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25 January 2017 @ 06:29 pm
[Fanfiction] My fair Model (Part 5/8)  
Title: My fair Model
Type: Series
Year: 2016
Fandom: Arashi, a few other Johnnies as well as japanese actresses guesting
Pairing: Sakumiya, Junba (side)
Genre: slice of life, romance, a bit comedy and a tiny little bit drama
Rating/Warning: PG 13 - NC-17

Jun and Nino are friends, but more than that - rivals. When their boss, owner of a prestige photo studio, is about to choose his successor, the two of them have to compete for the position. To make things even more difficult for Nino, Jun boldly suggests a bet according to which they have to pimp up a random stranger to become their perfect photo model. Suddenly, shy office worker Sho finds himself in the middle of this competition, his life turned upside down...

Author’s note:
Written on request by my lovely beta Juju (jtaytt) with the keyword "blossom" (who can find it? :D) for my Spring ficlet challenge 2016 and the wish for something based on "My Fair Lady". Thanks for betaing this for me!

Back to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

My Fair Model Banner2.jpg

My fair Model - Part 5

Tackey really liked Jun and Nino's results from the outdoor shootings. No. He love them.

With a slightly increased heartbeat and a bit of pride swelling in his chest, Nino handed in his favourite pictures at the next meeting which had been scheduled on Friday morning. Jun looked a bit more stressed than Nino, but his pictures looked great. It seemed like he went on a fishing trip together with Ohno (and Aiba) since this was apparently the painter's favourite thing besides painting, and Jun bragged about how skilled the other was while fishing, how chilled and relaxed and how beautiful the weather had been on that boat and whatnot...

If he tried to make Nino jealous, it didn't work. It wasn't only because Nino usually wasn't the jealous type, but this time it was also because Nino didn't care about fishing trips or boats at all. In fact, he hated boats. Too much unpredictable strange movement that made his stomach feel sick, a too salty and fishy smell all around and he didn't even want to think about the sun high in the sky and the potential heatstroke that might come from it.

He jokingly asked Jun if he got heatstroke, since this would possibly explain his snotty attitude, but Jun ignored him. Anyway, the play of the light on the water, the sun on the relaxed face of Ohno or the surprising enthusiasm on his face when he caught a fish, all that, Jun had caught with his camera perfectly, as expected from a photographer with his talent, and Nino couldn't help but accept and admire that.

He himself didn't talk much about the shooting in the park. Aiba had probably told Jun some things anyway, since Aiba tended to talk about everything and anything with Jun. Nino instead was definitely the type who preferred to cherish his memories by himself. And that evening was truly a memory worth cherishing (except of the memory of Sakurai's failed onigiri, probably, that was truly horrible and Nino hoped to forget about it soon). This time, he definitely didn't have to throw as much pictures into his virtual bin, therefore, this time it was much harder to decide which were the best shots and to limit the number in order not to submit too many to the challenge.

Nino even sent one of the pictures to Sakurai via LINE in advance on the day after the shooting. Sakurai had texted him back enthusiastically, repeating over and over his surprise on how good he looked in that picture (it was the one with him reading a book while crumbling around with a cookie, the one that Nino liked so much) and enforcing how impressed he was by the photographer's skills to capture him like that. Nobody had ever captured him in such a good way, according to Sakurai. Apparently, he even questioned for a minute if the guy in the picture was really him.

Nino had laughed at that comment, his heart feeling warm, and then he sent another picture to Sakurai with the sarcastic comment "Don't get too carried away, supermodel Sakurai Sho". It was one of the pictures he had sorted out but kept for himself – with Sakurai making a very silly face when he got "attacked" by the dog. Nino thought, it was hilarious. Sakurai sent back a laughing LINE sticker, changed his contact picture from a cat pic (Sakurai's cat?) to the first photo Nino sent him (of course he asked for permission to use it) and the photographer went to bed with a smile on his face.

- + -

The young man found himself thinking a lot on the following weekend, his thoughts revolving around Sakurai, Sakurai, and Sakurai again. He wasn't used to think about one specific person that much, especially not someone that he met – how often? - only three times (OK, four if you count that one time in the elevator) but he couldn't do anything about it. Not even gaming distracted him enough to keep his thoughts from that man and Nino seriously wondered why. Had he focused too much on this stupid challenge with Jun?

Still, he refused to believe that. He still didn't feel the wish to win over Jun (well, maybe just a little bit but more to make the other jealous than to win the position of Tacky's successor). So why the hell didn't Sakurai leave his thought?

Nino probably shouldn't shut himself in and spend all the time just with his houseplants and his thoughts, he assumed, because he felt like they were driving him crazy. He talked a lot more to his refrigerator, his electric kettle and his TV screen than usual and while watering his plants and flowers on Sunday morning, he found himself telling them the whole story of how he met that idiotically clumsy and shy business man who became his model due to Jun's brilliant idea.

He also told them about how surprisingly fast and how much that idiot had improved during the last shooting and how incredibly beautiful his smile was but all of that didn't mean anything at all, of course. He was a photographer, someone with a creative job, he had an eye for beautiful things, that's probably all behind it.

He didn't need to feel ashamed to think that Sakurai was attractive or that he had a really nice natural smile, right? He often found people attractive during a shooting, even if… it was a first in a very long time that he became so nervous about it and the more he met Sakurai, the worse it became. Nino even joked about how Sakurai's nervousness seemed to magically swap with his own confidence and suspected a curse or a bad joke of destiny behind it. No, Nino wasn't the superstitious type but what else could it be? He was not falling in love with that man, definitely not!


Wanda – Nino's water lily – of course, didn't answer.

Nino sighed deeply. He knew that most people found it a silly habit, but he liked talking to his things and plants. It kind of... relaxed him. Others might talk to friends, others might write into a diary, Nino told his home his stories. At least, he felt a little bit less awkward this way, comparing to his teenage days when he used to talk to himself instead. That would have been creepy, at times, so he had searched for an alternative. Talking to things might still not be the norm, but it made him feel better, so he didn't care.

The good thing about talking to things or plants was that they listened to him without talking back. They just swallowed Nino's sometimes surprisingly overflowing feelings and information without interrupting him, without judging him and without giving him any shallow tips or teasing comments, like his friends would do.

The bad thing about talking to things or plants was that they didn't give him any tips or even teasing comments, or a warm embarrassing hug, telling him that everything would be OK and that he didn't need to worry.

Sometimes, probably, Nino needed that. But he was weak in talking about his feelings to other people. He didn't know why, it just had always been this way and he had learned to live with it, somehow. It was probably the first time since centuries that Nino felt the slightest wish to talk to somebody about the whole thing – maybe Aiba, at least definitely not Jun or Shige – but for now, he didn't.

Nino sighed again and gave Wanda a bit more water.

- + -

The next shooting's topic was something very interesting and challenging, Nino thought. It was "supernatural humanity" and the photo studio's boss requested something creative, refusing to give Jun any hints, no matter how much he demanded it.

"Be creative," Nino wittily said with an arched eyebrow and shrugged shoulders, earning a death glare by his colleague.

To be honest, Nino already had– which he thought - a pretty good idea for the photoshoot, his imagination was running wild. It wouldn't be something too fancy or too supernaturally but he hoped that Tacky would like his idea too. Despite his proud attitude, Jun tried to find out about Nino's idea (because he was convinced that he had one already, seeing the victorious smirk on his face) but of course, the photographer didn't reveal anything.

However, when Jun was gone for his next job, Nino approached Aiba and asked him if he could give him Ohno's cell phone number, which the other promptly did (because Aiba had just about every number people could think of, which was very useful at times) even if he looked at his friend curiously.

A few hours later Nino had coordinated a meeting with Sakurai as well as Ohno on Sunday, noting down the appointment into his calendar. Nino tried hard to ignore his heart jumped a little in excitement at the thought of seeing his model again soon.

No, he wasn't falling in love with that guy, definitely not.

- + -

Despite Nino usually not being the jealous type, he had to admit that on Sunday he came pretty close to what other people would call "jealous", even if he didn't like it. Not at all. He didn't plan to become jealous, of course, and who might have thought that he would even have a reason to experience that shitty feeling?!

Nobody would have known. Nobody could have known how Ohno would mess around with Nino's feelings. The photographer didn't even know if the painter did it on purpose or not. Probably not, Nino didn't think that Ohno was a bad guy or that he was even paying any attention to know about Nino's… feelings for Sakurai (if you could call them feelings even, Nino was still not sure about that). Anyway, that didn't make it better.

What happened? Well, first, nothing happened at all. Nino met with Sakurai and Ohno at the appointed time and place – a quiet backyard of a restaurant he liked (which was still closed at that time but Nino made a deal with the owner) – the location of the next photoshoot.

Unfortunately, Aiba was busy – probably with being on a date with Jun - so Nino couldn't count on his styling miracles, but thankfully, Sakurai this time had nailed Nino's instructions on what kind of outfit he should wear. It was probably not that hard, bearing in mind the occupation of the man. He managed to come along in a nice black suit with a white dress shirt underneath and a crimson red necktie.

Nino smirked victoriously when he spotted the other dressed like that. He wouldn't have much to do but fix his hairstyle a bit, probably, which shouldn't be too big a problem. After all, working together with Aiba for years bore some fruits and even Nino's initially bad styling sense had improved. Further, after three shootings, he knew exactly what kind of styling looked good on Sakurai. He had taken so many pictures of him, he could probably draw his face while sleeping.

"I don't want to be impolite, Ninomiya-san," Sakurai started as he took in the location as well as his own outfit. He looked at the man, confused. "But how does all of this fit into the topic of our shooting? Isn't it supposed to have something to do with fantasy and such?"

Sakurai had to admit he didn't understand immediately what was so special about the location that Nino chose for his shooting. Or why was he basically wearing his working clothes. Admittedly, the backyard was nice, there were a few small tables set on a wooden terrace, a few plants surrounding them and lanterns hanging everywhere. It must look great and probably even romantic in the evening and people sitting here, enjoying their delicious dinner. On the other side of the yard, across the back entrance of the restaurant, there was only a red brick wall. It wasn't completely sure if the wall was constructed that way on purpose for the rustic look or if it was a real wall, left over from a building. It looked kind of vintage and a bit damaged at a few spots, but it was clean.

"You'll see, you'll see," Nino smirked, feeling satisfied.

In fact, the photographer was pretty excited. He couldn't wait to start taking pictures of Sakurai and show them to him. Maybe, this time he could even call him to the photo studio to show him the edited pictures, Nino had planned a few special things for the editing part of this photoshoot. He wanted to see Sakurai's surprise and his smile when he saw the results.

"Ohno-san? If you could be so helpful?" Nino looked at the painter, smiling at him slightly and then pointed at the red brick wall. "Sakurai, come here, please," he then said, waving the man closer.

Surprised, Sakurai stumble a few steps forward until he reached Nino, who put his hands on Sakurai's arms and guided him backwards towards the wall, earning a questioning look.

"Just stand here and wait a bit," Nino then said, pushing the man slightly into the position he wanted him in.

Ohno – who had come along in a loose T-shirt, an old pair of jeans, flat hair and a small box in his hands – had followed the two men and was now standing next to Nino.

The photographer nodded and then started to spread his hand, gesturing something about where he wanted to have the lines, the forms, how tall he imagined them and how detailed everything should be. Ohno nodded shortly after taking in the expectations of the photographer and then opened the small box, pulling out a large, white piece of chalk. He took a step closer towards Sakurai who still didn't understand at all what was going on, and then Ohno set the chalk onto the red brick and started moving his arm, spreading it widely, up, making a thick white line as long as possible for his short arms.

Nino ran backwards and grabbed one of the restaurant's chairs, bringing it to the painter who then stepped on top of it to have a better reach. Sakurai looked at the man's arms movements, not able to decipher what was going on. Ohno stopped and the office worker almost thought, the man was finished, but the painter walked a few steps and started repeating the very same procedure on Sakurai's other side.

The photographer couldn't help but smile when he locked eyes with Sakurai, his look still confused. The photographer nodded slightly, as if he wanted to tell the other that everything was fine and then he turned and pulled something out of his bag – a black stylish hat – that he handed Sakurai.

"Put it on," he told him, gesturing encouragingly, and Sakurai did as he was ordered. "Looks good," Nino added, satisfied. "Ohno-san, have you finished?"

"Almost," the painter said in his usual calm voice and indeed, it didn't take him that long until he pulled back the chalk from the red brick wall, climbed from the chair and went a few steps backwards, standing next to Nino, to examine his work.

"It's perfect," Nino said in a low voice, his arms crossed and his eyes focused on the white chalk drawings embracing Sakurai.

"What... what is it?" the business man asked and he was about to turn back too and take in the sight when he got interrupted by Nino.

"Stop!" the photographer said. "Don't look at it now. First, I want to take a picture."

"But -"

"Let us surprise you," Nino smiled at Sakurai when he finally lifted his camera to his eyes. "Trust me, it's beautiful."

Surprisingly, Sakurai did trust him without asking any further questions, or at least he gave up for now. He followed Nino's instructions on a variety of poses, some simple ones, some a bit more difficult. Sometimes he seemed to feel a bit lost, still moving a bit clumsily but all in all, he wasn't that bad and Nino had a lot of fun. They didn't take that many pictures in the first few positions and soon, Nino sent Ohno away, who – as Sakurai could only see from the corner of his eye – walked to another part of the brick wall and started drawing something else, something that the man couldn't make out from this angle. Nino scolded his model a bit for being so unfocused and took another picture.

The photographer smiled unintentionally when he checked the picture on his camera's screen and then looked at Sakurai.

"Do you want to take a look?" he offered and the man immediately came towards him, smiling broadly.


Nino blushed a little when Sakurai walked around him to face the camera in the same direction like the photographer. Standing a bit to the side and a bit behind the photographer, Sakurai's face almost touched Nino's when the man leaned forward to have a better look. Nino cleared his throat and tried to ignore his heart that was suddenly beating faster, hoping that the other man couldn't hear it. To his defence, Sakurai was a handsome man, he was a bit taller than Nino, he looked stunning in his outfit, his aftershave mixed with his body's scent smelled incredibly nice and the closeness… it had been a while since another man except his work colleagues came so close to Nino, that's all. He tried to breathe properly, which was a bit difficult at the moment, to be honest.

"Here," Nino said in a low voice, quickly enlarging the first picture from the overview on his camera's screen.

The picture was small but the quality of the screen was great and so even details could be spotted easily. The picture showed Sakurai in his black suit, wearing the black hat and standing in front of the red brick wall casually, his hands stuffed into his trousers' pockets and his look slightly to the right side, facing downwards. The afternoon sun that was shining into the backyard, created interesting shadows on the wall, Sakurai's face was hidden in the shadow of the hat's brim and the highlight was Ohno's white chalk drawing surrounding Sakurai's dark silhouette. The white of the drawing was almost glowing, fine and thick baroque lines forming its specific shapes.

"Wings…," Sakurai whispered close to Nino's ear – too close -, "You… you gave me wings!"

Nino's heart was ready to burst from his chest when the young man dared to turn his head slightly, just a little bit, to Sakurai's expression. He swallowed hard when he saw the man's stunned face, his (gorgeous) slightly parted lips, his shining eyes as he watched the impressive chalk drawing. Nino couldn't bear it any longer and took a small step aside, the closeness to Sakurai was killing him. Sakurai didn't notice it, too busy switching his gaze between the picture on Nino's camera screen and the actual chalk drawing on the brick wall across them – a huge pair of drawn wings, princely, majestic, gracious. Sakurai took a deep breath, taking in the situation.

"Ohno-san created a real masterpiece," Nino murmured, rubbing his nose slightly. "He's incredible."

"You are both incredible," Sakurai replied, pointing at the picture enthusiastically. "I mean… you turned me into an angel!"

Sakurai's smile was indeed the one of an angel, at least to Nino in this very second. He couldn't look at it, he felt blinded, as if he didn't deserve it. He averted his eyes, his heart still beating like crazy.

"When I thought about the topic and you, this was what came to my mind immediately. I'm not sure how creative this really is," the photographer began, "But I think, it suits you."

Sakurai chuckled the cutest chuckle Nino had ever heard, when he looked at him again.

Nino dared to look at Sakurai's smile, feeling like it would burn him, when the man said, "That is probably the cutest thing someone ever told me."

Nino's heart skipped a beat and he would probably have forgotten how to breathe if Ohno didn't pull him out of his thoughts, coming closer and telling Nino that he had finished the second drawing. Sakurai immediately ran towards the spot at which Ohno had been working until now and let out an impressed "Wow!" at the sight of another drawn pair of wings, this time not a frontal view like the last time, but in profile. Also, the wings weren't as majestic and huge as the first pair, but more compact and… yeah… cuter. Sakurai chuckled, pointing at them excitedly.

"Ohno-san, you're a genius!" he complimented the painter who smiled quirkily at the other, nodding thankfully. "Ninomiya-san, let's continue the shooting!"

"Ah, yes, of course!" Nino replied and stumbled a few steps after Sakurai, accompanied by Ohno. He started giving instructions while walking. "So… stand in front of the wall, turn aside so that your right shoulder faces it… alright. Turn your head to the front, chin down, good… take off your hat with your right hand, ah, wait!" Nino came running and reached his hand to Sakurai's slightly messed up hair to fix it. "OK. Now place the hat on your chest and turn slightly towards me – a bit more – and now smile!"


The shot was perfect. It was charming. It was heart-melting and Nino loved it.

They continued with the shooting for a bit longer. Ohno created another two different pairs of wings that Nino and Sakurai set into the right action to create some more marvellous pictures. They completely lost track of time and although the restaurant's owner had first told Nino that he had to leave once the restaurant opened for business around 6 pm, he didn't send them away and let them continue their work since they were so focused and into it.

In fact, the first customers, who arrived at the location and went to take a seat on one of the tables in the backyard, were very pleased and excited at the sight of the photoshoot. When Nino called out to Sakurai that they have finished their last shot, people behind him – that he hadn't noticed at all– applauded and cheered on them, not only making Sakurai but also Nino blush deeply once they realized what was going on.

In the end, when Nino asked the restaurant owner if they should clean the brick wall, the man smiled at him and shook his head, even begged him to leave the drawings there if it was fine with the artist. When they looked at the man wondering, he pointed at a few restaurant customers, some young adults, which had stood up and went to the chalk wings, posing in front of them with huge smiles while others were taking pictures with their cell phones.

Ohno's face was shining when he saw that his creation was able to trigger such big smiles on other people's faces and he immediately gave the owner his assurance that he could leave the drawing as long as he wanted. He even offered his business card in case he wanted him to come over and renew the drawings – being paid next time, of course.

Nino smirked at the painter's cheeky attitude but remembering how broke Ohno must be as he was not yet a big name in the world of arts, he guessed that the man could use any form of promotion and job he could get his hands on.

"What do you think, guys, shall we grab a bite here before we leave?" Nino offered Ohno and Sakurai, pointing at one of the still empty tables. "My treat. To celebrate this successful shooting." And probably to spend a little more time with Sakurai, Nino added in his thoughts.

Sakurai's eyes became big and he nodded excitedly, causing Nino to chuckle. Perhaps, it was the easiest way to make Sakurai happy if you offer him food, the photographer thought amused. Even if he himself was never that much of a gourmet, he had already found out how much fun it was to watch Sakurai eat and enjoy his meals. That man was a real foodie!

"My idea behind the shooting was to portray you as an angel who came to earth to protect people," Nino started explaining, once the three of them were seated, sipping their drinks and waiting for their orders to be served. "But you have to disguise as a normal human being in order not to attract too much attention, and to protect yourself too, so to say."

Sakurai let out a hearty laughter that made Nino feel all warm inside.

"That's such a cool idea, really! So, I'm working as a business man but helping other people… when? At night? Like a superhero?" he sounded amused and excited at the same time. So cute.

"Well," Nino slightly scratched his nose. "You're helping them whenever you can."

"He's a secret angel," Ohno added dreamily, causing the other two men to laugh.

"Yes, you could say so, he hides his wings but his powers are there," Nino explained further. "Thus, the symbolized wings on the brick wall. Yeah… that's basically it…"

Sakurai again repeated how much he loved Nino's idea and how proud and grateful he felt for having been portrayed as an angel by him. He looked at the chalk drawings again which were just in front of him from his position and smiled warmly when he saw a young couple embracing each other, each of them turned so that they had one wing at their backs.

The three men continued chatting for a while, even if Ohno didn't talk much unless he was directly addressed and Sakurai was the one doing the most talking. Nino was even a little surprised, knowing how shy and nervous Sakurai usually was, but it seemed the man had totally let down his guard, or completely opened up to them after the shooting.

The photographer didn’t know if this was thanks to the fact that they knew each other a lot better now than in the beginning - some people were slow to warm up but then they were easy to be with – or if Sakurai indeed had developed more confidence since the first test shooting. He had been great during the supernatural shooting, Nino had to give fewer instructions as the photoshoot progressed and either Sakurai hadn't noticed their audience or he was able to ignore them which would show how much more professional his attitude as a model had become.

"I heard you are a model too in this project, right, Ohno-san?" Sakurai asked the painter when the waiter left the table after serving their meals.

Ohno nodded, his face already stuffed with a huge piece of medium raw steak. Nino was impressed how much of a gourmet the man seemed to be – or probably he just never had a chance to eat steak in a fancy restaurant, that would be more possible…

"What made you join the project?" the business man continued, curiously.

"Matsumoto asked me if I'm interested," Ohno said in between two bites. He reached for his beer, taking a big sip. "I did it for the money."

Sakurai frowned at the painter. "The money?"

"Yeah, because I get paid for posing around a little, following instructions...," the painter said, gesturing with his knife. "It's not that hard of a job I thought and I earn more than sitting on the street all day long trying to sell my art."

Nino bit his lower lip. If Ohno knew how much of a headache he had given Jun so far, he probably wouldn't call this job "not that hard", he thought. Or, he just wouldn't care. Ohno was an interesting person, a bit hard to read, so anything was possible.

"I didn't know we get paid...," Sakurai suddenly said, drawing Nino's attention.

Ohno shrugged. "Well, at least Matsumoto pays me. Not sure about yours." He nonchalantly pointed at Nino with the tip of his fork who was nibbling on an especially long French-fries that came with his burger menu.

"I don't get paid," Sakurai then said, turning his look to Nino who just lifted his eyebrows innocently.

"Then you did something wrong," Ohno arched an eyebrow. "I even got paid for the chalk drawings of your photoshoot here."

"Ninomiya-san paid you for that?"

"Of course!" Ohno frowned indignantly. "I'm an artist after all! I get paid for my art."

Sakurai turned to face Nino again. "Ninomiya-san, why didn't you tell me that the models get paid in this project?"

Nino finished chewing the bite of his burger that filled his mouth at that moment, before he replied matter-of-factly, "Because you don't."

"What?" Sakurai replied in confusion. "But Ohno-san just told me Matsumoto-san pays him, no?"

"He volunteers to pay," Nino pointed out, gesturing with his one hand while his other was still clenching his delicious burger.

Or rather, Ohno wouldn't have agreed on joining the project otherwise. To be fair, compared to Sakurai, Ohno didn't have a job that paid regularly and well enough, so he really needed the money while Sakurai… probably not so much.

However, the topic seemed not to be over for Sakurai. "What about you?"

"What about me?"

"Are… you going to pay me too?" the business man asked, more curious than demanding.

"Well, Matsumoto told me you volunteered for modelling," Nino replied, tilting his head and offering Sakurai a small smile.

"But Ohno-san -"

"Good for Ohno-san that he gets paid, bad for you that you don't," Nino murmured huffily, a bit surprised that the topic was starting to annoy him so much. Not because of the money. True, he might be a bit stingy at times if necessary, but he paid for things if needed. Further according to Jun's information, Sakurai had offered his participation in this project for free, so why should Nino feel guilty about that now? "Not part of the deal."

"So what's part of the deal then?" Sakurai asked.

"Well, I promised you to help you become more confident… through these photo shooting challenges," Nino offered slowly, remembering his first actual meeting with Sakurai in the photo studio, the man telling him that he admired him and that he wanted to become like Nino. Even if it had felt strange back then, now Nino felt even stranger about it. There wasn't exactly something he could offer Sakurai, he didn't share any tips with him, the only way he could help him was indeed to make him a confident model… and he didn't fail in that, did he?

"Don't you think the fact that you're talking to me like this right now proves that your confidence level has gained already?"

"Well, I...," Sakurai seemed to think about the situation. "I guess you're right but..."

Nino felt the curious look of Ohno on him now, wondering, what the painter might be thinking about the whole situation. He could give in now, tell Sakurai that he would pay him for his efforts once the shooting was over – because he really worked hard after all. Ohno would surely tell Jun and Jun would add two and two and figured out that something about this whole situation was off. Because Nino hadn't intended to pay the model from the beginning, that was for sure, so he would become suspicious about what might have changed Nino's mind. Or who. No, Nino would be better in insisting and, well, Sakurai would probably call it confidence anyway so he should better keep up his attitude. It was what the other wanted to see of him after all, right?

"I help you and you help me," Nino finally said, trying to wear his best poker face. He hoped that he sounded more convincing than he felt. "That was our deal. If you have any complains about that, you're free to drop out, I don't give a fuck."

OK, maybe, that had went a little too far. Nino didn't mean it. It wasn't true. He didn't want Sakurai to drop out of the project and leave him hanging halfway but even more, he didn't want to see the man turning on his heel and walking out of his life. Not yet. Nino wasn't ready yet to let him go…

His heart was now pounding like crazy, he felt a few drops of cold sweat forming under his messy bangs and his appetite had suddenly vanished completely as he took a bite to bridge the strange silence that suddenly fell over the table, and didn't taste anything at all in his mouth.

Sakurai as well as Ohno's eyes on him made Nino want the ground to open up and swallow him whole. Damned, this was exactly, why he didn't really like dealing with people. It was too complicated, too exhausting and the risks of getting hurt or hurting other people was just too high…

"No…," Sakurai finally broke the silence. Nino stopped his nervous chewing, looking at the man, curiously. His heartbeat stopped at a moment when the other flashed him a confident – yes, confident - smile. "I'll stay."

Those words felt like honey to Nino's ears but he almost choked on his bite of tasteless hamburger when his heart started beating again, double speed. He swallowed.

"Why?" he asked, his voice probably a bit shakier than he intended for it to sound. "... I don't even pay you."

"You need me, don't you?"

Nino frowned. Did someone say confident? Cocky would describe that attitude too, probably. Was Sakurai going to demand money now or what was he planning?

"Tsk," Nino rolled his eyes before he stubbornly replied, "I could take any other model..."

"But we made so much progress already, didn't we?" Sakurai pointed out, determined. "If you'd have to redo everything with someone else..."

"OK fine, yes, I need you, satisfied?" Nino admitted. Even if he didn't admit that he probably didn't want to lose the other because of other reasons. "So what do you want? The money?"

"No, nothing," Sakurai replied, shaking his head.

"Then what's the money talk about?" Nino asked with a questioning eyebrow.

Sakurai tilted his head. "I just... thought it's not fair."

"Life isn't fair," Nino snorted.

"You don't need to tell me that," the other replied, locking eyes with Nino, his expression suddenly turned to… hurt? "I experienced that a lot. But I also know that I'm partly to be blamed too for that."

Nino swallowed. Surely, the man was talking about his situation with his family, his brother who overtook him with huge steps, running ahead of him despite them being twins, his father who wasn't as proud of him as of his brother, and probably a mother who bragged about her one successful son while keeping silent about the other. Nino averted his eyes. He felt guilty now, he didn't mean to bring up that topic. He didn't want to hurt Sakurai.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean…," he started, not really knowing what he could offer in apology.

But Sakurai just shook his head slightly, his look softening again.

"I know. It's OK, not your fault. If I can become more confident... I might be able to change things. We're working on it, aren't we?" he flashed Nino a crooked smile. "I help you and you help me, that's our deal, right?"

"If things are just so easy…," Nino added in a low voice, instead of agreeing with Sakurai as he initially wanted.

He just couldn't get the right words out from his mouth. He cursed himself internally. What was that about making the other confident? That wasn't the right way, Ninomiya!

"Hope is everything I have left," Sakurai chuckled and again there was a glint of sadness in his eyes, that almost made Nino lose it.

"I'm doing it, no?" he asked without thinking any further. "Making you confident…"

Or at least, Nino had helped Sakurai to waken his inner confidence, probably. Something that was maybe just asleep in his chest, a potential that the man himself didn't know about yet. The sadness in the business man's eyes faded, getting replaced by warmth.

"Indeed you are, thank you, Ninomiya-san," Sakurai smiled and Nino smiled back automatically, looking into those beautiful eyes, ready to drown in them, and they just stayed like this, until Nino had completely forgotten about the rest of his burger in his hands.

"You're just stingy, Ninomiya, that's all," Ohno suddenly interrupted the slightly awkward situation.

Nino snapped his head in the painter's direction.

"Please, don't get involved into this, Ohno-san," he murmured.

"By the way, Sakurai-kun," Ohno then changed the topic as well as conversation partner, the sudden familiar usage of -kun made Nino cringe a little. "I wanted to ask you if you'd like to model for one of my paintings."

"Me?!" Sakurai choked on his last sip of beer in surprise. When he stopped coughing, he sent the man a questioning look. "Why would you want to paint me?"

"Because you're a handsome man?" Ohno smirked, leaning his chin on his palm.

Now it was Nino's turn to choke on his beer. Was the painter flirting with his model in front of his eyes?!

"What are you saying, Ohno-san…," Sakurai chuckled nervously, a blush of red showing on his cheek and he put his hand in his nape, tilting his head cutely.

Too cute for Nino's taste with regards to the situation. Suddenly his heart felt a painful stab. Sakurai wasn't getting hooked by Ohno's flirting attempts, was he?! Not that he wasn't a free man to do so but… Nino didn't like that. Anyway, it wasn't his place to say anything against it, he knew that, and so he just sat there, glaring at Ohno who either didn't notice his deadly eyes or had decided to ignore Nino and just continued flirting with Sakurai.

"I am an artist, I can see the potential of beautiful things and of course also beautiful people when they are sitting across me," the painter continued and Nino started to feel sick at the verbal honey that dripped from Ohno's lips.

Nino was just too aware of the fact how much Ohno's words sounded like his own thoughts.

Again, Sakurai chuckled. Shit, Ohno's flirting seemed to work. But just when Nino was thinking hard about what he could say now to prevent Sakurai from taking the offer - because for some reason Nino didn’t like the idea at all - the business man parted his lips and said something himself.

"Thank you very much, Ohno-san, I take this as a compliment but... I think working on one project is more than enough for me already," Sakurai said, exchanging a look with Nino before he smiled at the artist.

"I thought so," the man replied, smirking. "Well, my offer stays even after the end of this project. Keep it in mind."

"Thank you," Sakurai nodded in appreciation before he focused on his meal again.

Nino couldn't help but feel his lips curling up into a small smile that he immediately tried to hide behind his handful of burger, which he ate passionately again. Maybe it was childish to feel like a "winner" right now, but he did and this time, for some reason, the burger tasted much better.

Continue with Part 6

More author's notes:
First and foremost - HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHO-CHAN! ♥ ♥ ♥
And happy Shoday, everybody :D I sadly couldn't make something special for Sho's birthday YET but I will post something else tomorrow, even if it's not a fic, gomen D:
I Hope, you enjoyed the chapter! Let me know in the comments down below and I'll read you soon! ^.^/


Since I am gradually deleting my fics from lj, I am closing the comment section. Please go to my Dreamwidth or AO3 pages in order to leave a comment, which is of course very much appreciated.
Thank you!
Say Oh-chansay_oh_chan on January 25th, 2017 06:58 pm (UTC)
Aaaah that's just so great really T^T
I can totally imagine the photoshoot with Sho and his wings and his awesomeness *^*
I understand Nino so much, who wouldn't fall for him ? ♥ The scene when Nino was showing the result of the first pic to Sho made my heart so happy ♥
Sho really seems like to have been through teally hard moments T^T But Nino is here for him like Sho is here for him too and I have the feelings that Sho meant much more that just be here for him for the photoshoot when he said "You need me."
Thanks for this !
Skysky_fish7 on January 26th, 2017 07:58 pm (UTC)
I have to admit my mind was filled with wonderful imaginations of how Sho would look like in this shooting, that was really a nice write ^^

Sho slowly but surely learns his value. He knows how much he has contributed to Nino's project already and gained a lot of confidence, that's for sure =) If he's confident enough yet to think that Nino also as a person needs him... I'm not sure yet, but I think Sho handled the difficult situation in the end very well. He might have sympathized with Nino when the other was troubled by the money topic, and kind of "saved" them with his decision to stay with Nino and the project.

Thanks for your comment, dear! <3
deelovesryodeelovesryo on January 25th, 2017 07:07 pm (UTC)
Lol, Ohno flirting with Sho made me laugh!
Nino had a great idea, I would like to watch those pics^^
The image of Nino talking to his plants is very cute too

Thanks for sharing!
Skysky_fish7 on January 26th, 2017 08:00 pm (UTC)
Haha I'm glad that made you laugh and that you found the chapter cute, thank you very much! ^^ <3
Yuki: pic#124362305hana_jae on January 25th, 2017 07:09 pm (UTC)
Nino is too much sometime, he should get rid of his bratty atituted and be honest :-(
and Sho is too kind, I think I'll do the same like if I in the situation. Someone always become the 2nd..

Sorry for this bad comment ;-(
Skysky_fish7 on January 26th, 2017 08:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, dear.

If we're honest, Sho is not the only one with problems here, right? Nino has problems too. His attitude is a side-product of his own lack of confidence and his lack of being able to properly communicate. But he'll learn, just like Sho is learning. They might both still lack confidence, more or less, but they are growing thanks to each other's presence.

I'm sorry for making you feel bad though, I hope you can see this as a story of two men growing in character with the time progressing, instead of a negative message.*hugs*
Seirapur3f8thxd on January 25th, 2017 08:08 pm (UTC)

Yes Nino cause you blushing feeling your heart beating faster and gettinf jealous are clearly not signs that your falling in love!! hahas so dense well i hope you accept your feelings soon otherwise Ohno,might steal him!! lolssss!!!!! such a cute chapter thank you for,sharing!!❤💛❤💛

Skysky_fish7 on January 26th, 2017 08:05 pm (UTC)
Nino is not confident but if there's something he's good at it's deceiving himself lol But sooner or later he will have to accept that he's indeed falling in love, right? He has to take care because of Ohno, yes! Glad you enjoyed the chapter, thanks for your lovely comment! ^^
learashi: Glasses! Junlearashi on January 25th, 2017 10:29 pm (UTC)
I love the wing idea. It sounds beautiful.
Nino really doesn't know how to talk to people does he. Sho isn't one of his plants and could have been easily hurt.
It's not just Sho who needs to gain confidence.
This is more than fitting for Sho's birthday.
Skysky_fish7 on January 26th, 2017 08:08 pm (UTC)
You're right, Nino lacks confidence too and he has no idea how to properly deal with people. I mean, he has problems at work, and with most other people he doesn't talk too much, except Aiba maybe but talking with Aiba is no problem so it's nothing compared to the current situation. Nino is lucky that Sho instinctively seems to understand him and thus the situation does not escalate.

Thank you very much for your comment, I'm glad you liked the chapter and the idea with the wings. I had some really beautiful images in my head while writing this ^^
Life is Hard だけど be Happyicha_kazeinda on January 25th, 2017 10:34 pm (UTC)

Uwaaaa~ Nino's idea was really cool!! Combining Sho with Ohno's drawings, moreover they're wings!! I wish the pics Nino had taken were real XD They might be really beautiful! ❤❤ and Nino was really such a cutie being jealous there (≧∀≦)💛 Luckily Sho didnt take Ohno's offer to be his model XD I wish Nino could talk more openly about his problems with Aiba, since he's Nino's best friend, and not with... eerr... Wanda XD

Happy Shoday to you too and thanks for updating, dear ❤ can't wait for next Wednesday! (*^ω^*)

Skysky_fish7 on January 26th, 2017 08:11 pm (UTC)
Glad you liked the idea for the shooting! =) I had some really nice images in my head when writing this scene ^^

Nino is a little idiot xD He should go ask Aiba for advice, right? But for some people, it's hard to ask for advice or help... even if it's with friends, or, especially when it's with friends. But let's see, maybe he'll progress in the future.

Thanks a lot for your comment, I'm happy you enjoyed this chapter again. ^^ See you next Wednesday! :D <3
arashiobsessionarashiobsession on January 25th, 2017 11:21 pm (UTC)
Cheeky Ohno
I had tears again. What are you doing to me? Lol. Another great chapter. I think Sakurai feels the same way as Nino and our perceptive Oh-Chan picked up on it. The angel idea was so beautiful.
Skysky_fish7 on January 26th, 2017 08:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Cheeky Ohno
Oh dear, you know I don't intend to make you cry each chapter, ne? XD *hugs* Ah... yeah, maybe Oh-chan got a hint of Nino's feelings for Sho, or the other way round, or both? However, he didn't lie when he said that he thinks that Sho is a handsome man so... watch out Nino or you might get your Sho stolen xD

I'm glad you liked this chapter, thanks a lot for your comment!
Hatori Sachiyo: pic#125150510hatorisachiyo22 on January 26th, 2017 12:04 am (UTC)
I'm sure Ohno saw how head over heels Nino is over Sho, that's why he try to make Nino jealous a bit XD (maybe to realize his feeling?) I get some hints that maybe Sho actually knew Nino's feelings but I'll try to be patient for the next update 😂 (if it's true, just attack Nino, Sho!! XD)
Skysky_fish7 on January 26th, 2017 08:17 pm (UTC)
Hm... yeah, maybe Ohno got a hint of Nino's feelings for Sho and maybe he even wants to tease him a little lol but it's for sure that Ohno was serious when he said that Sho is handsome, so Nino should better watch out or Ohno might make a move on Sho, who knows? XD

Thanks for your comment, hope to see you next week again. ^.^
galuhdayintagaluhdayinta on January 26th, 2017 12:32 am (UTC)

so much development for Sho!! I'm happy ♥ He even dared to ask about his payment lol xD don't worry Sho, Nino will pay you his love ♥♥♥
I like how Nino was head over heels toward Sho and he didn't know it!!! ♥ because actually maybe, just maybe.. I'm in Nino's position right now (つд⊂) I do admit that almost everyday I think of him but I still won't call it crush.. nah forget it!! xD

Ohno is just being a teaser isn't he? lol

oh oh, and I was dead when Nino and Sho was so close when they looked the picture together!! Nino could steal a light kiss and pretend that it was accident though. kyaaaa!! ❤(ӦvӦ。)

thank you so much Sky! ♥ sorry for last week I didn't give a comment, I was busy with college :") keep on the good work! ♥

Skysky_fish7 on January 26th, 2017 08:46 pm (UTC)
True, Sho shows a big development already, right? =) Haha well, that might be the payment Sho is hoping for =P ♥

Awwww don't tell me you're having a crush on someone at the moment? Well... sometimes it's not so easy to realize, ne? Or people are not sure if it's really a crush or just... an almost-crush or something similar like a crus... feelings are difficult ._. Anyway, IF you have a crush, then good luck!

Ohno is a teaser, yes xD He was honest when saying Sho is handsome, though so Nino better should watch out lol

Thanks for your dear comment and I hope your stress is becoming less! <3
ララトインダー ☆tocchi☆: pic#125350868ralatoindah on January 26th, 2017 11:42 am (UTC)

Now, I really wanna see Sho's picture when he was about to be attacked by the dog XDDD.

Meanwhile Sho makes a great progress in his modelling and confidence, Nino needs to move forward and try to accept his feeling towards the handsome salaryman. Sho is like a raw diamond!!! ❤❤❤

And Ohno's move, omg xDDD. Hope that will spark some fight in Nino, haha. Ohno's confidence needs no more polishing ne, hahaha. (Either he's too confident or too carefree, haha)

Can't wait for next week to come!!!

Skysky_fish7 on January 26th, 2017 08:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your comment! ^^ Indeed, Sho is making progress and becoming much more confident. Nino on the other hand is kind of stuck atm... but something is beginning to change.

Ohno was serious when he said Sho is handsome, but he also might have realized Nino's feelings towards Sho, so Nino should better take care, ne? XD
yumi_usagi: Sakumiyayumi_usagi on January 26th, 2017 01:20 pm (UTC)
Sho was so cute when he asked if the guy in the picture was him Lol
Haha when Nino was worried and stressed he talked more with his things Lol We also know another name today Wanda 😀 Nino kept denying his love is cute XD So Nino used to talk to himself and he changed to talk to his things later huh
Nino was happy when he saw Sho happy 😀
I was so worried when the money topic came up. I thought they would fight. I was a little bit surprised when Sho brought that up too, wasn't he the one who volunteered?
Poor Nino he was just not good with dealing with people.
I can see Sho already improved and more confident.
Nino is so talented, his idea about the wings was so creative!
Thanks for sharing!

Edited at 2017-01-26 01:27 pm (UTC)
Skysky_fish7 on January 26th, 2017 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad you found that scene cute :3

Yeah, the money topic... well, if Ohno didn't bring it up... the thing about Sho is, that he actually does not know that there was the possibility to get paid xD

Imagine the scene like this: Nino comes back from lunchbreak and Sho is "spying" on Nino and when he tries to talk to him, he falls down and Nino - without noticing him - enters the elevator and is gone. Jun watched the whole scene and goes picking up Sho asking him if he's ok and if he needs something from his "friend" (and yes, Jun referred to Nino as his friend xD) and Sho gets all flustered and blushes and then Jun says something like "You know, there's a way to get closer to him. He's currently searching for someone who models for a project for him. Want to try?" And Sho doesn't even aks if there will be payment, everything he hears is that Nino needs help and that he could become closer to him due to this project and so he volunteers before Jun can say even more. So... when he finds out that Ohno gets paid, he's surprised and it's just natural that he asks further questions. However, in the end it doesn't matter for him so there was no need for a fight. It was close to a fight though since Nino didn't really know how to reply and he was kind of harsh... but he was honest and himself and Sho accepted him like that. In the end, due to this conversation they might have become much closer in understanding each other.

Thanks for your lovely comment, dear, see you next week! =) <3
yumi_usagi: Sakumiyayumi_usagi on January 27th, 2017 08:28 am (UTC)
OMG! Thank you so much for the details explanation.
I was so confused about how Sho reacted at the money topic and I felt a little bit frustrated about it to be honest. But thanks to your explanantion, now everything is clear :D
indigo_loverindigo_lover on January 27th, 2017 01:16 am (UTC)
hello! I read this yesterday but didnt have time to post a comment, sorry hehee.

Sho-chan an angel in disguise, wonderful!! I can so imagine him looking oh so sexy in the black suit and red tie with majestic white wings flowing from his shoulder blades, fluttering to imaginary wind. Nino, you are a genius!

Its okay if you arent used to felling jealous, it is not a nice emotion to feel anyways. I think there is a connection with you and Sho-chan, so you have to keep that connection strong. Maybe its time you start thinking on how you are going to "repay" Sho-chan for being your model. It doesnt have to be in the form of money, a nice gesture works too. But do think of something so that he doesnt have to think/wonder about Ohno's offer. Oh and its nice talking to Wanda sometimes but i dont think this time its going to cut it. Please talk about this to a real life person, Nino.

Ohno, what a charcter. He has impeccable timing, I'll give him that XD

Thank you Sky for this update! There are only 3 more chapters left to this story... i dont want to think about it but i cant help myself XD

Cant wait for the next chapter!

Much loves<3
Skysky_fish7 on February 10th, 2017 12:07 pm (UTC)
Oh no D: I totally forgot to reply to your comment here, I'm so sorry! I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter and my secret angel Sho ^.~ (you can see it as a reference to the Sho in the vampire story if you want xD).

Indeed, jealousy isn't a nice emotion. I personally try not to let it get me because I think it's of no use and it only darkens our hearts.

Haha yeah, Oh-chan is a handful in this story lol
ichiban_seiyakuichiban_seiyaku on January 28th, 2017 09:25 am (UTC)
It's interesting how Nino's confidence, pride, and excitement are building up with each photoshoot. Something has been awakened in Nino. He's learning along the way and whatever the end results are in the competition between him and Matsujun, I think he's going to be happy and satisfied.

I always find it funny that Nino ceases to be functional when he's in a boat. His sarcasm is gone even when he tries to hold on to it. I can only wonder what goes on in his mind whenever he is asked to ride a boat.

I like how Nino notices that he has less binned photos. Sho did improve and he is able to appreciate it. He also opens up to Sho and becomes friendly with him. I think that helps with the latter's confidence and comfort to the project.

We relieve stress in different ways. Nino might be talking to plants and appliances but I think that's better than others who kick and smash anything and anyone in their path. I, for one, sometimes have a habit of talking to myself. Even in a crowd. I know I sound weird but it's one of the ways for me to say sane. I'm not keeping it all bottled up in me. We just have to make sure that when we relieve our stress, it's neither harmful to us nor to others.

When Ohno showed up in the supernatural humanity topic, I already had an inkling that Sho would be made into an angel. That or a demon. It's interesting that Nino was able to think of a backstory to the theme immediately. And I actually wouldn't mind that story to be made into a drama or a movie, at least.

Ohno's not subtle, is he? Sho must be so confused why Ohno's quite interested in him. I find it amusing that there a ton of Ohmiya romantic, sappy fanfics and here they are actually fighting over a guy. And it actually makes my day. I'm a very big fan of both Yama and Sakumiya. Anyone Sho ends up with is a winner for me. ^_^

Nino and Sho have slowly developed a bond with how they are able to talk about things and how they are able to pick out that they need each other. They were also able to tune out all the others towards the last part of their photoshoot. It shows that they can be immersed in each other and I think it's a good thing.

And honestly, Nino is so cute denying being attracted to Sho but relishing in small victories of Sho declining Ohno's request of being a model.

I wonder what the next topic will be and how the Nino and Sho will breach the relationship field. I look forward to the next chapter.
Skysky_fish7 on February 25th, 2017 08:45 am (UTC)
Hey Ace (will call you like that from now on, thanks ^^)! I'm back, sorry for the late reply again!

Nino and his seasickness… he really seems to be a severe case and I feel so sorry for him >.<. I experience motion sickness (of which seasickness is a form of), too, so I can imagine how bad he must feel. (In my case I get sick when I'm watching movies/video recorded in first person perspective, if the camera is too shaky it can get really bad for example. I can also be sensible to riding busses etc., on boats though when everything is normal (I've never been on the "wild sea" xD) it's mostly OK, which is interesting because I wonder why people experience one form of motion sickness while others experience other forms). It's indeed as if you completely cease functioning. You feel dizzy, you can get headaches, you can get an upset stomach (sometimes to the extreme that you have to yeah you know what I mean) and you just want to close your eyes and not think about anything, lie down and stop the world from moving. If it's me, I try to avoid such situations as much as possible. I'm sure, Nino is the same but sometimes he can't escape, due to his job, ne? ^^" I hope he has effective medicine that prevents the worst things from happening in such cases D:

Actually, I don't think the habit of talking to oneself is that strange. I don't do it often but sometimes I scold myself (in English or Japanese though, not in German which is my native language lol don't ask me why, I don't know xD). It's definitely a better way than becoming violent towards other people (or things) who are not at fault when we are stressed and if it helps to stay sane, why not? ^^ I also think that a lot of people find it calming to hear, no rather "feel" their own voice when talking (or singing. I sing a lot when I'm alone lol) due to the vibrances that the body feels from using the vocal cords? Just an idea but maybe it's connected? (at least I feel very comfortable when I'm singing to myself.)

It's amazing that you suspected Sho being turned into an angel! :D When a friend read this chapter she said, it's almost like a reference to Sho's character in my vampire story. Tbh, I didn't even think about that when I wrote it but maybe it was deep back in my mind so that the connection kind of made sense to me xD.

Ohno is definitely not subtle here, no. He's probably the boldest character in the story (even if he doesn't let it show as much as Jun lol well, Jun has hidden insecurities too, I'm convinced). Since I am not an Ohmiya shipper at all, for me it's not really something special to portray Ohno and Nino as rivals. I already had this constellation once in an older fic ("The magic of the bookstore clerk from across the street") in which Yama was the initial pairing and it then became Sakumiya. (Btw I kind of like Yama too, it's the only Sho-pairing besides Sakumiya that I'm interested in. Kind of.)

In the conversation between Sho and Nino it's a first time that Nino lets show his insecure side towards Sho that much with showing him a negative view of the world, and Sho connects to it. It's meant to show that they start trusting each other, even if for Nino it's still a long way to go…