I don't know whether or not you can get Ortho Tri-Cyclen in Japan. Let's just pretend you can. And of course, Rin isn't really THAT helpless. She just wants Hisao to do things for her.

Author's note: I do not own Katawa Shoujo or its characters. Story based on Act 1 demo and contains elements that may be contradicted by the full release.


Twenty-Eight Pills


"Ortho...Tri-Cyclen?"

Hisao inspected the unfamiliar green pill box that he found while packing up his medication. With the sheer number of different medications he ingested daily and the frequency at which doctors change his prescriptions, it was entirely possible for new drugs to show up in his collection unexpectedly.

Fearing that he may have been neglecting to take a lifesaving medicine that he forgotten about, he snapped the pill box open and looked inside. Inside the box were twenty-eight plastic blisters containing pills of progressively changing coded colors.

Hisao relaxed when he saw that several consecutive pills were already gone. It seemed that he did not mess up on his medications after all. With a bottle of water at hand, he popped the next pill out.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you." Rin appeared at the door, having returned from her room with more articles of clothing draped on her shoulders. "If you take that, you might grow breasts and start lactating. As interesting as that would be, it would be very embarrassing for us."

"Are you my pharmacist now?" Hisao smirked. "I don't think even my doctors would prescribe me something with side effects that hilarious."

"Mine would. Read who those pills belong to."

Hisao laughed at himself as he inspected the box's label closer and saw Rin's name and home address printed on.

"Ah." Rin opened her mouth, and jerked her head up.

"Why do I have your pills in my medicine stash?" Hisao asked as he gave Rin the pill and held the water bottle up to her mouth.

"So you can help me take them," she replied after swallowing. "Otherwise I'd have to mash the pill out with my toe and lick the crumbs off the table. Don't worry, there's nothing else of mine in there."

"What do these do anyway?" Hisao asked, having zipped up the medicine bag without inspecting the label further.

"They keep my arms from falling off," Rin responded with a slight smile, still amused at Hisao's barely averted screw-up. "So far they're doing a lousy job at it."

"There's no such pill for that... is there?"

"Actually uh..." Rin laughed that Hisao actually entertained the possibility of an anti-spontaneous-amputation pill existing and fabricated a more mundane explanation. "They're for my acne. I tend to break out a lot since I have a hard time washing my face."

"But you don't have acne."

"Exactly."

"They also keep my girl stuff on schedule." Rin added as she dove into Hisao's closet and retrieved a tweed blazer from inside.

"Can I borrow this?" She asked after she spat it out onto the bed.

Hisao put the coat on Rin and laughed at how huge it looked on her. "What's the occasion, professor?"

"I want to look nice when I meet your parents."

"So she wants to look good when she meets my parents, huh..." Hisao thought to himself as he snuck a peek at Rin's posterior while she bent over to fold her clothes. What she said added fuel to Hisao's confusion over the state of their relationship.

They were definitely friends at least, but were they also something more? Some of the things he and Rin did together could be seen as dates, and they have kissed before, but whenever they did, it felt like an expression of gratitude with no fanfare or sentimentality. There was no love confession from either of them, not like before...

Maybe Rin just didn't do romance. Maybe kissing was her way of shaking hands. Rin expressed affection in her own ways, but sometimes Hisao was left wondering whether or not she was any closer to him than she was to Emi. If only Rin would make things clear once in a while, then maybe Hisao would know that they were actually dating and he was not merely a boy who was allowed to wipe her butt if she needed him to. Whatever they were, they had to have been close for Rin to want to spend summer vacation with Hisao.

Hisao and Rin finished packing up and exited the school to catch the bus to the train station. Hisao combined Rin's belongings into his own rolling suitcase, his own packing being limited to medicine and hygiene supplies since he had plenty of clothes still at home. Even if she could carry her own bag, he would've volunteered to carry her things anyway.

...

"Hiiiiiichaaaaan!" Mrs. Nakai mashed Hisao's cheeks together as if they were made of putty.

"You've put on some weight..." Mr. Nakai flatly observed.

"Dad..." Hisao was torn between feeling annoyed at his mother's smothering and at his father's cold assessments.

"It's a good thing," Mr. Nakai laughed. "You were so pale and sickly before you went back to school. You look much healthier now!"

The Nakais took a detour away from embarrassing the crap out of their son and acknowledged his traveling companion, who was buried somewhere inside Hisao's stiff, over-sized blazer.

"What's your name, son?" Mr. Nakai extended his arm to shake Rin's hand.

"I'm Rin." She replied, nodding her head instead of raising a stub to shake.

"Rin, huh?" Mr. Nakai turned to his wife and whispered in her ear. "I told you "he" was a girl. You need glasses."

As they made their way back to the car, Hisao wondered if he made a mistake by not introducing Rin as being anything specific, whether friend or girlfriend. Rin didn't seem to mind, though; she was busy making biting gestures at edible colored cars in the parking lot.

...

"So, Miss Tezuka." Hisao's father asked Rin at the restaurant they stopped at on the way home from the train station. "How did you and Hisao meet?"

"He helped me with my painting for the school festival back in June. Then I slept with him."

"W-Wh-what?" Mrs. Nakai spat out, nearly choking on her drink.

"Actually what happened was we got tired while guarding her mural and happened to take a nap next to each other." Hisao explained, trying to dig himself out of a hole.

"That's what I said."

"So you're an artist, huh?" Mr Nakai pointed his chopsticks at Rin. "What do you paint?"

"Stuff. You know like, if you've ever had a fairy plant a worm egg in your ear and then it hatches and burrows into your brain and then noodles start sprouting from all the colors the worm poops out and you need to get it out or else your head will pop?"

"It's uh, contemporary art." Hisao tried clarifying. "Abstract and stuff."

Rin shrugged and sighed. She didn't like having her ideas labeled and pigeonholed into genres, but she let it slide since she figured the Nakais wouldn't get it otherwise.

"Excuse me, Ma'am. May I have a fork?" Rin asked the waitress as their meals arrived.

"I'm sorry, Miss, we don't have any." The server replied with a fib to keep from going through any extra effort as she walked away. "To keep tourists out, you know?"

"It's okay," Hisao plucked a clump of rice off Rin's plate and presented it to her mouth. "I'll feed you."

"Sorry," Rin explained to Hisao's parents as she noticed them staring at her. "I'm not very good with chopsticks. Well, I can use them but it takes a long time and it ain't pretty."

"Oh, okay then..." Mrs. Nakai smiled at Hisao's eccentric lady friend while fanning herself with her hand. "Aren't you kids burning up? It's hot in here."

"That's what it is?" Rin giggled with relief as she wiggled out of Hisao's heavy coat. "I was worried that something I ate earlier was making me melt."

"What?" Rin cocked her head at the astonished looks the Nakais were giving her as they finally noticed her lack of appendages.

"Oh my..." Mrs. Nakai held her hand to her mouth, embarrassed at what she felt was insensitive behavior from her and her husband up till that point. "You poor dear, D-Do you need any help?"

"I think she'll be fine," Hisao's dad replied, pointing out that Hisao didn't seem to be having any problems with feeding her.

...

Hisao clawed his way back into the waking world upon hearing several series of kicks at his bedroom door, along with the metallic jiggling of the doorknob. His brain still half asleep, he shambled towards the door wondering who could possibly be having such a hard time getting in.

"...Rin?" The sight of Rin clad in an undersized towel pinned under her armlets woke him right up.

"Hey um... I kinda left my lucky brush at home. I er... I need help in the bath." Rin's lucky brush was specially designed so she could bathe herself hands-free, with a curved handle and a grip that had a large toe-loop to hold on with.

"Wha?" Hisao groggily looked for his alarm clock, which indicated that it was only five-thirty in the morning.

"I don't mind you smelling me in an unwashed state," Rin explained in a matter-of-fact fashion. "However, I think it would leave a bad impression with your parents."

"Why so early?"

"Because if I wait until your parents are awake, then I wouldn't be able to ask you to help me."

Hisao gave in to Rin's request, not because of her sound logic but because he was the sort of person who can get easily persuaded into doing things if caught early enough in the morning. Hisao lurched behind Rin to the bathroom and nervously bathed her.

"You can open your eyes, Hisao." Rin complained after Hisao continued to fail at aiming the shower head to rinse her off. "You won't turn to stone. I promise."

"Ya sure about that?" Hisao tried evading the command by joking around.

"I'm positive. Nobody has ever died from seeing me naked."

Half expecting to be thrown into another cardiac event, Hisao opened his eyes to the surprisingly anticlimactic sight of Rin sitting on a bath stool facing away from him.

"Still alive, Hisao?" Rin looked back, part of her fearing that he keeled over, judging by all the fuss he gave.

"Y-Yeah." Hisao replied, keeping his eyes perfectly parallel with Rin's back as she squirmed about, to avoid looking at "the goods."

"After all the times you've followed me to the toilet, you've never peeked?" She asked.

"Ew! Of course not!"

"...or snuck in a feel?"

"Not while you're in the bathroom!"

"You know," Rin said as she turned around so Hisao could finish washing her front side. "You're allowed to peek if you want."

Hisao tried keeping his eyes roughly level with the top of Rin's head as he rinsed her off, avoiding eye contact with her breasts. Even then, a few inevitable glances gave his mind plenty to work with.

"Good." Rin noted movement in the towel Hisao had around his lap. "I was worried that didn't find me attractive."

"Well uh..." Hisao's gaze sank lower as his brain's speech centers repeatedly misfired. Before he knew it, he finally gave in to the temptation of ogling Rin just as she tilted her head forward to peek under his towel.

"Hey, are you going to take care of that? One of the guys in the art club says you'll go blind if you don't."

"Actually, it's the other way around." Hisao scoffed at Rin's misquote of an old urban legend.

"No, I don't think so. The guy who told me this is blind and he claims that not jacking off made him that way. How long has it been since you took care of business anyway?"

"Like a week or..."

"A week?" Rin's mouth dropped in horror. "Hey Hisao, hold my shoulders for a bit, will ya? I don't want to fall over"

"Um, sure... HEY! What are you doing?" Hisao cooperated, then objected as Rin's feet slipped between his thighs as he belatedly tried to slam them shut.

As Rin got to work manipulating him with her toes, Hisao started to forget, or rather disregard whatever silly reasons he had keeping Rin at arm's length since coming home. Had he been able to sleep in, he would've taken care of himself before getting out of bed. How that could possibly have been preferable to having Rin do it for him was now a mystery...

"Aiee!" Rin yelped, snapping her knees together to shield herself from the line of fire.

"Oh..Oh shit! I'm sorry!" Hisao apologized as he grabbed the shower head to clean up the mess he made all over Rin's lower legs.

"No, it's okay. I'm glad you enjoyed it." Once she was clean enough, Rin slid her stool closer to Hisao, with his hand still keeping her from falling over.

"Okay, my turn." Rin requested, leaning back and sliding her hips halfway off the stool.

As Rin gave a mission briefing, Hisao looked downstairs at what he had to work with. His hands have been there before, but always bearing a wad of toilet paper, and assisting Rin in the most clinical, nonsexual ways possible. This was also the first time he ever got a good look. Before, he always looked away.

Was this just another bathroom chore for Rin? She seemed to treat his erection as if it was just another biological function that she thought needed to be taken care of out of necessity. He wondered if she would be doing this with anyone else if she had chosen them to visit over vacation instead.

Hisao laughed at his own tendency to over think things and counted his blessings. He was fingering the girl he liked. There were worse ways to spend a morning.

"Ow, slow down... three... Ow, no, just use two. Yeah. Okay. Harder." Rin's instructions may have sounded as impersonal as a construction foreman directing a crane operator, but her facial expressions contorted their way into revealing that this was indeed a very intimate matter for Rin. Eventually, the two found a working rhythm and Rin reached her goal.

"Well, I'm finished." Rin contently exhaled, as she slumped over in Hisao's arms.

"Hey Rin," Hisao asked, as he washed his hand. "How do you normally pleasure yourself?"

"Sometimes I use the back of my heel, or a pillow, or Emi. I want to get one of those toys that have a suction cup so I could stick it on the flo-"

"Wait, did you just say Emi?"

"I just wanted to see if you were paying attention." Rin smirked.

"Seriously..."

Hisao continued to try prying a satisfactorily juicy answer out of Rin when the bathroom door burst open.

"Hicchan," Mrs. Nakai barged in, investigating the early morning commotion. "What are you doing up so ea... W-W-WHAT IS THIS?"

"Good morning, Mrs. Nakai. Hisao was helping me take a bath."

"Tch-t-t..." Mrs. Nakai's face twisted up as she tried to piece together a good scolding for the coed bathers. "Out, Out!" She dumped Hisao's clothes into his arms and shoved him out of the bathroom.

Hisao returned to his room, laid on his bed, and waited for the bathroom while his mother re-bathed Rin. Getting himself clean was only a secondary goal. The main reason he was itching to have the bathroom was to take a nice long shower to give his mother time to cool off. He listened through the open door as Rin was marched out of the bath into the guest room, where an aggressively loud hairdryer drowned out whatever lecture she was getting.

After what seemed like hours(and possibly was), Rin appeared at Hisao's door, fully dressed, with her hair in a big over-dried poof ball.

"Hisao," she stated with the defeated tone of a scolded child being forced to apologize to a wronged party at gunpoint. "Your mother says she will be helping me bathe from now on."

...

"I don't think your friends liked my singing very much." Rin lamented as she and Hisao returned to his house after going out with friends from his old school for karaoke.

"No, they liked it..." Hisao fished around in his head, searching for some tactful words that would make Rin feel better. "They just weren't used to hearing spoken-word renditions of those songs."

"Hey Hisao, I think your parents got kidnapped." Rin reported, as calm as if she was observing the weather. "I don't see them anywhere and there's a note on the dinner table."

"No they weren't," Hisao replied, reading the note his mother left behind. "My aunt just kicked out her husband again so my folks are spending the night at her place in case he comes back."

"Oh..." Rin's eyes locked onto Hisao with mischievous intent. "So we've got the house to ourselves tonight?"

After getting Rin and himself ready for bed, Hisao returned to his room and crawled under his covers then stared at the ceiling. He had heard some troubling gossip from his friends that night while Rin was beyond earshot. He wasn't even sure why it was so bothered him so much, it wasn't really his business anymore. Even before the news, the topic was haunting him all weekend, and he spent most of his time just trying to forget she ever existed.

"Hello Hisao." Rin greeted him after she had already crawled into bed with him.

"Hey Rin, what are you doing here?"

"The bed in the guest room is too small."

"But at least you get it all to yourself."

"True, but you're not in it."

Hisao gave up trying kick Rin out of his bed and returned to trying to force unpleasant memories out of his head. Just as he was about to fall asleep, a kick to the shins yanked him back to reality.

"Goddammit Hisao, what's wrong with you?" Rin wriggled in close and was glaring at him, inches away from his face.

"Nothing... What are you talking about?"

""Nothing?" Geez, you're worse than a girl, you know that? Dense like a boy, indirect like a girl. If you've got something on your mind, spit it out. I've been throwing myself at you all weekend long and you barely acknowledge me as your girlfriend."

"Wait, girlfriend?" Hisao confusedly furrowed his brows, wondering just how long he's actually been in an actual relationship with Rin. "So, we're official? I-I didn't know."

"To me, we've been official for a long time. I did not know that you needed a formal declaration of girlfrienditude. If anything, this morning should have made things crystal clear. I wouldn't let anyone but my boyfriend touch me like that, you know."

"...Do you even like me?" Rin pleaded.

"I'm sorry, of course I do and I'm happy that you felt the same. It's just... I just... I wasn't sure and I didn't want to get my hopes up if there was nothing and have you freak out if I crossed the line. I've had nothing but bad luck with girls before I met you."

"Hisao, I know I could have been more forward with you but sometimes you just gotta follow what your gut says and believe what you're seeing. Besides, even if there was nothing between us, do you really think I'd hate you if you had feelings for me?"

"I-I'm sorry."

"I know you are." Having spoken her mind, Rin silenced Hisao with a kiss to let him know that she bore no hard feelings and to keep him from berating himself further.

"Anyways, what's going on with you?"

"It's hard for me to say..." Hisao, still hating himself with just how lousy he had been treating his retroactive girlfriend, felt that telling her the truth would hurt her more.

"It's another girl, isn't it? You were hoping to get back with your hometown sweetheart but you've got me hanging off your neck, is that it?"

"No, not exactly." Hisao took a deep breath and prepared to spill his guts since he was going nowhere by evading Rin's questioning.

"You know how my heart is messed up? I learned about it earlier this year... when a girl asked me out and it gave me a heart attack. We were kind of a couple for a while when I was hospitalized but it just faded away and she stopped visiting me."

"Oh." Rin's face drooped at a sad realization. "And since your heart is better, you think you can handle starting over with her, huh?"

"No, it's not that. I mean, coming back home made me think about her a lot. Probably more than I should've. I thought I had gotten over it until I got some news earlier tonight."

"And what's that?"

"She got married and quit school. Wait, no. Let me start from the beginning. She got pregnant, then she got married and quit school. I hear she's due in a month or two."

"A couple months left?" Rin's own heart started to feel unhealthy as she did the math in her head. "Then your ex's kid must be..."

"No. We never did that. The father is apparently one of several random college students she met at a party while I was laid up. Once her folks found out, they married her off to some family friend, a salaryman in his 40s. If it wasn't for my stupid heart, she wouldn'tve cheated on me and gotten all knocked up and married to an old man."

"So you wish you were healthy so you could've been a normal boyfriend and save her from all that?"

"Kind of, yes. If only I could be stronger..."

"You're an idiot."

Hisao was expecting a negative response, but nothing that concise and straightforward. With Rin, it was always hard to tell whether he would get the brutal truth or some lofty rambling.

"You didn't make her go to that party and sleep around on you. She did that to herself. For all you know, she would've cheated on you even if you had a normal lovey-dovey relationship."

"Yeah, maybe. Still, I can't help thinking that..."

"I'm not finished." Rin scolded. "If it wasn't for your heart condition, you would've never come to our school and I would've never met you. Unless you're truly unhappy with me, you've got no business torturing yourself over what might have been."

"Yeah. I know. I'm sorry, Rin."

"And another thing," Rin let herself fall closer to Hisao's face so she could whisper something to him, their cheeks touching.

"You have a bad heart, I know that you do and I haven't abandoned you. And I would never cheat on you. Remember that."

"Thanks, Rin." Hisao wrapped his arms around Rin and held her close. "I've been treating you like shit worrying about my old life when I've got it pretty damned good right now, don't I? How can I make it up to you?"

"I've got something to tell you, Hisao."

"What's that?"

"I've never had an acne problem. I just told my doctor that I had bad zits and cramps so she'd write me a prescription for my pills."

"Then what were those pills for?"

"You'll see. Now help me get undressed."

...

"I dunno, I like these." Rin admired the slatted sunglasses in the mirror. She and Hisao were out shopping for bathing suits for their beach trip the next day. "Since I can only see half the world, they make me fill in the blanks with my imagination."

"Eh... can you actually keep from running into things, though?" Hisao mumbled, trying to talk Rin out of buying the shutter shades.

"Not really, but that's why I have you." Rin smiled as she shook her head to drop the eye-wear onto the counter. As Hisao put it back on the shelf, a familiar swirling mass of black hair grabbed his attention.

"Iwanako? Is that you?" Hisao cautiously approached the woman to finally get some closure.

"H-Hisao?" The prematurely aged girl replied. "Um... Hi. I didn't know you were back in town."

Iwanako was a mere shadow of her former self. Her creamy complexion and silky skin gave way to pasty greasiness. The fire in her gaze burnt out as her eyes settled deeper in her sockets. Her trendy wardrobe appeared to have been replaced by frumpy maternity clothes. The only thing left of the old Iwanako was her vibrant, flowing hair.

"Oh wow, congratulations." Hisao politely noted her belly. "Boy or girl? When are you due?"

"Thank you. I'm having a girl, and..." Iwanako looked down, hoping that Hisao would be unable to figure out the date of her child's conception. "I'm due soon. You're looking well. How have you been?"

"I'm feeling a lot better now. My new school has been good to me and..." Hisao grabbed Rin by the back of the collar to yank her away from looking at more ridiculous eye wear and laid his arm around her shoulders. "There, I met Rin..."

Rin looked up at him and anxiously waited for the rest of her introduction.

"...my girlfriend." Rin smiled at finally being acknowledged. "She's really been helpful with my recovery.

"Um, Hello Rin. I'm Iwanako. So you've been taking care of Hisao all this time?"

"Yup, he's in good hands." Rin replied, hoping that the joke wouldn't go unnoticed.

"She's a painter too."

"Really?" Iwanako was momentarily distracted by the strange sight of Rin waving at her with one of her stumps.

"Yeah, most of her work is totally over my head, but she's really good."

"If you want, I can have Hisao email you some pictures." Rin said, seeking to extinguish doubts concerning her artistic abilities.

"Uh, sure. Hisao has my address." Iwanako kept looking away, embarrassed with her current appearance.

"Oy, what did I tell you about wandering off?" A gangly old man with shoe-polish back hair and long silver whiskers flowing out of a mole on his cheek crept in and grabbed Iwanako by the upper arm.

If this man was Iwanako's husband, his surplus of oldness must have spilled out onto her. There was no way he was only in his 40s. The geezer glared at Hisao and Rin for daring to speak to his wife.

"Um, I gotta go." she squeaked as she was dragged off, without even bothering with introductions or a proper goodbye.

"Wow." Rin pouted sympathetically as they walked away. "Now that I've seen her, I feel sorry for the poor girl. You should feel bad for flaunting your totally awesome new girlfriend and rubbing it in her face."

"Yeah, it sucks how things happened like that," Hisao smiled, shrugging. "But think of it this way, she's got a man with a steady job and a kid on the way. A lot of girls would consider that a happy ending, right? It's not my business anymore and... I've got my own life to live now."

"Well, I guess you can put it that way. So... are you really over her?"

"How can I not be?" Hisao answered as reached up Rin's sleeve to hold her "hand," before giving up and settling on reaching across her back and holding onto her waist.

"Oh by the way, my dad called and said that the cops released my uncle due to lack of evidence so my parents are going to be staying with my aunt for at least the rest of the week."

"Oh wow," Rin giggled. "Lucky us."

"Yep, lucky me."