By Dragon's Daughter
Warnings: Naru/Mai. Drabble. Spoilers for the light novels and unmitigated fluff. Un-betaed.
Summary: Valentines day before and after...
Naru generally did not pay much attention to Valentines Day.
In years past he'd often forgotten that there was such a thing until the stores near his home erupted in showers of pink, white, and red. Then it was only a matter of time before Hara-san visited the office with an expensive box of dark chocolate imported from France and a wholesale-sized box of Pocky appeared in the bottom drawer of his desk.
He still didn't quite understand the concepts of Honmei choco vs. Giri choco, but truth to be told, Naru actually preferred the Pocky.
That being said, when Naru walked into his office on that particular February 14th, he was not expecting to see a gift box sitting on his desk. It was small and wrapped in plain white paper with a dark navy ribbon and a gold foil seal. There was no note.
Out of curiosity, he popped the seal on the box and opened it ... and had to snort softly in amusement at the chocolate-dipped cookies inside. Homemade, even.
Naru sat down at his desk and opened the bottom drawer to stash the cookies until lunchtime. Then he paused and blinked at the package of wholesale-sized Pocky already waiting there. This time, there was a note written in ball point pen on a post-it note.
'In case the cookies didn't turn out.' No name. Not that there needed to be.
This time a genuine chuckle rippled up from deep inside Naru's chest. Sometimes Mai was too cute, even for him.
Now, if only she could beat him to work on a day that wasn't Valentine's Day...
Giri-choco: Lit. 'Obligation chocolate'. The sort of chocolate a girl gives to her father, co-workers, and male friends (literally) out of obligation since a man who doesn't receive any chocolate on Valentines Day is thought to be pretty pathetic. Giri-choco tends to retail at about 200-500 yen (approx. $2-$5).
Honmei-choco: Lit. 'Sweetheart chocolate'/'Prospective winner chocolate'. This is the fancy (often homemade or v. expensive) chocolate that a girl gives to that one special guy. Honmei-choco and kits for homemade chocolates can get pretty expensive, depending on how much a girl wants to spend on that special someone.
Tomo-choco: Lit. 'Friend chocolate'. The 'tomo' is from 'tomodachi', meaning friend. Girls will often give chocolate to other female friends, especially in High School. You see evidence of this in Fruits Basket and Lucky Star.
White Day: March 14th. The day when Japanese men are expected to 'return the favor' and buy gifts for the women who gave them chocolate on Valentines day. The general rule is that one spends three times as much on White Day as was spent on them for Valentines Day. This doesn't mean much when it comes to Giri-choco, but can get pretty spectacular when someone's paying back Honmei Choco.