A chocolate for you… Mink

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Written by: Chiral-kun
Original Scenario: Kabura Fuchii
Illustration: Honyarara
Graphic: Mina
Translations: Goldpanner
Copyrighted by Nitro+CHiRAL. No profits are gained from these unofficial fan translations. 

miiiinkSTROKESurface

February 14th.

Today, a day particularly important to women, I’m sure everyone on Midorijima is giving chocolate to the person they have feelings for.

But, it doesn’t seem all that festive where we are right now. Maybe that’s partly because we are surrounded by forest, but then again, it’s the same in town.

Time has passed by no different than usual without any big disruptions in particular. Thanks to that, I nearly forgot, but… I remembered out of the blue when looking at a calendar a few days ago, so I put a little something together.

Well, I know for sure that saying it’s Valentine’s and giving him something will get me a weird look. But, surprises like this can be nice, and since it’s a special occasion, I feel like giving it a try.

…Which is why I am now heading to Mink’s room with a full mug in my hands.

After dinner, Mink always goes to his room to read. He sits on a chair under dim lamplight, turning the pages in silence. He wears glasses when he reads, as I found out when we started living together.

I would never have guessed when we were back in Midorijima that he was such a bookworm. Maybe it’s too much reading that’s made his eyesight go bad. Also, it seems like he reads the same books over and over rather than reading new ones.

“Mink,” I call, opening the door to the room, and Mink looks up from where it seems he was engrossed in his book.

Bird is perched on the back of the chair, preening elegantly.

I don’t tell him that I’ve brought something other than his after-dinner coffee, not yet. It is a surprise, after all.

Glancing at the mug, Mink reaches an arm out to take it and bring it to his mouth.

I stand next to him and watch him do it, my heart beating secretly in anticipation.

Just as he is about to tilt the mug, he stops suddenly.

“…….” Mink pulls the mug away from his mouth, glancing at me over his glasses. “What’s in this.”

“Try it and see!”

I guess the different smell tipped him off.

Frowning slightly, he gives me a suspicious look, but puts the mug back to his lips.

He takes a slow sip.

“…How is it?”

Mink gives the mug a silent look.

I watch his profile, my slight nerves getting worse.

Mink isn’t really one for sweet things. So, I tried replacing his coffee with something that had some not-so-sugary chocolate melted in.

I went with a drink not only because it would be a simple way to surprise him, but also because I felt as though it would fit Mink better than giving him chocolate straight-out.

“…Well, what’s with this, then,” he grunts.

“…Huh?” I say, stupidly. “What’s with it? Uh, well.” I wasn’t expected it to go like this, so I am a little flustered. Huh? I think. It couldn’t possibly be that… “Mink, don’t you know what day it is today?”

“Today?” Mink tilts his head as though he is thinking a little. “Well, it’s the 14th of February.”

“Yeah.”

“What’s that got to do with it?”

“Huh?”

I’m right, then… Does Mink not know what Valentine’s Day is?

Bird pokes his head slightly forward from his perch on the back of the chair.

“It’s that Valentine’s day today, isn’t it?” 

“Valentine’s?”

“Yes. It’s a day for giving gifts to people you have feelings for. Apparently, it is typical to give chocolate in Japan.”

“Ah…,” is Mink’s short reply, having finally understood. However, he returns his gaze to the mug in silence, not especially having anything more to say.

…Being here is starting to feel kind of unbearable. Also, I’m starting to feel really sorry.

While I’d felt festive and tried preparing this, maybe to Mink, Valentine’s Day is incredibly inconsequential, and incredibly silly.

Or should I say, the probability of that being the case is high.

Why did I do this… He’s probably going to thrust the cup back at me. Say, ‘how am I supposed to drink this’ or something…

Springing from these awful imaginings, self-hatred and dejection descend on me all at once.

“…Sorry, for doing something weird.”

“Yeah, you have,” he says, not missing a beat, and on the inside I hang my head, crestfallen. I only made him mad, after all… “This is a silly custom. Giving chocolate is, especially. Besides.” Mink stops there, and sighs. “You don’t need to go to the bother of giving me something. It’s enough.”

“Huh?” Having expected much worse words coming, for a moment I don’t understand what I’ve been told. “What is?”

“Chocolate aside, today is a day for giving something to convey your feelings, right? I’m saying, if that’s what it is for, then what I have is already enough.”

“…Huh?”

Putting me and my confusion aside, Mink drops his gaze back to his book.

The mug of chocolate drink is still in one of his hands.

…Then, I finally understand what he meant by ‘enough’.

“Uh…”

“Well, well…,” mutters Bird, sounding amazed.

I nearly call out to Mink on impulse, but I catch myself in time and hold back.

I can’t disturb his reading.

Besides… I know that my feelings are reaching Mink just fine. I’m satisfied with that.

Even though he’s usually difficult to understand, I’m definitely happy when he puts things into words for me like this.

Reflecting on the feelings welling up inside me, I quietly leave Mink’s room.

*

[Kōjaku] [Clear] [Noiz] [Ren]

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