Disclaimer: I do NOT own Beyblade, no matter how much I'd want to. If I did, you can be SURE Rei doesn't end up with the pink-haired Satan. Instead, he and Kai will be dry humping against the walls of every stadium they're in.
A/N: Okay, there's not many notes for this: one: please don't automatically call my OC a Mary-Sue, because to be honest, I don't think she plays that big a role in this. Well, not enough to judge her. Two: I tried my best to not have any OOC, but if there is, feel free to tell me and I'll try to fix it. Or just tell me if there's any typos, grammar errors, OOC, et cetera. Three: I hope you have fun reading this, and please review at the end, yeah? Thanks.
A Perfect Life
It's a beautiful life
It's a beautiful life
It's a beautiful life
I just wanna be here beside you
Stay until the break of dawn
- Beautiful Life, by Ace Of Base
Meet Kai Hiwatari.
A successful businessman, legions of girls practically stalking him - despite the fact that he is in a relationship with Tala Ivanov. A perfect life, a happy one, yes?
Or, at least that's what the publics knows and believes.
To him, there is always just something missing. It isn't the sex, that's for sure - Tala's great in bed. It isn't money, either. Being the CEO of his own company does that to you, makes you rich beyond belief.
He sighs as he signs another paper, rubbing the sides of his head.
No use getting a headache over this. For now, I'm content.
Meet Rei Kon.
He's painting, as always, in his tiny little studio, despite the fact that he could afford a much bigger, more luxurious one. His hands move over the canvas, dipping every now and then into the set of paints set out to the side - he didn't like using a palette, it always slowed movements of his other hand - one that was hard at work, holding another paintbrush and smudging some lines here, adding another stroke there, softening out some colour near the corners.
And even though his studio is small, it's big enough to hold the necessities. Finished commissions sit near the walls, covered with cloth until they come in to pick them up and pay. Paintbrushes and tubes of paint lie in orderly rows in glass-covered cupboards. Another door led to the kitchen/living room, and through there, the bathroom and bedroom.
So he's happy.
Until a request for a portrait comes in.
It's not like he never paints portraits - he's done a lot of them in his time as an artist, and he's done a fair bit of removing blemishes too - so they would pay more for them. And that's what he has always done in portraits, as all of the ones he's ever done are of people with some kind of imperfection. Whether a mole on the side of their eye, whether a small scar somewhere, whether wrinkles or laugh lines.
But this one...
How can he capture that kind of perfection on canvas?
A tanned hand reaches out and slaps his forehead.
Okay, stop stressing, Rei, this'll turn out fine.
As are the traditions of this family, you'll have a portrait done - I've scheduled an appointment with someone for next week, at one in the afternoon. So clear out whatever you have on Monday, you start then, she had said last week with a small smile hiding in the corner of her mouth. His work is promising. I might even learn something.
Why can't you do this? After all, you are a painter.
I'm not a professional one, dear brother. And besides, I've promised to never paint again, not after...that.
And she looks away after that, her eyes blinking furiously, as if to not cry.
So, overcome by a guilt trip, no matter how subtle, he agrees, albeit sulkily.
You won't regret this, Kai. I know something good is going to happen.
Gah, stupid guilt-tripping sister!
Wow, this is one big mansion. It's even got the hill-thing going on too.
Rei arrives fifteen minutes early, overcome by the sheer perfection of that face in the picture she had shown him. He's my brother, and he can be difficult at times. So, just be patient, all right? And you might want some aspirin, he's headache-inducing.
I'm pretty sure he's not that bad, he had replied laughingly, already thinking about what blend of colours to use for that skin tone.
And I'm sure he is. After all, I live with him, don't I?
We'll see, won't we, Hiwatari-san?
She had only smiled and left with a wave of her fingers, calling over her shoulder, I'm sure you'll just love him, Rei.
With a shake of the head, Rei comes back to reality. Okay, so, I'm just supposed to go up to the front door and use the knocker thing...
After one knock, the door creaks open, a lot like a horror movie where he'll be killed by ghosts sometime later.
'Ah, Master Kon,' a voice near his left says. It is a butler, bowing low. 'Mistress Svetlana and Master Kai will be with you shortly. Please, follow me to the sitting room.'
The sitting room is huge, one of those old style ones, complete with roaring fireplace and large, looming faces staring from the shadowed walls.
Oh? Isn't that a portrait of that guy I have to paint...?
Rei walks closer to the darkest wall, peering closer to the framed canvas. It was a male, with two-toned hair like that of his subject, glaring crimson eyes, and even the same pale skin.
'I see you've found the rest of the family portraits - it's not Kai, by the way,' comes the voice that has arranged this whole thing. 'There are some more gathering dust somewhere in the attic, I think.'
'Hello, Hiwatari-san. Who is this? It's done beautifully.'
She smiles, a perfect smile that doesn't reach her eyes. So was it still as perfect? 'It was done by me, thank you.'
'You paint? It didn't seem like that. Oh, wait, I'm really sorry, have I offended you?'
'No, no offense taken. I just haven't painted since almost five years ago.'
Rei notices that she avoids the question of who it is like the plague. But, he rationalizes in his mind, we are all entitled to have skeletons in our closets. I can let her keep this secret. He smiles and asks, 'Why?'
'Just,' she shrugs, 'I've lost inspiration. I can't find anything worthwhile to paint anymore.' Her head tilts to the side. 'You know, I think you might just be it.'
She smiles. 'You'll find out.' With a wave of her fingers and another smile, she leaves with a casual, 'Until we meet again, Rei.'
The door barely closes for more than five minutes when it opens again, his subject walking in with a harrassed-looking butler after him. 'I'm pretty sure I can introduce myself, Ian,' he snaps with an annoyed expression.
'Ah, of course, Master Kai.' Ian bows out of the room, closing the door.
'Now, I'm pretty sure, you don't like doing this any more than I do, so just tell me where to sit or whatever, and then we can get on with our lives.'
He starts. Clearly, his subject is cranky. 'Yes, yes, just sit on that couch near the fire - it should bring out your eyes more, apparently, those are the features worth concentrating on.' Gods, that man is just...perfect, that skin that women and men would kill to have, those eyes that stares into your soul, that hair that looked so silky and smooth... Rei could go forever just staring at his face.
Okay, pull yourself together, Rei. You're not being paid to gawk.
He fixes a plastic smile on his face and turns to face his model. 'Now, then, just get comfortable, and we can start soon - I completely forgot about the easel...'
With a few practiced moves, the portable, wooden easel is set up with a canvas upon it - most of Rei's slim frame is lean muscle, product of almost a lifetime of martial arts.
His artist's eye makes out the signs of discomfort. Oh, yeah, he hasn't done anything like this before...
'So, Kai, is it?'
Red eyes give him a look that screams, 'DUH!'
'Hey, I'm trying here. It's boring just sitting in the quiet for hours.'
It seems Kai is perfectly fine and not bored just sitting in the quiet, as he's not saying anything, but replying with his eyes. And what beautiful eyes they are, that rich shade of garnet that seems almost impossible to pull off in painting...
'And what am I supposed to do about it?' his eyes say, rolling back.
'You're supposed to be making small talk and wondering if the clock will go any faster,' Rei replies, with the barest hint of sarcasm. 'That's what all portrait-sitters do.'
'I'm not all portrait-sitters, am I?' The voice is a husky baritone that reverberates through Rei's spine and spreads throughout his body.
'No, you're not.' Dipping his brush in black - for the shadows, as there seems to be plenty of them - he starts with wide strokes, softening the edges near the fire with the other hand. 'Hey, turn your head a bit, and loosen up your scarf - it looks like you're choking.'
Kai complies with graceful movements.
'So, for the sake of small talk, how about you talk about yourself? It always helps,' Rei suggests, partially because he also wants to know about Kai.
'Why?' he asks, but he talks anyway. 'My name is Kai, I just turned twenty-five, and my dear sister is setting me up with every person she sees. Anything else?'
'Your likes, dislikes, et cetera - and why does she set you up? I mean, with your looks and all, I wouldn't imagine you having trouble with getting someone.' Having finished the outer shadows, he moves closer to the middle, and starts on an outline of the ornate fireplace.
He smirks. 'I don't - I have enough people throwing themselves at me, and I already have someone - Tala.'
Rei muses on this while thinking about the fireplace. It would take very long to just finish the designs, and despite the lack of a deadline, he wants to finish this as quickly as possible - it was killing his car to make the trip every time. 'Oh, yeah, forgot about him. I don't really keep up with the tabloids. So why does she still set you up, when it's clear you're happy with Tala?'
'She thinks he's not right for me. As for my likes, I don't have much. Dislikes, not a lot either.'
'So you just don't care about a lot of things. Don't you at least have a favorite colour or something like that?'
'I like dark gold.'
'Okay, that's a start. Let's see if I can't make you talk more by the end of these two hours.'
Rei is hooked. That is the only way to describe it. Kai isn't like any person he had ever seen, and that's saying something. He is mysterious, he is dark, he is intelligent, he is witty, he is perfection personified and everything Rei has ever wanted.
And he thinks he looks forward to these two hour sessions more and more with the passing weeks, despite his car's complaints.
In the past two months - it is just so hard to find the right combination of red and black for his eyes - he still hasn't caught that expression. That expression that he had seen once when Kai was talking about his siblings (he'd found out that the portrait he'd seen on his first day was one of Mikhail Hiwatari, their brother) and his eyes were peaceful, almost content, and a small, barely noticeable smile was twitching the corner of his lips as he described how his sister and brother were inseparable, and how they always fought over who had which piece of cake, et cetera.
Rei wonders how he can make that expression appear again, because that's the one he wants to capture in this painting.
And maybe because that's the expression that Rei's staring at when he realizes he is in love.
On his tenth, maybe eleventh visit, Kai proves he is actually human, instead of this perfect man with the perfect life that the rest of the world sees.
'Can we not paint today?' is the first thing Kai says when he walks through the door with his box of paints and brushes.
Rei is puzzled, but doesn't ask why. 'Yeah, sure. But what will we do? Or I can leave, if you want to be alone for a while...'
He shakes his head. 'No, I don't want that... I'm sure you've heard the news. Tala and I broke up.'
'Really? I'm sorry...'
'Don't be. It's not your fault...
'Have you ever had a broken heart?'
Rei smiles sadly. 'No, but I had to break one.'
'Never pegged you for a heartbreaker.'
'I never thought I would do it either, but...Mariah was just too pushy and I guess I lost it. I never saw her as anything else other than a sister.'
'Then you wouldn't know... I loved Tala. I really loved him. I knew he was cheating a long time before this happened, I just wanted to make everything work, make it so we can stay the perfect couple...
'I guess I was wrong. The fights were getting worse, but we never had one where I was actually yelling at him... I accused him of cheating, he didn't deny it, and then it was just over.'
By the end of this short rant, his voice turns low and his eyes stare into the fire blankly, shining with something that seemed suspiciously like...tears?
Rei reaches out with his hand, touching Kai's shoulder and staying there when it wasn't shrugged off. 'Well, if he's going to cheat on you, it's clear he's not worth it, ne?' he says lightly.
And Rei knows that's as far as Kai will get, so he doesn't ask anymore and just stay there, offering silent support.
But, he thinks to himself as he absently trace circles with his fingers, Kai is worth any amount of waiting.
The day of Rei's birthday starts with a bang - literally.
'Rei, how can you not tell me it's your birthday today!' Svetlana shouts in his ear before he could wake up fully and see the door hanging by one screw...
And it falls. As Rei knew it would.
He flops back onto his pillow. It's way too early for this...especially since I have no work today...and exactly how strong is Svetlana?
'Rei, wake up or I'll drown all of your paintings. Especially the ones covered in that really soft velvet.'
His head shoots up.
Her lips twist into a smirk/smile/grin thing as she dumps a bag on the floor. 'Now that you're awake, you have to get dressed. With the clothes I've brought for you.'
He rubs his eyes and asks, 'What's the rush? And the reason I never told you it's my birthday because I knew you would pull something like this.'
After almost a year of painting Kai's portrait - why does it take so long, you might ask? Well, that's another story, one where Svetlana was just slightly more than drunk, holding a mug of still-hot coffee as hangover medicine, and walking in a not-quite straight line...near the canvas...and the canvas is murdered. So, Rei, being the god with infinite patience (cough cough), offers to repaint the entire thing, for the same price as the first. And really? You just can't get pissed at someone drinking over a failed love.
So, Rei knows Svetlana's personality pretty closely now, and knows how crazy she can get over parties, festive activities, et cetera.
'I have ransacked your phone for all your friends' numbers, invited them over to a party, and we can't have a birthday party without the guest of honor, right? So, get dressed and Kai'll get you over there and I'll be coming over after I get some stuff.' It's amazing how she talks so fast without running out of breath, Rei thinks.
It was then he recognizes the shadow that was standing a bit beyond the doorway, and the hormonal part of him responds.
Oh, this is going to be a long, long day...
'Is there any possible way to get myself out of this?' Rei asks when they are off to the Hiwatari mansion.
Kai smirks. 'No - there's no stopping Svetlana when she's on a party high.'
With his hopes killed by eleven words, he slumps back against the seat, feeling uncomfortable in the leather shirt and almost skin-tight jeans Svetlana told him to wear.
'Don't mourn - you're sure to get some extravagent present from her for this.'
'I don't think even a box of the most heavenly Swiss chocolate out there can heal my poor, aching head.'
'That might help...are you buying?'
Ever since that fiasco with Tala and his cheating ways, Rei feels like he is Kai's friend. So he's comfortable enough to joke.
'Well, it is your birthday...,' Kai muses to himself as he turns around a corner.
That is, if Kai didn't take everything so seriously.
'That was a joke, Kai.'
He shrugs. 'No matter. Isn't there some written law that you have to get spoiled and pampered on your birthday?'
Within a few moments, Kai pulls up and gets out, opening the door for Rei at the other side. 'You party awaits, your highness.'
Rei pokes the blue-tattooed cheek of the other. 'Thank you, peasant.'
And then Kai's face is mere centimeters away from Rei's, and he thinks he's forgotten how to breath. Warm, slightly chapped lips press against his own. 'Those jeans make your ass look great, by the way,' he whispered against Rei's slightly open mouth.
Then the pressure is gone, and Rei's standing there wondering if it's all been a dream. 'Come on, Rei, wouldn't want to be late to your own party,' Kai calls, already pushing the door open.
After one more touch to his lips, trying to remember the taste, he runs up to peck Kai's cheek before going through the doors with a small smile dancing on his face.
This is going to be a great day,Rei thinks - right before his jaw drops from the extravagance.
Okay, scratch that, it's gonna be loooooong.
It's almost another month before Rei finishes Kai's portrait and signs his name in flourishing letters in the left bottom corner.
'This is beautiful, Rei! I knew it wasn't a mistake asking you to paint it.'
He smiles - who said anything about being humble? Rei certainly didn't. 'Thank you, 'Lana. Then, I guess I'll be off?'
Her face fell, just a tiny bit. 'And I was hoping to get you drunk and ravish you on the couch.'
'Sorry, but I don't have sex on first dates, 'Lana.'
'It doesn't have to be sex,' she said, her eyebrows waggling.
He laughs, a husky, almost-like-a-tiger's-roar laugh. 'I'll see you around, 'Lana, Kai.'
It's a marvelous feeling, finishing a commission, he thinks as he unlocks his car.
'Rei, wait,' a voice says behind him.
'Do you want to...get some coffee or something?'
He laughs again and wraps his arms around the other's neck, after dumping his box of materials in the backseat.
'Definitely. I thought I was dreaming that kiss.'
'Nope,' he says. 'I wouldn't do that.'
'You'd better not. 'Else I'll sic Svetlana on you.'
'No need. She's staring from the second floor window.'
Rei looks up, squinting in the setting sun. Svetlana's grinning face was visible, a hand waving at them. 'I guess she is.'
'You always have to have the last word, don't you.'
(Almost five years later.)
'Kai, you know what?'
'I'm sure it's something bad, but I'll bite. What.'
'I love you.'
'You know, in times like these, I really wonder if I had been high on paint fumes when I agreed to go get coffee with you.'
'I like you. A lot. Will that suffice?'
'Sigh. It'll do. For now. One of these days, I'll make you scream your undying love for me from the rooftops.'
'I wonder how you can do that.'
'I'll get you drunk.'
'You're a lightweight, you'll pass out before I even get buzzed.'
'You love it.'
'I guess there's no point in arguing with you, is there?'
'You suck monkey gonads, you know that?'
'I'm not sure if they taste as good as you, but I'll try.'
'No, it's Kai, but it is hard not getting them mixed up.'
'Stop taking the last word!'
'I try, love.'
Meet Kai Hiwatari.
A successful businessman, the same legion of girls stalking him and screaming to bear his babies - despite the fact that he's clearly shown he's gay - anyone remember Tala? - and in a nearing-six-years relationship with a painter by the name of Rei Kon.
Well, that's what the public knows. That he's perfectly happy and content.
And they are right, this time around.
There couldn't be a happier man on earth right now, as long as Kai had Rei.
Meet Rei Kon.
He's painting, as always, in his tiny little studio, despite the fact that Kai and Svetlana asked him many times before to move in to their mansion - he always declines, though.
And besides, he's got everything he could ever want - a loving boyfriend, a good job (no matter how erratic the money might come in - there would always be a dry spell here and there), and even though there's always a little lovers' spat here and there, the make-up sex was the best.
So, all in all, it's a good life.
No, scratch that. It's a perfect life. As perfect as life could ever get in this world.