This was in my head, begging to be written, so I couldn't help myself. I had to do it. I don't usually write from a Shizuo POV. So it was a lot of fun. Even if it's a bit quick.
Inspired by a request on the kinkmeme, but not a fill of such.
Thank you in advance for any feedback! I look forward to your thoughts.
And you are my high.
Someone once asked me, "Why don't you take pictures for a fashion magazine or something? Wouldn't you make more money?"
I didn't really know how to answer. I've never cared much about income because I feel like it takes honesty from my art. So I answered with something along the lines of, "You can't capture emotion in clothing."
I realize that this statement is more or less true, depending on how you look at it. You know? Like beauty being in the eye of the beholder, and all that jazz. In fact, fashion is often an important role in a scene, sometimes becoming an entire setting, or even the character. Funerals and weddings, holidays and business events, for instance. Proper attire must coincide with the proper events or else you come up with an ugly mash of absurdity. It's thematic.
But you try explaining that to a fashion model and most just don't understand. They're made to look beautiful. Hell, they were born beautiful. It's a job, and until they get either too old or too fat, that's what they get paid to do. So when they're told to look smoldering in that little red dress, or fun in those denim shorts and cardigans, they do. Just as an actor master's his role in film, models must feign emotion for their magazine covers and advertisements.
In my opinion, that's not real life. It's a fantasy that leaves countless men and women reaching for this impossible desire to achieve perfection, because they don't quite realize the magic in Photoshop. So I'm honest. I can use my camera for far more beautiful things in everyday life; like a young father playing with his daughter in the park, or the silhouette of the city at sunrise, or a business man asleep on the train after a hard day's work. Candid little moments in life which cannot be planned, relived, or forgotten, but that we all wish we could physically hold onto. I mean, who wouldn't want their first kiss in a photograph?
As a photographer, these are the moments I pride myself in finding before they are lost forever in the vast seas of time.
And that is exactly what I was doing when I found him.
That narcissistic louse with a big mouth and red-hot eyes. He was the kind of beautiful creature that knew he had the whole world's attention by way of his trademark smirk, filled with scheming arrogance, and that hypnotic gleam shining in those odd irises, sculpted into perfect ivory skin to be framed by inky black hair. However, the perfection didn't stop at his face. No, it journeyed all the way down to his toes. That lithe frame, thin and toned could pull off anything. And I mean anything. Stuff that body in a dress, and even the girls are rolling in deep green envy.
Even his fingers were beautiful. Long and delicate, well-manicured, decorated in rings.
But what got to me most about him was not his looks, or even how self-aware he was of them. It was his mind. Sharp. Cutting like a blade through a slab of tender meat. That little raven was cunning like nothing I'd ever seen, all the while blinded by his own radiance.
Walking around with the idea that he was better than everyone else (the majority allowing him to believe it) my favorite thing about him was that despite his rapid, biting words, constant victories, and well-versed debates, it absolutely baffled him when I showed no interest. For the first time in his life the black bird had been rejected, unable to determine why.
Why, on God's green earth, would I be taking snapshots of ordinary human beings, invested in ordinary activities, while he offered to let me take his extraordinary photograph?
Well, for one thing, he was fucking annoying. And for another, it was true. I desperately wanted to capture him on my own film, take him into a darkroom, and develop that spectacular image into something permanent. I did. But I wouldn't give him the satisfaction. It was too entertaining to watch him pout.
Still, that didn't stop me from being the moron who fell in love with him... eventually.
That little raven with those unforgiving eyes.
We've been dating for over a year now, and I'm under the conclusion that he's one of those people who looks better with age. Only, he hasn't grown up at all. He's still the same obnoxious flea that lives to admire at himself in mirrors and get on my nerves.
"You should take my picture, Shizu-chan," he says in a whiny tone. It's his way of begging without really begging.
"No," I tell him, holding back a smile as I keep focused on my work. I'm busy enhancing a photo of my brother for his wedding invitations.
"So… let me get this straight," my bird chirps, perching himself over my shoulder, "You'll take photographs of your famous brother and his famous fiancée for their wedding, but we've been together for one year, two months, eight days, and forty-seven minutes, and you still won't take mine? Heiwajima Shizuo, do you know who I am?"
He adds an incredulous scoff to the end of his statement.
I lean back, smiling, as I reach my arm back behind his head, feeling his silky hair beneath my fingertips. It feels so good after spending the last three hours with nothing but a plastic mouse in my hand.
"It's because you want me to," I smile, thinking of all of the times he has stolen my camera to take snapshots of himself just so he can pretend they were taken by me.
He's a terrible photographer. His angles are all wrong. The lighting is never right. And those perfect hands are always too shaky. He's never still.
"How does that even make sense?" Izaya frowns, narrowing his crimson eyes as he pulls out of my touch. He moves his slender body beside me, leaning against the edge of my desk. "There are countless photographers dying to take my picture, but the idiot I choose to date leaves it to me to record all of our memories! I mean, look at me!" He points to his own flawless self, batting his eyes seductively.
"You have this all to yourself, you know!"
"Which is why I don't need a picture of it," I explain.
"Well fine!" he folds his arms with attitude. "When I'm old and grey and can't afford hair dye or plastic surgery, you're going to regret it."
"God. I know you're Japan's top model, but I didn't know you were such a drama queen, too!"
His jaw drops. And I admit it. I really want to reach for my camera right now. But I don't because he doesn't need to know that I'm waiting for the perfect moment. I'm waiting for the perfect opportunity to focus my lens on those beautiful features and snap away, stealing ever second of a once in a lifetime event.
"It's a big deal, Shizu-chan. I won't be this gorgeous forever."
Yes he will. He doesn't know it, but to me… he will.
"There are a million photographers that are happy to take your picture, Izaya," I say casually, getting back to my work. "I don't do models."
"Uh…huh…" he raises a skeptical brow, cracking a devious smirk. "That's not what you told me last night when you buried your co-"
"You can stop now," I cut him off, all too amused by this conversation.
He picks up my camera, noticing the nervousness on my face as he waves it around like it's some sort of toy. "My point is, you practically sleep with this thing, so why don't you put it to good use?"
"I do not sleep with my camera!" I retort, snatching it away from him before he drops it.
"Oh, please, Shizu-chan. You make sure it's on your bedside table every night before you fall asleep!"
"I do not."
"Ne? Is that denial I hear."
"Shut up, Flea," I growl.
It's an argument we've had time and time again, but he doesn't care. Orihara Izaya wants what he wants, and he will not stop until it is given. But when it is, I'll give it my way.
Unsatisfied by my forced stubbornness, he throws a few curses at me before skulking away to do whatever it is that models do in their free time.
Actually, knowing Izaya, he'll probably go read a book. Originally, his plan was to go into catalogue modeling as a way to pay for college, but his agent saw something more and pushed him into bigger things. Izaya did graduate with a Master's in humanities, and has his undergrad in foreign language. He graduated with perfect grades two years ago, yet he stuck to modeling with the realization that he might have some sort of "God given talent" (his words) for it.
Of everyone I've ever taken photos of for money, I've never met a model with quite the brain capacity he has. He retains every piece of information, remembers everything, and can use it to his advantage whenever he damn well pleases. When I tell you he's fucking smart, I mean it. He's so much more than a pretty face.
So I have to be strong, or I'll find myself hypnotized by claret eyes, giving into his every whim.
Six o'clock hits with a vengeance. And no, I don't mean six in the evening. I've been up all fucking night trying to make a deadline. Kasuka's wedding invitations need to be sent out by four o'clock this afternoon, which means they need to be printed in two hours so that they'll be sealed and stamped before the post office closes. For the hell I've put myself through to make these things perfect, he had better recognize me as the world's greatest best man. I would gladly take the title of best brother too, had I not given it to him already when he set me up with Izaya.
I wasn't lying when I said my little flea was annoying, but without my brother's help we wouldn't be where we are now.
Izaya might be a piece of work, overly dramatic, exaggerated, loud, narcissistic… but at the end of the day, he could have anyone. Really. Anyone. And he chooses me. A no-name photographer from a bad neighborhood in Ikebukuro.
Speaking of the raven…
He hasn't made a sound since about ten, when he made us some tea, still upset with me for denying him his rights of having his own boyfriend take his picture. He even went as far as to give me the silent treatment, unaware of how cute he is when he's flustered.
So it dawns on me that I should check on him.
Emailing the proper documents to Kasuka, I shut down my computer before standing up for the first time in six hours; stretching my back and arms for a good thirty seconds. I'm stiff from head to fucking toe.
Picking up my camera, I walk into our bedroom, completely ready to fall into the mattress and sleep for the next four hours. We're supposed to be traveling to Osaka for the weekend, which requires being on a train by two. Izaya has a photo shoot.
I'm half-tempted to tell him I'm staying home. He can go without me if it means I get to sleep in.
My exhaustion tells me that I wish we didn't have a life like this - that time could just slow down, allowing us the liberty to throw away our full schedules; to act on impulse the way we did when we were children.
The lights are off in the bedroom, but the sun begins its rise over the city, casting the space in a periwinkle light. His skin is the first thing I notice, radiant even in the fleeting darkness, as if he is what makes the sun wake up each day. The next thing I realize is that he's asleep, velvety eyelids closed over his ruby gems, which are still framed by reading glasses. A book is lying open and upside down on his stomach with his left hand casually keeping it from falling to the floor as it rests over the novel's spine. For the next several moments, I find myself captivated by the rhythmatic rise and fall of his chest.
With his hair in feathery disarray, and his loose sweatshirt hiked up just enough to expose a hipbone, Izaya has no idea just how beautiful he looks right now. In these irreplaceable moments. Making my heart tingle and burn with the most welcome of flames.
He has never looked better to my eyes.
Maybe it's because he isn't trying. Maybe because, deep in his dreams, he doesn't have his guard up. He's vulnerable. Almost innocent. How I would love to gently tug his glasses from his face, replacing them with my lips against his silky eyelids… It would be much too easy to slip myself over him, waking him from a peaceful slumber just to have my way with that perfect body; to feel those fingers in my hair.
But I don't.
I want this quickly fading moment to be captured exactly as I see it, to be seen time and time again.
"Over all, it went well, but what can you expect from working with birds?" Izaya continues our conversation on our way through the door. "Did you see the one with the peacock feathers?"
I think for a minute, trying to remember all of the elaborate costumes he had been thrown into over the past three days. However, my favorite happened to be the sheet he had wrapped around his waist when his agent showed up at our hotel room for a quick meeting. The flush on his cheeks as Shiki-san pointed out that the white fabric was slipping… I couldn't avoid snapping a few shots from around the corner. Something I knew would happen. Once I got started, I just couldn't stop.
Keeping as discrete as possible, I took secret photos at every opportunity he handed me.
"Huh…?" I glance up at him, kicking off my shoes.
For the life of me, I have no idea what he's talking about. So, as not to offend the raven, I lie. "Yeah. That set was great."
"I agree," he says with pride, dropping his bag on the couch before dropping himself beside it. "I can't wait to see how they're edited. That new line is bound to take off if they use my face the right way."
Is there a wrong way to use his face?
"Feeling conceited, Izaya?" I tease.
"A little," he plays into it.
"I just don't understand the point in putting you in all those fancy clothes for a pair of headphones. It seems a bit ridiculous."
"Sex sells," Izaya sighs, flicking his eyes to the ceiling. "Did you take a lot of pictures while we were in Osaka?"
"Yeah," I smile, turning away to hide the heat as I feel it rush to my face, "You wanna see them?"
"No," he plainly states, causing me to frown.
"No?" I echo.
"I'll only be disappointed that none of them are of me."
And this is the part where I bite my lip to hold down a smile. "Okay… maybe later then."
Quietly disappearing into my office, something which has become a bit of a ritual after every trip. My camera, full of fresh photographs, becomes my top priority, largely because I despise unpacking. I plug my camera into my computer, copying the new images into a fresh folder, simply titled "Izaya."
I barely scan through them before singling out the first of many. My favorite.
Using my best photo paper, I select the print options, not even taking the time to edit the memory. His perfection shines through flawlessly, begging to be uninhibited by the wonders of airbrushing or contrasting. Color replacements, altered hues, textures. This one is perfect exactly as it is.
Opening the overhead drawer to my desk, I pull down a new picture frame. A gift from my boyfriend's twin sisters, who were just as desperate for me to take a shot of their older brother as he was. The only difference being that Mairu and Kururi insisted that it had to be worthy of sitting beside my workstation at all times while looking "normal" in comparison to the fancy covers they were so used to seeing him on. I couldn't have agreed more.
Pulling the freshly printed image from the printer, I gently blow on the ink, making sure it's dry, and high enough quality, to place in the frame. Unable to tear my eyes away, I am both happy and unsatisfied. For all of the beauty that this simple sheet contains, it simply does not do the real thing justice. It dawns on me that maybe this is why I had waited so long. Because each time I look at a memory like this, I compare it to reality, if only to disappoint myself just slightly.
Sometimes, I think it's me. I think that maybe I don't take photographs of him because I'm no good at it. However, the same sense of dissatisfaction fills my thoughts each time I look at his professional portfolio, filled with works by different artists.
It is now that I understand… you just can't capture heaven through a glass lens.
A small knock at the door cues my attention. I look over my shoulder, keeping the frame safely in my hands, as he slinks over to my desk.
"Okay…" he sighs, sounding defeated, "I lied. I'm totally curious."
"About…" I raise a brow.
"Show me the pictures you took!"
Feeling dangerous, I place the picture frame in his hands, feeling a pump of adrenaline tear through my heart when his breath hitches. He stares at me with twinkling eyes which announce the excitement that he fights to suppress. "Is this…?"
"The first," I affirm.
"I look atrocious," he says in a low chuckle. "You couldn't give me some warning first. Ne, Shizu-chan?"
"What would be the fun in that?"
"You didn't even get my good side."
"I mean, come on, darling," he carries on with his useless blabbering. "You could have at least let me get dressed."
"When did you even take this? I wasn't ready at all. I was-"
He jolts, clumsily fumbling the picture frame until I swiftly remove it from his possession. With confused eyes, he stares at me, carefully watching to see if he should be concerned by the interruption, until I calm him with a smile.
"You're beautiful," I remind him.
"I swear. You've never looked so perfect."
He gapes. "What about the feathers?"
"I don't give a fuck about the feathers."
Setting the frame safely in place, I grab Izaya by the hips, pulling him into me as I stand. Before he can get another word out - no doubt just to argue with me - I tilt his head up, catching him with my eyes a split second ahead of crashing my mouth into his own. My tongue wastes no time, refusing to beg for entrance as I force the muscle into the hot, wet cave that is his mouth. His responsive moan is so sweet I can nearly taste it.
Lifting him into my arms, his skinny legs hook around my waist. I begin to carry him to the bedroom, stopping just short of leaving the office.
"What are you doing?" he grumbles, pulling out of the heated kiss. "I want you now."
I allow my explanation to be my arm reaching over to my camera, grabbing it before I rush us into the bedroom for a night of fun that neither of us will be allowed to forget. Not when there will be photographic evidence of its existence.
I blame Orihara Izaya for getting me hooked to this drug. I blame this little black bird for getting me started, because now, I just can't stop.