at the time at least

“Feeling a bit ill are we? Allow me, the ever fabulous and world renowned, Nurse Minako to come to your aid!”

@keyofjetwolf

  • MC: All right, but why are you helping me?
  • Hideyoshi: Because my life is a mess and I compulsively take care of other people when I don’t know how to take care of myself.
Daydream [VI] Hanamaru & Ruby

Reminder: This is based off of Daydream Warrior and this fanart I did
Warning: Profanity, violence and sex.
Ships: You>Chika>Kanan>Riko>?; with mentions of YouMari & KanaMari, and implied DiaYoshi & Maruby
Words: 2,823
[concept doodle]

[I. Mari] [II. Chika] [III. Yohane] [IV. Kanan] [V. Dia] [VI. Hanamaru & Ruby] [VII. You] [VIII. Riko] [IX. ???]


VI. Hanamaru & Ruby

“But I want to go back”
“To that day, the day we met”
“My one wish goes ungranted”


“You’re not asleep, are you?”

You’s arm remained draped over her closed eyes. She felt the weight of someone sitting down beside her head as well as the pleasant floral scent that always seemed to accompany the speaker. She refused to budge from where she was sprawled on her back across the bench with her legs dangling over the edge.

A quiet sigh, though there was a hint of exasperated fondness. “Still, don’t sleep here in the open, you might get sick.”

You’s lips twitched in humor. “Isn’t there a saying that says bakas don’t get sick?”

She grinned behind her arm when the newcomer playfully ruffled her hair. “Don’t call yourself a baka, silly.”

“Hey! You’re messing up my hair!”

“It’s already messy to begin with though?”

“How mean,” You growled and sat up abruptly, batting the hand away from her head. She chuckled at the startled squeal and laughed even more so when the other girl punched her arm. “That’s weak, y’know.”

Another punch, this time more forceful, though nothing compared to the fist fights she was used to. Even then, she rubbed at her abused arm and whined. “Ow~! I’m gonna have a bruise tomorrow.”

“Baka…”

“Ah, so I really am a baka?”

Okay, she deserved that pinch, but her bandaged cheek was still sore from the brawl yesterday and she couldn’t suppress the urge to flinch. The same hand then gently caressed the injured area, as if apologizing for inflicting further pain. She closed her eyes briefly to relish the sensation before opening her eyes and turning to face her companion at last.

“Hey.”

“Hey you.” Amber eyes were filled with concern as the burgundy-haired girl lightly brushed her thumb over the bandage. “Why do you always get into fights-?”

“Now now, I don’t start them. Trouble comes looking for me, not the other way around,” You smiled wryly as she slouched in her seat. “They’re not that bad, and overall it’s good exercise, Riko-chan.”

“No, it’s not. One of these days you’ll get really hurt, and I don’t want that.” Riko said sternly, her fingers curling near You’s cheek as if threatening to pinch it again.

You backed away and pouted. “I know I know. Geez, you and Chika-chan won’t ever stop nagging at me, will you? Be proud, I stopped the fight before it got too bad, and came here to rest.”

“I see. Good, there’s improvement at least.”

Airily, Riko straightened and pulled out a familiar sketchbook from her bag. She ignored You’s questioning gaze and began to doodle the scenery. You’s blue eyes swept over the park, noting the few people strolling along the path, a kid playing with his dog over there, some flying their kites beyond the pond, and an old couple seated at a nearby bench and simply enjoying the nice weather. Everything seemed so picturesque, the tranquil atmosphere so good that it almost felt fake, especially compared to the frequent fights she’s gotten herself involved in.

Nevertheless, this wasn’t bad. This wasn’t bad at all. She could get used to such peace.

She listened to the quiet scratching sounds of the pencil as Riko sketched, smiling at the occasional pauses when the latter wasn’t pleased with the lighting or the composition.

“You’re not mad me?”

“Why would I be mad at you?”

“Aha, you are mad at me,” You peered at her friend and scooted closer. In response, Riko scooted away and resumed drawing like she wasn’t even here. Pouting again, You repeated her action and received the same reaction. The cycle continued until Riko was barely seated at the edge of the bench.

Huffing, she set down her sketchbook and scowled at the grinning You. “What?”

“Finally made you look at me.”

Riko raised an eyebrow and exhaled deeply. “Look, I’m not mad at you. Like I said, I’m just worried. Stop getting into fights so often. Chika-chan’s worried, Kanan-chan too.”

You rolled her eyes. “I can handle myself. Kanan should know that better than either of you.”

“Just promise us… promise me, okay?”

It was really difficult to say no, not under such pair of piercing, pretty eyes. You shrugged, holding her arms akimbo. “Alright! I’ll try to stay out of trouble. In exchange though, I wanna see this!”

Before Riko could react, You snatched the sketchbook out of her lap and flipped through the pages. She hummed in appreciation at the detailed drawings, some still life and some of animals. The recent pages, however, were filled with portraits of a ponytailed girl. Jogging, stretching, napping, drinking a bottle of water, or just smiling at the viewer.

Snickering, You wasn’t surprised to see Riko’s face turning beet red. “Does Kanan know?”

“Of course, but that doesn’t make this any less embarrassing. Can I have it back already?”

Taking pity on the blushing girl, You held out the sketchbook and chuckled again when Riko hugged it protectively against her chest. Silence fell upon them for a while, long enough for You to shuffle uncertainly. Was that too much teasing?

Just as she was about to apologize, Riko spoke up in a muffled voice. “Do you believe in true love, You-chan?”

For some reason, the question stung her more than any physical injury ever did. She immediately thought of a mikan-haired girl and her beautiful smile. This thought alone pained her just as much as it made her happy. Self-conscious, she scratched the back of her hair and mumbled. “… yeah, I do.”

Riko giggled at her response. The soft sound tickled inside her heart, yet she didn’t feel insulted or annoyed.

“Why do you ask anyway? You’re the happy couple, not me.”

“Just curious, that’s all.”

“Riko-chan…”

“It’s true, I just wanted to know your thoughts.”

You folded her arms, trying to read the soft smile on Riko’s visage. Was that bliss? Would she look like that too, if Chika were to accept her feelings? But that wouldn’t ever be possible, would it? After all, Chika loved someone else, someone who was also her friend.

And that person happened to be Riko’s girlfriend as well.

“Okay, now that you know, what’re you going to do?”

Riko turned away and looked into the sky, not smiling but not frowning either. Her whispered reply drifted with the breeze, so quiescent that You almost didn’t catch it.

“I’m going to set things right.”


0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0


“Don’t fall asleep here, you’ll get sick.”

You grunted but did not move to acknowledge the speaker. Her arm was draped over her face, shielding her closed eyes from the sunlight as she remained sprawled on her back across the bench. Her mind was a mess, chaotic even long after she had left the hospital. She’s wandered back to the park and found herself reminiscing her time with Riko.

Truth be told, she missed chatting with Riko. She didn’t remember what happened after that, though she did recall avoiding her since that puzzling conversation.

Why though?

You gritted her teeth and turned to her side, resting her arm against the cool and rough surface of the bench’s backrest. Ah, she didn’t want to be prodded about her feelings for Chika or talk about love, as subtle as Riko had been. Sometimes, You admired how Chika and Riko remained good friends under such circumstances, while she and Kanan…

Deep exhale. She clenched her fist and tried to ignore the throbbing pain from her wounds. That Dia may have cleaned and bandaged them, but her words had torn open something more painful. Perhaps she should go back to Chika now, as she promised she would. She couldn’t find her phone, which was prolly broken and still back at Chika’s place, and that was the excuse she kept telling herself to delay facing Chika again.

Again, she recalled Riko’s soft smile when the latter spoke of true love. How could Matsuura fucking Kanan betray her? Dragged Chika into this?

Someone to share your joy and pain, someone to talk to… someone to hug.

Only Mari understood You. She didn’t want to see either Chika or Riko. She wanted to see Mari at this moment, desperately so. In spite of whatever Mari had with Kanan, You still wanted to be with her. It wasn’t just about screwing each other senseless, or just having someone period. No, it wasn’t something as paltry as sex.

It was so much more than that, You was certain of it.

Her thoughts were rudely jostled out of her mind when petite hands pushed her further along the bench to make room. You’s legs dangled awkwardly over the edge while her face was uncomfortably squashed between her arm and the backrest. Growling in annoyance, she sat up and glared down at the short brunette and her pigtailed friend.

“What the fuck?”

“Language please,” Hanamaru was unfazed, her thick novel open in her lap. She didn’t even glance in You’s direction. “You were in my seat, so I moved you.”

You pulled back her fist, fully intending to at least punch the spot beside the girl’s shoulder to scare her. She stopped in mid-motion however, when her glare found Ruby’s green eyes. They were unnerving, emotionless and severe.

It was the same way Dia looked at her, back in the hospital.

Deep breath. In and out. In and out. You clenched her eyes shut and slouched in her seat. The tense silence was intermittently interrupted by the rustling sound of Hanamaru flipping the pages of her book. She should just leave and save herself from this inexplicable stress, but her pride refused to give in. Why should she get out of the way? She was here first!

“… there are so many other benches available, why this one?” You looked around the park, noting the lack of passersby, empty benches and the dried up pond.

“I always read my book with Ruby-chan here, and I don’t intend to change that,” Hanamaru’s gaze remained fixated on the novel’s small print. Ruby appeared to be reading over her friend’s shoulder as well.

“A stubborn one, aren’t you?”

“Not as much as you, You-san.”

“Ha! You think you know me?” She angrily recalled their encounter days ago, also here at the park. “What, you want me to wake up? Is that it?”

The brunette shrugged, her voice flat with nonchalance. It was clear that she didn’t give a fuck. “Awake, asleep, daydreaming, does that matter? You remain the same no matter what. Why do I even try?”

Again, You was seized by the violent urge to hurt the smaller girl. Not out of desire to cause her pain, but rather to solicit some sort of emotion out of her and her friend. Any other girls would have fled or screamed in fear if You were to glare at them like this, but not these two. It wasn’t as if You enjoyed terrifying younger girls, but such reaction would have been normal at least.

Hanamaru and Ruby’s lack of expected response was unsettling.

You covered her face and chuckled sardonically. Did she just wish for normality? What a fucking joke! She thrived in chaos. Only in bloody fistfights did she feel alive. Peace? What peace? She will never know peace.

It was not meant for her. Fact.

“What’s that book? Is it really that interesting?”

“Oh it is. Riko-san recommended it to us. We would like to finish it.”

You pursed her lips, unsurprised by their acquaintance of the artist. They came to the park often enough, they might have even bonded over common interests. Literature was a form of art too. Riko used to mention her friend Dia preferring classic literature, while her other friend enjoyed fantasy and in particularly the occult.

Right. Yohane and Riko were good friends, and that was how she came to know the eccentric gothic girl.

“Where’s your friend?”

Neither Hanamaru nor Ruby answered her.

“I was looking for her.”

Hanamaru turned a page, her expression unreadable as able. “Then keep looking.”

“Smartass,” You rubbed her chin. “Odd, I swore you used to speak in an odd accent or dialect of some sort, at least around her. Yohane-chan I mean.”

“Is that so?” There was an indiscernible tremor in her voice.

“Yup. Well, I don’t give a shit how you speak, just pointing it out.”

Silence again.

“How about you?” She shifted her attention to the pigtailed girl. “Say something. You mute or what?”

Ruby blinked and stared at her with those disturbingly blank eyes again. Her lips remained sealed.

“You are mute then.”

Ruby returned her gaze back to the book.

“No seriously, I was looking for your friend. She was talking to me but then she disappeared out of the blue-”

The book was slammed shut so abruptly that it made a cringe-worthy thud. There was something ugly and abhorrent in Hanamaru’s brown eyes. It was fleeting, but the intensity of such emotion had You tense defensively.

“Dia-san is with Yoshiko-chan.”

Ruby started trembling so Hanamaru gently held her hands, the gesture so drastically different than her vicious glare towards the older girl.

“Yo…shiko?” You was distinctly aware of her own heart pounding within her ribcage, like a trapped beast frantically trying to break free. Yohane… Yoshiko… Tsushima Yoshiko?

“Yoshiko-chan is still in a coma,” Hanamaru whispered darkly. “So perhaps you’ve been hallucinating, or you just have a sick sense of humor. Whatever it is, please stop it. It’s just us left now, Ruby-chan and I. The moment you even attempt to hurt Ruby-chan, I swear you will be begging for death the moment I’m done with you.”

Such savage words sounded so uncharacteristic and outlandish from a petite girl, let alone someone like Hanamaru. Yohane’s friend was usually smiling, playfully berating the gothic girl’s antics and cuddling Ruby.

That Hanamaru would never hurt a fly. The brunette here though would follow through with her threat, word for word.

You felt sick.

Back at the warehouse, back in the hallways of the hospital, and countless other times, she has been talking to thin air? But Yohane had replied to her. Or was it her own conscience, taking the form of the girl she considered trustworthy?

“Onee-chan is wholly devoted to Yoshiko-chan now.”

Both Hanamaru and You’s eyes widened as they looked at Ruby, whose expression was serene and somehow that sent a chill down You’s limbs.

“I loved her, you know? Yoshiko-chan. But I’ve been useless and I’m scared of facing her again,” Ruby was smiling. “Maru-chan too. Maru-chan loved Onee-chan, ne?”

Hanamaru cringed, her carefully controlled expression crumbling to that of pain. “That’s-”

“It’s okay. I know. That’s from before. We have each other now and that’s all that matters,” Ruby held up the brunette’s hand and interlaced their fingers, the gesture full of tenderness that it inexplicably frightened You even more. “Even then, I still wish we could go back, back to the way everything used to be.”

“That’s the one wish I cannot help you with, Ruby-chan,” Hanamaru pulled her hand away, her eyes churning with raw emotions. “Like what Kanan-chan said, it’s just a nightmare, one that none of us can ever wake up from.”

Ruby nodded slowly, her lips pressed in a thin line while her expression returned to that unnerving, vacant one like before.

It took a moment for You to realize she was covered in cold sweat. She wiped at her damp brow with her forearm and almost tripped in her haste to stand up.

“I-I’m going to g-go see Riko-chan. She… She can help me, yeah. She always has.”

Hanamaru stared at her coolly and gestured at the trees on the other side of the field. “We just went to see her. She’s over there.”

You staggered away as fast as her failing legs could bring her. She knew there was a hidden entrance to the park in that direction. She didn’t usually take this path, as it was covered with undergrowth which made it annoying to walk through. However she used to be familiar with the area, as it granted its visitors privacy and a natural veil of filtered lights from the canopy tops. Riko loved sketching here.

And this is where I…

She stumbled out of the woods and found the small gate that faced the intersection of a busy street. Gasping for breaths, she stood still and stared at the ponytailed girl crouched beside the dilapidated fence.

Kanan was holding a bouquet of roses, tears sliding down her cheeks and raining upon a withered wreath against the corner. She gingerly placed the bouquet beside a photo frame, her lips moving with whispered words.

You found it excruciating to breathe, her heart aching like someone had clenched it tight in their grip.

Kanan stood up listlessly and looked at You with dead eyes.

“I’m going to set things right.”

7

what should’ve happened after s3 

(don’t repost)

The Problem with Modern Clown Breeding

Alright, this may be out of line, but there’s an elephant in the comically-undersized room and it’s high time we addressed it. Simply put, breed standards have become stringent to the point where inbreeding, and all the health issues that come with it, is rampant in the clown-showing circuit. Confused? Let me show you an example.

This is what a Belgian Spurthigh looked like in the late 1800s. Like most breeds in the Japing group, it was bred for function over form - those distinctive bony spurs on its hips, for example, protected the pelvis during particularly intense pratfalls. But over the last 100 years, we’ve exaggerated these features to a grotesque degree - take a look at the modern Belgian Spurthigh.

A single-minded focus on aesthetics has turned the breed into a warped caricature of its past self, and a veritable time bomb of health issues. Cataracts and hip dysplasia are so common that newly-hatched chucklets have to be tested for them, and the hip spurs are so pronounced in utero that they run the risk of puncturing the egg sac. Let me emphasize that again: in their current state, they cannot lay eggs naturally - to prevent the eggs from puncturing themselves, you have to give the mother a C-section and pull the strings of egg sacs out like a bunch of handkerchiefs tied together. This is not a state any living thing should exist in.

But how did it get this bad, you ask? Blame clown-showing authorities like the American Kook Club. The breed standards they set defining “ideal” clowns have gradually called for more and more pronounced features. When individuals win big events like Jokesminster, every breeder of that breed wants to to have the winner sire a litter with one of their clowns. When everyone is focused on a single, homogeneous ideal, inbreeding runs rampant and the breed’s gene pool shrinks dramatically.

So what do we do now? Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy solution. Preserving high-risk breeds may require crossing over with related breeds (in the case of the Belgian Spurthigh, we’ve seen some success with Andalusian Fool mixes). Clown breeders must continue to put pressure on the AKC and other authorities to prioritize health when defining breed standards. The clown breeds we know and love are in danger, but I believe that if we work together, we can continue to have happy and healthy clowns for generations to come.

4

heh