Aridan still hated traveling by train. There were still no windows in the car, and nothing to see even if there were. The murky air of the outer cities still seemed to press in on him. The unwritten boundaries between inner and outer still trapped him. And in the train car there was still the same dullness and deafening silence as always. But despite all that, for only the second time in his life, Aridan was glad to be on a train. The first time had been the ride that brought he and Jael to Lujayn all those years ago. Though he'd been thrust towards a world that was totally unfamiliar, he'd known somehow that train ride had been the crossing over from terror to safety. This trip was likewise a promise, but a promise of happiness, not just survival.
Jael was sleeping in the seat next to him, coiled awkwardly and with his computer still on his lap. Aridan smiled fondly, and tried not to check the time. Though they were moving swiftly, the time seemed to stretch along with his growing anticipation.
He and Jael had been stuck on their path ever since the police had broken down their door. Just like the train, they were forced to go where the tracks took them. It had seemed like it would be so forever. But something was changing. Perhaps they were just switching to a different track. But maybe, just maybe when they got off at the station in Kenhelm it would mean more than just the start of another job. Maybe it meant they now were truly on the track that led to that dream of a happy future.
Aridan sighed and leaned his head back, thinking and dreaming of the home and family he might yet one day have. In light of recent revelations, he made sure to keep Jael by his side in those dreams. It wasn't a stretch anyways. He could hardly imagine life without Jael. No, no matter what Jael feared in dark moments, Aridan would never willingly leave him behind. If he was the rock Jael clung to, then Jael was his grounding wire; the one who kept him alive and well despite life's best efforts to the contrary. They'd stick together through thick and thin. And if they did go their own ways, they'd always come back for chance to talk about old times. Someday...someday...
Caught up as he was in his visions of the life ahead of him, Aridan never noticed when his eyes slid closed and his imaginings turned to real dreams. He drifted blissfully asleep beside his brother as the train carried them both swiftly towards Kenhelm.