Disclaimer: I do not own La Esperanca. That pleasure goes to Chigusa Kawai…

Word count: 1,333

Warnings: Subtle RobertxGeorges, one-sided HenrixGeorges…

Special thanks to: Bee Bop, XsleeplessX, superkatkitty and Kashie for reviewing my second LE one-shot, A Never-ending Cycle.

Through the Lens

"Joshua! Smile!"

Click

"Erwin, give it back!"

The taller teen could barely contain his laughter, removing his glasses to wipe the tears from his eyes.

"Here." Erwin finally returned the camera to a red-faced Henri. "I just couldn't resist. Joshua looked sooo cute-" A smack in the face from the smallest of the three boys ensued.

"Idiot." Joshua frowned, whilst Henri began checking over his latest gadget, looking for any scratches that may have tarnished the camera.

"This is a new model. My dad caught me staring at it in a magazine. I don't want it damaging."

"It looks okay." Joshua shrugged. "How many pictures have you got left?"

"Two." Henri sighed. "Erwin took about five…"

"I'm sorry! But I had to catch Sir Freddy in – ouch!" Erwin, cringing as he received a book to the head, noticed three other figures enter the classroom.

"Henri?" Georges asked. In front of him stood Freddy, glaring at Erwin, and behind him, Robert, who was indifferent as usual. "I thought you were going to wait at the front gate?"

"I'm sorry, Georges. I wanted to put my camera away safely first. Not that I managed it." Henri scowled at Erwin before joining Georges in the doorway.

"That's okay. Ready for class?" The blonde smiled warmly at his closest companion. Henri wanted to take Georges picture again. Not long ago, the green-eyed angel would hide his true emotions behind a perfect smile, but since Robert's arrival, Henri had to admit that Georges was acting a little more open. The camera would capture that beautiful smile, preserving a memory.

"Yeah..."

Henri, Georges and Robert left the room together, leaving Freddy to sort out Erwin, whilst Joshua watched, amused.

"So that's what your dad bought?" Georges asked, marveling at the camera.

"Yes, isn't it great?" Georges nodded enthusiastically; Robert sighed, pretending not to pay attention. "He gave it to me yesterday morning, for doing so well on that History test last week."

Henri couldn't tell Georges that he'd already taken his picture, several times in fact. The blonde looked good in photos, and Henri needed to practice taking good photographs with a live subject.

"Georges, is that you?" A voice called from the front of the classroom.

"Yes, would you like me to help you with those?" The boy asked back, seeing all the papers the teacher was holding.

"Yes please." The teacher smiled, appreciating Georges' natural kindness.

"I won't be long." The blonde smiled, his attention focused more on Robert.

"You know…" Robert spoke up once Georges was out of earshot. "I think it's strange to find satisfaction, taking pictures of him like that…"

"What?" Henri, taken aback, looked up at Robert's plain face.

"You didn't think anyone saw you yesterday?"

"I was getting in some practice! It's not a crime!" The shorter argued, hating the almost smug expression on the elder's face.

"No. But it's amusing."

"I hate you." Henri mumbled, turning away.

"Because you can't hate him for liking me, right?" Robert said, taking his seat near the back of the class.

Henri, unable to think of any come back to that, fumed silently. As much as Robert annoyed him, he was correct.

When Georges returned, he was a little surprised to see his friends sat in their seats, ignoring each other. Perhaps it would take longer than he thought for them to get along…

---

Click

The light had been perfect, shining through the window and hitting the figure – the main focus of the photo – in just the right places. The figure in question had been relaxed, his elbows resting on the table, a smile on his face as he stared dreamily across the room.

Georges, unaware that Henri had captured him on film once more, seemed content enough to watch Robert writing in his note book.

Class had just ended and only Henri, Georges and Robert remained.

"I was thinking of getting my film developed after school." Henri stated, breaking the silence and surprising his blonde friend, hoping to steal Georges' attention away from the obnoxious older teen.

"Oh. Would you like me to come with you?" Georges asked, looking at Henri's camera. "You have one photo left…"

"I know."

"Hey, Georges!" A voice interrupted the pair. Robert looked up to see Luca, who had run to the blonde's side as soon as he'd seen him.

"What do you want?" Henri groaned, tired of having his friend taken away from him almost none-stop.

"I wanted to know if you'll be free tomorrow before school starts? I'm stuck on this English question, but I forgot to bring my work with me today. Please could you help me?" Luca half-asked, half-begged the blonde.

"Okay. I'll wait for you in the homeroom, is that all right?"

"Thanks Georges, you're the best!" Luca grinned, throwing an arm around the blonde's shoulders.

Robert, who had packed away his things, came and stood next to Henri. "You don't give up, do you?" He whispered on purpose, proving that he had heard the camera.

Henri frowned, ignoring the comment, his eyes fixed back on Georges. 'I trailed him with my camera, trying to capture his every movement, his every expression, with my lens…He's my friend…what's wrong with doing that…?'

"Henri, is something wrong?" Georges asked. Luca had left the room a few moments ago.

"Georges…would you mind if I took your picture? Right now?" Henri had no idea why he was embarrassed to ask his friend, but he felt that it was now or never.

"Of-course not. Where would like me to stand? Is the light okay here?" Georges began to move around the room, wondering where he should be for a good quality photograph.

"There is just fine." Henri brought the camera up to his eye, focusing on the boy stood against a background of trees and fields outside the window.

Georges smiled, his green eyes almost looking directly at Henri and the camera. Almost…

Click

---

The pictures had been developed. Henri couldn't wait to see them, running upstairs as soon as he got home.

"Henri, can you help me?" A voice called from the other side of his bedroom door.

"Sorry, I'm busy, Nicole. Ask mum!" Henri shouted back to his sister. He opened the seal on the envelope, pulling out the box containing his photos.

Nicole, fast asleep on the couch…

A bird, taking flight from the tree in his back yard…

Freddy, struggling with his cello case… Erwin must have taken that one.

A few photos of Joshua, also courtesy of Erwin…Masochist…

And then, photos of him. Georges had such a genuine, beautiful smile. Even though he wasn't looking at the camera, Henri liked to think he was posing for him.

The next photo was of Robert and Georges. The elder was holding the shorter up in the air, a huge grin plastered on his goofy face. Georges had his eyes closed, but his expression was the reason Henri had taken this particular picture. Georges was laughing. Robert was making him laugh. And, as much as this made Henri a little jealous – only a little – it was an expression that suited the blonde as much as a smile did.

'Stupid Robert.' Henri thought, but he couldn't find it in his heart to strongly dislike the older boy. He was the reason Georges was laughing, after all. Not that Henri was jealous.

The last photo was different from the others. Georges knew that Henri was taking his picture, so he was looking at the camera. Sort of…

His emerald eyes seemed as if they were staring back at Henri, but the dark-haired boy knew differently. Robert had been stood next to him.

'If you weren't there, you wouldn't know.' Henri reasoned. 'If someone else saw this picture, they'd think you were giving me that smile…'

But Henri wasn't someone else.

Maybe, if he tried hard enough, he could convince himself that Georges was smiling at him.

Maybe, he could pretend he wasn't only looking through the lens.

XOXOXOXO

That's one-shot number three, and this time, it was a Henri-centric. I wanted to show Henri watching Georges, but realising that he is a friend, not a romantic interest. The end, if it didn't make sense, is Henri wanting the emotion he saw Georges give Robert through his camera in real life for him. I'm not sure if I portrayed it successfully though.

I used the word 'click' instead of 'flash' when the photos were taken, since I wasn't sure which word fit the best, however, for indoor photos, you don't have to use flash, but…I don't know…

Every so often, I think of stories for La Esperanca in between writing my other fics. Maybe I'll write another one again soon? I hope you're not all sick of my attempts in this section!

Thanks for reading, all comments are appreciated!

Minako Angel xxx