“The next cosplay event is in two weeks”…these words (I’m paraphrasing) from Kitagawa are assumed by Gojou to be hard deadline to complete his very first human-sized costume. He’s not sure he can do it, and that’s even before his gramps sees the fancy stockings he bought and the shock makes him fall and hurt his back.
Life happens, and Kitagawa would certainly understand if Gojou said “I’m not going to be able to get it done”—especially by his standards—in the limited time allotted. But he doesn’t. All he can think about is Kitagawa being sad and disappointed in him, so he presses on. The two exchange contacts, but he throws himself into the project without giving her regular updates.
Even more life piles up for Gojou when he and Kitagawa learn that midterms are imminent, and precious afternoon hours are taken up by an impromptu tour by someone who is only in town for one day. Kitagawa stops by the shop with dinner without confirming Gojou is there, and assumes, as she has this whole time, that he’s spending time with his gramps after school.
But he’s not; he’s putting everything he has into getting the costume done on schedule, which results in him suffering exhaustion and nausea and the messes of the apartment piling up. When he spots his Hina doll brushes and remembers how his gramps uses them every day to stay sharp. He’s initially doubtful he’ll ever be good at making Hina dolls, but his gramps also said “loving something doesn’t mean you’re any good at it.” That love just helps you tough it out when times are rough.
Gramps tells him it’s all worth it to see the happy faces of the customers for whom he makes the dolls, and Gojou thinks of all the happy faces Kitagawa has made for him. They fuel him to keep going, and he manages to finish the costume on time. It’s only when Kitagawa arrives and is totally shocked by his achievement that he learns the two-week deadline…was never a real deadline.
This was nothing but a good old-fashioned lack of proper communication, with Gojou not letting Kitagawa know about the progress and Kitagawa not letting Gojou know she was waiting for him to finish it in his own time, especially with midterms and his gramps to worry about. When she sees Gojou’s ragged, fatigued appearance, she begins to weep and apologize. Gojou apologizes too, but he doesn’t want to see her tears…he made the costume so he could see her smile.
When Gojou brings up his doubts about becoming a Hina doll maker, Kitagawa assures him that if anyone can do it, it’s him. Bouyed by her support, he helps her prep her hair and makeup, and then changes into the costume, both to see if any adjustments need to be made and to see his work in the way it’s meant to be seen.
When Gojou comes back into the room, he finds she has has been transformed into a perfect Shizuku-tan, in the flesh. Kitagawa flashes her biggest grin yet, and Gojou grins right back, so happy to have made her so happy. It’s a new beautiful, adorable, emotional high for these two, who I hope have learned a valuable lesson about staying in touch!