Ch. 32: "Sympathy for the Devil"

Disclaimer: WK does not belong to me. Neither do the lyrics that proceed each chapter- they're taken from various songs from the "Queen of the Damned" soundtrack. Any songs from different sources will have a disclaimer at the bottom. Don't sue. =pp

Do you really care
Or is this just a game to you?
I know you wouldn't dare

To show me if you have a heart
Or emptiness inside of you

"You arrogant ass!" Tatiana hurled her handbag at her partner. "If you would just listen to me for once, you wouldn't be gettin' into this kinda shit! Jackass!"
Talon winced when the handbag bounced off his shoulder, glowering at her from around the ice pack he held gingerly to his battered face. "Oh shut your mouth, bitch. You're turning out to be as bad as them- a god damn Vamp sympathizer."
"I'm telling you, that one they got with them seems different somehow," Tatiana insisted hotly, pacing the room. "I told you what I saw earlier in the alleyway. One of those boys fell, and the Vamp fuckin' saved him. Jumped from a six story roof and broke his fall with his own fuckin' body. That just don't sound like the other leeches."
"Big deal, so he didn't want his precious Feeder broken. You know how possessive leeches get about their Feeders."
"If he was really a Feeder, don't you think he'd have a hell of a lot more bite marks on 'im?" Tatiana demanded impatiently. "We know the first marks are from some other Vamp.."
"And the others are more than likely from that one," Talon interrupted in a growl. "That thing sure seemed more limber to me. Not so pale, either." He glanced towards the pictures he had taken when tracking the Irishman- spying on him.
"What about that girl?" Tatiana demanded, flopping down on her bed huffily. "You took pictures of her through the window, right? That chick he goes to see lately. She doesn't have any bite marks on 'er. She seems to like 'im."
"Just because I can't see the marks doesn't mean they're not there."
"Don't be a pervert."
"Wake up, Tatiana," Talon snapped, rising to his feet. "A hot chick like that? Come on, no Vamp has that much control."
Tatiana arched a brow at him. "'Hot chick'? I thought you said you were gay."
"Bi, but that's beside the point," Talon said impatiently, switching the ice pack to the other side of his face. "What I'm saying is you're letting yourself feel pity for this creature and its supporters. You're supposed to be a damned Vampire Hunter, for crissakes. You're not supposed to stand up for one-- especially this one!"
Tatiana rubbed her temples with her hands, clenching her teeth. "Stop yelling," she said wearily. "You're giving me a headache. I'm tired of listening to you, and I'm tired of trying to think. I'm going to sleep."
"Like hell you are." Talon lowered his ice pack to glare at her. "I want you to get the girl."
Tatiana dropped her hand and arched her brows at him. "ExCUSE me?"
"Get. The. Girl," Talon repeated slowly. "The girl from the apartment. She has information on the Irishman. Besides, we'll be doing her a favor, saving her from a Vampire."
Tatiana snatched up some of the pictures from the bedside table and flipped through them. "She doesn't look like a damsel in distress to me," she said primly. "She looks happy here-"
"She looks happy whenever he shows up," Talon corrected. "Look at the ones where she's by herself. Of course she's going to put on a happy act for him. He's a fucking Vamp."
Tatiana gazed at a picture of the young woman by the kitchen window, washing dishes. Her lips were turned down, her eyes sad and whimsical. She looked as if she were thinking unpleasant thoughts. "She looks sad," she admitted gruffly. "But.."
"He never lets her leave the house, or answer the door," Talon continued. "She's a prisoner, Tatiana. Wake up." His eyes narrowed. "Or am I going to have to report you as a Sympathizer? You know what that will mean."
Fear hissed through Tatiana's veins. She looked up quickly, glaring at him to hide her fright. "I'm not a fucking Sympathizer, asshole. I'm just tryin' to get the whole story, all right?"
"You want the rest of the story? Fine: Hunters rescue girl. Hunters kill Irishman. Hunters kill Tokyo Lord. Hunters save the fucking world. The End." He pointed towards the door. "Now go get the girl," he growled. "And bring her back here in one piece, for god's sake."
Tatiana rose abruptly, snatching up her cane and swinging it expertly, her eyes snapping as she glared at the tall man. "Fine, I'll get the girl," she said through clenched teeth. "But the end to this 'story' isn't here, yet. Not all the facts are straight. And all the characters haven't been introduced yet."
"What is that supposed to mean?" Talon demanded as she strode for the door.
"I mean," Tatiana called back patronizingly, "we're missing a key 'character'. I'm wondering when Mister Big Shot Tokyo Lord is going to make his grisly appearance. And I ain't lookin' forward to it, neither. So I suggest you keep your gun by you if you wanna see the end of this story, jackass." She slammed the door behind her.


When Ken came to, Farfarello was gone. He sat up carefully, feeling groggy, and looked around. He was still on his bed, though someone had taken off his shoes for him at some point and draped a blanket over him. Probaby Omi or Yohji. He glanced at the clock. Almost nine in the evening. He reached up and ran his palm across his throat, searching for his third marks. He was going to look like hell after a while with all the bite marks he was accumulating.
Startled, he scrambled from bed and hurried towards the small mirror above his dresser. He vaguely remembered Farfarello guiding his hand to the wound to heal it once the Vampire had finished, then a hand supporting his head as he was lowered back onto the bed. He must have passed out after that, and Farfarello had most likely left afterwards.
He clicked on his bedside lamp and inpsected his throat anxiously in the mirror. Still only four scars. A pair to each side. "What the fuck..?" he murmured, touching the scars lightly. He tugged his collar down. Nothing. He stared blankly at his reflection for a long moment, then reached up and inspected the first bite Farfarello had given him. The bites looked slightly bigger than before. Had the Irishman bitten him in the same spot as last time? That would certainly keep his neck from getting bite marks all over it.
There was a light knock on the door, and a tentative voice. "Ken-kun? Are you awake?"
"A-aa." Ken pulled his collar up a little to partially obscure the marks. "Come in."
The door squeaked open, and Omi edged inside, flicking on the lights. Ken blinked a few times, then offered the smaller boy a wry smile. "Hey."
"Are you feeling all right?" Omi asked, walking over to him with a worried face. "You've been asleep since Farfarello..well..."
Ken did a quick mental calculation. Farfarello had bitten him shortly after closing time... "Not as long as last time," he observed.
Omi shook his head, watching him carefully. "Evidently he didn't take as much as he did last time. You feel all right?"
"I'm fine," Ken assured the younger boy. "Uh... where is Farfarello?"
Omi indicated the doorway with his thumb. "He and Schuldich left a few hours ago. They're not back, yet. Are you hungry?"
"Starving," Ken admitted, following the younger boy to the door.
"We saved you some dinner." Omi grinned slightly as he led Ken downstairs. "Crawford cooked."
Ken arched a brow. "That must have been interesting. Did Aya think it was poisoned?"
Omi chuckled. "Actually, Aya-kun started dinner, but Crawford kept getting in his way 'helping', so he got frustrated and let Crawford finish cooking it. It wasn't bad."
"Hn." Ken yawned, scratching at his scars. "As long as Yohji didn't cook."


I always knew you were crazy, but this is pushing it, Farfie, Schuldich said, amused. You know Tightass is going to rip you apart for this, right?
Farfarello fiddled with his fork, having barely touched the food on his plate. He wasn't really hungry. He'd already eaten..
I want to see him suffer, he said simply. Or did you forget this truce is only temporary?
Schuldich chuckled into his glass. And I thought MY games were twisted. Hats off to you, Farf. You're brilliant. And this name you gave her is perfect.
"Would you like any more juice, Shooldi-san?" Verrat asked brightly, offering the pitcher. She had been delighted that her 'brother' had brought a friend over for dinner, and though she couldn't quite pronounce his strange name- Farfarello's had taken a little practice, too -he seemed witty and polite enough. His eyes were a little cold, and his smile seemed more mocking than honest, but if Farfarello trusted and liked him, that was enough for her.
Schuldich smiled a little. "Iie."
"'Schu' is easier," Farfarello told Verrat without looking up. Schuldich offered him a glare.
"Schu," Verrat said carefully, then beamed. "It is easier. So, Schu-san, you work with my brother?"
Schuldich placed his fork on his cleared plate and stretched. "Aa," he confirmed, giving a slow, lazy smile. "We're partners. You and I met a few times... in a way. While you were, ah, asleep."
"You came with 'niisan to visit me?" Verrat smiled shyly. "Arigato."
You've got her wrapped around your little finger, Schuldich chuckled. And she thinks Tightass is her enemy?
Schuldich laughed out loud. Verrat looked startled, and gave the small, polite smile that one gives when they're not sure what the joke is.
"Ignore him," Farfarello advised tonelessly, taking a small sip from his cup. Ugh. Watery, too sweet.. it did nothing for him. Not after tasting his angel's blood...
Just the thought of it made his canines tingle, and he prodded them with his tongue absently to keep them at bay.
"Oniisan, you've hardly touched your food," Verrat said with concern. "Aren't you hungry?" She peered at him. "You're not sick, are you? You do look much better.. and.." She blinked, then reached out to touch his spiky hair. Schuldich raised an eyebrow when his partner didn't flinch away.
"'Niisan, your hair is changing color," Verrat exclaimed with happy surprise. "Is the bleach coming out?"
"Bleach?" Schuldich repeated, sniggering. "That's not-"
Farfarello elbowed him to silence him, not taking his eyes from Verrat. "Aa," he answered her quietly. Damn it. He'd forgotten about that... it had been too long. He knew drinking from Ken was slowly curing his starved body, but he had forgotten about his hair. Now that his body was getting what it needed most, his faded hair would slowly get its color back. [1]
There were other changes. He was faster, quieter, and his senses were three times better than before- ten times better than the average human's. His skin was still pale, but not the pasty white it had been. And the scars he sported now were the last ones he would ever have if he continued to Drink. All his new wounds now healed shortly; he'd already tested it himself.
"Na, ojousan, is there dessert?" Schuldich asked impudently.
"Un! I'll go get it!" Verrat pushed her chair back from the small card table and hurried into the kitchenette.
That Hunter bitch is here, by the way, Schuldich pointed out calmly. She's been spying on us for the past thirty minutes.
Farfarello glanced around without moving his head. I know. I can smell her. She's at a nearby window. Schuldich could sense the faint undercurrent of anger to his thoughts. What is she doing here?
Probably just following you around. Schuldich shrugged and pulled a cigarette free.
Farfarello reached over and plucked the cigarette away calmly, breaking it in half.
"Oi! What was that for?" Schuldich demanded hotly.
"I don't want you smoking in front of 'Verrat'," Farfarello returned tonelessly, flicking the broken cigarette at the German. "Take it outside."
"Well I can't, now, you broke the bloody thing!" Schuldich eyed Farfarello. You know, Farf, you seem to be getting into this whole 'big brother' thing. What's with the protective bit you've been pulling since I got here?
Farfarello gave him a stony look. What is that supposed to mean? he demanded, his voice dangerous.
Schuldich refused to be intimidated. You've let her touch you a few times- even let her hug you when you walked in. You seem comfortable with her, you get all pissy with me when I do or say something that she won't like, and now you're mad that the Hunter bitch is here-- even though the bitch has been tailing you for days now and you didn't seem to care before. He pointed his lighter at Farfarello, eyebrows raised. You know who you're starting to act like, don't you?
Fafarello's hand wrapped around his dinner knife, and he was halfway out of his chair when Verrat hustled back into the room, holding up a plateful of brownies and smiling sunnily. "I hope you like chocolate!"
Farfarello lowered himself reluctantly into his chair, still clenching his knife, and glared murderously at Schuldich. And maybe you're just too stupid to admit you're the only good actor around here, he said in clipped tones. I brought you here to let you in on this. Keep your games and jokes to yourself.
Just an observation, Schuldich said lightly. "Ah, arigato, Verrat-chan," he said aloud, accepting a brownie. "Have one, Farfie."
"I'm not hungry," Farfarello said darkly.
Verrat's face fell. "G-gomen.. do you not like chocolate?" Her gaze flicked to his plate, and he knew she was asking if he didn't like her cooking.
He scowled and reached reluctantly for a brownie. Halfway through the motion he caught Schuldich's knowing smirk out of the corner of his eye.
Something cold washed over him, and he jerked back his arm as if it had been bitten. Suddenly he was confused and angry at himself.
Verrat looked startled. "Niisan?"
"I ate before I came over," he grumbled.
"Ah... I understand." Verrat smiled, but her eyes were a little hurt. Farfarello glanced away, frowning a little. He was suddenly uncomfortable with Schuldich's amused gaze on him, and rose abruptly, striding towards the window he knew the Hunter was at.
He ignored his partner, throwing the window open and reaching outside, fast as a striking cobra. There was a startled squawk, and a struggle. Verrat cried out in surprised alarm, and Schuldich jumped out of his chair, laughing. "Can you handle her, Farf?"
A moment later Farfarello dragged the thrashing, cursing woman in through the window. Verrat gasped and grabbed Schuldich's arm, hiding behind him. Schuldich gave a little jump, startled by the touch, and stared down at her.
Verrat didn't notice, her face pale. "Is that a burglar?" she asked, frightened. "Should we call the police?"
Farfarello wrenched the Hunter's cane from her, deliberately and savagely twisting her wrist in the process, and tossed the cane to Schuldich.
"Let GO of me!" Tatiana screeched, struggling. "You fucking Va-"
Farfarello's hands clamped around her throat like a vise, and she gave a breathy squeak, clawing at his hands in a desperate struggle for air.
"Niisan, stop it!" Verrat cried, horrified. "You'll kill her!"
Schuldich barred her way with the Hunter's cane, smirking. "How do you know she wasn't here to kill you?" he demanded. "Or your brother?"
Verrat held a hand to her mouth, eyes wide and brimming with tears. She looked torn.
Farfarello leaned closer and murmured into the gasping Hunter's ear. "You say that word again in this room and I'll kill you." He hauled her to her feet roughly and released her throat. Before she could even get a proper breath, he shoved her violently, and she stumbled backwards, landing heavily and awkwardly in a chair.
"Fuck you," she snarled, sitting up and glaring at him. "What you gonna do? Bite me?"
Verrat glanced with mingled confusion and worry from the Hunter to Farfarello.
Farfarello put his hands on the armrests and leaned in towards the young woman. Tatiana shied back, fear flickering in her eyes. "I'm full," he said slowly.
Schuldich laughed.
"What are you doing here? And watch what you say," Farfarello warned.
Tatiana shot a look towards Verrat, then Schuldich, and swallowed hard. "Who's the girl?" she demanded boldly, lifting her chin in a defiant motion.
"What does it matter to you?" Farfarello asked emotionlessly.
"Niisan, who is that woman?" Verrat asked shrilly.
Tatiana stared at her. "Brother?" she repeated incredulously. Farfarello lifted a hand warningly, and Tatiana shut her mouth so quickly her teeth clicked.
"Just a nosey bitch- pardon my french," Schuldich drawled. "She doesn't like your brother too much." He ignored Farfarello's warning glare and grinned at Tatiana. "I believe she wants to kill him, or something like that.."
"I'd kill both of you motherfuckers if I could," Tatiana growled. "You're just as bad as he is, you psychotic--"
Verrat shoved Schuldich aside, catching him off guard. "You had better not hurt them!" she shouted furiously. "What has my brother ever done to you??" Schuldich seized her elbow, and she tried to twist free. "How dare you! You.. you... bitch!"
Schuldich started laughing hysterically. "Holy shit!" he gasped. "If Aya could hear this!"
"Shut up," Farfarello snapped, then transferred his gaze to the furious girl, trying to keep his tone quiet and level. "Verrat. Go to your room and shut the door. This doesn't concern you."
"It does!" she insisted angrily. "Is this one of the people that hurt you? I'm calling the police!"
"Yare yare..." Schuldich sighed. Verrat suddenly gave a little spasm. Her eyes rolled back in her head and she collapsed into the German's arms.
Farfarello was across the room in a heartbeat. He tore the limp girl from Schuldich's grasp and snarled at him, "What did you do?"
"Geez, chill out, Farf," Schuldich complained, holding up his hands defensively. "I just knocked her out. You've seen me do it-- Watch it!"
Tatiana was making a jump for the window. Schuldich dodged in front of her, grabbing her arms tightly. "Where do you think you're going?"
"Let go of me, you freak!"
Farfarello ignored them, scooping Verrat into his arms and heading stonily for her room. I'm putting her to bed. Tie the Hunter up.
Schuldich dragged the struggling woman over to a chair and forced her to sit. He pulled off his belt, and her eyes widened. She opened her mouth to scream.
"Oh get over yourself," Schuldich scoffed, snatching up her wrists and binding them together with the belt. "I don't do girls right now."
"Then maybe you'll do me."
Schuldich whirled at the voice, hand flying for the dagger in his back pocket. Three figures stood by the window. Christ, I didn't even hear their minds, Schuldich realized.
Then the tallest of them stepped forward, and offered a chilling smile. "Schuldich, Schuldich," he sighed. "You've been a bad boy."
He was about the German's age, but taller. His silky hair hung in dredlocks to his shoulders, his slanted eyes dark and cold. He was wearing a smirk that could rival Schuldich's at his most condenscending, and a gray tux.
He was Souma: the Fourth of Rosenzkreuz.
Schuldich took an instinctive step back, his heart leaping into his throat and making it difficult to breathe. He tried to call out to Farfarello in the link, but encountered nothing but darkness.
I've cut your precious mind link with your partners. The voice in his mind was loud, uninvited, and scattered any rational thought. You've all been very... disappointing.
The two men behind him stepped forward- Vampires.
Souma barely even glanced towards Tatiana, as if she was unworthy of his attention: a fly on the wall that was only a vague annoyance. "Do with the Hunter as you will," he said in a bored tone to the two leering Vampires behind him. "The German and the other girl are mine."
"What about the Traitor?" one of the Vampires demanded in a hiss. "He's ours."
Souma glanced towards the bedroom, then back at Schuldich. "He isn't there anymore," he said calmly.
"You're lying!" the other Vampire accused, and ran to the bedroom door. He threw it open and looked around wildly. "They're gone!" he screeched angrily. "How did they escape?"
Schuldich managed to smirk at them. "He prob'ly smelled your stinky asses a mile away. Tough shit on you."
Tatiana was looking around at them all with wide, terrified eyes.
"You know..." Souma walked slowly towards the German, pinning him to the spot with his gaze, "I would love to wipe that smirk off your face. You could do with some humility. Be grateful the First has ordered that none of you be unnecessarily harmed until he deems fit."
"How nice," Schuldich sneered.
"How long did you think you'd get away with it?" Souma demanded calmly. "Did you think you could trick us for very long? Teaming up with Wei? how dissapointing. You are betraying your own employers." He sighed, then gave a cold smile. "But never worry. Iragadachi can take care of that. You see, you're all too valuable to lose right now. Well... except for the Irishman. I'm afraid he'll have to go. Agameddo won't have it any other way, you see."
Schuldich's stomach was hot with rage and hate, and he swallowed back a mouthful of bile. "Go fuck yourself," he growled.
The Vampires were circling Tatiana, sneering and chuckling. She squirmed uneasily, looking around wildly for a way to escape.
"You know, that reminds me," Souma said brightly, toying with a lock of Schuldich's hair. "The First requested that Schwarz remain unharmed for the time being... but he did say to take out Wei?any way we deemed necessary." He offered a chilling smile. "Isn't that a pleasant prospect? I think I'll start with the smartass who reminds me most of you. 'Kudou', isn't it?"
Schuldich dodged past him and darted for the window.
But Souma was expecting that, and leapt after him, seizing him in a strong headlock. "Take care of the Hunter," he snarled over his shoulder, tightening his hold on the gasping, writhing German. "I'm taking this one back to the First." He glanced back at the Vampires, dark eyes narrowed dangerously. "And when you find the Traitor, leave the girl unharmed. Agameddo needs a new toy."
Desperately Schuldich tried to throw out a thought in the web. Darkness was all he encountered. Dimmly he could sense Tatiana's panicked thoughts, and the roiling haze of hatred and hunger eminating from the Vampires. But the link between himself and his team had been severed. From Souma he encountered only a cold, unending darkness and emptiness. Consciousness was beginning to fade as the stronger telepath tightened his stranglehold.
And then one mind winked into existance, bright as a torch, and he threw his last conscious thought in its direction with the force of a freight train.
Rosenkreuz is coming!
Then everything was dark, and he slipped into unconsciousness.

[1] Farfarello's hair is a different color in the manga than in the anime. It isn't white... ^.~
Lyrics- once again -are from "Fighting For". Why? Because I'm rapidly running out of lyrics. -__- All the ones I wanted are on my PC, which is on a boat. *screams* So... pft. *wanders off*

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