It feels like ages, walking hand in hand from that grey beach to the tower, down its winding stairs, then back up through the tunnels. But after that, it all goes very fast. When the sun rises, it does so over rolling hills in muted greens and sleepy greys, and Jon watches it through the window of a sleeper train. Martin is snoring softly from the upper bunk bed and Jon doesn’t expect to sleep for himself, but it is a lulling, calming sound. A presence.
A few hours later, he drags a yawning Martin and their haphazardly packed suitcases onto a bus, and Martin just drops in his seat and lets his head fall on Jon’s shoulder. His grip is slack but he does not let go of Jon’s hand, and Jon doesn’t, either.
“You know, this is my first time travelling,” Martin says, distractedly. His voice is thick with exhaustion and his eyes still blurry, staring at the landscape without appearing to really take it in.
“I know,” Jon admits. The top of Martin’s head is pressed against his cheek and jaw and he can smell the scent of Martin’s hair. It’s nowhere near freshly-washed wafts of shampoo, but Jon doesn’t dislike it.
Martin hums quietly and doesn’t elaborate, and Jon remains silent as well to let him drift back to sleep. After a few minutes, though, Martin shifts, then sits up straight, pulls away, pressing himself to the window. “Is that,” he says, and gasps quietly. “Is that a cow? Are these cows?”
Jon leans on his back to look over his shoulder. “Yes. Fuzzier than standard, though.”
“That’s — so fuzzy.”
“Are those horns?”
“Yes. Cows have horns.”
“What do you mean cows have horns?? Stop— Stop laughing, what are — oh my god there are more, oh my God, Jon, look at all these cows —”
Jon tries to stop, he really does, but he has to smother it in Martin’s sweater, and Martin huffs in offense, but there’s that lilt to the end of it that means he’s not really angry and he knows Jon isn’t really making fun of him, and they’re on the run, fleeing from fear and horror and destruction and people who want them dead and a body-thief who wants worse, but that’s not what’s making Jon’s heart beat so fast.
“Waow,” Martin whispers, breathless, eyes wide, his nose smushed against the glass, his hand warm in Jon’s hand.