|Aishitenai to ittekure by Nakahara Kazuya and illustrated by Nara Chiharu
||[May. 31st, 2008|04:18 pm]
Aishitenai to ittekure by Nakahara Kazuya and illustrated by Nara Chiharu is a fun story totally full of cliches. It's about an idealistic "young" (29 is pretty young for a doctor, right?) doctor who spurns the corrupt moneyed medicine of the big-name hospital he worked at and opens a clinic in a bad area to serve the under-served (in his case, day-laborers and homeless with no insurance and/or drinking problems). There are several different difficulties/crisises he goes through in the book, and in every instance he's helped out by day-laborer with a past (who happens to be HOT). The two main characters, as well as an assortment of side characters, are very endearing. The art is just plain lovely, as always.
Sakashita Haruki is a good-looking (though not in a really flashy way) bespectacled doctor who spends his days yelling at the various stubborn old men he treats while trying to provide care for them with what small resources he has. Unfortunately, many of these men can't pay for treatment so Sakashita has to scrabble pretty hard. Madarame Kouji is a gorgeous older man (late thirties?) who likes to visit Sakashita and tease him, mostly with dirty yet lame jokes laden with sexual innuendo. Sakashita throws a scalpel at Madarame (which Madarame dodges) when Madarame gets too out of line.
Sakashita is always swatting Madarame away, but ends up having to turn to him for help. A jovial homeless man called "Occhan" that Sakashita really likes turns out to be gravely ill with what is probably cancer. He tries to search for Occhan's family to give them a chance to see him before he dies and learns that Madarame (who is best buds with Occhan) knows where they are. He is very unhappy with Madarame for not telling him in the first place. Madarame claims it's pointless to contact Occhan. He wonders how low Sakashita (he grew up privileged as his father was a well-off doctor and from a family with money) is willing to sink to help one of them. He asks if Sakashita will let Madarame fuck him for the information. Sakasahita accepts Madarame's condition. When Madarame tries to back out (he just threw out the suggestion, not thinking Sakashita would ever consider it), Sakashita challenges him to hold up his end of the bargain...
And so they have sex. Afterwards, Madarame thinks about the situation as he watches Sakashita sleep. He had kept silent about Occhan's family because they were awful people. They'd thrown Occhan out once he had become disabled and unable to work. If they learned he was dying they'd probably want to just put life insurance on him so that they could collect. He had only meant to scare Sakashita off, but he'd underestimated Sakashita. He strokes Sakashita's cheek and tells the sleeping Sakashita that he's going to truly be hurt soon enough...
The next day Sakashita is unable to move thanks to Madarame's enthusiasm, but the day after that he goes to see Occhan's family. Sakashita gets exactly the reception Madarame had imagined. Occhan's son asks if Occhan had any money to inherit. When Sakashita tells him no, he tells Sakashita to get lost and slams the door on him. Sakashita pounds on the door, unable to believe the son's response, until Madarame shows up and tells him to stop. Sakashita asks if Madarame had come to laugh at him for being a naive fool. Madarame lets Sakashita rage at him. Madarame agrees that Sakashita is naive and clueless, but he doesn't think that Sakashita is wrong either. He rather likes Sakashita. From the exchange, Sakashita realizes how much more mature Madarame is than him. They return to the clinic where Occhan is waiting with sweets to eat with Sakashita. Occhan thanks Sakashita for trying to take care of him and for going to see his family. Sakashita realizes that Occhan knows and has accepted that his family has completely abandoned him. They have a peaceful time eating the sweets and drinking tea.
At the end of the summer Occhan's body is found on the street. Madarame visits Sakashita after clinic hours. Sakashita had been remembering Occhan and tearing up. Madarame asks if Sakashita had contacted Occhan's family about his death. Sakashita admits that he did and was laughed at. Madarame makes more dirty jokes, resulting in another scalpel throw, then leaves. Sakashita feels better and wonders if Madarame had come to cheer him up (in his own special way). When he goes out for a walk that night he sees Madarame drinking on a park bench. He has another cup of alcohol for Occhan and is addressing Occhan. Sakashita senses Madarame's sorrow at Occhan's death.
One day a month after Occhan's death Sakashita comes back to the clinic after going around to check on the homeless to find it ransacked. He's hit by the intruder who thinks he has money somewhere. He's saved by Madarame but the intruder gets away. There's a bit more sexual teasing but no scalpel throwing this time.
Sakashita doesn't make a report to the police as he doesn't want the hassle. A week later he's confronted by a bunch of really scary guys while out to buy some cigarettes. Madarame shows up and grabs him and they run for it, ending up in a public bathroom. When the scary guys double back to the bathroom they fake a gay sex scene (with hilariously retarded fake names). The guys are waiting for them when they emerge, but they manage to escape when Madarame throws Sakashita into the river and jumps in after him.
They sneak into an unused house to hide out for the night, unwilling to risk going back to the clinic and running into the scary guys. Sakashita had injured his wrist, so Madarame goes out to "borrow" supplies to patch Sakashita up as well as buy some food. Sakashita, exhausted, is urged to sleep. Madarame will keep watch. Sakashita is comforted by Madarame's warmth as he leans on him and falls asleep. Madarame slips out and calls Futaba, a young guy who's been around and knows a lot and is friends with Madarame and Sakashita, to check out who is coming after Sakashita. Futaba asks if Madarame is with Sakashita at the moment. When Madarame replies that he is, Futaba tells Madarame not to devour Sakashita (they'd joked about "eating" Sakashita previously). Madarame goes back to the sleeping Sakashita, sees Sakashita's bare shoulder under the blanket (they had taken off their sopping wet clothes to dry) and can't help but remember fucking Sakashita. He doesn't know what to make of Sakashita or his feelings for Sakashita.
Sakashita goes back to the clinic the next morning. The next two days are quiet, but that night Futaba is badly injured. Sakashita wants to take Futaba to the hospital but Futaba refuses to go. He doesn't trust the hospital at all and wants Sakashita to treat him. Unfortunately, Sakashita's wrist is still injured and he can't stitch Futaba up. Luckily for all involved Madarame takes over and stitches Futaba up. Turns out he'd been a doctor.
Sakashita is astounded at Madarame's skill and realizes that he must be the legendary surgeon that he'd heard of so much in school (called, get this, "God Hand" (in English)--thank you, the Japanese people, for coming up with some of the most retarded-sounding "cool nicknames" ever). Madarame claims he's just a day-laborer and nothing special. Sakashita remembers Madarame saying that he hadn't realized Occhan's illness till it was too late and realizes Madarame had said that as a former doctor. Madarame then tells Sakashita not to make a face "like that" and kisses him. Sakashita doesn't resist...And they have sex.
The next morning Futaba reports that the scary incidents were thanks to Occhan's son. He'd picked up Occhan's ashes along with his possessions from the city. Among the possessions was a letter addressed to Sakashita. The son is after an unclaimed winning lottery ticket that Occhan had meant to give to Sakashita. Sakashita thinks of the safety charm Occhan had given him and finds a ticket in it. He dreams of being able to provide better care with the money, but when they check the amount online it turns out to be only 200,000 yen (~$2,000). Sakashita thinks back on his talks with Occhan and figures Occhan actually wanted his family to come for him even though he knew they wouldn't. So he decides to give the ticket to them...But not without doing something to get them to realize Occhan's feelings. He proposes closing the clinic and making the family run around looking for him until right before the deadline to redeem it (in 10 days), giving it to them so that they can rush to redeem the whopping award money. They hide out and watch the clinic. The son sees the closed sign and rushes away, so they figure things are going as planned.
Sakashita doesn't have the money to hide out in a hotel, so he dresses like a day-laborer to blend in with the ruffians in the area. Unfortunately, his good upbringing only makes him stand out in his disguise, but neither Madarame nor Futaba have the heart to tell him. They just caution him to stay low. He manages to mingle for several days until he tries to help out a guy in pain standing outside the closed clinic. The guy is a decoy and he is caught. He tells the son that he doesn't have the ticket and calls Madarame to let him know that he'd been caught. He tries to explain how he couldn't leave someone who'd come all the way to his clinic for treatment only to be turned away because it was closed...But even as he says it he realizes how foolish he'd been and apologizes. The son speaks with Madarame and announces that Madarame will come to them with the ticket. The son then beats Sakashita up.
Madarame shows up and gives the son the ticket. He tells the son how much the ticket is worth, which makes the son mad. He's ready to stab Madarame, but then is frightened when Madarame tells him that he'd told the scary guys from before that the son had been after a lottery ticket and not just revenge as he'd told them. They'd become mad at being used and were looking for him. The son runs away.
Madarame is exasperated that Sakashita had been so easily tricked, but knows Sakashita's personality and tells him he doesn't dislike that kind of thing. Sakashita is happy that he was able to get Occhan's letter to him (which the son had crumpled and thrown aside when he had heard how much the ticket was worth).
Madarame visits Sakashita after hours one day. Sakashita asks why Madarame had stopped being a doctor. Madarame claims that he doesn't remember, but he does mention that he was an awful person back then. He'd thought of it all as a challenging game and didn't think of the lives of the people he worked on. He asks why Sakashita works at a money-losing clinic. Sakashita can't give a solid answer, so he responds that there are things that can't be valued with money. Madarame agrees with the sentiment, noting that if he'd stayed a doctor he would've never met Sakashita. Sakashita thinks Madarame is kidding with him again, but Madarame looks at him with serious eyes and asks if he really thinks Madarame is kidding. Madarame tells Sakashita that he can't let a person as stubborn yet clueless about the world as Sakashita bumble through things alone. When Sakashita can't look away, Madarame asks if Sakashita's fallen for his technique. Sakashita immediately thinks of sex, but Madarame clarifies that he meant his surgical skill. Madarame picks up on Sakashita's thoughts and tells Sakashita that he's willing to show "it" to him. Of course "it" is Madarame's dick. He pulls Sakashita to him and presses his already hard dick against Sakashita. Sakashita recalls his two times with Madarame and can't break away. Madarame tells Sakashita to touch him with "those pretty hands of his," guiding Sakashita's hand and showing him how to stroke it. Just as Madarame is about to touch Sakashita in turn, the room is filled with Futaba yelling that Madarame is doing something lewd to Sakashita. Sakashita feels relieved that he hadn't been dragged into sex again, while Madarame grouches that Futaba had interrupted them just as it was getting good.
One day at the clinic Sakashita deals with a man tries to use a stolen insurance card (he calls the man by a completely different name than what's on the card and calls him out when the man responds to it), then a man who'd stuck rounded bits of toothbrush handles under the skin of his dick in imitation of yakuza who use pearls and ended up with an infected swollen dick instead. Then he gets another man who wants to do the same thing but wants Sakashita to do it for him--Sakashita boots him out ASAP. He gets several more men who want the same thing that morning. Madarame comes to visit, making more sexual jokes. He offers to "play the doctor" today, sticking the stethoscope under Sakashita's shirt while Sakashita struggles to get away. Sakashita is saved by Futaba again.
They are interrupted by yelling from the waiting room. An old lady is fighting with one of the men. She turns out to be Sakashita's grandmother.
Sakashita vigorously defends his grandmother, who'd come to visit him to get away from his father. Sakashita's father had wanted the grandmother to live with him, but Sakashita's grandma doesn't get along with Sakashita's mother (and doesn't much care for her stiff and proper son who is all about making money and keeping up appearances more than actually helping people). Sakashita asks her to stay with him for a while.
Sakashita is seriously attached to his grandma and can't see a single thing wrong with her, even as she engages in gambling and drinking with the boys and lies through her teeth when she's caught doing something naughty. She gives him candy drops like she's always done. He gives her the peppermint flavored drops he doesn't like and eats each flavor in order of least to most favorite. He asks Futaba to bring her safely home when she goes out to drink as he has to stay behind and work.
Madarame takes the opportunity to stop by and cajole Sakashita into a "bit" of sex ("Can I put it in? Just a little?"). Sakashita finds himself unable to really resist, but he's saved by the early return of his grandma.
Two weeks pass and Futaba grumbles about how indulgent Sakashita is when it comes to his grandma while he's so severe to them. Madarame shrugs it off as Sakashita being a grandma's boy. They marvel over a photo of the grandma when she was young, that such a beauty could turn into a withered barely-human-looking hag. Futaba wonders if Sakashita (who looks like her) will turn into a withered barely-human-looking old man one day. Sakashita interrupts them (they'd been talking right outside his window). They are interrupted by the grandma barging in yelling that the mafia had arrived. They all wonder at her sanity, but realize when they get out to the waiting room that she wasn't too far off. A yakuza boss with his underlings had come by. Sakashita had treated a clan member a while back without calling the police. He hadn't wanted to get involved with the yakuza, but he'd needed the money...Knowing that the yakuza would come and try to turn him into one of their pet doctors. Turns out this particular yakuza boss and Madarame know each other. Madarame asks if yakuza boss guy, first name Katsuyuki, is trying to take what's Madarame's again. They insult each other until Sakashita scolds Madarame for presuming to possess Sakashita. Katsuyuki comes out and asks if Sakashita won't come work for him. Sakashita would have a much easier life. Katsuyuki suddenly grabs and kisses Sakashita. Sakashita slaps Katsuyuki in response. Katsuyuki keeps his underlings from retaliating and tells Sakashita that he wants him even more now. It'd be fun to keep strong-willed thing like Sakashita. He leaves (for now).
Futaba asks in the silence that ensues if Sakashita is Madarame's...Which results in a red-faced Sakashita hitting him on his head.
Madarame explains that Katsuyuki is his half-brother. Futaba and Madarame complain that Katsuyuki got away with only a slap, while Futaba always gets hit with a fist while Madarame has scalpels thrown at him. Futaba asks if Sakashita is thinking of working for Katsuyuki. Sakashita can't help but think about how tough things are financially. Futaba also suggests that Sakashita return the grandma home before she gets dragged into the mess as well. Sakashita thinks about what to do as he looks at his grandma having fun singing karaoke, but then his grandma suddenly crouches down. By the time he runs over she's getting up. She explains that she'd started coughing from singing too much, but Sakashita suspects something else. He remembers Occhan and how he'd hid his illness. He also figures his father hadn't decided out of the blue that grandma should come live with him. He sneaks out and calls his father. He explains that grandma had been with him these past two weeks and asks if something is wrong with her heart. His father explains that she needs surgery.
Late that night Sakashita is up, thinking. He can't understand people who refuse treatment and is desperately worried about his grandma. When he'd tried to talk to her earlier, she refused to get help from her worthless son or to trouble Sakashita. She didn't want to be cut open by some stranger and die on the table. She is ready to die naturally and join her husband. Madarame shows up and asks about Sakashita's grandma. He figures that she has heart disease and is refusing the surgery she needs. Sakashita starts crying. Madarame comforts him, telling him not to give up and despair. She might still change her mind if he keeps urging her to.
Three days later Sakashita meets with his father. They talk about Sakashita's grandma. Sakashita's father thinks that maybe Sakashita can get her to change her mind, since he'd never be able to do it. He then offers Sakashita money since he knows that Sakashita isn't making enough money in the clinic (even as he insults Sakashita's foolish idealism). Sakashita refuses and leaves, but he immediately regrets it. He totally could have used that money. When he returns to the clinic a guy is demanding to see him. The guy, a laborer, had hurt his wrist before. Sakashita had told him to keep it stable, but the guy had worked and made it worse. Sakashita tells him he doesn't need payment, he'd like the guy to not work and keep the wrist stable. The guy will just make things worse and require more treatment otherwise. The guy gets mad and calls him a quack but Sakashita won't back down. Madarame shows up and tells the guy to cool it, Sakashita is just trying to treat him. The guy storms off. Madarame informs Sakashita that day laborers can't be picky about work. They need to work when they can since it's so unsteady. Madarame explains that the guy's wife is expecting, and he's trying to save some money to find a stable job.
Sakashita feels guilty for forgetting that people have various troubles in their lives, beyond the physical ailments they come to see him for. Madarame tells him not to blame himself too much. Sakashita thanks Madarame for defending him.
Several days later while they are drinking at a street curb, Futaba notes to Madarame that Sakashita seems a bit down. Madarame thinks back to the expression on Sakashita's face when he'd been called a quack. He explains to Futaba that people have a habit of taking things they get used to having for granted and not appreciating them. He finds how Sakashita has been able to stick to for over a year in spite of his naiveté endearing. At the same time, he's a bit jealous of how passionate Sakashita is about his patients. They see a black limousine pass by. It is Katsuyuki's. Futaba wonders if Sakashita will end up working for Katsuyuki. Madarame initially says that it's up to Sakashita to chose, but then he admits that he's a bit desperate about the situation. But he knows that Katsuyuki wouldn't out-and-out force Sakashita to go with him.
In the meantime, Sakashita is balancing his books and becoming more depressed. He barely has enough to keep going, he doesn't have the money to continue to keep up with new medical knowledge. He remembers the incident with the day laborer and beats himself up over his failure to empathize with his patient again. When his name is called, he initially thinks it's Madarame again but it turns out to be Katsuyuki. Katsuyuki again tries to entice Sakashita to work for him, bringing up Sakashita's grandma's situation. But Sakashita's grandma interrupts them. She tells Katsuyuki to buzz off, but then has a bit of an episode. Katsuyuki excuses himself, wondering if Sakashita's grandma will hold out until Sakashita can throw away his pride and come to him.
Those words cut through Sakashita and his inability to do anything mortifies him. He starts to cry. His grandma tries to soothe him. He remembers how his grandma had comforted him as a child and her gentleness makes him resolve to go to Katsuyuki.
Katsuyuki calls the next day and simply orders him to come, as if he already knew Sakashita's feelings. Sakashita works as usual, then takes a walk to say goodbye to the city. He feels guilty about leaving everyone behind, but dulls that guilt by thinking that he doesn't really make a difference. He sees that the cherry blossoms are blooming and sits down to gaze at them. Madarame shows up and tries to convince Sakashita not to go to Katsuyuki. Sakashita's grandma will not be happy if he does it, even if he's doing it to save her. Madarame tells him that he'll do something. He can perform the surgery on Sakashita's grandma. His specialty had been heart surgery. Sakashita wants to believe Madarame, but he knows full well that no matter Madarame's skill he can't perform surgery without the proper set-up. Madarame continues on, telling Sakashita that Katsuyuki is a sadist who likes to destroy things he takes a liking to. Sakashita tells Madarame that he knows that, but that he'd already decided to go. Madarame tells Sakashita that he can't let Sakashita go when he makes such a face...He grabs Sakashita and says that he'll buy Sakashita instead. "Don't go," he says, and pushes Sakashita down. He tells Sakashita that he'll make sure that Sakashita can't live without him, without his sex. Can Katsuyuki ever satisfy Sakashita? He then tells Sakashita that he loves him. He doesn't want anyone else to have Sakashita....and they have sex.
Despite Madarame's efforts, Sakashita's resolve hasn't changed. But just as he's about to get into Katsuyuki's car, Futaba and all the men he'd treated arrive to implore him not to go. The guy who had called him a quack scolds him for taking his angry words seriously. He shows Sakashita his wrist, which he had kept stable and had healed. His grandma also appears. She doesn't say a word, but Sakashita can tell that she's mad. Madarame asks Katsuyuki if he's willing to knock everyone here down to get Sakashita. Katsuyuki admits defeat for the moment, but tells Madarame that yakuza don't back down quietly away from what's been promised them. He asks Madarame what he's going to do about Sakashita's grandma. He'd promised to take Sakashita's grandma and get her treated. Katsuyuki proposes that he'll provide the operating room if Madarame will do the surgery. If the surgery goes wrong, he'll take Sakashita. In other words, Madarame can save both Sakashita and his grandma if his skill is still intact. Sakashita's grandma butts in and says that she'll take the bet. She can't stand being silent after Katsuyuki's insulting words and tone, she's willing to die if Madarame performs the surgery. She won't regret being cut open by such a hot guy. She also will have Sakashita watching over her as he's to assist Madarame. She reminds Sakashita that she'd encouraged Sakashita when he quit working at the university hospital and started the clinic, and asks him to assist Madarame. She won't feel scared if he's there for her. Sakashita is awed by her strength and hugs her. Madarame agrees to do it.
The day before the surgery, Sakashita catches Madarame doing some image training. Madarame admits that he's scared. He hasn't performed surgery in a while, the facility they are using isn't top-notch, and Sakashita's grandma is old. Things could go wrong. Sakashita sees a doctor he can respect in Madarame's concern for his patient. He tells Madarame that he believes in him and embraces him. Madarame tells Sakashita to let him fuck him if the surgery goes well. Sakashita says okay. He tells Madarame that he can fuck him as much as he wants to, because he wants to as well (though he doesn't say that part). Madarame tells Sakashita that he will protect both Sakashita and his grandma. They hold each other for a while.
The next day they perform the surgery. It is a success. However, due to her advanced age she has to be carefully monitored for quite a while. Sakashita does so at the hospital Katsuyuki had prepared for her until she is stable. She then decides to stay with her son so that she won't burden Sakashita even more.
Sakashita is sad that his grandma is gone. He asks Madarame if Madarame won't return to being a doctor. His skill truly was awe-inspiring. Madarame refuses. He'd decided never to take up a scalpel again...This time was just an exception. Madarame puts all that talk aside. He wants what was promised to him...
And gets it. In spades. They have hot sex all night long....So much so that Sakashita can't get up at all the next morning. Madarame sees the patients who come to the clinic in Sakashita's stead. He attracts gawkers come to see Madarame in a white coat doing the doctor thing but he threatens them with random shots if they won't leave. They totally believe Madarame would do it and scatter, and Madarame closes shop for the day. He checks up on Sakashita, who has woken up from the noise downstairs. Sakashita is a bit resentful at the condition he's been put in. Madarame catches his tone of voice and tells him that he'd sounded too adorable...Madarame just couldn't control himself. He tells Sakashita that it's a bit pathetic to be laid up by too much sex. Sakashita protests that he doesn't want to lumped in with a beast like Madarame.
Despite that exchange, Sakashita is secretly disgusted with himself because he'd been given an intravenous drip that morning. How weak was he? At the same time, he feels fulfilled with Madarame's gentleness when Madarame had worriedly inquired about Sakashita's body or when he'd inserted the needle and adjusted the drip that morning. He loves Madarame's boorish gentleness. He knows that Madarame, despite all his flaws (such as his really awful jokes full of sexual innuendo), will always be there for him. He falls asleep with those thoughts on his mind....
I love Sakashita's mix of chutzpah and cluelessness. I love Madarame's mix of dirty old man and awesome gentle older guy. I love the whole cliched "legendary" expert has to use the skill he'd abandoned to save the day thing. I love the hot sex in the clinic (with white coats!). XDXD
Also, Sakashita's unabashed grandma's boy-ness is soooo adorable.