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Submitted on
November 22, 2011
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AkuRoku - Smoke of the Kiseru by Nijuuni AkuRoku - Smoke of the Kiseru by Nijuuni
He hoped he hadnít 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 Tifaís 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 theyíve 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 wasnít 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 didnít see anyone matching his description. Looking around, he didnít 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 ďI told you so.Ē

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 didnít 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 hadnít 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 spokeódare ga iru?

His feet felt like lead, his hands fisted by his sides as he tried to calm himself enough to answer. ďMy name is Axel,Ē he began, ďIímÖIím looking for someone.Ē

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 musicianís 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. ďI donítÖ understand. I donít speak the language.Ē I donít know what his name is, but Iím looking for someone.Ē

ďSo am I.Ē

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!
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The Artist thought this was FAIR
160 out of 165 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!
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The Artist thought this was FAIR
54 out of 54 deviants thought this was fair.

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CookieRansacked Featured By Owner 3 days ago  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  Hobbyist 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
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