Author's Notes: Dedication: To authors who love their characters a little too much! Thank you: To Robyn, my lovely beta.
A Fantastical Romance
By Mephisto Waltz
“So. . .you called. I hope you realize that my being here is a waste of my time. My palm pilot says I’m supposed to spend this afternoon trapped in a vicious cycle of self-loathing and self-pity. The pilot’s never wrong. What could possibly be more important than a writer’s alone time?”
“Sit down, you bohemian fruitcake.”
The writer was slightly O.D.D., so he politely refused the photographer’s discourteous order. The psychiatrist sighed.
“Your novel, Trowa. . .”
“My novel!” The writer instantly sat, shoulders shaking, eyes shifty and paranoid.
“It’s. . .”
“Arrogant, banal, conventional, decadent, effusive, feeble, garrulous, hedonistic. . .” The writer found it valuable to bang his forehead on the table. The rhythm of the banging and the list of adjectives created a particularly effective hocket.
“Oh shit, he’s going through the alphabet. Someone stop him!” The photographer wailed, his ears covered by a pair of stubby hands.
“Let’s go back to “F” . Finished.” From across the dainty restaurant table, Heero tossed the writer his finalized manuscript. The writer in question, after a moment of customary paralysis, whooped and grabbed his precious, precious stack of dog-eared loose-leaf.
“Holy fuck, I’m finished.” The statement was spoken with reverence.
“Gee, I’d almost swear he was getting sick of his baby. . .” The free-lance photographer, hands now on his fork, spoke with a mouth full of romaine lettuce and pungent Greek salad dressing. “Trow, simmer down- you gotta stop smiling or you’ll hurt yourself. You forget that your facial muscles have developed atrophy after all the years of. . .”
“Shut up, Duo.” The writer gave his brother a playful slap upside the head. “I. . .can’t believe it.” He sat, clutching his novel to his chest. Suddenly, his eyes narrowed venomously. “W. . .wait. . .is this some sort of sick joke?”
He turned to his editor. “You weren’t pleased on the phone- I heard the exhaustion in your tone. Shit, that rhymed. I apologize. But, my work. . .”
“Mr. Barton, you are absolutely paranoid.” The photographer’s refined lover, seated to the writer’s right, commented pleasantly.
“Dr. Chang, spare me your behaviorist bullshit. . .”
“Trowa,” The editor interrupted. “I was tired because I was up the entire night finishing off the very few corrections I had to make. It’s done. This is no joke- I wouldn’t do that to you-you’re too fucking unstable for that.” Heero poured himself a glass of chardonnay. “Wine for lunch? Spare me- the whole idea is too god-damn yuppie without a celebratory cause.” The feral-looking editor paused dramatically. “The last fifty pages, Trowa. . .they’re inspired. I hate to use the term “genius” for several reasons, but this novel-with our combined effort- is brilliant. Better than ‘Minnow in Murky Water’ and that was quite well-received. No more one-shot wonder comments- this sophomore work is now flawless.”
“Wow! Now that’s confidence, huh?” Duo nudged his sibling. Trowa’s nerves slowly calmed.
“Do you really think so, Heero?” Trowa whispered, flush with vanity. “I’ve never heard you exclaim anything positive so vehemently. . .”
“I’m not going to repeat myself for the sake of your ego, Trowa.” Heero growled.
“It’s wonderful.” Dr. WuFei Chang, Trowa’s oldest friend and best source, was sincere. “I’ve never read anything like it. I’m glad I could be a part of the process.”
“I would’ve been lost without your expertise, WuFei.” Trowa murmured.
“I can hardly take credit for your masterpiece, my friend. So, let’s raise our glasses to the author.” He held his wine glass high. “This luncheon is to celebrate the final edition of Galatea’s Mould, Mr. Trowa Barton’s philosophical romp through the mind of an altruistic megalomaniac. What a paradox!”
“I love Quatre.” Duo gushed.
“Quatre is dazzling.” Heero agreed. “He’s an affecting character.”
“Excuse me?” Their waitress addressed the subtly giddy writer.
“I’m sorry to interrupt, but, did I hear right? Are you Trowa Barton, author of Minnow in Murky Water?” She was an elfin girl with large, gesticulating hands. Reptilian green eyes widened with mirth.
“Oh fuck, Mr. Barton I loved your novel!” She gushed, dropping to a crouch beside him. “It really inspired me! Cathy’s quest paralleled my life at that time so perfectly! The interior monologue. . .the concepts. . .the characters. . .fuck me- It totally changed my perspective. It was magical the way she became, like, this pathological liar about Tre- the way she convinced herself that this random guy was really her brother, just so she could retire her quest. It was just. . .I don’t know. . .”
“Genius?” Heero offered wryly.
“Yes! Genius! Of course, you are a genius. I just love you. Could you sign that napkin for me? I’ll use it as a bookmark.”
“Sure thing.” Gloating Trowa pulled out his gold-plated Cambridge pen. “Can I ask your name?”
“Hilde. Hilde Schbeiker. S. . .c. . .h. . .”
“It’s okay, I got it. To my most ardent fan, Hilde. May your personal quest lead you to a better conclusion than Cathy’s did. –Trowa Barton.”
“Trowa, I think that autograph should read. . .”
“Please, Heero. You don’t edit my life-just my books.”
“‘books’?” Hilde inquired. “Th. . that was plural. Do you mean to tell me that you’ve published since Minnow?”
“Actually, Miss Schbeiker, my new novel has just survived an arduous, abusive, five month stint with my editor, Mr. Heero Yuy over there. It is now ready to be published.”
The girl shrieked-the sound was reminiscent of an air raid siren.
“Is. . .is that it? Right there?” She pointed shyly. Her eyes were maniacal. “What’s it called?”
“It’s entitled ‘Galatea’s Mould’” He spoke.
“Galatea’s Mould. . .” She repeated dreamily. “It sounds beautiful. If my memory serves me correctly, Galatea was the name of the statue Pygmalion created. In Greek mythology, right?”
“You’re a smart girl.” Trowa smiled. “Yes, Galatea was the name the artist Pygmalion gave to his most prized sculpture. He had given up on all of womankind- thought them silly and spiteful- so, he created the perfect woman out of clay and fell in love with her. Out of pity, Aphrodite turned the clay to flesh, thus Galatea became Pygmalion’s lover.”
“The myth is integral to the story, I take it?” Hilde pronounced, pulling up a chair.
“Here we go. . .” Duo groaned. “Man, I was hoping for a refill. . .”
“Naturally.” Trowa began. “The main character is the charming, idealistic bureaucrat Quatre Winner. His mind is full of Utopia, and he believes that, if he can take over the world, he will be able to restore the pastoral ideal and rid the world of violence and malfunction. Fight evil with evil, you understand. He tests out his theories on the fallen society woman, Dorothy Catalonia, and begins to rebuild her psyche using his ideals. However, he sacrifices his power, status and understanding all to make Dorothy-who is simply the model- fit his ideals.”
“She is the mould.” Hilde murmured, her navy eyes wide with understanding.
“Exactly. In Quatre’s mind, she symbolizes the potential of the world.”
“God. I bet the writing’s amazing.”
“Flawless.” Heero added with a snort “. . .now.”
“He sounds wonderful- your main character. I look forward to exploring his neurosis.”
“Though charming, I’m afraid Quatre is very complex psychologically.” Doctor Chang put in.
“Good!” Her sunny face outshone the cheap fluorescent bulbs of the overhead lights. “Well, your bill will be out anytime, gentlemen. Thank you for everything, Mr. Barton.” She shook his hand. “I may just be the first one to buy your new novel-I’ll go reserve my copy. I’ll see you in class, Dr. Chang.”
“Take care, Miss Schbeiker.” WuFei announced. She fluttered away.
“Why couldn’t I tell that she was one of yours, Chang?” The editor sighed.
“She’s one of my Graduate students. She’s a bit obsessive compulsive.”
“I think she’s rather pleasant. . .” Trowa remarked, but was interrupted by a wailing Duo.
“Damn. I forgot to ask for a refill!” Duo huffed. “Trow, mind asking her for me? Celebrities always get what they want!”
“Jealous much?” Heero smirked.
“Duo, calm down.” Dr. Chang smiled, hands grasping the younger man’s pert chin. “You’ll have plenty of time to make your mark as an artist. Right now. . .I’m hoping that other things have priority.” The elegant Chinese academic kissed the girlish photographer. They had picked this particular restaurant for a reason. Duo moaned, pushed himself against his lover, and then begged for more.
“I. . .want to. . .capture you with Rosie tonight- black and white, and in the buff.”
“I can’t believe your brother names his cameras. . .” The editor rolled his eyes.
“He names his photographs too. . .His negatives, even. . .” The writer smirked, but was secretly very jealous.
“So. . .Trow. . .since it’s your day, why don’t you tell us who your mystery guy is?” Duo gasped, pulling out of WuFei’s powerful grip. Trowa gaped. “Forget the fishface, buster, you let it slip. Now, who’s the guy?”
“Trowa’s gay again? When did this happen?” Heero asked.
“I’m not. I’m not anything.” Trowa sighed. “Let’s just drop this. Why does my sexuality always have to come up? I’m not having sex, nor do I have any prospects. So let it rest. . .”
“No, Trow- when I was talking to you last night, you turned down my blind date offer because you wouldn’t want to upset ‘him’. I know you took it back- told me to forget it- but I can’t forget it because you did say it. Now, either you tell us who ‘he’ is, or I tell my painter friend Nichol that you would be delighted to grace his show with your sexy, moody presence.”
“Duo. . .” Trowa groaned. “It was nothing- a Freudian slip. I have no prospects and I’m going to be miserable for the rest of my life.”
“I don’t believe that.” Duo would not concede. “You clearly mentioned a "him"- you’re probably just too embarrassed. Is it someone we know? Do you know him? Love at first sight? Old flame? Does he know you exist?”
“He doesn’t even know he exists.”
Heero was the only one to catch Trowa’s sombre whisper. Duo, oblivious to the statement, waited for a reply, then rolled his eyes.
“Fine. But it would be nice if you’d share something once in awhile. I mean, we did share a fucking womb and all, and I’m sure I gave you the bigger half. . .”
“Duo. . .”
“I just want you to be happy.”
“I have to go.” WuFei stood. “My lecture starts in twelve minutes. Trowa, would you mind giving Duo a ride. . .”
“Naw, let’s go. I’m done. Congrats, bro. You’re a genius,blah blah blah.” Duo wiped his mouth with a paper napkin. “Call me later- We’ll talk. . .”
“You’ll talk, and I’ll put the phone down and do my dishes.”
“Asshole.” Duo grinned.
“You would be too if you had what I do!” Duo winked. Dr. Chang smiled warmly before he escorted his rambunctious lover from the restaurant.
“Don’t worry, I’ll foot the bill. . .” Heero called out, then grumbled “Cheap bastards.”
“I’ll get it. . .”
“No. In the hierarchy of our profession, it’s my role to pay for my writer’s lunch. That’s how it works.”
“You stubborn ass. . .”
“Yeah, well, deal.” Heero pulled a wad of bills from his monogrammed wallet. “Just because my job lacks glamour doesn’t mean I’m poor.” He tucked the cash beneath the ketchup bottle.
“I apologize if I implied it.” Trowa yielded.
“Don’t worry about it.” The editor frowned and crossed his hands over his abdomen, over his paisley tie. Trowa suddenly found the tablecloth fascinating. “What do you actually have planned for today, my friend?”
Heero’s voice was gruff, but kind. “You’re a twenty-five year old man with two published novels. You’re a good-looking fellow with tons of friends, not to mention tons of money. Trowa, please don’t tell me you’re going back home to pout.”
“I’m hardly one for pouting, Heero.” Trowa countered.
“Why don’t you come over tonight?” The attractive Japanese professional leaned forward. “Milliardo just won a high-profile case- he’s ready to celebrate and anxious for. . .something exotic.”
“I’d rather not be a third wheel and I don’t appreciate your pity.”
“I just thought. . .”
“Stop worrying about me. I’ll celebrate.”
“A party with your multiple personalities doesn’t count, Trowa.” The editor- the writer’s university roommate- was
exasperated. “I know that you people are antisocial- I deal with writers all day long and, frankly, I’m getting sick of your daydreaming.”
“You have no right to abuse me. . .”
“Fucking hell- of course I do! Screw the shrink, I deal with your neurosis every day! Every issue you have to sort out is there, permanently etched in industry ink. Yes, Trowa, I’m an idiot- how HAVE you managed to tolerate me for these past six years. Jesus Christ.”
“I’m leaving.” The writer stood. “Thank you for lunch.” He turned to leave.
“He’s not real.”
The statement stopped Trowa in his tracks.
“I. . .don’t know who you’re talking about.” He blushed.
“Yes you do- don’t make me say his name. He lives in your head. He lives in your head with you, because that’s where you always end up.”
The writer sat, his broad shoulders trembling.
“Y. . .you don’t have to say it like it’s a bad thing.” The writer’s voice was so small.
“Why don’t you come over tonight? I’ll make linguine and we’ll light the fireplace in the dining room. We finished installing the hardwood on the main floor- I think you’ll like the modern look. Milliardo brought back pounds of Swiss chocolate from his last conference- he’s anxious to watch someone eat it.”
“Heero. . .”
“I bought a leather couch; it’s wine coloured, with brass bolts. It reminds me of those pants you used to wear to the clubs in college. The one’s I got to rip off you when. . .”
“I know which pants.” Trowa shivered. “Would you stop it? What’s Milliardo going to think when he gets back from that tabloid fiasco to find his fiancée pawing at his ex-lover? I don’t think he’ll be especially impressed. . .”
“Trowa, god sakes.” Heero growled. “I don’t care what you do, but he wants you to come over. He does. The voyeuristic prick wants to watch you fuck the hell out of me, then plans to contort you in the sickest positions possible- positions only your cirque-de-soleil ass can manage. I’m. . .boring him. You could do this for me as a favour. You were certainly loose enough in college, and it’s hard for me to keep Milliardo’s attention when he had two years of screwing you into our dorm floor.” The editor pushed a cigarette between his sneering lips. “The only reason I consented is that everytime I read about Quatre, I fantasize about him, then I fantasize about you. And you are real, so it’s easier to get you into my bed. You haven’t been laid in two years. That has to be hard on you. You’ll get dinner out of the deal, and you know how giving Milliardo and I are as lovers. . .”
“I can’t, Heero.” The writer whispered. “I’m sorry- I don’t mean to be melodramatic. But I just can’t. It sounds hot, really, I’m erect right now. But I can’t.”
“He’s not real.”
“Because I’m sick and I can’t help it. I’d rather jerk off to his constructed image than be seduced by a thousand real lovers. You know I love you and Milliardo deeply, but I can’t betray him.”
“Quatre is a figment of your imagination. You fucking control freak- you’re just scared of real life.”
“Maybe. Thanks for that, Dr. Chang.”
“I know. Thanks for that too.”
“So you’ll just return home to your imaginary hero? That’s it? Have a virtual sandwich? Watch a non-existent movie? Then, I suppose, you’ll ride his invisible ass until he screams your name, which-eerily- sounds like the microwave buzzer, telling you your TV dinner is ready.”
“That sounds accurate, though your syntax was off. . .”
“You’re a madman.”
“Thanks for lunch.”
Nodding to Heero, then Hilde, the writer left with his lover. .. er, manuscript.
The writer was generally considered a quiet man. He spoke with zeal when he thought the moment merited passion, but preferred to listen and observe. He was candid with his friends, though that was just an element of his pseudo-extrovertism. Trowa favoured the quiet comforts of the creative mind.
“Fuck! Oh God, yes! Yes!”
However, no one could ever say he was sexually inhibited.
“Like that, Oh! God, don’t stop! No! No! YES!”
Well, they could, but they would be wrong.
“Oh Quatre, more! Please! Harder! Harder!”
He was an eloquent man, influenced by European existentialist prose and British post-modernism. Educated at one of the premier schools in the world, he used the same language repertory as Shakespeare, Chomsky and Skinner.
“Fuck, oh yes! Like that! Bang me into the fucking wall! Ugh!
Evidently, his beautiful language did not translate so well to the bedroom.
He had the body of a ballet dancer, but his gyrating hips were more reminiscent of a cheap stripper. The writer screamed his lover’s name once more. His body spasmed violently when he orgasmed,his ejaculation coated his fingers and splattered against the closest wall. Gulping, the tidy writer wiped his semen from the faux finish and from his hands.
When he returned from the en-suite bathroom, he noticed the emptiness of his bed.
“I’m absolutely mad.” He spoke to himself with a queer smile. “It’s a good thing I sent Dadonna home early today.”
His housekeeper wouldn’t have appreciated the bawdy language.
He threw a robe over his perspiring body- there were many windows in his open-concept home and too many lurking paparazzi. The house was cavernous, far too big for one home bodied writer. But Trowa hadn’t bought it for himself; no, he’d purchased it for his fallen lover who had sacrificed a manor exactly like it. His interior designer Relena Peacecraft had been the same woman he’d contacted as a source for his novel. She designed his home from the sketches she’d offered for Galatea’s Mould.
To prove Heero wrong, Trowa decided to leave the television off. Instead, he curled up on his divan to coddle his beloved.
Three years of his life. The actual writing of it had been going on for three years. However, the hero had been part of his life forever.
He flipped through the mutilated book, reading random passages aloud.
“‘I’m not quite sure what I mean, Miss Catalonia. But I would very much like for you to move in with me. I don’t expect anything- I’m a bit of a prude, you understand- but I think it would be mutually beneficial in the long run.’
‘Why would I move in with a man I’ve known for twelve hours? I already know I hate you- you have the most annoying smile! It’s self-deprecating and patronizing at the same time. I absolutely abhor the way you look at me- frankly, I think you’re a bit of a monster.”
‘A monster? Really, that’s mean. I can’t believe you subscribe to that ghastly view. The media clearly doesn’t understand my ideology.’
‘What’s to understand? You’re a dictator!.’
‘Not quite- I’m an emperor. There’s a difference.’
‘Other than the actual meaning of the word? Hmm- love, I suppose (though historians may argue for Hitler’s tainted love of Germany). Overall, I think my motives put me in a different category. I’m controlling the world not for the purpose of self-elevation-I’m content with my position in the divine hierarchy- but for the purpose of overall evolution. Our technologically advanced state is out of balance with our human needs. My methodology will bring back the order we need to sustain our advancement. I love our world, Miss Catalonia. I would never hurt it. It’s been kind to me.”
“The world needs you, Quatre.” The writer whispered. Shaking his head, he flopped onto his back. “Fuck, I need you. I hate myself. I need you to rebuild my psyche. I’m tattered, I’m sick- I’m perfect for you. And you’re so bloody perfect for me.” he groaned. “I need a fucking shrink. At least that Greek bastard had something solid. My creation is nothing more than thought. Pygmalion could molest his statue all he wanted, but my pages will fall apart if I paw at them anymore. Heero’s right- I have nothing. I’m a waste.”
The writer tossed his novel to the floor. He felt empty when he removed his hand. He realized the emptiness was reality.
“I should call Heero.” He often spoke to hear his own voice. The writer was a bit vain. “I won’t apologize, but I wouldn’t mind some dinner. Stupid me, sending Dadonna home without preparing me my meal! I’ll just go over there. I’ll take my bike. Milliardo loved my bike, that horny bastard. I’ll wear those pants, too. Heero will like that I match his yuppie couch. Swiss chocolate sounds good about now. I should go commando, that’ll give me something to laugh about when they’re fighting over who gets to be under me, and who gets to be over me. Fuck, I better stretch before I go over there. Haven’t done anything like this in years. . . Haven’t been touched in years.” He strolled into his home gym. Grabbing a pair of high cut shorts, he dumped his robe and slid them up his feminine legs. He paused a moment to look at himself.
“I have better legs than Dorothy.” He scratched at his abdomen. “Could work on my stomach, though. Quatre’s so particular. . .”
The writer began his yoga regime.
“‘cirque de soleil ass’. . .” Trowa snorted, slowly pulling his feet over his head. “Condescending bastard.” He flexed and un-flexed his feet. The gymnast-turned-writer popped himself up onto his palms then spread his legs into a perfect split. He held it for a minute and, as was customary, began to fantasize.
“Wow! What a perfect position! How long do you think you can hold it for?”
“Shall we see?”
“Mmm.. .uh, yes? Oh Trowa, don’t worry. I’m not the torturing type. . .”
“I know what type you are, Quatre! I made you! Now don’t. . .Dammit!. Quatre, I’m going to fall if you keep doing that.”
“I’m just touching your feet- you have the most elegant toes! They’re pretty like women’s feet. . .only bigger. Say, are you able to orally pleasure yourself?”
“Just wondering. . . It would be pretty exotic.”
“I’ve never tried it.”
“Oh I would if I could bend like you! I’d practice really hard!”
“Why don’t you start now and leave me alone?”
“Why? Don’t you want me?”
“You’re not real.” Trowa flipped himself into a sitting position. His shoulders were shaking, and not from the physical exertion. “Yes, I want you Quatre. I want you more than anything. I. . .I’m so lost. I just want to be with you.”
“Then hold me.”
“There’s nothing to hold onto except my head.” The writer sneered. He stretched a bit more. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get fucked out of my mind. It’s the only way I can forget you. I did it for four years in university, and it’ll be easy to pick up my old habits. I’ve been chaste for you for two years. You’ll always be chaste for me-that’s why you and Dorothy never touched. I couldn’t bear to write it. I wanted to write some erotica for you and I did. I have thirty pages of you sodomizing me on my computer. I really am sick. I’m going to Heero’s. Don’t wait up.”
He went to his room, which was stylized like Quatre’s white and chrome bedroom. His burgundy leather pants came out of hibernation- the infamous article was truly worthy of personification. The skimpy shorts went in the hamper and the pants took their place.
“I love those pants, Trowa. You are so beautiful.”
“Don’t, Quatre. Stop.”
It was May, so he threw on a knit wife-beater. His leather coat would be too warm over anything else.
“You can’t possibly go out of doors like that! Too many people are going to fall in love with you!”
“Good. I’ll welcome the distraction.”
He could visualize Quatre’s pout.
“Does he look like me? Does he act like me?”
“No but. . .the two of them together look like you.” He whispered. “Milliardo’s colour, Heero’s sensuous mouth and wiry figure. . .It’s the closest I can get right now.” He slipped into the matching coat to his pants.
“Don’t say anything else! Just leave me alone!” He whimpered. The writer grabbed his helmet with a snarl. He took one last look at himself in his floor-length mirror.
“Why are you doing this? You don’t need to look for love anymore. You created me, Trowa. If everyone was as powerful as you, there would be no more war. Everyone would be in love, and that’s the way it should be.”
“Why? Because suffering has been programmed into our DNA? It made us sensitive to danger, reminded us of our mortality. But the conditioning to succeed is propelled by our desire to be as gods- to be creators in some way, shape or form. Dorothy had a baby so she could emulate god. You created me, so you have done the same. Doesn’t it thrill you? You’ll never love anyone like you love me- I’m your child and your lover combined. You’ll never need anyone else. You are my father and husband. What more can I ask?”
Trowa was a statue before his mirror.
Suddenly, he fell to the ground like dropped marionette.
“I wish I was a sculptor. I want to create you from the ground up.”
“Then do it. Go to the computer and construct my image.”
Trowa followed his lover’s orders. He double clicked his Word icon which pulled up a blank screen.
“My novel’s done, I. . .don’t know what to write.”
“Describe me! My feet are. . .”
“What are they like?” The tone was coy.
“Your feet. . .they’re. . .small, with a high instep and long, flat toes. White like a trout’s belly.”
“Write it down.” The writer did so. “How attractive.”
“Don’t be bitter.”
“Go on. What about my legs?”
“Your legs. . .” Trowa stared at his screen. “Your calves are short, each with a high, bulging soleus. Fine blonde fuzz covers your ivory skin, save on your knees, which are a little bowed and wrinkled.”
“I don’t sound beautiful at all!”
“Your thighs are almost hairless, and powerful in a girlish way. When you walk, you take too-long strides, so the muscles are clearly defined.”
“Keep going. You’re getting to the good stuff. Describe my penis.”
“Are you stiff?”
“What a silly question? Of course I am. My love, you’re wearing your slut pants!”
“Then it’s long, slick like polished bone and curved in a delicate upwards arch. Baby-soft curls of burnished gold seem to fasten it to your lean belly. The full sac underneath is lightly veined.. .”
“I love the way you create me.”
“Your buttocks are small, round, each with a handsome dimple gracing the flank.”
“I have a dimpled butt?”
“Just one on each side.”
“Is that cute?”
“Mmm. Keep going. I have a nice stomach, right? I own all that exercise equipment.”
“Perfectly flat. You have highly defined obliques and swelling abdominals.”
“Swelling? How about surging?”
“I’m the writer. Swelling. And you have an ‘outie’”
“An outie? Darling, that’s not very hygienic!”
“Your chest is narrow, your pectorals small, though firm, with light peachy-brown nipples.”
“Do I have hair on my chest.”
“Then I’m not a real man.”
“. . .You’re pretty androgynous, Quatre. I at least said that in the novel.”
“I know. I’m just in denial. My shoulders, my neck, my throat. Say something sensuous!”
“I’m not a sensuous writer.”
“Then just say it aloud!”
“Your shoulders. . .” He spoke quietly. “Are like gently eroded hillocks that gather in the middle to sprout the lean trunk of your birch neck.”
The imaginary hero giggled.
“Perhaps you should ask Harlequin Romance for a job!”
“I’m not proud of that. . .”
“Do I have a beautiful face Trowa?” The voice was suddenly soft. “Beautiful like yours? You described it so very little in the book.”
“Quatre, I haven’t the skill to describe your face.” The writer whispered. “Your beauty cannot exist in this world, which is why I know that you are not real. I can try to describe you through simile, but there are no images that would suffice. I could use the language of Shakespeare or Wilde or some other lover of beautiful men, but my words would still be inferior to your visage. Unlike the people of this world, your inner radiance is truly integrated with your outer. My whole novel is a description of your beauty, and it still falls short. Your hair is the noon sun, your eyes are the mid-day sky and your mouth is an apple blossom affected by the late frost. You have the facial structure of a wise child- high round cheekbones and a ski-jump nose. You’re pouting now because you can’t see it, but you are my greatest creation. I’m sorry, Quatre,” He faltered, “I’ve lost my power. I’m sorry I cannot fully realize you.”
“You did wonderfully my love. Print out the page.”
The writer printed out his awkward paragraph.
“There I am- solid. Caress me, kiss me.”
“Quatre. . .”
“Please kiss me, Trowa. Not a sloppy kiss, but not some silly peck either!”
Trowa indulged the relentless voice in his head by pressing his full lips to the warm sheet of computer paper, right over the words “apple blossom” . He swore he could almost taste the apples.
“Are you tired, Trowa?”
The writer thought about it.
“Y. .. yes, I think I am.”
“Then take me to bed. Let’s go to sleep.”
The O.D.D. writer didn’t bother to argue. He tucked his lover between the sheets, beside his own exhausted body.
They fell asleep.
The writer liked his bedroom cold. When he was cold, he slept like the dead. So, when the temperature of his room suddenly rose, he woke with a start.
It was six forty five, or so his digital alarm clock said, which meant he’d slept for almost thirteen hours. Strangely enough, he didn’t feel rested. He felt sick. He felt anxious, even a bit feverish.
‘What the heck is wrong with me? Why’s it so bloody warm in here?’
He rose from his bed and was startled by his nakedness. Frowning, he glanced about the room.
‘I could’ve sworn I fell asleep in those pants- how, I’m not sure. Where are they?’ He turned on the lights, but he found nothing.
‘Queer. Very. . .speaking of. . .’
The writer dashed back to his bed.
He slipped his hand between the sheets, but found nothing. Cursing himself, he tore his linens apart searching for his crumpled love.
Nothing. No trace.
“Fuck.” The writer wiped the sweat from his brow. ‘Get a grip- it’s a piece of paper. The writing was a garbled mess. I’m totally losing it.’ Trowa crawled back into his bed, but found it stifling. Growling, he grabbed his robe and made for the downstairs thermostat.
‘God damn thing better not be broken- I hate it when those repair men wander around my house! I just don’t see why. . .wait, do I smell waffles?’ He sniffed at the air as he tramped down the spiral staircase. The smell grew stronger with his descent. Trowa had to smile, despite his bad humor. ‘I can’t believe this. What the hell is Duo doing up before noon? Oh god, I haven’t had waffles in ages. Not since he made them for me in college. Mmm. . . .what a little idiot.I bet he tried to call last night and got paranoid when I didn’t pick up. They all think I’m suicidal. . .’
He strolled into the kitchen.
“Duo? You bugger, what’re you. ..?” His greeting died when he saw he was alone in the room. “What the hell?” There was, however, a great deal of waffles piled high on his antique chinaware. He took a bite and nearly passed out. “Holy shit!” He moaned before greedily consuming four plain waffles.
‘There’s no way Duo made those. Did Zechs and Heero bring these over as a present? Maybe they had Lucy make them. Catered waffles . . .never would’ve thought.’ At that point, he noticed the opened bottle of champagne. “Champagne in the morning? Dear Heero, how very patrician of you. . .” He poured himself a glass then,for some reason, poured a second. The writer sipped a bit, then took both glasses with him to the living room.
Built like a wide log house, the ceiling and walls were mostly glass and white moulding. The entertainment area stretched much of the left side, but the right side was open and led to the boardwalk which led to the ocean. The sky was still indigo, but the fading light of the moon and the hints of sunrise cast a little light into the room. The writer paused, drinks in hand.
“H. . .Heero? Is that you?”
An intruder stood in the middle of the room, staring out into the sea. He did not respond, only continued to stare.
“H. . .Heero?”
A glass shattered on the hardwood floor.
“W. .. Who are you? What the fuck are you doing in my house?”
“Tut tut- language!” The intruder laughed. “Save your sailor talk for later- I’d like to see the sun rise for the first time.”
“Save the. . ?” Trowa was livid. “Get the hell out before I call the police!”
“Don’t raise your voice at me!” The intruder sniffed. “I just cooked you breakfast. Letting me stay a moment is the least you can do.”
“C. . .Cooked me breakfast? That was. . .” Trowa’s gag reflex suddenly began to act up. The intruder snorted.
“Well isn’t that rude? I didn’t poison you! I thought they were quite scrumptious myself. . .”
“Get. . .out.”
“No. Why don’t you come over here to watch the sun rise?”
“Excuse me?!?!?” The writer began to freak out. “Who the hell do you think you are? This is breaking and entering- you’re a criminal!”
“Oh pish posh.”
“Pish p. . .? No, you really are! And how am I supposed to know if you have a gun or not?”
“Do you have a gun?”
“I’m an artist! Of course I don’t have a gun.”
“Well then, I don’t have one either! Come over here? The sun’s about to come up.”
“No. I’m going to call the police.”
“Trowa, please, just wait?”
That stopped the writer in his tracks.
“T. . Trowa? You know my name.”
“Of course I do! Come here?” There was a pout in his lyrical voice.
“I know! Y. . .you’re a celebrity stalker!” The writer wagged his index finger.
“Hah hah! You’re so vain.” The intruder clucked his tongue. He chuckled for a bit, then leaned his hands against the window pane. The orange highlights were just starting to explode. “Here it comes.”
Trowa fumbled in the dark for his portable phone. His hand shook as he dialed 9-1-1. The intruder took no notice. “H. .. Hello? Yes, I need to be patched through to the police department. . .”
“Oh Trowa. . .” The voice lamented. “Just watch the sun rise. . .”
“No, the police department. I can’t speak any louder.” He hissed into the phone. It was funny, because the room had wonderful acoustics which transformed any sound into a sonorous boom. “Yes,I live at 427 Sanc Road. . .yes. . .”
“Oh. . .Oh. . .My God, How beautiful! The colour! The life! Wondrous!”
“Yes, S. . .sanc. . .” The writer faltered- the intruder’s rich tenor voice had ensnared his attention. Turning his eyes upon the intruder, Trowa gasped.
“Oh Trowa! Come share this with me!”
The hair, the eyes the voice.
Oh, the madness of it all!
“Quatre. . .” The artist wailed. He grabbed and shook his head violently. “No. .no. . .this isn’t happening to me. . .”
And then. . .he fainted.
He dreamed of pirouetting Quatres dressed in periwinkle ballet frocks. Twirling. . .Twirling. . . It was actually quite a lovely dream.
However, he was rudely awakened.
“Fuckin’ hell. . .” The writer groaned.
“Oh Trowa!” A tiny voice whimpered beside him. His sight was a little blurry, so he wasn’t quite sure who was cowering beside him. What had happened again?
“Freeze! Police! We have the house completely surrounded! All residents come out with your hands on your heads. . .”
With a hand pressed to his aching head, the writer turned to address his companion. However, he found himself rather tongue-tied.
“Oh you!” The blond-haired vision slapped the writer’s arm. Rolling his eyes, the apparition placed his hands upon his head and approached the squad.
“You! Are you Mr. Barton?” One of the officers shone a flashlight into Quatre’s eyes. After shaking off his dementia,
Trowa opened his mouth to respond- if he didn’t no one else would! But his masterpiece was quicker.
“Me? Of course not! That’s Mr. Barton!” Quatre pointed. The flashlight instantly blinded Trowa. There was a cough.
“Mr. Barton, did you call 911? Do you need assistance?”
‘9-1. . .oh, yeah. Shit.’ Trowa groaned, suddenly aware of his situation. Again, Quatre answered.
“I’m sorry, officer. He did call you. And it’s entirely my fault.” Quatre explained. “I decided to play a practical joke on him, and, apparently, he didn’t think it was very funny because he dialed you up without giving me a chance to explain. Sometimes I forget how paranoid he is.”
“Sir, may I ask your name?”
“Certainly. My name is Quatre Raberba Winner.”
“And what business do you have at this estate?” The officer obviously didn’t believe Quatre’s sincere explanation for he was readying the handcuffs. Quatre gaped.
“Sir! I live here!”
“Yeah, right. C’mon blondie. . .”
“Trowa!” Quatre turned to his creator. “Trowa! Tell them! Tell them that I live here!”
The writer was in shock. They. . .they heard him! They heard Quatre’s voice!
Tears started to pour down Quatre’s flushed cheeks.
“Please! I just scared him! I really do live here! My bedroom is just up the spiral stairs and to the right! I have six pillows on my bed! Always six! Get your hands off me!” An officer shackled Quatre’s wrists. The boy struggled slightly. “Trowa! Trowa help! Trowa, tell them that this is our house, the house you built for me! Tell them how I cooked you breakfast and turned up the thermostat to wake you because you sleep like the dead! Tell them how you fancy making love in the afternoon and how you prefer cheap champagne to the expensive ones that I like, because you don’t like bitter things. Remember, you don’t like bitter things, Trowa! Well, I’m going to be bitter if you don’t snap out of it and tell these gentlemen that I’m your lover!”
And then. . .something clicked.
“Holy fuck, Quatre.” Trowa whispered in awe. He decided to address the throng. “D. . .do you see him?” He pointed to the prisoner, which earned one of Quatre’s adorable eye-rolls.
“Mr. Barton?” One of the officers spoke with a patronizing accent. “Are you well, sir?”
“Do You See Him?” He asked again, pointing madly. The policemen exchanged curious looks.
“Who? Him?” Quatre received a sharp poke in the ribs.
“Ouch! Well, that was just rude!”
The sun, whose light had now filled the room, presented Trowa with the answers he sought.
Quatre. His beautiful, demanding, manipulative, selfless creation. Earlier, Trowa had wondered where he’d left his pants. Well, they were now loosely hanging off Quatre’s slim hips, the bottoms rolled into enormous cuffs that still dragged along the hardwood. Peeking out of the right pocket rested the crumpled piece of descriptive prose. It was the poorly written creation that was Quatre’s mould.
The writer sprung to his feet. “What do you think you’re doing? Let him go!”
“But Mr. Barton, you called us. . .”
“I’m sorry- It was a mistake. I’ll c…confess that I’m feeling pretty hung over this morning- you understand how that is. .. or not. . .well, I’m sorry. . .” The police officer unlocked Quatre’s bindings. The poor young man rubbed his slender wrists. Trowa continued his drunken babble. “I. . .I’m a novelist, you see- I write stories that sometimes set me on edge. Well, my latest is making me very edgy. . .”
“Mr. Barton, the 911 service is for emergencies only.” The officer scolded. “We’re not here to play a part in some silly romance game. Calling the police without a sufficient reason is a chargeable offence. . .”
“I realize that, sir. I’m sorry. Please, let me escort you gentlemen out. . .No. . don’t worry. I can get the door. . .um. . .very dramatic. . .yes, thank you for your concern. Alright. . .Take care. . .good bye.”
Trowa replaced the door as best he could. Then, with his heart pounding mercilessly, he turned around to behold his creation. “Quatre. . .is it really you?”
“Only if you actually want me.” The boy approached. His voice was sad. “You’ve tried to dismiss me so many times, I’m starting to have doubts. . .” He came to stand before his creator. “Y. . .you still want me, right Trowa? You still love me, don’t you?” Petite hands with short, manicured nails caressed the writer’s satin-covered chest. “You. . .you don’t know what it took to get me here. . .”
“Quatre, it’s. . .” The writer slid a tentative finger down the boy’s cheek. “How can this happen?”
“A miracle!” The boy gasped, flinging his arms around his lover’s neck. “Nothing less than a miracle!”
“There’s no such thing!” Trowa responded with a feverish embrace. “I don’t believe this is happening!”
“Believe, oh Trowa, believe!” Quatre moaned breathlessly. “Believe or I’ll go away! You have to love me or she’ll take me away!”
“Who? Who would dare take you away from me?” Trowa was enraged. But Quatre wept.
“Love. Love will take me away. So hold me, please! Don’t ever let me go. . .”
“I can’t believe it.” The academic announced. “This is magic! This is fantasy! There is no such thing! None!”
“Don’t sound so sure, my love- you only created my world, not your own.” Quatre took a hold of Trowa’s chin. “And your world is a magical place with pictures and colour and smells and tastes. I have yet to taste anything, my love.” Quatre hummed “Let me taste you! Please. . .”
And so the writer kissed his prose statue and sealed their fate. Lips once made only of butchered trees and toxic ink were now lush with sensation. Quatre’s hands were busy with groping. All the new textures excited the boy who had been born only a few hours before. The love they shared was a perpetual inferno.
They stumbled over to the divan. Quatre took control of the moment by climbing upon his dizzy lover. Their mouths mashed, tongues clashed, while their hips ground together.
“This. . .this is what I’ve wanted!” Trowa cried out. Since this was basically a bedroom activity, the writer’s moans were wonderfully loud. The loveliness of his shouts made Quatre squeal.
“Quatre!” The writer wriggled sensuously underneath his hero. The new sensations overwhelmed his overactive brain. The touch of Quatre, the smell of Quatre, the taste of Quatre- it was all so wonderful!
Grinning wickedly, the lovely blonde opened the writer’s robe, hoping to feast on delectable, tanned flesh. Trowa tried to remain aloof, but his excitement was evident in more ways than one. He blushed faintly.
“Do you believe yet?” Quatre asked. “I know you want to believe, but do you actually believe?”
“I believe. . .I’m in shock.”
“Well. . .think about it while I help myself to your oh-so- sexy body, my love. While you were sleeping this morning, I memorized all thirty pages of our fictional tryst. I’m planning on making those come true as well. . .”
The writer could do nothing but groan in response to the hands that trickled up and down his torso. Fresh lips dragged across his throat, leaving a wet residue that was soon teased by a sensuous puff of air. The petite hands raked through the writer’s silky locks.
“What’s the catch?” Trowa gasped. “You disappear at midnight? Turn back into the piece of paper? Transform into hideous monster mid-coitus ?”
“Trowa! You’re spoiling the mood!” Quatre whapped his lover’s bum. “No. No. No! Trust the miracle! And. .. get rid of your housecoat!” Quatre jumped to his feet to shimmy out of his leathers. As he did, Trowa got a good look at exactly what he’d described the previous night.
And then. . .the writer fainted. Again.
“D. ..Do you think he’ll be alright?”
“Yeah- he’ll be fine. This happens sometimes. Ever since he fell off the trapeze and cracked his skull open in front of thousands of people. Did you know that he used to tour with Cirque de Soleil?”
“I did not!” The writer groaned. When he opened his eyes, his line of view was obscured by two human-shaped shadows. He blinked. “W. .wha?”
“Oh Trowa! I’m SO sorry!” One of said shadows began to smother his face in kisses. The other snorted.
“. . .no wonder you blew me off last night. . .or didn't.”
“H. . Heero?” The writer rubbed his eyes. Yes, it was indeed his disgruntled editor.
“And. . .” He gently amputated the kissing machine. “Q... Quatre?”
“Mmm. . .Good morning lover. You look rested.” He grinned wickedly. His voice fell to a whisper. “I hope you don’t
mind, but I thought it best to finish without you. You should never waste a good erection, y’know. . .”
“You’re priceless Barton.” The editor murmured. “I can’t believe you’ve been with blondie for three years and you never told me. . .”
“I’ve been with. . .?”
“And I can’t believe you based your character on a real person. I take back the genius remark- you’re just crackers.”
“I’m. . .real. . .geni. . .but, Quatre is here and he’s a real person, right?” Trowa asked. Quatre sighed.
“He’s always like this after we make love- I just blow his mind!” Quatre giggled.
“Not much left to blow, kid. . .” Heero grunted.
“Oh. . .there’s LOTS to blow. . .”
“Quatre! Don’t be crude!” Trowa admonished, blushing at his “lover’s” audacity. He tried to clear his muddled mind by shaking his head. “Heero, what are you doing here? What’s going on?”
“I came to check up on you like I said I would.” The editor explained. “I left a message on your cell phone last night. When I arrived, I found that your door had been kicked in, your hall trashed and discovered an all-too-familiar character cuddled up beside you on the floor. Then Quatre woke up and explained the whole thing. God, you really are Clark Kent.”
“I. . .am?” Trowa raised a questioning eyebrow at Quatre, who merely shrugged.
“We all figured you came home to an empty house every night to wallow in self pity. But. . .I guess that’s not what you’ve been wallowing in. . .”
“All right, no more rude comments!” Quatre announced. He grabbed Heero’s shoulder and escorted him to the door. “Trowa’s had a busy night and he needs his rest. Thanks for checking up on him! We’ll call you from the hotel tomorrow night! Toodles!” Quatre waved. Heero, not at all confused, left the lovebirds to their cuddling. Quatre wiped the sweat from his brow.
“Wow! Glad I’ll never have to do that again! Jeepers- how am I supposed to go about explaining my existence when there is no explanation! Man, I wish you’d stop fainting! I was sure that I’d repulsed you to death! But of course, I know better.”
Quatre gave Trowa a sacred kiss.
“I love you. You are my entire world.” The newly-born young man whispered.
“I love you too.” Trowa gasped.
Since it was established that they loved each other, the lovers curled up together on the white sofa. Their hands were entwined, as were their legs and sometimes their tongues. But only for a few minutes. After a brief glance at his watch, Quatre squealed.
“We have to get packed! We need to get to the airport for four thirty nine!” Quatre began to fuss about. He picked up their discarded clothes and pulled at his hair.
“The airport?” Trowa was still a little drowsy. “Quat. . .where are we going?”
“Where are we. . .?” Quatre dropped the laundry. After an open mouthed stare came a roll of the eyes. “To Niagara Falls! Trowa, come on!” Naked Quatre left the room in a gallop.
Naked and confused Trowa pursued.
“Why are we going to Niagara Falls? Quatre!” The writer hollered. Quatre was now in “their” room, throwing random amounts of clothes in a suitcase. “Do you even have a passport? Do you have any identification? Quat!”
“Here lover, make yourself useful!” Quatre kissed his lover right into his computer chair. “Type me up some identification- it’ll print out real!”
“No, what’s absurd is the fact that you threw out all your tarty underwear.” Quatre huffed. “We’ll just have to buy some more when we get to Canada. You get lotsa bang for your buck in Canada. .Oh, and you’ll have to call your brother so he doesn’t fret. . .”
“Canada? Why the hell are we going to Niagara Falls?” Trowa began to type madly, copying the format of his own passport into the computer. Quatre skipped into the bathroom and came out with two toothbrushes. “And where did you get that other. . .”
“Trowa! Niagara Falls Canada is the most Romantic place in the world. AND. . .we can get married in Canada, so I’ll be sure to ask you!” Quatre zipped the suitcase. Trowa was shocked. “Well. . .that certainly shut you up.”
“. . .Quat. . .” Trowa whispered. The blond hero devoured his lover’s eager mouth. “You’re everything I’ve ever wanted. . .”
They simultaneously pressed the print button.
“I know.” Quatre responded kindly. “I AM the love that you feel for me, Trowa Barton.” One more kiss. “I am your love.”
And so, they went to Niagara Falls. They made love in a heart-shaped tub and exchanged vows at the smallest chapel in the world. They returned to their home and to Trowa’s family and friends-family and friends that accepted Quatre wholeheartedly. The writer wrote many books and created many characters, though none could take the place of his masterpiece.
Galatea’s Mould was an international success.
They were happy. So happy.
They lived long, rich lives and died at exactly the same time on exactly the same day. But their beautiful love was eternal, immortalized in a written medium. Trowa would live forever, his name gracing the spine of novels all over the world. And bound to him would live his masterpiece-his Quatre-eternally set in the mould Trowa created.
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