scent of her hair, "Tomoyo?"
I reached into my pocket and pulled and small black box from it. I could hear and feel her breath hitch, "Marry me."
It wasn't a question, or a request, it was something we both wanted.
Tomoyo smiled, "Yeah," she said softly. "Hey, if we can...let's move away from this place. After I graduate... let's leave. I don't want these things to happen anymore."
I took the ring from the box. It was small, gold in color, with a ruby, not a diamond. It wasn't the most expensive, but I knew she wouldn't care. She held up her left hand and I slipped it on her finger, leaning in to give her a kiss. When we broke apart I smiled, "What does an honor student like you see in a delinquint like me?"
"You don't give yourself enough credit," she said warmly. "Hey, Tomoya?"
She grabbed my collar and pulled me in for another kiss, "C'mon," she said, standing up after breaking away.
I stood and she led me to our bed room. A single futon lay in the center of the room. She grabbed my hand and pulled me along, I was reminded of when I met her, and she would drag me whereever she wanted to go. I smirked, "What's with this all of a sudden." She turned around and clamped her hand over my mouth.
"Don't talk, if you do I'll start getting embarrased, promise," she said firmly.
I nodded my head and she pulled her hand away. She continued, "Remember when I told you that you weren't allowed to think perverted things?"
I nodded, following her request to not speak.
"I've been thinking... maybe it's not that bad if you do. But that doesn't mean that we should..."
I moved forward and kissed her before she could protest. She let out a light sigh as I pulled away, "... rush things," she finished her sentence.
My arms were around her tightly, and her face was as red as I had seen it. She fidgeted a little, and I smirked.
She pulled down on my collar and returned the favor. "You can talk now," she whispered, "You're thinking perverted things, aren't you?"
I smiled, "And you're not?"
"I would neve... mmm."
Another kiss, "It's warm," I whispered.
"Maybe a little."
Her face grew even more red, "Maybe I think about it a little. But I'm still in High school, and we're not married yet, so..."
"Shut up," I said with a laugh, "Just do what feels natural." I pulled away from her completely and laid back on the futon. "Well?"
"You're making fun of me again."
I grinned, "So why don't you come down here and get your revenge?"
I didn't think it was possible for Tomoyo's face to get this red, and sure enough, she listened, descending on me, hesitantly at first. "Tomoya, I love you," she said softly, leaning down for another kiss.
Weeks passed this way. Tomoyo was still the sharpest nail in school. She bumped herself up to first place in test scores, and revolutionized several procedures for the student council and faculty of the school. Tardiness plummeted, and the school saw an all time high in attendance and grade point average. It was hard to believe this was going to be the woman I would marry. The auto shop closed down, but I had enough money saved to hold us off for a month while I found a new job.
We attended Ibuki-sensei's wedding, much to the delight of her little sister, who promised to come visit again soon.
Tomoyo's parents gave us both their blessing, but the actual paperwork for the marriage was not to be done until Tomoyo graduated.
It happened on a morning like any other.
I woke up, expecting my fiance to be lurking over me, the manner in which she always woke my up. There was nothing.
I closed my eyes tight again, trying to think of a reason why she wasn't there. A dream, yeah, that's right, a dream, I can think of no other explanation as to why she wouldn't come to torture me in the morning. Granted it was a day off for both of us, but she always woke me up regardless. I opened my eyes once more, and was once again greeted with the sight of nothing. Then I heard it.
A horrible hacking and gurgling.
I was out of the futon in an instant and standing outside the bathroom, "Tomoyo?" I called.
I heard her cough. "I'm coming in," I said, opening the door slowly.
The first thing I saw when I opened the door was her wiping her face with a small tissue. Then I saw her look up at me and smile, almost as if she was happy that she was puking her guts out. Then I saw a little gadget on the bathroom sink, it was long and white, and I saw what looked like a plus sign.
I closed the door.
"Hey," she shouted, her voice was hoarse.
I took a deep breath and pulled the door back open, "You must have gotten sick from that bad convinience store food I bought, I'll make sure to go complain to the store clerk!" I shouted.
She frowned, "That's not very funny, Tomoya."
I cleared my throat, "Yep, will NOT be shopping at that store again."
"Definately a no go, in fact, that cashier was really rude to me."
"You are so helpless."
I frowned and nodded firmly, "In fact, I'm going to encourage all my friends to boycott the store, Kyou, Sunohara, Furukawa, hell, even the teachers. If we're lucky it'll get shut down, no one poisons my fiance!"
"If it's a boy, we'll name him Youhei."
She smirked, "And here I was thinking you had the nerve to ignore me."
I sighed and scratched the back of my head, smiling sheepishly.
She stood slowly, gaining her footing, "I'll brush my teeth and get breakfast started while you process the situation," she said softly, "Shoo." She shoved me out of the bathroom.
When the door shut in my face realization finally dawned on me, "Holy crap," I muttered. My face contorted into what can only be described as something between a grin and a grimace. My emotions were jumbled, I wanted to jump for joy... or jump out the nearest window.
I shook my head, trying to clear it. "Well," I said to myself, "We both want a family."
When the door to the bathroom opened again she looked up at me, "You've been here this entire time?"
I moved forward and wrapped my arms around her, tucking my face into the croke of her neck and breathing deeply. When I pulled back I smiled softly and stroked her cheek, "I guess we're having a baby," I said softly.
She laughed, "I guess so. So much for tests being my greatest concern."