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Interlude: After the Sword Stair

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“I almost did it,” Yuri says. His gaze is fixed on the wall opposite, and Flynn sits beside him, his shoulder pressing into Yuri’s back. “If she hadn’t – I would have done it.”

Flynn says nothing.

“It felt the same,” Yuri continues, unblinking. “Not – not to me, but. The sword felt the same in my hand.”

Flynn turns his head, leaning into Yuri. His hair is a mess, still dirty and sweat-slick. Flynn closes his eyes. “I wish I hadn’t asked that of you.”

“You had to.”

There’s so, so much said in so few words, and Flynn is reaching out before he knows it, tangling his fingers with Yuri’s. He’s tired. He wants to rest, curled up together like when they were kids. He wants to be certain that this won’t break Yuri. He wants a world where he never had to go down that path in the first place.

For now, only one of those is attainable. He pulls on their joined hands, and Yuri relaxes into him with a sigh, head falling back to Flynn’s shoulder. “You should take a bath,” Flynn says, ignoring Yuri’s half-hearted grumbling. “And then we can sleep.”

Yuri hums, closing his eyes. After a long moment, he stands, turning to the bathroom attached to Flynn’s quarters.

Their hands catch as Yuri pulls away, Flynn unwilling to let go just yet. “Yuri,” he says. “If it had happened – if you had to – it wouldn’t change anything. It wouldn’t change you.”

His best friend in the world blinks back at him, something sad and resigned in those big charcoal eyes. “I know,” Yuri says, and doesn’t sound reassured at all.