Teenage Artist Ninja Turtle
by Solo & Jo
There's probably something about how it all had to do with boobs. Probably some dumb irony.
Jin sometimes likes looking at boobs. As far as he's concerned that's just normal, and not something life needs to get all ironic on him for. There was a picture, there was a bench, and there were boobs.
He wasn't even looking at them much, because there were school children and mothers passing by and, well. It was just weird.
But he was tired, because the long tour through boring art was boring and he didn't like this class much anyway. He wasn't a music student to look at fuzzy European water lilies.
So he sat down, and every once in a while looked at the picture, when nobody was around.
After a while, nobody was around a lot.
That didn't bother him. It was peaceful and he could compose songs in his head, and he was just starting to feel like the day hadn't been a total wash-out when shrill sirens made him jump about a meter off the bench and he stared, and the boobs were no longer around, either.
The painting was gone.
Then things happened very quickly, lots of uniformed people suddenly all over the place, shoving and shouting, and some guard with a dog, a huge slavering dog with evil eyes blocking the grand wooden door, and Jin just melted quietly into a corner. There was a much smaller door saying 'emergency' and 'alarmed', but it turned out that one more alarm made no difference and Jin dashed down bare concrete stairs and then he was outside in a small courtyard, beside some dumpsters.
And a white van.
And a guy around Jin's age, loading something that looked like a rolled up carpet... wait, no, canvas into it. The guy gave him a sideways look and said, "Oh, there you are again."
"What?" Jin's ears were ringing from the sirens, so maybe he heard that wrong.
"I really appreciated your presence." The guy grinned at him. "You're much more my thing than all that female nudity, but you also made it so much more exciting."
"I'm—" What the fuck, female nudity? Exciting? What the fuck?
Jin took a breath but the guy was done loading, closed the van doors gently, and hopped into it with a last savouring look. "After all, anybody can steal a painting that doesn't have somebody sitting right in front of it."
And he drove off.
So that was... disorienting, Jin thinks. But that was also last night, and now it's the next morning... okay, noon, but it counts as morning because he's a student and he was up late last night writing a song that started being about boobs but somehow ended up being about a mysterious stranger with a white van and an amazing grin, so anyway, it's a bright March day, and he's just stepped outside to go to uni and there's a painting in his drive.
The boob painting. Carefully set up under the bike shelter, and if his mom sees the boobs in her drive she's going have a cow. And Jin knows there's a national search for it going on, and the billions it's worth, because they kept talking about it on the news last night while he was trying to concentrate on his song about a stranger with shapely eyebrows and tight jeans and a van.
And now it's sitting here and what the fuck, what the fuck is he supposed to do with it? He has no use for boobs in his drive. Or for billion yen paintings which are just waiting to get rained on in the next taiphoon, and anyway, why did the guy take it if he didn't want it?
Unfortunately, he needs to squeeze past it to get to his bike.
And that's when he sees the note, held in place on the floor with some stones arranged in a turtle shape.
I don't need this. You can return it and get the reward. How about dinner tonight? There's an address. Nine o'clock. Ask for the turtle.
Jin sighs. He pockets the note; thinks better of it and memorizes the details, then tears it into little pieces and dumps it down a drain. Then he heads back into the house.
It's two minutes to nine and Jin hasn't even had time to shower and change after finally getting away from the cops.
The first two hours were the worst, when they tried to make him confess to stealing the boobs in the first place. Then some info, Jin doesn't know what, came in, and they stopped doing that, and just encouraged him to remember something, anything, about the time he sat there and had a painting stolen right under his nose.
Not much to say there – it was there and then there was an alarm and it was gone – and they never asked about what happened after he sneaked out of the building. Shame, that.
They gave up at last, with comments about airheaded music students which Jin might have resented if he didn't have to rush to his date.
Never mind, he's here, and the butler-bouncer-whatever outside looks down at him from a great height.
"Uh," Jin says. "I." This is stupid. "I'm looking for a turtle," he mutters quickly.
"The turtle," the man corrects him gravely as he leads him through a long corridor and slides aside the shoji to the very last room. Jin toes his shoes off and wishes he'd put on matching socks that morning. But how was he to know.
There's the guy. The turtle. Standing up and smiling as the door slides shut behind Jin. That smile is just as good today.
"So," Jin says, to get the most important thing out of the way at once. "Turtle?"
The guy waves airily... almost swishily, in fact. "A nom de plume. It comes with the profession. You can call me Kazuya."
"Uh-huh," Jin says, and then he's standing there like an idiot when the guy sits himself down at the table with the sake bottle like it's the most normal thing in the world. Jin stares down at his head – dyed, and a while ago, ha – before he decides he can deal with... the turtle while drinking some of the turtle's booze. Since it's there and free and all, a student's dream.
"Why'd you give me that painting?" he demands to know. "Why'd you steal that painting?"
"Because you are cute, and because you were pretty." The guy tilts his head and taps the corner of his mouth with one finger. "No, wait, did I get that the right way around?"
"Oh, ha ha. You're very clever, aren't you?"
"I try," Kazuya says modestly.
Jin chugs back the little cup in one go and holds it out for a refill. After all those hours he spent in a police station, he's not going to be deterred easily, just because this turtle guy is a little shit. "So, okay, your 'profession' is that you're a thief?"
"I'm more of an artist, really," Kazuya considers. "That excursion yesterday was a fairly good piece of work, if I say so myself."
Stealing naked ladies. Is art. Stealing naked ladies with Jin watching. Right.
"The greater the challenge, the greater the reward," Kazuya says, as though he can read Jin's mind. "You're an artist too, you should understand about challenges." He raises his cup for a toast. "To things we have in common, Jin."
Wait, wait again, how does he know— "So you're a stalker too?" Maybe Jin should be worried. Then again, he's got at least ten kilos on Kazuya.
"Hm," Kazuya says, lowering the cup a little, "not habitually. If you tell me to leave you alone, I will. I'm just kind of hoping you won't." Another wave of the cup. "Did you know you're really hot?"
Yes, Jin's always known he's hot, people have mentioned it before, and usually when they do what happens next is that he trips over something or mispronounces a vegetable. What he hasn't known is that he can find scrawny edgy wiseass performance art thieves without boobs hot, too. Or, well, intriguing. Interesting to look at.
Okay, hot. Whatever. Bottle of sake and boob theft day, it's probably not Jin's fault.
So now they're at Kazuya's place because Kazuya suggested showing Jin his equipment, and while they were definitely talking about laser tricks and canvas weight at the time, Jin's rather more excited than a pulley and some screwdrivers warrant, and he knows it.
"Movement sensors are the worst," Kazuya explains as he's fondling an all-black outfit that seems to include a leather jacket. Fondling it very thoroughly. "It makes everything so rushed and... artless."
"Uh-huh," Jin says. When Kazuya bends down to pick up a dummy picture frame from the giant shelf, he's being not at all artless and, frankly, kind of a show-off about those tight jeans.
"For weight sensors, you have to slip in the replacement," he explains, and Jin almost flinches when Kazuya's hand is in front of Jin's face, what the fuck... the hand brushes Jin's hair from his forehead. "You have to be very delicate. And careful."
Yeah. Delicate. When he touches things. Either this guy is really, really into his work or he's got a disturbing idea of foreplay.
Kazuya's mouth turns up in a right old smirk, and...
Okay, foreplay. Good to know!
"And I used this for the job at the Imperial Collections Museum," Kazuya says next, touching the harness that's dangling from the ceiling in front of a blank brick wall. "That took a bit of practice, I'll admit."
Jin blinks. "That was you? But nothing was..." Stolen. Nothing was officially stolen.
Kazuya smiles like a proud mom when Jin puts the pieces together by himself. Art, right. Performance.
This guy is so full of it. "Yeah, I get it, the challenge, blah blah," Jin says.
Kazuya shakes the harness and tilts his head like there's a worthwhile thought in it. "Do you want to give it a try?" he asks. "See what it's like?" He points up along the wall; only now does Jin see there's a tiny little glass frame on a small glass shelf, smack in the middle of the wall.
"You want me to get that?"
Kazuya grins. "You don't like a challenge?"
Jin actually hates challenges, because he hates how he always ends up in them doing stupid shit. So this time, he's stepping into a harness.
Kazuya's hands are getting rather too close as he fastens the straps around Jin's thighs, nudging them up. So they're safe, he says, and he makes sure the one around his waist is snug, and that the buckle holds, and that Jin really has to ignore Kazuya crouching there and fiddling about all but breathing on Jin's jeans.
"Okay, you're set," Kazuya says bouncily. Jin thinks that testing tug probably doesn't have to be quite so tuggy, but if it's meant to make Jin re-evaluate how Kazuya's arms may look under that pansy crisp shirt, it's... working.
Jin's acutely aware of the unflattering bulge the harness is creating, and just as acutely aware it's not only the harness' fault.
But Kazuya only nods approval – at the bulge or at the harness, Jin's not going to ask – and Jin finds himself trying to climb up a brick wall.
It goes better than he expected. Kazuya is keeping the rope taut but not really helping... much, and there's something exhilaratingly cat-burglarish about the whole thing, and maybe he's some sort of natural at—
Shit. Oh shit there goes— he maybe squeaks just a tiny bit as the harness catches him.
"Fuck." He flails as he swings. He's swinging. At a brick wall. He puts out his hands to steady himself but now he's starting to twirl...
"Not enough work in the legs," Kazuya says, smartass that he is, but Jin feels himself being lowered.
He says nothing. At least the fall took care of the bulge problem, sort of. Then he's almost on the ground, almost— hey!
Kazuya is twisting the rope around a hook in the wall. Jin can reach the floor with the tip of his foot; the tip of one foot. If he stretches. Which makes him fucking twirl again.
"You are a bit klutzy, you know," Kazuya observes.
"Fuck you, let me down!"
Kazuya actually has the guts to step really damn close to Jin, close enough that Jin could totally hit him on his malformed nose. "Hmmm. In that order?"
"Oh, wouldn't you like that," Jin says sarcastically, because Kazuya is clearly a perv. Then he flushes because Kazuya looks like he might really like that, oh shit.
"That's very avant-garde of you," Kazuya says. "I'm impressed." He reaches out and tugs the harness and... just nudges, and off Jin is, swinging again.
Perv, perv, bastard, perv.
Jin twirls once all the way around and Kazuya is grinning like he enjoyed the view. This is so embarrassing.
Then he hooks his fingers into the waist of the harness, which Jin feels fucking everywhere, and stops him. Stops and looks, and this floating free helpless thing is fucking weird...
Stupid harness, stupid bulge. Stupid thieves with burning eyes.
Jin gropes for leverage, because, no, but Kazuya just pulls him forward far enough that he can't get at anything, and, um, okay, guy's got nice arms from this climbing shit and apparently he dressed up for this event because he smells kind of good, and, well, boobs aren't the be-all and end-all...
"I don't know if it's really safe to attempt this with someone who's got problems with his motor skills," Kazuya observes in a slick voice. "But then again, as I said... I like a challenge."
Yeah. They covered that. Jin swallows, and Kazuya's grip slides, slo-mo and sneak-thievishly, onwards from Jin's sides to Jin's... ass, and okay, weirder, and this is why Jin hates challenges but also not really, because it's also kind of... hot, even with that smirk, and Kazuya pulling him in by his ass until his hips are pressing against Jin's thighs. Maybe because of that.
And that's when it clicks. Motor skills, whatever, Jin's got moves. He gives up his weight to the harness and grabs Kazuya by the shoulders and wraps his legs around Kazuya's waist, bulge and all. They stagger a bit, but then Kazuya holds them steady. "Ha," Jin pants at him. "Not so smart now, are you?"
"Hmmm," Kazuya goes. "Debatable." And his smirk is still infuriating – so infuriating, Jin decides, that the best response is to cover it up, and his mouth turns out the closest thing at hand, so to speak.
What Kazuya says next is much more breathless and much less smug, and doesn't maybe even have words.
"Very elaborate," Jin grins, digging his calves more properly into Kazuya's ass. "That the avant-garde I was promised?"
Kazuya licks his lips and his eyes drop to where it's relevant, a tiny little move that turns relevant to oh god yes now would be a good time.
He's an artist, with a nom de freaking plume, and his fingers are smart and nimble and his mouth likes to be clever anyway, and Jin concludes, with the part of his brain that's up to concluding, that there's maybe something to be said for this art stuff after all.