Disclaim or Die: Read Or Die, Read Or Dream, and R.O.D-the-TV is copyrighted by and the property of Hideyuki Kurata, Akitaro Yamada, Studio Deen/SME, Sony, and currently licensed by Manga Entertainment, Geneon, and VIZ Media.

Second Edition

A Paper, an Author, and a Deep.

Being a writer - and a damn talented one at that - Nenene was aware of the ironies and other subtle plot devices of life.  The world moves in circles: the seasons turn; the sun, moon, and stars wheel the same path across the sky; history repeats itself.

She looks at Anita, Hisami, and Junior.  They've grown well into their teenage years.  While the three of them seem to be close friends, it's more like Anita spends time with Hisami or with Junior, but Junior and Hisami never seem to have any incentive to hang out unless Anita is there.

She looks at Yomiko, herself, and Nancy.  The three of them have reached a standstill.  Frankly, neither side is willing to back down but won't force Yomiko to choose, and Yomiko is too afraid of hurting both of them and so all of them do nothing.

But this isn't about this generation's problems.

It's about the next.

As cynical as Nenene is, she wants the next generation to learn from their mistakes, their inaction and insecurities.  She wants them to be friends, but she also wants a definite decision to be made.

She wants to grab Anita and say, "You have to choose eventually, Chibiko, so which one is it gonna be?  I think you should go for Hisa; you two really complement each other."

Or sit her literary successor down for a pep talk: "Hey kiddo, paper masters are usually dense, so you have to really let her know how you feel.  And you need to tell her in person instead of through your books."

Possibly have a conversation with Junior.  With him being a smart boy and all, they wouldn't have to say much.  "You see those two?  You know better than to get between that, right?"

But Nenene is not one to meddle.  Besides, that's really more of Michelle's department.

Nonetheless, Nenene sees so much of Yomiko, Nancy, and herself is Hisami, Anita, and Junior.  And while the differences are what really stand out, it is the subtle little sames that are the ones to watch.

Hisami and Anita reflect Yomiko and herself in terms of personality and temperament, except the roles of Paper and Author are reversed.  Junior is no steaming sexpot like his mother, but he is a Deep, and he is growing up to be quite the charmer.  He hasn't taken to wooing the pants off of any girl (hell, even guy) that makes moon eyes at him, but he still gets noticed enough that he could if he damn well wanted to.

It's stupid of her try to and live through those who will take up the mantle.  To force her own desires and wishes upon these children - especially Anita and Hisami - would be worst, most unfair thing she could do to them.  She should trust them to make their own decisions and find their own path.  Perhaps she should have more faith in them; a belief that they'll be smart enough, different enough than the previous legacies they've inherited.

Nenene rebukes herself for thinking like that.  What arrogance.


As if they were representing the factions of some long-standing feud.

This is between Nancy, Yomiko, and herself.  They're still alive.  There's still plenty of time to change what's wrong between the three of them.

As for Hisami, Anita, and Junior, well, there's nothing between them yet.  But if there is, if there will be, then there's definitely plenty of time for them too.

Author's Notes: I think that this piece is pretty self-explanatory.  The question of whom Yomiko should be with on the shoujo-ai side of things is hard to get a good handle on.  Yomiko, with either Nenene or Nancy (both of them) make a lot of sense.  Yomiko and Nenene have had years of friendship and adventures.  Yomiko and Nancy I had an intense partnership that could have been more but was tragically cut short.  Yomiko and Nancy II spent years living together, dependant on each other while they hid from the British Library.  Despite all the sense that each pairing makes, the issue is left at a standstill.  At the same time, there's the three roles being reflected in Anita, Hisami, and Junior; once again, a Papermaster is caught between and Author and a Deep.  At this point, I don't think Anita, Hisami, and Junior are aware of a love triangle between them.  There probably isn't even one yet.  The point remains that it might develop, and history is at the point of repeating itself.  As for the ending, I wanted to keep things ambiguous but hopeful; no definite decision has been made on the older side of things, but a decision could be made, and from there, the younger generation could learn.