Title: Finding a view.
Note to archives: these are not separate parts, they are all one large chunk of a single fiction, I am sorry, but I am splitting it up because the notes and stuff is taking a while to write, and the fic is rather large. I am sorry.
* sends love to the DHML *
Notes to readers: well umm this is a fic it is actually finished, I just need to slice is note it and post it. Oh and reread some of the new parts it is .32 pages long. Joy. But seriously, the reason this fic came ot pass is well, I noticed that nothing I start EVER gets finished. So I decided to turn over a new leaf and start a story that will actually * gasp * get finished. SO I promised myself that I would NOT post this without finishing it. I promised Liz that I WOULD finish it (damn there went the loophole) and I cannot worry about more then one thing at a time so everything else is on the backburner taking a hiatus, and this is DONE! Well nearly.
ALSO! I have gotten the reputation ppppft!! Reputation ppppffft!! Does anyone actually even know who I am thought not. Anyway, to the three people who know who I am, they put together a rather frightening pattern:
It is all angst, and dark, and EEEEeEEEEeeeeevil.
So THIS ladies and gentlemen is serious smut. Not that it is seriously trying to be smut nonononon it is smut being very serious.
Or at least as any smut with Duo in it is permitted to be.
BTW, did I mention I don't own GW or absolutely anything to do with it? I don't really really I don't. But the little world in which the characters play, and the fact that they play in this way is mine, so please be nice and don't take it. And if you are the rich gods who own GW do not sue me, I am poor and a student. If you really want I can give you my cool bear bell collection, but I think that you just might want something better then that, and it is something I don't have.
FINALLY ("dear god these notes are long", I bet you are saying that to yourself, but I will have you know that with 30 plus pages of fic, I DESERVE a long rant okay, maybe not but a girl can hope) I dedicate this fic to LIZ!!! * huggles and more huggles and more huggles * she is a goddess, she literally read this fic over 10 times, finding all of my insipid blunders and repetitions, she makes the fic sound like a fic and not like the notes which I am exposing you to. She is a wonderful person, a talented artist and writer, and a great friend. Thank you so much Liz for all of the time and effort that you put into coaxing this fic out of me. Thank you for cheering me up when I am feeling particularly somber .like with gorgeous piccies in my mail box thank you so much. Words can't express how thankful I am for all your time, and friendship.
Jaden: and your muse
especially your muse.
Comments? Feel free to criticize, if you see something and are wondering about it, don't think that it can possibly happen, or there is something bizarre that you think needs working, feel free to tell me about it.
[seven days 12 pm]
The light, warm and bright, shone against the covers that protected the eyes of the room's single inhabitant. It illuminated the two storied windows hidden behind stiff panels, which glowed in the noon say sun, warming the room. At the center of the rounded chamber, slept a single figure, spread out upon a large fold-out bed, the twisted metal as intricately curved as the delicate locks of his hair, spilling upon an ornate carpet and hiding beneath a single glass coffee table.
Streams of light, escaping the confines of the large panels, moved stealthily along the parapet, picking up the scrolls that hung from the few bare walls, the rest covered by various statues, and plants. Japanese screens ran the perimeter of the room, hiding the rest of the home from prying eyes, and the lone figure.
Above him, above the slab flooring, ornate carpets, and the bed of white sheets, was another level. This one overlooked the main, separated by only a thin banister and air. Here too, the muted light caught upon delicate tapestries, played along the curves of an enormous black birdcage, which sat in one corner, its contents hidden in shadow.
A door opened, the quiet noise of outside filtering in past the padded wood, and the thick red leather, that had veiled the room from the harshness of the outside world. A single figure slipped in soundlessly, a smirk playing upon his lips, as he dropped his bag upon a nearby stool. The metal chair, barely illuminated in the dusk of the room, spoke of the shadows playing tag upon the loops and twists of its wrought iron.
A pair of sandals were stowed carefully in a cubby hole, with the rest of the shoes, while nimble fingers, danced against the camera that hung from his neck. Lifting the machine to his eyes he focused the lens on the single figure in the bed, catching the light in its flight against the other man's pale features, highlighting the higher cheekbones, from where a childish chubbiness had vanished. Heero lowered the camera from his eye, the slow movement, thoughtful, as he looked on Duo's features once more, this time more directly, the barrier of glass and mirrors having been removed.
Duo has matured, his eyes, seemingly smaller upon the thinner and more defined features of his face, were closed, heavy against his cheeks. The thick lashes kissed at the still pale skin, skin that the light brushed as gently, accentuating the slender curvature of a neck and shoulder. His shoulders peaked out from beneath the white covers breathing of the strength that had accumulated in their broadness.
A half grin fled across the other man's, no longer a boy's, features. He stepped closer, before taking another picture of his slumbering roommate. Carefully, he lowered himself onto the side of the bed, before swiftly, kicking his other foot over the Duo's prone body, and effectively pinning down his friend, predictably, Duo tried to sit up, or at very least pull a gun out from beneath his covers. He failed on both counts, and was soon blinded as Heero took a picture of him, the flash turned on. A smirk curved the Asian man's features, as he proceeded to take another picture of the frazzled looking American, as the latter attempted to sit up.
"You look better asleep at least, then, your hair does not look like it is sticking up all over the place."
"Yuy, you flashed me."
Heero snorted, turning the camera around, and looking contemplatively at its lenses, not leaving his position straddling Duo. "You touched the lens. It has smudges on it."
"Deal with it, and get off of me."
Heero smirked once more, taking yet another picture of Duo, and sliding off of the bed. The grin did not fade as the American sat up, his hands lazily slipping through his hair, trying to pull the unruly mass from his face.
"Hide the panels."
A metallic whirr filled the room, as the panels upon the windows, slowly moved into the walls to the sides of the room.
Duo rolled his eyes, before getting out of bed, and standing in front of the former pilot of Wing. "Heero, why did you wake me up?"
"You agreed to be my model for the day." Heero backed away a bit, his bare feet padding against the bare floor. A grin etched onto his face, as he once more looked through the viewfinder , snapping yet another picture of the disgruntled, and somewhat confused American. He rotated the camera, trying another angle, as he zoomed in on Duo's face. Biting at his lower lip, he snapped another picture, enjoying the glare he was receiving, and reveling in the smugness he felt watching Duo try to make his bed. The other man's hair loose and falling in an unruly heap down his bare back, and brushing against his cotton clad thighs. He zoomed in the camera, upon pale flesh, stretched taunt against the subtle muscles of the other's back. Years of malnutrition had done wonders for the tone of Duo's body, Heero thought with some grim amusement, snapping another picture, this one of the play of chestnut strands against milky white skin, and ivory scars.
"Heero damn-it, will you stop that? Don't you have enough pictures of me? I feel like I am living with a photographer for the damned tabloids."
Heero chuckled, letting the camera rest against his chest, hanging by red cushioned straps, from his slender neck, the only part of him, it seemed, that had retained its femininity. His face, much like Duo's, had seen the approach of manhood, the features having resolved themselves into the finely chiseled appearance of a man. His height had increased dramatically enough, considering his heritage, standing at approximately 5'7" he was not complaining. Not even when Duo stood over him, making cracks about the weather at low altitudes. Not that the other had much height to gloat over, 5'8", miraculously, through abnormal amounts of growth treatments. Then again, had Duo not gone through with them, other problems would have resulted.  Heero gnawed on his lower lip, watching as Duo put away the covers, and folded the heavy bed back into a couch.
"I did not forget."
"Duo " a light sigh escaped Heero's throat, and he shifted, a bit uncomfortable. His loose jeans, swished with the movement, rushing against the floor, and folding upon the slab. A clear sign of not only annoyance, but also disappointment " the project is due in less then a week, and I need time to get the prints done, edited, and write a statement."
"Okay, okay, okay Yuy, down boy no need to panic. I'll do it, it kinda slipped my mind."
"Never mind, if you feel uncomfortable with it, I will find another model." Heero, walked back towards the door, his bag already in hand, when Duo caught his shoulder, and spun him around, until they were facing one another.
"I'm sorry, don't be angry."
"I am not angry." Heero stated, sighing, before placing his bag heavily on the floor, and pushing out of the room, past the screens and into the kitchen.
As he set the water to boil, he could hear the shower running in the adjacent room. He sighed once more. Before walking back into the living room, grabbing one of the albums from his backpack, and going through some of the pictures that he already had collected for the project.
There weren't enough, because no matter how hard he tried, he could not get models that radiated as much life in three sessions, as Duo did, half dead, as he stumbled out of bed.
"It is a hopeless cause, I am too biased." He breathed, flipping through pages upon pages of attractive men and women, standing, sitting, laying down, reading, writing, in studios, on benches, in parks, and on mountains. He rubbed his temple, clenched his teeth, and proceeded to brew some tea, aware of the fact that the shower had stopped running some time ago.
"So, I'm showered what now?"
"Help me put together a set, brush your hair, get naked, and sit or stand, or lay down, or something that looks artistically pleasing."
"Alright, but only if you play cheap porno music in the background." Heero snorted, before going back to his tea.
"Yo, photo man, I'm doing this, you can stop being angry at me now. I don't go back on my promises, I just tend to forget some of the ones that I don't think I will enjoy doing."
"I am not mad at you, and as I told you, if you do not want to do it "
"I'll get naked, and I'll pose, okay? God, Yuy, what else do you want me to do? Yesh, lighten up .oh, I know what will make you feel better. Scrambled tofu. You like scrambled tofu."
"No, no I do not."
"Sure you do. I'll make some."
A grin flitted over Heero's features, as he looked at his best friend, dressed in a pair of jeans, a black tee shirt, and attempting to tie a frilly white apron around his hips. Of course, he managed to look like a complete idiot, the straps of the apron tight across his broader shoulders, and taught against his torso.
Heero looked back at the album, licking his lips. He had realized what he felt for his roommate ages ago. Not that he would voice it.
After all, there was a point in a relationship where you were friends, closer then friends, closer then siblings, attached at the hip, and almost one being. But to get there, every bit of passion needed to be stripped away, and both had doomed their friendship to purely platonic. Not in the usage of words, or actions, as much as the cement of time. The feelings had festered for too long, and now, Heero had little chance to believe himself capable of admitting them. Not that this sad fact changed the amount of lust he felt towards his best friend.
Which is why Duo was right. The session would not be enjoyable.
[seven days 5 pm]
A few hours later, the sun low in the sky, Duo was glancing around nervously at the living room, which he usually called his own. Heero, on the other hand, was not as much nervous, as ready to jump out of his skin. A set of old curtains, which Duo saved from god knows where, hung black and silky over a screen, their dark colors offsetting the rich brown the wrought iron of a couch. The second curtain found its home obscuring most of the large couch in shadow. To the left, the huge windows allowed a faint glow of the setting sun to wash the room in warm hues, accentuating the Oriental rug beneath their feet, and a small coffee table, now pushed to the side.
Heero once more focused the camera.
He turned on the muted lighting.
He turned it off, and turned it on again.
He glanced at Duo who was beginning to brush out his hair.
"Yuy, do you think we could do this tomorrow?"
"We should do this now, or it will never get done."
"Right." Duo seemed to steel himself, before pulling the shirt over his head, revealing well defined muscle, rippling beneath pale skin.
The sound of a shirt hitting the floor went unnoticed by Heero, whose eyes followed the perfect curvature of Duo's body. The perfection of his skin offset by fine white scars, and in some places, angry red lines which danced upon the ivory surface, reminders of cuts that ran deeper and more deadly then most. And then there were others, slashes that seemed to dip lower then the panes of the skin, while others still rippled upward. The broken skin writing out a map of pain and loss, in the parting remembrances of old wounds.
A moment of quiet ensued. Duo staring at the floor, taking in a calming breath as he reached for his pants. Substantially more uncomfortable, Duo unbuttoned his jeans, and unzipped them, hooking his fingers over the denim, and the boxers he wore underneath, and allowing then to drop to the floor.
Heero brought the camera to his eye, gazing through the viewfinder at his friend. He tried to detach himself from the situation, view the body in front of himself as just that, another body.
At least until he caught site of a few scars that were a little bit too familiar to him. He himself had spread antibiotics over the pale flesh of Duo's left hip, after dragging him from one of OZ's prisons. Heero bit his lip. The man in front of him was too familiar, too much a part of himself to be just another statue, another pretty body. `This was a bad idea' Heero though mournfully, allowing his eyes to flick over the expanse of pale flesh that had been uncovered before him.
He took another deep breath, and focused on the task at hand.If he had been able to raise a gun to the other man's head he could surely raise a camera.
He snapped a picture, catching the almost worried look on Duo's face. The violet eyed man, glanced at him nervously, unsettled by the mechanical click within the stillness of the room.
"Duo, really, it is not as if I have never seen you naked. Hell, I have washed you naked."
Duo frowned in response, before grinning back "You weren't taking pictures of me back then."
Heero smirked, the grin growing on his face, looking overtop of his now lowered camera. "Who is to say I did not. I might be into taking pictures of unconscious naked people."
A slight chuckle emanated from Duo. "Damn Heero, you are one hell of pervert." The grin on his face stretched, as he began to hum, the braided man losing track of what was going on, focusing desperately on the banter, and egging it on in hopes of distraction. Heero was taken aback for a moment, before he figured out what exactly it was that Duo was breathing out, at an increasing volume.
"Hey, I'm naked, you are taking pictures, what else is missing?"
"You aren't sporting an erection that could poke the eye out of an elephant, or drill holes in buildings."
Heero snapped a picture, as Duo's eyes grew wide, the irises violet, bordering on purple, as the light no longer cast a rose glow over his features. Duo whistled a low note, his eyes never leaving Heero's.
Or at very least, the camera.
Duo rolled his eyes, just in time to be caught in another photo, his pupils staring up into the sky, pale skin white against the onyx of the background, and his hair falling around his features like a veil. Looking, to all the world, like the Madonna, a spectacle of purity and light. Heero smirked, watching as Duo tried once more to hide his manhood, realizing anew his nakedness, under the close scrutiny of the camera lens.
He took another picture. Duo looking away, hands clenching the material, as his lips pursed in a slight frown, bordering on a pout, while his skin blushed with embarrassment.
"This is really weird."
"Hn, look up into the camera."
"Heero, I'm naked you have, like, thirty-billion pictures, aren't you satisfied?"
"I have a roll of film. Sit down, and stay naked."
"You are a real hotshot you know that Yuy?" Duo frowned, for a moment forgetting to cover himself, as he looked away from the camera, his hands crossed over his chest, anger clearly written upon the sharp line of his jaw, the tension there, accentuated by the lighting, which picked up in the gloss of his skin, the faint sheen of his sweat. "After all, you get to be dressed."
"Duo, I am not taking pictures of you naked, while I am naked."
"At least then we would be on common ground." Duo mumbled.Heero bit his lip, seeing the strain clearly visible in the other's shoulders. He lowered the camera.
"Duo, go get dressed, I am done." The again, Duo did not appreciate his appearance; it was an easy fact to ignore. After all, he was beautiful, and should not have had to worry about looks. Unfortunately Life and War had done their share, and left them all with their insecurities. Duo's fanatical and seemingly more senseless then most.
"I thought you said you had a roll of film."
"Almost a roll." Heero amended, before taking a few pictures of the night sky, and letting the film curl back into the container it had come in. The tinny whirl permeating the silence of the room, ricocheting off of the sparse furnishing, and the even sparser soft surfaces.
"And that is enough?" The question was quiet, as Duo shifted on the couch, pulling the sheets over his lap. He stared at the floor under Heero's feet, hearing the sigh of the other man.
"It will have to be."
"Well fuck, now I feel guilty."
"Duo, don't bother, I will find someone else, hell, I will ask Relena, maybe they will give me extra marks if I manage to get pictures of nobles, and the affluent, hell, I can go ask Quatre."
Heero approached the couch, crouching down in front of Duo, smirking at the way the hard lines of the other man's face seemed to soften as he pouted. The man's elbows, rested in his silk covered lap, as he watched his hands.
"You won't get pictures of them in time I put this off, until this late. I should " he exhaled deeply, the lack of breath to support his body causing him to slump further, curving his spine outward, the last vestiges of light tracing the shapely muscles in electric blue, whilst the photography lights attempted to flush them out.
"You wanted even ground take pictures of me."
Duo looked up quickly searching Heero's face for the joke that he knew would be lurking there.
"I know shit all about photography." He warned.
Heero shrugged in response, clenching and unclenching his teeth, before looping the camera straps over Duo's neck, allowing the scarlet to rest against the ivory skin. His eyes were drawn for a moment to the contrast, before they snapped back to Duo's face, the blue-violet eyes turned towards him, for the first time that evening. "Don't shake too much, and try not to cut off my head."
"Will do." Duo offered, as he wrapped one of the black sheets around his lower body, and shuffled away from the couch, one hand supporting the black silk, while the other pushed hair from his face. The camera lay dead against his chest, the onyx machine, seemingly angular and rough, like some sort of crude medallion. "Okay, so, sit down somewhere." Slender hands, quickly tied the black silk together at the ends, drawing the material closer to the fine boned hips, accentuating their whiteness in the room darkened by the daunting amount of light coming from its center.
Heero grinned nervously in response. Standing, arms crossed over his chest, he slowly forced himself to relax, sitting on the couch, bringing up his leg, and wrapping his hands firmly around it. Duo, on the other hand, was pacing back and forth, taking pictures from seemingly random angles, allowing the position of the lens to fall carelessly on Heero's face, or arm, or focusing on the silky hair that after five years still fell into his face. The other man was nervous, his eyes following Duo's slow movements, following the way that the silk slipped lightly down one hip, was pulled up jerkily, and then slipped down the other. Noticing that he could not see Duo's eyes, from behind the bulky machine. Only the large lens was visible, glaring at him, like some sort of demented eye.
Heero's eyes widened, and he became aware of the sound of the camera taking a picture. A mechanical click, as Duo's hand adjusted the clarity, a snap as the lens opened and closed, and a mechanical whirr as it allowed the next panel of the film to move forward.
"Don't look at me like that Yuy, I was naked myself. So there, and yes, it IS that bad."
Heero nodded slowly, unbuttoning his shirt, staring at his hands, and listening for the click of the camera. The shirt quickly found itself on the floor. Biting his lip, he slid his hands to the clasp holding his jeans, undoing that and the zipper, he let them pool at his feet.
The first thing that occurred to him, was that the room was warm, even a little too warm, the other was that he could no longer hear the camera. Looking up he saw the camera held lightly against Duo's chest, as the mentioned man looked at him.
Duo seemed to snap out of his trance, before grinning widely. "You don't wear underwear."
"I knew there was a reason I was behind the camera and not in front.
Gods Duo, you have had your fun, can I go back to taking the pictures yet?"
"no not quite yet. Sit down."
[Six days: 3am]
Heero's eyes snapped open within the dark of his room.
"Heero." His name, a startled breath vibrant in the night air. Slowly, he pulled the covers off of his sweat-covered body, ignoring the heat of the night, and the way that his hair clung to his flushed skin. He approached the railing, looking over it into the main room, and onto Duo's bed, where he had heard the other man call his name. "Heero." Quieter, subtler, he would have missed it had he not been listening so carefully. Suddenly his eyes grew wide, knowing all too well what Duo was dreaming.
"Shit." He whispered lightly to no one in particular.
He watched his partner move slowly beneath the white covers of the bed, bringing one slim leg up, before allowing it to fall back upon the mattress, his hair spilling over the bed, and onto the floor. His lips parted, and his lungs heaving, body arched in the throes of a passionate dream. The moonlight streamed through the uncovered window, tracing over Duo's slender neck, the ridge of his collar bone, and then diving down, following the deceptively smooth bend of muscles, the cleft that ran down his chest, cutting his abs, and dipping into his bellybutton, disappearing in his shorts, hidden beneath the covers.
A groan wrung itself free from that arched throat.
"Shit" Heero swore again, more loudly, before, reaching for his camera, lightly bringing it to his eye, and snapping a picture in the dark, knowing that it would not turn out, but unable to allow the moment to pass, to fall forgotten in his memories.
"heero oh." Duo's breathing caught for a moment, as his entire body seemed to arch further, the camera was lowered, as Heero gazed down, following the lines of his friend's body, staring at a bulge in the material that confirmed the pleasure the other was feeling.
"shit " Heero whispered, feeling himself harden. "Shit, oh shit." Duo was not in a relationship, he had not been in some time, but judging from the sated happiness that all of his former lovers had radiated, Duo more than applied himself in those aspects of relations. Currently he had no one to take his frustrations out on, and so was dreaming.
"Oh, shit." Heero quietly walked back to his bed, and hid beneath the thin covers, trying to block out the sound of Duo's release, and his subsequent awakening. The sound of a slightly strangled sob coming from the other man's throat, which echoed through the apartment. He could hear the unmistakable sound of Duo picking up his bedding and heading into the laundry room, and then the sound of the shower running.
"Shit, Duo." Heero lightly curled into a ball, trying to ignore his need, and ignore that its source was currently naked and wet, and wanting him in much the same way.
But they were friends. And he refused to cross that line.
[six days 12pm]
Heero sat in the darkroom, the stench of the chemicals filling his nose, and leaving him lightheaded. He shook his head, and blindly removed the film from its roll, allowing the small inner tube of delicate tape to drop into another container, after this, he could desensitize the negatives from light. Letting them loose the malleability that had been their definition. 
He sighed to himself, dropping the container into a tub of chemicals, before, staring at the stack of pictures that awaited him. The dim lighting in the room illuminating over 40 photographs. He sighed, picking them up, and leaving the closet like space. He had been unable to fall back asleep, and had spent the morning systematically developing the photographs, and now came the cutting process, which photographs survived, and which went into the trash.
He stretched lightly, dropping them into a folder, closing up his studio, and heading out of the building. The campus was already alive with morning activities, students rushing from one building to another, sprinting over the slowly browning grass, and running past the tiered green of the trees. Their energy offsetting the last vestiges of summer's strength. Heero shook his head, before walking into town, ignoring the sun as it shone brightly ahead of him, and the various venders offering everything from foodstuffs to wares in the street. He arrived at the old brick building that held his and Duo's apartment, sprinting up the metallic stairs, to the top level, before walking down a hallway of peeling paint and mismatched doors, some elegant, others not, to his home.
He closed his eyes before walking in, not looking forward to his confrontation with Duo. He shook his head, staring at the already made couch, and went into the kitchen, only to find it equally empty. 
He lightly allowed the prints to drop to the kitchen table, sorting through the first batch, of a previous shoot, uninterested. He smiled as he saw the pictures he had taken of Duo the previous morning. The rumpled bed sheets and even more rumpled man. However, non of the pictures were visually pleasing enough to be accepted into the portfolio. His smile vanished, as he gazed at the lack of comfort clearly visible in Duo's body during the nude shoot. The other man was practically radiating nervous energy. Hands clenched, eyes glaring, lips turned down. Duo looked too mechanical, too angry, it was as if all of the energy that naturally flowed from the boy had faded when it was caught on film, like the essence of a perfume, long disused rubbed off of clothing.
Or the fading tendrils of summer in fall.
"I look like I'm about to kill someone in that one."
"shit." Heero whipped around, staring at Duo, who was grinning smugly at him. Hands resting on his hips, as he looked over Heero's shoulder to the prints on the table. Nevertheless, he was not totally immune; his pale skin blushed with some embarrassment at the photos.
"You look good, Duo."
"I look as if I'm about to throttle you. How did the pictures of you turn out?"
"I don't know, I was looking closely at these just now. I didn't really look `at' them when I was exposing them."
"Okay, blablabla photography talk so you have not looked at them, lets look at them, then."
Heero rolled his eyes, before sifting slowly through the pictures, staring in amazement at how cold Duo seemed in all of them, hair as soft as always, eyes wide and expressive, but it was an statement of discomfort that they radiated, not heat and warmth. Damn, he did feel like a porn director.
The pictures of him were not much better, arms were cut off, his head was cut off here and there, a couple of the snapshots had some promise of a good photo, but they were too blurry, or were simply wrong in the sense of how space was used or how he was positioned.
"Ohh, these suck." Duo mumbled, staring especially hard at one picture, it was Heero, his left side cut off. "Man, give me surveillance photos, and an organic chem. book any day, over this stuff."
Heero's stopwatch went off. "I have to go, the next roll is ready for developing don't you have class today?"
"Nope. All my classes are morning classes, except today, when I get to sleep aaah glorious glorious sleeep, and all my teaching is starting next semester. Sorry Yuy, but no matter what you do, it will not stop me from sitting here, and ogling the sadness that was yesterday. When are you going to be back?"
"In about half an hour, I don't really plan to develop this roll for a while, it is pretty old."
Duo shrugged, before grinning and flipping through the photographs once more, the thick paper cool and crisp against his fingers. He heard the door close behind Heero as the other man walked back to campus and his studio.
Duo breathed a sigh.
Five days, Heero had five bloody days to get this project off the floor, and he was supposed to be the model that was willing to pose for him in the nude. No, that was wrong, there was a woman that had done some posing. Duo sprang up stairs into Heero's bedroom, bypassing the bed, he walked along the edge of the giant room, until he stood in front of the metal cage. He stepped into it, nearly tripping on the computer chair that had been placed in the middle, and then, nearly stepping on the various electronic gadgets that were scattered on the floor, before managing to pull some of the large binders from the shelf on the opposite wall. Prize in hand, he hoped out of the cage, and over the railing, landing gracefully on the floor, and angering his downstairs neighbors, no doubt. Grinning widely he began his search through Heero's portfolio.
His eyes rested on a photo of a woman, sitting in a chair, long hair covering her bared breasts, as she stared defiantly at the camera. She was naked, in front of a man that she had never known, and yet, she seemed comfortable. Duo frowned at the thought, focusing on the next picture, seeing that the lack of discomfort there was equally apparent.
"damn, I'm really screwing up this time." Duo once more flipped through the pictures of the doomed photo shoot, slowing at the series of photographs that held Heero. He was amazing. His hair falling into his eyes, the blue of those eyes gray in the photographs, and yet, equally piercing.
And he was naked.
Duo grinned wickedly, eyes tracing the curves of Heero's body, of the slight jut of his hip, and the scar tissue that formed on his right shoulder, where a bullet had entered. The grin spread as he caught site of the pale fingers, stretched long, gripping a kneecap tightly, as he stared into the camera, not defiantly, and yet, not scared. He emanated a haughtiness that only he could pull off without seeming the spoilt brat. He looked as if had something no one else had, and he would be damned if he told anyone what it was. Of course, he was about to get a failing grade. The project was easily worth 50 percent of his mark. Duo sighed, before closing the album and laying his head on the kitchen counter. Listening to the absolute silence.
[six days 6pm]
Heero walked through his apartment door, tiered and frustrated, he had fallen asleep in the darkroom, his neck hurt, and he could not find another model in less then five days. Which is about when he walked into Duo's naked chest.
"Duo what are you doing?"
Duo grinned, somewhat defiantly, somewhat nervously, and readjusted the black sheet that covered his lower body.
"You said you wanted pictures of me. Then, fine you can have the damned pictures I mean, at this rate you will fail your course, and who's fault will it be? Mine. So. Shut up and start snapping photos."
"There is no set."
"We don't need a set. Just take pictures."
"Yup, that is what I named myself, and you are Heero, and in my experience, you seem to be pretty handy with a camera, now start snapping before I lose my nerves and I snap."
Heero snorted in response, before climbing quickly upstairs and retrieving his camera. He shook his head lightly, grinning to himself, before quickly walking down the stairs only to be stopped in the middle by the sight of Duo Maxwell, wearing only his hair, and blushing furiously. "Don't stand there looking at me Heero, just take the pictures."
So he did just that.
Duo sitting, standing, laying down, covered in silks, and covered in nothing. After a while Duo forgot to blush, but never quite managed to forget that he was naked, especially not when Heero would walk up to him and brush hair from his face, or adjust a prop this way or that. His cool hands burning a frozen path against his heated skin.
[five days 12am]
The night was dark, not as dark as the solitary darkroom, but close. The new moon having hid itself in shadow, and the thin pinpricks of light that were the stars were doing nothing to illuminate the streets. Duo's laughter rang off of the wet cobblestones, bouncing off of the cold night air and returning ten fold, as he dragged Heero behind himself, past the sleepy homes and closed up shops, towards the university campus.
"Now I know why I do not usually bring you along."
"Aw man, lighten up a little." He stopped, allowing Heero to collide with him, and they stood pressed together in the cold night air. Heero could smell the sweet fragrance of detergent on the hoodie sweater that Duo wore, and the scent of the wind in the braided man's hair. All of it emitted heat, the tendrils of warmth radiating from beneath the bulky clothing, from the pale body that was etched in Heero's memory, and replayed over and over, whenever he closed his eyes.
He began to step back, only to find himself pinned to the taller man's chest, listening to Duo's heartbeat beneath that soft expanse of flesh.
"thank you, I felt, I don't know nice nervous as all hell, worried, sick, but it was nice, I mean, it would not have been nice if it was with anyone else."
Duo pulled away, his body leaving behind a slightly cold spot against Heero's face and chest, his body missing the heat that had come from his best friend.
His best friend.
Who was giving him a fiendish grin.
"Heero, y' know that I am an accomplished pickpocket, right?"
Heero's eyes narrowed, unsure of where the other was going with this. "no "
Duo nodded, seemingly in understanding, before dangling the studio keys in front of Heero's face, and dashing off in its general direction.
Heero pursed his lips, he looked down at the ground, and raised his eyebrow, deciding that his prey had gotten a fair head start he began sprinting after him.
The run was exhilarating, the cold air hard against the back of his throat, and dry in his lungs, but he did not stop. Instead, the pace picked up, and soon he could hear the hard foot falls ahead of himself. Duo was fast, Duo was easily the fastest, but Duo was also wearing by far more clothing that Heero was, and so Heero was catching up.
Over hedges, and now on slippery grass, they ran across the parks on campus, and towards the large glass tower that held the art studios, Heero still lagging behind Duo, as the taller man dashed to the front doors, quickly he slammed the key into the lock, opened the door, and managed to close it just as Heero made a grab for the handle.
Heero breathed heavily, his heart pounding in his throat and ears, his mouth dry and cold, and his nose running. Sprinting, in fall weather, was not the best of ideas, he decided, trying to ignore the burning in his lungs, and the slight cramp of his side. He glared at Duo who sat cross-legged on the floor in front f him. The young man staring up at him from behind the frail protection of a glass door. However Heero was past the point in his life where such a door would have been disposed of, in a violent manner. Duo grinned, tapping on the cold surface, attempting to get Heero's attention. It was not hard to give.
The braided man's lips were red from the run, as were his nose and cheeks, and his bright violet eyes sparkled, even under the cold fluorescence of the single light in the entrance.
Heero crouched down, outside, knocking on the door. "let me in."
Duo grinned. `ask nicely.'
Heero scowled. "please, let me in."
Duo's grin, if possible, grew larger as he opened the door outside, allowing a cooled Heero into the warmth and dubious security of the building. Heero, in gratitude, lightly punched Duo's shoulder. "Thanks a lot, jerk."
Duo chuckled, before following behind him, as the other man began his tedious climb up the stairs of the building, before coming to the top floor, and subsequently Heero's studio.
It was a nice room, offering a view of the darkened campus, although not much could be seen through the windows, seeing as most had been obscured by acrylic paint. Various easels stood in corners, as did a shelf of disused art supplies (Heero Yuy, very early on, decided that he hated painting, and had committed himself to photography only), and a beat up couch. In front of the excuse for seating stood a single coffee table, and in one corner sat a squat white fridge. Duo grinned, before throwing himself onto the couch.
"It looks like shit."
"lots of projects due all at once?"
"ah, don't you have a chemistry lab tomorrow?"
"finished all my labs, and handed them all in at once. My assistant  nearly killed me."
Heero chuckled lightly, watching a Duo reclined on the couch, his head thrown back, staring through the skylight, the only piece of untouched glass in the room. Duo's pale arms stretched out from beneath the cuffs of the hoody, the well formed forearms, resting against the paint splattered leather of the couch, while his legs, indecently apart, spread out on the wooden floor. It was a position Heero knew too well, the patented `Maxwell sprawl' that he had never paid much attention to before, it was so common that he had gotten used to. Or at least, he had been, before he had taken a picture of Duo, stretched out against black silk, the pale skin of his body exposed to a camera lens. Heero licked his lips, and gnawed on the lower one, culturing a habit that had grown on him in the five years since the war had ended.
"Duo I am going to go into the darkroom and get the pictures develop-"
"I know Yuy. Here allow me to demonstrate exactly what you're about to say: `Duo, do not open the door to the black room, you dumb-ass, or else I will have you parade around in the buff again ' hey man, I watch movies, I know about not opening doors."
Heero smirked at Duo's defensive statement, it was mostly fake, they both realized that Duo was not a complete idiot. Impractical? Often. Without restraint? Usually. But an idiot? Unlikely. Heero would have killed him the moment that he had laid eyes on the boy had that been the case.
"Duo, I was wondering if you wanted to keep me company, there is enough room, it is just a matter of not coming out once you were in."
"So I am not allowed to come out of the darkroom?"
Heero gave the seated man a long look, his eyebrow raised, and lower lip released from his teeth. Duo grinned in response, before lifting himself heavily from the couch, the beat up furniture groaning in protest, as Duo sauntered towards the darkroom.
"Duo, why are you always making these lame jokes?"
"To you, and only you."
[five days 1:30 am]
Duo was slouched against a wall, watching as Hero deftly operated a machine, unlike some of the other spaces in the room, this one did have some light. However it did little to truly illuminate what was happening, rather it was there for the practical purpose of finding and operating the machinery. Duo yawned, watching as Heero lifted the negatives onto a machine, and allowed light to shine down on them, and onto, from what he could make of it, a magical piece of paper in which the image was burned.
He was finally beginning to see what Heero meant when he said that he seldom actually `looked' at the pictures he was developing. There was no time. He had tested a bunch of photo's from each batch, noted how long to expose them, and set about the task with an uncanny precision and a mechanical efficiency that was reminiscent of the Heero Yuy of the war. One aspect that Duo had been certain was dead and buried, allowing the somewhat tougher, substantially more alive, and by far more mature man to take over. It seemed that not everything could be lost.
The grin on Duo's face grew once more. Heero was throwing the pictures into tubs of ill-smelling chemicals, Duo could have identified them, really, there was a chance, but, it was too early in the morning, and he did not enjoy his major _ that_ much.
"Are you nearly done?" Duo groaned his voice thick and loud in the small room.
"Almost, last picture. Then we let them sit, and then we leave them alone, and then we leave."
Duo nodded in acknowledgement, watching the last of the photo's fall into the tub, as Heero quickly pulled photos out of other tubs, and hung them up. It was too dark to see how the photos turned out, and Heero had greatly protested to Duo turning on the lights.
"Heero, what are we supposed to do now that we are waiting?" Duo got the impression that the Japanese man had rolled his eyes, it was too dark to make sure.
"Duo " his name was a sigh " we have lived together for three years we manage to spend time together, in fact, through experience, I can vouch for us having spent more then four hours talking once, I think it was in June 19th this year, and "
"I get it." Duo smiled, although he knew the other could not see him. "So, why did you develop the black photo?"
There was silence for a moment, and Duo could hear Heero shuffle towards the tubs, another print being thrown from the tub, into another, swirled around, and then hung up. A few more prints were transferred from one tub to the next.
"I told you, I don't really look at what I am exposing I just exposed it. Probably forgot to take the lens cap off."
"Or you took a picture of the middle of the night." Duo could hear Heero still. The boys hands illuminated by the light coming from the exposure machine, which he could swear he remembered Heero complaining about he usually forgot to turn it off. "That roll went into the camera after you did the first shoot, we finished taking pictures really really late that night. Then you were gone in the early morning, the camera was still upstairs, and the rest of the pictures are photos of me, from the second shoot not once did you forget the lens cap. If you insult me, insult me to my face Yuy, I can take it. Don't insult my intelligence." Duo's voice ran cold, and he could hear Heero stiffen, he could hear the way that the other man's breath went shallow, before it was forced back to normal. He had no clue what Heero was lying about, but living with the often stoic ex-pilot, he had learned to read body language, and when that failed, the way that Heero spoke, and he knew when he was being lied to. And he was being lied to now.
"It was a picture of you sleeping."
Heero threw open the door to the darkroom, the bright lights from the studio flooding into the room, temporarily blinding Duo, who stumbled out behind him. "Heero, why the hell didn't you just tell me oh."
Duo could hear the sound of a door slamming, and realized that he was alone in the studio. Slowly he closed the door to the darkroom, stepping into the light, and hoped that the photos were not ruined. He walked over to the couch, before throwing himself upon it bonelessly, staring out onto the windows, which were covered in splotched of paint, in murals, and in dust.
He pulled his knees up to his chest, letting his eyes wander to the empty easels, and the piled sketchbooks. Allowing his ears to strain, searching for sound within the airy emptiness.
[five days 10 am]
"Don't you have class?"
"I skipped them."
"You will fail if you keep doing that." Came the impassive reply.
"Damn you Yuy, stop being a bastard. I mean, you know what happened, I know what happened, so why the hell are you so angry about the photo? How is the fact that I know that you know that I know that you know, make it different then when I knew, and you knew I knew, but I knew nothing of the fact that you knew? You know?"
At his sides, Duo's hands were clenched into fists. his nosed twitched slightly in annoyance and the slight pout, which usually resided on his lips, had hardened, making his cheekbones more prominent, and the set of his jaw more threatening. And when he turned his eyes to Heero, they held the cold dead look that had been prominent in the pictures, the eyes of a frightened but angry animal that wished to be anywhere but where it stood, with anyone but the one that it looked upon. Heero frowned.
"It makes a difference."
"It does not! Yuy, stop being so pigheaded, dear God, you did not care for all of yesterday, ALL of it."
Heero coldly brushed past Duo, walking towards the darkroom, when a firm grip caught his shoulder, and a surprising amount of strength spun him towards Duo. Duo was angry, he was fighting-for-my-life type angry, and the look that shone in his eyes should have died with Deathscythe Hell. "Listen to me Yuy " he growled, the words low and thick. "You know that I date either way, you have been introduced to my dates, you know what I do with them, you have known every bloody girlfriend, or boyfriend I have ever, EVER, had. I introduced them to you, I told you when not to be home so that I would not have to explain a delicate situation to both of you. And you are bloody gorgeous, and you were naked, okay? So I had a dream, it happens, I bet you still get dreams of Relena, and don't deny it, because I KNOW that you had them." The grip from his shoulder loosened, as Duo took a deep breath. A sure sign that the braided man was trying to force himself to calm down. And for the first time since he had started living with Duo, he felt sorry. He had no clue why he had gotten angry at Duo, it just seemed to spin out of control, pent up emotions, and the fear of being ridiculed still fresh on his thoughts. Most importantly he had not wanted to lose the friendship that he and Duo had built up, which was exactly what he was doing at the moment.
"We're just friends, okay Yuy? That's IT, I can't help what my screwed up mind comes up with." Duo whispered, his voice still strained, still angry.
And Heero was not oblivious.
And Duo knew this; because he could read Heero as well as Heero could read him.
"Don't call me that."
"Why? You are lying, therefore that makes you a liar." Heero spat out.
"Well at least I'm a Liar who TRIES to save our pointless friendship. Fuck you, Yuy." Duo's tone was disgusted, the hand dropping off of Heero's shoulder completely, as Duo started for the Door, grabbing the hoodie he had left on a chair.
Duo turned and stared at Heero blankly for a moment. The meticulously braided hair now a rough rope that hung down his shoulders, laying against his tee-shirt, strands falling into his face, and sticking to his neck. His eyes darkened, and his lips pursed, still turned downwards, his body remembering that anger that his mind had forgotten.
"I am sorry. Duo, you helped me, I had no right things, happen its just I have not slept at all really since " Heero could feel his ears turn red as he stared at the man in front of him, the man who regarded him with a look of confusion.
"You like me."
"Baka, you are my best-friend, of course I like you."
"Oh my God you `Relena, when you two were going out' type like me."
"Deny it then."
Heero glared at Duo for a moment, before sighing heavily, he shook his head, bit his lower lip, and picked up his backpack, taking out a thermos, and two wrapped sandwiches.
Duo chuckled lightly, before taking the thermos out of Heero's outstretched hand, each conveniently ignoring the other's affection. "Yah, want some of this coffee, Pretty-boy?"
[four days 2am]
The room was pitch black, only the square of a skylight illuminated in the darkness, and even then, the sliver of the moon did not peek inside. It did not matter, Duo woke up, his wakefulness coming slowly, as he looked around sleepily, attempting to figure out why he was sore and why he was sleeping on so hard a surface. He shrugged lightly, the movement waking the man who laid against him, slumbering with his head on Duo's shoulder.
"whut time iz it?" slurred Heero, attempting to curl back into a ball against Duo, succeeding only in knocking over a thermos, the metallic clang of steel against hardwood flooring jarring him into full wakefulness.
"Bravo, Yuy." Duo managed. Heero could feel the other man stretch beside him, his side warmed with the other's body heat. Duo made a few sleepy noises, a couple of yowls, which contrasted with a few deeper rumbles, as he happily flexed muscles, which had been cramped. Heero rolled his eyes, snatched Duo's left wrist, and tried to read his watch, succeeding only after he had turned on the watch light.
"two am." He breathed into he darkness, aware of how Duo shivered at the sound. He smirked lightly, his hand running out to touch the other's back, just as Duo stood up, and began stumbling across the room. Heero sighed, somewhat frustrated. "What are you doing?"
"Being cute, watch my antics as I roll around on the shit ouch, ouch damn it...what the hell is there on this floor?"
"a table. Duo are you searching for the light switch?"
"Don't you think I would be better suited for the task?"
"Hey man, your studio."
"Awww, fuck, it figures." he could hear Duo drop to the floor. "lights." The lights flickered in the studio, before turning on to their full level, illuminating every corner and every crack, as if the noon day sun, and not the moon shone down upon them.
Duo sat in the middle of the floor, holding on to his left foot, and glaring at Heero. "Yuy, you think you could have warned me, before I walked into a .what the hell did I walk into anyway?"
"Duo there was nothing in your way."
Duo frowned, turning the glare at the floor.
"Glare at it Duo, it's a tricky bit of flooring, deceptively flat and unimposing ." Heero chuckled low in his throat, watching as Duo pulled himself to his feet looking around the studio again. " my thought exactly, we are becoming nocturnal."
"but that wasn't what I was thinking " Duo managed, watching Heero with ill concealed amusement. Before shrugging and walking up to the darkroom. "So you think that the pictures can be looked at now? Will the light still kill them, you think?"
"Maxwell, they are paper, they can't be killed, and they have been ready since yesterday." Heero's grin faltered, and he walked into the dark room carefully taking down the dried pictures. He walked the stack back into the room, placing them on a cleaner area of flooring, and starting to sift through them.
They were good. Or rather, some of them were good, some were good enough.
Heero picked one up and looked up at Duo who was beginning to turn redder and redder. It was one thing to see a picture of yourself when you were naked and uncomfortable, it was quite another when you were practically leering at the camera.
"This one will be the cover page."
"If you do that, I'll never speak to you again."
Heero grinned, placing the picture away, it was a bit too sexual for his tastes; after all, he was attempting to make a portfolio not sell an adult magazine.
"Oh for the love of, here let me see some of these "
[four days 6am]
Duo walked back to his apartment alone. The streets were still empty, and dark, but the feeling of dawn hung heavy in the air, promising of a beautiful day. Duo Maxwell wanted to throw up. It had taken awhile, but what had happened was starting to click together. Heero Yuy liked him, liked, liked him. This would not have been a problem in and of itself had it been anyone but Heero, but, seeing that Heero was his best friend Duo groaned. He climbed the stairs to their apartment, and walked back into his home. Flinging himself onto the couch he bit his lip, something that he was slowly beginning to catch from Heero, who had caught it from Relena, who was probably the initial source of the damnable habit.
Heero Yuy's relationships were all doomed to failure.
Duo Maxwell's relationships were all doomed to failure.
As a result there was a good chance that they would cancel each other out, whether that be that they would fall in love and live happily ever after, or remove their bad luck simply by killing one another, was yet to be determined.
Duo sighed. He did not want a lasting relationship, or at very least, he was quite sure that he did not want a lasting relationship with Heero or did he? He had been crushing on the other boy since the middle of the war, and continued to do so to this day, but he had never believed a relationship formable. He had every confidence in his abilities, he had the ability to seduce the man (straight or not) at any time and fall in bed with him. But he had not wanted it. He had too few friends and too many old lovers. He did everything to make sure that he would not go all the way out in the relationship, but him and Heero were too similar, they had finally met in the middle.
Relena was going to kill him.
No, that is wrong, instead Relena was going to revoke pacifism, rise into the apartment with half the minions of Hell, and then skin him alive, while they roasted his white ass over a fire.
Stuffing his head under a couch cushion, cocooned in the safety it provided.
[four days 12 pm]
"Erm hi Relena?"
"Duo! How nice to hear from you, how are you? How is chemistry going?"
"fine. Fine, I guess."
"How is Heero?"
Duo leaned against the kitchen wall, slowly letting himself slide down the smooth white surface. "Attracted to me." He muttered. He should not have been doing this, but he really, really, really needed to know why the two of them had broken up, sure he _ could_ have asked Heero, but this had happened before they ended up living together, and Heero looked like he didn't want to talk about it.
"Oh but were not the two of you? I was sure that was the reason and him being homosexual and all "
"Heero is what?" Duo practically screeched into the phone. "sorry" he amended quickly, imagining the woman wincing on the other end of the line. He KNEW that Hero liked men; of course, he had to have liked men, if he hadn't, he would not have liked him. But, he also figured that Heero liked him, because he happened to look a lot like a girl, or at very least his hair looked like a girl's, and that Heero really liked girls instead, and was just antisocial, and refused to bring any of his girlfriends to meet Duo, which would have made sense, because all of Heero's girlfriends were actually boyfriends. And a gay and a bisexual living together did NOT make good headlines. Or at least not in his book.
`Great, I'm a homophobic bisexual.' Duo mourned.
"How long have you known this?"
"DUO!" Relena sounded shocked, and he could almost feel her blush on the other end of the phone "That is personal."
Duo sighed in response. " `Lena, I am calling you because if I can't ask you, I have to go right to the source, and the source and I have just had a very weird moment, and we would kind of like to never ever discuss the implications of what we may have just done to a perfectly good, and extremely rare, and highly indestructible friendship."
"You like him."
"No, you are right, you don't like him, you are in love with him."
"I could not get him into bed."
"oh good God I just got a visual that I could have lived without."
"Thank you, Maxwell, you know exactly how to make a woman feel wanted." A sigh escaped her lips. "Listen, Duo, Heero has been gay for, I do not know, I suppose since before he entered the war. I am hypothesizing here, but I believe that it would have made sense with his training. Turning to fellow soldiers, I mean, and anyway, he said it himself, he was not expected to survive, and not encouraged to reproduce, so you put all that together."
"I just got an image of Heero in a pink taffeta dress, waving his hands around, and asking if he looked fat."
"Good bye, Duo."
[four days 11pm]
The easels were no longer empty.
Large prints stood, upon the painted wood. Some of Duo, and others of men and women that he had never seen before. Duo smiled lightly, looking at the different sizes of photos, and the way some were framed. Heero was talented.
Three years ago, when the sullen man had shown up at Duo's apartment, the whole thing nearly falling apart. Duo was attempting to duct tape the seals in the window, simply because he did not have the time to use sealer on them. Duo had welcomed him in with open arms. Perhaps too open, Duo realized suddenly, having time to analyze his giddiness at his friend's arrival. Who knows? Maybe he cared about him back then, maybe they cared about each other, back then. Heero had helped, with his wealth of knowledge of science; he helped Duo catch up on University Chemistry rather quickly, even without any prior formal training in the field. As a result, Duo spent less time pulling at his hair in the library, where it was warm, and more time sitting around attempting to fix up the ragged looking ex-art studio/hangar. The giant screens were Heero's idea, soon Heero had a wealth of other ideas, he asked for some sort of cage to store his computer in, something that would keep outside signals from detecting his computer, Duo had built him one, Heero liked what Duo did. Subsequently, Heero took welding, then painting and photography, and decided to major in graphical arts. Duo snorted at the irony.
A Gundam pilot, a killer, a photographer, and a pretty boy. The snort became a chuckle, as the braided man spotted a rather exhausted Heero upon the uncomfortable black couch.
"Yo Heero?" Duo called, standing a bit of a ways away from the other man. Soldier instincts died slowly, whereas he himself could die quite rapidly.
Lids parted, thick onyx lashes beating against tanned golden skin, once, twice, before opening to reveal cool blue eyes. Heero smirked on seeing Duo "I fell asleep." He remarked off handedly, looking around the room, and then back at Duo. Ignoring the slips of photography paper all around him, and the thick album seated in front of him amidst piles and piles of photos.
"You planning to come home one of these days?"
"When I finish, sure, and it depends on what you are cooking. If I see scrambled tofu, I might never leave this studio again." He rationalized, sitting up from the couch, and stretching, his skin dancing over tight and smooth muscle. Pinkish gold scars were revealed upon the man's stomach, as his black tee shirt pulled up. Small scratches, and large jagged lines, equally prominent against otherwise flawless skin. Individual imperfections that only added to his total flawlessness.
"When will you be done?"
Heero looked up at him questioningly "Why the question and answer period?"
"I talked to Relena."
Heero frowned. "Do not ruin my good mood, Duo."
"Do you like me? Not in the `just sex' way, that is obvious, I mean do you " Duo frowned, looking somewhat more serious then he usually did " `like me'?"
"You are one-hundred percent correct, Maxwell, I am the only one here who cannot express my emotions."
Duo exhaled loudly. He blushed deeply. "y'know what I'm asking."
" and you know my answer." Heero managed with a smirk, crossing his arms over his chest. He raised a brow.
Duo laughed in response. "I suppose that you know mine as well."
Heero's smirk grew into a prominent grin "Good to know."
[three days 10 am]
The sun did not shine upon the large screens, instead it hid behind a cloud, behind the rain, and the thunder. The cold hard rain only a memory of the gentle mist that so dominated the summer. An Alarm went off, and Heero bolted out of bed, quickly walking across the room, and turning off his alarm clock. He stretched again and got ready for classes.
As he walked down stairs he caught site of a small plate sitting on the kitchen counter.
`Yuy, go to class or you will fail. One project isn't everything. BTW, these are pancakes, 100% tofu free, so, according to last night's agreement, that means you'll stay with me, right? Not used to begging,
`God of Death' a.k.a. Duo Maxwell
(I mean, who else would come to our apartment and make you pancakes?)
[three days 11 am]
I came, I went, and I ate the pancakes.
Duo I have reviewed your cooking privileges, and have decided that you are cut off.
I do not care how proficient you think your culinary skills, I believe otherwise. We have sufficient funds to purchase takeout for the rest of our lives. Should these funds cease to be, I shall be sure to provide (in any manner possible), as to prolong their continuation.
Note: Duo, there is a reason that you add water to pancakes, it makes them more soft, and less like round tiles.
[three days 2 pm]
Heero looked up from his easel, on hearing the steel door to the studio open. Not surprisingly he was greeted by the sight of Duo Maxwell, and a plate of Chinese food.
"I come in peace."
Heero snorted lightly, before redipping a paintbrush in the jar of water. Carefully, he lifted it to the enlarged photograph and added a light reddish tint to Duo's lips. He ignored Duo as he walked up behind him, leaning over his shoulder to stare at the photograph. He ignored the rain as it pounded against the large studio window. But he could not ignore the soft lips against his exposed neck.
"Duo, what are you doing?"
A chuckle met his inquiry, as Duo stepped away, his hips swaying lightly, and his braid flicking against his butt. Lightly, he cocked his head, regarding Heero.
"I always wondered what you tasted like."
"How do I taste?"
Duo's smirk vanished, his lips turning downward, as he stared at the man sitting upon the stool in front of him; his hands methodically manipulating a paintbrush, adding hue to an otherwise monochrome picture.
"How do I taste, Duo?"
"Well " a sly grin curved Duo's lips, as he approached the man again, this time, leaning in, his hands holding onto Heero's tanned shoulders, smoothing the material of his shirt down, as to further expose skin, and a satin tongue roughly ran up the side of his neck. To his credit Heero did not even shiver, he simply snorted in amusement.
"better then my pancakes." Another languorous lick was taken at the expense of Heero's modesty "better then your cooking." And a light swipe on the other side of his neck, leaving the wetness to his left cold in the frigid air of the studio. A contemplative silence filled the air. "Better then Chinese food, anyway."
"But that still does not answer the question."
Duo remained silent, his cheek pressed against the saliva on the column of Heero's slender neck, his hands traveling down to the harsh bones of his slender hips, past that which was hidden by not-so-slender muscle. "Hot, you taste like hot skin, and flesh, and bone, you taste alive."
Heero nodded his head lightly, long dexterous fingers, lay the brush to rest upon the slight parapet of the aisle. He turned carefully in his stool, his hands catching Duo around the waist, and pulling him forward, until he could lay his face against the other man's zip-up shirt, and press his inner thighs to the other man's hips.
He smirked against the black material, enjoying the slight catch to Duo's breath, and the almost hesitance to the path that his fingers played against his back. Fine boned fingers gliding down and down, and then back up, only to return and fall once more.
He let his hands travel against the black material, off of Duo's equally slim thighs, up to the top of his shirt, up to the zipper which he slowly undid.
Smiling wickedly, at the tightening of Duo's hands on his shoulders, he licked lightly at his chest, rising carefully from the stool, to lick up to the collar bone, and then to follow the sharp curvature of Duo's long neck. He stopped, when his mouth reached an impassive jaw. Mesmerized by the feel of Duo's fingers idly stroking his back, hypnotized by the smooth texture of the scars against the satiny skin. He grinned, before pulling away.
"And?" Duo inquired, his breath a touch deeper, a bit unsteadier, and a glistening path from his chest to his neck shining in the bright lights of the studio.
"Definitely better then Chinese." Duo snorted.
"No, I assure you " Heero's smirk turned hungry, as his fingers traced the path that his mouth had recently abandoned. "I would know."
Duo's surprise quickly vanished, as he pulled Heero closer, grinning as their bodies pressed against each other. He laid his head carefully against the Japanese man's shoulder, contemplating the long neck that stretched out in front of him, in easy reach for the first time in well over five years.
"so what now?"
"You let me go back to adding color to pictures of you naked."
Duo grinned, before stepping back, and deftly re-zipping his shirt once more, an effortless movement that looked as if he had done it under the same circumstances endless times before. He walked over to the food, and carrying it back, dropped a Styrofoam container in Heero's lap.
"I could reasonably argue that."
"Will do. But first, photo."
Duo gave him a long look, one that Heero ignored, as he returned to the photograph.
[three days 11 pm]
When Heero returned home the living room was dark, a single lump visible sprawled out under ivory white covers, unbraided hair spilling off of a pillow and onto the carpeted ground below. Duo Maxwell was asleep, Heero smiled lightly, stowing away his shoes, and heading towards the kitchen. The light lights barely visible through the screens, and illuminating his path.
He tiredly walked into the bathroom, turning on the shower and letting the hot water wash the aches from his body and mind, the heated pressure scrubbing away the traces of cool from the sides of his neck. Smiling at the memory, he washed his hair, and efficiently, scrubbed himself clean, before stepping out, brushing his teeth, and walking to bed.
Or attempting to.
A taller frame pushed him to the wall, cool fingers splayed over his mouth, as amused eyes glared into his own. Heero smirked, as a hand found itself at his naked side, sliding down to his thigh, and pushing off the towel that he had wrapped around himself.
"d'you seriously believe that I would have let you get away? playing with me and then leaving me wanting."
"I was surprised."
"Yah, I assure you, that feelin's gonna continue."
With that a hot mouth descended upon his own. A tongue prying for entrance, which was granted, and urgent hands, running down his back. Kneading the flesh there.
He grinned against Duo, before pushing forward, and causing them both to stumble into the main room. Knocking over a screen in the process.
"Duo, a bed might be a better idea." Heero managed, rather dryly, his hands squeezing the hard muscle of Duo's butt and thighs.
He was met with a chuckle, as Duo pulled them both, into the room and stumbling onto his covers.
"Damn, I hate doing laundry, the floor would be more sanitary."
Heero shrugged before, straddling the longhaired man's hips, and kissing him breathless. His hands slipped down creamy thighs, allowing the cotton pajama pants to fall to the ground. He sighed, content. Duo's body stretched out beneath his own, the heat radiating off of the cooler skin, like the sun reflected off of a desert, the ocean of sand, hot and suffocating.
Duo's breath came in sharp rasps, his hands seemingly at Heero's thigh one minute, then pulling him forward the next. Another kiss.
Another snapshot of time.
Another hand stroking his back.
Pale and cool fingers against hot golden skin.
One man bent over the other.
Lips against taut flesh, against straining muscle.
A play of their physical in the negative.
A play of negative space in the positive.
Snapshots, and moments in time, playing before him like dancers beneath a strobe light.
"Heero " Duo's voice was deep, causing the name to drop into a low rumble, rising at the `ee's, a plateau before the voice dropped into a pleasant moan once more. " this is not a one time thing no need to memorize no test oh shit."
Cold fingers slipped into a tight heat, ignoring the slight cry of surprise.
"Are you alright?"
Duo chuckled, the pleasant throb of his chest dissipating into a throaty moan, as he arched himself upward, off of the bed; his deft fingers searching the cracks of the mattress, below larger pillows, before coming up with a tube.
"I have to sit tomorrow m'ke sure I can."
Heero grinned, before leaning down and allowing his tongue to dance across the ivory surface, of Duo's stomach. Another moan tore itself from the slender throat, and slender fingers once more found themselves at Heero's back, clutching at the flesh there.
Those fingers massaged the stiffened muscle, the calloused tips pulling against the soft skin. Duo was hardly aware as another slickened finger stretched his opening.
Heero pulled away, ignoring Duo's moan of protest, and biting his lip, he pressed his need against the other man's entrance. He was dimly aware of a pair of long legs wrapping themselves firmly around his waist, although, he had not expected the impatient pull, the one which pushed him all the way into Duo's body.
"Ohh-kay, I don't think I'll bey sittin' t'morrow s'good."
A cry escaped Heero's lips, as Duo tightened around him. He pulled back, and plunged back into the tight heat. Ignoring the frozen fingers that dug into his back. Short nails shearing his skin.
Instead he stared into the eyes of the man he had known since he was a boy.
Since they were both boys.
A man he had lusted over, broken his heart, and will over, time and again.
Another thrust, this one deeper, and faster, wrenching another cry from Duo. His voice deep, deeper then even Heero's. The throaty moans all too familiar upon the Japanese man's ear. He wanted to hear them again.
Pulling out, as Duo's hold on his thighs relaxed, and pushing back in, as Duo's legs tightened, slamming him back.
Pulling out, as the Duo looked him in the eye. The violet as deep as always, but nearly onyx in the poor lighting of the room, the slightly raised chin, and the languid smile, dissolving into ecstasy, and then back. Eyes that never left him throughout their love making.
Pulling in as those eyes glazed over in pleasure, a gasp spilling from the lips, joining his own litany of moans and nonsense, upon the air.
Suddenly his body tensed, his eyes leaving Duo's, as he stared forward. His body spilling within Duo's, his skin aware of the warm liquid splattered against it. 
[two days 11 am]
Heero awoke, not quite sure where he was, staring at the kites that were attached to the ceiling of the room. The disorientation lasted only a minute, there was only one place in the apartment that offered as unobscured a view of the colorful dragons, and squares and circles. Duo's bed.
His throat went dry, as he reached out to touch where his ex best friend ought to have lain. But there was no one else in the bed. The white sheets soiled, and rumpled, heavy with the sent of sex. Heero sighed, picking himself out of bed. Tiered, disappointed, and with an ever present, and ever growing feeling of guilt and dread. He realized, rather early on, that he was as good as screwed. The relationship was doomed to failure, and he had been nothing but an idiot in believing that this was anything but the case. They were supposed to have been good friends, hell, best friends, and having sex did not fall into that category, he was sure they could shake it off, laugh about it, but hell
They had confessed right?
They had said that there was more there then just the physical. That there was love.
Of course, the message was so cryptic that it could have been anything.
Lip in between teeth, Heero smoothed out the covers, before noticing the note sitting on his cotton covered lap.
Class I'm so so so so so so sorry! Lab. Class. Final. EEP! (that and body heat scares me, I will clean the bed when I get home, so, no worries you looks so cute when you are asleep erm forget that last bit.)
Dumb Duo. Dumb Duo.
But hell, happy horny sated Duo.
Not a one-time deal, Yuy.
Remember, I like you too, so stop being paranoid.
Relief flooded Heero Yuy's senses. Duo knew him too well, knew not only his body language but also how his mind tended to twist things. He snorted, reading over the note again, he had never needed the zero system to distort things for him, he did it fine all by himself. His smile grew. So if Duo was not disgusted then he had something to do every night, well maybe not every night, but knowing Duo fairly close to that, for the next logn while.
Heero decided that he wanted this to last longer.
He turned the card over.
BTW, I didn't know that you had to present your portfolio. Have you thought of a speech to write, or are you planning to wing it? (Get it, `Wing'? That would get you the big marks for SURE!). I know for a fact that you suck at public speaking, Mr. I-scare-innocent-colony-brats.
He grinned, stepping out of the bed, and padding rather quickly towards the shower. He had been so involved in the project that he had forgotten about everything, including the fact that he himself had to present the damnable thing. He frowned, stepping into he brightly lit bathroom, stepping gingerly over the cold tiles, and into the colder ceramic of the shower. He turned the water on scolding and stood under the spray.
He needed to say something intelligent in front of the arts department.
He felt like an idiot.
After all, the first thing his instructor had said upon entering the classroom was that no one would get a hundred percent. No one, hell, no one was going to get ninety, and in his mind that was inconceivable. At the time anyway, this was his first term with more then two courses, and he was beginning to regret it.
Then again, Duo was already working on his masters, and here he was sitting around with an undergraduate degree
Make that `working' on an undergraduate degree.
An statement he reserved only for himself the shower and an occasional mirror.
Then shrugged. Duo liked what he did, even if it included him getting a headache from the millions of undergrads that bothered him every hour. He smirked at that, and proceeded to wash his hair.
Not that he had any undergrads bothering him.
Well, not in the `need information teach us' way
After all, he was one.
Heero's pout grew. Then disappeared, as his lip became chew toy once more.
He needed to graduate. Well, first he needed to finish this course, get all of the rest of his credits and prerequisites in, and THEN graduate. But until then, he was screwed.
He sighed, trudged out of the shower, yelped as the cold floor hit his super warmed toes. And hoped back in. When glaring did not help, he gingerly reached for a towel, and toweled himself dry. He had just managed to put himself into a bad mood. A skill he had perfected during the war. Scowling, he pulled on some clothing, vowing to get something to eat on his way to the studio, and headed out.
[two days 4 pm]
A frame hit a wall and shattered.
The studio remained quiet and still for a moment, as Heero contemplated stress management.
He shrugged, before dumping the various prints into a case easily the size of himself. Grudgingly, he walked over to the wall, and picked up the frame, which now lay ruined in golden pieces against the stained hardwood. He sighed, bending to pick it up, when his eyes spotted an older album, reflected in the shards. The worn leather sitting rather contently beneath the couch.
He paused. Ignoring the glass for a moment, and walking over to the album, picking it out from beneath the couch. Several glossy photographs fell onto the floor at his feet. Heero grinned as he picked them up. Sitting back on the couch, he flipped through the album for the first time since he had made it.
[two days 11 pm]
note taped to the door of Heero's and Duo's apartament:
Yuy, If you wake me up, I will kill you.
I need to sleep; I have a practical exam tomorrow.
Ha, you think that I don't study, but I will have you know that I know more Chemistry then ANYONE! Bwahahahahhaha! Text books are nothing for the God of Death. Ok, truth be told, the practical is HARD, stupid prof taught us NOTHING!! You know the 3h of class we are supposed to have in a week? Idiot freako chem. man, figured that 2 1/2 suffice.
I studied for this when I wasn't posing nude, being screwed, or following you around like a puppy (too late to rhyme words together properly, I'm sure you will forgive me).
So I am sleeping which explains why I drowned half the chemicals in the meds drawer. Have no fear, I am not trying to kill myself. I actually only had one sleeping pill, so that I would be asleep when you came around (after all, sleeping with you, and sleeping do not amount to the same thing).
I need sleep.
You have a presentation tomorrow 10am through you might want to know that, because your prof called at noon, and told me that you, baka-boy, forgot to check your time. Unless you hacked into the University comp system.
You did, didn't you?
ANYWAY! Wish me luck, and you; break a leg (I don't mean that literally).
AND the sleeping pills are the little bottle with the post-it on them. Take one, and you will be asleep in a few minutes.
Wish I was humpin' you baby.
Happy Horny Duo
Hentai Extraordinaire, BSc  (I KNEW there was a reason I lived through 4 years of this hell, and it is those three little letters at the end of my name .bwahahahhahahahaha okay nap time.)
[one day 9:45 am]
The room was brilliant. Halogens hit one of the white walls mercilessly. The bright lights making the room seem much hotter then it should have been, or maybe that was just an impression that the nervous man was under. After all, he had 15 minutes to set up, an unfortunate occurrence, seeing as the last presentation had gone over its time limit, therefore pushing him for time. He frowned, as he watched the volunteers scrambling to put up easels, and nail photos into the soft white walls.
Heero was on the verge of killing, at very least, half of them. He watched on as an incompetent attempted to desperately heave a rather heavy frame onto the wall, the nails within it groaning as the weight settled on them, before shifting downward.
Heero's breath caught.
So did the frame.
As a result the rather insipid man was not about to see the barrel of Heero's gun.
He sighed lightly, shuffling the papers in front of him, and watching as the table opposite to the wall filled up with various representatives of the University's art department. He was most definitely not looking forward to this.
His photography professor waved towards him. He was a friendly man, Heero was really beginning to like him, but he was under the distinct impression that he was about to fail him.
He had never.
In the whole war fiasco felt as nervous as he did then. After all, back then, all he needed was brute force, and he was one to have been trained in every art of executing this violence. Art was something all together different.
After all, a blown up building to a tactician, is a blown up building. To an artist it is just about anything that the imaginative creature decides to subject the rubble to. Currently, the rubble he called his photography collection did not seem in very impressive. He had been unfortunate enough to see some of the art one of the girls in his class had created. Seeing that his class was belled, he expected to fail, rather badly.
Heero looked up, startled for a moment by his name, before clearing his throat. He stood behind the single podium in the room, facing the seven people seated in front of him. He really. Really. Really. Wanted to finish his degree this year. Really.
"Are you ready to begin?"
He flexed his fingers once, then pressed a button on the podium that caused a screen to come down from the ceiling. He turned towards it, making sure that the slides, which were displayed upon it, would show up properly. They did.
The lights flickered and died.
In the darkness of the room, illuminated palely by the small reading lamps in front of each of his judges, appeared the moon. An image imbedded upon the ivory canvas that hung behind him. The image of the great orb as bright in that onyx as the original was in the sky.
"One of my friends " he started hesitantly " once told me that the moon brought luck, then again, he has a rather strange sense of humor and luck, so I'm not sure if he was telling the full truth." A chuckle emanated from the darkened figures sitting in front of him, and Heero felt slightly more confident.
"This is project twenty, the final project, my name is Heero Yuy, I am in section A4, of photography 411. The project asked that I capture something, and I was given examples, animals, people, a view. Lacking creativity, or at very least the initiative to be creative, I decided to follow one of the suggestions, a view. I followed the procedure, and came up with nothing." Heero paused. He watched the shadows, watched them scribble down his future on pieces of paper that would eventually be discarded.
"It is not so much that I could not see what was in front of me the whole time. The lens was there, the image was there, everything developed upon the paper of our trade. But the camera was there too, the invisible barrier between me and my environment, my goal. Everything I saw, sheltered behind that invisible screen. So in trying to find the view, I had it all wrong, I was staring through a viewfinder, hoping it would show me what I wanted and needed to know. And really, it was not until I took the camera away from my eye, that I actually saw it, in true color, at true resolution, with nothing between the view and me. I guess, I never needed anything to help me find it after all."
Heero grinned. He had four minutes to make an impression.
A gasp filled the air.
Heero's grin grew wider, he quickly stepped off of the podium, turning around for a second to view what the screen now displayed, there upon the canvas stood a dark shape, half obscuring a full moon. The black mammoth highlighted in deep blue, the large wings folded into its back evident, as were the large spikes that sat atop its helmeted Gundanium head. Deathscythe-Hell's hatch was opened, and on it sat a single figure, totally darkened, the braid Heero knew was there, obscured by the black of the body. He grinned.
The picture was well known.
It had been shown many times grainy, and unclear, briefly flicking across screens in the end of the war celebrations.
The original had been taken by security cameras of a sweeper's ship. One moment Deathscythe-Hell had been there, foreboding against he midnight sky, the next moment it had disappeared.
But Heero's picture was different.
It was taken moments after the lumbering giant had vanished from the site of digital signals and computers. His camera, an old beaten up thing he had laying around after one of his first missions had taken the only clear picture of a Gundam and its owner. Or at very least, the only known clear picture.
"nice photo." the voice was a breath in the air.
Heero's eyes widened in surprise, as he was pulled out of the room, with a force that threatened to rip his hand off. The door to the studio closed quietly behind him.
"Glad you like it."
Duo's lips curved into a smile.
"It was a joke okay, so the first half an hour was Not an joke, but then I realized, that no'matter what, my labs would keep me above failing sooo I just did it, y'know?"
Heero nodded, watching Duo lean comfortably against the wall, his lean figure decked out in loose jeans and a tight shirt. He smirked, realizing where Heero's eyes had traveled.
"Yuy, I swear, we have to stop communicating like this."
"Hn." Heero managed not to smirk.
"Oh God Yuy, just like the war, I swear." Duo's smile faltered for a moment. "So, where's the pic from?"
"Duo, do I look like someone who could figured out how to do photography in a single day?" Heero asked, walking down the hallway, and pulling a rather bewildered Duo behind him. The other man, finally caught up, prying Heero's fingers off of his jacket, and watching him critically.
"Yup. That is actually EXACTLY what you look like. I mean, you came to me like a lost kitten, and suddenly you were a lost kitten doing a graphic arts degree. And photography, which still gives me the willies sometimes."
"I used to take pictures of us during the war." He watched Duo's statement darken, as the other man realized the danger he had put them all in. Had the camera fallen into the hands of Oz. "There never used to be any film in the camera. I just needed to be able to do that, if infiltrating and the like. Then one day, I decided, what the hell, I will develop one roll. I did. It was nice. I put all the film in a vault. Made sure the thing would be destroyed if I did not reassure it of my continued existence in a weeks time, and continued living."
Duo pursed his lips, threw on his jacket, and shrugged. "Why tell me this?"
Heero snorted, as Duo's off handed comment, watching the chiseled features mold themselves into an statement of indifference. Heero passed the small stack of paper into the hands of one Duo Maxwell. He glanced at them curiously, before stopping his walk. Then, he just stood and stared.
"Shit, will you look at that. You realize we will have to make copies for the other guys."
"Hn. I thought you were angry."
"You could have killed us Yuy, then again, I could have killed us with my stupidity, Quatre could have killed us with his kindness, Wufei could have killed us with his seperationsim, and Trowa could have killed us with his indifference. No one killed anyone of us, anyway and this is nice."
"Duo, we really should stop communicating like this."
A chortle whispered against his ears. The warm sound echoed off of the cold tile floors of the hallway, and the greenish tinted white of the walls. In two strides Duo had him pressed chest to chest, lip to lip.
And they kissed in the hallway. In the florescent light, upon the darker tiles, and the cold walls, with the rooms to the critique studios wide open on either side, the light dimmed in all of them. They stood together as others went over their work, debated their progress, and helped define their futures. But it was something that they had both come to accept, something that was a norm in a life they had each taken back by force. At very least, when all else failed they would have each other.
And anyway, they had never really failed to do anything important right in their lives.
So they could be forgiven for failing to notice as someone took a picture.
The metallic click of a shutter opening and closing overpowered by the roar of emotion and blood that sounded upon their eardrums. The flash of a camera lost to closed eyes, shut tight against the on slaughter of life, and the problem of living it, seeing one another only through touch.
Something which cameras, and their wielders, remain spectators to.
 for those who do not know, a viewfinder, is the part of the camera that shows the little window through which you can see what it is exactly that you are taking a picture of.
 I'm guessing that malnutrition was not good for Duo. His bone density was most likely really bad, and as a result he had little calcium in there, growth treatements would help that.
 anyone else feel that they are having two TOTALLY different conversations. But still are understanding each other?
 took photography for a while. Can't remember ANYTHING, that was almost 5 years ago. But I do remember loading film blindly into a canister, we must have practices assembling and disassembling that for weeks gah!
 I'm assuming that they live somewhere in Europe, simply because it
is pretty and warm over there, that and the weather does what it wants.
Some nights you want to die of heatstroke, and the next day you are curled
into a ball and shivering. I love Europe. What the hell am I doing in
BTWBTWBTW, I am assuming that they do have a summer semester here, and it is not a half one. So basically, it is about the end of August, to around September, and Heero is therefore finishing his term. It means that he probably has a lot of mid winter to spring off.
 Duo Maxwell, chemistry Graduate student. Working on his masters .Yah, I admit, I shuddered at the thought as well then I thought hey COOL! Lets write about it! By assistant he probably means an undergrad that was supposed to help him with the project, but doing very very mundane tasks. (believe me they are very very very mundane and boring, and repetitive). Duo probably finished all the work at the beginning of the previous semester, and handed it in. Duo Maxwell overachiever .* shiver *.
 I only wish I was the genius that came up with that one. *sigh* It was the amazing talent of Rowan Atkinson, from the "Indian Waiter". I figure, eh, its Heero, who knows, he's listened to and done stranger things, why not know a Rowan Atkinson skit?
 waitasec, you might think, why is Duo just cute little submissive,
no questions asked, bottom? I figure, Duo knows what he wants, and that
was it, he is no blushing virgin, so if he wants bottom, * shrug* then
he will get bottom. That and I promised Heero he could be top.
Heero: I threatened to kill her.
 and that is the only line that I am happy with, in this entire fic.
 BSc bachelors of science, major in Chemistry