[translation] Back Stage!! 2, Ch. 6 part 427
Type: Novel Translation
Title: Back Stage!!, Vol. 02
Series: Love Stage!!
Author/Circle: Eiki Eiki, Amano Kazuki
This time: Rei and Mitsuzuka finally make it into Rei’s apartment…but are they really safe now? [WARNING: This entire chapter will deal with stalking and similar potentially triggering themes. If you’re uncomfortable with this type of content, you may want to skip Chapter 6 in its entirety or consider reading the summaries instead (parts 1 and 2)]
Feel free to check out the book in-progress on Pressbooks!
Chapter 6 (cont.)
“My apologies for the mess…” Rei said, inviting Mitsuzuka inside. He didn’t have many belongings, so the state of his apartment wasn’t that terrible, but it was a bit dusty as he hadn’t had much time lately to tidy up.
But simply making it safely into his apartment left Rei feeling more relieved than usual at the end of a long day. His door didn’t seem to have been messed with, and nothing about the room seem changed from when he’d left that morning. And of course, no one seemed to be lurking nearby either.
“Please sit wherever. I don’t have much but…would you like a beer?”
Rei grabbed a beer from the fridge, passing a can over. They sat at the table, huddled near at the corner, and punched the tab to open their cans. “To think I’d see the day when you and I sat around having a beer together again… Never would’ve imagined it, honestly.” Mitsuzuka lightly clinked their cans together, musing nostalgically.
A bit of the resent he hadn’t shown earlier seeped out now, and Rei smiled wryly, feeling a bit bad. “I really do regret…”
“Honestly, I was shocked—you just up and disappearing like that one day. I thought maybe I’d never see you again.”
“Mitsuzuka-san…” Rei groped for a response, not having expected such words from the man. He’d assumed things were settled between them, given that Mitsuzuka had said he was married now, but the way he spoke made it sound almost like…
“I know it makes me sound like an asshole to say this, but…I’m actually kind of grateful to whoever’s stalking you.” A heavy silence stretched between them, and Mitsuzuka’s eyes were quivering when he looked at Rei. “You’re not seeing anyone right now, right?” He stretched out a hand.
’Ah…I should’ve seen this coming…’ Rei muttered to himself in sobering realization, but concluding that just once couldn’t hurt, he quickly gave in. This was a man he’d slept with dozens of times before, after all.
He fell silent, letting his eyes slide shut, and Mitsuzaka’s burning lips seared his own with a kiss, weight shifting to try and ease Rei down onto his back.
But then, in a flash, Rei immediately shoved Mitsuzuka away.
Rei’s eyes widened at the shocked tone in Mitsuzuka’s voice. “Ah—no, I’m…I’m sorry…” He hadn’t the faintest clue why he’d reacted the way he had and settled for just shaking his head slowly.
Mitsuzuka offered a wan smile, realizing he hadn’t been pushed away out of protest. “Did I surprise you, I guess?” He extended his hand again, slow and gentle, but the moment his fingers brushed Rei’s cheek, he realized in an instant what this feeling was—
’This disgusts me!’
This time, well aware of what he was doing, he brushed the hand aside and shifted away. He didn’t quite know why he felt this way, but he knew he did not want Mitsuzuka touching him. “I’m sorry…I don’t think I can do this. I’m…not feeling well.”
But Mitsuzuka just smiled and stood, looking down at Rei, who couldn’t even understand his own actions.
“Sure—maybe you’re a little tipsy? Hold on, I’ll bring you some water.”
Relieved that the man was backing down without protest, Rei released a soft sigh.
What was happening? He’d thought he’d be totally fine with this, but his body was strangely reacting with profound rejection to Mitsuzuka’s advances. It was baffling.
“Ah—y-yes, I’m sorry.” He accepted the glass of water Mitsuzuka offered, gulping it down in a single draw.
“Maybe you had too much to drink?”
“I can’t imagine that…” would happen, he started to protest. Certainly his job required him to drive people places, and he’d been so busy lately he hadn’t had much occasion to indulge in a drink in his private time, but he had never been this much of a lightweight. Plus, Rei more than anyone understood that he wasn’t feeling ill because of the alcohol. “I really am sorry,” he apologized once more.
He hadn’t explicitly said that Mitsuzuka touching him was what had caused him to feel unwell, but the timing had likely made it blatantly clear, and an awkward silence stretched between them.
“…You must really love them, huh?” Mitsuzuka finally offered, and Rei blinked, processing the words.
“Eh…? No, that’s…I don’t think that’s why…” After all, despite his heart belonging to Seiya, he had sex with Shougo without issue. It was unthinkable that any feelings for Seiya were getting in the way here.
At least…he’d assumed as such… “…!” His vision suddenly wavered, and while he could feel his upper half listing to the side, he couldn’t stop himself from tipping over, falling to the floor in a helpless heap. “What’s…”
He couldn’t move. He couldn’t even manage the strength to try.
“Geez, you should’ve just let me have you…” Mitsuzuka muttered as Rei’s mind swam, trying to process what was happening.
“Mitsuzuka-san…?” The voice was dark, as he’d never heard before, and Rei struggled to look up.
Staring down at Rei, Mitsuzuka smiled softly. “You never realized it, did you? Just how much I loved you.”
“!!” A shudder rippled through him at the unexpected confession. Mitsuzuka had seriously loved him…? He couldn’t believe it. True, the man had treated him kindly in the past, and they’d spent a fair amount of time together, but Rei had always had other partners. Though honestly, he’d never even counted them as partners—he would’ve slept with anyone if called to it, and he’d never thought it remotely strange.
And Mitsuzuka had never reprimanded him for it, either. So he’d just assumed that the man only saw Rei as another warm, willing body, someone to have fun with.
“I thought you’d betrayed me. After you disappeared, I was really hurting, for a long while. And then, just when I thought I’d finally gotten over you…you show up again, right in front of my eyes.”
“So…let’s start over, shall we? I’m gonna make you mine this time, for sure.” Thus saying so, he crawled over to straddle Rei.
“You know that…even if you do this to me…it won’t make me yours, right?” He struggled to get the words out. He finally realized that there’d been something in the water, but it was too late to do anything abut it.
“Oh don’t you worry about that. I’ll take lots of filthy pictures of you in the process. People might not care about your past, but what would they think if they saw that side of you now? If that person you care for saw them?”
“Are you threatening me…?!” He couldn’t bear to have that happen. He couldn’t care less about his body being displayed for all to see, but the problems it would cause the agency were unthinkable. Even if he quit his job right now, there’d undoubtedly be a scandal touting him as a former manager of the agency. Plus, he couldn’t imagine quitting. Losing SenaPro would be, for Rei, the same as losing all meaning to life.
But with his body sapped of all strength by whatever drug he’d been slipped, he was powerless to stop the inevitable. He couldn’t even stop Mitsuzuka from reaching for his tie. He felt despair creep in as he realized that Mitsuzuka really was going to have his way with Rei.
To be continued…