A/N: Written for 10 whores livejournal community challenge. Prompt #04 - Calligraphy.

Warnings: None. Worksafe.

Disclaimer: CLAMP owns all. I'm just borrowing the characters for entertainment purposes.


Her life was all about mechanics, his – about spirits and souls, and while they could never fully understand each other, Subaru learned that each step he made had to be carefully measured lest he wanted to be misunderstood. It was not like Satsuki was hard to get along with: quite the contrary! The only problem was that she was too used to conversing with machines, too buried in mechanics and artificial intelligence to remember what it was like – to have another human than Yūto to talk to.

Machines had no emotions and Satsuki had none, either; only cold rationality. Subaru caught her eye because he seemed quite detached from this world, just passing things by and it was something new for her. It was new for him, too. Seeing her and learning more and more about her way of living, her way of viewing the world, Subaru came to realise that he was still human and his emotions had not disappeared. He was, in fact, still too human, and it made him wonder...

Despite all that, there was always a distance between them: something they could never overcome, and eventually they decided that it was for the better that way. And because of Beast, it was even better.

The machine created for Satsuki had eventually claimed complete ownership of her. It read her like a book, even controlled her on some level. It was quite unbelievable: an emotionless machine-like human and a human-like machine with emotions worked together as one, all boundaries lost and erased. Together they were complete and content, save for the strange longing and thoughts that visited Satsuki whenever she sat in the Beast, watching the passing lives of humans, observing death and birth, pain and joy, and she seldom wondered: how would it feel like, to be out there, to be a part of them. And then she pondered what purpose did life have if it was always preceded and followed by death?

On a strange level, she could understand Subaru who released the wandering souls and let them move on to the afterlife. But there was one thing she would never be able to understand: why would he try and risk his own life for someone else? Why would he try to save some human's (whom he did not even know, as mostly was the case) life if death would come to all in the end? Why let them live borrowed years?

Subaru did not try to explain it, did not try to convince her of his views on life because she never asked about it aloud. Satsuki only frowned and said nothing because somewhere deep down she understood (or thought to understand) that it was the only way he could live.

And when she finally spoke of it to him, Subaru's answer was simple.

"Someone has to do it."

But Yūto, when she asked him about it, told her something else.

"They don't want to die yet," he had said. "They think they still have many great things to accomplish in the future and dying has no place in it."

Their final meeting was very brief. Eyes trained on something only they could see, they passed each other in the street without stopping or halting in their steps. Satsuki did not see the similarities between them as humans, but rather the differences in the destinies laid out in front of them. She was fated to destroy and he was fated to salvage.