Disclaimer: See all the others; status unchanged.

Pairing: 2+1-ish
Contents/Warnings: Shounen Ai, Duo PoV.

AN: Ficlet written for Challenge #3 ('Photograph') at the gw500 LJ community.

by kebzero

I have a frame.

I found it in a nickel-and-dime shop a while ago, and just had to have it. It's old; the polished woodwork is riddled with scratches, the golden paint is flaking off in places and growing gray in the rest. The joint in the bottom right corner has loosened up to a gap closing halfway in, and there's some splintering at the top - though that last damage was added by yours truly, after a grab-and-run from the last safehouse. The back is of black cardboard, stapled to the frame in three corners. There's a small foot attached to the back, as well as a tiny brass hook. Nightstand or wall, the thing thrives anywhere. The front is clear plastic - but that's okay, fragile glass wouldn't do the frame justice anyway.

I don't have a picture.

Really, I don't. The frame is empty. Sure, I've got plenty of ideas about what to fill the frame with, things I want to remember; see again and again. Some things of the past, just as many from the present. It would be damn easy to just grab a camera and snap off a few shots of my choice ideas, and pick one to put in the battered frame.

But I can't.

See, while I wouldn't mind having a picture of, say, Deathscythe, behind that plastic cover, it wouldn't be smart. Same goes for a photo of Howard or his ship, a group shot of the gang, no matter the surroundings, or just a close-up of... him. Yeah, I would really have liked that; him smiling at me through the plastic window. Not that I could have gotten him to smile while I took his picture anyway - the best I could hope for would be a frown, or a glare threatening bodily harm if the photographer didn't leave the vicinity.

The point is, a picture supposedly says more than a thousand words.

So, let's say I was caught, or killed, and whomever I was going to provide endless torment to as a vengeful ghost found the frame and its condemning content - a picture of Howard, or his ship, or the guys, or the Gundams - or his icy blue eyes glaring daggers, as if even the thought of being trapped behind plastic offended him. Think they would hesitate putting it on a 'wanted' poster? I mean, he has looks to kill; literally, figuratively - same thing to me. Others see only menace there, but they've never faced those eyes long enough to see beyond that.

They never drowned.

So, I have an empty frame. Empty to all those who look at it, and only it. With my mind's eye, I fill it with everything I can think of; a complete record of my life, bad moments and good, all in pictures, all of them protected behind the plastic - even one jailing his captivating smile, the one I imagine he has, but hides so well.

I have a frame.

All I really need, is something other than fantasy to fill it with.


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