Mitsukai here again, this time with a oneshot gift-fic for YukiKitsune103, who was my 50th reviewer for my ever growing story 'To Be a Sanada'. The prompt was 'painting', featuring my favorite pair, Sanada/Yukimura. YukiKitsune-san, I apologize for the long wait, but finally I'm able to finish this for you. Thank you very much for always supporting my stories. If it's not to your liking, I will put this down and rewrite a new oneshot.

Warnings and Disclaimers: Not mine. Shounen-ai Alpha Pair, symbolism galore. Maybe OOC and some typos.

Yukimura Seiichi always had an eye for beauty. He liked seeing beautiful things, and more importantly, he liked to make things beautiful with his own hands. He considered himself an artist, and a very good one too, because when he made things beautiful, he wanted them to be perfect, as well as holding a unique beauty that would be second to none.

He applied this philosophy to everything he did: gardening, sketching and even his tennis style was a result of this, for no one could claim to have tennis as beautiful, as elegant, as graceful and as lethal as his. His team was also made with this thought in mind; all of them had superb tennis skills, all pretty and exceptional in what they do, as well as having a face and body fitting the aesthetics of Yukimura's beliefs. Niou had piercing twin orbs of teal, Marui's hair color titillating the sense of sight, Jackal's bronze skin likened to the Egyptian gods, Yagyuu's strategically placed glasses framing a perfectly chiseled face, Yanagi's tall, willowy figure and Akaya's dark, raven-colored curls. However, all of them were still imperfect in their own ways, making Yukimura feel a sense of dissatisfaction.

Sanada Genichirou, however, was a different story.

Sanada was one of his first works, having met the older teen a decade ago, at a young age of four, in a tennis club wherein Sanada accompanied his older brother there. Yukimura noticed him at first sight. Like a painter visualizing the image on his easel, Yukimura took note of the dark colored hair, the thin limbs, the muddy brown eyes, and the perpetual stoicness of his face. Of course, being a young child, Yukimura didn't know that he was already planning his obra maestro – his greatest masterpiece. Sanada was still flawed and lacking a great deal, but just seeing him brought Yukimura great delight, as he already knew then, not realizing it until later, that the artist had finally found his muse.

First came the acquainting of the painter with the image he was painting. Yukimura had moved forward, smiled at him and told him his name. He thought that Sanada looked surprised, which suddenly brought a splash of pink to his cheeks, which Yukimura beamed at. But tentatively Sanada smiled back, a small one, but still a smile, nevertheless. Unconsciously Yukimura examined him critically, noticing little things, like a mouth too big, arms too thin, and so forth. But all of these can be rectified with time and patience, as well as with the right skill and technique. Yukimura was pleased with the raw material presented in front of him, knowing, somehow, that he was the one who could, no, would be the one to finish it.

And so Yukmura Seiichi's lifetime project started.

Second was the choosing of materials. Yukimura had already thought of doing his project outside, on a flat green canvas with white lines crisscrossing and a low net separating the lather large space. As for brushes, Yukimura only bought the only thing suited for this canvas, a thin-necked, rounded brush with hard vertical and horizontal bristles, with a dab of smaller circle-shaped brushes, colored green and made up of felt. Yukimura himself didn't know how to use these materials at first, but having loved them at first sight, he knew that it would become an irreplaceable part of him.

With the materials accounted for, next came the choosing and mixing of colors. For Sanada, Yukimura chose dark colors: strong and powerful hues of browns and golds and blacks, to compliment and contrast his own white, blue and violet, for Sanada would be his greatest work of art, and he would have nothing less short of the colors of royalty. Sanada would be his Emperor, unmatched in talent, skill and, most of all, beauty.

Placing the colors beside his easel, Yukimura Seiichi started his first stencil; quick, bold and angular strokes, lines making the rough draft of the final presentation. Sanada was a marvel to draw, for the teen was as immovable as a mountain, yet so fierce like fire. Yukimura struggled at first, for Sanada wasn't willing at first to put himself in Yukimura's still amateur hands, but as time passed and trust deepened between them, Sanada finally allowed his friend to drag him along the green canvas for the first time, and was amazed at the sight he saw, for each canvas was a splay of color, all mixing and colliding to make a living, breathing mosaic landscape, and asked Yukimura, quietly, if he could be a part of it too.

Yukimura smiled then, telling him that both of them would be in it together.

The stencil complete, Yukimura grabbed his brushes and dipped the tip in liquid gold amber, before starting what would be one of the longest, most heartbreaking but happiest moments of his life.

Yukimura liked Sanada's eyes. They reminded him of melted gold, smoldering and burning sometimes to the point of darkened amber. Out of all the features Sanada had, his eyes would be Yukimura's favorite, and so it was that part wherein Yukimura took the most care in showing off: they were so expressive; Sanada's eyes seemed to have a life of its own. Later on those eyes would be covered with a black cap, but as of the moment Yukimura devoted his time in studying Sanada's eyes, trying to figure out the best shade he would like them to be in. He eventually decided on a muddy brown with flecks of light gold, which appeared when Sanada was quietly pleased with something, like that time he found out that he and Yukimura were classmates in the same elementary school.

And with that, Sanada's eyes were finally complete, and Yukimura was on his way to complete his work of art.

Next on the list was the color of Sanada's skin. Yukimura thought it too pale in contrast to his own milky white complexion, but regular tennis matches with him quickly fixed that problem, slowly turning it into a russet-brown as the matches became longer and more intense. In the process, Sanada's body became leaner and more muscled, which Yukimura was also aiming for. But perhaps this was the longest part of the entire process, as it took Yukimura seven years to achieve the skin color and body mass he wanted Sanada to have. But it was a very fulfilling seven years, for as he mixed colors of brown, white and black, he had also sharpened his rough sketch of Sanada, the lines turning newer and sharper, as slowly Sanada matured, growing and filling up the easel Yukimura had set up for him.

And so days turned to weeks, weeks into months, and finally years as he slowly polished and buffed up his masterpiece again and again, immediately finding and correcting any mistake or imperfection he saw. It was almost complete, his most beautiful piece of art, devoting more of his time and patience in his muse, more eager and excited to sit in front of his easel and just paint the hours away. The bright yellow of the tennis jersey was carefully made and shaded, with every scarlet, black and white line mixed and painted in. Slowly and surely it seemed that Sanada was coming to life in Yukimura's capable hands, but before it was finally done, it happened.

"Yukimura…? Yukimura! Someone! Someone call the ambulance!"

"Don't worry, Yukimura. We will win, and we will bring the trophy after your surgery."

"I'll leave things in your hands, Sanada."

"Believe in yourself, Sanada. If you do, you will be able to do anything."

"At this rate… he may never be able to move properly again."

"That can't be…! I can't… play tennis ever again?"

"Yukimura… we may have lost Kantou, but there's still the Nationals! I'm sure that we'll win this time!"

"Don't say things like that! I don't want to hear it! Sanada… Please leave."

"But – Yukimura…"

"GET OUT!" Paint spilled, brushes strewn everywhere. Yukimura's fingers trembled, as tears made its way from his eyes, staining his cheeks, his blurry vision seeing the slashed portrait of Sanada in front of him, wondering if he had completely ruined his had almost destroyed all of his years work. But, back then, it didn't matter to Yukimura anymore. Slowly he gathered all of his art materials, clutching them close to his chest, before letting out a loud scream that seemed to echo from his very anguished soul.

He was so afraid. So afraid that he wouldn't be able to hold his bushes and colors ever, again, but he felt most afraid that he might never be able to find the strength to look at Sanada again, after what he did to him. Sadly he looked at his canvas, finding his portrait of Sanada smudged and all but completely destroyed.

It seemed that they both could never get over their fight. But when Sanada summoned the strength to give him his brush once more, slowly encouraging him to finish what he had started, even if it meant starting all over again, Yukimura had cried and had let himself be comforted with warm, strong arms, whispering his promise to complete his masterpiece.

And so the captain worked harder, longer, more determined now than ever to finish Sanada completely, emotion pouring with each bold stroke and flick of his wrist, slowly restoring his canvas to how it was before, but also going beyond that, taking his interest in Sanada into greater heights, now spending time in front of his easel more than anywhere else.

Finally, his paintbrushes were set down, beaming at his finally finished work. Sanada Genichirou stood proud and tall, the yellow Rikkaidai tennis jersey fitting his body perfectly like a golden crown on the head of a king, the mature face stern and yet kind, brandishing his racket like a warrior would hold his sword, fearless and determined to protect his throne from its almost-conquerors.

And yet, for all its beauty and magnificence, Yukimura felt that there was still something missing… something that eluded him ever since he started restoring this portrait, something very important, yet so intangible…

"Yukimura?" A deep, concerned voice startled him out of his thoughts, and the captain looked up, his head turning towards the direction of the sound, and the person he saw standing there made him smile, putting down the paint he was using at the moment so he could pay attention to the other male more completely.

"Sanada? What are you doing here?"

The tall vice-captain of the tennis club entered the art room, closing the door behind him as brown eyes looked straight at his friend and teammate, at first looking like hardened topaz, but held a certain softness when gazing at the blue-haired male.

"We have a free period." The rich baritone answered back, tanned cheeks slowly glazing over into a shade of light rose when a sweet smile was directed towards him. Then he noticed the easel in front of the sitting male, eyes widening slightly as he recognized the person painted on the white canvas.

"Is that…"

"You?" Yukimura smiled indulgently, almost amusedly as he started to chuckle at Sanada's stunned look. "Yes. Does it bother you, Sanada?"

Sanada was still staring at the painting on himself, unconsciously marveling on how accurate the features were compared to his own, almost like a carbon-copy of himself, only in paper and not in real-life, eyes glazing over, pupils dilating into dark chocolate, the edges almost bordering on bright yellow as a small quirk of his lips betrayed his originally stone-hard features.

"Sanada?" Seeing as Sanada was too dazed and pleased about the fact that his captain was inspired enough to paint him, Yukimura stood up with a small sigh, a smaller, more genuine smile of happiness gracing his lips as he stood up and approached his gaping vice-captain.

Slowly but surely, his hand reached up and cradled the strong jaw, the other smoothing down the front of the green blazer that wrapped around a muscular body, cerulean eyes filled with warmth and mirth he softly called out a more intimate name.


Hearing his first called brought Sanada back to reality, and seeing the blue-haired teen all but in his arms, gazing at him, and only at him with those depthless blue eyes… the usually stern teenager closed his eyes and let his arms move on its own accord, wrapping itself completely around the captain's waist, fingers drumming lightly up a curved spine as he let himself give in and capture petal, soft lips into a gentle kiss, a pair of hands cradling his face almost protectively, once again falling in love completely with the beautiful creature in his arms. The captain reciprocated, his hands memorizing every contour of the handsome face before coming to rest on a strong nape, fingers winding through silky, raven strands of hair as a pair of eyelids fluttered and eventually closed shut, feeling almost drowned in the emotions that made his heart pound, eventually swept away as their kiss deepened and increased in passion.

Yukimura Seiichi saw something glint at the corner of his eye, and sliding his half-lidded gaze onto it for the shortest of seconds, he saw a mirror, its full body reflecting the room and its occupants, framing two people trapped in a passionate embrace, holding each other so tightly and possessively that it almost seemed to be their last moment in each other's arms, emotion pouring from their actions alone, with one kiss that seemed to be loving and yet so filled with desire, that the image alone left him so breathless.

And that, Yukimura thought finally before giving himself up completely in Sanada's arms, was the missing piece he needed to complete his masterpiece.

Reviews and constructive criticism are very much appreciated and welcomed.