A/N: Written for a LiveJournal fanfic100 writing community challenge, using the prompt Middles and the pairing Kadaj/Yazoo. Focuses more on Yazoo.

Warnings: Worksafe. Self-beta (might be odd sentences and wrong comma placement).

Disclaimer: Square Enix has not stopped to own all.


Yazoo was in the middle. Always in the middle. And he could not tell whether it was a curse or a blessing. He was the balance between childish violence and mindless strength. The middle link.

The middles had it the most difficult: he had realised it long ago. The oldest and the youngest usually got all the spotlight while the middle one was left in the shadows. He was there to protect the youngest and support the oldest. He was the chainlink keeping the two of them together; keeping all three of them together. And thus, he could not be the weakest. For if he failed, all else would fail as well. If he disappeared, both ends would fall apart and be lost forever. And to prevent that from happening, he had to keep them together.

Sometimes he went with Loz, sometimes with Kadaj; more with Loz than Kadaj. Though physically oldest, Loz was the youngest in mind and needed more attention, and once gotten it, he started showing off and needed a spectator who could keep up without losing his interest.

Kadaj, on the other hand, acted according to his years. Only he was far too independent to share with his brothers. Yet he never denied them; he never denied needing them. Because he knew – without them he was powerless. He would stray and get lost without their belief in him. Kadaj knew his place. They all knew it. Only together they could be complete.

Being the middle, as Yazoo learned, had its benefits as well. He was the invisible one of the three brothers. He had stood in shadows watching his brothers for so long that he could read them without fail. Though, to be perfectly honest, they had always been able to read each other. For as long as they could remember, they had been in a strange sync with each other. But Yazoo felt that his ability was somehow... more developed. He liked to believe that he knew to say and do exactly the things that could change the turn of events.

Sometimes, he pretended that he was the one controlling things, directing their brotherly dynamics; pushing them into action to avoid boredom. Light pushes and barely noticeable nudges on the right buttons and levers whose existence only he was aware of, and the stillness and stagnation broke. Everything erupted into action. From deep within came the strange feeling that he could interrupt even death if he really, really tried.

As the middle, Yazoo held a lot of power; that was what he thought up one stormy day. He could turn both ends against each other and he could keep them together. If one brother said yes and the other – no, his voice was the deciding one. If there was a glaring disagreement, he was the one to turn it around and even it out. Because he was the middle.

The Invisible.

The Shadow.

The Overlooked.

When the three brothers started walking among humans, Yazoo discovered that he was no longer a shadow. He was no longer ignored. They were not overlooking him anymore. They feared him. Them.

The three of them were one, and Yazoo smiled lightly, thinking about his theory.

They were one chain with only the strong links.