Extra 3: Put It on Hold
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
“I forgot to write an email. I’m borrowing your computer.”
“Sure, feel free. There’s no password on it.”
He left the bedroom for a moment, but then he came back right away.
“That was fast. Did you finish already?”
“Why the hell were you searching for apartments in Atami?”
“Why? Because I’m searching for one?”
“Well, isn’t it because Atami is nice?” Shitara said with absolutely no guilt. “I got a little jealous at seeing how Oku-sama lives out there. It’s right there on the beach with the mountains and all those hot springs. You can see fireworks all the time, and it’s not far from Tokyo or Yokohama. There’s nothing more that you could ask for. The town is pretty hilly, but it kind of makes me want to buy a fussy Ita car and experience an engine stall on one of the hills, you know…? Huh, are you upset about something? By the way, when I say an Ita car, I mean an Italian car, not a painful eyesore decorated with images.”1
If it were the latter, he would scrap the damn car the moment it was delivered.
“Yugawara is nice too. It’s just next door, but it’s not as convenient without the Shinkansen stop.”
“What? Are you going to commute to work by Shinkansen then?”
It wasn’t like there weren’t people who did that at the company, but he really had strange tastes. Anyway, it would be one thing if he had a job that finished at 6 pm, but with a show that ended at 11 pm? It was physically impossible to get back each night. However, Shitara just very casually replied, “No, I’m thinking about it for after retirement.”
“Isn’t that a long ways off?”
“Well, I was thinking that it might be nice to retire early at 50~”
“Well, my calculation assumes that by that time I should be able to leave the show entirely to you without any worries. Unlike someone here, I’m not the type to feel the need to fiddle with every little detail myself.”
“Oi. So what? You’re telling me that you dragged me over because you wanted a comfortable retirement in the future?”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“Fuck off. I’m breaking up with you. We’re breaking up right now.”
“Don’t be so hasty, okay?”
Sakae grabbed the jeans that he had thrown on the floor, and just as he lifted a leg to put them back on, Shitara pulled on his arm to topple him down on the bed.
“Let go of me, you damn scam artist.”
“There’s still 7 years ahead of us; that’s plenty of time to make memories and get some great work out there, don’t you think? Or is that not enough for you, Sakae?”
“Ugh, why do you make it sound like I’m the one who wants more? That pisses me off. That’s not what we’re talking about.”
“Well, I’m pretty sure that by the time I hit 50, rather than my body, it’s my head that won’t be able to keep up. So I’d like to retire before I end up disappointing you.”
“Do you really think that wheedling excuse will work on me?”
“But it’s true. I’m pitifully mediocre compared to you.”
Shitara peered down at Sakae who was laid out on his back on the bed. That was fine, but not when he touched his ear or his jaw in that damn suggestive manner.
“You know the video of Oku? It has really been a while since I’ve had to finish a full video by myself. Oh, right, I almost forgot to ask you. What did you think of my editing?”
Since he was bold enough to ask him the question to his face like this, Sakae could only think that he was pretty confident about it.
“Well, it looked pretty simple. Like it could be done in 5 minutes.”
“How rude. I purposely made it like that.”
“If I have to say something, then it reminds me of a casting couch for porn.”
“Oh, like how many sexual partners have you had? What kinks are out of bounds for you? Videos like that? I see, so you watch them.”
“Then should I start by asking what age you were when you had your first sexual encounter?”
“Why are you interviewing me?”
“I might as well while I’m at it.”
“What do you mean, you might as well? Didn’t you tell me before that it’ll only make you angry, so you didn’t want to hear it?”
“Oh, when we had our first sexual encounter?”
“You use that stupid term again, and I’m breaking up with you.”
“Whaa~? I mean, I was pretty wet behind the ears back then, and I couldn’t really think straight. It hadn’t occurred to me that the anger could be a spice to fire me up more.”
“Huh? What? Did I step on another landmine?”
“And since you now know better, you must have put your 9 years to good use studying up on all sorts of things around the country to know all about spice and kinks and the like. Did you rack up a credit at every affiliate station on your tour?”
Like a sailor who kept a girl at every port. During the time that they had lost contact with each other, they had made no promises whatsoever. And if Sakae were told that he was the only one for Shitara that entire time, it would skeeve him out a little. That was why he had decided that they should both just ignore it, but now…
“Not that I care, but don’t practice them on me, pervert.”
“Don’t get jealous and have all the fun on your own~ You play dirty~”
“There’s seriously something wrong with your head.”
“Well, what about you? I saw that you still keep condoms around at your place.”
“Don’t snoop through my apartment.”
“You just leave them lying around. I’m going to see them even if I don’t want to. And there’s like 2 or 3 of them that are still unused in each box… I bet you accumulated all those leftovers because you decided to buy new ones thinking you probably had some but it would be a hassle if you didn’t, or you kept buying new ones thinking you couldn’t trust the ones at the hotel or the ones that your partner had.”
“Quit reading my mind.”
Sakae scowled back at Shitara, who smiled down on him.
“Tell me what you like when you’re the one doing it.”
“…Then take off your clothes and bottom for me.”
I’ll let you experience it yourself.
“I’m fine with just listening, thanks.”
“Obviously I’m not telling you.”
“But I want to hear it~ Won’t you tell me while I’m still smiling~?”
“Quit turning so serious all of a sudden!”
Your eyes aren’t smiling in the least.
Sakae lifted his legs to use the momentum to force himself up, but Shitara just barely managed to dodge him, so he didn’t have to dole out a headbutt (which was a little too bad).
“Hey, that’s dangerous.”
“You’re the one who’s dangerous,” Sakae retorted. He tried to get up on his feet, but he was hugged tightly from behind.
“If I let go, you’ll leave. You’re always so cold, Sakae.”
“You’re one to talk. Anyway, I still have an email to write.”
“At this time of night, you might as well write it in the morning.”
“Then I’ll go have a smoke.”
“There’s no smoking here. If your mouth is feeling lonely, I can fill it up for you.”
Don’t sound so smug when you say that.
Sakae bit down pretty hard on the fingers that slipped between his lips, but there was no sign of fear or retraction from Shitara. Tch. There was no way that he could be okay from it, but this man would bluff and act calm even if Sakae bit his fingers off, and Sakae felt like he always lost to that demeanor of his.
Sakae ran his tongue around the top joints that he had bitten down on before speaking up.
“The video of Oku.”
“How much footage did you get in total?”
“I don’t know, I don’t really remember. I think probably over 50 hours.”
For 11 years, no matter where he was, Shitara would always bring himself back to Atami.
“Do you want to see it?”
“No need, but why did you go to such lengths to do that?”
“Because I wanted to show it to you someday. Didn’t I already tell you?”
“When was that someday supposed to be?”
It was too much work to put into a video with no fixed broadcast date.
“How was I supposed to know? I just knew that someday it would come, and that I would know it when it came. That was the only thing that I could tell myself. Anyway, I also thought that having Oku-sama spill whatever was on his chest to the camera was also a good thing. It might be presumptive to call it therapy, but maybe speaking to a camera is sort of like speaking to yourself on the other side of a mirror.”
And that was why Shitara had thrown such brutally frank questions at him. They were questions that Mutsuto had for himself. When Sakae first watched it, he had been too anxious and angry to have any consideration for the mentality of the one asking the questions, but obviously it must have been painful to wrench open Mutsuto’s wounds like that. But Shitara had mentioned nothing about it. He always took the hard and painful roles, pretending to be unaffected.
If the day came when Shitara had truly exhausted himself of the industry and wanted to wash his hands of it all, then Sakae should probably agree and support him. He knew that.
“…You can get your apartment in Atami, retire there, do whatever you want,” Sakae said. “But then you better not watch The News, even if you get so bored that you could die. If you decide you want to change your mind and come back, I won’t let you back in.”
He continued coldly, “I don’t care if you regret your decision and you want it back, or if you’re restless, or you miss the place.”
“Wha? Not even part-time?”
“If you want to blow your earnings on the round-trip commuting expenses, then do whatever you want.”
“Well, that’s a tough decision.”
“Those aren’t the hands of someone weighing a tough decision.”
For a while Sakae fought off the hands that groped his skin like they could find the answers there, but he eventually went limp and drowned in the bed as he succumbed to their mercy.
In the end, Shitara apparently decided that he needed to think about the expenses for a place in Atami, a nursing home, and his grave site and conceded, “I think I’ll need to work a little bit more~” Sakae, on the other hand, decided that he needed to throw more and more extravagant demands at Shitara in order to whittle down his wealth.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.