Part 27: House of Sweets ~un petit nid~ (27)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
After Kase was discharged from the hospital, he still needed to recuperate at home, and it was about a month and a half later before Kase returned to the bakery. He wanted to work earlier than that, but Agi wouldn’t let him and told him not to push himself.
When Kase entered the kitchen and breathed the scent of bread baking in the ovens, it strangely evened out his mood.
“Things will finally be easier now,” Chise said. Rio clung to Kase’s legs and told him, “Welcome back.”
Before he knew it, Kase had found a place here where he belonged.
In the afternoon, with the rays of soft sunlight shining through the window, laughter could be heard from the dining area. Kase used to be uncomfortable with it, but now it felt so nostalgic to him. When the group of married ladies called him over and greeted him on his recovery, Kase was dumbfounded, but he somehow managed to make a smile on his face, which he found to be mystifying.
On the first day of his return, the shop closed early to celebrate his recovery with everyone there. Kase was surprised as Agi and Chise toasted him with wine and Rio toasted him with juice. He hadn’t heard anything about this.
“Hey, Hiro-kun, what’s a hearth?” Rio asked, his mouth and hands smeared with pineapple pizza.
“You said it when you woke up at the hospital. ‘I’m glad I didn’t throw them in the hearth.’”
Kase felt his heart quiver. It was that scary dream where he had thrown Chise and Rio into the fire of a hearth. He remembered thinking that he was glad that it hadn’t happened; however—
“Hmm, I’m not sure. Maybe I was dreaming about work.”
Kase brushed off the question, and Chise laughed as she wiped Rio’s hands for him. “There’s a fairy tale about throwing a witch in a hearth. Hansel and Gretel, right? There was an evil witch who lived in a house made of sweets in the forest, and the brother and sister shoved her in the hearth to kill her.”
“Those are some pretty frightening kids, shoving someone in a hearth who was nice enough to give them shelter,” Agi commented.
Chise laughed. “But she’s a witch.”
“Hmm, come to think of it,” Agi said, “when we first decided on a name for this place, wasn’t one of the ideas a house of sweets?”
“It was, it was. Maison en gateau. But it sounded too much like a cake shop, so we decided to go with un petit nid. I think it sounds cuter too.”
“Mommy, what does unpetty knee mean?”
“Hmm, didn’t I tell you before?”
“You did, but I forgot,” Rio answered innocently.
“This child,” she sighed as she put her hands on her hips. “All right, don’t forget this again, okay? Un petit nid means a little nest. It’s a tiny home where your favorite birds and animals live together in one happy family.”
“Oh, yeah, now I remember. And I thought that a penguin’s home would be better.”
Rio’s face lit up in an instant, while next to him, Agi tilted his head in thought.
“Penguins are birds too though… But do they build nests?”
“I pretty much imagine them flopping down on the ice to sleep.”
“That can’t be, it’s way too cold for that. You must be seriously dumb.”
“It’s alright. I’m not as dumb as Agi-san at least. Right, Rio?”
Chise lifted Rio up into her arms. Rio turned to look at Agi and asked, “Uncle, are you dumb?”
Agi answered, “I’m smarter than your daddy, Rio,” and Chise teased back, “I’m pretty sure the two of you were equal,” which started a silly argument between the three of them.
—A little nest.
It was a perfect description for this place, created by people who gathered here each with different circumstances. This found family that wasn’t connected by blood. But this place was warmer than any of the homes that had belonged to the relatives that Kase had known.
Kase watched the three of them, so much like a biological family, and a smile naturally formed on his lips. This scene of a happy family no longer made his heart cower.
Because there was a place for him in this little nest with them.
Chise had told Kase about Yuzuru when she visited him at the hospital. She had always dug herself into a hole whenever she fell in love, but Yuzuru was the first man who had seriously lifted her out of it.
“I don’t think that I can ever forget Yuzuru. Sometimes I do feel lonely, but I’m okay because he had treasured me so much. Memories never rust. They almost seem to get clearer with time, and I feel like he’s always with me.”
She had added, “Plus I have this unexpected present from him,” holding up the ring finger on her left hand.
“To be honest, I’m more worried about Agi-san.”
Chise had Yuzuru and Rio, and she wanted Agi to have someone like that too. Because Agi hadn’t even realized that he was lonely.
“Kase-kun, will you make Agi-san happy for us?”
Maybe because of the wine that he had, his legs were a little shaky on the way home. Kase wasn’t great with alcohol, but he had wanted to try some tonight. The clear lemonade-colored alcohol had smelled wonderful, almost like fruit. His cheeks were flushed and warm. When he raised his eyes to the sky, the stars appeared to be falling as they twinkled. There was a single moon and countless numbers of stars.
Kase muttered the first impression that he ever had in his life, and Agi looked over at him and laughed softly.
When they reached the apartment, they first headed to the kitchen together. Kase pulled out a can of cat food from the refrigerator, and next to him, Agi pulled out a cat bowl. Agi held out the bowl as Kase opened the can to fill it. They had returned late tonight, and the hungry cat was meowing at them, Hurry, hurry.
“Okay, eat up.”
Agi placed the bowl down, and the cat started devouring the food. Normally they would stay until he finished, but tonight Agi took Kase’s hand to sneak him out of the kitchen. The cat was too busy eating and didn’t care that the two of them had stealthily escaped.
They closed the bedroom door behind them, held each other close, and they kissed.
Agi hadn’t done anything with Kase during the whole time that he recuperated at home. Kase would insist that he was fine, but Agi stubbornly refused him, which made Kase worried that Agi didn’t really like him that way, but each time Agi would repeat that he was just worried about him. After it happened a number of times, Kase finally understood. Agi always seemed to be aloof to the world, but he was a terribly timid man when it came to the things that were truly precious to him.
Can I really make this man happy?
The question crossed his mind as they exchanged kisses. Kase wanted to always be by his side. He wanted Agi to stroke his head. He wanted Agi to touch him. He wanted to touch Agi. He was always wanting something for himself that up until now he had no sense for what it was that he could give. What could Kase do for Agi? Was there anything that he could do for him? He had no confidence that he could.
“…Are you really okay with me?” Kase asked.
Agi laughed from the other side of the faint darkness. Instead of an answer, Agi held Kase tightly and pulled them down on the bed as they kissed. Words were useless when they could barely think clearly. They pulled off their clothes and pressed their bodies together, bare skin on bare skin, and it grew hot enough to melt them into a puddle. Agi pressed kisses to the scars on his shoulders, and Kase felt a deep dizziness overcome him.
He had tried not to see those scars—whenever he changed, whenever he showered.
But when Agi touched them, they felt like they had been dipped in something warm.
Agi roamed over Kase’s lips, his neck, his chest, and the burn scars on the side of his stomach. He even kissed Kase’s forehead and his hair too. The body lying on top of Kase seemed to rob him of all movement, and a heat grew heavier in the spaces between them. Faint beads of sweat moistened their skin as they rubbed together, and Kase felt like even his brain had melted.
Kase’s breath hitched. A finger touched the little constriction at his rear. He felt a soft pressure, and the fingertip dragged along the rim. However, that place had only opened up once before, and it stubbornly stayed closed.
“You don’t have to stretch me out.”
Kase was upset with his body that wouldn’t give Agi what he wanted.
“Let me be gentle with you.”
Agi chuckled and pressed a loud kiss to Kase’s forehead. He sat up and pulled out the lubricant that they had used before from the side table. With the help of the thick liquid, a finger slipped inside of Kase. He bit his lip as he felt it penetrate him deeply.
As he withstood the foreign sensation inside of him, a second finger pushed in with the other one. They shifted in him with distinctly different movements than before, scissoring him open to widen the narrow channel from the inside.
His body shook and jolted. From his past experience, he readied himself for what was to come, but it didn’t help. Every time Agi grazed that one spot, countless numbers of fires lit up under his skin.
“Ngh, ah, ah, aaah…”
Agi attacked the spot, sometimes hard, sometimes soft, and Kase’s voice melted like icing, sweet and indulgent.
Kase tried to at least hide his face, but Agi caught his wrist and blocked him from doing so. His vision was blurred from the pleasure, but Agi placed his face so that it was right there in front of him. Heated eyes gazed at him intently, and Kase knew that they watched him carefully, making sure that he felt good, that he didn’t feel any pain.
“Agi-san, hurry, I can’t wait anymore…”
Kase wrapped his arms around Agi, clinging to him, and Agi spread Kase’s legs apart, pressing the tip to the place all heated and slick. Agi pushed into him slowly and matched the depth with his kiss.
Even when they were fully connected, there was no end to the kiss. Kase could barely breathe, but he didn’t want it to stop. He wanted to be connected to Agi, at the top, at the bottom, everywhere.
“…Sorry, I can’t hold back.”
The whisper sounded pained. From there, Kase drowned under Agi’s full mercy. No matter how far he sank, it seemed to be endless. No matter how far he rose, he couldn’t break through to the surface. Only Agi was there for him to hold onto, and he desperately clung to him, blabbering things in delirium like Yes, So good, and I love you.
He had utterly no space for any other thoughts in his head, and he came, gasping for breath.
In the midst of his pleasure that seemed to rob him of all strength, Kase felt a heat gush deep inside his body.
Agi collapsed on top of him, like he had used up all of his strength. They held each other close, closed their eyes, and waited for their breaths to even out.
Little by little, his breathing became easier, and Kase felt as if he was slowly rising back to the surface. He finally broke through to take a deep breath and exchanged kisses with Agi again.
There was nothing that wasn’t enough. Nor was there too much. He was all wrapped up in Agi’s arms, and he wrapped up Agi in his own arms.
He had never felt this way before. Kase was happy, but somehow he was anxious. Maybe this was really a dream, and when he woke up, no one was actually next to him. As Kase drifted in a daze, Agi peered into his eyes. There were no words, but the eyes that looked at him were incredibly gentle.
I love you.
Kase’s whisper was just a breath, but Agi pulled his head into his embrace.
It was their usual position, the one where Kase’s head fit perfectly against Agi’s chest. It really is perfect, he thought, and within three minutes, just as he expected, he heard the breathing sounds of someone sleeping, and Kase had to chuckle a little.
This place where Kase was tucked within Agi’s arms felt like a warm and comfortable nest. When Kase twined his arms and legs around Agi, water rose up above his head again, submerging him back under.
The sea was sweet and warm like syrup, and Kase quietly closed his eyes within it.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.