(Title – 彼が大好き！- Kare Ga Daisuki! – I Really Like Him!)
Be interested in his interests. Give him what he likes. Surprise him while at it. This words uttered by Ken echoed in Kichirō’s mind.
“How can I be interested in the things that he likes when I don’t even know what they are?” Kichirō muttered to himself. He closed his eyes and knitted his brows to remember everything that he observed ever since they started dating. When he opened his eyes, he suddenly recalled that Ryū liked to drink black coffee while eating steamed rice with natto and raw eggs. Thinking of this, he shuddered at the thought of drinking coffee, without adding anything to it; but what else could he do? This was the first part of his plan so he had to follow through with it…
Today was Saturday. There was no classes so he had little opportunity to start with this. However, since he had time to prepare, he went to his mom to ask for help. Ever since he was a child, he never tried cooking nor did he try to prepare a meal for someone. He was spoiled until he became rotten!
When Kichirō asked for help from his mother, Fumiko looked at him with suspicion in her eyes. Kichirō awkwardly laughed and said: “My friend and I are going on a trip tomorrow so I just want to show that I’m helpful.”
Fumiko pursed her lips as she pondered over this. In the end, she nodded and said: “Dear me, my son is becoming more responsible since he became friends with Ryū.”
“Eh? Ahh.. Ha ha! Yes he’s a very good influence to me,” Kichirō wryly smiled.
After that, Fumiko started to give instructions to Kichirō. They also practiced what to do and how to do things so that Kichirō would be able to get a better grasp of it.
In the morning of the next day, Kichirō woke up at four in the morning to prepare Ryū and Ken’s breakfast. He had to prepare something for Ken, too, since Ryū was currently staying in Ken’s place. He did everything that his mom told him to do. He cooked rice, fried some fishes, packed some eggs and natto, poured brewed coffee in a tumbler, and packed up three bentos. He even put some decorations of little animals made with vegetables on top of the rice. He was really optimistic. Surely, the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach! He was certain that Ryū would talk to him again after this. He raised his fist in celebration of his early victory, then screamed “Faito~~!”
After he finished preparing, he went out and rode on a bus with the aim of going to Ken’s apartment. When he reached Central Kyoto, it was almost nine in the morning. He was fidgety, thinking that the two might have eaten their breakfast already. It was a good thing though that they have not yet eaten. Ken and Ryū were still sleeping at that moment.
Ken and Ryū were sharing the same bed. Ryū was facing up with one of his arms over his head, while Ken was disorganized in his sleep. One of his legs was thrown on top of Ryū’s waist, while one of his arms was hanging on the edge of the bed. Ryū was silent in his sleep, but Ken was snoring, and sometimes chuckling. It was apparent that he was dreaming of lewd things about Naoki. While the two were indulging in this serene and quiet Sunday morning, a loud knock suddenly came from the door — it was the little trouble-maker Kichirō.
Outside the room, Kichirō became quite impatient because no matter how much he would knock, no one would open the door; but then he became happy because this was a sign that the two were still sleeping, hence, they have not had their breakfast yet.
At the sound of the first loud knock, Ken’s body jerked so that he fell off of the bed. “Ouch! Who could that be? It’s still so early!”
Ryū, who still had his eyes closed, slightly frowned and mumbled: “Idiot, just open the door. It’s too noisy.”
Ken wanted to protest but he could not do anything against Ryū. Without any other options, he scratched on to his head and walked toward the door. When he opened the door, he caught sight of a cute smiling face.
“Ken, ohayō!” Kichirō greeted. “I brought some food.”
When Kichirō was about to enter, Ken pulled him by his wrist and took a step out of the door. He drew near Kichirō and whispered: “You’re starting with our plan?”
“Hai.” Kichirō raised his hand that was currently holding the bentos. “I cooked this myself.” Without waiting for Ken to respond, Kichirō took his shoes off and went inside. Ken had no choice but to follow him.
“Ryū, wake up. I have food for you. It’s your favorite breakfast.” After saying this, Ryū did not even budge. He just turned to the side and continued to sleep. Kichirō then went to the table and prepared the food on it. Seeing that Ken was seated on the dining chair before him, Kichirō decided to casually talk: “Ken, where’s Ki-kun?”
Ken shrugged then responded: “Beats me. Maybe he’s in his apartment. He usually goes here every weekend but since that person’s here, he couldn’t go. I’ll just visit him later.”
“Oh okay. By the way, can you help me prepare? Go get some mugs for the coffee.”
“Un.” Ken stood up and helped Kichirō prepare.
Seeing that Ryū still laid there, sleeping, Kichirō hurriedly finished what he was doing and immediately went toward Ryū. He sat on the bed and started to talk. He made sure to emphasize on the first two words: “Dear , wake up. Let’s eat together. Are you still mad at me?”
( We don’t really have any words of endearment in Japan. In a couple’s married life, a wife can address their husband with the word “anata” as a form of endearment. Regularly, this would be rude because anata means “you” and it is used to refer to someone equal or lower than your own status. How it became “dear” for wives is something inexplicable. In the modern times, the couples can just refer to their partners on a first name basis. It’s more intimate and politer if you add “-kun” to it.)
Hearing this, Ken secretly chuckled. In an instant, Ryū also opened his eyes. It was the first time for him to hear Kichirō call him like this, but he did not let his guard down and remained indifferent. “What?”
Kichirō kept in mind the advise that Ken gave him. Even though it was not his thing to display his affection toward the other, in front of other people, he had no other choice because he really wanted to make it right with Ryū. Kichirō pounced on Ryū and hugged him from behind. “Come on now. The food is getting cold. I even prepared black coffee for you. Don’t be mad anymore, please?”
Ryū’s heart thumped when he felt his partner’s warm embrace from behind. It has been a while since he felt this warm and fuzzy feeling. He cleared his throat and broke away from Kichirō’s embracing, ensuring that he remained indifferent. “I’ll eat but leave after this. You’re too noisy.”
Kichirō stood up and clapped his hand. He was delighted that Ryū wanted to try his cooking. After preparing for the meal, all three of them sat before the dining table. “Itadakimasu~”
Ryū and Ken were the first to take a bite. As soon as the food entered their mouths, Ken immediately stood up. “Are you——“ He was not able to finish what he was about to say when he suddenly stopped.
“Eh?” Kichirō looked puzzled. “Is there anything wrong?”
Ken wanted to continue talking about how bad the food was. Although it looked appetizing, it actually tasted like a lot salt and spices were sprinkled on the food. Ken wanted to puke but Ryū was secretly stepping on Ken’s foot. Ken looked at Ryū as if he was wronged but Ryū kept a straight face and continued eating, as if nothing happened.
Ken looked back at Kichirō and sat again. He shook his head and wryly smiled at him. “No, nothing’s wrong. I was just… Err… Surprised. The food tastes good, you can be a chef in the future. Would you like to work for our restaurant soon?”
Kichirō blushed and waved his hand. “Ha ha, this is the first time I cooked. I didn’t know I had the skill to do so. I don’t even know how to fry an egg. Thank you for the offer but I need to become a nurse someday.”
Ken looked at the bento before him. He wanted to throw its content to the trashcan but he could not. He could feel an insidious aura beside him. If ever he would do anything wrong to upset Kichirō, he knew he would be dead!
“How about you, Ryū. Do you like what I prepared?” Kichirō’s gaze swept toward Ryū.
Ryū continued to eat. Bit by bit, he swallowed everything. Although the food tasted bad, he did not want to make Kichirō feel bad about this. He just gave him a slight nod.
Seeing this, Kichirō felt happy. He picked up his own chopsticks. When he was about to take a bite of what he cooked, Ryū immediately stopped him.
Kichirō and Ken were both astonished seeing this unexpected behavior from Ryū. “What’s wrong?” Kichirō asked.
Ryū swallowed the food that he was struggling to chew in his mouth, then he took a sip of the lukewarm coffee that obviously had too much water in it. “Give me your food.”
“Eh? Why?” Kichirō went on with his curiosity streaks.
“Just give it to me. I’m hungry.”
Ken’s face darkened. Three vertical lines drew down his face. Are you sure?!? That’s suicide! He thought to himself.
Kichirō was speechless. He was happy in his heart knowing that Ryū enjoyed the meal he prepared. “What should I eat then?”
“I’ll cook something else for you. Just give me your food.”
“Bro, take mine, too!” Ken also offered his food to Ryū. He thought this was a good way to avoid getting poisoned from this.
Ryū responded with a glare. Ken felt helpless and just continued to eat. He seriously wanted to vomit at the moment!
After a while, another knock on the door could be heard. Ken hurriedly opened the door and saw it was Naoki. He immediately pounced on to Naoki and begged: “My wife! Save me from this crazy couple!”
“What happened?” Naoki frowned.
“Kichi happened. Let’s go. I want to stay away from them,” Ken whispered.
Naoki sneaked a peek and saw that Kichirō and Ryū were having breakfast. Naoki pushed Ken away. He removed his shoes and also went inside. “Minna, ohayō! I haven’t eaten. Can I also have a bite?”
Kichirō’s face brightened up. He wanted to boast his craft to Naoki. “Ki-kun, have a seat. I cooked this. Have as much as you like,” he happily offered.
Without making any hesitation, Naoki took a seat and picked up Ken’s chopsticks. He took a bite of the stir-fried vegetables that Kichirō prepared. As soon as it entered his mouth, Naoki immediately became petrified.
“Does it taste good, Ki-kun?”
With the chopsticks in his mouth, Naoki was forced to nod three times, then he smiled.
“Waaah~~~! You’re all crazy!” Ken plopped on his bed.
With his eyes closed, Naoki struggled to chew his food. He forcibly swallowed it and took a sip of water. “I’m full. Thank you for the food, Aniki. Let’s go Ken. We need to go somewhere.”
Without waiting for Ken to respond, Naoki dragged the other boy out of the room. “Waaah! Where are we going?”
“Just come with me. Senpai, Kichirō-san, we’ll go ahead.” Just like that, Naoki and Ken left.
After Ryū finished everything that Kichirō prepared for him. He brought the dishes to the kitchen sink. Kichirō followed after him. “Let me do the dishes, Ryū.”
Ryū looked at Kichirō suspiciously. “What’s wrong with you? This is so unlike you.”
Kichirō tugged on Ryū’s sleeve. He hesitated at first, but he decided to be honest with his feelings. “Actually…” With a low voice, he continued: “I’m, I’m sorry.”
Ryū actually heard it but he pretended that he did not. “What?”
“I said I’m sorry!” Kichirō yelled. He blushed then looked away. “I know I’m the one at fault here. I’m sorry I followed Shirō. I’m sorry for everything. Ken actually helped me make it up with you. He said I should try giving you what you like. But I can’t think of any. I realized I’ve been too dense and insensitive. We’ve been dating for almost a year now, yet I don’t even know what you liked. I’m really sorry, Ryū. Please go home. I miss you.”
Ryū was moved by what Kichirō said. He turned to look at Kichirō and pushed him to the wall. He drew his mouth close to Kichirō’s ear and seductively asked: “You don’t know what I like?”
Kichirō’s ear felt itchy. He could feel a warm current flowing from his ear all throughout his body so that it made him shudder. He stutteringly answered: “I… I don’t know…”
Ryū looked him in the eye then earnestly said: “I like you. You’re the only one I adore, Kichirō.” After saying that, he gave Kichirō a warm kiss. Kichirō did not struggle. He embraced Ryū and also kissed him back. After a while, he broke away from his kiss. Ryū could see tears falling down the other boy’s face. He frowned then asked: “What’s wrong again?”
“Ryū… I like you, too. I really really like you.”
To be continued…