because evil!arashi rocks my socks.

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an inevitability

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The shriek of metal as the two swords met: the attacker withdrew when blocked and spun, striking again with the dark katana. A parry and the attacker was thrown backwards, slamming roughly into a wall. The fall inadvertently disturbed the folds of her dress; Kamui out of habit looked away.

Then back as Arashi picked herself up, blood stickying her hair and cheek. Her look was the worst injury of all: twisted bitter and cruel. She wasn't the strict girl Kamui had known, but she still was, too, and it was too much like (subaru) the way Hinoto had looked upon her death--the same but different, poison burned and scarred through her body. She raised her sword again, losing.

Kamui held the shinken with reluctance. Tokyo Tower loomed above them; the others were all far away or dead. The blood staining Kamui's school uniform, now patchy and torn, wasn't his. Or Arashi's. "You won't win," Kamui said, without bravado. "You can't win. I'm Kamui." What he had once claimed with arrogance was now his most reluctant title. "Arashi. If you continue this, I'll kill you."

She smiled bitter and struck. They both knew it was what she wanted.

Kamui did not know how to use a sword, let alone the Sword, but he did know all the same. He had seen Arashi fight before, knew her analytically to be the stronger, more experienced of them. Just as he knew that she would never defeat him in battle, for she was a Dragon and he was Kamui. So he struck and parried and landed blow after blow, injuring and bloodying and begging her silently to give up. They were not close, Kamui and Arashi, but she was still--

(brothers and sisters? cousins? or are they your)

--still Arashi. After Subaru, Kamui couldn't bear another betrayal. After Subaru, Kamui couldn't bear another death.

"You won't win," he said.

"No," Arashi replied calmly, pausing only to wipe the trickle of blood from her face when it entered her mouth, staining instead the back of her hand. A small red oval. A small white scar. Kamui had holes in his hands: Subaru stars: Arashi blood. Frail hands, large swords. The smell of water in the bitterly cold air. She smudged the blood with her thumb carefully. Blotting. "But you can't kill me."

He tried. Kamui tried. He had killed by now, killed with his own hands first Hinoto for destroying his friends, then that Dragon of Earth who had stood in his way. And Subaru--Arashi was no different. Arashi was frailer than most and resisting less. Subaru wants to die, he remembered telling someone--or no one--and Arashi was the same. He had learned from Subaru. It is best to kill what is consumed by regret. Best to let die those that wish for it.

Best to grant wishes.

But his sword lacked the strength of a killing blow, and he found himself standing over Arashi instead, sword pressed to her pale neck as Fuuma had once held him. Her eyes were level in a way Kamui's never were: she closed them in a painfully familiar gesture. He had seen it on her face a hundred times: basic annoyance. Mild disgust at a failure.

"If you won't even kill me," she said, in a tone more often used to lecture Sorata than Kamui: "how can you ever hope to defeat the other Kamui?"

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