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.
"Mmm." Schuldig woke with a moan, stretching languidly. He was immediately met with bright, alert eyes. "Morning, Nag," he whispered, his throat scratchy from sleep.
"I'm not a nag," the boy whispered back, blowing minty breath straight into Schuldig's face. Obviously, the boy had been up for a while if he'd had a chance to brush his teeth.
"You got up before me," Schuldig protested, stifling a yawn. He numbly scratched at his naked stomach.
"You were tired. I had some things to do," Nagi excused himself. Schuldig quirked an eyebrow at him.
"Does that mean you made me breakfast?" His voice was returning to normal from use. Nagi confused for a second, shaking his head inarticulately.
"Why would I make you breakfast?" he wondered aloud.
"Because I was a good boy last night," Schuldig murmured huskily. "And I'll be a good boy again if you make me breakfast." He trailed off, his eyebrows lowered suggestively.
"I'm not making you breakfast," Nagi muttered, sitting up. For the first time Schuldig noticed he was naked while his partner was fully dressed.
"You're no fun at all." Nagi blew hair out of his face, a bland look resting on his features. Schuldig, unable to bear that familiar look, pulled the boy down into a hard kiss. Nagi followed willingly. "Make me breakfast," he whispered, blowing a mixture of stagnant alcohol, smoke, and unmentionable substances into the boy's face as a hand slowly trailed down his uniform's blazer.
Nagi wrinkled his nose in disgust. "I'll make you breakfast," he surrendered. "As long as you brush your teeth and never blow morning breath in my face again," he grumbled.
Schuldig nodded, content that he'd won this battle, apathetic that his pride might have been insulted in the fight. "French toast!" he called in an afterthought. Nagi made some replay, but Schuldig paid it no heed.
Youji sat huddled in the corner of his room, the dried blood on his arms cracking as he moved a cigarette to his lips. He hadn't moved since last night, save to snatch at a lighter and pack. He hadn't moved, nor had he slept, nor made any move to clean up the mess.
"I can't believe I did that." His voice was hoarse. He was moments away from breaking into tears, as he had been all night. "I didn't want to do that." He tried to convince himself, but succeeded only in weakening his flimsy resolve.
Last night had been bad. His body betrayed him. His mind was too far gone. Youji could no longer be certain which desires were his own and which had been placed there by a foreign will. Foreign in more ways than one, Youji shuddered at the thought of his thick German inside his head. Youji didn't always understand what was being said to him. He was more than hesitant to look it up.
"Alright, Youji," he told himself aloud; he could no longer be certain his thought orders were of his own making. "Time to rise and shine. Don't want all those beauties waiting." He used to be able to say it a lot more credibly. At the moment, he didn't mind having beauty and opportunities pass him by. He felt safer huddled here on the floor. Safer with his upper arms sticking to the dark paint of the wall, sealed there with his own blood. "Up and at them. Don't keep the ladies waiting." His voice cracked as he said it, a sob he'd been containing all night broke through. It was nothing, he told himself. He was safe in the daylight. Well, he had believed that until recently.
Aya stared at the clock of the flower shop. He was irked that Youji would show up so late. He was almost tempted to go up and wake the playboy himself. Lord knows, he'd done it before. On more than one occasion he had blown through the door, scaring Youji and whatever bed partner he'd had out of bed. He could do it again without hesitation.
But this time was different. Aya wouldn't barge in on a sleeping Youji. He had reasons to let sleeping playboys lie. Perhaps it was guilt that let the man sleep. Perhaps it was indifference that made him leave him be.
But Aya suspected it was something different that kept him from Youji's door. It was the intense paranoia that something had happened when he'd sent Youji away. Intense paranoia that he'd broken Youji apart with a few misplaced words.
Whatever it was, Youji'd been different. He didn't look healthy enough to be torn from whatever sleep he managed. Youji wasn't feeling well, and Aya wouldn't push him until he felt better. 'We can't risk him sick on a mission,' Aya concluded with himself. That was why he didn't interrupt the man's sleep for work. Besides, Aya was more than capable of handling a few flowers by himself.
When Youji stumbled down the stairs later that morning, Aya let out a rush of breath he was unaware he'd been holding. He was relieved to see Youji half falling down the steps, standing tall, still in one piece. Sure, he looked like his hair had had a fight with a mixer. Sure, the circles under his eyes were deep gouges in a once beautiful face. But Youji looked like himself. More so than he had last night.
"Murn," Youji mumbled out, too weary to even mumble a longer, proper greeting. He was depressed. He'd wrapped his wounds, applied concealer to the shallow bruises of fatigue, and dressed relatively nicely. He'd tried hard to make himself look like he used to. No matter what he did, he looked pathetic. It hurt to see himself like this.
"You're late," Aya snapped out in irritation. He didn't know where the pity'd gone, where the suspicions on Youji's health had fled to, but apparently it was far from him. He would respond automatically. He couldn't put to practice any sort of kindness.
"I.shower.clean.done.work," Youji mumbled for a few minutes, Aya only catching every fourth or fifth word. "Sorry," he apologized again, sounding desperately weak, much like he had last night. Aya couldn't look at him.
'Its okay.' Aya forgave. Or rather, he meant to. He wanted to. But the cold exterior translated the words to a different text. The 'it's okay' that he'd wanted to say came out as a snappish, 'Don't do it again. I'm sick of this shit you try to pull.' He hissed, turning back to see the taller man. He was surprised to find himself the taller of the pair. Youji was so hunched, so curled in on himself, that the few inches he held over Aya were non-existent.
"." Youji mumbled a few apologies, none of which Aya pushed himself to hear. He was sick of this new Youji and all of his apologies. He was sick of feeling like such a brute because the once vain playboy was practically cowering at his feet.
"Youji. What's wrong?" Aya asked, surprisingly kindly. "If you need to talk." He trailed off, realizing that talking was not something he wanted to subject himself to. 'I could find you a nice psychologist?' he thought to himself. 'I'll tell Omi to talk with you when he gets home?' None of his ideas seemed to fit as ending to his rushed statement. 'Better to just let it be.' He decided, pretending the words had never crossed his mind, let alone his mouth.
"I." Youji's lips trembled, Aya noticed. His lips trembled, as if concealing a sob he'd never expect from the strong womanizer. Seeing the weak gesture only made him more aware of the faded bruises, the hollow cheeks, and the circles of fatigue. The incessant shivering of his mouth only made him more aware of the raw, repellant split in his lip. 'Why hasn't that healed?' Aya wondered.
Youji worried the lip with his teeth, as if in answer to his question. Blood began to flow just as the bell tinkled, alerting the florists to a customer. Aya stared, transfixed at the large amount of blood that spilled forth from what he thought was a shallow wound. "We'll be right with you," Aya muttered to the elderly woman perusing a display. "You're bleeding," he hissed at Youji, who fingered the split thoughtfully, shrugging it away.
"I'll fix it later," he murmured, moving forward, wiping his now blood- soaked hand on his pants. He hadn't even bothered with an apron. Aya was disturbed. Of the four of them, Youji was always the most concerned about his appearance.
"You'll fix it now," Aya hissed, moving to push Youji to the bathroom. Youji resisted his touch, shying away and towards the customer. "You'll scare away the customers if you go bleeding all over the flowers." Aya wondered why he was even bothering to explain himself. Youji looked so distant. He couldn't know what was being said.
"Yes, yes. I'll tend the flowers, don't fret," he muttered, moving closer to the old woman. Draining his small resource of patience, Aya grabbed Youji by the arm, ripping him away towards the bathroom.
As soon as he had latched his grip, he let go in shock. This was disgusting. Aya, a man not overly large in size, had managed to circle the entire bulk of Youji's upper arm; a feat he would not, should not, be capable of doing were Youji in fit condition. Youji was supposed to have the most upper arm strength of them all, needing it to support the weight of a victim when hanging them with his wire. And the gross amount of muscle loss didn't even end there. The skinny limb was even smaller than it looked, for Aya had felt the cushion of fabric.
The type of cloth Weiss used to bind heavy wounds. Youji was protecting wounds that hadn't been there when he'd come home. Youji was protecting wounds that had been inflicted upon him in his own home. Someone was hurting him in their own home. Ooh, someone was going to die.
"Where'd you get these!?!" Aya hissed in shock, gesturing to Youji's arm. He could not believe, he would not believe, that Ken or Omi had hurt their teammate. So how had he gotten them? "Why're you bandaged, Youji." Aya's voice was low, but not for regard for their uninformed customer.
"Hmm?" Youji was holding both his arms cradled across his chest, effectively protecting the fresh wounds from contact. "These?" he asked dumbly, gesturing to his upper arms. "They were just an accident. The wire got stuck," he muttered, vaguely realizing how stupid it sounded. Aya looked ready to beat him. Aya probably ~would~ beat him, Youji realized with a shudder. He should get out of here. He should go somewhere far from here, he decided.
"Yes, ~those~." Aya was tempted to rip the sleeves off of Youji's loose turtleneck, desperate to see the damage done by ~an accident~. "Youji!" The hiss was gone as Aya watched the older man edge away, discreetly preparing an escape. 'Not from me you won't,' Aya thought.
The elderly woman was staring at them, fear obvious. Aya obscurely realized he must look rather threatening. She hurriedly shuffled out the door, the bell tinkling as it opened. Before the bell sounded the successful closure, Youji sprung.
Out the door, onto the open sidewalk, Youji was desperate to get away from anything that posed a threat. 'Some assassin,' he thought bitterly. 'Running from one of his own teammates.' He dodged through the crowds of indifferent, possibly surprised, passerby. He ducked through breaks in traffic, jumped fences, and ran. He ran with no conscious destination in mind, only fulfilling an instinctive desire to flee.
'Damn, he can run fast.' Even Aya's thoughts were gasped, as he gave chase to the runaway blonde. 'Shouldn't have confronted him like that. Shouldn't have stuck my nose in it,' he bitched to himself. 'If you'd kept your mouth shut, you'd be back at the shop, the currently ~unattended~ shop, and none the wiser.' This was exactly why Aya usually kept silent.
"Shit! Where'd he go!" Aya cursed aloud, unmindful of the group of young mothers with small children sitting in the café beside him. "That fucking bastard!" Someone opened his mouth to protest his use of profanity. By that time, Aya was gone, chasing after a tall blonde that might be Youji. Luck hadn't quite left him yet.
Youji dodged another truck, painfully aware of the resulting blare of horns. He was going to be hit, he thought. Not that he minded. The way he saw it, he was dead either way: truck or Aya. He chose truck. After dodging a last car, Youji decided to stick to less crowded roads. He'd prefer even the slimmest chances of living. Up, over a badly parked motorcycle, through the little girls with sidewalk chalk. Down the dirty alleyway, up the fire escape ladder. Youji didn't know what drove him to the rooftops. Surely Aya could catch him easily, he more adept at darting across the flat, gravelly surfaces. But he wouldn't turn back now. Surely not when Aya was tagging on his heels, bent on homicide.
'What the hell is the thinking?' Aya wondered, more than angry at being led on the wild goose chase. He was stuck at a dead end, facing a bunch of teary-eyed little girls with chalk stained cheeks.
"Did you see a man go by?" Aya asked, the girls nodding mutely. He was communicating with children, he realized when they offered no further explanation. "He was tall with blonde hair?" he asked again. "Running really fast?" The girls kept nodding. "Where did he go?" he asked. One of the braver of the children pointed to the fire escape.
"Shit!" Aya cursed loudly, ignoring the children's indrawn gasps and giggles at the profanity. 'What the hell is he doing! Does he plan on jumping?' He sincerely hoped not. Not only because he didn't want Youji to commit suicide, but because he didn't want the little girls to witness such an event as well. After a calculating silence, Aya started up the fire escape. He didn't want to scare Youji, but he needed to get him down.
"Brad! You said he'd be here by now!" Schuldig said, stomping his foot childishly.
"You're the one who insisted we come early, not wanting to miss your ~kitten~," Brad retorted, clearly annoyed.
"Don't get a stick up the ass! You're the one who's wrong!" Schuldig fought back. Nagi and Farfarello sat on the roof ledge, indifferent.
"I'm not wrong! If you're in such a hurry, why don't you go meet him! I have better things to do than wait around for a ~toy~." Brad stood, anticipating their toy's arrival nonetheless.
"Maybe I will!" 'Schuldig is so childish sometimes,' Brad thought in disgust. 'Am not!' came the immediate response inside his head. 'Point proven,' he thought again. Schuldig stormed off with a billowing of cloth. Nagi sighed, gaining the American's attention. 'Poor thing.' Brad pitied the boy for having such an absentminded lover. 'Am not!' came the immediate response. Chuckling to himself, Brad sat down with Farfarello and Nagi. Schuldig would be sure to bring back their prize.
A/N: Finally! Sorry it took so long! Gomen if these chapters seemed drawn out. I know they are, I guess its just how I write. My huge project is over, so I can write freely again! * thousands cheer * Well, its still got ways and ways to go. * sigh * this was originally supposed to be a oneshot! OII! Oh well. Do you like the cliffhanger? I do. * sigh * Don't flame me for it, but please DO REVIEW!!! I can't emphasize it enough. My poor little ego needs big, healthy reviews to grow up big and strong. Lol.err..yeah.sleep is needed. Ja! Eternity's End