Piggyback Ride

5 rolled up the blueprints for today's project with 2 and headed for the watch tower. He had reached the level where 1 and 8 resided when he realized he had left his bag up there. He shuddered. The last thing he wanted to do was wake up 1. It was early in the morning, the sun had barely risen and 1 tended to be crankier than usual when woken at such an early hour (a lesson 5 learned the hard way when had been up there reading and accidentally let the book drop to the floor with a thud).

Still, 5 remembered he had left an important piece needed for the project in his bag so…

Quietly, he halted the lift and tip toed forward. To 5's surprise, 1 wasn't there. Neither was 8. 5 was confused for a moment until it hit him. The twins. They must've been cataloging something up here while 1 and 8 were sleeping. His assumption was confirmed by an argument going on between 1 and 7 off in the distance. Boy, could they go at it.

5 continued walking when he heard a faint moan. He flinched and turned to the source of the noise. 6 was in the process of drawing…something. 5 had come across 6 once or twice but had never really talked to him. There was a time when 2 was talking with 6 that 5 had said a couple words to the striped stitchpunk but not enough to strike up an actual conversation.

He knew enough about 6. 1 always complained about him and apparently, besides 5, he was 8's favorite punching bag. 2 collected some of drawings from time to time. He had this feeling that they meant something but all 5 saw were a bunch of scribbles.

6's pen nib fingers paused on his picture briefly. There was an odd look in his eye as if this had been his first time seeing the picture, which 5 found strange. Mismatched eyes darted all over the page and 6 retracted from his art. He began shivering and sobbing.

5 walked up to the trembling rag doll. "Uhm, 6?"

6 screamed and jumped back. "Sorry! Sorry," 5 apologized.

6 stared at 5 for a long time. It made 5 feel extremely awkward.

"Uh. Are-are you okay?"

6 slowly began to look down. "Fine, fine." He clutched the black key hanging around his neck.

"Uhm. Okay," 5 slowly began to get up and walk away.

Suddenly, he saw what 6 had drawn.

It was a horrifying image of some…beast! It was frightening enough to make 5 yelp. "Wha-what is that thing?" he asked.

"The beast," was all 6 said.

"What-what beast?" 5 asked.

"I saw it…in a dream…" 6 answered.

5 cocked his head to the side.

"I-I see many things-in my dreams…" 6 said.

"Like those things?" 5 asked pointing a familiar picture pinned to the wall. It was similar to the pictures 2 had collected.

6 shook his head.

"What is it?" 5 asked.

"The source," 6 answered.

"Of what?" 5 asked.

"What?"

"It's the source of what?"

6 couldn't answer. He knew what it was in a way but he couldn't find an explanation for it.

"6?"

"I-…ah!" 6 went into a trance like state. He began shaking again.

"6?!" 5 seized the stitchpunk's shoulders.

6 shook his head wildly. "Wha-?"

"You okay?"

"Fine, fine." 6's bottom lip quivered. "It's just…the dreams they-they scare me."

5 sighed. He knew exactly what it was like to be scared.

"Flying…" 6 said suddenly.

"Huh?"

"Birds…" 6 said in a distant voice.

He pushed 5 aside and ran to the glass clock at the end of the room. A low light emitted from it. The sun had still barely come up.

5 remembered the twins showing the group something about birds.

6 began flapping his arms for a moment before shrinking back down into a huddled position.

"6?"

"To fly…to be free…" 6 said in sing-song voice. "Up in the air…"

Was that what 6 wanted? 6 was hard to figure out. Harder than the twins and they couldn't even talk. 6 raised his arms again but this time he jumped. Maybe he did want to fly. When he came back down to the ground, he sighed. "The source…" he muttered. So much went on in his head. It was driving him crazy. He began to shake again.

5 felt bad for 6. He had a feeling he knew what 6 was feeling. Trapped. Although 1 referred to the cathedral as a sanctuary, it felt like a prison. So many rules and restrictions, no one even had the gull to call this place home. The only reason 5 wasn't miserable there was because of 2.

6 stared up into the bleak morning sky and sighed again, still fiddling with his key.

2 always managed to cheer 5 up. Perhaps he could make 6 feel better as well. Or maybe…

6 watched the clouds roll by. He was about to go back into his little corner when something suddenly lifted him up off the ground. 6 screamed in horror and looked down. 5 had hoisted him up on his shoulders. 6 started at him, confused.

"How's the view from up there?" he asked.

6 arched an eyebrow and looked forward. His mouth fell into the shape of an 'O'. This was a whole 'nother view point that he had never experienced before. He smiled and laughed gleefully.

"So…" 5 asked adjusting 6 so all his weight wasn't on one shoulder. "Where do you wanna go?"

6 thought for a moment. "Over there!" he pointed abruptly.

5 ran. "WHOA!" 6 cried. It shocked him, but he enjoyed it. He threw his arms in the arm. "Now over there!" he said pointing in an opposite direction.

5 skidded to a halt and ran the other way. "Who-ho! Faster! Faster!" 6 cheered.

"Ha! This is as fast as I can go!" 5 said rushing past the lift, or rather, where the lift would have been. 5 hardly noticed it had disappeared momentarily.

5 rushed to the middle of the room and spun around in circles. "Fun! Fun! Aha! Again! Again!" 6 cried clapping joyously as 5 stopped.

"You like it up there?" 5 asked.

6 shook his head and smiled.

Suddenly, the lift returned. "2!" 6 cried, waving.

"2?!" 5 flinched and gripped 6's ankles so that he wouldn't fall.

The older stitchpunk stepped off the lift and smiled. "I was beginning to worry something had happened to you, 5. But I see you were busy playing."

"Oh, 2. I-I'm so sorry, I was on my way but I left something up here and…" 5 apologized slowly letting 6 back down to the ground.

"It's alright," 2 chuckled.

As 6 made it to the floor he stumbled into 2 from dizziness. 2 laughed and helped him up.

"5 helped me fly!" 6 exclaimed.

"Did he now?" 2 asked.

6 nodded. His smile faded momentarily as the awestruck, trance-like look reappeared on his face and he quickly ventured back to his corner of the room.

5 noticed his bag lying on the other side of the room and seized it almost immediately. He realized he had dropped the blueprints over by 6's corner and carefully went to grab them.

He flinched when he noticed 2 was right behind him. He was smiling.

"That was a good thing you did," 2 said.

"I…he just looked like he needed some cheering up. I was actually going to ask you if you could cheer him up because you always make me happy but since I was right here I just figured…" 5 began to ramble.

2 brought his fingers to 5's lips, silencing him. 2 was still smiling.

"I-it really wasn't much," 5 said.

"But it means a lot to him. Couldn't you tell?" 2 asked.

"Well, I guess," 5 shrugged.

2 took 5's face in his hand and looked at him for a long time. There was a look of admiration in his eyes. "You're a wonderful person, 5."

5 froze. Something inside him just shut down. He smiled sheepishly and whispered: "Thanks."

2's hands ran down 5's arms and took the blue prints and bag out of 5's hands. "I'll meet you up in the watch tower, alright?"

"Okay," 5 said, still feeling slightly dazed by 2's compliment.

Still smiling, 2 walked back to the lift. 5's eye followed the number on 2's back as he rose up to the watch tower.

He snapped back to reality when he felt 6 tugged at the fabric of his arm.

"Friend?" 6 asked softly.

5 looked confused for a moment but smiled when he understood. "Yeah. Yeah, 6 we're-we're friends."

6 smiled and hugged 5. 5 laughed and ruffled 6's yarn hair before wrapping his arm around his new friend.

THE END

Another brilliant idea by Raichul. We're a dynamic duo we are ;) And if you couldn't tell, there was some hinted 2x5 in there because honestly, it wouldn't be a 9 fanfic written by Me if there wasn't. lol Anyway, hope you enjoy the brotherly bond and 5 and 6 ^^

-Alex