Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 13: Once Winter Comes to Pass
Like a seed awaiting the arrival of spring whilst under the protection of the warm soil; Rick spent the rest of winter sleeping, buried in Davis’s arms.
After all, there wasn’t much to be done during the hibernation period. After going outside, passing out, and spending time with Davis, Rick was pretty burnt out. All he could do for the time being was sleep and replenish his energy. Sometimes he would wake up, only to eat the preserved food or take a shower, and return to his slumber soon after. Rick had been too groggy to do anything else in his half-asleep state anyway.
It was only when the snow in winter was starting to melt, and the flowers of spring were beginning to bloom, that Rick had finally opened his eyes wide, fully awakened from sleep
Despite being unable to tell the mornings, afternoons, and nights apart, his biological clock ensured that he’d wake up as soon as the sun had risen, marking the start of a new day.
Davis had also roused from his rest at this time. Although admittedly, this was not the first time that they’d woken up together in the morning.
Rick offered to prepare breakfast for the two of them right after, then he stood in Davis’ large kitchen to prepare some simple meals. He wouldn’t do this every morning though, he’d merely done so on several occasions.
Rick couldn’t prepare anything grand as he had just made something from what was available in the kitchen, and they still couldn’t go outside to buy more food at the moment. However, Davis insisted it was delicious anyway; he even finished everything on his plate.
The dish Rick made that Davis enjoyed the most was a stew made with nuts. The bear commented on it being the most delicious stew he had ever tasted, with a visibly amazed look on his face. It was a stew that Rick’s mother would cook for him during winter, and now the squirrel had done the same for the man. Hearing Davis praise his cooking, Rick became so tremendously happy that he’d sheepishly scratched the tip of his nose without realizing it.
Thereafter, Rick ended up routinely cooking the same stew at least once a week.
Sitting at the table, they’d casually chat with each other whilst stuffing their faces. They talked about various things ranging from their careers, favorite foods, movies they love to watch, books they like to read, what they would do after the hibernation period ended, the most troublesome thing during hibernation, et cetera. In this way, both of them were getting to know each other more and more.
Their conversations went on as they cleared up the table and washed the dishes. They would keep conversing with one another even while having a bath or when lying on the bed till they fell asleep. And just like this, Rick’s heart was shaken; it seemed as if they were now dating each other. But when he found out about the things they had in common, he was pleasantly surprised. And when the squirrel found out about the things he did not know about Davis, his interest was at its peak. So they would only end up talking more, which Rick did not seem to mind.
Of all the things they had spoken about, of course, they’d eventually reach the topic of their dating lives. They talked about their types and preferences, and the experiences they’ve had prior to this. Even so, Rick did not have much to talk about regarding this area, resulting in Davis becoming the one to lead the conversation.
At some point, Davis came to ask Rick where the squirrel would’ve liked to go on a date with his lover. Rather than past relations, the bear’s question was about his future desire. After much thought, Rick answered that he would like to go to the amusement park.
“The amusement park?” Davis repeated the words before continuing. “Why?”
Davis was lying on the bed, gently stroking Rick’s tail as he questioned. They were resting together on the same bed, and Rick was nuzzled on the bear’s chest.
Rick stretched his limbs a bit, then he tilted his head to the side, thinking.
“Why, huh… I don’t think I know.”
Davis asked again, “Even if you don’t know why, would you still want to go?”
“Hmm… I think it’s because I lost my family at a very young age, so I’ve never been to any places where I could have fun with someone I love. Oh, I’ve never been to an amusement park either.”
Rick closed his eyes. And with that, he pictured the scenery of an amusement park in his head. What he’d imagined was limited to what little knowledge he had of what an amusement park was like, as opposed to an actual memory of going to that kind of a place.
“At times, I do imagine myself going there with my family or a lover,” Rick added.
Davis showed a bitter smile, “So it doesn’t necessarily have to be for a date with your lover, huh…”
Rick’s tail twitched in response. Then, he laughed a little and agreed, “You’re right.”
“Yeah, I totally can go with my friends too,” Rick admitted. “Or maybe I won’t mind going there alone as well. I’m pretty curious about the place after all.”
“But you still haven’t gone there yet,” Davis promptly refuted him.
Again, Rick couldn’t argue with Davis’s point, “Haha, yeah.”
He said so and nodded his head. Feeling helpless, he could only smile back.
Rick still had no idea why he felt like this. When he was at the orphanage as a child, not even once had he ever thought about going to the amusement park. Maybe because he thought that it would have been quite a demanding plea to ask for from their caretaker. Not wanting to trouble the caretaker who not only took care of him but also had to care for many other children there, he never asked.
Then again, even as an adult who could provide for himself, Rick had never thought of going to the amusement park before. Not even when he had friends that he’d love to share fun times with.
Only now had he started to wonder what it was like to spend time at the amusement park. Would he scream while riding the roller coaster, admire the beauty of the merry-go-round, and observe how the teacup rides move or enjoy the performance brought by the parade?
Rick could somewhat picture what his own experience might be like based on the books, movies and television shows he had seen. Nonetheless, he had no doubts that the entire affair would be a wonderful joyride.
For even if they were different characters from different media, all of them were depicted as happy bunnies when spending their time there.1
After being silent for a bit, Rick finally opened his mouth, “It just seems to be a very cheerful destination. Besides, I think it’d be more fun if I had someone with me.”
Having said that, Rick closed his eyes.
Rick was already used to sleeping on Davis’s chest. It made him feel at ease, and he ended up succumbing to sink further into the bear’s embrace.
“I see.” Davis nodded in understanding. His large fingers combed through the fur on Rick’s tail.
“What about you, Davis?”
After saying what he needed, Rick directed the question back to Davis. He turned to look up at Davis’s face, his chin still planted on the bear’s chest.
Davis fondly returned Rick’s gaze. He smiled towards the adorable little squirrel.
“Well,” Davis cocked his head to the side, clearly amused, “Me too.”
Rick was confused, “Hmm?”
“I want to go to the amusement park too,” Davis clarified.
Davis indulgently smiled at Rick, whose eyes had already widened in surprise.
Rick’s voice croaked, “Whaaa–“
“What’s wrong?” Davis gave him a confused look.
“I was serious,” Rick harrumphed, “I really wanted to know where you would like to go!”
Rick pouted irritably. Unable to help himself, Davis let out a soft chuckle.
Davis shook his head, “I’m telling the truth. I do want to go there.”
“It’s not because I said so?” Rick sulked in disbelief, “You’re not making fun of me?”
“No,” Davis bluntly responded.
Then he’d shrugged ambiguously, letting out a hearty laugh and caressing Rick’s pouty lips with his thumb.
“Ngh!” Rick yelped.
“You’re a squirrel, but when you’re pouting, you look just like a duck,” Davis teased. “It’s still cute anyhow.”
“Uggh… Arrkk…” Rick groaned.
As his lips were held together by Davis, Rick opened in protest, but what actually came from his mouth were hoarse, throaty sounds that really resembled a duck’s quacks, much to his dismay. Davis, on the other hand, laughed even louder.
“Hahaha! Rick, you’re really…!”
Davis did not finish his words for some reason, and tightly hugged Rick into his arms instead, pulling the blanket over both of them.
Not expecting the sudden gesture, Rick gasped. “Uwaah!”
“That is just one of the places I wanted to go.” Davis whispered into Rick’s ear. “To tell you the truth, there are so many places I feel like going with you.”
It felt as if he was swimming in the sea made of soft, velvety blankets. The sounds of its waves were from Davis’s gentle, reassuring voice- Rick was at the edge, about to drown in the depths of these waves of pleasantness.
Davis added, “Of course, there would be a first on top of that list.”
Being tucked in Davis’s warm embrace again, Rick closed his eyes and smiled. He subsequently heard the bear whispering into his ears once more.
“And that is, the place where the one I love wants to go,” Davis said lovingly, “So that I can see your beautiful smile once we’re there.”
Rick was at a loss for words.
Thankfully he was fully covered in the blanket. If not, then Davis would have clearly seen how much Rick was blushing right now.
Rick’s cheeks were growing hotter by the minute, the shock, fluster, and embarrassment apparent on his red face. However, there was another intense emotion blazing deep inside his heart- happiness. Therefore, he could not wipe the smile off his own face, the very one he had since he consistently was pulled into Davis’s arms.
With a shaky voice, Rick stuttered, “I… I see…”
Although it may seem a bit cold of him to not give much of a response, Davis did not seem to mind it. His large, sturdy bear arms were still locked around the petite squirrel’s body, keeping him warm and secured.
Surrounded by Davis’s warmth, Rick could feel himself burning up. He did not feel cold at all that following night, as if the harsh winter was no longer reigning over the streets.
After all, spring was already drawing closer to its arrival as time continued to pass.