Title: Azure

Fandom: The Big Bang Theory

Summary: Stuart rekindles his love of art and Raj is amazed. Raj x Stuart

Word Count: 1,429

Disclaimer: I do not own The Big Bang Theory.

...

Stuart and Raj had grown close, so close it seems that they were able to read each other's mind spectacularly well. This recent development had also caused Stuart to begin teasing Raj about this and that, never anything serious, just lighthearted jokes. There was no way he'd risk his friendship with the guy by insulting him but a little harmless ribbing never hurt anyone. And he felt by this point that the friendship was as solid as can be demonstrated countless times by an exasperated Raj who was quite literally fed up with Stuart's insecurities. They were friends, for god's sakes, good friends! When would Stuart finally wise up?

Currently, the talented artist was working on a piece for an art exhibit much like the one he had done years prior. That had been before when Raj had only considered Stuart an acquaintance if that. He had kicked himself for not realizing what a great guy he was sooner. Oh well... life seemed to be guided by a force invisible to the human eye known as fate and it was certainly led by a much more cruel master known as karma.

Stuart sat in a chair hunched over slightly in concentration in the living room of their shared apartment. Raj let his eyes ghost over the canvas which was quickly succumbing to the oily dark blue and jade colors that made up a sort of sky image. At least, that's what he thought Stuart was painting.

He wondered why the comic store owner didn't paint more often. This was actually the first time he'd even seen Stuart working on something. It came as quite a surprise the previous night when he'd gone to get Stuart from work and the man stood hauling all of his supplies. He hoisted the easel, canvas and paint sets into the back of Raj's car before carefully organizing them amongst the backseat.

Suddenly, inspiration had struck him so he'd made sure to collect all of his supplies to take home that evening from the store. He planned on spending his day off working he said and didn't really want to be disturbed. Of course, Stuart had assumed Raj would pick up and go play paintball with the guys or simply go and see a movie with Penny & the girls. He had not realized the man would be quite content to remain at home with him as he worked silently and steadily on his work.

"Damn... " Stuart muttered to himself and slowed his diligent work abruptly as he felt his wrist begin to freeze up. Warily, he dropped his brush onto the palette and set it beside him in disgust. Gradually, he began massaging his wrist and hand in an effort to quell the pain that was now blooming throughout his arm and right up to this elbow.

Raj blinked startled at his friend's sudden actions. "Hey dude... you okay?"

"Yeah... I'm uh... I'm fine."

The indian man stood from his perch on their couch and hesitantly shuffled over to him. Stuart stood and began to stretch this way and that.

"Probably best I call it quits for today, anyway."

He sounded bitter and Raj wasn't about to let him get away with it. "Dude... it looks lovely so far. I know it's not finished yet. Did you hurt your wrist?"

Stuart glanced up at him before turning to face him fully now. "No, I... I have carpal tunnel. So... sometimes it hurts a bit."

He shrugged slightly and Raj knew that he was just trying to dismiss the topic completely. He nodded at him and turned back towards the work of art. It really was good. It was quite talented and so, so creative. He only wished he'd had a talent like that.

"You are really talented, dude! I mean... look at this! You went to art school, right?"

Stuart smiled the dull throbbing in his wrist forgotten and nodded. "Yep... four whole years at the Rhode Island School of Design."

Raj grinned at him. "Sounds prestigious."

"It was. Is. I dunno... I just feel like it may have been a waste. I mean... I hardly ever draw or paint anymore."

"No way, dude. How can you say that? It wasn't a waste! Look at this!"

He gestured towards the canvas again with a swirl of his hands. "It's amazing, dude! Really. You have a talent. I can't wait to see the full thing when it's finished."

"Thanks" Stuart nodded a coy smile tugging at his lips. "I was trying something new. Usually, I do portraits... or I used to, that is."

The astrophysicist was at a loss for words. He was truly stunned that this... this imaginative, amazing man was so belittling of his own talents. He didn't know what to do, didn't know what else to say so he stood lamely still just focusing his gaze on the incomplete work.

The brunette shoved his hands into his jean pockets and glimpsed the unfinished piece as well trying to figure out where to go with it next. He'd probably devote some more time to it tomorrow night after work. That is of course if he wasn't too exhausted. No... he'd make an effort to work more on it tomorrow even if it killed him. He had to stop coming up with excuses not to paint. Raj was right, it was coming along nicely and it deserved to be finished.

A few moments passed between them in comfortable silence before Raj nudged against his shoulder. He snapped out of his own reverie and blinked up at the man. It bothered him sometimes that Raj was slightly taller although not by much and he didn't know exactly why.

"You're amazing. You're so incredibly talented. I mean it. You shouldn't belittle yourself, dude."

Now, it was Stuart's turn to be speechless. He laughed but found that it died shortly. Again he shrugged and averted his gaze from his friend's.

"Thanks. It's nice of you to say so."

Raj smiled at him charmingly and suddenly he found himself quite weak in the knees. It was a surreal and strange occurrence and Stuart found that he was suddenly holding his breath. His heart began to pound in his ears and he quickly thought he should probably sit down but didn't dare move.

Moving closer to Stuart, Raj reached a hand up to place it lightly on his shoulder but then seeming to reconsider the move quickly dropped it back down at his side. He swallowed as he continued to stare at the man's face moving first from his lips then up to his alluring, deep brown eyes.

Abruptly, they had moved together Raj slightly dipping his face down towards Stuart's and then something in the air had changed. Neither man was sure who had moved first or who had initiated this or that but all at once their lips were touching and they were standing flush against each other and oh god, what was happening?

Stuart found his hand was reaching up and around grasping the dark ebony hair of the astrophysicist and burying itself in it's silky locks. He felt Raj's arms circle around him pulling him ever so closer until there was no space, no gap left in between them.

His heart pounded in his ears as he kissed his indian room mate and found that he too was kissing him back with just as much force if not more.

Raj lifted his face just slightly and opened his mouth to tug on Stuart's top lip kissing and nibbling just so. He felt the man lean into the kiss all the more and smiled.

And then just as unexpectedly as it had started it was seemingly over. The two men reluctantly stepped apart from one another.

Had that really just happened? It seemed like a dream but no, here they were in the small apartment standing in the middle of their living room.

Stuart laughed as he was ought to do in difficult situations. Raj just smiled sheepishly at him and wondered where all that had come from?

Oddly, it was the artist who was the first to speak up and break the silence.

"Well... uh..." he laughed uncomfortably again. "That was... nice. I liked it. What about... what about you?"

Raj didn't answer him with words and instead quickly clutched at the man's plaid printed hoodie eagerly pressing their mouths together once again.

And that was all the answer Stuart needed he decided.