Disclaimer: not mine

Pairing: Heero/Duo
Challenge: Charcoal
Warnings: Shounen ai

Author Notes: This is the last story in the "Good in little things" series. Told in Heero's POV, it will be short and is only a representation of a small slice of life - a forkful of chocolate cake. For those who've been on this little journey with me, I thank you for continuing to read. For those who are not familiar (or need to re-read), you can start the series here: [ good in little things ]. The timeline, as it is, I've put behind the cut at the bottom.

by Merith

Like drawing paper, it'd started as nothing.

He was down the short hallway, whistling some song that played repetitively on the radio. I had to stop and listen, sock half rolled up, foot ready and propped on my knee. Instead, I got up from the bed and went to stand in the middle of the room, just to see him.

Through the opened bedroom door, across the hall, he stood before the bathroom mirror, hands working their magic with that wild mane of his. His skin still glistening from the shower, his jeans on, but unfastened, and his shirtless torso. The lean lines of him caught my eye and I juxtaposed the imagine from that morning as he rose above me, his hips between my hands guiding him.

At each pass of the artist's hand, the background slowly filled, the focus became defined.

In the two years of living with him, it hadn't been clear, it just was. The background of our lives, interwoven with one another, our house and our neighbors, all appeared as smudged shadowing, emptying the blank spaces. With the passage of time, as each event occurred, another stroke and the shadow sharpened. The past five months I've held the knowledge of what he meant to me, even if it had been there since our first meeting, it'd taken awhile for that shadow to be illuminated.

Broad strokes have drawn him for me in pencil clarity. Not just the shape of his body, the angles of his face, but what the skin and sinew hid - what he has slowly revealed.

He'd said he's known his feelings for me from the start, though it'd taken him long enough to admit them. But then, he'd been telling me all along without words. His touch was still new to me, still awkward and timorous to him; I was no different. The pattern of our lives as I'd come to hold close had changed - the weave now stronger, the colors brighter. But there were times neither one of us knew quite what to do.

Learning together worked best. I think we'd recognized that these strong but tenuous emotions needed care and finesse like gundam controls. But watching him as he slipped into his dress shirt, I stopped thinking. He was the Duo I'd always known and was discovering even more about as each day passed.

He caught me watching him, and whistling stopped. His eyes looked me over and he settled against the sink to smile. "You almost ready?"

I looked down and realized I was still only wearing boxers and one sock. The other sock fell somewhere in route. My fingers sure and steady, I traces the lines of his face and down his chest without answering. Meeting his gaze, I gave him a smile of my own and shrugged. Going out had been a whim. Staying home to discover more about him interested me more.

Still in black and white, the sketch remained incomplete and colorless. But between the two of us, and a box of crayons, we'll add what was needed.


on to 'at the end of our year'

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