Have you ever had one of those days where you just know everything is going to change? Something cataclysmic happens and you know that from that moment on, there's no turning back.
My name is Heero Yuy, I'm eighteen years old and I'm having one of those days.
I come from a very traditional Japanese family and I'm gay – If you don't already know, those two things just don't go hand in hand. I've known about myself for some time now, but I've hidden it and hidden it well… but I came to a point where I couldn't keep it to myself any more.
I told my parents.
I know it was stupid, but I can't do anything about it now.
I was sitting in a little diner sipping at my deliciously warm chamomile tea and staring out the window. It had been two days since I came out to my parents and two days since I'd been kicked out of my home. I couldn't afford a hotel and I didn't have that much money on me. I was lucky to have a small savings account in my name and a stash of emergency money locked away in a safe in the back of my closet. I didn't have much in the way of personal belongings either; I only had a backpack with just the bare essentials. The first night, I spent it asleep on the bus. The second night, I slept in the park. I was lucky that it was autumn and the weather had yet to turn cold, but I really needed to find a place to live… and a job.
I sighed and looked down at my folded newspaper again. Who would hire a kid straight out of high school with no home and very limited marketable skills? I knew that I was a far cry from being ready to enter the work force, I hadn't even attended college yet, and now I was penniless and cut off from my inheritance.
I was snapped out of my thoughts by a warm tenor voice and looked up to see the most handsome man I'd ever laid eyes on. His features were strong and chiseled. His hair, amazing in its length and amber color, was bound tightly in a braid that hung over his shoulder with only a few wisps of hair escaping to surround his face. Then I looked into his eyes- they were the most stunning shade of indigo-violet that I'd ever seen. I'd never actually seen this shade in a person's eyes before, but the color was like that of nightfall.
"May I help you?" I asked, belatedly realizing I hadn't acknowledged the man.
He smiled a little, gesturing to my table. "I hope I'm not being to forward, but If you're not expecting anyone, I was wondering if I could share your table."
I looked around the room and saw it was extremely crowded, not only that, there was a huge line of people waiting to be seated. Just how long had I been in here? When I came in, the place was almost deserted.
"I don't mind," I said, gathering my scattered newspaper and making a more neat pile out of it.
"Thanks," he grinned.
I went back to my job/apartment hunting and let the man sitting across from me order his meal.
It was a little while later that I heard the man in front of me chuckle, causing me to raise my eyes and meet his again. "What's so funny?" I asked.
"You've been staring at the newspaper for the last ten minutes. I doubt you've even read a single word." The man said. He then reached across the table and snatched the paper out of my hand and glanced at it. "I wonder what's so interesting…"
I made a grab for the paper, but the man in front of me kept it out of reach. He glanced at my scribbles and circled ads, then flicked his eyes back up at me. "So you're looking for an apartment, are you? These places seem kind of shady… Why are you looking for places in that district?"
I shrugged. "I have a tight budget."
He returned the paper to me and then held out his hand. "Let's start again. Hi, my name is Duo Maxwell. Thank you for inviting me to sit at your table."
I took his hand and shook it. "Heero Yuy."
"You have very nice eyes, Heero," he grinned.
"Thank you. You have stunningly unique eyes yourself," I replied, feeling a little stupid for saying it out loud.
"You are too kind." The waitress came by and dropped off Duo's large meal. I sighed, my stomach rumbling, but tried to ignore it. "Aren't you going to eat?" he asked.
I shook my head; I needed to conserve what little money I had. "I need to find an apartment first."
He eyed me momentarily then pushed a small plate of pancakes my way. Apparently, they had come with his meal. "Eat something. It's on me… and afterwards, we can go to my apartment. I've been looking for a roommate, and if you're interested, we can make arrangements."
Now, I'd like everyone to know that I don't usually go with strangers or anything, but this guy was just drop-dead gorgeous. Plus, I was running out of money and I needed a place to stay. It couldn't be all that bad, could it? I was hungry and homeless… pretty soon I'd be penniless; I couldn't have the luxury of just turning the man down.
A few hours later, I found myself in a very nice studio apartment. It was large with the different areas of the house separated only by the furniture. The kitchen melted into the dining room which flowed into the living room. There were a couple of closets and a bathroom. Off to the corner, marked off by a dresser and two back to back bookshelves, was what I presumed to be Duo's bedroom. In that enclosure, was a king size bed with a black comforter and a few throw pillows piled onto it. The walls were covered with artwork, none of which I recognized, but all done by an artist of great skill.
"What do you think?" Duo asked as he finished locking up the door behind us.
I looked back at the man that stood behind me… I couldn't afford to stay here… I didn't even have a job…but all things considered, it would be a lot easier to only deal with half the rent instead of putting up the entire thing.
"This place is amazing…" I said more awe in my voice than I intended. "But what's over there?" I motioned to the corner nearest the corner that was Duo's bedroom. It was curtained off with a heavy gray canvas cloth and taking up about a third of the flat.
"It's my studio," he grinned, showing the way. He pulled back the curtain and I saw the whole area littered with paints, pastels, clay, and inks. There were canvases laying everywhere, works in progress, all of which showing elements of the ones displayed on his wall.
I studied the works laid out before me in awe. Duo was indeed a very talented artist. No wonder he could afford a place like this. "You… you did all of these?"
He nodded. "So what do you say, am I looking at my new roommate?"
I didn't look at him, I merely shook my head. "It's very generous of you to offer, but I can't afford this… I have a very limited amount of money and I don't have a job… I'm sorry," I looked up at him, "I wish I could."
"Well we haven't even discussed what your half would be."
"I still don't have a job."
"What if I gave you a job?" Suddenly Duo was right in front of me, tilting his face up and grinning.
"W-what do you mean?" I stuttered, feeling incredibly childish.
He brought his hand to my face and tilted it up. I felt my heart flutter and my stomach do a flip. He then turned my face slightly and looked into my eyes, giving me a sweet smile. "You have a stunning face. I would like you to be my model."
He then let go of my face and to a rack set upon a table and began pulling out paints and Popsicle sticks. He stripped off his shirt and threw it toward his 'bedroom' leaving him in only paint-splattered jeans. Funny, I thought he'd bought them that way.
"Would you mind sitting there?" he said, pointing to a stool next to the workbench. He brought his paints, oil, oil thinner, sticks, small canvas, and oddly enough, a Styrofoam plate. "Don't worry; I'll pay you for this…"
"Pay me for what?" I asked, nervously. I'd heard about guys like this; they claimed they were art students just so they could get their 'subject' naked.
"Oh, I'm sorry," he smiled sheepishly. "I do believe I'm getting ahead of myself. I'd like to try and match the color of your eyes. May I? I'll give you fifty bucks for your time."
I nodded. He smiled and began mixing paints in his plate and testing them on the canvas.
"So… how much would it cost me to live here?" I asked, nervously.
Duo gave me a happy little grin, "Two hundred dollars a month."
I blinked. A place like this had to cost a lot more than that. Add to that, bills and groceries, you get a huge sum. "What's the catch?" I asked, suspiciously.
He chuckled, but didn't stop his work, "Cynic. Can't you just accept that something good came your way?"
"No, not really."
He chuckled again, "Fine, have it your way. Here's the story: I own this flat and live here by myself. Your rent is of two hundred dollars and that goes to my pocket. In addition, I would like you to model for me-" He held up a hand just as I was about to interrupt. "This is legitimate, and I find you unbelievably stunning, aesthetically speaking, if I may say so. I'd be paying you one hundred and fifty dollars a week since it would be too hard to figure out hours."
"Where would I sleep?" I asked, nervously
"On the couch until we made other arrangements."
"I'm gay." I felt my eyes widen and my cheeks flush. I'd already been kicked out of my home because of it; I thought it would only be fair to let my potential roommate know. If he didn't want me to room with him any more, then it was for the best.
Duo laughed a rich melodious laugh. "Is that supposed to make me retract my offer?" I looked up at him, a little confused. "It didn't work." He put down his mixing sticks and leaned closer to me, "How old are you?"
He placed one hand on my cheek, his thumb caressing my lip. "Good…if you'll be mine, I'll waive the rent. I'll take care of you and give you an allowance."
"What?" I pulled away from him slightly, nervous about this entire situation. "I'm not a slut!"
"Good. I don't want a slut." He continued mixing his paints, "I want you to be my live-in boyfriend. I'll take care of you and I want you to let me paint you. I don't know if you believe in love at first sight, but I'll let you think about it." He covered the paint he mixed with another plate, presumably to keep it from drying out too quickly. "Stay for the night, you can grab a pillow from my bed and a blanket from the closet next to the bathroom. I promise not to touch you and I'll try not to wake you."
"What do you mean by that?" I asked as I got up, getting ready to leave the curtained off enclosure.
Duo shrugged, digging out a clean canvas "I like to work at night. See you in the morning, Heero."
I know you all thought I was dead, but one of you managed to convince me to write something else. This is for you. I don't know if I'm going to continue this… I was thinking of leaving it as-is.