world – manga
notes – sparkly AU is sparkly, I couldn't think of any other way to get these two to interact in canon – and perhaps because there have been too many 'top-model' reruns on tv lately. If you don't like model!Gold and designer!Ruby, turn away now. Also beware random gayness – I am serious.
games you don't want to play
Gold offered the camera a dangerous grin, tucking his thumbs into the pocket of the branded jeans and tilting his shoulders, calculating it so that the leather jacket fell in a most flattering way from the curve of his shoulders.
"You're smile is too much, soften it!" the photographer ordered.
He had only been working for six months, and he'd already landed big opportunities in Hearthome and Saffron and in the fresh meadows of towns scattered between them – the young man could not control the length and power of his smile, it was unmanageable.
It was like asking him to stop being handsome, and Gold knew very well that that was simply impossible, in all honesty.
"Today, you'll be modeling for a big fashion spread, Wardrobe assigned this to you," the young blonde assistant chirped, handing up a shirt from the racks she guarded. She blinked her yellow eyes in concern when Gold's face twisted up and he seemed like he was about to regurgitate the last two years worth of bad dinners.
"W-what?" Gold reeled, clutching the pink shirt by the scruff of its collar. "How can you expect someone like me to wear this?" he frowned with disconcert. The blonde squeaked, mumbling a rushed explanation to him, but ultimately unable to argue.
"That happens to be one of my beautiful creations, if you don't mind," came a high-strung voice.
The dark-haired model turned to address its haughty bearer, still keeping the questionable article of clothing an arm's length away from the rest of his body. The first thing Gold took in was striking red eyes against smooth, milky skin, followed by the rest of the shorter male's presentation. The stranger wore a peculiar hat that possessed puffy ends in lieu of the usual cap, and he fashioned two pairs of pants – one longer than the other – and Gold could only cock an eyebrow in reaction.
"Which guy would wear this?" Gold demanded to know, handing the shirt over to the prominent male.
"Any guy would scramble to wear my designs!" He grabbed the shirt and folded it into a neat square.
"And you are..?" Gold motioned with his hands, impatience already piqued.
"Ruby – just Ruby," the designer with the white hat replied, jutting a proud chin in the air.
"I'm sure I don't need to tell you my name though," Gold decided, polishing his knuckles against the material of his red jacket.
"Quite right. I can tell you're Gold, the one my boss warned me about."
Ruby was later struck dumb with the news that they would be working in the same company, in the same posh building, with only five floors serving as an unreliable barrier.
Gold on the other hand, was more devastated by the shocking lack of girls that asked for his number.
The two males met a few days later in the lounge of the company's office building. Ruby had attempted to hide behind a plastic cup of coffee, but his desperation proved insufficient against the intuitive wiggle of Gold's bloated ego.
"Still trying to get people to recognize you, as they do me?" Gold slapped the good man on the back rather hard.
"P-Please," Ruby coughed prettily, "I've worked with big names like Red and Lance."
"What? You call that impressive?" Gold produced at unimpressed snort, earning some discreet glances and hoarse whispers all around the set. "Photographers like Cameron have been calling me back for more and more shoots," he pointed out.
"Well, have you ever worked with Crystal?" Ruby challenged with the raise of an eyebrow.
Gold gasped, his utopia burning down in the fires of stupor.
When he seemed too stricken to speak for the next few seconds, Ruby mounted his hands at his waist and eyed his opponent with superiority.
"Cr-Cry-Crystal?" said the jittery mumble.
She was a refined, porcelain-skinned lady with the sleekest legs and the most serious smile; and her golden star earrings were her signature appeal. She'd been on the scene since she was fifteen – fifteen! That made her Gold's senior by five whole years, and certain inside sources confirmed that she was just twenty like him – a thought that made Gold smile deliriously.
"Yes, she loved my dresses," Ruby clapped his hands, reminiscing the fond moment.
Gold didn't seem to be listening. His eyes brightened, and he was compelled to remind Ruby what good friends they were by cuffing an arm around the male's neck.
"Picture this, me and Crys on the cover of some classy popstar magazine, posing in your designs with matching smiles, great bodies, your name in bold-pinky-colours-or-something – the works!" Gold drew his hands out in front of him, as if spreading the idea out in flashing neon lights to a wide-eyed audience of fans. The smile on his handsome face stretched, and Ruby found himself being pulled into the vortex of the model's delusion.
"Why, you two could even be as big as Green and Blue!" he sparkled.
"Yeah, yeah! You got it now!" Gold pumped a fist.
However, said action was performed by the hand that kept Ruby's shoulders captive, effectively punching his cheek and knocking common sense back into him.
"Ouch- I never said that I would agree to help you arrange that!" The red-eyed male shook off Gold's hand. The model regarded his friend in a dejected way, eyes widening and lips parting, in an attempt to look crushed.
"Don't try that with me, I know that look, that's the classic look Cameron teaches all his models." Ruby flapped his hand.
Gold cursed, before sighing. "You need something t'drink."
"What are you talking about? I am perfectly fine," the younger man sniffed in the most composed way.
But Gold had already clamped onto his frilly elbow and was hauling him out the door of the studio, much to his chagrin.
They leapfrogged through topics that Gold failed to relate to, over topics that Ruby would rather not relate to, arguing over coffee – which would be the first of many instances that would occur across the hallways of floors whenever they happened to meet.
They did not admit that they enjoyed Gold's virgin kidnapping of Ruby, mostly because in the end they ended up shouting rather than talking to one another. Ruby rejected Gold's advances about setting him up with Crystal, and yet the model was still not slain. They both knew if Gold tried a few more times, the designer would have been more inclined to agree – there was something about the way Gold made Ruby seriously consider the sharp-looking butter knife at the table, there was also something undeniable in how Ruby's general speech amused the model so.
(By the next week, Gold had already taken lunch with Ruby for the fifth time. And somewhere lost along the way, Ruby stopped referring to it as involuntary entrapment.)
"Yo'!" Gold called out when he caught sight of Ruby's hat at the end of the corridor.
Ruby tossed a cautious wave, eyes jumping to survey the surroundings, mostly fearing the Fashion Department catching him making contact with the infamous model. He whispered into the ear of his faithful blonde assistant, who carried on pushing the rack of clothing into the last room of the hall.
"You texted me to meet you?" the model said, anticipation rising in his stomach.
"Yes, I managed to – ack!" Ruby could not complete his sentence because by then, Gold had lunged brutally and wrapped his arms around the winded male.
The two proceeded to hop up and down with the help of Gold's forceful excitement. "Thank you! Thank you!" he squealed. Ruby was too busy experiencing a red face and a heartbeat that accelerated out of his allowance to contribute any incoherent noise. He tried to avert his attention to the creases in his Armani suit.
When the celebration over and they parted, Gold smoothed his hair and gave the disoriented designer an innocent look, as if the last ten seconds had not manifested.
"… So, lunch?"
It was one day before Gold's photo shoot with Crystal, and a few other unimportant miscellaneous names, that he popped the question.
"You're gay, aren't you?" Gold asked up front, tone blank and eyes vacant, as if he hadn't given the question much weight.
Ruby combusted, the clothes he piled into his arms raining onto the floor. Then, when he was done with that, he detonated, hands flying this way and that, voice reaching pitchy levels. "W-what are you talking about!" Ruby shrilled. "My sexual orientation is none of your concern," he shrieked, then screeched and scrambled to gather the skirts and dresses on the floor, before bolting out of the studio.
Gold stared as his back disappeared behind the turn of the door, eyebrows hunched and mind unable to shake a gnawing thought of how the younger man had been somewhat cut– no, he couldn't use the word, it was too unmanly.
"Geez, I was just joking…"
"How was your shoot with Crystal?" Ruby asked casually when he bumped into Gold in the lift lobby. He was visibly calm and collected, adjusting his black tie and tugging at the cuffs of his sleeves.
"Eh," Gold breathed in a noncommittal way, hand in his hair just as the doors of the lift slid together.
"She couldn't keep up with you, I suppose," Ruby chuckled to himself, pressing the button for his floor, and subsequently Gold's – it was no longer unfamiliar to either of them.
"Like that could happen," Gold laughed along, though far less compelled to humour.
"Or maybe it was you couldn't keep up with her?" The younger male entertained the thought with a devious grin on his face.
"It's… not that," the model exhaled.
Ruby's eyes flickered, and he stopped his attempts at conversation, the hand cupping his elbow tightening. His gaze dropped to the ceramic floor of the lift, which was chugging up to the twentieth floor at a humiliating pace.
"Look, I guess I'm sorry for what I said last week," Gold tried to admit without straining his voice too much. Ruby leaned against the wall and regarded him with listening eyes and wide ears and a vacant expression.
"Didn't know you would be so touchy on the subject," he muttered, not bothering to conceal his frustration.
"Its alright," the designer breezed.
Gold met with those entrancing eyes, and gave him a warm smile.
"If its you, its alright, I suppose," Ruby grinned, whispering more to himself than to anyone else.
When he stepped out of the elevator, he turned to look at Gold over his shoulder, withholding words with a conviction that only served to make Gold stare harder. Just when he wanted to follow the designer, the doors clamped shut, and the lift continued its ascent.
"Fashion emergency!" Gold proclaimed, causing heads to turn in distress and gasps to sound in apparent fear. The power of two words, in a department like this, was astounding. However, when the crowd took in his features and matched them up to the rampant gossips and rumours that flourished in the establishment on a daily basis, the majority shed their alarm to display incredulous scowls.
He skidded to a halt in front of the stupefied designer, grabbing his wrist and hauling him out from the sea of chopstick models and eye-blinding clothes. A few of Ruby's minions did not take warmly to the idea of having the crown jewel of their colleagues stolen, barring Gold's way with clicking tongues.
"What do you think you're doing?" Ruby hissed.
Gold whispered in his ear in a hurry, never mind that his breath was so warm it caused the hairs on the back of the designer's head to freeze.
"Oh – Oh god!" Ruby burst out, flinging his hands and grabbing everyone's attention. "He isn't joking, its insane, I have to follow him now," the male threw the clothes in his hands to the quiet blonde with the long ponytail, and draped his measuring tape around the shoulders of the solemn red-haired boy. When his urgency failed to reach the rest of his co-workers, Ruby placed ha hand on his forehead and sighed.
"It's… it's as disastrous as Saturday Night Live," he declared sternly.
The room retreated into silent, and the various misfits with various hair colours and various layers of makeup parted to give the two a respectful send off.
"What was that all about?" Ruby asked as they walked through the halls, entirely unsure of where Gold was leading him to, "you wouldn't recognize a fashion disaster even if you wore it backwards and dunked yourself in lime green."
"I resent that!" Gold snapped, and Ruby reverted to a playful little smile. "I just wanted to get some bro-time, and what better time than during work?" the model carried on to reveal.
Ruby raised an eyebrow.
"… I need to repay you for your favour, remember?"
"Setting me up with Crystal!"
"… Oh," Ruby said, suddenly unimpressed and rational.
"What's with that sound?" His companion stared with curiosity.
They heard the tapping of footsteps and jolted in perfect unison. They knew the consequences of slacking off in the middle of the day – having suffered from previous experiences (due to hour-long coffee breaks and twice-as-long lunches with one another) they would rather not recount. Of course, Gold did what he was an expert in – finding ridiculous places to hide – and yanked open the door of the store closet at the corner of the hall. Ruby glimpsed the murky, musty room and shook his head in immediate protest.
Gold sighed. He pulled the weird hat off the designer's head and threw it into the closet.
Ruby dove in after it, and Gold shut the door behind them.
"Are you angry that I worked with Crystal?" Gold asked, crouching and shortening the distance between his eyes and Ruby's. The designer squirmed in the cramped space, rubbing against a broom and knocking an empty bucket over.
"Why would I be angry?" Ruby muttered, feeling his cheeks heat.
Gold felt his stomach tighten, and a loud voice booming in his head advised him to close their proximity.
Ruby felt something soft against his mouth, and he immediately screamed and pushed Gold so that his back collided with the closed door.
"W-what did you just do?" he panicked.
Gold shrugged his shoulders, and leaned in once more. This time, Ruby did not retaliate.
Gold leaned down, pressing the buttons of his shirt against the glittering party on Ruby's tie, shuffling his feet around the smaller boy's gawky legs and stiff knees. Even under the faulty light bulb of the cleaner's closet, Ruby's gaze was as red as fresh lipstick and spirited fire – but his yammering mouth was obediently sealed for once.
"Don't tell anyone about this, got that?" he grunted, planting his palms on the floorboards on either side of Ruby's livid face. He was used to posing naked with girls, and shirtless with other guys – but suddenly, was very unable to withstand the apparent tension in the half-room, and unable to look the designer in the eye.
Ruby laughed, winding a soft hand around his neck and curling his fingers into Gold's styled hair ("Hey! Shit! Do you know how long I spen-!") before pulling him down.
"Where's the fun in kissing and telling?"
(Good god what was with that ending...? I myself am at a loss for words at the sheer randomness.)