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where the stars come out to light your face

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Untouchable, burning brighter than the sun
And when you’re close I feel like coming undone


Nasch is mourning when he sees the star fall.

Vector and Yuuma are both dead, killed in battle by each other’s monsters, and though it means the war is over, the victory brings Nasch no comfort. He cannot return to his human life, and his Barian one, now that there’s no purpose to sustain him, is miserable. He stays away from the others and wallows in his grief.

But he knows what a falling star means. And Nasch is the one who raised the other six Lords when they fell; he picked them up while their new bodies were steaming from the crash and showed them how to walk and eat. Technically, that is still his responsibility.

So he treks out across the mountains to the place where the ground is broken. There’s a red and blue figure lying in the hole. The rocks beneath him are warped from the heat, he’s wearing a length of fabric draped over one hip, leaving the other bare.

The armor in the center of his chest is in an odd shape — an upside down triangle, with pieces cut out of the sides, a circular gem at the top. It looks almost like the Key. And the spikes on the top of the new Barian’s head are familiar, if exaggerated; black spikes on either side, thick red spikes curved up over his forehead like a horn. And the armor on his legs looks a bits like flames, like the flames on Yuuma’s favorite pair of pants.

Nasch reaches out to touch the young Lord’s face. The rock is still unnaturally warm from his fall, and he can almost imagine it is human skin, tanned and scratched from battle, the way Yuuma’s face felt before he died.

The Barian — please be Yuuma — opens his eyes. They are red.


The voice is exactly right. Yuuma’s voice, Yuuma in a new, stronger, better body, and Nasch knows that perhaps he ought to mourn the loss of Yuuma’s humanity, but he does not. After all, he lived and Yuuma died, because one of them could take damage, and one of them couldn’t. But not this time.

“What’s your name?” Nasch asks.

“Solaris,” he says. It’s perfect for Yuuma. After all, he is like the sun.

“What are you?” Solaris asks. Nasch takes his hand and strokes the gems that stud his knuckles. He can feel Solaris’ confusion, and the dim imprints of memory that tell him Nasch is familiar, and the curiosity that comes with having an entirely new body. And in return he offers Solaris the truth: Nasch’s love for him, slipping from his worn heart into Solaris’ gem, circulating through him until he trembles.

“I’m yours,” Nasch says, and he brings Solaris’ hand up to his face, touches it to where his lips would be.