Chapter 2: Public Transportation
Today was going to be a good day for me; I had an easy commercial to shoot with the rest of the day off. Sure, it wasn't something an amateur could pull off but that's part of the fun of the job. Every actor would bring their own flair to the scene and pull together to make the whole idea work. I was perfectly enthusiastic about getting the job done until I realized something that made it all go downhill; Gray had also gotten the job.
Just like every other time we had a job together, Gray was sucking up all my enthusiasm for the job like the black hole that he was. Maybe it is partially my fault after all for starting it; that volleyball made a delightful sound when it connected with his face, although I must defend that the jerk deserved it. It's not as if he did anything per say to piss me off, it was more for the fact that a smug grin was on his face more often than not, which never failed to get on my worst side.
I don't really think starting it was the issue here since I would have been fine with leaving him alone after I got my moment of triumph, but Gray just wouldn't let it go. In the middle of the volleyball war that we started (I apologize for the two crew members who were injured in the process, we didn't mean to destroy the table you were hiding under), I would like to plea the fifth and bring up the fact that Gray was the one who spiked the volleyball that caused the camera to break.
That's why he should be the one getting yelled at over the phone for wreaking the entire shoot, destroying half, if not most, of the equipment, and that one fine he got while walking to work for public indecency after his clothes just managed to fall off his body. Yet since when was it my responsibility to look after my roommate who was five months older than me? I even managed to get yelled at for the last part that was clearly Gray's fault, for some weird reason. He's a seventeen-year-old boy; he should be able to take care of himself!
I was tempted to throw my phone into a lake by the time Makarov had reached the topic of owning up to your responsibilities. Who cares if it was an expensive blackberry, if it was the reason why I was about to go prematurely deaf, it deserved to sit at the bottom of a lake. It didn't take a rocket scientist to realize that I wasn't exactly paying attention to Gramps who was yelling so loudly that anyone close to me had already evacuated the premises; I was more intent at conveying my message by glaring at the back of Gray's head. That guy was unbelievable, you would think he would feel some form of remorse from messing up his last job but quite the opposite; he was busy flirting with a bunch of extras that hadn't been there to see the destruction of the studio. It was beyond me how we managed to not get kicked out yet.
As if someone was reading my mind, I heard a loud yell of "You're fired!" coming out of the producer's booth. Everyone turned just in time for the door to slam open to reveal our director hot on the tails of the casting director. "What were you thinking casting those two buffoons on my shoot? This whole thing was a disaster," he looked up just in time to notice that Gray and I were conveniently staring at him along with the rest of the actors and staff.
"You!" For a small man, he was fast. Before I realized it, he was already in front of me, red-faced and angry for some reason I didn't care too much about at this point. "You're fired! In fact, I'm sending a bill to your agency for the cost of all the damages you caused, get out of my studio immediately! And take your little friend with you!"
Somehow, I had once again managed to receive all the blame that rightfully belonged to Gray. In the process of having my body freeze due to shock, I was kindly escorted out of the building by the security staff. Note the sarcasm. Gray soon joined me and we both took a moment to sit on the sidewalk to enjoy the nice weather before starting the long trek home.
"Natsu, I can't believe you got kicked out of a shoot again! When that bill comes, it's coming directly out of your paycheck and-" It took me to a while to realize the irritating screaming was coming from my cell phone. The thing just happened to stay in my hand the whole time we were being kicked out of the studio; I wish I had the premonition to trash it before we got out here. I shut off the phone before Makarov's anger could gain any momentum and turned to glare at my partner in crime.
"It's all your fault!"
The bus ride home was filled with an air of silence. In the center of the bus sat the two male models, still shirtless from being kicked out of the photo shoot. More importantly, the two were still shirtless due to the fact that neither had the brains to buy a new shirt and both failed to pay any attention to the coincidental breeze hitting both their chests, although the fan girl sighs coursing through all of Tokyo suggested that not many minded.
Natsu was on the window seat to the right while Gray was sitting on the opposite seat across the aisle. The pair was busy glaring at each other from the corner of their eyes as they both faced forward, refusing to be the first one to break their indirect starting contest.
The only reason why they were even sitting so close to each other on the bus was they were the only unoccupied seats that weren't next to anyone, and both of them were too proud to stay standing, which would be the equivalent of downright admitting that the other was getting to him. The rest of the passengers on the bus, however, were busy either staring at the two gorgeously shirtless models or busy gossiping about the pair causing a public scene.
As for other people...
"Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. I'm so going to miss the bus!" Quickly grabbing his warm coffee from the counter, Niall flashed the server a charming smile before running out of the Starbucks coffee shop. The waiter winked at the blond as he turned around to give him a polite wave goodbye, causing the other to blush and trip over a cardboard box. Laughing at the flustered boy's antics, the tall waiter turned back to his other customers.
"This is so not the time to miss that stupid bus! No one's home and I'll miss that job interview if I have to wait an hour for the next one. Come on Niall, move a little bit faster." Passerbys moved a little farther away from the running blur of yellow, too busy talking to himself to notice the strange looks others were giving him. As he turned around the corner, Niall gave a sigh of relief as he saw the bus had just stopped a little bit ahead of him.
Panting and out of breath, the young blond leaned against one of the metal bars inside the bus after he boarded. Looking around, he noticed that the bus was almost entirely full. In the middle of the bus sat two shirtless guys who were ignoring the rest to the world, seeming to be ignoring each other yet strangely staring straight ahead as if every human being in the front of the bus offended them by their existence. If this had been anywhere else in the world, such a sight would have been unusual but considering it was New York City, it was highly likely that the two were probably models or actors of some sort and the onlookers were probably making it a bigger deal than it already was.
Although he couldn't see any cameras or any sign of this interaction being recorded, with all the new technology around, it wouldn't be implausible that he was being watched without even realizing it. For all he knew, any of the other passengers could be hiding cameras or mics inconspicuously. Straightening out his shirt as if it wasn't obvious he just sprinted to catch the bus, he suddenly became unconscious about his body, though he had no real reason to be. Slowly walking down the isle as if it would render him invisible, Niall managed to glide past the two boys until a sudden haul of the bus caused him to fly forward a bit and collide with the seat next to one of the guys, banging his hip in the process. Just my luck.
Niall finally decided to sit next to a man in a business suit a few rows behind the two shirtless guys who seemed to be the center of attention. "Do you know what's going on with those two?" the businessman gave Niall a dirty look before turning back to his blackberry, rude much. He turned his gaze to stare out at the city skyline, yet his line of vision slowly began to drift back to the two shirtless boys in front of him. They were quite attractive, in all retrospect. One had short, black hair that seemed to glisten like it was made out of ice. His built was more lean than muscular and the only imperfection tainting his perfectly sculpted chest was a blue tattoo on his right peck of a strange design, perhaps a leaping sprite of some sort. The only jewelry he had on was a silver cross necklace. His pale face darkened with a look of hatred aimed at the other boy but Niall would like to imagine that the boy's smile would be just perfect as his face.
The boy across from the first had a peculiar shade of red hair that could be described as pink, though this man was possibly the only person he had ever seen capable of pulling off pink hair with that level of dignity. He had a slighter build than his companion, though both were adjourned with lean muscles and perfect abs. Unlike the first boy, he was wearing a white scarf, although covering up his chest with that scarf seemed to be the last thing on his mind. Both wore only simple jewelery and seemed astonishingly confident in their own bodies, something not commonly seen in people their age, or perhaps their perceived age. For all he knew, they could have been around much longer than his modest eighteen years of life.
If only he wasn't straight, Niall would like to admit that he'd be pretty attracted to the two. At that thought, his throat went dry and his face flushed red. A vibration coming from his pocket made his look away from the stunning duo. Typing in his password, Niall opened up the messages icon on his iPhone and smiled when he read what it said, "I miss you baby, come by my office later for lunch. I want to spend more time with you." Texting his reply back to his girlfriend, Niall smiled to himself, his doubts reassured once again.
On the other side of the bus...
"I can't believe anyone would have the indecency to go into public transportation with such little clothing!"
"It's horrifying to think the youth of today has degraded to such a degree."
"I know I would be horrified if my own grandchildren were to do anything so foolish, bless their little souls." A group of old ladies located at the front of the bus were busy talking about the public spectacle with cruel scrutiny.
"This is an insult to everyone; to wear such little clothing is disturbing the common peace!"
"I knew I should have gotten my son to drive me, this would never have happened if I wasn't so stubborn."
"I bet they were raised as orphans, knowing not much better."
"That still doesn't excuse their behavior, everyone should know what manners and proper protocol is."
"It's just sad how little effect the authority has on children nowadays."
Sometimes it takes a sound mind to realize being older doesn't always mean you become wiser. Take these ladies for example, they would rather spend their time gossiping about a pair of "delinquent" boys rather than acting like civil adults. That sound mind just happened to be one Shitou Yajima.
"It must be so great to be young and to have the ability to express yourself without caring about other's opinions. If only some people weren't petty enough to spend their time gossiping about teenagers less than a third their age." The tiny, old man opened one eye to stare at the group of old ladies and sighed in defeat. He had been completely ignored.
"Aren't they so cute? I think the one with the black hair is defiantly what my dream boyfriend would be. They're so dreamy, I wonder if they're taken." Hushed whispers were exchanged between two teens ridding the bus on their way to school.
"I think the redhead is more my type. I wonder what they're here for though. I can't see any cameras around but no one in their right mind would walk around like that." Her friend giggled to agree with her as they sneaked a glance at the two males.
"I feel like they walked straight out of my fantasy, you don't see people like that everyday. Should we give them our numbers? We might not get this chance again."
"I don't think I would have the guts to go up to them, I feel like I would just melt in a puddle. Take some pictures of them fast, we might be able to find them online if we're lucky."
"I guess so, though that makes me feel like stalkers."
"Don't be like that. Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll be on this bus tomorrow."
For another girl...
Thank god, I'm not late. One timid teen sat at the bus stop shaking like a leaf, trying to sit as far as possible from the two people also waiting there. She looked down at her tiny hands, twitting her thumbs as she wished for the time to pass by faster. Looking up at a loud noise, her face reflected disappointment when it became obvious the noise was caused by a bunch of rambunctious boys across the street that knocked over a garbage can. Just when she was starting to feel disheartened, the bus turned the corner and stopped in front of her stop.
Stay calm Lily, you can do this. Don't worry. Just to be safe, she stayed behind until the two other people boarded before going up the stairs of the bus, jumping when the bus driver gave her a weird look as she put her money in the machine, and scrambled for proper footing when the bus began to move. Grabbing onto the closest poll and trying to ignore how she almost fell on her face, Lily turned red when she realized a pair of tan girls laughing at her. After standing on the bus for ten minutes, her legs were ready to collapse from fatigue and she finally got the guts to look up from her feet. Making sure that no one was looking at her, she looked across the bus and took in the fact that there were only two seats open on the bus, conveniently a few rows behind where she was standing. Inconveniently, the two people next to those two seats were incredibly attractive, impossibly hard to ignore, and blatantly shirtless. Turning her head to look out the window, Lily waved her hand in front of her face to cool down her burning cheeks and tried to suppress her growing nose bleed. Breath in, breath out. Calm down, you can handle this girl. Breath in, breath out.
Not daring to look at the two boys again, Lily was busy having a mental battle against herself. The meek side of personality was arguing whether it was really necessary to move at all, it debated that she was much more comfortable staying where she was and it wasn't like she minded standing. The suppressed part of her subconscious argued that if she acted like this forever, she would never grow out of her shyness and never be able to communicate with her peers. Plus, she would regret it if she didn't, as she had done with many decisions during her short life. The deciding factor was actually none of these two things but rather the physical problem that her knees were about to collapse due to her being a physically weak human being.
Mustering up any, and I really mean ANY, courage that she could from the deepest depths of her soul, Lily forced her legs to move, grabbing onto the handles hanging above her to ensure she wouldn't fall, and keeping her eyes glued to the floor. After what seemed like an eternity, she finally managed to reach her destination, though she sat down as silently as she could, flinching at the squeak her shoes made when she edged into the seat. Making sure to avoid any and all eye contact, she folded her hands across her legs and attempted to make herself physically disappear, which wasn't really that hard due to the fact that she was such a tiny person.
In a way, it was better that she didn't look up since quite a large percent of the female population of the bus was busy glaring holes into her head for sitting next to the two specimens of male perfection.
Ding. "Flushing, Queens." The voice of the male bus driver sounded over the intercom and for the first time during the whole ride, Lily looked up at the mention of her stop. Just when she did, she managed to realize that two pairs of eyes were glaring holes into her skull from the two sides of her vision. Turning her head, she squeaked when she saw that the pink haired boy in the seat next to her was busy glaring with fury in his black eyes. Tears began to build up from the corners of her eyes and she covered her face with her hands as she ran home crying.
Natsu continued to glare at that conniving bastard Gray, completely unaware of the mental trauma that he just inflicted upon the poor, timid girl.
Within the mind of Gray...
That stupid Natsu, always blaming his mistakes on me! Gray continued to transmit waves of hatred at the boy across the aisle from him. Stupid idiot, it's all his fault getting me fired from that last job. That no good, blood-sucking, leach of a-
Ding. "Jackson Heights, Queens." Gray blinked as his train of thought was disrupted by the bus driver's voice announcing his stop. Standing up, Gray began to get annoyed when Natsu did the same action as him… at the same time. The two walked in unison to the exit at the back of the bus, too busy glaring at each other to notice the swooning girls around them and the stares that they attracted from passerbys once they exited the bus. Not breaking their eye contact, the pair continued to walk forward into the doorway of their apartment building where the young doorman was holding open the door for them. Then they got stuck.
Both the stubborn boys continued to struggle, pushing each other's faces, chests, arms, and shoulders aside as they fought to get through the doorway. The rest of the residents inside the lobby and receptionist at the front counter sweat dropped at the pair's stupidity, both ignoring the other half of the double doors in favor of attempting to shove the others out of the currently open one. You think they would learn by now considering the fact that they did this almost every single day.
Gajeel rubbed his temple as he watched his two coworkers attempting to shove themselves into the limited space of the door. At this point, both of them were stuck with one shoulder against the door-frame and the other pushing against their opponent's. Both their faces showed the expression of absolute stubbornness, which Gajeel took as foolish stupidity, in the midst of pushing their heads against each other in a futile attempt the gain dominance.
Sighing to himself, Gajeel single-handedly pushed open the other door leading to the lobby of his apartment, causing the two idiots to fall over themselves as the force they were using to push against the other now propelled them forward to land in a heap on the carpet. Taking the opportunity to kick Natsu in the stomach, Gajeel calmly strolled over to open elevator which closed once he entered it.
"Damn you Gajeel," two pairs of eyes glared holes into where Gajeel once stood.
Once the two boys managed to pick themselves up and collect any dignity that they had left, they decided to reach a temporary truce. Shaking hands, the two decided to play rock paper scissors to decide who would go first. When Gray won, it was no surprise that the pair raced to get into the elevator before the other. Though Natsu managed to pull himself into the elevator first, it was futile since they were both going into the same elevator and spent the rest of the lift up the the 54th floor in a thumb war.
"Come on, little longer" sticking his tongue out of the side of his lip, Natsu flexed his thumb after escaping Gray's hold. Gray tried to sneak attack the other boy but in the midst of his swift swoop, he was distracted by a vibration going off in his pocket. Taking this opportunity, Natsu maneuvered Gray's thumb under his own and counted to three as fast as he could.
Naturally, Natsu proceeded to do a victory dance around the metal box, going as far as jumping for joy to rub it into the other's face. Growling at the enthusiastic boy, Gray pulled out his cell phone and Natsu peeked over his shoulder to read the email.
There will be a meeting for all the models under direct management of Fairy Tale Modeling in my office today. All will be expected to come. Please arrive promptly in my office at 4:30 this afternoon. I will have a special announcement to make regarding changes occurring within the company. Absences will not be excused and anyone who dares to avoid this confrontation will be dragging their sorry asses into this office even if I have to do it myself, or so help me Gray. Sincerely the Fairy Tale President, Makarov Dreyar.
"I'll grab the skateboards."
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