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[Drabble] Rude Awakening (Genshiken)

Title: Rude Awakening
Characters: Madarame
Wordcount/Rating: 450+ words / G
Summary: Madarame starts seeing another side to his existence.
Author's Notes: Some things I think we all grapple with, to be honest. Written for chain_of_fics. I had wanted to write more Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei (the line speaks so strongly of Fuura!) but then as I was washing dishes just now, Madarame from Genshiken popped into my head. And you know ... I wanted--nay, needed to write that.

All he could see was the bright vista of his future, full of possibilities and colored as brilliantly as an artist's palette. He was young! He was talented! He could rule the world!

Then Madarame woke up.

His eyes blearily tried to focus. He turned his head a little and faced his shelves of plastic figurines, DVDs of animated women, books upon books upon books of art and photos of voice actors, concept illustrations, doujinshi, anthologies, and manga. Normally, even without his glasses, it was a riotous mix of colors and shapes and rounded feminine forms one saw only in animation. (If only Japanese women did not give off such an air of perpetual under-nourishment!) Now, the gray half-light filtering in through the spaces between his blinds sapped any vibrancy he'd remembered.

The sight was depressing him, so he sat up, squinting. Where had he put those glasses? They weren't on the floor beside him, and he muttered under his breath before noticing something sticking out from under his pillow. At least they had not been bent or broken in his sleep, he thought with a shudder, offering a mental prayer to whatever god took care of otaku like himself.

The remnants of last night's dinner still sat on the table next to his computer, salmon bones and a stray grain of rice against black plastic the only reminders of what he'd eaten. Next to them, the cheap 100-yen coffee can perched on the edge of his table. Madarame made a face, picking up the plastic bag from the floor, stuffing the plastic bento container inside, not caring if he'd separated chopsticks or fish bones. Whatever. He'd be putting it all in the non-burnables trash bin anyway. He scowled, knocked the can into the bag, and then swore--it was unfinished, and coffee splashed onto his hand and into the bag, collecting at the bottom of the plastic. Savagely, he tied the bag closed, feeling a surge of dissatisfaction.

He stood there even after the bag's handles had been knotted closed three times, and suddenly felt dizzy. The walls of his apartment pressed in around him, lifeless and drab white peeking out from behind magazine spreads he'd copied and enlarged on the color copier in Lawson (only 80 yen), pictures of hand-drawn and computer-generated women with too-large breasts and disproportionate weaponry, anthropomorphic rabbits and clocks and shoes--where had he bought that one?--and again, shelves and shelves full of pink-red-green-yellow-blue-neon book spines where the words began to blur even as he tried to focus on them.

What am I doing here? he thought, almost twenty-five with nothing to show for the years.

Then he felt a wetness on his foot, and looked. He stared at the brown puddle forming on the tatami. The smell of coffee, too-sweet and too-milky, reached his nose.

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( 20 apples — Throw me an apple? )
Aug. 1st, 2007 10:40 am (UTC)
Hm. Claim.
Aug. 1st, 2007 10:40 am (UTC)
-- I obviously don't know what I'm doing, claiming this. Haha. *dies*
Aug. 1st, 2007 10:44 am (UTC)
*laughing* Someone I know claimed it too but did not comment. It's a mad rush to the finish line! (You might want to post the claim comment to the post on COF here?
Aug. 1st, 2007 10:46 am (UTC)
OH. I didn't notice that it was a fake cut. Hahaha. XD It's okey, since the other person claimed first. It's hers~ :3 I'll just post mine in her post as a comment, that's fine. XD
Aug. 1st, 2007 10:58 am (UTC)
If she doesn't do it. ^_^;;; (She sort of started reading mine, and then five minutes later sent me an AIM message with half of the fic already done. XD)
Aug. 1st, 2007 01:59 pm (UTC)
Tell your friend she's gotta comment if she wants to claim! It's first-comment, first-serve.

If only Japanese women did not give off such an air of perpetual under-nourishment!

XDD. Such a hardcore-geek thing to say!

Madarame makes a face as he gets up, and then, in the next paragraph, he makes a face again. XD;
Aug. 1st, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
*facepalms* He likes making faces. ^_^;;;;; *edits* (Thanks. ^_^)
Aug. 1st, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC)
Please save me and claim it first D= *dead from trying to fit in too many into the fic*
Aug. 1st, 2007 11:09 pm (UTC)
*blink* Mkay, then.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 4th, 2007 09:21 am (UTC)
No such thing as late comments, and oooh, thank you! <3
Dec. 23rd, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
Just read this now.
This is a wonderful piece.
I really like how you portray Madarame's waking up (and not talking about the literal waking up, you know, more like the realization that his once-glorious otaku world has turned into something slightly pathetic) also, the last sentence set a doomed atmosphere that accompanies his discovery very well.
Dec. 23rd, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Just read this now.
*hearts* Oh, thank you so much. I really really liked this piece when writing it, and I'm so glad other people do too. ♥
Dec. 23rd, 2007 04:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Just read this now.
I've never really even attempted to look for Genshiken fic even though I enjoyed the serie very much (I've only seen the first season though) so I was very surprised (and pleased as well) when I found this while looking for Hikago fic.
It didn't trigger any switch to make me frantically want to read the last Genshiken fic, but it made me intrigued enough to want to see how other people might see these characters. I like your take on Madarame, at first I didn't like him very much, he was the know-it-all from the group and I usually dislike that kind of person but later on I realized he only was a pretty big fan of things, he didn't like showing off that he knew lots of things, he just did! I grew up to like him quite a lot so thinking this is what he's going to become later on is a little decieving, but it's very realistic too.
(OMG such long comment! Sorry.)
Dec. 23rd, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Just read this now.
I have to admit, same here--somehow I like that the characters are already rather well-explored in the manga/anime and I don't really feel the need to do any more. I wouldn't even have written Rude Awakening, had the muse not ambushed me without me realizing it.

You gotta admit, though ... one day otakus wake up and realize ... all this stuff around them, everything they loved and held dear ... it doesn't matter anymore to them. That's gotta hurt. Madarame is pretty close--he's not consciously trying to show off, he's just ... you know. Sharing. (And the whole having a crush on Saki-chan thing ... oh MADARAME.)

♥♥♥♥♥♥ NEVER apologize for long comments. ♥♥♥♥♥♥
Dec. 23rd, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
This keeps getting longer *sigh*
Yeah, it must hurt to get to a point where your whole life until now doesn't make sense because even though it's shaped you into the person you're now, you're not interested in what you loved dearly before. It's a pretty huge and scary change I think. I'm fairly new to this whole Otaku thing, but several friends I have from the circle are slowly getting to the point where they want to let go of it because it's not interesting anymore but they just don't because they're used to the way things are I suppose.
About the crush on Saki-chan: I KNOW! I mean, my sister said it was a natural thing because she was different to what he knew and there but I think it goes deeper than that because he knows it won't ever happen and he's not even attempting to get her interested in himself in that way and OMG I must cut this longshort because my bookcase is looking back at me "angrily" because I'm supossed to be organising my books and not online.
It's great conversing with you like this though! ♥
Dec. 23rd, 2007 05:17 pm (UTC)
Re: This keeps getting longer *sigh*
*winces* You said it. Oh man. It has to hurt so much, especially because you know what? I think Madarame is already there, sort of. He knows it's hopeless and that he's just wasting his time/life on them, but at the same time, he doesn't think any better of himself, and he thinks that's the best he deserves/is entitled to. And it hurts ME just thinking about it. Heck, I don't particularly care about Madarame, but you get to a point where you go, "You are obviously a smart guy. You aren't completley hopeless/clueless. Why, Madarame, why must you put yourself down like that?"

The crush makes my heart hurt, because it's true, Madarame and Saki-chan would be a horrible relationship. She goes with Kohsaka well. (Whether or not that relationship will last, I have no idea, but those two work well together.) And so Madarame will forever just lust after someone he can't have, and he won't let himself do anything about it, like Tanaka and Ohno (thank god Ohno took matters into her own hands).

Go organize stuff. This will be here when you're done, after all. ♥
Dec. 24th, 2007 01:57 pm (UTC)
Re: This keeps getting longer *sigh*
Exactly, it's probably the zero confident factor that comes from normal social interaction deprival. Also, it doesn't really help if trying to re-build yourself from scratch into a more "normal" (actually I mean common, but you understand.) person goes against everything you've believed in until now.
I heard that in one of the post-first season OAV he decided to re-style himself so maybe we're wrong and he'll move on as a character to a happier place!
Relationships are very difficult things for people with obsessive hobbies, methinks. It's hard enough to deal with friends that are not interested in the same things you are, what would you do when your significant other (if you ever worked up the courage to get one, the no-confident factor plays a key role here) decides that they can not compete against all those things you are into and probably prioritize over them. Kohsaka is lucky because he's too easy-going to be shy and Ohno has very similar interests to Tanaka so that was quite expected, and you pointed out yourself that she was the one to let him know what was going on. Otaku boys are very clueless.
I finally finished! I also discovered I'm a creepy person with 162 books. My parents told me they won't give me more money for books. *sigh*
Dec. 24th, 2007 02:05 pm (UTC)
Re: This keeps getting longer *sigh*

The wonder of e-books. ^_^ My room is 4.2-jo, smaller than almost any apartment you will see. I can't afford to buy books because I have space issues.
Mar. 10th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
I really liked it! I just started reading Genshiken a month ago, but I really like the series and this is a good piece of fan-fiction! :-)
Mar. 10th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
*hearts* Thank you very much! *loves* Welcome to the wacky world of Genshiken. <3
( 20 apples — Throw me an apple? )

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