Ever a Surprise

by 織工 (Okō)

See this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki.

Stephanie pulled at the strap of her borrowed black velvet halter-top, then pulled the waist of it back down to meet her skirt’s waistband and looked around the courtyard, trying not to bite her lip so she wouldn’t smear her lipstick. Her long bright-red hair was piled on top of her head in some kind of fancy curled up-do, and she couldn’t help the urge to tear it all down and put it back in a braid. 

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A Fine Distraction

by Okō

See this piece’s entry on the Shousetsu Bang*Bang wiki.

Dieter watched the crowd flow around him in the largest ballroom in the German Embassy.  There were too few exits, too many people, and too many potentially un-vetted catering staff. But after nearly a decade spent among the ambassadorial elites in London, none of that was supposed to be Dieter’s problem any longer. The invitees who circulated in the room held champagne flutes in soft hands and sparkled with jewelry and custom cufflinks. They were striking, and many of them were young and beautiful, and all of them were convinced the world was theirs for the taking.

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A Wild Call and a Clear Call

by Okō


Hiram Kalloway joined the Royal Navy at the late age of thirteen, his mother having insisted on his remaining home until that age in order to gain some additional polish. His father, Samuel Kalloway, had gone to sea at the age of nine, moving up in the captain’s list year by year and running roughshod underfoot on his uncle’s ships until he was old enough to be more than a cabin boy.

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To Sing of Contests

by 織工 (Okō)

The fall of 2013 seems to absolutely fly by. One moment there’s a hastily-staged intervention where what feels like half of Nick’s teammates are in his kitchen telling Nick they know about him and Kolya, the next it’s December and New York is even more slammed with tourists than usual.

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To Join This Song

by Okō (織工)
illustrated by beili

Isabelle’s sophomore year at Julliard starts off well enough at first. Music theory is going to be a challenge this year, since she’s gotten beyond anything they covered in AP at Shattuck, but her teacher seems pretty good. The Operatic History and Practice class looks interesting, even if it is more writing than she’s ever had to do before. Her advisor thought she was crazy for changing languages after only one year, but Italian is easier than French, and she has help with her Russian homework whenever her brother Nick and his boyfriend Kolya aren’t traveling with their hockey team. And her voice lessons are going well: Ariana says she’s settling into her voice well, and okays Isabelle trying out for a few of the bigger campus productions in the fall semester.

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The Secret Between His Teeth

by 織工 (Okō)
illustrated by beili

The fall of 2013 dawns unseasonably warm, and September in New York City opens with a few 30-degree-Celsius days during which Nikolai Mikhailovich Kudryavtsev cranks up his window air conditioners and tries not to feel guilty about his mounting electric bill. It’s not like he can get the superintendent to insulate Kolya’s apartment any better than he already has. The converted brownstone is just old and leaky, hot in the summer and overheated in the winter unless he opens the windows.

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A Voice Once Swallowed

by 織工 (Okō)

Kolya’s mother invites Nick to join them for a family dinner in early February, when he and Kolya have been together for about three months. It’s really more of a demand than an invitation, since there’s no way for Nick to turn it down politely even if he wanted to.

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Higher Than Hay Bales

by Okō (織工 )


It turns out 2013 isn’t the New York Rangers’ year for the Stanley Cup either. They make it to the playoffs as a wildcard, and lose the first round of the playoffs in six games. Kolya is exhausted, and bone-weary, and his ankles and knee are killing him, and some part of him is faintly relieved, because he’s not playing his best, none of them are, and he knows full well that it hurts less to be eliminated in the first round than in the final playoff games.

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Picked Up Along the Way

by Okō ( 織工)

Morgan’s present caught up with him one afternoon while he sat in the local park and watched a pair of old men play chess, studiously ignoring the hipster moms and their screaming children on the tiny jungle gym to his left. The neighborhood was gentrifying slowly enough that Morgan could still sit in the park for hours at a time without anyone calling the cops, but he suspected that would change if the moms thought a random dude was perving on their kids, especially a dark-skinned, shabby-looking one.

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One May Hide Another

by Okō 織工

Nikolai Mikhailovich Kudryavtsev is drafted to the NHL in 2004 and signed to the New York Rangers.

His mama cries, because New York is an enormous city, so much larger than Chelyabinsk, and it’s halfway around the world, but she looks relieved, too, because her baby will be safer there, and they both know why. His father gives him a bone-cracking hug, like he’s forgotten all the reasons (the one reason) he doesn’t touch his son anymore. It’s not a perfect day, but it’s as close as Nikolai thinks he’s going to get, because they don’t live in a perfect world, and no one knows that as well as he does.

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