Disclaimer: I do not own the Saint Beast: Kouin Jojishi Tenshi Tan anime.
"Um..." Shiva clutched the canvas in his arms tighter, making sure not to loosen his hold on the three brushes in his hand. "Could I...?"
Shiva grew more nervous when Pandora tilted his head. "Yes?"
"If you're not busy...can I paint you?" When Pandora opened his mouth to respond, Shiva fretted. "I don't want to continue my painting of...him...since we're in the shrine and that would make my appeal toward him obvious."
It's already obvious, Pandora thought tiredly. Even though he pitied Shiva, there were times when the angel was downright...dare he think, idiotically oblivious? He was already oblivious, but he often crossed the line into absurdity.
"...and I just thought that if I...painted you...then..."
"It was indeed an insightful idea to paint me," Pandora said sweetly as he slowly stood up.
"Are you looking down on me?" Shiva asked heatedly.
Pandora smiled even sweeter, tilting his head slightly and closing his eyes. "Of course not." He opened his eyes again, growing serious. "I am simply stating that painting me can be viewed at first glance as a deed of honor." Not obsessiveness.
"O-oh..." Shiva said as his hold on the canvas loosened considerably.
"Now, in terms of location-"
Pandora tilted his head at the speed of which Shiva spoke. Was he on a time limit? Or was it simply nerves? He watched Shiva quickly set up the canvas and sit on the cement bench behind him, fumbling with his brushes...Nerves, Pandora decided with vague amusement.
"Shiva," Pandora called sweetly as he "striked a pose" which he thought that Shiva would find to be...acceptable.
"Hm?" Shiva was busy setting up the paints to his liking.
Pandora smiled mischievously. "Do you wish for me to disrobe for this painting?" Pandora asked as he lowered his robe so that one bare shoulder was visible.
"W-what?" Shiva appeared to have complications contemplating what he just said. Marvelous.
"In ancient times, it was deemed acceptable for one to pose while disrobed. I am sure that if I explained to Zeus-sama that I deemed it appropriate-"
"I-I mean...That's not...It's not necessary," Shiva finished clumsily with a faint blush dusted on his cheeks. "You're fine the way you are."
Pandora chuckled. Really, this angel was sometimes manipulated a little too easily. "I'm glad you have such a high opinion of me."
"You are an official," Shiva said defensively, trying to brush the comment off.
And so the session began. It was calm, quite, and oddly peaceful, which was something that Shiva hadn't experienced in...quite a while.
Somewhere in the middle of the session, Pearl appeared on Pandora's shoulder. Shiva was fine with that in the beginning, since he figured that he could just go back to the head later…until the rest of the painting was basically complete and there was nothing but the head to paint. He didn't think that Pandora would appreciate the rest of the painting being stellar and…well, having him be headless. He didn't mind if Pearl was in the painting, since Pearl was literally a part of Pandora…but having Pearl's head take place of Pandora's was taking it a step too far.
Shiva sighed. "Pearl, can you move? I can't see Pandora's face."
Pearl turned toward Shiva. "Of course."
Shiva withdrew the urge the roll his eyes when Pearl simply moved to the other shoulder. Instead, he picked up another brush and continued.
He was nervous at the beginning because he wasn't sure if Pandora would want to be bothered with such a boring task as standing still for hours on end. Even if Pandora was the one to say that he wanted them to be closer and eventually viewed as friends…he knew that there was a limit. He also had to trend the waters of friendship with Pandora carefully. Pandora wasn't like the other angels; he was an official. He knew that this friendship, as Pandora called it, had to be tested since it was both a prosperous and dangerous arrangement. He needed to find the boundaries. This painting session was a test…It helped his nerves that it could also be viewed as a chance to see Judas. So far, however, he hadn't had the chance. The only way that he could identify if anyone was near was by hearing footsteps…but he was too caught up in the painting to notice anything other than if Pandora moved.
Little did Shiva know that Pandora was questioning him as well.
Does he have ulterior motives? Pandora snuck a glance at Shiva, who was diligently working on his painting. No, that's not possible. Even though he teased Shiva quite often, there was no way that Shiva would suddenly decide to pursue him, even unconsciously. If he needed an excuse to be in the shrine so that he would have the opportunity to see Judas, he would give him one.
Pandora didn't question Shiva for long. Even if Shiva did have ulterior motives, it just meant that he would be more fun to manipulate. It would present a welcome challenge for him.
When Pandora wasn't questioning Shiva, he was talking to Pearl. After a long period of time, Pandora began to wonder if Shiva was ever going to ask Pearl to move. Could Shiva even see his face from this angle? Pearl, to his credit, attempted to move. He curled up in a ball so that he looked like he was sleeping, but even with that advantage it looked like Shiva would only be able to see his nose and left eye.
"Pearl, can you move? I can't see Pandora's face."
Pearl gladly sat up from his curled up position. "Of course. Thank Zeus-sama," Pearl sighed happily as he plunked relaxed on Pandora's right shoulder.
Pandora withheld his amusement at that comment. He imagined that Pearl would be quite the difficult model for a painter, even if he was sleeping. Even though he was confined to his shoulder, he moved around quite a bit. He mirrored Pandora's mind, in a way. He never stopped thinking of things in general. Even when he was doing nothing, it wasn't really nothing. He multitasked for a reason: he wasn't made to fit in any box besides his social status.
"Pandora? Pandora!" Pandora was alerted out of his own thoughts so quickly that he "lost" he balance and fell back toward the fountain. When Shiva tried to catch him, they both fell in. Luckily, Shiva was able to catch Pandora before he hit his head...or unluckily, if you look at it from Shiva's point of view.
Pandora chuckled lightly as his hand lifted to touch the side of Shiva's face, his eyes sparkling in mischief. "Quick reflexes are most unexpected from a painter."
"Stop teasing me," Shiva said as he brushed off the compliment before standing up. He set Pandora on his feet.
Pandora gently put a hand on Shiva's chest. "I'm not flattering you. I'm truly thankful."
Shiva looked off to the side, clearly uncomfortable with this situation. "Shiva." Shiva looked at Pandora nervously. "May I see the painting?"
Shiva quickly walked over to the painting before Pandora could. "It's not done yet. I'll need to complete it back at the cabin." Pandora watched as Shiva packed up his supplies before getting out of the water himself. He walked up to Shiva and began to follow him out of the courtyard within the shrine. Shiva turned to him in question. "Why are you following me?"
Pandora smiled. "I thought that you would require an escort to your home since it is dark."
"I'll be fine. I've walked home in the dark before." He turned to leave before Pandora made a decision.
"Shiva," Pandora called out sweetly. Shiva turned to Pandora in just enough time so that he couldn't back away from Pandora. He planted a kiss on Shiva's cheek while lightly caressing the side of his face. He watched in amusement as Shiva's cheeks grew red and hot beneath his gentle touch. "For saving me from drowning."
"It wasn't that deep," Shiva said in obvious defense before pulling away from Pandora and walking out of the shrine.
That angel really isn't that wise, is he Pandora? Pearl inquired gently as he faded back onto Pandora's shoulder.
Pandora snuck a glance at Shiva's retreating back before turning to walk to his own living quarters with a small smile on his face. He has some decent qualities.