A/N: The edited version. Thank you, you two amazing reviewers, who pointed out my characterisation issues. Your input was most appreciated.

Written for a LiveJournal fanfic100 writing community challenge, using the prompt Too much (very creative, the title, don't you think?) and the pairing Kadaj/Yazoo.

Warnings: Mild shounen-ai, hints of clonecest and violence, self-beta (might be odd sentences and wrong comma placement).

Disclaimer: Square Enix still owns all.


Too Much

In the beginning, they were confused. Still being on the border of two worlds – the Planet and the Lifestream – they were as good as nonexistent. They could not submerge themselves back into the oblivion of the latter, and neither could they grasp a firm hold of the pull of the force coming from the world of the living. They were on the border. They were neither here, nor there.

And so they gravitated together, faking a life, pretending to exist. There, Kadaj found Yazoo and remained with him while Loz was still fighting for his existence. The Lifestream seemed to be dragging them back into its depths; invisible streams tried to sway them and pull them apart. Their world was full of instability, confusion and doubt. Slowly, they were being forced to drift away from each other by powers they did not understand; by powers that did not want their existence in this world. Slowly, those powers were succeeding.

Gentleness was not for them. They had tried; in the very beginning they tried being gentle, being loving, soft and considerate. They had kept their touches light and caring, kisses – slow and sensual, had cared for each other's wellbeing and comfort, but soon they came to realise that it was not for them. That it was too much to take, to endure; something they could not handle, could not stand in the long run.

So they abandoned the displays of love because there was none. All they had was raw need, an unquenchable thirst, an inner burning caused by Mother's absence. Each night, each free moment they turned to one another to silence the primal urges.

It did not matter which one of the two younger ones made the first move. Only the outcome mattered. Only the pain they caused each other in the process mattered. They did not use their weapons, at first. But eventually they came to realise that only their teeth, nails and fists were not enough. The thrill of cold steel against bare, bruised skin only heightened the enjoyment, and they included Souba and Velvet Nightmare into their games. Steel clashing with steel, steel meeting flesh and leaving its mark on it: a way of claiming ownership, a way of proving the world that they lived.

Trying to disarm each other, often using the other's weapon (though at first Kadaj had felt strange holding a gun; but Yazoo had adapted to the use of a sword faster), fighting for one night's dominance and using sex as a means of solving the tension and frustration was the distraction they needed until Mother was found. They knew that everything would change then and that there was very little time given for them.

Whether it was Yazoo pinning Kadaj down, or Kadaj retaliating for the previous night's loss, no gentleness was allowed. There was no consideration for the other, no preparation; those were the rules the two of them made, and holding back was not tolerated.

Raw brutality in everything they did, unbridled rage and cruelty. Scratches and bite marks, and sex more akin to rape. Because the gentleness from which they had escaped terrified them. Because loving touches and soothing kisses made them feel at ease and in peace, and mulled the voice of Mother. Because feelings made them human, which they were not. Because love was something they could not handle. Because being human was something they could not handle.

Being able to feel, being able to love meant sinking back into the Lifestream, and doing so meant denying their origins and betraying Mother. It was too much to ask of three lost children when their world was falling out of balance.

At least... So it was in the beginning.

The bond between Yazoo and Kadaj strengthened, but as it did so, it proved to be more and more lacking. Loz, the one left out while he struggled for some certainty, was finally strong enough to confront his brothers. True, he was confused; true, he did not understand all of it as well as the younger ones did, but the emotions he had not been able to identify were too overwhelming to be silenced. And the minute they had crossed into the living world, Yazoo was the one to take the brunt of it during one of their sparring matches. Suddenly, the middle brother found himself pinned down and ravaged. A few of his ribs broke from the enormous power the oldest Remnant was displaying, but pain was something Yazoo was already used to. Overcoming his initial surprise, he concentrated on enjoying the experience as the game he had been playing with Kadaj was repeated with Loz. And he liked it.

Approaching Kadaj was a bit more difficult for Loz. There just was something about the youngest that demanded a certain amount of reverence. And here, Yazoo played his role as the middle brother, bringing them together, being the connection between the oldest and the youngest.

When they came together, it was like a moment of enlightenment. The blur of bright colours, the disappearance of this world, the strange roaring in their ears – it all made them realise that they were one. One person, one soul split on three. They could not exist without each other. This realisation, this intimate knowledge was almost too much for them to take and yet it was exactly the thing they had been looking for. Finding their identity, finding each other, they formed a new kind of relationship and sealed their existence.

The world that had been slowing down for them started turning again. They were inseparable. They were one being. They had confirmed each others' newly gained life; and for the time being, Lifestream had lost its power over them. They were bound with each other so tightly that nothing could tear them apart now. Nothing, save for death.