AN: This is the last of the extras for Zero Hour. We are hard at work on the last story in this trilogy but it will be a while before I can start posting it. Thanks for so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed the story as well as the extras.
Roundtable Discussions in General
One of the tools I use when writing a story is the Roundtable Discussion. This is where I meet with the characters outside of the story and talk to them. Many times I check in with them to see how things are going and to ask them if they have any questions or suggestions about the current story. Other times I meet with them to ask them about a problem I’m trying to work out.
I wrote four Roundtable Discussions for Ordinary Silences. During one of them, I realized Maseo and Kirishima liked each other and decided to expand on their relationship and make them a pairing. Zero Hour has five Roundtable Discussions.
Writing these conversations is both easy and difficult. The conversation flows but I worry that I’m not being true to the characters so I spend extra time reviewing them to make sure what they’re saying and doing makes sense. I’ve shared a few of these discussion with Missly, my beta, but she hasn’t seen all of them.
I decided to post the Roundtable Discussion below with Kei-san so you can get a sense of the process. At the time, I was having difficulty with why he falls so quickly for Maseo. His comments were very helpful.
Just so you know, when I write stories I differentiate between the story itself, what I call in-story or stage time, and what the characters are doing outside of the story. The way it works for me is the characters all have their own lives and interactions outside of the stories which is how I have these Roundtable Discussions in the first place.
This discussion has been edited to remove spoilers.
Roundtable Discussion with Kirishima
(At his office)
(I’m sitting in the leather chair in front of Kirishima’s desk. He is sitting at his desk and is smiling slightly. Behind him is the view of West Shinjuku. It’s a warm, sunny day.)
Me (wondering why he’s smiling): Thank you for meeting with me, Kei-san.
KK: I’m happy to meet with you anytime, Sensei.
Me: Uh, thanks. (I’m not comfortable with him calling me that but he insists). I’m having difficulty squaring that you give into Maseo so quickly when you don’t know him at all. You’re always so cautious and efficient yet this man comes out of nowhere and seduces you so easily.
KK: He’s difficult to resist.
Me: I…yes, that’s true but I worry that your reactions are out of character.
KK (sits back in his chair): Hmm. Maybe you’re right about that. I’m not saying any of my reactions are out of character but that I give in so easily is a bit surprising. On the other hand, it’s been a very long time since I’ve had anyone in my life, other than someone to sleep with for a night, or a few days, and Maseo easily takes me by surprise and uses my vulnerability to his advantage. Not that I mind, of course.
KK: Yes, I am vulnerable during the story. There’s trouble in the organization. And something is happening with Asami-sama that defies explanation. And someone is hurting him. It’s a difficult situation to be in so when Maseo shows up, I’m under an enormous amount of stress because I have to take care of Asami-sama and keep everything together. He comes at me out of the blue and I’m completely unprepared for it. I have no real defenses because all my energies are being channeled elsewhere so I let myself fall for him. I would have anyway but this situation accelerates that process.
Me: Yes, as Missly said you are a OTP so you being with him is inevitable.
KK: Does that help?
Me: Yes. I like the vulnerability angle. I won’t explain all this in the story, just bring it out a little more, maybe. And it will help when working on the sex scene. By the way, what do you think of that sex scene?
KK (blushing and smiling): I like it very much. I like that I try to take control. (He laughs a little) I think Maseo was very surprised when I did that. It’s good to surprise him like that.
Me: And what do you think about the handcuffs? (This roundtable discussion was written before we changed the sex scene. The original version with the handcuffs is now the Deleted Scene for Chapter 13.)
KK (actually giggles a little): They’re…fine.
Me: I keep thinking they’re a bit over the top and I should take them out but Missly likes them too.
KK: So what if they’re over the top? This is fanfiction. Why not give people something they can really enjoy?
Me (sitting forward): Something you can enjoy, Kei-san!
(We laugh for a few moments.)
Me: So what do you think of the story in general? How is everyone feeling about it?
KK: We love the story. Asami-sama is happy about all the depth and backstory you bring to his character. He likes that he and Maseo have known each other for a long time. Maseo and I aren’t happy that he doesn’t come back at the end but we understand why it has to be that way. Kazumi is very happy with how much stage time he’s getting, and the rest of the men are pleased about the depiction of the organization and the emphasis on it.
Me: Good, I’m glad to hear it. I was surprised when Maseo yelled at me during that scene.
(When Maseo yells “Do you hear me? I HATE this!” in Chapter 24, he’s actually yelling at me. He’s angry that he stays away after Andou shoots him because he knows the pain that it will cause Kei-san. There’s an entire Roundtable Discussion about this issue alone but I can’t post it because there are too many spoilers. I will say that Maseo does get very angry and tells me “I don’t…I don’t want you hurting him like that. It’s not right. What has he done to you? Not fair at all.”)
KK: He likes having the last word at times.
Me: And what about the last story in the trilogy? What do you think of what I’ve come up with so far?
KK: We’re all very excited about it. Maseo and I are looking forward to seeing what happens next for us, if anything, and Akihito is happy to be back as the protagonist. The rest of the characters from the Canon are hoping to be included too. They like what you’ve done so far. In fact, they asked me to mention it.
Me: The plan is to include some of them, anyway. We’ll see. It’s going to be a very long, epic undertaking. There might be some sacrifices but I will try to avoid too many. (I smile at him.)
KK: I’m looking forward to it and looking forward to you posting this story.
Me: I think I have what I need now. I will let you get back to it. Say hello to everyone for me.
KK: I will.
(We stand and he escorts me out of the office and out of the building. I’ve been thinking how I’m going to feel when this trilogy is at an end, and how I will miss this story world and these characters. I smile at him and we shake hands. It’s not the end yet so I’ll keep enjoying this marvelous ride we’re all on.)