Hallo hallo hallo! So, my BFF ChronosKingdom (go check out her account she's awesome) came up with an amazing idea for a short story, and I was like, wow, that's such an amazing idea, I wanna write that! So, this one's dedicated to ChronosKingdom. Bless you for your brilliance, luv.
There needs to be more Sho/Sanae in existence.
It was the same as any other night.
12:00AM on the dot. The streets were pretty dead, except of course the Crossing and its adjacent shopping areas. But on the outskirts, there was little evidence of life. The perfect time for covert operations. Armed with a rainbow of spraypaints, CAT snuck out of his long-closed café and started his prowl.
Udagawa. He knew the shortcuts to those backstreets like the back of his hand, just like he knew all of Shibuya. He could have sleepwalked to any one of his murals, so familiar were the routes -- the worn-down grooves in the road that hassled bicyclists were very likely attributable to his nightly strolls.
He hadn't missed a night in centuries. Before spraypaint, he had the brush. Before that, he had to get a little creative -- but he always was the creative sort. He knew very well his art wasn't permanent, either -- but nothing really was. And he understood that better than anyone.
Do what you want, how you want, when you want it.
Enjoy every moment with all you've got.
When one mural got washed away by the rain, painted over, taken down, destroyed completely -- there were always other canvases. And he could always get more paint.
That metaphor held true for art, at least. He could almost say the same for society – namely, certain individuals in the Underground that he had recently been having problems with – but the meaning wasn't completely identical. There were some murals too precious to allow the destruction of, some paints of which even a single drop was too valuable to waste.
Glancing over his most recently claimed wall, he set his keen eyes towards looking for a place to pick up where he left off. It didn't appear to be vandalized, although some parts were looking a little worse for the wear after the previous day's heavy rain. It wasn't too bad, all things considered – it just need a little touching-up. And really, some of the designs looked kind of interesting after the rain – the way those red crosses streaked downwards, for example, appearing to be dripping with blood or some kind of...
Speaking of drips.
"What brings you out so late?"
Minamimoto stopped dead in his tracks, looking completely stunned for a few seconds before plastering a sheepish grin across his face.
"Heh. And here I thought I could actually sneak up on you." The Grim Heaper resumed his steps, closing the distance between the artist and himself in a few strides. Turning, he let his own eyes sweep over the graffiti, contemplatively analyzing every curve and angle. "When exactly did you notice?"
Hanekoma smirked. "Let's just say you're no Iron Maiden, boss."
Sho snorted indignantly. "Fair enough. So...this your usual arts and crafts time?"
"Maybe." The artist was already beginning to go at the wall with a fresh can of black, redoing some of the outlines that had grown fuzzy and covering up some of the mess that the weather had made. "This yours?"
"Maybe." The Reaper watched in silence for a little while, fascinated by the precise application of the paint. Watching CAT at work was an honor few individuals had ever had the privilege of experiencing; it was almost hypnotic, watching as abstract lines and colours came together in such magnificent ways, birthing awe-inspiring images that seemed to leap out and grab the viewer.
He wasn't sure how long he stood watching. Seconds, minutes, hours – it all seemed like the same length of time; so long as CAT was moving, he was watching. It wasn't until Sanae finished one section of the wall and stood back to look it over that Sho was finally able to tear his eyes away – only to have them start drifting over some of CAT's older works. Turning slowly, he took in every little minute detail, for once made speechless by another person's art.
"I take it you like it."
"Oh fine, you conceited cosecant," said the pot to the kettle. "It's zetta mindblowing. In fact, I'd venture to say that it comes second only to mine."
Sanae burst into a fit of mirthful laughter.
"Of course, you're still parsecs away from coming close to my..." He trailed off, expression suddenly settling into complete seriousness. Hanekoma waited a few seconds before realizing he wasn't going to continue, and letting curiosity get the better of him, he turned to look.
Minamimoto was staring at a bicycle.
Actually, he wasn't just staring at it – his eyes were tearing it apart. If the bicycle were alive, it more than likely would have wilted under that gaze. Every line, rod, curve, bend, angle, length, width, height, volume, shape was being analyzed. Scrutinized. Calculated. He looked as if he were mathematically considering every single possible way the bike could bend, twist, break – every single way it could be utilized in one of his sculptures.
Hanekoma quirked a brow.
"I don't think that's going to love you back, boss."
Sho didn't respond.
"...Are you alright?"
A few more seconds of silence, and then the Grim Heaper turned around, wearing the scariest grin Hanekoma had ever seen in his eons-old life.
"I have an idea."
Only the skyline was different.
Neku groaned as he spotted the top of the junkheap from the other side of Molco, changing directions and heading towards it. His enigmatic companion smirked and made an amused sound that lengthened into one of his ever-annoying chuckles, causing Neku to sink lower into his shirt and turn the volume up just a bit.
"The Grim Heaper strikes again, it seems." It didn't need to be said, but Joshua never missed an opportunity to get under Neku's skin. It was as if just speaking had enough power to cause the boy pain.
"You know," the proxy muttered as they rounded the corner, "I'm really getting sick of this guy and his–"
Neku's jaw abruptly dropped open, and Joshua's eternal smile suddenly straightened in a completely unamused expression.
Towering before them was the grandest of the Grim Heaper's works they had seen yet. It completely dwarfed the nearby shops and climbed to challenge the height of the 104 building, warping the skyline with its sprawling protrusions that jutted out every which way. It was a paragon of symmetry and stability, looking more than ready to support twice its own weight despite the fact that it really shouldn't be able to stand like that. Yet there it stood, defying gravity, refusing to bend to the oppressive laws of physics – the perfect representation of its sculptor.
And it was covered in graffiti.
The entire tower was painted from base to zenith; every single visible polygon was given a new coat, no matter how insignificant – not even the stray crushed soda cans were neglected. Crosses and stars and various other signature symbols curled around the heap in intentionally haphazardly ways, a myriad of colours employed to make it as eye-catching as possible. It was otherworldly. And right in the middle, beneath the unmistakable image of a star-eyed cat throwing down the devil horns, there was an inscription.
ANY ART CAN GATHER MEN
OUR ART WILL GATHER GODS
"...Can we...pretend...that we never saw this?"
Joshua glared at the immense structure before turning on his heel and heading east, prompting a very stunned Neku to follow.
"...He...he was just ripping off CAT's work, right? I mean, there's no way...there's no way CAT would..."
"I believe that this should be discussed over coffee."