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Happy Birthday, Love

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Her grip on the sliding door tightened with each second.

Nagisa had to do it. She had to do it. Here, right now, she had to move.

Sneaking yet another peek, Nagisa confirmed the gym’s scene, one that she’d already seen a few times over for the past five minutes. She vanished to the wall, again, for a short review.

No doubt about it, Chinatsu was alone. As she usually did, the girl earnestly practiced her shots, and already looked plenty tired, wiping the sweat off her forehead with her equally sweaty arm. 

She couldn’t help but crack a grin, remembering the recent sight. 

Chinatsu…you basketball nut…

It was no secret among the girl's basketball club that, among them, Chinatsu Kano was the most dedicated. Coming in the earliest, and leaving the latest too. To her, every second was a chance to improve.

Not even today was enough to shake that tradition. Nagisa didn’t know if that was admirable, or plain stupid. 

Seriously, think about yourself for once! Well, practicing ‘cus you want to is thinking about yourself…I mean, take it easy for toda—

BOUNCE—!!

The sound of a bouncing ball echoed through and out of the gym, causing Nagisa to peek once more.

Now Chinatsu was the one grinning. Still exhausted, but satisfied. 

She definitely made that one.

Yeah, that girl was a total idiot for basketball…but witnessing this part of her, her love for the sport that helped her become so strong, made Nagisa’s heart flutter every single time. Completely entrancing the girl…

“Nagisa. Nagisa? Nagisa…?”

…so much so that her girlfriend’s call didn’t even register. Nor Chinatsu’s gaze from afar, with the basketball tucked in her arm.

“Ah…AH!!” 

Caught red-handed, and staring at that. Add red-faced to the list, too.

“M-morning, Chinatsu! Happy 17th!!”

Finally abandoning her hiding spot, Nagisa entered the gym, waving as cheerfully as she could.

How embarrassing! I was s’posed to be hiding!!

And…more importantly, I was s’posed to be trying to give her a gift!!

August 26th—Chinatsu Kano’s birthday, and the first of birthdays since they’d started dating.

Regardless of their status, Nagisa would get her a gift. And it was no different this year, in her opinion, this was one of the best ideas she’d ever had. That being said…Nagisa felt that the process of actually giving a gift had become a lot more…stress-inducing.

She really, really, really wanted to give it to her, like all other years, but…but…doing it…right now…

…this isn’t the right time! This isn’t the perfect time!!

Nagisa simply wasn’t ready to.

Before her arrival, her girlfriend was already hard at work on basketball. 

This was her routine—she couldn't get in the way of that with gifts! 

The rest of the day was still open, though…

Next time, next time…a better opportunity would surely come.

After giving her a kiss on the cheek, to which a flustered Chinatsu grumbled a little because her face was sweaty, Nagisa put her bags aside and offered to shoot some hoops together. A contest of sorts.

Shock to nobody, Chinatsu scored more. 

However, next to the calm conversations of their mornings and the tons of fun they had, the result didn’t matter that much.