“Look at these, Makka, aren’t they amazing?” Victor showed his phone screen to the poodle, grinning when he received a bark back from her. “They said they’ll ship them out tomorrow if I approve the design!” The photo of boots he was having custom-made had him giddy. After over a month of consultation and crying into a pillow about the price, he was going to have them in his hands! And on his feet. Victor had been vicious in regards to not skipping leg day in his workouts in prep for this very thing. He was going to get into those boots and knock one very particular pair of socks off with them.
What a wonderful day. The meet-up he and Makkachin had attended had been a great success. He had completely sold out of all the new prototype dog scarves, collars and leashes he had designed, and had already fired off an email to his supplier with a new order for each. Moreover, he had found several new Eros charms and pins to add to his collection bag which filled out the corners splendidly. It had been a month since Victor last attended a fan gathering for the magical boy, and it was his first one in the city that Eros actually resided. There had been people there who rivaled him in his fanboyism and that was more exciting than anything.
Shoulder pushing against the front door to his apartment building, Victor adjusted the hold he had on the admittedly excessive quantity of fan merch he had purchased. Victor was weak for Eros. He had gone to the meet up fully aware that any profits he might make on his own sales would be wiped out completely by what he spent on purchasing other’s. Totally worth it though.
In addition to some prints and the aforementioned charms and pins, Victor had found someone selling tshirts that had Eros’ signature pose silhouette on the front and his tagline, Love Wins, on the back. The material was soft and loose too, something very comfortable for Victor to wear while working at home with Makkachin. He had swapped business cards with the seller, promising to promote them on his Instagram when he posted photos of it.
Stepping inside the building, the contented smile that had been plastered across his face all morning was wiped clean when Makkachin jerked her leash out of his hand. “Makka, no!” His attempt to grasp for her sent his collection tumbling out of his hands and scattering across the floor, phone barely saved from taking a flight along with all his Eros goodies. Makkachin, however, was gone, having bowled over someone in the lobby, her paws on his shoulders and her tongue all over his face.
“Oh god, I’m so sorry!” Victor abandoned his purchases, rushing over to try to pull Makkachin off the young man. “Makkachin, down, get off him!” She did not listen, tail wagging a million miles an hour, lapping tongue having knocked glasses askew. He grabbed her collar--thoughts briefly darting to how the red glitter and silver crystals did work really well on the black-- and heaved her off, scowling when she barked, tail smacking at his knees. “I’m so, so sorry! Are you okay?!”
The man did not even blink, his eyes blown to the size of his lenses. He stayed frozen, sprawled across the floor, jaw slack as he stared, the only visible movement his gaze shifting between Victor and Makkachin.
Victor threw out a hand in offer, to help him up, praying the man wasn’t injured because that was exactly what he needed, to injure a neighbor on his first week in the building. Makkachin had just been approved on the lease, her celebrity status a huge help in the process, but Victor did not want to have to resort to bribery so early on in case the cute stranger was not fond of adorable poodles licking his face.
Dazed, the man accepted Victor’s hand, who pulled him up and launched into a hundred more apologies. “She’s normally very well behaved, I promise, she never jumps on people like this! You’re not hiding a steak in your pockets, are you?” Victor tried disarming any ill-will with a dazzling smile and a laugh, tugging Makkachin back when she attempted to go in for the man’s feet, her nose sniffing like she was on the trail of something good.
“Wha-- no, ummm, no steak?” the man replied, his eyes darting between the two, glasses still lopsided. One of the lenses had a streak of dog slobber over it, from Makkachin’s tongue, but he did not seem to notice. “You’re--… is that, is that your stuff?” he pointed.
Victor turned and yelped. The front door had propped open, and a gust drafting in swept up all his prints, sending them skidding across the floor. Rushing to collect everything, Victor loaded his arms and hooked Makkachin’s leash around his wrist so that she could not pull away again. Her excitement had calmed only slightly, tail wagging, focus still on their companion who had managed to clean his glasses and walked over, holding out Victor’s tote bag. The one with all the Eros charms and pins on it.
“You really like Eros, huh,” he muttered as Victor accepted the bag with gratitude, looking over everything that Victor was holding.
“Yes!” Victor smiled, happy to see what nothing on his bag had broken or been knocked loose. His love of Eros was well documented online and Victor was not the least bit ashamed. Sure some people gave him odd looks for the fact that he adored the magical boy with fervor, but Victor figured that the majority of people living in Ariaville either loved or respected Eros. After all, he kept the city safe and entertained. And hot. That short skirt and stockings did all sorts of things to Victor and the population at large. “Do you?”
“He’s okay,” the man replied with a shrug, hands slipping into the front of his jeans, shoulders scrunching. “I-... do you need, ummm, help? Are you visiting someone?”
“Oh!” Victor shook his head, bangs falling perfectly into place over his left eye. “No, I just moved in, on the second floor!”
Cute Stranger’s eyes went wide again, a sweet honey brown behind the blue frames of his glasses. “...206?”
Victor lit up. “Are you next door?”
“Yeah, I’m… I’m 205. I can… I can help you carry those up.” He pointed to Victor’s loaded arms. “Or, I can... hold your dog.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I actually really like poodles.” The shy smile that spread across his pink lips had Victor’s heart doing somersaults. Cute neighbor who liked dogs and apparently had already forgiven him for the traumatic first encounter. “Here.”
With a bit of twisting, they maneuvered so that Yuuri-- as he quietly introduced himself-- could get Makkachin’s leash from around Victor’s wrist without disturbing any of his cradled merch. Makkachin did not need a tug to be lead, prancing behind Yuuri and sniffing at his rolled up pant hems as they waited for the elevator together.
Once inside, Yuuri pushed the button for the second floor and knelt down, offering his knuckles for Makkachin to smell. She proceeded immediately to lick his hand, making him laugh and jerk away when she tried going for his face again. It was a very nice laugh, Victor noted as he shushed her, lighting nudging at Makkachin’s hip with his ankle in a fruitless attempt to make her behave.
“Makkachin as in The Makkachin?” The question came as the bell dinged and the elevator doors opened.
“You know her!” Victor exclaimed then put the plastic wrapped around the folded tshirts between his teeth, so that he could fish his keys from his pocket.
“I-...” Yuuri paused, cutting himself off without a single hint to what he was about to say apart from the light blush that dusted the bridge of his nose. “My roommate follows her account. I don’t do a lot of social media but… sometimes I like seeing her photos on his phone. She’s really cute. I like when she wears scarves and stuff.”
“Oh!” Smile growing impossibly wider with everything Yuuri said, Victor could feel his cheeks starting to complain. Compliments for Makkachin were a surefire way to flatter them both. “I actually have a new design that I’m posting tonight!”
Yuuri glanced down at her collar. It was one of the new prototypes, embedded with crystals and cross-stitching across black mesh with accents of red glitter. Victor had designed and released a white and blue Agape version the previous month, and this was its counterpart. “Eros-inspired?”
“Yeah,” Victor laughed, unlocking the door and holding it ajar on his foot. “I’m grateful he hasn’t sued me yet. I’m always hoping that Makka’s charms trump any desire toward litigation.”
“I’m sure he doesn’t mind too much,” Yuuri said softly, looking reluctant to hand Makkachin’s leash back over to Victor. He did reach down to ruffle her ears and let her get one last lick in. “It’s probably flattering… Well, ummm, nice to meet you.”
“You too!” Victor guided Makkachin inside with more struggle than usual, low whines escaping her as she was separated from Yuuri. Unbelievable. His dog was developing a crush on cute neighbor boy faster than him. Maybe there was a steak hidden in his pockets after all. “Tell your roommate to like the new post tonight!”
With the best wave he could manage, Victor headed inside, smile not fading even after the door closed. A wonderful day indeed. Kicking off his shoes, Victor called to Makkachin and proceeded to carry all his Eros merch into his work room so he could add it to his wall display. He rather hoped that cute neighbor Yuuri was right about Eros finding it flattering. After all, Victor was about to make Eros’ life a great deal more interesting.