The moment the man he loved died, a crack appeared in the cat god’s heart.
A crack may have not been of consequence for any other being, but this was not that. This was an ageless thing, a creature that had been revered as a god, that had looked upon humans and deemed their creations and miracles both monotonous and tedious, for it had seen and lived through far greater feats.
And for a being such as that, feelings, memories, they grew tiresome, and so were put away, carefully, locked inside a cage inside themselves and forgotten about.
But these things, these vestiges shared with humanity, they would not be forgotten about, and they howled and scratched and tore up the inside of their host. For decades, centuries, time beyond comprehension, and it had been endured, because the alternative was not a thing the cat god had wanted to acknowledge. But it meant they had to be vigilant, however, let no scratch penetrate the barrier lest they escape - but now a breach had appeared all on its own, and these things wasted no time in pouring out.
Their force was immense, and soon, far too soon, the small crack opened up and became a fracture, and then a crevice, and then a wide, gaping canyon, fuelled by this sudden and confusing loss. But the things that had been held back for too long were too much, were too greedy, and their jailer’s mind became a wide, gaping abyss, dark and cold with confusion and grief and rage and pain, too much after too long, and they opened their mouth and
The cries of war had been long known as the worst sound a man could hear, but to these men, shouting in pain and fear and anger, as they fought and slashed and killed, the sound that carried itself over their battlefield was something they could not comprehend. Indeed, it was not a sound that had been heard by any man, nay, any human, before - but they did not like it. They did not like the way it echoed, despite there being no mountains for it to echo from, or the way it seemed to be everywhere and nowhere at once, or the way it made their hearts feel, like all the grief and pain in the world was being compressed into that very moment, into their very bones, until they shuddered with it.
And it seemed that the very elements of the earth shook under the force of this unearthly wail, a great wind materialising to shake the trees from their roots, the ground rumbling and groaning as though angered by the blood shed on it, clouds forming even as the warriors stopped their fighting and watched, deep purple and angry, flashes of light so bright they blinded, booms so loud they deafened.
To the men on the battlefield, and the women and children in their huts, unease settled deep in their souls, some primal, forgotten voice in the back of their minds heeding the warning they could not understand, and the animals fled from it, birds rising in great flocks, herds of deer running right through the village, dogs whimpering, tucking their tails in as they cowered in their kennels.
The pain and grief twined together, turning everything they touched into rage. Rage, rage at the humans that fought their pointless wars for pointless things, at their frivolous ideas and their arrogance at their place in the world, all the while living only long enough to wreak destruction and havoc on everything they touched. Rage at themselves, at their own stupidity in falling in love with one of them when they knew they could be no different, at allowing themselves to be tricked into pushing a long, long lifetime of experience away and being deceived into thinking that this story could have a happy ending when they had seen countless others fall.
And yet still their hands clutched onto his armour, claws denting and scratching the metal with their grip, body pressed as close as they could get without touching the spear that lay imbedded in his side. His face was not peaceful in death, ever paler than in life, black hair no longer wild, brown eyes no longer glinting with amusement and wit.
And so they called out for their vengeance, called it out with all their power, and the gods on high obeyed - couldn’t deny their anguish, not when they answered it with their own.
This is it, they seemed to cry out, as thunder boomed and the earth shook and humans fled.
This is what it means, they shrieked at him, while trees fell and huts crumbled and humans died.
This is what it is for a god to love, they grieved when the clouds parted, and the humans that had brought their chaos too close, too far, were gone. Even those that had loved him just as fiercely, just as strongly, as they.
The cat god did not care.
Kenma doesn’t know why he is the way he is. All he knows is what he feels, and what he feels is all he knows.
He knew somehow, with a great sense of déjà vu, that Hinata Shouyou was going to be one of the most important people in his life. Knew it the moment he saw him, bursting with enough energy to rival the sun.
He felt, when he saw Bokuto Koutaro for the first time, 15 and already huge, crackling with barely restrained power, a sense of gratitude, despite the reflexive recoil he felt at his bright and overwhelmingly chaotic personality.
When he met Akaashi Keiji, strikingly handsome and calm, Kenma’s stomach had coiled into a tight knot, bile rising as he struggled not to bolt. His mind had whispered that Something Terrible had been done to Keiji, and he had hidden behind his gameboy all day, unexplainable guilt churning his stomach into pieces until a week later, when Keiji had silently shared a sandwich with him.
His first sight of Oikawa Tooru, all fake smile and hard eyes, had left him with a quiet fury and half-moon scars on his palms. He did his best to avoid him, but volleyball training camps had meant more than one sighting, until one day Kenma had accidentally met his eyes and seen such fathomless sorrow there his anger disappeared and did not come back.
Not all first meetings were accompanied with such feelings though, and he’d only ever met one person where the feeling hadn’t faded over time.
Kuroo Tetsurou had jumped into his life at five years old, knocking on the door with a bright eyed grin, wild hair askew, asking if Kenma wanted to play. When his mother had shown him into the sitting room, and Kenma had looked up from his game, he’d promptly burst into tears. Such shows of affection were already rare for Kenma, and his mother had been frantic, certain he’d hurt himself.
Kuroo had walked over, sat down beside him, and held his hand.
“I’m here now, you don’t need to cry!”
It was a childish statement, meant in the most innocent of ways, and yet it had stopped Kenma’s tears in an instant. His heart had felt full to bursting and he hadn’t understood why, but after that, in the years of sleepovers and school and volleyball and new friends, he’d started to understand.
If Hinata was one of the most important people in his life, then Tetsurou was the most important. Nobody else came between them, and it was never even questioned that anybody would. They were a team, a partnership, and neither of them had any intention of leaving. They grew up together, and yet, impossibly, Kenma felt as though they had known each other before this, years and years previously. Sometimes, usually when he focused on this feeling, he felt a deep sadness that overcame him, and on these days he sought out Tetsurou, held onto his jacket or lay his head on his shoulder. Tetsurou never questioned it, simply turning the jacket hold into a hand hold, or running a hand through his brown-blonde hair in a soothing pattern.
Kenma didn’t know why he was the way he was. But he didn’t question it. He and Tetsurou were together, and that wasn’t going to change for the rest of their lives.
Or the next.