Amane was fed by Mahiru, was embarrassed to the point of near-death, and Mahiru continued to beam away as she saw how embarrassed he was.
“Is it delicious?”
“…It is, but you don’t have to feed me, right?”
“It is a must. You are the protagonist after all, Amane-kun.”
“If anyone else is around, this is a public execution…let’s just keep it to the both of us.”
If Itsuki and the others were present, there was no doubt they would tease him like no tomorrow. Otherwise, they might give him warm looks and smiles.
Mahiru was more excited than Amane himself. The outsiders might not mind too much, but he was so embarrassed by the fact that he got fed, he was about to roll on the floor.
I’ll pay back the favor for Mahiru’s birthday next time, Amane resolved himself, and used the milk to wash the mouth that was sweetened by Mahiru in two ways. And then, Mahiru smiled while she took something from the bag next to her.
It was a white box, a little larger than her palm, with a navy blue ribbon.
No matter how slow he was, he knew what it was at this point of time. He looked at Mahiru, and her smiling face was a little flushed.
“This is your birthday present. I wonder if it is to your liking.”
Mahiru said with a little lack of confidence, put the box in his hand, and looked up at him, somewhat uneasy.
It seemed she was fine with him opening it there and then, and just wanted to see his reaction.
It was rare for him to receive a present, so he should open it. He cautiously undid the ribbon, and found a velvet box inside it.
He had assumed there would be a present placed inside it, but there was another box inside. He was momentarily taken aback, and surely, inside it would contain the feelings Mahiru wanted to startle Amane with.
What’s inside it? Why so many layers? So Amane wondered as he gently opened the inner box. It seemed to be something―it was something with a mild white gloss, like a clip or something.
There seemed to be some flower engraved on it, and for a moment, he did not realize what it was. He remembered it was something he wore at the school festival.
“……A necktie pin?”
“That is correct…to be honest, I really wondered what I should give to a boy. I thought of giving a watch, which is more common, but I could not simply give an expensive one, and I was worried you would be too embarrassed to accept it. Everyone has their own likes, and to be honest, I see that you have a watch, which you seem to be rather fond of.”
They usually had phones, and Amane did not really wear his watch. The only one he would wear outdoors was the one his parents bought to celebrate his enrollment in high school.
It seemed that was a little pricey, and a little unsuited for school. Amane hardly spent time outdoors, so he hardly wore a watch outdoors.
He did wear that watch when he went out with Mahiru, and it seemed she remembered.
“So I thought of an item you will use but usually will not buy. Our school allows us to wear a necktie pin as long as it does not stand out too much, you know? You will also use it when you go out to work.”
Amane had to wear a necktie pin during a ceremony, but there were no other special restrictions. Most of the boys too did not wear one, for they found it a hassle.
Amane too hardly wore it, and usually forgot about it. Since Mahiru gave it to him, he might have to wear it everyday.
It seemed she chose this for him, hoping that he would wear this every day.
“I can give you a tie, and you will need quite a few when you go out to work…but for us students, the choice of necktie is fixed, as per the school rules. I shall choose one for you when you get a chance to wear a suit.”
“…Hmm, thanks. I’ll make sure to wear it well.”
Obviously, the implication without her saying was that they would be together forever. The heat of the joy naturally filled his chest.
Of course, he already intended so right from the beginning. He felt embarrassed to sense the same feelings from Mahiru, and yet elated.
I shall treasure this necktie pin along with you forever, Mahiru. He engraved this feeling along with the thought, and smiled at Mahiru, who looked relieved, smiling.
“That is good. I was worried you would not like it. After all, I know this is not usually a gift to a high school boy.”
“I’ll be glad to receive whatever you give, Mahiru.”
“Fufu, I know that, but I feel that I should give you something you need, Amane-kun. You do not have any interest in material items, and you do not lack in anything, so I was really troubled.”
Amane typically did not have anything he really wanted, which actually bothered her, which caused him to smile wryly.
He would not say that he did not have any material desire, and if there was anything, it would be the budget for the thing he swore to buy for Mahiru. He had to struggle for this, and he could not ask her for such an embarrassing thing. He never told Mahiru exactly why he was working, and naturally, he should not inform her of what he wanted.
In this sense, Amane truly had nothing he wanted. He hardly had any desire, which troubled her greatly.
“For me, I’ll like everything you give me.”
“…Will you be happy if I give you a sweet wrapper too? That is a little scary.”
“I’ll think you’re planning something, or that the patterns are interesting or cute, and I’ll keep it.”
“I will not give it for real though!? If that is to happen, I will give you the sweets too!”
“Alright, I know you’re joking…I’ll be glad with anything as long as it comes with your feelings, Mahiru.”
Mahiru sounded a little displeased, but her expression was gentle, so she was probably hiding her embarrassment.
Amane happily looked at Mahiru, gently kept the pin, and swore to wear it starting from the next day. Then, Mahiru timidly tugged at his sleeve.
“Well, there is another, little present.”
The somewhat hesitant tone had Amane tilt his head in confusion.
“Today, I shall agree to whatever you ask for, from now until the end of the day.”
Once Mahiru said this, Amane nearly choked.
Luckily, he was not drinking the milk. He would have spat it out if there was.
He coughed gently a few times, and she turned around, seemingly having resolved herself. It seemed she was serious.
“We are dating after all.”
He sensed that he had said the same thing before. Either way, it was a dangerous situation when a girl said she would agree to whatever a boy wanted.
Even as lovers, dangerous things were dangerous.
“…Should I say you are being considerate, or that you have no desire, Amane-kun?”
“That’s not it…I can’t. You’re a girl though.”
“I do not think you will do anything overboard, Amane-kun.”
“…What if I do?”
“I shall have you bear responsibility.”
Mahiru shot him an innocent and trustful expression, and he instinctively sensed that he lost. He gently tickled his face, and silently reached his hand towards her.
“I’ll bear responsibility even if I don’t do anything…you idiot.”
Truly, Mahiru doted on Amane, and it was a little scary how she would let him do whatever he wanted. Amane was a fine, healthy young man, but his sanity might not last forever.
But it shows how much she likes me, I guess?
He felt that this level of trust was way too much, and gently hugged her soft body to his side, burying his face into her shoulder.
He took a deep breath, and it seemed she had taken a bath beforehand, for he sensed a bath fragrance richer than usual.
If I say I want Mahiru, she probably will nod in agreement.
Amane did not intend to disobey his own oath, but he could imagine her nodding in embarrassment. An overly doting girlfriend was terrifying after all, and he might even wreck his self-control.
A male’s sanity was thinner than paper grass, and would rip upon impact.
Once again, he tensed up, and warned himself to be wary. He moved his lips to her cheek, and breathed onto it.
Mahiru then shivered; everyone could tell that she was ticklish and sensitive.
However, he did not intend to show her to anyone. The fact that she was sensitive all over was something only he should know.
Mahiru continued to wriggle in his clutches, but did not resist. Amane smiled, and put his lips by her ear.
“…Oh yeah, it’s been a while, so how about you be my dakimakura?”
Since Mahiru wanted Amane to request, he chose one which would allow him to fawn to his heart’s content, without snapping his sanity, and Mahiru in his clutches went beetroot.
Amane just wanted her to be a dakimakura, nothing more, as the term implied. She however seemed to have some strange delusion.
Amane did not intend to do what he did the last time he stayed over. He managed to slam the brakes at the last minute, and if anything more, he did not know what would have happened.
“…That’s what I mean, a dakimakura. What are you thinking?”
“N-not at all! I am not thinking of anything indecent,”
“I haven’t said what you’re thinking though.”
He did not mention anything more, and she was more flushed than she was before.
The completely red-faced Mahiru practically had steam rising out from her, and she looked up at him with teary eyes, before she escaped from his clutches.
“B-baka, Amane-kun no baka.”
“I didn’t do anything, right?”
“Uu…but…this is bullying.”
“Alright, I admit, I was mischievous, sorry, you’re so cute that I,”
Amane had the urge to tease Mahiru, for she was fine with being touched, but if he said too much, she definitely would pout.
Thus, he apologized first, and Mahiru stopped showing her displeasure. She ended up hammering lightly at his chest instead.
She looked so cute without hiding her blushing face as she vented on him. He smiled as he patted her head, but she did not seem to have recovered, for there were two little balloons on her cheeks.
“…I-I shall get a change of clothes. Please have a bath first, Amane-kun.”
The warm smile on Amane’s face did not change, and Mahiru scampered out of the room. She would be back soon, however.
Amane was stunned to see Mahiru escape like a bunny, but he then felt a rising urge to dote on her, and he chuckled.