Title: A Poem Without Words

Pairing(s): None.

Rating: K+

Warning(s): None.

Note(s): Post-series. The twins are approximately 18-years-old at this point.

"All art is but imitation of nature."

- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Ruka cradled her chin in her hand, twirling her pencil in her hair. She was determined that tonight she would finish her senior paper, of which a good grade was especially important: students at the academy had to receive at least a "C" or higher in order to graduate. She wasn't terribly worried, though. The paper was not an essay about the complexities of trap cards or report detailing the history of Duel Monsters. Rather, it was supposed to be a response to the appropriate question, "What do you plan to do with your life after graduation?" The answer, for her, was easy: become a biologist, look for natural solutions to human problems. She had discovered she had a knack for the science her sophmore year when she had taken the class to fullfill a general credit.

Yet, despite her deteremination, the paper was much more difficult to write than she initially though. She was unfocused and uninterested during the pre-writing stages, which was affecting the emotional depth and overall quality of the paper as she was writing. It frustrated her; she was a gifted student, she normally never had issues with a wandering mind. That had always been her brother's weakness.

She heaved a heavy sigh and dropped pencil, laying her head down on the desk. She had been at it all day, but her efforts thus far had proven fruitless. She turned her head, her gaze falling upon the easel set up next to her bed. It had been a present from her parents on her 16th birthday; art was an elective she had taken for all four years at the academy, and it was a subject she quite enjoyed.

Ruka yawned as her eyes drooped a bit and she nodded off into a light sleep, falling into a fantasic world of spirits long forgotten. She had visited this place many times before as a child, yet it had never lost its magical charm with the fields of flowers and fairies and other creatures that inhabited the land. She closed her eyes, breathing in the scene. It made her... It made her want to paint. She wanted so desperately to share this beautiful, glorious vision with the unseeing world.

"Ruka!" cried her brother's loud voice from far away. Ruka snapped back into reality, nearly falling out of her chair. In a half-asleep panic, she scrambled to find the rough draft of her paper, not wanting Rua to think she had been slacking (he'd never let her hear the end of it; she was always chastising him about his laziness when it came to schoolwork). Once she had located it, however, she was horrified to see that the page was actually covered in a mess of doodles. One particular doodle was an extraordinarily detailed depiction of a familiar teal dragon, weaving it's way around the few clusters of words and rearing it's head at the top of paper.

"Ruka, I was just wondering if you were OK up here. You didn't come down for dinner," Rua said, appearing in the doorway.

"I told you earlier, I'm not leaving my room until I finish my paper," Ruka replied, crumpling up the paper and tossing it into the wastebasket. Her heart ached as she did; all her hours of work had ultimately translated into a useless collection of drawings. How distracted had she truly been? "Besides, I wasn't hungry." Rua buzzed his lips.

"Geez, Ruka, that paper isn't due for weeks... just relax..."

"It's an important part of our grade, Rua. I'm surprised you haven't even started yet," replied his sister irritably. Rua opened his mouth to respond, but stopped. He instead stared at the canvas resting on her easel, his eyes wide with wonder.

"Whoa..." he said in awe, approaching it.

"Don't touch it!" Ruka practically screamed, jumping up. "It's not dry yet!" Rua turned toward her.

"Ruka, this is really good. I mean, it's really good. You could seriously make a ton of money." Ruka rolled her eyes.

"Art is a hobby for me, not a career. Besides, you know I was accepted into the biology program at the university." Rua glowered at her.

"I'm just saying... I mean, you don't really like biology that much, do you?" Ruka's breath got stuck in her throat for a moment. Rua continued, saying, "I mean, think about it... what if you've picked the wrong major?" Ruka's lips pressed tightly together.

"I need to finish my report," she replied briskly, ripping out a fresh piece of paper from her notebook. Rua stood there for a long moment before he shrugged and left her to herself. As soon as he was gone, however, she couldn't help but look over and stare at her painting- a depiction of the world she so often visited in her dreams. She closed her eyes and recalled the scene in her head, noting each detail in the characters and nuance in the colors. Finally, she stood up and picked up her paintbrush.

The clouds... they were too light and whispy. They needed to be fuller, more white and inviting.


Comment(s): Reviews are greatly appreciated.

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