Title: Pretty Boys Unite!
Pairings: HoroRen, RyuLyserg, YohAnna
Disclaimer: I don't own Shaman King or its characters.
Warnings: Yaoi, silliness, maybe some OOC just to be safe.
Summary: Ren and Lyserg are sick and tired of being called pretty and being mistaken for girls when they are clearly guys. Finding unlikely brothers-in-arms in each other, they set out to prove to the world that they are definitely men. Meanwhile, their boyfriends, Horohoro and Ryu, aren't quite sure what to think.
AN: Okay one, this is not a serious fic. I'm just doing this for giggles so don't get angry if it's not exactly IC, grammar perfect, or whatever. Also, seriously, beware of crack. And I'm sorry for the title, but it amuses me so.
Chapter #1: The Last Straw
"Aw, c'mon. I'm just being nice. Nothing wrong with getting a little compliment every once in awhile, is there?"
Ren ground his teeth together and tried to count backwards from one hundred in an attempt to ignore this asshole's grating voice. He would not get angry. He would not get angry. He would not get angry.
"You shouldn't wear those clothes if you don't want comments," the asshole insisted on continuing. "Not that I'm complaining of course. Cause, well, I mean, damn."
All Ren had wanted was to run to the bookstore for a quick minute while Horohoro was distracted to pick up a book he wanted to read. He had not asked to be cornered in the very back of the store and forced to listen as this moron attempted to pick him up. Attempted being the very vital word.
"Just a shame those pants are so baggy compared to the rest of your outfit. I bet your ass is divine."
Seriously, it was one thing to be hit on. It was an entirely different thing to be hit on and insulted at the same time. Also: Divine? What? Really?
"I have a boyfriend," Ren bit out past clenched teeth, reminding himself yet again that it would not be good to become violent in this very public store. It would also not be a good thing to call attention to the fact that this freak had managed to corner him in the first place. Because that was just embarrassing.
"Aw, that's alright, dollface. For someone as beautiful as you, I wouldn't mind sharing."
And that's really where Ren's very limited patience ended. He visibly twitched. "Dollface?" he repeated, not even bothering with the second adjective.
"Yeah," the apparently suicidal boy in front of him said with what Ren guessed was supposed to be a charming smile. "I think it suits you. I mean, you're really more exotic than your usual doll, but you're still just as pretty as one."
Ren slowly began to smile this truly mad grin. "You think I'm pretty?" he asked, past angry now and moving on towards berserker rage.
"Yeah!" the idiot said, seeming to take Ren's smile as a good thing for some reason. "Really pretty!"
"Oh really?" Ren asked softly, menacingly almost. "Then let me show you something even prettier."
And it seemed that the lone brain cell this idiot before him called a brain finally seemed to click on the fact that maybe it would be a good idea to vacate the area. Quickly.
Of course, by then it was too late.
Having easily caught up to Ren again after his momentary distraction—the trick being to listen for the screams—Horohoro looked at the far too calm boy next to him with some amusement. "But he's going to be okay, right?"
Ren nodded, seeming quite content as he leaned back against the park bench the two of them were currently seated on. "He should be." And then he smiled slightly, just a small quirk to the lip. "Eventually."
Horohoro smiled and shook his head. He would be forever amused by Ren's temper whenever he was lucky enough to not be the actual victim of it. "And just what crime did he commit that got you so upset? He step on your foot or something?"
Content mood vanishing, Ren frowned at nothing, as he seemed to be remembering. "No."
"Then what?" Horohoro asked curiously.
"He . . . called me pretty, And several other adjectives along similar lines."
Horohoro frowned slightly in confusion. "And for that he deserved to get his ass handed to him on a platter? In a very public and highly embarrassing way?"
Ren looked at his boyfriend with another frown, seeming confused as to why Horohoro was confused. "He called me pretty," he explained again, with a stress on that last word, as if this was explanation enough.
"Other people have called you pretty before," Horohoro replied, not seeing the problem.
"Yes and they should rightly die for that," Ren said, sounding far too serious.
Horohoro smiled, amused again. "Ren," he said, "You really need to get over this hang-up with people calling you pretty. You're a good-looking guy. You shouldn't need to get angry every time somebody feels like pointing it out."
Ren just scowled at him, looking almost angry that Horohoro was trying to be reasonable. "It would be fine if they were calling me handsome or attractive or gorgeous even if they really needed to. These people are calling me things like pretty and beautiful and – and," Ren searched for another example, "and dollface."
Dollface. Heh. Horohoro was totally going to use that one in their next argument. But, still, right now he had an angry boyfriend to comfort.
Not that he was very good at comfort. Especially since he would much rather be having fun with this situation. And having fun always won out.
"Well," Horohoro started with an impish grin, knowing full well he was signing his death warrant for saying this but really unable to stop himself, "You have to admit you really don't fit the bill for handsome. Maybe if you were taller. Or, you know," Horohoro tilted his head as he added teasingly, "not so pretty."
Horohoro barely dodged the angry swipe at his head as he jumped up out of his seat and ran away as fast as he could, laughing the whole time.
"You bastard," Ren snarled and gave chase. He was going to kill that idiot. And was going to enjoy it.
Years ago when Lyserg had first decided to stay in Japan with his friends and moved into the Funibari Onsen with the others he had been put on the chore wheel just like the rest. Now, four years down the line, he was still living at the Funibari Onsen and it was his turn to do the grocery shopping. Thank goodness his boyfriend, Ryu, had offered to come along to keep him company as the grocery list this week was huge and Lyserg didn't think he would've been able to carry all the shopping by himself.
Looking down at the list, Lyserg checked off 'rice' and looked at the next item.
"We need milk," he told the larger man next to him before looking up at his boyfriend with a smile, "Do you think you could go get that?"
"Sure!" Ryu told him cheerfully before running off to do his bidding.
Smiling to himself, Lyserg looked at the next item and then at the shelves around him. He needed noodles and not just any kind of noodles, but a special kind. Where were they?
Wandering over to the next aisle and looking up at the higher shelves, Lyserg's eyes eventually caught on a brand name and then he had to sigh. Of course. It would be on the second highest shelf, wouldn't it?
Oh well. Ryu wasn't here to help so there was nothing else he could do but try and reach it on his own. And so, letting go of the shopping cart and standing on his very tiptoes, Lyserg reached out an arm for the sought after grocery product.
But it was too far away. Curse his shortness! Why hadn't he been able to have a respectable growth spurt like all the others? He was shorter than Ren even and that was pretty damn short.
Still he reached. And reached. Straining ever higher, but he just couldn't quite get it. His fingers brushed the packaging and that was the highest he could go.
And then, all of a sudden, there was another arm next to his reaching up for the same bag of noodles. "Here you go," a pleasant voice said as the hand snatched the bag easily from the shelf and then offered it over to him.
Falling back down to his flat feet, Lyserg turned to get a look at this unexpected help and found himself face to face with one of the fresh faced grocery store employees. "Um, thank you," he said, remembering his manners and accepting the offered bag.
"Your welcome," the other teen said just as pleasantly as before, giving Lyserg a helpful smile. "Can I help you with anything else, Miss?"
And with that one last word, Lyserg's former content mood plummeted rather drastically. "I'm a boy," he said flatly.
The store attendant blinked in shock and then looked positively horrified by his mistake. "Oh . . . oh, I'm . . . I'm so sorry. You just . . ." And then he trailed off.
Lyserg just nodded rather miserably as he mentally finished what had been left unsaid. "It's okay. It's . . . it's a common mistake." And just the truth of that made this whole situation all the more horrible.
"Still . . ." the attendant said, looking incredibly apologetic. Probably didn't want the store to be sued. "I'm so sorry. Please forgive me."
Lyserg nodded miserably again. "Yeah. It's okay. I'm . . . I'm just gonna go now. Thank you for your help." And with that Lyserg threw the stupid noodles into the shopping cart and quickly escaped to the next aisle where he then stopped and stared at the floor.
It really was rather sad how often people seemed to mistake him for a girl. And, naturally, it really didn't help Lyserg's self-esteem.
"Lyserg!" Ryu called as he turned down Lyserg's new aisle. "I got the milk! What next?"
Lyserg didn't say anything, still too caught up in feeling sorry for himself.
"Lyserg?" Ryu asked a little hesitantly, obviously concerned as he turned back from placing the milk in the cart.
"Ryu?" Lyserg asked, looking up at the tall man a little hopefully. "Do I . . . Do I really look like a girl?"
Ryu blinked, obviously a little stunned by the question. "What?"
"Do I?" Lyserg asked anxiously.
"Well . . . well of course not!" Ryu answered enthusiastically enough once he got himself back together again.
"Really?" Lyserg asked almost breathlessly, staring up at Ryu with stars in his eyes.
"Yeah!" Ryu answered cheerfully. "You're just too lovely to tell the difference sometimes!"
And Lyserg felt all of his foolish hopes, brought up so quickly, just as quickly collapse, leaving him back in his previous miserable state. Ryu didn't seem to even notice as he grabbed the grocery list from Lyserg's hands to check the next item on the list.
"I'm gonna go get the oranges!" he said. "You stay here!"
Lyserg seriously felt like he was going to cry.
Later, Lyserg was seated on the back porch of the Funibari Onsen, staring out at the scenery in deep thought. His spirits, Zeruel and Morphine, had been concerned at how quiet he had been all afternoon, but he had told them not to worry, that he just needed some time alone, and then sent them off to play with the others.
Did he really look like a girl? Lyserg didn't think he did, but who was he to argue against all the other people who seemed to think differently?
And all those times that he had been called pretty or beautiful or lovely or delicate or . . . well the list went on. He'd always tried to take those so-called compliments in the way they were meant and not the way they actually felt. But now . . .
"I don't . . ." he muttered quietly to himself as he continued to stare blankly into space. "I don't get it. I don't dress like a girl. I don't act like a girl. My voice isn't unnaturally high or anything. My hair is a little long, but Yoh's is longer and he's never mistaken for a girl. What is it about me that makes people doubt my gender?"
There was, naturally, no answer to these questions as nobody else was there and Lyserg drifted off into thought again. For a little while, the quiet of the night reigned supreme.
This was broken by the harsh sound of the screen door being pulled open and then given a good attempt at a slam as Ren angrily stormed out. He didn't seem to notice that the back porch was already occupied as he cursed virulently under his breath.
"Fucking bastard. Pretty he tells me. Pretty! I'll show that mother-fucking son of a bitch pretty. Like I'm some kind of girl. Do I look like I'm wearing a fucking skirt? Hell fucking no! And I'm not about to either. Goddamn bastards. Should get their fucking eyes checked. Or maybe their heads. Beautiful." At that last word, Ren snorted derisively. "Yeah right."
But, hearing all this, Lyserg felt something approaching hope and spoke up. "You get it too?"
Finally seeming to realize that he wasn't alone, Ren turned surprised eyes on Lyserg, which quickly narrowed suspiciously. "Get what?"
"You know," Lyserg said excitedly. "All those horrible compliments. Pretty and beautiful and lovely and so on. You get it too?"
Ren just looked at him for a long moment then abruptly sighed and sat down on the porch. "Yeah," he said almost miserably, "Figures you'd get it too."
"Yeah, you too," Lyserg said as he watched the other boy, a little irritated by the comment. "I probably should have guessed."
"And what's that supposed to mean?" Ren asked heatedly, turning to Lyserg with angry eyes.
"What do you think it means?" Lyserg shot back.
"I am not pretty," Ren snarled.
"Yeah, well, neither am I!" Lyserg said.
Ren seemed to ignore him as he proclaimed, "Nothing about me is girlish in any way, shape or form."
"Yeah, I know. Me neither!" Lyserg said, agreeing completely with the sentiment.
That comment, Ren seemed to actually hear and he frowned at Lyserg irritably before looking away. Crossing his arms over his chest, Ren glared at the scenery and allowed an almost uncomfortable silence to grow between the two of them.
Watching Ren for a moment, Lyserg eventually turned his attention back to the scenery and allowed the silence for a moment before deciding that he had to ask a question. "What do you think it is that makes people keep comparing us to girls?"
"Maybe the fact that you actually look like one," Ren grumbled testily.
At that, Lyserg give him a dirty look. "If I look like one so do you."
Ren turned to glare at him again. "I look nothing like you."
"Well actually . . ." Lyserg said thoughtfully as he tilted his head at the other boy and truly considered Ren's appearance. "I could see you in a skirt," he admitted seriously.
"What?" Ren demanded loudly, looking highly insulted.
"Well, you're rather short and delicate looking and, you know, you really have the hips for it."
Ren scowled furiously at him and for a moment Lyserg honestly thought he was going to die, but then Ren turned that scowl on the scenery and actually seemed to be thinking about Lyserg's comment. "That's the fifth time somebody's said that," he eventually growled.
There was a short silence as Lyserg waited for Ren to say something else.
"I'm not a girl," Ren finally said, more to himself than to anybody else.
"Neither am I," Lyserg reminded him and Ren, thankfully, just nodded.
There was another silence. Lyserg thought that that was going to be the end of the conversation completely, and had actually turned back to the scenery in testament in this, but then Ren spoke up one more time.
"We need to fix this," he said very seriously.
Lyserg turned back to Ren, somewhat confused by the statement and definitely surprised by the use of the word 'we' by the normally rather aloof boy. "Fix this?" he repeated. "But how? We can't change the way we look."
"I know," Ren grumbled, seeming irritated by the truth of this fact. "But we need to do something. I am not going through the rest of my life being compared to a woman."
And that was a sentiment that Lyserg fully agreed with. He really didn't want to live out the rest of his days being mistaken for a girl either. So he turned to thinking through their shared problem and a thought quickly came to him. "Maybe . . ." he said almost hesitantly. "Maybe we could grow a beard?"
"A beard?" Ren echoed and seemed to be giving the idea some thought.
"Yeah," Lyserg said even as he was still thinking the idea through himself. "I mean, not a big one, of course. That would just look stupid. But maybe a little one? Like a goatee or . . . or just some stubble?" He turned to Ren again to see what he thought of this suggestion.
Ren seemed to be still thinking it through, but then he turned serious eyes on Lyserg. "Are you even able to grow a beard?"
"Of course I am!" Lyserg said somewhat indignantly. But then he turned somewhat discouraged, as he had to admit, "It just seems to take me a really, really long time. Like a month or so."
"Then we can't do it," Ren decided.
"Well maybe not me," Lyserg said, turning back to Ren again. "But you can." He paused as a thought came and he had to reconsider this. "Can't you?" he added somewhat suspiciously.
Ren frowned deeply and there was a long pause as Lyserg waited for his answer. Finally, though it seemed to pain him to even say it, Ren admitted, "My facial hair is . . . strange. It grows in random patches and just . . . wouldn't work as a beard. (1)"
Lyserg wisely just nodded at this. He'd heard about that problem. Then he frowned as he realized that their only idea had just been shot down. "Then what can we do?"
Ren glanced at him and then turned away as the two once more began to think deeply on this very important issue.
What could they do?
(1) In case anyone doesn't believe this is possible, I'll just tell you that it is. My brother can't grow a beard for his life because of it.