(Art by pao (otomogohan))
Chapter 5 - Back to the Diner, Hikaru and Manami are still hiding underneath the table, away from Hitomi. Manami asks how long are they going to stay hidden, wich prompts Hikaru to try to slip away undetected. However, he accidentally bangs up his head on the bottom of the table when he tries to leave, and quickly retreats back under it. This time, he shoves his back against Manami's boobs, which she asks him to get off. However, after noticing that Hitomi's looking away after she gave the waitress her order, Hikaru sneaks behind the waitress and manages to make it to the exit without Hitomi noticing. However, Manami has been following Hikaru, and demands to know what's going on.
Hikaru still doesn't want to talk about it, but Manami manages to guilt it out of him by asking if he doesn't want to talk about it because he doesn't trust her enough. "I thought I was your best friend," she says. So, Hikaru lets Manami know that, even though he and Hitomi had been going to the restaurant as friends, apparently Hitomi was hoping they could be more than that. Hikaru hasn't talked to Hitomi since, and Manami knows that it's because he's afraid to confront her because he isn't sure if he likes her back. He says that he doesn't want to ruin things between them, which Manami replies that it's the perfect thing that Hikaru should tell Hitomi.
(Art by hoshi o mite)
With Manami's help, Hikaru walks to Hitomi's table and asks if they could talk. Hitomi is shy at first, but she wants to talk as well. Hikaru then asks if they could take a seat at his table... which Hitomi doesn't know is his, so when Hikaru takes a sip of the drink, she looks at him awkwardly. Anyway, Hikaru makes the excuse that he's been busy lately, which Hitomi says she was too... but she asks if Hikaru was too busy to think about what they last talked about. He apologizes for avoiding her lately, but he admits that he did it because he was afraid of giving her an answer. He says that he still doesn't know how to feel about this, which Hitomi asks if they are going to continue avoiding each other.
Hikaru says that that's not necessary, as they could pretend this never happened. He compares it to the videogame technique of "reloading a save," which Hitomi understands because she's a gamer, but she asks if there's even a chance that the two could "happen." Hikaru says that he thinks Hitomi is a great girl, but the fact that they've been friends for so long, makes it awkward to suddenly start dating. He's also afraid that, if they didn't work out, that they would run the risk of never being friends again. Hitomi agrees that she doesn't want to take that risk either, so they both reluctantly agree to pretend the confession never happened.
(Art by caribun)
After inviting Manami back to their table, they're eating and laughing, having a good time. Hikaru is telling them about a viral video he saw, so Manami and Hitomi ask if they can see it. I should point out that, when I wrote this story, smartphones were available but they haven't overtaken the world like it has now, so Hikaru doesn't own one. So, he tells Manami that he can show her the video when they get home, and then he'll send a link to Hitomi. However, Manami worringly reminds Hikaru that they have "another" video that they want to finish, which prompts Hitomi to ask about it. This leads to an awkward, typical sitcom moment where the two would try wiggle their way out of it. Hikaru says that, since it's Manami's video, she should tell them about it, so Manami calls it a "pizza party."
"A pizza party?" Hitomi cocks her head, "What's so special about that? That's like something we used to do in elementary school."
"Yes, Manami," Hikaru leans forward with a smug grin, "What exactly is so special about this pizza party that you keep trying to show me?"
In yet another cringy moment, Manami compares the orgy to a pizza party, where the women are the pizzas, and there aren't enough of them to go around. She says that since there's many people "coming... over, I mean," the men would have to share each "slice" of pizza, like two for the pepperoni and maybe one between the "onions". Hitomi, not getting the full context, is confused so she asks if they could just show her the video, but Hikaru tells her that it's not as great as it seems. She asks how does it end, and Manami answers with a smile:
"With parmesan cheese... everywhere," she pop her hands open as if tossing confetti onto the table.
(Art by raichi (litchixlitchi))
The trio leave the restaurant. I don't remember for sure, but I think this is the ONLY chapter in the whole story where all three main characters are in the same scene. Despite the fact that there's a reason why there aren't many opportunities to bring them all together — you'll see soon enough — I always felt this was a missed opportunity, so if I had to rewrite everything, I'd probably include more scenes. Anyway, since they haven't seen each other in a while, Hitomi asks Hikaru if he's busy.
"So, you're going home with your sister?" Hitomi asks Hikaru.
He raises a brow. "Please don't say it like that."
Regardless, Hikaru tells Hitomi that he promised Manami that he was going to hang out with her tonight, but Manami says that he should leave with Hitomi. She tells him that they can just finish the video when he gets back, noting that she wouldn't want him to miss "the good part." Waving goodbye, Hikaru and Hitomi decides to go to get some ice cream for dessert. When they get to the store, I made a specific note that Hitomi orders a plain vanilla ice cream cone... though originally, while it didn't translate well in text, there's supposed to be a visual gag where they would order two sundaes, and the waitress mistakingly thinks the "girly" tutti-frutti looking one is for Hitomi... when in reality it's for Hikaru, who was too embarrassed to order it himself.
Anyway, while they go to eat their dairy treats, Hikaru suddenly asks how long did Hitomi have a crush on him. She reminds him that they weren't supposed to bring it up, but Hikaru says that he never had a girl interested in him before, so his curiosity gets the better of him. He continues asking, but Hitomi says she genuinely doesn't remember; she just knows that the earliest was when she made him sushi — which is noted to be a long time ago — because it made her feel like she was cooking dinner for her boyfriend. Hikaru asks why didn't she say anything sooner, but Hitomi said his avoidance is one reason why she waited so long, which Hikaru could understand. However, when Hikaru asks what made Hitomi want to confess recently despite all that, but she doesn't say. So, instead, Hikaru asks what does Hitomi like about him.
(Art by jellygga)
"What do I like about you?" Hitomi buries her smile into her cone. "There's... many... reasons..."
Several dozen heartbeats later.
"You wanna tell me one?" Hikaru shrugs.
"I just like you, okay!?" Hitomi cries like she got brain freeze. "Isn't that enough?"
"...No," he shakes his head, "I want details, dammit!"
After a laugh, Hitomi says that that's one of the reasons; she likes his sense of humor. When Hikaru asks for more reasons, she starts listing off some things, each getting more personal. Eventually, she does that thing where she leans in while talking, and they share a kiss. However, after several seconds, the two could feel a wet sloshing around Hikaru's crotch area, which causes Hitomi to blush a little.
"From just kissing?" Hitomi holds back her laughter better than his bladder.
"What? No!" Hikaru waves his hands as if trying to distract her, "Look at what you're holding!"
He points to the empty ice cream cone Hitomi's holding, which obviously fell on his lap when they were kissing. After apologizing and cleaning up the mess, the two laugh it off and walk home together.
(Art by fukurahagi uomaru)
When Hikaru makes it home, he sees Manami had been staying up waiting for him. When Hikaru smiles because he remembers his kiss with Hitomi, Manami has a mischievous smile plastered on her face. "Had too good of a time?" she asks, making eye contact with Hikaru's pants.
"It's not what you think, Hitomi creamed my pants!" Hikaru stammers without thinking.
Regardless, Manami invites Hikaru to finish the porn video. Hikaru asks if Manami is sure that she doesn't have anything better to do with her time, but she explains that she did it while waiting for him to come back from his date. Hikaru tells her that it wasn't a date. but Manami points out that Hikaru came back with a huge smile on his face, meaning they didn't just went out for ice cream. She wonders if Hikaru and Hitomi kissed, so Hikaru changes the subject by asking if they're going to watch the porn video. It works, almost too well, which causes Hikaru to wonder if she's more into the idea of watching porn together than he is.