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Irresistible Forces


There are said to be many irresistible forces in this universe.

Life, death, faith, lust, greed...

However, there is one unifying force throughout the human race and beyond. It's what we all feel during some point in our life. The one force we cannot elude, cannot escape. It draws you in like a moth to a flame with its promises of bliss and euphoria. Many of us burn our "wings" on the fire before we learn our lesson and cower in the shadows, still perfectly aware that it's futile to try and run. However, there are some that can kiss the flames and come out unharmed. Better yet, there are those that turn from a moth to a beautiful butterfly. Those are the ones that become one with this irresistible force. They are the ones that chose to embrace rather than shun it. Nevertheless, the fact still remains that this particular force can be very alluring as well as dangerous. What is it, you ask?


It is the one irresistible force that goes hand in hand with all the others. After all, you cannot live and die without loving something or someone once during your time on this Earth; you cannot have faith in something you do not love deeply; you cannot lust after someone without having a love and desire for sexual acts; you cannot be greedy without the love of what it is you strive to control and possess. These are just a few examples of how the force of love is deeply intertwined with all the other forces surrounding us.

So you see, there is no avoiding love. It can come in an array of various forms and feelings. Love is a very frightening thing. We all fear it in one way or another. We fear losing it; we fear falling into it; we fear the rejection of; we fear the power it holds over a human soul and heart. It terrifies us to the core; yet, we are not able to survive without it.

We have no control over whom we fall in love with, it just happens. There is no right and wrong when it comes to love. Love is blind[1]; it sees no races, genders, and social classes. You cannot look into a sea of people, point to one person in particular, and tell yourself "That is the person I will love." Sadly, it doesn't work that way... it never will.

Nevertheless, when you do find that one person you are destined to be with, the one person you can give your love to without any restrictions or wanting of gifts in return, it's like a magnificent dream come true[2]. Colors appear ten times brighter. Music becomes something that can wield your tears. Your heart floats unchained through your body. Everyday is filled with the warmth of the sun and the promise of a new day full of hope. Yes, love can be a beautiful thing.

So why is it that one little word can be so powerful? True, it's not something to be scoffed at or taken lightly. Yet, we humans fling it around into everything we say and do. You may say "I love ice cream", "I love that singer", or even "I love that outfit." You are not actually in love with that dish of ice cream. You do not know every hidden desire and innermost feeling of that musical artist. You definitely do not want to spend the rest of your life with those pair of pants. Love has become such a loose term in this day and age. We've practically forgotten what true love really means.

True love is selfless. It's giving everything you are to another and asking for nothing in return. It's seeing nothing but that person in your every waking thought. It's wanting to be one completely and entirely with no one else but them. You want to care for and tend to their every need. When it's true love, you're happiness is ensuring their happiness[3].

Love is an irresistible force. In addition, it connects us to everyone on the planet, human and animal alike.

The real question is...

... how long before you realize you can't resist it anymore?

One year.

The war had been over for one year now. The supposed never-ending dance[4] was finally at a stand still. Everyone had gone their separate ways, parted with the promises of keeping in touch. And they had.

Except for one pair.

Well, actually, the two didn't have to make a promise to keep in touch with each other frequently.

They were living together.

It was a modest set up- a nice neighborhood on the good side of Tokyo inside of a well-built condominium. They occupied the top floor and had affectionately named the living arrangements "the flat", for obvious reasons. It possessed two bedrooms and a guestroom, a bathroom, kitchen, living room, dining room, and an art studio.

And that was where Duo Maxwell happened to be at the time.

Duo eyed the painting suspiciously. There was something off about it but he couldn't quite pinpoint it. He took about five steps back, attempting to view the piece better from a distance. He squinted his eyes slightly, blurring the edges of the picture and making the colors melt together. He clicked his tongue in exasperation.

On the canvas laid two angels. One was in the sky, resting on a cloud. All around him the sky was a mixture of velvety midnight blue and violet with specks of little white and pale blue stars scattered about. His skin had a creamy, pale satin look to it, almost as if it were radiating in the night sky. His feathers were iridescent and of a strange glowing nature. His golden wisps of hair lingered over his eyes, obstructing the viewer from seeing the color of his irises. One arm was outstretched to the land below, desperately reaching for the angel standing below.

The angel below was standing on the Earth, surrounded by bright green shrubbery and pale pink sakura petals twisting in the breeze around him. From where he was standing, it was daylight, unlike the other angel that occupied the night. His skin was tanned a golden bronze and gleamed with the rays of the sun. The feathers on his wings were ruffling gently in the wind, as was his dark hair. Like the angel in the night sky, he had one arm extended, reaching for the angel up above[5].

Sighing in defeat, Duo walked back over to the painting and dipped his brush in the water to clean it off. He pulled it out and wiped it against his old pair of jeans. There were other tacks of color across the hip of his jeans where he had always wiped the brush during many painting sessions. He crossed his arms over his chest, making the snug white T-shirt he was wearing strain against his upper arm muscles. Duo absently taped the handle end of the brush against his bottom lip.

Behind him, the studio door opened with the quietest of swishing.

"Ne," he started without even looking back to see who it was, "what do you think is missing about this piece?"

Duo heard long strides carry the person softly over to where he was standing in front of the painting. The footsteps stopped about two feet behind him.

"I can't quite put my finger on it, but I know there's something off about it," Duo clarified.

There was a moment of silence that anyone else would have taken as a prompt for more information, but knowing the person well, Duo waited for them to examine the painting with scrutiny.

"A signature?" the individual said finally.

Duo turned behind him, frowning, "Remind me again why I keep you around, Heero."

Heero shrugged, "My conversation skills."

Duo smiled, shaking his head slightly and turning back to the painting. He let a drawn-out sigh escape his lips.

"You've been up here all morning," Heero began, "maybe if you come down and have some lunch, it will come to you."

Duo drew his eyebrows together in concentration, "I'm not really hungry," he said, his voice sounding distant and airy.

Heero grabbed Duo's shoulder and spun him around, plucking away the paintbrush and setting it beside the canvas on the supply table. Duo gave him an annoyed look as Heero pushed him towards the door with both hands on Duo's back.

"I don't care what you say. You've been locking yourself up in here everyday and not eating enough lately. You're coming downstairs for some nourishment," Heero chided him.

"Demo-" Duo began.

"Iie. No 'buts'. At least have some miso soup." Heero came out from behind where he was pushing Duo forward and opened the door, gesturing for Duo to go ahead of him.

/you'll be given love/

"Yes, mother," Duo said while rolling his eyes.

Heero smirked, "Good boy," and shut the door behind them.

Duo sat at the bar in the kitchen, sipping his miso soup and taking a bite from a rice ball that Heero had made for him. Duo had a lazy look about him, his body tilting to one side and his chin resting in his free hand. He watched as Heero started taking things out of plastic bags and placing them in various cabinets.

"You went out this morning," Duo stated more than asked.

Heero stopped for a moment in the middle of placing a glass jar of coffee on a top shelf to look at Duo and then started putting things away again.


Duo took a quick bite and swallowed, "You shoulda told me. I could've gone too. I need paint thinner."

Heero shrugged, "Gomen. I didn't want to disturb you. We'll get some tomorrow morning, ne?"

Duo nodded and finished the soup, sticking the last bite of the ball into his mouth. Heero walked over and took the dishes, placing them into the sink. Duo stared absently as the muscles in Heero's back flowed with the movement of rinsing the dishes. Heero looked over his shoulder slightly and frowned. Duo had that glazed look again.

"Ne, Duo."

Duo's eyes brightened and focused again. He resisted the blush he felt coming on; Heero had caught him staring.

"Is something wrong? You've been dazing out a lot recently."

/you'll be taken care of/

Duo waved his hand in a roundabout manner. "Nothing, man. Just thinking."

Heero turned to him completely, his head tilting to the left. "About what?"

Duo straightened up. Heero vaguely saw the pectoral muscles under Duo's shirt twitch and jump. Duo wasn't ready to talk about this. He was still working up the nerve...

Well, now was as good as time as any. Never say Duo Maxwell was a coward.

"Say, Heero, you know that exhibit the Art Museum downtown wants to do for me?"

Heero's eyebrow rose. "Aa."

Duo swallowed thickly, "Well see, I've been wanting to do a nude model for a while now- an oil painting. And I thought this would be a nice opportunity to try. It would look nice in the showroom. I don't really have that many real life pieces, you know. I need some more variety." Duo trailed off, shrugging absently.

Heero crossed his arms. "Then do a nude." Heero really didn't want to show any emotion to the fact that he didn't like the idea of Duo eyeing some naked man or woman with meticulous precision. It made his hair stand on end.

"Well, that's what I've been thinking about lately," Duo looked off to his left out the window to the street below to avoid Heero's gaze, "I just wanted to get the perfect model for it. The painting won't be beautiful if the person isn't."

"Do you want my help finding someone, is that it?" Heero tried to keep the bitter tone out of his voice. He hated the idea of being with Duo while he picked apart different models looking for the most alluring and sensual one. Heero bit his tongue. What a ridiculous amount of jealousy.

Duo twisted his fingers in his lap. "Not exactly... "

"Then what?" Heero walked over to the counter, his face a mere foot away from Duo's, compelling Duo to look him in the eyes.

"You," Duo whispered.

"Nani?" Heero didn't understand.

Duo cleared his throat, his amethyst burning into Heero's cobalt, "I want you to be the model."

Heero's eyes widened to impossible limits.

"Just hear me out," Duo held up his hands in defense, "It would only take like two sittings at the most, I promise. And I would do it here in this studio instead of the one at the college," Duo still saw the apprehension lurking in Heero's eyes, "it wouldn't be as bad as you think."

Heero ground his teeth, "Duo. It's nude."

Duo's eyebrow rose.

"I mean... I'll be nude. All those people... the people that come to your exhibit, they'll all see me!"

Duo flinched visibly as the last sentence came out loud from shock. "Please, Heero. I really want you to model for me."

"Why?" Heero's voice was much quieter.


"Why do you want me to be the model?"

Duo's eyes flitted about, not landing on any particular object in the room. "Well, you're features are ideal for one. The eyes, the hair, the skin tone and muscle. It would all look very extravagant on canvas." Duo cleared his dry throat, licking his lips.

Heero exhaled deeply.

"Come on, Heero. I know you have no qualms about your nudity. And right after the exhibit I would take it down and bring it home and then you could do whatever you want with it. Burn it, throw it in the river, sell it on the black market, masturbate in front of it... " Duo let his voice damper, trying to calm the mood. It worked and Heero smiled faintly at his joke.

"Please, Heero?" Duo leaned over and lightly placed his hand on Heero's shoulder.

Heero closed his eyes, his nostrils flaring as he inhaled and exhaled deeply. "OK. I'll do it."

Duo's eyes brightened and his smile crinkled the corners of his eyes. "Hontou?! Domou arigatou, Heero!" Duo wound his arms around Heero's neck in a brief hug. Duo couldn't see it, but Heero's eyes softened at the show of affection.

Duo pulled back and looked into Heero's eyes, "I'll go set things up. Come up in thirty minutes." Duo rushed towards the stairs. "And wear your birthday suit, ne?!" Duo called over his shoulder as he raced to the studio.

Damn it.

Heero shook his head. What had he gotten himself into? Hours of Duo eyeing his nude body, that's what. Heero rested his elbows on the countertop. How could he possibly hope to control his body's reaction under Duo's stare for that length of time?

With an audible smack, Heero put his head down between his arms on the counter.

Somewhere in Heero's mind, a little stream of hope zoomed past his thoughts.

The painting won't be beautiful if the person isn't.

Had Duo just called him beautiful?

/you'll be given love/

Duo gnawed on his lower lip. He knew this would be just as uncomfortable for Heero as it would be for him. Hours of seeing nothing but a naked Heero. Look, don't touch. What torture!

Duo draped ocean blue crushed velvet over the black couch in the middle of the studio. He situated the black couch pillows on both ends against the armrests. Stepping behind the couch, Duo pulled the dangling ring on the backdrop down, revealing a background for the painting of swirling black and blue. As a final touch, he rolled a Persian rug out in front of the couch on the hardwood floor. The rug was woven intricately with black, silver, gold, and blue thread.

As Duo was turning out the back setting lights and turning on the front setting lamps to shine on the couch, he heard the door creak open behind him. He didn't turn around, half because he was busy and half because he was afraid to see Heero. Very afraid.

He heard Heero walking up behind him and took one step back to admire the setup. He heard Heero faintly exhale behind him.

"What cha think, classy art or cheap porno?"

"You chose colors to match my eyes and bring out my skin tone," he answered, avoiding the other question entirely.

"I guess you don't live with an artist without learning a few things, ne?" Duo smiled, his back still to Heero and hands on hips.

"Hn," Heero grunted. "What do you want me to do... ?" It was strange to Duo to hear that tone from Heero. It was light, and innocent, almost childlike. It was the voice of someone quite unsure of themselves... or perhaps just the situation.

Duo finally turned to Heero, eyes taking him in as he did. Heero was wearing his blue silk robe with his name embroidered across the chest in Japanese kanji. Heero's hands were gripping the robe tightly to his chest, trying to prevent it from gapping open in the front. It would be humorous to Duo if it weren't such a delicate situation. Heero had worn the robe numerous times before around Duo with nothing on underneath, not seeming uncomfortable in the least bit. However, now Heero's fingers were clinging onto the material like a man on a ledge. Frowning, Duo walked over to him.

"Relax, Heero, s'just me here. No one else." Duo pried Heero's white fingers from the silky material. Duo was going to drop Heero's hands, but instead something overcame him, and he stood there locking hands with Heero. Duo dare not look up into Heero's eyes and instead stared down at their intertwined hands.

/you have to trust it/

"Duo?" Heero's voice sounded lost. Duo just shook his head and lead Heero over to the couch, one hand still gripping Heero's.


Heero sat.

Duo released Heero's hand, "Ok, Heero, this is your last chance to back out of this," please don't Duo added silently to himself, "I know you're a little uncomfortable right now, that's to be expected. But I promise it will be much easier to relax after I paint for a little while[6]." He stared down into Heero's eyes with complete seriousness, "I don't want to force you into something you don't want to do. No regrets."

Heero looked down at his feet, or maybe the rug Duo couldn't tell, for a moment to contemplate. Shit, he's having second thoughts. He's going to back out. Duo sighed inwardly. If he couldn't do the nude of Heero, he didn't want to do it at all. It was that simple.

Abruptly, Heero stood, face to face locking eyes with Duo. Heero's lips were a firm line set in stone. Well, here it comes. Duo thought and prepared himself to hear Heero decline against the painting.

"No regrets," Heero said quietly.

/maybe not from the sources you have poured yours/

The robe fell to the floor, pooling around Heero's ankles.

They stared at each for what felt like an eternity before Duo nodded once, somehow managing to keep a professional look on his face and not look below Heero's neck. Not when they were this close to each other. Not when Duo's fingers were twitching.

Not when there were forces he didn't comprehend floating through the air.

/maybe not from the directions you are staring at/

Heero smiled, the faintest arching at the corner of his lips. Duo's eyes sparkled, openly showing how grateful he was to his friend. Duo turned and started walking towards the canvas.

"Lie down." He instructed.

Heero turned around to look at the couch, eyes analyzing the piece of furniture.

"How?" He asked with all seriousness.

Duo turned around to set him up, and paused briefly in mid-turn. Heero's back was turned to him. Everything bared. Duo attempted to clear his throat and walk back over to Heero. It took two tries before he could get his vocal chords to cooperate.

"Lie down, first, and then we'll get you situated."

Heero splayed his back out on the couch, avoiding Duo's eyes. He rested his head on the pillow and closed his eyes, scrunching them tight.

Duo frowned. Heero looked completely stiff, like a board lying on the cushions. Duo knelt down beside Heero's face. Taking Heero's chin in between thumb and forefinger, Duo turned Heero towards him.

"Open your eyes, Heero. That's better," Heero stared down at Duo's chest, "No, no, look at me. There."

Duo tilted Heero's chin this way and that, trying to get the perfect profile angle and amount of light. Heero kept reminding himself in his head that this was purely business and there was nothing personal about Duo's touch.

No matter how much he wanted it to be.

/twist your head around/

Duo reached down and grabbed Heero's ankle, pausing when a gasp was heard above him. "Relax, Heero, I'm just going to pose you. Loosen your limbs." Heero tried to let Duo guide his appendages.

"Trust me," Duo said, not looking at Heero and rearranging Heero's leg so that it was hanging off the side of the couch. Heero's toes on his right foot were barely brushing the beautiful rug.

Duo stood, looking over his subject. "Prop your arm up on the armrest. Yeah, like that." Duo's eyes tightened at the corners. "Now, stretch out this other arm so that it lies on top of your hip. Perfect," Duo said through a smile. Duo took five steps backward to get the full effect.

Duo studied every curve and angle, trying his best not to linger on the obvious center target. Something was missing. A light went off in Duo's head and he quickly ran to the other side of the studio leaving a bewildered Heero behind. On a far wall sat some flower arrangements Duo had been using to study color schemes and lighting effects. Plucking a white magnolia bloom from a floral arrangement, Duo made his way back over to Heero.

"Hold this in your palm[7]. Now don't move." Duo put the bloom into the hand that was resting along Heero's outer thigh. Duo moved back to his prior stance of five feet away.

"Magnificent," his mouth moved before his mind, not dissolving the caress of a wistful tone.

Heero's cheeks tinged a slight rose.

Duo turned, taking long strides to his easel and paints. Quietly, Duo picked up two different colored tubes, squirting out a blob of blue and a drop of black. He mixed and swirled them together, producing an altogether different color of the night. Picking up a fat fan brush, Duo dipped it into the puddle of midnight blue oil paint he had created. He brought his brush up to the canvas, and with a swipe of his brush, started the background of the painting.

Briefly, Duo looked over to Heero, surprised to find Heero staring back into his eyes with equal fervor.

Inexplicably, the air surrounding them seemed to pop and sizzle.

As if sparked by some unseen force.

/it's all around you/

"Gah! I give up!" Duo threw his arms up in the air, delicately balancing the phone on his shoulder.

Heero's brows knitted in concentration. Propping his arms up on the kitchen table, he tilted his head towards the arching living room doorway, trying not to look too obvious about eavesdropping on Duo's conversation. He found Duo's antics somehow... interesting.

"No... I said, 'NO'. Five, there was five of them- not four, not three, not five fucking hundred- exactly five!" Duo held up five fingers as if the person on the other line could actually see him. Heero thought it would have been much more effective if Duo had been on the videophone.

"I will NOT lower my voice, that's my fucking life in that art! Then you find it," Duo rested his forehead against the doorway, one hand coming up to massage his temple. "No. No. Damned right I will. Have you told Yamato about this yet? Is he there?" Heero's eyebrows jutted deep into points. He didn't like Wada Yamato- Duo's art agent and framer. It always felt like the man was... hitting on Duo. And as much as Heero hated to admit it, he was sure that Duo could easily fall for the man. After all, he was handsome, intelligent, friendly, likeable...

And not Heero.

"Then I'll pick him up. No. Yeah... if it doesn't, so help me... Yeah, ja." Duo took the phone from his ear, pressing a little button to turn it off. Heero watched as he wearily sat is down on the counter, Duo's eyes downcast and hidden beneath hair.

"Heero, I have to go downtown to the art museum. Those... idiots," Duo spat, "lost one of my pottery pieces in the transfer." Heero could hear the contempt in Duo's voice. "They said Yamato might know where it was stashed, so I'm going to pick him up on the way." Duo finally turned to Heero who was still sitting at the kitchen table, steaming cup of tea in hand.

"Aa." Heero said, not meeting Duo's eyes. Suddenly the white porcelain cup stained with blue willows and birds had become quite interesting.

"I thought we were going to get to finish the painting this afternoon, but it will have to wait until I get back." Heero nodded, they hadn't been able to complete the nude in one sitting yesterday like Heero had hoped. He really wasn't looking forward to undressing for Duo again.

But then, he wasn't looking forward to spending the rest of the day alone either.

"I'll be back later tonight. You'd better make dinner for one, I don't think I'll make it." Duo sighed.

"Alright," Heero said, still staring down at his cup. Duo frowned. Heero's speech had strangely reverted to its one sentenced, monotone, war-talk.

"I'm going to go take a shower then... so I can get down there." Duo turned slowly, allowing time. Allowing time for Heero to agree, disagree, tell him not to go, comment about the weather... something...


But as Duo crossed the doorway from kitchen to living room, his ears picked up nothing but silence behind him.

/all is full of love/

Heero watched Duo's retreating back until he turned to walk down the hall, merging into the corridor shadows.

Heero hung his head, shutting his eyes tight. Suddenly, he felt very sick at his stomach. In fact, that had been happening quite often lately. It seemed every time Duo would be forced to leave him alone, Heero would find himself curling up on the living room couch, waiting for him to return, insides doing back flips. And each time it happened, Heero's imagination would get worse. He could only fantasize what activities Duo would be partaking in without himself. Every single image a mental slap to the head.


Heero stared down at the table and watched as the brown liquid clouded over the blue paint on the white porcelain shards. Slowly, the tea began to drain off the pieces in his hands, off the tabletop, and onto the floor. With shaky hands, Heero propped himself on the table edge and stood, collecting the broken tea cup remnants and placing them in his palm.

Quirking an eyebrow, Heero brought one solitary piece in front of his face and glared at it. He watched as instead of the brown tea, a stream of crimson streaked down the glass to sputter on the tablecloth.

Staining it.

/all around you/

Duo cursed under his breath, struggling with the keys to the front door. As the day had melted into night, a rainstorm had erupted, water issuing from the black sky. He tossed his head a bit, attempting to sling the water from the bangs dripping into his eyes. With a click, the lock turned and Duo entered. As he stepped out of the condo hallway and through the portal, a flash of lightning and a boom of thunder made him jump slightly. Duo blinked as the lightning flickered and filtered through the windows.

Closing the door behind him, Duo took of his shoes and wet socks, leaving them on the mat inside the flat. Water clung to his face and hair, dripping off his clothes to patter to the hardwood floor.

Duo looked around. All the lights were out, and there didn't seem to be any sign of Heero. Not expecting rain, Duo had carried no coat or umbrella with him. Unbuttoning his long sleeved shirt as he went, Duo made his way across the living room.

"Ne, Heero... " he started as he approached the couch, "don't you think the weather is.. kind of... " Duo trailed off as he reached the couch. "... strange?"

Duo blinked. There was no Heero. That was impossible. Heero always waited up for him, sprawled out on the couch, crashing in the living room until he knew Duo was safe and sound at home. Heero could be quite the mother hen.

Duo shrugged off the shirt, balled it up, and tossed the sopping fabric onto the wood floor. He left it there to pool into a sopping mess. It could wait until he found Heero.

Duo shivered as the cool air touched his bare, wet chest. He reached back and snapped the rubber band off of his hair. His fingers methodically began to unweave the rope of hair. Absently chewing his bottom lip, Duo made his way down the hall to check the bedrooms for any sign of Heero.

He entered his own bedroom first, not even bothering to flip on the overhead light. Solemnly Duo walked over to his bureau. He reached down into the bottom drawer, searching until he found a violet colored bathrobe. As Duo straightened his back, a glint of light caught his attention in the mirror.

Duo stood completely still for at least a minute, too caught up in his own thinking to even remember to breathe. His eyes sat transfixed on a single sliver of light, the shard of silvery color breaking through the darkness and highlighted by the moon's beams shooting through Duo's window adjacent to where he was standing. His long fingers trailed up his chest until they encountered the cross he wore around his neck. Tracing the chain around his collarbone up to the base of the back of his neck, he unclasped the necklace and sat it inside an intricately carved wooden box on the bureau.

The shadows flickered with lightning, breaking Duo out of his silent reverie.

Duo took off his soaked dress slacks and boxers and slipped into the warm, fuzzy robe. He went back out into the hall intent on resuming his search for his missing roommate. Just as Duo was about to enter Heero's bedroom, a line of white caught the corner of his eye. At the top of the staircase at the end of the corridor, a small amount of light was escaping from underneath his art studio door. Raising an eyebrow, Duo began to climb the stairs. Somewhere in his mind, he noted there was an unidentifiable smell shifting through the air. With a soft click, the door opened and Duo opened his mouth to call out to Heero...

But his voice coiled into a tight ball in the pit of his throat.

Scattered in each corner of the studio on the floor laid small candles of various sizes and shapes. It was only then that his senses identified the smell from earlier to be mulberry with a hint of vanilla. Duo's eyes searched the room until they locked on the back of his object of inquiry.

Heero was standing in the middle of the room, his back towards Duo. Duo could see how Heero's arms were bent at the elbows, and could only imagine how they were crossed in front over his chest. Most of Heero's weight was shifted to his left leg. In the dim light, Duo could make out the muscles clenched on Heero's naked back and the faint color of his faded blue jeans. Without realizing it, Duo's feet began to glide him over to Heero.

As Duo got closer, he could finally see the object that was receiving all off Heero's scrutiny. It was his painting of the two angels that he had been working on early yesterday morning. Duo stopped when he was beside Heero, the impossible large distance of one-foot separating mere body heat and the flames of skin on skin.

"I know... " Heero's voice only seemed above a whisper, "I know what's missing from the painting now."

Duo stole a sidelong glance of Heero's stoic profile out from under his still wet bangs.

"What's that?"

Heero slowly turned to Duo, uncrossing his arms from about his sternum. Reaching his hands towards Duo's shoulders, he turned Duo until they were facing. Slowly, he lifted a hand to Duo's forehead, sweeping the wet hair that clung there away from the heated flesh. Heero's other hand traced the corners of Duo's eyes with gentle fingertips.


Duo blinked.

"My eyes?"

Heero nodded, "Your eyes."

Duo frowned, "But it's not supposed to be me, Heero."

It was Heero's turn to frown this time, "You're right... it wasn't supposed to be you. It was supposed to be any one but you."

/all is full of love
you just ain't receiving/

"I... " Duo fumbled over his words, the feel of Heero's hands on his face distracting him, "I don't understand."

Heero smiled, "Neither did I. There were forces at work I didn't comprehend."

/all is full of love
your phone is off the hook/

"Heero, you're not making any sense," Duo whispered, his body unconsciously gravitating into Heero's hands and fingertips.

One corner of Heero's lip twitched slightly, his eyes warming with a misty blue, "Perhaps." As Heero dropped his hands from Duo's face, amethyst eyes caught a glimpse of something red. He caught Heero's wrist with quick reflexes. He turned the palm up and examined it.

"What happened to your hand?" Duo traced the jagged slices with his fingers.

"I... broke a cup."

"You should bandage it... at least clean it."

"Can I paint you?" Heero ignored Duo's statement all together.

"Can you... what?" Duo looked up into blue pools.

"Paint you."

"Since when can you paint, Heero?" Duo's eyebrow rose skeptically.

Heero merely shrugged and reached his fingertips to the palette beside the painting. He dipped his forefinger and middle finger into a tiny puddle of white acrylic paint. Unexpectedly, his clean hand reached for the knot at Duo's robe. Unsure, Duo flinched away.


/all is full of love
your doors are shut/

"Shhh... " Heero soothed him. "See my eyes, they carry your reflection," Heero slowly untied the knot, tugging slightly until it was undone. "Watch my lips and hear the words I'm telling you," he said while pushing the robe off of Duo's shoulders to flow down to the floor, leaving Duo completely bared and naked.

"Give your trust to me... " Heero rose his coated fingers to the tanned skin covering the area over Duo's heart.

"Look into my heart... " With skillful movements and practiced precision, Heero began to paint beautiful lines on flesh.

"What you feel," Duo's eyes grew wide as he watched the symbols take shape, "is what I feel for you."

And with a final stroke, the kanji for "ai shiteru" appeared in dazzling white right over the area of Duo's heart.

/all is full of love/

"Take my hand, and if I'm lying to you, I'll always be alone.[8]"

Duo looked up into warm, cobalt blue...

... and jumped as the thunder outside erupted in the sky.

Heero's lip twitched.

"I... " Duo swallowed thickly, "I believe you." Duo reached up and clasped the hand still hovering over his chest tight in his own, pulling Heero closer. Duo's nude body molded into the curves of Heero's frame...

Like coming home.

Heero's lips grazed by Duo's cheek as he leaned in close, whispering a breath into Duo's ear...

"Make love to me... "

And as Duo lowered them both to the floor, his eyes flashed briefly to the painting of the two angels.

/all is full of love/

Downtown, in a prosperous part of Tokyo, is nestled a very famous art gallery. Only the most promising of artists are invited to display their work here. Duo Maxwell just happens to be one of the few to be able to say he has graced the walls of this museum.

In fact, there were two pieces that caught most everyone's eye in the public. Even art critics raved about them in Sunday newspapers, gallery booklets, and art columns around the world. One piece was a very extravagant nude...

... featuring a dark haired youth with eyes such a deep shade of blue that the seas envied him.

This oil painting in particular was sought after by many buyers. However, each time Mr. Maxwell politely declined, even when offered enough money to set his whole life by one wealthy American woman. Many were baffled by this event, and when asked, Mr. Maxwell had nothing more to say except for "I put my life into that painting."

However, the second piece was bought by the art museum itself. In fact, it still stands on display to this very day. It featured two angels, one resembling a very intriguing likeness to the model for his nude painting and the other baring many qualities of the artist himself. When this piece was bought by the gallery itself at the auction, it was described as having been modified from its original appearance at the suggestion of a friend. One could only wonder what Duo Maxwell would agree to alter on this amazing piece of work. One feature in particular that the critics seemed to go wild for, was the pure emotion painted into a set of velvety amethyst eyes on the long haired angel.

When asked for comments from the curator about this painting, she had nothing to say but, "One could only imagine what forces could inspire Duo Maxwell to paint such a masterpiece."

What forces, indeed...

/all is full of love/

The End

1. In the prequel, "In My Mind's Eye", told from Duo's point of view, he started out by saying "I've heard them say love is blind." I thought it would be neat to tie his words into the true meaning of love and prove my point that I strongly believe we have no power over what type of person we fall in love with.

2. Aa, in the first installment of these fics, "Into the Dreamscape" told by Heero, he starts out by saying "Sometimes I believe you are a dream" in referral to Duo. Once again, I'm trying to weave the previous stories into this one and show the little subtleties that hint about Duo and Heero being in love with each other.

3. Just some more little details that I picked up from the previous stories. All these examples took place in the first two installments between Heero and Duo.

4. Eh heh heh. Call me silly, but it's a play on words. Never-ending dance is synonymous with the phrase endless waltz. Get it? Yeah I know, bad joke, but it was my way of saying this is a year after the events of Endless Waltz.

5. This painting goes along with the story you've probably heard me mention in other fics before about how two angels destined to be in love were separated by human wars and such. Duo told it to Heero as a bedtime story in "In My Mind's Eye".

6. In truth, most artists would NOT apply the paint immediately to the canvas when doing a still life or portrait. Artists usually do a few pages of sketches of the subject before they begin the painting process. This is to ensure they know their subject pretty thoroughly in the aesthetic sense. In fact, some painters pencil sketch or use a blue color pencil to rough out the subject on the canvas and then paint over that. Unfortunately, that would make the story extremely too long. Sorry, just useless dribble.

7. For those of you that have never seen or don't know what magnolia bloom is, it's a large white blossom that comes off a magnolia tree. Growing directly from the tree, it has no stem. Now you know why Duo made Heero hold it in his palm rather than grasp the stem. More useless info I guess.

8. This conversation and not to mention entire story was inspired by a song by Dido my friend made me download (I am so grateful) that I absolutely love. In fact, here are the lyrics to it. I wanted to post them with this story because they are really quite beautiful. Maybe I'll make a songfic out of it someday.

"Take My Hand" by Dido

touch my skin and tell me what you're thinking
take my hand and show me where we're going
lie down next to me, look into my eyes
and tell me, oh tell me what you're seeing

so sit on top of the world and tell me how you're feeling
what you feel is what I feel for you
take my hand and if I'm lying to you
I'll always be alone if I'm lying to you

see my eyes, they carry your reflection
watch my lips and hear the words I'm telling you
give your trust to me and look into my heart
and show me, show me what you're doing

so sit on top of the world and tell me how you're feeling
what you feel is what I feel for you
take my hand and if I'm lying to you
I'll always be alone if I'm lying to you
take you're time and if I'm lying to you
I know you'll find that you believe me
you believe me, you believe me

feel the sun on top of your face
and tell me what you're feeling
catch the snow on your tongue
and show me how it tastes

take your time
take my hand and if I'm lying to you
I'll always be alone if I'm lying to you
take you're time and if I'm lying to you
I know you'll find that you believe me


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