Reactions and Reflections
Short little Katawa Shoujo fic I decided to do after mulling it over for a while. Hope you lot enjoy it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Anyone paying attention could have seen the difference, Misha thought as she watched the two of them walk into the classroom. Neither of them were being particularly subtle about it, after all.
From her position at her desk, she kept an eye out as the door opened, the two of them stepping into the classroom. Hisao, she noticed, now walked side by side with Hanako instead of slightly ahead of her as he used to. Much more interesting was the fact that they were holding hands.
As she watched the unfolding scene with a smile on her face, she was looking out for the moment when the two of them parted ways. As they did so, Hisao gave Hanako's hand a quick squeeze of affection before walking over his seat.
Of course he ignored the massive grin Misha had shot him as he walked by her desk.
(The two of them really belong together, don't they?) She signed to Shizune.
(Focus on your work, Misha,) came Shizune's typically blunt reply. But Misha didn't miss how Shizune's looked up to take a long look at Hanako as she sidled into her seat.
A smile on her face, Misha returned to her work.
Lilly had to admit that to being a little surprised by how things were different when she had returned.
It wasn't much, at least to an outside observer. But Lilly was someone who understood living life by rhythm and schedule, and the slight changes had registered with her more than, perhaps, most.
The return had been a pleasant surprise, certainly. Hisao and Hanako were both waiting for her at Yamaku, a quiet but comforting welcome party thrown for her back in her dorm room. As she sat there, drinking her tea and asking how everyone had been, she couldn't help but notice that Hanako seemed slightly more… animated than usual.
"So, did anything interesting happen while I was gone?" She questioned as she raised the teacup to her lips.
"I… did some soul searching," Hanako's voice was soft, but the unmistakeable qualities of a smile in her voice brought one to Lilly's own lips as well. "I found out some things about myself… a – and Hisao, too."
"I see," Lilly nodded once. "That's good."
Less expected had been the time she had asked if Hanako would be joining her in the tea room for their lunch break. She'd never really expected Hanako to say no, and never on short notice.
"I – I'm sorry, Lilly," her voice had been soft, apologetic. "But I – we have plans."
"We?" Lilly questioned, although she already had a pretty good idea of who Hanako was referring to.
"Hisao and I…" a brief pause. "We wanted to visit one of the eateries in town."
"I see," Lilly had nodded. "Don't let me keep you, then."
Another hesitation. "Do you… would you like to come with us, Lilly?" Lilly simply had to smile at that. Dear old Hanako, always the sweetheart. But she knew that she would only be getting in the way if she did that.
"No, I'll be fine on my own. Have fun, now."
And now as she sat in the tea room, raising the brew to her lips and taking a cautious sip, she found herself wondering what the two of them were doing right now.
"My, my," she clucked her tongue and chuckled to the empty room. "I'm not getting jealous, am I?"
"They've got a leg up on you know, you know," Akira laughed as she clapped her sister on the shoulder. "Who would've thought shy little Hanako would get a boyfriend before you, Lilly?"
Lilly smiled tolerantly and sipped at her tea.
Another silence came upon the two of them as she watched Hanako get herself ready for a date with Hisao. A look of mild distress came over Hanako's face as she went through her cupboard, perhaps realizing for the first time how little clothes she actually owned. Well, it wasn't something she'd particularly cared about before.
Finally she managed to get an outfit together, and as she finished buttoning herself, she reached for the soft messenger cap she always wore in the rare occasions that she ventured further than the town around Yamaku.
There was a brief moment of hesitation, and then slowly, Hanako replaced the cap on the shelf were it lay.
There was a moment of silence as Hanako stood staring at the mirror. Then, slowly, with trembling fingers, she lifted one hand to draw back the bangs covering half of her face.
"Hey, Hanako," Akira finally spoke up. The girl blinked and turned to face her. "You'll be late if you don't get going, you know."
"Ah! The time-!" glancing up at the clock, Hanako uttered a hasty goodbye to Lilly and Akira before leaving the dorm room, evidently trusting the two Satou siblings to lock up properly when they themselves left.
Akira sat back in her chair and let out a sigh of contentment as her gaze drifted over the room – and to the cap that Hanako had left on her shelf.
"Spread your wings, girl," she murmured. "It's time to fly."
Kenji was infuriated. Appalled. Enraged. Terrified. Aghast.
To think that they had managed to worm their way in and snare one of his best men!
Well, one of his only men, but the terms weren't mutually exclusive. And when terms weren't mutually exclusive, you used the one that made you look good. That was common sense.
Back to the problem at hand. One of his men had been lost to the enemy.
That didn't make the situation unsalvageable, though. Nope. No way. Negatory. 'Unsalvageable' was the sort of term you reserved for shipwrecks that had been underwater too long. Like the Titanic.
He could still solve this. All it would take was stealth, subtlety and trickery. And garlic bread. Lots of garlic bread.
The garlic bread would be for giving him the energy needed to accomplish his task.
It took skill and planning, but finally he had managed to ascertain that the two of them would be on the rooftop of the school that particular night. Apparently the cover story was that they would be stargazing, but who knew what nefarious plans they were truly up to?
That Hisao had outright told him about it probably helped.
And so, that night, under cover of darkness, he had slunk up onto the rooftop, sneaking silently and cautiously towards where he could barely make out the faint shape of what appeared to be a pair of deck chairs.
Silently, stealthily, he crept closer and closer, waiting for just the right moment to pounce…
Standing, he hurried forward until even he could make out the scene with his poor eyesight –
Of Hisao and Hanako sitting side by side, fast asleep. Hanako had slumped over to one side in her skumber, so that she was now leaning against Hisao, her head pillowed against his shoulder.
Kenji stood staring for several long minutes, feeling oddly cheated, before he turned away and left.
"You win this round, feminists," he muttered darkly. "But I'll be back. Oh yes, I'll be back."
The two of them sat side by side in the library, flipping through whatever books they had picked up for the day.
"They're cute together, aren't they?" Miki grinned at Yuuko.
Yuuko merely smiled in reply.
Hanako lay in bed, hearing the patter of raindrops against the window, feeling the warmth of Hisao against her skin.
It had been a strange couple of months, now that she thought about it. In just the space of a few weeks, she'd started to come out of her shell, making more progress than she'd had in years.
That wasn't to say it had been easy. Hisao's well-meaning overprotectiveness had threatened to stifle her for a while. But… but in the end, it had worked out. Everything had worked out. He was there, not standing in front of her but by her side, the two of them supporting each other as they moved forward.
Yes, things had worked out, and at times she was so full of joy she felt like she was going to burst and she didn't really know where to let all that emotion go.
But right now, in the stillness of her room, she just felt a sense of quiet peace.
Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep, a contented smile on her face.
Silently, Hisao continued to watch Hanako as she slept.
She was beautiful. Her scars could not hide that any more than her introverted nature could hide the beauty of her spirit. Within her quiet domain, Hanako was a wonderful person in all aspects.
And Hisao had been lucky enough that she had opened up – slowly but surely – to him, slowly allowing him access into her world. In her person.
That was something he would be eternally grateful for – the chance to know and love the person in front of him. The chance to spend time with her.
The chance to see her smile.
Closing his eyes, he shifted in the bed, seeking to snuggle up closer with the woman he loved.
Tomorrow would be a new day.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it.