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What is Ragnarok, If Not the Means to an End?

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Subaru hopped down from the chariot and the snow beneath his bare feet melted at the contact. He usually liked to stop and marvel at the way in which his mere existence warded off the cold and the darkness, but he only stopped to run an appreciative hand through Alsviór and Árvakr’s manes—his bad mood was no excuse to refrain from rewarding his swift horses for their speed and efforts. He stormed off when he heard another chariot approaching from the skies, knowing he’d find the animals right where he’d left them when he came back.

“Subaru, wait!”

Subaru did not wait, but when Kamui’s chariot landed in front of him, cutting off his path, he realized that dismounting his own chariot had been a miscalculation. Divine entity or not, travelling by foot just couldn’t compare to the speed of their horses.

Kamui dismounted and walked up to him. A horrible decision, really, Subaru thought as he stared down at his brother. Well, what Kamui lacked in height, he compensated in attitude.

“What’s going on, Subaru?” Kamui demanded, hands on his hips, frowning. “What was that back there? He almost got you!”

He almost got you,” Subaru shot back. The pained look in Kamui’s face made him regret his words instantly, so he sighed and placed a hand on his brother’s shoulder. “Listen, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t pull that kind of stunt when the two of us are together.”

“You shouldn’t either when we’re not!” Kamui protested, his expression going from pained to worried. “Subaru, you know what happens if they catch us, right? You surely haven’t forgotten.”

Subaru laughed bitterly at that, but he shook his head and stepped away from Kamui to give him his back and look up at the sky. Oh, how he wished he could forget. If he could forget, maybe then they could be together.

“I have not,” was all he gave for an answer.

“Then why? Please be honest with me, brother,” Kamui pleaded, but Subaru remained silent. “This does not concern you alone. I’m involved too. The cosmos is involved too.”

“Maybe I don’t care about the cosmos,” Subaru whispered. “Maybe I want him to catch me."

Kamui didn’t say anything for a while. When Subaru turned around to look at him, his brother was staring at the ground. Snow didn’t melt around Kamui. Hokuto always said that Kamui was stable and calming, his light and warmth gentle and subdued, and Subaru’s light and warmth were the opposite; brilliant and aggressive, untamed and dangerous if unrestrained. Beautiful nonetheless, she affirmed, but Subaru cared not about beauty. What mattered was that snow wasn’t the only thing that melted around Subaru— his own resolve did too.  

“You say him, not them,” Kamui spoke after a while. “You, not us.” Kamui looked up. “Why do you love him so, Subaru?”

Subaru thought of wicked amber eyes and a smooth, lethal voice promising to devour him someday. He thought of himself fleeing with Kamui earlier, and how he had stopped his chariot and turned it around briefly to stare back at his pursuer. He thought about how Seishiro had stopped too, and had looked at him with something akin to surprise that had quickly turned into delight. He had not chased him further when Subaru had turned back around and left, and Subaru’s heart had hammered in his chest because emotions had overcome that perpetually blank face and it had all been because of him . He had sported a smile so wide on his face that he had felt compelled to turn away from Kamui and land far from their temple, wanting to keep the glee to himself before the questioning and scolding inevitably came. He sighed deeply.

“I do not know, Kamui,” he said, resting a hand on his own chest, over his heart. “I wish I did, but I do not.”

“Are we not enough, Hokuto and I?” Kamui asked with a broken voice. “Are we not enough for you to care?”

Subaru smiled sadly and walked back towards his brother, pulling him into a hug because he cared , of course he did. He would never stop caring, but he was the sun in the sky, wild and uncontrollable, and his feelings were too intense to be chained down with any love other than the one that burned him to his core.

“Of course you are, I love you two very dearly,” he said, stroking black curls. “My love for you two, my gentle and nurturing siblings, I understand better than anything. But I do not wish to give chase to what I understand, I do not wish to obtain what I already have. The irrational, the puzzling, that’s what pulls me in. Just as he chases me, I want to chase back. Just as he hurts me, I want to hurt back. I am his prey, but I want him to be mine too.”

I want him so bad, Subaru refrained from saying. As brief as it may be, I’ll surrender to him if he can be mine for a moment. What is the cosmos compared to that wish that only he can grant? What is Ragnarok, if not the means to an end?

“I don’t understand,” Kamui said, because of course he didn’t. Subaru pulled away enough for them to lock gazes, and then he kissed his brother on the forehead.

“I know I’m being selfish,” he said, smiling again, “and I won’t dare to wish for your understanding. But if, for once, you try to look back and stare at Fuuma in the eyes, if you try to really see him, maybe you’ll discover something then. Maybe you’ll understand what I mean.”

Subaru knew he shouldn’t be doing this, he knew he shouldn’t drag Kamui down with him. But he was past the point of doing things he shouldn’t do, so he left his brother to ponder about Subaru’s words, and climbed back into his chariot. He took off thinking of amber eyes shining with danger and delight.