What the Water Gave Me
There's a clear liquid running down Sam's face. If Tron didn't know better he'd think it was Grid rain, but it's not raining, and they're not on the Grid. In fact, Tron's not even in the room.
He's standing in the doorway to Sam's bedroom in his new 'apartment' in the User world as silently as he can because he feels, how strange it is to use that word to describe himself, that he shouldn't be making any sound, not with what he sees. And because he's usually so quiet anyway, Sam didn't hear him come in, doesn't know that he's seeing him like this.
Sam's hunched over, sitting on the edge of his bed and mostly facing away from the doorway, clutching something dark in his hands. Clothing from the User world that he knows is called a jacket. The one that Flynn used to wear, he thinks.
He's making small, broken sounds, and he can't find the words to fully describe them, only that they make the new heart beating in his chest somehow ache, like his circuitry is overcharged and overstimulated and there's pressure there but he doesn't know how to make it stop. It's his body now, even though he's only been in the User world a few times now, and he's gradually starting to learn how it works and what it's limits are, but sometimes it does things, and he feels things that he still can't quite understand.
And seeing Sam like this, when he's never seen Sam like this, is one of them.
He feels an unwordable pull, wants to walk over to him, wants to make the water on his face stop running down the User's cheeks, but his feet won't move, his body won't listen to his commands, and his directives, his mind feels like it's short circuited. He doesn't know how to fix this new problem with his body, with his programmi- with his mind, he doesn't know how to walk into the room through the static- tension he senses- feels in the air, and he doesn't know how to make the water stop. How to make that expression on Sam's face go away and bring back the metaphorical sun he finds on Sam's face every time he sees him.
It's worse than the rain, which he's never really minded before, it's like crashing into the Sea of Simulation with warring coding colliding inside his circuitry and he can't do anything but internally struggle under the weight of it all, can't move.
He doesn't realize it but his fingers clench into fists, and the small movement finally makes Sam notice, realize that he's not alone in the room, and his head snaps up, eyes widen in surprise, and Tron feels his own react similarly. But even though he's been noticed, maybe even more so because he has been, he still can't move. Somehow, he feels useless.
Sam's fingers tighten impossibly further into the dark leather of his dad's old jacket, face turning a new shade of red with embarrassment, but his eyes are still locked with Tron's, who's standing stock still in the doorway, as still as Sam is now. He thought he was alone, alone to fall apart, fall to pieces by himself with only his dad's jacket to see, and suddenly he realizes how vulnerable he really is, and feels it with Tron's eyes locked with his own.
Tron's face always looks like Alan's, he finds himself thinking distantly, but at the same time doesn't look like him at all. Because Tron is so different, so his own character, and it's surreal to watch, but right now it feels different, because Alan has never looked at him that way even if the man has seen him break down at least once in his younger years. He's never looked at him with such unadulterated confusion in his eyes, yet like he understands. Because Tron knows, because he was there, seen, even if he doesn't fully understand Sam's User actions.
And in the end it's Sam who moves, breaks the silence with the sound of feet thumping heavily onto the floor as he moves quickly, drops the coat to the dark wood floor and practically runs to and knocks into Tron, almost toppling them both over with the force. They're only still standing because Tron's reflexes kicked in, because he's used to force being directed at him, and because he's so quick and adaptable.
Sam's hands find their way up to Tron's shirt where they clench the material tightly, his head's tilted down but it's not buried into Tron's neck, he's not flush against him, it's just his hands, their chests pressed together just so, just enough to feel the others' racing heart beats, just enough to feel how physically human Tron is right now and feel, just lightly, how fast and harsh Sam's breathing is against the material of the shirt, the human skin underneath.
Tron isn't sure what to do and neither is Sam, but eventually, slowly, Tron's hands come up to the User's shoulders, take hold of them lightly at first, then harder with more confidence, grounding Sam in place, making him a little more solid again. Sam won't look at him, and Tron's not sure if he wants him to, not sure if he can stand seeing the look on his face because it makes him ache inside, 'hurt' is what the Users call it, but finds that he doesn't like Sam not looking at him much, much more. So he moves one of his hands up, places fingers under Sam's chin and tilts it up with just enough force for Sam to comply, and finds the familiar blue eyes with his own. It hurts inside, to look at him when his eyes are filled with so much water, but at the same time he feels..relieved, because Sam is looking at him, which he doesn't think he understands yet either.
Sam's body is shaking, and it's only then that Tron realizes that his is a little, too. He shifts his hand up a bit higher on Sam's face and gently wipes away a trail of the water with a few finger tips, watching Sam blink a moment later, causing more to replace the one he just cleared away. He frowns slightly at that, eyebrows coming together a little in determination as he tries again. Sam's staring at him a little differently now, and the water doesn't flow again a third time, and Tron finds that his lips seem to curve up just slightly of their own accord.
Sam's do the same a moment later, and Tron can see the water building up in the User's eyes again, which brings the frown back to his face as he watches intently. Sam's smile gets a little bigger, which confuses Tron because the water is still in his eyes, but his frown lessens, and he feels his lips start to turn up just slightly again. Sam's grip doesn't loosen, and neither of them move for what feels like an eternity on the Grid, or something close to it, but Sam's smile is getting warmer somehow, like the suns' rays on Tron's human skin when it rises in the Users' sky.
And Tron feels warm.
And though it should be impossible, he can tell Sam does, too.