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AkuRoku - Smoke of the Kiseru by Nijuuni AkuRoku - Smoke of the Kiseru by Nijuuni
He hoped he hadn’t gotten himself lost. Without a map and working with just his memory, Axel wandered into the streets of the Hanamachi with just a hint of uncertainty in his steps. Several women in luscious kimonos gave serene smiles as he walked by, and he gave a small nod of his head, awkwardly returning their greeting as politely as he could. He had been trying to keep a straight face since leaving Tifa’s apartment, trying not to stand out like the confused foreigner he was. It was difficult to lay low, what with his bright hair standing out like a bonfire against the deep blue of nightfall, not to mention his decision to wear his sneakers with his yukata. Every street he walked down, Axel could feel the locals sneak curious gazes at him, some only quick once-overs, while others were less shy with their fascination and continued to stare long after they’ve past him. Axel felt a pang of embarrassment, suddenly wishing he had worn his home clothes rather than the gifts Tifa had given him.

The air was cool and clear, still undeniably fresh from the rain just an hour before. As he entered deeper into the district, the sound of chatter and laughter grew, as did the savory smell from the restaurants lined side by side. Axel felt his breath catch when the sound of string instruments reached his ears. His mind immediately filled with memories of the young musician who had caught his attention just days before. He followed the song to a tea house and stood at a distance as he tried to gain a peek inside. The music was suddenly amplified as the door of the ochaya slid open, and Axel gave a start. Several men with cigarettes hanging from their lips exited the building, all noticing Axel standing dumbly off to the side, though they walked away without so much as a second glance, their blusterous laughter blending in with the rest of the locals.

The door was pulled shut, and Axel realized the caliber of the entertainer performing inside came nowhere near the irresistible strum that had been repeating in his mind for the past three days. It wasn’t the musician he was looking for, and Axel continued on.

Axel lost count of the number of tea houses he had passed in his insatiable search for a stranger. Asking around proved futile; the people he asked either could not understand English, or didn’t see anyone matching his description. Looking around, he didn’t recognize where he was at all, and a thread of worry slowly weaved through his nerves. A cart toting a wealthy man and a woman Axel presumed to be a geisha rushed by, and he ducked into the narrow mouth of an alley between two buildings. He looked down, and noticed the hem of his yukata was damp from the rainwater. Sighing, he ran his fingers through his hair, pursing his lips as he contemplated giving up and retracing his steps back home, where he was sure Reno was waiting to laugh and present him with the most indulgent “I told you so.”

Before he could act on his instincts, the soothing sound of a biwa paralyzed him. He turned around, and waited for another strum, praying he didn’t just hallucinate the sound. After a beat, his prayers were answered; the music was soft, distant, but Axel was positive it was played by the person he was searching for. He shuffled deeper into the narrow passage, the glow of the lanterns behind him fading with every step he took. There were no lights nor signs, only the blue wash of the moon and the beckoning ripple of the biwa to lead him. He made numerous turns into what suddenly felt like a hidden labyrinth in the Hanamachi, trusting his ears to take him to that boy with the golden hair.

As the song grew louder, Axel picked up his pace, jogging down passageways and making turns on an instinct. When he reached a straight path, his eyes widened in wonder at the lonely door at the very end. Axel noticed the faint amber glow around the perimeter of the door, its light penetrating the dark. It drew him in, and as he advanced closer, he noticed the engravings in the wood. He hadn’t seen any other door in the district with such engravings or recognize the strange emblem carved in the center.

Axel swallowed hard, only then realizing how hard his heart was pounding in his chest. His fingers brushed gently, almost cautiously against the wood grain. Gathering up the courage, he knocked twice on the door, and the song permeating through the wall stopped immediately. He took in a deep breath, his mind swirling between anxiety and infatuation.

After a beat, a soft, boyish voice spoke—dare ga iru?

His feet felt like lead, his hands fisted by his sides as he tried to calm himself enough to answer. “My name is Axel,” he began, “I’m…I’m looking for someone.”

There was another long pause; the muted air was maddening. He longed for another strum of the biwa, or at least the sound of the musician’s voice.

He heard a small shuffle and the faint patter of steps towards the door. Mimicking the motion, Axel stepped forward, coming up a breath away. The hushed voice on the other side spoke again, and Axel felt his heart jump when it felt like the person was whispering right into his ear.

Dare wo sagashiteru?

Axel let out a shaky breath. “I don’t… understand. I don’t speak the language.” I don’t know what his name is, but I’m looking for someone.”

“So am I.”

Green eyes widened and he recoiled from the door. He heard the clicks of locks released, and the door slowly slide open.

There at the entryway was the boy with the golden hair.

Read the rest of the drabble on my tumblr <3 [link]

Commission for :iconhaiku452: :heart: so guys, go and thank her for this amazing Kimono!AkurRoku prompt. GO NOW. GO KISS HER.

I loveeeeeeee this drawoing OIAWJEFWEGAOWEIFJAWOIGJAWOIGWEG *KEYBOARD SMASH* :iconiloveyouplz::iconiloveyouplz::iconiloveyouplz::iconiloveyouplz::iconiloveyouplz:
I know i haven't been drawing a lot of AkuRoku lately 8'D BUT I DEFINITELY HOPE THIS SATES ALL OF YOU DIEHARDS FOR A LONG TIME <333333333333 Uuuuuuuuuuuugh love how this turned out.



Photoshop CS5
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This artwork just speaks beauty--not unlike Nijuuni's other artwork, let's be honest! I love the way the delicate flower details go so well with the bold orange lanterns; it creates a sense of unity in the picture, along with the obvious bond between Axel and Roxas. Nijuuni never ceases to wow or amaze me with the artwork produced, every single piece being a masterpiece in itself, but the one thing I always notice is the attention to detail. The intricate markings on every individual piece of tiny food and all of the lighting details on the vase, background and the broach on roxas' kimono all add to just how beautiful this piece is. And let's face it, the way Axel and Roxas are drawn alone is enough to satisfy, even without the gorgeous detail and colouring added! Thank you so much for producing your artwork, Nijuuni, it's always different, unique and perfect!
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
163 out of 168 deviants thought this was fair.

Ok, this is the first time i write a critique, and maybe the last, but this is the best pic i'll ever critique.

First of all, I'd like to say the color here gives off a very warm, happy, affectionate mood and really catches one's eye. The colors were also beautifully set in a breathtaking background and the flowers a have to say are very stunning, and they go pretty well with the one's on Roxas's Kimono.

I also want to say that the originality and splendor of this picture is completely amazing. Here the relationship between Axel and Roxas is clearly evident, and it gives this master-peice a very deep effect and splendor. I really have to say this isn't very surprising because your work has never failed to be or even came a tad short of being totally unique and inspiring!
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
54 out of 54 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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CookieRansacked Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2014  Student General Artist
Dem hips don't lie!
LucyxKimi Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Student General Artist
LucyxKimi Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Student General Artist
JustDance231 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Student Writer
God, every time i look at this photo (which is a lit (apparently i have no troubles photo stalking you on here haha)) i just think about how long git took to color it all in; the shadows and the finest little flower. I envy you and your artistic skills and your patience. 
Kimiko-Chiba Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ohmigawd. I read the entire drabble and, geez, i feel greedy saying this, but it left me with a craving for more! You know, you were the whole reason I got on tumblr, KitsuneNoSHoujo is my tumblr name. And every time I read one of the drabbles with you pics I think. "This would be such a great multi chap!!!" but alas, it is never so.... But this picture is so beautiful!
faer-windstormfan Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OHMYGOD I JUST READ THE FULL DRABBLE. HOW IS THIS EVEN. I don't even LIKE this pairing but for your stuff I can make a total exception.

I think I'm just a sucker for well-written love stories....

It's too bad that that's never going to be finished, I could see ten MILLION different directions it could go from there....
RukiaFanGirl Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
asxdcdhg *_______*
Wow!! Very colorful,good idea ,cute boys. I JUST LOVE IT!! ><
AxelThePyroHedgehog Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
asdfghjkl; I finally read the whole drabble, and gosh, I'm just-

I love the drabble AND the drawing so. So. So. SOOO. Much.
Nijuuni Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2012   Digital Artist
aowiejg thank you! i'm glad you enjoyed reading it :blushes:!
xMadHatterz Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
that is some smexy stuff you got there
hime-yukihyou Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
absolutely beautiful
FFyaoifan1993 Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
The art work itself left me speechless! XD
*I can't breath*
kimberlei Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
owa cute i love this 2 boy's very very very very much :love::iconloveyouplz::love: axy&roxy :love::kiss::love:
AxelThePyroHedgehog Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012

Okay, I don't like AkuRoku, but MAN, do I LOVE this drawing. AND THE DRABBLE HNNNNNG

It's people like you that make me want to like AkuRoku.
Nijuuni Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012   Digital Artist
LMFAO thank you <333 lolololol come to our side, it's so much fun ;D
AxelThePyroHedgehog Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2012
Ahaha, I might consider it! xD In fact, this piece of (beautiful) art made me dislike AkuRoku less...
Yugoku-chan Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a sweet fanart.^^
Nijuuni Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012   Digital Artist
thanks c:
Yugoku-chan Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You´re welcome.^^
ani-chi-chan Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconohmygoooodplz: :iconclapplz:
Ryouko-Masaki Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2012
Wow, the detail in this is amazing! The freaking bottle. <3
Nijuuni Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012   Digital Artist
dat bottle :icondatassplz:
InsaneSanity813 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, my gawd...

Okay, so I went to tumbler and read the whole thing and at the very end I was completely at a loos for words. I just sat there and made noises of happiness until they became sense-making again.

Thank you for that little moment of bliss, my dear <3
Authwen-the-Artist Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2012  Hobbyist
... It's artists like you that make me want to stop drawing forever. This is... this is brilliant... godly... the sheer DETAIL...asfkosslgfdsguilht I don't even know what I'm feeling. This is, hands down, one of the best works of art I've ever seen on the internet.

But I wonder: How long did it take you to DO this?! And HOW?!

Please respond... I would like to know what kind of goals I'm setting for myself in wanting to one day draw like you. :)
TheBlackRose88 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012
Stunning! Beautifully drawn, & beautifully written! You have talanet! You really gve Roxas a mysterious vibe, making me want to know about him almoat as badly as Axel does. Plus you really know how to tease an AkuRoku fan girl ^_~ lol I was expecting a sneaky grope or something lol.
sammyella1127 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2012  Student General Artist
This is a great picture, first of all, it gives a mystery to ponder.
then your drabble leaves me wanting MORE and WONDERING. It was an amazing combo!
I wonder what Roxas was talking about, the possibilities are endless!
(I read the whole thing!) AMAZING that is all I can possibly do to describe how.... Amazing you are!
the background and the foreground meet nicely, there's no mistaking what the subject is, really beautiful
ChaosN-N Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012
It is Amazing
Atomic-Clover Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
okay so right after I got my first surgery and could only see out of one shitty eye, and everything was blurry and light-splotchy from not having any lens in my right eye, I saw this. and I was like, AAAAAAAAAAAAUUUGHGHGHKDALFKDALFKDA I CAN TELL IT'S SO COLOURFUL AND DETAILED AND SEXY AND OMG WHY CAN'T I SEE IT PROPERLY IN ALL IT'S PERFECTION AND BEAUTY AAAAAAAAAAAAAH SUCH TORTURE, OMG IT'S SO SEXY, I WANT TO COMMENT, BUT I CAN'T FULLY APPRECIATE IT, WHYYYYYYY oh erin, how you tortured me so. UUNGGHH <3333 it was like, sexy teasing cuz i couldnt see anything unless my face was pressed on the screen all classy-like, so i was constantly discovering more details in the picture, and having more hidden, AND IT WAS LIKE A SEXY DERPY FORM OF A STRIP TEASE FOR BLIND PPL

so now that all my surgeries are done and school is done and i have time again, I want you to know that this will be the very first comment I'll make on a pic on dA since november, AND IM SO HAPPY TO MAKE IT ON THIS SEXY PICTURE OMFGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG
this picture is absolutely stunning. It blew me away when I first saw it, and now with vision that works it STILL stuns me. the insane detail you have included in incredible and so fun for the eyes as they wander around and take in all the pretty intricate details and colours. and i LOVE how you made the flowers in the forground all blurry and not just thicken their outlines, it really feals like a photograph with the change of focus, UGHHHHNNNN IT'S JUST SO COOL. dude i am getting inspired goosebumps everywhere. This pic is amazing. aaaaaauhg. oAo
beloved-filth Featured By Owner May 21, 2012
this is just...wonderful. :)
linkinparkrulz95 Featured By Owner May 3, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow! I don't support AkuRoku but this is a beautiful piece! Very nice work! :clap:
Darkluv32 Featured By Owner May 2, 2012
Wow that's amqzing! Keeping akuroku alive!
Kisara-san Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2012
I just-
I literally was at a loss of words here. So beautiful, so detailed aaaaa How do I even-THE LIGHTNING AND THE FOOD AND THE FLOWERS AND EVERYTHING ALL THESE FEELINGS HOW DO I HOLD THEM ALL
TwintailCat Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2012  Student General Artist

This is beautiful Nijuuni! Love the details and Axel's expression. Roxas looks like he's taunting him xD

Beautiful work on Roxas's kimono. Love the psuedo-Wayfinder on his hip.

Love the little ficlet.
Nijuuni Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2012   Digital Artist
HEE roxas is such a little tease without knowing it <33 thank you so much :iconiloveitplz:
evangelinefyre Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012
This is the point where I ask myself, "wow, geez, why the heck isn't this in my favourites?"

Gorgeous, as always! And those detailed shots were a nice touch, too. I could stare at them all day.
I-and-Me Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2012
this NEEDS a DD NAO!!
soraXriku18 Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2012

I would pay pretty much any amount of money to have a print of this. It's easily the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long, long time. I can't believe how many little details there are. This is beyond gorgeous, <3<3<3
IndigoPhoenix Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2012
YEE GODS! HOW DO YOU DO THIS!?!?!?!?!? :iconyayzplz:
I-LIVE-4-YAOI Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I LOVE THIS PICTURE!!!!!!!!!! Seriously I looooooove it!!!! I would sleep with this picture I love it so much!!!!!!!!! ( roxas' nose kinds bothers me for some reason but other that I looooooooove it!!!!)
Raven-Haven13 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconclapplz: :iconiloveyouplz: AWESOME!!!!
FlyingNinjaKitteh Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012
SO PINK!!! :'D
Very, very pretty.
69xbuttonsx69 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012
You kill me with your amazingness. One of these days I'm just going to keel over from the heartattack of such epic styling. The colors, the setting, all of it, so flippin' BRILLIANT!
Nijuuni Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012   Digital Artist
baww thank you honey! but i don't want you to keel over ;_; it would make me quite sad, as i'm not yet proficient in raising people back from the dead yet.
69xbuttonsx69 Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2012
At least I would die happy. :D I mean, jeez, I still kinda giggle from joy when I see my note from you. :3
sheepish-Bunbert Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
This work is too beautiful for words ( ; x ; )b 10/10
LuluTheKangaroo Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2011
OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING!!! and it was submitted the day after my birthday. best indirect birthday present. ever. I think I love you.
Nijuuni Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011   Digital Artist
LOL and thank you too, and happy indirect belated birthday XDDD
Prussiafan97 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
i dissagerr on zeh pairing but AWESOME ARTWORK :D
Nijuuni Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2011   Digital Artist
JeremiahWricks Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Excessively beautiful, in the best way.
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Submitted on
November 22, 2011
Image Size
1.6 MB


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