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Title: The Camera Eye: Japan's Got Talent
Chapter: Fifty-third overall in The Camera Eye series, and the seventh story in Season 3. Links to previous installments can be found here
Author: Boots
Rating: NC-17
Genre: Porn industry AU, drama, smut, romance
Warnings: Male/male sex, polyamory, rimming, frottage
Pairing: Hayato (Codomo Dragon) x Subaru (Royz), Mahiro (Kiryu) x Subaru, mentions of Tomoya (Royz) x Subaru, Junji (Kiryu) x Mahiro and Junji x Tomoya
Disclaimer: Royz, Kiryu and Codomo Dragon belong to BP Records, GazettE belongs to PS Company, I own the story only.
Summary: Subaru finds himself having to judge Aoi's find-the-next-big-porn-filmmaker contest – without having any idea what he's looking for. Meanwhile, a certain ambitious contestant awaits word on the entry he may or may not have gotten in on time. Their paths crossing may be fateful in more ways than one.
Notes: Yes, Codomo Dragon's entry is named after one of their singles. None of the other contestants are based on J-rockers.

It was only when he found himself actually confronted with judging videos for the Aoi Presents contest that Subaru realized he didn't know the first thing about scrutinizing other people's films.

Okay, he'd learned a little about filmmaking just from watching Uruha on sets – but not enough to really know what went into a GOOD video. He knew what kind of things made him respond as a viewer, of course – if videos were funny, engaging, suspenseful or just plain hot.

He didn't know if that was enough to judge a contest, though.

When he asked his friends, they weren't much help. “If you really feel satisfied when you're done with it,” Yo-ka said, “then it's a truly good video. You know, the way you feel after a really good meal.”

Yuuki offered, “If your mind keeps going back to the video after it's done, that's a sign it's a winner. You know it's a good film when you just don't want to let it go.”

“The key to a really good porno?” Kouki said. “That's easy. If you remember what the characters' names were. If that's the case, it means they're real CHARACTERS, and the video wasn't just about the sex.”

The last person Subaru asked was MiA. Surely, he'd have some real insight since he was planning to be a director – right? But all MiA said was, “If you have a sense that the director conveyed exactly what he set out to do – that the video actually spoke to you – then you have a good video.”

Of course, there was Tomoya, right? He had watched the videos before Subaru had, since he was involved in the first round of judging. “I'm not going to tell you what my impressions were,” he told his lover. “I want you to make up your own mind.”

“But Tomoya, how did you come up with your decisions?” Subaru said. “Did you base it just on writing, since you're a writer? Or was it something else?”

“The writing was part of it,” Tomoya said. “But mostly? It was just gut instinct. It's just, you watch a video, and you KNOW.”

Subaru felt a bit frustrated. Everyone seemed to have a different definition of quality in film – which, in the end, added up to no definition at all.

* * *

He and Mahiro decided to have the actual viewing at Mahiro's place on a night when neither was busy. They treated it like a regular movie night – they ordered pizza and made popcorn. (“We may regret this if any of the videos are eroguro,” Mahiro said.) They sat on the floor with a pile of DVDs – because Uruha had required all the contestants mail their work in as hard copies, saying he didn't want to leave their system open to possible hacking by Heavy Hitter.

“Okay,” Subaru said. “Here we go.”

One by one, they started feeding the DVDs into the player – and one by one, Subaru realized that none of them made him feel what he was supposed to be feeling.

He might not know the hallmarks of quality – but he knew plodding plots, cliched dialogue and underlit or overlit sex scenes when he encountered them. There were a couple that were fairly decent – at least better than the others – but they still weren't the kind of videos someone handed a trophy to. Maybe a second or third place award, or an honorable mention, but not the Grand Prize.

At first, Subaru thought it was only him – until he looked over at Mahiro and saw the expression on his face. He wasn't impressed, either.

When they popped the last DVD out, Subaru felt like the pizza and popcorn had settled into a lead weight in his stomach – and not for eroguro reasons.

“Mahiro,” he said, “there's no winners in there. None at all. Maybe a couple that are passable, but . . .”

“You thought that way, too?” Mahiro said.

Subaru nodded. “We haven't got anything we can turn over to Aoi-sama. I mean, we can, but . . .” He sighed. “Nothing worthy of handing the director a movie contract. And that's what the top prize is, right? A contract to make videos with our company?”

Mahiro nodded, looking grave. “We'll just have to pick out the ones that offend us least, take them to Uruha and tell him this was the best we could do.”

Subaru looked disappointed. “Maybe . . . maybe we should get a second opinion? Show them to someone else?” He could call MiA, he thought, and have him watch them. He did know a lot more about film than Subaru, despite his vague answer . . .

Mahiro shook his head. “I don't think anyone else is going to find anything different than us. Well, we asked for amateur video, right? And this is exactly what these look like – amateur.”

Subaru suddenly felt a bit down, even though he knew none of it was his fault. He had so wanted this to work out, to have a hand in discovering the next big talent, in making an impression on Aoi – and instead, they got this.

So much for having a hand in the next big thing.

* * *

Uruha was waiting in his office for Subaru and Mahiro to come in. They were supposed to return the DVDs and report their findings.

From the sound of the boys' voices when he'd talked to them on the phone earlier, he was beginning to think he'd be getting a distinct lack of good news.

He knew this contest would be a gamble, of course. These things always were. When they did The Next Porn Star, there was no guarantee that anyone truly sexy and charismatic would emerge. The end result, however, was that PSC got TWO new actors out of it. For the writing contest, they could have ended up with a pile of duds (and, indeed, Saga and Jin reported it had come pretty close to that). What they wound up with instead was a prize-winning video.

If they didn't have a winner? Uruha had several options. He could call the contest off, of course – but that would involve a LOT of PR spin to make sure they didn't lose face, which might be more trouble than it was worth. He could quietly slip in one of the videos he got sent on a regular basis by would-be filmmakers looking to direct for the company . . . but that wasn't entirely honest.

Or, there was taking one of the existing videos and editing it professionally so it didn't seem . . . quite as bad . . .

He decided to cross that bridge once they came to it. He started to go through the pile of snail mail on his desk – mostly junk, junk, and more junk – when the two judges came in. Sure enough, they looked glum.

“Hi, guys,” Uruha said. “Have a seat – tell me what you found.”

Subaru reached into his shoulder bag and put the pile of DVDs on the desk. “Nothing,” he said. “I mean, we found about three that are acceptable . . .”

“But nothing that's a real winner,” Mahiro said.

“So we wrote down the names of the ones that we thought were, well, okay,” Subaru said. “Maybe Aoi can look at them? Maybe he can find something we didn't?”

Oh, God, Uruha thought. As little as Aoi had wanted to be involved in his own contest, he doubted the superstar would be happy about having to rank three videos that his hand-picked judges thought were, well, unrankable.

“Maybe I should watch them before he sees them.” He reached for the pile. “Here, tell me which ones are . . .”

Uruha's elbow hit the pile of mail on his desk, and several envelopes fell. “I'll get those,” Subaru said. He bent over, picked them up . . .

The top item was a padded manilla envelope whose address had the bottom line, “ATTENTION: VIDEO CONTEST.”

“Hey,” Subaru said. “This is another entry!”

“It just arrived this morning,” Uruha said. “They missed the deadline.”

“When was it postmarked?“ Subaru quickly got out his phone and checked the rules of the contest. “Yes, it was postmarked the very last day people could get them in. They actually did make the deadline – the postal service messed up!”

“Subaru, we didn't get it in time for the writers to review it and pass it through the first . . .” Uruha said.

“Yes, but nothing the writers passed through was a winner!” Subaru said. “Can we please at least watch this one and give it a chance?”

“We'll make sure the writers see it too, if that's an issue,” Mahiro said.

Uruha thought a moment. Okay, he really shouldn't be allowing it – the DVD arrived too late. But Subaru did have a point – they had nothing else. And when it came to honesty/dishonesty, this wasn't QUITE as dishonest as doctoring an existing video, or slipping in a completely outside film.

“Okay,” he said. “Go next door into the editing suite and watch it. Let me know if it's something.”
And I'm going to have my fingers crossed as much as you will, Uruha thought.

* * *

Uruha should have known that something was up when he heard . . . nothing. No talking, no laughing, no nothing. He wondered if that was a sign that the video was very good . . . or very bad.

When they had been in the editing suite for about 30 minutes, the door to the office opened suddenly, and Aoi walked in. “Hey,” he said. “Those guys pick my finalists yet? I have a free evening and I figured I'd watch them.”

“I thought you and Kazuki were going out to dinner tonight?” Uruha said.

“We were, but he got a deejay gig at the last minute,” he said. “Their regular guy got food poisoning. He's not gonna turn any club stuff down. I told him not to eat any of the place's food.” He sat down opposite Uruha. “Hey, sometimes there's even more important things than spending time with me, you know?”

“Subaru and Mahiro . . . might have your winner,” Uruha said.

“What do you mean, they might?” Aoi said.

“There's one video that they're, well, just watching now,” Uruha said. “I don't know about the quality of it – they're in the editing room, and it's been awfully quiet in there.”

“They're procrastinators, huh?” Aoi said. “I knew I liked them for a reason.”

“So, yes, they're going to tell you who their finalists are when they get done with that,” Uruha said. “And Aoi? I'm going to hold you to your word, you know. You're going to WATCH these videos.”

“I will! I will! I promise!”

“I mean it,” Uruha said. “You have to do the intros to the top three for the DVD . . . so you have to be familiar with them. So . . . I'm going to have you watch them here, in the editing suite.”

“HERE? But I need my comfy couch and my beer and . . .”

“And I'm not taking chances on you getting TOO comfy and falling asleep,” Uruha said. “So we're going to go in the editing suite now. The videos all have to be about 40 minutes, so the boys should be done right . . . about . . . now.”

They walked down the hall and Uruha tapped on the door. No answer – but it was ajar. He pushed it in slightly, both he and Aoi looked in, and . . .

There were Mahiro and Subaru, chairs pushed close together, making out furiously, hands cupping each other's crotches.

“Wow,” Aoi said. “Must have been one hell of a video.”

The boys heard the voices and abruptly pulled away from one another, breathing heavily. “Oh!” Subaru said. “Aoi-sama! I'm . . . I'm sorry . . .” He bowed low.

Aoi waved a hand. “No need to apologize. You two are hot together.”

“It was the video,” Mahiro said. “It was beautiful and sexy and . . . well, hot.”

“Aoi-sama!” Subaru said. “I . . . I . . .” He suddenly got off his chair, knelt on the floor, and genuflected entirely, forehead touching his hands. “I beg of you, pick the video we just saw as the winner!”

Aoi blinked. “Fuck – it's that good?”

Uruha blinked as well. Well, that explained the silence. Apparently, his judges were, well, mesmerized.

Subaru got up into a kneeling position. “It's incredible,” he said. “Amazing. It's got a story, it's beautifully photographed, it's sexy, it's . . .”

“It's everything you want in a winner,” Mahiro said.

“When I first started this competition, I didn't know what went into a winning video,” Subaru said. “I asked all my friends, and they all told me different things, and, well . . .” He got back up onto his seat. “They were all right, in a way. This video makes me feel satisfied. It's memorable. It speaks to me. But . . . there's something else. When you're watching it, you forget everything around you. You're just LIVING this video. That applies to all of it – the story and the sex. It's like a real movie – except there's sex, and the sex is, well . . .” He flushed a little.

“What he said is just how I feel,” Mahiro said. “It really is amazing.”

“And it was inspirational, too, from the looks of it,” Aoi said.

Subaru flushed again. “I'm sorry, I didn't mean for you to walk in on . . .”

“I told you I didn't mind,” Aoi said. He looked over at Uruha. “Can I watch them put on a show?”

“No,” Uruha said. “We're going to watch the videos. Subaru, can you please give Aoi the videos you picked as other potential winners?” He leaned over and whispered in the young performer's ear, “And then you two can use the couch in the lounge as a love hotel. Just be sure to lock the door and clean up afterward.”

“Thank you,” Subaru whispered. “Aoi-sama, here's the other videos.” He ran back into Uruha's office and scooped up the DVDs he'd separated from the pack – the ones he'd found at least “acceptable.” When he got up to the superstar, he bowed low again. “Thank you for the opportunity to help.”

He scurried out of the room, grabbed Mahiro's hand, and the two headed for the lounge. “I can't believe that video,” Mahiro said. “That was so hot, and yet . . .”

“I know,” Subaru said. “It really did feel like a MOVIE. Just with a few very hot sex scenes.”

“It was totally different from the other videos,” Mahiro said. “Completely. Like . . . it was made by pros, you know? Except pros weren't allowed in this contest.”

Subaru nodded. “I just wonder who made it. The whole thing . . . writing and directing – it was all credited to that group name. What was it again? Komodo Dragon?”

“Something like that,” Mahiro said.

They reached the lounge, and Subaru shut the door. “Well . . . we'll meet them at the announcement of the winner, won't we?”

* * *

Hayato wasn't admitting to anyone that he was looking at his E-mail as often as he was.

Sure, it might have seemed to his friends that he was looking at his phone more often than usual.
“Texting the people back home,” he said. “They want to throw a graduation party for me.”

“You graduated in March,” meN-meN reminded him.

“But we haven't gotten the whole family together since then. So we're having it now.”

Of course, the fact that he was a newly-minted unemployed film school grad, degree not yet even cool in his pocket, was half the reason he was watching his phone like a hawk, looking for anything from PSC Productions about that damn contest.

He wanted to win. No, needed to win. He needed some kind of foothold in a super-competitive industry. Making it in film was difficult, if not impossible. He'd had a hell of a hard time convincing his parents that he wanted to major in film at university. They insisted he take a minor in something “productive.” So his minor was in marketing – so he'd know how to sell his films.

He'd also had a hell of a time convincing his friends to enter the contest along with him, for them all to make this film as a group – even though they'd always done everything together.

He, Chamu and meN-meN (they'd called each other by their nicknames so long that they'd be hard-pressed to come up with one another's real names) had gravitated toward each other from the moment they arrived at the school. They were all oddballs in dress and mannerisms even by film school standards. They also were gay, bi or, in meN-meN's case, “flat-out omnisexual.” Casual friends-with-benefits exploration was as common as late-night pizza-fueled study sessions.

The next year, Kana and Yume had arrived at the school and been drawn straight into their group. They all began working on projects together – taking turns writing, directing, filming and acting, learning all aspects of the business under fire. Often, those experiences taught them more than anything learned in a classroom. Their collective films got attention from teachers, earning the highest grades in the film school . . .

But that didn't necessarily translate into professional success. And so, as the months leading up to his graduation ticked away, Hayato wrote to one TV and film company after another, touting his group's accomplishments and asking for an apprenticeship, a job as an assistant cameraman, anything. He didn't even get a nibble – not even when he sent out DVDs of their collective work.

It just so happened that one night, he was in the apartment he and his friends shared, casually browsing the PSC Productions site. Like many other red-blooded young men, he liked to look at porn, and his porn of choice was Uruha's work – because the guys were hot and the videos were well-made. He could tell that the director was a real filmmaker, not just your typical porn hack.

And then, he came across the “Aoi Presents” announcement – and his heart started beating harder. Porn was a foot in the door, wasn't it? Porn people had connections. They knew guys in the mainstream industry, didn't they?

The wheels in his head were turning. If they could take the short film script they were working on now and add sex scenes . . . they were all sleeping with each other anyway, weren't they? They'd just have to do it in front of the camera . . . and once they had a foot in the door, they wouldn't have to perform onscreen again if they didn't want to, right?

If they won the contest, it could mean job security for them all – including guaranteed jobs for Kana and Yume when they got their degrees next year. And that probably meant more to them than anything.
It was a hard sell, to be sure – but he managed to pull it off by telling his friends, “Look – nobody's going to see this video outside the porn community, right? Your parents aren't going to see it. Neither are your professors. And it could lead to all kinds of professional experience . . .”

“But in porn?” Yume said, looking skeptical-to-flat-out-worried. “Can you put that on your resume?”

“Within the industry, they don't care what kind of work you do,” Hayato said. “Some guys who've made porn have gone on to get their work into major film festivals.” (Okay, so that was really makers of “pink film” - a type of violent softcore peculiar to Japan – not true porn. But hey, it was close!)

“Well,” Kana said “if it's just a stepping stone, and not a lifelong career . . .”

“Hey, I like this idea.” meN-meN said. “There's a big side benefit. You're going to get a LOT of hot dates if guys know you've done porn!”

Whether meN-meN's statement had an effect on the others or not – or they just decided this was their best shot at a foot in the door – they did the video, and it got postmarked right before the deadline for the contest. And now . . . there was nothing to do but wait. And wait. And impatiently wait.

And so, Hayato was trying to conceal just how eager he was from everyone, and just how often he was checking his phone. Because it wasn't just a contest to him. It was his potential future.

* * *

When the word he had been waiting for finally came, it was when he didn't expect it at all – and in a form he didn't expect, either.

Hayato was in the bathtub, head on a plastic pillow, phone resting on the sink. He was starting to doze off. It was the end of the evening, and he figured he was entitled to relax for a few. If an E-mail came in, he'd hear it beep, right?

What he heard instead was the loud blast of his ringtone. He jumped, nearly sloshing water on the floor, and groped around for it, knocking a couple of bottles to the floor. He grabbed the phone, then had a hard time sliding his wet finger across the bottom hard enough to take the call.

“Hello?” he said, rubbing at his eyes.

“Hello,” said a deep male voice on the other end. “Is this . . .” The voice said the real name he hadn't heard since his name was called at graduation. . . “otherwise known as Hayato?”

“Yes,” he said. “That's me.”

“This is Uruha, head producer-director at PSC Productions. I'm pleased to inform you that you're a finalist in the Aoi Presents contest.”

Hayato nearly dropped the phone. “I . . . we . . . we are?”

“Yes. You're one of the top three winners. We would like you to come to our studio next Tuesday for a live stream announcing the grand prize.”

“And . . . and if we win that, we'll be making a feature for you?”

“That's correct,” Uruha said. “Now, I'm going to be E-mailing you more specifics on the live stream and directions to our studios, but I thought I'd give you the good news with a more personal touch.”

“That's . . .” He took a deep breath. “That's terrific! No, that's fabulous! Thank you, Uruha-san! Thank you so much!”

“My pleasure,” Uruha said. “Have a good evening, Hayato-san.”

“You, too,” he said. He hung up the phone – and then leapt out of the tub with a loud “AAAIIEEEEE!!!” not even caring that he was sloshing water everywhere. He threw the door open and ran into the living room – where Chamu was trying to watch a video on his laptop with headphones and Kana was playing a game on the television.

“WE'RE IN!” he screamed. “WE'RE FINALISTS!”

“Good Lord!” Chamu covered his eyes. “I wasn't ready for that!” Kana just dropped his controller and stared.

“Hey, what's all the . . .” meN-meN came out of their miniscule kitchen and got an eyeload of Hayato, wet and naked, running around the living room in tight circles, still shrieking with joy. “WHOA.” He quickly turned and went back from whence he came.

“FINALISTS! WE'RE FINALISTS!” Hayato began to jump up and down in place, still wet and naked. “IF WE WIN, WE MAKE OUR OWN FEATURE! OUR! OWN! FEATURE!”

The door opened, and Yume walked into the apartment with a bag – which he promptly dropped. Two bottles of green tea rolled across the floor. “What . . . the . . .”

“WE'RE FINALISTS IN THE AOI CONTEST!” Hayato grabbed Yume in a wet embrace. “WE'RE GOING TO BE ON A LIVESTREAM NEXT TUESDAY!”

“We . . . we . . . are?” Yume said, the expression on his face conveying that he thought someone had put something stronger than scented salts in Hayato's bathwater.

MeN-meN came out of the kitchen again. “Hey, cool, you got my onigiri,” he said, grabbing a cellophane-wrapped triangle off the floor and calmly retreating to the kitchen again.

In the end, they had to do a lot of mopping up in the bathroom – not to mention Yume having to change his clothes. But at least the news was worth it.

* * *

Uruha made the final adjustments to the cameras. “Okay,” he said. “The livestream is a go. We'll be going live in about five minutes. Aoi, when I give you the signal, just read from the teleprompter. Introduce your co-judges before you introduce and interview the three groups of finalists. Then, you'll announce the third place winner, then the Grand Prize.”

“No sweat,” Aoi said. “I'm all pro, remember. I can handle this.”

Of course, Uruha knew damn well who the Grand Prize winner was. The other two were there only as a formality. Codomo Dragon's video had blown the competition out of the water. When he showed it to the writers, they all agreed it was head and shoulders over anything they'd seen in the first round.

The contestants had no idea, though. He'd called all three groups with the same tone, making them all think they had a shot at winning.

He glanced over at the group calling themselves Codomo Dragon. So these are our new recruits, he thought. They were definitely of the Suicide Boy mold – piercings, colorful hair, even colorful clothing. He was going to let them do their own thing, but he'd offer them guidance – both to make sure their subsequent videos met the PSC “mold,” and to give them the headstart in the industry that they deserved.

“All right,” he told the crew. “Here we go.” He headed up to the video control booth and flipped the switches to put the livestream on standby. “Places, everyone! In five . . . four . . . three . . . two . . .”

The music used to open all of PSC Productions' livestreams played, and the monitor in front of him filled with a graphic saying, “FROM PSC PRODUCTIONS – AOI PRESENTS, THE GRAND PRIZE EVENT.” This dissolved to a close-up of the superstar himself.

“Hi,” Aoi said. “I'm Aoi – of course. Welcome to Aoi Presents, in which I use my superstar status to help launch the next generation of porn filmmakers.”

Great, Uruha thought. He's going off script and self-promoting – as usual. Well, it was Aoi – he should have expected that by now.

“How am I going to do that, you ask? Simple. We here at PSC Productions invited amateur gay porn filmmakers to submit their very best work. We watched video after video – and let me tell you, things got hot in that room!”

This, Uruha thought, after I had to just about force him to judge at least the last few videos of his own contest. The main thing that was hot was my temper.

“It was a tough decision, to be sure – but we narrowed it down to the cream of the cream, so to speak. And we're going to meet the teams behind those three videos tonight. You'll be able to see them all on our Aoi Presents DVD, which will go on sale at a special price next week. Oh, as to what happened with who after we watched the videos? That's my secret. Needless to say, there were some guys who were really smiling when they left the room.”

Uruha facepalmed. On actual porn sets, Aoi was all-pro and cooperative. When given a public soapbox, however . . .

“But anyway, enough about me. I want you to meet the lovely people who helped me narrow down the choices. First, PSC's team of expert writers . . .”

Uruha nervously glanced at the clock as Aoi interviewed the four writers (including Yo-ka, who said he was “wearing my writing hat tonight.”) Next, he moved on to Mahiro and Subaru, and finally, the contestants. As he interviewed the first group – the ones calling themselves Porn to Run – the director found himself very glad that they were doing this on their own site, and didn't have to end this at a specific time. They'd be in big trouble if they did.

The second group, which called itself Hot Sheetz, consisted of a female writer and three guys – a director and two actors. The writing on that video at least showed potential, Uruha thought. I may talk to her about serving an apprenticeship under our guys, maybe writing something for a vignette video as a tryout.

Finally, Aoi moved on to Codomo Dragon. “So, he said, “how does it feel to be finalists?”

“I've never been so thrilled in my life,” Hayato said.

“He was so thrilled, he ran through our living room naked,” meN-meN said.

“It's true!” Hayato said. “When I got the news, I was in the tub! So I ran into the living room to tell the others, and . . .”

“Got me soaked head to foot,” Yume said.

“Wow,” Aoi said. “I'm impressed, Hayato-san. That's one hell of a load.”

“Soaked with bathwater!” Hayato laughed. “I wasn't doing THAT!”

“So tell me a little about your video,” Aoi said. “It's called Viper, isn't it?”
“Yes, and we all had a hand in writing and acting in it,” meN-meN said. “It's a group effort.”

“Chamu came up with the main idea for it, though,” Kana said.

“I just wanted to do something about guys who work in a club,” Chamu said. “You know, one of those dark, gothy clubs.”

“So, have any of you ever had sex in a club before?” Aoi said.

They all shook their heads.

“Any of you ever thought about it? Because I know a good club not far from here” They all laughed.

Uruha looked over at Subaru through the glass and nodded. That was Subaru's cue to hand Aoi the envelopes with the fateful names in them. Subaru nodded back, went over to Aoi and held the items out, bowing.

“It seems the moment of truth is here at last,” Aoi said. “One of these lucky film crews is about to have their lives turned around forever! The third place winners will get 100000 yen. The second place winners, 2500000 yen, and the grand prize winners? Well, they get a contract with PSC Productions and will write, direct and produce their very own feature video – with real PSC stars appearing in it! Okay, here we go! The third place winners are . . . .” He ripped open the first envelope. “Porn to Run! Congratulations!” The first group walked up to him, shook his hand one by one and bowed as they accepted their check, all wearing the pasted-on smiles of people who need to look happy – but are anything but at the moment.

“And then there were two, right? Codomo Dragon and Hot Sheetz. Couldn't happen to nicer people. So I'm about to call a name here, right?” He held up the other envelope. “And whatever name I call? Congratulations, you're now officially working at the same company as me! Which is a pretty damn big honor!”

Uruha shook his head. Just open it, he thought.
“Here we go!” Aoi ripped the envelope open. “The winners of the Grand Prize in Aoi Presents, the crew that is now part of our one big porny family, is . . . “ A pause, during which Aoi preened for the camera. “CODOMO DRAGON!”

The camera zoomed in on the winners – all of whom screamed in ecstasy, jumping up and down and hugging each other. An off-camera crew member threw confetti in their direction, which floated down on them like sakura petals.

“I want you guys to know something!” Aoi yelled over the din. “Your video was great! Truly worthy!”

Hayato stumbled over to him, bowing and bowing and bowing again. “Thank you! Thank you, Aoi-sama!”

“But there's something else,” Aoi said. “You wanna know who clued me in to how good your video is?” He pointed at Subaru. “This guy.”

There was dead silence in the room – including in the broadcast booth. Subaru looked stunned. “M-me?”

Holy crap, Uruha thought. Did . . . did Aoi just give credit to someone else? His eyes shifted to the monitor showing an outside surveillance camera, looking for flying pigs.
“He and that guy” - he pointed at Mahiro - “saw your video before I did and liked it. He made sure I sat down and watched it before I did anything else. And you know something? He was right. You guys owe this award almost as much to him as you do to me.” There was loud applause. “I said ALMOST.”

Which was, Uruha thought, the closest Aoi would ever come to giving someone else credit. Subaru should be proud. Of course, Aoi should have more fully acknowledged Mahiro's contribution, too, but . . . it was a start.

“Well, that's it,” Aoi said. “Remember – Aoi Presents, on sale next Tuesday. I introduce all three of the videos, so you get to see my pretty face, too! There's even a striptease by me on there! Good night, everyone!”

“And, clear!” Uruha shouted from the broadcast booth. “Good job, everyone!” He came down to the main studio – and was instantly swamped by Codomo Dragon winners bowing and thanking him.

“Everyone party, now!” Aoi shouted. “Vans are leaving for the party site in a few minutes!” Like many PSC events, this one was going to be followed by a celebration at the home of one of their wealthy benefactors – where members of all three finalist crews would be able to rub elbows with the company's stars. (And maybe rub more as well – the bedrooms of the upper floors would be decked out and ready for action, with condoms, lube, dental dams and fresh sheets).

Despite Aoi's antics, Uruha couldn't help but feel satisfied with the end result. They couldn't have asked for a more interesting crew to take them into the future.

* * *

Hayato was feeling a bit overwhelmed by his first experience of a porn industry party.

He actually didn't know quite what to expect when they were all bundled into a white van and shipped across town to what could only be described as a palatial mansion – which they were told belonged to some English lord who lived in Japan and liked to finance pornos.

Part of him was afraid they were going to see naked men all over the place. Part of him was hoping for that.

Fortunately or unfortunately, when they arrived, everyone was dressed – and, like any other party, the alcohol was flowing. He had a drink pressed into his hand almost as soon as he walked in (some sort of orangy-brown thing, it tasted good, anyway) and he was whisked from one seemingly-important person to another – this porn blogger, that company executive, the other representative of JAVA. They all offered him their congratulations – even though he quietly wondered if any of them had seen their film.

It was when he had a short breather, leaning against the wall sipping some of his drink (yes, there was kind of a citrusy taste in there somewhere, and also probably whiskey) that he spotted someone he genuinely wanted to talk to.

Subaru was across the room, holding a drink similar to his, talking to Yo-ka. He looked, well, stunning. Hayato had to admit that Subaru was one of the guys he'd especially enjoyed watching when he looked at porn – he was beautiful, an intriguing combination of sweet and sexy, and, yes, actually talented.
Plus, he was the one responsible for picking their film out of the pack and bringing it to Aoi's attention. Which was, well, pretty amazing.

When Yo-ka moved away from Subaru, Hayato saw an opening. He moved across the room quickly – but tried to not make it look TOO quick. He didn't want to seem like a creeper.

“Hi,” he said when he arrived at Subaru's side. “I really want to thank you. If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have won.”

Subaru turned toward him – and gave him a blinding smile. “It wasn't just me,” he said. “My friend Mahiro picked it out, too. And you deserved it,” he said. “You really did. Your video was by far the best of the bunch. Tell me – were you the one who wrote it?”

“We kind of all wrote it,” Hayato said. “That's how we've always done everything. One of us comes up wth a basic framework of story, and we all contribute bits and pieces. Chamu came up with this one.”

Subaru looked around. “Listen – do you want to go outside and talk? There's a garden outside this place, and it would be a lot quieter than trying to be heard over all these people.”

Hayato's heart leapt a little. “Sure,” he said. “I'd like that.”

Subaru led him toward the back of the house, out a door. Sure enough, there was a garden, just coming to life with mid-spring blooms. Rosebushes were in bud, sakura trees were dropping their last few petals. Stone benches allowed visitors the opportunity to sit down and take it all in at once – Hayato imagined the place was quite spectacular in summer.

The two of them sat side-by-side. “Why did you decide to enter the contest, anyway?” Subaru said.

“Well, I just graduated from film school,” Hayato replied, naming his university. “I chose it because they had one of the few real bachelor's degree programs in film in this country.”

“That's like me,” Subaru said. “I chose my college because they had a video game program.”

“That's what you want to do?” Hayato said. “Design video games?”

“My friends and I still have a gaming company,” Subaru said. “We call it Royz Games. We're building a sci-fi RPG called Starry Heavens. I work on it whenever I get a chance.”

“That's cool!” Hayato said. “I've never known anyone who wanted to do gaming as a career before! What are you doing in porn, though?”

“Couldn't find a job in the industry,” Subaru said. “You'll find that most of us are trying to do something else. Well, except for Yuuki and Yo-ka – they started out really wanting to do nothing but porn. But even they have other careers now. Yuuki is learning to be a stylist, and Yo-ka's one of our writers. And you . . .” He smiled. “Obviously, you want to be a filmmaker.”

“Oh, yeah!” Hayato said. “I've always wanted that. Not just directing, though – I've wanted to do a lot of everything. Writing, directing, acting. That's why I like working with my friends. We all collaborate on everything. And because we're all so close, well . . . it makes it easier.”

“Are you, um . . . especially close with any of them?”

“You mean, dating?” Hayato said. “No, I'm not. Well, there's been plenty of fooling around with all of us, but none of us are really together. What about you? I mean, I know you're with lots of guys on screen, but . ..”

“Tomoya is my boyfriend,” Subaru said. “He's another one of our writers.”

“Oh.” Well, there went Hayato's heart, sinking all the way to his shoes.

“But . . . it's open,” Subaru said. “Really open. I've been with a lot of guys, onscreen and off. It's just that . . . I fall in love easily, you know? And I fall for a lot of guys.”

“And Tomoya's okay with that?” And his heart bounced upward, a little. A glimmer of hope!

“Perfectly okay,” Subaru said. “In fact, he's . . . kind of got something going with a friend of ours.”

“Really?” This was all . . . an eye-opener. Not to mention pretty damn exciting. Hayato had heard about polyamorous relationships, and thought it sounded like something worth trying – but it was also something he'd never taken the plunge on.

“Yes,” Subaru said. “But it's okay – I've kind of got something going with that friend's boyfriend, too.”

“Are you open to even more relationships?” Whoops. Well, he didn't meant for THAT to pop out – at least, not in that way.

“Of course,” Subaru said with a bright smile. “If I think the guy can bring something to my life? Definitely.”

There was a long pause, during which the two men just sort of looked at each other, realizing a line of communication had been opened, a possibility was hanging in the air now . . .

And then, Hayato said, quickly, “Tell me more about this gaming school of yours.”

* * *

They weren't quite sure how long they'd been out there. They just knew that the moon was moving across the sky and the air was developing a chill. They'd talked about their colleges, and their friends, and Subaru's experiences in the industry so far, and what Codomo Dragon might do with their first feature video.

Hayato realized he felt genuinely comfortable with this guy. For all his being a glamorous porn star, Subaru was genuinely sweet, and smart, and a bit dorky. In other words, very much human. Somebody he was very glad to hand his phone to so they could exchange numbers – because he wanted to get to know him even more.

As such, he felt a bit of disappointment when Subaru said, “Maybe we should go inside. I'm getting cold.”

“Oh,” Hayato said. “It's cold, but . . .”

“But?”

“I'd rather talk with you than be in that party.”

“We don't have to go right back in, you know,” Subaru said. “When we were on our way out? Right by the door, there was a staircase. I think it goes straight to the upper floors.”

“What's there?”

“Rooms, of course,” Subaru said. “Rooms that have been outfitted for this party.”

“Ballrooms?”

“Bedrooms.” Subaru blushed a little. “Well, you know, it's, um, a porn industry thing, and when porn people get together, and get drunk, well, they tend to . . .”

“Oh,” Hayato said. “Oh, I . . .” And then it hit him. Subaru was asking him to go upstairs. He wanted to go to one of these might-as-well-be-in-a-love-hotel rooms with him. Holy CRAP.

He suddenly found himself feeling like a teenager on his first date – heart pounding, sweaty palms, the works.

“You . . . you're sure?” he said.

“Sure . . . of what?” Subaru said.

“Of wanting to go upstairs, given it's, you know . . .”

“OH!” Subaru said, and then added, quickly, “I was just thinking that we could talk up there and it would be warmer and . . .”

“But . . . would you consider it?” Oh, boy. Something was suddenly making Hayato go into full fuck-it-I'm-going-for-it mode. Must be the brown citrussy drink.

“Consider . . .” Subaru blushed again, looked away, then looked at Hayto. “I . . .” He pushed a lock of hair back. “Do you like me?”

“Yes,” Hayato said. “What about you – do you like me?”

“Yes,” Subaru said. “I want to get to know you better, and . . . and . . .” He looked away. “And that scene you did with those two guys had me all hot.”

“Not as hot as your scenes in Datenshi Blue 2 had me,” Hayato said.

“So . . .” Subaru reached out his hand and put it over Hayato's. “Should we go upstairs, then?”

“Yes.” And before he knew what he was doing, Hayato was leaning over, and kissing Subaru . . . he noticed the boy stiffen a little at first, but he relaxed quickly, reaching up to wrap his arms around the other man, their lips opening as their tongues pushed forward.

Subaru quickly pulled back with a gasp, putting his hand over his mouth – but then, he lowered his hand and smiled. “We'd better get up there quickly, then, before we end up doing it outside.”

“It's a bit cold for that, isn't it?”

Hayato stood up, holding out his hand to Subaru, and they walked together toward the door – and the staircase to the upper floors.

* * *

They went into the first room with an open door they found, closed the door and locked it – and then just stood, looking at each other for a long, breathless moment.

Subaru moved toward Hayato, pulling the other man into his arms and kissing him hard, feeling his piercings press into his own lip – which made him feel all the hotter. He opened his mouth, pushing his tongue toward his new lover's.

Hayato wrapped his arms around Subaru tighter, thinking in the back of his mind, I'm in a bedroom with a porn star, I'm making out with him, I'm going to get naked with him and touch him and . . .

No, not a porn star. Not JUST a porn star. Subaru.

As the kiss broke, Hayato began to unbutton his companion's shirt, rapidly, wanting to touch that skin. Subaru returned the favor, fingers moving swiftly and expertly to unfasten the garment . . .

And then, both of them rapidly shed shirt, pants and underwear, as if they couldn't wait to get down to business. Which they couldn't.

They fell to the bed together, kissing hotly again, Hayato starting to run his fingers along Subaru's back and sides, thinking that yes, his skin felt just as silky as it looked on-camera. And that went double for his neck, when Subaru tipped his head back, exposing his throat for Hayato to lick along and kiss.

He felt so hot, smelled so good, tasted so good . . .

Hayato quickly flipped both of them over so that he was on top and pulled back so he could just look at him. He was unbelievably gorgeous. Flat belly, nicely sculpted chest, and that cock – not huge, but perfectly shaped, looking like it was made to fit in a lover's hands and mouth.

“You're perfect,” he heard himself saying to Subaru.

Subaru gave him a sweet smile. “I'm not perfect,” he said. “I'm just me.” He raised a hand, stroking the back of his fingers down Hayato's chest, over a nipple, then turning them around so he could caress the bud.

Hayato closed his eyes, feeling the hot sensation, the way Subaru knew how to move his fingers with a feathery touch, just enough to send shudders of ecstasy through him. He reached for Subaru, wanting to do the same thing to him, finding the nipple, rubbing it gently, listening to his lover's breathing as it hitched.

The hands moved lower, caressing their way along one another's stomachs, and lower still, until . . .

Hayato's fingers encountered the growing hardness, running up and down it, tracing that shape, wrapping his fingers around it . . . yes, it did fit his hand perfectly, as if it were meant to be that way. And then there was stroking along his own cock, fingers slipping along the shaft, dancing from one sensitive spot to another. Subaru had eyes eyes closed, as if he were losing himself in the sensation of touching his new lover, of memorizing each inch.

They both began a steady stroke, moving up and down, rubbing and brushing and caressing from root to tip, both of them moaning, moving faster, wanting to touch every bit of each other at once.

Eventually, they let go of one another and just settled into a position where Hayato was on top of Subaru, the two of them pressing their hips together, cocks rubbing against one another, thrusting and moving and grinding, not being able to get enough of one another. Subaru's hands gripped Hayato's ass, squeezing it, and Hayato almost lost it there and then.

It was the hottest experience of his life. He was lost completely in Subaru, in his heat and his scent, the feel of their chests pressed against one another, the sound of panting and moans . . . and that beautiful, hard thing rubbing against his own, sensitive flesh sliding together . . .

He suddenly pulled away, gasping. “I'm sorry,” he panted. “I have to stop, or . . .”

Or he'd come and end it. He just couldn't. Not now.

Subaru seemed nonplussed. Instead, he flipped over on his stomach, pulling his knees up – and putting his ass on full display.

Oh, God. Hayato's eyes moved over the rounded flesh, looking full and tempting, the cleft between them, an invitation to all sort of delights. He didn't know if it was possible for his cock to get any harder . . . but it was.

His eyes darted to the nighttable. There was a bottle of lube there, and some condoms, and . . . he picked up a thin sheet of latex, realizing what it was, what it was for . . . and what he wanted to do. No, needed to do.

He picked up the bottle of lube and unscrewed the cap, pouring it into the cleft. Subaru obligingly moved his legs apart wider, bringing that little puckered opening into full view.

Hayato leaned over, kissing the right cheek, nibbling at it, thinking it felt so wonderfully firm, so made for a man's hands and mouth. One hand grasped the sheet of latex, draping it over the cleft, pushing it in.

Then, he leaned over, burying his face in his lover, pushing his tongue forward, finding that little hole and teasing it, running around the edges of the opening. He heard Subaru suck in his breath and murmur, “Oh, yes . . .”

He began to thrust further, penetrating him, his tongue slowly become encased in tight heat, wriggling it around, feeling Subaru shudder in response. “Don't stop,” Subaru said, breathlessly. “Don't stop, I love that . . .”

Hayato began to move faster, tongue thrusting harder into Subaru's ass, exploring, moving around, wanting to stimulate every bit of him, to make him moan every way imaginable. He felt immersed in his new lover, drowning in him, almost not knowing where one began and the other ended.

“Yes,” Subaru moaned. “Oh, yes, more . . .”

Hayato gave it to him, pushing his tongue in harder, faster, wriggling it this way and that, memorizing the way Subaru's body clutched at him, caressed him. A flick against one sensitive spot in particular brought about a hard shudder, and a low, throaty groan filled the air.

Hayato reached around Subaru's body, fingers finding that cock and wrapping around it, stroking rapidly as his tongue continued to move, curling inside him a bit before pumping in and out, fast and hard.

“Aaaaahhh!” Subaru cried. “Hayato, I'm going to come, ohhhh, yes . . .”

Hayato felt that ass clutch hard around him, again and again, as Subaru shuddered hard. His tongue slipped out as hot wetness poured over his fingers, and just kept pouring.

Subaru sagged forward, panting – and Hayato pulled the dental dam away, leaning over the other man, rubbing his cock against the cleft. He didn't try to penetrate, didn't need to. He just needed the friction, the sensation of that perfect ass encasing him, of stimulation all over his erection.

He needed to come like he never had in his life, to give himself entirely over to sensation . . . to surrender completely to this magnificent creature.

Subaru began to move, to thrust up against him, churning his hips, wanting to stimulate him as Hayato had done to him, and Hayato moved faster, cock sliding against heated skin, rubbing faster, the pleasure building and building in his body.

His heart was racing, skin covered with sweat, he was moaning nonstop, and that heat in his belly was ready to explode . . .

When the pleasure burst, it was with an intensity he didn't know was possible. He cried out at the top of his lungs, pulling back so he could come all over Subaru's ass, feeling like he could cover the man's entire body with his essence.

Subaru collapsed to the bed, and Hayato collapsed on top of him, the two of them turning around so they could kiss, gently.

“Wow,” said Hayato. And that was all he was capable of saying. He felt like he'd been turned inside-out. And that was just from touching, rubbing, grinding and rimming – what would it be like if he'd had his cock in him?

“You're amazing, Hayato,” Subaru murmured. He kissed him. “I'm glad I met you.”

Hayato blinked – his brain was still hazy. Did he hallucinate that? No, Subaru said it. “I'm glad I met you, too.”

“I want us to do this onscreen and off from now on,” Subaru said. “And . . . I want the first time you penetrate me to be on-camera, just like I did with Mahiro.”

Right now, he'd agree to anything in the world Subaru wanted. He knew the other man was proposing a friends-with-benefits arrangement, nothing more. He'd give it to him. First time together on-camera? No problem. He'd write a part for Subaru into the movie he and his friends were going to produce.

“I can't wait for it,” he said, looking around for something to clean up with. Fortunately, someone had thoughtfully included a box of wet wipes.

“We need to go downstairs,” Subaru said, softly, kissing him.

“Do we have to?” Hayato wanted to stay here. He wanted to make this room their own universe.

“Yes. Your friends are going to wonder, and so will mine.” Subaru leaned his head against Hayato's. “But we'll be together soon like this, I promise.”

The two of them got off the bed, looking for their discarded clothes. Dressing felt like being sealed away from him for good. Yes, Hayato was aware he was falling for him, and hard. Yes, he knew it was a lust-fueled crush. That was okay.

He'd just had the night of his life – winning the top prize in the career-securing contest, then meeting and bedding Subaru. It didn't get any better than that.

* * *

The porn bloggers responded with an explosion of positivity toward the contest, and especially Codomo Dragon's video. They threw around words like “a hell of a start, with potential for greatness” and “does more in 45 minutes than some videos do in twice that.”

It all made Uruha very glad they'd taken the plunge with this thing. Sure, the contest got off to a rough start – but the finale was well worth it. And now, they had a group of new talent in Codomo Dragon – not just performers, but writers, directors, even cameramen. They were getting plenty of bang for their buck.

And Subaru, especially, was happy with his discovery – yes, Uruha thought of Codomo Dragon as Subaru and Mahiro's discovery, not Aoi's, no matter what people outside the company thought. Both Hayato and Subaru had already asked Uruha if the latter could be in Codomo Dragon's first feature.

Yes, he'd definitely allow it – he wanted to see what came of it. In fact, he had other plans in mind for their newcomers, and Kiryu Video as well . . .

Uruha clicked to a different blog and sighed. Even in an hour of triumph for them, there just had to be Heavy Hitter making trouble. Now they were ragging on the appearance of his actors – both their new additions and their existing stars. “They all look like Blythe dolls. Huge eyes, skinny little bodies. In fact, that's what we're going to call them from now on – Blythe Porn.”

Let them, Uruha thought. We will soon have more talent in just one unit of our company than they have in their entire firm. They don't have the guts to do what we just did – or the imagination.

Yes, he was feeling very good about all this – and proud of Subaru. The boy really did know what went into a truly good video after all.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
write_my_dreams
May. 15th, 2016 02:21 am (UTC)
I figured Subaru and Mahiro would have to sift through a hefty pile of junk before they could find anything good. Their pizza and popcorn slash porn party makes me want to have pizza and popcorn now lol. Codomo Dragon was dangerously close to missing the contest but fortunately the boys saw their video--and obviously liked it!

Hayato getting the news while he was in the tub and then shrieking and running around dripping wet and naked was priceless. It's also hilarious how his friends were all shocked by the sight even though they've all slept with him before.

I snorted horribly when Subaru was described as being "a bit dorky". You could find that boy's picture next to "dork" in the dictionary, haha.

I'm pretty sure Hayato was in heaven when he went home. His group won the contest, they all have jobs now lucky bastards, and he got to have sex with Subaru! What a lucky man.

Did find a couple errors:

“Good Lord!” Chamu covered his eyes. “I wasn't ready for that!” Kana just dropped his control and stared. - controller

And another line where "see" was repeated twice though I can't recall where it was now.

Another great chapter! Looking forward to seeing how Codomo Dragon does with their newfound employers. And of course Heavy Hitter is acting up again. They're such sore losers at everything.
puss_nd_boots
May. 15th, 2016 05:30 am (UTC)
Thank you! Hayato had just a SLIGHT good day, didn't he? New career, big party, sex with a gorgeous guy . . . we should all have days like that! And, yeah, even though his friends were used to seeing him naked while having sex, they most definitely weren't expecting him to come charging out into the living room, nude as the day he was born, yelling and dripping wet! (It was the context that shocked them more than anything).

Calling ANYONE from BP Records a bit dorky is like calling the grass a bit green. I swear the reason that BP is holding off on officially anointing Londboy as their fourth band (fifth if you count My Dragon) is they want to see if they pass the Dork Test. Can't be a BP Boy unless you're a full-blown dorkosaurus!

Heavy Hitter are the worst sore losers ever. Of course, there is a chance that Uruha may take their latest insult against our boys and spin it into something positive in the future . . .
write_my_dreams
May. 16th, 2016 02:13 am (UTC)
Wouldn't days like that be amazing? Haha that is fair enough and it would be quite a shock to see that.

Oh absolutely. It's so funny watching them acting serious and cool and knowing they're probably dying inside waiting to release the massive dorks that they are.

Oh I'm sure he will. He's used to dealing with these morons
hamhamheaven
May. 15th, 2016 04:35 am (UTC)
How is it possible that in a story involving Hayato and company, my favourite part is still Aoi?! His reaction to walking in on Subaru and Mahiro making out was just perfect. And going off script during the webcast... Never one to pass up an opportunity to toot his own horn, that boy. I love our Superstar!

It makes me so happy that Codomo Dragon's entry was named after my favourite PV! Hayato streaking around stark naked after getting the news was pretty hilarious. (I can actually picture him doing something like that.) And I can only hope that he makes friends with Mahiro as quickly as he did with Subaru. Another great installment. Can't wait to see what happens next!
puss_nd_boots
May. 15th, 2016 05:38 am (UTC)
Aoi is the ultimate scene-stealer. I have to admit that his parts in this were among my favorite to write! He always has to be the superstar, even when the cameras are turned off - and when they're turned on, watch out! You won't get a word in edgewise. The idea of him staying on-script was an impossibility, of course.

Hayato and Mahiro will definitely end up as friends - there is a very good chance of them working together in the future! And yeah, I can DEFINITELY see Hayato reacting that way to good news of that caliber. In fact, I would not be at all surprised if that's how he reacted when he found out they'd officially been admitted to the BP Records dorkosphere!
leifang666
May. 15th, 2016 09:55 am (UTC)
I think Aoi has to be my favourite character in this. His ego, it's awesome. But I always did love an egomaniac.
puss_nd_boots
May. 20th, 2016 04:34 pm (UTC)
Aoi has proven to be very popular in this story! I have to admit, his part was probably the most fun to write. He is utterly shameless - but under it all, he genuinely has a heart. He really does want to help young filmmakers achieve their dreams. (He just doesn't like the idea of watching all those videos . . .)
leifang666
May. 20th, 2016 07:30 pm (UTC)
I've always love egomaniacs. The kind with inflated self esteem, not the kind who look down on others.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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