Chapter 13: Side Profiles and Irises (13)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
In front of the train station closest to Tatsuki’s apartment building, Tatsuki told Shin, “I have to stop by the drugstore first. I need to get stuff we need.”
Stuff we need, stuff we need, stuff we need… When Shin imagined the specific next steps that would happen between them, he grabbed the cuff of Tatsuki’s suit jacket and pulled him back.
“Huh? I’m sorry, but if you make me wait any longer, I’m going to explode. I had to work reallllllly hard to control myself the last time.”
“Ya so loud! Um, I was just thinkin’ maybe it’s better if I go an’ buy the stuff?”
“Oh, do you have a particular brand you like? Or a particular thickness or consistency?”
“Keep it down, okay!? I dun. I dun even have a clue ’bout ’em, but right now ya out without a disguise.”
“If I worried about every little thing, I wouldn’t be able to go outside. I’ll pop in and buy the stuff, so wait here for me, okay?”
The drugstore sold an assortment of snacks and daily necessities—the merchandise was even displayed outside the shop with loud red and yellow signs everywhere advertising special sales. These ordinary items and the activities they would (probably) do after this—they felt worlds apart, and it was too much of a shock for Shin, who had no experience of his own. He wondered maybe this was really a dream or a prank.
But Tatsuki came right back out with a bag in his hand, slipping through the aisles and past the shampoo rack. He drew people’s attention to him as much as the over-bright lights and the loud blaring music of the store, and this unguarded quality about him made him all the more attractive. With this wide shot of Tatsuki, Shin could view him with an objectivity that he hadn’t had before, like Oh, there’s a really hot guy. He forced Shin’s eyes to focus and zoom in on him, and this time his heart clenched up hard in pain. Tatsuki looked around for Shin, and when he locked onto his target and trotted up to him, Shin thought that maybe there was some kind of a mistake.
“Want to buy dinner first? Or should we get delivery?”
“U-Um… I’m not tryin’ to make this a big deal or anythin’, okay? But are ya really okay with me? Oh, um, but it’s not like I need ya to say somethin’ nice to reassure me or anythin’, but I’m a guy, a nobody, an’ staff… Ya could be datin’ a girl instead…”
Now that he put it into words, maybe Shin really only wanted Tatsuki to indulge and reassure him. It made him feel completely pathetic.
“What? Are you saying you would like me better if I was a regular worker?”
“No, I’m not.”
“Okay, and what if you were a girl and a celebrity then? But at that point, you would no longer be you~”
Tatsuki said it like a joke, but his eyes were serious. It made Shin feel taken aback.
“I have thoughts myself, Nacchan—that maybe you might think it’s easier to trust exclusively gay men. Maybe it’s easier to be with someone who’s not on TV. Maybe the day will come when someone like Souma-san appears and you hit it off with him, talking about editing and stuff. You can’t make me believe 100 percent that those things will never happen. I’m the same as you. I know you’re scared and worried, so I won’t tell you to keep it to yourself, but you’re mistaken if you think that you’re the only one who worries about these things.”
Tatsuki always approached everyone equally, and Shin felt bad for shrinking away from him without any thought. Just because Tatsuki was cheerful and strong, it didn’t mean Shin could spout anything he wanted.
“It’s fine, as long as you understand. Let’s go.”
The rain had stopped, the surface of the road wet and glossy as two shadows darted past the water puddles. So this is what it looks like here at night, Shin thought as he gazed at the view outside the station with the closed stutters and all the izakaya signage that weren’t visible during the day. He wondered how he would feel leaving to go home from here. And what about the next time he came over?
“Oh, right. I thought I should ask. Do you prefer to be the top? Or the bottom?”
“…Um, the bottom.”
It took Shin a lot of courage to admit that he was a man who wanted another man to penetrate him, but Tatsuki just said happily, “I’m glad we don’t have to do rock-paper-scissors.”
“So ya wanted to top, huh?”
“Well, at the most crucial moments, I’ve never lost once, you know~! Oh, let’s make a run for it!”
The green light started flashing, and Tatsuki took Shin’s hand. Shin thought, It’s harder to run holdin’ hands, but he felt like this was a symbol of what the two of them would be from now on. Yes, it was easier and faster to run with both hands free, but even if they stumbled or lost patience along the way, they could run so much farther with their hands together.
The beating of his heart raced ahead of him, and Shin loved it and could barely breathe.
Shin didn’t borrow Tatsuki’s shower. If he were to get any time to himself, he knew he would stress about how to face Tatsuki again once he got out.
“U-Um, I’m scared…”
Shin was fully aware that it was late in the game to be saying this, but he felt like he had used up all of his fortitude just to remove his clothing and get onto the bed.
“Are you nervous? I know, want to put a GoGo DVD on in the background?”
“Dun defile the spring o’ my youth.”
“Hmmm, let’s just lie down together for now.”
They sank down on the bed next to each other. The backs of their hands and their arms were touching.
“Today was the first time I learned what it felt like to be nervous. I finally lost my nerves virginity.”
“Seriously? I couldna tell at all.”
“Well, I am a pro, you know. I feel like I’ve rocketed up the stages of adulthood these past few months.”
“What the heck’s that?”
“Let’s go celebrate tomorrow with a bunch of people~ I want sushi~ What do you like, Nacchan?”
“Clam an’ white fish. I hate anythin’ shiny with skin on it.”
“I totally want chawanmushi~”1
“Didna ya want sushi?”
“Don’t you think chawanmushi at a sushi place tastes more satisfying than usual? I do~”
They laced their fingers together while they talked in bed. They faced each other and reached out to hold each other naked. Whoa, Shin thought. He never knew that a person’s body felt like this. This was Tatsuki—his skin, his flesh, his bones. He felt completely different from when he was clothed, and his body heat changed depending on where they touched. Shin could feel the moisture from Tatsuki’s breath and breathed in his scent—they immediately warmed themselves inside of Shin’s heart. Everything was a first for him, and yet there was a sense of nostalgia like he knew these things very well. Inside of Tatsuki’s arms, Shin welled up with tears in his eyes—no emotions in particular staining them.
“Am I pushing you too much?”
“Ya not.” Shin pushed his forehead to Tatsuki’s chest and whispered, “I love ya.” He repeated it again. “I love ya…”
“I love you too. It does make me happier to hear it, not just reading the words.”
“Are you okay now?”
Shin was still frightened, but his desire to share this experience with Tatsuki was stronger.
Tatsuki climbed over on top of Shin and softly dropped a kiss to his lips. This time Shin was prepared for it, and he closed his eyes and accept the kiss. The moment their lips touched, the sensations running through his body sharpened. The goosebumps unnerved him, but it wasn’t unpleasant or cold. As Shin clung to Tatsuki, a tongue slipped into his mouth, lightly tangling with his, and Shin felt like his brain was connected directly to the base of his tongue as he fell into a daze. Tatsuki constantly shifted the angle, sucking on his lips.
Tatsuki released his lips and looked down at Shin’s face. He dropped kisses on his cheeks and groped against his chest.
“Hngh— Ha ha!”
Tatsuki gently rubbed a nipple, and Shin’s voice cracked from the very different sensation. Well, more like he couldn’t stop himself from laughing.
“That feels funny.”
“Oh, does it feel ticklish?”
Tatsuki gently withdrew his hand, and Shin thought, Crap. Maybe he ruined the mood.
“S-Sorry. Maybe I just ain’t very good at this.”
“Ya know, like givin’ ya a better response or creatin’ a nicer mood…”
Shin felt a little ashamed at having no experience, but Tatsuki burst out laughing.
“It’s fine. You don’t have to worry about creating a mood. Why are you trying to be a floor manager at a time like this?”
“Because… Um, if ya decide to change ya mind ’bout doin’ this, just tell me, okay?”
“You’re so silly~”
Tatsuki brushed up the bangs that covered Shin’s eye. He nuzzled his forehead against his, and Tatsuki was so close that Shin couldn’t really see his smile, but he could clearly imagine it.
“Nacchan, you’re really, realllly cute. Do you not know that?”
“It’s just cringey to think that ’bout yaself.”
“Well, I guess it’s hard to see things about yourself.”
A hand traced over his belly and creeped down lower.
“—Before I realized it, I had completely fallen for you.”
Tatsuki fingered the very naked member of his sex. This was the first time Shin had ever had anyone touch him like this, and yet underneath the shame and anxiety, Shin’s body started heating up. He was reeling, with barely time to think—and Tatsuki took Shin into his hand, urging it to hardness, and it slanted up on its own.
“Huh? Ya touchin’… Wait… Wha? Wha?”
The soft whisper into his ear had the opposite effect. His cock became more erect as the strokes grew stronger—only to grow faster and sharper the harder he got.
Lust swirled around and around in his belly. Fingertips tickled the head of his cock. When they twisted and rubbed the slightly narrowed part under the hood, Shin felt as if his veins had swelled up like balloons. He swam in all these different thoughts and sensations—his brain reasoned that they were having sex, so of course, they would do something like this; his heart could only cry out, Wait, hold on; and his body reveled in the pleasure that Tatsuki gave him. Everything hit him all at once, and his feet twisted against the sheets.
Tatsuki repeatedly played with the sensitive underside, making Shin pant and gasp, like maybe he had exhausted all of his oxygen. He tried to straighten out his breathing, but it became a moan that sounded like an animal in heat.
“Ahhh— No, I can’t.”
His naked desire was on full display for someone he loved. Shin loved him, that was why he could do this, but at the same time, because he loved him, he wanted to run away. Tatsuki’s hand caressed him all over, like he was trying to memorize the exact shape of his cock, and Shin had to hold Tatsuki’s hand into place.
“Hmm? You want it like this?”
“T-That ain’t what I meant.”
“Are you about to come?”
“Umm, I can do the final bit myself.”
Shin was reluctant to come like this. It felt more like Tatsuki was taking care of his needs, and he felt bad about it.
“Oh, you’re going to show me that our first time together? Nice~ Thank you~”
“That ain’t what I meant! …Uh, did I get somethin’ wrong somewhere?”
“Hnn~ Maybe you should just stop using your head, Nacchan~”
“Why— Ah, ahhh…!”
“Let it go completely blank.”
Tatsuki’s low, husky voice trickled directly into his head.
“Relax your body and just come.”
“N-No, I dun wanna… ngh.”
Even though Shin tried to resist, the tip of his cock could no longer withstand the stimulation and started to leak. Fluid dripped down from the head, seeping between the fingers jacking him off. It made such loud, sticky sounds that Shin’s face turned all red. With the added slickness to the strokes, Shin trembled with desire down to the tips of his fingers and toes.
“Ah… No… Nnnhh!”
Shin came, his back and his cock curving in an arc. He expelled the heat he had collected in a single breath, and the beads of sweat on his skin suddenly felt chilly. Then something even colder dribbled into his body. It was the lubricant that they had just bought.
There was something like an illusion in his seductive, little hole—like the cool, wet gel was a creature slipping inside of him, and Shin scrunched his face into a frown. It made him feel sick. But a finger burrowed inside of him, using the slickness of the gel. Shin was so unaccustomed to the sensation that he didn’t know what to think of it—he couldn’t say if it was clearly good or clearly bad.
“No,” Shin cried sharply.
“…Should I stop?” Tatsuki asked, gently caressing and soothing the skin that had frozen in fear in an instant.
“I don’t think we can do it if I can’t get at least three fingers inside of you. Tell me now if you seriously think this might be too much for you.”
“No, dun stop.” It surprised Shin how immediate his reply was. “I wanna do it…”
“Okay. I won’t stop.”
A finger was buried inside of him to the root. Shin could feel it ravishing him from the inside, making it feel much bigger than it was. It made it hard to breathe.
“I’m going to move now.”
The finger started pulling out from inside of his body. His tightly closed hole spasmed, lured in by the movement. Shin didn’t feel anything like pain, thanks to the lube, but there was a dull foreign sensation. He figured it was because he had never done anything like this before, but he accepted it because the gentle movements in and out of him were necessary preparations he had to endure.
But then Tatsuki’s finger started twisting inside him, changing from the simple pumping motions.
There was something beyond his inner walls, Shin didn’t know what, but something was definitely there, and it made him see sparks. Every time the finger grazed past that spot, the sparks grew bigger, inflaming his senses.
“No, I can’t… Not there inside… ngh.”
“Why? Does it hurt?”
“I-It tingles, an’ I can’t settle down.”
“What if I do this?”
Tatsuki used the pad of his finger to push into the spot with purpose. Shin wavered like a needle between an itchiness from a freshly healing cut and an arousal that spurred his need and desire, but he knew he was clearly careening towards the latter.
“Nhh, ahh… aaah.”
His hole squirmed holding Tatsuki’s finger. It gasped heavily, even though Shin didn’t consciously mean to do it. When Tatsuki added a second finger, his hole became unabashedly needy, sucking it smoothly inside of him, slicked up with lube.
“Aaaah… Ahh, nghh, nooo.”
His inner walls were soaked and ripened, so soft he thought he might fall and turn to mush. The pleasure that Tatsuki pulled out of him from the place where he melted—it was like a raw, concentrated solution, far too strong for his inexperienced body, and his cock strained up once again, leaking fluid all over himself. He couldn’t say that it simply felt good, but his body reacted with greed, taking in a third finger, and he didn’t hate the intrusion stretching and twisting inside of him.
“Noo— Ah, aaah…”
“Nacchan,” Tatsuki said, urging Shin’s open legs to splay out even wider. “I think you’re pretty good at this.”
“Y-Ya horrible, ya dumb nut.”
“Why? Here, feel this.”
Tatsuki had learned the exact spot that made Shin ache and moan, and he played with him, changing up the stimulation. Shin had long surrendered any control over his own desire.
“Can I use mine to touch you right here?”
“Nooo, I can’t, I’m scared.”
“I’m putting it in.”
Tatsuki probably said the words with the full understanding that Shin didn’t mean that kind of scared. Tatsuki slowly pulled his fingers out of that obscene hole, as if he was reluctant to part with it, and spread open the rim sideways.
“You’re all red and flushed here, but you look okay.”
“Dun look… ngh.”
“But I want to see. It turns me on how hot this is~”
Shin was so embarrassed that he could die, but Tatsuki just brushed away his protests. But with Tatsuki’s next words, Shin had to squeeze his eyes shut.
“I’m already at my limit.”
White light dissolved the dark patterns flickering behind his eyelids. Tatsuki pushed into him, the hard tip like a sword, slowly spreading Shin open.
His body tried to push back, rejecting it, but it transformed into greed as the tip melted into him, and Shin tried to suck the cock up into his body.
“…Can you feel me? I’m inside you.”
A rawness and a mass completely different from Tatsuki’s fingers ravished him, and Shin shuddered, rife with pleasure.
“Ahh, ah, ah, Minagawa…”
“I’ll let you… come some more, okay?”
Tatsuki fully lodged his cock inside of Shin’s body, wedging himself in, tiny spasms continuing deep inside Shin.
Shin clung his arms to Tatsuki’s back, his cock rubbing up against Tatsuki’s stomach, and he shot a stream of sticky, white come. His hole clutched down, wringing the cock inside of him harder than before.
“Ah, aaah, aahh!”
“Ah, crap. Shit, I’m gonna come…”
Tatsuki held his breath too, but he didn’t release inside of him. He held Shin in his arms, not moving a muscle, until Shin finally stopped heaving and caught his breath.
“…Ahhh, seriously, thanks Dad… I was able to hold it out…”
“Ya dun hafta tell me every little thing!”
Shin gave a sharp slap to the back beaded with sweat, and they both laughed. Inside his body, Shin held a person’s pulse there exactly like his own. Tatsuki’s heat was ready to surge at any moment. Tatsuki ground into him, slow and gentle, a dangerous intoxication, and a new lust grew inside him like a heat wave.
Tatsuki’s cock was so terribly hard, Shin wondered if all of the blood in Tatsuki’s body had solidified there. It swelled inside him, full and supple, wanting to discover the depths inside Shin. Shin didn’t know what to do with his legs circled around Tatsuki. It wasn’t clear if he wanted to lure him in deeper or if he wanted him to stay into place. Tatsuki quickened his short, little thrusts, the tip of his cock continuously driving into Shin, and electric shocks spread out indulgent through his entire body.
“Ah, ah, ahh.”
“Nacchan, how do you like it best?”
“I dunno… ngh.”
“Okay, then I’ll do what I like.”
Tatsuki gathered Shin’s legs, folding his knees up against his chest. Due to the something lodged inside him between his legs, Shin couldn’t free himself from this unabashed sex position.
Tatsuki slowly withdrew his cock, as if carefully tearing itself away from the pleasure and lube that filled Shin’s insides. The nerves behind his ears and neck felt like they were upside down, and Shin was so aroused he was about to go crazy.
From there, Tatsuki teased his hole with shallow little strokes using the tip that remained inside him.
“You’re making some incredible noises.”
“Noo— Nnnh, nnh, nhhh.”
Shin wanted all of Tatsuki’s thrusts, and his lower body twitched, a wave rippling through even his stomach muscles. As Tatsuki slowly moved his cock where they joined, he once again reached out for Shin’s nipples.
“Nnh! No, why…?”
Shin hadn’t realized that they had perked up, and as soon as Tatsuki had touched them, he was overcome by pleasure, and it made him completely flustered. He hadn’t felt anything earlier, and yet this single experience of sex had already changed his body this much.
“Does it feel good?”
“N-No, it dun…”
“You’re lying. You tightened up so much just now.”
“Noo, dun say it— Ah, aaaah!”
Tatsuki pushed back into that tightened place inside him, spreading Shin back open. Tatsuki filled him with just a single stroke, and Shin shamefully lifted his hips as he tried to rub himself off, all wanton and needy. A rhythm filled him over and over again, and he complained in a broken voice, “I’m gonna turn dumb… I can’t… Like this… I’ma forget how to operate a camera or use the editin’ stations…”
“Me too. I’ll forget how to pronounce and enunciate words properly. I’ll have to start over from scratch.”
“Nooo, I dun wanna.”
“It’s fine, as long as we become stupid together.”
Yeah, maybe. Tatsuki sounded kind of serious, and Shin almost nodded without thinking very deeply. A powerful wave of arousal swept up his body and heart into a storm, and Tatsuki placed his lips on a pebbled little nipple and sucked hard.
“Nhh! Ah, nghhh.”
Under the demanding attack, the nipple flushed red with blood, begging for more attention with a shamelessness that bordered on humiliation. Multiple sources of pleasure poured inside of him, fusing into one, and Shin felt like maybe his entire body consisted of just his dick.
“Ahh— I don’t think I can hold back this time. I’m about to come.”
Tatsuki looked like he was under a lot of duress, but when Shin thought how Tatsuki was trying to hold out for his climax, Tatsuki looked incredibly cute to him.
Shin placed both his hands on Tatsuki’s cheeks, silently entreating him to come closer. Tatsuki bent forwards deeper towards Shin, thrusting into him hard. Over and over again.
“Aaah, nghh, ahh, ahh!!”
“I love you. I love you… ngh.”
The feelings that Shin had built on his own had been precious, and there had been no subtraction involved. Even though he would never go into the negatives, Shin had started at zero, building what he could with no goal or destination in sight—but then Tatsuki had jumped in with him and together they could add and multiply. Shin knew he would probably experience this happiness over and over again from here on out.
Tatsuki leaned his spent body into Shin’s arms. The gentle light in his eyes up close made Shin want to cry again. He hoped that the same light was reflected in his own eyes.
I’m always watchin’ ya, so please, always be watchin’ me.
It was October when Shin ran into Sakae at the network.
“It’s good to see you, sir.”
“I see that you were finally discharged from the hospital.”
“Just last week.”
Sakae was dressed in a suit, like a regular office worker, and the former tense atmosphere that had surrounded him had greatly diminished. He looked much better and healthier. Shin felt a little sad that something about him seemed completely removed, but it was for the best, as long as Sakae was better. The thrilling times and the nervous times when Shin would look up at Sakae’s profile would never come back, but Shin only wanted Sakae to be healthy and well.
“I see that you didn’t end up quitting.”
“Um, yes. It’s not like I can do any other job anyway…”
“That’s true,” Sakae said. “You’re my underling, so you can’t do anything but TV.”
Shin understood the underlying yell of encouragement behind his words. So don’t hesitate. Do your best.
“Okay, okay, that’s former underling, okay? Former!”
That was when Tatsuki stepped in.
“Stop popping up everywhere, will you? You one-and-a-half-rate announcer.”
“This is the news floor, sir. I’m allowed to be here, sir. What brings you here, D-button-senpai?”
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Sakae. My meeting ran a little long.”
“Yeah, you’re late.”
Shitara also came up to them, eyeing Sakae and Shin happily.
“Good for you, Sakae.”
“Don’t say anything stupid. Here are the plans you wanted for sweeps week.”
Sakae shoved the documents into Shitara’s hands and gave the strange warning again as he left, “Don’t say anything, you hear!”
“…What was that about?” Shin asked.
“He told me to stop you if you started saying that you wanted to quit.”
“He said it would be a waste and not to let you quit. Well, it’s not like you ever mentioned it.”
“Oh… I never knew that. To me, it seemed like he didn’t care which decision I would make.”
Shin couldn’t believe that Sakae had quietly made arrangements to prevent him from quitting. He was so happy at the words “it would be a waste,” he had to bite his lips.
Tatsuki got angry and yelled, “Oi, oi, don’t get so happy about it!”
“Good for ya, huh? Ya ratin’ improved to one-and-a-half rate.”
“That’s so iffy~!”
“By the way, what’s D-button-senpai supposed to mean?”
“Because he moved over to the Contents Department. It’s like the D-button on the remote, where you access digital content and stuff.”
“Well, he’ll show back up in another studio soon enough.”
“Ya think so?”
“Hey, don’t get so happy about it!”
“I ain’t gettin’ happy ’bout it… Sports is really packed today, so make sure ya prepare for it.”
Night fell, and the number of people around Shin increased. It became louder and busier, accelerating in intensity, as they headed towards their 10 o’ clock start. Shin stared up at the lights as he always did when he was on the floor and took a deep breath. He would never stand on the set in front of an audience, but he would wish and pray, hoping to be the person who best understood the people who fought here in front of the cameras. This show aired day in and day out like it was the most normal thing in the world, but today another broadcast would begin again—each one designed just for that day, just for that moment.
Let’s work hard. Let’s work hard, okay?
“One minute until air time!”
The viewers couldn’t see Shin, and so they never noticed the gaze that Tatsuki would give Shin in the studio. Tatsuki would speak smoothly to the viewers as he asked with an eloquence—How many minutes are left? Is this story exciting? Do you want to hear more? Does my voice reach you? Let me know, okay? Tatsuki lit up in front of the cameras—that was when he was most alive, that was when he was the best. Even more than when they were alone together, even though it made Shin a little frustrated.
Shin would answer back—with signals, with writing, with gestures, with expressions, with eyes meeting eyes like a magnet drawing them together, with the light deep inside of those irises.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.