AN: Finally, the last piece. Yes, this is the end, for real this time. Thanks for sticking around to see me finish a multichapter fic for the first time.
"I should be the one to go," Asch says out of the blue. They are all traveling to Daath together, having nabbed Asch on their first visit to the tower. Guy is surprised, they never bring this up in front of the rest of the group.
Asch had to be talking about sacrificing himself for the world, again, and Guy knows it's going to turn into another argument between Asch and Luke about which one should give their life to save the world. No matter how many times it had been brought up, it never got resolved, just dropped in favor of an uneasy truce whenever they ran out of time or energy.
Guy is of the opinion that both are being incorrigible morons. If they would stop spending all their time arguing about which one of them should go die on the Tower of Rem, maybe they could apply that energy to finding a way to save the world that kept both of them alive.
"I've got the sword, and I'm already dy-"
Asch never gets to finish that sentence, because Guy punches him in the face before he can. He can't stand hearing the words aloud, and Asch is being stupid if he thinks revealing his condition to the rest of the group will somehow win him the argument.
Asch merely blinks in surprise, bringing his hand up to his face, and suddenly a whole bunch of assorted details make sense to Jade.
He had known that Luke and Guy were dating; they were terribly obvious in their sneaking off in his opinion. But then something unknown had happened and things had changed. Suddenly Guy would sometimes sneak off alone, and Luke would always lock himself away in his room on those nights. But sometimes it would still be Luke and Guy sneaking off. The change in their pattern had made no sense to Jade, which he very much disliked. Changes always happen for a reason, and it drove him mad not to be able to see or divine what had caused this deviation.
But Jade knows a tell when he sees one, and Guy only punches in the face the people he really, really cares about. There's probably something wrong with that, but he can't think of what. A dark idea begins forming in Jade's head, but is quickly quelled by what happens next.
Luke moves to Asch and begins tending to his face. Aside from some standard mutterings and nasty, barbed words, Asch doesn't resist. He, in fact, subtly turns to give Luke a better angle of access to the rapidly darkening bruise-to-be.
This is definitely a drastic change in behavior. Before, Asch would never have allowed his replica contact without some immediate, hostile, physical response. The others seem too distracted by the harshness of the words to notice the way his actions belie them.
The change in sneaking off makes perfect sense to him now. He must really be getting old if he hadn't realized it before. Strangely enough, what shocks Jade the most about the whole situation is that he finds himself glad to realize that Guy is not cheating on Luke, but sharing him. Or is it Luke and Asch sharing Guy? Not that it really matters, as even Jade has more human decency than to seek out the lynchpin of their relationship merely for the amusement of pulling it out and watching how it all falls apart.
In any case, it all falls into place in his mind, and he figures that he could help them with their secret, but trying to keep secrets from him is not to be condoned. So he feels it only appropriate to tease and torture the three with hints and wisps of truth to the rest of the group. Eventually they'll all figure it out, and accept it. The three seem happy enough as they are, and that is the most heavily weighted variable to most of their group.
And, now that he knows how much better terms Luke and Asch are on, he can run a certain possibility by them. Previously they'd never have agreed to it, and even if they had, with their discord they'd never have been able to pull it off. It would have only ended with both of them dead and the miasma still remaining. But there was a definite possibility, especially now, that if they combined their powers and the Tower of Rem they could both come out alive.
By the time they reached Daath, Jade's mind was buzzing with theories and possibilities that had, if not happy, at least not tragic results. Maybe they could pull out of this with something better than a Pyrrhic victory after all.