The Panic In Me
(By "Dear lord, they're so cute. I swear ta god." Zar)
(Warning: I am not responsible fer any mental damage caused by reading this fic.)

Often these days
And always these nights
I find I'm afraid
Of the turbulent heights

With a startled and frightened gasp, Miguel sat up, hair sticking to sweaty skin, still clutching the pillow that he had unintentionally been hugging in his sleep.
For a moment, all the hideous images, the terrifying things he had seen, were burned perfectly into his eyes, dancing outside the fringe of his vision. Slowly, the onset of reality caused the phantoms to fade away into pure memory, but the dream had been more then enough...Miguel was absolutely terrified.
He sat there, all his muscles tense, feeling the pillow he was holding crushing itself against his chest, trapping his body heat. He tried to breathe calmly and collectively, tried to focus on something other then what he had just seen, but his nightmare was haunting him, hovering around his every thought, not allowing him a moment of peace without the same sick, frightened feeling returning to him.
He had only been sitting up for a few moments before he could feel his partner beside him moving, apparently having sensed or heard Miguel wake. He turned and watched as Tulio slowly rubbed at his eyes, only moments remaining before he would turn his gaze and attention to Miguel.
The blonde Spaniard was torn between keeping his nightmare to himself and telling Tulio about it, not sure of which one would be more painful. There was always the possibility that Tulio would dismiss it as just a dream, perhaps a stupid one at that, but then again...the content of the dream wasn't something that Miguel wanted to keep to himself. It had been so frightening, so terrible, that he didn't want his mind to be the only one to bear its burden. It was too heavy for him.
So he reluctantly turned to face Tulio, watching his dark-haired friend automatically run a hand through his hair as he sat upwards, supporting himself mainly with his arms. He made a few incoherent noises before he could form words.
"Uf...what's wrong?"
Faced with a question that should have been easy to answer, Miguel again was seized by the fear of Tulio rejecting his dream as foolish, and began to wonder if perhaps that was what he was being; foolish for believing and being so disturbed by a mere dream. He simply sat silently, his gaze slowly moving down to the lavender pillow he was still holding.
After a moment of regarding him in this manner sleepily, Tulio pushed himself all the way upwards with one quick movement, resting his arms clumsily on his knees as he turned towards Miguel, a more serious and attentive expression on his face.
More pressure on him. "What's wrong?"
His words came out slowly and haltingly, although the emotion and distress behind them was genuine. "I...I had a nightmare."
Tulio pressed a hand to his forehead for a moment, eyes shut tight in either frustration, annoyance, or deep thought. It was hard to tell sometimes. Miguel regretted even mentioning it only scarce seconds after the words had left his mouth...he should have just gone back to sleep.
There was an awkward silence for a period, where Miguel kept thinking about his nightmare and getting more and more distressed while Tulio slowly massaged his temples. Finally it was the darker one who spoke in a tired voice. "What was it about?"
Trying to recall the events in logical order, Miguel was only frightened and disturbed further by the imagery coming back to him. "It was terrible..." More emotion then he intended in his words. "I mean...we were here, and we were gods, but...then..."
He was fighting, fighting extremely hard, against tears that were rising within him. He wanted to be comforted, but he was frightened of Tulio at the same time. He hated that...the conflicting emotions that always came to him in situations like this. He did not want to cry now...that would be such a weak reaction to something that should not have bothered him in the first place.
When he glanced at Tulio, he found that he was making sure the drapes that covered their small sleeping area were drawn, slowly and thoughtfully. Miguel watched him, still struggling to keep himself under control, until Tulio turned back to him, his expression and movements still tired and slow, no doubt the effects of the feast scarce hours before still lasting on him.
"But then?" Tulio prompted, and Miguel felt a rising crush of emotion at his words. They were tired but encouraging in a strange way. Such a small sign of concern, yet it was everything.
Miguel clutched the pillow he was holding closer to himself, hoping that giving his muscles something to focus on would somehow halt his tears. It had a moderate degree of success; only a few tears slid down his face as he tried to speak, his voice choked more with the effort of confining and hiding his emotion rather then with the emotions themselves.
"We were everything...everything to everyone I mean...we were gods, real gods...and then..." Miguel sniffed, although he didn't want to. "And then...everything went wrong. They found us out, they discovered us...they pulled us down and they..."
Tulio was sitting beside him, close enough so that he could feel his body heat. "It was terrible..."
Tulio didn't respond, one arm slung around his knees while his free hand was used to support his head as he stared down at the floor. He looked as if he was deep in thought, although he could never be sure.
More memories, hideous images of what Miguel had seen flashed through his head. Torn to pieces...everything stripped, gone...beaten, tortured, killed...falling...falling so far...
Alone...the terrible loneliness...
"It was terrible!" A rush of emotion caused his words to come out louder and more pained then he intended. It only took a few seconds after his momentary outburst for him to get under control again. "Falling...we fell...It was...and then you were gone...they did terrible things to you and to was horrible..."
Miguel finally let the pillow go, using his now free hands to rub quickly at his face, trying to wipe away tears before they fell, which only irritated his eyes further. "It was so real, I couldn't believe it...not after everything they've done for us tonight...everything...was all a lie...and they..."

No matter how crazily
No matter how far
The moments of tenderness
Are those where you are

Tulio finally responded, although it was physical rather then verbal at first. He reached out towards Miguel, startling him into silence. With quick, sharp movements, he grabbed the front of his shirt and began to move it. With a slight sense of surprise and embarassment, Miguel realized that his broadnecked shirt had slid to one side while he had been asleep without his notice. Tulio simply adjusted it, putting it back into position with an unreadable expression on his face.
He finally spoke, his voice soft and reassuring, although the words were somewhat gruff in content. "It was just a dream. Don't worry so much about it. They don't mean anything. Just go back to sleep."
"God, it was awful." Miguel felt emboldened by the momentary signs of affection that were being shown to him, enough to get him to open up just a little more. "They took you away and they said they would never let us see eachother again. And then they took your hair ribbon, and they-"
Finally Tulio smiled, somewhat sarcastically, and his tone matched. "Why on earth would they take my ribbon?"
"I don't know! I..." Miguel was distressed by his non-chalant reaction to his night terrors, but the fact he was talking to him at all was enough to help keep him under control. "I can't control my dreams..if I could..."
Tulio just smiled at him softly, his hands still resting on his shoulders. "Just go back to sleep, alright?"
Miguel stared at him for a moment, the kindness that was so rare helping to rest his jangled nerves. He felt brave...emboldened by this moment, of such soft and miniscule affection.
"I couldn't imagine living without you..."
He was expecting anything negative in response to his statement; a joke, a sarcastic jab, a brush-off of what he said, an angry reproval against talking about such things...
He didn't expect Tulio to laugh.

For when you are laughing
Like silver, like rain
You cool me, you soothe me
And love me again

He stared at him in confusion. Tulio was staring downwards, just laughing quietly to himself. It wasn't cruel or mocking laughter either, just genuine. The sound was enough to help Miguel realize the absurdity of the situation, and perhaps of his dream itself...
Here they were, crowned gods of El Dorado, after a wonderful feast given by a trusting public, and he was crying over a nightmare that would never come true!
"Don't worry." Tulio's soft voice this time held no sarcasm, no obscure cynicism. He sounded genuinely concerned, an equally soft smile about his lips. "Everything's going to be fine, alright? We have a plan."
"The plan." Miguel nodded in response, feeling slightly better. He sniffed again, raising a hand to rub at his eyes once more. Before his hand could complete the journey, however, he could feel Tulio's thin, cool fingers against his cheek, brushing his tears away for him. He couldn't stop the pause in his breath or the quickening of his heart, but he could control his words to some extent. "Right. We've got a plan." That was something solid to cling to.
"We're going to leave here together, alright?" Tulio's hands again replaced themselves on his shoulders. "There's no way anything's going to happen to me or you."
At Miguel's silence, Tulio leaned back, placing a hand on his chest with a confident smile. "After all, have I ever let us get hurt before?"
Miguel had to shake his head, a weak smile coming over him in response to Tulio's obvious attempt to cheer him up. Tulio snapped his fingers as if that fixed the entire ordeal.
"Well, that's that. Nothing can happen 'cause I'm watching out for both of us. So don't let any stupid dreams scare you. Nothing can get past..." Tulio struck a comic pose. "Tulio! The mighty and powerful god!"
Miguel laughed softly, feeling better despite himself. This was as genuine a display of affection that Tulio seemed to be capable of giving and he appreciated it deeply. "Thanks."

For a few perfect hours
The world lets me be
You know how to calm down
Oh oh
The panic in me
The panic in me
The panic in me

There was only a moment of silence and mutual eye-contact before Tulio broke away, turning back to the cushions he had left shortly before. He yawned before speaking one last time, laying with his back to his partner. "Go back to sleep."
Miguel sat and watched him for a moment, waiting for him to tense slightly as he usually did when he entered deep sleep. It had always struck him as peculiar...for most people sleep seemed to be a restful time, but within slumber Tulio seemed just as tense as he did in the conscious world. He twitched occasionally sometimes. Whenever Miguel asked him what he was dreaming about, he never responded directly. In a way, it was almost as if he was ashamed or embarassed of his dreams, which Miguel could understand now. Maybe they had been as foolish as his previous nightmare had been...
He turned, lowering himself slowly on one elbow back downwards, back-to-back with Tulio, as he tried to forget the dream and dismiss it. But the imagery...
It had seemed so real. The idea of the two of them being torn apart so violently, so...permanently. It was so was terrifying.
He turned slightly so he could see his partner's thin chest rising and falling slowly. Just as he had expected, he could see his bicep twitch just slightly, a definite indication that he had already fallen back asleep.
Settling down again, the lavender pillow he knew would at some point end up in his arms now underneath his head, he closed his eyes, trying to focus on Tulio's comforting words rather then his disturbing nightmare.
Eventually he did drift off into slumber.

Once in a while
I slip back to my past
Where I long to remain
But the dream does not last

"Oh, you don't have to worry about me. I'll be fine."
"What do you MEAN you'll be fine? Of course you won't be fine! We're not going on a picnic here, we're going to be cheating people regularly! I can't let you-"
"Can't let me, pff. I let myself. Besides, what does it matter to you?"
"God, isn't it obvious? I don't want you getting your blonde head hurt, you idiot! I swear to god..."
"Of course."
"Don't worry about me...I'll always be here...I'll always..."
"...of course."

In center of blue, soft surroundings, indistinct and hazy, the two figures were staring at one another, only inches apart, only the sounds of of their breathing breaking the silence. They both waited for a moment, on the edge of making a decision, on the edge of either moving forward or moving back. Hovering back and forth, just about to make that all-important jump, the step, the beginning of everything that had led up to the present...all he had to do was-
Another person suddenly and violently came into view, striking and slashing his way through the dreamscape as if it were made of paper. Glinting silver, holding a curved blade and a dangerously quiet look about him, the broad man inspired fear and terror in even the most stalwart of men, which did not necessarily fit his description. With his soldiers behind him, clothed in steel, the man simply advanced forward, sword already glinting blood -- glinting somehow familiar blood -- and his mind was whirling. Something rang deep within him, struck him cold, struck him deaf and numb, without feeling or ability to move, to avoid his fate...sick knowledge already in the back of his mind of who else had already fallen to the stained blade.
Terror, sadness, fear, pain, everything came over him all at once, tearing away any warm blue memories he may have had for a red distorted haze, leaving him frightened and alone.
Anything, he would have given anything to have his previous dream back, his previous happy memories and visions, but all he got was the growing pain in his chest, in his throat, tearing at him, ripping him apart, causing him to stare down at his own hands, stained with blood he knew was not his own, blood he knew belonged to someone that he-
To his embarassment, Tulio woke with a sharper and louder cry then Miguel had previously. He also took a moment to breathe, to realize where he was, but Miguel was a bit quicker then he had been, already awake and by his side, a hand resting on one of his shoulders.
"Are you alright? What happened?"
He now understood why Miguel had been so upset from just a dream. He knew now...the fact that his mind could fabricate such a situation with all the reality, the necessary details, the fact that his mind could make such a thing so real that he couldn't tell the was frightening...that he could imagine such horror at all. It shouldn't even have been a possibility...not even in dreams.
He pressed a hand to his forehead, struggling to keep it from trembling underneath the emotional stress that had come over him. Miguel stared at him with those soft green eyes, and he couldn't help but feel so transparent, so invisible. He could see right through him. He knew, he knew everything already without words...
But he couldn't help himself. "I'm was nothing. I'm alright. I'm fine..."
"You are not." Miguel's voice was gently chiding, and when he looked over at him he had a comforting smile. He sombered however when he ventured his next question. "What was it about?"
Tulio shook his head, feeling foolish and weak for letting a dream bother him so much, turning away from him so he wouldn't have to feel those eyes searching through him. "It was stupid,'s nothing."
"Nothing, hmm..." Miguel's tone took the detached manner he often used when he was about to manipulate Tulio into doing something, often through reverse psychology. Tulio couldn't help but fall for it each time, even though he knew it was coming. "Scary nothing, I suppose."
"I'm fine..." Tulio tried to sound angry, commanding, but only sounded sulky. He stole a quick glance at his blonde companion to find him sitting and studying his hands with quiet grace, the same lofty tone as before still in play.
"Was it about Cortez again?"
Tulio turned immediately, his first impulse to shout, or to threaten, or to quickly erase the words from the air with some of his own, raising his hand in the air to begin to gesture when he saw Miguel, sitting with his head propped up on his arms, just smiling at him.

In the trials of the present
No matter how low
You bring me such peace
And you won't let me go

"It's not funny." It was the only thing that Tulio could think of to say, even though he wasn't truly angry anymore. The quiet confidence on Miguel's face, in his smile, made him feel better and dissolved his righteous anger and his arm lowered slowly. "I hate that dream."
"I know." The lofty tone was gone, this time replaced with one of genuine concern. Miguel looked off to the side for a moment before returning his gaze to Tulio's. "Do you think it means anything...? That we're having dreams like this now...?"
Tulio regarded him silently for a moment, then shrugged carelessly, trying to match his voice to his actions. "Means we drank too much, that's all. I'll make a note not to do that next time."
He turned to go back to sleep, feeling awkward and vulnerable despite his brave facade. Miguel's concern had frightened him again...normally he did not believe in Miguel's superstitions and the like (although, ironically, that had got them here in the first place), but now, as mentally disturbed by his dream as he was, it held more truth then he would have liked.
He was still shivering, and he angrily cursed himself for this.
Before he could settle down to rest again, however, he felt Miguel's hand resting on his shoulder.

For when you are laughing
Like silver, like rain
You cool me, you soothe me
And love me again

Miguel finally answered his own rhetorical question. "I think it doesn't."
Tulio just stared at him, wishing angrily that his muscles would stop twitching underneath Miguel's hand. He shook his head again, trying desperatly to focus on anything, to keep his emotions apart, under control, keep them away...
"Don't worry..." He couldn't make his voice convincing. "I don't think it means anything either."
Miguel laughed softly for only a few moments, raising his free hand to his mouth almost as if to stifle himself. Tulio couldn't help but smile at his mirth, although he did not know what had caused it. Miguel finally looked at him with such happy, confident eyes that he felt that nothing had really happened, that his nightmare had never occurred, that nothing could ever happen again that could ever dampen those beautifully energetic and loving eyes. "You're a terrible liar, Tulio, you know that?"
Tulio let out a shivering sigh, his breathe apparently having joined his muscles in their general mutiny of his brain's desperate attempt at control. He couldn't think of any response.

For a few perfect hours
The world lets me be
You know how to break down
Oh oh
The panic in me
The panic in me
The panic in me

Quietly, but very confidently, Miguel's other hand joined its companion on his partner's shoulders, and he drew Tulio into a hug. Tulio tried only for a few seconds, weakly and softly, to try and push him away.
"Don't..." His voice wavered and broke, the warmth and closeness of his partner's body chasing away all other thoughts. "...don't..."
As Miguel shook his head again, he could feel the soft strands of his hair brushing against his cheek. He only whispered a soft response. "You're a terrible liar."
Entrapped as he was, Tulio could not and would not resist, simply sitting with Miguel holding him, warming him. He did not realize how cold he had become until now he had warmth...
Safety...ironically enough, although he felt safe where he was, this only made him shake harder, almost all of his muscles convulsing as his brain finally let them do what they pleased. So much shivering having been contained all coming out in a few, fairly violent spasms, complete with sharp, inhaled quavering breaths. Miguel held onto him tightly until finally his quaking ceased entirely.
He couldn't do this, this wasn't right...he shouldn't be doing this, he shouldn't have reached out like this...didn't he realize what he had done? He had opened the gates...he never should have done it before and now he was doing it again, and everytime his mental safeguards were breached, Tulio felt so vulnerable, so frightened. Of course, Miguel was there, he was always there. That was something he could depend on, something he knew as a certainty. Miguel would be there. But he was still frightened. Comforted and frightened all at once...such a paradox.

In the trials of the present
No matter how low
You bring me such peace
And you won't let me go
Oh don't let me go

His partner just held onto him and he marveled at the power of reverse roles so quickly and completely, to have him change from being the comforter to the comfortee in what seemed like only minutes.
How could he do this? He couldn't do this. There was no way this could be right, there was no way there could be such an easy and convenient answer for his problems...there was no way this could have happened, that so long ago Miguel had said yes, and he was still here now. That he had managed to keep that promise and stay, which no one else had ever done. This wasn't right, it couldn't be right...he couldn't be happy like this...
"It's alright." Another soft whisper near his ear. "I'm always here, remember?"
He couldn't...
He had to...
He can't...
He must...
He had to...
Finally, Tulio raised his arms, which had been lying inert by his sides, and moved them, finally returning the embrace that had been given so many times and yet never returned. Soft fabric underneath his fingers, warmth flooding into his arms...he tightened his grip almost convulsively, his mind rejecting every moment and yet loving everything that he was doing. Why...?

For when you are laughing
Lile silver, like rain

Happy laughter from beside him, from the silken strands near his face, soft sounds that he could not help but echo. The two sounds melded and blended together, mixing in a way that made it hard to tell which voice belong to which person. Memories rushed through him, memories of that night, that night so long ago, when things had been new, had just been beginning...
"...Of course."

And in the blue mist, the throbbing rain, the dark humidity and warmth of the night, through everything they had stood there, and Miguel had been the first to move forward, to bridge the gap that he had always been frightened to cross, the gap that had prevented and kept him from so much.

You cool me, you soothe me
And you love me again

Feeling those arms, with wet fabric clinging to their form, around him, for the first time...reaching out to him, reaching for him with quiet acceptance and knowledge, no subtle or underlying motives...just simple affection, a genuine effort to reach him, to reach out to him in the rain, the droplets and the blue night.
He had created the chasm in his mind between himself and his feelings, his happiness, and he thought that he had been permanently cursed with it since then. But while he could never surpass it on his own power, Miguel could cross it and he did, regularly, reminding him, dragging him across..making him see what he had been missing, the comfort he could be having, the peace that should have been his.
They had been through so much, even on this adventure alone, done everything together. Through a relationship that seemed to be so under his control in daylight, from his friend who seemed to bow to him at every occasion under the glare of the sun or other's eyes, here he was reduced to shivering in his arms, hesitantly and clumsily trying to return affection with the skill of one who never had any practice.
And now he was holding onto him, clinging onto him, as it so often appeared that Miguel depended on him. Here he was, removed of all his barriers, his bravado, his lies and confidence, everything that made him what he seemed to be, simply by a hug; such a quiet and harmless expression of affection by someone who wanted nothing more.

For a few perfect hours
The world lets me be

His body still shivered, but his heart was beginning to calm, to slow down, as it matched rhythm with Miguel's own, even his breathing beginning to fall in sync with his partner against him.
His breathing slowed as he thought of nothing but everything he was feeling, every tactile sensation in every part of his body; the soft ruffling of his shirt and vest as Miguel breathed, the rough fabric underneath his fingers, the rise and fall of Miguel's chest against his arms and his own chest, the beating of his heart.
So now there was nothing. There was nothing in the world at all, no gold and no El Dorado, no divinity and no priests or chiefs, no wine and no celebration, no Cortez and no nightmares. Now there was nothing but him and Miguel, suspended in some strange place beyond conscious recognition or thought, beyond any mental power or logic; where he could finally let his endless facade rest, he could finally admit to himself that he was weak, he did not know what he was doing, that he was lonely and scared most of the time but he was most frightened of Miguel leaving, finally breaking that one promise that had become such a foundation in his thoughts since that one rainy night.
Everything stopped existing except their joint heartbeats, their conjoined breathing, their entwined arms. There was nothing now to worry about, nothing to be frightened of. Now he was here, he was safe, he was himself. There was nothing that could ever frighten him now.

You know how to break down
Oh oh, oh oh
The panic in me
The panic in me
The panic in me
The panic in me
The panic in me

Propped up by his partner's body, Tulio unintentionally finally fell asleep, slumbering against his partner's shoulder, arms still wrapped around him. Miguel had managed to stay awake however, and with quiet and familiar grace removed himself from Tulio's grasp, gently and carefully lying him down where he had once been sleeping. Deprived of what he had once been holding onto, again Tulio's body seemed to tense, his back arching, his muscles beginning their ceaseless twitching again.
Miguel watched him silently for a moment before reaching out towards him, lightly brushing a fingertip across his partner's forehead, moving a stray strand of hair from his face. Tulio reacted to his touch, leaning into it just slightly and arching his back further for only a few seconds before settling back into what seemed to be such an uncomfortable position.
Miguel watched him quietly, any worries and fears that had plagued him this night forever banished for the one, true memory of when Tulio had finally reached out to him, had finally decided to move forward with him. He was finally trying...he had finally overcome that barrier that had stopped him for so long.
Miguel had no more doubt, no more fear. There was no way on earth, no power in heaven, nothing that could ever break them apart now. They had something real, something genuine, and there was no way that either of them could stand being separated from it now. Maybe someday Tulio would find someone else, maybe someday Miguel would get distracted and forget...but now he had no doubt as to who would be there when he would inevitably die, who would be there when it began to rain, and everyone else went inside....he knew who would still be in the rain, doggedly trying to find the lost dice amidst the splashing raindrops and refracted moonlight with him, searching on the ground along with him...
He knew, no matter what happened, they would always be together...always end up together. He no longer had doubt of any sort, and he slowly eased himself back downwards, angling himself towards Tulio for a moment, staring at his sleeping face with quiet adoration.
Whatever dreams that would come to him this night did not matter. He lightly touched Tulio's cheek again, watching him react in the same manner as before -- leaning into it -- before he turned away, letting loose a deep sigh of contentment. No other dreams would matter now...his true dream, his true wish, had now become reality, and there was nothing that could ever ruin this for him.

The End
(Author's Note: Woo, My Sharona! Anyway, this fic seems really cute in terms of undying love until ya think about Chel. Then it gets really depressing. ^_^o Kinda. HA at least this time it wasn't all dysfunctional and whacked out like da other two before it. Rather normal I think and kinda sweet. Altho near da end Miguel suddenly kinda went seme. ^_^o Weeeeird.
What I don't understand is what da heck this past I keep referrin back ta is. I did it in da other two as well, referred back ta weird things that happened between da two of em or somethin that I never really explain. It really makes me curious. Dice in da rain? What da heck.
Anyway, I wonder what songfic I'll do next? Prolly The Perfect Love or something. ^_^ Hee hee, they're SO CUTE ARRRRRRRRRGH ::dies::)