Kaoru's favourite subject is English; he reads extensively, sifting through cultures with this highly-transcendental language, but mostly he loves reading about history – it is the ultimate story, fluid and subjective, yet safely detached from what Kaoru understands as ordinary life. Really, he isn't awfully outstanding at history, at least academically: he doesn't have the patience to connect the dots meticulously on paper. But there is a logical pattern in history, a steady ebb and flow of cause and consequence, at least as historical theories, and as most readily digestible presentations of history would suggest – and Kaoru likes patterns, likes their reliability and their regularity. He is very amused by these apparent patterns, and they fit perfectly in his complacent world. For all its controversial trappings, history is essentially a very comforting subject.

Hikaru, always just at Kaoru's side, has an attachment to mathematics. There is a gap between numbers and words spoken, but with the twins it will never matter, at least so far as Kaoru has become accustomed to think. Anyway, numbers and words are like two complimentary sides of a folding mirror: they speak languages that belong to one ultimate entity that is humanity. And there cannot be anything closer in humanity than twins, figures Kaoru. Anyway, Kaoru would muse, patterns are important in mathematics too, but the numbers sometimes boggle Kaoru's mind, leaping past his ability to grasp them; still, Hikaru is there, to pick up where Kaoru turns away.

In their world, they have their own patterns of logic. Kaoru, the more articulate, starts and speaks; Hikaru, the more reactive, continues. It is almost an inversion of the pattern of elder-brother-followed-by-younger-brother, but their intentions, governed by their own seemingly identical patterns of logic, are symbiotic, and this is the best arrangement. Sometimes they forget where they begin and end, when each inch of skin and each wisp of a thought seems to spring from the same source.

When Haruhi breaks the pattern, Kaoru knows the surprise and the frisson of something, fear perhaps, or something more dangerous yet, that Hikaru feels. And when they return home that night, they hold each other tighter yet against familiar skin, in anticipation, in futility.

And they both notice that Haruhi's eyes are dark amber in the light, and they both know that something tight winds around somewhere in their chests when they notice this.

And they both feel the almost painful tingle that passes from the fingertips to the palms as she draws near, like the action means something, when by every pattern of logic as they understand, it means nothing at all.

There is a gap between numbers and words spoken, but in the larger scheme of things they converge in the same pattern of intention. Kaoru looks at Hikaru, and everything is still balanced. They turn to Haruhi together, and fall into step with her.

But in this moment, as a thin scratch stretches across Kaoru's cool skin, he realizes for quite the first time the similar hairline crack that makes all the difference between what he sees, and what Hikaru sees.

What is heartbreaking is that Kaoru cannot articulate this, but Hikaru can only react, as he is wont to do, stumbling as he does so, without Kaoru's verbal introduction. And his words, almost virgin initiatives, unrehearsed invasions into Kaoru's territory, are thrown out across the room and away from Kaoru.

When Hikaru is slapped, Kaoru closes his eyes for that split second, as if the reverberation of pain might strike him as well, passing over his features like a pale ripple of how it does on Hikaru's identical face.

It is strange how history books never teach you all you need to know, no matter how clever their writers may be. Because in that split second, Kaoru realizes that there are no true patterns in the process of history, only twists in the individual's grasping of fate.

In any logical, linear or circular pattern, this could never happen.

There is a gap between numbers and words spoken, and while the ultimate intention might be so painfully alike, they can unerringly overlap and make each other futile.

Something breaks insides Kaoru, and when Hikaru runs, Kaoru's fingers graze his arm, but never reach it.

There is a gap between numbers and words spoken, but Kaoru already knows that some things can be set for a collision course.