Flutter - Level Thirty Seven: City Escape [6/7/24]

WORDS WORDS WORDS


User avatar
Peorth
Zenryoku Zenkai!
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:02 pm

Re: Flutter - Level Thirty Five: Chip Damage [1/3/24]

Post by Peorth »

Yukarin wrote: Thu Mar 21, 2024 5:43 am

Recently went on a nostalgia trip and reread a lot of the fics here I was reading a long time ago and was pleasantly surprised this story's still going!

I keep forgetting how diabetes-inducing Rika is on this story, remembered why this was one of the stories I really liked to read here.

Looking forward for more chapters in the future!

Rika's a sweetheart and I'll hear no arguments otherwise!

Even if the author is silenced, the performance is stopped, the story will not end.

Whether it's a comedy or a tragedy, if there is cheering, the story will continue on.
Just like the many lives.
For the us who are still in it and still in the journey, send warm blessings.

---We will continue to walk down this path until eternity.
User avatar
Sharp-O
Posts: 1008
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:03 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Re: Flutter - Level Thirty Six: Invincibility [18/5/24]

Post by Sharp-O »

“Just be careful.” Hisao fusses as I grab hold of the ladder at the edge of the pool and gingerly lower myself into the heated water below. I can’t hide my annoyed look back up at him causing him to look away guiltily. Glad to know he knows he’s smothering me again.

I get it; I really do. I’d be the same to an extent but it’s been a week since I came back to school and he’s been more of a worry wart than usual. I didn’t even plan to come to the pool yet but I needed to relax and this is my favourite way to do that.

As soon as my waist sinks into the warm water, I can’t wait any longer and gladly fall backwards with a splash, disappearing under the water. The pressure of ten thousand gallons, give-or-take, of perfectly warm water engulfs my entire body. I’ve missed this so much. My body sinks from the momentum but as my body relaxes, I can let physics to do the rest. My body breaches the surface again and I squirt a spout of water from my mouth for effect.

I look over to Hisao with a beaming grin and I can see him physically unclench. Finally! That’s more like it!

“You gonna join us, senpai?” I shift my weight to stand in the chest-high water as Saki idly circles me with a grin. It’s so weird to see her in school blues rather than her usual swimsuit. I brush my loose, wet hair back and give him my most alluring look.

“I don’t want to leave Taro on the sidelines all alone!” Hisao says, circling the pool and taking a seat on the edge next to Saki’s newly announced boyfriend - who doesn’t own any swimming gear apparently. I guess only having one arm would be a hindrance to swimming but I applaud him showing up for Saki; something he’s been making a habit of, apparently.

“Don’t worry about me, sir. It’d be a shame to see one of Akio’s best pranks go to waste.” Taro jokes and Hisao nods in mild agreement before shaking his head. While Hisao is dressed in his usual t-shirt and ludicrous swim shorts, Taro opted for a baggy pair of knee-length cargo shorts so he could dip his toes into the pool.

“Does he always wear a t-shirt?” Saki asks quietly, strafing around me a second time.

“Yeah…” I sigh. I would have thought he’d be over his body issues after all our topless time together but I guess he doesn’t want to share that with an audience. I lean back again and allow my body to float as Saki’s drift makes slowly rotate. “The water feels great.”

“First time since your operation, right?”

“Yup. Needed a nice soothing float, hoped it would be just as good and it is…” I sigh contentedly, closing my eyes and just allowing myself to be for a little bit. It’s not as peaceful as it used to be but I kind of enjoy having Hisao and our friends here too.

“Sounds good to me. That stuff with my Mom was… rough.” Saki says and her light swimming stops. I peek to see that she’s adopted a similar floating position to me but keeping some momentum with her arms.

“I have to admit; that does look relaxing.” Taro comments. “Wish I could join you.”

“I haven’t quite gotten the hang of it. I can’t give up control of my body like that.” Hisao admits and I remember how tough it was to get him to float, even for a few seconds.

“I guess it’d be kinda hard not to fight against the water.” Taro offers in consolation.

“We’re made of, like, sixty-percent water. It doesn’t have to be a fight.” Saki says, somewhere near my feet. “Just go with the flow.”

“As the great Bruce Lee once said: ‘Be like water, my friend’.” Taro says with a sagely nod.

“See? Taro gets it.” I laugh at the couple’s interplay and look over at Hisao with a smile, raising my eyebrows expectantly. C’mon, Senpai…

“Yeah, I guess I could do with a dip too.” He smirks and pushes himself off the edge of the pool and into the waiting water. He slips-in quietly and allows himself to fully submerge before popping up beside me. “Hey.”

“Hey, you.” I smirk up at the dripping Hisao as I slip my arms around his waist and twist my body to face him. I give him a quick peck on the lips then slink back into the water, holding his hands.

“You feeling okay?” He asks quietly and it immediately annoys me. Could he just relax for five minutes? Could he just let me enjoy this? I sigh and let go of his hands.

“I’m fine, Hisao.” I state, drifting away, unable to hide my disappointment. The realisation of having fucked-up is immediate and he glides forward to reach for my hands again.

“Sorry, sorry, I know… I’m trying, alright?” He whispers as we move gently away from prying ears. “I don’t want to be this annoying, overbearing pain-in-the-ass so tell me what I can do to not be that and I’ll do it.”

I don’t want to be the girlfriend who’s constantly annoyed at her caring, if overbearing, boyfriend either, y’know… I just don’t want to be handled with kid-gloves. I want us to have fun like we used to! I bring his hands closer to me as we tread water quietly.

“Touch me.” I say softly as I lead his hands to my chest. His eyes go wide with shock while my hands slide up his arms to keep them where I want them. His head snaps back toward Taro and Saki but I pull his focus back to me. “They’re not going to notice if you play it cool. C’moooon, senpai, just go with the flow.”

After a few seconds of obvious internal debate, he presses his palms against my swimsuit. Now this is more like it. I breathe out shakily as goosebumps erupt all over my arms and thighs. I reward Hisao with a lustful look and a deep kiss. He seems to approve as he matches my energy and presses harder against me. And speaking of hard

I stroke the noticeable reaction to my actions and my heart thumps wildly with desire and anxiety. It’s an exciting, intoxicating mix of emotions and something I’ve desperately wanted since I got out of the hospital. Its one thing to be supportive but a girl likes to feel wanted too… And I definitely want Hisao to know how much I want him.

I trace my fingers along him before breaking our kiss. He looks flustered but happier. At the very least, he’s not opening his mouth to ask silly questions. Not that I’m going to give him much of a chance to. I smile wickedly before sticking my tongue out.

“Thanks, senpai. I needed that!” I wink and kick off the side wall of the pool, launching into a swim away from him, leaving the dumbfounded Hisao in my wake. Mission accomplished.

“Wai-wha-hey! G-get back here, Rika!” He calls out behind me and I hear frantic splashing as he gives chase.


“-so I’m gonna talk with her again at the weekend. Hopefully our last conversation gave her something to think about and she’s not going to be such a bitch about it.” Saki bemoans her current parental woes. “It’s like playing chess against the person who taught you how to play…”

“I get where you’re coming from but I can’t imagine being so antagonistic with my Mom.” I comment as I pat my hair with a towel.

“You’re lucky to have so many people care about you, Rika.” Saki looks over to me, her face a little sad and wistful. “Don’t take that for granted.”

“Hey. You know I care about you, right?” I say, almost reflexively. We might not have the best history but I like this Saki at the very least.

“Really?” She blushes, hiding her face as she ruffles her hair dry with her own towel and enters her stall. “And I… I better say thanks, I guess.”

“I wouldn’t be in a rush to thank me. I think I’ve caused more trouble for you than I thought I would.” I reply, entering the stall with my all school stuff in it.

“Heh, I was always going to get into trouble. But this is a different flavour of trouble than I’d get into on my own. A sweeter taste of trouble.”

“Oooh, I like that! That’d be a good album title. Or a book. It deserves to be written on something anyways.”

“Maybe that’s my next thing; writing. I’ve already done art and music; why not go for the hat-trick?”

“I’m sure you’ll figure out what you want to do eventually. It’s something I need to do as well.”

“Still not sure what you want to do with your extra life?” Saki asks, before asking herself a follow-up quietly. “Am I using that right?”

I chuckle at her attempt to use video game parlance with me while thinking about the question itself. I told Hisao that I wanted to work towards a future now but I still have no idea what that means.

“I don’t…” I confess, huffing as I stuff my towel into my bag. I exit the stall, fully-dressed, and wait for Saki to join me. “But I’ve got plans in the short-term.”

The door to Saki’s stall opens and she steps out, leaning against the wooden frame with a scheming look.

“And those plans would include a certain Hisao Nakai, I presume?”

“Yeeeeeaaaah. I wanted to ask you a favour, actually… You’ve got a sense of style.” I say. Saki looks down at her drab grey hoodie and then back at me with a doubtful eyebrow.

“N-no, like you know wh-what’s fashionable!” I splutter and, again, Saki looks down but can’t help but let out a giggle this time.

“Sure, Rika, what do you need?”

“A fancy dress…?”

“What kind of fancy are we talking here? Gala, opera, ballroom?”

“An adult date fancy?” I blush and look away but Saki’s piercing gaze and probing questions don’t care for my embarrassment.

“How adult?” I can hear the smile on her face before I look with the most clueless, unsure look I think I’ve given to anyone.

“…Hoping to end the night having it taken off me kind of adult?” I say, feeling my entire body warm up as her grin widens and there’s a twinkle in her bespectacled eyes.

“Well, hot damn! That is adult!”

“Y-y-you don’t have to help if its weird b-b-but I want it to be special and I don’t have any fancy clothes for a fancy dinner date an-” My rambling is cut off with a solitary finger on my lips. My eyes follow the line from the finger, up the arm, to the confident face of Saki.

Shhh. Say no more. Come to my room later and I’ll see what I have.”


“There’s twenty white hexagons and twelve black pentagons.” Hisao answers confidently, not even looking up from his own work while Fuuka and I argue back-and-forth over the problem. We both look across the table at him while Jiro looks at him, a little impressed. Hisao finally notices our stunned silence and looks up.

“What?”

“How…” Fuuka looks utterly baffled by the speed of his answer.

“I played a lot of soccer before I came here and Takumi tried to distract me one time after I twisted my ankle on the field and had to sit out. He asked me how many of each there was on the ball and I had to answer only using math. Took my mind off the pain but gave me a headache trying to work it out based on size and the shapes.” Hisao explains, articulating the roundness of the ball with his hands.

“You couldn’t just count the shapes?” Jiro asks with a bemused smirk, Hisao shaking his head in response.

“I should have, really.” He snorts with amusement. “I’d have gotten it right.”

“So now you just know that? It’s stuck in your brain forever.” Fuuka laughs and Hisao nods, a bit embarrassed by Fuuka’s needling.

“Hey, it turned out to be useful info!” Jiro defends, pointing his pencil at Fuuka. “You’d never have gotten the answer without him.”

“I’d have figured it out!” Fuuka protests but I can tell by the ‘oh really?’ look Jiro is giving her that he has her number. Not that I’d be any closer…

We continue our study session and in-between idle chit-chat and questions about problems, Fuuka and I manage to get our math assignment done while Hisao helps Jiro with a science assignment they both had.

Hisao and I tease each other with glances, knowing how I left him at the swimming pool. He whispered he’d get me back but we haven’t really had a private moment since. It’s like that anxiety you get before your birthday or Christmas. The potential of excitement.

“Hey. I see what you two are doing. Do you want us to disappear?” Fuuka mutters out of the side of her mouth to me but miming pointing at a problem on the page.

“Sorry, I kinda teased him in the pool but I guess it got me too.” I giggle and Fuuka follows, earning us both looks from our boyfriends.

“I think they’re plotting against us, man.” Jiro leans over to whisper conspiratorially with Hisao but still be loud enough for us to hear.

“Oh, definitely.” Hisao feigns fear. “Should we get out of here while we still can?”

No.” Jiro stands with an air of authority, clenching his fist dramatically. “I shall lead them away so that one of us may live!” He hops over the table with an uncanny agility. I guess I shouldn’t underestimate a track team member, even one with a prosthetic leg. Fuuka doesn’t miss a beat as she shifts into her chair to give chase to the now slowly-moving Jiro.

“I’ll get you, my pretty! And your little butt too!” She cackles like a witch and rolls toward the door as Jiro just leaves my sight. Hisao and I are in hysterics but between my tears I see Fuuka wink at me as she slides the door closed. Thank you, Fuuka. I turn my attention toward Hisao and slip onto the floor.

“Shame your friend left you all alone…” I stalk on my hands and knees around the table toward Hisao, who goes from laughing to fake-cowering pretty quickly.

“With a hungry-looking predator at that! Whatever shall I do?” His sarcastic barbs do little to dissuade me from padding toward him and taking hold of his shoulders as I crawl onto his lap, mounting him. “Oh no. I am caught.”

“If you’re not going to play in the spirit of the game; why play at all?” I pout as I lean back and press my lower half against him.

“Because I still want the prize for winning.” He smirks, nuzzling my neck as his hands find my hips.

“And what prize would that be, Hisao?” I tilt my head and sigh happily.

“You tell me.”

I don’t even get the chance to answer as his tongue touches my neck and draws a line up it to my ear. The shriek of joy that came out of my throat surprises us both. I didn’t know I was capable of such a high pitch. The shiver that ping-pongs through my body like chain lightning is another thing all together and I have to press my mouth into his shoulder as aftershocks make my body quake to suppress my moans.

“Did you just…?” Hisao asks, his voice more wary than it ought to be. You didn’t do anything wrong this time, Hisao. You did very good. I nod rapidly as my body ignites with heat from my core, my skin pinkening all at once. He sighs, a little chuckle on his breath, as his arms wrap tight around me and his head rests against my shoulder.

I don’t have the words for what just happened. I know it’s been a while since I… It had to be because of earlier, right? That teasing and Hisao hitting my weak spot for massive damage. Oooh, I’d take revenge on him if I only knew what his was…

“Are you okay?”

All at once, my body and brain flushed with endorphins and serotonin, I press my whole weight against Hisao; forcing him onto his back with me on top, straddling him. His look of surprise is almost enough for me to crack a smile but I’m pissed, and horny, and I want him to stop fucking asking that!

I groan, pinning his arms against the floor and pressing my nose against his. “I am more than okay, Hisao…”

“R-Rika?” His eyes are wide, he’s frightened, and maybe a small part of me likes that but I relent, sitting upright but keeping my hands firmly planted on his stomach so he doesn’t get up.

“I am sooooo tired of asking you to stop that shit, Hisao.” I’d rather show you just how okay I am.

“S-sorry… I didn’t actually mean it like that this time.” His guilty hangdog expression kills me as he explains. “I just wanted to know if you were okay… Going further?”

“As in…?”

“Yeah…”

“O-oh!” My tense body relaxes a little as I blush. A growing pressure from his lower half to mine is encouraging but this isn’t really how I wanted it to happen… “I, um, I was thinking the same…”

“Okay.” Hisao smiles up at me and shifts his weight but I press my weight down on him again.

“Not now. I…” I blush even harder and my hands hide my face just as quickly. Crapbaskets, I swore I was going to be more suave about this. “I want to have a proper date. Dinner, dancing, and then…”

“Oh! Yeah, I guess that makes sense. I forget how girly you are sometimes.”

“I’m plenty girly!” I fume impotently as Hisao looks down his body at our current positions.

“You pinned me down and growled at me.”

“I d-didn’t growl!”

“You’re so cute when you’re flustered.”

“St-stop changing the subject!”

From almost actual-fighting to play-fighting, I really am feeling woozy as Hisao chuckles. Bouncing between states like a pinball is giving me emotional whiplash. I lean forward and nestle into his chest as his arms wrap around me.

“So are you going to ask me out on a date then?” Hisao asks quietly.

“I think you should be asking me that.” I counter.

“This was your idea.”

“You’re the guy in this relationship. It’s kinda your job.”

“Again, you pinned me down and growled at me.”

“Are you still griping about that?”

“It happened literally thirty seconds ago!”

I groan and push myself up off his chest to straddle him once more, not even trying to hide my smile and allowing Hisao to get into a seated position.

“Hisao, would you like to go on a date with me this weekend?”

“I would love to, Rika.” We kiss to seal the deal and then embrace. Great! Now I just have to figure out how to organise an adult date…


I don’t think I’ve ever felt this anxious about anything. Never about my operations but I guess this isn’t like those at all in that I have no idea how to do this. Being a sick girl on the verge of death is easy when you’ve done it all your life but going on a real date with the guy I love in the hopes of ending the night…

“Just make sure to keep it under four-thousand, okay?” Mom’s reminder breaks me out of my daydreaming as she hands me a generous wad of bills. “The table’s booked under your name for tomorrow at 6pm sharp.”

“I will, I promise. Thanks again, Mom. I was really scared of screwing this up and saying the wrong thing and ordering something too expensive.” I ramble, not quite making eye contact. I never thought calling her for advice would mean she came all the way here to give me money and a pep-talk. She has to know what I have planned and wants to mess with me.

I’m sure of it.

“It can be daunting, especially for someone your age. I remember getting so anxious about calling places to book in case they heard how young I sounded. I wanted to be taken so seriously.” She laughs, hugging me tight. “But being young is about making mistakes and taking leaps of faith. You know that nothing is guaranteed so I expect you to show some initiative next time. I won’t always be there to plan your dates for you.”

The little smirk on her face is almost condescending but I know she means it as a challenge that I can rise to. Thanks to the assists from Fuuka and Saki, I don’t think I have anything else to worry about. Hair, clothes, money, restaurant, all taken care of. I’ve searched cosy places to go dancing online too so I have a good idea on where to go afterwards…

“Well, not too many mistakes, I hope.”


I pace back and forth in front of Ichigo nervously, checking my phone every couple of seconds as if I wouldn’t have heard the ringer go off… Ugh, I knew we should come together but I wanted to be dramatic, give the evening some flair! So stupid… I just hope Hisao remembers the way…

“I think you look how I feel…” Hisao’s voice suddenly surprises me from behind. How did he sneak up on me like that? My heart races as I take in the handsome boy in front of me. Smartly dressed in brown slacks, a tasteful black button-up shirt and a suede blazer.

Wow.” We say in unison, a beat of silence, and then we both laugh.

“You look amazing! I feel like I should have put in more effort…” Hisao scratches his cheek as his eyes scan me up and down. “You’re beautiful, Rika.”

“Y-you look pretty dashing yourself, Hisao.” I blush, rubbing my left arm and swaying gently from side-to-side.

“Soooo… What’s the plan after dinner?” He crooks his arm and offers to me. I entwine my arms with his and turn with him toward the entrance of the restaurant.

Spoilers, senpai!”


Accept Side Quest? Bonus Level: Counter Breaker

Previous Level <---> Next Level

Last edited by Sharp-O on Sat Jul 06, 2024 4:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
hdkv
new forum host for the next 15 years
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2023 7:07 pm
Location: Samara, Russia
Contact:

Re: Flutter - Level Thirty Six: Invincibility [18/5/24]

Post by hdkv »

Given the last chapters signs I'm worried that Rima's heart will act up in the adult date. Hope not.

Otherwise, this is very fluff, thank you! Just what I've needed to end the day in the good mood ta-da

I provide tech support for this forum. Ping me by email, Discord or DM.
forums changelog
Fleeting Heartbeat Studios: site, Discord.
My own legacy.

User avatar
Peorth
Zenryoku Zenkai!
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:02 pm

Re: Flutter - Level Thirty Six: Invincibility [18/5/24]

Post by Peorth »

hdkv wrote: Sun May 19, 2024 4:20 am

Given the last chapters signs I'm worried that Rima's heart will act up in the adult date. Hope not.

That's a sucker's bet.

Even if the author is silenced, the performance is stopped, the story will not end.

Whether it's a comedy or a tragedy, if there is cheering, the story will continue on.
Just like the many lives.
For the us who are still in it and still in the journey, send warm blessings.

---We will continue to walk down this path until eternity.
User avatar
Sharp-O
Posts: 1008
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:03 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Flutter - Level Thirty Seven: City Escape [6/7/24]

Post by Sharp-O »

The atmosphere inside Ichigo is bustling but I expected that for a Saturday evening but I didn’t expect that the Maître d' to treat us so well. We don’t exactly look like high-schoolers at the moment but still; I expected him to be a little snootier. Saki and Akio did a great job dressing the two of us up for the evening. Neither of us is particularly fashionable.

“So now I’m looking at which specific teacher-training courses are offered by universities near Meguro. I mean, obviously I want to go to Tokyo U but it’s just one of the options.” Hisao explains, in between bites of his beef brisket pappardelle. It looks pretty tasty but the pollo Della casa I ordered is gorgeous.

“I’m sure you’ll find a way, Mr Nakai! I’ll be cheering you on!” I grin before shovelling a forkful of food into my mouth.

“Thanks, Rika.” He responds with a smile then becomes a little awkward as he pokes at his meal. He’s trying to avoid asking a similar question in return; ‘And have you finally decided what you’re going to do at college, Rika?’ I’m working on it! But Hisao worries so I need to give him something.

“I’ve been talking to a bunch of my teachers about college too,” My paltry offering to the topic of further education leaves a lot to be desired in comparison but at least I didn’t wait for him to ask. “Just have to decide between taking my medical knowledge further or developing some of my technical programming skills.”

Hisao perks up a little when I mention specific fields of interest. They’re my most viable options for college buuuut I’m not exactly feeling them right now. I mean it’d be cool to go into the same field as my Mom - pay it forward in a way - but it’s a lot of responsibility and the idea of having other people’s lives in my hands…

“That’s good. I’ll be cheering you on too.” Hisao responds with a thoughtful nod and a smirk. We sample each other’s food before we finish up the meal, content and with full bellies.

“Oof, I’m gonna need like an hour before we go dancing…” I puff out my cheeks a little to make Hisao laugh.

“I second that.” He chuckles, leaning back as we bask in the post-meal lull. We talk about how good the meal was for fifteen minutes, dissecting the meal and breaking down how it compares to our previous Italian dishes. We leave after paying, arm-in-arm, into the bustling Sendai streets.

The dusky sun and breeze is refreshing in a way I didn’t expect. Like the closed atmosphere of the restaurant was stuffier than I really noticed. Maybe it’s just the anxiety, or anticipation, of wanting this to be a perfect evening that’s got me so heated.

I check the notes on my phone for directions as we take a leisurely walk in the general direction of a particular bar that I’ve heard about that has live bands and dancing. I heard it from Fuuka, who heard it from Akio, who heard it from a classmate. I think.

“I have to say; I’m excited to go to this place. Akio’s talked about it.”

“Oh! That’s who Fuuka said told her! Did he tell you who told him about it?” I ask and Hisao thinks for a second before smirking.

“I have an idea…”

“…And that is?”

“Don’t worry about it. If it’s who I think it is, it should be a nice, chilled-out kind of place.” Hisao answers enigmatically. Fine, keep your secrets! I scowl playfully at him as he goes on a tangent about how he borrowed clothes from Akio. It’s a story I’d usually be enamoured with but my attention is drawn to an electronics store in an alcove.

I don’t even realise I’ve stopped until Hisao’s arm tugs mine forward and he looks back, a step ahead of me.

“You okay?” Hisao asks immediately but I don’t mind it this time; that was a legitimate space-out moment.

“Yeah! Yeah! I just spotted something…” I say to him before looking back at the store and then back to Hisao with a guilty wince. “Gimme just one second, I promise I won’t be long!”

I decouple from Hisao’s arm and trot over to the store, making a quick note of the PS2 controllers in the window because I can tell the inputs on mine are getting worn out. I pop my head through the door to the cramped as hell, ten-by-ten box of a store. There’s just enough room to step inside but the rest of the room is packed to the roof with retro consoles, niche games, controllers, and - most importantly to me - components.

“Excuse me? Hi! Wondering if you can help me with something?” I announce myself to the middle-aged man behind the counter, who looks up from his tinkering. Looks like he’s fitting new internals into a Fukkokuban fight stick. Cool.

“Oh! Hey there, miss! You, uh, looking for directions?” He asks, giving me a cursory look up-and-down. I look at myself and realise I’m not exactly dressed like I want to buy gaming paraphernalia.

“No-no, I actually spotted that ASCII Capcom FT in your window and wondered what the price was?” I point at the black box in the window with the Capcom vs. SNK branding. “My classmate asked me to keep a lookout for Dreamcast gamepads. Kind of a retro head.”

“Oh! Yeah, the box is a little sun-damaged so I can do four and half thousand yen on that.” He plucks the box out of the window easily, as nearly everything could be in arms-reach with a stretch. I take the box in hand and turn it over a couple times.

“Huh, cool.” I try not to give away how much of a steal that is for this kind of pad on the secondary market but it’s still a little too pricey for me to buy on the spot for Daisuke. He’s mostly good for it but I promised Mom I would keep to a budget.

“Well, I’ll let him know where he can pick it up.” I hand the box back to the clerk with a smile and pull out my phone, typing out a quick text to Daisuke.

“I should have known.” Hisao’s voice says behind me and I throw him an apologetic smile.

“You two look fancy. You out on a date?”

“Yup, but even then I can’t drag her away from games.” Hisao chuckles back, folding his arms and leaning against the doorframe.

“I’m soooo sorry, Hisao! I just saw this pad that my classmate is after an-” I blush, suddenly embarrassed in front of two guys who should really get the thrill of finding treasure out in the wild.

“Don’t worry, I get it.” Hisao interjects, allowing me to finish the text. “All done?”

“Noooot quite.” I wince and look back at the clerk. “Do you have any replacement silicone pads and thumbsticks for Dual Shock 2s?”

“I do, just five hundred yen for them both.” He laughs to himself, leaning under the counter and pulling out a plastic bin of sealed plastic wrappers. I pluck out one of each then fish a note out of my purse. “Enjoy your purchase.”

“Thanks, I’ll be sure to be back soon. You’ve got a lot of cool stuff!”

“Well make sure you don’t interrupt a fancy date next time.” He looks past me to Hisao and I follow his gaze. “The things we do for love, huh?”

“You’re telling me.” Hisao looks affectionately at me as I step out of the store and link arms again. “Thanks!”

“Have fun, you two!” is the last thing I hear from him as we continue on our way. I receive a text back and quickly send a smiley emoji to Daisuke in response to his thanks.

“Anything I should worry about?” Hisao peers at my screen and I pull it away.

“Nosey! No, Daisuke is just a classmate with an unfortunate attachment to a dead console.”

“Different strokes, I suppose. I wasn’t big on fighting games until I started hanging out with you and now look at me.”

“Yeah, you’ve graduated from scrub to less-of-a-scrub!” I playfully jostle my boyfriend.

“I’ll have to make you eat those words next time we play. Just make sure you don’t give me the bad controller.”

“I don’t have bad controllers, just slightly more used controllers.”

“I’m just saying; if my inputs don’t register, I’m calling shenanigans.”

We laugh as we continue on; taking a few side streets before I spot the sign I was told to look out for. A glossy black sign with ‘Midnight’ written in cursive English. The club’s upbeat music bleeds into the street as we approach but the large man at the door isn’t what I expected given what I’ve been told.

“Uh, hi. Nice evening.” I smile crookedly at the intimidating man who looks at us both through suspicious eyes then breaks into a broad smile of his own.

“It is. Yamaku students?” He asks, his expression lightening. Hisao and I look at each other before Hisao answers.

“Y-yeah. How did you know?”

“Not to jump to conclusions but you’re teenagers and, well…” The bouncer tilts his head and raises one eyebrow in my direction. “One of my cousins went there and we get a few of youse in here from time-to-time.”

“So it’s alright for us to go in?” I ask and he shakes his head.

“Sorry, it’s some company’s private function this evening. Can’t let you in and, just between us, I wouldn’t want you exposed to these tools.” The bouncer’s candid kindness surprises me. He has to be a tough guy for this kind of job but he’s being super-nice. Even if he’s ruining my plans.

Oh. Okay. I guess we can find somewhere else to go dancing.” I sigh, looking at Hisao as if his face would hold the answers to where we can go next. Which it doesn’t.

“Believe me, I’d rather have this place full of you kids in the evenings. Always respectful, never push your luck too far with the staff… Sorry. Maybe try during the week.”

“Alright, thanks for the tip. Hope you have a good evening, sir.” Hisao nods and leads me away as I frown, my thoughts reaching for other ideas, desperately searching my memory for anyplace where we can dance. I’ve got nothing. I don’t know where adults go.

“Hey. It’s alright.” Hisao’s soft smile invites me back into the real world and I sigh.

“I’m sorry. I should have called to make sure…” Though I bet Mom would have done that for me too… I’m wearing borrowed clothes, spending someone else’s money, with no back-up plan. God, I don’t know what I was thinking… Playing adult.

“Hang on!” Hisao’s excited voice brings me out of my head for the second time in as many minutes. He looks at me with a cheeky smile and then pulls me along quickly towards bright, shining lights. The noise of the world finally registers and I realise that he’s pulling me into an arcade and the branding immediately tells me this is the Hi-Tech SEGA.

“W-wait! Hisao!” I pull against Hisao’s tugging and he stops, looking back at me.

“What? This is way better than going dancing, right?” He gestures to the lines of arcade cabinets, the taiko machines, the racing rigs and the rhythm stages. Is he trying to cheer me up after I whiffed the big event for the evening. Well, second biggest… “Something a little more your speed?”

“Are you sure?” I ask, warily. “I wanted this to be like a serious date-”

“And then we went to a game store so I think that ship has sailed.” He chuckles but it just makes me feel worse.

“I’m sorry about that!”

“I’m not complaining, Rika. I probably would have done the same if I saw a place that sold Kit-Kats for Molly.”

“Yeah, but-” I’m interrupted as Hisao pushes on my shoulders, forcing me onto a bench. He spins me around and I’m facing a Virtua Fighter cabinet. This is a punishment. He’s pissed about the gaming store and the club, that’s the only explanation for planting me in front of this… This.

“No ‘buts’! Only butt-kicking!” He says with surprising earnestness. Wait…

“Seriously? You know I only play Tekken, right? I haven’t played VF since you could cut yourself on the polygons.” I throw him an incredulous look. In return, Hisao folds his arms and gives me that challenging look that he thinks makes me competitive. It’s working.

“I thought you were good at fighting games.” He says in the most condescending, sarcastic tone imaginable and I put on my game face.

“Hook me up then. I’m not paying money for this garbage.” I roll my wrists as Hisao pulls a couple coins out of his trousers. Alright, lets see what I can pull off with this nonsense.


Three matches and much cursing later, Hisao drags me away from the machine before I burn through more of his money or I flip the cabinet; whichever comes first.

“That was such bullshit! Did you see how floaty that was? How do people play that shit!?” I complain loudly as Hisao pats my shoulders, looking around nervously.

“Okay, okay, I get it - just calm down. It’s just a game. One you said was garbage.”

“That’s not the point! Arrrgh, there’s gotta be something in here I’m goo-Oh, that’s perfect!” My eyes widen as much as my grin as I see exactly what we, and by that I mean I, need. A different game, that we can both play, that I’m somewhat good at. It’s my turn to pull Hisao along and I do, toward a DDR machine.

I drag a reluctant Hisao over to one of the free ones that has a two-player stage and pull him onto the stage beside me.

“Whoa, Rika, I don’t think this game is really designed for m-”

“Hush, Hisao! I said we’d go dancing and that’s what we’re doing!” I flash a cheeky smile and position him in a neutral way. “Okay! Crash course; watch the screen, hit the buttons on the floor with your feet.”

“I know how Dance Dance Revolution works, Rika. I’m pretty good at games with peripherals, remember?” He says cockily, removing his jacket, draping it across the guard rail and rolling up his sleeves.

“Oooh, I love it when you’re confident!” I scrunch my nose at him as I take my position on the tandem stage. “It’s in English so just focus on the beat.”

“Try to keep up.” Hisao teases as we focus on the screen as the music starts and watch for the rising arrows. Hisao’s head bobs up and down, trying to match his footwork to the music, I feel the beat in my bones. I’d never really thought about a genre of music being my favourite, unless you count video game soundtracks, but EDM is certainly something I can bop to.

We manage to go for two whole minutes before Hisao waves his hands, huffing and puffing. There’s a lull in the music and I grab Hisao’s shoulder. “You okay?”

“Yeah, just winded! I’ll be okay!” He gives me a thumbs-up and leans back on the guardrail of the stage. “Keep going!”

My concerned looks are dismissed by Hisao, insisting that I continue the game. Okaaaaay… The very least I can do is give my poor boyfriend a show! Warping womps increase their tempo as the lyrics kick in again.

Fee-lings, you can't deny, that you're living, open up your eyes
And I just wanna sink into your crazy laughter
Come on, make me feel until the pain don't matter
Every second here makes my heart beat faster
Finally think I found what I'm chasing after.

I make deliberate moves, each step accompanied by an arm movement or a flourish as I step in time to the music. I don’t know if this looks good or not but peeking over my shoulder tells me Hisao is enjoying the show at least. My cheeks warm out of embarrassment though who can tell given all the effort I’m putting into this silly rhythm game.

All alone, just the beat inside my soul
Take me home, where my dreams are made of gold
In the zone, where the beat is un-controlled.
I know what it feels like
Come on make me feel alive

The electronica intensifies and my quick steps become stomps as the bass drops. My focus is solely on the next icon to hit, the world fades away and my vision is consumed by the arrows.

The corners of my vision darkens. Okay, that’s my cue to stop. I slow my pace and suddenly realise how hard I’m breathing.

My heart is racing. I stop dancing altogether, lean forward, and brace myself against the machine. My head spins. I lasted longer than Hisao, at least. Heh. My head clears and I take a long breath inwards, letting out a satisfied gust of air a few seconds later. Right.

I look around and don’t find Hisao. His jacket’s gone and he’s nowhere to be seen. What the fuck? My mind and heart pulse in anxious unity as I look all across the arcade from this slightly raised platform.

“Hisao? Hisao!” I call out, drawing the attention of a couple patrons who look at me oddly. I call out a few more times before Hisao appears out of the crowd. I sigh heavily, resting my head against the guardrail when I see the two cold cans, one in each hand. Geez…

“All done? Wait, what’s wrong?” His concern is almost relieving but I chuckle as I straighten up and wipe the sweat from my forehead.

“Nothing. Just need some air and didn’t want to lose you.”


Image

“You know, even if this wasn’t the adult date you wanted… I think I liked this more.” Hisao ponders as we wait for the bus back to Yamaku. The gentle breeze and cold drink is refreshing after such an intense game.

“Really?”

“Yeah. It was more… You.”

“Awww! Well, next time we can do your side quests instead.”

“I actually enjoyed the arcade. Apart from wearing myself out.” That’s a good point… He’s so nonchalant and cool about it that I wonder if I’m going to have to bring that up. Is this the right time to? Should I wait until we get back to Yamaku? Can I make it a joke? Is that okay? I’m never going to know unless I at least try…

“I… hope y-you’re not too tired…” I try to be cute or seductive or something but I just feel silly. Hisao, thankfully, takes it in stride and leans in with a pretty suave look.

“I think I’ve got a final round in me. Shall we…” He pauses, frowns, and then finishes his thought. “… 1v1... when we get back?”

I can’t help but laugh at his use of game terms but smirk at his earnest attempt and repay his energy in kind as the bus pulls up to the stop. My cheeks burn as I kiss his lips.

“You’ve never beaten me in a 1v1, Hisao.” I find my confidence and pull him onto his feet with a seductive, coquettish smile. “But I’d love to see you try.”


Previous Level <---> Next Level

User avatar
Peorth
Zenryoku Zenkai!
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 7:02 pm

Re: Flutter - Level Thirty Seven: City Escape [6/7/24]

Post by Peorth »

Yay updates!
I didn't notice any typos, nice art also :)

Even if the author is silenced, the performance is stopped, the story will not end.

Whether it's a comedy or a tragedy, if there is cheering, the story will continue on.
Just like the many lives.
For the us who are still in it and still in the journey, send warm blessings.

---We will continue to walk down this path until eternity.
User avatar
hdkv
new forum host for the next 15 years
Posts: 102
Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2023 7:07 pm
Location: Samara, Russia
Contact:

Re: Flutter - Level Thirty Seven: City Escape [6/7/24]

Post by hdkv »

Ayeeeee!

In the middle of the road receiving a notification about new Flutter chapter is the best thing possible. Thanks.

Also, Rika interrupting the date for buying controller parts is the Rika-est thing ever xD

I provide tech support for this forum. Ping me by email, Discord or DM.
forums changelog
Fleeting Heartbeat Studios: site, Discord.
My own legacy.

User avatar
AlexFDSR
Posts: 68
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:06 pm
Location: Tropical Hell On Earth

Re: Flutter - Level Thirty Seven: City Escape [6/7/24]

Post by AlexFDSR »

We gotta love our adorkable Rika, interrupting a date to buy DS2 thumbsticks.

HANIKO RP NOW!!!! :evil: :evil:

If Iwanako had a route, would the tagline be "Can you find it in your heart?"

User avatar
StealthyWolf
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2022 2:47 pm
Location: United States

Re: Flutter - Level Thirty Seven: City Escape [6/7/24]

Post by StealthyWolf »

A perfect date never goes as planned! But sometimes that's for the better. This was cute and great and fun... which makes me worry for what may be coming. Little did I know the story's name was meant to be a warning about the state of the reader's heart as time went on.

My Writing:
Uncertainty (A post Emi-Good Ending Story)
My Shorts and One-shots
Post Reply