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Eiji just wants to get this photo exhibit over with

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Eiji wasn’t sure if he was hallucinating, had a third eye, or a stalker. Or was he the stalker? The lines were kinda blurred at this point. He’s been seeing the same blonde guy everywhere he went. Eiji wasn’t paranoid or anything, but this was fucking New York City, and you don’t meet the same guy five times in a row in completely different places.

Yue told him to just stab the guy the next time he sees him. Eiji didn’t support violence, but Yue’s ‘late-night-let’s-scare-poor-eiji-with-stalker-murder-horror-story-talks’ were getting to him. He would 75% stab the guy, if only his confidence wasn’t 100% on Yue, who was all the way in Los Angeles.

He saw the guy at Target, walking along 11th Ave., in a random basement parking lot, at Shake Shack, and outside Chang Dai. In all those times, Eiji wanted to take his picture until his SD card got full.

 

----

 

Eiji was quickly realizing that thanks to Yue--he might be "A White Man's Whore," as he put it bluntly. Well, he wasn't, because sometimes he would fantasize about Shorter lifting him and fucking him hard against the wall. And Shorter wasn't white.

Yue also said that having sex fantasies of a friend was completely normal. Especially if said friend was Shorter fucking Wong. Apparently everyone has fantasies of Shorter banging them to oblivion against a wall.

"I mean, I did too. It wasn't just the wall. He would choke me with his biceps until I'd cum withou—"

Eiji quickly disconnected the video chat in their ‘late-night-scare-poor-eiji-talks’.

 

Now back to the cute serial killer stalker guy.

 

Eiji joined the school photography exhibit, and he didn’t have anything that fit the theme. He didn’t understand why he joined it either, but maybe it was to make a point that could still do something after fucking up his ankle and got too scared to jump. His English was sub-par at best. He’d only been in the U.S. for a couple of months on an exchange program. He didn’t know how he got in out of all the other applicants, but he was grateful for the escape.

The theme for the exhibit was “Iridescent.” The fuck does that even mean? He hated how vague these things are, but that’s art.

Eiji was sure the cute blonde could be iridescent, whatever that means. Hell, he learned from one of the student organizers that the students just threw in whatever looked good enough regardless of the theme and bullshit their way through.

Yeah. Eiji could do that. He could do a landscape series. Or a portrait series. He just wasn’t sure if the blonde was friendly or a creep.

 

----

 

Eiji only had a few months left before he had to submit his photos, and Shorter wasn’t helping.

“Isn’t that illegal?”

“Chill, just keep quiet and no one has to know. It’s legal in some states so it’s fine.” Shorter took another drag of his illegal blunt. Eiji wrinkled his nose. It stinks. The foreign exchange booklet didn’t prepare him to handle friends possessing illegal drugs. Or an entire group of students hiding behind the school sharing a bag. He was too young to go to American jail.

He whined, “Shorteeer, I do not know what to do for the exhibit.” He flopped on the ground and fiddled with his camera strap, hoping it would choke some ideas out him.

“Why’d you even join that stupid thing anyway? Just take some pictures of trees or the sky and call it a day.”

“I’m pretty sure everyone else is going to do that. Ibe-san said it was good for my college applications. But that’s in two years. America is so weird.”

Shorter laughed. “Welcome to America, where you have to think about college as soon as you start pre-school.” He threw the blunt away and grabbed his phone. His ringtone was the English Pokemon theme song.

“Yo, what’d y’want.”

Eiji sounded him off and looked at his camera’s viewfinder. The camera traced Shorter’s back and he took a snap. He was wearing a black tank top which nicely outlined his back muscles and arms. This was going in the “Slap Me with Your Hot Dick😜💦🙏🍆” folder he shared with Yue on Google Drive.

“Dude, I’m not even part of the student committee, that’s—then call Michelle! She’s literally the Vice President for fucks sake. No, I didn’t vote for the stupid council that’s why I have community service. Ugh, fine.”

Eiji looked up when Shorter ended the call rather violently. “Gotta go Eiji. I need to help this idiot with this stupid student council shit.” Eiji dragged himself up. He wasn’t going to stay a second longer with these stoners. “Do I know this idiot?”

“It’s kinda hard to miss him. He’s Ash, the resident angelic looking demonic smart ass president. And my best friend.”

“Uwaaah, an angel demon. How scary, like Yue.”

“Don’t tell him that,” Shorter laughed. “He’ll literally burst a lung and burn the city down.”

They didn’t doubt that Yue would actually do it.

 

----

 

Eiji was currently in the New York Public Library, and he had to admit it was a beautiful place. He had to do a bunch of reports for his English class and his mind felt like it was going to combust.

“If only Yue was here,” Eiji thought. His eyes snapped open when he saw blonde hair in his peripheral view. Was he crazy that he would get all jumpy at the sight of blonde hair? Or maybe Fitzgerald was just pounding his brain on themes of the modern heroine. But no, it really was him, the guy he’d been seeing everywhere. The afternoon light hit him just right and encased his already golden hair in a luminescent halo. Eiji grabbed his camera in a rush and discretely took a picture. It was great timing that a bunch of noisy kids came in and muffled the sound of the shutter. Now Eiji felt like a creep, taking his picture without consent. His stomach grumbled loudly and he forgot all pretenses to apologize when several people looked his way. Even the blonde.

He tried to cover his red face and rushed outside. The hotdog stand seemed to be the nearest and cheapest food he could get within vicinity.

“Want some mustard on that?” The hotdog man asked.

“Just a bit.”

He grumbled when he received the hotdog. He didn’t know if hotdog guy knew ‘what a bit’ means, or if Americans really loved their mustard, but the bun was practically oozing a vibrant yellow. He took a seat by the steps and groaned when he took a bite. His nose was breathing dragon fire.

Eiji didn’t know if he could ever finish this American abomination. Through teary eyes he saw the blonde sniggering at him holding his own mustard filled hotdog.

‘How embarrassing!’

He almost crushed the hotdog to bits.

 

----

 

It was a fine Saturday morning and he could go around the city today and try to take some pictures for the exhibit.

“Just take a picture of the sky and call it a day,” Yue said on the phone. “It’s 6 am you dumb bitch. Have you forgotten that this fucking country has four time zones?” The screen showed Yue’s expensive glass chandelier in his Beverly Hills mansion. He must be dead tired if he wasn’t posing on camera.

“Sorry, I forgot. You were bitching to me last night when I didn’t answer a few days ago.”

“Petty.” The camera panned to Yue’s window where it was raining outside. “Look at this mess! While it’s sunny in New York, it’s raining La Croix over here!”

“La Cowhat?” Eiji tilted his head to the side. His bangs brushed over eyes and he huffed them away. Should he get a haircut? His sister was nagging at him to look cool for once when he got to fashion capital, but his entire being refused to cooperate. 

“Eiji dear, you look fine. Just tuck out you shirt a bit and you’ll look hot for once.” Eiji grabbed his phone and saw Yue checking out his morning face for any blemishes. He was lowkey jealous that his skin always managed to looks so perfect.

“Gee, thanks. It’s not like anyone finds me attractive anyway.”

Yue scoffed. “Bitch please, I’ve seen a couple of girls and guys checking you out. I’d be offended if they didn’t.”

“Really?!” He perked up and almost tumbled down from tying his shoes.

Yue nodded.

“Then why was no one asking me out? Isn’t that how it works here?”

Yue was flicked his long hair and Eiji watched as it magically transformed itself into an elegant braid. It was like watching Elsa. “Not just anyone can date my best friend. I have a reputation to keep.”

“Of course you would be the one to scare them away,” he pouted. Well, if there was anyone who knew just about the entire student body’s personal information, it was his self-proclaimed best friend.

“Anyway, I have to go. I’ll see you later,” Eiji smiled fondly when Yue replied with a bye that lasted 15 seconds before he hanged up.

 

----

 

Eiji probably took enough pictures to post on Instagram, but not enough for his exhibit. There really was a lot you could take in New York, and they were all different. He'd scouted the place a dozen times before and everything was always new. He saw two rats get married on the subway, a reality tv show filming, and a guy in a Santa costume being chased by the police. Still, not much for his exhibit.

He sat on a park bench and looked through his camera roll when a kid approached him and started tugging on his arm.

"Sir, please help. My dog, he-he got stuck!"

"Eh?!" Eiji didn't know why he was the first person the kid went to for help when there were a dozen other more capable adults around.

"Please, he might drown or whatever."

"Or whatever?!"

Eiji had no choice, the kid was practically in tears, and was literally dragging him all the way to a nearby construction in the park.

"He's in there. My cat, Spotty, got stuck in there and won't come out." the kid pointed to a porta potty at the back.

"I thought you said it was a dog?" Eiji questioned.

"Uhh yeah. The dog just meows a lot. Are ya gonna help me or not?" The kid glared.

Damn, American kids sure are ferocious. He gulped and tentatively pulled open the porta potty. God it stinks.

He looked around the enclosed space and saw no sign of any dog. Or cat.

"I don't see any dog, are you sure it's in here?"

The kid shrugged. "Try to get inside. I think it's hiding behind the toilet. It gets scared easy." He didn't want to go anywhere near the toilet, but he wasn't going to abandon a dog in there. "Hello? Doggy?" Eiji called out. He heard a faint scuffle behind the toilet and crouched to get a good look at the noise. It was a bird.

What.

The bird suddenly flew in his direction and spooked poor Eiji. He screamed in fright and almost fell down on his ass on the dirty wet floor. Before he could get out of the stall slammed shut and a low click was heard. "Hey! Let me out! What's going on?!" Eiji pounded on the door. "Sorry dude. I needed $10 to win this dare. Someone'll probably come in here, bye."

Eiji heard the kid's footsteps get farther and farther away until it completely disappeared. His heart dropped to his stomach.

Oh god, oh no. What was he going to do? Call Yue? No, stupid Eiji! He'll never live it down and call you Porta Potty Eiji for life.

He pounded on the door and screamed for help. He didn't notice that amidst his banging the porta potty was swaying a little. Couldn't anyone hear him? There were a bunch of people outside not 10 minutes ago. He kicked the door with a loud grunt and shrieked. The porta potty almost tipped over.

He could feel his heart beating out of his chest. Okay, that's fine. No more kicking or banging on the door. He wondered when someone will come in to pee. Someone's bound to come in, right? He couldn't die here. He stomped his foot in annoyance and screamed "Help!" in Japanese.

He covered his face in despair and let out a whimper. What if he really died in here? In a porta potty of all places? He jerked his head up when he heard a click, and sunlight flooded into the enclosed space.

Freedom!

"Oh, thank you thank you thank you. I'm sorry, I got stuck in there and—

His words died in his throat. It was the blonde guy. The hot blonde maybe a weird creep guy was his savior.

"Are you all right? How did you even get stuck? Why was there a stick locking the door?"

"Uhh... I got pranked?" Eiji could feel the heat rushing to his cheeks. How pathetic did that sound?

"You got... pranked." The blonde didn't believe him at all.

"Yes! There was a kid who said his dog got stuck in here, and he locked me in for a bet. How did you even find me? I've been screaming for 10 minutes but no one heard me." Eiji looked around. There were barely any people.

"I guess it was the parade on the center square? Guess everybody decided to come down there. I saw the porta potty move and a scream, so I checked it out."

The unmistakable sound of the pen pineapple apple pen ringtone jingled just then. The blonde fished out his phone and barked “What?” at the caller. Eiji was surprised that the addicting song was that popular.

The blonde hanged up and said “Sorry, I need to do some errands. See ya later, Eiji.”

“It’s no problem, thank you again for saving me.” Eiji waved to the retreating blonde as he ran off.

‘Wait, did he just call me Eiji?’