A/n: Yes, I do start off all my Monty-based fics like this. But what's this? Somone new? Why, it's Claquesous, everyone's favorite masked P-M member. Or perhaps the only masked P-M member. I know little of Claquesous, so...feel free to get angry and throw wine bottles at my characterization of him.

An hour remained before the sun would depart, and the sky was red with the dying rays. This was the time of the shadows, recalled to life with the sleeping light, unfurling from wherever hole they came from. One particular shadow swept across the streets, graceful and murderous, with no particular rationale other than the thrill of night. Each step was meticulous and purposeful, despite the complete lack of true purpose at all. It was simply the manner of the shadow.

At length, the shadow was overtaken by the hulking elephant statue in the park, his lips curling up a bit at the sight, for he knew quite well its inhabitant. Shrouded in the rising darkness, the behemoth did well to shield its child from the world. The shadow passed.

Another apparition; with the fading light, the shadow could make out the wavering outline of another shadow, seated upon a bench and huddled over something. It was not until the shadow had fully approached, and the fleeting sun fell upon the other's face, that he sat himself beside the crumpled form.

"Bon nuit."

As the second shadow did not respond, the first glanced over at what his companion was so fixated on. It was little more than a few tattered scraps of paper and a bit of charcoal, but still the masked shadow continued to bring his shoulders up round his ears and attack the paper frantically with the charcoal. Slowly, the black etches became a pigeon, which had in fact been squatting on a bench opposite to the two shadows, standing still as if awaiting the outcome of its portrait. Of his own amusement, the newcomer swiped across the page with a delicate finger, reverting most of the bird back to ebony chalk.

"Enculé." The drawer set aside his paper, as the pigeon had flown off, and relaxed against the back of the bench. "What brings ye 'round here, 'Parnasse?"

"Myself," the one in question answered curtly, crossing his left leg over his right and allowing his back to rest against the bench. The masked man nodded. It was likely he had not listened to Montparnasse's answer at all. "And of yourself, Claquesous?" Montparnasse did not face the masked man, but preferred to stare off into the bruised sky. "Taken up a new hobby, have you?"

"Perhaps." Claquesous took a glance at the devil's dandy. He was no less than what could be expected of Montparnasse; held high, defined chin tilted up at only the slightest angle, arms delicately crossed. Often times Claquesous had no doubt that Montparnasse could be a woman. Yet as the dandy sat there, statuesque, Claquesous could not help but return to his paper and begin to sketch away, to which the subject quickly objected.

"What are you at?"

"Nothing." Straining to see in the approaching darkness and from behind his mask, Claquesous took continual glances at Montparnasse, who had since moved from his position. "Yer a horrible subject t' draw."

"Tsh. Let me see that," Montparnasse demanded, groping for the paper. But Claquesous kept it safely from the dandy's grasp. Instead, he suggested that the dandy stay still and let himself be drawn, and the dandy agreed reluctantly, but only if he were allowed the possession of the sketch afterward. Agreement made, Montparnasse sat quietly, facing Claquesous as the man drew intently, but only until Claquesous dared to reach up and touch the ridge of Montparnasse's cheek with the rough pads of his fingers.

"What in God's name are you doing?"

"Well ye can't expect me t' draw ye with no light out. I'm just getting the shape of yer face."

"I'm not incredibly-"


Wincing as the shadow's fingers grazed across his lips, Montparnasse called upon all of his willpower to not dig his knife into Claquesous' ribs. Still the shadow let one hand grace the contours of the dandy's face as the other scratched away on the paper. His touch was gentle, as a father might show affection for his son, but Montparnasse was hardly an innocent young boy, and Claquesous was far from a father figure. As much as Montparnasse hated to admit it, the touch was soothing, for everything in his life was full of pain and harshness, and he leaned gently into the touch. In a response disconnected from his thoughts, Claquesous ran his fingers through Montparnasse's dark hair, tousling the curled locks. His hand was suddenly withdrawn, leaving Montparnasse a bit befuddled, but he soon regained himself and returned to sitting delicately against the bench. There was not a sound save for the soft scratches of charcoal on paper. When even those few whispers had drifted off into silence, Claquesous removed himself from the bench, leaving his papers and charcoal, fading off into the rising shadows of the night. Gone without a trace. Curious, Montparnasse took the portrait of himself in his hands, straining to see in the pale light of the moon.

"How curious," he murmured, rising to his feet, "that a man of which the world sees so little sees so much of the world."

The paper fluttered to the ground, and the devil's dandy returned to the night.