A/N: First TBD fic, and it's kind of a stream-of-consciousness piece and I apologize— kind of. Basically a piece on Tommy and how life never went the way he wanted it to.

Disclaimer: Nope.

There was something missing. There was always something missing, something to keep his world from becoming exactly what he wanted it to be. When he was younger, more naïve, he believed that he could find it within another place, another time. He knew how stupid he was for thinking that, thinking that he could just run away from everything and his life would feel fulfilled.

Because that was the one thing that no one ever taught you— unless you tried very hard, for many years, you would never feel fulfilled. Or, that's what it seemed like. Only the rich and powerful and famous were fulfilled, but even he could see their eyes, seemingly longing for something more (something less.) No one got the life they wanted, had to live with the one they had, couldn't change it, no matter how much they wanted to.

It was written in the stars— street rats stayed on the streets, workers stayed in factories and banks and shops, journalists stayed journalists, and if you were lucky, the famous stayed famous. You were what your parents were, most likely. You never grew out of the shadow that your ancestors had created for you, it was a way of life.

But he wanted more, yearned for it in a way that he had never yearned for anything else in his life. And so he had worked and trialed and fought and ultimately, as he should have known, failed. Because success was never an option, not for him, not for the boy who should have known that he could be nothing more than just an average person.

He had never needed success, never needed fame, never needed anything except something more than what he had. But he wasn't meant to get it, wasn't meant to pass anything except for what his father did, and his grandfather, and his great grandfather, all the way back from the beginning of time.

Life had a funny way of kicking you when you were down, when you knew that you were going to become down, and he knew that he could quote a million more clichés and nothing would ever exactly describe how he felt about the situation. Because life, to him, wasn't a way of living, only a way of surviving. You lived because you had to, there was nothing else for you to do except die, and who wanted that?

And so he lived— survived, and nothing more, nothing less, for the longest time. Until he had to become something else. Someone else where just plain surviving wasn't enough, when he had to take care of others (something he wished he could have forgotten, but knew that he never could.) He did what he had to do, and life suddenly became a battle of survival, rather than just the basic surviving that he had done beforehand.

He wasn't a saint, wasn't Mother Teresa by any means— he had killed, hurt, bruised, and broken. He wouldn't pretend that he didn't throw up every night, awaken from nightmares that he knew wouldn't go away, because they were visions of what he had actually done. He had wanted something else, but he was never going to get it, because he had to fight to save the others. And maybe they didn't deserve it, but who did? He loved them, and that was all that mattered. And he would do anything to help the only people who had ever helped him; even if what he was doing far outweighed what they had done for him in their lives, he would still do it. That's what family was for, after all.

Family came first, that's what he always learned. And even though he had hated what he had done, what he knew he would have to do, he would do it— he would do it because protecting his family meant more than anything else in the world.

If that meant he wouldn't be accepted into the gates of Heaven and into God's arms, then he could live with Hell. Because what you did in this life mattered, and he wasn't going to go around screwing with it, being someone who he would have hated, someone who turned their back because of a little blood, a little violence.

And yeah, he hadn't become somebody, hadn't become anymore than what his father was, but maybe, once he grew up, threw away that naivety, he was okay with that. Not perfect by any means, but he could still live— not live in the sense that he wanted, still only a fight for survival, but live nonetheless.

So he cried every night, so he threw up and couldn't look at himself in the mirror, so people came to him, asking questions that he didn't know the answer to, but was expected to. So he became the boss of something he never thought he would have. So nothing had gone the way he had planned. He would be okay with that, he would make himself okay with that. Because family mattered the most, and he knew that.

There was still something missing, parts of him still wanting to run away and never look back until he could feel whole, but he knew that he would never give up his responsibilities for some crazy dream. There was longing in his eyes, but he had finally got the courage to look at them and accept it.

And acceptance of his life was all that really mattered, in the end. Nothing would change, nothing would get better, nothing would magically come and take him away, take his pain and loneliness and longing and missing parts away from him. Because life wasn't like that.

If you were very lucky, life was more than just about surviving. He was never all that lucky. No— life was a battle of the fittest, a fight to an inevitable end, hoping you came out on top. And he would, his family would.

He hated himself, but he was finally okay with that.