elena attended college at the chicago campus of northwestern university. she originally got her bachelor’s degree with a major in communication studies and a double minor in radio/television/film and anthropology. she then decided to attend graduate school at the the medill school of journalism, which is closely affiliated with northwestern. she was an undergraduate student for four years and her grad school program required four quarters ( or 12 months ) of study and elena received her master’s degree by the time she was twenty-four. throughout grad school, she worked paid internships for smaller magazines and newspapers and even television stations. she continued to work one such internship until close to her twenty-fourth birthday and she was almost positive it would lead to an actual job position but she was actually let go from the internship and she found herself unemployed. it was at this time that she made the decision ( looking for a little extra money and eager to leave the chicago area ) that she appeared on the popular survival show, where she placed second. it did come with a little money attached but, ultimately, it’s what landed her the job of having her very own television show. while she enjoyed writing and reporting much more, she wasn’t going to turn them down. plus, she got to travel – even if it was on her own time and expenses. the show ran for three to three and a half years and was rather successful before she decided to leave the show ( about a year after her escapades with nathan in the search for el dorado ) . it was after this that she got her job as an investigative journalist for a news broadcast. while elena was still in front of the camera, she realized she almost enjoyed the writing aspect much more and was very content with her job, at the time. following the incident in shambhala, largely due to her physical injuries and her inability to properly finish her story on lazarević ( which she had fought very hard to cover, despite the opinions of her superiors that it was a dead end story ) , she left her position, of her own volition. at the time of her marriage to nate, elena had been working smaller, more freelance-type jobs. it was after their divorce that she joined with a newspaper and became a foreign correspondent. this job stuck around for about a year after the events of uncharted 3. when she and nathan actually wanted to settle down, however, she knew traveling to somewhat dangerous areas for work wouldn’t be an option and she quit. with her credentials, though, it wasn’t hard to find jobs and she ended up writing for multiple travel and archaeological magazines. and, while these jobs were nice and easy ( and allowed some light travel, here and there ) , elena wasn’t ever truly content with her career at that point. so the decision to start drake & fisher fortunes was a large one and, in her words, one of the best decisions she’d ever made.
(NOTE: i am aware she has a diploma from a “knight university” framed in her office of the new orleans house in u4. but considering that’s not a real school, i wanted to headcanon a different college career for her. why northwestern?? they have a program called the “knight lab” which is designed specifically for journalism and basically used to help further the journalism media. “knight university” / “knight lab” – northwestern seemed like he most logical choice. )
Yahaba smiles and its one of those smiles that send shivers down Kyoutani's spine, because when Yahaba smiles like that...he knows he has fucked up.
“So, darling, how has your day been, hm?”
“Uh… I’m fine, thank you for asking?”
Kyoutani knew instantly that that was the inaccurate answer when Yahaba’s grin widened, displaying his pearly whites. The smile that he used whenever he attended formal events to meet with clients, or when he was angry but didn’t want to show it. It was the exact same smile he used when he was trying to hide what he felt.
Like he was right now.
The food before him became less appetising; he neither wanted to eat nor look at it more than he had to, so he settled with glancing tentatively at Yahaba through his overgrown bangs. Looking at Yahaba didn’t help him, rather, it aggravated the situation. Despite being together for five years now, as long as Yahaba wished to, Kyoutani won’t be able to tell his true feelings behind that picture-perfect smile. Trying to decipher the real emotions behind that facade only makes Yahaba angrier, since Kyoutani was relying on him instead of himself to figure out his own mistake.
But Kyoutani didn’t know what he did wrong, couldn’t figure out what he did to make his boyfriend this irritated, so he chewed the tasteless food in his mouth silently. The nervousness made his hand shake, caused him to break out in cold sweat, his palms sticky and cold. He was pretty sure he prepared everything carefully, had ensured that Yahaba won’t be able to notice any difference from any other day.
A sigh escaped Yahaba’s lips, the corner of his lips turning down in exasperation. It’s not that he expected anything today; their five years together made this date seem rather insignificant compared to the time they had spent together, but so many people remembered, have given him each a rose as presents, yet he couldn’t even get the most important person of his life to say the words he wanted to hear the most. Being depressed is understandable. He wanted to mope, to pout, to complain, to force Kyoutani to say the words he wanted to hear, but he knew that it was pointless if it was said sincerely, so he didn’t. Instead, he ate in silence, and tried his best to enjoy what is left of his favourite food.
They eventually finished their food, stepping out of the restaurant into the cold breeze of the night to go about their journey home. The air is chilly; with winter just ending it was neither too cold for winter coats, nor hot enough to do without. Yahaba regretted his stupidity of ignoring the weatherman’s advise this morning to bring his coat out, shivering instinctively when a biting cold wind blew past.
He was silly for not taking his coat, a dimwit for expecting more from just a simple night out with his boyfriend, stupid for thinking, hoping, that he would remember what today was, an idiot, a fool, a moron-
“You’re cold.” Just two word, not louder than a whisper by his ears. A ghost of a touch on his shoulder, then a warm blanket draped on his shoulder. It wasn’t a blanket, he soon realised, but rather Kyoutani’s coat, still snug from the previous wearer’s body heat. A scarf followed shortly, Kyoutani gingerly — as if handling something fragile — wrapped it around Yahaba’s neck, not too tight that could restrict his breathing, but enough to ensure that he was protected from the cold. He blinked, then smiled as he admired his work. The small rare smile that Yahaba wished he saw more often. It disappeared as quickly as it appeared, Kyoutani turning away to hide his face with his hair, stuffing his hand deep into his pocket, from the cold or from embarrassment, Yahaba couldn’t tell.
He buried his face into the scarf, sniffing discreetly (or at least he hoped it was discreet) at the sweet smell that overwhelmed his senses. He wanted to thank Kyoutani for the coat and the scarf, to give him a hug and tiny kisses on his nose to express his gratitude, but call him childish or immature, he didn’t want to forgive him just yet.
Maybe he’ll want till tomorrow for that.
They walked on silently, just the two of them, side by side, close but not touching, shuffling past one streetlamp after another, both staring at their own feet. Finally, Kyoutani couldn’t stand the quietness any longer.
Kyoutani stopped walking, looking up from his feet at the man beside him. Yahaba took a few more steps, pausing when he realised he couldn’t see the other pair of feet beside his own.
“Shigeru,” Kyoutani repeated, closing the gap between them till he could rest his forehead on the other man’s when he tilted his head down to look straight into the hazel brown orbs before him. “I have something to tell you.”
With Kyoutani this close for the first time today, Yahaba felt a little overwhelmed, and barely managed an uncommitted grunt in reply. Under the dim light from the streetlamp, the eyes that he grew to love were a beautiful shade of golden, shining slightly from reflecting the light around, matching the blonde hair almost covering them.
Over the years, Kyoutani had grew a little taller, just enough to be taller than the brunette, and he used that to his advantage, leaning closer, letting their nose brush against each other, moved even closer, their lips just a bare centimetre apart, and stopped.
“Happy birthday, princess.” A murmur just before his lips.
Yahaba didn’t expect Kyoutani to remember, after going through the whole day without a word about it from him, but he definitely wasn’t expecting what came next.
Kyoutani pulled back without kissing him, sliding his hands down from his arm to hold both his hands, then dropped down on one knee in front of him.
“I don’t remember the first time I met you, or if I ever introduced myself properly when we met, but I remember the first time you slammed me against the wall, knocked sense into me like I was an immature child. You reminded me what it was like to have someone to rely on, to count on, then continued on to be the person I rely on the most. You are the one who broke into my heart, mess up my mind, make me feel all confused inside. And yet, I can’t think of any of my future without you in it.”
He closed his eyes and let out a breath he didn’t realise he was holding. When he opened them again, his eyes held the most sincerity and vulnerability Yahaba had ever seen. The hands that held his were trembling, gripping his fingers tightly. One of his hand squeezed, the other hand letting go to take out a small box from his pocket. A resounding click opened the box to reveal a simple silver ring.
“Shigeru, will you marry me?”
In a split second Kyoutani was pulled up onto his feet, Yahaba locking him in a bone-crushing hug, crying “yes yes yes” over and over again beside his ears. He couldn’t believe it. Kyoutani didn’t forget his birthday, he wanted a future with them together, he wanted to marry him.
At last, he pulled back, hand cupping Kyoutani’s face, the other combing through his blonde hair affectionately.
“Please, please marry me Kentarou.”
When Kyoutani pulled Yahaba forward to him it is with a hand on his back and another on his neck, a searing kiss with a touch of their lips, their whereabouts long forgotten. All that mattered were the warm lips engulfing each other, tongue in a war dance fighting for dominance.
Warm, passionate, and in love.
For Kyouhaba Week Day 5 Domestic/Date
Date: the day of the year (Yahaba’s birthday), and a date: going out together for dinner. ;))))
ps. The roses from his colleagues/friends were actually all from Kyoutani ;)))