And it was cold.
Beck was sitting on the cold floor of their cell. The program who was about to become the newest member of their team who had been placed in the cell next to them had stopped crying a while ago.
He had fallen asleep. Or maybe couldn’t handle the cold anymore.
If they wouldn’t die tomorrow in the games then Beck was sure he was going to end up a pile of cubes thanks to the cold.
Not that that would matter. Nothing mattered here.
And it was cold
What had he even been thinking? He was no hero. And now that he had thought he could maybe be one he ended up here. It just was just the way of the Grind telling him that he should have kept still.
Now he was going to die just like everyone else on their team.
Beck hugged his legs closer to his body. The young program was freezing thanks to the cold. during the night time the cell’s their couches would expand a bit and the lights would go out in order to make for what was supposed to count as a bed and a good night rest.
But they did nothing about the freezing air. Beck had seen it a few cycles before. He saw it every morning.
Piles of cubes, dead programs. Those who had been to weak to be able to handle the cold. It was also a way to make them weaker and to prevent anyone from rising up against them.
And he was the one freezing. Beck was, being honest, not sure if he could hold it out till the morning. He refused to use the beds… it didn’t feel right. Aside from that the floor was probably even more comfortable and warmer.
He didn’t want to bother Cutler anyway.
Cutler, who was more of a strong leader than he would ever be. No matter what the man had said. he was no Tron. Tron, yes he could have done it… but he wasn’t him. He was just a weak mechanic who couldn’t handle the cold air.
And it was cold.
Cutler was a security program who had fought in the actual ISO war. He was strong, a leader, he was the person that the Grind needed.
Suddenly he heard a shifting behind him and then felt a warm touch on his shoulder. Besides his best intentions not to, he flinched.
The boy turned around to see Cutler greeting him with a warm expression. By Flynn he wanted to meld into the warm hand.
“Beck, it’s oke. It’s me.” He spoke in a low and calm voice.
The younger program just hugged himself tighter.
“Did I wake you up?” Beck asked. It was unlikely that his actions had cost the man to wake up. He hadn’t moved or spoked or even coughed.
“No you didn’t, but you’re going to freeze like that… and I still need you.”
Beck moved his head away from Cutler to hide his soft blush. He couldn’t help himself aside from knowing it was stupid. Beck just had a thing for that low strong voice of him.
“Well they didn’t exactly provide us with blankets,” he mocked back trying to blow off the conversation.
There was noting they could do about it really. He was going to freeze to death and he hadn’t even been able to protect his friends.
“I would be surprised if they had. But I meant what I said,” Cutler took Beck’s jaw and gently turned it face him and leaned into Beck’s space. “ I still need you.”
Beck wasn’t able to handle his blush this time but was sure to blame it on the cold and the point where he was actually freezing alive.
“Well what do you suggest?” he asked.
Cutler leaned back and let go of Beck’s face. Some deep part of the boy protested with Cutler breaking the touch. It had been comforting and warm.
And it was cold.
Normally it was unlike normal programs to be all too touching in public (not that they were really in public) or in general. But he didn’t complain.
Cutler truly was something else. Beck had seen him fight. He was smart and planned things out. He was daring and confident in his actions.
Maybe in another time they could have been something more than friends. Somewhere Beck hoped it.
But it wasn’t another time.
Like Tron had said, there was a war going on. The sad thing was that they had already lost it.
Instead of another time they were stuck here and Beck wasn’t sure if he would make it till the next Cycle just to fight to survive that Cycle.
“You can sleep with me.” Cutler suggested, breaking the uncomfortable silence.
Beck almost jumped a little in surprise. The boy bit his lip.
No Cutler couldn’t have said that… right?
“W…what?” the boy said as he stood up, almost falling over his own feet.
Cutler stood up to face Beck and took a step forward. “I can keep you warm Beck,” the man said in and even lower voice.
Beck saw all Cutlers features so closely now, so clearly. The dim light in the cell lit up just enough for the light to softly brush the man’s face and his eyes were just so dark and his voice…
Cutler looked at Beck who had a soft blush lingering on this cheeks. The boy was adorable like this. The cold was a good excuse to give him some comfort. He knew why he flinched. Beck hadn’t done that the first few cycles they had been locked up here but Cutler knew what happened in war.
He knew what kind of toll this would take on the mind of someone who had been living his entire life just with friends and save, away from all the hurt on the Grind. He had never killed anyone.
He wanted to keep Beck that way. He looked at Beck and saw the program version of everything he had been fighting for.
He was innocent and Cutler wanted to protect Beck, fight next to him…
Some part deep in him was whispering it in his ear. Fight for him, for people like him he corrected himself.
But that didn’t mean he wouldn’t ask Beck out for a drink or night around the town once they’d be free again.
“Beck, I’m not going to let you die,” the man spoke with this time a more demanding voice.
“O-oke,” the boy spoke finally.
Cutler sat back on one of the couch-beds. Beck stared at him for a while until Cutler tapped on the place next to him.
Beck closed his eyes, took a deep breath and stepped forward.
Cutler laid back against the wall making room for Beck. He knew that normally one wouldn’t be this close with another person like this but Beck needed a hug after seeing so many people die. He just hoped he could protect Beck form all the things he hadn’t even seen yet.
And it was cold.
Even him who used to be famous for his resistance against the cold was cold. He could only guess what Beck must be feeling like.
The boy awkwardly laid next to him. He didn’t know what to do. Was this even close to a good idea? Because it felt like the worst idea possible. Beck’s mind was put to rest when he felt a warm arm wrap itself around his waist and Cutler who was pressing against Beck’s body.
It was no lie the man was indeed warm, really… hot.
Beck felt his blush coming back and he was trying to make sense of how quickly he had ended up like this. But it felt save.
Programs might not always be affectioned but this was… nice.
Beck buried himself a little away in Cutler, trying to get more of that obvious warmth.
He felt saver. These past few Cycles just had been the worst in his life. Bothi, his friend since the day they had met had died. He was derezzed and now a tyrant had taken over the city and THE ONE PROGRAM with the power to stop them was unable to. He must be really ill to think that Beck could ever follow him up.
And yet. It just felt like the whole faith of the Grind just had been pushed on his shoulders and he was already failing under it.
No he was no Tron he was far from it.
He failed everyone in his team, aside from Cutler who was alive because… well he had saved himself. He had even saved Beck.
The man was a hero, his hero at least.
It even felt like what a hero would feel like to cuddle if that made sense. He felt like the weight of the Grind was off him for a Nano.
He felt warmer, saver.
Beck hadn’t met many programs like Cutler in his short life time. It was a small city after all. Just an unimportant town at the end of the Grind who were barley reachable through the outlands and had to be contacted through the sea or air.
Not that it had mattered, Beck loved it that way. But that way just like anything else was gone.
The feeling of freedom was gone, the feeling of happiness was gone, the feeling of safety and warmth was gone.
And yet laying here with Cutler, in a cell, where the temperature was freezing, at the games… he felt save.
Like nothing could hurt him. There was a lot that was new right now, most terrible but this was the first thing that was good, felt good, really good.
Beck relaxed a bit and closed his eyes. He took the man’s arm and pulled it further over him. Cutler moved with Beck, hiding the boy under his body.
He was pleased to know Beck would be warming up now.
It was also nicer, a lot nicer than expected to hold the boy. After a long time in war you forget what this could feel like.
This wasn’t the ideal place to be cuddling either. They where locked up and when became light again, forced to fight till death. One thing was sure for him though.
He wasn’t going to let Beck kill anyone.
The feeling he was holding right now wasn’t something he want to lose. After the great loss and pain he had seen it was so precious to hold someone so pure and soft. Their touch was warm and gentle and Beck’s smile… he would kill them, for Beck. So that the boy wouldn’t have to.
So they could both keep that smile.
Their body’s fitted oddly perfect together. As if the Grind had wished for them to meet one day. It almost created the illusion that they where programmed just to lay like this.
Beck’s mind started to dazzle away now that he was laying comfortable, save, loved, kept, hugged, not having to face the pain for a while, good, sleepy, not in pain over the loss of this friend, not crushed under the weight of the Grind, the weight of the colosseum above them.
And it was warm.