I thank the first two reviews I received from Geekies and the Super Late Anon Reviewer. I do know you from somewhere… don't I? Nah, I do, don't worry.
This is the third chapter, where things get somewhat explained. Hey, if I explained everything right away, this story wouldn't be any fun now would it? And what is getting somewhat explained you ask? You'll see.
Haga: I'm personally happy to be involved in this story.
First off, from this chapter on, the Zashiki-Warashi will now be referred to by her actual name, Komori.
Second off, I'd like to have some kind of character development other than the character's typical personalities. So as you can see, Kafuka is a bit more cloudcuckoolander than usual, Nozomu is a mixture of both qualities of freaking out, and despair, and Komori appears to be the most sane out of everybody (of course, other than her original fatal attraction to Nozomu, she has always typically been this among other members of Nozomu's class. Her and Abiru). Haga is perfect for this given that his development in character merely stopped at "Kino's and Aoyama's perverted friend".
Haga: I take offense to that!
Well hey. Since I wouldn't allow you as much freedom as that title gives, I'll be giving your in-story character more solid development, alright?
Haga: … Despite all our deep hatred for each other, I actually have to thank you for that.
Haga: … We're gonna go back to killing each other, aren't we?
Chapter Three: Haga and Manami Okusa
Haga had a date with Kafuka Fuura, our resident time traveler. Things should go just how we expect. Unwillingly, Nozomu had to tag along because Kafuka was his only way back home. Komori went along with Nozomu because, well, she didn't have anything else to do but stay by Nozomu's side. Nozomu knew this wasn't some deluded fantasy he was having. They usually begin and end with his demise. He couldn't be sure of this future, but physical reminder kept telling him this was real. And by "physical reminder", I mean Kafuka kept stumbling over his feet.
"Ow! Please watch yourself." Nozomu kept telling her.
Haga had decided that for the first date he had in over a year, he would take the cute girl (Kafuka) to the park! 'It isn't the most original idea, but there's a reason people date here. The sakura trees are truly beautiful, and the park itself has a calming air to it.' He thought way back. 'This was where I took my first date, come to think of it…' He shook his head. 'Must not dwell on the past…' To take his mind off of whatever it was he was remembering, his thoughts turned to his date. He looked at Kafuka Fuura, still dressed like a space cadet, eyes closed, and goofy smile on her face. 'Hm… what anime is that from?' He hadn't seen a getup like that before.
She was dressed in a light blue skin suit, almost like a school swimsuit but brighter (hard to tell because of her skirt, but it probably ended at her waist like a regular shirt). She wore thick white gloves, almost like a magician's. The skirt she wore was a cobalt blue, slit at mid-thigh length, and from there the rest of the skirt curled upward, making her look like some kind of flower. The design looked, however, like a strange spacey version of a seifuku skirt. Her shoes were just plain shoes like every other girl wears. Haga had to admit, he actually wouldn't feel comfortable had her shoes been as unusual as the rest of her outfit. And if she weren't wearing the plain white socks she was wearing. He couldn't really explain why. Her X shaped hairclip looked like a relatively ordinary hairpiece.
"Um, so." Haga spoke. "I um, like your, uh, hairclip?"
"Are you talking to me or my feet?" Kafuka still thought this was a date with her feet.
"Um, Kafuka… chan? Can I just date you and not your feet?"
"Well sure! I don't think my feet were interested anyway. Not that I would know, my feet cannot speak!"
Nozomu just up and sighed. "How can she say such ridiculous things with such a big smile on her face?"
"Nozomu-sama, isn't the atmosphere calming?" Komori, his Zashiki-Warashi asked him.
"Hm… yes, it is." He looked at the trees, at the sakura petals blowing in the cool spring wind. "If I had to choose a place, it would be here." Komori refrained from asking him, "potential date spot" or "grave".
Kafuka started running around on the brick road, hanging off of the trees and dancing amongst the flowers. "I usually don't see anything but botanical gardens where I come from! The park is so wonderful!"
Haga felt his heart skip a beat. Just watching her dance like that, surrounded by so many flowers, he thought to himself, 'She's just… too cute.' He suddenly chastised himself for not being good enough for a girl like this. 'I mean, with what I've done, I don't deserve her.' He looked down to the ground. "I mean, why would a girl like her want to be with a guy like me?"
"Now hold up there." Nozomu suddenly said. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, I'm not suited for love. To tell the truth, I used to be quite the pervert." Haga admitted. "I'm not fit for a sweet and innocent girl like her."
'I'm not so sure about innocent but…' Nozomu held back from actually saying that. "Well, if you realize what you did before, and lament, then I don't see any reason you can't start fresh with Fuura-san."
Haga lit up after that. "Thank you for your kindness… um… what is your name?"
"Of the Itoshiki family? Influence in the Diet and all that?"
"Nevermind." Haga decided that, if he didn't know, he wouldn't push further.
Nozomu on the other hand, was confused. 'Itoshiki family? Almost 1000 years into the future, and that family name still exists? Is it another family, or is it mine?' He didn't want to think about his family. 'No, the same people who were in my famly centuries ago obviously wouldn't still be alive, but… I'm pretty sure that I shouldn't dwell on this any longer.' Nozomu dropped it there.
Meanwhile, Haga went on ahead to where Kafuka was, in a field of flowers. "Do you enjoy dancing?"
"I don't dance, I spin!" It was true. Most of what looked like dancing was actually her just spinning at random. "Care to join me for this spin?"
Haga smiled as he said, "Gladly!"
Together, they span in circles around the flowerbed until they got dizzy and fell straight downward. Unfortunately, they were standing opposite each other when this happened, so their heads sorta clunked. "Ow… sorry Kafuka-chan…"
"What are you talking about? That was one of the best spins I've had in a while! Thank you… say, I never asked your name!"
"My name is Haga, and I'm pleased to meet you."
"Nice to meet you too Haga-kun! And nice to meet you too apron girl!"
"Apron girl?" Haga got up and looked toward where Kafuka was speaking. A girl with a motherly look about her stood before them. She had her shoulder-length black hair tied back, and just like Kafuka said, she wore an apron over a school uniform. "M-Manami-chan!"
"H-Hello Haga-kun." The young girl averted her eyes from him as she spoke. "I didn't expect to see you here." The air suddenly turned awkward.
"Manami-kun? That's a nice name! I'm Kafuka Fuura, and I travel through time!" Nozomu covered his face with his hand. Wasn't she supposed to keep that a secret?
"Oh. That's… nice." Manami tried looking at Haga. "I didn't know you went for the cosplaying type."
"Well… she's really cute though."
"I can see that." Manami smiled a small smile. "I'm glad you're happy."
"…." Haga just sat there. "Hey, Manami. After you went and got married… did Ohba-kun treat you right?"
She shook her head. "He cheats on me constantly, and does nothing but lie around doing nothing all day."
"And after a year of that, you're still with him?" She nodded. "Why?"
"Well because," she started, "I don't want him to commit homicide. After we got married, I discovered he was a very unstable person, and if he's upset in the slightest…"
"Stop, don't say anymore." Haga looked up to her. "So are you content with your life?"
"Content, yes. Sad, a bit. Happy, no." She looked down. "I almost regret breaking up with you."
"Yeah, if only everybody kept their big mouths shut…"
"But now that I'm a bit more mature, I can say this: I don't blame you for being a pervert. I don't blame you for hiding your thoughts behind kindness and warmth. But…"
"When I was with you, it may have been the only time I wasn't trying to be perverted." Haga twiddled his thumbs. "That's why I've been idle for a year."
"And then you go out with this girl here."
"Because I felt lonely!" He thought back to his best friend. "And I've been relieving that loneliness with the first guy I met after we broke up. Aoyama can be a bit depressing, but he's my best friend." He looked up to the sky. "I was a bit selfish, you see. I decided against going to college, while he has college on the brain. He'll be in Hokkaido for a few years, and I thought it might be time to start dating again…"
"… you say that, but you see me and you suddenly start this whole awkward conversation." Manami sighed. "Well, I didn't want to hear you apologize. I just wanted to apologize." She bent down and hugged him. "That was a dumb reason for leaving you. I wish I knew that when I did. I'm sorry for breaking up with you."
Haga teared up, but held back from crying. "Thank you for the year we spent together…" Haga had finally gotten some closure from his old girlfriend.
Nozomu and Komori had seen what happened. "Komori, again, I'm not sure how I feel about this. I feel good for this young man's rise above his past, but… I'm still feeling depressed."
"It's alright Nozomu-sama. I want to go home too." 'If only because we'll be alone together again…'
By the end of the day, Nozomu had witnessed a modern day romance. Boy meets girl, girl and boy run into boy's ex, boy and ex discuss previous love life, and girl doesn't really think much of it.
"Manami-kun was a really pretty girl! You were lucky to have dated her!" Kafuka exclaimed.
"Thanks Kafuka-chan." Haga thanked her. He looked a little more relaxed than he had previously been, messy black hair, tired grayish-green eyes and all. "I'm feeling more and more like I did before!"
Nozomu thought back on their previous conversation. 'Um…'
"So Kafuka-chan," Haga said as he put his arm around her shoulder, "I'm not looking into a committed relationship, but I'm willing to pal around with you and your friends there for a while if you'd like."
"You can come along with us if you'd like! We're going back to the 12th century!"
Haga still thought she was talking about anime. "Sounds like a plan!"
"And I'm not experiencing cardiac arrest, but thank you for your concern!"
Nozomu sighed and said, "I thought this might happen…"
Komori went over to try and stop Haga from doing what he was doing. "Stop groping her right now!"
Haga squeezed Kafuka for good measure, and then draped his arm around Komori. "Well alright then!" He grabbed at Komori. "You seem to be the 'bigger' of you two anyways." Komori introduced Haga's face with her palm. "Oh, no need to be so harsh… Ouch…"
Komori returned to Nozomu's side. "What is wrong with that young man?"
Nozomu looked at him and told her, "He told me that before he started dating seriously, he was a real pervert. I guess since he finally received closure on an old one-year relationship that had been eating at him for a year afterward, he reverted back to his old ways, before going through all that."
"Well, I don't like it."
Nozomu smiled. "Really? The mere fact that this quality of himself he lamented shows me that his perverse ways are more a greeting than anything else at this point." He looked at Kafuka. Haga was at it again.
"If at any point I suffer a heart attack, Haga-kun will save me!"
"Of course, Kafuka-chan."
Nozomu sweated. "Although I may have to break it up every now and then, being the adult here…" He put his hand in between Kafuka and Haga. "Alright, that's enough."
"Aw man, you too Nozomu?"
Komori spoke up to Haga. "Excuse me, can you lend us a place to sleep for the night? We are from… out of the town, and-"
"Ah! Say no more. Given all you three have done for me, I'd be glad to give you lodgings for the night!" Haga held his thumb up and smiled.
Nozomu thought to himself, 'Well actually, you got over your problems on your own…'
Don't be so sure Nozomu. A small pep talk from a depressing man can go quite a ways…
"Excuse me, Haga-kun."
Nozomu holds up his thumb. "What does this mean?"
"Oh. Well to me, it can either mean, 'Alright! Good Job. Nice!'"
"And I usually mean 'Nice' when gesturing like this to pick up girls!"
'I'd better not gesture like this… ever.'
So how was the third chapter? Development for Haga, and now you know what Kafuka is wearing. I mean, you hear she was dressed like a space cadet, but that wasn't specific. Shoes, socks, and hairpin are all regular Kafuka. The rest of her outfit looks sorta sci-fi, especially the faceless technological watch she wears.
Haga: And now it's time for, "Name that Game!"
That's where I provide info on a game's characters, songs, or story, and you reviewers guess what game I'm talking about! This time, the genre is fighting games!
Haga: Okay, your character hints are: Sol, Jam, Zappa. (Not Frank).
Songs: Awe of She, Suck a Sage, Good Customs and Manners.
Haga: Storywise, there isn't a lot of mechanical inclination unless you count Ky's robo-double, but we do talk a lot about "Cogs"…
Not "Cogs"! "Gears"! Or is that too obvious?
Send in your guess in a review detailing how good/bad I did this chapter! (Considering I've already got next chapter thought out, you've got about a week).
Tell you friends about my story! Laugh with me/at me! And try asking them for the answer!
Haga: Until then…