How do you perceive Kisa and Fushimi's relationship in the past to be like now that you've read the short story?
Well first, can I say I actually really liked that the All Characters story was from Kisa’s POV, like we see so little of her even in LSW that I feel like it’s hard to get a read on her (which works on its own though, when you think about it, because Kisa thinks of Fushimi as ‘Niki’s son’ and so does Fushimi, he doesn’t even consider how much of his mother he might have in him because she treats him as if they’re not even really related). I think the description of her own type of ‘genius’ is interesting – where Niki is a born genius Kisa achieves hers through hard work, constantly making use of her own strengths in order to elevate herself. I think that puts Fushimi squarely in the middle as far as what he’s received from each of his parents, he definitely has some of Niki’s natural genius but he works hard too, even though he tends to act lazy and unmotivated Fushimi’s also the guy who’s still awake long after everyone else at Scepter 4 has gone to bed, working on things that technically aren’t even part of his job. I don’t think he even realizes that part of him comes from Kisa too, I feel like Fushimi’s a bit more focused on the 'natural genius’ of Niki that he feels like he can’t even hope to duplicate and considers himself a failure due to that – even post-ROK in the LSW manga epilogue, when Yata tells him he’s not like his dad Fushimi’s first reaction is still to assume that Yata means “not a genius” (rather than what Yata actually means, which is “not a piece of unburnable trash’).
Then there’s that whole discussion between Niki and Kisa and that does make me even more curious about how Fushimi and Kisa’s relationship ended up being the way it is. On the bad side, the fact that she and Niki spend half this conversation talking about their son while never once actually calling him by name is just so painful and such a perfect illustration of how much they fail as parents, Niki only calling Fushimi by his mocking little 'monkey’ nickname and Kisa calling him 'that boy’ as though he’s someone else’s child, or a stranger. But then there’s that little weird moment when Niki mocks Kisa for not knowing how Saruhiko’s doing: “How cold. Even though you’re his mama.” The thing I find interesting here is, from everything we know about Niki he doesn’t make shots that he doesn’t intend to hit – that is, he wouldn’t be taunting Kisa with such words if he didn’t think they were going to faze her. And she does pull an uncomfortable face in return, which makes me wonder if Kisa did, at some point in time, really think of herself as Saruhiko’s mother and was happy about it. The later description about how Niki always tries to drag her into his world makes me wonder if maybe right after she had the child Kisa was actually interested in him and wanted to be his mother, but then as time went on she felt like by allowing herself to love her son she would somehow end up being dragged back into Niki’s world, her own chosen path becoming tangled by his and the only way to really cut herself off from him entirely was to throw the child away too. So she tells herself that Fushimi is only 'Niki’s son’ and acts cold to him, but there’s still a part of her that did at one point think of herself as his mother and the reminder that she chose to throw that away is uncomfortable for her.
The comment she makes about Fushimi being more like her is interesting too, like look at how quickly Kisa refutes Niki’s words about Saruhiko being more like him. For a woman who doesn’t seem to give a crap about her kid and who probably hasn’t spent much time with him she’s very quick and certain in her reply that Saruhiko resembles her more than Niki. At the beginning of the story it’s noted that Kisa has “superior knowledge of humans,” presumably suggesting that she’s good at reading people (something Fushimi seems to have somewhat picked up as well, while he’s terrible at reading situations involving himself he tends to be good at analyzing other situations and other people’s motivations) so even with her limited contact with Fushimi she at least grasped enough to realize that he’s not Niki. Which actually makes it a little more frustrating that she still treats her son the way she does, like she’s clearly not afraid of him becoming another Niki but she still chooses to treat him like a stranger rather than her son. Actually if we want to take a particularly dim view of Kisa’s intentions, one could argue that the reason she ignores Fushimi is because since he’s more like her than Niki she would rather leave him to Niki in her place. Like if she stayed with Niki she would be pulled off her chosen path by his attitude, dragged into his world with him, so in order to avoid that she leaves her child there instead knowing that he’d be affected by Niki the same way but choosing to sacrifice her innocent kid for the sake of her own ambitions. That she doesn’t try to reach out to Fushimi after Niki’s death despite her words here makes me think that even though she feels like he really is more her child than Niki’s she’s also already given up on being Fushimi’s mother and doesn’t intend to start now, she may defend him from Niki’s words but she has no desire to give him any of the affection or love he’s clearly been starved for.