Chise slowly opened her eyes. The sun was shining bright outside, lighting up the once dark bedroom. She let out a small yawn, then got up to stretch her body and looked over to see Elias next to her, who she could tell was still asleep from the lack of pupils in his eye sockets. It was Sunday, so waking him up would take a bit more effort since he’d usually sleep in on weekends, but she personally didn’t mind.
After a few minutes, she finally got out of bed and went to her wardrobe to get some new clothes for the day, waking up her familiar who was sleeping on the side of the bed in the process.
“Good morning, Ruth.”
“Good morning, Chise.” Ruth replied, letting out a small yawn before leaving the bedroom. “I’ll head downstairs to see what Silky’s making for breakfast.”
Chise nodded, grabbing herself a white shirt, a red sweater and a pair of green shorts. Before leaving for the bathroom however, she took a quick glance at the calendar that was hung on the wall next to the wardrobe. As soon as she saw the date, she froze.
It was Valentine’s day.
She stood still, eyes fixated on the date, unpleasant memories began to fill inside her head. Memories of when she was still a student in Japan.
Valentine’s day was just any other day for her back then, considering the fact that she was an oddball amongst her peers. She looked tired and sleep deprived all the time, always had bruises and cuts on her body and was reacting to things that to others, did not exist. She was being bullied constantly and was given the cold shoulder by everyone, so she didn’t really care.
She knew that Valentine’s day was the day that girls her age would either make or buy chocolate and give them to the boys who they were interested in. She knew that it was the day of love and romance, of dates and confessions, but it didn’t matter. No one was brave enough to go anywhere near her, let alone talk to her, so she had no one that she was interested in.
But she wasn’t the depressed, broken, suicidal girl she once was. She now has a family and friends by her side, she now can enjoy good food and have sweet dreams at night when she sleeps, she now can live a happy life in peace without worry. It has been a year since Elias bought her at the auction, and within that time he had done so much for her that words couldn’t describe how grateful she was. Last Christmas she bought him a present, but she felt like it wasn’t enough. He deserved more, much, much more. She was planning on doing some gardening and studying today, but it seemed like she had a different plan in mind. She wanted to give Elias something special and to also show her true feelings.
You know, Chise, you can ask Silver to help you make some chocolate. He’ll like it, I’m sure. And by the way, breakfast’s ready. Better get him up quick before she gets upset. Ruth said, snapping Chise back into reality.
“Ruth…” She muttered in a slightly annoyed tone before replying to him through her linked mind.
Thanks, Ruth. I’ll get him up right now.
As she made her way to the bed, she thought about the familiar’s suggestion. While she definitely wanted to do it, she also wanted to keep it as a secret from Elias. But he hasn’t gone out in a while, and as far as she knew he didn’t have any errand to run either, so it would be quite difficult to do it without him knowing.
“Well, I guess I could always head into town and buy a box of chocolate somewhere…” She sighed, before shaking Elias’ body slowly in an attempt to wake him up.
After a few tries, red orbs eventually filled the empty eye sockets. He shifted around for a moment before sitting up groggily while looking at Chise.
“Good morning, Elias. Breakfast’s ready.” She smiled.
“Good morning, Chise. I will join you in a moment.” He said before slowly getting out of bed to change for the day while Chise left the room to resume what she was planning to do.
After a nice morning bath, Chise got changed and joined Ruth, who has already been sitting at the table waiting eagerly as Silver filled up the table with food. Elias soon joined them both and breakfast went on as usual. Ruth was gulfing down food like he always has, but as soon as he was done, he turned into his grim form, saying that he would be visiting Isabel’s grave and would not return until evening and left, leaving a confused redhead and magus behind.
Later, while she was helping Silver clean up, she saw Elias in the living room reading a letter quietly. He then left the room, then returned to the hallway moments later with a small package in hand, grabbing his robe that was hanging on the coat rack.
“I have an errand to run today. I’ll be back soon.” She heard him say, followed by the noise of the door opening and closing. Somehow, everything was going her way, just like how she wanted. She stood still in shock, confusing the brownie who was right behind her.
After a moment of silence, she spoke. “Silky, could you help me make some chocolate?”
The brownie tilted her head for a moment upon hearing Chise’s request, but then realized what day it was and her face immediately filled up with joy. She let out a light hum, before dragging the still stunned redhead back into the kitchen to start preparing the ingredients for what they were about to do.
Elias walked down the gravel path, looking as if he was deep in thoughts, paying no mind to his surroundings. He has just ran into Simon earlier, as the priest was heading to his house for his prescriptions. They had a small conversation before they parted ways, and while the exchange was short, a question from the priest made him change his mind and he decided to go on a walk instead of teleporting to the town.
“Today is Valentine’s day, isn’t it? Do you have any plans for today, Ainsworth?”
Of course the answer was no. Even if he had a plan, he would’ve said no regardless. However, the thought of Valentine’s day was still stuck in his head.
He has read about Valentine’s day before. A day humans celebrate to honor Saint Valentine, the Christian Martyrs and also a day to celebrate love and romance. He used to not care about the holiday in the slightest. He didn’t care about most human holidays and festivities, with the exception of a few like Christmas. Besides, why would he celebrate it when he didn’t have anyone to enjoy it with?. He also did not want to mention it to Chise, mainly because of their master / apprentice relationship, despite he had called her his bride on her first night at the household, so the thought of celebrating it with her never came up.
He knew that they’ve been living together for a year, and they have gone through a lot within that time, from Ulthar to the battle with Joseph. Love was a concept that he knew about, but did not think that it would affect him, until after the recent events. He was amazed of how much she had grown. She had proven to be much more than the frail, depressed and suicidal doll she used to be when he first bought her at the auction out of curiosity. She has grown on her overtime, and he enjoyed spending time with her. Without her, his life would be meaningless, and there would be no reason for him to live. She was everything to him. He wanted to see her smile, to see her live happily, to be by her side for the rest of his life. He was in love.
He loved her.
The sudden noise of a car horn snapped him out of his thoughts. He looked around for a moment before realizing that he had made in into the town without knowing. He immediately shifted into his human glamour and began walking again. He was supposed to only come here to deliver a package for a client, but it seemed that he also wanted to do something else while he was here.
After completing the errand, Elias began wandering around the town. It was much more crowded than usual. Lots of couples going around, many different street stands and shops were also selling flowers, chocolate and gift cards, just as he expected. While he hated crowded places, he wasn’t going to let it get in the way of his plan.
After a while, he stopped at a flower shop named Sunset Floral. He took a quick scan of the place before heading inside, where he was welcomed by a florist as soon as he walked through the door.
“Welcome! How can I help you? Are you here to buy flowers for your loved one?”
After a moment of silence, Elias spoke. “...Yes. I want to buy some red roses for my wife. A small bouquet, perhaps.”
“Ah, classic choice! Have a seat while you wait. I will be back in a moment.” The florist said, pointing at one of the chairs near the register counter before heading inside the room just right behind it.
He did as told, and the florist came back a few minutes later with a bouquet of beautiful red roses in hand. The red color of the flowers reminded him of Chise’s hair, which was the reason why he had been looking for red rose seeds to plant them in his garden recently.
“It looks...beautiful.” Elias commented.
“Yes. Yes, it is. Now, may I have your name and your wife’s name?” The florist said, holding a small heart-shaped card in hand. He took the card and quickly examine it:
Happy Valentine’s day~
“May I write the names myself?” He asked the florist.
“Of course! Here is the pen.”
After writing Chise’s name on the card, he paid for the bouquet in cash. But before he was about to leave, the florist gave him a business card with the name ‘Willow’s Chocolate Shop’ written on it alongside an address, suggesting him to head there next if he wanted to buy some chocolate as another gift. He thanked the florist, then left the shop.
Once he was outside, he began strolling down the busy streets again until he ended up at the aforementioned chocolate shop, where he made his second purchase, which was a large box containing pieces of chocolate of different sizes and colors. Feeling satisfied with the purchase, he smiled faintly before making his way out of town and headed back home.
Time went by much faster than Chise was expecting. With her lack of culinary knowledge, making chocolate from scratch proved to be a difficult challenge, even with Silver’s instructions. After a few attempts, she finally got herself a decent batch. She poured the chocolate into two heart-shaped molds, one big and one small, then put them both in the fridge to freeze while she cleaned up the mess she had made.
After she was done, she settled down in the living room to have a break. It was already noon, and Elias hasn’t returned, yet, which made her quite anxious, not knowing when he’d be back.
Chise suddenly felt a hand placed on her shoulder and looked up to see Silver setting down a tray of sandwiches and tea. She looked at the brownie and smiled. “Thank you, Silky.”
The brownie gave her a reassuring smile before leaving to do the rest of the house chores, leaving Chise alone to enjoy her break.
A few hours later, the two pieces of chocolate was ready. She put both of them in two heart-shaped box accordingly and wrapped them in wrapping paper, one was purple and the other with red. Everything was ready, and all that was left for her to do was wait.
Soon, it was dusk and the sun began to settle. Ruth made it back just in time for dinner, with Elias trailing right behind him. She noticed that he was carrying a shopping bag with him, but paid no mind to it and went for a hug instead.
“Welcome home, Elias." She smiled. "You came home quite late."
"I decided to buy a few things while I was in town, sorry." Elias replied.
"It's fine. Come, dinner's ready." She said, letting him to go join Ruth at the table. Elias soon joined them both and dinner went on as usual.
"What did you buy, Elias? You usually don't buy things while running errands." Chise asked as she took the last bite of her meal and began sipping her tea.
"I actually was planning to show you later. Join me in the living room once you've finished." He said, then got out of his chair and left.
"So he did leave the house this morning. Did you make the chocolate?"
"Y...Yeah. I'm just really worried is all. I don't know if he'll accept my feelings." Chise said. Her heart was starting to beat faster and anxiety was slowly building up in her mind.
"It'll be fine, Chise. No need to rush. Just take a deep breath. I'm sure that he won't reject you." Ruth said, slowly patting her on her back in an attempt to calm her down.
After a couple of deep breaths and a few more lines of encouragement from Ruth, she was ready.
"Actually, before I go, I need to give you something." She said, before grabbing the small chocolate box and gave it to the familiar. "Happy Valentine, Ruth."
"Chise, what in the--" Ruth asked, but before he could finish she grabbed the other box of chocolate and dashed out of the room, leaving the confused familiar behind.
Chise stood right outside the living room and took a quick peek inside. Elias was in his usual chair, resting his skull on one hand, eyes focused on the burning fireplace. The shopping back was also on the table, clearly visible.
After a moment of silence, she took a deep breath and went inside, hiding the gift behind her back with her hands.
Elias was waiting patiently in the living room. He sat in his usual chair, eyes staring at the burning fireplace. He was trying to think about how he was going to confess to Chise when he heard her enter the room. His eyes shifted to her as she slowly made her way over to him, hands behind her back as if she was holding something.
Before he could even say anything, Chise walked up in front of him and spoke, making him lean back into his chair in surprise. "Before you show me what you bought, I...I wanted to show you something."
After taking a deep breath, she extended her hands outwards, revealing what she has been hiding ever since she entered the room.
In her hands was a heart-shaped present wrapped in purple wrapping paper. He took it and tore off the paper to see a big piece of chocolate encased in a heart-shaped box with 'Happy Valentine's day!' written on top.
"In Japan, girls would often buy or make chocolate and give them to the boy they like or their friends on Valentine's day. When girls give chocolate that they make themselves to boys they like, it's like a confession of love, if that makes sense." She said, tears began to dwell up in her eyes as she looked at him.
"If someone told me when I was still in Japan that I'd be able to start new life with a new family, to be able to make new friends, to be able to learn new things and to be able to live a nice, peaceful life, I wouldn't have believed them. Yet, it happened. If you didn't buy me on that day, I probably would've already been dead. You gave me everything I wanted, everything that I needed, Elias. You gave me a home, a new family, you gave me education, you gave me protection, you gave me warmth, and most importantly, you gave me a reason to live."
Elias sat still in silence, jaw slightly agape, watching Chise intently as she spoke. Tears began to roll down her cheeks, her legs were shaking, barely able to keep her standing, and he could tell that she was also struggling to breathe. He wanted to tell her to stop, but before he could even say a word, she spoke again.
"Words cannot describe how I feel right now, Elias. I am so grateful for what you've done for me, I am so glad to have you, and I want you to be by my side for the rest of my life. I…I love you, Elias!" She said loudly as her legs gave up on her and she began to collapse. Luckily, Elias was able to react quickly and managed to hold her before she fell onto the floor.
Feeling shocked and embarrassed, she buried her face in her hands and sobbed, waiting for the worst case scenario to happen, waiting for him to reject her. Yet, he stayed quiet.
He carried her to his chair and sat back down, then settled her down onto his lap, stroking her hair gently to calm her down.
"You surprised me, Chise. But I must say, I am glad that you confessed your feelings to me. Thank you." He said with a happy tone, making her look up in surprise. "Why don't you open the bag and see it for yourself?"
Chise stared at the bag for a moment before taking it and opened it while wiping the tears from her eyes. But as soon as she saw the bag's contents, she began to tear up once again.
Inside the bag was a small rose bouquet and a box full of chocolate in various shapes and colors. She picked up the bouquet and noticed there was a card on it with his name at the front. She slowly flipped it over to see what was behind it.
Happy Valentine's day~
To: Chise Hatori.
She immediately noticed the familiar handwriting. It was Elias who wrote her name on the card.
"I’ve read that to humans, when a rose is given to another person, it is often considered as a proposal of love. It just so happens that I also find red roses to be perfect for you, since its red color reminds me a lot of your hair." Elias finally spoke. "You've grown on me, Chise. I cannot imagine a life devoid of your warmth and presence. Without you, I would have no reason to continue living. Everything would be meaningless. I want to be able to see you smile, to see you happy, to be able to admire your beauty and to be able to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you, Chise.”
It was at that point that Chise couldn't hold back any longer. She buried her face into his chest and sobbed again, making him panic as if he has done something wrong.
"Are you alright, Chise? Did I say something to upset you?" He asked worryingly.
"No, Elias, I'm not upset...I'm actually very happy right now. It's tears of joy." She said, finally looking up at him with a bright smile on her face.
"I see…I'm glad to hear that." He said as he put a hands onto her face and wiped her tears.
After a few minutes, the room was quiet once again, save from the occasional noise of wood burning in the fireplace. Chise was not expecting it to end like it did, but she didn’t mind. She was happy that she finally got to confess to him, and the fact that he also felt the same way made it even better.
“Elias, I didn’t think you’d actually care about Valentine’s day.” Chise said, looking at the small bouquet intently.
“Initially, I didn’t even realize that today was Valentine’s day. However, I met Simon soon after I left as he was coming here for his prescriptions, and he mentioned it while we were talking. I suppose I will have to give my thanks to him when he pays a visit next time.” Elias replied truthfully as he gently stroked Chise’s hair with his hand.
“O-oh. I see…” Chise sighed. She didn’t know what she was expecting. Of course it would make sense for him to not care about it, since he has been living alone for centuries. After all, she was expecting him to not buy her anything, so she was somewhat glad that he got her something in the end.
“Do you not enjoy my gifts? Or perhaps you’re disappointed that I didn’t care about Valentine’s day?” Elias asked.
“N-No! I love the gifts! I just didn’t think that you’d actually buy me anything, since you’ve been alone for so long. Besides, I was going to talk to you about white day.” Chise explained in panic. “I guess I don’t have to, really. Celebrating it with you the western way is fine by me.”
“White day? I’m interested, tell me.” Elias said, putting a finger beneath his jaw, looking as if he was thinking about something,
“Well, White day is usually celebrated on the same day next month, so March 14th. Remember when I explain to you about Japan’s Valentine tradition earlier? This is the same, but reversed. On this day, boys would often buy gifts to give back to girls who gave them chocolate or gifts during Valentine.” she explained.
“I see…” He said with an amused tone. “Then I shall celebrate it with you.”
“Are you sure..? You already bought me gifts today.” Chise asked.
“As long as you’re happy, I do not mind. You’re my bride, after all.” He replied.
Chise blushed upon hearing his response. He hasn’t called her his bride for quite some time now, so it surprised her to hear him call her as such, since she was more used to him calling her by her name. Yet, she didn’t mind it at all.
“I suppose a date would be nice.” Chise smiled, the reached up to his skull and planted a kiss on his cheek, surprising the magus.
He chuckled, then kissed her by nuzzling his skull against her cheek. “As you wish.”