Tabula Rasa (A Clean Slate)

Rated M

Summary: Fear thrives on gruesome nightmares and flashbacks haunting Train, and he cannot escape their clutches. Who can save Train Hartnett from himself? Slash/fluff (Sven/Train)


"Dad! Mom! Please wake up!"

Knees hit the ground, fingers scrabbled for purchase. Swirling tendrils of white mist licked at trembling legs. Frigid fog choked his throat, his muscles convulsing in effort to get away.

"No!"

You'll never know the times of pain…(1)

Twin rings of flashing yellow and slits of dilating black, rimmed in reddened whites widening in fading recognition.

Pain. Pain. Pain. Grotesque faces contorted in agony, translucent skin stretched tight over cheekbones, mouths hanging open in silent screams. Bodies submerged, dark water clinging heavily to his pants. Red blossoms of blood blooming outwards from star-shaped holes on foreheads and shoulders and splintered arms reaching for him. Arms akimbo, necks bent at angles they shouldn't be. Lifeless eyes scooped out of their sockets, still dripping, grey nerve endings trailing from the backs, pupils reduced to pinpoints of black, color drained away, the frame captured for infinity.

Rattling, loud buzzing filled his ears and he gasped for rapidly vanishing air. Screeching crows, glossy black wings flapping, large shining, curved beaks hitting the back of his head.

And then too much light.

RUN!

His legs won't move.

Light and dark clashed, blinding his eyes and molecules of air collided hard, deafening his eardrums. Water sluiced down the windows and glass panes rattled loudly. Pained gasps echoed through the clinging darkness of the room. Fingers itched, clutching at sweat soaked covers strewn across the bed. A sudden tilt of the world, and then a lunge towards the bathroom. Wet retching hitting the toilet and a soft moan. The world swaying, and then holding still, and parts of him burning with a raging fury. Hysterical laughter bubbling out of his aching throat and seeds of salt dripping from deadened eyes.

They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more… The air is full of our cries. But habit is a great deadener. (2)

Scarlet flickered in his tunneling vision. Blood red dripping off the counter, pouring down the faucet, pooling in his hands, sliding down the mirror, down his face, hot turning cold down his cracked lips from his burning nose. Blood. He had to get it off his hands. Brown encrusted under his fingernails.

Blood. I smell blood all over your hands.(3)

He slid his eyes shut, tremors wracking his body, his shoulders bent over, arms crossed over his stomach protectively. Voices shrieked at him, taunting him. He could never wash off the blood. (4)

A flash of crazed blue eyes and crimson rose petals swirling from the sky. A gun held to his temple, the blunt tip cold against his feverish brow. Eyes sparkling maliciously, lips smirking lecherously. The barrel caressing his cheek , a pink tongue following the cold trail. Train. Train. Train. The voice chanted, groaned, then laughter tinkling like a chandelier shattering, breaking his mind into a thousand shards. Red rose petals sprinkling atop his forehead like vermillion.

He shook his head, trying to dispel the image seared into his eyelids.

"I've come to deliver some bad luck…"

His words tossed back at him casually, followed by the resounding click of the hollow barrel. His consciousness waning, Sven tied up, writhing against the tight knots in the room next door, Eve and Rinslet sleeping at home, unencumbered by pain. They were safe.

The gun, gilded golden metal glinting in soft moonlight, trailing down his neck. Ribbons of red trailing down his torso, dripping from the handle. A cry and a slap, stinging his cheek, and then rope thin as thread biting, cutting the frail skin of his wrists, pulled taut like his slender, trembling body.

A shift in movement; darkness engulfing him; he couldn't stop shivering as the cold settles; clothes ripping, his; belt buckle falling to the floor; footsteps echoing, coming closer; and then hot lips—fastening, sucking—pale fingers—grasping, owning—sweat-slicked chest—vibrating, sliding—heavy hips—bruising, rocking—burning, burning, burning down there—and he couldn't stop IT and he tried to yell but then heavy weight slammed across his screaming lungs and manic blue eyes flashed across his vision and ate him like corrosive acid and he tugged at his bonds and he laughed and slithered languorously over his itching skin, crawling over crevices, touching, touching and he wouldn't stop IT and he pleaded and he was screaming, but no one was listening, hot blood gushing down his nose onto the cheek that was pushed roughly into the muck and dirt, for him to stop, but he laughed and then he pushed harder and it hurt and—

"TRAIN!"

—and he kept pushing—

"Shit! Train, what happened?"

—he kept rocking—

"Train, come on!"

—he wouldn't stop—

An urgent voice murmured near his ear, familiar.

—he hurt

"Train, look at me!"

—but his voice didn't shake…

"Train!"

Someone kneeling in front of him…

Sven?

Cold splashed suddenly across his face, into his nose and open mouth, shocking his numbed senses, and he gasped, his lungs burning for air. Colors flickered across his vision and then blurred and he gasped—was he going blind? He scrambled for thoughts that rapidly fell away like hot sand in a sieve with sharp square-shaped holes that balanced the shining granules for a split second before they plummeted into the madly churning sea. The chill climbed rapidly down his neck, sinking into his chest, like ice, squeezing his torso, and leeching warmth from frozen limbs. Black morphed into white.

Fingers wiped his cheeks and neck, leaving tiny trails of warmth, but the cold spread ruthlessly, pervading his bones. He whimpered. His eyes fluttered shut. He was drowning.

"…please…"

The voice shook, the urgency fracturing his clawing fear. He opened his eyes, and met warm honey-brown and molten emerald pools widened in panic before white light flashed and lit the shadows on fire.

Sven?

His chest tightened painfully. He tried to speak, but the words stuck in his throat while his head spun sickeningly. He tried to move, but his limbs felt like they were dripping in molasses. Already, he felt like he was slipping…black and red clouding his vision, reeling him back into the land of cracked panes where he looked through and viewed his pain over and over again, failing to grip onto the edges as he plunged down a waterfall of agony…

"Train?"

Sven sounded a bit angry, he thought dizzily. He wanted to tell Sven to shut up and wait until he could breathe instead of yelling at him, but he couldn't lift his tongue from the bottom of his jaw.

Strong, solid arms clutched his shoulders almost painfully, and he looked up dazedly. He blinked furiously as red spots danced in his vision. He parted his lips in an "o" of surprise, and sucked in air. But the air wasn't coming. And everything was bleeding again, a dark red, clotting blood…And his neck arched, his lips parted wider—he needed air—why wasn't he getting any air?

"S-sven…" he choked out, his tongue finally conceding to work, grabbing hold of the other man's arms, as his lungs fought for the ever-elusive air. "C-can't…b-breathe…please…" he whispered, limply falling forward onto Sven's chest.

Instantly, firm arms wrapped around his body, holding him gently—yet protectively—in a warm embrace.

His eyes fell shut again, and his hands fisted in the other's clothing.

Distantly, he heard Sven say something, but couldn't figure out the words. Sven? What was Sven doing here?

"Calm down Train," Sven soothed. He fought the urge to panic. Why couldn't he breathe? He started to thrash, but something was stopping him. He felt a starburst of pain in his wrist, but ignored it. Dammit, he needed air. He bucked against the force that was holding him down, and shook his head from side to side.

"Hurts," he heard himself whimper. Icy blue and burning red and cold gold flickered behind his eyes, and something was gripping his chest like a vice, squeezing. A distant crack and a thirsty rumble made him jump. His fingers and toes prickled, the hungry sensation spreading, his skin rippling, jaw clenching, red in his eyes. Daggers hammered away at the back of his skull. Acid raced through his veins.

"I know. Just breathe slowly, Train," a soft voice spoke in his ear. "Shh..."

"Can't," he moaned.

He was shaking again, his teeth rattling in his mouth, and he couldn't stop. Thoughts were swirling in and out of his conscious now, and he let his head loll onto the cold floor of the bathroom. Why was he on the floor? He remembered that couldn't breathe. But that was ok. He was floating now. And it felt nice. Like angel, or what he thought an angel would do, he lay on a cool, fluffy cloud—a bit like cotton candy—lazily skimming the skies, winking at stars, dipping his fingers downwards for a taste of molten sun.

"Damn it!" The voice echoed in his ears. A familiar memory of someone with green hair yelling at him for swearing in the presence of a young blonde-haired princess… The cloud was puckering, stretching, finally breaking as claws tore holes into its surface and he was plummeting, limbs heavy from the sluggish pull of gravity. He was falling…falling…he was going to hit the ground hard…catch him, please catch him—

Sven.

Sven caught him and they were on the bathroom floor and there was a storm outside even though some of the moon was showing alongside the dark clouds and he'd had a nightmare and a flashback and he hadn't been able to breathe but Sven caught him and everything was going to be alright because Sven was here now, that's right Train, I'm here…

An almost painful pressure against his stomach and chest and then Sven held him tightly, his chest rising and falling and forcing him to follow the same gentle rhythm. Ever so slowly, the buzzing in his head receded. The tingling disappeared. The sand in the sieve stopped falling and finally congealed into one sticky, shining mass of brown. The waterfall gurgled and conceded defeat, and the blue-black water evaporated, leaving him beached on a warm surface. Blinking confusedly, inky darkness blinked back.

"Can you breathe?" Warm air tickled his cheeks.

He nodded tiredly, too many desultory thoughts making his head pound angrily. He turned his head to the side, basking in the soft warmth radiating from the body lying atop him. It didn't touch. It didn't push. It didn't hurt. It felt nice.

The crisp cloth clutched between his fingers and the presence of Sven's warm body flush against his were swiftly and smoothly tugging him back to reality, away from the memories of pooling blood and blue eyes and red roses, which smoldered just under the surface to, tearing against his torpor.

"Good…" Sven murmured next to his head, his chest rumbling. He sat up, and pulled him onto his lap; he sagged against the solid, warm presence. The rough cloth of Sven's suit scratched his cheek pleasantly and he rubbed against it. Sven's chest rose and fell steadily, and the thrum of his heartbeat calmed his shot nerves.

He needed Sven; Sven was here. Silent tears fell; the force of his anguish shook his shoulders; he was weary.

Sven pulled him even closer, an arm circling his waist. Soothing fingers carded through his hair. Humming filled his ears.

A small sigh of contentment escaped him and he peered blearily at the white blanketing his vision. Large hands were rubbing small circles at the base of his back, generating warmth that spread down to his toes and soaked his bones, easing his tremors. Hair tickled his neck, puffs of moist air ghosting across his cheeks.

He let his head drop onto Sven's shoulder, nestling his head at the hollow of Sven's smooth neck shyly, breathing in mint and cloves and spice; Sven made him feel good because although he had blood on his hands, and although he had even tried to kill Eve once, and although he always tried to run away from everyone, and although he was sometimes blinded by revenge and pain and anger, and although he repeatedly got Sven hurt, Sven always saved him—like right now; Sven was holding him and wasn't letting go.

Ever so slowly, Sven brought both hands to his face, coaxing him to come out of his suit. He soothingly rubbed the pads of his fingers from his temple to his jaw line and back. Warmth blossomed underneath his fingers, and He moaned at the sensation, relishing the sweet attention. He turned his face upward to expose more of his skin. Catching his face with his palms, Sven lowered his forehead and bumped his nose against his.

He opened his eyes, tears clinging to his eyelashes, falling down his cheeks. He dropped his gaze diffidently, unable to meet Sven's knowing eyes. He determinedly stared at his hands, still buried in Sven's clothes.

He didn't want Sven to break the comfortable silence; he just wanted to be held like this for a bit longer. He tried to jerk out of Sven's hold on his face; he wanted to bury his face into his neck and hide again—but Sven held onto him.

"Want to talk?" Sven asked, a vein pulsing angrily in his forehead.

He shook his head so hard his hair whipped his eyes and the world began to slide away and the sound of rain slamming against the windows exploded in the air.

"No," he said hoarsely, blinking as another flash of light blinded him.

Ever so slowly, Sven swept his fingers across his cheeks, down the trail of his tears. His shoulders hunched as he tried to close in on himself. His cheeks flamed, burning with shame, and he refused to open his eyes, even when Sven rubbed his temples soothingly.

"Hey," Sven began. His forehead relaxed, but he did not release his bottom lip from his teeth. "It's going to be alright," Sven whispered softly, moving his hands to his back again, rubbing him, coaxing him. "Relax."

At first, his jaws clenched as violent tremors wracked his thin frame, originating from the center of his chest. He didn't want to drown in the sea of memories under the gushing waterfall filling his nostrils and plugging his mouth so that he couldn't scream. He bit his lip hard, silencing a panic-filled scream that was gurgling out of his throat. But Sven traced fingers down his face and gently tugged the bruised lip from between his teeth. His fingers lingered on his lip, running across it, trying to erase the indentations with his touch. Panicked breaths escaped from his mouth, but the terror was seeping away at Sven's pacifying touch.

He tried to open his eyes to look at Sven, but his vision blurred. He closed his eyes and let his emotions flow over him. He shook with the intensity, but Sven held him tight like an anchor, and wouldn't let him drown. His solid presence was enough for him to let himself afloat, awash the raging river of his tumultuous emotions.

He coughed, until finally, he dislodged the lump in his throat.

A loud sob tore itself from the center of his soul—louder than the rest, a high keening wail that raised the hair on Sven's arms. His shoulders shook violently with the force of his tremors and his sobs, but Sven held onto him. And he wouldn't let go, he knew.

"Good boy," Sven murmured into his ear. "That's it."

And once he started crying out loud, lachrymose thoughts smothering him, he couldn't stop. He breathed raggedly, and let it all just fall away… Just fall away, so that he could feel Sven's hands on his back and shoulders and see the worry in his shining eyes and smell his special scent and hear him hum his favorite tune. And when Sven pulled him close into his warmth, he clung to him until he shook with deep, shuddering breaths.

When the onslaught of tears slowed, his head felt oddly heavy, lassitude spreading through his body as he sat comfortably tucked against Sven in his lap. He vaguely felt the sensation of Sven playing with his hair, pushing it from his aching forehead. His eyes itched, but he couldn't lift his heavy arms to rub them, and instead nestled his head in the folds of Sven's clothes. He trembled weak as a newborn kitten in Sven's arms, the world beginning to tilt and swirl and bend once more; he would have toppled over if not for Sven holding him.

It was all he could do to stop himself from falling asleep in the cozy warmth. His breathing had evened out, with a hiccough breaking the silence now and then. Lazy thoughts drifted across his mind. Sven was so soft.

"Train?"

"Hm…" His eyes had fluttered closed, and his breathing had deepened.

"We have to get up, love."

Love? Since when did Sven call him love? His lips quirked up in a content smile, and warmth bloomed pleasantly in his chest.

And did they really have to get up right now? He didn't even want to get up for a bottle of milk—this was so much better…He rubbed his face against Sven's clothes. Maybe he could pretend like he was sleeping?

A soft puff of air tickled his ear.

"Mm…"

Another puff of air, Sven's hand shifting on his back, and his shirt slid upward an inch. He squirmed in discomfort as cold floated across the small of his back. He didn't want to be cold.

"Hey," Sven moaned huskily into his hair. "Don't do that…"

He smiled mischievously and was about to shift his hips again when he felt something soft on his bare skin. He jumped as warm fingers trailed a few centimeters across his back and then ghosted across the skin just under his belly-button. They left behind a not entirely unpleasant trail of fire, and the tingly feeling exploded throughout his body. His heart thudded in his chest, and he expelled a soft gasp of surprise.

"I told you not to do that…" Sven chuckled quietly.

Impishly, he shifted his hips an inch to the left, smirking, and then gasped loudly as Sven let his hands rest above his hips, fingers curling along the curve of his waist. Warmth, as quick as molten lava, poured over his body, making him shiver in excitement and anticipation and the tiniest smidgeon of fear.

Sven squeezed his sides tentatively—not forcefully, but lightly, as though coaxing a small turtle to come out of its hardened shell, and that was perfectly acceptable—his fingers tickling the smooth skin right under his ribcage, making him sigh and tremble and gasp in pleasure. He buried his nose even deeper into Sven's chest until he parted his shirt and came to rest at the plane of pale skin at his collarbone. He licked his chapped lips, and accidentally laved Sven's neck with his moist tongue.

Sven moaned, arching his neck.

His face lit up in a shy smile—but then Sven's fingers dropped even lower, coming to rest against the curve of his hipbones under his pajama pants and his eyes widened in shock. His body tensed at the foreign touch, his shoulders hunched, and his breathing sped up rapidly, and his thoughts swirled about his head madly, and he only saw shining, laughing blue, and soft petals caressing his skin as the barrel emptied on the cement next to his head BOOM! deafening him and blood from silver knives dripped from his navel and his tear stained face was reflected in pools of laughing blue—

"Hey!" Sven instantly removed his fingers, and tugged his shirt back into place. Blue eyes morphed into brown and green lit in concern and barely concealed rage.

He shook his head, and squeezed his eyes shut, the glistening jaws of shame sinking into his dirty skin. Hot tears filled his eyes again, and he felt them slip down his cheeks, and wet Sven's chest.

"That bastard…" Sven cursed vehemently, his body shaking with suppressed anger. Sven's hand swung back and punched the cabinet door—hard. He heard it cave and splinter, and he flinched violently, tensing.

"Sorry," Sven said gruffly, grimacing. He smiled back tentatively, his heart still thudding loudly in his ears, but Sven's features slowly relaxed in relief, even though his jaw was clenched hard. He rubbed his eyes and took a deep breath, reigning in his anger. "Come on, let's get you cleaned up."

He reluctantly scooted off Sven's lap onto the cold floor, and surveyed the indent in the cabinet door and the wooden mess on the floor, and then averted his eyes. He shivered, crossing his goose-bump covered arms across his stomach again. He missed the warmth.

Sven stood, and ran the water from the faucet, plucking his toothbrush from the cabinet and spreading cinnamon flavored toothpaste across the bristles.

"Can you get up?" Sven asked with a tightly controlled voice. He nodded quickly, and stood shakily on his feet, leaning against the counter. He swayed for a moment, but quickly regained his balance. He took the brush, and quickly cleaned his teeth, the taste of cinnamon bursting pleasantly across his taste-buds.

"Let me just go change, alright? I'll be right back." To his questioning gaze, Sven replied, "I'm not leaving you alone tonight."

Blushing furiously, he tried to stutter a reply, but his mouth was full of foam, which he quickly spit out, but Sven was already gone.

He rinsed his mouth with warm water, letting it gush between his teeth. Confused thoughts ran rampant in his mind, but he was too tired to sort through them. Sven was coming back, though, and that thought made him blush even harder.

A conversation they'd had not one year ago floated across his mind:

"Damn you Sven, why'd you stop me?"

"Can't you see how reckless you've become? It's as if you want to die!"

"But it's my life and I can do whatever the hell I want!" (5)

And here was Sven once more, this time saving him from himself…

He shuddered as the other, truculent memories battered his flimsy mental shield cracking its thin veneer. He clenched his eyes shut and repeated a mantra, fighting back the overwhelming force of anguish: Sven was coming back. Sven was coming back.

"Train?"

His eyes shot open gratefully, and met Sven's perplexed gaze. Sven had changed into his pajamas and stood waiting for him at the threshold of the bathroom.

"Come on," Sven nodded towards the bed, smiling slightly, but the light not quite reaching his eyes. He was still angry.

He nodded, and tried to take a step forward, but his shaking limbs refused to listen, and he fell back down on his bottom and Sven chuckled good-naturedly.

"S' alright kitty. I've got you." Sven smirked, his eye twinkling in amusement, and knelt beside him. Before he could protest, Sven had grabbed his waist and back, and hefted him into the air against him. After a moment's disorientation, he hastily wrapped his arms around Sven's neck. He clung to him tightly, and relished in the strong arms that held him close, but glared indignantly up at the Sven, who was still chuckling at him.

"That's not funny," he said, narrowing his eyes. That made Sven chuckle even louder; he was convulsing with laughter. "I'm not a kitty," he said distastefully, poking him on the shoulder. "I'm the Black Caaa--!"

Sven loosened his arms experimentally, and he yelped.

"Sven!"

Both stilled after they heard footsteps echo in the hall outside their room. He bit his lip, while Sven tightened his grip again. They held their breaths. The footsteps paused.

He jumped when he felt a hot breath of air across his forehead. He turned in annoyance back to Sven, who smiled crookedly, and glared.

"Stop that!" He whispered, turning his head away.

"What? This?" Sven's chest rumbled as he chuckled. And then blew another breath of air across his ear.

"Sven," He groaned, trying to shift away from Sven. "You have to get out of here! What if it's Eve?"

"Relax," Sven purred, and bent at the waist to drop him gently on the other bed. He sat down and clutched the bedcovers. His senses had sharpened—it was Rinslet, her heels clicking on the wooden floor just outside.

Sven rolled his eyes at his apparent worry, and sank down next to him. He tugged the covers over the both of them, and securely wrapped a hand around his waist.

"Sven, please!" He begged, trying to push Sven off the bed. "Go!"

The last time Rinslet had caught the two of them together, she had teased them for days, grating on both of their nerves. She'd kept accusing them of liking each other—and perhaps that's when they'd realized that it was true. But they weren't going to admit that to the likes of Rinslet, who would girlishly shriek in joy and spread the news to the rest of the Sweepers. And wouldn't that be annoying?

"Train?" She knocked on the door, and swung it open. "Hey, have you seen Sven? We just got back from that 15,000 bounty. We had to wait there, though, cuz—"

He clenched his fingers in the covers over his stomach as another warm breath blew across the shell of his ear. Goosebumps sprung on his arm, and he resisted the urge to turn around and shove Sven off the bed.

"—and then we went back to the warehouse, where he'd lain a trap for us—"

He blushed furiously and bit his lip, hoping Rinslet wouldn't notice the strange look on his face; Sven was tugging the coverlet towards him, and he had to maintain a firm grip on it so that it didn't fly off him.

"—bam! Sven pulled out that suitcase of his and out came that nasty smelling sleeping powder of his—"

"It doesn't smell bad." He heard Sven huff and shift on the bed. He bit back the laugh that was threatening to burst out of his mouth.

"—ARE YOU LISTENING TRAIN?" Rinslet yelled into the room, gesticulating wildly. Light pooled into the hallway as another door opened. She winced as she was shushed emphatically.

He blinked back at her innocently.

"Yes," he began and licked his lips. Rinslet narrowed her eyes and put her hands on her hips, her foot tapping impatiently. "Um…"

"Rinslet?" His eyes widened, and he frantically slapped his hand on Sven's mouth. But Sven plucked his hand off and slid it into his grasp. "Is that you?" Sven sat up and rubbed his eyes, as though he had just awoken, and yawned, adding to the effect.

He looked back at Rinslet, whose mouth had dropped open.

"I'll…" She looked everywhere but the bed, decidedly embarrassed at catching her best friends in bed together; Sven was laughed silently next to him. "I'll…um… just come back tomorrow morning. Have fun!" She backed into the wooden door, bouncing it loudly off the wall. "I meant, good night!" She swept quickly out of the room, closing the door securely.

He sat on the bed, one hand in a grip, the other flattened on his blushing face; he was mortified. He couldn't even look at Sven.

But then Sven burst into loud laughter that echoed throughout the room, and he blushed even harder. He tried tugging his hand away, but Sven held on, and the laughter abated.

"Did you see the look on her face?" Sven chortled jocundly.

He groaned and felt more blood rush to his face, remembering what she said. Have fun? Was she purposefully trying to kill him from embarrassment?

"Train? Train? Look at me." The earnestness of Sven's voice made him turn around. Sven instantly rolled over, and straddled his waist, not quite touching him. He was suddenly all-too-conscious of his disheveled state and blood-shot eyes and tear stained face.

He tried to ignore Sven's proximity as he eased closer to him, but he definitely could not ignore that sweet heat that permeated from his body. Then he made the mistake of looking up; the dark glint in Sven's eyes promised mischief. He stumbled over his own tongue when Sven set his arms on either side of his head—

"Um…"

—and leaned down until his hair tickled his cheeks. Sven quirked his eyebrow and smirked when he opened his mouth to speak again, but couldn't say anything.

He pressed himself into the bed as far as he could go. He was quite literally stuck between the bed and Sven, and couldn't move either way. He nervously plucked at the covers that had tangled underneath him. He was ever more conscious of the dips in the bed at his waist where Sven's knees rested and right next to his upper arms where his elbows lay, and of the heat that pooled on his body where Sven legs and arms nearly touched him. What was Sven doing?

The blood rushed to his face in embarrassment when he finally completely noticed that Sven was almost lying on top of him. Sven was so close that he could see the confident gleam in his darkening eyes. He was so close to that he could count the lashes on his eyes if he wanted. And he could smell him again. He felt almost drunk with Sven's scent now—before it had comforted him, soothed him—but now it was something utterly different that he dare not give name to. He could even, if he were that brave, touch his smooth, pale, aristocratic face—touch those pink lips that were curved in an idiosyncratic crooked smile. Maybe he could even run his fingers through the hair that was tickling his neck.

His voice stuck in his throat, and he flushed again when he realized that he had been staring at Sven. But he couldn't look anywhere else—not with Sven's face so close to his own, and his warm, soft body across his.

He could feel everything so vividly in these silent moments—the cool draft of air licking at his bare toes, the wrinkled sheets under his curled palms, the brush of soft pajamas against his navel where his shirt had ridden up, the dull ache in his neck for pressing down on the pillow so hard, the hair tickling the shell of his ear…He felt so vulnerable, so open, as he lay with his arms bent upwards at the elbows so that his palms rested near his head, his knees half bent and tucked together at an angle. He held his breath.

"Hey…" he heard Sven whisper huskily. He nearly jumped off the bed when Sven bent even lower, and nudged the pulse point at his neck with his nose. He whimpered as he felt Sven's petal-smooth lips brush the spot, his breath sending shocks of excitement through him as he stayed in that position. He dared not move his head, waiting to see what Sven would do next.

"Okay?" Sven murmured softly, waiting for him to respond.

He arched, inadvertently pulling both of their bodies together, when Sven pressed his teeth against the arch of his neck, and bit down gently. He whimpered plaintively, and the sheets twisted his hands as his fingers fought to take hold of something as the pleasure rippled through him. He could feel Sven's teeth sink deeper, his lips suctioning against his skin, until he was sure he'd die. He could feel his cool hair cascade down his neck, hiding from the world what Sven was doing to him. He wanted to move so badly, to hold Sven against him again—but he didn't know how, he didn't know if that would drive him away.

He started when he felt Sven brush his fingertips lazily across the insides of his wrists. Sven's teeth parted to let go of his bruised skin under his chin, now throbbing with his every pulse. He could still feel his moist mouth suckling his neck.

"I had a vision of you lying on the bathroom floor..." Sven muttered, forcing the words out of his throat. Sven shuddered atop him. "I...I was scared, Train..."

His eyes flew open at the admission, and he turned his face to search Sven's eyes in surprise, momentarily forgetting the sweet ache in his body.

"I'm never going to let anyone hurt you again…" Sven declared resolutely seconds later, his lips brushing the gentle curve of his jaw-line.

He must have looked shocked, for when he met Sven's eyes, smoky and dangerously glinting in the sliver of moonlight snaking across their bed through the storm, Sven curved his fingers and fit them snugly between his and gripped his hands against the covers.

His breath hitched, and he couldn't fill his lungs with enough air, somehow. Especially not when Sven decided to shift closer to him, so that both boys' faces were only centimeters apart; Sven was so close, he thought in shock, that he could have counted the dark lashes curling sensually atop Sven's darkly glinting eyes.

His heart fluttered madly when he realized that Sven was staring at him with burning eyes. His heart pounded loudly in his ears, and his blood sang, and he fought the irrational urge to flinch away when Sven lowered his head. He could feel Sven's hot breaths ghost across his face, laced with the scent of mint.

Suddenly, silky softness brushed gently across his sensitive lips, causing his mouth to tingle and his head to reel. Waves of pleasure threatened to drown him, but he found that he didn't care—not with Sven's warm body melded perfectly atop his, limbs carefully tucked next to each other, chest against chest, lips lightly resting atop lips.

He felt Sven shudder. He knew Sven felt him shiver, too.

"Never, never, never…" He felt Sven's lips move against his parted mouth, pressed to his lips lightly. His lips moved with Sven's, opening and closing after each word. Puffs of air accentuated each syllable in breathy sighs, and heated the cool skin of his cheeks, each word sending him flying into giddy oblivion.

He felt himself sinking deeper and deeper into the mattress, his body languidly lax under Sven's body. His fingers involuntarily twitched in Sven's hands, and he let his eyes drift shut in contentment. His tingling lips turned upward against Sven's, seconds later Sven's curled his own lips. He breathed in shallow pants as pure feeling rushed through him.

"Why?" He croaked out somehow, trying to ignore Sven's sumptuous lips. He felt Sven tense and shift against his body, sitting up now. He opened his eyes and waited in anticipation, desire thrumming impatiently in his veins.

"Train," Sven began, his voice husky with desire. He couldn't help but shiver and fight the blood from rushing to his face. He watched as Sven blinked once, his lashes dusting his cheeks and then coming to rest above his eyes again.

"I love you," he said simply, the statement assuaging the guilt and worry eating at him. The simple sentence, a mere three words, sundering every cracked memory in his mind, blowing it to dust. This time, his smile was sincere—not mischievous, not a smirk or a sneer, just a simple, pure smile that lit up his eyes. He resisted the desire to trace those devilishly curling lips, those cutely crinkling dimples—not that he'd ever tell Sven that.

His head felt close to exploding. And then a dark thought flit into his mind, cutting the pleasure like a double edged blade.

Blood. I smell blood all over your hands.

"But, why me?"

Red rose petals sprinkling atop his forehead like vermillion.

"Stop thinking like that," Sven growled, and tightened his grip reflexively on his hands, snapping him out of his tumultuous thoughts. He could feel his chest rumble against his, and that sensation overpowered his hearing for a split second. He licked his dry lips, and blinked. Sven opened his mouth to repeat himself, his eyes narrowing and glinting darker than they ever had before. His breath hitched in his throat, and he waited, frowning.

He mustered his courage, and the words tumbled out of his mouth, much like the emotions that Sven had provoked him to spill earlier. Although it broke his heart to say it, he said it anyways, knowing it was true. His eyes stung, and his tongue was heavy in his mouth, but he said it.

"I'm dirty and—"

"Listen to me!" Sven hissed sedulously, ignoring his surprised gasp. Sven instantly sat up straight, still straddling his hips, and grabbed his shoulders, knocking a lock of hair into his eyes. Sensing his discomfort, Sven loosened his grip fractionally, and hung his head, his hair hiding his eyes. He shook his head, as though to clear it. "I'm not mad at you," he declared, shaking his shoulders gently, searching his eyes.

"You." Sven gently brushed the errant lock of hair from his eyes, letting his fingers trace the gentle curve of his cheekbone. His neck arched slightly into the touch, wanting to feel more of that loving, human warmth.

"Are." Sven leaned in, closing the space between the two, letting his chest brush against his, pushing his pliant form back into the pillows. His nerves sang in anticipation.

"Pure." He felt Sven's damp breath wash across his face before the familiar pair of lips settled on his lips, pressing down slightly. He shivered at Sven's sultry tone.

"Understand?" Sven lifted his forehead, and rested it against his and waited for his answer. He smiled hesitantly, and nodded, not trusting his voice enough to speak. Sven's eyes held a mischievous light again, and the anger had disappeared. He sighed in relief.

"Good." Sven pressed his lips to his mouth again, and their noses bumped together. He broke into a huge grin and Sven chuckled, the smooth sound echoing pleasantly throughout the quiet room.

"I." Warm puffs of air and soft skin on his eyelids.

"Will." The other eye.

"Always." Another brush of petal smooth lips against his jaw-line. He shifted so Sven could gain better access with his hot mouth.

"Love." He kissed the corner of his lips, which instantly curved upwards.

"And." Sven pressed his mouth at the slope of his moist cheekbones.

"Protect." A soft caress on the tip of his nose

"You." Moist lips lingering at the center of his forehead.

He opened his eyes slowly, only to find those darkened depths staring back at him with warmth and love and compassion and all the wonderful things that characterized the hidden side of Sven Volfied.

Sven looked at him for an indeterminable amount of time. It may have been minutes, it may very well have been hours or days—all that mattered was that Sven was his, and he was Sven's—because in the end they would be together and their limbs would lie tangled, and their chests would be pressed together, and they would keep each other warm.

"And that's a gentleman's promise," he whispered as torrents of rain splashed against the ceiling and the sky split in halves and white and black flashed intermittently before settling on the most unsettling honey brown and hazel green.

"Wha—mmph!"

His eyes widened only slightly as Sven bent and pressed his warm, damp lips against his mouth insistently, rubbing them gently. Sparks of pleasure rippled through his body, shocking his brain. He jolted when a small wet muscle traced his lower lip slowly, probing, begging for entrance. His toes curled and he arched closer to that delicious body, while threading his fingers into Sven's silky black hair as Sven pressed him against the pillows. One of them groaned, or both of them groaned, but it was all in the same because it felt so good.

He shivered, and he pulled Sven closer, relishing in the softness, the warmth. He let Sven's hot tongue lead a trail of tingling fire across his lips, and he parted his lips. Sven caressed his jaw with his thumbs, and tipped his head back before allowing his tongue to enter his mouth. And so they shared their first breath together, the warm damp air traveling from his mouth to Sven's and from Sven's to his, scents mingling, tongues testing, tasting, playing, tickling. Sven tasted just as he smelled, his flavor minty and fresh and so good that he mewled in happiness. He wanted so badly to keep his eyes open, to see the expressions on Sven's face, to see the rapt pleasure and pure love, but he couldn't—the sensations were so overwhelming all he could do was wrap his arms around Sven's muscled body and pull him closer.

Sven's warm tongue moved languidly in his mouth, tracing the top row of his teeth, front to back, tickling his cheeks, before moving to the bottom row. Both boys breathed heavily through their noses, but neither wanted to stop—ever. Mapping out the curves and ridges of his teeth, Sven's tongue slithered upwards, sliding across the sensitive roof of his mouth down to his cheeks. The younger moaned appreciatively; the sensitive nerves caught aflame in pleasure as Sven massaged his hot cavern.He nearly arched off the bed as the tip of Sven's tongue nudged his own tongue playfully. His breath catching, his tongue curled against the bottom of his mouth shyly. Sven persistently slid his tongue full-length atop his.

He moaned, winding Sven's hair about his fingers and tugging, pushing him even closer until both were a tangle of limbs. Sven pressed his lips down harder, causing his lips to tingle sending pleasure swirling throughout his body, and coaxed his tongue to play with his. He felt Sven groan appreciatively, the vibrations passing through both of their chests, as he mustered the courage and slid his moist tongue against Sven's, taste-buds aligning, both boys memorizing the flavor and scent of the other. Sven lowered one of his hands down to his waist, and edged the shirt up, slipping a hand inside, tickling the skin under his ribs. He tilted his face tenderly and coaxed his tongue into his mouth and then sucked, and then the heat was spreading everywhere, his mind exploding in bliss.

Finally, both boys turned away, breathing heavily. Sven collapsed against his chest, the hot breath at his neck sending thrills of excitement up and down his body—he was dizzy. The nerves of his mouth still sizzled with the smooth action of Sven's soft tongue against his.

He languidly brushed his fingers through Sven's locks, carding through the knots, the hair slipping like water from his fingers. Sven bent his head again, and he hissed as Sven caught his bottom lip between his teeth, and sucked it, tickling the lip with his tongue, while both panted, their hot, damp breaths mingling.

He moaned as Sven trailed his fingers up and down his chest.

"Guh…"

"Is that all you can say?" Sven laughed not a little bit breathlessly, and set his cheek against his. He was obviously unable to establish a coherent train of thought in his pleasure-jumbled brain, which was entirely Sven's fault. He nipped his earlobe, and swirled his tongue around the shell damply, blasting all rational thought out the window and into the raging storm outside.

"I think that was quite hot," Sven whispered huskily sending another shot of pleasure spiraling through him. He fought the urge to moan as Sven plucked his hands from the covers, and splashed soft butterfly kisses at the sensitive skin at his wrists.

"Was that ok?" he asked, pausing for him to reply. He only hummed in contentment. It was more than ok. "Aw, look at you, you're purring like a kitten!"

He opened one eye and glared at Sven; he was too sleepy to rebut the argument, which was undoubtedly inaccurate as he was a cat; no, he was Black Cat…

Sven rolled his eyes.

"You will always be my kitten, Black Cat."

He trembled in bliss, and let his eyes slide shut. Sven rolled off of him, and pulled the covers out from under their tangled legs and over their bodies. He shivered at the loss of Sven's warmth, but nearly mewled in happiness as he felt the familiar weight of Sven's arm settle across his waist, pulling him close.

He rested his head against the nape of Sven's neck as he boyfriend rubbed his back comfortingly.

He sighed contentedly, and heard Sven mirror him, their breath tickling their faces. He grinned in Sven's arms, tucked safely against his chest.

And all was well in the night as the two lovers slept in deep, halcyon sleep, quiescent dreams murmuring in their mind's ear of wonderful things to come as the rain quieted to a gentle drizzle pattering on the roof like a sweet lullaby.


Footnotes:

(1) You'll never know the times of pain: Train's "amor" sings this the first time he sees her.

(2) They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more… The air is full of our cries. But habit is a great deadener: Obtained from Samuel Beckett's existentialist play Waiting for Godot in which two men wait for a man called Godot endlessly and pass their time with meaningless tasks. This quote depicts the ephemerality of life; it also shows that one's habits dull his senses and one practices them without thinking twice—a bit like Train's objectives when he worked for Chronos, ne?

(3) Blood. I smell blood all over your hands: When Eve believes she's the Demon, she says that she smells blood on Train's hands.

(4) He could never wash off the blood: A vague reference to Lady Macbeth's madness as she tries but fails to wash away the blood staining her hands and her conscience (i.e. King Duncan's murder, which she conspires). The direct quote: "Out, damned spot! out, I say!"This scenario is similar to the first few episodes in which Train pictures the dead man's eyes from the first episode and feels remorseful.

(5) Conversation takes place right before Sven pounds Train in Episode 10: The Cat Unleashed.

-.-

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to e-mail me or leave a review. I'll respond to you right away!

Ok, I have a few questions for you

1. Was the kiss okay? It was my "first" kiss scene…

2.Was it too confusing?

3. Did you like it? Did you hate it?

Please review, I'm a pathetic college student who checks her e-mail incessantly, waiting for comments from ff . net …

…oh, and I did shamelessly use the fluff scenes from Midnight Revelations, my HP story…hehe…oops

Have a great day and thanks for reading!

.:. Hugs .:.