Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 15: I’m Leaving
“I will be lodging outside for a couple of days starting tomorrow.”
Davis froze, the fork in his hand stabbing the french toast that Rick made for breakfast this morning. He looked genuinely surprised, considering how his mouth went agape.
Seeing his face, Rick hurriedly waved his hand.
“I’m sorry casually saying like I’m going out or something, like this place is my own home. Or rather, that I’m going away, then coming back…? Because I don’t even have a home yet…”
Rick mumbled to himself while Davis simply put his fork down and shook his head.
“No. It’s fine.”
Uncharacteristically for him, Davis paused before continuing and letting out a sigh.
“What about hibernation?”
“I think it’s over now. Don’t you think so too, Davis?”
“……Indeed it is.”
Davis put his arm around Rick’s body in order to check his condition. His movement was very light, and not groggy like that of a person in hibernation. Just as Rick said, Davis’s body had also noticed the arrival of spring.
He lowered his arms, before sighing again, and reluctantly letting go. Davis nodded dejectedly, but his face did not look convinced at all.
Davis tried saying something to Rick, but the latter interrupted him with a smile.
“It’ll be fine. I have enough money for a night or two’s stay at a cheap capsule hotel or something like that… But not enough to live in a hotel for the whole hibernation though. Ha, ha……”
The bleak, empty laughter that rolled off Rick’s mouth was the only thing that broke the awkward silence that followed. Davis was staring at him without smiling. The intensity of his gaze caused the smaller beastman to look away, as he briefly coughed before continuing,
“Anyway, it’s alright. It’s okay. I will be just fine…”
It might seem quite unreasonable, but Rick could not answer any more than that. Not yet, at least.
With a nod, Rick weakly flashed a toothy grin.
Rick didn’t know if Davis was convinced or not, but he’d peered silently at him before replying plainly, “…Okay.” Then, he picked up his fork once more to resume eating his French toast.
“If you have already carefully thought this through, then I have nothing to complain about regarding your decision.”
Having said that, Davis gobbled up the entire French toast in one bite. He was clearly eating faster than usual.
“…What, are you angry?”
“……are you sulking?”
Davis thoughtfully tilted his head slightly as he responded.
“Are you sure you aren’t sulking?”
“I don’t know… Honestly, I’m trying to understand how I feel.”
It was a very straightforward answer, just like all his usual answers were. He didn’t even try to make things up, and that’s what made him so special.
Rick chuckled, then closed his eyes.
“Well, you’ll have to wait for…”
Davis, who had been tilting his head, looked up at Rick. He pushed his now slightly longer black hair behind his ears and inquired, “Hmm?”
“I think I’ll be back in a couple of days, so you will have to wait for a while.
“… Oh, I shall be waiting. I can wait as long as it takes for Rick.”
Davis’s face relaxed a little as a smile swept across his face.
‘I’m sure he’s telling the truth.‘
Rick laughed as well, and the atmosphere became lively.
The next day, Rick got up early in the morning. He cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, toilet and the first room. He dusted, vacuumed, wiped and dried, and then made breakfast, with visibly greater enthusiasm than usual. He had a nice meal with Davis before getting ready to go.
“Thank you for all your help over these few months… a-and I’ll be back.”
In the front door of Davis’s house, Rick bowed his head and smiled dispiritedly while scratching his cheek.
Davis smiled lazily and said, “Don’t worry about it”, as usual.
Taking off his fluffy slippers and rearranging them, Rick gazed at the interior with new wistful emotions.
The large shoe rack, a short corridor with stylish indirect lighting and lush green plants, a large abstract painting that hung on the back wall, and luminescent lights suspended from the high ceiling.
When Rick first arrived here, he wondered if he would ever get used to this house. But it didn’t take him long to become familiar with it. He himself was surprised at how calm and relaxed he felt. Now he even thought that this hibernation had been a very fulfilling one. He hadn’t had such a peaceful hibernation, maybe since the time when his parents were still alive.
‘And it’s not just this house that I’ve grown accustomed to…’
Rick looked back at Davis, who was staring back at him. Even without words, he could see the concern in the larger man’s eyes.
Last night, he had expressed his concern for Rick over and over again, saying, “Don’t take such risks. It’s the period right after hibernation that we’re talking about.”
But he didn’t tell him to stop nor did he tell him to go, which was so typical of Davis. Instead, he gave priority to Rick’s feelings and wishes, as always.
‘That’s why, to Davis, I…’
Rick tightly grabbed his shirt, feeling the warmth building up in his heart. He then exhaled and lifted his face to look straight into Davis’s eyes.
“See you later. You know… on the day after tomorrow.”
“Ah, be careful out there.”
Davis smiled at Rick, his eyes crinkling up. At first, Rick had been afraid to simply meet the man’s eyes, but now he could stare at his face for a long time.
Their eyes met. Their gazes intertwined, and they both smiled warmly at each other.
Rick nodded firmly, bowed once more, and left Davis’s house without looking back.
Soon after that. Three days passed in the blink of an eye.