Disclaimer: I have never, nor will I ever, own Gundam Wing and all things contained within.

Pairing: 2+1+2, 3+4
Rating: PG-13
Genre: AU
Warnings: Attempts at humour? OOC?

Notes: Feedback is much appreciated and will earn you my never-ending gratitude. Truly. Lots of thanks to Dark Tenchi for the great beta! *glomps*

Summary: When Duo tires of hopeless date after date after date, he decides to get Quatre, an artist, to draw him a picture of his Mr. Perfect. Never would he have thought that Mr. Perfect actually existed…

Picture Perfect
Chapter 2
by Seaa

“…I’m just damned tired, that’s all, Quat. You always think that one day the right person will come along, and bam, you’re married with three kids, and everything’s perfect! Well, newsflash, no cute little country-house for me!” Duo folded his arms together and stared at Quatre.

The blond narrowed his eyes, and flicked his paintbrush calculatedly across the canvas. “D’you think that looks okay?” he asked, distractedly.

Duo huffed. “You’re not exactly the friend of the year when the muse bonks you over the head.”

Quatre chuckled and set his brush and palette down reverently. He removed the thin wire-framed glasses he always used when painting and looked carefully at Duo while sliding down to sit on the couch by the brunette. “I just never realised this was bugging you so much. And when exactly did you start wanting a cute little country-house and three kids?”

Duo scowled. “I don’t. I was making a point. It’s like when we were kids, and we had these crazy dreams, but we sort of took it for granted that we’d end up with the perfect person and live happily ever after.”

“Right… I remember that. It sort of came between the being a rock star and being a fire-fighter, didn’t it?”


“Fine, fine,” he relented. “I know. But you have to realise, Duo, that you make a pretty fine catch. You’ve just been… hooking on to the wrong bait, that’s all.”

Duo gave him a look. “Why are you comparing me to a fish?”

Quatre grinned. “I’m just making a point, too. Don’t stress it, there are lots of fish in the sea. Don’t give up just yet, the right person will come along and you’ll hook them straight away.”

“Quatre!” But Duo was starting to feel better, and he grinned at his friend. “You’re horrible. You’ve got me hungry for salmon now…”

Quatre beamed innocently at him. He bounced up from the couch they were sitting on, picking up his paintbrush once more. “You’re not old, Duo. It’s not time to give up just yet.”

Duo sighed, wrinkling his nose. “I just… I just need something to give me hope. Just anything, just so I know that it’s not completely impossible.”

“Like what?” Quatre rose his eyebrows, sensing something interesting coming up.

“Oh, you know, like if I just… knew what I was looking for. What my perfect guy would look like. If he’d have brown eyes, or… or blue eyes. A strong shade of cobalt, maybe. Real intense eyes, that sort of… catch you, and hold you, and I didn’t ever want to look away from him, from his gorgeous eyes…”

“Duo? You do know that you just switched tense right in the middle there?” Duo looked up to catch his friend smirking.

“Oh, shut up. You know what you should do? You should put those artistic talents to good use and paint me up my perfect guy.”

“So it’s a guy now? Last I checked you were going either way.”

He shrugged, a tiny inclination of his shoulders. “I do. There was just this guy, the other day. He keeps… popping into my head! It’s getting a little annoying.”

“And yet you think he’s your perfect guy…?”

“I know, I know.” He grinned half-heartedly. “It’s ridiculous. I never even saw his entire face, just his eyes.”

“It’s not like you to let opportunities go like that… Why didn’t you go up to him?” Quatre had an interested look on his face, even as he slid his glasses on and gave the brush in his hand another flick against the canvas.

“I… dunno. I was sort of content to just… look at what I could see of him. And… I didn’t know if he really… liked me.”

Quatre pursed his lips. “So you’re willing to settle for second rate, just as long as they’re the ones making the first move? That’s not exactly…”

”What?” he groused. “Not exactly what?”

Quatre chuckled uneasily. “Well, what do you know, I just lost that train of thought right there!” When Duo didn’t find the humour in his statement, he just sighed. Duo glared at the streak the paint made as Quatre flicked his wrist yet again. “I just don’t want you to have to settle for second best. You’ve gotta… fight for your perfect relationship to happen.”

Duo didn’t say anything, but as Quatre kept staring expectantly at him, he finally relented. “Fine. You’re right. You’re always right,” he muttered, somewhat unhappily.

“Why, thank you.” Quatre smiled briefly, before giving his brush a final swish across the canvas. He brought his brushes and palette to the sink at the end of the room, and began washing it out carefully, whilst telling Duo, “Push that against the wall, would you?”

Duo began moving the canvas and its easel to the edge of the room, wincing as it screeched slightly. “All done,” he stated, looking at Quatre. “What’re you planning on doing now?”

“What you told me to,” he declared, looking through his art supplies. Quatre finally found what he was looking for – a moderate sized sketchpad and graphite pencils of different shades of grey.

Duo looked amused. “And what exactly was that?”

“Why, putting my so-called artistic talents to good use, of course.” He grinned cheekily. “You want a picture of your perfect guy? Quatre Winner, at your service.” He bowed with great flourish. “I only wish I had one of those nifty little hats.”

A peal of laughter surged out of Duo before he even knew it. “All right, then,” he relented. “Go right ahead.”

Quatre coughed professionally, putting a posh expression on his face. “Oookay, sir, make yourself comfortable.”

He had inflicted his voice with a strange accent, and Duo couldn’t help but say: “Quatre, I am extremely glad that you found your calling in art, and not in acting.”

The blond scowled in jest. “Fine, Mr. Funny Man, but I’m doing you a favour here!”

“That, and you’re bored and have nothing better to do.”

Quatre pulled a stool up, and perched himself up on it, choosing not to answer. Instead, he gestured to a more adequately sized easel, and motioned for Duo to get it. The braided man did so, placing it in front of Quatre.

“Acceptable for you, Monsieur?”

Quatre nodded minutely, placing a haughty expression on his face. Duo grinned. He fell back onto the couch and stretched out. “Well, shall we?”

The sketchpad was placed onto the stand, and Quatre nodded. “Go right ahead. Describe him to me. And be exact, we don’t want him to come out looking like… Petunia now, do we?”

Duo shuddered. “No thank you!” He leant his head back, closing his eyes. He waited for those cobalt eyes to appear, and sure enough they did, swimming into his mind’s eye.

“He’s got amazing eyes,” he said slowly, carefully. “They’re so intense, I can just look into them forever.” He waited to see if Quatre was taking it seriously, or as a joke. When no jest came, he relaxed further.

In his mind, he built upon the image inside. The eyes would be obscured, with… dark, dark brown hair. It was constantly messy, he decided, but simply alluring. The sort of hair that would make Duo want to run his fingers through it. He was talking as he imagined it: the hair crowning the eyes, and sharp features on his face. They would soften when they looked at him, Duo decided, a small smile appearing on his face.

“Pouty lips,” he murmured, and they appeared on his imaginary Mr. Perfect’s face. “Just slightly. He’s serious, but has a wicked sense of humour. Strong features.”

Mmm. The face was complete now, and in his head, behind his eyelids, he knew it was going to be imprinted there for a long time. An eye winked at him, a smirk flickered on the lips, and Duo sighed, snapping his eyes open.

The vision disappeared, but it would be there again, the next time he shut his eyes.

“Damn,” he said, feeling tired. “I could have sworn…” He shook his head, clearing the fuzzy haze that had swept over him.

Quatre was still working busily, concentrating with the kind of intensity that he always used when working on one of his works. His hands were sweeping across the page, occasionally changing pencils, smudging this, sharpening that. There would be no coherency from him now, not for another few hours, at least.

Duo had once asked Quatre why he worked so hard, so continuously, whenever he started something. Quatre had said that the beginning was the most crucial, for that was when he was creating the soul of the piece. After that, as he worked on it more, working it to perfection, he was giving it it’s outer appearance. Without its soul, Quatre had said, it would end up as nothing.

Duo looked at Quatre, and he felt the other man’s peace enter him slightly also. Quatre looked entirely happy like that, and Duo knew that the only other time he looked that way was when he spoke of Trowa.

‘Trowa is the most amazing artwork I have ever seen,’ Quatre had said once, simply, and Duo finally understood, as he looked at him now. He hadn’t been talking about the external appearance; he had been talking about his soul.

Quatre found his soul, his muse, his love… his had found his everything in Trowa.

The seriousness of what he had been musing caught up with Duo, and he laughed quietly, not wanted to disrupt Quatre in his work.

He wandered out of the room, padding silently out the door, and collapsed onto the living room couch.

He felt exhausted, and all he really wanted to do was fall asleep and let Mr. Perfect soothe him in his dreams.

So he did, and this time he imagined the face holding out a slender fingered hand, beckoning Duo to come closer. He laughed as the joy flooded through him, and Duo grasped the hand tightly, as he would clutch a saving lifeline. The dark haired man smiled, and Duo was swept tight into an embrace he never wanted to be let out of…


“Duo? Duo!”

Duo groaned, and tried to go back to sleep, to Mr. Perfect, but the hand shaking him wouldn’t stop. He opened his eyes, more than slightly annoyed.

Quatre was beaming.

“You’re cheerful,” he muttered, voice scratchy.

“It’s done,” Quatre said, grinning. “You want to see?”

Duo was almost afraid to take the piece of paper stretched out to him. What if it wasn’t like he’d imagined it? What if it wasn’t as good as he… All thought trickled away from him.

The face staring at him was magnificent. The eyes bore into him; the lips were curved slightly upwards in a smirk identical to the one he had thought of. A strong chin rested on a slender hand. It was the face straight out of his imagination.

“Quat…” he shook his head, settling for a smile and the look of amazement stuck on his face. “You have amazed me, yet again. I’m speechless. How do you do it?”

Quatre laughed. “Took me awhile, but I finally got it. And I wander out, to find you dead asleep, and it dark out. Guess I zoned out again.”

“Yeah… I didn’t want to disturb you. I’m glad I didn’t!” Duo couldn’t seem to stop staring at the portrait. It was so lifelike he almost found himself reaching out to push the haphazard fringe aside to give him better access to those lush lips.

Quatre coughed, looking at Duo. The strange silence that had entered the room was dense and he needed something to lighten the mood. “You know…” he said slowly, “You must realise that after this portrait the three children thing might not be so possible anymore…”

It worked. Duo wrenched his eyes away from the picture with visible effort, but winked. “Never say never, my friend.”

“It’s late out. Do you want to crash on the couch tonight?”

Duo shook his head. “Thanks, but it’s okay. He looked out the window, at the darkening evening. “Wow, it really is late, huh. I don’t know where the day went.” He got up from the couch, still staring at the picture and holding it reverently.

“Here,” Quatre held his hand out. “I’ll put it in plastic so it doesn’t get bent.”

Duo held the portrait out, somewhat reluctantly, a movement that Quatre picked up on.

“Don’t worry,” he chuckled, “You’ll get it back. Just wanna make sure it’s kept safely, okay?”

Duo grinned ruefully. “Honestly, Quatre, tell me… Am I completely pathetic for doing this? I’m going crazy over a picture of a guy who doesn’t even exist! Gah!”

Quatre shook his head slowly. “You’re not crazy, Duo. You’re just a romantic.” He smiled softly. “And don’t worry, you’ll find that someone special one day. And I swear, the minute you do, some part of you will just… know.”

Duo nodded. “Yeah, I guess.” He laughed, suddenly. “You are, of course, speaking from experience, am I right?”

Quatre shrugged, but Duo could sense the grin before it had even begun to form. “Just you wait, Duo Maxwell. Cupid’s going to hit you hard one day, and when he does…” He grinned, slightly evilly, and Duo made a petrified face.

“Well, off with you, then,” Duo gave the blond a small shove. “Get him safely put away and then give him back to me.”

Quatre barely kept him waiting, and soon he was back, the portrait now safely in a plastic sheet, and backed by cardboard. Duo took it when it was offered, and ambled over to the door.

“I’ll drop by the gallery sometime tomorrow, okay? Right after I get off work.”

“Oh yes,” Quatre said, bleakly, “Another thrilling day at work, doing whatever it is you do.”

Duo stuck his tongue out. “Well, not all of us are as lucky as you.”

Quatre shoved him out the door, making Duo stumble and laugh simultaneously. “It’s not fair that most people think you’re so damn angelic. If only they knew the real you!”

Quatre winked. “A little like Misters Jekyll and Hyde, no?”

Duo returned the wink, saying, “Well, you’ll need to get yourself one of those evil laughs, first.”

Quatre let out a maniac cackle, and Duo grinned as it echoed behind him as he walked out into the hallway.

He couldn’t stop Quatre’s words from echoing over and over in his head, though – ‘Cupid’s going to hit you hard one day…’ Duo scowled. The fat angel and his arrows might have all ready done that, and screwed him over hard. He bet they were having the last laugh at him – was he really falling for a picture?


The gallery was Quatre’s life, pride, and joy. He had invested every ounce of money – and hope – he had possessed, when he had pursued his lifelong dream and opened an art gallery.

The plan was to be able to showcase stunning work by talented artists, who hadn’t quite made it big yet. It had begun as that, but grew into much, much more. It was now something of a coffee house, as well, with an area for people to lounge about and relax, all the while enjoying spectacular works of art. The artists whose works Quatre hosted were all friends of his, and they could often be found at the gallery, willing to chat with a fan or potential buyer of their work.

It was quite the hotspot for many people around their area, and Quatre had never been happier. He was rather well known and loved by all, and not only because of his work.

Not that it had all been calm seas and smooth sailing for Quatre when he had started out, Duo mused. There had been problem number one, and it had been a rather large problem, too. Quatre’s father. Bigshot business man, who had not been at all happy when his one and only son had announced bravely that he wanted to be an artist.

Mr. Winner had thrown a fit, ranting and raging at Quatre about the foolishness of his decision, about the stupid mistake he was making.

However, Quatre’s determination and plain stubbornness had made him stick things through. Mr. Winner had even resorted to throwing Quatre out, but the blond had never once given up.

Eventually, with a little harmless meddling on Duo’s side, Mr. Winner had been won over. His absolute love for his only son had won out over the fear that Quatre was ruining his future. The man had been convinced the moment he first saw Quatre’s work – Duo had, of course, arranged for his car to stall right outside the gallery, whilst Quatre had been working on showcasing some of the work.

Duo grinned. It helped to be a natural at mechanics, and to have friends willing to help him out – one who just happened to work as Mr. Winner’s chauffeur. He smirked. Perhaps ‘friend’ wasn’t the best word to describe the relationship he had with Wufei – it was something more along the lines of Duo holding juicy pictures of the Asian man in revealing situations with the blond head of security for the Winner Enterprise.

Duo was definitely not beneath using blackmail.

Things hadn’t seemed quite so simple during that terrible time, but now, looking back, Duo could see the humour in it.

Whilst trying to get the gallery up and running, Quatre – and Duo – had run into numerous other problems – furnishing the place, trying to persuade some individuals that it wasn’t going to become an ‘Adult Art Store’ and accidently ordering weasels instead of easels – Duo had yet to convince Quatre that it had been an honest mistake – being only some of many.

But it had all been worth it. Duo was convinced of that every time he saw Quatre’s delighted expression.

He slid his car smoothly into the vacant parking spot right outside the gallery, the attractive sign advertising ‘Expressions’ catching his eye immediately. Quatre certainly had an eye for flare.

He wandered in, pausing to look at and admire some of the pieces of artwork displayed. There were people scattered around, but no Quatre. Duo went into the back rooms, where miscellaneous items were stored, only to see Quatre engaged in a passionate lip-lock with a tall brunette.

He coughed, taking great delight as the pair broke apart hastily, smoothing down shirts and trying to hide blushes. He winked. “Don’t worry,” he soothed, “It’s not like you’re doing anything I haven’t done myself.”

Quatre made a face at him, while walking closer. The brunette – Trowa, of course – had a bemused expression on his face, and was watching them interact with great interest. “You just had to walk in while we were in the middle of something, didn’t you?”

Duo shrugged flippantly. “I have impeccable timing,” he offered. The braided young man ambled towards Trowa, offering his hand and a smile. “I’m Duo,” he said, “I may run and hide, but I never lie. And I’m not lying when I say that I’ll kick your ass if you ever screw Quat over.”

Trowa accepted his handshake, nodding. “That is certainly original.”

Duo beamed. “Thank you. I came up with it a long, long time ago. Life motto, you could say.”

Trowa looked at him, sizing him up. “You couldn’t kick my ass,” he decided, with finality.

“Don’t ever underestimate my rage,” Duo said, simply.

Trowa inclined his head slightly, acknowledging the statement. “It doesn’t matter. You’ll never have to.”

Duo gave him a sharp look. “I’m taking that to heart.”

Quatre chose that moment to intervene, hitting the two of them on their heads. “You may not talk about me like I’m not in the room!” he exclaimed. “I can look after myself, thank you, Duo, and Trowa-“ he paused. “Well,” he said tilting his head in thought, “I’m not mad at you.”

Trowa smiled slightly. “Good,” he rasped, leaning closer towards Quatre.

Duo ruined the moment by making kissy noises. Quatre glared. Duo cowered. “Screw you,” Quatre muttered, causing Duo to gasp.

“Well, I never! Quatre, using language? I never thought I’d see the day-“ The blond hit Duo on the head again.

“I don’t know why I bother to help you out,” the artist said, “but seeing as I pride myself in being a better person than you, I’ll still show you what I worked on especially for you.” He beckoned him to the easel standing near the three of them, covered with a plain white cloth.

“Voila,” Quatre said with a flourish, whipping the cloth away.

Mr. Perfect, blue-eyes, was staring straight at Duo again, this time in full body – and paint-coloured – perfection.

“Damn,” Duo whispered.

He was shirtless, head tilted at an angle, hand resting on hip. Low slung black pants hung below his navel. The illusion of wiry muscles entranced the violet-eyed man; the dark brown hair was perfect, scattered about. And still, the eyes were boring into him, deep, deep cobalt, captivating him, placing Duo under their spell.

He could feel Quatre looking smug, but honestly, couldn’t bring himself to care.

Nothing mattered, not while he was here, staring at the most beautiful being on earth. He was being unusually sappy – again, he didn’t care.

Quatre was tugging Trowa on the arm, urging the tall man to leave. Duo ignored them.

Mr. Blue-Eyes was perfect.


Trowa was looking at Quatre. “Is this what you get up to when I’m not around?” he whispered, nudging the slight blond. “Painting half-naked pictured of good looking me-“ he stopped, staring hard at what they could see of the portrait while outside the room.

“Quatre!” he exclaimed.

The aforementioned widened his eyes. “What?” he asked, slightly worried about his lover’s exclamation.

“That’s Heero,” he said, in a slightly lower tone. “You know, my friend? Works with computers?” Quatre was still looking blank. “Heero,” he repeated. “The guy that looks identical to that-“ he nodded with his head towards the painting – and the still entranced Duo.

“I-oh! Heero!” Quatre was staring at the painting. “Are you-is that-how can-?”

“You really didn’t remember who he was?”

Quatre nodded. “I didn’t have a clue! Duo was just describing his ‘Perfect Guy’ to me, and I started sketching, and, well, you know how I get when I’m working on something.” He shrugged helplessly. “I didn’t realise it was Heero I was drawing – painting – both,” he stumbled. He winced. “And now Duo’s completely crazy over this picture, and I feel so bad-“ He scrunched his eyebrows together. “Why am I feeling bad?”

Trowa was smiling. “I wouldn’t know,” he said, moving into the shadowed section of the gallery and pulling Quatre with him. “Heero does need someone to make him have a little fun…”

“And Duo needs someone who will make him feel special!” Quatre finished. “We won’t say anything to either of them, then,” he whispered conspiratorially, “and I definitely won’t say anything to Duo about that-” he gestured, “-being real…”

“At your house party, then?” Trowa asked, nuzzling against Quatre’s neck.

“That’s close enough,” the blond murmured, “and then we can-unn-” he let out a moan as Trowa licked up the side of his neck, nibbling on his ear, all while working a path toward his lips –

After that, he couldn’t quite remember what they had been talking about.

on to chapter 3

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