A/N: Okay, so I just started Black Cat (manga) last week, and I'm in, like, the middle of volume 8 or 9 or so, and I'm in LOVE with this pairing, but there aren't enough shippers for it, if you ask me. So I thought I'd go ahead and join the cause! TrainxEve yayness! But if I have any facts wrong, it's because I haven't finished the series yet, and I haven't even started the anime. I'll probably post another TrainxEve story when I'm finished reading, though. Maybe a sequel to this, ne? By the way, I know the whole nightmare routine has been done again and again in the Black Cat fandom, but I couldn't resist. It's just so adorable!
Disclaimer: I do not own Black Cat. If I did, there'd be a lot more TrainxEve fluffiness.
Manga or anime: Manga
Time: Just a little after Train and Sven rescue Eve from Torneo
Train was out most nights, so at first he didn't notice. She was sleeping when he left; she'd still be knocked out when he got back. And on the rare nights he did stay to get a good night's sleep, he was so deep in slumber nothing could wake him. Sven, of course, was such a heavy sleeper a bomb could probably go off under his bed and he'd be none the wiser. So when Eve first started traveling with them, neither of them knew.
Eventually, however, Train started to get suspicious. Sometimes her eyelids would start to droop when she was reading, or she'd walk a little slower and fall behind them. The light purple circles under her eyes got darker every day. Occasionally it'd take her a few seconds to answer a question, as if she was having trouble processing what was said to her. She even started to drift off every now and then, when she thought he and Sven weren't paying attention.
And then, one night, he returned from his moonlighting to find her sitting on the kitchen counter, eyes wide and alert. And suddenly, Train understood.
Eve didn't sleep much. At all.
"Hey, princess, what're you doing up so late?" he asked, walking over to the fridge. With practiced ease, he opened the fridge, grabbed a bottle of milk, popped the lid and closed the door, almost simultaneously. Eve watched with dull eyes, unimpressed. "Isn't it a bit past your bedtime?"
Eve shook her head as Train hopped on the counter beside her. He tossed his head back and downed a huge gulp of milk, swinging his legs back and forth, carelessly letting them hit the counter with a tha-thunk, tha-thunk.
"You'll wake Sven up," Eve commented.
"Nah, I doubt it," Train replied before drinking the last of his milk. He tossed the empty bottle into the trash can beside the counter. "So what are you doing up at…," Train glanced at the clock, his eyes widening slightly as he realized just how late it was. "…4:30 a.m.? Princess, staying up late stunts your growth." Not sure if that applies to nanotechnology, though…
That caught her attention. "It does?" she asked, looking a little concerned.
"Yep. At this rate you'll be a shortie forever," he teased.
While Eve took a moment to think that over, Train studied her carefully. The bags under her eyes were impressive; it was starting to look like someone had sucker punched her in the face. She had a weary slouch in her shoulders, her eyelids kept drooping before suddenly snapping wide open. Her eyes were tired and unfocused.
"Princess," he said seriously, interrupting her thoughts. "When was the last time you slept?"
Eve shot him a glare, stubbornly refusing to answer him. Train sighed.
"You know you're gonna need to sleep sometime if you want to keep up with Sven and me."
"You don't sleep at night," Eve argued.
"I take naps all day," Train countered. When Eve didn't answer he grinned, sensing a victory. "C'mon, princess, what's wrong?"
Silence settled over them for a few moments. Train didn't really expect her to answer; she was Eve, after all, who only thought of him as a rival. He knew there was no way she'd spill her heart out to him, not-
Train's head whipped around so fast he thought he felt it break. It was barely a whisper, but he was sure Eve had said something. "What was that?"
"Nightmares. I get nightmares," she told him, her usually monotone words coming out in a rush. "Of Torneo. Of what he made me do. Of all the people I…I killed."
Train listened with amazement, astounded that she would confide in him. Sure, she had once before, but that had ended with her declaring her rivalry with him, and he hadn't expected her to share anymore secrets with him after that.
He also felt a bit of empathy for the girl. All his life he had suffered from nightmares, from when his parents were killed to when he became a Chrono's number to when Saya died.
"I just…they're horrible, and when I sleep I always have bad dreams. I don't know how to get rid of them. I don't think I can," she continued with a shaky voice. "And I pretend to sleep so Sven won't worry, but…If I don't sleep I don't have nightmares. And I just can't deal with them anymore."
"Princess," Train whispered. Eve stared at her dangling feet, her bangs concealing her eyes. But Train could still see her lips tremble and watched helplessly as she brought a hand up to rub her eyes, catching her tears before he could see them. She was crying. She was scared.
He had never seen her look so forlorn.
And he had no idea how he could make it better. When he was Eve's age and had nightmares, all he could think about was how much he wished someone could scare them away for him, keep him safe while he dreamed…
Suddenly, an idea struck him and he hopped off the counter. Eve watched with confused, teary eyes as Train offered her a hand and helped her down. He kept a firm grasp on her hand and gently tugged at it, urging her to follow him as he navigated the halls of their hideout. He reached his destination and stopped, opening a door and ushering her in.
"But Train," Eve said as the smell of milk and blood and Train's unique scent hit her, "this is your room."
"Yep!" he affirmed cheerfully. "My room is more lived in than yours, so it's homier. Plus, you haven't had any nightmares in here yet, have you?"
Train led her towards his bed, gently pushing her onto the mattress. "Go ahead, lay down."
"Train, I don't really understand –"
Train ignored her, sliding under the covers next to her.
"Train, what are you…?" Eve trailed off as she felt Train's arms wrap around her, pulling her close to his chest.
"See? Safe," he told her softly. "I promise, as long as you're with me, I won't let any nightmares scare you. My room is your panic room."
Eve wanted to doubt him, wanted to tell him that he couldn't keep the nightmares away, it was a foolish idea, but…it was warm and comfortable and…well, she did feel safe.
And really, really tired.
"Whether it's nightmares or corrupted scientists or bad guys or whatever, I'll always keep you safe, princess," he pledged so quietly Eve almost didn't hear him, even pressed up against him so close.
"I…," Eve wasn't sure what to say. A strange feeling was blossoming in her chest, one she had never felt before and couldn't really explain. She shyly wrapped her arms around Train, bringing herself closer to him so she could take in his scent and listen to his heartbeat. Train chuckled lightly, burying his face in her hair. "Thank you, Train," she mumbled into his shirt.
"No prob, princess. Can't have sleep deprivation keep you from reaching the top shelf someday, can we?"
Eve tried to look up and glare at him, but their positions and the foreign emotion made it hard. She settled for lightly hitting his shoulder instead. Train just laughed silently.
"Good night, Train."
A/N: Whoot! That was fun to write. I'll probably write another chapter to this, about that weird super strong dude and the gunman guy from Apostles of the Stars, and how they hurt Eve, and how that effected Train, especially since (in this story) he promised to keep her safe. But I'll probably try to finish the manga first...maybe. How 'bout it?