Daisuke chewed on the end of his brush, frowning at his painting. "It’s not right yet," he muttered to himself.
"It probably won’t ever be," Hiwatari-kun said, quietly, behind his shoulder.
Daisuke smiled up at him ruefully, not really surprised. Hiwatari-kun always seemed to know when he was in the art room. "Well, maybe not, but it can be closer than this. At least it should be closer than this." He sighed and mumbled around his brush, "Though maybe not, a Niwa trying to paint and all. I know it’s probably silly to try…"
Hiwatari-kun smiled slightly, fingers brushing the edge of the canvas. "No. You’re a true Niwa."
"But…" Daisuke looked up at him. "No Niwa has ever painted."
Hiwatari-kun snorted. "Niwas have always pursued beauty for the sake of beauty."
Daisuke thought about that, and the distant look in Hiwatari-kun’s eyes. "What do the Hikaris do?" he asked slowly.
Hiwatari-kun glanced down at him for a moment. When he spoke it wasn’t really an answer. "When you create something beautiful, it will always be for its own sake. For that reason, your art will not harm those who look on it."
Hiwatari-kun turned away sharply. "Pride," he bit out. "The Hikaris create for pride. And for hearts and minds and souls." The line of his shoulders was bitter. "Can’t you see that reflected in our curse?"
Krad wanted people’s hearts and minds and souls, all right, Daisuke had to admit, at least Hiwatari-kun’s and Dark’s. "Is that why you don’t make art?" he asked quietly.
Hiwatari-kun bent his head silently.
"I’m sorry. That must hurt. To want to make things," Daisuke explained hastily as Hiwatari-kun’s head came up again, eyes startled, "and not be able to."
"It was a cursed gift from the start," Hiwatari-kun said, softly. "To see like this. To want like this." He turned his head to regard Daisuke’s canvas for a long moment, and the stiffness in his shoulders slowly eased. "You, though… I can watch you. Without," his mouth curved slightly, "an overwhelming urge to just do it myself."
Daisuke blinked. "I’m glad." Even if he didn’t really understand.
Hiwatari-kun, turning to leave, paused and looked over his shoulder. "Your pursuit is pure. That is its own perfection."
Daisuke thought about that, as Hiwatari-kun vanished through the door, brush tapping absently on his palette. If Krad did reflect the Hikaris, then did Dark reflect the Niwas? Beauty for the sake of beauty?
Why do you think I love so many women? Dark yawned in the back of his head.
Daisuke flushed. "Because you’re a jerk," he muttered.
Dark laughed and Daisuke picked up his brush again. He thought while he painted, though.
There was more to Dark than that.
Was there more to Krad, too? What did Krad really want?
What did any of them want?
Daisuke paused and looked at the shape he’d just brushed in on the canvas. There was a space in there that he hadn’t noticed before. An empty space, behind his winged figure. It made the composition seem… lonely.
He put down his brush and picked up his charcoal and started sketching more figures into the empty space.