*Please comment only on this and previous chapters to avoid spoiling.
Holy shet, this is talky. (T)he dialogue was giving me a lot of trouble. Eeeek. Remind me never to do such a talky chapter again. Edit: Thanks for the comments that it wasn’t as confusing as I thought it was (I think I just confused myself with my editing because I was losing everyone’s train of thought in the process). Heh.
Now, I have to admit up front that I wasn’t so interested in Mai while watching the series. It’s not that I disliked her at all; I was just less interested in her angsting over Yuuichi than other stuff (besides one of the best death scenes I’ve ever seen ^^;). Still, she’s a nice person–certainly someone who could be a decent friend in real life, I think, compared to many of the other characters, and I definitely see her as a positive social influence on Natsuki, so I think it’s not too far of a stretch to have her play the psychologist since she got the bigger role in the series. Ugh, but I’m no psychologist, either. :( I hope I didn’t screw up their psychology too badly.
Look up recipes for nikujaga; it really is a classic homestyle dish.
*P.S.: Yes, I ended up skipping a lot of theoretical dialogue. I just left it understood that Natsuki explained in greater detail what happened between her and Shizuru at the end of the HiME festival, minus that one part. I mean, the readers already know. Trying to write good dialogue takes too much work.