Series: X/1999, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle
Archive: Fallen Icons, Onion Girls
Pairing: TRC Seishirou + X Kamui, hints at TRC/X Seishirou + TRC/X Subaru, TRC/X Subaru + TRC/X Kamui
Warnings: Blood, gore, spoilers for Tsubasa up through the latest volumes.
Disclaimer: I don't own Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle or X/1999 nor any of the characters. They are the property of CLAMP and I'm only playing in their sandbox. No profit is intended.
Summary: 'The first time they meet Seishirou is standing above him...'
Thank you to: amet, for betaing this and giving me the ego boost to post it and to ripedecay for the inspiration in the first place.
Author’s Notes: Another meme fic, this one requested by ripedecay involving TRC Seishirou, X Kamui, and the word "flavor." As is the case with many of Shi's prompts, this one delighted me and I wanted to try and write something for this pair as soon as I saw it. The dynamic turned out to be quite different than I expected but I hope it fulfills its purpose and can be read with some enjoyment.
C & C welcome.
A X/1999/Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle vignette
The first time they meet Seishirou is standing above him, watching him attempt to squirm out from under the bit of rubble he's caught under, face bruised and bloodied, clothes torn. He's clutching a sword and attempting to drag himself along with it, a rather large sword but then Seishirou has always wondered if part of Kamui's problem has had to do with … compensation issues.
There are others searching for him, he can hear their voices drawing nearer and it's enough to tell him that if he's going to get his answers, now would be the time to do it. The last thing he needs is to find Kamui suddenly has allies, knowing they would have to be powerful for him to deem them worthy of his attention. That there are several spells trouble, particularly if Kamui manages to get himself free first and is (and isn't he always?) in a foul mood. He's never been particularly thrilled to see Seishirou and Seishirou supposes he can forgive him that demonstration of poor taste. They've spent so long trying to kill each other now that he finds he feels almost a fondness for the vampire, admiring the single-minded way he pursues his purpose and sometimes Seishirou wonders if it's to keep him from his twin or just to thwart him.
Still, he clears his throat as he lands in front of him, watching Kamui squirm and wiggle a little more, blood oozing beneath him and oh, that must be very painful. Yes. Yes, Kamui is likely to be in a very foul mood.
There are many reactions he's prepared for but it's not the one he receives, Kamui lifting the unmarred side of his face and blanching, violet eyes widening in confusion then something that looks like recognition, his voice oddly high as one hand digs in the dirt.
It's odd hearing his name breathed as such and not as pleasurable as he might have imagined, frowning before something else occurs to him. Breathed.
Frowning, Seishirou squats down in front of the boy, watching him twitch and catching the wrist with the sword. It is warm and slick with sweat and blood much like the battered face staring up at him, Seishirou raising his eyes at the fresh tear tracks, silver against blood and the busted lip swelling up as he stares.
"You're human," he mutters, not even sure if he's disappointed. He's been chasing after the twins for so long that they've become almost mythical in his mind, wondering in odd moments if he's really ever met them at all or if he dreamed that up back in the seminary, head lost in all those old legends he'd been forbidden to read but had anyway.
The Kamui but not opens his mouth, an odd fearful croaking sound escaping and really he has to wonder why the boy looks as if he's seen a ghost. He's unused to such a display from the other Kamui, the vampire seemingly unable to emote anything beyond a feral, fearful rage and a possessive jealousy in regards to his twin. He's not used to seeing Kamui as something delicate, something easily and possibly broken and to say it gives his worldview something of a twist would not be an understatement.
It's occurred to him now and again that of all the worlds he's visited, he's yet to meet Kamui and Subaru in other forms, just as he's yet to meet himself. He wonders if there's a Subaru in this world, thinks perhaps there must be if there's a Kamui and he can't deny a sort of curiosity regarding that, wanting to know if he's as different from the Subaru he's met as this Kamui so obviously is from the brother. He – No, better not to. A different Kamui is one thing but a vastly different Subaru would not be interesting so much as … disappointing. Disheartening really. It would simply not be the same and Seishirou was not prepared to settle for anything less than what he truly wanted.
Accept no substitutions. It might be a motto if he had use for such things.
Seishirou catches sight of something out of the corner of his eye, a glinting that looks like another sword, a much larger hand than the Kamui but not's wrapped around it, getting up to investigate and he feels something tighten up in him at the sight of that too familiar too square jawed face, black hair sticky with blood but unlike Kamui, he's more or less unmarred save for the rent in his chest and the slab of concrete pinning him. He doesn't have to reach for a pulse to know he's dead and of all the things in the multiverse he expected, this is yet another one.
This world is just full of surprises.
There's a sharp sob, full of tears and desperate air, Seishirou swiveling his head to find Kamui attempting to crawl towards them. "Fuuma. Please, I –" He looks at Seishirou with such hopelessness that he doesn't have to ask all the questions that were there moments earlier, his thin face filled with agonized regret.
"He's dead," Seishirou says and wonders that he feels his own throat tighten. It is not his brother lying there and for that he's grateful but it's still enough of a turn to evoke a response.
Apparently from this human Kamui as well, his face dropping to the earth with a terrible, keening whine, Seishirou hearing in it all the things he himself might well feel were this his Fuuma and it rouses another unexpected emotion: sympathy.
It's been a long time since he's felt anything beyond the consuming passion he pours into his chase, determined to find the twins that elude him even now but watching thin shoulders bunch and shake, Seishirou finds he feels it now.
He hesitates, another oddity he hasn't experienced in awhile (and he never even hesitated when he ran Syaoran through; granted he knew he was a hologram but still) before coming to a decision, standing up from where he's kneeling and closing his hand around the bit of this Kamui's clothing that's still intact, pulling the boy free.
More blood pools and at this rate, Seishirou wonders if he should have bothered, turning him on his side and finding one of the major sites of blood loss, looking around before sighing, reaching for the hem of his cassock and ripping away a long strip, inspecting it before moving to wrap it around Kamui's waist.
The boy catches his hand weakly and isn't that amusing, voice cracked and eyes too wide, too dilated, "Why?"
"I have no idea," Seishirou says lightly.
Later, when he thinks about it, when he stops long enough, Seishirou finds himself somewhat disquieted by his own behavior. It's one thing to bandage a bleeding boy on what's obviously a battlefield. One might argue that if he thought in such terms, it was an attempt at balancing his karma out for everything he'd done in the pursuit of his quest. They'd be wrong of course but they could argue that.
It was quite another to drag that still bleeding boy away from the calls of people who were obviously trying to find him, nearly having to break the child's fingers to get his hands off that damned sword. It was hard enough trying to move casually in this place with an injured boy; a massive broadsword would only complicate matters.
Shelter when he finds it is only a little better than the bloodbath they've left behind. A broken building with water running in a steady stream from broken faucets, splattering against stained lineoleum. There's no one alive here though they've plenty of company, those unfortunate enough not to get out before the build collapsed, broken corpses scattered in directions that might have been artful if someone had put thought behind it.
It was as good a place as any he supposed. There was shelter, albeit slightly unsteady, and water. No medicine but given the looks of the wreckage he walked through this city had been destroyed wholesale in certain sections. Those who could walk were long gone, likely having taken food and medicine with them. Those would couldn't were probably out there dying in the encroaching darkness.
Seishirou did not understand why he was still here, sitting beside the boy he'd stolen, cleaning makeshift bandages and letting fever-hot fingers cling to his. Why he felt compelled to smile when pain-scoured violet eyes cracked, all but staring through him, calling him names that were not his own but were enough to answer several questions. Subaru. Yes. Of course. There was a Subaru in this world. And of course the times this Kamui called to him, his voice shook with despair and longing. What was surprising is that he called out for Fuuma in similar tones, with considerably more guilt included there.
Of Seishirou, there is no mention at all though those times when Kamui is lucid tells him that his face is not wholly unfamiliar.
It isn't until the fourth day has passed and the fever is at its worst that he learns that he is dead in this world, Kamui rambling at him in crazed, angry terms and it tells him enough. There is a Subaru in this world and there was a Seishirou with a claim on him. That should have left him pleased but instead he finds himself very …annoyed. Particularly at the idea he was so stupid as to let himself be killed, leaving this one behind. The way this Kamui speaks of Subaru is tentative and protective at once, tenderness flaring in the face of overwhelming hopelessness.
He recognizes both, feels the echo of it within himself, seeing in Kamui all the things he hopes, has ever hoped for in regards to his own Subaru and it leaves a sour taste in the back of his mouth.
Seishirou almost leaves then, gets halfway down the street before he turns around, staring down at the broken, shivering body and hating himself because really, what does it matter if one boy lives or dies? Why not take some form of revenge on Kamui and let this child bearing his face wither to fever and die in filth?
That he can't answer those questions, not after hours of pacing, of meditation that only leaves Seishirou infuriated with himself. He's starting to hate this world; there's too much in it that pull at his attention, forcing him to look beyond the bigger picture he's always chased after and towards details he would rather not pay attention to.
It's over a week before the fever abates, leaving in its wake an exhausted, shell-shocked boy, quiet and watching him with round eyes that are less interesting than the ones he'd first been greeted with. There's a fire that seems to have gone out there or perhaps is banked, Seishirou reluctant to think of the double of someone he almost respects in such a fashion. But there's a taste here, a flavor of death and ash, of dreams that have died and it leaves him with uncomfortable twinge when Kamui docilely accepts the water given to him, Seishirou stroking his shaggy head, brushing soft bangs from his eyes. It makes him think back to things he'd just as soon not remember, to those few months after the twins vanished, the violence of their departure leaving him tormented, reaching for the means to follow and when finding nothing, slipping into despair that claimed everything else.
His meeting with the Time-Space Witch had been hitsuzen or so she claimed. Personally he suspected that fate was what she made of it.
Seishirou wonders if his meeting with this Kamui is something similar.
Only – he finds that Kamui is making him angry again, for different reasons now. Something in the boy has given up, as if upon waking and finding the world in one piece, he no longer has anything worth fighting for at all. He no longer says Subaru's name as if whole worlds are born and destroyed in its utterance and since waking to this awful consciousness, his lips have become sealed against uttering Fuuma's name. When Seishirou speaks of others, of friends, the ones sure to be looking for him, Kamui merely turns on his side and the emotion on his face not so much despair as it is disappointment. In himself.
Well, if they're going to be childish.
He never meant for it to go beyond an attempt to rouse some semblance of anger, perhaps disgust in Kamui, or perhaps that horror he glimpsed the first day. Anything beyond this encompassing lethargy leaving his young charge bent under its weight. He expected Kamui to fight back, to strike out as he knew the other one would.
What he did not expect was –
-- for Kamui to turn his face into his, the mouth under his softening, waking something but it wasn't angry. Needy. Greedy. Frantic in a way that he understands, hands scrabbling at his clothes and having to slow them down, Seishirou having to be the responsible one, the one to prevent wounds from being jarred anew. It goes no farther than that, his hands pinning Kamui's shoulders, blinking down at that flushed, now guilty face, loathing already clouding his gaze but again, it's all directed inward.
He's never seen anything like it. Nor anything like the splay of emotions chasing themselves across Kamui's face, raw and untamed tantalizing him with a glimpse of everything the boy could be before it just shuts down again. Kamui shutting down and shutting him out even when Seishirou lies down next to him, pulling his stiff body closer, rubbing his arm. The only acceptance he receives is the way Kamui relaxes, his head finding his collarbone, quiet but there's a storm underneath it all, underneath the fogged layers of self-hatred and dull anger.
It's intriguing really.
Seishirou is going to have to leave this world soon. He's dallied here too long but he finds himself wondering if perhaps, when he finds the twins, if Subaru won't forgive him for killing Kamui providing – he can give him another, more tractable one?