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When Zach is working, he's intent, determined. It's a sight to behold, really. When he gets inspired, almost nothing can drag him away from his art. He skips entire meals sometimes to paint, and on days like that Shaun and Cody usually surprise him in his studio with dinner on the floor. On a night like this one, when Zach works late into the night and Shaun ventures into Zach's studio on his own, it's usually for another reason altogether. Shaun's an artist too, in his own sense, so he gets it. He knows what it's like to be so passionate about a piece that he has to work on it right that second or else he might lose it forever. He thinks that's part of why he understands Zach so well.

Leaning against the doorjamb, Shaun sees the determined hunch of Zach's shoulders, the certainty with which his wrist travels across the canvas. Zach's body is blocking the piece so Shaun can't tell what exactly it is, but he can tell that Zach's working hard, and as much as Shaun doesn't want to disturb Zach, the emptiness of sleeping alone, it nags at him. Shaun finds that the bed just doesn't feel the same without Zach in it. Zach next to him in bed, curled completely against Shaun, his soft breaths tickling Shaun's neck. Judging by the way Zach clings to Shaun at night, he knows Zach feels the same.

Fleetingly, Shaun remembers when Zach used to be so apprehensive about his art that he didn't want Shaun to even look at his sketchbook. Today, though, Zach willingly allows Shaun to observe him at work, something for which Shaun is both proud and grateful. Using his foot to push away from the doorjamb, Shaun walks up behind Zach, making himself known by a scuffle of his sock-clad feet on the floor. He wraps his arms around Zach's waist and rests his chin on Zach's right shoulder. Titling his head down, Zach rubs his head against Shaun's. It's soft, comforting, and Shaun closes his eyes with the feel of it before opening them again to look at the painting. Closer now than before and with no body obscuring the canvas, he gets a good look at the piece. It's loud and intense, angry. He can see why Zach's had to shut himself up in here all night.

Shaun tilts his head, pressing a kiss to Zach's neck, letting his lips linger for a moment. The skin of Zach's throat is prickly against his cheek as he hums against Zach's neck. He smiles to himself, thinking that tomorrow after they've seen Cody off to school on the bus, maybe Zach will let Shaun shave his face. Shaun can't explain the intimacy he feels when Zach allows Shaun to shave him; he's tried, but he's not quite sure Zach gets it. But Zach always goes along willingly, happy to indulge Shaun in his fetish if it means a free shave and an opportunity to have Shaun ogle him far more than necessary. Plus, it makes Shaun unbelievably hard, and that's something Zach finds himself hard-pressed to turn down.

Zach's hands come to rest atop Shaun's own hands on Zach's stomach, breaking Shaun out of his face-shaving reverie. Coming around to Zach's front, Shaun looks at him. His eyes are a little bloodshot from being up so late and his hair is adorably mushed on one side, but Shaun can still see it, the passion Zach has for what he does. Shaun hopes that's what he looks like when he's writing.

“Coming to bed soon?” His hands rest on Zach's hips, rubbing smoothly over the inch or so of skin that's visible between the end of Zach's shirt and the waist of his jeans.

“Yeah, I just wanted to finish this one,” he says, dipping his head forward to indicate the painting behind Shaun.

Shaun brings his left hand up from Zach's waist to cup his cheek, and Zach leans into it, taking the touch for what it is: warmth, comfort, love.

The corners of Shaun's lips lift up into a knowing smirk. “Mind if I watch?”

He knows how Zach feels about Shaun watching him work, what it does to Zach.

When Shaun watches Zach in his studio, he always sits on the love seat in the corner, silently observing Zach at his craft, eyes surveying every movement, every stroke of Zach's brush against the canvas. Shaun watching Zach work does something to Zach that can't be explained. After Zach is finished, he's always so worked up, both from his creative flow and having Shaun's eyes on him, that he kisses him right there on the sofa, initiating what has come to be known as post-art sex, always so full of fiery heat and passion, consuming them both whole, leaving them both feeling completely exhausted and sated. Zach's never put words to it, but Shaun knows that Zach loves it when he watches him work. Something about having two things he's so intensely passionate about collide, Shaun assumes.

Zach leans further into Shaun's touch, nuzzling into Shaun's palm, the prickly stubble tickling his hand.

“Never.”