It was a Friday afternoon and Chiaki was diligently working on her homework when she was interrupted by the ringing of her phone. She knew who it was before picking it up––Sawako only sent her creepy texts in the middle of the night and Tomoyo never used mobile phones, claiming they 'interfered with her connection to the paranormal'.
"Chiaki-chan!" Chizuru's cheery voice greeted her.
"Chizuru-chan, what's up? I thought you said you would be busy today?"
"I am, but I am so excited I just had to call you, Chiaki-chan! Do you know what day it is?" Chizuru sounded very excited. Concerningly so.
"It's... Friday...?" Chiaki wondered what Chizuru was getting at.
"It's only three days until Valentine's Day! I called to say that you should expect a surprise, hehe."
Chiaki sighed. She loved her girlfriend, but Chizuru could be a bit of a dork sometimes.
"If it's a surprise then you shouldn't have told me, don't you think?"
"Aww, but Chiaki-chan, I am so excited, I just needed to call you and tell you! But don't worry, I won't tell you what I'm making for you."
Chiaki thought she could her someone banging with a whisk on a pan.
"Chizuru-chan, are you making chocolate?"
"Ufufu, as expected of Chiaki-chan, you figured it out right away."
No, anyone could have guessed that much, Chiaki thought. Especially when you're behaving like this. But, she chastised herself, she didn't have time to ponder. With Chizuru's skills in the kitchen––or rather, the lack thereof––it would only be a matter of time before she hurt herself.
"Should I come over and help?"
"No no no, Chiaki-chan! I'll be fine by myself, don't"––she was interrupted by a loud bang. "Oops, that's the third already, haha. No need to worry, I have plenty of pans left."
"That's it, I'm coming over!" Chiaki didn't wait for a reply, she just hung up and hurried downstairs. Knowing Chizuru's cooking skills, she was in mortal danger. Besides, if she somehow managed to finish her chocolates without blowing up her house, it would be Chiaki herself whose life was at stake. She doubted she'd survive eating whatever horror-chocolate Chizuru would create.
She breathed a sigh of relief when she arrived at Chizuru's mansion and found it still standing. She entered and made her way to the kitchen. There was no sound, other than Chizuru cheerfully humming to herself. That was a good sign, all things considered. She cautiously peered around the corner and was immediately spotted. Chizuru dashed towards her and embraced in a tight hug.
"Chiaki-chan! I missed you!"
Chiaki returned her hug. Part of her wanted to say that Chizuru was being silly, since school ended only a few hours ago. Part of her felt comforted by Chizuru's clinginess, though she'd never admit that. But most of her was, like usual, getting overwhelmed by Chizuru's warm embrace and the smell of her shampoo. After a while they let go of each other. Chiaki looked around the kitchen. Chocolate chips were strewn about the floor. There was barely a cupboard left that didn't have a chocolate smudge on it. Sprinkles in all the colours of the rainbow lay everywhere and in the corner lay the scorched remains of at least two pans.
"Yes, Chiaki-chan?" Chizuru sent her a loving smile.
"Just... Just do exactly what I say, and only that, okay? Don't touch anything unless I tell you to." Chiaki rolled up her sleeves and got to work.
It took a few hours but then they finally finished three batches. The first two times Chiaki had only let Chizuru do some safe tasks, like sprinkling the sprinkles or putting the chocolates into the packaging, but for the last batch she'd let Chizuru do half of the work, and to her surprise it turned out fine. They'd agreed that one would be Chizuru's 'surprise' for Chiaki, and the other two would be added to the cookie jar.
As always, Chiaki wished she could stay with Chizuru longer, much longer, preferably forever. But she still had homework to do and dinner to eat so she said goodbye to a somewhat disappointed Chizuru. They talked a little while Chizuru accompanied her towards the street.
"I'll miss you, Chiaki-chan. A whole two days without you! I'll die of sadness!"
"Geez, Chizuru-chan, don't be so dramatic! And don't go around dying, you promised to give me a surprise this Monday." The mention of Valentine's Day made Chizuru's gloomy mood disappear.
"That's right, Chiaki-chan. I'm sure you'll love it! But still, I'll miss you. Hmm..." She frowned, as if thinking of something. "Oh! I'll give you something so you won't forget me, fufufu."
"What do you––" Chiaki started, but Chizuru cut her off by pressing her lips firmly on Chiaki's.
"Mwah! There, now you'll remember me, he he. See you on Monday!" Chizuru said, and walked back into her house. Chiaki was blushing too much to respond, and it took her a while to come back to her senses and go home.
That Monday was one of the longest Mondays Chiaki could remember. She could only give the chocolates she made in the week-end to Chizuru once most other students had left and the student council room was safe, since she didn't want to risk the two of them being caught. The rest of the day she'd have to hide her gift deep in her bag. And there it felt like a heavy leaden weight. When she entered the classroom her friends were already in their seats. Sawako was loudly chattering while Tomoyo exuded her usual mysterious aura and occasionally nodded.
"... and then the killer revealed he had replaced most of his own body parts with those of his victims, and since she had such a big heart he wanted to take it for himself, so he took his knife and––oh Chiaki-chan, good morning!" Sawako waved enthusiastically at her, and Tomoyo sent her a nod.
"Hey guys." Chiaki made her way towards her chair.
"Hey, Chiaki-chan, have you gotten a lot of confessions yet?" Sawako asked.
"N-no, who would do that?"
"Ufufu, there are plenty of miscreants who'd give a small girl like you drugged chocolate so they could abduct you and sell your body parts, ahaha."
"Well, uhh... What about you two?" She decided not to respond to Sawako's usual horrid fantasies.
"Tomoyo-chan got a bunch, I bet all those girls hope she'll give them better fortunes. I haven't gotten anything yet, but if it's honmei, I wouldn't accept it unless the gifter put their own blood into it, ehehe." Sawako said it cheerfully, but Chiaki could see that she felt dejected at not having received anything so far. She smiled.
"Then you are in luck, Sawako-chan, because I made both of you a bunch of chocolates. Here you go, and here, this one is for you, Tomoyo. And no, I didn't put my blood in them, Sawako-chan!" While she said that she took the neatly wrapped bags from her bag and handed them over. Tomoyo mumbled a quick thanks.
"Thanks, Chiaki-chan, you're a great friend! I don't have anything for you but I'll pay you back on White Day. By the way," Sawako lowered her voice, "are you giving Chizuru-sama your honmei choco after school?"
"W-why would I do that? We're just on the student council together and I admire her a lot and... I mean..." Chiaki was trying to keep her panicked voice down.
"Now, now, Chiaki-chan, you know you can't keep secrets from Tomoyo-chan or me, can you? We'll find out eventually, no matter what you're hiding. But be careful, if her fan club finds out about the two of you they'll make you die a horrible death. Ahh, that would be terrific, poor little Chiaki-chan..."
Terrible, Chiaki thought, it would be terrible, not terrific, but she couldn't respond to Sawako for at that moment the teacher arrived and started with the first class of the day.
Finally, after their classes had ended and the last student left the council room, Chiaki was alone with Chizuru. She was standing at a table, sorting some paper work, when suddenly her world went dark as her girlfriend put her hands over her eyes.
"Chi-a-ki-chan!" Chizuru's chest pressed against Chiaki's back and her warm breath tickled her neck.
"Kyaaa! Chizuru-san!" Chiaki turned around in surprise. She hadn't expected Chizuru to be so bold at school.
"Mou... You promised to call me Chizuru-chan." Chiaki pouted.
"But we're at school!"
"But we're alone! And, it's Valentine's Day!" Chizuru's sad puppy eyes were irresistible. Chiaki felt her resolve weaken.
"Fine, but just for today."
"Yay! I got you a surprise, Chiaki-chan. Here you go!" Chizuru handed her the bag with chocolates they made that Friday. She'd decorated it with pink and purple hearts and tied a few ribbons around it.
"Thank you, Chizuru-chan. I, uh..." Chiaki always felt embarrassed expressing her feelings and only with great effort did she manage to look Chizuru in the eye. "I love you." Another warm hug was her reward.
"I love you too, Chiaki-chan! Let's enjoy our chocolates now!"
"Not so fast! Did you think I wouldn't get you anything?" With barely concealed pride Chiaki took a small box from the depths of her bag and, rather unceremoniously, handed it over to Chizuru. She'd spent most of her Saturday labouring in the kitchen but the look of delight on Chizuru's face made it all worth it.
"Ahhh, they look so pretty," Chizuru said while unpacking the box. Then she suddenly put it aside, and a mischievous smile appeared on her face.
"Chiaki-chan, don't you want one of the chocolates I made you?"
"Huh? Oh, sure." Chiaki reached for the bag, but Chizuru was faster and snatched one away.
"I'll feed you!" Chizuru looked very pleased with herself.
"Alright." Chiaki was about to open her mouth when she saw Chizuru put the chocolate between her own lips.
"You hawe do ea fo my libs," she said, somehow still managing to look as refined as usual.
Chiaki blushed. She'd thought it had been a long day already, but looking at the amount of chocolate they made, today would become much longer. She closed her eyes, parted her lips and leant towards Chizuru.