Title: The Price : Thinnest Silk
Rating: K
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Disclaimer: TGE does not belong to me, and no copyright infringement is intended.

With his face pressed to the cold glass beside Danny, Willie suddenly realizes how big this is. Tonight, in the scarce twelve hours of darkness, they're leaving.

All of them.

As many as can crawl through the negative space he's created underground. They're dispersing, like Ashley-Pitt's sand, to the corners of the globe. Dissolving into a culture that will applaud without comprehension, will cheer without knowing why. It makes his stomach turn, like Hendley and Hilts' moonshine had the day Ives threw himself at the wire and everything changed. Thinking about not waking up in a drafty cabin surrounded by friends is both exhilarating and terrifying; it's all he's known for the three years he's been in the bag and it's hard to imagine anything else. There's a girl, back in London; her picture's in his pocket but he can barely remember her, and doubts that she will care when he returns. There's his family, too, but that is more frightening than comforting. They'll wonder why he's changed so much and try to get him to change back, which is not what he wants. Roger has taught him patience, and Hilts defiance, and Willie doesn't know if anyone else will understand. He likes himself now more than he had when he left; likes the way his smile has changed since he met Danny, and likes the way his laugh is slower to come, but means more when it does.

It's stupid and selfish, but Willie's a little bit afraid of leaving.

Stupid because if he doesn't get out, he'll go mad. Wire-happy. He knows this.

Selfish because there are men who have less to return to than he does. Danny doesn't have a girl- doesn't have a family, doesn't even have a country. Instead, he has nightmares to remind him of everything he's lost.

Willie can't help thinking that in the spotlight from the guard towers, the barbed wires look like beautiful, delicate, nightmarish spiderwebs.