ebony_69 (ebony_69) wrote in kanashimicross,
ebony_69
ebony_69
kanashimicross

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hey guys - finally found a place where my random writings may be posted (those which are on WK anyway!)
i can't seem to write WK without mile-loads of plot, so soz if they all seem kinda epic.
however, enough of the drabble - this is a sort of (long) prologue for one said epic set in the time of Side B. Epic isn't finished, but i've been pondering the idea of characterization blahblahblah. Epic is named Tokyo Sling and was inspired by the music video of the same name. unbeta'd as yet and first real attempt so please don't skewer me!!!!! ;P





Some found them quaint. Others found them an excuse to get at the lack of culture in the youth of today. An old woman even whispered theatrically to her neighbor that their parents should be ashamed of themselves, leaving their children on their own in a big place like this. Either way, neither of them listened. The boy at twelve and five years the senior, sat with his knee up, resting on the large windowsill at the end of the short hall of the gallery. One arm rested on said knee while the other hung down, draping over his sister, her hands clasped over his, her back resting on his side. Sometimes, she would look up at the swirling painting beside her in blues and yellows and greens, seemingly chaos made from the most precise of brush strokes.

His head, mopped by short but thick crimson hair, lolled to one side from where it had been resting on the wall of the deep windowsill so amethyst eyes could look down on his sister.

“Do you like it?” he asked softly. She looked up, brushing dark hair from her eyes as she smiled, the sparkle in her face brightening the grey and dreary day.

“Brother,” she whispered. “It’s beautiful. And much better than coming here.” She added with a small grimace. It was answered with a smile from her elder brother along with a small chuckle.

“Mother enjoys the paintings.” He told her.

“But it’s my birthday.” She said plaintively. “We should be doing something exciting.”

“We will.” He promised, looking back out of the window where the rain was pouring down on a midday Tokyo. They were only here for a family visit, only her birthday had coincided with that.

“Does it tell the real time?” she asked him.

“Of course.” He replied.

She turned the small hand-held clock in her palm, plated with gold and inlaid with ivory. “I’m sorry.” He apologized. “It’s not the sort of thing seven year olds want.”

“No!” she cried, glaring at anybody who shot her disapproving looks. “I told you. It’s beautiful.”

“It matches you.” He told her quietly, clenching his eyes shut as his vision went blurry around the edges. Her reply was foggy and suddenly his shirt wasn’t keeping his arms warm anymore, his loose slacks were tightly clinging to his legs. There was something hard in the hand resting on his knee and he swallowed back the sob of despair. Experimentally, almost timidly, he hesitantly clenched his fist over where the clock was in her hand, but it fell open desolately when he realized there was nothing there.

His eyes opened then to see the rivulets of the storm’s tears running down the same window, but it was night here, not midday and the gallery was empty. He could feel the weight of the earring she had given him swinging in his ear and couldn’t bring himself to look at what he was holding in his other hand. His weapon; his means of living by killing others still bloodied from the revenge he had now taken and doubled tenfold. What was there left of then? All that was here now was an assassin whose purpose had been taken from him, the same swirling, acrid coloured painting next to him…and Schuldig, standing about three feet away, his hands in his pockets…just watching him.

He sighed slightly and leant his head back on the glass, feeling the cold seep through his hair. A small smile played over his lips as he realized just how little he cared. Schuldig could have pointed a gun at him right now and he would have stayed sitting there, smiling. He also found it quite funny; the serious look on Schuldig’s face, the expression of almost longing. A telepath who could take him away from his most tortured thoughts and back to where he belonged. He would stay there, in those times in those places and with her…always with her. It was better than thinking of now, with the blood and the killing and the others…the others, what chance did they have of knowing what they did to him? The others…Youji…

His heart hurt, his head hurt and he shied away from those thoughts with the closing of his eyes, the disappearance of the smile. He couldn’t even hear Schuldig breathing, could imagine he wasn’t there, that he wasn’t about to die at the telepath’s hands, if only the man wouldn’t make him think any more. He opened his eyes once more, the half-obscured moon reflecting in amethyst pools of nonchalance. Like a taunt, an invitation and an accepting gesture of the greater power, he smiled again and relaxed, awaiting death while seeming asleep.

He didn’t even twitch as cold and dry fingers brushed his forehead almost tenderly, brushing away thick hair clogged with rainwater and cupping the side of his face, a thumb tracing an eye before he was sent spiraling through white and crimson into his own mind, not even coherent enough to scream.



He could feel him well enough in the swirling mist about his head, obscuring the millions upon millions of crooked white crosses. He didn’t look for him though, hunched up on himself with his arms around his knees, not even searching for an answer to the telepath’s behaviour. All that mattered was her earring, lying metres away in the only clearing in the forest of glowing gravestones. He really should go and get it…he never allowed it to leave his side, whether it was in his pocket or in his ear…so he really should…go and get it.

The mist shivered around him as he pushed himself to standing, his blank eyes focussed on that one thing, that one piece of sanity that he could cling to but had forsaken so long ago. Why was Schuldig bringing this up now? Why? Was there any point in fighting what he couldn’t see and couldn’t feel and couldn’t stop as hard as he tried?

Staggering like a drunk high on blood, he made his way forward, only to find a dart embedding itself in his pathway, making him stop and frown slightly, looking up to see a whole barrage rain down like a storm of poison in front of him, creating a forest. He felt the glint on metal before he could look up and see it and he grimaced as that cold, unforgiving wire cut into him, pulling his arms up behind him so that he hung in the air like a puppet. He just hung there while the mist quavered violently around him, throwing itself back as two spears pierced his chest to see the crimson wings fly from his back as his blood, raining down on the pure white crosses before the whole place filled with the blood of those he had slaughtered in his time.

He stood there, watching the flickering film before his eyes while barely seeing it. Him on a building, held by Youji’s wires, always Youji’s wires, pulling him somewhere, stopping him from getting to them. He struggled and struggled but they were just there, watching him, doing nothing! Omi turned from him with a pained expression, Ken smirked god dammit! and Youji…Youji just stood there with eyes hidden behind glasses, no swearing, no crudity, just blank assassin with no heart and no soul and no love for anything anymore.

Unbidden, the mist let out a silent scream of effort and thoughts came flooding into his mind unbidden. Omi…Mamoru…older, hair a little longer than it had been at the Hell and back to brown again, circling him without moving, the wind whipping their hair toward each other though they faced outwards…Aya, god now so beautiful as she grew up, leaning against the very window he was with a broken watch in her hand, looking up at the moon with Omi standing in the shadows, dark glasses hiding his face…he would take care of her, Omi…Mamoru…Kritiker…they would take care of her.

His heart ached as she looked up at the moon and the thoughts came as quickly and as swirling as the colours did in the painting, never stopping, never wondering for a moment that they could stop moving, stop driving him insane!

A tear crawled down her cheek and the colours froze.

Is this closure, Ran?



His eyes opened slowly to find the room empty. Schuldig was gone…had he ever even been there? He was breathing like he had run a race around the whole of Tokyo and looked out at the moon. He’d seen a tear like that, running down Ken’s face when he had just left him at the airport…a tear like that running down Aya’s face when he had phoned her…a tear like that running down Youji’s face when Aya had closed the walls around his heart even more though he had told himself it was for Youji’s sake. Nobody should see tears like that…nobody should cry tears like that. No…he wasn’t done with the world yet, though he couldn’t see what it was he had yet to do. Feeling the rush of oblivion come from working himself to exhaustion and then being invaded by a telepath, he turned his head to look at the moon and just felt as the tear crawled down his cheek.



* * * * * * * * * * * *

The floor was gritty under his expensive Armani shoes, the air rancid on his even more expensive black Armani suit. The guards around him were nervous, they were not expecting him to be there. Plus they were resentful of his own defense, calmly walking behind them, alert for any danger. With a nervous flick, he forced some honey-coloured hair back from his face, thinner now with less of the teenage puppy-fat of his younger age. A year since he had last worked with this man and he had only just found him. And there were those who said that Siberian could not work on his own.

“He’ll be out here, sir.” One of the Russian guards told him, ushering him through a dank tunnel where there was light at the end. “Excuse some of the inmates, sir. They can a little forward.”

“Don’t worry, I do not fear words.” Mamoru told him gently, inclining his head a little and squinting as he came out into the blistering if still chill sunlight. It only took a moment for him to recognize him through the veritable sea of moving, blue-clad bodies. Mainly because he was a class above the rest of them, leaping into the air and powering the ball into the goal to the shouts of delight from his teammates. A pang of longing wedged in his chest with guilt as he saw the beam on his ex-colleague’s face as the other men jumped on him in their glee. He had always loved football and now it had saved him from the slow crawl of madness Mamoru had seen in him. But only Omi had grieved.

It was only a matter of time before one of the inmates noticed him and there was a wolf whistle. Mamoru stood there taking it, watching for the moment when Siberian would turn round. When he did he met those widening brown eyes square and blank, shuddering minutely until he felt a cool hand discreetly on his back. Luckily, Ken wasn’t stupid and Mamoru watched as he apologized to his friends and came jogging over, longer broken hair, now almost to his shoulders, flapping around his face, darker with sweat.

“Well, well, well.” He crowed loudly with a grin on his face. “Would have thought himself would be the one to bail me out of here.”

“Walk with me.” Mamoru simply said in a quiet voice. “We shall be fine form here.” He informed the guards, who regarded his lone bodyguard with disdain.

“With all due respect, sir…”

“We shall be fine from here.” Mamoru reiterated.

“Fuck no.” Ken breathed, looking over his shoulder. “You got him lagging round your feet for real now, ne Om…gomen. Mamoru-sama.”

The mocking in his voice cut Omi to shreds but Mamoru wasn’t phased and simply inclined his head to the path around the prison.

“Well thanks but no thanks.” Ken said, stretching upwards and making Omi’s eyes trail up and down before Mamoru brought in the cool disinterest. “I’m fine here and anyway, I can get out on my own steam.”

“If it weren’t for my organization you wouldn’t be here anyway.” Mamoru told him quietly. “And you do not have much choice in the matter.”

Ken looked down at him wryly.

“And how is that then?”

Mamoru sighed slightly.

“We are severely down on reliable staff.” He told him. “There is nothing of Weiss left and so we have taken what we can from Crashers but only one of them really comes close, the others are merely filling in.”

“Nothing left?” Ken asked with a frown. “What about Aya?”

“He disappeared about two months after the incident at Koua Guken.” Mamoru relayed coolly. “Hasn’t been seen since, not even to check up on his sister. All methods of communication have failed. All we know is that he was sent on a mission in America and was compromised. The last we saw of him he was crouching in the street.”

“Crouching in the street?” Ken asked, louder, stopping and making Mamoru stop by putting rough hand on his arm, which was flung off. “Fucking hell, I was only…never mind.” Ken cried, glaring at Nagi with a vehemence before turning back to Mamoru. Omi swallowed down the tears.

“We believe an agent of the man he was following sent a street child to perform a duck and run.” Mamoru told him, looking him straight in the eye.

“You mean…he was…”

“Knifed. Yes.”

“Not possible, Aya would never let something like that happen to him.”

“He was performing his best anyway.” Mamoru relayed with the barest of regret as he walked forward. “It seems he wasn’t concentrating.”

“Well…do we know if he’s alive?!” Ken asked, the raw emotion flooding through Mamoru like a tsunami, making him have to swallow discreetly before letting his last piece of information on the matter.

“Unconfirmed.”

“Fucking hell Omi!” Ken shouted and Mamoru flinched slightly as he heard the sound of Ken’s fist hitting the chain link fencing. Even Mamoru knew to fear the members of his ex-team. “How can you just stand there and say it all like it’s impersonal. That guy was like a brother to you, wasn’t he?”

“Yes.” Mamoru replied. “He was.”

“But not anymore. Now he’s just fucking statistic, right?”

“Definitely not. He was a very important part of my team, possibly the most important. It is a shame that he is gone.”

“Jesus fucking Christ, Omi.” Ken said from right behind him, making him twirl round. “If freako-telekinetic wasn’t behind me I’d punch so hard your tears wouldn’t have a face to fall on.”

“A shallow threat as I’m your only way out of here.” Mamoru told him steadily. “I need you to come into the job and retake your position, this time as head of Weiss…”

“I can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because Aya’s the leader of Weiss. That’s what makes Weiss…Weiss!”

“Not anymore. You are to become the new leader of Weiss and train the others into the best team that you have while performing jobs for me and others. You will have a regular contact, but you will be moving about a lot more than you were before. My empire has grown and Japan is no longer my first concern.”

“If not?” Ken asked with gritted teeth.

“Then I’m afraid Siberian that I will have to anonymously remind the authorities of your past publicly. I don’t think they’d ever let you out then, not even to play football.”

Ken just stared at him then, shock and horror and disgust and anger on his face all at the same time. Finally he spat at the floor directly between Omi’s feet and the look he gave him was one of a human armed with bug-spray at a cockroach.

“You sly, thieving little toe-rag.” He breathed quietly, something new and totally unexpected of him. “I am going to enjoy giving you the middle finger. You’re not Persia to me, Omi. Now, if you’ll just give me a minute, I need to go and fetch my things.”

Mamoru stood and watched him go with no emotion played over his face at all. Omi shook with the urge to break down and it took a whole arm from Nagi around his shoulders for him to be able to breathe again. He should have known that Ken would have changed too.



It didn’t take long for Ken to reappear, a small hair tie holding his hair back from his face, a small bag slung over one shoulder. His expression was grim as he joined Mamoru and Nagi, eyes twitching to the side every door that was unlocked, opened, shut and locked again as they passed it. He even shivered as they got into the open air, hesitating for a minute before getting into the back of the car.

“Afraid?” Mamoru asked, clambering in opposite him. Ken smirked.

“Of what, you? Iie, not in a million years.”

“Then what?”

“The world, my reaction to it. You know, the only one who could stop me if I went to far was Aya.”

“It’s not my fault he’s dead, Ken-kun.”

“That’s Siberian to you, if you don’t mind Mamoru-sama.”

Mamoru fell silent, hushed by this sudden twist in Ken’s character. He’d never been spiteful before, never in the calculating, sly way he would usually associate with either Aya or, more likely, Youji. Youji…

They spent the next ten minutes in silence, Mamoru discreetly watching Ken as he looked out of the blackened window. They were in the idle of nowhere, in fact, the first thing he saw was twenty minutes away from the prison; a small little motel on the side of the road.

“Can we make a stop?” Ken asked.

“Why?”

“What can I say; the bogs get rationed.” The man replied. Mamoru frowned in annoyance but nodded at the driver, who drew smoothly into the car park. It was when Mamoru noticed the other black limo in the lot that he knew something was wrong. Surely Ken wouldn’t betray him!

“Ken-kun…” he breathed, only to find hard fingers, gripping his chin and brown eyes gleaming into his.

“I’m indispensable, Omitchi.” Ken breathed. “I got snapped up only they couldn’t get me out. Thanks for the ride and um…oh yeah.”

He leant forward, pressing his lips onto Mamoru’s briefly in a chaste reminder of the exploration before, only to pull away and plant his middle finger in Omi’s face as he slipped out of the door with is bag, jogging over and into the other car, waving at him as it drove off. Omi just stared at where he was gone, unable to believe for a moment that Ken had actually done what he did.

“Would you like us to stop it?” he heard Nagi ask gently.

“Iie.” He whispered. “I cannot make him do what he doesn’t wish to.”

“Omi..” the younger boy murmured, placing a gloved hand on Omi’s own. Mamoru nodded at the driver to carry on home, while Omi’s suddenly clammy hand gripped onto that life line whilst he remembered how to breathe.



* * * * * * * * * * * *

He had often wondered, when barred from the Weiss kitten’s mind, what it was like to have someone you care about in the way that the man’s sister was. Of course, Farferello was in no way as close to him as Aya was to Ran but that was beyond the point. Schuldig had the added pain of knowing that the man didn't want to come back. He could remember coming though, only just recovered from the iron spike broken by the explosion sinking into his left thigh to find Nagi, his arm still in a bandage with his head in his one hand. The murmuring of fear in the pit of his stomach as he’d hobbled through, grasping the boy’s shoulder as he looked through the glass door to see Crawford, in his wheelchair, staring intently at Farferello’s paler than pale face, a tanned hand gripping the whiter one. It had been the first and only time he had seen the man lose his control. As Nagi stood up and watched beside Schuldig, the man had thrown Farferello’s arm away from him and propelled himself over to the window where he had promptly been tossed out from his chair.

Schuldig and Nagi had entered then, helping him back in his seat before the man had broken down on Nagi’s shoulder, claiming that he couldn’t see anything, couldn’t predict what this would come to. Nagi and Schuldig knew they had the power, knew that if he was close enough they could bring him back. So Schuldig had, bravely he might add, delved into that mind, only to find out that Farferello, for the time being, was happy as he was.

That had been the hardest, to retake his mind and tell the others that Farf wasn’t coming back…because he didn’t want to. The longer he was in the harder it would be to take him out, they all knew that and now Schuldig wasn’t sure they could even do it at all.

So now he sat in a chair next to the bed, half reading and half looking over at the deathly pale face with the beeping and the noise and the machinery. This really was hell and Farf wasn’t even his sister. Crawford was off with the high and mighty dark politicians of this world, Nagi was off buggering Mamoru Takatori and he, well he’d been doing this and that with Crawford, free lance stuff.

He realized with a slight pinch in his face of annoyance, that he wished for them to be back in that group again. To be annoying Crawford and Nagi to no end, to be fighting but not. He closed his eyes and sighed, remembering that moment when Farf had come to their rescue, when they thought Rosencroft had them. Then they had been truly Schwarz again, to have the power to drag the consciousness of one hundreds of miles away into their minds strong enough to kill someone more than a man. Didn’t that prove something?

“Ah, Beserker.” He sighed. “All this waiting is making me pensive. It’s all your fault you know.”

Sighing again with the general atmosphere of the place, he put the book down and stood up. “Well, you know where I am. Call me if you decide you want to come back, though I can’t promise anything anymore.”

He sauntered out of the room, quietly made the lady at the desk forget about him and made his way down the stairs and out into the cool Tokyo night. Tonight was a night for walking and killing time, so he headed in the general direction of the lower side of town, which was always fun. His black suede trousers weighed heavily on his hips, keeping him on the ground and capable of rational thought. He grinned; now he was just getting morbid. Contrast that with the slip of black silk over his chest and the added weight of a shaped suede jacket and you had one huge definition of sensuality.

As he ambled along, he caught general feelings from the passers by, toying with them slightly before letting them go on their business. Nothing too intrusive, nothing like before. He hadn’t delved into a mind with such gusto as of about ten months ago. He had never had the strength to break down his walls before. The experience was not one he wanted to repeat and he turned away from the road the gallery was on even as he realized his feet were unerringly taking him there.

He knew he had saved the man’s life. He had known that something out of the ordinary was going to happen when he had walked in to see Aya and his sister beside him when Schuldig knew full well she was out of the country. Aya had been failing that night and Ran hadn’t been strong enough to save him. Schuldig didn’t even know why he himself was feeling so nostalgic, though he guessed it was something to do with wondering up the posh streets of town and watch Nagi quietly ignore him while helping Omi out onto a red carpet. He only knew that he had happened upon the failing assassin and suddenly had the urge not to hurt him.

That had scared him. That had caused him to run and not look back, to leave the country and stay away from it…until now. He wondered whether he really had saved his life, whether Aya had slipped back into it again and not been able to drag himself back. Whatever the man did, it wasn’t of Schuldig’s concern he decided, slightly hesitantly.

The thoughts he was getting now ere getting a little more interesting as he entered the darker parts of the city. Dark alleys with waves of lust and fear along with the foggy chill of going cold turkey wafted around him and he drank it all up with the indifference of a man detached (he’d got good at the detached part).

Some of the flavours were vaguely familiar but only by their colouring; he had heard and seen and felt these thoughts before. It was only when he passed an alley, only to feel the rush of violet roses making his eyes fly open that he stopped dead. He could sense lust and he could sense fear, the only fear he had ever felt from this particular mind and it made him let out the breath he had been holding and step boldly into the darkness.

He saw a dark shadow crouching on the floor and a dark shadow hovering above it. At the glint of violet in the light he leant against the wall nonchalantly.

“And what exactly would be going on here?” he asked. He heard a definite intake of breath and grinned to himself as another wave of fear washed over him and not from the shadow who had turned towards him menacingly.

“Get the fuck away from this, buddy.” He was warned.

“No.” Schuldig replied. “I think I’m fine sending you on your way.”

The man started forward but stopped dead with a small grunt of surprise as Schuldig pulled on his hair from suddenly behind him. “Don’t make me angry.” He warned in a sing song voice. The man pushed away from him with a cry.

“What the fuck are you?” he yelled, staggering into the dirty orange light from the street lamps.

“Does it matter?” Schuldig asked, letting the light catch his eyes in just the way that made them glow with his own power. “All you need to do is leave.”

The man did…hastily and Schuldig turned to the shadow cowering in the corner. “Well, well klaztchen.” He cooed softly. “What are you doing here?”

The man didn’t reply, just got himself up, wobbling slightly and staggered towards the light like a man desperate to get away. It was only the he washed past Schuldig that the telepath caught the foggy mist of something he himself had experience of, making him dart forward and catch the man before he fell into the bleeding orange pavement. “What the…”

Aya looked up at him, violet eyes dull and red, bag marring that pale face even more than the blood and dirt marks. The man was wearing what Schuldig had seen him in two months ago, only the shirt was ripped and the boots were gone. He smelt like he hadn’t bathed for as long as that and, confirming Schuldig’s fears, there were tiny little red marks all in the crux’s of the man’s arms. “You stupid little idiot.” He said, with a curl of his lip. “Just what the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

“I…couldn’t…make it go away.” Aya told him, looking away with a crack in that hoarse voice. “You…didn’t make it go away. It…it did…it did.”

Schuldig just stared at him, aghast in the worst way. Aya wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. The man wouldn’t look at him, and tried to stand, Schuldig turning his head away slightly from something so aesthetically pleasing the reaction was puzzling.

“What were you dong in there?’

“Ran out of money.” The man replied sullenly. “Couldn’t make…any more…doing errands so…figured…”

“You were gonna whore yourself out, weren’t you?” Schuldig asked calmly, though for some reason he was furious on the other side. How dare Aya reduce himself to this when Schuldig knew he could be better?

“Fuck off.”

“You got cold feet.”

“I…can’t…need…need it.” Aya said, his voice rising a little as he looked up at Schuldig with fear in his eyes. Clammy hands gripped his arms and Schuldig suddenly realized the man was shaking.

“How long you been on it?” he asked. Aya frowned, not understanding in his near state of panic. “The heroine.”

“Near nine months.” The man muttered. Schuldig swore in German under his breath.

“How long’s it been?” he asked now. Aya frowned up at him.

“Why…are you…”

“Just answer the damned question.” Schuldig told him, shaking him slightly in his annoyance. Aya glared at him.

“Two days.” He replied, suddenly desolate. Schuldig swore again.

“Right, we’re getting you to a hospital.” He stated, putting his arm under Aya’s, not expecting the violent reaction. He was shoved forward with the strength of an assassin who had forgotten it and looked back to see Aya staring at him, shaking his head with dread in his eyes.

“No…no…hospital…I…spent too long…no…don’t make…don’t make me…”

“Jesus.” Schuldig breathed quietly, genuinely shocked by the change in this so control-freakish man. He couldn’t leave him here. He knew that and didn’t lie to himself. He could not bring himself to leave the bastard here. He couldn’t. Sighing and shaking his head at his own weakness, he came forward, only to have Aya flinch so badly he fell to the floor. “Pull yourself together.” He told the man quietly. “I’ll take you to my place. No hospital, but you are gonna have to do what I say, understand?”

“Why?” Aya shot back. Schuldig crouched down in front of him.

“Because I told you to.”

Aya’s face changed to a sudden desperation Schuldig didn’t know whether it was the light or whether there were actual tears in the man’s eyes.

“No…why…would you…you of all people…why would do this?”

“Because I’m used to a man who would rather die than lose his control.” Schuldig told him. “And I’m ashamed to think that I’ve been thwarted by a group led by a heroine junkie. Because I’ve been there,” he added more quietly, “I’ve done it. Because apart from the fact that we hate each other, we’re not on opposing sides anymore. Fuck it, you get back in the game, we might work together one day.”

Aya just stared at his grin, a single tear running down his face. “Hey,” Schuldig said sternly. “I distinctly remember you promising you were gonna stop things like that. You’re not gonna give up on me, are you?”

Aya shook his head while clenching his teeth.

“Iie.” He managed. “But…I want…”

“You’re not gonna get.” Schuldig told him sternly, getting an arm under Aya’s, hauling them both up. “You are gonna hate me so much for next couple of months.”



Schuldig’s apartment was in the better side of town, so he got a taxi to take them up to the door. He wrapped his suede jacket around the man so as to avoid even more eye contact and quickly got them into the lift to the top floor, which was where Schuldig’s flat was. Aya was getting worse, properly shaking now and even limp enough to lean his head on Schuldig’s shoulder, his eyes closing half way through the journey in the lift. That surrender of control showed just how badly the man was down and the trust he showed in Schuldig made an uneasy wave of something in the telepath’s stomach. This man was most definitely not supposed to trust him.

When they got in, the first thing Schuldig did was to take him though the hall and into the bathroom, sitting him on the lid of the toilet while he ran a hot bath for him. As it was running, he went over the man, now a little more awake, staring around him at the (Schuldig had to admit) large bathroom. He enjoyed his comfort.

“Hey,” he called, to get the man’s attention. “You gonna be ok doing this by yourself?’

A tiny shred of blessed righteous indignation came into those puffy violet eyes and Aya frowned, nodding once. “Good, cause I'm not helping you.” Schuldig finished, standing and walking to the door. “Shout if you break anything.”

He shut the door behind him and hesitated for a moment before walking out into the spacious living area, the whole front ceiling peaked and totally glass so that night sky played all of its shadows onto the room. The full moon was so bright tonight Schuldig didn’t want to turn the lights on and so removed his shoes quickly before going to the bar that separated the kitchen form the living space. He poured himself a shot of whisky, grimacing as it went down but was grateful for the fire it brought to his otherwise chilled body.

Running his hand through his hair, he lit a cigarette and rolled his shoulders, trying to work out his current situation. He had a cold turkeying ex-leader of Weiss in his bathroom who was worryingly dependant on him and Schuldig was reciprocating rather than doing the Schwarz thing and gutting him on the spot. That rather touchy subject could be focussed on later, right now he had to be practical. He had a spare room he didn’t need and could shove the man in there and probably had some spare clothes he could use as well. But how long would he be staying here, what would happen, how would this end…Schuldig scowled, sometimes having an oracle for a friend was convenient, but thinking about this now, he doubted he could put the problem to Crawford even if he didn’t have too much pride to do so.

He spent the rest of his cigarette staring out at the night sky, wondering and pondering and generally being far too pensive for his own liking. So after finishing it and having nothing else better to do, he started padding back to the bathroom door despite his previous nonchalance.

“Aya?” he called, knocking on the door. “You ok?’

There wasn’t an answer. “Hey Aya!” he called again, sighing in annoyance. “Stop being a bastard and say something or I’m coming in.”

Nothing else was said so Schuldig, swearing slightly, swung the door open. “Ah fucking hell!’ he cried, shooting forward and plunging his hands into hot water pull the unconscious and previously drowning man up into the air. He quickly pressed his fingers to the jugular and found a pulse quickly; he obviously hadn’t been under for very long at all, but damn it all to hell why wouldn’t the man know his own weakness? The quiet voice told him this was where all this problem started but he vehemently ignored it.

HE hesitated slightly in his frustration as he realized just what he was holding. Aya had managed to clean himself up, there was just a hint of Schuldig’s own two-in-one in his hair. He frowned, looking at the scars on the man’s body. The marks of an assassin, and a few he believed were his doing. Not, he thought with a frown, that one.

He ran his fingers gently over the still pink, jagged scar at the bottom of the man’s stomach, just under his belly button. He was lucky that one hadn’t killed him. The bath was filthy already and Schuldig leant the man down so that his head lolled back into the water. His arm ached, holding the man up but he ignored it, instead using the other one to gently wash all the grease and dirt and blood and god knows what else from the man’s hair, seeing the hints of crimson again. Struck with an idea, he reached over and pulled the plug, letting the man lie there while he divested himself of his own clothing and turned the shower on once the water was done.

Hauling Aya up, he let the cold water hit him in the face and snickered slightly as the man woke up with a stutter. Turning the heat on, he stepped in himself and held the man steady underneath the shower. Aya was good; he fell back against the cool tiles and kept himself upright, his eyes trying to focus on what was happening. Schuldig didn’t let him, simply soaked a sponge in soap and pulled the man around and closer to him so he could wash the stuff that wouldn’t go away.

The man groaned slightly, letting his head fall forward as Schuldig pressed down on the man’s shoulders, kneading in the soap to get rid of the muck from the back streets of Tokyo. However much his body wanted to prolong this, he knew Aya wouldn’t last and so sped up, leaving the body as pale as it had been, marred but beautiful. The hair came next and he managed to wash it three times before Aya started sagging, but he didn’t really think he needed another anyway.

Not letting the man go, turned off the shower and maneuvered them out of it, wrapping Aya in a towel whilst he simply tied one around himself. The usually so proud man put up no resistance to being basically carried across the living space and into the spare room. Deftly, Schuldig threw off the covers and quickly dried him off, laying him and pulling them back up, watching as the man, now shivering again, curled up into himself, pulling the covers up to his chin. Schuldig shook his head in slightly sympathy. He knew for a fact that the next few days for Aya were going to be worse than any hell could be.



* * * * * * * * * * * *

He knew, as he opened the door, that the Weiss kitten wouldn’t be there. There had been a finality in those eyes when Schuldig had left in the morning that had betrayed him, even though he was together with it enough to shield his mind from him again. He knew that he wouldn’t be seeing Aya around, just like he knew that the money left on the table would equal exactly the amount Schuldig had spent on him. Whoever the man was, he hated being in debt, especially to an enemy. Grinning and sighing with relief at having a free apartment again, Schuldig sank onto his sofa, leaning his head back.

He waited for the shuffling of slippered feet coming forward to make him a drink in a stubborn attempt to make it up to him, but of course they didn’t come. He was surprised at the pang that placed in his chest. Well, a guy who’d had constant company for six months would be a little shocked to find himself alone again, wouldn’t he?

He was almost glad when the phone rang, but frowned as he didn’t recognize the number.

“Hai.”

“Hello, is that Schuldig-sama?”

“Hai.”

“It’s the hospital. About your friend.”

“What?” he asked sitting up straight.

“Oh, nothing bad, of course!” the nurse told him brightly. “Only his pulse and breathing have steadied somewhat and I do remember you asking me to call you if that happened.”

“So far into the coma?” Schuldig asked, already standing.

“It seems impossible, but yes. Your friend must have a very strong mind.”

“Arigatou.” He said into the phone. “I shall be right there.”

He hung up as he left his flat only five minutes after arriving in it, his fingers already dialing in the number he knew Nagi would answer. Farferello had come through for them again.

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