Once upon a time, Nina was a dear and handed out challenges to everyone who asked for them, so that the forum would get started up again.
I have finally completed said challenge.
It's a ridiculous 4000+ word one-shot, but I'm almost very happy with the way it turned out. Seeing as how I've never been involved in a Life Drawing class, please either point out or ignore any inconsistencies you might encounter. Before I post it on FF.net though, I'd like some feedback (pretty please!) especially concerning whether this should fall under T or M. I'd go with T, but some people might view it as M if they are, in fact, twelve years old.
Anyways, hope you like it!Title:
Ken/Kari, if you wish.Summary:
Ken, being the kind soul that he is, agrees to help Kari when she asks him to stand in as a model for her drawing class. Thing is, it's a Life Drawing class. It looks like Ken's in deeper than he can handle.Sentence to include:
"I grew up sharing a room and bathroom with Tai; it's nothing I haven't seen before."Notes:
Bonus points for anything about terrible drawing running in the Kamiya family, remember Tai's awful map making skills?
Revealing Part I by emotionless-robot
"So you'll do it?"
Could he say no? Would his mother scold him for denying Kari's request? Probably,
he admitted, and then she'd make me do it anyways.
He sighed, running a hand swiftly through his hair, noting that the burning sunlight had warmed it considerably. Ken loved summer immeasurably—the gentle breezes, the smell of the ocean, and most of all, the start of soccer season. He glanced down at Kari once more, wondering whether that pleading look of hers was supposed to work on him as it did on Davis and TK. If it was, he wasn't falling for it, but in the end it wasn't necessary.
"I guess so, Kari. When do I have to come in?"
She jumped excitedly, throwing her arms around Ken's neck and squealing not unlike those girls in his gym class.
"Oh thank you, thank you, Ken! You won't regret it, I promise! We can start out next week, okay?"
He nodded, peeling her arms off of him as his train approached.
"I gotta go, but I'll give you a call later, alright?" He watched her nod vigorously, and then jogged to the platform just in time to board the train before it left without him. He waved at Kari, who waved back enthusiastically and much more energetically than he would have ever thought possible. "She must have been really desperate for some help," he murmured to himself, finding a seat quickly. Ken frowned, trying to guess why anyone would object to helping Kari with her project…
Ken arrived Monday after school, at Kari's art class. She hummed to the radio as she set up her paints and easel, eager to begin her final project. It wasn't exactly a class she'd have chosen for herself, but somehow, by mistake, she was signed up for it, and began to love the atmosphere and tranquility of the art room. Painting, drawing, sketching… those weren't ever going to be her fortes, but the best part of art she discovered, was using her spare time to take her photographs and try to replicate it using various mediums. Who would have ever thought that her most prized photographs from the Digital World would one day end up as beautiful, colourful works of art hung up in her room? Granted, the picture did look a lot better than her paintings did. But compared to Tai's awful drawing skills, she was practically Picasso!
Kari giggled, recalling the story Sora had told her about Tai's horrendous
map-drawing attempts from back when they had first discovered the Digital World. Her art teacher had even been wary of Kari at first; she was positive that based on Tai's own lacklustre abilities, the entire Kamiya family must have been complete amateurs at art. However, Kari's hard work and enthusiasm for the subject soon changed her prediction, and now Kari was one of the top students in class.
The door to the art room squeaked open, and Kari skipped over to it to open the door for Ken. He came, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, holding a soccer ball, and sporting a very large grin.
"Good afternoon, Kari. Are you ready to begin?"
She responded, "Yeah, let's get started!" and dragged the poor boy over to her easel, where her supplies were set up.
All the easels were arranged in a circular fashion, surrounding the small platform placed directly in the middle of the room. Various lighting illuminated the platform brightly, making it the centre of attention. Ken's eyes were automatically drawn to it, as he contemplated his future standing there, modelling for the art students.
Kari took his soccer ball from his hands and tossed his bag over by the side of the wall, where her backpack was resting. They chatted for a bit—she asked how soccer practice was going, and he told her all about the freshmen who didn't know left from right—wasting time until more kids trickled in, filling the room with the acoustics of teenage blather.
Ken felt a bit nervous, never having done anything like this before. His picture had been taken more times than he could count… but standing there before the piercing eyes of budding artists made him pause in anxiety. His gaze sought Kari, who held his stare and seemed to peer into his very soul. Is this a side-effect of being nervous?
he wondered, astonished by the intensity of her eyes. Or is this just an artsy thing?
Ken had no more time to ponder the matter; he was too distracted by Kari's fierce voice.
"Strip," she commanded.
Ken left abruptly after that, claiming dehydration from too much time in the sun. No way was he dropping his drawers for Kari's project in front of the entire class
. He finally understood why Davis had burst out laughing at his admittance of agreeing to help Kari with her painting for art class. And he especially knew why TK's face had gone a dark red colour. Apparently, after being turned down by everyone, Kari's tactics had changed—she decided to only tell the victim what exactly they had to do after she hooked them into agreeing. Ken could only feel sorry for himself, as he had fallen for it without question. Who'd have thought that Kari would be okay with drawing a naked man?
Not Ken, evidently.
She had pleaded, begged, got down on her knees and asked that he stay so they could discuss this more. Ken, for one, was not comfortable with the arrangement she suggested. Embarrassment was one emotion that came to mind immediately. He would never live it down and plus… no one had ever seen him naked
before, save for his family. But that was a long time ago, and this was now
Inside his mind, he could imagine how it would all play out now: Ken, determined to do his part for Kari's sake, standing proudly on the platform in the middle of the classroom, like a real-live knight in shining armour, sans
armour or any other kind of coverings. And Kari, poised behind the easel, paintbrush in hand, palette in the other, and laughing
Ken's worst fear, realized in that very scenario.
He was only a teenage boy. A self-conscious one at that. He didn't purposely fix his hair every moment of the day, but when cameras often hid in the bushes outside your house… yeah, you want to look semi-decent at least. Ken wasn't ashamed of his body, and he certainly did not want a different one, but he wasn't prepared to bare it for Kari and company in broad daylight. Maybe if she turned off the lights in the room, and it were a dark, moonless night…
. She asked him to do a very specific task: strip down so she and her peers could draw him for their art class. The bottom line was that Ken had no intentions of doing something like that, even for one of his closest friends. There was simply no way on Earth.
Kari approached him then during his rationalizing, sauntering over to his slumped position on the bench he occupied. She didn't sit too near to him, for which he was glad. Distance must be maintained at all times.
"Have you decided yet?" she enquired innocently.
Didn't this woman know what she had put him through in these past few hours? His head felt like it had been through a washing machine from all the circles he'd been running in, trying to figure out the right thing to do.
"Not exactly," he hedged, "but I'm pretty sure my answer's still no."
Kari nodded solemnly, looking absolutely devastated by his response. Damn it… he hadn't expected her to start getting mopey. She didn't say anything and neither did Ken. What was there to say? In his mind, this awkward conversation was done. He had declined her request, and now they could work on putting it all behind them. Unfortunately for the traumatized boy, Kari wasn't done saying her part.
"You know, I grew up sharing a room and bathroom with Tai; it's nothing I haven't seen before, so you shouldn't be embarrassed."Bingo.
Did Kari have psychic powers? Curse her for being able to read his every thought like that. That being said, it was probably more than a little bit obvious that Ken had trouble coming to terms with the idea of being naked in front of a bunch of girls (and guys
), subject to her scrutiny. Embarrassment may have been a slight understatement at the moment.
He glanced at her, all calm and collected, wondering why he was so flustered by this and she was not.
"I'm just not sure you understand my point of view," Ken explained mutely, not wanting to express more emotion that he already was. "If our positions were reversed, could you not grasp the… hesitation I feel?"
Kari finally let loose a blush, and looked down at her toes. "Yeah, I guess… but… isn't there some way you can get over that and still help me out? We really need someone for the class."If only those words worked on me
, lamented the boy genius. Even if you need me, I'm not going to take off my clothes for you, Kari
… wait, that sounded wrong, even in his head.
Ken mentally gave himself a shake, steering clear of those kinds of thoughts. He was supposed to be letting Kari down gently; not imagining what kind of other situation would require a loss of clothing…
"Listen, Kari, if it was only you, then maybe I would reconsider. But this is an entire class we're talking about."
She perked up, latching on to his first words.
"Only me? So you'd do it if it was only me sketching you?"
Her query startled him—he'd been ready to go on a whole tirade as to why he absolutely would not model for the entire art class—but her eager expression made him wary. What exactly was she planning?
Kari continued, "If that's what works best for you, then I suppose I can get special permission from the teacher. She'll be happy at least one of us found a model…" The girl frowned, preparing what she'd say to convince the teacher, and to get time off class in order to work on the project.
"Excuse me," Ken interjected, "but are you suggesting I model for you
"Sure, why not? You did say you'd do it if it was only me…"That conniving little minx
. Ken narrowed his eyes at her, unable to take back his words and regretting them with the fiery passion of a roasted hot pepper. Rationally, it was the best choice so far. This way, he wasn't disappointing anyone (which meant his mother would not have to force him to do anything), he wasn't posing nude for an entire portion of the school… it was just Kari, right? Just Kari, her painting stuff, and Ken.
Ignoring that fact, it was almost easy to agree. He told Kari his decision, she went away happy as a daisy on a summery day, and Ken trudged home to his bed, where nightmares of being laughed at awaited him.