"Why Do You Draw?"

A 9 fic by Noodles

"6? Why do you draw?"

6 froze, his fingers just completing the circle around the three symbols—he'd drawn it millions of times, he didn't even need to look at the paper any more. Instead, his eyes moved to 5, who was standing over him, curiously eyeing his work. How strange. No one ever talked to 6, save 2, who only ever asked to see his drawings. Everyone seemed to be content with leaving him to draw his little sketches and mumble his incoherent little warnings… so why was 5 here? "The… the source…" 6 mumbled, unsure what else to say.

5 shook his head. "No, no. That's what you draw, right? I'm asking why."

That was the difference between 5 and 2, 6 reasoned. 2 seemed awfully interested in the "what", while 5 was more about the "why". "I… I draw because…" He searched for the right words, nervously clasping his hands together. "I… I see… I see things… i-images… in my head… and I have to get them out. Or I'll go crazy." His voice was barely above a whisper, but he knew that 5 was listening.

"Images?" 5 repeated. 6 nodded weakly. "What… what kind of images?" he asked quietly. He was trying to be nice about it. That was 5, always thinking of others before himself. 6 almost smiled at the thought, if the question hadn't brought back so many awful memories… the images…

There was a giant, red light, much like an eye… ashes and fire and wires and wings… threads and lights and the head of a child, no, a doll… 5 flung to the ground, a hole burned through his eyepatch, his face a permanent mask of terror… a broken bridge, the number 9, a lightbulb, 9 and the source, the source. But... "Images," 6 replied softly. "Just… images. You'd cry if you knew."

"What do you—"

"Go back," 6 muttered. "Go back. To the source." He returned to his work, hastily grabbing a new piece of paper and sweeping his hand across the page in large arcs, leaving trails of ink. 6 didn't want to tell him, not outright. He had to figure it out for himself, they all did. And, if 5 knew… if 5 knew what would happen to him…

If 6 had a heart, it would've broken at the thought. He'd come to terms with his own demise. He knew that would happen, and he knew it was the price for defeating the machines, the monsters in his dreams. But 5… 5 was too innocent. It seemed strange to think that—5 was older than 6, wasn't he?—but it was true. 5 was trusting, 5 followed the lead of others, and knowing that all he had to gain from this was death would break him.

"6… are you going to be alright?"

6 snapped out of his thoughts and looked up at 5, a bewildered look on his face. The one-eyed stitchpunk's expression was sincerely concerned, and 6 didn't know what to say. No one had ever shown concern for him before…

"5!" Both of them jumped at the sound of 1's voice. The elderly doll strode into the room, his glare enough to make 5 duck his head and 6 grab his drawing as if to shield himself with. "Why aren't you keeping watch?" 5 hurriedly mumbled an apology and ran off to the tower. 1 glanced over at 6, and his stern expression said everything. Don't let me catch you telling anyone anything. 6 knew things, and 1 knew that—6 had tried to tell him about the images once, and the only response he got was an order not to reveal anything to anyone else. 1 was content to have everyone sit and wait for the Machines to die off, and 6 would rather let him have his way then have to deal with 8… he shuddered a little at the thought, and started drawing again.

6, why do you draw?

Despite how he knew 1 would disapprove, 5 had asked him that. 6 tried to stop himself from smiling. It'd been nice to be remembered.

-AUTHOR'S NOTE-

This is my first time writing 9 fanfiction, so I apologize if there's any OOC-ness—if you encounter any, let me know and I'll try to fix it. 5 was the hardest to write, because most of the time he's reacting to the world around him, so we don't get to see what he's like on his own before the character development strikes.

Also, this originally wasn't intended to be a 6/5 fic, but my own pairing preferences slipped through. XD Gah, I love these two, even though they rarely interact in the movie.

Either way, I hope you enjoyed it!