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[Extra] The Decisive Battle of Birthdays Part 1
The blazing hot summer had passed, and autumn was getting close. Rick and Davis came to the park to have a walk and for a picnic.
As they walked along the trees lining the walkway of the park, Rick looked up at the sky.
He soon opened his mouth in wonder, “I see that the sun is getting higher in the sky.”
“Yeah,” Davis replied.
The trees still had leaves hanging on them, but their colors had changed quite a bit. Every time they took a step, they’d hear the rustling sound of the leaves falling here and there.
“I suddenly remembered the beach we went to a while ago,” Davis said.
“Oh, the beach,” Rick also recalled the same adventure. “It was fun.”
Since they’d started dating in spring, Rick and Davis have been to many different places.
In the spring, they went to visit the zoo, to botanical gardens, and for picnics. In the summer, they’d gone to the ocean, mountains, rivers, and lakes. They also went out to eat in the city sometimes and to the amusement park that they had been to several times. Davis’ big, spacious and black-coloured van, which had been stored in the garage, had been very active in the past couple of months.
“But why did you think of the beach all of a sudden?”
Rick looked at the other curiously, while Davis furrowed his brows as if he was offended. Rick didn’t get it at first, but then it hit him.
“Ah, don’t tell me…” Rick felt a helpless sense of dread rising inside him. “Davis, are you still thinking about the guy who flirted with me?”
“He wasn’t flirting with you. He was harassing you,” Davis angrily retorted.
Rick wagged his tail as he watched Davis’ face scrunch in annoyance.
In the summer, when the two of them went to the beach, a somewhat large beastmen had indeed flirted (just as he thought) with Rick. Although the other guy was only teasing him — rather than seriously hitting on him — it was definitely scary, and he felt uncomfortable. But in the end, Davis came to his rescue. Even though Rick was the one who experienced it, Davis seemed to be the one most affected among the two.
“Well… That’s true,” Rick admitted.
There was nothing more he could say, so he didn’t even argue. He was sure that Davis would be aware that he couldn’t have done anything in that situation, so he shouldn’t waste his time regretting it… Though, maybe he would still, ofttimes just sulk; nothing else.
Since then, every time they went to a crowded place, Davis would never leave Rick alone. He stayed close to Rick, and held the squirrel’s hand whenever he could.
“Davis, if someone ever tries to hit on you, I’ll stop them too,” Rick declared. “I’d shoo them away.”1
Rick spread his arms and moved his body in a certain fashion, as if he wanted to appear intimidating. He shook himself side to side, like he was actually shooing someone. Seeing such a scene, Davis immediately burst into laughter.
Rick had the tendency to make quirky movements, which Davis seemed to like, since he often laughed at it. It was embarrassing when they started dating, but now Rick knew that he could utilise it to his own advantage, especially in situations like these.
After a moment of laughter, Davis sealed his mouth shut. Later, he tried to speak again, but the squirrel interrupted him with a clap of his hands.
“Let’s go to a lot of places this autumn too,” Rick suggested.
“Okay…” Davis complied.
He’d changed the subject very abruptly, which Davis could notice. Even so, the bear held back his words and just nodded.
Rick smiled. This was something that he had always loved about Davis: he thought. And sure enough, the bear returned his smile.
“I’m looking forward to going anywhere with you.”
Rick couldn’t help giving a shy smile to Davis, who was as honest as ever. After a few moments of scratching his head and nervous chuckling, he pointed to the basket that Davis was holding.
“By the way, today is our first autumn date, so I made exclusive, autumn-special sandwiches for lunch.”
Hearing his words, Davis lifted the basket in his hands and tilted his head.
“The first one would be smoked salmon and apple cream cheese sandwich.”
“Also, a sweet and salty sandwich made out of potato and chicken, and a chewy pumpkin croquette sandwich.”
“And lastly… a dessert sandwich with chestnuts and cream!”
“Wow… They all sound delicious.”
As Rick explained the ingredients used for the sandwiches, Davis’ eyes lit up.
“The sandwiches you make are always delicious, Rick.”
“And it’s not just the sandwich. Everything that you make is delicious. You’re amazing.”
“He, hehe…” Rick shyly giggled. “Hahaha.”
Rick stepped on the crisp fallen leaves as he listened to Davis praising the food he made. The bear kept repeating how delicious it was so innocently, quite like a child.
Davis’ sincere compliments made Rick’s skin tingle, as if it was being tickled by a feather. In other words, yes, it made him giddy.
“If there’s anything you want to eat, just let me know.” Rick offered. “Speaking of which, when is your birthday? I’d like to make a cake or something to celebrate it. Teehee.”
As he proposed the idea, Rick thought that Davis would be pleased, but the bear looked back at him with a perplexed expression clear on his face, for some reason.
“Yeah. Your birthday.”
“My birthday… was last month.”
Rick was so surprised that he couldn’t help but let out a dumb sound. Seeing him like that, Davis became a little uncomfortable.
“I didn’t tell you?”
“Are you disappointed to know…?”
“Of course… I really am.”
Rick widened his eyes in dismay for a second, then he shook his head. He only shook his head a little at first, but it gradually got more vigorous, and he ended up looking like a bobblehead.
“Don’t you think the same?” Rick asked. “It’s like a missed opportunity!”
“Do you really need to know?”
Davis personally had no problem with it, but he had nothing to say once he saw Rick wiggling his forefinger before him. Looking at his piqued expression, Davis tilted his head to the side.
“It’s the birthday of the one I love, after all,” Rick explained.
“The one you love…”
As if to confirm what he just heard, Davis repeated his words. On the other hand, Rick started pushing down his feet as if he was stomping on the ground. The leaves that he stepped on bounced off the ground, and produced a crisp, rustling sound.
“I mean what I said.”
“Hmm? Well, I can see that…”
Davis still showed that he didn’t understand why Rick would get upset. Rick’s lips twitched in frustration.
“To me, your birthday would be akin to a historical event.”
Davis was such a big airhead, causing Rick to clench his fists. Finally, under the scrutinizing stare of the squirrel, Davis gave in.
Davis was his first lover, after all. That is to say, Rick would’ve liked to experience what it was like to celebrate the birthday of his beloved for the first time, too. Hence, missing it had greatly impacted his mood.
“Not to mention, it was not even yesterday or last week, but last month…! Last. freaking. month!”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t think it was that important to you.”
“Oh- Well, I didn’t ask either…”
A leaf fell on Rick’s head as he groaned. After shaking his head to brush it away, he called out to Davis and caught up to him.
“I still want to celebrate your birthday… Please allow me to do so.”
“I know that it has long passed, but I want to hold something big… Please.”
Rick hadn’t planned anything in detail yet, so he said it in a vague manner. Nonetheless, it couldn’t be a boring celebration, so he’d better give the best he could.
Davis cupped his chin in his hand.
“If you say so, then I would like to celebrate your birthday too. When is it?”
“My birthday? Oh… It’ll be in two weeks.”
Come to think of it, Rick was born during autumn. As he informed Davis of his unexpectedly upcoming birthday, the bear clapped his hands.
“We’ll definitely celebrate that.”
As Rick gulped, and Davis nodded in turn; he looked more serious than usual.
“It will be something big too.”
“Something big… Like what I’m planning for yours?”
“Yeah. So we will match.”
“Then… Okay, let’s celebrate them both!”
The direction of the conversation seems to have shifted, but for some reason, the two of them had a burning fire blazing the warmth they felt within their hearts. And slowly, it became the only thing that permeated their minds.
“The fateful day of our “battle” will be… Whenever we both have a day off, okay?” Davis suggested.
“Our “battle”, huh… Alright. But I won’t go easy on you,” Rick agreed.
Just like that, the tension between them grew stronger.
Eyes fixated on each other, they stood on the tree-lined street, where the fallen leaves scattered around their feet, and the crisp and tingly air of autumn surrounded them both. Suddenly, both of them held out their hands to each other, and shook hands.
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