Extra 2: What If?
He was speaking on the TV screen.
“Today we invited to the studio the young freshmen members of the National Diet—all ranging up to the age of 35. We discussed the current distrust that young people have for politics, their disillusionment with the election process, and how the members feel about the role they play in representing their generation. Under the theme of ‘Issues I Stand For,’ we asked everyone if they were to become Prime Minister, what kind of policy agenda would they pursue? Please think of it as a preview of future public commitments some decades down the road. Let’s see how they answered…”
On the count of three, a poster board was revealed to the camera with a list of policies that most people had probably heard about somewhere, such as extending subsidies to couples for each new baby they have, or attracting IT ventures to localities around Japan, or raising the retirement age to 70.
“Ahh, such boring ideas.”
Kei allowed himself to voice the thoughts that he had kept to himself at the studio.
“Unless they have some original ideas, they’ll never get any airtime. Eventually they’ll disappear, or they’ll get involved in an incident and become a laughingstock in the media.”
“Then if Kunieda-sensei were to become Prime Minister, what would you do?” Ushio asked, watching the replay of the show while sitting on the bed next to Kei.
“I’d ban the use of the word ‘girl’ for all adult women.”
“Doesn’t it sound nauseating to call a woman past a certain age a girl? It’s obvious and dirty what they’re doing when they’re like, ‘Oh, but it sounds cuter this way, so why not? I’d be angry if I was called a little girl, but this is fine.’ The worst is the term ‘Mature Adult Girl.’ Like what? What age are you supposed to be? Do you want to grow up or do you not?”
“What about ‘Girl’s Night?’”
“That’s what you want do when you become the most powerful person in the country?”
“I see, I see.” Ushio smiled and nodded.
Ushio’s smile had a raw, natural warmth—not too hot and not too cold; it was the only way that Kei could describe it.
“You better never run for office,” Ushio warned. “You might inadvertently get elected and inadvertently come to prominence, and it’s a thought that scares me.”
“Got zero interest.”
Because he loved ranting and raving with no regards to others too much.
“I’ve got no interest in becoming Prime Minister either. But if somehow I ended up in your body, I’d switch your career to become a comedian.”
“There’s no one here but us jokesters.”1
“Well, someone doesn’t sound too adverse to the idea. …What about you? What would you do if you ended up in my body?”
“Serve myself hand and foot,” Kei answered without any hesitation. “If I ended up in your body, I’d make your body get down on your knees and tell me every day how lucky and thankful you are that someone like me would go out with someone like you.”
“Oh, really? What else?”
“I’d make you cook for me, make the bed soft and fluffy for me, dry my hair after a bath for me, give me a massage before going to sleep, wake me up gently in the morning…”
“Oh, oh, and then until you fall asleep, you’d want me to stroke your hair to help you relax, hold your hand so you feel safe, pat you on your back, and kiss you; then on your day off with nothing to do in the morning, you’d want to snuggle up under the covers together.”
“Yeah— What!? No!”
Kei unintentionally slipped into comedian mode, delivering the outraged commentary to the ridiculous setup.
“You don’t have to make such a roundabout request if you want me to spoil you more than I have. Just be honest and ask.”
“No! That’s not what I was thinking!!”
Ushio brought his hand up to stroke Kei’s cheek. His hand was cold, which meant that Kei himself was burning up.
“Anyway, I feel like I do half of those things for you already.”
“Liar! Ugh, I mean, I don’t need those things anyway!”
“Yes, yes, how about we start with a little something for now, okay?” Ushio took the remote control from Kei and turned off the TV.
“I’ll do my best to make Kunieda-kun’s sex fantasy into a reality.”
Was removing his clothing part of the list?
“Let’s see, what was it again? Did you want me to say ‘I love you’ as part of this?”
However, Kei didn’t say that he didn’t want it, and Ushio laughed and kissed him.
Translator Note: I recommend reading the side stories related to Volume 1 found in Off Air before proceeding to read Volume 2.
- The line Nande ya nen is a very famous reactionary line that comedians use in Japan. It means “But why!?” or “What the hell!?” but it’s not so obvious in English that Kei is playing the comedian role in his response.