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A grown-up date and a big brother’s confession
It was the evening of December 25th.
After we safely returned from the winter training camp, I continued to think about what happened on the night of the Christmas party. More precisely, I thought about the conclusion I had reached.
“Suzuka… is my ideal type of girl…?”
There’s no way — I once more tried to rid my mind of that thought. But it always came back up from the depths of my mind. Thanks to that, I didn’t get any sleep at all last night, and I was lost in thought during the entire trip home. Because of that, everyone was concerned about me, especially Suzuka. Every time she asked me what the problem was, I panicked and said “Uwa?!” or “It’s nothing?!”, which caused her to make a puzzled expression at me.
…I mean, there’s no way I could tell her, right?
‘My little sister is my ideal type of girl’ — what kind of outlandish statement is that?!
So I tried to forget about it for quite some time, but…
It doesn’t seem like I’m going to be able to forget anytime soon… It feels like it only gets worse the more I try not to dwell on it… So I decided to finally accept it. The thought wouldn’t leave my mind anyway, no matter how much I tried to deny it.
“Well, at least it’s not like I’m in love with Suzuka or anything…”
I grumbled out loud to myself. It might’ve looked weird since I’m all alone here, but that’s just how confused I feel right now. When I thought about what it would mean if I really accepted it, another thought came to my mind.
——Huh? If I ignore the fact that she’s my little sister, isn’t Suzuka really my ideal type of girl…?
No, wait! I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out! There’s absolutely no way that I like Suzuka as a member of the opposite sex! She’s my little sister, after all!
…But, but still…
What if I saw her as just another normal girl?
She’s a beauty above beauties, her grades and her athletic abilities are top-notch, and she has the charisma needed to be the student council president of a rich Ojou-sama school. She’s a perfect superhuman. And her personality is just as great. She might be a bit harsh with me at times, but that’s because she hates me. Even so, she still looks after me, and she’s always very kind to others. Though she might be a bit too serious at times, I also think that that’s one of her many charming points. And the honest smile that she shows from time to time is really cute. So much so that it makes me want to protect her at all costs.
“Isn’t Suzuka my perfect heroine already…?”
The moment I spoke those words aloud, the doubts in my mind ceased to linger, and my soul was completely was in agreement.
But… Hmmm, this really is a problem, isn’t it…? I said this already, but this doesn’t have anything to do with little sister moe. Her being a little sister doesn’t have any relation to that, and the fact that Suzuka is a cute, lovable girl is an objective point of view—
Ahhh, for crying out loud! It’s my little sister’s fault for being so cute! Of course a cute girl like her would become a boy’s ideal type of girl, right?! And I’m saying that without taking my position as her big brother into consideration! This is 100% my objective opinion!
“Haah… haah…!” I took deep breaths.
Well, now that I’ve accepted it, there’s no use in dwelling on it. It seems that my ideal type of girl is… someone like Suzuka. Meaning that if I were to write my heroine like Suzuka, the heroine would surely be as cute as can be. I had finally found the answer I was stressing out so much over.
With that in mind, I decided to start working on my manuscript, but…
When I decided that it was time to boot up my notebook PC, I couldn’t move. It felt like my heart had pressed the brakes on my body. And I immediately knew why. There was still some resistance to using Suzuka as my heroine.
“Suzuka hates me… and if I were to use her as a model… even if it wasn’t for a little sister character… wouldn’t that be pretty bad…?”
It’s not like she’d find out anyway, and even if she were to, it’s not like she’d suffer from it at all. She had already told me that she would support me until the end, so worrying about it now is completely unnecessary… That may be a good point. Even I think so. But this isn’t about logic.
How do I say it… something inside me just won’t accept it. Even after all that had happened, and her agreement to help me, something unknown inside my heart was still stopping me. I didn’t know what exactly that was, but there was something else that I was very aware of.
That was, even if I view Suzuka as just a normal girl, I really do think that she is my ideal type of girl, but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s still my little sister. As her big brother, I can’t just objectively look at her like that. That’s why I still have trouble believing that writing my heroine like Suzuka would actually work.
Not knowing what I should do, I once more crossed my arms, sinking into my thoughts. Even though I should’ve gotten closer to my solution, it feels like I’m frozen in place.
“O-Onii-chan, is it okay for me to come in…?”
Suzuka peeked in from the door, and it felt like my heart stopped for a second.
“I-I’m sorry. I called out but you didn’t respond…”
“Ah, no, uhm! I-It’s fine. I was just lost in thought for a bit…!”
What kind of timing is this…? I was thinking about the possibility of her being my ideal type of girl just now, and it’s making it very hard for me to look her in the eyes.
…Damn it, don’t just tilt your head in a cute way like that! Really, my little sister is so much trouble…!
“So… W-W-W-What is it? Did, uhm, did something happen?”
“U-Uhm, well, i-it’s not like like that, but…!”
For some reason, Suzuka’s cheeks started turning a little red and she started fidgeting. Maybe it was because I was strangely aware of her right now, but she looked so cute that I wanted to smash my head against the wall.
“…What happened, Onii-chan? You don’t look so good…”
“It’s nothing! W-What do you need?”
“I-It’s not like I came over just to see Onii-chan or anything. Uhm, I do think that you might be a bit tired since we just returned from the training camp, but, uhm…”
She was putting her index fingers together, so it was probably something that was hard for her to say.
“I-It’s about tomorrow!”
“Y-Yes! I wanted to know Onii-chan’s plans for tomorrow, something like that! There’s no deeper meaning, though! I mean, it’s still winter break, right?! I wanted to check on your plans for lunch, dinner and so on…!”
“I-I see. Plans for tomorrow, huh… I don’t have any work, and I didn’t make plans for anything special, so I’ll probably just write on my light novel—”
But suddenly, I thought of something.
…That’s right! Tomorrow it’s the 26th of December — Suzuka’s birthday! I had completely forgotten because of our research and the training camp.
“T-The thing is… tomorrow is my birthday, right? I just remembered! I completely forgot until now!” Suzuka let out an awkward laugh after that.
I don’t think it’s weird that even a girl like her would forget about her own birthday. She seems to be the kind of person who would be rather disinterested in that sort of thing, after all. And since our relationship wasn’t that great until last year, we didn’t throw her any kind of party at all, even though we were living under the same roof. I don’t even know how she usually spent her birthdays until now.
“F-For me, my birthday doesn’t have any special meaning or anything, you know?!”
I thought so. She probably really just remembered it. Since our relationship has gotten better now, shouldn’t I be the one to think of something, even if the she herself isn’t that interested?
As I was thinking that…
“B-But, I thought that it might be nice to do something special for once, or something!? I-I-I-It’s not like I’m hoping for Onii-chan do prepare something special for me or anything though! Uhm…!”
All of a sudden, the topic changed to Suzuka wanting to do something for her birthday.
…Isn’t this my chance? Since she says that she wouldn’t mind, I just have to say that I’ll do something for her! I did plan some things for that after all, so her chances of declining are pretty slim right now!
As I was thinking that, I was about to ask her if we wanted to celebrate her birthday… But…
“W-What happened, Onii-chan? You seem a bit weird…”
For some reason, my mind went blank and I couldn’t say anything. The only thing that came to mind were the words which Suzuka told me a long time ago.
—I really hate Onii-chan!
That moment, I realized it. Why I couldn’t say anything. Why I hesitated to make Suzuka my heroine. Thinking about it, it was pretty simple. But even if it was simple, I didn’t have the courage to do anything about it. These words felt like a heavy weight pressing down on me.
But, in my mind, only one thing was important right now.
—I can’t keep going on like this.
When these words crossed my mind, it felt like I saw a small glimmer of hope. The only thing to do in a situation like this—
…There’s no other choice but to do that!
I made up my mind.
No matter what happens, I have to move forward!
I took a deep breath, and slowly opened my mouth. Seeing me like this, Suzuka had a bewildered expression. But, I didn’t pay any attention to that, and…
“Tomorrow is your birthday, so…! Please go to a hotel with me!!”
Despite my tension and despair, I somehow formed these words.
Suzuka completely froze after hearing my words. Her eyes were wide open, and it took her about a minute to react.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen her this shocked before.
“H-Hote—?! Hotel?! W-W-W-W-W-W-What do you mean by that?!”
It took me even longer than her to actually grasp what I had just blurted out.
…W-What am I saying? O-Of course she’ll misunderstand that…!
“N-No! I-It’s not what you think! Basically…! Not a hotel in a weird way, but I want you to go on a date with me there…!” I tried to clear up what I wanted to say, but Suzuka panicked even more when she heard that.
“Da—?! D-D-D-D-D-D-Date?! M-M-Me and Onii-chan…! A date… on my birthday?! A-And, at a hotel?! Something like that…! Nyahahaha?!?!?!?”
Her face looked like it was about to explode, her eyes were spinning around and around, and it seemed like even her tongue gave out as she tried to articulate herself.
“D-Date…! With Onii-chan on my birthday… not to mention at an hotel…! I-I didn’t expect anything, so why—?! C-C-C-C-Calm down, me! T-This must be a dream…!”
“Hya?! W-What is it!? I-I’m sorry but I don’t really understand what you meant…! A bit slower this time, so I can completely grasp everything, please?!”
“Like I said, tomorrow on your birthday, I want you to go on a date with me…! I was thinking that a hotel would be our destination…!”
She showed the exact same reaction as before, with a bright red face and her shoulders shaking.
“A-A hotel date…! S-Something like that coming from Onii-chan should be impossible…! Something as blissful as that…! N-No, I can’t let my guard down just yet. S-Since this is Onii-chan we’re talking about, there must be something else to this! That’s right! T-This must be for another round of research! Right, Onii-chan?!” She pointed her finger at me with her eyes spinning.
Hearing that question, I nodded, and honestly replied.
“Yeah, there’s also the research part of it, too.”
“I-I thought so! B-But still a date is a date, so I won’t decline—”
“But, there’s no need to pretend to be another character. I want you to be the usual Suzuka.”
“T-The usual me?! S-So that means…! Ehehe, ehehehehehehe…!”
Yes, this date wouldn’t have any meaning it if weren’t with my little sister Suzuka. This a date to ascertain Suzuka’s cuteness. Finding out if Suzuka really is my ideal type of girl is one important goal. But…
“However, it’s not just that. There’s something even more important.”
“…Ehe, ehe?! S-S-S-Something even more important…?!” Hearing my words, Suzuka froze in place.
“That’s… sorry. I can’t say it now… Anyway, tomorrow I want to spend your birthday together with you! Is that alright?!” I earnestly begged her.
To Suzuka, it might be a total pain the ass, but that’s just how serious I am.
“That’s…! Onii-chan is begging so much just for my birthday…?! And not to mention a date…! Hotel…! That’s…! Of course I’ll gladly accept!” And, as if she were angry about something, she screamed that reply.
The moment I heard it, my shoulders relaxed and I let out a sigh.
“…Thank you, Suzuka. Even though it’s your precious birthday…”
“T-There’s no need to thank me…! I had planned for it anyway…! But for Onii-chan to ask me first is… I never imagined it…! Ehe, ehehe, ehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe!” She let out a weird laugh again. “D-Don’t misunderstand, though?! I-It’s not like I’m happy or anything! I can’t help it, it’s for your research after all…!”
“I know. Thank you.”
“…I-I just thought that I would spend some time with Onii-chan…! And now we’re going on a date to a hotel…! Is it really okay for me to be this happy…?!”
Suzuka muttered something in a quiet voice, and just when I noticed that her legs were shaking like crazy, she almost collapsed on the spot.
“H-Hey, are you okay?!”
“I-I-I’m okay! I was just a bit too happy—no, not that! It was just so unexpected that I sort of lost my balance…!”
“But you really don’t sound all that okay to me, do you?!”
“T-There’s no need to worry! Ah, I have to prepare for tomorrow…! I have to make this the greatest memory — no, the best research ever!”
“P-Prepare… At this hour…?”
“Yes, so I’ll excuse myself and go back to my own room now! And I expect the same from Onii-chan! Though I’m really not looking forward to it… uhm, I will not tolerate any failure, okay?!” With these words, Suzuka dashed out of the room without giving me any chance to answer.
For a second, I could only stare at the direction she had left in. After that, I took a deep breath.
“Thank God… It somehow turned out okay…”
…That’s one step accomplished.
Though it ended up with me inviting my blood-related little sister to a date on her birthday, which you could count as a crime, I didn’t have the time to feel down about it. I had to use this chance that Suzuka had given me. And I must do what I must.
“I can’t keep going on like this, anyway…”
Inside my heart, I made my decision.
—Tomorrow, I will confess to Suzuka.
Facing my mirror in my underwear, I was faced with the biggest problem of the century.
…This might be the biggest problem I have ever had to solve…!
“W-What should I wear…!”
Yes, for about two hours now, I’ve been trying on clothes for the date, only to take them off again and try other clothes. Inside my room, countless pieces of clothing were strewn about, so much so that you could barely walk around. And I still couldn’t find a good outfit.
…This really is a huge problem…!
“W-Wait, I have to think about this calmly. I have to remember our goal for this date, and choose the outfit that best suits the occasion.” I took a deep breath to calm myself down.
Today is my birthday. And Onii-chan invited me on a date, on this day. I have to keep in mind what time we’ll be out for our date. Until now, we’ve always went on dates for research from noon until early evening, but this time, Onii-chan said that we will go out later! A night date… this is the first time…!
Though I’ve fantasized about situations like this countless times, now that it’s come to this, I have no idea what I should do. Not to mention that the location will be a h-h-h-h-hotel?! A date at night… at a hotel, you know!
“S-So, will it really turn out like that?! No, but…! Well of course I would be totally OK with it! There isn’t a single reason for me to refuse! B-But isn’t that a bit too fast…?! I-I haven’t prepared myself enough…!” I put my hands on my grinning cheeks and shook my head back and forth.
Seeing myself in the mirror like that, I wasn’t surprised anymore.
…Really, just how happy will you get because of something like that…?! Ehehehehe…!
“No good, no good. This isn’t the time to dwell on my fantasies. To make this night date with Onii-chan a success, I have to thoroughly prepare everything…!” I coughed once to regain my composure.
In that moment, I realized something as I looked at my underwear in the mirror.
…Eh? Before I choose my clothes, shouldn’t I be thinking about my u-u-u-u-u-underwear too?! That’s right! This isn’t just any other date, but it will be a hotel date at night, right?! I do think that it’s still a bit too early for us, and that we should do this when we’re a bit older! B-But, since this is a hotel, the possibility is there… right? So…! I really should think about my underwear too!
“Huh?! …Wait a moment? If we look at it that way, shouldn’t I prioritize my own body?! M-Maybe I should take another shower?! B-But, I already did that three times this morning, so at this rate I would catch another cold…! But, but! Just to make sure, one more time wouldn’t hurt…!”
And with that, I almost fainted again. While I was in that half-conscious state, the time of the date drew closer, so I forced myself to calm down again.
…F-For now, I guess another shower would be unnecessary… And as for undergarments… a normal type of wear should be enough — No, maybe I should pick out some more adult-looking ones…!
I found myself back where I started, with the same problem as before: Not knowing what to wear. Looking at the time, it was almost 6pm. I don’t have much time left until it’s time for our date.
…However, I still don’t know what I should wear…! What should I do?
At that moment, I happened to see a piece of western clothing in my closet. When Onii-chan and I went shopping during the heroine research, he said that it suited me. It had made me so happy that I bought it without thinking. It was a black jumper skirt.
Thinking of the possibilities, I hurriedly took it out from my closet.
Since Onii-chan picked out these clothes for me, wouldn’t they be the best choice for our date? — I thought. After I had put on my stockings and everything else, I once more checked how I looked in the mirror.
…Back then, he had said that it suited me, but what about now?
As I posed in front of the mirror, I checked to make sure that everything looked good.
“I wonder if I look cute…?”
It’s not uncommon for people tell me how good I look, but I’ve never paid them much attention. Only Onii-chan’s opinion is important. Even if the whole world were to tell me that I look cute, it wouldn’t matter if Onii-chan didn’t. That’s why…
“I wonder if Onii-chan will think I look cute…?”
No matter how much I check the mirror, I can’t shake off that worry. I do think that I made the right choice, but I’m still having second thoughts. However, I don’t have the time for that anymore. I have no other choice now than to trust my decision.
It’s almost time for us to meet up. Is there anything left that I have to do…?
“Ah, just to make sure… some lip salve…”
That’s right. I hurriedly take out the lip salve, and gently put it on my lips.
…T-There’s no deeper meaning to it. It’s just that the cold wind outside might damage my lips. Just that, nothing else. It’s definitely not like I’m hoping for anything. I just hate it when my lips get all dry and rough. So I’m certainly not hoping that we would k-k-k-k-k-k-k-k-k…! I really am not thinking about that, okay?!
“I guess that should do it? …Is there nothing else I can do? Oh, it’s already this late! I have to hurry down to the entrance…!”
When I looked at the clock, I realized that I had to hurry. Quickly grabbing my coat, I jogged down the stairs.
…F-Finally… A date on the night of my birthday… with Onii-chan…!!!
“Oh, you’re here. Are you ready?” Onii-chan was already waiting at the entrance.
He was wearing a jacket, which gave him a rather handsome aura. Since he looked even more gallant than usual, I couldn’t help but be entranced by him.
…Ah, just how cool can you be, Onii-chan…?!
This isn’t good! I can’t allow any other women to see my Onii-chan like this! To make sure that no one falls for him at first sight, I have to make them understand immediately that the two of us are lovers!
“Hmm…? What’s wrong, Suzuka?”
“…Huh?! N-No, it’s nothing!”
…That was close. Just the mere thought of going on this date with Onii-chan, not to mention on my birthday, almost made me ascend to heaven…!
“W-Well, I was just slightly taken aback after seeing Onii-chan’s clothes.”
“Ahh, well, since we’re going to a rather formal place, I thought that I had to wear some fitting clothes… But your clothes… aren’t those the ones we bought that one time?”
“T-That’s right. T-There’s no deeper meaning to it… I just wanted to wear it at least once since we’d bought it!”
…Ahh, again, I can’t honestly say what I feel…! But there’s no way that I could answer with an honest “Since we’re going on date together, I wanted Onii-chan to think I’m cute, which is why I decided on these clothes!”, right?! Just thinking of saying that makes blood rush to my head in embarrassment!
“I see. They really look good on you.” While I was lost in thought, Onii-chan said this with a really kind smile.
…W-W-What are you saying so nonchalantly…! O-Onii-chan really is such a troublesome person. He doesn’t know at all just how happy that one phrase made me. A-And he said it with that smile I treasure so much…!
“R-Really, Onii-chan, don’t just say that so lightly…!”
“Ehhhh?! Even though I honestly complimented you?!”
Since my face was burning up in embarrassment, I could only ignore his response and avert my face.
“…Well, I guess you wouldn’t be that happy if I was the one who complimented you…”
Onii-chan muttered something under his breath, but I didn’t pay any attention. Even though the date had just started, I already felt like fainting from happiness. I have to pull myself together…!
Deep breaths… deep breaths…!
Fuu, I somehow managed to calm myself down. I’m glad that Double Peace-san taught me that method.
“A-Anyway, we should depart now. Let’s start our date — research,” I said while suppressing my happiness.
As I did, Onii-chan responded with “Yeah,” and opened the door after he put on his shoes. I followed suit, and as I stepped outside, the cold wind made me shiver.
“We’re going to be walking around outside for a bit, so keep yourself warm. How about you put on your coat?”
Normally, I would be the one to warn Onii-chan, but I was a bit out of it while going through a roller coaster of emotions.
But… I actually like it when Onii-chan does this…! It lets me know that he’s worried about me, and he looks really cool when he’s acting so dependable! Though it would be nice if he was always like this. No, if that were the case, everyone else would also realize how cool Onii-chan can be. I can’t allow any other rivals to show up. Yes, how troublesome.
“It really cools down at night…”
As I put on my coat, Onii-chan muttered that while he was looking up at the sky. And, as if he had made up his mind on something, he softly nodded. He turned around to me, stretched out his right hand, and said the following:
“…Alright, although it’s your precious birthday, will you come on a date with me?” He looked straight at me and said that with a serious face.
He looked somewhat nervous, but that was the same for me, which is why I softly took his hand, and…
“Y-Yes… I can’t help it since it’s research…!”
I once more couldn’t tell him how I honestly felt. Even at times like these, I cannot say things that will make me look cute. But, even though I felt horrible deep inside, Onii-chan just kindly smiled at me,
“Thanks,” he said.
I hurriedly lowered my face as I felt blood rushing to it. I really wanted to tell him just how much I was looking forward to this date, but I couldn’t. The only thing I could do was tighten my grip on Onii-chan’s hand.
“Then let’s go.”
Onii-chan did the same. Just like that, on my 15th birthday, the night date started.
“S-So where exactly are we going?” I nervously asked.
I was tensely walking down the street next to Onii-chan. This would be the first time I was out so late with Onii-chan, so I couldn’t help but be conscious of it. Though there are times when he picks me up from school after sunset, this is something completely different.
…After all, he was only ‘picking me up’… Right now we were going out, not to mention on a date, so of course I would get nervous…!
“Ahh, I was thinking of going to a Rinkai city,” Unlike me, Onii-chan responded in his usual tone of voice.
“…So at the sea?”
As the name suggested, it was a city facing the sea. Though it’s technically a city, it’s only slightly bigger than the town where we live.
“There’s a lot of different stores around there. They’re pretty famous as a seaside city with an amusement park.”
“Is that so? …S-So we’re going there on our date, then?”
“No, not an amusement park, but the hotel close to it—”
“W-We’re going to the hotel immediately?!” I unconsciously let out a scream.
…I-I really thought that a hotel would be the last stop for a date, but to think that we’d go there first…! What should I do… I haven’t prepared myself…!
But, if we’re really going directly to the hotel, then that means that it really was the main goal of the date…? So it really was like that…?! T-To think that it actually would turn out like this! Ahh, I really should’ve taken another bath! Or at least a shower! N-No, they should have a shower at the hotel as well! Calm down, me!
Haaah… This is way too sudden, Onii-chan… Well, strictly speaking, I was kind of expecting it, but what are the chances…? W-What should I do? What should I do at a time like this? I-It’s not like I really hate it or anything, but, well, I do feel like this is a bit too fast, and I’m completely uncertain how I should react in this situation.
“W-What are you planning by bringing me to a hotel, Onii-chan?”
That’s why I had a confused expression on my face.
…Again, I don’t hate it or anything, okay?!
“I wanted to go to a restaurant inside the hotel. Since it’s your birthday, I wanted to take you out to a nice dinner, so I researched a bit. I just happened to blurt out the word ‘hotel’ earlier, okay…?” He said. “It was just a bad choice of words, you could say,” He looked a bit embarrassed. “W-Well, it’s like that. I was a bit worried that it would be crowded, but I happened to get a reservation in yesterday. I’m really glad I did; I would’ve looked like a complete loser otherwise.”
“I-I see…” I answered, still feeling a bit shaken.
A restaurant, huh…Well, it makes sense that it would be before that… Eating dinner is an important part of a date, after all. T-Though the thing after that is also pretty important…!
“…What’s wrong? Your face is a bit red, you know?”
“I-I-I-I-I-It’s nothing at all?!”
As Onii-chan suddenly asked me, I panicked.
O-Onii-chan is such a troublesome person. He should know why my face is red, but he still asks me about it. No, maybe he plans to leave that as a surprise for later. That’s why he’s acting like nothing is wrong. I-I can’t help it. I guess I can play along with his surprise. R-Really, a date at a hotel..! Hotel…!
“Ehe, ehehe, ehehehehehehehehe…!”
“I-I don’t really know how I should interpret that response, but let’s go,” With these words, Onii-chan kept walking while holding my hand. As soon as I had heard the word ‘hotel,’ my fantasies came back in full force.
…At least try to understand me, okay? A date at night already builds up a nice atmosphere, but we’re going to eat at a restaurant inside a hotel! A-And after that is…! T-This is clearly a date for adults! An ‘adult date’!
The moment that thought entered my mind, countless fantasies followed. Sitting at a bar under the moonlit sky, drinking a cocktail together with Onii-chan — No, we’re still minors so we can’t drink alcohol. And during that nice atmosphere, Onii-chan would say “I already got us a room, so I won’t let you go home tonight,” as he whispers into my ears—!!!
Ahh, not good! With just that thought alone, I could write a hundred pages in my Onii-chan notes…!
“…Suzuka? You seem to be a little unsteady on your feet tonight. Are you okay?”
“Eh? W-What is it? To me, it looks like Onii-chan is a bit shaky.”
“No, that’s my line. Anyway, we’re here.”
When Onii-chan said that, I noticed a salty smell entering my nose. It seems that we arrived while I was fantasising.
“This is the hotel.”
When I looked up, there was a towering building in front of me. It looked like a newly-built hotel with about 30 floors. When I realized that, my cheeks turned red as it had finally started to feel like an adult date.
We walked through the lobby to the elevators, and rode them up to the 27th floor. When the doors opened, we stepped out into an area with lots of different stores and customers, but it still had a rather calm atmosphere about it. Just what you would expect from a adult date at night…!
“I-I have a reservation under Nagami.”
Onii-chan took us to a french restaurant, and told the receptionist his name for the reservation. While I was still entranced by Onii-chan’s handsomeness, we were guided to our seats.
“Wow, the view at night is beautiful…” I couldn’t hold back my amazement.
On the other side of the glass windows, you could clearly see the city and moonlit sky.
“Look, over there’s the amusement park I was talking about.” He pointed at something in the distance.
When I followed his finger, I saw a Ferris wheel lit up by countless lights, slowly turning.
…Eating at such a wonderful place together with Onii-chan…! And not to mention that Onii-chan was the one who chose this place…!
“…Suzuka…? Hey, Suzuka.”
“Y-Yesh? W-What’s wrong, Onii-chan?”
“I was asking you if I could order the same meal for both of us.”
“Eh? Ah, yes! Please do!”
Before I even realized it, a waitress came to take our orders.
…Uuu, it seems like I was a bit too absorbed in my thoughts. I’m finally on an adult date with Onii-chan, so I have to pull myself together…!
“Then, we’ll take two of this item… And since we’re still minors, we would like something non-alcoholic—” Onii-chan continued to calmly order.
…I-I wonder what it is… Today, Onii-chan seems even more cool than usual… Is this the influence of such an adult place, I wonder…?
“U-Uhm, is it okay if I ask something, Onii-chan?” I asked Onii-chan after the waitress left.
“Mhm? What is it?”
“U-Uhm… W-Why did you think of going on a date like this? W-Well, I know it’s for your research of course, but…!”
“O-Oh…” Onii-chan was slightly taken aback because of my question. He paused for a moment and then continued. “Well, I thought about a lot of things.”
“A-A lot of things?”
“……Yeah. But I’ll tell you about all that later,” He had a troubled smile as he said that.
That expression was one of the many that I dearly loved, and just seeing it make my heart jump, but what he said also made me interested.
…I-I wonder what it is? It sounds rather complicated. A-A-A-And by ‘later’… does he mean what I think he does?!
“W-Well, for now it’s time for dinner. The food here is supposed to be extremely delicious. It said so where I looked online.”
“But this place looks really expensive, so is it really okay…?”
“Well yeah, it does cost quite a bit, but you don’t have to worry. The pay from my part-time job is more than enough.”
“Eh? N-No, I can also—”
“No no, today’s your birthday right? I can’t have you pay for anything on your special day. I’ll take care of it.”
I noticed that Onii-chan looked slightly embarrassed, and my heart skipped a beat.
O-Onii-chan is just too cool…!
Though I felt bad about the money, I couldn’t help but want to enjoy Onii-chan spoiling me. I should be the one paying, really, since I’ve made so much money from my novel. I will have to make sure to properly repay you on your birthday, Onii-chan…!
“T-Thank you very much…” While saying this to Onii-chan, I decided to enjoy this day from the bottom of my heart.
With that, an appetizer was brought to us, and we started our dinner.
I’ll just say this upfront: It really felt like a dream…!
At first, the two of us were pretty nervous to be together like this in such a formal place. But even though I was aware of the cool-looking Onii-chan in front of me, I felt so incredibly happy about the situation in general that I somehow managed to pull through. After the tension finally disappeared, the delicious main course arrived, and I spent a wonderful time with Onii-chan.
…I-I will never forget this day…! Though I have already engraved this experience into my memories, I have to immediately write this in my Onii-chan notes.
While I was thinking that, this dream-like time passed in the blink of an eye, and the dessert was brought to us.
…Muu, if only this time could go on forever like this…! Or rather, isn’t time going by way too quickly? To me it feels like not even one minute has passed.
“…Ah, how is it, Suzuka? How’s the cooking?” Onii-chan asked after he took a sip of his coffee.
“I-It really is magnificent. So delicious…”
Hearing my response, Onii-chan looked relieved and said “I see,” with a bright grin. Because that was another of his expressions I treasured so much, I felt so incredibly happy that I wanted to thank him honestly.
“U-Uhm…! I-I’m really happy that I can spend my birthday like this…! Thanks to Onii-chan, this is the best birthday ever!” I tried to push myself to my limits, and said so with a forced smile.
As I did, Onii-chan seemed to be surprised, and suddenly averted his eyes with slightly flushed cheeks.
…W-What’s wrong? D-Did I make a weird face?
“…I-It’s just as I thought…”
Onii-chan muttered something in a quiet voice, so I asked him about it, but Onii-chan just shook his hands with a bright red face.
“A-Anyway. I’m glad that you’re enjoying yourself.”
“Y-Yes. I-I will never forget this day. Thank you very much.”
…I really wanted to say more, but as always, I can’t.
But, no more of that today. I should not waste this precious time on something like that. A-Also, this date is still not done…!
“B-By the way, Suzuka.”
Onii-chan spoke again nervously.
“I’m sorry, but there’s still another place I’d like to go with you… is that okay?”
When he finished saying that, I felt my entire body become tense.
H-Here it is! It finally came…!
“Uhm, there was still something else I wanted to do on this date… There’s actually one more thing.”
“O-One more thing…?” I responded, feeling like my heart would jump out of my chest.
…I-I know that I can’t get too excited…! E-Even if he tells me that he’s booked a room for us, I have to calmly respond… B-But even if he were to ask me, I’m not sure if I could hold myself back…!
While fidgeting, I waited for Onii-chan to continue.
“Will you ride that together with me?”
“O-Of course!! …………Eh?”
I immediately realized that something was off.
T-That is… what? Ehh?”
Because the question was so different than what I had expected, I was taken aback.
“Here, you can see it, right?”
Onii-chan pointed outside the window. As I looked at where he was pointing, I saw the big Ferris wheel again.
…No, that’s perfectly fine, but… Eh? What?
“W-What about the hotel room…?”
“Hotel room? What are you talking about?” Onii-chan looked at me with a perplexed expression.
I-I see…? I-It seems like my fantasies have gotten the better of me once again. W-Well, it’s not like I really expected anything to happen anyway… I-I really mean it! I-It’s still too early for me and Onii-chan, right?! I-It’s not like I’m sad because I was expecting something?! Uuuu…!
“U-Uhm, is it no good?” Onii-chan asked.
While I was internally conflicted, he looked at me with a worried expression, which pulled me back to reality.
…W-What am I doing…? I-It’s true that I was let down a little, but that was just a fantasy from the very beginning. I can’t space out here while Onii-chan has invited me…! A-And I even worried him…! He just invited me to go on the Ferris wheel, so I should instead be crying tears of joy.
“O-Of course it’s fine!!!” I shook my head so violently that you could almost hear a sound.
There is no girl who would decline an invitation like this after a dinner together!
In the meantime, Onii-chan let out a relieved sigh. Though I was disappointed my dream didn’t come true, I gladly accepted his invitation.
T-To think that Onii-chan would think of such a wonderful date plan…! I know that it’s just for research, but I still couldn’t be happier about this…!! This really is the best birthday ever!
“Thank you, Suzuka… Then let’s go.”
With that, we left the restaurant and stepped out of the hotel, heading towards the Ferris wheel at the amusement park. The Ferris wheel was actually a centrepiece of Rinkai, so you could ride it without entering the amusement park. Because of that, a lot of people who were standing in the line were, uhm, couples… Though I guess it makes sense at this time of day. When I imagined myself and Onii-chan being just another couple like them, I couldn’t help but get embarrassed.
…The two of us also look like a couple, right…? L-Like a couple… riding the Ferris wheel with Onii-chan…! Uuuuuu…!
“…Are you cold? You look like you’re shivering.”
“N-No! I’m fine!”
I can’t tell him that I’m shaking in excitement…!
Just like that, it was finally our turn. After hearing the instructions from the staff, we entered the slowly-rotating gondola. Because of that slow rotation, we might be able to create another lovey-dovey atmosphere. Onii-chan and I were facing each other. We definitely look like lovers right now…!
“T-The view at night really is beautiful,” Onii-chan said.
“…T-That’s right,” I stiffly answered as I gazed outside the window.
Even though I was already satisfied with the dinner together with Onii-chan, I never thought that I would experience something like this on my birthday… This adult date today will forever remain in my memories.
While I was thinking that, I noticed Onii-chan’s gaze.
He was staring straight at me. This was the first time ever that he had showed me such a straightforward and serious gaze.
W-What’s wrong…? I-If you keep looking at me like this, my heart won’t calm down..!
“Y-Yes!” I unconsciously straightened my back.
And Onii-chan continued,
“Uhm… there’s something important that I want to talk about,” he said with a hesitant voice.
…S-Something important… that you want to talk about…? I-I wonder what it is? I can’t imagine what it is if he’s that serious—
N-No, it can’t be… but? W-W-W-W-W-W-What if? Right now, it’s just the two of us in here. Outside of the window is a very romantic view, and the atmosphere is just right. Today is my birthday, and we’re together on an adult date. S-So basically, what I want to say is… uhm… In that situation, and this timing, there’s only one thing he might be talking about… I-It’s that, right?! Where he confesses his feelings — his love for me! To put it in one word:
The moment that word entered my mind…
I could feel the blood rush to my head, hindering my ability to think clearly.
C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-C-Confession?!?!?! O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-Onii-chan will c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-confess to me?! N-No way?! O-Onii-chan will?! That Onii-chan that I love so, so much?! To me! To no one else but me! C-C-C-Confess!
As if Onii-chan was holding me captive with his gaze, I couldn’t move a single muscle.
…I-I have to pull myself together! I have to burn what happens next into my memories, so that I will never forget about it! L-Let’s just wait for Onii-chan’s words! And give him an immediate response!
—I have always, always loved you!
I have to respond with these exact words! I can’t relax just yet! Though I’m about to cry in happiness, I have to listen to Onii-chan’s confession until the very end! I can’t rush and confess myself!
“U-Uuu…! W-What is it, Onii-chan…!” I answered, barely holding back my almost overflowing emotions.
As I did, Onii-chan opened his mouth with an “Actually—”
And the next words that he said were…
“Suzuka, I’m sorry!”
W-What did he just say…? I thought I heard an apology in there but… T-That was just my imagination, right? Ehhh? Did that ‘Sorry’ really mean ‘I love you’?
“I’m really sorry! I’m the one at fault…!”
But, before I could even realize what just happened, Onii-chan started bowing down to me.
…Might this actually be an apology… instead of a confession…?
“W-What do you mean by that?!”
Just when I thought that it would finally happen, it’s an apology?! Eh? Eh? Why? What is this? Why is Onii-chan bowing down to me on this very special adult date?!
“W-Why…! A-And for what are you even apologizing?!”
Being unable to grasp the situation, I happened to raise my voice. As I did, Onii-chan finally lifted his head, and once more looked at me with serious eyes.
“I’m talking about that time…” He muttered with a bitter expression.
“When we were younger, I made you cry, and you told me ‘I hate you, Onii-chan!’, right?”
What Onii-chan brought up was one of my worst memories. I screamed these words at Onii-chan, who went so far as to take my sin as his own.
—I hate you, Onii-chan!
At the time, I was just a kid, so I didn’t know what to do, and I happened to blurt out those words in confusion. Because of that, Onii-chan and I drifted apart during the following years, until April of this year when I won the light novel contest grand prize. But prior to that, it really was difficult for me to approach him.
And when I heard these words coming from Onii-chan’s mouth, I was completely shaken.
…W-Why would Onii-chan suddenly bring that up…?!
“Because I was insensitive at the time, I made you cry… I always wanted to apologize for that, but I couldn’t do it… After that, you started hating me, and I just had to apologize for that now.” With these words, he once more bowed down to me.
In that moment, I completely forgot to breathe.
W-What are you saying Onii-chan?! I-I should be the one to apologize! So why are you…?! It’s because I can’t be honest about my feelings…! That’s why I blurted out these words…! I was the one who hurt Onii-chan… so why…?!
…Yes, I have to apologize. It’s my fault since I was never able to apologize.
I have to jump over my shadow now. Just this once, I have to be honest. I have to honestly tell him my feelings! If I don’t, I wouldn’t deserve Onii-chan as my big brother!
I was gifted this chance by Onii-chan. He prepared the stage for me. There is no way I can let this go to waste!
“T-There is not a single thing that Onii-chan should have to apologize for! A-After all, I-I was the one at fault back then!”
Though Onii-chan’s eyes opened wide as I said that, I didn’t react to that, and just continued.
“That’s right! I should be the one to apologize! What I said back then wasn’t my true feelings at all. Not one bit. Not in a million years. Never!”
“Like I said, that was a lie! I just happened to blurt that out because I didn’t know what to do!”
Onii-chan looked like he couldn’t believe me and muttered “R-Really…?”
“Yes! So Onii-chan is not the one at fault! There is nothing you should apologize for! After all, I—don’t hate Onii-chan at all!” I took a deep breath after I finished my monologue.
It was like I was scolding the past me with those words.
“You don’t… hate me? I always lived my life thinking that you hated me…”
“Like I said! That was just a big misunderstanding! I’ve never once in my life hated Onii-chan!!!” I once said it as fiercely as I could.
Actually, I also wanted to add “And I have always, always loved you, Onii-chan!” but that would’ve been impossible. But at least I had managed to clear up Onii-chan’s misunderstanding.
“So… that’s what’s it was…?”
B-But I’m still really embarrassed…!!! Speaking my honest feelings in front of Onii-chan is too much…! And when I see Onii-chan with that relieved smile, he looks just so cool! This isn’t good…!
“I-Is there something weird, Onii-chan…?”
“Eh? Ah, no, not really?”
“B-But you’re laughing, right?”
“Ahh, that’s… How do I say it, I’m just so happy that you don’t actually hate me.”
W-What kind of embarrassing things are you saying, Onii-chan!!! And I can’t stop my heart from pounding when you show me that smile…!
“R-Rather than that, why did you suddenly bring that up, Onii-chan?!”
In that moment, Onii-chan’s expression became serious once more as he opened his mouth.
“That’s… I thought that I couldn’t keep going like this.”
W-What kind of lead-up is that…?
“I really thought that I had to tell you…”
Eh? T-Tell me…?
———D-Don’t tell me?! T-This time, it will be a confession?! It would make sense, considering that he first had to ask for my own feelings, right?! W-We had to make up first, right?! A-And now that we’ve made up…! T-This can’t be anything other than a confession?! Right?! Of course! T-This time for sure, he will confess…!
I could feel the gates of paradise opening in front of my eyes. The trumpets of the angels were resounding inside my head, reassuring me that I was about to achieve what I had always wanted.
“A-A-A-A-A-A-And what would that be?!” I asked Onii-chan, barely managing to hold myself back from leaping to my feet.
With that, Onii-chan took a deep breath and opened his mouth.
…Ahh, finally we’ll become lovers—
“Please let me use you as a model for my heroine!!!
W……… H……… A……… T?
Huh? Huh? Where is the confession? And us becoming lovers…?
“P-Please listen to me before you misunderstand! I-I didn’t mean that as a little sister… but, uhm… just as a normal girl… A-And I wanted to try writing that heroine while keeping you in mind as a normal girl…!” Onii-chan stuttered with a red face.
And with that, I finally understood the situation.
………This is… another disappointment I see. B-But wait a moment, please? W-When he says that he wants me to be the model for his heroine, that means…!
“W-Why is that…?”
“Eh?! W-Well, uhm, even if you ask me that… T-This is just an objective view, so there’s no weird meaning to it, but uhm…” Onii-chan hesitantly struggled to speak. But it seemed like he finally made up his mind and continued. “I-If I look at you as a normal girl, you’re really cute, and you’re probably my ideal type of girl, uhm, so I thought that maybe if I make you my model, I could manage to write a cute heroine!” It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Onii-chan so embarrassed.
…But that was the same for me. I can’t help but turn red, can I?! I mean…! O-Onii-chan thinks of me as cute! His ideal type of girl! Uuuuuuuuuuu~! W-What is this happiness! Like my whole body is wrapped in a sweet feeling…! I don’t really get it… But it’s the best feeling ever…! Uuuuuu~!
“…Is that no good?” He once more asked, his voice filled with anxiety.
No good? T-There’s no way!!!
“I-I can’t help it! T-Though I really am not a fan of it, I don’t mind if you base your heroine on me!”
But in the end, I couldn’t be honest, just like always.
…I-I can’t help it! I mean, I’m just so happy! I can barely hold back my happiness!
“I-I see! …I’m glad… Thank you, Suzuka,” Seeming relieved, he smiled at me.
W-What is this?! I-If you smile at me like that, it makes me want to jump at you and snuggle up to you! Really, Onii-chan is just…!
“S-So that’s why?”
“Mhm? What do you mean?”
“Because you wanted to make me your model, you apologized to me?”
This is the moment of truth. Did he really invite me here just to ask me for my cooperation in his research again?
“Ahhh, well, that’s one part of it, but there’s actually another reason,” He grinned with flushed cheeks.
…Another reason? — I thought as Onii-chan pulled something about the size of his palm out of his pocket.
“This right here.”
What he had in his hand was a small box… A small box was the reason?
In that moment, I thought of a certain possibility. Don’t tell me, this is—?
“Today’s your birthday, right? Since I could never congratulate you, I really wanted to do it this year… But I thought that you didn’t want the brother you hated to congratulate you, so I thought that I had to make up with you first…”
With these words, Onii-chan slowly opened the box. And in there was the ring that I had spotted at the accessory shop—
“I bought this after our research.”
…Eh? So, he’s known for a while that my birthday was coming up…?
“For all the past ones — and especially today — happy birthday, Suzuka,” He said, and showed me an embarrassed, but still cool smile.
The moment I saw that smile, I really thought that I might lose consciousness.
This… This is just…! I’m so happy…! What should I do…?!
Before I realized it, I blurted out those words. And when Onii-chan heard them, his face turned as red as a tomato.
“Y-You’re wrong?! I-I didn’t mean it like that! I-I just picked it because you looked like you really wanted it…! And it’s true that I think you’re cute, but that still won’t change the fact that you’re my little sister, okay?! I-I’m not looking at you like that, so don’t worry!”
I never in my life had heard him talk this fast. Though I was about to die from happiness, those words were like cold water pouring onto me.
Muuu, you didn’t have to deny it so forcefully… I would be very happy if you looked at me that way…
“A-And as for the ring itself, I thought that it might be taking it a bit too far, so I made them turn it into a necklace.” He pointed countless times at the contents of the box.
Now that he mentions it, the ring has a metal necklace attached to it.
“I’d really be happy if you were to accept this present.”
…Haaaa, it would’ve been fine if it was an engagement ring, too, so why did you have to go so far…? But it’s fine. I would’ve been happy with anything as long as it’s from Onii-chan. I’m plenty happy already. After all, he thinks that I’m cute, right? Not as a little sister, but as a girl! But even so, he still is a little-sister lover! And that misunderstanding has also been cleared up! I think that Onii-chan took a great step forwards! And let’s not forget about the ring…! Though it’s a necklace, he gave me a ring as a present… on my birthday!!! Ahhh, what will I do tomorrow after all this happiness?
“W-What is it?”
“W-W-Will you put it on for me…?”
Before I had even realized it, I asked him honestly. Though Onii-chan hesitated for a second, he immediately took the ring in his hand and put the chain around my neck. Now there was a small ring hanging in front of my chest.
A birthday present from my beloved Onii-chan. Looking at it, I couldn’t put into words how happy I felt. As I took that ring into my hands, I felt the urge to once more convey my thanks to Onii-chan.
“Really, thank you so much, Onii-chan!” I said as I lifted up my head.
I said this with a bright smile, and as honestly as I could.
…Someday, I wish that Onii-chan will be the one to put this ring on my ring finger—
On the way home from our date.
“Onii-chan, Onii-chan, say it one more time, please.”
“…! I’ve said it countless times now…!”
“It doesn’t hurt to tell me more than once. Y-You’re complimenting me, right?”
“~~~~~~! A-As a girl, you’re really cute…”
“Ehe, ehehehe! Onii-chan really is a troublesome person! Saying something like that to his little sister!”
“You’re the one who told me to say it again, aren’t you?!”
…It was like this the whole way back from the Ferris wheel. Ahh, for crying out loud! It’s not like I’m forcing myself! She really is cute, but…! Being forced to repeat it over and over like this… is this some sort of punishment…?!
“O-Onii-chan loves little sisters too, so it won’t take long until he is finally charmed by me…!”
“Like I said! That was just an objective opinion, and I’m not looking at you like that!”
…And why are you bringing up the little sister moe thing again…?! Damn it…! At this rate, I’ll be treated like a perverted big brother who actually loves his blood-related little sister! I’m just gonna say this up front: It’s really not like that! It’s true that Suzuka is extremely cute, but she’s my little sister! Please don’t misunderstand that, I beg you!
“~~~~~~♪ ~~~~~~♪” Suzuka was humming to herself.
But, as long as she’s happy, I guess it’s fine. Since it’s still her birthday, I’ll play along for the day. And also… I’m really happy that we’ve finally made up…
Since I always thought that she hated me, I’m really glad.
—There is no way that I would ever hate Onii-chan!
I wonder if she even realizes how much these words of hers saved me?
“Ah, while we’re at it…”
“What is it, Onii-chan? Are you going to say it one more time?”
“As if! …No, it’s not that, there is something I wanted to know.”
Hearing that, Suzuka responded, “Something you want to know?”
“Yeah… Earlier, you said that when you said you hated me, those weren’t your actual feelings, right?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Then why did you say those words back then?” I asked, a little bit miffed.
If she didn’t do that, our relationship wouldn’t have ended up in such a sorry state. Because of that, I really would like to know why. But…
“Does Onii-chan remember what happened before that?” For some reason, Suzuka pouted as she glared at me.
What happened before that…? What is she talking about?
“Judging from that reaction, you don’t,” Suzuka averted her eyes and kept walking.
“What are you talking about…?” I asked.
“I take back my previous words.”
“Though it’s true that I really don’t hate Onii-chan, I won’t completely forgive you if you don’t remember.”
She said these mysterious words and started walking faster.
…Even if you say that, I really don’t remember…
“That conversation is over… Instead, you have to compliment me as much as I want!”
“Please take it easy on me…”
“Even though you were so passionate during our date…”
That’s because my tension during that time was at its maximum! As if I could say that in a calm manner! I was totally afraid that you would misunderstand me!
“S-Shouldn’t you be a bit more honest with yourself, Onii-chan?”
“H-Hmpf! I-I just said it so that you would let me use you as a model for my heroine, so don’t misunderstand!”
“S-So, I’m not actually cute…?”
“Well then, I guess I’ll just go home and write on my manuscript~!”
…Don’t keep asking that if you already know the answer…!
After we returned home, I took a deep breath inside my room while booting up my notebook PC and opened the writing software.
A lot had happened, but I now feel like I can finally write a cute heroine.
…But still, even if it’s what I decided for myself, using my real little sister as a model to write a cute heroine for my novel is just…
I once more recalled my conversation with Suzuka. Now matter how hard I think about it, I just sound like a perverted big brother who loves little sisters.
“Damn it… I can’t help it that Suzuka is such a cute girl…! But she’s still my little sister…!” I muttered as I looked at the blank document in front of me.
Now then, let’s set that aside and focus on my novel. What’s important is a cute heroine. I started putting my experiences from these past few days into words. The concept is—
“Suzuka, but instead of being my little sister—”
—She’s just a normal girl. Yeah, that sounds good.