"Toshi, can I draw you?"
The request is out of the blue. Sitting on his couch, eating takeaway from a local restaurant with his boyfriend, Wakatoshi turns to Satori with mild surprise. It's early evening, the television is on a nature documentary that he has watched before as they sit side by side, a blanket over their lower halves, feet intertwined in an attempt to fight the cold of winter. Honestly, he had tuned out the programme ages ago in order to watch Satori through his peripheral vision; a habit he wasn't going to break anytime soon.
"Yeah, if you're comfortable with it. I'd really like you to be part of my art."
The bashfulness in his voice is new, it's cute and Wakatoshi smiles as he places his takeaway containers on his coffee table and pulls Satori closer to him on the couch.
"I would enjoy that."
"Really! Okay! When would be a good time for you?"
Satori's tone brightens as he faces Wakatoshi with his usual enthusiasm. They make a plan of it, setting a date and Satori making a list of what potential medium he could use. He decides on charcoal and a week after his proposition, he has Wakatoshi sat on his own couch, posing for his portrait.
"Okay, I'm ready to start, you good Toshi?"
"I'm fine, Satori. Begin whenever you see fit."
Satori wastes no time in setting his charcoal to his paper, making quick glances at Wakatoshi as he maps out the outline of his face. His demeanour changes from his usual buoyancy to complete focus, his eyes sharpening and fingers tensing as he moves the charcoal across the page. As he watches Satori draw him, Ushijima falls into his memories; the puzzle pieces that make up the jigsaw that is Satori Tendou, a jigsaw that he found at his doorstep on one fateful day.
The knocks on his door that day were abrupt to say the least, in fact, even calling them knocks was an understatement. They were harsh bangs that did nothing to hide their perpetrator's aggression. It was a miracle in itself that Ushijima was home, his shifts that week had been particularly irregular, with him having spent the night at the hospital on more than one occasion. The assault on his apartment door was almost perfectly timed, any earlier and he might not have heard it over the sound of his shower. Opening it up, Ushijima hadn't expected much, hadn't expected a tall, lanky man to be soaked down to his bone, hadn't expected angry red eyes the shade of autumn leaves, hadn't expected his libido to spike at the sight of the man's pale collarbones and pert nipples made visible through the transparency of his wet shirt.
He hadn't expected anything at all really, but Satori Tendou was just that: a man beyond expectation.
With his spiky, red hair and wild, exuberant eyes Satori had shaken up every facet of Ushijima's life. From the moment he entered his apartment, Satori had placed little pieces of himself in everything. His laughter echoed in Ushijima's apartment when he wasn't even there, his handwriting sprawled over the little notes he left for him in the mornings when he had to leave early, his art supplies had found their way into Ushijima's room, pencils and markers arranged haphazardly on his desk like they belonged there. Whenever Satori came around Ushijima found himself opening up, the man had a way of making him listen; his stories were interesting, his laughter contagious, his smiles endearing.
Despite his medical prowess Ushijima was one to miss the little things, so it had taken comments from others for him to fully realise just how deeply he had become ensnared by the eccentric man who lived downstairs.
"You're smiling more, Wakatoshi."
His colleague, Ohira Reon, an impeccable doctor and close friend had been the first to tell him about his new behaviour, eyes dancing at him behind his coffee mug. It happened during an afternoon shift, both had been lucky enough to catch a break at the same time.
"Yes, especially when you look at your phone."
Ushijima hadn't been able to deny it, Satori's text messages always made him smile: he sent him silly jokes, reminded him to eat and gossiped about his coworkers. Each anecdote, each tale, each emoticon were catalogued neatly in Ushijima's head in a compartmentalized filing cabinet that held all things precious to him. Satori reminded him of autumn, but his personality was more alike summer. He was cheerful and sunny, warm and vibrant like a flame.
"I suppose I am good spirits lately.”
“Whoever it is, they are good for you.”
Ushijima had chuckled thinking back to how they had first met, to the night where he had bandaged and fed a complete stranger simply because he found him alluring. It was an anomaly, how quickly he had let walls down in the presence of auburn eyes.
“Indeed he is.”
It had snowballed before Ushijima could realise what was happening. He had only intended to treat Satori to coffee as a thank you for him returning his package and possibly get his number. He hadn't expected Satori's sprained ankle, nor his empty stomach or fully realised just how soaked he was. That night, a night he had intended to dedicate to his shrubbery was instead stolen by the wacky stories that tumbled out of the stranger's mouth. Ushijima had been enthralled by it all; the frantic waving of his hands as he told his tales, the way his eyes bulged and shrank back to add emphasis to his words, the way his voice rose and fell in octaves as he did different voices for the many characters that made up his office. Hours had passed by, and though he may have been mostly silent, Ushijima hung on to Satori's every word, completely captivated by the man who sat opposite him at his kitchen table.
"You seem distracted lately, Wakatoshi-kun. Do not let it seep into your work or the result could be disastrous."
The stern words from the head of his department, Washijou Tanji, were what had made Ushijima realise that his feelings for Satori were a bigger issue than he had originally thought. It had been weeks since they had met, time spent with each other saw them cooking together, running together and Satori had even joined him for a game of volleyball. Up until that point, Ushijima had been fine with their relationship remaining platonic but the start of the new season had cut his plans short. As the days had gotten warmer, Satori had traded long sleeved t-shirts and trousers for tank tops and shorts. They wouldn't have been a problem if they didn't expose Ushijima to the collarbones that enticed him so much. Ushijima wasn't a stranger to lust, he had had relationships in the past, with various men and women over the years but since his residency at the hospital he didn't have the time to engage in any illicit affairs. And he definitely did not have time for a romantic relationship. But Satori had pushed him to his breaking point. It seemed that ever since the summer started, Satori was trying to tempt him with his every action. He had always been touchy but it seemed like Satori's fingers held on to his biceps a little longer as he pulled him into various stores, his eyes strayed a little further when he thought Ushijima was unaware, he had even sat a little closer whenever they were on his couch. But he couldn't be sure that Satori's behaviour was a hint at anything more than their friendship deepening and him simply becoming more comfortable with him. It was intoxicating, being so close to the object of his affections and not being able to touch him in the way he craved, to not be able to have him in the way he so greatly desired.
"With all due respect, you need to get laid Ushijima-san."
Shirabu Kenjiro, one of the nurses who worked under him, was haughty and tactless, even more so than Ushijima himself. It had apparently become public knowledge that Ushijima was sexually frustrated and Shirabu had been the one appointed by their team to let him know about it. The confrontation had surprised Ushijima, a rare feat that left him speechless; staring at the papers on his desk in disbelief, stunned that he had let his dilemma seep out to the extent that colleagues could pick up on it. Something had to be done, he had to get some sort of relief from his urges before it threatened to do even more damage. That very night Satori had invited him to go to a local festival and as much as he had wanted to simply enjoy their time together, his mind couldn't stop running over the words that had been said to him earlier in the day. The festival had been torturous, with Satori licking his fingers after every delicacy he ate, an action that Ushijima's eyes couldn't stop running back to. When they got back to his apartment that night Ushijima had been at his wit's end. He had intended to end the night at his door but something made him invite Satori in, he had intended to take a breath and compose himself in his bathroom but his eyes caught on to his pajamas and the idea popped into his head. It was a complete gamble, one that could have ended their relationship in a heartbeat. Pure desperation had overridden the rest of his thoughts, because before he knew what he was doing he was stripping down and exiting his bathroom. On his way to his kitchen, he had focused his mind and willed himself to relax. When he saw the way Satori's eyes ran over his body, he couldn't stop the excitement than ran through him. When their eyes locked, Ushijima couldn't control what came out of his mouth. When they touched, Ushijima couldn't stop his hunger as he fought to devour the man who had wreaked havoc up him the entire night.
It wasn't the way he had expected to start their relationship, he had feared that it would give Satori the wrong idea about what he wanted from him. But when they had woken up the next morning, when Satori had rolled over to kiss him good morning, he knew that he had nothing to worry about. The way he had looked at him, the way he had run his fingers through Ushijima's hair, the way he had kissed him goodbye that morning had assured him that they felt the same way.
Looking at the man before him, Wakatoshi is overwhelmed by the heat that runs through his veins, the fire that spreads through his body every time he thinks of him. It's love, plain and simple. It's love and it's renewed with every new experience they share together, from ice skating to making souffle, every little activity has built up his adoration for the man that is sat in front of him, etching his likeness onto a canvas. Wakatoshi takes his time reading Satori's face: his focused eyes, his calm lips, his determined brows, he is a marvel to behold and he needs to know it.
"You are breathtaking, Satori."
His carefully crafted focus snaps in an instant, the charcoal in his fingers breaking as his eyes widen and lock with Wakatoshi's.
"You are breathtaking."
"Geez, are you even real, Toshi?" He says, his cheeks becoming rosy, "You're literally sat modelling for a portrait and you're calling me beautiful?"
"More than that, I said breathtaking, you exceed my expectations every time I look at you."
"C-cut it out, Toshi! Let me draw you in peace."
Wakatoshi stands and marches towards Satori sat on his stool. He rests his hands gently on his neck and reaches down to kiss him. Standing up to deepen the kiss, Satori places his own hands on Wakatoshi's neck and pushes his tongue into his mouth. They stand their touching each other, cradling each other. It's intimate like they're sharing a secret. Emboldened by his reactions, Wakatoshi kisses down Satori's neck, pulling back the neckline of his shirt to suckle on his collarbones.
"I take it I won't be finishing this portrait tonight, huh." Satori says between gasps.
"I can stop if you want."
"You can stop after you pound me into my mattress, miracle boy."
Uninhibited laughter bubbles out from Wakatoshi's throat as he leads Satori further in his apartment towards his bedroom. He is still laughing as they fall to the bed sheets and Satori joins in as they remove each other's clothes with lazy affection. Satori Tendou is more than a jigsaw, he's a labyrinth with a surprise around every corner, a birthday present wrapped in bright neon colours, a book with a new story on each page and Wakatoshi can't help but fall deeper in love with him at every turn.
A man beyond expectation indeed.