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Shadow didn’t know if this would be considered narcissism. He had had an idea of himself before the dark mirror, of course, but an idea is an idea, and an idea is immaterial. Shadow wasn’t stupid enough to feel for something that couldn’t even be bothered to materialize itself. He knew that much, at least.In any case, he didn’t think it was narcissism, or whatever the hell that you could mistake for it. You had to love yourself to be narcissistic, he figured, and Shadow couldn't understand how anyone could love anything as crooked and ugly as their own existence. Vio had been the one to bring it up it, he thought, so let him deal with the consequences. Let him deal with everything he had caused. Everything, including him.

“We’re close, ain’t we Vi?”

“Yes,” Vio agrees calmly. He stares at him evenly, tries not to flinch as Shadow digs his nails into his flesh and presses him into the cold, biting, unforgiving floor.

“We are,” he says.

He doesn’t sound all that sincere, though. Shadow doesn’t know whether to be angry or cackle smugly, because Vio should know that he can’t hide anything from him. Or maybe he does know, because he looks up at him right weary, like he’s coaxing a bear.

Shadow thinks maybe it’s because he keeps using that stupid colour-coded name, or that maybe Vi just doesn’t like being held down like this. Doesn't like his sharp teeth and strong arms, his wild eyes. He doubts that, though, because he can feel the kid’s pulse vibrating through his palms, can feel it pumping through the veins in Vi’s wrists, and it goes just like how his feels. Goes right fast, and Shadow’s sure that he has that excited, twisted feeling in his stomach too. Shadow can almost blur where Vio ends and he begins (where does he begin, the shadow wonders. Does he even begin at all?) and he likes it. He can’t help but grin.

“Yeah. Yeah, we’re real friendly,” he says, and though he’s right close to his face, so close that he can feel his double’s breath on his face and count his eyelashes, Shadow can still see his adam’s apple when he swallows. His eyes follow it smugly, and it betrays Vio’s poker face.

Shadow squeezes his hands. Link’s heart goes bumpbumpbump.

It is beautiful.