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The Hopeless Courting of Dice Arisugawa

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Dice had been hanging around in the park when Gentaro called his phone.

“Gentaro! What’s up?”

“Hello, Dice. Have you eaten yet?”

Dice knew where this was going, so he tried to stop it from happening.

“Uh, no, but listen-”

“What a coincidence. I will be meeting my editor at a cafe soon, but it will only be a brief gathering because he has more work to do. Eating lunch without company is very lonesome, so will you be willing to accompany me?”

Dice broke in a sweat. He had to think of an excuse, pronto. Glancing left and right, help came in the form of Ramuda who was walking by while talking (flirting) with some girls.

Speedwalking to the pink-haired man, he said to his phone speaker, “Uhm, sorry Gentaro. Ramuda said he’d treat me to a sushi restaurant in Yokohama, right Ramuda?”

He aimed a pleading look at the shorter man while mouthing a silent please. Ramuda raised an eyebrow but played along, pulling the hand that was holding the phone closer to him, “That’s right! Samatoki recommended this one sushi place and I’ve been wanting to go there for a while now.”

One of the girls he had been talking to whined, “Eh, Ramuda-kun, I thought you were going to lunch with us?”

“Ahaha, sorry onee-san! I just remembered we’re going today.”

“No fair~”

While Ramuda continued flirting, Dice brought his attention back to Gentaro.

“So yeah, that’s how it is.” Please drop it.

“... I see. How… unfortunate.” Gentaro’s voice became ice cold, causing Dice to let out an involuntary shiver.

“Then how about dinner? You will be available, correct?”

It sounded more like a threat than a question, and Dice knew he couldn’t make another excuse without making it sound like he’s avoiding the brunet, so he replied weakly, “Yeah…”

He could feel the ice melt and hear the smile forming on Gentaro’s voice as he said, “Wonderful. I assume you will be hanging around at Ramuda’s place after your outing, so I will pick you up there. I shall be there at seven.”

“Wait, pick me up?” He tried to ask, but the other man had cut the call before he could finish.

He stared at his phone in bewilderment before letting out a long sigh.

“What was that about?” Ramuda asked. The girls he had been talking to had left not too long ago.

“Well, it’s kinda hard to explain…” Dice trailed off.

Ramuda hummed, “Well then, let’s go. Tell me what happened on the way.” He turned around and walked away, pulling out his car key out of his pocket and twirling the key holder ring around his finger.

“Go? Go where?”

“Silly Dice~ I’m treating you sushi, remember? I wasn’t lying when I said that Samatoki recommended a good sushi place in Yokohama.”

“Wait, that was just an excuse! You don’t have to follow through with it!” Dice quickly interjected.

“Oh no, no. Gentaro would definitely find out if you lied, so we have to make it a reality, don’t we?”

“No way, it’s fine! You really really don’t have to!”

Ramuda didn’t listen. “In exchange,” he looked back at Dice, a dark smile decorating his face, “You owe me one.”

Getting out of one crisis only brought him to a new one of a different kind.

 

It started out of the blue.

“Dice, have you ever been to Kyoto?” Gentaro asked him.

“Hmm? Not really. Never had a reason to. Why?” Dice tilted his head in question.

“Nothing in particular, I was simply curious. You have never had Kyoto sweets then, have you? Truly a shame, because they’re simply delectable.”

“What, Gentaro, you managed to eat some?” At the brunet’s nod, Dice huffed, “Damn it, I’m jealous!”

“Do you desire them so?”

“Well, yeah!” What a stupid question. Of course he did! He heard sweets from Kyoto were the best.

Gentaro gave a winning smile and took Dice’s wrist with one hand, handing him the handle of the large gift bag he had been holding in his other hand. Dice looked at the brunet in confusion before setting his attention to the rather-heavy bag that was now on his hand. He peeked at the contents and choked on his own spit.

The bag was filled with all kinds of Kyoto’s specialty sweets, from konpeito to chocolates, all kinds of desserts. Most of them came in a box or a jar with fancy ribbons, and Dice idly wondered how much they cost.

“Gentaro, what-”

“Oh, time sure flies. I must go meet my editor soon, so I will be taking my leave. Do eat all of them in your time of leisure. See you later, Dice.”

He left as quickly as a light breeze, leaving Dice staring at his retreating form with a stupefied expression.

 

Gentaro’s random bouts of kindness didn’t stop there.

“Dice, a fan gave me this mousse cake. I can’t finish it by myself, so let’s eat it together.”

“Dice, I got two tickets to the amusement park from a sponsor. I’ll meet you at the entrance on Sunday, alright?”

“Dice, your coat looks a little scruffy. I insist on letting me clean it for you. In the meantime, you can wear one of my coats. I don’t use it very often, after all. Actually, take it. It’s yours now.”

“Dice, are you going to sleep at another one of your… friends’ couch again? In that case, why not instead sleep in my guest room? Don’t hesitate to stay over at my house anytime you want. In fact, just move in with me. You don’t have to pay me anything.”

That last one, he declined vehemently. He had already imposed so much, he couldn’t stand the guilt of staying at Gentaro’s house rent-free on top of everything. Though he did stay for the night several times after.

He had a clue as to why Gentaro was acting like this, and he didn’t know what to think.

“So… Any thoughts?”

They ended up not going to the sushi restaurant, to Dice’s relief and Ramuda’s disappointment. The two of them went straight to the latter’s place and ordered take-out for lunch.

“Yup!”

Ramuda, who had been listening to Dice’s story in silence aside from small comments here and there, pointed at Dice with his lollipop and delivered his verdict.

“Dice is dumb~”

“Hey!”

Ramuda laughed, “Now I feel really bad for Gentaro!”

Dice looked at him in confusion, “Why?”

“Exactly.”

The blue-haired man frowned, “You’re not making any sense.”

Just then the doorbell rang. Ramuda left to answer the door, leaving Dice in the living room trying to think of what to do with his situation. He couldn’t come up with any other solution aside from simply telling Gentaro straight up about what was on his mind.

Dice nodded to himself, “I’ll definitely tell Gentaro later.”

“Tell me what?”

Dice jumped on his seat at that familiar voice, and when he whirled around he saw Gentaro walk in the living area with Ramuda.

“Gentaro’s here~”

He could see that. He was dumb, not blind.

“Gentaro!” Dice sneaked a quick glance at the clock hanging on the wall behind the brunet, the short needle pointing slightly past 3, “You’re… early.”

Like, four hours early.

Gentaro smiled in response, “Yes, well, I had nothing to do after I finished my meeting with my editor, so I thought it would be better for me to head here immediately.”

The brunet’s eyes strayed to the empty take-out boxes from their take-out and his smile was immediately replaced with a frown.

“I thought you went out for sushi?”

“Ah, about that…”

“Dice, are you perhaps avoiding me for some reason?”

Spot on. Dice froze, unable to think of an excuse fast enough. His lack of an immediate reply was answer enough for the brunet’s question.

“Did I do something that might have offended you?” Gentaro asked uneasily.

“It’s not that! It’s…”

He had to say it, even if he might hurt and disappoint Gentaro in the process.

He steeled himself and exclaimed, “Gentaro, I know what you’re doing, and you better stop it!”

The man in question looked bewildered at the sudden demand. “You... do? And you want me to stop?” He asked softly, a tinge of hurt slipping through his usually flawless facade.

“Of course I do!” Dice said. Gentaro’s reaction made him feel guilty for some reason, but he wouldn’t back down. He couldn’t let them make fun of him anymore.

“Just because I made cat noises one time, doesn’t mean I’m a cat! I’m human, so stop treating me like a pet!” Dice exclaimed.

Both Gentaro and Ramuda, who had been watching their exchange in silence, stared at him for a solid ten seconds before the latter burst out laughing. The brunet himself facepalmed and sighed. “This dumbass,” he muttered, too low for Dice to hear, but a relieved smile formed on his face.

Since then, Gentaro seemed to put more effort in his actions instead of stopping it, much to Dice’s chagrin. If he were honest with himself, it’s not that Dice disliked it or anything. It was kinda nice being spoiled. But felt guilty for making Gentaro go to such lengths in treating him. When he asked Ramuda for help, the pink-haired man kept calling him an idiot for ‘not getting it’.

When Dice did ‘get it’, his face went flame red up to the tips of his ears.

(When asked again, he accepted the offer of staying together at Gentaro’s house.)