Well then, Yuuki and the others arrived at the shopping mall a small distance away. Although it’s a weekday, there were many people. As for Yuuki, he was worried whether Hatsushiro would feel sick because of it, but she looked fine for the time being.
With a focus on restaurants, the shopping mall had various kinds of stores lined up such as movie theater, bookstore, drugstore, music instrument store, and sport good store. And as far as fashion was concerned, there were twenty different brands and speciality stores.
“What kind of clothes does Hatsushiro-san like?,” Ootani asked inside one of the women’s brand stores.
At Ootani’s words, Hatsushiro looked around restlessly. She must’ve never been to this kind of place before. It was fairly hard for her to choose and say one she liked.
It’s also the same for Yuuki who was not used to this kind of place.
Somehow, it’s like a mysterious space.
He couldn’t calm down being inside a store surrounded by so many clothes.
Honestly speaking, one could say that Yuuki wasn’t interested in fashion at all.
On the contrary, he didn’t quite understand the point of spending time on it. After all, he was a veteran of wearing only his uniform and school jersey since middle school. Yuuki’s evaluation criteria for clothes was only “cheap,” “easy to move,” and “easy to maintain.”
If we were to say whether he wanted to see his cute girlfriend Hatsushiro dressed up or not, OF COURSE I WANT TO SEE IT!!, and so, he was actually quite enthusiastic about it.
“Hatsushiro-san, for things like this it’s fine to use your feelings,” Ootani said to the confused Hatsushiro.
“I-is that so. Then…”
Looking a little embarrassed, Hatsushiro pointed at one of the mannequins.
“All right, then we’ll get a set of those,” said Yuuki, who then tried to go to the cashier without delay.
“Okay, hold on there”
However, Ootani caught him by the back of his collar, stopping him.
“What is it now, Ootani? I’m an amateur at this, but I do think that’s going to look quite good on Hatsushiro, you know?”
What Hatsushiro had chosen was clothes with a black-based serene design. That clothes in itself would indeed be perfect for the fair-skinned Hatsushiro, who had long black hair and prim and proper look.
“Well, it sure doesn’t look bad”
“Is there some kind of problem?”
Yuuki tilted his head.
“I also think it’d suit her, but if it’s this it won’t look that much different from the uniform she’s wearing right now, isn’t it”
“Aaah, now that you mentioned, guess you’re right”
Hatsushiro’s everyday clothes was the young lady’s high school uniform, which was also of a serene design.
“Even so it’s not particularly a problem, right?”
“We’ve already gone all the way here for shopping, so don’t you want to add a little something different? It’s probably hard for you to understand, but there’s also the fun in that”
I-I see. That’s really profound, Yuuki was impressed.
“Yuuki, how about you choose one for her? Hatsushiro-san dressing up is also because she wants to show it off to you after all”
“Hmm? Me choosing?”
“And I’m sure Hatsushiro-san doesn’t mind Yuuki’s choice, right?,” said Ootani and Hatsushiro nodded her head.
“I-I see. All right”
And so, he looked around inside the shop.
However, crap, I’m totally clueless.
LET”S PICK CLOTHES THAT SUITS HATSUSHIRO WITH THIS TO THE MAX ENTHUSIASM!!, and with such zeal, he went to choose clothes for Hatsushiro. However, as a result of his fatal lack of knowledge and sense, Yuuki couldn’t really grasp the objects lined up even when looking at them.
Yuuki asked Ootani.
“…Hey, for stuff like this, what kind of criteria should I use to choose one?”
“I said it earlier, didn’t I. Use your feelings. Feelings”
“You said that, but you know…”
“Since you’re a man, why don’t you choose something that will make the other you attached on your crotch react if Hatsushiro-san wears it?”
“Hey, what are you even saying, you JK”
“I think it’s an effective and efficient way, you know? ‘Believe the you attached on you’”
It’s the worst of the worst.
“Well, if I were to choose based on a criteria, I think it’d be something that’d usually blow me away”
By the way, leaving aside the crotch talk, if he were to choose based on simple feelings only, Yuuki also chose the same one Hatsushiro had chosen because it was close to what he was usually used to seeing.
“We don’t really make any progress, huh… Hey, Hatsushiro-san. Since we’re already here, can I choose one for you?”
“Eh? Ah, yes. If it’s not too much trouble…”
“Far from troubling me, it’s plenty fun choosing clothes for a cute girl like Hatsushiro-san, you know”
“The-then, please do…”
“Ookay, I can hardly wait to choose one”
Yuuki was sitting on a bench in one corner of the shopping mall, reading a mathematics reference book he brought with him. It was because of what Ootani had told him, “I’m going to surprise you, so hang around over there until we decide on one.”
“Nevertheless, I guess it’s really true that girls’ shopping takes a long time. I’ve finished the integral part, you know”
Right when Yuuki had such a thought, “Sorry to keep you waiting, Yuuki.”
Yuuki raised his face from the reference book, and found Ootani in front of him standing imposingly. Her expression looked incredibly satisfied.
“Quite the outstanding work I did that was. As expected, it’s really worth choosing when the base is good”
“Oh, is that so? Sounds like you had fun… wait, where did that Hatsushiro go?,” he thought, but she was hiding behind Ootani.
“…Umm, Ootani-san. As expected, it’s embarrassing”
“What are you saying, you came here to shop for clothes to show it to Yuuki, didn’t you. This guy’s also itching to see it quickly, you know”
“…Is that so?,” asked Hatsushiro, who stuck out her face slightly from behind Ootani.
“We-well yeah. But if you’re too embarrassed I’m not going to force you to. I can still see it at home once you’ve calmed down anyway…”
“You said that, but aren’t your posture totally pitching forward…,” said Ootani exasperatedly to Yuuki, who was too obviously very interested about it.
“…Umm, okay. Then…”
Hatsushiro timidly stepped out from behind Ootani.
The moment he saw her, “……………………………………………………………………………………………..,” Yuuki’s body froze with his mouth open.
“…Umm, what do you, think. Does it look weird on”
“YOU’RE SOOOO CUTE!!,” Yuuki shouted spontaneously.
“…I-is that so”
“Yeah, It’s really great. I see, it makes for such a different kind of cuteness, huh”
Grinning to such Yuuki, Ootani explained the arrangements of the clothes, looking satisfied.
“Since her usual dark uniform gives a serene feel, I wanted to make her look a little more energetic. That’s why I decided to arrange it with a bright, beige colored long cardigan and a newsboy cap on top”
“I see. She’s cute”
“Since it’s about Hatsushiro-san, I thought she’d also look good in skirt, but I decided to go bold and add a crisp impression with a white gray pants”
“I see. She’s incredibly cute”
“But yeah, since Hatsushiro-san’s true characteristic is undeniably that of elegant one, I tried to adorn her feet with neat mules and make her wear a shirt with round colla”
“I see. She’s the cutest thing ever”
“…And you’re not listening”
Ootani sighed, looking astonished.
Honestly speaking, to Yuuki who had zero knowledge regarding clothes and accessories, what Ootani said was completely the same level as an incantation from another world.
However, only the fresh cuteness of Hatsuhiro in front of him was evidently conveyed to him. For someone who was originally considerably cute even if left alone, this was definitely a foul play. Before realizing it, men and women passing by were stealing glances at Hatsushiro.
“…I’m really glad to be alive”
“Aah, yes yes. As someone who chose it, it doesn’t feel bad if you say ‘she’s cute she’s cute’ that much. It’s just, if you don’t stop it, she’s going to collapse, you know”
When he looked at her face, Hatsushiro’s face was as red as if it had been boiled.
“Aah, sorry. It’s embarrassing if I called you cute that much in a loud voice, isn’t it”
“…No, umm, thank you very much”
Hatsushiro looked up at Yuuki while blushing. She seemed to have thin make-up on, and her lips were glistening a little. Aww crap. Now I want to hug her.
So, Yuuki was fighting his own impulses, but then Ootani held him by the shoulders.
“Come, next is you”
“It’s a sin to stand next to Hatsushiro-san in this uncool uniform, whose beauty has been polished by my hands. That’s why it’s compulsory. Come on, onwards the men section”
“Are you serious”
After having Hatsushiro to wait at a cafe on the same floor, Yuuki and Ootani headed for a store intended for men’s fashion.
“For starters, for you it’s… this, this, and this”
“Hey, aren’t you choosing it rather smoothly when it’s for me”
“Well, when comparing you to Hatsushiro-san as a base material… yeah”
Ootani said something extremely rude. However, well, Yuuki thought, as he recalled her appearance earlier, that it couldn’t be helped that he himself was compared to Hatsushiro.
“I’m just joking, all right. In fact you’re on the tall side, and you have a firm body build. You’re a relatively risqué type if you take off your clothes, don’t you think”
“Well, I was in a sports club back in middle school, and my part-time is mainly manual labor after all”
Since studying required his brain power, he tried to rest his brain at least during his part-time job.
In fact, he’s grateful that by being physically active he could sleep soundly.
“For the face is, well… if you were a little more pleasing overall, don’t you think you’d be popular?”
“Hey, isn’t that almost a total denial of my face?”
“Not really, no. I think there are people who like the way you look, you know… maybe”
“Just maybe, huh… well, fine. I have Hatsushiro after all!!”
“Yes yes, you’re so passionate. Anyway come on, just go try it on,” said Ootani, pushing a full set of clothes at him.
Yuuki took it, and then entered the fitting room. Yuuki was greeted by a mirror that showed from the top of his head all the way down to the tips of his shoes, something he normally was not used to seeing.
I think I haven’t seen a mirror this big since I bought my high school uniform…
At the same time, Yuuki went to put on the clothes Ootani had chosen.
“Hmmm, this jeans really is tight”
“We call it denim now”
“Well, they do say fashion is patience. If this will make Hatsushiro happy, then it’s no big deal”
“You’ll get slapped by women in the world for saying that as if you’re wearing tight denim, you know…”
Ootani’s astonished voice could be heard from the other side of the fitting room’s curtain.
They stopped talking there for a short time, but before long, Ootani spoke, lowering her voice a little.
Apparently, it was a serious subject. Yuuki listened to her seriously as he changed his clothes.
“I decided to try to look it up”
By looking it up, it should be about Hatsushiro’s past. She had said before that she had an acquaintance at the young lady’s school Hatsushiro’s going to.
“Hey, that is”
“After talking to her today all day, I’ve more than understood that Hatushiro-san’s carrying a considerable weight. I don’t know how on earth did she end up at your place… but I wonder if you called out to that girl who was in sorrow and soaked by the rain?”
“…Well, that’s pretty much it”
She was indeed in sorrow and soaked by the rain. However, she, as expected, didn’t seem to be able to imagine that she was trying to jump off from an abandoned building.
“I don’t think I want to ask her about it, and I also understand your feelings of wanting to leave it alone until Hatsushiro-san tells you about it. That’s why this is me doing as I please. I’ve got curious about Hatsushiro-san, so I’ll try to look up something about Hatsushiro-san as I please. If you don’t want to know what I found out, then I’m not going to tell you. Well, in short…”
Ootani paused talking. Then she spoke in a cheerful voice.
“I took a liking to that girl, so I felt like meddling”
What a very Ootani-like way of saying. Yuuki’s mouth slackened naturally.
“You’re really a good woman”
“Isn’t that obvious. Didn’t you know? I’m one of the best women in the world, you know”
“You got the nerve to say it yourself”
“…And so, are you done changing?”
Yuuki, who had changed during their talk, opened the fitting room’s curtain.
“How is it, Ootani?”
Yuuki, who honestly didn’t know if it looked good or bad on him, asked Ootani. His own self-assessment was that it didn’t look that bad at least.
However, “…Yep. Fashion & casual based on the classic cool black. I’m surprised it looks considerably better than I expected,” said Ootani, who then picked up her stuff.
“Hmm? Where are you going?”
“I’m going home. It’s almost my curfew”
That Ootani’s home had a curfew was something he heard for the first time. Well, it may be an obvious thing to set up a curfew for your high school student daughter, however…
“Hey, weren’t you drawing manga at a family restaurant until late at night a while back?”
Yuuki was also studying at the same family restaurant to make a final push before exams.
“I wonder. And more importantly, go and show what you look like in that outfit to Hatsushiro-san. There’s also still time after that, so maybe you can just wander around the area together and then go home”
Leaving behind those words, Ootani waved her hand and then left the store.
“…Was she perhaps, being considerate of me and Hatsushiro?”
In that case, that’s very considerate of her. As expected of one of the best women in the world.
“Thanks… Well, guess I’ll take up on her words and wander around the area alone with Hatsushiro”
Thus, Yuuki unexpectedly ended up going to have a first date with his girlfriend.
“…A date, huh”
That’s right, a date. That thing which boyfriends and girlfriends all over the world did.
However, there was a problem.
What do you do on a date?
Yuuki couldn’t imagine much about it. He understood the basic part of wandering around this shopping mall. However, was that all there’s to it? For this thing called a date in this world, he had the image of it having a bunch more things to do besides that.
Well, it’s no use thinking about what I don’t know. For the time being, let’s decide one thing to do. Let’s see…
As Yuuki pondered in his mind, an image came up.
Yeah, I really want to walk hand in hand.
It was an image of him and Hatsushiro walking together with their fingers intertwined.
Yeah. That sounds nice. Somehow, it makes me feel warm. It’s also like a proper date.
With such thought in mind, Yuuki arrived at the cafe where Hatsushiro was waiting.
Yuuki looked around the rather crowded store, and then he found Hatsushiro immediately.
“So-sorry to keep you waiting, Hatsushiro”
Due to the uneasiness of showing her him wearing an outfit different than usual, his voice ended up coming out slightly shrill.
“Ah, Yuuki-san. How was… it…”
Raising her face and looking at Yuuki’s direction, Hatsushiro’s reply faded away midway.
“…He-hey, what’s wrong”
Her expression looks like she’s in a daze. Is she tired and feeling sick from not being out for the first time in a while?
And when Yuuki tried to look into her face, Hatsushiro turned her face away.
“Is it this? …Does this not look good on me that much?”
I was thinking that it looked rather well on me, but… It’s regrettable.
“Ah, no… It’s not that. Rather…”
Hatsushiro turned to look his way. Her face was blushing faintly.
“…You look so cool, that I couldn’t help but look away”
Yuuki’s face joined her in blushing.
If I was told something like this by Hatsushiro, who is showing different kind of cuteness, it makes me feel all the more embarrassed.
“Ah, that’s right… Ootani said she had curfew so she went home”
“I-is that so… Then I have to thank her some other time…”
“I guess so…”
The conversation’s not moving at all.
For a moment, those two were in silence with red faces.
“I-I’m going to the toilet for a bit”
Yuuki couldn’t take it anymore and made a temporary retreat.
“SHIIIIIIIIT, WHY THE HELL DID I SCREW UP THEEEEERE!!”
Yuuki was holding his head in front of the men’s toilet sink.
AND THE MOOD WAS SO GOOD THERE!!!
IF JUST HELD OUT MY RIGHT HAND SAYING “…Let’s go, Hatsushiro,” WE COULD’VE WALKED TOGETHER HAND IN HAND!!!
Due to too much spinelessness and frustration, he was tapping the hand dryer beside the sink roughly.
“Shit, damn this Pana◯nic!! Blowing the air so half-heartedly I can’t even tell if it’s drying or not”
It was completely venting of anger. The hand dryer was innocent.
By the way, the model installed in this toilet was an older model, and the latest one dried quite well in a short time. Technological advancement was great. Good job, Pana◯nic.
“…Phew. calm down me, this is not the time to be rash”
Yuuki took a deep breath and calmed himself down.
This was the first date after all. Done well, and Hatsushiro would be happy, too.
Yuuki was enthusiastic. However, “Hey, let’s hang out together. You’re free, right?”
“Haven’t eaten dinner yet right? There’s this trendy restaurant near here. We’ll treat you, y’know?”
When he came back from the toilet, there were two of what seemed to be university students with dyed hair inviting Hatsushiro out.
Hatsushiro hung her head down and remained frozen in place.
Oh crap, he thought.
Right now Hatsushiro was quite a beauty even if leaving aside her boyfriend’s bias. In addition, it wasn’t like she was in her uniform that gave an inconspicuous atmosphere, rather, in a brightly colored, arranged fashion that made her conspicuous. It wouldn’t be strange for a man or two to have their eyes on her if she was alone.
“Hey, why aren’t you saying anything at all? Ain’t it creepy?”
No, no matter how you look at it she’s scared of you. At least notice that, hey.
Yuuki quickly rushed up to her and called out.
“Yeah, sorry to keep you waiting, Hatushiro”
“Who the hell are you?”
One of the two glared at Yuuki.
“Don’t get in our way. C’mon, let’s go. My car is parked outside,” said the other one and reached his hand to Hatsushiro. Yuuki grabbed that hand.
“The hell are you doi… Ouch ouch ouch”
Ah, I gripped it too hard.
Having been drilled to carry luggage in his part-time job, Yuuki’s grip was a pretty strong one.
“The hell you’re doing, bastard!!”
This is bad, Yuuki thought.
I badly provoked him.
After all, Yuuki was a scholarship student. It’s not a good idea to get into a fight. Even if he didn’t raise his hand at all and got hit one sidedly, he might get under suspicion.
That’s when, “Ooh? Isn’t it Yuuki,” a voice came from behind them.
He was a sociable baseball club’s ace, who always kept placing within top ten in exams in his school year like a perfect superman, though a slightly disappointing handsome guy who was madly in love with Ootani. He was Fujii Ryouta.
Not in his baseball uniform, nor in his school uniform, today he was in a casual outfit. Yuuki himself didn’t think that he had confidence in his eyes, but he felt like Fujii’s had good taste in his casual outfit. He didn’t know what kind of outfit he was wearing, but it looked simple overall and gave off a fresh impression, without any unpleasantness.
“Th-the hell are you, man. You’re with this guy?
In front of Fujii’s 190cm tall stature, the university students backed away a little, though still threatening.
Fujii looked at Yuuki and the others’ situation, “Uhuh,” and he muttered.
“Hey, you guys, please calm down. Just give me a moment”
He then walked up to a group of three high school girls sitting nearby and called out to them.
“Hello, girls. Me and the university students over there are looking for girls who would join us for dinner right now. If you’d like, do you want to join us?”
It’s a straightforward invitation without any particular twist, but because they were invited by a handsome man at the level that would make an actor and TV personality run away barefooted, the high school girls talked a little, although skittishly, and accepted it when Fujii pushed it harder.
“So rather than keeping company with a girl who already has a boyfriend, don’t you think it would be better to hang out with these girls? I’m also going to join you, however,” said Fujii, sweetly smiling.
The university students looked at each other’s faces, and made a delightful smile.
“Way to go, high schooler!!”
“Alright, we’ll cover the bill!! Ah, and so you’re that girl’s boyfriend, I see. Sorry about that, man. Here, go get yourself a nice meal with this”
The university student then placed a 5.000 yen bill from his wallet on the table.
They seemed to be generous men who were only slightly short tempered.
The two university students then charged towards the high school girls’ seat in high spirits.
Yuuki immediately called out to Hatsushiro.
“Are you okay, Hatsushiro?”
“…Ah, yes. I was just a little bit nervous. Umm, thank you very much”
Then Hatsushiro bowed to Fujii.
“Yeah, and thanks from me, too, Fujii”
“No no no, it’s not a big deal. Yuuki’s my benefactor after all,” said Fujii, waving his hand.
Fujii did say Yuuki was his benefactor, however, Yuuki didn’t have any recollection of having done any of that sort.
He had been told so by him ever since the first year without him knowing the meaning. Moreover, Fujii wouldn’t tell him what it was about even if he asked.
“At any rate, Fujii, that was an impressive work there”
“It’s nothing that impressive, really. Those three looked bored after playing around with each other and seemed to be waiting to be called out by someone, too… More importantly”
Fujii looked at Hatsushiro.
“Are you Yuuki’s girlfriend?”
Hatsushiro nodded her head and Fujii took a long hard look at Hatushiro.
“Ooh, this is surprising. I was wondering how she’d look like when you said she’s that cute this cute, but she’s way beyond my expectation”
Fujii made a similar reaction to Ootani’s.
“I know right, I’ve told you. Hatsushiro is cute”
“Say, do you want to have a model switch to me instead of Yuuki?,” said Fujii while smiling flippantly.
“Hey, stop that”
“…Errr,” Hatsushiro spoke as if a little troubled.
“I appreciate the feelings, but Yuuki-san is such a wonderful boyfriend to the point he’s wasted on me…”
Yuuki blushed when hearing the direct word of praise.
“Wh-why are you blushing…”
Perhaps also embarrassed, Hatsushiro’s face blushed.
Looking at the state of those two, Fujii bursted out into laughter.
“Hahahaha, I’m just joking, just joking. Besides, I already have Shouko-chan,” said Fujii, tapping on Yuuki’s shoulder.
“Hatsushiro-chan, is it? She’s really a good girlfriend”
“Well then, I’m going to head there and have some fun. And you two take your time and enjoy yourselves, okay”
Leaving behind these words, Fujii walked towards the university students from earlier and the high school girls.
“…He’s an amazing person, isn’t he? Fujii-san, is it?,” muttered Hatsushiro after leaving behind Fujii, and the university students picking up on girls.
“Yeah, you’re right. That guy is really an amazing one”
“And he seemed to be close to Yuuki-san”
“Yeah, I guess so. We talk a lot after all”
Although that’s what he said, Yuuki, who was studying most of the time at school even on breaks, only talked to Ootani and Fujii.
“I might be a little envious…”
“…Yes. I want to see Yuuki-san at school, too”
Hmmm. Really, I’d end up getting embarrassed no matter what Hatsushiro says to me now that she’s all dressed up.
“…Well, that’s right, we should get going then. Since we’re already here anyway, let’s go around the area together”
“Ye-yes. But, umm,” said Hatsushiro, slightly fidgety.
“Do-does that mean… a date?”
She had a slightly uneasy expression.
Seeing Hatsushiro nervous just like him, Yuuki relaxed a little.
“That’s right, a date. Let’s go, Hatsushiro,” said Yuuki in a firm voice so that Hatsushiro wouldn’t feel uneasy.
That’s right. I have to be firm and take the lead.
Hatsushiro stood up as if pulled by his voice.
At that moment, thud, Hatsushiro’s knees lost strength and she sat down on the chair once again.
“Hatsushiro!! What’s wro…”
Then Yuuki realized something. Hatsushiro’s body was trembling.
“I’m sorry… Yuuki-san…”
Yeah, I get it now.
Of course it’d be like that.
“…It must’ve been scary being approached by those two earlier, wasn’t it”
“…Yes. I’m sorry”
It’s not surprising if I think about it.
It must already be quite the burden for Hatsushiro right now to go outside and walk among the crowd of people.
“…I’m fine, I’ll stand up in immediately”
“It’s fine, you don’t have to force yourself”
“No…,” said Hatsushiro in a slightly stronger tone, shaking her head.
“…I also, want to go on a date with Yuuki-san,” said Hatsushiro while smiling.
Her smile was a little stiff. He couldn’t help but feel that she desperately endured the scary and painful things so as not to worry Yuuki.
Yeah, she’s really admirable, he honestly thought.
Yuuki wanted to go on a date with such a lovely girlfriend. He’s really looking forward to it.
For that reason, “…Yeah. Hatsushiro, let’s go home”
The moment she heard his words, Hatsushiro’s eyes opened wide.
“No, that is… That won’t do. I’m fine, I’ll stand up immediately,” said Hatsushiro, both her hands on the table and trying to stand up.
However, she couldn’t muster enough strength with her trembling hands and feet.
Yuuki then talked to her in the gentlest possible tone.
“…It’s fine. I’ve told you when I first tried to hold your hands, didn’t I. There’s no point in doing it unless Hatsushiro will be happy about it, too”
“No, I am. I want to go on a date with Yuuki-san, too…”
“Even so, there’s no point if it makes Hatsushiro have a hard time. As expected, I can’t bring along the current Hatsushiro to various places. That’s why let’s go home and get some rest, okay?”
Hatsushiro looked down. It’s about her. She must be seriously feeling guilty, thinking that she inconvenienced him.
For that reason.
Yuuki spoke in a cheerful voice.
“In exchange, can we walk home while holding hands?”
“Of course, not in the usual way of holding hands, but in a lover’s bond. Holding each other’s hand firmly like this… and squeeze it and walk home. Actually, I want to do that more than the date itself”
Yuuki held out his right hand to Hatsushiro who was stunned by Yuuki’s words.
Hatsushiro looked hard at that hand without saying anything, and then she looked at Yuuki’s face.
Yuuki also didn’t say anything. He only made a small smile and looked at Hatushiro’s eyes. He had an inborn nasty look that made Ootani say he looked like a yakuza, so he hoped it’s a good, gentle smile he’s making. He stared her in the eyes while still holding his right hand to her.
“…So, Hatsushiro. Let’s hold hands, and walk home together… okay?”
He asked once again.
Hatsushiro cast her eyes down a little.
Tears were flowing from her eyes.
And finally, Hatsushiro placed her left hand on top of Yuuki’s outstretched right hand.
“…Really, Yuuki-san… how far do you have to be nice to me to make you feel better”
Yuuki spoke as he twined his fingers into Hatsushiro’s trembling hand and held it tightly.
“I’m just doing what I want to do, you know”
“…Even so, I’m happy”
The trembling on Hatsushiro’s hand subsided a little.
“Can you stand?”
“…Yes,” said Hatsushiro, who then slowly got up from the chair.
She’s still staggering with Yuuki leading her by the hand, however, he stood up firmly on her own feet.
“Okay… let’s go home”
And so they walked off.
They left the shopping mall and walked home, holding hands.
After walking for a while, the trembling on Hatsushiro’s hand had gone away before he knew it.
Her expression, too, had softened to the usual Hatsushiro he saw inside his room lately.
“Hmm, what’s wrong?”
When Yuuki replied, Hatsushiro squeezed their joined hands.
It was so sudden that Yuuki was a little surprised and raised his voice.
Seeing him like that, Hatsushiro laughed a little. Somehow I feel like I’m losing.
So Yuuki squeezed back as well.
Hatsushiro, too, let out a surprised voice. Seeing her like that, Yuuki grinned.
Hatsushiro squeezed back again.
So Yuuki squeezed back as well.
Afterwards, Yuuki and Hatsushiro were squeezing each other’s hand until they reached home… As for Yuuki, the trip back home was probably the most exhausting. He was happy, though.