"Hey." Says a young man, speaking up to be heard over the din of the subway. Across the car, the only other passenger glances up at him.

He paused and took a moment to look at her. As far as faces go, she wasn't completely unfortunate, but he doubted she'd ever be a looker. Most likely a teen, she was relatively average. Average height, average weight, normal clothes. Her hair was even the usual rat's nest in dirty blonde. But what caught him where her eyes. She were pale blue, like a pear of faded jeans and they glistened with the shame of a thousand unshed tears. Idly he wondered what had hurt her so.

Then the girl continued to ignore him, even going so far as to stare out the window. She let here eyes unfocus as she gazed at the black abyss with it's fleeting lighting, while the young man's anger grew. Why was she just ignoring him? He'd made an effort to be friendly, but this whelp seemed determined to withhold the honor of her attention.

"I said, Hey!" He near-shouted. The girl jumped and turned to him, sad blue eyes clouded and narrow with confusion.

"Huh?" She ventured. The man started. She really hadn't heard him?

"I said something to you, and you completely ignored me!" His voice slowly rose with each word, so by the end of his sentence he was shouting over the subway. The girl blushed.

"Oh, sorry 'bout that. Off in dream-land, I guess." She responded, sounding slightly uncertain. Could it be she *still* did not hear him?

"Say, what's your-" The subway pulled to a stop at a busy station, and the young man sprang over tot he seat next to the girl. She raised her eyebrows at him. He shrugged.

"I'm talking to you. Now you can hear me." He finally explained. The girl smirked.

Despite the traffic at the station, no one else entered the car, and they pulled off.

"So, what's your name?" He asked. The girl turned her face upwards towards him and grinned with her whole face, eyes sliding shut. It was comical in it's absurdity.

"Mum says I can't tell my name to stranger." She laughed at her own joke, but he young man took her words at face value.

"Did she tell you not to talk to strangers too?" He asked, unsure which answer he wanted to hear. The girl raised a brown eyebrow.

"Of course. But a girl's got to draw the line somewhere." She responded, smile intact, sparkle in her clear eyes extinguished. The boy realized he wanted to keep talking, but knew not about what. They sat in silence.

The nameless girl leaned her head against the window and looked out at her reflection.

"You were sitting next to a girl before, right? Is she a friend?" The boy finally ventured. Judging by the girl's reaction this might not have been a good choice in topics. Again the girl's eyes darkened, and she kept her head facing the subway window.

"Yes." She answered. The boy snorted. And here he thought this was the sort of girl who talked simply to hear her own voice. Her powers of hearing certainly hinted such.

"Well, spill already. You obviously have some horrible emotional baggage you need to release. S'not like you'll ever see me again in your life, so tell me everything." He goaded her.

The girl turned to look at him, eyes blue-gray with feeling, and bit her lip. After a pregnant silence, she shook her head and laughed. It sounded more like a sigh.

"What are you, a traveling nut-doctor? I don't have any money, man." She smirked out.

'So close.' He thought. Had the young man been in his right mind, he would have nodded, laughed at the girl's joke and pulled his nose out of her life, most likely forever. As it was, he didn't know why he wanted to help some odd little girl. Maybe because she looked so sad, and he remembered how nice it feels to talk about something, anything with another person. Maybe this was something his God wanted him to do. Or maybe he was just looking for something to keep him busy on the subway to his empty condo. Whatever his reasons, though he was betting on the lattermost option, the young man did want to help.

The man could feel her emotions like a coiled spring, ready to implode, and eh thought he could be there after the devastation to pick up the pieces.

"Come on now, tell your big brother!" He said, placing his hand over hers. She smiled up at him, warmth lighting her eyes and her heart monetarily soothed.

"It's no big deal, big bro." She giggled, stealing his words.

Silence, as the self-named big brother thought this comment over.

"If it's nothing, why do you look like you're about to cry?" He asked. The girl's expression darkened slightly.

"I never said it was 'nothing'. It's just. . . not important. You'd probably just laugh." She chuckled weakly. "Isn't that what big brothers do?" She added, sarcasm dripping off her voice.

Now it was the young man's turn to snort in amusement.

"You must never have had an older sibling. They're the first people you can turn to with a problem." The teen looked at him again.

"I'll be find."

"You're not."

"I will be."

"When?"

"Wish I knew." She shrugged. Her brother rolled his eyes.

"Just tell me!" He shouted. The teen shrunk back.

"It's not a big deal. . ." She stopped her plea under his intense glare.

"Fine! You know that girl you mentioned? I like her. A lot." She blushed and looked away. "And. . . I think I might be in love with her." She whispered.

Her big brother blinked. He'd expected something like this, he supposed. The girl waited for him to say something. The silence trudged forth, and she figured this was a bad sign. Slowly she raised her eyes to his, trembling with repressed tears, the epitome of defiance. She'd be damned if she was going to take any abuse from this loser.

"You told her?" He finally broke the quiet.

"Huh?" She teen responded, speechless.

"You should tell her. She looks nice." The girl snorted and averted her eyes.

"Yeah, nice and not interested. I haven't a Popsicle's chance in Hell." She retorted. There where moments, perfect moments when she thought maybe, just maybe this might work out. . . but they never last.

The man noticed her bitterness. The subway pulled into another station while the two commuters sat in silence.

The quiet hung over them through the next two stops, and the passengers that did get on exited almost immediately, notably to take a different car on the same subway train. When all the other passengers were gone, the girl spoke again,

"Aren't you going to tell me off for not even trying?"

"And if I did?" He muttered. She shook her hear.

"She just broke up with her boyfriend. She really loved him. I. . . don't want to hurt her." Big brother waited. The girl paused, then sighed dramatically.

"And I don't want to get hurt by her. If I ever told her, she would be grossed out. Even if she hid it, I know she would still avoid me. I would lose one of my best friends." She closed her eyes to remember. "She already effects me too much altogether." Eventually she shrugged. "So what do I do?" The girl asked, then opened her eyes and turned to the young man. Her eyes glittered dangerously in the scarce lighting.

"I feel so. . . dirty." She whispered out, obviously hoping he would hear. Her big brother looked slightly amused, and elbowed her.

"No way! Not my sister. You're too loud for such sensitive emotions." He smiled out, all good humor. The girl just sat immobile. Carefully she avoided his eyes.

"I know is sounds stupid. But. . . when I look at her, I just feel like I'm dirtying her. Like I'm not worthy, you know?" She asked, finally acknowledging her companion. The siblings sat listening to the subway grumble along it's path.

Finally, the young man did the only thing he could think of. Smiling softly, he reached over the armrests and kissed the teen's cheek looking for all the world like a father wishing his little princess farewell. The teen gave him a look that clearly stated 'What was that for?'

The young man let a slow smile spread across his face.

"For when you find the courage to say what you feel."

And it was his stop, so he made a graceful exit, having made a smooth transaction from stranger to brother to friend in the teen's mind; or as smooth as real life can ever be in any event.

The young lady saw that she would be on this subway for a while yet. Still, the lights seemed to sparkle at her, and she knew time would literally fly till she got to her stop, and she planned to enjoy every bit of her trip.

Maybe next time she rode the subway. . .

~Owari~

A/n- Well, this bloody jumped out of the back of my mind and stole my food until I wrote it. If you don't like the syntax/grammar/sentence structure (Please pick whatever applies to your situation) then tell me, I love to get CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. However, if you cant' make a good point or you're just a homophobe who got tricked into reading this, bugger off! Flames are a waste of space, and ANY and ALL that I get regarding the reference to homosexuality shall be ignored and laughed at. If I really don't like the content of your review, I shall sic my muse, Hof, on you, and he can do some pretty wicked things *with* his straightjacket on.