When last we left Izumi and Ryouma, they were just settling into their new positions as assistants for Lalalulu‘s mangaka, Saotome-sensei. Unfortunately, Izumi was doing about as well as one would expect, and now Saotome-sensei must deal with another newbie assistant wannabe in Ryouma!
Ryouma is absolutely ready for action, though, and thrilled to be a part of the team.
Ryouma: All right, please give me some work! I’ll do anything!
Saotome-sensei is understandably concerned but asks him to do some inking and apply some tone. He isn’t sure if Ryouma even understands what ‘tone’ is, though, until Ryouma reassures him that he helped out with Izumi’s manuscript once.
Saotome: /…ONCE? WITH IZUMI-KUN’S MANUSCRIPT…!!/
His assistants try to dissuade him–but Saotome-sensei doesn’t have the guts to kick out a pair of A-list celebrities. As they’re arguing in another room, Ryouma pokes his head inside to let them know that he’s finished applying the tone and inking, and terrified of what they’re about to witness, they all steel themselves for Ryouma’s work.
Ryouma: What do you think?
His work is astounding, better than anything the assistants could do themselves. When they ask him how he got to be so good, he explains that after helping out Izumi before, he studied up on proper techniques so that if ever called on to help again, he’d be able to rise to the occasion.
The assistants and Saotome are all thrilled–FINALLY. A CELEBRITY THEY CAN USE.
They put Ryouma right to work, and not only does he do his own material, he helps Izumi with his workload, makes them all dinner, cleans the toilet, and is a pretty damn amazing artist:
Ryouma: Here! I drew the Metropolitan Office Building!
All: /OUR SAVIOR HAS ARRIVED!!/
Saotome-sensei is having a bit of trouble, though; he just can’t seem to get one of Lalalulu’s poses down, in need of a model to base his work on. Here, Izumi offers to be his life model, since he’s memorized all of Lalalulu’s poses and can pull them off easily. Saotome-sensei happens to have a Lalalulu costume sitting around and has Izumi try it on.
Izumi: Woooow! Lalalulu’s costume!
Looking on at the adorable Izumi dressed up in the heroine’s costume, everyone’s all twitterpated. Then Izumi goes to work:
He’s rocking the costume and poses, but Ryouma is realizing that the assistants are all starting to fall for him and starts to panic–more rivals!
Just then, though, Izumi’s cell phone rings–it’s Rei, asking when he’s coming home. Only now does Izumi realize what time it is–it’s just flown by, and the work day is over. Ryouma offers to drive him home, which Rei allows, utterly baffled that Saotome-sensei has not only allowed Izumi to work there, but Ryouma as well.
After he hangs up with Izumi, Rei receives another call to the office–but when he picks up the phone, there’s no one on the other line. He asks Hello? a few times, then decides to hang up–he’s received a few of these worrisome calls recently–but before he puts the receiver down, someone on the other end of the line speaks:
Rei: Ah, yes?
Speaker: …Is Izumi there?
Rei: Eh? Um…
Speaker: Does Izumi live there…?
Rei: No, this is his agency, and he’s not in at the moment. I’m sorry, but may I ask who’s speaking?
Speaker: ………tsk. /CLICK/
Rei: /…The same person who’s been sending those texts?/
This isn’t good; while Rei is in the SenaPro offices, he’s one doorway away from Izumi’s residence, since the offices are attached to the Sena family home. If this stalker finds out about that situation, it could become dangerous for Izumi to even live there.
Elsewhere, Izumi and Ryouma are enjoying a nice quiet drive home. Izumi expresses his surprise that Ryouna showed up out of the blue, and Ryouma explains that, after thinking about it, he realized that if he wanted to spend more time with Izumi, then he’d need to become an assistant himself. Though of course, he knows he can’t do it all the time–his schedule is fully booked–so…he did a little more thinking as well, and came to a conclusion:
Ryouma: Why don’t we…live together?
Izumi is shocked at the suggestion–does he mean like being roommates? Ryouma goes on to explain that he doesn’t quite mean it like that.
Ryouma: Marriage…is the sense that I was going for.
Izumi freaks out–doesn’t Ryouma realize they’re both guys? Ryouma says that yeah, of course they can’t actually get married, but…
Ryouma: I want us to live together, as if we were married…together, forever, until the day we die.
Izumi is understandable gobsmacked, he’s never thought about that kind of thing before, and Ryouma reminds him he doesn’t have to decide right away, but he’d really like for Izumi to think it over. Plus, after all:
Ryouma: Regardless, there are two huge hurdles we have to get over before we can even think about it…
Shougo: “I’ll never allow it, not never ever nope!”
Rei: “Huh? Marriage? You, a child who can’t do anything for himself? What are you suggesting, honestly? Can you even wake up in the mornings on your own?”
They arrive at the Sena family home, and though Izumi invites Ryouma inside, Ryouma must decline, since he can’t leave his car just waiting here. Izumi beckons him just inside the garden gate, though, for a semblance of privacy, and steals a kiss.
Ryouma: What is it?
Izumi: …Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.
He then bids Ryouma good night, and they part while Ryouma fights the urge to throw Izumi over his shoulder and take him home right then and there.
Just as he’s about to climb into his car, though, he feels someone watching him–but a quick glance around shows only an empty street. Probably just his imagination, he assumes.
Which is, of course, wrong–Izumi’s stalker saw the whole thing…and now he knows where Izumi lives.
At home, in his room, Izumi stares out at the night sky, reflecting on Ryouma’s proposal. He’s never thought about being with Ryouma until he dies. He loves Ryouma, and that’s all he’s ever thought about–but Ryouma’s been thinking about things beyond that. Five, ten, a hundred years from now…how does he want to share his life with Ryouma?
The next morning, when Rei arrives at the office, the house keeper brings him a letter she found in the mailbox–addressed to Izumi. Rei carefully opens it, and it’s just as he feared:
Rei: Dammit! /He’s found out that Izumi lives here! This letter suggests that it’s the same one who’s been sending all of those text messages… And now he’s right on our doorstep!/
He has to do something to make sure Izumi stays safe.
That evening, as he’s driving Izumi home from a shoot, he takes a detour. Izumi notices that they’re taking a different route home–which is when Rei confesses that they’re not going home.
Ryouma: UMM. Um. May I ask what brings the two of you by on such short notice…?
Izumi is just as confused as Ryouma, but Rei drops to his knees and bends forward into a bow.
Rei: RYOUMA-SAN, I BEG OF YOU PLEASE: LET IZUMI STAY HERE FOR A LITTLE WHILE.
It seems like their newlywed life will start much sooner than expected…!
To be continued…