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? Sap...

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 3
by Seaa

Duo slid with ease into the familiar seat, and smiled casually at the approaching female.

“Morning,” Hilde said, as she strolled up towards him. “What can I get for you?”

He considered the question momentarily, and decided, “The usual, if you don’t mind.”

She grinned at him. “Why should I mind? You’re the nicest looking customer in the whole place, and damn if you don’t know it.”

Duo laughed. “I don’t know whether you’re trying to get me to double your tip or cut it in half!”

Hilde widened her eyes in mock horror.

“Oh, please, no, not my tip!” She clasped her hands over her heart, winking, and proceeded to walk away, hips swaying seductively. Duo waited – and nothing.

That was certainly annoying. He heaved an exaggerated sigh and pulled out his wallet. There, in a side pocket, was the small, plastic covered drawing of Blue-Eyes – that was how Duo had decided to refer to the man now. He had found “Mr. Perfect” to be too annoying a name – after all, how perfect could the guy be if he didn’t even *exist*?

The small picture was just one of the many he had begged Quatre for. In fact, he was almost positive that the aqua-eyed blond was a picture away from physically hurting Duo with one of his seemingly harmless paintbrushes.

Not that Duo was at the point of caring. What had started as a bit of fun between friends had snowballed into some sort of… mini obsession. Duo had allowed himself some slack in the beginning – an obsession wasn’t quite so bad if the subject wasn’t real, was it now?

But now… He felt like growling. Things were getting out of hand. There was a sketch in his wallet, one hidden in the drawer of his desk at his work, one sitting harmlessly upon his bedside table, and numerous others scattered around for his enjoyment and perusal whenever he felt so inclined. It was terrible. Never did a day go by without Duo having to pull out a picture and stare at it, cursing his luck for knowing about such a damn gorgeous person – and knowing that that person was simply *imaginary*.

He just knew that somewhere out there, someone was gaining great enjoyment out of his plight. They were probably laughing their ass off at him.

It certainly didn’t help that Quatre was acting so… perky, lately. The artist – the one who was responsible for Duo’s current state of obsession – had been going around with some strange secretive expression on his face. He was looking too innocent, and Duo knew from experience that when Quatre looked innocent he was up to something. Duo just hoped it wasn’t something to do with him.

“Duo?” He blinked and turned to stare at Hilde’s concerned face. He gave a sheepish laugh.

“Must have zoned out for a sec there, Hil. Sorry bout that!”

The girl shrugged. “No problem, Duo.” She placed his coffee and cake down and hesitated to leave, looking embarrassed. He smiled at her, trying to be reassuring, though he had a slight inkling of what she wanted to ask.

“Say, Duo,” she lowered her eyes, gazing at the table. “You… um… well, I thought that maybe it’d be pretty nice if we could have coffee sometime… You know, when I’m not stuck in this!” She pulled at her apron, smiling crookedly at him.

And there it was, out in the open. In other occurrences, Duo would have readily agreed, after all, there was no reason not to – she was pretty, smart, funny… But he couldn’t.

Duo met her eyes honestly. “I’m flattered. Really, I am! But, well…”

“Oh! There’s someone else! I’m so sorry!” He looked in her eyes, and saw no bitterness there. Say yes, something prompted him. Say no, the imaginary blue eyes pleaded with him.

“I… I just can’t. It wouldn’t be fair to you. Besides, c’mon, Hil, you can do better than me!”

She looked at him strangely, but smiled. “I’d be lucky if I found me a guy half as great as you are, Duo.”

He tried to hide behind his bangs, feeling embarrassed. “Aww, Hil.”

She patted him on the back, laughing. “No need to be modest with me, Duo Maxwell!” She shrugged easily. “Hey, it was worth a shot. No hard feelings, ok?”

Duo could breathe much easier all of a sudden. “Yeah, no hard feelings. You’re a pretty great gal, Hilde.”

She winked at him. “And I’m looking at a pretty great guy.” She got a suspicious glint in her eye. “So, tell me about this person!”

Duo laughed. “And be your gossip for a week? I don’t think so!”

She nudged him with her elbow. “Don’t flatter yourself,” she said in jest. “You’d only make a couple of days!”

After much more cajoling on Hilde’s part, and a promise of another slice of his favourite cheesecake, Duo gave in, tossing the picture from his wallet before her. She grabbed onto it so fast he blinked. The girl was like a flock of carnivorous vultures when it came to other people’s love lives.

Hilde let out an appreciative sound. “Wow. That’s certainly some nice eye candy. This is a pretty nifty drawing, too. Quatre, I assume?” Duo nodded. “So, when did you meet this guy?”

Duo winced. “That’s the hard part,” he said. Quickly changing the subject, he picked up his empty place and waved it in front of her. “You promised me cake,” he said.

Hilde grumbled, grabbing it from him. “Men these days,” she huffed, shuffling off to the counter. “No more respect for women, I tell ya.”

He spared himself a grin, then picked the small picture from its current place on the table, tucking it safely back in his wallet.

Within moments, Hilde was back, a new slice of cake with her, and an extra fork. “So,” she started, cutting a piece from the cake and chomping down on it. “Don’t think you’re getting out of telling me all the juicy details.”

Duo scowled at her. “S’none of your business,” he told her, stealing the fork inches away from her mouth and eating the piece of cake perched upon it himself.

She pouted prettily. “Of course it is!” Duo kept his eyes pointedly away from her.

“At least tell me how you met him,” she pleaded, eyes widening ever so slightly.

He surrendered. “I didn’t,” he said. She looked confused. “He doesn’t exist,” he told her, seriously. She rose her eyebrows, and Duo sighed. “Quatre and I were having fun, and I was just describing to him my perfect person. That just sort of happened.”

Hilde looked amused. “So you’re pining away for a *picture*?” She giggled.

“Glad you find me so amusing,” Duo drawled.

She was quick to pat him reassuringly on the head, ruffling his bangs while she was at it. “Well, hey, no competition! I can’t compare to *that* guy now, can I! At least I don’t have to feel bad!” He checked to see that she was joking, just to be sure. She was.

“That’s Quatre’s really something, huh?”

He was about to answer, when a familiar face caught his eye from beyond the window. He blinked, leaning forward to try and get a better look. But the afternoon rush was happening, and he couldn’t find the person that had caught his attention.


“Sorry,” he apologised, wrenching his eyes away from the window. “I thought I recognised – Wait!” Hilde jumped as the expression was out of his mouth before he could stop it.

But it was him! It was Blue-Eyes, Mr. Perfect, the guy from the drawing! Duo mumbled something incoherent to Hilde and was sprinting out the café. He skidded to a stop when he was out and looked around.

His eyes locked onto a still lone figure, standing out amongst the quick moving crowd. But after numerous times of staring at pictures or Blue-Eyes, Duo was positive he could recognise the guy – even by the back of his head.

He started running towards the guy, and as he was mere *steps* behind the still immobile figure, he stood dead still.

What was he doing? He was chasing after a stranger, just because the *back of his head* looked similar to what he imagined his dream guy’s would. It was insane!

A young, well-dressed blond lady walked straight into him, obscuring his vision. She apologised profusely, backing off – but it was too late. The man was gone, leaving Duo to wonder exactly what was happening to him.

He sighed, catching his breath, and began to trek back to the café. He owed Hilde an apology.

And suddenly he felt like something much stronger than caffeine.


“You realise I could hate you for this, Quat?”

Duo shot the blond an evil look from where he was sitting, only to have Quatre grin and tuck himself even more nicely along Trowa’s lean body.

He groaned, both from frustration of his current situation and the excessive amounts of sappiness the two other men were showing. “Do you guys even know what the movie is about?” he asked.

Trowa raised his eyebrows, and Quatre smirked. “Do we need to?” Duo scowled, and Quatre shrugged. “It’s not like you’ve been hooked to the movie yourself.”

Duo made a sound, prompting Quatre to say, “Well, you haven’t! You haven’t even looked at the TV screen once. You’ve just been… sitting there, staring at that picture and complaining to me about it.”

Duo stuffed the picture violently into his wallet. It caught on the edge, and bent a little, making Duo pull it out hastily and straighten it out carefully.

He made sure none of the edges were bent, and slowly, when he noticed Trowa and Quatre leaning in closer together, traced his fingers lightly over the outline of the face. Around the jaw, up to his cheeks, across his rumpled hair, lightly past those eyes that reminded him of the man at the bar. It seemed like so long ago that he had seen those eyes in real life, and he was beginning to wonder if it had simply been some weird dream.

And then today, he could have sworn that the man he had… chased, had been Blue-Eyes from this picture come alive! It was totally unjustifiable, but when the man had walked past the café windows, Duo’s eyes had just been… drawn directly to him. And he had been standing still, in Duo’s reach, almost like he was waiting for someone.

Duo didn’t know what he was going to do. He quickly stuffed the picture back into his wallet, and tucked it carefully in his pocket. He gave Quatre and Trowa a quick glance, but they were both completely absorbed in one another.

Duo coughed awkwardly, suddenly feeling like a complete intruder. “Look, I’m gonna go. Have fun watching the rest of the movie, guys.”

Quatre turned to face him, lips swollen, cheeks flushed. “You sure, Duo? You could-“

Duo nodded, smiling. “Don’t worry about me, Quat. I’ll see ya around later.”

Quatre nodded, and made as if to get up. Duo gestured for him to stay down. “Sit, Quat. I can let myself out.”

He had his hand on the doorknob, and was almost about to twist it open, when Quatre’s voice drifted to his ears. “Don’t forget, Duo, I’m having that house warming party in a week!”

“Yeah,” Duo said despondently, suddenly feeling very sleepy. “I’ll be there.”


“Ahh… ahh… cho!!” Duo sneezed into a tissue, the very picture of someone *not* in the pink of health. His hair was twisted and knotted, and fell randomly in all directions. His nose was pink from excessive sneezing and he felt perfectly miserable.

“I hate being sick,” he grumbled, throwing out the used tissue and grabbing another one from the rapidly depleting box. “I hate having a cold.” Sneeze. “I hate my voice being all scratchy.” Cough. “I hate looking like… like…” He glared at his reflection in the mirror. “I hate looking like I’m sick!” he wailed.

He groaned, easing himself into the couch. “My head hurts,” he muttered. “My nose hurts. My throat hurts. I can’t talk properly.” He sniffed.

He had just closed his eyes and leant into the embrace of the couch when the phone – conveniently placed right beside his ear – rang merrily.

He squeezed his eyes together. “No no no,” he groaned. “Loud, so loud, so loud.”

Duo picked up the phone, gave it an evil glare, and answered.

“Duo!” Quatre. It was nice to hear his voice, but all things considered, Duo really only wanted to wallow in self-pity for the rest of the evening.

“Where are you?” Quatre asked, sounding anxious.

“Me?” Duo coughed miserably. “I’m sick, and I’m at home. Being sick.”

“You’re sick?” Now Quatre was concerned.

“Mm hmm,” Duo answered.

“But you *have* to come over!” he exclaimed, voice rising a pitch.

Duo narrowed his eyebrows in confusion, whilst blowing his nose again. He could just picture Quatre wincing. He didn’t care. Quatre wasn’t sick. Then it came to him in a rush.

“Your house thing! Oh, Quat, I’m so sorry. I can’t make it. Sick, you see.” He laughed feebly, but stopped immediately when his throat protested.

“But Duo, you have to come. Please, please, you have to come over!”

Duo wasn’t sure quite what the big deal was. “Look, Q, I’m glad my presence means so much to you, but I don’t wanna infect everyone there. And I’m not exactly at the most charming stage in my life either.”

“Oh, Duo, I’m sure you look fine!”

“Humph.” Duo gave another big sneeze into the tissue, and threw it away, watching it float pathetically into the wastepaper basket.



“Duo, I’m sure you’ll be fine. There’s someone I really, really, *really* want you to meet!”

It was the third ‘really’ that got him very suspicious. So he stuck to being stubborn. “I can’t go,” he said.


“I look like hell,” he protested.


“I’m sleepy!”


“And tired!”


“I’m sick! Sick!” He threw in another sneeze for good effect.


“Fine, I’ll be there!” He slammed the handset down and scowled. Sometimes Quatre was the most persuasive guy in the entire *world*.

And sometimes he was just more stubborn – and, though it was hard to believe, annoying – than Duo.


He walked dejectedly to Quatre’s apartment door, knocking lethargically. He could hear people. Happy people. People who weren’t *sick*.

The door swung open, and Quatre was there, looking extremely relieved when he saw that it was Duo.

“Oh, thank goodness,” he said, dragging Duo in.

“Hey!” Duo exclaimed, “Be a little bit nicer to the guy who is *sick*!”

Quatre gave him a quick once over, and placed the back of his hand against Duo’s forehead. Duo tried to put on the most guilt-inflicting look he had. Unfortunately, this happened to be Quatre, who knew each and every one of his looks.

“You’ll be fine,” Quatre said, tugging on Duo’s arm. “Not the best first impression, but it’ll do.”

Duo tried to look outraged, but a cough formed instead. He didn’t think he looked *that* bad, considering that he had to drag himself out of comfortable night-wear and into more presentable clothing in a matter of minutes.

Quatre pulled him past the living room, where he saw some people giving him sly looks. Hilde was there, flirting with a tall blond, and she gave him a wink when she noticed him. Duo was hustled quickly to the direction of the bedrooms.

“Quatre, would you mind-ahh choo!-telling me exactly what is going o-“ he paused, and the sound of a deep voice caught his attention.

“I’m getting out of here,” the voice rumbled. “I’ve had enough.” Duo couldn’t help but think that it was a very nice voice.

Quatre was walking ahead, and Duo stumbled on after him, burying his nose into a tissue. He took a few steps forward, and walked straight into a wall – a wall that had appeared out of nowhere…

He looked straight ahead, and found himself staring at another man. He looked down in horror. “Oh, so sorry, I didn’t see you – ah choo!”

He was already feeling slightly unbalanced, and the violent sneeze that shook through his body threw his sense of stability off, making him topple forward. He was caught by two arms, steadying him.

“Thank you,” he said, looking at the man properly this time. His breath caught, and he blinked. And he blinked again. Then he narrowed his eyes.

“Quatre!” he yelled, not noticing the flash of surprise that ran through the other man’s eyes. “What insane joke is this? Is it meant to be funny? What are you trying to pull?”

Quatre walked sedately towards them, Trowa following faithfully behind. “Duo,” he grinned, “I’d like to introduce you to Heero Yuy. He is a friend of Trowa’s,” he mentioned casually. “Heero, this is Duo Maxwell.”

“You must be kidding me,” Duo gaped. He whirled around to glare at a very smug looking Quatre. “I could do some serious damage to you,” he threatened, “if I wasn’t feeling so–“ cough, hack, “damned sick at the moment.”

A firm hand brought his attention back to the other man, and he wasn’t quite sure what to think.

“You don’t seem to be feeling very well,” Heero said, slowly, “Would you like to rest for a while?”

A heaving cough saved him from having to answer, and the possibility of making a fool of himself. Instead, he found himself being steered to the direction of Quatre’s brand new guest room.

He was sat firmly down upon the bed, and with a quick word of “stay there” Heero was walking briskly out the door.

Duo felt slightly faint. It was him – Mr Blue-Eyes, Mr. Perfect, the guy from Quatre’s sketch, and quite possibly the same man from the bar that night, and the one that had been outside the café! He was positive, but needing some extra confirmation, he pulled the ever-present picture out of his wallet. Yes, definitely him.

He had a name. He was… real. It was almost too much information.

Suddenly Duo felt horrified. He had acted like a… a bumbling fool out there. In front of… him. Heero, he reminded himself. He had a name!

Duo was almost giddy with delight. The fat kid and his arrows had finally sent something good his way! “Thank you, Cupid,” he whispered, staring at the white ceiling, grinning.

“Heero,” he murmured, making the name into a caress, even.


His eyes snapped open, and they met with the blue eyes – Heero’s eyes. “Oh,” Duo said, abashed. “I was just... wondering where you had gone off too.”

“I went to get you some warm water,” the man said, looking at Duo intensely. “Thought you might like something to drink.”

Yes, Duo really liked this one. He accepted the drink gratefully, smiling at the man. Heero was studying him intently, and normally Duo would have been doing the same, but thanks to Quatre’s utmost talent – well, he had already memorised every aspect of the other man’s appearance.

“You… you said you were going?” he asked, then wanted to hit himself over the head.

Heero tilted his head to the side. “Sorry?”

“Oh, just then, you said you had had enough… to Trowa.” Duo wandered why his mouth wouldn’t shut up and stop talking.

“I was planning to leave, yes. It had been a rather… bad day.” Heero seemed to be waiting for something, and he didn’t continue speaking until Duo met his eyes. “Then something made me want to stay.”

Oh, yes, Duo really, really liked this one.


They hit it off immediately. Duo knew it wasn’t just his imagination when he felt the spark there, and he definitely liked all those subtle looks Heero had continuously shot him. They had sat in the room for most of the night, “hiding from the outside” as Heero had drolly put it.

Duo got the feeling that Heero didn’t do the social thing very often, but he was perfectly nice to Duo, getting him drinks, making sure he was comfortable. They talked, Duo made jokes, and sometimes Heero smiled slightly, just a tilt of the lips – but those small smiles meant more than anyone else’s laugh.

And by the end of the night, Duo didn’t love Mr. Blue-Eyes anymore.

No, now it was just Heero.

The night had flown by, and Duo only noticed it when Heero had looked at his watch and mentioned that it was close to eleven o’clock. They had wandered out the room, to find Trowa and Quatre curled up on the couch, in an otherwise empty room, people-wise.

“We’re going to go,” Duo called, but as they wandered closer it became apparent that the two were deep in sleep.

“They look so sweet together,” Duo commented.

“Hn,” Heero said, but he was smiling fondly.

As they parted, Duo noticed Heero giving him an amused look, and asked him about it.

“Oh,” Heero said cryptically, “I just realised that you don’t seem to be feeling so sick anymore.”

The words brought on a round of sneezing, after which Duo scowled at Heero, who was smirking. The smirk softened into a smile, making Duo reflect the expression.

“No,” Duo said, “I think I’m going to be fine now.”

on to the epilogue

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