The cheerful ringing of Arashi's cellphone startled both boys out of their peaceful sleep. Arashi mumbled something and settled himself back onto George's chest. The phone rang again.

"Let's go pick strawberries..."

The tall blue-haired boy sighed and sat up, gently dislodging Arashi's head from its resting place on his chest.

"Isn't that your cellphone? I know Miwako put that ring tone on for you."

Arashi sat up and rubbed his eyes, his eyeliner smudged slightly under each eye. "Uh...yeah, it is." He picked up the phone, answering it with a short "Yo."

George climbed out of the bed and pulled on a pair of sleek pajama bottoms, designed by himself, naturally. He stretched gracefully and walked over to the large mirror, taking a comb off of his desk and running it through his hair.

Arashi nodded, saying "Okay, yeah, I'll be over, bye" as he put down the phone, then dropped it over the edge of the bed onto the pile of his clothes on the floor. George raised an eyebrow inquisitively. "That was Miwako?"

"Yeah. What time is it?" Arashi grabbed his watch off the floor and answered his own question. "Shite! It's 11:10 already!" He jumped out of bed, snatched his bondage pants and hair gel and headed into the bathroom. George heard the sound of running water and muffled cursing through the bathroom door.



Arashi entered the studio twenty minutes later, his hair spiked and all safety pins fastened in place. He hated mornings and he didn't feel like working today, after having very little sleep the previous night. However, his mental complaints were interrupted a few moments later by a squeal of "Arashi!" and the smell of strawberry shampoo. Miwako ran up to him and took his hand, leading him into the studio. She smiled a little, pouting cutely at him. "Miwako is sorry she had to baby-sit for sissy last night so we couldn't do perverted things."

Arashi blinked. He could never get used to the way Miwako would mention things like that, yet looked and acted, for the most part, like an innocent child barely out of kindergarten. He seriously doubted sometimes if she even knew what she was talking about sometimes. His fingers played idly with the chain running from his ear to his eyebrow as he replied, "'S okay. What's George having us work on today?"

Miwako's face lit up, and she exclaimed excitedly, "We're measuring for the dress as soon as Caroline comes over!" She didn't notice that Arashi hadn't responded to her apology with one of his usual gutter-minded comments and a laugh that told everyone exactly where his thoughts were.

"Her name is Yukari..."

Miwako twirled a section of pink hair and shrugged happily.



George raised a hand lazily as Arashi and Miwako entered the studio, then turned back to the table where he was laying out several bolts of cloth. Isabella stood behind him, examining the fabric intensely. "I like the peach-colored one, might look lovely with the cream-tinted pearl trim I found last week."

George frowned, absorbed in thought. "Yes...I'm not sure how well it would work with Yukari's coloring, though. We don't want to make her look washed-out."

"Oh dear, you're right. How would the purple look on Carrie, d'you think?"

Arashi was bored. "Her name is Yukari...all these names get confusing."

George looked over his shoulder at him and tilted his head. "Does it really matter? She's not even here yet."

Miwako pulled on Arashi's arm worriedly. "Where is she? It's almost twelve o'clock already..." She reached for her cellphone. "Miwako knows! I'll email Caroline! She might have forgotten."

George turned back to the fabric laid out on the table. "Don't bother. If she isn't going to be on time, we can always have Isabella stand in for her."

Isabella put a gloved hand to her lipsticked mouth, clearly delighted. Arashi poked at George's side, making him pay attention.

"But we're making the dress for Yukari to wear. It has to be to her measurements, or it'll screw the whole thing up for all of us!"

George looked vaguely amused and stroked his hand lightly down the side of Arashi's face. "Now, now. Don't get all excited, Nagase, or I'll have to come over and cool you down..."

Arashi angrily brushed off George's hand.

"Don't touch me, you feckin' pervert!"

George smiled. "You didn't mind last ni..." His words were cut off by a swift punch to the ribs from Arashi, which he side-stepped neatly.

Miwako interrupted the boys before any more violence could ensue, wailing, "Does that mean Caroline won't be our model anymore?"

Just then, a tall slender girl with long black hair walked through the door. She was wearing a school uniform and a wild-eyed expression.

"Well, Yukari, nice to see you" said George smoothly, as Miwako filled the air with little pink hearts and Arashi grumbled indistinctly into his numerous facial piercings.



The blue-haired boy crossed his legs, leaning back in the chair. He took a sip of his berry-flavored drink and sighed. "You thought this meant something? Oh dear."

Arashi threw an irritated look across the café table, his coffee untouched. "No, you poufy bastard, I thought we were just sleeping together 'cause I was a good lay."

George shrugged, pointedly ignoring Arashi's sarcasm. "Wasn't that the reason?"

Arashi slammed his fist on the table. "Blimey, I cheat on Miwako with you of all people, and you feckin' tell me it was only 'cause I was good in bed?"

"Your decision to cheat on Miwako was not my problem. That's between you and her, and I refuse to be blamed for your lack of responsibility."

Infuriatingly calm, George picked up his drink and studied the writing on the side of the cup intently, ignoring Arashi, who seemed to be cursing angrily under his breath.

"That's your way, isn't it, Johji. You collect people 'cause they're good in bed, then tell them it means nothing. 'Equal-opportunity lover' my ass. More like 'heartless bastard.'"

"Don't you see, that's exactly how I am an equal-opportunity lover. I don't get attached to people, unlike you." George picked up his wallet and left a few bills on the table. He stood up and walked a few steps, then turned. "Oh, and Arashi – how many times must I tell you? Don't call me by my Kanji name."

Arashi jumped up, nearly tipping over the chair. "George, wait! ...What about you and Yukari?"

But George didn't look back and Arashi watched him go, his blue hair and distinctive poised walk mixing gradually with the crowds outside the café until he couldn't be seen any longer.

Arashi threw down some money and stalked out of the café, flipping off the man who inquired, "Lover's quarrel?" as he passed.



Arashi hurried out of the café, hoping to get far away from anywhere before the tears in the corners of his eyes fell and his black eyeliner smeared down his cheeks, telltale signs that he, Arashi Nagase, cried. He shoved his hands into the roomy pockets of his pants and kept his head down, chewing on his lip, ready to snap at the first person who spoke to him. No crying for him. He didn't have feelings for George, and never would – he wasn't like that at all. It had been fun while it lasted, but he'd been too drunk off his ass to remember much, including how he'd ended up in bed with George in the first place. If he hadn't had so many feckin' glasses of champagne at the welcome party, this would never have happened. He didn't do the boy-on-boy thing – that was just...urgh. Not his thing. A tear started to trickle down his face as he remembered how he had felt something for the blue-haired designer, even before the party and getting drunk, but he brushed both the tear and the memories away quickly.



George sat, his body curled cat-like by the window in his huge, dark apartment. He watched the lights from the cars flicker past, and suddenly missed having Arashi there. It was strange; he almost enjoyed the nights Yukari didn't come to him.  It reassured him that she wasn't becoming clingy and dependent. He liked her, she was nice enough, but sometimes he just wanted space to be alone and make sure he wasn't becoming too attached to one person. That was simply his way. But Arashi was always a challenge. He hadn't been swooning over George from the first day. Nevertheless, that was to be expected. Everyone loved George Koizumi...unless, of course, they hated him. Even then, however, there was a little bit of attraction mixed with the hate. That was what had happened with the safety-pinned punk boy. And naturally, the fact that both of them had been drunk – especially Arashi – had helped.

And now... that safety-pinned punk boy was not there, and George found himself wishing that he was. He sighed thoughtfully, hugged his knees to his chest and stared out the window.



George didn't know how long he'd been sitting by the window, staring off into space. It must have been at least a few hours, judging by how many stars were apparent now. Not that he could see any...the neon of the traffic in the city and the fluorescent signs on the bars and shops lightened the sky so that anything in the sky was washed out by a dull glow of human-created illumination.

He was startled to hear the doorbell, was knocked mentally off-balance by the sound. Glancing at his watch, he swung his legs to the floor and headed over to the door. The doorbell rang again just as he was about to pull the door open.

"Arashi?" George raised an eyebrow in surprise.

"Hi." Arashi looked down at the floor, uncharacteristically shy, twisting a chain between his fingers. "Can I come in? It's feckin' cold out here..."

George nodded and pulled the door open so Arashi could step inside. The punk boy stumbled slightly as he crossed the door and grabbed onto George's sleeve for support.

"Soz 'bout that."

George stepped back, examining Arashi's face.

"You're drunk, aren't you." It wasn't a question.

Arashi nodded.  "Yeah 'm drunk. Not too much though, soz love." He raised a hand and shakingly stroked George's cheek.

George sighed and removed Arashi's hand from his face. "Why are you drunk, Arashi?"

He shrugged. "Dunno. Walked around for a while by m'self. Went to a few diff'rent places."

"It's not my fault if you have no self-control. You're in my apartment, drunk, in the middle of the night. What do you want?"


George stared. "You know I'm not going to be responsible for anything that happens tonight. You're the one who came here."

"I know."

"Come in and have some coffee, then." George shook his head, annoyed at himself. He hated indirect communication like that but the request had already been said. He turned and beckoned Arashi into the kitchen.



George busied himself preparing the coffee after flipping the light switch on the wall. The white walls of the kitchen made the light seem unnecessarily brilliant, especially after being in the semi-darkness for so long.

Arashi winced and closed his eyes. "Oi, turn that off, mate." George nodded and complied. The only source of light was from the large window overlooking the street in the living room. He went back to the coffee, fumbling in a cupboard and knocking the sugar container off the shelf in the process.

"Arashi, I really need the light on if I'm going to make coffee."

"Ah, screw the coffee then."

George rose from kneeling beside the cupboard. "Alright. I don't think I have any coffee anyway, or at least I can't find it." He turned around and found himself face-to-face with Arashi, who reached out tentatively and ran his fingers through George's blue hair. George froze at the unexpected touch, then relaxed as Arashi pressed him against the kitchen counter, kissing him enthusiastically.

They were on familiar territory now. Except for one thing – and the blue-haired boy smiled inwardly as he noticed it – This time, Arashi hadn't bothered to take out the safety pin he used as a lip ring.