CLAMP 30 Day Challenge: Day 7 - Your favorite couple:
I love many, many CLAMP pairings. But I don’t think they will ever manage to recapture the magic that was Seishirou/Subaru, not for me. I’m sure a lot of it has to do with how we’re onto CLAMP’s tricks now, so they can only pile more and more crap onto their characters, but it just feels OTT and you still end up feeling like, “Well, at least they’re not Subaru.” Because, honestly, how CAN you top the scope of what happened with these two? It was years and years in the making, it was sheer perfection for the characters, and it was utterly inevitable to end the way it ended. (At least with CLAMP at the wheel.)
But it isn’t just about the epic nature of their relationship. There are many epic relationships in CLAMP’s work, so why is SxS so special? Maybe it’s the balance between what they gave us and what they didn’t give us. They never quite gave us textual confirmation that, yes, Seishirou and Subaru were in a romantic relationship. But you’d be incredibly hard-pressed to deny that Subaru was in love with him and that Seishirou was obsessed with Subaru right back, with a predatory sexual edge to all their interactions. The way Seishirou touched him, the back of his hand or his fingers gently wiping blood on his face, the way Subaru desperately clung to Seishirou’s jacket as he slumped over Subaru. All of those are not platonic ways of touching someone.
Or maybe it’s the way it’s very obvious that this is not a healthy relationship, but it is a mutually unhealthy relationship. This is not about someone who is stalked into fear and terror. This is about someone who is broken and never heals right and becomes just as obsessed with the man in return. The narrative never makes what Seishirou did (or what he is) okay, he is NOT EVER woobified or shown to have ~*emotional pain*~ that drove him to his acts. He is a monster through and through. The narrative NEVER wavers from this, and in doing so, makes it ten times more interesting, because you want to know just what else might be in there with the monster. Hokuto believed there was no one who couldn’t love someone and Hokuto’s voice had a lot of narrative weight, lending yet more evidence to Seishirou’s genuine feelings for Subaru. But NOT ONCE did he ever feel badly about what he did, not even in the end.
And Subaru is a tragedy through and through, but the narrative never wavers from that, either. It never offers him a ray of hope, it never offers him a way to start healing. In doing so, it defies so many other stories I’ve read—how many stories are about loss and tragedy and trying to come back from that? That’s not this story! This is about a flaming trainwreck that’s absolutely gorgeous to watch.
It’s also about the sheer attraction between these two characters, the way you feel the intimacy between them when Seishirou touches Subaru or the way the rest of the world fades into the distance when they’re around each other. It’s about the way Subaru walks over to Seishirou and holds up a lighter and looks at him straight on, the first time they’ve seen each other in years.
It’s also about the way they’re just goddamned smoking hot, holy crap. Seishirou is now and forever CLAMP’s hottest character. Yes, characters like Subaru and Kamui and Yue and Oruha and Yuuko and Karen are more traditionally gorgeous, but you will never find anyone who is hotter than Seishirou, to my mind. Every time I see his large hands come up around Subaru’s to grab the cigarette, I just. a;slkdfjalskj hnnngh. And the broad shoulders and solidity and the dark hair and perfect face and the always perfect suit and the black coat and just. Ugh, hottest guy ever. And Subaru goes from an angelic sort of pretty to someone trying so hard to be severe, but is still just too attractive to pull it off. You can still see the desperation in his eyes. And, oh, oh, that moment on Rainbow Bridge, where he fits so neatly up against Seishirou. I just want them to make out forever. FOREVER.
But, also, it’s the potential. There are so many intense feelings in this ship and, even with the inevitablity of doom for them, you feel like if they could just communicate a little better, if they just realized themselves a little better, if they just had a little more time… maybe they could have squeaked out something slightly less tragic. Maybe they could have had a little more time. It’s so easy to set my mind spinning to possibilities, even as I admire the perfection of their tragic story in canon.
When all is said and done, they are my favorite CLAMP couple because they make me feel the most. They capture my imagination the most. I can reread their scenes an endless amount of times and still feel the same intensity for them. They are complicated and gorgeous and deadly and epic and all the things I look for in the ships I ship.