Perpendicular Lines

In universe G5T78, fourth planet from the center star, there is another Kamina. Same name, same face. Older—as old as he should be, if he'd stayed alive. Twenty nine, with cropped hair, and even his tattoos are familiar to her. There's a handsome new scar running through his left eyebrow.

And she doesn't know about him until they walk into each other at the Spiral Galactica Conference. She is twenty seven and playing representative with Rossiu, because she has been there for all the things he hasn't, and together, they make up history.

And the first thing she sees is his scar.

Kamina drops something.

Rossiu looks up from the paper he had been reading, follows Yoko's line of sight, and inhales sharply. "Kamina?"

Kamina tears his eyes away from Yoko, blinks at Rossiu, his mouth opens. "What the fuck is this?" he says, and then yells, "What the hell?!"

"Aniki?" asks—another Simon, meek-eyed and bearded, and this is—not the Simon she remembers. When he sees Yoko he, too, stops and stares at her. "Yoko? But—but how are you—?"

Yoko spins around and walks away at a fast clip, yelling for Leeron.

"It's definitely possible," Leeron toggles through the data, "The odds are infinitely small, but that roughly equates the size of the universe, so—"

"So, it's a parallel universe," Yoko summarizes. Leeron glances at her, grins.

"Something like that. In theory, of course, there are billions of them. No, more than that. I can't calculate the number. At every breech—every decision anyone has ever made—there is another choice. Those other choices are what form the parallel universes."

"So in this one, Kamina didn't die."

"Right." Leeron glances at her, grins, "Why don't you look happier?"

"Because it means our success was dependant on him dying. In a universe where he survived, the spiral life forms weren't liberated," she grimaced, "That's terrible."

"Hi," Simon slides into the seat beside her tentatively, "Um. I'm—"

"Simon," Yoko nods, "I know."

Simon blushes, and looks down. He is almost exactly like the meek little boy Yoko remembers, and nothing at all like the man he was supposed to have grown into. She clears her throat.

"Have you met Nia?"

Simon stares at her, "Who?"

"Nothing," Yoko says, and turns back to her papers. There is a painful silence between them.

"It's good to see you again," Simon says, suddenly. Yoko smiles in spite of herself.

"What do you mean?"

"Well—" Simon slows, looking guilty, "Leeron explained it to me, you know? So—well, where I'm from, you're dead."


"Yeah." Simon shrugs, "Years and years ago."

Yoko sets aside her paperwork.

"Hey, faker," Kamina raises his eyebrows, and Yoko clamps her teeth together.

"You know," she says hotly, "The other you was never such a jerk."

Kamina looks away.

"When did I die?"

He grimaces, "You don't look very dead."

"No, tell me," she snaps, "Because in my world, you're the one who died, and it was my fault, you know? I wasn't fast enough."

Kamina drums his fingers against the door frame, "Did I ever kiss you?"

"Wha—" Yoko flushes, and then she shoves him, "Hey."

"Oh, good," Kamina nods, "Because it's been bothering me."

And again and again and again.