I really felt like I was floating. This being my first time going on a trip with another person, I completely let loose and enjoyed myself to the fullest, to the point where I messed up on pacing myself and accidentally drank too much.
My mood had never been better after I bought canned beer from a vending machine following dinner; I had planned on savoring them together with Ilias, and yet this guy had already stopped after just a couple few and switched the TV on instead, sitting on his futon with his back turned toward me. It wasn’t as if I could just coerce someone who didn’t have a lot of alcohol tolerance into becoming my drinking partner—that would make me feel too guilty, but it was boring as hell to drink all by myself. Therefore, all I could do was just sit on the chair next to the window, curl my knees up to my chest, and sulk at his back. We came all the way here and you’re just watching TV? You better get ready ‘cause I’m comin’ at ya, mister.
“Hm? What is it, Azusa?”
Responding to my voice, Ilias turned around to face me—then immediately snapped his eyes back to the screen, his cheeks furiously flushing red. Good, good, all according to plan. Me sitting in this curled-up position was for a reason: it would inevitably result in the yukata sliding down to reveal my bare thighs, and Ilias’s gaze being drawn toward the exposed skin instinctually before he diverts his eyes in a panic. I’m so grateful that he’s so easy to read.
I sweetly called out his name like I was cornering an enemy in retreat. He looked over my way again and swallowed his saliva with an audible gulp, the subtle, sensual movement of his throat turning me on.
I don’t usually say his name at all; in fact, I try to call it as few times as possible. It didn’t really mean anything until that day we crossed a certain line, and now the act carries an implication of a certain kind.
When that guy’s name passes from my lips, it’s because I want to have sex with him. Probably brought about by the number of times I would unconsciously call his name out whenever our bodies were pressed tightly together, this was simply just another habit I wouldn’t have paid any attention to if Ilias did not point it out. He understood me quite a bit as well, huh. And so, tonight, I called out the name of this guy who had gone on this trip with me only to flee toward the TV. The Ilias from a little while ago would’ve already jumped at the opportunity to kiss me, but lately—or to be more precise, ever since he’d communicated with his home country last month—he’d stopped doing anything that would segue into the two of us becoming physically intimate.
Even though I’m trying to do it with him, saying that I’m in the mood, that I want it is the limit of my ability if he doesn’t initiate. I’m this inexperienced because I didn’t have to do anything before—even if I was just sleeping, it had been normal for me to get pinned down the second I woke up, so…
I already knew a hundred times over that having a relationship like this wasn’t good. What Ilias wanted to do, I think, was to draw a line between us; that way, we could still treat each other well even with his return looming over us. But for me, knowing that we wouldn’t see each other again for the rest of our lives only made me want to touch him more than ever.
That was why when he didn’t react to my invitation, I finally couldn’t stand it anymore and got off the chair, walked over to where he sat cross-legged in his futon, then plunked down into the empty space formed by his legs with the two of us face-to-face.
“Really, what’s going on, Azusa?”
Ilias showed no sign of anger or annoyance after I blocked the TV just like that, and instead stroked my head when I cuddled against his chest. The steady rhythm of his heartbeat soothed me, and I could feel the frustration I had earlier wash away, replaced by a wave of happiness now that he was finally by my side once again. I placed my hand on his burly chest in a way that looked like I was clinging to him.
I raised my head and gave him a dopey smile, which he responded to by opening and closing his mouth like a fish’s, as if he had lost all ability to form words. It was a pretty funny sight, and getting him to make a face like that lifted my spirits up. My good mood restored, I yanked on his collar and drew his face closer. Smacking noises sounded out in the air while we gently kissed, but then he suddenly sealed his lips shut when I attempted to slip my tongue in. The hell. He doesn’t want to make out with me anymore?
My voice came out wrecked as I shot him an aggrieved expression. No matter how I looked at him, his gleaming eyes betrayed how much he wanted to do it—so just what was he holding back for? I pulled his head down once again and found his lips compliantly parted open this time. My tongue entered to meet his, twisting and sliding across each other before I traced his teeth and the walls of his mouth with all the experience I had at my disposal—that is, a beginner’s. I couldn’t quite reach his upper jaw to lick it, so I gave up on the idea and instead used both of my hands to turn his head, deliberately putting them over his ears as if to close them. Pressing my tongue deeper, I pestered him again and again until he finally gave in and took over the reins. He started by aggressively tangling and twining our tongues together till I ran out of breath.
His kisses were too intense; now that he was serious, I knew that I only had scant seconds left before I grew dizzy from lack of oxygen but I didn’t want to stop; I tightened my grip on his head instead and hung on desperately. Only after seeing how intoxicated I was by pleasure and how excited I had gotten over his desire to conquer me did he finally release my lips with a raised corner of his mouth. That evil smile oozing with sexiness was the last straw; I shoved at his shoulders and pushed him down.
Caught unprepared by my actions, Ilias fell backwards on the floor and had no time to react before I mounted him, pressing my hands against the futon and settling my hips on his lower half before I continued our kiss. I had earlier pulled my yukata loose after it had gotten unpleasantly tight, and at some point, one of the sleeves had slipped off of my shoulder and fallen to around my elbow.
Separating our lips to regain my breath, I peeked over at his face and locked gazes with his feverish eyes, sending a crackle of electricity into the air. Also—I felt something hard pressing up against and hitting my ass. Knowing that I wasn’t getting excited all by myself made me happy.
Ilias’s shoulder trembled as I traced my fingers from the nape of his neck down to his chest; the sight of him chewing on his lips to endure the sensation was utterly adorable, so this time I pressed my lips to his nape. But just as I was adjusting my position, his arm came up to block me around my collarbone. Why is he stopping me? I unintentionally shot an annoyed glare at him.
Ilias, despite looking like he was in heat, had his eyebrows lowered and bore a troubled expression.
“That, um… Let’s go take a bath!”
Quicker than anyone could’ve even nodded in agreement, Ilias got up, easily hoisted me into his arms, and started walking.
I was then brought over to the bathroom in the next room and carefully placed down, before I watched him retreat all a fluster in the dressing area when I told him that I could get in the bath by myself. This demeanor of his, however, faded once he noticed my gaze and he pulled at his obi with recovered composure. I stripped manfully and then followed after him in pursuit into the open-air bath. As I took a dip in the water, the warm temperature felt so nice, a sigh naturally leaked out. I couldn’t bring myself to speak with this delicate atmosphere hanging around us; I could only soak in silence and then submerge even more deeper when Ilias, whose tolerance to the water was lower than mine, stood to get out of the bath.
He looked like he wanted to say something, but not knowing what, started to flounder. I turned around to face him, chin in my hands with my elbows dipping into the water as I looked up. “Aah,” he said, then, “Uuh.” …The only things coming out of his mouth weren’t even words. I knew that this guy could be useless sometimes, but… it frustrated me that he couldn’t even be honest at a time like this. Was I the one who’d have to bring it up? Well, I guess that was fine… but, really.
“I get it.”
“What do you…”
“I won’t touch you anymore. Since this is our last month together, I’ll respect your boundaries. I won’t try to cross them again.”
“Boundaries…? What are you talking about?”
“Usually, I wouldn’t start a sexual relationship with someone if I didn’t also like them romantically. My feelings might’ve gone a little off track, but they’ll go back to normal soon. I’m sorry that I made you put up with me like that.”
“W-Wait, hold on! When I touched you, Azusa, it had never been my intention to…!”
Even if I stayed here any longer, it wouldn’t amount to anything, so I might as well go cool my head off a bit. Though caught by surprise when I abruptly stood up, he quickly came over to seize me by the arms.
‘When you touched me, that had never been your intention’ you say, then just what kind of intention did you actually have? Don’t tell me you actually want to say ‘I did it because I’m in love with you’. If that were the case, why would you start avoiding me like this… I really don’t get it. My head felt like it was ready to burst, and soon enough, tears started to well up in my eyes.
“Azusa… please don’t cry.”
Large hands enveloped my cheeks, and a thumb swiped under my eyes. Damn it, just why the hell am I crying in the bath. He knew that I would like being caressed like this, and that’s why he was doing it, wasn’t he.
“For making you feel so uneasy, I’m so sorry… it’s… I feel pathetic saying it, but at this rate I feel that no matter how much I try to restrain myself, I’m still not able to, so… you really don’t have to worry.”
“… restrain… yourself?”
“That is… what I mean is… what I want is not something as casual as what we’ve done up until now. I’m actually… I’m afraid… to fully embrace you. If it turned out that you hated it, then…”
For a moment, I thought that his weakly tapering-off statement must have been a conveniently-timed auditory hallucination. But, when he gazed at me without averting his eyes, I understood that it was real.
What… the hell? He was trying to be considerate to me, and that’s why he’d decided to restrain himself and stop touching me…? The heck’s with that, you should’ve just told me sooner… I had been upset wondering if I had been thrown away, but it wasn’t freakin’ like that at all.
Perhaps it was because I’d gotten whiplash from my emotions, but once a single tear dashed out of my eyes, a flood of tears soon followed. I began to cry inconsolably, and hugged the chest before my eyes. It was hard with muscle, and felt warmer than usual.
“–glad… I’m so glad…”
Those words leaked out as I sobbed. Alarmed by my reaction, Ilias kept calling my name and asking what was wrong . Without answering his pleading, I raised my head.
“As a special for you, I’ll let you embrace me.”
“A—Azusa?! What are you…?!”
“What, weren’t you saying that you wanted to hold me?”
“Ah, um, that’s certainly true, but…”
“Hey… won’t you give me some memories to remember you by? Take me… won’t you?”
He hugged me tightly, and from his chest I heard his heart beating faster than I’d ever heard before. He had been waiting for me, for this moment, the whole time, hadn’t he? Since I easily gave him permission to take all of me, I wonder what he was feeling right now? He should be only feeling happiness right?
I once again raised my face, meeting Ilias’s gaze whose smile reached from ear to ear and closed my eyes as his face approached. But suddenly I swayed, feeling all light and floaty, and my weak legs buckled without any strength to support my body.
“What’s wrong, Azusa?!”
He hysterically raised his voice, sounding completely different from how he had been just earlier. Though I wanted to tell him I was okay, I couldn’t even open my eyes—drunk and overheated as I was after drinking a considerable amount of liquor and then getting into a bath.
Aaaaaaaah—I’m such an idiot… why the hell did I drink so much? Regret was the last thing I thought of until I finally relinquished my consciousness.
Here it is… here comes the pain train… (grips tissues)
You don’t want to know how many times I’ve cried over these next few chapters. All I’ll say is, the number is definitely in the double-digits.
Regarding the chapter title – I made a lot of different translations for this, ranging from clearly descriptive to more poetic. “There are tears in a tsun’s eyes, as well”, “A tsun’s eyes can cry, too”. Basically, even though tsunderes like Azusa act tough and haughty, they also have times where they’re sensitive and emotionally vulnerable. Azusa really loves Ilias and cried because he thought Ilias didn’t love him back… waaa ๐·°(৹˃̵﹏˂̵৹)°·๐
For this chapter, Psyx journeyed through scorching deserts and frozen wastelands, battled nefarious villains and rescued attractive side characters, all the while carrying the precious mission cargo with her until she finally made her return to base – weary and worn, but still as illustrious and magnificent as always. Let’s thank our favorite Agent and editor for her hard work!!
Also, I didn’t really prepare anything for April Fools… well, instead, I can show a short 4-koma using the Line stickers that I’ve been drawing for fun!
On Chapter 8, after their Sakura-viewing Date
Narrator’s voice: The Azusa of that time did not yet know that his blissfully married life would soon begin.
In the next chapter, Ilias goes chrysanthemum-viewing(R18). Please look forward to it.