“What will you do with your shares?” “Find a ship,” said Inej. “Put together a crew.” “Help run an empire,” said Jesper. “Try not to run it into the ground,” said Wylan. “And you, Kaz?” Nina asked. “Build something new,” he said with a shrug. “Watch it burn.”
- In accordance with Penal Code One, because all crimes committed by those above the age of maturity are capital crimes, you are hereby sentenced to death. Execution is set for the morning, and I choose at every turn and at any cost to make sure that the human race stays alive. - That’s the difference between us, Kane. I choose to make sure that we deserve to stay alive.
Part of being alive is having life change us. The people around us, the events we live through, all of them shape us. And that’s what I think you’re afraid of. Maybe not of dying. But of this you, the you you’ve become, ceasing to exist.
“life,” he said softly, “is more than ﬂesh. your body is a candle, your soul the ﬂame. the longer i burn the candle…” he did not ﬁnish. “a candle unused is nothing but wax and wick,” i said. “I would rather light the ﬂame, knowing it will go out than sit forever in darkness.”
I do get why some people would accept the hc (if it’s not in the books it’s a hc fight me) that andreil don’t say I love you, though personally I think that, even though it takes them a while to get there, they eventually do.
That doesn’t mean it was easy for either of them though. Both of them have so many issues and trauma that will last them a lifetime, most of which they will never fully recover from. I do think that Neil said it first. It might have taken him a year or two, but most of Neil’s isues were associated with his father, and the Moriyamas, and his life on the run with this mother. During those eight years he wasn’t allowed to get close to anyone, and because of it he didn’t know what it meant to fully let someone in. He never had those experiences that would help him navigate. And love is a big word. Not one he takes lightly because he never got to experience it like this. But now his parents are both dead, so is Riko, he has a deal with Ichirou, which let’s him live his life as normally as he can. The only things left from his past life are his scars, the recurring nightmares, the jumpiness, and neither of those is going away anytime soon. But here are the foxes, his family. Here is Andrew, who has proved himself so many times to Neil. It might take him a while but eventually he will learn to say the word ‘love’. He has someone to show him that.
For Andrew, though, it’s much more difficult. Because, whilst Neil had a lack of experiences with people, Andrew had a ton of them, and not one of them was pleasant. Throughout his whole life no one bothered to care for Andrew (well except for Cass), no one bothered to show him what kindness or love were. Everyone in his life ended up hurting him, lying to him, abusing him. Words became meaningless. – “Who said please that you hate the word so much? I did.” – And while all those people are gone from his life, the mark they left will always stay with him. And then there’s Neil, who Andrew was sure wouldn’t last. The bare thought of Neil terrifies Andrew. And years after they’ve been together, years after they’ve been safe, it’s still hard for him to say it. Because “love” is just a word. But it is a heavy word nonetheless. Even after everything, that word could still be used against him. That word could still hurt him. And he can’t afford to let anyone else in, there’s only Neil, there would only ever be Neil. That in itself is, was, too much. But years down the line Andrew can’t ignore it anymore. Neil is there to stay. Neil, who has never had anything to call home, sees Andrewas home. Neil loves him, and he has told Andrew that many times at that point, without ever asking for him to say it back. But most importanly, andrew loves neil. He’s never known what love is but he looks at Neil and what is that feeling in his chest?
But even after they both say it, it is not said often. ‘Love’ is too important of a word to be thrown around carelessly. They say it moments before falling asleep, when they’re laying in bed with their cats. In between those precious, gentle touches in the shower. Neil whispers it in Andrew’s ear before parting at the airport. Their 'i love you’s’ aren’t loud. They don’t shout it out for everyone to hear. No. They say them, quietly, in the moments when it matters most. When it’s only the two of them against the world. But those are ones that rattle the stars, right?