A Yama Oneshot of 3,344 words
(with some BDSM references)
(Inspired by the DNCE song of the same title)
Suited up and ready for work, Sho Sakurai is a proven head-turner. That is, for men and women alike. Satoshi Ohno has found himself often sketching Sho's soft features which balanced out the sharply defined angles of his bone structure; those high cheekbones, that firm jawline, those arched brows...
Sho was a busybody, though. They may live together but Satoshi understood little of Sho's work. Just that it had something to do with business, that's why he's often on the phone or watching some boring news show with lots of charts and graphs going on. These were the times that Satoshi takes a break from his art commissions, sits near Sho and sketches him. Even when idle, Sho's movements are measured, controlled. As if he's always ready to have a presentation. Satoshi didn't mind at all since this made for some really interesting poses and expressions.
Satoshi wanted more and more for Sho to turn that attention to him. He longed for it. Already, Sho displayed his ability to put things and people into place when he suggested that he'd be the one to manage Satoshi's freelance art business. Satoshi knew well that Sho was already pressed for time as it is in his own job, but he selfishly agreed. Sho loves to work and now Satoshi is part of his work too. Sho would speak with him gently but firmly, "No, don't accept this request." or "This project would be great for you."
Like a good boy, Satoshi always says, "Yes." And he tries not to say, "Please command me more." That might not exactly be what Sho had in mind.
But he couldn't help but wonder what it would be like for Sho to really command him. To boss him around. Sho seemed bossy over the phone with his assistant and other associates. "Have this done by tomorrow," he would say. Or, "I want this on my desk by the time I'm in."
That last statement made Satoshi bite his lips. He would have no problems sitting on Sho's desk if he asks. Especially with that kind of tone.
But Sho was gentle to Satoshi. Firm with things like rules, but still pretty gentle with touch. Sho isn't at all very physically affectionate, unlike Satoshi. Not that Satoshi minds, since he gets a peck or a pat from time to time. From a person as emotionally guarded and physically aloof as Sho, it was already a pretty big deal. Although he knows and respects Sho's boundaries, so to get what he wants, he has to play by Sho's terms: giving hints.
Despite how tactfully frank he is, Sho is rarely straight to the point with what he wants for himself from others. Satoshi had become a master of Sho's complex hints and body language so he knows he can play this game. He just has to start somewhere.
He sat beside Sho on the couch as the latter was busy typing while talking on his phone which was tucked between his ear and shoulder. While waiting for the conversation to end, Satoshi began sketching as usual, except he was drawing from imagination: Sho holding a belt.
"Something's odd about you today," Sho said, glancing at Satoshi for a moment before going back to his boring graphs.
Satoshi shook his head and shifted in his seat to draw better. Sho chuckled a little. "I know you're drawing me again. No need to be so secretive about it. I'd like a superhero suit this time. Like Yatterman."
Sho in a full body latex? The thought immediately stopped Satoshi from drawing, thinking or speaking and it got pretty hot around his neck and cheeks. Sho simply kept himself busy with his work.
"You're so busy lately," Satoshi said, weighing his words. He has to engage Sho in a mind game to lure him into the role he wants Sho to take.
"Oh, don't worry. I always have time for your art." Sho smiled at Satoshi for a moment and went on.
"No, but my point is, ar-aren't you suffering from that?" Satoshi wasn't sure if this was the right direction. It made Sho laugh, though.
"I do like being very hands-on in my work. It's not like I feel like I'm punished." Sho shrugged. "If anything, I like having a lot to do. You know me, I like being in control of things."
"Well," Satoshi twirled his pencil in his fingers. "What about people?"
"Being in control of people?" Sho raised an eyebrow at him. Satoshi just stared back blankly, hardly daring to breathe as if it would affect Sho's response. "I don't particularly mind since it's my job. I hope my underlings don't mind that I'm always barking orders...but what can I do? I'm running a business and that's just how it goes. They'll be rewarded if they do as told anyway. "
Satoshi wasn't sure if that was a definite yes or no. He knew it wouldn't be easy, but Sho seems to lean on the side of enjoying being in control. Satoshi considered his next move, feeling pretty close to checkmate.
"Pain for the price of pleasure, right?" Sho smiled and went back to his boring graphs, making Satoshi's eyes go wide again.
"Pain? Pleasure?" He echoed, accidentally breaking the lead of his mechanical pencil.
"Yeah," Sho said distractedly, looking up when the news was displaying something about the stock exchange. Satoshi was always fascinated with how many thought processes could run in Sho's mind, but he was too distracted by what Sho had said. Did he just put "pain" and "pleasure" in one sentence? Was I thinking out loud or something?
"Did you know...the source of the neurons that modulate pain and pleasure are in the same areas of the brain? Like the amygdala, pallidum and the nucleus accumbens...something or other. I read it while I was at the doctor's office." Sho snorted and went back to his graphs while Satoshi sat frozen. It wasn't odd that Sho was randomly spurting out big science words that Satoshi didn't know, but of all the topics in the world, why pain and pleasure?
Satoshi knew the mind games have just started.
Their shared apartment was a fairly big one and was renovated to include the spacious studio-type room right next door. That was where Satoshi's artworks were, in various stages of creation. There was a closet in one corner and it had a futon, some blankets, shelves full of art tools and materials, as well as a locked leather trunk.
Satoshi's collection has been stashed away neatly since moving in with Sho. It was time to put them to good use. He'll have to go slow, not wanting to shock Sho or something. Shock is one thing, perhaps surprising Sho would put him into a corner where he still has an option to say no. Satoshi thought this plan was pretty clever, though he was quite nervous playing mind games with the likes of an intellectual person like Sho.
Satoshi prepared himself and came in Sho's room, turning off the lights. He laid on Sho's cozy bed, careful not to disarrange the sheets too much as Sho was quite sensitive about it. He meant to be ready at least an hour before Sho came home, just to run the scenario in his head without getting too excited.
It wasn't until a little past an hour that Satoshi heard a key turning the lock in the doorknob outside. There was the telltale rattling of the key getting stuck. Satoshi got up with a start, realizing he had dozed off while waiting. He tried to look in Sho's mirror in the corner to fix his hair, but it was no use in the dark. He could hear Sho come in, busily removing his shoes.
Satoshi hopped back to the bed, unable to decide how to pose. He fumbled open the first two buttons of his shirt instead, hearing Sho call out for him. Sho was definitely getting closer as there were sounds of things being laid on the table. Sho's humming grew louder and finally, the door handle clicked and turned. Satoshi took a readying breath.
"Hey there, Sho-" He began.
"WHAT THE-!" Sho jolted away and tripped over his own feet. He stumbled and Satoshi quickly got up to assist him, still blinded by the sudden light after an hour of darkness. Instead, his foot got caught in Sho's legs and he fell too.
It took them both a full minute to realize that they were face to face. Satoshi could see himself in Sho's eyes as they both blinked at each other.
"W-welcome home," Satoshi said awkwardly, distracted by Sho's slightly parted lips.
"That really shocked me, ugh. What were you hiding here for?" Sho groaned as Satoshi helped him up. Satoshi's mind was still blank when Sho looked surprised again. "What the?"
Sho grabbed Satoshi's left hand, revealing the handcuff closed on it. Now even Sho was speechless as the two of them tried to form coherent sentences instead of their confused noises.
"What in the-why're you-what happened?" Sho blurted, both hands holding Satoshi's locked up wrist and examining the handcuff. "This-this is real, this is metal, this isn't a toy-were you arrested or something? Is that why you were hiding?"
"N-no, I was just..." Satoshi racked his brain, but he was just feeling all kinds of things from how Sho was very concerned. His face, flushed with worry. His hands, gently trying to loosen the cuffs. Satoshi found it adorable. Added to the feeling of abject failure from ruining his own plan, he had very little to say at all. "I was just doing...something." he managed.
Sho gave him a certain look. Satoshi knew what it meant: he was processing several possible "hidden messages" from Satoshi's words. While Satoshi was an expert on Sho's nonverbal cues, the latter was the kind of person that drew implied meanings. It was not the first time Satoshi used that excuse on Sho. He had once brought a pile of what looked like old metal junk and explained it away as "just doing something" which was now a work of art that was auctioned off at a very high price.
Sho tilted his head and raised an eyebrow. Satoshi guessed that Sho recalled the same incident. Sho's eyes wandered to Satoshi's hastily unbuttoned and quite crumpled thin white shirt. "Were you napping on my bed after painting again?"
"Well I-" Satoshi began, but Sho let go of his handcuffed wrist and rubbed a spot on Satoshi's collarbone with his thumb. "Paint." Sho frowned disapprovingly. "Shower first before taking a nap. And don't wear something this thin, even if you're indoors. You might still catch a cold. And I told you not to take naps after three in the afternoon. It'll disrupt your sleep."
"Sorry," Satoshi said sheepishly, still feeling the sensation of Sho's thumb on his collarbone even though Sho had turned to flatten his bed sheets. He straightened up and put a hand on his waist. "Don't say 'sorry'. You didn't do anything wrong."
Satoshi nearly apologized again, but Sho raised a hand. "Come on, wash your hands and let's eat. I brought pizza." He relaxed and sighed, but he was smiling a little. "And off with those handcuffs."
Satoshi nodded. He may have failed but Sho had really put him in place. He watched as Sho took off his blazer and unbuttoned his cuffs while walking to the kitchen. "I'm really okay with you sleeping there but I will really punish you if you get paint on the sheets."
It was not much of a defeat after all! Satoshi grinned.
Even more fired up from his first attempt, Satoshi plans to be bolder this time. He bought an entirely new paraphernalia that would only be for Sho. It came in a package that looked pretty innocent and didn't make any sounds so it wasn't hard to have it delivered. But it didn't matter too much because Sho was out for most of the day and Satoshi was left alone at their apartment.
That evening, Satoshi waited until both he and Sho were lounging by the living room before bedtime. Sho was busily talking with someone on the phone and from his tone and words, Satoshi guessed that it was a client. With his convincing powers and the combination of wit and tact, Sho often wins clients over. This time, it sounded like a more difficult case, as it had Sho pacing back and forth with his free hand on his waist.
Satoshi fidgeted with the thing behind his back. He was bouncing his knee and biting his lower lip while waiting for Sho's call to end. When it finally did, Sho drew a sigh and slumped back onto their couch relaxed his head on the backrest. When Satoshi opened his mouth to speak, Sho lifted a hand to signal him to stop. This made Satoshi freeze and wait with his mouth still open as Sho heaved a deep breath and exhale, calming his features. It was a sight to behold for Satoshi, but he still sat as if Sho's gesture had frozen him. He continued watching Sho.
Sho finally turned to him and chuckled a bit, lightly pushing Satoshi's chin shut. Satoshi let himself fall over backward as if from Sho's little push and this made Sho laugh again until Satoshi really did fall off the couch, failing to catch himself. Sho was quickly ready to help but Satoshi was laughing nervously, hoping he hadn't ruined his chance yet. He waved Sho's worry away and sat back on the couch, never letting go of the thing he was hiding behind him.
"Wait, what's that? Behind you. What are you hiding?" Sho searched Satoshi's eyes.
"Well I got you something," Satoshi said as he revealed a custom made riding crop made with a black leather grip. It was styled to look like a katana handle and even had very small sakura-style decorative metalwork that Satoshi himself made. There were red accents on the grip that gave it a subtle look of elegance. It was Sho's turn to be slack-jawed.
"Uooaa~ Really, a riding crop? For me?" Sho looked amazed, looking from the riding crop to Satoshi with fascination. Satoshi couldn't stop grinning at Sho's excitement and began to feel the heat rise under his collar. He bit his lower lip and let a light chuckle bubble out of him. "Yeah, do you like it?"
"It's really thoughtful of you." Sho accepted the riding crop and examined the handle, feeling it with his fingers and caressing it in his closed palm. The gesture made the heat spread to Satoshi's cheeks but Sho was too busy admiring the riding crop. "You really...you really did listen when I was ranting about my boss."
Satoshi's eyebrow twitched.
He doubted his hearing again. He was beginning to think that Sho knew what the riding crop meant but he was sure it wasn't supposed to involve Sho's boss.
"Just now, he's insisting on going horse riding again! I already told him I didn't know much and going with me won't be fun. Truth is, I'd love to try since it sounds pretty cool and the boss might just appreciate me more... I just don't know where to start and well, I almost gave up." Sho clasped the riding crop in his hand and gave Satoshi a little wave as if it was a wand. "Thanks for this, now I feel more determined."
Satoshi opened his mouth to talk, then closed it. He tried again but he settled for a non-committal noise.
"You're probably one of the people who really do get me." Sho's expression looked so content that Satoshi decided to drop all attempts to explain himself. "Actually, the only one."
Satoshi melted. He lived for these sentimental moments of praise from Sho. He realized too late that he had lost control of the dumb grin on his face and the light chuckling because Sho nudged him on the cheek with an open palm.
Slap! The sudden impact on his foot made him wince. He looked at Sho in confusion.
"Did it hurt too bad?" Sho asked, his lips and tone had concern but his eyes were amused. He was still holding the riding crop readily and Satoshi realized he had just been hit on his foot.
"Good, because your face was weird and that was the ceremonial first use of the riding crop from me, the owner, to you, the giver." Sho stood up and was lightly swatting his palm with the crop. He laughed and strode off to his bedroom. "I think I'll go check if I have some appropriate clothes."
Everything that just happened was a little too much for Satoshi to figure out. Was it a victory? It sure did not feel like a defeat, but Sho wouldn't be tying him up and demanding to be called master just because he was excited over a riding crop. Satoshi put his face in his hands, his lips creeping into a grin again. Sho had just hit him with a riding crop. Perhaps he was almost there.
It was time for an important decision. When Sho would return from his horse-riding trip, Satoshi would move for the finale. If it still didn't work, it would be time to think of a new strategy. Satoshi hoped it wouldn't come to that as he didn't have a plan B and was absolutely wanting. There was a bit of thrill from the mind games but it wasn't his field.
That evening, he looked into his leather trunk, examining some of the remaining tools he can use. He figured the harness and the spreader bar would be too aggressive and might scare Sho. Ropes were alright but Satoshi wanted something more stylish and daring. Something he could wear that would immediately tell who's taking what role.
He took out a gag and a collar, surveying each on either of his hands. He won't be able to explain himself or at least say something cool if he was gagged. He won't be able to speak at all. The collar would be a better choice and he grinned dreamily as he got up and headed back into the apartment.
Sho was in the living room, arranging some files before stuffing them into his suitcase. His hair was damp and there was a towel on his shoulders, right over the pajama top that Satoshi had bought him for his birthday. Though his eyes were busy running through the paperwork and checking the news, he took a moment to meet Satoshi's gaze.
"Looking rather inspired," Sho commented, grinning a little as Satoshi chuckled and shook his head. "Okay, maybe a little." Satoshi shrugged and noticed the towel on Sho's shoulders were slipping. This made him laugh.
"What?" Sho stopped all movement but the towel fell anyway and Satoshi caught it neatly. Sho slumped and rolled his eyes. "Oh, haha. My sloping shoulders."
"What? I like your shoulders." Satoshi put the towel back where it fell from.
"Please." Sho raised an eyebrow and his eyes caught the collar in Satoshi's hand. "Is that what I think it is?"
"Well," Satoshi held the collar and was arranging his thoughts when Sho took it from him gently. "I...have a proposal."
Sho ran a hand over the buckle. "Are we...?" He looked at Satoshi with a searching look. "Together...?"
Satoshi couldn't contain his smile and it spread on his rather hot cheeks. He made a noise or two and a vague gesture with his hands with a couple nods. Even without the gag, it turns out that he can't speak anyway.
"A puppy?" Sho said, sounding delighted. "We're getting a puppy together?"
Satoshi blinked at him.
"That's why you insisted for us to get this apartment? Because they allow pets!" Sho continued examining the collar and Satoshi could only stare. "Yes but-"
"This is kind of a nice collar." Sho looked quite satisfied as he sat down. "It's kind of a big step in our relationship, I think."
Satoshi sank into the couch beside Sho, resting his head on Sho's arm. He was defeated by his own hesitation to cross Sho and to come off as forceful. He wanted Sho to want it too but he resigned to another set of steps in the future. Perhaps it was too early for them. Perhaps in time, Sho would understand.
"What are you laughing about?" Sho said suddenly. Satoshi didn't even notice the mirthless chuckle he heard was his own. "No, I just think it's a big step in our relationship. We should take many big steps."
"One at a time." Sho smiled. Satoshi was content that Sho wasn't moving away like usual. "Let's go to bed now so we can go check the petshop in the morning." Sho got up, making Satoshi fall face-first into the couch.
"Oh come on," Sho chuckled. "Don't be lazy. Sleep in my bed."
The words were magic. Satoshi wasn't banned from sleeping next to Sho, but the latter was often too busy when Satoshi wasn't. And when Satoshi was busy and fueled by his art muse, he would sleep in his studio. This was a rare occasion and he was eager to take what he can get.
Satoshi was immediately on his feet. "We should have gotten a dog a long time ago!"
Satoshi woke up in a very warm bed from some wonderful dreams the next morning. He had a new artwork in mind, something to sum up his experiences in trying and failing the mind games with Sho. He might not need his collection in a while, so he might just incorporate them.
When his eyes had adjusted to the light in the room, he saw that Sho had gotten up already. This could mean that he had made breakfast before Satoshi could. He snorted at the thought of the strange looking food Sho ends up making. There was no scent of breakfast yet so he guessed he could help out.
He shifted in the bed but was unable to pull himself up. Confused, his eyes followed where he felt the restraint.
His hands were shackled to the bed.