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Vacant

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Train never talked about the past. He never seemed to think about it. Well, truthfully, he never seemed to think about anything very much at all. He ate and slept and wandered off when Sven and Eve least expected it. On the rare occasions he was awake, still and not eating, he would sit in the window seat and stare out of the window.

That might count for something. That could even be considered honest-to-goodness brooding. Sven should know, he'd spent his fair share of hours gazing at the outside world while the hurt sat in his chest and ached. But Train didn't look like he was hurting. He had this little smile on his face, eyes wide and blank, not feeling anything at all.

Vacant. Just a shell. A nice enough shell, once he'd got over his early tendencies to lash out. He was pleasant to both of them, happy enough to play games or talk with Even about books (at least the ones he stood a chance of understanding). Sometimes when Sven couldn't sleep, Train would just sit with him, watching crap TV until the sun came up.

Like tonight.

Sven was worried about money. They didn't have any. He was used to being poor on his own behalf. It didn't matter when it was just him; he could starve until his ribs showed and eventually something would turn up, or Annette would bail him out without it seeming quite that way. But it wasn't just him any more. There was Train, who didn't seem to understand money at all (did he understand anything outside his own head?) and there was Eve.

Sven was very worried about Eve. She seemed happy enough. But this was no life for a kid, not even a kid as brave and bright as Eve. Especially a kid as brave and bright as Eve. She deserved stability, an education, a proper family. Love. What could he and Train teach her about love?

"Milk?" Train offered Sven a bottle, cold from the fridge, condensation dripping down the glass.

"No, thanks. Scotch?" He held up the tumbler with its generous inch of warm amber liquid sloshing around melting rocks of ice.

Train pulled a face. "That stuff's not good for you."

"Life's not good for you," said Sven, and lit a cigarette.

Train settled down on the sofa beside him, picked up the remote and started flicking through the channels. Sven could have protested about the movie he'd been watching, but he knew from experience it wouldn't do any good. Train could be stubbornly oblivious when he wanted to be.

"So you can't sleep either?" said Sven.

Train shrugged. "Thirsty." He flipped the foil cover off the milk bottle and gulped half of it down in one go. A few drops clung to his chin, and for some reason Sven's fingers twitched to wipe them off. Train grinned at Sven, and raised his bottle to clink Sven's glass. "Cheers."

Sven smiled, despite himself. He envied Train, deeply. To brush off the things he'd been through so easily, ignore the things he'd done, to put it all aside...

"You worry too much," Train announced.

"Yeah. Sure."

"This is the third night this week."

"I don't remember asking you to keep count."

Train frowned. "I wasn't. Just realised, Monday, yesterday, today. Three nights. You must be tired."

Sven blew out a long plume of smoke, and sighed. "I suppose."

"Nights are the worst," said Train lightly. "Sometimes it's good to have someone see you through the nights."

"Yeah. Well. Look, you don't have to do this. You don't have to stay up. I'm okay. I think I'd kind of like to be alone."

"Yeah?" Train's eyes drifted to the television. He showed no sign of moving.

"Train, I-"

"Shh! This is the good part."

Something inside Sven snapped. The insomnia, the worry, the not-quite-healed injury all fizzed up and Train caught the force of the explosion. Sven grabbed Train by the shoulders and shook him. "Fuck off!" he yelled, somewhat unreasonably as he was holding Train very firmly in place. "You don't get it, do you? You don't get any of it! I don't know how the hell you live with yourself, how you get to sleep so damn much and fill your stomach and fuck knows how you killed your conscience, but I've still got mine, and it's bothering me and I can't... can't..."

"You worry too much," Train said, and kissed him.

Kissed. Him.

His fingers were still digging deep into Train's shoulders, bruising, and Train was sitting there as if it was normal, his lips brushing across Sven's in a slow, graceful rhythm, tongue flicking out, pink and small and pointy, and at some point, what-the-fuck?, Sven had started to kiss him back. Frantic fading to slow and easy, his clutch on Train relaxing as Train's hands slid around to rest at the small of his back, fingertips just slipping under the waistband of his green-and-white pyjama pants. Just in case Sven might think anything about this was innocent.

"Train..."

Train's eyes were open, weird and slitted and feline as ever, and Sven drowned in them for a moment and then he saw...

Pain, as deep as an ocean, as hard as steel, as sharp as razorwire and as cruel as poison. Feelings so raw and real that Sven could hardly bear to look at it.

But he did. His touch drifted to Train's hair, and stroked, hooking long strands behind his ears.

Train blinked once, and it was gone. Just the usual smile and blank stare, except it didn't seem so blank, not now, it seemed gentle and soft, and there was something else, something maybe Sven had seen come his way before, a long, long time ago.

"This could get complicated," he said.

"I don't see why," said Train. "Don't sweepers usually work in pairs?"

Before Sven had come to terms with that piece of Train-logic, he was being kissed again, thought fled and he let Train push him back onto the cool, worn leather couch and steal his brain.

~owari~