1301: Tomorrow Is Always Better Rewrite – Chapter 2Posted: January 15, 2016
Title: Tomorrow Is Always Better Rewrite
Author: LaRae and Ninjas Incorporated
Topic: Ouran High School Host Club
Genre: none given
URL: Chapter 2
Critiqued by Ghostcat (with special guest Ishi)
Greetings, dear Patrons!
I’m back with the second chapter of this “improved” fic! What happened in the first chapter? After struggling through some half-assed attempts at exposition, Kyo-Sue and Lena arrived in Japan together. That’s about the extent of it.
It looks like this fic has as much nothing-narrative in it as its big brother does.
Monday morning I woke up with a blonde blob curled up in my side.
Eww. You might want to see a doctor about that.
“You require assistance, Ghostcat-sama?”
AHHHH! :falls off chair:
“You are as graceful as ever, Ghostcat-sama.”
Smartass ninja. Help me up.
:Ishi helps Ghostie into her chair:
We really need to put bells on y’all, this can’t be good for my heart.
“One is wearing a bell, Ghostcat-sama.”
Bullshit you are!
:Ishi pulls down the collar of his uniform, revealing a bright brass bell strung on a red satin ribbon:
Wha… How… But… How? It’s not making any noise!
“One is a ninja.”
Right. Moving on.
Lena hair was messy over her pale skin; she opened her left eye and looked at me. “Do we have to get up?” she asked in her tired state.
“Apologies, but is this Lena the lover of the narrator?”
WHAT? No! Eww, No! This is Kyo-Sue and Lena, they aren’t lovers. At least, I don’t think they are.
“Then why do they lie exhausted in each other’s arms?”
…It’s probably a stupid question, but you haven’t been spending time with Syl lately, have you?
“Strangely, Siru-san does not find one’s company collegial.”
That’s one way to put it.
“Yes cookie we have to get up and get ready for school, and wear yellow dresses.” I said as I got out of my bed.
“She wishes for them to wear matching clothing?”
It’s the school uniform, but unless there’s been a major time-skip they just arrived in the country the day before. Even if Ayame managed to enroll Kyo-Sue in school, she isn’t related to Lena in any way and doesn’t have guardianship over her, so how would she even begin the enrollment process?
“Perhaps Ayame-san has already done all the required paperwork.”
But how? She didn’t even know if Kyo-Sue was going to come until she called her! And they left New York at ten in the morning, so they would have gotten to Tokyo at about two in the afternoon the following day but it would have felt like one in the morning for the girls. That’s some significant jet lag.
I walked into my closet and pulled out two yellow dresses.
:headdesk: That she just happens to already have.
“The PCC’s wardrobe department is nearly as impressive as that of the Library.”
I threw the smaller on one at Lena, “In Japan highschool is actually for ages 16, 17 and 18,
“Ghostcat-sama! One will fetch the emergency leeches!”
No! NO leeches! I was just surprised to see an author get something right for once. Although it does look as if the author just repeated the information verbatim from wherever she found it rather than trying to make it fit. Also;
No numerals in dialogue!
“One assumes you are feeling more like yourself.”
but mom let the chairmen take a look at your grades and he put you in the first year class.” I said as I walked into my bathroom and brushed my hair.
And what the hell would that do? The chairman (or chairmen) doesn’t have a say over the enrollment of individual students.
“They do not?”
No! It would be like marching into the corporate headquarters of Home Depot and demanding that the CEO find you the proper sized hex nut. That is not their job, that is not even close to being their job, and that is not how you should go about solving your problems.
“One senses anger.”
Let’s just say that it is unbelievable how many people have some minor problem but want to immediately see a manager just because they think it will solve the problem faster. Typically it takes longer, because the manager has find out what the problem is and then get another employee who can fix it and explain to them what’s wrong, and the whole ordeal take three times longer than if the person had just said what was wrong instead of pitching a fit like a kindergartener who wants their mommy to the person at the front desk.
“Do you not work at a front desk?”
Yes, and it’s only the fact that I’m aware that I’m under constant video surveillance that prevents me from throat-punching certain people.
I walked back out to find Lena wearing the yellow dress with to pig tails on her head with red ribbons on them.
Gah. It’s so awkward, just like a baby giraffe.
“Or a freshly hatched leech.”
Umm … okay.
I had the same dress on but that was called for since it was uniform.
Then why haven’t you been calling them uniforms instead of just “yellow dresses”, you idiot?
My hair was in a high pony tail with the same color red as the ribbon on the dress.
“Does the dress bear a red ribbon?”
I don’t know; the canon version does have a very thin red ribbon bow at the neck, but there’s been almost no description beyond “yellow dress” in this version.
The drive to Ouran wasn’t that long and after we got out and our schedule and direction since this school if so freaking large we were off to our first class.
“Something ails you, Ghostcat-sama? Should one fetch…”
Do not finish that question.
This is just SO stupid! They have been in the country for a matter of hours, most of that spent sleeping – and they are just going to be thrown into school just like that? If the place is so big, why doesn’t someone take a few minutes to show them around? Aren’t they going to be required to take some kind of placement tests so they can be placed in the right classes?
“Ayame-san showed the chairmen Lena-chan’s grades, perhaps she showed them Kyo-chan’s as well.”
:snorts: Okay, let’s assume that she did and that these “chairmen” do have the ability to enroll two students into classes that are probably already full – what relevance would these grades have? Japan and America don’t follow the same curriculum or have anything near the same standards, even within the US the academic standards can vary wildly from location to location. And where did Ayame get these “grades” from? Lena’s fake parents could get her transcripts, but Jonathan is Kyo-Sue’s custodial parent so he would have been the one to request them. Ayame can’t just call her daughter’s school and say “Please fax these confidential records to me in Japan, pretty please. It’s for totally legit purposes, I swear.”
I had asked Chairmen Suoh if I could walk Lena to her first class, he gave me a pass to be on the floor and a note to give to my teacher if I was late getting back to my class.
“This seems ill advised.”
She’s a Sue, she gets to do everything she wants.
“But Kyo-chan is a new student as well, and therefore a poor choice of guide for Lena-chan.”
… Well, shit. They are going to get so lost.
I walked Lena to her first class, she stopped at the door before she went in she jumped up in hugged me. “I’m scared.” She whimpered.
“And from behind?”
:pats Ishi on the back: Good effort, sensei.
“You’re going to be fine there going to love you.” I told her and put her down, hugged her and pushed her into her first class.
I guess that’s all the emotional response she has allotted for today.
“One must ration a finite resource.”
Finite, hell; with as little emotion as she shows, Kyo-Sue could be sitting on the mother lode.
I walked back down to the 2nd year hall.
That she already knows the location of despite the school being “so freaking large” just moments ago.
I walked into a room with a very unhappy looking man. “Ms. Tanaka your late.” He barked.
“Her late what?”
Don’t know, don’t care.
“Sorry sensei I was taking my friend to her class in the 1st year ward, I have a pass and a note to prove it.” I answered and handed him my things.
“One has a question.”
Gods preserve us.
“Why does Kyo-chan require both these items? Would not a pass allowing her to travel the halls clearly state the reason she can do so?”
You know, that does sound really redundant when you put it that way.
:Ishi sighs and vanishes:
:distant rumbling sounds and screams filter through the door’s ventilation grid:
Oh, good; someone remembered to take Gumdrop for his walkies.
“Very well Ms. Tanaka will you introduce yourself to the class.” He asked nicely.
Really? That’s all it took for him to go from grump-bucket to nice person? And he didn’t ask! That is clearly a statement, as indicated by the lack of interrogative punctuation!
“That is an odd way to say ‘question mark’, Ghostcat-sama.”
AHHH! :falls off chair again:
“Must you do this every time one appears?”
Hey, if you repeat an action often enough it becomes a character trait.
“You read too many fanfics.”
That wasn’t me. Ugh. Gratuitous Japanese. I was wondering when this would rear its ugly head.
:Ishi stares at Ghostie:
Oh, shut up.
“Hello every one I’m Tanaka Kyoko, I’ve just moved back here from America.
Literally hours ago.
I hope we can all have a good time this year.” I smiled and tilted my head to the side.
“Are you certain you do not wish to enjoy the healing kiss of the leech?”
Please stop saying creepy stuff like that.
This is a trope pulled right from anime, the chipper newcomer standing in front of the class introducing herself, there’s even the annoying little head-tilt. All that was missing is a piece of bread hanging out of her mouth when she walked through the door. She even managed an approximation of douzo yoroshiku, which comes at the end of a traditional self–introduction.
“One finds it to be a pale imitation of the true sentiment.”
:shrugs: Sorry, sensei, but I’m tempted to give her a pass on this one since this is one of those phrases that can be fiddly to translate properly because the concept doesn’t really exist in English.
“Your language is crude and barbaric.”
You’ll get no argument from me.
Of course, this kind of clichéd intro scene doesn’t actually appear in the source materials, so I wonder where the author cribbed it from. It could come from anywhere, really.
“That’s very nice Ms. Tanaka please go sit by Mr. Ootori.” He said and pointed at Kyoya.
What a surprise – Kyo-Sue is forced to sit beside her author’s favorite character!
“Much shocking. Quite surprise.”
I walked over to Kyoya as I felt a few people glare at me as I made my way to my new seat.
“It is unsettling that you equate school with prison.”
I did not have an enjoyable learning experience with my local public schools. Before it became socially acceptable to be a nerd or a geek, being a weird and socially awkward smartass was the same as painting a frickin’ target on your forehead.
I pulled out a notebook and started taking notes.
Before class even began. That’s an impressive trick.
“Truly she is advanced.”
Class was boring and ended soon,
It didn’t even start!
as I left my class room I felt someone jump on me I turned around and looked at my back at Lena smiling happily at me.
“Apologies, but were their classes located close together?”
I don’t think so. They’re supposedly on different halls, or different wards, or whatever. Kyo-Sue needed a special pass and a note from the chairman because she wasn’t going to be able to get from Lena’s class to her own in time, but not only was Lena able to do so she even got there early enough to ambush Kyo-Sue when she walked through the door.
“Guess what there twins in my class!” She yelled with excitement then put her mouth by my ear.
“This is exciting information? Are multiple births so uncommon among your people?”
Not that uncommon. Again Lena’s reaction is what I’d expect from someone much younger; she’s supposed to be a teenager, not a kindergartener.
“And a girl dressed up as a boy, her name is Fujioka Haruhi.” Lena whispered as I walked down the hall.
Now that would be considered shocking – if Lena was a Japanese school girl. Despite the constant shenanigans depicted in manga, this isn’t a normal thing in Japanese schools. But Lena is not a Japanese girl; she was raised in America where the culture, especial the youth culture, encompasses a much broader spectrum of ideals.
“Quite diplomatic, Ghostcat-sama.”
We’re not complete savages, you know.
“That’s very interesting, I’ll ask Kyoya about it later.” I told her as she stayed on my back and I walked outside to the garden.
This is a bit of a departure from the original; Kyo-Sue doesn’t already know everyone in the Host Club and is instant besties with them. She does know at least a few of them since she has previously mentioned Kyouya-senpai and the Honinozuka family, but this is a slight improvement.
“Shall one administer the redemption cookie?”
What flavor do we have today?
:checks tin: “Bacon, pistachio, and troodon. With sprinkles!”
Gumdrop’s feeling experimental again, I see. Sure, give ’em one.
“Do you not have any classes this hour?” she asked me.
“No this is the Physic hour and that really long report was my last assignment for that class back in America, so Chairmen Suoh showed the teacher that would have been my Physic teacher my report so I don’t have that class. It just started last week for the students here.” I explained to her.
That … It … What?
“One does not understand this sequence of events.”
I’m not too clear on that, either. Apparently the homework assignment Kyo-Sue was working on when her mother called encompassed an entire school year’s worth of learning in Physics, so now Kyo-Sue doesn’t have to take that class in Japan.
“One finds this absurd.”
It’s beyond absurd! One dinky five-page assignment gets her out of an entire class? Did she even bring it with her when she left home? And why would she do that?
“Kyo-chan had knowledge of the school’s requirements prior to leaving?”
I don’t see how she could. And even if she did, as it has been repeatedly stressed – US standards are nowhere near Japanese standards. It’s also very uncommon for a student to be allowed to skip a class; if she managed to convince them she knew the material the school would have simply moved her into a more advanced class rather than letting her twiddle her thumbs for an hour.
“Oh, I don’t have class this hour ether it’s a free period.
But school just started! How can you have a free period already? I don’t even think that’s a thing in Japan, not with their extreme focus on learning.
Which is strange because school just started and hour ago.” She said as her arms clung around my neck.
“Is that not what you said, Ghostcat-sama?”
“Is there a reason you on me Lena.” I asked as I picked a flower from the garden.
Author, I think you word there.
“Is it permissible to vandalize school property in such a fashion?”
Probably not. That sort of casual destruction is common in America, but would likely be seen as extremely rude in Japan.
“Yes there is, it’s hard to talk to you when I’m on the ground I feel like I can’t hear you.” She answered.
The two are only about a year or so apart in age, unless Kyo-Sue is a giant and Lena is a dwarf there shouldn’t be that great a difference in their heights.
“If they are in truth that close in age and Lena-chan is not as young as she acts at times.”
Truthfully if she was supposed to be around six or seven instead of fifteen then she would be acting very similar to how my nieces acted at that age. She just doesn’t act like a teenager would.
“Okay.” I said as I stood back up.
“Kyo-chan sat down?”
:flips through fic: I don’t think so.
“let’s go exploring!” she declared.
Which I’m sure you have plenty of time to do in the however-many-minutes are left in your brief window of free time.
So I walked back inside the building, with her clinging to make back. I received a few strange from some other students.
We’re going to have to start up a foundation for all the lost words this author is leaving out of her fic.
“We can place photographs on bottles of correction fluid.”
Do they still make liquid versions? I only ever see the tape kind anymore.
When a short blonde boy walks up to me and hugged me, Mitsukuni I’ve missed him.
No one except Mori-senpai ever calls him that! Everyone calls him Huni-senpai.
“One finds the fractured structure of these sentences to be quite difficult to comprehend.”
No kidding. I didn’t think it would be possible for the author’s grammar to get increasingly worse in the rewrite since most people improve in a skill as they use it more frequently, but the universe loves proving me wrong.
“Kyo-chan! I’ve missed you.” He exclaims backing up to look at me.
“Kyo-chan must possess truly impressive proportions if everyone must look up to her.”
I think it’s a Sue thing, she wasn’t all that tall in the original but her exact height hasn’t been given so I don’t know if that’s changed in this version.
“Hello Mitsukuni, it been three years it good to see you too.” I said and patted his head, his eyes the traveled upwards to Lena who was looking off into space.
STOP CALLING HIM THAT!
“Such outrageous intimacy! Kyo-chan is being scandalously forward with the boy.”
What, the pat on the head?
“No, she uses his full name without honorifics. Only one’s closest intimates are allowed such an honor.”
So if I suddenly started calling you Niseishi instead of Ishi-sensei you would have a problem with that?
“It would be highly improper to address me so informally, Ghostcat-sama.”
“Kyo-chan, it has been awhile. Who’s that?” he asked as he tilted his side.
I don’t think a human body can do that.
“Not without outside assistance.”
“This is my friend Lenora Dillon.” Then me and him shared a knowing look as she came back to me from her space zone.
I guess that means Huni-senpai is in on the “secret” of Lena’s kidnapping.
“One believes that all save Lena-chan herself are aware of her origins.”
Worst secret kidnapping ever.
“OH MY GOSH!” she yelled in English.
“what is it Lena.” I asked back in English.
I guess that means they were speaking in Japanese earlier, despite the total lack of anything indicating that they were.
“There was the arazumogana no nihongo that was used earlier.”
Y’know, sensei, it makes it hard to nitpick people who use gratuitous Japanese if you say “gratuitous Japanese” in Japanese. Glass houses and all that.
“Why would one build a house of glass? That is most immodest.”
“I left Neko-chan at the house.” She cried, her favorite toy was back in America most likely layig on her bed.
“Apologies, but if Neko-chan is a treasured item would she not have noticed its absence before now?”
Thee author probably decided to add this in and didn’t want to go back and edit the previous chapter. If Neko-chan is the sort of comfort item that kids carry, she would have noticed it missing the first time she was in a stressful situation – like, for instance, boarding a plane to travel several thousand miles across an ocean to the other side of the world.
“Coal said he was going to send it to you, he saw it yesterday after we left sent me a text message telling me so Lena, Neko-chan is fine.” I told her.
And you’re only telling her this now, when she’s freaking out about the thing missing, and not earlier when she apparently didn’t give a damn?
“Kyo-chan has an unexpected cruel streak within her.”
“oh okay.” She whimpered still depressed that she left her white cat at her house in America.
“You can barrow my Usa-chan if you miss you Neko-chan so much.” Mitsukuni said.
“Really?” Mitsukuni nodded his head and Lena jump down from my back and tackled Hunny is a hug.
Now it makes sense.
Huni-senpai carries around a large white bunny called Usa-chan that he is very attached to, there’s a short from the series where Usa-chan has juice spilled on him while Huni-senpai is sleeping and the Host Club freaks out trying to figure out what to do to avoid the hellacious shitstorm that is an angry Huni-sempai, so this is either an attempt to get them to bond or to show that they are related.
“A fondness for plush animals is not an inherited trait, Ghostcat-sama.”
I guess it can be in anime.
“Thank you so much!” she exclaimed. It was relatively cute since there both the same height Lena a few inches shorter than her brother but still. Yes Lena was Huninozuka Mitsukuni little sister Chika twin,
“That seemed a bit harsh, Ghostcat-sama.”
Chika is a frickin’ boy! He’s always been a boy! It is painfully clear that he is a boy! How can the author still be getting his gender wrong?!?
“One retracts one’s statement.”
Lena was stolen from her bed when she was very small two or three maybe.
:Ghostie bites a chunk out of the desk and spits it at the fic:
“Should one prepare the darts of calming?”
This whole vagueness about Lena’s age is getting on my last ever-loving nerve. Giving her current age as “fourteen almost fifteen” is clunky but passable, but this is a specific event that occurred in the past when Lena would have been a clearly defined age.
Never to be seen again,
:Ghostie and Ishi stare at Lena, then at each other:
“Apologies, but these words. One understands them individually, but not in such a context.”
I don’t think the author understands what that phrase means either. If Lena was supposed to vanish without a trace, then she did a piss-poor job of it.
turns out a man named Cody Nolen her “Uncle” was the one to take her with the help of a few others who were caulght and put in jail for kidnapping and child abuse.
I see the author’s habit of lifting the rug and sweeping away all unpleasantness with a wave of her hand continues.
“Apologies, Ghostcat-sama, but the ways of outsiders are strange to me. If these brigands were captured and made to face justice, would not the truth of Lena-chan’s identity surfaced as well?”
Shit. You’re right; she would have been taken away and likely placed with Child Protective Services until her real identity and parents could be established. This is actually worse than the original, which left things very vague and unsettled. Having the bad guys captured and punished means there was no reason for Lena to continue living in America under an assumed name afterwards.
Coal got away and had a lie made up so his sister would take care of my Lena.
Yeah, no. I don’t care if you’re the reigning King of Bullshit…
“Kontakuto-kun is the current title-holder.”
Anyway. No matter what lie he told, it wouldn’t matter. She would be too young to testify, but she is literally the body of evidence for any case of abuse so she would have been examined both physically and mentally. Without her, there’s no case against the nameless bastards so if she suddenly vanished then they wouldn’t be arrested and imprisoned. That’s why snitches wind up in ditches. The courts aren’t going to hand her over to some random idiot with a good lie when she has established parents or next of kin.
The sad thing is when I came to the States I knew it was Lena and wasn’t allowed to tell her.
Bull-frickin’-shit she did. Lena was kidnapped when she was around two or three and when Kyo-Sue moved to America the girl was eleven or twelve. There is no way she would recognize the child she once knew in the girl she meets. Why do fics keep doing this? Lyle’s Wonka fic pulled the same shenanigans with the homeless street cat/girl.
But I informed Mr. Dillon and he said he had though so all along, so when my mother told them of her idea they were happy that Lena would get to meet her real family.
“Apologies, but does Kyo-chan mean to imply that Lena-chan’s adoptive parents were not aware of her origins?”
It does look like that, but how could they not? Did this Coal just show up on their doorstep with a toddler in a basket and say “Merry Christmas!”? They clearly aren’t her biological parents, and you can’t adopt a child in America without serious legal wrangling. These are all issues the first version had, but now things are compounded because Lena has been double-kidnapped; she was kidnapped, and then kidnapped from her kidnappers.
“Or possibly the authorities.”
That really doesn’t make things any better, you know.
But I it’s my job to tell her the relationship she has with the Huninozuka and Morinozuka’s and I not allowed to tell her until they become friends or whatever Coal made me promise.
“Kyo-chan is forbidden from revealing the truth of Lena-chan’s parentage until Lena-chan becomes friends with the Huninozuka and Morinozuka clans. One believes this will be difficult due to Lena-chan’s chronic unlikeability.”
There’s that, but why is this Kyo-Sue’s job? That responsibility is a terrible burden to pass on to someone. She’s not affiliated with either family; she once was friends with Huni-senpai and is now friends with Lena, but that doesn’t give her any special status. This is not the sort of subject matter you would want to come from a friend rather than a relative, for one thing, it would be difficult to believe. If my best friend suddenly sat me down and told me that my parents found me in the dumpster behind Dairy Queen, I’d think she was playing a tasteless joke on me.
So I had no choice.
“One could have politely refused this dishonorable task.”
I’d have just told them to fuck off and do it themselves.
“That is also an option.”
And just like that, the chapter’s over.
“That was quite abrupt.”
Thus in keeping with the first chapter’s horribly rushed pacing, and with this fic’s growing reputation for being worse than the first one. There is an attempt to explain some things a bit more fully – but the explanations make no sense and only compound the fic’s problems.
So I know I’m not the best at getting chapters out regularly so sorry, this is the next chapter of the rewrite I hope y’all like it. Love La’ Rea
No, I can’t say as I did enjoy it very much.
“Apologies, but is this not based on a previous work? It should be a simple matter to revise the material into a different version.”
Spoken like someone who has never written anything before. Writing a first draft is tough because it’s virgin territory, but the revising and editing process is much harder and much longer because you’re trying to beat that mushy pulp into something more substantial.
“That is what the female exclaimed.”
…Okay, then. That seems like a good place to ends things this week.