This is for KOHANAISYOURMASTER, who requested Coco/Sunny romance. I apologize for taking so long!

Takes place at the end of the Regal Mammoth arc.

a question of beauty

He's on the helipad, bag in hand and ready to climb onto Kiss, when his name is called.

"Coco, wait!"

Sunny is lingering at the far side of the pad, both needing to speak and reluctant to do so; if Coco wants to hear whatever it is he has to say, he'll have to go to Sunny. It must be important - the flamboyant bishokuya has been hovering on the edges of his senses all morning, distant at first but closer after Toriko and Komatsu's departure, only now approaching him - so Coco goes willingly enough, leaving his bag at Kiss' feet.

Though Coco is within range of Sunny's Dining Kitchen, no sensors rise to meet him. The air is clear of the small waves of light given off by the hairs Sunny is normally surrounded by. Sunny himself still shines faintly with the fading effects of the Jewel Meat. When they'd woken to find Sunny alone retained last night's glow, even Toriko had to - grumpily - accept the Jewel Meat simply made more sense as his Main.

As Coco draws near to the place Sunny stands restless, a mass of multicolored hair shifts to drape across his nose, effectively hiding the upper half of his face from view. It's a nostalgic reaction of embarrassment Sunny resorted to often during their childhood, one Coco hasn't seen in years. Now his curiosity is most certainly piqued.

Smiling when no reason for this behavior seems forthcoming, Coco reaches out to brush some of the hair aside; there's a moment of resistance, and then the strands relax enough for Coco to tuck them behind Sunny's ear, revealing lowered lashes and cheeks dusted with pink. Sunny doesn't stay quiescent for long. Eyes snap up to meet his, and suddenly Coco is encircled by sensors. It's like being captured in a cage of tiny lights that lick hesitantly at his skin.

"Did you mean it?" Sunny asks, then refuses to enlighten Coco as to what exactly 'it' may be.

"Sunny," Coco prompts gently, "what 'it'?"

The other bishokuya glares, apparently frustrated Coco doesn't immediately understand what he's talking about. "When you called me beaut'ful!"

Ah, that 'it'.

Coco can't help but chuckle to himself, smile softening as he replies, "I'd have said nothing if I didn't mean."

There is a lock of pink hair wrapped tightly around his little finger. Coco lifts it to his mouth while Sunny watches, eyes wide and cheeks darkening, rubs the hair against his lips before kissing the silky strands.

Sunny stiffens, jerking like he's been electrocuted when the ends of his hair slip between Coco's lips to the warmth and slickness inside. Coco wonders how it feels, how the heat of his mouth reads to the temperature sensors - quite nicely, if the way Sunny bites at his own lips is any indication - and when Coco sucks lightly he earns a quiet exhalation of breath that's nearly a sigh.

And then, just as suddenly as they appeared, the sensors stroking fitfully across his body and the hair on his finger are gone, yanked back to shelter Sunny defensively. Coco's smile remains fixed in place despite what seems to be an act of rejection; his answer - the one Sunny longed to hear but wasn't expecting - and his actions are sinking in. A certain hopeful wariness persists through the unhappy set of Sunny's expression.

"Keep your disgustin' mouth away from me, you poison bastard!"

Sunny strides across the platform - strides, not stomps, because that would be totally unbeautiful no matter how upset he is, and it's so very Sunny Coco nearly laughs - and disappears into the research facility, slamming the door so furiously the wall around it splinters in a delicate webbing of cracks.

Coco returns to Kiss, smoothing his palm along the patient bird's beak when he lowers his head in greeting. "It's time to go, Kiss. Let's give Sunny some space."

He's made his intentions known. Now the rest is up to Sunny.

Two weeks go by. Coco occupies himself with fortunetelling - as well as avoiding the rather passionate women of Gourmet Fortune - and occasionally venturing out into the forests and valleys surrounding his home. For practice, because recently he's been sorting through the pile of job requests he continues to receive with serious consideration, setting aside the few that spark his interest. It's time to stop hiding; when they next meet, he really must thank Komatsu.

Despite his intention to shake off any enduring 'rustiness', as Toriko would put it, Coco refrains from straying far from the area. If asked, he'll explain that he's expecting a guest. No need to say who: Sunny of the Heavenly Kings has been spotted carving a slow path through nearby towns.

Then comes the moment Coco apologizes to his customers in Gourmet Fortune; he has something to take care of and won't be in for a couple of days, at least.

So Coco is at home, engrossed in a cooking magazine - he's no chef, but he does have the skills to create a proper dish, not resorting to simply roasting his catch over open flames like Toriko does - when there's a flurry of activity outside as Kiss lands with a passenger. He hears a murmured thanks and Kiss' acknowledging caw, muffled by the stone walls, and then his door flies open. Sunny stands on the threshold, arms crossed, eyes clear and determined and warmer than Coco has ever seen them.

His magazine flattens itself to the table before Coco can put it down as Sunny stalks inside. He rises to his feet, both hands held out in welcome, and says, "Hello, Sun-"

The white tendril that settles gently across his mouth silences Coco more effectively than a violent gesture ever could. Sunny steps purposely into his personal space, close enough for the tips of their shoes to touch, and nuzzles at Coco's chin.

"Shut up. No more talkin'." With that said, Sunny sets his lips to the task, trailing them across the fine curve of Coco's cheekbone, his nose, and finally his mouth, nibbling playfully at his lower lip.

At the teasing kiss, Coco surges forward, cupping Sunny's face between his hands as he licks his way inside, urging Sunny to open for him with pleading flicks of tongue. And there's hair everywhere, tugging his bandages free and coiling serpentine under his clothes once they're clear, over his chest and hips and wrists. Coco is so distracted by the multiple points of stimulation - sensual, innocent, affectionate - it takes him a shamefully long while to realize he's the only one being undressed. It's hardly fair that he has his top bunched under his arms while Sunny still looks immaculate.

Coco breaks the kiss to finish removing the trapped material. Sunny drags wondering fingertips down the flat expanse of his stomach, a ticklish caress; when Coco twists away from those questing fingers, laughing helplessly, the smile flirting at the edges of Sunny's lips blossoms bright and lovely across his face, and Coco can only think of this as Sunny at his most beautiful.

A/N - Everything I've written so far has included Komatsu, from Komatsu's point of view, so I figured it was about time I expanded my horizons. Coco/Sunny has this delicious 'slap slap kiss' dynamic that I love. And as difficult as I find writing Sunny, this was a fun, worthwhile experience.

Having said that, don't expect too much Sunny from me in the future (even if 148 makes me want to write Sunny/Komatsu; seriously, Komatsu's harem is ridiculously canon now).

I'm going to start working on the 'dessert' epilogue for Second Partner, which will bump it up to an M rating. YEP.