A Lover's Domain

Sonoda/Yuki short story

A little story from the Stellaworth preorder booklet! This one features Sonoda, Yuki, and a bit of trouble in paradise... mainly because Sonoda is annoying. 8D

A Lover's Domain

Love was simply difficult.

There were times when the power of love overcame all difficulties, and there were also times when a trivial disagreement became a big problem.

Today was one of those days. I was in the student council room after school, finishing my usual work along with Kuya-san and Takato-san. Just then, my cell phone rang.

"It's from Sonoda-san..."

Sonoda-san was an upperclassman one year above me, the master of the cafeteria, and my lover, with whom I'd recently started going out. It was rare for him to call at this time... What could it be? It made me happy to be able to hear his voice, and before I answered, I unconsciously broke into a smile.

"Yes, it's Yuki. What's the matter?"

'Are you not feeling well?'

"Huh? I'm feeling fine. I'm fit as a fiddle." My eyes widened at the sudden question.

'You didn't come to the cafeteria during lunch.'

"Yeah. I was busy with student council work and just bought a bun from the school store."

'Just a bun is bad nutrition. When you're busy is exactly when you need to eat a balanced meal...'

"But the deli-style buns in the school store are really delicious. Since my house is a bakery, sometimes I want to eat those flavors." Sonoda-san was worried about me. I was happy at his kind concern and my smile came through in my voice.

But Sonoda-san's response was curt. "Oh, I see."

The voice over the phone was distant and I couldn't read the emotion. Since he was a complicated person to begin with, it was hard to grasp what he was thinking without seeing his face. "Um..."

'That's all. Sorry for interrupting you. Good work in the student council.'

"Oh, right. I'll do my best."

The call disconnected.

My vague unease was justified when I went back to the dorm after finishing the student council work. No matter where I looked in the dorm, I couldn't find Sonoda-san.

Where did he go? He wasn't in the school building, or his dorm room, or the cafeteria. I tried calling Sonoda-san's cell phone and a robotic woman's voice answered.

'Your call cannot be completed at this time.'

"Huh? Are you kidding me?" I reflexively spoke to the automatic voice. Immediately after, the call one-sidedly disconnected with a crackle. The beep-beep of the off-hook tone rang out. I couldn't imagine that someone as organized as Sonoda-san hadn't paid his bill, so did that mean... he was blocking calls?

The color suddenly drained from my face. Oh no... Had I done something to make him angry?

--- Oh, right.

His curt voice during the phone call before replayed in my mind. I had wondered what was going on then. No way, he wouldn't leave the school like before...

Growing pale, I looked for Sonoda-san everywhere. But I couldn't even find anyone who knew where he was.

"Yuki-kun, what is the matter?"

In contrast to my feelings, Dora-chan spoke cheerfully. That's right, maybe the RA Dora-chan knew something.

"Sonoda-san is missing. Do you know anything?"

"He gave a notice of going out and went out."

"Where?"

"It is your house."

"Wha???"

My eyes widened at the unexpected response.

~~~

My house was a little towards the outskirts of the heart of the city. My father, who escaped the corporate life, ran a cozy bakery in front of the station.

Still, why to my house? As I worried, turning it over and over, I went on my way home for the first time in a long while.

I reached the house and Sonoda-san really was there.

"Oh, Yuki-kun..."

"Oh, Yuki. It's been a while."

"... What are the two of you doing?"

Sonoda-san and my father were happily making bread. Sonoda-san was smiling cheerily with his hands covered in flour. "Your words gave me a flash of inspiration. If I sell buns in the cafeteria, the customers who buy from the school store will be drawn to the cafeteria. But since I don't specialize in bread making, I thought I'd get advice from your dad, an active-duty baker."

As usual, he was a very shrewd salesman.

My father smiled in embarrassment and waved a hand in front of his face. "It was hardly advice. Telling Sonoda-kun which buns you like and what breads are popular with students was hardly anything."

"They seem like they'd catch on in BL School."

"Really? I'm happy to hear you say that."

In the friendly atmosphere, my strength completely drained away. I felt like an idiot looking for Sonoda-san so desperately. With rising irritation, I complained, "You suddenly disappeared, so I was worried."

"You're exaggerating. I'm not a lost child."

"Only someone who hasn't already suddenly disappeared once before can say a line like that. If you were going to my house, I wish you'd said something..."

"I wanted to surprise you, you know. But, who did you hear it from?"

"Dora-chan."

"I wish I'd made him keep quiet."

"And my call wouldn't go through."

"Oh, really? Don't be mad. I'll let you taste test my special fresh-baked bread." Sonoda-san shrugged his shoulders as if it was nothing. When I saw his smile, my displeasure didn't matter anymore. Anyway, I was glad he hadn't gone missing.

"That reminds me, I heard a lot of embarrassing stories about you from your dad."

"Huh? Dad, what did you tell him?"

"Well, yeah, a few surefire hits."

"Urgh, that's so embarrassing..."

Laughing, Sonoda-san watched me, with my cheeks coloring and face downcast. When our eyes met, a shadow fell across his gaze. "I'm sorry I worried you."

At the soft voice like that of a meek child, I felt something was a little off.

After that, the two us went to the neighborhood park, carrying the fresh-baked buns. My father had encouraged us to go into the house, but since there was still a while until closing time, we had declined.

There were few signs of people in the evening park. Sitting on a bench, I took a taste of my favorite, a fresh-made yakisoba bun.

"Let's eat!"

I took a big bite of the bun. I couldn't stand the fluffiness, the scent of wheat, and the strong flavor of the yakisoba. Sonoda-san had added his touch to my father's popular item, and even though it was common, he made it into an improved, polished dish.

"How is it?"

"It's really delicious! I'm sure this will be a big hit at the school, no mistake about it."

As I ate the yakisoba bun in ecstasy, Sonoda-san smiled bitterly. "You can really put it away every time."

I laughed and turned towards Sonoda-san. "You really are enthusiastic when it comes to the cafeteria. As soon as I inspired you, you took action."

".........."

"I admire that about you, but I got worried, so please tell me properly next time, okay?"

Sonoda-san was silent with an unreadable look. Had I said something strange? I felt uneasy and he sighed, fingers combing through his hair.

"Sorry... When I said you inspired me, it was an excuse I thought of later. Actually, I'm jealous."

"Jealous...? Of who?"

Sonoda-san didn't answer.

"Is it Kuya-san or Takato-san?"

At my quiet question, Sonoda-san finally muttered. "... The school store."

"Huh...?"

"To be precise, the buns at the school store. I felt you were preoccupied with them. That's all."

Seeing the way my mouth was hanging open, Sonoda-san clasped his head in embarrassment. "I knew you would make that face... Even I don't like it. Aaah, I'm sorry, being so annoying. Do you want to break up?"

"Not at all! I'm just naturally surprised. Well, you said you're jealous of the buns in the school store..."

"I'm a cook and your lover. I want to catch you through your stomach. Actually, I was trying to. I even called you after school." Sonoda-san leaned back on the bench and sighed gloomily.

Under the setting sun, I gently tugged on his sleeve. "You already did. Your food is always delicious, Sonoda-san."

"I'm not happy unless it's first."

My eyes widened at those childish words. Sonoda-san, who was more mature than other people, furrowed his brows in a pout.

"I want to be first with you, as a man and as a cook. If it's possible, I want to be your everything. I want to spoil you as sweetly as preserving you in syrup. I want to monopolize you, and always have your eyes on me."

My face turned red at those words, sweeter than honey. Weren't they words of very passionate love? But maybe because Sonoda-san was unaware of it, he just looked up at the evening sky dejectedly. My heart was pounding as I sat next to him in the ennui of twilight.

"That's why I ended up feeling rejected by losing to a school store bun. And if you bring up the flavors of home, I don't stand a chance."

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean..."

"I know. That you didn't have an ulterior motive, and that sometimes you want to eat something different. Still, I just got depressed and wishy-washy and worried. I got sick of myself, you know, and just started acting without thinking of the consequences."

"And so, you went to my house?"

"Right. I didn't plan it, but your dad taught me valuable baker's tips and techniques, and I got to hear secrets about you, so it did provide something." Sonoda-san smiled as if remembering.

Inside, I broke out in a cold sweat. What did my father tell him?

In the distance, a bell rang out. Sonoda-san turned toward me, frowning. "I'm sorry I worried you. ...I worried that you'd go after I told you, but it must bother you, hearing something like this."

"What about the call blocking?"

"It was because my motive in coming here wasn't pure. I didn't want you to notice." Sonoda-san shrugged self-deprecatingly. "I really am annoying, aren't I?"

"I don't think so."

"I'm plenty annoying. Even I would be sorry for a man like me. I'm gloomy, have a dependent personality, I'm the type to obsess..."

I clasped his hand to interrupt the masochistic words. I smiled at him.

"I love you. Including the parts that you worry about like that, I love you, Sonoda-san."

"...You don't think I'm uncool?"

"Of course not!"

My smiled welled up from the bottom of my heart.

Love was a mystery. Even while thinking about each other, you could disagree, be lonely, and cause worry. On top of that, even while you were worried, you could be angry. Even while lonely, you could stay by yourself. It seemed simple and was really hard. But after all, I thought the answer we were looking for was a simple thing.

"Sonoda-san, even if you're uncool, or annoying, if you're thinking of me, it makes me really happy. Well, since you love me so much that you're even jealous of buns."

Sonoda-san's eyes widened in surprise.

I touched my beloved's cheek and told him my feelings, so that I wouldn't lose to his (albeit unconscious) love confession. "I want to be first with you too, Sonoda-san. I want to make you happiest and I want you to make me happiest. So you can tell me anything, please."

"Yuki-kun..."

"So please be way more annoying."

Without knowing who closed their eyes first, we kissed in the park in the sunset light.

We kissed, smiling. If one could be with the person they loved, just that solved everything. It made all the world happy. Because for two people's love, no matter what troubles might occur, that's what made their love grow.

From now on, the two of us would enjoy our troubles like the ones today.

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