|Sweets kingdom no ousama by Sunahara Touko and illustrated by Nimomiya Etsumi
||[Apr. 19th, 2012|05:32 pm]
Sweets kingdom no ousama (King of the Sweets Kingdom) by Sunahara Touko and illustrated by Ninomiya Etsumi is an adorable story about a high school student with a history of kinda taking advantage of the people he dates and a very odd, very pure-hearted salaryman. I love the art, the story, the characters...everything. I personally really like stories of neglected kids who turn out slightly snarky, cynical, possibly outwardly slightly delinquent, but inwardly lonely and resigned. I also like really odd and awkward semes. In this one the salaryman is so odd he's thought of as an alien--too weird to be from this planet. XD;
Yano Tamaki is a student attending a not very good high school, working part-time jobs to support himself as he lives alone, and dating older men and women who treat him to meals and other things (and gives him a bit of an "allowance"). His supposed only positive attribute is his face, as his mother always told him. He's gorgeous. His mother (also with a nice face as her only positive attribute) works at a bar and has never lacked for men, and has always been rather neglectful of her son.
Tamaki works at a convenience store not too far from his apartment. One day a tall man wearing a suit and looking to be about his mid-twenties showed up wanting to use the ATM. He was completely clueless as to how ATMs worked and even asked if he had to pay a fee to the store to use the ATM. When Tamaki told him that there was no fee, the man looked overjoyed, saying "What a great service!" The man then bought a bunch of completely random stuff. Tamaki could only think him completely odd. The next day the man came again but this time bought normal stuff for a salaryman, a bento and a bottle of tea. But when Tamaki asked if the man wanted his bento warmed up, the man was very surprised and rather delighted by the fact that the store would warm his food up. This only reinforced Tamaki's first impression of the man as very, very odd. After that, the man began buying stuff at the store regularly. Tamaki figures the man had moved nearby recently. The man continued to ask odd questions and react bizarrely, which always threw Tamaki off.
In one incident, the man comments, smiling, that it's a wonderful thing to be able to eat food warmed by someone else as he'd only recently started living on his own. Tamaki is puzzled that the man would be so happy. He's only doing his job. He greets customers when they come in and when the leave, he sticks their food in the microwave to heat it if they want, he smiles pleasantly as it costs him nothing. But the man seems dig him for doing these very normal things.
At work a fellow clerk comments one day that "he" hasn't showed up. When Tamaki pretends not to know what she's talking about, she calls the man "alien salaryman." She and the other clerks gossip about the man and how he seems drawn to Tamaki. She tells Tamaki that one day he showed up when Tamaki wasn't working and looked terribly disappointed. He even left without warming up his bento! She wonders if he's gay...which to her would be a waste since he's quite attractive. Tamaki, though willing to date men, is actually into women and doesn't want to speculate. He brushes her off, which disappoints her. She and the other clerks think the alien salaryman and Tamaki would make quite a couple. When Tamaki gets off work that night, the man approaches him outside the store and asks to talk to him. He asks Tamaki to come with him to a nearby restaurant so that they can speak more leisurely.
Tamaki knows that the man is going to confess to him. He's hungry and wouldn't mind dinner (he was going to eat cup ramen at home), but thinks maybe he should stick to a drink since he doesn't plan on giving the man a good answer. However, when the man offers to order everything on the menu Tamaki decides to just go ahead and order something to keep things under control. The man starts off by saying that he'd like to talk about their relationship going forward. Tamaki at first wonders if the man is a crazy stalker who thinks they are already together. The man then states that they are currently a clerk at a convenience store and a customer, which relieves Tamaki. The dude isn't totally deluded. He wonders if the man is actually totally weird or just doesn't know how to phrase things. The man then asks if Tamaki would be willing to change that relationship. He likes Tamaki and had decided to tell Tamaki his feelings once he collected 20 stickers (he'd been collecting stickers for a promotional prize and had been getting Tamaki to actually stick the stickers on the card--which isn't something a clerk typically does and had made Tamaki wonder if it was some kind of roundabout sexual harrasment). Tamaki thinks that collecting the stickers were for the promotional prize, not him as a prize...
The man suddenly remembers that he hadn't introduced himself yet. He gives Tamaki his card. His name is Ando Shouichirou and he is the Managing Director for a well-known sweets company. The reason he's got such a major position at his age is that he's the heir to the company. Ando asks for Tamaki's full name. Tamaki introduces himself and tells Ando he's in his third year in high school, emphasizing the high school part. Ando had thought that the clerks were all at least college students, but tells Tamaki that he's fine with Tamaki age. He hadn't fallen in love with Tamaki's age, after all. Tamaki thinks that Ando should care, as it's actually a crime for an adult to date a minor...Ando tells Tamaki that he's 25. He asks if he's too old for Tamaki. Tamaki doesn't know what to say as, frankly, the bigger hurdle should be that they are both guys...Instead, he asks something else. Why does Ando like him?
Ando responds that Tamaki is kind. Tamaki tells him that warming up his bento is just part of his job, but Ando says that isn't it. It's the small kindnesses that Tamaki does, like putting the warmed up bento and cold drink in separate bags. Tamaki tries to tell him that's normal, too, but Ando goes on to (excitely) talk about how wonderful and warm that little kindness makes him feel. Tamaki finds Ando truly alien, but in the end he agrees to date Ando. Though Ando is weird and probably might be a bit much to handle, he has money. And money is very important to Tamaki.
Tamaki has never known his father, and his mother has always been...flaky. She's never been with one man for long, and tired of dealing with her lifestyle Tamaki moved out when he'd graduated middle school. So he has to work to live. Besides his job at the convenience store, he works weekends at a bar (pretending to be in college). He'd gotten the job thanks to the manager, who unfortunately is a very icky gay guy into gorgeous young men. Tamaki lets the guy grope him at work, but has yet to go out with him after work. While being groped he gets a text message from Ando. Ando sends him good night and good morning messages every day. When Tamaki responds that he's studying, Ando is apologetic for interrupting him and tells him to study hard. Tamaki has to laugh since he's actually working at a bar being groped by the manager.
Since Tamaki is busy with his jobs and uses his weekends to work long shifts, he tends to meet Ando after school. His two friends tag along every so often to get free food, pretending to be concerned that the older man isn't taking advantage of the pretty Tamaki. Ando has no clue that he's the one being taken advantage of, though Tamaki figures the cost of a couple of meals is nothing to a rich guy like him. Instead, Ando is delighted that Tamaki's friends approve of him.
They go on a date when Tamaki is free one Saturday. Ando drives Tamaki to the beach, though in May it's too cold to swim. They wander about until they have an early dinner at a restaurant Ando likes. It's quite expensive and very tasty. At the end of dinner Ando nervously asks if Tamaki will come over to his house. Tamaki agrees, willing to let Ando fuck him at least once. They drive back to Ando's huge and luxurious condo. Ando even has this dedicated room for foodstuffs called a "pantry!" It's filled with wine, though. Tamaki wants to drink a bottle, but Ando tells him no as Tamaki is underage. Tamaki is thrown off since no one has ever told him not to drink...in fact, all the men and women he'd dated and even his mother had even happily drunk with him! In any case, they drink non-alcoholic wine (aka grape juice) and eat cheese. Ando very nervously tells Tamaki he wants to show him something. Tamaki worries that it's some kind of kinky sex toy, but it turns out to be a game console. Ando wants to play a video game with Tamaki. They play tennis, Tamaki getting all competitive when Ando who is a newbie at video games but has played real tennis from when he was young manages to get better quite quickly. They both collapse on the floor after some intense playing. When Tamaki's hand accidentally brushes against Ando's hand, Ando nearly jumps up, his ears all red.
Tamaki's friends are unhappy that he won't bring them along for free meals anymore. He tells them he and Ando aren't going out just eat so it's a bit pointless to bring them along. His friends think he and Ando are just fucking all the time. One friend wonders if Tamaki's finally been defeated by a grown man's skills in bed. Tamaki says that no, he's the one doing th teaching. Of course, it's not sex he's teaching. He and Ando have been playing all kinds of games, the kind kids play normally but Ando has never played. He doesn't bother telling his friends because they'd never ever believe him. One friend in particular is very unhappy because he doesn't have any money and wants free food. He asks if Tamaki can ask for some money from Ando for him. Tamaki declines, saying Ando doesn't give him any money either. The friend thinks Ando's a bit cheap to not give Tamaki money when asked, but Tamaki doesn't tell him he hasn't ever asked Ando for money.
After dinner and a bout of video games, Ando serves tea and cake. Turns out Ando had baked the cake himself. Ando's mother had been a professional pastry chef until she'd married and had him, after which she'd been a housewife. She used to bake him cakes. Ando explains the flavoring of the cake and how his mother had changed the typical recipe. For Tamaki, a world with a mother who cooked and baked and was at home at all is completely alien. His mother often left him to be with men, sometimes not leaving anything for him to eat (or any money to buy any food). When Ando asks if Tamaki's parents aren't worried about him being out late, Tamaki tells Ando that he lives alone. He'd moved out without telling his mom after graduating. Ando starts lecturing Tamaki about a) consulting with parents before doing anything major like living alone and b) the dangers and problems of a student living alone and having to support himself. This totally pisses Tamaki off. He asks what Ando knows about his life. Living alone is dangerous? Like living with his mom wasn't? He stuffs the rest of the cake in his mouth and leaves.
Tamaki had ignored Ando's texts and calls after he'd left, but Ando shows up at the convenience store the next day during Tamaki's shift. Ando tries to talk to Tamaki, but Tamaki cuts him off by treating him like a customer. Tamaki finally shuts Ando up by reminding Ando that he's at work. The other clerks want to know what's going on, but Tamaki manages to brush them off. At the end of his shift, when he leaves from the back door Ando is waiting for him. Tamaki tells him he has to go to his next job, the bartending one he'd never told Ando about. Ando follows him to the bar and stays for a little while. When Tamaki finishes that job, Ando is waiting for him again. Tamaki is surprised that Ando hadn't gone home. Ando apologizes for following him around, but he really wants to talk to Tamaki that day. Tamaki ends up inviting Ando to come home with him, showing him the crappy apartment he'd kinda kept hidden until then. Ando apologizes for lecturing him, but he'd only been concerned for Tamaki. However, he should've realized that Tamaki had his own good reasons for doing what he did. He wasn't even put off that Tamaki worked in a bar while being underage. He saw Tamaki working hard and treating the customers well, just like in the convenience store. He's glad to have seen a different side of him. Tamaki is amazed at how...honest and straightforward Ando is. When Ando asks for forgiveness he gives it. Ando is happy, and asks if they could have another date when Tamaki is free. Tamaki says there's somewhere he wants to go...
Tamaki takes off work the next Saturday to go to an amusement park (a slightly disguised Disneyland) with Ando. Ando is surprised that Tamaki had wanted to go to such a place, but he's happy. After all, it's such a date-like location for a date! Tamaki figured Ando would like it. He actually has never liked amusement parks. He'd always found them so fake, and so full of couples or families. And whenever he'd end up going to one he'd always stare at the families, at the moms holding their kids' hand, at the fathers carrying their kids on their shoulders, at the parents taking pictures of their kids on roller coasters...He never thought he'd ask to come to one, but he figured Ando would like it. And Ando so likes it. He's quite excited. As they walk through the park, Tamaki notices girls looking at Ando. Tamaki wonders why it seems like Ando has no experience with women. Or with men. He really seems like an alien fallen from the sky.
When Ando asks if they can hold hands, Tamaki decides that though they will attract notice as two guys rather than a guy-girl couple he'd rather deal with strangers staring than to have Ando looking all disappointed (like a puppy). Ando looks a bit embarrassed and is a bit flushed when he takes Tamaki's hand. When they sit down for a rest and a drink, Tamaki notices more girls looking at Ando and finally just asks Ando if he'd ever been interested in women. Ando tells Tamaki that he hadn't because his mother had told him not to speak to women. Turns out his mother had become mentally unwell when Ando was in elementary school. His mother had found out about his father's infidelity and had started acting funny until the father stopped coming home at all to avoid her. Ando's mother only got worse. She didn't want Ando to leave the house, so after intermediate school he stopped attending school. He received the rest of his education from private tutors. He only went out with his mother or with the servants his mother employed. It was only until he started working at his father's company that he left the house regularly. But he only commuted between work and home and didn't go out at all. He also couldn't help but avoid meeting the eyes of the women at work. It felt like his mother would get worse just from that, so he'd never been able to look at a woman with any kind of interest. But his mother had passed away last year, and to push himself to change Ando moved out on his own. He knows that he's not normal. But it was all rather difficult for him, and he was so happy when he met Tamaki and had been treated with such kindness. Tamaki remembers that oddly embarrassed smile Ando always had at the register...
They eat lunch and go on a couple of rides. Ando gets all excited at the store and ends up buying lots of stuff. As Tamaki is waiting for Ando outside, he's asked by a pair of girls for directions to a ride. They become friendly as they talk. The girls try to get him to join them, but he tells them he's with someone and they are going to leave. When Ando shows up he completely ignores the girls and pulls Tamaki along. He is silent and seems angry, though he denies that he is. When they get to Ando's car Tamaki confronts Ando. Ando confesses that he's unhappy that Tamaki is kind to everyone (his love is agape, god's love, says Ando), yet he can't deny that part of Tamaki whom he likes. Tamaki gets fed up with Ando's weirdness and shuts him up brusquely. He then kisses him. Ando asks if he can kiss Tamaki back, gets permssion, and does. Having made up, Ando suggests they go home. But Tamaki wants Ando right then, so he tells Ando he's tired and wants to rest somewhere. That somewhere being a hotel room.
Ando is excited about the themed hotel room. He's also excited about the great view they have. They could see the fireworks that night! Tamaki, however, doesn't give a crap about any of that. He claimed to be tired and asked for a hotel room for one simple reason. He wants to have sex with Ando. He comes on strong, kissing Ando and trying to get him aroused. Ando is a bit freaked out, and tells Tamaki that he shouldn't be doing such things with a minor. But when Tamaki keeps pushing, he gets a strong reaction from Ando. Ando kisses him back forcefully and sticks his hand down Tamaki's pants. Tamaki ends up coming in his pants. Ando apologizes as he doesn't know what to do. Turns out he's a virgin. Tamaki isn't that suprised, considering the way Ando grew up. And he doesn't mind at all. They more leisurely continue after that, with Ando taking Tamaki's clothes off and touching him more gently. Tamaki is amazed at how much he's turned on. He'd actually never been that fond of sex in general, thinking of it as a way to get something from someone. He'd even been less fond of sex with men. But now he's really into it. He gets Ando to start loosening his ass. He realizes that he's so into it now because he's actually fallen for Ando. He'd always thought love was foolish, but...here he was. He's so into it, he urges Ando to just fuck him already. Ando thinks he's too tight, but Tamaki assures him he'll be okay. He's used to it.
Ando freezes. He asks if Tamaki is not a virgin. He seems shocked. Tamaki feels a bit of a shock at Ando's shock, so he responds snarkily, "So what if it's not my first time?" Ando doesn't say anything, so Tamaki pushes himself away and asks, "What's your problem? This isn't anything unusual." He demands Ando say something, asking if he's sulking again.
Tamaki remembers when he was really small, waiting for his mother to pick him up from day care. One night another mother had pulled away her child who had been playing with Tamaki, and had whispered to a worker that Tamaki was a "dirty child." Tamaki hadn't known what she meant then, but as he grew older he understood. His mother worked in a bar and was pretty flashy and oblivious. She was not a "good girl" by any stretch of the imagination, and Tamaki was tainted from being her son. And when he was in his first year of middle school he was raped by one of his mother's customers. It had been a painful and awful experience, but he hadn't told anyone. The man had given him 20,000 yen to keep him quiet, which he'd kept hidden in his desk drawer. But he started using it to feed himself when his mother would forget to provide him dinner before going to work. By the time he'd used up the money, he felt resigned to having a similar life as his mother. When another customer came on to him, he went out with him. As he grew older women came into the picture, and he dated men and women.
After school, Tamaki's friends ask him about Ando. Tamaki tells them they'd broken up. They hadn't, really, but considering how Ando had barely spoken to him taking him home that night...Tamaki had ingored all of Ando's calls and texts since then. But Ando shows up at the school gate and runs into one of Tamaki's friends. As Tamaki is leaving he sees the two together. The friend had refused to call Tamaki over, and totally thought Ando had dumped Tamaki. He tells Ando that Tamaki wasn't all into him, he was just seeing him for money. Another friend shows up and drags the first friend away to leave Ando and Tamaki alone. They go to Ando's car to talk privately.
Ando apologizes for the other day. He also asks about what the friend had said. Tamaki confirms his friend's words, that he'd agreed to date Ando for money. Ando agrees that it makes sense, since Tamaki so easily said yes. Tamaki tells Ando to be more suspicious, otherwise he'll get decieved again. Tamaki acts like they have broken up. He wants to just destroy what they had so that he doesn't have to see it break up before his eyes. So he tells Ando that he's a bad kid, that he's not the kind, pure high school student Ando thought he was. But Ando doesn't buy it. He asks if Tamaki was acting that night of the date, if his desire hadn't been real. It seemed so real to him. He again apologizes for how he'd reacted. He'd been beating himself up for hurting Tamaki for being shocked over such a trivial thing...Tamaki is amazed at Ando's generosity and kindness. For a moment he thinks Ando could accept him as he is, but then he remembers the "dirty child" comment. So he pushes Ando away. He harshly tells Ando to leave him alone. In the end, though, he tells Ando to just forget what his mother had told him, forget him, and date a girl like a normal guy.
Tamaki continues on with work and school, not very happy. One night after work he finds his mother waiting for him. Turns out she's not only living with a new man but she's married the man. Tamaki could care less and tells her so. After all, her life is her life and his life is his. They aren't a family. She's offended by that. She's his mother! Her husband is his father! This pisses Tamaki off. What right does she have to act all parental when it suits her? He almost blurts out that he'd been raped by her customer, but doesn't. Instead he just tells her to leave. When she doesn't immediately leave, he does instead. He runs through the rain and wonders what he's doing. He ends up taking shelter in a concrete playground structure. He knows he's mad at her because he's so unhappy and she's actually happy. His unhappiness is not all her fault. He's made his own choices...
Tamaki longs to see Ando. Daily.
The next day he has his bartending job. That night he decides to take the icky manager up on dinner after work. After all, all he's going to do is go home afterwards. The manager takes him to a fast food restaurant to eat (cheap!), then stops off at a public restroom in a park. Tamaki is surprised when the manager shoves him into a stall to have sex. WTF? Not even a hotel? Tamaki tries to push the manager away but the manager won't let him go. The manager hits him and even kicks him down. He's pissed that Tamaki won't put out after "leading him on" and forces Tamaki to take his dick into his mouth. Tamaki calls out for help...from Ando. Suddenly Ando appears and saves Tamaki from icky manager.
Ando takes Tamaki back to his apartment and helps him get clean in the shower. Tamaki thanks Ando but notices that Ando is staring at something. It's a bite mark by the icky manager. Tamaki feels dirty and ashamed. Then he looks up to see Ando crying. Ando embraces him and cries that it's horrible that Tamaki, who is his, should have had such a horrible thing happen to him. He apologizes and confesses that he's been stalking Tamaki these past several weeks. When he wasn't free he'd hired someone to follow Tamaki. That's why he was there to save Tamaki. He had to know how Tamaki was doing, even though Tamaki had told him to get lost.
Tamaki tells Ando that he thought Ando was so cool showing up right when he needed him, like a knight in shining armor. He tells Ando that he thought Ando found him disgusting. He confesses that he'd been doing that kind of thing, not only for the money but because it was easier to accept that he was this kind of person. He tells Ando that he'd been raped. He explains that he doesn't want pity, but he had been using his past as a kind of excuse to live the way he'd been living. But he doesn't want to do that kind of thing any more. He tells Ando that he loves him. He kept thinking of Ando, kept wishing to see him, even though he knew he wasn't worthy to be with Ando. In response, Ando kisses the bite mark. He keeps kissing him, and kisses his lips. And tells him that he loves him too. He's loved him from the very beginning, and his feelings have not changed a bit.
So...they have sex, obviously. Afterwards, Tamaki wakes up to find Ando peacefully sleeping next to him. He looks down at the sleeping Ando and is struck by the thought that he can keep loving Ando, and they can play video games and lounge around and eat the cakes Ando bakes and all that. Tears well up. He desperately tries not to cry, but a tear escapes and hits Ando. Ando wakes up and thinks Tamaki is crying from pain he'd inflicted during sex. A bit frantic, he tries to gives Tamaki a towel to wipe his face with, but Tamaki had come into the towel earlier and totally doesn't want to wipe his face with it. He manages to fling the thing away and explains to Ando that he's just happy he's with Ando. Ando embraces him and tells him to allow himself to be indulged. After all, he's a kid and Ando is much older than him. So Tamaki tells Ando to take him to the amusement park again.
...And that was the first story. The second story is quite good, but it took quite a long time just to type this first half up so I'm not going to bother in this post. I love how simply and straightforwardly Ando loves Tamaki, and how messed up Tamaki is and how sad he's had to resign himself and compromise himself and tell himself how kinda worthless he is. Also, love Tamaki being the one trying to initiate the sex. I hate more experienced ukes turning into completely passive dolls when it's their one true love or whatever.
One detail that made me laugh from the second story--turns out women had been throwing themselves at Ando and Ando had been completely clueless. When Tamaki hears about women feigning unwellness from overdrinking to get Ando to take them home and miraculously recovering when Ando offers to take them to the hospital or women just inviting him up for tea and Ando going to their rooms and just having tea, Tamaki feels sorry for those women.
This entry was originally posted at http://insaneneko.dreamwidth.org/482243.html. Please comment here or there.