The only thing Sora wants is to be left alone to do his art. When he moves into a house with three other people, he knows he’ll have to make some adjustments, but he didn’t count on one of his roommates being a neat-freak with no regard for personal boundaries. If there’s one thing Sora can’t stand, it’s other people telling him how to live his life.
Marc is excited to move in with new people. After his last break-up, he’s keen on being independent and focusing on his own hobbies. His new house has a garage, so he’ll finally get to work on his car! But Marc’s enthusiasm falls apart when he realizes his disorganized artist roommate, Sora, intends to work on his projects in the garage, too.
The two men could not be more opposite ... or more similar. They each do their best to ignore the other, but the longer they spend together, the harder it becomes. It’s only a matter of time before sparks start to fly -- but their differences may be too much to overcome. Can two fiercely independent men learn to let another into their space, and into their hearts?
Within just a couple minutes, Marc had roughly grouped the paints into the standard color categories in rainbow order, plus pink, black, white, and gray. It was still just a rough pile of mess on the floor, but it was one step closer to tidiness. Sora leaned over, shifting onto hands and knees so he could examine the blue and green groupings. The way he looked, the way he sifted through, was haphazard and frantic, with no logical process.
“Stop it,” Marc said. “You’re just making it worse. Go logically.”
He couldn’t believe he was teaching a fully grown adult how to look for something. In quick, small groupings, he shifted tubes from right to left, eliminating some based on brand or bottle shape, pausing longer on ones that matched one category to determine if they were what Sora wanted. When he reached the end of the blues and greens and hadn’t found the right one, he straightened up.
“At least now you know for sure that it isn’t here.”
“But it was here! That’s what’s killing me. I swear, I remember seeing it in one of these boxes when I was carrying them in here.” He groaned and lay back on the cold concrete floor with his hands over his face. “Sorry, this is just really frustrating. I’m always losing things. I hate it.”
“Maybe you should keep your stuff more organized.”
“Thanks, Mom, that helps.”
Marc frowned at the sharp tone. “Hey, no need to be a jerk about it.”
“I don’t have the time or energy to organize. I work. I have deadlines. I barely have time to sleep.”
Something about the way he said it sent a twinge of sympathy through Marc’s chest. While he couldn’t imagine, personally, being able to function in the disaster that Sora worked with, he did know what it was like to run yourself ragged trying to be in three places at once.
“I could help, if you want.”
Sora lifted his hand from his face and looked up the great distance to meet Marc’s eyes ... or, something thereabout. He never quite made eye contact, Marc had noticed. Sora’s eyes and cheeks were red from the pressure of his hand, or maybe from the frustration of losing the paint he needed.
“Thanks,” he said. “I’m okay though.” He sat up and started throwing the paints back in the box, just as haphazardly as they’d been before he’d dumped them -- completely ignoring what Marc had tried to do to help him. Marc sighed and cast another glance at the disastrous workbench. There were a few bottles of paint sitting there among everything else, half hidden by a pile of canvases. Marc stepped over the mess on the floor and picked up each bottle in turn, checking the color. They were all blues and greens ... and there, lying on its side behind all of them, was phthalo green.
“Hey,” he said. Sora looked up. “This what you need?”
“Holy shit!” The man sprang to his feet, wide-eyed. “Where was it?”
Marc gestured vaguely to the other paint bottles. “Behind stuff.”
“Jesus.” Sora took the bottle from Marc’s hand and held it to his chest like a precious item. “Thank you. Sorry.”
“Anything else you need help finding in this train wreck?”
“Not at the moment.”
“All right.” With a half-smile, Marc left the man to his devices and went back to his own project. This time, though, he couldn’t find the same deep concentration he’d had before. He kept glancing at Sora, though he wasn’t sure why. That one little comment about barely having time to sleep ... the distress at the state of his workspace ... An idea had crept into Marc’s head. He wasn’t sure if it was there for the right reasons, but it was there now and it wasn’t going away.