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The Road to Argon

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Gibson can hardly believe the tale Anon is telling him. The fact there's a secret club hidden right under Clu’s nose that's protected by an impenetrable firewall all seems rather far-fetched to him.

But, the way Anon is describing the events of his reconnaissance really captivates Gibson. Anon’s voice is full of energy and his face is lit up.

Gibson's thankful that Anon had retracted his helmet as soon as he came back from Tron City, so he can witness the emotions Anon seems to have picked up while he was away. Anon’s demeanor at the moment is almost too cute for Gibson to handle, and he finds himself grinning stupidly at Anon.

But, Anon doesn’t seem to notice and keeps on telling his tale, gesturing wildly with his hands. It truly is a sight, and Gibson starts to feel more towards Anon than just the need for physical contact, which he was afraid was all he was feeling towards the security program.

He feels warm at the sight of Anon, his insides twist gleefully, and he yearns to just be in the presence of the cuter-than-words program before him.

But then, Anon gets to the part about Candy, who Gibson knows exactly what her intentions were just by Anon’s description of her. Gibson fears the worst: that Anon found his desires in the female program, and that he will have no chance with him.

Gibson's fears are alleviated when Anon says he felt weird around Candy and didn't like being so close to her, as well as the way she spoke to him. Gibson feels hopeful again.

But, any and all hope gained is instantly sucked away when Anon starts talking about Rocky, the no-doubt stripper, and possibly male prostitute.

Gibson doesn't miss the way Anon describes Rocky, and the enthusiasm evident in Anon’s tone makes it obvious Anon feels something for the tall, broad, golden-haired Adonis.

Gibson's insides twist violently, and he gets hit with a pang of jealousy that leaves a bitter taste in his mouth. His jealousy quickly turns into anger, and he wishes that Rocky were here now, so he could punch the son-of-a-bitch in the face, and tell him to stay away from Anon.

But, another part of him, his conscience most likely, tells him to be happy for Anon. To be happy that Anon found someone he obviously likes. He only wishes it could have been him.

Anon stops talking, upon noticing Gibson’s expression has become deeply conflicted.

Gibson watches Anon’s joyful expression fade, and be replaced by worry. He feels bad that his jealousy is what took Anon out of his happy state. So, he looks away, ashamed to have been so selfish. If Anon choses Rocky over him, then he will have to live with it.

Anon wonders what he could have said to upset Gibson so. He’s about to ask, when Gibson gets up from the rock he’d been sitting on.

“We should get going,” Gibson says, solemnly.

“Is something wrong?” Anon asks.

“No, I just don’t want to stay too long so near to Tron City,” Gibson lies.

“Right,” Anon agrees. He knows that’s not really what’s bugging Gibson, but he can’t find the words to try and figure out what exactly is bothering Gibson, nor can he deny the logic of the statement.

Without a word, Gibson walks to the edge of the outcropping they are standing on and jumps off, Anon following silently.

+++

It's Gibson that ends up leading the way to Argon, being someone who could never stay in one place at a time and living in many different cities throughout the grid, he knows the way, while Anon’s expertise is in Tron City.

They just have to stay far enough away from the known routes between cities, but close enough to them so Gibson knows where he's going.

Gibson never liked staying in one place, and never really made many attachments because of it. He didn't see the point. He’d just get restless and end up leaving wherever he was, and everyone he'd met. And it's not like anyone would leave their home just to follow him around.

The same can't be said about Anon, though. Who, as far Gibson knows, doesn't have a home, and actually wants to follow him around. Gibson knows it's because of Flynn's directive, but he’d like to imagine that Anon wants to be around him because he feels something more than programming toward him.

+

Anon’s nav-bit, unfortunately, doesn't work in the Outlands, otherwise it'd be Anon leading the way, ready to face any potential threat. Having Gibson lead the way makes Anon extremely nervous, especially knowing there's something going on with his ISO.

It doesn’t really make much sense when Anon thinks about why Gibson all of a sudden seemed to shut down. Anon fears it was something he said, but all he remembers saying was recounting the events that led up to his discovery that Tron might be still alive.

Gibson had been listening intently, as far as Anon could tell, until Anon had mentioned Candy, and then Rocky. His ISO had lost his amused expression, and his attention shifted away from Anon.

Maybe Gibson doesn’t approve of who they are, Anon wonders.

Candy, he could understand Gibson not liking. Anon himself had felt odd around her. But, Rocky? Anon couldn’t think of a reason why Gibson would not like the program.

In fact, Rocky seemed to have been very popular in the club. He remembers Rocky saying people told him all sorts of things. And would people trust him with their secrets if they didn’t like him?

+++

The silence between Anon and Gibson grows as they leap from barren rock to barren rock. They take breaks when they need to, and use their lightcycles when the way seems flat enough.

The journey is taking longer than normal, having to avoid the faster routes in favor of avoiding detection, but as a result being met with rough terrain that seems to be terraforming before their eyes.

Neither ISO nor basic utter a word, as they each feel distant from the other.

Their journey is nearing its third cycle. Gibson is about to leave a shallow cave they stopped at when he doesn’t feel Anon ready to leave with him just behind him. He’s grown quite used to Anon being close enough that if he turned he’d be face to face with the program.

Personal space means very little to the security program, it seems. But, all in all it’s quite comforting to have Anon be so close to him, even if it is part of his security protocols, he assumes.

Gibson turns to see what is keeping Anon, and fears for a second that Anon might have taken off and left him alone. Maybe to go to Rocky, he thinks.

But, thankfully, Anon is just still in the cave. Only, he’s standing still, unmoving, looking directly at Gibson, expression unreadable through his glossy helmet.

“Is something wrong?” Gibson asks, uttering the first words either of them have heard or said during their journey.

“Yes,” Anon states.

Gibson’s mind instantly jumps to the conclusion that this is Anon saying goodbye. That he doesn’t see the point in accompanying him anymore. That he’s off to find his blue-eyed Adonis.

“You know you don’t have to protect me if you don’t want to,” Gibson says before Anon can say anything; not wanting to hear Anon say he doesn’t want to be with him anymore himself.

Anon stares bewildered at Gibson.

“I know it’s part of your programing, to protect ISOs, but if you’d rather be with Rocky, I’d understand,” Gibson adds solemnly.

Anon is still standing bewildered. He simply doesn’t understand where this idea Gibson has that he’d leave him came from. And for Rocky? Sure, he likes the program and enjoyed being around him, but that was only for a brief time. He and Gibson have been together much longer, and Anon would have left if he didn’t want to be around the ISO.

“I don’t understand,” Anon says.

Gibson’s face flushes, and he looks away from Anon.

“The way you were talking about Rocky. It sounded like you really like him.” Gibson says, barely above a whisper, “and I thought, that maybe you’d rather be with him, than out here in the middle of nowhere with me; chasing shadows.”

Gibson is still turned away from Anon, and Anon wishes he could see Gibson’s face. He wishes he has the words to assure Gibson that he won’t leave him, but his vocal skills aren’t there yet. But, maybe he can show him.

“Look at me, please,” Anon says.

Gibson turns to face Anon, hesitantly. He’s met with his distorted reflection, like to so many times before. He frowns at the glossy surface; his distorted image reflecting how he feels on the inside.

Anon seems to read Gibson mind, potentially having picked up the skill from Rocky, and tells his helmet to retract. It does so with its trademark whoosh, derezzing into his suit.

Anon’s soft auburn eyes stare into Gibson’s piercing greens, and Gibson takes in a sharp breath. They’re close, nose to nose practically. Gibson figures Anon must have closed the gap when he wasn’t looking. He can feel the hot breath against his lips, and fights the urge to lick them, both his and Anon’s.

Anon’s not as dull as someone might think someone who doesn’t speak a lot is. He knows now that Gibson is jealous of Rocky. He’s relieved, actually, as it means that his ISO does actually like him.

And, using the confidence Rocky gave him, and what he witnessed other programs doing in the club, he leans in and kisses Gibson softly on the lips.

Gibson takes in another sharp breath as Anon’s lips meet his, hardly believing what’s happening. The kiss is brief, and Anon breaks away when Gibson doesn’t respond to it right away; slightly worried he’d done something wrong.

But, Gibson recovers from his daze, and, now that he knows they aren’t one sided anymore, throws all caution to the wind, and captures Anon’s mouth in his.

It obvious that Anon’s never kissed before, the kiss he planted on Gibson just prior was only a peck. But, he follows Gibson’s lead and soon gets the hang of it. Their kiss deepens, and Gibson’s hands find their way into Gibson’s short hair, lightly pulling.

Anon’s hands find their way under Gibson’s hoodie and run along Gibson’s sides, sending shivers up and down his torso.

They pull apart gasping for breath, lips red and swollen. Anon slowly runs his hand up underneath Gibson’s hoodie and up to his shoulders, and then slips Gibson’s hoodie off, where it falls to the ground.

Anon then runs his hands over the tattoos on Gibson’s chest, tracing the edges lightly, sending even more shivers through Gibson.

“You know, it’s not really fair that you’re so covered up,” Gibson says playfully, resting his hands on Anon’s hips.

Anon smirks just as playfully, and then his suit starts to derez, starting at his neck. Gibson follows the retreating fabric with his eyes as it reveals Anon’s chest and then stomach, until it stops just below Anon’s navel.

“There, now we’re even,” Anon says, smirk turning into a smile.

Gibson smiles, and then moves his hands over Anon’s torso, tracing the hard lines of his muscles. He finishes at Anon’s sternum, and then pulls Anon in close, hands on his lower back. Anon slides in easily and fits right up against Gibson’s chest. Anon wraps his arms around Gibson, and places a kiss to his lips.

They maneuver themselves onto the ground. Gibson sits with his back on the cave wall; Anon nuzzled up next to him, head resting on his chest, and arms around his torso, Gibson’s hoodie around his shoulders. Gibson holds his security program close, and they stay like that for milicycles. It’s enough for the both of them to just hold each other.