“…Miyuki? Why the hell are you here?”
Ichirou asked with a confused expression. Miyuki, whose arms were wrapped around Ichirou’s neck, was about to speak, but Ichirou spoke up, cutting her off.
“…Well, whatever. Here, explain this to me…”
Ichirou casually brushed off the tense atmosphere around him as he beckoned Miyuki with his gaze to look at the laptop’s screen. The people around them began to slowly disperse as they figured out the situation, however, some of the people still remained to see what happens next.
“You aren’t mad?”
Miyuki asked with a little bit of caution.
Metaphorically speaking, for the hardcore bro-con Miyuki, Ichirou’s anger is her worst nightmare. However, she is aware of Ichirou’s nature, he wouldn’t get mad or offended so easily. Moreover, Ichirou is someone who never holds back from doting on his dear sisters. Needless to say, he isn’t a sis-con unlike one would imagine.
“I am not mad… I am surprised th- Wait a second. How did you even find me?”
Miyuki immediately averted her gaze and spoke in a meek voice.
“You were the one who told me!”
“No, I did not. I informed you of my appointment with my friends, but never did I mention the exact location.”
Miyuki subtly attempted to retract her arms which were wrapped around Ichirou’s neck, but he strongly grabbed both of Miyuki’s arms by the elbows and prevented her from escaping.
Ichirou urged Miyuki to answer with his sharp gaze.
“I-I, w-well…” Miyuki sighed in resignation before speaking with a tired smile. “I went around looking in all the nearby cafes and restaurants that would be suitable for a group assignment. Luckily, I was able to locate you rather quickly since this was my third stop.”
Miyuki separated herself from Ichirou’s back as she caressed her forehead which was violently flicked by Ichirou’s index finger.
“You are stupid.” Ichirou rubbed his temple with his index finger and thumb before pointing toward one of the chairs around the table. “Grab that chair and explain this to me.”
Miyuki’s upset demeanor was blown away in an instant as she hurried to the table and grabbed a chair and stuck to Ichirou like a lover and began explaining to him with an enthusiastic expression.
As for Yoshi, Yuudai, and all the other people who were looking at the young woman affectionately converse with a boy wearing an understanding expression…
“… What th-”
“Ah! If it isn’t Miyuki-san!”
A carefree voice called out to Miyuki when she was in the middle of explaining the rather complicated physics topic to Ichirou.
“Arata-kun? Is that you?”
While Miyuki was initially repulsed by the fact that someone dared to interrupt her time with Ichirou, her expression soon turned to that of a friendly one when she realized the identity of the one calling out to her.
“Yes… What? Is my transformation too much for you to handle?”
“Heh! What transformation? To me, you’re still the same chubby Arata that stuffed his pockets with candies whenever he came to our house.”
“O-oh, i-is that so? I don’t remember anything like that happening? Also, what do you mean by ‘chubby’, huh!?”
“Ara~ You are right~ ‘Chubby’ is quite the understatement, huh? You were rather healthy, weren’t you? Well, I can’t say that you haven’t shed some kilos. So? Still, forever-my-hand faction, or have things changed?”
“W-what are you talking about!? Of course, they have! Just look at me!”
“Hmm~ Is there something different? Oh, yeah, you dyed your hair golden, huh? Listen here, just dying your hair doesn’t guarantee a girlfriend, you know?”
Arata, who still hadn’t placed the drinks on the table, began gritting his teeth in frustration.
“Well… At least I am not some sis-con who obsesses over her brother and fights over who would drop him off to school!”
“Oof~ Shots are being fired~”
Ichirou mumbled to himself while typing something on the assignment presentation.
“Is that a joke? Are you going to taint our pure love with that nasty talk?”
“Nasty, huh? Remind me, who was it that turned down a multi-million dollar package from the world’s largest company to come to get a lap pillow from her dear little brother?”
Miyuki visibly flinched at Arata’s comment as she spoke with confidence.
“At least I am not a loser whose entire academic career exists because a certain extremely kind and benevolent angel pities him and grants a bit of his divine blessings to the loser’s sorry ass.”
“Hehe~ I win~”
“Will you guys stop this childish bickering?”
Listening to Ichirou’s well-timed and cold voice, both Miyuki and Arata snapped out of their trance and looked around them, and when they realized that they were causing a scene, they silently sat down on their seats.
“It sure has been a long time.”
Arata smiled at Miyuki and offered his hand.
“It sure has.”
Miyuki similarly smiled and shook Arata’s outstretched hand. However, unbeknownst to anyone, Ichirou looked at their handshake with a shocked expression.
“I’ll go grab my stuff, you wait here. We can eat our lunch together in a restaurant or something.”
Ichirou got out of his sister’s car and said while making sure that Miyuki didn’t leave the vehicle.
“Eh~! I wanted to hang out at your place though~”
“I wouldn’t mind that, however, I was thinking that having a nice lunch at a trendy restaurant would be nice… Looks like I have to cancel that plan…”
“Fufu~ I was just kidding~ I completely agree~ Go, quickly grab your stuff.”
“What? You’re not gonna have lunch at home?”
Hikaru’s mood came crashing down as Ichirou informed her of his unfortunate circumstances.
“Umm… Yeah… She just appeared out of nowhere, I am sorry…”
“B-but… Lunch is ready…”
“I am sorry, Hikaru… I’ll be looking forward to Monday’s lunch though.”
“It can’t be helped. Take care, okay?”
Hikaru stood with two bags in her hands. One was Ichirou’s school bag while the other was a duffle bag containing Ichirou’s clothes and other necessities. Her face clearly expressed her displeasure but she held back because she was aware that if their secret were to be discovered by Ichirou’s sister, the result would not be in her favor.
“I’ll call you tonight.”
Ichirou leaned in and planted a kiss on Hikaru’s lips while she lovingly responded back without any resistance.
“Okay~ See you on Monday~”
Ichirou waved as he boarded the elevator.
Hikaru, who was wrapped in her favorite apron, waved back from the door of their apartment. Her appearance resembled that of a wife whose husband was about to leave for a business trip, her emotions were no different. As soon as the elevator’s door closed and Ichirou was no longer to be seen, Hikaru’s true colors began to show.
“Geez! It was the weekend! I wanted to go out with him! I even made his favorite dish for lunch and he didn’t even taste it! Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid Ichirou! Why did you have to leave me alone? I was soo excited for the weekend! Now I’ll have to spend the whole day alone!”
Hikaru began stomping her legs on the ground while whining like a little child.
“Hmph! I will just eat lunch without him! I am completely independent and can live without him! No problem.”
Twenty minutes later.
“I miss him… When will he call?”
“What’s happening, that’s the thirtieth text you’ve gotten in the last ten minutes.”
Ichirou asked while elegantly slicing a piece of steak.
“Hmm… Oh, it’s my stalker.”
Miyuki casually answered while tapping away on her phone with a very unique phone case.
“Stalker? Which one?”
Miyuki slightly frowned at Ichirou’s sarcastic question.
“Don’t say it like that. I currently have only one stalker.”
Miyuki righteously said while carelessly throwing her phone in her handbag.
“Is that so~? It looks like your popularity has plummeted from your university days. I remember you having hordes of stalkers who would get their asses handed to them when they tried to approach you.”
Ichirou smirked as he teased Miyuki who had garnered the attention of every male in the restaurant. However, the two completely ignored the stares of people as if they were used to it.
“Ugh! Don’t remind me of those days… I prefer my life now. I have close to zero restrictions, our houses are not that far apart, and I can take care of Mayumi if there is any problem. It’s perfect.”
“Haha~ Is that so? What about Mom and Dad. You went to visit them recently, right? How are they doing?”
“Ah, yeah, about that. Mom said that she’d die of Ichirou deficiency, and Dad said that he’ll buy anything you want if you go visit.”
“So, all normal?”
“Yeah. Also, since we’re all going home tomorrow for Mom’s birthday, Mayumi said that she’ll bring some of her friends as well.”
“Are there any boys?”
“Seriously… Look for boyfriends, you two. You can’t always bring me up whenever someone mentions your lack of contact with the opposite sex.”
Ichirou said with a tired sigh.
“W-what are you talking about? I fixed my bad habit, you know? Now I can at least shake hands with other men. Hugging is still a forbidden territory, though.”
“Good for you… By the way, isn’t this restaurant expensive?”
“Is that a problem?”
“Heh! Not at all. Hey, so, who is this stalker? I am sure you know their identity?”
Ichirou’s eyes turned sharp as the corner of his lips subconsciously curled upwards.
“Kisha Minoru, a co-worker whose confession I rejected about six months ago… However, we still are on friendly terms and he hangs out with our group on a regular basis.”
“Is that so…? Quite the interesting guy, if I do say so myself… How about this? Invite all your friends to dinner, we can go to a good restaurant, and you invite that stalker guy as well… It’d be fun t deal with this stalker. How about it?”
“Really? I thought we’d spend our time alone though…”
“It’s fine, isn’t it? I haven’t thanked your friends for taking care of you… It’ll be a good opportunity.”
Ichirou had an amused expression while Miyuki seemed to be a little excited.
“Fine… Let’s do it.”