TGS – Vol 2 Chapter 5 Part 2 – Date 2

After thoroughly enjoying the jellyfish section, they moved through the underwater tunnel, the shark section, and the penguin section, making a satisfying round of the entire aquarium.

“Hmm… It’s really hard to choose…” (Aya)

And now, at the official shop of the Nozomi Aquarium, where the sky was visible through the skylight, they were in the middle of selecting souvenirs to take home.

“Yeah… Alright! I’ve decided on this, Aya-san.” (Haruto)

Haruto picked up a palm-sized sea turtle plushie.

“For me, I’m going with this penguin-kun~” (Aya)

On the other hand, what Aya brought over, hugging it with both arms, was a 55 cm tall emperor penguin plushie with a tag attached.

“Eh, are you really getting that!?” (Haruto)

“Yeah! It’s super cute, right~?” (Aya)

“It is cute, but… isn’t it really huge?” (Haruto)

“Plushies are the most satisfying when they’re big enough to hug. I’ve already decided to buy this one, so here, try hugging it once.” (Aya)

“Oh, okay…” (Haruto)

Following her lead, Haruto took it and hugged it with both arms… and immediately understood what she meant.

Nodding in agreement, he returned the plushie he was holding to the shelf and came back with a 55 cm sea turtle.

“Yeah, I think I’ll go with a similar size too.” (Haruto)

That was the moment when they were both completely captivated by the fluffy charm of the plushies.

“Hehe, this is something you can’t do with a smaller-sized one.” (Aya)

“Yeah, it would be a waste if you couldn’t give it a good hug.” (Haruto)

Though the sea turtle wasn’t as comfortable to hug as the penguin due to its shape, Haruto couldn’t compromise on this particular species.

“By the way, I know it’s weird for me to say this after telling you to take the bigger one but… since you don’t live alone, won’t your sister get mad at you? Like, ‘Where are you going to put that?’ that kind of thing.” (Aya)

“Oh, she’ll definitely get mad.” (Haruto)

“Eh, are you sure that’s okay!?” (Aya)

Aya, surprised at Haruto’s casual confirmation, wondered how he could be so nonchalant. However, Haruto had his reasons.

“Well, getting scolded isn’t great, but since my sister loves plushies even more than I do, she’ll end up adoring it.” (Haruto)

Getting scolded by Yuno and doing something she dislikes were two things Haruto always tried to avoid. However, there was one exception to this rule: when he knew she would ultimately be happy with it.

“And besides, I have a trump card.” (Haruto)

“Oh?” (Aya)

“If she gets too mad, I’ll just say, ‘If you’re that angry, then I won’t let you touch it!’ There’s no way a plushie lover like her can resist that.” (Haruto)

“Haruto-kun, have you, by any chance, had this happen to you?” (Aya)

“Well, yes, I’ve been ordered to clean my streaming room to earn the right to touch a plushie. Of course, I cleaned it in a hurry.” (Haruto)

“I knew it!” (Aya)

Haruto hadn’t thought he was being that obvious, but Aya saw through him easily.

Haruto felt a bit embarrassed that, at his age, had to work hard to clean his room just for the chance to touch a plushie.

“Then I’ll pray for a peaceful resolution.” (Aya)

“That would be reassuring. So, Aya-san—” (Haruto)

Just as he was about to continue speaking.

“—I won’t let you pay for me.” (Aya)

She cut him off firmly, as if she had seen it coming.

Mou! At least let me treat you to one thing as your senpai.” (Haruto)

“Why don’t you let me treat you instead, Haruto-kun.” (Aya)

“That’s absolutely not happening.” (Haruto)

“Then, don’t ‘Mou me!” (Aya)

Aya puffed out her cheeks and mimicked his words as if to counter his argument.

“Hehe, since we both had the same idea, I guess it’s natural that it ended up like this.” (Aya)

“That’s true.” (Haruto)

They clashed with their unyielding wills, but there was no tension between them.

They laughed together while holding their plushies.

“Well then, I guess we have no choice but to pay separately.” (Aya)

“Yeah. It’s unavoidable, but let’s pay separately.” (Haruto)

Thus, they exchanged banter and happily lined up at the same register, continuing their conversation while waiting their turn.

For them, just spending time talking was enjoyable.

It didn’t take long for their turn to come.

“—Ah, Aya-san. I just realized something now…” (Haruto)

“Hm?” (Aya)

Haruto’s startled voice came after they had finished paying for their plushies.

It happened when he reunited with Aya after both of them had completed their purchases.

“We have plans for dinner… right?” (Haruto)

“Yeah, but is something wrong?” (Aya)

“Well, I just realized that bringing these big bags into a restaurant might be a bit inconvenient for others…” (Haruto)

They had been so absorbed in buying plushies that they had overlooked something important.

Despite the effort Aya had put into planning, it seemed they would have to change their plans.

Haruto felt guilty, but Aya seemed different.

She smiled with a calm expression as if she had anticipated this turn of events.

“You’re quite considerate, Haruto-kun.” (Aya)

“Oh, no, it’s not a big deal… Oh, I know! Maybe we can use a coin locker, so it should be okay!” (Haruto)

“But that would cost extra money, so how about I suggest something else?” (Aya)

“Of course! What’s your suggestion?” (Haruto)

“Well, that would be…” (Aya)

For Aya, it was her third and final goal, the perfect conclusion.

Of course, she had already thought this through.

With a confident gesture, she extended her index finger and spoke.

“If we put them in a coin locker, there’s a chance the plushies might get squished. So, I propose we have them delivered to my house.” (Aya)

“…Eh!? Um, at your house, Aya-san!?” (Haruto)

“Yeah!” (Aya)

“W-Well, that’s certainly a good idea, but wouldn’t that be a bit of a bother…?” (Haruto)

Visiting the home of a girl who lives alone.

Haruto couldn’t help but feel like it might be a bit of a burden.

Haruto was of the opinion that it might be better to spend money and use a coin locker, but the decision was made before he could suggest that again.

“Haruto-kun, just accept it and come to my house. I want you to come, so I’m telling you like this.” (Aya)

With the bag containing the plushies in her hand, and by being gently pulled along.

Aya’s actions and choice of words seemed like they were already settled in her mind. Haruto had no choice but to give in.

It was past 7:00 PM.

From the Nozomi Aquarium, they moved to a different location—Apartment 807, which included an elegant black and white tiled exterior and soundproofed rooms.

Stepping into Aya’s home, Haruto found himself in a refreshing and cute living room, decorated by white and light green carpets, curtains, and chic wooden furniture.

“Uh, it’s a bit late to say this now, but if Aya-san’s fans found out I visited her home… I might get…uh, in trouble…” (Haruto)

“Don’t worry about that. The people who support me are all kind. And, you’ve been standing for a while, so please have a seat on the sofa.” (Aya)

“Thank you…” (Haruto)

Haruto, who was prompted to the sofa, slowly lowered himself awkwardly, still holding onto the bag.

“You can relax. Just treat it as if it’s your own home.” (Aya)

“Y-Yeah…” (Haruto)

Aya tried to keep the atmosphere light by turning on the TV and speaking gently, but the reality was that Haruto couldn’t quite follow her words.

“Is this your first time entering a girl’s home, Haruto-kun?” (Aya)

“You definitely know the answer before you asked!” (Haruto)

“Hehe, who knows…” (Aya)

She seemed to be trying to ease his tension, flashing a mischievous smile and teasing him.

Thanks to her, he managed to relax a bit, but the phrase “girl’s house” kept lingering in his mind.

“Hey, why don’t you take out the plushies you bought at the aquarium? I think hugging them will definitely help you calm down.” (Aya)

“That’s a good idea.” (Haruto)

He quickly seized upon this lifeline.

Taking out the sea turtle plushie from the bag at his feet and placing it on his lap, at that moment—

“Don’t forget penguin-kun too… Here you go!” (Aya)

“Thank you.” (Haruto)

She handed him the emperor penguin plushie as well.

Holding both plushies together, his tension began to melt away. He was enveloped in a sense of calmness and was finally able to relax.

“B-but it’s embarrassing for you to see me like this, Aya-san…” (Haruto)

“Don’t worry about it. If the roles were reversed, I’d feel the same way. It’s just that I’m used to this environment, so I feel more at ease.” (Aya)

“Have you ever had a guy over before…? Like, someone from your industry, maybe recently?” (Haruto)

“N-No! Absolutely not! The only guy I trust enough to invite over is you, Haruto-kun!” (Aya)

“I-I see…” (Haruto)

Flapping her hands nervously, Aya seemed completely flustered.

To an ordinary person, she might appear to be desperately trying to cover something up, but knowing Aya’s innocence, it was clear that she wasn’t lying.

“I-I’ll have you know, even though I’m like this, I’m actually quite cautious, you know? I went to an all-girls school, and I’m new to Tokyo.” (Aya)

“I see…” (Haruto)

Aya said it as if it were obvious, but the more she emphasized her cautiousness, the more special Haruto felt.

Trying to conceal the pounding of his heart, he hugged the plushies tightly.

“S-So, anyway, let’s change the subject since this one’s embarrassing… Haruto-kun! What should we have for dinner tonight? The classic choices for delivery are sushi or pizza.” (Aya)

With that, Aya picked up the tablet that was on the table and started browsing for food.

“It’s kind of unfair to ask, but Aya-san, which one are you in the mood for?” (Haruto)

“To be honest, I’m in the mood for both.” (Aya)

“Eh!? Haha, well then, since it’s a special occasion, why don’t we just order both?” (Haruto)

“That’s quite luxurious. Let’s go with that.” (Aya)

Haruto wouldn’t usually indulge in both, but today was different. 

He wanted to thank Aya for making today enjoyable.

“I’m sure you’re hungry too, Haruto-kun, so don’t hold back and eat as much as you want, okay?” (Aya)

“I’ll take you up on that.” (Haruto)

Their appetites were different, so ideally, he’d cover the entire dinner bill, but he knew that wouldn’t fly with her.

“By the way, Haruto-kun, if it’s between sushi and pizza, which one does your imouto-san prefer?” (Aya)

“She prefers sushi… but why do you ask?” (Haruto)

It seemed completely unrelated to their previous conversation.

When he tilted his head in confusion and asked again, he understood the intention behind the question.

“I’ve relied on her onii-chan a lot today, so I want to show my gratitude. That’s why I’d like to order another for her.” (Aya)

“N-No! You don’t have to worry about that! My imouto is already in high school, so she won’t feel lonely even if it’s just for a little while.” (Haruto)

“I-I just want to do it, okay…? To be honest, I’m hoping it might be a chance for me to get closer to imouto-san.” (Aya)

“…Are you really just doing this because you want to, Aya-san? You’re not doing it out of obligation or anything?” (Haruto)

“Rather, I think it’s beneficial for me in the long run, so I hope you can indulge me just this once.” (Aya)

“I-I guess if you put it that way… then, I’ll have no choice but to accept it.” (Haruto)

“Hehe, thank you.” (Aya)

“But, just so you know, expensive sushi is definitely off the table, okay?” (Haruto)

“Got it!” (Aya)

Even though she was the one paying, Aya looked positively delighted. Seeing her smile like that, Haruto couldn’t help but imagine Yuno happily accepting the sushi with a cheerful “Yay”.

Haruto could also envision a future where he would be calmly scolded with “Why did you let her inconvenience herself like that?”

Preparing himself for a good scolding upon returning home, especially with the plushie incident added in, he found himself looking forward to seeing his sister’s rapidly changing expressions.

“Right, before that, we need to choose our dinner too.” (Haruto)

With that, Aya switched her expression and timidly approached the sofa with the tablet in hand.

“Um, maybe… could I sit next to you so we can look at the menu together…?” (Aya)

“Of course. Though it’s kind of weird for the host to say something like that.” (Haruto)

Haruto teased her lightly as he showed Aya the penguin and sea turtle plushies he held in his arms.

“Which one do you prefer, Aya-san, the penguin or the sea turtle?” (Haruto)

“Hehe, then I’ll go with Haruto-kun’s sea turtle!” (Aya)

“Here you go.” (Haruto)

It was evident that she was somewhat nervous. But as he handed the plushie over with both hands, her expression softened considerably, and she settled down next to him.

With the plushies on their lap, they browsed through the menu together.

As they peered into the tablet, there were occasional moments when their shoulders would brush against each other. Haruto tried his best not to be too conscious of it.

On the other hand, Aya was keenly aware of every moment their shoulders touched or their faces came close as they peered into the tablet, trying to make the most of these moments to delay the inevitable separation that would come once they finished their order.

Aya suddenly felt a thought cross her mind.

(I wonder if this is how it feels like to live together…?)

It was the kind of thought that would invite people to tease her if shared with anyone else. But it was precisely because she had this thought that she had decided to reconsider something.

“…” (Aya)

She had changed the way she addressed him for a while now. She had been careful not to let him notice until now.

She couldn’t help but wonder if, by obtaining his permission and acknowledgment for calling him that way, she could feel even more like they were living together.

Once that feeling had taken root, she couldn’t keep it to herself any longer.

“Um, Haruto-kun…” (Aya)

“What’s up?” (Haruto)

They were in the middle of looking at the menu, but she decided to convey her thoughts.

“Um… Haruto-kun, you see, since we entered the jellyfish section at the aquarium, there’s something I’ve been doing… Do you have any idea what it might be?” (Aya)

Anticipating that he might be puzzled, she considered guiding him to the answer by giving hints, and just as she tilted her head to do so…

She was met with something unexpected.

“You mean when you changed how you addressed me from ‘Haruto-san’ to ‘Haruto-kun’?” (Haruto)

“…” (Aya)

That was the correct answer that left her momentarily stunned.

“W-W-Wait a minute! You noticed, Haruto-kun!?” (Aya)

“I was so focused on the jellyfish that I only noticed after being called that a few times.” (Haruto)

“But… you didn’t seem surprised at all?” (Aya)

“I’m called that a lot at work, so I’m used to it. A-And also… I felt happy when you called me that, so I didn’t want to bring it up in case you changed back…” (Haruto)

“!!” (Aya)

She thought he simply hadn’t noticed, but it was completely different.

The words “happy to be called” and the desire not to “change it back”.

And the realization that she had been consciously overusing his name because she thought that “he hadn’t noticed”.

Various emotions surged within, causing heat to flush her face.

Feeling like she might overheat herself, she hugged the plushie so tightly it felt like its neck might break.

“Then, let me share something too. Since that jellyfish section , I’ve been doing something to you, Aya-san. Any guesses?” (Haruto)

“Huh!? W-Wait, something you’ve been doing to me!? L-Like secretly taping something on my clothes?” (Aya)

“Haha, I wouldn’t do something sneaky like that.” (Haruto)

She quickly checked his clothes just in case… but as expected, there was nothing as he mentioned.

“I really have no idea… Are you sure there’s something? Tell me the answer!” (Aya)

“Then, the answer is… I also changed the way I address you.” (Haruto)

“…Hmm?” (Aya)

As soon as she was told, she blinked rapidly, trying to recall how she had been addressed.

“Haruto-kun, you used to call me ‘Aya-san’, right?” (Aya)

“Until before the jellyfish section, I always called you ‘Shirayuki-san’.” (Haruto)

“…………Ah!! Th-That’s right!!” (Aya)

After a long moment of silence, Aya experienced her biggest surprise of the day.

“Eeeh… I-I totally didn’t notice… I-I guess I was just too focused on calling you ‘Haruto-kun’…” (Aya)

“Hahaha, maybe it’s because I sometimes call you ‘Ayaya’ when we play ABEX together, calling you ‘Aya-san’ didn’t feel strange.” (Haruto)

“I’m sure that played a part…” (Aya)

The intention was to inform him about the change in how he was addressed, but somehow, the roles had reversed.

Despite feeling a mix of emotions, a desire to indulge emerged.

“Hey, Haruto-kun. It might be selfish of me, but… I want you to call me that one more time.” (Aya)

“Your name…?” (Haruto)

“Yeah, just because I’m curious, now that you’ve told me…” (Aya)

Now, with this new perspective, the feeling when called will be different.

To confirm this, she made such a request.

“Aya-san.” (Haruto)

“…” (Aya)

Their eyes met as he called her.

Just that alone made her heart race. It was embarrassing.

But hearing it once wasn’t enough; she wanted to hear it again.

“One more time…” (Aya)

“A-Aya-san…” (Haruto)

“…” (Haruto)

“…” (Aya)

“T-That’s all you get for now!” (Haruto)

Their eyes met only until this point.

Closing his mouth tightly, Haruto’s ear turned red again as he shifted his gaze to the tablet.

At that moment, a wave of embarrassment surged through Aya as she witnessed Haruto’s blushing expression, which was a newfound weakness for her.

“…R-Right! Haruto-san, let’s decide on the menu quickly!” (Aya)

“Wait a minute. The way you’re calling me has reverted…” (Haruto)

“I-It’s… on a cooldown, okay?! I’ll… I’ll revert back soon!” (Aya)

“Are you sure?” (Haruto)

“Y-Yeah!” (Aya)

—At this moment, the plushies they were both hugging seemed to be struggling under the pressure.

It was past 9:30 PM.

After finishing the meal delivered to their door, they spent the rest of the time relaxing and enjoying themselves in the living room.

“Thanks for today, Aya-san. I had a really great time.” (Haruto)

“Yeah…” (Aya)

At the entrance of the apartment building, Haruto and Aya exchanged farewells.

“Hey, Haruto-kun… I can walk you home, you know?” (Aya)

“Thank you. But just having that thought means a lot. It’s late for a woman to be out alone.” (Haruto)

“Is it okay if I insist on wanting to walk you home…?” (Aya)

“No, it’s not.” (Haruto)

Haruto, who usually indulges her in anything, responds decisively.

His determination to not give in is clear.

At this point, it seems like no matter what approach she takes, he won’t let her walk him home.

“In exchange, though it may not be much, I’ll be the one to invite you to hang out next time as soon as possible.” (Haruto)

“Really…?” (Aya)

“Absolutely.” (Haruto)

“If you’re lying… I’ll bite your ear, Haruto-kun.” (Aya)

“Haha, I’ll do my best to avoid that.” (Haruto)

“…Then, okay. I’ll endure it…” (Aya)

Though parting ways here is sad, being invited out again makes her happy.

In an effort to express her excitement, Aya nods enthusiastically.

“When I invite you next time, I’ll make sure to plan something even more fun than today, so look forward to it.” (Haruto)

“That’s reassuring to hear. I know you’ll do your best. By the way, you’re always welcome to come over to my place. Just make sure to let me know, okay?” (Aya)

“Got it. And thank you for the sushi.” (Haruto)

“You’re welcome.” (Aya)

“When giving it to her, say hello to imouto-san for me, okay, Haruto-kun?” (Aya)

“I’ll make sure to convey that it’s ‘from Aya-san’.” (Haruto)

“Please do.” (Aya)

And with that, the conversation comes to an end.

From the atmosphere, it’s evident that the next words will be the parting words.

At this moment, Aya desperately tries to think of something, anything, she can do before parting.

“Well then, I guess that’s it… See you later, Aya-san.” (Aya)

“…Haruto-kun.” (Haruto)

“Hmm?” (Aya)

Here, only one thing comes to mind.

“Now, let’s end with a high-five!” (Aya)

“Oh! Then, high five it is.” (Haruto)

As Aya held her hand up with her palm facing out, Haruto extended his hand and overlapped it with hers.

Just this simple gesture brings a sense of warmth to her heart.

But… truth be told, she didn’t want just a high five; she wanted to hold his hand tightly and keep Haruto with her a bit longer.

But, she couldn’t.

This high-five was the most intimate gesture Aya could muster from her timid self.

Dragging this out any further would only worry Haruto’s sister.

So, as their hands separate from the high-five… She put on a smile.

“Haruto-kun, keep up the good work with your job!” (Aya)

“Yeah! Well then, bye-bye, Aya-san.” (Haruto)

“Ahh… I really don’t want to say goodbye…” (Aya)

“Haha, I’ll make sure to contact you once I’m home.” (Haruto)

“Mmm…” (Aya)

Though she unintentionally lets her true feelings slip, she doesn’t want to cause any trouble by acting on them.

She watches Haruto’s back as he gradually moves away.

――He pauses, just as he’s about to turn the corner.

“Ah…” (Aya)

Haruto turned around and waved his hand. As Aya returned the gesture, Haruto finally turned the corner.

He was gone from sight.

Though this was usually the time when she felt lonely…

“Hehe…” (Haruto)

Aya managed a small smile.

It might just be her imagination.

It might just be her imagination, but she felt like he had a reluctant expression, as if he didn’t want to leave.

Illustration of Aya… wait I thought she was supposed to be holding a plushie

“N-No! Absolutely not! The only guy I trust enough to invite over is you, Haruto-kun!”

TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

I knew someone’s house was involved! In hindsight, it should be obvious that it can’t be MC’s house since he won’t let her go back on her own. 

The translation for this one is a bit scuffed cause Aya was talking in her dialect the entire time, and idk how to translate that. Also, editing was extra difficult in this one for some reason.

Also, Yinlin took away 20k crystals from me wow. Now I’m broke for Jinhsi.


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thank you for this lovey-dovey chapter !