disclaimers: You know the drill. "Runaway Train" belongs to Soul Asylum.

pairing: 1+2+1
rating: PG
warnings: angst, OOC?


/Call you up in the middle of the night
Like a firefly without a light/

The nightmare had been much worse this time, much worse. He sat up in bed, panting heavily, a sweat broken out across his forehead. Pulling his knees to his chin and wrapping his arms around his legs, he shivered. He felt so alone.

/You were there like a slow torch burning/

He felt warm arms slip around him, urging him into a gentle embrace. He turned his head a bit, and found himself staring into deep violet eyes. He stiffened, and shoved the offending arms away. When he looked at those eyes again, he saw understanding, and patience. The door closed behind them, whispering that they were there if he needed them.

/I was a key that could use a little turning/

He had never been one to show his emotions. He'd heard it countless times before, about how dangerous they could be. So he bottled them up, which had posed no real problem to him anyway. Until the first time he'd looked into the seemingly bottomless cobalt eyes, staring at him along the barrel of a gun. He'd been lost in a haze of violet after that; whether he was looking at the eyes or not, they were always in his mind. But it was getting so hard to hide it now, and the frightening thing was, he wasn't sure he wanted to anymore.

/So tired that I couldn't even sleep
So many secrets I couldn't keep/

Falling onto his back, he sighed. He was ashamed, angry at himself for pushing his friend away like that. He'd wanted to stay in those arms so badly, he'd wanted to weep like a child, to purge himself of the pressure that was slowly building inside of him. A tear slid down his cheek.

/Promised myself I wouldn't weep One more promise I couldn't keep/

He needed to see him. To hell with the missions. He wanted a friend...he wanted his soulmate.

/It seems no one can help me now/

He swung his legs out of bed and started down the hall to his friend's room, before he could change his mind.

/I'm in too deep
There's no way out This time I have really led myself astray/

He knocked softly on the door.

/Runaway train never going back/

"Heero?" The voice was puzzled, and worried.

/Wrong way on a one way track/

He pushed his way into the room.

/Seems like I should be getting somewhere/

He felt himself falling onto the bed---

/Somehow I'm neither here no there/

---sobbing, as if his heart would break.

/Can you help me remember how to smile/

Almost immediately, those arms were back around him. He didn't fight it. Something felt so right about it, and he continued to cry into his friend's shoulder. "Duo." Gentle hands stroked his mop of unruly hair, wordless whispers reached his ears. He'd never felt so safe.

/Make it somehow all seem worthwhile/

The words just started falling from his lips, about the war, the pain, the loneliness, his losses...his failures.

/How on earth did I get so jaded
Life's mystery seems so faded/

A gentle heartbeat against his own. More words, hateful ones, about his training, his...engineering.

/I can go where no one else can go
I know what no one else knows/

It had never done him any good. It only made things worse. He was still a human, after all. There was still a heart there, a heart that was hopelessly empty, that was desperately looking for a way out of the confines around his soul. He cursed they that made it so difficult for him.

/Here I am just drownin' in the rain
With a ticket for a runaway train/

Thinking about all he'd been denied, coupled with the strong arms cradling him, made him lose control. The sobbing he'd been doing before was nothing compared to the torrents rushing from his eyes now. He was crying the tears of thousands, the thousands of innocents who'd died by his hand, mixed with bitter ones of his own, for a love he'd longed for but never known. All the while, those strong arms were around him, stronger than iron bars but gentle as a whisper of wind across his cheek.

/Everything is cut and dry Day and night, earth and sky
Somehow I just don't believe it/

The walls were crumbling, his perfect fortress was falling down. He was a mere child in his friend's arms, and there wasn't a thing he could hold back any more.

/Runaway train never going back
Wrong way on a one way track
Seems like I should be getting somewhere
Somehow I'm neither here no there/

He was on a crash course with life, now. Either he learned it, or he was finished.

/Can you help me remember how to smile
Make it somehow all seem worthwhile/

The two boys stayed that way for a long time, one stroking the other's hair and wiping the tears from his face. The sobs subsided, and red-rimmed prussian eyes looked into cobalt ones, hordes of unspoken thoughts and feelings rushing between them.

/Bought a ticket for a runaway train
Like a madman laughin' at the rain/

He was exhausted, but he'd never felt better, really. He'd made a choice, the choice to destroy his exterior, and learn to live again. But it felt good, as he lay on his back, calmed by the gentle touch of the other's hand on his cheek.

/Little out of touch, little insane
Just easier than dealing with the pain/

It was crazy, for him to have come out of his prison this way. He was still scared. But it no longer hurt nearly as bad as it had before. And he knew it could only get better. It would take time, but it would be better eventually. He wasn't alone anymore.

/Runaway train never comin' back
Runaway train tearin' up the track
Runaway train burnin' in my veins
Runaway but it always seems the same/

He slept peacefully after that, wrapped in the arms and hair and scent of one who knew him well, of one who loved him. It had always been that way, he supposed...it had just taken the destruction of a shell for him to realize it.


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