Written by: Chiral-kun
Original Scenario: Kabura Fuchii
Copyrighted by Nitro+CHiRAL. No profits are gained from these unofficial fan translations.
Let’s have dinner together tonight, says Kōjaku’s text, so after dropping by the supermarket on my way out of work, I head to his house.
‘Let’s have dinner’ means ‘make me dinner’. Kōjaku can cook a little too, but he’s always making me do it.
Well, it’s not a big deal. It’s not like I hate to cook or anything.
There’s a kind of festive mood over the island tonight, and I get the feeling that among the people walking the streets there are lots of couples out.
I’m definitely not getting caught up in this atmosphere, although I do make my way a little faster than usual as I tread the well-familiar streets and climb the stairs of the building where Kōjaku lives.
I walk down the hallway and stand in front of the door to his rooms to press the intercom, the door opening shortly after.
“Oh, Aoba, it’s you,” says Kōjaku, opening the door for me. “Hope you had a good day.”
“You too. Can I come in?”
“Sure, sure,” he says as I slip past him and take off my shoes before venturing inside, like always.
I step into the inner room, thinking to put the groceries I bought straight in the fridge, and… realise something is off.
I stop moving, and look around the room.
….Oh. It’s not there.
Today is Valentine’s Day. And yet, the mountain of paper bags stuffed to the brim with chocolates isn’t there. Kōjaku’s room is usually a spectacle to behold around this time every year. There’s absolutely no way somebody didn’t buy Kōjaku even just one…
“What’s up?” Kōjaku asks from behind where I’ve stopped in the doorway, sounding curious.
“Ah, nothing. I was just thinking that there’s no chocolates. You usually get a tonne every year.”
“Oh yeah, that’s cause I rejected all of them,” Kōjaku answers, breezily.
“…Huh?” I find myself turning back to look at him. “You rejected them? Why?”
“I didn’t think it was fair on them.”
“Well, I’m not on the scene now.”
I see. So basically, he can’t accept that sort of attention from other people because he’s dating me. What am I going to do with this guy…
“You know what, sometimes you are such a serious guy. Or more like, a guy with integrity, maybe.”
“You think so?”
“Yeah,” I nod, making my way over to the fridge to deal with my slightly large bounty of groceries.
I open the door to the fridge and start dumping the groceries inside. But, my hands are moving on autopilot, my mind elsewhere.
I can feel my heartbeat picking up.
…Oh, fuck. What do I do? I really miscalculated. I never would have thought Kōjaku wouldn’t get any chocolates.
I blink at the sound of my name. At some point my hands had stopped moving with the fridge door wide open, apparently.
“What?” I say, faking calmness as I jump back into action.
“Oh no, you were just zoning out, that’s all.”
“Oh yeah, sorry, it’s nothing,” I say, but that doesn’t stop Kōjaku from coming over to stand by my side and peer into my face.
“You look kinda off, man.”
“Sheesh, I’m fine,” I counter, pulling an idiotic move and turning around so he can’t see my face. The tension I’ve been feeling gets steadily worse. I kind of can’t talk properly.
I don’t really get it, but my face has gone all stiff and wooden, and I can’t really make the right expressions.
What the hell…
I decide to concentrate on finishing the task at hand, for now.
“Will I be getting any from you, then?”
“Getting any what?”
…I drop the carrot I was holding.
“No. None, none.”
“Aw. I was actually secretly kinda looking forward to it.”
“I. Said. None.”
I turn around, somehow having managed to get all the groceries safely into the fridge, and find myself meeting Kōjaku’s eyes. I can’t tell if they are earnest or wicked.
Kōjaku is leaning against the fridge with a faint smile.
“Really really. I didn’t buy any.”
“Well then, did you make any?”
“…Uuuh?? I can’t believe you…”
“So then,” he interrupts, jerking his chin at something behind me, “what’s peeking out of that bag over there?”
I spin around to look at my bag.
The zipper of the bag I’d casually chucked on the floor isn’t shut all the way, and the corner of a rectangular box is poking out.
“Never seen that box before.”
“I-it’s Granny’s, I took it by accident… like, you know…?” I try, with a pained grin. That excuse is far too painful even to my own ears.
“You can’t lie, you know. I know you far too well.”
“Come on now, you obviously have some.”
“I told you, that’s…!”
“Did you make them yourself?”
He pushes himself to stand in front of me, and my escape routes dwindle.
It’s the end of the road. I cast my eyes down, unable to look Kōjaku in the eye.
“You’re kidding me…,” he says, obviously taking my reaction as an affirmation. I can hear the tinge of shock in his voice. It makes me feel even more cornered. “Why were you trying to hide that?”
“…No, I just…”
The truth is, I do know. I know exactly where this tension is coming from.
Honestly, I didn’t think all that much of it in the beginning. Valentine’s Day isn’t necessarily for women to give things to men. There are people who give stuff no matter what gender.
So, as a way of expressing everyday gratitude, and since you can adjust the flavour if you make it yourself, and since it’s not all that hard to do, I thought I may as well make some. That’s how casual I was about the whole thing.
Besides, I don’t know whether he’s joking or serious, but Kōjaku is always telling me ‘I wanna eat this, make me some of this’.
Plus, I thought, since Kōjaku gets a mountain of chocolates every year, it wouldn’t be such a big deal among all that if I tossed some to him, you know…
But hearing that this year he refused all chocolates made it incredibly difficult for me to speak.
It wouldn’t have been so bad if they were store-bought… When I think about it with a clear head, it is creepy for sure, normally, for a guy to go and make chocolates for another guy.
I shouldn’t have done this…
“Why are you apologising?”
“Well, you’re not creeped out?”
“Getting handmade chocolates from a dude.”
It’s really fucking embarrassing to say out loud.
Hearing that, Kōjaku sighs like he’s a bit angry.
Then, he suddenly pulls me into a fierce hug.
I can feel his hot breath against my ear.
“How the hell could you think I’d be creeped out? Of course I’m delighted. It’s something made especially for me, by you. I’m really happy,” he whispers in my ear, the words soaking into me.
Now I’m embarrassed for an entirely different reason.
Kōjaku pulls his body away slightly to look into my face, then kisses me lightly.
“Thanks, yeah?” he says with a smile. “I’ll savour them.”
Seeing that smile, I feel a tiny little bit glad to have made them after all.
Thinking that makes my face heat up, so to hide it I press my face into Kōjaku’s shoulder.