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snippets of animosity and curiosity

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Their first meeting doesn't quite feel like one.

"Why are you looking at me like that?"

Vector feels like he's heard those words before, and he blinks. "Wouldn't know, Nasch, but are you really one to talk?"


"How do you know my name?" Nasch narrows his eyes.

Damn good question.

Nasch is many things, but first and foremost he is infuriating to Vector.

The absolute confidence in his shit decisions, the way he'll crack when he's alone. The way he can't admit that Vector manages to get under his skin.

(And also: the way he walks, the way he talks, the way he eyes the acidic ocean as if it represents freedom instead of imprisonment.)

If there's a thing such as hatred at first sight, this has to be it.

Vector kicks Nasch's throne.

The edge of Barian World has crystal caves. Nobody dares to go there, and Nasch strictly forbade it anyway.

Normally, Vector wouldn't obey, but the unsettling feeling that he gets whenever he gets close made him turn back every time.

Until now.


"What is it, Nasch?"

"Come with me. We're going to the caves."

Morbid curiosity makes Vector agree.

When they arrive, Vector hears his name, called by countless voices. Resentful voices.

"Can you explain this?" Nasch looks unsettled himself.

"I can't." Vector's words are little more than a whisper.

The voices keep calling, and it feels like something's tugging at Vector's limbs and his wings and wrapping around his throat, gripping tighter with every step.

Nasch sighs. "Let's keep going."

They walk further in, and Vector feels himself needing to get out now and his head hurts and-


--the instinct kicks in and Vector turns back, heading for the exit as fast as possible. Footsteps follow him, and he doesn't even care to check whether they're Nasch's.

When he reaches the exit, he collapses.

"Have you calmed down, yet?" Nasch sits down, watching him impassively.

"Fuck off." Vector is on the ground and his vision is blurry. <em>This feels pathetic.</em>

Nasch tilts his head. "I won't make you go there again if it scares you that much."

Scared, my ass.

"I hate you."

And it's then that Vector decides.

One hundred million points. Then Nasch's gonna bite it.

Vector generously adds ten thousand points for what just happened.