Summary: Xerxes Break is having a rough morning, but gets by with a little help from his friends.

Rating: G

Words: 880 (approx)

Pairings: Break/Liam, Break/Sharon

Writer's Note: Spoilers for Retrace 43, but it will make more sense if you're up to at least Retrace 49.This was one of my first fics, and it's a fluffy angst h/c thing. I screwed up when I originally posted it to , and it ended up as two separate stories when it was supposed to be one story with two chapters.

A Teary Morning

Ch 1. Mask of Clown

Summary: Here, a blind Break ponders his withering body and guarded public persona, and Liam catches him weeping when he thinks he's alone.

Alone in his room one morning, Break endeavored to take off his nightshirt and change into his usual daytime clothes. With his joints getting creakier, he had been finding it more and more difficult to attach his suspenders in the back, so he had tried to just keep them clipped to his trousers all the time. But this morning, they had come loose, and he had to try to reattach them without being able to see anything.

I wish someone were here that I could ask for help, someone who I wouldn't mind seeing me this way…half naked and feeble…unable to do the simplest things without a struggle.

Certainly, it wasn't long ago that Break had defeated Oz handily in a sword fight. He could make up for his lack of sight with other senses. But sometimes – especially in the morning and late at night – he wished someone else could be there to assist him.

It's not that I really need help physically, it's just that I…wish I could trust someone…with intimate things…

He slipped on his trousers and affixed the suspenders to them, feeling for the correct place to affix the clips.

I'm afraid if I lower my guard someone will…no, I learned long ago to steel myself against such hurts…sometimes I just wish I didn't have to have a mask on in public all the time…

A tear dripped down his cheek. He wiped it off with his sleeve, but the tears kept coming.

The door to his room was ajar, and Liam poked his head inside to see if Break was awake. He was about to say something, then was stunned speechless at the sight of Break standing there, weeping.

He's kinda cute when he cries, thought Liam.

"Are you alright, Xerxes?" asked Liam, walking toward Break and putting a hand on his shoulder.

Break gasped and looked up toward the sound of Liam's voice, his eyes empty of sight but full of nervous sadness.

"Liam!" Break said, startled. "I…I…thought I was alone."

Liam locked him a warm embrace, and Break slowly relaxed into his arms.

"You'll never be alone," Liam told him. "I'll always be here for you. Friend."

Ch. 2 Touch My Face

Summary: Here, a blind Xerxes Break ponders his condition, and has a romantic moment with Sharon.

Walking through the hall at Rainsworth house, Break thought to himself.

I told you I don't like children crying on me, Liam, but the truth is I am just afraid of crying in front of other people. And when people I care about cry, I want to cry, too.

I told you being blind is not a problem, but I must admit I miss seeing faces. Especially the face of Miss Sharon.

Just then he heard Sharon calling him.

"Break? Come have some tea with me."

He entered her room and used his hands and cane to feel his way toward the table.

"How are you doing, Xerx-nii?" asked Sharon. "You look a bit sad."

Break sighed and smiled weakly.

"I was just thinking," he sighed again. "How much I miss seeing your face."

Sharon smiled and flushed a bit.

"Well," she said, thoughtfully, "You could try seeing my face with your fingertips."

Break laughed nervously and tried think of something witty to say, but his mind was blank. His fingers tingled with anticipation. He reached toward her slowly, and found her cheek, which he caressed gently. Then his fingers moved around to her chin, and lips, which he felt part just slightly.

"Kiss me, Xerxes," she said. And for a moment, Break thought it was Shelly-sama in front of her, so mature was Sharon's voice.

This moment might never come again, he thought. And he leaned forward and touched his lips to hers, one hand on her chin, the other hand touching her soft hair.

They embraced and kissed for a long and lovely moment, then Break sat back on his chair, looking by turns elated and depressed.

"That was wonderful," Sharon said. "Why do you still look so sad?"

"I don't have much time left in this world. I had hoped somehow we could be together someday, living peacefully in a peaceful world. But by the time there is peace, I will be gone."

"Oh Xerx-nii," cried Sharon, leaning into him. "I will miss you so much!"

"I was afraid of that," said Break, sighing. "Can you save your tears for after I'm gone? It breaks my heart to see them."

"I'm not crying, Break," Sharon said, leaning back. "Feel my eyes…they are dry."

Break put his fingertips on her cheeks and slowly traced the path to her dry eyes.

"Sharon-sama," he said, "I admire how much you've matured. I'm so proud of you…" His voiced choked up as a tear came to his eye.

Sharon smiled gently and touched his tear with her fingertip.

"Touch my smile, Break. Everything will be alright."

He did as he was told, and while his fingers touched her lips, she touched his in return. When his lips parted, she slipped a lollipop into his mouth, and he grinned widely, happy to be with someone who understood him so well.