Stimulus

Written by Eternity's End, edited by Felicity Honenburg. A/N: This fic was extremely difficult to write; much time and effort has been poured into it. The tenses may be confusing, as the fic progresses from memory to reality. Please review; I look for your honest opinion, in the hopes that it will improve me as a writer. This is my first yaoi. Please tell me what you think.

I really appreciate everyone's reviews. I've never had such an immediate positive response! THANKYOU!

//This is a memory or dream sequence.// 'This is thought.'



Warnings: This fic will contain yaoi, meaning m/m relations. (Yay!)

Disclaimer: I do not own Weiss Kreuz. Regrettably.





Chapter One:

Youji was still in the bathroom an hour later. Vaguely, he realized he should get to bed if he didn't want to arouse suspicions. Tilting his head at the weary face in the mirror, he pondered that thought. Did he want to arouse suspicions? No, he decided with little difficulty. Currently, he didn't want to arouse anything, even suspicions.

For the first time in the hour he'd spent staring at himself, he noted the dried blood on his lip. Wincing slightly, he brought the cotton ball up to clean it away. Once the burning died down, he threw the cotton away and left the bathroom. He'd been in there too long.

His heart pounded as he neared his room. For some reason, he dreaded reentry. It wasn't like it had happened in there, he reasoned. His room was completely secure. The entire Weiss apartment was. Why was it that as time passed, his fears grew? It made no sense. He should be recovering. He should be recovered.

Pushing his door open, Youji quivered with tension. 'Stop it.' He ordered himself. 'It was just a dream.' He stepped in, shutting and locking the door silently behind him. 'God, if I'm this bad in my own room, what will happen on the next mission?' Youji shook his head. The thought was irrational. He was completely fine during the day. No one was the wiser. There was no reason that he would screw up on a mission. 'Unless Schwarz is there.' The thought screamed in his head, making its way down his body, paralyzing him with fear.

"Shush. Calm down." He had to verbally coax himself into movement. "Just get to bed. Go to sleep. The dreams are over for the night." They were, he knew. Once the memories played out in full, he would usually be able to find a peaceful sleep. 'Or as peaceful as they get.' Youji thought wryly. Asuka and guilt haunting his dreams was welcome compared to Schwarz.

His movements were jerky, but Youji managed to settle himself into bed. Pulling the crumpled covers up to his chest, he cuddled into his fluff of a bed. Turning his head, he inhaled. He had to cringe slightly at the smell. Sweat and fear did not mix well with silk. Turning his head back to the air, he drifted into sleep.

Youji's next conscious thoughts were those of an annoyed, sleep-deprived, and rudely awakened man.

"What the hell do you want!?!" he roared at his door, quite confused, as it chose to make rattling and knocking noises.

"Youji, get up already!" Ken moaned on the other side. "Oh." Youji felt the need to state the obvious for the sake of his half- asleep mind. "It's Ken at the door."



"Of course it's me!" Ken jiggled the doorknob violently, acting surprised when it came off in his hand. "Uh. Oops?" He giggled as the door slowly swung open, revealing Youji, sitting in bed.

"Yeah. Oops." Youji covered his eyes with his hands. "Mind telling me why you're here? I'm losing precious moments of sleep."



Ken was trying to fit the doorknob back into the door, muttering to himself. At Youji's voice, he looked up, momentarily bewildered. "Uh." He was preoccupied with the doorknob.

"Then leave the door and go away." Youji muttered grouchily, laying down and smothering himself with a pillow.

Ken stood in the doorway, thinking.

"I don't hear footsteps." Youji sing-songed.

"Hey! You have first shift!" Ken looked gleeful for a moment before the meaning of his words hit him. "Damn it, Youji!" The suddenly sour assassin cursed. "Get down there, you have to open in ten!"



The entire time, Youji cuddled with his pillow. "Yeah. Gotcha. I'll be down in ten." Ken nodded curtly before striding down the hall.

A second later he reappeared in the doorway. "Youji!" He stomped in, ripped the pillow from his face, and smacked the older man with it repeatedly. "Wake! Up! Now!" He tossed the pillow to the floor, watching as Youji struggled to sit up.

"Yeah, yeah. I'm up." He touched his lip numbly. "Little excessive, don't you think?" He asked Ken, waving his now bloody fingers in front of him.

"Oh! Youji," Ken looked properly contrite upon sight of the reopened wound. "I'm sorry." He watched the elder man swing his legs around, out of the bed. "You okay?" He asked, noting the dark rings under his eyes for the first time.

"Yeah. Yeah. Dandy." Youji stood, looking grim and forcing Ken to scramble out of the way of his haggard steps. "I'll see you down there in a few. Just got to get cleaned up."



Ken nodded dumbly, not recognizing the bleeding man before him. He moved for the door. "You sure you're okay?" He asked with a little concern. Normally, Youji looked pristine upon waking. 'Wonder what happened.' His thoughts trailed off.

"I said I was fine, didn't I?" Youji answered with a question.

"Okay." Ken shrugged, leaving the man to attempt privacy with a broken door.

Youji appeared in the flower shop fifteen minutes later. Ken did not look pleased. Any sympathies he had had for his teammate's mysterious troubles were gone.

"You're late." Ken grumbled. "I had to open."



"So you can have the opening salary. I don't mind." Ken snorted at the comment. The florist's salary, even the opening one, was peanuts compared to the assassin's.

"Well, I do! You have got to start taking responsibility for yourself." Ken was clucking like a mother hen. "I'm not your mother." Youji snorted.

"Thank God for that." Ken just sighed.

The rest of the morning passed with Ken's chastising and Youji's smart retorts. Around two, Aya entered the shop, relieving Ken. Ken left all too willingly, scrambling up the stairs to the apartment to change for his little league's game.

The shop fell into uncomfortable silence. "So, where were you?" Youji attempted to strike up a conversation.

"Hospital. Library." Aya replied shortly.

"Have fun?" Youji asked with a tense smile. Aya just glanced over at him.

"You were up late." Aya informed Youji. Youji paled slightly. "You were sick?" He asked. Youji almost bit his lip, stopping when he remembered the scab there.

"Just something I ate." Youji played it off as coolly as possible. Aya threw him another glance, then strode off to the back to catalogue supplies.

Youji let out a sigh of relief, moving to sit behind the cash register. Bored, he picked up a piece of wire left out from an earlier arrangement. Unconsciously, he began looping and braiding it, creating a loose series of knots.

The bell tinkled, announcing a customer. Youji looked up, continuing his senseless rhythm. "Hello!" Youji cheerfully greeted the middle aged woman. "Can I help you with finding anything?" The woman shook her head, browsing through a case of bouquets. Youji shrugged, looking down at his neat little pattern.

He paled at the sight.

//Rough little hoops of wire. Hundreds of them. Possibly thousands. Rough little hoops, strung, piercing through the uppermost layers of his skin.//

Youji stumbled backwards, clutching his chest, caught in the memory.

//First the skin is pinched, it pulls up loosely, away from his body. Then the pointy part of the hoop slips through the flesh. Finally, the pointy end links with the hooked end. It happens over and over again, forming hundreds of convenient handholds.//

"God." Youji knocked the stool over with his movement. The wire chain of hoops is clutched in his hand. Youji looks up to see a woman watching him, horrified. She drops her flowers, backing slowly from the shop. "Help." Youji's voice is low and ragged. Drops of blood are flowing from where the wire bites flesh.

//Wire. His wire. Turned against him. The tiny hoops, one by one, jerked off of his body. Tearing straight through his flesh. Blood burning him as it oozes up, dripping from his body.//

Youji awakened to reality slowly. His face was pale and his fingers sticky. He dropped the wire to the floor and surveyed his surroundings. "It.it was so real." He looks to his hand again, then stares down at his chest.

He could almost see the tiny slits, littering his body. He remembered them so well. He'd received them in the time before the dream, in the time when his body had been so taken with that drug. He shuddered; another memory. Surely it would be added to the dream. Another thing to relive during the night.

Carefully, Youji wound part of his wrist bandage around his hand. He mopped up the blood that had dribbled on the floor with one of his sleeves. They were too long, the deepest of blacks; they absorbed the blood and hid it, save a bit of dampness. Mere seconds later, Aya comes out from the back.

"I thought you had a customer." He said as he moved by. "Gone already?" Youji nodded dumbly. "Buy anything." Youji shakes his head. Aya noticed the flowers dropped in the middle of an isle. Youji held his breath, waiting to hear the accusation that he scared away a customer. It didn't come. Instead, Youji heard Aya mutter something about inconsiderate customers and watched as he picked them up, dropping the ruined bouquet in the trash.

"You're quiet." Aya turned to Youji suspiciously. When had Youji ever been quieter than him? He saw the stool, still turned over behind Youji, and raised an eyebrow. "What happened?"



"N..nothing." Youji cursed his voice for stuttering. Especially when he was under Aya's suspicious eyes.

Aya's eyebrow dropped. "Sure." He turns away from him, having lost interest. Five minutes later, Omi appeared in front of the shop, flushed from a race to beat the flowershop fan girls. It is Youji's signal to leave. He does so, challenging the speed of Ken's exit and beating it.

A/N: I wanted to get this out as fast as possible. Don't expect it to happen often. I don't get many chances to write and post. Originally I had bigger plans for this chapter, but found that more development was needed. Please review.