The Ruined Canvas

Summary: Little one-sided shoujo-ai (if you interpret it that way) ficlet that is truly bizarre. I'm serious, this thing is weird. You could even say it isn't a TT fic.

Disclaimer: If I owned Teen Titans, there would be a way for Raven to force Trigon to leave her alone forever, Beast Boy would have a moped, Terra would be alive (but not paired off with Beast Boy), there would be more episodes with Blackfire in them, and Slade would NOT be working for Trigon. So needless to day, I don't own the show.

Pairings: RobStar and one-sided RaeStar(?)

Author's Notes: This story began as a prologue to my fic Unseen Forces. But you do not have to read that fic in order understand this one. Let me explain. I took this idea with me to China, because I had not used it and it was still lurking in my head. While I was in Silk Alley in Beijing, it escaped from my head and bolted. I finally found it cowering under a bootleg copy of an Indy-movie soundtrack; this real-world experience rather disturbed the poor little idea. It escaped again in Suzhou and took a swim in the Fisherman's Garden, where is got soaked through. I trapped it in an empty water bottle, but in Shanghai's Art Research Institute, one of my friends opened the bottle (thinking it wasn't empty) and the idea ran away again. This time I found it inside a hand-painted flask. I finally wrote it down on the plane ride home, and this was the result. Enjoy!

The artist's brush moves swiftly over the canvas, almost with a sense of urgency. The painter must work while inspiration is there, in the fleeting moment when the mind holds the idea, like a hand wrapped around the beating wings of a bird.

In every canvas, there is a picture waiting to be seen, a story waiting to be told, a masterpiece waiting to be unveiled. The challenge is to find it.

Finally, the artist reclines, ready to see what tale the canvas has to tell.

The center of the painting is truly a marvel, a compilation of color and emotion. A boy and girl lounge, embraced gently, on a lush indigo sofa. The girl is unarguably gorgeous, with a thick, glossy mane of hair the color of an autumn leaf, exotic golden skin, and eyes bright enough to be emeralds. The boy, though he has a while mask covering his eyes, is quite handsome, with even features and jet-black spiked hair, and his arms—draped around the girl's waist—are lean and strong. Both wear slight, almost shy smiles, and faint blushes tint their cheeks.

Waves of companionship and compassion seem to emanate from the pair. The shine of the boy's hair, the slender shape of the girl's hands, the soothing shadows falling over the two…yes, they are indeed perfect, the happy ending after a fairy tale.

The artist's smile shrinks as another girl, near the edge of the painting, is noticed. Why does such an odd distraction belong in this tender scene?

The second girl is not nearly as attractive as the first. This girl had short, thin hair that looks blue, or perhaps purple. Her eyes are violet and far too large for a small face with skin so pale is seems gray. Her white, spidery hands clutch a large book; at first glance she appears to be reading it, but then one can see she is watching the couple on the sofa. Her watery eyes hold something like longing—yes, definitely longing—as she gazes upon the flawless boy and girl. Is it jealousy? No, she wants something, and she seems to want it with every fiber, every ounce of her soul.

And, strangest of all, the plain girl's gaze is not trained on the dark-haired boy, but the clear-eyed girl.

The artist frowns. The painting sings like a choir out of tune; something is wrong. Could the pale-faced girl be a mistake, an aberration, an error in the story the painting was trying to tell? True, this artist rarely—oh, so rarely—misreads the invisible message on the blank canvas, and draws the wrong thing, destroying the artwork's tale.

This little girl with the wayward eyes, she is a grave mistake. She upsets the delicate balance of the painting with her unnatural look. She detracts attention from the beautiful girl and boy in the center.

She ruins the canvas.

Furious, the artist brandishes a brush, glaring with virulent hatred at the offending sight of the girl with the book.

In a few bold strokes, there is a blank wall where the error once sat.

The artist sits back with a smile. The painting once had a crippling disease, but it has been cured.

Only the scintillating boy and girl remain.

The painting is perfect.


Hey, I said it was bizarre.

Oh yeah, and Chapter Five of Unseen Forces is in progress. I have NOT abandoned that story.


Gothic Tiger