A/N: Written for the Livejournal 10 whores writing challenge using the prompt a midsummer night.
Disclaimer: CLAMP owns. I'm just borrowing their characters for non-profit purposes.
Arashi was devoted to saving the world, to carrying out the destiny assigned to her, and sometimes she experienced spurs of irrational anger because not only Kamui strayed, but Subaru as well did not seem all that interested in their cause. While Kamui was unreachable in one too many ways, Subaru seemed to be closer, more like the other members of their fated group. There were quite a few moments when Arashi lost her patience with Subaru. He seemed to her too immersed in his own agenda, too concerned with his own fate and not so much with the future of the entire world. Yes, Subaru was always present when the need for him was great, but as soon as things cleared up a bit and he saw that the others could fare well without him, he left. He disappeared from their lives and immersed himself in chasing the ghosts of his past.
Subaru did not think much of Arashi. He did not think much of other Dragons either, unless they got directly involved with his life. While he had acknowledged his place among the Dragons of Heaven, he never gave up on his revenge, never forgot the man who had turned his life upside down. When his comrades had a need for him, he would come, but when the time was right for him to make his move to erase his past, he would not hesitate to take that step.
He was not obsessed with Seishirou; no more than the Sakurazukamori was obsessed with him and no less than Kamui was with saving Tokyo, the entire world and humanity from destruction. It was just something that had to be done. Something that was preordained, as he had heard Arashi say on a few occasions. She, in turn, had heard those words from Hinoto.
When Arashi came into his life, barely touching, but leaving a charred trail behind – because she knew no other way of existing –, he found that sometimes she was too devoted, sometimes she tried too hard and did not let go of some things that she could not control. Subaru never said it out loud, never pointed out how useless some of her efforts were, and tried to interact with the other Dragons as little as possible so that in the end, when all was lost, they would not think of him as of someone dear and close gone missing. He did not wish to leave an empty spot behind, even if it was in someone's memory.
Even though Arashi could, and often did say a harsher word and took the role of the leader on more than one occasion, she never meant to drive anyone away. She knew how integral to saving the world all seven of them were. Not a link could go missing in this chain or everything would be lost even before the battle really began. Despite her attempts, Subaru kept his distance. He remained just a passing notion in all their lives; someone who was on their side, just not always present. She knew he would not let them down, but never knowing where exactly he was unnerved her. She never said or did anything that could betray this though. Half out of pride, half out of fear she decided that showing her weakness was not only inappropriate, but crushing in regards to the group dynamics. Someone had to stay strong and unchanged in the raging current of events that twisted and spiralled out of any human control, aside of just a select few.
Because of this, the two of them crossed paths. It was a warm summer night. The sun had just set and the light had not yet faded. The cherry trees were no longer blooming, but Arashi, having come out for a nightly stroll, accidentally ran into Subaru who was gazing at their foliage. He was looking up, staring hard as though trying to spy a late-blooming flower among the lush green of the leaves; convinced that there had to be at least one blossom. She hesitated, halted in her steps and considered turning away, hoping to leave unnoticed and leave him undisturbed.
"Looking for something," Subaru said before adding a thoughtful question. "Are you?"
Arashi understood that no answer was needed. He had stated it, not asked, and he was right. She was looking, but for what – she did not know. He shifted uncomfortably, unsure of what to do.
"You are absent most of the time," was what she said, but not what she had meant to say. No sooner had the sound of her voice died, when she already knew how out of place and out of line those words had sounded. Still, she could not take them back.
"Yes." Whether he knew that it was not the thing she had wanted to ask or not, he gave no sign. At some other faraway time he would have pointed out that she was just as absent, but Subaru no longer felt involved enough with the world to disturb its order and the self-inflicted restraints people like Arashi had. "I have one last wish."
As if that explained everything.
Arashi did not know what to make of that statement. She did not understand him; his reasons seemed dull and unimportant when the safety of the world was concerned. She remembered their first meeting – he had been just as detached. He had put his own business before the saving of the planet.
This question took her by surprise. She had grown up in a shrine, she had learned many ways of the world, she had listened to many a thought on the order of the world. Yet not a thing of what Subaru said made sense. Perhaps it was because Arashi could not see his reason for asking something like that. Perhaps he was testing her in some way, and this thought made her annoyed.
"My only wish is to save this world from destruction. It is our destiny," she replied, frowning. Her fingers twitched, wanting to pull into fists for some odd reason. Perhaps, she thought, it was the feeling of being endangered by Subaru's words. He spoke as if to test her, as if to read her mind to decide whether she was worthy or not.
"One wish. One cause. One purpose. One thread to keep you hanging on," Subaru continued absent-mindedly. It seemed as though he had not heard a word of what she had said.
"Isn't it your wish too?"
If Subaru heard her question, he gave no sign. He continued to look up at the foliage that grew darker and darker with every passing second; trying to find the cherry blossom that he felt had to be there.
"You accepted that fate as well. You accepted the wish for humankind to survive. You didn't turn your back on us when we needed you. You share our destiny. We share a destiny."
Now Subaru turned his head to face her. He calmly studied the features of the incensed girl and no emotion reflected in his eyes.
"It is your wish," he stated finally and reached for a cigarette. The smoke was another memory he could have gone without and for a brief moment he wondered if there were memories that Arashi resented.
The flicker of flame from his lighter illuminated his face and hands and at that moment he looked different somehow. Then and there he was stranger that Arashi could not remember having met before. It was an eerie feeling. Nevertheless, his statement only seemed to anger her more, but before she could retort anything, Sorata appeared at the end of the alley, looking for the both of them. Even from the distance he was already calling out to them, waving them to come with him. Arashi moved first, suddenly relieved for the distraction.
Subaru took a deep drag from his cigarette and looked back up at the branches, gaze trained on a single cherry blossom. It stuck close to a branch and was barely noticeable, but having spent years looking for the smallest traces of sakura petals, it was rather easy for Subaru to spot. He anticipated finding those pale pink petals in the most unexpected places. It was preordained for him.
"I wish for that thread to be severed," he said to that blossom before casting his cigarette aside and following the two Dragons. He had seen Arashi struggling to not push anyone away from their group; struggling and failing because in the end she pushed herself away from them. Even if Subaru had noticed this tendency at that time, he considered himself too far gone, too lost for this world to try and alter the flow of events that brought about crushing consequences.