Dragon Knights Fan Fiction ❯ Dragon Knights Sentai ❯ He Love ( Chapter 9 )
Rath pulled the contract toward him and started to read.
Ruwalk sighed, his mood turning as he plucked up the courage to speak out. "Me and Kai-Stern, eh? Is that it, then? Is that our scene?" he asked, nodding at the blinking computer screen, his hands spasming open and closed.
Cernozura leaned forward. She reached out and patted him on the knee. "Can I get you something?" she whispered. "Tea, coffee, hot chocolate, water?"
"Tea, please," he replied, rubbing his legs.
She tripped off into the kitchen, filled the kettle and set it to boil. "Are you hungry?" she called through the hatch. "I've some biscuits or fruit, or ... I've enough curry left over for two if I heat it up."
"No, I couldn't eat," replied Ruwalk, with a weak smile.
She simply nodded in reply and turned her attention back to the tea. She rescued some milk from the fridge and managed to extract sugar from the cupboard without the piled mounds of out-of-date food falling on top of her. While the kettle boiled, she washed out the tea pot, which still had several inches of cold, dark liquid in it. She popped two tea bags in, just as the kettle popped and laid out everything, nice and neatly on a battered tray. Ruwalk gratefully helped himself, when she placed it on the coffee table.
"You're nervous about the boys' love," she said, watching him stir the sugar in, round and round.
"Yes," he admitted. The spoon clattered against the saucer. "Kai-Stern will be fine. He likes that sort of thing, but I've never had any inclinations, or considered having inclinations and I don't want to let the team down by it seeming fake or anything." He stared at the cup, then added some more milk. "Ki- kissing a guy. I don't know if I can do it."
"You won't have to," replied Cernozura.
"Huh?" started Ruwalk, dropping the spoon. "I won't?"
"It's implied, not explicit. Don't worry, you won't be wearing the face off each other." She stretched out on the sofa and kicked off her shoes. "And if you were going to kiss, it'd be very gentle and touching and only after twenty episodes." She smiled. "That's how I write romance. I like to build up a relationship first."
"But me and Kai-Stern, what if we're already in a relationship?" he asked, picking at the spoon, which had slid deeply into the cup, so that only the tip was peeking out of the hot tea.
"I still have to build it for the cameras," she mused, sitting up to pour herself a cup, then sinking back down into the sofa.
"Okay." He breathed deeply and whistled. "I feel better about that, but it still doesn't have to change the fact that I have to convincingly pretend that I love a guy. How do I do it?"
Cernozura pulled her legs under her and scooted closer to the couch's edge. "That's easy. Firstly, there'll be word on the grapevine, so people will be reading gay love into everything you say to each other. Secondly, look at Kai-Stern more often than Raseleane, keep your eyes on him for just a second longer than is comfortable and when he's looking at you, look away, or look boldly back." She waggled her hand. "Ask Tetheus which is better."
"Okay," he mumbled, sipping hot tea out of the cup until he could rescue the spoon without getting burnt.
"If that doesn't work, pretend that Kai-Stern's a girl you really like. Keep her image in your head and think of Kai-Stern as someone to practise all the things you'd like to do to her." She ran her finger along the rim of the cup. "Think about touching the tips of her fingers, or think about them touching you. Every time you need to stoke up the heat between the two of you, imagine the hottest thing that she could possibly do."
"That sounds a little mean." Ruwalk's breathing grew heavy and he blushed.
"Well, you're acting, you don't really like each other," she said, now brushing the cup with a light touch. "It could be worse. Think of the poor sods who actually have to bonk on camera."
"Bonk?" laughed Ruwalk, the colour not fading from his cheeks.
"Don't make fun of me," she said with mock petulance, "or I may write the kiss in faster than usual."
"Okay, I'm sorry," he cried, ducking his head, drinking the tea, then glancing up. "Do you really think that I can pull it off?"
"Gay guys have played straight guys for years." She paused, placing the tea-cup carefully on the table. "We can practise, if you'd like."
Rath turned over the final page and sighed. A nasty smirk broke out on Nadil's face. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a sleek pen. He twisted the top and handed it to Rath, rising slightly from his chair in order to do so.
Rath didn't accept. "I didn't understand any of that," he said. "I'd better take it away and show it to a lawyer."
"I assure you that it's perfectly standard," responded Nadil, proffering the pen again.
Alfeegi looked in the mirror again. One of the downsides to having a trainee stylist as a flatmate is your tendency to end up as a guinea pig. A reasonable offer from Ekidonna to dye his hair had first turned it a greenish-blue and led, somehow, to extensions. A spray of artificial hair still languished over the back of the kitchen chair, where Ekidonna had abandoned them when his boyfriend had called around. As he kept saying, it was practically expected that a stylist be gay. Alfeegi wondered if Ruwalk... He shook his head and ran his fingers through the wispy strands at the base of his head. An hour of work had resulted in a long and ratty tail. Ekidonna hadn't even cut the hair to the length he'd promised, before running off.
They were going to make fun of him in the morning.
"Should we reschedule the signing until the contracts been thoroughly read?" asked Rath.
"There's no need," answered Nadil, a dark cast appearing in his eyes. "It's a reasonable offer."
Rath thumbed through the heavy contract. "There's a lot of pages there. I'd prefer not to sign until I'm confident in what's written down."
"You must sign now!" hissed Nadil. He glowered at Rath, before pulling on an air of geniality again. "Filming is due to start soon and I am worried about any delay. You do have star billing in the show and we need you to sign today."
"I can't," replied Rath, simply.
"Then I may have to re-think my offer," threatened Nadil.
"That's okay," replied Rath, standing to go. "I've walked away from a career-making role once already, I'll do it again."
The studio seemed warmer that day. Ruwalk sweated as the replacement stylist put make-up on his face and sprayed his hair. His fingers twitched every time the brush ran through his hair and he made so many suggestions that Ekidonna lost his deferential tone and told him to just sit still. Ruwalk continued to wince into the mirror and eventually just shut his eyes. In the chair beside him, Kai-Stern kept up a steady patter with Silk, a reporter from the fanzine that Lykouleon was trying to encourage. As soon as Ekidonna finished with the reluctant actor, he left to attend on Raseleane. Silk went with him.
"Are you nervous then?" asked Kai-Stern, elbowing Ruwalk, who jolted upright.
He settled back into his chair before admitting "Yes."
"Me too," said the yaoi fan.
"What?" exclaimed Ruwalk, swivelling his chair around to face his on-screen lover. "I thought that you loved that sort of thing."
Kai-Stern shook his head, then nodded. "I do like the genre - the stories can be so romantic and sweet and I adore working on shonen-ai tales." The usual, distracted, gooey look swept into his eyes. "The energy on set is amazing and it's loads of fun, but I've never starred in any of them." The look swept out again. "I'm not gay myself."
Ruwalk laughed. "You say that like it's a bad thing."
Kai sighed and scratched the top of his head. "Sometimes it seems like a betrayal. It sure knocks the stuffing out of the yaoi crew when I rebuff their advances and explain that I'm not actually gay." He swivelled back and forth in his seat. "The yaoi drama scene is a really incestuous one."
"A small group that jumps on fresh blood?" Ruwalk mirrored Kai-Stern's nod. "It's nice to have a break from it, I guess." While he spoke, Ruwalk's fingers crept up to his stiffened hair and his eyes cast about for the makeup kit.
"Yeah." He sighed more theatrically. "If I could sleep with guys then I'd be earning a fortune, but when it comes to yaoi, I'm a strict voyeur."
Ruwalk closed the drawer he'd just opened and paused before replying. "Isn't yaoi a mostly female thing?"
"The manga, yeah," agreed Kai-Stern, "but the television shows hold a huge comfort factor for gay actors. In a profession where you always have to pretend to be something else, finally, they can approach their real selves. It's campy and bitchy, but very warm."
As they talked, Lykouleon languished on set, shackled to a fake wall and preparing for his debut. Tetheus was still setting the scene and continually sent Alfeegi out for extra chains and whips. Nohiro and Rune watched from the sidelines while Miyabi cracked the whip for Tetheus's eagle eye.
"Can you hit him just above that spot?" he asked from behind the lens of the camera.
"She's already raised enough welts!" whined Lykouleon, who had a number of red lines across his bare chest.
"Do you want people to laugh at you? Give me suffering," Tetheus scolded. "Try again," he ordered the torturer. The whip cracked across Lykouleon's chest. He struggled against the chains that bound him, but couldn't avoid the blow. "Ouch!"
"Again," ordered the director. "This time don't move so much, Lykouleon. It's okay to struggle, but you upset the camera shot. And try to look more noble."
Nohiro nudged Rune as Lykouleon displayed more and more panic. "It's amazing how real it looks," he said.
"Yes," agreed Rune, snacking on some peanuts and then offering him the bag. "I didn't think that our producer would be able to act, but I guess that Rath had to get his talent from somewhere."
Nohiro took a handful of nuts and started to eat them slowly. He checked that no-one was nearby before whispering softly, "I heard that he's doing it because he loves Raseleane."
Rune giggled. "Oh yes. That's definitely true. At least, Lykouleon's been chasing her. I don't know if it's love yet."
"So is there love in the stars for you and Rath?" The ringer held his breath and waited.
"I hope so," replied Rune, without really thinking. "Although Rath may not realise it for quite some time."
"Then I hope that Rath doesn't come back!" stated Nohiro, emphatically.
Rune started and some of the nuts fell out of the bag. "Why not?" he asked, before picking off the ones that had lodged in his clothing.
"Because if he stays away, then I can have his part and..." he blushed, looking down and squeezing his hands together, "...the love scene."
Rune's eyes flew open. "I didn't realise that you liked..." Nohiro took his hand as he spoke and Rune began to tail off, "...Cesia so much."
"You're so pretty," he said, stroking Rune's palm and tracing gentle paths into it. "I was too shy to tell you before, but if we're going to be working together, then I guess it's best to get it out in the open."
"I'm a guy!" shouted Rune, earning glares from Lykouleon.
"Of course," replied Nohiro with a smirk. "But when they do the big reveal, and show that your slight frame is actually a female one... Have they told you how it's going to happen? Does your shirt get ripped and expose your bound breasts?"
"I'm really a guy," replied Rune, dragging Nohiro away from the cameras and into the shadows. He placed Nohiro's hand onto his chest. "No breasts."
Nohiro felt around, cautiously. "You're a little flat," he said, uncertainly.
"I'm all flat. I'm not a girl. No girl am I," the beautiful boy said, before pushing Nohiro's hands away.
The spurned lover frowned. "Are you sure? I've seen a lot of soap operas and you really look like a girl disguised as a boy. Your hair is far too long and luscious to belong to a man." He fingered a lock of Rune's hair.
"It's a wig," hissed Rune, reaching up and tearing it off. Some of the pins were tightly attached and Ekidonna must have used glue as well, because he winced badly and his scalp was really red in places.
"You're a guy!" exclaimed Nohiro, pointing at him. Rune nodded and Nohiro slowly crumpled onto the ground. "But I really liked you." Rune dithered, but sat beside him and comforted him. Nohiro stiffened, wiped his eyes and looked directly into Rune's. "Maybe I'm gay."
Because Tetheus had taken so long with Lykouleon's torture scene, he sped through the boys' love scene. Raseleane played her heart out as the grieving wife, while Kai-Stern and Ruwalk silently supported each other, holding tight while expounding on the Dragonlord's misfortunes.
With one take deemed sufficient, the on-screen lovers turned to leave, remove their make-up and shower, but Tetheus stopped them. "We still need to film the kiss," he said, while Gow pulled out a still camera and Delte adjusted the lighting to a more intimate level.
"There's no kiss." The words stumbled from Ruwalk. "Not in the script."
Tetheus nodded. "These are publicity photographs. We have to leak them in order to build up the boys' love madness." He jerked a thumb at a staggering Lykouleon, who'd been trying to make it to a comfortable seat since his scene finally ended. "His orders."
"No!" protested Kai-Stern.
"Oh for goodness' sake," Ruwalk said, before grabbing the shorter man about the head and locking lips. The kiss lasted three minutes and twenty four seconds. Silk counted.
Dragon Knights Sentai is fanfiction based on the works of Mineko Okhami.
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