Chapter 27: Where Home Is (3)
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
Since the beginning of the year when the first ordinary session of the Diet opened, rumors of the dissolution of the lower House have been flying around Nagatacho.1 The decision to play this trump card lies solely with the Prime Minister, but the opposition parties are already moving to select their candidates and to cooperate in a potential election.
While the Liberty Democratic Party2 is the party in power, they are eager to find a charismatic candidate who will be the talk of the elections. That potential candidate is “The 10 o’clock Evening Prince” Asahi TV announcer Kunieda Kei (29). He is still young, but he is a sub-anchor on Asahi TV’s prominent flagship news program The News. Perhaps some of the fathers out there don’t recognize the name, but they likely will once when they see his face.
In addition to enjoying nationwide name-recognition, Announcer Kunieda possesses handsome looks and a smooth voice. He is a man of women’s dreams, blessed with many talents that most people can only wish for, and his personality is said to be humble and kind—his reputation is lauded by those who have worked with him both in and out of the station. One television insider says, “He doesn’t get angry at anyone. He is always courteous and polite, and he’s never rude to the staff or ADs. And yet he’s not like a rigid honors student who can’t handle a joke; he can roll with the late-night variety shows too. Everyone who has worked with him absolutely raves about him.” It appears he has the charisma and affability to capture people’s hearts.
“People are tired of figures in the media, such as TV personalities, variety show regulars, or former athletes, making a switch to politics just because they can make a splash with their candidacy,” says former LDP administrative staff member Mr. A. He used to conduct interviews of candidates before they are officially recognized as candidates, and according to him, “Announcer Kunieda is the type of potential candidate that party executives would fall over themselves to secure. There are far too many amateur-hour members of the Diet who think they can put on their badge procured from a little name recognition only to stick their foot in foolish gaffes and scandals. If the party continues to select candidates based solely on their ability to get votes, it will only disillusion their constituents, and the party will lose their votes instead. To that point, Announcer Kunieda is someone who will never receive the criticism, ‘Why is he even running for office?’ Watching him on The News, you can immediately tell that he is someone who does his homework for any kind of topic. And most importantly, he gives off a very fresh image. He is someone who can lock up the youth vote. I think he can compete very well in nearly any district.”
Announcer Kunieda has received such a solid stamp of approval, but the other day, the man himself declared live on The News a clear denial of any intentions to move over to politics.
“Who would be stupid enough to announce that they’re running for office now? The network would launch an all-out attack to stop him,” says the aforementioned television insider. “The network would never let go so easily an announcer they had hand-raised from scratch. They’ll make him dash off a few lines where he promises never to run for office. But with that said, people are free to choose their own occupation. It basically comes down to pressure. The best bet is to keep your mouth shut until the very last minute so that you don’t expose yourself to any needless pressure. There’s nothing dirty about playing both sides; it’s basically the secret to getting ahead in life. There are plenty of people who deny it 20,000 percent in the beginning, and yet afterwards they run for the governor’s seat (laughs).”
Don’t take your eyes off “The 10 o’clock Evening Prince” just yet. But then again, there may be hordes of women lamenting the loss of their Prince from their TV sets every night. What ever will you do, Kunieda-kun!?
“Fuck the hell off!!”
Kei hurled the newspaper on the floor. Sure enough, a number of follow-up articles popped up here and there. Now when Kei went home from work, he would have a taxi waiting for him in the underground parking garage, and he used a number of different routes that would either drop him off at the back door of the building or the bicycle area. It seemed to have helped because Kei never ran into another reporter like that other night. However…
“Those jackasses are just mocking me, dammit!”
“But aren’t they raving about you?”
“It’s a weekly soft-core porn and gossip rag for dirty old men! Who the hell’s happy about some bullshit flattery behind all the fucking wisecracks!?”
“Can I open the sealed pages? Says here Shocking Full Nudes of a Former Acclaimed Idol.”
“I’m burning it right now.”
Kei picked up the paper and went to turn on the kitchen stove, but Ushio stopped him first.
“The ‘Kunieda-kun’ fucking pisses me off. The ‘kun’ in katakana pisses me off even more.”
“Then what do you think about Fried Chicken-kun and Fish-kun?”3
“They’re essentially stage names. It’s part of their names at this point. …Now I feel like eating Fried Chicken-kun. It’s all your fault.”
“You want me to go buy it? All right, all right.”
“I want the one with cheese inside. And beer too.”
“You drank enough already.”
“I have the day off tomorrow, so it’s a-okay!”
“Didn’t you say you have a hosting gig tomorrow night?”
“It’s at night, so it’s a-okay! Anything’s fine, so hurry up and bring me Fried Chicken-kun!! I wanna see Fried Chicken-kun!!”
After Ushio put on his coat and left to run his errands, Kei couldn’t help but to peek through the curtains to check outside. There probably wasn’t anyone out there. Kei had wanted to go out himself, so he could check out the new ramen, pudding, and other things at the stores, but the thought that someone might approach him at any time made him hesitate and decide against it. Kei sighed, pulled the sealed pages from the stupid weekly paper, and fed it into the shredder. That was when he got a call from his parents.
“What is it?”
“A reporter from a weekly newspaper came to the house the other day. Do you have a proper morning coat? You know, the one that everyone wears when they take a picture together on the staircase?”
Are you trying to put me in the Cabinet now?
“Are you a moron!? I said I’m not running!!”
“But as your mother, I think it might be nice to see it. I wonder how you would do if you ran.”
“I’ll use Edanomics to get the Nikkei Index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange to surpass 25,000 yen.”4
“Oh, you’re aiming for Prime Minister? Well, do your best.”
“No way. Anyway, you better not have said anything strange to the reporter!”
“Who in the right mind would air their child’s dirty laundry to the public?”
“You’re calling me dirty laundry?”
“Well, it’s the truth. Oh, your father wants to talk to you. Here, I’ll put him on.”
Kei’s father came on the phone. “Oh, no, Kei, what should I do?” he suddenly lamented. “Two days ago, I ignored a traffic signal and jaywalked… There was no one at the intersection, and it was very short, maybe 5 meters wide… But what if someone happened to take a picture of me and it becomes a scandal that hurts you? I wouldn’t want to stand in the way of your chances…”
Where’s the scandal?
“Um, don’t worry about it, Dad. It’s fine. I’m not running anyway, so it’s nothing to worry about it.”
“Oh, really? All right, I’ll put your mother back on.”
“No, it’s all right. I’m tired for the day, so I’ll talk another time.”
They’re such a weird married couple, Kei thought, completely blind to his own shortcomings. After heading to the bathroom, Kei noticed a white envelope lying on the ground in the hallway. He picked it up and saw in the address field: Tsuzuki Ushio-sama. Ushio had probably stopped to check his mailbox on the way here and stuffed the letter into his coat pocket. Then when he put on his coat to head to the convenience store, it had probably fallen out. The beautiful handwriting seemed like it belonged to a woman, and it didn’t look like work-related correspondence. Kei couldn’t control himself and flipped the envelope over to look at the sender’s information.
What? So it’s from a relative?
Kei felt relieved. He didn’t know who she was, but from the looks of the handwriting, he guessed that she was an older lady. Kei remembered hearing something about a Grandma, and so the letter could very well be from his grandmother. The address was in the Tokyo area.
Kei wondered what he should do for a moment and then placed the letter on the kitchen counter. Ushio was the one who had dropped the letter, and pretending like he hadn’t seen anything made it feel like he was overthinking things.
After a short while, Ushio returned and immediately spotted the envelope. “Oh crap, did I drop that?”
“I found it in the hallway.”
“I see, thanks.” Ushio waved the envelope before stuffing it back into his coat pocket. “It’s from my Grandma.”
“It’s gonna get creased.”
“It’s not like she’s writing about anything important. It’s just a quick update of how’s she’s been doing. All right, let’s get back to drinking.”
As they drank together on the sofa, the number of empty cans sitting on the coffee table increased. Kei tried stacking the cans up, but it tumbled down with clatter on the fourth tier.
“Ahhh~, what are you do~ing, making such a mess~?”
“Wha~t? Then you~ go clean it up~”
Although he complained, Ushio gathered up the empty cans, rinsed them in the sink, and went back to the sofa.
“What are you hosting tomorrow night?”
“An awards ceremony. For the Commercial Broadcasters Grand Prix. There are a bunch of categories, like news, documentaries, radio productions, announcers, so I’ll be moving the program along.”
“So does that mean that Announcer Kunieda won’t be receiving an award?”
“I already got one a long time ago. For Outstanding New Announcer.”
“You’re really incredible~”
“Praise me more. But ughh, what a pain in the ass… Why do I have to be the host this year?”
Kei rambled on as he placed his head on Ushio’s shoulder.
Oh, it’s hard, but still comfy~
Kei nuzzled his head against the side of Ushio’s neck.
“That tickles,” Ushio said, pushing him off, and so Kei curled up into a ball with his head in Ushio’s lap instead.
“What the hell ya doing~?” Kei said playfully.
“You seem to be in a good mood.”
“My mood’s cranky. More like my mood’s turned sideways~ Didn’t I say it’s a pain in the a~ss~?”
“Will the awards ceremony be on TV?”
“Maybe it’ll get a 30-second clip on the news, if you’re lucky that it doesn’t get cut. It’s an award that no~ o~ne but industry insiders cares about.”
“But you’ll still perform your job flawlessly for them anyway, right?”
What the hell you saying?
Kei turned his face up to glare at Ushio. “Would you slack on a job just be~cause the commission wasn’t great?”
“…No.” Ushio smiled down at Kei. “There might be limitations with the time or budget, but I’ll always do my job seriously.”
“All right, this is enough alcohol for tonight. It might interfere with Announcer Kunieda’s work tomorrow.”
“I’m not drunk.”
“You are clearly drunk. You’re slurring your words all over the place.”
“The hell? You picking a fight with me? Right ear, my dear, there be three free beers; Right ear, my dear, there be three free beers—eek!”5
The reason that Kei’s voice broke at the end was because a fingertip tickled the entrance of his ear.
“Huh? Didn’t you say to touch your right ear?”
“N-o-t- -a- -c-h-a-n-c-e~~ ”
Huh? That’s strange. I was trying to enunciate everything sharply, but all the sounds dragged out and slurred a bit instead.
“Oh, sorry, sorry, you said to nibble on your right ear, was it?”
Ushio used both hands to hold Kei’s head in place, and Kei could feel a warm breath on his earlobe.
“Nnh, wait… No, I wanna drink more.”
“Nope, you can’t.”
Fingers slipped under the neckline of Kei’s sweatshirt to brush against his collarbone like plucking a guitar string. Ushio pushed the fabric further down to stroke his chest and said, “You’re pretty red here.” The alcohol made Kei’s already rapid heartbeat race faster.
“Quit it, stupid. That’s sexual harassment~”
“If you were really enjoying the alcohol, I wouldn’t stop you. But you weren’t, were you?”
Kei had work tomorrow, but it was still the weekend. And with Ushio here, he would get anything that Kei wanted. So why would he say something like that?
“I’m having fun~ As long as I don’t think about anything stupid~”
Kei stretched his hand up towards Ushio, and Ushio kissed the palm of his hand.
“And I’m saying it’s not good to drink when you want to keep your mind off things.”
“If you want to clear your mind, there’s a much better way to do it.”
“What is it?”
“You want me to say it~? You dirty pervert.”
“So you figured it out, huh?”
“You’re the culprit.”
“Arrest me, arrest me.”
“You get the death penalty.”
“Shouldn’t my sentence be life in prison?”
“An old-time jail cell then.”
“Okay.” This time Ushio kissed the back of his hand and whispered, “Arrest me.”
“Moron.” Kei turned his wrist to pinch Ushio on the nose and sat back up.
“Aren’t you the drunk one?”
“Maybe.” For some reason, Ushio left the sofa to kneel on the floor, placing himself between Kei’s knees, and gave him an indulgent look in his eyes. “You’ll forget everything in the morning, so can you let me have my way with you?”
Kei pulled both of Ushio ears and answered, “Denied.” Kei felt like his own earlobes were a little hot; maybe he was drunk after all.
“Prisoners need a way to amuse themselves too.”
“I’ll grant you permission to watch NHK.”
“Educational programs are good. Like Together With Big Brother.”6
“There’s no such show,” Big Brother said exasperated, but his lips were covered up. Hands had reached out to wrap themselves around his head, fingers running through his hair like they were inspecting the shape of his skull, and at the same time, Ushio’s tongue probed the inside of his mouth in retaliation. There was nowhere for their breaths, moisture, or heat to go between their lips, and they entangled together however they could, hot, slick, and lazy.
The skin inside was so wet—it collected moisture like dewdrops, and Kei’s eyelashes quivered, lowered wisps against pale skin.
Kei ran his hands over the back of Ushio’s head and down the nape of his neck. He slipped a hand under the collar of Ushio’s T-shirt and stroked the bare skin of his back there. It was velvety supple; it seemed more like soft mineral than a masculine hard body—a soft and warm stone covered in rivulets of sweat that captured and enchanted Kei so. With just a touch, he could make Kei feel at peace, make his heart race, make him fall asleep, make him want to never sleep again. It was strange. Strange and yet so dear to him.
Kei ran the flat of his hand between two shoulder blades, down the shallow, gentle slope of skin. He must have inflamed Ushio’s arousal, because Ushio sucked hard on Kei’s plump, entangled tongue and dug his nails into Kei’s skin.
Ushio sank his upper body into the space between Kei’s legs, rolling up the bottom of Kei’s sweatshirt to expose bare skin, placing both hands on the sides of his stomach, over his collarbones, and plastering an invisible desire all over his burning body.
Hands found his nipples, and Kei involuntarily pulled his mouth away, but then Ushio nibbled on the tip of his tongue.
Fingertips pinched at his nipples, and they immediately hardened under the pressure. In exchange, Kei lost all strength to do anything with his body.
Kei mumbled, “The bed…”
“But then the~re’s no point~!”
Dammit, Kei was trying to firmly refuse, but his voice was slack and powerless. When he tried to show it with his actions, the alcohol had sapped the energy from his muscles.
And yet the communications with his nerve endings were fired up and working perfectly. One hand alternated between playing with his nipples, while the other ran smoothly down his chest to his lower body in a straight line, the touches sending electric shocks running down his back.
“No, not like this…”
Kei wondered what the hell Ushio was affirming to him, but as Ushio humored Kei with his random response, he shifted Kei’s pants and underwear out of the way and took Kei’s cock into his mouth.
Kei was slouched on the sofa with only his head resting on the back, and whether he liked it or not, he was treated to a scene of Ushio sucking his cock. Kei shut his eyes tightly and tipped his head back. He could see the brightness of the overhead lights from behind his eyelids. He should have disliked doing this in such a bright location.
“Nnnh… No, ahh.”
Kei hardened from the strokes of Ushio’s lips around him, pulsing with the tongue that lapped him all over. Pre-come oozed from the tip of his cock when Ushio sucked at it mischievously. Even with both arms covering his eyelids, the faint light was preserved in the back of his eyes. A flicker of desire flashed painfully bright there at times.
“…Big Brother at night is very dirty and lewd.”
“And whose fault is that, moron? Ngh…”
“Oh, it’s all my benefit? Thank you.”
“Your Japanese is completely messed up!”
“Then how about a Japanese lesson with Big Brother next time? …Ugh, this is in the way.”
Ushio backed off a little and bared Kei all the way down to his knees in one smooth stroke.
As Kei flailed and struggled, he lifted his legs in the air, and Ushio cleanly pulled the rest of his pants and underwear off.
“No, I don’t like this!”
With nothing to cover Kei up, Ushio pulled a naked leg over each shoulder and buried his face in between them once again.
“Shit, you can’t… nhhh.”
Kei found himself taken into the warmth of Ushio’s mouth again, and he was more aroused than before. The heel of his foot rubbed against Ushio’s clothing, and he grew embarrassed all over again at how he was the only one in this shameful, indecent appearance.
“No, not like this, Ushio…”
“And yet it feels so good, doesn’t it? You just can’t help your own body.”
“Don’t say it so calmly!”
“Is it really that embarrassing?”
“Switch with me, right now.”
“But I can’t moan as sweet as Big Brother.”
“I’m seriously gonna murder you…”
“It’s because you get so embarrassed in the first place that it makes me want to do it more.”
Ushio played with the red, flushed tip of Kei’s cock.
“If you acted like it was nothing, I probably wouldn’t do it. Aren’t you good at acting?”
How can I act at a time like this?
But it irritated Kei to think this, and so he ran his mouth instead.
“I’m already acting!”
“I thought I’d—ngh…m-moan sweetly for you. …Act all embarrassed for you? You know, treat you to a little something special.”
“Oh, is that what this is~?”
The point was that he shouldn’t let it go to his head, but Ushio kissed the underside of Kei’s knee happily.
“Lucky me,” he cheered brightly. “So this means I don’t have to hold myself back anymore.”
“Huh? No, that’s not— Ah!”
Ushio repeatedly licked the heat-swollen base of Kei’s cock, his saliva dripping down into the crevice where Ushio used his fingertip to push the fluid into Kei’s hole.
Ushio shallowly explored Kei’s entrance as he briefly sucked at the underside of Kei’s straining cock, and Kei’s hole started twitching in response, anticipating when he would accept something hot and thick inside.
“Ah, no— No, not this… nghh.”
“…So are you acting now too?”
You know exactly what I’m doing. I can’t ever lie in front of you.
“Ah, aaah— Nnhh…”
Ushio pushed more fluid inside Kei’s body, the finger burrowing deep inside of him, and Kei arched his body up into a beautiful curved line.
“Ah! No, ahh.”
“This is some extra special treatment.”
“No… Ah, ahhh, nhhh!”
Ushio pressed up against Kei’s inner walls with one hand and stroked his swollen cock with the other. The slit impatiently flared open while his hole clenched down on the finger inside it. A different kind of pleasure coursed through his body, and his reason could no longer keep up with him.
“Ahh— Ushio, Ushio… ngh.”
“D-Don’t tease me so much…”
Kei had his face turned away, so he wasn’t able to see Ushio’s expression, but he was probably smiling from the sound of his voice. More specifically, it was probably the smile that Ushio made whenever he raised a white flag in surrender. But Kei wanted to defeat Ushio without self-destructing in the process sometimes.
“Sorry. I won’t say any more.”
Ushio took each of Kei’s legs and brought them up onto the sofa.
“…Let me make it up to you, Kei.”
Ushio pressed Kei into the back of the sofa, and his arousal jutted up against Kei’s wet, open hole.
“Nnnh, ah, aaaah!”
Kei didn’t care how hard it was for his back to bend in this position. A thick hardness was invading him on the inside, and it was as if his head was exposed to a bright light and he could only feel the fevered heat of where they were joined.
“Ahh, ahh, no, I can’t any more… I’m gonna come. I’m coming, I’m coming… nhh.”
Ushio thrust up into him, hitting his sensitive spot, and Kei’s cock, dripping with pre-come, could no longer hold back any more.
Kei’s entire body throbbed from his release, but the cock inside of him still filled him fat with arousal. A tongue licked into his ear, and Kei felt like he would melt like a sugar cube.
“…Can I move?” Ushio asked considerately as he pressed his forehead up against Kei’s.
“Okay, I’ll try my best to hold still.”
The tone of Ushio’s voice was airy and light, but there was a slight wrinkle in his brow and he turned his eyes up similar to a spasm that Kei knew that Ushio had to be forcing himself to exert this restraint.
“…You can move if it’s just a little.”
“I said just a little!”
Although Kei had emphasized it over again, Ushio held back for at most 2 or 3 thrusts before he started drilling himself into Kei’s body.
“Ahh! No, I said, just a little.”
“Yeah, this is a little, right?”
“Liar, ahh, aaaah…”
Kei clung to Ushio, desperately taking the intense rhythm of his thrusts.
“…I want to do this with you until we die,” Ushio whispered, changing up the angle and tempo in various ways as he devoured Kei.
“Moron, if we only do this all the time, we’ll die… nhh.”
When they embraced each other like this, Kei was made more aware of his own existence than any other time, and perhaps this truly was two sides of the same coin, an act closely intimate with death in its own right.
Two sides of a coin. A front and a back. Like Kunieda-san and Kei.
Then was there something hidden at the back of Ushio too?
The moment when the thought crossed his mind, Ushio seemed to have noticed something somehow and he whispered, “…Didn’t I tell you to keep your mind off things?”
“Ah, no… Nghh, aaah…”
Ushio focused his assault on his weak spots, and all of Kei’s thoughts churned and scattered away.
At the final moment when they came together, Kei felt like he heard Ushio’s voice saying, Even if it’s only for now. But maybe he was only imagining things.
—–Translated by daydrop. Please read on the original site at daydrop.nowaki.net.
- Nagatacho is the political center in Japan. You can think of it as the equivalent of Downing Street or Pennsylvania Avenue.
- The raw Japanese uses a deliberate misspelling of the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party), and I’ve replicated it similarly in English.
- Fried Chicken-kun AKA Karaage-kun is what Lawson calls their fried chicken piece set. Their mascot for it is also called Karaage-kun. Fish-kun AKA Sakana-kun is a fish expert and researcher who frequently appears on TV to educate people about fish. He is also known for wearing a cartoon blowfish hat.
- Edanomics is a quip on Abenomics, which is a set of policies named for Abe Shinzo and designed to stimulate the economy. The Nikkei Index has hovered around 20,000-22,000 yen in the past few years.
- The original Japanese tongue twister translates to There’s a mini kalbi in my right ear.
- NHK has a show called Together With Mommy (Okaasan to Issho), an educational show for kids. Together With Big Brother is a popular dirty joke/parody that’s commonly made in reference to it.