It had all started at a festival, some summer festival or another that was just like every other one in the city, filled with laughing children, kites with long flowing ribbons, icy treats, smoked fish, tea, paper lanterns, and fireworks; everything painted in a million colors. No kimono shared the same patterns, no hair shared the same flower. There were men with men, women with women, men and women together; it was a festival of love, of pleasure, of shedding the shades that bound them to society. For that one night they were allowed to express themselves completely and get lost in every color of the world they inhabited, the earth that never judged them.

Deidara was showing off the art he painted for the festival, selling them for reasonable prices, and even painting the faces of eager little kids and some other attractive teenagers who used the excuse to flirt with the androgynous blonde. The attention he got, the attention his art was getting, the pictures filled with an explosion of color, bright and vibrant, kept Deidara smiling and laughing all night.

He first noticed the dark brunette on his first trip to the squid stand, the second time on his way back to his art after getting some flavored ice, and yet again on his way to get some more of that fantastic fried squid and a cup of tea. The pale man was like a ghost, never leaving from his spot underneath a pale cherry blossom tree. The tree itself was across from Deidara's stage and so Deidara waited, annoyed but he'd be patient for art, biting into his squid. He waited for the mysterious man to come over and admire his art up close instead of at a distance, but the ghost took his sweet time, waiting until fireworks began to light up the sky to approach Deidara.

From a distance Deidara had thought the ghost stood out, but up close he was even more mesmerizing. While everyone wore the most intricate kimono, the young man, who realized himself to be just as androgynous as himself, wore a simple, plain blue yukata tied with a blood red sash and the clothing was open to reveal jutting collar bones, tone chest muscles, and a caved in stomach beneath the prominent dip of his ribcage. He looked sickly, what with his pale and sickeningly thin he was, but in his sickness he looked like a breathing piece of art.

The space around them seemed muffled. There was silence, broken only by the explosions of color in the sky and the cheers from the countless people around them. It unnerved Deidara to be stared at for so long, so intensely, with no words being exchanged. "Listen, if you're not-" The blonde began to snap, already standing to walk off and go watch the fireworks himself, only to get cut off by a voice so soft that it was almost overpowered completely not only by Deidara's voice, but the voice of the lively village.

"Paint me." The pale man said and without any shame reached up to push his loose clothing off his sharp shoulders, Deidara's quickly escalating anger dissipating just as quickly when the fabric fell.

Deidara hadn't been expecting that request.

The artist started with the young man's beautiful collarbones, wrists moving with fluid elegance as he began to paint. Each careful stroke brought the painting to life. Water flowed over his shoulder, down his chest to the red sash. On his left arm was a Japanese water dragon, slithering down his back and coiling around his arm down to his bony wrist. On the right arm Deidara painted lotuses and nishikigoi, the fish and flowers continuing over the ridges of the man's ribs and again down to the red sash.

There was something so sensual about painting the man's pale skin, filling in designs with every shade of blue and green he had at his disposal, shading in with blacks and yellows, highlighting with reds and yellows, the lotus flowers popping with bright pinks and delicate purples and orange. Deidara was caressing skin without truly touching him, kissing him without using his lips. It was arousing to be painting a living canvas, making the man his, showing his ownership with paint rather than bruises caused by teeth and nails.

Shadows, caused by the gently swaying lanterns and fireworks, danced on the painted skin, giving the illusion that the dragon was slithering along his arm, the waters flowing, the fish swimming, and the flowers bobbing in the current. Seduced by the paint, Deidara leaned forward and brushed his lips against the cold, pale expanse of tight flesh stretched around the man's slender neck, his hand stilling with his brush dipped into the red paint. His canvas shuddered and long, slender fingers reached out and grasped Deidara's black clad shoulders, urging him on.

"Utakata." Deidara's breathing art whispered and the blonde pulled back just enough to glance up at the young man's feminine face. Amber eyes glowed under the lanterns' orange light, further enchanting the blonde by the lust pooled deep in the gold. "My name is Utakata."

Deidara responded by swirling his brush in the paint before printing the fine brush to Utakata's lips. He didn't offer his name, the young probably already knew, and instead painted those thin lips red. Then Deidara grasped his chin, tilting his head up further into the light as if to admire his handy work and, appearing satisfied, crushed their lips together, staining his own lips with the viscous red.

They went no farther than stealing each other's breath, one afraid of ruining his art and the other unwilling to compromise and lose what he had finally gained.