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the rose is red, the violet's blue

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The first time Ritsu sees colour, it starts with crystalline blue eyes and brilliant silver hair. If he looked beyond that, he'd find it spreading down the arms of a cerulean blazer identical to his own, would find his gaze settling on a navy necktie. He'd see a pair of dark brown shoes -- one of which had pressed into his side and woken him -- just inches away, and would then find the world beyond rich with a vibrant palette that he never once cared to imagine.

However, he does not look further. Upon meeting his soulmate, Sakuma Ritsu assumes he must still be sleeping.

Colour isn't something he's dreamt of before, but through his sleep-addled mind, it seems far more likely than the alternative. He doesn't care enough to think twice of it, doesn't even think of the red of his eyelids as he allows them to fall.

“-- kay? Do we need to call an ambulance?”

Ritsu grunts, twists, and opens his eyes to far too much. This time, the colour is clear beyond the youth leaning over him, overwhelming blends of lush green trees and pastel blue sky. It all meshes and blurs together, an obnoxiously abstract backdrop even more annoying than the tirade of questions spilling from the boy’s coral lips. On top of the swirling landscape, unfamiliar voices echo and bounce around Ritsu’s mind, and his nose wrinkles as he squints upwards.

“There's a lot of noise,” he mumbles, more to himself than to the boy before him. “What's going on...?”

The boy opens his mouth, supposedly to reply, but Ritsu decides he doesn't actually care. “I'm fine, so just leave me alone... You're disturbing my sleep.” For good measure, he adds, “I’ll kill any idiot who disturbs me.”

Excuse me?” The boy scoffs. “We’re worried about you, you know?! What’s up with this guy, he’s pissing me off! You’re probably a first year...”

The rest, frankly speaking, sounds like white noise. Ritsu has no idea how he manages to reply, never mind how he manages to focus on anything besides the sun’s obnoxious glare and everything it brings light to. The boy moves, as does the “shitty four-eyes” behind him, and there’s no keeping Ritsu’s eyes closed as he’s hefted upwards to drape his arms over both their shoulders. Colours dance and swim from every corner of his vision, bringing on a fresh headache like no other --

Oh.

Colour.

It started with crystalline blue eyes and brilliant silver hair. Ritsu blinks, once, then twice, as many times as it takes for his sight to properly settle on the boy he leans against. Now that he looks at him, really looks at him, Ritsu finds his supposed soulmate perfectly clear. Everything beyond him remains a difficult and annoying blur, but the boy stands out against it all in indescribable detail. The moment their gazes meet, the boy looks away, his lips pursed into a thin line and a rosy blush dusting his cheeks.

... Well, there’s no denying that he’s a pretty thing.

But Ritsu’s never cared for fate, never cared for meeting his soulmate. As far as he’s concerned, Mao is and always will be enough. So long as Mao sheds light, he will never have any need for colour, especially if it’s as disorientating as it seems now. Is it always going to be like this? Is it like this for everyone? In that case, why would anyone want a soulmate in the first place?

They come to a studio, and the boy still says nothing of the colours. Ritsu doesn’t prompt him to. He figures that if the boy cares -- or if he’s even affected, he thinks, watching the way the boy stretches and dances as if his entire world isn’t blurring around him -- that he will mention it eventually. If not...

It shouldn’t be the end of the world.