Translator: SCP-423 + P411 tag team!
Read at Watashi Wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 21 (End of Main Story): If Winter Comes, Can Spring be Far Behind?1
When Rick woke up the next day, he was surrounded by a familiar kind of fluffy sensation. Still lying in bed, he wearily opened his eyes and shifted his face, checking his surroundings. To his right was a stuffed squirrel, and to his left, he saw the stuffed character that they’d bought at the amusement park yesterday, sitting curled around Rick’s back as if to protect him.
“Wh- what the…?”
He was closely surrounded tight, as though in preparation for some sort of ritual. In that peculiar situation, he tried to sit up…
The sudden flash of pain through his body made Rick roll up in a panic. He grabbed the stuffed squirrel and hugged it tightly to dull the pain, the memories of last night rushing back to him.
‘Aaah, that’s right… I, with Davis’
He thought to himself and blushed. His body (especially his lower back) was sore and heavy, probably… or rather that’s definitely the reason. Rick pressed his forehead and exclaimed with an “ugh” as he recalled his messy appearance and hoarse voice, Davis’ own face, his breathing, and the sweet whispers of love.
As Rick’s ears reddened, he heard the sound of a door opening with a bang.
As Rick agonized over his memory, the very same Davis who had just held him in his arms within his imagination now appeared in person, making him jump.
With a slight quiver in his voice, Rick smiled weakly at his lover. Davis’s expression softened slightly in response, and he strode directly over to the bed. Then, with the same momentum, he lifted Rick’s bangs and pressed his large palm against the other’s exposed forehead.
“How’s your health? Do you feel sick? How’re you holding up, physically?”
“Eh, oh, al- alright…?”
When asked with such great vigor, Rick blinked and nodded. Davis put aside the tray he was carrying and sat down on the bed. He stroked Rick’s head several times to make sure and let out a short breath.
“… I’m sorry.”2
Rick, unable to keep up with the taxingly chaotic unfolding of events, had a question mark over his head. He thought he’d smiled, but it was reciprocated with a serious face, and right now, Davis was conveying a difficult apology. I wonder what the heck’s the matter, Rick tilted his head in concern, and Davis buried his forehead under his large hands.
“Last night… well, I went too far.”
“Too far… too far?”3
Rick was about to say, what are you talking about but he remembered his back pain and heavy-feeling body. Too far means, well, too far…
“Ah, nah, nono, that…”
Unable to answer well, Rick mumbled restlessly to dodge the question, when Davis threw him a blazing fastball, just as direct as ever.
“Seeing Rick’s skin and nipples and ass, it wore away what little reason I had left.”
Rick, with his puffed up tail bobbing about openly, stiffened as he understood.[/efn_note]TL’s note: the onomatopoeia for swish/bob also means sex in Kyoto dialect, and slang for pussy. Kek[/efn_note]
“I know it’s Rick’s first time, I’m sorr-”
“No um, already, it’s honestly, already… I’m alright, yes, ok?”
After a few moments of his face going between red and blue at the excessively frank words, Rick managed to interrupt him with a raised hand. It would be too embarrassing for Rick if he had to hear any more of this. How could Davis talk like that without embarrassment? Rick buried his face in the squirrel doll, protesting “C’mooonー, C’mooonー” like a bellowing cow.
“That’s enough already.”
“You see… Haah… Well, you know, it was Davis who cleaned my body and everything as well, right…?”
Naturally, Rick was naked during sex, but now he was properly wearing pyjamas. They’re also the ones with the bear print on them. These were the ones that he was pretty sure Davis had said were “Cute. It looks good on you.” Rick was positive that’s what he had given him to wear. In addition, the lower half of his body, which was sticky and coated with lotion, was now clean and tidy. Again, it must have been Davis who wiped up Rick’s body after he fell asleep because of passing out with exhaustion.
“Uh-huh, that’s right.”
“Also, you left dolls and stuff, didn’t you?”
Rick glanced at the dolls before raising his face, he continued “Like this…” and held out the squirrel.
“I didn’t want Rick to wake up while I was gone and feel lonely.”
As usual, Davis looked very serious. He wasn’t joking; he definitely, earnestly meant it.
Rick’s mouth twisted up as he thought of Davis arranging the dolls around the sleeping Rick. All that came to his countenance was a smile.
“I know Davis is… kind enough to do that. So you didn’t do that sort of thing to hurt me anyway…”
Davis looked up with a sigh. His dark eyes wavered a little and he gazed at Rick in confusion.
“Besides, it’s not like I- I didn’t want to do so- something… erotic… at all… either.”
Rick couldn’t believe he was having this conversation with the person he embraced while naked last night. He couldn’t have imagined something along those lines before hibernation, no, even before yesterday. But he’s come to believe, just a little bit, that what you want to say and what you want to convey should be thrown straightforwardly at the other person. And that’s probably all because of the bear in front of him.
“Ah, no, even so, I was quite surprised- that… was embarrassing because it’s true!”
“That’s… I’m really sorry about that.”
However, Rick still lacked the practice and courage to throw a straight ball. The best he could do was a weak, frail ball that drew a gentle, floating curve.
“Ne- ne- ne…”
“Next time, this time for sure… let’s really… t- take our time ok?”
“There’s a next time?”
With a slight wide-eyed look on his face, Davis leaned forward as if approaching Rick. Rick quickly tucked the squirrel doll between him and Davis to leave some distance.
“Next time, can we do it?”
“That is, well…”
Davis gently wrapped his body around Rick’s in order to embrace the squirrel. Rick mumbled, squirmed and hesitated, then nodded while his face turned a bright crimson hue.
“Because we’re… lo- lovers right?”
The squirrel plush was flattened between Rick and Davis. If it had been able to speak, it might have said something like, “Painful!”… That’s how tightly it was being held.
“I like you, Rick. I really like you.”
“Wai, pa- painf… Da, vis.”
After a few taps on the sturdy arm, Davis gave him a final, firm hug before finally releasing him. A somewhat slender squirrel doll tumbled out from between the two of them.
As he exhaled, Rick’s eyes caught sight of the contents on the tray that Davis had brought with him.
Rick pointed to it with a “Is that…” to which Davis nodded “Yeah,” lifting the tray to show it to him.
“I thought today would be a good day to eat.”
The “that” on the silver tray was a small box of nuts. They were the same nuts that Rick had brought with him when he first came to the house. Rick’s cheeks slowly heated up. It was a different kind of warmth than their previous exchange. In other words, he wasn’t embarrassed; he was happy.
The tree fruit Davis had told him were “Special tree fruits.” It was the fruits that Davis had received and kept in a safe place, saying that it was not the price but Rick’s sentiment that made him happy. He said he would eat the fruit when spring came.
‘…But I’d never thought we’d end up eating as lovers’
As though his thoughts had an entirely different hidden meaning, Rick tried to stifle the laugh in his mouth to a chuckle and accepted the nuts that Davis offered him from the box.
In just one winter, something completely unexpected happened to him. His house was burned down and he had to spend the winter with a large beastman whom he thought he would never get to know, and by some karma, coincidence, fate or destiny, he became lovers with him.4
“…Delicious. The nuts that Rick brought me are delicious and cute.”
Davis threw the fruit into his mouth and blinked in surprise. Rick saw the look on his face and blew out a “pfft.”
“No, I don’t understand what you mean by cute.”
When he saw the joyful smile on Rick’s face, Davis smiled happily as well. Rick also proceeded to take a crunchy bite of the fruit. The fruit was indeed very, very tasty.
‘Cute, I don’t know about that.’
Rick chewed slowly, very slowly, as if savouring the happiness that was pouring out of his chest.
＊ ＊ ＊
“Is that all?”
Davis asked Rick while still pushing countless numbers of all kinds of goods inside the overloaded cart.
While lifting the wool cap that kept slipping down, Rick read aloud, starting from the top of the list of a very, very long memo paper.
“Em… Nuts and dried meat, dried fruit, fish and cheese, long-lasting vegetables, spices, salt, sugar and sweets also… the rest, I already bought these last time… Yup, I think we’re all set for foodstuffs. Ah, toilet paper… well, I’ve already added them. And next, ummm…”
It was now that time of the year when a short autumn had already passed by, and the cold winds started blowing, foretelling signs of a soon-to-arrive winter. Rick and Davis were now heading to the large market.
The shop was bustling with beastmen who were preparing for hibernation.
“…But, are you really okay with this? I’ll be in your care for this year’s hibernation also…”
As if asking for confirmation, Rick peeked up at Davis, who was standing beside him.
Putting on a thicker coat, Davis, who had further increased in his masculinity and vigour somehow, tilted his head.
“Why do you think so?”
“Well… I troubled you last year because I didn’t have a home, but this year I do have a place already.”
Yes, since the time Rick’s former house was burnt by fire, the seasons had passed steadily, and the time for this year’s hibernation had arrived.
Rick and Davis, who were having a smooth sailing relationship as lovers till date, were now, in order to prepare for hibernation in Davis’s house, buying up the things that they would need.
“You can pretty much prepare for hibernation alone, so I’m kind of sorry about this…”
Rick shook his tail in embarrassment and lowered his nose looking like he was hanging his head dejectedly.
“Of course, it’s bound to be better!”
As if to blow off Rick’s embarrassment, Davis clearly and confidently declared.
“There’s no better hibernation than spending hibernation with your beloved lover.”
“If you’re planning to stay in your apartment, I’ll go to your place.”
As usual, Davis was a man of few words, but he didn’t hold back that much when conveying his expressions of love, so when a person like him said this, Rick finally closed his mouth.
Glancing back at Rick, who was hesitating to say something, Davis said,
“No, I’m also fine with it.”
He even brought up such an unexpectedly outrageous idea.
“It’s also not bad to be stuck together in a small room.”
Davis muttered, letting out a triumphant voice at the end. It was only after he started dating him that he was able to realise that it really wasn’t that this bear beastman was expressionless and lacking in emotions.
When Rick stared at Davis’s easy-to-understand cheerfulness, he breathed out a sigh.
“Davis-san, you’ll be stuck with me whether the room is small or not.”
“….Ah, that’s also true.”
Looking at Davis who bursted into laughter, Rick also laughed.
As the two of them were laughing, they held each other’s hands at the same time; not knowing who started it first.
Rick suddenly stopped. The arms that were linked together tightened, which made Davis also stop in his tracks.
Everyone avoided them, walking their own ways without caring about the two who suddenly stopped in the middle of the crowd.
Pulling the arm of Davis who was tilting his head, Rick pointed at the corner of the store with his free hand.
“Um, I… I want to buy that.”
When Davis turned to look that way, what appeared into his line of sight was a big… a quite big bear stuffed toy. A stuffed toy that had a big body with large hands and legs was looking in the direction of Rick and Davis with its round and cute eyes.
After a few moments of silence, Rick nodded his head several times to Davis who had whispered and turned his head to confirm if it was the right one that he’d pointed at.
“It’s that one.”
“….you aren’t really planning to sleep hugging that, right?”
Rick had a bright smile, looking at Davis who frowned in displeasure and became somewhat gloomy.
“No… even that kid, it’s about time he has a lover.”
“That, I mean, that squirrel kid… ”
As Davis turned his head to think, a lovely squirrel stuffed doll that looked like Rick appeared in his mind.
A big bear stuffed doll as a lover for a squirrel stuffed doll. And that meant……
“You’re thinking that it will be nice if that kid can also have a lover.”
“Just like my partner, a wonderful… a bear lover.”
After Rick said this a little too quickly, he became shy, burying his face in his muffler.
His cheek and earlobes that were visible from a gap between the muffler and hat, were painted in bright red.
Unable to bear any longer, Davis took the hat, giving a peck on his lovely lover’s forehead as if saying, “I approve” to his cute lover’s adorable suggestion.
The city was becoming much colder. And winter will come equally to everyone – to those who hibernate, and to those who wouldn’t.
As for Rick and Davis, a winter so warm and gentle it’s almost as if it’s already melting the snow was just around the corner.
PK: first time translating this series and it’s the last chapter. Good Luck!
Lu: This is the last chapter, and the staff used their video editing skillzzz to make a small video edit of Rick and Davis– check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ