Chapter 13: Block It Out (13)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
When Sakae came to, he was stretched across a bank of seats all to himself. It was fortunate that the armrests had changed to ones that could be lifted. It was completely dark in the theater except for the emergency lighting. He didn’t know what time it was, and he got up to look at his cell phone and saw that it was a little before 5:30. He hadn’t slept for that long. He pulled off his crooked necktie and stuffed it into his pocket. His face was puffy because he had cried, and his head felt heavy, but he didn’t feel too bad. Sakae went out to the lobby, and Shitara was on the sofa. Shitara raised his hand at him and said, “Morning.”
“Take me to Oku.”
“Right now? By car?”
“You’re playing dumb again.”
Sakae peeled off one of the flyers from the wall.
“This design is Oku’s work. Isn’t he here somewhere?”
Shitara looked at Sakae with wonder and maybe a bit of anguish, and whispered, “You’re unbelievable.”
“Nothing. Let’s go. He mentioned that he usually wakes up early on the weekends to watch the sunrise, so maybe he’s out on the beach.”
On the way to Sun Beach just before dawn, Sakae heard from Shitara that Mutsuto lived in Atami. He worked from home as a designer, and he was actively involved in the events at The Sea Swallow Theater.
“I don’t think that this is Oku’s way to atone for the things that he had done,” Shitara said. “I think he just simply likes this place, that he has great memories here—even with all the regrets that come with it.”
Halfway down the stairs to the beach, Sakae saw two shadowy figures in the distance. No, it was more like one person-sized shadow and one half-sized one. The closer he got, he saw that the smaller shadow was running around at the water’s edge like a puppy. The child looked just like Mutsuto, tirelessly playing tag with the waves, and it was like time had rewound itself.
Oh, so he’s Oku’s…
When Sakae walked onto the wet sand moistened by the high tide during the night, the child noticed Sakae and Shitara’s approach. He immediately froze into place, stared at Sakae without blinking, and then he shouted out loud, “Papa!” A little ways away, the figure gazing at Manazuru Peninsula with his back towards them turned slowly around. The innocent voice overlapped with the sounds of the waves.
“Papa, this person is Sakae, right? The one who’s Papa’s friend!”
Mutsuto stood stock still as if his son’s words hadn’t reached him. As if time had stopped— But it hadn’t stopped. The waves still rushed inland, and the sky in the east slowly turned brighter. It swallowed up the starlight left behind at night—there was no pausing and no rewinding of time—today was a new day, a new world. A world that lost people, a world that united people. There was always a beginning, and there was always an end.
Sakae gave Mutsuto a smile. “Hey, contractor, you look like you’ve been doing well.”
Mutsuto retorted back with a look on his face like he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “I said that I’d be through with you if you called me that again.”
“You’ll be through with him?”
The sharp-eared child jumped over to Mutsuto and pulled at his hand with his smaller ones.
“You can’t do that. You need to make up and be friends again.”
“Yeah… We’ll be okay.”
He looked entirely like a father as Mutsuto hugged the little head towards him and said, “My son.”
“I’m Oku Souta!”
For as small as he was, he introduced himself with gusto.
“He loves Go Go Dash, and every week we record it for him to watch.”
“I suggest that you don’t, if you want him to become a decent adult.”
Mutsuto finally laughed at the warning that came from Sakae’s heart. The morning sun, round and orange, rose up from the ocean, washing the smile in light. The sunlight was much softer than the one from that late summer morning. It even evaporated all the things that had blocked up Sakae’s chest, and maybe it radiated through the hole that was left behind, because it tickled him and made him embarrassed.
“Is it really okay to leave without talking some more?” Shitara asked from behind the wheel on their way back to Tokyo.
“It’s not like we have much to talk about.”
“Uh, I’m pretty sure that you have lots of things to talk about.”
“Didn’t you ask everything for me?”
Sakae leaned against the window, dozing off again, and thought that they could see each other any time anyway. Shitara seemed to have read his mind and said, “You’re right.”
When Sakae woke up, they had reached the parking garage at Shitara’s apartment building.
“…This isn’t my place.”
“I don’t know where you live now, so I have no other choice. Want to wash up?”
Sakae had sweated a lot during the broadcast from last night, and he took his time to soak in the tub until he was about to doze off again. It was pretty exhausting to cry.
He put on the bathrobe placed for him in the dressing area and walked out into the apartment, but there was no one in the kitchen or the living room. He found a bottle of brandy, and there were honeyed lemons in the refrigerator, so he made himself a Nikolaschka and downed it. The lemon rind had softened from the honey, and the sweetness was different from regular sugar—it wasn’t bad. There was a door half-opened to what he thought was the bedroom, and when Sakae quietly pushed it open, Shitara was sleeping on the bed, face up. He remembered that Shitara had been up the whole night. When Sakae had been sleeping at the theater, Shitara had been out in the lobby thinking about something. Not that he knew what it was.
Sakae sat at the edge of the mattress and noticed that there were two photos taped up on the wall at the head of the bed. Both of them were scenes at the beach. One was a shot of Sakae and Mutsuto, and the other was a shot of Sakae and Shitara. He remembered the latter one—Mutsuto had taken it. The former one, however, he had no idea when it had been taken.
Shitara had said that he would delete them. When Sakae went to look at them closer, his wrist was grabbed from behind.
“Don’t pretend to be asleep,” Sakae accused.
“I woke up just now.”
“When did you take this picture anyway?”
“You two looked like you were enjoying yourselves by the water, so I secretly took it. I’ve sent it to Oku too; he probably showed it to his son.”
The younger version of himself in the photo looked very unfriendly, and he didn’t think that there was any value in keeping it memorialized like this.
“I thought that it was nice and held up my cell phone… Maybe somewhere in my heart I had a premonition—that we would never see another time like this together.”
“You can say anything you want in hindsight.”
Shitara pulled Sakae’s hand to the pillow, and Sakae was essentially half-hovering over Shitara. The night was long over, but with the blinds down, the room was a darkened gray that wasn’t too bright, and where Sakae’s shadow fell over Shitara, it was slightly darker. He wondered what this mood between them was as they looked at each other. He wasn’t exactly uncomfortable, but—
“I like you, Sakae.”
Shitara just said it. And the gaze made it clear that it wasn’t a simple like.
“What do you mean, ‘Whoa’?”
“What else could I say? I mean, it’s you and me that we’re talking about.”
“Is there a problem with it?”
“I mean, after all this time? …Besides, what do you expect after telling me that?”
“Other than you, who would I tell that I like you?”
“That’s not what I’m asking.”
Shitara repeated one more time, “I like you,” as he smiled and stroked Sakae’s hair.
“I can rattle off 50 things that are terrible about you, but I like you for who you are, and maybe it makes up for everything else. So I’m asking you to make me your man.”
You have no problem bad mouthing me while you’re at it.
“I don’t understand it though,” Sakae answered honestly.
“What do you mean?”
“So basically you’re asking me to go out with you, right? But what do you mean by that?”
“What is going out together? That sounds like a question a fifth grader would ask.”
“That’s not what I meant. Do we really need to draw a clear line between what we are or what we call ourselves?”
For example, if a woman were to say Marry me (although he would refuse), there was a clear end goal that he could understand. But “going out together” was a vague term that had always mystified him. There had been times when he went to a hotel with a woman, and at the critical moment, she would ask We’re going out together, right? just to make sure, and he had put his clothes right back on and left.
“If you’re saying you want us to fuck, then sure, I don’t have a problem with it. Isn’t that enough?”
“You mean friends with benefits? Or fuck buddies?”
It didn’t really feel right to him, and Sakae stopped to ponder it.
“You’re so stupid,” Shitara said, his voice by no means sweet. “At this age, I don’t want to spend my time and effort on a relationship if it’s that halfhearted. If you don’t want a serious relationship with me, that’s fine. You can just turn me down. I’d like to avoid wasting my life.”
“Then would you accept an agreement where I don’t sleep with anyone else?”
“I never thought about making it something so defined and rigid. It’s like you’re the one taking it too seriously here.”
Words like sincere and serious were labels that he least wanted ascribed to him.
“Anyway, when you say you like me, you’re referring to me as a director, right? Honestly speaking, I don’t think we’ll last long outside of work. What happens if one of us quits?”
They would lose their common language.
“You plan to stay with me until I retire? I’m happy to hear that~”
“Uh, no, that isn’t what I meant.”
“I don’t want a halfhearted relationship, but I don’t think you need to think too deeply about it.”
“You’re contradicting yourself.”
“No, no, I’m saying that we should give a serious relationship between us a chance, and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out, we’ll just break up.”
Shitara proposed the suggestion very easily.
“Let’s look at the positive side. We can’t marry or procreate, so let’s take advantage of how much less of a hassle it is.”
Sakae would feel disgusted if he were told, You’re the only one for me forever, but that remark was a pretty garbage thing to say. But Shitara immediately softened his eyes and said, “I’m kidding,” taking back his words.
“What the hell was that for!?”
“Oh, your face looked pretty shocked just now, and it made me relieved. If you can show me a face like that, then I think that we’ll be fine.”
Sakae didn’t like that the justification was made based on something that he couldn’t see.
“I like you. I’m glad that I came to Asahi TV because I got to meet you.”
“You don’t have to keep saying it.”
“I want to say it.”
“I won’t say it.”
“That’s fine. For now at least.”
“I won’t say it even in the future.”
“I’m sure I have plenty of methods to make you say it if I feel like hearing it from you~”
It’s that side of you that always makes me stop to think twice.
If Shitara was the one person in the world who was the kindest to Sakae, then he was also the one who was the harshest. That was why Sakae always hesitated with him. If it didn’t work out and they were to break up, Sakae would probably continue to think about Shitara for anything that he worked on. Wondering what he thought about his work. He would want him to regret and hate him a lot for it. Sakae would no longer be scared of what he would think. Because when Shitara said that he liked him, Sakae was sure that it included all of those messy feelings in his words.
The hand at the back of his head exerted a pressure, and it was clear just what Shitara was demanding. Sakae took the initiative to lean down and shut Shitara up with his lips. Sakae pressed his weight onto Shitara, and Shitara wrapped his arms gently around him.
“…You’re finally mine.”
The long anticipated wait ended with a murmur seeped with nectar. It put Sakae in a good mood. If he got to listen to this voice of his, then okay, fine, why not? Shitara easily undid the sloppy knot on the belt of Sakae’s bathrobe, and his naked chest rubbed up against Shitara’s shirt. Shitara searched around the bed a bit and pulled out a plastic bottle. Sakae knew with just a glance exactly what the clear liquid was.
“Why are you so well-prepared?”
“I stopped by the drugstore on the way back. Did you not notice it at all?”
“So you knew that you would win, huh? That pisses me off.”
“It’s just good to be prepared for when the opportunity comes.”
Shitara slid his hands from the sides of Sakae’s stomach to his back, stroking him all over his spine, hips, everywhere, while kissing him repeatedly.
The deliberate movements tracing the contours of his body seemed to be linked with the teasing of his mouth, and it gave Sakae the illusion that his skin was moist and wet when he knew that it was dry. When Shitara glided over his tailbone, bubbles of fine electric current seemed to float up and burst. The fingers ran up the dip of his spine and went on to tickle the back of his neck. Sakae almost threw his head back unconsciously, but Shitara kept him in place with a tender bite to his tongue.
Sakae felt like his entire body was coated in fine droplets of water that couldn’t be seen. Shitara ran his hands everywhere, like Sakae was all his, and the water warmed up like magic, raising his body temperature. Eventually the terry cloth fabric was pulled up to expose his legs, and lubricant dribbled down into the crevice below.
The thick liquid should have traveled downwards with the pull of gravity, but Shitara used a finger to push it up into Sakae. That place hadn’t touched since that one time long ago, but it immediately remembered the chills that it felt from the foreign invasion—a discomfort that said, Yeah, this is the feeling, an instinctive inhibition that welled up against this act that defied physiological matters. But once he got past that line, he also knew the kind of pleasure that awaited him. Fingers from each of Shitara’s hands played with his hole, soaking it with plenty of lube, taking turns to pump into him with short shallow strokes. Shitara seemed to want to smear him in slickness and debauchery, all while pressing tireless kisses to his lips.
Two fingers thrust all the way into him at once. He writhed more at the ache from the surface of a nail pressing up against a certain spot inside him, than at the pain from the sudden inspection deep inside. That was the place, yes, the place below his belly that drove Sakae crazy. He felt his hole instantly turn needy, and it started to gasp, hot and desperate, for a sex that he had acquired a taste for that one time 11 years ago.
“…It’s surprising that you still seem to remember it,” Shitara murmured, giving a similar assessment. “This is just the second time on the pitcher’s mound after an 11-year break.”
“Don’t say such stupid shit.”
“This isn’t something you do in silence though?”
“You piss me off with your composure.”
Shitara shoved his hips up with a thrust. Even Sakae could tell that a hardened heat had dwelled there.
“What composure? If I don’t tease you a little, I just might go crazy.”
“Aren’t you doing it to stay sane?”
“Well, yeah, but I’m still a little embarrassed, so give me a break.”
You’re one to talk, heh.
But any additional arguments were sealed by the actions of Shitara’s fingers. Sakae devoured Shitara’s lips as the fingers devoured his twitching hole.
“Nnh… Mmmph— Nnnhh…!”
This foreplay between them went to his head more than his body, almost making him shudder from the pleasure. But it wasn’t enough. His inner walls complained, inviting the fingers deeper and deeper inside him. Shitara pulled away from the kiss and bit down on an earlobe to nibble it.
Shitara sank his teeth down, and then he thrust the tip of his tongue into Sakae’s ear, stirring up Sakae’s entire body with the obscene sounds that it made. Sakae felt like he had essentially turned into liquid, but then the lips sucking down his neck from his ear, and the fingers spreading open his tight little hole—they reminded him of his physical existence. That he was here, that his body lusted with need. In order to accommodate the girth required for their union, Shitara attentively changed the angle and depth as he teased him everywhere inside. The embarrassment that Sakae felt for the careful preparation process changed into a deep lust when the sensitive bundle of nerves was massaged through his inner walls, and the flames that flared up inside him reached even his throat.
“Ah, aahh… ngh.”
The lube had spread to the deepest parts of his body—it covered his insides, damp and soft, and it almost made him think that he had grown wet by himself. The long fingers traced swirls around the hole that wanted something much, much more—to fill it up, to squeeze down on—and it made his body tremble.
“Let’s change positions.”
Shitara slipped out from under Sakae to get behind him. He pulled off his clothes, and with Sakae faced down on the bed, Shitara pulled up Sakae’s hips so just his ass was in the air.
Sakae hugged a pillow in his arms, distorting the depression that Shitara had left behind in it. The ferocity of Shitara’s hardness was apparent from the moment that it touched the seam between his legs, and he could feel its throbbing pulse. It rammed into Sakae with a merciless thrust.
“Ahh… ah, ahh.”
Sakae started lifting further off the sheets, from his knees to his toes, as he stiffened.
“…How nice,” Shitara commented, stroking the skin of Sakae’s back with the palm of his hand. The back strained under the tension from the cock that filled him to the brim.
“It’s so much nicer now than that first time. Your body makes me so aroused.”
Before Sakae could retort, I don’t need your stupid yapping, his lower mouth tightened down, wet and slick, and clung to Shitara’s cock. He bit down on the pillow unconsciously; he could clearly imagine the shape of the thickness inside him under the seductive grip.
“Did you answer with your body?”
“Quit flapping your mouth, ugh… Just hurry it… up…”
“That would be a waste. I can’t do that.”
Shitara placed both hands on Sakae’s hips to pump slowly in and out of him, enjoying the tantalization.
“Nnh… nnh, nh.”
Sakae became more and more aroused, his nerves slowly inflamed with pleasure given to him by the steady rhythm. However, the gentle coupling did not last for long. Shitara pressed his chest to Sakae’s back, wrapping his arms around Sakae’s shoulders and over his chest to start thrusting so fast, so intense, that he almost worried that he was trying to smother him to death.
“I take my words back… Sorry, I can’t hold myself back anymore.”
“You’re so stupid— Ah, ahhh.”
Sakae was sure that he did it on purpose.
“Aaah, ah, ah…!”
At the impacts of the thrusts that devoured him at a close range, Sakae forgot to even attempt to suppress his voice. Shitara slammed himself with enough force and momentum that the bed creaked endlessly, and it frightened Sakae that it didn’t hurt at all. It scared him, but his hole twitched and cried for more, more. Every time the hardness drove into him, it seemed to pour a terrible nectar into him, and his inner walls melted into softness. He felt like he would ripen and fall from the heat and the pleasure like this.
“Nnh… nh, aah.”
Sakae wondered if the pillow would get soaked from his gasps and his panting. The position was fairly difficult on his body, but when he turned his head back, his voice melted into a man’s beast-like breathing, and with everything tangling and becoming one in their coitus, Sakae felt a full and profound ecstasy in it all. He offered up his tongue to beg for a kiss, and Shitara captured it in a truly rough manner.
“Nnnh, ah, ah—”
“Sakae, is it good?”
The sex was haphazard and reckless. The confession, Make me your man, repeated itself in his brain, and it aroused Sakae so much that it was too much for his head and his heart to handle.
This man is mine. He belongs to me.
His feelings were less that they had come to understand each other—it was something more primitive, akin to the pleasure of capturing prey—and Shitara probably felt the same way. The pumping motions, the palpitations from the man that etched onto his back—the two cadences urged Sakae on. His own pulse was beating so fast that any more would be impossible, but then the rhythm picked up, and his heart seemed to rise to his throat like he was a fish captured alive from the bottom of the ocean.
Sakae dug his fingers into Shitara’s upper arms. He wanted to reach the very end like this, let Shitara reach it too, but his hands slipped from the sweat just as Shitara released Sakae from his embrace and pulled his cock out.
Sakae had lost the large, overwhelming mass from inside him, and he felt a fretful, distraught loneliness there. With the chest pulled away from his back, each sticky with sweat, his body froze up at the chill for a moment, but Sakae was turned over for Shitara to suck on his nipples. They had long turned red and pointed from the friction against the sheets and from the pleasure had poured into his body, but they hardened even more from just the touch of Shitara’s lips.
The little peaks flushed with the hue of blood, inviting mischief, as a tongue wrapped itself around one of them. Sakae couldn’t withstand the raw stimulation and held his hands to Shitara’s head. Their eyes met. He learned that it was possible to have sex with a gaze that was filled with the same amount of arousal. The eyes burned him up and made the hairs at the back of his neck stand on end. Just before they kissed, the little peek of tongue from Shitara’s mouth was a vivid, bright red—as if the color of his nipple had transferred onto it.
Shitara licked Sakae’s lips, and at the same time, he touched Sakae’s cock. Shitara hadn’t laid a finger on it until now, but it was already flexed back like a bow, revealing the precome that dribbled down on the underside.
“Nnh, ngh, aaahh!”
The direct stimulation, stroking him up and down, was too much for him to bear. He swelled and erupted, and the fierce intensity was something that Sakae had never experienced before.
His tingling climax was enough to make his whole body go limp, but this time Shitara caressed Sakae’s cock with his lips, even though Sakae had just come, and it rejected all stimulation. When Shitara took him into his mouth, Sakae did feel a loathing and a disgust, but when Shitara used his fingers to play with his hole again, it remembered the sensation, and he responded with a lust that overflowed from the inside. Sakae gradually felt pleasure instead of pain from the mouth that sucked at his full length to bring about blood flow and hardness.
“Fuck, you gotta be kidding me— Nnnh, aahh…”
Shitara played incessantly with the hidden little spot that throbbed and ached, and Sakae felt like he would lose his bearings again. Filthy sounds filled the air without pause: of him smeared in lube, come, and Shitara’s saliva. God, he should be loosened up enough by now, right? Shitara licked along the glans, wanton with slick, and Sakae’s cock swelled larger and his hole clenched tighter at the same time. “Do you want more?” Shitara asked, twisting his fingers at the tip of Sakae’s cock. Just his breath there alone was enough to make him tremble.
“Do you want to be filled up more?”
Filled with something more than the three fingers ravishing his hole, the motions lazy and slow.
If Sakae was normal, he would probably rant, Don’t ask me, dammit, but he wasn’t normal right now—only Shitara knew this side of him, and maybe it was his genuine truth. It annoyed and frustrated him, but it wasn’t a terrible thought. That was why Sakae sat up (packed to the brim with a movement that made him ache), and he gently touched Shitara’s cheek.
“…I want to be fulfilled.”
…With warm blood in the chest exposed to the circulating air. With new color in the eyes that always looked a little distant to him. With words meant for just a single person whispered quietly into an ear.
“I love you, Sakae.”
Sakae felt like he had heard those words once before. Weren’t those the words that Shitara had whispered into his one deaf ear after they had sex that first time? But if he were to ask, Shitara would probably play dumb. Shitara held up Sakae’s knees and slowly pushed himself inside. They slowly became one.
Sakae held up the back of his knees, and it forced his body to tilt backwards. As he toppled onto the sheets, Shitara’s cock pierced his innermost depths at the same time, and Sakae came at that moment.
His insides milked the cock inside him, and Shitara caught his breath, but he went to pump his hips into Sakae without stopping.
“We’re not done yet.”
“Nnh! Ahh, I can’t anymore, aaahh…”
He felt sensitive everywhere like grazed skin, but the rhythm would absolutely not relent. His nerve endings had exceeded their limits for pleasure, and it felt like they were almost worn out. Shitara kept up his thrusts, and he finally came. As proof, their union was much filthier than before—a thick new fluid now coated his inner walls, different from the lube. However, Shitara continued to drill into Sakae, his hardness, his thickness, completely unchanged. Sakae had fulfilled Shitara too. Had made him spill. Had made him overflow. Shitara had him pinned down with lust in his eyes, and he still wanted him.
Sakae was penetrated even beyond his body, and he wished that this extraordinary outpouring would continue forever. Because he knew that it wouldn’t continue forever. Someday it would pass and end, and when he looked back on it, it would feel different than it did in the moment. And yet for a second, for a single frame, for the even tiniest moment, they sought to expose each other’s hearts and each other’s bodies.
Burn it in. Some place nobody knows.
“Aaah— Ah, ah, nnhhh…!”
They held each other close, sharing a sense of loss as little by little the heat that fulfilled them slowly receded. Sakae closed his eyes, and even though it was daytime, all he saw was pitch black. Eventually in the darkness, like a set of ending credits, the brilliant light of fireworks burst and scattered. Was he dreaming? But he only dreamed in black and white. The sounds of the fireworks bursting were probably Shitara’s and his own heartbeats.
They were fireworks over the ocean. He wanted to see them with his own eyes—not in a dream, not in a video—it was the first time in his life that he ever felt this way. Winter would be best. Maybe he would get bored with them in no time. And if he did, he could watch the man next to him enjoying them instead.
Contents Division (Digital Media Strategy Group) – Souma Sakae
The appointment to the News Department, News Program Production Unit as Adjunct Showrunner and Executive Producer of The News shall be effective April 1st.
Translator Note: This is the end of the volume, besides the extras. I will be waiting for Tsunaide to be released in August first before I release the next part, just because I don’t know how Hiraite fits in relation to Tsunaide in the overall scheme of the series. I hope that you stick around for the extras and the rest of the side stories in Off Air! If you enjoyed the spinoffs, please consider rating and reviewing the series at Novel Updates! Thanks for reading!
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.