Notes: Also inspired by "Cloud of Sparrows"
Duo held the clippers carefully
in his hand. He looked at the tree in front of him, squinting his eyes
as if trying to see past the shape of the tree, to see what it would become
if he snipped just there. He looked up at Heero who was watching
him intently. Watching him, not the tree. He cleared his throat.
"Is this okay?" he asked, smiling as Heero blinked as if coming back to
Heero looked at the tree. "It is your tree. Any change you make will be
the right one," he said, his tone inflected with timeless patience.
Duo sighed. "I just don't wanna mess it up, ya know?"
Heero shook his head. "Impossible. You are the artist. If the shape is
not pleasing, make it better."
Duo hesitated, squinting at the tiny tree again. "I don't know... I don't
think I'm good at this sort of thing."
Heero walked around the table to stand behind him. Duo breathed in deeply.
He loved Heero's warmth, his sandalwood scent, the touch of his hand on
his own as Heero placed his over Duo's.
"The art of bonsai is unrestricted. The object is to shape it with an
appreciation to drama." He pressed his fingers down over Duo's, clipping
the tiny branch carefully. "Make it your own without evidence of your
presence. It is nature in miniature and a reflection of who you are."
Duo shivered. Heero's voice had a way of making goosebumps spread over
Heero withdrew his hand. Duo did as well, setting the clippers on the
table. He cocked his head and studied the tree. "Think it looks okay?"
"It is an expression of who you are." Heero's arms wound themselves around
Duo's waist, his chin resting on his lover's shoulder. "Therefore, it
Duo snorted. He wasn't perfect. But he liked it when Heero told him he
"I guess it's okay then," he said, leaning back into Heero's embrace.
"Is it what you envisioned?" Heero asked, his lips ghosting along Duo's
Duo closed his eyes. "No. And at the same time, yes." He opened his eyes,
turning in Heero's embrace to face him. He leaned up to rub his nose against
"So what's it mean anyway?"
Lips moved across his own in the barest of touches. "What do you mean?"
"Bonsai. What's it mean? I mean, you always hear ninjas screaming it in
those cheesy movies you like. Is it a battle cry or something?"
Heero laughed a little. "Those are samurai, and the word is 'banzai,'
Duo sniffed, feeling a little indignant. "Oh." His eyes fluttered closed
as Heero leaned in to taste along his jaw. "So, what does 'banzai' mean?"
Heero's breath was hot against his skin. "It's an ancient word, meaning
'ten thousand years.' It was ... a way of expressing one's utter and deepest
commitment." Heero's lips stopped speaking for a moment, becoming otherwise
occupied in a way intent on making Duo's toes curl.
Duo clung to him, hands on Heero's shoulders. If he let go, he might fall
off the world. "S-so ... why shout it?"
Lips moved over heated skin, behind an ear, torturous. "The warrior in
battle is expressing his desire to trade eternity for a single moment."
"Oh." Duo pulled away, only slightly. He smiled at Heero and smoothed
fingers through chocolate-brown hair. He leaned in, placing his lips on
his lover's, not pressing, simply mingling their breaths in the warm space
between their mouths. They hung there for a moment... a long, heated moment
before Duo pressed his advantage.
[back to Caroline's fic]