I don't own Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, Nakamura Shungiku does. I figured that since I've been writing a crapload of Takano/Ritsu fanfics and even managed a Hatori/Yoshino fanfic that I ought to pay attention to the series third couple, Yukina/Kisa. This ties into the 'Silence is Thy Friend' saga, though this isn't a continuation.
Warnings: possible OOCness, dirty humor, and lemon fluff
The Sleeping Beauty
…Was the light on?
Kisa Shouta groaned, and his vision blurred as his cracked his eyes open. He wanted to sleep. He'd been awake for 26 hours up to this point, thanks to too many of his artists missing the deadline, and sleeping like the dead sounded so appealing to him.
But the damned light was on!
The room abruptly shrouded into darkness, and Kisa closed his eyes. Lips pressed against his temple and a warm hand caressed his head. "I'm sorry, Kisa-san. Go back to sleep."
"…Yukina?" Kisa groped blindly for his boyfriend, and sighed as Yukina Kou slid back into bed with him. "Why were you…" his words were sluggish as sleep beckoned him once more.
"It's nothing." Yukina hugged Kisa to him, and Kisa inhaled his scent. "It was nothing, Kisa-san. Go back to sleep."
"Hmm." Kisa couldn't argue with that. Still holding onto Yukina, he quickly went under as he felt those skillful hands pet him gently.
One month later…
"Look! The Mizuma Art Gallery held another oil painting contest!"
Kisa rubbed at his eyes as he looked up from his storyboards. Two women from another department were gushing over a newspaper. He wasn't into traditional art, but something about this oddly drew his attention. He stood up from his desk and walked over to them. "Did you guys say 'oil painting contest'?" he asked them.
"Kisa-san!" one woman gushed, showing him the article in question. It had it's own page. "Look! The Mizuma Art Gallery always holds contests for artists, but look how old this year's oil painter winner is!"
Kisa stared at the article. What he read caused him to unexpectedly rip the newspaper out of their hands and clutched it in his own.
'87th Annual Mizuma Oil Painting Contest'
'1st Place: The Sleeping Beauty by Yukina Kou'
Kisa screamed, and almost crumbled the newspaper in shock. Y-Y-Yukina won a major art contest? I had no idea he'd even entered!
"K-Kisa-san—" the woman sputtered.
"Can I have this newspaper?" Kisa asked her, clutching it to his chest.
"Arigato!" Kisa rushed back to his seat and smoothed out the article on his desk. Yes, there it was! Yukina's name in clear kanji, naming him in first place!
"Mizuma's Oil Painting Contest ended with many fantastic entries," the article began. "But it was the work of Yukina Kou, student at T University, which captured the top prize.
"Kou, 21, submitted a dazzling painting simple titled 'The Sleeping Beauty'. Despite the generic name, it has garnered quite a few fans with its haunting photorealism and surreal mood…"
Kisa laughed softly, and pressed a hand to his head. He was surprised at the pride he felt for Yukina's achievement. Winning an award like this would give him a load of credence for when he graduated.
And…and seeing his boyfriend succeed at something he loved to do make Kisa so happy.
I'm going to frame this article, he decided. He pulled out his cell phone to send Yukina a text message. "I just heard the news! Congratulations on your win!"
Kisa set his phone on his desk and simply stared down at the article.
"You're in a good mood today, Kisa-san," Ritsu observed, looking up from his storyboards.
Kisa positively smiled at him. "The absolute best mood!"
His phone buzzed, and he quickly snatched it up to read Yukina's message.
"Arigato gozaimasu! That's all anyone's been talking about at my school, so it's been kind of crazy today! It makes me glad I have tonight off!"
"I'll treat you to dinner tonight," Kisa texted back to him, although he felt uneasy to type it. His schedule always became so unpredictable and he often had to break dates with Yukina.
Sure enough, Yukina's response reflected this. "Call me when you get off of work, and we'll work from there."
Kisa smiled. "Got it." No matter what, he was going to get out on time today!
Kisa was hunched over as her stumbled up to his front door. Why…why couldn't things ever work out for him?
A half hour. Just a half-hour before he was suppose to get out of work he was railroaded with a ton of paperwork. Paperwork that kept him three hours over the clock! His plans…his precious celebration plans with Yukina had been ruined!
But Yukina had been more of an optimist. When Kisa called him after work, Yukina cheerfully declared he would meet him at Kisa's apartment. Thankfully Kisa had already given him a key, so Yukina would be able to let himself in. All Kisa had to do was pick up some takeout from a restaurant up the street from his apartment, and then have the celebration with Yukina at home.
Only…only he was so tired. Why did things have to be so difficult? He thankfully had a day off the following day, but Yukina didn't…
Before he could reach for the door handle, Kisa's front door swung open. It took him off-guard and he almost fell over.
"Kisa-san!" Yukina was positively smiling at him. "Welcome home! Here, let me get those for you!" he took the takeout from Kisa. "Wow, Chinese! Arigato, Kisa-san!"
"Y-You're welcome," Kisa stammered. He crossed the threshold as Yukina took the food into his dining room. As he shrugged off his coat and pulled off his shoes, it occurred to him that he felt like a guest within his own house. Maybe it was because Yukina had answered the door, and was taking care of things for him.
"This is wonderful!" Yukina said as he laid out each of their dinners. On the far corner of the dining room table laid World's Greatest First Love by Akikawa Yayoi. "Arigato, Kisa-san!" he swept Kisa into his arms and kissed him deeply.
Exhaustion fled Kisa in an instant. His fingers dug into Yukina's forearms as he returned the kiss eagerly. He was stretching right on the tips of his toes, but he didn't care. He couldn't hide back a groan as Yukina's tongue possessed his mouth.
Yukina drew back slowly, and his smile had a more sensual tone to it. "Something to save for later?"
Kisa flushed at his bluntness and pulled free. "I-I wasn't sure what you liked, so I got us both the same thing."
"No, it's perfect!" Yukina took a seat at the table. "I've been congratulated by so many people today, but to have your congratulations, and for you to go to this much trouble to celebrate, it really makes me so happy!"
"I'm really sorry about canceling our plans," Kisa said softly, taking a seat across from Yukina. It was a mantra he was use to, but the pain wasn't any less each time. "I really wanted to do more for you—"
"Kisa-san." Yukina leaned his elbows on the table and smiled at him. "This is enough, really. Work is important to you, and you went out of your way to treat me to dinner. I couldn't ask for anything more."
His sincerity touched Kisa deeply. He was able to manage his own smile. "Good. And congratulations on winning that contest. I hadn't realized you entered one."
"I enter so many of them though that I lose track," Yukina said, waving a hand. "This one is always so tough, so I thought I didn't even have a chance."
"Did you win any prizes, or something?"
"Not really, just recognition. Which will help me considerably when I graduate."
"Ah…" Since the Mizuma gallery was so renown, having a win by them would do wonders for Yukina's resume. Kisa began eating, while his eyes caught World's Greatest First Love once more. "Were you reading that?"
Yukina shrugged. "I prefer manga over written books, but I thought it looked intriguing. I really like the characters."
"Me too," Kisa agreed. "I don't know if it will be as big as Pure Love Romantica, but Akikawa-sensei knows how to tell a story." He laughed softly. "I almost feel like I know those characters."
"Hmm." Yukina took a sip of tea and smiled at Kisa. "That sounds just like you, Kisa-san."
Kisa jumped a little in his seat, but Yukina's smile didn't waver. He realized how good it felt to be sitting here with Yukina like this, discussing mutual interests. He wanted to give as much as he could into this relationship, and thankfully he had a lover who reciprocated the desire.
Yukina arched back slightly, bracing his hands on the bed. His eyes were closed and he was groaning very quietly. "Kisa-san…"
Kisa knelt between Yukina's legs, his mouth moving over Yukina's erection. He kissed and nipped gently at the tip, eliciting a strangled noise from Yukina before swallowing him whole once more.
"Ah…" Yukina reached down and gently rubbed his hand through Kisa's hair, encouraging him. "Mmm…Kisa-san…"
He was close. Kisa moved his mouth faster, feeling the heat building. He rubbed his thumb up and down Yukina's scrotum, and his slid a hand up Yukina's slick abdomen. He shivered involuntarily from the caress, as Kisa's fingers found a nipple and pinched hard.
"AH!" Yukina bucked, and his body shook from the force of his orgasm. Kisa squeezed his mouth around him and fondled his scrotum, wanting to prolong this for Yukina for as long as possible.
Yukina fell back against the bed, a hand draped across his forehead. Kisa sat up and climbed over him, wiping his mouth. "Hand that to me."
Yukina looked at him in confusion. "B-But don't you want me to do you too?"
Kisa smiled. "I'm spoiling you tonight, remember?"
Yukina caught his breath and smiled slightly. "If that's what you want…"
With Kisa sitting on him, Yukina reached for the side table and pulled a small tube of lubricant out. He handed it to Kisa, who coaxed him to lie back down. Kisa knelt over him as he prepared himself.
"Ah!" Kisa's body jolted as Yukina's hand grasped his penis and began pumping him quickly in his fist. "Haa…" Kisa ducked his head from the sudden wonderful sensation. "W-Wait…"
"I don't mind if you spoil me," Yukina said, leaning up to kiss his collarbone. "But I like spoiling you too."
Kisa wanted to thrust into the hand until he found his release, but he forced himself under control. Satisfied that he was prepared, he smeared the lube onto Yukina and eased back. One of Yukina's hands held his hips, helping to guide him at the right angle, though his hand continued to stroke Kisa.
Kisa rotated his hips and pushed down on Yukina. He gasped as he felt the deep penetration into his body. Groaning throatily, Kisa braced his hands onto Yukina's chest as he eased all the way back into Yukina's groin, taking all of him completely.
Yukina groaned underneath him, and pressed a hand to his own face. "You're so tight, Kisa-san…"
Kisa smiled thinly, and leaned down to kiss Yukina on the mouth. Yukina accepted the kiss eagerly, even as his hands slid over Kisa's hips, his fingers squeezing into his flesh.
Kisa sat back up and began quickly riding him, slamming his butt down into Yukina's groin hard. Yukina's hands held on tightly to his hips, and his head lifted as his expression twisted in pleasure. "Ahhh…K-Kisa-san…"
Hearing the noises he made, and seeing how much Yukina enjoyed it stirred many things inside of Kisa. He rubbed Yukina's nipples between his fingers as moved faster, focusing fully on bringing intense pleasure to his lover. Yukina arched his head back, groaning loudly as his own hips snapped up sharply, meeting Kisa each time. He unhooked a hand from Kisa's hips and grabbed Kisa once more.
"Ah!" Kisa looked down at Yukina, and paused briefly. "You don't—"
"I do," Yukina insisted throatily. "And I will." He pumped Kisa again, as his hips continued to move upwards.
"AH!" Kisa arched his back as pleasure ricocheted through his body. He'd wanted to give everything to Yukina, to spoil and congratulate him, but Yukina wouldn't let it happen. Yukina wanted to take care of him just as much, even though Kisa took the lead this time.
Kisa fell against him as the shivers of his own release began to subside. Yukina thrust against him two more times before he tensed and climaxed again. They were both a mess, but the feeling of the afterglow was so profound…neither wanted to move away.
Yukina stroked Kisa face and gently kissed his mouth. "I love you, Kisa-san."
"Me too." Kisa curled up at his side. It didn't matter that their schedules were so drastically different. When they came together like this, it made everything so worth it.
Kisa had wanted to spoil Yukina a little because of his win. He'd gotten out of work too late for a proper date, but he still wanted to treat Yukina regardless.
So he didn't expect to wake up the next morning with Yukina already awake, and breakfast ready.
"A-Arigato," Kisa stammered, slowly taking a seat. "But don't you have an early shift? I could've made breakfast."
"It's your day off," Yukina said, smiling as he kissed Kisa on the head. "You're supposed to relax on days off."
"But I still could've made breakfast," Kisa protested. "You have to work, and I wanted to treat you."
Yukina was still smiling as he took his seat. "Being with you is treat enough, Kisa-san."
Was it really so simple for a man to express his feelings in such a way? Kisa didn't know if he should be flattered or embarrassed. Instead of answering, he dug into his food.
"Will you see my exhibit today?" Yukina asked him.
"Absolutely," Kisa said. "There weren't any pictures in the newspaper of your painting, but it's called 'Sleeping Beauty', right? What's the subject?"
"Hmm." Yukina drank some of his tea before he answered. "The most beautiful thing in the world."
That sounded a little too vague to Kisa, but he laughed. "I look forward to seeing it."
"If the painting pleases you, then that means more to me than the award."
Kisa was struck speechless by Yukina's words, and he swallowed thickly. "O-Of course I'm going to like it. Why wouldn't I?"
"Don't like it because I made it," Yukina said lightly. "Like it because it stirs something inside you."
Kisa nodded stiffly. "I'll definitely keep that in mind."
"Also…" Yukina reached for something at the end of the table. "I was wondering if I could borrow this?" he showed Kisa the volume of World's Greatest First Love.
Kisa laughed and waved a hand. "By all means, help yourself! It's technically not mine anyways. It was given to a coworker of mine, but he makes such a huge fuss over BL books! I don't really have to buy any anymore because he keeps giving me copies he keeps receiving!"
"But I'll take good care of it." Yukina set the book back down. "Akikawa-sensei is a terrific writer, but I like the artwork in the books. It's really strange, but I feel like I know Ritsu from somewhere."
Kisa shrugged. "That's just part of his storytelling, I suppose, to connect with the reader. Ritsu and Masamune both feel very familiar to me, too."
The Mizuma Art Gallery was as amazing as Kisa expected, and it was crowded with people wanting to see the paintings that placed high in the contest. Some of the artwork on display looked odd to him, but he simply shrugged it off. Modern art was always so eclectic, after all.
"—Winner is so young!"
"But you can see his talent!"
"—Want to see more of his work!"
Hearing the other patrons talking about Yukina like this caused a surge of pride within Kisa. If this many people were excited about his winning painting, then he definitely had amazing prospects ahead of him!
Now, if only I could get closer…Kisa cursed his short height, and the large grouping of people around the contest paintings. He wanted to enjoy Yukina's artwork!
It took him nearly ten minutes to get up close to the paintings. The second and third placed paintings looked amazing, but Yukina's was front and center, with spotlights on it and a large sign identifying it. Kisa took in the painting…
He blinked once. Then twice. Suddenly, his throat went extremely dry. "What…" he couldn't stop himself from speaking out loud. "What is this?"
Kisa's own face stared back at him. His own sleeping face. It was a full body view of Kisa himself in bed, curled up underneath his blankets. Kisa felt heat on his face when he saw the outline of his body beneath the covers. It was blatant that he was naked under the covers!
And his face…his lips were parted, and he looked so peaceful…so vulnerable. He could even see bags underneath his eyes! Kisa could've sworn he was looking at a photograph of himself!
Kisa self-consciously took a step back, and he trembled. Perfect strangers were seeing him in such a way that he never intended to broadcast to people! But Yukina did this? He used Kisa as an unknowing model for a painting contest?
"Hey." The woman to Kisa's right smiled at him. "The subject looks a lot like you!"
Kisa took off running, feeling scandalized. Maybe his paranoia was kicking into high-gear, but all of a sudden it felt like everyone was staring at him! Just like they were staring at a painting of him!
He ran for five blocks before he was satisfied that nobody would compare him to the painting. "Oh, my God…" Kisa pressed a hand to his face, trying to catch his breath. "Yukina painted me? Now everyone has seen…"
All of a sudden, Kisa was angry. He yanked his phone out and punched in Yukina's number. Yukina would be at work, but he didn't give a damn. He wanted answers!
To his surprise, Yukina picked up on the second ring. "Kisa-san, good timing! I just went on break—"
"Who the hell do you think you are?" Kisa snapped, cutting Yukina off.
"W-What?" Yukina sounded confused…and offended. "What do you mean?"
"Your winning painting is a naked picture of me!" Kisa nearly shouted into the phone.
"Oh, you're not naked. At least, the blankets are covering—"
"You used me for the subject in some idiotic contest!" Kisa interrupted. "That explains why I've been waking up to the light being on in my room, right? You've been sketching me while I sleep! Without my permission!"
"Kisa-san." Yukina was trying to plead with him. "I didn't draw you for the express purpose of this contest. I've always been drawing you. It's just that when this contest was announced I—"
"You've ALWAYS been drawing me?" Kisa shouted. "How many other contests have you entered with these sketches of me?"
"Kisa-san, please calm down! This is the only one! I—"
"Don't tell me to calm down, Yukina! Not when you used me as a model! Not when ALL OF TOKYO sees me curled up naked in bed!"
"No, I don't want to hear your excuses!" Kisa's throat was burning from shouting, but the aching in his chest hurt even more. "Don't call me or come to my apartment! If I see you, I might hurt you!"
Kisa hung up on him. He hung a hand through his hair and sighed shakily. He felt humiliated and hurt. How could Yukina just go ahead and do this? Did he think Kisa would be flattered?
If he wanted me to be some model for him, he could've asked! Kisa slowly sat down on a nearby bench. His throat continued to burn, but tears were building up in his eyes. I wouldn't have minded, especially if I had all my clothes on! He didn't have do this behind my back! I didn't even know he'd entered any contest, and he'd used ME to win it!
Despite his hurt, the pain in Kisa's chest increased when he snapped at Yukina. As bad as seeing himself in an exhibit, he hated yelling at Yukina much more. Especially when the younger man didn't understand why he was so angry. How could this day get any worse?
His cell phone rang. Irritated, he flipped it open. "I don't want to talk to you, Yukina!"
"Kisa, we have a problem."
"T-TAKANO-SAN!" Kisa shouted, immediately snapping to attention. His face turned red from embarrassment as he stood up. "P-Pardon me! What's the problem?"
"I know it's your day off, but one of the assholes from printing lost three of Yamada-sensei's storyboards."
Kisa felt a horrible chill overtake his body. "…What do you mean lost?"
"Lost, and in was reading them in an elevator instead of leaving them in the envelope like he should have. Elevator door opens, he walks into someone, and three storyboards fall through the cracks in the elevator door."
…Kisa hated to be proven wrong.
"Call me when you get off work."
Kisa sighed, and closed his phone. He was doing it again. When the going got tough, he shut Yukina off. He wondered why the younger man wasn't tired of it already.
But…he couldn't help it. He was upset, and he couldn't let something like this go.
Two days had passed since he argued with Yukina over the phone over 'Sleeping Beauty'. Because the Mizuma Gallery was so renowned in Tokyo, lots of people continued to converge on it to see the paintings from the contest.
And Kisa knew he wasn't being paranoid when he saw people look twice at him. How could they help it? Yukina has painted a photorealistic image of Kisa for all of Tokyo to see! He couldn't help but be embarrassed! What if someone from work saw that painting and recognized him?
Kisa flinched as a pair of women walked by the Emerald Department. He kept hearing a scatter of conversations around Marukawa about Yukina and his painting. A lot of the artists were really impressed…if it kept up, one of the departments would probably try to head-hunt Yukina to be an artist. The notion pleased Kisa…as much as it frustrated him.
Kisa nearly jumped out of his seat at this voice and spun around. "H-Hai, Takano-san?"
"Did you contact Yamada-sensei about redoing her lost storyboards?" Takano asked, taking a sip of coffee.
"She's almost there," Kisa said, flinching slightly. "She was extremely angry with me that she had to redo those storyboards on such short notice."
Takano shrugged. "Well the printers have promised to stay off our asses for the next month because of their screw-up, so some good came out of this." he suddenly turned and set the coffee down beside Ritsu. "Here."
Ritsu gaped at the cup and then at Takano. "D-D-Didn't you just DRINK out of that? Why would I want it?"
"It's still hot," Takano said blandly.
"But you drank it!" Ritsu snapped, jumping out of his seat.
Takano smirked and turned to walk towards his desk. "How childish to be worrying about an indirect kiss."
Kisa felt his interest immediately pique, especially when Ritsu's face turned red and purple. "Ricchan!" he cried out, jumping out of his seat. "You've kissed Takano-san?"
Ritsu sputtered as women from various departments shrieked and ran over to Ritsu, shouting questions at him excitedly.
"You've kissed Takano-san?"
"What's his kiss like?"
"What does it taste like?"
"What's his skill level?"
"I'M GOING TO QUIT!" Ritsu screamed, unable to break free of the women tugging on his arms.
Kisa laughed as he retook his seat. Hearing vague details and Ritsu and Takano's relationship was always so much fun. And…it had helped to distract him for a little while.
Kisa rubbed at his eyes as he climbed the steps of his apartment. "Almost there…"
He hadn't called Yukina back, and that bothered him. He didn't want to be arguing with his boyfriend. After two days of not talking, Kisa wanted to talk with him and sort this mess out. Was it so hard to expect Yukina to have a little common sense?
I'll call him tomorrow, Kisa decided, rounding the corner to his apartment door. Then we can—
Kisa nearly jumped out of his skin when he saw Yukina sitting in front of his apartment door. The younger man had a tense look on his face. "I'm not leaving until I talk to you," Yukina said.
Kisa scoffed, and walked past him. "Why not just let yourself in?"
"You're angry with me. It wouldn't be appropriate to go into your apartment without you being there when you're angry with me." Yukina grabbed his arm. "Please hear me out, Kisa-san."
This was what Kisa wanted, but he wasn't emotionally prepared for it. He was expecting to be able to call Yukina tomorrow, not right this minute. "I'm exhausted," Kisa said, fiddling with his keys. "I just want to go to bed."
"Then I'll be brief," Yukina said hotly. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you I made you the subject of my painting."
"Hmm." Kisa found his house key and unlocked the front door.
"But I'm not going to apologize for the painting."
Kisa gaped at him. "What?"
"I didn't paint it looking to become famous," Yukina said, tightening his grip on Kisa's arm. "Why do you think I call it 'Sleeping Beauty'? I told you I painted the most beautiful thing in the world to me, right?" He leaned in closer, his eyes narrowing. "That's you, Kisa-san. You're the most beautiful thing in this world to me."
Kisa flushed, and momentarily forgot his anger. "Uh—"
Yukina's cell phone went off. He yanked it out with his free hand, and visibly started when he saw his caller-I.D. "I'm sorry, Kisa-san, can you give me a minute?" He quickly answered his phone. "Hai, it's Yukina Kou."
Yukina let go of Kisa's arm. Kisa took the opportunity to open his front door. It irritated him that Yukina came all the way here to prove a point, and then to cut off the conversation because of some phone call!
I'm such a child, Kisa realized, utterly disgusted with himself.
Yukina grabbed Kisa's front door, making sure it didn't close on him. "Hai, I said I would give it some thought." He paused. "No, to be honest I don't know what I would do…"
Kisa noted that Yukina was using very formal speech, and didn't want to interrupt such an important conversation to snap at him to let go of his front door. Shaking his head, he left Yukina as is and simply walked into his apartment.
Yukina quickly followed. "So, the subject doesn't matter? …No, the money doesn't matter to me, really. I appreciate the offer, but I need more time. Hai, arigato." He hung up his cell phone.
"Who was that?" Kisa asked, unable to help himself.
Yukina shrugged. "An editor from Meta Jump. They want me to do an insert page."
"M-Meta Jump?" Kisa shouted. He ran back to Yukina and grabbed the lapels of his coat. "That's the biggest Shounen magazine in Japan!"
"I know," Yukina said, his tone neutral. "And they want me to do a one-page color insert. They don't care what the subject is."
"Yukina!" Kisa shook his lapels. "Don't you realize what this means? An editor from a very popular magazine is headhunting you in the middle of the night! Beyond work hours! You can't pass this up!"
Yukina suddenly looked crestfallen. "But I don't like Shounen manga."
"What does that matter? This will look amazing on your resume when you graduate!"
Yukina shrugged again. "It's only the fifth manga publisher to call me—"
"Fifth? And you haven't accepted any offers?"
"It's a lot to take in," Yukina said defensively.
Kisa then remembered that they were still in the middle of an argument. He slowly let Yukina go. "About the painting…"
"Hai," Yukina said, looking relieved to be returning to this subject. "I really mean it when I say you're beautiful to me, Kisa-san."
"I'm not beautiful!" Kisa demanded. "I'm a man!"
"You are beautiful! And not just in your face and body, either!" Yukina grabbed his shoulders. "You're mature and you work so hard! And you try, with every fiber in your body, to make time for me, no matter how tough your schedule is! And I love you!" Yukina leaned in closed. "I love you so much, Kisa-san! I have sketchbooks full of pictures of you! Being with you brings me so much joy, and I love conveying that in a drawing!
"And…" He ducked his head. "When I can't be with you, even through a long period of time, it makes me miss you so much that I can't stand it! But I don't want to burden you with my problems, especially when you work yourself so hard that you can't even carry yourself to bed! The sketches…when I see your face, even if it's on paper, it gives me strength. That's why your painting looks so realistic. Because I draw you so realistically! How else would I want to draw the man I love?"
Kisa swallowed thickly. He always envied Yukina because he could pour all of his emotions out so easily. But now…now he could hear real pain in Yukina's voice. It didn't occur to Yukina that Kisa would be bothered by the painting, because Yukina cherished the subject so much.
It was like…the painting itself was a symbol of all of Yukina's feelings for Kisa.
Kisa reached up, and ruffled a hand through Yukina's hair. The anger and humiliation inside of him was fading. He could never stay mad at Yukina for very long, especially not now. "Do you have a sketchbook with you?" he asked quietly.
Yukina looked up. He wasn't crying, but his eyes were shining brighter than usual. "Eh?"
"I want to see your drawings of me," Kisa clarified. "I want to see what you're talking about."
Yukina slowly smiled at him. "Okay…"
They went into Kisa's bedroom and sat on the bed. Yukina pulled a sketchbook out and handed it to Kisa. "Here you go."
"Where do the sketches of me start?" Kisa asked, turning the sketchbook so he saw the cover page.
Yukina laughed lightly. "The beginning."
Kisa glanced at him warily, but flipped it open.
He face was sketched onto nearly every page. Kisa flushed as he saw himself, various situations with various facial expressions. Yukina had mostly drawn him while he was asleep, but there were other moments too that indicated Yukina had sketched him when Kisa wasn't paying attention. There was a sketch of him thumbing through storyboards. A sketch of him eating rice. A sketch of him staring off into space. A sketch of him reading a manga.
"T-There's so many," Kisa stammered. He looked at Yukina out of the corner of his eye. "Do I interest you that much?"
Yukina shrugged. "There are three others like this at my apartment."
"T-THREE?" Kisa shouted, nearly dropping the sketchbook. "Three other sketchbooks full of drawings of me?"
Yukina reached out and cupped his cheek. "It's like I said. You're the most beautiful thing to me, and these sketches keep me company when I'm not near you."
Kisa flushed at the implication of his words. "Uh…"
Yukina blinked with realization. "A-Ah, not like that, Kisa-san!" he took the sketchbook from Kisa. "I wouldn't do something like that with drawings of you. Not when the real thing is so much better."
Kisa leaned in as Yukina's arms closed around his shoulders and accepted the kiss. Yes…it was really so hard to stay mad at Yukina when he was so honest about his feelings.
As for 'Sleeping Beauty', it still made Kisa uncomfortable. But Yukina had painted it not for recognition, but because he loved Kisa so much.
"Y-You did what?" Kisa gasped.
"Here!" Yukina laughed as he handed the thin book to Kisa. "I've had so many people call me about becoming a Mangaka or drawing for manga magazines, that I decided to try drawing and publishing a doujinshi to see how it worked! It was hard, but it's only 20 pages long!"
Kisa gaped at the glossy cover, which looked absolutely beautiful. He quickly flipped through the pages. "D-Don't tell me this is…?"
"I thought about doing one based on one of Kihara Natsu's works," Yukina explained cheerfully. "But then I decided to do your favorite BL book!"
"So you drew World's Greatest First Love?" Kisa asked. He idly flipped to a page and saw Masamune and Ritsu kissing deeply. "Arigato, but I do like Pure Love Romantica as well."
"Hai, and there's almost thirty volumes for it," Yukina said, motioning to said volumes on Kisa's nearby bookshelf. "But World's Greatest First Love is picking up steam too, and I think it deserves attention."
"Arigato gozaimasu." Kisa kissed Yukina on the cheek. "I have to get to work now, but I'll definitely read it by the end of the day!"
"Take your time," Yukina said, pulling him in for a deeper kiss. When they parted, he smiled at Kisa. "That copy is yours. The publisher is going to print 60 copies and sell them for 700 yen, so we'll just see how it goes."
Kisa nodded. "I know it's going to sell well."
Yamada-sensei's storyboards were sent to the printers at 9 am, and Kisa had no new storyboards to look at for the day. It was a rare occurrence, but he had some free time.
I'd better not let it go to waste! Kisa reached into his bag and pulled out Yukina's doujinshi. He was able to admire some parts of his artwork before, but now he wanted to see everything Yukina offered, and how he told a story.
Five minutes later, Kisa's jaw was still hanging open.
"…Wow," he breathed, slowly turning the page. The doujinshi was only 20 pages long, but he couldn't stop gawking. "Yukina made this exactly how I imagined it…"
Ritsu was sipping a can of coffee as he unloaded storyboards onto his desktop and looked at Kisa. "What are you reading, Kisa-san?"
Kisa smiled and showed Ritsu the cover. "Yukina Kou drew this for me."
Recognition flickered in Ritsu's eyes before he looked at the cover. "Isn't that the person who—WAUGH!" Ritsu almost fell over in shock. "W-W-What the HELL is THAT?"
Kisa blinked at Ritsu's reaction. "A doujinshi about World's Greatest First Love."
Ritsu's face turned gray before it quickly turned red. "A-A-A-A doujinshi? A DOUJINSHI? ARE YOU SERIOUS?"
"The art style is amazing, though!" Kisa opened it to a random page and showed it to Ritsu. "Look at the amount of detail that's in this frame! Isn't it fantastic?"
"Why are you showing me a sex scene?" Ritsu hollered. He struggled to his feet. "Please, just keep it away from me!"
Kisa stared at him for a moment before he shook his head. "You're so weird, Ricchan."
"Onodera!" Takano whacked him on the head with a rolled up packet. "Stop screaming! Your behavior is embarrassing this department!"
"Takano-san!" Ritsu ripped the doujinshi out of Kisa's hands and showed it to Takano. "Look at this! It's a doujinshi about that damned book!"
Takano paused, and looked very closely at the cover. He took the doujinshi and idly flipped it open.
After a moment he said, "Masamune's too tall."
Ritsu stammered, his eyes growing wide. "T-That's ALL you have to say?"
"Otherwise, it's amazing art and amazing storytelling," Takano continued as though Ritsu hadn't spoken. He looked at Kisa. "Who drew this?"
"Yukina Kou," Kisa said proudly. "The person who won the Oil Painting Contest hosted by Mizuma."
"Hmm." Takano handed it back to Kisa. "He does good work." He walked to his desk.
Kisa sighed quietly, and hugged the doujinshi to his chest. Takano was impressed! That meant so many other potential clients and/or bosses would be impressed! You did wonderfully, Yukina!
"GOOD WORK?" Ritsu hollered, storming after him. "HOW can you say that doujinshi is good work when you think about the SUBJECT? There's a GRAPHIC SEX SCENE in it!"
"There are graphic sex scenes in the novels," Takano pointed out blandly.
"But you can actually SEE IT NOW! UGH!" Ritsu scrubbed a hand over his face. "How can you be so calm? What if my father ever finds out about it?"
Takano smirked. "Why should he care, Onodera?"
Ritsu froze, as if realizing what he said. "UH-UM…"
"Wow, so much energy! I'm envious!"
Everyone snapped to attention as Isaka cheerfully strolled into the department, hands on his hips. "What has you so worked up, Onodera-kun?"
Ritsu's face turned even brighter red, if that was possible. "Ah…"
Kisa saw a prime opportunity and stood up. "Ricchan was just a little upset about this." He handed the doujinshi to Isaka.
"NO, DON'T SHOW HIM THAT!" Ritsu wailed.
"Wow, this is amazing artwork!" Isaka gushed, quickly flipping through the pages. "Do you mind if I hang onto this, Kisa-kun? I would love to show this to Akikawa-sensei!"
Kisa flinched slightly and rubbed a hand through his hair. "A-Ah…you see, Yukina Kou gave that to me personally, so…"
Isaka looked up. "Yukina Kou? Didn't he win some art contest?"
"Mizuma Art Gallery's Oil Painting Contest," Kisa clarified. "And he works at that bookstore that sells all of our manga. B-But I believe this doujinshi will be for sale online soon for 700 yen."
"Hmm…" Isaka smiled wickedly and closed the doujinshi shut. "So you know Yukina Kou personally?"
"Ah…" Kisa flushed, and quickly tried to cover his tracks. "His painting was interesting, so I-I've spoken with him about it."
"I see." Isaka handed the doujinshi back to Kisa and reached into his pocket. "Here. Give this to Yukina the next time you see him." He pressed his business card into Kisa's hands. "Tell him to call me when he graduates from college."
"R-Right!" Kisa stammered. His fingers curled around the card as joy flooded his body. Marukawa Publishing wanted to headhunt Yukina! And Isaka himself requested him!
Yukina will be excited to hear this! Kisa thought.
"Ah, before I forget!" Isaka turned around and smiled at Ritsu. "Onodera-kun, I was meaning to ask you something. Are you in contact with Akikawa-sensei a lot?"
Ritsu quickly shook his head. "N-Not at all!"
"Oh, really? Because I've read World's Greatest First Love, and you look an AWFUL lot like Ritsu!"
Ritsu screamed in horror as Isaka cheerfully skipped out of the department. Kisa sat down, still staring at the card as the women in the department converged once more on Ritsu. "It's a coincidence! IT'S A COINCIDENCE!"
Kisa sighed, and placed the business card inside the doujinshi. Yukina was a painter, not a Mangaka, so he wasn't certain how his boyfriend would take to being headhunted specifically by Isaka Ryuichiro. But if they could work at the same company…and even if Kisa could be his editor…
If that were to happen, our schedules wouldn't be so drastically different. He would be under so much stress; stress I might not want him to experience. But we'd be working for the same employer, and we would be able to at least be together more than more.
Kisa sighed. If the world was perfect, then these arrangements could be made. It was all in Yukina's hands…and he definitely had the potential for it.
Thanks for reading!