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It's All About Haruko, Baby (1 viewing) (1) Guests
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TOPIC: It's All About Haruko, Baby
#856
KenKennedy (Visitor)
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It's All About Haruko, Baby 13 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 0  
This is my first attempt at an FLCL story. I like where this is going so far, but I could use some feedback on it. The idea fo an FLCL AR story may seem a bit odd, but what isn't about that show?

It's All About Haruko, Baby!

Prologue:

It was the closest she'd been to Earth in months as she rode in a small ship supplied by her superiors, but Haruko's mind was focused on much more important matters at the moment as she was locked in the ultimate battle of wits, namely programming a VCR.

"Oh come on! I hate programming these stupid things," Haruko said aloud as she fumbled with the buttons on the remote to the device. As she was busy with that, however, she failed to notice that one of the many capsules containing dangerous gases being contained on the ship had fallen over, filling up the room with a blue gas that created a feel much like fog. As Haruko began coughing and saw the fog, she turned around and noticed the particular capsule that had fallen, causing her eyes to widen in utter horror.

"Err... dammit! Of all the ones it could've been..." Knowing that she would need to leave some sort of ID, she began to write a letter explaining the situation as she set the ship on autopilot toward a certain small town where nothing ever happens in Japan.
================================================================

It had been just another day so far for Naota as he walked home from school. Another day of schoolwork, another day of occasionally talking to Eri (he no longer called her by her last name of Ninamori), Masashi, and Gaku, another day without Haruko or Mamimi. He sighed upon thinking of that one. Sure, everything was fine without them. Sure, Eri had filled the void left by both leaving. And yet...

No, he had to get over this. He had to. He couldn’t keep dwelling on this, or else he’d never be able to get on with his life. Naota finally reached home, and there saw a sight that both pleased him and made him nearly have a heart attack: a small ship that looked to be from space. Though he’d never seen the ship before, he had a sinking suspicion as to where it came from. He walked aboard, and inside saw a naked little girl of around two years sitting on the ground, playing with a toy car. No, not a car... a scooter, in fact apparently a Vespa. A pair of clothes lay in the chair in front of the controls, laying in a pile as though they had been abandoned.

“Vroom! Vroom!” the girl yelled out, not seeming to notice the sudden intruder. Naota was just about to begin looking through the ship for a sign of anyone else when he looked down once more and saw a folded up sheet of paper with his name written on it laying on the floor of the shuttle. He reached down to pick it up and then opened it.

“Hey, uh, don’t have much time. I accidently caused a dangerous chemical to fall over. You’ll probably see me on the ground somewhere, unless I end up drinking one of the other chemicals in which case I am more than likely dead. Anyhoo, just figured you should know the effects should wear off in two weeks. Unless I’m allergic, then it might be a day or two extra.”

Naota was speechless, contemplating the fact that not only was Haruko suddenly back in his life, but it was in toddler form. His shock was cut off as the toddler Haruko suddenly noticed his presence and, like any child left alone with a complete stranger, began to scream, mostly just a bunch of wails but occasionally yelling out the word, “Stranger”, leaving her toy laying on the floor in a quickly growing puddle of tears. Naota, knowing nothing about babies and never having had any experience with them, instinctively picked her up and began doing what he had seen in such instances on TV and in books, mainly speaking in overly-high gibberish in an attempt to calm her down. Didn’t work. So he tried rocking her. Still nothing. Naota decided to try one last ditch option and grabbed the toy, offering it to Haruko as though he were offering some type of bizarre truce of some strange sort.

“Wh... who’re ‘ou?” she asked as her wails reduced to sniffles, grabbing the toy and holding onto it like a normal child would a security blanket, gripping onto it as though losing the toy would mean losing her very life, like her soul would be ripped from her and cast into the unknown if she were to ever let go.

“My name is Naota,” he said as calmly as one could possibly be in his situation. He even surprised himself- he certainly didn’t feel calm.

“Nao... ta,” she mimicked slowly, almost all of the tears having stopped by now. He set the child on the floor and began to consider his predicament: he knew nothing about toddlers, he was feeling like his life could never have a sense of order, and... well, he just couldn’t believe it. This cute little two-year old who would begin to scream if she ever saw a stranger, and could be calmed so easily- she wasn’t Haruko. She couldn’t be. He had always pictured Haruko as being wacky and strong no matter what her age; how could he accept this? It wasn’t real. There was no way whatsoever any of this could actually be happening.

The war of emotions waging in Naota was suddenly interrupted as he felt something warm and wet. At first he thought it might of been his imagination, a subconscious reaction of sorts to help take his mind off of things. But then he looked down and saw a small yellow puddle forming around Haruko, who was sitting and holding her toy Vespa in the air.

“Oops, I wet.”
 
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#857
Oni (User)
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Re:It's All About Haruko, Baby 13 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: -2  
Cooly. Works for me. Always wanted to see her regressed. Almost thought she would be dropped down to his age at the end of the series. It was weird enough for that to happen. Thanks. Please continue.
 
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#859
KenKennedy (Visitor)
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Re:It's All About Haruko, Baby 13 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 0  
Right now I'm considering where I want to go with this. I've already decided it's going to be a Naota/Ninamori story, and that I'm going for drama on Naota's behalf rather than any of the typical themes you see in this kind of story. I still am planning out the details though.
 
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KenKennedy (Visitor)
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Re:It's All About Haruko, Baby 13 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 0  
I've decided to post the story on the board too, since I'll probably end up revising the story later.

It’s All About Haruko, Baby!

Chapter 1
Day 1




After the stream of urine had stopped flowing, Naota scooped up Haruko (who was still clutching onto her toy) and carried her to the back of the ship, practically praying that there was some sort of thing in the back that could help his cause. All he saw was a bed and a dresser. It would have to do.

He laid Haruko down on the bed and she asked in an obnoxiously cute manner, “Is it nap time?” He ignored her for the moment and opened the top drawer of the dresser. He didn’t look inside, instead keeping an eye on the baby (who now had her thumb jammed into her mouth as she lay down, pretending to sleep). He pulled something out and turned to look at it before turning red as a cherry in embarrassment when he realized he was holding one of Haruko’s bras. Naota quickly stuffed it back inside the drawer, then opened the next one down and pulled out a T-shirt. Deciding it would work for now, he placed her inside it with her legs sticking out from the arm holes and the rest of her inside, he then took the part that was covering the girl and shoved it inside of itself, covering the neck hole and for all intents and purposes creating a diaper.

“He he he, again, again!” she chirped, amused by what she perceived to be some sort of magic trick.

“I’m gonna go right now, but I’ll be right back,” Naota tells her.
===============================================

Who could help with Haruko? That question was on Naota’s mind as he walked through the streets of Ma_base_. His family? In a word, no. Considering the attitudes of his father and grandfather (especially the former) he didn’t like the idea of leaving Haruko with them. Kanti? Probably wouldn’t be keen on the idea of having to deal with Haruko yet again, and Haruko’s reaction upon her return to normal would probably involve many things exploding. A neighbor? He couldn’t think of anyone in town who would be willing to keep the secret. The police? Didn’t like the idea of Haruko being with them when she returned to normal; could cause her to freak out when she returned to normal, and could also result in explosions and smacks upside the head with a guitar for all.

“Hmm...” he muses while not watching where he’s going, bumping heads with someone. He looks to see that it is, coincidentally, Eri.

“Something on your mind?” she asked; she really had changed a lot since the scandal ordeal, and everyone could tell. She no longer had that aurora as though you were beneath her when you talked to her, instead being very easily approachable and basically a normal kid. The fact that she was the mayor’s daughter now seemed more like a small fact rather than the thing she was most well known for.

“Just... thinking about something.”

“Yeah? Like what?”

“Well... you remember Haruko?”

“Yeah.”

“She showed up a little bit ago and told me that she was going to be busy with something and needed a favor. She left me her... uh... niece, who also happens to be named Haruko. And you can imagine how it’d go if I left it up to Dad...” It was a lie made up right off the top of his head, but it seemed to do the trick.

“So, you don’t know what to do, right?”

“Yeah, that’s it.”

“Well, you’re in luck, because my mom happened to make sure I learned all that stuff.”

“Huh? When did that happen?”

“Some inspiring anime artist showed up for a week about two years ago and brought his family along. He had some ideas for him doing anime shorts to introduce people to the local businesses in return for getting some free advertisements for his other work around town. Anyway, he brought along a one-year-old daughter and I helped to look out for her while him and his wife were busy going through negotiations because my mom wanted me to. Said it was important I learned how to do these things then in case the need ever arose.”

“That’s convenient.” Naota turned and led the way, all the while thinking to himself how inconvenient it was that now not only was he going to have to deal with being around Haruko again, but Eri as well, who he was beginning to feel more and more uncomfortable around... in a good way.
===============================================

“What’s with the ship?” Eri asked as the two got to the point where it was plainly in view.

“She left it behind. She left in an escape pod so she could cover her tracks effectively.” It was beginning to disturb Naota with how good he was getting at making up lies off the top of his head.

“So, did she happen to leave any supplies? You know, bottles, food, diapers, toys, clo-“ the girl was suddenly interrupted by a loud shriek from inside the ship. The two rushed in, closing the door behind them, and ran to the room where the crying was coming from. When they got in there, they saw Haruko lying on the bed, flailing her limbs all about while lying on the bed, screaming her head off.

Eri instinctively scooped her up and put her over her shoulder, rocking the young girl back and forth and causing the crying to cease enough for Haruko to stutter out in between tears, “—m-me p-p-pee-pee again.”

“Well, that didn’t make long,” Eri mumbled before laying the toddler down and going to work in removing the shirt-diaper. Naota stood facing the other way, partly out of disgust and partly out of shame of having to put Eri through all of this. Eri finished up doing what she could given the materials at hand, then said to Naota, “Sit here and watch her. I’ll go buy some stuff she’ll need. I don’t think we’ll need many clothes for her, and she can sleep in the bed, so all we’ll really need’s some food and some diapers since she looks old enough to use a cup.”

Naota blushed, thankful he was facing the other way; it was bad enough having to come to these realizations all on his own, but having someone else, his de facto girlfriend of all people, tell him this was just too much. He lay down on the bed as Eri turned and walked away, stuffing his face into a pillow. The naked two-year-old sitting at the foot of the bed crawled up and lay next to him, draping one arm over him and saying, “Night night, Nota.” What she meant as an innocent comment to someone she perceived to be a big brother-like figure, he took as a declaration of war between the Haruko he knew and this newer, younger, innocent Haruko.

It’s All About Haruko, Baby!

Chapter 2
Day 1


As soon as Naota heard the door to the ship open up, he quickly sat up and laid the pillow back in its proper place to hide the fact that he basically hadn’t watched Haruko a bit. Not like it was necessary to watch her, as she was taking a nap, but he still didn’t want Eri to know. She came into view carrying a large bag, emptying it out to reveal a few packs of diapers and all the things that go with them, as well as two dresses and some toys for the child.

“You didn’t get food?” he asked, confused by the fact that she would forget something as vital as that.

“No. I just decided she looks old enough to be able to eat solid food. We might have to cut it into small pieces for her, but I’m pretty sure she can handle it.”

“Um... hello!? How are we supposed to get food to her?” Naota snapped out of a reaction of sorts to the stress he was feeling, then blushed when he realized what just happened. “Sorry... just kinda stressed.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Eri answered. “We could just take turns sneaking leftovers from dinner to her.”

“That reminds me,” Naota said in response, “How are we supposed to keep watch on her all the time? Like at night, or during dinner, or school?”

“Now that you mention it, we do have a problem there. How long did Haruko say it would be before she came back for her?”

“Two weeks,” Naota answered. At least this part wasn’t entirely a lie.

“Alright. How about we take turns for two weeks with one of us skipping school one day and the other the next, and whoever is keeping watch on her for the day will also stay up with her for the night before.”

“That’d work,” Naota replied. He considered the possibility of being caught, but then remembered that neither his father nor his grandfather was likely to care. “But what about dinner?”

“Well, I’m sure we could leave her alone for a half hour or so.”

Naota didn’t like that idea; it wasn’t just the fact that he didn’t like the idea of Haruko being left in an uncomfortable situation, but Naota also wasn’t into the fact that, as Haruko put it in her note, there were many dangerous chemicals lying around in the ship. And if there was one thing worse than the prospect of having his visions of Haruko as a strong rebel shattered, it was the idea of causing her death just because of negligence.

“I’m not sure,” Naota replied. “For all we know this ship could have some sort of self-destruct mechanism or something. What if she were to accidently set off, or to launch the ship into space? Plus, what if she gets hungry or something?” Another lie, but it did express his concern, albeit not in the same way.

“You have a good point... alright, how about this? We can take turns keeping her at our bedrooms during dinner, and we could sneak her out afterward. If she starts crying or something, we... well, we could come up with something. Maybe we could turn on a stereo in the same room or something to drown it out.”

The idea of being caught didn’t seem to be a very pleasing one either, but Naota knew that he would much more easily be able to live with himself letting someone find out about Haruko’s current predicament than if she were to die or become seriously injured. Not being able to think of any better solution, Naota nodded in agreement.

“Good,” Eri said seeing his head nod in confirmation, “Now then, I’d better get her dressed.”
===============================================

While diapering and dressing the still snoozing Haruko, Eri decided to make sure Naota learned all of this now instead of when it was time to actually need to implement said knowledge.

“Alright, first thing in putting on a diaper is to lift her up and slide it under,” she explained, demonstrating it as she spoke. Naota found it hard to focus, but tried to pay attention as she guided him through the steps.

I really don’t want to make a girl so beau... NICE, go through all this, Naota thought as he continued onward with the tutorial on Toddlers 101. He had to correct himself at that one point: he really didn’t want to think of Eri as beautiful, or lovely, or hot, or attractive, or someone he did or ever could love; after all, he was just getting over the last two times he had seen someone in that light.
===============================================

Naota lay on his bed that night, flipping through a magazine and trying desperately to fall asleep as Eri spent the night in the ship taking care of Haruko but finding it to be nearly impossible to sleep as the events of the day raced through his head. The first girl he had truly loved was now a toddler, and the girl he’d thought he had loved but until he met Haruko he never realized what love really was... she was gone, off touring the world and expressing interest in photography. In fact, the page he was on in his magazine had a few photos of hers on it. And then there was Eri. She deserved better, he reasoned. He had snapped at her while she was offering a helping hand. He had lied to her so many times in one day that he couldn’t count them all. And he was making her go through doing almost everything for him.

“I’m as helpless as Haruko,” he whispered to himself, realizing that he was basically in the same boat as the pink-haired two-year-old. It made sense, this realization; she was still trying to understand potty-training, he was trying to understand taking care of someone her age. She was completely lost in a world much bigger than her, while he was stuck taking on a mission he knew nothing about. And she definitely had to feel as lost and confused being with two complete strangers as he did confronting his emotions. And while she was hurting him without even meaning to, in his mind at least he was doing the same to Eri.
===============================================

Eri lay on the bed located in the ship, Haruko laying beside her, awake but drowsy (and truth be told, Eri was in the same boat).

“Whatchur name ‘gain?” the toddler asked before yawning deeply.

“I’m Eri,” she repeated for the third time. Still, she understood- she had been through this before and, despite the responsibility it thrust upon her, she had to admit there was fun in it. A lot of things that no one would ever consider fun, but it was still easy to get emotionally attached. She looked then to see that Haruko had already fallen asleep, a thumb in her mouth as a small amount of drool escaping from within said mouth. Eri sighed with satisfaction and laid down, joining her young charge in her slumber.
 
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#907
KenKennedy (Visitor)
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Re:It's All About Haruko, Baby 13 Years, 6 Months ago Karma: 0  
It’s All About Haruko, Baby!
Chapter 3
Day 2


Naota looked at the clock. Five a.m. The boy hadn’t slept a wink all night, and it could be told just by looking at him. His eyes were bloodshot and his hair was a mess. Naota managed to pull himself out of bed, exhausted but still unable to even contemplate sleep. Maybe he would skip with Eri for today; hide under the bed, attempt to get some rest, even if only for a few hours. A Wednesday, it was, and Naota couldn’t imagine having to spend the remaining thirteen days, especially the weekends, doing as he had done the night before.
=====================================================

“Um... is he okay?” Gaku asked as he and Masashi stared at their friend during lunch. Naota ‘s head lay on the table, the boy all but asleep as he didn’t move, make a sound, or seem to notice anything going on around him. He had decided to come to school after all- bad move on his part.

Naota attempted to pull himself up from the table, but failed. 13 more days of this... 13 more days... he thought, while continuing to lay unmoving.
=====================================================

Naota practically had to force himself out the building that day, struggling to take a sole step, much less walk the entire way home. As he walked, Masashi and Gaku ran up behind him.

“Hey, what was wrong with you today?” one asked. Naota was too tired to identify which was speaking.

“Yeah. We haven’t seen you this bad off since that time your dad threw you down a well while trying to reenact Inuyasha.”

“Didn’t get any sleep,” he droned in response, sounding almost like some sort of robot that was working on half the power it should have. Truth be told, that’s pretty much how he was feeling anyway.
=====================================================

Eri was sitting on the floor of the ship, playing with Haruko (who, naturally, was focusing most of her attention on the Vespa). Eri had to admit that, although what Haruko had her do was basically as enjoyable as repeated blows with a wrench, there was something about it. It was that innocence... there was something about it Eri just couldn’t seem to get enough of. She loved doing all this, she realized; her maternal instincts were just too strong to not do anything she could to make the toddler enjoy herself. She had to admit that a lot of that came from how, up until a number of months before, she was generally treated by her parents in the midst of their many crises, but there was also a natural drive there, taking any chance it got to make itself be known. Eri’s contemplation of all of this was interrupted when the door to the ship opened and Naota stepped in, closed the door, and promptly fell over.

“What happened to you?” Eri asked before getting up and rushing over, helping the boy to his feet and dragging him off to the bed in the next room.

“Didn’t get any sleep,” he moaned, by now struggling to understand where he was at or what was happening.

“Worried about me and her? That’s so sweet,” she answered while lying the boy down on the bed. That definitely wasn’t what Naota wanted to hear, but he was much too tired to argue this point with her or to really care.

“Tell you what: I’ll stick around and watch Haruko for now and I’ll take her to my house at dinner again. I’ll bring her back afterwards and then maybe you’ll have slept a little.” Naota doubted he would be able to sleep now either, but closed his eyes anyway.
=====================================================

Apparently Naota did manage to fall asleep after all, as when he sat up he saw that Haruko was lying next to him, an arm draped over him. Eri looked at both while sitting in a kitchen chair she had apparently dragged in from somewhere else (probably his house).

“Awake already?” she asked as Naota rubbed his eyes and yawned.

“How long have I been asleep?”

“About three hours,” she answered him. “I was just about to leave with her.”

“I’ll handle it,” Naota replied, still a bit groggy but feeling much better than he had before. “I think I can manage that.”

“Alright, good to hear you’re feeling better. Don’t worry, you really don’t have to worry like that.”

It wasn’t so much worry as it was great guilt and a sense of having all he knew shattered. He’d thought Haruko had been the perfect warrior, born a-kicking and meant to die the same way she’d come in. He’d thought Haruko was and would be the only girl he could ever love but... No, he didn’t want to even begin to consider that. It was too complex, and he knew it just wasn’t going to work out.

“I’m sorry,” he said simply, much to Eri’s confusion. He then embraced her tightly, saying simply, “I’m sorry I’ve made you have to go through all of this.”

Thought he couldn’t see it, Eri grew bright red as soon as he hugged her, at the same time smiling like she’d just won the lottery. “Don’t worry about it.”

“Don’t say that. It’s all my thought... I shouldn’t have dragged you into this...”

“Actually, to tell you the truth, I like doing this,” she admitted, a bit surprised that he wasn’t able to tell. He let go of her and stared at her like she just told him she was from Mars (well, considering where the toddler sleeping on the bed behind the two was from, that really wouldn’t have been much of a big deal but...).

“What do you mean?”

“Just what I said. Sure, it’s hard but... Well, it’s kind of like school. You’ve got all that work, but you still have a ton of experiences that...” she broke off.

“Well... uh... I’d better get going,” Naota said, quickly changing the conversation to avoid further humiliating himself.

“Yeah, same here,” she answered, seemingly feeling very much like he was. As the two just stared at each other, they heard a voice behind them.

“He he, you ‘o hug.”
=====================================================

Naota walked into his room, having just finished dinner. As he entered, he failed to see Haruko at first, drawing a major concern.

“Where’s she at!?” he panicked, looking around the room and failing to see her. Suddenly a sound entered his ears- the sound of a Rickenbacker bass guitar emerging from the direction of his closet. He turned to face the door to that room, there seeing the door open and Haruko sitting inside, the guitar that used to be hers draped over her legs as she fiddled around with the strings on it.

“Nota,” she said, “Will you petty please pway me a song?” she asked in an unbearably adorable fashion while continuing to occasionally pluck at the wires.

“I don’t know ho-“

“Please?” she asked once more, giving him the adorably large eyes he’d only seen before in TV shows and the occasional movie. He had to admit, the effects in media weren’t exaggerated in the slightest.

“Alright,” he sighed, picking up the guitar and strumming a few lines on it. He sounded horrible, admittedly, but it was apparently enough to please the toddler as she began to shout out random words in an attempt to get an encore. He did so just to keep her happy, then laid the guitar back where it belonged and scooped her up, sneaking out the window of his room.
=====================================================

Naota laid Haruko down on the bed, having just fed her some small leftovers of what he had for dinner (he managed to sneak some into his pockets, with the attitude being that she was too young to notice or care about a little lint). Just as he was about to lay down as well and put the entire miserable, exhausting, embarrassing day behind him, she began to wail once more.

Naota sighed, “What’s wrong this time?” Then it hit him, or rather his nose. He knew he’d have to experience changing her eventually, but he was hoping his first time would at least be with a wet diaper instead of... well, didn’t matter at that point. He picked the girl up and laid her on the floor, carefully removing the diaper and doing everything Eri had told him to do the day before. Naota actually shocked himself with how well he did with his first time at changing Haruko’s diaper; he could attribute part of that to the fact that she didn’t struggle in the slightest, instead working along with him and doing everything she needed to. But he was still pleasantly surprised with just how well things had went. After finishing the job and dropping the soiled diaper in a trash bag Eri had left lying in the room for just that purpose, Naota laid the toddler down once more then lay down next to her.

“Nighty-night,” she said, and though Naota had already begun to get somewhat used to this, it still bothered him a little.
 
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