by Natsuno Owari (夏野オワリ)
A small shop in Harajuku, he’d been told, down an alleyway between a crepe stand and that store which sold those disgusting lacy maid outfits. All lace and sex, she’d said, bought by young girls who had an inappropriate desire to express themselves…
Tanaka-san valued her pet dog as much as she did her collection of expensive kimono. Every free morning she had, she would take the train to Asakusa and peruse the market there, under the shadow of the giant gate of Kaminarimon. Her dog, Foofoo, was as highly decorated as her clothes and would not be able to go. On the one occasion that he did accompany her, he struggled along behind her, trying to keep up with the brisk click-clack of her geta, his half-shorn tail bobbing in the breeze.
Takuya was there for her; he took Foofoo for long walks on those days and charged comparatively little.
On some occasions, Tanaka-san would ask Takuya to bring back certain items from shops around his dog-walking route. Mostly it was expensive pastries and cakes from specialist bakeries. This time, she wanted more clothing for Foofoo.
All dogs in Tokyo boasted at least one ribbon, preferably pink. Those belonging to richer owners would have more ribbons, perhaps even a hat or coat. Foofoo currently wore a white lace bonnet and matching white petticoat, but Tanaka-san had decided he was under-accessorised.
For this purpose, Takuya’s route now took in Takeshita Doori, the alternative fashion centre of Tokyo. The narrow street bustled with pockets of leather-clad rockers, Gothic Lolitas and J-rock cosplayers, not to mention tourists. All things considered, a nineteen year-old wearing jeans and t-shirt leading a poodle around that was better dressed than he was drew little comment.
There were many crepe stands, each one much the same as the last, even if the name changed. They all had plastic crepes covered in plastic fruit and plastic syrup in display cases outside. There were many places selling clothes that had a passing similarity to that of a maid’s, but none had this as a main theme. Most were on the upper floors and used boards at street level to advertise their wares.
It was only because Takuya was looking that he noticed the black and white lace dresses on display above his head, laced elegantly around mannequins that had been placed in arched windows on the second floor. They were as close to maid’s outfits as he had seen lately and he was heartened to see a crepe stand on the other side of the alleyway.
Takuya darted down the path and was rewarded by the sight of a small shop, ‘Man’s Best Friend’, selling small packets of colourful material. He picked out one labelled ‘Superman’, with the familiar red and yellow symbol. It wasn’t Tanaka-san’s style, but the idea of dressing Foofoo up in blue spandex and red underpants appealed to him; it was probably the most masculine outfit the poor creature would ever get to wear. Although he had to admit that this was probably intended for a different breed entirely, since it under the plastic packaging it resembled an oversized finger puppet.
“Any other time of year, that would be my biggest seller,” remarked a voice over his shoulder.
Takuya turned around to see an older man in an emerald green business suit. His short hair was gelled into shiny jet spikes and his dark eyes sparkled behind black rectangular frames.
Takuya blushed at the sight of the other man. While he’d been vaguely aware of all the other beautiful people around this area, nothing underlined it quite so much as having a conversation with one. Here he was, scruffy dyed blond hair that fell awkwardly between ‘short’ and ‘shoulder-length’, wearing old blue jeans. Worst of all, he was dragging behind him a dog in a dress.
“It’s a funny idea,” Takuya admitted, “but I’m not sure that Tanaka-san would approve.”
“Why don’t you tell me the kind of thing that Tanaka-san likes and we’ll try and pick out something good for… her,” the shop owner eventually settled on what he felt was the correct pronoun. “Okay?”
Takuya nodded. “Thanks! Umm… Let’s see… She likes old-fashioned clothes, but nothing too revealing. No maid’s outfits.”
“I quite understand. I bet you’re not too thrilled about dressing it up as a maid either?”
Takuya was horrified. Maybe Foofoo was the most overly-groomed dog he’d ever walked; maybe Tanaka-san had been too enthusiastic with the white lace, but the fact remained that this was a living creature. “‘It’ has a name,” said Takuya firmly. “And it’s Foofoo.”
“Of course, sir. I quite agree. My apologies.” He bit his lip and his neatly groomed eyebrows furrowed. “If I may be so bold, why ‘Foofoo’?”
“Oh, it’s not my choice, it’s Tanaka-san’s. Foofoo belongs to her.”
“I see,” said the shop owner with a wry smile. He darted forward and picked a few packets of a nearby carousel. “Here. The first is a standard tuxedo and the other is my Christmas special, The Angry Santa.”
Takuya looked at the ghost of the outfit behind the cellophane wrap. “Bit small, isn’t it?”
He laughed, “Most of my customers say that, but all costumes are free-sized…”
“Foofoo is smaller than most, but I still think that this won’t fit him.”
The other man cocked his head and asked with a trace of neither mockery nor malice, “What exactly do you think I sell here?”
Takuya looked around at the tiny packets for sale and remembered the shape and size of the first item he’d seen. “Not dog clothing, right?”
The shop owner’s mouth opened as if to say something, then snapped shut. “Why don’t you have a cup of tea?” he suggested eventually, flipping the sign on the glass door to ‘closed’.
There was an ancient-looking kettle next to a sink in a curtained-off area at the back of the shop. A small wooden table too, which had one leg that was shorter than the other three. On the floor next to it was a huge plastic sewing box with a lid that couldn’t close for all the coloured thread and scraps of cloth that spilled out of it.
“I’m Kazuo, by the way,” he said, gesturing for Takuya to take a seat at the table.
As the kettle boiled, Kazuo gently took the two cellophane packets away from Takuya and threw one on top of the sewing box. The other, he opened and placed the contents on the table. Takuya’s eyebrows furrowed as he realised his initial assessment had been correct and these things, whatever they were, resembled overly large and excessively decorated finger puppets.
The Angry Santa–for that was what was on the table in front of him–had a large red tunic with a white woollen trimming. It also had a white beard, attached with elasticated string, and a Christmas hat in the same style as the tunic.
“So it’s for a hamster!” exclaimed Takuya, pleased that he had finally figured out the true purpose behind these costumes.
Takuya’s face fell. “A gerbil?”
“Ah, no. It’s more along the lines of… well, for humans.” Kazuo paused to let it sink in.
Takuya blushed. “No way!”
Kazuo nodded encouragingly for him to continue along those lines of thought.
“Not… down there!?”
Kazuo looked visibly relieved. “Yes, ‘down there’. Damned if I could think of any good synonyms for you.”
“But why? I don’t get it.” Still red-faced, Takuya nervously pulled the costume across the table. “Why would anyone want to wear this?”
Kazuo smiled as neutrally as he was able. “Lots of reasons. All my customers are different.”
“Well, who was your last one then?”
“My last customer? Strangely enough, I got an online order shortly before you arrived. For The Angry Santa, of course.”
“Well… What was his story?”
“Who knows? But she shared a name with a popular NHK announcer–”
Kazuo smiled and handed him a mug of tea. “I couldn’t possibly say. Customer confidentiality.”
Takuya set down his mug in front of him and rested his head on his hands. “Oh. Okay.”
Kazuo leaned over and poked him in the arm. “I’ve already taken it out of the package. It’s yours. See what you think.”
“That’s not what I–” A great war within Kazuo’s conscience took place and was finally settled. “I mean, sure, go ahead!” He strode around the other side of the table and wrapped his arms around Takuya’s waist, placing him on the table. He also moved to undo Takuya’s jeans, but was stopped.
“You’ve been really generous, but I couldn’t possibly… I can do it myself.”
Kazuo stifled a smile and sat back in the chair that Takuya had been sitting in.
Takuya unzipped his jeans and wriggled until they were half-way down his thighs. He pulled down his y-fronts until his ‘down there’ was on view to Kazuya and couldn’t really be described as ‘down’ anymore.
“You need any help putting it on?”
“It’s okay!” he insisted, grabbing the costume in his right hand. “I can do it by myself.”
“The coat goes on first,” said Kazuo helpfully.
Takuya pulled on the red and white tunic, then tugged it down so it covered as much of him as possible. He couldn’t avoid the sneaking suspicion that it did nothing to preserve his dignity. He also couldn’t avoid the fact that he was breathing heavily.
“Great!” said Kazuo, encouragingly. “Now the beard.”
He attached the beard, as he’d been told. The elastic was the perfect tightness — not too tight and not too loose. He ran his finger under it several times, loving the way it felt.
“The hat,” Kazuo prompted.
Takuya popped it on and leaned back a little to admire the purple-headed Santa. “He doesn’t look happy. He looks very…”
“Angry. It’s The Angry Santa,” Kazuo said proudly. “I invented the name myself.”
“I think he’s very happy. He sure feels that way.” Takuya grasped his cock with both hands and rubbed.
“That’s good. Very good.” Kazuo leaned forward, meeting Takuya’s gaze for what seemed to be the first time.
Takuya had no idea of what effect he might be having and curiosity surged within. So many questions, although he couldn’t tell if the principle one was ‘is Kazuo the kind of man that likes this kind of thing?’ or ‘how did I end up here, doing this?’.
He plunged his hand deep into his underwear, desperately trying to do something that would end this awkward situation. Before he knew it, his right foot was beside him, lifting his ass off the table, his left hand flat next to him, keeping him balanced.
Takuya stroked himself harder, closing his eyes and feeling the woollen rim of the hat rub against his tip. He thrust into Santa, the costume touching him in all the right places. He climaxed, coming inside the red and white outfit.
When he opened his eyes, Kazuo was staring at him with a hungry look in his eyes. “Amazing, Takuya. You’re hired.”
“I’ve… I’ve ruined your costume,” he said, flushed, before what the man had said actually sunk in. “Wait, what!?”
“You need a job, don’t you?”
“I have a job! I walk dogs!”
“Like I said, you need a job. You’re perfect for this place.”
Takuya looked at at the other man, still breathing hard. Kazuo had a light red colouring to his cheeks himself and a playful grin. Takuya wanted to stay more than anything else.
“I think I’d like that, thanks.”
Kazuo finished off his tea while Takuya wondered how he was going to explain this to Tanaka-san.