Disclaimers: Not mine, not even going to dream that they are mine. Just took them out for a spin, did a little torture and returned them home nice and slightly tortured.
Warnings: Waaaaaaaaay too much sap in this one. General warnings such as OOCs, shounen ai, slightly more graphic dreams and pre lemons that Tsu is used to writing. But don't worry, Tsu still doesn't write lemons.
A/N: This a fusion with a yaoi manga that I picked up called 'Colors'. Some parts are reflective of the manga, others are just me putting things in. Hehehe, I promised myself no fusion fics, but I couldn't help it. Even I got hyperglycaemia from reading it. Too sweet, toooo sweet. Perhaps someone who has read this can tell me if I am infringing anything by writing how I did.
Letters Back Home
He couldn't believe it. They were not exactly the same, but they were similar enough to make him gape. The colours across the canvas, the splash of bright hue against the starkness of white. It was chaos, it was order but most of all, it represented him, Duo Maxwell. It was a self portrait.
Introspective. That was the name of the painting.
Actually, it was the name of the painting next to it as well.
"No way…" He muttered still stunned. "It's even named the same. And I thought I was the only weirdo left on this planet."
He stood there for a while longer, his fingers twirling his three foot long braid in between them idly, drinking in the textures and the messages from the other painting, letting them flow into his soul. It held the same message as his own did. He was trying to show the world who Duo Maxwell was, in his own unassuming way. He shifted his glasses more securely on the bridge of his nose, trying to absorb as much as he could, the seemingly chaotic painting. All the time, wild thoughts ran through he head and they were all focused on who this mysterious artist was.
"I want to meet him," he whispered under his breath. "I want to know what kind of person he is. Is he like me? If I could just talk to him…" Then something clicked in his mind. "Treize!! Treize would know who he is."
Treize Kushrenada was a close friend of the Maxwell family and owner of this art gallery, amongst others. When Duo had shown a little talent in art, he had been swept up, figuratively speaking, into Treize's welcoming bosom. It was because of Treize that he had his 'masterpiece' hung one of the walls of his galleries especially reserved for amateur artists. And being sixteen, Duo had to admit he was nothing more than an amateur. Still, it was a good feeling to see his painting on a wall in a gallery.
Yes, Treize should know.
He whirled around, running toward the last place he remembered seeing the ginger haired man a while ago… and ran straight into another boy.
"Oh no," Duo cursed himself silently. "I'm so sorry." He adjusted his spectacles, which were on the verge of falling off his nose. "Are you alright?"
The other boy bent over, retrieving a fallen knapsack and straightened. He raised deep Prussian eyes to meet Duo's. "Yes, I'm fine. I wasn't paying attention to where I was going as well."
Silence reigned for a long minute as Duo drank in the other teen. He had a mop of messy brown hair that kept falling insistently into his deep blue eyes. His features had a slight Asian cast to them but the blue eyes were wholly out of place within that face. Such an exotic face, one full of mystery. He didn't look like he smiled too often but didn't really have a forbidding expression either. This boy just seemed to be neutral about everything, as if he didn't care about anything. It was startling to see such an empty expression. He was around Duo's height, probably having an inch on the other boy, but not much more, and was just as slim as Duo was.
This person was one of contrast and was by far the most interesting Duo had ever had the chance to meet… erm, run into. Literally. He couldn't ignore the fact that this person was attractive and extremely easy on the eyes.
"…uhm… are you alright?" The other boy asked him, snapping him from his reverie.
A slow flush stole its way across Duo's fair skin, and suddenly, he was desperately trying to get away from this rather embarrassing situation. What was he doing admiring a guy? What was wrong with him? And the painting! He needed to ask Treize about it as well. That spurred him back to action, brushing past the other boy in a rush.
"I'm sorry, but I have to go. Really, I am sorry for running into you." He rushed off, looking for Treize, but before giving the retreating figure one last look.
He hoped that he wasn't going through one of those hormonal stages where he was willing to experiment on anything. But he had to admit, that person a while interest him.
"Treize!" Duo called out, skidding to a halt in front of the tall ginger haired man with ice blue eyes.
"Duo, you made it as well!" Treize greeted smiling, taking a long drag from a cigarette dangling carelessly from his fingers. "Feeling proud to see your painting in a gallery?"
Duo was currently hunched over, his hands resting on his knees and panting from exertion. "No… the… the…"
"Duo?" Treize bent over. "Are you alright?"
"Pic… pic… picture…" Duo gasped. He didn't understand why he was gasping like he did. It wasn't such a long run, but yet he was breathless all the same. What could it be that so effectively took his breath away?
"Aaaah, you saw your picture…"
"No!" Duo nearly growled. "The other picture next to mine."
Treize smiled. "Yes, isn't it wonderful? It was so unusual as well. It matched so well with your painting. It looked like it was originally one but framed into two, so I put them together." He levelled the young teen a curious look. "Why? Don't you like it? It even has the same name as yours."
Duo, finally regaining the missing air in his lungs, straightened. "Uhm, that's not it. What kind of person is Heero Yuy?"
The older man smiled, taking another puff of his cigarette. "Hmm…" He trailed off, pondering. "Well, like you, Heero's sixteen and cute as a button."
Cute as a… Duo stared at Treize disbelievingly. Did his friend just say cute as a button? The last time Treize had described anyone as cute as a button was his sister Hilde and she was anything but. So did it mean that Heero was a girl? Hmm… odd, the name sounded rather masculine. But then again, it was hard to tell these days with all these androgynous names running about. Even his own, Duo, who called their kid another word of double?
"Why the sudden interest?" The older man asked, raising an eyebrow.
"I just want to speak to Heero, I want to know what kind of person drew that painting." Duo's blue almost violet eyes were wide and earnest, his glasses resting on the tip of his nose about to fall.
Treise was surprised.
"Don't act like it's an odd request, Treize," Duo sighed. "I've grown out of the leave me alone phase years ago."
"Oh well, too bad. Heero left a while ago." Then ice blue eyes narrowed. "You shouldn't be thinking of your entrance exam to high school instead?" Treize looked extremely concerned at the prospect that Duo might not get entry into a high school of his choice because he was too involved in art and this Heero Yuy person. He probably was because he assured Duo's parents that he would take full responsibility of Duo if he was to come to Sanc. In fact, he had guaranteed to take extreme good care of the braided boy while he was away from home.
While Duo didn't think his father would come after Treize with a hatchet if he failed the entrance exam, he would mind letting the sometimes flighty man think his father would. Some people just needed to have some perspective correction and Treize was one of them.
"I'm working on it," Duo hurried to reassure the taller man. Sometimes, his friend got to be like his mother, except ten times as bad.
Treize's expression turned serious. "You had better try your best, Duo. Sanc Academy is considered one of the best institutions for art. It would do you good to be able to get in there." He draped an arm around Duo's shoulders, dragging him along as they walked through the gallery. "You have talent, raw as it may be. But I think you need more exposure. Something to shape your talent into something truly inspiring."
Duo felt enormously pleased by this phrase. Treize was known in the artistic community as one with an eye for only the best. So if someone like him said that Duo could be something of a rather promising artist, it meant a lot to the braided teen. Since Treize had so much belief in him, he would strive to work harder, do better. He would pass the entrance exam.
"Besides," the tall man leaned forward, his lips brushing the shorter teen's ears. "Heero is also enrolling into that school."
Whatever thoughts that came from Treize's comments disappeared at that announcement.
Heero Yuy, the person that seemed to share his every thoughts, share his every emotion and able to put that message across in a painting. That Heero Yuy would be trying for the same school he was.
Oh, for a chance to be able to meet.
"So, today's the last day of your entrance exam?" Duo's sister Hilde placed a large plate of pancakes in front of the teen.
She was another reason why Duo's parents allowed him to move almost three thousand miles away from home. While Hilde wasn't exactly disciplinary teacher material, she was enough to keep the sometimes mischievous boy in line. Of course, the keyword in this case was sometimes. However much he loved his sister, staying with her for the next two or three years would definitely cause a murder to occur within the household. It was either his death or hers or if they were really lucky, they might die killing each other.
Therefore, he had already decided to move into a dorm in the event that he did manage to pass. He had been rather fortunate. For the last two days, the exams had been rather easy. He had confidence that he would indeed pass. However, searching for Heero Yuy came up blank. He didn't even know what she looked like and couldn't very well go around asking people if they drew a painting called 'Introspective'. That would just too weird, even for him.
Besides, Sanc was still a rather uncomfortable place for him. It was a few times larger than his small hometown tucked into the corner of America and for someone who had rarely ventured out of the town's borders, Sanc was indeed a confusing place to be. There were multitudes of people here and searching for Heero was like searching for a needle in a haystack. Even the academy had over five hundred students. It was almost impossible without a description.
Treize had provided more but they were along the lines of hair as soft as silk and skin as fair as the sunrise. At that point Duo had walked out on the eccentric man with a disgusted huff. He had once described Duo's skin as smooth as an egg shell. It was really flattering.
"Duo…" Hilde waved her hand in front of her dazed brother's face, startling him from what appeared to be deep thought.
"What?" Duo almost snapped.
"You're going to be late," she tapped her watch.
"Oh crap!" Duo bolted out of his chair, grabbing bag and glasses. He was fortunate that the school wasn't that far away or he would kiss all chances of going there good bye. Still, it was a chore navigating the many people that were almost perpetually around. He wasn't used to being jostled or touched. While he was more acceptant to human contact than a few years ago, he was in no means tactile.
He made it into class in the nick of time, with the teacher giving him a rather disapproving look. He took a deep breath, staring at the paper which was placed face down in front of him. He could do this.
"You may turn your papers over," the teacher announced and for the next two hours, Duo lost himself in the exam.
It felt like a second has passed before the teacher announced that time was up. Duo put down his pen with a deep sigh. He looked around, seeing similar looks of despair mirrored on his other, possibly, future classmates' expression. So, he wasn't the only one that found today's paper a pain. He return a smile at a blond sitting to his left as his paper was collected.
"I think my brain just got squished out with the last exam," the blond sighed dramatically.
Duo shrugged. "Well, it's over now." He started packing up, getting ready to go home. Before that, his eyes made a quick glance around the room, wondering yet again could any one of them be Heero Yuy. As he turned back, he was shocked to see the blond standing right in front of him.
Unable to help himself, he took a step back. Human contact was okay, but human contact from a stranger…
"Hi, I'm Quatre Winner," the blond smiled warmly extending his hand.
Duo took it tentatively. "Hello, Duo Maxwell."
"I hope to see you around," he gushed. "Oh no, the time, Rashid is going to kill me! Well, bye," he waved exuberantly before running out the door.
The braided boy stood there, smiling at Quatre. He was really a whirlwind but if these were the people who were going to spend the next two years with him, it wouldn't be such a trial being here.
"Oh well," he muttered to himself, gathering his bag and following Quatre's earlier path out the door. He sighed rather mournfully. Still no Heero. Just who was this person…
The rest of his thoughts were cut off as someone bumped into him rather abruptly and rather painfully. Then Duo heard it, the soft crunch sounding somewhere on the floor. Alright, finally, after three years of threatening to fall off his nose, his glasses had actually succeeded.
"Aaah, my glasses!" Duo exclaimed, staring down at the pitiful looking mess on the ground.
"Oh, I'm so sorry. I wasn't looking where I was going," the person in front of Duo apologised, bending over to help him pick up his rather ruined pair of spectacles.
Duo bent over as well. "No, it's fine, I wasn't looking either."
Their fingers brushed and a jolt of something went through Duo. He lifted his eyes and stared directly into a pair of very familiar dark blue ones.
"Hey, you're from the gallery," the boy observed, a tiniest of smile curving his lips. That was enough to bring about a huge change of expression.
Wow, now that is as cute as a button, Duo thought silently to himself. He definitely should smile more.
"Yeah, only in reverse," Duo quipped easily. He kneeled down, and picked up the rest of his broken glasses and pocketed it.
"You are also taking the entrance exam?" The other teen asked.
Duo started walking toward the bus station, the other boy following behind. "Yes, I heard this was the best place for arts."
"You draw too?" Came a surprised enquiry. "But I guess it is expected. Not many our age would hang around an art gallery."
Duo laughed lightly. "Yes, I managed to bore many friends to sleep by merely suggesting that."
The boy laughed, his bright teeth flashing in the sun. Duo was taken aback of how different, how open, how charming the boy looked with what wide smile. Then he shook himself. What was wrong with him? He was checking out that boy again.
"Look, I'll pay for your glasses," the boy offered.
Duo shrugged. "It's fine. My dad's an ophthalmologist, I can get these things for free if I want to. Really," he assured the dark haired teen who looked rather guilty.
"But are you going to be alright?" The boy asked, obviously worried.
Duo guessed the other teen was afraid he might walk into an open manhole or something. "I'll be fine. I'm not that blind. Really."
The boy nodded, still a little uncertain. "Well, uhm, nice meeting you… again. That's my bus," he said, running up the approaching vehicle.
Duo smiled as he watched the other person board the bus. It was funny but he felt a sense of loss seeing him leave. Still he was glad he met a nice person today. Wait, two nice people, he had nearly forgotten about the blond whirlwind by the name of Quatre Winner. It was just too bad he couldn't find Heero Yuy.
"Hey!" The boy called from the doorway of the bus. "I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Heero Yuy. Hope to see you around someday."
Duo was still standing there fifteen minutes after the bus left.
Cute. As. A. Button.
Heero Yuy was a guy.
Damn that stupid Treize!
That's it for now!